Recently, while organising a sound project, a number of people I contacted were hard to get, then the same for a number of places, and a few products. That made me think of things that are hard to get, people who are hard to get to, places that are hard to get in.
Always ahead, one William Gibson indirectly explores the topic in a book called Zero History.
In the past things were hard to get - books, tulips, silk, exotic spices, paintings, recorded albums. These days, playing-hard-to-get is the territory of relationships, loans, and real estate; I think it shouldn't have a bearing on everyday human transactions, even more so with services or products.
Seems to be a strategy. The process creates a subtle bias: later on, if things or people don't meet our expectations, the initial effort makes easier to question the expectations. It was difficult to get to the thing or person because they were in demand, and all that demand can't be wrong. In simple terms, it's easier to like something or someone that was hard to get.
Great because it's expensive.
It all made me think about "Kind of Blue" - has that album ever been hard to get hold of? The number of releases is staggering - 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1965, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, and every year since 1999, It has virtually never been out of print.
The thing is, the omnipresence of Kind of Blue never diminished its artistic merit, never lowered a single aspect of its high standard. It's a timeless piece, Miles Davis's immortality. Despite its ubiquity, I doubt any living person takes it for granted. The mark of quality.
Many other examples like this.