The Homogenization of Experiences
But for all its power, eCom has become boring. Homogenous. Samey-samey. Decision fatigue beget a sort of prix-fixe menu for buying things online that has led to everything looking and feeling identical.
Doing things differently is how to stand out. Because when you give up choice and just rely on best practices or pre-baked solutions, you give up your power.
Now, in the internet age, we see a generation of creators, critics, and commentators who are building a trustless, anonymous network on which entire industries are being built.
This pseudonymous future — if it ever comes into being — is a manifestation of the underlying truth that people are not one-dimensional. If anything, a plurality of identity is who we are in our truest selves.
Keeping up with the Joneses
The human need to “fit in” governs every aspect of our lives. Our language, our clothing, our careers, our digital personas; all of it in order to signal to others our identity and values. Maybe even our eCom platform choices are subject to this phenomenon?
The Sacraments of Commerce
In the modern era, brands have become more spiritual, and religious groups more brand-like. Abrahamic traditions are now but a playbook for brands to copy. If not a literal template, then an eventual common destination at which we arrive: sacraments we accidentally discover on our progression towards enlightenment.
The Profitability of Distraction
The more successful a person is, the more distracted they tend to be.
This idea — that we become more distracted as we become more successful — is key to understanding startup culture, capital allocation, and the modern media landscape, as entertainment and information are gunning for pole-position in our brains.
The Celebration of Insincerity
Internet culture has promulgated the idea that spectators lose and participators win. The result — a devolving public conversation around nuanced topics that have meaningful impact in our lives.
Deepening the trench are algorithmic timelines, meme culture, hype culture, reply-guys, and online hero worship; all symptoms of a broader problem — we’re in a post-sincere world.
The desire to be part of “something big” is so very human. The very idea that something exists in the world is itself pleasing; even if that product, that company, that mission does not directly service you. Even if you’d never be the customer.
This is the new romanticism - the stuff that we want to exist, but we’re not the primary audience.
It’s been said that the measure of a man is what he does with power — if you want to know our truest, basest, selves, download your voice recordings from your Amazon Alexa devices.
When it comes to dealing with assistants and robots, our basest and most vile instincts take over. Frustration, anger, and rage — the way we treat robots reveal more about us than we’d care to admit.