February 5

Renting Culture


Will we actually own anything in the future.

We don’t buy movies anymore, we just stream them through Netflix. 

We don’t buy music any more. We just rent access to our favorite tracks through iTunes or Google Play or we stream them through Spotify/Rdio/Grooveshark. 

We don’t buy books any more, we just pay to access Kindle versions.

We don’t buy hard drives anymore, all our data is stored in “the cloud” (e.g., Google Docs, Dropbox, Bitcasa, etc.).

Don’t feel like dropping hundreds or thousands of dollars on your next laptop? Just rent a Chromebook. 

Don’t feel like buying razors, just subscribe to the Dollar Shave Club. 

Don’t want to buy underwear? Subscribe to Manpacks. 

I believe that this trend will continue. Renting gives us most of the benefits of ownership (e.g., access on demand) without the downsides (i.e., management, maintenance, effort, etc.). 

More and more we’ll rent our homes so we don’t have to worry about maintenance. Instead of purchasing clothes that will just wear out and go out of style, we’ll have them shipped to us, wear them a couple of times, and ship them back. We’ll subscribe to food delivery services instead of buying groceries. 

We’re quickly becoming a culture that doesn’t need value ownership. Maybe it’s because our tastes change too quickly. Maybe it’s because we no longer rely on owning things for self validation. I’m not sure whether that’s a good or bad thing, but I do think it’s a thing. 

What are your thoughts? Am I wrong?


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