Posted by Tom Foremski - January 25, 2015
[A Saturday Post... The future is already here — it just needs some connecting dots...]
If we take our technologies of personalization and predictive business analytics to their ultimate conclusion, in the future we won't need marketing or consumers. Products will just show up at your door.
Inside the box, the shirt or whatever the thing is, everything about it will be perfect: a perfect fit, perfect style, perfect color, perfect price — and perfect timing.
This future world is perfectly attuned to you, you'll sit on the apex of all our modern technologies, and you'll have the ultimate customer experience. Your favorite brands will know all about you, and know exactly what it is you need, before you knew you wanted it. And all with frictionless auto-debit.
You will marvel at the perfectly synchronized nature of this caring, observant, intelligent world that you live in, that just now delivered exactly what you needed without you having to even think of it. You didn't even know you wanted it until it showed up. It's all thanks to the incredibly powerful algorithms fueling society's Predictive Engines of Commerce.
A world without "wants"...
You will gradually forget the experience of consumerism, the "wanting to buy something" feeling. That hollow tagging, nagging in the gut, that unscratchable-itch frustration of desiring that thing... Yet knowing all along that it is all a lie, that the desire is manufactured through marketing and advertising.
In the future those conflicting emotions will be gone.
Our Predictive Engines of Commerce will save us from the onerous work of being a consumer: having to watch lots of advertising and hunting around to find something to buy. Then thinking about it, then thinking about owning it, then searching for it, going to the mall, going online, buying it, opening the box, throwing the box away. Finding the box, sending the thing in the box back, getting a new box...
It's a big job being a consumer (plus you need an actual job, too).
Ending consumerism will mean an end to marketing: no more advertising, no more selling, no more pointless waste of peoples' time and energy. We'll return to a life uncluttered by artificially manufactured desires.
"Want" is cancelled out by "Get." In this world without wants —you'll always get what you need.
The end of consumerism will undoubtably be recognized as the triumph of our age. And we can return to exploring this curious human experience of being... rather than buying.
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