My wife and I recently had a conversation about how America is moving past consumerism (very slowly). More and more, there are businesses creeping up that focus on extending the life of products you already own. Things like the 10 year hoodie have exploded in popularity. Purchasing something because it is actually worth the money, is more and more common.
Just recently, Path has decided it is going to be the first social network that charges its users. I love the idea. I have long been a fan of Path, though I am not an avid user (something about giving the NSA more…). I have decided once I have kids, I plan to spread the experience with my close family and friends via Path. I digress, so why is Path charging users? They are committed to an ad free experience and plan to charge folks for enhanced features (the same way Evernote and even Dropbox does). They are betting on the value and experience their app brings and that folks are willing to pay for it (I probably will be).
So, what does this larger trend mean? It means it is time to move away from the small, meaningless purchases and more towards the purchases that will hold value for an extended period of time. I suppose it may also mean, it is time to start a business that upgrades/reuses/repurposes/etc. the items you love.
I will put together, in another blog post, the areas of opportunity, but I can guarantee you, the future is moving away from consumerism.