Monday, December 20, 2010

On-Demand Life


Another colleague of mine, Sandy Speicher passed along this link about Self-Storage by Mail from Springwise. Thanks, Sandy!

As we have been discussing on-demand consumption of goods, services and experiences and the on-demand shared use of real estate, we now have an answer to all of the stuff we already possess and don't always need in our presence. Enter StorageByMail.com who allow you to send them all of your excess possessions which they will store in their warehouse until you need them mailed back to you.

Images from the StorageByMail.com homepage.

Taken to the extreme, we could imagine a future where our lives are completely on-demand and on any given day we have only what is immediately necessary and efficient before us. Combined with a shared consumption of on-demand automobiles, tools, real estate, along with an ability to store excess items, our daily lives could be incredibly lightweight, flexible and nomadic! It does beg the question of how we would manage all of this movement of items to and fro, but there is no doubt an app for that on its way.

I find my experience traveling with colleagues around the world frequently as an extreme use of this lifestyle. We keep work tools (projectors) and daily life tools (a clothing iron) stored in our hotel in Sao Paulo, but next month we might need them redistributed to our next location. The Springwise post refers to this lifestyle as that of the "Transumer". They reference a Trendwatching post that defines Transumers as:

"consumers driven by experiences instead of the ‘fixed’, by entertainment, by discovery, by fighting boredom, who increasingly live a transient lifestyle, freeing themselves from the hassles of permanent ownership and possessions. The fixed is replaced by an obsession with the here and now, an ever-shorter satisfaction span, and a lust to collect as many experiences and stories as possible.* Hey, the past is, well, over, and the future is uncertain, so all that remains is the present, living for the 'now'."

With so much of what we carry around with us being paired down to only the essential, we could be freed to be where we want to be, when we want to be. And our lives could be freed up to focus on the experiences we collect rather than the possessions.

Now, if can just figure out how we are going to manage all of this movement to and fro so that we aren't spending all of our time "demanding" our On-Demand Life.

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