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Stuffocation - less but better stuff


Stuffocation explains how less but better stuff and space can lead to more time, more experiences, more connecting with people and therefore more happiness. Designed right, small is the new big. Stuffocation explains how less but better stuff and space can lead to more time, more experiences, more connecting with people and therefore more happiness.

Take lessons from the rise of Spotify, Zipcar, and Airbnb, and from what is variously called the sharing economy, collaborative consumption, and the shift from ownership to access. They are all, in my view, versions of what Buckminster Fuller called “ephemeralization"--the idea of getting more experience from less physical stuff. Put ephemeralization at the heart of what you do: reduce your material inputs and costs, while increasing the experiential outputs and benefits. While you are about it, you will not only reduce your planetary impact, you may also create conversation and community.

7 Rules For Selling In A World That Has Enough Stuff

There was a time when big was beautiful, more was better, and greed was good. If that time had a heyday, it was the 1980s. If it had a hero, it was Gordon Gekko. And if it had a big, important name, it was materialism...

But then, around the time the 20th became the 21st century, something happened. Or, rather, lots of things did. And they have all added up to what I think is the defining problem of our generation, a problem I call “stuffocation.”



James Wallman, journalist and trend forecaster

So, what does stuffocation mean for you? And what does it mean for your business?

Let's begin with what it doesn't mean. It doesn't mean the end of consumerism.

And it doesn't mean the end of material stuff. We're not all about to become ascetics, head for the hills, and go live naked in caves. (Even if that could be fun. For a weekend.) We are still flesh and blood, in-real-life humans. We will still need and use shoes, bags, clothes, cars, and cell phones. But as we increasingly respond to stuffocation, we will consume far less material things.

I don't think that this change will happen overnight. This is long-term cultural change. It is as significant as the shift our ancestors made when they gave up thrifty ways to become wasteful consumers in the 20th century--and that took a good half-century or so to really take hold. From the perspective of later historians, this change will be seen as revolution, but from ours, living it every day, it will feel much more like evolution.


Story of Stuff

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