Living the new life! Why we’re not all doing it


what-can-i-ask-siriNew and innovative IT technologies have made it possible to live a more efficient life with lots of new opportunities. However, there are now so many choices that it has become next to impossible to figure out what’s actually really helpful to you. That’s why the transition to that efficient new life is going a lot slower than it should.

An example: Imagine that you’ve got this idea for a great new business! You’re really excited about it and a few of your good friends are willing to help! But to make it a reality you need funding! So you’re thinking: “I know a lot of people believe in my idea, perhaps I can use one of those new crowd funding platforms?” Well let’s see what shows up on a Google search: Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Crowdfunder, RocketHub, Crowdrise, Somolend, appbackr, AngelList, Invested.in, Quirky, GoFundMe, Razoo, PledgeMusic, Sellaband, Teespring, YouCaring.com, Causes, Giveforward, Kiva, FundRazr, HoneyFund, FirstGiving, crowdtilt, Fundable, FundAnything, Patreon or maybe Fundly? That’s a lot of options! Maybe it’s better to limit yourself to Dutch platforms since you believe that’s were you have the most backers? Google says: Geldvoorelkaar.nl, Crowdaboutnow, Symbid, WeKomenErWel, Leadfunder, Kapitaal Op Maat, Fundyd, The Dutch Deal, Viviad, Geldoverenweer, Share2Start, or maybe Seeds is something for you? You decide it’s all too much and realize it’s easier just to borrow some extra cash from DUO.

crowdfunding
I think you catch the drift, the choice is overwhelming. Choice is not a bad thing, far from it. But too much choice is. We as consumers have never had this problem before. Choice was limited to what was physically near you. With the internet that’s different now. And the above example is only one of many. Perhaps you’ve wanted to find a faster way to take notes, quickly sell your old stuff or maybe book a cheap holiday? In all these examples you’d most likely google for a solution and be overwhelmed with the options that you’re faced with.

How are we then dealing with this right now? We look for top 10 lists, ask on social media for recommendations or just go with the first hit on Google and keep our fingers crossed. But if I want to upgrade all aspects of my life, should I go through dozens of recommended lists, keep bugging my friends for their experiences or just go with whatever pops up first for everything I’m looking for? Doesn’t sound very appealing… And thus I still physically go to the supermarket even though I can probably get it send to me at home, I still call for a taxi, I still write down what I’ve spent this month… I still go with the tried and true methods that I’ve always used. Not really the new and efficient life that I know is out there!

How about you? Have you figured out how to live your life more efficiently, are you asking your iPhone what movies are on or are you also still taking notes on paper?

Oh! and for those actually looking for a good crowd funding platform, look at the top 10 list on http://www.crowdfunding.com 😉

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2 responses to “Living the new life! Why we’re not all doing it”

  1. 361640rh says :

    You are referring to the choice overload theory, which states that the amount of options has a positive effect on customers’ attention, but a negative effect on the actual sales. The Internet does not inherently cause this. We encounter such problems on daily base, even in physical brick-and-mortar stores. For example, if you go to Albert Heijn for some marmalade, the bakery for some bread, the Mediamarkt for a computer and so on.

    The Internet definitely strengthens the increase in choice. More efficient and less expensive global distribution and communication increases the amount of product offerings and this is even more enhanced by price comparison platforms, Internet retailers and product category web stores such as CoolBlue. Instead of being limited to stores that are physically close to you, the amount of options has become unlimited.

    I think what you are saying makes sense from a marketing perspective, where brands face trade-offs between brand awareness and sales. However, from IT/IS perspective, I disagree with you. Although the amount of alternatives has grown over time, the searching costs for finding the right product decreased. With personal advertisements, product price and attribute comparison websites, and peer-to-peer evaluations, it has become easier to know what you are actually looking for in a relatively shorter period. Moreover, finding the product you actually wanted has become more likely. The Internet offers you long-tail products you normally would not be able to find in a, let’s say, 10 km radius.

    In conclusion, the Internet changed our behaviour, instead of going to a nearby store for a laptop that ‘sufficiently’ fulfils our needs, we should put a little more effort, finding the perfect laptop via the Internet. I think the choice overload you are talking about, should be seen as a choice addition that can be exploited with personalized online search meganisms. The only thing we have to do is getting used to the opportunities e-commerce offers us.

    • 418894jh says :

      Thanks for your insightful comment! Especially for highlighting the relevant theories!
      I agree that for products, which have more easily understandable characteristics, the usage of personalized online search mechanism is viable. I’m doubtful though that for lifestyle services (i.e. über for how you- order a taxi or travel) such a personalized mechanism also works. It would have a much harder time categorizing the characteristics of such services. Let alone recommend the “best-fit” service a user.
      Anyway, I guess I’m just hoping that Siri can soon take care of questions like: “Get me comfortable transport from here to Schiphol for the cheapest price but highest speed”. Curious how she’ll respond to that 😉

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