Thursday, August 26, 2004

What will people pay for? 

Dan Bricklin
You keep reading stories about how cellphones will be used for checking stock quotes and making trades, buying stuff, and other eCommerce. It seems business plans are based on people paying for such stuff. I think that eCommerce is not where things will go. . . .

Buying isn't fun. Shopping is. Shopping is looking at things and imagining owning them or wearing them or using them. Shopping is looking for "just the right thing" out of many possibilities. Shopping is often around or with other people. People pay money to shop in interesting places, even if they don't buy much: Traveling to New York City to walk down 5th Avenue and look in at Tiffany's, Steuben Glass (until they moved), and FAO Schwartz; going to Italy to look at the stores with the designer clothes; buffets; etc.

So, people will pay money for things that give them emotional satisfaction, especially those things that involve interacting with others, or have a high emotion content, like music.

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