Why Bindle?

Aug 30th 2011 by Tom Coleman

We believe in companies talking about what motivates them every day. This honesty is what we like to read and what we hope to continue with this blog.

Minimalist Materialism

To put it simply: own the right stuff.

Materialism is often presented in a negative light. It’s been associated with unnecessary spending and waste: buying things for the pleasure of it, rather than need for the item.

Certainly it’s an inclination which has manifested badly historically, but it does have some basis in our primal needs. We own things to function in our day-to-day lives; for most it’s not feasible to have a life without any possessions.

So where to from materialism? If the idea of being without possessions is not realistic, must we head in the opposite direction? Alternatively, people have agitated for what can be described as minimalist materialism.

To have less, but better

We’ve come across the sentiment in the 100 things challenge, How to afford Anything, and even watched it articulated by George Clooney’s character in the film ‘Up in the Air’. The ideal is that we can own less stuff by owning the right stuff. This is something to constantly strive for. After all, there’s no point in only having 100 things if you replace them every year.

The “Lifer”

A lifer is an item which you keep for it’s entire lifetime. Ideally, longer than your own lifetime. In some categories, the pace of technological change is too great to make this feasible; but the sentiment of owning smarter remains. What we’ve been searching for is a way to identify the timeless, the future classic, the lifer.

Finding the right things

If we want to ensure that we have the right stuff, we have some big decisions on our hands. We want to avoid buying things that we will discard, or replace, or even stop using. How can we expect to make the best choice given the overload of options on the market?

Well, it’s not going to be easy.

Previously, we researched through advertising, word of mouth, or the opinion of a salesperson in the store. Which effectively meant if you didn’t have a trusted friend with knowledge of what you were buying, you were limited to highly biased information.

Many bad purchasing decisions were made based on this lack of information. Moreover, companies began to rely on this information asymmetry; leading to a lack of focus on quality, with a shift to advertising and the appearance of quality.

The opinions of others

The most trustworthy source of information about products are people who already own the product. The internet has enabled us to hear a plethora of opinions with ease, but how do we know which to listen to? How do we know who to trust? It is difficult to tell at glance if a reviewer is worth listening to.

Connection through shared ownership; the Bindle way

We are talking about buying things here. On what basis do you trust someone’s opinions and recommendations? If someone has made the same buying decisions as you in the past, aren’t they the most qualified to advise you what to buy next? Thus, Bindle.

Bindle is our attempt to convey this information in the simplest possible way. When I make a Bindle, I am giving context to the decisions I’ve made. A more effective way doesn’t exist to represent myself as a discerning consumer.

So we see Bindle as one small, but important component in the movement towards better buying decisions. Let’s reward the companies that create future classics by Bindling them!

Tom Coleman

Co-creator of bindle.me, searching for simplicity, quality and elegance in technology, products and code.

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