The Experience Industry

I’ve always hated the, “America used to manufacture things, now it’s just services” sentiment.

For one, because it’s collectivist. Who is “America”? Individuals act, not notions of nations.

Two, because economic value, being subjective, is always the result of human experience. Experiences are not merely material. I may value a memory as much as a physical object.

Every economic decision is made weighing the value of experiences against the next best option. A well-made shoe that evokes little emotion because the marketing is nonexistent may create less value for me than a lesser shoe with marketing that makes me feel inspired every time I put them on.

There’s nothing scandalous about this. In fact, it’s a wonderful realization. It means you can get a lot of value without always needing tons more physical labor and material.

Creating experiences is always necessary for economic value. Creating material objects is only sometimes required.