I recently read a FiveThirtyEight article on the sneaker resale market. The concept is extremely foreign to me since I tend to not collect anything other than old notes and have a tendency of grossly mistreating my shoes and clothes. Nonetheless, I found it fascinating as it discusses the incentives of the various parties involved and comparing them against standard economic theory. One passage in particular was so insightful that I had to save it:

That differential allows people to buy something on the cheap but feel like they’re wearing a luxury item.

“So even if you paid $100, you’ve got $800 on your feet. It’s like having Gucci,” Taylor said

Everyone loves getting a deal but I think this is slightly different since it’s not so much about getting the deal as it is about being able to afford luxury and show it off. Sure it’s vain and has a bit of conspicuous consumption but if it gives someone self confidence and makes them feel like a million bucks I can’t complain.

We should strive to provide this type of experience when building apps and services. It’s not just adding some cheap gamification tricks or rewarding early users as much as it is making people proud to use your product. gamification tricks or rewarding early users as much as it is making people proud to use your product.


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