Manufactured scarcity

We’ve reached a stage where we are producing goods of zero or negative marginal costs. Digital goods, those goods with huge amount of network effects. Why do the users, who are actually generating net overall social benefits from consuming still have to pay for these goods? Because they are controlled by a business, one that is for-profit and thinking about how to make more.

The need to make more profits for shareholders somehow means that we have to manufacture that scarcity, and to convince people to pay because now it is not about covering the cost of manufacturing, but simply, about extraction of value that a good or service brings. Manufacturing scarcity can also mean creating a perceive need and hence demand.

All kinds of advertising, puts some kind of pressure, some kind of stress on you. It induces anxiety by encouraging you to think that you’re not good enough, where you are is simply ‘not there yet’. It gives you a clear gulf and prods you to close that gap in order to move on in life. That ‘gap’ it draws your attention to, is the manufactured scarcity.

Sometimes, it just pays to think through what is real scarcity for us, and what was manufactured by someone else for us.