…you can tell a lot about me by the things I own. But they are just that — things. They can be stolen, broken, taken, and lost. They should never become distractions to the things that matter most, nor should I ever allow them to define my character, my relationships, and my beliefs.
This blog post from Shawn was a reply to one called The soul of a “consumer electronics entertainment connected scenario” by Dustin Curtis where he talked about how brands’ products really offer consumers identities and “identity experiences”. I’ve written a bunch about branding (a lot more than I thought I would) in the past few weeks, and this is a topic I struggle with.
Shawn quoted Dustin:
People stopped buying computers based on specifications and features years ago. All computers sold now are practically identical in functionality. Today, people are increasingly buying computers the same way they buy cars: to define themselves.
Dustin was talking about a person’s desire for identity, and how some brands, even if their products are similar, offer consumers a stronger identity than others. Specifically he describes three offerings: * “an ability to define themselves” * “a stylistic experience that people want to make their own” * “an extension to someone’s soul”
Shawn’s post on the other hand warns against making judgements about a person based on the things he owns. Judgements should be made about how how a person treats others and things like that.
Both Dustin and Shawn are talking about finding happiness. Every action we take, everything thing we buy, and even the actions we don’t take and the things we don’t buy, all are chosen based on what we think will make us happy. Everyone takes a different path, but generally everything we do is done because we think it will (directly or indirectly) make us happy.
Going back to Shawn’s original quote on the things that “matter most”, even our character, our relationships and our beliefs are all defined and chosen based on seeking happiness.