Thoughts on Consumer
A thematic case for Post-Postmodern VC investing
Technological innovation over the past two decades helped birth a cultural revolution across the consumer spectrum. Akin to Postmodern society, marketplaces(eBay), social media(Facebook), and e-commerce(Shopify) platforms collectively were the epicenter of a cultural earthquake, resulting in tectonic shifts in interaction and exchange.
Whether it be in the form of selling beanie babies or sharing photos of a Machu Picchu excursion, these technologies facilitated a change of guard — fundamentally transforming the consumer landscape, and empowering the individual through online marketplaces, a collective voice, and entrepreneurship.
Many venture backed consumer products/services have gained massive popularity through network effects, influencers, “cultural appropriation”, and affinity group amplification. For example, we’ve witnessed the world’s largest fashion brands obliterate “Streetwear” in controversial and uninviting ways, with many African Americans, and others left in the margins as critics and wallet share.
In result, users have become more educated, learned to monetize, developed products, and created new lingo. We are in a period of Post-postmodernism, where the “Culture Economy” will emerge. I define this as the reality of difference and tribalism where value is rooted in inaccessibility and ascribed market wedges.
There will be new media channels and brands founded by people of color, subculture mavens, and audacious youth. As creators go full-time, these groups will require tools and platforms to serve their needs across the value chain, whether it’s to create, grow their audience, distribute, or engage with their communities and customers. Thematically, this will enrich our quality of life and change the way we consume products.
What to track: