Stripped back

If you live in a western urban environs you’ve seen lots of bicycles of the ilk displayed below:

The single speed, fixed gear, mono color racer with white wall tires. Very hip, very now. But why?

It’s classic one downsmanship. In a world where people strive to have more, where increasing wealth has given many of us everything, the trend of tomorrow is diametrically opposed. The more of tomorrow, isn’t stuff, or consumption, rather experience, artistry and simplicity – the luxury of a stripped back existence. We often see these trends early in what may be considered the trivial, like bicycles. The trend will run much deeper than this.

Leading edge urbanites riding such bicycles (they are too cool for me) are showing the world they are more, but publicly displaying they can live with less. It’s a classic display of confidence.  By wanting less, they are showing the world that they are more. Conspicuous consumption has been a preferred method for people displaying self worth for most of the Post world war 2 era. But I really think that this is another example we’ve turned the corner.

The question for entrepreneurs is this: What category or business is waiting to be striped back by you?



  1. Steve · February 25, 2010

    Well i just stripped back and redesigned bulk buying with a dash of social media. allows buyers to network and get a better price on products.

    lol after that plug am i allowed to ask for people to vote for us as finalists in the PayPal Developer challenge?

  2. Josh Moore · February 25, 2010

    An additional question could be “How can I strip back aspects of my life in order to become more lean and adaptable in life?”

  3. Clare Lancaster · February 25, 2010

    Love this.

    I think for a lot of online publishers (bloggers, service providers demonstrating their skills/experience) the question is how can you strip back information overload in your particular industry by filtering the best of the best. Of course what is the “best” is biased but if you build trust – that’s what people want from you.

    You’re stripping back the anxiety of “too much info” and presenting what you know to be useful based on your experience.

    Win. win.

  4. Pingback: Your product offers x,y & z, I only want x | Howard Errey
  5. Ender Baskan · February 25, 2010

    Sweet post on key consumer trends amongst innovators.

    Ender (@enderbaskan via twitter)

  6. Luke Hallam · February 25, 2010

    Fixies to explain changes in consumer behaviour… Hope it’s correct.

    Luke (@lukehallam via twitter)

  7. Jussi Pasanen · February 25, 2010

    A friend recently paid $1,5k or so for a single speed … stripped back inexpensive/affordable

    Jussi (@jopas via twitter)

  8. Trevor Young · February 25, 2010

    The trend is experience, artistry and simplicity. Good piece.

    Trevor (@prwarrior via twitter)

  9. Andre Sammartino · February 25, 2010

    There’s always scope for entrepreneayrs to see such trends and think about the best way to get to such customers. This cross over between “fixies” and mainstream retail is already happening in the US:

    Oh, and another example of a “stripped back” startup: Twitter!

  10. Pingback: Stripped back 2 | Howard Errey
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  12. fubarbicycleproducts · February 25, 2010

    Very Very Cool!

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