Maintaining Choice's Charms
Why is Netflix so charming? asks satisfied customer Grant McCracken. His theory: It offers near-infinite choice and, hence, gives customers exactly what's right for them. But it also helps you manage those choices, "mediating plenty in a post-scarcity world."
With Netflix, I have access to just about all the movies in the world. But, given my subscription model, they come to me only 2 at a time.
Two movies are not a lot. In a world of nearly limitless access, this should be irksome. But it ain't, of course, because these are almost always exactly the movies that interest me. Two movies has a deeper virtue. "Two movies" is an elimination of all the movies that might otherwise bid for my attention, damaging my sense of value and, God knows, even my identity formation.
Grant's analysis adds another dimension to some of my thoughts on the challenges and opportunities presented by proliferating choices.