Last week iridescence, a unique virtual outfit, was sold at auction for USD 9,500. The purchaser will now be able to have the item custom fitted to a photo of themselves. The one-of-a-kind digital garment was created by blockchain game design studio Dapper Labs, digital fashion house The Fabricant, and Instagram influencer Johanna Jaskowska. Because the garment’s information is stored on the blockchain, its authenticity is secured and it remains portable across whichever digital platform the user chooses.
Confused yet? Okay, we know this isn’t the easiest of our posts to get your head around! But here are two insights that explain why we wanted to bring this to your attention:
Scarcity vs. abundance. Trends are about basic needs, and people always value things that are scarce. We’ve witnessed an epic transformation in what is abundant (information, content, mass-produced physical products) and what is scarce (time, attention, experiences), largely driven by the near-infinite power of digital copying and distribution. However this innovation points to an equally transformative future: where items in the digital world experience the same scarcities as those in the physical world, and therefore present the same status-driven opportunities. Some readers will have only just emerged from their first digital transformation. Ready to go again? ;)
Toyspotting. “The next big thing always starts out looking like a toy”. VC investor Chris Dixon’s catchy summary of the theory of disruptive innovation will resonate with any savvy trend watcher. Early signals of big consumer trends – from social media to holistic wellness, the sharing economy to esports, blockchain to voice interfaces – are often written off by ‘serious’ business professionals as novelties or fads. Can you quieten your inner skeptic the next time you want to dismiss something as ridiculous and ask, “what would have to change for this to become revolutionary?”