I’ve been writing a lot recently about how fast new markets are created and old ones are dying. Here’s some more. I just finished reading Kids don’t care about cars which is an ode to how fast things are changing.
It opens by making the point that baby-boomers choose cars for how they make other people think about us rather than their functionality:
You mean I need a bigger engine and a swoopy style to get laid? I just go on Tinder!
Then notes that these days cars just work, making them more like a utility, and argues that for younger generations cars represent nothing more than a method of getting from A to B. In an era when you can connect with your friends and escape the world from the comfort of your bedroom the car is no longer a symbol of any of those things.
In this world car ownership will be less important and rental might take off. Uber will replace car companies just as Spotify is replacing record shops. As pointed out in the article “you don’t see kids clutching to their MP3s”.
Generalising from this for a second and reflecting on an email exchange I had over the weekend, I think rental trumps ownership when it’s better from both a cost and convenience point of view. That’s clearly the case with music streaming and may or may not turn out to be the case with cars.