top of page

SHEIN and the era of zero marginal cost

SHEIN is an almost perfect example of the zero marginal cost era of consumption in 2023.

Every day around 6,000 new SKU's of clothing are added for sale.

Whatever sells, they make more of. No curation, no listing fees, no thought.

Nobody needs to think about the design, they just try stuff. If Tshirts with Bananas sell well, try t-shirts with Mangos, Strawberries and more. If people like costumes where you look like a Cactus, make 10x more and see what happens.

No need for a soul, a heart, an idea, a vision, a belief, a story, a craft, or quality, just the collective whims of millions of people clicking.

It's A-B-C.....AB/AB.........ZZZZ testing

The ultimate manifestation of 2020's consumerism

People buying stuff that's optimized based on algorithms, made as a reaction to trends honed by algorithms, promoted by influencers who do whatever seems to work.

Stuff so cheap that if the quality is poor it's not worth sending back.

Somehow the modern world is predicated on making tonnage of just absolute crap, sufficiently cheaply and quickly that it sort of works. The graphs go up for long enough.

The age of zero marginal cost. Where manufacturing, launching, distributing, crafting, marketing costs all appear to trend to zero.

From writing to videos to images to news to startups to clothing to photos to business ideas. Just do it badly but fast and cheap.

Want to make a website that sells clothes, you can probably whip it up in an hour. Want to place clothes on AI models, give it 10 mins, want to email 1000 people with a press release, train an AI to do it.

A time where the cost of thinking or listening or designing seems too inefficient. Where being fast trumps everything . Were rather than plotting a path to success based on deep thought or listening or ideas, or dreams or believe. We leave it to algorithms and optimization.

I'm not complaining. I'm just saying I can't wait for the counteraction.

A move away from being swamped with cheap crap.

The power of thought, the power of a vision, of taste, of expertise, of listening to people and making things that are needed

Owning stuff we cherish.

Reading things that have been crafted

Enjoying things made with soul

Creation as a calling, not a cynical business plan

4 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page