Designing for Intangibility

Kevin Kelly on finding value in a world where digital copies are ubiquitous. He uncovers eight categories of intangible value: Immediacy, Personalization, Interpretation, Authenticity, Accessibility, Embodiment, Patronage and Findability.

There are a number of other qualities similar to trust that are difficult to copy, and thus become valuable in this network economy. I think the best way to examine them is not from the eye of the producer, manufacturer, or creator, but from the eye of the user. We can start with a simple user question: why would we ever pay for anything that we could get for free? When anyone buys a version of something they could get for free, what are they purchasing?

He’s focusing on the move from physical to digital products, but the attributes he uncovers also help frame the move from a product-based economy to a service economy.




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