Stealing is the future of retail

I stole something from the Apple Store today.

Or rather, it felt a lot like stealing. I walked in, found what I wanted, opened the “Apple Store” app, scanned the barcode, and walked out. It seemed so much like stealing, I felt a little awkward leaving the store. Doesn’t someone want to check my receipt or something? I literally interacted with zero people and the entire process lasted no more than 3 minutes. It was exhilarating.

I’m the kind of guy who buys his toilet paper online. Online shopping offers huge household efficiency over retail, especially for consumables. When I want something right now though, or I’m not sure exactly what I need, there’s nothing better than heading to the nearest store.

But most stores just don’t get it. I don’t want to buy something. I just want to walk in, grab the item, and walk out. Standing in line, unloading my cart, dealing with a clunky Point of Sale device… These steps are all ancillary to my goal of get in and getting out.

Apple Pay and Google Wallet won’t ultimately be successful because they don’t offer any real benefits over ingrained consumer behavior. I have to take my phone out of my pocket, then open an app, then wave it over a sensor. I’ll just whip out my credit card and hand it to the cashier, thanks.

“Buying” should be something that happens as a byproduct of doing the thing I want. Scan everything in my cart with NFC, let me review the total on a display, cross a “buy” line to confirm, and finally, charge my credit card.

The checkout line is a relic of inefficiency created at a time when technology offered us nothing better. Tomorrow’s retail experience will feel a lot like stealing. And it’s going to be great fun!



Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

Whereas the giving spirit of Christmas is mired by needless consumerism, Thanksgiving represents the best and truest parts of what it means to be human: to gather those friends and family in my life that I care about most, share a magnificent feast that we prepare together, and be given a chance to pause and be thankful for this amazing life we all have the opportunity to live.

It’s so easy to take our lives for granted. I appreciate the annual reminder.

This year, I decided to make a list of everyone in my life and write down a thing or two about each that I’m thankful for. The task has been extremely cathartic for me, because it’s such an easy thing to forget to consider when going about daily life.

When I paused for a moment and really got to thinking about each person, I was shocked at all that I come up with, how easy the task was, and how I felt afterward. Coworkers, friends, family – even people in my life that for one reason or another I’ve drawn issue with along the way – everyone had made some important impact in my life worth being thankful for. Mostly this list was drawn up for my eyes only in the early Thanksgiving dawn, but in some cases I’ve decided to share some of those insights.

I encourage you to do the same. There really is so much to be thankful for.

Have a happy Thanksgiving, all.