better with stories (again)

one of my favorite digital experiments is Significant Objects, where an item that has very little real value is given a story behind it, and is then sold on eBay for a significantly higher price. the stories have been able to add quite a bit of value to the items, as the data shows.

what got me thinking about it is a Masters Class i'm taking through stockholm's hyper island and new york's one club. the class is being held at the Barrel House, which is a former speakeasy. every detail inside looks and feels like a speakeasy still - uneven ceilings, bathrooms stuck under the stairs as an afterthought... even today, it serves as a place for secret parties announced only to their social media flock.

similar to the speakeasy bar trend going on nationwide, the door is unmarked except for graffiti. nice. now, let's compare it to a speakeasy bar i saw in austin last week:

for the most part, austin has a great aesthetic. for the most part. i s'pose there are two lessons here: 1) a brand with a story behind it is more valuable than one without; 2) even if your bar really used to be a speakeasy, if it now looks like it has bloomin' onions on the menu, don't call it a speakeasy.

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