Nine years ago, I was thinking about how Amazon Prime enables a more lean approach towards purchasing: if you that you can get whatever you want in two days, then you don’t have to buy things until you need them. For example, I can take a kanban approach towards book buying: if I don’t read more than one book a day, then I can order my next book whenever I’m down to two unread books. It certainly made a big difference in my book purchasing habits: the stacks on top of my bookshelf are a lot shorter than they used to be. (And are mostly made up of gifts…)

So it’s interesting to see Amazon taking a slightly different approach to pull systems with Amazon Dash. They’ve been pushing subscriptions for regular purchases (toilet paper, detergent, etc.) for a while, but I have no idea how frequently we need to buy detergent, and I’m not particularly confident that that interval is fixed. Basically, all the standard arguments against push systems apply: it makes a lot more sense to treat buying detergent as a pull system, to stick it on the grocery list when we’re running low.

But, I’ll have to say: pushing a button and having it show up magically is even easier than picking it up at the grocery store. Only marginally so, of course, so I’m not about to get an Amazon Dash button: I don’t want a single-purpose device lying around, and I don’t want to have brand advertising lying around my house. But still, it feels like there’s something there, and with the right context (RFID + Apple Watch, or something), this could turn into something.

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