I like to collect things. Throughout my entire life, I have always had some sort of collection going. It started with comic books and Matchbox cars, then model rockets, then tropical fish, then action figures, then guitars, then mexican art, then books, then Harley Davidson t-shirts, the list goes on and on. You see, much like squirrels instinctively hoard nuts and berries for the winter, humans have these instinctive, primal urges hard coded into our brains too. With us, however, it is a little more complex. With the advent of 24 hour grocery stores and electricity, somewhere down the line, we stopped NEEDING to hunt and gather to survive, or collect pelts or the skulls of our enemies. Somehow, we managed to transfer these fixations, with just as much fervor, to amassing storage sheds full of useless Beanie Babies or shanking some old lady in the check out over a pack of those stupid rubber bands that snap back into the shape of animals, or... the thrill of the hunt for a $2 Black Friday Waffle Iron at Walmart. Why? For survival of course... life and death kind of stuff right? Actually, depending on which school of psychology you subscribe to, it is just that. You see, collecting is a VERY addictive chemical dependency. It triggers the goal seeking and achievement chemicals in our brains that make us happy. The more we collect, the more we need more. With every new addition to the collection, we receive that little dopamine hit, just like nicotine or a heroine dose or an orgasm. It's the same thing. Dopamine is the mother of all crack and it is what humans live for. Seriously. Why?
PinterestOn Pinterest (oh how I love you Pinterest...) people are starting to collect images and links to pretty much everything they like on the internet. Art, food, fashion, LOLcats, books, porn, you name it. PRODUCTS. They share these collections with other collectors and it is fun to discover what people like. In otherwords, Pinterest is a HUGE collection of data on what people like to collect and what makes this the holy grail for marketers is because people provide this data naturally, willingly and enjoy it. You don't need to explicitly ask anymore what people like in a survey or an obnoxious advertisement, because if you watch the collectors and follow their behavior, they will tell you. Happily. Implicitly. I have seen the new crack of the future, and it's dealer is Pinterest.