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The New-New Store Front

Interesting article in this Sunday’s NYTimes about vanishing store fronts.

…[Store fronts signs] are artifacts of consumer culture before commercial branding and environmental signage (as signs are now called) became so self-conscious — when sign painters plied their craft without pretense. A store sign had to be bold, eye-catching and immediately recognizable, so that customers would understand the purpose of the establishment. Clever names designed to tickle the imagination would not do. What you saw was what you got: Bakery, Drugstore, Smoke Shop, Meat Market, Liquors, Dry Cleaners. Examples of these signs are, of course, still found on old buildings all over New York City, but are gradually being replaced by more contemporary designs and L.E.D. screens.

NYTimes, Vanishing Store Fronts
NYTimes, Vanishing Store Fronts
NYTimes, Vanishing Store Fronts
NYTimes, Vanishing Store Fronts

 

 

I’m rather nostalgic for old architecture and am sad to see people not saving those elements of the past that show us where we’ve been, how far we’ve come. I suppose that sort of forward thinking is what made America advance so quickly. And look where it got us, unable to keep up with ourselves.

 

‘Sort of made me think about the “new-new thing” concept going around a while back which was summed up by one reader as:

1) An individual can actually swing the entire economy and all of its big established companies around to a different agenda and different competitive landscape

2) Actions speak louder than words.

3) Engineers have finally realized that they should be more fairly compensated, relative to the amount of value they create in the economy. The consequence of this is that financiers, who really don’t understand what or how an engineer does what he does, must now compete to get a piece of the action. A financier, even if he has infinite money, cannot personally create anything of tangible value with his financial skills. Contrast this to what an engineer with good skills can create and you realize that what really counts is the creation of tangible things that make the human condition somehow better. This realization is driving the new new economic realities – engineers can build a better world, financiers can only pay for them to do it.

4) You don’t have to be especially bright or gifted to change the course of business history, but if you are, you owe it to yourself and others to use those gifts to the best advantage you can

Which brings my to my point, and I do have one. :-)

Given that we are a global economy, customer-first is a something that we all generally subscribe to, and that much of what we do is now enabled by software… What sorts of elements do you see vanishing from the typical small business and what elements are are making up this “New Store Front” we are operating in today?

About the Author: Christine Haskell

Christine is a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft with several years experience in the .com industry. She recently started social venture labs, an idea incubator for those leading small mission-driven businesses or organizations looking to create relationships, share ideas and [...]