About Fewer Better Things

Fewer Better Things is a newsletter about designing mindful living in harmony with people, planet, and technology.

The idea behind Fewer Better Things emerged during my sabbatical in 2005 after 10 years in Silicon Valley building the first generation Internet platforms and services. After a few months of leisure I started to think about what the real promise of digital technologies were and begun to do personal experiments, so called lifestyle hacking.

I’ve always been curious about the future which was one of three reasons I moved to Silicon Valley. The others were traveling and exploring the next frontier of freedom. I was inspired by thought leaders like Kevin Kelly, Nicholas Negroponte, and Doc Searls and made their thinking my own.

Fast-forward a few years and I was traveling the world lecturing executives and graduate students in digital transformation. I had digitized and dematerialized almost everything in my life and could live a very frictionless life as a digital nomad.

I learned that the only thing I really needed was a bank card, a passport, and a smartphone to work, live, and learn anywhere in the world. Once this 5-year experiment was concluded I moved back to California and began this newsletter.

Since then I’ve created a lifestyle philosophy that doesn’t just leverage digital technologies in a mindful way but also includes people and planet. My new challenge was to see how I could combine technology, people, and sustainability to live a mindful life.

When the pandemic began I had just moved to a small surf town in Southern California and decided to take up residence and rented a small surfshack close to the beach. I was very excited about the idea of what Fewer Better Things looked like when returning from years in the global wilderness.

I only brought clothes, books, and sports equipment to the shack and acquired what I needed through freecycling, Craigslist, and gifts. I was surprised how easy it was and decided to share the story via my newsletter.

Today Fewer Better Things has two editions:

  • The free Sunday lifestyle edition is about how we can live simpler in harmony with digital technologies, people, and planet.

  • The for-pay Wednesday edition is the how-to behind the lifestyle. It includes the basic concepts, learnings, and strategies but also audio, video, and written recommendations from all around the web.

The Sunday edition is for readers that enjoy learning about the story and the Wednesday edition is for the readers that would like to learn more about how-to adopt the lifestyle on their own terms.

In addition to the newsletter I’m also writing the book ”Fewer Better Things” which explains and expands on the philosophy.

My long-term ambition is to create a community for people how are interested in navigating the modern challenges of complexity and how-to interact and thrive with digital technologies, people, and planet in a mindful way.

Thanks for your support,

Per Håkansson