Carl Barenbrug

Product design, creative direction

The Value of Being Generic Within a Niche

The Minimalism Life® project, now eight years in the making, began as an experiment. Slowly, we've defined our purpose, gained a respectable readership, acquired valuable assets, and developed a timeless design language. The process hasn't been easy; in fact, it's been bloody challenging, especially considering this is a side project. Yet, I sometimes revisit an important reminder of a very deliberate decision we made at the outset of this venture: our positioning. Specifically, our choice to embrace a generic branding of 'Minimalism' within its own niche.

We were fully aware of the risks involved in choosing such a generic name. Maybe it lacks character. Maybe it's not distinctive. Maybe it's boring. And all that might be true. But we strongly believe in the inherent value of what we've created, a value that isn't dependent on business models, revenue streams, market and societal trends, or even brand reputation. So, let me give you a glimpse into the value of ML®—translucency provided, leaving the financials aside.


In terms of ownership, we've secured significant assets, including:

  • The company name Minimalism Ltd
  • The registered trademark for Minimalism Life®
  • The domain name
  • The @minimalism handle on over 30 social media platforms, including:
    • X/Twitter
    • Facebook
    • TikTok
    • YouTube
    • Pinterest
    • Telegram
    • Vimeo
    • Tumblr
    • LinkedIn
    • Medium
    • Unsplash
    • Slack
    • Linktree
    • OnlyFans
    • Patreon
    • Substack
  • The @minimalismlife handle on Instagram + Threads
  • A combined social following of over 500,000
  • More than 36,000 newsletter subscribers


The collective value of these assets is considerable (even if I have personal concerns with social media). Our domain name alone holds potential six-figure value in the current market for generic single-word .com domains. The fact we've also secured key usernames across the largest social networks further amplifies the company's value. Not to mention our readership numbers.

Together, these achievements not only highlight our current success with the project, but also underscore its potential for future growth or redirection (or even acquisition). The generic yet focused nature of our brand provides a versatile foundation for exploration within the minimalism spectrum, embodying the very essence of opportunity and flexibility. And therein lies the beauty and value.

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