Meet the Man Who Only Owns 15 Things

There are a lot of people who make the news for their extravagant lifestyles, lavish homes, large collections of cars or shoes, and other such things. But Andrew Hyde is someone who’s become popular for just the opposite – owning very few things. 15, to be precise (not counting socks and underwear).

No, he’s not homeless, he’s not poor, and he’s definitely not unemployed. In fact, Hyde is a technology mogul. He works as a consultant and mentor for young companies, he’s the founder of Startup Weekend, and an organizer of TEDxBoulder conference. Constantly shuttling between New York and Silicon Valley for work, Hyde doesn’t live in a house or an apartment. When he’s not working, he’s traveling extensively, taking his worldly possessions of 15 things everywhere he goes. Andrew Hyde says that he has always been interested in the concept of minimalism, starting out by seeing if he could make do with just 100 items. But in August 2010 he took the concept even further, selling all of his belongings but for 15 things.

Photo © Andrew Hyde

Curious to know what the items are that Hyde lives his life by? Here’s a list from his blog as of May 2011.

  1. Arc’teryx Miura 30 backpack
  2. NAU shirt
  3. Mammut rain jacket
  4. Arc’teryx t-shirt
  5. Patagonia running shorts
  6. Quick Dry towel
  7. NAU wool jacket
  8. Toiletry kit
  9. Smith sunglasses
  10. Wallet
  11. MacBook Air
  12. iPhone 3GS
  13. NAU dress shirt
  14. Patagonia jeans
  15. Running shoes

As you can see, pretty minimal. Thankfully, the list excludes socks and underwear; that he has a separate stock of. He owns just two shirts, so that eliminates all the time wasted on choosing what to wear. He simply wakes up in the morning and puts on the shirt he didn’t wear the day before.

Photo © Andrew Hyde

According to Hyde, stripping down his possessions to the bare minimum wasn’t all that easy. “I started with my clothing basics: 2 shirts, 1 pair of pants, 1 short, 1 pair of sandals, 1 pair of sunglasses and underwear. I added a few ‘must haves’ for me like an iPad and camera. I added a backpack, toiletries kit, towel, and a few random things (pen, connector cable, chargers) and tried it out. After five weeks of the trip, there is more that I have not used in the bag than there is in the bag.”

In a world where the average woman owns about 20 pairs of shoes and people live all alone in huge mansions, Hyde sure is setting an example of how to be happy with less.

via Ecouterre


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Feedback (17 Comments)

  • Daniel Posted on January 17, 2012

    Presumably he doesn’t own any files on his MacBook, iPad or iPhone then?

  • Joydeep Posted on January 20, 2012

    Owning is not same as using. Know many ultra rich business man who live in rented house, use rented car etc. to evade tax. All rentals are business expense – ownership is always costly.

  • James Posted on January 22, 2012

    And all his money doesn’t count either

  • André Posted on January 27, 2012

    I assume he lives in a temperate climate. I live in a very hot and humid city so it’s almost impossible to wear a shirt and not sweat in it, thus leaving it unusable in the other day.

  • hotdog Posted on February 2, 2012

    And spot the common theme – everything he owns is made in China ; )

  • dweebcentric Posted on March 19, 2012

    i hope there’s a toothbrush in there.

  • Bruce Posted on March 23, 2012

    What’s in the toiletry kit? Things, perhaps? Just because you call it a kit doesn’t mean it is one item. Not to be a stickler for details, but if you are going to claim to own only 15 items, it really should be 15 items, no adapters, cords, accessories, the belt he is wearing, the notebook, plus the various items owned by his company. And who says socks and underwear should not count?