City of Sound is about cities, design, architecture, music, media, politics and more. Written by Dan Hill since 2001.

Mass customization

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Andy Kessler, inspired by ETCon amongst other things, on "mass customization" – very much part of the adaptive design thesis:

"Millions of products today have embedded computers and code in them, and thousands of service businesses use the Web to interface with customers. The real benefit from all this is not lower costs – if you think it is, you’re toast – it’s adaptability. When you ship a product, it should be the starting point of what it can do, not the end. It sounds blasphemous, but management needs to be open to their customers hacking their stuff."

"There is a new breed of users out there, computer-literate consumers who don’t think twice about altering the look, feel and functionality of a product. Those billions of embedded computers have turned business on its head. The Henry Ford school of “one size fits all” or the Colgate school of 40 choices of toothpaste are now both obsolete. Give us one size that we can alter how we wish."

"You see, the software in all those billions of little computers in our stereos and cars and cell phones and appliances are just itching to be updated. Not by companies, but by customers. That’s how they’ll get what they want. Mods, hacks, whatever you want to call them are the ultimate customization."

Andy Kessler: WSJ: Hack This (Please)


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