Sunday, March 02, 2008

Listen to us ... no, don't listen to us ...

I was asked recently:

"Would the spread of digital fabrication lead to a personalisation revolution?"

"Do you think people will be bothered to print stuff themselves?"

Yes I do. If you don't know anything about fabrication technologies, here is a video of the last talk I gave on the subject. It's from 2006, so it's a bit old.

So, why will people be bothered? Well, for the last fifteen years, most companies have been using choice (along with branding, price strategy and patents) as a way of slowing down the commoditisation of their products. The bewildering array of offerings suited to you, are not for your benefit. They prevent you from making comparisons between almost identical products.

A mobile phone is a mobile phone, except of course in the ad-world. Here, it is a personal communications device which says something about you and your lifestyle. It even has a price plan suited to your needs. Your mobile phone, is your phone and it is unlike any other mobile phone.

After fifteen years of this, we have got very used to the idea of personalisation. As digital fabrication starts to spread, I suspect most people will want to personalise and print their own products, rather than buy someone else's.

I can hear the advertisers trying to convince us that we want to buy XYZ's product rather than products designed and built by you. Too late, we're already far too brainwashed.

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