Great piece by Doug Stephens: future of retail

The Future of Retail: The Segment of One

Today, there’s an entirely new revolution brewing and it’s coming at a velocity and scale that I suspect will be incomprehensible compared to all that came before it. It will wed the skill and precision of the world’s finest craftsmen with the volume and efficiency of the world’s fastest assembly line. It’s the era of what I’m calling MASSIVE customization – pure, unbridled one-off production but on a simply massive scale. An era where it will be as efficient and profitable to make one bespoke pair of sunglasses that fit a particular buyer’s face perfectly, as it will to make a thousand of the same style, that suit the masses adequately. One pair of jeans that fit the algorithmically precise measurements of only one person, versus a million pairs that almost fit everyone…sort of. Where virtually anything I want can be made for me. Just me. Genuine, full-on customization at prices comparable to those of mass-produced goods.

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