Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The rise of the 'Customized Economy'

I'm currently reading "Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes" by Mark J. Penn. Now I am always in the habit of reading a few books at any one time, and perhaps one of the thing that stuck on me, well I've still yet to finish this book though, is the idea behind 'Customized Economy'.

Now when I was just finishing my post-graduate course way back in 2001, the buzzword then was the 'Knowledge Economy', whereby the commodity that would make or break a nation or society is no longer about how much oil or natural resources you have, but more importantly, is how you would use the abundance of information that was growing at already an exponential rate back then, to your advantage. This growth, as you would have known is partly due to the emergence of web-based technologies, and its preponderance in almost every part of our lives! And then a few years after that, futurists and innovation gurus was advancing the idea of the 'Creative Economy', whereby the constant need to change and evolve, or perhaps the hype that surrounds it, desires the need for one or an organization to be constantly be at the forefront of innovation. Doesn't matter that innovation in itself is sometimes abused to mask shortcomings that perhaps is of no fault to societies or institutions that simply do not want to evolve, but perhaps lets argue that one out on another post then!

Now Mark brought forth the idea that perhaps with the evolution of the Web to version 2, i.e. Web 2.0, there is a possibility that a niched economic approach to how things are sold or marketed might just be something that is viable indeed! No longer are we talking about just the mere selling of products en masse, and reaping the profits just through the sheer volume that is being sold! What we are talking here is customized marketing, selling, advertising..and a whole array of exposure to selling or marketing to you products or services that YOU WILL NEED or WANT! Think 'Minority Report', and you know what I mean. And in fact, when you look at the idea of the rather oxymoronic idea of 'Mass Customization', in effect what our dear leaders have done is to actually put this economic idea already in action! Medical tourism, cheap airlines, nanotechnology, high-value adding industries...i mean the list goes on and on! It does scares me at times, at how fast a pace things are moving, but worries me more is the feeling that somehow somewhere, in the future, I would be made redundant, in more ways than one!

What's next, the 'Network Economy'?! Hmmm...

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