Chapter Four


IN CHAPTER 2 we encountered Sumerset, the manufacturer that is transforming the process of buying a houseboat into a richly satisfying, individualized co-creation experience for its customers. The very nature of Sumerset’s business dictates that the firm serve a limited number of wealthy, well-educated customers. Can the same process work with mass-marketed products?

In contrast, recall Napster (chapter 3) and the inherent difficulties in dealing with a mass-market phenomenon where the individual consumer is not visible or identifiable. The tensions in co-creating under those circumstances are clear, as well as the tension between company think and consumer think. What if, given the heterogeneity of individuals, ...

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