Lately at ReadWriteStart we have talked with a few people working with startups in the co-creation and mass customization industry. Some of these startups use on-demand production techniques to minimize overhead costs and create early cash flow for their businesses. Of course, this business technique is nothing new; larger companies have put this to practice for years, like Dell which custom fits computers to customer specifications.
More recently, however, startups have begun to jump on the mass customization bandwagon. Cafe Press and Spreadshirt allow customers to custom design t-shirts, and others allow users to make bags, jewelry, perfume, games and even food to order. While these kinds of startups have become more popular in recent years, they have been more successful in nations with smaller markets, such as Germany, and have not taken off in larger markets like America.
For those looking to begin a startup and who want to learn more about mass customization, we've compiled a quick list of a few books to get a crash course on the basics. Bear in mind the following list is in no particular order and is not a ranking, but merely a run-down of some of the more popular books on mass customization and co-creation. If you have any further suggested reading that people interested in this topic might find useful, by all means please let us know in the comments.
Mass Customization: The New Frontier in Business Competition, by B. Joseph Pine II
Mass Customization: An Enterprise-Wide Business Strategy, by David J. Gardner
SPARK: Be More Innovative Through Co-Creation, by John Winsor