In the global transition from boilerplate and off-the-shelf to personalized and custom-to-the-need, the pivot point is "firm-centric" vs. "consumer-centric" (For our purposes, let’s call it "customer-centric" so we can debug the negative connotation of "consumer.").  One important element of the "personalized" future is the idea of allowing the customer to co-create the experience.  This is a huge part of what’s happening with iTunes, Google, and Build-a-Bear.

You don’t think this is coming for all of us?  Think about the number of times that one of your core programs doesn’t work for individuals in your customer base.  Insisting they buy what we have because we know what’s best is a lot like Henry Ford saying that a Model T buyer could have any color they wanted as long as it was black.

Granted, there is a tricky element in this discussion because of the elegance of simple.  But it is coming.  And it will be everywhere.  Want more on the idea?  Check out this free preview of a C.K. Prahalad talk on the subject. 

Consumer-Centric vs. Firm-Centric