In response to your last question, I really believe that this is going to be how things are manufactured in the future. Especially in industries where things like shoes or clothes can be tailor made to fit you, perfectly and specifically. These shoes are currently somewhat expensive, but pro-athletes or those from a more upper class background might find it well within their reach to be early adopters of this product, and therefore make some sort of a dent in Nike’s market share. Price might be a lever they could eventually play with to win some market share if they can reasonably scale up their operations without taking too big of a bet on this (currently) niche product.
In response to your second question – I can definitely see how this could actually widen the inequality in cities. While in theory it’s an incredible idea and would work in a perfect market – the market for this is most likely broken. Those with the skills and ability to come up with solutions to things they see as problems are likely going to come from an middle to upper homogeneous class of people. How do we ensure that those from lower income classes or those with less opportunity and privilege are having their voices heard to help solve problems that are relevant to them? It would be great if those with the ability to create the apps themselves crowd sourced ideas from those who lack those very resources. Instead of solving problems that pertain to an upper class, collecting research or data on problems that pertain to other populations could be a way to try and bridge some of this inequality gap.
Really interesting. I’m a big Spotify fan and user myself, and just to answer one of S.P.’s comments above – you can follow your friends on Spotify and see what they are listening to at anytime. It feels more creepy and invasive that anything, because music IS so personal. And we all know that what we play with our friends in the car is definitely different than what we listen to at home alone in our rooms!
Just to comment on your second question – I agree, I’m not sure a machine learning algorithm could ever replace that secret sauce that makes us love a certain song or band. I feel like we will only get closer to that answer once we have computer chips in our brains, Black Mirror style.
Super interesting, and of course they’ve been really successful with this. In response to your second question – I think that the customer opinion kind of IS their brand strategy, no? If enough people ask for a wacky product, you know it will probably do well in terms of sales, even if it’s “off brand” from what you originally intended Glossier to be. I think it’s all mold-able enough within their product packaging and marketing scheme that if something really strange was suggested, well it would probably still work!
I’m going to disagree with the two comments above me, with respect to your second question. This reminded me of “big pharma” and the catch 22 of curing an illness so effectively that users never have to use their drug again. It’s sad, but it makes solid business sense to have repeat customers – and Hinge might be driving themselves into a space where they are better than competitors at making matches, and losing out on repeat customers. I suppose you’d have to look at the adoption rate of the app vs the rate at which people leave upon finding a perfect match to effectively evaluate this question.
I agree that going all in on this endeavor would be a big, risky bet. The concept of 3D printing perfect fit shoes is an interesting one, though. Maybe in the future this will be the way we manufacture our clothes and shoes. Tailors will be out of business! Imagine having your perfect suit 3D printed to fit you especially. I think it’s wise for Adidas to get in on this as a niche part of their business and see how the consumer reacts. In the next few years they could transition some of their lines over to this type of manufacturing, like you said – combined with the technology we currently have in our hands. $300 isn’t all that different than some of the fancier sneakers I see people wearing to class (often at a minimum around the $150 range).