Customized markets of one
freddy&ma is a great example of how the web can be used to bring manufacturers and customers back together again, so that mass marketed offerings for many can become tailored — even bespoke — objects for one.
While I'm not one to jump on the "in the future we'll all print out products at home" bandwagon, I do believe that we'll see the freddy&ma approach of "let me choose and then build it for me" take hold in other industries. In a way, what Mini has done with the process of tailoring a car is a first, web-enabled step toward this world. I hope to see the day when I can use the web to order custom bodywork for a Ferrari coupe from an authentic carrozzeria panel beater working with a hammer and tree stump, sipping lambrusco while he pounds out the web-enabled fenders of my dreams… of course, the car will probably be made of carbon fiber and constructed in a clean room, but the other reality is just so romantic.