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“A must-read for all entrepreneurs—and anyone else interested in the future of business.”
—Frank Piller, Head of MIT’s Smart Customization Group
“Flynn and Vencat have brought the future to you today. This book chronicles how humankind's drive for self expression has evolved and where it is heading.”
—Bob Marino, CEO of CafePress
“Entrepreneurs are delivering unprecedented customer value by harnessing innovative business models to provide top quality custom products at affordable prices. Custom Nation takes a good look at the history of customization, who’s doing it well, and where it is headed.”
—Robert Keane, CEO and Founder of Vistaprint
“As CEO of a company whose products are driven by customization, I can confidently say that consumers want specialized, ownable products—and this book shows you how to build a loyal customer base and improve your bottom line.”
—Jeffrey Housenbold, President and CEO of Shutterfly
“Custom Nation identifies a new space for an entrepreneur to create and grow a business, marrying the evolving technologies of customized production and distribution with the enabling power of internet communications to closely fit customer needs.”
—Norman E. Toy, Columbia Business School
“A quick and entertaining read, Custom Nation captures the essence of how and why customization has become such a crucial part of the modern consumer experience. The book makes it easy for aspiring customizers to leverage this wealth of knowledge to build the successful CIY business of their dreams.”
—Jeff Beaver, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of Zazzle
“Customization is the buzzword in business these days and Custom Nation explains how to approach customizing effectively and make the most out of it.”
—Jan-Christoph Goetze, CEO and Founder of PersonalNOVEL
Posted November 14, 2012
Custom Nation focuses on the main four heavy hitters in customization currently in the US: Vista Print, Shutter Fly, Zazzle and Café Press. Flynn interviewed each CEO and got a look at how each of these companies has been successful with incorporating customization into their business model.
What's exciting about Custom Nation however is that it also discusses many other companies (that I had never even heard about) who are incorporating customization into their business models as well, just on smaller scales. For instance, you can get customized children's books, customized jewelry, customized handbags, customized cereal, etc. This book has really opened my eyes and since the Holidays are just around the corner I plan on trying out many of these companies for Holiday gifts this year!
*Since I enjoyed the book so much I may even buy extra copies to give out to some of my friends!
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Posted November 27, 2012
I have always had a fascination by custom products as I am constantly modifying mass produced items so I can have it my way. This book did a terrific job at outlining the trend taking place in society at large - the movement from a one-size-fits-all to a different-size-for-each. Emily & Anthony articulately prove that customization isn't just a profitable trend on which to capitalize, but that it's crucial to a business survival.
The layout of this book made it an easy, interesting, and inspiring read. I never found myself re-reading any section due to confusing grammar, style or structure (something I often struggle with from Business writers). I picked up the book on Wednesday and was done by the weekend. Even though Anthony is the owner of YouBars, I never once felt as though he was trying to sell his product or force me to subscribe to some marketing scheme (unlike Rich Dad Poor Dad, Natural Cures, Aftershock, etc). In fact, the only time he really mentions YouBars is to share personal experiences that support advice, insight or recommendations. It was purely informative and thoroughly eye-opening.
Section 2, "Be the Next Great Customizer", was particularly helpful to me as it concisely breaks down the steps to becoming successful in customization and reassures that there is still plenty of potential growth in this industry. It was also interesting to learn how customized companies don't see each other as competition - mass production companies is the main competitor as they still dominate the 90% of market share. This book will not slowly die on my bookshelf. It will be a tool I will regularly reference to transform my customization idea into reality. Thanks to the Flynns for sharing all their insights.