This is “The Entrepreneur Should Design Products and Services for Continuous Product Differentiation and Innovation”, section 1.3 from the book Creating Services and Products (v. 1.0).
This book is licensed under a Creative Commons by-nc-sa 3.0 license. See the license for more details, but that basically means you can share this book as long as you credit the author (but see below), don't make money from it, and do make it available to everyone else under the same terms.
This content was accessible as of December 29, 2012, and it was downloaded then by Andy Schmitz in an effort to preserve the availability of this book.
Normally, the author and publisher would be credited here. However, the publisher has asked for the customary Creative Commons attribution to the original publisher, authors, title, and book URI to be removed. Additionally, per the publisher's request, their name has been removed in some passages. More information is available on this project's attribution page.
For more information on the source of this book, or why it is available for free, please see the project's home page. You can browse or download additional books there. You may also download a PDF copy of this book (14 MB) or just this chapter (939 KB), suitable for printing or most e-readers, or a .zip file containing this book's HTML files (for use in a web browser offline).
Developments in economics, marketing, operations management, and information technology have now brought the vision of customization and personalization to reality.Arora et al. (2008). Consumers want products and services tailored to their personal needs, but they also want products that are standardized, mass produced, and inexpensive. It is possible to assemble products and services using standardized processes and standardized modular components and still achieve product differentiation. Autos, global positioning systems (GPSs), tax software, operating systems, refrigerators, and so forth are all designed so that features and performance can be easily added and subtracted. The key principle in designing products and services is to design for flexibility and to continuously improve those products and services. This is the essence of a product differentiation strategy and the only way to survive under monopolistic competition.