Re: Experience Mass Customization

From: Steven Pollack (
Date: Thu Jan 03 2002 - 21:17:44 EET


That was a great story of your adventure in shoe customization. Sort of like Don
Quixote tilting at gym shoes.

I would not, however, envision a system that gave the consumer complete control
over the ergonomic aspects of the shoes. I would think that a team of shoe
designers would figure out a range of industry accepted shapes for the
interior/sole of the shoe based on ergonomics and other practical considerations.
The consumer would be able to control the exterior shell which would be engineered
to fit the interior regardless of the choices made.

I am still not convinced, hower, that the consumer would choose to create an
entirely unique design anyways versus being given a range of choices. If I read
your post correctly, you are in concurrence.


Rafael Santillan wrote:

> Steven and all.
> Last year after finishing some prototypes for the shoe industry, I got the Idea
> of the perfect shoes custom made, so I spend several hours with a designer
> creating my perfect shoes, very comfortables and beautiful shape (foot like
> geometry) I was starting to think in the name of the new brand of shoes.
> Once we finished the desing in a CAD package for speed we just printed several
> views of the shoes and I asked a local shoe maker to manufacture them. I
> recall his face gesture asking me; are you sure this is what you want ? and I
> answered very cofident YES!, this shoes are created considering not just the
> real geometry of the foot but considers comfortable movements and the
> external shape was in my beleiving something NEW which may be according to new
> fashion.
> To make the story short, after 2 weeks of waiting and some colabaration with
> him, I got my brand new pair of shoes custom made. Unfortunately the rest of
> the people (including my wife) din not agree at all with my new fashion, and I
> got all kind of critisism about the shape of the shoes, and it was not all. I
> would have ignored all of them but my shoes werent as comfortables as I
> tought they should be (something I still do not understand since they have the
> exact geometry of my foot made of soft impact absorbing material!!.
> So summarizing my experience I think the proffesional fashion designers has
> something I do not have, and it may have someting to do with the paradigms and
> the way they change them slowly , or may be the marketing support behing new
> designs, etc, etc, I do not know, but something I learned was that next time I
> want a new pair of shoes, I rather go to the shop (which is the cheapest way by
> the way) to select among thousands the once I like for shape and comfort than
> trying to get into a field with innovative Ideas where I have not experience
> nor knowledge but only an Idea that once became real may be differente of what
> I expected.
> I am sure there are other fields where mass customization will have a different
> story (a successful one)where some people from different perspectives have
> broken old paradigms and created great ideas, but for the most of the cases
> something we have to admit is that we better listen the advice of expert from
> the field where we beleive we can innovate something before going ahead.
> best regards and my best whishes to all in this challenging new year.
> An apology for my bad English spelling and grammar since it is not my motherīs
> tongue.
> *************************************************
> * Dr. Rafael Santillan, Phone: 52-442-2226774 *
> * Director 3D RAPID Fax: 52-442-2226774 *
> * Mobile: 52-442-2366015 *
> * Email: *
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> * Address: Priv. Martin Carrera 105, *
> * Colonia Presidentes *
> * City: Queretaro,Qro. MEXICO. Zip. 76080 *
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