While the Mass Customization "movement" originated in the United States, the German speaking world has long caught fire about the concept. Many companies are already employing it over here, be it as their main business model or "just" a side branch.
For all those who want to update themselves on news and trends about MC in German language, my dear blogging colleague Heiko Vogelgesang will most likely have you covered on his very well-written and often updated blog egoo.de.
Furthermore, egoo.de features a pretty comprehensive database of MC companies from around the world, often with a personal review of the products by Heiko.
We had the chance to talk to Heiko about his blog, the experiences and observations he made during his years-long time in the MC community and his expectations for the future of individual customization. So read on for what egoo.de really has to offer!
FTP: Heiko, your blog egoo.de is the largest mass customization blogs in German language, and one of the best in the world. Many people take it as an entry point to the MC world. When did your interest for MC spark up and what fascinated you so much about this topic that you decided to start your own blog about it?
HV: My interest started with my first own shirt in 1999. I loved the idea of creating your own products. Nonetheless almost eight years passed unitl I realized that there is a lot of need of information. Beginning of 2007 I wrote an article with an overview of german Mass Customization Online-Shops on my private blog. I never had so many visitors on my blog before. So I researched about this topic and saw that there is no website which informs specific about this topic. egoo was born. After round a about 1 ½ years of planning, egoo.de started in september 2008.
FTP: What exactly do you offer? What can consumers, scholars, managers expect to get out of a visit on your blog?
HV: First, egoo is geared to end consumers. They can expect a "unique" database of mc-companies, interesting news about personalized products and special offers. But also scholars and managers will find a lot of posts with interesting news about the mc industry.
FTP: And how does this work for companies wanting to be included into your database? Can one simply sign up and fill a questionnaire or do you hand pick them?
HV: Yes, there is a simple way to sign up for free at http://egoo.de/shops/shop-eintragen. The principal goal is to have a complete database with ALL online-shops where you can customize products. To give the visitors an orientation there are hand-picked recommendations in the specific categories.
FTP: Can you go a bit in depth about the benefits of your database for consumers in comparison to, say, just googling for MC companies?
HV: Gladly! First of all the visitor gets an editorially approved overview over all mc-shops of his interest. eg. business shirts. Also, as i already mentioned, the visitors find in every category hand-picked recommendations. Additionally there are detailed information like pricing, shipping time, special offers and year of founding provided for most of the stores.
FTP: With these services offered, your database needs to be and stay curated and maintained. How do you guarantee for up-to-date information about the companies listed in it?
HV: In Germany we call it "Alle Angaben ohne Gewähr"