Joy de Vivre: Collective Customer Commitment and Crowdsourcing in action at this Canadian startup

Via Burkhard Schneider's Blog, I got notice of Toronto, Canada, based Joy de Vivre. The start-up opened its doors last month and is entirely based on the concept of "collective customer commitment" that I described in 2006 in a MIT Sloan Management Review Article with Susumu Ogawa: Get the commitment of customers via crowdsourcing first before you invest in final product development and production.

On their website, Joy de Vivre descirbe their concept as follows:

"Product development is very expensive due to the high capital costs involved with prototyping, tooling, marketing, and distribution of products. Thousands of great ideas never make it to market because a manufacturer is not willing to risk money on development costs.

Using the crowdsourcing potential of the internet, these costs can be distributed over many people, making the individual costs affordable. We raise the capital required to manufacture a product by pre-selling its production. The retail price paid by you, our community of engaged consumers, is placed a development fund. This small figure, multiplied by hundreds or thousands of people, fully funds the product development costs. Designers get their idea made, you receive your product, and we all share in bringing a great idea to life. If the product doesn’t get fully funded, you get your money back."

Fruity_bowl- invest in it first before you can buy it
One of the two products recently listed on the site is the "Fruity Bowl", a — surprise — Fruit Bowl for $34.00. Designed by Terence Cooke, the company calculated that they have to pre-sell 1500 units of this product to go into production, The clock is ticking, 105 days to go. Remember: While the pictures look great, Fruity has not yet been manufactured. In order to bring Fruity to life, customers have to fund it. The funding period for Fruity lasts for 16 weeks beginning from its first sale. Within this time period, Fruity needs to sell a minimum of 1500 units to be manufactured. If Fruity is not fully funded within the 16 week period, all purchases are refunded within 4 days.

For a more comprehensive description of their approach, go here:

I am curious to see whether this will work. Its success strongly will depend from (1) the buzz the company can create to generate traffic and bring potential customer-investors to their site; and (2) the quality and appeal of the designs. But Threadless has shown that the basic model works! So let's follow how Joy de Vivre is doing.

By | 2018-06-14T11:09:57+00:00 März 28th, 2009|Crowdsourcing, Design, MC Alternatives|

About the Author:

Frank T. Piller is a Co-Director of the MIT Smart Customization Group at the MIT Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, and a chair professor of management at the Technology & Innovation Management Group of RWTH Aachen University, Germany, one of Europe’s leading institutes of technology. Before entering his recent position in Aachen, he worked at the MIT Sloan School of Management (2004-2007) and has been an associate professor of management at TUM Business School, Technische Universitaet Muenchen. Frequently quoted in The New York Times, The Economist, and Business Week, amongst others, Frank is regarded as one of the leading experts on strategies for customer-centric value creation, like mass customization, personalization, and innovation co-creation. His recent analysis of the crowdsourcing business model “Threadless” (co-authored with Susumu Ogawa), an innovative crowdsourcing business model in the fashion industry, has been elected as one of the Top-20 articles in MIT Sloan Management Review.