Monday, May 31, 2010
Is 'customizable culture' a good thing?
Can you have too many options?
Does it benefit you to hyper-specialize?
Should we want, nay - demand to have everything "our way?"
This question was inspired by my trip to Starbucks this morning, to furnish my lovely girlfriend with a coffee to help her grueling 4 a.m. shift. In line, I witnessed people with orders so complicated they had to start ordering when they were third in line. Some required them to visually check the concoction before accepting it. And when one person's orders were not to their liking, they turned into rude jerks within seconds.
So do we win by having these incredibly complicated orders? This goes far beyond coffee - the leading technological culture is all about customizing setting to our whims - think iGoogle, or Ipod skins. So, yes, these customizations fit us better and serve our needs better, but do we lose the ability to compromise, to deviate from our norms, when we are given complete control over what we buy?