While Ikea is defining an entire generation of furniture buyers with their high style, low cost mass production, there’s still a niche for high style, low cost mass customization. Myfab is a huge step in that direction.
How does it work? Each week, Myfab customers vote on which furniture items they’d like manufactured – you can see the vote tallies in the image above. They then get to buy them direct at near-factory prices, up to 70% lower than retail), plus 10% off if you voted! Unfortunately they only ship to France, Germany, Switzerland, Holland and the UK, but the precedent has been set. Just like with Mini Coopers, customers can follow their item’s journey. Myfab provides an extended line into home accessories as well. The job that’s being crowdsourced here is the internal buyer who decides which furniture they think will sell (anyone know what this position is called?).
What would a CoolTown version of Myfab be? Of course, for this to work locally, the company needs to ship locally, but they also need to understand and cater to local preferences as well. While Myfab seems to appeal more to the Design Within Reach (though many see them as Design Out Of Reach) crowd, there’s a much larger sustainable attainable market that combines the likes of Ikea with Green Furniture. Then, developers crowdsourcing their projects could let buyers use this system to choose the cabinetry and flooring.
Thanks to Philippa Hughes of The Pink Line Project for the reference!