What are realistic, everyday use cases for Google Glass?

A Real Estate Application that shows rental/sale details of in-market adjacent properties, as the user walks/drives past the area. While convenient to use when driving around an area of choice, it’d also allow a quick benchmarking of relative costs of adjacent neighborhoods. I haven’t yet seen anything similar in the current list of Google Glass applications.

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Quick update (1/7/14): Happened to be browsing Trulia, and looks like they are already on this since Jun 2013. Read more here.

Mass Customization – Myth vs. Facts

During my first year of business school, I had read an exciting case study about Timbuk2 and how they created a build-to-order business model.  The build-to-order model, aka Dell.com, has clear cost advantages.  Why produce massive quantities of inventory that may go unsold if you can wait to build product until you receive a customer order? In summer of 2010, I worked for Dave Sloan, the founder and CEO of Treehouse Logic, a startup that provides a visual customization platform that enables mass customization. My exposure to the exploding mass customization market has revealed a few key insights that I would like share with readers of our blog.

Myth: Mass Customization is a fad.

Fact: The US alone has some 220 online customizer firms. In the past decade shoppers could configure their own laptop at Dell.com or Apple.com but in 2010 you can create your own bags, t-shirts, jeans, shoes, shorts, bikes, lamps, cards, art books, jewelry, granola, chocolates and pet food as well. The New York Times reported on growth in sales of customized products in US for 2009. In 2009, orders at Spreadshirt had doubled. Blurp (customize your art book or photos) sales were up 43%. Zazzle, Cafepress and Scrapblog each reported 80% increases in sales in the holiday season compared with previous year’s sales. At Blue Nile, orders were up 20%. This was despite the fact that ecommerce sales had only grown by 4% in the season. In March 2010, readwriteweb.com suggested that the U.S. may be on the verge of a co-creation invasion from Europe, where these kinds of startups are more prominent. Looks like co-creation is here to stay.

The reasons that this trend is no fad are highlighted in our VentureBeat article, but in a nutshell it is the alignment of growing customer demand, maturing technologies, and Internet penetration.

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