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Killer Question #7

When things get tough, the common reaction is to scale back and standardize the processes. The objective is to take costs out of the business. What would happened if you went the opposite direction? Rather than standardize, why not customize?

Phil McKinney
Phil McKinney
1 min read
Killer Question #7

Killer Question #7: Could you customize a mass product?

When things get tough, the common reaction is to scale back and standardize the processes.  The objective is to take costs out of the business.  What would happened if you went the opposite direction?  Rather than standardize, why not customize?

The perfect example of this is the recent phenomena of custom motorcycles.  Like other forms of transportation, motorcycles are mass produced with the biggest choice being what color you want.

Paul Teutul, Sr. began his business of building custom choppers out of the basement of his home. With the creative help and following of his oldest son, Paul Jr., the two were soon on their way to the top with the success of Paul Sr.’s first bike, “True Blue” at Daytona Biketoberfest in 1999. From that point on, Paul Sr. knew he had something and established Orange County Choppers, Inc. that same year.

The Teutuls were quickly becoming recognized by chopper enthusiasts everywhere. They were not only making a name for themselves in the custom choppers world, but were picked up by the Discovery Channel in 2002 as the basis of what is now the hit television series, American Chopper. Their popularity has led them to build custom theme bikes for some of the biggest names in corporate America such as Microsoft, Lincoln and Coca-Cola.

Paul Sr took what many were convinced was a mass produced category and created one of the world’s premier builders of custom motorcycles.

What would happen if you customized your standard product or service.

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Source: Orange Country Chopper site
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Phil McKinney is an innovator, podcaster, author, and speaker. He is the retired CTO of HP. Phil's book, Beyond The Obvious, shares his expertise and lessons learned on innovation and creativity.


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