500 years ago Europe came out of the Dark Ages with entrepreneurs like the Medici Family bringing back the ancient wisdom of the Platonic Academy and Humanism, and sponsoring artists like Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci to lift the human spirit.
The age that became known as the Renaissance was based on artisanship and personalized masterpieces. Today, the same shift is taking place from mass production to customization, from information to inspiration and from transactions to transformations.
In 2017 we will be well into the rise of Renaissance 2.0 – Where all the best products, services and experiences are personalized.
Tesla as an example. Every part of your car can be personalized. You can do it easily online or in a Tesla store. Companies like Local Motors lets you not only design your own car, but will 3D print it within less than 48 hours. With 3D printing, AI and VR, all the biggest growth opportunities lie in personalizing for one instead of standardizing for a thousand.
All of our online experiences, from our social media platforms to our mobile apps to our video and music playlists are already customized. With the growth in co-investing, co-purchasing and co-working, we’re going to increasingly see customized dashboards and interfaces extend far beyond our current co-creation:
From personalized learning, to personalized medicine, to personalized art – the paradox is that more powerful technology in AI and big data is allowing us to become more human. The past industrial age was all about the product and productization. The new artisan age is all about the customer and customization. 2017 will see the beginning of the end of one-size-fits-all education systems and pharmaceuticals, and one-size-fits-all factories and factory farms.
As with the first Renaissance, with the new Renaissance 2.0 comes a new rise in consciousness. Lower consciousness values quantity over quality. Higher consciousness values quality over quantity: Quality of the food we eat, the thoughts we have and the life we lead are all rising. As are the quality of our experiences and our environment.
What can you do to shift your business in this age of artisanship?
1) Grow by increasing quality while decreasing quantity
2) Focus your business at a customer of one
“If you want to create a great product, just focus on one person. Make that person have the most amazing experience ever.” ~ Brian Chesky, Founder Airbnb
3) Give your customers the tools to personalize their own experience
4) Treat your life as a masterpiece
“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” ~ Rumi
What sets this second Renaissance apart from the first Renaissance?
The last time, you could either be the one funding the art – like the Medici’s or making the art – like Michelangelo. This time – like Elon Musk – you can be both.