An article in the NY Times looks at the concept of asking your customers to help you design your product and looks at three companies taking the idea to heart: Threadless t shirts, Jones Soda and John Fluevog Shoes.

In a time of ever more talented technology enthusiasts, hobbyists and do-it-yourselfers, all connected by Internet-enabled communication… the most intensely engaged users of a product often find new ways to enhance it long before its manufacturer does. Thus… companies that aspire to stand out in fast-moving markets would be wise to invite their smartest users into the product design process.

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