Src: Keith Hopper
Since Henry ford invented economy of scale (mass production), business is designed to address common minimum requirements. Any additional requirement is seen as premium variation to the mass produced commodity.
Internet is promising to unleash large niche players. Unlike earlier times, boutique need not be a cottage/small business.
I like the trend towards big players being more of aggregators / integrators (like eBay and Amazon) rather than monolithic producers like oil and steel companies. This will increase “atomization” of business with profitable economic models.
If boutique can get volume, we will see reduction of big business power (I hope). And increase in power of the community (In the way nature has designed ‘life’).
However the exponential increase of options (variety) is becoming counter productive to the users. It would be interesting to see, who comes out with a magic solution to make it easier to choose for the users.