Words matter: Customize to configure

Let’s look at some definitions when it comes to software development and the nuances each one plays:

Customize: to modify or supplement with code development internally to match end-user requests, it may not be preserved during an upgrade. This could be analogous to hacking into a game like Pokemon Go and enabling end-users the ability to spoof their locations, to obtain regional exclusive pocket monsters.

Tailoring: modifying or supplementing without code to enable a system into an environment.  Analogous to downloading Pokemon Go a Google play store or Apple app store, where the right version of the app is downloaded into the right environment.

Personalization: meeting the customers’ needs effectively and efficiently.  This is achieved by analyzing customer data and using predictive analytics.  A great way is using the Active Sync tool to encourage players of Pokemon Go to be more active, but realizing there are three tiers to active players and personalizing the rewards based on those levels that are achieved.  Personalization can also be seen with character customizations, clothing, poses, and buddy pokemon.

Configure: it is the process of setting up options and features tailored to meet implementation of business requirements.  In pokemon go, some people want to achieve a full pokedex, some like the gym system, some like the 1:1 battles, 1:1 trades, side quests, beating the villains, etc. You can configure your goals in the game by doing one or all, and you can do it to the amount that you want, meeting your requirements for satisfaction in playing the game.

Now if we want to think of these concepts on a continuum:

Customize <——- Tailoring ——- Personalization ——-> Configuring

where the cost of complexity decreases from right to left, constriction in growth decreases from right to left, and a decrease in profit margin occurs from right to left.

The question now becomes, its the additional complexity on this spectrum worth the extra cost incurred?

That is for you to decide.