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As a tween in the Midwest during the early 80s, I was a huge fan of John Hughes movies. Characters like Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, and the rest of The Breakfast Club crew were fascinating to me. Personal style was a key part of these characters self-expression. It is a cliche, but pop culture opened my eyes to different styles and variety beyond the local mall.

That interest in style and variety made me a devoted catalog reader – everything from alternative music that was in the John Hughes movies to vintage clothes. I was in heaven when e-commerce brought catalogs on-line in the mid-90s. By that time, Imyadidas.PNG was a recent college grad and thrilled to work with catalogs launching their e-commerce websites.

Now that we are deep into Web 2.0 and connected consumers expect 24/7 access, it is exciting to work with companies that are making this possible. To me, SAP is one of these companies. It is the technology that allows us to not only be connected but to consume such a wide variety of styles – whether it is shoes, music, or artisanal foods.

One example and one of my favorite recent offerings is from Adidas. They launched mi adidas to both serve the customer of one, by allowing people to customize their shoe, and to analyze customer demand. When consumers have a blank slate, what do they design? And how can this be used as a feedback loop for Adidas’ designers? And how does this experience increase loyalty?

I found that after I created this shoe for my Christmas wish list, I wanted it more than I even expected. The picture I used reminded me of the beach, which has more emotional value for me than an off-the shelf shoe model. This is one small example but I think it illustrates the power of how running simple brings variety to our lives. And as the saying goes, variety is the spice of life.

Attending NRF’s Big Show at New York’s Javits Center, January 11-14? Meet with Adidas and other SAP customers, event information available here.

More on how Adidas Runs Simple: