Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Business of Color and Bose-Einstein Condensation

Surprised to hear this piece about Pantone on NPR this morning.
"One of the most influential committees is a group of 10 people whose names are a secret. They meet in Europe twice a year (May and November) at the invitation of Pantone, a company based in Carlstadt, N.J., whose only business is color. In fact, Pantone has a hand in the color of roughly half of all garments sold in the U.S."

"Why would any designer want to run with the pack? John Crocco, the creative director for Perry Ellis, calls color forecasts 'a self-fulfilling prophecy.' He says if designers choose to follow such forecasts, then they'll be 'part of what ultimately becomes the trend.' But if designers disregard the trend, they risk irrelevance — just about the worst thing imaginable for any label."
All of which begs the obvious question: Is this is an example of Bose-Einstein condensation (winner takes all) in a scale-free marketplace?