Welcome to the era of mass customization
Companies of all types -- from food suppliers to motorcycle manufacturers -- are experimenting with ways of getting just the right balance between mass production (which keeps costs down) and personalization (which gives consumers a sense of added satisfaction). It undoubtedly complicates some economic measures, since the utility to be derived from flavoring one's own coffee or decorating one's own smartphone is pretty difficult to precisely account-for on a utility curve. That is, of course, to say nothing of the fact that altering one's Facebook page isn't really much of an act of self-individuation. We may be woefully surrogating entirely superficial "self-expression" for real forms of it, like learning how to write, or compose music, or make complex things.
Notes from the "Brian Gongol Show" on WHO Radio - March 13, 2011
Building codes may have set the rules that saved a lot of lives in Japan, but building codes are useless unless a country is wealthy enough to pay for the technologies to meet them.