Etech Executive Briefing

Today’s executive briefing session here at Etech has been somewhat enlightening. It’s a conversational style with a small number of visually illustrative examples. In some respects, it’s like sitting in a dinner party surrounded by intellectually stimulating people, but for the most part you’re sitting in a chair away from the table listening. I find myself eager to talk one-on-one with several of the presenters.

Several of the concepts are *really* big thoughts. These are my choices which sparked my synapse firing…and the day isn’t over yet:

On Demand Manufacturing: Material shifts in manufacturing are occurring. Not just with technological ways of rapid prototyping and essentially “printing” from a computer to a 3D “printer” which extrudes plastics and increasingly metal (which will lead to output of a tool and die!), but the example was discussed of how a collective community drives a new creation and production paradigm.

Loved skinnycorp’s Threadless t-shirt community/commerce site. They’re growing at 1% per week (150,000 designs; 40,000 designers to date); sell 80,000 shirts per month; their average runs are ~2,000 pieces and sellout in a few days or a few weeks; the methodology of letting the users ‘vote’ on the designs is what is driving it — the top designs is the base from which they manufacture essentially having the community drive their R&D; and their extending their ideas with others.

One example of another shift in manufacturing was about China and motorcycle manufacturing. China is redefining the modularity of the process constructing bikes and is disrupting Asia motorcycle incumbents…article explaining why this is such a big deal here).

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1 Comment

  1. John Eckman on March 27, 2007 at 2:32 am

    Steve – are you familiar with the IBM Alphaworks Many Eyes site?
    http://services.alphaworks.ibm.com/manyeyes/

    It’s a great example of what you called “people being able to play with data visualizations and, most importantly, bringing dozens, hundreds, thousands or millions of eyes examining the same data.”

    Good post about it at Read/Wite Web: “IBM’s Many Eyes App After One Month” http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/ibm_many_eyes_after_one_month.php



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