One-by-one, As Requested, When Requested

The world continues to move toward meeting customer’s true demand of one of something, when they want it, where they want it.

3D printing is one area where we can see the beginnings of a disruptive technology curve.

Laser printing has been around even longer.

Books are an area where the traditional mass-printing model is under assault from a number of directions.

Now On Demand Books is offering their Espresso Book Machine, fully automated production technology for a copy of a traditional paperback book. Check out the video.

Yes, the costs are higher for now, but in a niche market (which is where disruptive technology matures), that is less of an issue.

The trend is inevitable – it isn’t how fast you can go, it is how slow can you go while preserving the economy of scale. That is the challenge.

One thought to “One-by-one, As Requested, When Requested”

  1. As another example of the world moving in this direction, check out KickStarter.

    I am pledging $30 to this:

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/16029337/goldieblox-the-engineering-toy-for-girls

    What that means is that I am buying a toy that currently has no value stream, has only been prototyped once, and has virtually no overhead (one person: the designer/inventor).

    This takes JIT to another level. Instead of making product to order, this is making the business to order. This could eliminate so much overall waste from society it is potentially amazing.

    I remember a banker whose expertise was deciding what small businesses to invest in explaining to me that 9 out of 10 of the businesses his bank invested in ultimately failed. If kickstarter is the future, the only capital lost on those 9 failed ventures will be the cost of design and initial marketing to make the webpage. That alone has the potential to have a serious effect on our economic future.

    When people start realizing that the risk of starting a business is so much less however is when the potential is astronomical. That’s when there is potential for a renaissance of sorts.

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