Tuesday, January 26, 2010

People-Powered Production

Mass production is about to get competition from production by the masses:

Today, micro-factories make everything from cars to bike components to bespoke furniture in any design you can imagine. The collective potential of a million garage tinkerers is about to be unleashed on the global markets, as ideas go straight into production, no financing or tooling required. “Three guys with laptops” used to describe a Web startup. Now it describes a hardware company, too.

Meanwhile, rural Cambodians are tinkering with Bamboo Trains to run on the infrequently used rail lines throughout the country, and profiting as well:

These bamboo trains, or “Norries” as they are called by locals, provide a link between villages, a way to get produce and animals to the market, a way to get lumber to building sites and a means of income for many as rich tourists pay up to $2/day to ride them. In Cambodia, that can equal two months wages to most citizens.

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