3D printing is really starting to blow my mind. As far as I can tell it is taking the information we are currently living through and making it physical. It’s the missing link. The start of being able to create everything from nothing – ephemeralization. Converting the first 20 elements into stuff, by organizing information, ones and zeros. About 20 years from now, you’ll remember talk about 3D printing, the same way we remember hearing stuff about a connected world through computers in the mid 1980′s. I think it will be more disruptive and bigger than the internet.
In order to just make sure you are across what is happening here’s the most famous Youtube Clip about 3D printing which is from the Discovery channel. In the coming weeks I’ll be posting a large article about all the implications on the world. And before you watch the clip below here is a list of some things that have already been printed by such machines:
Bicycles, cars, tools with moving parts, furniture, drone aircraft and even balls bearings.
It’s coming and it is going to change everything.
Brands will start shipping product components and raw materials to stores for to be assembled on site… as part of the retail experience.
The customers will become the theatre at transaction.
The desire to create and customize will conspire to create highly interactive and profitable retail concoction. What we’ve already seen in digital…’A mash up of co-creation and mass customization’… we will inevitably see in retail…. The retailers that survive anyway.
The high ground for any brand is the story. It’s what we should be aiming for. A brand where part of what people buy is the is the history, or to be part of a tribe. Johnny Walker has put together a great new campaign where they tell their story. It’s a 6 minute time investment worth taking.
Some things worth thinking about with the Johnny walker story:
- It’s a long copy format. 6 minutes plus. Something which can’t be done on TV.
- It circumvents the negative connotations with success and globalisation. The personal effort and history makes financial success more palatable.
- It gives detail about the product, range and brand that just wouldn’t be possible in shorter media formats
- It’s sharable. Easy to send to friends, worth talking about.
- It’s eyeball worthy. Well shot and executed.
- It’s the idea. Ideas are king again, not media. Any brand with a story, and a small level of film / web expertise could have done it.
- This is clearly Radvertising
What does this mean for startups? It means that a large part of what we talk about should not only be how we got here, but why we are taking this journey. A story they can live vicariously through.
I once heard an interview with drummer Rob Hirst from the rock band Midnight Oil. It was in reference to one of their most critically acclaimed and best selling song, Power and the passion. Rob was asked about the infamous drum solo in the middle of the song, which not only doesn’t sound indulgent, but fits the rhythm and meaning of the song. What I find most interesting from an entrepreneurial perspective is how it all came about, this is what Rob had to say:
“It was 1982 and drum machines were entering the music scene and replacing drummers very quickly. They were cheaper and more reliable. It was a time when drummers were throwing themselves off cliff tops. Rather than fear the technological advancement, I thought it might be better to embrace it. I wondered how I could use it to supplement what I was already doing to make it better. So for the Power and the Passion, I decided to have a drum machine playing in the background on the entire track. By doing this it freed up my arms and legs to add some color to the song, and ultimately allowed for the drum solo which is often sited as the catalyst that makes the song so great.”
The story above is one for all the Luddites out there. for the technology fear mongers, and those who worry about being replaced. The truth is, we should be happy when technology replaces labour for the simple reason that it opens the door to creativity. It opens the door to opportunity, for a better use of our time and resources.
You can watch / listen the drum solo at 2.35 minutes on the clip below. Be sure to listen for the drum machine track quietly providing the beat underneath.
PS – the smashing sound at the end of the solo is a florescent light tube Rob brought into the studio for a dramatic industrial effect, not a pane of glass. Awesome.
I’ve always been an evangelist for international outsourcing. Especially as it pertains to digital work. I was asked recently if it has added complexity because of time zone differences. I had never consider the issue before, so I stopped to think about it for a while.
And this is my answer:
Having staff work on the other side of the world is usually an advantage. It feels like we have double the amount of business hours in a day. For example, when it is 5pm and something important comes up, I don’t have to wait for the next day for it to get started on. I can brief it out, and have it on my desktop by the next morning. For small startups getting things done quickly is what matters, and this process is a bit like inventing time.
Startup blog says: having a team in different time zones is rad.