Is the Crowd a Disruption or an Opportunity for Large Companies?

Many are excited about the new collaborative economy, where people use common technologies to get what they need from each other. This has created disruptions for some industries, but overall, holds much business opportunity for progressive companies. Progressive companies can glean greater loyalty through crowdfunding, turn to the crowd for new co-innovation and launch their own sharing programmes to expand how they serve their customers new desires. Companies who ignore this trend are likely to suffer from disruption, but those that lean in can benefit from using the crowd to their advantage. In the next section, I’ll share examples of what the crowd is doing, and how large companies are responding to integrate the crowd into their strategy. Image from … Continue readingIs the Crowd a Disruption or an Opportunity for Large Companies?

3D Printing Business Models Spell Ecosystem Change

Above: MakerBot 3-D printer from MakerBot Flickr account. This blog is focused on the relationship between large companies and their communities (customers, partners, and more) as it relates to new technologies. Emerging markets generate a desire for large companies to integrate new technologies to scope out new business models, scenarios and plans. Within this context I propose four major scenarios for large companies to offer 3D printing and scanning technologies within their business ecosystem. New business models are emerging, transforming retailers into manufacturers and service providers, offering customized products at scale, and reconfiguring supply chain and logistics into new business entities heretofore unseen and into others we’ve yet to see.  As a primer, before you read on, be sure to read the … Continue reading3D Printing Business Models Spell Ecosystem Change

2014 Collaborative Economy Predictions on NBC (video)

Above:  The embedded video player will allow you to play the short, 8 minute clip from my interview in the “hot seat” on NBC. Happy New Year all, it’s great to ring in the new year, right after the Dec 10th launch of my new company, Crowd Companies.   To kick start the new year, NBC asked me to go to their Silicon Valley TV studio for the Press:Here show hosted by Scott McGrew to give three predictions for 2014 around the collaborative economy. Here’s what I told them, which you can also watch above: Uber will start to threaten Amazon, as they can deliver goods at local level. Uber can deliver at a local level, faster than 3-day shipping from an … Continue reading2014 Collaborative Economy Predictions on NBC (video)

What 3D Printing Means to Corporations

3D design by Virtox, Dutch 3D printer designer, featured on Thingiverse. There’s no shortage of press and media attention focused on 3D printing, ranging from manufacturing metal guns to restoration of human facial parts or jet engine parts to Victoria’s Secret angel wings.  Beyond the press coverage, there is a significant, unanswered question that needs to be answered:  What does this mean for traditional corporate business models? [For corporations, 3D printing shifts products from standardized, scheduled, & at scale to customized, on-demand, & local] I’ve taken classes at TechShop on 3D printing, visited the Shapeways factory, and own a few 3D printed goods (with more coming).  I’m stunned by the many materials that can be printed, including steel, gold, chocolate, wood, proteins, … Continue readingWhat 3D Printing Means to Corporations

The Five Ways Companies Can Leverage 3D Printing –and Avoid Disruption

Above photo: Showcase collection of intricate and moveable 3D Printed goods in acrylic, stainless steel. Designs by famed Dutch designer, Virtox, using Shapeways, 3-D printing-as-a-service and marketplace of designers. One Liner:  The crowd is becoming like a company in the Maker Movement. 3D printing rapidly accelerates it.  Find your company’s place in the ecosystem with these five business models. This is the next phase of social business. Just as many people who have published blogs, videos, and pictures have become media companies, we’re now seeing people make physical things and personally become like traditional companies.  In both phases, the rules are the same:  those who stand in the way will get pushed aside.  Those who enable, will benefit.  Welcome to the Maker Movement, … Continue readingThe Five Ways Companies Can Leverage 3D Printing –and Avoid Disruption

Shapeways Delivers 3D Printing as a Service, Reshaping Business Processes

An assortment of 3D printed items, accompanied by Duann Scott (left), myself (center), and Savannah, (right) at the Shapeways 3D “Factory of the Future” in Queens, NYC. Behind us are rows of high-end 3D printers, polishing machines, designers, QA teams, and operations experts.  Trying to configure, calibrate, and properly print a 3D object is a clunky experience. Fortunately, there are services that enable this: Meet Shapeways, a 3D factory available now for you. In my humble opinion, I’ve found that 3D printers for consumers need some time to mature.  I’ve taken a class at TechShop to learn that the level of skill requires a hobbyist and tinkering capability. It’s not just “Press print.”  To meet this need, and to print using high … Continue readingShapeways Delivers 3D Printing as a Service, Reshaping Business Processes

3D-Printing Clunky, But Shows World-Changing Promise

I wanted to know how 3D printers will impact corporations, so I took a class. I find value in hands-on field research In the aim for further understanding the impact of the empowered customers to corporations, I took a class on 3D printing at my local Techshop, where regular folks can learn cutting edge skills. Previously. this spring, I visited Maker Faire where thousands of people who want to make their own products (rather than buy them from corporations) assemble to share, hone, and show off their skills.  The big winner was the large pavilion of 3D printers, which I shared my findings.   I’m also living the collaborative economy movement, I’ve reduced buying physical goods, and prefer to rent … Continue reading3D-Printing Clunky, But Shows World-Changing Promise

In the Collaborative Economy, the Crowd has Built a Car

Above Image: The orange Wikispeed SGT01 Roadster: crowd-funded, crowd-designed, crowd-produced, hitting the streets in small batches now for $25k, oh, and it gets 100 miles per gallon. What if I told you the next affordable, long range, fuel efficient vehicle might be assembled in your garage or built by your neighbors?  That’s what I was surprised to hear, when I learned about the Wikispeed auto project. Wikispeed is a business that crowd sourced designs, production, development, and has created a SAE registered, road legal approved car the Wikispeed SGT01 Car, now on sale in limited quantities. This case example is part of my ongoing coverage of the collaborative economy, on how the crowd becomes a company. I had the opportunity to meet … Continue readingIn the Collaborative Economy, the Crowd has Built a Car

The Maker Movement Disrupts Brands, Provides Opportunities

For my third year, I spent yesterday at the Maker Faire, in Silicon Valley.  Unlike any other year, the crowds were overflowing, suggesting this movement was growing faster than the cottage industry before.  To put this into context, the maker movement is yet (another) disruption to brands, here’s the lineage: [Disruptions Summarized: 1) The Internet democratized knowledge, 2) Social Media empowered crowd, 3) Collaborative Economy endows crowd to buy once, share many, 4) the Maker Movement aims at buying from brands no more. I must honestly confess, I struggle to keep abreast of all the new technologies, and I suspect corporations are experiencing the same.  It’s my full time job, I attend these events on weekends, and we’ve a company … Continue readingThe Maker Movement Disrupts Brands, Provides Opportunities