Thanks to you, last week’s report on the collaborative economy was readily received, and has been viewed over 26k times, the media picked up on it, and bloggers alike. As we digest what it means, it’s important to recognize this is the next phase in the internet, and the next phase of social business. An interesting finding is that the second era (social) and the third era (collaborative economy), use the same technologies (social technologies) but instead of sharing media and ideas –people are sharing goods and services. This is all part of a continuum and we need to see our careers progress as the market moves forward with us.
[Social technology enabled the sharing of media and ideas called social business –the same tools enable sharing of goods and services called the collaborative economy]
Internet Phases: Past, Present, and Future
Brand Experience Era
Customer Experience Era
Collaborative Economy Era
CMS and HTML
1995: Internet had 14% american adoption
2005: Business blogging disrupted corporations
2013: AirBnb, TaskRabbit, Lyft, gain mainstream attention
David Feitler, PhD, Senior Program Manager, NineSigma
As White Queen remarked in Lewis Carroll’s immortal story Through the Looking Glass, “…it takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!” We all run after innovation just as fast as we can and sometimes we feel that it’s all we can do just to stay even with the competition. Sometimes it is good to pause for a moment and reflect on the role of innovation, what we’re doing currently and what we might do differently. The State of Ohio did exactly that in creating the Ohio Third Frontier’s Open Innovation Incentive, which they launched last year.
Open innovation (OI) is the systematic inclusion of parties outside your four walls and outside your existing networks. Companies practice open innovation because they want to reduce the time it takes to get to market, avoid getting trapped by their own thinking, and pursue with agility new opportunities outside their core expertise. Frequently the examples given for open innovation success are things like the iPod™, which wasn’t invented internally at Apple, or the Swiffer™ cleaning system that P&G acquired in its original form from a Japanese company. Those examples can cause one to lose sight of the value OI brings to non-consumer goods companies and to organizations smaller than Apple and P&G.
That was the thinking of the Ohio Third Frontier team when they considered what they could do to support economic growth in the State of Ohio. They recognized that open innovation is an important tool and a way to accelerate economic development in Ohio. The state also recognized that very large companies (greater than $1 billion in annual revenues) were doing this already, while companies in the $10 million to $1 billion range likely needed additional direction and support. They surmised that the expertise needed to incorporate these external technology searches didn’t reside in firms this size and that reliable partners were needed in the form of intermediaries with proven open innovation methods and processes. Thus was born the Ohio Third Frontier Open Innovation Incentive.
There’s no denying that 3D printing has moved beyond the laboratory and into the mainstream. We’ve seen 3D printed body parts, electronics, and toys. Although the technology has quickly become quite sophisticated, the materials used in 3D printers have been slow to catch up.
Though the idea of print-you-own has big green implications, there’s nothing earth-friendly about an uptick in plastic junk floating around the planet. That’s why we’re so excited about the work of Emerging Objects, a two-architect outfit that teaches 3D printing in Berkeley. Founders Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello are working to move the trend away from plastic and toward far more sustainable materials like wood, salt, and clay.
“Emerging Objects is interested in the creation of 3D printed buildings, building components and interior accessories that can be seen as sustainable, inexpensive, stronger, smarter, recyclable, customizable and perhaps even reparable to the environment,” write the architects. “We want to 3D print long-lasting performance-based designs for the built environment using raw materials that have strength, tactility, cultural associations, relevance and beauty.”
The door of a dry-cleaner-size storefront in an industrial park in Wareham, Massachusetts, an hour south of Boston, might not look like a portal to the future of American manufacturing, but it is. This is the headquarters of Local Motors, the first open source car company to reach production. Step inside and the office reveals itself as a mind-blowing example of the power of micro-factories.
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In June, Local Motors will officially release the Rally Fighter, a $50,000 off-road (but street-legal) racer. The design was crowdsourced, as was the selection of mostly off-the-shelf components, and the final assembly will be done by the customers themselves in local assembly centers as part of a “build experience.” Several more designs are in the pipeline, and the company says it can take a new vehicle from sketch to market in 18 months, about the time it takes Detroit to change the specs on some door trim. Each design is released under a share-friendly Creative Commons license, and customers are encouraged to enhance the designs and produce their own components that they can sell to their peers.
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Here’s the history of two decades in one sentence: If the past 10 years have been about discovering post-institutional social models on the Web, then the next 10 years will be about applying them to the real world.
Many are only just getting their heads around the idea of 3D printing but scientists at MIT are already working on an upgrade: 4D printing. At the TED conference in Los Angeles, architect and computer scientist Skylar Tibbits showed how the process allows objects to self-assemble. It could be used to install objects in hard-to-reach places such as underground water pipes, he suggested. It might also herald an age of self-assembling furniture, said experts.
TED fellow Mr Tibbits, from the MIT’s (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) self-assembly lab, explained what the extra dimension involved. “We’re proposing that the fourth dimension is time and that over time static objects will transform and adapt,” he told the BBC. The process uses a specialised 3D printer that can create multi-layered materials. It combines a strand of standard plastic with a layer made from a “smart” material that can absorb water. The water acts as an energy source for the material to expand once it is printed. “The rigid material becomes a structure and the other layer is the force that can start bending and twisting it,” said Mr Tibbits.
Who has never been in the situation that he had a set of data where some of them just didn’t seem to fit. A simple adjusting of the numbers or omitting of strange ones could solve the problem. Or so you would think. I certainly have been in such a situation more than once, and looking back, I am glad that I left the data unchanged. At least in one occasion my “petty” preformed theory proved to be wrong and the ‘strange data’ I had found were corresponding very well with another concept that I hadn’t thought of at the time.
Kor and his team built the three-wheel, two-passenger vehicle at RedEye, an on-demand 3-D printing facility. The printers he uses create ABS plastic via Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM). The printer sprays molten polymer to build the chassis layer by microscopic layer until it arrives at the complete object. The machines are so automated that the building process they perform is known as “lights out” construction, meaning Kor uploads the design for a bumper, walk away, shut off the lights and leaves. A few hundred hours later, he’s got a bumper. The whole car – which is about 10 feet long – takes about 2,500 hours.