Chris Anderson goes analog; We all can be manufacturers

Chris Anderson goes analog; We all can be manufacturers

Summary: Chris Anderson, best known a big thinker and an author that chronicles the digital revolution, is going decidedly analog.

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Chris Anderson, best known a big thinker and an author that chronicles the digital revolution, is going decidedly analog.

That's the gist of a talk the Wired editor-in-chief gave at the Supernova conference in San Francisco. I must admit it's odd to hear Anderson get so wound up about physical stuff. But he got into manufacturing---without any infrastructure mind you---via his DIY Drones venture (right). "This could be the future of manufacturing and the future of the U.S. economy," he said.

Anderson's speech, which he used to try out new material that will most likely wind up in another book, made the following points:

  • The Web revolution is hitting the real world. "We are entering a new manufacturing age," said Anderson. "I've been thinking about being analog and the world of manufacturing."
  • Manufacturing businesses are utilizing a lot of the techniques pioneered on the Web.
  • Tools of production are being democratized. Exhibit A: 3D printers will now run you $750. Anderson has one in his basement. Laser cutters and circuit boards can all be designed in your basement using world class industrial technologies.
  • If you want scale, a Chinese factory will work with you where ever you are. "I can click a button and make robots in a Chinese factory move," said Anderson. "These factories want to work with smaller companies because there's the flexibility to do so and higher margins. You have access to the same factory as Sony."
  • Anderson chronicled Local Motors, which walks you through designing and building a car. Can this business scale?

The list goes on. Anderson's big point is that the barriers to manufacturing are falling away. In fact, we may all be manufacturers down the road. Consider it the long tail of physical stuff.

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6 comments
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  • Interesting idea, but I'd rather not.

    Interesting idea - but the truth is, I'd rather
    have somebody else manufacture my stuff. I
    wouldn't know the first thing about designing my
    own product, and it would probably turn out being
    pretty crappy stuff. I think I'll leave that stuff
    to more knowledgeable people in that field.
    CobraA1
  • Head Up His ...

    He may like to be pretend that he is a manufacturer and he may actually think he is a manufacturer but he is simply another modern American narcissist content to let others do the dirty work while expecting that his brilliance will earn him 90% of the profits. Chinese factory owners must be laughing their heads off at how soft we've gotten.
    curph
  • Cap and Trade

    will drive out any remaining manufacturing in this country. China will not do this to their citizens. we can't have manufacturing in this country. the evironmentalists are dictating this. the energy costs to produce anything here in good ole USA will simply be too great. If ClimateGate does not prove to you that this is junk science nothing can ! Get used to very high taxes in 2010. We are being converted to a Euro Socialist Welfare State !
    pizzaman7
  • RE: Chris Anderson goes analog; We all can be manufacturers

    Burning question here, "WHAT was/were Chris' proclivities prior to being seduced by the mindset of analog?

    My primary concern is dealing with Chinois manufactories vis a vis toxic paint, poison substances in any/all materials used and MOST importantly, "the government of China has shown they care nothing about their population, intellectual property rights, pirated music/software/design...etc, and will continue on their merry course until forced to re-evaluate their responsibility." All I can do is NOT buy products labeled "Made in China" and spout off like this.

    I'm still confused by the headline. Much easier to understand, for me at least, if it had mentioned off-shore, outsourced or some other more appropriate term. The first post says, "China will not do this to its citizens." The ONLY answer to that Mr. Pizzaman7 is "merde de toro!" They forcibly move people, open 11 coal fired power plants monthly, use tanks on their people and have a racial tunnel vision that is bYond belief.

    At risk of being too offensive :) analog defined;
    # analogue: something having the property of being analogous to something else
    # analogue: of a circuit or device having an output that is proportional to the input; "analogue device"; "linear amplifier"

    Enjoy :)
    LostValley
  • Time to start a shift

    Let's eee now. Lead paint on toys, melamine in milk (confined to China), melamine in wheat for dog food, toxic ash in drywall just to name a few. This shows that eventhough companies such a Mattel have their names on buildings over there, certain people (and companies) choose to do what they want no matter what the human/animal or corporate cost. In spite of executions, it looks like people will continue to do this due to the profits that can be made.

    We shop carefully and when available we choose US/Canadian made. When choice is limited we look for other countries first.

    Companies like Cisco and others have seen counterfit items increase. Obviously it hasn't cost them enough yet to reevaluate the present manufacturing procedures.

    It's time to learn how to compete in more areas and start taking control back.
    dave01234
  • RE: Chris Anderson goes analog; We all can be manufacturers

    Chris goes mis-stating! The story is not about people
    becoming manufacturers. The story is about people
    designing products and contracting their products
    manufacturing.

    Also I would hardly call it going analog. "Laser
    cutters and circuit boards can all be designed in your
    basement..." This article is all about using digital
    technology to make analog samples so you can contract
    out its manufacturing.

    This article is about expanding digital technology
    into home businesses so you can literally run a world
    wide corporation from home. That means you are
    increasing digital technology - not going analog.
    shanedr