Friday, 20 July 2007

Interview (Part 2) with Cathy Lewis, CEO Desktop Factory: Will the Final Frontier soon be in your Kitchen?

CH. Let’s talk about the future..... Do you foresee the day when a $1000 3D printers will hit the market?

CL. Not only do we see a day when 3D printers are available to the mass market for under $1K – we intend to lead the revolution and insure the democratization of 3D.

CH. Does that prospect excite you? For example, what do you think the total annual market volume/value for such a low cost 3D Printer will be?

CL. We have already seen massive pent up demand for a $5K 3D printer - so the potential in the consumer market will be significant, well into the billions of dollars. The best way to think of this opportunity is as being roughly analogous to the impact low cost laser printers have had on us over the past 15 years.

CH. What about the market, the kind of custom? What will be its impact here?

CL. This is the 3D printer for the rest of us – read – all of us! At under $1K you will see a 3D printer in every home and one day we will creatively disrupt the manufacturing value chain – enabling the consumer to buy a design, a part or tool from the web and print it at home. Just imagine the positive impact that will have on green house gas emissions, etc., etc. And, in terms of innovation - the heart beat of our global competitive advantage – this 3D spark will absolutely ignite a new era of innovation and creativity.

CH. What opportunities lay ahead for material feedstock providers?

CL. Clearly the consumables for this market are every bit as important as the STL file and the printer. We will provide a low cost, safe nylon based powder as our first material which results in a very robust, durable part. However, we know that additional types of consumable materials will help grow the market and the applications potential for 3D. I think the various manufacturers of these types of materials have an excellent opportunity to work with companies like Desktop Factory in developing the next generation of exciting 3D output materials.

CH. Is there anything else that you think the reader should know about DF?

CL. We are a small but dedicated team of professionals from two major domains – 2D and 3D printing – who have a powerful and compelling vision to deliver 3D printing to the masses – after all it is a 3D world – we should be enabled to print that way!

How can we Manage 21st Century Complexity with 16th Century Thinking?

Sill far to many executives I meet use thought morphologies a kin to Newtonian Mechanics and Cartesian Logic. But that kind of linear - A-to-B-to-C- to-D - thinking cannot possible cope in an age of interconnections, where counterintuitive, paradoxical, and down right surprising outcomes occur.

Execs spend months on quantitative business analysis, months on developing five year plans, months on organisational planning; yet at the end of the day the numbers don’t meet the market realities of double gate exponential technological innovation acceleration, the industry actuality of Hyperinnovation, of pip squeak outfits creating disruptive innovations that knock the corporate skyscrapers bandy.

How can the big manufacturing corporations compete when single mums begin to print out 3D objects (spoons, cups, teapots and babies bottle) in the kitchen at home, for near next to nothing?

In fact this counterintuitive, paradoxical and surprising, soon to be reality, is so alien to linear-logic that it either scares the living daylights out of many an executive or is so off the chart that they don‘t (can’t) even perceive it.

Tight order and control is their mantra. Mention phrases like emergent teams, swarms systems, open culture, and you get that ‘evil gaze.’

If corporate executives are to see the future first, create competitive visions that create new billion dollar markets, mobilise the workforce as a dynamic self-organising system, then they need new and up to date ways of thinking.

Systems thinking is a good start. Multidimensional thinking is better. But will they convert to 21st century thinking? I don’t know.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Insult to Tom Brown's scholastic injury.

‘Education, Education, Education,’ is an insult to intelligence.

Can’t wait to hear Mr Gordon (Tom) Brown's take on cerebral input.

As Learning, Learning, Learning everywhere, wihout coersion, is now the norm.


September 11 was essentially a collision of early 20th-century technology: the aeroplane and the skyscraper.

What do we do to prevent a collision of 21st-century technology: nanoweapons and earth?

I'm thinking.

The Girl Power Boom.

In the USA, Women’s collective spending power is larger than the whole of the German Economy. Worldwide its is $$$Trillions.

Look at the shopping mall. Count men Vs Women!

Who, on the whole, picks the family car (60%), home furnishing (94%), holidays (92%), long term new friends (80%), and even instigates home DIY projects (80%).

Who does the most communicating?: Emails (67%), SMS texts (88%), Christmas cards (93%).

Who holds the domestic purse (91%)?

Who works the longest hours (68%)?

And finally a painful one: who files for divorce (men a tiny 16%). Ouch?

Implications?: Design and market for women. Be really romantic to your wife!

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Is the UK going through a new baby boom?

I live in Eastbourne, the once bone yard of the UK, where people went to retire (and die).

Not any more!

As I walk round Eastbourne I’m witnessing a baby boom. Thousands of little kids and babies swinging on mum's arm, swarming the place. I mean everywhere!

So I started to think why is this?

First: why did the baby boom, from the post war period up until the mid(ish) sixties, happen?

The experts tell that it was the new, post war, affluence. It gave people confidence to plan long term, so families boomed too.

Second: But aren’t we told that affluence is the biggest contraceptive of all?

Doesn’t look like it. Because Eastbourne has become a reasonably affluent town.

But third: The UK has (is) experiencing a long boom economy.

Well I'm dazed, because the baby boom is happen throughout the UK.

Women are choosing to have more babies than at any time since 1980, according to official figures which hint at the first baby boom of the 21st century.

And the fertility rate - the number of births per woman - rose from 1.8 babies per woman in 2005 to 1.87 in 2006, the fifth annual rise in a row and the most babies born in a single year since 1993, the Office for National Statistics say.

Or is it due to the fact that Cool Britania is more cosmopolitan, and thus more randy?

Monday, 16 July 2007

Making the impossible, possible!

By Kim S Cameron.

The most contaminated nuclear plant in the USA, Rocky Flats was an environmental disaster and the site of rampant worker unrest. Although it was estimated that it would take 70 years and $36 billion to clean up and close the facility, something stunning happened.

Now on its way to becoming a wildlife refuge, the project is running 60 years ahead of schedule and $30 billion under budget.

In Making the Impossible Possible, Kim Cameron explains how this remarkable performance was achieved — and how it can be replicated. Using numerous first-hand accounts and public records, Cameron draws a number of leadership guidelines that can be applied to any business.

This fascinating and thoroughly researched case study concludes by revealing the ten leadership principles responsible for the Rocky Flats turnaround — and in doing so, provides a means for other organizations to harness the lessons of this astonishing success.