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Home > The “tinkering economy,” global growth and why the Mark 2 Hovercraft matters!

The “tinkering economy,” global growth and why the Mark 2 Hovercraft matters!

I’m often writing and speaking about real trends that matter. Not fads, or social-media driven hot-Youtube videos.

Real, substantive trends which will provide for long term transformation of industries and skills. Business model disruption. The rapid emergence of new competitors. Stuff like that.

Back in 2012, in my end of year post, “Trending in 2012: What’s to come in the year to come?”, I wrote about a wide variety of important trends. The second trend was this one:

The rise of the tinkering economy. The future is once again being built in the garage next door. But this time, it’s the hyper-connected, innovation oriented tinkering economy which is driving things forward. Get used to phrases like “micro factories,” “hobby designers” and”personal factories.”  The future of design, business and manufacturing is being reinvented at collaborative idea factories such as Ponoko, Etsy and  eMachineShop.com. There’s a revolution underway which is being driven by a globally connected, creatively driven new generation of hobbyists, and the impact is going to be massive!

With that, let me introduce my good friend and golfing buddy, Greg McKenzie, Senior VP at Intelliware, Inc. He’s one of the smartest people I know. He’s also a way better golfer than me, but has the patience of a saint.

Greg and his son Iain, who is soon to be headed to Queens University for an engineering degree, following in his fathers footsteps, spent some tinkering in their garage, and just launched the Mark 2 Hovercraft.

Why does stuff like this matter? Greg found the project in a Wired magazine article a year ago. Like many with a tinkering mindset, he engaged with a new project, and came up with some fascinating results.

The future is emerging in garages all over the world. Somewhere out there, right now, there are a few billion dollar industries at their nascent stage. It could be your neighbor or golf buddy, and you don’t even know it.  And it’s this type of change in how R&D is conducted – and then shared online — that is redefining how growth industries are discovered and developed.

Just watch for them. It can be fascinating.

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