BBC Radio aired a fascinating program about my friend Liam Casey, aka "Mr. China," whose company PCH International is reinventing the electronics industry by converting the supply chain into a flexible supply web of "just in time" manufacturing and shipping. Voted Ireland's Ernst & Young 2007 Entrepreneur of the Year, Liam is based in Shenzhen. And he doesn't speak Chinese. From BBC Radio presenter Peter Day's text about the program:
At the centre of (PCH International) is a comprehensive database of some 900 Chinese companies with world class facilities in and around the Pearl River Delta...
Take an idea to PCH, and his people will help you design the product, simplify it to make it manufacturable, find the Chinese firms to make it for you, and fulfil the orders and get them dispatched.
What role for the Western business in all this ? Well, Liam Casey will do the donkey work in the middle... and your Western company will work at either end of what he calls the “smiley curve”… providing the big idea at the beginning, and the astute marketing at the end.
This is getting very close to a very important new business model that I’m calling Capitalism without Capital.
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
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