Open Enterprise

Open Enterprise by Mykl RoventineFor the first time in history, individuals and small businesses can harness world-class capabilities, access markets, and serve customers in ways that only large corporations could in the past. Small and medium-size enterprises, for example, can make and sell products to a global market without having to manufacture anything themselves. Thanks to new services such as Ponoko, based in New Zealand, you can arrange to have your products manufactured and delivered directly to the customer, virtually anywhere in the world. Upload your design to the Web site, select the materials, and Ponoko does everything else. Entrepreneurs who are just getting started can even post their products to Ponoko’s marketplace. Chief strategy officer Derek Elley says, “It’s a bit like low-cost global manufacturing and peer-to- peer commerce straight from your living room.” Creators can now turn their ideas into tangible offerings with less risk, lower costs, instant scalability, increased control, and less complexity. In turn, consumers get lower prices for individualized products, and perhaps most important, the proposed manufacturing model promises to reduce the environmental impact tied to production—mostly through the elimination of intermediaries and a reduced need for transportation.