A friend recently passed along the Netflix culture deck. It’s 126 pages of nearly all words and no design, and reads like someone sat Reed Hastings down in a padded room, asked him some questions about how his company should work, and then typed out his very candid answers. Overall, I found it pretty effective and actually feel like I have a good baseline for what culture is like within the company.
WHAT Maker’s Row lets people search through different categories to find factories that are able to produce various products they have in mind. Imagine Alibaba meets Yelp with the personality of Etsy. People can watch videos of factory tours, read other user reviews, and get factory contact information completely free. The break the process down into the various stages of the making process, from ideation to production run so that you can find a factory that will help you with whatever stage you’re at.
“Our mission is to make the manufacturing process simple to understand and easy to access. From large corporations to first time designers, we are providing unparalleled access to industry-specific factories and suppliers across the United States. Our first industry target is apparel and accessories.”
WHY THIS MATTERS Maker’s Row is taking a piece of the business landscape that for the last 100 years has been a murky, confusing, unapproachable space. A space reserved for experts and well-scaled companies alone. All of a sudden our wildest dreams are that much closer to coming to life. Not only are factories within the click of a button, but they’ll help us take a back of the napkin idea and work it through the entire design and production process.
The site also introduces a unknown human element to the world of manufacturing. Most of us simply imagine billowing smoke stacks and Grapes of Wrath when we think of factories, but who would’ve guessed there are actually people at the center of all of this…skilled makers in fact!
We’re seeing it in every space. The patients are becoming the physicians. The buyers are becoming the sellers. The consumers are becoming the makers. If companies aren’t thinking about how this is going to happen to their industry then they are blind and will fail. Very slowly we are going to see industries evolve because their own consumers are taking over their work, unless those companies learn how to evolve and continue supporting their customers in new ways, supplying new information and offerings.
Imagine a world in 50…no 25…let’s be honest, 10 years where the notion of large scale mass production is reserved only for goods that are actually needed on such large scales. Customized is hip, and limited run are the only way to stick out. Goods are being made around the corner, and perhaps less around the world. This new movement of neighborhood manufacturing is actually taking cues from a time long past, which in my opinion is a pretty exciting thing to be a part of.
Next time you’re in a meeting, or even sitting with a group of friends, take note of how often people (yourself included) start their sentences with ‘I think…’.
It’s become a subconscious disclaimer that we now put on the beginning of almost every statement in order to minimize conflict or make sure we don’t come off too strongly. The problem is very rarely does the situation actually call for that.
Usually we are either trying to ask someone a question or we’re trying to tell them something concrete, opinionated, and specific. By placing an ‘I think…’ on the front, we manage to fall squarely in between those two objectives.
Next time your in that group situation, push yourself to commit one way or the other. When you stop questioning the own things coming out of your mouth, you’ll notice your presence, power, and role in that conversation will skyrocket.