Web-based collaboration tools and small-batch technology such as cheap 3D printers, 3D scanners, laser cutters, and assembly robots, Anderson points out, are transforming manufacturing. Suddenly, large-scale manufacturers are competing not just with each other on multi-year cycles, they are competing with swarms of tiny competitors who can go from invention to innovation to market dominance in a few weeks. Anybody can play; a great many already are; a great many more are coming.
“Today,“ Anderson writes, “there are nearly a thousand ‘makerspaces‘— shared production facilities— around the world, and they’re growing at an astounding rate: Shanghai alone is building one hundred of them.“
“Open source,” he adds, “is not just an efficient innovation method— it’s a belief system as powerful as democracy or capitalism for its adherents.“