It was a time when new products were invented, new ways of doing things required new products and the risk takers of the era stepped up and brought their new products to the marketplace. The outdoor smoke house was brought inside through the oven, but not the old brick oven, the new and improved cast iron oven on which you could boil your stew using the same heat as the oven. Truly revolutionary at the time.
It was a golden age. Until…
The invention of the assembly line. First used to manufacture rifles in Massachusetts this is the production method that was mastered by Henry Ford who made vast quantities of automobiles available at affordable prices to the general public. It also created huge factories that brought people out of their homes and practically destroyed entrepreneurship in America. The world wanted inexpensive products and the economies of scale of block long factories delivered them. The home-based manufacturer was priced out of the market.
With this vast quantity of goods came another major change, goods were now shipped, primarily by train, all over the country. Your new gas oven and stove could be made in Ohio even though you lived in Mississippi. Martha, come look at this thing, it says “Assembled in Clyde, Ohio. I wonder if my cousin Clyde knows that there’s a town in Ohio named after him?”
How the world changes…
As they say, the only thing that doesn’t change is change. The next milestone was the “conglomerate” this was the phenomenon of the 60’s and 70’s where profitable companies were gobbled up by corporations that did not have any experience in the industry they just began competing in by acquiring a company that made something they did not know how to make. The biggest winners in this game were the investment bankers who put together the billion dollar financing packages and the Wall Street insiders who heard every rumor on the street. With the economies of scale that conglomerates like United Technologies had, overhead costs were sliced even thinner cutting retail prices even more. The search was on for even less expensive manufacturing to match the really thin overhead costs.
You probably thought that everything that could be invented had been invented, as Congress did in the 1870’s when they closed the patent office…
And then, Steve Jobs and his buddies decided that you, too, should be a computer wizard. In a matter of a few years, the invention of the capacitor led to the microchip which led to that computer you’re staring at right now. Holy motherboard, it’s already been over thirty years since the Apple computer turned our world upside down.
The one thing that every change from the assembly line to the Apple computer had in common was the terrifying change in employment. First came all the jobs lost in home-based manufacturing, because one person could do as much as three or four on the assembly line, to the jobs lost due to computerization. I said the only thing that doesn’t change is change, I was incorrect, the only thing that doesn’t change is how we must adapt to the new economy, whatever it morphs into, in order to maintain our comfortable lifestyle. We are in the midst of another change.
How quickly will you adapt, and grow, and succeed in the new economy. Oh yes, what is the “new economy?”
We are entering the new age of entrepreneurship, this is the global entrepreneurship age. People all over the world will create products that we want and need with a major new shift in marketing and distribution. A good example is a company called Shari’s Berries. These are delicious, hand-dipped strawberries that can be delivered to your home, or maybe your sweetheart’s home, as a luscious treat. Now, I have no affiliation with this company but I have made a purchase from this new global entrepreneur, and overnight, temperature-controlled shipping has made this product possible. The new economy has made the creation of the product profitable.