This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

The Digital Skeptic: Now 'Freenomics' Grinds Manufacturing Into Dust

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Greg Pilling knows how he'll make millions in manufacturing: Take his company's best kept secrets and give them away. For free.

"I am going to attempt to use top-flight, on-demand crowdsourcing," Pilling wrote me about his new line of smartphone and tablet cases. "In exchange I will share the collective effort. And in turn, the whole world will get the knowledge of the thing."

The Tucson, Ariz.-based "inventor type" is the founder of Sascase, an on-demand smartphone and tablet peripheral maker. But that's just a few of the more than 100 products Pilling has developed. He was a top salesman for pricey tool maker Snap-on (SNA). He is also owner of a self-funded, 10-person truck lift manufacturing firm that has built 100,000 such kits over the past eight years, with reach into 1,700 retail outlets in North America.

Talking to Pilling is like taking a crash course in cutting-edge, 21st century manufacturing theory.

He's as comfortable with SKU spreads as he is quoting Chris Anderson's The Long Tail or Makers: The New Industrial Revolution. He relies on sophisticated fab tools such as laser cutters and on-demand design systems to offer a vast line of products. But he builds when only he gets an order.

"Our Asian-made competitors can't match this, since most factories want a minimum order of 500 items," he said. "We would just build one if that was all that was needed."

So why is this bright, nimble industrialist giving away the intellectual farm?

"Since being copied is a near-certainty, going open source is a method to try to control the process of being copied," he explained.

Here we go again, investors. Just as big-time manufacturers such as Cummins (CMI), Caterpillar (CAT), E.I. du Pont de Nemours (DD), Joy Global (JOY) and Deere (DE) report overall positive news, it looks like the same no-money, "give it away and hope to make it up on the volume" information age economics are leaking into manufacturing.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $130.28 0.47%
FB $81.53 -1.07%
GOOG $565.06 3.30%
TSLA $218.42 -0.08%
YHOO $44.52 1.89%

Markets

DOW 18,080.14 +21.45 0.12%
S&P 500 2,117.69 +4.76 0.23%
NASDAQ 5,092.0850 +36.0220 0.71%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs