The 3-D Printing Revolution | Harvard Business Review

The Harvard Business Review on the use of 3-D printing and its implications on manufacturing industries.

Industrial 3-D printing is at a tipping point, about to go mainstream in a big way. Most executives and many engineers don’t realize it, but this technology has moved well beyond prototyping, rapid tooling, trinkets, and toys.

How fast will all this happen? For a given business, here’s how fast it can happen: The U.S. hearing aid industry converted to 100% additive manufacturing in less than 500 days, according to one industry CEO, and not one company that stuck to traditional manufacturing methods survived.

500 days.

Netflix Was Supposed to Kill Cable, So Why Is It Begging to Join Cable?

Netflix is in serious talks with Comcast and other pay-TV providers to hop onto the cable bundle as a stand-alone channel. Add it to the list of tech companies—Apple, Google, Microsoft, Intel—who have internally debated trying to “disrupt” the cable TV business, but have wound up working with the cable companies (e.g.: Apple, Xbox) or simply built their own cable equivalent (Google Fiber TV). 

For those who already have cable, Netflix, and an Web TV box, this might change nothing. But it’s a potential landmark moment in the pay-TV wars, precisely because it shows that the battle between Internet and traditional TV isn’t as bloody as some analysts like to pretend—at least, not yet.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]


Disruption by Jessica Shrivington


Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia

What if a microchip could identify your perfect match? What if it could be used against you and the ones you love?

Eight years ago, Mercer Corporation’s M-Bands became mandatory. An evolution of the smartphone, the bracelets promised an easier life. Instead, they have come to control it.

Two years ago, Maggie Stevens watched helplessly as one of the people she loves most was taken from her, shattering her world as she knew it. Now, Maggie is ready. And Quentin Mercer – heir to the M-Corp empire – has become key to Maggie’s plan. But as the pieces of her dangerous design fall into place, could Quentin’s involvement destroy everything she’s fought for? In a world full of broken promises, the ones Maggie must keep could be the most heartbreaking.

Recommended by thebooker

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Disrupting Food

Food and agriculture accounts for about 5.9% of the global GDP.

Global food retail sales alone account for about $4 trillion/year, and food accounts for 15% of what American households spend each year.

It is an industry ripe for disruption.

This is a blog about how every aspect of food is getting disrupted.

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Sensors, networks, machine learning/AI, robotics, 3D printing, synthetic genomics, stem cell science and material science are going to transform how your food is produced, delivered and consumed.

While this arena is going to change dramatically, we forget how much food has changed already over the past two centuries.

In 1790, farm jobs accounted for 90 percent of U.S. jobs, compared to less than 2 percent today.

And while farming jobs have been lost to automation, the global food supply (per capita) has steadily increased.

As we move towards a world of food abundance, let’s look at a few of the fun areas of transformation and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Food Production:

Bioprinting of Meat: Modern Meadow is a Singularity University company that uses bioprinting (tissue engineering and 3D printing) to grow meat (beef, chicken & pork) and leathers in a lab. Their vision is to do this at scale and dramatically reduce the environmental impact of meat production. In 2012, it took 60 billion land animals to feed 7 billion humans. In success, bioprinting of meat (beef, chicken, pork) has huge advantages: 99% less land, 96% less water, 96% fewer greenhouse gases, and 45% less energy.

Genetically Engineered Crops: We will increasingly rely on genetically engineered crops. In 1996 there were 1.7 million hectares of biotech crops in the world; by 2010, the number had jumped to 148 million hectares. This 87-fold increase in hectares makes genetically engineered seeds (GEs) the fastest-adopted crop technology in the history of modern agriculture. After 30 years of research, a great many of our fears about genetically engineered products have been quieted. More than a trillion GE meals have been served, and not a single case of GE-induced illness has turned up.

Vertical Farming: We will grow our food in AI-controlled vertical buildings, rather than on horizontal land. Vertical farms will be immune to weather, so crops can be grown year-round under optimal conditions. One acre of skyscraper floor produces the equivalent of 10 to 20 traditional soil-based acres. Employing clean-room technologies means no pesticides or herbicides, so there’s no agricultural runoff. The fossil fuels now used for plowing, fertilizing, seeding, weeding, harvesting, and delivery are gone as well. On top of all that, we could reforest the old farmland as parkland and slow the loss of biodiversity. Companies like FarmedHere, Green Sense, and groups like MIT’s CityFARM are making strides in the field.

Food Production Closer to Home: The average American foodstuff now travels 1,500 miles before being consumed. As 70 percent of a foodstuff’s final retail price comes from transportation, storage, and handling, these miles add up quickly. As a result of vertical farming and genetic engineering, production will become decentralized and distributed, allowing food to be produced nearer to the location of consumption, and the price of food to plummet.

Plant-Based Meat Alternatives: Beyond Meat and Hampton Creek Foods are companies turning plants into foods that look and taste just like meat and eggs. Hampton Creek’s data scientists are actively weeding out billions of proteins from hundreds of thousands of plants to learn what could form the equivalent of a chicken’s egg. The company is seeking to create the largest plant database in the world.

Food Preparation:

3D Printed Food: Companies like 3D Systems, Natural Machines, Print2Taste, and others are experimenting with 3D printed food. While 3D printing in chocolates and sugars is well underway, we’ll soon see 3D printed starches, proteins (and even new proteins like algae and insects) and spices.

Personalized Nutrition: Our genome, microbiome, and even our blood type determine how we respond to certain foods/nutrients. Imagine if a 3D printed meal was custom produced depending on the amount of exercise you had that day, and your vitamin blood levels. Advanced biosensing will drive your diet and close the loop.

AI-Designed Recipes: IBM’s Watson uses machine learning to construct new recipes and cocktails that no human chef would come up with. This algorithm matches foods based on extensive taste profiles and the chemical makeup of those edibles in their database. We tried a few of Watson’s cocktails at last year’s A360: Hoof-n-Honey Ale (veal stock, grilled beef and IPA), Plum Pancetta Cider (bacon and cider), and Corn in the Coop (old fashioned with chicken).

Food for Fuel, Not Pleasure: For those that opt-in to optimize their consumption (often at the expense of “taste”), we will have mixtures that will provide us with exactly what our bodies need in terms of nutrients, carbohydrates, protein, and more. Companies like Soylent and Ambronite are already doing this. These options will be cheaper and faster than traditional consumption practices – and they will feed many who don’t have access to food at all.

Food Delivery:

Food On-Demand: Press a button and food will be at your doorstep in minutes. PitchBook Data reports that companies involved in delivering groceries and meals in the region attracted $433 million in funding last year. That’s up from about $68 million in 2013 and only about $21 million in 2012. Companies like Uber Fresh, Munchery, and many others deliver high-quality, restaurant and chef-prepared food to your doorstep on demand.

How are you going to capitalize on the changing food economy?

As technology converges, the future will be a tasty, and abundant, one.

Let’s Create a World of Abundance

This is the sort of content and conversations we discuss at my 250-person executive mastermind group called Abundance 360. The program is highly selective and has ~89% of the spots filled. You can apply here.

Share this email with your friends, especially if they are interested in any of the areas outlined above.

We are living toward incredible times where the only constant is change, and the rate of change is increasing.

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P.S. Every weekend I send out a “Tech Blog” like this one. If you want to sign up, go to PeterDiamandis.com and sign up for this and my Abundance blogs.

P.P.S. Please forward this to your best clients, colleagues and friends — especially those who could use some encouragement as they pursue big, bold dreams.

There is an entire generation that has already created more content at 21 than most senior creative people. They art direct on In­stagram, copywrite on Twitter, shoot and edit a video and share it on YouTube. I’d rather have a fast, efficient machine than a slow, grumpy creative person with a massive ego.

David Jones, founder You & Mr. Jones

This idea, that the old ad model (Art Director + Writer, alone against the world) will succumb to curated and crowd sourced creative has a lot of truth to it. rickwebb has written extensively on the subject. 

I’m actually embarrassed that it took me until then to make the connection, particularly given I used to host the startup competition at a technology conference called “TechCrunch Disrupt.” The original Silicon Valley meaning of a disruptive company was one that used its small size to shake up a bigger industry or bloated competitor. Increasingly, though, the conference stage was filled with brash, Millennial entrepreneurs vowing to “Disrupt” real-world laws and regulations in the same way that me stealing your dog is Disrupting the idea of pet ownership. On more than one occasion a judge would ask an entrepreneur “Is this legal?” to which the reply would inevitably come: “Not yet.” The audience would laugh and applaud. What chutzpah! So Disruptive!

The truth is, what Silicon Valley still calls “Disruption” has evolved into something very sinister indeed. Or perhaps “evolved” is the wrong word: The underlying ideology — that all government intervention is bad, that the free market is the only protection the public needs, and that if weaker people get trampled underfoot in the process then, well, fuck ‘em — increasingly recalls one that has been around for decades. Almost seven decades in fact, since Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead” first put her on the radar of every spoiled trust fund brat looking for an excuse to embrace his or her inner asshole.
Kids Don't Care About Cars

Bob Lefsetz:

Just because cars have lasted a century, that does not mean they’re here to stay, that does not mean they’re not ripe for disruption. Cars are the newspapers of today. Something oldsters can’t live without and youngsters can.

The basic premise is you’ve got to go. How you get there is irrelevant. Furthermore, the costs of car ownership…the insurance and the gas, never mind the maintenance, none of them appeal to a youngster who believes all costs should be baked in.

A common mistake is thinking that just because something has been around for a long time, it’s impervious to disruption. If anything, the long incumbency makes it more ripe for disruption. Everything — everything — eventually gets disrupted. 

(And yes, I now hate using the word “disruption” as much as everyone else because it has basically been neutered of meaning and turned into pure marketing. But it’s simply the best term here.)

The Case Against Sharing by Susie Cagle

For the past few years, the “sharing economy” has characterized itself as a revolution: Renting a room on Airbnb or catching an Uber is an act of civil disobedience in the service of a righteous return to human society’s true nature of trust and village-building that will save the planet and our souls. A higher form of enlightened capitalism.

Read on…


A Review of Disruption: An Anthology

Full disclosure: at one point, I was slated to illustrate a short for Disruption with Zach Petit. Ultimately, I had no hand in the final product.

I didn’t think Disruption was going to be very good.

I don’t mean this as a slight to either of the editors. Simply, I think of online zines as a popularity contest, and I didn’t think anybody involved had enough visibility to attract the kind of talent required for a good product.

I was wrong about this.

Disruption is a sci-fi/fantasy anthology, loosely based around events that, well, disrupt the lives of the protagonists. Some shorts are fairly straightforward about this - in one short (Gestos), the whole world loses the ability to speak. Others subvert expectations about setting and character, leaving the reader to infer what the disruption is. While one story (Mechan Folly) relies on well-known sci-fi tropes, most of the shorts can be comfortably described as magical realism. Straight up, if it were me, I’d go ahead and just call it a “magical realism anthology”. No need to beat around the bush. If you’re part of the internet niche aware of this anthology, you probably don’t need your hand held.

Some pieces are weaker than others. Grovers drags up through the climax, though I can’t tell if this is more a fault of the writing or the illustration; Mechan Folly is competent, but neither particularly original or especially easy to follow. Friendship Comic takes a few reads to really get its point across, but I got a chuckle out of its meta-commentary on self-absorbed zine culture. The stars of Disruption are its remaining shorts - all of which are suprisingly strong, like, I’m not kidding you, this is no joke. 

Gestos, Topside, … (Untitled), A Break, and Monday round out the rest of the anthology. These are all super-strong artistically, though I will admit to wishing that (Untitled)’s dialogue was a little less artistic, and a little more legible. Gestos has an absolutely lovely palette. BUT

A Break ended up being my absolute favorite. Clay Lindvall, who both illustrated and wrote the short, managed to cram a lot of history and characterization into six pages, without ever feeling rushed. Pacing? Great. Art? Beautiful. I’d read more about these guys, and that’s not something I expect to say about anything coming out of an anthology. 

Long story short, Disruption is solid. It’s really solid. If you’re into supporting emerging creators, into diversity in representation, into people creating what they want to see in comics, not just talking about it - then drop five bucks on Disruption. Seriously, It’s five bucks.

Money well spent.