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April 18, 2010 AT 2:07 pm

Just Doing It

Op-Ed Columnist – Just Doing It – By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN…

This kind of very lean start-up, where the principals are rarely in the same office at the same time, and which takes advantage of all the tools of the flat world — teleconferencing, e-mail, the Internet and faxes — to access the best expertise and low-cost, high-quality manufacturing anywhere, is the latest in venture investing. You’ve heard of cloud computing. I call this “cloud manufacturing.”

“In the aftermath of the banking crisis, access to public markets is off-limits to start-ups,” explained Hogg, so start-ups now have to be “much leaner, much more capital-efficient, much smarter in accessing worldwide talent and quicker to market in order to do more with less.” He added, “$20 million is the new $100 million.”

And technology is making this all possible. Chris Anderson of Wired Magazine pointed this out in a smart essay in February’s issue, entitled “Atoms Are the New Bits.”

“‘Three guys with laptops’ used to describe a Web startup,’ ” he wrote. “Now it describes a hardware company, too” thanks to “the availability of common platforms, easy-to-use tools, Web-based collaboration, and Internet distribution. … Global supply chains have become scale-free, able to serve the small as well as the large, the garage inventor and Sony.”

New is the new new.

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  1. Friedman is one of the few journalists I always make an effort to read whenever he puts a book out. Smart guy, with his head on shoulders and feet firmly on the ground, and a rare voice of moderation when most news media moves further and further to the edges.

  2. I would hope that “guys” is meant in the sense of people, not just males.

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