In the book Godin proposes that the industrial model that we’ve lived with for some 250 years is drawing to a close. With painful accuracy, he describes the fruitless struggles and frustrations many people face at work in the factories of today – even if they are information worker factories. He believes it must and is going to change:
Our economy has reached a logical conclusion. The race to make average stuff for average people in huge quantities is almost over. We’re hitting an asymptote, a natural ceiling for how cheaply and how fast we can deliver uninspired work.
But what does the new economy look like? Godin sums it up thusly:
Shipping an idea went from taking a month by boat to a few days by plane to overnight by Federal Express to a few minutes by fax to a moment by email to instantaneously by Twitter. Now what? Will it arrive yesterday?
So, what’s left to make – to give – art. What’s left is the generosity and humanity worth paying for.
In other words, the days of commoditization are over and people will increasingly seek uniqueness, because it’s not just about the money or efficiency. 21st century technology will make it possible, including one of the important technologies: 3D printing. Make exactly what you want, anytime.