Pssst! Here’s a secret.
A new, resilient global economy is emerging and the timing couldn’t be better.
How so? It’s amazing luck that a new resilient economy is emerging at the very same time the current economic system is in the process of being reset. Fortunately, this new resilient economy will make it increasingly possible to re-localize economic life and will radically improve the quality, stability and prosperity of its participant’s lives over the long run.
Here’s An Example
A good example of the emerging resilient economy is a venture called the Solar Pocket Factory, founded by two MIT grads. This venture is dedicated to finding new and better ways to manufacture Microsolar cards.
What is Microsolar?
As I mentioned in a previous letter on when to use solar electricity, one of the best uses for solar power (right now — and timing is everything) is to use it to power appliances that are either remote or mobile. A good way to do that is to use small and inexpensive Microsolar cards. It’s a card that you use to power or recharge small devices, lights, etc.
Here’s Shawn Frayne, one of the venture’s founders. He’s holding up a cell phone that is being powered by a Microsolar card:
The founders of this venture (Shawn and Alex) have found a way to make Microsolar panels that are 30% cheaper and can last at least ten years (over five times longer than the panels produced today).
That’s great news. However, what is new and interesting about this venture isn’t that it’s going to produce better Microsolar panels, it’s HOW they are going to do it.
The Solar Pocket Factory
The first big departure from traditional business practice is that this venture isn’t going to outsource the manufacturing of the panels to China or India.
Instead, they are taking advantage of rapidly evolving technology to build an automated factory that can produce Microsolar that’s small, cheap and powerful.
How small? It can sit on a desktop.
How powerful? It can produce as many Microsolar panels as any factory in China (a panel every 15 seconds or 1 million panels a year). Shawn and Alex have spent the last six months working on a prototype of the factory and this is what it looks like:
In short, this factory is being built to be used in a community of nearly any size (we’re going to see many more factories this small in the NEAR future).
Community Funding and Participation
The second departure that’s interesting to us is how they are funding the venture. They cut out the extortionate middle men on Wall Street (and Sand Hill Road) and went directly to the online community for funding by using Kickstarter.
Here’s their offer page on Kickstarter. They are currently raising only $50,000 to finish developing the pocket factory. Don’t be surprised at the cost. As factories shrink in size, the cost to develop them drops too, particularly if the instability of the financial sector can be avoided or marginalized (relegated to simple functions like funds transfer, etc.).
Given their early success, I fully expect them to reach their funding goals.
Hope you find this useful. I’ll keep you up to date on signs of the new economy as it emerges.
Helping You Prosper,
PS: Friends, I’ll keep you up to date on opportunities in this new, resilient economy as it emerges in this letter — as well as how to avoid damage from the failure of the old economy by improving your and your community’s resilience. Resilience is often a balance between an ability to take advantage of opportunities as well as the ability to bounce back from failures.