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This is my fifth post in a series about mastering the six new assets in the Networked Society. I started with a review of the assets that played a central role when the industrialization started a few hundred years ago, such as capital, factories, and raw material – investment intense, concreate and very physical assets with high barriers access. For most industries at that time, capabilities required heavy investment and took a long time to build and scale. That was the era of mass production.

Looking forward, the focus will shift to flexibility and responsiveness to a constantly changing market.

Last year we did an interview with Bobby Beaver, Co-founder of Zazzle for our Digital Disruptor report, and he explained how the on-demand model is the natural successor to mass production:

For example, every year half of all shoes end up on the sales rack at the end of the season because it’s impossible to predict the style, size, color, etc. That amount of inefficiency has implications. It has implications for the cost of goods; you’re paying far too much for shoes on the whole if half of them are going on sale at the end of the season, because you’re obviously paying for that inefficiency.

It has a big taxing effect on the environment, because of all the excess it creates. And ultimately consumers aren’t getting what they want. They’re only getting what’s available and what’s close to what they want.

Check out the rest of the post at the Networked Society blog >>