One of the biggest problems confronting Developed countries and their businesses is that there is a huge backlog of 1.5 billion workers in India and China which can be drawn upon for the next 10-15 years as a source of cheap labor at a fraction of Developed economies labor costs. Since for many goods, the labor costs comprises 35-65% per cent of total manufacturing costs that means manufacturing is going the way of the Dodos in Developed country after Developed country.
But it does not have to be.
And that is one of many design and development ideas that is at the root of Subject To Change. One of the ideas presented is Continuous Customization of a product – so customers remain loyal to those who can do their desired customizations. Another idea is to produce a full spectrum of products and services – chunks of which are produced by the lowest cost Asian producers – and then final assembled for the largest value add to the customer – including support services. Its like Agile Development with Open Source approach to software. And why not – the techniques have been tested in the tough crucible of IT development.
And in fact, that is the appeal of this book. It looks at innovation from a combination of the customers and Systems viewpoints rather than the marketing manipulation/spin of traditional approaches. It is a refreshing read on the nature of better innovation. OReilly Press $25. See the full book review here.