What Happens When "Free Shipping" Is Irrelevant?
Consider the following:
- Amazon has “shipped” more than 100 million of Kindle-exlusive books.
- Google is looking to let consumers pay for content on-demand using Google Wallet.
- Got something that can’t be delivered digitally? Ebay and Amazon and are testing “same-day shipping in San Francisco and other markets, respectively.
- Boing Boing offers this shocker,
“OP-1 synthesizer manufacturer Teenage Engineering doesn’t want to ship you replacement knobs and buttons for your instrument. Instead, they’ve uploaded printable shapefiles to Shapeways and have asked their customers to simply download them and print them on a nearby 3D printer as needed.”
We’re near to the age when almost any product can be digitized and downloaded. Have you ever seen the “food replicators” on Star Trek: The Next Generation? ‘Cause they might be in your house before you know it. Even doctors face disintermediation, replaced by their patients’ iPhones and Androids.
Whether you think this is terrifying or the next great opportunity depends entirely on your outlook. But if you want to pretend these changes aren’t coming, the next thing you print on your 3D printer might be this product:
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