3D Robotics is one of the five manufacturing companies in CNBC's Disrupter50 list; along with Makerbot, Quirky, Shapeways, and Rethink Robotics.
3DR rules because the community it comes from never stops moving forward. Our pick-and-place machines and reflow ovens are nice, but they're available to any company out there. We have some brilliant people on the payroll, but they could make more money elsewhere. They work at 3DR because it's on the front lines of the future, the same can be said for everyone here at DIY.
It's not just 3DR that thrives because of this community, look at all the other companies and individuals who are creating sweet-ass things in the DIY Drones crucible.
Geeks doing cool stuff on their evenings and weekends, that's the real disruptor to the standard model.
When I worked at Raytheon we were required to read the book "The Innovator's Delimma" by Clayton M. Christensen. The book is a very good read as to why corporations rise and fall. Corporations have to reinvent themselves every once in a while or they eventually become victims of disruptive innovation.
Usually corporations start by manufacturing and integrating all of the components in their products. Then they begin to farm out the manufacturing and become just integrators. The end comes when they get overtaken by disruptive innovation which produces a similar product with similar capabilites, but at a cheaper price.
Apple will eventually fall victim to disruptive innovation because they have to up their selling price as they add more bells and whistles that most users don't need to keep their products moving off the shelves. Eventually a good portion of their customers will find other suppliers with a product almost as good, but at a cheaper price.
Hopefully 3DR will continually reinvent itself and have a long and prosperous existence serving the hobby UAV community.
The Open Source Open Hardware community is pretty much the opposite of any standard business model.
For that matter, traditional business can't actually envisage it being successful.
By and large they base their success on sequestering knowledge and invention so that only they can exploit it.
On the other hand, that's a lot of the reason why we are here isn't it.
3DR picked the high road, thank you.
Great comments by all...
I believe it takes all type of organizations...open source is a relatively recent disruptor phenomena and a great one! Although think of where we would be, or not be, if it weren't for Apple defining the smart phone with it's gyros and accelerometers which now enable our flight world. How about university (partially publicly funded) research which provides much basic research? And think about the great public companies which drive great innovations in technology...Boeing driving wing design and digital manufacturing (CAD/CAM), Intel with Mr. Moore, GE who is now placing additive manufacturing (3D printed fuel nozzles) in their jet engine production lines. Plus, people from all these companies spin off hundreds of new small businesses which drive even more innovation.
Open source is a tremendous disruptor and I believe it will continue to push new technologies and prepare young minds to ever greater discoveries, as well as bring like minded people together from all cultures for common causes. It is a big part of a technological/cultural change that will be looked at as equally important as the printing press and the discovery of electricity. And we're right in the thick of it...pretty fun!
Lol, Makerbot IS status quo. Nothing disruptive there.
Bravo to 3DR! You folks are moving up in the Drone Industry. All your competitors better watch out cause 3DR is leading the charge!
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