When Bruce Sterling spots something and considers it worthy of note, you can assume he knows what he’s on about – especially if it’s connected to his spimes idea.
But it doesn’t take a genius to see the huge disruptive potential of the "personal manufacturing network" business model behind Ponoko. I’ll simply quote their site, because I couldn’t put it more succinctly than this:
"Ponoko is the world’s first personal manufacturing platform. It’s the online space for a community of creators and consumers to use a global network of digital manufacturing hardware to co-create, make and trade individualized product ideas on demand.
The ponoko.com marketplace connects creators, consumers, digital manufacturing hardware and service providers to promote, make and trade products on Ponoko and social networking websites."
Poke around the site, and think about it. One of the few things I’ve seen recently where the tired cliche "this could change everything" really does apply.