The transition to hypereconomics – economics where friction has vanished – has a few years yet to run. The sudden rise of firms like Zaarly and Freelance has given us some sense of what the labour market will soon look like: will we be ‘gigging’, rather than working; our gigs may be small tasks, ephemeral moments when we contribute our particular expertise to an overall project, even if that expertise is simply being in the right place at the right time.
As we move further into a hypereconomy, we need to assemble value chains from the resources available to us. We need to be able to bring this material together with that design expertise, married to a fabrication capability, delivered via the appropriate transportation logistics. When we can do that, every individual will have the same capabilities to fashion an assembly line that Henry Ford once commanded.
A hundred years ago, when Henry Ford established his River Rouge assembly plant, he needed nothing more than iron, sand, coke and raw rubber. From these basic ingredients, he manufactured millions of Model Ts, because River Rouge encompassed a production value chain able to refine, fabricate and assemble every part of the automobile. We are at the threshold of a similar, individual Industrial revolution: as businesses publish their APIs, customers gain unprecedented control over the means of production. A given customer can optimize for price, delivery time, carbon footprint, or any of a countless number of variables, crafting a production value chain which precisely meets their needs.