On-Demand or Craft Economy?



When I was a kid my dad used to build electronic things. I recall him building an RDF (radio direction finder) for the boat at the dining room table. The product brand was called Heathkit. Like a piece of Ikea furniture, it came in a box with all the pieces and a nice tome of instructions. Solder this capacitor here, wire this framus there. It was early evidence of the craft economy — where craftsmanship is important.

The craft economy today is most easily understood through the lens of craft beer – a better tasting, more complex, more expensive kind of beer. Spawned by the home brewing phenomenon, it has taken a big chunk out of the mass-produced pasteurized brew business. Two days ago I posted a story about “Frozen Vs. Some Assembly Required” Meals – pointing to the craft economy as seen through a convenience lens. This morning I read a post by Sara Lacy at Pando about two start-ups: PlateJoy or Blue Apron. It’s another lesson in business tailored to the craft economy. She framed the business model as “on-demand,” I’ve scooched it into the craft economy. Either way, it’s part of our future. Check it out.