Why we're about to face widespread and random shortages (and what to do about it)
Shortages are on the rise, caused by supply-chain glitches, chip manufacturing slowdowns and labor problems.
Remember the early days of the pandemic, when toilet paper and rubbing alcohol were hard to find? I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that was nothing. We're now facing growing shortages of all kinds of products.
You may have already begun to notice. If not, you soon will.
To oversimplify the problem, our industrial, digital economy is built on a fast-moving phalanx of just-in-time supply chains. Technology was and is deployed to minimize inventories and maximize efficiency. The production and delivery of physical products has become increasingly complex and co-dependent.
As a simple example: Remember the early-pandemic flour shortage? People in quarantine started baking bread, creating a demand for flour in larger sacks. The sack industry was taken by surprise, and couldn't meet demand. And so flour became hard to get for awhile. It wasn't the flour, but the sacks. Weird, right?
Unfortunately, it’s going to get a lot weirder.
Mike’s List of Brilliantly Bad Ideas
1. How is flipping garages a video game?
A new video game called Garage Flipper has you spending hours upon end buying, restoring and selling stand-alone garages, even as your own garage remains filthy, dilapidated and unkempt because you're too busy playing video games. It's all the work and time of actual flipping, but without the money!
2. Finally, a wristwatch made out of garbage!
Vollebak (in partnership with the Wallpaper* Re-Made project) just introduced a trashy new accessory: A watch made out of garbage. Specifically, the watch is made entirely from discarded electronics parts — not just materials, parts! The watches are built with used motherboards, TV wiring and smartphone chips.
3. Carmaker wants to put the dashboard on the steering wheel!
Hyundai filed a patent for a steering wheel design that’s got a huge screen on it where dashboard components like RPMs and current speed are displayed. Is the screen upside down during turns? Do I need my reading glasses to see my speed? The carmaker also revealed its penchant for steering wheel screens in its Mint Concept car.
Mike’s List of Shameless Self Promotions
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CURRENT LOCATION: Silicon Valley, California