I have been working in factory automation for many years. We had quite original ideas, but the hidden forces that shaped our decisions were technologies and related cost. In the late 1970ies we had already CAD/CAM support and in the mid 1980ies multi-manufacturing and multi-axes CNC machines could produce quite complex finished parts in one set-up. We had robots and automated vehicles, .... All in large scale.
So, when I read about How to Make Stuff the cover story of Wired, Apr-11, I was interested. If you can think it, you can build it. DIY has gone digital.
The maker toolbox: CAD/CAM, CNC machines, 3D printers, Microcontrollers, ... in the personal scale, low cost, but powerful and flexible. Other mass markets have made it possible that you get a solid modeling software for less then EUR 100, ... and milling and lathe machines starting at EUR 2000 and printers that do not remove material but adding one for EUR 1500. And quality management will be quite inline - you get what you designed.
Finished products will also be low-cost and production and usage will not be too risky? Traded online. Ideas shared ...
A software that helps to build your own financial instruments traded in a small, dynamic market, with systemic and local risk management? Finance in a skateboarding culture? Real options on real-product-making for financing small investments, reduce risk by small hedges, made tradable ... ?
Latest tablet computers' computing muscles are strong enough to valuate small portfolios across scenarios and UnRisk uses valuation techniques for not so complex instruments that do a valuation in microseconds (like fourier-cosine methods) ... Technically it was possible to apply tools for the bank practice to make small business finance more dynamic.