I read a story this morning about James Dyson, the vacuum guy, donating $8,000,000 to a university for the construction of a building for product innovation. It was a reminder that the world will not be sustained by software and that real engineering of hardware is profitable. He is quoted in the article saying, “The current fixation with digital is misplaced. Long-term it is unlikely to generate jobs, growth, and exports. Instead, we need to encourage more young engineers to commercialize their technologies.” (Wilson, 2012)
It got me considering manufacturing in America and the economy and how they are related. It has been said that the decline in the US economy started with the decline in manufacturing. Linkages have been made to the fact that jobs and production were shipped overseas to other foreign markets where employee costs were dramatically reduced.
We no longer build much as a country. I am not advocating for a focus on manufacturing or any one industry because one thing I know from my own work experience is that if you are not diversified in your revenues than you are risking quick downfalls. Our economy is not diversified. A solid mix of manufacturing, agriculture, technology, financial markets, education and tax rates are all equally necessary. All of this supports the idea that to invest in americans and in innovation in multiple areas is a good idea for the economy.
Though, I like the idea that America builds things. Bring back some balance to the Wall Street America. Today I am asking myself what can I do as a citizen to make sure this is an America that builds things like Dyson is doing in the UK?
Marc Wilson. Why James Dyson Invested $8,000,000 In A Student Incubator. Co.Design by Fast Company. Accessed October 5, 2012.