Yes, it’s a Mark Twain quote, but it resonated with us while we were reviewing some Tim Ferriss material and thinking about what it’s like to be in the CPG sector right now.
If you don’t know who Tim Ferriss is, he’s a best selling author and internationally recognized for his work in lifestyle design, and well known for the experiments he runs on himself and the people who engage with him. He’s a productivity, efficiency, and experience fanatic, and worth looking into.
His thinking and his use of Mark Twain’s quote about finding yourself on the side of majority, is certainly relevant as manufacturers in the CPG sector face pressures that conspire to drive them all in the same direction. Even still, most want to distinguish themselves, compete globally, and embrace new technology and approaches to make things more effectively than they ever have.
Granted, it’s tough out there, with the requirements that come with contract packaging, increasing influence from the investment community in manufacturing processes (think Wall Street), retailer and consumer pressures, and other global market conditions.
So, where are the people who manufacture the goods we consume to turn for a little bit of inspiration? Where might you find content to cause you to pause, reflect, and consider a new approach?
Here are a few of our suggestions:
- We just mentioned Tim Ferriss (twitter: @tferriss), so here’s a nod to The Four Hour Work Week, a compilation of his work in book, blog, audio, and video form and worth exploring if you’re a continuous improvement buff. There are lessons in here for CPG’s, and it’s funny and informative stuff: http://fourhourworkweek.com/introduction/
- You’ve likely been to the Pack World website before (twitter: @packagingworld), but, they’re pumping out some amazing content on the heels of their acquisition of Summit Media, particularly on the internet of things. Find them here: http://www.packworld.com
- This one is out of left field, but, McRock Capital (twitter: @McRockCapital) is a really exciting investment group, with a focus on the industrial internet (they also announced an investment in our friends at Rt Tech this week, http://rttechsoftware.com). Head over to their website for free content on the industrial internet. Check it out: http://www.mcrockcapital.com
- This TED talk will really expand your mind. This is Marco Annunziata (twitter: @marcoannunziata), Chief Economist at General Electric, talking about both the Internet of Things and the Industrial Internet. This really is all about the future of machinery. What the video here: http://www.ted.com/talks/marco_annunziata_welcome_to_the_age_of_the_industrial_internet?language=en