Wellington company on cover of Inc magazine

ponoko on incIt’s always good to see Kiwi businesses doing well. Which is why it’s really cool to have the CEO of a fledgling Wellington-based firm, Ponoko, appear on the cover of Inc Magazine.

I read Inc Magazine regularly, and it’s certainly widely read and respected publication. Probably this one article would do more to boost their image and valuation than all their marketing efforts over the past year combined.

I know at least one Ponoko investor who’s happy.

Ponoko is in the business of letting ordinary folk access a laser cutter via the internet and make whatever you want. Ponoko is so radical it’s difficult to imagine what they do. At first I thought they were in the business of selling laser cutters. But no,

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they actually sell you the process of making whatever you want (choose from their extensive list on the Ponoko website). After some playing around on their website, you have your own product and they will then have the parts cut up and shipped to you. You can then assemble this

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at home. Basically, it’s customise-to-suit IKEA if you want to have something that you can’t buy in shops.

This story illustrates what possibilities lie ahead.

Ponoko has also become a destination for undiscovered designers and inventors who use it to make and market their stuff. There is, for instance, the Bloom Lamp, which was created by a Los Angeles designer named Igor Knezevic and which you can buy for $160 on Ponoko. It’s a bedside lamp that resembles a delicate flower and is made out of 18 precisely cut pieces of plywood encircling a light bulb. Like something you might pick up at a big-box store, the lamp comes in a flat box and must be snapped together by the buyer.

But unlike a store-bought lamp, this one costs Knezevic’s start-up design company, Alienology, exactly nothing until someone pays for it. The lamps are stocked digitally and manufactured on demand. Ponoko cuts the parts and ships them to Knezevic; he inspects them, drops some instructions and a light fixture into the box, and ships the box to the customer. “Right now I’m making a couple hundred dollars here, a couple hundred there,” he says. “But five years from now, people will still be paying a couple hundred bucks, and I won’t have to do anything. That’s revolutionary.”

So if you’re keen to make your own line of necklaces, table-lamps or whatever, give Ponoko a try.

If they have their way, it would mean a radical shift in current supply chains. In the words of CEO David ten Have: “We’re trying to take Made in China and smear it across the globe…We’re designing a factory for the 21st century.”

Check out the Inc Magazine- Ponoko article. Well done guys. This will surely inspire many local businesses to keep going for it.

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About The Author

Kenneth is Director of Euroasia. He is passionate about languages and cultures.

1 Comment

  1. Josh Judkins says:

    Thanks for the write-up, it’s really appreciated!

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