Wednesday, August 08, 2012

A rose by any other name is the title of a post

Instead of Industrial Giants, Brooklyn Has Niche Factories

Rather, this building, at 1205 Manhattan Avenue, has been sliced and
diced into several dozen small factories, each with a niche clientele.

No it gosh-darn has not been, Mr. Joseph Berger of the New York Times. There is not one single factory in that article.

But that's okay.  He is just a reporter.  Can't be expected to understand the meaning of words.  Heck, he got impressed by a band saw and a guy with a welding rig and thought 'factory'.

Like if he met a guy with a few potted tomato plant on his balcony in Williamsburg.  That's farming, man.  He's ready to go plow a field.  Write with authority on grain farming in the Dakotas.

Manufacturing is making lots of stuff, in a repeatable process.  Computers. Cars.  Tractors, routers, hammers.  It is a really complicated process, getting the gozintas to assemble just right to make the gozouttas.  It is surprisingly hard to do well.

Everything you see on the shelves at Wal-Mart is produced by an organization that has figured out how to be the best in their niche. 

If they didn't figure it out, they're out of business. [1]

Marty Markowitz, the Brooklyn borough president, said Brooklyn “is going back to the future.”

“What is emerging is the artisanal approach rather than the mass
production for millions of items of something,” he said.

What you got there in Brooklyn, with the band saw and the drill press and guys that make one-off photography models is craft.  You're employing craftsmen to make really cool stuff, one at a time.

Nothing wrong with it. It's rewarding as hell, I'm sure, financially and personally.

But you don't make crafts in a factory, and it is not manufacturing.

Names matter.

[1] I could be crabby from gettin up before the rooster to fix a problem
that was costing my company a few thousand dollars per minute in
downtime.  Then again just after the rooster crowed to fix another problem.


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