Doing business in this shifting changing environment has led us to question even the basic order of things. Culturally we pride ourselves on our constant ability to excel in the realm of innovation and intellectual power and as we grab onto words like authenticity and heritage, eventually these words lose their meaning with stories like Apple and Foxconn staring us in the face. As if no one noticed it says on every package, "designed in California, but "assembled" in China." From the NYT to the WSJ, they keep writing about it; this bubbling up of voices saying, "...ok, I understand globalization and the spread and exchange of information, but, wait, tell me again? Why can't we make things here anymore?" I use the term "here" broadly. So as I use the United States as the example, really, these thoughts can be applied to the U.K., France, Italy even China and India. America itself has a great history of manufacturing and our identity is very much tied to that.
Its not just nationalistic pride, but a pride in the ability to make great things, and any company out there should be thinking seriously about what it could mean for their own brand perception in this highly politicized climate in which they must sell. So its not based on a need to turn back the clock or help the disenfranchised, but rather, to become more modern in our approach to making things. Why can't we put that intellectual power towards innovation in manufacturing?
The Little Squares went to Thomas Edison's laboratory to find the origins and document the beauty of American innovation and manufacturing. The score was written and performed by Dan Tepfer and Ben Wendel, a play on Mary Had A Little Lamb, the first words Edison spoke into his new recording invention, changing music and media forever. Thanks Dan and Ben!