It’s no secret that I have a soft spot for businesses that work with and in the “real world”. My background is in manufacturing and I have a penchant for businesses that take something traditional and put a new spin on it with the aid of smart technology.
Ponoko firmly sits in this camp. Ponoko is “an online marketplace for everyone to click to make real things.” It’s where creators, digital fabricators, materials suppliers and buyers meet to make (almost) anything.
Ponoko, a company firmly rooted in Wellington, New Zealand, kicked off at TechCrunch40 at the end of 2007 with a self-declared vision to reinvent how goods are designed, made and distributed worldwide.
I’ve followed Ponoko reasonably closely ever-since – in part due to the fact that I’ve had a little bit to do with co-founder and CEO Dave Ten-Have who, as well as being stupidly smart, is one of the nicest guys you’ll meet in tech.
Dave has a deep understanding and appreciation of the fact that manufacturing, and hard goods, are “real” in a way that connects with people deeper than something purely ephemeral. He also understands the transformative effect that technology can have on an industry. Put those two together and you have Ponoko – building a marketplace where designers, consumers and fabricators come together.
I was stoked to see that the latest editions of US Inc magazine, not only has a story written about Ponoko, but it has Dave on the front cover, looking as relaxed as one can with a photographer clicking away.
So go buy a copy of Inc, and watch Ponoko – they’re going interesting (and cool) places!