Just a few years ago I read a piece in The Economist talking about a new technology called 3D printing. It seemed like something from science fiction. From a drawing or photograph, a printer can actually build up layers of material to create a copy of the original. About 18 months ago, I saw that 3D printing machines could actually be purchased and the price was not astronomical. I became very excited and talked to a friend of mind about forming a new business partnership. We look at ways the new technology could perhaps be harnessed. Then we heard that Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore has a machine. In fact, it turned out they already had two and were using it to create models. Further exploration revealed there were already commercial firms in Singapore offering 3D printing and companies were offering similar services over the Internet. It became obvious we had missed the wave.

In today’s world, you cannot afford to hesitate. Technology is moving too fast. Yet you also run a risk of investing in something that soon becomes irrelevant.

This does not just apply to the entrepreneur for the management in many companies are eyeing the changes with concern and perplexment. Advertising agencies and brand consultants must be attuned to these changes in technology and social behaviour and help to guide clients in the development of their brand and products.

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