Powerful consumers? Not always.
The ever-provocative Seth Godin wrote this about the power of the producer (i.e. the creator, manufacturer, provider to the consumer):
Producers and consumers
In the short run, it’s more fun to be a consumer. It sure seems like consumers have power. The customer is always right, of course. The consumer can walk away and shop somewhere else.
In the long run, though, the smart producer wins, because the consumer comes to forget how to produce. As producers consolidate (and they often do) they are the ones who ultimately set the agenda.
Producers do best when they serve the market, but they also have the power to lead the market.
The more you produce and the more needs you meet, the more freedom you earn.
And it reminds me of a TED Talk by Thomas Thwaites on “How I Built a Toaster From Scratch”. We live in a world where almost nothing we use, touch, interact with, is something we could actually make ourselves. As powerful as we are as a society, we are pretty incompetent as individuals. We need the producers, and each other.