Since the advent of 3D printing, everybody has been dreaming with their eyes open: we'll be printing medicines right our living room, and body parts will be changed as easy as winter tires on a car. Apart from the Star Trek-esque nature of all of the above, the largest barrier to this is substituting all the people down the production line with machines: each complex product has the research team, the designers, the engineers and so many other positions that involve creativity and other attributes not easily replaceable by machines.
In the Internet age, when connectivity is everywhere and in everything, at least one part of the problem could be solved: no need to have people physically in the same place, if they can efficiently exchange information over the air. Various communication tools enable real-time feedback between teams, and there are even several startups that have made it big by assembling teams that work remotely. But this is only applicable in the software industry - hardware is still rooted in collaboration on-site, and although ideas of valid products are more abundant than in the case of software or services, access to the right people able to put ideas into practice is still not easily possible. This is where Kobratek: Create | Design wants to intervene.
Kobratek: Create | Design is aiming to be a place for anyone with any idea for a product, but without the skills to actually build it. Take "product" as being anything you can imagine, from robot parts to 3D printed prototypes. The final goal, according to the platform's founder Jason Bahre, is creating a resourceful community of trained handymen which can work together in bringing to life any kind of product. For the moment, services provided through it include surface grinding, milling, precision drilling, turning and facing or knurling.
Kobratek brings the sharing economy hype to an interesting area: if we will be able to have access to even more products, and not only services, by being in contact with people which may execute on our custom ideas, then this opens up a new avenue of how we can leverage people and their skills to our benefit.
For idea novelty, we give them 4/5 - this seems a tough way to get access to skills, but the idea is hats-off interesting
For design, we give them 4/5 - the website is simple to use, and we hope additional information will be added
For user experience, N/A - difficult to assess how requests and answers will occur
For potential to scale, we give them 3.5/5 - the potential here is untapped; it's a great idea, but it may be ahead of its time
OVERALL GRADE: 3.83 out of 5. We'll be following closely to see where this is going.