The big tech platforms get all the attention these days. But the biggest tech news of 2019 may turn out to be the rise of the manufacturing platforms—companies that rewrite the rules of production and product development, and in the process create new opportunities for local manufacturing.
The economic backdrop is the looming threat of an all-out U.S-China trade war, which places a new premium on domestic sourcing. If trade tensions get worse, highly-scaleable manufacturing platforms will make it much easier for companies and entrepreneurs to open up new factories in the United States and plug them right into the platform.
In many ways manufacturing platforms are the logical outgrowth of existing trends towards outsourcing and factoryless production. Manufacturers have been increasingly separating product design and marketing from the actual production process for years.