I came across Jan Chipchase’s extraordinary site, called “Future Perfect” last Saturday morning and stayed for almost an hour.
Jan works in the “User Research” group at Nokia Research Center in Japan developing new apps and products based on user preferences and trends.
He talks about the ecosystem that supports the “grey”, informal repair industry in emerging markets. There are even “wholesalers’ (who) offer all the tools required to set up and run a repair business from individual components and circuit board schematics to screwdrivers and software installers.”!
Jan concludes by asking: “What can we learn from informal repair cultures?… are there elements of the repair ecosystem that can be exported to other cultures? Can the same skills be applied to other parts of the value chain? …and what would it take to turn cultures of repair into cultures of innovation?”
All excellent questions – and ones that I am myself trying to find answers to.