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Spin that wheel Spike

Last week's Meetup felt like standing around someone's car, peering under the bonnet, talking about the latest modifications.

Which is exactly what a Meetup should be.

The Wellington economy is like a flywheel. Left alone it will keep on keeping on for years, maybe decades. Like the energy in a flywheel, money gets passed from hand to hand, from the bureaucrat to the hairdresser to the lawnmowing guy to the lawyer. But, like friction slowing a flywheel, the money-go-round slowly runs down.

Technology Valley is all about adding fresh wealth to the money-go-round. We have to add enough to overcome friction, plus a little more to make it gradually speed up, so we all get richer at least as fast as everyone else in the world.

The flywheel metaphor captures a very important aspect of Technology Valley. Wealth creation is very much a minority activity. Most people are quite happy to ride around the money go round, without ever thinking about the wealth creators, the people who boost economic growth and make sure the money-go-round keeps accelerating. They are quite happy to exploit benefits such as ever-increasing purchasing power. But they never think about the manufacturers who make it happen. Some will even put barriers in our way, blissfully ignorant that they're short-changing their own future.

Real wealth creators can't resist looking under the bonnet. That's what happened last week, when Leon Toorenburg introduced us to Spike. Everybody wanted to understand this fascinating new product on their own terms. So there we were. Engineers, technicians, patent attorneys, company owners, accountants, even a few public servants, all standing around talking about a smartphone with a laser range-finder, a 3D magnetometer, and some very smart software.

Meetups are supposed to expand our horizons. It's not like going down to the constructor car club and looking under a few sportscar hoods. One month we'll be looking under the hood of a supercharged V8; Next Meetup will have us playing with some "WTF!!" new software application. We need to get to know everyone in the community, and the best way to do that is to get to know their product. That's what fires their passion. That's what speeds up the flywheel.

Last week it was Spike: The Smart Phone accessory that says: I Know Everything.


Kevin Cudby is a Wellington-based Freelance Writer and Parametric Modelling Consultant who loves writing about cool new technology. Email him to discuss your requirements: hello {a}

Spin that wheel Spike

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