Pebble Technology and its “Watch” — A Start-up Surging with Elasticity

With thousands of others, I just became an official backer on Kickstarter of the Pebble, a watch, really a wearable computing device that interfaces seamlessly, conveniently, and wirelessly  with Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android OS phones.

The Pebble / Pebble Technology

Over the past two months I’ve written twice about wearable computing – coming from mainline firms, Nike (the FuelBand) and Google (Google glasses). Nike and Google are well-established elastic enterprises and benefit from the elasticity that they have built into their companies. Their wearable devices add new levels of engagement and options for  their huge base of customers.

But Pebble Technology, the maker of Pebble, is a startup.  It also has a noteworthy distinction: it raised over $1 Million dollars from supporters on Kickstarter in 28 hours – for a product that is not yet in production.   But a snappy video and a low-key pitch inspired thousands to make an “investment.”  The Pebble folks also smartly provided “investors” with various contribution options, from a minimum of $99 to a high of $10,000, but each level will receive 1 or more Pebble watches when they are produced sometime in the fall of 2012. Continue reading

Benetton As An Original Elastic Enterprise

If you want to understand The Elastic Enterprise over time then take a trip to Italy. Italy is the home of what scholars of the enterprises used to call Industrial Districts (more recently they’ve been using the term ‘clusters’. Benetton, the mid-market clothing company was a prototype elastic enterprise from the Veneto district of Italy.

Veneto or the wider Emilia Romagna area of northern Italy used to be a favoured topic among business researchers. Not only is the food there particularly good, but it is also an area where two unique business arrangements held sway in the 1970s and 1980s. Continue reading