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Greetings From Detroit (Reindustrialize 2024)

Greetings From Detroit (Reindustrialize 2024)

Chris Campbell

Posted June 25, 2024

Chris Campbell

Reporting from downtown Detroit… 

The winds of change are blowing, and they're carrying the scent of grease, steel, and opportunity. 

That, at least, is the case being made here in Detroit at the Reindustrialize summit.

“A summit,” the website explains, “convening major stakeholders from tech, manufacturing, government, military, and finance.”

Remember when America could churn out ships, planes, and tanks faster than our enemies could blink?

Alas, those days are long gone. 

America’s sleepwalked into an industrial crisis of epic proportions.

While America’s been busy designing apps and pushing paper, China’s been busy building... well, everything.

Ships, drones, chips, cars - you name it, they make it. And in sums that would make Henry Ford's jaw crack.

But…

This American decline isn't some unstoppable force of nature. It's not a law of physics. It's not a foregone conclusion.

It's a choice. A series of choices, to be exact.

Choices made by shortsighted bureaucrats, complacent executives, and a system that rewards mediocrity.

The good news? According to the speakers, we can make different choices.

Let’s not forget: those cars, chips, ships, and drones were invented in America. They can be made here, too.

Our job here at Paradigm is to be at the tip of the spear of potential trends that will shape the future - trends that few see coming. 

And there are few places that feel tippier this week than Reindustrialize. 

Reindustrialize or Die?

On February 21, 2024, Aaron Slodov, founder of Atomic Industries and organizer of Reindustrialize, published his A Techno-Industrialist Manifesto.

He wrote: “We need to make manufacturing better, cheaper, and faster through technology. It should be as easy to make physical things as it is to make software. The end.” 

For decades, says Slodov, we've been fed a lie - that America's future lies in desk jockeying and pixel pushing. Meanwhile, our factories have rusted, our skills have atrophied, and we've enriched our rivals to the point where they now threaten us in ways unimaginable only 20 years ago.

But Reindustrialize aims to reinvigorate one idea: the pendulum is about to swing back. Hard.

The marriage of cutting-edge technology and good old-fashioned American manufacturing is poised to unleash an economic renaissance that will make the tech boom look like a hiccup.

Forget 4% GDP growth from office drudgery. We're talking about the potential for sustained, robust expansion that comes from actually making things again. Real, tangible products that you can hold in your hand. 

Now, I know what you're thinking. "Manufacturing? Ha! That's so... 20th century."

And yet, as Slodov points out, the most valuable companies in the world - Apple, Tesla, Google, Nvidia - all rely on massive amounts of physical infrastructure and manufacturing capacity.

The "weightless" economy is a myth.

And, though this might sound counterintuitive, there's a secret weapon that could turn the tide: software.

But Slodov isn’t talking about another social media app or a Tamagotchi spinoff. He’s talking about software that supercharges factories.

Software that gives workers superpowers. Software that lets managers see through walls and predict the future (well, almost).

It's called “software-defined production.” And it's already revolutionizing manufacturing for those bold enough to embrace it.

The Clock is Ticking

Imagine a factory where every worker, from the CEO to the newest hire, has instant access to all the information they need.

Where machines talk to each other, spotting problems before they happen. Where a high school graduate can operate complex equipment like a 30-year veteran.

This isn't science fiction.

It's happening right now in the smartest factories around the world. And guess what? Much of this tech is American-made.

The irony is thick enough to make grown men weep.

We have the tools to reclaim our industrial might, but we're letting them gather dust.

Time, says Reindustrialize, to wake up.

Time to dust off that britches-tight spirit and put it to work. We need to slash red tape, rethink broken incentives, and unleash the power of American ingenuity.

The rest of the world isn’t resting. 

They're adopting these technologies as fast as they can, determined to leave us in the dust.

Can America rebuild its industrial base? Can we reclaim our title?

That’s what we’re here to figure out.

Stay tuned. 

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