As the Mercury News reported last week, the barrier to entry in electronics manufacturing has dropped. Original Design Manufacturers, or ODM's, are engineering-and-mfg shops in Taiwan that you can contract with, so your firm needs almost no infrastructure or mfg labor of its own. Now companies are "free to focus on what makes a difference to consumers: how the product looks and how it works. ODMs will figure out which components are required to make the vision real, and how to manufacture the finished products." Companies can also "shift products almost instantly, without having to shut down factories or lay off workers." It'll be a new leveling of the playing field, should be interesting to see what changes as a result.