Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Modern Day Alchemy

bunnie (of hacking the original Xbox fame) has been posting a series of absolutely fascinating pieces on his blog about working with the manufacturing processes in China.

The video clips really give you a sense of what's happening, and bunnie is an excellent engineer/correspondent. His new company Chumby is ramping manufacturing in China, and he's bringing us along for the ride (before you ask, I've already filed a grievance with their VP Product for getting on the "First 50" list).

If you have any interest in the ghost in the (global economic) machine, definitely worth a read.

There are countless "wow" and "a-ha" moments while reading these posts, but one that really sticks out is his post on what is required to keep all the factory workers fed:
Again, the scale of some food operations is pretty impressive. I heard that Foxconn–the place that makes the iPods and iPhones–consumes 3,000 pigs a day. I saw this truck of pigs going off the exit on the highway toward Foxconn, and it reminded me of that factoid.

From pigs to iPhones! It all happens right here in Shenzhen.

Clearly, modern day alchemy is no longer about transmuting lead into gold, but rather pigs into iPods.

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