Posted on 26-03-2012

As technology becomes increasingly powerful and affordable, more and more people are able to produce professional products, whether they be digital or physical, without the need for external distributors. What are the ramifications of this, and what part can the Internet play in developing one’s own products?

Producing many traditionally complex or professional products has, for a long time, been the exclusive province of larger organisations, or those with access to larger or specialised equipment. Indeed, we have often made a clear and easy distinction as to whether something is ‘homemade’ or ‘bought’. These days, the affordability of facilities and the availability of knowledge required to use them effectively means that these two terms can often be one and the same.

Take, for example, birthday or greeting cards. At one point it would be prohibitively difficult to make one’s own to the standard of those sold in shops. Not only were there barriers in terms of the quality of materials, but also with printing said cards, and even creating a design to equal those in a high street card shop.

In modern times, though, such barriers have been totally removed. All manner of printing materials are available, and even the facilities for printing have been made available to all for even the largest of jobs. Affordable printers that fit in the home can compete with any professional outlet, and graphic design software is straightforward to acquire, and at a relatively reasonable price.

There are similar services available online that publish and distribute books for a small fee. The book can be written in an electronic format, as opposed to the bulky manuscripts of the past, and then submitted by a third party specialising in the service. In this way any one person can publish a novel or instructional reference work, and without all of the paraphernalia associated with the process previously.

Of course, the success of any such venture is a different matter. However, larger companies can continue to make their money by handling the distribution and development platform for the user, and any personal promotion of a product can be left to the creator.

The main point to remember is that the barriers to producing such items are coming down as software and equipment becomes more and more advanced and the companies selling them attempt to reach a larger and larger audience. And as for the knowledge and experience required to do so effectively and to a professional standard, as always, the Internet is there to help, whether the knowledge is acquired through online tutorials, distance learning courses on the subject, or forum-based discourse.

So as this trend continues, we end up seeing the line between homemade and professionally produced products blurred even further. The only thing one need bring to the table is talent and enthusiasm!


  • AstralW
    15-02-2013 20:30:21
    I strongly support small businesses, as I find them more honest and customer-care focused compared to big companies who in general just want to make profit and often mislead customers and deceive them.
  • April Thewlis
    03-01-2013 15:49:06
    customer service is key to a successful business larger companies often forget this but small companies realise that repeat custom and referal is essential to build their product/brand/service.
  • rebecca bath
    09-11-2012 10:19:49
    homegrown companies take more care than bigger companies as they like to take more care in their own customers.
  • Rebecca Galea
    06-04-2012 17:30:44
    Big companies never take care of their customers as much as small, homegrown businesses. Sometimes they seem to forget that customer is key when it comes to a business
  • Vivi Anderson
    31-03-2012 14:37:44
    most definatly, A Homegrown business will take more care than a big company. all too often big companies just think of profit and the consumer suffers. with a homegrown business the owner puts their heart into it and has passion and belief in their products. and through this they can hopefully form a succesful business
  • mike anderson
    29-03-2012 19:36:24
    Whilst its very good to have competition for business it is also good to remember not to have overkill of a product.this is what finishes many business in my opinion.if the market becomes flooded prices become cheaper and companies struggle to keep afloat due to this. its important for any homegrown business to seek the right advice befoe starting a business and also its worth enrolling on a course or courses to gain valuable knowledge
  • Melissa Phillips
    28-03-2012 21:49:34
    I would much rather buy something made by a smalltime business than a large one :) There's just a lot more care behind the products. I hope to do a bit of freelance graphic design at some point when I get my bum in gear :)
  • Vivi Anderson
    26-03-2012 14:37:45
    the problem with many people producing thier own products is that it paves the way for many substandard products to be thrust onto the market. and this is where i think distance learning comes into play as people can gain knowledge via courses and produce quality products which leaves the consumer happy.
  • Mike Anderson
    26-03-2012 14:03:44
    i think its very hard for independants to be a success when competing against large organisations, That said with knowledge their is indeed power. and i believe there is space for all to find success.the fact that anyone can take part in distance learning helps this and helps people make their mark producing products and finding niches in the market

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