05 August 2008

Pimp My T ~ Hacker Mods of Ford's Model T!

A month ago, I mentioned Lindsay Brooke's NYTimes piece about the Centennial of the Model T entitled Mr. Ford's T: Mobility With Versatility, spotlighting the hundreds of add-on and specialization kits reinforcing the value of the Model T core-platform. This reminded me of mobile phones as the platform of today. And some people still think the whole Pimp My Ride movement is novel!-) Steve Lohr wrote more recently in NYTimes Ideas & Trends that A Souped-Up Model T May Have Been the First Mash-Up about the role of user innovation, since people who use the product have the best info and motive to mod it for the better. Definitely checkout the online photo slideshow of Model T variations, including these delighters... This outlook is more relevant than ever, and sure enough, several MIT students in my Developmental Entrepreneurship seminar re-invented these same core ideas by proposing turning motor scooters into power generators via an add-on and using bicycles to power laundry washers. This mod theme is certainly alive and well in the D-Labs and International Development Design Summit at MIT!

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