At the recent Overlap retreat I answered the question of “what is the overlap between?” by describing the continued convergence of the equation with the result. The “equation” is the expression of an idea or a product concept -for example, a business model or strategy. The “result” is the product or service that is designed and built to address that strategy. Web-based services, 3D modeling, cheaper manufacturing, faster development cycles, and more are all bringing the result closer and closer to the equation.
Wired magazine recently had a few great quotes that referenced the lower barriers to entry that are enabling everyone (not just large corporations) to go from idea to implementation faster and easier.
“Technological advances in everything from product design software to digital video cameras are breaking down the cost barriers that once separated amateurs from professionals. Hobbyists, part-timers, and dabblers suddenly have a market for their efforts, as smart companies in industries as disparate as pharmaceuticals and television discover ways to tap the latent talent of the crowd.” -The Rise of Crowdsourcing
“In recent years, citizen scientists have discovered comets and supernovas and invented tools for gauging Earth’s magnetic field. Peer-reviewed journals like Nature now welcome papers coauthored by auto-didacts like Forrest Mims III, who studies solar storms and atmospheric conditions at his home observatory in Texas. Personal computers, digital cameras, and other consumer electronic devices are putting more accurate means of recording and measuring phenomena into the hands of home tinkerers than were available in high-end labs just a few years ago.” -Don't Try This at Home