More iPod accessories

iPod accessories has become a huge marketplace that has created hundreds of millions of dollars in sales and an entirely new industry, just in the past three years. It's another example of why it is so important to adopt a futures-oriented approach to economic development planning. No one could have predicted the rapid emergence of an entirely new market five years ago. Trying to plan economic development growth by looking only at what has worked in the past necessarily limits a region's ability to capitalize on Knowledge Economy opportunities.

Simple iPod accessories like protective sleeves and cases have resulted in sales of more than a million dollars a month for small startups. Many of the iPod accessories are manufactured in the U.S., and virtually all are designed in the U.S. Even without the manufacturing jobs, the iPod accessories market has created new companies and lots of new sales, marketing, engineering, and customer service jobs.

Are there iPod accessory companies in your region? What about other kinds of new market firms? Do you have a plan to find out?

Most luxury cars are now an iPod "accessory" because the audio systems are being designed to plug an iPod right into the stereo. And a New Zealand firm will sell you an iPod-ready bed. If you think that sounds silly, you probably need to rethink your economic development strategy--I think the region where those beds are being made is quite happy to have the new jobs being created. As I wrote recently, step one in a revitalized economic development plan may be to buy every community leader an iPod.

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