Saturday, July 01, 2006

collected: assorted at an airport

There is a curious kind of calm that overcomes me when I start a "vacation" - I know it won't last, that in the blink of an eye (mine) I'll be back in the s@$!, but for that one fleeting moment, I'm able to get a taste of what it must feel like to be at peace. It's the hollow between big waves, that instant when your toes settle back down to the sand before the next wave hits.

I will be dropping in observations and other oddmentia that have been piling up, but let's start with one that's been puzzling me of late.

The world of modern slotcar racing is dominated by four firms, primary among them Scalextric and Carrera. They make the familiar modular track and scale cars (1/24 and 1/32 being the most popular).

These individual track segments are not cheap, running into $20 and up each.

The hobby is not as popular in the States as it is in Europe, especially Spain, BTW.

With these price points in mind I was surprised to discover a vendor who decided to go counter to the prevailing track-segment modularity to sell entire table segment modules of track that can be assembled. Slotfire ( is turning an industry on its head by challenging one of that industry's fundamental assumptions: that tracks are assembled from individual track units.

It's a cool concept. Expensive, but very cool. Is is just for the high-end? Or will it begin the process of redefining a market?

I like to see disruptive product concepts like this that challenge our assumptions of what is normal and expected, opening our eyes to radical new possibilities.

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