Scott DeFelice, CEO of Oxford Performance Materials, said something in conversation yesterday that I found really prescient. I'm paraphrasing this a bit from my notes, but the feeling is there:
There is a business selling shapes. It's not a new business. Shapeways and MakerBot are doing interesting things with the business model, but it's the same business.
The business of selling *useful* shapes is totally new.
What Scott's saying here rings true to me: When designers are able to create shapes that are functional in and of themselves, the nature of the product - and its value to the end user - changes dramatically.
If I'm selling shapes, I want to be selling useful ones.