The Assembly Line Goes Digital

04/06/2015 04:54 pm ET | Updated Jun 05, 2015

Source: Wikipedia

In 1913, Henry Ford developed the first assembly line for the production of an entire automobile. The time it took to build the vehicle was reduced from 12 hours to 2.5. The assembly line has changed, but the concept remains the same--specialization leads to efficiency. No longer, will you find production facilities that make a product from start to finish, now companies specialize in parts, repetition and efficiency being the key to their success and dominance in the ever competitive financial market.

Today's products are no longer just physical, but virtual, with many assembly lines following suit. With the rise of the internet people can now collaborate on projects and produce products. Google Docs allows users to collaborate on word, excel, and PowerPoint documents. Amazon's Mechanical Turk allows users to solicit workers or work doing what the company has termed Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs). Skyword and Contently allows freelance writers to advertise their services to publications. Kobra and Codebunk allow programmers across the globe to collaborate on the development of programs and software. Like never before, the internet has allowed for people to not only survive of one specialized skill but thrive.

Amazon's Mechanical Turk is built around the belief that some tasks are better accomplished by human input or require human input. The website allows the postings of what is often menial tasks, with menial compensation, that can be completed any time within specified time constraints. The platform takes advantage of the flexibility in the accomplishment of the work as well as currency disparities. While many citizens of developed countries would balk at the, "opportunity" to make a few cents to translate a page of text, those from less developed countries may find the deal reasonable or even luxurious.

Skyword and Contently allow for freelance writers to display their portfolios in the hopes of acquiring writing assignments from publications. Both companies act both as advertisers and escrow securing the funding for the assignment and delivering it only after verification of its completion. Both companies require that writers pass a screening process before being allowed to display their work on the companies' platforms. This acts as quality control to the publications which the platforms desire to attract for their freelancers.

Kobra and Codebunk allow for collaborative projects amongst programmers. It records changes to code and coordinates it with the acting user. It allows for users to build on programs that already exists or create codes completely from scratch. The reality of programming is that most complex software requires collaboration. For this reason and a familiarity with the web, programming collaborative platforms were one of the first collaborative platforms to emerge.
In todays interconnected world, a team is only a computer away. Do not be burdened by lack of expertise, instead focus on the larger picture and the accession of desired resources.