Products? Easy.

Brian’s lucid moments are as entertaining as his (um) other moments. He’s recently written a column about product development in our post-everything world:

The fact is, even in the present economic conditions, it?s never been easier to bring an idea to market.

Rem Koolhaas recently said that formal architectural training was a waste of time. If you can imagine a building, Ove Arup can build it. If you have a better idea for a laptop or flat panel television, OEM manufacturers can spec and build it for you. Need distribution? Allow me to introduce you to the web, and an account with DHL (who?ll even do your warehousing).

You don?t even need to be Pepsi to take on Coke any more. My brother in law, for God?s sake, is taking on Coca Cola with a new no-caffeine energy drink. It?s been formulated by a company in Germany to his specifications. It?s packaged and distributed by third parties. He runs the whole operation out of his spare room.

The point he is making is that the actual product design isn’t an issue. The hard part is the concept. His column is titled Ad agencies: Why aren’t you rich?, and he has a point. If agencies are so good at coming up with brands, and branding is the tough bit, why don’t they stop slaving for marketing drones in Slough and just create brands themselves (and, of course, get rich in the process)?

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