For providing a sense of how manufacturing now often works in the United States, we love the Glif,  a tripod mount & stand for the iPhone 4. It captures a simple, elegant concept for a consumer product developed by New York City designers, a new form of financing, even search-engine optimization and ultimately, contract manufacturing out in the Great Plains. From TheGlif.com:

The Glif was created by Tom Gerhardt and Dan Provost, two designers who operate under the moniker Studio Neat. We live and work in New York City and enjoy making simple things and making things simple. 

The Glif, our first product, represents a new way of approaching consumer products, and it wouldn’t have been possible without a few thousand people who believed in us. Not too long ago the Glif was just an idea with nowhere to go. We knew it was going to be something people might like, but we needed a way to share it with the world. Typically, if you want to make a physical product (especially an electronics accessory) you have to be or sell to a large company, but we didn’t like that idea. We wanted to stay close to the Glif and more importantly, to our customers. So, after much thought, we decided to put the Glif’s fate into the hands of the masses and begin a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money required to make it a reality.

Kickstarter is a platform that connects creators with people who are interested in helping them out. Our contributors on Kickstarter pledged money towards our goal with no guarantee that we would ever be successful.

The manufacturing is contracted out to Falcon Plastics, a customs injection molding company based in Brooking, S.D., a region and process well portrayed in our Cool Stuff Being Made video:

What’s all that you’re seeing? From FalconPlastics.com (our emphasis):

Falcon has designed products for companies such as Toshiba, Berkley, Daktronics, and 3M, using expertise in areas including: Pro-E and Cad Key software, tooling, hotstamping, sonic welding, automation, insert and scientific molding, prototyping, assembly, and much more.

And a great Christmas present!

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The Glif: Designed in New York, Manufactured in South Dakota, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating