I was trying to put this point in history into some context and it dawned on me that Ford’s assembly line, which had a great influence on production and essentially precipitated the industrial revolution, is somewhat of a precursor to what we have today with open APIs and the potential proliferation of microformats.
Except that, with this combination of remixable and repurposeable data, the whole web community stands to benefit. The interesting issue — is that we must build tools that can interact with and leverage this technological coupling. Ford was no dummy: he sold cars to the people who made them, and put the cost at a level that his employees could afford.
Now if we could spread tools that can make use of microformats as well as produce them invisibly to the end users, this whole assembly line thing might actually take off. Yeh, just mebbe.