7 Reasons Why The Makers Movement Is Revolutionary
Chris Anderson has been watching trends in innovation for years while working with “The Economist” and serving as editor for “Wired” magazine. In his new book “Makers: The New Industrial Revolution”, he claims that we have experienced three industrial revolutions. The first involved physical manufacturing. Through the power of machines and automation, innovative ideas can become physical products at large scale. The car started as an idea. Manufacturing helped make the car available to the community. He observes that the second revolution is the digital revolution. Because of the internet, the best innovative thoughts, ideas, and education are now available to us in our smart phones and our browsers.
The Makers and DIY Movements are combining the power of the first and second industrial revolutions. Here are 7 reasons that young entrepreneurs should consider watching trends related to the makers movement. The world needs your creativity! The good news is that you’re not alone!
Manufacturing on your desktop: Chris argues that we are now in the third industrial revolution. Why? The world of manufacturing and the awesomeness of digital have collided. 3D Printers, CNC machines and other related tools enable hackers to test and prototype ideas for physical products. Lower cost products like the Arduino/Rasberry pi’s enable makers to rapidly prototype electronics in our homes, offices, and schools.
Improve upon existing digital designs: If you’re interested in becoming a maker of toys or art, you can use http://www.thingiverse.com/ to discover existing 3D models and designs for inspiration or re-mixing. If you’re interested in making flying drones, check out http://diydrones.com/ connecting you with a community of drone loving makers. These communities openly share and promote designs for new experimental DIY aircraft. Want to learn how to make the next Facebook.com or social network? The programming and database technology to help you start is available for free. In many cases, the education resources are also freely available.
Internet helps you to scale: Let’s say you’ve designed a new piece of art or jewelry using a personal 3D printing technology. You are ready to mass produce and sell this product on ebay ,etsy or your personal website. You can now use websites like Shapeways.com or others to transform your digital design into a large scale production.
3D printers help product designers prototype and sell ideas: In discussing the Pebble watch, Chris Anderson argues that digital fabrication technology helped Pebble to become successful. The act of prototyping their watch enabled them to share their innovative concept for a watch that integrates with your IPhone with early adopters on Kickstarter.com. Early adopters loving the prototype rewarded the innovators with over a 10 million dollars in backing funds. The story of the Pebble watch helps to highlight the power of passionately improving a product idea and asking the community to help fund your dream.
Demand for physical goods will always be high: The demand for digital apps and web services is high. We live in a material world. (“And I a material girl/boy…”) The community is excited to discover your art that exists in the physical world. Entrepreneurs with ideas in medicine or home automation will need help to prototype their electronics and their revolutionary products. The demand for innovations in our physical world will always be the largest market.
Prototyped and shared is better: The ethos and culture of the makers movement is equally as important. Many inspirations and innovations are happening through the act of dreaming, designing, making, validating, and repeating the process. Sites like YouTube help us to share our innovations and rapidly get feedback from the community.
Learning Resources are inexpensive: Want to learn more about this revolution? Check out Instructables.com, an awesome site for exploring DIY products and detailed procedures for making them. We have collect together additional learning resources on our design page.
Check out this great interview with Chris Anderson on an interview with the Economist. The motivations shared in this post were taken from this interview. I hope you enjoy it!
Welcome to the maker and DIY revolution!! As an entrepreneur, what is a problem that you care about? What are you passionate about? What would you make?
Photo taken from http://www.flickr.com/photos/cassidy/506390272/