Makers, doers, changers

I’ve finished reading the book “Makers: The new industrial revolution” by Chris Anderson a while ago, but only now I got around to share a few notes.

The biggest take away for me is the spirit that drives the maker communities, the enthusiasm to co-create and to share knowledge and experience. The result is never “final”, but always in a stage of becoming something more, something better.

Hopefully this spirit will spread out even more.

A few notes:

– about the community

“We are all Makers. We are born Makers (just watch a child’s fascination with drawing, blocks, Lego, or crafts), and many of us retain that love in our hobbies and passions.”

“Network effects: when you connect people and ideas, they grow”.

“What makes the community work is homophily (“love of the same”), the tendency for people to associate and bond with others like themselves in a network.”

“On the product-development side, the Maker Movement tilts the balance toward the cultures with the best innovation model, not the cheapest labor. Societies that have embraced “co-creation,” or community-based development, win.”

– the new industrial revolution 

“The beauty of the Web is that it democratized the tools both of invention and of production. Anyone with an idea for a service can turn it into a product with some software code (these days it hardly even requires much programming skill, and what you need you can learn online)—no patent required. Then, with a keystroke, you can “ship it” to a global market of billions of people.”

“What started as a cultural shift—a fascination with new digital prototyping tools and a desire to extend the online phenomenon into real-world impact—is now starting to become an economic shift, too.”

“The Maker Movement is beginning to change the face of industry, as entrepreneurial instincts kick in and hobbies become small companies.”

“First, they’re using digital tools, designing onscreen, and increasingly outputting to desktop fabrication machines. Second, they’re the Web generation, so they instinctively share their creations online. By simply bringing the Web’s culture and collaboration to the process of making, they’re combining to build something on a scale we’ve never seen from DIY before.”

“If Karl Marx were here today, his jaw would be on the floor. Talk about “controlling the tools of production”: you (you!) can now set factories into motion with a mouse click. The distinction between amateur and entrepreneur has been reduced to a software option.”

“…as The Lean Startup author Eric Reis puts it, Marx got it wrong: “It’s not about ownership of the means of production, anymore. It’s about rentership of the means of production.”

“Whether they think of it this way or not, the most successful Makers are also the best marketers. They’re constantly blogging about their progress, and tweeting, too. They take pictures and videos of every milestone, and post those. Their excitement in making is infectious, and builds excitement and anticipation for the products they ultimately release.”

Kickstarter turns customers into a community. By backing a project, you’re doing more than pre-buying a product. You’re also betting on a team, and in turn they update you with progress reports and respond to suggestions in comments and discussion forums during the product’s genesis. This encourages a sense of participation in the project and turns backers into word-of-mouth evangelists, which helps projects go viral.”

“No doubt there will be some disasters ahead. Most likely are the naïve inventors with a good idea but absolutely no competence in manufacturing who discover that they have badly underpriced their product and are unable to make it for the promised cost. Teams may fall apart, personal issues may arise, and some people will just flake out. And then, inevitably, there will be fraudsters. But so far the social support and accountability that come with transparency have prevented the usual catastrophes. And the service is growing at an astounding rate.”

“The Web model really will hold sway: a fully distributed digital marketplace where good ideas can come from anywhere and take the world by storm.”

– a Thomas Friedman reference

“As New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman puts it, “It used to be that only cheap foreign manual labor was easily available; now cheap foreign genius is easily available.” (in A theory of everything – sort of)

“Now we are flattening it [the world] again, but along a different dimension. Thanks to automation, labor costs are a small and shrinking fraction of the cost of making something.”


One thought on “Makers, doers, changers

  1. Pingback: If I hear “I don’t know how you do it” one more time …. | Been ThINKing

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