The Maker Movement. The people who create, build, design, tinker, modify, hack, invent, or simply make something. That’s who this new blog is for and about because they are moving the economy.
Many people talk about how small business, startups, entrepreneurs are the true economy, or at least, the forces that will move the US and World economies back from the brink. I believe that these new businesses will help fix our ailing economy.
I’m motivated and moved by the idea, the belief – that the people who invent and build and make things have the power to change the world. People who “remix” something or hack a better way. In this new blog, I’ll be profiling the people and inventions that can change the world or at least a small piece of it. I doubt that I would have been able to interview Steve Jobs for this new blog, but his speech from 2005 at the Stanford Commencement moved me, as it did many others. This quote captures the spirit of this Maker Movement.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs
I’ve been exploring the movement and trend for a while, but here are a few of my recent favorites:
- Tim Carmody at Wired wrote a piece entitled: Big DIY: The Year the Maker Movement Broke (as in crossed the chasm or moved beyond the tipping point). He cites a Google+ post from Chris Anderson, Editor in Chief at Wired which lists the various acquisitions and strategic moves of companies in the “personal manufacturing” industry, which is essentially a maker trend.
- PBS did an interview piece Can the DIY Movement Fix a Crisis in U.S. Science Education? that asked what it will take to bring the U.S. back to an inventor-powerhouse (my summary, not theirs). They interviewed President Obama about science education, Make magazine founder, Dale Dougherty, and a host of other luminaries. The trend is clear – there is a movement well underway.
- Last (at least in this post), Anil Dash, entrepreneur and founder of several companies, does an interview discussing the Maker Movement trend with Dale Dougherty: Recognizing the Maker Movement.
While each of these is not, in and of themselves, proof of a movement, they do point to a growing awareness and appreciation of do-it-yourself (DIY) types. And with that spirit of DIY, many powerful and ground-breaking companies were formed 100+ years ago and continue to form today.
After I put the word out about this blog, I received over 200 emails from makers of all types. This new conversation is expanding my definition of a maker and I hope this blog will help us uncover and discover the talent in individual and teams doing amazing things. So, I invite you to contact me and share the stories of the makers, DIYers, inventors, and craftspeople that are changing our economy and our lives.
–This post originally appeared on Forbes in October 2011 and has been updated here.