One of the most exciting things happening right now is the maker movement: everyday people taking big ideas from conceptualisation through to reality.
In the IT world, this is nothing new and I have always felt a bit spoilt by this. Ever since the dawn of the information age people have been realising their hair-brained ideas, often on their own and without external help (or hinderance!). Inherently, programming lacks the constraints of the physical world as there’s very little upfront spend required and no expensive manufacturing involved.
And now this same philosophy is starting to take hold in more traditional industries, aided by the very technology that helped inspire it. They’re calling this new breed of pioneer’s “makers” and they come from all walks of life: from artists to jewellers, to scientists and fashion designers. This exciting DIY movement has seen a resurgence in interest over the past couple of years, with inspiration from Maker Faire (an annual gathering of makers that takes place in multiple cities in the US and the UK started by Dale Dougherty), the proliferation of 3D printers like Ultimaker, electronic prototyping platforms like Arduino and outsourced “making systems” such as Ponoko.
With everyday people taking control of the design, implementation and ultimately the marketing and distribution of products, traditional (i.e. complacent) industry should be more than a little worried about its future in a connected world.
Watch Dale Dougherty and others from Pixar et al talk about the Maker Movement at Google Tech Talks: