The Maker Movement is Access

When I’m asked about the maker movement –  I say that it’s much about access. Five internet-driven trends are powering the maker movement:

  1. Tools and materials –
    1. Programmable devices (Arduino, Raspberry Pi, etc)
    2. Digital fabrication (additive 3D – printing – and subtractive – Laser cutting, CNC routers – technologies)
    3. Cheap, free or shared software
    4. Direct to consumer global supply markets (Amazon, Alibaba, etc)
  2. Information
    1. Power to search for ANYTHING
    2. Access to learning: Lynda.com, Kahn Academy, Instructables, Wikipedia
    3. The ability to connect with it.
    4. Global access to almost any book, paper or research
  3. Open Source and Creative Commons
    1. The “Freemium” model (Book: Free, The Future of a Radical Price by Chris Anderson) – Share information or services free along with advertisements or a paid premium level
    2. Broadly shared efforts on creating and improving initiatives
    3. CCC: an IP license based on sharing and attribution rather than patents, trademarks and copyrights.
  4. Funding
    1. Crowdfunding: Large numbers of people contributing small(ish) amounts of money to an idea
    2. Kickstarter, GoFundMe, DonorsChoose
    3. Small investments that say “I believe in this”
    4. Provides a market test for a product or service
  5. Markets
    1. Ability to sell your product/service without initially creating a business or participating in an established distribution supply chain
    2. E-commerce: purchasing products or services via the internet
    3. Ability to reach smaller niche markets and profit – often called  The Long Tail (term popularized by Chris Anderson)

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