Recommended Book: Makers: The New Industrial Revolution

Chris Anderson strikes again. His latest book, Makers: The New Industrial Revolution talks about 3-D printing, open source design, and other new tools focuses on how each person can become a creator and and an entrepreneur.

The author focuses on the DIY (Do-it-Yourself) movement! This new Industrial Revolution is where “hardware is the new software.” Regular folks can become ‘makers’ and get their products to potential buyers. This is happening because the web is moving into the manufacturing space enabling individuals to ‘be disruptive by design.’ 3D printers is a great example of this. Once the price drops, individuals can design their own toys, car parts, etc.

Some great points Anderson makes:

  • Like all good social networks, each individual has access to authoring tools that go beyond just commenting. A great example is Roblox, a leading user-generated gaming site that makes players the architects of their own 3D worlds, drawing over one billion page views and 21 million in-game hours each month. [Note: I plan to interview Roblox’ CEO in the coming weeks]
  • All of this an open-source approach to manufacturing which will attract two kinds of people: ‘solution seekers (who wants something done in a particular manner) and ‘solvers’ (who like to solve any kinds of problems).
  • Even in the car industry — which most people think as assembly line oriented — designs can be crowd-sourced as the result of giving them away and not worrying about patents, etc.
  • Anderson mentions it will be easier to leverage the long-tail of talent enabling individuals to follow (and profit from) their passions
  • Products will be in continuous improvement all the time just a like a website, where there can be upgrades to the software running them.

The implication here is that anyone involved in product development or management needs to think about empowering its user base to define and create products. Each individual can be a creator and a developer (unless of course we are talking about building a spaceship and sending it to Mars).