Bit tired of hearing about the internet revolution? You’re not alone. As marvellous and transformative as the power of interconnected living is, it still has its limits. The internet changed the way we deal with information forever. But what about the way we deal with things?
Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of Wired magazine and author of the oft-quoted *The Long Tail* is fascinated with how the democratisation of the internet (a democratisation that means you can read the words I am writing to you right now), has lead to a quiet revolution in the world of manufacturing.
Anderson’s enthusiasm for his subject matter really shines through and the book kicks off with a very personal anecdote about this grandfather, who manufactured an innovative timed sprinkler. Anderson himself peppers the book with various anecdotes about the high level tinkering has been involved with and the various communities and companies that have sprung up around them. This isn’t a journalist taking a casual interest in a passing fad. This is someone who has a pretty serious grip on what he’s talking about.
There are lots of interesting jumps into burgeoning subcultures that are developing around various new technologies. It’s pretty hard to put the book down and not run out and buy a MakerBot or start a small business selling customised knick-knacks.
If you are looking to get into the business of making things, especially for a niche market, then Makers functions almost as a “how to” manual from someone who has tried and succeeded multiple times. Every other sentence seems to start with “of course if I wanted to make that now I would …” with helpful hints and tips casually strewn
However Makers is also fascinating from a historical perspective. Anderson is careful to place modern innovation in an historical context and why the future makes sense in a past filled with spinning jennies and dark satanic mills.
Makers is out now in hardback (how old-fashioned) for £20 from Random House Business Books.