Today’s technological advances and the collaborative nature of the Maker Movement means that makers and shakers have more access to the tools and technology they need to take their ideas from pie-in-the-sky concepts to real, profitable business models. From TechShops and crowdfunding campaigns to online seller platforms (like Zazzle!), makers of all crafts and genres have more opportunity than ever to create, fund and monetize their products. In 2014, $529 million was pledged to Kickstarter projects and by 2020, the 3D printing market is projected to be worth $8 billion.
It’s a movement that’s already revolutionizing the retail world, and many experts say that the maker movement could be well on its way to spurring a new American industrial revolution. Some, such as Chris Anderson, former Wired magazine editor-in-chief and bestselling author of Makers: The New Industrial Revolution, argue that said revolution is already underway.
“In an age of custom-fabricated, do-it-yourself product design and creation, the collective potential of a million garage tinkerers and enthusiasts is about to be unleashed, driving a resurgence of American manufacturing,” the book’s description reads. “A generation of “Makers” using the Web’s innovation model will help drive the next big wave in the global economy, as the new technologies of digital design and rapid prototyping gives everyone the power to invent — creating ‘the long tail of things’.”
Anderson’s not the only one who believes in the power of the maker movement. Jim Tully, analyst with Gartner, the world’s leading IT research and advisory company, projected that by 2018, nearly 50% percent of the “Internet of Things (IoT) solutions” would be provided by startups which are less than three years old.
The maker movement could end up having a huge impact on the future of various industries beyond IT. The manufacturing landscape, for example, may change drastically as more and more small-scale manufacturing and assembly models emerge. Education is being impacted also, with more and more institutions embracing a hands-on approach to learning. As the movement continued to progress, there’s no telling how many other industries will continue to evolve and grow. With 150+ makers in our own network, we’re proud to be part of a movement that’s spurring new ideas, more jobs and more making.