The Maker Movement by Mark Hatch

Humans, were made or born to make… You can’t help but agree with Mark Hatch that the feeling of making and sharing something and turning to a friend, colleague or even customer and saying something like “I did this” is infectious. There has been many a time in my past where I have helped to “make” a production and on opening night turned to look at the audience to see their faces, to see their reaction and to share the experience with them.

One of the major reflections and agreements I have with the book, is how developing a product can be done with a considerable smaller budget than one would ordinarily estimate. It takes little money for someone to buy a cheap computer and code an app or design and make a first-article (first physical prototype), so long as you consider your time as free and you are innovating on a disposable income.

“inventors and innovators see the time they spend creating something either as an investment in the future with hopes of a large return on that investment or simply the cost of pursuing their passions.”

I still hold a quote for a prototype of Stamp to be made from 2012. At the time, I could not have afforded to have my application out sourced and made by a software company and as such learnt to make it myself. The quote stands as a reminder to me, of how single minded I have been in my goal to make Stamp. On reflection; if I were to put a price on my time… Would the cost be more? As an innovator I think not. I have learnt how to do it myself and much more. The investment is not only in the future hopes of large return but also in my continual education and growth and I doubt I would be taking a Masters at Falmouth University if I had not done as I had.

I have heard this before, but reading it again within the book, it is interesting that Facebook, Uber, Amazon and AirBnB are software companies that hold no content, no cars and no properties, yet still are some of the riches companies in the world. It is doubtless that one of the reasons for this, is that they have created a seamless delivery platform for the physical objects they supply. Could it also be, that software is the privileged of the disciplines and creators & innovators as a whole are being under represented and valued in the hardware area. Especially when venture capitalists, angel investors and accelerator programs “couldn’t support the development of the physical projects” meaning only “10 to 15 percent of the funding was going to these types of start-ups”.

I find this contradicts how software is viewed within the theatre industry, where I work with ETC. More gravity is put on hardware such as lighting desks and media servers as apposed to the software counterparts. I have a notion that hardware holds more economical and perceived value in business products than software. The reverse is true for software; that software holds more economical and perceived value for consumer products than hardware. I shall research more to find out…

Here is the thing: You must learn to learn. We must learn to learn. We must develop our skills at creating, developing, and nurturing things and services that others value.

The Maker Movement is an inspiring read, which takes you through some incredible success stories and leaves you wanting and needing to make something. The inspiration is timely as I start the third week of App Development Synergies and our assignment is an App Jam.