On September 12, 2013 Harvard Club of Silicon Valley organized an event focused on the rise of the “Maker” movement. The intimate gathering, titled “Meet Your ‘Maker’: The New Movement for Urban, Micro, & Craft Production” took place at the industrial chic Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco.Essentially, expansion of manufacturing technologies coupled with rise of conscious consumerism is creating new markets for the democratization of the “making of” things.Tempting notions of a “de-industrial” revolution, or “new industrial revolution” as Chris Anderson explains in his book Makers, the movement suggests alternatives to centralized locales for manufacturing. Instead, the movement highlights pathways of success for entrepreneurs focusing on using high tech and high touch to create strong brands, loyal fans, and innovative products.

Maker Event by Harvard Club SV

The Panel

The panel included:

The Maker Movement, Why Now?

Panelists noted a few factors that contribute to the growth of the maker movement, including:
  • Lower barriers to entry. New tools such as 3D printing and access to industrial manufacturing tools empower experimentation, which in turn drives innovation.
  • New toys. Facilities such as TechShop and the rise of micro-manufacturing creates new possibilities in decentralizing manufacturing.
  • Making v. manufacturing mindset. Distinguishing makers by their personal stories, artisan craftsmanship, and the rise of events such as SFMade (see also SJMade, Palo Alto Made, etc.) is creating a viable market for makers in an ecosystem generally directed by manufacturers.
This is a fascinating field—both in the enterprise sense as well as in terms of law and policy that is emerging to facilitate the maker movement. Stay tuned as we explore various aspects of the maker movement.

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