Adidas’s recyclable Futurecraft.Loop sneaker took years to execute — Quartz https://t.co/F3mkjw8TYp
Can’t afford surgery? In China, millions chip in half a penny to cover you - The Wall Street Journal https://t.co/KsI3XDTOEW
The World's First Retirement Home for Bomb-Sniffing Dogs https://t.co/r0Dh5vPHwy
Those Nikes — buy, sell or hold? Sneakers are now assets trading like stocks - Los Angeles Times https://t.co/Mccj1egc6Q
RT @axios: The Trump campaign is spending nearly half (44%) of its Facebook ad budget to target users who are over 65 years old, as opposed…
RT @HarrisPoll: Congratulations to @StJude for being named the 2019 Harris Poll Health Non-Profit Brand of the Year. Read more here: https:…
Heard the CBD hype? Our new Quartz-Harris Poll shows 86% of Americans have heard of CBD and one-in-five have tried… https://t.co/QDfXUAgar2
Excited to announce The @HarrisPoll's 2019 Brands of the Year from our 31st annual EquiTrend Study. Check out the t… https://t.co/haWoY8X63h
Personal chefs, shoppers, producers: Interesting trend in luxury where time is more important than money:… https://t.co/ZcjTflTlUH
Biocarbon Engineering's tree-planting drones are flying in Myanmar https://t.co/QGCXioLva8
@angelicahale Hey everybody tune into Angelica's LIVE fundraiser for The National Kidney Foundation… https://t.co/xm9tuJavwA
Forget kibbles: US sales of fresh pet food are soaring https://t.co/qxApoitMyJ
Finance World Faces Chaos As Patagonia Rejects Orders Of Corporate Power Vests https://t.co/U3sS3ibvhD
RT @LeeAnd_: Amazing to hear the @KINDSnacks story from founder @DanielLubetzky. Our partnership with @MarsGlobal goes from strength to str…
10 companies you've never heard of control more than 50 of the biggest restaurant chains in the world https://t.co/RHEgOLTQ2y
Articles
The Rise of Citizen Engineers

The shift from consumption toward production has powered the rise of an entire movement of makers, people who trade ideas for creating their own tools, machines, and technologies, attend giant “Maker Faires” in cities across the country, and devour magazines like Popular Science and the new magazine called Make. Phil Torrone is Make’s online editor-at-large. He works out of an office in New York that also houses Adafruit Industries, which sells a catalog full of DIY kits that help people make useful stuff like an iPad charger for pennies. Torrone and his partner Limor Fried promote what they call a “citizen engineer” approach to life that has attracted 100,000 subscribers for the magazine and even more visitors to their Web sites. Their open-source approach means that every design and invention created in their community is made available free and participants help each other in the way that neighbors once offered advice to their fellow backyard mechanics as they leaned over an engine.

“We went through a couple of dumb decades when people just didn’t know how things worked,” explains Torrone. “We’re trying to show them that it’s not as daunting as you think,” he says. “If you come up with an idea, there are people who will help you make it work.”

Indeed, new technologies like MakerBot, an inexpensive open-source 3D printer, make it possible for all sorts of people to create products on their own. “Hobbyists wind up realizing they can make things for a living,” adds Limor Fried, an engineer who trained at M.I.T. With the help of her Web site, DIY inventors and at-home manufacturers can offer their wares and accept credit card payments. Today their community includes retired engineers from Boeing and NASA who mentor young electrical enthusiasts. “We bring people together,” she says. Indeed, technology and social media forums like these are helping to make generational divides quietly disappear.

Their success has overwhelmed their home/office loft, which is cluttered with laser-cutting machines, transistors, and packing boxes. Soon they plan to give up their bedroom for office space and sleep in their walk-in closet. After all, the spirit of the maker community is to tinker and optimize instead of sleep. And on occasion, tweak the nose of the establishment. Torrone recounts when he and Limor went to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security conference and an analyst presented a vomit-inducing flashlight weapon called “the dazzler.” Filled with pulsating LED lights, it promised to incapacitate an assailant for mere $1 million each. Phil says, “We thought this was a terrible waste of taxpayer money. Plus the guy was kind of creepy.” So they countered with their own open source non-lethal weapons project, featuring what they called “the bedazzler.” The couple released the source code to their community at a price of $250, using Arduino software and a gutted giant flashlight from Sears.

Adafruit Industries is one of fifty companies interviewed for the Wall Street Journal best-seller: Spend Shift: How the Post-Crisis Values Revolution is Changing the Way We Buy, Sell and Live.

Comments