The Internet age is still thriving and indeed evolving. Where tech-driven industries are concerned, the depths and impact of advances such as Internet of Things (IoT), wearables, big data, cyber-security and biotech have barely started to scratch the surface of their potential.
Yet, while our tech-driven society shows no signs of slowing down, there is another revolution taking shape and coming “above the fold” in America – the “Maker Movement.” Branded under the notion of taking America back to its roots, the Maker Movement is driven by millions of engineers, hobbyists, entrepreneurs and innovators, who are combining the advantages of modern day technology and convenience while simultaneously restoring a culture of innovation and craftsmanship that defined America’s Industrial Revolution. This culture and mindset encourages free-form creativity and technology innovation – inspiring people to make new and interesting digital and physical things.
Maker Movement by the Numbers
The Maker Movement has spawned 200-plus hacker spaces – community workspaces where people with common interests as Makers come together to meet, learn, share knowledge and collaborate. Yet, this is just the beginning.
• In the United States alone, there are approximately 135 million Makers.
• The Maker Movement pumps roughly $29 billion into the economy each year.
• Gartner recently projected that by 2018, nearly 50% of the IOT solutions would be provided by startups that are less than three years old.
• In 2013, there were 100 Maker Faires around the world.
• The White House held its inaugural Maker Faire in 2014.
• There are now more than 250 hacker spaces across the United States.
Despite the growing interest and enthusiasm for the Maker Movement, in today’s post-industrial society, businesses that were once driven by invention, artistry and workmanship are oftentimes now driven by stock performance, corporate bureaucracy, and rigid processes – principles that often suppress the maker spirit.
On the contrary, at Rightpoint, the Maker principles have been a fundamental driver of our business from the beginning – in the way we operate, the work we do and the way we think. Yet we recognize that our business is not driven by the traditional craftsmanship – wood working, electrical engineering, sculpture, etc. - that tend to characterize Makers.
Rather, we identify ourselves as Digital Makers. Instead of working with atoms, we work with bits. Driven to create from within, as digital craftsman Rightpoint Makers solve interesting and complex problems for our own business, our clients and our community, including:
• Room Ninja: A new conference room reservation device at our own offices using a 3-D printer and a refurbished Android tablet
• Client-related: Helping one of the largest fleet management companies in the country rethink their customer experience by creating powerful user-centered tools & comprehensive analytics for their customers.
• PourCast: Creating a web and mobile application to monitor the amount of beer on our beer taps based upon a Netduino hardware controller, Microsoft ASP.NET and MongoDB.
As the Maker Movement envelops business and industries across the U.S. and beyond, we are laser focused on amplifying our ingrained maker spirit. In the next few months, we will be putting a spotlight on past, present and future initiatives that illustrate Rightpoint’s “maker-ness.” Equally important, we will promote our enthusiasm for the broader Maker Movement by establishing and broadening our position as a leader in the Maker Community.