October 18, 2012
Book Short: the Garage Workbench of the Future
Makers: The New Industrial Revolution, by Wired Magazine’s Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail (review, buy) and Free (review, buy) is just as mind expanding as his prior two books were at the time they were published. I had the pleasure of talking with Chris for a few minutes after he finished his keynote address at DMA2012 in Las Vegas this week, and I was inspired to read the book, which I did on the flight home.
The short of it is that Anderson paints a very vivid picture of the future world where the Long Tail not only applies to digital goods but to physical goods as well. The seeds of this future world are well planted already in 3D printing, which I have been increasingly hearing about and will most likely be experimenting with come the holiday season (family – please take note!).
As someone who, like Anderson, tinkered with various forms of building as a kid in Shop at school and in the garage with my dad, it’s fascinating to think about a world where you can dream a physical product up, or download a design of it, or 3D scan it and modify it, and press a “make” button like you press a “print” button today on your computer, and have the product show up in your living room within minutes for almost nothing. This will change the world when the technology matures and gets cheaper and more ubiquitous. And this book is the blueprint for that change.
While we may look back on this book in 5 or 10 years, and say “DUH,” which is what many people would say now about The Long Tail or Free, for right now, this gets a WOW.