This matters! People should pay attention! Why the Maker Movement matters to the future of jobs and manufacturing.
Some people might look at the Maker Movement as something that is just a fad for people. That it is just for hipsters with hobbies. But, the Maker Movement is something much more. It is the future of making, designing, manufacturing, and everything about the world around us. A serious economic, technological, and city-development force, the Maker Movement matter and everyone should be paying attention!
Everyone who has heard a recent political speech, listened to a talk show, or looked at the “Made in China” labels in retail stores probably isn’t a stranger to the idea that “nothing is made in America anymore.” A certain kind of high-volume production certainly has shifted from the rest of the world to China within the last generation. While economies get richer, the manufacturing output and their workforce inevitably goes down. Additionally, due to technological advancements, as manufacturing efficiency increases, the jobs within manufacturing are apparently dwindling even faster. Everyone’s grandfather worked in a factory, but with each following generation, fewer do.
Blogs, Tweets, YouTube videos, Instagrammed photos, podcasts, Reddit and Facebook communities may have positive or negative influences, but the reality is that they change the way everyone communicates. Knowledge and millions of new business operations are advancing and they are integrating into everyday operations. There’s a similar tools-driven change whose effects are so profound that we never even think about them any more.
Since the dawn of the capitalist heavy-industrial era, manufacturing requires capital. To produce, money (in large quantities) is needed. Blast furnaces if you were making steel, assembly lines if you were making cars, machine tools if you were making engines, coordinated supply chains if you were assembling complex devices. Then distributors are necessary and warehouses must be stocked up with lots of inventory. In addition to expenses, high-stakes and high-risk make it difficult for newcomers to enter a business.
This is the equation that the tools revolution of the past few years is also changing for manufacturing.
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