The Hague, Netherlands | Member Since 2007
Chris Anderson is widely known and respected for his editing of Wired Magazines and a few well-known books about the internet (long tail, freemium) which altered the way people see the internet. He now tries to do the same for the world of 'making'.
First he outlines what he describes as 'the maker revolution': the possibility of every individual to design, create and manufacture single or low-volume products due to new technology and the power of the global internet community. Anderson then goes on to detail each of these steps, with an emphasis on 3D printers and other manufacturing tools.
I particularly liked the various stories and applications, but overall the book is a bit thin on content. The maker revolution seems to be very much in its infancy, with interesting concepts and a few hits, but mostly still too complicated and too much in the hobby-stage (DIY) which it might never outgrow. That means there is definitely a market for home-manufacturing, but technology needs to advance further to make it a mass trend. Anderson says so himself. This doesn't mean it will not happen, it is just too early to tell.
Anderson ends the book with a lot of references: the best electronics, best software, best hardware, best outsourced manufacturing and websites. This is nice for starters (like me), but is still a bit limited, particularly if you live outside the US.
Why read this book? It describes the beginnings of what someday might be big, and the signs are described well enough so you can spot whether it will or will not materialize. Best parts are about how 'regular manufacturing' could use the concepts, tools and community of the internet to improve its own process of innovation and reproduction.
But don't expect deep insights or a strong story. It is a nice book, but not special.
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