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Publisher's Summary

Wired magazine editor and best-selling author Chris Anderson takes you to the front lines of a new industrial revolution as today’s entrepreneurs, using open source design and 3-D printing, bring manufacturing to the desktop. In an age of custom-fabricated, do-it-yourself product design and creation, the collective potential of a million garage tinkerers and enthusiasts is about to be unleashed, driving a resurgence of American manufacturing. A generation of "Makers" using the Web’s innovation model will help drive the next big wave in the global economy, as the new technologies of digital design and rapid prototyping gives everyone the power to invent - creating "the long tail of things".

©2012 Chris Anderson (P)2012 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Chris understands that the owners of the means of production get to decide what is produced. And now you're the owner. This book will change your life, whether you read it or not, so I suggest you get in early." (Seth Godin, best-selling author of Tribes and Purple Cow)
"A visionary preview of the next technological revolution. If you want to know where the future is headed, start here." (Tom Rath, author of StrengthsFinder 2.0)
"Makers is must read for understanding the transformative changes that are shaping, and will shape, the future of inventing." (Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • John
  • Chamblee, GA, United States
  • 01-12-13

A Glimpse Into the Future

I've listened to all of Chris Anderson's books, and they are always interesting and thought provoking. He also writes with great flow, meaning that the story moves forward in a logical and engaging way without a lot of unnecessary repetition.

This book is the logical culmination of taking the Long Tail from the world of bits to the world of atoms. Anderson's insights regarding new manufacturing techniques (mainly 3D printing) and their widespread availability to the masses are important. Anderson always approaches things from an open source point of view, and I don't entirely agree with that (neither for that matter would Steve Jobs). The methods of monetizing open source largely remain to be discovered and proven.

All that said, this is an important and very interesting book. Anyone who works in the manufacturing field should read it.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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"Tea. Earl Grey. Hot." It's on its way.

Chris Anderson of Wired Magazine and "The Long Tail" has written another insightful book about and emerging technological and societal phenomenon.

Three-D printing,small-batch internet based manufacturing, and the culture of shared creativity are changing the face of manufacturing and erasing the advantage of outsourcing jobs.

When Captain Picard of the Enterprise ordered a cup of hot tea from the replicator, it was fiction. Today, we can make the tea cup. It is not unimaginable that soon, we can fill the cup with tea, too.

Very well read, I enjoyed the cadence and timber of the narrator's voice. Some of the material gets a little dry and geeky, but the narration helped keep it from being boring.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Decomcratization of Manufacturing

Are you interested in the future of small business and manufacturing in the US? Do you want to know what is happening on the cutting edge of design technology? Do you know what 3-D printing, digital fabrication and the makers are? Then Chris Anderson’s introduction titled Makers: The New Industrial Revolution will bring you up short for sure. Anderson (The Long Tail; Free: How Today’s Smartest Businesses Profit by Giving Something for Nothing) is the editor of Wired Magazine who will guide you through the brave new technological world that is pushing us into the future. He opens with an introduction to the invention revolution and how it is contributing to the new industrial revolution. He explains how design and manufacturing are changing the face of the economy and how desktop factories linked to open hardware are driving that revolution. His description of 3-D printing is worth the price of the book to the unfamiliar. He clearly introduces computer numerical control, G-code and its importance, and software like CAD and its use. Those who despair for the US economy and manufacturing there is hope, for Anderson tells how custom batch work can well come home. Some may find Anderson’s approach a bit Pollyannaish, simplistic, or overly optimistic, but there is still much here to stimulate thinking and inform readers. This is a good book readily available to the nontechnical type just interested. The reading of Rene Ruiz is excellent.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Grant
  • NANTUCKET, MA, United States
  • 01-20-13

Go forth and make stuff.

The world is changing. And the revolution of how people create, manufacture and design is a big part of it. This movement alone could bring manufacturing back to the US in a big way. I think everyone who is getting out of college in the next four years should read this (and other books written by Anderson) to fully understand how the business and creative world is changing.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Kenneth
  • LEESBURG, VA, United States
  • 12-03-12

Simple Story Evokes Complex Reaction

I've waited 4 ½ years for this book. I think of this as the third book in the trilogy: The Long Tail, Free, and now Makers. When Free came out I wrote that I thought that the next book would be about open source hardware. Now we know this was correct, but so much has happened in the intermediate 4 1/2 years that it now seems somewhat mundane. I was at the most recent Detroit Maker Fair and there were 30K people. The maker movement has serious momentum. If you’re unaware of the Makers this is an excellent introduction, but it may be kind of old news.

His argument for giving away the design but charging for hardware is unsettling. There seems to be an equally compelling argument for the reverse; that is, giving away the hardware and charging for the design. He’s in touch with what’s mostly working in 2012. However, it’s at odds with what worked in the past. I kept thinking about IBM and the PC. And no satisfying theory really justifies any choice of business model.

Finally, he argues that this is great for America and probably disastrous for China. Design will be all that’s left of manufacturing and America will own that. I agree. But the justification for this belief is far from satisfying. My reading of Christensen suggests that controlling the low end of the market allows you to move upscale market … The dynamics are complicated …

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Andy
  • Westport, CT, United States
  • 10-19-12

no more overalls

Fascinating survey of how the world of bits has impacted product design and manufacturing. Loved one of the soundbites: "barriers to entry are now ankle high."

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Tarik Y.
  • RAYMOND, OH, United States
  • 11-30-12

Good basic information, but not a lot of good info

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

If I had a friend that knew nothing of CNC technology or rapid prototyping and they simply wanted to understand the industry at a surface deep level, I would surely recommend this book. The problem is that the author really did not offer up any new information outside of what one might read in a couple news articles. There are surely more efficient ways to get this information outside of sitting through this book.

Would you ever listen to anything by Chris Anderson again?

Probably not. Maybe good news articles, but he should lay off from writing books.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Good narration.

Could you see Makers being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

haha, really? no. This is a technical/business book, not really something tv worthy. Ok, I will play along... Charlie Sheen can play narrator/womanizer, Nicholas Cage can run around being over dramatic about 3d printers.

Any additional comments?

This book was not entirely bad, it just lacked solid information and really just skimmed the surface. More what I would expect from an article in the paper than from a full book. At times the author seems to be talking simply to use up space and meet the publishers word count. I have quite a bit of experience with cnc tools and a little background (3 college credits) on rapid prototyping (essentially what the author calls 3d printing). I found a lot of the information to be factually wrong and over simplified. Clearly the author is writing as if he is an expert on the subject, but really only has a textbook (or Google) understanding of the subject. Once again, if you are coming at this subject with no background and very little interest, you will learn a little. But you are probably better off reading up on the subject elsewhere if you want a working knowledge of the subject. This book may serve as a good superficial primer to the subject. Also remember, the author makes everything out to be easier than it really is. This technology was developed by Engineers for engineers, not to say that anyone can not take it on. Just remember, it is not going to be as easy as imagining a pretty object and then hitting print. Likewise, there is still quite a bit of post processing that needs to happen before you will ever have a reasonable final product (with certain exceptions).

6 of 10 people found this review helpful

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They tried...

I wanted to like this book but as a maker, I found it a bit too intro. Plus, the reader kept calling an arduino an "arju-ino".

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Not entirely accurate.

I work in a machine shop, and couldn't help but notice some of the terminology was incorrect. Overall a great listen though.

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Make it happen! Great overview of maker hobbies

Make it happen! Great overview of maker hobbies and resources available to everyone. Very good for most age groups