Until recently, there has been a void between hobbyist-maker and product-producer. Makers could tinker but not easily go to market, beyond selling a few dozen widgets. It’s been cost prohibitive for a long time to produce products at medium scale, in the hundreds or thousands of units. A maker had little hope of raising the money to cover the required capital investments, and consequently, such investments were restricted to the deep pockets of established businesses. But, as they say, “the times they are a’changin’.”
Computers and the Internet are breaking down obstacles which have prevented hobbyist-makers from taking their products to the next level. Ideas are now cheaper to prototype and iterate. Funding through pre-sales and nibble-equity is increasingly available. Establishing a team across time and space is easy. Scaling production to modest levels is increasingly doable. Wonderfully empowering changes are rocking the world for makers with ambition.
For all these fantastic developments, there remain plenty of challenges. How does a maker go about finding a manufacturer, negotiating production, and managing output? Which are the best tools for keeping track of all the moving parts of production and distribution? How does a maker producing at a higher volume deal with marketing, fulfillment, and customer service? These and many other challenges face makers going pro.
The mission of the Maker Pro Newsletter is to inform, analyze, educate, and catalyze as we explore emerging business opportunities for makers. We’re thrilled at what’s happening in this area and want to share the good news as we find it, as well as pointing out any bumps we see in the road. We will digest and share what we learn. And, through vehicles like our Hardware Innovation Workshop (mark your calendars for May 14, 15!), we will be focusing on issues facing the maker market and working to addressed them.
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