New Era of DIY

Giving a talk at NI Week organized by National Instruments in Austin, TX, Chris Anderson of Wired and author of “The Long Tail” spoke about DIY and open source hardware, according to an EETimes story. I think he’s pointing at a significant breakdown in the way mass markets have worked.

“Instead of a small number of products for millions, it’s a case of millions of products for a small number” of people, he said. “The monolithic software model hasn’t addressed this. That’s what small companies and individuals are for: We’re in the era of ‘do-it-yourself’.” Anderson also predicted that era of open-source hardware is fast approaching.

Anderson added: “You just can’t predict what people are going to want.” He detailed his efforts with his son to build a drone and accomplish a Google flyover. Details at his Ning-based site, His point is that it’s possible to build complex things that previously might have required the expertise and resources of large companies and/or the military.

It’s interesting to hear Anderson shift the discussion of the Long Tail ideas from publishing to hardware and design, which is the space that Make covers.