Aug 14

Dale Dougherty

Dale Dougherty

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, diydrones.com. 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.

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Comments: 2

  csven [08.14.07 01:43 PM]

Not so surprising to see Anderson shift to hardware given his earlier interest in it: A rocket launcher of our own .

Didn't know of his drone project though. Thanks for mentioning it.

  Bob Warfield [08.14.07 02:06 PM]

There's an amazing community of DIY'ers out there fooling with all sorts of interesting things. My own hobby is building CNC machine tools and then watching them make things. It is amazing how easily this can be done and what one can build with such a tool. See www.CNCZone.com for ideas.

There are large numbers of folks playing with little computer-on-a-chip projects to create all sorts of goodies. Robotics is a fun little niche many play in, but I've seen a variety of other uses.

There is a huge DIY hardware crowd as well. Some are just building basic PC's, while others are creating elaborate water cooled custom PC's.

The list goes on...

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