Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Maker Movement Manifesto: Rules for Innovation in the New World of Crafters, Hackers, and Tinkerers by Mark Hatch | Book Review

The Maker Movement Manifesto: Rules for Innovation in the New World of Crafters, Hackers, and Tinkerers

Spoiler Alert:  There are no rules!  Ok... that wouldn't actually be a spoiler for anyone remotely aware of what a makerspace is.  But I thought it'd be fun to announce that.  Rather, The Maker Manifesto is (in my humble opinion) more of a "Bill of Rights."  And it has got me FIRED UP!

I read this book because of work.  I'm a small part of a team of staff working to open a makerspace in a nearby library.  I'm already super excited, and want to read all the books about makerspaces and making.  I'm also working with a coworker at my library to try to get robotics started for the teens.  We're working with guys from a local hackerspace, and they're doing really cool things with the teens.  A couple weeks ago they facilitated the teens building computer-controlled flamethrower robot cars!  Yes, flames!  At (outside) the library!  It's very exciting times we're living in.

The Maker Manifesto is written by Mark Hatch, one of the co-creators of TechShop, one of the first big makerspaces in America.  So he really knows his stuff.  As I was reading the book I kept jotting down "wish list" notes for equipment or programs that I want to implement in Idea Box, the makerspace that I'm helping staff.

This book is such a great motivator.  Like I said, I'm all kinds of fired up about making now!  I just told the hubby that I want to move to Silicon Valley and join TechShop.  Fortunately, I'm married to a much more grounded person than myself, and he stopped me.  You know... jobs and friends and cheaper cost of living here in NC....  But I am so impatient to start making already!  I went ahead and downloaded 123D Design onto my iPad and 123D Make onto my phone.  I'm all set to issue thought-provoking questions and challenges to Idea Box patrons.  I've been trained on the MakerBots and can't wait to get my hands on the laser cutter.  (Isn't that cool?  I get to use a laser to cut and etch things at work.  Do you get to do that?)  I want to teach Arduino programming right now to eager teens.  The Maker Manifesto is sure to get you fired up and excited and ready to make too!

Although at a few brief moments the author comes across a little self-promoting, that's not the crux of the book.  The crux of the book is to give the reader ideas about how to use and promote a makerspace, and sharing of success stories from TechShops across the nation.  Did you know that Square (the device that allows vendors to accept credit cards via their smart phone or tablet) came out of a makerspace?  That some makerspace patrons are able to kickstart a whole business out of the space and tools?  I am super excited to see what people come to create at Idea Box!

This book isn't very lengthy, and the language stays very conversational and readable.  I definitely recommend this book to anyone even remotely interested in makerspaces and making.

*I checked out my copy of The Maker Manifesto from my local library, which is now home to a makerspace itself!

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