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Makers: The New Industrial Revolution

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  3,816 ratings  ·  312 reviews
Wired magazine editor and bestselling 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 ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Crown Business (first published 2012)
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Sep 05, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economy, non-fiction
Reads like a poorly written magazine article that has been unfortunately dragged out into a full-length book. All hype and no substance (how many different ways can he really say, "production has gone digital"?)
I'll be honest and admit I didn't read the whole thing - I set it down halfway through. Was going to read all of it before panning it like this, but decided it wasn't worth the time. Anderson's lack of understanding of the economists he tries to draw on to make his points just became too
Tac Anderson
Dec 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is an important book. Maker's is basically a sequel to The Longtail. It's a deep look at what happens to the manufacturing (mostly in America) when physical manufacturing behaves like the digital world. If this book doesn't make you want to go out and buy a 3D printer or start putting together OpenHardware robots, I don't know what will. ...more
Kislay Verma
From SolomonSays:

Makers should be read as an extension of Anderson’s idea of “the long tail”. In specific, he is building on the first condition for a long tail to exist. i.e. democratization of the tools of production which enables everyone to become a producer.The idea is that today there are far more and cheaper options for design, manufacture, and funding if you want go into the manufacturing business.As such, all these ideas have been discussed at length in The Long Tail, but here the focus
Dec 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm in agreement with a number of other reviewers of this book that it was repetitive and basically read like a drawn out magazine article. But as with Anderson's The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More, it was the content (not the presentation) that interested me.

Working in the world of public libraries (which Anderson mentions as the originator of the Long Tail) I was interested to see what he has to say on the Maker front. Several public libraries have put together "
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
I found this book frustrating for a few reasons. In part one you have to wade through a lot of euphoric optimism about the potential interventions of 3-d printing, CNC machines, and CAD software. While it's an interesting phenomenon, I am concerned with questions of access, even moreso than in other areas of participatory culture that have supposed democratizing potential. Equipment costs may decrease and shared equipment may become more readily available, but doesn't CAD software require specia ...more
Jul 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Chris Anderson always connects the dots for me. If you want to know how the maker revolution has the potential to change the not so distant future, read this book. While I feel like I'm only peripherally part of this movement (being a librarian who is exploring the possibilities of libraries being sites for makerspaces) I knew enough about what is going on with the maker movement to have begun thinking about the possibilities. I particularly loved his connection between the DIY punk culture of t ...more
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
I originally picked up this book because I thought it might have some useful observations about life as a micro-entrepreneur. Anderson does talk a little bit about this, and seems to have a particular fondness for Etsy, which is where I do most of my online selling. But his larger interest is in how on-demand manufacturing is beginning to revolutionize the global economy, with some intriguing asides about how Karl Marx might react to seeing the tools of production being put into the hands of the ...more
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Rachel Giles
We are now in the midst of a new type of industrial revolution. Probably at least half of this book is about 3D printing, and all of the advantages that gives to small start-up manufacturing companies (or even non-company hobbyists and hobbyists internet communities) that cater to long-tail customization oriented clientele. To be sure, there are many advantages of 3D printing in that regard. However, in the context of so many other ideas and technologies: the internet, open-source mentality, cro ...more
* Originally reviewed on the Night Owls Press blog here. *

It’s easier than ever before to be an entrepreneur and start a business. This is a good thing. Chris Anderson starts with this basic premise in his book Makers The New Industrial Revolution. And he’s not just talking about web-based and cloud-based businesses that dominate the world of startups. He’s talking about the “Real World of Places and Stuff.” In other words, businesses that make things.

He’s talking about manufacturing… You’re thi
Mar 29, 2019 rated it liked it
The book is not for all audiences and it is targeted for those who are really interested in the maker movement. Mr. Anderson is clearly an enthusiast, and the book is more about what some hobbyists have done than a real analysis of a new industrialization. In that aspect the book is very superficial.

Although there are several examples of startups and other hobbyists’ success stories, we don’t have statistics on how much the maker movement is making. I read this book several years after its publi
I read this book for the literature review for my dissertation, which is on a topic completely ignored in the maker literature but which would seem relevant, namely, the uptake of "digital fabrication tools" (using Neil Gershenfeld's term) by a variety of small shops and light industry (specifically in this case in boatbuilding). Hence, I am just past halfway reading the quartet of works by leading popular authors on making (Mark Hatch MAKER MANIFESTO, Chris Anderson MAKERS: THE NEW INDUSTRIAL R ...more
Jun 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
After this book I'm a confirmed fan of Chris Anderson; both 'Long Tail' and 'Makers' have been solid books that broaden the horizon, I skipped 'Free' but may go back to read it now. That said I do think there are some limits to his theory that small-batch manufacturing will revolutionise manufacturing supply chains and represents the 3rd industrial revolution.

Makers is essentially an extended feature (slash sales pitch) on the idea that an open-source network of small-scale designers and manufac
May 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
In Chris Anderson's book "Makers: The New Industrial Revolution", Anderson retells many accounts of technological innovations and the people and ideas that are behind them. Chris tells the story of a future where we can simply print off anything we need using futuristic 3D printers. He believes that the way our society is set up right now is causing this age to become a new industrial revolution. Inventors are in positions to make their ideas become realities in a fashion that is much simpler th ...more
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Very interesting concept. I think he makes a good argument, but fails to eliminate some counter arguments on some topics. Having said that, it inspired some ideas that can be implemented in my own non-Maker world.

Also, I should probably think about reading The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More as this is the second book of Chris Anderson's that I've read where he discusses it, but I'm still not clear on the entire concept. I guess it's time to speak to the VP and see
Senem Turhan
Aug 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Although I agree with many of the things in the book such as opportunities of digital fabrication tools and open source, I am not so sure about the utopia that Anderson has pictured. The last half of the book made me think about how dystopia of maker movement would be regarding the situation of manufacturing employees, liability, safety of products or consumer protection. Many other questions have pop up in my mind. He has too much focused on the glow of digital FAB which distracted him to see t ...more
John Stepper
Dec 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Very good. The book works on multiple levels. It reads like a journalist's well-written summary of he maker movement. And it also reads like a fist-hand account of someone personality involved with and in love with the trend. Finally, individual stories - eg the one about his CEO at 3D Robotics - are engaging and useful even if you aren't interested in the maker movement at all.

I saw the author present the same material at a conference in October and it was a fantastic talk. Great stories, well
John Storey
Mar 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Just finished this book about 2 weeks ago. Since then I have already come into contact with a Makerbot and plan on manufacoring my first product this month. I'm so stoked on this you don't even know. In the same way personal computers changed our lives after being developed through the 70s-80s. That time is NOW for manufacturing, but at an economic scale 5 times greater than internet business! Check out my project: ...more
Phil Simon
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
As in his previous books, Anderson introduces big ideas. In the near future, every home can be a de facto manufacturing facility. Rife with interesting anecdotes (including some personal ones), this is anything but a dry "techie" book.

Read this book if you want to see a glimpse of the future. Ignore it at your own peril.
Barb Wiseberg
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved it - from the first page to the last, Chris Anderson gives new hope and insight to what our future, and our children's future, could be.

The road to this new revolution is rocky, and nothing like we've ever seen before, but I look forward to it, don't you?
Thomas Umstattd Jr.
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book predicts yet another revolution in business. I can't recommend it enough. ...more
Adriaan Jansen
Jan 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economics, business
''Makers'' tells the story of 3D printing and Open Innovation. The book gives the latest developments and offers some ideas and suggestions on how both 3D printing and Open Innovation may impact entrepreneurship, business in general, and the overall economy. As such, ''Makers'' offers some glimpses on what the future may hold in store for us as consumers, producers, entrepreneurs and employers.

Despite these glimpses of a possible future, most parts of the book are focused on the technical aspec
Aug 05, 2017 rated it liked it
In "Makers," Chris Anderson gives a solid overview of important developments in software and manufacturing that allow hobbyists to easily create their own designs through AutoCAD or similar programs, get feedback on their ideas through online communities and see their products come to life, made either by small 3D printers or CNC machines, or through relatively seamless orders placed at factories, often overseas. Building on his arguments in "The Long Tail," Anderson waxes about a revolution in ...more
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5 star rating. Contains some good technical descriptions of the current maker movement, but awkward attempts at describing psychology, sociology, and history (that maybe.... appeared to be based on personal opinion) left me cringing several times. I thought the chapters were mostly full of stories that the author found cool but overall didn't know how to piece together into a book-length narrative. The 9 page chapter on "DIY Biology" at the end of the book was random and felt like a last-minut ...more
Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. Lots of things I already knew, many things I did not (for instance, the founding of Square and the strategic positioning intersection between bits and atoms). Chris Anderson is the author of The Long Tail — also called ‘power law distribution’ — which has been adapted by other great minds in business and entrepreneurship; such as Peter Thiel, Nassim Taleb, and Seth Godin. Although this book was written in 2012, we are only on the cusp of many of its predictions; which are just startin ...more
Nam KK
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
This is read like the sequel of his first book, the Long Tail. The Long Tail is about the distribution of products (especially digital products, or ones that e-platforms such as Netflix, amazon, eBay help promote) - so that companies could afford to offer the non-hits to a more diverse audience and customers at a lower cost. The firms rely on recommendation to target the niche clients rather than a more traditional approach to maximize the value of shelf space of, for example, Walmart.

Bill Catchings
Nov 10, 2017 rated it liked it
In this book, Chris Anderson (the former editor of Wired, not the head of TED) gives an interesting account of the maker movement. Makers are people who are using the latest technology, such as 3D printers like the MakerBot Replicator 2, to create physical objects, both for themselves and to sell to others. Makers are both taking hobbies to a new level and creating businesses based on mass customization. He shows how the combination of the Web, software tools, and relatively low-priced devices l ...more
Luci Riestra
Dec 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Chris Anderson, editor from wired, and tinkerer himself explains the history and potential of the makers movement.
On the first part, from an economics perspective, coming from the historical path set up by the industrial revolution, passing by the offshoring and lower cost manufacturing that went to developing countries, he hints on how the makers movement has the potential of shifting the economical power back to the developed countries
On the second part, Anderson explains the basics of 3d pri
Justin Allred
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book to catch you up with what's going on behind the scenes in today's economy. Formerly the Industrial Revolution, we are now in the Maker Movement embracing democratized innovation through the web and DIY manufacturing. Because everyday people now have access to extraordinary tools, we are able create designs, share with online communities through open source software, and we have access to small batch manufacturing or easy ways to outsource. Inventors can now also be entrepreneurs and m ...more
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this more than I did... it starts out with a good explanation, but then I felt it went into a lot of focus on 3-d printers (which, granted, cool and with ever expanding applications) but I thought it was too narrow in terms of the expanse that the Maker movement could and does cover.

There's also a resurgence in hand crafts (i.e., knitting, spinning wool, furniture making including apprenticeships) that I felt deserved some coverage.

I do agree, it's another wave of changes that w
Karl Kawano
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a game changer for me personally. I belonged to the Dallas Open Source users group and we met at an old Makerspace. I knew they moved and I hadn't been there in a while. I went to the new facility and my jaw dropped. This book described everything I saw. Full metal shop including all types of welders (MIG, TIG, Arc, etc), full wood shop, 3D printers, 3d scanners, full electronics lab, plasma and laser cutters, etc. An engineers dream! I perhaps wouldn't have even known about it if ...more
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Chris Anderson was named in April 2007 to the "Time 100," the newsmagazine's list of the 100 men and women whose power, talent or moral example is transforming the world. He is Editor-in-Chief of Wired magazine, a position he took in 2001, and he has led the magazine to six National Magazine Award nominations, winning the prestigious top prize for General Excellence in 2005 and 2007. He is the aut ...more

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