If a country wants to remain economically vibrant, it needs to manufacture things. In recent years, however, many nations have become obsessed with making money out of selling services, leaving the real business of manufacturing to others.
Makers is about how all that is being reversed. Over the past ten years, the internet has democratised publishing, broadcasting and communications, leading to a massive increase in the range of participation in everything digital the world of bits. Now the same is happening to manufacturing - the world of things.
Chris Anderson, bestselling author of The Long Tail, explains how this is happening: how such technologies as 3D printing and electronics assembly are becoming available to everybody, and how people are building successful businesses as a result. Whereas once every aspiring entrepreneur needed the support of a major manufacturer, now anybody with a smart idea and a little expertise can make their ideas a reality. Just as Google, Facebook and others have created highly successful companies in the virtual world, so these new inventors and manufacturers are assuming positions of ever greater importance in the real world.