Solutions for Self-Reliance

Here’s How to Build an Engine of Prosperity in Your Community

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Here’s something EVERY community should have, but almost none do.

artisan asylum

This isn’t a picture of a factory or cubicles in an office building.

It’s a makerspace.   In this case, it’s the Artisan’s Asylum in Somerville, MA.

What is a makerspace?  It’s a place where people in the community can go to make things.

I strongly believe this type of place is a much better way to help a community achieve its potential than a factory or an office building.

Here’s an example of that in action.

Two guys, Peter and Max, started a company called Wobbleworks to build toys that promote creative thought.

Peter Dilworth and Maxwell Bogue

To turn their ideas into reality, they joined a makerspace called the Artisan’s Asylum in nearby Somerville.

After some considerable effort, using both the professional tools and the helpful network of experts at the makerspace, they built a prototype of a new toy called 3Doodler.

Doodler

It’s simply a pen that allows you to doodle in 3 dimensions.  As you can see in the following video, it looks like lots of fun, so I’m pretty sure it’s going to be at the top of a lot of Christmas lists this year.

Now, the next step is pretty important, and it’s why a makerspace will likely become an engine of prosperity in your community.

Building a Vibrant Community Economy

Once they developed 3Doodler, they didn’t go to a venture capitalist.  They didn’t negotiate a deal with Walmart, or any other big box store.  A process that would have siphoned the bulk of the company’s profits and sent them to Wall Street and other global casinos.

They had a better alternative.  They were able to pre-sell it directly to the public on Kickstarter.

Wobble word

 

This allowed potential customers to decided whether they wanted this product.

As you can see, the product was a hit.  Despite the modest goal they had (only $30,000 — a bootstrap goal is a very smart way to approach presales to the public), they have already sold over $2 million of the 3Doodler.

Thousands of people from around the world ordered it for delivery later this year.  In addition to customers, they now have a community of people that are passionate about what they do.

If they deliver as promised, this community will support them and their inventions for the rest of their creative lives.

Of course, that’s great for the local community.  Not only will this pair be a resource for others at the Artisan’s Asylum to tap for insight and advice, they will also become a local employer.

From what I’ve seen of makers in the past couple of years, they aren’t going to employ people at min wage like global companies do.  Their goal will be to create a team of increasingly skilled people, where everyone makes enough to afford a home and support a family.

Multiply what Peter and Max will do at Wobbleworks by ten or twenty, even at a much lower level of success, and you have the basis of a vital community economy.  A community economy that exports to the world to bring wealth home.  A community economy that can support local farmers and food artisans and invest in local energy production.

So, what are you waiting for?  

Build a makerspace in your community.  

Help the kids in your community build things there, before their brains are made into mush by the academic preparation needed to secure an increasingly irrelevant bureaucratic cubicle on Wall Street or in Washington.  

Get Resilient!

 

JOHN ROBB

 

PS:  Here’s a list of makerspaces globally to check and see if your community has one.

PPS:  I covered one of the secrets to Kickstarter success February’s Resilient Strategies report.  Hope you caught it.  We’re in the process of increasing the number of reports/interviews and expanding the site at Resilient Strategies.  Please sign up soon, I truly believe it’s on track to becoming one of the best investments you can make in your future prosperity, success, and happiness.

JR Small

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