April 17, 2011 AT 1:20 pm

Tech mogul? Nope. Any old hack will do


Tech mogul? Nope. Any old hack will do @ The Washington Post

Kleinman is a maker, a word derived from Make Magazine, the glossy bible of everyday hackers using social networks, do-it-yourself-then-show-it-off Web sites, cheap parts from China, and blissfully simple microprocessors to modify or invent new electronic products for their houses, cars, offices and back yards.

Recent studies show consumers now spend more money tweaking and inventing stuff than consumer product firms spend on research and development. It’s more than $3.75 billion a year in Britain, and U.S. studies under way now show similiar patterns. Makers are even morphing into entrepreneurs, with some of the best projects, including Kleinman’s, raising money for commercial development of self-funding Web sites such as Kickstarter, where anyone with a credit card can chip in to back cool ideas.

Major companies such as Ford are, after years of resisting inventor gadflies, inviting makers to submit product tweaks. “This is the democratization of technology,” said K. Venkatesh Prasad, a senior engineering executive at Ford.

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  1. “does not fit the stereotypical persona of a hacker. He appears to shower often. He does not live in his basement. He has a girlfriend.”

    Wow! This first paragraph really makes me want to continue reading this insightful article, with no pre-conceived biases towards the author whatsoever. Well played, Rosenwald. Well played.

    “Kleinman is a maker, a word derived from Make Magazine,”

    More first-rate reporting. The word “make” appears nowhere in the English lexicon prior to January 2005.


  2. @johngineer – we didn’t like that intro either 🙁

  3. On the bright side. . At least it doesn’t spend half the article explaining that these hackers are not the ones that steal money from your bank account and try to start world war three with a stolen cell phone and a paper clip.

    And if it turns up on Hack A day, it will no doubt attract a half dozen posts explaining why it isn’t a hack, or why he should have used a PIC instead of an Arduino. So are “we” any better?

    It’s a mainstream news story.. Gotta do a little exposition before you get to the juicy bit.

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