“Making”—the next generation of inventing and do-it-yourself—is creeping into everyday discourse, with the emerging maker movement referenced in connection with topics ranging from the rebirth of manufacturing to job skills development to reconnecting with our roots. As maker communities spring up around the globe, a plethora of physical and virtual platforms to serve them have emerged—from platforms that inspire and teach, to those that provide access to tools and mentorship, to those that connect individuals with financing and customers. At the same time, access to lower-cost, small-run manufacturing, particularly in hotspots such as Shenzhen, China, has increased, making small production more economical and viable.1 Both the supply and demand curves are being affected—the long tail of supply can now meet the long tail of demand, and the long tail of demand itself is changing as individuals change their own consumption.
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