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Do It Yourself in 2013 [Startups
Posted on December 30, 2012 @ 07:28:00 AM by Paul Meagher

One trend that I expect to become more pronounced in 2013 is the do-it-yourself trend. Also called the Maker movement. I have not read the manifestos but see it emerging in amateur electronics where technically-inclined people are experimenting with sensors, actuators, and microcontrollers in new ways. There are magazines, books, websites, forums, and a large number of electronics components distributors that are feeding this movement. More recently Raspberry Pi has been emerging as a powerful new microcontroller with all the input/output channels that make it easy to intregrate into your projects. You can listen to this Spark discussion of Raspberry Pi for more information.

The trend also reveals itself in technically oriented fine-arts programs where you can earn your degree by assembling electrical and visual elements together in novel ways. Or you might integrate electronics into your textiles - skills that might produce the next mass market clothing hit. Art embraces the technical to produce new art.

In my experience to date in a farm startup, the need to do-it-yourself is fairly obvious; otherwise you will need to hire someone to do your plumbing, roofing, construction, mechanical, mowing, plowing, baling, fencing, etc.. for you. Usually the capital is not there to pay for all the skilled professionals that you might need to do each job properly. I did hire skilled professionals to help me to do alot of the work that has been required so far; however, I have picked up alot of skills during this process by working with the people I hired and doing my own research. It is now time to increasingly do it myself with regards to managing farm operations.

Everyday we face the choice of whether we are going to get someone to renovate or repair something for us, or whether we should try to do it ourselves. Everyday we are confronted with the option of being a Maker or someone who funds a Maker to take care of the problem for us. What I expect to happen in 2013, is that North America will increasingly move towards a do-it-yourself mentality. They will do this for practical, educational, and entertainment reasons.

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