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In the second of her series of articles on business archetypes everyone needs to start paying attention to over the next few years, Megan Bernstein looks at makers. According to holistic branding agency ITI, this movement and culture of people getting more hands on with their technology is increasingly rising to prominence thanks to the emergence of technologies such as 3D printing and the Raspberry Pi. Makers shouldn’t just be left to explore their interests at the hobby level though. Let them apply the same kind of thought to your business and you could end up with some pretty spectacular results.
Meet the maker. They are not defined by age, but more by their need to be connected to things that are made and produced. This archetype will drive wearable tech and the internet of things. They love experimenting and are among the people doing seriously interesting things with 3D printing.
The line between maker and consumer is blurring
People within this archetype are all about finding new ways to connect to the world around them to the internet. Social business models such the one used by Quirky are a hit with them as they allow people all over the world to collaborate with ideas and create real life products that allow a deeper level of connection with the people and things around them.
The maker is likely to be one of the first people with Google Glass, Pebble watches or the Galaxy Gear and while you might see many of these items as far fetched or unnecessary, wearable tech is changing their lives, and their experiences.
For example, imagine an egg tray that can track not just how many eggs you have in your fridge, but how old they are. That means when you’re at the shop wondering if you need to buy eggs, you can whip out your phone, delve into your app and see what you have — two fresh eggs and two that are boarding on sulphid. That way you know what whether you need to add a batch to your shopping cart. Genius!
Makers are also the instigators of hacking their lives through technology. What does that mean? Well they are the ones who are open to digestible technology to see how their medication is being consumed, or their progress along a medical treatment.
They are hacking education, and changing the way people traditionally learn to make it seamlessly integrated to the web, the world and people around them.
A great example is from this 16-year-old who recently did a TED talk explaining how he hacked his educational experience:
The maker likes to transcend digital into the real world
As an employer, the maker is the one that is going to be pushing for new technology to be integrated into the business. They are the ones who will be the driving force behind smart office spaces and it’s important to allow them the space to be able to explore this.
Going for a run is no longer as simple as pulling on your trainers and heading out the door. The maker will have the latest fitness app downloaded and be tracking every element of their workout as they go. They will also share it to Facebook to get feedback, and possibly encouragement, from their friends.
They are also looking to enhance every day experiences. Going for a run can, for instance, be made a lot more exciting by downloading the Zombies, Run! app which augments their run into a Zombie apocalypse!
Although it’s a reality that things like this will take a fair amount of time before we start seeing them roll out in mainstream avenues, the maker in your business is the one who is constantly going to be looking for these connections — for you and your clients. They are a good addition to have on your tech and creative team!
The maker likes to hack. Pretty much everything.
The concept of hacking life can be applied to so many things and the maker is the one that will be finding new ways, means and things to hack.
The rise of open source furniture, 3D printing and intelligent homes are all products of the maker and their need to feel connected to the internet and their world around them.
They are constantly looking at traditional products, ways of doing things and interactions to see how they can add a layer of technology onto it to make it better.