Provocation – self-empowerment and entrepreneurship

This is something I’ve been thinking about a while, but I haven’t typed it out yet. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to type it out quite yet at the moment, so this is mostly a placeholder.

The provocation is that one cannot both fully embrace the self-empowerment rhetoric of the maker movement AND try to be an entrepreneur through their maker efforts. On some level, in order for you to sell me something, you have to believe that I cannot actually make it myself. This flies in the face of “everybody a maker” themes that run through maker communities. (of course this is a little hyperbolic, there’s obviously some middle ground, but it’s possible that situating this discussion as more binary that it actually is could be generative)

Mitch Altman sells TV-B-Gone kits and tries to convince people that they can also be makers…by learning how to do it through building the kits he sells. But if you’re really a maker, you shouldn’t need the kit, right? Of course Mitch doesn’t say anything like that. That would hurt sales.

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