Introducing “The New Inventors” – a new blog series by the Hardware Accelerator team at Rev: Ithaca Startup Works. Each post will focus on a capability or concept that inventors can add to their toolbox. Future posts include “Design Principles,” “Internet of Things,” “Prototyping Platforms,” “Business Models” and more. Whether you are an inventor or someone who is interested in new inventions, then this series is for you!
Welcome to the New Inventors
In 2012, Chris Anderson, former editor of Wired Magazine and current CEO of 3D Robotics published a book titled Makers: The New Industrial Revolution. Anderson’s book is a response to the rise of desktop manufacturing technology; this phrase refers to a suite of tools — including 3D printers, laser cutters, and prototyping boards — that have become remarkably affordable, compact, and easy to use in recent years.
In product development, the cost of failure has nearly dropped to the floor. People who have identified problems and ideas on how to solve them are picking up these new technologies, prototyping and testing new ideas, and using platforms like Kickstarter to facilitate pre-sales to fund their manufacturing run. It’s an exciting time for long-time enthusiasts and new innovators alike; it’s easier than ever to prototype and test a hardware idea.
Chapter four in Anderson’s book is aptly titled We’re All Designers Now – so we might as well get good at it. The chapter explains that anyone with access to high-speed internet or to a community Makerspace has access to free design software and online tutorials. Suddenly a much wider range of people can learn 2D and 3D modeling, programming, and circuit board design – just to name a few. If you want to be an inventor, familiarizing yourself with these technologies gives you a leg up on the competition.
But the new inventors need to know more than technology skills. They need to know what a world with a billion “new inventors” looks like. They need to be able to imagine how a world with a trillion web-connected devices operates. They need some design principles in their toolbox. They need some role models and stories from inventors before them. And if they want to start businesses based on their ideas, they need tools for understanding and responding to the market through conducting field research and assessing existing solutions.
If you see yourself as a “new inventor,” or think you might want to learn more, there are a few ways you can get involved right now. Come out to the October Networking@Rev event, Software + Hardware. It’s free to attend, open to the whole community, and an opportunity to see well-designed technology – even if you don’t make software or hardware. Keep an eye out for the next New Inventors blog post, and sign up for our newsletter for updates about our upcoming Invent-a-thon and other Rev events.
The New Inventors is written by the Hardware Accelerator team at Rev. The Hardware Accelerator’s flagship program is a 12 week Summer Intensive, which takes teams from problem to prototype to pitch. Lean more about the Rev Hardware Accelerator here.
Is there a theme you’d like to learn more about in a future blog? Please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We love hearing from local innovators!