The Maker Moment

by Chris Devore

Filmed at Ignite Seattle

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We have arrived at a unique moment in the history of technology and human society: what I call "The Maker Moment" The explosive growth of global connectivity, coupled with the collapse in the cost of software development, has made software the "operating system" of human progress -- the most efficient lever for positive change in the world. The rate of positive change through software is limited by one thing -- an acute global scarcity of "digital creatives" skilled in all the disciplines needed to create effective software tools and experiences. As explosive global demand for these skills collides with acute scarcity, makers are empowered as never before -- whether they realize it or not they are the "limiting reagent" in the global economy, and talent (for the moment) is more powerful than capital. This condition won't last forever -- maybe five years, maybe 10 -- but makers with a passion for positive impact shouldn't wait to claim their power and seize their opportunity to create change. There are several concrete steps that any maker can take to maximize his or her chances of making an impact -- simple things like moving to a city with lots of other makers in it; or leaving a digital crumbtrail of their skills and passions online for others to find -- all the way up to the big leap of building their own company. No matter what they choose, the "Maker Moment" means that failure is impossible for talented digital creatives -- even if they stumble the market will reach down and pick them back up, because their skills are too valuable right now for the market to miss out on. The only failure is not to try. Makers don't have to change the world all by themselves -- traditional economic actors like financial investors, big companies and even government and non-profit players are all eager to participate in (and profit from) digital innovation -- but makers are the drivers in a way they never have been before.

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