Makers Going Pro:
How They Made the Jump
A Handbook of Strategies, Tactics, & Tips for Starting a
Makers Going Pro
is a book for makers that want to start a company and take their passion, dream, or hobby to the next level and earn a living from it. If you’ve been thinking about starting a company around your
maker skills, this book will highlight how other makers have succeeded and how they did
In Makers Going Pro, I’ll interview leading maker company
founders and other maker movement experts for insights and inspiration into how
maker companies succeed. In fact, I've been conducting interviews for the last 2 months and plan to have a sample chapter up within a week.
Just for reference, makers are do-it-yourself types,
fixers, hackers, inventors, entrepreneurs, indie craftspeople and artisans. The
makers who are successful at creating a company have something to teach us. Some
maker companies are fairly simple, but they have leveraged innovative marketing,
sales, and operations tips and techniques to get profitable. Others are more
complicated and can teach us about patents and legal hurdles to avoid if you
have intellectual property to protect. Many have gone the path of open source
and I’ll share some of the pros and cons of open vs closed source.
I’m interviewing some of the best known maker companies out
there and compiling their ideas, philosophies and tips for starting and running
a maker company. People like Bre Pettis, Limor Fried, Phil Torrone, Rick
Polllack, and many more.
Why I’m the
best person to write this book
I’ve been a business owner and writer for over twenty years
writing about startups, entrepreneurs, small business, and inventors for the Greensboro News & Record, Pittsburgh Business Times, Wall Street Journal and at the Small Business Administration (SBA) blog.
Currently, my work at Forbes is gaining traction with a
new blog called “The Makers,” and is a
huge part of my effort to build awareness about the maker movement in more
mainstream publications. I also post regular contributions at American Express OPEN Forum, Small Business Trends and, most
recently, at Make.
Over the last two decades, I’ve worked as a consultant and
contractor to help small and large businesses with sales and marketing. I am regularly
asked by makers and future business owners if they should start a company and
my answer is most often an emphatic YES. We need more maker companies. Small
business drives the economy of most countries and we need to encourage and
enable it. My hope is that this book will inspire makers in our communities to get
where you come in
The money raised will go towards interviewing and writing, book
design, proofreading and editing, printing the books and the postage to ship
them to backers. I’ve already started the interviews and research, and estimate
another three months to complete the book content. I’m hopeful that printing
and shipping will only add one additional month putting it in your hands by early June.
For all backers who want early looks at the work in
progress, I plan to provide a private email update 2-3x a month with glimpses
of what I’m learning about and from pro makers. That will be an opt-in only
email you can sign up for here. I don’t want to overload people here on Kickstarter,
but I do plan to update backers here as well.
For those new to Kickstarter, it is an All-Or-Nothing model. If I don't reach my goal, your credit card is not charged. I've carefully estimated how much it will cost to create and ship this book and if I don't reach the goal I don't publish the book.
Are You a
If you are already a pro or semi-pro maker, I REALLY want to
hear from you. Are you selling your
products or kits? Please email me at TJM@MakersGoingPro.com so I can learn
about your work. I won’t be able to include everyone in the book, of course,
but I also plan to highlight the cool stories and tips via an email newsletter. You can subscribe to the Maker Tips