- Be a Maker – focus on creation, collaboration, and the process of making.
- Listen, interact, and give back to the maker community.
The Whole Picture
The use of DIY (Do It Yourself) started as early as 1910s and was commonplace in the 1950s. It is associated with many things, from home improvement projects, crafts, and technology. It has centered around making yourself the primary doer – the one who buys the parts, puts them together, and does the work without the aid of a professional or expert. Lately, there has been another movement in a similar jest called the maker movement. While communities have been created around the DIY space, the maker movement has been built and centered around communities which aids creativity, education, and success.
Back in 1995, I discovered something called BBSes (Bulletin Board Systems). It was something like a pre-internet internet. You would use your computer to dial in to another computer from which you could send email, play games, write messages on a message board, and if the BBS had multiple lines (which few did) – chat. It was here that I met a bunch of individuals who were the DIY types with computers – they built their own machines, wrote their own software, etc.
What always struck me as funny, is that while it was called Do It Yourself so many people were there as a support group. You were never alone in a project, and learning was a collaboration. You would write a bit of code, post it, others would comment or post changes, and you’d learn from that. It was like collectively solving a puzzle, where working together cut the time-to-solve ten-fold.
DIY is like looking at history and giving Thomas Edison credit for every patent he put his name on and not crediting the hundreds of workers in his lab. Additionally, by assuming you have to do something alone (be it a new project, or learning a new skill) is a terribly limiting thing. The internet has enabled millions of different communities to exist on any and all topics. Use those communities to bolster your skillset and give back to those communities.