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Day 8: Book Review: Zero to Maker by David Lang

Today marks my tie with my previous longest streak in Write. Every. Day.

As a result of a purchase on Humble Bundle, I wound up reading the e-book:

Lang, David, and Rebecca Demarest. 2013. Zero to maker: learn (just enough) to make (just about) anything.

From the WorldCat summary:

“Are you possessed by the urge to invent, design, and make something that others enjoy, but don’t know how to plug into the Maker movement? In this book, you’ll follow author David Lang’s headfirst dive into the Maker world and how he grew to be a successful entrepreneur. You’ll discover how to navigate this new community, and find the best resources for learning the tools and skills you need to be a dynamic maker in your own right. Lang reveals how he became a pro maker after losing his job, and how the experience helped him start OpenROV–a DIY community and product line focused on open source undersea exploration. It all happened once he became an active member of the Maker culture. Ready to take the plunge into the next Industrial Revolution? This guide provides a clear and inspiring roadmap.”

I found this book to be mostly interesting and inspiring. Mr. Lang hooks you with the first chapter that begins in a cave surrounded by foul weather. A robot descends into deep water. The inventors are excited to see their product working. Then Lang tells us that just months prior, he was a Silicon Valley social media minion with no manual skills. He got laid off and was envious of people with back-up manual skills like carpentry. He resolves to “re-skill himself.” Most of the rest of the book is his story of finding people in the Maker movement, apprenticing with some of them, taking classes at Makerspaces and elsewhere. There are sections of the book that offer advice on finding maker groups, creating your own workshop and how to go about starting a business as a Maker. The sections that focus on how particular people got involved with Maker culture were the most interesting to me. The chapters later in the book about the mechanics of finding business funding and considerations about filing patents were less so. That probably says more about me than the author.

Mr. Lang was ultimately successful in reskilling himself and is a main partner in the OpenROV project. So his book a legitimate story of being a zero (manual skills wise) to a Maker. If you’re looking for a book to inspire you to pick up new skills, have fun and join a global movement, this book is for you.

References:

Humble Bundle

OpenROV (Underwater Exploration Robots) project

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