Dubbed the Greatest Show & Tell on Earth, last weekend’s World Maker Faire drew tens of thousands to Queens, New York, to play with everything from DIY robots to puppets made from trash. Behind all the play, though, is something much bigger — a movement with the power to build the critical-thinking skills that companies and President Obama call key to the future economy.
Yet the maker movement has yet to make big waves in corporate America. And this is a missed opportunity. While technology firms, government, and education embrace making as the future, other industries can reap rewards by inspiring employees to both think of solutions and make them happen.
Jack White’s Cass Corridor storefront plugs into a growing maker movement in Detroit.
Jack White’s Third Man Records is a perfect example of a business deeply embedded in its community. Even though the record company’s first retail store opened in Nashville in March 2009, the business began in 2001 in Detroit, where White was born, raised, and formed his most famous band, The White Stripes. Last year Third Man opened a flagship location next to Shinola in Detroit’s Cass Corridor section, site of much rock’n’roll history in the Motor City. It’s quite the multipurpose site: record store, novelties lounge, performance stage, old-fashioned recording booth, and – coming soon – a vinyl pressing plant.