[hackerspaces] A New Hacker Has Joined Your Party!

Ross Smith rsmith at i3detroit.com
Thu Jan 13 15:10:55 CET 2011

Hi Mel!

> It seems I've heard hackers here and there mentioning moving to Detroit and
> turning it into "hackerstown" - possibly meaning coming to the area to
> settle and help rebuild its economical and social fabric through
> hackerspace-like structures and entrepreneurship. Is it something you've
> heard of as well ? What would your take on that be ?
> Cheers !

I must agree.  I can't say Detroit will be more or less of a
hackerstown than other very admirable places, but this area is fertile
ground for hackerspaces.  There are many prevailing reasons, but
without getting into the details too much, they include:

1) High density of academic, engineering and technical talent here due
to the auto industry - hence many people likely to be hackers and
2) Very low cost of commercial rental real estate - as the economic
conditions here forced many businesses to close, leaving commercial
landlords lowering their rates
3) High demand for community among Michigander locals - as layoffs and
economic turmoil disturb the fabric of our lives, we have a strong
need for community, networking, and dependable friends in this area
4) Entrepreneurship - many artists in the underground Metro Detroit
community  need spaces like i3 to do their work while keeping costs
down; likewise many self-starting people use i3's resources as a
platform to start their own business, as they have been dissatisfied
with layoffs or seasonal employment

This means we have many committed hackers making their local
hackerspace a larger part of their own lives, and willing to share it
with all their like-minded friends.  The conditions are right - now
it's up to us locals to make the culture grow and become as vibrant as
it can be.

Ross Smith
i3Detroit President

"Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually
right." -- Henry Ford

More information about the Discuss mailing list