[hackerspaces] The world needs makerspaces?

idnc_sk at vpslab.org idnc_sk at vpslab.org
Thu Nov 16 06:36:30 CET 2017

Well, building a "kinder-garden for grown ups" business can get tough I 

Should not every* business start by trying to solve other peoples 
problems? Ommiting a few(funny I should say) anecdotes, open a hw repair 
shop and gradually add-up on "opennes" and "self-help" tools.

When a 1700EUR 4K TV stops working 2 weeks after the varranty is over 
because of a notoriously flawed power circuit design, you can easily 
charge 150+ EUR for a repair and still end up with a happy customer - 
that's for 20-80c on capacitors and maybe 30min of your time.

I'd say use a business model that already works, get your 
cash-flow/finances/processes sorted and gradually grow into the 
"pure-er" makerspace roam. A few examples:
HW Repair shops
(power)Tool rentals, esp. building and carpentry
Workspace rentals(carpentry)
Coworking (IT)
Car diagnostic

Those are - deppending on the location aot - known to produce a net 
income even if not managed very good.
Once you have your survival-infrastructure set up, you may gradually add 
a small coffee-space on the side, workshops, lectures, even "cloud" 
services - whatever your area/customers/member-base is able and willing 
to finance - but the income-producing core will stay unaffected even if 
your makerspace coffee-corner idea turns out to be a black hole for money.

The hw rep. shop example was chosen because that's the kind of business 
that already requires most of the tools one would need to run a 
small-ish makerspace. It's not the only one, hell even small farmer 
shops could grow into a type of diy farming makerspace, my point is, you 
have to have a running business first.

@non-profit models: Strongly deppends on your country / legislature. In 
general, eu has not as many strings attached as the us - but you may 
still end up in a situation where it's "sell your soul to the devil" or 
close the doors .. have to be careful with anything that deppends on 
donations(whether state, corporate or private)


Dňa 11/15/2017 o 9:43 PM Tarek Ahmed napísal(a):
> You can read the employees reviews since they opened till this year to 
> see how different it was from any maker/hacker/fablab or coworking 
> space model.
> https://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/TechShop-Reviews-E515949.htm
> On Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 2:58 PM, Ben Brown <ben at generik.ca 
> <mailto:ben at generik.ca>> wrote:
>     I think the community is as important to a hackerspace's
>     well-being as the building and tools -- in fact I would submit
>     that's what makes a hackerspace as opposed to just a community
>     workshop or co-working environment... or a TechShop.
>     You also need a good source of (volunteer) labour and people who
>     are passionate to keep the community going (and by association --
>     the space alongside it). Paying staff to do the same may be the
>     smart thing to do to keep people accountable to their
>     commitments... but only if you can afford it.
>     I never really considered TechShop as part of the same ballpark as
>     NFP spaces, but it was an excellent resource for advanced tools
>     and training. They will be missed.
>     Ben
>     On 2017-11-15 2:19 PM, Edward L Platt wrote:
>>     One of the most important questions, which I remember discussing
>>     with Jim Newton and Dale Dougherty shortly before TechShop
>>     Detroit opened, is whether the space is primarily about the tools
>>     or about the community. Community without tools is still useful,
>>     but less so the other way around. Community takes less money to
>>     maintain, but more work, although if you do it right, that work
>>     can be fun and meaningful for members.
>>     Ed
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