This week the White House hosted their first ever Maker Faire.
You didn’t read about it on Techcrunch. Or Mashable.
But make no mistake, this was an historic event.
I recall running into Dale Daugherty, founder and CEO of Maker Media and spiritual leader of the maker movement shortly after President Obama’s 2009 inaugural speech. Dale giddily asked “did you hear it? I knew exactly what he was referring to. In that speech the president stated:
"Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted, for those that prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things"
There it was.
We are Makers. A nation of them.
At that time, the Maker movement was still very much in its infancy, still deep within the realm of hobbyists and hackers.
This week the President welcomed these makers of things to the most prominent address in the world. To set up shop. To display their work. To remind a nation of their history and call them to action. He said:
“Our parents and our grandparents created the world’s largest economy and strongest middle class not by buying stuff, but by building stuff — by making stuff, by tinkering and inventing and building.”
I ran into Dale again last night. With eyes still a bit starry he tried to convey what this week meant to him and to the Maker movement. The words didn’t come easily, but there was a clear sense that this was a meaningful moment.
What began as a group of misunderstood hackers, artists and outcasts has transformed into the promise of a nation. And stands as a beacon signaling that real, tangible innovation is taking root on our soil once again. Tho the halls of the White House have been cleared of any signs of this weeks Maker Faire, those halls have clearly left a lasting mark on this community which left Dale, understandably, a bit speechless.