Katie Covington at the 2013 South by Southwest Interactive Conference in Austin Texas
DIY API open source
For Makers. #futureDIY
Katie Covington quit her job and started Open Source for Makers (http://www.opensourcemakerlabs.com/ ), where makers gave designs away for free. She explained how those interested in developing the project figured out how to share their designs for physical things, while still generating revenue.
By sharing ideas for projects, she generated a demand for source materials through sharing the knowledge. She realized that makers wanted to create and, once inspired, they want good sources of raw materials for their creations.
Covington explained how the makers jumped in with suggestions on new projects and products – and then they bought materials through the website from advertisers to use in the making.
Open Source for Makers works with suppliers, such as companies in the New York fashion district, offering materials that makers can order online. Her “tribe” helped her build the Open Source for Makers brand. And she connected them with unique materials that can’t be found at more traditional suppliers, such as Hobby Lobby or Michaels.
She described the way the website “takes away the friction” of hunting for materials by offering materials online in a way that is pleasing and useful for her website makers.
Covington’s advice for how to start your own company:
- Go where your customers are (for her, this was Instagram and Pinterest)
- Create content for that medium
- Keep it fresh
- Go offline
- Work with users and test quality of tutorials, materials, etc.
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