Maker Infrastructure

It wasn’t long ago we marveled that our phones packed tech into our pockets that the Pentagon couldn’t have dreamed of a decade earlier. These communication superpowers we now take for granted are just one aspect of a new ‘Maker Infrastructure’ that has quietly emerged around the globe. Today, the tools, communities, and capacities to build at scale and deliver internationally have been transformed into something like a snap-together kit of components. Once exclusively available to large multinational corporations, this kit can be used to build almost any kind of business. All it takes is a single individual or small team (like, say, an ex-lawyer and former ice cream truck driver 😉) to put the right pieces together in service of a big idea.

What’s included in Maker Infrastructure? 

  • Niche-scale manufacturing
  • A more seamless global supply chain
  • Immediate access to freelance design, marketing, and software dev talent
  • The most sophisticated advertising platforms ever devised
  • Open source platforms

… the list goes on. Democratized access to the engines of the last industrial revolution is fueling an era of unprecedented entrepreneurship: the rise of the ‘micro-multinational’, as Taylor Pearson, author of The End of Jobs, puts it.

Many of the components of Maker Infrastructure – like SaaS apps and server space – are easy to grab off the shelf. Others, like the network of factories arrayed across the world, are within the range of a plane ticket or two and the ever-shrinking cost to build a prototype. With peer-to-peer financing options like Kickstarter, you don’t even need a loan to get started.

With this ‘Maker Infrastructure’ in mind, we reached out to a panel of makers we admire – people who’ve taken advantage of these tools, built cool stuff, and reached a global audience – to find out how they leveraged its power and to give you a few ideas about how you can tackle projects of your own.

Introducing the Makers

Maker - Leanne Beesley, Coworker

Leanne Beesley, Coworker

Leanne Beesley launched Coworker.com, the global community-powered marketplace for coworking spaces, in 2015. To date, she and her all-female management team have put together the worlds largest platform for finding & connecting with coworking spaces. Their curated list of desks, offices & meeting rooms covers 9000+ coworking spaces in 157 countries and counting. She was also featured in our list of people who carve their own paths – ‘Movers  & 
Makers 2018
‘. Read More→

Maker - Andres Zuleta, Boutique Japan

Andres Zuleta, Boutique Japan

After years spent living, traveling and learning the local language in Japan, Andres Zuleta founded Boutique Japan, a modern travel company with a distributed team, in 2013. Their personalized service creates bespoke itineraries that match enthusiastic travelers with authentic experiences of the country and its culture.  Read More→

Maker - Jeff Phillips, Beardo

Jeff Phillips, Beardo

The Beardo beard hat is the world’s only beanie with a foldaway, removable and adjustable beard. Beard hats were invented by Jeff Phillips, a Canadian-born winter enthusiast with a passion for snowboarding. His beard hats, ski masks, and accessories have been keeping people warm and making them smile since 2006. Read More→

Maker - Brian Nottingham, Shipworks

Brian Nottingham, ShipWorks

ShipWorks helps busy ecommerce brands streamline their logistics operations by automatically determining the best shipping option, buying the necessary postage, and printing shipping labels. Brian Nottingham and his co-founder Wes Clayton founded Interapptive (with ShipWorks its flagship software product) in 2002 and grew it to serve tens of thousands of clients before being acquired by Stamps.com in 2014. Read More→

Maker - Taylor Pearson, Author The End of Jobs

Taylor Pearson, Author – The End of Jobs

Based on hundreds of interactions with entrepreneurs from Los Angeles to Vietnam, Brazil to New York and dozens of recent books and studies, Taylor Pearson wrote The End of Jobs to show others how they could invest in entrepreneurship to create more freedom, meaning, and wealth in their lives. His work has been featured in dozens of media outlets including NBC, Inc, Entrepreneur, Coindesk, Ribbonfarm and The Financial Times. He’s currently at work on the forthcoming title, The Blockchain ManRead More→

Maker - Scott Brills, Pamoja Safaris

Scott Brills, Pamoja Safaris

After experiencing a Tanzanian safari himself in 2010, Scott Brills partnered with his guide, Joshua Lovuto, to found Pamoja Safaris. Although operating a safari company seems like a far cry from his web design business, it felt like the logical next step for the world traveler, full-time nomad, and long-time wildlife enthusiast. Today, Pamjoa Safaris produces award-winning custom safaris and Kilimanjaro treks from its base in Arusha, Tanzania. Read More→

Eric Bandholz, Beardbrand

Tired of beards being left to kitschy, cheap grooming products, Eric Bandholz and his co-founders Lindsey Reinders and Jeremy McGee created Beardbrand in 2012. Since then, they’ve been on a mission to bring high quality products to ‘beardsmen‘ everywhere and to promote positive views of beards in society and culture.  Read More→

In-depth Interviews

Maker Infrastructure - Leanne Beesley, Coworker

Leanne Beesley, Coworker.com

How did you fund your project?

The first year we bootstrapped, then the second year onwards we raised funding from angel investors.

What was the biggest challenge for you in bringing your product to market?

The biggest challenge was knowing that we’d need to launch Coworker.com as an MVP without all the features and specs that we wanted it to have. Even 3 years on, we’re still adding features we wanted to have from day 1! So letting go of a need for “perfectionism” and just launching as soon as possible (despite feeling embarrassed about the MVP) was the main challenge. We were launching a really big project with a very small team and limited resources.

What gave you the confidence to tackle those challenges?

I believed so much that the world needed a global platform to find, book and review coworking spaces, and knew that to succeed we have to play the long game. A long road begins with a single step, and launching the MVP was that first step! When you have a really big vision it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and think “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not the right person to make this happen” but you just have to shut those voices in your head up and execute. My general style is to avoid overthinking and just move fast on execution.

What tools helped you reach your current success?

I’m a big fan of Envato Elements and use tons of their assets, from video templates to layered photoshop files. It’s a monthly subscription that gets you unlimited access to download tons of assets by talented designers, developers and creatives, and it’s an amazing value.

I’m also a big fan of Segment.com – we’ve been using that for over 1 year to connect our infrastructure with tons of different apps & tools without having to do custom integrations for each service.

What improvements in maker infrastructure could make it easier for you (or for others) in the future?

Honestly, there are so many innovations now that it’s never been easier to create and launch things. The difficult part is knowing what’s out there and how best to use it, which is why I always keep an eye on what’s trending on Product Hunt.

Did you have all (or any) of the skills you needed to bring your project to market when you first got started?

Bringing a project to market is the easiest part. It’s growing the business that’s the hardest! The skills I had when we first launched Coworker.com were definitely not the right skills I needed for growing it. Soft skills like leadership and team management were totally alien to me, and it took about 2 years of awkwardness and mistakes until I finally started realizing that the skills I needed now were very different to the tactical skills I’d spent the past few years developing. That was a bit of a mind fuck, realizing I had zero of the skills I really needed to be the CEO of my company as we grew.

How did you find answers to the tough questions and challenges you faced?

I feel like the answer to almost anything is on Google. Whenever I have challenges or questions, I usually do a quick Google investigation to see who else has had that and what peoples responses were. For tech stuff, there’s usually an answer on Stack Overflow. For business stuff, there’s usually a bunch of Medium articles or Quora Q&A threads. I’m yet to find myself in a situation where there is zero advice on the internet from people who encountered similar challenges.

Would your project have been possible 50, 20, 10, 5, or even 2 years ago?

Coworking is still a really new industry but it’s growing rapidly so we’re a ship on a rising tide. We launched in 2015 and that was pretty much the perfect time – early enough to quickly become the market leader due to limited competition, but not so early that only early adopters know what a coworking space is. From an infrastructure perspective, it was definitely cheaper and faster to build than it would have been 10+ years ago due to all the frameworks and tools available to startups now. And also online hiring platforms like Upwork have made it incredibly easy to find great talent all over the world. Coworker.com would be nothing without our team, and we’re now 19 people working from 11 different countries.

It’s easy to repeat the mantra that ‘anyone can do it’, but COULD anyone start from zero?

It’s never been easier to launch an MVP (minimum viable product). I’m obsessed with Envato Elements and all the marketplaces in the Envato family like Code Canyon, Themeforest, GraphicRiver, Audio Jungle, etc., as they make creating things so easy. There are also things like Shopify and Kyvio, so no matter what you’re selling you can easily connect with your customers without having to build a platform from scratch.

Maker Infrastructure - Andres Zuleta, Boutique Japan

Andres Zuleta, Boutique Japan

How did you fund your project?

We self-funded Boutique Japan. While my partner was recovering from cancer, we saved up just enough money to give us a bit of a runway. Our thought was that if we could just have 6 months of working solely on Boutique Japan — without any other jobs or distractions — we could make it work. To be honest, we didn’t start off with a huge amount: it was about US$25,000. We were living in San Diego at the time, so to save money (and immerse ourselves further in the business) we moved to Kyoto, where our cost of living was lower.

What was the biggest challenge for you in bringing your product to market?

Our biggest challenge was connecting with potential clients. Based on my past experience in the travel industry, and my Japan experience, I was confident that our service would appeal to our target market. The problem was that our company was brand new, with zero name recognition, and I didn’t have an easy way to spread the word. Luckily, I realized that there was a huge opportunity in content marketing since it did not seem that any of our competitors were doing a great job in this area. So we went full force into content marketing, primarily via our blog.

What gave you the confidence to tackle those challenges?

My vision, firsthand knowledge of the industry, and Japan expertise. From what I could see, nobody was doing what we wanted to create, and I believed we could stand out. The majority of our would-be competitors were either old-fashioned travel agencies focused on traditional elements of Japan (think geishas and tea ceremonies), or large (and somewhat generic) companies. We saw an opening for a younger, more dynamic company inspired by the surprisingly eclectic Japan we know and love.

What tools helped you reach your current success?

WordPress, for one. I’ve tried other platforms, but WordPress is my favorite when it comes to content production in the form of blogging – and our blog has been hugely responsible for any success we’ve had. Apart from it — and Google, of course — nothing else really comes close, but I’m also thankful for the other tools we use in our day-to-day, including G Suite, Asana, Slack, Confluence, and GrooveHQ.

What improvements in maker infrastructure could make it easier for you (or for others) in the future?

Nothing special comes to mind. Starting our company was both relatively easy, and relatively affordable.

Did you have all (or any) of the skills you needed to bring your project to market when you first got started?

I had some, but definitely not all, of the skills I needed to bring our service to market. The most important thing I had was a solid basic understanding of the market I wanted to enter, thanks to my experience in the travel industry. This helped us design and position our service quite well from the beginning. But even though I was confident it was the right fit, I had zero marketing experience. Fortunately, I had another skill (along with a key area of expertise) that proved essential: writing, paired with in-depth Japan knowledge. Despite having limited funds, we were able to connect directly with our target market through high-quality blog posts.

How did you find answers to the tough questions and challenges you faced?

At the start, we found answers to tough questions from books and podcasts. I also joined a couple of online communities for entrepreneurs, and made it a point to attend business conferences whenever possible. Now I have close friends and acquaintances around the world who are a perennial source of support and advice, and — perhaps most importantly — a weekly “mastermind” call with close friends (and fellow business owners) where we help each other not only with business-related topics, but life in general.

Would your project have been possible 50, 20, 10, 5, or even 2 years ago?

My project was possible 5 years ago (we just had our 5th anniversary), and my sense is we started at just about the right time. It’s possible it might have been viable 10 years ago, though I’m not sure if our content marketing strategy would have worked as well. We didn’t have a technical background and I suspect we would have had less success with organic SEO if we’d tried to do the same thing 10 years ago, when Google’s algorithms were less sophisticated. Our content marketing focus was overwhelmingly around quality of content, as opposed to technical aspects of SEO. Conversely, if we had tried to start this just 2 years ago, I’m not sure if we would have gotten traffic quite as quickly, since there is so much more content out there than there was even 5 years ago. So, I suppose we got lucky and happened to go with a strategy that made sense based on the circumstances at the time. All this being said, new self-funded companies pop up in our space all the time these days, and there are still so many ways to get to market quickly and affordably.

It’s easy to repeat the mantra that ‘anyone can do it’, but COULD anyone start from zero?

I love the appeal of the idea that anyone can start from zero, but it would be hard to argue that we, for example, started from zero. We were born and raised in the US with so many opportunities and advantages. Success stories from people who have come from much more challenging backgrounds are amazingly inspiring, but it’s important to acknowledge just how exceptional they are. So while I do believe that almost anyone could start from zero, I think it’s much easier for some than for others.

Maker Infrastructure - Jeff Philllips, Beardo

Jeff Phillips, Beardo

How did you fund your project?

We’re self-funded with low startup costs.

What was the biggest challenge for you in bringing your product to market?

It was fairly simple, to be honest. Because the Beardo Beard Hat is unique, the media and social exposure outlets seemed to run with it quite well. It helped that the release coincided with winter and we were nearing Christmas.

What gave you the confidence to tackle those challenges?

Knowing that I had an ‘out’ if they didn’t sell gave me confidence. I realized that the hats alone were really good quality and if all else failed I could detach the removable beards and sell the handknit beanies at cost.

What tools helped you reach your current success?

Using the media for my exposure was great. Social media worked at making it go viral. Other than that just making sure my SEO was all set up was a key in succeeding.

What improvements in maker infrastructure could make it easier for you (or for others) in the future?

Easier access to media would be great but short of putting out media releases this is a tough one. Most writers and producers don’t have their info published for good reason. Cracking that nut would be great.

Did you have all (or any) of the skills you needed to bring your project to market when you first got started?

I learned a lot along the way. Whatever needed to be done, I learned to do it. I think that’s a key ingredient to working with a tight budget and what every entrepreneur should aim for. We all have areas where we are less interested or less able, but as business owners, we need to at least understand the key components of what we do. Then if you decide its more cost-effective to outsource an area, you can make that call.

How did you find answers to the tough questions and challenges you faced?

Google, blogs and night classes helped with those areas!

Would your project have been possible 50, 20, 10, 5, or even 2 years ago?

Without the virality of Facebook it would not have been possible.

It’s easy to repeat the mantra that ‘anyone can do it’, but COULD anyone start from zero?

Anyone can do it I believe. Most entrepreneurs that I coach who are struggling are having a hard time because they are not getting the positive-reinforcement right away and quit. You need to enjoy what you are doing or you’ll never give it your all. Money is a good indicator that you are on the right track and doing well, but it can’t be the main motivator. If you aren’t excited about the project and are simply waiting for financial gain then you’re going to have a stressful and difficult path ahead.

Maker Infrastructure - Brian Nottingham, Shipworks

Brian Nottingham, ShipWorks

How did you fund your project?

We bootstrapped.

What was the biggest challenge for you in bringing your product to market?

Lack of purchasable technical infrastructure and marketing knowledge.

What gave you the confidence to tackle those challenges?

You can’t lose if you never quit.

What tools helped you reach your current success?

Microsoft Visual Studio and Developer Network, technical blogs, and about a million books from Amazon.

What improvements in maker infrastructure could make it easier for you (or for others) in the future?

They’ve been made since we started. Now hosting is easy, web apps are easy, cloud storage is easy, everything has an API – we had to create all of that ourselves.

Did you have all (or any) of the skills you needed to bring your project to market when you first got started?

Software architecture and development, image editing, and web development.

How did you find answers to the tough questions and challenges you faced?

Amazon and Google.

Would your project have been possible 50, 20, 10, 5, or even 2 years ago?

20 would have been really hard. 2 years ago would have been much easier than when we started (15 years ago).

It’s easy to repeat the mantra that ‘anyone can do it’, but COULD anyone start from zero?

With enough money, sure.

Maker Infrastructure - Taylor Pearson, Author of The End of Jobs  and Entrepreneur

Taylor Pearson, Author – The End of Jobs

How did you fund your project?

With part-time consulting work.

What was the biggest challenge for you in bringing your product to market?

The biggest challenge for me, and I think for most of these types of projects is distribution. It’s getting easier and easier to make things, but distribution is still a big challenge.

Historically, in the early 20th century, the major challenge most businesses faced was manufacturing. There was a lot of latent demand for products which could suddenly be manufactured en masse and more efficiently (and thus sold more cheaply) and the biggest problem was getting the thing made.

Consider the existence of Product Hunt as the opposite of this trend, there are seemingly infinitely many products being launched now but the attention a maker needs to win in order to inform and educate the market about their product is fixed – they aren’t making any more hours in the day.

What gave you the confidence to tackle those challenges?

In part, I just decided that I would always regret it if I didn’t do it. I would be bummed if I did it and it failed, but at least I wouldn’t regret it. Jeff Bezos often refers to his “regret minimization framework,” the idea of making big decisions based on minimizing regret. I am not sure this is a perfect strategy, but it’s not a bad place to start.

Beyond that, I believe that we are in a bit of a golden era for the ‘micro multinational‘ – the ability for small businesses to operate at global scale (and the advantages that come from that) has never been better. I expect that to be a persistent trend over the next few decades and so I figured it was worth getting started today because even if it didn’t work out, I would learn really valuable skills that I could use in the future (and it’s a lot cheaper than grad school in the States).

What tools helped you reach your current success?

The general WYSIWYG-ification of software has been a huge boon. Tools like WordPress and off-the-shelf email marketing are a big driver.

The internet also has flattened distribution in a meaningful way. The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal stand alongside bloggers on the Search Engine Results page in a way they most certainly didn’t on the news stand. Learning some basic skills around SEO, email marketing and the like make it possible to leverage that.

What improvements in maker infrastructure could make it easier for you (or for others) in the future?

I feel like WordPress is starting to show it’s age a bit and I think there is perhaps some room for improvements there.

Though I think it’s still quite a ways out, I’m excited about the financing possibilities that can develop over the coming decades. For small projects without venture scale potential, it can still be very difficult to get financing on terms that make sense.

Better tools for remote teams is another one. Slack and Zoom have been a big improvement in the last few years but remote is still a big challenge.

Did you have all (or any) of the skills you needed to bring your project to market when you first got started?

I think I had an inkling of them. They were very underdeveloped relative to where they needed to be to complete the project, but I think that is normal and healthy. The right projects for me always feels just a little out of my reach and so I am in the right ballpark, but I need to stretch a bit to really get there.

How did you find answers to the tough questions and challenges you faced?

Having a community of people who had done similar things was a huge asset. Going to conferences and participating in online forums gave me access to the very specific, local knowledge I needed as well as partners who could help with distribution.

Would your project have been possible 50, 20, 10, 5, or even 2 years ago?

It would have been possible as far back as fifty years ago, but what’s really changed is the cost. Moore’s law has spillover effects and it probably cost me 1/10th of what it would have cost if I had tried to do it ten years earlier.

It’s easy to repeat the mantra that ‘anyone can do it’, but COULD anyone start from zero?

I certainly think anyone can, but there are definitely ‘waves’ and market timing is important. The right time to start an independent blog was the mid to late 2000’s just as Google and the major social media networks, but before there was a lot of competition from traditional media companies that hadn’t figured out digital.

Today, the right place to start for online publishing is almost certainly video as Youtube’s popularity has exploded and the bandwidth limitations that made video hard to consume on mobile are increasingly less problematic.

Maker Infrastructure - Scott Brills, Pamoja Safaris

Scott Brills, Pamoja Safaris

How did you fund your project?

I bootstrapped using personal funds in the beginning. Monetary costs were minimal – there was far more time involved on both partner’s ends than anything. As we ramped up and got more business (and profits), we put aside a bit of cash to use for recurring costs, supplies, etc.

What was the biggest challenge for you in bringing your product to market?

Competition, the learning curve, and funds. There are hundreds of competitors in the local market alone, but lucky for us, most of them have no idea what they are doing. Upon figuring this out (after a bit of outsourced research), we set out to provide what the others didn’t, and do it in a professional way that appealed to our target market.

As far as the learning curve and funds go, we gradually ramped up operations organically, learning and growing over the years.

What gave you the confidence to tackle those challenges?

The novelty factor was definitely a part of the equation –I love doing things just for the story alone. I also like big challenges – of which this company is one – and running a safari company encompasses a few things that I love, including entrepreneurship, travel, and wildlife conservation.

What tools helped you reach your current success?

Perseverance, and having a great partner. As with many entrepreneurial ventures, the person or organization that doesn’t give up is the one that wins in the end. As for my partner Joshua, none of this would’ve been possible without his willingness and support through the years, so a huge shout out goes to him.

What improvements in maker infrastructure could make it easier for you (or for others) in the future?

There are currently so many software products catering to the travel and tour market – with more coming out all the time – that it is difficult to figure out what is best for your needs. This is a huge topic of conversation amongst travel business owners the world over – and if you aren’t technically adept, it’s quite tough to figure things out. I think the market needs a few mergers/buyouts, so that potential choices aren’t as cluttered.

Did you have all (or any) of the skills you needed to bring your project to market when you first got started?

I had experience building and running a business remotely… but that’s about it. When it comes to the travel industry, doing business in Africa/Tanzania, or managing a company with a partner, I was a total newbie.

How did you find answers to the tough questions and challenges you faced?

By asking my partner, doing research online, or by making (and then learning from) mistakes. Mistakes were definitely made!

Would your project have been possible 50, 20, 10, 5, or even 2 years ago?

Not beyond 10 or so, no. The ability to remotely start and manage such a tour company requires the use of remote teleconferencing software (Skype etc.), instant messaging apps (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger), remote payment software (PayPal, online banking), and(preferably) fast internet connections (a tough find in many places in Africa even a few years ago).

It’s easy to repeat the mantra that ‘anyone can do it’, but COULD anyone start from zero?

Yes, I think if you had the passion and persevered – and most importantly, have a great partner – you could do it too.

Maker Infrastructure - Eric Bandholz, Beardbrand

Eric Bandholz, Beardbrand

How did you fund your project?

Beardbrand is a self-funded and bootstrapped company. The three co-founders committed their time and a small investment (less than $10k) into the business.

Part of the process involved not taking a salary from the business for about the first 10 months of business. Fortunately, we had other means of income to support us while we got the business off the ground.

What was the biggest challenge for you in bringing your product to market?

The challenges for our business have always been evolving and we’ve had many ‘biggest challenges’ at different stages.

In the early days, the biggest challenge was educating our audience on a brand new product and the value it can bring to their lives. As the market became educated, we then needed to distinguish ourselves from those who copied our product.

But from a personal perspective, those early days were fairly easy because I’m pretty good at putting out fires. Where I really struggle is building systems and processes. Specifically the most challenging was to figure out how to hire the right team members and give them the resources they needed to be successful in their role.

There were a lot of headaches and struggles with that process and we finally solved it by integrating “Topgrading” hiring techniques and by really knowing and understanding our company culture.

What gave you the confidence to tackle those challenges?

As an entrepreneur, you either strive to solve your problems or you go out of business. There aren’t any options to not tackle your issues.

Entrepreneurship is simply a series of problems and then working to solve those problems. Good entrepreneurs will know how to prioritize their problems and solve them efficiently; whereas great entrepreneurs will know how to solve problems before they even become a problem.

I’m working as hard as possible to become a great entrepreneur and have a the foresight to anticipate what issues we’ll have in the future and build a business that will steamroll through them without a hiccup.

What tools helped you reach your current success?

As a bootstrapped organization, it’s been very important to lean on other tools and partners to help us grow. By outsourcing a lot of projects, we’ve been able to keep our costs low and scale quicker.

Working with PR firms, PPC firms, 3PLs, and manufacturers has been huge for us.

From a tool standpoint, we’ve found a lot of benefit from the common tools – Slack, G Suite, Shopify, Shipstation, etc.

But, some of the most helpful tools to us are in regards to the hiring process. We use 16personalities.com and Criteria Corp for candidates personality tests, and Jazz.co to help us screen applicants and post jobs.

What improvements in maker infrastructure could make it easier for you (or for others) in the future?

Whatever you need is out there; however the time it takes to find what you need could be years. If there was a way to share blueprints on how to build specific type of business with industry information; that’d be amazing. Sadly, I can’t imagine too many companies would want to share that confidential information.

Did you have all (or any) of the skills you needed to bring your project to market when you first got started?

My background was in sales and graphic design. That allowed me to create a nice website, dive into YouTube, and tell a good story.

Everything beyond that has been a learning lesson. I’ve never managed people, I’ve never brought physical products to the marketplace, I’ve never negotiated contracts and worked with vendors.

If you aren’t willing to push yourself and grow as an individual, you’ll never be able to solve the issues that you run into. I would suspect no one comes into a project with all the skills necessary to pull it off and that’s what makes it so fun.

How did you find answers to the tough questions and challenges you faced?

Oh man, we’ve made so many bad decisions over the years. As a bootstrapped company, it’s really important to put your energy into projects that are sustainable and profitable.

By looking at the profitability (both short term & long term potential) you can quickly discover if a project makes sense to continue or to kill.

Would your project have been possible 50, 20, 10, 5, or even 2 years ago?

We launched our business in 2012 and I would like to think we could have done it in 2010. We might have been able to do it in 2007, but that likely would have been a stretch. There’s no way we could have done what we did 10, 20 or 50 years ago.

It’s easy to repeat the mantra that ‘anyone can do it’, but COULD anyone start from zero?

I think that anyone can do what we do, but like all other successful businesses you need to have a clear vision and a pathway towards success. All the skills, tools, and connections can be built along the way.


What’s been your experience with maker infrastructure?

Hit us up at feedback[at]minaal[dot]com or tag #minaal on social to continue the conversation!

For more on ‘Movers & Makers’ read:

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Matt Gelgota