Dawn of the DIY Freelancers

FabSpaces is a new tool that consolidates DIY projects and makes sharing the “how do you do it” easy and informative. I recently had a conversation with Juan Gonzalez, founder of FabSpaces.

Projects can cover any number of areas. The first couple listed on his site include a DIY cell phone and a wireless camera module using an Arduino and EyeFi card. Pretty interesting and you should take a look.

Gonzales envisions an environment where collaborating and contributing ideas on DIY projects takes on a Wikipedia effect. He’d like to get people to subscribe and help find blogs, articles, projects, and so on that can be linked to the FabSpaces site.

Gonzalas opined, “Enough playing and having fun. People are getting very serious about what can be done with these technologies.”

His official launch is this fall and he has hired several recent engineering grads to help him get FabSpaces ready.

Gonzales pointed out that many people think the DIY industry is on the verge of sorting out its business model. He said he thinks there will soon be a new breed of employees possibly called “DIY Freelancers,” who organize themselves into “agencies” and go from project to project providing creative hardware solutions for custom problems. He doesn’t think that an established company will be able to justify these kinds of full-time in-house DIY technicians. He said he has met a few people that already make a decent living out of freelancing in this niche.

Another thing he said was that people don’t need to know all that much to get going with technology like the Arduino. Once you’ve mastered the basics, it’s fairly straightforward to specialize in other boards, more complex programming skills or even other fields like mechatronics. He noted that individuals could sit comfortably at this level and be rather prolific without having to have that much knowledge. Of course, for the ambitious, the correct path may involve upgrading to more sophisticated micro-processors, more complex languages, and networks of devices (the Internet of Things).

It might make sense to diversify a bit and start planning for all the interesting, exotic, and soon-to-be off-the-shelf DIY hardware…along with your interests in social media, Web, Linux, and mobile development.

Related Links

Fabspaces Website

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