Financial troubles have forced Maker Media, the company behind crafting publication MAKE: magazine as well as the science and art festival Maker Faire, to lay off its entire staff of 22 and pause all operations. TechCrunch was tipped off to Maker Media’s unfortunate situation which was then confirmed by the company’s founder and CEO Dale […]
As a STEM educator, I was sad to great about this.
Maker Media is pretty iconic, and I hope this isn't indicative of the future of STEM.
"Financial troubles have forced Maker Media, the company behind crafting publication MAKE: magazine as well as the science and art festival Maker Faire, to lay off its entire staff of 22 and pause all operations."
Stem field is a thing, but the big company are creating their own event so they can make their own profit and customer base.
Microsoft has been a huge donator for these event, but recently they have been doing more homebrew solution within their own staff and opt out of maker faire.
2020 will be a big year for Microsoft since they are releasing more in classroom solutions directly from Microsoft which includes other company product.
You noticed no other big name IT based company aren't doing their own, but have product at Microsoft show floor.... Yeah...
It's a sad day, but sooner or later, someone with money will take over these events so that they can gain more customers, if your kids love programming and minecraft... Microsoft is the base line for this...
The next show Microsoft is sponsoring in socal, will be the long beach air show in California.
I'm on staff and been catering deals with Microsoft to loan us gear for the event. Both store fronts are on board.
Me: I've been in stem edu since 2009. Taught stem edu in 2012 till now at community college and k-12 in socal.
Speaking on the Florida front, those of us who have produced Maker Faires, the mini maker faires in Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Gainesville, Tampa, Palm Coast, and Miami, as well as the Flagship Maker Faire in Orlando, will probably still continue to produce some kind of Maker Faire in some fashion as time goes on. I'm sure other regions will also do the same.
As the Orlando Maker Faire recently posted, Keep Calm, and Make Stuff.
I have been able to download the newest few, but I had a paid account. Most back from about three months back.
I think you need the "digital subscription" package for more. I had just that and could get it on my iPad, but when I changed iPads I lost them all after I let the subscription lapse due to lack of money at the time. Then when I got a Hands On, they said I'd need a digital subscription to get it on my iPad and I was a bit irritated.
It is indeed. Hopefully the "restart" mentioned in the article as a non-profit or somesuch comes to pass. I always liked the idea of the Faires and even Make magazine; it all really opened up a hobby again that had become increasingly unapproachable for a lot of people.
That's a shame, but I can't say I didn't see this coming.
There's a weird dynamic within the maker community where everything is open and free and stuff like that is very cool, but at the same time you wonder if maybe, just maybe some of this stuff should actually cost a little bit of money just to raise enough funds to sustain it forward.
It's a phenomenal idea, but they got formulaic and hit a wall. It stopped feeling innovative unless you really liked feeling stuck in 2008.
There's still a need for something similar where you can demo new gadgets and ideas, combined with hacker communities, child education and the nutter artist eccentric in their basement. Maker Faire went in another direction instead.
But Dougherty is still desperately trying to resuscitate the company in some capacity, if only to keep MAKE:’s online archive running and continue allowing third-party organizers to license the Maker Faire name to throw affiliated events. Rather than bankruptcy, Maker Media is working through an alternative Assignment for Benefit of Creditors process.
“We’re trying to keep the servers running” Dougherty tells me. “I hope to be able to get control of the assets of the company and restart it. We’re not necessarily going to do everything we did in the past but I’m committed to keeping the print magazine going and the Maker Faire licensing program.” The fate of those hopes will depend on negotiations with banks and financiers over the next few weeks. For now the sites remain online.
But high production costs in expensive cities and a proliferation of free DIY project content online had strained Maker Media.
“It works for people but it doesn’t necessarily work as a business today, at least under my oversight” Dougherty concluded. For now the company is stuck in limbo.
I had no idea they thought they were a for-profit company/business. The entire model would work better as a 501c3. I hope they are able to reorganize and keep doing the good work of supporting the Maker movement.
I think if I was 10 years younger or Make started 10 years earlier I would have absolutely loved the magazine. As it was, though, even though I love the concept of it, I don't think I was really the target demographic.
Financial troubles have forced Maker Media, the company behind crafting publication MAKE: magazine as well as the science and art festival Maker Faire, to lay off its entire staff of 22 and pause all operations. TechCrunch was tipped off to Maker Media’s unfortunate situation which was then confirmed by the company’s founder and CEO Dale Dougherty…
“It started as a venture-backed company but we realized it wasn’t a venture-backed opportunity” Dougherty admits, as his company had raised $10 million from Obvious Ventures, Raine Ventures, and Floodgate. “The company wasn’t that interesting to its investors anymore. It was failing as a business but not as a mission. Should it be a non-profit or something like that? Some of our best successes for instance are in education.”
Yes. In fact, what would be wonderful if they did was to prep a Makers Guide <Your City>, that lays out how to federate the events for a variety of sizes of towns, cities and groups. Sort of like how Creative Commons or the Free Software Foundation came into being and serves as a template, but not an authority, to all that follow after it.
Basically, do a Maker Faire for Maker Faire. I would love a town of 500 people having an equally successful Maker's with 10 booth/benches and a hundred people as a larger city like Oakland or SF with 10x those. Or a school of 2,000 making one specifically meeting the needs of their students. Or a coven of musicians. Women. POC. Kids. Cats. Other unreached communities. The possibilities are endless.
I'm also very happy that Dale is trying to secure funds to archive everything, and to make it available in perpetuity, as much as they can. I'm unsure how many folks of means subscribe to r/BayArea, but perhaps consider helping Maker Faire to get this up and running and sustainable? It'd be dirt cheap for the give-back it'd be for our communities, in perpetuity! There's a very real risk of it all being carted up, never to be used by the public. :(