The successes (and failures) of businesses can be hard to pin down. Explanations like sweeping sociological forces, the great man theory, or just “right place, right time”, have been intersecting and clashing for centuries.
Simmi P. Sing, at MIT Sloan Management Review ponders — and tries to answer — some of these questions in his recent article “Lessons From the Maker Movement“.
But is it really the spark of genius that distinguishes [companies such as Amazon, Apple, and Pixar]? Or does their repeated success in developing wildly popular new products and services have more to do with culture, process, and environment? I believe it’s the latter. And this raises an intriguing question: Is it possible to break through the barriers between those creative companies and the rest of the corporate world, building within conventional businesses the ideal conditions for entrepreneurial thinking?
Sing argues that the maker movement has the key principles needed for businesses to innovate and drive progress, and assimilating them will encourage this more entrepreneurial mindset.
The maker movement is a cultural phenomenon that celebrates shared experimentation, iterative learning, and discovery through connected communities that build together, while always emphasizing creativity over criticism.
Developing physical and intellectual spaces to discover, explore, and connect in unstructured ways is crucial for businesses to move from the culture of criticism to a culture of creation.
A culture and community inspired by and living up to the fundamental philosophies of the maker movement may be one of the elusive keys to success. This is much easier said than done, but according to Sing, building cultures like this is why companies like Amazon, Tesla, and Apple are leading their fields. It may be worth the hard work required.