This post has been sitting on my to-write list for multiple years now but it’s a topic I’ve been meaning to write ever since my Makers Alley experience. When we created Makers Alley the goal was to create a marketplace for local designers, woodworkers, and metalworkers to offer their pieces for sale along with some customization. To get the marketplace started we had dozens of meetings with these artists describing what we were trying to do, explaining the product, taking photos, and generally pitching to get them signed up.
We never got the traction we wanted but during the time I met a ton of wonderful and passionate people who were looking to make a living designing and making furniture. This was a world far away from tech and it was thrilling to be a part of it. To get started in tech all you need is a laptop but the people we met were spending tens of thousands of dollars on the spaces, the tools, and the supplies just to get started with no idea if they’d be successful or not. They had a vision and were passionate enough to get into debt to pursue them. Being in the tech world we admire founders who quit their jobs to do a startup but we shouldn’t forget that there are people giving up more, risking more, and all to pursue their passion.