“Making It” is my go-to guide for finding out how you manufacture different objects. It is an illustrated guide to manufacturing methods, complete with images of the process in action, the finished goods, a description of the variety of goods you can make with this method, as well as related techniques. If you have any interest at all in making things, this book should have a slot on your bookshelf.
Building Open Source Hardware is a very very practical reference guide on the nuts and bolts of going from a maker project to a growing business. Alicia has brought together a great description of the state of the art.
She doesn’t have all the answers yet – no-one does. But this book is the start of an enormous change in the way we make things. Turning the open source hardware movement into a radical open source decentralised manufacturing system.
Zero to Maker by David Lang is a book does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a guide to how to find out how to learn (just enough) to make (just about) anything. I wanted this book so much I helped fund it on Kickstarter.
Jeremy Rifkin has a style of writing that annoys a lot of people, if you read the comments online. I found the Zero Marginal Cost Society to be a valuable contribution to the debate that is taking place about capitalism. Logically, capitalism will always find the lowest cost option, but with open source that cost should be approaching zero. So what happens if everything takes the lowest possible cost? What does society look like? How does it function?
This is not a howto guide that takes us to the economics of “Star Trek The Next Generation” but it helps move the debate on, and should be required reading for anyone involved in the sharing economy.
Rob Hopkins, founder of the Transition network, demonstrates the power of just getting on with projects that people can join in with rather than wasting huge amounts of time trying to convince people that they should do things. A short book stuffed with concrete examples.