Let’s face it, starting a business is no small task. There are going to be challenges, setbacks and a great deal of stress. When you’re a maker who is putting your art, invention or any of your hard work on the line, it’s even more daunting – besides the financial worry, you’re also, in a way, putting your very self out there for judgement. This is not to say that trying to start your own business isn’t worth it. It’s incredibly fulfilling to build something yourself, but we can all use a little inspiration and encouragement at times.
That’s why the entrepreneurs behind The Grommet are releasing a free eBook entitled Makers Who Made It: 100 Stories of Starting a Business. The product launch platform has been in business since 2008, and has facilitated the launch of 2,000 new products during that time. If that seems like a small amount for a business that’s been around for seven years, that’s because The Grommet only accepts the best of the best. Over 60,000 products have been submitted for evaluation, but only 3% of them make it to market. At first glance, The Grommet site looks like any other online platform for handmade items, but if you look closer, you’ll see that everything up for sale is, in fact, an ingenious invention.
These include everything from a “liquid plastic welder” that acts, essentially, like a 3D printing pen to repair broken items, to a Wi-Fi enabled doorbell. It’s not just tech stuff either; categories include bed and bath, pets, and food and drink, just to name a few. It’s not just a 3D printing site, though several products are 3D printed. All products are carefully evaluated and tested, and inventors whose products are chosen are introduced to the public through “launch conversations,” or online interviews that appear on the product page, so that potential customers can read about the thought process and work that went into the product. Some products launched through the site, which include FitBit and SodaStream, have gone on to be wildly successful.
That’s why the eBook, compiled by Grommet co-founders Jules Pieri (CEO) and Joanne Domeniconi (Chief Discovery Officer), is so valuable for makers and entrepreneurs. It’s not written by people who simply made something and put it online; the 100 contributors have been through the business-launching wringer and have stories to share about obstacles, challenges and ultimately successes. Many of the contributors are people who had to reinvent themselves after the Great Recession.
“I’m delighted to share this ebook that captures the stories of 100 of the Makers who inspired and enabled The Grommet community,” said Pieri. “These creative, hard-working Makers don’t hold back on telling the truth—because it is hard-earned knowledge of which they are proud. It’s a privilege to share the book and to anticipate the journey this information will take to enable the next generation of Makers to thrive.”
The book includes a foreword by TechShop CEO Mark Hatch, who wrote The Maker Movement Manifesto, as well as profiles from 20 of the team members behind The Grommet. It can be downloaded for free here. Have you read this ebook? Let’s hear your thoughts in the Makers Who Made It forum on 3DPB.com.