Making For People

by Brian Haven
@ 10:59 AM

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The second epoch of making, Making For People, is a continuation from my previous post. I initially described this epoch as: division of labor, specialists emerge to focus on key skills, initiating the marketplace for trade.

To expand further, as communities, cultures, and societies became more advanced, the making process experienced a shift. This meant different behaviors and expectations from the makers. Specialists began making things for others, choosing to focus on a single discipline.

Societies developed technology and specialized knowledge in areas like farming, alchemy, construction, medicine, and science. Jalalabad Bazaar
[Jalalabad Bazaar from Valodja on flickr]
This necessitated certain skilled individuals to focus their efforts in one of these areas, resulting in higher quality of the things they made. Specialized skills also allowed for greater efficiency and consistency in the process of making, resulting in the early stages of product standardization. This shift allowed people to focus on the tasks they were best qualified to perform, while ensuring that other specialists supplied the remainder of goods and services everyone had to supply on their own. So, in the previous epoch (Making By People) every person essentially had to make their own hunting tools, medical care procedures, shelter, clothing, etc. In the second epoch, everyone specialized to provide goods and services to one another. This epoch largely occurs during the Agrarian Age (still Toffler's First Wave), spilling over into the early Industrial Age.

Naturally, this exposed a new level of collaboration, almost organic in way. It initiated the emergence of new interactions in the form of the marketplace, where specialists competed for the attention of individuals who might need their products. Monetary economic models also emerged as trade advanced and inherent markets developed to stabilize comparative values for various goods and services. Individual competition kept over-standardization at bay, forcing specialists to continuously consider the needs of individuals to remain relevant in the marketplace. This consideration was also reinforced because the context of use and the process of making still occurred in close proximity to the patron—the specialists lived in small communities where they shared the lifestyle of the individuals who used their product.

This closeness and empathy for the patron is lost in today's world (for now), the third epoch (which I'll talk about in another post).


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29 Dec 2008
In this third epoch of making, making starts to look...

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