This past summer, as we were coming up on The Grommet’s seventh birthday in October, we had many conversations about all that The Grommet and our Makers had accomplished since it began in 2008—and wondering how to better document it.
Even though The Grommet has been telling the stories behind the products for many years, we realized we wanted to tell the stories behind our Makers, inventors, and entrepreneurs—and the idea of publishing our very first book was born.
Makers Who Made It: 100 Stories of Starting a Business is the result. We asked Grommet Makers to answer a series of questions about how, when, and why they developed a product. We required they answer one dozen questions—with the option to answer an additional 20 questions—and the answers starting flowing in.
We were all impressed how so many of the contributors were so generous with their time (we know how busy they are!), with many answering far more questions than what we requested. They went above and beyond, sharing information on a wide variety of personal and professional topics to help give a complete picture on how to start and grow their own small business.
The 778-page e-book can be read from start to finish—or you can dive into specific categories of interest.
In addition to an introduction from President Obama, a Foreword by TechShop’s Mark Hatch, Introduction by Julia Kemp, and chapters from The Grommet’s Co-founder & CEO Jules Pieri and Co-founder & Chief Discovery Officer Joanne Domeniconi, I appreciate the time my own colleagues took to write brief introductions throughout the book, helping current and future Makers to better know the people who help launch the most innovative consumer products every weekday. All together, we inspire our community to “Discover What’s Next” and “Buy Differently.”
As a newbie at The Grommet, having the opportunity to lead the charge to manage and edit this book has been a terrific way to immerse myself in the lives of the Makers, inventors, and entrepreneurs who so generously and honestly opened up to all of us. I am extremely grateful to them for giving us their precious time and sharing their collective wisdom.
My own background has largely been in storytelling (my education was at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in Film, Television, and Radio Production, worked in film production, and later in marketing at HBO, WGBH/PBS, and MovieMaker magazine), I find reading these stories is perhaps the most effective way to inspire future Makers.
But these aren’t theoretical stories; the Makers get deep into the nitty, gritty aspects of starting and running a small business—which often grow beyond their wildest dreams—which will serve as a handbook and road map for new Makers.
My hope is this book serves as a kind of national mentoring project, with 100 Makers inspiring thousands more. I, for one, can’t wait to see who they inspire—and what innovative products come to life next.
We welcome your comments and thoughts about the book below—and hope you will share it with your friends, family, and colleagues who would enjoy the read.