On November 15th, the doors of 10 US Techshops abruptly shut down, leaving hundreds of entrepreneurs, small business and thousands of maker members stranded — just before the holidays.
This is the first time I have witnessed a business being closed down such ruthlessly and a limited thought given to the aftermath. When Google Health closed down, I witnessed a pretty good pass-off to other vendors. I wonder if Techshop could have been more graceful about their demise.
A number of group Techshop Orphans on Facebook, Hackers & Makers on Slack and numerous Twitter and Facebook threads have pop’ed up. The maker movement has suffered a blow but more so it’s clear that some of this might be pure mis-management than an obvious business model issue.
At least in SF Bay Area numerous institutions like Hacker Dojo in San Jose, Noise Bridge in SF, Ace Monster Toys in Berkeley and machine makers like Glowforge, Inventables, littlebits and formlabs are offering discounts. The community has put together a resource list for those looking for immediate tool library or assistance.
I’m interested in being part of the group which re-boots techshop in a new way. Some like minded folks have started a questionnaire on it as well. Feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts as well.