Through much of the past century, however, developing new products required increasingly complex and expensive tools that were out of reach of most individuals … As a result, large firms came to dominate innovation.
That trend was disrupted in the 1990s when low-cost computers allowed Internet and software start-ups to compete with giants. But when it came to developing innovative physical products, high prices kept high-tech machine tools and materials out of most tinkerers' reach.
The article continues to point out examples of students and others getting access to the tools and materials that used to be unattainable outside of corporations.
And here’s something interesting that’ll affect everyone: half of an economy’s growth is attributed to innovation. This is from a paper that won Robert Solow a Nobel Prize.
Apparently, in the US the rate of corporate R&D has slowed, however, the number of hobbyists and resources for them have increased.
So, everyone keep doing what they’re doing. It’ll help everyone get out of the global economic slump, and we’ll have fun while we do it.