Arts and Crafts Find New Life Online - Instructables in BusinessWeek
by Heather Green
Eric Wilhelm's experience reflects the urge to be more hands-on. While earning his PhD in mechanical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the then-23-year-old took up kitesurfing. He didn't have thousands of dollars for equipment, so Wilhelm built his own boards and posted detailed designs on his Web site. Readers asked for more information and help building other projects. So two years ago he launched Instructables.com, where anyone could contribute how-tos and get reader feedback.
Now, Instructables has 7,500 directions for everything from making a pinhole camera to sculpting a chair out of wood. "My grandfather had a bunch of baby-food jars with screws and nails in the basement, and after ignoring the skill it took to use those, people are now seeing that that's valuable," Wilhelm says. "They're afraid of losing touch with how to do stuff. That's why it's hip and cool to knit now."
More news articles about Instructables here.