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Instructables in Japanese Advertising Magazine Kohkoku Answered

Instructables, The Cart Bike, 5 Minute Chocolate Cake, The Inverted Bookshelf, and Survival Bracelet are all prominently featured in the April 2010 issue of Kohkoku, a Japanese advertising and lifestyle magazine.



9 years ago

Here's a quickie translation of the article:

A Global-Scale "Handmade Knowhow" Community Site!
If you don't know something, ask someone who does!

A place where those who wish to make can consult those who know how to make

"A 'knowhow community' for do-it-yourself projects" is the best way to describe Instructables. Instructables is a site that was established in 2005 where anyone can contribute instructions on how to make food, electronics, vehicles, clothing--or anything else.
The circumstances of the site's foundation date back to 2001. Mr Eric Wilhelm, the site's founder, was at the time a graduate student immersed in "Kitesurfing," a sport where one uses a special board and kite to glide across the surface of the water. Because this sport requires a great deal of funds for the purchasing and maintenance of parts, Mr. Wilhelm started constructing what he needed on his own. After putting the process of construction and the trial-and-error it involved on a website, it became a topic of great interest among kitesurfing enthusiasts, and soon received a great deal of support as a place for exchanging information on the topic. Some die-hard enthusiasts even extended invitations to kitesurf together.
Improving upon this idea, Instructables was opened to the public four years later. Within one or two months there was a flood of access and contributions, and today the "how-to" categories have expanded to a total of 16, and the userbase has grown to 6 million people. "Our number of users grows daily," said Mr. Wilhelm. "It stands as proof that the people of the world are interested in a site with this sort of focus on how-to instructions."
The site's layout is extremely simple, and after a free registration, anyone can contribute instructions for their own creations. Furthermore, there are occasional themed contests on the site where the best contributions are chosen. Previous themes have included "Constructions you can explain in 30 seconds," "Constructions using Arduino," and "Pocket-size constructions" amongst many others.
Asking when you do not know how to do something is encouraged, and the environment is extremely supportive in that sense. 30-50 new questions are put on the Q&A page daily, and nearly all of them get a response. Even here, the knowhow community network lives at Instructables.

Born from a kitesurfing hobby

Study at MIT and kitesurfing. This was the beginning of Instructables. Majoring in Mechanical Engineering, Mr. Eric Wilhelm received his Ph.D. in 2004. After graduation, he considered becoming a university professor, but ended up establishing SQUID Labs, an engineering consulting firm, in the San Francisco Bay Area with acquaintances from graduate school. At this company, in addition to jobs for clients, he started various other new projects, spinning off those that gained momentum into other new companies. Instructables was one such example.
The source of the idea behind Instructables was kitesurfing, a hobby which he shared with other SQUID Labs founders from his time at MIT. They helped each other with their knowhow of parts construction, but "if only we could contribute this knowhow with not just ourselves, but people around the world on the web..." This desire was at the root of the site's founding. Today, many people access the site from outside of the US, and out of the 46,400,000 page views per month, 24,800,00 of them are come from outside the country.
Founder Eric Wilhelm (Photo)


9 years ago

Hey, the layout of steps in that middle picture is, to coin a phrase, awesome!  What are the chances you might get an intern to write a similar interface for us users?


9 years ago

How on earth did you find that !? Did someone send it to you ?