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Mission Statement
July 25, 2012
2:21 pm
Wyatt McBain
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May 8, 2012
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Hey guys!

Wonderful meeting the other night, and one of the things we walked away with was the need for a Mission Statement. I decided to give this a go and I would really like to hear what everyone thinks. I plan on revisiting this, so let's think of it as a draft. Also if you have an idea share it! There are no wrong answers

 

First things first, what do we want to accomplish/have at the Maker Space?

  • House tools
  • Provide space
  • Offer education/training
  • Spur innovation
  • Instigate collaboration
  • And through all create a resource pool.
Through these criteria here is my interpretation, and mission statement:
 

It is our mission to provide a cooperative work space to the talented and diverse community of Rochester. By providing tools, space, and education we offer the opportunity for anyone to create what they desire. Members are encouraged to share what they've learned and know, inspiring other makers, while promoting collaborative efforts across various disciplines.

 

I think this statement truly encompasses what we are trying to accomplish with this project. It promotes the fact that we are not closed to anyone, nor do we promote one type of craft over another. I believe that by leaving the opportunity to create open-ended, people will fill in the blank. I'd really like to hear what you guys think, what you like, and what you don't like. Or if there's anything to add. Til then!

July 25, 2012
5:17 pm
Jon Schnapp
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June 23, 2012
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Awesome draft. I've been meaning to do this too. I found a site with examples of mission statements, which might help. I feel like it could be condensed a bit, maybe? Here's my attempt at a statement:

The mission of the Rochester Maker Space:

To empower and enrich people's lives through the act of making and to provide the necessary tools, space, community support necessary to make that possible.

Didn't like the ending of mine there. Thought about making the end something like "to make people's dreams possible" but that seemed forced and hammy.

Off topic, but I borrowed a business book and am going to try drafting a business plan for us, or at least try to generate some sample numbers we can estimate with. Hopefully in the coming weeks!

July 25, 2012
5:47 pm
Wyatt McBain
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Yeah I looked at the Fortune 500's mission statements. Obviously many (all) are bent on profits so I thought our mission statement would be more about we provide. I think this is a little bit more condensed. Not by much though…

 

Our mission is to provide a work space to the diverse community of Rochester. By providing tools, space, and education we offer the opportunity for anyone to create what they desire. We promote collaborative efforts across various disciplines by encouraging our members to share what they've learned and know.

 

We empower people to create by providing education, tools, and space in our community-driven workshop. Members are encouraged to share what they've learned and know, helping to promote collaboration among diverse disciplines.

July 25, 2012
5:50 pm
Wyatt McBain
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It won't let me edit, but Jon I wanted to say I'm right there with you. The meeting motivated me to get read some books. (Most of them say to not put too much effort into the plan) But I do think we need to start working on some estimates. Can't really commit to anything until the middle of August though.

July 29, 2012
11:39 am
Jon Schnapp
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June 23, 2012
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I'm not sure I like the "create what they desire" part. I imagine some critic saying something like "what if some guy desires to make bombs?" or something like that, though I know that's not what you meant. How do you feel about the "enrich lives through the act of making" I wrote in mine?

How about this:

Our mission is to provide the diverse community of Rochester with tools, space, and education and to enrich people's lives through the act of making, collaboration, and sharing.

July 29, 2012
12:08 pm
Wyatt McBain
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I personally feel that the word enrich is too broad of an verb. What are we enriching? Opportunities? Creativity? I just don't think it works well as a pitch. I may be wrong, I just have trouble with it.

I think a lot of people are not going to understand the "making" terminology at first. I think we need to keep this in layman's terms. I just believe we will reach more people, and make it easier to understand that way.

I think the effort to keep it simple is a good one. But as a not-for-profit organization, trying to sell an idea, I don't think we should be so simple that it leaves open-ends. Being concise is important, but I really think we should try to answer Who, What, Where, How in our Mission Statement. I know this hasn't been edited but, I think this is a good concise start that doesn't leave open-ends, and it answers those questions:

It is our mission to provide a cooperative work space (Where, What) to the talented and diverse community (Who) of Rochester. By providing tools, space, and education (How) we offer the opportunity for anyone to create what they desire. Members are encouraged to share what they've learned and know, inspiring other makers, while promoting collaborative efforts across various disciplines.

July 29, 2012
10:05 pm
Rob
Rochester, NY
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February 7, 2012
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OK, so it's not just me who can't edit my own posts any more? I thought a browser plugin might be doing it.

I think it is extremely important that we describe how our maker space will benefit the community and I think "enrich" is a good word to describe part of what we hope to do.  Sorry, But I don't have time to say more than that right now. 

July 30, 2012
8:35 am
Jon Schnapp
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June 23, 2012
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Wyatt McBain said
I personally feel that the word enrich is too broad of an verb. What are we enriching? Opportunities? Creativity? I just don't think it works well as a pitch. I may be wrong, I just have trouble with it.

I think a lot of people are not going to understand the "making" terminology at first. I think we need to keep this in layman's terms. I just believe we will reach more people, and make it easier to understand that way.

I think the effort to keep it simple is a good one. But as a not-for-profit organization, trying to sell an idea, I don't think we should be so simple that it leaves open-ends. Being concise is important, but I really think we should try to answer Who, What, Where, How in our Mission Statement. I know this hasn't been edited but, I think this is a good concise start that doesn't leave open-ends, and it answers those questions:

It is our mission to provide a cooperative work space (Where, What) to the talented and diverse community (Who) of Rochester. By providing tools, space, and education (How) we offer the opportunity for anyone to create what they desire. Members are encouraged to share what they've learned and know, inspiring other makers, while promoting collaborative efforts across various disciplines.

Yeah, I get it. I still feel uncomfortable about the "create what they desire" part. How about something like "we offer the opportunity for anyone to be creative, show ingenuity, learn practical hands-on skills, and grow with a community of like-minded individuals"? I dunno… that's wordy.

Here's some examples from other spaces:

Artisan Asylum: "Our mission is to support and promote the teaching, learning and practicing of craft of all varieties. To support that mission, we offer the following…"

Buffalo Lab: "To provide a space, materials, and equipment for the study and development of useful arts and science."

Mt. Elliott Makerspace: "The Mt Elliott Makerspace is a community workshop where people make, tinker and learn together.  We do this to strengthen ourselves and our communities." [then it lists goals]

Milwaukee (from the by-laws):The purpose of the MMS organization is: Build and maintain spaces suitable for technical and social collaboration. Collaboration on all forms of technology, culture, and craft in new and interesting ways. Freely share its research and discoveries, using what is learned to teach others. Recruit and develop talented members dedicated to these purposes.

Dallas (from the "who we are" section of their wiki): We are an organized group of local artists, engineers, makers, creators, and thinkers who work together to collect tools and resources for our membership, whom could not otherwise afford, store, or use them individually.

We use these resources to collaborate on individual and community projects in order to promote science and technology, while working and experimenting on innovative ideas to encourage learning within our community.

 It looks like these missions (and for some it was hard to find a mission statement defined as such) are all over. Maybe we don't need to worry quite so much about crafting it to perfection? I like the Mt. Elliott one myself. We can write a short and sweet mission statement and then get to the specifics with goals?

July 31, 2012
6:16 pm
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Wyatt, nice job on the mission statement. Unfortunately due to recent events the 1st thing that came to mind when I read "create what they desire" was someone creating a bomb. And that was before I read Jon's comment. We would need to review this statement. Other than that it is spot on.

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