An interview on Making with

Zach Supalla

Founder and CEO, Spark IO

About Zach

Zach Supalla is co-founder and CEO of Spark IO. Zach is a self-taught engineer, Maker, designer, and entrepreneur; he’s shipped tens of thousands of products around the world and been featured in WIRED, Fast Company, TechCrunch, Mashable, and more.

What is Making?

Making is the act of creating something with ones’ own hands. Makers are engineers, though they may not have a degree or be engineers by profession. 

Who are Makers?

Makers are people who have taken it upon themselves to learn how to create something, learning skills like sewing, vinyl cutting, woodworking, metalworking, 3D printing, and electrical engineering.

Why is Making important?

Making is important because it teaches more people to create new products and imagine new experiences. Makers often go on to become entrepreneurs and introduce their products to the rest of the world.

What is an exciting example of Making and why?

My company, Spark IO, is a great example of Making. In January 2012, I first started playing with an Arduino, one of the primary tools of Makers. I created a company around the concepts that I prototyped, and three years later I have a team of 24 people in a half dozen different countries, and tens of thousands of customers around the world.

How is Making transforming education?

Science and technology are powerful tools, but they can be challenging to learn when they’re theoretical. Making provides a great way to take STEM and make it something intuitive and fun for students.

How can Making change my community?

Making creates jobs; I’ve seen dozens of Makers find ways to use their skills to employe themselves and others.

How does Making solve big problems?

Making allows more people to think about and solve difficult problems, and amazing innovations come out of the Maker world.