In the book Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. That is about the amount of time spent actively working toward opening MIXXER. How do I come to that conclusion? Let’s do the math. Since the decision was made to activate the maker community in Winston-Salem and build a community makerspace, approximately 35,000 hours have elapsed. Remove one-third of those hours for sleeping and we are left with a little less than 12,000 hours. We all have to eat, spend time with family, work, hang out with friends, etc, so we should take off some time for that. Allowing for those subtractions, we can add time for the time that hundreds of people have contributed in some way to creating MIXXER; I think it is safe to say that at least 10,000 hours have been spent building MIXXER. And we are just getting started.

I make that point to encourage you to keep things in perspective. MIXXER has been gaining momentum over the past four years. We are progressively developing and growing faster with every passing month. 2018 promises to be a year of great growth for MIXXER, and we want you to be a part of that growth. Today I want to tell you where we are today and where we expect to be in the coming months as MIXXER develops and grows.

In January and February, we will be assembling the MIXXER studios. Construction is nearly finished and we are now able to allow members and volunteers access to the building to set tools, build our furniture, and begin personalizing the space to fit the needs of our members. Over the coming weeks, we will be assembling teams of volunteers to pick up donations of tools and equipment, bring them back to MIXXER, and set things in place for use. We have located an entire woodworking studio that we will be moving to MIXXER soon, a donation of welding equipment and metal working tools will be available soon, and 3D printers, a laser cutter, electronics gear for the digital lab are on their way now. That’s just a part of what we have in the works, and new opportunities are presenting themselves every day. It is a whirlwind of activity. We sure could use your help.

Remember that ten thousand hours we were just talking about? Ten thousand hours is a long time for one person, but think about how quickly that time will pass when we have many people working together to get through the next phase of development. 10,000 hours/50 people = 200 hours. That’s about five weeks at your 9 to 5. My point is this. Teamwork has made us successful in opening MIXXER, and teamwork will make us successful in building a valuable resource for makers in Winston-Salem. We invite you to be a part of our team at MIXXER.

Important information about MIXXER’s hours of operation and member activities:
  • MIXXER will be open to the public Wednesday through Saturday from 12 pm until 8 pm, and 12pm to 5pm on Sunday, until the studios are fully operational.
  • Members are allowed to coordinate with staff to access the studios outside of those hours, based on conditions at the time requested.
  • Volunteers will be scheduled to assist with special projects on a case by case basis.
This schedule is subject to change to accommodate establishing a safe and well-equipped work environment for our members and volunteers. Please bear with us during this exciting time of development, or better yet, come be a part of building MIXXER.