“Our mission at TechShop is to engage, encourage and empower everyone to build their dreams”
TechShop operates storefront machine shops. In their locations, they provide both manual and computer-assisted tools. With these facilities, TechShop pursues two parallel goals: they serve a market for prototype and short-run manufacture, and they educate people who would like to be able to do these sorts of machining tasks.
Entrepreneurs frequently have ideas which they are unable to execute from their own skills. TechShop locations have already acquired a variety of automated tools, and offers use of this capital infrastructure on a per-job basis. This saves the customer the effort of maintaining or understanding the tool.
To the hobbyist, TechShop offers inexpensive access to a variety of advanced tools, in an environment optimized for learning. A customer can learn to operate the tools, and then serve either their own desires, or assist the next entrepreneur through the door.
TechShop’s mission statement is certainly ethically acceptable. I’d love to work for the company because I believe that individual skills development is the only way people can own and control their lives. To fix a toaster, to change the oil in your car: if you can’t use a tool, you are at the mercy of some industrial concern.