According to Chris Anderson, there are three stages in the evolution of his work with drones. First came the online community, DIY Drones, where hackers and makers swapped tips on how to build and fly all types of unmanned aerial vehicles. By 2009 it was clear there was enough interest from regular people who didn’t want to build a drone from scratch, but would love to fly one if they were for sale. So Anderson and his co-founder, Jordi Munoz, created 3D Robotics to manufacture and sell affordable, consumer-grade drones to the masses. The business grew quickly, and the company was selling $5 million worth of flying robots a year by the end of 2012.