Techshops are allowing people access to very expensive tools that used to be impossible to touch unless you had the backing of a powerful company. Focusing on professionals who rent time on these machines with a monthly fee sort of business arrangement.
Fab labs are doing the same thing, with a more educational and academic lens.
Hackerspaces do it in an informal and organic sort of way, essentially a social club for people to make stuff and explore technology.
What they all have in common is a way to gather ordinary people up to invent stuff that did not exist before. They all assist in one form or another a person in realizing his inventive dream... the time of the lone inventor hiding in his garage, and after years of toil creating something amazing are gone... collaboration and feedback are changing that from years.... to days.
Quirky are encouraging and supporting inventions and product design on a consistently high quality, amazingly organized and efficient basis.
These services have already caused innovation to explode... and we haven't even begun to see the amazing sort of things that will emerge from them.
The future is going to be clever, and its going to be built by us, one good idea at a time.
(Update) I'm now ready to start creating a business plan to create my own version of this... something non-profit, focused on both education and entrepreneur, teaching people how they can make what they need themeselves, or at least get expert help in doing so.