The value of making stuff, or even thinking about it

My friend Jeff Rutzky is an amazing guy.   He’s one of those people who is so creative, artistic and talented that you kind of hate him and love him at the same time.   He can sew, design & write books, (his latest is Shadowfolds which you can find at Amazon)  do origami & kirigami at levels that defy the imagination, cook, create almost anything from nothing – and on and on.  He has helped me with everything from iPhoto and computer backups to what kind of knives I should buy for my kitchen to support my new found cooking skills.

Last night he was here with my dear friend Nan – his wife – cooking our Seder meal.   While everything was in the oven we were chatting about life learning and the value of being allowed to try stuff, make mistakes and be supported in whatever path you choose.    That’s when he told me about his friend Bre Pettis, one of the founders of Makerbot.   Makerbot is a robot that makes stuff – pretty much anything you can imagine.   It’s like a 3-D printer, sort of.  I don’t really understand how it works, but I now own a lovely bracelet Jeff made for me, or that he designed and had Makerbot make for me.  (Do I need to say that he works with Bre? Well of course he does.)

If there is one thing I want for my kids its’ the knowledge that making stuff is valuable.   Even imagining things you might make one day is valuable.   And Jeff and Bre agree with me.   In fact, Bre and his friend Kio Stark wrote a manifesto about it. (in 20 minutes, because that’s all the time they had.)  And it goes like this:

The Cult of Done Manifesto

  1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
  2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
  3. There is no editing stage.
  4. Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.
  5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
  6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
  7. Once you’re done you can throw it away.
  8. Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done.
  9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
  10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
  11. Destruction is a variant of done.
  12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
  13. Done is the engine of more.

How great is that?   I want to put this in poster form and hang it on my wall.  Ben is a natural at at the Cult of Done – I hope he never grows out of it, but only more into it.  Maya is getting there, and so am I.

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