Feature Image by Jun Shéna 

One of my favorite parts of Maker Faire every year is the speech given on Sunday by Adam Savage. Even if you don’t already identify yourself as a maker, his Maker Faire talk (or “Sunday Sermon” as it’s been jokingly called) is so fiery and inspiring that they’ve fueled my own drive to create things for many years.

Parts of his 2014 speech “The Ten Commandments of Making” have not only become an integral part of videos I’ve used to help define the brands of both Maker Faire and Make: magazine, but also influenced how I choose to identify as a maker of things and film others making.

A Changing World

But like any good sermon, the message changes with the times. This year’s speech addressed the state that the world finds itself in at this point in time. Savage praised our society’s ability to produce food and medicine for the world, to use the Internet to connect communities all over the world, and to innovate amazing tools. At the same time, he mentioned the unfortunate levels of crippling income disparity and institutional racism our country is experiencing.

The Good

Savage posits that makers not only derive energy from our tools and communities, but through the blank canvas of our work and the control that we wield over them. From that energy, we can inspire others to make, and to build the world that we want to live in.

The Bad

Of course, it wouldn’t be one of Adam Savage’s talks if he didn’t spend some time ruminating on the notion of failure – condemning the people who never admit to failure and resist confronting their own shortcomings are, to him, the ones who inhibit progress. Iterative failure is as much a part of the process as iterative success – nothing ever goes according to plan; that’s the plan.

Q&A Session

Adam Savage followed his speech with a 48-minute long Q&A session.