Sitting in the audience listening to Ben Uyeda present at the MakingIt 100 event in Boston immediately changed the way I thought about creating and self promotion. In fact it’s still resonating and bouncing around in my head several days later.
I knew very little about Ben before the event, in fact all I knew was that he had a pretty successful YouTube channel and has pretty good taste in design and style, primarily of the industrial architecture variety as echoed by his affinity for working with concrete as a medium. During the event, Ben lectured for a good 40 minutes or so and gave a nicely detailed recap of his journey that he titled “What I’ve Learned” while providing quite a bit of insight that is not openly shared in many venues. By the end of his presentation, I could tell that even some of the most prolific makers in the room were eager to put these gems of knowledge to work.
The MakingIt 100 event was a live meetup and celebration of the 100th episode of the podcast “MakingIt” with Jimmy Diresta, David Picciuto, and Bob Clagett, but instead of doing a stand alone episode where they are the only stars, they graciously opened the venue to several other podcasts such as, The Dusty Life, Reclaimed Audio, Making Geeks (which I am a part of), and Ben Uyeda as a one man show, to celebrate making and highlight the amazing community that this has fostered over the last 2-3 years.
Apart from being a great opportunity to meet other makers face to face and hang out in a cool venue (the Converse World Headquarters), it was a staunch reminder of just how much we all still have to learn. Whether it is hand plane or chisel skills, how to get cleaner cut lines, how to be more creative, or even how to present and be more engaging in front of an audience of people (whether those people are physically present or online), there is a great amount of ground to still be covered.
One of Ben’s points that should really stand out is that if you are a person who wants to be a recognizable and successful maker — financially or otherwise — in the new YouTube and social media paradigm is that it is still possible, Ben made a great point that “Not everything has been done” much to the opposition of social media comments everywhere, but success comes with a great deal of hard work, sacrifice, and a fair heaping of luck in some situations. Those three pillars have not really changed over time, but the formula of how to stay on top of how that game changes has and it will continue to change.
Bob Clagett, Jimmy DiResta, and David Picciuto also echoed a similar sentiment during their live podcast that they make an active effort to improve on at least one thing in each new project, whether the audience notices it or not.
Being at the event and attending others similar meetups (like Maker Faire) is a good reminder that we are all at different stages in terms of skill, notoriety, and desire in respects to making. We may not all have Jimmy DiResta sized making super powers, but we all have an enormous passion to make, and we still have so much to learn.