Maker’s mode

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It has been a long time since I built anything. I was trying to think through my last set of projects where I did the “making”.

  • Influitive – I started Influitive with Mark Organ (@markorgan) in the fall of 2010. We built the first set of mockups, screen flows, wireframes and prototypes with a very small team. It was a ton of fun, it wasn’t easy, but it was fun.
  • Spadina Optometry – I have the unfortunate task of being the cobbler. It’s nothing fancy, Wordrpress on Dreamhost but it’s HTML5, CSS and some PHP to keep me engaged.
  • StartupNorth/DemoCamp/Founders & Funders – StartupNorth is a blog, written, primarily, 3 guys about Canadian startups and the issues that affect high tech, high potential growth software/SaaS/mobile/etc. companies in Canada. This was about building connections and helping to facilitate a community in Toronto (and across Canada). But StartupEmpire was in 2008, the last DemoCamp was back in 2011. But no one expects that StartupNorth is set to be a game changing media play, it’s a regional blog about high tech entrepreneurship and emerging business models and technology.

I look at my friends that are all very successful in different ways:

They are all making stuff. Whether it is communities, sensor networks, conferences, software companies, it seems to be about making. And they are not alone:

What is making?

Authors produce books. Musicians produce albums (and tours). Vinters produce wine. Master distillers produce whisky. Developers produce software. Entrepreneurs produce companies. I think I need to get my head around making.

“MAKE unites, inspires, informs, and entertains a growing community of resourceful people who undertake amazing projects in their backyards, basements, and garages. MAKE celebrates your right to tweak, hack, and bend any technology to your will. The MAKE audience continues to be a growing culture and community that believes in bettering ourselves, our environment, our educational system—our entire world. This is much more than an audience, it’s a worldwide movement that Make is leading—we call it the Maker Movement.” From Make Magazine

When  I look back on the projects, activities, and companies I had the most fun being a part of in the past 15 years since grad school, they all involved making. Undertaking projects in “backyards, basements and garages”. Some were successful, others were less successful but just as much, maybe more fun.

I’m starting to think rather than looking for a job, I need to start to look for what I’m going to make.

Time to undertake a new project.

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One thought on “Maker’s mode”

  1. Mr. Crow! This post reminded me of a recently popular article in the NYTimes’ series on anxiety, The Busy Trap ( The author writes:

    “More and more people in this country no longer make or do anything tangible; if your job wasn’t performed by a cat or a boa constrictor in a Richard Scarry book I’m not sure I believe it’s necessary. I can’t help but wonder whether all this histrionic exhaustion isn’t a way of covering up the fact that most of what we do doesn’t matter.”

    I don’t know if I agree that what most of what we do “doesn’t matter”, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the work most people are doing now is very intangible. My own work is, by nature. Most of the actual product of my work is just thinking, strategy, and principles.

    I’m personally craving a lot more making as well. Trying to figure out how to map this back to bringing in the bacon, and overall sense of satisfaction/happiness. Good to have company in this space.

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