2011.09.15

Maker, Failure

Yesterday I tried to make something, and I failed pretty miserably.

I was smart enough to use the drill press, and mark where I needed the holes, but it wasn’t enough. There was too much tension on the fit, and I ended up breaking the piece of wood I had cut. No problem, I actually had two spare pieces of wood. For the second one I drilled the holes bigger, and it fit really well. I then assembled the two pieces of wood, only to realize the first piece was too small anyway. (It’s a camera mount, and this time I decided to make it adjustable to hold other cameras, but failed to realize that other cameras would be larger than mine.)

It’s ok to fail. In fact, anyone who says “failure is not an option” is a liar. Failure is more than an option, it’s a requirement.

If you look through some of my projects, all of them have had some degree of failure mixed in. It’s a part of making.

This specific project I’m working on now, I’m actually pretty confident about, but I’m also stretching my skills a bit by making things more complex than they need to be, but that’s because I want to push myself. In the end, I should know a lot more than I do now.

And this is the easy one! I’ve got two larger projects planned. The next one is actually worrying me a bit, especially since it has a deadline, but if I succeed, I’ll be very pleased with myself. (And if I don’t, and least I’ll have learned a lot along the way.)

Anyway… get out there an make something, or fail at making something. Try your best, and see what happens.

4 Responses to “Maker, Failure”

  1. The only place where failure is not an option is when a life is on the line. I highly doubt you would want a surgeon that is doing a heart transplant to say “Failure is an option” Although it is I wouldn’t want them putting that on the table. Now on to projects and such. Especially in Science failure is awesome. Why? Well out of failures come new products. Failures are the stepping stones to success. The obvious thing is to fail as fast as possible so you get to your solution faster.

    Cheers.

  2. But failure happens all the time when lives are on the line. Equipment fails, and people die. Injuries cause death, as do incurable diseases. The path to “fixing” things (including people) is paved with failure as well. But yeah, you may prefer false confidence to reality when on the table. I had surgery last year and went into it fully knowing I might not wake up. I guess the admitting it to yourself is a personal choice.

  3. Tom HenrichNo Gravatar says:

    Think of it less as failure and more as finding one way not to do it.

    Also, that photo looks suspiciously like a sonic screwdriver.

    (Also also, your OpenID authentication isn’t working…)

  4. Good point Tom… turn failures into learning experiences.

    (Damn you OpenID! I hear it’s dead anyway….)

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