Adam Savage video: Ground Rules for Success


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Haven’t watched the video yet, but I wanted to report a misreading. I read Adam’s description as a “mistaker” rather than “maker.” It was just a flash.

I am claiming all rights to the descriptive noun “mistaker.” That is definitely what I do.


Great video. His ground rules are wonderful.

By the way, I’m pretty sure that the unnamed inventor is Dean Kamen.

Interestingly, one thing he left off the list is not only one of his most defining characteristics, but the theme of the event and perhaps the guiding principle of the maker movement… encourage others when they are learning to do the things you love.

I really was with him until #10.

I like Adam Savage. However, whenever I hear these kinds of speeches about success it kinda bugs me. The kind of success Adam is talking about, the kind where you get public recognition for your work is only available to a small group of people based upon appearance (race, gender, attractiveness), background (middle class or above), and how extroverted you are.

So when someone is ‘successful’ in this way i think about all the people who are just as talented, hardworking, and passionate but will never see the same social recognition because of who they are (or rather aren’t). It makes pursuing that kind of success seem pointless and self-congradulatory to me. I’d love for someone to give a speach that emphasized being successful in that you are doing what you want on your own terms. That’s the only real measure of success that matters to me.

*I also think the inventor was Dean Kamen :stuck_out_tongue:


Good talk, but I’m not even that smart and I would have said the same thing about the downloadable Iron Man stuff. If a person enjoys reliving a story by building replicas, great, but it’s even better to make your own story. It just won’t be retweeted or tumblred as much as some Star Wars fan-art. I’m not sure if those people should be called “makers” or “re-makers”.

Don’t forget sleeping with the boss, which seems have come back in huge way.

Someone doesn’t like it? Fire them, then fire all their friends, and hire more people who are willing to sleep with the boss.

I think the point was that you shouldn’t question someone else’s motivation. Work with what you have. There is a place for everyone and no room for pointless elites.

The factors for increasing the probability of success are straightforward:

  1. Do something or make something, rather than nothing (unless number 3.)
  2. Know someone powerful, successful, and/or wealthy who will act as your benefactor.
  3. Be born into it: wealth, family business, genes, prosperous country, physical or intellectual outliers, dynasty.
  4. Catch a lucky break, perhaps several (other than 3.)
  5. Learn or practice something which enhances one or more of factors 1-4.
  6. Learn from mistakes.
  7. Nurture an ex post facto personal definition of success which sums up whatever you happen to have from 1-6.

He’s reinforcing alot of what’s in the book- especially the “follow your passion” is not-enough message.
So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by
Cal Newport

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