I am a toolmaker. But I am also an epic creator. I use tools to cook. To photograph. To write. To design. All in the act of “epic creation”.
Scott Berkun writes about this in a recent blog post:
“When I meet people who are passionate about technology, software or entrepreneurship, I realize how different I am in some ways. They are passionate about making tools and I share that passion. But above all I want to make first order, epic, amazing things.
Novels, movies, stories, paintings, anything and everything. Things that deliver an experience, rather that the empty promises of salvation through productivity, the singular and empty promise driving most of the tools we make.
Your favorite books, movies, art, and music move you in ways that have nothing to do with productivity. On your deathbed your best memories will be playing with your kids and loving your family, entirely ‘unproductive’ acts. What are the real things in the world? The things that matter most? They are things no tool can give you – they are available to you all the time if you choose them and no tool can choose the important choices for you.”
But cannot a tool builder realize epic creation via the act of tool building itself? What of George Pocock and his beautiful, performance-enhancing racing shells? What of Steinway and his pianos? Enzo Ferrari and his cars? Les Paul and his culture-shifting electric guitars? And in the world of software, what about Ben Fry, Casey Reas and Processing? What of Steve Jobs, Jony Ive, and all the wonderful design objects as tools that come out of Apple? Nicholas Negroponte and One Laptop Per Child? When a toolmaker really loves what he’s making, takes pride in his work creating tools for other’s productivity, that tool becomes not only his own epic creation, but also contributes to the epic creation of potentially thousands upon millions of others.