You may not have an electronics laboratory or woodworking shop at your home, but chances are you do have a kitchen. There is also a chance that every now and then you use for it’s intended purpose of cooking food. In my mind cooking is the original Maker skill. Instead of mixing together electronic components, software bits, wood, or metal; cooking uses meats, fruits, vegetables, etc. There are tons of tools involved in cooking. There are also a lot of skills to be learned. I am admittedly a neophyte when it comes to cooking and rely extensively on the culinary equivalent of “application notes and data sheets” known to most of us as a cookbook. My favorite is “A Man, a Can, and a Plan”. But I digress.
I have a confession to make. One of my favorite movies is Pixar’s Ratatouille. If you’ve never seen it, do yourself a favor and go find it online and watch it. If you haven’t seen it and can’t make the time right now, allow me to give you the Cliffnote’s version. The story centers around a mouse named Remy who, against all odds, aspires to be a great chef like his recently deceased idol, a man named August Gusteau. Chef Gusteau had a motto “Anyone can cook” which annoyed the film’s semi-antagonist, film critic Anton Ego (great name). In a nutshell, the film follows Remy and his journey to becoming a chef in the eyes of Ego.
In the end, Ego learns what is really meant by “Anyone can cook”.
In my mind’s eye there were two meanings.
- Greatness can come from anywhere. To believe there is a “right” path is naive.
- Not everyone makes the major leagues. But that doesn’t mean you don’t play the game. Anyone can cook, you don’t have to be THE best chef to be a good or even great chef.
Extrapolate those ideals to the Maker Movement.
Anyone can make.
You don’t have to build an iPhone killer to be good at electronics. You don’t have to be able to build a Stradivarious violin to be a good woodworker. You don’t have to be a Michelin starred chef to be a good cook.
Regardless of the medium that you prefer to use in your tinkering, food, metal, wood, or electronics; there are a lot of lessons to be learned from the art, science, and social interaction of cooking that can be applied to Making in general. I highly encourage you to watch the Netflix series “Chef’s Table” to get an idea of what I mean.
Then get out there and make something.