Why I Am a Maker of Things.

December 19, 2012

I’ve never been particularly good at being creative, and I can’t draw my way out of a paper bag. I can’t style a shoot, and have a really hard committing to something that involves more than 2 colours, BUT, I love building things.  This is a surprise to everyone, including my mother and I. You see, we are analysts by nature. We study things like economics, engineering, and sciences. We like breaking down things to the simplest of equations. We like knowing what the causes of events and occurrences are, and if possible, we like fixing them.

Building companies

It all started with my deep-rooted desire to fix things. Working in various roles starting in customer service instilled the urge to find solutions; solutions to problems that others hadn’t noticed yet. This urge became more apparent when I found my home working as a Product Manager. Finding irregularities was the fun part. I would walk through a product or a launch 10-20 times with my team and find something else wrong every time. It drove my team crazy, but it also made them perfect the products before presenting them.

I left that company after 10 years, because I wanted to build something new. I had no idea what that something new was going to be, but I wasn’t worried. There is always room in the world for the dreamers, and makers. These days I’m known as the crazy one in my group of friends who always tells people how to launch something, or brainstorming and coming up with new ideas for new projects and designs.

I know my limitations. I know that I am not the coder, but when I started working with them, I was made to feel that they were the only “makers” and everyone else was an auxiliary player. That’s the sad reality behind why more non-technical people don’t want to work in the tech sector. The truth is that you don’t have to be a “coder” to be a “maker”. Makers are the ones that take the grandiose ideas and bring them to life. They build critical paths, and hire people, analyze data, plan launches, spread the word, and execute everything needed to make products/services go from conception to reality. There are more than enough roles in the makers pool for non-coders.

Making something come to life, as in making things work in real life, with real clients, and real scenarios, solving real problems, is what drives me.   This past March, a few friends and I decided to launch a non-profit inToronto to bring attention to charities around the city through social media. We held an event that took months to plan and execute. It was an amazing night, we raised money, and went home happy. And it opened the door to grow the concept nationwide. That’s what makers do, they’re always looking for ways to build onto each success, and even failures.

The truth is that that’s just one example. I come with the strangest ideas everyday. Things that would lives easier, and concepts that may not be right for our time. The hard part is knowing how to find a market for those ideas. Ideas are a dime a dozen, finding the right market, and executing it correctly, is where things get tough.  Right now, one of the funnest project that I’m working on is building Chic Darling into an online Magazine. It’s fun watching traffic spikes, and exploring trends, and hiring people etc.

Why do I build things, you may ask. Well, because its cheaper to do it, and its faster to do.  Two of the biggest motivating factors. But its also more rewarding to see something take shape.



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  • Grayson @ Debt Roundup December 19, 2012 at 9:11 am

    There is no better feeling than to make something. This is why I enjoy rebuilding cars. They come to me broken down and not functioning and by the time I am done, I can drive them. No better sound than a car engine starting up for the first time after months of work.

    • Marissa December 19, 2012 at 8:11 pm

      Would you like to come take a look at mine?

  • Eric J. Nisall - DollarVersity December 19, 2012 at 9:18 am

    I used to “make” computers. Well, sort of since I didn’t create the components, however I did build them from scratch. Not only did it used to be cheaper than purchasing a new one, but it gave me the control over exactly which parts I would use and therefore not be stuck with a limited selection. And, I was damn good at it too until it got too tiresome to do all of the necessary research and price analysis. You are totally right about the reward of doing something yourself; it was so cool to see the splash screen appear on the first boot (although sometimes it would take 2 or 3 tries lol), and knowing that I did it myself.

    • Marissa December 19, 2012 at 8:12 pm

      That’s exactly what I mean. Its a different feeling know that you did it yourself.

  • Alex December 19, 2012 at 10:12 am

    I agree, the satisfaction of building something is pretty astounding!

    Sadly, I drifted away from building things for a couple of years, but I recently turned that faucet back to the on position, and I’m writing, web designing, and doing all sorts of fun things.

    • Marissa December 19, 2012 at 8:12 pm

      Glad to hear it. I saw that you won the SONYVAIO on monday. Congrats!

  • Jacko December 19, 2012 at 10:55 am

    It takes talent and skill to create.

    only malice to destroy.

    Creation > Destruction

    Now if we can only get the bozos in dc to understand this. Person of the year, peace price winner? How?

    • Marissa December 19, 2012 at 8:13 pm

      Creation > Destruction EXACTLY!

  • Gen Y Finance Journey December 19, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    I work in a non-technical role in a software company and I completely understand the feeling that I’m not as important as the people who code our software. Every person has an important role to fill and I wish nobody were made to feel that their position is less important than any other. Hell, when the guy who makes the coffee takes a day off work the whole office goes crazy. He might not be creating our products, but everyone in the office relies on him!

    • Marissa December 19, 2012 at 8:13 pm

      And people, esp woman, don’t understand that.

  • DC @ Young Adult Money December 20, 2012 at 9:10 am

    I like making things as well. I find satisfaction in creating a product and making small improvements over time. Definitely keeps my job interesting!

    • Marissa December 20, 2012 at 11:09 pm

      That’s what I mean.

  • Jordann @ My Alternate Life December 20, 2012 at 11:19 am

    I love making websites, I’m not very technically oriented, but I love taking a terrible company website and making it into something polished and beautiful, so I definitely understand where you’re coming from.

    • Marissa December 20, 2012 at 11:09 pm

      Do you work in marketing?

  • Veronica @ Pelican on Money December 21, 2012 at 2:55 am

    Your passion for creating will reward you well, I’m quite sure of it. Working on projects that turn into something real is awesome. I’ve had a chance to work on several such projects to see them through to a buyout and the feeling is hard to describe. You create something from scratch, raise it like a baby and then part with it as if it were mature enough to go out on its own.

    • Marissa December 21, 2012 at 3:35 pm

      EXACTLY! People have a hard understanding why I see projects as my baby, but I do.

  • Savvy Scot December 21, 2012 at 8:04 am

    I absolutely love ‘making’ things. I think I enjoy the learning as well as the self-satisfaction of seing a finished product. I have just applied a new theme to my blog and took the ‘make-it-yourself’ route instead of paying a designer to do it! Feel gooood! 🙂

    • Marissa December 21, 2012 at 3:35 pm

      Those are “look at what I made, mom” moments. 🙂

  • KK@Student Debt Survivor December 21, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    I like to think of myself as a “maker”. I might not always produce the best products, but I do feel really satisfied when I complete a project. Knitting comes to me.

  • Kathleen @ Frugal Portland December 22, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    I’m a maker, a creator, and a fixer too — it is better to know what we are! Makes everything easier.

  • My Money Design December 26, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    You don’t have to be artsy to be creative! Some of the best “idea people” I know don’t have what people would call a traditional creative bone. But they sure can come up with things I would never have dreamed!

  • eemusings December 27, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    You need all sorts to lift a project off the ground – the visionaries AND the doers. The detail people, the marketers, the technical people.