House of House principle: Inspire

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

House of House principle: Inspire


In this episode of Maker Musings, Harley talks about why inspiration is an important principle for House of Hacks. This is the first of three videos where he unpacks the second sentence in the standard closing that says "Through this channel I hope to inspire, educate and encourage makers in their creative endeavors."

John Green on making an impact.

James Burke's Connections (Amazon Associate link)

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For a written transcript, go to House of Hacks principle: Inspire

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing" by Kevin MacLeod at


Today at the House of Hacks, I want to talk about being an inspiration.


Hi Makers, Builders and Do-it-yourselfers. Harley here.

I'm in the process of going through the closing paragraph that I use in a lot of my videos where I talk about the "why" of House of Hacks. Yesterday I referenced the, and talked about, the God-given creative spark that I believe each one of us has. Today I want to start talking about the next sentence that goes something along the lines of "Through this channel I hope to inspire, educate and encourage these types of makers."

Today I want to focus in on the word "inspire."

I think that there's really nothing new under the sun. When we have a new idea, when we come up with something that's new to us, I believe it's really a synthesis of everything that we know, everything we've seen and all of our life experience to that point where we've taken different things and put them together, perhaps in a new way, but it's still based on other things. Everything we do is really a result of those who have gone before us. We're standing on the shoulders of giants as it's been said. Where we take something that somebody else has done and we combine it with something else, some other experience that we have, and put it together in a new way but there's still elements of what's gone on before.

One of the Green brothers did a video recently kind of talking about this idea and I'll leave a link to it below in the description.

Another person that's talked about this idea is James Burke in his series "Connections." This is a video series that came out, I think, in the late seventies. He also wrote a book about it that kind of encapsulated all this same information from the series.

In that he took a modern invention and went back several centuries and showed how what went on before had different inflection points where it created created something new and that lead to a new development which in turn lead to a new development which in turn lead to what we have today. And I thought that was a really interesting way of looking at the history of technological development. While it was a great series, I really enjoyed it, I watched it several times, I actually have the book and have read it several times, I think one thing it tends to focus on is kind of a linear progression through the years and I think that's a little bit... I disagree with that. I think that at each inflection point there were many things that came together in the individual's mind or the group's mind that created that new thing. Where it was a lot of streams coming together to form a new river.

And so I want to be one of those tiny streams that provides a little bit of input into somebody's life that they can take and integrate with other things that they know and create something new. And that they can then share that with the world and with others.

So I try to publicize ideas I find interesting. And so when I present something that I know has been inspired by somebody else, I always try to make sure that I credit them, leave a link if appropriate and just let people know that there is source material beyond what I'm doing that did inspire me that they can go back to and perhaps be inspired by in maybe a different way based on their experiences.

So tomorrow I want to talk about the next word in that sentence: "educate."

And until then, go make something.

Perfection's not required. Fun is!