February 15, 2013 AT 12:28 pm

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 with Steve Hoefer

On Thursday, MAKE did a 5,4,3,2,1 with one of my favorite makers, Steve Hoefer. Steve is a man of many talents, and I’m always impressed with his curiosity and ability to discuss whatever he’s working on in a larger cultural context.

Two past mistakes you’ve learned the most from:

1. The first one is one I didn’t learn from. I didn’t fight it when my math teachers thought teaching me was a waste of time. My primary and secondary school math teachers were not effective, and I didn’t complain when they put me in alternative (non-math) classes. I should have been more involved in my math education and asked my teachers to challenge me more, or simply invested more effort into it. Having a stronger, more confident base in mathematics is something I could use every single day. It’s a lot harder to catch up with some of that learning as an adult.

2. Second is not bringing in an expert. I’ve made this mistake more times than I can count and I still fight with it. I come from a very DIY background and I’m really curious, so I want to know how everything works and how to do it. That means that I take on tasks that I hate or are much better suited to a domain expert. I’ll spend hours/days/weeks trying to learn how to do something I don’t want to do, or that an expert can do better and faster. While it’s great to learn a new skill, sometimes it’s not a good investment. Trying to do it all myself keeps me from working with some really great experts and soaks up my time that keeps me from working on more projects.

I highly recommend checking it out. There’s a lot of good advice to be found!

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