Greetings. On Sunday I had the pleasure of attending the Silver Spring “Mini-Maker Faire,” a brilliant event created by Kid Museum…a new museum in the Washington, D.C., area that is dedicated to “cultivating creativity, curiosity and compassion.” Three things that are near and dear to my heart and work. The faire offered proof that science, technology, engineering, and math can be fun and compelling for a new generation of young people who will, with the right encouragement, be vital to the future of scientific discovery and entrepreneurship. Kids who have an innate gift for imagining a world filled with possibilities and making super cool stuff. It turns out that “making stuff” that matters is a simple and very powerful way to think about engineering.

As part of the day, I had the privilege of facilitating a panel of creative kids (which is kind of a redundant phrase), public sector and nonprofit leaders, and entrepreneurs and innovators as they talked about the importance of coming together as a community to make things. And I was encouraged by the wealth of talent, energy, and insight that exists in our small corner of the world. In wrapping up our session I took a moment to share six ideas that can help all of us to unlock our real genius and thought they might be fun to share them with you…

1. Never forget that 99% of all new ideas are based on the ideas and work of others. In other words, we don’t have to have a totally original idea to make a difference. We simply need to combine what we know best with the wisdom of others.

2. Curiosity is a gift we were all born with, and we can rediscover it by changing our mindset and deciding to engage the world around us head-on.

3. Everyone matters. I can learn something important from everyone else on the planet.

4. Anything is possible. If I can imagine something I can, through hard work and openness, figure out how to make it happen.

5. Always carry a small notebook or journal with you as one simple way to capture your ideas, inspirations, and anything else that seems remarkable. And create a habit of writing, drawing, doodling, and imagining.

6. Each day we pass one hundred people, places, and things that could change our lives. But in our haste to get from Point A to Point B we rarely take the time to notice or connect with strangers. As a result, we limit our potential to build new relationships, learn new things, and make a greater difference in the things that matter most. Commit to connecting with a sense of curiosity and openness!


We win in business and in life when we rediscover the power of using our hands to make simple and important things.