The Maker’s Virtuous Cycle

sketchnotes by Matt Berger

I’ve been in the hobby business for a long time and one thing I love about the #maker community is the virtuous cycle most people follow: Curious student —> enthusiastic practitioner—> devoted expert —> teacher.

And they are never afraid to start over to learn a new skill.

One thing I’ve always struggled with in the corporate world is that many people never make it to the teacher stage and hoard their expert knowledge. And they are too afraid to become students again.


April 29, 1992

I was a freshman in high school on March 3, 1991 when Rodney King was beat down by a gang of Los Angeles Police officers and unknowingly caught on video tape. A bystander in an apartment complex across the street captured the police beating with a 15-pound VHS video camera, and then mailed the tape to KTLA-TV where it was broadcast as a Channel 5 exclusive revealing to White America, a reality only known by Black Americans.

These were the days way before citizens cell phone cameras and social media, which allowed for the capture and broadcast this week of another brutal police killings of Minnesota resident George Floyd.

Even as technology changes, police brutality, and the systematic oppression and violence against minorities — most predominantly black men — has not changed.

It is a plague on our country worse than the coronavirus, and it has not gone away.

As a white suburban teenager I’ve watched this virus spread before, and 30 years later the plague has still not gone away. New, young people continue to be infected by it — suffering a disease of white supremacy. New victims die from it every day.

A year after the Rodney King beating, police caught on camera kicking and pummeling were acquitted. It set off protests and riots in Los Angeles and cities across the country, including Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, Calif., just a few miles away from my house where I was watching it on TV.

Sublime begins its timeless rally song “April 29, 1992” about the LA Riots with these lyrics:

April 26th, 1992
There was a riot on the streets
Tell me where were you?
You were sittin’ home watchin’ your TV
While I was participating in some anarchy

It’s May 31, 2020 and we can write the same song again. And many of us are still sittin’ home watchin’ our TVs — and Twitter feeds.

What are we going to do so that no other generation has to write this song again?

I made DIY face masks from my old Apple employee t-shirts

“Free t-shirts flowed like sparkling water from the tap for employees at Apple Inc.,” says former employee who saved dozens of  Apple employee t-shirts.

by Matt Berger

The first few weeks as an employee at Apple Inc. were some of the most exciting and eye-opening in my career. Each day brought new experiences with “surprise and delight” at every turn.

No object better symbolizes that feeling as much as the stack of free employee t-shirts I saved from my five years there.

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TikTok, Social Distancing, and the New UnNormal

You might remember not long ago I was on here grandstanding about deleting my Facebook account to live a better life of real human connection and personal experiences.

Well, bad timing I guess.

Thanks to a global pandemic and our new reality of “Social Distancing” my grand plan needs a Plan B. Turns out Social Media is a good thing during a state-wide Shelter in Place. I hang out on Instagram and Twitter a lot, these days, and sometimes long for my old Facebook feed.

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