Failblog: UFO

People seem to love laughing at failure to the point that when something is attempted and hilariously or painfully or bothly does not happen, we call it a FAIL or MAJOR FAIL or EPICFAIL! Why do we do this? Are we embarrassed for the person who tries? Are we scared at how failure can hurt, and laugh as protection? I don’t know, but I think it keeps up from seeing how failure does not have to be the end result or final product. Failure, and sometimes even success, are moments for pause and consideration about how to move forward.

There are many projects I’ve started in MAKESHOP and reached that moment of pause. I want to write this blog post to celebrate it and start talking about what happens in the times that our work does not match our ideas. I wonder how many times over the course of a making project I say to myself “hmm, that doesn’t work, maybe I try this instead” Loads, is the answer. And some of those “hmmms” are bigger than others. Is there a “hmmm” large enough to make me stop working? What should I do then?

I’ll start with a recent example: a UFO. My idea UFO was a spinning ship with lights and maybe a whirring hum. So, I had to find materials that were kind of bowl shaped and get a motor and some LEDs. Easy enough, but that’s where it stopped being easy.


The motors we have use a drive shaft that was much too small to fit into the shaft I had found to support the top of the UFO. Hmm, but what if I put the motor on the outside of the shaft? Nah, if the whole shaft spins around the motor then the wires will get tangled. Hmmm. Well, let’s move onto the lights. I can attach a battery for every LED, but then that’s a LOT of batteries. Hmmmmm. Earlier I learned how to hook up multiple LEDs to the same battery, so I tried to build the ladder system for all those lights. But using that method didn’t work so HMM, maybe conductive thread? But that only worked when I pushed very hard on the leads, which I can’t do while it’s hanging in the air so HMMMMM!!!

As of now, I still haven’t make my UFO. Should I say I failed? What should I do next?

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