Recently I have been invited by an old friend to give a talk about my projects. Mostly I go through the talk I gave last year at Reasons to be creative and add a bit more. Here is the video.
I got people asked me this question constantly : how could you make so many experiments ? especially you are father of 2 kids, where and how do you find the time to make this ? My answer is always the same : because of the fear, The fear of that if I don’t make this projects now, I won’t have any time in the future to make it. I hate to see these ideas dies in my head. Having children completely changed my life. And without questions it consumes me a lot of time. However I find myself more productive then before I had the kids. Why ? I think I used to think I’ll always have time to build things in the future. So I always get distracted by films, games … etc. But now whenever I had some time and I have an idea, I’ll grab whatever I can to make it. I’m not saying that you should have kids ( or perhaps you should ?! 😛 ) But more about trying to grab as much time as possible. Don’t expect to have a complete and long quiet time to build your idea. Most of the time you won’t have it. Do small parts one by one, divide big tasks into small tasks.
Then the next question I got asked a lot is why I am making these projects ? Because I want to have fun ! How many times you see all the amazing projects from creativeapplications.net and you dreams about making your own ? How many times you see all the crazy WebGL experiments on chromeexperiments.com and wish you had a project like that ? and how many time you actually got the project ? I think we all know the answer. I am not a person of patience, I want to have fun building , experimenting and learning things. I don’t count on the client project to do these. Yes it might be easier with client projects because you’ll have a proper budget and time to do so. But you never know when it will come. I don’t want to wait, I want to have fun right now. I think everyone understands the importance of the R&D, and everyone wants to do it because it is fun. Since you know it’s fun, then there’s nothing stoping you to have these fun yourself.
There’s also one other reason I’m making these : for my kids. The are old enough now to understand what I am doing. They live in a whole new generation and going to use computers a lot in everyday life. Personally I want to show them that computer is just a tool helping us to create or form or ideas. Besides I really enjoy making things for kids because they’ll give you the most straightforward feedbacks. If they love your stuff they’ll just tell you and let you know you’ve done a good job plus a bit smile. I was really lucky to have a chance to setup an installation for the kids at Geneva international school earlier this year. One of the best moments is the a kid (of age 6) approach me and talk to me how much he enjoy the installation and thank me. During these 4 days in the school my friend and I become the super star ( A.K.A. the STARGAZERS ) The smiles and feedback from these kids are truly amazing. They thank me for bringing the installation to them, but the true is I thank them for giving me motivation to build more.
These are the main points I want to share. Everyone has her/his own way to do R&D. But the most important thing of all is as once my friend told me : have fun ! You gotta to find the joy in building these experiments/projects. Fun is the only way to make you keep doing it, find the stuff that inspires you no matter where they are coming from. It could be a picture, a game, a book or anything. Then you could start from there building your project and having fun !
P.S. You can find the presentation of my talk here : http://slides.com/wen/deck-3