I wrote a book. It’s called “How We Make Stuff Now” and I’ve been asked by many why I wrote it. There are two simple reasons. First, to help the next generation of Makers learn from the last. Second, to claim the expertise and authority that we have worked so hard to assemble at Grommet. There literally is no book like this on the market–not even close.
“How We Make Stuff Now” is based on almost 11 years of hard-won knowledge and learnings about the product development landscape from seeing 300 products a week and launching over 3,000 of them. From prototypes and patents to manufacturing and logistics. We earned our credibility the old-fashioned way.
This effort was a true marathon. From October 2017 to the deadline in May of 2018, I set aside every Wednesday I could. I wrote a chapter a week. I worked from 6 a.m. to about 7 p.m. each day and spent half of those hours still doing my “day job.” I didn’t have the luxury to just focus on the book. There was plenty of necessary writing/polishing slipped into the weekends and I did one kamikaze blitz of writing to finish the book when I was away on a business trip.
There were some Wednesdays where I would get right in the groove and knock out the bones of a chapter before noon. More often I procrastinated while I got my head in gear on the assignment. I edited older chapters, did laundry, handled email and generally circled the topic until I had a good starting point in my head.
But then I really did achieve a state of flow where I wrote rapidly and with great concentration. So much so that I often forgot where I was and even in my own home would pick my head up and think, “Now just where is the bathroom in this place?”
I’m in the early throes of spreading the word about “How We Make Stuff Now.” You can see where to buy it, and some of my speaking appearances on the book website. But before I make too many stops on the book tour, it is time I thank you to you, The Grommet community, for your help in this endeavor.
There are no 11 years of know-how without your support. The source material would be far-fetched at best if you didn’t believe in the same things I do. That small business matters. That we can craft the world we want to in large part through the purchases we make. I truly hope there is someone in your life that has been tinkering and ideating that this book is perfect for. It is truly meant to be a blueprint to bring a product to life.
I’ll close with something I have been smiling about for the last few days. When you work on something for so long, you can temporarily lose sight of the impact of what you’re working on. And I had such a moment at a special Boston preview event last weekend to launch the book at WBUR’s CitySpace.
We had secured some early copies so I signed them in a classic “author at a table” fashion. For me, it was understood. A part of the agenda. An enjoyable logistic. When I was done, I joined my family ready for what was next and my son Gray greeted me with a smile and shake of his head. “That was surreal. You are just my mom.” Just like that, the surrealness reached me, too.
And this was after he let the crowd know he was in the crowd during the interactive Q and A. Love that guy.