rapid prototyping life 2.0

February 26, 2008


What is rapid prototyping?
Rapid prototyping is the automatic construction of physical objects using solid freeform fabrication (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapid_prototyping).

Rapid prototyping machinery has largely replaced traditional prototyping techniques due to speed and cost advantages. 

It is often used in the automotive industry.

How does this apply to life?

Writing has always been in my blood.  I spent the first 15 years of my “working life” trying to fight it.

These days at work, I am writing about things *I do not care about*, on *someone else’s schedule*.  I am working for someone else, making lots of money for someone else, while someone else raises my children at daycare.  We cannot live where we choose to live, with the freedom we desire. 

I decided back at the very beginning of 2007 that I would become a professional writer.  I have several great ideas for books and stories.  If I did that, I said to myself, we could live anywhere in the world.

One day, I woke up – and it was 2008.

Like many, I allowed the minutia of life to interfere with my transition plans, and I let myself fall into an endless planning stage.  I had written a lot of material, but not gone anywhere with it.

No longer.  I launched myself out into the world, via this blog.  I am meeting many wonderful people through this experience.  I am interacting with them, learning at an exponential rate.

I have to thank many of these people for encouraging me to do this, people like the Men with Pens who encourage us to write our novels, like Michael Martine for the kick in the pants to try a starter blog, or Christine O’Kelly who challenges us to stop existing and take action.  Not only these people, but the many people who comment and interact.

Thank you.

Yesterday, I took “the machine” for a test drive.  I was at home, with two of my four children (they were ill with cold) and I was writing.  I was mind mapping my books, my blogs and my business plans.  I was also interacting with my friends from around the world, and it was amazing.

Sure, there were interruptions from the kids, but there were also interactions.  When they were playing together, I was amazingly productive.  It was like we knew how to take breaks together.  They are an inspiration.  They know not fear of failure.  They know only action.

It was a glimpse into the future I will build for myself.  I must build for myself.

Build your own rapid prototype – today.  Just start now.  It will not be perfect.  That is not the point.  Make some mistakes right away, you will learn quickly and in the end, the payoffs will more than outweigh the initial costs.  Test drive your machine, see how you like it, kick the tires, adjust the seat and the mirrors, try out the radio.

This is my rapid prototyping machine – from my thoughts, to the world.


10 Responses to “rapid prototyping life 2.0”

  1. Brett, I have to say that it’s very, very cool to watch you progress on your journey towards your dreams. I’m glad to be a part of that, and I’ll look forward to seeing you reach more milestones – and of course, the end goal 🙂

  2. Way to go, Brett! I’m glad I was able to help. I think what you’re experiencing is the future of viable, meaningful work. The rapid prototyping analogy is an apt one. Welcome to the freelance future.

  3. Nick Cernis Says:

    What a great analogy. As someone who’s used industrial rapid prototyping machinery and since started a business, it really hit home!

    I used to spend months toiling away on the details, and never launched anything for years. This year I’ve applied your concept of rapid prototyping to my life and it’s been great — the way I look at it right now is, if it can’t be launched in one month or less, the prototype needs scaling back.

    Looking forward to reading more!

  4. Francis Kopke Says:


    You’ve been publishing for 20 days and only just now told me?
    You went to New Zealand last year and didn’t tell me?
    No matter, I still think you are full of $hit.
    And that is a compliment. To go back to your analogy of a farmer. They recycle the waste of their beasts to grow crops that feed the beasts.
    You blog feeds others, just as they feed you and you are all growing collectively.
    Back when I was a professional writer (yes, yes I’ve gone the opposite way from you) I needed the interaction of other writers but that was the days before blogs. So I spent a fortune in coffee at coffee houses.

    Keep on keeping on.

  5. brettlegree Says:

    If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.

    I could not have done any of this, without each of you, whether you know it or not.

    @ James – you have been a great resource, and it has been great interacting with you along the way. Together, we make each other stronger.

    @ Michael – I can’t thank you enough, I saved that post, looked at it for about three days, and then said “GO!”

    @ Nick – thank you very much – I have a lot more to say, as you will see – and thank *you* for your words on your blog, especially your latest – that hit home for me in many ways.

    @ Francis – last but certainly not least, some time ago you told me you’d kick me in the ass if I didn’t start writing something. You know me better than I know myself, in some ways, perhaps that is what a friend is.

    (I could have sworn we told you about NZ, obviously we talk too much about computers and not enough about “life”.)

    And yes, I am still full of $hit. Thanks for your words, my friend.

    Beers all around.

  6. wendikelly Says:


    I guess I am reading your blog backwards and just got to this one and loved it!

    As you know, we are both on the same path to making our dreams happen in the writing world.

    Right now I am feeling possessed by a “don’t look down- there is nothing there so you better keep climbing” mentality.

    I have so much to learn…this week my goal is to lean how to work the links and figure out how to get my favorite blogs to show up on my site. That’s how far I have to go…talk about jumping in at the beginning! But if we don’t quit, we keep on climbing. I’m rooting for you. I think you have what it takes.
    Thanks for coming by and giving me encouragement. We can encourage each other!

  7. brettlegree Says:

    Hi Wendi,

    Thanks for stopping in again, and for your kind words. That’s kind of the neat thing about this format, as we can always go back to the older stuff, and jump around a bit.

    Yes, we are both on that same path, and we will get there. I can already feel it. What you said is so true – don’t look down, keep climbing.

    I’m in your shoes, don’t worry – the more I learn, I realize, the less I know. And that is okay, because this is just like everything I’ve ever taken on – school, being a dad – so much to learn.

    Thanks again, and keep on doing what you’re doing – I know that *you* also have what it takes. I really liked your latest post about the Busy Bus. Don’t wait for the Busy Bus – be the driver.

  8. Friar Says:

    I’m with you, Brett.

    Almost a year ago, at work, we were trained in the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” (you were there with me).

    One of the excercises we had was to take five minnutes, and write down as fast we could, without thinking, what we thought was important in our life, and what our core values were.

    The whole point of that excercise was to allow our subconcious to break through, to help us express what we’re passionate about.

    Much to my surprise, after I finished, I saw that nothing I had had written had ANYTHING do with my present job or being an engineer.

    That was my Wake-Up call. I only then realized I’m not doing what I should be doing.

    If there is one thing I benefitted from that Seven Habits course, is that it’s started me on my journey towards becoming a professional writer.

    Who knows? It might take 1 year, it might take twenty. But at least now I’ve started working at it.

    It will be interesting to see how this all turns out.

  9. brettlegree Says:

    Hey Friar,

    Yes, I have to say that this training was probably the catalyst for what we are both doing right now. We should be thankful that we had the opportunity to experience it.

    It doesn’t matter how long it takes, as long as you take the chance. The beautiful thing is, I know already that we will both get there. You will see.

    Thanks for being a part of it, and being a friend.

  10. Just imagine I read it twice. While I am not as proficient on this issue, I match with your closings because they create sense. Thanks and goodluck to you.

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