Adam Savage Talks About Skill Mastery and Failure in Making

Fascinating stuff in this “Ask Adam” segment where he talks about what it takes to master a skill and things the master of a skill knows how to do that a newbie can’t understand yet. For instance, prioritizing knowledge — how to dynamically refine the decision trees of a complex task and to get better at seeing farther ahead into the future of a project. Everything you do in developing a skill set gives you a better, clearer perspective on all of the things that you do in developing a skill set.

Adam also answers a question about the phrase “Failure is always an option” (a common refrain on MythBusters). He points out that one of the cool thinks about making for yourself or for YouTube/TV is that, yes, failure is always an option. If making for yourself, you learn in the failure, on YouTube, it can make for an entertaining narrative. But, he just delivered a job for a client for the first time in several decades and obviously in such employment or client situations, failure is not an option at all. This is a great reminder that, in our quest for mastery in maker skills, those of us who are doing it non-professionally or as a form of edutainment have a unique, relaxed opportunity to gain mastery in a very relaxed and flexible way. As he concludes, that phrase, “Failure is not an option” has very specific parameters around it.

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