Have you heard of Simone Giertz? If you haven’t, you are in for a treat, and if you are already familiar with her extraordinary work with robots, then hang on, because her TED Talk is one of our new favorites!

Alright so for those who are not familiar with Simone Giertz, she is the brain behind incredible feats of engineering like…

The Toothbrush Machine

The Wake-up Machine

And, well, she’s generally a hero of mine…

So, yeah, she comes up with some pretty brilliant (and maybe a little eccentric) ideas. At this point you may be asking, “Liesl, how does this prove it’s still an amazing world? Sure, slightly better oral hygiene is great…if the robot works.”

Frankly, I’ve been wanting to share Simone’s work and the work of other incredible YouTubers like her for years, and I, too, was unable to find a way to spin her robots into proof that the world isn’t falling apart at the seams. Then, I saw her TED Talk, and it all made sense.

Why in the world does making useless things matter?  Well, you’ll have to listen to Simone to find out!

Via: TED 1

“It’s this expression of joy and humility that often gets lost in engineering…” -Simone Giertz

That statement, right there, is why Simone Giertz’s work has captivated me and so many others out there in the world. Her robots (and every one of her videos) expresses the kind of joy and humility we want in our own work! We all want to wake up in the morning and be excited, challenged, and find joy in what we do.

Her work is a wonderful reminder that things don’t have to be a “success” the first try (or even the third, or sixth) and, most importantly, that there is fun to be had in failure.

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If you want to see more of Simone’s robots and what she’s up to, go check out her YouTube channel. I also recommend following her on Twitter! If you want to check out another YouTube creator taking the “why build useless things” mantra to heart, I’d also spend some time with a creator named William Osman. I recently binge-watched almost every one of his videos and they, too, are brilliant.

So, there you have it. Build useless things. Make mistakes. And remember to find joy in the things you do!

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!


Looking for more innovators?

We love to feature thought leaders pushing us all forward. So, if you want to check out our full library of motivational speakers, TED Talks, and the people making a difference in the world, check out our Thought Leaders library!

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  1. Giertz, Simone. “Why You Should Make Useless Things | Simone Giertz.” YouTube, TED, 9 May 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0bsKc4tiuY. Accessed 15 June 2018.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

CEO of Ever Widening Circles, Founder of EWCed

Since 2015, Liesl has been a writer, editor, and is now the CEO at Ever Widening Circles. She is a life-long camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often root-tripping—outdoor enthusiast. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV