Discovering innovations that matter since 2002

Wise Words with Jay Silver

Wise Words

One of the founders of inventor-friendly circuitboard, Makey Makey, offers us some wise words.

Many of the innovations we come across have an enthusiastic founder behind them, brimming with creative ideas that give their business an interesting edge. However, it’s rare that we find a business idea that also encourages its users to think in an equally creative and unique way. This is exactly what MaKey MaKey is all about, allowing anybody who picks up the device to bring almost any inanimate object to life. MaKey MaKey is a small circuitboard complete with crocodile clips and a USB cable — both of which can be attached to any object that is capable of conducting a small amount of electricity. This object can then become a computer touchpad, with previous examples including a banana piano, a play dough games controller and a cat’s waterbowl-turned-camera. Founders Jay Silver and Eric Rosenbaum came up with this playful tech piece while studying at Michigan Institute of Technology, building their graduate programs around the device — Jay is looking at how ‘The World is a Construction Kit’ and Eric is researching ‘Tools for Improvisational Mindsets’. Having outstripped their original funding goal of 25,000 USD on Kickstarter by over 500,000 USD we spoke to Jay to find out how the pair are developing their business with this impressive backing.
Thanks Jay!
You can read more about MaKey MaKey here or visit the MaKey MaKey website here.
11. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Be exactly who you are, take a deep breath, and let the opportunities emerge by focusing your attention.
Thanks Jay!
You can read more about MaKey MaKey here or visit the MaKey MaKey website here.
10. Tell Springwise a secret…
Snax are better than regular food
11. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Be exactly who you are, take a deep breath, and let the opportunities emerge by focusing your attention.
Thanks Jay!
You can read more about MaKey MaKey here or visit the MaKey MaKey website here.
9. If you weren’t working on MaKey MaKey, what would you be doing?
Working on MaKey MaKey. Also I am writing a thesis, raising a family, and starting a job soon with Intel Labs as a Maker Research Scientist.
10. Tell Springwise a secret…
Snax are better than regular food
11. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Be exactly who you are, take a deep breath, and let the opportunities emerge by focusing your attention.
Thanks Jay!
You can read more about MaKey MaKey here or visit the MaKey MaKey website here.
8. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?
I have multiple simultaneous possible visions for where my business will go in 5 years. But one very practical possibility is that I will run JoyLabz as a business that has a few products (including Drawdio and MaKey MaKey) as well as providing some creative workshops. I would love to see it cross over with Yoga somehow.
9. If you weren’t working on MaKey MaKey, what would you be doing?
Working on MaKey MaKey. Also I am writing a thesis, raising a family, and starting a job soon with Intel Labs as a Maker Research Scientist.
10. Tell Springwise a secret…
Snax are better than regular food
11. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Be exactly who you are, take a deep breath, and let the opportunities emerge by focusing your attention.
Thanks Jay!
You can read more about MaKey MaKey here or visit the MaKey MaKey website here.
7. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Nothing.
8. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?
I have multiple simultaneous possible visions for where my business will go in 5 years. But one very practical possibility is that I will run JoyLabz as a business that has a few products (including Drawdio and MaKey MaKey) as well as providing some creative workshops. I would love to see it cross over with Yoga somehow.
9. If you weren’t working on MaKey MaKey, what would you be doing?
Working on MaKey MaKey. Also I am writing a thesis, raising a family, and starting a job soon with Intel Labs as a Maker Research Scientist.
10. Tell Springwise a secret…
Snax are better than regular food
11. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Be exactly who you are, take a deep breath, and let the opportunities emerge by focusing your attention.
Thanks Jay!
You can read more about MaKey MaKey here or visit the MaKey MaKey website here.
6. What motivates you to keep going?
Imagining living in a world where everyone votes with their hands and makes the world the way they would like it.
7. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Nothing.
8. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?
I have multiple simultaneous possible visions for where my business will go in 5 years. But one very practical possibility is that I will run JoyLabz as a business that has a few products (including Drawdio and MaKey MaKey) as well as providing some creative workshops. I would love to see it cross over with Yoga somehow.
9. If you weren’t working on MaKey MaKey, what would you be doing?
Working on MaKey MaKey. Also I am writing a thesis, raising a family, and starting a job soon with Intel Labs as a Maker Research Scientist.
10. Tell Springwise a secret…
Snax are better than regular food
11. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Be exactly who you are, take a deep breath, and let the opportunities emerge by focusing your attention.
Thanks Jay!
You can read more about MaKey MaKey here or visit the MaKey MaKey website here.
5. What drove you crazy when building your business?
For the first 5 years I was at MIT they preferred that I didn’t commercialize any of my inventions. Also, many parts of capitalism have very low standards for how people and the earth should be treated.
6. What motivates you to keep going?
Imagining living in a world where everyone votes with their hands and makes the world the way they would like it.
7. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Nothing.
8. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?
I have multiple simultaneous possible visions for where my business will go in 5 years. But one very practical possibility is that I will run JoyLabz as a business that has a few products (including Drawdio and MaKey MaKey) as well as providing some creative workshops. I would love to see it cross over with Yoga somehow.
9. If you weren’t working on MaKey MaKey, what would you be doing?
Working on MaKey MaKey. Also I am writing a thesis, raising a family, and starting a job soon with Intel Labs as a Maker Research Scientist.
10. Tell Springwise a secret…
Snax are better than regular food
11. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Be exactly who you are, take a deep breath, and let the opportunities emerge by focusing your attention.
Thanks Jay!
You can read more about MaKey MaKey here or visit the MaKey MaKey website here.
4. What’s the secret ingredient to success as an entrepreneur?
There is no secret. You just do your best at what you’re the best at. Don’t seek to be an entrepreneur. If it happens you’ll know it.
5. What drove you crazy when building your business?
For the first 5 years I was at MIT they preferred that I didn’t commercialize any of my inventions. Also, many parts of capitalism have very low standards for how people and the earth should be treated.
6. What motivates you to keep going?
Imagining living in a world where everyone votes with their hands and makes the world the way they would like it.
7. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Nothing.
8. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?
I have multiple simultaneous possible visions for where my business will go in 5 years. But one very practical possibility is that I will run JoyLabz as a business that has a few products (including Drawdio and MaKey MaKey) as well as providing some creative workshops. I would love to see it cross over with Yoga somehow.
9. If you weren’t working on MaKey MaKey, what would you be doing?
Working on MaKey MaKey. Also I am writing a thesis, raising a family, and starting a job soon with Intel Labs as a Maker Research Scientist.
10. Tell Springwise a secret…
Snax are better than regular food
11. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Be exactly who you are, take a deep breath, and let the opportunities emerge by focusing your attention.
Thanks Jay!
You can read more about MaKey MaKey here or visit the MaKey MaKey website here.
3. How do you unwind or relax when you’re not working on MaKey MaKey?
Yoga, meditation, hang out with friends, go for a walk.
4. What’s the secret ingredient to success as an entrepreneur?
There is no secret. You just do your best at what you’re the best at. Don’t seek to be an entrepreneur. If it happens you’ll know it.
5. What drove you crazy when building your business?
For the first 5 years I was at MIT they preferred that I didn’t commercialize any of my inventions. Also, many parts of capitalism have very low standards for how people and the earth should be treated.
6. What motivates you to keep going?
Imagining living in a world where everyone votes with their hands and makes the world the way they would like it.
7. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Nothing.
8. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?
I have multiple simultaneous possible visions for where my business will go in 5 years. But one very practical possibility is that I will run JoyLabz as a business that has a few products (including Drawdio and MaKey MaKey) as well as providing some creative workshops. I would love to see it cross over with Yoga somehow.
9. If you weren’t working on MaKey MaKey, what would you be doing?
Working on MaKey MaKey. Also I am writing a thesis, raising a family, and starting a job soon with Intel Labs as a Maker Research Scientist.
10. Tell Springwise a secret…
Snax are better than regular food
11. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Be exactly who you are, take a deep breath, and let the opportunities emerge by focusing your attention.
Thanks Jay!
You can read more about MaKey MaKey here or visit the MaKey MaKey website here.
2. Can you describe a typical working day?
Work all day long on MaKey MaKey and then play with my kid and wife.
3. How do you unwind or relax when you’re not working on MaKey MaKey?
Yoga, meditation, hang out with friends, go for a walk.
4. What’s the secret ingredient to success as an entrepreneur?
There is no secret. You just do your best at what you’re the best at. Don’t seek to be an entrepreneur. If it happens you’ll know it.
5. What drove you crazy when building your business?
For the first 5 years I was at MIT they preferred that I didn’t commercialize any of my inventions. Also, many parts of capitalism have very low standards for how people and the earth should be treated.
6. What motivates you to keep going?
Imagining living in a world where everyone votes with their hands and makes the world the way they would like it.
7. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Nothing.
8. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?
I have multiple simultaneous possible visions for where my business will go in 5 years. But one very practical possibility is that I will run JoyLabz as a business that has a few products (including Drawdio and MaKey MaKey) as well as providing some creative workshops. I would love to see it cross over with Yoga somehow.
9. If you weren’t working on MaKey MaKey, what would you be doing?
Working on MaKey MaKey. Also I am writing a thesis, raising a family, and starting a job soon with Intel Labs as a Maker Research Scientist.
10. Tell Springwise a secret…
Snax are better than regular food
11. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Be exactly who you are, take a deep breath, and let the opportunities emerge by focusing your attention.
Thanks Jay!
You can read more about MaKey MaKey here or visit the MaKey MaKey website here.
1. Where did the idea for MaKey MaKey come from?
The idea came from several places. MaKey MaKey is an evolution of the Drawdio, a previous project of ours that lets you turn anything into a musical instrument. Also, my thesis is “The world is a construction kit.” How do you make a construction kit in which the kit itself is not what you use to construct things, but the world and the internet that you live in and around becomes the kit? That’s the idea behind MaKey MaKey.
2. Can you describe a typical working day?
Work all day long on MaKey MaKey and then play with my kid and wife.
3. How do you unwind or relax when you’re not working on MaKey MaKey?
Yoga, meditation, hang out with friends, go for a walk.
4. What’s the secret ingredient to success as an entrepreneur?
There is no secret. You just do your best at what you’re the best at. Don’t seek to be an entrepreneur. If it happens you’ll know it.
5. What drove you crazy when building your business?
For the first 5 years I was at MIT they preferred that I didn’t commercialize any of my inventions. Also, many parts of capitalism have very low standards for how people and the earth should be treated.
6. What motivates you to keep going?
Imagining living in a world where everyone votes with their hands and makes the world the way they would like it.
7. If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Nothing.
8. Where do you see your business in five years, and how will you get there?
I have multiple simultaneous possible visions for where my business will go in 5 years. But one very practical possibility is that I will run JoyLabz as a business that has a few products (including Drawdio and MaKey MaKey) as well as providing some creative workshops. I would love to see it cross over with Yoga somehow.
9. If you weren’t working on MaKey MaKey, what would you be doing?
Working on MaKey MaKey. Also I am writing a thesis, raising a family, and starting a job soon with Intel Labs as a Maker Research Scientist.
10. Tell Springwise a secret…
Snax are better than regular food
11. Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Be exactly who you are, take a deep breath, and let the opportunities emerge by focusing your attention.
Thanks Jay!
You can read more about MaKey MaKey here or visit the MaKey MaKey website here.