Hyperubik Sound Confuser, 2017. Recycled materials.


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Starting before you are ready is what it takes to begin and beginning is the most important step you can take in any endeavor.

Timothy Lee Russell | 12/10/2017 12:56:59 AM

A Company that Makes Everything™ - Day 1

Hi, my name is Timothy Lee Russell. I've been a software engineer in a professional capacity for more than 15 years. Taming bits and inconveniencing electrons is a rewarding practice but I've found that I need to additionally create physical things in the real world to feel fulfilled.

I love writing software. The intellectual challenge and the constantly shifting landscape keeps me engaged. Software is valuable, it enables commerce, performs vital business functions and often helps us enjoy our downtime, binge-watching the latest in a long line of amazing content or immersing ourselves in gaming and virtual reality.

The downside is that sometimes there is a sense when you work virtually that your work can be compressed (using middle-out) down to nothingness.

I'm not giving up on software though, quite to the contrary. In April of 2017, I decided to go independent which is both an exhilarating and a terrifying move. If you have a project, I might be someone you could profit from talking to.

A Company that Makes Everything™

I decided to start A Company that Makes Everything™ to continue my lifelong pursuit of learning and couple it with my need to continuously upgrade my processes, tools and techniques. This involved finding a way to dedicate time to building physical objects #IRL. I've had varying degrees of success with scheduling that time, balancing the needs of clients with the desire to augment and highlight my capabilities with this off-shoot venture. I feel keenly aware that this tangent will be, at times, entirely disconnected from the software arena where I have significantly more confidence in my abilities.

The freedom to have an idea and then execute on it without the buy-in of stakeholders is a feeling that I'm fairly certain will continue to feel foreign for the unforeseeable future. That said, I've always been up for a challenge.

I like the name because it doesn't feel limiting. When people ask me what A Company that Makes Everything™ produces, I usually say, "TBD, I don't know yet." When they inevitably say, "That is not a sensible strategy for a company." I reply, "You are correct!"

Closeup of a shallow end-scrap piece from the Sound Confuser line of diffusers.


CC BY 3.0 US

So, now you've met me and someday I hope to meet you. For years I've been inspired by the creativity of other makers but never had the time to join in. That is changing, starting now and in this singular moment, the pronoun switches to "we" because the goal of A Company that Makes Everything™ is to celebrate the amazing creativity and resourcefulness of all of us.

The plan is to share the meta output of A Company that Makes Everything™. Long-form writing, descriptive images, video and other ephemera will make up some of that output. Perhaps you can learn something from our mistakes because we're not going to only share successes. We're used to failure. In fact, sometimes failure is the most interesting path.

When playing music, often making a mistake, hitting the wrong note or chord can send you down a previously undiscovered road to a new beautiful creation. That is where we hope we are headed, albeit by our normally circuitous route.

We don't have anything to sell yet which is great because that saves you a bunch of money. There are a couple of different products in the pipeline but right now we're focusing on studying, experimenting, prototyping and scheming. Ideas are pretty cheap and the automation to create and customize is available and soon to be ubiquitous. As we learn to model and automate our world, we want to look forward but also respect the past.

To that end, we are going to:

  • Give attribution to everyone who contributes, everywhere their work appears on the site. We think their work has value and we want to help you find it.
  • Explore different techniques for accomplishing the same task, for example, comparisons of silk-screening vs. CNC stenciling vs. vinyl transfers vs. techniques we aren't even aware of yet.
  • Share some of what we've learned by delving into 3D printing, which is on the cusp of decentralizing portions of the manufacturing supply chain.
  • Show you how we built this site using Umbraco, a fantastic platform for DIYers who want to have full control over their website.
  • Talk with other makers about the spaces they inhabit and the tools, techniques and processes they use to create. Our plan is to bring this to you in high-definition and we hope you'll follow along as we figure out how to do that.
  • Bring you long-form posts about projects we build as well as projects commissioned and/or supported by A Company that Makes Everything™.
  • And finally, we're going to point out projects we think are worth pointing out which is a good thing even if does require quite a bit of pointing (which is generally considered rude everywhere). When we point out a project, we are going to do it with a blue link and an open hand, to soften the gesture and we're only going to point at things that we like. The internet is a whirlpool of bad behavior. If that's what your into, have at it (elsewhere) but we're going to keep it positive here in this sacred walled garden.

We don't know what we're doing but we're not going to let that stop us from creating something amazing together. Life is unpredictable, sometimes incredibly difficult and unfair but often just as rewarding. A Company that Makes Everything™ wants to show that the most important part of any goal is enjoying the journey!

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