There are many challenges at a Make48 event and for Kyle, Darrell and Adnan, it was even more so. Before the competition the three men were strangers, living hundreds of miles apart, before competing together. The three home inventors applied individually and were put together on a team by chance, named World’s A-Part.
Kyle is an engineer and aspiring inventor from Moundridge, Kansas; Darrell is a driver and an inventor; and Adnan comes to us from Toronto, Canada and participated in many international design competitions before.
Together the amazing group of strangers, who are now friends, came together to pitch their idea to a panel of judges.
Read what Kyle and Darrell have to say about their time on Make48.
Why did you want to compete at Make48?
Kyle: I’ve enjoyed creating items, learning new things, and solving problems. Make48 was something I stumbled across on PBS one day and was fascinated by the competition.
The inclusive atmosphere, coaching, and learning opportunity it presented was something that I wanted to be a part of. I took the plunge and applied the last day they were allowed and the rest is history.
Darrell: I applied and wanted to compete on Make 48 to test out my creative skills with such a small time window. I also wanted to meet and be around other like-minded individuals and network with others in hopes of making some connections to help me move forward with my own inventions. And to try and learn a little bit about 3d printing and some other means of fabrication.
What was the most difficult part about the competition?
Darrell: For me, the most difficult part was that my two teammates had engineering backgrounds where I had none. I felt a bit intimidated by that, but what helped me overcome that was the fact that they were impressed with the fact that I have already gone through the invention process with a product that I have with a patent pending on it, and they themselves have their own inventions that they never tried to pursue.
That helped me to feel like my input and opinions would be very valuable to the team.
Kyle: With three individuals from completely different backgrounds who had never met, we had a steep learning curve to overcome from the beginning.
We had to quickly get to know each other, our individual strengths and weaknesses, and react to the category to come up with a good idea. The first day was the hardest, as we worked through the trials that come with this in a time crunch.
What pulled us through was our determination to immerse ourselves in the process, and work with the rest of the team to accomplish our goals. We were all committed to stay in it together through the end.
Did you learn anything new from doing the competition?
Darrell: If anything I learned that having like-minded people around you — coming up with and creating ideas is pretty easy, fun, and exciting to try and execute.
Kyle: Make48 is a fantastic opportunity to learn the inventing process and soak up knowledge and experience from engaged coaches and mentors. A few days in this environment is worth months or years by any other means.
Other than that, a competition like this teaches me more about myself than I expect. Whether it’s skills I didn’t know I had or areas that I need to improve, Make48 has shown me a whole new view of myself and how I interact with the world around me. Lastly, it verified that I’m still not interested in a career in television!
Looking back, is there anything you would’ve done differently?
Kyle: There are always aspects of the process that I would like to go back and adjust how I and the team responded. Overall, I believe we did a fairly good job of focusing on the important pieces during a very quick time crunch.
Looking back, we could have improved our approach by reallocating time spent on items that didn’t end up mattering to other items, that we could have refined more to be better prepared.
Darrell: The one thing I know I would have done differently is, at the end I would have given a better introduction to what our product was and why we chose to develop it. We practiced what we were going to say and I stumbled a bit. I would have done a better job just going off the top of my head and explaining our product to the panel and audience.
Overall what was the best part of the Make48 experience?
Kyle: Through the Make48 experience, I was able to meet and work with some great like-minded teammates, competitors, coaches, mentors, and Tool Techs. Going through this with all of them made it so much easier to dive in head first and learn new aspects of the inventing process at light speed.
Darrell: I can’t say it enough – the best part of the whole experience was of course being a part of the show. Having the opportunity to meet some really good, genuine, kind hearted, nice people; and being in an environment where you can feel the good vibes, the love, and support from everyone there, especially from the Tool Techs. Those guys and gals were truly awesome. Quite frankly I can’t wait to participate in the competition again whenever it’s feasibly possible.