Yesterday two strangers sent me this photo from Cologne, Germany.

MegaMaker listeners in Germany

Here’s the story: they were both attending Lean Camp in Cologne. Sammy (the fellow on the right) recognized Ben’s MegaMaker shirt. The two connected, and snapped this photo for me. Ben later described the whole meeting like this:

MegaMaker product hunt

Ben and Sammy reminded me of why I created MegaMaker in the first place. In August 2015, before I’d started the podcast, I wrote my friend Sacha Greif an email explaining the idea. Here are some excerpts:

MegaMaker is a podcast for people who identify as “makers” (both digital and physical). There should be an air of mystery around it.

This next part is even more eerie:

I miss creating physical things like hats, t-shirts, etc… Physical goods can draw people together. I’m looking to create things that help people feel part of the club, part of the movement. I want people to wear the shirts at conferences and recognize each other.

Writing those words 9 months ago, and seeing them come to fruition now is incredibly satisfying.

MegaMaker was a huge personal risk for me. I decided to quit doing full-time Product Marketing work, and focus on this weird idea of making 100 things in a year.

I’ve been calling it my “creative sabbatical.”

There were a lot of folks who told me I was making a mistake. I’d just finished launching my book on product marketing, had spoken at a conference in Europe on the topic, and was getting good job offers. A few friends messaged me and said:

You’re just starting to be known as the “product marketing guy.” This opportunity might not come again! You should stay focused on that.

But after 14 years of working full-time I needed a break. Specifically I wanted to explore three things:

  1. Community: there’s nothing better than people connecting on a human level. When community works it creates solidarity, encouragement, and collaboration.
  2. Creativity: “Life is better when you make stuff” – Levi Allen
  3. Curiosity: What’s it like to try this? Let’s test the rules. Let’s break some rules!

Why am I telling you all this?

I don’t know. 😉 I’m not even sure if I’ll click “publish” on this one.

Part of me just wanted to share the story.

And a big part of me wanted to say thank you. Thanks to all of you who have listened to the show, joined the Maker Challenge, and supported this creative journey.

Justin Jackson

PS: if you’d like to get your own shirt, you can order one here! (I just added a new “Season 2” themed version as well). Also, huge thanks to Becca for sending me these great gallery images of her wearing the Standard Women’s Tee.

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