Let’s make some stuff.

The re-launch of Marketing for Developers is fast approaching.

I recently bought a new camera for video. Nothing fancy: a Logitech Pro Webcam. In the USA it’s listed at $129.99. Here in Canada it was $169.

I can’t afford a DSLR right now, but I wanted something that would create a better look than my built-in iSight camera on my Macbook Pro.

Really impressed with the results so far.

Hey friends – Keenan Kirk (the artist behind the MegaMaker logo) has a new album out with his band Forester.

It’s f’ing killer. ?

I introduced it to my friend Justin Abrahms, and he fell in love. ❤️

Please listen + stream + buy + review it! I want to see it go ?.

Listen to it on iTunes here.

Here’s my review: ★★★★★

Good from the first drop!

Forester is a perfect mix: they’re energetic AND they’re great writers.

It’s agressive, smart, piano rock.

This is the album you can listen to at work, but it’s also perfect for the gym.

If you’re looking for some new jams, but you want to hear something with layers of substance, this whole album is for you.

It’s launched! With over 550 pre-orders, this launch is already going well. You can get your copy here:

Buy now

Want more info? Go here.

Episode 25 of MegaMaker

Show notes

Two tactics for getting out of the dumps

  1. Help someone else.
  2. Make something small. Anything! It will help get you unstuck.

“I think making something will cure almost anything. It always makes me feel better” – Casey Neistat

Current project: Remote Workers Clubs


One thing we’ve learned is that momentum is everything. Keep making decisions, so you keep moving forward. Blockers don’t just stop work; they kill your motivation.

Just bought Amistad’s new EP: “Talk Peace to Wolf.”

Love seeing great music come out of Vernon, BC. Give these fellas a listen!

Buy it on iTunes →

MegaMaker episode 24: do things, tell people

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.

Bruce from City Woodworks makes these cool markerboards, chalkboards, and mirrors that look like old windows.


Andrés Salazar is making these cool guitar pedals. Here’s his current prototype:


We have an awesome new patron: Creation Crate!

Creation Crate is tech education in-a-box. Learn how to make electronics with projects delivered to you each month.

Get an awesome new electronics project every month

Asked the MegaMaker SMS list (200 people) yesterday: “In one word, describe your last interaction with a vending machine.”

Over 100 people replied.

Describe your last interaction with vending machine

Want to be a part of the next mission?

Just text “hi” to +1-424-247-5762.

MegaMaker episode 18

And… Marty and Justin announce their second software project.

The 5 lessons I’ve learned from Iron Maiden:

  1. Figure out what people want.
  2. Create things that are well-made.
  3. Be unique, surprising, and unexpected.
  4. Keep shipping more stuff.
  5. Be persistent and adaptable.

Sponsor: Balsamiq.com

Today our friends at Balsamiq asked us not to talk about their awesome wireframing tool that all of you should be using already, but instead share with you 3 makers that they love and they think you’ll love too. You should look them up on YouTube:

  • Colin Furze, an insane British maker that builds rocket-powered toilets and other crazy things.
  • James from XRobots.co.uk, another British maker that 3D-prints life-sized, working Star Wars droid and Iron man suits
  • Chris from ClickSpring, an Australian watch-maker whose videos are just totally addictive.

Discount code: use code MEGAMAKER to get $10 off Balsamiq Mockups 3 for Desktop (normally $89). Code Expires May 1st.

You know that a big motivation behind MegaMaker is to push limits.

I want you to push your limits (in terms of what you can make this year).
I want to push my own limits (and try to make 100 things).
And I want to push the limits of what’s possible with a podcast.

Yesterday, I got this text message:

Text message from a listener

So much work goes into producing these shows. I ♥ that you folks enjoy them, and want to help support them.

Now we’re trying something new

As we gear up for Season 2 (on April 1st), I wanted to try something that’s never been done before.

A crowdfunding campaign for podcast episodes →

Right now, every podcast (Gimlet, Relay, WTF) is looking for alternatives to ad supported models.
What if we pioneered a new way of doing things?
Let’s let listeners & sponsors choose the topics for Season 2, and actively participate in what projects get made.

Here’s an example of a few of the project ideas that can be sponsored:

Image: Secret Makers, Mystery Box, and an app called Upstarter

If you’ve been itching to support the show, now’s the time!

You can pledge as little as $5. I also just opened up 16 new spots in the Secret Makers Society (if you want one, act quick – the last ones went really fast).

I’m getting excited about Season 2 (I just submitted new show art to iTunes). Can’t wait to get back behind the microphone!

Justin Jackson

PS: One of the things I did during my podcasting break was write. You can read the MegaMaker magazine on Medium.

Listen to episode 15!

Ep15 of MegaMaker

This is the last episode for Season 1. The first episode of Season 2 will be April 1st, 2016.

The pressure to be creative and successful is exhausting.

Marcella is offering an awesome service called: Mindfulness for Makers

Mindfulness for Makers

Just got my first submission to the Higher than Hobbits project (tldr: we’re creating the world’s first open source band).

Thanks to Ross M. from Vokal Anti for providing this bass line! Please download it, make a song from it, and submit it!


Still figuring out what to do for episode 14 of MegaMaker.

Here’s my progress on making 100 things this year:

[progressbar_striped width=”21″ color=”#111″ bg_color=”#FF0″ text=”21% completed”]

I asked the secret SMS list what they wanted the title of their biography to be. Here’s what they said:

  • Fat legs in skinny jeans
  • It’s never too late.
  • Crazy Wisdom
  • Not Steve
  • Live like the tortoise, work like the hare
  • Dream big and make things
  • Shenanigans
  • Well done
  • Daniel of All Trades
  • Know It All, And Know Nothing
  • Living and learning
  • Harvesting Chaos: How One Man Finds Energy and Inspiration in
  • a Life of Distraction
  • I don’t get to name my Biography, that is the authors choosing.
  • Abstraction Among the Quotidian
  • The Jolly Genius
  • Defining the Problem: Before finding a solution.
  • In Search of Brain Freeze
  • Working with integrity.
  • In for the long game
  • Bearded Glory: A story of hair, sweat and success
  • Turning Chaos into Order: an ADHD Nerd’s Journey.
  • The Challenge of Something Greater
  • My Best! (And Other Stuff)
  • YODO
  • Breaking the status quo
  • Unexpected
  • That’s So Jonny
  • Made with Love: How one man found fulfillment in his career and family life
  • Behind the scenes
  • Making stuff for fun and profit, life of software developer
  • A lot of dry powder
  • The Life Of Pablo
  • Seen some things… done some things
  • Never stop exploring
  • Jacob Norton
  • The worthwhile life of a humble traveler
  • Master of Muppets
  • Almost Figured it Out
  • Building Community
  • I don’t think I would want a biography. Haha
  • Thankful life of this guy
  • A story of one person’s rise to the middle.
  • Is That All There Is?
  • One Fun Son
  • Daring to be different
  • Desire
  • Enigma
  • Reading between the lines
  • Professional Amateur
  • It’s not rocket science; even when it is
  • The flippancy of clouds
  • Determined
  • Stumbling, Falling, Getting Back Up Every Single Day
  • The joys and tortures of the beautiful life of an amateur polymath.
  • Dude.

To participate in these secret MegaMaker missions text “Sunshine” to +1-424-247-5762.

SMS experiment #2:

I texted* this to 156 strangers from the internet:

Close your eyes. What’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Text that back to me.

These are the responses I got back:

Cloud 1

View all the responses here.

I’ll tell the whole story on the next episode of MegaMaker.

Update 10pm: More people have been texting, so I created another word cloud.


* To join people texted “Hi Justin” to +1-424-247-5762.

The hardest part about self-publishing is formatting the PDF, ePUB, and MOBI files. I was looking for a single place to do this, and Pressbooks.com is the answer.

They’ve given us a coupon code that will give you 25% off: JUSTINJACKSON

Yesterday I asked people to give me their cell phone number.

Then I texted them a secret challenge: to draw something, and send it to me.

People found it cathartic:

That felt great actually. thanks for setting it up.

Here are the doodles people sent me:

The book launch is 2 days away and I have lots to do.

Marketing for Product People launches on Feb 10th. I still need to:

Do final exports of the ebook files + upload them to Gumroad
– Do final rendering + export of video tutorials
– Update homepage (on launch day) with links to “buy now”
Write “launches tomorrow” email
– Write launch day email

“I love making the stuff, that’s sort of the core of it. I love creating the stuff. It’s so satisfying to get from the beginning to the end, from a shaky nothing idea to something that’s well formed and the audience really likes. It’s like a drug: You keep trying to do it again and again and again. I’ve learned from experience that if you work harder at it, and apply more energy and time to it, and more consistency, you get a better result. It comes from the work”

Louis C.K

Great quote via Darian

– Ozzie is building Outflow: an app that tracks your recurring subscriptions.
– Allie is working on a horror movie a day blog.
– Valon is working on his web agency.
– Rhythm is building India’s first 100% transparent donations platform
– John is working on a Rasberry Pi magic mirror (more here)
– Andrei is building uideo.net
– Andrew is building a new Open Source mechanical keyboard project, called the K Type
– Annette just made a DIY Jewelry Display and a Little Free Library!
– Brian is currently writing here and doing a podcast here.
– Tyler just invented a simple, thin, laptop cover and WordPress security service.
– Jonas just launched a really well designed weather app!
– Tah just baked some snicker-doodle cookies from scratch. ? She’s also doing some interior design.
– Thomas is working on a new way to discover music through a community
– Ciler is about to launch Smart Moderation
– Brandon is writing 500 words per day at HustleHeart.co.
– Kerry is documenting his journey into Data Science from scratch
– Nathan just announced his team’s new project on BetaList
– Dave is working on Get Tech Friends
– Justin is making his own bed
– Corey is working on Leet a platform to share gameplay highlights
– Peter is working on his travel site
– Sofia is working on NomNom (best name ever)
– Emily is writing maker updates on her blog
– Pablo is making Spanish Dato2 game tutorials
– Pedro just hosted a Restart Party in Lagos
– Marcella is writing her book: Make
– Sammy is working on Thangs
– Ryan is working on The ADHD nerd
– Keenan Kirk (the amazing talent who designed the MegaMaker logo) is building a website for his band, Forester
– Nick and Jae revived a 1950s kitchen knife company
– Alex is working on the The Plunge podcast
– Corey is working on a Kanban board for WordPress
– Marcus wants to encourage more creatives to make apps with a positive impact on people’s lives
– Dylan is working on the next version of FoundersKit.
– Bart is working on a food magazine for cities.
– Richard is launching lunchspark – a platform to help connect creatives, entrepreneurs and business folks in personal and meaningful ways over casual lunches.

Need your help! Which podcast episode title do you like best?

Vote here!