Simone Giertz: Make Your Own

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An inventor, robotics enthusiast, and internet creator, Simone Giertz gained popularity with her early viral YouTube videos—employing humour and creativity to make complex engineering principles approachable for all. Originally designing “useless” robots, a brain tumour in 2018 encouraged Simone to shift her focus towards creating unique solutions to everyday problems.

In this episode of the Create the Future podcast, we speak to Simone about her "make your own" engineering journey, from flickering an LED using an Arduino board to converting a Tesla into a pickup truck. We find out why viewing engineering as play allowed Simone to overcome performance anxiety, discuss the challenges of the product development journey, and learn about the best fabrication tools for Makers.

Episode Highlights

  • “I posted a seven second clip of my toothbrush helmet on YouTube and it kickstarted this crazy string of events. Just six months later I started working full-time as an internet creator.”
  • “I went to a talk about hardware hacking and something just clicked in me and I was like, ‘oh, I want to do that’. I remember the first time I wrote a programme to blink an LED, it honestly felt like magic. I couldn't believe it.”
  • “Approaching electronics and robotics with a sense of humour was a way for me to make things less intimidating.”
  • “Learning is often geared to ‘learn these things, because one day you might need them’. Whereas I was making what I needed for ‘right now’. That empowered me to be more creative.”
  • “I realised that I learn most when I'm having fun. Sometimes I'm like, ‘this is too much fun, it can't be work’, but it can.”
  • “I needed a pickup truck for work, so I figured I could just make my own. I call it the make your own gnome that sits on your shoulder and is like ‘maybe you should just make your own’.”
  • “My brain tumour was such a stark chapter turner. I think that's when I started stepping away from only building useless things. It fast-tracked me to grow up and course correct in a way that I'm very grateful for.”
  • “My new mission is to create unique solutions to everyday problems. That’s what motivates me right now—finding those minor inconveniences in everyday life and looking at objects in an exploratory way.”
  • “I love developing products. I’ve wanted to be an inventor ever since I was a kid. I think if I got to go back and redo things, I would probably have studied industrial design.”
  • “I have been thinking of revisiting some of my earliest builds and ask, ‘how would I approach this differently now?’. I really learned how to build things on YouTube and I'm very proud of the skills that I've gained over the years.”
  • “I just want to work on fun problems. That is really what keeps me up at night in a good way, where I'm like ‘could I do it like that? What if I flip it over or change the material?’. That is the happy place for my brain."

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