Reflection on Bre Pettis Lecture

Seeing someone who we’d seen as basically the star of a documentary so up close and personal was a really grounding experience. I had seen this man be lauded and praised for his technologic and entrepreneurial successes, and there he was giving a speech on how he’d shaped his life to allow himself to reach such achievements.

Throughout the lecture, he made it clear that having passion for what you do is of the utmost importance. This general ideal I’d already come into contact with before, but he demonstrated clear steps that took it further than what I’d heard numerous times in the past. Being passionate about something in isolation is beneficial to someone in the way that it can improve a certain skillset but Bre Pettis proved that it really is important to get out there and put yourself in the field that you want to be. For so many interests and communities, there are meetups and conventions and conferences that amateurs in the field can attend to network and meet the people that are doing what they want to do.

The other side of this, the other side of going to public events and absorbing the wisdom of those who’ve gone before you, is paying attention to the fringe, which he stressed dramatically. Technology in the recent era has advanced at such a fast and unpredictable pace that it’s essential to pay attention to active technological hotspots no matter whether or not they already have a big following. His advice, in fact, was to pay more attention to those in the booths near the back of a convention center, because they’re focusing not on what’s big at the moment, but what’s next.

He didn’t speak as much about maker culture or the DIY movement as expected, but the lecture was still very informative about the concept of “the next step,” growing out of the oppressive bubble of self-only and getting out to community events to see what one’s field of interest has to offer and how to expect the sunrise based on what lies at the horizon.