Makers and Takers

January 31, 2012 by Gabe | [mmd] |

Two things I've linked to recently got me thinking. I really dislike most commentary on the web.

If you look through the kinds of things I link to, you'll notice there's a theme. I like people that make things and I disregard people that bitch about things others make. I love LeanCrew.com and BrettTerpstra.com because those are places that things get done. I've never read a complaint from them that was not followed by a solution.1 But there is something I see regularly through link-backs to this site that I find curious: People bitching about something being too difficult or complicated. But I rarely see those comments followed by a constructive suggestion for a solution.2 I know this isn't a new trend. There's always been a clear separation between Makers and Takers. There are almost supernaturally productive people like Shaun Inman, Dr.Drang and Brett Terpstra. Those guys are constantly cranking our great ideas and usually only ask for a pittance in return (if anything). Then there are the Takers. They are the vocal unchallenged masses. The bricks weighing down progress. The trolls.

The Takers are the people that make their way by complaining about other's work. They seem to have imagined that they have an import roll to fill as world-critic. As if their critical eye is rare and their opinion is important. They are not. We have a wealth of critical opinions. I'm sure many of these same people think their witty repertoire is helping to make better products or solutions. I think that's a delusion. What the world really needs is creators. People that toil away to make new and interesting things. Those are the people that make things better.

I'd like to make it clear. I love a good review or commentary. There are some very good sites that fill the roll of critical commentary outlets. Shawn Blanc and MacStories are two that come to mind. Shawn and Viticci run great sites that have good reviews. A good review is not a criticism. A good review offers pros and cons. It offers insights and thoughtful considerations. A good review is hard work and I always appreciate that. But I do not consider a litany of snarky commentary a review. Nor do I consider a list of complaints hard work.

I'm sure I'm guilty of similar conduct at times but I try hard not to criticize without creating something myself. If I do, feel free to call me on it.

And, perhaps for the first time ever, a quote by Ghandi and Nugent in the same context:

"You must be the change you want to see in the world" -- Mahatma Ghandi "Put up or shut up" -- Ted Nugent


  1. Most of their complaints are self-critical anyway. 

  2. It doen't take an engineer to suggest a solution. If a person can use TextExpander, then they have the skills to make technical solutions to interesting problems. 

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