Thursday, November 17, 2016

Less Talk, More Doing - Videos where skills tell the story

A guy playing in dirt, that's basically what his videos are. And yet, they're wildly popular. I'm speaking of PrimitiveTechnology, a sort of anti-youtube star who publishes functional videos showing, well, primitive technology. Like how to build a hut using nothing but natural supplies. So far, that video has racked up nearly 16 *million* views.

Watch his videos, and you'll see remarkable feats: like how to catch and cook food, make a bow and arrow and make crude textiles all using little more than rocks, plants and brainpower. As for what you'll hear, not much. The videos contain little more than the ambient noise of the forest, with the star of the show not narrating, nor even providing his name. This article nicknames the author of the videos as Prim, which I think is a perfect selection.

The videos do have companion blog entries which give a little more technical information about what Prim managed to accomplish (and fail at) in videos.

I find the videos fascinating on a number of levels.

First of all, they're awfully clever and show what one can accomplish given creativity and the natural resources at hand. But there's more to it than that. Prim, to me, is a fine example of skill trumping everything else. OK, you've got a great website. And man, that promo video you created is sexy as can be. But does your product actually work?

Recently, I stumbled on Mr Gear's YouTube Channel, and he has a similar, albeit splashier vibe than Prim. His videos lack narration, or even a description of what objects he'll be building. Like this one, where he creates a kitchen mixer, slingshot, circular saw(!) and micro-torch all from random bits and bobs. Again, it's all about skills and it sure is remarkable watching him put his to work. I love that he calls the videos "Simple Life Hacks," when I consider any project that requires a glue gun and soldering anything but simple.

So polish up those skills and let them speak volumes for you.

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