With a YouTube audience of 2.69 million subscribers and multiple strings to her bow as a creator and presenter, Simone Giertz has shown the world her many talents. We find out the inside scoop on her inspiration and greatest challenges in an exclusive interview.
What inspired you to begin your career in invention?
I initially wasn’t interested or drawn to programming or electronics, but I realized if I knew the basics of programming then I could use those skills to make random websites of my choosing. The possibilities were more intriguing than the skill itself, and the opportunities were endless. This is the same as when I realized if I knew the basics of electronics, I could then build machines and manipulate things. Once I bought my electronic starter kit, I was up and running from there.
Now you are known for your YouTube channel and collaborations. How did becoming an internet sensation happen?
I worked at an electronics company in San Francisco and found myself liking the work, but the context didn’t feel right. In life, I feel like there are two conundrums- what you want to do for work and in which context. I made the decision to leave and start a children’s show on how to build weird and wonderful things. One of my first inventions in the pilot episode was a ‘toothbrush helmet’- with a robotic arm. It was not a roaring success at first, but then I filmed a seven second clip of me using it and it blew up and started gaining a lot of traction. Within six months I was working full-time with my YouTube channel.
My audience has now stagnated, and I am enjoying doing the projects that I love with collaborative like-minded people. I say that I am now in my ‘golden years’, whereas in the past I was doing projects that have promoted a lot of growth. My channel is now driven purely by the projects I want to do and my core audience seem to respect and enjoy it too.
What has been your greatest challenge to date in your career and the most challenging invention you have had to come up with?
The hardest thing for me has been maintaining my creative integrity whilst having external pressure to do things such as creating more content or projects you are not comfortable with. I feel sometimes I am pushing the brakes in some way, knowing that it might look bad in the short-term but better in the long-term because I know I will be proud of what I am doing. This has got better with time, but it was certainly a challenge in the beginning as I felt people were telling me I needed to have a regular upload schedule. Defining my own metrics of success is another thing I needed to work out. The guiding lights for me have been pride in my work and having sovereignty of how I spend my time, which has occasionally been to the detriment of channel growth and subscriber numbers. I don’t see the point of having a huge YouTube channel and not enjoying the work I am doing.
The most challenging invention has certainly been the ‘Truckla’- converting a Tesla into a pickup truck, which was incredibly complicated and involved a whole team. Day to day, I work with a larger team which includes engineers and manufacturers. On camera, I enjoy collaborating with people but they have to be someone who I think compliments me creatively.
What are your plans for the future?
I like projects that have a new take on a well-known problem. I am now focusing more on product design as part of my product business, so coming up with solutions for minor inconveniences in my life is keeping me busy. Having a product business has been difficult in many ways, but it is such a fun brief to work from a creative perspective- all of which is exciting for the future!