Make Your Own Entertainment

What do Porsche sports cars and Samuel Adams beer have in common?

Both products came about because their inventors couldn’t find an existing product they liked, so they made their own.  Ferry Porsche, son of the company’s founder, couldn’t find a car he wanted to buy, so he had the company build one he did want.  And Jim Koch founded the Boston Beer Company when he realized that the great, fresh handcrafted beer he was thirsty for was simply not available in the U.S. in the early 80’s.

Rather than merely settle for what was de rigeur at the time, these guys decided to make what they wanted, but as yet couldn’t find.  As evidenced by the success of their companies, they weren’t the only ones who wanted something new in their respective markets.

I mention this because I’ve just gotten done flipping through the TV channels for the bajillionth time, frustrated with the “same-ol’-same-ol'” (lack of) choices for what “They” deem “entertainment.”  It’s a lousy habit I’m starting to see in myself that perpetuates a cycle of complacency and laziness, and I’m gonna stop it.

I’m not happy with the available choices, so I’m going to keep making my own entertainment.  With built-in web cams, inexpensive camcorders, do-it-yourself web design sites, podcasting, and open-source software, not to mention the myriad of ways to broadcast and share your own content, it’s easier now more than ever to create your own entertainment.  It’s also easier than ever to connect with others who may have similar tastes or styles.

It’s the same philosophy that prompted my wife Kelly and I to start our own food blog, StayHomeandEat.com.  We found that the local restaurants didn’t offer enough of what we wanted in a dining experience (especially for the price), so we opted to not only do more cooking at home, but we’ve also been filming, documenting, and sharing our experiences with friends, family, and anyone else who may share our sensibilities.

What’s really cool is that even the act of creating the entertainment is entertaining.  So even if the stuff you do never gets seen, it’s still really fun to roll out the Flip camera, mess around in the kitchen, write and produce a short video or what-have-you, in lieu of plopping down on the couch in a futile search for someone else to provide a cure for one’s own boredom.

If you feel the same way, I invite you to try it for yourself.  You may be surprised at where it leads you.  Remember, the largest American-owned brewery came into being because some guy wanted a beer and couldn’t find one.

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