“There is so much potential for magic in everyday objects around us if we tap into our inner child.”
Joseph Herscher is like a modern day Caractacus Potts from the beloved 1968 film, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. With his Rube Goldberg machines, Joseph never ceases to amaze. Watch him join Carrie Sheffield, Adam Johnson and Joelle Gamble on Bold Blend!
#BTS with Joseph:
What are Rube Goldberg machines?
Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist who used to draw comic strips with elaborate mechanical devices. His name is now used to describe a machine that does a simple task in a very complicated way.
What is your philosophy for innovation?
Rube Goldberg machines use everyday objects in unexpected ways. I love to take objects and play with them, experiment and see if I can surprise myself. I believe being able to see everyday things in a new light is crucial for innovation. It’s the skill that allows someone to see a car and question if it always has to produce toxic gases, or try to find a better way.
Where do you draw your inspiration?
The other day I was brushing my teeth and I dropped my toothpaste. It slid down the basin at just the right angle to go flying out across the room, into the bathtub. I tried to repeat this, and then experimented with other objects. Soap flew even further. I sketched these ideas on my notepad and one day I will used them in a machine.
Why do you think your videos have gone viral?
Machines are usually designed to achieve a task as efficiently as possible. My machines are the opposite of that, they are as inefficient as possible. This is inherently absurd. But as human beings we are naturally playful creatures. I think we are tickled when we see a playful machine, as it is somehow more human.
How long does it take to build your machines?
My first machine took seven months! Since then I have gotten faster, but they still take me at least one month. And filming them requires a LOT of patience, they usually only work one out of 30 times!
What is Jiwi’s Machines?
I recently created a web series full of physical comedy and mechanical mayhem. Jiwi is a mechanical genius who solves his problems by improvising inventions with any objects close at hand. These inevitably backfire, causing chaos for everyone around him, especially his sister June. Jiwi’s Machines is the world’s first sitcom with Rube Goldberg machines in every episode.
Adam Johnson founded Insight & Action Advisors to help senior executives connect with investors and customers through video and live events. Previously, Mr. Johnson anchored several business programs at Bloomberg Television, interviewing CEOs, heads of state, Nobel laureates, asset mangers and policy experts. Mr. Johnson began his career on Wall Street, co-founding a private investment partnership and trading securities globally for ING, Furman Selz, Louis Dreyfus, Merrill Lynch. He earned his bachelors degree in economics at Princeton.
Carrie Sheffield is the founder of Bold. She is passionate about storytelling to empower and connect others. A founding POLITICO reporter, Carrie contributed on political economy at Forbes and wrote editorials for The Washington Times. After earning a master’s in public policy from Harvard University, she managed credit risk at Goldman Sachs and researched for Edward Conard, Bain Capital founding partner and American Enterprise Institute scholar. She earned a B.A. in communications at Brigham Young University and completed a Fulbright fellowship in Berlin.
Gal grew up in the world of theatre and dance. She loves using that creativity to find what moves us and awakens our inner passions. Through sharing inspirational voices on bold.global and Bold Blend, Gal hopes to help ignite the belief that when we celebrate each other, it is possible to break boundaries and live a bold life!