The Roller Coaster of Prototyping

the drama of prototyping

When I first came up with the baby bed idea it seemed so simple – all set, right? But then I started drawing out the plans and I realized a bunch of design flaws that I needed to work out. After that I was all set, right? During the Thanksgiving break I decided to take advantage of my dad’s tools and the big open space of my parent’s house to make the 3-d model. That’s when I ran into even more challenges.

AHHHH this foam's going to my head

Mike found me huddled in a mass of styrofoam cut outs and cardboard scraps. “What’s wrong?” He asked.

“This is never going to work. I keep figuring out more and more problems with the design, and I’m going to fail, and this is just a big waste of time,” I said in a fit of hysteria.

“But what are you doing when you find a flaw?”

“I fix it duh.”

I don't know where I would be without Mike's support

“Well then you’re not going to fail. The whole point of making the prototype is to foresee any future problems and fix them while it’s still cheap. If you don’t face your problems right away, then you fail.”

Don’t I have a smart boyfriend!

This whole process has been an emotional roller coaster. Sometimes I think I’m brilliant and I’m going to be on the cover of Business Women Today, and other times I think I should give up while I still have some savings and get the first safe job I can get. But you need that mix of emotions to be successful; the brazen self-confidence to take a risk, and the crippling self-doubt to say this isn’t good enough. If you have to much of the former you’ll never challenge yourself to improve- why would you, you’re perfect as is. If you have to much of the latter, you’ll never actualize your dreams – they’re not good enough anyway. So while it’s unsettling to ride the roller coaster I wouldn’t have it any other way.

p.s. Thank you Marika for the photos.


  1. First of all, you are adorable. Secondly, I totally had those hugging monkeys!! I had completely forgotten about them until I saw the picture! And lastly – just keep swimming, girl! You’re doing great! 🙂


    1. Thanks Tara! I’m going to swim laps around this project!
      My parents have had those monkeys for as long as I can remember. I love them, but my sister has already claimed them, unfortunately.


  2. Yeah , Yeah, so prototyping blog is way past. It’s the first time I read it and still good. Hope you find more inventing challenges to work on. Picture this: young lad (me) on the farm in Kansas. Can’t imagine thinking of a needed tool or product and without wasting materials (expensive), design and build the thing ( I did stop on one because the technology of the time, and/or my access to it had not caught up with my thought) Reading your “Give up on Dream ” brought some memories back. Good job- and freshly pressed too. Latest- using really old but perfectly efficient tech. to create wind powered rural heating system. Wind blows cold, and your house warms up. Hmmh. oil and gas suppliers will really get concerned?


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