tv Somebodys Gotta Do It With Mike Rowe CNN October 11, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
i'm mike rowe. and i'm on a mission to find people on a mission. what? what are they doing? how are they doing it? and why? very exciting. >> come on, man, we got to get it. >> it's got to be done. on this episode, welcome to the outskirts of sanity. this ain't your grandfather's soap box derby. >> whoa, whoa, whoa. >> although those guys could be your grandfather. if insanity -- one last
question -- runs in your family. what the [ bleep ] am i doing? then, these archers say they can turn anybody into a robinhood. once they get schooled in the slings and arrows of the compound bow. >> nice and smooth. there. nice shot, mike. and later, this guy can turn your idea into a million dollars, or something that saves the world. >> this thing is on track to save 100,000 babies. >> or something that breaks my neck. call the attorneys. what happens to risk addicts and stunt junkies that, you know, get old? if you've spent your whole life finding ways to laugh at danger, what do you do in your twilight years? do you kick back and let go of the adrenaline rush? or do you do something like this? ♪
and what is this? extreme gravity racing. these are gravity cars and they are the preferred mode of transportation of two aging race car drivers who simply refuse to slow down. hey, how are are you? >> how are you doing? >> i'm okay, thanks. >> thank you for coming. >> where am i exactly? >> no one knows for sure. >> this is your house, isn't it? >> yes, but don't tell anybody. >> what the hell is going on, man? >> this is what the neighbors want to know. this whole thing started out a few years ago. build what you want to build and let's go. >> yeah. >> safety wasn't much of a concern. >> i get it. >> you're going down the hill on a kid's soap boxcar, what could go wrong? >> so, in a traditional soap box, because i know there's the big other organization that's traditional, the top speeds would approach, what -- >> maybe high 30s. maybe.
>> maybe. >> yeah. >> and in this world, a top speed could be -- >> some of the guys we race with, 88 miles an hour is common. >> 88? >> yes. >> you can bet those weren't the kind of speeds they were reaching back in 1933 when a dayton, ohio, news photographer named myron scott came across a group of kids with ricketky race cars cobbled together from what appeared to be old soap crates. almost immediately scott started promoting soap box races and in no time major sponsors were signing on and a brand new sport was born. with the nation in the grips of the great depression, these races were a welcome diversion and in its heyday the soap box derby drew crowds in the thousands. today kids and adults can still compete in a variety of perfectly safe soap box competitions all around the country. but this is not that. what fran and fred are doing here is motivated entirely by
something they bonded over years ago. a need for speed. >> this is us. >> tell me what i'm looking at here. >> it's a formula atlantic car. >> what's that mean? that's 200 miles an hour. >> 224 at pocono. >> which one's you? >> red car. >> that's you, fred, over here? >> yes, sir. >> and you're over 200 miles an hour right here. fran and fred became fast friends many moons ago on the circuit known as formula atlantic racing, a sport with all the gear of formula 1 but not so much of the glamour. >> we'd rather be doing this, but we ran out of money. >> i think the thing about racing, whether it's this or whether it's soap box, or whether it's trikes, there's a dynamic that happens in the family of racers. and once you experience the comrade that comes together with any kindracing, you can't walk away from it. >> as it turns out there's another element of gravity racing that fred nearly didn't walk away from. what are the risks?
>> risks are very high. fred's had our worst injury. he was doing about 64, touched wheels with another car, slid off the road, hit a tree, and set down. all that happened in about 1.2 seconds. >> what broke? >> shattered the tibia, fibula. i have ten pins and two plates. >> fred's knee exhibit "a." fred's cautionary tale is more sufficient to make me think twice about strapping myself into a gravity car but fran's enthusiasm is impossible to overcome, plus it looks like fun. >> i'm assuming this is only sensible way. >> if there was any sense involved in this, you wouldn't be here. >> yeah, the word "sensible," really i didn't notice it on your facebook page. >> you never, ever want to touch the brakes. >> okay. >> this whole thing is about momentum and maintaining that momentum. all these other guys that are going to be around you, they'll
eat you alive. >> like surf boards or jet skis or snowmobiles, gravity cars are are location dependent, so we're off in search of a hill ideally the middle of nowhere. along the way fred and i had a great discussion. we discussed the unintended consequences of eliminating risk from the human experience. unfortunately, fran's deeply troubled muffler made much of our salient points unusable and that's a shame because the conversation really was fascinating. right here, for instance, we're discussing the nuances of homeostatic risk, a controversial idea that says when mandatory safety measures are applied to an activity, we will subconsciously adjust our behavior to compensate for the added level of security, thereby returning us to the level of
risk we would naturally assume. fascinating stuff that keeps fran and i thoroughly occupied until we arrive at wherever this is. i'm no expert, but if i'm not mistaken, we're going down that hill. >> "somebody's gott a do it" is brought to you by -- looks like some folks have had it with their airline credit card miles. sometimes those seats cost a ridiculous number of miles... or there's a fee to use them. i know. it's so frustrating. they'd be a lot happier with the capital one venture card. and you would, too! why? it's so easy with venture. you earn unlimited double miles on every purchase, every day. just book any flight you want then use your miles to cover the cost. now, that's more like it. what's in your wallet? inthe mid-size van, from mercedes-benz. it's got small-ability
there's a network that never stops improving. that's grown faster than any other, covering nearly every american... and these geese. but it's not who you think. squawk! it's t-mobile. our new extended range lte signal reaches twice as far... and is four times better in buildings. think you know our lte coverage? think again! see for yourself at t-mobile.com/coverage welcome to the outskirts of sanity. i'll see you at the juncture of mayhem, chaos, and regrets. >> perfect. >> misfits is actually an acronym.
it stands for maryland independent soap box federation and incline trail society but what this really means is the kids sport of soap box derby has been taken to very dangerous extremes by a bunch of alleged grown-ups. greg schroeder knows the effects firsthand. this has affected him n. just to the point where he wants to scare the hell out of me. >> what you're about to do is intense. >> look, i will be completely candid with you. moment to moment. >> i'm the worrywart. >> i want you to worry your ass off. you have more pins and rods in your knees than i've seen in a toolbox. tell me what i'm supposed to do and not to do. >> i want you to watch the road, watch cars around you then i just want you to go for a good ride. >> deal. >> all right. we need drivers over here. all of you. how many people are here that
have never run with m.i.s.f.i.t.s. before? only one? we're going to do card draw for starting position. >> what am i rooting for? what do i want? >> 1. 1 through 4 is what you want. >> arms up. >> of course, everybody assures me that it's all perfectly safe. >> okay. arms down. >> as long as you don't crash, flip over, drive headlong into a truck or otherwise suffer some catastrophic injury. thanks. i remain, of course, skeptical. hey, fran? >> yes? >> one last question? >> yes? >> what the [ bleep ] am i doing? >> if i knew, i wouldn't be here, either. >> three, two, one! >> in this race all the cars are built to the exact same specifications. they're all identical in every way so the only "x" factor in
determining the winner is the drivers and how much bad judgment they're willing to embrace. since i started out in the eighth position, i have no choice but to embrace all the bad judgment there is. snoes ♪ after a couple of aggressive passes, i find myself in the lead which no one expected. >> oh, mike, mike -- >> this did not sit well with the lunatics behind me. >> whoa, watch your wheels. go, go, go, go. >> going to be close. >> i seem to have outcrazied the crazies. >> mike won. [ bleep ]. >> how'd i do? >> you won. you got lucky. >> what do you mean i got lucky? of course, she isn't the only one who thinks i should count my
lucky stars. >> congratulations. i'm -- you had me scared to death. >> that's pretty fast, man. >> that's pretty fast. >> ain't seen nothing yet. watch the next one. >> obviously i'm having a good time. winning is fun. the next race is altogether different. the cars are heavier. faster. way more dangerous. which means it's time for a word from fred. >> mike, what's going to happen now is you're going to get a little bit of confidence. >> i don't have any confidence. >> just take it easy. go with it. >> oh, man. this is a classic series of mixed messages from two men with 65 years' combined experience. okay. the stage has been set. i understand the risks. but i've also felt the rewards. >> three, two, one! >> these races always start out comically slow. pretty soon, though, gravity
takes over. and in no time, we're all in the fast lane. >> oh, i think he's pulling out. >> i'm pushing 50 miles an hour in this thing. what i'm really pushing is my luck. >> goddammit. >> he's going to lose it. (cafeteria noise) ♪ ♪ (flourish spray noise) ♪ ♪ (flourish spray noises) ♪ (school bell) ♪ ♪ (sigh) ♪ (flourish spray noise) ♪ share the joy of real cream... share the joy of real cream... (flourish spray noise) ...with reddi-wip. ♪
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driving a gravity car requires a delicate balance between competitiveness and self-preservation. i'm going over 50 miles an hour right now in a glorified tin can. trying to make my way through a field of fellow nut jobs with two very different voices in my head. >> we never, ever want to touch the brakes. all these other guys that are going to be around you, they'll eat you alive. >> you're going to get a lot of confidence. just take it easy. >> right now, the fran side is winning. i'm downright allergic to that brake. but then -- >> he's going to lose it. >> -- there's trouble in front of me. damn it. >> i need to make a decision. >> stay clear of it. >> turns out my own level of homeostatic risk is most comfortable outside the wreckage of a major collision so i hit the brakes, but that's all it takes to put me at the end of
the pack. guess fran was right. given the chance, they will eat you alive. ♪ >> oh. >> did you have fun? >> that was great. good fun. it was great. who won? >> i did. >> you did? very nice. >> thank you. >> very nice. happily, i have one more chance for glory which also means one more chance for pain and regret. the adult drift drikes have all the speed of a gravity car with less control, fewer wheels, and no seat belts. plus they attract the kind of enthusiasts that make fran and fred look like little old ladies out for a sunday drive. how long have you been going down a hill in brakeless vehicles? >> never. nope. i just follow my crazy kid around. >> oh, your kid does this. >> there he is. >> come on over.
and where's your ride? >> mine is that yellow one right there. >> a trike? >> yes, sir. >> hydraulic brakes, disk brakes, go-kart wheels. >> where's the seat belt? >> there is noune. tuck and roll. >> what happened to you, man? >> what do you mean what happened? >> you're living a life, everything's fine, you're relatively normal. >> yeah. >> what do you do for money? >> gravity is free. >> in your life, is there an income-generating pursuit? >> no, in fact, most everything i do is to buy gasoline to go to these competitions and do stuff. if it wasn't for that man right there, i'd be sitting on the corner with my thumb out trying to get to these competitions. >> told him he's crazy. >> with respect, i see where he got it. >> yeah. >> good luck, boys. race clean. >> three, two, one! >> and we're off. our rockers.
because those jumbo big wheels really get moving. >> 40. >> and there's not even as much as a mini roll cage to protect me. and then, it happens. >> whoa, whoa, whoa. >> someone clips me from behind. and in a split second, all the other trikers are leaving me in the dust. and you know what? i don't care. this is a race i just want to get through with all my limbs attached. ♪ >> what? i mean, that -- >> woo! >> -- that ain't right. yeah, yeah. you are not right in the head, man. >> did you eat it? >> he was like -- >> mr. rowe -- >> it wouldn't be a race without fred on hand to tell me how fortunate i am. >> two summomersaults into the bank. >> who did? >> are you okay? >> look at the rear end of my
trike. >> geez. >> it is totaled. completely. >> so you were trying to pass me and you hit me from behind then you flipped around? >> i was coming in hot. >> looking at it with a benefit of hindsight and slow motion, i can see how easy it is for a fellow to go from drift trike racer to drift trike road kill. and while i'm relieved that everybody's okay, i can't help but ponder my earlier existential query, what the [ bleep ] am i doing here? >> you scared the crap out of me. >> i saw the one trike go through the air and was thinking was that mike? okay, we're good. >> it was exciting. i love it. i get it. you have a hobby you love. you're coming together. you're building stuff together. you're challenging each other every weekend. you got families involved. you got kids involved. sure you break the law a little l here and there. you bend things a little bit. but you know what, you got a break a few eggs. i like that. i like that.
>> thank you very much. >> and so i broke a few eggs with my middle-aged thrill seekers which is far better than breaking a few legs. i also learned when the rubber meets the road, i am not afraid to hit the brakes. but hey, i still got a lovely parting gift. oh, my god. what the hrkell is it? >> these two guys created this. >> that's for you. >> mike slow rowe m.i.s.f.i.t.s. i'm kind of touched. by the way, you're all kind of touched. anyway, that's how the story ends. i got myself a fancy trophy. i won one. i came in the middle of another one. i came in almost dead last in the other one. that's the way the mop flops when you're out here in the middle of the no wrr hanging owen to the seat of your pants. you'll see for yourself each and every one of us deep down are
nothing but a bunch of -- >> m.i.s.f.i.t.s.! >> that's right. so today i've come to the archery outpost in, i don't know where we are. where are we, again? today i've come to the archery outpost in artesia, california, specifically to a little strip mall just off the main road here. where spacious indoor ranges are at our disposal. archery. it's as old as humankind. but also a rapidly evolving sport thanks to this thing. the compound bow. this device is nothing short of an engineering marvel. as champion archers kevin busby and connor kelly can attest. so i'm here today to see what i can learn and channel my inner william tell. to an extent there's a plan, what would it be? >> you're going to be with connor and kevin. connor runs the place with his
mom over there in the shelter. then you're going -- >> i was with you right until burn the shoulder. then i heard -- >> burn the shoulder. >> what kind of -- >> it's a red breasted -- it's friendly with the dog now, but it only has one eye because of how the relationship with the dog developed. >> does the fact that the bird only has one eye have anything at all to do with the fact we're in archery? >> no. >> "somebody's gotta do it" is brought to you by -- when you're not confident your company's data is secure, the possibility of a breach can quickly become the only thing you think about. that's where at&t can help.
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that could only get worse. he prescribed enbrel to help relieve pain and help stop further damage. enbrel may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal, events including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma, other cancers, nervous system and blood disorders and allergic reactions have occurred. tell your doctor if you've been someplace where fungal infections are common, or if you're prone to infections, have cuts or sores, have had hepatitis b, have been treated for heart failure, or if you have persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, or paleness. don't start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu. joint pain and damage... can go side by side. ask how enbrel can help relieve joint pain and help stop joint damage. enbrel, the number one rheumatologist-prescribed biologic. so i'm here at the archery
outpost to see how the basic bow and arrow evolved since the good old days. first i need to see a woman about a one-eyed bird. what's your name? >> laura. >> mike. pleasure to meet you. what's your position at the archery outpost? >> i'm the owner. >> and the bird? >> that's elliot. >> tell me about the bird. >> he's a crimson belly. >> what do you call him? >> he's elliot. >> you just told me that, didn't you? >> you did. i know you're overwhelmed by all the archery stuff. >> cosmo is the dog. >> he's the reason elliot only has one eye. >> elaborate. >> elliot likes cosmo more than cosmo loves elliot. that's pretty simple. he grooms cosmo. his teeth, his face. >> cosmo struck back is. >> one time. he threw him across the room. he didn't mean to. he was just being a dog. >> and elliot's eye fell out? >> that's a way to say it. >> speaking of things that can
put your eye out, let's get back to the task at hand. the bow and arrow date back nearly 50,000 years to a time when men hunted without any pants and fought great wars without rifles or gun powder. advent of firearms made archery mostly obsolete on the battlefield but remained with us as a competitive sport thanks to the speed and accuracy of the modern very high-tech compound bow. my goal today, aside from, you know, shooting some arrows and hopefully hitting what i'm pointing at, is to really give you guys a chance to provide a tutorial for anybody in the country who's never really walked into a shop like this and still think that bows and arrows are rudimentary and simple. clearly this is an insanely complicated sport. rich with history. nome clnomenclature. >> bullet goes through both sides of a bulletpoof vest.
>> bow-length bow. it goes from anywhere from 5 to 70 pounds. >> as with a fine suit, step one, get fitted. >> up and over the top. there you go. >> perfect. >> you have a really long draw length. >> i do? >> yes. >> are you scared it's too long? >> no, it might be too long for this bow. >> because i have long arms. >> correct. long arms, broad shoulders. typically the same -- >> rich rounded chest. right? firm thighs. >> firm thighs. >> supple abdominal -- >> supple abdominals. >> i'm uncomfortable. >> okay. go ahead and relax. can you give a half inch more. >> you're saying with another half inch i'll have more penetration? >> yes, technically if you want to put it that way. >> i do want to put it that way.
ed did thit that out. they're going to put in a promo. what else really do you need? >> good shot. >> do you guys need cutaways or anything else, coverage you don't want? i want to use every bit of the one-inch penetration thing. i want you to have them because i'm using every single joke in the entire penetration thing. >> my people think i'm dirty and perverted. i say a couple things but this lunatic will take every single thing i say and build a whole monument out of it. that's all he wants to do is turn his whole life into some cheap cinematic porno show. >> he does it every time. i like it. i think the people like it. he's still working. it makes sense to me. >> please forgive ted. he gets excited around weapons and people who know how to use them. take connor, for instance, a man who lets his trophies do most of his talking. ♪ >> very satisfying. somewhat addictive.
>> let me show you how it's done. just sit down. it's not that hard to do. >> he's not aiming. >> isn't that fancy? all right. clearly these two know their way around a bow and arrow. my goal at the moment, miss all of my cameramen with a single arrow. >> okay. go ahead and draw the bow. pull, pull, pull. take your time. keep it right in the center and squeeze. there it is. there you go. bull's-eye. that's in the yellow. >> is it? >> shooting a compound bow is easier than using a traditional long bow. >> no problem. >> this allows me to create the illusion of competence fairly quickly. >> oh, that was close. >> but, of course, true mastery of this weapon requires a lifetime of study. >> nice shot. hey. that's a kill. >> this was cnn.
i know what you're thinking. who is the best archer to have ever walked the earth? at least that's what i'm thinking. who's the best avrnrcher to hav ever walked the earth? >> depends on which category. >> bare bone, no sites. >> howard hill. >> according to the youtubes, howard hill is considered by most people knowledgeable on the subject to be the greatest archer who ever lived. not only was he the go-to stunt archer during the golden age of hollywood, working with the likes of errol flynn, he was also a master of the trick shot. >> first guy that he shot with a -- had an ash plate -- >> an ash plate? like wood ash? >> an ash plate. he shot every one of those stuntmen without any safety, nothing. >> you are kidding me. >> he had to reduce the bow down to 60 pounds and he made the arrows look a little shorter to they looked like they went in deeper. he shot every one of those men live. >> geez, what a -- that's
amazing. so with howard hill as our inspiration, we head outdoors to get creative. so you got targets over there. what's that all about? >> think he's going to have you open a bottle with an arrow. >> oh, that's different. >> yeah. all you have to do is hit that piece of wood. that's going to take the top of this bottle that has soda pop in it off and it's going to put it down in that cup. >> what brand of soda is this, did you notice? >> yeah, dark soda. >> did you catch the manufacturer? >> manufacturer is -- no manufacturer soda. >> it's not [ bleep ] cola? >> no, we couldn't use -- >> cola? >> bleep. bleep. >> [ bleep ]. >> it's not -- >> stop it. stop it. >> how about a beer like a [ bleep ]? >> fight with a lawyer. >> maybe a nice [ bleep ]? so, look, this is a bottle of soda. doesn't matter who made it. kevin has jerryrigged a wooden device perpendicular to the bottle. >> bottle opener. >> a bottle opener, if you will. i'm going to shoot the arrow. it's going to hit this.
that's going to pop off the cap. of the bottle of unnamed soda. and that's going to go into the glass. is there ice in the glass? >> no, it's actually a cup, but, yeah. >> you really are a pedantic fellow. >> you started it with the soda thing. >> i got faith in you, mike. you can do this shot. >> turn. pull it all the way back. stand up straight and relax. >> remember, top pin. >> just relax. >> top pin. look right at that and just squeeze the trigger. okay. you're just to the left. because your hand is so, so, so tight. >> oh, that's what it was. >> you got to relax. you got it. >> what did i hit? >> you hit it. >> i kind of hit everything? >> you hit it low. >> as you can see, i shot the intended target, but the bottle failed to open because clearly kevin screwed it up. >> as so often happens on this program, it's not a segment so
much, a story of getting a shot, one shot is what it's all about now. we could talk about the history of archery and we could delve into connor's past and get to know his mom and the one-eyed bird and all that other stuff. really, we're here to open this can of unidentifiable liquid and have a drink. we're here to do it a very specific way and we'll stay until it's accomplished. >> hey, kevin, did you bring the sleeping bags? >> typically, connor, i take care of the jokes in a situation like this.
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archery has been around thousands of years but only in the last 40 has it made a jump from a primitive weapon to a technological marvel. >> same shot, one more time. >> right now i'm doing my best to use this sophisticated engineering achievement as a bottle opener. >> just by that much. >> so far, i'm no howard hill. but i'm also not a quitter. >> okay. relax that hand. there you go. beautiful. stand up straight. >> remember, peopkeep that grip relaxed. >> nice. nice. >> nice shot, mike. >> upon review of the slow-motion footage, it's clear that once again the bottle opener did not open the bottle even though i hit it dead-on. i blame kevin.
>> you had it. it just didn't go all the way up. i don't know why it didn't. >> look at that. see? that's disappointing. now, that's unacceptable. >> it is an obstinent bottle. i'll deal with it accordingly. >> nice shot. >> thank you. >> that was dead center. >> you're saying i nailed it? >> you nailed it. >> with my unidentified carbonated nemesis forever vanquished, it's time to turn to loftier tactics. what's sadder than helium balloons that won't float? these things don't seem inspired to go. seems to freaking simple. get some balloons, shoot them. >> if they're bountsing along the ground, they're still good targets, right? >> you know, i think people want to see them float. >> right. >> but where there's a will, there's a way. >> bring in the cavalry. >> oh, damn, that's too bad, man. >> i say let them go one at a time and stand here and shoot
them. >> there you go. >> you got it. >> oh, just over it. >> there you go. >> on the one hand, our shoot has gone completely off the rails. ted, seasoned producer we rarely let out into the open, has arranged a balloon ascension with no helium with qualifies him as an ideal target. but, even when dealt these poor cards -- >> okay. ready? >> -- connor and kevin will still get you hooked on the ancient allure of archery. >> oh! >> and immense satisfaction that can only come when you hit what you're actually aiming at. ♪ >> oh, yeah. oh, yeah. that's the man. nice. i was going to shoot it if he
didn't. >> good. couple years ago in san franciscos, i met a guy named mark hatch. mark told me he was going to change the world. we were in a bar at the time so i took his claim with a grain of salt. turns out, though, mark is the ceo of something called techshop. when i asked him what it was, he suggested i visit a maker fair to get a sense of who his customers actually were. so i did. brought a camera with me as well just in case something interesting happened. glad i did. the maker fair draws artists, craftspeople, tech geeks, and, well, people who just like to make stuff. like a fully function iing funcr that jet pack we've all been promised or whatever the heck this is.
>> this is called a colossus, it's a huge spinning thing. i don't know what it does. >> what they all had in common was they were all looking for a way to manufacture and market their brilliant ideas right here in america. >> you make bags? >> yeah, they're ipad bags. using recycled bike intertube, recycled seat belts. >> awesome. once upon a time it was a chalkboard, now it's a t-rex? >> it's godzilla. >> it's godzilla. >> jet packs have actually been around for 50 years. this is what i'm using techshop for. >> the other thing they had in common was that game-changing bismarck hatch was telling me about. you raised $80,000 in 15 days. >> right. >> based on the prototype that you made at techshop. >> exactly. >> if it weren't for techshop and you had to invest in whatever the tools are that you use to do all this, would you have been able to do it? >> no. not even close. >> we love the techshop.
>> the only person who loves techshop more than these people is the guy i want you to meet. mark hatch. >> this is fundamental to what it means to be human. this is celebrating creativity. this is who we are as americans. >> anyway, that was me and mark three years ago. and i told him, if i ever got another show on the air, i'd check back on the progress of this fundamentally human and truly american mission. first step, naturally, hitting a bar and having a sit-down with mark and techshop founder, jim. you described yourself, you said i'm somewhat of a geek but i'm very passionate about what i do. why do you -- why do you give a crap about all of this? >> i've always loved to make things. getting to know the materials and tools and lose myself. >> was there no place like this in wrr world? >> i couldn't find any place like this at all. you know, the things i want to do are, like, robots or weird inventions, things like that. who wouldn't like to make their rif living from their hobby,
goofing around making something? >> how does he find you? >> so we ran into one another at a software peert here in the silicon valley as one does. so i overhear this guy, he said it's kind of like kinko's for geeks. as it happened, i ran the computer services section at kinko's across the united states. >> what did you do before that? >> i was a green beret before that. >> i got a geek on my right and a green beret on my left. >> i hear it's kinko's for geeks. it's like i got to find out who this guy is. i cornered him. he described what he was doing. i was like, i was incredulous, like, really? open access to power tools. serious power tools. and i went and saw the place and the thing that hooked me was these were real projects produced by real people that had significant economic impact. >> forgetting about the business for a second, why do you -- why do you care? >> i don't know, i just want to
change the world. >> if i had a nickel for every time somebody told me they were going to change the world, i'd have a roll of quarters. but mark hatch, he just might pull it off because fundamentally, techshop is like the garage thomas edison would have if he were still around today. it's packed with every tool an aspiring inventor could ever need and it's open to the public. so, we're here at the san francisco location to see what's new. and enjoy a completely spontaneous tour. so this would be the techshop. my friend, mark hatch, is waiting for me inside. he has no idea i'm coming. >> hey, mike. >> how are are you? >> fabulous. >> "somebody's gotta do it" is brought to you by --
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mark hatch has done quite a few things like being born in 1960 like joining the army after high school, growing a mustache and eventually becoming a green beret. then getting into the tech business after he got out of the service keeping the mustache and educating himself in business and technology, but what mark is now working on is his most ambitious project yet, a business chain that aims to create a cooperative manufacturing revolution within its own walls. you have a lot of activity going on here, and let's face it, you're older than you've ever been. >> unfortunately, that happens every day. >> so, seriously, like 20
seconds or less, what is this place? >> so techshop is a do-it-yourself member based open-access studio. we're like the best neighbor you've ever had. >> we have a gazillion questions. you'll give me a tour. >> chuabsolutely. >> we'll see what's going on. constantly interesting. >> constantly. count your fingers. >> the key to techshop is access. specifically access to machinery that most people could never afford in a million years. machines that allow regular janes and joes to make prototypes that would formally cost tens of thousands of dollars to develop. >> these are our laser cutters. we call these our gateway drug. the laser cutter, you can cut wood, edgewood, cut glass, etch glass. you make rubber stamps. they originally were designed for the trophy industry. basically if you can think like a kia does in three dimensions,
you make little trays, spice racks, little tool racks. we have people accidentally launch businesses after learning how to use a laser cutter. >> how often does that happen? >> you know, i would say maybe once a month. i mean, it's insane. >> is this about robots and about big technology? or is it about hobbyists and really, you know, more modest businesses getting -- >> to do this 15 years ago, you had to pay somebody to do it and withdr you had to pay them a pretty good penny. to do this, you probably couldn't even do that. the intensity of the laser, the intricacy of the laser as it's rotating around on a bevel. it couldn't be done. now it can be. you can learn how to do it this afternoon. >> what are people making here? how about a kayak you can fold up to the size of a small suitcase? >> this is origami in reverse? >> i read a magazine article about origami.
>> why are you reading magazine articles about origami? >> maybe you want to do underwater exploring. >> this robot sees under water and sends video back up this tether. you can drive it from your laptop and see what it is seeing. >> the whole place is designed to help you make your vision a reality. >> often somebody will ask me, what's the most successful story that's come out of techshop? we tell them, this little guy. so this is square. a little peer-to-peer transaction processing play. most folks have probably seen it now. it goes in the end of your phone. do credit cards and anybody now with a checking account has access to the merchant banking industry which turns out to be a really big deal. >> right. >> so this turned into a $5 billion company. they have 1,000 employees. they're located around the corner. >> $5 billion. >> yeah, baby. that's america. >> not bad.
>> techshop is also perfect for bloody do-gooders. let's say, for instance, you're horrified by the infant mortally rate in third-world countries brought about by the fact most premature babies die because they can't get to an incubator fast enough. you decide to build a portable incubator that doesn't need electricity. where are you doing to do that? techshop. >> there's a polymer pouch, you boil it, stick it in here and it keeps the baby warm for a number of hours. this is on track to save 100,000 babies. >> but techshop is not all about nobel-prize-winning ideas or billion-dollar businesses. sometimes it's just about taking an older product and dragging it into the 21st century. >> we call it a last mode vehicle because it's perfect for when you're on the bus or train and getting to your final destination, and a lot of people have been using it, like, in place of their car really. like, they -- it's a lot easier to get around the city. you don't have to worry about parking. >> all you have to do is be able
to stand on it and not fall down. >> yeah. yeah. there is a little bit of a learning curve. >> we're going to get you on this thing. >> show me. show me how simple it is. i can't wait. >> start with you. show us how it works. >> okay. switch it to expert mode because -- >> whoa, baby. that means this goes faster? >> yeah, has a higher top speed and a quicker acceleration. ♪ >> pretty quick. you can do that. >> sure, sure. >> very quick. >> i hate to show off, really. >> did you think he was out of his mind when he -- for the price? >> i didn't get it. $1,200 for a board. i didn't understand it was a transportation replacement project. that makes it actually quite interesting. >> would you like to wear a helmet? >> man, you ought to -- honestly, wrap me in bubble pack. >> there's a learning curve but it's a lot easier than most people expect. most of our customers, they actually have never been skateboarders, like half of our customers. so stand on it with a wide
stance. and this foot turned in a little bit that way. >> right. >> yep. so just hold that down. roll the wheel forward to go forward and pull back to slow down. ♪ >> that's right. it's happening. oh, yeah. sure. i don't see what's so difficult. call the attorneys. so, will a skateboard change the way we get around? is the next billion-dollar idea incubating in a maker fair? am i ever going to get a freaking jet pack? who knows. but one thing's for sure, the democratization of innovation, that is a big idea. and with mark hatch at the helm, you can bet it's spreading.