Daily Column – 8th May 2022

Simone Giertz is a Swedish innovator and product designer who has made her own Tesla truck (“Truckla”) and decided to offer a solid white jigsaw with a deliberately missing piece. She’s been documenting everything for her 2.6 million YouTube fans for the past seven years, including a brain tumour.

We talked with Giertz while she finished assembling what seemed like the world’s most difficult puzzle.

What forthcoming project are you looking forward to?

I’m making a Bubble Wrap music box for YouTube. Do you have any experience with a little music box with a barrel? Consider how much bigger it is. You feed in a sheet of bubble wrap, and different spikes pop different bubbles instead of little spikes hitting prongs and playing different notes. The bubbles then reverberate in varying length tubes, creating a tune.

But it’s this product business that’s been taking up practically all of my time. For the past seven years, I’ve been constructing stuff on YouTube, and I decided to turn my channel into an R&D department. It’s been a fun way to figure out where I want to go next in my profession. Because I believe the creator and influencer sector is so new, you haven’t really experienced what it’s like at the conclusion of a career.

What have you learned from developing and releasing real products?

I’m trading one of the simplest business models, influencing—money in from companies, content out—for one of the most convoluted and antagonistic business models imaginable. Why am I going through this? I’m in a great place right now. But I’m ecstatic.

I see a lot of folks who are still doing the same job they were five years ago, and you can see they aren’t interested. I also don’t want to remain too long.

What is the history of your YouTube searches?

No way. Everything is humiliating. I’d like to speak with my attorney.

It starts with a segment of one of my old films, then moves on to a gossip video, a YouTube channel founded by a girl I went to high school with, a teaser for a premiere I was invited to but didn’t go, a video about Lindsay Lohan, and a TED Talk about orgasms.

Would you construct another vehicle?

I’d be delighted to. My Tesla pickup truck, Truckla, on the other hand, is a difficult act to follow. I’m at a loss on what to do. It also felt like a once-in-a-lifetime undertaking. It’s a strange world, being asked to car events when you’ve only had your driver’s licence for two years. I have no idea what I’m doing here. But I suppose I’m now a truck influencer!”

For clarity, this interview has been trimmed and condensed.

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