Summary of the Video In the TED Talk Why You Should Make Useless Things, Simone

Posted: January 14th, 2023

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Summary of the Video
In the TED Talk Why You Should Make Useless Things, Simone Giertz talks about her passion for robotics to address the performance anxiety she developed in her childhood. She explains why we should make useless things like an automatic toothbrushes to solve some of life’s problems. Simone jokes about making googly eyes to deal with anxiety when talking to an audience. After making the toothbrush robot, she posted it on the internet. She received several views, which marked the beginning of her adventure into owning a YouTube channel and making what she calls “Useless Things” (Giertz, 2018). Since the debut of her YouTube channel, she became an inventor of useless machines and called it a niche as she states that the easiest way to be at the top of your field is to choose a small field. She runs a YouTube channel of her machines, including an invention of cutting hair with drones.
Simone was a student engineer in school and described herself as super ambitious. Even though she was an exceptional student, graduating middle and high school at the top of her class, she struggled with performance anxiety. Because of her interest in engineering, she began teaching herself about designing machines which marked a significant change in her dealing with anxiety. She understood the challenge of building machines that would fail and knew it would only exacerbate her anxiety. Hence, she decided to venture into building things that would fail. As she learned more about hardware, she did not have to worry about her performance anxiety, pressure, or expectations of herself because it was replaced by enthusiasm (Giertz, 2018). And now, as an investor, Simone admits that she is interested in the things that people struggle with, from small to large things.
Simone is problem-focused and states that identifying a problem is one of the steps she uses in developing useless machines to solve them. For instance, she states that before giving the TED talk, she anticipated that she would encounter some problems that might exacerbate her anxiety, such as forgetting what to say, people will not laugh, people laughing at the wrong things, feeling nervous, or shaking her hands. Looking back as a kid, Simone would have notes on a piece of paper when presenting so that she would not get nervous or forget things. To address her stage fright, Simone has developed a machine that can give her water to drink on stage so the audience cannot realize that her hands are shaking. Based on her case, one of the things that caused the distress was performance anxiety and the fear of not meeting expectations (American Psychological Association, 2019). She narrates how she has struggled with these problems since middle and high school, evidenced by an email that she sent her brother because she had gotten a B in the class.
Establishing Therapeutic Alliance
Establishing a therapeutic alliance with an elderly patient (over 65) related to Simone’s case can be challenging because of the anxiety. Patients anxious about their life, expectations, or performance can have trouble communicating. Therefore, one of the approaches that can be used is reassurance. Elderly patients can be relieved of anxiety by reassuring them that they are cared for and that their problems matter within the context of healthcare delivery (Sagui-Henson et al., 2022). Encouraging clients to talk about their worries, concerns, and beliefs can also be critical to establishing a therapeutic alliance. Encouraging them to talk about themselves builds mutual trust, which can be essential to developing effective collaboration.

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