The one sentence summary

If you want to equip yourself for the age of creativity, you need to be a maker, hacker, teacher or thief.


  • This is a continuation of the Maker Hacker Teacher Thief book from 2014.
  • It is a collection of essays on the same four topics, designed to enhance the reader’s “creative superpowers”.
  • Topics range from general creativity in communications businesses through to hat making, free music, education, and frugal innovation around the world.
  • The book is impossible to summarise, but some areas in particular catch the eye.
  • Morihiro Harano, Creative Director, suggests that to be a great maker:
  1. Don’t stuff your head with too many facts – this allows free thinking
  2. Don’t dive in alone – teams are better
  3. Invade each other’s turf – no one has a monopoly on a topic
  4. Throw stuff away – kill average stuff
  5. Sleep – throwing all nighters doesn’t work
  6. Don’t make shit for shit – bad work for bad products is a disaster
  7. Love and respect – a bit ethereal this one, but fair enough
  • Faris and Rosie Yakob propose that abstraction is the key to creativity. Try:
  1. Same same but different (a Thai phrase) – a form of adjacent copying
  2. Abstraction – remove things and apply them elsewhere
  3. Originality is a myth – ideas are new combinations (of old stuff)
  4. Praxis is the process by which a theory or skill is embodied in something (the word is not actually explained in the book)
  5. Transpose patterns from one place to another.
  • For more on these principles, see Copy Copy Copy by Mark Earls.


  • You can dip into any topic without reading the whole thing end to end.


  • As with all essay collections, it doesn’t have one coherent point. In a way this can be viewed as Hacker Maker Teacher Thief volume II, with new examples.
  • The lines between making and hacking are very blurred.