The Ladies of iFixit have earned 1 million in reputation! This collective milestone is thanks to a wonderful group of women fixers, each of whom contribute to iFixit’s community by finding solutions to repair-related problems.
So who are the Ladies of iFixit? We are comprised of 51 members, who together and over a significant period of time have authored or contributed to 3,000 repair guides and provided 486 solutions to the repair community. Our ladies are from different departments (and countries), but we are not pigeonholed by our positions or titles—all of us can fix.
We share whatever knowledge we have, be it by answering questions on our Answers Forum, creating a guide, or improving the knowledge base by editing existing guides and tackling unanswered questions.
Our resident guidekeeper and orphan slayer (trust us, it’s nicer than it sounds), Sam Goldheart makes up the bulk of our 1 million achievement, with 443K in reputation, 108 solutions, and 2,287 guides authored or edited. “It’s been a long time since I made one [guide], but I love that they’re still helping people out every day,” Sam said. “Getting comments on those guides always makes my day.” These days, she considers herself a “lead-tech-writer-turned-blog-writer,” who does a little bit of everything around the iFixit office. And while she isn’t exclusively writing guides anymore, the Internet still reaps the benefits of her meticulous instructions.
One fixer saved over $400 thanks to a Goldheart guide. Another praised her attention to detail in providing accurate screw sizes and emphasizing necessary precautions to avoid accidents. “It was hard work to make those guides, but the investment super paid-off,” Sam said. “As an Easter egg, readers can look up my very first guide, one I made before I was hired. It’s pretty bad!”
Sam’s candor speaks to the core of the iFixit philosophy. Even if you write a “pretty bad guide” when you’re starting out, at least you’re sharing what you know. With enough patience and curiosity, you can hone your skills, grow your confidence, and fix more things. And that’s what we are all about here!
Our Japanese Localization Lead, Midori Doi started working at iFixit just before the iFixit Japanese website launched. At the time, iFixit was known in Japan more for our iPhone teardowns than for our repair guides. And while thousands of English language repair guides were available on the iFixit website, none were available in Japanese.
“When I started the translation work I felt as though I was walking through a vast desert all alone. However, over the past six years, thanks to the massive help of so many volunteers and repair lovers from around the world, the translation work has advanced tremendously and the Japanese pages have been greatly enriched,” Midori said.
Her passion for repair has its roots in the popular Japanese expression, “mottainai!” which means, “what a waste!” Midori says this expression is passed on from generation to generation to remind us about the importance of minimizing waste. “We have been using an old washing machine for more than 10 years…we have done a few simple repairs along the way to keep it working…I think about the money we have saved by repairing our machine with parts that cost a total of $50,” Midori said.
Midori once demonstrated how anyone can do repairs on the spot, next to CEO Kyle Wiens. Just before a talk about iFixit product design and e-waste at a Super Science High School in Tokyo, her MacBook Pro’s hard drive cable stopped working. Wiens suggested they repair the laptop during the presentation. “My hands got sweaty, as I had never done a computer repair,” Midori said. “Following the instructions from the iFixit repair guide, and with Kyle’s guidance, I was able to successfully replace the part—and it took only 15 minutes!”
That unplanned, live demonstration showed students that anyone can do repairs. Midori’s commitment to growing the Japanese repair community, and shifting the collective mindset from replace to repair, has garnered her 202K in reputation. “Take it from this repair amateur, you do NOT need to be a technological whiz/professional in order to do repairs. And the more you do repair, the better you will get at it,” Midori said.
Many Ladies of iFixit have been repairing things for a long time, before fully realizing its environmental and intellectual benefits. iFixit’s Community Manager, Amber Taus, has always been interested in how things work.
“When I was 4, I took the case off our VCR, and I would sit and watch the tapes play while everyone else watched the movie,” said Taus. The majority of her reputation is actually on our Meta site, rather than on the Answers Forum or through guide making. Meta is a dedicated space for fixers to talk about iFixit. There, Taus has fostered an open environment, where she connects with our volunteer moderators and community members who are seeking answers related to iFixit itself.
Amber’s unique position in managing both communities has earned her significant reputation since starting at iFixit earlier this year. On Meta she’s earned 3,177 in reputation and provided 164 solutions; on iFixit, she’s earned 2,864 in reputation and provided 35 solutions. Taus takes time out of her day to look around the site and enjoy content that predated her arrival.
“My favorite guide is a teardown of an orange. It’s so funny and there was so much attention to detail,” Amber said. “The final step with the components of the orange laid out is just so beautiful.” Humor aside, Amber insists that the best guides are the ones that are easy to follow and that make a repairer feel comfortable, “I didn’t realize it wasn’t normal for people to take care of their own stuff until I had to teach my sister-in-law how to change a tire on her car.”
No matter the reputation count, each one of us is pushing the needle forward for repair, and doing what we can to reduce (and one day eliminate) the harsh effects that poor design and e-waste have on the planet.
So keep up the good work ladies! There is still plenty of fixing to do!