I have the above quote letterpressed on a broadside. It’s taped in my window; I don’t remember where I bought it. Perhaps at some kind of craft fair. Its provenance remains enough of a mystery to make me think that it’s always been here, staunchly set in order to remind me to make big plans.

While thinking about business, my stutter-steps into entrepreneurship, and even my literary career, I’ve always had big plans. I tend to think grand and big. I like to imagine fantastic scenarios, such as being the first Asian-American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, or making six figures in my first year.

Something that’s really inspired me lately in this regard is the Instant Lab, created by The Impossible Project.

I imagine that many of you already know about The Impossible Project, but I’ll sum up their story: when Polaroid closed their doors, leaving instant-film lovers with vintage Polaroid cameras bereft, The Impossible Project stepped in. They didn’t have the formulas for Polaroid’s film, but they were going to create their own. They tested. They released beta film. They released film that you had to shield immediately. They released film that was a little wonky, and needed to be put in drying kits to prevent your images from turning into a deep sepia shade (and eventually, as I learned, into a muddle of sparkling white and sepia bubbles). The film got better. Their dreams grew bigger.

They opened a Kickstarter project, which lasted from September through October of 2012. Their new dream: to create a camera of sorts that could take iPhone photographs and print them onto instant film.

Of course, I contributed. And a few weeks ago, I received the actual Instant Lab — an unwieldy, but amazing, camera that has transformed the way I see my iPhone photographs.


instant-lab-2The camera isn’t perfect, of course. It’s a behemoth when fully expanded, although it is collapsible into a more manageable form. When it ejects my film, I have to yank it out with an unexpected amount of force. But it works. The Impossible Project has made the impossible possible.

A quote from Florian Kaps, the co-founder of Impossible: “The Instant Lab is the Impossible solution to a problem that we were trying to solve since a very long time: is there an easy and pure analog way to melt our everyday’s iPhone images into these unique, real and magic photographs we love so much? The way it feels to finally merge the digital with the analog world of photography with this Impossible machine exceeds our wildest expectations.”


Let’s exceed our wildest expectations. Let’s make magic happen.

Let’s do this. (Whatever your this is.)

Oh, and if you’re hankering for an Instant Lab of your own, sign up for notifications regarding when the Instant Lab will be made available to the public.