Kip Kedersha's fuzzy Havanese puppy paid for himself in 43 seconds, by shoving himself headfirst into a square hole while his owner chronicled his efforts in a video titled "Round Dog vs. Square Hole." (Spoiler alert: The hole wins.) The video has been viewed more than 340,000 times on YouTube, where Kedersha has a channel under the name "kipkay." The St. Petersburg tinkerer creates some of the most popular videos on YouTube. More than 64,000 people subscribe to his channel. His quirky how-to videos teach viewers how to build a motion-sensing spy camera, hear through walls or get better gas mileage. Cameos by his pair of black-and-white cats — skinny and skittish Tux, and 18 pounds of furred indifference called Domino — are beloved by viewers as far away as Croatia. The channel is also how Kedersha makes a living. He earns thousands of dollars a month as part of YouTube's Partner Program, which places advertisements along the bottom of Kedersha's videos. Every time someone clicks on an ad, Kedersha gets paid.
How did you get your start as a tinkerer?
My dad taught me to do my own stuff. He was a big do-it-yourselfer, and that was mainly because he was cheap.
What are the main tools that you need to do the stuff that you do?
Soldering iron, hot glue gun and screwdrivers. Hot glue is great.
Have you ever tried any of the tricks used by MacGyver?
Yes, starting a car battery with wine is a MacGyver trick.
How does that work?
Red wine is acidic. You basically pour red wine into the cells and the acid gives it a low charge. Do it with a battery that you plan to get rid of.
How do you get your cats to perform in the videos?
With Tux, I just put him on the dining room table, telling him, "Sniff that. Sniff that." … Sometimes all I can get is a shot of a tail going by.
Do you like working for yourself?
Working for yourself is far superior. I don't have to answer to anybody. I determine my own hours. I determine how much work I want to do.
What don't you like about it?
Insurance. … It's got to say something about where we are as a country. It's $800 a month for me and my wife, no vision, no dental, and it's an HSA (health savings account) and there's a $5,000 deductible.
Asjylyn Loder can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 225-3117.