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Cool Dad Job: Co-founder of Instructables, CEO and Founder of SafeConnect Solar

Latest Cool Dad Achievement: Empowering homeowners to go solar.

Eric Wilhelm is one of those guys who went west and struck gold in Silicon Valley by chasing his own ideas. One of them, Instructables, became a crowd-sourcing DIY site that in turn became a movement. But Wilhelm didn’t rest on his digital laurels. The MIT Ph.D. took on a VP role at Autodesk, the engineering software company, then founded SafeConnect Solar, which aims to make solar panel installation DIY-able. The rare Silicon Valley mainstay that doesn’t disappoint, Wilhelm spends his free time (such as it is) tackling projects with his two kids (including the greatest Mad Max costume ever seen) and authoring children’s books in which Roman leader and legendary stoic Marcus Aurelius visits places with his best friend, a highly destructive giant frog named Musa. Hard to explain? Sure. But like everything Wilhelm touches, the books work.