Crowded House with Joshua Lifton (Episode 66)

Joshua Lifton is one of the founders of Crowd Supply, a company that crowdfunds around products. They take a very different approach to preparation, funding, and follow-up than Kickstarter. Kickstarter just announced that it had crossed $1bn in pledges in its five-year lifetime. Of that, it's disbursed nearly $850m. It's on track to facilitate perhaps half a billion in 2014 alone.

Kickstarter may be used interchangeably with the term crowdfunding and it is the 800 lb. gorilla in the space. (Watch out for the shipping charges on that gorilla, especially internationally.) But in its wake, hundreds of millions of dollars are being raised from all sorts of other sites which fill in important aspects of ecosystem, and Crowd Supply is one of them.

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This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

Mailchimp helps more than five million people and businesses around the world use MailChimp to send email newsletters. They sent 70 billion messages on their behalf in 2013! They also have hats for cats and small dogs.

What do the Nikola Tesla Museum, the film that won this year's Sundance Film Festival, and a baby have in common? They've all been crowdfunded on Indiegogo! Listeners visit tnd.indiegogo.com to receive a 25% discount on fees.

 

Media Temple: Web hosting for artists, designers, and Web developers since 1998. World-class support available 24x7 through phone and chat—and even Twitter. Sign up with coupon code "tnd" to get 25% off your first month of hosting.

 

Thanks to new patrons Andy McMillan and Andy Baio for supporting us directly through Patreon! You can back this podcast for as little as $1 per month. At higher levels, we'll thank you on the air and send you mugs and T-shirts.

Show Notes

Dan Shapiro and I spoke about his Robot Turtles game and its fulfillment issues in Episode 59.

Andrew "bunnie" Hwang and Jie Qi used Crowd Supply to fund Circuit Stickers. I spoke with bunnie in Episode 33 about how he creates projects and the production of products in China, especially electronics. He'll be launching his open-laptop project, Novena, as a campaign on Crowd Supply.

Helium is a funded supercapacitor-powered portable speaker that's also hackable — a category that Crowd Supply tags so that potential backers can more easily find user-modifiable and -buildable products.

Gaze Deeply into My Crowdfunding Navel with Guest Glenn Fleishman (Episode 58)

Guest host Jason Snell talks to regular host Glenn Fleishman about Glenn's recent Kickstarter campaign to fund a book of non-fiction articles from The Magazine. Jason, host of The Incomparable and an editorial director at a major magazine firm, quizzes Glenn about failure, success, fulfillment (product and otherwise), and the reason we solicit funds from our fans, friends, family, and strangers.

Sponsors & Patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

This episode is sponsored by Media Temple: Web hosting for artists, designers, and Web developers since 1998. World-class support available 24x7 through phone and chat—and even Twitter. Media Temple hosts beautiful websites and great ideas. Sign up with coupon code "tnd" to get 25% off your first month of hosting.

We're also sponsored this time by Smile Software's TextExpander! TextExpander avoids the tedium of retyping common text, shortening URLs, and much more. Get a copy today and let the computer do the hard work!

Media Temple: Web hosting for artists, designers, and Web developers since 1998. Use code "tnd" to get 25% off your first month.

TextExpander: Avoid the tedium of typing by tapping a few keys and expanding.

 

And thanks to our patrons, supporting us by making a monthly pledge via Patreon. You can pledge as little as $1 a month; at higher levels, get our on-air and Web site thanks, T-shirts, and more! Thanks this time to Bryan Clark, Elliott Payne, and GravityFish! You help make it all happen.

Show Notes

Glenn likes the word Bildungsroman, which is just German for a coming-of-age story, in which the central character has to grow up. Joseph Campbell wrote quite a bit about archetypal myths, including the Hero's Journey (monomyth).

We discussed Greg Knauss's terrific essay about failure and my unsuccessful crowdfunding effort for a book. (Which was named, and I had forgotten this, Crowdfunding: A Guide to What Works and Why. Catchy title?)

Appsblogger penned a wonderfully detailed post that resulted from scraping Kickstarter projects that succeeded and failed as of mid-2012. The post has useful insight into how failed projects fail big, and successful projects largely succeed modestly, along with charts from the scraped data.

Jason notes that every baseball player (except one, it turns out) who received 50 percent of votes to be inducted into the Hall of Fame ultimately receives 75 percent, the threshold for getting in. Joe Posnanski has a great blog entry explaining this. (Gil Hodges is the only one who didn't pass 50 percent — 10 times! — and never hit the 75 percent mark.)

I archived the 26 podcasts I did in 2006 for Wi-Fi Networking News as an early experiment to see whether that could be part of the revenue mix for that site. Even with good traffic on the site and an industry focus, the answer was no.

Adam and Tonya Engst appeared on this podcast on January 30, 2013, to discuss electronic publishing and how TidBITS turned to a quasi-crowdfunding approach for membership. Dean Putney, who makes things you like on the Internet, appeared here on November 2, 2013; his book has just shipped to backers. It was printed weeks ago, but shipping took a long time from Asia. Glenn was a guest on The Talk Show with John Gruber on December 6, 2013.

I promised a chart of the Kickstarter campaign growth, but I'm not ready to post that in isolation! I'll have an extensive blog post in the near future with that data.

Wait a Cotton-Picking Minute with Jay Fanelli and Nathan Peretic (Episode 54)

Jay Fanelli and Nathan Peretic know how to go it on their own. They've done it not just once, not just twice, but now three times. They formed the interactive-services company Full Stop Interactive, out of which United Pixelworkers was formed, a company that produces fine wearable merchandise. And United Pixelworkers gave birth to Cotton Bureau, a site that uses crowdfunding to pick which shirts should get printed. Now they're doubling down and focusing entirely on the T-shirt and merchandise businesses.

Sponsors & Patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons. Our patrons support us by pledging an amount via Patreon for each episode we produce. Thanks this time to GravityFish and Elliott Payne! You help make it all happen.

You can sponsor this show by contacting Podlexing (part of The Midroll).

Show notes

Aaron Draplin runs his own design firm, Draplin Design Co., and collaborates with Jim Coudal on Field Notes. I interviewed Jim in January 2013 and Aaron in September 2013.

Pittsburgh defied the United States Board of Geographic Names to keep an h at the end of its name. Dribbble lets designers show off their work.

We talked through several different methods of T-shirt printing, including traditional silk screening and digital printing or direct-to-garment printing, in which something akin to an ink-jet printer outputs ink onto clothing.

The Incomparable T-shirts, with art by The Icon Factory, sold in the hundreds. If you see a zeppelin, you're probably in a parallel universe.

The Labors of Job with Alli Dryer and Jenni Leder (Episode 50)

 Two UI/UX designers in fur hats, Jenni Leder (left) and Alli Dryer.

Two UI/UX designers in fur hats, Jenni Leder (left) and Alli Dryer.

This podcast often emphasizes going it alone. But what if you could achieve your own dreams of continuous learning and creative expression while also having full-time jobs and getting that mythical thing, a regular paycheck? I talk with Alli Dryer and Jenni Leder, user interface/user experience (UI/UX) designers, who changed their lives — and those of their husbands — to bring their lives closer to what they want within the structure of employment. We talk about that most scary of words to your host, a J-O-B, in this episode. On Twitter, find Jenni @thoughtbrain and Alli at @allidryer.

Sponsors & Patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons. Thanks to TextExpander (Smile Software) and Cards Against Humanity!

TextExpander: Avoid the tedium of typing by tapping a few keys and expanding.

Cards Against Humanity is a party game for horrible people.

 

And thanks to our patrons, supporting us by pledging an amount via Patreon for each episode we produce. Thanks this time to GravityFish! You help make it all happen. 

Show notes

Somebody said, "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture," but it's entirely unclear who it was. I heard it first on a Laurie Anderson album.

As with me, XOXO 2012 changed Alli and Jenni's lives. We all also attended XOXO 2013. I actually saw someone using a Windows 8.1 touchscreen laptop. Jenni and Alli have one husband each, not two collectively.

For inexplicable reasons, Alli helped bring Bacon Soap into existence. She's not even sure why. My subjects are two of the people featured on UI/UX Designers in Fur Hats, a very niche site I developed after seeing multiple pictures of such people in such chapeaus. (Please submit your own.)

Glenn often winds up in the Twitter stony lonesome, the pokey, the big house, the pen, the calaboose — you know, Twitter jail. He tweets a bit too much. Jenni, Alli, and Glenn are all heavy App.net users. Favd is an iOS app that uses App.net for storage, and can cross-post images across multiple services.

Alli is an expert at Cards Against Humanity, and wrote this article on how to win the game. Max Temkin, one of CAH's inventors, was a guest on this podcast in June.

Capptivate captures app interactions using Reflector, an amazing conduit between an iOS device and a Mac or Windows system. Alli also mentioned Tumult Hype as a way to capture animations in HTML5 form.

Maple Mark compiles interesting uses of maple leafs to symbolize Canada. The Baselstab (Basel staff) is used extensively in that Swiss city. Jenni volunteered her time to work on Wake Up, because she loved the product and wanted to help the indie designer improve its utility.

Episode 7: Any Color But Purple with Jim Coudal

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Jim Coudal runs Coudal Partners, a small design firm in Chicago that crafts all sorts of things. More than a decade ago, the group decided to shift its business from mostly working for others to mostly working for themselves. Field Notes (with Aaron Draplin), The Deck advertising network, and Layer Tennis are some of the commercial and entertaining results. Field Notes is entirely a physical product ordered online; The Deck, a digital one that can’t exist without a network of independent voices. We talk about these two extremes and taking your creativity into your own hands.               

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