The New Disruptors

A podcast about artists, creators, makers, and producers and their audiences

The show ran from December 2012 to October 2014 and is currently on hiatus. Follow @newdisruptors for future plans.

The New Disruptors tells stories that provide practical inspiration about the way that creative people and producers connect with audiences to perform, cajole, convince, sell, and interact using new methods.

Every week, I interview a creator or producer, or a "facilitator," someone involved in making the connection between artist and audience. Interviews are far-ranging and about 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours long. New episodes appear every Thursday, and may be streamed, downloaded, or retrieved via podcast apps.

In the past, most connections were facilitated by gatekeepers: publishers, banks, performance venues, retail stores, and the like. These gatekeepers both prevented most ideas from reaching the market—except the ones that could provide the biggest win—and, for those they let through, captured 50% to 90% of the net income.

The Internet changed all that, but not at once. For each field of creative endeavor and for each element of connection, it's taken time to mature. Authors have long had ways to sell books directly to readers, and electronic books were an extension of that. But it wasn't until billions of people had mobile phones, tablets, and ereaders that the market exploded. The same tools that let a mainstream publisher sell a million books allow a single author to sell thousands to hundreds of thousands.

We've seen the same developments in film, animation, performance, exhibition, product manufacture, and comics, to name just a few categories. This comes in part from better ways to bring in money. Between crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, the two biggest fish, and better ways for individuals and small companies to handle credit-card transactions, the pipeline to pay for things has never flowed more easily. Sites like Etsy for everyone and TopatoCo for comic artists and Outgrow.me for crowdfunded products create marketplaces. The intermediaries now take 2%, 3.5%, 5%, and the like, and try to build as big an audience as they can for one's work.

Glenn Fleishman, your host. Photo by Jeff Carlson.

About your host

Hello! I'm Glenn Fleishman. I produce, host, and wash the bottles at the podcast. The New Disruptors came about because of dozens of interviews I'd conducted with people who had created their own careers and companies without requiring a distributor or gatekeeper.

I'm a technology journalist with over 20 years of writing under my belt. I have written for many publications over the years. I'm the editor and publisher of The Magazine, a biweekly digital periodical that publishes features of interest to those with far-ranging curiosity, one of the happy mutants who writes entries at Boing Boing, and one of the writers of the Economist 's Babbage blog (as "G.F."). An RSS feed of my articles is available.

In 2012, I won two episodes of Jeopardy!, a lifelong ambition finally realized. I live in Seattle with my wife and two children and a house that is not overly stuffed with technology, despite the presence of two iPads, three iPod touches, two iPhones, and four computers.