Failing Upward with Greg Knauss (Episode 63)

Photo: Adam Mathes

Photo: Adam Mathes

Greg Knauss is an independent software developer who created Romantimatic, a reminder program for absent-minded sweethearts. You may know him from the early 2000s: from Suck.com and Metababy and Rainy Day Fun and Games for Toddler and Total Bastard, a collection of stories he promoted on what was arguably the first digital book tour. Then for a decade he toiled behind the scenes until he went out on his own. We'll talk today about his expectations, the reality, and fear of failing--and of succeeding!

Sponsors & Patrons

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

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

lynda.com: Over 2,000 high-quality and engaging video courses taught by industry experts — with new courses added daily. Listeners get a free 7-day trial with full access to all content by visiting lynda.com/tnd and signing up.

 

Vimeo: If you upload a lot of videos, Vimeo Plus and Vimeo PRO let you add 20 GB a week with no ads slapped on top. Get 10% off with the code DISRUPT. (Expires 4/30/2014. Renewals are at full price.)

BackersHub.com: BackersHub is a daily deals Web site that rewards people who have backed previously successfully Kickstarter campaigns with exclusive discounts.

 

Thanks to Bob Owen and Abraham Finberg 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. Help us toward our goal of $1,000 per month of Patreon sponsorship and we'll make transcripts available for every new episode!

Show Notes

Greg and I are both so old we remember seeing the launch of Mosaic (in different forms), the very first widely distributed graphical-user interface Web browser. Marc Andreessen and his colleagues at NCSA didn't invent the Web, but they made it accessible.

Ted Nelson gets credit for creating the notion of hypertext, which he always envisioned as two-way links! The original Netscape browser let you edit pages directly. Everpix (the site that I couldn't recall) had to shut down, despite being beloved, because the revenue didn't match up with the cost of providing service.

Kevin Kelly and I discussed 1,000 true fans, distributed collaboration, and his book Cool Tools last week. Greg's essay, "Talking about Failure," covers some of the ground we discuss in this episode. Cabel Sasser's talk about coping with panic at his firm, Panic, when things started heading a direction he didn't want to walk down—and how he got through it. Also watch Christina Xu and Jack Conte talk about similar pressures and outcomes.

A lot of interesting thoughts came out of XOXO 2013. Frank Chimero wrote of "The Inferno of Independence." Leah Reich discussed the value of critique in "The Uncanny Valley of Earnestness."

Romantimatic was given a hard time by Elle, but Mashable was much more fair. Greg was also interviewed by CBC about the app.