Hugs and Kisses Goodbye: Live from XOXO 2014 (Episode 93)

Jen Bekman, Zoë Salditch, and Mike Merrill were our guests live on stage at the XOXO 2014 festival in Portland, Oregon, as part of the Story evening that also featured Hrishikesh Hirway's Song Exploder, featuring a song by The Thermals; John Roderick (The Long Winters) interviewing Chelsea Cain; and Harmontown with Dino Stamatopoulos.

Jen Bekman founded 20x200 in 2007 to provide art at accessible prices. She spoke about her in work in 2012 at XOXO. Then she had a terrible, no good, very bad year. For a lot of reasons, she can't discuss the particulars of what happened, but she had to reboot 20x200: its site, its technology, its art, and its trust with existing customers.

If you have beautiful digital art, you need a place to display it. That's the idea behind Electronic Objects, a massively funded Kickstarter project from a month ago. But Zoë Salditch's interest is less in the technology than the uses to which people will put it. In the midst of producing their EO1 model, they have artists in residence working on concpetual ideas and are considering one future for their hardware as a platform for art — maybe 20x200 and EO have a lot in common?

With most people, saying "I can buy and sell you" is a boast about one's own ostensible net worth. With Mike Merrill, it's the literal truth. Mike is a publicly traded company, and shareholders can vote on the course his life takes, including how he pursues romantic interests. Shares in KMIKEYM have traded as high as $25 and typically change hands in a band of $5 to $10. Volume is low.

This is our last regularly scheduled episode as we go on hiatus and consider a path forward. Keep watching this site and @newdisruptors for news about future projects.

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

gifpop, the makers of physical renditions of your animated GIFs through the scientific magic of lenticular printing! Take a GIF with up to 10 frames and receive a version that you can tilt for animation, or buy a design from featured artists who receive 80% of the purchase price — or even submit your own work for consideration for sale. Listeners get 10% off a gifpop order by using coupon code DISRUPT during checkout.

99designs: Have dozens of designers from the over 310,000 that are part of 99designs's network submit ideas for your logo, Web site, T-shirt, car wrap, or other design project, then pick the best and have a finished, professional result in a week or less for a flat price. Our listeners can visit this special destination page to get a $99 Power Pack of services for free!

Thanks to our Patreon backers for all their support! Bryan J. Clark, Pasha Alpeyev, Andy Baio, Matthew Blai, Alex Bond, Henry Brown, Anirvan Chatterjee, Ready Chi, Jordan Cooper, Craig, Tarun Gangwani, GravityFish , Accounting Guy, Gregory Hayes, Brian J. Geiger, Jonathan Mann, Mike Mansor, Kris Markel, Roman Mars, Andrei Matetic, Gordon McDowell, Andy McMillan, Rönne Ogland, George OToole, Elliott Payne, Garry Pugh, "r," Neil Richler, James Robilliard, Kay Schumann, Jonathan Stark, Kyle Studstill, Ted Timmons, CJ Tully, and Ben Werdmuller.

(Photo by Brad Dowdy.)

Bakfiets to the Future with Phillip Ross (Episode 86)

Phillip Ross is one of the fellows behind Metrofiets, a company that makes cargo bikes — a kind of transportation vehicle developed in the Netherlands, and known as bakfietsen there. He and his partner James Nichols build their bikes in Portland, Oregon. Phil helped bring Critical Mass to Portland and is the co-creator and producer of the Pedal Powered Talk Show and literally the engine that makes it go.

Sponsors and patrons

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

99designs: Have dozens of designers from the over 310,000 that are part of 99designs's network submit ideas for your logo, Web site, T-shirt, car wrap, or other design project, then pick the best and have a finished, professional result in a week or less for a flat price. Our listeners can visit this special destination page to get $99 Power Pack of services for free!

Thanks to Cards Against Humanity, which is helping underwrite our indie ads. CAH just launched a site where you can buy directly from them, including their Bigger Blacker Box and their 2012 and 2013 holiday packs, the profits from which are donated to charity.

Our indie advertisers this week are:

  • App Accomplished, a book that guides you step by step through turning your idea for an app from a set of requirements through hiring a developer and into a released piece of software.

  • FoxyCart, the most flexible way to add ecommerce to your Web site.

Thanks also to patrons Ben Werdmuller, Alex Bond, and Andy McMillan 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

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.

Sponsors & Patrons

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.

Doubling Down with Amelia Greenhall (Episode 56)

Amelia Greenhall.

Amelia Greenhall.

Double Union is a new community workshop in San Francisco designed for women, and intended to provide a comfortable, welcoming environment to make things. In this podcast, I visit the pre-renovation space with Amelia Greenhall, one of the people who helped create the non-profit organization. She explains why Double Union is necessary, and the path that led to it and others like it.

Sponsors & Patrons

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

This episode is sponsored by Media Temple, where a Grid plan gives you 100 Web sites, 100 GB of storage, and a terabyte of data transfer each month. Sign up with coupon code "tnd" to get 25% off your first month of hosting.

Media Temple: Special discount for The New Disruptors listeners: use promo code "tnd" for 25% off your first month of web hosting.

 

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

Show notes

While Double Union accepts only women as members, the group notes that, "We are intersectional feminists, women-centered, and queer and trans-inclusive." Members may invite guests who may visit with a member, and may be any gender or age. The group will also have open houses open to any any gender or age.

Amelia Greenhall has a vast array of interests currently centered around Quantified Self and wearable technology, but her site shows the full range of what she's working on. (Quantified Self aims to use technology to measure our physiological state and inputs, and turn that information into useful data for self-modification or health monitoring.)

Amelia mentions three zine makers and their projects: Mermaid Tits produced by Hannah Schulman; Camel Toe, produced by Abigal Young; and Elly Blue's array of work. Elly is a Portland bike activist and publisher who has used Kickstarter many, many times to underwrite the expenses of her publishing and other endeavors. (She was a guest during our Portland pre-XOXO festival shindig, contributed an article on cargo bikes to The Magazine, and will be a future interviewee here.)

Before we get to Double Union, Amelia explains the concept of an unconference, and the intent of the Ada Initiative. Double Union arose in part from discussions with Leigh Honeywell and Frances Hocutt, who fostered the Seattle Attic makerspace, which is feminist, women-centered, and inclusive, but open to all genders as members. There's also Flux in Portland, Oregon, and three others of a similar intent outside the U.S.

Impostor syndrome is a pervasive problem among creators who go it on their own, because we constantly compare ourselves to those around us, and believe that we can't possibly be competent enough to be in their league. We worry about being discovered. Birds of a feather (BoF) sessions are ad hoc, participant-driven breakout sessions in conferences.

At The Magazine, we dealt with a paucity of women pitching articles partly by me talking to female contributors and writing "Gender Binder." This article seemed to mark a turning point, after which we received article submissions from a far more even ratio of men and women. Bylines average close to parity since.

The Ada Initiative created a standardized anti-harassment policy that has been adopted by over a hundred conferences. I mention an article in The Magazine by Rosie J. Spinks called "Hacked Off," in which she looks at harassment of women in the hacker-activism community. Some readers found this article problematic because they hadn't seen harassment themselves.

Amelia points to the timeline of sexist incidents at the Geek Feminism wiki as an indication of how pervasive harassment is, and how much more thoroughly it's being documented. Kelly Kend described harassment directed at her at XOXO 2013, and how well it was handled by the organizers. Amelia countered with what happened at Pycon 2013, in which a woman called out two men via Twitter for remarks, and then one of the men and she were both fired.

We are so over mansplaining, aren't we? Not yet.

Jean MacDonald was a guest on The New Disruptors last month ("Girls Just Want to Code Apps") to talk about App Camp for Girls, in which the instructors and attendees are all women. Jean and I talked at some length about fiscal sponsorship, in which an existing non-profit handles the administration and fund collection for a nascent one.

Liz Henry, a veteran software/Internet/reality cool-things maker, was part of the Double Union planning. Double Union created an Indiegogo campaign to raise capital for buildout and equipment purchases, intending memberships to pay rent and other ongoing costs. Asking for $5,000, the group raised over $15,000.

Once you find out about paper joggers, and you regularly deal with paper, you might not rest until you have one. Sergers create overlock stitches that seal the edges of cut fabric with stitches, and can trim at the same time! With a serger, you can dramatically reduce the time to make clothing that looks professionally produced. Sergers are cool.

I spoke to the folks behind Makerhaus about what was then an about-to-open facility for education, training, creation, and co-working back in February 2013 in "Iterative Imperative."

Ashe Dryden has a lot to say about diversity, inclusivity, and harassment.

Actually, Quite Likely! Recorded Live in Brooklyn (Episode 49)

We recorded a special live episode of The New Disruptors in Brooklyn's fantastic DUMBO district in the Galapagos Art Space as part of the Nearly Impossible conference in which we talked about the joys, challenges, and surprises in prototyping, funding, producing, and distributing products. On stage, we had Che-Wei Wang and Taylor Levy of CW&T, Tom Gerhardt and Dan Provost of Studio Neat, and Jessica Heltzel of Kern and Burn.

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Sponsors & Patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons. Thanks to Shopify for sponsoring my trip to New York and this episode!

Shopify: Use Shopify to create your online store. Everything you need to start selling online – today

 

 

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

CW&T is best known for Pen Type-A. I spoke originally to Taylor and Che-Wei Feburary 27, 2013 in "Où est la plume de ma Kickstarter?" Studio Neat burst onto the scene with the glif, and has since made the Cosmonaut, among other products, and wrote the book It Will Be Exhilirating. I spoke with Tom and Dan in "Living in the Back It Bracket." (Dan now lives in Austin.) Jessica Heltzel and Tim Hoover collaborated to conduct many dozens of interviews they posted on a blog, and then to crowdfund and produce a book called Kern and Burn.

Galapagos Art Space is a fascinating and wonderful performance space that literally has water underneath sections of the main floor seating. It's lovely and cool, and I thank them for hosting us.

Tom and Dan's Neat Ice Kit just raised over $150,000 towards a $50,000 Kickstarter goal. The Dr. Demento movie Kickstarter had a zillion add-on options, but that's because those were collectible and unique items, and helped push them over the top. (I spoke to the director of that upcoming movie in "They're Coming to Make Him a Film Ha Ha!" a few weeks ago.)

Kickstarter isn't keen on stretch goals, but doesn't ban them. The 99% Invisible Season 4 Kickstarter is going gangbusters, even bigger than its Season 3 crowdfunding campaign, and they keep setting more and interesting stretch goals — and meeting them. (I interviewed show host Roman Mars just before he launched this Kickstarter a few weeks ago in "99% Indivisible.")

Che-Wei made the TV Barrow to make it easy to move an HDTV from room to room. Enough interest sparked them to plan to sell it as a product. Tom, Che-Wei, and Taylor all went to the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, as did Tom's wife, roboticist Kacie Kinzer. Che-Wei and Taylor are now studying at the MIT Media Lab. Autodidacts teach themselves the meaning of the word.

My grandfather was a great negotiator, and he told me a lot of stories about running a furniture store. Scott Thrift updated his backers every full moon for The Present. Crowd Supply is one of the firms pursuing a crowdfunding model in which money is released to creators as mileposts are reached in protection, which is intended to provide more confidence to backers.

Thanks to Anthony Saggese for providing our on-site recording services!

Episode 9: Iterative Imperative with Ellie and Mike Kemery

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Maker spaces are popping up all over where people can go and work with tools of all sorts, from woodworking to advanced 3D printers, to make things for themselves or prototype designs to manufacture. Seattle has been bereft of a large-scale facility with everything under one roof — until now.

Ellie and Mike Kemery have just opened Makerhaus, a 10,000-square-foot building chock full of everything makers need. But their secret sauce, they hope, is community and education among their members. We talk about what a maker space can mean to bring all the hardware, software, and people together in one place to make magic happen. On Twitter: Makerhaus and Ellie Kemery. View the slideshow from Glenn’s visit to Makerhaus.

Show notes

I mentioned photopolymer plates for letterpress, which I also gave an Ignite talk about in 2011. Lumi, the makers of solar-sensitive permanent fabric dyes, will be on a future podcast. The original LaserWriter cost $6,995 in 1985 ($15,000 in 2012 money), not $12,000 as I said! TechShop, which is a chain of maker spaces, is quite busy in all its locations.

Episode 2: Come Fly with Me, Let’s Fly, Let’s Fly Away with Chris Anderson

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Chris Anderson was the editor in chief of Wired magazine for over a decade, during which time he wrote an “accidental” trilogy of three books: The Long Tail, Free, and Makers. His latest book details how a mild obsession with do-it-yourself drones (pilotless planes) sucked him into the maker community, and to co-found a business now producing millions in sales. We talk about the maker movement, the revolution of atoms that’s underway, and his drones. (He left Wired just after we recorded this podcast to work full-time as chief of his business, 3D Robotics.)

               

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