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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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.

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(Photo by Brad Dowdy.)

Nice and Neat with Dan Provost and Tom Gerhardt (Episode 89)

Dan Provost and Tom Gerhardt are Studio Neat, a small design and software group that produces nifty products. They began with the Glif, and when I talked to them last over a year ago, they had launched their second software product and were deep in planning on a new, more complicated item: the Neat Ice Kit. They funded the kit on Kickstarter in September 2013, raising $156,000 against a $50,000 goal. We talk through the challenges of fulfilling that campaign, more lessons learned, and their recently launched follow-up, the Simple Syrup Kit.

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 also to our Patreon backers Ben Werdmuller, Ready Chi, and GravityFish for supporting us directly through Patreon! You can help keep this podcast going 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

Wedding March to One's Own Offbeat Drummer with Ariel Meadow Stallings (Episode 77)

Ariel Meadow Stallings is the proprietor of several "offbeat" sites about weddings, home and life, and families under the rubric Offbeat Empire. She started the wedding site in 2007 to promote a book on creative alternatives for brides, which built an audience hungry for much more of the same. She obliged and has been building her empire full-time since 2009.

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We've started offering a new kind of ad: "indie ads" for independent projects and people. If you're a solo creator or small firm, we now offer discounted short ads with the kind underwriting of Cards Against Humanity. Find out more about indie ads.

Thanks to CAH! They just launched direct sales via their site, where you can purchase their Bigger Blacker Box. You can also buy their 2012 and 2013 holiday card packs, the profits from which are donated to charity.

Our indie advertisers this week are:

Heat, a new card game by Dave Chalker that's quick to learn and takes about 15 to 30 minutes to play. Players plan heists and try to keep the "heat" off themselves. It features snazzy art and is being funded on Kickstarter. Visit the campaign for more details.

The surreal and sublime Andrew Ferguson. He has no product to sell you and he has no URL for you to visit.

Thanks also to patrons Bryan Clark, Rönne Ogland, and Mike Mansor 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!

A new podcast!

I've launched a podcast on the future of publishing: The Periodicalist. I am co-hosts and guests will discuss and dissect all aspects of publishing: digital and analog, offset and print on demand, periodicals and blogs, and much more. Listen to our first episode, "The Netflix of Ebooks," and subscribe via our RSS feed or through iTunes.

Show notes

Teresa Valdez Klein and Noah Iliinsky met through Ignite Seattle and got married during an event in May. My wife, Lynn, and I were married in a chapel at Fort Worden and had our reception in a former dirigible hangar (now a theater).

Ariel's book is Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides. My Economist article explains why people leave the 3,000th review on a popular book or item. Facebook's director of product ranted about the trivialization of news.

Marisa McClellan runs the Food in Jars blog, and found her following of nearly 150,000 "likers" on Facebook resulted in 80 people seeing a recent post. Huh. She and I spoke last summer for the podcast. The Oatmeal is a popular webcomic; its creator is based in Seattle.

Offbeat Bride covered a wedding at reBar in Brooklyn, which shut down shortly afterwards. The article went up after its owner had been charged with tax evasion, and the site dealt with criticism rather superbly in the comments.

We ran an article in The Magazine about BuzzFeed's use of images that they often don't license, and discovered that their methods likely fall within fair use.

Co-working has become hot again. In Seattle, Office Nomads is the veteran shop and is expanding. Ariel and I met at We Work, a new high-end space for startups that's quite affordable given the amenities. I'm looking into co-working at Ada's Technical Books and Café, the owner of which I interviewed in a podcast not long ago.

(Photo of Ariel by Jenny Jimenez for Tugboat Yards.)

Puzzling Evidence with Chris Yates (Episode 70)

Chris Yates is a polymath. A sculptor, artist, woodworker, cartoonist, entrepreneur, dog-kennel assembler, musician, and more. He's best known now for his handmade jigsaw puzzles. He's on the show to talk about his zigzag path to making a niche for himself.

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New Relic helps everyone's software work better, and if you’re in any business today, you’re in the software business. New Relic monitors every move your application makes, across the entire stack, and shows you what's happening right now. Visit newrelic.com/disruptors to find out more.

What do Lil Wayne, Black Girls CODE, and Humans of New York have in common? They've all raised funds on Indiegogo! Indiegogo has hosted over 100,000 campaigns since 2008 and distributes millions of dollars every week around the globe. Listeners visit tnd.indiegogo.com to receive a 25% discount on fees.

 

Abraham Finberg, CPA: From dealing with those pesky 1099Ks to complex accounting needs, go to finbergcpa.com for all your financial support. Services can be as simple as a 15-minute phone consultation session all the way up to outsourcing your whole internal accounting office. Use promotion code DISRUPT to get a free phone consultation today!

 

Thanks to patrons GravityFish, Garry Pugh, 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.

Show notes

Chris displayed with Topatoco at Emerald City Comicon recently; he works a lot of conventions. He created 50 Comic-Con Questions as a tongue-in-response to what people ask. Chris is almost sui generis.

The "Quilt of No Return" has a difficult rating of 9.3 out of 10. Chris's cartoon, Reprographics, ran from about 2004 to 2013.

Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics is possibly the nicest guy in the world, based on his reputation. David Lynch did Angriest Dog in the World for quite a while. xkcd by Randall Munroe turned not being able to draw into an asset. Chris worked early on with David Malki, interviewed on New Disruptors in September 2013. Ceaco sells mass-produced versions of Chris's invention.

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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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.

Retooling Cool with Kevin Kelly (Episode 62)

Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools re-imagines the Whole Earth Catalog, of which he was an editor and publisher, for the Internet era: crowdsourced, crowdmade, crowdmanaged. He's been on the Internet for as long as there's been an Internet for all us to get on. He was part of the founding team of Wired magazine, and the author of many inspiring books and essays about technological change and self-empowerment, including "1,000 True Fans." We talk about collaboration, old and new technology, and making books.

We had a full transcript of this interview made, which also has sources linked in for further reading.

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The Fog Horn: A new short fiction magazine for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Four stories a month, 12 issues a year from exciting Hollywood writers and new voices. Free 7-day trial.

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.

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.

 

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.

 

Through a Glass Brightly with Abhi Lokesh (Episode 57)

Take a picture and put it under glass, but not quite the way you think. The folks at Fracture have a built a business that connects several different technologies into one new way to make large-format photos printed on glass suitable for hanging. Today I talk to Abhi Lokesh, one of Fracture's founders, about the journey from a small village in Africa to a whizz-bang printing and distribution company.

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.

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

 

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 and GravityFish! You help make it all happen.

Show Notes

Conservation labs in libraries and art museums stabilize and preserve work. Such labs often include the ability to age material artificially to see how new techniques, media, or binders (like adhesives) will stand the test of time. Ultraviolet curing dries inks nearly instantly. We've talked on the program before about CNC routers and 2D laser cutters.

Cards Against Humanity (whose Max Temkin was interviewed here in June 2013) posted a blog entry about their efforts to predict holiday sales in 2013, and how they failed to anticipate the ridiculous demand for their product.

(Note: Fracture was a sponsor several months ago and Cards Against Humanity recently. We don't have any financial connection between our podcast guests and our podcast sponsors. But we do tend to attract sponsors that align with this podcast's focus.)

 

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.