Into the Bellwoods with Lucy Bellwood (Episode 82)

Lucy Bellwood is a Portland cartoonist who started her working life with a crowdfunding campaign. She's a member of Periscope Studio, a loosely affiliated working space and collective of which I've interviewed other members. True Believer was the outcome of her Kickstarter project, and she's built a career from there.

Sponsors and patrons

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

Swiftly.com, a new service of 99designs.com, gets small design jobs done fast. For just $19, they match your small design job with a professional graphic designer and complete it in less than one hour. All designers handpicked from the talented community at 99designs.

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:

Thanks also to patrons Ben Werdmuller, Alex Bond, and Garry Pugh 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

Jony Ive in an interview with the New York Times: "We all see the same physical object. Something happens between what we objectively see and what we perceive it to be. That’s the definition of a designer – trying to somehow articulate what contributes to the way we see the object."

In Tom the Dancing Bug, Pablo Picasso is told to stick to his popular clown paintings. Lucy's mentor during her formative pre-college years was Eben Matthews. Erika Moen's mentor was Lin Lucas. Erika appeared on Strip Search, a reality web TV show created by the folks behind Penny Arcade.

The monthly comics newspaper Funny Times was an awesome window for decades for me into all the cartoons published independently, in alt weeklies, and beyond. It's where I first read Alison Bechdel's Dykes To Watch Out For, long before her Bechdel Test had become a popular trope.

Savannah College of Art and Design offers a sequential art program that Lucy considered attending. She went to Reed College instead. We also talk about the Independent Publishing Resource Center’s Certificate Program in Comics and Independent Publishing and her attendance at the Center for Cartoon Studies summer session.

Here is my obligatory link to Kevin Kelly's "1,000 True Fans" essay. He and I had a great talk for this podcast in February 2014, of which there is a complete transcript.

You can find Lucy's talks on cartooning in audio form on SoundCloud.

T Minus Zero with Gary Chou (Episode 79)

Gary Chou launched Orbital Boot Camp to accelerate people's product ideas into reality in a 12-week intensive session. He knows from startups from his work at Union Square Ventures and The Product Sessions, but his particular interest is making sure that people with traditionally fewer opportunities are included.

Sponsors & patrons

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

Thanks to Cards Against Humanity, which is helping to underwrite our new indie ads: inexpensive, short advertisements designed for independent artists, makers, programmers, and others. Thanks to Cards Against Humanity, which 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:

  • The Cotton Bureau, enablers of well-designed screenprinted shirts.
  • The Velocity app for faster reading — up to 1,000 words a minute!
  • Ensembles, a Core Data sync framework, which works with iCloud and Dropbox, and is extensible
  • Games by Play Date, an indie tabletop game development studio supporting their new game, Pack the Pack
  • Sparkle, a Mac app for painless Website creation
  • Promoter, a Web service for indie game developers — get 10% off by following the link

Hey, Cotton Bureau has a special one-day sale, its first, on June 12: $4 off every shirt on its site! And, from June 12 to June 18, New Disruptors listeners can be entered for a drawing by tweeting #disrupt to @cottonbureau. Five winners will be picked on June 19.

Thanks also to patrons Alex Bond, Rönne Ogland, 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

Gary taught a School of Visual Arts with Christina Cacioppo, once a colleague from his venture capital days. Here's a picture of the old Kickstarter offices that Gary's occupying.

Stewart Brand's How Buildings Learn is a favorite title for understanding the utility and drawbacks of informal and formal spaces, told through the lessons of how buildings evolve over time.

Gary posted information about the breakdown of applicants that shows he met his goals for inclusiveness.

Threes A Magic Number with Greg Wohlwend (Episode 74)

Greg Wohlwend developed the popular game Threes with his colleague Asher Vollmer. Greg is a games illustrator and designer who was part of teams that made Hundreds, Gasketball, Solipskier, and Ridiculous Fishing. Threes is his breakout game — and has inspired lots of admiration, frustration, and imitation. He and I talk in this episode about the joy of success, the burden of being independent, and the problems with parasites.

Sponsors & Patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons. Thanks to patrons George O'Toole, Jonathan Mann, and Sean Wickett 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!

If you'd like to sponsor this podcast and reach our fine listeners, please contact The Midroll for details.

Show Notes

The Oatmeal's Matthew Inman was nominated for two 2014 Eisner Awards. Greg wrote this post to the hobbyist on the ledge. Greg designed the logo for Indie Game: The Movie; the creators of that film are two-time guests on the show, first in December 2012, and then a year later for a check in.

The money in Minecraft is in YouTube videos of people playing through levels. We ran a story about this in The Magazine. The Scratch programming language leads to the Pencil programming language which led to JavaScript for my older son. CoderDojo uses Scratch to mentor kids in programming.

Max Temkin baited a Los Angeles Times reporter who wrote an uninformed piece about the Threes ripoff 2048. The extended account of Threes development reveals the exhaustive and useful process of iteration, testing, and killing one's darlings.

The Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast had a very nice discussion at the end of an episode where one panelist recommend 2048, and another explained kindly that Threes was the original and the thing to which one graduates as it's tougher. (Listen around minute 37.)

Greg recommends the Indomie brand of ramen.

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.

Sponsors & Patrons

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

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.

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.

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.