Re-New Disruptors (Episode 99)

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Welcome to the New Disruptors, the podcast that says the best ideas come when you're not looking straight at them

You haven’t heard from The New Disruptors for a while, but I think the time is ripe to bring back the podcast—with your help. I stopped producing it reluctantly, a combination of available time, a drop in sponsorship, and a need to focus on different parts of my working life. 

The tl;dr? I’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new season.

Update: Just one week in, the campaign is 50% funded! Three weeks to go, and we’ll get there with your help!

The details:

I've wanted to bring the show back for a long time, especially when I run into people or get messages telling me how much hearing creators talk about the paths they took had meant to them getting started on their projects and changing their careers.

With social networks dominating attention, and even more tools and avenues for artists and makers to explore, I want to dig into how people find an audience and make a space for themselves to create in 2018. 

I'm one of them. In the last 18 months, I produced two books, one by letterpress, acquired a 2D laser cutter, which I've been experimenting with, and worked with six different commerce, charging, and crowdfunding systems to handle different aspects of work I'm funding and selling.

The Kickstarter campaign is simple. My baseline goal is to raise enough funds to cover the hard costs and my commitment of time to produce 12 episodes. If I raise more money, I can produce more episodes. I want to have more live shows and interview more people face-to-face, and these funds let me cover hosting, production, equipment, and venue rental, and can help underwrite travel to conferences and festivals. 

Thanks for listening in the past, reading this request, and, I hope, for your support now and in the future.

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.

Sponsors and patrons

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.)

Fit to Print with Andy McMillan (Episode 92)

Andy McMillan makes things that bring people together: the Build conference, the XOXO festival, and The Manual, a series of books with thoughtful essays about design. After producing three print volumes of The Manual, he's trying to take it to the next level, and produce something openly, broadly available across many media, that's a collaboration with those who want to make it happen — and is funding it on Kickstarter. We'll talk books, ebooks, community, and hugs and kisses.

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 a $99 Power Pack of services for free!

Thanks also to our Patreon backers Gordon McDowell, Ready Chi, and Bryan C. Clark for supporting us directly.

(Photo by Ian Linkletter.)

Mi Casa Es Su Benincasa with Sara Benincasa (Episode 90)

Sara Benincasa is an author, comedian, writer, and outspoken advocate of LGBTQ youth, among many other hats she's worn. She is an expert impressionist and parodist of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. Sara is the author of the novel Great and the memoir/confessional, Agorafabulous!: Dispatches From My Bedroom, and her third book, the novel Believers, is due out in early 2016, while a fourth book is already underway. She's interviewed Reggie Watts and Amanda Palmer in her bathtub, and posed as a nun with adult performer Stoya. We spoke in person in Seattle when she was visiting during This Tour Is So Gay, recently funded on Kickstarter.

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, Bryan Clark, and GravityFish for supporting us directly.

Show notes

This interview was conducted at The Office, a co-working space above Ada's Technical Books and Café; the owner, Danielle Hulton, was a previous guest of the show.

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

Depth Takes a Holiday with Amanda Warner and Brianna Wu (Episode 84)

Giant Spacekat, founded by Brianna Wu and Amanda Warner, released their first game today: Revolution 60. It's a cinematic-style, live-rendered game with rich dialog and interaction that employs strong female characters. Brianna is also a co-host of the Isometric podcast. We talk about illustration, independence, and meeting (and exceeding) expectations.

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:

  • Casterly, a podcast app released today that combines discovery of episodes through your Twitter feed alongside support for regular subscriptions.

  • How To Create an Ebook, a video course that teaches you the simplest way to create and publish an ebook using iBooks Author.

Thanks also to patrons Kay Schumann, Ted Timmons, 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!

Show notes

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.

Be Kind, Fast Forward with Jamie Wilkinson (Episode 81)

Jamie Wilkinson is the co-founder and CEO of VHX, a service that delivers movies online to the customers of filmmakers. They exist in sharp contrast to many video sites — operated by the likes of Amazon, Apple, and others — in that they only deliver films free of digital rights management, take a sliver of the purchase price, and truly facilitate filmmakers reaching their audiences.

Sponsors and patrons

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

Thanks to Cards Against Humanity, which is helping 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:

  • GaymerX, the inclusive gaming conference for everyone, celebrates the diverse culture and history of gaming. Get $20 off registration with the code "newdisruptors."

  • Pixelwits: hand-crafted pixel portraits. Listen in the show for a chance to win a custom portrait by following @jesselane.

  • DrinkControl helps you to keep track of moderate drinking and your drink expenses.

  • And an ebook novella, Scolding the Winds, is currently being funded, and you can help make it happen.

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

Alex's co-founder is Casey Pugh. He directed Stars Wars Uncut with which Jamie was deeply involved. Jamie also built the Know your Meme system. Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail mentions how many screens on which movies are shown when they are in wide release. The number of movie screens in America has increased in recent years! Andy Baio is one of the guys behind XOXO, which just announced its 2014 line-up and registration. Dave Sifry coined the phrase, "the Magic Middle."

Shane Carruth shoots sometimes on inexpensive gear. I and Jamie mentioned the Red camera and Black Magic Camera.

Julian Velard used PledgeMusic to fundraise for a recent album. Jack Conte of Pomplamoose explained how poorly YouTube pays even with massive traffic in his talk at XOXO 2013. Louis CK solid a concert for $5 and changed the economics of that forever.

I spoke to Adam Cornelius and Chris Higgins about their movies The Tetris Masters (2011) and Coined (upcoming) in last week's episode. Lisanne Pajot is the co-creator of Indie Game: The Movie. Aziz Ansari handled his comedy concert with VHX.

Kickstarter has started to produce reported features on creators, starting with this terrific one about Max Tempkin, friend of the show and one of the creators of Cards Against Humanity.

Jamie and I compared notes about the movie Stripped, which used iTunes, VHX, and Google Play during its launch. The creators of that film were guests on this podcast a few weeks ago. The redemption process for the Veronica Mars movie was kind of a mess, but it all got worked out. They relied on Ultraviolet. VHX posted a case study called "Stripped and the Power of Bonus Content."