The New Disruptors

by Glenn Fleishman

The New Disruptors tells stories that provide practical inspiration about the way that creative people and producers connect with audiences to perform, cajole, convince, sell, and interact using new methods. Hosted by Glenn Fleishman, a regular contributor to The Economist and the editor and publisher of The Magazine. Produced by Aperiodical LLC.

  

Latest Episodes

93: Hugs and Kisses Goodbye: Live from XOXO 2014 (The New Disruptors)

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.)


Audio Download

Posted on 2 October 2014 | 3:04 pm


92: Fit to Print with Andy McMillan (The New Disruptors)

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.


Audio Download

Posted on 25 September 2014 | 3:04 pm


91: Plug Me In with Mara Zepeda (The New Disruptors)

Mara Zepeda is the co-founder and CEO of Switchboard, a site that lets you ask for what you need and offer what you have within a trusted community. It's a way to more efficiently interconnect generosity, and is sometimes described as Craigslist without the creeps. I'm used to reading personal histories that have windy roads, but Mara's can't be summarized. Suffice it to say that she's a writer, calligrapher, entrepreneur, and student of knowledge who has worked as a reporter and teacher. We recorded at her offices in Portland, at Wieden+Kennedy's Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE).

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 Ben Werdmuller, Bryan Clark, and GravityFish for supporting us directly.

Show notes


Audio Download

Posted on 18 September 2014 | 3:04 pm


90: Mi Casa Es Su Benincasa with Sara Benincasa (The New Disruptors)

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.


Audio Download

Posted on 11 September 2014 | 3:04 pm


89: Nice and Neat with Dan Provost and Tom Gerhardt (The New Disruptors)

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


Audio Download

Posted on 4 September 2014 | 3:04 pm


88: Set Your Radio Dial to Maximum Fun with Jesse Thorn (The New Disruptors)

Jesse Thorn is a polycast — a polymath of podcasts. He helped define the form by taking a show that he developed with others on a college radio station and making it into a podcast in 2004. That show, the Sound of Young America, now called Bullseye, focuses on interesting cultural trends and sports in-depth interviews, and is distributed by NPR as of last year. He also hosts and produces Jordan, Jesse, Go with Jordan Morris, co-hosts and produces Judge John Hodgman, owns the site Maximumfun.org, produces and contributes to the men's style site Put This On, run a cruise and a conference (MaxFunCon).

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 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

We talked about a number of things, of which here are some:


Audio Download

Posted on 28 August 2014 | 3:04 pm


87: How to Feel Real App Appeal with Garrett Murray (The New Disruptors)

Garrett Murray is the founder and creative director of Karbon, an app-development firm. But software isn't his whole life; he also happens to be an award-winning filmmaker. His firm developed the apps Scratch, a quick-input notepad for iPhone, and Ego, for tracking all your Web status in a single glance. Actor Tom Hanks just singled out the app Karbon designed and built for Uncrate as one of his two favorites apps. We'll talk about the windy road to app nirvana.

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 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!


Audio Download

Posted on 21 August 2014 | 3:04 pm


86: Bakfiets to the Future with Phillip Ross (The New Disruptors)

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


Audio Download

Posted on 14 August 2014 | 3:04 pm


85: Welcome to the World of Tomorrow with Nicole Dieker (The New Disruptors)

Nicole Dieker wears a lot of hats, as well as a brown coat. She's a freelance copywriter and ghostwriter, pens fiction, and writes essays. She's also a musician who bootstrapped herself out of a convention to which she returns every year, a rock climber, a Firefly fan, a whiskey drinker, and much more. Nicole wears her earnings on her sleeve, too: she discloses in regular posts precisely how much she's made in her freelance career.

Sponsors and patrons

Our show is made possible through the generous support of sponsors and patrons.

We're sponsored this week by:

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!

Harry's: Disrupting the conventional razor piece, Harry's bought a 93-year-old German factory to produce its high-quality razor blades, which it delivers straight to your home at a fraction of the cost of cheaper blades you purchase at retail. For $15, get a set with a handle, three blades, and shaving cream. Use coupon code DISRUPT for $5 off your first order!

Thanks also to our patrons Ben Werdmuller, Bryan Clark, and Tarun Gangwani 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


Audio Download

Posted on 7 August 2014 | 3:04 pm