XOXO notes

Andy Baio:

I spent most of my time at Film and Animation with Tiny Rick and the New Jared

I kept popping into tabletop with some incredibly epic werewolf games with over 30 people

Andy McMillan:

I was at Film and Animation all night, and seeing Everything Is A Remix remastered was wonderful

Andy Baio:

As soon as Everything Is A Remix showed up on kickstarter I saw that you backed it 20 seconds later

being able to interview Anita Sarkeesian on stage was a great honour

Andy McMillan:

i want to try something real quick, if you'll indulge me. well, the whole weekend is about indulging me

[calls his parents on facetime] andy's mum: how dare youse be there without me I'm disgusted.

Andy Baio:

my mum's right there int he front row, should I have a five minute conversation with her too

periscope, live streaming: don't - we could do it, but we want to give our speakers the chance to review video

Andy McMillan:

the quotes from us on the side of the beer probably reduce the value of it. Some empty pleasantries

Andy Baio:

we have independent creators across all genres, and one VC. Bet you didn't expect that. Take that thought leaders

Andy McMillan:

It's Heart Leaders now. We get emails.

Lisa Hanawalt:

I'm the designer and producer of TV show called Bojack Horseman and I'm a really bad artist

most of the art that I make comes after I have felt anxiety and negative emotions

I was annoyed by myself procrastinating thought "just fucking d oit already" and then wondered why nike owned a phrase

I made a ton of new slogans for companies and tweeted them at them. like Subway: food option™

It doesn't matter if you feel bad when you're working

I briefly mentioned agoraphobia earlier, and I keep making up reasons not to go outside

I got commissioned to do some articles for a magazine so I used it to make myself go outside

when I was a kid I used to crawl around and pretend I was a horse. I have always wished I was a horse

quotes from school essay when she was 9 "I want to be famous for drawing horses one day"

I love westerns but they are so racist and misogynist, and they don't even acknowledge the horses.

I wanted a surreal horse-focused western with dog people in it, and couldn't find one, so I made it

a friend of mine pitched a TV show about a depressed horse man, and included my drawings, and it got picked up

so I got to art direct it and painted watercolours of the characters

I went to LA to art direct Bojack and it was terrifying, as I had no animation experience but had to work with a team

what I love about working on the show is that it seems like a wacky sitcom at first but it comes from a personal place

Andy Baio:

our next speaker is one of my new favourite voices in art and independent technology

Nicky case is using code to explain and show the world

Nicky Case:

i was born in singapore - it's this south east asian island somewhere and bubblegum is illegal there

when I was a kid I dreamed I'd become a bubblegum dealer, like the Walter White of bubblegum

when I was 10 we moved to Vancouver. To make my parents proud I thought I'd be a doctor and lawyer and sue myself

I did not make my parents proud. I came out as gay to them and I had to leave home. I moved to san francisco

I thought I'd be an independent game developer, but there is alot of anxiety there

life is series of branching possibilities and if you take the wrong path the whole thing could go wrong.

today I'm going to butcher chaos theory to explain how my life is unpredictable

halfway through 2014 I was working on my independent game, and it had money rasied and so on

I made a small side project to show how lighting worked in my game, and then went back to the same game

but then for a game jam I made the "coming out simulator" that built on my experience coming out to my parents

I made a branching narrative, but I didn't want to make too many branches, so I made some choices have subtle effects

I published that and ti dis really well - got half a million plays and was helping very many people

I got letters from people all over the world saying "coming out simulator" had helped them

before I made it I only knew one version of the story, but for the game I had to see what other possibilities existed

remember that interactive explainer I told you about a few minutes ago? good times

the explainer got some publicity and I ended up making parable of the polygons with vi hart http://ncase.me/polygons/

parable of the polygons did well, so I ended up making more of these

I'm doing one on social media - who'd have thought that social media that exposes people leaves them feeling exposed

related to systems theory is chaos theory, and you can think of evolution as properly harnessed chaos

I finally killed the game project and I refunded everybody and gave a long explanation of why

surprisingly they were really supportive, Who knew that killing your dreams could be such fun?

I wasn't unproductive, but I was anxious. but then I learned about chaos theory from wikipedia

so now instead of getting rid of Chaos, we should learn to live with it

kill your dreams. Actually, serial kill your dreams, Up close they don't look good

so experiment, improvise, and adapt to present chaos

I had not been in contact with my family for a year, but I felt well enough to reach out and see them again

we hung out at the Portland art museum and saw Kinsuge the japanese art of mending what you fucked up and broke

You don't hide the scar, you highlight it with gold, to show you repaired it

damage is a part of you, and you can make something from the broken pieces

I'm not glamourising trauma and saying "to be a true artiste you have to suffer for your art"

I'm saying that you can't go back but there are lots of ways to go forward

There is no way to go back, but every way to go forward

Andy Baio:

when you take large amounts of capital that can really change the way your business works

when you take money and don't get hockey stick growth, VCs hate it and call those companies zombies

welcome Bryce Roberts

Bryce Roberts:

I'm not really supposed to be here. That's not a joke - last year I applied and got denied.

I tweeted that I was coming to XOXO, and was told that my kind was not supposed to be here. but I came anyway

I'm not really supposed to be here as a VC either - I'm not an MBA from stanford but an mormon from SLC

Andy told me that he didn't like the name indie.vc - that sin't supposed to fit

we can't talk about venture capital without talking about unicorns

the VC theory was that there were 6 companies a year that mattered - the ones that make $100M revenue or $1B value

without one of those you'd never make back your fund

Aileen Lee did the work to see how this really works, and found it was 4 a year and 99.93% of VCs companies failed

in effect as a VC I have a product that doesn't work for 99.93% of my csutomers

we create the Entrepreneurial Industrial Complex that defines what a unicorn founder is supposed to look like

we now have entrepreneurs that are building companies, interacting with their users, solely to appeal to VC

A while back we started OATV with Tim O'Reilly and Marc Jacobson. We saw all the cost of starting a company going down

what if we could fund people who normally wouldn't have access to this kind of funding?

what if we could fund with smaller amounts of money the companies that VCs won't invest in

when we were raising the fund we had a lot of conversations about Bill O'Reilly because they didn't know who we are

the problem was that we were seed funding companies that had to go to VCs for next rounds, the VCs didn't want to follow on

pour some out for Wesabe, Chumby, GetSatisfaction, PMOG

we did invest in a bunch of things that worked too, but those companies had to look like and act like unicorns for VCs

other people's money is an addictive substance

one of our founders said "I never want to raise any more money" after we funded him. Now he has raised $200M

Now he has a board full of VCs and none of the people he started with still work there.

In 2012 we were raising our 3rd fund and I was having a midlife crisis about my job. Did we do what we set out to do?

the reality was no. our funds did well, people wanted to invest, and we were turning money away

we told them we wanted to do an experiment. Are any of the things we thought at the beginning not true?

What fi we surrounded our founders whe didn't focus on funding and valuation but revenue and customers?

what if we changed what the archetype of success looked like?

what if instead of trying to force everyone into a billion dollar company or collateral damage, we focused on profitable

the types of founders coming into entrepreneurship was changing, being more diverse

there were also founders who had done the venture thing and wanted to try something else

marc hedland eventully told me "just ship"

January 1 of 2015 I sent a note to 5 people and asked them to pass it on, so we can find 8 people

I sent it at 9am on January 1st. by midday it was everywhere, and we had hundreds apply

the challenge is that when your product is giving people money, product market fit is hard to guage

for $100,000 we don't take equity, unless you raise further VC. if you pay yourself > 150% of market it's a distribution

if it's a distribution, we start off taking 80% and you get 20% then it moves to the other way round and capped at 5x

we made a declaration of independence that said the product shouldn't be killed when you're bought by yahoo

the response from female entrepreneurs was overwhelming

of the 9 companies 5 had female founders, and 2 of them were black women

we're 9 months in, and the best way to show that this is a good idea is to show results

the companies are building real things and growing revenue.

one of the companies is called Storq - products for expectant mums and new parents

the shade room is a startup that is a pace for black people to speak.

the revenue of shade room is up more than anyone else in the group's now

the biggest LP passed - we have support from other investors; we hope to get it closed by the end of october, come talk

Andy Baio:

we'll all be sad this evening because this may never happen again.

after we did 3 in a row we still said it wasn't an annual event

clearly great stuff is happening. But now when we say "don't know if there will be another one" noone belives me

please welcome Akilah Obviously

Akilah Hughes:

"I love you like XO" [audience "XO"] -well clearly we are not beyoncé

I came here and everyone asks you what you do - so this is about the curly enigma in front of you

plays video https://www.facebook.com/thisisinsider/videos/1471078686532858/ to introduce her

I got stuck with SmoothieFreak as a name on YouTube because I made a bad choice and then din't ever change it

I started making comedy videos in 2012; I made over 100 of them, but none of them went viral

I know that I'm funny. I'm not showing off; you know when you are

I realised I was doing youtube wrong because I was trying to be popular instead of be funny

so I made that "your 1st black girlfriend" video after my white boyfriend flaked on me & it was the most popular

if you're over he age of 17 and say you're a Youtuber it's like saying amateur porn star or cat viner

YouTube is not a platform; it has a connotation. So I now call myself a comedian, not a youtuber

when I'm on a standup roster they now look down at me too

no-one is more self-made than when you film in a dark room and then spend all weekend pantsless editing it

Comedy thinks Youtube isn't real, TV thinks the internet is a phase

the time you spend trying to get people to respect you is when you don't have a chance of getting it

When you define success you're more likely to achieve it.

if you can't make something that you're proud of when it is only you and your mom commenting on it, don't do it

no-one likes blogging any more. I don't care what you did today, just send me a text with some emoji in

ask yourself: "Will anyone be into this in a year?" "does this appeal to me or is it just popular?"

the metric for success can be anything

it's not how many people view it, it's the calibre of the people who share it and comment

I'ma big fan of Oprah, and she said "follow your bliss" and people say "i followed it and I'm poor"

what Oprah meant was "if what you're doing is should sucking, stop doing it"

"Once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand." - Velveteen Rabbit

the moment that things stopped mattering was the moment that everything started happening

Andy Baio:

our next speaker is a game developer from a studio that made Super Crate Box, Nuclear Throne and Ridiculous Fishing.

Rami Ismail from Vlambeer

Rami Ismail:

I'm a game developer, a creator of tools for independent developers and I'm also a world traveller

somebody in South Africa, in Uraguay, in China can make a game, but there is something that annoys me

In order to explain I need to teach you Arabic [I am so doomed at transcribing this]

Rami then spent 15 minutes teaching us Arabic words, what order they go in and how to read them.

Arabic is a cursive script, the letters are connected when they make a word

100 million dollars and they couldn't check that the arabic was not written backwards in the game

it took 30 minutes to teach you enough arabic to read this and see it wrong

that $100M game they managed to make it possible to shoot my people but not to spell our words right

when you copy and paste between word and powerpoint, the arabic breaks apart

Andy Baio:

our next speaker you know as the host of Sword and Laser, from Vaginal Fantasies welcome Veronica Belmont

Veronica Belmont:

there's a lot of you here, you weren't supposed to be here at 3pm on a sunday

I was recently called the doyenne of podcasting, and someone called me an internet old

I keep getting questions about how to engage with other people online

there is now so much more at stake online - we spend ages curating a persona online and it affects a lot

this guy was applying for a job and accidentally sent a nude selfie to the HR manager

the negative effects of these things show up when they are stripped from context

some fraction of the internet just show me of a gif, which is from a blooper reel

I was wearing a Cthulu in glasses t-shirt, and I jiggled to make Cthulu swim

this guy pasted a video entitled 'victoria belmont boobies ftw' and got 450,000 views for it

then the gif got cropped out of it and lost all context. This is my internet cockroach

every time I do anything online that gif of 7 years ago me follows me around

xkcd.com/386 applies - I want so badly to give context to these aresholes

probably all of you have something like this out there that could follow you around too

we haven't found a way to emotionally process this invincible and perfect memory online

my friend dawn said 'over time this won't matter because we all have those things from the past'

when we have to make particularly quick decisions the ability to have empathy is dramatically reduced

there's only oen way for me to not lose my temper over this every time, is to have empathy with them

schools are staring to teach empathy, maybe that can work

we give our computers names: Siri, Cortana, Alexa… Jeeves. — I didn't want to leave Jeeves out

Zoë Quinn and I have come to the same conclusion from different directions

we all make mistakes at some point of our lives; but we can opt out of the internet mob machine

people like the ones in this room can make the tools to make us more mindful

in the end a more mindful internet will be better for all of us

Andy Baio:

My 11-year old son and my wife Amy are in the front row - without them this would not exist

Our next speaker is the founder of photojojo and Jelly the co-working event and meetup - please welcome Amit Gupta

Amit superamit Gupta:

on september 22nd 2011 my iphone rang, and I heard the voice of a man I knew. and he told me i was going to die

this story starts a long time ago, when I dropped out of college and made my startup on a pong pong table

and then the VC bubble burst, and at 19 I learned how to lay someone off so they were least likely to become violent

I laid off 20 of my friends and 7 of us kept it going for another year until i went back to college

but photojojo was different - this was 2006, and it started as a side project with tips for photos

when I moved to san francisco it was becasue I was ready to take photojojo seriously

we would host these photo walks where 150 people would show up to walk around and take photos

This time I was cautious. before I put up a job listing I saved up a year of salary so I wouldn't have to lay them off

So I'd been living in san francisco for 6 years, so I went to my doctor, and he told me I had leukemia, not mono

So, I had to start treatment at once or I'd be dead in 2 weeks

I spent the night in SF hospital and flew in a medical flight to the east coast to be with my parents

I saw a wall of machines that were supposed to keep me alive as my organs failed

my doctors ran blood tests every 3 or 4 hours all day and night

The cure was maybe a stem cell transplant, but they wouldn't tell me the odds, so I googled

and if I had a perfect match from a perfect donor, I had a 50% chance of surviving 5 years

and there was a 1 in 10000 chance of a match and they checked, and there wasn't one

I cried and cried. I wondered why I had spent so much time on facebook and twitter

I had wanted to adopt a dog, I wanted to learn to draw. I'd always wanted a DeLorean…

and what about PhotoJojo? I'd never set it up for anyone else to take over

so I wrote a will, and set up a power of attorney, and emailed my friends

and then something amazing happened - my friends made "amit gupta needs you" website

and they set up national bone marrow drives so people could swab their cheeks to see if they were a match for me

or a match for anyone else who needed a stem cell transplant

I am doing news interviews from my hospital bed as teh drives take off

and 3 months go by and I'm having chemo every day, and it attacks my corneas and I go blind for 3 days

and then they find a match. A perfect match,

They give me the biggest dose of chemo they can possibly give a human to kill all the cancer cells

and my angel donor in New York sends me their stem cells, and the cells drip into my body

that high dose of chemo also killed my bone marrow so if this doesn't take I am doomed

3 weeks go by and it starts to work. My body starts making white cells and red cells and it works

my new blood has my donors DNA, and the rest of my cells have my DNA so I am a living science project

my blood thinks my body is a disease, and I am on immune supressors to stop them fighting

and a year later I am back in San Francisco, and I don't want to be there any more. I want to leave Photojojo

I want to make myself unnecessary, so I can leave Photojojo. I am planning my escape.

then I find someone, I spend a year, I meet him and his family and then I sell Photojojo

and then I sell everything I own and leave San Francisco.

Photojojo is doing great now.

I di some travelling, I took those drawing lessons, I went to india and took meditation lessons

I adopted that dog. I didn't get the DeLorean, but I did get a great Motorcycle though.

”We must be willing to let go of the life we've planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us” Joseph Campbell

If your work is important to you, plan for the end. For the day that you aren't able to do it any more.

You don't get forever. We try to eat better, exercise, use a standing desk to live longer. And it works

I want you to imagine that you got that call from the doctor. What are the 3 things you'd regret?

is there one of those 3 thinsg that you could start when you get home from this next week. just one.

You already know what you shoudl do

I would love to hear form you when you do these things. I'm still on twitter, unfortunately.

Do those things. thank you very much.

Kathy Sierra:

I've never started a presentation with tears in my eyes. This is really awkwardly upbeat. But I think it's important

Imagine someone says "I'm writing a book… to make money"

we all want artists to be paid, but it sounds creepy to write a book to make money

I joined a big tech company and it had a campus and if you had shoes you got stock options

you don't want to be in the company that is the dot in the dotcom when there is a dotcom crash

So we wrote a book about programming Java, whcih we knew about

we were told we had to be in the top 2 or 3 books about Java

fortunately lots of people are forced to learn java,so there is a chance

we have to shrink the role of luck - we're not writing the great american novel

I know you're supposed to stand here and say "don't do what I did", but do - this works

imagine a mixing board -look at what the competition is doing well and move the other sliders up

how do we make a better X - don't tweak what's already good; improve the bits that are better

we need people to say "I know Java; you should get this book"

If everyone is chasing "how do I make this thing awesome" we focused on making the user more awesome

nobody cares about what we make - we make tools. We care about what matters for the user

what matters is what people are using it to do. What is their context?

This is the Canon 5D - before we pay they use a brochure of photographs; after a black and white manual

You're not a content creator, you're a context designer.

what matters is the post-UX UX - can they do more? can they see things differently?

nobody says "we want our users to suck", but how do we make thinsg bettre for them

Play the game of "WTF Happened" - people want to be better when they get this thing. What stops them?

WTF Happened? - people get stuck early in the book

we could compete on forward flow - getting people to keep going through the book

we looked up research online and discussions - people think they have to remember something from a previous page

or people are confused so they go back instead of forward

no moving forward because of memory - don't require memory;

page vaporizer thought experiment: if you can't go back a page ever, what do you do? repeat things when needed

Confusion is going to be a problem. But some things are hard. They stop because they don't know that it is hard.

if you say "yes, this is confusing" they have permission to go on

So many produts are awesome for people with nothing in their lives, but people are busy

we know that users struggle with the rest of their lives; they are Users not Readers - they have use for it

We make products for stock photo models, not real people

when we don't honour their real lives we treat them like stock photo people or androids

when we don't treat them like humans they wonder "am I even alive?"

help them feel more like a living human.

Should products feel alive? search for "my computer is trying" on google - we anthropomorphise everything

The Media Equation took things we did with humans and tried them with computers

people pay more attention to conversational language - you feel you have to keep up your end of it

our users are all on their hero's journey. Who are we on their journey? Mentors? Allies? Sidekicks

As @mallelis pointed out, we're all going to die. -our computers ARE trying to kill us

stand uop and say to another person "you are the badass" and respond "no you're the badass"

You are all so badass. [no, you are cathy]

You may know about this post I wrote "why the trolls will always win"

I wrote to @ericmeyer and I thought there was one thing that gave me hope in the community - the #RebeccaPurple

and haveing sat through 2 days here with you all you all give me hope too, so there are now 2 things

Andy Baio:

we're so grateful to have Kathy here - she's devoted her entire career to making tools that are more humane

I'm very happy to say that we found out the @EFF is giving Kathy a Pioneer award at the end of this month

it's also greta to have Kathy talking about her job instead of abuse

Andy McMillan:

I am a robot, I am more composed

Andy Baio:

I've never seen a robot in shorts before

Andy McMillan:

I am flexible I can solve problems in shorts

first of all I want to thank our speakers, our performers, the filmmakers, the storytellers the game makers and all

this thing would not run without our volunteers - we have a fantastic team of volunteers

we have alot fo people we bring in to help - our AV people seamless; our security team district

Our captioning which is new this year

the childcare this year: my loving nanny and everyone involved

All of our patrons: Blurb - and our mural by Brendan adn he illustatrations

Hover who provided our coffee for free all weekend - we asked for the most ridiculous domain names

we have regrettablesmashmouth.tattoo yourdogdidntreallygotoa.farm etc

mailchimp who brewed the beer with us this year - they will not be made again

medium who have been providing live transcription and illustrations for people blogging and tweeting

Slack who are generally the best thing ever, but also supported our non alcoholic drinks and the childcare

Stripe gave us free bike rentals all weekend

Weiden and Kennedy who did the sound sketch in our VR lounge

and Wordpress.com for Ground Kontrol

we like to do things differently -see also the venues. We're in this cool highschool with it's own park

we want to thank the people in our lives who put up with the fact that this consumes every waking moment

Andy Baio:

I'll thank my family right here in the front row

Andy McMillan:

you can follow me on twitter. well don't, I'm very boring.

Andy Baio:

you can follow me on ello

everything that you write about what you got from this experience is what keeps us doing this

There will be xo marriages and children…

Andy McMillan:

I almost went down on one knee there, but not sure about the shorts

what Andy is trying to say is blog, write anywhere. medium, slack email.

I want to thank Andy. We have a very odd origin story. I remind myself how lucky i am to get to do this

It's an honour and a rare privilege to get to work with you on this

Andy Baio:

I can't express how fundamental Andy McMillan is to everything in this process. I panic easily

the catchphrase for this XO is:

Andy McMillan:

"It's taken care of"

Andy Baio:

everything I fret about Andy already says "it's taken care of"

Andy McMillan:

we have a third person we'd like to thank - Rachel Coddington come on stage please

Andy Baio:

we've tried to find people to work with us in the past, but ti was life changing to get Rachel here to work wiht us

Andy McMillan:

this is for me [shirt that says Andy} this is for you [other Andy] and for Rachel [other other Andy]

Andy Baio:

I don't like this one bit. This is going into the garbage fire

bringing whatever is important in this community into a 365 day a year space is exciting

Andy McMillan:

we're going to be open on Christmas?

Andy Baio:

we're going to be trusting in you to work with us at xoxopdx.com - go there and sign up

Andy McMillan:

Every year @mezzoblue brews a beer for us, so thank you. There's a party outside

If you're still around later, please move into our building and pay some rent.

sketches by Lucy Bellwood for medium