Robi & the Flickr Hoodie – A We Make Seattle Story

March 24, 2016

One more thing…

When Scott interviewed founders, makers, and creatives for We Make Seattle, we ended up with many amazing stories that did not fit the structure of the main film we had in mind.

One of those came from Robi Ganguly, the Co-Founder and CEO of Apptentive, who I met when Bootstrapper Studios lived in the basement of Founder’s Co-op in South Lake Union.

Robi told a story about what it was like to wear a hoodie around Seattle that he had gotten from the Flickr team – A story that really captures what makes Seattle such a welcoming place for people who make awesome things.

So we decided to pull in the team from What Now? Exactly! (Bootstrapper’s sister animation studio) to create an animated short around Robi’s story.

So here’s a surprise bonus from the We Make Seattle team – Robi & the Flickr Hoodie…

(more, after the video below, on why the trait Robi describes in his story is key to how Seattle is great at building big sustainable businesses…)

Seattle makers are not averse to $$, we just prefer to be sustainable when we make it

So, before anybody gets offended…

The Blue Shirt in Robi’s story is a caricature of someone entering a conversation who is primarily driven by what they are going to get out of it.

This is what I call a #getfirst attitude.

To a #getfirst driven person, Flickr is more about MBA’s playing poker than it is about biz folks, engineers, designers, and marketers solving real problems or making things people love.

Not all Blue Shirts are like this, but enough have been in the past that this is a funny satirical caricature.

It is also worth noting that Seattle makers are not averse to making $$. We just tend to be driven by a bigger picture when we do it.

This is why you see so many big companies birthed out of the Seattle that are not #getfirst driven.

Whether it’s the living wages of Costco and Starbucks or the retail co-operative of REI – We have an inordanant amount of companies that have no problem generating great profit without being pwned by it.

The kind of genuine collaborative interest Robi notes is exactly what I experienced when I finally discovered my nerdrepreneurial tribe here in Seattle at the first Mind Camp in 2005.

* Hat tip to my pal John Scrofano for the poker analogy.

Backer Social Media Guide

March 22, 2016

Hi Backers and Friends:

We’re just 2 days away from Launch – it’s time to get involved and tell the world about the project you helped make. If you’ll be joining us at Startup Hall for our Kickstarter backer and sponsor premiere party, we can’t wait to see you. 

Right now you can show your Seattle pride and simultaneously help earn attention for the launch. Here are some resources we’ve made for you:

  • Film Stills (sneak peak) – at this public dropbox link, you can grab more than a dozen images from the film to post on Facebook, Twitter or your blog  


Starting NOW:

FB: Change your profile image to the WMS logo

After Launch (7:30pm) on 3/24:

  • Tweet #1: Check out @WeMakeSeattle to see why #Seattle is a great place to live, work & play: [add WMS – Twitter.jpg]
  • Tweet #2: New @WeMakeSeattle clip shows the world why #Seattle is best place to live, work & play: [add BikePolo GIF]
  • Facebook: We can’t get enough of the new [tag]We Make Seattle video! If you haven’t seen it, take three minutes of your day to watch it and get inspired here:


Every post helps the film have a successful launch – we’ll retweet and reshare from the We Make Seattle accounts to get your words more attention. Make sure to tag us! 

Thanks for all your support and hope you can help us with a final push this week.

Seattle’s New Challenges

March 18, 2016

It’s been a long road to finishing what started as a simple little film about Seattle, the city we love. But since the project began in 2013 the climate in our city has changed, and the meaning of the WE in the title has shifted too.

The intent for the project was to remind us, both locals and people who are considering moving here, that what makes our city great is how we’re connected to each other. But now, as the project finishes, we’re all too aware that those connections are under stress. There are wider gaps now between communities, and the commons we share have been challenged.

This includes four major observations:

  1. The rising rents and making it hard for the artists who shaped the city to stay.
  2. A backlash against rising tech dominance in Seattle’s economy.
  3. Seattle has more homeless people than ever.
  4. Increasingly worse traffic on major roads and stressed infrastructure.

We considered shifting  the nature of the film to address these important problems, as the future of our city depends on us all contributing to solving them. But we realized the promise we made to our sponsors and backers of the film made it difficult to serve multiple thematic masters.

Instead we’re hoping our film inspires other filmmakers to take on these issues directly. And we are happy to help them achieve those goals, including the reuse of our many hours of footage. We’d love to see a series of films about the best things, and the greatest challenges, Seattle needs to remind itself of, and to extend the label “We Make Seattle” to include them all. If you’re interested, please get in touch.

Welcome to the new design

March 16, 2016

Thanks to the wonderfully talented folks at Design Commission, I’m pleased to announce the new redesign of the We Make Seattle Website.

Please leave a comment or let us know if you find any problems. Cheers.

Best resources for new Seattleites? Help Wanted

February 24, 2016

With the film’s launch date set for Thursday March 24th (watch the teaser video), my focus is shifting to PR and redesigning the website for launch. We’re working with the wonderful folks at Design Commission to build something new and beautiful for us.

Help wanted: the film will close by inviting people to visit our new website, where we’ll provide basic answers to the 6 most common questions. For each section, what is the first link or resource you’d recommend? We’re not going to be comprehensive – we’re just going to get people headed in the right direction to sites that are.

Leave a comment if you have a suggestion. Thanks.
Read More →

Early Fall Update

September 30, 2015

It’s been a slow but steady summer for us at We Make Seattle. I’m here with good news and some updates.

Project Contributor Update. We have a reshuffling of contributors to the project. Original plans were for some of the good folks at Bootstrapper Studios to take a lead role in editing and post production, but schedules changed and we made some adjustments in response. Bryan Zug (our Executive Producer) and I will work on the final edit together. Jen Zug of WhatNowExactly, project manager extraordinaire, has also stepped in to help with the final production tasks on our docket.
Read More →

Audio Recording Sessions Finished

May 5, 2015

Its been awhile since the last update, but we’re still rolling along on We Make Seattle (If you’re a backer you should see a more detailed update on Kickstarter this morning).

Over the last two weeks we brought Robi Ganguly (CEO of Apptentive) and Karen Clark Cole (CEO of Blink UX) back into the studio to rerecord some of their narration. We worked at the wonderful Clatter and Din on 1st ave right by SafeCo (with Henry’s Tavern conveniently located downstairs).

Aleecia and Dan from our production team stopped by to assist, and Dan and I took some photos.

Read More →

We’re alive – Next goal: second cut

February 12, 2015

We are back from an extended holiday break – as we’re all volunteers on WMS we needed the holidays to catch up on the work that pays our bills and take a breather. Sorry for going silent – it’s the great sin of kickstarter projects (“are they even still alive? did they take our money and move to the Bahamas?”) and I’ll do my best not to let it happen again. Apologies.

As a recap, we finished up last year with four more location shoots, bringing our total up to ~12 total locations filmed so far:

  • Dance party on the step sculptures of Broadway / Cap Hill
  • 15th ave / Cap Hill b-roll
  • Pioneer Square design festival
  • Neighborhood b-roll footage (Fremont, Ballard, Cap Hill)
  • South Lake Union b-roll

Read More →