XOXO: a Kickstartered "disruptive creativity" conference in Portland

Andy Baio and Andy McMillan have announced XOXO, a SXSW-like "disruptive creativity" conference in Portland. They're pre-selling the tickets on Kickstarter, and if they don't sell enough, they're not going to do it. They've made and shot through their targets already -- don't worry!

We'd confirmed most of the entire lineup by Monday, including the founders and CEOs of Etsy, Kickstarter, Metafilter, 4chan, Canvas, Simple, VHX.tv and The Atavist, and the creators of World of Goo, MakerBot, Indie Game: The Movie, Star Wars Uncut, Diesel Sweeties and Black Apple. And Julia Nunes! (This is as close to WaxyCon as you're ever going to get.)

Andy and I debated back and forth about whether the project was ready to announce, and both of us were nervous. It's a unique project for Kickstarter, and we didn't know if we'd provided enough detail to convince people that we're working on something really exciting. We'd run all the numbers, and to do everything we wanted without cutting corners or selling out, the tickets would cost around $400. Was that price too high? What if only business and marketing types sign up? Is the festival too long, too short, too far to travel?

So many doubts, so many fears. We were betting it all — pre-selling every single ticket with a $125,000 goal. And we were serious: if it came up short, we'd walk away. Months of planning would be wasted, but at least we wouldn't have lost our shirts.

Introducing XOXO (Waxy)

XOXO Festival (Kickstarter)


    1. I don’t want to be snotty, as I bought a ticket in the first minutes it went on sale assuming it would sell out, but there is a reason to have a conference of a certain size. With 400, it’s at the limits of what’s going to work to promote intimacy and small groups.

      They already secured the venue (and ostensibly paid the money). It’s only four months away. It’s amazing they pulled this together to happen so fast. Large venues are often booked far in advance, and the costs for a bigger venue can be much larger (not just linear) from a smaller one.

      What they proved is the intense interest. Thus, they and others can do renditions of this event over and over. There will be more, and lessons learned from the first one.

      Look at An Event Apart, the 4-plus times a year Web standards/design/UI events which are somewhere between conference, summit, and bash, and which has multiple competitors that are all thriving.

      Make the pie higher, as Dubya said!

  1. So bummed that we cannot get tickets the sell out was toooooo fast. anyone who pledged want to let two creative disrupters from Japan have a chance? 

  2. $400 a ticket? Having never been to a conference like this is that for visiting the show or for having a booth at it? I’m assuming the latter given the high price.

  3. This is going to be a great event.  I’m sorry I didn’t discover it until it was sold out, but I will be watching closely for the announcement of the next XOXO.

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