Andy Baio

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Andy Baio
Andy Baio.jpg
Andy Baio in 2012
Born (1977-04-22) April 22, 1977 (age 36)
Occupation Technologist and blogger

Andy Baio (born April 22, 1977) is an American technologist and blogger. He is the founder of, a former CTO of Kickstarter, and author of the blog.

Internet Entrepreneur[edit]

In 2003, Baio launched Upcoming, a collaborative event calendar.[1] The site was acquired by Yahoo for an undisclosed sum in 2005 and Baio joined the company as the site's Technical Director.[2] In 2007, Baio announced his departure from Yahoo.[3][4]

In September 2008, Baio joined the board of directors of Kickstarter, a "crowdfunding" website that helps people with project ideas (often artistic works) to connect with an audience of potential funders.[5] Baio later joined the staff as Chief Technical Officer in July 2009,[6] stepping down in November 2010 to join Expert Labs.[7]


Baio writes mostly about technology and media on, and publishes a sideblog known as Waxy Links.

Baio often takes a stand against censorship on the Internet by hosting or linking to controversial content which some parties wish to suppress. This ranges from unauthorized mashups and other artwork where parody or fair-use claims are disputed[8][9][10] to newsworthy video, such as that of 2008 United States vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin competing in a beauty pageant.[11]

Baio was one of the first bloggers to draw attention to the Star Wars Kid video, which depicted a teenager clumsily emulating martial arts moves for the camera.[12][13] He was the first to identify the youth and interview him.[14] In response to the negative attention the boy received, Baio later organized a fundraiser for him, raising $4,300 in a week.[12][15]

When the parody cartoon House of Cosbys was taken down from its original site due to a cease and desist letter from Bill Cosby's attorney, Baio placed the videos on his own website.[16] Baio later received a similar cease and desist letter but refused to comply, citing fair use and decrying what he termed "a special kind of discrimination against amateur creators on the Internet", since Cosby had often been parodied in the mainstream media.[17]

In 2009, he produced Kind of Bloop, a chiptune tribute album commemorating to the 50th anniversary of Miles Davis' Kind of Blue. The album's cover was a pixel art version of the original album's cover, which consisted of a photograph taken by Jay Maisel. Attorneys representing Maisel demanded damages and that the resulting image be removed from the chiptune album, resulting in a settlement of $32,500 from Andy Baio.[18]

Baio has also written for Wired magazine[19] and The New York Times,[20] and was a staffer on R. U. Sirius' online magazine[21]

XOXO Festival[edit]

In early 2012, Baio and Andy McMillan co-founded the XOXO Festival, celebrating independent artists and technologists. The conference has been held twice in Portland, Oregon in September 2012 and September 2013. The conferences have been largely funded via prepaid tickets and other contributions on Kickstarter.[22]

The conferences have had an enthusiastic reception. Prominent bloggers and traditional media praised the "impressive list of speakers",[23] and described it as a "crucible of trailblazing artists and developers".[24]


  1. ^ "Online Diary". The New York Times. 6 November 2003. 
  2. ^ Yahoo acquires | CNET
  3. ^ " creator leaving Yahoo". 12 November 2007. 
  4. ^ Russell, Terrence (12 November 2007). "Upcoming's Founder on Going From Giants to Startups (and Back Again)". Wired. 
  5. ^ Kickstarter |
  6. ^ Kickstarter's New CTO, Andy Baio
  7. ^ "Joining Expert Labs". Archived from the original on 15 November 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  8. ^ House of Cosbys, You See |
  9. ^ Danger Mouse's The Grey Album MP3s |
  10. ^ Disney Suppressing the Kleptones |
  11. ^ Found Footage: Sarah Palin's 1984 Miss Alaska Pageant Video, Swimsuit Competition |
  12. ^ a b "'Star Wars Kid' Gets Bucks From Blogs". Wired. 19 May 2003. [dead link]
  13. ^ under the iron
  14. ^ Finding the Star Wars Kid
  15. ^ "'Star Wars Kid' becomes unwilling Internet star". USA Today. 22 August 2003. 
  16. ^ House of Cosbys, Mirrored
  17. ^ Miller, Lia (6 March 2006). "Cosby's Lawyers See No Flattery in an Imitation". The New York Times. 
  18. ^ Chalk, Andy (June 24, 2011). "Chiptune Cover Album Leads to Huge Legal Bill". The Escapist. 
  19. ^ "Wired 15.04: START". Wired. 
  20. ^ Volunteers Put the Economist Into Chinese
  21. ^ Andrew Baio
  22. ^ Wortham, Jenna (May 25, 2012). "XOXO aims to be an alternative to South by Southwest". New York Times Bits Blog. 
  23. ^ Wortham, Jenna (September 14, 2012). "XOXO Fest, An Experimental Tech Conference, Gets Underway". New York Times Bits Blog. 
  24. ^ Edidin, Rachel (September 9, 2013). "XOXO and the High Costs of Not Selling Out". Wired. 

External links[edit]