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A Farsighted look at Iron Man suits, VR and other tech worth investing in (Farsighted, Ep. 7)The Farsighted crew is joined by Adam Draper, founder of Boost VC, which invests in startups working on a real hoverboard and other technology straight out of science fiction.
[SOUND] [MUSIC] Hey, everybody, welcome to Farsighted. It's CNET's show about what's coming next tomorrow and way, way beyond tomorrow. I'm your host Eric Mack In an unusually rainy and snowy New Mexico. But I'm joined in the studios in San Francisco by Bonnie Burton, Kelsey Adams, Jeff [UNKNOWN] and Steven [UNKNOWN]. If you wanna join the conversation today, the chat rooms are live on YouTube. Just go to youtube.com/cnet. You'll find the far sided link right there on the homepage right now. We're also on livestream, at livestream.com/cnet/farsighted, or if that's too long, just send a tweet with the hashtag farsighted. And I'll keep an eye out for that too. So later on in the show we're going to hear about what went down at Silicon Valley ComicCon from a few of our intrepid correspondents there, but first we have a very special guest on the show today. Who I'd like to introduce by way of a really brief rant, and I promise that's a good thing. So, we talk an awful lot here about science fiction and science fact on this show. And as a science writer and a journalist, I mentioned before that I have kind of a sometimes uneasy relationship With sci-fi because, I would've given us a society, a society somewhat unrealistic expectations about what science and technology can do and how quickly and at what scale it can do those things. I mean I get really excited when we talk to scientists who found molecular hydrogen on the moons of Saturn using a space craft, by the way That was not designed to do that at all. But then the response I often hear from so many people is, what's the big deal? Call me when we found the aliens and you can beam me directly there. But there is a really rare group of people out there, who dedicate themselves to bridging that huge gap and put everything they have And almost always at a high level of risk into making those science fiction fantasies. Even the crazy stuff from comic books and superhero stories, making that into reality. And we've got one of those people with us on the line today via Skype. From Silicon Valley. His name is Adam Draper. He is the founder and managing director of Boost VC, which is an accelerator investing in startups working on block chain, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, drones. There's a really cool one that connects companies with university researchers. And of course, one of your startups is even working on a hover board. Adam Draper, welcome to Far-sighted. And that was an awesome intro, thank you for having me. It was, did I get it right? What is Boost BC in your words? Yeah, so we invest in startups, so we help startup founders get going, it's a programmatic approach to investing, it's called an accelerator, where twice a year we [UNKNOWN] 20 to 25 startups and we put them through the gauntlet of Creating a good infrastructure for that startup. We actually provide housing and office space, and we invest in the startups that go through our program. The way that I like to think about it though is we're sort of a hub to Silicon Valley for companies from all over the world to connect when working in virtual reality, blockchain. Flying cars, what have you. And we happen to have built out our brand really strongly around block change and virtual reality though. And so why is that the focus? Why pick those two areas, VR and block change, specifically? What do you see in those areas? So I mean there's a Long answer or short answer? Short answer, they're awesome. [LAUGHTER] Fair. That makes sense. I mean, that's a good reason to invest. Long answer is, four years ago I was an angel investor. I actually My background is, went to UCLA as an English major. I founded a company out of UCLA, to make private companies raise capital online, which was a new concept. It would be like Where would you go to buy shares of Uber today? We were trying to solve that problem for like, Facebook and Twitter and everything. And then I found that I really enjoyed the mentorship side of helping startups sort of not make the same mistakes that I did. But how we ended up choosing, I was an Eagle investor before I started this accelerator. And I backed a company called CoinBiz and so CoinBiz is, if you've heard of BitCoin or the BlockChain, it's the most financed startup in that space, most trusted startup in the BitCoin BlockChain space now. Then, was one guy in a basement building things and he. And he pitched me this really big idea of connecting the world through financial transactions, and I bought in hook, line and sinker. And then when I founded [INAUDIBLE] which was about two weeks later. We ended up dedicating dedicating a big percentage of our future towards building out this BitCoin and blockchain ecosystem. And so then we realized what we do is we build communities around emerging technology. When something's early, we back a lot of startups and launch the network and the ecosystem in the most basic of sense. And then What we realized is it didn't matter if it was blockchain or some other technology. So two and a half years ago, we looked at the market of technologies out there. And I tried virtual reality and I was like it's here. It's happening, this is the platform. This is gonna be the future of computing Let's jump in. And so two and a half years ago we jumped into that. And we've backed now 180 startups total, 55 in the VR space, 65 in the Bytecoins biz, and a blimp, a flying car. Suit of armor. [LAUGH] So all the VR stuff you've seen, what's some of the coolest stuff that you think we could have soon, really successful projects? Man, you can have anything today. Go buy and HTC Vive or an Oculus Ripped and you can have the high-end experience of Different worlds, being able to build what you're showing on the screen right now is sculptor VR. Which is a gravity game which is really fascinating. Now it's a gravity game. He made it so that you could built out of a game engine so that other people could build games. And then Okay my big vision for VR, VR is the way that we're gonna learn more faster. So that's my long term ten year vision. Like VR is the way that we learn because how we learn is through experience, and VR allows you to experience more or faster. Than ever before. Same way that the Internet allows us to index a lot of information, and became sort of this web information, this is indexing experiences, and allowing us to consume more experiences faster. Which is really, really exciting on a huge level for education. But in order to get there, we're gonna go through a gaming Like stage of development where people are earlier doctors, gaming. We gonna go through two building things, you need tools to create the concept right now it's sort of difficult to create concept for virtual reality. We need more of that, And then social like just being there with other people is really really important [BLANK_AUDIO] So that's pretty awesome. I mean, I wonder if you can kinda build on that with the other things that you're working on. And how do you see some of the companies you're working with now changing how life is going to be 10, 20 years from now? You already talked about learning stuff in VR. What other things are coming down the pike that are just gonna be part of daily life in 10 or 20 years? So So, one of the biggest trends, I don't know what the listening audience, the viewing audience, you guys, know about BitCoin and the blockchain. But its fundamentally gonna change the way governments and currencies work. And that is a really exciting trend that I'm watching, as People are decoupling government from currency, and that concept is very very powerful, where suddenly you can be in control of your own money, your own value, and your trust. So we're on a big level and I think that that's going to be a big change that we can't predict what's going to be happening after that happens, which is exciting. There's a great quote that I quote every once in a while from Phil Libbon. He founded Evernote. He was talking about boss, but in general, he said, the future is either gonna look like Star Trek Or Mad Max. [LAUGH] Anytime I can make it look a little more like Star Trek I invest and that's sort how I feel. That's in essence the philosophy that I've consumed along with, you know. Anything that gets me closer to an Iron Man suit. [LAUGH] We would really like to hear more about that, what do you look for in Iron Man suit [UNKNOWN], what does an Iron Man suit really need? So the, I'm frozen on your screen hopefully you can hear me. We can hear you. The Yeah, so what this video that you're showing right now, [BLANK_AUDIO] So the guy, Richard Browning, he [UNKNOWN] came to our demo day and he has built his own [UNKNOWN] and this absolutely blew my mind. Like I can't actually explain how incredible. There's a quick clip of me in the background, in the front row, and it's like I just freak out, there's this thing. [LAUGH] [LAUGH] This is, it's the dream. The ability to just, I'm over in the corner right there. [LAUGH] It's the dream of being able to complete freedom and being able to fly. And this guy, he's hovering a foot off the ground, or two, three feet off the ground but he could just go. It's just there's a lot more dangers that happen. [LAUGH] Right. And so he's a fantastic guy. Really brilliant. And he's captured the imagination of what's possible. I feel like ever since this video came out, then Larry Page's company. I think it's called Kitty Hawk. Released a flying car, a video like there are a lot of these flying vehicles that are, that are emerging right now which I'm very very excited about because I think that changes the way we think about travel That changes the way, it's gonna change everything. Funny story, Richard Browning sent me a press release on March 31st about debuting that suit. I made him send me the UK patent number, because I didn't believe it was real, to prove it wasn't an April Fools joke. [INAUDIBLE] You told me that He told me that like a lot of people still thought it was fake because it came out of an April Fool's set. Yeah, yeah, it was the day before and I was dealing with this PR person and I really ran her through the ringer to prove that it wasn't fake but yeah it was pretty incredible stuff. So it's real. I can verifiably, if you trust me, which maybe you should, maybe you shouldn't, but it's real. It was incredible and I'm hoping to be in line to have an Iron Man suit. How loud was it, because I know with a lot of the jet packs They're definitely loud and I was just curious how loud is that suit when it's in operation or did, was it like you know, not so noticeable? It's a full like audio touch experience, like the wind is chaosly throwing dirt all over the place, the Super loud. Then, this guy's flying and you're freaking out about it. The sound is about three leaf blowers. Okay. Maybe a little louder. Maybe not. That's actually not too bad because, the jet packs are the ones that sound like you have like a sonic. Maybe not a sonic boom. But definitely a lot louder, where people have ringing in the ears long after. Yeah, we all had earplugs in too, so maybe it was that loud. No, you You would know. You would know, cuz I mean I remember there's this guy that had a jet pack and he used to dress up like Boba Fett. And when I worked at Lucas Film, we would hire him for special events like a celebration or convention or something. And we had to warn the city that we were in. That he was going to be doing this because it's so loud. It sounds like a jet engine, but you can hear it for blocks and blocks and blocks away. And he's also high up. I mean, he goes up pretty far, so it's not like he's just hovering off the ground. I mean, he comes out of nowhere, and then lands, and it's super loud. So, I was just curious. With this type of, cuz it's not the same type of equipment, it's totally different. So I was just curious Yeah, he's the first one that has done it this way. Which is sort of like, he has to be in super good shape to be able to do it. I was wondering about that, what kind of training they need to go through. So he has to do calisthenics, the rings that the gymnasts use. Right. Hold the positions and stuff. Yeah. An iron cross, right? [LAUGH] Yeah. Yeah. [LAUGH] And he's in super good shape. The guy's a machine. He runs like super marathons or something. He's super awesome. So, if he wasn't strong enough to maintain the right kind of posture would Would he sort of get wildly knocked off balance by the engines and so on? So what is the only thing that's ever happened to him, he said, was, I mean, he fell. So he was a couple feet off the ground, and one of the arms basically came loose, or the jet threw him to the ground a little bit. But there's a default Kill switch that everything dies and it wasn't that big of a deal. He believes that it's safer than a motorcycle. Sure. Which, you know I don't know if that's the argument you wanna make, but it's [LAUGH] Well, it could be safer than a hoverboard considering that a lot of those hoverboards just ignite for no reason, so. [LAUGH] Yeah. Well, you're working on an actual hoverboard though, right, Adam? Yeah. You got a company that is. Yeah. So, we bagged a [UNKNOWN] Entrepreneur, 18-year-old, and he's fantastic. And this is what he wants to dedicate his life to. And he's building, his end vision is a flying car, but as a segway to that [BLANK_AUDIO] So it's pretty awesome. Cool. Yeah, and they [INAUDIBLE] the airboard. [BLANK_AUDIO] And yeah we're super excited about it. Basically what we look for is tenacity in our entrepeneurs and that's what really wins championships so we're. We're really excited about all of our entrepreneurs. But all of the technologies we're investing in, these are the things that in five years we're gonna be using, and it's [UNKNOWN] well maybe for the flying cars and iron [UNKNOWN] maybe it's ten. But the Like virtual reality, we're all going to be using virtual reality. It is more efficient to meet someone in VR than it is to meet them in person. And that's going to be a huge business use case like we backed a company that's doing [BLANK_AUDIO] So if I'm designing a product and I need it to be manufactured in China or wherever it needs to be manufactured I can show them the object In 3D and I'm turning it over and showing him and expanding it. And I can explain every piece of it so there's less of a communication error then when you're just sending 2D emails back and forth with one another. [BLANK_AUDIO] That sounds awesome. Yeah, so there's Where do, yeah go ahead. I was just saying there's real use cases for this stuff. It's really exciting. Where do you see the flying car thing in 10 years? Because you know, there's people like vertical takeoff and landing is one thing that Uber is looking into. Some of those jet pack guys think that they'll have some version of what they're doing that will just be like personal transportation. Where do you see that going? Like, the Uber ride sharing drones? Are we all gonna have flying cars? Is it gonna be more of a ride sharing situation? What do you think? I think it's a really interesting question. Because first off, you need to assume that flying cars, it's a little bit from the subject, because we're not quite sure. But you could assume, that flying cars is more efficient than like driving, and things like that. And for an individual I think it probably will be, but gas wise I dont' know, it's gonna be high cost What's it good for. Is it midrange, is it that 50 minute trip or is it the 10 minute trip. What's it replacing in our life? So those are the questions that you'd want to ask. It will be less efficient for moving huge cargo. It will be more efficient for moving people. And so, I think, yeah, I mean, I think in 10, 15 years, we're going to be, coolest thing ever. Autonomous cars, flying cars. So, my daughter Who is three years old, will never need to drive. I'm very excited about that. [LAUGH] I never thought about that, that's a good, that's thinking there. Yeah, it will be interesting to see how much of the flying vehicles are autonomous cuz I was just thinking, Now I have a way to see car crashes above me. [LAUGH] Because people are notoriously bad drivers, even though the tech is so advanced right now. It's almost like Because we can text and do things, we're not paying attention to our driving even more than before. So I'm hoping that if its air travel people the right will either be autonomous, so robots who aren't going to all of a sudden want to pretend their in the fast and the furious. They won't be the ones driving. Or maybe it'll be reserve for emergency purposes. So actual police and ambulances and firetrucks can get where there's suppose to be getting quicker, that would be great. But it'll be interesting to see who's actually gonna be using And what they're going to be used for at the beginning, or if it's just going to turn into Fifth Element, and we're all barely running into each other. Yeah. I'm hoping everything is done with magnets, because we're seeing all these quad copter things and this kitty hawk thing we're just watching And they're blowing air around. That jet thing, they're blowing air, and blowing dust and garbage all over the place. Yeah, I know my allergies get- It's gonna be, you walk outside, you're gonna go [SOUND], things go flying over your head. It's gonna be crazy, so- Well, we may need some sort of allergen helmet to wear, so we don't all- Seriously. Instantly get a mouthful of Dust. But yeah, no, I'm always curious about that cuz also we've been dreaming about this sense sci-fi's existed. So I mean it's not even just Star Wars and Star Trek but in the 50s, I mean if you look at illustrations from Popular Mechanics from the 50s and earlier, these were things people were hoping for would be already a reality now. So it will be interesting. Yeah, Jetson's the guy who's a middle class man, who flew a flying plane to work. Yeah, there's a great joke about that too is because of the future of Jetsons, no one walks anymore, they're always on escalators. Or they're always on sidewalks that are moving. That when they actually have to walk on their own they can't. [LAUGH] It was a Harvey Birdman skit I think where they just couldn't get anywhere. They were always out of breath because Cuz they had to walk places in the Harvey Birdman. [LAUGHING] Cartoon. Whereas in Jetsons, they flew everywhere, or they were on escalators. The Jetson's spaceship is really quiet too, listen it just goes like [SOUND] Yeah. Really. It's like a Prius. It's not like a jet engine [CHUCKLE] Well, the Fantastic Four [CROSSTALK] Watching was like. [SOUND] [LAUGH] Also, all the buildings look like mid-century modern. And everyone has a robot helper, which we Sort of do now. But they aren't quite, sounds like Rosie. This is how I want to drop my kid off at school. Yeah [LAUGH] Right now I have to physically walk them into school and then say goodbye. I just want to dump them off, jettison them out of my [CROSSTALK] You know you're being recorded right now, right? [LAUGH] Your kids could see this. And so Adam you're a big comic. Comics guy, right? Yeah, I'm a huge comic book fan. What are your faves? Well, my thesis around investing been build the Iron Man suit, so, VR, if we're flying in space, the currency of space is probably not going to be paper, so we went into Bitcoin And then I'm looking at actual Iron man suits. But the super hero I grew up on was Peter Parker spider man. And right now my favorite comic book is by a guy name Kirkman. Is it Robert Kirkman? It's called invincible. There isn't a movie. That's a good one. Yeah, I mean, huge [UNKNOWN]. Awesome, so our crew here in San Francisco was down at Silicon Valley Comic-Con this past weekend. I wonder how much you guys saw down there that kinda ties into What Adam's working on, what we've been talking about. Well I went to the NASA panel that they had and the thing that surprised me the most was people asked them are you worried about funding right now. And they said actually we're getting a lot. Things are looking really good for us right now. And so we're just working hard on getting to Mars and They talked about methane and liquid water, glaciers and drones. It was really great. But you guys did. No, I was just going to say, yeah they're getting, cuz Trump just watched Star Wars on Air Force One. [LAUGH] Watched Rogue One. He just watched Rogue One, so he knows what kind of funding he's thinking about. I love the NASA booth there. I think NASA should be at every comic book convention. The reason that Silicon Valley Comic Con so different than San Diego Comic Con, or New York Comic Con, or other Comic Con's that you might be used to, is that they have a whole level of tech and science as well as the usual suspects of comic books. And Video games and the movies and TV stuff that we're all excited about when we go to comic book conventions where it's more of a pop culture convention nowadays. And I was really interested in the way that comic book and sci-fi help us plan future science and visualize future societies and the connection there. So it almost felt like a science fair. It kind of felt like a bridge between maker fair, which is something that happens around the country, which is kind of like a science fair on steroids. It's actually, I always call it burning man for kids,- [LAUGH] Because it's like the coolest science fair ever. All these Tesla coils and robots everywhere. And of course all the R2D2 astromix. It's really great to get kids excited about science and tech and engineering. And I wish more comic inventions had a NASA section. I know there's a NASA section at Emerald City Comicon. I think if there's comic book inventions closer to where there's a NASA hub, I mean, we have NASA Ames Which is part of Silicon Valley, but I think also, I'm sure that Houston comic book conventions have NASA there as well. So, it's just good to see some real life stuff mixed in with the sci-fi stuff. So, I had a blast. I had my picture taken inside that vintage NASA astronaut Suits. [INAUDIBLE] had on display. Yeah the one they had on display, I think you just showed a picture of someone that was in there. You could get your picture taken inside. It looked like you were inside the, yeah there you go. The Yeah, it's funny cause there were a lot of little kids trying and the steps didn't quit make it. So a lot of little kids are hanging on for dear life trying to get their picture taken. And when I took my picture it looked like I was the most excited astronaut on Earth. Earth, [LAUGH] or not on Earth. But the new astronaut suits are much more sci-fi than that. But I just love that they're getting kids excited about NASA, cuz I think that's important to always have a real life element. Yeah, they had a whole STEM village for kids that I didn't go into because I didn't wanna seem creepy. [LAUGH] But I'm sure it was good. We took a lot of pictures down. The area where they had stuff for kids. And one of my favorite parts was the tech your parents grew up on. That's so mean. Because I didn't feel old enough already. Did they have walkmen? Yeah. They had all kinds of stuff. Like Apple two's. VCR's. The one that really killed me was like You remember the transparent phones that were popular? Yeah. Back in the late 80s? Yeah. They had basically the phone that I had when I was in high school there. My god. And I'm like good it's an artifact now. Yeah. Was it like a Motorola? No it was like a landline phone. It was like kind of transparent had neon colors for inside. I mean every time people talk about how new vr is I keep thinking of that murder she wrote episode with Jessica Fletcher. [LAUGH] Trying a VR video game and she has the gloves on and the helmet and everything and so weve been working on->>Weve known about it a long time but you couldnt have it in your house before.>>Right, well you, exactly.>>It wasn't->>It wasn't like every day use, It was something that was very high tech that you could only get in certain areas. But I liked the Silicone Valley Comicon just because it's the second year they've done it. So they're still trying to find themselves and trying to figure things out. But it's pretty well organized. Parking is a nightmare, that's with any convention. I mean others Did you just show? Yeah, there she is. [LAUGH] Jessica Fletcher. That's a really good episode. Actually, if you have Netflix, it's on Netflix right now, so you can watch that episode. It's a murder that takes place in a VR company, and she has to find clues within the VR game. But it's very vector. I wanna do that. Pretty awesome. There needs to be an escape room or something. We should remake that for CNET. You know that whole season has cellphones and cars too. They actually had mobile but they're huge. Yeah. They're these huge things that are But I like that they have like [LAUGH] tech week or up with, was that Silicon Valley Comic-Con. It was really a good idea. Yeah, I was like, had one of those in school, had one of those in school, dear God, I'm old, yeah. Why did they have the Castaway, the volleyball? Well, that was a separate thing, they also had a auction yeah, theses are all- This, I see, Screen used props and like, one of the coolest thing that I saw there, I don't have a picture of it in the gallery, but I had to get my picture taken with. An actual Superman suit that Chris Reeve wore. Granted it was in Superman III, but he still wore it. That's still a good, I still love Superman III. Or are you not allowed to talk about that? Well, I don't think anybody's gonna get in trouble, but you know how like, when they have props, you know, for auction. They don't want you touching them. Right. because you know screwing them. Right. They don't want your grubby hands all over the suit. So, I was talking to one of the guys who was in charge, and he asked me if i touched the superman suit cuz i was telling him- Right. How big of a deal it was for me to see it in person. I'm like why i wouldn't- i wouldn't even Even think of touching it because, so he took me in there and I got to touch his belt buckle. [SOUND] Wow. That was one of the high points of my day. [LAUGH] That's pretty exciting. Did energy transfer into your body at all? [LAUGH] I haven't been able to fly yet, and I don't have little Superman spit-curl going, either. We are tracking him just in case. Yeah, just in case. We used to have a joke at Lucas Film that when you would go into Lucas Film archives and you would touch the Arc of the Covenant, something might happen. So a lot of us were like, I'm not touching that. I'll touch the Captain EO suit before I touch the Arc of the Covenant. Just keep your eyes closed. Yeah, exactly. But no, I like that they had a good mix of props, it was good. So Adam, if you're building an Iron Man suit, you must have some experience with ComicCon and cosplay, is that right? Well, I've gone to the San Francisco ComicCon. It wasn't last year. It might not have been ComicCon. Just comic people. It might have just been the local comic book store throwing a big event. But, no, I went to a big comic book convention. I went to one that was in New York. I've not been, I haven't been to the Silicon Valley one and I haven't been to the one in San Diego, either. San Diego is the one that's like a war zone. [LAUGH] Yeah, so Richard Browning is being asked to speak in the San Diego one, the Iron Man guy, Sweet. All right. Yeah, so that he could fly and do his thing, and show people flights of [UNKNOWN]. So is your own quest to build a suit for yourself, is that along the same lines of what he's building? Or do you have a different design in mind? [BLANK_AUDIO] So it's more of partaking in that, but what my whole career is, is enabling people to do these things. And one of the things that I just wanna be a part of, is The Iron Man suit creation. And so, yeah, I mean, there are a lot of things in the Iron Man movie that he hasn't built yet. So yeah, [LAUGH]. And I'm also fascinated with underwater You know submarine type things. There are a lot of things we haven't discovered under water so that would be a cool suit if you were able to go like super deep rather than up but yeah. It's, I mean comic books are inspiration for all Sci Fi, I mean all technology like and And science fiction. Star Trek has created countless things that have been built now. For sure, totally for sure. And Jeff, for you, I think sci-fi, at least with the Comic Con, was inspiration to cope with some other issues. And you wrote about that for CNET. Yeah, yeah. You want to dive into that at all? Yeah, sure. So I have been reading comic books since I can read, and been watching kinda sci-fi stuff since I could watch things, which. [LAUGH] But I don't get to go to a lot of conventions because nobody really likes crowds, but when you get to the point where you see a lot of people and then you just start Like physically reacting to it. It makes it a little less fun to go. So a lot of times I just kinda like, you know, what everybody else go. So what I've been doing is trying to kinda hack my way, I guess, into being able to go to conventions. Be able to do things I wanna do. So, you just, you can read the article and learn all these things. [LAUGH] I just would like to point out as I mention in there, I am not a doctor. [LAUGH] Nor do I play one on TV. [LAUGH] But no, it's just like a lot of simple things. You can start at like small conventions. Cuz I've noticed like in the last couple of years, it seems like even my old hometown had a convention. And my daughter went in the cosplay contest. She got third place. She's very happy. But it's a nice place to just kinda like ease yourself into it. Cuz it's just kinda scaled really. Now to be fair, when I go into even small conventions, if I go into the dealer area where you can buy all the stuff that you don't need but you really want. I still kind of have a physical reaction but I need to just kind of, you push through it and it gets slightly easier the more you do it. But you're still kinda fighting that initial reaction. I liked one of your tips in there was if you need to move around easily, or leave quickly, follow someone tall. Yes. Because usually people will Get out of there way. Yeah. [LAUGH] I sort of did that in comicons. I would follow people with very large Cosplay. Yeah, exactly. Whether it's transformers- Like Chewbaca probably. Well, the problem is you run the risk though, if it's good Cosplay,- If it's really good yeah. They'll stop every five seconds to take photos, and then you're surrounded and you're You're caught with a horrible look on your face, photo bombing someone, so you're gonna be in 20,000 photos looking panicked, which could end up being a court case evidence for something. So I, if you could follow someone tall that's not doing excessively good possibly. Someone bulky. Maybe like a crappy Chewbacca. Yeah, there you go. [LAUGH] Or maybe someone that's just, you know, Abraham Lincoln, I don't see a lot of those. Cuz the hat, that really gives you a lot of- Yeah, yeah you wanna be very careful not to follow around people that are good at cosplay, cuz then you will be stuck forever. I always found that following goth kids was good. Yeah. Cuz they don't like crowds, they don't like the sun. They're anti-social. [LAUGH] So Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter would actually be perfect. Perfect. Yes, exactly. Perfect, but no, that's a great article you wrote, Jeff. I'm glad that you wrote it because I think a lot of us too, the older we get, the less anxious we are to, I mean the less eager we are To be in the middle of a stormtrooper battalion when you just want to get to the nachos stand or something. [LAUGH] And yeah, and like even something as simple as just grabbing a piece of wall. Yeah. That it gives you at least on direction you know you're not gonna be in somebody's way Yeah. That helps out a lot Familiarity helps me out a lot too. The first time I went, I was terrified until I sat in my first panel. And then I was like, well I'm sitting in a chair listening to a speech. I've done that before. I know what that's like, now I'm not scared. And then the next year I was scared again but not as much because I knew I done it the previous year. Yeah. Familiar settings. Another good way to kind of deal with crowds and dealing with over populated cons and you just kind of want to go somewhere to relax and not be in the over crowded concessions area. Follow anyone with armor, cuz a lot of them have to change out of it and there's special designated areas for storm troopers or for people dressed in King Arthur armor. Or the cling ons. they all kind of know where to go. Yeah. during out where it's a little bit cooler, the line isn't that bad. At San Diego comicon, that upstairs, through the exhibit hall and then you go upstairs, it's about opposite of the entrance. Yeah. And then they have their- it's actually really nice over there, that's where a lot of celebrities are Because none of the fans have figured it out yet, I probably just ruined it for them. [LAUGH] Thanks Bonnie. Any convention you go to there's always one space where it feels like, this is where the parents go. This where the old fogies go to relax, and not get strollers running over them. Yeah, I was even able to find, well I mean not empty spaces, but Empty enough spaces. Yeah. Even at San Diego last year. Yeah. Which I can't believe that I actually went to because. Yeah, San Diego was a mad house, I mean it's fun to say you went once but it's crazy, did we just lose Adam. We did yeah. [LAUGH] Bad connection, connection dropped. Just wanna say thanks to Adam for really being on the show really nice having you Yeah, its definitely inspiring. I'm gonna check out your site to see what you're investing in, cuz it sounds really fun. Yeah, here's his Twitter, in case anyone wants to find him, @AdamDraper. He looks like a visionary, look at him. He looks like a superhero already. Millennial visionary. Yeah, so go check his stuff, they're working on some cool stuff. There's other stuff, too, that I haven't even scraped the surface of what they're working on, so. I feel like maybe we should have him on as a regular Guest every once in a while to find out what he's up to. Hot job. We don't want to distract him from investigating. I know. I wish I had money to invest. [LAUGH] But Silicon Valley was fun, to answer your question, Eric. I had fun, but I was only there on Sunday. I was part of an End Bullying panel, as [UNKNOWN]. Yeah, I was going to ask you about that. Yeah, it's called Abuse Superhero in real life. Chase Masterson, who's a Star Trek actress, and she's done a bunch of stuff. She's really a huge advocate in ending bullying and dealing with bullying, with both teenagers and adults and kids. And I was part of it cuz I wrote a book called Girls Against Girls, which is a preteen and teenager self help book about how to deal with Mean girls but also how not to become one in the process cause it is very easy and girls have totally different way of how they bully each other out. A nice ad there, girls have a way bullying- Quickly That was quick, girls have a way of bullying each other different than let's say boys. If you There's a great show called 13 Reasons Why on Netflix. I highly recommend watching. Based on a book, a young adult book, and it's about bullying in high school/ But this panel was interesting, I was just honored to be on there. I was there with Rod and Barry Gene Rodenberry's son. There's a really eclectic group of people on this panel but one of them, cannot remember her name, I think it's Dr. Scarlet, it's in my Twitter on my phone, but she was I believe from Either Russia or Latvia, somewhere where there have been radiation. And she moved here as a child, as a refugee and didn't know English, didn't know anyone, her family moved here. And she was bullied because when people found out that she was literally radioactive, they bullied her. And she turned to superhero comics Specifically the X-Men as solace. And to find relatable characters. And of course, Storm. And obviously, how many characters and superhero comics have are radioactive? Like that's how it becomes. So she found some sort of->> I'm disappointed Jeff didn't just actually pop out with a number. I know she found some common ground there. Actually if you wanna hand me my phone, I can call up her name Sounds really [INAUDIBLE] Doctor Jenina Scarlet. Yeah, that's it. She sounds like a super hero, but she was really inspiring and she came out with a book I think it's called Super heros in real life. Super hero therapy. Yeah, that's it and she goes to schools and teaches kids that they can find Positive messages through super hero comics and super heroes and how to deal with day to day problems through super hero therapy and she's an actual psychologist she has two PhD's. I mean she was so inspiring to sit next to I'm like well I have a book I wrote [LAUGH] And then she goes into this, I was, I'm radioactive and I was a refugee and she looked super nice and she's got like two degrees, she was a doctor and she wrote about superheros and she's helping kids in school. So, it was definitely an inspiring panel. There was also, some cosplayers. That reach out to kids for representation, so there's an African-American cosplayer from Atlanta who dresses up as Batman. And he says that a lot of kids, people of color, come up to him and go, thank you for representing Batman As you, Yeah. so he's like, I'm not black Batman. I'm Batman. And it's a very interesting way to deal with that, because a lot of geek-on-geek bullying happens, especially in the cosplay community, because if you don't look exactly like The comic book character that you're portraying in the movies or TV, you get a lot of hell. I mean and there's a lot of curvy girls that like to dress up as Slave Leia, and I don't want to get yelled at because I'm not a size whatever. Even Carrie Fisher didn't like being that size. She was like, it was hard to stay that size for her. So The panel is interesting because it talked a lot about geek on geek bullying, but it also talked about how we can be positive influences, how we can all help kids growing up in this kind of scenario, where they're constantly being bullied. How they can look towards these fictional characters that have overcome Massive, bad, hugely bad childhood drama in bullying and we're able to not become villans out of it. So, it was an interesting panel but it was good that they had that, and we had a pretty decent crowd even though we were competing against Adam Savage, which is always hard, and then just as a segway into Adam Savage, he dressed up as Chewbacca. And if you know Adam Savage from Myth Busters, whenever he does a convention, he works on a costume that's a huge, elaborate ordeal of a costume that he works on all year. And then he goes into these conventions incognito, so no one knows it's him. So the Chewbacca costume that he built and he has many, by the way, this one had an animatronic C-3PO that he was carrying on his back. Look how good that is. Looks like Movie ready and keep in mind that- That actually looked like he killed Chewbacca. Yeah. [LAUGH] [CROSSTALK] I mean keep in mind too that Adam worked at ILM, Industrialized Light & Magic where this was We had to do stuff like this, so I worked at Lucas [UNKNOWN] when he was there. And he knows movie props inside and out, if you go to his site, testa.com, you'll see this video. I wrote an article about it on CNET, so you can see the video there too. [INAUDIBLE] just yet. But look at that. [LAUGH] [LAUGH] That's awesome. But The reason I'm wearing the backpack is because it allows me to distribute the load of 3PO. This is about 35 pounds. And the 3PO comes courtesy, not courtesy I mean I paid him for it. From 3PO master Gordon Tarpley. He put this together for me in a record amount of time. He supplied me with the 3PO parts that were vacumentalized in gold, and pre-weathered. I built it all into this framework. Now, when you're attaching resin parts like this->> [LAUGH] It can get pretty difficult. So I did a couple of structural things. I added a web strap that goes out through the thigh, across the bottom calf, back up through the other thigh. So that even if some of this starts to deteriorate from the wear and tear of the floor it will still hold together. And he won't catch on fire, [LAUGH] I mean that's some [CROSSTALK] Which is always good. He's wearing a very flammable costume and he has a lot of wiring back there. Think how sweaty he must be. God In that full body suit But look at that [CROSSTALK] With 35. Pound metal backpack. Yeah, so there he is. He's going through. I didn't think I walked past him and I didn't realize it. But it's so good. I mean it's better than probably Peter Mayhew's costume in the first film. [LAUGH] Now does the C-3PO move around? Yeah, I think his head moves around. The eyes light up. You can sorta see a little bit. He does a bunch of different dialogues. From the movies. It was pretty impressive. That's pretty awesome. And of course [UNKNOWN] he's, Adam's done all different costumes. I mean, he's dressed up as a realistic bear. He He's dressed up as the, was it, Totoro from the Miyazaki movies? Yeah, yeah. I mean, he really goes all out. And at Comic Con San Diego's probably the ones where he really tries to get as much Bang for his buck. But the problem with San Diego Comic Con too is you're starting to compete with a lot of cosplayers. This is their livelihood now. Yeah. It's like a picture with a low budget Chewbacca at the Yeah! It wasn't as exciting as [LAUGHING] I personally prefer low budget Chewbaccas. I find them much more interesting and hilarious when they're made out of carpet. I love it. A certain charm. I like it when, I mean, I love professional looking cosplayers, of course. Right. But I also like it when people are halfway, like its more like a Halloween costume. They love this, they put their resources into it, but isn't their actual career. And so, there was a girl at SVCC who had Jedi robes where she was wearing actually a brown cardigan with cable stitching on it and it looked really good. It fit the aesthetic but it was still also homemade. Yeah. Yea, I think we are getting to a point now at comic book conventions, where you are seeing people that are making professional grade Cosplay costumes. And a lot of them this is their livelihood. A lot of them are paid to be at different places. Or they're on reality tv shows were they are competing. I mean, you have a lot- [CROSSTALK] And a lot of these shows are great too because this is like a calling card for these people to work in actual films and tv. So it's, but I have to agree with Kelsey like I really liked seeing people that just love the characters but don't necessarily have the time or patience or the money to put into the costumes but you still can say I'm doing something and I'm showing off what I love. And I love cross play where women are playing male characters. And men are playing female characters. I saw a lot of lady captain americas this year. Yeah. I just did a Article on CNET, I think it was this week, of mass effect. Beat down boogie put together their remix reel of all the different mass effects from all the different conventions that they've gone to. And mass effect is great because as a video game, it's even so many different types of characters, but there's a lot of gender swapping going on, and I mean Well, with Shepherd I mean, [CROSSTALK] either gender, so [CROSSTALK] Yeah, that's true, so it makes sense. But I just, I loved seeing all the Commander Shepherds, both male and female. Obviously, you can do that in the game. So it was interesting, but these are all very professional. I mean, these are the people that spend years on their costumes and their outfits. As opposed to kind of, the half [LAUGH] Other. Yeah. I don't know. I can't cosplay, I'm a crafter so I do a lot of craft books and things. But for me, I'd rather cosplay as a building. I think we were talking about this right before we were- Yeah. We went live of what we would cosplay as, especially at a convention like Silicon Valley Comic Con. I know that Simone Gerts, he does the crappy robots. She cosplays as Windows. [LAUGH] Like a computer that shows windows. [LAUGH] I think I saw a picture of that. And so, it was like, her head was just a computer box and then she had all black on but then her face was done like the I think it was the Windows logo. I don't know. Yeah, I think so. I thought that was hilarious, because that makes sense at Silicon Valley Comic-Con because you want to have something as tech. So maybe next year, I'll do cosplay as a flip phone Ooh! or some old-school tech that no one will understand why I'm dressed like that. [LAUGH] I feel like that would be I don't know, maybe a Walkman? [LAUGHTER] I've had a long running joke for a while that I'm a very hirsute hairy man, and so I've have a joke for a while that if I continuously shaved all of my head and body hair, I could knit it into a sweater. [LAUGHTER] I'm thinking maybe I could up that until I can If I shave and collect enough, maybe I can knit my own Chewbacca suit. There ya go. I think that would be cool. You could, you could. I mean, it's interesting. Steve Sansweet, who's director of fan relations at Lucasfilm, he has this thing called Rancho Obi Wan, which is this giant collection that he has at his place. It's a It used to be a chicken ranch and he refurbished the barn so he could have his entire star wars convention- or star wars collectibles there. And it's a non-profit so you can go and visit, and you know, pay a certain amount to visit it. But I asked him what his biggest regret was, as a collector, that he did not buy. Flee market and it was a portrait of Chewbacca done by a barber that basically anytime he cut hair he would collect the human hair and make these elaborate Chewbacca portraits. Wow. That's incredible. And he's like, he just couldn't do it cuz it was human hair and he just felt wierd about it, but he's always regretted that he didn't buy that because it's actually really well done. It's wasn't like cheese ball. It actually looked good. But it was all done with human hair and beard hair. And I was just like that's gotta be amazing. [LAUGH] [LAUGH] And on that note. On that note. [CROSSTALK] Now we know what's on Christmas lists everywhere this year. [LAUGH] Maybe I'll do a craft tutorial for Star Wars for May the 4th we'll do Shave your beard and make a Chewbacca portrait at the same time. [LAUGH] You have your next book idea, Bonnie. Exactly. I think that's about all the time we've got [LAUGH] for, we're running a little over. We could go on forever probably. Thanks again to Adam Draper from Boost VC for joining us. That was really fascinating. I think we could've gone on for quite Quite a while, talking about everything that they're working on over there. Thanks again for having him join us. And thanks also, to the crew there in San Francisco, Bonnie Burton, Kelsey Adams, and Jeff Sparkman Are intrepid Silicon Valley, Comic-con reporters. And of course behind the controls, Steven Beecham. Nobody has ever pulled up the Jetsens video faster. [LAUGH] That was pretty incredible.>>Thank you, youtube.>> [LAUGH] Thanks everyone for watching. Check out everything that we talked about, of course, on c/net.com and at Boost.vc, that's the website for Adam's company there. Adam's Accelerator, so thank you again. This has been Farsighted. We'll see you next month. [UNKNOWN] [MUSIC]