2015 EOY Update

Note: This post ended up being a strange personal history mingled with present musings.

The later half of 2015 has been eventful for me, even if I perpetually feel there's more to be done. Let's recap.

I've already written about the premier screening of Life on Bitcoin. Since then I've been submitting to film festivals and courting distributors. There are promising prospects, and this film should be available to the world very soon.

The Pocket Film Fest was stressful and fun all at once. We flew Jason van Genderen of the Pocket Film Academy in from Australia, and had film submissions from many countries. It was a blast.

On September 10th, in the wee hours of the morning, a little boy was born in Salt Lake City. Beccy and I have adopted that perfect little boy. His name is Bruce Merril Craig, and we're hopelessly in love with him. While it's exhausting, being a Dad is blissful. There is snot and crap and spit-up. There's 3:00 AM screaming and a mountain of responsibility bound up in anxiety, but I don't care. I love my son. I'm in love with this perfect little boy.

 Two days before Bruce was born, we moved into a new apartment that I'm convinced is the best in our (small) home town of Provo. Special thanks to the exceptionally talented professional  Meikel Reece  for the photo.

Two days before Bruce was born, we moved into a new apartment that I'm convinced is the best in our (small) home town of Provo. Special thanks to the exceptionally talented professional Meikel Reece for the photo.

I'm working on a new project in quiet mode, and will share more when the time is right. That project, while exciting, has delayed work on Shadowcast. It's frustrating, because there are amazing opportunities to push this forward every day, but I'm one man, and don't have the resources to tackle it all. The rapidly emerging world of VR/AR forges on. Some of my observations:

  1. Amazon Is Developing Augmented Reality Without the Dorky Headgear - This aligns with my original thesis. If Facebook, Google, and Microsoft are all investing billions in AR/VR, you can be certain that Amazon and Apple are not far behind. There is a slim chance that Apple may not pursue, but they'd have to very deliberately decide to focus on a larger market, like the self-driving car*.
  2. Snapchat’s Future Lies in Augmented Reality - I failed to predict this one, but I think the author is right. Snapchat is clearly aiming to rank among the top platforms/tech firms on earth. You don't turn down a $3BN acquisition offer otherwise. And their progress in the space, while superficially trivial, is very clear. They're poised to move AR from a kitschy tech novelty to a mainstream activity.
  3. I've been to The Void now a couple times. They're in Lindon Utah of all places. It's totally inexplicable; by all accounts they should be in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, Boston, or maybe Austin TX. But Lindon? Trust me, I lived there, this is not a likely setting for what purports to be one of the major players in a totally new experiential medium, upending myriad industries. But they just might do it. It's a truly spectacular experience, and I'm eager to see them develop. I'd love to partner with them on Shadowcast if there is a fit.

This Christmas, my entire family, all 5 siblings, spouses, and a couple dozen nieces and nephews, will get together for... well, if we're including my newborn son, the very first time. My parents recently returned to the US from four years serving the people of the Costa Rica at the LDS temple. I'm excited to have them home and for my son to learn from his loving Grandma and Grandpa.

Life is funny. Four years ago this week, my parents left the country. I dropped them off at the airport in the early hours of the morning, knowing I'd miss my folks, but that they'd bless many lives with their service. Three years ago this week, I kissed my girlfriend for the first time, after she worked a long day at the business she owns and runs. She soon became my fiance, and then my wife. We married in Costa Rica. I'm more impressed and in love with Beccy every day. Two years ago, we'd just finished an insane lifestyle experiment, living on Internet funny-money for three months as newlyweds. The price of bitcoin was soaring, and I went to London and then New York to do interviews with Al Jazeera America, CNN, and others. One year ago this week, I was lucky enough to help in a world-record setting effort: staging the largest nativity scene ever. There were literal miracles that happened there, the hand of divine providence making our efforts possible. Mountains weren't moved, nor seas parted, but countless variables came together in virtually no time in the most wildly improbably way. I believe it's because God wanted it to happen. This week, in 2015, Beccy is hosting the Beehive Bazaar, I'm watching our little boy and wrapping phase one of a new project, and life is so good.

I'm blessed far beyond my merit, though I imperfectly try to live up to those blessings every day.

Hope you're all well, and that this season brings your great peace. Let me know if I can help that happen in any way.

- Austin

*Apple is rumored to already be deep in development on self driving cars. A stealth startup called Farady Future is gearing up to rival Tesla, and hiring away the best from many related disciplines, They somehow have many billions to do so. Rumors say it's a front for the Apple car. Either way, they are working on an auto of some kind, and likely VR as well.