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Koen Bok

Koen Bok is the CEO and founder of the free web-based prototyping tool, Framer. Their mission is to bridge the imagination gap, so that you, your team and even your client are all speaking the same language.

Prototyping made easy
Prototyping made easy

Prototyping made easy

Ep
111
Dec
09
With
Koen Bok
Or Listen On:

Bridging the imagination gap, one app at a time.

Koen Bok is the CEO and founder of the free web-based prototyping tool, Framer. Their mission is to bridge the imagination gap, so that you, your team and even your client are all speaking the same language.

In this episode, Koen shares what life was like as a young kid, growing up in the Netherlands who is fascinated by computers. A fascination that developed into a legitimate business that was ultimately acquired by Facebook.

If you're into development, programming and navigating the tech industry, then give this one a listen. You might learn something.

Thanks to Gusto for sponsoring this episode.

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produced by
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Episode Transcript

Koen:
If you really have a drive and you put a lot of work behind something, then stopping with something in favor of something else, that's actually really tough.
You build up a ton of confidence and a ton of motivation to see something through. If it turns out not to have the result that you know you need or you want, and then to let that all go, that's way harder I think than finishing a project.
(singing)

Greg:
Hey, I'm Greg Gunn. Welcome to The Futur Podcast. Today's guest is the CEO and Founder of the free web-based prototyping tool, Framer. Their mission is to bridge the imagination gap, so that you, your team and even your client are all speaking the same language.
In this episode, he shares what life was like as a young kid, growing up with another lens, he was fascinated by computers. The fascination that developed into a legitimate business, that was ultimately acquired by Facebook.
Now, if you're into development or programming and navigating the tech industry, then give this one a listen, because you might learn something. Also, there's some light swearing in this one, so heads up if you have kids around you. Okay, please enjoy our conversation with Koen Bok.
I have some disclosures to make. The first disclosure is, I'm late to the web design game. My team works on web projects, but when you're talking to all the technology, I see you speaking at these conferences.
I kind of generally understand the idea and what you're doing is important. For people who don't know, first of all, can you introduce yourself and then we'll get into exactly what it is you're doing today?

Koen:
Yeah, sure. My name is Koen Bok. I'm from the Netherlands. I run a company called Framer, together with my co-founder Jorn. Framer is a... it is a new type of design tool. The idea behind it is a little bit bigger than just the design tool. It's about how people can express ideas on computers.
Then mostly ideas in the highest fidelity possible. I know that sounds a little bit abstract and maybe a bit Silicon Valley, but you need to have a good mission statement. When you think about that, that's mostly about, people can express words on computers.
They can express pictures on computers, more multimedia. You make videos, you make audio, but the highest form of expression on the computer is kind of the interaction. There's very few people that can really deeply express the interactive ideas on computers.
Especially in design and modern design, it's a big problem we think. The fact that mostly only engineers can do that, is something we should maybe try and solve. Or somebody is going to solve it, I want to say.
That will be quite a revolution I think on computers, because it will mean that creating interactive stuff or sort of apps, if you will, applications can go from 30 million engineers in growth to, I don't know how many more people. 30 million engineers that have to create everything for 6 billion people, seems a little off.
In the biggest sense, we're doing that. In a practical sense, we're helping designers every day to put their interactive ideas in a... basically in a prototype. They can use the prototype to sell a project to their boss, to land the next job, to convince stakeholders.
Convince the CEO of a product direction, test their idea, both on users, but also on themselves. You get all these happy accidents if you're prototyping, which is really fun, because you run into things you might not have thought of. It's just like, yeah, it's an accident if you will.
You get new ideas, so it's a very creative endeavor. That's really what Framer's all about. Typically, there is a lot of very visual design tools out there and people sometimes confuse us with that.
You've got the Photoshops and the Sketches, and the Figmas of this world. We're really a tool that's really focused on the output being something interactive, a prototype that you can actually use.

Chris:
Is Framer an end-to-end solution up into the prototyping part, or does it work well with those visual design tools?

Koen:
Both.

Chris:
Okay.

Koen:
I want to say 50/50, our users import their work from Sketch or Figma. That's where they're kind of begin their official design. They bring it into Framer, to put it together into an interactive prototype. Or some people start from scratch right in Framer.
It has fairly good visual tools. We might not be as good as like, drawn icons as Figma, or like if you go over to [inaudible 00:04:53], they're obviously more optimized than we are. You can do a lot, so hence the 50/50 split.

Chris:
I was doing a little research and it says, "One of the..." let's see here. "One of the most popular phrases in the world of design from IDEO, said that if a picture is worth 1,000 words, then a prototype is worth 1,000 meetings." How do you feel about that?

Koen:
Well, I think every designer feels pretty great about that. I think it's like a pretty popular start-up poster, that you can see in a lot of our meeting rooms. What it embodies obviously, is that if you and I are both product people.
We have an idea, then even if we're like super well-versed at our jobs. We might have been working together for a year or two, or maybe 10 years, when I explain my idea like, "Hey Chris, I'm looking to move a box.
If you hover over that, it's going to have the shadow and it's going to be elevated from the background. Now, when you move it around is resorts the list." Then you get this picture in your mind, but is it the same that I have? Rarely so.

Chris:
Yeah.

Koen:
This can take an hour, or it's going to take a full week for me to actually implement the thing. When you finally see it, you're like, "That's really not what I had in mind. That takes a lot of, sort of like churning through miscommunication, if you will.
You put 10 people in a room, that have varying backgrounds and products. You're going to get a lot of miscommunication. Put a prototype in front of them and everything changes, because they can just play with it.
Then sort of responding to a prototype, and actually putting it in your hands and observing somebody using your product is both really fun, but also it gives you so much better information about the experience that you put in front of them and sort of figuring out if it works.

Chris:
I'm hearing a couple of things. The benefit of prototyping is closing that imagination gap, improving communication between you and maybe the development team, you and maybe a lead designer or potentially a client.
Now, we can talk and look at the same things. We can do it pretty rapidly, and make iterations pretty quickly relative to the old way of doing things. Is that about right?

Koen:
Yeah, that's very right. I think the secret is that, if you don't prototype, you kind of always do. If you're in design and you're just doing visual design, then you're kind of prototyping when you're implementing it. This leads to a lot of engineering frustration. Also, to be honest, bad code.
What happens is like, if I'm your engineer and I started implementing your idea based off pictures, I have to come up with a lot of things in between. Like, how does the screen transition to a different screen? You can't express it in a picture, so I have to kind of make it up on the fly. You'll discover a lot of things.
As you put the real thing in front of people, you'll discover new things and you'll have to go back on your technical design. Then you get confronted by the choice, "Do we start over or do we build the dam?"

Chris:
Right.

Koen:
In startups, it's always, we built it on, which means you're going to get less than ideal codes and a bit of frustration around that. You can also see a prototype as sort of the best spec for products. The result of that is that, it just speeds product work up and delivers better products faster.
There's less friction between engineering and design. It just makes everything better. The most interesting thing to us it's, it creates more fun products, because people explore. They take more risks, because they feel like they take the risk out at least of the implementation process.
You pull them upfront, or you actually dare to take them. If you can put it in a prototype, you can put something fun in front of somebody. In production, you probably think twice about that.

Chris:
Right, very interesting. There is a lot of parallels to my former life, which was... I'm a designer, and working in motion design and making commercials. We see the parallel here where you do storyboards, and then you hand it off to an animator.
The animator like a developer, has to interpret lots of things going on between those frames. That's the beauty, and the gift and the creativity of the animator. Oftentimes, they can also go in a wrong direction.
It helps to have references, but I guess my next question is this, is I think I read somewhere where you kind of described yourself as half designer and half programmer, and a little bit of an entrepreneur.
If I look at that middle part as the wall that separates it, do you see more people building prototypes coming from the engineering development side or more from the creative side?

Koen:
I want to say equal at this point, but it depends a little bit how you interpret it. I think every engineer prototypes. I think just the way that engineers prototypes is, they're kind of exploring and doing research to figure out what the best path to implementation is.
Then sometimes they find a great path, and they continue to build on their prototype and it becomes the real thing. I think designers prototype more in a throwaway fashion, and this is one of the interesting tooling problems to solve.
Maybe we can bridge that gap too. If you think about it, one of the things that has to be solved for prototypes is that, if you always throw them away, it seems like the engineers can continue to build on it towards production.
If they choose to, then designers should may be able to do the same in the future. That's obviously a very interesting problem for us to think about.

Chris:
Can you expand on that? When you say throwaway, if I... because I think a lot of our audience is going to be from the design creative side, and they're going to be listening to us. Well, what do you mean throwaway?
I've come up with a design. I'm going to step into some prototyping tool like Framer, I'm going to work on it. What is their mentality when you say it's kind of more of a throwaway mentality?

Koen:
Well, it depends like, when you consider the job being done. Obviously if you're working for a client and the client thinks like, "Do we stop at the storyboards or the wire frames?
Do you make sort of like a prototype? Do you deliver the full end-to-end app or do you do some parts, and our engineering team pick up the rest?" Like front-end, back-end, if you will.

Chris:
[crosstalk 00:11:22].

Koen:
When I say throwaway, that might not actually be a bad thing. It's like, you get all these things with the prototype that you otherwise wouldn't get. Like really good spec, really good communication, so it'd definitely be worth it.
What would make it extra awesome is that, if you feel like you're on the right path with the prototype, if you can smooth fully kind of blended in too towards production, that's a very interesting area to explore and would add an order of magnitude, more efficiency even to the design process.

Chris:
If I understand this correctly, a lot of designers, their job seems to end at the end of the approval of the prototype and they go on doing whatever they do.
Then the engineers are left making this thing, if that is the choice. Perhaps if the designers stayed more involved and kind of saw it through, and then that would inform decisions in the future where maybe they'd make smarter decisions.

Koen:
Kind of, I think a lot of really great designers see the whole process through. Even for the end product, they'll have to do user testing, and actually go back and prove that whatever solution they come up with, actually works as it's implemented.
If you want to take responsibility for a great design, obviously you close the feedback loop and you show using data and user testing that like, it is solved and we can go to the next thing or we can make the next version of this thing.
Basically, what happens with the prototype is that, you can kind of give the designers more freedom to pull that forward, because you can already test your idea on the real users before you have to build it, so that you kind of dare to take more risk.
You can communicate stronger about your idea or just... you don't have to explain it anymore. You can show it to people and they'll be like, "Hell yeah." That gives you sort of an ability to close the loop on it sooner, and go into the implementation phase with way more confidence.

Chris:
Great, okay. Now I think I understand better, exactly kind of how this works and how it fits in the design ecosystem and digital products. I want to take us back a little bit, so I know that you had this other agency called Sofa that was sold to Facebook.
Before that, what is it that you wanted to do in your life before starting an agency? Then now starting a company, a startup, what would you like, like when you were a younger person?

Koen:
I was always very interested in computers. That shouldn't be a surprise. My dad was actually an advertising guy. Kind of like, I'm from the Netherlands. I want to say, "Mad man," but that looks very different here in a small city.
Actually it definitely doesn't look... maybe sometimes he eats things look like the cereals, but from what I remember, it was a lot less glamorous. He was in commercial advertising, and I mostly got very inspired by... he's a copywriter, but he was always using it in a creative team.
He was working with creatives that would be great illustrators or graphic designers. They would have these folders with them. Sometimes they would hang out for dinner and I could join, or they would come over to our house and I could peek in those folders and look at the concept work.
I just felt like, "That's what I want to do. I want to create these ideas and see them come to fruition, or I'd see them through." I knew that what's in those folders, it would eventually be on a huge poster or in a commercial.
That got me really excited, that you can... like, "How do you take something from what's in your mind to something real?" I was never really a good graphics artist. I'm a terrible writer.
When I found out that people use the computer in between, to kind of do get good at that... well, computer doesn't help you being good at writing, but it can help you to be more creative and drawing. Like expressing these sort of like visual ideas. Once I figured that out, I was kind of hooked. It started with visual design, MacPaint.

Chris:
What year is this and how are you?

Koen:
Yeah, so this is like when I'm maybe 10 or 12 years old. [crosstalk 00:15:33].

Chris:
Okay.

Koen:
Yeah, my dad had a Mac Plus and I discovered MacPaint. Yeah, it was great. We had like an... because he was a copywriter, he had a printer at home. Back in the day, all this stuff was really like, what you see is what you get.
You put a pixel on the screen, and the image writer puts a pixel on the piece of paper exactly where you put it. It's a lot of constraints, but also a lot of creative freedom.
I was just making logos, and have my own type style in my own fonts. That was fun, because for example, sometimes I wasn't really good at school. Then you get like... I guess you have it in the US too. You have to write the same line 1,000 times.

Chris:
Yeah, or get in trouble.

Koen:
Yeah, you get in trouble. Like [inaudible 00:16:18].

Chris:
Yeah.

Koen:
I took that as a reason to develop my own font, because I thought, "Well, then at least I can print the line 1,000 times. It took me way more time in the end, than actually having to write it myself.

Chris:
I see.

Koen:
It was way more fun to create a font. All those kind of small things, I took them as creative assignments and played with computers to make that happen, yeah.

Chris:
Now, seeing that your dad is in the industry, in the creative industry, and had a computer at home for you to kind of toy around with, you must have been one of very few people actually who had access to such tools at that age, because those things were expensive.
The laser printers that your dad was probably using was thousands of dollars in the size of a small refrigerator, because I was around 17, 18 years old when that was happening.

Koen:
Yeah. I mean, it wasn't what you sometimes hear, that like Bill Gates could only study in a computer, because they had one on school. It was a bit more accessible. A few people that could make computers useful in their work, they definitely would invest in one, but it wasn't like there was one in every home.

Chris:
Right.

Koen:
I think the most interesting thing on it, looking back, was that the Mac was a really bad computer to learn programming on. I got hooked on that very late. I think some other people around me got like Commodores, which arguably were way cheaper computers.
They were so much easier to pull apart and start programming games on. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I had one of those instead of a Mac. Would I also be as visual or would I be a badass programmer actually? Like somebody who's really good at engineering, which I'm so [inaudible 00:18:06] to be honest.

Chris:
Well, I'll let you know. I also had a Commodore 64 and an Amiga-

Koen:
Badass.

Chris:
I'm not any better at programming than the average human being, so who knows?

Koen:
All right.

Chris:
You have natural proclivities. I just wanted to ask you something about like parenting and how people are raised in Amsterdam. I was just thinking about this, your dad has work, so he's got to use the computer.
You're a 10, 12-year-old kid, is it encouraged for you to mess around with his computer? Is he concerned that, "Hey," you're going to delete his files, or you're going to do something that's going to mess it up?

Koen:
Yeah. That's solved kind of itself, because he liked buying a new computer once in a while. He didn't like to switch computers, because well, he didn't like change. He kept this old Mac Classic, I think for 50 years, even while the other new Mac is like-

Chris:
Oh my gosh.

Koen:
He's like, "Oh, that works fine for me. The printer still works, so why would I switch to the new one?" That kind of solved that, but my parents are very nice. As in, they're my friends, so I can talk very straight up with them.
I had a very interesting conversation with them once, where they asked like, "Hey, when you get kids, what would you do different? What do you think we should have done different?" One of those conversations, which was... I have a few of those a year. I'm lucky enough to really get to that level with them.
One of those conversations ended up being that, I told my dad that the one thing that he couldn't know, but in hindsight, maybe should have known, is that the computer would become my superpower.
It wasn't some hobby, and he always made it feel like a hobby that I couldn't do if I weren't doing well in school, which I almost never was. The computer was this thing that was between... he used as like kind of, to push me to do what they thought was good for me.
Whereas in the end, it's kind of the thing that opened doors for me and sort of like got me to express myself creatively. That's not something that like, I think you can see as a parent.
I think it's... it won't be so hard to do that when I get a kid. I don't blame them for that by any means, but it is a very interesting sort of effect if you look at life or the world. Like these things happen all the time.
The thing that you don't expect to have the biggest influence, actually turns out to have a huge effect, like huge butterfly effect. I think that was an interesting conversation.

Chris:
That sounds really cool, so you don't have any kids yet?

Koen:
No.

Chris:
Okay. Well, I have two boys myself, so if you just pay attention-

Koen:
Congrats.

Chris:
Yeah, if you pay attention to what they're interested in, it becomes pretty self-evident. The hardest part is to put a side what you think you want for them. Then if you can get rid of that, then it's very clear. They'll tell you. They'll tell you in so many different ways, right?

Koen:
Yeah.

Chris:
It's whatever they're doing in their free time, what they obsess over and are just pining for. Unfortunately, for a lot of boys, at least in this era, it's like playing video games. We're trying to figure out like, "Is there a career for you there or is this what you want to do? We're okay with that, just, you got to let me know."

Koen:
Yeah, but you know what I find there is for example? Even when I talk to friends about influencers, the way that people say that word, it has a connotation and a tone of like, people look down on doing that.
Having... I don't know, like really freaking out over makeup on a YouTube channel, or like dressing up really nice and making a picture on your holiday for your Instagram followers. I think it's one of the... how do I explain this? I remember when I was into Macs and programming, and I saw the iPad come out.
I was impressed by the device, but I thought, "Shit, the days of pulling your computer apart are over." The creative endeavor is being taken away. I felt like, when I now look at sort of what kids do with being an influencer and making TikTok movies and stuff, it's actually a great redirection of creativity.
It's not about programming, but every kid is a great photographer and they're makeup artists, and they're into fashion. It's a way I don't even kind of understand. I think that... and it's in a way the same as the conversation that I had with my dad.
I had no idea that that would be the creative endeavor that would replace pulling computers apart. Maybe this one is better, because it's so broadly thinkable, so much more people get into that.
That made me really happy in a way. I also noticed that a lot of people don't think that. They think it's a waste of time, and that maybe related to what my dad thought about the computer as a hobby.

Chris:
Right.

Koen:
It's a hobby, and it's a time-waster and there's nothing at the end of that. I think that a lot of people think about that, about young people that are trying to be influencers, but they'll be like a great movie director, commercial producers, storytellers in a way that we can't even comprehend.

Chris:
I think with all kinds of tools and platforms that are emerging or new, there's the potential for it to be bad and there is a lot of potential for it to be good. It just depends on your approach to it. It does sound like you have a pretty open mind to these kinds of things.
I'm also trying to fight my own bias. Like, "What is that TikTok nonsense? Everyone is just shaking their butt the whole time." Then there is this undercurrent and layer of creativity, that all these very young people are going to be exploring. This is going to be the standard in a few short years.

Koen:
Yeah. What you're noticing... what you're saying about video games too is, this is maybe a bit closer to what we're trying to solve. The problem that will be great to solve for computers obviously, is that, I think the highest form of creative ideas or expressions may be video games.
Creating video games is so hard, because it's like everything comes together, direction, sound, graphics, storytelling. Maybe like VR video games will probably be the [inaudible 00:24:15]. Somewhere around there, it's like, very few people can do that well and it's super hard.
I think the sort of, the ability, if you look at what 500 million people in the world can do, or like a big group in the world, they can get up to Excel. That's kind of where it stops. If you're lucky they can operate, they can do words. They can operate the Canvas, PowerPoint, they can do some Excel.
How do we get beyond that? That's where a new revolution is about to start. How do we get closer to people being able to create computer games? For us right now, obviously that problem is kind of prototyping. How do we get a little bit beyond that?
I think in some other shape or form, I see TikTok doing the same. Like, how do you get people to create interactive video stories, put that together? To me, it's a bit the same across a different angle, more on the consumer side. It's about really good content creation that's about after video.
It's about to get interactive, because that's the obvious next step. If you want to predict anything that you could just see, like text messages, it's like audio. Then it becomes like pictures, and then people are creating videos and now the videos are about to be interactive.
To me, it's an amazing moment to see that happen, because the interactive part is what really drives me. I can't wait for everybody to jump into that. I think we're even a little bit behind on it.

Chris:
Okay. Now, speaking of next step, I want to know from you being a 12-year-old, playing around with your computer and making art in your own fonts, getting into trouble at school, before you launch, so far what's the next big milestone for you?

Koen:
Yeah, so that must be learning how to program. At this point, I'm a graphic designer making, I guess mostly CD covers for friends. Yeah, I started to get into websites a little bit, because that's better than... I mean, I lived in a flower area in Amsterdam or in the Netherlands.
It was either like, planting flowers, which was actually sometimes pretty cool in the summer too. First, making websites and making websites was good money and very fun. I got into that. I got into Unix, so I don't even really know where I started. I got into Unix and Parole a little bit or some hacking.
Finally, what got me really into computers is that, yeah, this is... so if you grew up, at my age in the Netherlands or in Germany, probably in France too and you're a boy, you want to be a DJ. It's how you get the right kind of attention, way better attention than making logos in MacPaint.
It also means that there is a ton of competition, but I had bought two turntables when I was 16 and I tried to DJ. The art of that, it's fun, but getting gigs is sales, so that was less fun. I kind of pivoted into VJing. I thought, "Well, if I can't be the DJ, then the guy that's next to the DJ."
Just doing the creative sort of screens. There is a lot of stuff to reinvent there, and it can really add to the vibe so, "Why don't I try that?" I did that, and I found this app, [inaudible 00:27:36]. It's made by a few people from Switzerland.
It had [inaudible 00:27:41] interpreter in there. That's honestly my first real programming that I put in there. I made little beats counter that switched to videos. [inaudible 00:27:52] was a pretty powerful language already.
Yeah, one thing led to another and I started to make websites by then. Suddenly, all that stuff became super powerful. That's when I really deeply got into programming. I kind of got hooked.
The first time that you make something interactive... and this is I think where I'm so big on that. The first time you make something interactive and you put it in front of somebody, and you see them use your thing, then it's hard to go back.

Chris:
Time for a quick break. We'll be right back with more from Koen Bok.

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Chris:
Okay, so what year is this that you're 16, learning Python and wanting to be a VJ?

Koen:
Yeah, probably like 15, 16.

Chris:
What year in the world, like-?

Koen:
Yeah, probably like-

Chris:
[crosstalk 00:30:03].

Koen:
I'm born in '82. That's like... I'm pretty bad at math. Just before the year 2000, like '96.

Chris:
Yeah, the late 90s, yeah.

Koen:
Yeah.

Chris:
Okay.

Koen:
Really bad music. Good in clubs, but bad in math.

Chris:
Still pretty early in the web years, still kind of like web 1.0, crazy weird stuff happening right before Macromedia, Shockwave or Flash and all that kind of stuff. It's pre that or right around that time.

Koen:
Yeah, because that really got me hooked, Flash.

Chris:
Yeah, I can imagine it would. Okay, so programming then at that point in time, I guess your calling wasn't totally clear, because it was just a way for you to express yourself visually and to build things, right?

Koen:
Yes.

Chris:
You want to build stuff and you're like, "Oh, it's using Python. Okay, I'll learn that." Is this just you teaching yourself, or are you enrolled in some kind of class where you can figure this stuff out?

Koen:
Yeah, teaching myself. Yeah, there isn't really... I mean, there was a Python book, but it was also not really how I learned. I kind of got motivated by the problems that I wanted to solve. I also remember that, I tried at least 20 times, before I got anything done.
It was really just a sheer will to kind of figure it out by myself, that got me there. Not so much a book that I followed, which in hindsight, sometimes it could have been smarter to have taken a course or... Python is actually a Dutch language. It's invented by a Dutch guy, Guido van Rossum.
There were actually some sort of courses available, by a bunch of hobby freaks, people that weren't mainstream. There were some Python stuff available back in the day. I just never really found that out I guess.

Chris:
Were there a community of programmers that you could hang out with and just get some help with... no?

Koen:
Not at all.

Chris:
No.

Koen:
No, I knew very few programmers. I knew a few people online that were into web design, and I hung out with them over this Mac application called Hotline. Or you would also download all the illegal stuff. Yeah, it's in '96. I probably won't get jailed for that anymore, but you needed to get Photoshop somehow.

Chris:
Right.

Koen:
It was a Mac app called Hotline. Then you would download it with ISDN, fairly slowly and then try and install it. Then put in some codes. Yeah, and there were a few people there that I met, that were also really into this stuff. I hung out with them a little bit, but it was mostly by yourself.

Chris:
Okay, there's still a pretty big jump. I did want to just mention a couple of things, like you were talking about, once you build something and you see it move and interact, I know it's digital, but it feels like so much more.
I remember in the mid to late '90s, I worked on my first website with my older brother who's a software developer and it felt magical. That we had these things that were on a screen, they were totally not interactive. Then he would push it out, and we would refresh our browser and then it was live. It was really amazing.
It was a total paradigm shift for me in terms of my... thinking about this, because most of the projects I had done to that point, once it's done, it's done. It's gone, print like a CD cover or an editorial spread, or even a video that we would produce. It's done, you don't work on it anymore.
Something that... it felt a live for some reason, because it's never really done. You just keep updating or changing it, and that was really cool. I think that's kind of like what you're talking about. Then you get hooked on that.

Koen:
Yeah, but I think that even came a little bit later, where you can keep updating it and it's actually live and accessible to the world. That's definitely also a point where I have... I really remember figuring out what an IP address was. That my computer could expose a [inaudible 00:33:51], that anyone in the world could visit.
I just sat down for an hour and thought like, "Is this really how it works? That's pretty amazing. This is like a phone number that anybody can dial for free, and they can see whatever stuff I have on my hard drive." That was that moment for me.
I'm talking about the moment before, where I went from making a print on my dad's laser writer, which is cool. I showed the picture, with my logo to my dad and he goes like, "Yeah, I'm busy," but that was really cool.
I'd show it to friends at school and I could get a response. I imagine that the best version of that is like, "You're a truly amazing artist like, Vincent van Gogh," not Vincent. In his time, they wouldn't really respond that way.

Chris:
Right.

Koen:
If you could see people responding to his painting now, that would be the most extreme version of a visual response. It's nothing compared to getting people to play with your app, and to click on your stuff and kind of finding their way through this thing that you designed. That's really what got me hooked.
It wasn't even about it being able to update fast, but it's just like you coming up with some story or some idea that others can explore in different... there's not one shape of it. It's interactive. They can play with it. I also know that it's so intense, because it feels so bad if they can't figure it out.

Chris:
Right.

Koen:
You'll take it so personal, like that hurts. That's why nobody likes user testing.

Chris:
Okay, so how does this get you into launching your agency?

Koen:
Yeah, so basically programming for a while, making websites, doing some VJing. Well, that wasn't really going anywhere, but it was fun for a while. Then finally, I ended up... university. I did communication science, which is... I looked at a few art academies, but that's very classical in the Netherlands.
They're super good, but they weren't really busy with like... well, they were busy with digital, in the way that it's like digital transformation. It's kind of like figuring out what to do with digital, instead of being very sort of like forward-thinking with it.
I decided, "Well, I'll probably be in advertising, so I'll do communication science." Then also, I wanted to go to university, because I put a lot of effort into actually getting that diploma, so that I could.
Then I thought I would use it as a side gig, or as sort of like a job on Thursday evenings and Saturdays. I ended up in a retail Apple store, one of the fake ones here. They weren't real... yeah, they weren't like the official Apple stores.
They were trying to make them look real. Then selling iPod covers and Macs. At some point, I thought, "This retail system that we have to use is really shit. It's really not fun, and it's slow with some Windows thing over VPN." I started asking around.
Everybody in my class in university obviously was doing some retail job, and everybody was not having fun with that app. It's not really supposed to be fun, but you can remember if you were playing SimCity and you did everything well, you got a nice report at the end of the day. Like how well you did.
That definitely felt a lot more fun than the software that we had to use to get our work done. I felt like, "Maybe we can do something here." I started to build a point-of-sale system. I found a really good buddy that also worked there, and was pretty technical and it helped me out.
We tried to sell it back to the company, which obviously didn't work. It was the first time that we got into real application building. The thing that kind of kicked off the agency, came after we met this... he was really a kid back then. A 16-year-old guy from the US, who made an app called app Sapper. [inaudible 00:38:02].
It was a very small Mac app, that would allow you to delete apps from your Mac. It was really fun to use it. It had a little sort of gun icon. One of my friends here in Amsterdam made the icon, that eventually ended up starting the company with me. That's how I got to know him.
He sold this software online through PayPal. He had a little sound on his computer, and every time he sold a copy five bucks, his computer would do, "Chin-chin." He would join us for the summer in Amsterdam. He would just write software.
He explained to us a little bit more objectives work. That, that's a lot harder to buy then, so I can use some help. Then that annoying, chin-chin, we heard it multiple times [crosstalk 00:38:45].

Chris:
[crosstalk 00:38:45].

Koen:
I just started to figure, "We should try and do this for point-of-sale software." At this point, so my other co-founder Dirk and Jasper, later on, Hugo, we decided, "Yeah, well, we can try."
That's kind of how the real agency... well, it wasn't really an agency, it was more like a real startup started. It's like, we started selling that point-of-sale system online. It took obviously year or something, to remake it and then sell the first copy.
Once we sold it, we drank all the money the same night, but we had to refund the next day to this person who was running some... I don't know, I think it was like a fitness studio and it was totally not appropriate for their use case.
Eventually, it started working a little bit. I think we had no idea what being an entrepreneur was, or starting a company. We just wanted to make super nice looking software, and that it definitely was. It started to work a little bit, and that was kind of how we got the thing off the ground.
A bit of consulting work on the side still. Until we started a few more apps, and we basically used the money to just fund building the next step. Until we had a real company built around it, with probably 13 people and we're making some revenue.
Where we had four apps or three apps for the developers out there, Versions and  Kaleidoscope. A subversion app and a diffing app that I still love using myself. This is also kind of the beginning of my love for tools. It's really nice to work on tools. That's kind of how the company got to exist.

Chris:
Okay, so a bunch of questions along the way here. The first one is, you said you went to school and you thought you're going to go into advertising, which is what your dad does for a living.
How do he feel about that? Was he like, "Okay, fine. Koen's going to go and do advertising, it's following my footsteps." Or was he like, "No, stay away from advertising. It's a horrible industry."

Koen:
No, it wasn't one way or the other to be honest. I think at that point, he started to figure out at least, that I was always going to start a company. That seemed pretty evident. I never really had any anxiety about that or second thoughts.
I really enjoyed having a group of people around me that were at the same level, probably a lot better, that you can learn from each other. I think like, having that group and accomplishing your first release and your first sale, that's something I was very sure that I would do for a long time.
I think my dad could see that very well. That like, whether to go into advertising or not, I don't think he was... yeah, he told me I was a bad writer, so that was least pretty honest.

Chris:
Tough love there. You already knew you weren't a great writer, so it wasn't like, "Dad, you're breaking my dreams here," right?

Koen:
No, I-

Chris:
Yeah.

Koen:
Yeah.

Chris:
Okay, so what's interesting to me is, you finished school. You would work in retail for like a split second, and then you're like, "I see a need here and I'm going to develop software."
Then you spend, I think what? Like a year making this, until it's something that you can actually sell. Are you essentially unemployed for a year at this point?

Koen:
This is the secret of the Dutch government sponsoring students. Basically in the Netherlands... so it's kind of like a student loan that's funded by the government. You get like 500 euros a month, which back then in Amsterdam, it wouldn't really get you much.

Chris:
Right.

Koen:
Just enough to maybe like, with a little job on the side, to pay for your room and some Thai food. That was great, so that's basically how we did it. The downside is, you have to pay it back if you don't finish your school, which I totally had to do. It was still completely worth it.
That kind of funded the whole first year of the layman profitability, if you will. Where we started to make enough money to... I mean, this is like, "Now, we're all paying each other 500 euros a month for a year." We weren't getting rich of it by any means, but it definitely did help sort of bootstrapping.

Chris:
Very interesting.

Koen:
Yeah.

Chris:
Yeah, so the government gives you money as long as you stay in school and finish school, so is school also free?

Koen:
It's 1,000 euros a year, was back in the day. Probably now, it's like-

Chris:
Wow, that's so affordable.

Koen:
Yeah, in Europe, basically university is kind of free. Although Dutch people won't agree, they think the 2,000 euros is still pretty expensive.

Chris:
Wow, that's incredible though. Okay, so you're making apps. This is where I'm a little confused, because you say you're a half designer, half programmer and a little bit entrepreneur. When I'm listening to the story, it's like you're 100% entrepreneur and a little bit of a designer and a programmer.
Every time you were looking for a problem to solve, you would just invent a solution. When you got in trouble in school, you just tried to figure out how to use a computer to make it easier for you, even though it wound up being a lot harder. When you were interested in Vjing, you're like, "I'm just [crosstalk 00:43:57]."

Koen:
The homework of a great entrepreneur.

Chris:
That is very true. It's true, and then you're working in retail, at kind of a fake Apple store. You're like, "This could be a lot better," and you just invent a solution for that. That sounds like a thoroughbred, like 100% entrepreneurial mindset to me.

Koen:
Yeah, but I think a lot of people have that. I think the difference is that like, you've got to find one or two of those things that you actually see through to the end, so that you can build something around it.
I think a lot of people start those projects. For every one that I saw through to the end, I started like at least 20 that I didn't.

Chris:
Right.

Koen:
That's ultimately what makes somebody an entrepreneur versus non-entrepreneur. It's not that you were born like that. It's just like, when do you get your first project that you start, finally over to that finish line? Congratulations, now your at one. That can happen when you're 80 I think.

Chris:
Right, so do you have advice for people who maybe are on that 19th project, that they still yet have to finish? How they're going to find that 20th one, that actually is going to be done and then, "Okay, now you've got your one."

Koen:
From there or to there?

Chris:
Well, they're still in that like, "I'm just trying lots of things and nothing is clicking. Should I quit? How do I know that this is it, or I'm just wasting my time and this is a foolish pursuit?"

Koen:
No, because that motivation came fairly natural to me. It's really hard to... it's so dependent on who you are, where you get your motivation from in that regard. You can read all these different blog posts about like, how do you finish a project? Sometimes it's procrastination. Sometimes life just gets in the way.
Sometimes you secretly don't want it, you're just doing it for the wrong reasons. Then many times, someday you find the right set up for yourself and it just clicks and off you go.
I think everybody that made a project see through all the way... and at some point, everybody has one, they probably can explain to you why that one versus not the other ones. I guess it's hard to even repeat, if you got there. Yeah, I wish there was a recipe, but I don't think there is.

Chris:
Can you tell me a little bit more about the, secretly not wanting to have it finished? That says something to me. I just want to get more of your thoughts on that. Where some people may self-sabotage or for whatever reason, they're just making up 1,000 reasons why they don't want to finish it.

Koen:
Yeah, I don't know if I have a lot of wisdom around that. I think it's just more something that like, you can kind of... it's one of these things that sometimes you have to get honest about that.
I mean, if you just feel bad about a project never finishing, then at some point you can start digging like, "Is there a reason? Maybe I just don't want it." Then you can just get that as a conclusion, and then stop and do something else.
This is actually like, stopping is an interesting thing for entrepreneurs. If you really have a drive and you put a lot of work behind something, then stopping with something in favor of something else, that's actually really tough.
You build up a ton of confidence and a ton of motivation to see something through. If it turns out not to have the result that you need or you want, then to let that all go, that's way harder I think than finishing a project. It's like quitting a project that you love.

Chris:
Right, that can be really tough. Okay, when did Facebook become interested in your agency? Tell me what that was like.

Koen:
Yeah, so when we were making Mac apps, we really put a lot of effort into making them really look pretty. We were constantly challenging each other to make more weirder, elaborate interfaces, interactive interfaces. One of the beginning projects that was kind of... that kicked off.
The startup was together with this guy that kind of taught me programming, Austin. We were making an app. He was making an app together with Jasper, one of my co-founders. Where we were thinking about... or they made a disc burner program, to burn CDs.
We got so weird about it, that we made all this smoke come out of the window while you were burning a CD. Then we found somebody who was actually a physics PhD or major. He programs real smoke that would respond to your mouse. You had this smoking window on your Mac, while you were burning a CD.
That was ridiculous, but so much fun. It actually only ran one GPU, because you needed all that horsepower to just run the smoke and it would kill your battery, but it didn't really matter.
We just were having so much fun, and there were only a few other Mac companies around, that were doing... maybe not as crazy as we did, but making really, really good Mac software, I want to say. Like, Benik, that's still in that game. Making transmission, like the most high quality Mac software that you can imagine.
CSS edits with [inaudible 00:49:15], which like, I'm very lucky that he now works at Framer as well. He makes CSS edit that you might have used as a web developer. A lot of people learned how to use CSS from that. He had like, the guys who ended up making, two web things... I forgot how we called it back then.
There was a small set of really high quality Mac app makers, that really drove that forward. Apple was pretty good at seeing that, and so they gave us a bunch of Apple design awards. That was pretty rare for a company in Europe, just like, I know of a few kids basically.
We flew out to San Francisco a couple of times for the WWDC. Then they put us in the front row, and they gave us steak. We had no money, so it was amazing. I think... yeah, there's one of these nights where they take us out for dinner. We suddenly halfway, realized that if they stick us with the bill, we can't get out.

Chris:
We you really thinking that? Like, "Oh my God, this dinner is so expensive if we have to pay for this."

Koen:
Yeah. This guy from Apple, he invited us for dinner in SF. He takes us to some restaurant, Le Colonial or something. We're there, and we're there with 8 or 10 people. Halfway during dinner, I look at the menu and I'm like, "Wow, we can't afford this. This is twice the budget that we have for the whole week.
We're staying next door in some hostel." Luckily, Apple picked up the check, because they were doing it, so that on the next day we would get an Ada. This is sort of the thing that they do with it. Yeah, that was not the most relaxed dinner that I sat through [inaudible 00:51:07].

Chris:
That must have been very cool. It's surreal. Here you guys are, some young people flying to San Francisco to get an award from Apple, sitting in the front row.

Koen:
Yeah, we felt like rock stars. I mean, it's a very nerdy version of the Oscars, but it definitely felt like the Oscars to us. That was great. I think what... I mean, obviously because we won a few of those, some people in the industry that were really good designers, they started to look at us.
Say, "Hey, they seem to really know what they're doing. All their stuff looks pretty good." I still think sometimes, going to back to their old website, there were some really cool stuff there. Like making icons and the interface, it's real art.
Yeah, for that reason, somehow the stars were aligned in some weird way, that some social media company was trying to figure out what design meant for them, and started looking for great designers and design companies. That's how it kind of ended up with us.
How that works is that, this is like... Facebook's not so big. We get an email from Mark. Honestly, I just thought that they were messing with us. I called out the guys, I'm like, "Come on. This is not funny, I'm trying to work here." Yeah, it turned out to be him. Yeah, I jump on the phone and then he flies us out to Palo Alto.
We weren't really planning on doing that. We weren't even thinking about, that they might want to acquire us. Yeah, when we got there, they made it pretty clear what the goal was. Then it wasn't really hard I guess, to convince us to join I guess. That was pretty... somewhere between intimidating and a huge opportunity.

Chris:
Right.

Koen:
We just decided to join the team. I think the main reason... I mean, there were many reasons. The coolest reason I think for us in hindsight, was that the design team at Facebook was maybe eight people. We would add another eight people. Also, which is something we didn't know, is a bunch of our friends got hired at the same moment.
Mike Matas was somebody in the same onboarding room that we knew for a while. We were like, "What are you doing here?" It turned out that they bought all the good designers that we knew. That was an extra surprise on top of that, yeah. Then yeah, we joined Facebook and we worked there for two years.

Chris:
What year is this that you joined and how old were you?

Koen:
2011 to 2013.

Chris:
Okay.

Koen:
Like 27, 28. Done Sofa for six years. Then two years of Facebook.

Chris:
Are you able to disclose the financial arrangement with-?

Koen:
No.

Chris:
Okay.

Koen:
Well, I'm sure I can, but I won't.

Chris:
Okay, no problem. Okay, so two years in, are you fulfilling or have you completed your obligations? Usually when people buy a company or the team, there's some contractual obligations or something like that.

Koen:
You mean like, that you invest fully?

Chris:
Yeah, were you fully vested at that point?

Koen:
No, that's always four years. It's a big decision to leave sooner. Two years is enough to realize that you like small companies better than big companies. That's not to say that I didn't like Facebook, I had a rough time. I almost got fired ones, so that was pretty rough, right there.
You kind of have to navigate the structure of a large company like that, where also everybody is from Ivy Leagues and I had no idea what that meant. There's all these small cultural differences in Europe versus the US, that you might not realize, because you all grow up watching the A team.
You feel like, "Yeah, we got to get each other." Yeah, I mean, there's all this sort of US stuff where... I mean, there's a lot of like ex-Microsoft people in Facebook. Suddenly there's letters and career plans, and developments and promotions, and that's really not how we were thinking.
That could have been better, that got us maybe a bit in... I don't want to say trouble here and there, but I'm really making it a point in the current company, to maybe educate young people a bit better about like, you got to imagine that people... if you're from Europe, from some university, you work for a startup or two.
You're not kind of Harvard educated or Stanford educated, to know how to make the most out of your career. Where like, "All right, two years junior, four year senior, director, I'll jump to a VP. It takes four different companies to get there or to accelerate that," but you have no idea.
That was one of those things that you kind of run into, and definitely something that made it less fun. Once you've figured it out, which you can do pretty quickly, then you can use the company and sometimes work on projects where you feel like, the whole company is behind you and you can do pretty amazing stuff.
Like the first version of Facebook Messenger was really cool to work on. Even the first ads, where it was kind of fun to work on. It was fun to work on video ads, and learning about how commercials are being made. Like bringing Super Bowl ads to the Facebook platform.
I know that most people probably don't enjoy that part of Facebook the most, but it was fun to work on it in hindsight. Yeah, I mean, both sides. It definitely made me realize, I'm a startup person and startups are hard. You better do another one while you're younger instead of later.

Chris:
Right.

Koen:
After two years, I also had the opportunity to meet my old... not my old co-founder, but somebody who worked in a previous company with me, Jorn, and who kind of led the design team there. Said, "All right, why don't we do it together?"
He'll hate me for telling this, but just when we said we would leave, he got also a special fee. All these companies have special bonuses, so he got the special bonus and he had to wait for another year to get it. He already told me he would leave, so he felt so bad that day. [crosstalk 00:57:41].

Chris:
He had to wait a year to join you?

Koen:
No, he decided not to do it, so we had forfeit-

Chris:
No.

Koen:
... the mega bonus.

Chris:
He lost the mega bonus. Wow, okay. That speaks a lot about who you guys and your spirits and your nature... you're kind of Europeans jammed into this American way of climbing the corporate ladder, and the way things work and it wasn't a good fit for you, right?

Koen:
That's a really nice way to say it. Also just, we made our minds up and like you want to do something super fun. We're not going to stop working, so that wasn't the goal at all.

Chris:
Is this then when you returned to the Netherlands and started your company?

Koen:
Yes, so this is I think one of the most interesting [inaudible 00:58:26] with an opportunity to not work for a while. Well, that didn't go over so well. After two months, we were already trying to build some new stuff. It's pretty addictive to start building and coming up with new ideas.
We got this problem that most ex-Facebook or ex-Google people have, is like, the world looks big mobile photos or messenger app, because that's all that matters in these companies. It is the biggest application on mobile, is like photos, messages, and videos now too.
Basically, we only think about that like, "How are we going to make the next big messenger app?" It takes a few months to get off that high and figure out, "Okay, what's really a problem that you want to work on?"
If you have an opportunity to think about what you want to work on, you got to come up with something good and that's not so easy. We have few really long discussions about, "Okay, so what do we pick as the next problem to work on?"
The thing that we settled on, I still think is a good idea for others to copy, is like, we settled on a problem that we wanted to work on for a long time. A lot of startup pick a problem from an Excel sheet, or from some thesis by investors or from whatever the hype is, because it's a good opportunity.
Or the total addressable market is ginormous, or any of these reasons and these are good reasons. If you work on a problem that you want to work on for 10 years, it's pretty hard for somebody to beat you, because you'll just continue going. We thought, "All right, if we can pick that, this is a pretty big weapon to have."
That's how we got to tools prototyping. It's also, because we saw that problem manifest itself at Facebook, like trying to express things that you couldn't do in Sketch or Photoshop. It was definitely one of those things where we said, "Well, this problem is going to stay interesting for a long time."

Chris:
Very good, so take me to current history right now. Here you are, how big is the company? What are your challenges? What's the thing that you're most excited about working on and what's the future for you?

Koen:
Yeah, so we're now around 80 people, so it's big. I never had a company this big. Well, I do now, but I've never had before. I had big teams in Facebook, but it's different when it's your own company.
That isn't always easy, but I think we're in a phase where we're making it work quite well. You can tell that like, people are fairly happy and we're putting a lot of new stuff out. It feels like we're in a really good place with the company.
The way that we started was very small, and we started kind of as like a technical prototyping tool. Very much based on JavaScript, and as an addition to another application and that worked really well pretty quickly. A lot of our friends at Facebook picked it up.
Then Google, and started to make quite elaborate things in this very relatively simple application. We nailed a few things, like direct feedback and at no cost to get started. You could just do a new document or a new project, and you would be designing right away. That was really fun for a while.
I think the next evolution, when we thought, "Okay, so what do we build next?" Was like, "All right, so we are an accompany app, so we need to..." you always need to use us next to Sketch or next to Photoshop. "We should probably build our own canvas."
We knew the guys from Sketch really well, so the Dutch person, [inaudible 01:02:15]. We knew it took him nine years to develop that. We were thinking, "Okay, so how do we make sure that we don't get nine years into trying to develop this, before we can meet that threshold?"
We started to focus on the things and canvas that are more important for building apps like layouts, hierarchy and stuff like that. Not to really focused on like, the best way to draw on icon, because that takes a long time to do really good Boolean operations and like Vector Networks, like Figma's exploring.
We were really on like, okay, so responsive design and layout stuff, flexbox, that kind of stuff is very important on the canvas. We've just done a lot of research there, and built a pretty good sort of web-based canvas sort of version, and that kind of became the second iteration of Framer.
It's really going well, lots more people were using it. Then we had to kind of make a big decision, because we were also running into a limitation, where before we could make somebody successful in Framer, we had to teach them how to code. That is another thing I really like to do.
I realize... or I'm very aware, if I can get some people to teach them... or if I can teach them JavaScript... and I think we're lucky enough to say that, there's probably you tens of thousands of people that learnt how to do JavaScript through Framer.
Although we got them starting CoffeeScript, but that's different, so it's close enough. That was career changing for them, and maybe they would have learned it later or before, or in some other way, but it still does feel super good.
That was a really great side about being a fairly technical product, that we could push people to acquire a new skill that's super transferable. The other thing though, is that we also wanted to build a big company.
Not a big company in terms of like big in size or big in revenue. Yeah. Sorry, investors. We have to get super big in revenue obviously too, but we wanted to be big in impact and then obviously all the other things come with it.

Chris:
Right.

Koen:
The biggest thing in impact, is not really about... if the problem really is about like, how many more people can you express, sort of the highest fidelity IT ideas and computers' interactive stuff. Then is the best strategy to teach them all how to program? God knows I tried.
I wrote like 100 books on how to adopt, react in CoffeeScript. Even while we got to a good base, the trick is, is to figure out if there's another way to get people to build these things outside of having to learn how to program. I surely I'm not saying like, no programming at all. It can always be a mix.
There must be more ways to combine things like programmatic and direct manipulation together, to make it more natural for people to express ideas in computers. I think really, that's what we're motivated by and going after. We had to make a pretty big move there.
You'll still find some people that liked our previous approach way better, but we are going after solving the other problem, or how can we change the division of 30 million engineers, making all the apps for 6 billion people? How do we get to the next 30 million? Is there another way than teaching them all how to program?

Chris:
Wow, that sounds like a really big challenge. When you frame it that way, it does seem like it's very disproportionate. That only a relatively small percentage of people are designing and developing the tools that everybody will be using.

Koen:
Yeah, I think it's pretty evident to me that will change. There'll be a pretty big... when it changes, it will be a pretty big revolution in how people will use computers, because... how do I put this?
I think some people have seen the internet being a more creative place than it is now. I think that will be a great side effect, from allowing more and weirder people to express ideas in computers, because you get more weird stuff. I think that can make the internet a way better place.

Chris:
You had said at the beginning of our conversation, that you're not so good at doing the media thing. If somebody is listening to this and they're really inspired by your story, and they want to get into programming and this is the moment for them.
What are some places where they can go and find out more information? You said you had written a bunch of books on this stuff, where do people find out more information about you and what you're doing?

Koen:
Yeah, I'm not super interesting to be honest. I mean, I hope that people make it all the way through air, because then they obviously think I'm interesting enough to listen for however short this interview will be, after you edit it.
That I think the interesting stuff that we're doing or that's happening around, like being able to push people and what they can make is... I mean, like framer.com is a good place to find all the stuff that we're putting out. There's a bunch of other interesting stuff happening.
If you follow us on Twitter, we're also pretty good at pointing at some of these things or just follow me. You can find like, if you're interested in this stuff generally, how we push the boundaries of what people can creatively make with computers.
Then it should be pretty easy to kind of figure out what I'm thinking about, and who I'm looking at for the next steps to take, besides us obviously. The books and stuff, I publish also under framer.com. Just under the learning materials, I wrote this huge book on how to think about or react for designers.
I think it's a really good approach, but there are so much really good material around that, to learn about reactor component systems in general, because that's maybe a little bit more what it's about. Sort of like the building blocks that allow you to create these new things.
Yeah, so I would encourage everybody to check that out if you're interested. There's a long tail of really cool things to figure out from amazing people, like the Breadth Vectors that do really great talks, all the way to research from the '70s around small talk.
It's predicting some of the things that we should have had by now, for being able to express this, that we don't. All these things kind of like come together in I think what we were trying to do, and some other companies are trying to do to push this forward.

Chris:
What is your Twitter handle?

Koen:
Koen Bok, just my name.

Chris:
Okay, you're supposed to say that like you're a media person. Are you supposed to mention that?

Koen:
Yeah.

Chris:
Okay, so thank you for being so open, and transparent and sharing your stories. I really enjoyed just kind of going back in time with you for a little bit, to kind of see the person before they were the person.
On behalf of my entire team, all the designers out there who are interested in developing and designing for The Futur, and apps and web, I just want to applaud you for doing what you're doing.
To encourage you, because having really great prototyping tools and being able to... just having another tool in your arsenal, to be able to articulate your thinking and to get really good feedback really quickly, is so, so important. Thank you very much.

Koen:
Thank you very much for having me. I really enjoyed it. Hi. My name is Koen, and you're listening to The Futur.

Greg:
Thanks for joining us this time. If you haven't already, subscribe to our show on your favorite podcasting app and get a new insightful episode from us every week. The Futur podcast is hosted by Chris Do and produced by me, Greg Gunn.
Thank you to Anthony Barro for editing and mixing this episode, and thank you to Adam Sanborne for our intro music. If you enjoyed this episode, then do us a favor by rating and reviewing our show on Apple Podcasts. It'll help us grow the show and make Futur episodes that much better.
Have a question for Chris or me? Head over to thefutur.com/heychris and ask away. We read every submission, and we just might answer yours in a later episode. If you'd like to support the show and invest in yourself while you're at it, visit thefutur.com.
You'll find video courses, digital products and a bunch of helpful resources about design and creative business. Thanks again for listening, and we'll see you next time.

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