00:00:00 ◼ ► we have a theme. Here's the thing. Oftentimes, the way I run this show, we don't necessarily have a
00:00:04 ◼ ► theme. We might have a list of talking points, but we have a theme. I'll just spoil it. It's
00:00:08 ◼ ► the metaverse. I think we can fill a whole talk show with it. Yeah, but we have to establish,
00:00:14 ◼ ► I mean, we have this luxurious amount of time because we usually record in 15-minute segments,
00:00:20 ◼ ► and we already devoted two episodes of Dithering to the metaverse, but I think we just have to
00:00:25 ◼ ► establish as a rule that we're going to pretend those two episodes don't exist. Okay, that makes
00:00:29 ◼ ► sense. One, obviously, a lot of your listeners aren't subscribers. I mean, shame on them,
00:00:34 ◼ ► but we have to accept the unfortunate reality. But two, it's just going to be impossible to
00:00:40 ◼ ► keep it straight otherwise. So, I think we pretend like we've never talked about it before and go
00:00:44 ◼ ► from there. Well, the good news is my podcast amnesia does not just apply to my own show. It
00:00:49 ◼ ► applies to Dithering as well, so I actually don't really remember the specifics of what that was.
00:00:56 ◼ ► Speaking of podcast amnesia, I have a bit of follow-up, but I actually don't remember which
00:01:01 ◼ ► episode of my show I spoke about it. I believe it was the recent one with Moltz, but it could have
00:01:08 ◼ ► been with Nilay. I'm not quite sure, but one of the recent episodes, we were talking about turning
00:01:13 ◼ ► TVs on and off, and I have this LG OLED we bought. It feels like we've had it forever, but in fact,
00:01:20 ◼ ► it was installed like a week before COVID hit, which is why it feels like we've had it forever.
00:01:28 ◼ ► I was telling somebody today, somebody was asking about my eyes, and my most recent cataract surgery
00:01:36 ◼ ► was in June of 2020, and in fact, was supposed to happen in March of 2020 and couldn't because the
00:01:44 ◼ ► place where they were going to do it shut down. So, I very, very, very vividly remember that it,
00:01:49 ◼ ► yeah, I was supposed to have it, then I had to wait, which was annoying because I couldn't see
00:01:53 ◼ ► very well, and then my eye doctor contacted me as soon as they were doing procedures again,
00:02:03 ◼ ► it was like three or four years ago. It was like a year and a couple months. It is amazing how this
00:02:10 ◼ ► time has gone. Anyway, I was complaining about the fact that with HDMI power, and you know,
00:02:16 ◼ ► there's a couple of stupid names for it, but the basic idea is that you connect your TV to like an
00:02:21 ◼ ► Apple TV or some other box, and the box should be able to turn the TV on and off with just the one
00:02:27 ◼ ► remote. And with my LG, we have a TiVo hooked up, and we have an Apple TV hooked up, and the TiVo
00:02:34 ◼ ► can turn the TV on and off, but the Apple TV can only turn it off, which if it could only do one,
00:02:42 ◼ ► is better because it's like, "I just want to go to bed, hit one button, everything goes off,
00:02:46 ◼ ► I go to bed." But if I want to just turn it on, the Apple TV power wouldn't turn it on.
00:02:51 ◼ ► And I just figured it was because I had the wrong type of HDMI cable, like almost good enough,
00:02:58 ◼ ► but not quite good enough, and it goes through the back of the wall. It would be like a nightmare to
00:03:03 ◼ ► put a new cable back there. I mean, in theory, I could switch the cable with the TiVo, but then
00:03:08 ◼ ► maybe the TiVo wouldn't work as well, and I could just live with it, whatever. Turns out, from a
00:03:14 ◼ ► listener of the show, I thanked him personally, but he goes by a seemingly anonymous name on
00:03:21 ◼ ► Twitter, so I don't want to mention it. He thinks he has either the same TV as me or a similar one,
00:03:26 ◼ ► and if you go into settings, this is on the LG TV, you go to settings, and then within settings,
00:03:33 ◼ ► you go to all settings, then you go to connection, then you go to HDMI device settings,
00:03:41 ◼ ► not device connector. Don't go there, because that'll mess it up. And you turn on simp, link,
00:03:47 ◼ ► HDMI, CEC, and auto power sync, and it might all work. And not only does this now all work,
00:03:56 ◼ ► but now the Apple TV remote, if the TV's off and it's set to the TiVo, it will not only turn the
00:04:16 ◼ ► I have a magical system that everything just works, and whatever you turn on, it switches
00:04:22 ◼ ► the right input, etc., etc. And then one day I updated my TV software, I have no idea why I did
00:04:28 ◼ ► that. And then it stopped working, and I'm just like, I'm just killing myself. I'm so mad, I'm
00:04:34 ◼ ► so frustrated, I have to use two remotes all the time. I'm not sure what happened, it just started
00:04:39 ◼ ► working again. So I backed my magical TV setup, but I will never update another thing in my
00:04:43 ◼ ► entertainment center again. Did you turn your TV off the internet? To me, that's key. And number
00:04:50 ◼ ► one, it's sort of like a spyware type thing. But number two, I've got this TV setup perfect.
00:04:54 ◼ ► But there's nothing I want to do on the actual TV. I don't want to use their smart apps. So I've
00:05:01 ◼ ► banned the TV from the internet. Yeah, I have it on the internet. Because I like the—it
00:05:12 ◼ ► I also have a Chromecast connected. And I like having a backup, because that's the way I watch
00:05:17 ◼ ► NBA games. So I use Chromecast all the time. And it's really frustrating when it doesn't work,
00:05:22 ◼ ► so I like having it as a backup and whatever. They can observe that I'm watching NBA games.
00:05:27 ◼ ► Then I'll bet though that's what happened to you. I'll bet you got a software update that put the
00:05:32 ◼ ► kibosh— No, no, no, but I approved the software update. That's why I was mad at myself. Because
00:05:37 ◼ ► at least they asked you if you want to update. But it wasn't, and then you didn't approve a
00:05:41 ◼ ► next update, and that's when it fixed itself. It just fixed itself without even approving a software.
00:05:49 ◼ ► how devastated I was when it stopped working with just one remote. It's so annoying, because when it
00:06:05 ◼ ► streaming over Chromecast or AppleTV, whatever it might be, and it just goes to the right thing,
00:06:10 ◼ ► and it all works, and the speakers turn on, and it's amazing. Which is how we grew up with old
00:06:17 ◼ ► analog stuff. When everything was completely analog, it was always one button. No, no, no.
00:06:22 ◼ ► Do you remember the old Nintendo RF adapter? Oh yeah. Where you connected your TV, and you had to
00:06:31 ◼ ► literally turn dials on your TV. Not to date ourselves. Well, I'll go back to the Atari 2600,
00:07:06 ◼ ► Right, because they didn't want to confuse—in case your local station was on either two or three.
00:07:20 ◼ ► So, the next channel up was like channel 15 or something. So, I thought that's why that existed.
00:07:28 ◼ ► Well, let me get greedy here now that I've had a listener of the show fix my Apple TV turning on
00:07:36 ◼ ► the TV problem. And if anybody remembers or knows why the Atari 2600 offered you both two and three
00:07:43 ◼ ► as options, send me an email or a direct message or something like that, and let me know. I'll
00:07:50 ◼ ► update it on a future episode of gripping AV Club introductions to the talk show. My best guess
00:07:58 ◼ ► as a little kid was always that maybe if you lived really close to one of the stations,
00:08:12 ◼ ► I guess you're right. See, I guess things started going awry when we started hooking up
00:08:16 ◼ ► TVs to actual stereos. When I was a kid, nobody, even the friend who had the biggest TV that I was
00:08:22 ◼ ► the most jealous of because it seemed the nicest, it wasn't hooked up to a stereo. The TV still
00:08:27 ◼ ► played the audio through the TV speakers. And once we started hooking stuff up to the receivers,
00:08:32 ◼ ► then you had to separate remote for this, separate remote for that. I also remember then getting
00:08:38 ◼ ► a separate remote for the cable box that you had to use, but I guess we used that for everything
00:08:44 ◼ ► at that point. I'm not sure. But anyway, I'm back to the simplicity of 1978 where I hit one button
00:08:51 ◼ ► and it turns my Apple TV on. I almost want to rush through the show just so that I can go upstairs
00:08:56 ◼ ► and turn my TV on. Let me take a break here and thank our first sponsor. It's a new sponsor. I'm
00:09:03 ◼ ► very excited about them. They're called Rows. R-O-W-S. That's Rows.com. R-O-W-S.com. They are
00:09:11 ◼ ► a new spreadsheet on the web and they're coming out with a bunch of awesome features and some great,
00:09:18 ◼ ► great design. Just go to Rows.com and take a look and you can kind of see the vibe of it. It is very
00:09:22 ◼ ► friendly. The whole world runs on spreadsheets. People love spreadsheets because they make you
00:09:27 ◼ ► the owner of your data and you're thinking, "I personally use spreadsheets all the time.
00:09:33 ◼ ► I use them to manage everything from doing fireball sponsorships to tracking my NFL bets
00:09:40 ◼ ► every weekend. One of those makes me money. One of those loses me money. But I use spreadsheets
00:09:46 ◼ ► for all of this." But the problem with existing spreadsheets is they were invented for a world
00:09:50 ◼ ► before the iPhone and before cloud APIs. They're too ugly to share interesting data and they're
00:09:56 ◼ ► also error-prone. It's easy to accidentally delete stuff and they are isolated from other tools.
00:10:02 ◼ ► Rows reinvented the spreadsheet to let you build data-rich spreadsheets that look modern and slick.
00:10:15 ◼ ► same functions you're used to like Sum, VLookup, Index, everything you're used to. But on top of
00:10:25 ◼ ► Your spreadsheet can talk to Google Analytics, Twitter, Stripe, Salesforce, Slack. It can send
00:10:31 ◼ ► emails right from the spreadsheet. It can even send things like Slack alerts. It's really,
00:10:37 ◼ ► really modern, really of the current web. And they offer a feature they call live sharing,
00:10:45 ◼ ► where somebody can be the editor of a spreadsheet and they can share it with teammates and limit the
00:10:52 ◼ ► number of cells that the other person can make editable. So nobody else can mess up parts of the
00:10:57 ◼ ► spreadsheet that they aren't supposed to mess up. You can turn spreadsheets into interactive
00:11:01 ◼ ► dashboards, reports, and forms with buttons, input fields, checkboxes, almost turn it into
00:11:07 ◼ ► like a little hypercard type thing. It looks great. You should give it a try. What you can do
00:11:19 ◼ ► My thanks to Rows for sponsoring the show. It's a good name for a spreadsheet, in my opinion.
00:11:30 ◼ ► updated trial with Epic and Apple. I actually watched a little bit of it for the first time,
00:11:35 ◼ ► so I had not seen Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Roger before. She takes no bullshit. Man, she cut
00:11:44 ◼ ► Apple's lawyer down to size quickly. Apple's been asking for a delay of her order that they
00:11:51 ◼ ► change the rules for the App Store until all the appeals are over. And she seemed not just
00:12:04 ◼ ► Well, so we have even further breaking news because the decision has actually been released.
00:12:09 ◼ ► It is denied. This literally just happened like 10 minutes ago. It is denied. And yeah, she
00:12:16 ◼ ► is basically like, "Apple's didn't make any new arguments. All these arguments were at trial.
00:12:22 ◼ ► The only reasons Apple states are just to benefit Apple." And she's like, "I don't think it's very
00:12:37 ◼ ► She clearly, throughout the whole trial, has shown that she gets it at a high level, at least. And
00:12:44 ◼ ► it's hard to argue with any of it. She totally gets it. I'm not surprised that her argument
00:12:48 ◼ ► was something as simple as, "Links are a well-known technology." So did they get any kind of delay at
00:12:56 ◼ ► No, it's denied, December 9th. She's like, "Apple didn't ask for a delay, so I'm not granting one."
00:13:03 ◼ ► Because what Apple asked for was a stay, which is, you know, so basically the order's not enforced
00:13:08 ◼ ► until all appeals are exhausted. And that was denied. And the thing about this is, this applies
00:13:15 ◼ ► to all apps. It's not, you know, we've talked a lot about Apple should allow these links on
00:13:21 ◼ ► non-gaming apps. But this is going to apply to gaming apps as well, where you can have a link
00:13:26 ◼ ► going outside. So this is a pretty big deal. I think it actually really supports and backs up
00:13:32 ◼ ► our breakdown of it, in that it is clearly about links from other apps. It's not about building a
00:13:38 ◼ ► pseudo in-app purchase experience. That's Apple's purview. And I think she sort of confirms that.
00:13:45 ◼ ► But Apple should have loosened these rules years ago. And then they wouldn't be in this position
00:13:50 ◼ ► where it's coming down to a single judge. And now it's going to cost them significantly more
00:14:05 ◼ ► look like their hand was forced, because their hand was forced. Right? You know what I mean?
00:14:12 ◼ ► It's like somebody asks you to come into the courtroom, and maybe you should come into the
00:14:16 ◼ ► courtroom. But it's like if you come in with handcuffs and law enforcement leading you the way,
00:14:30 ◼ ► Tom; Huh. Well, let's see what they come up with. It seemed to me like they were not expecting it.
00:14:35 ◼ ► There was a real change in demeanor with Apple's lawyer, Mark Perry, whose name I'm familiar with
00:14:40 ◼ ► from reading about, but I hadn't seen him before. But he seemed taken aback by her attitude. That
00:14:45 ◼ ► was my reason. And that's all, you know, it was just a three-panel Zoom with her and Epic's lawyer
00:15:02 ◼ ► despite the many complexities and differences in law worldwide, has largely achieved that,
00:15:10 ◼ ► which I think is actually honest. I think that is true that for the most part, the App Store works
00:15:15 ◼ ► the same around the world, and the only differences are in like there are certain countries where
00:15:21 ◼ ► certain types of apps are not allowed and they abide by those local laws, but the actual App
00:15:27 ◼ ► Store policies themselves are pretty consistent. And it's clear that this might be the beginning
00:15:38 ◼ ► The one thing to keep in mind is I believe, again, this just dropped, so I haven't read up on it,
00:15:44 ◼ ► but I believe that Apple can appeal the denial of the stay. And so it is possible that an appeals
00:15:51 ◼ ► court will grant the stay, which is an independent sort of thing that then actually winning the
00:15:57 ◼ ► appeal or denying the appeal or whatever it might be. So I think this is probably not over yet.
00:16:02 ◼ ► But again, that's me talking out of my room without having actually with this news that literally
00:16:36 ◼ ► Of course, the judge that issued the ruling thinks the likelihood of success is low because
00:16:40 ◼ ► she wrote the opinion. So that's why I'm thinking about the appeal. There might be an appeals court
00:16:45 ◼ ► that does give Apple stay because they're maybe initially more skeptical of the ruling.
00:16:52 ◼ ► It seems like a 50/50 call to me, right? It's... I feel like the appeals courts, if it's going to
00:16:59 ◼ ► shake things up, they're willing to grant the petitioner at least some time. So I wouldn't be
00:17:10 ◼ ► Because on the other hand, it's just letting apps have links in their apps, right? And that was part
00:17:15 ◼ ► of the judge's point. It's like, yeah, Apple feels like it's shaking things up because they don't
00:17:19 ◼ ► like the policy. But it's not like there's some deep technical change that is needed to be
00:17:25 ◼ ► happened here. It's just literally allowing apps to have links. So it's pretty easy to roll back.
00:17:33 ◼ ► perspective that even if that's it, they want to get the language of the updated App Store guidelines
00:17:41 ◼ ► right. I mean, one way to look at what I was saying before about their argument about one set of rules
00:17:47 ◼ ► worldwide, I don't think the guidelines go country by country. I mean, I guess presumably, I don't
00:17:53 ◼ ► even know. I've actually never even thought about this before, whether there are versions of the
00:17:58 ◼ ► Apple App Store guidelines in other languages other than the ones I've always read in English.
00:18:06 ◼ ► much finesse they would like to put into the updated guidelines that they feel would comply
00:18:12 ◼ ► with her injunction, number one, they should have been started on it already. And number two,
00:18:18 ◼ ► even if they literally only get started on it now, they should be able to have very good guidelines
00:18:34 ◼ ► relaxed things that sort of they announced following the Japan Antitrust Commission ruling,
00:18:41 ◼ ► and they assumed that that would be sufficient. But again, the reason why this is broader than...
00:18:52 ◼ ► but it's only for reader apps. And I think that's where Apple wanted to take it and wanted to be
00:18:57 ◼ ► like, "Hey, we allowed it for reader apps. We're not going to allow for games." And they would give
00:19:01 ◼ ► various reasons, justifications. I think what they didn't anticipate or weren't expecting was
00:19:06 ◼ ► having to do it for everything. But again, that's Apple's fault. They could have been writing new app
00:19:12 ◼ ► store regulations for the last 10 years. And the fact that they chose not to and insisted on
00:19:21 ◼ ► garnishing every single cent that they could, that's the core problem here and the core issue
00:19:26 ◼ ► that they're running up against. And it's exactly what we... We've been talking about this for years.
00:19:30 ◼ ► By being so intransigent, it's going to cost them more. They're going to lose more than if they
00:19:36 ◼ ► would have just given up a reasonable amount in the past. Yeah, and it's funny too, because even
00:19:42 ◼ ► on the shift towards moving more and more developers to just an 85/15 split from the start,
00:19:49 ◼ ► whether it's subscription or whatever it is, and just leaving the 70/30 for the big revenue games,
00:19:56 ◼ ► Google's solution is very simple. Google more or less moved all Android developers into Play Store
00:20:04 ◼ ► to 85/15. That's so much simpler than Apple's shift towards 15, which was to create the small
00:20:12 ◼ ► business program, which you have $1 million in revenue. And if you go over it... And there's a
00:20:18 ◼ ► huge cliff. Yeah, if you go over it, you're actually losing money. Because then the next
00:20:23 ◼ ► year you don't get into the small business, you don't start over again. It's like you're already
00:20:27 ◼ ► out of the small business program because you made $1.1 million the year before in revenue.
00:20:32 ◼ ► You have to apply for it. And I've spoken to developers who have applied for it. It's not
00:20:38 ◼ ► like three check boxes and sign your name and you're done. It's more complicated than that.
00:20:49 ◼ ► And there's also the public relations game of these two duopolists dancing around each other.
00:20:57 ◼ ► It's like a prisoner's dilemma situation, right? Where maybe they're best off. Obviously,
00:21:03 ◼ ► they don't want to collude because that would be illegal, and that's sort of what got Apple
00:21:08 ◼ ► into trouble with the ebooks thing a while back. Maybe it's in their best interest to just both
00:21:14 ◼ ► stick to 70/30 for as much as they could, as long as they could. And maybe that's sort of what
00:21:19 ◼ ► actually happened over the last 10 years. But eventually, somebody's going to break. And I mean,
00:21:24 ◼ ► I think developers would say, though, it's not a prisoner's dilemma. It's more of a warden's dilemma.
00:21:28 ◼ ► The warden's dilemma. I like that. Yeah, hard to see where this is going, but it's still,
00:21:42 ◼ ► that's going to surround it. Yeah, the small business program is just a great example of,
00:21:46 ◼ ► there's no way to interpret that other than just looking like they're being money-rubbing.
00:21:51 ◼ ► No, we're not going to let you big guys get a sliver of this. It's not a great look. Nothing
00:22:12 ◼ ► Like if I own a company and I've got three games and combined they make more than a million dollars,
00:22:19 ◼ ► but I could split them up into three developer accounts and all three stay under a million.
00:22:25 ◼ ► And then all of a sudden I'm getting this. It's like, if all of the games are at that level,
00:22:38 ◼ ► Fortnite's of the world, we're talking tens to hundreds of millions of dollars, if not more.
00:22:53 ◼ ► You see Apple talking about it and on the stand, like, "Oh, we created this," this sense of
00:23:00 ◼ ► entitlement. And you want to sit back and say, "Oh, they're just doing that for legal reasons."
00:23:07 ◼ ► But then you look at their actual actions and they all suggest a company that feels completely
00:23:13 ◼ ► entitled to all this and feels that developers owe them and they're doing developers a favor and
00:23:19 ◼ ► completely ignores the fact that developers are just as a collective, are very much responsible
00:23:36 ◼ ► to even acknowledge fault or that someone else might have a point, I think that speaks to the
00:23:41 ◼ ► cognitive dissonance that is inherent in this App Store model. Like, Apple, it's very hard to sit
00:23:48 ◼ ► around and think that, you know, like we sit on the outside like, "Apple, why are you doing this?
00:23:53 ◼ ► This is sort of antithetical to what we thought you stood for." And anyone internal to Apple can
00:24:00 ◼ ► feel that same way too, but the way people deal with that conflict is they convince themselves
00:24:06 ◼ ► that the opposite is true because no one likes feeling that kind of dissonance. They don't like
00:24:10 ◼ ► feeling conflicted about, "Why are we doing the right thing?" And so they actually end up becoming
00:24:15 ◼ ► extremists in the opposite direction. And everything that Apple does around the App Store,
00:24:20 ◼ ► it feels like that is what happened. Like, they've convinced themselves that whatever they do is
00:24:26 ◼ ► right and righteous, and they're just going to double down, and it's on the verge of costing
00:24:34 ◼ ► them significantly. I forget what the story was, but a week ago I wrote something about the
00:24:40 ◼ ► App Store advertising. And I just wrote that Apple should just get rid of it. They don't need it.
00:24:48 ◼ ► It's a bad look. It puts them in a conflict of interest with their developers. And a friend of
00:24:53 ◼ ► mine who until recently worked at Apple for a long time, it just texted me in agreement and said,
00:25:01 ◼ ► "Apple does one thing great. They make creative tools for people and sell them at a fair price
00:25:11 ◼ ► that people will pay for. And everything else they do, it ruins the good part of Apple.
00:25:46 ◼ ► whatever you want to call it. But from a public relations standpoint, it's bullying or greed,
00:25:52 ◼ ► right? You don't have to put a legal definition on it, but it's not a good look. It is absolutely—
00:26:10 ◼ ► and it was Tim Cook and Bezos and Sundar Pichai and I guess Zuckerberg, right? That was the four.
00:26:18 ◼ ► And there was sort of a—there was a story before it came out that Tim Cook was apparently somewhat
00:26:26 ◼ ► —Apple was resistant to having Tim Cook testify voluntarily and, you know, sort of—and he sort
00:26:32 ◼ ► of had a "why am I here" attitude the whole time, and in that congressional hearing did—actually did
00:26:42 ◼ ► not get a lot of hard questions. And there was, even when it was wrapped up, a sort of—as an
00:26:48 ◼ ► observer you could say, "Why was Tim Cook there? Seems like these other companies are the ones that
00:26:53 ◼ ► the House has a beef with." Yeah, no, that was my takeaway. I wrote, like, Apple seems like they're
00:27:00 ◼ ► in good shape because no one's paying attention to them. That was one summer—it was July of 2020.
00:27:05 ◼ ► It's unfathomable that there would be a hearing like that over these issues today where Apple
00:27:14 ◼ ► would not be—Tim Cook specifically, you know, there testifying. Like, and we sort of saw that
00:27:23 ◼ ► right before the Epic trial where Apple was trying to get out of, like, a Senate hearing and they sort
00:27:32 ◼ ► of, I guess, were alluding to the upcoming Epic trial and saying that we actually don't have time
00:27:37 ◼ ► for this. And they sent—I forget the guy's name—they sent, but it was somebody, you know,
00:27:40 ◼ ► lower level. And he did terribly, but he got really hard questions and it just gave answers
00:27:50 ◼ ► that just did not play well. And it's like, they had their chance and, like, the clock was running
00:27:56 ◼ ► out last year to sort of make some moves on their own while they still were in the good graces of
00:28:10 ◼ ► Well, again though, it is strange sort of from an objective sort of point of view. But you go back to
00:28:19 ◼ ► last—I mean, 2020, that was the year where we got—I think both of us got inundated with reports
00:28:25 ◼ ► about Apple just really scrounging for pennies from the App Store. And, like, going after developers
00:28:31 ◼ ► had been in the store for years because they had signups on their web, for example, and they didn't
00:28:36 ◼ ► have an app purchase. You know, like, I heard this story of, like, this company that builds an app
00:28:42 ◼ ► for, like, Stables or something like that. Like, it was a—someone did it as, like, a passion project.
00:28:47 ◼ ► They hired a developer who worked basically at half price because, you know, they liked the person.
00:29:01 ◼ ► Apple shows up and is, like, putting an app purchase in the app or you're out of the store.
00:29:05 ◼ ► And it was a web app that basically just had, you know, an app front end, which is what Apple,
00:29:12 ◼ ► I thought, wanted people to, you know, "Oh, an app is a better experience than going to the web,
00:29:16 ◼ ► et cetera, et cetera." And that was one of a whole host of stories that we heard about last year.
00:29:25 ◼ ► and, you know, which was part of the same sort of move going on. And the reality is that you're
00:29:31 ◼ ► right, 2020 was the time to shift, but 2020 is when their sort of attitude and arrogance and,
00:29:39 ◼ ► you know, "We must have every penny," attitude about the App Store reached its peak. And that
00:29:54 ◼ ► let's say, a personal trainer whose livelihood pre-COVID was entirely in-person personal training,
00:30:00 ◼ ► you know, exercise and maybe teaching spin classes or whatever. COVID hits, everything's closed down,
00:30:07 ◼ ► they want to stay in business, and they'd start offering stuff remote, where you could set your
00:30:14 ◼ ► iPad or your Apple TV or whatever and get a personal training session with your trainer
00:30:19 ◼ ► over the internet. But now, all of a sudden, Apple considered that digital content. I think,
00:30:32 ◼ ► Tom; Well, but it's... Their rules over what counts for something they're entitled to their cut of
00:30:39 ◼ ► and what isn't are actually clearer than a lot of people have given them credit for when you really,
00:30:46 ◼ ► really study them. Like, people often bring up Uber. They're like, "Well, why the hell have I
00:30:49 ◼ ► been buying all this stuff by Uber on a credit card all this time?" And that's because it's not
00:30:54 ◼ ► digital content that you enjoy on your Apple device. There was a thing—I forget the specifics
00:31:03 ◼ ► of it—but there was a thing where you could go to, like, the Tesla app and buy one of those
00:31:09 ◼ ► upgrades that gives you better autopilot because Tesla ups... Even though your car has the feature,
00:31:14 ◼ ► you have to pay them for it. And you could do it through their app. And it wasn't an Apple
00:31:19 ◼ ► in-app purchase. It was, like, direct payment to Tesla. Even though it was digital content,
00:31:24 ◼ ► you're just unlocking a software feature in the car that you already own. And people are like,
00:31:31 ◼ ► Apple just looks the other way." But the exception from Apple's perspective is you weren't buying
00:31:36 ◼ ► digital content for your Apple device. You were buying it for your car, which is none of their
00:31:41 ◼ ► business. They've been fairly consistent about it. And so by that standard, the sort of COVID era,
00:31:48 ◼ ► "Okay, I'm going to buy personal services from, you know, like, my trainer or whoever it was or my
00:31:54 ◼ ► therapist or whoever it might be," it seemingly would qualify. But it's such a bad look,
00:32:08 ◼ ► workouts and stuff like that? It was madness that they were going after these services.
00:32:16 ◼ ► Yeah, I mean, that's what happens when you feel entitled and you've conditioned yourself to
00:32:22 ◼ ► believe that you deserve it all. I mean, I feel like there's really... Honestly, it's hard to
00:32:31 ◼ ► come up with deeper analysis than that because the personal trainer thing is a great example.
00:32:37 ◼ ► It's so obviously a stupid thing to do, and not just because it's a small amount of money,
00:32:49 ◼ ► your blind spot has to be the size of a semi-truck to allow that to happen. And you think through,
00:32:54 ◼ ► like, how do you end up with a blind spot the size of a semi-truck? I mean, because you've conditioned
00:33:00 ◼ ► yourself to just accept and assume that everything you do at the App Store is ipso facto correct and
00:33:11 ◼ ► antitrust trial, Tim O'Reilly wrote a column on the O'Reilly site where he tried to... His mother
00:33:19 ◼ ► asked him, his mother, you know, said, "What's this Microsoft thing in the government? Can you
00:33:23 ◼ ► explain this to me?" And he tried his best to explain Microsoft's business model and practices
00:33:28 ◼ ► to his mother. And his mother looked at him and said, "I get it. This Bill Gates fellow,
00:33:32 ◼ ► he sounds like the sort of fellow who would show up to Thanksgiving and he'd say grace,
00:33:37 ◼ ► and everybody gets ready to start eating, and he says, 'I'll have all the mashed potatoes.'"
00:33:41 ◼ ► Yep. And I just remember thinking, like, "Huh, that's not that bad. That's actually pretty good."
00:33:46 ◼ ► All right, let me take a break here before we get on to the metaverse and thank our next sponsor.
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00:35:59 ◼ ► You had me on Dithering Light. I know we're not—we're going to pretend like we didn't talk
00:36:05 ◼ ► about it, but I—not that you fooled me, but I—with the Facebook announcement, I was more on
00:36:12 ◼ ► board than I thought I would be, and I was more on board post-Facebook keynote than I am now,
00:36:20 ◼ ► a week later. So I think the—one thing I do reject, and then different people will argue about
00:36:28 ◼ ► this, yes or no, is I don't think the metaverse is going to be some sort of new, distinct sort of
00:36:36 ◼ ► thing. I think that it's—the metaverse is and will be the internet. The internet—all the things
00:36:43 ◼ ► are being connected, and they're being sort of persistent presence, and this stuff—you can own
00:36:49 ◼ ► stuff online. That's some of the things that crypto is actually addressing right now. I think
00:36:54 ◼ ► the—so I think the metaverse is the internet. I think the analogy that I come to is the mobile
00:37:01 ◼ ► internet. Remember when the mobile internet was a thing? It was the internet that you experienced
00:37:06 ◼ ► on mobile devices, and we don't say the mobile anymore because it's all just the internet?
00:37:10 ◼ ► My definition of the metaverse is the metaverse is an internet that you primarily or often experience
00:37:19 ◼ ► via virtual reality, and that doesn't mean it's a distinct thing from the internet because you
00:37:25 ◼ ► could also access it from your phone or from your computer or from augmented reality glasses or
00:37:30 ◼ ► whatever sort of devices we may have in the long run. And so that's the way I define it. Now,
00:37:36 ◼ ► that's not a universal definition, but that's the way I think about it. It's the internet
00:37:40 ◼ ► where the best and often primary experience is through virtual reality, but you can—but
00:37:50 ◼ ► So you have a Stratechery weekly article that came out, I guess, today? Was it yesterday? I forget.
00:37:58 ◼ ► Yeah, you and I never know. I agree on what day it is. I started reading it, and I was excited
00:38:06 ◼ ► because we had already been talking about you coming on this show to talk about the metaverse,
00:38:10 ◼ ► and you said, "Well, I'm going to write my weekly article about it anyway," and I thought, "Well,
00:38:14 ◼ ► this is going to be great. This timing will be perfect. You can write your article. I can read
00:38:18 ◼ ► it, and then we can argue about it because I think we're going to disagree." And I started
00:38:22 ◼ ► reading your weekly article, and you made that—you're kind of open with that same point
00:38:26 ◼ ► that isn't the internet the metaverse, and I thought, "Oh, goddamn it, this is going to suck.
00:38:31 ◼ ► There's not going to be any argument here. That's my point." I kind of was going that way,
00:38:42 ◼ ► But I do kind of think that, and I do think that Zuckerberg's vision outlayed in the renaming of
00:38:54 ◼ ► the company to meta and this sort of—how long was the keynote? Was it an hour? Maybe it was 90 minutes.
00:39:14 ◼ ► and maybe he didn't quite say that, but it's sort of like what the internet was to what the world
00:39:20 ◼ ► was before the internet, the metaverse would be to the internet. Yeah, basically. And you can kind of
00:39:29 ◼ ► see how Mark Zuckerberg might actually believe that, because in some sense, Facebook has come
00:39:35 ◼ ► as close as anybody to doing that themselves, you know, that in some sense of the word, Facebook
00:39:49 ◼ ► Right? And they've had goals like that, right? And programs that have been controversial,
00:40:00 ◼ ► and building out internet infrastructure and giving it away for free, but it wouldn't give
00:40:06 ◼ ► you access to the actual internet. It would just give you access to Facebook and Facebook services.
00:40:19 ◼ ► I think, thankfully, I would say, sort of largely fell on its face. It didn't really take off,
00:40:24 ◼ ► but it was such a bizarre proposal, in my opinion. Yeah, because like the free basics, I think,
00:40:31 ◼ ► is what it was called, where you could, if you wanted to, yeah, you would get Facebook in some
00:40:35 ◼ ► other sites, like, oh, Wikipedia, but then if you wanted the full internet, then you had to pay,
00:40:45 ◼ ► Wikipedia is a fantastic resource and has made the world a remarkably better place and has worked far
00:40:51 ◼ ► better than I think most of us, at least I ever thought that it would, and seemingly is working
00:40:57 ◼ ► for the long term, but it is also the best friend of, like, a company like Facebook building something
00:41:04 ◼ ► like this out, where they could say, look, we'll give you access to Wikipedia, the number one
00:41:07 ◼ ► website in the entire world, and it doesn't really affect them. All of the world's knowledge. Yeah,
00:41:12 ◼ ► but it doesn't really affect them competitively in any way whatsoever. It actually just absolves them
00:41:29 ◼ ► I think you're putting your finger on one of the things that makes this confusing, because there is
00:41:34 ◼ ► a point to be made that if you want the true, a true sort of metaverse experience, that,
00:41:42 ◼ ► and I could definitely see this being the case, where to have a full sense of presence and
00:41:48 ◼ ► everything is sort of a, and I think this is what I try to get, I don't, I wasn't super
00:41:52 ◼ ► happy with the article, I should be honest. I think what I was trying to sort of get to is,
00:41:57 ◼ ► you can have this sort of fully contained experience where everything is 3D, and everything
00:42:03 ◼ ► is sort of in this environment, and it's super immersive, but I don't think that will ever be
00:42:09 ◼ ► the totality of the internet. Like, it's going to be, and so, I actually wrote this, I think,
00:42:15 ◼ ► back in August, I think it's better to think of it there being metaverses, where there's, oh,
00:42:19 ◼ ► there can be lots of these different experiences. There could be the Facebook metaverse,
00:42:24 ◼ ► and there could be, you know, other companies' metaverses, and we can get to Microsoft maybe
00:42:28 ◼ ► in a little bit, and within that particular experience, it's super full-featured, and if
00:42:34 ◼ ► it's really awesome, you may want to spend a lot of your time there because it's so great,
00:42:39 ◼ ► but I don't think there will ever be one company that sort of owns it all, as it were. I mean,
00:42:45 ◼ ► maybe the iPhone is an interesting example where you could say that all the apps, and if you just
00:42:51 ◼ ► only use apps, you're sort of living in the iOS metaverse, to borrow the term, but Safari is there
00:42:57 ◼ ► as a window to the broader internet, if that's what you want to do, and maybe that's sort of a
00:43:03 ◼ ► way to think about their vision and what they're going for. That definitely captures the idea
00:43:09 ◼ ► of being a platform where people spend most of their time. I should have used that as an example,
00:43:14 ◼ ► not sort of talking myself into that analogy, but I think that's the way to think about it.
00:43:20 ◼ ► So, the metaverse, broadly, the universal idea is the internet, but there's also sort of a
00:43:26 ◼ ► superior experience, which I think can only be delivered by a single company because you need
00:43:32 ◼ ► some company to enforce the rules. We just talked about the App Store, where you can have this
00:43:39 ◼ ► experience that is sort of consistent and things are interoperable and all those sorts of things,
00:43:47 ◼ ► Tom: Yeah, because otherwise you devolve into, as I like to use the analogy, Calvin Ball,
00:43:54 ◼ ► which was the sport that Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes used to play, where the only rule is that
00:44:00 ◼ ► you can change the rules at any time. And so, all of a sudden you go from scoring goals to
00:44:06 ◼ ► scoring runs to playing tag, and it's all just made up on the fly and nothing is really cohesive.
00:44:14 ◼ ► It doesn't get you to the world where you can actually take your avatar self from one product
00:44:21 ◼ ► to another. Somebody has to be the referees or the league if you want to compare it to sports.
00:44:33 ◼ ► Brian: Right, because of the way the internet came along, we got these sort of shared protocols and
00:44:41 ◼ ► standards. And I just think that it's naive to think that we're going to get this sort of
00:44:48 ◼ ► advanced protocols and standards that are going to be universally accepted ever again. Just because
00:44:56 ◼ ► there's too much money to be made, there's too much control to be sought. And so, if you want
00:45:01 ◼ ► to deliver an experience that exceeds the capabilities of the protocols that we have today,
00:45:12 ◼ ► We almost need two words for it, right? You can have a metaverse-type experience of the internet,
00:45:27 ◼ ► Tom: It is interesting in hindsight if we want to don our old man hats. But I do think,
00:45:35 ◼ ► and I try not to make proclamations too far in the future. I almost never make any predictions more
00:45:41 ◼ ► than a few years in the future because I think it's too hard in tech and I don't want to be wrong.
00:45:47 ◼ ► But I think it's safe to say that for the rest of my career, decades to come, hopefully,
00:46:00 ◼ ► Because I do think that part of the sweet spot was that it sort of hit at like peak World War II,
00:46:09 ◼ ► U.S. It is. But also like a political sense of, hey, there is no political left-right divide over
00:46:26 ◼ ► And also there was like, it was anti-communist and we want to be free and open. And also the fear
00:46:31 ◼ ► of like nuclear bombs. So it needs to be a network and failsafe and all those sorts of things.
00:46:40 ◼ ► it's, you know, Eisenhower is the president and it was very, very hard to drive, especially across
00:46:47 ◼ ► state lines. And each state had their own roads, but none of it. And it was just like, well,
00:46:51 ◼ ► the federal government will just come in and make these big highways on sensible routes and will
00:46:57 ◼ ► just go right through states. And I don't know, maybe at the time there, I guess everything is
00:47:02 ◼ ► controversial in some degree and some people argued about it, but it doesn't seem historically
00:47:07 ◼ ► that it was all that contentious. There was a lot more going on in the '50s that was contentious
00:47:13 ◼ ► than that. And, you know, like this '60s equivalent, you know, like the space race wasn't
00:47:18 ◼ ► seen as like a democratic initiative. It was like, the U.S. needs to put a man on the moon,
00:47:23 ◼ ► you know? We've got to do it. And everybody just got behind it. And building out the internet seemed
00:47:28 ◼ ► like a sensible thing too. And we're just no longer there. I mean, we're talking about like
00:47:33 ◼ ► fixing bridges and stuff. And it took eight months and a bunch of political pulled teeth.
00:47:43 ◼ ► of the USSR can't be overestimated in this regard, right? Like, you go back to the moon landing, I
00:47:50 ◼ ► mean, that was 100% explicitly framed as we're competing with the Soviets, right? Especially,
00:47:56 ◼ ► you know, the Sputnik moment, where they watched a rocket to space before we did. And, you know,
00:48:03 ◼ ► and so that, once the Soviet Union went away, you know, I mean, Americans are a militant culture,
00:48:21 ◼ ► there's two big things about the internet. Number one, no one at the time ever anticipated you would
00:48:26 ◼ ► make money on the internet. It was like a research project or like a, you know, fallback for nuclear
00:48:31 ◼ ► war, whatever it might be. And number two, definitely no one saw that the internet would
00:48:36 ◼ ► have these sort of massive destabilizing effects on the media ecosystem, and by extension, the
00:48:41 ◼ ► political ecosystem, and all these sorts of things. And so, if it were to come along today, again,
00:48:49 ◼ ► companies would be whatever comes along in the future. One, you'd have companies that were
00:48:54 ◼ ► immediately saying, "How can we make a profit off of this?" And two, governments would be
00:48:58 ◼ ► immediately trying to control it and make sure that it doesn't sort of disrupt things too much.
00:49:02 ◼ ► And it was really sort of a perfect circumstance. I think you're exactly right about general sort of
00:49:08 ◼ ► national unification and anti-communist, and also no one really thinking about the profit potential
00:49:16 ◼ ► or the destabilization potential. Like, that's not going to happen again. And that was the
00:49:21 ◼ ► environment that was necessary for this to sort of come along. And it was in that environment that
00:49:26 ◼ ► literally the protocols and interoperability that we rely on today were by and large established in
00:49:33 ◼ ► the '60s and '70s. And it just, none of those conditions are ever going to exist again.
00:49:39 ◼ ► Brian Kardell: But the funny thing too is looking back at like the '80s and '90s, so like the
00:49:45 ◼ ► groundwork of the internet was laid in the '60s and '70s, and it continued to subtly thump
00:49:58 ◼ ► But in the meantime, all of the computer companies were building out all of their networking stuff as
00:50:05 ◼ ► proprietarily as possible, right? Nothing worked with each other. Apple had Apple Talk, and there
00:50:12 ◼ ► was, even Ethernet was proprietary, and there was a token ring. And what was that company that used
00:50:19 ◼ ► to have to be certified as on the PC side? It was like a company out of Utah. Do you remember this?
00:50:25 ◼ ► Brian Kardell Yeah, Novel. Yeah, and that was like a big deal. Like in my time in college in the
00:50:30 ◼ ► early '90s, it was certainly nothing I wanted to be involved with, but it was absolutely like when
00:50:37 ◼ ► you—and again, this is how you'd find a job back then because there was no—well, there was an
00:50:43 ◼ ► internet, but everybody wasn't on the internet. And so if you wanted to find a job, you'd go buy
00:50:47 ◼ ► the Sunday newspaper, and there was this phonebook-sized classified section, and you'd go
00:50:57 ◼ ► Novel certified engineer, two years experience. All of it was completely proprietary, and we're
00:51:03 ◼ ► talking like two or three years before everything went to IP. It's kind of bananas that the industry
00:51:11 ◼ ► didn't see it coming because they sort of—even with that imminent wave coming, the mindset
00:51:19 ◼ ► of the for-profit companies to build proprietary for-profit, even networking things was—I don't
00:51:28 ◼ ► even think that they second-guessed themselves. And I think that they saw the internet as just
00:51:33 ◼ ► right up until the very end as this obscure thing that's just for universities and, you know,
00:51:44 ◼ ► Brian Feroldi Yeah, I think this point is pretty underrated, too, because it matters when it comes
00:51:48 ◼ ► to the devices themselves. Like, PCs were not about accessing the internet. Like, they,
00:51:54 ◼ ► you know, famously, Windows 95 didn't even have a TCP/IP stack. You had to install it—you could
00:52:05 ◼ ► Brian Feroldi And so all these computers in the '80s that were running DOS and then early Windows
00:52:10 ◼ ► and all that sort of stuff, they were all for doing things on that computer, like having a
00:52:16 ◼ ► spreadsheet on that computer. And the big sort of—and so all the networking around that time was
00:52:23 ◼ ► about connecting PCs in the same place, and a huge thing was just connecting them to the printer,
00:52:33 ◼ ► spreadsheet is you had to print it, and you didn't want to have a printer connected to every computer,
00:52:36 ◼ ► so you wanted to have one printer for the whole floor, and you needed to somehow tie all that
00:52:42 ◼ ► together. And like, that was the mindset, and that was where—and critically, that was where the
00:52:46 ◼ ► money was to be made, because enterprises were the ones paying for computers. They were paying for
00:52:51 ◼ ► them because the spreadsheet made, you know, knowledge workers so much more productive.
00:52:55 ◼ ► A word processor was so superior to a typewriter that, like, it was worth paying for it, but
00:53:02 ◼ ► that meant that the companies that wanted to make a profit were flowing in this direction.
00:53:17 ◼ ► who can make money there? And that allowed the internet to sort of, like, go in that direction.
00:53:28 ◼ ► and if you were a new company, a new entrant coming in, you could leverage the sort of open
00:53:34 ◼ ► sort of protocol and get a head start and offer something that the legacy guys couldn't and
00:53:41 ◼ ► wouldn't because they wanted to preserve their lock-in. And, you know, and so—and then it
00:53:46 ◼ ► eventually just became overwhelming, and then the internet actually started to have useful
00:53:51 ◼ ► applications. But again, today, the internet does exist. Like, this idea of connected to anything
00:53:59 ◼ ► everywhere already does exist. It is an open protocol. And again, so that just be like,
00:54:04 ◼ ► how are you going to get something superior to that? It's just—again, it's hard to imagine.
00:54:10 ◼ ► Pete: You can literally put your light bulbs on the internet. I mean, that's actually a thing
00:54:41 ◼ ► long, long time ago because, you know, it's not that unlike dreaming or just, you know,
00:54:47 ◼ ► it's a long time—it's almost innate to human nature to have a fantasy of being able to,
00:54:54 ◼ ► like, close your eyes and go to another place. But the—some of the details of the way the
00:55:03 ◼ ► internet's played out, you never would have imagined being able to turn your lights out
00:55:09 ◼ ► from a thousand miles away. It's kind of, you know, it's just funny how it shakes out the
00:55:14 ◼ ► details, and I feel like that's also what's coming with this VR/AR stuff, is it's going to play out
00:55:20 ◼ ► in ways that we don't imagine. It's very, very, you know, just a thousand little ways it'll be
00:55:33 ◼ ► and I've always assumed that AR is going to be bigger just for the same reason the phone
00:55:37 ◼ ► is bigger, right? You can use it anywhere. You know, like, there's more—like, filling in,
00:55:42 ◼ ► being around you and with you is a much larger and compelling market than something that you sort of
00:55:47 ◼ ► go to as sort of a destination device. And one of the reasons why I've become more bullish on VR is,
00:55:53 ◼ ► in part, this sort of working remotely. Like, I think I've said—oh, I'll do it again. We're
00:56:08 ◼ ► but the fact you're at home has absolutely nothing to do with your job. Like, it's a completely
00:56:12 ◼ ► immaterial sort of fact. And in that case, like, going to work by means of putting on a headset
00:56:20 ◼ ► that gives you a potentially superior computing experience—again, not today, but where you have
00:56:24 ◼ ► as many monitors as you want, all the screen space you want. You know, you could go into a meeting,
00:56:28 ◼ ► you're just clicking a button, and you have the presence with other people—I think is pretty
00:56:32 ◼ ► compelling, the reason I've become more bullish on VR. But the reason I sort of bring this up in this
00:56:40 ◼ ► context is, one of the common pushbacks is people are like, "Oh," you know, "People just sitting—"
00:56:48 ◼ ► you know, it's like the movie Up, right? People just sitting around and getting fat and with their
00:56:51 ◼ ► headsets on all day, et cetera, et cetera. And I think one of the things you talked about,
00:56:57 ◼ ► about unintended consequences and the way this sort of plays out, is there is an aspect of
00:57:05 ◼ ► technology where there is sort of the aspirational and what we want to tell ourselves about
00:57:10 ◼ ► technology, and then there's sort of like the reality of what people actually do and are
00:57:15 ◼ ► actually looking for. And I think an example is to go back to the App Store, right? Apple likes to
00:57:21 ◼ ► talk about the App Store as being this great opportunity for developers and people getting
00:57:25 ◼ ► the apps they need, and there's an app for that, et cetera, et cetera, when the sort of ugly reality
00:57:31 ◼ ► is that the vast majority of money in the App Store is made from people who are playing these
00:57:36 ◼ ► pay-to-play games, and you have a very small percentage of the population that is spending
00:57:42 ◼ ► thousands of dollars on buying gems or whatever it might be, and they play it for hours. And that's
00:57:49 ◼ ► kind of, it's like, in a lot of areas, there's a real conflict between the story we want to tell
00:57:57 ◼ ► ourselves about it and the way it's actually experienced. And I think there's going to be some
00:58:02 ◼ ► of this with how the metaverse plays out. We want to say, "Oh, who wants to go sit with a headset on
00:58:08 ◼ ► and escape from the real world?" Well, a lot of people sit around and watch TV for hours a day.
00:58:16 ◼ ► There's some aspect of companies that actually meet people where they are and give them what
00:58:21 ◼ ► they actually want tend to win over companies that want to serve an idealized customer because
00:58:31 ◼ ► but I have to start by telling you that the movie you're talking about is Wall-E, not Up.
00:58:42 ◼ ► it was one of those things, there was some little voice in the back of my head that was saying,
00:58:53 ◼ ► crazy technology that would let the dogs, you know, talk or something like that. But Wall-E
00:58:57 ◼ ► was the one where people sort of, they trashed the planet and then go into outer space and just sort
00:59:02 ◼ ► of sit around in a barcalounger with a VR headset all day. Big and large or whatever it was.
00:59:15 ◼ ► I do think we're—it does seem, it seems like an unusual moment in tech where there's—nobody
00:59:31 ◼ ► knows how it's going to play out, but there is very—as widespread as it ever gets, because AR,
00:59:38 ◼ ► neither AR nor VR are a big deal yet, right? I mean, I know that sounds ridiculous for our
00:59:46 ◼ ► audience because I'm sure, you know, many of the people who listen have VR headsets and stuff,
00:59:53 ◼ ► Right, but it's not mainstream technology, you know? It's like smartphones before the iPhone,
00:59:58 ◼ ► you know? Sure, there were smartphones before the iPhone, but in hindsight, they were no big deal
01:00:02 ◼ ► at all. And if anything, I would say both AR and VR are behind where, like, early 2000s smartphones
01:00:15 ◼ ► were, right? Because, like, Blackberries really served their purpose well just for messaging.
01:00:24 ◼ ► It's almost like pre—yeah, that's exactly how I would put it. Like, I didn't have a Blackberry,
01:00:29 ◼ ► and I didn't want one, but I also instantly got why the people who were addicted to them
01:00:35 ◼ ► were addicted to them. Like, it's like I just did not live a messaging-type world and wouldn't have
01:00:41 ◼ ► had anybody to send them to, but I could totally get why, like, attorneys, you know, texting each
01:00:50 ◼ ► other all day was a huge deal. Totally got it. I feel like that's—we're still, like, pre-Blackberry.
01:01:09 ◼ ► Like, it's kind of—one of the things that's funny in hindsight is how close the iPhone was
01:01:16 ◼ ► to when the internet became a big thing, right? Like, the time from Netscape's IPO to the iPhone is
01:01:25 ◼ ► Yeah, it's not long. I think the browser was '92 or '93, so 14 years. And yeah, and we are 14 years
01:01:32 ◼ ► Right, so it's—and the browser didn't really explode right away, even in the way the iPhone did,
01:01:40 ◼ ► right? It wasn't a sensation. Like, I still remember, and I know that they only had, like,
01:01:46 ◼ ► 10 million sales in the first year or something like that, some blip compared to the modern
01:01:51 ◼ ► iPhone sales. But I remember picking up my iPhone on day one and then, like, walking around
01:01:58 ◼ ► Philadelphia and for a while actually feeling conspicuous because so many people would say,
01:02:04 ◼ ► "Oh my God, is that an iPhone?" Like, go to the grocery store, and I'd have, like, a—I think I
01:02:08 ◼ ► was so smart because now I have a grocery list on my beautiful little iPhone. And people would—just
01:02:13 ◼ ► random strangers would come up to me and say, "Hey, is that an iPhone?" And I started to feel
01:02:17 ◼ ► like, "Ah, maybe I should keep it in my pocket because I don't want to talk to these people."
01:02:29 ◼ ► Well, I think that's a really important point, though, which is that this is one of the reasons
01:02:35 ◼ ► why it's going to be challenging to bring to market because, like, something you go to home
01:02:39 ◼ ► and it's—or you do at home and it's hard to sort of demonstrate, right? Like, the thing about the
01:02:44 ◼ ► phone and why Apple—it was such a great market for Apple—is, number one, to your point, like,
01:02:51 ◼ ► it was visible and, like, the whole Apple status symbol being a nice device very much worked in
01:02:57 ◼ ► their favor. But two, you were already going to buy a mobile phone no matter what. And, like,
01:03:02 ◼ ► for a few hundred dollars more, you could get this incredible device that does so much more,
01:03:07 ◼ ► why wouldn't you buy it? And then once you buy it, you're hooked. Whereas, you know, like,
01:03:13 ◼ ► why should I buy a PC? Why should I try a browser? Why should I try a VR headset? They're much,
01:03:20 ◼ ► I just don't think—basically, I don't think in hindsight that circa, like, the rise—circa
01:03:26 ◼ ► the rise of BlackBerry, there wasn't a consensus that the whole internet is moving towards this new
01:03:41 ◼ ► Right. It would be the great little addition. It just did—it boggled the mind that these little
01:03:48 ◼ ► things we keep in our pocket would actually be bigger than the PC as the primary consumption
01:03:54 ◼ ► devices for the entire internet. And I sort of feel like, as opposed to that, we've definitely
01:04:03 ◼ ► got—we've got a shared consensus that something—we're moving towards something to make AR and VR
01:04:13 ◼ ► that big of a deal. And both of them—there's not many options for that at a certain level. Like,
01:04:22 ◼ ► optically, you've, you know, we've only got two eyes, and they're on our face, and so we're
01:04:28 ◼ ► talking about glasses or goggles. And sure, eventually, again, projecting way past our decade
01:04:37 ◼ ► event horizon, we can imagine some kind of implants or something, but, you know, that's
01:04:45 ◼ ► still science fiction stuff, you know, that you'd actually have, like, something in your eye.
01:04:59 ◼ ► Whereas I was pretty bullish on mobile, and I think that maybe that was because I was in Asia,
01:05:07 ◼ ► and the idea, like, just mobile was—it felt like it was a more necessary thing than even in the US.
01:05:15 ◼ ► And also, I mean, even when I was in the US, I remember I was—I was with those people that
01:05:19 ◼ ► actually used, like, WAP websites, and there was a site that was a WAP RSS reader. And so I was,
01:05:27 ◼ ► you know, glued to my phone at a very early age. And so I was always pretty bullish on mobile.
01:05:34 ◼ ► And in contrast, I've been pretty skeptical that there's anything past mobile that's going to be
01:05:40 ◼ ► as meaningful. And—excuse me. So this is a bit of a shift. I still think mobile is going to continue
01:05:49 ◼ ► to be the most important for years and years and years to come. But I think part of the reason I
01:05:53 ◼ ► was skeptical is like, well, AR is just—AR is kind of like your phone, but it's better in some ways,
01:06:03 ◼ ► it's going to have more power, it's going to have better battery. And, you know, it's still, like,
01:06:07 ◼ ► it's pretty darn portable, right? Like, you know, if I'm going to watch something on my face all
01:06:11 ◼ ► the time, etc., etc., it's like, well, AR will be like the watch. It's going to be something sort of
01:06:16 ◼ ► in addition to your phone. And then I'm like, well—and I'd already sort of decided, I mentioned
01:06:22 ◼ ► this earlier, that AR is going to be more important than VR. VR is just going to be like video games
01:06:26 ◼ ► and movies and sort of a different channel technology. And I think the big shift, again,
01:06:33 ◼ ► is really this idea of work. Like, work is the thing that makes me think that VR is going to be
01:06:39 ◼ ► bigger than it might be otherwise. And VR is not a successor to the phone. It's a successor to the
01:06:46 ◼ ► computer on your desk. And that's what's actually happening, and it's going to be alongside your
01:06:53 ◼ ► phone, which you'll use when you're out and about. But when you're in one spot and not going anywhere
01:08:44 ◼ ► All right, I've been thinking about this. I think this shit about working with a VR headset on,
01:08:49 ◼ ► it sounds like madness to me. I don't see—I think it's—the more I think about it, I think you were
01:08:58 ◼ ► right originally. I think VR is for games and for like the equivalent of watching a movie. And
01:09:06 ◼ ► after an hour or two, it's too much. It's overwhelming. I don't think people want to be
01:09:13 ◼ ► immersed in their work that way. I think that the amount of your visual field that a Pro Display
01:09:23 ◼ ► XDR—two Pro Display XDRs in front of your desk is about the most that anybody would want.
01:09:29 ◼ ► I don't—I just don't—like, what happens if somebody, you know, like you are working from
01:09:36 ◼ ► home. It is your work. I'm not going to say work from home is a thing. But what happens when
01:09:41 ◼ ► somebody else in your family walks into the room and wants to talk? I guess with a high enough
01:09:54 ◼ ► resolution, I don't want to say that we're never going to have a virtual display in front of you
01:10:00 ◼ ► in a VR headset that is as good a resolution as an actual real display in the real world in front
01:10:07 ◼ ► of you. But we're so far away from that. I don't see how—it seems like a fantasy at this point. And
01:10:14 ◼ ► it does not, to me, seem like an appealing fantasy at all. It seems closer to the matrix, where it's
01:10:21 ◼ ► like a dystopia. I know that that word gets thrown about with this very much when we're talking about
01:10:26 ◼ ► science fiction ideas. But that really, you know, if the idea is that you're going to put this
01:10:31 ◼ ► helmet on or goggles and not even see your real world for six hours a day, that does not seem
01:10:39 ◼ ► desirable to me at all. Or what about like every time you want to go to the bathroom or refill your
01:10:47 ◼ ► It doesn't seem like an improvement over just having a display or a laptop in front of you
01:11:00 ◼ ► It's interesting because when it comes to anything about working from home, I'm always super hesitant
01:11:10 ◼ ► to—on one hand, I feel like you and I have too much experience with this, right? So on one hand,
01:11:18 ◼ ► we're very good people to talk to because we've been working from home for ages. On the other
01:11:21 ◼ ► hand, we're terrible people to talk to because we were doing this before it was cool. We have
01:11:29 ◼ ► setups that we've figured out. We have a whole routine with home, et cetera, et cetera. But alas,
01:11:52 ◼ ► So I do think there's a real benefit in terms of things like meetings and things—and the sort of
01:11:59 ◼ ► like interacting with people and all the reasons that people want to be in the office. The
01:12:04 ◼ ► experience of having a meeting VR is pretty compelling, and that's with technology right
01:12:09 ◼ ► now that is still really crappy. And of course, a caveat—and you sort of mentioned this—is
01:12:14 ◼ ► the technology today is nowhere near ready for this to sort of happen. There are high-end
01:12:20 ◼ ► headsets that have like 2,000 by 2,000 pixel screens for each eye, whereas the Oculus is
01:12:27 ◼ ► not nearly—or the Quest 2 is not nearly that high. But there is a real benefit in my estimation.
01:12:40 ◼ ► make sure my computer's connected so I can put it in the meeting. There's just a lot of friction
01:12:46 ◼ ► involved. And it's just that much easier to just click a Zoom link. And yeah, Zoom's not the best
01:12:51 ◼ ► experience. You know, it's good. It works great. It's a well-written app. But the actual meeting
01:12:58 ◼ ► experience is easy to sort of like zone off and look at Twitter and, "Oh, wait, sorry, what did
01:13:03 ◼ ► you say? You can say that again?" Like all those sorts of things. So that's the real clear, "I can
01:13:09 ◼ ► Dave: Zoom—not to go on too much of a tangent, but Zoom is something I would pull apart to teach,
01:13:17 ◼ ► like if I were teaching a human interaction, like a UI design class, in terms of taking the removal
01:13:25 ◼ ► of friction to its extreme, like as your number one priority. And they've said this—you know,
01:13:31 ◼ ► I forget the founder's name, but I mean, he said this very clearly, that the whole reason they
01:13:35 ◼ ► founded the company is that they were—I think they were at like Cisco or something like that.
01:13:39 ◼ ► And they were like, "Look at how many clicks you have to make to get into one of these meetings,
01:13:43 ◼ ► and you have to wait for everybody else. Like what if it was just like one URL and you just click the
01:13:47 ◼ ► URL and you're in?" And one person would be the meeting organizer and set up the URL and then let
01:13:53 ◼ ► people in a room and then you're all in a room. And it's like, "Huh, that actually—" And for all
01:13:58 ◼ ► of their problems, software-wise, you know, that's why they won. It didn't really matter if, you know,
01:14:09 ◼ ► They had scandals where there was, you know, little micro-scandals where some of their traffic was
01:14:15 ◼ ► seemingly being routed to servers in China, and they weathered all of it because it's just the URL
01:14:22 ◼ ► that you click and all of a sudden you're in the meeting. Yep. And some of the scandals, particularly
01:14:34 ◼ ► seamless as possible. Yep. You know, it's true, but it's fundamentally limited by the fact that
01:14:41 ◼ ► it's still just a video call, right? Right. And so, again, this is one where, again, probably a
01:14:48 ◼ ► lot of listeners might have to take me on faith. Like, it is a really compelling experience. And
01:14:52 ◼ ► it's one of those things that's hard to talk about because you're just viewing disembodied avatars.
01:14:59 ◼ ► It's like, why? That doesn't look compelling at all. But it is. It is. Well, think about it just
01:15:09 ◼ ► on a video call, you've got the whole screen. So, let's say you're on a laptop, which is, you know,
01:15:15 ◼ ► what the machine most people use is something laptop-sized. That's still plenty of attention
01:15:20 ◼ ► that you could give one person. And if you have two, three people on the call, you're one of them
01:15:25 ◼ ► in real life, and you have two people on your screen, they each get half the screen. And that's
01:15:30 ◼ ► pretty good. And as soon as you add one more person, which would be a four-person meeting,
01:15:34 ◼ ► which, you know, I think by most people's business experiences is not a lot of people in a meeting,
01:15:39 ◼ ► all of a sudden there's not a good way, you know, there's no good way to go three ways on screen.
01:15:44 ◼ ► You know, it's all of a sudden people are getting tiny. And if you have like six or seven people,
01:15:50 ◼ ► which again, I don't think is an abnormal number of people for a typical business meeting,
01:16:04 ◼ ► Yeah, Hollywood squares. And, you know, you get past that. You know, we've had school meetings,
01:16:12 ◼ ► you know, Jonas's school has been, you know, he's back in school, but all of the parental stuff is
01:16:18 ◼ ► still virtual, you know, for COVID-related reasons. And so like, you know, there'd be like meetings
01:16:26 ◼ ► like, "Oh, all the senior class parents can, you know, we're going to have a meeting for something
01:16:35 ◼ ► it's just a list of the school people on screen. And all the parents are just sort of off in the
01:16:44 ◼ ► list, you know, you can chat and raise your hand, right? They added Zoom. Did you know this? Do you
01:16:50 ◼ ► use Zoom? They added this horrible feature that I didn't know about, and they turned it on by
01:16:57 ◼ ► default, where if you actually raise your hand in real life, it raises your hand in the Zoom meeting.
01:17:11 ◼ ► for the parents thing. And they're like, "Oh, I see Jonas's dad has his hand up." And I was like,
01:17:15 ◼ ► "No, I don't! What? What are you talking about? I didn't touch anything." And it was horrifying.
01:17:21 ◼ ► But again, that's the sort of thing, it does not happen in real life, right? Like, I'm not
01:17:28 ◼ ► accidentally going to be, you know, the principal of the school isn't going to accidentally think
01:17:33 ◼ ► that I have an important point to interrupt and make in like an auditorium, right? Even with
01:17:39 ◼ ► dozens and dozens of people. VR can definitely solve that. Maybe not as well as the real world,
01:17:47 ◼ ► but it, you know, like the seven, eight person meeting, that's like the screenshot you included
01:17:51 ◼ ► in your Sirtechery article. It's like the perfect number of people where it's not unwieldy—here,
01:18:04 ◼ ► real meetings aren't coming back, right? Like, they've committed to doing this, to being sort
01:18:11 ◼ ► of online only. And so the comparison is not in-person meeting versus VR meeting. The comparison
01:18:18 ◼ ► is VR meeting versus Zoom meeting. And again, leaving aside all the issues of the technology
01:18:25 ◼ ► today and putting it on, when you're actually in the meeting, it is a big difference. And I think
01:18:30 ◼ ► there's two important points to make. Number one is, again, the part with Horizon Workrooms,
01:18:36 ◼ ► you can bring your computer into the meeting, just brings it to a completely different level,
01:18:40 ◼ ► because it's like a real meeting where you have your computer there. And you could be doing a
01:18:44 ◼ ► PowerPoint presentation, you could be checking your email, and that makes it like, it's that
01:18:50 ◼ ► mixed part is super important, number one. But number two, when you're in a VR meeting and you're
01:18:56 ◼ ► having a discussion, and you do have better discussions because everyone, you feel presence,
01:19:01 ◼ ► and the person, you're right, you hear it in your right ear, and the person across from you,
01:19:04 ◼ ► you hear it there. And like, the 3D audio is super important for this sort of experience.
01:19:08 ◼ ► You don't, you forget you're wearing a headset. I swear to God, you really do. You're just there.
01:19:14 ◼ ► You're in the meeting. And so you're not, like, cognizant that I have this thing in my head.
01:19:18 ◼ ► It's genuinely immersive. And this is with crappy technology. And you fast forward the technology
01:19:25 ◼ ► five years, and it's going to be like, you're not going to notice you're wearing anything. You're
01:19:31 ◼ ► going to be in the virtual world. And it's not going to be a cognizant, I'm sitting in my chair,
01:19:39 ◼ ► and I have this thing in my head. That is, that's your physical sense speaking. But like, we are,
01:19:45 ◼ ► like, the humans are, like, our minds are what distinguishes, like, we can be somewhere else. And
01:19:59 ◼ ► Tom: I am moved by the argument about meetings. But to me, and again, I haven't experienced one.
01:20:08 ◼ ► I probably should figure out how to. But what are you guys using? Your team with Passport is using
01:20:16 ◼ ► Chris I don't have a Quest 2. I've got a Vibe thing here from Jonas. But yeah, I should try it.
01:20:23 ◼ ► I mean, but I've used enough VR where I believe that. I believe it in my imagination, even though
01:20:28 ◼ ► I'm deeply skeptical about the magnitude of VR changing this. But to me, what you're describing
01:20:37 ◼ ► is like a modern day telephone, where, like, let's say 100 years ago, whenever it was where the
01:20:44 ◼ ► telephone really became like a, "Hey, everybody's got one in their house, and every business has one."
01:20:49 ◼ ► And I could see somebody arguing, "Well, who the hell wants to stand there holding this thing
01:20:54 ◼ ► against their ear and talking into a microphone, and you only hear out of one ear? Who the hell
01:21:05 ◼ ► and by the time you and I were born, the telephone was ubiquitous, and everybody was completely
01:21:09 ◼ ► normal, and nobody gave it any thought, and people talked on the phone all the time. And when I was a
01:21:14 ◼ ► teenager, that was, you know, pre-internet, but post-telephone, that was how we stayed in touch
01:21:20 ◼ ► with friends when we weren't actually in contact. It was, you know, completely normal, and you got
01:21:24 ◼ ► used to it. But it was still small doses, right? It wasn't like all day. Like, I would never in a
01:21:31 ◼ ► million years want to be on the telephone as long as I am on my Mac in a typical workday. That would,
01:21:40 ◼ ► Well, I think this is, this is, this is the point that I was doing a very roundabout way to get to.
01:21:47 ◼ ► So, let's grant me that meetings are great, right? But there is a huge cost in working at your
01:21:54 ◼ ► computer and then putting on a headset just for a meeting. And so, this is really the critical point
01:21:59 ◼ ► is, will just regular work, writing or coding or whatever it might be, will that be something that
01:22:07 ◼ ► is better in VR as opposed to a monitor on your desk? And it's an open question without question,
01:22:16 ◼ ► for sure. But I can definitely, again, so if you grant me the point that you can achieve a VR
01:22:25 ◼ ► experience such that you forget you're wearing a VR headset and you feel completely sort of
01:22:30 ◼ ► in the moment and presence and all those sorts of buzzwords. And that does happen today with
01:22:38 ◼ ► meetings. I do think it's viable, and I think your pushback's fair and you very well may be right,
01:22:42 ◼ ► but I do think it's viable to imagine that you can have the desk set up of your dreams and you
01:22:50 ◼ ► have eight monitors or you can have your data or whatever like right there in front of you in VR
01:22:55 ◼ ► for just your regular work and your regular writing. And it actually ends up being not just a
01:23:01 ◼ ► similar experience, but a better experience, not just because of the additional view space,
01:23:06 ◼ ► but also because when you're working and I think we've talked about this, when you're writing,
01:23:13 ◼ ► you want to get in that state and you want to get in flow and you shut the door and tell the kids,
01:23:18 ◼ ► "Leave you alone." And once you're locked in, you don't want to get knocked out of that.
01:23:23 ◼ ► And where the sense that you get to actually go to another place, just like you used to go to
01:23:29 ◼ ► an office, but now you're just going to a virtual place is something that's also going to be very
01:23:36 ◼ ► attractive to people. And then if you're already in that space, then there is no cost in having
01:23:42 ◼ ► a VR meeting because it's just literally clicking a button or going through a virtual door because
01:23:47 ◼ ► you're already there. And so I'm skeptical that we have this half and half world. I think it's
01:23:54 ◼ ► probably going to be all one or all the other. And I think your argument's a fair one, but I'm not
01:24:00 ◼ ► sure, but we can agree to disagree. And this is definitely an argument. This is one of my loosely
01:24:06 ◼ ► held arguments, right? Sorry, it's loosely held is what it is. I'm not sure. You might be right.
01:24:26 ◼ ► - Because, oh, where to start? Well, one, you have to look at it, which I'm sure is the point
01:24:33 ◼ ► that you're seeking from me. It changes all the time. It's not consistent. You hit it by accident.
01:24:45 ◼ ► - Right. So how is using an entire computer in VR not just the touch bar of vacation of everything,
01:24:53 ◼ ► of your entire human interaction model with everything you see? I believe the seeing part.
01:24:59 ◼ ► And again, if we just project forward to a high enough resolution headset, I totally believe that
01:25:07 ◼ ► we will have virtual displays in VR through a headset that are as good as or close to as good
01:25:15 ◼ ► enough to satisfy even a relatively picky person with pretty good eyes. But in terms of every other
01:25:27 ◼ ► I theory you could have a physical keyboard in front of you that what, you orient your hands by
01:25:35 ◼ ► - Well, let me jump in. Again, this is where the workroom thing's really interesting. Your computer
01:25:46 ◼ ► - They show it. They project it into the space. And then there's cameras on the outside of the
01:25:55 ◼ ► And I think a recent update, I haven't tried this out yet, but where they're actually showing the
01:26:00 ◼ ► actual letters on the keys, because that was in the real floor, it just had the keyboard.
01:26:03 ◼ ► But they only support like three keyboards now. It's like they support the Mac, the MacBooks,
01:26:11 ◼ ► work to support this sort of thing. But your computer is there in the environment with you.
01:26:27 ◼ ► seems more expensive. And a lot of other stuff. And again, if you can actually get the tracking
01:26:37 ◼ ► are right there and not these disembodied hands that are sort of there. But so many of the
01:26:43 ◼ ► interaction things that Facebook showed and everybody has fantasized about in fictional
01:26:52 ◼ ► ideas of the same thing over the years of having like an avatar touching things and you can pull
01:27:07 ◼ ► interface. Why hold ourselves to the idea of a rectangular display that's in front of you showing
01:27:14 ◼ ► the Mac desktop or Windows desktop? Why don't we have all these virtual items that you can
01:27:20 ◼ ► just move your hands and do? And all of these things to me, I keep thinking about the Touch
01:27:25 ◼ ► Bar and how happy everybody is that it's gone. People are happier that it's gone than I expected
01:27:31 ◼ ► them to be like now that it's gone. It's like Saddam Hussein falling. Like people are out
01:27:38 ◼ ► dancing in the street. And the Touch Bar is just this tiny little strip that replaced the least
01:27:44 ◼ ► used keys on your keyboard. And that's the whole model of VR. There's a total lack of tactile
01:27:55 ◼ ► feedback that I feel is for some tasks, right? And I could imagine for like showing off a 3D model
01:28:04 ◼ ► in a shared meeting where you could just put your hand in front of it and spin it a little bit. You
01:28:09 ◼ ► don't need the tactile feedback because you're sharing it around a virtual round table meeting
01:28:16 ◼ ► and you're just looking at this model of a device or something like that. There are certain
01:28:20 ◼ ► interactions that I think already probably work well and could work better. But to replace most
01:28:26 ◼ ► day-to-day work, I feel like the one thing we've reiterated over the last five years is people like
01:28:38 ◼ ► I mean, again, this is why the workroom's things helped change my mind about this. Having your
01:28:48 ◼ ► actual computer in a virtual reality space makes all the difference in the world because I
01:28:54 ◼ ► completely agree. This idea you go somewhere and you're totally virtual and it's just like such a...
01:28:59 ◼ ► it's too stark a contrast from your actual word existence. But the first time when like...
01:29:08 ◼ ► I think I... oh, I can't say I've told this story because we're pretending like we've never told
01:29:12 ◼ ► any stories previously. But when I got demoed it by Facebook and there was two people demoing it to
01:29:18 ◼ ► me and the one person was walking through the features and the person next to him, she was
01:29:24 ◼ ► clearly doing email and not paying attention to our conversation. And she was doing it because
01:29:29 ◼ ► her computer was projected in the space, her keyboard was there in the space, and her fingers
01:29:34 ◼ ► were actually touching her keyboard, which is on the desk in front of her. And one, that's cool
01:29:40 ◼ ► for her. And two, for me, it made the meeting feel even more real because that's what people do in
01:29:46 ◼ ► meetings, right? It's not this like, oh, we're like... the Microsoft Teams, I thought, video was
01:29:51 ◼ ► not actually... was less impressive in this regard because it was too ethereal. It was too, well,
01:29:56 ◼ ► we're in a virtual space like walking around doing high fives. No, like actually imitating
01:30:02 ◼ ► all what we think about the crappiest idea of meetings actually makes it that much more
01:30:07 ◼ ► realistic and compelling. Do you mean Microsoft? I don't know if I saw the Microsoft version,
01:30:12 ◼ ► but... or you mean the Facebook one where... No, so Microsoft, Microsoft last week had a keynote
01:30:16 ◼ ► where they did some metaverse stuff too. And so they're going to have basically a competitive
01:30:20 ◼ ► product to Horizon Workrooms that's built around Teams. And I think it's very compelling from a
01:30:25 ◼ ► business perspective because Teams is the sort of self-contained environment where, if I mentioned
01:30:30 ◼ ► before, there's going to be lots of individual metaverses. Your Teams instance and all the things
01:30:36 ◼ ► that are attached to it... and people who haven't used Teams, it's a much bigger thing than Slack.
01:30:42 ◼ ► You can spend your whole day in Teams, your documents open in Teams and all your connections
01:30:47 ◼ ► are in Teams, you have your video calls in Teams. It's like an all-encompass... it's like
01:30:50 ◼ ► Microsoft's operating... it's like Windows for the cloud, basically, is what it is. And that
01:30:55 ◼ ► lends itself to, "Oh, this is actually a virtual environment that you can be in and all your stuff
01:31:00 ◼ ► is here." And they're sort of already set up for it. But one, I don't think it has a shift yet,
01:31:05 ◼ ► and I haven't used it. And the promo video was too much people floating around in this idealized
01:31:12 ◼ ► space. When the real... what is compelling about Horizon Workrooms is the more that it feels real,
01:31:18 ◼ ► including all the crappy parts of a meeting, the better it is and the more interesting it is.
01:31:23 ◼ ► Yeah, everybody knows the person who's not paying attention but sort of has to be there.
01:31:33 ◼ ► Well, this is one of the things where I... I think this is one of Facebook's hidden powers,
01:31:39 ◼ ► secret powers, is Facebook... and maybe because they're so data-driven, they have such a large
01:31:46 ◼ ► audience, you know, they're... whatever you want to use, if you want to have a less charitable
01:31:51 ◼ ► interpretation, they give people what they want. And they're, like, not... they're not stuck on,
01:32:03 ◼ ► these fun conversations and writing on the whiteboard and high-fiving and stuff. Like, no,
01:32:09 ◼ ► you bring your computer in the space, you sit around a table, people who call in show up on
01:32:13 ◼ ► a video screen there. It's like, this is the way people actually behave, and we're gonna sort of
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01:34:35 ◼ ► Do you want to wrap up with this AR/VR thing? I still think—I don't think they're mutually
01:34:43 ◼ ► exclusive, right? I think it's— I don't either. At some point, it's like talking about audio versus
01:34:50 ◼ ► visual, and it's like, well, they kind of go together. And I'm going to keep calling Facebook.
01:34:57 ◼ ► I can't call them meta, but Facebook emphasized it. They were very VR-heavy in their presentation.
01:35:04 ◼ ► Or let me go back one segment here and just say the most disappointing thing to me about the
01:35:09 ◼ ► Facebook keynote was that they emphasized—you keep telling me that they've got cool shit right now,
01:35:17 ◼ ► that you can get the Quest 2 and have a really compelling experience, and they didn't even show
01:35:24 ◼ ► it. All they did was show fantasy stuff that they say they're building towards. It was all just sort
01:35:31 ◼ ► of the worst of those concept videos that I love to complain about. Why not show me the real
01:35:40 ◼ ► meetings first and say, "This is great right now. You could do it today, and this is something—you
01:35:46 ◼ ► can actually buy this. Do it right now. And then here's the idea of what we're building towards,"
01:35:51 ◼ ► if you really wanted to stick in the concept video that I don't think you should have anyway.
01:35:56 ◼ ► By the way, one point about the concept video—it's interesting that COVID worked in Facebook's favor.
01:36:02 ◼ ► Of all the times to get away with doing a concept video, it's like everything is a commercial,
01:36:09 ◼ ► so they might as well go all the way with it, right? They couldn't do this on stage. It was
01:36:15 ◼ ► just sort of a side note that's sort of an interesting meta point about that presentation.
01:36:29 ◼ ► Yeah, maybe. But it is interesting where I would argue that it was second only to Apple
01:36:34 ◼ ► in production values. Although I watched a bit of the Microsoft one, and it seems like they've
01:36:39 ◼ ► upped their production values, too. It seems like maybe that's sort of a thing that people are
01:36:44 ◼ ► starting to—like in the same way that you're talking about, hey, in-person meetings as the
01:36:49 ◼ ► default meeting might be a thing of the past, in-person keynotes maybe, or at least for a while.
01:36:54 ◼ ► It seems like everybody's upping their production values on these things. The Facebook one was
01:37:05 ◼ ► how Apple would translate to being on stage, segment for segment, right? It'd just be on
01:37:24 ◼ ► you could just imagine Johnny Sirugi coming out on stage and delivering, saying the same things.
01:37:31 ◼ ► Instead of being in a secret lab, he'd just be on stage saying those things, whereas the Facebook
01:37:45 ◼ ► But at Zuckerberg, they definitely made much mention throughout of, hey, you don't have to
01:37:52 ◼ ► have one of these VR headsets on to participate in all of this. AR is going to be part of it.
01:37:59 ◼ ► We, meaning we, Facebook, are already working with Ray-Ban on these sunglasses. They aren't really AR.
01:38:08 ◼ ► I think they just do the camera. There's nothing special with the lenses. They don't project
01:38:18 ◼ ► Obviously, if there's any sort of commercial success with the Ray-Ban thing, they're going
01:38:24 ◼ ► to be working on a way to get some sort of Google Glass-style in-place heads-up display
01:38:39 ◼ ► that Apple has at least two projects, one for VR goggles that completely block your view, but
01:38:45 ◼ ► that they're prioritizing eyeglasses that would obviously project some sort of heads-up display
01:39:01 ◼ ► that if all you've got with you is the phone and somebody starts in a meeting, you could just join
01:39:08 ◼ ► in on the phone the way you can today. Yep. But I think AR is one of those things that is going to
01:39:20 ◼ ► become ubiquitous. It'll be with us in dozens of different ways, but every time every piece of it
01:39:28 ◼ ► becomes an actual viable, successful commercial project, we'll stop thinking of it as AR,
01:39:34 ◼ ► and it's just a thing. Like AirPods? Yeah, exactly. AirPods, I guess the watch is not AR.
01:39:44 ◼ ► I mean, the AirPods can be, but in the same way that the watch has sort of disappeared as a
01:39:50 ◼ ► computer on your wrist, and now most of us just think of it as one way of doing a digital watch,
01:40:06 ◼ ► and I think AirPods are AR, and I think your phone is AR. Like, it is augmenting the reality
01:40:11 ◼ ► that you're around, and I think the glasses will very much fit in this. But this is also the same
01:40:18 ◼ ► reason why I think all of those will always be, at least for a very long time, subservient to the
01:40:24 ◼ ► phone. Right? Like, that screen size is small enough for your pocket, but big enough to actually
01:40:30 ◼ ► get stuff done in a way that is going to be hard, if not impossible, on AR for years. The watch is
01:40:35 ◼ ► too small. And all of these devices, because you're wearing them and they're on your body,
01:40:41 ◼ ► to the extent they can offload processing and offload work to the phone, which has a beefy
01:40:48 ◼ ► processor and has a big battery, they're going to be so much thinner and so much lighter. And so,
01:40:53 ◼ ► one, I think Apple has huge opportunities in this space, and the Apple Watch is a huge success,
01:40:59 ◼ ► and I think their AR glasses are probably going to follow a similar path. But I think it's not
01:41:06 ◼ ► any sort of new platform or new paradigm. It's extensions of the phone. And that's what I've
01:41:12 ◼ ► always thought about AR, and I still think that about AR. So, my bullishness about VR is not
01:41:17 ◼ ► because I've become more bearish on AR. I think AR is what I thought it was going to be before.
01:41:23 ◼ ► I just happen to think the VR opportunity is bigger than I realized previously, but to me,
01:41:26 ◼ ► it's always going to be phone-centric. And maybe you disagree with that, but I have a hard time
01:41:31 ◼ ► seeing, at least in the near term, a world where we're just wearing glasses and nothing else.
01:41:42 ◼ ► their monetization strategy is to sell iPhone accessories. So, they increase the price of the
01:41:47 ◼ ► iPhone and you buy more iPhone stuff. And you think about it, what do you have today? If you're
01:41:53 ◼ ► an Apple user, you have the iPhone, which is now $1,000 or whatever it might be, you probably,
01:41:57 ◼ ► you might have an Apple case, you have AirPods, you have an Apple watch, and now you're going to
01:42:03 ◼ ► have Apple glasses. And it's all going to work together in the integrated way that Apple excels
01:42:08 ◼ ► at. It's going to be slight and sleek and design like Apple's Note 4. And it's going to be powerful
01:42:18 ◼ ► Like, I think that opportunity, nothing has changed my mind about that. I'm skeptical as
01:42:29 ◼ ► >> Did you see Steven Levy at Wired had an interview with John Hanke from, I think his--
01:42:37 ◼ ► >> Yeah, Niantic. That's the Pokemon Go company. And he's, even more so than me, staunchly pro AR
01:42:45 ◼ ► and staunchly anti-VR. And I won't rehash his arguments to Steven Levy, but it's a lot of what
01:42:53 ◼ ► I said where it's sort of dystopic to think about sitting there completely blocking out the real
01:42:58 ◼ ► world sitting still, and that human beings are meant to be out in the world and to feel things.
01:43:11 ◼ ► where people are used to playing with a controller to move around. Like if you play video games on a
01:43:16 ◼ ► real display, you're used to-- or like PC gamers use a mouse and a keyboard. But that's just
01:43:24 ◼ ► turning your mouse and keyboard into a very fancy many button controller. Your fingers get dextrous
01:43:40 ◼ ► And in VR, you do the same thing, right? You sit still and you put the helmet on. But I've had VR
01:43:47 ◼ ► experiences several times, demos. And it's like when they try to do things that aren't games,
01:43:52 ◼ ► as soon as you become immersed, you start doing stupid things like taking steps in real-- you move
01:44:00 ◼ ► your real legs if you're standing up. And of course, you're going to walk into the wall or
01:44:05 ◼ ► a desk or something like that. And the commercial demos I've had with companies back when we go and
01:44:13 ◼ ► have actual meetings, they're ready for it. They're ready for somebody, a doofus like me,
01:44:20 ◼ ► to start trying to walk because I've suddenly become immersed. And they have somebody there
01:44:29 ◼ ► But it's a serious problem for anything other than video games where you're used to playing
01:44:33 ◼ ► with a controller or a meeting where you're expected to be static. The difference between
01:44:38 ◼ ► actually walking and moving around is it's not just like a different ballpark. It's like a
01:44:46 ◼ ► different universe. This is a great point, actually. I should have added this. Everyone
01:44:51 ◼ ► thought VR would be for games. I'm pretty skeptical of VR and games. And this is actually,
01:44:55 ◼ ► I think, a better reason than some of the ones I came up with, which is there's an uncanny valley
01:45:03 ◼ ► sort of effect, right? Whereas I think the VR experiences that replicate sitting in a chair
01:45:10 ◼ ► are much more compelling, right? Whereas a game, you're running around and now you're not running
01:45:13 ◼ ► around. It's kind of a weird experience. I think that's spot on. It's a great observation.
01:45:18 ◼ ► Dave: And so driving games, great. Spaceship, you're the pilot of a spaceship game. That's great.
01:45:31 ◼ ► where they were asking him about his experience with gaming. And apparently he has some kind of
01:45:36 ◼ ► racing VR demo rig at his house or something like that. Probably pretty awesome. That sort of thing.
01:45:48 ◼ ► Dave; And if that's your idea that you're supposed to sit there in a race car and you get this
01:45:54 ◼ ► immersive 360-degree viewing angle, and as you move your head as the driver, you get this real-time
01:46:01 ◼ ► feedback, that's way better than playing a driving game on a flat display in front of you. So I'm
01:46:10 ◼ ► with it. I don't know. I'm kind of overall though. I feel like that's almost like a dedicated use
01:46:16 ◼ ► though, right? It's like, it's not for gaming in general. I don't know. My son is sort of,
01:46:21 ◼ ► and he's not ambivalent about it. Well, I know ambivalent is actually the exact word. He's sort
01:46:27 ◼ ► of like, he's glad he has it, but he doesn't play it as anywhere near as much as it costs.
01:46:41 ◼ ► however much we thought he'd use it. He's probably used it too much. You know what I mean?
01:46:47 ◼ ► But I thought the thing with... No, you go ahead first because I won't forget my point.
01:47:02 ◼ ► Well, you go first then. I was just going to say, I think I've never played Pokemon Go. I have no
01:47:07 ◼ ► interest in it whatsoever, but I get it. And I think it's absolutely fascinating that it is so
01:47:14 ◼ ► engaging to so many people for so long. I mean, not like long, like they play 12 hours in a day,
01:47:33 ◼ ► sticking with it because it's AR or because it's just a really good collection game? I guess
01:47:39 ◼ ► probably more the latter than the former, but I'm skeptical of anyone in AR other than Apple,
01:47:43 ◼ ► to be honest. Snap is building their own glasses. They have a developer version that costs thousands
01:47:49 ◼ ► of dollars, but it does, they are AR glasses. Niantic is going to have an SDK. They want other
01:47:55 ◼ ► people to ideally build to their specification, et cetera, et cetera. The big problem I see
01:48:12 ◼ ► And that's just, you know, you can say it's anti-competitive, you can say whatever you want,
01:48:17 ◼ ► you can say it's the advantage of being the integrated player. The fact of the matter is that
01:48:26 ◼ ► available to build glasses like Apple's glasses. And I just think it's a foregone conclusion that
01:48:33 ◼ ► Apple's going to win that space. If anyone brings compelling AR glasses to market, it's going to be
01:48:37 ◼ ► Apple. And again, we'll see what happens on the Android side, but I just think it's going to be
01:48:42 ◼ ► just like the watch. One of the interesting things with the watch, and I think we could see it follow
01:48:46 ◼ ► with the glasses, is that Apple has two advantages. There's one, there's the home team integration
01:48:54 ◼ ► with the phone, which you just alluded to, right? And that nobody else gets system-level
01:49:00 ◼ ► access to the integration between the iPhone and the watch. And obviously, Android could do that,
01:49:09 ◼ ► right? Like Samsung could achieve the same level of home team integration with a Samsung Watch and
01:49:16 ◼ ► a Samsung phone, and they've tried it. So the more compelling, the more interesting lead is that
01:49:24 ◼ ► nobody seems to be able to match Apple at making a tiny little computer that sits on your wrist.
01:49:30 ◼ ► That nobody is better, not Samsung, and I don't even know who second place or third place would be,
01:49:56 ◼ ► you know? Any of the questions like, "Oh, I think Apple watches, Duds, you know, they can't launch
01:50:00 ◼ ► a product without..." Nobody talks like that anymore because everybody knows Apple's making a
01:50:04 ◼ ► ton selling Apple watches to people, but nobody else seems to be able to make anything compelling.
01:50:16 ◼ ► I will see what happens to that advantage in the long run. I think there's interesting indications
01:50:21 ◼ ► that I think Google and Samsung are going to start partnering much more closely. There's the new
01:50:26 ◼ ► Google chip in the new Pixel, which is basically mostly a Samsung chip with a little bit of Google
01:50:32 ◼ ► stuff on it. It's made by Samsung. Something to keep an eye on, I think, is very interesting.
01:50:37 ◼ ► But I agree. So, yeah, I think the AR, I think it's going to be a good business, but I think
01:50:44 ◼ ► it's going to be like the Apple Watch, right? The Apple Watch isn't a transformative platform that
01:50:47 ◼ ► is changing how we live and work and experience the internet, right? And so if there is going to
01:50:52 ◼ ► be one, I think it's going to be VR rather than AR. It might not, VR might always only ever be a
01:50:58 ◼ ► niche. But if I think one of the two change the way we experience the world, I think it's going
01:51:05 ◼ ► to be VR more than AR. And that's a complete reversal from the way, actually, but it's not
01:51:10 ◼ ► a reversal. My position before is that AR and VR are never going to be that big of a deal relative
01:51:14 ◼ ► to the phone. The phone is the king of all be all. My reversal is VR might actually be more important
01:51:20 ◼ ► than I thought before. And you raised lots of good objections, so I might not be, but, you know,
01:51:29 ◼ ► concluding thought, is that I think that the proponents of VR see a path technology-wise
01:51:42 ◼ ► and headphones in your ears to create an immersive experience, visual and audio experience,
01:51:50 ◼ ► that's so immersive that you think you're really there. And like I said, I've been immersed enough
01:51:56 ◼ ► where I've accidentally tried to take a step, like you get disoriented and then you get ahead,
01:52:00 ◼ ► but you'd never fool yourself into thinking you're really there. But I feel like there's
01:52:19 ◼ ► you're 100% convinced you're there, and it's just like real life. And I don't think that's going to
01:52:24 ◼ ► happen. I think that sort of thing literally would take, it has nothing to do with putting goggles or
01:52:29 ◼ ► headphones on, but would require some sort of actual neural connection, whether it's actually
01:52:36 ◼ ► physical, like in the matrix where they put some kind of socket in the back of your head, or—
01:52:57 ◼ ► Well, they have that crazy, have you seen that crazy watch technology or wrist technology they have?
01:53:04 ◼ ► Where they—so there's some crazy stuff out there, but I, yeah, this is why, and this is the,
01:53:10 ◼ ► like this is why I think it's work. Like I think work is the, it's the one environment,
01:53:17 ◼ ► like you're sitting at your desk, you actually, you want to be somewhere else other than where
01:53:22 ◼ ► you are. I mean, just in the moment, like mentally speaking, you want to be focused on work, you don't
01:53:28 ◼ ► want to be focused on things around you. And there's a go-to market where if it's actually
01:53:34 ◼ ► that useful and that much better, you could see employers paying for it, just like they paid for
01:53:39 ◼ ► PCs in the 80s. Like all the other use cases for VR stumble, I feel, on some of those, like the
01:53:45 ◼ ► gaming one, I thought we broke it down pretty well. Like there's just some real limitations
01:53:49 ◼ ► there. There's like social networking, play with friends, well then all your friends have to get a
01:53:53 ◼ ► VR headset. Like, oh, are you going to actually accomplish that? You're always going to go down
01:53:57 ◼ ► to the lowest common denominator. And the, and you know what, how do you convince people that
01:54:03 ◼ ► there's something they want to pay for it? That's why I just come back to the enterprise angle.
01:54:07 ◼ ► And one, I think that's the, if it works, that's where it's going to work. And then the question
01:54:12 ◼ ► is, will it work there? And I feel pretty strong about the first one, that the inter, that work is
01:54:19 ◼ ► the best manifestation in a place where VR could genuinely be better. And the second one, I, I
01:54:25 ◼ ► weakly think that it's the case, but I think your objections are, are very reasonable and, and we'll
01:54:30 ◼ ► we'll see what happens. Well, this was as good a discussion as I think we could have hoped to have.
01:54:36 ◼ ► I'm glad you joined me. I hardly ever talk to you anymore. Yeah, well, it's actually good. We,
01:54:42 ◼ ► we actually talked about a fair bit of things that were different than what we've talked about
01:54:45 ◼ ► in dithering, because we talked a lot about like Zuckerberg being a founder and that sort of bit.
01:54:52 ◼ ► And whereas this was, I think much more about the beaten potatoes. So I think that people that
01:55:02 ◼ ► and you haven't tried it, you can find Ben and my, our, our joint show, which is now what,
01:55:09 ◼ ► where are we in about 18 months? Yeah, we're like well over 200 episodes. Yeah. dithering.fm
01:55:17 ◼ ► and it is $5 a month, which is an insane bargain or 50 bucks a year. Is that right? You could,
01:55:26 ◼ ► that's right. 50 bucks a year. And then what's, what's our pitch? It is a complete opposite of
01:55:31 ◼ ► this show for my eyes. 15 minutes, an episode, not a, I think it, this is where you get confused
01:55:38 ◼ ► because we actually do not a second less, not a second more, but I think the pitch is not a
01:55:42 ◼ ► minute more, not a minute less. This is the worst, this is the worst butchering in the history.
01:55:53 ◼ ► 15 minutes per episode, not a minute less, not a minute more, but we were that, that is
01:55:58 ◼ ► under promising. And we over deliver because we, we don't do a second less or a second more.
01:56:09 ◼ ► Marco, bless his heart, makes this, this product called Forecast that lets you sort of like add,
01:56:16 ◼ ► add show art and, and you know, just do things to your MP3 pile. Yeah. It, because why would he
01:56:28 ◼ ► will occasionally knock a second off. I'm not sure why. And so I'm actually using an old version of
01:56:34 ◼ ► it because that doesn't knock the second off. But when you get an episode that is 1459 tweet up,
01:56:40 ◼ ► Marco, don't tweet at us. Have you ever reported this to Marco? We need to, we need to get her.
01:56:50 ◼ ► That's right. I mean, the $0 for the download the new one and then the time spent to dig up the old
01:56:56 ◼ ► one. Anyway, it's a great tool. Actually we use it because for the Shchakary, because I record
01:57:03 ◼ ► a Pies versus Shchakary and we blow it out. Like there's show notes and like, like every time I
01:57:08 ◼ ► reference an image, that's the show image. When I do an article, it shows like a screenshot of the
01:57:12 ◼ ► article. Like, so that's all forecast. Forecast makes it super easy. So I'm actually a huge fan
01:57:18 ◼ ► and a huge user. So this was meant to, it meant good fun. I did the same thing with it and with
01:57:24 ◼ ► the chapters, right? And the chapters are huge. And I, it's so great for going back to older shows.
01:57:30 ◼ ► I wanted to refer back to an episode of the show from earlier this year, my show. And I knew it was
01:57:37 ◼ ► with Christina Warren, but I could actually, all I had to do is just go into it and forecast, or I
01:57:43 ◼ ► could have gone to a podcast player too, find the episode because the chapters are the same. And then
01:57:47 ◼ ► just tell people it's, oh, it's at the one minute 32 mark. And never would have, never, wasn't
01:57:51 ◼ ► possible with all the pre-forecast episodes of the show. So now you have me feeling bad for Gripen.