The Talk Show

26: Steve Wouldn’t Eat An Energy Bar, with John Moltz


00:00:00   Moltz, you had the article in the magazine. I really liked that. I say this with no hyperbole,

00:00:09   but it's my favorite article from the magazine thus far. Five issues.

00:00:12   Wow. I should get off right now.

00:00:15   Yeah. It's pretty good.

00:00:16   It's all downhill from here. There's no way this conversation gets any better than that.

00:00:21   I'm not going to spoil it, but everybody, if you're not reading the magazine, I mean, they're nuts because they're not hooked up right now.

00:00:27   There's some great, there's just been some great pieces in there.

00:00:30   Jason Snell's piece this week was particularly good.

00:00:32   You know what?

00:00:33   I haven't read that yet because I've been reading late last night.

00:00:35   Yeah, well, good, because that's why you think mine's better, or why you think mine's

00:00:39   the best.

00:00:40   I read yours.

00:00:41   There's no question his is better.

00:00:43   I was an issue behind, and so I read issue four, and then I opened up issue five, and

00:00:47   I read your piece and chuckled.

00:00:48   Then I opened his, and I saw where it was going, and it was real late, and I was sleepy,

00:00:52   and I was like, "You know what?

00:00:53   This is not, I'm going to read this one tomorrow."

00:00:55   Yeah.

00:00:56   It was a little heavy.

00:00:57   But yeah, it's great stuff going on in there.

00:01:01   - Yeah, no, it's a good read every time it comes out.

00:01:04   Every two weeks, right?

00:01:06   - Every two weeks, I believe.

00:01:07   And you know what, I guess I have a,

00:01:12   I guess I'm just, it's weird,

00:01:13   'cause it's like a big circle of my friends.

00:01:16   Like, 'cause Glenn was on the show two weeks ago.

00:01:19   Now, you're on, what's-his-name has been on already.

00:01:25   You know the guy Marco Marco has been on the show that guy

00:01:32   But it's you know, it's just really good and I think it's funny how it it's it has come out and it's a new thing and

00:01:42   So what five issues two weeks?

00:01:45   So it's like been like ten weeks like a month and a half two months two and a half months or so since it debuted

00:01:51   and

00:01:53   It's like starting to settle in and you know, I don't think it's a hit but it's clearly successful

00:01:58   It's exceeded Marco has admitted that it's you know, it's it's above, you know, like the minimum

00:02:03   Number of paying subscribers that he thought he needed. Yeah

00:02:06   But but we should point out that publishing on the iPad is dead, right?

00:02:11   And now publishing on the iPad is dead because it's too bad. It's too bad. He got in because it's a because it just died

00:02:20   And it's just there's a couple of things that to me make it so

00:02:23   It it's such a neat fit to compare and contrast with the daily

00:02:28   even just starting with the names, you know that they have these both have these sort of

00:02:33   Overly generic names right the magazine the daily one of them is this huge 25 million dollar a year

00:02:41   operation from

00:02:43   You know what most many people would argue is like the most evil

00:02:48   Evil publishing corporation in the world Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. And then the other is you know a tiny little

00:02:55   one-man operation equally evil

00:02:58   but

00:03:00   You know, well, it's a two-man two-man now - now - now - now - man. Yeah, so closer inching closer to

00:03:07   - News Corp

00:03:11   right

00:03:13   And I just you know, it's - I was I shouldn't be surprised

00:03:17   But I was surprised at when the dailies demise was announced. I guess on Monday

00:03:23   this week

00:03:25   Just how quickly so many people jump to the conclusion that it was proof that iPad publishing is impossible

00:03:32   I mean, that's actually what Felix Hammond used. He actually used the word impossible. Yeah. Yeah, I think he's a little he's a little chastened about that now

00:03:39   To his credit. He is a I think noted that maybe he was he went a little far

00:03:45   Yeah, and you know and he's a normally he's a really really

00:03:48   Fairly reasonable guy right? Yeah, he's very good. He's really be you know he's

00:03:54   You know usual financial coverage is spot-on. He's one of my favorites. I thought he covered the the whole

00:04:00   Unfortunate fiscal collapse and almost a black hole cratering of the entire global economy

00:04:07   Four years ago all as well as anybody I really did I really felt like he was one of my go-to guys to like

00:04:14   Tell me what the hell's going on and tell me that I shouldn't just

00:04:16   cash in and get gold and put it in

00:04:19   Put it in my mattress and buy a shotgun

00:04:22   You haven't done that. No, I didn't my dad seemed like oh is that ready? Okay. Okay. You seem like you might do that

00:04:29   You know you seem like the type

00:04:31   It was you know I considered it. Yeah, well. It's worth thinking about

00:04:35   But yeah, he really jumped to the ultimate conclusion that it was proof that it's that it's impossible

00:04:43   And I think you know, it's

00:04:46   It all comes back to a lot of these other theories about disruption that that you know that like the whole Clayton Christensen

00:04:53   what's his book called the

00:04:56   You know the guy I don't know that guy you got it let him up

00:05:03   Can't believe I'm drawing a blank on his book name

00:05:09   Tim Cook's a big fan.

00:05:12   Disruptive innovation?

00:05:13   Yeah.

00:05:14   Is that the...

00:05:15   That's not the name of the book, though.

00:05:16   That's not the name of the book.

00:05:17   Okay.

00:05:18   Innovator's Dilemma.

00:05:19   Oh, yeah.

00:05:20   Okay.

00:05:21   I know that one.

00:05:22   Yeah, I haven't read it.

00:05:23   Or know of it.

00:05:24   Yeah.

00:05:25   I've heard people talk about it, which is all I need to know.

00:05:26   That's right.

00:05:27   Yeah.

00:05:28   But his big theory is always that it's like a mammals versus dinosaurs thing, and that

00:05:30   the disruption always comes from the low end.

00:05:35   great case examples about what put steel industry out of business were these little places that

00:05:43   just melted down junk steel.

00:05:46   They eventually got so good at it and so efficient at it that they ended up being a far cheaper

00:05:52   way to manufacture high quality steel than the traditional steel foundries, et cetera,

00:05:57   et cetera, et cetera.

00:05:58   you're always, the disruption always is dismissed by the entrenched because it

00:06:03   looks inconsequential or cheap or low-end or something like that. And I

00:06:11   think it seems likely that the eventual disruption of Apple, if it ever happens,

00:06:17   would be similar, right? Yeah. From some corner, the unexpected corner, and not

00:06:23   from Microsoft, not from Google, but some other place. Right, some other place

00:06:28   that you would never expect and that will be dismissed for, you know, possibly for good

00:06:32   reasons, you know?

00:06:33   And I've spoken about this before, but it was like in the New Yorker profile of Clayton

00:06:39   Christensen.

00:06:40   He said one of the things that he's wrong about—and I love a guy.

00:06:44   You get big points in my book.

00:06:45   Anybody who's supposed to be a guru but talks about the times that they're wrong,

00:06:50   to me that's like two pluses right there in terms of their credibility.

00:06:54   And he admits he was totally wrong about the iPhone that he predicted when the iPhone first

00:06:58   came out that it wasn't really going to have much of an effect on the phone industry because

00:07:02   it was a high-end product, that disruption was going to come from the low end.

00:07:09   In hindsight, years later, he admits he was wrong because what he didn't understand

00:07:12   at first – and I think this is a brilliant insight – is that the iPhone wasn't really

00:07:16   a high-end phone. It was a low-end portable computer. It's like this crummy little 3

00:07:23   a half inch screen laptop, but because it's so small and tiny and lightweight and lasts

00:07:29   all day and has wireless internet everywhere you go, it completely disrupted the computer

00:07:34   industry and the phone industry at the same time because you didn't need a phone if you

00:07:38   had the iPhone, which is, I think, a brilliant way of looking at it.

00:07:46   I'm not saying that Marco's "the" magazine is going to itself put other magazines out

00:07:52   of business. But to me, it's the exact sort of thing that fits in with that line of disruptive

00:07:57   thinking, though. Things like the magazine are where the future is. And I can totally

00:08:06   see how if you pitch that to somebody at News Corporation or Time or something like that,

00:08:13   that they would just dismiss it. And they would say, "It's just some guy every two

00:08:17   weeks putting out five 750-word essays, that's nothing.

00:08:24   That has nothing to do with what we're trying to do.

00:08:25   I would say, no, it has everything with what you're trying to do.

00:08:28   Which in a nutshell is exactly what's been wrong with the traditional publishing industry's

00:08:33   response to the internet.

00:08:35   Yep.

00:08:36   It's the whole thing all over again.

00:08:38   No one trusts blogs.

00:08:41   No one trusts independent reporters.

00:08:44   They want a big organization like ours with editors and managers and a whole advertising

00:08:52   department.

00:08:53   Right.

00:08:54   And the same way too that most traditional…

00:08:59   If you just tell me, you don't tell me the name of the publication, but just say, "This

00:09:02   is a big name publication with national circulation.

00:09:05   They've been around for a long time.

00:09:08   Is their website any good?"

00:09:09   I'm going to guess no.

00:09:11   Right?

00:09:12   to most existing traditional publications have really bad websites.

00:09:16   Without, yeah. Almost without exception.

00:09:20   And they were especially bad at first, like 1996, '97, '98. They just didn't get it. And,

00:09:28   you know, I remember, I mean, and there were big ideas from even new things,

00:09:36   things that weren't rooted in the past, but which were from people rooted in the past. Like,

00:09:40   Again, I'm thinking of Slate in particular, which was all staffed with people from traditional

00:09:47   backgrounds and weekly magazines.

00:09:51   Wasn't it jointly with Microsoft at first?

00:09:54   Yeah.

00:09:55   I think so.

00:09:56   Yeah.

00:09:57   It was like when Microsoft in the '90s was into trying to become a media company when

00:10:01   they got involved with MSNBC for MSNBC, and they co-founded a magazine.

00:10:10   And the thing I remember thinking was so weird is like when Slate debuted, it was all it

00:10:15   was was a website.

00:10:16   There was no print version.

00:10:17   It was just a website and yet they still had weekly issues.

00:10:23   And you'd be like Wednesday and here's the new issue of Slate, come back next Wednesday.

00:10:28   Right?

00:10:30   That you get locked into this way of thinking.

00:10:32   And Slate is still around.

00:10:33   They're still doing good work, but they obviously abandoned that issue idea.

00:10:37   And it's hard.

00:10:38   really hard when you think in terms of issues, it's really hard to sort of zoom back and

00:10:44   think about a new medium.

00:10:47   Right.

00:10:48   So, one of the questions I wanted to talk to you about, which I've been thinking about

00:10:55   just the last few days, because everybody keeps talking about Apple's eventual decline.

00:11:03   So many people think it's already happening for some strange reason that I, it's beyond

00:11:07   my comprehension, but I think about this and I wonder if it's going to be easier for us

00:11:15   to see that or harder for people like us to see that.

00:11:19   You know, that is a very good question. I do think about that all the time. I would

00:11:26   like to think that we would see it, like you and I, and guys, you know, people who like

00:11:33   I like to have on the show, like MG.

00:11:37   But I wonder, I do wonder, that whether we've got even, you know, that we think we're

00:11:43   being…

00:11:44   I would think that we would see it.

00:11:47   One of the reasons I think that is because in the past few weeks, there have been a couple

00:11:50   pieces published that are sort of thoughtful looks at things that Apple is good at and

00:11:56   not good at.

00:11:58   I forget the name of someone who you linked to just yesterday or the day before, but it

00:12:06   was about Apple's seeming inability to get cloud services done really correctly.

00:12:15   And I thought your conclusion was exactly right.

00:12:18   That doesn't seem like buying Twitter is really the right solution to that problem.

00:12:25   But it's true.

00:12:26   to be for whatever reason a blind spot for them. And then the other piece was Michael Lop's piece on

00:12:36   Forstall leaving and how innovation really often needs argument. And that he wondered if getting

00:12:53   Getting rid of forestall means that there would be less argument and if that was a good

00:12:58   thing for innovation or a bad thing for innovation.

00:13:00   Right.

00:13:01   Then maybe the contention within the upper ranks, maybe it was unpleasant day-to-day

00:13:06   to deal with, but maybe it was the best thing for the company going forward.

00:13:13   Yeah.

00:13:14   I just lumped both those pieces in my head together because I thought that they were

00:13:20   thoughtful pieces on, "Okay, maybe these are blind spots of apples that could be concerning

00:13:25   in the future," without being over the top, "Oh, apple's doomed."

00:13:31   And this is the obvious sign of their decline.

00:13:34   I've mentioned this before, I think for a long – I think it's been a long time,

00:13:40   but probably on the show.

00:13:41   Maybe it was the old show with Dan.

00:13:43   But I have long thought that it's like this sort of—theory is giving it way too much

00:13:50   credence, but let's call it my theory of first impressions.

00:13:55   And that we are hooked up evolutionarily.

00:13:59   Primarily, all of the things we really ever cared about were a small circle of the other

00:14:03   human beings you'd ever possibly encounter.

00:14:06   There's that number of—like 150 is like the most number of people you can have any

00:14:11   kind of emotional bond with.

00:14:15   And we're hooked up to –

00:14:16   Or five, five in my case.

00:14:18   Yeah, exactly.

00:14:21   Right there with you, buddy.

00:14:25   Four.

00:14:26   Four.

00:14:27   I was exaggerating.

00:14:29   I was going to make a joke about that there's a reason that we each only have one kid.

00:14:36   It's only so much love to car.

00:14:39   It's two.

00:14:40   It's actually two.

00:14:47   But my theory is more or less that we're hooked up to—you meet other people, and

00:14:54   if it's somebody you haven't met before, you should have a good instinct. You should

00:14:59   be able to make a good first impression, an accurate first impression. Is this someone

00:15:03   you should trust? Is it someone you shouldn't trust? Is it someone you like? And not that

00:15:08   never wrong and not that first impressions sometimes aren't surprisingly misleading.

00:15:12   But in general, we're really good at that, and I think there's really strong evolutionary

00:15:17   reasons to be like that. But I also think that first impressions solidify very quickly.

00:15:24   And when you're dealing with people, people don't change that much, right? Once you

00:15:27   get to know someone, don't even—I'm not even talking about your 30-second first impression,

00:15:32   but like, I just met you, you're the new guy in the office,

00:15:36   and we meet, and over the course of a couple of weeks,

00:15:40   we get to know each other.

00:15:42   10 years from now, you're not gonna be that different.

00:15:44   You're still the same person,

00:15:45   unless you get hit in the head or something like that.

00:15:48   But that's often very hard to deal with.

00:15:49   Like, if you've ever met anybody who's had a head injury,

00:15:52   it's often, it'll throw you off,

00:15:55   because you think that they're the same,

00:15:57   and because they're not,

00:16:00   it's really hard for families to deal with that.

00:16:02   I mean, I know how to make light of it.

00:16:04   And I think that a lot of people, when it comes,

00:16:09   we're not hooked up to deal with something like Apple,

00:16:12   which is an incredibly different company

00:16:14   than what it used to be.

00:16:15   But so many people, especially business people,

00:16:19   investors and business writers,

00:16:21   investors, writers, and stuff like that,

00:16:23   have this impression of Apple from the '90s.

00:16:26   that is, that's still what they see as Apple.

00:16:30   And there's just nothing that's gonna,

00:16:32   we're gonna have to wait until they get so old

00:16:35   that they retire before it really,

00:16:36   the company really shakes that.

00:16:38   - Right.

00:16:40   - And that it's still seen as this little guy

00:16:42   or the upstart or the deviant from the norm in the industry.

00:16:47   And so you still see people talking about Apple

00:16:50   like that when Apple gets in trouble

00:16:52   that they could go under or go down

00:16:54   or just completely collapse.

00:16:56   Like, that's actually impossible at this point.

00:16:59   Apple is so big and so successful

00:17:00   that the worst thing that would happen, I think,

00:17:03   is stagnation, right?

00:17:06   Like, sort of more or less what's happened to Microsoft.

00:17:09   - And that's the other thing that people tend to do,

00:17:11   is they wanna apply, and they always wanna do this,

00:17:14   they wanna apply something that happened in the past.

00:17:18   They wanna say that the PC wars between the Mac

00:17:23   and Windows are exactly the same

00:17:25   what's going on between iOS and Android right now.

00:17:28   And none of these things ever repeat themselves exactly the same way.

00:17:32   And they want to say that, "Oh, Apple's the new Microsoft."

00:17:35   Right.

00:17:39   Or that Android's the new Windows and iOS is the new Mac.

00:17:43   But the numbers are so staggeringly different that it doesn't make any sense to think

00:17:48   of it that way.

00:17:49   But I also—

00:17:50   And the whole industry is different too.

00:17:51   I mean, it's not as hard to code.

00:17:53   I think, and I don't know the reasons for this particularly, because I'm not a coder, but back in the 90s, it was much more of a trial to try and move code between Windows and the Mac than I think it is today trying to do.

00:18:10   It just seems like it's easier for the, there's a lot more cross-development going on.

00:18:14   Right. No, I definitely think so.

00:18:17   I don't know why that is, but it doesn't seem like it's as big a deal to try and say, "Okay, well, we wrote this for iOS, let's write it for Android," or vice versa.

00:18:27   Whereas nobody did that back. A very limited number of large applications were coded for both platforms back in the '90s.

00:18:36   Yeah, I think that there's some—that's actually probably a good question for the

00:18:42   whole show. But I think part of it is that back then computers were so meager technically,

00:18:49   so much slower CPU, so by today's standards, such incredibly tiny amounts of RAM that you

00:18:57   really kind of had to write good software down to the metal or as close above the metal

00:19:04   as you could get to make it efficient.

00:19:07   It was really hard to have an abstraction layer that was cross-platform because it involved

00:19:13   even a little bit of overhead.

00:19:17   You just couldn't afford any sort of inefficiency like that.

00:19:25   That's a good segue, though, this whole idea of what would an apple decline look like and

00:19:34   is getting rid of forestall to alleviate contention, good or bad, in that direction.

00:19:41   Leads right into probably the biggest thing this week is this extensive interview with

00:19:45   Tim Cook in Bloomberg Business Week.

00:19:51   I don't know what you call it.

00:19:53   Bloomberg Business Week.

00:19:54   It's Bloomberg Business Week.

00:19:55   I get really confused about the two because they look totally different.

00:19:58   But Bloomberg owns Business Week.

00:20:00   And the interview, I guess, is in the magazine.

00:20:01   It's probably going to be the cover story.

00:20:05   And they broke it across 11 pages.

00:20:06   You have to click 11 different web pages.

00:20:08   But then if you go to Bloomberg.com, you can get the exact same article all on one nice

00:20:12   page.

00:20:13   I don't understand.

00:20:14   He's talking about not getting it.

00:20:17   But they cover that in the article.

00:20:19   There's a part here where he sort of asked about Forstall.

00:20:27   What does he say here?

00:20:32   The question is, "In the past few weeks, you replaced two members of your senior executive

00:20:36   team, mobile software head Scott Forstall and retail chief John Browett.

00:20:41   How did these moves make Apple better, which is a polite way of saying what was wrong?"

00:20:45   And that's actually, that's not me adding that aside.

00:20:48   actually the question he asked Cook. Cook says, "The key in the change that you're

00:20:52   referencing is my deep belief that collaboration is essential for

00:20:55   innovation." And I didn't just start believing that. I've always believed that.

00:20:58   It's always been a core belief at Apple. Steve very deeply believed this. So the

00:21:04   changes, it's not a matter of going from no collaboration to collaboration. We

00:21:08   have an enormous level of collaboration at Apple, but it's a matter of taking it

00:21:11   to another level. You look at what we are great at, there are many things, but the

00:21:15   The one thing we do, which I think no one else does, is integrate hardware, software,

00:21:19   and services in a way that most consumers begin to not differentiate anymore.

00:21:24   They just care that the experience is fantastic, blah, blah, blah.

00:21:28   Wait.

00:21:29   But then he talks – all right.

00:21:30   Here's what he says.

00:21:31   This is Kim Cook continuing.

00:21:33   He says, "You don't have silos built up where everybody is trying to optimize their

00:21:37   silo and figuring out how to grab turf and all of these things.

00:21:41   It makes all of our jobs easier, so we're freed up to focus on the things that truly

00:21:45   I mean, that to me, he doesn't mention Forstall, but clearly that's talking about Forstall

00:21:50   who had the silo iOS.

00:21:54   Yeah.

00:21:56   And it also sounds like Microsoft to me.

00:21:59   Not that I know that well how Microsoft is structured and if that kind of thing goes

00:22:04   on, but they do have that review system where they fit everybody into a bell curve.

00:22:11   Right.

00:22:12   Even if you did great, if they think someone did better than you, you're going to get forced down.

00:22:18   So there's like a top 10% that does really well, and there's the meat of the bell curve that's 80%,

00:22:26   and then the other 10% are all the way forced down to the bottom.

00:22:29   Yeah, what's that called? I actually wanted to talk to...

00:22:33   Forced ranking is one thing I've heard of.

00:22:36   Yeah, stack ranking or something like that.

00:22:37   Something like that, yeah.

00:22:38   I actually wanted to talk to Lop about that.

00:22:41   I have to have him back on the show, but I forgot to when he was on because he's the

00:22:45   only guy I know who knows anything about engineering management.

00:22:49   But I would love to get his opinion on that.

00:22:50   But it seems like one of those "be careful what you test for" type warnings.

00:22:57   The idea is that if you're a product manager at Microsoft and you have a five-person team,

00:23:04   When it comes time to give the reviews,

00:23:05   you give like one gold star to give out,

00:23:09   two goods, and you have to give out two bad,

00:23:12   you know, sad faces.

00:23:13   You have to.

00:23:14   So if you've recruited a team of five all-stars,

00:23:18   which you would think would be a great way

00:23:19   to make a great product,

00:23:21   you've gotta give two of them bad reviews.

00:23:23   You have to.

00:23:24   And so what you end up getting,

00:23:25   everybody seems to agree,

00:23:28   is that it doesn't really reward excellence

00:23:31   at what you're doing,

00:23:32   It rewards excellence at getting your product manager

00:23:36   to give you the gold star.

00:23:38   - Yeah. - Right?

00:23:39   It's like you're gaming the game.

00:23:41   - I think it's broader than that.

00:23:42   I don't think they force it down to the team level.

00:23:46   So I don't think you'd get a situation

00:23:48   where there are five people and somebody gets screwed

00:23:51   even if all five did pretty well.

00:23:52   - No, it does, honestly.

00:23:54   Read the-- - Is that right?

00:23:55   Is that right? - Yeah, it really is.

00:23:56   It really is.

00:23:58   - 'Cause I worked someplace

00:24:00   that was going to implement this system,

00:24:02   and people were just up in arms about it

00:24:04   and they eventually backed off of it.

00:24:05   And it was going to be more corporate-wide

00:24:10   from what I remember.

00:24:13   At least our implementation of it

00:24:14   was going to be more corporate-wide.

00:24:16   So.

00:24:17   - I'll send you a link, but I'll tell you.

00:24:18   - But yeah, okay. - That's how it works.

00:24:19   And so you end up with the situations too,

00:24:21   where let's say you are really good at what you do,

00:24:23   you're a really good programmer,

00:24:25   and you're thinking about switching to a new team.

00:24:28   Well, it's to your interest to go to that team

00:24:30   if you know there's a couple of turkeys on the team.

00:24:32   Because if you're just looking out for your career

00:24:35   because you're gonna shine.

00:24:36   Whereas if you're looking at a team

00:24:38   where you know there's a couple of other superstars there,

00:24:41   you might think, well, this might hurt my career

00:24:43   because I don't know that I can get a ranking better

00:24:47   than those two guys 'cause they're awesome.

00:24:49   - Yeah.

00:24:50   It just seems terrible.

00:24:52   It seems counterproductive.

00:24:54   - But it's also true.

00:24:55   I think it's an interesting contrast though

00:24:57   at the senior management level though

00:24:58   where Microsoft is organized in a way

00:25:00   that I think most companies are, by product divisions.

00:25:04   Steven Sinofsky was the head of Windows 8.

00:25:08   And he had nothing to do with the phone.

00:25:11   Like I remember asking him,

00:25:12   'cause I got to speak to him a little bit

00:25:13   at the thing in New York a couple weeks ago

00:25:15   at the Windows 8 launch event.

00:25:16   And they had done a thing,

00:25:19   I think it was Thursday in New York,

00:25:20   they were debuting Windows 8.

00:25:22   And then Monday in San Francisco,

00:25:24   they were debuting Windows Phone 8.

00:25:27   And I just, just offhandedly, I asked if he was,

00:25:30   you know, just, you know,

00:25:31   the way he'd chat about the weather and travel.

00:25:33   Did he have to hop on a plane

00:25:36   and go all the way back to the West Coast

00:25:37   for the Monday thing?

00:25:39   And he goes, "Nah, nah, I have nothing to do with that."

00:25:40   So he wasn't even going to it.

00:25:42   And I kinda thought that, you know,

00:25:45   but Apple is organized in a very opposite way,

00:25:49   especially now that Forstall's gone.

00:25:51   Like, maybe Forstall was an equivalent of Sanofsky

00:25:53   where he was in charge of an operating system, iOS.

00:25:56   But now, it's not like that at all.

00:26:02   Johnny Ive is in charge of all design, design of everything.

00:26:05   Bill Shiller is in charge of all marketing.

00:26:07   It doesn't matter.

00:26:08   If Apple is in charge of iPhone marketing, iPad marketing, Mac marketing, if Apple comes

00:26:13   out with something totally new, if they come out with the Apple-branded car, Bill Shiller

00:26:18   is in charge of the marketing of it.

00:26:19   Johnny Ive is in charge of the design of it.

00:26:25   It's a very different organization, and I think it's an open question whether that's

00:26:34   the better way to do it.

00:26:36   Yeah.

00:26:37   The counterpoint I thought of to Lop's argument is that when you reach a point where one of

00:26:45   the people creating the argument is so difficult that you either lose...

00:26:54   It becomes harder to get good people in the other positions.

00:26:59   Because a lot of people don't want to deal with that crap.

00:27:02   They don't want to have to have an argument every time they go into a meeting.

00:27:08   And I think it had something – I mean it played a part in the thermostat boy.

00:27:17   Tony Fadal.

00:27:18   Tony Fadal.

00:27:19   Him leaving and I think it seemed like it was playing a part in Big Bob Mansfield leaving.

00:27:25   I am so glad you called him Big Bob Mansfield.

00:27:28   I always call him Big Bob Mansfield.

00:27:30   Yeah.

00:27:31   And the whole way that this has played out has been a little surprisingly open for Apple,

00:27:36   right?

00:27:37   It seems like the Mansfield thing is- Well, it just became kind of obvious, right?

00:27:42   Right.

00:27:43   I don't know that they were so open about it necessarily as it just was like, "Oh,

00:27:47   Mansfield on his way out.

00:27:49   Oh, Forestdale's leaving.

00:27:50   Mansfield's going to stick around for a little while."

00:27:52   And head up a new- And head up an entirely new organization.

00:27:58   But there also were reports, I forget who had it, but somebody had sources who wouldn't

00:28:03   be named, but they're familiar with the situation as they say, that Johnny Ive was

00:28:11   refusing to go into any meeting where Forrestal was going to be.

00:28:14   Yeah.

00:28:15   I think they said the same about Mansfield, didn't they?

00:28:17   Or maybe not.

00:28:18   Or at least that he didn't like going to meetings with Forrestal.

00:28:21   Right.

00:28:22   And so, while I understand the argument, I've got nothing.

00:28:26   I like a good argument, but when you have someone who's so difficult that he's actually

00:28:31   pushing other people, very talented people, particularly if they talk about Mansfield.

00:28:36   Cook talks about him in that interview.

00:28:38   He is really probably the best hardware manager anywhere in the technology industry.

00:28:46   He's just got to be, right?

00:28:47   I mean, because they make the best hardware and the guy seems pretty bright.

00:28:52   Since he's been there, they really have made an enormous number of innovations.

00:28:58   thinking about this whole move to these systems on a chip, the way that they deal with batteries

00:29:05   alone.

00:29:06   Yeah, yeah.

00:29:07   I mean, we made fun of that when they did that.

00:29:09   I guess it was the last Macworld, right, where Schiller was the keynote.

00:29:14   And the big announcement was that they were integrating the battery.

00:29:19   They would no longer have removable batteries in 17-inch MacBook Pro.

00:29:25   they did the big video was a video about battery technology, which was really not as exciting

00:29:32   as two years earlier when they announced the iPhone, obviously. But at the same time, it

00:29:39   turned out to be their battery technology is a really important part of their business.

00:29:43   Yeah. There's a self-congratulatory angle on all those behind the scenes talking to

00:29:50   – here's Johnny Ive talking about how beautiful it is. Here's Bob Mansfield talking

00:29:54   about how amazing this battery is. There's sort of a who cares aspect to it. There's

00:30:00   a reason why they show it to the press at these things, even though they're super

00:30:04   high production values. They're not like when they put the commercials on TV for Christmas,

00:30:08   they're not showing – they're not trying to get people excited about the battery integration.

00:30:12   Tim Cynova Wouldn't that be great? Like Monday Night

00:30:17   Football ad with big Bob Mansfield talking about a battery?

00:30:21   Or maybe they did the one that maybe the closest they've come to that was when they first switched to Intel processors

00:30:27   And they had that thing with the Postal Service song

00:30:30   Remember that Oh God they had it they had a commercial

00:30:35   Apple I'm gonna have to google this later the band the band the postal service the band is called the postal

00:30:43   Yeah, yeah, no, I know I know or or maybe that maybe it was like a ripoff

00:30:47   It was a argue. It was arguably a ripoff of some music video. They had a commercial that showed like

00:30:53   CPUs coming down an assembly line, you know with these yeah robotic things cutting them up and there was a vaguely

00:31:01   I don't know. But anyway, that was maybe the closest they came. Yeah, I was trying to get people excited about Intel CPUs

00:31:09   But it is interesting though

00:31:12   Because I do think there's insight to be gleaned from these things about what Apple honestly thinks is important and what they're proud of

00:31:19   You know it they're they're very quiet they don't say much but when they do say things I do

00:31:28   Think and I think is one of the things that a lot of people don't understand about Apple. They're they're

00:31:32   surprisingly forthcoming

00:31:35   I keep thinking I haven't written about it

00:31:38   but I keep thinking about, also going back to the switch

00:31:42   from PowerPC to Intel, it was a WWDC keynote.

00:31:47   It did take everybody by surprise.

00:31:50   Every, you know, it's long been rumored,

00:31:52   but it was only like the Friday before

00:31:54   when the Wall Street Journal said,

00:31:55   "Yeah, this is gonna happen."

00:31:56   And everybody was sort of like,

00:31:57   "Whoa, how's that gonna work?"

00:31:59   And on stage, talking about it,

00:32:03   Steve Jobs's explanation was more or less

00:32:06   this argument about power per energy performance per, not just sheer performance, but performance

00:32:16   divided by energy consumption. And that this was the future of computing, and that these

00:32:23   Intel CPUs they were switching to gave them so much more computing power per watt of energy

00:32:30   burned. Which, if you think about it, and he was very passionate about it, and it was

00:32:36   almost like, "Come on, Steve." But if you think about it, isn't that exactly—shouldn't

00:32:43   the guy who listened the most intently to that, shouldn't it have been Paul Otellini?

00:32:50   Because isn't that exactly where Intel has now found itself behind the curve? And that's

00:32:55   whole revolution with these ARM processors for phones and tablets is not sheer performance,

00:33:02   right? I mean, the high-end iPad 4 is, in terms of benchmarking, way slower than the

00:33:11   cheapest MacBook, right? It's not that fast as just a sheer processor. It's about battery

00:33:19   life and this this new division of performance versus energy consumption

00:33:24   and heat right and when it's cook Steve Jobs really laid it all out in the line

00:33:31   back and I don't when was that 2006 2005 I mean he really like spelled it out

00:33:36   yeah what does cook call he did it in that little video so NBC also had a

00:33:46   a short cut of what is going to be on tonight, right, is I think it's on tonight.

00:33:51   Yes, it's on tonight on the Rock Hard show. Brian Williams, Rock Hard. Isn't that the

00:33:58   name of the show?

00:34:00   No, it's not, is it? I don't know. I really don't know.

00:34:08   All right, let me look it up. Oh, it's Brian Williams Rock Center.

00:34:13   There we go.

00:34:14   All right, Brian Williams Rock Hard is a different show.

00:34:17   That's a different show. It's on later. What does he call the processors? Because

00:34:26   they – he has a funny word for – he doesn't say processor. He says like brain or something.

00:34:31   Engine?

00:34:32   Engine. That's right.

00:34:33   I think he's talking about – I think that's his – I think he's talking about the operating

00:34:37   system, not the processor.

00:34:39   Really?

00:34:40   it's made in the USA. That must mean that, I think he means that the engine is the, I

00:34:47   don't know.

00:34:48   But where are the processors made? I mean, they bought, they're designed, they designed

00:34:53   them.

00:34:54   Yeah.

00:34:55   Because they bought that company, and I guess I thought they also made them.

00:35:00   It's all very secretive, but I know Samsung is still making them for, you know, that's

00:35:03   that whole awkward relationship with Samsung that they've got this almost Shakespearean

00:35:11   sort of duality. Now, I know Samsung has like a chip fab in Texas where they make some,

00:35:17   but I don't know if they make them all. It seems kind of crazy like the way everything

00:35:22   hopscotches all around where they make the glass in Kentucky and then send it over to

00:35:27   China and they make the CPUs in Texas and then send them over to China and then they

00:35:31   They put them all together and then send the phones back to the US.

00:35:36   I thought he was talking about the operating system though.

00:35:39   Maybe you're right though.

00:35:40   Maybe he was talking about –

00:35:41   I thought he was talking about the processors but –

00:35:42   Well, I don't know.

00:35:43   It could be either.

00:35:44   I don't know.

00:35:45   Yeah.

00:35:46   But that's the other thing that he announced is that they're going to start trying to

00:35:51   do a little more manufacturing in the United States.

00:35:54   And today, there was also an announcement that Foxconn is going to.

00:35:57   So I don't know if those two things are the same.

00:35:59   Oh, really?

00:36:00   "Yeah, that Foxconn is going to open or do more manufacturing in the US." I don't know

00:36:07   if they do any here currently, but so we're going to get some of that great Foxconn job

00:36:13   action. So if you're looking for a sweatshop job, it's not really a sweatshop, but just

00:36:28   Wait.

00:36:29   Another one to file under, "Be careful what you wish for."

00:36:32   Yeah, right.

00:36:33   Wouldn't it be great if we –

00:36:34   Bring those jobs back to America.

00:36:37   This sucks.

00:36:42   And that's the other thing that I feel fairly confident that someone will predict that Apple's

00:36:49   decline – another sign of Apple's impending decline is that they're bringing jobs to

00:36:55   the United States.

00:36:56   Anything they do differently is a sign that they're declining.

00:36:59   Right.

00:37:00   And I could see sort of your argument there because you'd be saying, "Well, that means

00:37:04   they're going to have to be more expensive," and whatever.

00:37:11   There is room for a reasonable argument, but at the same time, I think ... And this is sort

00:37:16   of the whole problem with these arguments is that because of Apple's track record and

00:37:21   because it still has basically the same core of good executives that it's had.

00:37:29   And the right guy leading the company, I trust their ability to execute.

00:37:37   And to accept all these counterarguments, to say that the company is surely in decline,

00:37:44   you have to sort of throw that out.

00:37:45   You have to say, "No, only Steve Jobs was the only one who was worth a damn in the company

00:37:51   and everybody else's a mouth breathing uber.

00:37:57   So I don't get, I mean, obviously.

00:37:59   Right.

00:38:00   Actually, I don't get that.

00:38:04   And I think the, I mean, what was your overall impression of the interview?

00:38:08   I thought it was pretty good for how these things are done.

00:38:12   Yeah, I do too.

00:38:13   To a certain degree, these are all puff pieces.

00:38:16   He wasn't really throwing anything terribly difficult, but it also wasn't complete softballs.

00:38:22   Right.

00:38:23   Ideally, you'd love to get some –

00:38:26   Yeah.

00:38:27   They know – yeah.

00:38:29   I mean, he didn't bother asking anything about future products.

00:38:32   Right.

00:38:33   Ideally, to satisfy our curiosity, we'd like to know stuff to a level of detail that

00:38:39   is outside Apple's interest in sharing.

00:38:43   cook is not a dim bulb, and so he's not going to do that. But I feel like in terms of the

00:38:48   line of what he might be willing to talk about, I felt like the interview was very well done

00:38:55   and that it went up to that line and kind of filled it in.

00:38:57   Yeah.

00:38:58   Right? Like, you're not going to-- Apple's not going to let somebody follow a product

00:39:03   development team around for six months and document exactly how they actually do it.

00:39:10   I hope not.

00:39:11   Interesting tidbits. I mean, it makes sense if you think about it, but I hadn't thought

00:39:14   about it this way. It was where he said that 80% of the company's revenue from this quarter

00:39:19   is coming from products that were released within the last 60 days.

00:39:23   Yeah.

00:39:24   Which is, it's kind of amazing.

00:39:27   You don't really, yeah, you don't really think about that because they did turn the

00:39:29   whole iPad line over.

00:39:31   Right.

00:39:32   And, and release the iPhone 5.

00:39:33   With the exception of the iPad 2. Right.

00:39:36   Oh, that's true. That's true.

00:39:38   But I suspect I very much – well, I don't know.

00:39:41   Well, that's interesting.

00:39:42   I wonder if you – I mean I'm assuming that that statistic is – he's not overemphasized

00:39:49   or – does that mean that seemed bigger than it really is?

00:39:54   Right.

00:39:55   No, but I don't think that I've had – I think it's successful.

00:39:57   I've said before that's the only reason why they would keep it around is that people

00:40:01   are buying it.

00:40:02   Whether it's they're still buying it with the mini available, was it the price that

00:40:06   making them buy it or was it the fact that they really wanted the 10-inch size and they

00:40:10   just want the cheapest one?

00:40:11   We'll know the answer to that if it sticks around.

00:40:14   But I think Tim Cook, that's the sort of thing that I don't think he would misspeak

00:40:20   about.

00:40:21   He might…

00:40:22   Yeah, I don't think so either.

00:40:23   He might get loosey-goosey about what's the "engine" of the phone.

00:40:27   That might be something that he's just going to wave his hands about.

00:40:29   When it comes to things like where 80% of the revenue is coming from, I think the guy's

00:40:36   like a living, breathing spreadsheet.

00:40:38   - Yeah.

00:40:39   - I think it's probably scary how much of that stuff

00:40:42   he's got in his head at any given moment.

00:40:44   - Yeah.

00:40:45   That was the thing I kinda looked for is,

00:40:47   he seemed to, I'm trying to think of all the examples.

00:40:50   He used a word, a buzzword that he apologized for using.

00:40:55   - Best of breed?

00:40:59   - Best of breed, yeah, he used it, yeah, so yeah,

00:41:01   he used that, but he at least caveated that

00:41:04   with saying, by saying that he hated it.

00:41:05   Right.

00:41:06   And there was one other sort of buzz wordy thing that he used that I would, I mean it's

00:41:12   stupid to do this, but I thought, well, if that was something that Jobs would have said.

00:41:18   But then the other, I was pleased that he used the word crappy.

00:41:22   When talking about keyboards on netbooks.

00:41:30   And I thought that was – it seemed – I looked for little clues about his character,

00:41:37   I guess.

00:41:38   Yeah.

00:41:39   Just to see what kind of guy he is.

00:41:40   Yeah.

00:41:41   I guess that is the interesting thing.

00:41:42   One of the interesting things about him is that he is a bit of a cipher.

00:41:45   And I felt like the interviewer – what's his name?

00:41:47   Josh.

00:41:48   I want to give him credit because he did it.

00:41:49   Yeah.

00:41:50   Yeah.

00:41:51   I'd not – Trangle –

00:41:52   Yeah.

00:41:53   He's kind of got like a hard-to-pronounce name.

00:41:56   We'll just call him Josh.

00:41:58   Josh.

00:41:59   Josh Terangel, editor of Business Week.

00:42:04   You're the perfect person to try and figure out how to pronounce this name.

00:42:10   We should go grade school style.

00:42:12   We'll just call him Josh T.

00:42:14   Josh T. Mr. Josh.

00:42:17   Do you have other Johns in your class growing up?

00:42:20   Oh, yeah.

00:42:21   Sure.

00:42:22   Are you kidding me?

00:42:23   We had three.

00:42:24   John was still – you know John?

00:42:25   Why is John not a popular name anymore?

00:42:26   It's a great name.

00:42:27   It's the best name.

00:42:28   I wasn't crazy about it, but okay.

00:42:30   Really?

00:42:31   Oh, man.

00:42:32   I think John's the best name.

00:42:33   You got your John Adams.

00:42:35   You got your John...

00:42:36   That's true.

00:42:37   Yeah, no, I have some great people, but...

00:42:38   You got your John Kennedy.

00:42:39   Oh, man.

00:42:40   It's a great name.

00:42:41   Anyway, but we had three.

00:42:42   We had John G. That was yours truly.

00:42:46   John T. and John R. I always wondered what would happen if you had two with the same

00:42:53   initial.

00:42:54   I don't know how we would have...

00:42:56   They had to fight it out.

00:42:57   Yeah.

00:42:58   They put them in a pit with a couple of sticks, pointed sticks, and let them go.

00:43:03   Yeah.

00:43:04   So no, I always just, I mean, not at that age, at grade school age, but I just eventually

00:43:10   became Moltz.

00:43:11   Right.

00:43:12   Yeah, same here.

00:43:13   I've always been Moltz.

00:43:14   Yeah, I've always been Gruber.

00:43:15   Yeah.

00:43:16   Let me take a break here and read a sponsor.

00:43:20   Okay.

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00:43:41   to a thing that comes in the mail, maybe it's got a bad rap as a holiday gift because of

00:43:45   the Christmas Vacation movie."

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00:43:52   It's a beloved holiday classic.

00:43:53   My wife and my son were both appalled that I didn't remember.

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00:44:24   It's presuming that you've got someone in your friend or family who drinks coffee.

00:44:28   And if they don't drink coffee, I mean, what's wrong with them?

00:44:31   Because it just came out – that's the other thing – it just came out last week

00:44:34   that the more coffee you drink, the better you are.

00:44:36   I don't know.

00:44:37   That's what I took from that.

00:44:38   No, not the –

00:44:39   Demonstrably true.

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00:44:41   It was – some kind of study came out that drinking copious amounts of coffee is on the

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00:44:49   And it's integral to writing a good web blog, right?

00:44:53   Oh, exactly.

00:44:54   I mean, it's—well, you know what?

00:44:55   And somebody else pointed out to me on Twitter that they said, "Good peace on the daily,

00:45:02   but you missed what was surely the core of their failure," that they obviously did

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00:45:15   Yeah, what do you—

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00:45:17   carbonated fizzy water, fussy coffee, and clicky keyboards. They must have been missing

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00:45:24   **BEN HONG:** Probably all three.

00:45:25   **Ezra Klein:** Probably all three, given what it was. But

00:45:29   those are my keys to success on the internet. Overcarbonated water, fussy delicious coffee,

00:45:36   and clicky keyboards. I would put the coffee first, frankly. I mean, if I could only have

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00:46:36   This is my thing for Christmas for myself that I'm trying to arrange is to up my coffee

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00:46:54   Yeah, I gotta get on the Arab press thing.

00:46:56   I'm switching to talks too.

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00:47:07   a Looper director a couple of shows ago, because we did that show right there in the Sandwich

00:47:11   studios there in Los Angeles. One of the guys who works with Adam there at Sandwich Video,

00:47:18   JP, volunteered to make me a cup of coffee. I was not familiar with the AeroPress. Of

00:47:24   course, it was Tonks because I believe they're—I'm not sure if I can say this, but I think they're

00:47:28   working on a sandwich video for Tonks. It's all a part of the Tonks family. He made me

00:47:36   an AeroPress cup of coffee. It really was one of those pulp fiction moments of like,

00:47:41   That's a good cup of coffee.

00:47:46   Wow.

00:47:47   It really set me off like I lost my train of thought.

00:47:51   It's like, "This is really, really delicious."

00:47:55   The other thing, too, that's fun about getting into coffee is you can really nerd out on

00:47:59   it and it's not expensive.

00:48:00   You know what I mean?

00:48:02   I'm always afraid.

00:48:03   I never drink wine because I'm afraid that if I get into it, all of a sudden I'm buying

00:48:07   $85 bottles of wine.

00:48:09   I don't want to get into something like that.

00:48:11   You know what I mean?

00:48:13   All you need is boiled water and coffee beans.

00:48:17   You could get a nice little fussy kettle.

00:48:23   What's a tea kettle cost?

00:48:24   It doesn't cost a lot of money.

00:48:25   You're not getting into some kind of thing where you can't pay your Amex every month.

00:48:33   I want to get one of those tea kettles.

00:48:34   I want to get a tea kettle that has the long, skinny spout.

00:48:39   Have you seen that?

00:48:40   This seems like all the real – that's the way you make a fussy coffee.

00:48:43   It's got like a real skinny spout.

00:48:45   Mine has a big fat spout.

00:48:47   It's just like an unfussy tea kettle or water kettle, whatever you want to call it.

00:48:53   I feel like I got to up my tea kettle game.

00:48:56   I wonder if Tim Cook drinks coffee.

00:49:01   I would bet he seems like – I don't know.

00:49:07   I would hope so.

00:49:08   Yeah, I don't know. They say he eats a lot of energy bars. That used to be the other

00:49:15   thing that was in all the profiles of him. He gets in early, leaves late, eats a lot

00:49:23   of energy bars.

00:49:28   Steve Jobs never would have eaten any energy bars.

00:49:32   One of the other things…

00:49:35   (laughs)

00:49:36   - Company in decline.

00:49:37   - One of the little things I noticed in the article was,

00:49:43   A, unless I skipped it, they never actually got back

00:49:47   to talking about John Browatt.

00:49:48   - No, no, I don't think he did.

00:49:51   It's like he really just focused on Forstall

00:49:54   and glossed over Browatt.

00:49:56   - Right, it's this whole thing here with Forstall

00:49:58   and a big explanation, which is really, I think,

00:50:02   about as open as they were going to get about what was going on there.

00:50:06   I really do mean it.

00:50:07   I mean, they're obviously not going to get into specifics.

00:50:12   And he kind of went out of his way euphemistically not to mention Forestall by name.

00:50:17   There's like a gentleman's agreement to all of this.

00:50:22   Who had the podcast where they were talking about the severance agreements?

00:50:27   I think it was Siracusa on hypercritical when it first broke.

00:50:34   And he was talking about these – there's like a term for these type of agreements.

00:50:38   It's like a gardener's claws or something like that, a gardening severance or something

00:50:46   like that.

00:50:47   And that they –

00:50:48   Really?

00:50:49   It's a tradition.

00:50:50   You know what?

00:50:52   I forget.

00:50:53   Something like that.

00:50:55   But the gist of it is, it's like an old term from England, and the gist of it is that it's

00:50:59   in the contract that the company, if we decide to get rid of you, we can pay you this gardener's

00:51:04   thing where you're just going to stay at home and garden, but you're going to be on the

00:51:09   payroll at your regular salary for a year.

00:51:11   But we don't want you to even come into the office.

00:51:13   Don't come in.

00:51:16   But we don't want you to go to a competitor.

00:51:19   I tried to get one of those for years.

00:51:21   Finally, I just had to quit.

00:51:25   It's one of those things where when you get to a certain level of achievement, everything,

00:51:29   it's like, it must be nice. You know what I mean?

00:51:31   Yeah.

00:51:32   You know, what do they call them? Golden parachutes, too?

00:51:34   Golden parachutes, right.

00:51:35   Normal people, when you get fired, you know what I mean?

00:51:38   No. Yeah, you just get fired.

00:51:39   You get weeks, right? You get like two weeks of pay. You get – maybe if you're lucky,

00:51:44   you get four weeks of pay, you know?

00:51:47   [Laughter]

00:51:48   You know, like when you reach the executive level and you get fired, you get tens of millions

00:51:53   of dollars.

00:51:54   [Laughter]

00:51:55   Right?

00:51:56   You know, and I don't mean to laugh.

00:51:58   I really don't.

00:51:59   I mean, like, sometimes I worry about things like that.

00:52:00   I just think, like, it, like, I don't think Scott Forstall listens to the talk show, but

00:52:05   the odds that he listens to the talk show, it's definitely somewhere above zero, right?

00:52:10   I mean, it's—

00:52:11   Right.

00:52:12   Maybe it's one percent chance, right?

00:52:13   And so, I always, sometimes I think, like, I don't want to sit here and, God, you know,

00:52:17   maybe he's at home, you know, wet gardening, right?

00:52:19   Bored out of his mind.

00:52:20   Jesus Christ, I'm going to listen to podcasts, and then here we are laughing about the fact

00:52:24   that he got fired. I mean, I really don't mean to make light of it.

00:52:27   No.

00:52:28   I really do think, in a way, I think that there's a sad story there where I think

00:52:32   that this is a guy who's been taken away from his life's work. And I mean this without

00:52:38   any – I'm not making fun. I'm trying to be serious here. But it's not like the

00:52:45   guy is –

00:52:46   Hurting.

00:52:47   Yeah. He doesn't have to – his family doesn't have to switch to store brand corn

00:52:52   flakes.

00:52:53   Plus, he seems like a guy like that, he's going to do something else.

00:53:00   He's going to land on his feet and he's not going to be sitting around in his bathrobe

00:53:07   watching his shows for a couple of years just cycling into a spiral of booze and depression

00:53:16   and pills like we would.

00:53:21   Exactly.

00:53:22   He's already talking to – and you know he's already out there talking to people

00:53:27   like figuring out what the next thing is going to be.

00:53:29   Right.

00:53:30   There's a reason that he got to be the senior vice president of Apple.

00:53:32   Yeah, exactly.

00:53:33   Right.

00:53:34   He got up there.

00:53:35   He clawed his way up there and probably murdered a bunch of people to get there.

00:53:38   He's going to do it again.

00:53:40   God, I really don't want to think about how I would deal with something like that.

00:53:44   I really wouldn't.

00:53:45   But he stepped in and took your blog away.

00:53:49   Right.

00:53:50   Yeah.

00:53:51   The word that comes to mind …

00:53:53   You're done.

00:53:54   Every once in a while, I see words and the word I'm seeing right now is in big, futura

00:54:01   bold all caps that says intervention.

00:54:13   Trip to the health clinic, you know what I mean?

00:54:17   Do you have martini glasses in your bathroom like we do?

00:54:22   Last night's martini glasses?

00:54:24   No.

00:54:25   Okay, good.

00:54:26   No.

00:54:27   So, you still – you got a ways to go then?

00:54:30   Yeah.

00:54:31   Get a catch up?

00:54:33   I won't say though that I –

00:54:35   Keep up with the molts.

00:54:36   Yeah.

00:54:37   I won't say though that I don't occasionally lose one.

00:54:39   Where is it?

00:54:41   I just don't take it into the bathroom.

00:54:44   The other thing I noticed in the same segment, so they never actually got back to talking

00:54:50   about John Browett. It just seems like that was just like...

00:54:53   I don't think he ever... I mean, yeah, I don't think he barely talked about him at all.

00:54:56   I honestly, though, in a sense, though, if I had... If there's one of my complaints,

00:55:01   one of the things that's occurred to me, and I don't think... I don't know. I feel like

00:55:04   I'm only good at finding these things afterwards. I'm not saying I would have done a better

00:55:08   job if Apple had said, "Look, you want an hour with Tim Cook?" And I, of course, would

00:55:12   have said yes, but I don't know that I would have done a better job than this guy. I really

00:55:16   don't. Because I just start drawing blanks. I'm not good. I think very, very slowly,

00:55:22   and I think to be an interviewer, you've got to think fast. But it occurs to me, though,

00:55:25   that I would have liked him to go back to Browitt, because the Browitt thing, to me,

00:55:30   is all on Cook. Right? Like, the Forstall situation has obviously been simmering literally

00:55:35   for over a decade. Right? I mean, Forstall's been there forever.

00:55:38   And, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and,

00:55:39   and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and,

00:55:40   and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and,

00:55:41   and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and,

00:55:42   and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and,

00:55:43   and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and,

00:55:44   and, and

00:55:44   around and show them the door.

00:55:46   Right.

00:55:47   The whole thing with Ron Johnson leaving happened after Jobs died.

00:55:52   Who knows whether there's any truth to it or not.

00:55:54   I think it's ridiculous, but there's some speculation that Johnson wanted the CEO job

00:55:59   at Apple and that when it was clear that it was going to go to Cook, well, then he was

00:56:03   out because there was no –

00:56:04   That doesn't seem – he doesn't seem like a good fit.

00:56:07   He doesn't seem like the right guy.

00:56:08   It doesn't seem like it would ever be in the cards, that the retail guy would ever

00:56:11   rise.

00:56:14   In theory, you could see Johnny Ive, the design guy, if he wanted to be CEO, would it play

00:56:21   if they said, "Hey, Cook is retiring.

00:56:23   Johnny Ive is the new CEO."

00:56:25   I think that would play.

00:56:27   I think Schiller would play.

00:56:29   I've said this before many times that what people think of as marketing is not what Apple

00:56:37   thinks of as marketing.

00:56:38   He's not just in charge of ads and stuff like that.

00:56:42   If you know what Schiller does, it would totally play that he could be the CEO.

00:56:46   The retail guy, no matter how good their retail is, it just doesn't play.

00:56:51   But anyway, he did leave after Jobs was gone.

00:56:55   The whole thing of how do we replace Ron Johnson and keep the retail thing going was all on

00:56:59   Cook.

00:57:00   As soon as it was announced, everybody who was familiar with those shitty stores that

00:57:05   Broward ran in England, I forget what they were called, but everybody in the UK, they

00:57:11   And everybody in the UK who knew him was like, "What the hell is Apple doing?

00:57:14   This guy's stores suck!"

00:57:17   They're like the whole reason the Apple stores are successful.

00:57:19   They're like the anti-Apple stores.

00:57:22   And I was like, "Well, I don't know.

00:57:23   Maybe the guy…"

00:57:24   Right.

00:57:25   That's what I thought, too.

00:57:26   I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt.

00:57:28   Right.

00:57:29   I thought, "Well, maybe he…"

00:57:30   It turns out I was wrong.

00:57:31   No!

00:57:32   It turns out that the snap judgment from the people in England was exactly right.

00:57:35   The guy was like, "Hack!"

00:57:36   Which just seems weird.

00:57:37   Yeah.

00:57:38   It just seems weird.

00:57:39   like if you got Tim Cook in front of you and you can ask him about it, I feel like something

00:57:45   along the lines of, "Look, this guy's stores in England. He came from these stores

00:57:48   that are unlike apples."

00:57:50   Yeah. You want us to, what did you see that you thought might be …

00:57:53   Right. Exactly. Right.

00:57:56   That would explain that initial decision.

00:57:58   Right. I feel like he could have held his feet to the fire there on Broward a little

00:58:01   bit more. Whereas the forestall thing, they did cover it well, but he didn't get back

00:58:04   to Broward.

00:58:05   I guess they think that the forestall thing is more interesting, but—and I can see that,

00:58:11   but also in a way, it's more interesting to figure out what happened with Browet, like

00:58:16   how that went wrong.

00:58:18   Right.

00:58:19   And I kind of feel like if there is like a—like you said earlier, like looking for chinks

00:58:24   in the armor and—

00:58:25   Yeah.

00:58:26   Yeah, because that would seem like a bigger one than the forestall situation.

00:58:31   Right.

00:58:32   I wonder about the – it's obviously mostly speculative.

00:58:36   We don't know the internal, but the speculation is that we do know that Cook is a big numbers

00:58:40   guy and he's an operations guy.

00:58:45   We know that some of the things that this Broward guy did when he was in charge of Apple

00:58:49   retail seemed sort of operationally, like cutting back hours, doing those tricks where

00:58:55   you make sure nobody gets more than 37-and-a-half hours.

00:59:00   You don't have to treat them as full-time employees and stuff like that.

00:59:04   Anyway, stuff that made the employees – that wasn't good for the employees and sort of

00:59:07   put like a – if gone in that direction would make the stores a worse experience.

00:59:14   But at a bean counter level, seemingly makes sense.

00:59:18   Makes sense if you're looking at the store through an Excel spreadsheet instead of actually

00:59:22   being in the store.

00:59:26   And that's sort of like the fear with Cook, right?

00:59:28   That he's the numbers guy and that he's going to start running the company in a numbers-focused

00:59:34   way.

00:59:35   Right?

00:59:36   As opposed to Steve Jobs, who came in and he was mad.

00:59:41   The first stores opened up and he was pissed about the scuff marks on the floors.

00:59:46   And so he like, I don't know if he went there himself, what the story is, but they

00:59:50   They went to Venice and got some kind of like, you can only get it in Venice granite stone

00:59:58   that they polished a certain way to make this, that's what we're going to use for the floors

01:00:03   from now on.

01:00:04   It doesn't make any financial sense at all.

01:00:07   But god damn it.

01:00:09   Get some yacht wax.

01:00:10   Right.

01:00:11   But god damn it, the floors are nice.

01:00:14   Some Italian yacht wax.

01:00:17   Shine the floors up.

01:00:18   I like the story about him talking to Steve about being about taking over.

01:00:25   Yeah.

01:00:26   And I'm trying to fight it right now, but where eventually he kept asking him like,

01:00:34   you know, is this what you want to do?

01:00:35   Because he was going to, so Jobs is going to become chairman of the board and Cook would

01:00:41   be CEO, right?

01:00:42   Is that the way that was going?

01:00:44   Right.

01:00:45   Yeah.

01:00:46   And then he kept asking me, I'm sure this is what I'm doing.

01:00:48   And finally he said, "I'm sure.

01:00:50   Stop asking me."

01:00:51   I didn't even want to block quote it because I didn't want to spoil it in the article.

01:01:03   It's way at the bottom.

01:01:04   So if any of you out there started reading this long interview and got halfway through

01:01:08   it, really stick with it.

01:01:09   It's good.

01:01:11   Here's the part.

01:01:14   This is Cook talking.

01:01:17   One weekend, he called me and he said, "I'd like to talk to you."

01:01:21   This was in the summer of '11.

01:01:22   I said, "Fine.

01:01:23   When?"

01:01:24   In typical Steve fashion, he said, "Now."

01:01:26   Great.

01:01:27   I'll be right over.

01:01:28   I go over to his house and I still remember how he started this discussion.

01:01:32   He said, "There has never been a professional transition at the CEO level in Apple."

01:01:36   He said, "Our company has done a lot of great things, but it's never done this one.

01:01:39   The last guy is always fired and then someone new comes in."

01:01:43   He goes, "I want there to be a professional CEO transition, and I have decided, and I

01:01:47   am recommending to the board that you be the CEO, and I'm going to be the chairman."

01:01:53   It goes on.

01:01:54   It's really good.

01:02:01   I hope they're able to keep up crazy stories like this.

01:02:10   No, Jobs is gone, but just like, and I don't know how you do that.

01:02:14   Cause it's like, it's little stuff like that that makes it, I mean,

01:02:19   everybody loves stories like that.

01:02:20   And having worked at a company, those are, those are always the best.

01:02:25   I mean, you just, if you have a story like that, it really, it sounds stupid,

01:02:30   but it actually helps build the culture of the company.

01:02:32   Yeah.

01:02:34   If you, if you can tell crazy stories, you know, just great nutty things about

01:02:38   I mean, stuff that's fun, not people getting—well, I mean, it's also kind of fun to hear about

01:02:44   people getting fired in the elevator, but—

01:02:46   There's the old one about Cook.

01:02:48   The one—and you don't hear these stories anymore, but there's the one about—something

01:02:53   was going wrong in China, and he said—pointed to the one guy at the meeting and said, "Okay,

01:02:59   you're the one to fix it."

01:03:00   And then like five minutes later, looked up and said, "What are you still doing here?"

01:03:05   And the guy literally just—

01:03:06   That was a good one.

01:03:07   I got the hint and didn't even stop it.

01:03:09   - Where are you on a plane?

01:03:10   - Right, that's what they said the guy did though.

01:03:12   He didn't even go home.

01:03:13   He got in his car, told his wife, "I gotta go to China."

01:03:16   And he just drove to San Jose Airport

01:03:19   and booked a ticket to China.

01:03:22   - We'll buy some clothes there.

01:03:23   - Right, yeah, it's probably cheap.

01:03:25   - Yeah.

01:03:26   - Guy spends two weeks in China wearing ill-fitting clothes.

01:03:31   (laughing)

01:03:34   - A jumpsuit.

01:03:35   I'll get one at the factory.

01:03:39   Oh man, anything else going on this week?

01:03:44   Twitterific 5 came out.

01:03:45   Yeah, I haven't gotten it yet, but I will.

01:03:49   Oh man.

01:03:50   Because I do enjoy the Twitterific.

01:03:52   Is that your Twitter client of choice?

01:03:54   I go back and forth.

01:03:56   Yeah?

01:03:57   I use, but I do use both.

01:03:58   I use Tweetbot and Twitterific.

01:04:00   Yeah.

01:04:01   It's really good.

01:04:02   And on iOS I use both.

01:04:04   Yeah, it's really good and I kind of feel like they're doing a skating to where the

01:04:11   puck is going to be thing with the aesthetics of the app.

01:04:18   I know that the whole skeuomorphism thing, it's such an overused word and it means more

01:04:24   than just the textures, right?

01:04:28   There was an interview with Lauren Brikter of Letterpress fame with Erica Ogg, by Erica

01:04:35   Ogg in Gigaome this week.

01:04:37   He mentioned it, that skeuomorphism is more than just the visual textures and putting

01:04:41   stitched leather.

01:04:42   It's the things like when you turn a page and it looks like a piece of paper as you

01:04:46   turn the page.

01:04:47   Whether it's good or bad, it's more than just what it looks like.

01:04:52   I feel like Twitterific, this new version 5, is going in this opposite direction of

01:05:00   just talking about the textures and stuff like that, sort of taking them all out and

01:05:04   going in this minimalist, flat, the least chrome you can get away with.

01:05:15   Windows 8 is obviously in that direction, but this doesn't look anything.

01:05:19   There's more than one way to do it.

01:05:20   Do you know what I mean?

01:05:21   Yeah.

01:05:22   concept but it's nicer.

01:05:26   In the same way that like, well here's a good example, like the difference between

01:05:32   Apple's Aqua interface and the Windows Vista interface, which were both largely based on

01:05:39   this sort of plasticy, translucency, glass, shadows, transparency sort of aesthetic. You

01:05:48   You can go very different ways with it.

01:05:50   One can look pretty good and one can look like you got it at Kmart.

01:05:55   There's different ways to do minimalism too.

01:06:00   I do feel like that's what Johnny Ive has been talking about when his little hints about

01:06:05   the aesthetics of the OS and the little nose crinkle he made when the guy from The Guardian

01:06:12   asked him about – I think it was The Guardian or whoever it was – asked him about the

01:06:15   stitched leather that is not really being true to the hardware.

01:06:20   Twitterific Five, I think, is a really interesting example of that.

01:06:23   I kind of feel like Icon Factory has jumped ahead of the state of the art for aesthetics.

01:06:32   Letterpress is another example of that.

01:06:34   Do you play the letterpress?

01:06:35   Yeah.

01:06:36   Oh, gosh.

01:06:37   Yeah.

01:06:38   Have we played yet?

01:06:39   We have not played.

01:06:40   No, we probably should.

01:06:41   Oh, man.

01:06:42   That should be my new rule for getting people on the show.

01:06:43   We've got to play.

01:06:44   letterpress.

01:06:45   But, yeah, letterpress is another example of that.

01:06:50   That's where it came up in Lauren's interview with Erica, that there's obviously this

01:06:55   minimalist aesthetic.

01:07:00   But it doesn't mean undesigned.

01:07:03   It's harder to explain because when something is like a visual texture, the design jumps

01:07:08   right out at you, whereas it's more about the subtleties.

01:07:12   But when you move tiles around in letterpress, it's not like there's nothing going on.

01:07:17   There's something very fancy going on where it sort of jiggles and it's at a jaunty little

01:07:22   angle.

01:07:23   >> And even when you fire it up and it does that little rotating thingamabob, whatever

01:07:27   it is.

01:07:28   >> Yeah.

01:07:29   You know what that is?

01:07:30   It's the 8-bits logo.

01:07:32   >> Oh, that's right.

01:07:35   It's 8-bits.

01:07:36   >> Right.

01:07:37   rotates is it goes seven times clockwise, and then the eighth goes counterclockwise,

01:07:43   and then it will go seven clockwise.

01:07:46   For the – that sounds like the thing from Indiana Jones.

01:07:53   Take one back for the Hebrew God.

01:07:56   One back kalam.

01:07:57   Yeah, exactly.

01:07:58   They're digging in the wrong place.

01:08:00   All right.

01:08:01   I've got to play you in letterpress.

01:08:02   But anyway, letterpress is another example.

01:08:04   Again, Letterpress and Twitterific5 are both super, super distinctive.

01:08:09   Don't look anything at all like each other, really, except that there's a sort of – I

01:08:14   don't know.

01:08:15   There's something to it.

01:08:17   It's kind of hard to talk about, but I feel like there's a shared sense of this is where

01:08:21   you are.

01:08:22   Tim Cynova - Sensibility, yeah.

01:08:23   Eric Michael Rhodes - Yeah.

01:08:24   I really think that they did good work.

01:08:27   I feel like congratulations to all our friends there.

01:08:31   Tim Cynova - Yeah.

01:08:32   Apple seems to get that kind of,

01:08:34   I mean, that was another thing in the interview,

01:08:36   was that he was talking about,

01:08:37   held up an iPhone, I guess this was in the,

01:08:41   maybe the scene with, in the NBC interview.

01:08:44   - Yeah.

01:08:45   - And he held up the iPhone and talked about

01:08:46   how the face of it-- - With rock hard Brian Williams.

01:08:48   (laughing)

01:08:50   - How the face of it is the operating system,

01:08:54   I forget exactly what he said, but just that,

01:08:56   you know, and we've, you've talked about this before,

01:08:59   but how it's just, it's like a glass,

01:09:01   and you just have a glass front and then you're interacting with the operating system right

01:09:05   there and that's the that's their design ethic right so I say we call it show all right I

01:09:18   want to say one thing I never mentioned this is one thing I just don't mention it here's

01:09:21   the thing I want to talk about the the sponsorship thing anybody out there listens to the show

01:09:25   you got a product or a service that you think the talk show audience would be interested

01:09:29   in, get in touch. I don't really have a good mechanism for this. I have a really nice little

01:09:33   page for Daring Fireball sponsorships. People go there and they can see the schedule and

01:09:38   there's a little email address. I don't have anything like that for the talk show and I

01:09:41   feel like it's ... I don't know. I got to set something up.

01:09:45   In the meantime, just go to the Daring Fireball sponsorship page. Go to Daring Fireball, click

01:09:49   on sponsorships. Just click the email there and tell me that you want to sponsor the talk

01:09:53   show instead of Daring Fireball. I've got some good guests already lined up, not molds,

01:09:59   guests for the next couple of episodes.

01:10:04   And there's a couple of sponsorship spots open on all of them.

01:10:06   So anybody out there, if you've got a product or service that you want this audience to

01:10:12   know about, get in touch.

01:10:14   John Moltz, thank you very much for being here.

01:10:16   Oh, you're welcome.

01:10:17   You're the best.

01:10:20   (laughs)

01:10:22   [ Silence ]