The Talk Show

308: ‘Peak Hubris’, With Christina Warren


00:00:00   Ah, we got so much to talk about, I think.

00:00:02   Yeah, we do.

00:00:04   And here's one.

00:00:05   We have well-prepared notes, which you helped prepare, which I forgot to add the big hack

00:00:10   follow-up to, which is bizarre because it's my baby.

00:00:16   I was going to say, this is your thing.

00:00:18   You have a 50-word asterisk you have to attach to every Bloomberg story.

00:00:24   Bloomberg breaks a lot of news.

00:00:27   So do you have a macro that you insert that in when you're blogging it?

00:00:30   It's not a macro per se, but I have it saved, obviously.

00:00:34   I have to rewrite it now.

00:00:36   I'm dreading the next time Bloomberg does something link-worthy because I have to write

00:00:40   a new footnote because they are not done.

00:00:45   This is the strangest thing.

00:00:47   So I woke up one day, and of course I'm inundated with texts that they've followed up, and I'm

00:00:53   like, "Wow!"

00:00:56   And I'm not hung out to dry on this.

00:00:59   I haven't said, I guarantee you that they're wrong.

00:01:03   My point is, it certainly looks like they're wrong.

00:01:06   Everybody says they're wrong.

00:01:07   They've offered no proof, so they ought to retract it or prove it.

00:01:11   And I thought maybe they've got it, right?

00:01:14   And it's the same two reporters.

00:01:16   So whoa!

00:01:17   And I start reading, and it's like, "This doesn't look like anything?"

00:01:24   And I described it as sophistic—I forget the word—sophistry, horseshit.

00:01:33   And it is, because it creates the illusion of something there being there, and they're

00:01:38   very deft at using official journalistic language and seemingly well-credentialed sources, some

00:01:50   of them on the record even, none of whom with any firsthand knowledge of this.

00:01:55   Well, that's the thing.

00:01:58   It's crazy, in my opinion.

00:02:02   And it really, really seems like they've spun themselves out of—this is my take—that

00:02:07   they've spun themselves out of control to avoid retracting the original story.

00:02:12   Yeah.

00:02:13   I've been trying to figure this out too, because when it first hit, it was so damning, and

00:02:19   I was like, "Okay, well, Bloomberg, because I know a lot of people who work there, and

00:02:23   they're, for the most part, impeccable journalists and are held to extremely high standards and

00:02:27   have very good sourcing."

00:02:28   And so I didn't really have many reasons to doubt what was being reported.

00:02:34   And then more, some of those doubts started to creep in.

00:02:38   When every single company—if one company denies something, and if they do it in kind

00:02:43   of a weaselly way, which is what companies usually do when they don't know exactly

00:02:46   how exposed they may be, they'll deny it, but there will be wiggle room—the denials

00:02:52   were pretty affirmative, right?

00:02:54   There wasn't a lot of wiggle room.

00:02:55   You'd just be like, "This hasn't happened."

00:02:58   And that made my spidey sense go up a little bit first.

00:03:01   And then seeing a lot of security professionals kind of push back and be like, "Are we sure

00:03:04   does this make sense?"

00:03:07   You know, has some questioning.

00:03:09   But in the back of my mind, I was still like, "Okay, but Bloomberg has really, really

00:03:14   good reporters, and they vet things really strongly.

00:03:18   Their standards for publishing, based on my experience with people that I know they're

00:03:23   going to talk to, are going to be higher than at a lot of other places."

00:03:27   So it's this bizarre thing, right?

00:03:33   There are these denials.

00:03:34   There hasn't been a lot of conclusive proof.

00:03:36   There are a lot of security professionals who are calling foul on it.

00:03:42   And then this follow-up story comes up, which substantively you link to a really good takedown

00:03:47   thread from "own all the things" that really kind of supply the fact that, yeah, there

00:03:54   was a lot of nothing in the follow-up.

00:03:58   Well, and it's so—what's the name of the game, Whisper Down the Alley?

00:04:03   Where you have a bunch of kids lined up and—

00:04:06   Yeah, like telephone?

00:04:07   Yeah, telephone.

00:04:08   You write something down, and you tell the first person, and then they're supposed

00:04:11   to whisper it down to the next person.

00:04:14   And then the last person says what they're told, and it's inevitably different.

00:04:18   Even if—I always thought—the thing about that when I was a kid was that there was always

00:04:22   clear—and you knew which kid in your class was going to do it.

00:04:25   Somebody was going to screw it up on purpose.

00:04:27   Absolutely.

00:04:28   And it's like, "We're doing sociology here, David, you jerk."

00:04:33   Because he'd have a smirk.

00:04:37   It's like egg freckles, and it's like, "Oh, come on."

00:04:40   But it doesn't work, you know?

00:04:41   And it's all—you know, but everybody—all these sources are saying like, you know, "Well,

00:04:46   you know, in 2016 I got this scary briefing from the FBI about a thing that they heard

00:04:52   that might have happened was Super Micro."

00:04:54   And it's like, nobody is saying, "Yeah, I saw a chip on a Super Micro board."

00:04:57   Right.

00:04:58   Right.

00:04:59   No, I mean, the one thing that does always kind of give me flaws, though—and this is

00:05:04   why it's such an interesting kind of conundrum to me—is that the one kind of thing, I guess,

00:05:09   that they could have in their favor, but they don't have the evidence that happened in

00:05:12   this case, but you know, you have Edward Snowden.

00:05:15   And I think if a lot of us had heard the things that he was claiming, a lot of people would

00:05:22   have said that that was not happening, right?

00:05:26   It seemed like out of a Russian spy novel, right?

00:05:29   Right.

00:05:30   And it was.

00:05:32   So …

00:05:33   We, as a species, are not good with stuff that we think isn't expected, right?

00:05:39   I mean, did you expect to have a pandemic?

00:05:42   And if you did, I mean, and if you did, did you expect it to go this way, right?

00:05:47   Like that's one of the craziest things about the last 11 months is we have had a global

00:05:53   pandemic and it is nothing like anybody's science fiction about how a pandemic would

00:05:58   go.

00:05:59   They either turn into zombies, which is better for the drama, or it's like Stephen King's

00:06:06   The Stand and 95 percent, or plus, 95 percent plus of humanity gets killed.

00:06:13   And there's only a handful of, you know, you're lucky if maybe one out of 20 people

00:06:19   you know survives.

00:06:22   And this was nothing like that.

00:06:23   It was, you know, you just stay home.

00:06:26   But it seemed like this couldn't happen.

00:06:28   And literally a year ago right now, that was sort of my thinking about it, which was irrational.

00:06:34   No, it was really my thinking.

00:06:37   Yeah.

00:06:38   I was like, "Well, it won't happen here."

00:06:39   I remember I had a podcast with Federico Vitticchi and you know, he was around this time.

00:06:44   I think it might have been a little bit later in February, you know, and Italy got hit hard

00:06:48   already in February.

00:06:52   I don't think it's like, it's not some kind of, you know, America First-ism that

00:06:57   I think America's magic.

00:06:59   It's just the way human nature works where it's like, "Well, you know, these things

00:07:03   happen, you know."

00:07:04   But they don't happen here.

00:07:05   They don't happen here.

00:07:06   Yeah, no, I mean…

00:07:07   And do you think that's what you think with Bloomberg?

00:07:09   Exactly.

00:07:10   Yeah, I mean, that's very true.

00:07:13   I mean, I'm actually kind of looking.

00:07:15   I was, it was a year ago today, I think, that I was flying back, or I guess technically

00:07:23   it would be tomorrow, but I was on an airplane at this point, that I was flying back from

00:07:26   Australia for what would be my last International Trip of the Year.

00:07:30   And I was originally supposed to go from Australia to Singapore for an event, and the Singapore

00:07:35   event was canceled because they weren't doing events of a certain size, and that country

00:07:40   was taking precautions really strictly.

00:07:42   However, the airlines weren't canceling flights.

00:07:45   So I, to get home without incurring a ton of fees, I flew from Sydney to Singapore.

00:07:53   Then I had like a couple hour layover in the airport, and then I flew from Singapore to

00:07:56   South Korea.

00:07:57   Then I had like a six or seven hour layover where I got like a hotel room in the pod or

00:08:02   whatever in the airport.

00:08:04   And then I flew from South Korea to Seattle.

00:08:07   So I was in the air for like 27 hours.

00:08:10   It was kind of insane.

00:08:11   And that was my last International Trip of the Year.

00:08:14   And even though the Singapore stop of the event I was presenting at was canceled, I

00:08:20   still had scheduled things for Zurich and for Israel and I think some other places and

00:08:27   was expecting that to go forward.

00:08:29   Was not anticipating that, "Oh yeah, the world is going to change and it's going to come

00:08:33   here."

00:08:34   Like, no concept.

00:08:35   No.

00:08:36   Seems unrelated, but I mean, that is sort of how you think about a publication like

00:08:41   Bloomberg.

00:08:42   Yeah, it's true.

00:08:44   And it's the burden and the benefit of the bureaucracy of something that's an institution.

00:08:53   And it's not like reporters for Bloomberg get to just type into the CMS and hit publish

00:08:58   and it pops up.

00:09:02   I remember thinking, I remember being not opposed to, but thinking it wasn't going to

00:09:11   happen that Apple would switch from PowerPC to Intel back in 2005.

00:09:17   And then the rumors picked up a little bit, but it wasn't like this year where it was

00:09:21   like, "Oh, months in advance, everybody knew it was going to happen."

00:09:26   But then like the weekend before WWDC, the Wall Street Journal published a story that

00:09:30   said Apple's going to announce that they're switching the Mac to Intel.

00:09:36   And I had to square those two things in my head that I didn't think it was going to happen

00:09:41   for various reasons, including the fact that I thought...

00:09:45   One of the things that I thought went unsaid at the time was, "Well, wait, if they port

00:09:49   the Mac to standard x86 hardware, then wouldn't that make what we now call Hackintosh is just

00:09:57   run rampant?

00:09:58   Wouldn't that be sort of like the clone days again, even without the clone licensing fees?"

00:10:05   But I had to square my reasons x, y, and z for thinking Apple wouldn't do it with the

00:10:11   fact that the Wall Street Journal said, "Oh, yeah, it's happening."

00:10:14   And I came to the conclusion that, "Well, if the journal says it's happening, it's happening.

00:10:18   Let's wait till Monday in the keynote and see why."

00:10:20   Right, which was the correct thing because...

00:10:28   And I think for a lot of people like that, I wasn't doing what you were doing back in

00:10:32   2000, what was it, 2005?

00:10:36   I was still in college, but I was watching those things, but I would have made the same

00:10:40   assessment that you did.

00:10:41   I would have been like, "Okay, if the Wall Street Journal is saying this, then this is

00:10:44   true."

00:10:45   Right?

00:10:46   Because that typically is, especially with Apple, like now Apple, the leaks tend to happen

00:10:51   months in advance, but they were much more closely held then.

00:10:55   But if you had a really big outlet, a really well-placed place like the Journal, then you'd

00:11:00   be like, "Okay, my bet is going to be that this is happening because they're not going

00:11:04   to risk their reputation on being wrong about something like this."

00:11:09   And I mean, I think that that is part of, like with the Supermicro story, you know,

00:11:13   part of me is like, "Would Bloomberg risk their reputation for being wrong?"

00:11:18   And I mean, clearly they are.

00:11:21   Clearly they think that they've got it, but I'm not convinced.

00:11:26   You're not convinced.

00:11:27   A lot of other people aren't convinced.

00:11:30   There's a couple of ways, you know, I mean, number one, you never bet the house on any

00:11:34   one report.

00:11:35   Anybody could be wrong, right?

00:11:36   I mean, the most famous example I would say would be Judith Miller's reporting for the

00:11:40   New York Times on The Iraq War, where she said, you know, and again, there's always

00:11:44   the, "Well, how does this news reporter say they know what they say they know?"

00:11:49   And the Wall Street Journal, with the Power PC story said, "According to sources familiar

00:11:56   with the matter."

00:11:57   And somebody at Apple who knew about it blabbed to the Wall Street Journal, whether deliberately

00:12:01   or not, but the Wall Street Journal trusted that person enough to say, "This is good.

00:12:06   Let's go with it."

00:12:07   Right.

00:12:08   And, you know, Judith Miller back in the run up to the Iraq War quoted somebody in the

00:12:12   US National Security apparatus who said, "We know that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.

00:12:17   We know it.

00:12:18   It's a done deal.

00:12:19   We're going to go in and get them."

00:12:21   And it turned out, well, guess what?

00:12:23   They didn't.

00:12:24   And the New York Times still to this day, I don't think, for a generation won't recover.

00:12:29   There's a lot of people who will never, never...

00:12:31   No, I mean, it was that and Jason Blair happened at the same time or around the same time.

00:12:35   It was kind of that one-two punch.

00:12:37   And Blair being a fabulous is a little bit of a different thing, right?

00:12:42   Oh, I agree.

00:12:43   I think it was just the two happening, completing together, I think.

00:12:46   Yeah.

00:12:47   Yeah.

00:12:48   That is true because they were so close in proximity where it's like, yeah, you can't

00:12:51   trust the thing.

00:12:52   There were so many people who wanted to say for years you can't trust anything in the

00:12:55   New York Times.

00:12:56   Exactly.

00:12:57   Period.

00:12:58   And then, you know, it was her who, you know, I don't even know, was she an opinion columnist

00:13:02   at that point?

00:13:03   I'm not sure.

00:13:04   No, she was a news reporter.

00:13:05   She changed beats a lot.

00:13:06   But it was one of those things where she was not well respected.

00:13:09   I read this book, I think it was called Page One Up.

00:13:11   I'm going to find it.

00:13:13   But I read this book that was written about what happened at the New York Times in the

00:13:17   midst of those scandals.

00:13:18   It's really interesting.

00:13:19   And, you know, she had lost a lot of favor in the newsroom, but she had these impeccable

00:13:27   sources, which we now know to be, you know, people like Scooter Libby and Robert Novak

00:13:32   and other people that like were reputable sources.

00:13:35   If somebody like that is telling you these things, I can understand even for someone

00:13:39   like her who my only interaction with her was I was in the green room with her at a

00:13:44   cable network once and she didn't know how to use copy and paste on her iPhone.

00:13:48   Really?

00:13:49   Oh no, this is a great story.

00:13:50   Yeah.

00:13:51   I had to show her how to use copy and paste on her iPhone.

00:13:54   And this was like 2014.

00:13:56   Yeah.

00:13:58   Yeah.

00:13:59   That to me says kind of everything you need to know.

00:14:05   But like, you know, she lost a lot of favor in the newsroom, but she had those sources

00:14:10   and they didn't have the proper checks.

00:14:12   And like they went through a really big kind of reckoning, you know, like Howard Raines's

00:14:19   like reign, you know, as, as editor kind of came to an end.

00:14:22   Like they, they had to go through a pretty massive reckoning over that.

00:14:25   And I think you're right.

00:14:26   I think they, I don't know if they, I don't know if I would argue they haven't recovered.

00:14:30   I think there's a certain generation of people who don't even remember that happening, you

00:14:34   know, but I do think it tainted them in a way that even if people don't remember that

00:14:38   happening probably are impacted by that without even realizing it.

00:14:43   Right.

00:14:44   So like if you look at like journalism students today and younger news readers today who were

00:14:48   children and don't remember that, the lasting impact of what that did to the Times's reputation

00:14:54   carries through.

00:14:56   And so they might not even, it's like the, the Devil Wears Prada scene where, uh, you

00:14:59   know, Miranda is telling Andy that, you know, the sweater that she's wearing was, was, you

00:15:05   know, that she thought was, was made with no, you know, decision whatsoever was like

00:15:09   made was a decision that was predetermined for her by everyone in that room.

00:15:12   I feel like it might be that sort of thing where younger news readers don't even understand

00:15:17   why they might have a certain perception, but it does go back to that.

00:15:20   I think you're probably right.

00:15:22   But I mean, I think they've recovered a lot, but it certainly was like an incredibly painful

00:15:27   time for, for the Times.

00:15:30   The question always is if the only source is an unnamed source or even just a named

00:15:35   source, but it's, you have to take the sources name for it.

00:15:39   Where, where do you draw the line on the magnitude of the allegation, whatever you want to call

00:15:46   it, you know what they're saying with, do we need more sources to say the same thing

00:15:52   and where, when do you need to see the actual proof?

00:15:56   Right now?

00:15:57   I know we're mixing some big stories here, but it wasn't practical for the New York Times

00:16:03   to expect to get their eyes on the actual weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before

00:16:08   the war, right?

00:16:09   That's right.

00:16:10   That literally wasn't possible.

00:16:12   With the Supermicro story, it is not, it wasn't ridiculous to think, given the accusations

00:16:20   of the original 2018 story, that they would want to see one of these compromised motherboards

00:16:26   with a chip or at least talk to a source who would say, yes, I saw one of the boards with

00:16:35   one of these chips and identified that one of these chips was doing this.

00:16:39   And they had neither.

00:16:40   They didn't even have a firsthand source, let alone physical proof.

00:16:45   And one of the things that always stuck out to me as like, okay, we'll see where this

00:16:49   goes and that I can't believe that here we are two and a half years later and still doing

00:16:57   it is that even one of the two reporters on the story, Michael Riley, tweeted like a day

00:17:04   or two after the original story broke, he tweeted, "That's the unique thing about this

00:17:08   attack.

00:17:09   Although the details have been very tightly held, there is physical evidence out there

00:17:13   in the world.

00:17:14   And because of the details are out, it will be hard to keep more from emerging."

00:17:19   And yet no one's been able to follow up.

00:17:21   Right.

00:17:22   Which it-

00:17:23   That to me is the biggest thing.

00:17:24   It's not even so much anything else.

00:17:26   It's the fact that there hasn't been any follow up.

00:17:28   Just for any listeners who might be interested, the book I was talking about is called Hard

00:17:32   News, the Scandals at the New York Times and the Future of American Media.

00:17:36   And it's by Seth Mnookin.

00:17:38   It's a good read.

00:17:39   Yeah, I think the fact there was no follow up, because the thing is, I would expect like

00:17:45   for something like this, even if they got some of the details wrong, which I would expect,

00:17:50   I wouldn't expect everything to be completely correct.

00:17:52   But if parts of it were correct, I would expect that every major investigative publication

00:17:59   on the planet would immediately be putting their own resources into trying to vet this

00:18:03   out more.

00:18:05   And there hasn't been anything.

00:18:08   Right.

00:18:09   Like you don't have to know how news organizations work to be a savvy, or maybe to be a savvy

00:18:17   news reader you do, but to be a well read news reader.

00:18:24   You don't have to know how movies are really made to enjoy movies.

00:18:31   Right.

00:18:32   But when something interesting happens, it's good to know how it happens.

00:18:37   And it can help explain why you're reading what you're reading.

00:18:40   And one of the things that happens in the news industry is when somebody comes out with

00:18:44   a scoop, competing news agencies, A, are pissed, because everybody loves the scoops.

00:18:51   They love it.

00:18:52   They're like, "Why didn't I get this?"

00:18:53   Your editor is literally yelling at you and he is saying to you, "Why do they have this

00:18:56   and why don't we?"

00:18:58   Right.

00:18:59   And if they know who the source is, even if it's an unnamed source, and a lot of times

00:19:03   they do because they're juiced into, they call the source and they're pissed.

00:19:07   And they're like, "Why didn't you tell me this?"

00:19:09   But then the immediate thing they do is they jump on the story too, to follow it up, and

00:19:14   they have to put the, as originally reported by the Washington Post or as originally reported

00:19:19   by whoever, but then what they want to do is add to it.

00:19:24   Right?

00:19:25   So that the Washington Post comes out with a big scoop about X.

00:19:28   The New York Times is mad.

00:19:30   They come out with their follow up.

00:19:32   They have to acknowledge that the first reported in the Washington Post, they don't have to

00:19:36   like legally, they have to as a convention.

00:19:41   But then what they want to do is add original reporting to the story and build on it.

00:19:46   And I know firsthand, I've spoken to people at news organizations who worked on this story.

00:19:52   Like, it is true.

00:19:53   I know firsthand.

00:19:54   I don't know everybody who worked on it, but I know that other major news publications

00:19:59   put reporters on this story because it was so spectacular.

00:20:02   Yes.

00:20:03   No, I know that too.

00:20:04   I know that too.

00:20:05   Yeah.

00:20:06   I've never really found anything.

00:20:07   And it is the allegations of the original story, which literally involved the surreptitious

00:20:13   adding of chips to motherboards and super micro server components literally would have

00:20:22   left behind physical evidence that couldn't be erased as opposed to, and this is sort

00:20:27   of where they're sort of walking it back.

00:20:30   And in some ways, this follow-up story last week is a broader allegation about the length

00:20:37   of time and the degree to which super micro servers might have allegedly were compromised

00:20:43   by government hackers from China.

00:20:51   But it also seems to be, was definitely walking back the adding of chips and making more sort

00:20:58   of hand-wavy motions about firmware, which, A, is a lot harder to prove because you can

00:21:08   also, a clever piece of firmware could do its surreptitious business and then overwrite

00:21:14   its naughty bits.

00:21:16   Right.

00:21:17   Yeah.

00:21:18   No, I mean, we've seen that with SolarWinds, right?

00:21:19   Right.

00:21:20   Like the SolarWinds hack is actually quite incredible in what it was doing and was a

00:21:25   very difficult thing to uncover because it was purposely not attacking a lot of the,

00:21:32   you know, it was targeting the SolarWinds systems and then those were changing the way

00:21:37   certain updates were issued to the other systems.

00:21:41   But it was a very difficult thing to kind of unravel because of how it was done.

00:21:47   Right.

00:21:48   So, yeah.

00:21:49   Sorry, go on.

00:21:50   Yeah, well, it's a very casual person.

00:21:51   You can just kind of see how a software attack is both easier to implement and install and

00:22:00   easier to hide.

00:22:02   Right.

00:22:03   The part of the blockbuster nature of the original 2018 Bloomberg report, the big hack,

00:22:09   was that it was hardware and that the evidence would be out there.

00:22:12   And they weren't saying like, oh, they got like three of these chips on three motherboards

00:22:16   and one went to Apple and one went to this company that was acquired by Amazon and one

00:22:20   went somewhere else.

00:22:21   They said that there were like thousands of them and nobody found any of them, which really,

00:22:26   really, I mean, at this point, it seems absolutely unbelievable that it actually happened.

00:22:33   Yeah.

00:22:34   Yeah.

00:22:35   It's just, well, I mean, to me, the thing was actually, it was interesting that they

00:22:39   did actually kind of use the SolarWinds hack, which is real and has been verified, to kind

00:22:45   of bolster this kind of updated and sort of changed claim that this was BIOS code that

00:22:52   was updated.

00:22:53   And yeah, you know what?

00:22:54   That does seem a lot more plausible.

00:22:57   But it's, to me, some of it does feel undercut by the nature of what the earlier reporting

00:23:03   was, which I think is a bad thing because if this did happen, then that's a problem

00:23:08   for everyone, right?

00:23:09   Like that's, I don't want this to be one of the situations where we ignore potential reporting

00:23:16   that there's been malicious activity because the reporting on it was imperfect.

00:23:23   But at the same time, the reporting is imperfect and doesn't seem to really go a long way

00:23:30   to kind of explain itself or make a strong enough case for itself, whether it's because

00:23:36   there are no on the record sources or because the people who are on the record don't have

00:23:41   direct access or knowledge to things.

00:23:43   Yeah, there's a lot of holes.

00:23:45   I mean, and it just, and very specific allegations about Apple and Amazon in particular, which

00:23:53   again, like you said, the two companies denied in no uncertain terms.

00:23:58   I mean, a very-

00:23:59   There were no weasel words.

00:24:00   Right.

00:24:01   Very unusual statements.

00:24:02   And I know there are so many people, not a majority, but I know there's a number of people

00:24:08   who just disbelieve anything that comes out of official corporate comms if it's to cover,

00:24:13   you know, to deny a negative story.

00:24:16   And that's fine to be skeptical like that, but you have to acknowledge that it was not

00:24:20   the typical weasel words that-

00:24:23   No.

00:24:24   That company, you know, there was no cover your ass aspect to it.

00:24:27   No.

00:24:28   Which to me was the first red flag when they were like unequivocal in the denial and there

00:24:33   weren't those weasel words.

00:24:34   That was when I went, "Okay."

00:24:35   Because you know the lawyers have to go over every single line of that.

00:24:38   And you're talking about two companies that have, you know, at that point they were closing

00:24:42   in on a trillion dollar market share.

00:24:43   Now they're both, you know, Amazon's a trillion and a half and Apple's a $2 trillion company.

00:24:49   These are companies that, you know, if you were to be caught misleading and lying in

00:24:54   any of your official communications this way would have massive, massive consequences.

00:24:59   Like you want to talk about like not just fines, but regulation and all kinds of other

00:25:02   things.

00:25:03   Like this is not something that I could ever see the lawyers signing off on if they didn't

00:25:08   have full faith that what they were saying was accurate.

00:25:13   Yeah.

00:25:14   I was, I read her an interesting piece this week.

00:25:16   All, I mean, just about everything she writes is interesting, but Zaina Tufekci wrote, she

00:25:22   has a substack and she was writing about critical thinking and how to, like her upbringing in

00:25:33   an authoritarian regime, she feels prepared her a lot better for the last year, both in

00:25:38   terms of like, "Oh, okay, this is going to be bad.

00:25:40   We should stock up on X, Y, and Z," long before everybody else made a run on the toilet paper

00:25:45   and stuff.

00:25:46   But also sort of seeing through this sort of authoritarian slanted aspects of the Trump

00:25:55   administration.

00:25:56   And one of the points, just a small point she raised on the critical thinking was when

00:26:01   Trump got COVID and she said, "Oh, he's way sicker than they're saying he is."

00:26:07   And she, you know, she was like, "Oh, of course."

00:26:09   And she was like, she linked to a tweet where somebody was, when his doctors gave a press

00:26:14   conference outdoors and they asked, "Was Trump's oxygen level ever below 90?"

00:26:21   This is the blood oxygen level that your Apple Watch can in fact read now.

00:26:26   And basically, just as a baseline, if you should be above 95, anything like I think

00:26:34   93 and below, if you have COVID is considered a problem.

00:26:38   And 80s is, anything in the 80s is bad.

00:26:42   So the press asked his doctor, "Was Trump's oxygen ever below 90?"

00:26:46   And his doctor said, "We don't have any recordings here of that."

00:26:51   But was it ever below 90 here or at the White House?

00:26:55   And his doctor said, "No, it was below 94%.

00:26:58   It wasn't down in the low 80s or anything."

00:27:02   And she read into it.

00:27:03   She was like, "Now I read this and I know how to read this."

00:27:06   So when he's, you know, the operative words were his first answer when he said, "We don't

00:27:10   have any recordings here of that."

00:27:13   That means that when he was here, I think this was outside the hospital, they just don't

00:27:17   have recordings of it, but it did drop below 90.

00:27:23   And when he said it was below 94, but it wasn't down in the low 80s, that means it was definitely

00:27:28   in the 80s.

00:27:29   It just wasn't like 81.

00:27:32   And lo and behold, a week ago, it turned out Trump was a lot sicker than they let on when

00:27:38   he had it.

00:27:39   And there's sources who told the New York Times that, yeah, his blood oxygen was like

00:27:42   eight down to like 87.

00:27:44   And that's when they panicked and took him to the hospital.

00:27:47   And it's that that's weasel words, right?

00:27:50   And that's exactly what Amazon and Apple did not do when this came out.

00:27:54   And they weren't blindsided.

00:27:55   That's the other thing too.

00:27:56   When the original Bloomberg big hack story came out, it wasn't like they dropped the

00:28:00   story on Amazon and Apple and knee jerk reaction.

00:28:04   Does anybody know about this?

00:28:05   Nope, nope.

00:28:06   Okay, let's just deny it.

00:28:08   Like it contacted them in advance.

00:28:11   Both companies like and I know I talked to people off the record at Apple who were like,

00:28:15   oh, no, we did like we spent a ton of money and pulled people off real work and tore server

00:28:21   place, you know, firm farms apart looking at this.

00:28:24   We found nothing for weeks.

00:28:27   And the other thing too, these weren't Apple products, right?

00:28:31   It's not like Apple had was saying that like millions of Mac pros or Mac minis weren't

00:28:38   compromised.

00:28:39   These were just internal to Apple servers from this super micro company.

00:28:44   And their denial just wasn't like that at all.

00:28:46   There was nothing to read between the lines.

00:28:49   Yeah.

00:28:50   And I don't know the thing and I wonder what your thought is on this.

00:28:54   I don't know much about either, you know, of the reporters on the story.

00:28:57   I think one of them is a cybersecurity reporter, and I'm not sure what the other person's

00:29:04   focus area is.

00:29:06   It seems like that's what he's gone into, but it seems like, you know, they seem more

00:29:12   policy, more like, like, you know, wonk kind of, you know, DC kind of focus people.

00:29:18   And I wonder if this is a similar thing in some cases to the Judy Miller thing.

00:29:24   Now that was sloppy and that shouldn't have been published and they should have had better

00:29:27   betting.

00:29:28   There's a lot of layers to that.

00:29:30   But you know, they some of it couldn't come down to when you're an editor, if you don't

00:29:35   know your subject matter and you trust your author to know it and to get some of those

00:29:39   details.

00:29:40   I wonder if this is one of those cases where these are people who know a lot about government

00:29:46   and have a lot of contacts within government, but don't necessarily know enough about like

00:29:50   actual security and about tech.

00:29:53   I think that's exactly, I mean, because their sources are all national security officials,

00:29:57   you know, quote unquote.

00:29:58   Right.

00:29:59   And, you know, one guy, they make a big deal.

00:30:01   He was a former Navy SEAL, which again, being a Navy SEAL is very prestigious, very difficult,

00:30:06   upper echelon of the armed forces.

00:30:09   Doesn't necessarily make you an expert on, you know, Chinese supply chain espionage.

00:30:13   Right.

00:30:14   Right.

00:30:15   I mean, and I think that is also worth noting, like there is a difference between cybersecurity

00:30:18   and national security, right?

00:30:20   Like they're both security, but they're different ways.

00:30:22   And so that's the only thing, only way I can kind of try to kind of parse this in my mind

00:30:28   is to see, okay, maybe the reporters really do believe what they're reporting and really

00:30:34   do think the data says what it says, but they don't have the subject matter expertise and

00:30:39   aren't talking to the subject matter experts enough to really be able to ascertain, is

00:30:44   this possible?

00:30:45   Did this happen?

00:30:46   Is this likely?

00:30:48   Because they're coming at it from a different perspective and from a different place.

00:30:53   Yeah, I, yeah, that's what I think happened.

00:30:57   And I also think that, well, why would they go so long without just retracting it?

00:31:02   You know, and A, I think it's just anathema to them that they could have gotten something

00:31:08   so wrong.

00:31:09   And B, I think very cynically, they've looked at what this stinky pile of crap they were

00:31:18   held left holding that was never backed up by any evidence, never backed up by anybody

00:31:24   else's reporting, and looked at it and it's all sort of, well, you can't prove a negative,

00:31:30   right?

00:31:31   Like if I say, guess what, Christina, there's an invisible man who's standing behind you

00:31:37   and he's been there your entire life and you can't see him because he's composed of dark

00:31:42   matter.

00:31:43   I mean, it's, you know, probably I'm crazy, but you can't prove it, right?

00:31:48   You can't prove that there isn't an invisible man from another dimension made of dark matter

00:31:52   who's followed you around everywhere you go for your, you know, it's, you can't prove

00:31:57   that there aren't, just because we haven't found the servers that Apple has that have

00:32:02   these surreptitious microchips in them, you can't prove that they don't exist.

00:32:09   You know, and I think that's what they're hanging their hat on with their refusal to

00:32:12   retract.

00:32:13   Here's what I wrote back when the original report came out, and I feel like it really

00:32:17   stands up.

00:32:18   I see no way around it.

00:32:19   "The Bloomberg's report is significantly wrong, at least as it pertains to Amazon and Apple,

00:32:25   or Apple and Amazon have issued blatantly false denials.

00:32:29   You can perhaps chalk up Apple's denial to it being written by Apple PR.

00:32:33   I don't think this would happen, but hypothetically, this issue could be deemed so sensitive either

00:32:38   within the company or as a national security issue that the people at Apple with knowledge

00:32:41   of the situation lied to Apple PR and then Apple PR issued a false statement.

00:32:46   But in my experience, Apple PR does not lie.

00:32:50   Do they spin the truth in ways that favor the company?

00:32:52   Of course, that's their job, but they don't lie because they understand that one of Apple's

00:32:56   key assets is its credibility.

00:32:59   There's nothing, they'd say nothing before they'd lie, right?

00:33:02   That's the thing that they could have done is just said, "We have no comment on this."

00:33:07   But Apple's CIO signing his name and writing his statement on Amazon's thing, that's Schmidt

00:33:13   signing his name to Amazon's report is more telling.

00:33:16   Presumably no one at Apple or at Amazon would be more familiar with the details of this

00:33:20   breach than Schmidt, and he vouched for it personally.

00:33:24   Anyway, I can't help but think that you're onto something too, that Bloomberg has been

00:33:32   sort of waiting to sort of, "Let's just push this vague thing out there to make it seem

00:33:37   like we were onto..."

00:33:38   Because that's the weird thing about this follow-up.

00:33:42   They acknowledged the old story, but they didn't acknowledge that they're the same two

00:33:45   reporters who wrote it, and they didn't acknowledge that nobody else ever proved it with Amazon

00:33:51   and Apple.

00:33:52   They just said, "Oh yeah, and by the way, two years ago, we said Amazon and Apple were

00:33:55   affected by this, but it turns out we were onto a bigger story," or something like that.

00:34:00   Right, right.

00:34:01   And it's like, it sounds like, "Ooh, this is incredible."

00:34:04   And then you read it and there's even less details.

00:34:08   Now I got to write a new footnote.

00:34:10   All right, let me thank our first sponsor.

00:34:14   It is a new sponsor, FlatFile.

00:34:18   Nearly everyone has dealt with formatting CSV or Excel files so that the data can be

00:34:23   correctly imported into your application.

00:34:26   It's a pain.

00:34:27   Companies of all sizes spend an exorbitant amount trying to fix this problem.

00:34:31   Typical solutions include using CSV templates, emailing Excel files back and forth, or hiring

00:34:38   expensive implementation teams to do it for you.

00:34:41   Our friends at FlatFile are working on Concierge, which is their service that offers no-code

00:34:47   collaborative workspaces for onboarding structured data.

00:34:52   Invite customers to securely import, format, or merge data from spreadsheets.

00:34:58   No fumbling around with FTP uploads, no emailing sensitive Excel files back and forth, no formatting

00:35:05   yet another custom CSV template just for this data.

00:35:10   FlatFile is on a mission to help companies spend less time formatting spreadsheet data

00:35:15   to import into applications and more time using it.

00:35:19   Curious how they can help your business?

00:35:21   Visit them at flatfile.io.

00:35:28   That's flatfile.io for all of your data importing needs.

00:35:32   Do you want to stick with the news for now before we get into more analysis?

00:35:38   The Apple car thing, maybe.

00:35:40   What do you think of that?

00:35:41   Yeah.

00:35:42   Yeah, let's talk about the Apple car.

00:35:43   There's a lot of news on that.

00:35:45   There is a lot of news on that.

00:35:46   And I'm finally at the point where, you know, I knew that they were working on the project.

00:35:51   It seemed like they had stopped for a while.

00:35:52   It does now seem like it is very much back up and running again.

00:35:56   Forgive the puns.

00:35:58   I liked your piece on what the Volkswagen CEO said, especially because we've talked

00:36:04   before about your love of going after Ed Colligan.

00:36:09   But I'm curious from your perspective, you know, and basically the news is that he kind

00:36:14   of said that he came out and he's not concerned with any of their plans.

00:36:18   There's also been rumors that they might be doing something with Hyundai.

00:36:22   I did not realize that they're not quite the same company, but there's like Hyundai owns

00:36:27   a big portion of IKEA or vice versa.

00:36:30   But anyway, in your home state of Georgia.

00:36:33   Yeah.

00:36:34   Interesting.

00:36:35   Interesting.

00:36:36   Although, yeah, I guess that they, I think I remember now that they built plans there

00:36:39   or whatever, but cool.

00:36:41   This is the one thing that I don't get about the Apple car.

00:36:44   And I think at this point it's clear that they're doing something with an automotive.

00:36:47   There are too many leaks and there's too many reports on this.

00:36:51   I tend to agree with your analysis on the Volkswagen CEO.

00:36:55   You know, he's not dismissing them, but he's also, I think it's fair for him to be skeptical.

00:37:00   I don't, I don't know why Apple wants to be in this space.

00:37:05   That's what I can't figure out.

00:37:06   That's a good question.

00:37:07   And I've thought about that from the origins of the rumor.

00:37:11   One thing I remember, and again, you know, put a grain of salt in it because again, this

00:37:15   is like whisper down the alley.

00:37:16   This is like third hand, but from like their first run through of this project, Titan,

00:37:23   where they built it up and sort of specked out a car that they might've, could've maybe

00:37:28   gone to market with.

00:37:30   The story I've heard is that the price tag, it was something like $170,000.

00:37:36   Like it was like the starting price.

00:37:38   And that's where like Tim Cook was like, all right, well we need, we need to reset this.

00:37:42   Let's get, you know, Bob Mansfield in there.

00:37:46   And there was a lot of high level shuffling of priorities and they sort of reset and focused

00:37:54   on the supposedly the core of the project for now on.

00:37:57   Well, let's just get the autonomous stuff down and we'll rethink the car part.

00:38:03   You can't go wrong.

00:38:04   In general, you can't go wrong thinking that, okay, the Apple, Apple's going to make a blank.

00:38:09   They're going to make a digital watch.

00:38:12   How much is it going to cost?

00:38:14   Well, however much you think most digital fitness watches cost, Apple's is going to

00:38:18   cost more.

00:38:19   You can't go wrong, right?

00:38:20   So if they make a car, it's probably going to be expensive compared to regular, you know,

00:38:24   average car.

00:38:25   Sure.

00:38:26   $170,000?

00:38:27   No, that's, that's a lot of money.

00:38:30   Well that's like when you sell a $10,000 digital watch, which didn't work.

00:38:36   By the way, just let me say this.

00:38:37   Nobody should quote me on that $170,000 thing.

00:38:40   That's not even what I heard.

00:38:41   I don't know.

00:38:42   I don't know what the number was, it was really high, but don't even quote me that it was 170,000.

00:38:46   But it was some kind of, you know, back of the envelope math and it was a six figure

00:38:52   number.

00:38:53   Yeah.

00:38:54   Well, put aside the edition models, right?

00:38:57   Just forget that that's a wholly separate discussion, I think.

00:39:03   Although it is, in my opinion, sort of embarrassing.

00:39:05   I just wrote about it recently.

00:39:07   Oh, I think it's completely embarrassing.

00:39:09   I think it's one of their biggest failures ever.

00:39:11   I have said this though, I think that one of the smartest and best decisions, like,

00:39:15   the strength that Apple has had is when they pivoted the watch from fashion to fitness.

00:39:20   When they made that pivot in that second year, that saved the watch and made it into the

00:39:26   massive success that it is now.

00:39:28   But the first year it was all about fashion and that was not the right way to go.

00:39:31   Well, they had the fitness there, right?

00:39:34   And they really emphasized at the beginning that they had three, and I think we can tie

00:39:38   this in with the car, but they had three.

00:39:40   They were very clear that they had three models, the sport, the no name stainless steel one,

00:39:47   and the edition.

00:39:48   Right.

00:39:49   And I remember arguing with people, and I'm not saying this just to pick up my being right

00:39:53   points, but there were people who were arguing that the sport ones would cost more than the

00:39:59   no name ones.

00:40:00   They're like, "Oh, the no name one means it's the cheapest and the sport one."

00:40:03   And it's like, "No, I mean, how in the world would the aluminum one cost more?"

00:40:07   Exactly, right.

00:40:08   And they're like, "Yeah, it's ion glass, dude."

00:40:11   And it's like, "No, that's just a fancy way of saying it's glass.

00:40:14   The other one's made of sapphire.

00:40:16   Sapphire's better than glass.

00:40:17   Ion glass is just glass.

00:40:20   They just put a word in front of glass."

00:40:24   It's like, "You don't know what you're talking about."

00:40:27   And then I remember too telling people, I even wrote a thing.

00:40:30   I was like, "The gold ones are going to cost like $10,000."

00:40:34   People are like, "You're out of your mind.

00:40:35   You're going to..."

00:40:36   No, I remember that.

00:40:37   I remember you being right on that.

00:40:38   And you were dead on.

00:40:39   But it was insane.

00:40:40   I was low, if anything, because they went up to like $18,500.

00:40:44   Yeah.

00:40:45   No, it was insane.

00:40:48   And it was completely...

00:40:50   I think that was...

00:40:51   Apple, I think, oftentimes is considered like a Hooper Stick company, and I don't think

00:40:56   that's true.

00:40:57   That, I do think, was like P. Cooper.

00:40:59   Just think that you could sell an $18,000 watch.

00:41:01   It had to be Johnny.

00:41:02   I mean, and I...

00:41:03   Oh, totally.

00:41:04   100%.

00:41:05   I hate to do that.

00:41:06   I know somebody under the rug who's not even there anymore.

00:41:09   But I mean, it had to be Johnny.

00:41:11   I mean, it doesn't make any sense that it was anybody else.

00:41:14   No, of course it was Johnny, because he's a watch guy, and he'd already done things.

00:41:17   Like, he was making those art installation pieces with Mark, his buddy, his name I can't

00:41:23   think of, last name I can't think of.

00:41:25   They were already doing those sorts of really, really high-end, one-off kinds of things.

00:41:31   They were already doing that kind of design work.

00:41:34   So yeah, that was a completely Johnny thing, I have to think.

00:41:38   But I also do think it was a little bit of kind of a Apple on top of the world thing,

00:41:41   thinking, "Yeah, we can sell $10,000 watches that will be unable to get a software update

00:41:46   in two years."

00:41:47   I do think it's an embarrassment.

00:41:49   I do think it's the, you know...

00:41:52   Even if Apple wants to spin it now and be like, "Oh, we only claim to make a handful,"

00:41:56   no, you productized it.

00:41:59   You made it a part of your promotional thing.

00:42:02   You had an assembly line for it, even if you didn't assemble a lot of them.

00:42:06   You made this askew.

00:42:07   This was not a thing that you made just a couple of variants of for very special people.

00:42:14   This was something that was actually, you had to get an appointment and you had it in

00:42:19   stores.

00:42:20   Like, this was a real thing, and I was completely out of touch with reality, in my opinion.

00:42:26   It stands out to me because, in my opinion, it's a fundamentally dishonest product because

00:42:34   if you buy a $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 or more...

00:42:41   Watches cost a lot, but if you buy a $30,000 Rolex or a Patek, it is likely going to go

00:42:48   up in value.

00:42:50   Absolutely, in recent years, the high-end, fine watch market is skyrocketing.

00:42:57   It's hard to get your hands on a lot of the most popular stainless steel watches from

00:43:02   Rolex and Patek and other companies.

00:43:08   You buy it now, you spend $10,000, you get a Rolex.

00:43:13   Ten years from now, it's probably gone up in value, but at the very least, it is still

00:43:18   just as good a watch as it was ten years before.

00:43:20   Well, that's what I was going to say.

00:43:21   It's going to last forever.

00:43:22   Like, my parents both have, at this point, 20-something-year-old Rolexes that were very

00:43:29   expensive then, and I think my mom even got the face of hers redone or whatever, but they

00:43:36   still work exactly as they did.

00:43:39   They're in fantastic shape, and as you said, my mom's might have even gone up in value.

00:43:46   It's one of those things.

00:43:47   Yeah.

00:43:48   You do have to, if you wear it regularly, you do need to get it serviced some number

00:43:51   of years.

00:43:52   But an official Rolex, the place where you bought it, if you buy it from an official

00:43:56   retailer, they'll take gold care of you.

00:44:00   I mean, they'll come in, and if there's damage to it, if there's chips on the glass, on the

00:44:05   sapphire or whatever, they'll ask you, "Do you want it replaced, or do you want to keep

00:44:09   it?"

00:44:10   Because some people want to keep the original, even if it's damaged.

00:44:12   They won't touch it without your permission, but if you do want, they'll replace parts

00:44:17   and it'll work, and you can hand it down to the next generation.

00:44:22   That's what you get at a $10,000, $20,000 watch level.

00:44:26   The Apple Watch, like you said, literally within two years, it wouldn't even...

00:44:30   Literally within two years, it was completely useless.

00:44:33   Right.

00:44:34   And the first generation Apple Watch, the AKA Series Zero, was kind of crappy technically

00:44:39   too.

00:44:40   It was very much like the first iPad, right?

00:44:41   Not enough RAM, a little bit slow processor.

00:44:45   It was MVP.

00:44:47   I would say it was the worst first generation product.

00:44:49   I would say even the original iPad was a little better.

00:44:52   Oh, no, I agree with that.

00:44:54   I just meant in terms of the guts.

00:44:57   No, I think the iPad was actually a fantastic first generation product.

00:45:02   But yeah, I agree with that.

00:45:03   I think it was probably the worst first generation product.

00:45:05   I think it's the first one and the only one that really comes to mind where they do a

00:45:10   great job.

00:45:11   They're obviously a company of perfectionists, and there's a part of them.

00:45:15   Everybody works at Apple who would love to just go away for 20 years to work on something

00:45:19   and then come out with it, but you can't.

00:45:21   You have to ship, and they're very, very good at shipping.

00:45:24   So you kind of have to ship a little too early because if you don't purposefully ship a little

00:45:29   too early, you're going to ship a little too late, and that's very dangerous.

00:45:33   I think that Apple Watch is the one where they shipped at least a year too early.

00:45:37   And you can't blame them because it was the first product post Steve Jobs.

00:45:43   The company was withering under Wall Street speculation that they'd never have another

00:45:48   product after Steve Jobs.

00:45:50   So you can't blame them for maybe—

00:45:53   And it had been leaked so much, right?

00:45:55   At that point too, it had been leaked so much.

00:45:57   And it was too early.

00:45:58   I felt that too.

00:45:59   I felt like they didn't have the apps ready.

00:46:03   They didn't have the SDK ready.

00:46:04   They didn't have that story done.

00:46:06   And they did—it was released in March, and then it came out in the fall.

00:46:10   And March seemed late, like it seemed to me like they'd wanted to release it the previous

00:46:14   fall, and it just wasn't even there.

00:46:16   And it took until the following fall for it really to be viable.

00:46:22   And yeah, it was too early.

00:46:26   Yeah.

00:46:27   So the Series 1, or Series 2, I guess, right?

00:46:30   Because Series 1 was the sort of—

00:46:33   Retconned.

00:46:34   Right.

00:46:35   Yeah, they took the guts of the other one but gave it a better processor so you could

00:46:39   actually upgrade it, right?

00:46:41   The Series 0 was so bad that they wouldn't even do the typical Tim Cook era thing of selling

00:46:45   the year-old version at a lower price, right?

00:46:47   It was so slow.

00:46:48   No, exactly, which for me is someone who spent $850 on a watch.

00:46:53   I was pretty angry.

00:46:54   I didn't get another one until a Series 3.

00:46:56   I said it.

00:46:57   I was like, "No, you're not getting my money because I'm mad."

00:47:01   If you spent $400 to $800, $900, I think $1,100 got you the stainless steel one with the

00:47:09   steel link bracelet.

00:47:12   Yeah, I believe so.

00:47:14   Which I bought.

00:47:15   And my link bracelet from my original Series 0 is still impeccable.

00:47:19   No scratches because I got the DLC coating, which is amazing.

00:47:23   So it was proof that they could do a lot of things with watches really, really good.

00:47:28   The thing that wasn't very good was the computer inside.

00:47:31   And I remember—so you spent $400 to $1,000.

00:47:34   Well, you got what you paid for.

00:47:36   You were an early adopter, you bought the first one.

00:47:39   If you spent $15,000 on the gold one, you got ripped off.

00:47:43   100%.

00:47:44   Like, I would be—even if I had that much money, I would be pissed, I think, honestly.

00:47:49   There'd be no way that I couldn't be.

00:47:51   Right.

00:47:52   And I know that there were a lot of people when it—when I said it's going to cost

00:47:55   like $5,000 to $10,000 for gold because that's just what gold, fine gold watches cost.

00:48:01   People are like, "You're nuts.

00:48:02   It's going to be outdated."

00:48:03   And I'm like, "It might be outdated."

00:48:05   I didn't tell them to make a gold watch.

00:48:07   I'm telling you what good gold watches cost.

00:48:10   And then when the prices did come out and I was right, people wrote to me and they're

00:48:14   like, "Hey, good call.

00:48:16   I'll bet what they're going to do is when you buy an edition watch, when they come out

00:48:20   with new ones, you'll be able to take it to the Apple store and turn your Series 0

00:48:23   into a Series 2 and then two years later, you could turn it into a Series 3 and drop

00:48:28   it off and three days later, pick it up and it'll have new guts."

00:48:31   And I was like, "No, computers don't work like that."

00:48:35   Right.

00:48:36   Right.

00:48:37   No, they don't.

00:48:39   And companies have tried.

00:48:40   Like every time they've tried to do those upgrade things, like Samsung tried with their

00:48:43   TVs and whatnot, like they usually abandon it after a couple of years.

00:48:46   It's just not a way that you can really unfortunately make modern electronics.

00:48:50   Right.

00:48:51   It just doesn't work.

00:48:52   The tolerances are too small.

00:48:53   So yeah, that's what I would just call it fundamentally dishonest.

00:48:57   And everything they've done since to me has corrected it.

00:49:00   Even the ones that they call edition, like the titanium one, which I bought a couple

00:49:05   years ago for the Series 5 and which I love.

00:49:07   The ceramic ones that they came out with, which I think were like, I forget how much

00:49:13   they cost.

00:49:14   They were like $1,000.

00:49:15   Yeah.

00:49:16   Maybe 1,500, something like that.

00:49:18   Reasonable as an upper bound for...

00:49:21   And the other thing too is, especially once they got to Series 3, that the technology

00:49:26   of them was good enough that they last for years.

00:49:30   You could use it for three, four, five years, which again does not compare to a mechanical

00:49:35   watch.

00:49:36   No, but it makes you feel...

00:49:37   I mean, but it puts it in line with like a smartphone or an iPad or something else.

00:49:40   You feel like you're still getting value out of it.

00:49:43   I get a fitness credit that's now been expanded to some other things, but I get like a fitness

00:49:47   credit every year through work.

00:49:49   And I've used it to buy a new stainless steel Apple watch every year that I've been at Microsoft.

00:49:54   And I haven't needed to actually upgrade, but I've just done it anyway and then given

00:49:58   my old one to a friend or whatever.

00:50:02   I'm probably not going to do that for the Series 6.

00:50:05   I probably should have just kept the Series 5 to be honest, but I needed to...

00:50:09   It's free money.

00:50:10   I needed to use it.

00:50:11   And this year I'm able to use the money for different things, so I'm more than likely

00:50:16   doing that.

00:50:17   But I feel like I could probably still be using...

00:50:20   They were still, I think until recently, they might even still be selling the Series 3,

00:50:23   right?

00:50:24   Yeah, I think they are.

00:50:25   Yeah, that's their low end price right now.

00:50:28   Right?

00:50:29   So that is to me, and they make that super affordable.

00:50:31   So to me, that is actually, okay, you buy this and you're getting four years out of

00:50:37   it or so.

00:50:38   That's pretty good, especially if you're not spending...

00:50:42   If you're spending $350 for it or something like that and you wear it every day and it's

00:50:46   this thing that's more than just your watch, but it's this health device too that is really

00:50:52   indispensable for a lot of people, I feel like the value point is there.

00:50:55   Because Fitbits and things like that, which aren't that much less expensive when you get

00:50:59   into the higher end, especially if you look at the starting price of the lowest end Apple

00:51:05   watches, people have the same things, where after a few years they need to get another

00:51:09   one.

00:51:10   So I think that's completely fine.

00:51:12   It's just...

00:51:13   And if you are that person who's spending stuff on the Hermes band or wanting to get

00:51:19   one of the ceramic or the titanium ones or whatever the case may be, you go into that

00:51:25   knowing, okay, this is not a forever thing, but I'm paying a premium because I like this

00:51:30   styling or I want this type of band.

00:51:32   Fine.

00:51:33   Yeah.

00:51:34   Right now, just look, the Series 3 is the one that starts at $199.

00:51:37   And I think you add 30 bucks to get the bigger size.

00:51:43   And clearly it sticks out a little bit because the Series 4 is when they went to the slightly

00:51:47   different form factor.

00:51:48   And it's obvious what they're going to do come September.

00:51:51   They'll come out with Series 7, the Series 3 goes away, and the Apple Watch SE becomes

00:51:58   that low-end model.

00:51:59   That's what SE means in Apple parlance.

00:52:01   It means a low-end price based on two-year-old technology or 18-month-old technology, and

00:52:07   it sticks around for two to three years at that low-end price.

00:52:13   Like the phone that they call the iPhone SE right now, the iPhone SE 2, that's going to

00:52:18   be here for years.

00:52:21   Because the other SE was here for years.

00:52:23   It was here for years, and I mean, yeah, and people are still sad that that form factor

00:52:28   went away, actually.

00:52:29   Yeah.

00:52:30   So, yeah, no, I think that now actually they are in a good place pricing-wise.

00:52:34   But originally, yeah, it was a failure.

00:52:37   But kind of going back to the car, I mean, I guess this is—

00:52:41   Well done.

00:52:42   Well done.

00:52:43   I guess this is sort of like my question, though, is like, you know, you could understand,

00:52:46   like, the rumors were there around like watches, and you could see that there was a lot of

00:52:50   tech happening in the wearable space, and it makes sense for Apple to be there.

00:52:54   And I guess there is a ton of tech happening in the self-driving space, but I still have

00:52:59   a hard time, especially if we're talking about a potentially six-figure plus, like, starting

00:53:05   price.

00:53:06   Like, okay, Tesla does—most of their cars, once you get all in, are going to be around

00:53:12   that.

00:53:13   The same thing is going to be true for, you know, Mercedes or BMW.

00:53:16   But those aren't their only options.

00:53:17   Like, even Tesla now, you know, they have an option.

00:53:20   Obviously, once you spec it out, you're not spending under $50,000.

00:53:23   But, you know, on paper, you can get in for half of what, if we're being very generous,

00:53:29   it seems like would have been your price to get into the Apple car ecosystem.

00:53:35   I just don't understand—I think this is my struggle, is like, not that I don't think

00:53:40   Apple could make a fantastic user interface for a car, and that it wouldn't be an amazing

00:53:45   experience.

00:53:47   I just don't know why Apple as a company wants to be in the car business.

00:53:50   Yeah, let me put it to you this way and see if you agree.

00:53:54   Even the watch is primarily a computer.

00:54:01   And you know, Apple put a lot of work—they've done—I mean, really, as a watch nerd outside

00:54:07   Apple Watch, one of the most amazing things they've done is what they've done with band

00:54:11   designs across the board, from the sport band that is sort of the default band to their

00:54:18   link bracelet and the way that you can just adjust it and take links out with your fingernail

00:54:22   instead of any kind of fancy tools.

00:54:24   The leather stuff, they're really nice bands.

00:54:28   Yeah, they are.

00:54:29   They are.

00:54:30   The only criticism I have is I got the light pink, I guess, what the fancy buckle thing

00:54:37   was.

00:54:38   And that didn't hold up super well.

00:54:41   It got dirty.

00:54:42   I mean, I was able to clean it, but it just was one of those things that was like, "Eh."

00:54:46   It should just wear.

00:54:48   But still, fundamentally, the basic idea of the Apple Watch is it's a tiny computer on

00:54:52   your wrist.

00:54:54   That's the main thing it is.

00:54:55   And the watch parts of it, like buckling and telling the time, are all sort of secondary

00:55:02   to the computer-type parts.

00:55:03   Whereas a car, no matter how much of it is computerized—and Tesla has shown clearly

00:55:10   led the way with putting a big, big computer display as the dashboard interface.

00:55:18   100%.

00:55:19   You know, so the dashboard console, the whole thing, you could certainly imagine how Apple

00:55:26   would want to design that and would enjoy designing that.

00:55:31   But the main part of the car is not the dashboard, right?

00:55:35   Right.

00:55:36   It's the actual driving of—it's the car car.

00:55:39   Yeah.

00:55:40   And that is the big difference to me with the car, with every other product, both existing

00:55:48   and rumored that Apple's ever made.

00:55:51   All the VR/AR stuff is, to me, exactly like the watch, where it's fundamentally a computer

00:55:58   and secondarily something else.

00:56:01   Even the—especially the one that supposedly is coming first, the $3,000 according to the

00:56:09   information VR headset with two 8K displays, it's a computer.

00:56:14   And so put aside where they're, "Oh my God, $3,000, blah, blah, blah."

00:56:18   It's a computer, and that's exactly what Apple's always made.

00:56:22   They used to be called Apple Computer.

00:56:24   And even the supposedly, after that, AR glasses that you would wear all day that would project

00:56:32   some sort of heads-up display in front of you, it's a computer device.

00:56:36   And fashion second, where whatever the Apple glasses look like, Apple's design prowess

00:56:42   and taste would certainly, you would think, help in that regard in the same way it did

00:56:46   with the watch, where people like wearing the Apple watch and think it looks good on

00:56:51   their wrist.

00:56:52   Car is very different.

00:56:54   I don't know.

00:56:56   So one idea would be—the cynical idea, why would they do this, is, "Well, there's

00:57:02   a lot of money to be made making cars, so we should make a car."

00:57:08   The nonsensical answer would be that they have one or more ideas to redefine the car

00:57:15   market and think that they're onto something that no one else is thinking about or no one

00:57:23   else could do, they might think, and therefore they're going to do it.

00:57:27   But I don't know what those ideas are.

00:57:30   They're not in my imagination.

00:57:33   Yeah.

00:57:34   I mean, and I guess the hard thing I have to kind of square with it is, yeah, maybe

00:57:38   they feel like they can do something.

00:57:39   But if I look at what Apple's strengths are, and they have many, to be totally candid,

00:57:46   transportation, navigation, not one of them, right?

00:57:49   Like, AI in general, I don't actually think is one of their strengths.

00:57:54   And I don't mean that with disrespect.

00:57:55   It's just that the way that Apple cares about privacy and the things that they put forward

00:58:00   work at a disadvantage to them, I think, with their systems compared to the models from

00:58:05   the other big tech companies.

00:58:08   I think I wrote about that recently with one of my continuing series of goofy instances

00:58:16   with Siri giving nonsensical answers to things.

00:58:19   I mean, the one I just posted the other day was, I said, "Hey, Dingus, remind me to pick

00:58:25   up the dry cleaning Wednesday at three," which in fact was today.

00:58:32   And Siri said a reminder for me at 3 a.m. to pick up the dry cleaning.

00:58:37   And I posted what I said, which was, "Hey, Dingus, pick up the dry cleaning at three."

00:58:45   And I wasn't trying to be obstinate, and I wasn't trying to stress test it.

00:58:51   And, yes, most of the time when I speak to Siri, and I do speak to Siri a lot, it works.

00:58:59   But every time it jumps out in a nonsensical way, it's the needle scratching on a record.

00:59:08   And this one, it makes no sense.

00:59:10   And I know, I think I wrote longer about it.

00:59:14   I think it was Nilay Patel who had the thing about, "Hey, what time is it in London?"

00:59:20   And it gave the time for London, Ontario.

00:59:24   And my explanation of this was, look, the baseline is what would a human assistant do?

00:59:34   And if you had a human assistant who you hired and you said, "Hey, what time...

00:59:40   Can you find out what time it is right now in London?"

00:59:42   And they gave you the time in London, Ontario.

00:59:47   You honestly, and I don't mean this to exaggerate, you would immediately have to think, "I might

00:59:51   have to fire this assistant because this person is too stupid to have the job."

00:59:57   Yeah.

00:59:58   No, and the same thing for setting a reminder for you to get your dry cleaning at 3 a.m.

01:00:03   Right.

01:00:04   Here's the funny part about that is there's a clip.

01:00:08   Somebody sent me a clip, and they're like, "Do you remember Mitch Hedberg, the comedian?"

01:00:12   Yeah.

01:00:13   Yeah, yeah, yeah.

01:00:14   Unfortunately, he died a few years ago.

01:00:15   Sad.

01:00:16   Yeah, sad.

01:00:17   And he was on Letterman.

01:00:19   And I'm not going to do it justice because he's so great, but he said, "I was walking

01:00:22   down the street one night, and there was a dry...

01:00:28   I walked past the...

01:00:29   And literally a dry cleaner, and it was 3 a.m. and they had a sign on the door and it

01:00:34   said, 'Closed.'"

01:00:36   And I'm like, "You don't need to tell me that at 3 a.m.

01:00:39   I know."

01:00:40   And it's like, holy cow.

01:00:43   It wasn't just any business.

01:00:44   It was a dry cleaner.

01:00:45   The time was three.

01:00:48   That's crazy.

01:00:51   You would honestly think about a human being, "This person is mentally insufficient to do

01:00:57   the job as my personal assistant.

01:01:00   How can I trust this person if they're going to make mistakes like this?"

01:01:04   Right.

01:01:05   And again, it's not a joke because they're talking about making a car, right?

01:01:09   This isn't a joke.

01:01:11   I mean, yes, exactly.

01:01:14   And even though Apple Maps has gotten better, it's not as good as Google Maps.

01:01:22   It's not even close.

01:01:23   Well, it's not as good as a taxi driver, right?

01:01:26   No, it's not.

01:01:27   I mean, the baseline is you get into a Lyft or a taxi and you say, "Drive me to 30th Street

01:01:35   Train Station."

01:01:36   You expect to get a reasonable route directly to...

01:01:40   I use Apple Maps and I think it's pretty good.

01:01:45   But is it...

01:01:46   Yeah, I use it too.

01:01:47   Although it did get me stuck on a mountain once, but that's a whole other thing.

01:01:50   Yeah.

01:01:51   Is it good enough?

01:01:52   I don't know.

01:01:53   Is it good enough to drive the car around?

01:01:55   I don't know.

01:01:56   Well, that's the thing.

01:01:57   If I'm being completely candid, I mean, and I don't drive.

01:02:00   So the idea of a self-driving car actually greatly appeals to me.

01:02:04   And I would even be someone who would be willing to spend a premium on that if there was a

01:02:08   truly self-driving car thing where I didn't have to be behind the wheel at all and do

01:02:11   any of it.

01:02:12   But I'm going to need to have trust in the system, that it's going to get me where I

01:02:16   need to go, that it's going to understand things.

01:02:19   And from a pure navigation standpoint, I don't have that in Apple Maps.

01:02:26   And the sad thing is that I have no doubt that there are people and systems and engineers

01:02:32   at Apple who could make a system that I could have full trust in.

01:02:36   Just like how Siri is different on different devices.

01:02:39   Like I find that it's actually quite good on Apple TV, but it's terrible in a lot of

01:02:43   other places.

01:02:44   It's highly kind of context dependent.

01:02:46   But the problem is that it's always called the same thing.

01:02:49   So if I'm in an Apple car that has Apple Maps in it with its Apple Drive system or whatever,

01:02:59   I'm going to be pretty skeptical that I can trust it to get me from point A to point B

01:03:04   without either taking me the wrong way, you know, that's going to waste me more time,

01:03:10   or worst case scenario, get me stuck on a mountain.

01:03:15   I'll take an aside here and say that I'm deeply skeptical about true self-driving cars,

01:03:21   meaning that you could truly just get in the car, tell the car where to go, and fall asleep

01:03:26   and not be completely cognizant as somebody being the driver cognizant, ready to go.

01:03:33   And furthermore, I'm also very, very skeptical of Tesla style, current Tesla feature availability

01:03:41   of you can mostly trust it.

01:03:44   I actually think that's the worst, to be totally honest.

01:03:46   Right.

01:03:47   Because it gives people, like they feel like they can trust it and they don't take the

01:03:51   precautions that they should.

01:03:54   I'm terrified of getting into car accidents.

01:03:57   I'm perhaps even slightly phobic about it.

01:04:00   I do drive, but I find the current rate of the number of people who get into either deadly

01:04:09   or very, very seriously injured car accidents on a daily basis terrifying.

01:04:14   I typically walk everywhere in Philadelphia.

01:04:18   Every single time I see someone who is obviously on their phone while they're driving a car,

01:04:22   I'm enraged.

01:04:23   I would like to have an entire second police force whose job is to do nothing but identify

01:04:28   people who are on their phone while driving because I'm terrified by it.

01:04:33   Honest to God, I would rather have people drinking and driving than texting and driving

01:04:38   because at least when you're drinking and driving, you're looking at the road and you're

01:04:42   thinking, "Oh, shit, I've had too much to drink."

01:04:45   Honest to God, that's how bad.

01:04:46   Right.

01:04:47   I think you're more impaired.

01:04:48   I don't think, I'm not trying to say you should drink and drive.

01:04:50   I'm saying I think—

01:04:51   No, no, no.

01:04:52   I mean, well, studies have shown that you're right.

01:04:53   I mean, studies have actually shown that maybe not more, but certainly as impaired, texting

01:04:58   and driving has shown that.

01:05:00   So I don't think you're wrong there.

01:05:02   And I'm actually very critical of Tesla's model because it creates this false sense

01:05:07   of trust that you don't have.

01:05:09   You can't possibly keep your attention.

01:05:12   No, no.

01:05:13   And even worse, Tesla claims that they don't promote it, but they do.

01:05:18   There's the wink and the nudge of all the things that you can do.

01:05:22   And that I think is really dangerous because it's the same thing, like the reason that

01:05:25   we have people who text and drive are because people felt like they can multitask and they

01:05:31   can do those things.

01:05:32   And it's become deadly.

01:05:33   And millions and millions of people have died that way.

01:05:36   And I worry—I'm with you, like, look, long-term, I think that we might get to a

01:05:42   point where we get up to really self-driving cars.

01:05:44   I don't know if we'll see it in our lifetimes or not, but I feel like it is a ways off.

01:05:49   But I do have, like, actually, I think that the assisted but we're-so-good-you-can-trust-it-to-be-unassisted

01:05:58   model is the most dangerous thing.

01:06:00   Like, I much more prefer the models of the self-driving technology that require hands

01:06:06   to be on the wheel and that require eyes to be focused on the road and that sort of thing

01:06:13   for the systems to work than what Tesla does.

01:06:17   I really do agree with that.

01:06:19   One time, a couple years ago, I got invited to—I never ended up writing about it, or

01:06:24   at least not much.

01:06:25   I didn't write the feature that I probably should have.

01:06:27   But I got invited to Mercedes—not a headquarters, but they're like—I forget if it was in

01:06:35   San Jose.

01:06:36   Where's Yahoo's headquarters?

01:06:37   Sunnyvale.

01:06:38   Sunnyvale.

01:06:39   I think that's where Mercedes has a big self-driving car installation in Silicon Valley.

01:06:45   And I got invited there in the media to see their self-driving stuff.

01:06:49   And I took a ride in a self-driving Mercedes vehicle.

01:06:54   I was paired up with Mark Bergen, who's at Recode.

01:06:59   And so Mark and I were in the backseat of a Mercedes.

01:07:02   There was a press person in the passenger seat, and then there was one of their engineers

01:07:06   behind the wheel.

01:07:07   And it was very impressive.

01:07:09   I mean, and the car really did do pretty much all the driving.

01:07:14   And we went from the parking lot at their office to out on the highway for a bit and

01:07:19   came back.

01:07:20   And the car did just about everything.

01:07:22   It got confused on the on-ramp to the highway.

01:07:26   It had to go a little bit uphill, and it was right into the sun.

01:07:29   And it just sort of froze up.

01:07:32   And the car braked, like, tended to brake everywhere like a student driver, meaning

01:07:37   that your head would go forward, you know, like, it got stopped short.

01:07:42   But the car really did do the driving, and it was impressive.

01:07:45   But it's just, to not have somebody behind the wheel, forget about it.

01:07:50   And I think that the industry will quickly get to the point where, in theory, you could

01:07:57   have a closed circuit, like your own little city.

01:08:01   And if you banned all human drivers and only allowed cars that were autonomous and talked

01:08:08   to each other, that would work.

01:08:10   I think we'll get there.

01:08:11   I agree.

01:08:12   They could do that today.

01:08:13   The problem is mixing the autonomous cars with the human drivers.

01:08:17   No, I agree with you.

01:08:18   I agree with you.

01:08:19   It's funny.

01:08:20   It was about four years ago now, but I actually made a very similar argument when I was at

01:08:23   the New York Auto Show on a panel about self-driving cars.

01:08:27   And I had to, you know, in front of all these corners, I was like, "I don't have a driver's

01:08:31   license, but let me tell you my thoughts."

01:08:33   And that was kind of exactly my thought, is that it's got to be the mixed thing.

01:08:38   It's going to be really hard to make it truly autonomous and make it work, whereas if you

01:08:43   mandated, you know, it can only be self-driving cars.

01:08:48   And then you have, you know, like IoT run, you know, 5G, you know, whatever, running

01:08:53   like traffic lights and sending other data signals and whatnot to control traffic flow.

01:08:59   I think that could work pretty well.

01:09:02   But the United States is not going to be the best place for that for lots of reasons, but

01:09:08   it's possible we might see it in parts of Asia.

01:09:10   I don't know.

01:09:11   So part of that United States thing, we've learned this lesson over the last year.

01:09:15   Americans tend to be very stubborn.

01:09:20   I was going to say, yeah.

01:09:21   I mean, yeah, look, our independence is our greatest feature and our greatest, like, weakness,

01:09:26   to be totally honest, is our need for autonomy in that way.

01:09:30   So part of the Mercedes thing, it was time well spent, and I was very interested, and

01:09:36   it was a good presentation.

01:09:37   But my question during one of the briefings was, okay, let's say we get to fully, you

01:09:44   know, stage four.

01:09:45   I forget what was, there's like a standard one, two, three, four, and maybe five, but

01:09:50   four or five is like fully autonomous.

01:09:52   It's Kit, right?

01:09:53   It's Kit from Knight Rider.

01:09:54   And you just say, "Kit, take me to the airport."

01:09:59   And you could sit in the backseat and Kit will drive you to the airport.

01:10:05   Even at the like stage below that, where it's like the driver can kind of like, you have

01:10:10   to have a driver, but you can kind of like not pay attention.

01:10:14   And it'll like beep at you if you need to take over and you have a couple seconds.

01:10:18   Even at that stage, my question was, okay, you're in a car and you're behind the wheel,

01:10:25   but the car takes over and you're going somewhere.

01:10:27   Will you be allowed to exceed the speed limit?

01:10:31   And it was, I knew I had a good question because they paused and they said, "No."

01:10:43   That was the whole full answer.

01:10:46   And you know, that is honestly, that alone is not going to fly in the United States.

01:10:52   The idea that you're on a road with a 65 mile an hour speed limit and your car will not

01:10:56   go 66.

01:10:57   Right.

01:10:58   Well, and more to the point, there are places where even if the limit is 65, the flow of

01:11:03   traffic is 75.

01:11:04   Right.

01:11:05   And if you're going 65, it could actually be dangerous.

01:11:08   Like if you're trying to get off the interstate or something, like it could actually be a

01:11:12   problem.

01:11:13   I joke about driving fast on this podcast many times over the years.

01:11:17   And when I do drive, I do like to drive fast on the highway.

01:11:22   But that is true.

01:11:23   And no joke about it, going the speed limit on a lot of highway with good, flowing traffic,

01:11:31   it's dangerous.

01:11:32   It is dangerous to go 65 on a lot of roads or 55 or whatever the speed limit is.

01:11:37   It is.

01:11:39   But the cars won't end for logical reasons.

01:11:41   And presumably, 50, 60 years from now, if we're still driving cars at all, they'll all

01:11:49   be autonomous and they'll be able to go 120 miles an hour because it'll be fantastic.

01:11:54   If you ever see little animations of what cars could do, if every car was autonomous,

01:11:59   the way you'd be able to zip through intersections.

01:12:02   Amazing.

01:12:03   Right.

01:12:04   Yeah, no, it'd be incredible.

01:12:05   Yeah.

01:12:06   Well, I mean, I think that's kind of my secondary thing too, aside from maybe some of the logistical

01:12:09   things or whatnot, is like, okay, I maybe get the appeal.

01:12:13   I get the appeal for a lot of companies, not Apple investing in self-driving tech and maybe

01:12:18   investing in the tech where you want to be the brains of what the self-driving cars are

01:12:24   for other people if you're a very strong infrastructure play, right?

01:12:27   Like where your whole thing is you want people using your stuff.

01:12:30   That's typically not Apple's thing, though.

01:12:31   They like to make their own things.

01:12:33   They don't really like to power other people's stuff.

01:12:37   As great as the M1 is and as amazing things that they've done with that, I don't really

01:12:41   ... And Intel is fucked for a lot of reasons, but I don't feel like Apple can take on Intel

01:12:47   in volume, nor would they want to, right?

01:12:51   So I look at the car and I think, okay, so why do this?

01:12:55   This is going to be, we know, a high-price project.

01:13:01   It requires engineering resources and expertise that not just say Apple couldn't hire for

01:13:06   that, but certainly that is not part of their instinctive DNA.

01:13:11   And then I look kind of long-term like, okay, if you're investing in this, it just seems

01:13:15   to me, and I know I must be missing something, but I feel like would it not be better to

01:13:20   be looking at high-speed rail or bullet trains or other types of transportation that way

01:13:27   rather than cars?

01:13:29   Why cars, which seem to be electric, EV aside, globally, it's going to be something that

01:13:38   all predictions seem to indicate is going to be on the decline.

01:13:42   I don't know.

01:13:43   You know, it is, and again, I can see why they don't get into trains because trains

01:13:49   require the government, right?

01:13:50   You cannot, you can't build the train tracks.

01:13:52   Although Elon Musk has tried to propose building a tunnel between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

01:14:00   You have the hyperloop.

01:14:01   Right, the hyperloop.

01:14:02   Oh, I mean, I love it.

01:14:03   I would too.

01:14:04   I laugh.

01:14:05   Please, I hope he does it.

01:14:08   Seriously, put me in the tube.

01:14:09   I would love that.

01:14:10   That'd be amazing.

01:14:11   I know he's building, I know the rocket ships work.

01:14:14   I mean, so I'm not laughing that it can't be done.

01:14:17   Oh, no, I know.

01:14:18   I know, yeah.

01:14:19   But at least a car is something somebody, they could just sell and you meet the regulatory

01:14:25   requirements and then people can just buy it and they can just drive on the road.

01:14:28   But whatever it is, I guarantee you this.

01:14:30   I mean, however wrong my pessimistic take on true autonomy is, if the rumors are true

01:14:36   that they're looking at starting to build these three, four years from now or even less,

01:14:41   but let's say three, four years from now, there's no way they're going to be autonomous.

01:14:44   I mean, fully autonomous.

01:14:45   No, there's not.

01:14:46   Yeah, no, from a regulatory aside, yeah, they're not.

01:14:49   So whatever their reason for wanting to do it, that's not it.

01:14:52   Like the, you know, what is the, oh, we've got this thing and we're going to redefine

01:14:57   the industry.

01:14:58   It's not autonomy, not full autonomy.

01:15:01   It says me now, you know, but I don't think so.

01:15:05   I don't think it's possible.

01:15:07   And even if it were, it wouldn't be legal.

01:15:09   Right.

01:15:10   So I don't know.

01:15:12   It's a very good question and I don't quite get it.

01:15:16   But Volkswagen, they're not afraid.

01:15:18   No, I mean, I do agree with you though, the way that they framed it.

01:15:21   Like, I think that it probably would have been better to be like, we do the typical

01:15:25   bullshit tech, you know, exact thing.

01:15:27   We welcome our competition into the new space when really you're like, holy shit, we're

01:15:31   watching our back.

01:15:32   We don't welcome them, get out of here.

01:15:34   But I also don't feel like this is a Ed Colligan thing where, you know, he says, you know,

01:15:40   PC guys aren't just going to waltz in here.

01:15:42   I do feel like there are a lot of things that are much more difficult about cars and a lot

01:15:47   of things that go counter frankly to Apple's strengths, whereas the phone really spoke

01:15:53   to all of their strengths even before they entered that space, you know.

01:15:59   I would never bet against Apple to be very clear on that.

01:16:01   I would never bet against them.

01:16:02   It's just one of those things where I'm kind of like, why this versus some of the other

01:16:09   areas you could go into.

01:16:10   That's just always my question.

01:16:11   I guess, you know, if we're just going to spitball, wildly spitball, I mean, if they

01:16:15   have some kind of breakthrough that's in totally secret on batteries and electric drive trains,

01:16:23   right?

01:16:24   Like, okay.

01:16:25   Okay.

01:16:26   Yeah.

01:16:27   Yeah.

01:16:28   I could see that.

01:16:30   Something like that.

01:16:31   Yeah.

01:16:33   I mean, I know right now even like Teslas are super, super heavy because the batteries

01:16:37   are so big and they handle weird.

01:16:39   They're very funny.

01:16:40   You know, I've never driven one, but I know that they accelerate like bad out of hell.

01:16:44   They do.

01:16:45   They accelerate amazingly and then they'd make no noise, which is kind of incredible.

01:16:50   Last thing before we move on to another thing if you want to, but maybe I actually think

01:16:54   that you might be right on the batteries and maybe this would be a way for them to test

01:16:57   their batteries because if they could nail battery tech in something like a car, think

01:17:02   about how that could trickle down into all their other devices.

01:17:04   Right.

01:17:05   And if it's something that's easier to make big first.

01:17:08   Yes, exactly.

01:17:09   Before it gets shrunk to your pocket, right?

01:17:12   Yes.

01:17:13   So maybe you start with that and then, you know, you kind of do, you know, like a wafer

01:17:17   model sort of thing.

01:17:18   It's like, okay, we nail this and then we can miniaturize it and put it in everything

01:17:22   else.

01:17:23   Here's the other question.

01:17:24   I mean, think about this, this is, I feel like people aren't speculating on it enough,

01:17:29   especially now that people are starting to say, hey, it's like two, three years out,

01:17:34   right?

01:17:35   Is where do they sell the cars?

01:17:37   Right.

01:17:38   Yeah, that's a good point.

01:17:40   I have never seen an Apple store that is ready to sell cars.

01:17:45   I mean, some of the flagships, I'm trying to think, I was only in the new San Francisco

01:17:51   flagship once, the one that took over the old Levi's building.

01:17:57   That one's pretty big, you know, Fifth Avenue in New York.

01:17:59   No way, right?

01:18:00   Fifth Avenue in New York.

01:18:01   No, there's no way.

01:18:02   You have to go downstairs.

01:18:03   Exactly, you'd have to go downstairs to show off the car.

01:18:06   I mean, the thing is, is that you could do what Tesla does where, you know, you could

01:18:09   have like the reservations and you could have that thing and you could have delivery.

01:18:12   But yeah, where do people go to see it?

01:18:14   Where do people go to potentially take a test drive?

01:18:17   And Tesla struggled with that too, although they had to walk back, like they originally

01:18:20   were going to close a bunch of their dealerships, or they don't call them dealerships because

01:18:24   there's a legal thing around that, but they're stores, but then they kept some of them open.

01:18:29   There are a number of them.

01:18:30   I'm not sure what their state of opening is, given the pandemic, but in the Seattle

01:18:35   area, there are like a lot of Tesla stores.

01:18:40   I think Bellevue, which is a Seattle suburb, is second only to Palo Alto in terms of numbers

01:18:45   of Teslas sold.

01:18:47   So there are a number of places where people can go get them.

01:18:52   But even that, like I will say Tesla definitely took from Apple and it's much more of an

01:18:56   Apple experience where you go in and you place your order and you see a car, but it's not

01:19:00   like you're going to drive off the lot with it.

01:19:02   And it's, you know, like that's not the experience.

01:19:06   It's not a car dealer.

01:19:07   It's not a car dealer.

01:19:08   Right.

01:19:09   Yeah.

01:19:10   I've been to a Tesla in a mall, the King of Prussian mall here in Philadelphia or the

01:19:14   greater Philadelphia area.

01:19:15   I think they closed though before COVID even, but they used to have a Tesla in the mall

01:19:20   and you know, they had like one car in there and it was mainly like a place where you could

01:19:26   just go and look at one and talk to somebody and then I guess make an appointment to get

01:19:31   a real, you know, test drive a real one.

01:19:33   But it's very strange.

01:19:34   It would be very strange for Apple.

01:19:36   I mean, and on a personal level, me, John Gruber, if they come out with a car, do I

01:19:43   get a review unit?

01:19:45   Like a car would be a crazy thing to get a review unit for.

01:19:49   No, you would get a loan.

01:19:51   You would, they would do it the same way that they do review units for other things.

01:19:54   They would like let you, you would sign out an agreement and you would get it for a week

01:19:57   or 10 days or whatever.

01:20:00   How would I charge it?

01:20:02   Like don't you need, won't you need like some kind of expensive thing in your garage?

01:20:07   I mean, what happens if I don't have a garage?

01:20:09   I happen to have a garage, but do I have room for an extra car?

01:20:14   I'm trying to think.

01:20:15   So, because I used to work at a Gizmodo Media Group and with the Jalopnik guys who would

01:20:20   do a lot of car reviews and those are, you know, most of those guys live in Brooklyn

01:20:23   where they don't have garages or access to any of that stuff and they would review EVs,

01:20:28   although some of those people would live other places.

01:20:30   And yeah, I mean, I think that you would find places where you could either adapt a way

01:20:34   to charge or there'd be a charging station and they might give you like a limited loan.

01:20:38   But yeah, I mean, it was, it was not uncommon where, you know, I had friends who live in

01:20:42   apartments who would be, you know, test driving expensive automobiles in New York City.

01:20:48   So it can be done.

01:20:49   It just is obviously requires a lot more logistics than, you know, shipping somebody a phone

01:20:55   or having a product briefing with a watch.

01:20:57   Yeah, I don't think FedEx drops them off.

01:21:00   No, no.

01:21:01   And the thing too is that you have a much more limited number of like review devices,

01:21:06   right?

01:21:07   Like you can give the whole press corps one is one of those things where you have like

01:21:11   a couple or maybe like two, like one kind of for the coast where people are going to

01:21:15   take turns.

01:21:16   So it would be a lot more limited, I assume.

01:21:19   But yeah, and that even says, does Apple want the press reviews or do they want to do what

01:21:27   they've been doing recently, which is do they want to see the car YouTubers?

01:21:31   Like I could see them doing that, right?

01:21:34   Like it just bypassing the traditional automotive press altogether.

01:21:38   I don't know.

01:21:39   Right.

01:21:40   And it's like, I know that there is an automotive press and I know that the automotive press

01:21:44   reviews cars without buying them.

01:21:46   You know, they, they get the equivalent of, you know, loaners.

01:21:50   What I'm wondering is, will Apple go to the usual Apple reviewers?

01:21:54   Like is it me and the Verge and Matthew Panzareno and Joanna Stern or do they go to the car

01:22:01   people?

01:22:02   Like it just seems...

01:22:03   It seems crazy though, you know, and I guess, I guess it comes down to what is the thing

01:22:07   that they think is special about the car.

01:22:09   Yeah.

01:22:10   And it probably, I mean, like they would probably go to the Verge.

01:22:13   The Verge has a transportation editor.

01:22:14   Right.

01:22:15   It, you know, Neelay would probably want to review it himself, but you know, I mean, they

01:22:19   would probably go there.

01:22:20   The Wall Street Journal would get one, whether you know, Joanna or their car reviewer would

01:22:24   be up to them.

01:22:25   You and Panzareno, I guess it depends on if they see you as car enthusiasts and influencers

01:22:31   or not, right?

01:22:32   Like...

01:22:33   It's just a crazy thing for me to review.

01:22:35   I agree.

01:22:36   Okay.

01:22:37   But like, but for instance, Marquez, Marquez Brownlee would get one.

01:22:39   Oh, definitely.

01:22:40   Yeah.

01:22:41   Like, like he would be number one.

01:22:42   And I actually think that that would probably be, you'd see more of that type of things.

01:22:45   I think that if it were me, if I were Apple and I were trying to, you know, seed review

01:22:50   units for this mythical Apple car, I would be going after the big tech YouTubers who

01:22:56   we all know have Teslas and get them on board.

01:23:01   Honestly.

01:23:02   I don't know.

01:23:03   It's just a fascinating personal aspect to it.

01:23:06   And it's like, and how do I send it back?

01:23:08   How do I get it?

01:23:09   How do you send it back?

01:23:10   How do you give it back to them?

01:23:11   No, totally.

01:23:12   I mean, yeah.

01:23:13   Yeah.

01:23:14   I mean, I say this as somebody who I more than one occasion actually had, you know,

01:23:18   companies want me to do potentially car reviews.

01:23:21   And I'm like, I don't have a license.

01:23:23   I can connect with someone else, you know?

01:23:24   Like, oh, come on.

01:23:25   But you can.

01:23:26   I'm like, nope.

01:23:27   I don't want to, even if I did, would genuinely have no interest because like you, I have,

01:23:33   I live in fear of like getting in a car accident.

01:23:35   And to me, the only thing that would be more nightmare inducing than getting in a normal

01:23:39   car accident would be getting in a car accident with a hundred thousand dollar review car

01:23:43   for Apple.

01:23:44   Like that would genuinely be like, that would keep me up at night, like 100%.

01:23:48   Like that would be enough of a panic inducement.

01:23:50   I wouldn't even be able to enjoy it because I'd be so freaked out about like, what happens

01:23:54   if I wrecked this car?

01:23:55   Like, yeah.

01:23:56   I don't know.

01:24:00   My guess is the way they would do it is that they would be a limited number of reviews

01:24:04   just for, you know, for the obvious reason.

01:24:07   And that they would deliver them, you know, like ding dong, they'd show up at the, you

01:24:13   know, where, you know, what's your address?

01:24:15   As somebody would show up, the car is there and, you know, with, with a colleague in another

01:24:22   car to take the person who brought it home.

01:24:24   And then like, you know, two weeks later we're going to come and we'll pick it up.

01:24:28   Yeah.

01:24:29   Yeah.

01:24:30   That's, I guess was what they would do.

01:24:32   I don't know.

01:24:33   Yeah, I think that's what they would do.

01:24:34   And they would probably, you know, um, prioritize people who either live places that have charging

01:24:40   stations like in my apartment building.

01:24:42   Um, we have a couple of EV, um, uh, chargers, um, that, that people can use or whatever.

01:24:48   So they would prioritize like people who either live near one that they can go to, to top

01:24:52   up or have their own garage where they can retrofit, you know, or have an adapter or

01:24:56   whatever to use their, their main, you know, like power outlet to charge the, to charge

01:25:01   the thing.

01:25:02   And, you know, and typically it doesn't really make a big difference that I'm in Philadelphia,

01:25:08   which isn't really, you know, a hub for Apple, but I'm close to New York.

01:25:13   But again, shipping anything else Apple has ever made is not that big a deal because it

01:25:19   can always just come FedEx.

01:25:21   Right.

01:25:22   Like the car, like this is going to have to be on a flatbed.

01:25:25   Like this is either going to have to be driven or this is going to have to be on a flatbed

01:25:28   that's going to be delivered to you.

01:25:29   Yeah.

01:25:30   Presumably they would have a couple sent to New York, however they send cars.

01:25:34   And then I would guess somebody from New York, somebody from Apple would drive it from New

01:25:37   York to Philadelphia and drop it off at my house.

01:25:40   But I, I don't know.

01:25:41   I mean, that's what I would assume either that or they would have some sort of place

01:25:44   where you would go to pick it up.

01:25:45   Right.

01:25:46   But like what would they do if I lived in a what's like Nebraska?

01:25:50   I probably wouldn't get one.

01:25:51   I guess.

01:25:52   Like you would need to be somebody who'd be super high on their list for you to get one.

01:25:56   Right.

01:25:57   Or else I'd have to agree to like spend a week in California and get a hotel and you

01:26:00   know, drive around the car for a week.

01:26:01   There you go.

01:26:02   That would be it.

01:26:03   Yeah.

01:26:04   I mean, it, I'm trying to think like the, the car press is kind of distributed, but

01:26:06   you do have a lot of people in Detroit.

01:26:07   You do have people in New York, obviously people in California.

01:26:11   And and they, they get their cars there.

01:26:14   But I think for people who would be in other places who would want it, yeah, you need to

01:26:18   either make your own arrangements or be somebody who would be deemed so important to review

01:26:25   this that they would be willing to, you know, go through the extra stuff.

01:26:30   It really just, it brings to mind, I mean, I've, I've thought about this.

01:26:33   It just brings to mind what a preposterous thing to own a car is.

01:26:39   Like we just, in America, we just have this car culture and we just.

01:26:42   I mean, this is, this is my point.

01:26:43   Thank you.

01:26:44   I live with someone who loves cars and I don't get it.

01:26:48   And so I think that this underscores my whole like question.

01:26:51   It's like, why are you wanting to get into this space?

01:26:56   Because it is a preposterous notion that you're spending as much as you know, you could on

01:27:02   a house for a depreciating asset.

01:27:04   Well, and it's, again, it's not like watches where you buy a $10,000 Rolex and you could

01:27:09   sell it for 20,000 10 years from now.

01:27:11   You know, you're, you know, as they say, it depreciates the moment you drive it off the

01:27:15   lot.

01:27:16   Exactly.

01:27:17   It's like, it's not going to use whatever its value is.

01:27:18   And that is the other thing.

01:27:19   I mean, let's go with this because I mentioned my son before.

01:27:23   So my son's 17 years old.

01:27:25   The driver, driving age in Pennsylvania is 16.

01:27:28   And when my wife and I turned 16 and we lived in the suburbs, we, I mean, we had already

01:27:34   had our permits because you could get your permit.

01:27:37   I don't know.

01:27:38   It was like three months before you turn 16, you can get your driver's permit.

01:27:41   And it's like three months to the day because the car meant freedom when you live in the

01:27:47   suburbs.

01:27:48   Yeah.

01:27:49   Yeah.

01:27:50   But for your son, we talked about this last show.

01:27:51   Like he doesn't care, right?

01:27:52   Right.

01:27:53   Yeah.

01:27:54   Yeah.

01:27:55   So we did bring it up.

01:27:56   Yeah.

01:27:57   He's 17 and does not, the last, it's homework he doesn't want.

01:27:59   What does he want to study to take a driver's test?

01:28:02   He doesn't want to drive anywhere.

01:28:03   He lives in the city.

01:28:05   He walks most places he goes.

01:28:06   And once this COVID thing blows over, he'll take, go back to, you know, we, he still hasn't

01:28:12   taken like an Uber by himself, but you know, 17, 18, he will probably by the time this

01:28:17   thing blows over, you know, none of his friends drive.

01:28:20   They don't want to drive.

01:28:21   They don't need to drive.

01:28:22   And an Uber and a Lyft is better.

01:28:23   You don't have to park.

01:28:24   Well, you don't have to park, which parking, depending where you live, it can be extremely

01:28:27   expensive.

01:28:28   I imagine it's pricey in parts of Philadelphia and hard to find and, and, you know, takes

01:28:33   time.

01:28:34   And, and if you have an expensive car then becomes yet another like thing that you are

01:28:38   afraid about because you've got your pricey car out there in the city, right?

01:28:42   Like cars are great in the suburbs, in the cities.

01:28:45   And I'm a city person, so yeah.

01:28:48   Again, like this kind of goes to my question.

01:28:50   Like, I think about all these things and like, I'm like, okay, this, a lot of the car companies

01:28:55   are trying to turn themselves into tech companies, which makes sense because that's where they

01:28:59   feel like they can continue to prosper and sell.

01:29:01   But it's been a trend for the last decade that, you know, kids are getting their driver's

01:29:06   license later and later and are, fewer people are buying cars.

01:29:09   Like that's been a problem for the car industry.

01:29:12   Like Ford has faced that and, and the other big manufacturers have too.

01:29:17   And again, I would never bet against Apple because I feel like Apple is unique in the

01:29:22   vacant inner markets that seem to not make sense and can make things work really well.

01:29:29   It's just like, this just seems like, okay, but all the car companies want to be you.

01:29:35   Why do you want to be a car company?

01:29:38   And I wonder a little bit.

01:29:40   I know lots of people at Apple live in San Francisco, literally in the city and they

01:29:46   take, you know, like the buses down to Cupertino.

01:29:50   And I know that's a big deal in that they, you know, in a way that would have made no

01:29:54   sense 20 years ago, but it makes tons of sense now with ubiquitous cellular networking, you

01:29:59   can actually, you know, start your workday and do be productive.

01:30:03   And people go there and park and spend all day at work and then drive home if they don't,

01:30:09   if they don't live in the city and take the bus and they live, you know, somewhere in

01:30:12   between.

01:30:13   But I can't help but think if there's a little bit of a bias towards car culture there because

01:30:17   Silicon Valley is a place where you drive to go places.

01:30:21   Yeah, you do.

01:30:22   Yeah, that's true.

01:30:23   And if does it bias them in a way that I think in ways, lots of little ways, Apple's products

01:30:30   are sort of biased towards California weather.

01:30:33   Right?

01:30:34   Yeah.

01:30:35   Like, why doesn't the iPhone show you the temperature on the lock screen?

01:30:40   Right.

01:30:41   Because it's 71 and sunny.

01:30:42   What else?

01:30:43   Right?

01:30:44   Right.

01:30:45   Yeah, no, that's, that's a good, that's a really good point.

01:30:49   Yeah, no, that makes sense.

01:30:51   I mean, it does also and maybe the other thing that could influence them is that if all of

01:30:54   your competitors in the area are interested in this thing, then I'm not saying that like

01:31:00   you're, you have to be follow on, but it's hard to, it would be hard for that not to

01:31:05   be influential in some way, right?

01:31:07   Like, the same way that, you know, everybody's making a microcomputer, you want to get into

01:31:12   that business.

01:31:13   Everybody's making a phone, you want to get into that business.

01:31:16   If everybody around you is investing in all the hiring talent is so competitive around

01:31:21   automotive and about self-driving around AI and all that stuff, maybe that plays a role.

01:31:26   I don't know.

01:31:27   Yeah.

01:31:28   Well, let me take a break and we'll thank our next sponsor.

01:31:30   It's our friends at Linode who host Daring Fireball so well.

01:31:33   Very, very happy with them as a customer, paying customer.

01:31:37   Whether you're working on a personal project or managing enterprise infrastructure, you

01:31:40   deserve simple, affordable, and accessible cloud computing solutions that allow you to

01:31:44   take your project to the next level.

01:31:46   Simplify your cloud infrastructure with Linode's Linux virtual machines to develop, deploy,

01:31:52   and scale your modern applications faster and easier.

01:31:55   Get started on Linode today with $100 in free credit for listeners of the talk show.

01:32:02   $100 bucks.

01:32:03   You can find all the details at linode.com/thetalkshow.

01:32:09   Linode.com/thetalkshow.

01:32:11   Linode has 11 global data centers, 24/7, 365 human support with no tiers or handoffs.

01:32:19   You want tech support, you get a real human who knows what they're talking about and can

01:32:24   help you regardless of your plan size.

01:32:27   In addition to shared and dedicated compute instances, you can use your $100 bucks in

01:32:32   credit on S3-compatible object storage, their managed Kubernetes, and more.

01:32:39   So once again, to get started, go to linode.com/thetalkshow and click on the "Create Free Account" button

01:32:46   to get started.

01:32:47   My thanks to Linode for sponsoring the show and for hosting Daring Fireball.

01:32:54   Let's talk about Clubhouse before we run out of time.

01:32:59   What are your thoughts on Clubhouse?

01:33:00   I feel like Clubhouse right now is like, as we speak, February 2021, it's still in private.

01:33:09   I wouldn't call it beta.

01:33:10   I mean, it's on the App Store.

01:33:12   It's invite only.

01:33:14   But they seem to be accelerating the invitations to the point now where February 2021 sort

01:33:20   of is the month where Clubhouse went big.

01:33:22   Yeah, I would agree with that.

01:33:24   I mean, I would say maybe January.

01:33:26   No, yeah, I'm trying to think, when was Alon on?

01:33:30   When did he do the Game Stonk thing?

01:33:32   That was its Oprah joins Twitter moment.

01:33:35   Yeah, 2021 to date, January to February.

01:33:38   And I'm sure, in hindsight, there'll be even more people in March and more people in April,

01:33:42   but it's getting big.

01:33:44   A, can you describe what Clubhouse is?

01:33:48   And B, tell me your thoughts about it.

01:33:50   Okay.

01:33:51   So I'll find something that I sent, let me find my tweet that I sent about it because

01:33:55   Steven Sinofsky was annoyed with me, but I stand by it.

01:33:59   Okay.

01:34:01   This was what someone asked me, like two weeks ago.

01:34:03   It says, "What does one do with Clubhouse?"

01:34:05   And then I wrote, "Waste time not working by listening to other people not working,

01:34:10   talking about stuff they claim to be experts in but really aren't, while hoping for celebrities

01:34:14   to show up."

01:34:15   That's pretty, that's pretty tart, but I don't disagree with it.

01:34:22   And I say this as someone who, I've spent a lot of time on Clubhouse.

01:34:25   I've hosted shows on Clubhouse when that was still a beta feature.

01:34:29   I think I joined in April.

01:34:31   I'm not above this, like at all.

01:34:33   I'm just saying like when I use it, it is usually because it's either the end of the

01:34:37   day and there I see one of the many notifications come in that, you know, somebody you're on

01:34:43   and something interesting is going on, or I'm like, you know, kind of trying to avoid

01:34:48   doing actual work and so I tune in in the afternoon and then listen to other people,

01:34:54   you know, who are often doing the same thing.

01:34:56   And then there is that bit of like, "Oh, and maybe someone famous will, you know, pop

01:35:01   in."

01:35:02   I don't know.

01:35:03   I'm being totally honest.

01:35:04   Like for me, that is kind of the appeal.

01:35:06   That's not to say that I don't think there, I think that you can have some real substantive

01:35:10   and interesting conversations and there are some really interesting ways it can be used

01:35:14   and the way that its interest graph is both connected but disconnected from Twitter I

01:35:19   think is interesting.

01:35:22   I was in a room last week and someone's 10-year-old was briefly in the room before that was deemed,

01:35:29   I guess, not okay and we were asking the youth some questions about their use of technology

01:35:36   and, you know, they kind of described it.

01:35:38   They were like, "Oh, it's Discord for adults."

01:35:41   And that's actually not a bad description to be totally honest.

01:35:45   Like it's, you know, kind of Discord's audio groups but, you know, audio channels for adults.

01:35:51   That's not a completely terrible analogy.

01:35:57   I'm trying to still wrap my head around it.

01:35:59   I think they're on, I do think they're on to something.

01:36:02   Oh, totally.

01:36:03   And I also think, and I haven't quite had this feeling about something since Instagram

01:36:10   in 2010.

01:36:12   So I was not on the Instagram beta.

01:36:14   MG Siegler was and he tweeted enough pictures from it.

01:36:19   I definitely kind of was like, "Okay, square pictures, filters."

01:36:25   And then I was just saying on my other podcast Dithering with Ben Thompson, I think the episode

01:36:30   that aired this morning that I remember where I was when I realized Instagram was out of

01:36:35   beta and I could sign up.

01:36:36   I was with my family down in Disney World and I was on a bus going from, I think I even

01:36:43   remember which park we were going to.

01:36:44   We're going from our hotel to the Disney Studios park on the little Disney transportation bus.

01:36:51   I was like, "Oh, it's out of beta.

01:36:53   Quick, get Gruber.

01:36:54   Oh, it's still available.

01:36:55   Got it."

01:36:57   Start clicking around.

01:36:58   And within five minutes, because all of a sudden we're at Disney and it's time to have

01:37:02   fun and go on rides and stuff, I was like, "Oh, I get this.

01:37:06   This is great."

01:37:09   And now that is the original Instagram where it was just you post pictures and you see

01:37:13   pictures from the people you follow and you can comment on the pictures and you can apply

01:37:20   these filters that really, at the time, was a great feature because cell phone cameras

01:37:26   were still so crappy.

01:37:28   The filters-

01:37:29   It really added, it was perfect.

01:37:31   In Hipstagram, what was it?

01:37:32   Hipstagram?

01:37:33   Or no, Hipstamatic.

01:37:34   Hipstamatic.

01:37:35   It was awesome.

01:37:36   So it fit with that whole aesthetic that was happening at the time, but it made it easy

01:37:40   to apply.

01:37:41   They didn't take as long as some of the other filter apps did and it really made your photos

01:37:45   look better and added.

01:37:46   I remember when they added the tilt shift feature and it was amazing.

01:37:50   Oh, yeah.

01:37:51   The tilt shift feature was this massive deal because I was like, "Oh my God, I can take

01:37:55   Mr. Rogers' pictures," right?

01:37:56   Like, it's how I felt.

01:37:58   At the time, Hipstamatic took so long.

01:38:00   And I still don't know.

01:38:02   I've never talked to anybody who could explain it.

01:38:04   I don't know if they did it on purpose to fake, but Hipstamatic took so long to apply

01:38:10   filters.

01:38:11   I remember talking to somebody at Apple about it and they're like, "Yeah, it makes no sense

01:38:13   that even if they're using a bad algorithm, it shouldn't take that long."

01:38:17   And it was like, "Yeah, it's crazy."

01:38:18   It was frustrating.

01:38:19   And Instagram let you like, "Oh, this filter?

01:38:22   Nope.

01:38:23   This filter?

01:38:24   No."

01:38:25   Instantly.

01:38:26   And then you'd pick one that made your picture look better and then you'd post it.

01:38:27   And I was like, "I got it."

01:38:29   I was like, "Oh, this is going to be huge."

01:38:32   Just a snap judgment.

01:38:33   100%.

01:38:34   I feel that way about Clubhouse with just a little less certainty because the thing

01:38:39   about Instagram was I knew I wanted to use it.

01:38:42   Whereas with Clubhouse, I'm like, "I get this.

01:38:45   I can see why people really like it.

01:38:47   I don't think this is for me."

01:38:49   Yeah.

01:38:50   No, I kind of agree with you.

01:38:51   And I'm somebody who like, I go back and forth about my feeling on it.

01:38:57   Do I think that its current valuation is kind of insane?

01:39:00   Yes.

01:39:01   Do I think the concept has massive legs?

01:39:03   Absolutely.

01:39:04   I think the other difference is that Instagram came out, there were a couple of other kind

01:39:11   of competitors.

01:39:12   I remember there was like PickPlease, which was available on both iOS and Android that

01:39:16   Dalton Caldwell, who later did app.net did, and that didn't work.

01:39:21   And there were some other kind of attempts at doing similar things, but Instagram was

01:39:25   always where the momentum was.

01:39:28   And I think it's because they had really strong product direction.

01:39:31   I think that always from the beginning, the product direction and the aesthetic and the

01:39:35   usability was key.

01:39:38   It was always product first.

01:39:39   It was always product first.

01:39:41   Clubhouse is one of those things where not that I don't think, where I wonder if it's

01:39:45   going to be more like an Instagram Stories thing, where not Instagram Stories, the Snapchat

01:39:48   Stories things, but you see where I'm going with this, where it's a great idea, but it

01:39:53   could be potentially co-opted and done better by someone else.

01:39:58   I feel like Twitter Spaces could beat it in a way that no one else even had a chance against

01:40:07   Instagram, even though Instagram was iOS only until it was acquired by Facebook.

01:40:12   No one else even had a chance.

01:40:13   It sucked all the oxygen out of the room because it was the best.

01:40:19   I feel like the concept of Clubhouse has a lot of legs.

01:40:21   I just don't know if Clubhouse is going to be the thing or if it'll be whatever Mark

01:40:26   Cuban things that he thinks he's doing or if it'll be Twitter Spaces.

01:40:29   I don't think it'll be Facebook's thing.

01:40:31   I think Facebook's thing will fall flat on its face.

01:40:34   But I do feel like Twitter Spaces could potentially pull the Instagram move and make their review

01:40:43   version of Stories way more successful, even though it's a blatant copy.

01:40:48   It's better.

01:40:52   You just echoed my thoughts exactly, where I feel like either Clubhouse is onto something,

01:40:57   whether it is the thing and Clubhouse becomes a major titan of networking and owns the space,

01:41:06   or is it Snapchat Stories and it just becomes a feature that everybody has and everybody

01:41:12   has these audio group rooms and you can add.

01:41:17   I don't know which way it's going to go.

01:41:20   Either Clubhouse will become the thing for this in the way that Instagram became the

01:41:25   thing for just sharing photos or it's Stories and everybody will have their own implementation

01:41:33   of Clubhouse and Clubhouse is just one of them.

01:41:38   On Dithering Ben and I talked about the way that Periscope and Meerkat were onto something

01:41:44   with live streaming video from your phone, but there is no single home for live streaming

01:41:51   video from your phone.

01:41:53   Everybody just has live streaming on their platforms.

01:41:55   You could do it on YouTube, you could do it on Facebook, you could do it on Citizen.

01:42:01   It's just a feature that you add to anything that has this sort of thing.

01:42:04   I don't know which way it's going to go.

01:42:06   Here's what I see with Clubhouse and I'm not a heavy user, haven't even been there that

01:42:11   long, but I see three types of rooms.

01:42:16   Tell me if you think that I'm either off or if I'm missing something.

01:42:20   I see there's shows.

01:42:23   Ben Thompson was on a show.

01:42:24   There's a show every night called, I forget what it's called now, Big Fun, Big Time, Good

01:42:30   Time, Good Time last night and it's like a late night talk show, really late night for

01:42:36   East Coasters.

01:42:37   It's like 10 to 11 Pacific, but I was up last night and hundreds of people listen.

01:42:43   It's a lot like a podcast except it's live and it was good and I liked listening to my

01:42:50   friend Ben and the questions were good and I liked listening to it, but all I could think

01:42:54   is this is just like a podcast, but with A, the frustration of you have to listen live,

01:43:02   can't pause, you have to be there and tune in, which is a huge problem compared to, it's

01:43:08   like going from having a TiVo to going back to not having a DVR and if you have to go

01:43:14   to the bathroom or your phone rings during a show, you miss the show.

01:43:18   You're screwed, totally.

01:43:20   Which is crazy.

01:43:21   Although I think that's why it works, but sorry, go on.

01:43:24   Well, yeah, because maybe people are willing to say different things, right?

01:43:27   Yeah.

01:43:28   They're willing to be looser because they're not quite on a permanent record.

01:43:31   Right.

01:43:32   And I get it that that's also, it's not completely unrelated to the popularity of the Stories

01:43:37   feature on all these platforms.

01:43:41   B, worse audio quality.

01:43:43   The audio quality is way worse than the worst podcast I've ever listened to.

01:43:48   They do, technically, they do a great job with crosstalk.

01:43:51   They really are doing some good things, but people are just talking into their phones

01:43:55   and they're using phone microphones and there's a lot of compression.

01:43:58   It's audio.

01:43:59   I had my AirPods Pro on last night and I was like, "This is the worst podcast I've ever

01:44:02   listened to."

01:44:03   I mean, I listen to podcasts where sometimes guests call in on the phone and they patch

01:44:08   them in like the old days on radio and they sound better than Clubhouse.

01:44:14   So the show's thing to me is sort of like live podcasts and yeah, maybe there is a social

01:44:20   psychological angle where there still is room for that because it's not a permanent record,

01:44:25   right?

01:44:26   So there's podcasts with me and you, people will be able to listen to it in years.

01:44:29   We don't know if they're listening to it next week or tomorrow or if they're listening to

01:44:33   it in the year 2030 and they're laughing because they're listening to it while their Apple

01:44:38   car is driving them around, right?

01:44:41   And they're like, "Well, John Gruber and Christina Warren were idiots nine years ago."

01:44:46   And they're sleeping, you know, and they're like going to take a nap in the backseat of

01:44:50   their Apple car.

01:44:52   So there's shows.

01:44:54   Then there's B, there's just like group chats, like seven, eight, nine people.

01:45:00   This is what I've done more of.

01:45:02   Maybe you know them, maybe you don't and there's a topic or something and there's like eight

01:45:06   people and you have a talk and you're just chatting.

01:45:11   I find that personally, it's like I'm on the introvert scale enough where I find it exhausting

01:45:19   and in a way, but I understand that there are other personality types who crave social

01:45:25   interaction and they find it energizing and they love it.

01:45:30   And 2020 is a great year to launch something like that.

01:45:34   100%.

01:45:35   Because people who crave social interaction have no way to fulfill that.

01:45:42   It's great, but that's definitely not for me.

01:45:45   Do you like talking to new people when you go to a party or do you like talking to your

01:45:49   friends?

01:45:50   I like talking to my friends.

01:45:54   Because I find it exhausting.

01:45:55   I mean, that's sort of the definition of an introvert.

01:46:00   But then in the middle, the ones that I find the most interesting are the ones that are

01:46:05   sort of like a panel discussion at a conference.

01:46:11   And it's different than a podcast because the audience members can participate.

01:46:18   Yes.

01:46:19   Right?

01:46:20   So you get John Gruber and Christina Warren to talk Apple Car on Clubhouse and we could

01:46:29   have a couple hundred people show up and we can pick one at a time through the app to

01:46:34   invite people to ask us questions about what you and I think about Apple Car.

01:46:39   And then for that time, it's me and you and our invited guests from the audience are now

01:46:44   the speakers.

01:46:46   Everybody else is listening and they can ask us questions that maybe you and I didn't think

01:46:50   about and we can answer them.

01:46:53   And then after we talk about it, pick somebody else who has their hand up.

01:46:56   There's like a hand raise feature.

01:46:58   Now that to me is, ooh, that's new.

01:47:02   Yeah.

01:47:03   No, I agree.

01:47:04   I actually, I totally agree with your three categories.

01:47:08   And my experience, especially early on, was mostly with that third category.

01:47:12   And I agree with you.

01:47:13   I think that's the power because I think that the first two, the first one especially, I

01:47:16   don't really see a whole lot there.

01:47:20   I think at that point, your audio twitch, right?

01:47:23   Right.

01:47:24   Like, I don't know if the platform really lends itself to anything.

01:47:26   I think the second one is interesting and it can be fun.

01:47:29   And I'm somebody who is an extrovert and doesn't mind talking to new people, but it can still

01:47:33   be one of those things where it's going to be kind of dependent on what people you can

01:47:39   gather together.

01:47:41   I don't remember party lines, but I think that that was like a thing.

01:47:45   That's kind of what that seems like, right?

01:47:47   I remember they existed, but it was also, again, I don't even think I considered myself

01:47:51   an introvert at the time.

01:47:53   I think when I was younger, I attributed introvert to shy.

01:47:57   And I'm not shy, obviously.

01:47:58   Right.

01:47:59   I do a podcast, but I do find it exhausting to talk to new people.

01:48:03   I just...

01:48:04   Well, it can be.

01:48:05   Totally.

01:48:06   Whereas I think the third thing, and this is what I think is powerful, is A, as you

01:48:10   said, the fact that you can bring in other people, but also you add this element.

01:48:14   Because I do think the ephemerality is key to this.

01:48:16   I think the fact that you can't listen again, you have to be tuned in live, you have to

01:48:20   be participating, does add something to the experience.

01:48:24   And not only can you bring in listeners, but say we were talking about Apple Car and like

01:48:28   this would never happen.

01:48:29   But like, let's just say, and then some listener came in and it turns out like it was Bob Mansfield.

01:48:35   And Bob Mansfield is a listener and now we can bring him in and he can talk and he can

01:48:39   tell us all the ways that we're wrong.

01:48:42   And that specific example won't happen.

01:48:45   But there have been examples and there have been rooms I've been in, especially like when

01:48:48   it was first kind of starting, you know, like in April or so when I was on it a lot more,

01:48:54   ironically, you know, when there were fewer people on it, where you would see those sorts

01:48:58   of situations happen.

01:48:59   And I've seen that happen time and time again, where you have people who are brought in who

01:49:06   might have a different perspective.

01:49:07   Or again, this is where I get into like the celebrity angle where you have somebody who

01:49:10   like has something to add to it that's really interesting context, who you might even be

01:49:15   talking about or might even be talking around and they can share actual insights and give

01:49:20   actual information in a way that you wouldn't be able to get through a show, right?

01:49:27   Because that's scripted and that's planned and that has like a performative and kind

01:49:31   of PR field to do it.

01:49:32   And that you're not going to get with just a random chat of strangers, but instead you're

01:49:37   having a conversation around a certain topic with a certain set of people and you all of

01:49:43   a sudden have somebody in your audience who's really interesting that you would really love

01:49:46   to hear from and you can pull them up.

01:49:48   And I can't think of any other place where we would have that way to have kind of that

01:49:52   that two way dialogue where you could bring somebody in.

01:49:54   And I do feel like that has a ton of potential.

01:49:57   Yeah.

01:49:58   And it seems like if it, like I said, like let's just say it's me and you, we're doing

01:50:01   a panel discussion on Apple car conjecture and people can just jump in and we see who

01:50:09   has their hand up.

01:50:10   And if you recognize, holy shit, it's Bob Mansfield or, you know, or, or, you know,

01:50:15   somebody else who you just know has car experience, you know, you know, it's the, the CEO of Volkswagen,

01:50:20   you know?

01:50:21   Yep.

01:50:22   Well, you know, of course you're, you know, you're going to jump that person to the front

01:50:26   to see, you know, what's their question and get their, their feedback.

01:50:31   And yeah, that happens.

01:50:32   And my thinking about this is I, and I've, you know, I've sort of gotten away from speaking

01:50:37   at conferences again, COVID aside.

01:50:42   Just because I find it to be a huge time sink and I just have sort of reevaluated whether

01:50:47   it's, you know, I'm not going to say I'm never going to do it again.

01:50:50   I probably will.

01:50:51   And if anything, post COVID, it's like, oh my God, let me do everything I haven't done

01:50:55   in the last couple of years.

01:50:57   Like but I've, you know, back when I used to go to South by Southwest, I did panel discussions

01:51:03   and I always felt like it was a bit of a cheat, you know, cause it's so much like you don't

01:51:08   do any preparation.

01:51:09   You just, you know, pick a topic.

01:51:10   You show up and you try to entertain people.

01:51:14   And hopefully I always thought I'm better at it maybe than some people because I don't

01:51:19   phone it in.

01:51:20   I'm every moment I've ever been on a panel in front of an audience, no matter how small,

01:51:25   like maybe it was 30 people.

01:51:26   Cause it was the first time I was at South by Southwest, but I was desperately aware.

01:51:31   Like I, you know, you've paid a lot of money to come to this conference and you're giving

01:51:36   me an hour of your time and there's all these other panels you could have been to.

01:51:40   Let me try to be as interesting and aware of your time as possible, but still it's nowhere

01:51:45   near the value that I think I've delivered when I give a prepared talk that I've sweated

01:51:53   over for weeks and prepare slides or, and rehearsed.

01:51:57   And you know, a talk is such an easier way to do, to get a speaker badge than to prepare

01:52:05   a talk.

01:52:06   A panel, I mean, is easier than doing a talk, just orders of several orders of magnitude

01:52:12   in my personal opinion.

01:52:15   And it's not great.

01:52:17   It's like the best panels you've ever heard are not that great.

01:52:23   And when there is a question and answer period, it usually is awkward, often gets hijacked

01:52:30   by somebody who just wants to ramble for five minutes.

01:52:34   And whereas with Clubhouse, this panel idea is suited to it, right?

01:52:42   Like the idea of a panel discussion is way better suited to Clubhouse than a conference

01:52:49   because it is just audio.

01:52:51   There's no reason to be in the room together.

01:52:53   You know, you're not really getting that much out of it.

01:52:56   And when you do do the Q&A type thing and just pull someone out of the audience, they

01:53:00   become a full peer to the speaker.

01:53:03   They're not out there in the audience on the weirdo mic that got passed around like Phil

01:53:07   Donahue.

01:53:08   They get put up in the top of the little window in the iPhone and now they're on stage.

01:53:16   It's much more suited to it.

01:53:19   It's more convenient and it's like native to the format.

01:53:22   That's the thing that's most interesting to me and the thing I could see doing is some

01:53:26   sort of panel type discussion thing with daring fireball readers and listeners of the show

01:53:33   or something like that.

01:53:34   I'm not saying I'm going to do it, but I could see doing it.

01:53:36   No, and I think that was something I would love to participate in as a listener and potentially

01:53:42   as a participant because you would have that potential option in the back of your mind.

01:53:46   You're like, "Hey, I might even be able to have a chance to contribute."

01:53:49   But even as a listener, that unexpected thing if you don't know who all is going to be

01:53:53   there is really interesting.

01:53:55   And you mentioned South by Southwest and it makes me think, my favorite parts of South

01:53:58   by and I went for I think like 10 years in a row or something and I've been on more

01:54:05   panels than I could think about.

01:54:07   Like you, I always try to give my own, but there was kind of a more off the cuff type

01:54:12   of aspect of it.

01:54:14   But my favorite part of South by was not the panels.

01:54:16   It was the side conversations you would have at the parties or that you would have in between

01:54:19   panels or that you would have on the streets.

01:54:22   And it would be those times when, you know, you're, this is the same goes for like Macworld

01:54:27   or something like that back in the day or WWDC.

01:54:29   It's those hallway conversations where you have this collection of people, XOXO is actually

01:54:34   a perfect example.

01:54:35   Like you have this collection of people where you might not ever be in that same group together,

01:54:41   but you have enough common connections where it doesn't just feel like it's strangers.

01:54:45   And you can have these really interesting discussions that you wouldn't expect to have

01:54:49   and maybe you couldn't have naturally in any other way.

01:54:53   You know, I remember I was at a conference once and I don't remember which one it was.

01:54:56   And I remember that Twitter had been hacked and like celebrities had hacked.

01:55:01   I remember like Britney Spears' account had been hacked and something else was going

01:55:03   on.

01:55:04   And I was talking to the guy who was at the time like the head of security at Twitter

01:55:09   and he was having a real rough day and we were kind of commiserating.

01:55:12   And then like somebody came up, I remember who it is, but I'm not going to out him

01:55:19   because it was hilarious, but I'm not going to do that.

01:55:21   And not knowing who this guy was just starts, "Can you believe that clusterfuck with Twitter

01:55:25   and their security and all this and that?"

01:55:28   And just starts going on and on.

01:55:29   I was like, "Hey, this is John, you know, who runs Twitter security."

01:55:34   And the guy was super embarrassed.

01:55:35   It was a funny conversation, but it was one of those things where this news had just broken

01:55:40   and I was having this conversation and a very human conversation.

01:55:43   It was a good interaction with this guy who was having a pretty bad professional day.

01:55:48   And it was not his fault, but it was, you know, stuff was happening or whatever.

01:55:52   And I'll just never forget that because it was like, that's one of those happenstance

01:55:56   things that's kind of a magical experience, right?

01:56:00   And this feels to me like the closest thing that we could do with technology that can

01:56:05   capture those sorts of, you know, situations where you could have a gathering of people

01:56:11   who might not ever normally be in the same space, but could contribute something to the

01:56:17   conversation or could, you know, maybe make a gaffe and not realize it, you know, amongst

01:56:21   themselves or whatever.

01:56:22   And you can get something more out of it than just blathering.

01:56:27   I don't know.

01:56:28   I have maybe, I don't know.

01:56:31   What do you think of what's, I like the aesthetic of Clubhouse.

01:56:34   I like the look of the app.

01:56:36   I think they're, you know, they've got like a nice little unique thing going.

01:56:39   What's the deal with the icon?

01:56:42   They update it with, I think it's a user, somebody from the community, every release.

01:56:48   I think that's what that is.

01:56:49   And did they tell you who it is?

01:56:51   I mean, that's, it used to be in the release notes.

01:56:53   I don't know if it still is.

01:56:55   It's such a weird, to me, it's so weird, but yet I dig it because it's so distinctive,

01:57:01   right?

01:57:02   It's like when you're like flipping through apps, it's like, you can't miss Clubhouse.

01:57:04   It's this black and white picture of some dude with a hat.

01:57:09   Yeah.

01:57:10   I'm trying to think what else, what do you, what do you think they're going to do monetization

01:57:15   wise?

01:57:16   That's the interesting question, if anything.

01:57:18   I mean, they might not even have to, right?

01:57:20   I mean, the easiest thing to think about would be sponsored rooms.

01:57:24   That's exactly, I was just talking to my pal Dave Whiskus about that.

01:57:27   To me, that's the obvious route.

01:57:30   And maybe that's because that's what, I built my whole career on the sponsored model, which

01:57:36   I really do see as distinct from advertising.

01:57:40   I agree.

01:57:41   I agree.

01:57:42   No, cause you could have a sponsored room sponsored by so-and-so that doesn't have to

01:57:46   dictate that isn't an advertisement for that.

01:57:48   No, I think sponsored rooms.

01:57:49   I also feel like that could be an opportunity where if you did want to have a more formal

01:57:52   panel setting or more formal conversation, and maybe if it's sponsored, like it's pinned

01:57:57   to the top of a section so it has better visibility.

01:58:00   Like I think that's what they could do.

01:58:02   Either sponsor a room, sponsor a section, have something pinned so that it's easier

01:58:06   to find because the thing that they're already kind of struggling with as it gets bigger

01:58:09   and bigger is like discovery.

01:58:11   And that's okay.

01:58:13   But if, to me, that would be value.

01:58:14   If you've got all these millions of users, your brand, like I would think that would

01:58:18   be what you would want to try to like get across.

01:58:20   What you always want and where the sponsored model works now is does the sponsored model

01:58:26   get you to the valuation that this as a Silicon Valley Marc Andreessen backed startup gets

01:58:33   you to?

01:58:34   That's the problem with that.

01:58:35   That's the whole story of the last 15 years of the internet, right?

01:58:40   Like the sponsored model turned Daring Fireball into a really nice business for me.

01:58:47   But it is not a billion dollar business.

01:58:50   No, right.

01:58:51   And it never will be.

01:58:52   And it never will be.

01:58:53   Well, it doesn't scale that way.

01:58:54   I don't know.

01:58:55   I mean, you could.

01:58:56   I mean, you look at Spotify and you look at, you know, arguably they've kind of done that

01:59:02   a little bit.

01:59:03   I mean, I think you could, because I just don't think the regular advertising works

01:59:06   in an audio setting.

01:59:07   No, I don't see how it could.

01:59:08   I don't think there's any way that it could work.

01:59:10   I mean, you could use subscriptions, but that seems weird to, I don't know.

01:59:15   I mean, look, I feel like the valuation is completely absurd, but I also feel like the

01:59:19   valuation is disconnected from reality.

01:59:22   You know, it's its lead investors who are prominent users of the apps who, you know,

01:59:26   the other VCs are fighting with.

01:59:27   Like, I kind of feel like the valuation is what the valuation is, but I don't put a whole

01:59:31   lot of stock in that if it makes any sense.

01:59:33   Because to me, the bigger question, and this is also why I think that Twitter could be

01:59:37   really well poised for this, is that if this is something that Twitter could do really

01:59:43   well, then this is a feature of Twitter that keeps people engaged with Twitter, but doesn't

01:59:47   have to be a direct moneymaker for Twitter because they have their additional ad business

01:59:51   and their additional revenue ways to make money.

01:59:54   Right.

01:59:55   The way my brain works is always, "Hey, that would be a nice business."

01:59:59   And it would be, you know, money for the creator and money for the company and happy users,

02:00:06   and it's a virtuous circle.

02:00:08   And that's the way my brain works.

02:00:09   And my brain doesn't work with, "That's a $500 billion company."

02:00:14   Right?

02:00:15   Like, I don't come up with ideas like that.

02:00:16   But my thinking with the sponsorship thing is, "Hey, let's get a couple of nerds and

02:00:22   they'll talk about the new iPhone."

02:00:25   And it could be sponsored by a company that makes iPhone cases.

02:00:30   And this room is sponsored by like Spigen or whoever, OtterBox or whoever, and they

02:00:37   may sell iPhone cases and there it is.

02:00:40   And there'd be a thing that you could tap to learn more about their cases.

02:00:44   But otherwise, and whatever they pay, you know, it could go like 80/20 or 90/10 or probably

02:00:51   not 70/30.

02:00:52   70/30, I think we all agree is sort of exorbitant.

02:00:55   But, you know, 80/10 or 80/20 or 90/10 to the creator, and then there's 10 for Clubhouse,

02:01:02   and they make money and the creators make money and you can attract star talent to host

02:01:10   these rooms and bring people in, and that's nice.

02:01:13   I do think there's probably a market to, again, is it a multi-billion dollar idea?

02:01:18   I don't think so, but I think it could be profitable.

02:01:20   I think pro accounts always could be profitable.

02:01:23   I always think back to Flickr, where when Flickr was a big deal, people paid for Flickr

02:01:31   Pro so that they could get the pro badge on their avatar because you looked a little bit

02:01:36   like a simp without it.

02:01:38   Totally.

02:01:39   Totally.

02:01:40   Maybe unlimited, more uploads or whatever.

02:01:45   And no, there were good things with that.

02:01:48   Yeah, I think that sponsors could work.

02:01:49   I think that paying creators could work.

02:01:51   I have a feeling they would probably do the standard creator rate, which is usually like

02:01:54   50/50 or something for YouTube, but who knows?

02:01:59   I think the thing that they would need to be careful with on that is that if you...

02:02:03   Yeah, but Substax 90/10, you know, it's all over the place.

02:02:07   I get you.

02:02:08   I'm just thinking more like YouTube terms, right?

02:02:11   Like I'm thinking in those senses.

02:02:13   And I think the fear with any of these things is like you want to get your high profile

02:02:17   people and you want them to do shows, but you also...

02:02:21   Those people are increasingly looking for what's the next big platform they can leverage

02:02:26   and want to own their own brand and their own thing.

02:02:29   So you see people...

02:02:32   The big TikTokers all really want to be big YouTubers is really what it comes down to.

02:02:37   My question would be like, could Clubhouse make enough of a monetization play off of

02:02:43   its creators, but prevent its creators from going to YouTube or Twitch or whatever?

02:02:51   Maybe they could, right?

02:02:52   Like Snapchat is paying creators now and there are some creators who are apparently making

02:02:56   a lot of money and that seems to be working well for Snapchat.

02:03:00   And Snapchat is a multi-billion dollar company.

02:03:05   And their model has largely been kind of in the sponsored thing, although they have some

02:03:10   intermittent ads.

02:03:11   I don't know how big of a part of their revenue that is.

02:03:16   I feel like they...

02:03:17   I think the sponsored rooms you could probably do well.

02:03:19   The only problem with that is that's obviously going to...

02:03:22   For the biggest brands in the biggest rooms and the biggest things, it's going to emphasize

02:03:26   like the most popular and the most populist types of conversations, which kind of, again,

02:03:33   like, I don't know, it sort of shuts down some of the magic, which are some of those

02:03:37   more serendipitous things.

02:03:38   But maybe that doesn't matter.

02:03:39   Maybe that's what you need.

02:03:40   Maybe those are your big tentpole movies that you need to pay for the rest of the slate

02:03:45   and you can keep the rest of the business running.

02:03:47   Is it a multi-billion dollar business?

02:03:48   I don't know.

02:03:49   I think it's a good idea and I think that's why we see everybody else wanting to jump

02:03:54   on board to try to copy it.

02:03:55   The last interesting thing that they do, and I wanted to get your thoughts on this.

02:03:59   I'm so glad I just thought of it.

02:04:01   I should have better notes because I almost forgot.

02:04:03   But they do a thing where if you go to somebody's profile, you can see who it is who invited

02:04:09   that person to Clubhouse.

02:04:11   Right?

02:04:12   Yes.

02:04:13   That's what they call it sponsored by.

02:04:15   I guess maybe they need to change the language at some point.

02:04:19   But if I got in by being...

02:04:21   I got invited from Dave Whiskus.

02:04:23   So I think if you go to my profile, you'll see that...

02:04:26   It'll show you.

02:04:27   Invited by Dave.

02:04:28   Yeah.

02:04:29   Which I've thought of about for years as a way to grow a social network and not have

02:04:38   the problems that we've seen with trolls.

02:04:43   Yeah.

02:04:44   You know, they want it to be a big tent.

02:04:47   They want it to be inviting.

02:04:48   I think clearly they'd like to explode and become a major cultural force.

02:04:52   Totally.

02:04:53   But if you...

02:04:54   It gives accountability.

02:04:55   Yeah.

02:04:56   I'm thinking they never leave the invite only thing.

02:04:59   I think that they're...

02:05:00   That would be smart, actually.

02:05:02   Right.

02:05:03   They stay invite only forever and they just increase the number of invitations to the

02:05:08   existing users.

02:05:09   Yeah.

02:05:10   No, actually, I like that idea.

02:05:12   And what would be interesting about that, I mean, it reminds me...

02:05:14   So I'm an old and I joined Facebook when it was college only.

02:05:17   And it was that same thing.

02:05:18   Like you had to be invited by another college kid.

02:05:21   And this was like 2005.

02:05:23   And I don't remember who it was, but somebody was invited by their school and even how it

02:05:28   spread school to school.

02:05:29   Yeah.

02:05:30   Like that's how it happened.

02:05:31   And there were a number of us who were non-hyperbolically sane.

02:05:37   And I don't think we're wrong.

02:05:39   Obviously, the business grew and got way bigger and that changed.

02:05:42   But Facebook fundamentally changed when it became available to everyone.

02:05:45   Right.

02:05:46   And when you didn't have to have that gatekeeping thing.

02:05:50   And it's not so much...

02:05:51   And it got to the point, like at first it was only select colleges.

02:05:53   But then it basically was anything.

02:05:54   Like as long as you had an EDU address or you could get someone to invite you, then

02:05:57   you could get in.

02:05:58   But I do wonder, like if they just increased the number of invites, but you have to find

02:06:02   somebody.

02:06:03   Like obviously there will be people who will be selling invites and that's already happening

02:06:06   and will invite anybody.

02:06:08   But the fact that you need someone's phone number beyond just their email to invite them

02:06:13   is one thing.

02:06:15   The other thing I think, yeah, showing who's invited people on the platform is one thing.

02:06:20   That's a certain way in some respects to hold accountability.

02:06:23   If you see that a whole bunch of spam accounts or a whole bunch of agitators have joined

02:06:29   by one person, you can kick that person out.

02:06:30   Right.

02:06:31   You could see the tree.

02:06:32   You could see the tree of...

02:06:33   100%.

02:06:34   You know.

02:06:35   So, maybe I shouldn't... screw it.

02:06:38   So, okay, in the torrentine community, like music torrent sites, which do slugs at private

02:06:44   torrent trackers, that is how it works.

02:06:46   Is that if you get an invite from someone, it will show who invited you.

02:06:49   And if you then have somebody who abuses the system, usually what happens is that the person

02:06:55   who invited the abuser gets kicked out.

02:06:57   And that is a problem because you want to be able to get those unreleased copies of

02:07:05   whatever album you want because...

02:07:07   I don't think you're in trouble for this, Christina.

02:07:09   I mean, I don't care.

02:07:10   Not that you...

02:07:13   Not that I would personally ever download anything illegally off the internet.

02:07:16   Right.

02:07:17   But yeah, you know, but I feel like there is something to be said for that model.

02:07:22   And maybe it does say "invite only forever" and that adds to the appeal.

02:07:27   That does limit your growth, which if you're wanting to be the next Instagram, maybe is

02:07:31   a problem, but maybe that is also how you keep up the cache.

02:07:33   Because there's a certain thing now where everybody wants in, which does remind me of

02:07:38   Instagram, although Instagram was never invite only.

02:07:40   But it does remind me of like, you know, those other kind of invite only services.

02:07:44   And I think there's power to that.

02:07:46   By the way, about three minutes ago was the first time, I believe, in my life that I knowingly

02:07:56   used the word "invite" as a noun.

02:08:00   I've been on team invitation stubbornly for a while, but Merriam-Webster, a friend of

02:08:05   mine, Paul Kefasis, pointed out on Slack this week that when I objected to the invite as

02:08:09   a noun once again, Merriam-Webster has added a note to their dictionary.

02:08:15   Is "invite" really a noun?

02:08:16   Yes.

02:08:17   This is from Merriam-Webster.

02:08:18   "Some people feel strongly that the role of invite should be restricted to that of a verb,

02:08:22   but the English language changes and grows according to its own peculiar whims and not

02:08:26   those of people who write angry letters to dictionaries.

02:08:30   The process whereby a word changes as part of speech is called functional shift, and

02:08:36   there are tens of thousands of words which have done this.

02:08:38   Some of them just bother people more than others.

02:08:40   And invite, along with gift and friend, which have changed in the opposite direction, is

02:08:45   one that attracts considerable opprobrium."

02:08:50   So I have to admit, I love Merriam-Webster.

02:08:52   It's probably my favorite dictionary.

02:08:55   So I'm trying to buy into "invite" as a noun.

02:08:58   Okay.

02:08:59   I can be team invite for a noun as long as—and I disagree with Merriam-Webster here—irregardless,

02:09:04   I don't care.

02:09:05   It's not a word, and I refuse.

02:09:06   Like that, I will die.

02:09:08   Because it's bigger.

02:09:09   That's the problem, right?

02:09:11   The advantage to invite is it's shorter than an invitation.

02:09:15   It is.

02:09:16   And it also, I do think you can make the argument it's become a noun because it is this feature.

02:09:19   It is this thing, right?

02:09:21   Like it has this secondary meaning, whereas "irregardless" is just people who are too

02:09:24   stupid to say "regardless."

02:09:26   Yeah.

02:09:27   Yeah.

02:09:28   And it's not like "ain't" where "ain't" is—like I'm pro-ain't because "ain't" has connotations.

02:09:36   If it ain't broke, don't fix it works in a way that if it isn't broke, don't fix it,

02:09:41   makes you sound like an asshole.

02:09:42   Right?

02:09:43   Right.

02:09:44   That's like you're the dean at the college and the Animal House movie.

02:09:49   Totally.

02:09:50   You know, you got to use "ain't" there.

02:09:53   Irregardless, yeah, I'm with you.

02:09:55   Never use it.

02:09:56   Anyway, let me thank our third and final sponsor, Squarespace.

02:09:58   Oh, man, do you need a new website?

02:10:01   Go to Squarespace.

02:10:03   All in one at Squarespace.

02:10:06   Everything from domain name registration to templates to pick from to components you can

02:10:11   add, take away from your site, like adding a blog, adding a portfolio, adding a store

02:10:16   that includes all of the e-commerce stuff.

02:10:19   Everything looks professional.

02:10:20   Everything works regardless of your skill level.

02:10:23   Everything is intuitive.

02:10:24   They have great tech support.

02:10:27   Squarespace also is the place to send people to when you, the technical sort of person

02:10:33   who knows how to build a website on your own, has friends who come to you for help and they're

02:10:38   like, "Hey, I need a new website."

02:10:40   Send them to Squarespace.

02:10:41   Get them started on their own.

02:10:43   They'll thank you because they can do it on their own.

02:10:45   And you'll thank me for having, reminding you to send them there because then they'll

02:10:49   be out of your hair.

02:10:51   It is a great service.

02:10:52   It is where I would send anybody and everybody who asked me for help building their own website.

02:10:57   You can start a free trial today.

02:10:59   You get 30 days.

02:11:00   Go to squarespace.com/talkshow and using that URL and the code "talkshow" when you order,

02:11:06   you get 10% off your first order, including up to an entire year.

02:11:10   That's squarespace.com/talkshow.

02:11:11   Third and final bonus round, fire round.

02:11:18   What do you call it?

02:11:19   What do you call the quick round?

02:11:22   The bonus round?

02:11:23   Yeah.

02:11:24   I don't know.

02:11:25   Apple TV.

02:11:26   The lightning round.

02:11:27   Lightning round.

02:11:28   Lightning round.

02:11:29   Lightning round Apple TV.

02:11:30   Yeah.

02:11:31   You said Apple TV.

02:11:32   Sorry, go on.

02:11:33   Apple TV is where you use Siri and it works.

02:11:34   I completely agree.

02:11:36   I love Siri with Apple TV.

02:11:40   My favorite feature on Apple TV is hold the microphone and say, "What did they just say?"

02:11:47   It goes back 10 seconds, turns subtitles on, replays the 10 seconds with subtitles, and

02:11:53   then just at the right moment turns the subtitles off again, which is an order of magnitude

02:12:01   less friction than manually rewinding, pulling down, manually turning the subtitles on, getting

02:12:10   to the point where you read the subtitles of the thing you couldn't hear, and then manually

02:12:14   turning subtitles off again.

02:12:16   Yeah, no, I couldn't agree more.

02:12:20   That is magic.

02:12:21   I also think even the way that the human language search stuff does, like, "Show me this episode

02:12:28   with whatever," or "Take me to this show," works fantastic in a way that it doesn't work

02:12:33   well on any other Apple platform.

02:12:35   No, because I think it's the domain specificity where Siri on Apple TV knows what you're talking

02:12:41   about.

02:12:42   You're talking about shows and movies.

02:12:46   It's really good.

02:12:47   But the discussion, Jason Snell wrote a piece this week, "Why does Apple TV, the hardware

02:12:51   box still exist?"

02:12:52   Still exist.

02:12:53   I think it's a great question.

02:12:54   I wrote a piece about it.

02:12:57   This is one of the answers people have come up with is, you know, you can talk to Siri

02:13:01   and it works great.

02:13:05   But bottom line, and you say this, and I love Apple TV.

02:13:09   This is where I watch most of my TV, but I protest because I care, because there has

02:13:18   to be more of a reason or Apple is going to lose interest in the same way.

02:13:23   I don't want to see Apple TV go the way airport went.

02:13:26   Right.

02:13:27   No, I agree with that.

02:13:29   I made a comment after Jason wrote his kind of initial thing, but before your article

02:13:32   came out and I got so much pushback from it, even though I was pretty clear where I was

02:13:36   telling people, I was like, look, I love my Apple TV.

02:13:39   I have two of them.

02:13:40   I use it every day.

02:13:41   I'm not telling people who already have an Apple TV not to use one.

02:13:45   But at this state in February 17th, 2021, I cannot in good conscience recommend that

02:13:51   any human being spend $180 on an Apple TV.

02:13:55   I just can't.

02:13:56   Like, there's no way for me to rationally recommend a newcomer today to buy one.

02:14:03   And that makes me really sad, but there's no way.

02:14:04   I cannot come up with any argument where it is worth $180.

02:14:08   It's not.

02:14:09   It's, it's, unless they renamed it Apple TV edition.

02:14:12   Right.

02:14:13   Right.

02:14:14   Exactly.

02:14:15   That's exactly it.

02:14:16   And didn't change at all.

02:14:17   Didn't change.

02:14:18   You don't have to gold.

02:14:19   Didn't change anything.

02:14:20   You just call it the edition and that would be it.

02:14:21   Because the thing is, is that does it have a better user experience than most of the

02:14:24   other boxes?

02:14:25   Yes.

02:14:26   Does it have the niceties like the Siri thing?

02:14:27   Yes.

02:14:28   Does it have arguably a better privacy thing?

02:14:32   Kind of.

02:14:33   The one area I'll push back is that look, Apple might not be spying on every move you

02:14:39   make, but like every single one of those apps you use is absolutely getting usage information.

02:14:43   So do not be under the assumption that you were not being tracked because of course you

02:14:48   are.

02:14:50   But do those things add up?

02:14:53   Because I even said this to someone, people are like, oh, it's so much better for this

02:14:55   than that.

02:14:56   I was like, is it $150 better?

02:14:58   Because a 4K Fire TV stick, which might not have the Dolby stuff, but a lot of people's

02:15:04   TVs don't have Dolby either.

02:15:06   So it still does HDR.

02:15:07   It just doesn't do the Dolby out-my-out-my stuff, has an Apple TV app on it so you can

02:15:11   watch your purchases and you can watch the original programming.

02:15:15   30 bucks.

02:15:17   It's got access to all the services.

02:15:20   I can't come up with an argument that says this is $150 better.

02:15:25   I just can't.

02:15:26   Well, and the other thing too is it does seem, if it goes away, right?

02:15:32   If Apple TV just slowly fades away and they never come out with a new version of the box

02:15:36   and two years from now they just stop selling it, we'll all look back at it and say, yeah,

02:15:41   I guess of course they were drifting away from it.

02:15:43   That's why they added the Apple TV app to the TV sets and to all these other boxes.

02:15:49   Of course, yeah.

02:15:50   And they'll all look back and say, yeah, of course that's what they were doing.

02:15:52   Because that's what it kind of looks like.

02:15:53   It kind of looks like Apple is cannibalizing their own TV box sales by saying, we'll just

02:16:00   be a pure software service.

02:16:02   We'll just be a pure software.

02:16:03   Yeah.

02:16:04   At first I thought that it was just a growth play for TV+.

02:16:07   I was like, okay, they know that they can't have mass adoption if this isn't on Roku,

02:16:12   if it isn't on Fire TV, if it isn't on TVs.

02:16:15   Because if you really want to compete with the Disney+'s and the Netflix's of the world,

02:16:19   or which they can't, but let's say you want to compete with the Peacocks, you know, and

02:16:23   HBO Max's of the world, then you need to be on all of these devices.

02:16:27   So at first that was my thought.

02:16:28   Because they did a similar thing with Apple Music, right?

02:16:30   Like Apple Music is available on Android.

02:16:33   But when they added AirPlay to the LG TVs, and when they started adding that to more

02:16:38   devices, that's when you go, okay.

02:16:41   Because AirPlay had always been their specific standard.

02:16:44   You have to buy an Apple product to get AirPlay.

02:16:47   And it's one of those magical things.

02:16:49   And Miracast and the other, you know, DLNA or MLNA, whatever things have never worked

02:16:56   the same way.

02:16:57   So when they started doing that, that was when, plus the fact that, you know, it's now

02:17:01   three and a half years old hardware-wise, makes me go, hmm, yeah, like what are you

02:17:07   doing here?

02:17:09   Because your price is completely, like it's not even in the same realm of like reality.

02:17:15   Like you could cut it in half and it would still be overpriced.

02:17:19   But you would have to literally, like if you lower the price to $100, it would still be

02:17:23   more expensive than the competition.

02:17:25   But you could maybe start to make kind of a high-end argument, but it would be hard.

02:17:30   But that would be cutting $100 off the price.

02:17:32   Like it's insanely priced right now.

02:17:35   And I love the Apple TV.

02:17:36   I would never tell anyone to buy one right now, ever.

02:17:41   Because, you know, you can get a TV with Apple TV built into it for not much more than an

02:17:46   Apple TV.

02:17:48   The only thing, and this is what I mentioned, was that, you know, the only sign in the last

02:17:54   year or two, or at least since their initiative to put their TV app on other companies' TVs

02:18:00   and set-top boxes that makes you think they have any commitment to their own platform

02:18:06   is Apple Arcade.

02:18:07   Yeah.

02:18:08   Which is, well, but it's a mixed bag.

02:18:11   So on the one hand, every single Apple Arcade game is, it's a mandatory part of being an

02:18:18   Apple Arcade game, is you need to be on all of the platforms.

02:18:21   You have to have an Apple TV app, which is a big commitment because there's an awful

02:18:26   lot of games that the hardest platform to support is Apple TV because it's a weak GPU.

02:18:33   It pushes 4K, right?

02:18:37   Like you can't, I believe, and I believe that if you have a performance-sensitive game,

02:18:45   you can't push 180 out of Apple.

02:18:48   If you're playing on an Apple 4K to a 4K TV, you need to push 4K, but you have to also

02:18:54   get 30 frames per second at all times.

02:18:57   And it's hard for some games.

02:18:58   No, that is hard.

02:18:59   I mean, look, the next-gen consoles, the PS5, the Xbox Series X, they don't do that.

02:19:05   Like, they're optimized.

02:19:06   Like, they will go down to 1080p or 1440p.

02:19:09   Like they don't do 4K at all times because it makes no sense to do that.

02:19:14   And the games, if they're phone or iPad first, they're designed for touch.

02:19:18   You're not playing with touch.

02:19:19   You're playing with the thing.

02:19:21   And you've got the worst controller of all time.

02:19:24   The worst.

02:19:25   And again, let's just skip because we're in the bonus round.

02:19:28   We're in the lightning round.

02:19:29   Let's not even talk about the Apple TV remote as a remote for watching TV, like video.

02:19:34   As a game controller...

02:19:35   As a gaming controller, it is bad.

02:19:39   It's like one of those jokes, like the joke, like the guy dies and goes to hell.

02:19:43   And the first thing he sees is there's just a complete replica, blade of grass, tree for

02:19:49   tree of Augusta National Golf Course.

02:19:51   And he says to the devil, "My God, I love golf.

02:19:54   This is unbelievable."

02:19:55   And he says, "Here you go."

02:19:56   And there's a brand new set of Ping golf clubs.

02:19:58   And he goes, "This is fantastic.

02:20:00   I thought this was hell."

02:20:01   And he goes, "Oh, yeah.

02:20:02   There's no golf balls."

02:20:03   And that's like the Apple TV remote.

02:20:07   It is like, "Oh, yeah.

02:20:08   Here's this thing that can play games."

02:20:10   And you have Apple Arcade, so you get all the games, quote unquote, for free.

02:20:14   And here's your controller.

02:20:15   Here you go.

02:20:16   Here's your controller.

02:20:17   Here's your controller that makes using one Joy-Con on the Nintendo Switch seem like using

02:20:22   one, seem like a revelation.

02:20:24   It's like trying to play basketball with a wadded up newspaper as the ball.

02:20:30   It's very strange.

02:20:31   They do, but they've made all of these participants in Apple Arcade make the arcade games, which

02:20:37   makes me think there's maybe a commitment or I don't know.

02:20:41   I'm going to be honest.

02:20:42   I don't know because, A, I don't know if Apple Arcade is that successful.

02:20:49   I'm not working on that assumption.

02:20:50   I feel like people maybe are part of it because they feel like they want to be in the good

02:20:54   graces of Apple, but I get it as part of Apple One because I pay for the $35 or whatever

02:21:02   the most expensive plan is, so I get it.

02:21:05   I don't use it and I play games.

02:21:09   So I don't know.

02:21:10   Maybe it is something there, but I wouldn't use that as a sign that shows that they're

02:21:16   that deeply committed to it because this is Apple.

02:21:21   I don't think they have any problem throwing their Apple TV developers under the bus and

02:21:25   being like, "Yep, we're getting rid of this and thanks for optimizing your game to work

02:21:29   with our shitty controller."

02:21:31   I don't think that that would bother them at all.

02:21:34   They're not good at breaking up with their products.

02:21:37   They just sort of ghost them, right?

02:21:39   Yeah, but that's so true.

02:21:42   That's sort of what they did with Airport, right?

02:21:44   It's totally what they did with Airport.

02:21:45   Yeah, they totally just ghosted it until one day they were like, "Yeah, we're not going

02:21:48   to do this anymore."

02:21:51   And so I feel like there's three options.

02:21:55   Either, one, they're ghosting it and there's never going to be another Apple TV box.

02:21:59   At some point they'll just say, "Oh yeah, we're not doing that anymore.

02:22:01   Don't you have a TV that has Apple TV?"

02:22:03   Yeah, they'll just stop selling it like they did with the iPods.

02:22:05   They'll just quietly remove it from sale.

02:22:07   B, they do have some sort of plan and it has to be this year, right?

02:22:13   I don't know.

02:22:14   I'm not saying it's next month, but it has to be a 2021 thing because the 4K one is so

02:22:18   outdated and so expensive and they come out with a new thing and it's powerful and maybe

02:22:25   it has a game controller or something or some sort of story and there's something about

02:22:30   it that is different than just Apple 4K with an A14 instead of an A12.

02:22:34   Maybe it's $120 instead of $180.

02:22:37   I don't know.

02:22:38   I don't know.

02:22:39   I don't know.

02:22:40   Something.

02:22:41   Or C, they come out with a new one that is just the same thing but a new chip, which

02:22:48   to me is the least likely because it just makes no sense.

02:22:52   And it also is expensive.

02:22:54   They just come out with another $180 box that seems exorbitantly expensive and doesn't do

02:22:59   anything else and this is just it and for some reason, Apple thinks this is compelling.

02:23:05   It's a very strange product.

02:23:07   It is.

02:23:08   And what's frustrating to me, and then we move on or lightning round, is that with the

02:23:11   third generation, before the fourth gen came out, they'd finally gotten that to be fairly

02:23:15   inexpensive and you did have mass adoption because that was before, that was back when

02:23:20   the Chromecast was pretty bad and when you didn't have the sticks and you didn't have

02:23:26   the sub $50 very good, very competitive streamers and also you didn't have everything built

02:23:31   in to every TV.

02:23:33   So they were doing really well with the third gen TV and then they doubled the price essentially

02:23:37   when the fourth gen came out.

02:23:39   But they didn't continue to keep up and the trends, even if I think it's a superior experience

02:23:47   and I do, I've used all the other ones and I can't, because people ask me for advice,

02:23:51   what thing to buy.

02:23:53   I can't in good conscience tell somebody to spend $200 on an Apple TV.

02:23:57   I just can't.

02:23:58   There's no way.

02:23:59   It'd be like telling somebody to buy a HomePod.

02:24:01   HomePod mini, sure.

02:24:02   A HomePod, hell no.

02:24:03   Are you kidding me?

02:24:05   Absolutely not.

02:24:06   Under no circumstances would I recommend that to someone.

02:24:09   And I feel like anybody who's willingly buying one needs to buy one with the understanding

02:24:13   that you are overpaying by a massive margin and you are doing it for whatever reasons

02:24:17   you have.

02:24:18   Yeah.

02:24:19   I guess the other thing they could do, option D would be to not change the hardware at all,

02:24:23   but just cut the price in half.

02:24:25   If they did that, that would help them.

02:24:27   99 bucks.

02:24:28   99 bucks would make it, it still wouldn't be competitive, but it would be so much better.

02:24:32   Right.

02:24:33   But then it's within the realm of the Apple tax.

02:24:34   Exactly.

02:24:35   Right.

02:24:36   Exactly.

02:24:37   So you could buy a Roku premium from your whatever, like there's still a better product

02:24:40   spec wise, but you could make that argument.

02:24:43   Right now, the thing that makes it untenable for me is similar to when the HomePod first

02:24:48   came out where it's like it costs so much money compared to everything else that's out

02:24:53   there that it's just, you know, what I hope they do is they do what they did with HomePod

02:24:57   mini.

02:24:58   I would really like to see them do a redesigned option that is more modern and that is lower

02:25:02   priced.

02:25:03   Maybe drop some of the features if you need to, although I don't think you should because

02:25:06   at this point the chip and the tech is so old.

02:25:08   Right.

02:25:09   But like, if it were me, you know, yeah, like I would, I would, you know, maybe require

02:25:15   you to get a secondary controller to play a game.

02:25:18   Right?

02:25:19   Like that could be a way to make money.

02:25:20   Like you have to buy a controller.

02:25:21   The remote doesn't work as a game controller anymore.

02:25:23   I don't know.

02:25:24   Like, but, but cut it down, make it less expensive and do what they did with HomePod mini is

02:25:30   the only way I could see it being salvageable in my opinion.

02:25:33   Otherwise it's, it's just kind of this product they sell that is a mystery to me.

02:25:40   It remains a product in our lineup.

02:25:42   Yeah.

02:25:43   Thank you.

02:25:44   Yes.

02:25:45   Yes.

02:25:46   Oh my God.

02:25:47   Yes.

02:25:48   Exactly.

02:25:49   All right.

02:25:50   Lightning round over show over Christina Warren.

02:25:51   Thank you for being here.

02:25:52   People can follow you on Twitter, your film underscore girl, but they could just search

02:25:57   for Christina Warren on Twitter.

02:26:00   You want to give your, your clubhouse name?

02:26:02   Yeah, I'm, I'm Christina on clubhouse I think.

02:26:05   Yeah, you are.

02:26:06   You are just Christina.

02:26:07   Yes.

02:26:08   Uh, this is a sign that I've been an early adopter or something if I just get my first

02:26:11   name on it.

02:26:12   Um, so that's, that's awesome.

02:26:15   And um, I do a podcast called a rocket that I'm late for right now.

02:26:19   I'm so sorry.

02:26:20   You were completely fine.

02:26:21   Let's tell everybody to listen.

02:26:23   Let's make it even.

02:26:24   Yes.

02:26:25   It's a good podcast.

02:26:26   It's a great podcast.

02:26:27   So if you want to listen to me be slightly late for a, for, for rocket, it's a relay

02:26:31   FM, uh, dot com slash rocket.

02:26:34   Um, I do it for you on a blue and some underbrush for, it's a great time.

02:26:38   And uh, do you have another podcast over tired with Brett?

02:26:41   Yes, I do.

02:26:42   Thank you.

02:26:43   Do over tired with Brett tripstra.

02:26:44   Yeah.

02:26:45   Rockets.

02:26:46   The one we really want to, we really want to promote because I'm the one who made you

02:26:48   late.

02:26:49   So my best Brianna and Simone, tell them I said hi.

02:26:53   (laughing)