The Talk Show

312: ‘Not to Get Zealotrous’, With Craig Mod


00:00:00   Craig Maud, welcome to the talk show for the first time, right? Please tell me I'm not forgetting.

00:00:07   Definitely the first time. First time.

00:00:11   Three hundred and some episodes in, I start to worry.

00:00:15   It's crazy, man. I can't believe you've done 311 of these things.

00:00:19   Especially at my pace.

00:00:21   Well, you know, 30 years of podcasting, you'll get there.

00:00:28   But I've been meaning—you and I have been pals for a long time.

00:00:31   I suspect that more than usual on my show, there might be a fair number of listeners who are not

00:00:40   familiar with you, or maybe only tangentially so. I mean, I certainly linked you on Daring

00:00:46   Fireball semi-frequently, but you're not part of the regular Mac punditry crowd.

00:00:52   So tell everybody about yourself a little.

00:00:57   I never know. I always just tell people I'm a writer. That's like to simplify.

00:01:01   I like that. I like that answer, too. I actually don't know where you were

00:01:05   raised. Somewhere in America, right?

00:01:09   Yeah, over near Hartford, Connecticut.

00:01:12   But you've lived in Japan now for 20 years?

00:01:17   20, yeah, we're on year 21 right now.

00:01:20   So you went there for university, stayed.

00:01:25   And you now run Special Projects, which is—we have

00:01:31   such a good name, but also such a terrible name. Right?

00:01:37   I love it. I am so happy with that name. It's one of my favorite name things ever. I'm so glad,

00:01:48   because it was called something else before. It was called the Explorers Club, and I never liked

00:01:53   that name. I don't know what it was about that name that never resonated for me. It was driving

00:01:58   me crazy. Every time I had to write it, I wanted to stop doing it. I was like, "Right, Explorers

00:02:05   Club." And it just didn't work. There was something about it that was off. And so I switched

00:02:11   to the Special Projects last summer, and a bunch of Explorers Club people freaked out. They went

00:02:16   nuts about it. "Oh, that was my favorite part of every—" And I love it. I have zero regrets.

00:02:24   But yeah, it's generic. I don't even know, but if you search the web for just plain Special Projects,

00:02:31   does it come up? I've never even tried.

00:02:35   See? But isn't that interesting that you've built a little business for yourself where that doesn't

00:02:39   matter? Right? It doesn't matter. I mean, that is not why I picked the name Daring Fireball,

00:02:43   but it is, in fact, a very—it's good. There's only one Daring Fireball.

00:02:47   It works.

00:02:47   Special Projects is your membership site. But you know what? This is hard to explain.

00:02:54   Members—

00:02:59   It is complicated, weirdly.

00:03:01   Members can sign up. You offer—this is where it's a little confusing. You offer multiple newsletters.

00:03:09   So compare and contrast with, say, Stratechery or our other mutual friend Dan Fromer's

00:03:16   New Consumer, where you pay—there's one membership tier, and you get the main

00:03:23   newsletter. Now, you have three newsletters. You have a website. You make books. And making books

00:03:33   is probably the best verb I can say. I'm not trying to diminish you as a writer, but you also

00:03:38   photograph them. You design them. You oversee the production of them. Now you're making short movies.

00:03:48   Why not?

00:03:50   But the basic dynamics of the arrangement are people can pay $10 a month or $100 a year

00:04:01   to become members. That is the revenue that supports your career. And you get to spend your time

00:04:11   writing, photographing, making videos, doing these things that you're driven to do.

00:04:18   Is that a fair description?

00:04:21   Tim Cynova Yeah, yeah. I'd say that's pretty good.

00:04:23   If I was going to summarize it, maybe make it a little simpler, I produce a bunch of—I

00:04:31   stuff like cultural output. One of the reasons why it's so difficult to frame my membership program

00:04:38   in terms of what the clear value proposition is, is that I'm not selling, for example,

00:04:45   background information on business. I'm not writing about finance. I'm not doing

00:04:50   self-help stuff. I'm not going to give you tips to be a better person or whatever, necessarily.

00:04:57   But I'm just producing all of this content. Most of it is for free under this umbrella of

00:05:03   culture, cultural production, or for lack of a better phrase. And so the membership program

00:05:10   is basically like NPR for me. So if you're a fan of the stuff that I've been making, which is

00:05:16   95% of it is available for free, and you want to just support the production of that, that's what

00:05:23   the membership program is. And then I've just added lots of small value adds for members,

00:05:30   because what I found is that a membership program is one of the amazing bonuses of it. It's not just

00:05:36   the revenue, but you develop this essentially gang of super fans that are amazing to bounce ideas

00:05:46   off of. So I started doing, because of the pandemic, a bunch of members-only live streams

00:05:52   of me just doing super boring work, just like the most boring work you can imagine. So I did 10

00:06:00   hours of live streaming, building this website last March. And there'd be like 20, 30, 50 people

00:06:08   on the live stream at any moment, all just members. So always really intimate. But what it allowed me

00:06:14   to do that I didn't expect to happen was this running articulation of what it means to do this

00:06:23   kind of work. So to just pull back, open the doors to, "Hey, this is actually, you see the end

00:06:30   product, which is either this finished website or this finished book, but this is the 10, 20, 30

00:06:36   hours of what I'm actually doing to produce this thing." When you're doing the live stream, you can

00:06:42   live narrate it a little bit, take questions, people are like, "Oh, why are you doing that now?

00:06:46   What's that tool you're using? What's that app you're using?" And you just share things. I've

00:06:51   just found that to be really, really enriching and wonderful. And this weird bonus of the membership

00:06:58   program that when I started it, I never thought would be part of it. These are things that I

00:07:04   wouldn't want to do out into the, just to the general, to a general audience, because there is

00:07:11   something so intimate about showing how you produce, say, design a book or how you're building

00:07:19   this website. I'm in a sublime text. I'm writing, I'm editing live, essentially, on these live

00:07:25   streams. And to do that in front of, say, if I opened it up to everyone who's following me,

00:07:29   and it would say it'd be a thousand people or whatever, that's a very different performative

00:07:33   experience than in front of 30 super fans that are going to support you and are going to,

00:07:39   I don't know, just be positive in general. There's no posturing. So that, it's just been incredible

00:07:46   to have this tool, basically a creative tool, to motivate me to be better and be more self-aware

00:07:54   of why I use the software I use and why I make the decisions around the creative projects that I do.

00:08:01   And that's been fantastic. That's been a really, really wonderful benefit.

00:08:05   You're now starting year three. Yeah, we're in year three of the membership, right?

00:08:11   Effectively, I think you started in February 2019. But, you know, February is early enough in a year

00:08:18   where we could, you could just say it 2019 was the first year. 2020 was the second year, and now 2021.

00:08:25   Yeah. And you've written copiously about your experiences. And to me, Dan Frommer has done the

00:08:32   same thing and talking at a sort of meta level about, you know, what's worked, what hasn't worked

00:08:38   and building this. And it's like your timing was serendipitous, right? Because you're way at your,

00:08:48   like, two years ahead of the substack phenomenon. But, you know what I mean? So you can, you're not

00:08:55   like a Johnny-come-lately to the "I'm going to run my independent publishing creative output work as

00:09:02   a membership system." Basically, memberships are having a moment right now. They are. Well, yeah,

00:09:08   because I think a little bit of what we've done is we've normalized over the last decade, really,

00:09:15   in the last five years, we've normalized this idea of like, paying for stuff is a good thing to do.

00:09:21   You know, it's like if you have things, institutions that you love,

00:09:25   institutions that you want to see continue in the world, then it turns out that paying for them is

00:09:30   positive. That's a positive signal and makes things sustainable. And so I think that's kind of

00:09:37   tipped over into the independent creative world as well. And the tools have just gotten better.

00:09:43   But you've built a lot of your system yourself, or at least you're taking some pre-built pieces,

00:09:50   like a campaign monitor you use for sending out the actual newsletters, and snapping that into

00:09:55   a system with, you know, what do you use, Stripe for payments or no, Memberful, right? But Memberful

00:10:00   is sort of a thing that's built on Stripe. I don't think it's complicated, but you've explained it

00:10:09   in great detail. But it is interesting, though, to me, like all of these things didn't really exist

00:10:16   15 years ago, right? There was no Stripe of 15 years ago. I mean, there was, you know,

00:10:21   PayPal was probably the Stripe of 15, 20 years ago, and you just couldn't use PayPal quite as

00:10:27   snapped together seamlessly the way that you can use Stripe today.

00:10:32   Right. Well, I mean, I think Stripe's masterstroke, and obviously Patrick and

00:10:36   John knew this when they built it, is the API. You know, it's just, it was never this

00:10:43   consumer-facing thing. As a consumer, you never went to Stripe.com. You still, for the most part,

00:10:48   I don't think go to Stripe.com. And I think that, you know, in a lot of ways, this was the Twitter

00:10:54   ecosystem in the beginning as well, where it was like, "Oh, hey, look, yeah, there's a Twitter

00:10:58   client, but here's this API, and you can build amazing software on top of this incredible stream

00:11:03   of, you know, sort of consciousness that's coming out of, you know, everyone on the timeline."

00:11:11   And look at the vibrant ecosystem that can be built from that. Now, Twitter obviously

00:11:15   pulled back from that mode of thinking, but I think Stripe is such a wonderful example of

00:11:21   building a perfect bit of infrastructure and, you know, creating the right endpoints that anyone can

00:11:29   plug into however they want to. And you do see things like Shopify. So Shopify doesn't use Stripe.

00:11:36   You know, they've built Shopify payments. I think in the case of a company as large as Shopify,

00:11:41   which is fascinating, actually, Shopify is like one of my most, absolutely most fascinating

00:11:46   companies, I think, out there today. The fact that they're basically the only real Amazon competitor

00:11:52   at this point, I think, is incredible. And the software is amazing. I don't know if you've used

00:11:56   Shopify or if you've built anything on Shopify, but it's pretty great. I mean, it's not perfect,

00:12:02   but it is, you know, if you compare AWS and Shopify, it's like one is very user-friendly.

00:12:10   But for the most part, you know, like Memberful uses Stripe. Patreon probably uses Stripe as the

00:12:16   back end. A lot of these, you know, Ghost uses Stripe as the back end. And what's interesting

00:12:19   about Stripe, if it's used as the membership back end for payments, is that it's portable.

00:12:25   You can essentially move all those Stripe tokens to whatever next platform you want to use.

00:12:31   So you're not, if essentially you're not locked in, I'm not locked into Memberful,

00:12:36   I can move to a different platform if I wanted to, which is really powerful.

00:12:39   Yeah, and that's certainly one of the more compelling things about Substack's message,

00:12:44   too, is that, you know, they let the creators, the authors who were writing on Substack know that if

00:12:50   you ever want to leave, you can, you get to take your mailing list with you. Yeah, I wonder how

00:12:55   long that's going to last, though. I don't know either, because the valuations are so, you know,

00:13:01   the numbers they're talking about are so crazy. And it's like, I think it's a good business in

00:13:05   terms of like a traditional business. And, you know, like the type of thing you and I run,

00:13:12   where it's like, if your monthly income is higher than your monthly expenses, then that's pretty

00:13:19   good, you know, as opposed to, you know, raising a bunch of venture capital and just having this

00:13:26   fountain of money and just throwing it at it until all of a sudden it goes away, you know.

00:13:31   I think it's going to be interesting. It's going to be interesting to watch what

00:13:36   Substack does. I mean, $65 million is a lot of dollars, you know, and I think—

00:13:44   It's a lot of $10 monthly newsletters.

00:13:47   It's so many. But so—

00:13:50   For a platform that allows the creators to move whenever they want. And the bigger you get,

00:13:56   the more motivated, you know, they take—I think their split is like 90/10, and I don't know if

00:14:00   that includes the Stripe payment. So it might be more like, you know, 87/13 if you include Stripe.

00:14:11   You know, once you get into that thousand true beliefs—what's Kevin Kelly's term?

00:14:18   The thousand true fans.

00:14:19   Thousand true fans, yep.

00:14:20   You know, but that is the basic model, and that has been the dream. You know,

00:14:24   Kevin Kelly was the founding editor of Wired magazine, you know, long-standing career. But

00:14:31   he had this theory that, you know, the internet allows an artist to make a good living with a

00:14:38   thousand true fans who are maybe paying $10 a month or $100 a year or maybe just buy their album

00:14:47   when it comes out. I don't know, I guess people don't really buy albums anymore. But, you know,

00:14:51   you get the feeling that a thousand fans can support an artist very well and in a way that

00:14:57   never was possible pre-internet. There was just no way. You couldn't do what you do. I couldn't do

00:15:03   what I do, right? I mean, what would the pre-internet equivalent of what you're doing be?

00:15:08   It would probably be running like an indie press, you know, and really cobbling together. It's

00:15:17   interesting though, because in other countries, I think Americans have this impoverished view of

00:15:22   what's possible as an independent artist, because there's just so few subsidies for artists in

00:15:28   America relative to other countries. If you talk to a Canadian poet, and you're like, "Oh, it must

00:15:35   be so tough being a poet." And they're like, "What are you talking about, man? We've got all these

00:15:39   poet funds and grants and stuff up here in Canada." If you put together your first chat

00:15:46   book or whatever, you get $50,000. There's just wild amounts of opportunity for artists in,

00:15:53   I feel like in countries like Canada and in Europe, all over Europe, just the network of

00:16:01   artist residencies and stuff. And I think that's always been the case. I don't think this is a

00:16:06   relatively new thing. And so, yeah, I think probably the equivalent 20 or 30 years ago

00:16:12   would be being a Canadian in Vancouver running a small independent publishing company and being

00:16:20   really excited selling like 300 or 400 books a year. But it would be hard to get word out,

00:16:28   right? And it's like, I'm so American, and my view is so warped by having grown up in the decades I

00:16:38   did. Not to get zealotrous about it, but it's clear to me now in middle age and having a better sense

00:16:48   of the decades of my adult life, that America took a profoundly capitalist turn in the '70s and '80s

00:17:05   and has shaped things like that. I don't think it's weird that Canada has government-sponsored

00:17:14   fellowships and things like that for poetry. And there are ways to get similar things from

00:17:23   universities here in the United States, but it does sound weird to American ears that the

00:17:28   government might just provide stipends to artists to have not just a subsidence level, but to

00:17:36   actually have a nice life. And that it's just accepted across society that this is actually

00:17:45   good for the country to be producing this. I just saw a quote from JFK talking about the arts.

00:17:52   It was the thing that made me realize, it's just one of those things, knowing that you were going

00:18:01   to be on the show, I just started catching certain Craig Motti-type things. But it's what gave me this

00:18:11   thought about the turn that Reaganism had away from that Kennedy idea. The Kennedy Center for

00:18:19   the Arts is still a big thing, but it was this quote from when he was president talking about

00:18:23   how he looks forward to a day in America where we do just as much to support artists,

00:18:30   society-wise, as we do scientists and teachers and stuff like that, and that it's good for the

00:18:36   fabric of society to do that. And that just isn't a message we heard in the '80s or the '90s. And it's

00:18:45   not even a partisan thing, it's just—because we had Reagan and then we had Clinton, so it's not

00:18:50   like, oh, just the Republicans or Democrats. But it just wasn't the direction that things went.

00:18:59   Yeah, well, which is weird, because America does have an amazing network of

00:19:03   artist residencies. Just they're all privately funded, a lot of them. Arguably one of the best,

00:19:10   one of the oldest and best writing residencies in the world is up in New Hampshire called McDowell.

00:19:17   And I went there nine years ago, and it was life-changing. It really was. It was truly this

00:19:23   life-changing experience of that. I think what's difficult about people being convinced that art

00:19:32   is important in the world is I think folks have this false image of the artist as this,

00:19:40   you know, hippie smoking Mary Jane and just like faffing around, right? That's sort of this like

00:19:46   ridiculous image that I think a lot of people carry around of artists. But if you actually

00:19:50   engage with serious, committed artists, it's like, you know, I've done projects at CERN,

00:19:58   and I've been to residencies like this thing at McDowell. And I would put both of those activities,

00:20:05   so the physics research at CERN and the artistic rigor and work and commitment at an institution

00:20:11   like McDowell as operating at a very similar level. It's very interesting. It's one of those

00:20:16   things that doesn't make any sense to you until you go and you live in there. I've spent three

00:20:20   weeks at CERN, I've spent a month at McDowell, and you go and you live with these people,

00:20:25   and you kind of participate in their universe. You just kind of breathe it in and you realize that

00:20:30   rigor of curiosity and investigation is—there's a parity there between scientific exploration and

00:20:41   artistic exploration, like absolutely undeniably. And it's really exciting, but it's also hard to

00:20:47   convince people that sometimes, you know, it's like, it's like, oh, you just threw some paint

00:20:51   on a canvas and, you know, and then rubbed your naked body over it or something like that. What

00:20:57   are you doing? But often there's a tremendous amount of incredible, incredible, again, rigor of

00:21:06   exploration happening behind so much art. You know, and in literature, it's maybe a little

00:21:11   easier to see, like folks like James Baldwin, you know, and how his work and his essays are

00:21:15   resonating. You know, they've had this resurgence in the last decade because of what's been

00:21:19   happening in the world. And, you know, that's so powerful, you know, and that work was empowered

00:21:25   by a lot of grants and residency work, and a lot of it happened in Europe. So I think it's really

00:21:32   a shame that the arts sort of get thrown under the bus so quickly when it comes to budgets and

00:21:39   whatnot. Yeah, it is one of these things where I think if you did the math on it, that the returns

00:21:46   of money invested in the arts in terms of, I don't know, GDP and some—if you could really trace it

00:21:52   all, you'd see a seriously positive return, like a good multiple on those investments, you know.

00:21:59   And yet it's one of these difficult, conceptually difficult things for people to grasp, and

00:22:05   certainly people in government, it seems. They're like, "We don't need the painting program. We

00:22:09   don't need the music program." Yeah, if you can't prove it in a spreadsheet, it has no value.

00:22:19   It is the mindset. Which is such a problem these days, because the world is getting to this level

00:22:26   of complexity where these one-to-one direct relationships between action and output are

00:22:32   becoming so abstract that you need to develop this rigor of investigation that I think a lot of

00:22:45   people don't have, where it's like, "Oh, why is this happening in the world right now?" And

00:22:49   instead of just—this is why conspiracy theories are so seductive, is because they reduce the

00:22:54   complexity of the fact that the world is this crazy spiderweb of things, and if you pluck a string

00:23:03   over here, it's going to resonate in weird ways on the other side of the world. And to follow those

00:23:09   threads out requires commitment, and it requires an intellectual curiosity that is often lost

00:23:15   on YouTube or in a Twitter stream or something like that. So anyway, it's a weird moment, but

00:23:24   to bring it back to these membership programs that we have, it is incredibly empowering right now to,

00:23:28   I think, if you are a self-motivated creative person, all the tools are there. All the tools

00:23:34   are there, and the people, the fans, the folks who want to support your work, they know how to do it.

00:23:41   We've figured it out, and that's exciting. What do you think was the start of this, really, this

00:23:48   current push? Would you say Kickstarter a decade ago was really the thing that kind of activated

00:23:55   this world? Yeah, I think so. Maybe. It's hard to say. Kickstarter was certainly super influential,

00:24:03   because it certainly—and I've always thought—and again, there's all sorts of Kickstarters that I've

00:24:11   supported over the years, and some of them are just purely digital to buy somebody's ebook or

00:24:16   something like that. But for the most part, most of the Kickstarters I've had an interest in were

00:24:20   to produce physical items. One of my favorites is the Studio Neat Guys, who make all sorts of

00:24:27   great products. I think maybe their first was the Glyph. It was like the first

00:24:32   tripod mount for the iPhone. But just to make things, right? And to get—but to actually make

00:24:42   a physical item, you need capital, right? The advantage to doing something purely digital,

00:24:49   like my website, Daring Fireball, is I could bootstrap it with almost no money at all.

00:24:55   I mean, it was ridiculous. When I got started the first, I think at least, two years of Daring

00:25:02   Fireball, I was on a $12 a month shared hosting account. And it was great. It was probably more

00:25:10   than I needed. I probably could have downgraded to the $8 one. That's phenomenal. And for me,

00:25:18   personally, it was always—I sympathize with you when you launched your project and you said you

00:25:26   dreaded it and you didn't want to ask. I mean, because I did memberships back in the day.

00:25:30   Yeah, I was going to ask you about that because I remember I was a—I'm pretty sure I was a member

00:25:35   because I wanted that full RSS feed. That was the perk, right? I've told this story numerous times,

00:25:41   but I'll try to tell it again. But the basic idea was—2004 was when I started selling t-shirts and

00:25:52   memberships and 2006 is when I quit my job at Joy & went full-time thinking I needed to go full-time

00:26:01   to have the—you know, the chicken and the egg problem was that you need to go full-time first

00:26:08   to produce the work and then the audience will grow. And if I kept waiting forever with Daring

00:26:15   Fireball as a side project, I wasn't going to get there. What am I waiting for? And the fear of

00:26:21   failure was mortifying, absolutely enough to completely seize me up. But on the other hand,

00:26:31   I don't know who told me. But somebody effectively said, "What is the worst that could

00:26:37   possibly happen?" It's probably my wife. But if it doesn't work out financially, you lose nothing,

00:26:44   right? And if anything, if I just spend a year and a bunch of savings doing even more writing

00:26:53   than ever before and become better known, if I did need to get a job somewhere else,

00:26:59   I'd be better known than I was before, right? But anyway, my membership system, my idea was—so

00:27:07   anybody who bought a t-shirt got a membership and if you didn't want a t-shirt, you could just pay

00:27:13   $19 a year and become a member. And the exclusive perk, because I did have the idea even back then,

00:27:22   there had to be something, right? There's got to be—even if you think and most of the people say,

00:27:28   "I just love Daring Fireball. I would love to just support you." I just want to give you the thing.

00:27:32   What pushes them over the edge—you always mentioned the NPR tote bags. Nobody really

00:27:37   gives a shit about the tote bags or the umbrellas. But it pushes people over the edge. They're like,

00:27:44   "Well, I might as well get it now. I'll get the tote bag. I've been meaning to give money to

00:27:47   NPR. The umbrella looks nice. I'll get the umbrella. I don't really need a tote bag."

00:27:53   Full content RSS feeds were—this sounds very old, although I guess it still is an issue.

00:28:06   It seems like most of the RSS feeds I read now, though, are all from independent blogs,

00:28:11   right? Just people. And so, of course, they have the full content because they're not trying to

00:28:16   hoard it behind some kind of publications gateway. But it was a huge thing because everybody in the

00:28:25   original golden era of RSS, the bigger publications—I'll throw Ars Technica under the

00:28:32   bus. Ars Technica just had excerpts in their articles. And so, you'd get the headline,

00:28:38   you'd know who wrote it, you'd get the summary. And then if you wanted to read the full article,

00:28:43   you had to double-click or whatever the action was in your feed reader of choice to go to the

00:28:49   Ars Technica website because the website is where they had the ads, and the ads are how they made

00:28:56   the money. So, it wasn't like they were ripping anybody off. It was clear why they were doing it.

00:29:01   The ads were only generating money on their website, so they felt like they couldn't

00:29:07   give away the articles in the RSS. So, I guess I forget if I only had excerpts. I forget what

00:29:15   I had before. But I wanted to—I knew people wanted to read full articles from Daring Fireball

00:29:21   in the RSS reader, and I wanted to make people happy. But I was already trying—the nascent days

00:29:27   of my sponsorship system were there, too. And that's so I had my ads on the website.

00:29:32   And so, I thought, "Well, I'll do this thing, and you pay $19, and then you'll get your own

00:29:37   little private URL, and you can read the full content." And it did pretty well. I mean,

00:29:41   it absolutely—the membership thing absolutely helped me in that first year when I went full

00:29:47   time in 2006. I wouldn't have made it without it. My analogy was—it still is—is like,

00:29:57   early 2006, I went full time, made the big announcement, asked people for their support.

00:30:02   And we had, I forget how many, tens of thousands of dollars in savings that we had sort of,

00:30:08   you know, "Okay, this is what we can live off while we try to get this thing into black."

00:30:12   And it was like an airplane slowly approaching the ground, but then starting to pull up,

00:30:18   you know, like by summer, it was like the monthly revenue was getting closer. It's like,

00:30:22   but it's gonna come—this is gonna come really close to eating through all the savings

00:30:29   until the point later in the year. But by the end of the year, it was break-even month to month,

00:30:35   which was pretty amazing. And was there any fear of,

00:30:39   I guess, like, reputational hits that you could take by doing this?

00:30:47   I guess so, because, you know, I mean, my big fear would be that if it hadn't worked, and I had to

00:30:52   take a full time job somewhere, you know, that either A, the job would, by some aspect of it,

00:31:02   require me to stop writing during Fireball, right? Like, if I become a full time staff

00:31:08   writer at Macworld or something like that, or in theory, there's some role of the dice over the last

00:31:16   20 years where I wind up working at Apple, right? I mean, it could have happened at some point, and

00:31:24   the earlier years were probably more likely. But obviously, you know, I don't know if you've ever

00:31:30   noticed this, but most people who work at Apple don't write a personal blog, where they espouse

00:31:36   strong opinions about Apple and its products and competitors, and etc. Would I have had to shudder

00:31:44   during Fireball? I doubt it. But I mean, you know, some kind of announcement like, "Hey, I've taken

00:31:48   a job at Apple, and we're moving to Cupertino, and you know, blah, blah, blah," would have

00:31:54   disappointed me greatly, to say the least. Well, and you go ahead, right? I mean, that's kind of

00:31:59   what's the biggest thing that's at stake in a lot of these cases. Well, and the other thing to me

00:32:03   is that I've never been successful working for somebody else. I forget the longest I've ever had

00:32:11   a job. But it's not much more than two years, and that's at anything. And it's because

00:32:18   I'm a friendly fellow, and I think I get, you know, it's not like I'm irascible,

00:32:25   and I'm not listening. It's just though, eventually, this is what I need to be doing,

00:32:31   and I'm going to spend my time on, you know, time I should be spending on work, I would be spending

00:32:36   writing stuff for during Fireball, because I just feel compelled to do it. And so what I

00:32:40   desperately needed to do is figure out a way to make that work financially. Right. Well,

00:32:45   that was always my, I'm right there with you. You know, my whole thing was always, when I run out of

00:32:50   independent stuff that I absolutely need to do, then I'll go think about getting a job.

00:32:56   That was, that was, and it's not like I had a trust fund. I, you know, I came from this little

00:33:05   airplane engine factory town where I'm one of like 10 people who made it out of that town

00:33:10   from a high school class. And it was more just, you know, living in Japan is such a huge life

00:33:18   hack. I think that people have this misconstrued sense of the cost of living in Japan. Actually,

00:33:24   living in Tokyo in my 20s was the only way I was able to do all the work I did and make as little

00:33:32   money as I did. I was, you know, in my, for most of my 20s, I was making about $20,000 a year,

00:33:37   max, like cobbling that together through certain projects and whatever. And my whole thing was like,

00:33:43   as soon as I ran out of, I need to make this, I need to make this, I need to make this,

00:33:49   then I'll go find a job somewhere else. But that impulse to work on these other projects was so

00:33:58   overwhelming and all consuming that there's that Steve Jobs quote of like, you know,

00:34:02   do you wake up in the morning and like, is, you know, are you doing the thing you want to do

00:34:07   that day? You know, every day you ask, is this what I want to be doing? Is this what I want?

00:34:10   And I just, every day I woke up and I had a thing that I must do. And that was, you know, I tried to

00:34:18   basically protect the time around that by minimizing my cost of living. You know,

00:34:24   for most of my 20s, my yearly, this is going to sound insane, but my yearly, like base cost

00:34:29   of living was about $10,000. That was living in Tokyo. Right.

00:34:34   That's crazy. I didn't know that the economics worked like that in Tokyo.

00:34:37   If I had $10,000 coming in for the year, I would not, I could have a roof over my head and I could

00:34:44   be eating decently well. And I could be, you know, working on all the projects that I wanted to work

00:34:49   on because like, you know, like you said, a lot of web stuff, there's no, there's no cost to it.

00:34:54   You know, the servers were, were relatively cheap. I did have a Rackspace server at one point,

00:34:59   which was my biggest cost by far in my life. Absolutely. And like 50 bucks a month.

00:35:07   Yeah, it was. Yeah, it was. But it was, you know, that was, I needed that to do certain,

00:35:12   certain programming things and have tasks processing data in the background and blah,

00:35:17   blah, blah. And you know, that was, that was, that was my big expense. But you know,

00:35:23   for the most part, you could do this online work in this kind of miraculous way where

00:35:28   if you had a computer and a fast internet connection and in Japan, we, I've had fiber

00:35:33   in Japan for the last 18 years. You know, and it's like 30 bucks a month. It's like,

00:35:39   it's pretty, that was always just there. You know, you can kind of build as an, as an individual

00:35:45   creator. I'd say the last 20 years have probably been one of the most miraculous, incredible

00:35:50   moments in history in terms of what one person can do and the, and the amount of exposure they

00:35:56   can get for their work. It's just, it's, it's astounding to think back on it.

00:36:00   Well, I, I've, I was thinking about that rereading your essays on, on the system you've built for

00:36:07   running special projects and how it is, it's, it's a longer list of components than, okay,

00:36:16   get a shared hosting account and install movable type or WordPress or remember gray matter, you

00:36:22   know, find a blogging package, unzip it, type something into a config file, and then you just

00:36:31   start banging away on CSS and HTML templates and that's it. There's more components, but it's also

00:36:39   very clearly something, you know, you, I, you and I are similar in a way that we're technically

00:36:47   adept enough that we can do a lot of this on our own. You know, like I'm, I'm much more of a writer

00:36:53   than anything else, but I have a computer science degree and that was, that was a huge, huge boon.

00:36:58   And, you know, and there's a reason why a lot of the people whose site, you know, like Kotki,

00:37:04   who's still going strong, but also, you know, was a web developer. Heather Armstrong at deuce.com

00:37:12   was a web developer and could build her own website. You know, being able to build your

00:37:17   own website was not necessarily required, but you either needed to do it yourself or have somebody

00:37:25   who could do it for you. You couldn't just snap the pieces together.

00:37:28   Brian Smith Right. Well, the way I'm doing it is definitely not

00:37:32   the recommended way. You know, it's like my way I would, you know, I think I say that most of my,

00:37:38   my writeups, I'm like, look, I'm going to show you how I do it and do not do this. Like, this is the

00:37:44   anti-pattern unless, I mean, I also have a computer science degree and, you know, unless you really,

00:37:51   really like this stuff. And for me, you know, like I like I wrote about in Wired the other day,

00:37:55   you know, there is something really healing and palliative about this kind of work for me,

00:38:01   that has a deep connection to my childhood. And, you know, it's like kind of this safe space

00:38:05   server work. And so like, I am not turned off by it. But you could basically, I think, fire up like

00:38:11   a ghost instance, you know, shared, you know, like a hosted ghost instance, and you basically have

00:38:16   everything you need. It does the memberships, it does the newsletters, it does the blog, you have

00:38:20   control over the design if you want, but you don't have to mess with it. And you have complete

00:38:25   ownership of the whole stack, and requires a relatively little technical sort of input.

00:38:33   And so I think, you know, that's, that's, that's pretty great. But yeah, definitely the my,

00:38:40   my tech stack is not, not recommended. You know, it's like,

00:38:44   You protest too much. We're from, we're from this era, you know, I feel like this is a great

00:38:51   example of just carrying forward your baggage, you know, throughout your entire life. Like we

00:38:56   carry all this psychic baggage with us and all this, you know, the physical baggage of like,

00:39:01   injuries and stuff. And like, one of the things that definitely I think I'm carrying forward is

00:39:05   like this need, this technical obsession baggage where I'm like, oh, if it's not, if it doesn't

00:39:10   have 400 moving parts that I have to compile something in the in the terminal that it's not

00:39:14   really doing the work. There is something I find meditative about all that crap. So

00:39:18   that's how I justify it. All right, let me take a break here and thank our first sponsor. It's our

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00:40:35   for you. flatfile.io. So you mentioned the piece you just wrote, I think a couple days ago in Wired.

00:40:45   It just came out yesterday. Yeah. Well, I started it three years ago, but it came out yesterday.

00:40:50   This is so amazing that it came out right before you were on the show because this is how I think

00:40:54   about it too. And I've been writing less code than I did when I was younger. And it's like,

00:41:04   I don't want to say my skills have been atrophying, but my priorities to bubble up

00:41:11   something on my weird Moonman to-do system, to bubble it up to, okay, here's the thing I'm

00:41:20   actually going to spend this afternoon on, to be a programming project as opposed to writing

00:41:27   something or reading something. It's gotten lower. And I've made an effort in recent months to do a

00:41:37   little more of that. There's nothing, I don't really have a lot that's visible. And if there's

00:41:41   anything I need to do going forward the rest of this year differently, it's to actually write

00:41:47   about more of them. Daring Fireball used to have a lot more posts. Every once in a while,

00:41:52   I get stuck reading old posts on Daring Fireball. And I'm like, "Hey, this was pretty good back then."

00:41:56   But just explaining how I made a little thing that does a thing. And I've started making more

00:42:04   little things, but I haven't taken the time to actually write them up. But the mental aspect of

00:42:11   it that you mentioned is so true for me. I find it to be therapeutic. And depending on my mood,

00:42:20   almost necessary. And it's interesting, I can't, I should be able to, right? Because this is what

00:42:29   I do. I talk about this stuff and I write about this stuff. And I consider myself both a writer

00:42:34   and a programmer. So I should be able to express myself more clearly about how I see the difference

00:42:40   between writing a new iPhone review, a multi-thousand word iPhone review, and writing

00:42:49   some kind of computer program to run on my server or something like that. There are similar parts

00:42:56   to it, but there's something fundamentally more satisfying about programming. It's like, I feel

00:43:05   more compelled to do prose writing, but it's the programming that is, "Hey, this is neat." And

00:43:12   there's a thing you mentioned in it that once you get a piece of code running, it doesn't just feel

00:43:16   like you made something. It feels like you've made something that has a bit of life to it.

00:43:21   Jon Sorrentino Yeah. Yeah.

00:43:23   Chris

00:43:49   So, okay, let's back up. Let's back up. So part of it is I just want to work with editors because

00:43:54   I want to get better at writing. So that's like, that's, I would say, 90, that's 70% of it. So it's

00:44:00   just, I want to get better at writing and just writing on my own and writing for my newsletters

00:44:05   or blogs or whatever. I can, you know, that activates a certain muscle of just doing the work.

00:44:11   But if you go to the gym, you can go to the gym, you know, five times a week for 10 years,

00:44:18   and you could be doing, you could just have stupid habits that you're stuck doing. And so I find like

00:44:24   working with an editor is kind of like hiring a personal trainer or whatever. And working with a

00:44:28   great editor is just such a joy. And I know that working with the right editor will elevate the

00:44:36   quality of a piece far higher than I could get it on my own. And so, you know, I was working on a

00:44:43   novel for years. And part of that process was applying for fellowships and applying for workshops.

00:44:51   I was at, I did the Iowa Writers' Workshop program. They have like a two-month intensive summer

00:44:57   edition of the Fiction Writers' Workshop there. And, you know, going out there and doing that,

00:45:04   these were all things to basically force myself to work with people who have spent a lot of time

00:45:11   thinking about this, these kinds of writing, in that case, the writing fiction, and in the case

00:45:16   of working with editors at Wired or The Atlantic, you know, doing this sort of nonfiction, this,

00:45:23   you know, 1000 to 1500 word, or 800 to 1500 word nonfiction stuff for a publication like Wired or

00:45:29   The Atlantic. So a big part of it is just, if I write something that I'm kind of excited about,

00:45:35   that I feel like, you know, hits on, like a quote unquote, sort of truth that I haven't seen

00:45:42   articulated clearly, recently, you know, a lot of these things are kind of like have been done

00:45:47   before written about 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago, there's something recent hasn't come

00:45:51   up that's kind of hit on the same notes. And I feel like, okay, yeah, there's something interesting

00:45:55   going on here that I feel is like, is very true for me. And I would like this idea to have the

00:46:05   ability to impact or to reach as many people as possible. Wired just has a much bigger

00:46:11   readership than anything I'm ever going to cobble together. So that's the other 30%. So it's 70%

00:46:16   working with a great editor to make me better, and to learn how to think about writing better

00:46:23   stories, and to elevate the story itself. And then the 30% is just the platform. And then

00:46:30   somewhere in there, there's the payment component, which is less important now because I have the

00:46:35   membership program, but is nice, like, Wired actually pays pretty well, like, I got paid

00:46:40   decently for that piece. And so that's, that's, you know, altogether, that's kind of, that's

00:46:46   how I end up deciding to put things in certain publications. And so when I, like I said, I wrote

00:46:52   this, I started writing this three years ago, and I wrote it for one of my newsletters, the Roden

00:46:58   newsletter. And a lot of times at the end of that Roden newsletter, I'll have like a big essay or

00:47:02   I'll put, I kind of, I don't go into it thinking I'm going to write an essay, I have this, this

00:47:07   topic I want to kind of play with. And it turns into an essay often. And I was thinking about

00:47:13   server work, working on, I'd done all this server stuff, I moved off of one of my, one of those old

00:47:18   Rackspace servers. And I found the process of that move to be so healing, and really important to be

00:47:25   at that moment. And, and I started writing about that. And I got that Roden essay done. And I

00:47:31   thought, you know, there's something more here. I don't want to just put this in the newsletter,

00:47:36   and then have that be done. I want to think about a different place for this. And I'd like to work

00:47:44   with an editor on this. And so that was kind of why I held it back. But, but sometimes I'll put

00:47:50   stuff in the newsletter. And it just takes off like crazy, like the, like the, my fast software

00:47:56   is the best software essay was originally in a newsletter. And then that had such an immediate

00:48:04   visceral reach from just the newsletter, I gave it its own, I ripped it out of the newsletter,

00:48:10   I cleaned it up a bit, gave it its own URL on my, on my homepage under the essays header. And

00:48:17   that thing had crazy reach. So sometimes you like, you can have massive reach if you're an

00:48:21   independent writer. But I find it so difficult to tell what is going to have, what's going to

00:48:27   sort of strike that chord. And, and so I find a good way to kind of, if you have a piece that

00:48:33   you really want to get out in the world, to a bigger audience than going with The Atlantic

00:48:38   or Wired, if you can, if you can get in there is a way to kind of hack that.

00:48:43   Ben Thompson and I have talked about the fact that neither, neither of us has an editor. And yeah,

00:48:48   it's not that I'm opposed, but I'm certainly not going to hire one for Daring Firewall. Right?

00:48:56   I mean, I don't know why I even laugh at that. I could, you know, it is an interesting skill,

00:49:02   I think. And I'm not even saying, I'm not trying to say like my writing could not be improved

00:49:08   through editing. But like for a couple of years, I was writing back page columns for Mac world a

00:49:17   couple of times a year, which is an interesting experience. And, and when I first started doing

00:49:24   it, the money was very meaningful to me. And it's a similar thing. Mac world paid very well

00:49:30   for a back page column. And, and it was important. It was fascinating because my dad was incredibly

00:49:38   impressed. It's like, I think he finally understood what I do. Because he could, he could go and buy a

00:49:45   copy of Mac world and open it up to the back page. And there's my picture and my, my byline,

00:49:51   you know, in print. But my time writing the Mac world columns, I don't recall ever once having

00:50:01   one really seriously improved through editing. Not, and I, I, I'm sure that there are people

00:50:08   who worked at Mac world who are listening to this. I don't mean to slag on their editors at all.

00:50:17   It just, I, you know, I've always been a pretty careful self-editing writer. It's,

00:50:25   yeah. And a few times when my, my columns were changed, it was for the worse because they were

00:50:34   edited slightly for space. And I felt like I already had no needless words to omit, you know,

00:50:43   and that the point was lost. Right. Well, I, you know, it is, it is, I think finding great editors

00:50:52   is critical, you know, and I think that's, that's why when I, when I say I'm pitching to Wired or

00:50:58   whatever, I'm really pitching to specific people. And I'm only, I only want to work with this person

00:51:03   or that person, you know, and that's, that's because I know that they're gonna, they're gonna

00:51:07   elevate it. But even with my book last year, you know, Kisa by Kisa, I worked with, I actually had,

00:51:15   I had two, two editors, really. One was sort of a technical copy focused editor that definitely

00:51:28   made it better. There were just all these inconsistencies and stuff. And then I had another

00:51:32   editor who was, was, was sort of on a bigger picture level. And these are super talented

00:51:38   people and super accomplished people. And they absolutely made that manuscript better, you know,

00:51:46   like, and a lot, a lot of it for me is just having the conversations, you know, there's this like

00:51:50   old adage of like, how do you, how do you help a physicist do, you know, work at the blackboard?

00:51:55   It's like, buy him a dog, you know, just give him someone to talk to. That's all, that's all you

00:52:00   need a lot of times is just someone to articulate like, what did you do today? What are you doing

00:52:05   in this paragraph? Now Skaard, the guy who wrote the My Struggles, mega, you know, auto novel,

00:52:13   you know, I don't know if you're familiar with his work. He's, I think he's Norwegian. He wrote like,

00:52:21   like, I think like 90% of all Norwegian people have read his novels. But he wrote this two,

00:52:26   3000 page kind of pseudo autobiographical fiction thing. And part of that process for him writing

00:52:34   was that at the end of every day, every day, he would write and then he would call his editor and

00:52:40   he would read to the editor everything he wrote that day. Just as a way of like, am I crazy? Is

00:52:46   this shit? You know, it's like, is it does this make sense? You know, it just I think like that

00:52:52   sounding board for certain writers can be so powerful. And, and so that's for me, that's

00:52:59   definitely kind of like what where I'm reaching for when I'm when I'm reaching to work with an

00:53:05   editor. That said, I have had essays turn, they turn very into very different things because I

00:53:14   was young and I and I was nervous. And I was publishing with a big name brand publication and

00:53:21   I was afraid to push back. And I've had things go out that I'm actually somewhat embarrassed by

00:53:26   because the message was changed so dramatically from what I originally intended to write to what

00:53:33   ended up getting published that I did. I definitely, I think it made me cautious about

00:53:39   editors. And it's made me more aware of what you should fight for when you're working with someone

00:53:46   and not to be afraid to fight for that because, you know, the worst thing that can happen is that

00:53:50   you have this, this message that's been kind of perverted by the editorial process. Because the

00:53:56   publication can sometimes have an image for where they want the piece to go, for whatever reason.

00:54:01   And, you know, that may, if that's not aligned with what you want, then definitely pull out,

00:54:05   you know, if talking to young writers out there who may end up working with editors, like,

00:54:10   you know, own, make sure you know where you want that thing to go and, and fight for it,

00:54:15   fight for fight for that core. On a sentence by sentence level, you might have to give up some

00:54:20   things. But like, if the core message is being perverted, definitely pull back. And you know,

00:54:25   in some cases, maybe even just pull the piece if it's not going to go where you want it to go.

00:54:28   My problem, my other problem with the Macworld backpage column was that I'm fundamentally

00:54:37   too selfish about Daring Fireball. And the pieces I see, and this is where I think I see the

00:54:45   difference, like this, your column here, that you just published in Wired has a different feel to it

00:54:52   than your special projects writing, right? Your special projects writing is more intimate.

00:54:59   And you've got a voice that is sort of knowing, because you know, you're writing for this audience

00:55:07   of people who already know who you are, as opposed to the giant megaphone of Wired, where you're

00:55:12   writing for an audience where I'll bet most of the people who've already read it had never heard of

00:55:17   you before or don't recall hearing, you know, right, right. My problem with the Macworld backpage

00:55:23   is that they were just, they were the same things that I write for Daring Fireball, except when I

00:55:29   wrote for the back page, they had to be exactly 700 words or whatever nine, I think it was like,

00:55:34   900 words. And if I had a 600 word idea, well, I had to figure out a way to pad it. And if I had

00:55:41   a 1200 word idea, I had to figure out a way to cut it. And I was very frustrated by that. And,

00:55:46   but I also, all you know, it, I love, still like Macworld, but at the time Macworld,

00:55:55   the Macworld backpage was, that was the shiznit, right? That's where David Pogue

00:56:00   used to write. That's where Steven Levy used to write in the 80s. And there I was, you know,

00:56:07   this is what I wanted to do when I started writing about this stuff is be on the back page of

00:56:10   Macworld. And then as soon as I got there, I, I wanted to not be there anymore. Well, when,

00:56:16   when were you, when were you doing the Macworld stuff? 2006 to 2008. I want to say, do you,

00:56:21   do you feel like that had a, like a marked effect on your profile? Like, do you think that that

00:56:27   brought in a bunch of Daring Fireball? Yeah, it certainly didn't hurt. You know, I think,

00:56:31   I think I did just the right amount of it. I don't want to complain too much, but, but the fundamental

00:56:35   tension I felt was that when I did a back page column that I didn't feel came out right. And,

00:56:41   and that, that hard length limit is not a good skill that I have. And, and by, by exercising

00:56:51   my writing muscles, writing at Daring Fireball, I wasn't building that muscle, right? Like writing

00:56:57   to a set back page column length, you know, I, those muscles have atrophied for me. Um, so if I

00:57:05   had, I turned in a bad column, I felt terribly guilty about it. Just terrible because it's like,

00:57:10   this is, I just knew that this wasn't the best work that I could do. And here I, here I am

00:57:15   so lucky that I'm able to write at, on this page that I've always wanted to be on.

00:57:19   But then on the other hand, when I'd write a really good one,

00:57:24   I would feel terrible that it was at Macworld and not at Daring Fireball.

00:57:31   Right, right. Cause you're not, yeah, you're not, you're not building the foundation of your,

00:57:35   your castle or whatever, you know, you're giving, you're giving that brick to someone else.

00:57:40   Yeah, no, that's, I think that's a very universal feeling for a lot of people who do independent

00:57:47   work and then, uh, you know, go off to, to either work in a company or work at a publication.

00:57:52   And that's what, you know, part of what's been interesting about the sub stack thing is like,

00:57:55   basically people building up inside of a big, a big publication, the cache and the name value,

00:58:04   their brand inside of a pub, and then taking that brand value and monetizing it, you know,

00:58:11   basically going in reverse. And, uh, I think that's really fascinating. You know, I think in

00:58:17   some ways it's really smart. Um, and in other ways, I think a lot of people will find out that

00:58:25   being, you know, doing independent work is exhausting in a way that, you know, having,

00:58:29   having the, the institution there is actually quite helpful sometimes.

00:58:32   Right. No, no, no question about it. I wonder how long it'll last for some people, you know?

00:58:37   Yeah.

00:58:39   I know, uh, so, uh, you know, Andrew Sullivan has as a big, big high name sub stack now. And he,

00:58:49   he came from the world of magazine editing, but then had his personal blog for a number of years,

00:58:56   during the Bush administration. And, you know, I think he's been pretty clear that he effectively

00:59:00   burned out on it. Um, and I just wonder, you know, what's the difference going to be this time.

00:59:06   And, and he's enormously prolific. I mean, you know, uh, his weekly newsletter, it's like,

00:59:13   I can't believe that every week on the week, he, he couldn't write that much.

00:59:16   Right. No, well, there's a couple of newsletter writers that I just kind of want to, I want to

00:59:22   like pull them aside and go, you don't have to write this much. It's just, it's too much.

00:59:27   Sometimes, sometimes, uh, I don't know about you, but my newsletter folder in my inbox,

00:59:32   it's like increasingly difficult to go in there because I'm like, okay, all right,

00:59:37   we've got another 5,000 word, you know, PC. It's, it's so, um, it's so, I'm, I'm, I'm blown away by

00:59:46   the, by the prolific nature of some of these, some of these writers. And like, I think it really

00:59:51   does bring up sustainability issues, like psychic sustainability issues. Cause it's like, you can

00:59:58   burn out for sure. Um, and I, you know, if you build up a certain momentum and you feel like you,

01:00:04   your readers have an expectation, I think that's, that's where the burnout happens is like,

01:00:08   you're writing these 5,000 word giant newsletters a couple of times a week. And, uh, you know,

01:00:14   you want to take a break, but you're worried everyone's going to freak out. But the reality is,

01:00:17   is that no one's going to freak out and everyone's going to be like, Hey, take a break.

01:00:21   That's fine. Um, but we can kind of back ourselves into these weird psychic corners and,

01:00:26   you know, and that's where you, uh, that's where you get into trouble, I think. So,

01:00:29   All right. Let me take another break here and thank our next friends, our good friends at

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01:02:17   to Squarespace for their continuing support of the show. All right, let's get into some complaining.

01:02:25   Fast software is, fast software is good software. That was a good article. What's,

01:02:30   what, summarize the gist of your argument. Fast software is good software.

01:02:34   You know, software that I think anytime your software, basically fast software allows you

01:02:42   to maintain a slow flow state. So you can, anytime software slows down and, and this is not just,

01:02:51   you know, whatever, if you're doing ML processing or whatever, doing a big database chunk,

01:02:56   you know, whatever dump or whatever, that's going to take time. Sure. If you're rendering frames or

01:03:00   that's going to take time, I'm not talking about that space of software. I'm talking about kind of

01:03:04   interface components. I'm talking about keyboard accessibility. I'm talking about just the speed at

01:03:10   which the software moves with you. So if that, you know, bicycle for the mind metaphor that Jobs is,

01:03:16   you know, there's always referenced. If, if you take that, uh, as kind of the base for this,

01:03:21   it's like you want the bike to just be really beautifully tuned and you want the gears to change

01:03:27   when you change the gears immediately. You don't want the derailleur to get stuck. You don't want

01:03:32   the brakes to squeal. You just want the thing to feel like a beautifully engineered, well-oiled

01:03:38   machine. And, and fastness, I think is a core part of that. So it's like as, as if you want to move

01:03:43   between, you know, this window and that window, if you want to carry a piece of data from this window

01:03:48   to that window, if you want to select something, if you want to fix something, if you want to

01:03:53   manipulate something, it all should happen instantaneously. I think at the speed at which

01:03:58   you want to want to do that action, that's kind of the base of it. I sometimes think back to, uh,

01:04:04   my days doing print graphic design and learning QuarkXPress at the Drexel student newspaper

01:04:12   and how incredibly powerful QuarkXPress, I know it still exists. I'm sure it still

01:04:20   does the same stuff it does. Um, what do you use for your book? Do you use InDesign?

01:04:25   InDesign? Yeah. InDesign was, was Quark for Adobe. I mean, InDesign is, you know,

01:04:33   they used to be that there was Quark and PageMaker and PageMaker sort of fell by the,

01:04:40   you know, fell out of relevancy and Adobe sort of backed the wrong horse there. And then they,

01:04:46   you know, InDesign felt right at home to somebody who knew Quark. And it was, you know,

01:04:54   I think it was unofficially code named the Quark killer at Adobe. Um, but I think back to like

01:05:01   the mid nineties and how it, at the student newspaper and, you know, we had old computers

01:05:07   too, old Macs, you know, the whole place, uh, more or less spent its entire budget on buying new,

01:05:16   new Macs every couple of years just to keep the thing running. Um, it, it, Quark was so,

01:05:22   and I know people used to complain about Quark the company, but Quark, the, you know, and that

01:05:28   they're, they're, they apparently were run by relatively unpleasant people and that they had

01:05:33   onerous licensing terms and, um, but man, the app was so lean and mean and fast and it made things,

01:05:43   anything that could be fast was fast and precise, very precise. And it, and, uh, I still remember

01:05:53   keyboard shortcuts. And I remember that like, if you were like, if you selected an item on the

01:05:58   pace board and we're using the arrow keys to nudge it around, I think it defaulted to like hundreds

01:06:03   of an inch. And if you wanted to make it thousands of an inch, you just held down the option key,

01:06:07   why you use the arrows and just little things like that. And then if there was something else

01:06:12   that was similar, like you'd have to, you know, you'd wanted more precise nudging, guess what?

01:06:16   You use the option key. Um, I don't know. And it's like, there's so much, it was so,

01:06:22   it was so fast on those old computers. Imagine how fast it could be today. And yet so much of

01:06:29   our software doesn't have that, that feel and it doesn't have that precision. And one of the things

01:06:36   I know you and I have been convincing behind the scenes before we come on, but talking about

01:06:41   frustrations with iOS and maybe iPad iOS in particular, but I, I still think it's,

01:06:49   I don't know what the answer is, but I know that Apple didn't find it yet, which to the question

01:06:56   of how do you precisely select text on a tech, on a touch screen. It is incredible how often I'm

01:07:02   trying to select text across lines and can't quite get the start and end exactly where I want it.

01:07:09   Whereas 25 years ago, I was never off by a character. I just, and I never had to think

01:07:15   about it. Yeah. Yeah, no, I've been thinking about this quite a bit over the last couple

01:07:22   of days. Cause I figured we'd, we'd, we'd, we'd dig into this world and, and I think like what's

01:07:26   for me, the answer to iPad OS is the MacBook M1. I just, that's it. I've, I've, I've really

01:07:36   been thinking a lot about the miracle that is Mac OS, how actually iOS feels like what you'd expect

01:07:48   software or operating systems to work like in, in a certain way. And in a way iOS is really

01:07:54   the sensible operating system. It is everything about it is totally sensible. Everything is

01:08:00   sandboxed. Everything is locked down. There's walls everywhere. You're kind of on a, on an iPhone.

01:08:05   I think it's on a, on a, or on a phone size device. I think it is one of the most perfect

01:08:12   instantiations of an OS out there. You know, it's like where you're just doing single tasks.

01:08:16   You're not really moving data between things. You're not trying to do anything that's too

01:08:21   complicated. You're just, you know, it's like an in and out kind of device. You're not theoretically,

01:08:25   I know we all live with these things attached to our faces now, but theoretically, you know,

01:08:30   the use case for, for a mobile phone or a mobile phone sized internet device is to go in and get a

01:08:38   little bit of information, you know, pay for something or whatever, and then get out, you

01:08:43   know, it's meant to be in and out. And I think iOS is superb. It is so good. It is, you know,

01:08:49   easy to set up very little vectors for attacks. You know, you're not gonna, you don't have to run

01:08:56   antivirus software. You don't have to worry about what you're installing. You know, it's like in a

01:08:59   lot of ways it's incredible. And then the problem was putting it on the iPad and then giving the

01:09:06   iPad such an amazing screen. It's such an amazing processor in that 2018 iPad Pro and being like,

01:09:15   here you go. Here's a, here's a Ferrari engine. But we've strapped it to, you know, the Homer

01:09:21   Simpson car. You're just like, I can't, I can't use this thing. I can't, you know, I can't maximize

01:09:28   the power of this engine except for in like very weird ways where it's like a single task of like,

01:09:35   okay, I can render this video really quickly. But the process of like, importing the video from my

01:09:40   high end camera is onerous and impossible. There's no file system that I can access, you know, it's

01:09:46   just like all these, all these things that kind of got in the way of really maximizing the value of

01:09:52   what was on offer. But I would say you can't, it's really difficult to balance out that incredible

01:10:00   simplicity of the iPhone experience, and really the kind of like tuned perfection of that use case

01:10:07   for general computing. And so anyway, that the tension for me with with iPad was always that.

01:10:14   And then at the same time, you know, 2018, we were deep in the quagmire hell of the Intel MacBook,

01:10:22   it was the worst keyboard. You know, it was the processors weren't getting any faster,

01:10:26   it was expensive, they were hot, the battery lasted like what, two hours?

01:10:30   The keyboard was the worst part, because that was self inflicted on Apple's part, right?

01:10:34   It was like the, so stupid, just the added indignity of these are not great computers,

01:10:40   they're struggling, you know, the one that everybody wanted, the retina MacBook Air was

01:10:45   years late. And you know, it was because Intel didn't have chips that would let Apple make the

01:10:52   Mac, retina MacBook Air that they wanted to make. Yeah, well, I think, and that people wanted to buy,

01:10:59   right? Yeah, no, in hindsight, the 2016 MacBook Pro is probably the worst computer Apple's ever

01:11:07   released, like bar none. It's just, and maybe in the 90s or the 80s, that I like, my history is a

01:11:15   little fuzzy back then we couldn't, we couldn't afford Apple computers when I was a kid. So I was

01:11:20   never paying attention to. So we were always like, if we had anything, it was I remember there's a

01:11:25   period of Apple clones that existed. Oh, Scully. Yeah, what were they called? I forget what they

01:11:29   were called. And they even had, but that was, they stole like ROMs out of discarded Apple IIs to like,

01:11:36   is that what they did? But that was all we, that was all we had. Apple clone.

01:11:41   Did they clone the ROM like in Halt and Fish fires? Something like that. It was,

01:11:47   they were crazy. They never really took off. No, but I mean, anyway, so I buy Apple history back

01:11:53   there is extremely fuzzy, but I started with like the late, like whatever was released in 1999, the

01:12:01   power book that was in 1999. That was my first real Mac. And I would say of all of the computers

01:12:08   I've owned, yeah, the 2016 MacBook Pro, the keyboard didn't work. It broke on me multiple

01:12:13   times. The USB C ports were bad. I don't know if you remember, but like USB plugs just wouldn't stay

01:12:21   in. They didn't have, they didn't have the clicking mechanism. They didn't have like that docking

01:12:25   mechanism that everything seems to have now where they have these really secure connections. Anyway,

01:12:29   just, and the battery would last 12 seconds. It was just truly horrible. So I think it was

01:12:35   all of those things together. And then you have this beautiful, super capable iPad and you're

01:12:40   just like, Oh, I want this to be my main computer, but I can't do anything on it. And there was

01:12:47   a sort of stretch there. I know we've reiterated a lot since the M1s came out and talking about Apple's

01:12:54   sort of, you know, that summit that they had me and Panzorino and Inafrid come out for,

01:13:00   where they sort of re-emphasized their commitment to pro Mac hardware and software.

01:13:07   But it was a depressing number of years because Apple doesn't explain itself. And so they're not

01:13:15   going to say, look, the reason we're still selling a $999 MacBook Air without a retina to screen,

01:13:23   all of these years after the iPad and iPhone have gone retina and non-retina just looks so

01:13:30   bad, even though it's, you know, a more expensive product, you know, that you could, you know,

01:13:36   configure a MacBook Air for 1500 bucks. And yet it was still not retina, looked really dated.

01:13:43   Tim Cook gave an interview at one point where he said, and people really latched onto it,

01:13:48   but he said something like that he does 80% of his work on an iPad. It created the perception

01:13:54   that the Mac was on its way out. Right. And, you know, I never believed it, but I was worried

01:14:02   about it. Right. Like I would not have bet on it, but I also understand why people who would have

01:14:08   bet on it were thinking it. They weren't crazy. Right. The MacBook Air really, their most popular,

01:14:15   single most popular Mac ever made by far the MacBook Air. Somebody, people who've worked in

01:14:23   Apple stores have told me, you have no idea how many people like by what margin MacBook Air's,

01:14:30   I don't know if that's true right now. I haven't, I don't know about, but I would,

01:14:33   I would bet that it is though. Cause I, I think most people, if they're going to buy an M1,

01:14:37   they want a portable, not a Mac mini, even though it's cool that the Mac mini exists.

01:14:43   And I don't think they see the value in the more expensive 13 inch MacBook Pro. I love it.

01:14:49   I'm on, I'm on, I'm on a MacBook Air right now. It's, you know, I, I think that it's so

01:14:55   incredibly popular and yet they, they seemingly abandoned it. Right. And they, and they weren't

01:15:02   going to explain why they weren't going to say, look, we know that this is outdated. We have big

01:15:07   plans, but we can't build. I mean, and part of it isn't, is just Apple being Apple. And part of it

01:15:13   is that no professional company is going to throw Intel under the bus. You know, that's just not how

01:15:18   you do business, you know? Right. But at the same time, they're not going to do what other companies

01:15:23   do and cut prices and say, well, okay, the MacBook Air is getting old, but how about this? We'll sell

01:15:29   it for $650 because it's three years. This ridiculous computer is three years old because

01:15:35   Apple likes to maintain their price points so that when they do come out with a new one,

01:15:40   it's not like, oh, the new retina MacBook Air jerked the price up 50% because they had cut

01:15:46   the price on the old one. Right. So Apple, you know, and, and the, how can I forget the trash can

01:15:52   Mac Pro, which had, which languished for even longer. Right. And it was ridiculously expensive.

01:15:59   It started at five, $5,000 and, you know, five years in hadn't been updated.

01:16:05   It looked like it was, it was, it was a, it was a dark period. And especially if like

01:16:12   me and you, you just feel like the Mac or Mac OS is the OS where it's the bicycle for your mind.

01:16:22   And I use my iPad a lot and I love, you know, the iPhone, but I don't feel, I don't, I, I've often

01:16:30   used the analogy of like feeling like you're pedaling uphill versus pedaling downhill to

01:16:35   extend the bicycle for the mind thing. And the problem with that metaphor is that usually when

01:16:41   you say something's going downhill, it means it's bad. Right. But that's not what I mean. I mean,

01:16:48   it's good. It feels like the bike is propelling itself and you don't even have to, you don't even

01:16:52   realize, you know, you're just, all you have to do is steer and you don't have to exert any force to

01:16:58   make the bike go down. Whereas when, you know, I used to have for, I had a six month internship

01:17:04   right outside Philadelphia and at the, there's a huge hill. I had to ride my bike up every morning

01:17:10   and it was a internship over the summer. And there were times where I've, they were always,

01:17:16   never, it was never an issue. I had my own office, but there were times where I would just be drenched

01:17:21   with sweat, but then on the way home, I got to go downhill and it's sort of the way you want it,

01:17:27   right? It's better to work hard to get to work. And then when the day's over and you get to go

01:17:31   home and have fun, you just go flying down the hill at 40 miles an hour. I have that feeling

01:17:38   about Mac OS and it was worrisome to me when it felt like, you know, maybe they're not committed

01:17:46   to it. And now we have these M1 Macs and to me, the best overall version of Mac OS in quite a

01:17:54   while. Maybe it was like Catalina was so buggy for me for most of the year. And I think in hindsight,

01:18:03   it might be because they had to pull or chose to pull engineers to work on Big Sur so that

01:18:10   Big Sur would be ready for the M1, you know, Apple Silicon. And so maybe being the release right

01:18:17   before a processor transition was sort of a bad roll of the dice for Catalina. I was just going

01:18:23   to say this, but just this paucity of engineers issue at Apple always strikes me as insane,

01:18:29   you know, that there's this limited number, this very, very limited number of engineers,

01:18:33   and they have to be kind of moved between big projects. But yeah, I mean, but maybe that was

01:18:39   the case with Catalina, like just all the heavy hitters were off somewhere else getting this thing

01:18:45   ready for the M1. Well, it does sound like that, right? How can you be the richest company in the

01:18:49   world and be starved for engineers? But on the other hand, there is the mythical man month,

01:18:53   right? And that I think Apple very consistently has always understood, at least from the next

01:19:01   reunification onward, you know, under Steve Jobs' leadership, that the mythical man month is real,

01:19:10   and that you've got to keep teams, however many thousands of engineers they have, they get broken

01:19:15   up into relatively small teams. I know a bunch of people who work at Apple, but most of the people,

01:19:20   almost everybody I know at Apple is effectively on a small team. And I think that's sort of the

01:19:27   only way to get anything done. I, you know. Yeah, well, but I think that confluence of

01:19:34   feeling like Apple is letting the macOS world sort of like dissolve, you know, in all sorts of

01:19:45   different ways. And the MacBooks themselves were just not good machines, not reliable machines.

01:19:49   And then Catalina being truly, for me too, really unreliable OS, you know, that just felt

01:19:56   unpolished, which is not something you want your operating system to feel like. It's like,

01:20:03   you want that foundation to be as strong as possible if you're working on all these big

01:20:07   projects. And you know, you're essentially your life force is connected with this operating system.

01:20:14   But the, I think like the Phoenix Rising ascendance of Big Sur plus the M1s, for me,

01:20:22   has just really made me feel good. I just feel, I don't know about you, but I just feel like,

01:20:29   yes. And, you know, the corollary of that too is like, I just don't worry now about iPadOS.

01:20:36   It's like, oh, okay, this, okay, as long as macOS is being cared for. And truly, like,

01:20:43   this operating system is, I think, the aberration, right? So it's like, if you think about what

01:20:48   happened to get to this point of this, like, and I really think macOS is a beautiful combination of

01:20:54   usability and power. And, you know, even some of the system security stuff they've added,

01:21:01   doesn't really irk me as much as it irks other folks. But like, I think some of it is useful.

01:21:07   But like, the fact that Next had to happen, right, so Steve getting kicked out of Apple had to happen,

01:21:13   Next had to happen. Next OS being such an incredible OS, even if it had so few

01:21:20   user seats in the world. And then that being, you know, the foundation for macOS, OS X, or

01:21:28   Apple. Another thing that had to happen in there is Apple needed to, for us to get from there to

01:21:36   here, Apple's own next, quote unquote, next generation operating system efforts had to

01:21:44   spectacularly fail, right? Because the worst thing, it seemed at the time that like,

01:21:50   Copeland, maybe you weren't using a Mac in the mid 90s, but Jason Sennell and I have talked about it,

01:21:55   was that they, you know, they had these next generation, several of them, it's not worth

01:21:59   going into the details. But it was always like Yoda talking to Luke Skywalker, always your eyes

01:22:05   on the future, you know, and they were, Apple was always talking about operating systems that they

01:22:11   planned to come out in three or four years, like crazy by today's standards. Like what, how can you

01:22:16   be talking about an operating system years in advance, while the one you're selling today is

01:22:21   technically falling apart, and in by by then modern standards. But the, it seemed at the time

01:22:29   that the worst thing that could happen would be for this Apple's next generation operating system

01:22:34   to fall apart, just flame out. But I think in hindsight, the really worst thing that could

01:22:40   have happened would have been if it had just been sort of like, kind of good enough, right? And it

01:22:46   would have, you know, then they wouldn't have had to buy next, we probably would have been left with

01:22:50   something far less elegant and durable, right, that we'd still be talking about in the year 2021,

01:22:56   as though it's, it's like you said, a phoenix rising from the ashes and is resurgent.

01:23:03   You know, sometimes it's better to fail completely than to sort of half-ass your way through it.

01:23:07   Yeah, well, and I mean, look at the thing that they're able to pick up and run with. I mean,

01:23:13   the fact that that this massive consumer-focused facing OS has a BSD core to it, the fact that

01:23:21   there's a terminal that you can drop into and kind of install and compile and run pretty much

01:23:26   any piece of software you can find in the world, like, I'm so grateful for this flexibility.

01:23:34   And then on top of it, being able to kind of do a certain level of scripting, and, you know, I find

01:23:41   it to be a pleasurable universe to live in, you know, and this is a universe I live in for, you

01:23:47   know, sometimes 10, 15 hours a day. And I think it's, this is why, in that like fast software,

01:23:54   the best software, SA, like I have this kind of passionate/crazy obsession with this stuff, is that

01:24:03   this is a fundamental tool for most humans. Like, this is the main tool for most of us living today

01:24:11   who are doing a certain kind of work out there in the world. And like, to not expect the best

01:24:17   version of that tool is crazy. It's like tantamount to like, being like, "Oh, hey, I'm going to use

01:24:24   that. I'm a carpenter, and the hammer I'm going to use, like, sometimes the handles is going to,

01:24:29   is just going to fold in on itself. It's going to break the handles. We don't, we just don't know

01:24:32   how to make a good handle. And so I'm going to be hammering some nails and like, I don't know,

01:24:36   one out of every five hammers, like the thing's just going to kind of fall apart, and I got to

01:24:39   put a new handle on it. And that's just, that's just the hammers we got to live with. That's the

01:24:42   hammer. It's like, no, that's insane. Like, figure out how to make a good hammer. Like, that's crazy.

01:24:47   You would never as a carpenter accept that. And so I feel similarly, the problem with software and

01:24:53   OS is that it's obviously so complex and so abstract that for most people, they can't

01:24:59   articulate what it is that doesn't feel right about the tool. And so when I write essays like that,

01:25:04   I'm just trying to give, like engineers and folks working in companies the fodder to be like, "Look,

01:25:11   this is what, this is what I want us to aim for," you know, and I've had a lot of CEOs and, and

01:25:19   independent software developers write to me and say, "Thank you for that. We've used this as like

01:25:23   a, as a blueprint to kind of like, to think about features and to think about optimizations." And,

01:25:28   you know, I think, like Patrick Collison's, you know, spoken to me about it, and, you know,

01:25:33   I think that's, it's kind of a philosophy internally that Stripe had been operating under,

01:25:39   you know, this, this idea of fast quickness and, you know, the API fastness and API smartness.

01:25:44   And, you know, I think their company is a great example of doing that well, leads to success,

01:25:52   you know, and like we were talking about earlier about these abstract things that you invest in,

01:25:55   like, well, if I, if I invest in making it fast, because what you're talking about when you're

01:25:59   talking about speed in software is effectively infrastructure and infrastructure, like I talk

01:26:04   about in that, that wired essay is something that a lot of people have a difficult time

01:26:09   understanding the value of, right? Because it doesn't have this immediate return,

01:26:12   but you have to believe it's almost like a theology of, of, of software here is that you

01:26:18   have to believe that the investment in this stuff is going to lead you to some sort of,

01:26:23   you know, afterlife heaven, you know, in, in, in just pleasure ability and joy that is being spread

01:26:29   to, you know, the, whatever potentially millions or billions of users of your software out in the

01:26:33   world. I think that's really, there's almost like an ethical component to it because so many people

01:26:38   are affected by these decisions and that to give those people a smooth, beautiful tool is just,

01:26:45   to me, it's like so fundamental when we live in these worlds all day long.

01:26:50   I know that, and it's hard to peg the exact, what's the anniversary we should celebrate from

01:26:56   Mac OS X. And I think the one that just passed a couple of weeks ago, where it's 20 years to

01:27:02   when the first version shipped to customers in boxes for $129, here's where you go to buy it.

01:27:15   I that's as good of one as any. And I, this is one of those pieces where I started and it just never,

01:27:22   it wasn't, it just wasn't coming out right. And I don't know why. But there is something

01:27:28   about the durability of Mac OS X that it, and I think you touched on this, like,

01:27:35   where would we be? We've got one OS that really works for me mentally. That's it. And if it wasn't

01:27:41   for Mac OS X, I don't know what I would do. I really don't. I mean, there's only so long you

01:27:48   could hold on to the old version and what, Windows? My son has a gaming PC, so I've gotten a taste of

01:27:56   modern Windows. And it is, I see why people like it. And my son likes his PC and I get the whole

01:28:03   gaming thing. But it is such a collection of technical debt and user interface cruft that

01:28:14   it is kind of interesting that these two OSs that are seen as rivals, but they really are.

01:28:22   There's a very different fundamental philosophy to what an operating system for users should do

01:28:29   that Microsoft and Apple embody. And it's kind of interesting that the two that have decades,

01:28:36   you know, that are truly, I mean, who would have thought? I mean, and like 25 years ago,

01:28:42   would you ever thought we're still using Macs and Windows? It, you know, it didn't, that wasn't how

01:28:47   computers worked in the 80s, in the early 90s. It was like, new things came and went, and operating

01:28:54   systems died out and were replaced, you know, and the idea that you could have these operating

01:29:00   systems that are here for decades, many decades, you know, it had never been done before. So I

01:29:08   don't know that we knew it could be done. But when you look at Mac OS X today, you look at Big Sur,

01:29:14   it is very hard for me to find a lot of spots in the OS where you would say, well, if they were

01:29:19   going to do it all over again, it, they wouldn't have all this crap here. This, you know, system

01:29:26   preferences is the one area a couple people have talked about, like that's the system preferences

01:29:31   feels a little dated, especially the way that there's these little tiny boxes where you enter

01:29:36   a bunch of things, and the window isn't resizable. And it, like you were talking about some of the

01:29:43   new security features, I think they've done a good job of finding a middle ground of annoying us

01:29:49   versus protecting us. The problem to me is the information architecture, that it's sort of

01:29:54   hierarchical information that isn't presented in a hierarchical way, and it's hard to just see it all

01:29:59   at once. And it's very strange to me that the iPhone has a better and more logical preferences

01:30:07   app than the Mac. Sure, yeah. When it's the one that you're supposed to fiddle with less, right?

01:30:15   Right. Yeah, well, I mean, I think, you know, in to what you were saying about us having still the

01:30:22   same OS as we had 25 years ago, that's what makes iOS so impressive is that it came out of nowhere

01:30:30   and it's now, is it the most used OS in the world? No, Android's got to be the most used.

01:30:36   Android is. And it's the most used one that...

01:30:41   It has, actually, I was going to say something snarky, but then I realized

01:30:45   you probably have a billion Android listeners. No, I don't. I don't think I do. No, you should see.

01:30:50   I think you'd be shocked. I recently disabled, a couple of weeks ago, I disabled Google Analytics.

01:30:59   I actually don't even have, I don't have analytics on Darren Faribault at the moment. I guess I,

01:31:04   that's, no, I don't even, I just, just give it, because you know what, here's what was,

01:31:09   this is the way my sick mind works, Craig. I wanted to get rid of Google Analytics,

01:31:15   but I was stuck choosing what to try to replace it with. And none of, you know, there's Plausible

01:31:20   and Fathom are at the top of the list and seem pretty modern and very privacy minded,

01:31:26   but I couldn't make a decision between them. And I was like, well, you know what, in the meantime,

01:31:30   why don't I just shut off Google Analytics? Because then I can, you know, I could get the

01:31:35   little privacy thing up in the Safari toolbar to stop giving me a less than sterling grain.

01:31:42   Oh, interesting, huh.

01:31:43   And I thought, here's what I thought, that'll force me to choose. And then it turned, it turns

01:31:49   out, I turned it off and it's like, you know what, you don't need to know how many people are coming

01:31:53   to your website. You don't. All these, all these things that, yeah, again, this is like the, you

01:31:59   know, technical debt that you carry forward, right? It's like, we have this, you know, we put

01:32:04   analytics on websites 20 years ago, and so we kind of keep doing it. And for me, I took Google

01:32:10   Analytics off my site too, a couple months ago. And I think the most, the only real like tension

01:32:17   I felt was, oh my God, I have like 18 years of unbroken data in the system. Like, do I really

01:32:24   want to break, do I want to break that stretch? Like that's, but I've literally never looked at

01:32:29   the historical, I've never been like, oh, I need to go look at what happened in, you know, 2009,

01:32:34   July 8th, you know, on my website. So I, I think that speaks in general to like an over emphasis on

01:32:42   archives. Like I'm a really big fan of deleting tweets. I have an auto tweet, the leader thing

01:32:49   going on. And I think also like for Twitter, this idea that all tweets should last forever was a

01:32:55   flawed philosophy to start the service with. I just don't, it doesn't make sense. Like, I'm just

01:33:01   sorry. What most of us are saying on Twitter, honestly, can just disappear forever and the world

01:33:06   will not be worse for it. Like I've, as I've gotten older, I've kind of embraced this, this

01:33:12   idea that not everything has to be archived. Like, I think that was a very old school web 1.0 idea

01:33:18   that like nothing can be deleted. Everything should be archived. You should have all your

01:33:22   old email from 1997. I have never searched for an email older than like a couple of weeks. I mean,

01:33:33   I don't say never, but you know, effectively, it's, it's my party trick. You know, I'll be

01:33:38   with an old friend and I have, I have my Gmail has my email from, from 1999 and it, I imported

01:33:45   it all a long time ago. And, uh, uh, it's a party trick I have with old friends where I'm like,

01:33:51   let's find the first time we contacted each other and I can just search and there it is. And I can

01:33:56   see the first email that we sent to each other. And that is actually kind of neat to think about

01:34:01   the Genesis of a, of a friendship or relationship and be able to pinpoint the very first moment of

01:34:06   contact. But yeah, aside from that, it's kind of pointless. So what do you do for the automatic

01:34:10   Twitter deleting? What do you have? Did you write your own script? Do you use a service?

01:34:15   Yeah, no, uh, well, Robin Sloan wrote a script. I mean, Robin Sloan's a really interesting example

01:34:21   of a, a writer who also is very technically minded and very technically capable. And, uh, so he had,

01:34:29   he had a, he has a Ruby script that just eats, eats your tweets. You can set, you know, how long

01:34:35   you want to look back from. So I have everything over, over a week old being deleted and you can

01:34:40   set a kind of like a, there's an array of tweet IDs to save. So I have a few that are saved. Um,

01:34:46   but that's it. It just runs on, it runs on my, um, digital ocean server as a cron job.

01:34:51   You don't have to remember to do it. It just happens once a week.

01:34:54   Just does it. Goodbye. Uh, I probably should do that. I don't know. I, I did. There's that, that,

01:35:04   the pack rat in my back of my head wants to keep them. And there were the, in those early years of

01:35:11   Twitter, you remember favored, favored, I don't even know how you pronounce it. It was Dean

01:35:16   Dean's little thing where it would collect, you know, like the most, I forget. I think he

01:35:23   purposely never explained the algorithm because he didn't want it to be gained, but effectively,

01:35:29   in a certain social circle, it was just the best jokes of the day. And it was like, this is all,

01:35:36   this is all we did on Twitter is just crack dumb jokes and favorite the ones that we thought were

01:35:42   funny. And then you could just check in on five or every day and see like the best of them. And,

01:35:48   you know, and that whole circle of people is how I got to know Merlin, man. It's how I got to know,

01:35:54   I might've known Merlin through the Mac circles, but like Adam Lissigore and so many people came

01:36:01   out of that. And it's like, you know, I had some good jokes. I remember one, here's one of my

01:36:07   favorites from that era. I don't know what year it was, but the whole, this is the whole, this is the

01:36:10   whole tweet. You don't, you don't want to know what I would do for a Klondike bar. Do you remember

01:36:19   that ad campaign? It was, Oh yeah. Yeah. I'm not saying that's a great joke. I should probably stick

01:36:27   to tech, but for me, I felt like a good joke and I just, it's pretty good. It's pretty good. But I

01:36:34   also don't want to go back. How would you even, how would I even find the tweet ID to protect it?

01:36:38   But, but I, it, it, it makes me sick every time I see stories though, about people who like the,

01:36:47   the woman who got the job as the editor of Teen Vogue and she's only 27 or 28. And it's like,

01:36:53   she's clearly had a, you know, our career was going places. She was become the new editor in

01:36:58   chief at Teen Vogue. And somebody found a bunch of tweets she wrote when she was a freshman in

01:37:03   college, 19. And they were bad tweets. They were bad tweets, bad tweets. She apologized profusely

01:37:11   for them, but it wasn't enough. And she wound up losing the job. And it's like, you know what,

01:37:17   when she wrote those tweets as a 19 year old, she was not thinking of them as something that was

01:37:23   anything other than ephemeral. You know, that there is something weird about Twitter where it

01:37:30   feels ephemeral and it is not, right? By default. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Well, even if, even if you're

01:37:37   deleting your tweets, I think somewhere they're being sucked up. But like for me, I mean,

01:37:42   there was my, uh, Ku Klux Klan period of Twitter, early Twitter, where I was just supporting Ku

01:37:48   Klux Klan stuff. No, no, no. I, thankfully I didn't have a weird period of like using Twitter

01:37:55   as a, as a kind of like a racist soapbox or anything like that. But like for me, it's more

01:38:00   just the weight. Like, like there's, there is a rat pack, a pack rat sort of element to it. And

01:38:08   in general, I'm trying to get rid of stuff, physical or digital in my life. Like, I'm just

01:38:12   trying to like, like I'm constantly selling things. Like I, I, I, I hate buying new, I like

01:38:20   love buying new tools. Like I just got a new printer. Um, but I got it for a very specific

01:38:24   purpose. And like, you know, the, the, the tension of buying the thing, getting the thing

01:38:28   is now forcing me to like really use it. And I'm like, okay, I have to justify the fact that I

01:38:31   brought this new object into my life, but I'm constantly selling stuff off. Um, you know, that

01:38:37   if I, if I don't use it, it's like, it's gone. And Japan actually has a really amazing kind of eBay,

01:38:42   um, like tool that handles all of the shipping and everything is anonymized. So you don't know where

01:38:48   it's being shipped to and they don't know who you are. And it's wonderful. And like the, you know,

01:38:52   they act as like a escrow service. And so it's, it's super great. You can just sell high value

01:38:58   stuff. I like, I don't sell my, um, my old Mac books to the Apple store. I put it on the service

01:39:04   cause I can get 50, 50% more and they sell within a day. Like it's just instant boom sold. And, um,

01:39:11   so I'm constantly getting rid of stuff physically and I just find digitally as well. Like what,

01:39:17   what is the value of me holding onto these things? And so what I did before I started doing the tweet

01:39:22   delete thing is I just, I downloaded my archive and I have all of my original stuff on my hard

01:39:28   drive. And if I really, really, really need that, um, it's there, but, uh, I don't know,

01:39:34   it just feels like having that out in the open brought no value to me. And I even think like

01:39:41   there's this argument of like, well, what if people like quote your tweets and an article or link to

01:39:45   it or embed it? It's like, well, whatever, I don't know. Like, is the world going to end if three of

01:39:49   my tweets that were quoted in some article like aren't, aren't there anymore? Like people will

01:39:53   figure it out. They'll get the context like, you know, do a screenshot of the tweet if you,

01:39:57   if you really want to include it in something like, I think there are ways around it. And, uh,

01:40:03   uh, you know, to, to sort of make stuff that you want to reference a little more solid. But the

01:40:09   thing that's really surprised me is I get emails all the time and messages all the time. Like, hey,

01:40:13   that thing you tweeted two weeks ago, where did that go? Like, um, which is shocking that people

01:40:19   use Twitter or seem to use Twitter as this, like as these pointers, like they book, I don't know if

01:40:24   they're bookmarking the tweets to come back to or what is definitely something I don't do. I, you

01:40:30   know, if I see a tweet that has something I like, it goes into things. It's like, okay, what's the

01:40:34   link? Okay. It goes into things. I can set a reminder for me to come back to this in a week.

01:40:39   You know, it's like, I don't rely on the original tweet object to be the canonical reference for

01:40:45   that thing that I'm interested in. Um, but anyway, but Google analytics, similar sort of thing. I

01:40:51   feel, I feel so much lighter getting rid of that crap and plausible is great. I have really enjoyed

01:40:58   plausible. And the only thing I use analytics for is to see if there's a, um, some kind of incoming

01:41:05   traffic spike. That means I've been linked somewhere that I just want to know about.

01:41:10   It's just a way for me to keep track of like, if, if, uh, a big site has sent me traffic,

01:41:15   that's all I use analytics for. That's it. Ah, yeah. Like if I linked to you, right.

01:41:19   Oh yeah. I got the, got the, the Gruber, the Gruber led light that goes, I knocked a website

01:41:28   offline a couple of weeks ago for the first time in a while. And again, I don't think it's because

01:41:33   the amount of traffic that comes from a link from me is decreased. It's just the server

01:41:39   infrastructure has gotten more and more Bulletproof and you know, WordPress sites are cached, have

01:41:45   caching on by default. And I mean, that was always the nine out of 10 times where if I linked to

01:41:49   something and the website went down, it was cause it was a default, the old WordPress without

01:41:55   caching. Uh, yep. Yeah. Uh, yeah. I don't know. All right. Well, and cloud flare today too. I

01:42:03   have everything I, I have up there is behind cloud flare. So it's just, that's another kind

01:42:09   of miracle service. Like it's, it's so cheap. I don't understand how it can be so cheap. I

01:42:14   really don't. I don't either. It's incredible. It's so cheap. And, uh, you know, digital ocean

01:42:21   too, like the quality of server you get at digital ocean for the price you pay is amazing to me.

01:42:27   I love it. I love, I'm a huge digital ocean fan. Um, it's just been wonderful working on their,

01:42:34   you know, their service. They're, uh, you know, spinning up their service. I have a digital ocean

01:42:38   server that all it is, is it's a, it's a wire guard, um, uh, VPN for me. That's it. You know,

01:42:45   and it's like, it's cheaper, it's cheaper to buy the digital ocean server, have it auto update,

01:42:51   do all the security updates automatically and, uh, have that be my VPN in the U S

01:42:57   than it is to pay for a big VPN service. And then this way I also know

01:43:01   what the server is that is running the VPN. That's pretty amazing.

01:43:06   All right. Let me take, let me take one last break here and thank our third and final sponsor.

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01:45:38   All right. I mean, let's talk some tools. I want to know how you make a book.

01:45:44   Okay. So what pain. All right. InDesign for layout.

01:45:53   InDesign for layout. Yeah. I was, I was a Quark person too. When I was a university, I learned

01:45:59   on Quark, this is like 2000, 2001. And, uh, it was, it was really fast. It was really good. I

01:46:07   think the thing that Quark did badly was font rendering. There was something about, I remember

01:46:14   InDesign when InDesign came out, it just, I know what you're talking about. It was the open type

01:46:18   support open types of that was it? Yes. And that was, that was infuriating. It was infuriating

01:46:26   that Quark is like such a fundamental bit of digital typography that Quark dropped the ball

01:46:31   on. And I think that was what pushed me to InDesign. And I remember using the InDesign beta

01:46:35   and just, and I remember the literature is and all the other open types stuff just working and being

01:46:40   like, okay, well, I guess I got to use this thing now. I remember it's, I remember an InDesigner

01:46:44   ever since. I remember talking to Dean Allen about it and, and it basically, he was like, look,

01:46:48   you're going to have a whole laundry list of things you liked better about Quark than InDesign,

01:46:54   but InDesign does open type, right? Open type makes the old pre-open type postscript fonts

01:46:59   look like junk. And therefore you need to use InDesign because there's too many, there's too

01:47:04   many good features in there. And it was a very strange, I don't know if it was technical debt.

01:47:09   I don't know what happened. The other thing about Quark, Quark made bad design a little too easy.

01:47:17   I mean, the one thing that Quark did that you could never forgive them. And once you know

01:47:24   that designers in the nineties were doing this with everything, you can't, you couldn't unsee it.

01:47:29   But I guess most of the flyers and stuff people made are long gone, but you could select a range

01:47:34   of text and then just with one little click, set it to be like 90% width to make it, you know,

01:47:41   like to fake a slightly skinnier font, or if it like didn't quite fill the space set, set it to

01:47:47   110% or 150%. And so people would like, if you wanted like a, like a tall, skinny sans serif,

01:47:56   it was so trivially easy to just use like Helvetica and just make it skinny. But if you

01:48:03   know anything about typography, it was, you know, you know, it was optically squished and was a

01:48:08   crime against typographic. So InDesign for layout, what about? InDesign for layout. Yeah, InDesign

01:48:18   for layout. I tried, I looked at Affinity Publisher and I think Affinity Publisher, I really like

01:48:24   Affinity as a company. And I think I use Affinity Photo actually for all of my,

01:48:30   I actually don't use it for much because I don't do, I use Lightroom for my photo editing and my

01:48:37   catalog editing. So I keep all my, my serious photos in Lightroom classic. Or Lightroom CC

01:48:44   is lacking a few features that to me make it unusable as a professional. And so I'm still

01:48:50   in Lightroom classic. And I think a lot of people who are professional photographers

01:48:54   are in Lightroom classic. And the fact that it's called Lightroom classic is a little bit

01:48:58   unnerving because it feels like, it feels like Adobe wants to get rid of this thing.

01:49:03   And so I'm in Lightroom classic for organizing my library and for doing photo, 90% of my photo

01:49:10   edits. And I use Affinity Photo for doing essentially photo resizing and exporting

01:49:17   in different sizes. I just find it's exported to be really fast. I just find Photoshop to have

01:49:23   gotten so slow over the last decade. And a lot of it's, like if you do the web exporter dialogue,

01:49:33   it comes up and it like loads a webpage or something. I don't know. It's just all so slow.

01:49:37   It's very bad. It's very, very bad. Affinity, super fast, super easy. I love supporting

01:49:43   independent software companies. You buy it once, you don't think about it again, yada, yada, yada.

01:49:47   And so I tried Publisher, but it just didn't, the problem is that if you're working with

01:49:53   real printers, like big printers, is that they want InDesign files. For them, it's easy to work

01:49:59   with InDesign files and they may want to do things like check your, is all of your type properly set

01:50:07   in K? Or did you accidentally set it as an RGB value? And so they want to double check all these

01:50:14   things. And so having InDesign makes it a little bit easier to interface with these printers out in

01:50:18   the world. So that's kind of why I'm still in there. I'm not using, honestly, I think InDesign

01:50:23   from 20 years ago, whatever the feature set was, was enough for me. I don't do anything that

01:50:28   InDesign I think has added in the last 10 years. So anyway, that's that. And for writing, I use

01:50:38   Ulysses to do a lot of drafting of essays. And the reason I started using Ulysses was because A,

01:50:46   it let me use Dropbox as my folder. So I like having my files on my local hard drive and I

01:50:53   like that Dropbox then syncs, you know, in the background. And I actually have a NAS now that

01:50:58   is pulling down a full Dropbox archive onto the NAS. And so it's, it, I feel like it's backed up

01:51:03   there as well. But the reason I liked Ulysses was a lot of other of those like minimalist text

01:51:10   editors back, I don't know when I started using it eight years ago, seven years ago, they didn't

01:51:17   allow Dropbox. A lot of them were iCloud based or you couldn't, you couldn't, this is a real

01:51:25   critical thing is like you'd have, you can have a folder in Ulysses where you can manually sort the

01:51:29   files in the folder. So you don't have to have them sorted by date or by title. And for me,

01:51:33   being able to move files around. So treating a folder like a table of contents was really

01:51:38   critical for me. And when you're working on a book, it's super, super critical.

01:51:42   Pete: That's like, it's sort of like you letting a touch, it's not a full outliner,

01:51:48   but that's the idea behind real outlining software where, by which I mean, not like when you're in

01:51:55   Apple notes and just type a dash and you're, you're typing in a thing that looks like an outline,

01:52:02   but an outline where you can take any heading and just drag it up and down to reorganize it.

01:52:08   Brian: Right, exactly. And so Ulysses also does a couple of neat things where,

01:52:15   like if you select a number of files that are next to each other, it like just creates one document

01:52:20   with all that in it. So you can kind of, you can, I mean, you can just feel like you're working,

01:52:25   there's a flexibility to it. I think that when you're working on a book with chapters,

01:52:30   that is great. And then Ulysses also has super powerful PDF export styling. So like I,

01:52:40   you can write essentially CSS for the PDF exports. And so you can do really beautiful typographically

01:52:48   good looking exports in Ulysses. And I love using that to basically put out the drafts,

01:52:52   print out drafts. So I can do checks and stuff on the pieces. And so there's a huge Ulysses kind of

01:52:59   element to the editing process. And then depending on the length of the thing or how, what stage I'm

01:53:08   at, sometimes I'll bring it into Google Docs to work with editors. I find actually Google Docs

01:53:14   is by far the best shared editing space in terms of writing notes in the margins, making suggestions,

01:53:22   you know, okaying or rejecting suggestions, having conversations. It's just Google Docs has a lot of

01:53:28   issues and Google Drive is one of the worst pieces of software. Like I don't understand how Google

01:53:34   Drive is so difficult to use. It's to be beautifully complicated. I can never find what

01:53:41   I'm looking for in Google Drive. Like there's some philosophy of engineering that's happened there

01:53:47   about how it's going to show you, what it's going to show you and how it's thinking about hierarchies

01:53:52   that just doesn't make sense to, I think, a normal user. And I had this thread on Twitter that's

01:53:56   probably been deleted about Google Drive and like just hundreds of people chiming in being like,

01:54:02   yeah, I don't know. I don't know. It's so tough to use. But Google Docs, the trick with using it is

01:54:07   to just put links to Docs in a text file and don't even touch Google Drive. And so, but Google Docs

01:54:14   is, it really is, it's a great piece of software. And Google Docs actually does one thing

01:54:17   in the fast software, best software philosophy that I wish I could do on Mac OS and it drives me

01:54:24   crazy. And if anyone listening out there can program a shortcut, I have looked into this and

01:54:30   I have not been able to figure out a solution to this problem. But in Google Docs, if you have a

01:54:35   spelling, a misspelled word and you have the cursor on the word, you can tab into the spell

01:54:42   correction options and hit enter and then it's, you never have to take your fingers off the

01:54:46   keyboard. You don't have to use the trackpad. You don't have to right click on anything and select

01:54:51   the corrected word. You can just inline right there super quickly select the correct spelling.

01:54:58   So like things like that, I really love about it. But mainly the collaborative component is the

01:55:04   super power. Do you know about the F5 shortcut? This isn't going to solve your problem with

01:55:07   misspelling. But do you know that in TextEdit or any, any cocoa app, you can start typing a word

01:55:15   and if you hit F5, you get auto completion based on the dictionary. So I remapped that keyboard

01:55:24   shortcut because the F5 is very hard to type. And if you have, you know, and you have to turn off

01:55:30   to get it by default, you have to turn off the magic, you know, keyboard brightness or whatever

01:55:36   F5 does on your thing. And if you're using a MacBook Pro with a touch bar, you know,

01:55:42   how you get F5. So I, I've remapped it to control return. And so because I pinky for control,

01:55:49   right hand for return, and then it's, it's this universal auto complete. But I know, but that's,

01:55:57   I, I know exactly what you're talking about, though, right? So you've got the insertion

01:56:02   point on the red underlined word. And you're like, just give me the list. Don't, don't switch modes.

01:56:10   Yeah, I've got to go to the trackpad. I've got a right click. I've got to it. And the thing is,

01:56:17   the hit areas are so small, right? It's like, Oh, I've got to select just the right word. It's,

01:56:21   it's, it's, it's exhausting. It's just weird. And Google anyway, Google Docs has a really nice

01:56:26   solution for it that I would love. How do you invoke it? So you just, you hit the tab key.

01:56:31   Is that what you do? I think so. I'm pretty sure I was testing it the other day. And I think

01:56:38   there is, it's either you hit the tab or I think it's tab and it just brings you up

01:56:43   into that into that pop up. And seems to work pretty well. I don't know. It, it, it's, it's

01:56:51   an elegant, seems like an elegant solution, pretty obvious solution. But I haven't seen any other

01:56:56   text editor do it. And it kind of drives me nuts. And even the command, semi colon, I know that's

01:57:02   kind of like the universal spell checker, invoker. Even that, you know, it's like, you'd think that

01:57:07   if you're doing that it would, it would move, you know, cause it's like, right now I'm doing it in

01:57:11   this notes file and it's selecting the red squiggly underlined words, which is great,

01:57:16   but you'd think it would select it and then show you here are the, here are the options,

01:57:20   you know, and also giving you the option to please learn the spelling, which is a great thing to be

01:57:25   able to just do from the keyboard. That's another one of those aspects of Mac OS X where maybe

01:57:29   there's a little bit of cruft in that user interface. Like the system-wide spelling checker

01:57:34   is sort of, hasn't really, I mean, they've updated the style of the windows, you know,

01:57:39   each time they've revised the style of the windows and the operating, you know, the,

01:57:43   the, the interface, but it's like the same basic, Hey, it's like a floating panel and everything's

01:57:52   the, everything's really small, right? Like it, it's just the fun, you know, and just because they

01:57:58   haven't resized anything from 2001, 2002, when pixel for pixel, that was actually a reasonably

01:58:06   sized spelling checker panel. I bet it's from, yeah, I'm sure. Yeah. I bet Next had that command

01:58:14   semicolon. It's such a weird command, right? Command semicolon. I bet that's from Next. It's

01:58:20   a holdover. Yeah. Anyway, anyway, you know, it's like people forget that actually Next, the text

01:58:28   components of Next had essentially like hyperlinking built, had links built in,

01:58:33   you know, like that. If you right click on something and want to make it a link and say,

01:58:36   you know, that's all from Next. That's, that's 30 years old. That's a 30 year old interaction.

01:58:42   You know what? I was editing the shared document that we have for this episode of the show and I

01:58:49   was doing it on my iPad today and I thought, you know, this is something I should remember and

01:58:53   bring it up when I'm talking to Craig. Like on the Mac, I know how to make something a link.

01:58:59   I right click on it or go to the edit menu and there's edit link and then you get a thing. I

01:59:05   know the shortcut. Isn't it command K? My fingers want it to be command K. You hit command K,

01:59:10   you paste in the URL and now you have a link. And how do you do that on, on iPad OS or iOS?

01:59:19   There's, there's no way, you know, there's no standard way across all apps. It's just,

01:59:24   I don't know. There is something, sometimes I started thinking about things like that and how

01:59:29   nice it is that it was so consistent. It is still so consistent across multiple applications and

01:59:38   that the way you do it in text edit is the same way you do it in Apple notes. It's the same way

01:59:42   you do it in Apple mail. It's, it works in text view in Safari, you know, and that the text view

01:59:49   in Safari, even though it's a web browser inherits all of these things from cocoa for the spelling

01:59:55   checker and stuff like that and the right click menu. And that even in Safari, you can have this

02:00:00   text field and get the standard control click menu. I think this point of like, how do you

02:00:07   make something a link is it perfectly embodies the iOS, you know, philosophy, which is that you

02:00:14   weren't going to use this thing when I was was made the idea that people be, you know, copying

02:00:18   and pasting links between the there's no, there wasn't even copy and paste, but like bringing

02:00:22   links between apps, you know, it's just like, that wasn't, that wasn't the use case. So I think it

02:00:28   speaks to like, there's a fundamental core of an operating system that gets made at the start. And

02:00:34   there's a fundamental set of decisions, philosophical decisions about how the OS should

02:00:38   function. And you can't change those over time, for better or for worse. And, you know, like this

02:00:45   Mac OS link thing is 30 years old from, you know, from next. And iOS just didn't, you know, didn't

02:00:52   have that philosophy in the in the beginning. So now, it's like, we're trying to bolt these things

02:00:55   on or Apple's trying to bolt these things on like on iPad OS, and it just feels non native, you know,

02:01:01   it just another thing for me, like on, on the iPad, iPad OS is the keyboard buffer doesn't exist

02:01:08   between apps. Do you know what I'm talking about? Yeah. And it's so like your command tabbing,

02:01:12   and you start typing. Yeah. And you think that the app, you know, you're going from notes to messages,

02:01:19   and you just start typing, and then you've lost like the first two words, because they just didn't

02:01:25   show up. Exactly. I know that it's though those sorts of things. It's just like, okay, this wasn't

02:01:31   made for these sorts of interactions. That's what it says to me. And you just have to you have to

02:01:38   accept that it's not going to die. I don't think it's ever going to change. iPad OS will not will

02:01:42   not get a keyboard buffer anytime soon. They did fix a bug that was driving me nuts about two years

02:01:47   ago where the spotlight search didn't it like your first couple of characters in a spotlight search.

02:01:55   Right. Always got lost for me. I do command space, start typing. And it doesn't matter how many times

02:02:00   I got burned by it. I would do it again. Because whenever I'm thinking, oh, I should search

02:02:04   spotlight for that. I I've already started typing the query before I even remembered,

02:02:09   oh, this is going to eat my first few characters. And I brought it up to somebody at Apple, I filed

02:02:14   a radar, I had a thing. And then they were like, they took a look at it. And they were like, huh,

02:02:19   you're right. Yeah, that does that for me too. Huh. And then it got it got fixed in like a point

02:02:24   upgrade to you know, like iPad OS 12.7. But it's like, how did that happen? How did how did more

02:02:30   people inside Apple not not not be driven by this? Well, well, and also, here's another aspect of

02:02:37   that. Why are those first characters so important for search? That that always it always shocks me

02:02:45   how if you if you miss that first character, and this happens when you're on like the little

02:02:49   keyboard or something on an iPhone, spotlight often will not be able to find like if you're

02:02:54   trying to open mail and you type a I l it doesn't find mail or

02:02:59   or if I search for egg mod instead of I missed the car. And it's like, how does that not find

02:03:06   you anyway? It should it to me, there's a there's a kind of brokenness with search in general that

02:03:14   over emphasizes that first character that I don't know to me that it feels like it should be fixed.

02:03:20   I feel like Alford on, you know, on the Mac, on Mac, maybe is a little is a little more forgiving.

02:03:29   There's, I mean, it's just fuzzy search. There's like, there's algorithms right out there that are

02:03:33   very easy to just bolt onto any search field. And you get that that capability to get really

02:03:38   accurate, fuzzy search that's not contingent on that those first couple of characters.

02:03:43   Like, um, F Z F. Do you know that that little application for the term? I don't think so.

02:03:47   F Z F? No. It's this crazy. It's this crazy search tool that allows you to basically do

02:03:55   like infinite, infinitely deep searches on your computer based on, you know, super fuzzy search

02:04:03   terms. So you can do CD and you can type like test and then you do you invoke it by by I think

02:04:10   doing two asterisks and then hitting enter and then it turns it into an F Z F search.

02:04:14   And basically it auto completes, you know, in all of the subdirectories, anything that has the word

02:04:19   test in it, and then you can just, you can select the directory you want to go to. But like, you

02:04:24   don't have to, you can, anyway, you can, you can type a series of words that, you know, will kind

02:04:28   of get you six directories deep to the place you want to go. Um, and then invoke F Z F. And anyway,

02:04:34   it's a very fast way to move. And it just, it speaks to the power of like, if you know how to

02:04:39   use and expect fuzzy search to work properly, it's so empowering. It's like truly bicycle for the

02:04:44   minds. It's like, you've just amplified your ability to kind of traverse directories or move

02:04:48   through your OS, you know, five times faster. It's just one of those kinds of like really cool,

02:04:53   magic tools. Um, but, but yeah, it would be nice if, if, uh, we could correct words from the

02:05:01   keyboard. That's all I'm saying. All right. Last but not least. So is that everything for

02:05:07   book production, right? You've got InDesign for design. You've got, you've got, uh,

02:05:12   Ulysses for writing, Lightroom and maybe some affinity for photo editing.

02:05:19   Yeah, that's, that's, that's the crux of it. And, um, yeah, I don't, I've tried to use things like

02:05:29   Scrivener and I just find, I just find it's, it's an app that doesn't work the way I want to work.

02:05:34   It's a little, a little bit too, too onerous, a little bit too finicky. Um, yeah, I think that's,

02:05:39   that's, that's the core. So Kisa by Kisa, am I pronouncing it right? Because I, I probably would

02:05:45   have said Kisa by Kisa. Uh, your first run was, uh, uh, as we had done the home stretch here,

02:05:57   you, you decided to do a thousand copies and it sold out in like a day,

02:06:04   like two, basically like two days. Yeah. It, and you know, and again, I don't think it's,

02:06:12   it's not self-effacing. You're not fake modesty. It just sounds like that's a lot of copies of a

02:06:17   $95 book to sell that quickly. Yeah. It's insane. It's insane. That's why I only made a thousand

02:06:25   of them because I thought, I thought, well, there's no way I'm going to sell a thousand of

02:06:30   these. My expectation like, and I'm truly, I'm not like feigning false modesty here. Like my

02:06:35   expectation was I'll make a thousand of these and then it'll take three years to sell them all. That

02:06:40   was what I expected. Keep them in a warehouse as they slowly go out. It, this is a hard thing to

02:06:45   talk about on a podcast. It is a lovely book. How, what is the, the name of this cover style?

02:06:53   Because it is, it looks like a hard bound book. It kind of feels like a hard bound book,

02:07:00   but it actually has a little bit of flex to it that a true cardboard hard bound book doesn't have.

02:07:05   Yeah. I mean, flex a bind is, uh, is, is essentially, I think what it's mainly called,

02:07:14   um, flex, flex binding, flex bound, but it's all it is. You're just taking the, um, the boards of

02:07:20   a hardcover book, uh, that are normally thicker and you're just sort of, you know, choosing

02:07:26   thinner boards that aren't the, you know, it's, it's kind of between a paperback and a hardcover.

02:07:30   Um, but, uh, I think it's like, I think we ended up at like 0.7 millimeters or something like that

02:07:36   was the final, we did a bunch of tests to find, uh, one that had the right feel. And then what

02:07:41   happens is when you, when you cover them in cloth, um, it gives it this extra durability. So the

02:07:49   thing that drives me nuts about hardcover books is just, they feel a little bit violent in the hand

02:07:53   because it's like, this is so hard and like either corners are kind of digging into your, into your,

02:07:57   into your palm or whatever. And I really love, um, you know, the book of the field of paperbacks,

02:08:04   but I understand that the perception of a paperback as being a cheaper thing is real. And for, you

02:08:10   know, for good reason, because they do, they don't last as long. The binding's a little bit different,

02:08:14   but like on this book, we're doing a hardcover binding and we're doing, uh, you know, hardcover

02:08:19   style cloth wrap on the covers, but we're using, um, you know, boards that are, are closer to

02:08:28   paperback boards. But you know, what you end up with is this, what I feel like is like the perfect,

02:08:32   the perfect match of tactility and protection. So the book is, is very protected. It's not going to

02:08:38   get damaged really. I mean, you can scuff up the, the, the cloth or whatever, but it's not going to

02:08:43   rip on you like a paperback would. Um, and yet when you hold it, the hope is that it feels like

02:08:50   intimate and kind of nice to hold. It's just comfortable, you know, and pleasurable to have

02:08:53   in the hand. And, uh, I actually saw this binding for the first time 20 years ago on this, um, this

02:09:00   book called Rome City Secrets that was published, uh, as this little guy, this thick little guy to

02:09:06   Rome and it used the same kind of binding. And I've just always been spellbound by, I just thought,

02:09:11   oh, this is it. This is the, this is the most amazing binding. I love this. And, uh, I've been

02:09:15   trying to use it for a while. And finally with this book, I had enough latitude of being able to

02:09:21   do what I wanted to do and do and run tests. And, um, uh, we were able to kind of dial this

02:09:26   in into a place that I think feels really, feels really good. So yeah, that's part. And, and some

02:09:31   people have written in and been like, you know, um, I thought this was a hardcover book, you know,

02:09:36   uh, some, I think a couple of people have been upset because they thought they, they, they

02:09:41   expected a hardcover because they like, oh, I didn't realize this was a paperback, you know,

02:09:45   why is it $95? Well, literally the only thing different between this and, uh, and, and, uh,

02:09:52   and a quote unquote real hardcover is like about half a millimeter of board. That's about it. Um,

02:09:57   otherwise this is, this is definitely trust me, the costs of producing this thing are hardcover

02:10:02   costs and the durability of this thing is going to be hardcover durability. So don't worry about it.

02:10:07   Jon Moffitt But, so the first, the first edition sold out thousand copies now, though people can

02:10:12   still buy the second edition. Is that what you're calling it? Second?

02:10:18   David Bonilla Second edition. Yeah. Yeah. Cause the first edition

02:10:21   is stamped, numbered, uh, and signed. And so that was what made it limited. And the second edition

02:10:28   is also limited. We did 1200 copies and the second edition, I think there's about 200 left. Um, and,

02:10:35   uh, it's not, it's not stamped or signed, so it's not editioned.

02:10:39   Jon Moffitt I've got, I've got, I've got 200 on the button,

02:10:44   not one 99. Nice. Not two Oh one copy 200. Boom. There you go. Uh, I gotta, I gotta,

02:10:51   you must have a bunch of Tashin books, right? There's the best Tashin is this company that

02:10:57   makes the world's greatest coffee table books. And some of them are insanely expensive. Um,

02:11:05   and I've got a couple of the Kubrick ones and my 2001, I got copied nine 99, which I thought was,

02:11:12   I don't know. I don't want to, I'm not, I'm only one of those guys who, you know, there's all sorts

02:11:17   of numbers that you can read into it. I don't want to be one of these, you know, it means something,

02:11:21   but I don't know. I thought that was pretty cool. So the other recent project project you've had

02:11:28   is a short film. Is this the first short film you've done since you've been doing special

02:11:33   projects? Yeah, well, this is the first short film I've ever done ever since before.

02:11:39   Jon Moffitt It's so good. It makes me sick, Craig.

02:11:40   I, so how much, how much of the work did you do? So the, the it's on YouTube. It is,

02:11:50   uh, I don't have the note in front of me. What's the title?

02:11:53   Craig Tompa Pizza, toast and coffee.

02:11:55   Jon Moffitt Which is the same subject as

02:11:57   Kisa by Kisa that you've, you know, gone on these extended journeys in Japan to experience pizza

02:12:06   toast, which really does look delicious. I, it really does. It looks so good and coffee.

02:12:16   And it's like, I don't know what more do you need for sustenance? But this, this short film,

02:12:22   I'm not just saying it because you're on the show and you're a pal. It is beautiful. But did you do

02:12:27   all of it yourself? I mean, did you, you shot it, you lit it. It is just, and it's just,

02:12:33   it all just takes place on a rainy, like mid morning. It looks like.

02:12:39   Jon Moffitt Yeah. Yeah. I had to, so, so the, a little bit of background on it is one of the

02:12:46   things I've kind of codified, I guess, like when I was writing up the, the year in review in January

02:12:53   this year, um, was that, is that I, all of the work I do is essentially to make books. So

02:12:59   everything is pointing towards books and every project sub project I do has to be either in

02:13:04   support of the books or adding some other element to the book or amplifying the book. And so like,

02:13:11   I just find for me that that is, that is the most meaningful and simplest way to organize all of my

02:13:20   creative work. Everything is aiming towards producing books. And so all of the walks I was

02:13:25   doing, and I'm still doing these, you know, for listeners who don't know, I spend about

02:13:32   two to six months out of the year walking across Japan. I'm about to go off on another big walk in

02:13:38   May, actually, it'll be another six or 700 kilometers. I just did one in November that was

02:13:43   700 kilometers. And so from these walks, I'm producing books and Kisa by Kisa was kind of

02:13:49   the first book from these walks. And so I also last year, because of by dint of pandemic, I just

02:13:56   started getting more into video, doing the live streams and playing with cameras and thinking

02:14:01   about video just because we couldn't go anywhere. And so that just made me really look at the video

02:14:08   world once again, which I hadn't taken a peek at in a long time, and realize like, the true

02:14:13   advancements in photography right now are in videography, like it's a Renaissance moment for

02:14:19   anyone who wants to do film. It's crazy how amazing and how quickly consumer pro cameras are

02:14:26   advancing. And so it was sort of a confluence of all these things of like, going to these Kisa,

02:14:32   these Kisa Ten, these Kisa is a Japanese style, old cafe. These are cafes that were mainly started in

02:14:39   say the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s. And they're mainly run by people who are just about to retire. And so

02:14:45   they're all kind of just about to disappear. The numbers are dropping precipitously. So I would,

02:14:50   in these walks across Japan, I, you know, the one organizing principle anywhere you go in the

02:14:55   country, it may, they may be do have different foods or do, you know, a local specialty or,

02:15:00   or whatever. But the one thing that is consistent is the presence of Kisa and barber shops, you got

02:15:06   those everywhere. Lots of barber shops, lots of Kisa. And so I would just start going to these

02:15:12   Kisa on these walks, I'd see them and just the stories and they, to me felt like they embodied

02:15:19   really this cultural touchstone that was easy to overlook as a Japanese person, because you just

02:15:26   kind of, you see them as inevitable and also as kind of throwaway things, whatever, it's a Kisa.

02:15:30   But really, they're sort of community centers, a lot of Japan is depopulating in the countryside.

02:15:37   And so the Kisa are these de facto community centers. And so you go to them, and they're just

02:15:41   full of these octogenarians. And they're all like kind of, you know, chatting and farmers catching

02:15:45   up and stuff like that. And so, to me, they became these really interesting and important cultural

02:15:50   hubs. And pizza toast just happens to be kind of the food that they're, that's one of their staples.

02:15:55   And the reason why it's a staple is because a lot of these are post-war institutions,

02:15:59   they didn't have full kitchens. And so to make pizza toast, all you need is a little toaster oven.

02:16:05   And so it's a, it's an easy to make food that's kind of fun and sort of riffs off of, you know,

02:16:11   Western food, but can be done, you know, very easily, you know, with next to nothing in terms

02:16:16   of ingredients. And so that's sort of the kind of the history there of pizza toast in the context of

02:16:22   Japanese society. And so this, I'd done this book on Kisa-ten, on Kisa, and I'd been doing all this

02:16:31   video work. And when I put up my Craig's starter, because when I launched that Kisa book, I kind of,

02:16:39   I was looking at Kickstarter and I realized like, the value that Kickstarter provided for the cut

02:16:45   they took, I just kind of didn't exist there for me anymore. I have my audience, I didn't feel like

02:16:49   Kickstarter was going to drive more audience to buy the thing. So I was looking at Shopify,

02:16:54   and I realized I could basically clone Kickstarter on Shopify using templates. And I spent a couple

02:17:01   of weeks and I just made my own Kickstarter. And I was able to, you know, the benefit is you can

02:17:05   design it all in any way you want. Kickstarter, you're stuck with their templates, I could make

02:17:10   my tiers however I wanted. One big benefit is I could offer discount codes, which Kickstarter

02:17:15   doesn't let you do. You can't offer discount codes to anyone. And so all of these kind of these--

02:17:19   So you can offer discounts to your members.

02:17:22   That's which is exactly what I did. My goal with the membership program is to return

02:17:28   the full membership in discounts every year to every member, at least. Like if you pay 100 bucks

02:17:35   for the membership and you are interested in my work, and you want to buy my books or whatever,

02:17:39   you will get that $100 back absolutely within the year through if you choose to take advantage of

02:17:46   the discounts that I offer. So members got $50 off on the book. I feel like that's a pretty

02:17:52   pretty powerful incentive. So the membership there to me feels like basically it's everyone's making

02:17:58   an investment. It's like micro seed capital for me to be able to do these projects. And then once

02:18:03   I can get the project done, I want to return that capital. Plus, they get the hopefully psychically

02:18:10   positive return of this new piece of culture being in the world. So it's kind of a way of amplifying

02:18:14   that quote unquote seed capital. But when I was making, when you run a Kickstarter or

02:18:19   Craigstarter, you make these goals. You're like, "Well, man, if we sell 500 books, I'll do this."

02:18:24   And one of the goals I made was if we sold 750 books during the pre-sale campaign, I would make

02:18:30   a pizza toast YouTube show. And I was like, I'm definitely not going to sell 750 books.

02:18:39   And so I'm definitely not going to have to make a pizza toast YouTube show. And sure enough,

02:18:43   we sold 750 books in a day. So that made me go, "Okay, all right, let me look at this video world

02:18:50   again." And I started getting into cameras to document the production process of the book.

02:18:55   And just a few things led to another. And I just thought, "Okay, for this pizza toast show,

02:19:03   quote unquote pizza toast show, why don't I do a vignette, a little profile of one of the cafes

02:19:10   that I went to?" And it can be this kind of anthropological archetype or archive of this

02:19:17   thing that is going to disappear. This cafe that I shot will be gone in 10 years. I'm almost 100%

02:19:24   certain. It doesn't have 10 years left in it. And so to kind of have a 4K archival quality

02:19:31   video of this moment, I felt like that was a really nice bonus thing to the book. And it

02:19:41   kind of points back to the book and the book points to it.

02:19:44   Tom Bilyeu: And you talk about making a short film like this as being book-like in concept,

02:19:50   because it has a beginning and an end, right? Here's the thing, you can hold it. Here's the

02:19:54   whole thing. You can just hit play, start to finish, it gets to the end, and you're done.

02:20:00   You've enjoyed the movie. That's the one thing that to me is a little weird. It's a little

02:20:07   incongruous to see it on YouTube, where YouTube is this. And I'm more pro-YouTube. I mean,

02:20:17   I've started putting my live talk shows on YouTube. I mean, I'm never going to be a YouTuber.

02:20:24   But the thing that I find so unsettling, and I feel like you and I have sort of touched on this,

02:20:29   but that the endless scroll has a psychological weight that I think we're starting, we

02:20:38   collectively are starting to come to grips with. And I think that that might be one of the things

02:20:43   that's driving people back to things like newsletters and subscription sites. And I can

02:20:49   subscribe to Mattie Iglesias' Slow, Boring, and a new one comes in, and I can hit the space bar a

02:20:56   couple times to read it. And then I get to the bottom, and it's done. Right? And then I'm caught

02:21:03   up. You can catch up on Daring Fireball, right? When you just start looking for new posts, scroll

02:21:10   until you hit one that you remember seeing before, and then you know you're caught up. And you can

02:21:14   close the tab and come back tomorrow or the next day, and there'll be new posts waiting for you.

02:21:20   I think that the endless scroll of Twitter and Instagram and YouTube has a psychological weight.

02:21:30   And your little movie stands so athwart of that, right? It's effectively a silent film. I mean,

02:21:39   the sound effects of rain hitting the windows and, you know—

02:21:46   Toast flopping. There's a flop of toast.

02:21:50   Pour over coffee being brewed. I'm a big pour over man myself. Is that the—

02:21:57   Oh, yeah.

02:21:58   —the most popular thing in Japan?

02:22:01   Yeah, it's a pretty classic pour over. The old cafes have been doing

02:22:08   have been doing pour over, usually often with cloth drips, cloth nets.

02:22:14   Pour over, and then there's also this siphon method where—do you know this thing where it's like a—it

02:22:19   looks like a chemistry set, and it's got two bulbs, and the water kind of burbles up?

02:22:24   Japan's been doing that for a very, very long time.

02:22:27   But it is. It's just a contemplative little vignette. And it just is so—it could—in

02:22:35   some ways it is a very—literally a very quiet little movie, but it also—it's

02:22:39   different from the standard fare of YouTube. I found it very striking.

02:22:46   Well, believe me, if I could not have it on YouTube, I would prefer to put it somewhere else.

02:22:53   I thought about this, and I looked around, and the reality is that if you want to host 4K

02:22:59   video somewhere, it's tough to do. And I just don't really like Vimeo. I just find Vimeo,

02:23:06   the interface isn't that good, the algorithms aren't as good.

02:23:10   YouTube, for all of its flaws, it has the best scaling algorithms, the best delivery algorithms,

02:23:19   the best in-the-moment resizing, rescaling algorithms. So it's very bandwidth-aware and

02:23:26   friendly. It goes from really crappy connections to fiber connections, and it kind of handles it

02:23:32   all flawlessly. All of that, I think, is really important, and I don't see that present in any

02:23:38   other consumer video platform that can host a 4K video. Also, I looked at the cost of doing it on

02:23:48   my own, and it's crazy. It's so expensive. That thing I uploaded is a couple gigs. That's like

02:23:56   a two or three gig video. And if you have, last I looked, it had like 15,000 views or whatever,

02:24:03   if you have 15,000 people download two gigs off your server, it's going to hammer you.

02:24:08   I looked at Cloudflare video hosting, I looked at all sorts of things, and just the economics of it

02:24:14   were crazy. It's hard to understand how Google makes it work with YouTube, to be honest. And

02:24:18   it's another one of those things that we've wound up with where there's one and only one YouTube,

02:24:25   and there's nothing else that's even vaguely like YouTube. And when it works, it is the

02:24:30   most amazing thing. I forget what I've just was searching for a commercial the other day.

02:24:38   Oh, the Casio G-Shock watch, because there's a rumor that Apple's going to make a rubbery,

02:24:46   rugged version of Apple Watch, and I wanted to look up the hockey puck version of the initial

02:24:53   Casio. And of course they had it. Of course they did. And it was the first thing that came up.

02:24:57   I just took a guess at the year. I was like, "Casio 1983 G-Shock ad, first hit." There it was.

02:25:04   Wow. Yeah.

02:25:06   And that is amazing when you think about it. Because in 1983, that ad was on TV every day,

02:25:14   and I saw it every day. And then by 1993, I certainly remembered it, but I would have had

02:25:19   0% chance of finding a copy of it. 0.00. I mean, I wouldn't even know where to go. What? Call the

02:25:27   Casio US headquarters and see if they'll send me a copy on VHS of an ad from 10 years ago?

02:25:34   You couldn't do it.

02:25:36   Right. Yeah. It is weird. It's an incredible archive. It really is. And yeah, and how does

02:25:45   Google... I'd love to know the economics on it, like what their expenses are for all of that

02:25:51   bandwidth, what they really are. But I think just the advertising, they make a lot of money

02:25:57   advertising on YouTube. So my goal is if I get... I have to get to 4,000 hours viewed on my channel

02:26:05   in public videos, and then I can turn off all advertising. Because I think right now,

02:26:11   Google can still automatically put an ad on my stuff, even without me being able to say yes or

02:26:18   no. So I have not turned on monetization for any of my videos. But if you cross a threshold,

02:26:23   you're allowed to say, "Never, ever, ever put an ad on my stuff." And so I'm hoping that we get

02:26:30   close to it with this video so I can turn off all the ads. So whatever...

02:26:33   It's a little weird that you have to do it that way, but I guess it's sort of an anti-fraud type

02:26:38   thing, to keep a spammer from just creating an endless series of new channels just to keep

02:26:45   putting their ads on. But what exactly their game would be to not have ads, I'm not quite sure. But

02:26:52   I'm sure that YouTube has run into every single imaginable form of fraud. Yeah.

02:26:58   But no, but back to your question about the production of the video, it was like, "Yeah,

02:27:05   it was just me. I brought a backpack with 20 kilograms of photo equipment in it, a few lenses,

02:27:11   a light, a tripod, and that was it." The hardest part was convincing the guy in the video to let

02:27:21   me shoot him. These old Kisa guys, they can't see any of the value in what they're doing.

02:27:26   They can't imagine why anyone would want to watch them do this. And I think an element of him was,

02:27:35   "Is this guy making fun of me?" There's kind of this, "Is this really? Is he serious?

02:27:40   Is he not taking the piss?" And it was convincing Yamane-san. It was like, "Look,

02:27:47   I know this is weird, but actually you make really beautiful, strangely interesting pizza toast."

02:27:56   What's the deal with the way he slices the crust?

02:28:00   Yeah, he's been doing the cafe for 45 years. And for the first two years before he opened,

02:28:08   he worked at this hotel in Yokohama. And I guess one of the guys at the hotel in Yokohama who ran

02:28:13   this fancy cafe would cut the toast in that way a little bit. So what he's doing, he's scoring it,

02:28:19   and he scores two sides of the crust down like 80%. And then he cuts the rest of it,

02:28:26   he scores the rest of it so that when it comes out of the toaster, he's able to evenly split it into

02:28:31   three fingers, essentially. And then the reason why he cuts the crust down is that he has customers

02:28:37   who don't like crust. And so if the crust is cut almost off, but not entirely, you can peel it off

02:28:44   if you don't like it. But if you want to keep it, because it's been separated from the body of the

02:28:49   bread, it actually collects an extra char. So it creates this nice mouthfeel, and you get this

02:28:57   crunch from this crust that you wouldn't otherwise get. So that's the cutting philosophy.

02:29:02   It's a lovely, lovely movie. I know we have to wrap it up. But the other thing we were talking

02:29:07   about, we've slagged on some of Apple's software, but you were talking about getting to know Final

02:29:13   Cut Pro and talking that you found it to be a revelation in terms of being good software.

02:29:21   Oh, it's incredible. Have we slacked on it? I feel like we've said we've been very laudatory

02:29:28   of Mac OS. And we've said the old 2016 MacBook Pros were horrible, which I think anyone would

02:29:36   agree with that. And the DNA of iOS is not to be super fluid, to have that fluency. I think that's

02:29:46   a fair criticism. But Final Cut Pro X is amazing. I love it. I'm entranced. It's some of the best

02:29:57   software I've ever used. They got rid of the X. It's just Final Cut Pro now.

02:30:01   When did they get rid of the X? I thought the X was pretty recent.

02:30:04   I think they got rid of it because they got rid of the X in Mac OS X too. I don't know. Maybe.

02:30:09   Oh. Oh, wow.

02:30:11   But I don't use it because I haven't made a video. But when I did, I mean, I have my little goofy

02:30:20   video where I show people how to take AirPods out of a case the right way. Even as a total punter,

02:30:29   for lack of a better word, you could see that this is a great Mac app. It's not just a video editor.

02:30:37   It is the video editor that the Mac deserves. And I guess it's polarizing in some ways because some

02:30:44   people, if you don't like that Mac likeness of it, you're not going to like it. It's not Adobe

02:30:53   Premiere. But it also makes me wonder what and when Apple decides to make their Pro Tools group

02:31:02   is such an interesting group. Logic is still a huge deal. But then they got rid of Aperture.

02:31:08   What the thinking is there is very strange to me. And as Adobe moves Lightroom in this way that you

02:31:17   mentioned before, where they seem to be pushing people towards the cloud version of Lightroom,

02:31:23   and away from the classic one, which is more of a Mac style way of working, not in the cloud,

02:31:28   but here, I want it on my Mac. That Aperture decision just stands out to me as very hard to

02:31:37   explain. Yeah, well, I mean, I think it was, there's probably a moment in Apple where they're

02:31:45   like, we're going all in on photos, we're going from iPhotos to photos, we're going to make photos

02:31:50   super powerful. We want everyone to be, you know, we just want this to be the place that you put all

02:31:54   of your, you know, pro or amateur, whatever. It all goes in here. And I think that was just a flawed

02:32:00   philosophy. Anyway, thank you so much for your time. So let's tell people where they can find

02:32:08   out more stuff. So we'll put a link to copious show notes. This is great. The show, you've done

02:32:14   most of the work for me. But we will link. Well, we did talk about most of it. We did. We did pretty

02:32:20   good. This is actually for me, this is probably about as close as I ever stick to show notes.

02:32:25   I promised to put a link to the movie on YouTube. Your website for special projects is just at

02:32:35   craigmod.com. And your tweets where people can hurry up and read them before you delete them are

02:32:42   on twitter.com/atcraigmod. No, just craigmod. Oh, just guess right. You don't put the ad in on

02:32:50   Twitter. Anyway, I will also thank our sponsors for this episode. We had flat file where you can

02:32:59   go and get your spreadsheets imported. We have Squarespace, the all in one web hosting solution,

02:33:06   and Mack Weldon where you can buy fresh underwear, socks, hoodies, and more. Anything else you wanted

02:33:13   to mention, Craig, before we part ways? No, just, you know, the best way to,

02:33:24   if you're like, "Oh, I'm interested in this guy's stuff and I want to kind of support

02:33:27   his stuff, but I don't want to be a member," the best thing to do is check out the books. I just

02:33:33   feel like I'm really proud of the book work. So I'd say go there and investigate that. But if you

02:33:39   do become a member, you get a big discount. Well, let me say this about the book. And

02:33:45   if you went to the website and you looked at your website pages for the book and you're thinking,

02:33:52   "Oh, I think I know what that book would be like," the book is exactly like that.

02:34:00   You know, there's just something—I don't know how better to say it. The book has the exact vibe that

02:34:07   I expected it to have, and it's truly lovely. Great. Well, thank you, man.

02:34:13   Typographically gorgeous as well, but of course. Thank you. I had Frank Camaro's help on that.

02:34:18   Oh man, that guy. This is the thing is like, also independently producing this book,

02:34:27   you know, I talked to a bunch of agents and publishers in New York about doing a similar

02:34:31   kind of book, but they were all, "You need to do something a little more normal first,

02:34:36   and then you can do kind of this," because the book is a little experimental. But, you know,

02:34:41   doing it on my own, one of the issues with "vanity publishing" is that you often don't get to work

02:34:47   with these high-level amazing people that you can sometimes work with if you go to a big publisher.

02:34:52   But I've built up such a great group of friends who are talented beyond me and 100x group of friends

02:35:01   that I'm able to call on. You know, the typography, we did big sweeps with Frank Camaro. Rob Giampietro

02:35:09   chimed in, gave me some feedback. I was able to work with Gray318, one of the best cover designers

02:35:15   in the world, to do a bunch of feedback on the production of the book. And then the editors I

02:35:19   worked with are two of the best editors that I know, you know, in their industry, in their

02:35:26   worlds. They're top of the top. So I think that's also kind of a weird quirk is that I don't think

02:35:32   I could have made—I'm so satisfied with where this book landed that I couldn't have landed in

02:35:39   a better place in any other way. So, like, that's—and I don't say that lightly.

02:35:44   - Well, you should be very proud. It is a wonderful book. All right, Craig, thanks for being on the show.

02:35:50   - Boom. Thanks, John.