The Talk Show

276: ‘Bring It On, Haters’ With Ben Thompson


00:00:00   - We're gonna make people so angry on this episode.

00:00:04   - Well, just for the record, it is 7.16 a.m.

00:00:07   - Yeah.

00:00:08   - On a holiday week, the kids are still in bed.

00:00:10   And I insisted I'd be happy to wake up early

00:00:14   because I'm very excited about this episode.

00:00:18   Which we've been, it was funny 'cause we'll get to it later,

00:00:21   but I was actually confused when you posted

00:00:24   because we'd been talking about it for so long,

00:00:27   I thought you'd already written about it.

00:00:28   No.

00:00:30   We'll have to get to it then.

00:00:33   We have some sad news, though, to talk about first.

00:00:35   We have two obituaries to touch upon.

00:00:41   The one everybody, I'm sure, has heard about is Kobe Bryant,

00:00:46   Lakers superstar, which I hate to say,

00:00:49   it almost is like underselling what he meant to basketball

00:00:53   and the world at large.

00:00:56   died, passed away with his 13-year-old daughter

00:00:59   in a helicopter accident Sunday afternoon.

00:01:03   Just shocking.

00:01:04   And Clayton Christensen,

00:01:07   we can talk about after Kobe, I guess,

00:01:10   lost, he was only 67,

00:01:12   which again, nowhere near as young as Kobe.

00:01:14   Of course, he was 41, but still, just 60, you know.

00:01:17   That's how you know you're getting old,

00:01:18   is when you hear somebody die at 67

00:01:20   and you think, "Ah, too young."

00:01:22   - Yeah.

00:01:23   No, I mean--

00:01:24   - He lost a battle with leukemia this week too.

00:01:26   - Yeah, I actually, I wrote about them in conjunction

00:01:30   because it was interesting because I had planned

00:01:32   to sort of write about Christiansen.

00:01:35   Obviously it's been a huge impact on Sir Chachere

00:01:39   and on me and didn't really, didn't know him.

00:01:43   But still, of anyone that's sort of been impactful

00:01:48   on what I write about, he's certainly top of the list

00:01:51   and a figure that's sort of widely known

00:01:54   and pretty widely revered in Silicon Valley.

00:01:56   And what was interesting about it,

00:02:00   then sort of the Kobe news happened,

00:02:02   and it was the age thing that was so striking to me,

00:02:05   because a lot of the people that have died,

00:02:09   or the older we get, the more the people that are like,

00:02:12   we're familiar with dying,

00:02:13   it's just kind of like something that you have to deal with.

00:02:16   They still always seem someone that I looked up to.

00:02:19   And Christian, to your point, is 67, which is unfortunately too young, but is still 28 years older than I am.

00:02:27   And it's like, man, that's a shame.

00:02:31   I hope I live longer than that, his poor family, etc., etc.

00:02:35   But it's still like, the way they're in your head is someone that you look up to, right?

00:02:40   Whereas Kobe, he was the same age as me, right?

00:02:45   I mean, he's two years older.

00:02:47   Yeah.

00:02:47   And so yes, you look up to his athletic accomplishments,

00:02:51   and obviously Kobe is a very complex character.

00:02:55   That is never far from mine, I think,

00:02:57   particularly with people my age,

00:02:59   because of the allegations against him from Colorado.

00:03:03   That's sort of like, when you grew up with him,

00:03:06   I remember him in high school.

00:03:07   I remember when he came to the NBA.

00:03:08   I remember when he won the titles with Shaq.

00:03:10   I remember when that trial dominated the news.

00:03:14   I remember when he sort of came back to win the title again.

00:03:17   And it was much more of a,

00:03:19   I'm not saying I'm Kobe's peer,

00:03:21   but it's like, it's just like,

00:03:22   I feel like my relationship with him

00:03:24   is so much different than my relationship with Christiansen,

00:03:26   neither of whom I knew,

00:03:28   but just because the age was very different.

00:03:30   So it was way more jarring for me,

00:03:31   like dramatically more jarring.

00:03:32   It's like, this is like my contemporary.

00:03:34   - Yeah.

00:03:35   I'm a little bit in between.

00:03:36   I mean, I'm 46, so Jordan's 10 years older than me,

00:03:40   and Kobe was five years younger,

00:03:43   so I'm a little closer in age to Kobe,

00:03:45   but he always felt, you know.

00:03:46   And it is one thing, I know I don't wanna turn this

00:03:48   into a sports episode of the show,

00:03:52   but one thing about being a sports fan

00:03:55   is you're far more than other forms

00:03:59   of knowing famous people, like following politics closely

00:04:03   or like traditional celebrity news,

00:04:08   like actors and actresses,

00:04:10   is you're acutely aware of their age and your age.

00:04:13   You know, like how old is Brad Pitt?

00:04:15   I don't know, I have no idea.

00:04:16   The guy doesn't seem to age.

00:04:17   You know, Tom Cruise, I mean, Jesus Christ,

00:04:19   the guy looks exactly the same as he did 25 years ago.

00:04:22   You know, and you can keep,

00:04:26   these guys can keep making the same sort of movies

00:04:28   they used to make.

00:04:29   I mean, Harrison Ford was making,

00:04:31   is still making action movies.

00:04:32   I mean, he looks his age now,

00:04:33   but I mean, they're still gonna make

00:04:34   a new Indiana Jones movie, you know what I mean?

00:04:36   Like athletes don't get to do their thing

00:04:39   when they're honestly pushing 40.

00:04:43   It's a wonder that there are quarterbacks in the NFL

00:04:48   who are 40, 41, 42 still doing their thing.

00:04:52   Basketball doesn't really work that way.

00:04:54   Although, I just saw somebody in the NBA is 42

00:04:57   and still log in minutes.

00:04:59   - Well, we have Vince Carter, that's a huge exception.

00:05:02   And if there's the NBA is in particular,

00:05:04   'cause it's so, I mean, the edges are so small

00:05:07   when it comes to sort of athleticism.

00:05:08   there's guys that are coming in the league now,

00:05:10   and they're coming in, it's like, oh, he's 21 years old.

00:05:13   That reduces his value as a prospect,

00:05:15   because he has, as a parent to a 19-year-old,

00:05:18   those two years of potential development

00:05:20   make a big difference, but the implication is,

00:05:22   to your point, yeah, you're super aware

00:05:25   of how old everyone is, because it's a critical part

00:05:27   of evaluating their potential,

00:05:31   how much it should be paid, et cetera, et cetera.

00:05:33   And yeah, there, the prime of your career

00:05:37   like 27 to 29 years old and and yeah and so the guys that guys that sort of retire it's like yeah

00:05:44   they've been on the downswing for a while you kind of know what's coming and and um you know

00:05:50   certainly we went through that went through that with with bryant and uh and yeah but but it's like

00:05:56   but it makes it almost more tragic in a way because it's like all right now on one hand it's

00:06:02   like oh wait you know if cody bryant was put on earth to play basketball he played basketball

00:06:06   played it well, accomplished all he could accomplish, and that was that. On the other hand,

00:06:10   you know, he more than most athletes really seemed to be leaning into sort of, you know,

00:06:17   his second act as it were. And he was so clearly, you know, for, you know, again, say what you will

00:06:26   and what needs to be said about his past. He was so clearly devoted to his family and, you know,

00:06:31   like the whole reason he had a helicopter was because he wanted to be able to drive his kids

00:06:34   He'd take his to school in the morning

00:06:35   and pick him up in the afternoon.

00:06:36   And that was the only way that was viable in Los Angeles.

00:06:38   And so he's been on thousands of helicopter rides.

00:06:41   And it's like, oh man, it's rough.

00:06:46   - Yeah, I saw it.

00:06:47   There was a, it's just a heartbreaking clip.

00:06:49   I mean, all of it's heartbreaking.

00:06:50   It's just tragic.

00:06:51   But there was a clip of him on the Jimmy Kimmel show

00:06:54   recently, and I guess he has, or had, four daughters.

00:06:58   And-- - One was just born.

00:07:01   - Yeah, one was just born in June.

00:07:02   but he has one who's older, his second daughter was 13,

00:07:06   and she was the one who died with him

00:07:08   when the helicopter crashed going to a basketball game.

00:07:11   But he was talking to Jimmy Kimmel,

00:07:14   and I didn't see the initial context for the interview,

00:07:17   but it was basically that people keep coming up to him

00:07:19   and saying, "Hey, you got all these girls,

00:07:20   "but you gotta keep going, you gotta have a boy,

00:07:21   "someone to carry on your legacy, have a boy."

00:07:24   And he was like, "Hey, I already got a kid

00:07:25   "who's gonna carry on my legacy, Gigi," his daughter,

00:07:28   and that she's really good at basketball.

00:07:32   That's the one who died with him and then I was watching there were some clips on Twitter of her playing and man

00:07:36   There was a place she made as a 13 year old. It's like oh my god

00:07:39   There was this play where she stole the ball

00:07:42   I get a press and then like did like a spin move between two defenders and then like the nicest little easiest finger roll and it

00:07:49   Was like oh my god that she's got it. You know, she had it

00:07:53   Just I'm tearing up as I think about it

00:07:58   I mean, I'm not I'm a sports fan certainly not a Lakers fan

00:08:01   but it's like, man, when somebody dies,

00:08:02   I mean, you don't have to root for the team to just,

00:08:05   your heart just goes out.

00:08:07   And you're a bigger basketball fan than me,

00:08:09   but man, you just, what Kobe meant

00:08:12   to that generation of players, it's just unbelievable.

00:08:15   - Oh, that's something that's been super striking to me.

00:08:18   Because for you and I, it was Jordan, right?

00:08:20   Like, Jordan was the guy, you know,

00:08:22   I mean, just to do a rough analogy,

00:08:24   like, Jordan was like the Clay Christensen for me,

00:08:27   like, where you look up to him, like, you grow up with him.

00:08:29   Like he came in the league, you know, when I was just when I was just a kid and his dominant years in the 90s

00:08:35   I was in high school and so, you know

00:08:37   He was someone like he was older like he was doc

00:08:40   He was there present my whole life like even like the bird and Johnson, you know, Magic Johnson era like that's probably

00:08:47   What they were for you is what Jordan was for me

00:08:50   Yeah, like they were already there when I got there. I mostly remember them as a little kid

00:08:53   Well, and I mostly remember their their their sort of decline when I remember sort of their their prime

00:08:58   Yeah, I was yeah, but the age difference is such that the bird magic dr

00:09:03   J era is a little bit more for me what Jordan was for you

00:09:06   But like burden magic rookie year was 79 or 80 80

00:09:11   79 - 80 maybe like where the 80

00:09:14   the 1980 finals was the one where Kareem had the the killer migraine headache couldn't play and

00:09:21   Magic who was the point guard played center came into Philly and won a huge game as the center

00:09:28   - Yup.

00:09:29   - When he played, I mean, it helps when you're 6'9",

00:09:31   you know, that you can just sub in for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

00:09:35   in the NBA Finals as a point guard.

00:09:37   - Right, we're the greatest players of all time.

00:09:39   - But still, it just showed that he was there.

00:09:41   But 1980, I was only seven years old,

00:09:43   I don't friggin' remember, I can't say it.

00:09:45   So by the time I really understood basketball,

00:09:47   Bird and Magic and Dr. J were already the guys,

00:09:52   you know what I mean?

00:09:53   They were just there, they were the NBA.

00:09:56   And Jordan was the first player at that level,

00:10:00   like someone who's in the argument

00:10:03   for best player of all time.

00:10:04   And who, I still would say is the best player,

00:10:06   but somebody who was in that argument,

00:10:08   who I remember being drafted, playing,

00:10:13   I remember Jordan playing college,

00:10:15   I remember when Jordan was on the Olympic team

00:10:18   with Bobby Knight as the coach.

00:10:20   And I remember, I remember the one,

00:10:24   I mean, again, I wanna talk about Kobe,

00:10:26   but I just remember, as like a seminal moment,

00:10:28   I remember the time, this '86 season,

00:10:30   when Jordan had a knee injury

00:10:32   and missed a ton of the regular season

00:10:33   and played in the playoffs

00:10:35   and lit the Celtics up for like 64 points

00:10:37   in a playoff game.

00:10:39   And the Celtics ended up wanting,

00:10:41   but Bird said something after the,

00:10:43   and Bird was like the most competitive,

00:10:45   rotten son of a bitch who ever played sports

00:10:47   and he was just like,

00:10:48   even though they hadn't finished the series yet,

00:10:50   he was like, "Yeah, he's the best player of all time."

00:10:52   (laughing)

00:10:54   which is not easy for those guys to say.

00:10:56   - No, not easy for Larry Bird to say.

00:10:58   - But that's the thing though,

00:10:59   is the way we feel about Jordan and Bird,

00:11:02   or you feel about Bird and Magic,

00:11:04   that's how all the players today feel about Kobe.

00:11:05   - Yeah, totally.

00:11:06   - And so it's like when you see them so devastated

00:11:09   that all the guys in the NBA looked up to him.

00:11:13   And he was like, he's your favorite player's

00:11:18   favorite player, basically, is the way to think about it.

00:11:21   And you can understand, it was like an age thing.

00:11:24   That makes me feel old, right?

00:11:26   It makes me feel old to see all these NBA players

00:11:29   that I love to watch, but they're all at least

00:11:32   like 10 years younger than me, right?

00:11:33   So of course Kobe's their guy, and it's not Jordan

00:11:36   in the latest for me.

00:11:37   - I know all of these guys, yeah, exactly what you said.

00:11:41   He meant so much to all of these guys,

00:11:42   and there's so many of them who say,

00:11:43   yeah, that's the guy who I watch,

00:11:45   and I was like, yeah, I wanna be in the NBA.

00:11:47   But one of the guys who stood out to me,

00:11:50   I mean, they have so many comments,

00:11:51   many tearful interviews in the last few days, but Steph Curry was talking about, I saw Steph Curry

00:11:57   and Steph said that the searing memory for him was that game where Kobe scored 80. And he's like,

00:12:05   "Look, I know Wilt Chamberlain scored 100, but I can't relate to that." And that might stand for the

00:12:12   ages. But that was like 1961 or something like that. These guys saw Kobe Bryant score 80 points

00:12:18   In a game and that's like what Steph was saying like I saw it. You know and it was like the modern game

00:12:23   Like I know and I know now I'm in the league and I know what that means

00:12:27   You know like I know how impossible that is to rack up 80 points in a game. You know and

00:12:31   It's just unbelievable

00:12:34   The thing with the other thing with the other thing with him is you know I wasn't like a fan either

00:12:39   I wasn't a Kobe fan. I've been you know there's a

00:12:42   You know particularly the waiters. You know he's notorious for you know he's gonna get his shots up

00:12:47   You say it was a modern game.

00:12:49   It was a modern game relative to Wilt,

00:12:51   but modern to today's more space-oriented,

00:12:54   three-point oriented, a bit more different,

00:12:59   different for sure.

00:13:01   But I think the thing that,

00:13:02   what marks this sort of,

00:13:05   there's different levels of greatness.

00:13:07   There's greatness purely in a basketball sense.

00:13:09   Like Tim Duncan, probably from a pure basketball sense,

00:13:12   a better player, more significant than Kobe.

00:13:17   but from a cultural sense, from the holistic nature of basketball, where it's not just about

00:13:22   what happens on the court, but the impact on those around you, the entire media landscape,

00:13:28   the sort of expansion of the NBA to China is a huge part of this. Like, Kobe was astronomically

00:13:35   more important than Tim Duncan. You know, it's kind of like, if you take a feeds and speeds

00:13:39   approach to basketball, you know, to tie it to like a sort of tech idea, like, yeah, Tim Duncan

00:13:44   as better feeds and speeds relative to Kobe,

00:13:46   like sort of historically speaking,

00:13:47   but if you take a holistic view of all,

00:13:50   everything that goes into being a basketball player,

00:13:51   everything that goes into being significant and meaningful,

00:13:54   like Kobe is just so much bigger,

00:13:57   and again, I say that as someone that's not a Kobe fan,

00:14:00   but it recognizes the fact that the impact

00:14:03   is just so huge.

00:14:07   - If you could go back in time

00:14:09   and draft either him or Tim Duncan as the GM of a team,

00:14:13   and your goal is to win championships,

00:14:15   I would take Tim Duncan in a heartbeat.

00:14:17   Although maybe you kinda wanna make sure

00:14:21   you have Pop there too.

00:14:22   - Well it's interesting, if you're a market like San Antonio

00:14:25   you wanna take Tim Duncan a million times out of a million.

00:14:28   If you're the Lakers, you wanna take Kobe.

00:14:30   Like you're the Lakers.

00:14:31   You're like the Lakers more than any franchise

00:14:34   are absolutely about winning.

00:14:36   They're the winningest franchise in history,

00:14:39   but they're also about the show.

00:14:42   I hate to say it, I hate the Lakers,

00:14:43   particularly as a Bucks fan, losing,

00:14:46   you know, he's talking about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,

00:14:47   like he was a Buck and lost into the Lakers

00:14:51   because he wanted to go to the big market,

00:14:52   the bright lights, and honestly,

00:14:54   Milwaukee probably wasn't the greatest place

00:14:55   for someone like him at that time in history.

00:14:58   But they're probably, along with the Yankees,

00:15:03   or at least in North American sports,

00:15:05   the greatest franchise because they do it all.

00:15:09   They win and they're like the star.

00:15:12   And they're like the top of the town.

00:15:13   - It's gotta be a show.

00:15:14   - Exactly, exactly.

00:15:16   - Yeah, and I was gonna say,

00:15:17   if you're running a sneaker company

00:15:19   and you wanna sign, you know,

00:15:20   rookie Tim Duncan or rookie Kobe Bryant to a deal,

00:15:24   you want Kobe.

00:15:25   - I don't even know which sneaker company

00:15:29   Tim Duncan was in.

00:15:29   - No, I don't know either.

00:15:30   I really don't.

00:15:31   Whereas everybody knows Kobe was with Nike.

00:15:35   - Everyone in the NBA wears,

00:15:37   I'm pretty sure it's the most popular shoe.

00:15:38   something like 33% or something, where are Kobe's?

00:15:41   - Which is crazy, right, for a retired player.

00:15:44   Just so sad, really sad.

00:15:49   And then Christensen, Clayton Christensen.

00:15:51   I don't know what's more likely.

00:15:54   I know that people, you know, there's a lot of people

00:15:56   listening to the show who don't know sports.

00:15:58   Maybe it's possible that there's more people listening

00:16:00   who do know Clayton Christensen.

00:16:01   - Do know Christensen, no.

00:16:02   This is a very unique audience.

00:16:05   - But he's best known for his,

00:16:08   - I would say, I mean, for his theory of disruption,

00:16:11   which I should let you summarize.

00:16:12   (laughing)

00:16:13   'Cause I know you-- - Well, basically.

00:16:15   (laughing)

00:16:18   So the theory in general is that

00:16:19   if the established sort of companies in a market,

00:16:24   they succeed by listening to their customers.

00:16:26   And at some point, though, they sort of like,

00:16:29   they deliver a product that is good enough

00:16:32   for most customers, and so in the pursuit of growth,

00:16:35   they follow and listen to their most valuable customers

00:16:40   and most demanding customers,

00:16:44   and the products they build become more and more powerful,

00:16:45   more and more feature-filled, and more and more expensive.

00:16:48   And what happens is, a technological change enables

00:16:50   some new entrant to serve the same market,

00:16:54   but the new entrant serves people

00:16:57   that don't need the big product,

00:17:00   that have different needs,

00:17:03   and they can't afford a big product.

00:17:01   and it's worse, it's a worse product.

00:17:02   And this worse product comes in and it sort of

00:17:04   builds up a base and it starts to improve

00:17:07   and because it's the worst product,

00:17:08   it improves much more rapidly than sort of

00:17:10   the existing product and it's lower priced

00:17:12   because of technology and it sort of pulls in

00:17:17   and starts to capture, slowly go up market,

00:17:19   pulling in more and more people until the incumbent

00:17:21   is left with nothing but the highest end customers

00:17:23   and the super complicated, super expensive product

00:17:25   and this low end product sort of takes the entire market

00:17:27   from underneath them.

00:17:29   And so you can sort of see the allure here to technology,

00:17:34   because a technology change is critical to disruption.

00:17:38   If you're just a cheap product,

00:17:41   it's not a disruptive product,

00:17:42   because by the time you become as full featured

00:17:45   as the existing product, you're gonna be the same price.

00:17:48   The analogy I think is commonly used is,

00:17:51   if you're a Motel 6, you're not disruptive

00:17:53   to the Ritz-Carlton.

00:17:56   If you wanted to actually provide the same level of service

00:17:58   product that the Ritz-Carlton did, you have to charge as much as Ritz-Carlton does. You're

00:18:02   cheap because you deliver a cheap product. Whereas Airbnb is disruptive to Ritz-Carlton

00:18:08   because a technological change, which is sort of a platform that commoditizes trust where

00:18:14   you don't need sort of the brand name, you can start delivering on different vectors,

00:18:18   having a kitchen, having a yard, having a different location, all these sorts of things that

00:18:23   actually make it competitive in a way that's impossible for sort of a Ritz-Carlton to respond

00:18:29   in a sort of one-to-one fashion.

00:18:31   So to articulate this, you know, this is something, you know, and I certainly feel this too, there's

00:18:39   a big aspect of writing about these sorts of things where it's something that people

00:18:43   sort of knew and had an intuitive grasp on, and what's powerful is that someone sort

00:18:48   of write it down and put it in writing.

00:18:50   this is actually, there's a systematic way

00:18:52   that this works again and again.

00:18:54   And I think that's what Christian did,

00:18:56   particularly for the first wave of technology.

00:19:00   Like he wrote that in 1997,

00:19:02   which is sort of the end of the IT era,

00:19:05   the sort of beginning of the internet era.

00:19:07   And it was a sort of, I think,

00:19:10   catalyzing moment for a lot of executives

00:19:13   and venture capitalists that's like,

00:19:14   oh, that makes sense, I've seen this before.

00:19:17   - This is what keeps happening over and over again.

00:19:20   over again. And this is the pattern I should look out for.

00:19:24   - That's right, that's right. And what's interesting is

00:19:26   Christensen wrote it mostly for sort of existing,

00:19:29   you know, he worked at Harvard Business School,

00:19:30   so he writes it for existing managers of existing companies.

00:19:33   But VCs and tech executives took it as like marching orders,

00:19:37   right, 'cause they didn't want to look at being

00:19:40   the incumbent companies, like, oh, we're trying to build

00:19:42   the new entries, the new entrance to these industries,

00:19:45   you know, leveraging technology to have a sort of

00:19:47   fundamental cost advantage going forward,

00:19:49   where we can deliver a crappier product that attracts users,

00:19:52   but over time becomes something that's very competitive

00:19:55   with them and beats them.

00:19:56   - Yeah, and I think that he helped systemize

00:20:02   in a very cogent way.

00:20:06   Like, there's a lot of people in that racket,

00:20:09   whatever you would call what he did,

00:20:11   whose writing I find impenetrable.

00:20:13   Whereas I always found the stuff I read of his

00:20:18   Very cogent, very clear.

00:20:20   And I think what he helped systemize was this idea that

00:20:23   what heretofore a lot of people had chalked up

00:20:29   to a bunch of unrelated flukes.

00:20:31   Like, you know, the Japanese import cars

00:20:38   coming in and taking over the,

00:20:41   maybe not taking over is the wrong word,

00:20:43   but certainly completely disrupting

00:20:46   the US automobile market.

00:20:47   I think is a prime example.

00:20:50   I know one of his biggest case studies

00:20:52   was like the steel industry and the way that lower cost--

00:20:56   - Mini mills. - Yeah, mini mills

00:20:58   took the market out from under US steel.

00:21:02   And I think a lot of people looked at all these things

00:21:04   as a series of flukes.

00:21:06   In the computer industry,

00:21:08   mainframes went to microcomputers,

00:21:11   and microcomputers were like terribly misnamed

00:21:14   'cause they were huge.

00:21:16   - I know, what's funny is it was a terrible,

00:21:18   it was a terrible naming in general,

00:21:21   'cause the personal computer was terribly named as well.

00:21:22   - Yeah, terribly.

00:21:23   - The phone's the personal computer, right?

00:21:25   - Yeah, totally. - Looking back, it's like

00:21:26   this desktop big thing on your thing,

00:21:28   oh, it's the personal computer.

00:21:29   - I think I wrote that at one time,

00:21:30   and if I didn't, do I, I sure wish I did.

00:21:32   I think I did, I think there was a

00:21:33   daring fireball piece one time

00:21:34   where I was like, one of my reviews of the iPhone,

00:21:36   where I was like, we blew it,

00:21:37   we wasted the name personal computer,

00:21:39   because this is the personal computer.

00:21:42   But microcomputers were only micro compared to mainframes.

00:21:47   And again, over and over again, this is a toy,

00:21:51   these aren't serious, and then all of a sudden

00:21:53   they put the other thing out of business,

00:21:54   and then the personal computer came in and they were toys,

00:21:57   and they're not useful for anything real,

00:22:00   and they're for hobbyists and people with unkempt beards.

00:22:04   And then next thing you know,

00:22:05   nobody knows what a microcomputer is.

00:22:07   And it happens over and over again.

00:22:09   and if they weren't flukes, that this is a pattern.

00:22:12   - Yep, I think that that's exactly right.

00:22:15   I mean, the, it's super interesting

00:22:20   because it means a lot to me personally,

00:22:22   in part because a big,

00:22:25   well, there's two parts with Christians.

00:22:26   I wrote about this a little bit in Daily Update this week.

00:22:29   The first one was I went to business school

00:22:31   not because I really wanted to go to business school,

00:22:33   but because I was an English teacher in Taiwan,

00:22:35   and it was the shortest, fastest route to legitimacy

00:22:38   in the US job market.

00:22:38   I'm like, you know, like I just wanted to weigh in to sort of US tech companies and

00:22:43   I thought, you know, I had been growing up on sort of tech culture online where the NBA

00:22:47   is worthless, etc, etc. So I was very sort of cynical and skeptical going in. And one

00:22:53   thing was just one, like being exposed to Christians in there, it was like, whoa, this

00:22:57   is amazing, right? Like, I didn't even realize, you know, how influential he was in tech.

00:23:01   I hadn't read him until I got to business school. It's like, it was so, to your point,

00:23:06   It was so intuitive.

00:23:07   And what's so fascinating about his insight

00:23:12   is so many sort of strategic evaluations,

00:23:16   and you look at companies and why they do what they do,

00:23:19   distilled to, wow, they're dumb.

00:23:20   (laughing)

00:23:22   Actually, no, these companies are filled

00:23:24   with very smart people.

00:23:25   And what was so interesting about disruption as a whole,

00:23:28   and I think is one of my biggest meta takeaways from it,

00:23:31   is the implication of it is managers can fail

00:23:35   by doing exactly what they're supposed to do.

00:23:37   Like their mistake, quote unquote,

00:23:40   is serving their customers well.

00:23:43   And it's like, well that's what's so elegant

00:23:47   about the theory, it's not saying

00:23:48   that they're doing things wrong,

00:23:50   it's that by doing things right,

00:23:52   they're putting themselves in an uncompetitive position

00:23:54   if some sort of paradigm change comes along.

00:23:57   And you see this again and again in technology

00:23:59   where the companies are dominant in one area

00:24:01   and they're like, why do startups succeed

00:24:03   in displacing them?

00:24:04   Well, because something fundamental in the core model shifts at the startup by virtue of being a startup can adapt themselves to and take advantage of in a way that an existing company with tons of people and tons of resources can't.

00:24:16   And I think almost the meta point, where it's like a cultural point and a cost structure point where you get locked into a way of doing business and aren't able to respond, it's what enables startups to succeed against super, you know, like startups don't just beat struggling companies, they

00:24:34   beat successful companies.

00:24:35   Why does that happen?

00:24:36   So it was like that matter point, I think,

00:24:39   is interesting as well.

00:24:41   But so that like was--

00:24:42   I first wrote about Christiansen in business school saying,

00:24:45   why has Apple not been disrupted?

00:24:47   And that was trying to sort of like put them together,

00:24:51   like the things about disruption and Apple's successes

00:24:55   seemed to go counter to that.

00:24:56   But by the time I started Chitekery,

00:24:58   which is a couple of years later,

00:24:59   I actually thought that-- because Christiansen

00:25:01   was very critical of the iPhone.

00:25:03   - I was gonna get to this, yeah.

00:25:05   - It's possibilities, right?

00:25:07   He thought Nokia wasn't gonna back

00:25:09   'cause it's a state of technology, et cetera, et cetera,

00:25:10   and I'm like, no, that's wrong.

00:25:13   And actually, I actually wrote an article called

00:25:16   Why Clay Christensen is Wrong,

00:25:17   which was probably pretty combative in retrospect,

00:25:21   but this was me, like, you know,

00:25:23   fresh blogger, out of business school,

00:25:25   wanting to make a name for himself,

00:25:27   and so I was probably a little more aggressive

00:25:30   in my titling then than I would be now.

00:25:32   But it was, you know, it's like, I mean,

00:25:36   it's like Kobe, you know, Kobe Indian

00:25:39   wants to play Michael Jordan, he wants to beat him, right?

00:25:40   It's like, me wanting to take that on

00:25:44   was because he was such an intellectual hero for me

00:25:48   that like the greatest honor I could do,

00:25:49   it was like, I'm gonna take you on.

00:25:51   Like, I'm gonna say why this is wrong.

00:25:52   And you know, probably a bit audacious and brash

00:25:55   in retrospect, but it was a testament

00:25:58   to how much I looked up to him and his work

00:26:01   I would even think to write a piece called that.

00:26:04   - Yeah, basically, and I think he came around on this too,

00:26:08   and I think in a very interesting way,

00:26:10   and it just shows how intellectually,

00:26:12   his intellectual approach was the right way,

00:26:17   which was that he's, you know, to me, it's a huge thing.

00:26:20   Are you willing to admit a mistake?

00:26:21   It's one of the biggest things in the world.

00:26:23   And to me, it's, I mean, we could do a whole show

00:26:25   about how the whole world's going to hell in a handbasket

00:26:27   because nobody's willing to reconsider their views

00:26:30   on anything. But like I've always said, the only way to be right all the time is to more or less,

00:26:35   try to be right all the time, be smart enough to be right most of the time, but be humble enough

00:26:41   to recognize when you're wrong and then correct it. And if you can do that, then you can come

00:26:45   really close to being right all the time. But you've got to have that, that last part is

00:26:49   important because you're going to be wrong sometimes. You know, I am, no doubt about it.

00:26:54   But I thought his analysis of the iPhone was interesting.

00:26:57   Was that,

00:26:58   and,

00:27:00   if, you might have been wrong even if Apple had made

00:27:06   the iPod phone that we had,

00:27:08   a lot of us had been expecting.

00:27:09   But basically he thought, you know, this is expensive,

00:27:12   this is coming in at the high end.

00:27:14   Yes, it's, you know, just, you know,

00:27:16   it's certainly innovative and it's ahead of the pack,

00:27:19   but that the pack is gonna catch up

00:27:20   and then everybody's just gonna buy the mass market stuff.

00:27:23   more or less that the thing that happened to the Mac

00:27:26   with the Windows PCs would happen again.

00:27:29   I don't think that's an unfair summary.

00:27:33   And I think even he acknowledged later on

00:27:36   that his mistake was that the iPhone

00:27:39   wasn't disruptive to the cellphone industry.

00:27:43   It was disruptive to the PC industry.

00:27:47   And there, the iPhone wasn't a heavy-handed,

00:27:51   expensive over-the-top thing, it was pure disruptive theory.

00:27:56   It was lower end, it was underpowered, it was smaller.

00:28:01   It had this tiny little three and a half inch screen.

00:28:03   It ran a cut down version of a PC operating system.

00:28:08   It only ran one app on, it still only runs

00:28:10   one app on screen at a time, and totally replaced

00:28:14   so many hours of so many people's days

00:28:17   that they used to spend on PCs.

00:28:20   - That's right, it's a perfect example of disruption.

00:28:24   That's what's so ironic about it.

00:28:25   And you're right, and to his credit,

00:28:27   he admitted this later, he was thinking about the iPhone

00:28:32   as being a phone, which is understandable,

00:28:33   because the name is iPhone.

00:28:35   And the whole point is that it wasn't a phone.

00:28:37   It was a computer that happened to make phone calls.

00:28:40   And once you realized it was a computer,

00:28:43   it's the epitome of disruption.

00:28:45   And again, because the other thing too is

00:28:47   the way people used the iPhone at the beginning

00:28:50   was not to replace their computers.

00:28:52   It started out by doing other stuff, right?

00:28:54   And what's the point?

00:28:55   These products start serving needs

00:28:58   that are not met by sort of the incumbent,

00:29:00   and then they add on, they get better,

00:29:02   and then they start to take away from the incumbent.

00:29:04   And you end up with exactly what disruption theory

00:29:07   sort of predicts, where yes, at the very highest end,

00:29:10   you still have PCs.

00:29:11   There's things you can still only do on a PC,

00:29:14   and PCs actually over time have gotten more expensive,

00:29:18   particularly because the only ones using them

00:29:22   are the most demanding users,

00:29:24   and the entire bottom and middle part of the market

00:29:28   has just been completely taken over by the phone.

00:29:31   - Yeah, absolutely.

00:29:33   Just in terms of Mindshare,

00:29:36   in terms of what device do people upgrade more frequently,

00:29:40   I mean, people would just hold onto their PC now

00:29:43   until it frickin' breaks, whereas people,

00:29:46   I'm not saying, you know, and famously,

00:29:48   I know that year after year,

00:29:50   I repeat myself all the time,

00:29:52   that normal people don't upgrade their phones every year

00:29:54   or even two years.

00:29:55   They consider them very expensive purchases.

00:29:59   They put them in tank-like cases to protect them

00:30:02   because they're so expensive,

00:30:04   and they do use them for multiple years.

00:30:07   But they look forward to getting a new phone, right?

00:30:09   It's a fun, this is a fun thing when you decide,

00:30:11   hey, I'm gonna get a new iPhone 11,

00:30:13   and wow, look at this, I get, you know,

00:30:15   I have this amazing new camera and I can do all this stuff.

00:30:18   It's, the screen's bigger, it's so much brighter,

00:30:21   and they're happy.

00:30:22   Whereas people look forward to getting a PC

00:30:25   the way they look forward to getting a new microwave.

00:30:28   It's like-- - Exactly right.

00:30:30   - Oh, what a pain in the ass.

00:30:31   I gotta take this thing out of my cabinet

00:30:33   and I gotta figure out if it's gonna fit

00:30:35   and oh, man, and now the buttons I don't really like.

00:30:38   - Gotta try out 15 new mouses if you're John Sirquhousa.

00:30:42   - Yeah, exactly.

00:30:43   It's just a chore for most people.

00:30:44   whereas the phone is something fun.

00:30:46   Yeah, anyway, I just thought that was really insightful

00:30:51   that he just totally, he completely recognized his mistake.

00:30:53   And it wasn't like to fit it.

00:30:55   It wasn't like, oh, now I figured out a way

00:30:57   to make it fit my famous theory.

00:30:59   It was that he figured out, you know, he's correct.

00:31:02   It totally disrupted the PC, you know?

00:31:04   - Yep.

00:31:05   - Which sort of will tie into something

00:31:07   we wanna talk about later with the iPad,

00:31:08   which also is closely related to the iPhone

00:31:12   definitely disruptive to the PC industry.

00:31:16   Or is it? Yeah. Well, anyway,

00:31:20   let me take a break here. Next after this. And thank our first sponsor,

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00:34:09   - I believe you wanted to say that

00:34:12   during a fireball runs faster now, slower.

00:34:15   - Oh, is that what I said, slower?

00:34:16   Well.

00:34:17   - I usually, I have the meat on.

00:34:19   I was gonna jump on and catch you.

00:34:21   - That'll catch people's ears.

00:34:22   No, it runs faster, so much faster.

00:34:24   It's ridiculous.

00:34:25   All right, what else do we have on the agenda

00:34:29   now that we're done with the obituary parts.

00:34:32   I just wanted to toss this out there

00:34:35   as a little bit of follow-up.

00:34:37   Glenn Fleischmann and I, I think,

00:34:38   talked about the Astros cheating scandal last week.

00:34:42   There's a new website I'm gonna put in the show notes,

00:34:44   signstealingscandle.com.

00:34:46   This guy is an obsessive, he's a Houston Astros fan,

00:34:48   and I give him credit.

00:34:50   He's an Astros fan, and he is so upset

00:34:52   that his beloved team,

00:34:55   stooped to such a lowly and dastardly level

00:34:58   to set up a cheating scandal. He logged 8,200 pitches from TV telecasts that are available

00:35:07   online from the Astros 2017 series and created a website with all sorts of data about which

00:35:14   batters were getting these trashcan signals.

00:35:18   It's just something that I think is not clear to maybe non-baseball fans. There is super

00:35:26   interesting I'd retweeted this last night but apparently Randy Johnson was

00:35:30   tipping his pitches throughout his career and he never knew until Eduardo Perez

00:35:35   told him at the at his Hall of Fame induction and and and be like oh

00:35:40   cheater like no that's not cheating right like right you picking up this

00:35:44   like this the guy beyond second and looking in on the catcher or a batter

00:35:48   observing a pitcher super closely and figuring out what they're pitching

00:35:51   That's smart baseball, right?

00:35:53   That's like, and the difference with the Astros

00:35:56   is using cameras and like phones and the Boston Red Sox

00:36:01   previously using like Apple watches,

00:36:03   it's using electronic means to do it.

00:36:06   That is the problem.

00:36:08   - Specifically, after the commissioner of baseball

00:36:10   sent a very curt letter to every team in the league,

00:36:15   reemphasizing that league policy is that

00:36:18   it comes to sign-stealing, electronic devices of any kind are completely verboten over the

00:36:24   line, you know, and they don't get into, like, the—what you can pick up with your own eyes

00:36:31   and maybe hand signals or whatever else you're doing without using electronics. The League

00:36:36   just sort of—they don't—there's no rules about it. It's just sort of a gray zone.

00:36:40   They didn't acknowledge it, but they—

00:36:41   Well, it's not a gray zone. It's a black—no, it's totally okay. Like, the idea of stealing—

00:36:43   Well, they don't mention it, though. But they don't—but the commissioner doesn't

00:36:47   say that it's okay, right?

00:36:48   The commissioner doesn't say it's okay

00:36:50   to steal signs with your eyes.

00:36:52   It's just understood that it is because how else,

00:36:54   you know, what else, you almost couldn't ban it.

00:36:57   But they sent a letter, all this stuff happened

00:37:01   after the league reemphasized what had already been

00:37:04   on the books, but just to make clear that electronics

00:37:07   of any kind, wired, wireless, anything that's electronic,

00:37:10   and everybody knows what's electronic and what's not,

00:37:13   is banned, and so, you know.

00:37:16   Yeah, that's interesting. I didn't see that about Randy Johnson.

00:37:20   Yeah, I'll pass it to you. But yeah, it's actually, it's funny. The reason I found

00:37:25   it is because another former Major Leaguer retweeted it and said, "Oh, it's totally

00:37:29   true. It's the only way I could square up against him." And what's amazing is, that's

00:37:35   the sort of thing where it's probably fairly widely known. Like, everyone's so helpless

00:37:40   against Randy Johnson that any tip you can get is going to help. And he was still completely

00:37:45   dominant, which goes to show what a dominant pitcher he was

00:37:49   if he was actually tipping his pitches

00:37:50   and was still striking guys out like crazy.

00:37:53   - Randy, for those of you who don't know,

00:37:56   Randy Johnson was six foot 10.

00:37:58   He was an enormously tall, he would have been tall

00:38:01   as a basketball player.

00:38:02   - And he threw like sidearms, or like three quarter arm.

00:38:08   - And was one of those tall lanky fellows

00:38:11   who you often do see in basketball.

00:38:14   There's the famous Leonardo da Vinci picture

00:38:18   of like the human typical scale of a human being.

00:38:23   And I don't know, I just assume everybody knows this,

00:38:26   but it's an interesting fact

00:38:28   that most people have an arm span.

00:38:31   In other words, you put your arms out side to side

00:38:33   from fingertip to fingertip

00:38:35   is usually almost exactly as tall as you are.

00:38:39   And Leonardo drew this in a circle.

00:38:42   put a circle around a figure of a man

00:38:44   with his arms straight out.

00:38:45   But sometimes there's a lot of basketball players

00:38:48   who have an arm span that's even longer than they are tall,

00:38:52   even though they are tall.

00:38:53   And it's a tremendous advantage in basketball

00:38:56   to have a very long arm span.

00:38:58   Randy Johnson was one of those types.

00:38:59   So in addition to being six foot 10, which is really tall,

00:39:03   and therefore makes the ball come out

00:39:04   at an angle you're not used to,

00:39:06   and the fact that he threw sidearm, which is weird,

00:39:09   and made the ball seem like it was coming out

00:39:11   side of the mound, his arms were so long that it was any, you know, would take a long stride

00:39:16   towards the plate that it was almost like he threw harder than most pitches, pitchers,

00:39:20   but because he was so long and his arms are so long, it was like, it was like he got to

00:39:23   start four feet closer to you.

00:39:25   Yep.

00:39:26   And it was coming in from the side if you're a left handed pitcher in particular, it's

00:39:29   like coming from behind your head.

00:39:30   You've probably seen it.

00:39:32   Because it was back in the era before interleague play.

00:39:35   So the National League players didn't really get to see American League players much and

00:39:38   and Randy Johnson was an American League pitcher,

00:39:40   but John Kruk, Philadelphia Phillies' first baseman

00:39:44   in the All-Star Game against, do you ever see that at bat?

00:39:48   - Yep, absolutely, just, hopeless.

00:39:52   - He's like, "Nope," in the All-Star Game,

00:39:56   and he just was like, "Nope."

00:39:58   I'll have to put a clip of it in the show notes,

00:39:59   'cause it really shows you how crazy scary

00:40:02   he was as a pitcher.

00:40:03   - No, you just think about it, you're in there,

00:40:06   it's already sort of terrifying that these guys

00:40:08   coming in, you know, 100 miles per hour,

00:40:10   'cause he would throw 100.

00:40:11   And it's literally coming from behind your head.

00:40:14   (laughing)

00:40:15   And cutting across you.

00:40:16   - John Kruk looked like if I was up there

00:40:22   batting against any major league pitcher,

00:40:24   I would just be terrified, leaning back,

00:40:27   diving backwards out of the box.

00:40:30   Anyway, I gotta put a link into the show notes

00:40:36   about this website where this guy obsessively documented

00:40:39   8,200 pitches over the season.

00:40:43   I just, I'm always fascinated by anybody

00:40:45   who's obsessive about anything but this in particular.

00:40:48   And again, extra points for him being an Astros fan.

00:40:51   What else did I wanna talk about on follow up?

00:40:55   I guess I don't have a lot more to say.

00:40:57   Glenn and I last week really went deep

00:40:59   on the whole iPhone iCloud encryption thing.

00:41:04   So I don't have a lot to follow up on that.

00:41:06   I guess the one point I wanna make

00:41:08   and I sorta kinda need to write about it just to clarify

00:41:12   is, and I think that this is a little bit Apple's fault too,

00:41:17   is tossing around the word encryption

00:41:21   and what's encrypted and what's not.

00:41:22   Because it's, at this point, it isn't useful

00:41:27   to clarifying what the point is

00:41:28   of this whole thing with iCloud.

00:41:31   because everything is encrypted in transit.

00:41:35   Everything you do with iCloud from whatever your device is,

00:41:39   whether it's an iPhone, iPad, Mac,

00:41:42   in between your device and the iCloud servers

00:41:45   that Apple runs, on the network, everything is encrypted.

00:41:50   Everything you do.

00:41:51   On disk, on the iCloud servers,

00:41:58   everything is encrypted in some way,

00:42:00   except for email, and email's an exception

00:42:03   because that's just the way IMAP email works.

00:42:05   And I had a link to a Jeff Duncan article

00:42:08   from years ago explaining why, and it's complicated,

00:42:11   but it more or less, long story short,

00:42:13   is because email was invented in the prehistoric days

00:42:18   of the internet when nothing was encrypted

00:42:21   and everything was stored, plain text files on disk.

00:42:24   And email's like the one aspect of that prehistoric internet

00:42:29   that's still with us and will probably always be with us,

00:42:32   and it's just the nature of it that that's how email works.

00:42:34   It can't be encrypted.

00:42:36   So if you ever, if you are gonna commit crimes,

00:42:39   don't coordinate. - Don't email about them.

00:42:41   - Don't email about them.

00:42:42   Because even if you do the thing,

00:42:44   and I don't wanna go on a side note about it,

00:42:45   you, and I don't wanna get emails,

00:42:47   people telling me about like PGP,

00:42:50   where what you can do is email someone

00:42:52   where the text of the email is encrypted.

00:42:56   Because even then, even if you use something like PGP

00:42:59   to encrypt the text of your email,

00:43:02   the headers, the header files of the email

00:43:04   can't be encrypted.

00:43:05   There's no way to encrypt the whole thing.

00:43:07   And so like, okay, the contents of an email

00:43:09   can be encrypted, but it's a huge pain in the ass.

00:43:12   Almost nobody does it.

00:43:13   Email isn't really meant to be used that way.

00:43:16   And anybody who subpoenas your email or has access to it

00:43:20   can see all the headers anyway,

00:43:21   and they can see that you were emailing Les Parnas

00:43:24   whoever it was you were emailing.

00:43:26   So don't use email for crime.

00:43:29   Or anything you don't really,

00:43:32   anything you really feel like needs to be secret.

00:43:35   But anyway, the point I wanna make is Apple encrypts,

00:43:38   so email aside, for good reason,

00:43:40   everything that Apple stores on disk in iCloud

00:43:42   is quote unquote encrypted.

00:43:45   The issue is not what's encrypted and what's not.

00:43:49   The issue is who can decrypt what's there.

00:43:53   And there's two types.

00:43:55   There's the types of stuff that they store

00:43:57   that only you, the user, can decrypt

00:44:00   using your device keys and your personal password.

00:44:05   And then there's the stuff that both you can decrypt,

00:44:09   of course, and the stuff that Apple has its own key for

00:44:14   and can decrypt.

00:44:16   And iCloud backups are in that latter category

00:44:20   where Apple has a key to them

00:44:22   And the good part of it is if you are more likely,

00:44:27   probably if you listen to the show,

00:44:29   probably not you, but someone you know

00:44:32   forgets their iCloud password

00:44:35   and they leave their iPhone in a cab

00:44:38   or it gets run over by a car or something

00:44:40   and gets destroyed, now their iPhone is destroyed

00:44:44   and they go to buy a new iPhone

00:44:46   and the only backup they have is their iCloud backup

00:44:49   and they don't know their iCloud password.

00:44:51   What happens? Well, you can go to the Apple store and I actually don't know exactly what—a couple

00:44:59   people ask me, like, what do they do to confirm that you're you? Like, so that Joe Random

00:45:04   thief can't go into an Apple store and say, "Hey, I'm John Gruber. I need to get my iCloud

00:45:11   backup." I don't know what they do. You know, I guess they—hopefully they ask for ID and—I'm

00:45:15   actually not sure. I wish I did know exactly what they did to verify. But anyway, you can

00:45:20   if you somehow convince them you are who you are,

00:45:24   they can decrypt your iCloud backup

00:45:27   and then restore it to a new iPhone

00:45:29   and you don't lose anything.

00:45:31   The downside of that is that law enforcement

00:45:35   around the world can issue a subpoena.

00:45:37   Well, I say downside,

00:45:39   downside from a privacy perspective,

00:45:41   upside in some way,

00:45:42   which is why it's a debate for solving crimes.

00:45:45   If you actually are a criminal,

00:45:47   they can subpoena Apple and Apple can provide them

00:45:50   the contents of your decrypted iCloud backup. So that's the whole issue. Who can decrypt

00:45:56   it? Just you or you and Apple?

00:45:59   Yeah, that's right. And I think that that's a good articulation of the issue. And I'm

00:46:06   glad you pointed out at the end, there is good news that Apple can do that. And this

00:46:17   This is something I thought a lot in the context of Facebook.

00:46:21   Facebook's talking about encrypting Messenger by default and stuff like that.

00:46:27   And there's questions about child sexual abuse material online.

00:46:34   And one thing that comes up is that there's way more instance of it in Messenger than there is in WhatsApp.

00:46:40   And the question is, is that because people are more evil and nefarious on Messenger than they are on WhatsApp?

00:46:45   or is it because WhatsApp is already end-end encrypted, which means no one actually knows what's going through WhatsApp,

00:46:50   whereas Messenger is not.

00:46:51   And again, to your point, I think particularly in our corner of the internet,

00:46:59   where more people know who Clay Kirsch is than who Kobe Bryant is,

00:47:02   there's a tendency to, I think, over-index on one side as opposed to the other,

00:47:07   and say that, "Oh, obviously it should be this way."

00:47:09   There's real questions here, and again, that doesn't mean your position is wrong,

00:47:15   But I think those of us that,

00:47:18   I would say I'm a little more towards the middle,

00:47:21   but I'm absolutely even strong in encryption.

00:47:22   I believe there should be no back doors,

00:47:24   et cetera, et cetera.

00:47:25   I think by at least acknowledging and appreciating

00:47:29   those that come at it from a different perspective,

00:47:31   you can make a stronger argument for that position.

00:47:33   And so I think that's an important thing to call out.

00:47:36   - Yeah, you have to acknowledge.

00:47:37   Anybody who's a good actor and has,

00:47:41   is being honest and is knowledgeable about the entire situation, has to acknowledge either

00:47:48   way, no matter whether you're on the side of we really did, you know, Apple should maintain

00:47:53   these keys and provide them to law enforcement when subpoenaed for good reason, or if you're

00:47:59   on the side that Apple should switch iCloud backups to be truly end-to-end encrypted where

00:48:04   only the user has the key to do it, you have to at least acknowledge either way that there

00:48:09   are significant trade-offs.

00:48:11   You have to.

00:48:12   If you don't, you're either being dishonest

00:48:14   or you're ignorant.

00:48:17   - Right, and you're not gonna win the argument, right?

00:48:18   Like I actually think the most compelling argument,

00:48:21   and I made this a few years ago with the San Bernardino

00:48:25   case for winning this argument with sort of

00:48:28   the US government, is the US government itself

00:48:32   has an interest in encryption being strong

00:48:36   and easy to use for normal people because the US government

00:48:38   has more secrets and more value than sort of anyone.

00:48:41   But you think about it from an industrial perspective,

00:48:44   like the most valuable IP in a lot of the most,

00:48:46   in the strongest military in the world is United States.

00:48:49   It follows that the United States has more of an interest

00:48:52   in strong encryption than basically anyone else.

00:48:56   And because keys do get out, keys escape.

00:49:00   Like there's evidence of this again and again and again,

00:49:03   a backdoor is available to both the good guys

00:49:07   the bad guys and is usually found by the bad guys first and the and so there's a very sort of

00:49:13   utilitarian argument to be made in favor of encryption that's not just a you know uh you

00:49:18   know privacy good you know government bad sort of approach and i think actually would get the

00:49:23   industry further uh as far as you know politically speaking then a sort of pure sort of like you

00:49:29   know privacy principle based approach um from a winning hearts and minds sort of perspective

00:49:37   - I don't think Glenn and I have made this super clear.

00:49:41   The other thing I think is worth making super clear

00:49:43   is from an Apple perspective, two other things.

00:49:45   iMessage in particular and then your keychain.

00:49:49   And the keychain, your keychain,

00:49:51   if you use the iCloud keychain syncing,

00:49:54   syncs completely outside of the iCloud backup system

00:49:58   and is done in a way where only your keys can decrypt it

00:50:03   and Apple doesn't have it.

00:50:06   So if the FBI went to Apple and had a subpoena

00:50:11   for everything they have about you,

00:50:13   one thing they wouldn't get is your keychain.

00:50:16   They would not get all,

00:50:17   they wouldn't get any of your keychain.

00:50:19   iMessage is in a weird nether zone

00:50:22   where iMessage, from the get-go,

00:50:24   it is, it was, and I heard this way back when it was new,

00:50:29   like, you know, when Jobs announced it famously,

00:50:31   and said, we're gonna, no, and I guess it was FaceTime,

00:50:33   he said he was gonna open source, not iMessage.

00:50:36   But within like a year or two

00:50:38   of when iMessage was introduced,

00:50:40   I was talking to someone at Apple who said,

00:50:42   they had a very simple idea.

00:50:45   It would be like SMS, except,

00:50:49   some kind of cross between SMS

00:50:50   and then like AOL Instant Messenger, remember that?

00:50:53   - I do. - And Apple had,

00:50:55   you know, an AIM client.

00:50:56   They had iChat, which, you know,

00:50:59   and supported other protocols other than AIM too.

00:51:03   It would be a replacement for SMS and instant messaging,

00:51:06   and it would use your phone number and your Apple ID,

00:51:11   and/or, I guess I should say, your Apple ID

00:51:16   as a unique identifier for you.

00:51:19   The fact that it uses your phone number

00:51:21   would allow it to seamlessly replace SMS

00:51:23   for iPhone-to-iPhone communication,

00:51:25   'cause it would default, whereas if you and I

00:51:29   had been SMSing together from your iPhone to my iPhone,

00:51:32   and then we upgraded to the version of iOS

00:51:35   that first had iMessage,

00:51:37   our communication would just go right to iMessage,

00:51:40   and we'd get blue bubbles instead of green ones,

00:51:42   and we'd continue without knowing,

00:51:43   other than the fact that our bubble color had changed,

00:51:46   but we would no longer be limited

00:51:47   by the technical limits of SMS,

00:51:49   and perhaps the cost limits,

00:51:52   because back then, which sounds ridiculous,

00:51:55   some people were still paying like 10 cents on SMS,

00:51:57   or had like a 500 SMS a month limit, or something like that.

00:52:02   And then the other thing in--

00:52:03   - The whole, what is it?

00:52:06   Oh, sorry, go ahead.

00:52:07   - The one other thing in that initial brief

00:52:09   on what should it be was it should be encrypted

00:52:12   in such a way that Apple cannot ever see the contents

00:52:16   of anybody's iMessages.

00:52:18   And then it was like, here.

00:52:19   That's what they told the engineering team.

00:52:21   They said, here, go build it.

00:52:22   But right from the get-go,

00:52:24   when it was just an idea on a whiteboard,

00:52:26   one of the things right up there with let's replace SMS

00:52:29   for iPhone-to-iPhone communication was,

00:52:32   Let's design this in such a way that we cannot technically

00:52:36   ever see the contents of anybody's iMessage.

00:52:39   - And I think the follow-up to your point though,

00:52:44   if you, and now they did iMessage in the cloud

00:52:48   and all that sort of thing or whatever,

00:52:50   it would still maintain that approach

00:52:53   where it's fully encrypted,

00:52:55   but if you have iCloud backups turned on--

00:52:59   - Right, this is the problem.

00:53:02   - You can access the backups.

00:53:03   - Right, iCloud in the cloud is every bit as secure,

00:53:07   or iMessage in the cloud. - iMessage in the cloud.

00:53:08   - iMessage in the cloud, it remains only decryptable

00:53:12   using your device keys.

00:53:15   The asterisk is that your iMessage key

00:53:20   is stored in your iCloud backup.

00:53:26   So your backup contains it.

00:53:28   In theory, Apple could change iMessage

00:53:33   to work like Keychain.

00:53:35   And even if they keep the iCloud backups

00:53:40   encrypted in a way where Apple has the key,

00:53:43   they could, and I believe should,

00:53:45   change iMessage so that the key isn't in your iCloud backup.

00:53:50   And the downside to that would be

00:53:53   if you're one of these users.

00:53:56   And apparently I heard from a bunch of people,

00:53:58   like people who work as geniuses in the stores

00:54:00   and people who's had friends and family

00:54:02   who've encountered it.

00:54:03   It truly is a common problem on a daily basis.

00:54:06   Somebody said, like a listener of the podcast said

00:54:09   that they were just in getting one of their

00:54:11   Apple products serviced.

00:54:14   And while they were waiting for the genius

00:54:16   to go in the back and run the diagnostics,

00:54:18   three different people came and their genius problem

00:54:21   was that they couldn't access their iCloud backup.

00:54:24   He said he couldn't believe it 'cause it was,

00:54:26   He's reading during Fireball and listening to my podcast and other podcasts, and it's

00:54:30   a hot topic.

00:54:32   And literally while he was at the Genius counter, three people came up and needed access to

00:54:37   their iCloud backups, and they didn't know their password.

00:54:41   Definitely a common problem.

00:54:42   The downside would be those people wouldn't be able to access their archive of iMessages.

00:54:49   You'd have to start over.

00:54:50   What seems a reasonable thing to give up, as it were.

00:54:54   Yeah.

00:54:55   people sort of see their iMessages as sort of transient. So I kind of feel like that's

00:55:00   sort of a, hopefully a—regardless of what Apple plans to do with the iCloud backups

00:55:06   and who has the keys, I really think they should move iMessage to that because I think

00:55:11   it's a good idea for privacy, and I also think it would meet people's expectations

00:55:17   for privacy with iMessage in the cloud.

00:55:19   Yeah, it's interesting because one of the reasons that law enforcement still wants more

00:55:26   access from Apple is actually not necessarily iMessages, because to your point, they can

00:55:31   often be gotten to through iCloud backups, but other encrypted programs like WhatsApp

00:55:37   or Signal or things along those lines where they want to turn on the phone because they

00:55:43   do need actually that sort of access.

00:55:46   WhatsApp is more secure than iMessage for this reason

00:55:50   because it only goes via your device, right?

00:55:55   And you notice this, if you wanna use WhatsApp

00:55:57   on your computer, it has to go through your device.

00:56:01   - Yeah, but it does, it has to go through your device

00:56:04   so your desktop thing is sort of just a proxy to your phone.

00:56:07   But your iPhone backup still contains whatever I--

00:56:11   - The WhatsApp backups, that's right.

00:56:12   - Yeah, the WhatsApp backups.

00:56:13   - No, it does.

00:56:14   - And, (laughs)

00:56:15   - I have to say I enjoy it.

00:56:16   That's how they got Paul Manafort.

00:56:18   - That's right, that's right.

00:56:21   - Paul Manafort was committing crimes on his phone

00:56:24   and thought he was being smart using WhatsApp

00:56:26   because it's end-to-end encrypted.

00:56:28   But they got him because they got his iCloud backup.

00:56:33   I laugh because I really don't like the guy in him.

00:56:38   - I think it's really interesting though

00:56:41   from a sort of a balance perspective

00:56:43   because what's the one thing in like,

00:56:48   like you could use your right to draw that distinction.

00:56:51   So if you want to use, you use like Signal or something,

00:56:53   right, if you want to be true,

00:56:54   if you want to not have those issues.

00:56:57   And so you have a choice as a user to figure out

00:57:01   what's the right software to use

00:57:03   that is truly encrypted, right?

00:57:05   But what's the one thing you really can't control?

00:57:08   You can't control like the hardware itself.

00:57:11   Like there is the hardware down to,

00:57:13   it's very root, is it secure?

00:57:16   And so I think there's an argument to be made

00:57:19   that Apple is actually in a very reasonable position

00:57:22   where the one part of the entire sort of system

00:57:27   that users can't control is the hardware itself

00:57:30   and is the hardware itself secure or not.

00:57:32   They can make choices about what cloud services they use,

00:57:35   what messaging services they use,

00:57:37   and so you can structure a truly secure

00:57:40   messaging environment on your phone

00:57:42   if you make all the right choices,

00:57:44   but also because Apple made the phone truly secure.

00:57:47   And so I think there's actually an argument to me

00:57:49   that Apple is actually exactly

00:57:51   where they should be right now,

00:57:52   where it is possible to be truly secure,

00:57:55   but Apple's not necessarily gonna do all the work for you.

00:57:58   And there's some, that's probably why WhatsApp

00:58:03   is slightly less secure than Signal 2.

00:58:06   It's not because Facebook wants to use the information

00:58:09   to snoop on you or for ads.

00:58:10   No, it's not actually, wouldn't be useful anyway,

00:58:14   and Facebook can't see the stuff,

00:58:16   but they also sort of can be responsible corporate citizens

00:58:20   as it were in a way that is not necessarily a burden,

00:58:24   nor should it be for signal, right?

00:58:27   Signal is, and I think it's a reasonable compromise

00:58:30   because the bad guys are going to figure it out.

00:58:34   The sort of dumb bad guys that sort of do crimes

00:58:36   like Paul Manafort are not necessarily gonna figure it out,

00:58:39   and they can get caught, but also the people

00:58:42   that truly need a secure environment

00:58:43   that can figure out, can understand this sort of stuff,

00:58:47   they can be truly secure as well, right?

00:58:49   And so I think whatever your position on Apple

00:58:53   and the iCloud backup point or Facebook

00:58:55   and WhatsApp and those sorts of things,

00:58:57   the fact of the matter is there's only one piece in here

00:58:59   that users can't make a choice about,

00:59:01   and that is the phone, and that is the part

00:59:03   where Apple has done huge efforts to make it truly secure.

00:59:09   And so while we can go back and forth in this middle area,

00:59:12   I think Apple deserves acknowledgement

00:59:15   for taking care of the one part

00:59:17   that I as a user cannot take care of.

00:59:19   - Yeah, I totally agree.

00:59:20   And I think it's,

00:59:24   so the way that you can,

00:59:27   if you're really concerned about it,

00:59:28   whether it's because you're committing crimes,

00:59:31   or really, and this second part is much more reasonable,

00:59:35   if it just is the nature of your personality

00:59:38   that you are not comfortable with Apple having a key

00:59:42   to your backed up data.

00:59:43   Totally reasonable.

00:59:44   I know, I just know, I know the people who listen

00:59:47   to the show and I know the sort of people

00:59:49   who read Daring Fireball, there's a lot of you out there.

00:59:52   Totally reasonable position.

00:59:53   And if you want your iOS life to be completely

00:59:58   under your control, you should stop using iCloud backup.

01:00:04   And if you do wanna backup your device,

01:00:05   which you probably do, you can still backup

01:00:07   your Mac or PC through iTunes or now in Mac OS 10.5 you do it through the finder, but

01:00:14   it's the same. You look at it, it's the same interface you used to see in iTunes,

01:00:18   and make sure you put a password on your backup, which…

01:00:21   And then you can sync that backup via Backblaze or whatever other service you want to use

01:00:28   so you can have sort of cloud backups. And you know what? I think that's totally reasonable.

01:00:31   Right.

01:00:32   Like the…

01:00:33   Or Dropbox.

01:00:34   We're arguing about default, right?

01:00:36   Because even if Dropbox is a subpoena,

01:00:38   it's an encrypted file that you need the password

01:00:41   to get into.

01:00:43   And I think we're arguing about defaults here, right?

01:00:45   The reality is, thanks to Apple's work on the phone,

01:00:49   you can live a fully encrypted life.

01:00:51   Is it a little more inconvenient?

01:00:54   It is, but that's the trade-off, right?

01:00:56   And I think it's reasonable to have that trade-off.

01:00:59   I was thinking about this when you said

01:01:00   you were talking about email

01:01:01   and how it's sort of like fundamentally insecure.

01:01:05   And my business is sort of built on email in some respect.

01:01:09   And what is attractive about it is

01:01:12   it is a fee that people check every day

01:01:14   that I can get into for free.

01:01:16   I don't need to pay a Facebook gatekeeper

01:01:18   or whatever it might be to get access to people.

01:01:20   The email is open and free.

01:01:22   And that's part of the trade-off

01:01:24   is it's because email is open and insecure

01:01:28   that it is actually an accessible market

01:01:30   for someone like me, for example,

01:01:31   or that it's available anywhere and everywhere on any device.

01:01:34   And that's just the way these things work.

01:01:36   The more encryption you want, the more defaults you want.

01:01:39   I know there's a societal issue.

01:01:41   There's a walled garden issue, right?

01:01:43   The more we put things, the more you lock things down,

01:01:47   by definition, the less interoperability you're gonna have.

01:01:49   The less you're gonna be able to sort of exchange data

01:01:52   across different platforms,

01:01:53   the more you're actually going to strengthen Apple's moat

01:01:57   or strengthen Facebook's moat.

01:01:58   And so if you care about competition,

01:02:00   You're actually, these encryption questions are actually,

01:02:03   there's another trade-off to think about.

01:02:05   And it's okay, again, I just, I hate absolutism

01:02:10   on any of this in any direction

01:02:12   because there's reasonable trade-offs to make

01:02:15   and I think we're in a good spot

01:02:17   because you can go all the way when it comes to encryption

01:02:21   but you don't have to and it's not even the default

01:02:24   and that's fine because as long as it's possible,

01:02:27   I feel pretty good about things.

01:02:28   - Yeah, and again, like you pointed out,

01:02:30   you can still get cloud-based backup with your,

01:02:34   I call them iTunes backups,

01:02:36   but that includes the Finder one for Catalina,

01:02:38   but the iTunes backup that is on your Mac or PC--

01:02:40   - And it works over Wi-Fi too, right?

01:02:41   So you don't even need to necessarily

01:02:43   plug into your phone every day.

01:02:44   It could just be when you come home every evening

01:02:46   and it does that backup in the background.

01:02:48   - Right, and you kind of, at least even if you're doing that

01:02:52   you kind of need to double check it once in a while

01:02:54   because just make sure it's still doing,

01:02:56   You don't wanna be the guy who forgot

01:02:58   that when you got a new MacBook Pro,

01:03:00   you never made sure that was still working again

01:03:04   and you haven't backed up for 13 months

01:03:06   or something like that.

01:03:07   I mean, that is the advantage to iCloud backup,

01:03:09   is it just happens automatically every night

01:03:12   as your iPhone is connected to a charger.

01:03:15   Even with the WiFi backup, you need, like you said,

01:03:18   you have some personal responsibility

01:03:21   to make sure it's working, but that's the trade-off.

01:03:23   But you can store that backup and use Backblaze or Dropbox or something, and there's nothing

01:03:30   that can happen.

01:03:31   Nobody can get into it even when it's in Dropbox or even iCloud.

01:03:34   You can even put it on iCloud Drive.

01:03:37   You just can't use iCloud backup.

01:03:39   And the other thing that I think is a little counterintuitive, I touched on it a couple

01:03:42   minutes ago, but if you're only backing up via your iTunes backup with a password, you

01:03:52   - And also use iMessage in the cloud

01:03:56   in a completely secure way because--

01:04:00   - Once you've run off iCloud backups,

01:04:01   then the key's no longer there.

01:04:02   - Right, 'cause that, I don't wanna use the word backdoor,

01:04:05   but that asterisk for somebody to get into your iMessage

01:04:09   in the cloud is because the key is stored

01:04:12   in your iCloud backup, and if you don't have

01:04:14   an iCloud backup, they don't have a way to get that key.

01:04:17   I guess the other hole in that that you should think about

01:04:21   if you're doing crimes, is okay,

01:04:25   you've turned off iCloud backup,

01:04:29   and you're only encrypting to your Mac or PC

01:04:33   with a password that only you know,

01:04:35   but anybody you're communicating with by iMessage,

01:04:38   if they're using iCloud backup

01:04:40   and the feds know you're collaborating with them,

01:04:43   they can subpoena their backup

01:04:45   and see your end of the messages

01:04:48   because they're backing it up to iCloud.

01:04:49   So there is that, keep it in mind.

01:04:52   But it's good, basically it's good to know how all this works and before the last month

01:04:57   or so I didn't even know how all this worked and I know just based on my reading that lots

01:05:01   and lots of readers didn't know how it worked and a lot of people were very surprised to

01:05:05   find out that Apple has a key to your iCloud backup.

01:05:10   And again, I don't think it's used willy-nilly.

01:05:13   I don't know the process.

01:05:14   I'm not quite sure everything they do to verify your ID but it's not like, you know, I do

01:05:18   think that on their side in iCloud there is some sort of process and a logging, you know,

01:05:23   like hopefully, I would hope, you know, there's no way for a rogue Apple employee to, you

01:05:29   know, spy on an ex-partner or something like that or stalk them or something like that,

01:05:36   you know, that there's some kind of log of Apple employee access to these keys to do

01:05:42   it. But the fact that you don't know that we don't know how that works is one of the

01:05:46   of the reasons why I emphasize that it's perfectly reasonable

01:05:48   for someone to say, I don't want any part of this,

01:05:50   if they can access my data.

01:05:52   - Yeah, that's exactly right.

01:05:55   - Last but not least, I wanted to emphasize,

01:05:58   I think I was wrong about it, or I would say

01:06:00   it was ambiguous, but there's this whole thing

01:06:02   where to get on your device, if law enforcement

01:06:06   or a criminal or a snoop, or somebody has your iPhone,

01:06:10   and they want to, they use one of these devices,

01:06:14   I guess it's mostly law enforcement,

01:06:15   one of these gray key devices or the celebrate thing

01:06:18   where they jailbreak the phone and then try to brute force

01:06:21   the password by circumventing the 10 guest limit.

01:06:25   Everything goes through the secure enclave.

01:06:27   And the big limiting factor, there's a key

01:06:30   in the secure enclave that is part of the encryption.

01:06:33   So there's no way to go around it.

01:06:35   It's not like, it's hard to understand.

01:06:38   I can't profess that I understand it perfectly,

01:06:40   but I understand the idea that one of the keys

01:06:43   that encrypts everything on your iOS device is,

01:06:47   part of it is your password or your passcode,

01:06:49   whatever you wanna call it,

01:06:50   but another part is a unique hardware key

01:06:53   in the secure enclave that there's no way around it

01:06:57   without that key, mathematically.

01:06:59   And there's an 80 millisecond per guess time.

01:07:06   That's eight hundredths of a second,

01:07:07   so roughly 12 guesses would get you to like 96,

01:07:12   0.96 of a second. So roughly 12 guesses a second is the limit. The thing that I think I was ambiguous

01:07:20   about writing about it on Daring Fireball is that the 80 millisecond thing isn't like an if statement

01:07:26   in code where it's like, okay, there was a guess and then the next guess comes in and there's like,

01:07:32   if 80 milliseconds have passed, okay, process it, but if not, you know, wait. And that somehow that

01:07:38   could be hacked to either be longer, like make it three seconds, or in the case of someone trying

01:07:45   to crack the phone, you know, set it to zero and then it will process them as fast as they can.

01:07:50   It's not like that. It is—I'm 98 percent sure that the 80 millisecond thing is actually

01:07:58   mathematically produced. It's—there are—

01:08:01   - Well, what it is is there is a hardware key.

01:08:06   The thing with the Secure Enclave is

01:08:08   it's actually a processor, right?

01:08:09   It's part of, like, it's like a mini computer

01:08:12   in your computer, and it has its own software,

01:08:15   by the way, also.

01:08:16   And so this actually has a couple implications

01:08:18   because the, so you're right, it tangles a key

01:08:23   that is burned into your phone when the phone is produced

01:08:27   and is undiscoverable, right?

01:08:29   And so it's burned into your phone,

01:08:31   it's tangled with your passcode to create a hash

01:08:36   to encrypt all this sort of stuff.

01:08:38   And what happens is the way that it's entangled

01:08:42   to sort of untangle it, mathematically requires,

01:08:45   it's meant to be a super inefficient sort of calculation

01:08:49   so that it can't be done faster than 80 milliseconds

01:08:52   or 800 or whatever it is.

01:08:54   It literally takes that long.

01:08:55   And so it's not, to your point, it's not a software thing.

01:08:58   It's like, it's a math thing.

01:09:00   It literally can't be done faster than however long it takes.

01:09:04   It's an algorithm Apple deliberately chose because it would take 80 milliseconds on the

01:09:09   processor that's built into the secure enclave.

01:09:13   There's no way around it.

01:09:14   So the interesting thing that's a byproduct of that is the average time it takes for like

01:09:22   one of these devices that has access, jailbroken access, to the iOS computer that can talk

01:09:28   to the secure Enclave computer and try to make guesses as fast as it can with this 12 guesses

01:09:35   per second, what's the average time it would take to guess a passcode of different length?

01:09:41   So you can just multiply how many characters are involved,

01:09:44   raise to the power of how many of them there are. So if you just have a numeric passcode,

01:09:52   zero through nine, four digits. That's 10 to the power of four possible combinations,

01:09:58   right? It's, you know, 10,000, zero, zero, zero, zero, two, nine, nine, nine, nine.

01:10:04   And then the average time, you just divide that by two and take a guess that, you know, if you're

01:10:11   guessing all of them, half the time you're going to guess one that's before you get halfway through.

01:10:16   So the average time it would take to guess a four-digit numeric passcode, seven minutes,

01:10:21   six numbers is 11 hours. So that's the default option now. If you'd buy a new iPhone and just

01:10:27   set it up from scratch, Apple's going through the wizard, whatever you want to call it when you

01:10:33   start up, basically steers you towards a six-digit numeric passcode. It only takes 11 hours for one

01:10:41   of these devices to guess it at that 80 milliseconds per second and double it go to 22 hours and

01:10:47   you'll exhaust the entire space so a maximum of 22 hours um eight digits if you go custom 46 days

01:10:55   and then a 10 digit passcode 12 years so that's pretty good right you know what not just digit

01:11:02   but you can do alphanumeric passcodes so then you're right dramatically increasing the space

01:11:05   because now it's 36 possible characters. The other thing is—

01:11:09   Well, no, actually, and if you go uppercase, now you're up to 62.

01:11:14   Right.

01:11:15   And if you just count a handful of punctuation characters, like underscores and hyphens and

01:11:20   periods, you know, you can get up to 64, 65, 66 characters. So just, you know, these are numbers

01:11:28   from Jack Nickus from the Times, but I did—you know, you can do the math yourself. Like I said,

01:11:31   If you just count a 66-character space, 52 letters, uppercase, lowercase, 10 digits,

01:11:37   and the dash, underscore, period, and comma, or the hash sign, or something, or a space,

01:11:44   you know, space is easy to type and is often good for memorizing, you know, passcodes.

01:11:49   A four-character alphanumeric, seven days, six characters, 72 years, that's on average,

01:11:57   144 years to exhaust the whole thing. And eight characters, just eight characters,

01:12:02   uppercase, lowercase, and digits, not even counting punctuation, 276,000 years.

01:12:08   [Laughter]

01:12:09   So—

01:12:10   Justin: Right, and there's nothing Apple can do about it. And this is like the—I

01:12:14   was so exhausted in researching this with the San Bernardino thing, and I realized this time,

01:12:20   I think, because we've been talking about it too, there was actually more stuff—this stuff

01:12:23   has changed since then too. And one thing that's changed is what is done in the secret enclave and

01:12:28   what's done via the OS. And the OS still controls the wipe the phone after X number of attempts.

01:12:34   And that's the big thing that they want to erase. The other thing that I found out, actually,

01:12:38   I wasn't clear on this and Apple got back to me about this, was there is, because it's a

01:12:47   serial enclave, it's like a mini computer in your computer, right? People think about it as being

01:12:50   sort of safe, but like we're dealing with a computer, right?

01:12:53   And what it is, is a mini computer with its own

01:12:55   processor effectively, but that means it has its own

01:12:58   software that's actually different from the OS

01:13:00   software and that software can be updated.

01:13:03   You can update the software in the Secure Enclave.

01:13:05   However, you do need the password to update the software.

01:13:10   And so the, so theoretically you could update the

01:13:16   software in the Secure Enclave.

01:13:17   You still can't escape the mathematical reality of, you know, sure, decrypting this.

01:13:22   You could, but if you wanted to like maybe move the data to a different device that's faster,

01:13:28   et cetera, that's still limited by, you would still need to change the software on this

01:13:32   cure enclave itself, and that is limited by your passcode. So basically, Apple has made it so

01:13:36   it has to be, because of it's entangled with that hardware on the device, it has to be done

01:13:44   on the device, which is mathematically limited

01:13:48   to 80 milliseconds.

01:13:50   And so if you make an alphanumeric password

01:13:54   of X number of characters, it doesn't matter

01:13:57   what the FBI does or what Apple does.

01:13:59   It's basically unbreakable.

01:14:01   - Yeah, and so the eye-opening lesson from that

01:14:03   is something I'd never really pondered before.

01:14:05   And I will say, until two weeks ago,

01:14:07   I had been using a six-digit numeric passcode

01:14:10   on my iPhone and iPad ever since six digits

01:14:13   became available, and before that I was using four digits.

01:14:16   Partly out of laziness, partly out of

01:14:20   the perfectly reasonable, and I'm not trying to say

01:14:23   I'm virtuous, it's actually just that I'm very boring.

01:14:26   There's nothing, there's not a lot on my phone

01:14:30   that would be terribly upsetting for me

01:14:34   if a thief cracked it and got.

01:14:36   I mean, especially without my iCloud keychain, right?

01:14:40   it still wouldn't get you into, you know,

01:14:44   like my daring fireball server account

01:14:47   or something like that just because you got into my phone.

01:14:50   I don't know what I'm saying, I would relish it,

01:14:51   I hope nobody does, but my thinking until recently

01:14:55   was six digit passcode is good enough for me.

01:14:58   But when I saw these numbers and saw that, you know,

01:15:01   it could be cracked in 11 hours on average

01:15:03   and 22 at the max, I thought, you know what,

01:15:05   I should do the right thing and switch to alphanumeric

01:15:08   type of passcode.

01:15:10   But the thing that to me, I want to emphasize, and I think it's a good tip, is when you think

01:15:14   about this 80 millisecond limit, what we all know about picking good passphrases doesn't

01:15:19   really apply to this.

01:15:21   Like an eight character, for most uses when we're picking a new password for an online

01:15:26   account, everybody, you know, a lot of places won't even let you pick an eight character

01:15:32   passcode because they say it's not long enough.

01:15:35   Eight characters, as long as you're using like uppercase, lowercase, and a digit or

01:15:39   or a punctuation mark, you're literally talking

01:15:43   hundreds of thousands of years to crack.

01:15:45   I mean, you don't have to sacrifice a ton of convenience,

01:15:49   is what I'm trying to say, and pick a 15 to 20 character

01:15:54   passcode with a couple of punct,

01:15:57   and where you're typing it on the phone,

01:15:58   you're shifting between all of these keyboards,

01:16:02   it makes it all the harder to type,

01:16:04   and you can't see what you've typed

01:16:06   because they're coming up as bullets,

01:16:07   and so if you make a typo,

01:16:09   it's you're typing it over and over again,

01:16:12   you can err on the side of a very convenient passphrase

01:16:15   that you wouldn't ordinarily use for most things

01:16:19   and literally have your phone be secured

01:16:21   for 100,000 years of cracking attempts.

01:16:26   - That's right.

01:16:27   - Eight or nine characters and you're really good,

01:16:29   really good.

01:16:30   - Right, 'cause those passcodes generally,

01:16:34   they're like they're running them on like supercomputers,

01:16:37   And that's why they have to be super long and complicated.

01:16:39   Even then, they can, like 80 milliseconds,

01:16:42   it sounds like a small amount of time.

01:16:44   In computer world, it's just an astronomically long

01:16:47   amount of time that you definitely use to your advantage.

01:16:50   - Yeah, and I'll just repeat something that Glenn emphasized

01:16:53   but it's worth remembering, but is that,

01:16:55   asterisk, so long as you don't pick a dictionary word,

01:16:59   where the dictionary isn't necessarily

01:17:01   like the Scrabble dictionary, but like common dictionary

01:17:04   people's common passwords, like P-A-S-S-W-0-R-D. Yeah, don't use that one, because they're

01:17:14   going to—any smart cracker is going to run through commonly used passwords like that

01:17:20   before they start guessing by iterating through all possible combinations.

01:17:26   So as long as you pick something that you can memorize and isn't a commonly used word

01:17:31   password or your firstborn child's birth date in numbers with slashes, you are good for hundreds

01:17:39   of thousands of years and you do not need—it's in fact counterproductive. You're just wasting

01:17:43   typing and thumbs and your time by picking a 20-character passphrase that you would use if

01:17:49   you were setting up a new account online. And this is for your phone password specifically,

01:17:55   like your device passcode.

01:17:58   And I have to say, now that I've changed mine

01:18:00   to an alphanumeric, I have to say now

01:18:03   it really has become clear how seldom I have to enter it.

01:18:06   Really, it really does not come up very often.

01:18:10   I had to do it today 'cause I just upgraded to the new,

01:18:12   there's a new iOS dot release, and so I had to type it

01:18:17   to allow the update to install and type it

01:18:19   once the phone restarted, and I was like,

01:18:21   I haven't typed this in days.

01:18:23   Well, it turns out if you're in Asia

01:18:26   and you're wearing a medical mask,

01:18:28   you actually end up putting it in a lot

01:18:30   because your face-eye doesn't work anymore.

01:18:32   - You know what, we'll have to touch on that after the break.

01:18:34   I have to take a break, but I just went out today.

01:18:37   Oh, I have to tell, I should tell you the story.

01:18:39   I had to go to the post office today.

01:18:42   And on my way, I saw two Asian people.

01:18:46   I don't know, I have no idea if they're tourists.

01:18:47   I don't know if they live here, I don't know what,

01:18:49   but they were Asian and they were wearing medical masks.

01:18:52   and I'm just like, do you know something I don't know?

01:18:55   I'm trying not to get freaked out

01:18:57   by this whole coronavirus thing and not get,

01:18:59   there's a germaphobe in me that's dying to get out

01:19:03   and I'm like, seeing people walking around the street

01:19:07   with medical masks, I'm like, should I have one of those?

01:19:09   Should I get one of those?

01:19:11   I don't know.

01:19:13   - I think you're okay with that one.

01:19:14   - Yeah, I think so too.

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01:22:52   I had to go to the post office, Ben.

01:22:57   This is the type of story I usually tell

01:23:00   at the beginning of a show.

01:23:01   But I never had, you have a PO box?

01:23:04   I don't know what they've got over there in Taiwan.

01:23:07   - I don't in Taiwan.

01:23:08   I do have one in the US.

01:23:09   - Yeah, I've never had one, and I've always wanted one.

01:23:11   'Cause you know, I run a business,

01:23:13   and people wanna send me things, and I, you know,

01:23:15   I don't wanna, you know, I'm always,

01:23:17   you know, I'm a private person.

01:23:18   I don't wanna send out my home address to anybody.

01:23:22   I live in a city.

01:23:23   There's post offices nearby that's not really inconvenient.

01:23:26   Why don't I have a PO box?

01:23:27   I always, I put it off for years, years now.

01:23:29   Years and years and years, and I broke down.

01:23:31   I went and got it.

01:23:33   It turns out the way you get one is you have to go to the web first.

01:23:35   You got to go to the USPS.com.

01:23:37   You sign up for a PO box and you say which post office do you want it at and what size.

01:23:42   Then you can prepay right there over the web.

01:23:44   Then they tell you, "Print these two forms."

01:23:47   Then one form comes in when you print it.

01:23:49   It already has all your info.

01:23:50   It's nice.

01:23:51   It pre-fills a whole bunch of stuff like your name and your address and some kind of code

01:23:56   that verifies that you've paid.

01:23:59   then you gotta go to your post office with these forms

01:24:01   and two forms of ID, and then they give you the P.O. box.

01:24:05   So I go over there today, this is when I saw the pedestrians

01:24:10   with their medical masks on, freaked me out.

01:24:12   And then I immediately started thinking,

01:24:13   well, where's the number one place

01:24:14   where you could pick up this virus?

01:24:15   Probably the frickin' post office.

01:24:18   I go in there, and there's no line.

01:24:20   It feels like I've already won the jackpot, right?

01:24:24   How many times in the U.S. you don't really go

01:24:26   to the post office and see no line?

01:24:28   No line, but there's only one person behind the counter.

01:24:30   How's this possible?

01:24:31   So I walk right up, got my paperwork, I got my ID.

01:24:35   Takes, I don't know, more time than I would think,

01:24:38   given that all this paperwork's pre-filled.

01:24:40   More time than I would think to process, but I wait.

01:24:43   And she says, "All right, I gotta go find a key."

01:24:46   She disappears in the back.

01:24:48   And meanwhile, one or two people

01:24:50   have now gotten in line behind me.

01:24:52   Still nobody else working.

01:24:55   Minutes pass, and several minutes pass,

01:24:59   more people get in line.

01:25:01   I hear the jingling of keys

01:25:03   behind wherever she's gone behind her.

01:25:05   I hear keys jingling.

01:25:07   Nothing.

01:25:10   Finally, people start talking to me.

01:25:12   They're like, "Hey, what's going on?

01:25:13   "Like, what are we all waiting for?"

01:25:16   And I said, "I'm getting a P.O. box."

01:25:19   And they're like, "Well, where'd she go?"

01:25:21   And she said she had to get a key.

01:25:25   And I was, you know, I'm starting to feel self-conscious,

01:25:27   basically, right, 'cause I'm holding them up.

01:25:29   Even though I don't really think this is my fault,

01:25:31   I feel like going to the post office for a P.O. box

01:25:33   is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

01:25:35   I start looking around, and you can see the P.O. boxes,

01:25:38   and I start sort of mentally guessing how many they have.

01:25:41   It looks to me as though they have at least 1,000.

01:25:44   I would guess, if I had to, you know,

01:25:46   like guessing jelly beans in a jar to win a raffle

01:25:49   or something like that, I would guess maybe

01:25:50   they have 2,000 post-op P.O. boxes.

01:25:54   It doesn't seem like an unusual thing to do.

01:25:56   And then at this point, I looked at my watch,

01:26:01   and 10 minutes passed.

01:26:03   10 full minutes.

01:26:04   I still hear keys jingling back there.

01:26:08   And thankfully, I will say to my fellow Philadelphians

01:26:12   who were there in line, I'm feeling very self-conscious.

01:26:15   Every single person was nothing but kind,

01:26:17   and everybody's laughing and joking.

01:26:19   Nobody was soured by this,

01:26:22   but I have to say I felt very self-conscious

01:26:24   about the whole thing.

01:26:26   Then she comes out and says, "I couldn't find the key.

01:26:30   I'm gonna have to change the lock on a box."

01:26:32   (laughing)

01:26:34   So, and then she's like, "So come back tomorrow."

01:26:37   (laughing)

01:26:39   That's where I left it.

01:26:40   - These don't have a PO box.

01:26:42   - Well, yeah, but she gave me the keys.

01:26:44   She gave me the keys to the lock

01:26:46   that they were gonna put on the box.

01:26:49   So I have keys to a P.O. box, but I don't have a P.O. box.

01:26:53   Anyway, that was my afternoon.

01:26:57   (laughs)

01:26:59   What do you want?

01:27:01   We should just dig into iPad, what do you think?

01:27:04   - Well, yeah, time to start the show.

01:27:05   - Yeah, time to start the show.

01:27:06   - An hour and a half in.

01:27:08   - Yeah, yesterday, or no, not yesterday, two days ago,

01:27:10   was the 10-year anniversary of the event

01:27:14   where Steve Jobs introduced the iPad.

01:27:17   and 10's a nice round number.

01:27:21   Lots and lots of people remembering

01:27:24   what it was like that day with people

01:27:26   of the press who were there,

01:27:28   people posting their original reviews,

01:27:30   people saying where they think the iPad stands.

01:27:32   And I used it as an opportunity to get a lot off my chest.

01:27:37   And like you said, you and I have talked

01:27:42   about this privately many times,

01:27:45   and it's almost to the point where it's almost like

01:27:47   one of the reasons like and there were a couple of people who are like where is

01:27:51   this rant been why is you know why did it take you so long to write this I've

01:27:54   been thinking the same thing for so long and part of it is I've got notes for a

01:27:58   lot of complaints about the iPad and you know the directors commentary of daring

01:28:03   fireball aspect of the show is that I've been meaning to write deeply critical

01:28:10   pieces a deeply critical piece about the state of the iPad software for well over

01:28:16   a year. And I haven't--

01:28:18   - I think longer than that.

01:28:19   We've been talking about this for a while.

01:28:22   Like I said, when you finally posted it,

01:28:23   I'm like, "Didn't you already post this?"

01:28:25   'Cause we've been talking privately

01:28:28   about this particular thing for ages.

01:28:32   - And the pathology of it in my,

01:28:34   the weird parts of my brain is that I've been thinking of it

01:28:39   as a massive, like, four, five, six thousand word epic

01:28:43   during Fireball post where I get it all out at once in a single narrative that makes complete

01:28:49   sense and convinces everybody from Tim Cook on down that, "Yes, this is all right. We should

01:28:54   change it all." And here it is. It's a home run that was hit out of the park. And I started writing

01:28:59   about the 10-year anniversary of the iPad, and I was like, "You know what? I should just break the

01:29:03   ice on this and just get the highest level part of it off my chest, and I could do it in a couple

01:29:08   hundred words and then just do the rest and follow up pieces." And why in the hell did it take me

01:29:12   three years to figure it out that that would be a much more effective way for me to actually get

01:29:16   this off my chest. And it was funny because I wrote about it as well, building on top of you.

01:29:26   Someone posted on Twitter, like, "Oh, could I have let Jon have all the fun, right, with the iPad?"

01:29:32   I'm like, "No, actually, I said something cryptic in response, but the truth is,

01:29:38   you're like, "Okay, I've gotten this started. Can you please come in and jump on top of

01:29:43   it?" That was why I did it as sort of an email daily update first and then switched it to

01:29:48   being a public post, which is more ... It's interesting, to your point, right? To make

01:29:53   something a public post is like it feels so much weightier and more difficult than just

01:29:57   dashing an email together. Switching from one ... Dashing together is not right. When

01:30:03   I write the daily update for subscribers, by definition, they're people who have been

01:30:08   reading me for a while and they kind of already know where I'm coming from on certain issues.

01:30:12   And so, you can presume a certain sort of leeway as opposed to when you're writing a public article,

01:30:19   it might be the first article they read on your site and you want to be much more,

01:30:22   have everything wrapped up in a bow and all the things tied together. But I kind of felt

01:30:27   the same way as you, once you had written it, I'm like, "Oh, wait, I've been wanting to say all this

01:30:33   stuff too, so I'm just jumping on. And it's going to be out there, and we're going to podcast about

01:30:38   it, so might as well make it public. So here we are. And to say that reaction was mixed is an

01:30:44   understatement. I would almost say it was so bifurcated—I expected it, though. It was so

01:30:49   bifurcated. And I got more, yes, I agree with this, here, here, finally somebody is saying what

01:30:55   what I've been trying to say sort of reactions.

01:30:58   But I also got a bunch of,

01:31:01   you're just an old guy who loves the Mac

01:31:06   and you don't get it sort of things.

01:31:08   Couple of them, they all mention the word old.

01:31:11   And part of that is a frustra, it's just human nature,

01:31:17   but I find it deeply frustrating.

01:31:19   And it's this aspect of human nature

01:31:21   where everybody is drawn towards,

01:31:23   And I do feel like our society and internet culture

01:31:28   has only added a lot of fuel to the fire

01:31:32   of this natural impulse to make everything

01:31:35   black or white, binary.

01:31:37   It is the greatest thing ever,

01:31:39   or it is a total piece of steaming garbage, everything.

01:31:43   What do you think of the rise of Skywalker?

01:31:47   Great, great Star Wars movie, I love it.

01:31:49   Or it is J.J. Abrams should be put in prison,

01:31:52   you know, this is awful, this is the worst movie ever made, right? That's what people

01:31:56   are drawn to, that's how internet reactions have gone. And despite the fact that I emphasized

01:32:03   that the iPad is a beloved, something I like, something I use every day, something that

01:32:09   I realized that a lot of people, it's their most beloved personal computing device and

01:32:13   they're very effective and efficient with it, something that I called great even, but

01:32:18   but also has serious flaws.

01:32:20   You have to be willing to accept nuance,

01:32:23   in my criticism of the iPad,

01:32:25   did not register with people who love the iPad,

01:32:27   or at least some.

01:32:28   - Oh, it's so true.

01:32:30   And I'll verify, you are one of the heaviest iPad users

01:32:33   that I know personally.

01:32:35   Like this is a, it's not a,

01:32:40   if I'm the one that's more dismissive of audit

01:32:42   in many respects, 'cause I actually used it

01:32:44   less than I did before.

01:32:45   But no, just to your point,

01:32:47   What people struggle with, neither of us are saying it's a failed product.

01:32:51   Right.

01:32:52   It's not everything it could have been, right?

01:32:57   And this is when the hardest—I get this, I know exactly what you're talking about.

01:33:01   It's like, you have to look at something not as it is, but as it could be, and it's okay to

01:33:09   recognize and bemoan that there's some sort of potential or some sort of possibility

01:33:14   that was perhaps not reached.

01:33:16   Yeah, and I am a self-professed Mac person, and I probably always will be, and even in

01:33:24   the hypothetical universe where the iPad 10 years in was much closer to its potential

01:33:30   of where it could be 10 years in, still probably would be a Mac person.

01:33:37   But I would rather be in that world because I'd rather have it be a fair fight, whereas

01:33:43   the things that really frustrate me about the iPad aren't even a fair fight compared

01:33:47   to the Mac.

01:33:48   And I don't see how anybody could deny it.

01:33:51   And I do -- I don't want to generalize.

01:33:53   I really don't.

01:33:55   But I -- to put Apple computing users into three buckets.

01:34:02   And I realize that lots and lots of them are in all three, or at least two, but there's

01:34:09   iPhone users and there's iPad users and there's Mac users.

01:34:12   And again, I'm all three, lots of people are,

01:34:15   almost everybody has an iPhone, right?

01:34:17   There's very few people in the Apple ecosystem

01:34:19   who don't at least have an iPhone.

01:34:21   If, you know, maybe it's their only device,

01:34:22   or maybe it's the one thing they have in addition

01:34:25   to a Mac or an iPad, but people who use the iPhone,

01:34:30   so I'm not saying that there are three different groups,

01:34:32   but I'm just saying people who use the iPhone

01:34:34   will complain about aspects of the iPhone interface.

01:34:37   Mac users, we've been complaining about the Mac all along.

01:34:41   Like nobody is a bigger and more astute critic and loves to complain about aspects of the

01:34:49   Mac going back to 1984 than people who love the Mac the most.

01:34:54   The people who love the Mac the most are the most astute critics of everything that's wrong

01:34:59   about the Mac.

01:35:00   Look at John Siracusa's epic Ars Technica reviews of it, which would talk about new

01:35:09   new features, and when they were confusing or wrong or slow or whatever, he was the one

01:35:14   who wrote the most words about them.

01:35:18   iPad users, not all, like Federico Viticci, to his credit, who is probably the most efficient

01:35:25   iPad user I've ever heard of, has built his entire—he's a super productive person who

01:35:31   does—writes thousands and thousands of words a week and does podcasts and does all this

01:35:36   work on his iPad and shares his techniques and shortcuts and stuff like that to his readers.

01:35:44   It's a lot of what he writes about is at the meta level of how to be an iPad power user.

01:35:49   It fully acknowledges some of the things that I'm talking about as shortcomings.

01:35:54   There's certainly not everybody. That's what I mean about not generalizing. But boy, oh boy,

01:35:59   are there a lot of people out there who love their iPads, use it as their primary computing device,

01:36:05   and do not want to hear one bad word about it." There is a sort of emperor's new clothes aspect

01:36:14   to it where they're like, "Hey, these people who are saying the emperor is buck naked,

01:36:19   they're just haters." Well, I think it's interesting because you get this with Apple

01:36:24   just sort of as a whole. Yes, yes. Where Apple is part of people's—like, there's no other company

01:36:30   where people have Twitter handles that includes the company's logo in them, right? There's an

01:36:35   aspect of Apple that ties into people's identity. They're an Apple person. And I think that is taken

01:36:41   to 11 when it comes to the iPad. If you're an iPad person, that's what you do. You have made this

01:36:50   commitment. You've made it this end of your life. You're living in the future. You're not an old

01:36:54   fogey. You're using a Mac or a PC. And it's not something that you do. I don't know. Again,

01:37:03   A real danger in writing online is something you have to learn as an author very early

01:37:07   is that your Twitter commenters are not your core readership, right?

01:37:11   It's a sort of a fraction of the fraction.

01:37:14   But I think there is an aspect where all the things that you and I both know are the case

01:37:20   for Apple fans is just double the case when it comes to being an iPad person.

01:37:26   Yeah, like if you run a restaurant, the people who want to speak to the manager aren't

01:37:30   necessarily indicative of the entire clientele of the restaurant.

01:37:37   But I –

01:37:38   Well, but it's funny because there's an RUR that sort of makes the point, right?

01:37:42   Like why would it be part of your identity if it's something that's super accessible

01:37:46   and easy for everyone to use, right?

01:37:48   There's an aspect where it is special to use the iPad for all of your computing, and

01:37:54   the reason it's special is our entire point.

01:37:56   It shouldn't be so special.

01:37:57   It should be more broadly accessible.

01:37:59   - Yeah, absolutely should be.

01:38:01   And I really do find it hard.

01:38:04   I think that the only, one of the reasons

01:38:07   that we find ourselves in this situation 10 years in

01:38:11   is that I think there has to be a contingent within Apple

01:38:15   that is within Apple who is the same way,

01:38:18   who thinks this is fine, because look at our sales.

01:38:21   We're selling 10, 11, 12 million of the things

01:38:25   every quarter, quarter after quarter,

01:38:28   And there's so many things to love about it,

01:38:32   and that these other things, they must be fine.

01:38:34   And they're not fine.

01:38:36   There's some of these things are truly screwed up.

01:38:40   And one of the things I devoted my attention to

01:38:42   in my piece this week is the multitasking interface.

01:38:46   And I tried to make it clear, I think it was clear,

01:38:49   it doesn't seem like people were confused,

01:38:50   but when I talk about multitasking with iPad,

01:38:52   what I mean is putting two apps on screen at a time.

01:38:55   It is in the user interface sense

01:38:57   of seeing two things at a time,

01:38:59   whether it's side-by-side apps or slide over

01:39:02   or side-by-side with slide over.

01:39:04   A couple people pointed out that you can show two

01:39:06   and only two apps at a time is wrong

01:39:08   'cause you're gonna have two apps on screen

01:39:09   with split screen and then do a slide over.

01:39:11   All right, you got me.

01:39:15   I think that's what I mean by multitasking.

01:39:20   I don't mean it in the computer science sense

01:39:22   because we've had quote-unquote multitasking

01:39:25   in the computer science sense of multiple processes

01:39:28   running on the iPad all along.

01:39:30   There've always been background processes running

01:39:33   to get new mail or to have incoming SMS

01:39:35   or phone calls answered and stuff like that.

01:39:37   So, you know.

01:39:38   - The phone multitasks, right?

01:39:41   In sort of a technological sense.

01:39:43   - Right.

01:39:44   - But that's not what you're referring to.

01:39:45   - But the split screen stuff,

01:39:46   putting two apps on screen at a time,

01:39:48   is in my opinion a fiasco.

01:39:50   I really, and part of me procrastinated

01:39:55   on getting this off my chest because, like I said,

01:39:58   I wanted to do too much at once in one epic piece.

01:40:02   I wanted to hit one baseball that literally

01:40:04   went out of Yankee Stadium, not just knock

01:40:07   a couple singles up the middle over a period

01:40:10   of a couple days and score some, win a couple games,

01:40:13   which is what I think I should have done

01:40:14   and I'm gonna try to do going forward.

01:40:19   But it's bad and it's confusing.

01:40:22   And I mean, I got so many responses from people

01:40:26   who I know are smart, really smart technical users,

01:40:29   people who, you know, Jeremy Zawadny,

01:40:32   who literally wrote like the O'Reilly book on SQL.

01:40:37   (laughing)

01:40:38   Like was like, yeah, I had no idea how to,

01:40:39   I had no idea you could get two apps on screen

01:40:41   at once on an iPad.

01:40:43   I mean, really smart people who either A,

01:40:45   didn't know how to do it or like me,

01:40:48   sometimes get into it and don't know how to get out of it.

01:40:50   Like, God forbid you end up with two instances of Safari

01:40:54   with two different sets of tabs and then you, oh my God,

01:40:58   it's like, where the hell is the one that's open?

01:41:00   It's like, oh, there's two versions of Safari now.

01:41:02   It reminds me of like the old versions of Windows,

01:41:04   like Windows 3, you could like click Excel

01:41:08   and then Excel is running.

01:41:09   And if you click the Excel icon again,

01:41:11   it doesn't open Excel,

01:41:12   it would open another instance of Excel.

01:41:15   And you can have multiple documents in both instances.

01:41:18   And it's like, who the hell thought that was a good idea?

01:41:21   Well, that's the iPad.

01:41:21   The iPad does that.

01:41:23   You can have two completely different instances

01:41:25   that you can't get together.

01:41:27   And if you connect a hardware keyboard

01:41:29   and you hit Command-Tab, it acts like it's a Mac

01:41:32   or a Windows computer and just shows one icon

01:41:35   for every app that's running.

01:41:37   And you go to Safari, but you have two instances

01:41:40   of Safari running in your iPad spaces.

01:41:43   Which one comes forward?

01:41:44   Well, toss a coin, because I can't figure out what the heuristic is, and there's no

01:41:48   way to get to the other one via command-tap.

01:41:52   It is really confusing.

01:41:53   I mentioned my mom, who has somehow—I don't know what exactly she's done.

01:41:59   It typically involves mail.

01:42:02   I think for the most part, my mom uses—she uses her iPad a lot.

01:42:05   Let me just emphasize that.

01:42:07   In a house with an iMac.

01:42:08   My dad's more of an iMac guy.

01:42:10   I think he likes having the big screen.

01:42:13   My mom really loves her iPad.

01:42:16   I mean, just really, really loves it.

01:42:18   She thrives on it.

01:42:19   She does more computing than she did before.

01:42:23   Just for the record, she's 74 years old, very smart,

01:42:26   but not technically inclined at all.

01:42:28   Sort of defensive about her lack of technical inclination,

01:42:31   is always afraid that she's broken something.

01:42:33   When she first called me with this problem,

01:42:35   she was convinced she broke her iPad, because she'd go to mail.

01:42:39   And now mail was side by side with Safari.

01:42:43   in a little skinny iPhone-sized window.

01:42:46   Didn't know how to get out of it.

01:42:48   I explained how she could drag the divider

01:42:51   to make mail go full screen again,

01:42:52   but then every time she'd just tap a link in mail,

01:42:54   it would open again in split screen in Safari.

01:42:59   And she was confused and didn't know how to get out of it.

01:43:02   And it's a very, very difficult thing

01:43:04   to talk somebody through on the phone,

01:43:07   much more difficult than any Mac thing

01:43:09   I've ever talked her through in 15, 20 years

01:43:11   talking my mom through any kind of problem.

01:43:14   You know, like over the years,

01:43:15   like they've made it harder to do this now.

01:43:17   Like when you drag an icon out of your dock on the Mac,

01:43:20   you have to drag it a lot further away

01:43:22   before it'll poof and vanish.

01:43:25   You know, if you just drag it--

01:43:26   - I think by default it might be impossible.

01:43:28   I can't remember it.

01:43:29   - No, if you drag it really far away, it'll poof away.

01:43:32   But in the old days, if you just dragged it out of the dock,

01:43:34   like one of your saved icons,

01:43:36   like I want Safari always in my dock.

01:43:39   Well, you'd mouse and not an expert mouse user,

01:43:44   maybe, or my dad did it, drag,

01:43:46   instead of clicking Safari, clicked and held a little bit,

01:43:48   then moved the mouse, and then Safari poofed out of the dock

01:43:52   and then from my parents' perspective,

01:43:54   if it's not in the dock, it's gone, right?

01:43:56   Like the phone call, "Dad deleted Safari."

01:44:00   (laughing)

01:44:02   I could talk them through that though, right?

01:44:03   I could talk them through using Spotlight or something

01:44:06   to get Safari and then just drag it back into the dock,

01:44:09   and there it is, I could talk her through it on the phone.

01:44:11   Talking somebody like my mom through this

01:44:15   split screen stuff is madness,

01:44:17   because one of the things I didn't mention,

01:44:20   but I want to write about,

01:44:21   is the fact that it's all gesture-based, almost all,

01:44:26   and there's no visual on-screen controls.

01:44:30   Just think about like on the Mac with Windows,

01:44:34   and I'm not saying that iPad

01:44:35   have draggable windows that overlap, but I think they could learn some stuff from the

01:44:40   Mac. So in a Mac, no matter what app you're in and you have a window open, how do you

01:44:45   close it? Well, there's a red button up in the upper left-hand corner, and if you click

01:44:51   that red button, the window closes. And everybody knows it. Nobody doesn't know it. And it doesn't

01:44:58   matter what app you're in, there's a red button up there, and you can click that button and

01:45:02   close it. And yes, I know that you can switch to the graphite theme and it'll be gray buttons,

01:45:06   and I've run in graphite mode over the years on and off, but normal people don't even know

01:45:11   that's possible and would never want to run in the graphite mode where it's a gray button. There's

01:45:15   always a red button. You can click it. It closes the window. How do you close one of these split

01:45:19   screen panels? Good luck. Sometimes you can drag the divider. If it's on the left, you can't. You

01:45:26   You can't just close it.

01:45:28   It's crazy.

01:45:29   Anyway, the good news about this is after,

01:45:32   my mom actually read the thing on Daring Fireball,

01:45:34   and then she saw that I mentioned her.

01:45:36   She called me up, and she said,

01:45:37   "Yeah, guess what, I figured it out."

01:45:39   'Cause one thing, I guess I knew this, and I forgot it.

01:45:41   There is, in fact, a setting on the iPad,

01:45:43   and it's not in accessibility.

01:45:45   And the fact that it's not in accessibility, to me,

01:45:47   is sort of like a tacit admission

01:45:49   that this multitasking stuff can be confusing.

01:45:52   You can go to Settings, and then what's it called?

01:45:56   Let me make sure I get it right.

01:45:58   Settings.

01:45:59   Home screen and dock.

01:46:03   And then you hit multitasking

01:46:05   and you can just allow multiple apps.

01:46:07   You can just turn it off.

01:46:09   She figured that out on her own.

01:46:10   And then once you turn that off,

01:46:12   you can't do slide over or split screen multitasking.

01:46:16   Just doesn't happen.

01:46:17   And for me, one of the big advantages to that

01:46:21   is when you're in Safari and you tap and hold a link

01:46:23   and there's like a context menu that comes up.

01:46:25   And what I usually want to do is tap open a new tab,

01:46:29   but when you have allow multiple apps on,

01:46:32   right next to open a new tab is open a new window,

01:46:35   and you say you can accidentally tap that

01:46:37   because it's one finger width away,

01:46:41   and now all of a sudden you're stuck

01:46:42   with two instances of Safari.

01:46:43   Anyway, my mom figured it out on her own

01:46:46   and turned that off and wanted me to let everybody know

01:46:49   that she's no longer bedeviled by split screen

01:46:53   iPad multitasking because she turned it off.

01:46:57   Just get it, like, and just think about the fact

01:47:01   that on the Mac, nobody ever wants to turn off

01:47:04   the ability to show two apps at the same time.

01:47:07   Nobody, there's, nobody's ever been bedeviled

01:47:10   by the fact that there's a Safari window

01:47:13   peeking out behind your mail window.

01:47:16   Nobody's ever been bedeviled or confused by this.

01:47:19   Nobody ever wants, boy, I sure wish I could turn that off.

01:47:23   - Yeah, so what I did to sort of follow up on this

01:47:27   was sort of think about how we got to this point, right?

01:47:31   Like why is it that Apple went in this direction?

01:47:34   And you go back to the beginning,

01:47:37   and this is why the 10-year period

01:47:41   was a great time to look back,

01:47:42   'cause you go back and think about the way

01:47:44   that Jobs talked about the iPad

01:47:46   and what it was positioned as.

01:47:49   And there is this, the iPad was the,

01:47:54   all it is is the screen, right?

01:47:56   It is the sort of the essence of a computer.

01:48:00   John Sirk, you were talking about the naked robotic core.

01:48:03   Like this is what it is.

01:48:05   And it was so transformational and impressive

01:48:09   because it becomes whatever you want it to be.

01:48:12   And in a way that a Mac never can, right?

01:48:15   To your point that there's gonna be a lot of Chrome

01:48:18   not the browser, but all the infrastructure

01:48:21   and detritus of the user interface is always there.

01:48:24   And it needs to always be there,

01:48:26   because that's how you manage the complexity

01:48:29   of what you can accomplish on the Mac,

01:48:31   whereas the iPad is something completely different.

01:48:33   The iPad, it becomes a music studio.

01:48:36   It becomes, add in the application,

01:48:39   it becomes a drawing surface,

01:48:41   which remains my biggest use case for the iPad.

01:48:44   I do the drawings of Forcio Trekri on it.

01:48:46   it becomes a TV, right?

01:48:48   In these cases, I'm watching NBA games on it, right?

01:48:51   And this is such a powerful, powerful concept,

01:48:56   and it's distinctly different than what a Mac is.

01:49:00   A Mac is a tool for doing different things.

01:49:03   An iPad is a, not an illusionist,

01:49:07   what's the word I'm looking for, a chameleon?

01:49:10   Like it becomes whatever the thing that you're doing is.

01:49:14   And this, uh, and what, where was the reason why we'll get to how we got there in a moment,

01:49:20   but the reason why I think the multitasking idea and model on the iPad is fundamentally flawed is it

01:49:28   imposes the, the, the Chrome, the detritus of the operating system onto a surface that ought to be a

01:49:38   transformative shape-changing sort of thing, right?

01:49:43   And you lose that.

01:49:46   You lose that ability for an iPad to change what it is because you're imposing this sort

01:49:53   of stuff on top of it that doesn't make sense in the context of that sort of view of it.

01:50:00   Yeah, but I'll acknowledge.

01:50:02   I will acknowledge because people keep saying, one of the responses is, "Well, I use the

01:50:07   split screen thing. I use my iPad all day. It's my main computer and I love the split screen.

01:50:11   Not nobody's defended the actual interface. Nobody has said it's a fantastic interface

01:50:16   for getting two apps on screen at once. They just say that they love the capability because they do

01:50:22   use it. They love having their notes open next to a video. You know, they're watching a video and

01:50:28   they're taking notes on the video because they can split screen it or something like that.

01:50:32   I get that, and I do think it should be possible,

01:50:36   but I just think it should be possible in a way

01:50:39   where it should be super easy and obvious

01:50:43   how you get back to one thing at a time

01:50:46   that transforms the device.

01:50:47   You emphasized in your piece the GarageBand demo,

01:50:52   which wasn't from the original iPad event.

01:50:56   It was the iPad 2 event one year later,

01:50:59   and it was one of Jobs' last on-stage appearances.

01:51:03   He was at WWDC then, which was his last on-stage appearance.

01:51:07   But the GarageBand demo really was an app.

01:51:10   I just haven't had time.

01:51:13   I did a lot of writing.

01:51:14   I didn't sit down and watch the whole iPad intro again.

01:51:17   It's on my list for something to do this week,

01:51:19   probably maybe the weekend.

01:51:21   But I did watch that, and I do have to say,

01:51:24   man, I do remember being blown away by that.

01:51:26   That GarageBand demo from the One Year In thing

01:51:30   was really, really interesting,

01:51:32   totally counter to that narrative that runs to this day

01:51:36   that it's a device for consumption, not for creation.

01:51:40   And the point you made that was so great

01:51:41   is the GarageBand on iPad was immersive

01:51:46   and transformed the device in a way

01:51:49   that GarageBand from Mac never could,

01:51:51   just by the definite, you know, like it just,

01:51:54   all of a sudden the iPad is a piano, right? It doesn't look like a piano and you use a mouse to

01:52:01   click keys or you type keys on a physical QWERTY keyboard and it simulates piano keys. It just

01:52:08   turns into piano keys and you touch them and they go down and it makes music. It was incredible.

01:52:15   We can get into it in a moment. I actually, I would go much further than you. I think that

01:52:22   even having the sort of multitasking capability on the iPad is a mistake in what we're talking about.

01:52:28   So that's obviously much more controversial to take. But just to follow up on this,

01:52:33   the, you know, there's a lot of pushback on the "Oh, the iPad is for creation, not just consumption."

01:52:38   If you go back and watch the first one, it's clearly framed as a consumption device, right?

01:52:43   Like, Jobs literally sat on a couch for the demo because he wanted to emphasize that it is more of

01:52:52   of a layback, lean back sort of experience as opposed to a lean forward at your desk,

01:52:58   you know, sort of Mac experience. And so, like, it's not a, and for good reason, it's

01:53:04   an amazing consumption device, right? The, you know, for, again, I use it all the time

01:53:10   for watching sports. Like the, that's what I, you know, because I'm international, so

01:53:15   I watch it through WePass and LB.TV and whatever, and I do use it on the iPad, and it's great

01:53:20   for that and you can take it with you and it's a great experience we're having a larger screen

01:53:25   than your phone is really super desirable because you want to see things clearly uh you know but

01:53:29   kids watch netflix or youtube or whatever on it like it's it's an amazing consumption experience

01:53:34   and it remains that and i think as far as we can tell that is what even today 10 years on the vast

01:53:42   majority of ipads are used for yeah uh and so it's not i think there was a there was a sense for a

01:53:48   while where people writing about Apple were sort of defensive about the iPad being called

01:53:54   a consumption device, but actually that's what it is, right? First and foremost. And

01:53:59   that was there on day one.

01:54:01   And it's embraced so far across the line. I mean, MLB has always been at a technical

01:54:05   level ahead of the other sports leagues in the US. I don't know why. Maybe because

01:54:12   they were in decline in popularity, and it is the stuff, you know, it's the oldest

01:54:16   but like the MLB team, you know, was the ones,

01:54:19   they were the ones who solved the problem.

01:54:21   Like when HBO first started trying to stream video

01:54:25   and servers burst into flames

01:54:27   by people trying to watch Game of Thrones,

01:54:29   they went to the MLB team,

01:54:31   and the MLB team were the ones who figured out

01:54:33   how to stream it, and then Disney bought that business

01:54:35   from MLB because I actually think that their technology

01:54:39   probably is at the heart of Disney Plus

01:54:41   now that I think about it.

01:54:42   I hadn't really thought about it.

01:54:43   - That's right, it is.

01:54:44   No, Disney acquired them, yeah.

01:54:45   And it's very strong technology.

01:54:48   - It's really strong.

01:54:49   And if you're impressed by the fact

01:54:51   that Disney+ launched with all this fanfare

01:54:53   and went off seamlessly and you just hit play on Mandalorian

01:54:57   and it just comes up and plays,

01:54:58   it's thanks to the technology they acquired from MLB.

01:55:01   Yeah, it's really, yeah, I was pretty sure

01:55:04   that they're at the heart of that.

01:55:05   Really, really, really strong technology.

01:55:07   Leads the industry.

01:55:08   I mean, it's up there.

01:55:10   I mean, I know Netflix is great too,

01:55:11   but it's as good as it gets.

01:55:12   - You talk to Netflix engineers and they will say,

01:55:15   Yeah, the only other streaming technology worth a crap is yeah is is is the the it's called BAM tech now. Yeah

01:55:21   What was BAM?

01:55:23   Baseball advanced some media or something like that, but they just went because it's no longer just baseball. It's yeah BAM tech

01:55:29   NBA culturally is certainly far ahead of the other leagues in terms of being up-to-date and embracing social media. I mean

01:55:37   NBA Twitter is like no other sports Twitter and we could do a whole show on that and I know you'd probably spend 12 hours a

01:55:44   with your No Tech Bend Twitter account on it.

01:55:48   So it's not surprising to me that the NBA

01:55:50   also has a really good streaming experience to iPads.

01:55:53   - No, the streaming experience is terrible.

01:55:54   - Well, or at least they try.

01:55:56   Well, at least they try, they try, they try.

01:55:58   But the one that blows me away is that the NFL

01:56:01   has really embraced it, and part of it is

01:56:03   that I have a cable subscription still

01:56:05   and I've registered through it.

01:56:07   But I watched an awful lot of NFL football this year

01:56:10   on my iPad instead of on TV,

01:56:13   And it's really good technically,

01:56:15   but it's just amazing to me that the NFL of all networks,

01:56:19   which is the one that is the most dominant,

01:56:21   has the most money, and is sort of therefore

01:56:24   the least likely to embrace something new.

01:56:27   The iPad is like a first-class client

01:56:30   for watching live NFL games now.

01:56:32   And it's just, it just blows me away.

01:56:34   Like in a way that your computer can't be,

01:56:36   and that you wouldn't want it, it's too small,

01:56:38   you don't want to watch it on your phone.

01:56:39   I mean, I know people do watch on their phone,

01:56:40   but it's no good.

01:56:42   You watch on your phone because it's the only way to watch it, right?

01:56:44   Right.

01:56:45   Because you're—whereas you would voluntarily watch something on the iPad because—

01:56:48   Right.

01:56:49   You're at like a kid's birthday party and there's a game you want to watch.

01:56:51   Okay, you're going to watch at your phone.

01:56:53   Right, exactly.

01:56:55   But watching on your iPad is like totally credible.

01:56:57   It is like absolutely totally credible and keeps up to—anyway, it's just—it is

01:57:01   a great—I don't want to get too sidetracked from our complaints, but it is a great consumption

01:57:05   device and it's a better TV than my TV.

01:57:08   Yup.

01:57:09   That's exactly—no, that's exactly right.

01:57:11   And it's disruptive in a way, right, to take this sort of full circle because you can layer

01:57:15   on all sorts of stuff and things that you can't have on your TV.

01:57:21   But the interactivity and the portability, but while also having this large screen that,

01:57:26   you know, holding an iPad right in front of you relative to a large TV on the wall, like

01:57:31   the actual viewing experience is actually much, the difference is much smaller than

01:57:35   you might think it is.

01:57:36   And the screen quality is incredible and all those sorts of things.

01:57:40   At the initial iPad launch, they also showed iWork.

01:57:45   And it was also kind of a mind-blowing demo in that they were doing this really cool stuff

01:57:51   with inserting stuff and moving stuff around with your fingers.

01:57:56   And there was the hint of something there.

01:57:59   And I wrote about, I had a few sort of false starts as far as blogs going through the years,

01:58:06   I had like a tumbler back in the day where I wrote about the iPad when it launched and

01:58:12   you know I talked about it you know where it fit relative to the phone and relative

01:58:17   to the computer but at the end of my career what's really compelling here is is the

01:58:21   you know I focus on content consumption like this is clearly a content consumption device

01:58:24   I'm gonna take one time out I'm just gonna tell you right now as a listener I'm gonna

01:58:28   remember I'm gonna remember this I am gonna put that graphic you're talking about it's

01:58:32   gonna be the album art as we talk right now so you could just look at your phone and look

01:58:36   at the album art, you'll see the drawing Ben's talking about.

01:58:39   All right, keep going.

01:58:41   Well, a 10-year-old drawing, some of which

01:58:43   holds up better than others.

01:58:44   But again, you go back and-- one of the things that

01:58:48   has constricted the iPad over time

01:58:49   is that phones now are so much larger.

01:58:51   But you remember back in 2010, you're

01:58:53   dealing with a 3.5-inch crappy screen where you really

01:58:55   didn't want to be watching an NBA game on that.

01:58:59   The iPad was just incredible.

01:59:00   It was so much larger and better.

01:59:02   But I put at the end-- so that article

01:59:04   was focused on as a content consumption device. But at the end, I'm like, look, there's something

01:59:08   else here. Like what was it? I mentioned that I work demo, I'm like, you can do stuff that

01:59:14   you just can't do on a computer because you're directly manipulating it. Now, the implication

01:59:19   is there's stuff you can do on a computer that you can't do on an iPad. But it was new,

01:59:24   it was something different and new. And that's where the the the GarageBand demo and this

01:59:28   the the iPad 2 announcement comes in for me. Like the it was it like I someone who has

01:59:33   dabbled around in sort of these music creation apps and you know I'm a piano player and stuff

01:59:38   like that. It was so mind-blowing. That's the only time I've ever stood in line for

01:59:42   an Apple product. I had to get the iPad 2 and I was going on a plane that night to Taiwan

01:59:50   and I downloaded GarageBand and I spent the entire 12-hour flight just like making songs.

01:59:55   It's hard. It was mind-blowing. It was absolutely incredible the way that you could

02:00:03   do stuff that wasn't really possible.

02:00:05   Again, it was technically possible on a computer, but the user interface and experience was

02:00:11   just transformative on the iPad.

02:00:13   It was absolutely incredible.

02:00:15   And what was so, and you saw, Jobs knew it, right?

02:00:20   It's one of my all-time favorite Jobs on stage moments is the like 15 seconds after the demo,

02:00:26   and he's on there and he's just like, he's used this.

02:00:30   He was involved in the creation of it.

02:00:32   He knew the demo, they had run through it.

02:00:34   And even then, he just looks astonished.

02:00:36   Right?

02:00:37   He's like, "I can't believe…"

02:00:39   And to me, it was a wonderful moment that I reflected on a lot when Jobs passed away

02:00:46   later that year.

02:00:48   I'm glad that he was able to have that moment as an exec, because it was, to my mind, the

02:00:56   culmination of his life's work.

02:00:58   Because he comes on there and he's like, "Isn't it incredible?"

02:01:01   And then he says something like, he's like,

02:01:04   now anyone can make music.

02:01:06   And like, that's what, he wanted the computer for anyone,

02:01:10   that anyone could unlock their creativity.

02:01:13   Anyone could do this because it was so much more intuitive

02:01:16   and so much more approachable.

02:01:17   - And direct.

02:01:18   - And fundamentally, it was fundamentally less powerful.

02:01:22   - Yeah.

02:01:23   - Like, you could not do in GarageBand,

02:01:25   well, you could do in Logic,

02:01:26   or you could do in GarageBand on the Mac.

02:01:28   Because you're limited to the direct interaction,

02:01:30   it was fundamentally less powerful.

02:01:34   But it was disruptive in the best sense of the word.

02:01:37   It did not meet the needs of true musicians who

02:01:39   were wanting to make a huge sort of-- make a professional song.

02:01:44   But it meant it was way more accessible to way more people

02:01:48   to actually build their own songs.

02:01:50   And to me, that was what was so amazing and compelling

02:01:57   about the iPad.

02:01:58   And what I feel we've never really seen the full manifestation of was this possibility

02:02:04   of completely new kinds of applications, new kinds of computing that would open up the

02:02:09   power of computers to so many more people.

02:02:13   And that's why the whole discussion of the multitasking thing is so, like, it's so

02:02:19   frustrating to me because we're debating these power user features that are basically

02:02:29   trying to recreate what we can already do on the Mac, but we're trading away. It's

02:02:35   more complex and less powerful and less useful. And I'm over here saying, "What about this

02:02:42   whole world that was sort of stillborn, where you could do something that you could not

02:02:47   do on the PC. When we're talking about dealing with multiple Windows, we can do that on the

02:02:51   PC. It's like, would you rather do that on the PC or would you rather do that on the computer?

02:02:54   Would you rather stay at a Motel 6 or would you rather stay at a Ritz-Carlton? Well,

02:02:57   if we make the Motel 6, we have much nicer bedsheets, and if we have better service,

02:03:03   and we make the rooms bigger, then we could have a Ritz-Carlton too. And it's like,

02:03:08   that's not disruptive. It's trying to do the same thing, but from a different perspective.

02:03:13   I want something that's completely and utterly new, and when I look back 10 years on, it's

02:03:19   like, where are those applications?

02:03:23   That's what I'm interested in.

02:03:24   Right, and now we have Apple bragging about desktop class Safari, which is, again, just

02:03:31   parody.

02:03:32   It's just parody.

02:03:33   Anyway, I want to take a break.

02:03:34   I have one more sponsor to thank, but—and then we'll bring this home on iPad.

02:03:38   Brand new sponsor.

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02:05:31   - I really like the fact that we started

02:05:35   with the sort of the disruption in Christians and stuff

02:05:38   a bit in the beginning.

02:05:39   Because I think it gets at exactly why I am frustrated

02:05:44   by the product, disappointed in the product.

02:05:46   Again, it's not to say it's not, people don't love them

02:05:50   and it's not successful and Apple doesn't make a lot

02:05:52   of money from them.

02:05:53   It's that it--

02:05:54   - I think that's what masks the problems,

02:05:57   that people do love them and people do use them

02:06:00   and so it's easy for somebody to defend it

02:06:02   and say there's nothing wrong, right?

02:06:04   It's successful and people love it.

02:06:07   But I really, it is frustrating to me.

02:06:09   And I don't think it's lived up to the potential.

02:06:12   And while I like the fact that they're talking,

02:06:14   that they've added quote unquote desktop class Safari,

02:06:16   like that should, 10 years in,

02:06:18   that should not be a bragging point.

02:06:20   - Well, I mean, it's just like, if the,

02:06:24   why is it, it's sad to me that the goal

02:06:27   is to compete with the Mac.

02:06:29   It's sad because one, like the Mac's pretty good

02:06:31   at what it does, and if anything,

02:06:33   I'd rather have more resources go there to make it better.

02:06:35   But two, it's sad because you're playing on the max turf.

02:06:38   Like, if you wanna compete with a multi-window environment,

02:06:43   probably best to start with the environment

02:06:45   that was built with multi-window assumptions

02:06:47   from the beginning.

02:06:48   The iPad was not built with those assumptions.

02:06:50   The iPad was built with one-window assumptions,

02:06:52   that it's the entire, again, that it transforms the device

02:06:56   into a music studio, it transforms the device into an easel,

02:07:00   transforms the device into a photo editing environment or whatever it might be.

02:07:06   And I think there's two areas where the iPad really lost its way.

02:07:12   The first area, unfortunately, and it fits with the theme, I guess, of this podcast,

02:07:17   was Jobs passing away.

02:07:19   Like I'm very reticent to go into what Steve Jobs would do something different.

02:07:26   But I think the one product that misses Jobs

02:07:30   more than any other product is the iPad.

02:07:32   Like again, to me it really was the culmination

02:07:37   of what he was pushing computing to be,

02:07:40   his vision of what computing could be,

02:07:42   computing for the rest of us.

02:07:44   And when he was gone, who had that vision?

02:07:49   - I think one of the things Steve Jobs was so good at,

02:07:53   and his reputation is that he was so,

02:07:57   I mean, for lack of a better word, arrogant, right?

02:07:59   And you couldn't tell him anything,

02:08:01   but the fact is he did listen.

02:08:03   And famously, there's always a bunch of stories

02:08:05   where someone would get in an argument with them,

02:08:07   and Jobs would say X, and you would say Y,

02:08:10   and then you'd make your case for Y,

02:08:12   and he'd say, "That's stupid."

02:08:13   And you'd come back the next day,

02:08:14   and Jobs would say, "I have a great idea, why?"

02:08:17   (laughing)

02:08:18   Right? - Yeah.

02:08:19   - And that was his way of acknowledging that you were right.

02:08:21   It was like he slept on it,

02:08:22   And he was like, yeah, you know what, that's a good idea.

02:08:24   And then he'd convince himself it was his idea,

02:08:26   and then, you know, go ahead.

02:08:27   But he could admit mistakes, right?

02:08:31   And he didn't go into denial about them.

02:08:34   And so, in small ways, I do think that if jobs

02:08:37   were still around, I think that the MacBook keyboard

02:08:42   fiasco would have ended sooner.

02:08:44   - Without question.

02:08:45   - I'm not saying they wouldn't have shipped it.

02:08:47   And I've always said throughout the whole thing,

02:08:49   the problem isn't that they shipped that keyboard.

02:08:51   The problem is, I mean--

02:08:54   - They shipped it for three and a half years.

02:08:55   - Ideally, they wouldn't have shipped it,

02:08:56   but you make mistakes, you know what I mean?

02:08:58   They shipped the MacCube,

02:09:00   and it turned out it was not the right idea.

02:09:02   You know what they did?

02:09:02   They stopped production of the MacCube.

02:09:05   They didn't make the MacCube for four years

02:09:06   and keep throwing good money after bad.

02:09:09   I really do think that there are ways

02:09:13   that Jobs' leadership and his style would have helped.

02:09:18   But the Mac doesn't need that much help.

02:09:20   The Mac, it knows what it is, it does what it does really well, and the phone has done

02:09:27   really well post-jobs, in that there's people clearly at Apple who kind of have a really

02:09:33   good sense of the iPhone.

02:09:34   It's clearly, you know, because it makes the most money.

02:09:37   I mean, you can be cynical about it.

02:09:39   It gets the highest talent within the company to pay the fullest attention to every aspect

02:09:45   of it, hardware and software.

02:09:47   And I think it's in a really good place, software-wise.

02:09:52   I really do think iOS 13 is in a really good place.

02:09:55   And there's things I would change.

02:09:56   Everybody has complaints, but I'm with you.

02:10:01   I think that the iPad is the one product where really,

02:10:04   and at a big level, it's not like a little thing,

02:10:06   like, oh, I don't think the buttons should be flat.

02:10:08   I think they should have a little bit of 3D

02:10:09   or something like that.

02:10:10   It's not a superficial thing.

02:10:11   I think at a very profound, fundamental level--

02:10:14   - A conceptual level. - Yeah, conceptual level,

02:10:16   The iPad could be so much further along,

02:10:20   and I do think, and I'm with you,

02:10:21   I really do hate to play the,

02:10:24   I think things would be X, Y, and Z different

02:10:26   if Steve Jobs were still around,

02:10:29   but I really do feel like the iPad is the one

02:10:31   where it should, and I've seen a bunch of other people,

02:10:33   either in reaction to my piece,

02:10:35   or just on their own on this 10th anniversary,

02:10:38   express the same thought.

02:10:41   And it's really hard to deny, I think,

02:10:44   if you really, and going back like you did,

02:10:46   and looking at that, especially not the first iPad,

02:10:51   but that iPad 2 demo with the GarageBand thing

02:10:56   and a couple other things that,

02:10:58   and with a year of their own use of iPad

02:11:03   combined with seeing how the world had taken to it

02:11:06   under their belt, there did seem to be

02:11:11   a certain gleam in his eye that they were onto something,

02:11:14   And then all that really happened in the intervening years

02:11:17   is they've just made faster and faster CPUs.

02:11:20   I mean, the hardware got undeniably better, right?

02:11:22   It went to retina and got thinner and lighter.

02:11:24   It's truly, you know, the iPhone and the iPad

02:11:28   are the best hardware they make.

02:11:30   And the Mac, it's almost unfair.

02:11:32   The Mac is so limited by what Intel offers.

02:11:36   The one thing that the Mac users are most jealous of

02:11:40   the fact that we don't have Apple's own ARM CPUs inside.

02:11:45   But in terms of conceptual using the iPad,

02:11:51   it just hasn't gone very far.

02:11:54   - Well, it's funny.

02:11:55   So there's been two ways where Apple has sought

02:11:59   to sort of push the iPad forward post jobs.

02:12:01   Because sales kind of peaked around the iPad 2,

02:12:07   iPad 3 era, and then they sort of started to go down

02:12:10   and Apple's like, you know, what can we do to make this better?

02:12:13   The first one was coming out with the iPad Pro and the Pencil and the keyboard.

02:12:19   It's interesting because I think the Pencil was so clearly the right thing to do.

02:12:23   It was definitely one of those X, Y arguments you'd have to have with Jobs where, you know,

02:12:27   he would, I'm sure, have been against it and then you would have convinced him that

02:12:30   it was the right thing to do.

02:12:31   Like, that is a, it's again, what is powerful about the Pencil is it's something that you

02:12:36   can't do on the Mac.

02:12:37   Yes, you can have a Wacom tablet or something on those sorts of lines, but it's still

02:12:41   indirect manipulation or if you even have the ones that show the screen on there, it's

02:12:45   very clunky, it's not accessible to most people.

02:12:47   The iPad makes a new sort of paradigm and approach accessible to new people in a way

02:12:52   that doesn't really make sense on a phone either.

02:12:54   It's something unique and special to iPad and, as I noted, remains my number one use

02:12:58   case for an iPad is doing these drawings.

02:13:01   I don't know if Jobs would have been opposed to it.

02:13:03   I know everybody loves to, you know, go back to that, "If you see a stylus, they blew

02:13:07   quote. But that was about the phone. And it was about requiring a stylus. It was about

02:13:12   a device where you needed a stylus to use it like the Newton and the Palm Pilot. And

02:13:19   there's a reason, that's not the only reason why they called it the Apple Pencil and not

02:13:24   the Apple Stylus. You know, it wasn't just to avoid the word that's, you know, founder

02:13:28   Steve Jobs had used and said they blew it. It's different because it's absolutely not

02:13:32   required. It does something very different. You can use it. And I know in the early days

02:13:36   that a pencil was actually up in the air,

02:13:38   whether you could even use it as a replacement

02:13:41   for your finger for tapping buttons and stuff,

02:13:44   or was it only for drawing.

02:13:45   And they worked that out.

02:13:48   It's totally a plus.

02:13:50   It just enables an entirely new level of stuff on your iPad.

02:13:55   It's not something you need.

02:13:56   So I don't know that Jobs would have been opposed to it.

02:13:58   - What you said is super important, too.

02:13:59   It's a plus in a way that enhances the experience

02:14:03   without detracting from it.

02:14:04   In a way, multitasking is a plus, but it imposes such a level of overhead and complexity that

02:14:11   for someone like your mom, or me personally, it's a minus.

02:14:16   Exactly, right?

02:14:17   And so that's an addition that makes sense when it's purely additive, like the pencil

02:14:23   is.

02:14:24   But anyhow, so Apple pushes forward the hardware.

02:14:26   And obviously the hardware today is an amazing state.

02:14:28   Like the iPad Pro today is, I think, the most beautiful piece of hardware that Apple makes.

02:14:33   It rivals the iPhone 4 for arguably the best piece of hardware Apple has ever made, as

02:14:38   far as just sort of like being a jewel and just this incredible sort of thing.

02:14:43   So that was number one.

02:14:44   And then number two has been this recent push to add the iPadOS and add this multitasking

02:14:50   and this complexity.

02:14:52   And what's interesting about both of those efforts is those are both things that are

02:14:56   under Apple's – what does Apple control on the iPad?

02:14:59   They control the hardware and they control the OS.

02:15:01   And where have they focused their efforts on making the iPad interesting to end users?

02:15:06   It's by iterating on the hardware and iterating on the OS.

02:15:10   And there's a big missing piece here, which is the apps themselves, the developers.

02:15:16   And this is, to my mind, the fundamental failing of the iPad.

02:15:21   At the end of the day, Steve Jobs is one person.

02:15:24   You can't have, no matter how great he is, Steve Jobs is not going to conceptualize every

02:15:30   possible use case that an iPad could be used for.

02:15:32   This idea that an iPad can become anything, by definition, that's where you need the third-party

02:15:38   developers to come up with completely new programs and applications for an iPad that

02:15:46   transform it into something different that Apple would have never thought of, that C-Jaw

02:15:49   is going to never have thought of.

02:15:51   This is the whole power of markets, where people create something completely new to

02:15:56   meet a need that no sort of central authority would have thought of on their own, but it's

02:16:01   possible to come forward and to, why do they do it? Because they can, one, it's possible,

02:16:06   and two, they can make money doing it. And that's the missing piece. You can't make money.

02:16:12   The iPad is meant to be some sort of productivity where you can do stuff on it. That's what

02:16:18   makes the large canvas approachable in a way the iPhone sort of isn't. But to do that,

02:16:23   need to be able to sell and you need to be able to sell to people and the people that fall in love

02:16:27   with your application it's really good oh can you add this feature can you add this feature

02:16:31   well you can add the features and you can charge them again guess what that's how them like that's

02:16:36   why that's what happened on the mac you had developers creating all sorts of applications

02:16:41   creating entire industries which you mentioned your piece especially like the graphic design and

02:16:46   layout and and all those sorts of things you had all these sort of small developers making all

02:16:51   these little utilities on the Mac. And why did it work? Because you didn't have to go out and sell

02:16:57   it one time for 99 cents and try to get a bunch of users. You could find your core users, your

02:17:02   thousand true fans or whatever, you could charge them. Then you could work for a year, you come

02:17:07   back, you could charge the same users again. And they were happy to pay you because they loved your

02:17:11   application. It was very useful for them. You could do more. All that aspect is missing because

02:17:17   of the app store's limitations. And the reason why I think the iPad never reaches potential,

02:17:23   we never got these sort of transformative use cases that were not recreating the Mac,

02:17:31   but were creating something entirely new and powerful, is because there was no money in it.

02:17:36   To create something like GarageBand requires a huge amount of resources. It means making a big

02:17:43   bet because to building software you have to spend all the time and money upfront creating

02:17:48   that and you have to put it out there for sale and hope people come along and tell their

02:17:52   friends and then will buy an upgrade.

02:17:55   Why would you make that bet if you're in an App Store environment?

02:17:59   There's no business model to justify it, which meant those applications never got made.

02:18:05   This is Apple's tragic weakness.

02:18:09   They want to control everything.

02:18:12   And that control meant they tried to use that control to make the iPad better.

02:18:17   What can we control?

02:18:18   We can control the hardware.

02:18:19   Great.

02:18:20   We'll make the hardware much better.

02:18:21   What can we control?

02:18:22   We control the OS.

02:18:23   Great.

02:18:24   We'll take the OS and we'll add a bunch of stuff that maybe that's what people will

02:18:26   like.

02:18:27   What Apple actually needed to make the iPad successful was to loosen control, was to give

02:18:33   give more freedom, more possibilities,

02:18:35   so that developers could make these

02:18:38   transformative experiences that took the potential

02:18:41   of a device that could change into anything

02:18:44   you wanted it to be and to fully realize that.

02:18:48   - You mentioned, I forget what year you took the numbers

02:18:51   from, but there was a point, and it's firsthand,

02:18:54   but to me it's the one where the Mac was clearly

02:18:57   the strongest, was the desktop publishing industry,

02:18:59   and there were other areas where the Mac did

02:19:01   and has continued to thrive, education in some ways,

02:19:06   but desktop publishing for me is near and dear to my heart,

02:19:09   and it truly transformed the industry

02:19:11   as a 10-year-old product.

02:19:12   And again, it's exactly how old the iPad is.

02:19:16   The graphic design industry,

02:19:18   whether you're like an illustrator

02:19:19   or doing page layout in Quark or PageMaker at the time,

02:19:24   or whatever, you know,

02:19:26   all the various things you could do in Photoshop,

02:19:28   Nobody who was a professional illustrator or photographer

02:19:33   or layout artist was using computers in 1984.

02:19:38   I mean, I shouldn't say nobody, but it was obscure

02:19:41   and you were using these text-based things

02:19:43   and nobody really, computers just weren't part of it.

02:19:48   And by 1994, nobody was not using a computer.

02:19:51   In 10 years, everything was computerized,

02:19:56   all page layout, every newspaper, every magazine,

02:19:59   every advertisement, everything that was going to print

02:20:02   went through computer software.

02:20:05   And it was either on the Mac or it was Windows versions

02:20:08   of apps on the Mac, but probably it was through the Mac.

02:20:11   I remember when I was doing print stuff in the '90s,

02:20:15   you used to have to pay more

02:20:17   if it was Windows formatted stuff sometimes

02:20:20   than if it was Mac because the print shops

02:20:22   anticipated so many problems with like

02:20:25   color separation and stuff like that.

02:20:27   They literally charged more

02:20:28   'cause it was so fundamentally Mac-based.

02:20:32   What are the industries like that

02:20:33   that have been transformed by the iPad?

02:20:35   And there are some, I mean, it's like somebody pointed out

02:20:38   that iPads are huge with pilots.

02:20:41   I get it.

02:20:42   I mean, so saying that there's none is an overstatement.

02:20:46   There are apps like Procreate

02:20:48   that are really, really great on the iPad.

02:20:53   I think the pencil drives a lot of that with Procreate,

02:20:56   and it's great in a way that you just couldn't really

02:20:59   do what Procreate does on the Mac.

02:21:01   It really needs that direct manipulation.

02:21:04   But there's just nowhere near as much of it

02:21:08   as there could be.

02:21:10   - Well, just look at the companies.

02:21:11   In 1984, Adobe did not exist.

02:21:18   In 1994, it did, and it was worth a billion dollars.

02:21:21   And Apple was only worth $2 billion at the time.

02:21:24   Exactly.

02:21:25   And if you go back through the entire history, I think that's a reason why Apple has been

02:21:32   so unfriendly, relatively speaking, to developers.

02:21:36   They don't want another Adobe because Adobe famously would not support OS X.

02:21:44   And I think Apple never wanted a position where they were dependent on Microsoft and

02:21:48   Adobe.

02:21:49   So what happened, though, in the long run is Microsoft and Adobe are the only companies

02:21:53   making these super complex applications for the iPad because they have larger business

02:21:59   models that justify it.

02:22:01   And no, but that's the whole point.

02:22:03   The graphic design revolution, which you cannot overstate, that graphic design and desktop

02:22:10   publishing, that's what kept the Mac alive.

02:22:13   The only reason Apple is around and the only reason we have iPhones and iPads and all this

02:22:17   talk about is because when Apple was at its lowest point, people who were in desktop publishing

02:22:23   were still buying Macs.

02:22:25   That's how dominant it was.

02:22:27   That was not, they were not buying it because of MacPaint.

02:22:30   MacPaint was a demonstration of what was possible, and then you had companies like Aldus come

02:22:35   along with PageMaker or Quark, QuarkXPress.

02:22:38   You and I both cut our teeth on QuarkXPress, and Adobe with first Illustrator and then

02:22:43   Photoshop and then the Acrobat PDF and then they came along with

02:22:46   Do to compete was what's their Quark Express competitor in design? Um, yeah in design and

02:22:52   Basically built their company on the Mac and third-party developers are what made the Mac

02:22:59   Transformative and powerful and why because it was it was open you could go on there and you could charge what you wanted to charge

02:23:05   You could charge it when you want to charge you charge for upgrades Apple to have any control over that and that made it entirely possible

02:23:12   And again, everything's a trade-off.

02:23:14   This is a tie-in to our encryption talk before.

02:23:16   There are huge benefits to the App Store, to security, to customers feeling safe with

02:23:21   their, being willing to buy applications.

02:23:23   This isn't to deny any of that.

02:23:25   But there has been a tremendous loss in business model flexibility that, in my estimation,

02:23:32   is the biggest reason why the iPad has not reached its potential.

02:23:36   It's not to say the iPad is not valuable as it is.

02:23:38   It is.

02:23:39   It is so much closer to what it launched as V1.

02:23:44   We're so much closer to the iPad 1 keynote,

02:23:47   and it feels like we're farther away than ever

02:23:49   from the iPad 2 keynote.

02:23:50   And that's what makes me sad.

02:23:52   That's why I call it tragic.

02:23:54   It's not that it's a failure.

02:23:57   It's that there was the possibility

02:23:59   of something completely new,

02:24:01   and I just feel we never really reached that potential.

02:24:04   - Yeah, I feel the same way.

02:24:05   We took very different, and I have more to say,

02:24:09   but more to write, and hopefully I'll get around to it soon,

02:24:12   but in the weeks to come.

02:24:14   And I focused on specific details, user interface gripes,

02:24:17   and your complaint is much more big picture,

02:24:20   but fundamentally it's two different angles

02:24:25   on the same thing, which is that it didn't live up,

02:24:27   it hasn't yet lived up to its potential.

02:24:30   And it could still, but would require leadership at Apple

02:24:39   to acknowledge that it hasn't lived up to its potential.

02:24:43   And I seriously question whether that's there.

02:24:46   I really do feel that there's,

02:24:50   I can't help but think that,

02:24:52   and to me, iPad OS 13 is the evidence of it,

02:24:56   that this is the one they decided to give the new name to

02:24:58   and say it's its own S and its own OS,

02:25:01   you know, it has its own name,

02:25:03   and didn't really backtrack from any of this

02:25:06   and hasn't really, you know,

02:25:08   And the other thing we can mention on this,

02:25:10   and I feel like it's held the iPad back more than the phone,

02:25:14   is the 30%/15% tax, whatever you want,

02:25:19   well not tax, it's not a tax,

02:25:23   but the revenue that Apple wants to insist it gets

02:25:26   through App Store purchases for anything

02:25:30   and everything that goes through an app.

02:25:33   And I can't help but think that that's hurt,

02:25:35   And it gets to your issue of insisting on control as opposed to just letting third-party

02:25:40   developers have more freedom on the platform.

02:25:45   Well, that's absolutely part of it, but also there's an aspect of the more specialized

02:25:51   and niche an app by definition, the smaller your audience.

02:25:54   And the way the App Store has worked is it's always, if you want to make money, you need

02:25:58   to sort of have access to the largest audience possible.

02:26:03   And you know, whereas if you want to make, if you have a niche app, you want to make

02:26:07   more money from fewer people, right?

02:26:09   Like this is my business model, right?

02:26:10   I'm not trying to sell trajectory to a million people.

02:26:14   What I want to do is sell it to a much smaller number of people, but they pay me money continuously,

02:26:19   so I get a lot of money out of them, right?

02:26:20   My average revenue per customer is very high.

02:26:24   That's very hard to do with an application because the way it worked on the Mac previously

02:26:29   was you would sell an application for, say, $50.

02:26:32   Then a year later, you have an update to the application,

02:26:36   and you can maybe sell, well, you have upgrade pricing.

02:26:38   So if you're an existing user, you can buy it for $35,

02:26:41   or a new user buy it for $50.

02:26:42   And what this lets you do is you're getting like $50 or $30,

02:26:46   whatever it might be, per customer, per year,

02:26:48   year over year over year,

02:26:49   that justifies this ongoing sort of investment.

02:26:52   Now, things are a little better now

02:26:54   'cause you can do subscription pricing,

02:26:55   But the problem is that is so sort of consumer hostile in a way, like you have to pay or

02:27:01   you're going to lose access to your application.

02:27:05   We see this again and again where apps, developers switch to this model because it's the only

02:27:10   way they can survive.

02:27:13   You can't make money always selling to new users.

02:27:16   It's impossible.

02:27:17   You have to be able to make money from your existing users on an ongoing basis.

02:27:21   The only way Apple has to do that is through subscription pricing, which is an awkward

02:27:25   fit for productivity apps anyway, and then there's this gut-wrenching transition where

02:27:30   everyone accuses you of being a bad person because you're now charging a subscription

02:27:37   instead of just selling that and letting them own it, etc., etc.

02:27:40   The problem that you can't do otherwise is Apple never gave them the tools to do it otherwise.

02:27:46   And it's a shame.

02:27:47   Who in their right mind is going to start a company today that is focused on building

02:27:51   complex, new-to-the-world, transformative iPad applications.

02:27:56   Like there's no one that's going to do it.

02:27:58   The only one that's going to do it is Apple, and Apple doesn't have anyone that seems to

02:28:02   have the vision to do it.

02:28:03   In any way, to have one company making everything is not a viable outcome anyways.

02:28:08   They should be making a platform.

02:28:10   I mean, the tragedy, this is the tragedy that I wrote about this back when the iPad Pencil

02:28:16   came out.

02:28:17   The real tragedy of the iPad is it would be such a better product if Microsoft owned it,

02:28:24   because Microsoft understands how to build a third-party platform and to make it possible.

02:28:30   The problem is that you earn the right to be a platform by building a great product.

02:28:36   And Microsoft's not building a great product.

02:28:38   Microsoft got the Windows platform by leveraging IBM, basically, to get computers everywhere,

02:28:44   then they already had the platform, then they could be a good platform provider, right?

02:28:48   The way it works in the consumer market is you have to sell something that's compelling

02:28:51   by itself, where users want it and buy it, and then once you have the install base, now

02:28:56   you're a platform, and that's not what Microsoft is good at.

02:29:00   They're not good at building super friendly user consumer products that people just want

02:29:05   to buy in their own right.

02:29:07   And so you have this weird situation where in an ideal world, we could have Apple create

02:29:12   these new concepts, these new ideas, these new products like an iPad, and then they could

02:29:16   hand it off to Microsoft to manage, and then we could have a flowering developer ecosystem

02:29:22   on top of it that help it reach its full potential.

02:29:24   But unfortunately, the world doesn't work that way.

02:29:26   Hey, what app do you use?

02:29:27   I wanted to ask you this.

02:29:28   What app do you use for making your drawings for Stretichary on the iPad?

02:29:33   So the app I used for many years was Paper by kind of called 53.

02:29:38   Paper has since, they're acquired, I think they're still around, but they basically

02:29:42   failed.

02:29:43   They only ever made money by selling a stylus and then the Apple Pencil came out, which

02:29:46   made their application way better and also destroyed their ability to make money.

02:29:51   Again, I would have paid for upgrades continually to that application, but they charged me once

02:29:58   like $10 and I used it for years and made a ton of money using the application and they

02:30:03   got none of that.

02:30:05   So I increasingly use Linnea now from the folks at Icon Factory.

02:30:10   So I still use Paper for a couple things.

02:30:13   There's a few things, a few effects it has that I like, but more and more I use Linnea.

02:30:22   It's really cool.

02:30:23   It's got some more power as far as layering goes and stuff like that, whereas Paper is

02:30:28   more of a pure drawing app.

02:30:31   But yeah, those are the two applications that I use.

02:30:33   Yeah, I love Linnea.

02:30:34   I call it linea, I don't know how to pronounce it.

02:30:36   I should ask our friend Hockenberry.

02:30:40   I'm gonna guess that I'm wrong.

02:30:42   You can make a ton of money betting

02:30:45   that on any pronunciation thing, my guess is wrong.

02:30:48   Linnea.

02:30:49   Linnea sounds prettier and they do graphic, you know.

02:30:52   So I'm gonna guess it actually is linea.

02:30:54   But in my head--

02:30:55   - Or to find out it's like linea.

02:30:57   - I've said linea.

02:30:59   That's my go-to drawing app.

02:31:01   I don't do a lot of drawings,

02:31:02   but when I do, that's what I use, I love it.

02:31:05   And one of the things I love about it,

02:31:08   and it's just from one small indie developer,

02:31:10   it's like a $10 app,

02:31:11   I think they're moving to a subscription prompt,

02:31:13   but it has things like layers,

02:31:16   it has, you know, which are concepts that are common

02:31:18   in every Mac drawing, photo editing app,

02:31:21   but Linea doesn't look like a Mac app at all.

02:31:26   It is so iPad, and it also doesn't look,

02:31:29   I know, and I know they have like a little iPhone version,

02:31:31   where you can finger paint.

02:31:33   But the iPad version is like the one true version,

02:31:37   and it is iPad-y in a way.

02:31:40   - Your iPad becomes an easel.

02:31:47   The best iPad apps change the nature

02:31:52   of what this device in your hand is.

02:31:54   My iPad with an NBA game on it is a TV.

02:31:58   My iPad with Lea on it is an easel.

02:32:01   My iPad with GarageBand on it is a piano, to your point.

02:32:04   And that is the magic of the iPad.

02:32:10   And there's no magic in multitasking, sorry.

02:32:18   This whole concept of putting the iPad against a Mac or against a PC, it's like you're

02:32:24   putting in a situation where it's going to lose.

02:32:26   Like, yes, some people will power through.

02:32:30   You have to be more of a power user to use an iPad for multitasking than you do a PC,

02:32:36   which doesn't make any sense.

02:32:38   It just conceptually doesn't make any sense.

02:32:41   And the wrong tradeoffs were made.

02:32:44   The tradeoff should be that an iPad is impossibly easy to use.

02:32:49   When your mom's doing mail, she's in her mail app.

02:32:51   When she's browsing the web, she's on the web.

02:32:53   transforms, there's no of this mixing of metaphors and mixing of ideas together. It is what it is.

02:33:00   And if you feel frustrated by that and limited by that, then you should go get a Mac. Like,

02:33:06   this idea that we should lose the simplicity to have an inferior version of the Mac is just

02:33:13   wrong to me. I think you made this point in your article, like less powerful and more complex or

02:33:17   something along those lines. That's the sure sign that the wrong trade-offs were made.

02:33:22   - Well, and if it were going to be, you know,

02:33:25   maybe it should be off by default.

02:33:27   You know, like your point that the multi,

02:33:29   you know, that you wanna argue

02:33:30   that the split screen multitasking

02:33:31   was all a mistake or whatever.

02:33:33   And for the people who really do love it,

02:33:36   maybe it should be there as an option,

02:33:38   but maybe it should be off by default.

02:33:40   But I firmly stand by what you just said,

02:33:44   that it is a power user feature.

02:33:47   Whereas on the Mac,

02:33:48   because that's what the Mac was designed for ground up,

02:33:52   people, common people don't even think about the fact

02:33:55   that you can see two or three apps at a time on your Mac.

02:33:58   It doesn't even seem like a thing that you've done

02:34:00   or did anything for.

02:34:02   - Right, and I'm not saying everyone should get a Mac.

02:34:06   That's the thing.

02:34:07   I actually think the iPad should be the computer

02:34:09   for the rest of us, right?

02:34:11   As it were.

02:34:12   You can do everything you want to do on an iPad

02:34:16   as on a Mac.

02:34:18   If you want to have multiple windows,

02:34:21   like you don't need two windows to do something.

02:34:25   You could switch back and forth.

02:34:26   The reason you have two windows

02:34:27   is 'cause it's more convenient and easier to do, right?

02:34:31   But that's fine.

02:34:33   It's okay to have something more complex

02:34:36   for more powerful and more complex things.

02:34:38   - So one of the things I wanna bring up,

02:34:40   and hopefully I'd be able, I haven't looked,

02:34:44   'cause I only thought of it

02:34:44   while you and I are talking right here,

02:34:46   but hopefully I can maybe get some videos of it.

02:34:48   I don't know how I'll find them,

02:34:50   but at least some screenshots.

02:34:51   But do you remember Tweety for iPad

02:34:53   when Lauren Brikter was doing Tweety

02:34:55   before it was acquired by Twitter

02:34:58   and became the official Twitter for iOS app?

02:35:02   Tweety, do you remember Tweety for iPad?

02:35:06   It was wholly original and separate from Tweety for iPhone

02:35:14   and had what I consider for a productivity type app

02:35:19   where it's like you're, you know,

02:35:22   as much as Twitter can count as productivity,

02:35:24   but you're reading and it's text

02:35:26   and there's a list of things

02:35:27   and you tap from a list to go into the, you know.

02:35:30   It had a design that was so different

02:35:35   and it never would have worked on the Mac.

02:35:40   Whereas if you look at mail for iPad from Apple,

02:35:45   it is fundamentally architected visually

02:35:50   like mail on the Mac.

02:35:53   It's just that you tap things instead of click on them

02:35:56   and some things slide over as opposed

02:35:59   to all staying on screen

02:36:01   because it's a slightly smaller screen.

02:36:02   But Tweety for iPad was so different

02:36:05   and was so holy for the iPad.

02:36:09   But also, in addition to not just aping the way a Mac Twitter client would, could, and

02:36:15   should be designed, it also wasn't just the iPhone version, "Okay, but now it's on a 10-inch

02:36:22   screen."

02:36:24   And more, more...

02:36:26   The iPad to me is so large at the application level, so caught between those two things,

02:36:34   being just a big iPhone, but then when it's not, it's just a touchscreen Mac type thing,

02:36:40   as opposed to being something wholly unique to it, right? Like, that's the potential that, to me,

02:36:47   hasn't been tapped. Our use cases where it could only be on an iPad. Couldn't be done on the phone

02:36:54   because the phone is too small, couldn't be done on the Mac because the Mac interface is touch

02:37:00   a side just isn't conducive to this sort of direct manipulation of holding a tablet in

02:37:05   your hand.

02:37:06   I completely agree.

02:37:08   And Tweety is the one that's a heartbreak.

02:37:10   And then you look at like the stupid Twitter app for iPad now and it…

02:37:15   It's a big iPhone app.

02:37:16   It could not be more just a big iPhone app.

02:37:21   It is the canonical just take what we did for the iPhone and blow it up to the size

02:37:27   of whatever the size of your iPad is.

02:37:30   - But again, in Twitter's defense,

02:37:31   why would you do anything different?

02:37:33   It's not worth the effort.

02:37:35   - Pride, pride in your work.

02:37:40   - This is why--

02:37:45   - The fact that Twitter as a company

02:37:48   has like a thousand engineers.

02:37:50   - Yeah, it's amazing.

02:37:51   They have 4,000 employees.

02:37:53   - I hear you, I'm not telling you that you're wrong.

02:37:55   get the argument of why would we do that, but, you know.

02:37:58   Fair points, fair points. But just to go back to the thing we started with, the iPad discussion

02:38:04   about sort of the critics and people complaining about these articles, I feel like, and again,

02:38:12   I am even more so than you, I am a massive critic of what the iPad has become. I think

02:38:18   the whole multitasking approach is a mistake. I think that the one app on the screen at

02:38:23   time is the right way to go and I get a lot of people disagree with that but what I what I hope

02:38:29   is clear is in some respects this is like the jilted lover sort of view of it like I

02:38:37   I am so disappointed in the iPad as it is because I wanted and thought there could have been

02:38:45   something transformative not the Mac done differently but actually something that was was

02:38:52   unlocked possibilities and ways of computing that were never possible previously.

02:38:57   And there's shadows of that. There's bits and pieces of that. And interestingly,

02:39:02   one of the areas of the music industry where there has actually been a lot of innovation,

02:39:09   and there's a whole way to communicate between apps that was developed for music apps that was

02:39:14   skirted around Apple's limitations between connecting data and stuff back in the day,

02:39:19   And perhaps seeded because of what Apple did,

02:39:21   but I just feel like we never ever got to what it could be,

02:39:26   and I see no, I just don't see it happening,

02:39:29   because, again, when the iPad first came out,

02:39:33   everyone wanted to build for it,

02:39:34   they wanted to develop for it.

02:39:36   But now who's gonna be, who's gonna take that risk?

02:39:39   - And it's not our fault, you and me,

02:39:41   Ben Thompson and John Gruber,

02:39:43   it's not our fault that we can't come up with specific

02:39:48   ideas for what the iPad could be in 2020,

02:39:53   that's not our job.

02:39:55   We're simply observing that they're not there, right?

02:39:58   Like in 1984, it wasn't clear at all

02:40:03   what Photoshop could be in 1994

02:40:07   or QuarkXPress, which is truly phenomenal,

02:40:11   or the way that, like you said,

02:40:16   the desktop publishing industry largely kept Apple afloat because they still bought high-end Mac

02:40:23   hardware throughout the whole thing because they had these workflows where catalogs were entirely

02:40:32   set up in FileMaker databases for the catalog items and when you were ready to print a new

02:40:39   64-page catalog you just hit one button, walked away for a minute or two, and then there was a

02:40:45   QuarkXPress document with 64 pages completely laid out with the photos and the items and

02:40:50   everything and ready to be proofread.

02:40:51   Yeah, AppleScript as an underrated factor in Apple not going out of business.

02:40:56   Yeah, combined with FileMaker and a database that was completely visual as opposed to abstract

02:41:05   SQL tables, which have their place. But the fact that totally normal people could just

02:41:11   like open the database and look at it, you know, and drag pictures in and stuff like

02:41:17   that.

02:41:19   And that you'd have these workflows where what used to be days of work was now like

02:41:23   a minute of letting an Apple script do its thing, communicating between file makers.

02:41:28   You couldn't imagine it in 1984, but the foundation was there.

02:41:33   You can go backwards from 1984, or from 1994,

02:41:37   and see how the fundamental ideas

02:41:41   that the Mac was born with in 1984 led to this.

02:41:45   You could go backwards and see it.

02:41:47   And you could see that potential with the iPad 10 years ago,

02:41:50   and it just didn't, it just hasn't gotten there.

02:41:55   And I think it could, I think it could,

02:41:57   five years from now we could have you on the show,

02:42:00   and maybe there's a renaissance in the iPad.

02:42:04   - I don't think so.

02:42:06   - But I don't think so either.

02:42:08   - To me, the missing piece was the business model piece.

02:42:12   And the problem is even if Apple suddenly came out

02:42:15   with upgrade pricing and all those sorts of things,

02:42:20   like the trials, like the trials you do today,

02:42:23   they have to either be, unlock an in-app purchase

02:42:27   or else this subscription thing.

02:42:29   There's no like, you can't just have a full featured app

02:42:31   with like a seven week trial, with a seven day trial,

02:42:33   like that one click, like which, you know,

02:42:37   we had a Windows 8 like 10 years ago.

02:42:39   The, even if that all came tomorrow,

02:42:42   I think that developers are so burned by the iPad

02:42:47   and people will bring up applications that are on the iPad

02:42:50   that are complex and whatever.

02:42:52   And I think it would be very interesting

02:42:55   to think about those complex applications

02:42:57   and see if they ever actually made any money

02:43:01   or if they're just massive losses.

02:43:04   Let's just put it this way,

02:43:06   I don't think that any developer

02:43:08   that has experimented with the iPad previously

02:43:10   is gonna ever go back to the iPad,

02:43:11   and that's a business model problem, not a device problem.

02:43:14   And yeah, it's a shame, it's too bad.

02:43:18   - Yeah, you know, another way to put it

02:43:20   is you just don't see that many iPad-only apps,

02:43:23   apps that could only be on the iPad,

02:43:25   don't make sense on the phone

02:43:26   'cause the screen's not big enough,

02:43:28   don't make sense on the Mac 'cause the interface

02:43:31   isn't appropriate in the way that, you know,

02:43:34   back in the day, there'd be Mac apps

02:43:36   that never would make sense on the Apple II

02:43:38   because it doesn't make sense

02:43:40   without everything that the Mac had.

02:43:41   The iPad offers so much that the Mac doesn't

02:43:44   by its innate nature that there could be apps like that

02:43:48   and you just don't see that many of them.

02:43:50   All right, anyway.

02:43:53   (laughs)

02:43:55   Let's end on an upbeat note like that.

02:43:59   Ben, it's always a pleasure to have you on the show.

02:44:02   How about this, how about a Super Bowl pick?

02:44:04   - I am cheering for Kansas City

02:44:08   because I want Andy Reid to win one

02:44:11   and I hate the 49ers.

02:44:12   But I have not watched football closely enough

02:44:18   to know who to pick.

02:44:20   - All right, I'm going to go the same way.

02:44:21   I'm gonna go with the Kansas City

02:44:23   because I want Andy Reid to win one,

02:44:26   because I find Patrick Mahomes

02:44:27   to be an absolutely appealing person.

02:44:30   I have no skin in the game,

02:44:32   with or with, you know, four against Kansas City,

02:44:35   but I do like Andy Reid.

02:44:37   I would like to see him win one.

02:44:38   I do like Patrick Mahomes,

02:44:40   and I do hate the San Francisco 49ers.

02:44:43   (laughing)

02:44:45   - How do you get a Cowboys fan and a Packers fan united?

02:44:48   - Yeah, yeah.

02:44:49   - Ask them about the 49ers.

02:44:50   - That's what we should do.

02:44:50   We should open up,

02:44:51   we should have like a bunch of pop-up bars around.

02:44:53   You and I should quick get this together. Raise a couple, raise $100,000 and open up

02:44:58   a bunch of Packers/Cowboys pop-up bars around the nation for Super Bowl Sunday. One week

02:45:06   leases.

02:45:08   It's funny because I think maybe this is our age too, particularly because in the 90s,

02:45:14   like these three teams had so many sort of playoff...

02:45:19   Epic games and big matches.

02:45:22   right where like if the Cowboys were in the Super Bowl I'd be sitting here with a 49ers fan saying

02:45:27   "Hey, as long as it's not the Cowboys, we're now on the same team." And you probably feel the same

02:45:32   way if it was the Packers. So it's like a triangle of hate. Yeah, that's my pick as well. All right,

02:45:42   everybody of course, you've been on the show enough they know it, but Stratechary.

02:45:47   S-T-R-A-C-H-E-R-Y.

02:45:50   - Oh, you spelled it wrong.

02:45:51   Which is funny because I spelled it wrong

02:45:53   for someone else on your thing.

02:45:55   - S-T-A-T-E-C-H-E-R-Y.

02:45:58   - Strategy and tech.

02:45:59   - When people hear strategy and tech,

02:46:01   then they're like, oh, now the name makes total sense.

02:46:03   I'm like, yeah, well, tell me about it.

02:46:06   - There's a good column this week on the iPad

02:46:11   that we talked about here, but people should read it.

02:46:14   And of course, as you mentioned,

02:46:16   a subscription newsletter, which everybody

02:46:19   who listens to this show ought to at least consider.

02:46:21   It's one of my favorite reads.

02:46:23   And you have two great Twitter accounts.

02:46:27   You've got @BenThompson, where you write

02:46:29   about stuff like this, and then there's NoTechBen,

02:46:32   where it's all Milwaukee Bucks all the time

02:46:34   this time of year.

02:46:35   - Basically.

02:46:38   Probably gets me in trouble, but whatever.

02:46:39   - Yeah, yeah, I have a really bad feeling.

02:46:42   I mean, I'm not into the NBA like you,

02:46:44   but I have a really bad feeling that we're heading towards

02:46:46   a Sixers-Bucks Eastern Finals that's going to end in five games.

02:46:52   [laughs]

02:46:54   With the Bucks heading towards the Finals.

02:46:57   That'd be fine with me.

02:46:59   I...well...

02:47:02   Well, it's funny. The 76ers are terrible against everyone,

02:47:05   in part because they're basically expressly built to beat the Bucks.

02:47:09   Which is very concerning to me,

02:47:12   that they're going to end up in the playoffs like the fifth or sixth seed or something,

02:47:15   And we're gonna have to play them anyway, and it's gonna be brutal obviously they destroyed the Bucks on Christmas

02:47:20   I think it's probably a game that

02:47:22   Had had concerning signs to say the least but also the shooting was such that you know is a bit of an aberration

02:47:29   But yeah, yeah, it's it's it's gonna be it would be a war for sure

02:47:33   Yeah, but anyway, they can find you there, and I want to thank our sponsors this week feels

02:47:38   get your

02:47:41   CBD

02:47:42   Really interesting new sponsor glad to have them

02:47:44   Linode, where you can host your own server in the Linode cloud, great, great company.

02:47:51   And Casper, makers of fine mattresses and other sleep products.

02:47:55   Thanks.

02:47:56   Thanks, Ben.

02:47:57   Talk to you soon.