The Talk Show

89: ‘Cat Pictures’ With Marco Arment (Side 2)


00:00:00   Alright back to this is the worst episode ever. It's gonna be four hours long. Well, no, I'm gonna wrap it up soon

00:00:07   But it's summertime I need long episodes

00:00:11   You know didn't I do a two-parter with you last time yeah son, yeah

00:00:16   I think we're incapable of making one that's under two hours. Oh, well, maybe we'll do that again

00:00:20   I wanted to talk about custom fonts and conch in yeah overcast and you're using a font called concourse

00:00:28   by Matthew

00:00:30   Butterick yep, love it great font face. I remember talking to you about this font. Oh my god might been a year ago. I

00:00:38   Remember you just like running it up the flagpole like hey, what do you think about this?

00:00:45   And I was like, oh my god, that is beautiful

00:00:48   Yeah, I went about about last summer. Yeah about a year ago

00:00:52   I was looking at tons of fonts for overcast looking at various interface fonts with instapaper

00:00:58   I was using almost all serif fonts

00:01:01   for all the reading faces.

00:01:03   There were some sans-serif ones that were more popular,

00:01:05   but I always liked the serif ones better

00:01:08   when they were large, like on an iPad and everything.

00:01:09   It felt like serif was somehow the proper solution

00:01:14   for reading text.

00:01:15   It should be in serifs because serifs are old and fancy.

00:01:18   - And they feel more like print.

00:01:21   - Yeah, exactly.

00:01:22   I kinda got burnt out on them though.

00:01:25   And whenever I would design something

00:01:27   with a serif font, I would always think it should

00:01:31   look better, but then it didn't actually look better.

00:01:35   And it didn't work as well on screens.

00:01:37   Or it looked good big but not small,

00:01:38   or something like that.

00:01:39   Like there was, there were problems with serifs in practice.

00:01:44   So I burned out on them.

00:01:45   So I was looking at good sans serif interface fonts

00:01:48   for Overcast, and one of the problems with sans serifs

00:01:50   is that there aren't that many distinct styles

00:01:55   that are generalizable to look good enough

00:01:57   an interface as an interface font. Maybe this is a terrible statement, but that's that's

00:02:02   how I see them. No, I think it's true. Well, and I, I also think that and can be on another

00:02:09   end of it is there's an awful lot of them that are all that are really good fonts, really

00:02:14   good fonts that I like, but they're too close to Helvetica to justify not using Helvetica.

00:02:21   like an uncanny valley situation specifically given iOS like in the

00:02:26   general world if you want to use Franklin Gothic instead or you want to

00:02:33   use universe which is a great great Helvetica ish font great fantastic fun

00:02:40   but in the context of iOS where Helvetica is the ubiquitous ever-present

00:02:47   default if you're going to use something different it should be different enough

00:02:50   that it's, oh yeah, it's a different font.

00:02:52   - Exactly.

00:02:53   - I mean, there's an awful lot that are ruled out

00:02:55   on those grounds.

00:02:56   - Exactly.

00:02:57   And yeah, I mean, I looked at tons of fonts

00:03:01   from big and small foundries and designers,

00:03:03   and I had that problem with many of them,

00:03:05   that it was like, you know, this is just too close

00:03:07   to Helvetica and just looks kind of weird

00:03:09   not being Helvetica if it's this close.

00:03:11   - Yeah.

00:03:12   - So I looked at a bunch.

00:03:14   What I liked about Concourse the most

00:03:19   was that it was narrow and not by a massive amount.

00:03:24   It doesn't look like a condensed version of a font.

00:03:26   Like a lot of these fonts would have condensed variants

00:03:28   or even compressed for like the super condensed,

00:03:31   very condensed, ultra narrow, whatever.

00:03:33   And Concourse is narrower without looking like a narrow font.

00:03:41   And what that allowed me to do

00:03:42   is fit more characters on a line.

00:03:46   And for an app that I knew was gonna be used

00:03:48   primarily on iPhones, where I had to display

00:03:51   lots of one-line titles for things,

00:03:54   that is actually a really nice feature to have.

00:03:56   - Right, 'cause then it makes it a little bit less likely

00:03:58   that you're gonna have to put ellipses in there

00:04:00   and truncate it. - Correct.

00:04:01   - And even if you do, you'll at least get more,

00:04:04   a little bit more of the actual title in there.

00:04:05   - Right, I'll at least get one or two more words out of it.

00:04:08   And it had a great balance on screen of size versus weight,

00:04:13   and it came in, it comes in nine different weights,

00:04:17   And it also has this awesome small caps variant.

00:04:19   - Yeah, which I think is used to great effect.

00:04:22   Yeah, it's one of my favorite little things in Concourse.

00:04:25   - Yes.

00:04:26   - Says the guy who got a small caps option

00:04:30   into an app that protects everything.

00:04:33   - I always liked your small caps titles.

00:04:35   No, I mean, and that gave me the pairing

00:04:38   of full regular text as medium weight regular text

00:04:46   as like a body and title font, and then a thinner,

00:04:50   usually lighter in color, small caps font

00:04:53   for like a caption font or like a subtitle,

00:04:56   and then using it on the buttons and the links.

00:04:58   Like that, I found that combination early on

00:05:01   and I liked it so much.

00:05:03   And it just, it works so well for an interface

00:05:05   to have like, the two different styles

00:05:08   that can serve those two different roles

00:05:09   and have them paired nicely on screen together.

00:05:11   - Yeah, and I think it works, you know,

00:05:13   it fits naturally with what is clearly your taste in interfaces, you know, in your personal

00:05:21   style. And I think, you know, and I think you'll probably agree with me that iOS 7 has

00:05:26   been very good for you personally as an app developer who does the whole thing yourself,

00:05:33   for the most part. And I'll cover that asterisk in just one quick second. But you're like

00:05:40   one one-man show you did the development did the back end and you did the the

00:05:45   interface and you know the the some of the stuff that was expected pre ios 7 in

00:05:53   an app was things that you couldn't do you know the stuff that has to be done

00:05:57   like in Photoshop right textures and materials stuff like that I I am NOT a

00:06:02   graphical artist or and so I could not do those things instapaper maybe got

00:06:06   away with it and was a good app for you to do with your abilities as a designer because

00:06:12   it was so, you know, literally just the text. It was all about the text. But there's other

00:06:17   ways where maybe Instapaper circa, you know, 2009, 2010 maybe should have not while you're

00:06:26   reading but while you weren't reading should have had more visual oomph to fit in.

00:06:30   exactly whereas I was seven really plays into the like the skill sets that you

00:06:36   have yeah I mean I Iowa seven was extremely lucky for me because like this

00:06:42   this shift happened that that departed from all the things I couldn't do myself

00:06:46   all these like heavily textured heavily graphically themed apps from from six

00:06:51   and earlier although even by six it was fading out so really from five and

00:06:55   earlier, all of that went out of style, very quickly.

00:06:59   (laughs)

00:07:00   And then what was brought in was this visual language

00:07:04   that I could do myself.

00:07:06   And I was not expecting that at all.

00:07:08   I was very, very happy about that.

00:07:10   Because otherwise, like the magazine I designed

00:07:13   with a lot of help from Pacific Helm,

00:07:15   and the magazine was a very simple app,

00:07:18   and I mean the design work numbered in the thousands

00:07:22   of dollars.

00:07:24   To have a professional designer help me on Overcast

00:07:27   would have been probably easily tens of thousands

00:07:31   of dollars worth of design work.

00:07:33   And it also would have taken longer.

00:07:36   So it would have been more expensive

00:07:38   and then I would have had to keep going back and forth

00:07:40   with the designer to work out some of these things.

00:07:42   And the whole process would have been more complicated,

00:07:44   more expensive, longer, it just would have been harder

00:07:49   for me and to be able to do it all myself

00:07:53   is so valuable 'cause I can tweak things immediately.

00:07:56   I can visualize something in my head and just do it.

00:07:59   I can see how things look, I can play with it

00:08:02   and then I can do it all myself and it all costs me nothing

00:08:05   except my own time which I'm already kind of getting

00:08:07   for free in a way.

00:08:08   - And it just suits your personality I think clearly.

00:08:12   - It does.

00:08:12   One of the reasons why I never went the whole full textured

00:08:15   iOS 5 app route is that that wasn't really my thing.

00:08:19   That wasn't really my style.

00:08:20   Like I would use the apps that did that,

00:08:21   but I was never that into that style.

00:08:23   Whereas this style, this is really me.

00:08:26   This is, and it just so happens that what I like

00:08:30   and what I can do just became fashionable a year ago.

00:08:34   - Yeah.

00:08:35   The one thing you did get help on,

00:08:36   and here's my asterisk from a couple seconds ago,

00:08:38   was the app icon, right?

00:08:40   - Right, and that logo shape,

00:08:42   the tower inside the circles, and yeah.

00:08:45   that was all the women to you

00:08:46   at pacific help

00:08:48   yeah or not

00:08:50   pacific home slash louis manteo

00:08:53   and it's great i love the icon

00:08:55   and know that the icons are

00:08:57   are uh...

00:08:59   got everybody will have a opinion on an icon

00:09:02   and i'm i recall of them

00:09:03   i'm quite that this was this was my question is to me

00:09:08   this is such a great icon

00:09:10   and it does everything i can't do where it's recognizable

00:09:14   It's distinctive, it gives it a brand,

00:09:19   it does all these nice things.

00:09:20   I happen to also think that it's just

00:09:22   an attractive shade of orange.

00:09:24   I like it, I've always been a fan of orange.

00:09:26   If ever there was an icon that might be beyond,

00:09:31   you know, oh, this icon sucks.

00:09:33   Maybe this was it, but you're saying it's not?

00:09:36   It does not pass the-- - Most people love it.

00:09:38   - Okay. - Most people love it.

00:09:39   However, I'm hearing from all the ones who don't.

00:09:42   I'm gonna hear from people who do,

00:09:43   which is why I know that most people love it.

00:09:45   But there's a handful of people

00:09:47   who are like extremely offended by it.

00:09:50   Like I, you know, not to get all Ben Brooks on you,

00:09:53   but I've never cared about icons that strongly.

00:09:57   Like yeah, I mean, I will notice a bad icon for an app,

00:10:00   but I'm not gonna like make my usage decision

00:10:03   based on which one has the best icon.

00:10:06   Like that's, I don't, like I would rather have a good app

00:10:08   even if the icon's awful.

00:10:10   I think people who have opinions on apps in general and just want to express their opinions

00:10:16   will often...

00:10:18   The app icon gets a disproportionate share of that feedback.

00:10:23   Like you said, because it's not...

00:10:25   It probably is...

00:10:26   Like if you really had to use a beautiful, great app that had what you thought was a

00:10:30   lousy icon, it's like, "Well, that's the best problem I could have with this app."

00:10:35   It's like...

00:10:36   Yeah, exactly.

00:10:37   Or it's like if the app has a bad name.

00:10:39   You know, it's like, okay, well, yeah,

00:10:41   you can control that a little bit, but who cares really?

00:10:45   - Yeah, it's, you know, ideally, you know,

00:10:47   we have a great name and a memorable name and, you know,

00:10:50   but if it has a lousy name, who cares?

00:10:52   It just seems like it's so much better

00:10:54   than having deep problems with the software itself,

00:10:57   but yet icons get all this feedback.

00:10:58   And I think it's because it's just so neatly encapsulated

00:11:03   and so petty that it just draws, you know,

00:11:07   It's like the old adage about politics in college universities.

00:11:16   Like Woodrow Wilson always said that being president of the United States was easier

00:11:19   than being president of Princeton because the politics there was just so meaningless

00:11:25   that it made it worse.

00:11:28   Something like that.

00:11:29   And the icon here, I almost didn't use this icon.

00:11:34   I went back and forth and I think it's easy to,

00:11:39   it's easy for people to get angry

00:11:41   at modern app icons for iOS 7 because iOS 7

00:11:46   totally changed what icons are supposed to look like

00:11:49   and the new style is much more polarizing

00:11:53   than the old style ever was.

00:11:55   And so the new style, a lot of the rigs that you get

00:11:57   for a new app icon is rage against the iOS 7

00:12:01   general aesthetic for icons.

00:12:03   And what this icon did, thanks to Louie,

00:12:08   'cause Louie is one of those people who like,

00:12:11   he knows which rules to break and when to break them.

00:12:16   And that's unusual.

00:12:18   And it's one of the things that makes me a good designer.

00:12:21   - I actually think that it could have,

00:12:23   it would translate very well to the old world.

00:12:24   Like if we took this app back in time, two years,

00:12:27   you'd have to redo the whole app interface,

00:12:29   but you could use this icon.

00:12:32   - Exactly. - And maybe, you know,

00:12:33   just a little bit of 3D shading around the edges

00:12:35   or something like that, but.

00:12:37   - Exactly. - Yeah, and I think--

00:12:38   - Like this icon, like what I like about it,

00:12:40   like Louie was really interested about using the white

00:12:43   as the inner color, as that circle, the inner color,

00:12:46   and then having this black outline

00:12:48   that like goes into the shape, like,

00:12:50   it's, most iOS 7 icons have like one fewer color,

00:12:55   basically. (laughs)

00:12:57   - Right. - And this, like,

00:12:59   Louis tried this out and I'm like,

00:13:00   you know, that actually looks really nice.

00:13:02   Now, I wanna dig a little bit further at first.

00:13:05   If you look at the Overcast FM Twitter account,

00:13:08   that artwork is, I asked Louis to take this icon

00:13:13   and make something that might make a good,

00:13:15   like, podcast album art background,

00:13:18   so I could maybe show it as the default album art

00:13:19   for someone that didn't have art.

00:13:22   And I liked it so much that for a while, and for Beta 1,

00:13:27   this was the app icon.

00:13:28   And you guys all hated it,

00:13:30   and you convinced me not to use it, and that's fine.

00:13:32   But I even, I like doing things

00:13:35   that are mostly conforming to style so it looks good,

00:13:39   but just poking someone in the ribs a bit

00:13:41   with some part of it.

00:13:42   Because oftentimes that's what makes it good.

00:13:45   And so, Louie did it with having the white inner color

00:13:49   and having this black outline around the inner shape.

00:13:52   I would have pushed it even further

00:13:54   if I was totally unchecked by reason and logic.

00:13:57   And then, you know, so I tried this like fiery textured

00:14:00   version of the background a little bit in the background,

00:14:03   I mean as the beta one icon, and everyone hated except me.

00:14:07   And so I changed it back to this and I was like,

00:14:08   you know, okay, actually you're right,

00:14:09   this does look better.

00:14:10   - Having been there, I don't think, hate's not fair.

00:14:13   I think it was just, everybody was just like,

00:14:15   I think everybody was just like, nah, you're nuts,

00:14:18   the other one's better, trust me.

00:14:19   - And then like this is like, I work best

00:14:22   in an environment like that where I am able to try crazy things, but I have some people

00:14:27   who can like edit me a little bit and say, "You know what? Actually, that's a little

00:14:32   bit far."

00:14:33   You got to pick your battles. I think part of what makes somebody a good beta tester

00:14:35   is whether they know how to pick their battles. In other words, they're only going to be adamant

00:14:41   about things they genuinely feel adamant about. They'll offer suggestions or "I wish." "Hey,

00:14:48   I wish this were like this." But if they don't feel that strongly about it and you disagree,

00:14:52   They just let it go.

00:14:53   And they won't give up though and they'll keep sending that feedback.

00:14:57   Their feelings won't be hurt because you took one of their things the wrong way.

00:15:01   But I would do that.

00:15:03   If your two option choices for the icon were one that was good and one that was bad and

00:15:08   you insisted on the bad one, I would have written you privately and said, "Made my case

00:15:13   for the good one."

00:15:15   Whereas if you had picked this icon, I would have given you my two cents and I think the

00:15:20   other one's better.

00:15:21   And if you disagreed, then I would have never said it again.

00:15:25   But I probably wouldn't have brought it up on this show.

00:15:27   (laughs)

00:15:28   Ben: Yeah, I mean, like ultimately, like I'm glad I tried this other icon because it was

00:15:34   pushing that boundary.

00:15:35   But like...

00:15:36   Dave: So people can...

00:15:37   You got to keep it up.

00:15:38   You can't take it off the Twitter account now.

00:15:39   At least for a couple of weeks while the show is green.

00:15:42   Ben I mean, I like it on Twitter.

00:15:45   It adds a little bit more personality.

00:15:46   Dave Alright.

00:15:47   Two more things I want to talk about.

00:15:49   One, how long it took you to make the app.

00:15:51   Sounds like it took from your write up on Marco.org.

00:15:54   It took about 14 months with maybe a little bit of work that you'd done before that.

00:15:59   Michael - Yeah, the audio engine I prototyped earlier than that.

00:16:02   Dave - But you said spring 2013 and you shipped in the app store this week in the middle of

00:16:08   July 2014.

00:16:09   Michael - Yeah, so about 14 months.

00:16:11   Dave - Yeah, so I'll tell you this and I mean this.

00:16:13   I'm not buttering you up because you're my friend and because you're on my show.

00:16:16   of the things I really like best about this app is that to me, it feels like a 2.0. It

00:16:21   does not feel like a 1.0 app. And thanks. I mean, in many ways, that's because of the

00:16:26   beta because like, like what I think what I shipped for beta one was like a 1.5. Yeah,

00:16:32   yeah, maybe it was a remarkably productive beta. That is true. But even then it was polished

00:16:40   afterwards, though. And to me, and maybe again, it's vesper colored eyes where we shipped

00:16:44   first after a couple of months without sync and then spend a well the majority of this

00:16:51   year today overwhelmingly doing sync and then you know another way to put it is that you

00:16:59   know maybe vesper 1.0 didn't really ship until last month when we shipped the version with

00:17:03   sync and we had a version that was usable and i don't regret it none of us regret it

00:17:08   but it never really it wasn't it clearly wasn't complete without some kind of online sync

00:17:15   and i also think it's interesting that it took about the same amount of time you know

00:17:20   it's somewhere a little bit over a year to ship a good app that has an uh... uh... online

00:17:25   sync companion to it yeah and maybe for me maybe that's streaming yeah maybe maybe but

00:17:32   i don't know there's a certain you know because you could have shipped a podcast client that

00:17:36   didn't have the online component that was more like a lot of other ones you

00:17:39   know just to ship it sooner and have it do it and you could have shipped a

00:17:43   version that didn't have the custom audio stuff that just helped you manage

00:17:47   your podcast but didn't have the custom audio stuff first to me you picked you

00:17:53   you picked off two or three really difficult things the custom audio engine

00:17:58   and the complete online version that I to me it shows that it feels like it

00:18:09   clearly must have taken you over a year like I don't think you should feel like

00:18:12   you were late I know you gave yourself a hard time that back in September you

00:18:16   thought you were six months away from shipping I I thought you were out of

00:18:19   your mind when you said that at XOXO I was like Jesus Christ he's not gonna

00:18:23   I shipped for two years.

00:18:25   - Yeah, I mean, and it's, you know, I,

00:18:27   it's interesting, there's two sides to this.

00:18:30   I mean, number one, I'm very proud of what I shipped,

00:18:33   and I'm very happy with how it went.

00:18:35   Number two, though, I was shipping this

00:18:37   into an extremely mature market.

00:18:41   And so, over the last 24 hours,

00:18:43   I have heard so many people who are very happy with it,

00:18:48   but I've also heard so many people who expect a lot more,

00:18:52   because it doesn't matter that it's a 1.0.

00:18:55   It matters that I'm shipping a podcast app

00:18:57   to the iOS app store in 2014, and the bar is raised.

00:19:01   - Yeah, that's true.

00:19:02   - And shipping it into a market full of these years old apps

00:19:05   and although actually Castro is only one year old roughly,

00:19:09   and Castro is one of the most popular apps for iOS.

00:19:12   - Oh yeah, and I'll bet it's also even more

00:19:16   disproportionately popular with listeners of this show.

00:19:19   It's a great app.

00:19:19   - Almost certainly.

00:19:20   is a fantastic at uh...

00:19:23   i would

00:19:24   i wouldn't be surprised if a majority of people listening to us talk right now

00:19:28   are using either overcast or

00:19:31   castro probably castro first 'cause if only because it's older and and overcast

00:19:35   because

00:19:36   everybody reads my sites and early adopter

00:19:39   it's very possible and and you know and i

00:19:42   i like castro because

00:19:44   castro and i i really don't think are competing for the same people

00:19:48   - Yeah, I think that's very true.

00:19:49   - Because they're two very different takes on an app.

00:19:53   It's like Twitterific versus Tweetbot.

00:19:55   You know, it's these two very different styles,

00:19:58   different sets of priorities,

00:19:59   different features exclusive to one or the other.

00:20:03   I don't really see them as like a cutthroat competitor

00:20:07   for the same people.

00:20:08   I see us both doing two very different takes

00:20:11   on the same problem that are going to appeal

00:20:13   to mostly non-overlapping circles of people.

00:20:17   And the other thing you did that I think is pretty nice and I hope it catches on

00:20:21   I've never seen it before though is you've got a section is it in the settings or the about screen?

00:20:26   So are you settings where you're gonna say?

00:20:29   It's so great

00:20:31   It's so Marco and whiskey I think whisk has said to me the other day privately because he thinks it's gonna

00:20:36   He thinks like by next year. Everybody's gonna have this

00:20:39   Or at least everybody in our circle you have a section you're like hey

00:20:43   Overcast is not for you. Try these other great apps and you've got a list of five other iOS podcasting apps

00:20:51   I think it's five. I think so. Yeah Castro downcast

00:20:54   instacast pocketcast podcatcher or pod wrangler, right and

00:20:58   You randomize the order. Yeah, every time the screen loads it shows it in a random order

00:21:03   So there's no alphabetical bias and there's no I've no like friendship bias right? No friendship bias, but here's five apps

00:21:12   that you might want to try if this app is not meeting your needs as a podcast app and

00:21:17   It's great and it's it's part of the gene part of the reason. I think it's genius is is somewhere out there

00:21:23   There's marketing somebody with a real marketing title capital M marketing in their background who's choking right now

00:21:29   We're thinking this is insane. That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard you never why would you ever you know?

00:21:34   You know you there's no thing on the back of a canic Coke that says don't like the taste try a Pepsi and write a logo

00:21:41   And instructions for the nearest way to go try one. Here's the quickest way to go try a Pepsi.

00:21:49   But I think apps are different, right? It's like you're showing it to people who already have the

00:21:55   app on their phone, right? You've got them, right? If the app is for them, you've got them. They've

00:22:01   downloaded the app, they've put it on their phone, and they're even checking out the settings. If you

00:22:07   aren't making them happy, why not show them the other apps?

00:22:12   - Yeah, and that was kind of the rationale there was like,

00:22:18   you know, I'm not gonna pretend like there's no other apps

00:22:20   in this category, like that's, you know, that doesn't,

00:22:23   you know, that's just stupid, I'm not gonna pretend

00:22:24   like I'm the first podcast app on the App Store.

00:22:27   And I think it's a way to help everyone.

00:22:32   It helps them potentially by getting them sales,

00:22:37   and it helps me by making people respect me

00:22:41   and my app even more.

00:22:43   And it's like there's no downside to this.

00:22:45   The fact is if you want to try every one

00:22:50   of these podcast apps, you're spending less than 20 bucks.

00:22:53   You know, we're not talking about major investments,

00:22:56   huge lock-in, like I know, like as we've been talking about,

00:23:00   like all these different expectations people have

00:23:02   of podcast apps and how they want things to behave,

00:23:05   I know as a user of these things, as a listener of podcasts,

00:23:09   I know that certain apps will just fit you

00:23:12   and certain ones just won't.

00:23:14   And I don't want someone to be using my app

00:23:16   if they hate it.

00:23:17   I don't wanna force them to use my app

00:23:20   if there's a better one out there.

00:23:22   And so, hey, I'd rather you be happy.

00:23:26   With Instapaper, I talked a little bit about this

00:23:31   on ITP this week, so I won't be too overlapping here.

00:23:33   But with Instapaper, by the time I sold it,

00:23:36   I was getting about half of the money

00:23:38   from the optional subscription,

00:23:40   which was a dollar a month

00:23:41   and you got almost nothing for it.

00:23:43   And I advertised it that way.

00:23:44   And it was mostly a way to just like,

00:23:47   give me more money if you feel like it.

00:23:48   That was basically it.

00:23:50   And to be making almost half your income from that is crazy.

00:23:53   And it was way more than I ever expected.

00:23:56   And the reason that worked was because over time,

00:23:59   I had built up a surplus of goodwill among my customers

00:24:03   by giving them free updates all the time and everything.

00:24:05   Just by giving them more value

00:24:07   than what they spent on the app.

00:24:09   I had built up a surplus of Goodwill,

00:24:11   and so when I put up a thing saying,

00:24:12   hey, you can give me more money if you want,

00:24:14   many of them did.

00:24:15   And so I feel like Goodwill is something you can monetize.

00:24:21   And that sounds awful, I know,

00:24:24   but if you put it in better terms,

00:24:27   it will be returned to you.

00:24:32   it comes around.

00:24:33   And not completely, not everyone's gonna give you money

00:24:36   for nothing, but a decent portion of it,

00:24:38   more than you probably think will come around.

00:24:40   And so being good to people

00:24:44   is an important part of a business model.

00:24:47   It's in addition to just being a nice cool thing to do,

00:24:51   it's also smart to do that.

00:24:52   - It's the only way to approach it

00:24:54   with any kind of interest in the long term.

00:24:57   And my long term, I have trouble thinking

00:25:00   More than five years ahead five years to me seems like a long way off

00:25:04   But it's almost certain that I'm still gonna be writing daring fireball and probably still doing this show

00:25:10   You know probably still working with Dave and Brent on something some app with Q branch, you know, maybe Vesper will be not done but but

00:25:21   You know move aside to the next app or something like that

00:25:28   But the only you know so many ways of doing business you could you're not they're not thinking that many even five years ahead

00:25:36   Right because it's like you're gonna burn through goodwill, right?

00:25:39   You can't you can't last long at all while you're burning through goodwill. I think in exact business and it's you know

00:25:46   It's just a short-sighted

00:25:48   Let's just burn through goodwill for 18 months and then see if somebody will buy us because we have a lot of users mentality

00:25:55   Here's another question I had sort of related to the last is pricing and I know that you've spent a lot of time thinking about this

00:26:02   and

00:26:03   You've come up with

00:26:05   The app is free. There's only one version of it. It's you just get it you download it for free

00:26:11   You can use it. You can use it forever for free

00:26:16   Yep, but you pay there's only one in-app purchase. It's right now. It's $4.99

00:26:22   That's it and you buy that and it unlocks a bunch of cool features

00:26:27   Yep, that's it. I I thought about so many different models. I

00:26:31   at various times in the last like, you know, six months to a year I have I've been mentally committed to a

00:26:40   pay what you want model

00:26:42   With multiple buckets that you know, you just pay something anything and if you pay anything at all

00:26:48   I give you all the features but you can pay like three different levels, right?

00:26:51   I also thought about the same thing with subscriptions,

00:26:54   same thing with subscriptions, but named pledges,

00:26:56   'cause using like NPR terminology,

00:26:58   like public radio terminology,

00:26:59   'cause this is about podcasts,

00:27:00   and it's like, oh, you can be a pledging member,

00:27:02   maybe that would make more people do it, who knows?

00:27:05   Also thought about paid up front,

00:27:07   free with ads, free with Squarespace advertising

00:27:10   inside the app, all sorts of stuff like that.

00:27:13   And I came up with, relatively towards the end

00:27:18   of development is when I settled on this.

00:27:20   It was a very recent decision.

00:27:22   I just came up with this because I realized

00:27:25   the more complicated I make it,

00:27:26   the fewer people are gonna do it,

00:27:27   and the more headaches I will have dealing with it.

00:27:30   Support headaches, customer expectations,

00:27:32   not matching what they're getting, stuff like that.

00:27:35   Just was not, it was not gonna be worth complexity.

00:27:38   And so I went with just, okay, five bucks

00:27:40   and I purchased unlocks limits, period.

00:27:42   A very simple old model,

00:27:44   relative to the old one the iOS wrote at least,

00:27:47   but a simple model that would give me the most flexibility

00:27:52   to do things in the future,

00:27:55   like I can make a web payment form

00:27:58   so that people who can't use in-app purchases

00:28:00   for whatever reason can use the web version

00:28:02   and buy it there.

00:28:03   Stuff like that and it's easy to support

00:28:06   and it's clear to the customers what they're getting

00:28:08   and what they're paying for

00:28:09   and when they're gonna be paying

00:28:10   and how much they're gonna be paying.

00:28:13   Any kind of subscription or donation type model,

00:28:16   it becomes less clear to people,

00:28:17   okay, what am I paying for?

00:28:18   How much will I be charged?

00:28:19   Is this forever or just for a year or what?

00:28:22   - And you do it without thinking much in summer of 2014

00:28:26   and then all of a sudden in summer of 2015

00:28:28   when you're charged again or you're reminded by iOS

00:28:32   or however, the magnus, you're like,

00:28:34   why is this thing that I haven't used this app

00:28:37   in 11 months, why is it trying to charge me?

00:28:39   - Right, and then you can-- - 'Cause you forget about it.

00:28:39   - And then you can add emails to the developer

00:28:40   and demand a refund which they can't give you.

00:28:42   So yeah, it's a mess. - Right.

00:28:44   So this method was just way easier for everybody,

00:28:49   for me and for the customers.

00:28:50   And I think that ease will result in better sales.

00:28:54   - There was this heyday, I mean, we've talked about it,

00:28:57   you and I have probably talked about it on the show,

00:28:59   and other shows, you know, we've all talked about it.

00:29:01   Everybody who's involved in indie apps in general

00:29:04   has talked about it in the post app store world

00:29:06   where yes, we've been exposed to a massive market,

00:29:10   and especially for those of us who were in the Mac before,

00:29:13   way bigger than we ever could have imagined before and now it's getting to

00:29:17   the point where maybe it's even as big in terms of people as as even windows

00:29:21   was as a market size in terms of people

00:29:24   uh... which is amazing as a great opportunity and we've destroyed the one

00:29:29   thing that we found before that worked as a way to get people to buy it which

00:29:34   was to let you try the app for free

00:29:37   and then pay for it if you want and i feel like you've

00:29:41   use this in-app purchase to be... to me it's like I thought about it like you

00:29:45   announced you know and I here's how I'm going to charge for it and I thought

00:29:49   about it and I was like this seems very very obvious this seems like this is the

00:29:54   way to go you get lots of people to try it with no risk and then if they like it

00:29:59   they'll buy it because I thought that the you know it seemed like a good line

00:30:07   you drew on what you get when you pay for it because you know it seems like a

00:30:10   a no-brainer to me I don't know I think it's hard you know it's hard for for any

00:30:15   app to know where to draw that line you know and I don't know I don't know that

00:30:18   I've drawn the right line necessarily time will tell people people are nuts

00:30:21   about the whole cup of coffee thing you know like oh my god I can't believe you

00:30:26   won't do this thing the same thing as a cup of coffee but there's this weird I

00:30:29   don't think it's that crazy though there's a weird psychological thing

00:30:33   where you somehow don't even want to pay a dollar I do it I spend the dollar

00:30:37   are willy-nilly here or there to buy new apps just to see what they look like. But I, you

00:30:41   know, I'm an outlier. I don't look at software the way normal people do. I think it's kind

00:30:47   of normal that people see 99 cents before they even get to see if the app really works

00:30:54   on their phone as a risk. And they just don't want to take it.

00:30:59   And there's a number of factors here that make the coffee analogy not work. And part

00:31:05   of it is like people have been burned a lot in the past by bad apps and like

00:31:10   they've paid for an app that was not as good as they wanted or didn't do what

00:31:13   they thought it would and then they're just out that money I mean you can you

00:31:16   can like email Apple and request a refund but most people don't even know

00:31:19   that you can do that let alone how to do that yeah and they would actually go

00:31:22   through with it you know so so for the most part you're just out of this money

00:31:26   and so that's that's no good I'll bet that even even on platforms where

00:31:30   refunds are easier and I think Windows Phone is still the easiest Windows Phone

00:31:34   makes it really pretty easy to initiate a refund and it goes through I forget

00:31:40   what the time period is I don't know if it's an hour or a day but let's just say

00:31:44   it's an hour you download that you pay for an app you download it you load on

00:31:47   your phone and you don't like it you just go back to the App Store and you

00:31:51   say I want a refund and the app is removed from your phone and the

00:31:56   developer never gets the money it's almost like it like the transaction

00:32:00   doesn't even happen. And I do think, I think it would be great if Apple implemented that,

00:32:05   but at this point, you know, if they haven't already, I don't think they ever are. But

00:32:09   I still don't think that would get people over the hump. I don't think it would do much.

00:32:14   I think it would be better than not having it at all, but I don't think it would get

00:32:18   people over that psychological hump of giving over a dollar before they even try the app.

00:32:23   Michael - Right. I mean, I wouldn't do that on the Mac. Like, on the Mac, where I, you

00:32:27   it's a different environment

00:32:28   and we've had previous expectations.

00:32:31   When something is available only in the Mac App Store

00:32:33   for a paid price and there's no trial,

00:32:36   I probably won't buy it.

00:32:38   I expect a trial on the Mac

00:32:39   because there have always been trials

00:32:41   and a lot of times these apps cost like 30, 50, $7500.

00:32:44   It's very hard to justify spending 80 bucks on a fancy app

00:32:49   that you've never tried before that you can't try

00:32:52   when refunds are difficult.

00:32:54   That's a very hard thing to do.

00:32:56   paid web apps have never really become a thing for various reasons

00:33:00   yeah i mean i have like in in like certain verticals

00:33:03   right but it but not like a mass-market thing right

00:33:06   and i think that that

00:33:08   it but what they have done though is that they've still

00:33:11   they've reinforced the idea that for something that you see on your computer

00:33:15   screen you should be able to just check it out

00:33:18   and of course for a lot of people it's turned into everything should just be

00:33:21   free period forever

00:33:23   uh...

00:33:25   And that's a separate argument, but I still think that the thing that made indie software

00:33:30   development possible on the Mac and had this great, still great, I think the reason it's

00:33:36   still great on the Mac is that you can still go to developers' websites and download a

00:33:39   demo.

00:33:40   Exactly.

00:33:41   Even if you eventually do go to the app store to buy it.

00:33:45   Well, and another thing that's different about iOS and another reason why I like the coffee

00:33:48   analogy does not work is, yeah, you can say, well, you know, you would spend $3 on coffee

00:33:53   without thinking about it.

00:33:55   true, but there aren't people giving away coffee that's pretty good for free on every

00:34:01   single street corner.

00:34:02   Dave: Right.

00:34:03   Like imagine if Starbucks made every coffee free.

00:34:05   Which is, you know…

00:34:06   Michael; Yeah.

00:34:07   If every – on every street corner, you could walk out of any building anywhere or your

00:34:10   house and on this corner of the street, there are people giving away pretty good coffee

00:34:14   for free all the time.

00:34:15   Like then it would be harder to be a coffee shop that charges for coffee, right?

00:34:19   Like it isn't about the amount of money.

00:34:22   It's about the competition and the alternatives.

00:34:24   And the fact is, there's so many apps,

00:34:28   there's so many apps, that it doesn't matter

00:34:32   that you're charging only a few dollars upfront.

00:34:35   The fact is, there's 10 free ones right next to you

00:34:37   in the App Store and people will just pick those.

00:34:40   Same thing applies to the web.

00:34:42   You know, it's the reason why paywalls on the web

00:34:45   don't often do very well, is because there's just tons

00:34:48   of alternatives that are all free.

00:34:49   And it's like, okay, well, I can't read your site?

00:34:51   Fine, I was doing you a favor by reading your site.

00:34:52   I'll just go read someone else's site.

00:34:54   You know, and it's terrible, but that's the reality.

00:34:58   - Yeah, and you're in that like,

00:34:59   just give me something to read right now.

00:35:00   And it's too, if you could go read something

00:35:03   that you're not as interested in,

00:35:04   but it's only two clicks away,

00:35:05   or you can read the thing you're interested in,

00:35:07   but you've gotta take out your credit card

00:35:09   and fill in a form, forget it.

00:35:10   You know, that's the big problem I have,

00:35:12   I think paywall's face is that.

00:35:14   That right now, at this moment,

00:35:16   even if you've got it in your back of your head

00:35:18   that maybe this month I will sign up

00:35:20   for the New York Times paywall, maybe. But in the meantime, at any given moment when

00:35:24   you're just looking for something to read, you're just going to keep clicking until somebody

00:35:27   gives you something that you can actually read. It's a little different with apps. But

00:35:32   anyway, I think that the free app and then pay for it eventually, I don't know. Pay for

00:35:37   it to unlock the rest of the features. Not that Overcast is the first app to do it that

00:35:43   way, but I think it's played perfectly. And I think it's probably going to be... I think

00:35:49   we're gonna see a lot more of that.

00:35:51   - I hope so.

00:35:52   I mean, and I wish Apple gave us more options in this regard

00:35:54   'cause this model doesn't work for all apps.

00:35:56   Like certain apps, it's very hard to know

00:35:58   where to draw that line of, okay,

00:35:59   what do you offer for free and what do you charge for?

00:36:03   Because, you know, certain things,

00:36:05   like it works well for like games, for instance,

00:36:07   you can like, you can give away the first few levels

00:36:10   and then have additional levels for purchase,

00:36:11   or you can, you know, do things with like,

00:36:12   oh, you can get a power up that you,

00:36:14   you can only, you have to unlock the game

00:36:15   to get this power up, stuff like that you can do.

00:36:17   But think about like a calculator, like what do you do?

00:36:20   Charge for like the nine button?

00:36:22   Like how do you, where do you draw that line?

00:36:24   In a calculator, like how-- - It's true.

00:36:26   - It's a hard thing, it's a hard thing to do, right?

00:36:31   And with all credit to James Thompson of Peacock,

00:36:33   who I think originally made that joke.

00:36:35   But you know, it doesn't work for,

00:36:38   so like Apple has a rule against time bomb demos.

00:36:42   Like you can't just say, all right,

00:36:43   you can try everything in the app for a week

00:36:45   and then it stops working unless you pay.

00:36:47   Like you actually can't do that by policy.

00:36:49   - Even for a free app.

00:36:50   - Correct, even for a free app you can't do that.

00:36:52   - I don't think a lot of people know that.

00:36:53   I think developers know it,

00:36:54   but I don't think a lot of people know that.

00:36:56   - Right, and I think that rule,

00:36:59   I'm sure Apple was well-intentioned

00:37:01   when they made that rule,

00:37:02   but I think that rule holds back a lot of like trialware,

00:37:06   which might be their goal, but that's the effect of it.

00:37:09   - I think it's that hierarchy of Apple's priorities,

00:37:11   where it's first Apple, second their users,

00:37:15   and third developers in that order.

00:37:18   And maybe it's irrelevant to Apple.

00:37:22   So one is out.

00:37:24   Two, it's better for users if the app doesn't get time-bombed.

00:37:27   So therefore, the apps can't be time-bombed

00:37:30   because users are annoyed when the app that they've

00:37:32   been using for the last 30 days suddenly stops working.

00:37:35   I think that-- and whatever extra money Apple would get

00:37:39   from the 30% cut from the extra apps that

00:37:42   would be sold if that was allowed-- because it does work.

00:37:45   That's the thing, is time bombing done appropriately

00:37:49   is a very effective way for indie developers

00:37:52   to let people try an app and then buy it.

00:37:56   - Yeah, but it's, yeah.

00:37:58   And unfortunately, for so many, like the calculator,

00:38:00   like there's so many apps where that is the best way

00:38:02   to do it, 'cause the other problem is,

00:38:04   if you have something like, suppose you have

00:38:06   a calculator app and there's some like,

00:38:10   certain like special logarithm button

00:38:12   that most people don't need,

00:38:14   and you wanna put that behind the wall

00:38:16   so that only people who really need that will pay for it.

00:38:18   Well, then most users won't pay for it.

00:38:20   So then you have a very bad conversion rate

00:38:23   of free to paid.

00:38:25   But if you, like you have to be careful what you limit.

00:38:27   Like somebody asked me on Twitter today or an email,

00:38:29   I forget where it's all a blur at this point.

00:38:33   Somebody asked me, they were angry at the limitation

00:38:36   they put in place and they said,

00:38:38   why don't you offer all features for free

00:38:42   and just limit you to only subscribe to like five podcasts.

00:38:46   And I thought about that.

00:38:47   That was one of the options I considered.

00:38:48   The reason why I didn't do that

00:38:49   is because when you set that limit,

00:38:51   first of all, that would complicate things.

00:38:52   Like if you only can listen to five podcasts,

00:38:56   what do I do when you import your OPML file

00:38:58   full of 20 podcasts?

00:38:59   - Right.

00:39:00   - You know, so there's problems with that right off the bat.

00:39:02   - And, you know, right along that line,

00:39:05   if it's really important to me as a user

00:39:07   that you can import my 100 podcast OPM file,

00:39:10   How could I know that the app is even gonna work for me?

00:39:13   - Right, exactly.

00:39:14   So that's problem number one.

00:39:16   But then problem number two,

00:39:17   you have to be very careful what you do here

00:39:19   because anything you put behind a paywall,

00:39:22   most people will try to find a reason

00:39:25   to justify not getting it.

00:39:28   They will try to stay on the free side

00:39:31   and try to not need what's on the other side.

00:39:34   And so if I say limit five podcasts,

00:39:39   Then I have all these discovery features

00:39:40   that try to promote new podcasts.

00:39:42   - And people stay far away from them

00:39:45   because now they have to pay.

00:39:47   - Yeah, now they're like, well no.

00:39:49   Then what I'm doing is I am discouraging people

00:39:52   from trying out new podcasts.

00:39:54   That's a terrible thing to do.

00:39:55   Why would I wanna do that?

00:39:57   So you have to be very careful what you limit

00:39:59   because whatever you limit, you're going to then

00:40:02   strongly discourage people from crossing that limit.

00:40:05   So that's why I've limited things

00:40:06   that are basically power user features

00:40:08   that don't really have a major downside

00:40:11   that most, if you don't get it.

00:40:13   Like I've limited number of playlists,

00:40:16   you can only have one, number of items in a playlist

00:40:19   that only displays on top five.

00:40:20   These are things like power users will care,

00:40:22   most people won't.

00:40:23   Playback speeds and the effects and cellular downloads.

00:40:28   Those are all things that power users would like to do,

00:40:32   but the app is very functional without them.

00:40:35   And so like that, I feel like those are safer limits

00:40:39   to put in place.

00:40:40   I mean, who knows, I could change all these next month

00:40:41   if it doesn't work out.

00:40:43   But I feel like that's a, those are like safer lines to draw

00:40:46   than I'm going to make you not wanna listen

00:40:49   to more podcasts in my podcast app, 'cause that's terrible.

00:40:53   - All right, let me take this break,

00:40:55   take this opportunity to thank our next sponsor,

00:40:58   our good friends at Harry's.

00:41:01   Harry's provides high quality men's shaving stuff at a great price.

00:41:11   Whole point is, I've told you this before, the founders were some of the founders of

00:41:17   Warby Parker, the eyeglass company.

00:41:19   Same basic idea.

00:41:20   They looked at the market, they said, "Hey, everything on the market, why is this stuff

00:41:23   so expensive?

00:41:25   Why can't we make good stuff at a way lower price?"

00:41:29   Same thing with shaving.

00:41:32   You buy blades from Harry's and they're half the price of the equivalent blades from like

00:41:40   Gillette or what's the other big company?

00:41:43   Yeah, Schick, is that?

00:41:44   Schick, yeah, there you go.

00:41:45   The ones that advertise it.

00:41:46   I was always a Gillette person, so that's the one I was familiar with, yeah.

00:41:49   Yeah, I was too.

00:41:50   I don't know why.

00:41:51   And that's what I can compare it to is Gillette and it's same type of quality to me where

00:41:56   it just feels like a nice quality blade.

00:41:59   how seriously these guys take it this is what I love I love this story that they

00:42:02   bought their own razor blade factory in Germany so that they could control the

00:42:09   sharpness and strength of their blades they're not just like white labeling

00:42:12   generic razor blades and putting them in a stylish package they have to you know

00:42:18   really really control over the quality and I love the design style of their

00:42:24   stuff I don't think it's just cheaper than Gillette I think it's actually

00:42:26   better looking than Gillette to me like the the blade that I got the the razor I got from from

00:42:33   Harry's it looks to me like I could be using it in 20 years and it would look just as new and just

00:42:41   as stylish whereas Gillette's you know like architecture our industrial design to me it

00:42:50   looks so trendy and it's you know it's like it's like looking at the Transformers movies it looks

00:42:56   like you know by next year it's gonna look like you're using a 2013 razor the

00:43:01   price the price difference is truly truly significant I think it's like two

00:43:06   bucks to get a book for each blade with Harry's it's even less if you order in

00:43:10   bulk I think like a dollar fifty if you get the big pack yeah so get the bend

00:43:13   and Gillette it's you know it's like even at Amazon it's like three fifty

00:43:16   four dollars a blade and the quality is I'm telling it's there I I use it you

00:43:23   You switched to using it, right?

00:43:24   - Yeah, yeah, I've been using it for,

00:43:26   they sent me the sample pack when they sponsored my show.

00:43:29   I'm almost through it.

00:43:30   I think I might order more.

00:43:31   The handle is amazing, and the blades, I would say,

00:43:35   are probably, I would say, on par with Gillette Fusion Blades

00:43:40   which are my previous favorite,

00:43:41   and at half the price, you can't beat it.

00:43:44   - Handle was the word I was looking for

00:43:45   when I was trying to choose between razor and blade.

00:43:49   The handle, the thing you stick into it.

00:43:51   I have a secret pass as a shaving nerd.

00:43:55   I have a brush and everything.

00:43:56   I used to – the double-edged safety razor and the blades from Israel and everything.

00:44:03   This is good stuff.

00:44:04   It is not just –

00:44:05   It should tell you something that I don't use it anymore.

00:44:06   It's not just me telling you to go out there and buy this cheaper shaving stuff.

00:44:10   I'm telling you the quality is there.

00:44:12   It's really good.

00:44:13   They're very, very serious about it.

00:44:14   I really do – I like it better just because it's me.

00:44:18   I remember you said this on ATP this week.

00:44:20   There's like a heft to the handle.

00:44:21   - Yeah, exactly, it's very nicely weighted

00:44:24   in a way that the disposables from Gillette and stuff,

00:44:27   and even the ones that they don't call disposables,

00:44:30   they pretty much are.

00:44:31   I feel like the Gillette one,

00:44:35   it just needs 17 blue LEDs to complete the aesthetic.

00:44:38   - It looks like a Transformers movie poster.

00:44:40   - Yeah, it's like the very first Droid ads.

00:44:45   Remember, they were like, oh, like tacky,

00:44:47   masculine robot crazy stuff.

00:44:49   - They even, they did, they actually had,

00:44:51   had like laser beams and stuff and weapons. You always feel like there's going to be a

00:44:56   laser coming at you. There's a trend and I love it where I've been getting more sponsors

00:45:02   like Harry's where they're not technology at all. This isn't an app. It's a real physical

00:45:09   product and I think it's a great market because I feel like my show, my website and yours,

00:45:18   You know an ATP it's it's not about tech really because there's mass market tech sites

00:45:25   That I think have a wildly different audience. I think the audience that I have that you have this audience is

00:45:31   More like people who care about nice things

00:45:35   Including tech or maybe even especially tech but what they really are interested in is nice things

00:45:41   I'd rather have one nice thing than ten mediocre things

00:45:45   And Harry's to me fits exactly in that line

00:45:47   Well, here's the thing where if you go into a typical drugstore you have zero choices that qualify for that

00:45:52   Go online and get it there go to here's what you do go to Harry's calm

00:45:57   Harr, why s calm use this promo code talk show they didn't put the done there

00:46:04   But that's not that's not hold it against them. Just talk show ta. Ok sh ow

00:46:09   and

00:46:11   You will get five bucks off your first purchase

00:46:14   I don't I can't see why anybody would do this

00:46:18   Try it out and then not just sign up and and use this stuff henceforth because it's cheaper and better

00:46:25   How do you beat that? Even the box is nice. Yeah box is beautiful. It's like all the packaging is really nice Wow

00:46:33   Right. I think that the the when they first sponsored to show they sent me a handle and three blades and I've since reordered

00:46:41   out of my own pocket, the replacement blades.

00:46:44   I didn't even want to throw the empty box out

00:46:47   from the first set of blades, 'cause that was so nice.

00:46:49   But that's just my stupid-- - Yeah, I feel bad

00:46:50   throwing away the boxes.

00:46:52   I mean, I do, but I have to, 'cause it's--

00:46:54   - Right. - But I feel bad.

00:46:55   Like, they're really nice.

00:46:57   - Right, 'cause next thing you know, 20 years from now,

00:46:58   you're the crazy person with 40 years,

00:47:02   or 20 years of shaving cartridge boxes.

00:47:05   - Right, just trying to figure out,

00:47:06   like, what can I put in here?

00:47:07   You know, like, everything that's small,

00:47:09   you know, a trapezoid. You're like, "Oh, let me, I can put my screws in here."

00:47:14   All right. To me, that's as good a sign. That's when I knew that it was the real deal. I knew

00:47:17   as soon as I opened up the box, I was like, "Oh, man, these guys have got it going on."

00:47:21   The other great thing, I just had one other thing, and I actually thought about this when

00:47:25   I was listening to ATP this week, and you know, you did your read for Harry's. With

00:47:32   the cheaper blades, to me, one of the big differences in my life is I remember when

00:47:38   I was in college and I first even had to start shaving

00:47:41   and I didn't have money

00:47:42   and I would use shaving blades forever or too long.

00:47:45   What a difference it made when I started.

00:47:48   I woke up and it's like, you know what?

00:47:50   You don't use them that long.

00:47:52   If you pay less for them, you'll use them less

00:47:56   and use a fresher one more often.

00:47:59   You don't have to sweat it this much.

00:47:59   - Yeah, that's actually a nice trick.

00:48:01   Like I read back when I was a shaving nerd,

00:48:03   there was like this one post that kind of stuck with me

00:48:05   from a guy who was like,

00:48:06   you can basically shave however you want

00:48:08   with whatever blade you can find

00:48:10   as long as you use a new blade every single time.

00:48:14   And if you use a new blade every single time,

00:48:16   you will, like, if you have sensitive skin, which I do,

00:48:19   like all those problems will go away.

00:48:21   And I've never been that extreme

00:48:23   because blades are expensive usually, you know,

00:48:25   especially in my years as a Gillette owner,

00:48:27   you know, I'm paying, you know, 375 a blade usually.

00:48:29   It's expensive.

00:48:31   It seems wasteful to throw those away every time.

00:48:34   But when the cost goes so dramatically down

00:48:37   like it does with Harry's,

00:48:38   it becomes more plausible and more practical

00:48:41   to only keep a blade for like three or four shaves.

00:48:45   And I'm telling you, it makes a nice difference

00:48:47   with every blade I've tried.

00:48:49   To not try to extract a month worth of use out of a blade.

00:48:54   And if they're cheaper, you can do that.

00:48:57   - I actually shave more often now because I have Harry's.

00:49:00   That's a, I can say that I'm not even,

00:49:02   Just say that the sponsor read is over.

00:49:04   I'm just saying that that's actually the truth.

00:49:06   - And they even, they're cream?

00:49:07   Like I've tried a lot of shaving cream,

00:49:09   'cause again, I've been this shaving nerd.

00:49:11   And the one I found was the best for me

00:49:16   was the Pro Rosso Green variant.

00:49:19   I would, and I've tried many others, trendy ones,

00:49:23   like the Taylor of Old Bond Street,

00:49:25   and like all the fancy boutique ones.

00:49:27   I would say the Harry's cream for me was number two.

00:49:30   And really I've tried a lot.

00:49:32   And it didn't quite top per roso for me,

00:49:34   but it was really close.

00:49:36   And that's saying a lot.

00:49:38   - It's nice and simple, gets the job done, nothing fancy.

00:49:41   It's not made, it doesn't look like a blue laser.

00:49:44   - Yeah, exactly, it looks very tasteful and modern.

00:49:47   - Looks like what Shaving Creep is supposed to look like.

00:49:49   - And the funny thing is too,

00:49:50   since I've visited their site recently,

00:49:52   now I'm seeing their ads and all the Google AdSense boxes

00:49:55   all over the internet as I browse.

00:49:57   And their ads are so much more tasteful looking.

00:49:59   'Cause they're, you know, it's the graphical banner version

00:50:02   because Google, you know, that whole thing when Google said,

00:50:03   oh, we're not gonna do banners, you know, originally,

00:50:06   of course, that's out the window now.

00:50:08   And so now I'm seeing nice, like, trendy,

00:50:11   beautifully designed Harry's ads

00:50:12   on all the websites I've been seeing.

00:50:15   - They aren't, they're nice ads.

00:50:16   So there you go, you'll improve your ad viewing experience

00:50:18   as well by checking out harrys.com.

00:50:20   - The side benefits, you know.

00:50:22   - But anyway, great product, glad to have them on board.

00:50:25   And you're nuts if you don't try them.

00:50:28   - I'm not doing you any favors

00:50:29   trying to keep this show short.

00:50:30   Well, that's good because I feel terrible.

00:50:32   I feel like I've taken up – I mean you're a very busy man with a brand new app and I've

00:50:36   taken up eight hours of your Thursday night.

00:50:39   Well, I believe I'd rather be doing this than answering what is now 1,139 emails.

00:50:45   I believe that's about 45 more than we started.

00:50:48   We could measure the length of the episode and how many emails have come in to the overcast

00:50:53   support mailbox.

00:50:54   Yeah.

00:50:55   And it's just about midnight Eastern time.

00:50:57   I mean, obviously these people aren't all

00:50:59   in US Eastern time, but like,

00:51:01   they'll still be getting this rate of emails now.

00:51:04   (laughs)

00:51:05   - Do you still use, you just use email for support?

00:51:07   It's just, 'cause it's just you, why not, right?

00:51:10   - I have in the, like with Instapaper,

00:51:13   I hired somebody to help me with support.

00:51:15   You know, just a contractor. - And when you did that,

00:51:16   did you still use email or did you switch

00:51:18   to some sort of, you know, like online system?

00:51:23   - For a while, I would just,

00:51:25   I just gave him an email address and gave him hosting

00:51:28   and it just went to his inbox 'cause it was just one guy.

00:51:31   And so that was fine.

00:51:33   And then after a while he said,

00:51:34   "Hey, I'd love to try some of these tools

00:51:36   that are out recently, see if they're easier."

00:51:38   Okay, sure.

00:51:39   So he tried Zendesk, I think was the one

00:51:43   we ended up going with.

00:51:44   He tried a couple of them.

00:51:45   I've used a few of these tools before

00:51:49   and I hate all of them.

00:51:51   Like everyone I've ever tried, I've hated.

00:51:54   - What's the one from the other guy

00:51:56   who co-founded Stack Overflow, Joel--

00:51:58   - Yeah, Fogbucks. - Fogsbucks, right.

00:51:59   - And I use that, actually,

00:52:01   that was what Tumblr used for a long time.

00:52:03   And I hated it in different ways at least.

00:52:06   What's nice about that one is that it's free

00:52:09   if you have a small team, which is really nice.

00:52:10   At least it was six years ago,

00:52:12   I think it's still, it probably is.

00:52:14   All of these products try to do too much in different ways.

00:52:21   There are very few that are focused only on,

00:52:23   just answer support emails and tweets like that.

00:52:26   That's all I really need.

00:52:27   Even if you leave out the tweets,

00:52:29   even if someone else doesn't, even if you could do email,

00:52:30   like that'd be great.

00:52:32   The problem is it's very hard for any of those things

00:52:34   to actually be better than email.

00:52:36   Email is a very old, mature, and very versatile tool.

00:52:41   You can do a lot with just email.

00:52:44   And a lot of things like all the,

00:52:46   I still email things to myself from my phone

00:52:49   because it's easier than X, Y, or Z,

00:52:51   or it works better, or it's more robust,

00:52:53   where I can do this extra thing if I need to with it.

00:52:56   Email, for all of its problems, of which there are many,

00:53:01   for all of its problems, it is a really good generalist.

00:53:06   And so-- - Yeah, I agree with that.

00:53:08   - So anyway, so for now, I'm just using email.

00:53:11   I, in the future, and I'm using TextExpander

00:53:14   to help a lot with some of the snippets,

00:53:15   like some of the common stuff, saying,

00:53:16   "This is a known bug, thank you," stuff like that,

00:53:19   or like my email signature,

00:53:21   It helps to have all that stuff be helpfully automated.

00:53:26   But I've never found one of these tools

00:53:31   that if you're just one person,

00:53:32   obviously email has problems when you try to scale

00:53:34   to multiple people trying to address the same support inbox.

00:53:38   Then I definitely suggest using something else.

00:53:41   It also is kind of inconvenient if you hear

00:53:44   from the same people a lot,

00:53:46   'cause like the fancy systems,

00:53:48   they'll be able to like bring up,

00:53:49   oh, this person emailed you before

00:53:50   and they'll show their previous emails along with their--

00:53:53   - Like a sort of CRM type thing.

00:53:55   - Yeah, yeah.

00:53:56   So if you have certain needs, then you need something else.

00:54:00   But for just one person answering their own support

00:54:04   inbound requests for an app that,

00:54:06   I'm probably not, like once this all settles down,

00:54:09   I would estimate I'll probably get

00:54:11   fewer than 20 emails a day for it,

00:54:15   hopefully much fewer than 20, but I'd love to be under 10.

00:54:18   That's obviously a total blind guess out of my ass,

00:54:23   I have no idea, but I assume that's gonna be

00:54:26   the level I'm talking about.

00:54:28   And so for that it's like is the complexity

00:54:31   of another system really worth it?

00:54:32   'Cause these systems they all have,

00:54:33   you know they have these web interfaces that are slow

00:54:35   and clunky and I don't know.

00:54:38   I'm a big fan of native apps.

00:54:40   I like a lot about native apps.

00:54:42   And so like just being able to just do this

00:54:44   all on my email client, which I'm already very fast

00:54:46   at using, I just use MailApp, you know,

00:54:49   it's not anything fancy.

00:54:51   I've been using MailApp for years.

00:54:53   I know it extremely well, I'm very fast with it

00:54:55   and it works everywhere.

00:54:56   I don't have to like get a different app for each device

00:54:59   because I already have mail on all my devices.

00:55:01   And so it's like, it's just easier in so many ways

00:55:06   if you're just one person answering one inbox for it.

00:55:09   - When I was at bare bones, and this is, you know,

00:55:13   12, 13 years ago, you know, the early 2000 to 2001, 2002.

00:55:18   And a lot of my job was, you know,

00:55:22   help pitching in on the support queue.

00:55:24   We did it all, at the time we did it all by IMAP,

00:55:27   even though it was multiple people.

00:55:28   - Yeah, shared IMAP folder.

00:55:29   - But it worked for a few reasons,

00:55:31   which was A, the only people who had access to it

00:55:34   were all trusted.

00:55:35   There wasn't anybody who was, you know,

00:55:38   doing support email who wasn't like a truly trusted employee.

00:55:42   And B, it was this really simple system where nobody, you didn't answer anything from the

00:55:50   inbox.

00:55:51   Everybody, we just made top level folders for each of us, you know, like, you know,

00:55:56   John, Rich, and you know, whoever else was doing stuff, Patrick.

00:56:01   And you would, you know, if you were going to, you know, I'm going to do support for

00:56:04   the next hour, you would just dig in, go through the inbox and drag any messages that you were

00:56:09   were gonna take to your inbox. And you know, your it wasn't

00:56:13   even an inbox, but your box, your answer them from there. So

00:56:16   your folder should almost always be empty. Except for maybe like

00:56:20   one or two flag things that you were, you know, hey, I need to I

00:56:23   gotta go. I gotta go talk to rich about this and get in it.

00:56:26   You know, I can't answer that. I'll write them back now and

00:56:29   say, Hey, I'll get back to you later. But I actually don't know

00:56:31   the answer to that. You know, I'll keep it but you know, by

00:56:34   the end of the day, your yours should be empty. And then and

00:56:37   then nobody would be double answering the same email

00:56:40   from the inbox or something like that.

00:56:42   - Yeah, and that kind of system,

00:56:43   you're like, when you're in an environment

00:56:45   where like everyone's trusted and everyone's like,

00:56:48   able to do, they're able to treat it properly,

00:56:52   then it's super simple. - It was super simple.

00:56:54   - And then everyone can use their own app

00:56:56   and there's no like weird additional third party thing

00:57:00   to integrate and pay for and support and move with

00:57:03   and then migrate off of when they go out of business.

00:57:05   And it's just, it's, yeah, I mean, email,

00:57:09   again, for all of its problems,

00:57:10   it's really good at a lot of things.

00:57:12   And more importantly, it's good enough at a lot of things.

00:57:16   - Yeah, and I also like that you kinda know

00:57:18   what the customer's gonna see from you.

00:57:20   I mean, you don't know exactly how they have their font

00:57:22   set up in their mail client or whatever,

00:57:24   but if you just write 'em in email,

00:57:25   you know it's gonna look like all their other email.

00:57:27   It's not gonna be some weird HTML formatted thing,

00:57:33   and it's not gonna have a whole bunch of

00:57:35   auto-generated administrative stuff, you know,

00:57:40   that to reply to this message,

00:57:42   please include this text in the subject line.

00:57:45   - Yeah, yeah, all that crap.

00:57:46   - And, you know, make sure you write your entire reply

00:57:50   above this line, you know, and stuff like that.

00:57:52   - Yeah, these are customer hostile experiences.

00:57:55   - Yeah, that you're, you know, they're writing to you,

00:57:57   they're your customer,

00:57:58   and you're giving them all these rules to follow

00:57:59   about not changing the subject

00:58:01   and make sure it makes, for God's sake,

00:58:04   make sure everything you write is above this line

00:58:06   and stuff like that.

00:58:07   You know, it's just an email, just text.

00:58:10   Here you go, here's your answer.

00:58:12   I guess we should cover the news.

00:58:16   Why don't I do my last sponsor?

00:58:18   Why don't I talk about our last sponsor?

00:58:19   - Yeah, yeah. - Which are good friends

00:58:21   at Hover.

00:58:22   You guys know Hover.

00:58:25   - I use Hover.

00:58:26   - They are the domain registrar that does not suck.

00:58:30   quite possibly the only one. It's the best way to buy and manage domain names. So when

00:58:36   you have a great idea, you want to get a domain name for it. Guess what? Really, really hard

00:58:41   because it's hard to find a good domain name because so many of them are taken.

00:58:45   Hover has some great tools for helping you find domain name that's available and that's

00:58:50   going to work with the name that you have in mind. Whether it's trying other top level

00:58:55   domains or whether it's combining other things before the top level domain to get something

00:58:59   that you like, they're going to give you exactly what you need to get the job done.

00:59:06   And you can trust them.

00:59:07   One thing I've got to tell you, domain name registrars are so scammy in general that I

00:59:11   have never trusted before I started using Hover.

00:59:14   I never trusted using their tool to see if a name is available because I always suspected

00:59:19   that half of them would just, if I say, "Hey, is, you know, is, you know, Marco's new car

00:59:27   available, that they're going to register it and then hold it hostage to me because

00:59:31   it was available, but they know I want it, so they took it.

00:59:34   Yeah, it's unfortunately, it's a business that's full of opportunities for sleaziness.

00:59:39   I don't know if any domain registrar has ever done something that scammy, but the fact

00:59:44   that it occurred to me, it, you know, with Hover, I'm telling you, you can trust these

00:59:48   guys. They've been in business forever. I mean, I think like all the way back to the

00:59:53   90s great reputation just search the web for what people who use hover say about

00:59:58   them great tools great service customer service including what they call the the

01:00:08   what they call it the white glove service the valley transfer valley

01:00:12   transfers right they this is what you do you sign up from become their customer

01:00:17   and you have a domain name probably at a shitty registrar really you know that's

01:00:22   I'm not going to name names, but you know who it probably is.

01:00:27   It's really hard to tricky to transfer domains, especially because most of us aren't DNS experts.

01:00:34   We can't really remember the exact step-by-step thing of what you do.

01:00:38   And DNS is a thing that you can screw up.

01:00:42   You can screw it up, and it's a pain in the ass to fix it once you've screwed it up.

01:00:47   Use Hover's Valet transfer service, and they'll walk you through the steps.

01:00:51   help you transfer it. They'll even transfer it for you and you move it from

01:00:57   your crappy registrar to hover and that's free. They just take care of that

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01:01:29   stuck with in your life and you just keep registering them but god forbid you

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01:02:20   That's all these crazy new top level domains. Here's some of the ones that they've got there.

01:02:24   They've got .club, .ninja, .guru. God, don't sign up for .guru. .company.

01:02:30   I would go as far as to say don't sign up for almost any of the new TLDs. They work

01:02:35   great for all the old ones. Well, I don't know. .ninja might be cool if you're using

01:02:40   it ironically. They should, is there a dot parking lot? They should have a dot parking

01:02:45   lot for fans of ATP.

01:02:47   **Ezra Klein:** Not yet, but I'm sure there's some committee

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01:02:58   are still available, and they're on sale through September 1st. And use that code IBM, and

01:03:05   And they'll know you came from here from my show where where we talk about IBM every week, of course. I

01:03:11   Love that like obviously that code is not used by anybody else

01:03:16   Like that's how irrelevant IBM is to the consumer web these days is like that they can just throw that out there

01:03:23   No one's gonna use that code. I

01:03:25   wonder I

01:03:27   Think that's part of what had me so head-scratching about the whole IBM Apple news this week

01:03:33   Which I guess is really the only news. I don't know. Is there anything else you want to talk about but not really

01:03:37   Is why why is this why is it even Apple?

01:03:42   Presenting this is such a big deal right because Apple put out a big press release and they made Tim Cook

01:03:49   Available for a bunch of interviews, you know

01:03:53   Which to me is the bigger sign that Apple thinks it's a big deal if Tim Cook is gonna spend the day talking to

01:03:58   CNBC and the Wall Street Journal and a bunch of other things

01:04:02   a day of Tim Cook's time means it's important and

01:04:05   I that's you know

01:04:08   My thought and this is just one of those things where it's like it didn't instantly make any sense

01:04:12   Not that didn't make sense, but it didn't make sense to me why it was a big deal. I

01:04:15   think I mean

01:04:18   I don't know anything about the world of enterprise computing and

01:04:22   Thank God for that because the little bits of it that I've touched here and there I've hated

01:04:25   I'm very badly suited to it

01:04:29   Like, I'm not saying it sucks, I'm saying it sucks for me.

01:04:33   Although let's be honest, it probably does suck.

01:04:36   But anyway, I think there's probably a lot of value

01:04:41   in Apple making a big deal out of this

01:04:45   in all the ways that consumers will never hear about

01:04:48   or care about, but that businesses will.

01:04:51   Because the whole point of this is to try to push

01:04:54   the iPhone and iOS platform more into business

01:04:57   and make it kind of fight the notion

01:05:02   that has plagued it for a while,

01:05:04   which is this is like only for consumers

01:05:06   or it's inferior for business purposes

01:05:09   to things like BlackBerry.

01:05:11   You know, they're trying to fight that perception

01:05:14   and that perception has been declining for a while

01:05:17   as iOS devices have been pushed into business anyway

01:05:19   just 'cause people wanted them so badly

01:05:21   and they kind of were forced to adopt them

01:05:24   and then iOS got better with some of its enterprise stuff

01:05:26   but ultimately that perception is still there

01:05:29   among a lot of IT managers.

01:05:31   Oh, the iOS Apple stuff is not for business.

01:05:35   It's not ready for the enterprise

01:05:36   or whatever crap they spew out.

01:05:38   - I think that's true.

01:05:40   I've said this before.

01:05:41   It's like a recurring thing I come back to

01:05:44   every couple months because something else will pop up

01:05:46   where it occurs to me,

01:05:47   but it's that human beings are psychologically set up

01:05:52   to make first impressions difficult to break.

01:05:56   You know and it's a cliche to say first impressions, you know

01:05:59   Are super important and they're you know, like when you have a job interview you should do, you know

01:06:04   Get all stressed out and do all these things right and dress exactly right and answer all the questions

01:06:09   Right and have a good handshake and all these things but you know what it's one of those cliches

01:06:13   That's kind of true and I'm not saying it's fair or it's right

01:06:16   But it matters and so people's and it matters not just for your impressions of people but your impressions of everything and

01:06:24   If your first impression of Apple is that they're not for business and it was reinforced for a while

01:06:30   it doesn't matter if it was it's

01:06:33   Set back in 1996 when it was almost literally a completely different Apple

01:06:39   It it still stands for some people today

01:06:42   You know definitely and and a lot of those people are IT managers at big companies

01:06:47   Yeah, and I think so true. I think so. I think that's exactly true

01:06:52   - Yeah, and so that's why I'm saying like, you know,

01:06:54   Tim Cook going around doing all these like BS interviews

01:06:56   with business people about business things.

01:06:58   I think it's all about attacking that.

01:07:00   It's all about like getting out there

01:07:02   and you know, a press release.

01:07:04   Well, what consumer is gonna give a crap

01:07:05   about a press release?

01:07:06   No one, no one's ever gonna hear about it.

01:07:07   You know, like my pizza guy who asked me

01:07:09   about Apple rumors every time I got a pizza,

01:07:11   'cause he reads all like,

01:07:12   he reads like all the worst Apple rumor sites.

01:07:14   So he always asks me about all the ridiculous,

01:07:16   like the most ridiculous rumors possible.

01:07:18   Things that are so ridiculous,

01:07:19   you won't even comment on them.

01:07:21   I get, every time I get pizza, which is pretty often,

01:07:23   I get asked about those things.

01:07:25   And you know, he's never gonna hear about this, ever.

01:07:30   Because it is so unimportant to even consumers

01:07:33   who are interested in Apple, never gonna cross his radar.

01:07:36   But the business community, this will be like,

01:07:40   there's gonna be a white paper somewhere.

01:07:41   There's gonna be like things the business community needs,

01:07:43   like sources, references, oh well this is apparently

01:07:47   getting into business.

01:07:48   this is something that IT managers can show each other

01:07:51   and the CTO and the CEO above them,

01:07:56   they can show each other and everyone here,

01:07:58   we should maybe consider this,

01:07:59   here's some supporting documents to support this.

01:08:02   It's all about placating the needs of the business world

01:08:05   in using their language and their methods of communicating.

01:08:10   - Yeah, tech, even at the enterprise level,

01:08:13   it moves fast, but tech moving fast at the enterprise level

01:08:18   is a hell of a lot slower than it moves

01:08:22   at the consumer level.

01:08:23   - Yeah, I'm pretty sure my bank still uses Windows 2000.

01:08:26   - Well, right, that's a perfect example.

01:08:28   Like, God, how many ATMs are out there

01:08:30   that are still running crazy old Windows systems

01:08:33   and stuff like that?

01:08:34   I just saw a thing about ATMs, like Windows 98 based,

01:08:42   Maybe it was a POS system.

01:08:43   I don't know.

01:08:44   And I know that--

01:08:45   Sure was.

01:08:45   Yeah.

01:08:46   And I know that the Target hack was

01:08:49   based on a crazy old ancient version of Windows

01:08:52   that they'd still been rolling out in brand new Target

01:08:55   stores decades later.

01:08:57   But it does-- compared to the world at large,

01:09:00   it still moves fast.

01:09:01   But it's easy to miss--

01:09:03   because it's so much slower than the daily barrage of tech news

01:09:10   that it's easy to miss the trends until they're already in the rearview mirror.

01:09:14   And I kind of feel like what Apple, this Apple IBM deal is showing is it's sort of stage

01:09:21   two, the beginning of stage two of Apple's renaissance in the business market.

01:09:26   Stage one was just getting iPhones and iPads in it all.

01:09:30   And it's literally what they've bragged about for the last few years is the percentage of

01:09:34   Fortune 500 companies where iOS devices are used.

01:09:39   you know, it's now it's up to like a ridiculous number. It's like 98%. But it's always been

01:09:43   a little conspicuous that they don't say how many are being used in each one. It's right.

01:09:47   It's like so a lot of times like they aren't officially supported like a lot of times,

01:09:51   you know, the the devices have gotten into these companies reluctantly, because somebody

01:09:56   in a position of power got an iPhone or iPad and wanted to use it at work. And so then

01:10:00   then the IT department didn't really want to support it like, all right, fine. You know,

01:10:03   the CEO got an iPhone and wants to use it, we have to do this. So yeah, we'll support

01:10:07   it in a half-assed minimal way but we're not going to let everyone do this I

01:10:11   don't think that's what Apple's counting though I think when Apple says 98% of

01:10:14   the fortune 500 is using an iPhone is using the iPhone I think that they

01:10:18   they're there I think Apple's honest enough that that means that they honest

01:10:23   they have some kind of corporate relationship through the Apple's

01:10:26   enterprise you know sales people that that they can legitimately say that

01:10:31   probably I mean a company's that big yeah but I don't think it necessarily

01:10:34   translates to a high unit count or head count right I mean just to pick one

01:10:39   example of a company who I know is must be in a fortune 500 because they're the

01:10:43   second biggest company in the world axon you know so let's say assuming axon is

01:10:48   part of that 98% doesn't mean there's a thousand people with iPhones and axon

01:10:52   because that's not that big a deal because axon probably has you know tens

01:10:56   and tens of thousands of employees I think that that's stage one though it's

01:11:02   just getting any relationship at all. Maybe it's, you know, like you said, maybe it's

01:11:05   just the C-level people. Maybe it's just like, hey, the CEO wanted an iPhone so officially,

01:11:10   you know, anybody who works in the CEO's office can use an iPhone. But like the rank and file

01:11:16   of tens of thousands of people, you know, still you're using whatever, you know, I don't

01:11:21   know, Blackberries or something like that. I think stage two is about getting that number

01:11:27   bigger and Tim Cook kind of alluded to that in one of his interviews that that

01:11:32   there's a huge that yes we've got this huge number of fortune 500 companies

01:11:37   doing it but that there's tons of devices and you know of various you know

01:11:41   whether the phones or PCs or whatever that could be replaced with iOS devices

01:11:48   and that there's a huge upside there in terms of just sheer numbers and I think

01:11:53   that's what this is about.

01:11:55   - Yeah, maybe.

01:11:56   I mean, to some degree,

01:11:58   having like, using iOS devices as like custom work terminals

01:12:04   or like, you know, like my UPS guy hands me

01:12:08   some kind of crazy ass thing to sign digitally

01:12:11   when I get a package delivered.

01:12:13   - Yeah.

01:12:13   - And you know, the idea of that someday being an iPhone

01:12:16   or an iPad, I actually have a hard time buying that

01:12:19   because the characteristics that businesses expect

01:12:24   if they're gonna do something like that,

01:12:25   like they're gonna expect a platform

01:12:26   that is highly customizable to exactly their needs

01:12:29   and stable and will basically bend over backwards

01:12:31   to support them indefinitely.

01:12:33   None of those things are Apple strong points

01:12:35   or even Apple wanting to do those things.

01:12:38   Like Apple is perfectly happy to like drop support

01:12:42   for old things, lockdown control,

01:12:44   all sorts of characteristics

01:12:48   that let them produce good devices

01:12:50   as long as you fit within their needs,

01:12:53   but also tend to shut out corporate needs like that.

01:12:56   - Yeah, well, I think that's though,

01:12:58   it potentially plays to Apple's traditional strengths though

01:13:01   where Apple is never been about selling all of anything.

01:13:04   That they don't need,

01:13:07   that's what Microsoft was always about.

01:13:11   Microsoft wanted every single computing device

01:13:13   in the entire building to be running some version of Windows.

01:13:17   Whereas Apple, I don't think is going to shoot for that.

01:13:18   I don't, you know, if Apple would say to UPS,

01:13:21   you still wanna have all, I mean, I wonder how many UPS,

01:13:23   how many UPS guys do you think there are?

01:13:25   Like the delivery guys?

01:13:26   - Oh, I don't know, probably, I don't know, 30, 40,000.

01:13:29   I have no idea though.

01:13:30   Totally out of my head. - I don't know.

01:13:31   Yeah, it's one of those terrible like job interview questions

01:13:34   I was gonna guess 25,000.

01:13:36   So I don't know, that's just a guess.

01:13:38   But you know, let's say 25,000 of them.

01:13:41   So let's say they have, I don't know,

01:13:42   30,000 of those signer things,

01:13:45   because they want to have more of them than they have people.

01:13:49   And they say, "You know what?

01:13:50   We don't really want to use iOS devices for this for X, Y, and Z reasons."

01:13:54   I think Apple would say, "Okay.

01:13:55   That sounds good.

01:13:56   But what about if every manager at the depot centers where they're dispatched was using

01:14:03   an iPhone and using an iPhone app, a custom iPhone app to manage whatever he does all

01:14:08   day?"

01:14:10   I think if that's all they got, that would be great because it's all upside for them

01:14:14   because they never sold anything to those companies

01:14:17   that's a good point

01:14:18   you know that they only the places where you could see the need

01:14:22   for a five hundred dollar i pad

01:14:24   you know but if it's possible that five hundred dollar i pad would make sense

01:14:27   for you and it totally make sense that maybe for it the u_p_s_ delivery guy

01:14:31   who's got a really physical job that uh... five hundred dollar device with a

01:14:36   glass screen

01:14:37   uh...

01:14:38   or even you know sapphire screen

01:14:41   it doesn't make any sense you know it's not durable enough and it's too

01:14:44   expensive when it's to replace when it's broken

01:14:46   uh... but that there's still all sorts of opportunities where an i_o_s_ device

01:14:50   might make sense and never you know it's all upside for apple because they never

01:14:54   had anything no foothold in that market

01:14:58   yeah that's fine

01:15:00   i asked today i don't know you saw you're real busy today but i asked today

01:15:03   uh...

01:15:04   the other thing

01:15:06   uh... well my queries my question

01:15:08   is

01:15:09   Yeah, where Tim Cook said he uses an iPad for 80% of his work, which I think is interesting

01:15:16   and I kind of believe him.

01:15:17   Like I said, I'm sure he didn't scientifically measure or have somebody follow him around

01:15:21   with a stopwatch and measure how much time he spends on it.

01:15:24   The biggest red flag to that that sounds suspicious to me is text input.

01:15:28   Does he use a keyboard?

01:15:30   I doubt it.

01:15:31   That wouldn't look very good.

01:15:34   How does he manage text input?

01:15:36   Does he just send a lot of very short email responses?

01:15:38   I would imagine the CEO I would imagine a big part of his job is responding to email

01:15:42   It's a good question I would think so too, but maybe he'd you know send short emails Steve Jobs sent short emails

01:15:50   You know I think Steve Jobs his ladder his ladder year is an awful lot of the member when those email those those Mac rumors

01:15:57   things

01:15:57   Oh, yeah

01:15:57   some some random guy on the internet got an answer from Steve Jobs an awful lot of those in the last few years were

01:16:03   Had sent sent from my iPhone. Yeah, I'd say most of them actually did yeah

01:16:08   them. So Steve Jobs was sending a lot of email from his iPhone. I don't know that it's ridiculous

01:16:13   that Tim Cook is too.

01:16:14   That's fair.

01:16:15   I always thought as an aside, I always thought it was very noble that Steve Jobs kept that

01:16:21   default SIG on his email, which is terrible I think.

01:16:26   Yeah. But it kind of makes sense that it would be Steve Jobs' signature. I could see that.

01:16:33   very fair that's honestly very fair like like like when you buy a new Samsung

01:16:38   Galaxy s and the default sig is sent from my Samsung trademark galaxy

01:16:44   trademark six trademark on AT&T LTE 4G internet from the now trademark network

01:16:54   trademark honey do you do you really think that AT&T CEO is is using that

01:17:00   signature on his phone I hope so but I doubt it yeah I really doubt I think it

01:17:05   should be a rule that if you if you are the kind of if you're at the kind of

01:17:08   position where you can dictate a default email signature that will be used by

01:17:11   thousands of people yeah you should have to use it yourself I absolutely believe

01:17:15   whatever the default is that you said you should have to use it right I've you

01:17:20   know I believe in personal freedom and liberty but I would support making that

01:17:23   a law and you know what there's an easy way that you can you can set your email

01:17:28   signature to whatever you want by just shipping a default email signature that's a blank exactly

01:17:34   and ask them you know what do you want to put at the bottom of your emails anyway i

01:17:38   always thought that was great about jobs so i believe it about tim cook and i think it's

01:17:41   great that he uses the ipad um but my question and it was prompted by the the great contra

01:17:48   on Twitter, AKA Counter Notions, one of the great anonymous, or pseudonymous, I guess,

01:18:01   Twitter personalities.

01:18:05   Does IBM CEO Ginni Rometty use an iPhone?

01:18:09   And I'm totally serious when I say that I think that's an interesting and telling question.

01:18:16   Do you agree?

01:18:17   that would be interesting to know the answer to.

01:18:20   - It depends, if you could actually trust the answer,

01:18:22   like if they just gave it in a press statement,

01:18:24   oh yes, I use an iPhone, then that's probably BS, who knows.

01:18:28   But if you actually could get authoritative,

01:18:31   trustworthy information that says, oh yeah,

01:18:33   they've been using an iPhone for months or years or whatever,

01:18:37   that's interesting to know.

01:18:38   But I think it's a little bit less interesting

01:18:42   because IBM doesn't make phones, do they?

01:18:46   - Right. - I don't think they do.

01:18:47   So it's a little bit less interesting because of that.

01:18:49   - Right.

01:18:51   - But I don't know.

01:18:52   I think you're right though,

01:18:53   that could show a level of caring.

01:18:56   That if the CEO doesn't even use an iPhone,

01:19:00   how committed is,

01:19:02   how much does this new partnership really matter?

01:19:05   Is this really likely to actually go anywhere or not?

01:19:08   If the CEO doesn't care deeply enough

01:19:10   to even try it themselves.

01:19:12   - Right, and if their own enterprise,

01:19:15   Because IBM itself is like a fractal,

01:19:19   where their business is consulting

01:19:22   and services for the enterprise,

01:19:24   but they themselves are like the canonical enterprise.

01:19:28   If they're not good enough for their own enterprise needs,

01:19:31   then you know.

01:19:32   - Right, because they themselves are a massive company

01:19:34   with very large needs.

01:19:36   - And they're conservative,

01:19:38   technically conservative, not politically conservative,

01:19:42   but that they still use Lotus Notes and stuff like that.

01:19:47   - Well, they make Lotus Notes.

01:19:48   - Well, and they still use it.

01:19:50   - Yeah, and again, I think that,

01:19:53   I think their conservatism technically,

01:19:55   I mean, partly that's what they sell,

01:19:57   that is their product, it is also their culture,

01:20:00   and that's why I think this is interesting at all.

01:20:03   If Apple had a partnership with somebody smaller

01:20:05   or somebody more dynamic, it would be less interesting.

01:20:08   The fact that they're partnering with IBM

01:20:10   is more interesting because it is so opposite

01:20:15   of what you would expect.

01:20:17   But then when they explain it and they say,

01:20:20   oh, well, we have no overlap, this makes sense.

01:20:23   Then it's like, okay, yeah, I kinda get that.

01:20:25   Okay, that does kinda make sense.

01:20:27   - Yeah, I don't know, I just think it would be telling.

01:20:28   Like I said, I don't think, if it turns out she doesn't,

01:20:31   if she uses something else, you know, which,

01:20:35   my question though is, at this point in time,

01:20:37   maybe that's telling about the state of the mobile world. How crazy is it? In a way, it

01:20:44   seems crazy to think that the president or the CEO of IBM uses an Apple iPhone as her

01:20:50   phone.

01:20:51   Well, what else should she use?

01:20:52   Yeah, exactly. What else should she use? BlackBerry? You know, BlackBerry is, you know, clearly

01:20:58   on the way out and just can't do things that people expect to do on a mobile platform right

01:21:03   now.

01:21:04   Yeah, I would say like two years ago, BlackBerry would have still been a plausible guess.

01:21:07   - Right.

01:21:07   - And like two years ago, there was probably still

01:21:09   a lot of like, quote, business people

01:21:11   who are still clinging to their Blackberries.

01:21:13   I have to imagine today, it's getting much more rare

01:21:17   to see a Blackberry actually in use by somebody who like,

01:21:20   by somebody who just bought a new phone.

01:21:22   It's like, yeah, I got a new phone yesterday.

01:21:24   It's a new Blackberry.

01:21:24   Like how often do you ever see that?

01:21:26   Even now in the business community,

01:21:28   I have to imagine that's extremely rare.

01:21:31   - Yeah, I've never seen somebody

01:21:33   using the touchscreen Blackberries.

01:21:35   - Yeah, neither have I.

01:21:36   And I don't fly frequently, but I fly frequently enough,

01:21:40   and that would be a place where I would spot it,

01:21:42   and I'd never seen it.

01:21:43   I still see people with the buttony ones,

01:21:45   but fewer and fewer.

01:21:47   Yeah, they're dying out quickly.

01:21:49   Well, so it's possible she uses a BlackBerry.

01:21:53   I would guess it's probable she at least used

01:21:55   to use a BlackBerry, so maybe she's still holding out.

01:21:58   But wouldn't that be a distressing sign, though,

01:22:01   that the CEO of IBM is still holding onto a BlackBerry,

01:22:04   which is clearly a dying platform.

01:22:07   What else, Android?

01:22:08   I don't think so.

01:22:09   Why would it make sense,

01:22:10   why would it make any more sense for the president of IBM

01:22:13   to be using an Android phone than an iPhone?

01:22:18   - I mean, if anything, I think it would make the most sense

01:22:19   for the president of IBM to use one of those

01:22:21   like, Stallman phones, it's just all Linux and crazy stuff.

01:22:24   Like, do those still exist?

01:22:25   People still try to make those?

01:22:27   - I think there's people trying to make them,

01:22:28   but I don't think that they would work

01:22:29   in the enterprise at all.

01:22:31   I mean, I think there's a security angle there,

01:22:32   but I don't think there's an integration with,

01:22:35   all the software that they have to integrate with

01:22:38   that's gonna happen.

01:22:39   - Can those even get certified or run on a network?

01:22:41   I don't even know, probably not.

01:22:44   That's probably incompatible with being open source.

01:22:46   I bet they can't do it.

01:22:47   - Yeah, I don't know about that.

01:22:49   I don't think so.

01:22:50   I've never heard of any company that's using those.

01:22:53   It seems to me like the people who that appeals to

01:22:55   are security experts.

01:22:57   And I think that's a very small niche.

01:23:00   Yeah, it's a great argument for it,

01:23:01   but it's not, I don't think it's something

01:23:03   that IBM would use or standardize on.

01:23:05   You know, and there's a bunch of people on Twitter

01:23:08   who answered my question and said that they don't know,

01:23:11   but that there are people in IBM using iPhones

01:23:14   and that there's a lot of people who work at IBM

01:23:16   who use iPads on a regular basis,

01:23:18   that there is a lot of dogfooding in that regard within IBM.

01:23:23   - You know, and it makes sense.

01:23:24   IBM, what most people think of them as

01:23:28   is not what they do anymore.

01:23:30   You know, most people think of their days

01:23:32   as a computer manufacturer.

01:23:34   - Right.

01:23:35   - And that is not their business anymore.

01:23:37   They have gotten rid of, I believe, that entire business.

01:23:39   I don't think they have any parts of it left.

01:23:41   - Nope.

01:23:42   - They are a services, they're an enterprise services company

01:23:45   and so-- - I don't even think that,

01:23:46   they might do servers, but I think it's more--

01:23:48   - I don't think they can do that anymore.

01:23:49   I haven't seen an IBM server for sale in a long time.

01:23:51   - Well, and if they do, I think it counts more

01:23:53   as consulting than server sales, you know?

01:23:57   I think that, and I think when you buy,

01:23:58   If they have them, I'll bet it costs way more

01:24:01   for the service contract and everything

01:24:02   than the actual hardware.

01:24:03   - Yeah, and I don't think you can just go buy

01:24:05   one IBM server from Amazon.

01:24:07   I think you'd have to be involved.

01:24:09   Anyway, so they have all these services.

01:24:12   They will contract to your business

01:24:15   to build your CRM system for you, stuff like that.

01:24:19   Or you can use a big Lotus Notes installation.

01:24:23   And I don't know most of what they do

01:24:24   because I'm in that industry,

01:24:26   but that's like the high level version of it basically.

01:24:29   If that's your business, then yeah,

01:24:35   it helps to some degree to primarily sell your stuff

01:24:39   when you have something in a certain market.

01:24:41   If they have their own document management server,

01:24:45   then it makes sense for them to sell that

01:24:46   as much as they can as part of these deals.

01:24:49   But if the business world is demanding

01:24:53   integration with iOS devices,

01:24:56   and if they don't sell iOS devices

01:24:57   or something like iOS devices,

01:24:59   it totally makes sense for them to address the demand

01:25:03   and not be religious about it,

01:25:05   not be like, oh, we can't deal with them

01:25:07   because they're Apple and we used to be enemies.

01:25:11   The fact is they're not enemies now

01:25:15   and Apple and IBM are in extremely different positions now

01:25:18   than where they both were respectively in the early '80s

01:25:21   And IBM is no longer, they have no reason to care

01:25:26   whose phones they're selling anymore.

01:25:29   - Right.

01:25:30   And in fact, well, I don't think they should care

01:25:33   that it's any one particular one,

01:25:34   but I can see why it would appeal to them to sell Apple,

01:25:36   because Apple is a single source.

01:25:40   That would make it easier for them

01:25:41   than if they were doing the same thing with Android.

01:25:44   - Oh, right.

01:25:45   And if there's demand in these companies,

01:25:47   the same way that so many people brought in iPhones

01:25:50   because they wanted to and then they made the company support them afterwards.

01:25:54   If there are compelling reasons for companies, whether it's employees who want to use iPads,

01:25:59   employees who already are using them anyway and want them to work better and be more integrated

01:26:03   at the company's networks and stuff, or just things like deploying custom iOS devices as

01:26:09   part of the UPS guy tools or whatever, if the businesses are demanding that stuff, it

01:26:15   It is in IBM's best interest to work with Apple, to offer that, to integrate that into

01:26:21   the contract and the services they're providing otherwise, because that's what their customers

01:26:25   are demanding.

01:26:26   Yeah, maybe part of the fallout of this isn't really even about Apple at all, but really

01:26:32   about the way that IBM is not the IBM we've always thought of.

01:26:35   I knew that, but this is just sort of crystallizing it.

01:26:40   The only people who should be upset about this are Microsoft, because this is their

01:26:43   business before.

01:26:44   This is exactly, like, this is the business

01:26:47   that I've argued for a while that Microsoft

01:26:49   should be getting into more heavily.

01:26:51   They already have a very strong enterprise division.

01:26:54   And certainly, I assume, I don't know this for sure,

01:26:58   but I'm sure Microsoft is probably IBM's biggest competitor

01:27:03   for enterprise services.

01:27:04   That might not be true, certainly they're up there.

01:27:06   And enterprise services are a great business

01:27:08   for that kind of thing because it's a big, profitable,

01:27:11   relatively stable industry to be in compared

01:27:13   to consumer tech, which is very hard and fickle

01:27:16   and low margin usually.

01:27:17   So, you know, Microsoft should,

01:27:21   this is what Microsoft should be doing,

01:27:23   but they're not for various reasons.

01:27:26   And I think more than anything, it's a sign of the times,

01:27:31   not that Apple and IBM are working together,

01:27:35   but that there's a major enterprise partnership

01:27:38   that does not involve Microsoft at all.

01:27:40   That should be scary to them.

01:27:42   And not just the partnership, but that the landscape is changing in a way that such a

01:27:48   partnership could exist without Microsoft at all.

01:27:51   Exactly.

01:27:52   Because even if Microsoft weren't involved at the enterprise sales level, it still, up

01:27:57   until very recently, still would have implicitly meant everybody who was getting one of the

01:28:03   devices was getting a Windows PC.

01:28:07   And the custom app...

01:28:08   An office license.

01:28:09   custom app that was being written would be a Windows app.

01:28:13   - Exactly.

01:28:13   - And, or at the very least would be an app

01:28:17   that runs on Windows, 'cause maybe a small part

01:28:19   of the trend over the last decade has been web apps,

01:28:22   you know, even in the enterprise.

01:28:24   But of course, you know, Windows isn't cut off from that.

01:28:26   - Right, and all those web apps usually run

01:28:28   in IE and these businesses.

01:28:29   - Right, but once you're talking about iOS apps,

01:28:32   now you're talking about something where Microsoft

01:28:34   is just completely out of the loop.

01:28:37   - Yeah, they're cut out.

01:28:38   They are completely irrelevant to to the solutions that it like any any any product or solution that Apple and IBM will work on together

01:28:46   Will almost certainly not involve anything from Microsoft at all

01:28:49   It will almost certainly only serve to make Microsoft stuff irrelevant and unnecessary

01:28:54   Yeah, like I said before this

01:28:57   I think this is all upside for Apple and every additional every time this works and IBM makes one of these deals that gets iPads

01:29:04   And iPhones into an enterprise. It's all

01:29:06   Upside for Apple its iPhones and iPads they will they will sell now that they wouldn't have sold before

01:29:11   Maybe it'll be a huge increase

01:29:13   Maybe it'll be like, you know 5% increase in iPad and iPhone sales six seven eight percent

01:29:20   I don't know. Maybe it'll be small maybe one percent but everyone that sold is upside but at the same time it's almost

01:29:25   Probable that everyone is a loss for Microsoft right because these are all tasks that

01:29:33   Microsoft stuff was was mostly it was almost all used for before all right, maybe with the phones

01:29:38   It's not because Microsoft never really had a big phone thing

01:29:41   But people are now using their phones for things

01:29:44   They previously used to have to use a laptop for it and certainly anything that you use an iPad for in these situations

01:29:49   Is something that would have otherwise been a Windows PC. Yeah. Oh, definitely

01:29:53   And I think that's that's really really a big deal

01:29:58   Yeah, this is this is probably one of those things where you know in a year

01:30:03   we're gonna we will have forgotten about it but then like in five years we might

01:30:07   look back on this and say oh that that was the start of a big shift yeah and I

01:30:12   think we'll probably see it like me and you don't enter the enterprise at all

01:30:16   physically I don't know let us in at this point yeah I don't think so even if

01:30:22   we wanted to we couldn't get it all right we would encounter it in as

01:30:26   slides and a Tim Cook keynote instead of instead of talking about what

01:30:31   percentage of fortune 500 are using iOS devices it's gonna switch to something

01:30:37   like percentage of mobile devices in fortune 500 company right that because

01:30:44   that's something they've never talked about but if that becomes a sizable

01:30:47   number that could be huge all right like even if Apple just gets 20 percent 20

01:30:53   percent of all mobile devices in fortune 500 companies that's enormous because

01:30:57   Because it's also almost certainly the most expensive 20% of the mobile devices in the

01:31:02   Fortune 500 company.

01:31:03   Almost certainly.

01:31:04   And that's how Apple – that's exactly how Apple's come to dominate the revenue

01:31:09   and profits in the consumer and in the consumer side of the market is just by taking the 20%

01:31:14   where the most money is.

01:31:15   Yeah, it seems to be working well so far.

01:31:17   It's a pretty good strategy.

01:31:19   All right.

01:31:20   I wanted to keep this show short.

01:31:21   So let's wrap it up.

01:31:23   All right.

01:31:24   Anything else you wanted to talk about?

01:31:25   Anything else on your mind this week?

01:31:26   Nah, I'm just trying to get through now 1147 emails.

01:31:31   So what was the count for the episode?

01:31:32   I think about 60, something like that.

01:31:34   And the good thing is for the listeners that because of the way that both of us talk, I

01:31:43   would expect this episode to be about 45 minutes shorter in Overcast.

01:31:48   I think we're going to have to split it in two, but you'll still save the 45 minutes

01:31:53   as you get through both episodes.

01:31:54   You're gonna really boost the the smart speed total stats with this episode

01:31:58   We're gonna go to find out more the website is

01:32:05   overcast

01:32:08   FM. Yep. All right, the Twitter account is

01:32:11   Overcast FM. Yep, and of course you are at

01:32:17   Marco dot org. That's right

01:32:20   Marco Armentz on on Twitter

01:32:23   you can save save five characters and you're just Marco on what was the other

01:32:31   thing we were using for Twitter oh yeah app.net yeah is that still up I really

01:32:37   wanted that to work but I think it was hopeless from the start honestly I think

01:32:41   it had it had a good run like it had a longer run than I expected for it but

01:32:45   you guys had a great dissection post-mortem and sadly I think

01:32:49   I think post-mortem is the right word on ATP about it.

01:32:53   And that it's, it was, I think it was sort of a,

01:32:55   and you know, and you can apply,

01:32:58   you can circle back to what we were talking about

01:33:00   with free apps and paid apps and stuff like that.

01:33:02   But there's something about a social network

01:33:03   where pay first was just never gonna work.

01:33:07   And never got to critical pass.

01:33:09   - It's very hard for a social network

01:33:11   to have something else created that is extremely similar

01:33:15   to one that's already successful

01:33:17   to have that new one take off.

01:33:18   Like it has to be, like app.net was not different enough

01:33:22   from Twitter.

01:33:23   And I know, they thought they were,

01:33:25   but the product that most people saw wasn't.

01:33:28   - Yeah, you know that's a common problem

01:33:30   when you're on the inside of a product or service

01:33:32   is that you're so intimately familiar with it

01:33:35   that you can, you sense in your bones

01:33:38   that you're different enough to matter.

01:33:40   But if that, but, and you're right, I'll bet they're right.

01:33:44   I think that they're 100% right

01:33:45   that they were different enough to matter.

01:33:47   But sadly, it wasn't different enough in a way that was obvious from the outside.

01:33:53   And so thus to everybody else, it didn't matter.

01:33:55   Yeah, exactly.

01:33:56   It's a very common problem though.

01:33:59   Yeah.

01:34:00   And you keep yelling to yourself in your head, "No, look, it's like YouTube for dog videos.

01:34:03   It's totally different than YouTube."

01:34:06   And everyone's like, "Well, why don't we just put our dog videos on YouTube?"

01:34:09   Yeah.

01:34:10   It's exactly the same problem.

01:34:12   Well, and part of it, like you could build weird other apps that were built on the app

01:34:17   infrastructure that you could never build on Twitter, but--

01:34:20   - Correct, yeah.

01:34:21   But that was all stuff that was not only added later,

01:34:24   but also stuff that was just, it just never got a foothold.

01:34:26   It wasn't really addressing pressing needs

01:34:29   that a lot of people had, and the whole model of like,

01:34:31   having to pay for an account for so long

01:34:33   before they had the free thing.

01:34:34   - Yeah, it never gave people a reason to sign up for it,

01:34:37   and it never gave the people who did sign up

01:34:39   a reason to keep using it.

01:34:41   - And it never gave developers enough of a reason

01:34:43   to require it to build those cool promised apps on it.

01:34:48   Like the cost of requiring it was so high

01:34:51   because you then have all your customers

01:34:53   who had then get App.net accounts.

01:34:55   Like that was a big burden to place on those apps

01:34:59   so that very few apps ever got made for it

01:35:02   that were compelling.

01:35:04   And by the time they came out, it was too late.

01:35:06   - Yeah, I think so.

01:35:07   Yeah, I think their best chance at that point

01:35:09   was if Twitter had imploded in terms of,

01:35:13   you know, like the way that there was like the sense

01:35:15   that Twitter was really burning all of the bridges

01:35:18   with third party app developers.

01:35:21   Like if let's say Twitter just completely pulled the plug

01:35:23   on third party APIs and it was used

01:35:26   the official Twitter client or don't use Twitter at all.

01:35:29   There's a chance that some number of us

01:35:31   might have switched a lot of our daily chitter chatter

01:35:35   to app.net because--

01:35:36   - Nah, we still wouldn't.

01:35:37   I think it would take a bigger implosion than that.

01:35:40   Like I think if Twitter did what Facebook does now

01:35:43   with their timelines where Facebook like you can't,

01:35:47   I don't--

01:35:48   - Well combine it with nuking the third party APIs.

01:35:52   They nuke the third party APIs

01:35:53   and the reason they nuke the third party APIs

01:35:55   is they wanna do Facebook like things with the feed.

01:35:59   - Right, where like they don't show you everything

01:36:01   that you want to be seeing.

01:36:03   - And they show you things you don't want to see.

01:36:05   - Right, and that way they can then go

01:36:07   to business accounts and say,

01:36:08   oh, even though you've earned a million followers

01:36:11   based on your merit and people who want to hear from you,

01:36:14   we're only gonna show about 10% of them what you post

01:36:17   unless you pay us.

01:36:18   That's what Facebook does.

01:36:20   And yeah, and it confuses the crap out of people on Facebook

01:36:24   but they don't care 'cause Facebook was never

01:36:26   a great place to follow what was being posted.

01:36:28   If Twitter did something like that,

01:36:31   that fundamentally changes the way the product works,

01:36:35   then that might anger enough people like us to leave.

01:36:39   But it would take some, but even that,

01:36:42   like even that example might not be enough.

01:36:44   You have to like really do something majorly

01:36:48   messing up your product and permanently

01:36:49   messing up your product before enough people

01:36:52   would leave to make a difference.

01:36:54   - Well, I think there was a time, you know,

01:36:56   a year ago where it seemed like Twitter

01:36:57   might have been not teetering on the edge of that,

01:37:00   but maybe looking longingly in that direction

01:37:03   and stroking their collective chin and thinking, hmm, maybe.

01:37:08   - I still wouldn't put it past them.

01:37:10   I mean, Twitter, like, God knows what Twitter

01:37:13   will do next month.

01:37:14   Like, it's always, it's such a crap shoe.

01:37:17   Their leadership has been so--

01:37:18   - Eratic. - Tumultuous.

01:37:19   Yeah, and erratic is a great word for it.

01:37:21   It's like, you never know what Twitter's gonna do.

01:37:24   They've always had this great product that was,

01:37:28   that could be made into a much more monetizable product

01:37:31   by ruining it.

01:37:32   And so far they've kind of walked the line

01:37:34   of trying to only minimally ruin it.

01:37:37   And they fundamentally don't understand their own value.

01:37:41   - Nope, and they also don't,

01:37:42   I think they also fundamentally don't value

01:37:44   their own employees, because there are some great people

01:37:48   working at Twitter, you know,

01:37:49   people who have been working there and have left.

01:37:52   People who I know are still there on the design teams

01:37:55   who are, you know, just have great track records,

01:37:58   and clearly aren't being,

01:38:00   you know, listen to and aren't given enough authority

01:38:05   over the direction of product.

01:38:08   - Yeah, I'm shocked at how that company continues

01:38:12   to operate given how badly it seems to be led

01:38:16   most of the time.

01:38:16   - Yeah, I totally agree.

01:38:19   Longest wrap up ever.

01:38:22   - Yeah, right?

01:38:24   - Now I might as well just tack on the ATP theme song.

01:38:28   - Well, then we can talk for another 45 minutes

01:38:30   afterwards. Exactly. I think my single favorite tweet I saw today about Overcast was somebody,

01:38:37   I don't know who it was, but somebody sent you a fake screenshot where there's a setting

01:38:42   where you can set how long the fast forward goes. And they said, "I thought it would have

01:38:49   been like this." And it says 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 60 seconds, and then the last option

01:38:55   is however long the ATP theme song is.

01:38:57   (laughing)

01:38:59   Ah, that was the tweeted thing.

01:39:01   - That was very good.

01:39:02   - God, I gotta look it up and put it in the show notes.

01:39:05   - I think I retweeted it,

01:39:05   so you can probably find it there.

01:39:06   - All right, I will find it there.

01:39:07   Thank you, Marco Arment.

01:39:08   You've been quadruply kind with your time.

01:39:13   - Anytime.

01:39:13   - All right, good luck with the overcast.

01:39:16   - Thanks.

01:39:17   - All right, I'm hitting stop.

01:39:19   You are a saint.

01:39:20   We should never be allowed to podcast together.