The Talk Show

293: ‘I’m More of a Porkins Guy’, With Anil Dash


00:00:00   How am I supposed to ruin my life as a middle-aged man right now?

00:00:03   The way it's manifesting for me is a truly bizarre time compression.

00:00:12   Yeah, I naturally have a pretty good sense of time.

00:00:14   Like, when I would do a talk on stage and maybe it's a 20-minute slot,

00:00:18   I can hit 18 minutes in my head and I know what it is.

00:00:20   So I got a pretty good internal clock.

00:00:22   And yet, I don't know what day it is.

00:00:25   And I don't know what-- I have to look up at the menu bar to be--

00:00:30   I definitely know the month plan.

00:00:32   You know what I mean?

00:00:33   And that's so, so--

00:00:36   it's just such a loss of grounding.

00:00:37   It's a loss of grounding in that short term of what day is it, what--

00:00:43   and everybody's going through it.

00:00:44   It's clearly shared.

00:00:46   And yet, at the same time, it's really exacerbating that sort of longer term--

00:00:52   wait, really?

00:00:53   It's 20 years since I started talking to Emile about stuff and reading his blog?

00:00:59   Yeah.

00:01:00   And we'll get into it in a moment.

00:01:02   I want to talk about it because it's the 25-year anniversary of Windows 95.

00:01:05   And you wrote about it.

00:01:07   And it's like-- I mean, it's natural.

00:01:10   We're mid-40s.

00:01:11   And it's like, yeah, we do remember stuff from 25 years ago.

00:01:14   And we were enthusiasts in the community.

00:01:16   And I remember-- I didn't get in line because I didn't have a Windows PC.

00:01:19   But I certainly remember reading about people getting in line

00:01:22   to buy Windows 95.

00:01:23   And it's like, you remember this stuff.

00:01:25   And a lot of the people-- not like I have the youngest demographic.

00:01:30   But I do realize there are--

00:01:32   The kids.

00:01:32   They love you.

00:01:33   There are people listening.

00:01:35   And I do hear from them.

00:01:36   And whenever I make jokes, they often write to me and say, no, I'm 18.

00:01:41   And I love your podcast and whatever.

00:01:43   And I'm so glad.

00:01:44   It makes me feel like I'm doing something right.

00:01:45   I definitely shouldn't have an audience completely--

00:01:49   You're relevant.

00:01:50   You're pertinent.

00:01:52   You know, I don't TikTok.

00:01:54   But I know how to spell it.

00:01:56   Oh, I would pay cash money to watch John Gruber on TikTok.

00:02:00   Yeah, I don't know.

00:02:00   I want to see you do a lot of dances that's mostly your arms.

00:02:03   Yeah.

00:02:03   That's really-- that's what I think is your strong suit.

00:02:05   I have exactly as much rhythm as I look like I have.

00:02:10   All right.

00:02:11   All right.

00:02:12   So I just-- I'm old-fashioned.

00:02:13   I feel like when-- this is what old guys say, right?

00:02:16   Which is when I was young.

00:02:18   I feel like when I was young, people would dance by moving their hips or their legs.

00:02:21   But that's not-- that doesn't fit in frame in a vertical video.

00:02:25   So it's just like dances are just-- it's just from the elbows up.

00:02:28   Yeah, that's me.

00:02:30   Sorry.

00:02:35   A little off time.

00:02:35   No, but it's-- there's just a sense of-- there's another thing that somebody-- we're

00:02:45   going to talk-- another thing on my show notes to talk about later is somebody's observation

00:02:51   that Mosaic happened 10 years after the Macintosh debuted.

00:02:56   And there's a part of me that is like, no.

00:03:01   So we're talking about the App Store-- unlike most episodes of my show, this one sort of

00:03:08   has an index.

00:03:09   All right.

00:03:11   All right.

00:03:11   We got subjects.

00:03:12   We got topics.

00:03:12   Or an index comes at the end.

00:03:14   I guess a table of contents.

00:03:15   But we're talking about the App Store 12 years into the iPhone era, right?

00:03:22   And we all sort of have this timeline burned into this-- or 13 years, I guess, into the

00:03:28   iPhone era, but 12 years into the App Store era.

00:03:31   And OK, that's 12, 13 years.

00:03:35   And here's where we are.

00:03:36   Things have changed.

00:03:37   And that's sort of the shifting of the whole world underfoot is sort of where everything

00:03:43   is in conflict now, right?

00:03:44   Plates have shifted.

00:03:45   And now there's fault lines that are exposed.

00:03:48   And all right, historical context, Mosaic and graphical user interface web browsing

00:03:55   came 10 years after the original Macintosh.

00:03:58   And it's like, no, that doesn't make sense, that that was only 10 years to go all the

00:04:02   way from a black and white 9-inch computer with--

00:04:06   That's so interesting because I think of it as, oh, was it that long?

00:04:09   Because I have this time compression.

00:04:10   And this is, I think, seeing the point about everything is through this sort of funhouse

00:04:15   mirror of either that had to have been much longer or much less, right?

00:04:17   So you're feeling it's much less.

00:04:19   I'm like, oh, those are of a moment to me.

00:04:23   Those are connected.

00:04:24   That's still when every day I was downloading new software and trying new things.

00:04:28   So I feel like there's a straight line.

00:04:30   My first view of the web was on Next, where it was born, and that was probably in '93,

00:04:36   '94.

00:04:37   And I was using the app called World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee's first app.

00:04:41   And that was very much-- and that was actually the first time I had access to a Next computer.

00:04:46   It was in a university computer lab.

00:04:48   Like, they were way too rich for my blood.

00:04:51   I literally could see one in a magazine.

00:04:53   That was about it.

00:04:54   But that was the access to the machine.

00:04:56   But to me, that was also what I think a lot of the perception still was.

00:05:00   This is the next Apple, right?

00:05:02   Like Jobs explicitly called it Next, right?

00:05:05   This is the next big thing.

00:05:06   And Next is the next Apple.

00:05:07   And so this is my view, just like the first time I saw a Mac at a friend's house.

00:05:11   Again, too rich for my blood, but I could go and use one.

00:05:15   I think it was exactly that sense of this is the next computer.

00:05:18   So I saw this very much as the era of there's still new stuff.

00:05:21   And actually, all the way up until Windows 95, there was new stuff.

00:05:24   And I think after that, it was like, oh, we're just going to have software in our lives.

00:05:27   They're not going to have-- well, you go from a black and white computer or a color computer.

00:05:31   Like, very obviously an upgrade, like color TV was.

00:05:35   And when you went from a standalone computer to a connected computer that's on the internet,

00:05:41   that's very obviously an upgrade.

00:05:42   But after that, it was just like improvements in kind.

00:05:45   It wasn't here's a new category of thing to have on your desk.

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00:08:19   So we were talking about that.

00:08:21   You were talking about that, whether you think it was a long time from the original Mac to

00:08:27   Netscape.

00:08:28   I think it was a long time in my mind because to me, those early Macs in that 1984, '85,

00:08:36   I didn't see-- I forget how old I was when I first saw a Mac, but probably not until

00:08:40   like '86, '87 maybe in school.

00:08:43   But I'd read about it.

00:08:46   And this is also so bizarre that I felt like when I did first get my hands on one, I felt

00:08:53   a lot more familiar than I had any right to be because I had vacuumed issues of Macworld

00:09:00   magazine into my head without ever having seen a Macintosh, even in a store.

00:09:05   But that's pretty normal.

00:09:07   I think the '80s in context, not just for computers, but everything.

00:09:10   You would vicariously get something through a magazine or through reading the newspaper,

00:09:16   and that was your only consumption of it.

00:09:18   So you don't have a DVR, let alone video on demand or whatever, then you either watch

00:09:24   the TV show live or you would read a magazine writing about a TV show that had happened

00:09:30   in the past that you could never see again.

00:09:32   And so this is your only lens on culture.

00:09:37   And I'm very distinctly-- I was a kid and we went for a good while.

00:09:40   We visited India and totally offline and no electricity and no running water.

00:09:44   You come back and just reading magazines, I wonder what happened in these interceding

00:09:49   months in the world.

00:09:50   And the world for me was what's the latest Michael Jackson video or whatever.

00:09:55   What was this movie Top Gun about?

00:09:59   And that was it.

00:10:00   And so you could consume all of culture this way.

00:10:02   And computers were no different because that was the way to find out.

00:10:06   Again, no app store.

00:10:09   There's software and you should try it.

00:10:12   And a reviewer has told you authoritatively, this is what you do.

00:10:15   So that was, I think, a completely reasonable way to form an opinion of and get familiar

00:10:20   with a computer or any kind of technology.

00:10:24   And I definitely-- I mean, I read-- I remember reading the manual to the Commodore 64 before

00:10:30   we had one.

00:10:30   We had a VIC-20.

00:10:31   And we went to-- they had computer clubs back in the day.

00:10:34   And we would meet in some community center room at the mall.

00:10:38   And there were guys that had Commodore 64s, which we then knew.

00:10:42   And I didn't have one.

00:10:43   And they were like, oh, we got an extra manual.

00:10:45   You can buy a manual.

00:10:46   And it was probably like $4 or something.

00:10:47   And they were big-- computer manuals were like an inch, two inches thick.

00:10:51   And I read it.

00:10:52   I didn't have the computer it was for.

00:10:54   Because you're like, this is fan fiction about a device I would like to own someday.

00:10:59   That was me.

00:11:01   So I've told this story before, but it's so good and so informative that I feel like I

00:11:08   cannot tell it enough.

00:11:09   I didn't own a personal computer growing up.

00:11:12   Because-- and I had a lot of friends who had trouble getting one too.

00:11:16   And all of my friends, the basic story was that their parents didn't want to spend all

00:11:20   that money on a computer.

00:11:22   And you're never going to use it, or you're only going to use it for games.

00:11:26   And my parents' argument was, if we buy you a computer, you're never going to leave the

00:11:35   house.

00:11:37   And they were right.

00:11:38   And they were right.

00:11:39   It's very-- it is.

00:11:41   And it was so maddening.

00:11:43   Because I'm like, I cannot believe that this is the reason you won't buy me this thing

00:11:48   that I desperately want is that you think I'll use it too much?

00:11:51   Yes, that's exactly right.

00:11:53   And in hindsight, I don't know.

00:11:55   Like, there was a long time where I was very angry about this.

00:11:57   And that continues to this point.

00:12:01   But we did have-- we had an Atari 2600.

00:12:03   It wasn't like we were a Luddite family.

00:12:06   We had the 2600, which I loved and played obsessively.

00:12:11   And I had access to computers at schools.

00:12:13   But there was also this huge divide, even at the time.

00:12:21   Like, the 2600, I think, was maybe like $100, $120.

00:12:28   Yeah, yeah, yeah.

00:12:29   It was like famously $89, I think, was their big price cut for Christmas or something.

00:12:33   You know, and in a way that it hasn't changed 25 or more, I guess, right?

00:12:40   Yeah, almost 40 years.

00:12:40   It's almost 40 years later.

00:12:42   The games were expensive.

00:12:43   The cartridges were very expensive relative to the cost of the game.

00:12:49   And then towards the tail end of the 2600 era, at the time when a million ET cartridges

00:12:57   were being secretly buried in the ground--

00:12:59   [LAUGHTER]

00:13:02   --dumped in a hole in the ground somewhere, just buried in a ravine.

00:13:06   Other companies had backwards engineered the format.

00:13:11   And you could get off-brand Atari games from a company you'd never heard of for $5.

00:13:16   And it would be like-- did you have Boscov's?

00:13:19   I know you're from Pennsylvania.

00:13:20   Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

00:13:21   I grew up outside of Harrisburg.

00:13:22   And we definitely-- yeah, Boscov's.

00:13:24   So sure, they had the clearance bin.

00:13:25   And they had to--

00:13:26   Yeah.

00:13:26   Yeah, yeah, the generic store brand Atari cartridge.

00:13:30   Yeah, so Boscov started in Redding, Pennsylvania, where I'm from.

00:13:34   So we had like four--

00:13:36   The pride of Redding.

00:13:37   Yeah, the pride of Redding.

00:13:37   We had four Boscov's.

00:13:39   Amy's grandmother knew Albert Boscov.

00:13:42   It had not occurred to me that, of course, there would be a Boscov family.

00:13:47   Oh, yeah, Albert Boscov.

00:13:49   Yeah.

00:13:49   Sure.

00:13:49   Yeah, and he's exactly what you think.

00:13:52   He's-- I don't know if he was from Russia exactly, but he was an--

00:13:55   Or the immigrant.

00:13:56   Yeah, he was an immigrant and started a store and employed half of them.

00:14:00   And then Amazon killed it.

00:14:01   Yeah.

00:14:01   That's the American dream.

00:14:04   But Boscov's-- I mean, again, it's like there's a very small segment of the audience who's

00:14:09   like screaming like, yeah, Boscov's!

00:14:11   Yeah.

00:14:12   And everybody else is like--

00:14:13   There used to be department stores.

00:14:14   It's a department store.

00:14:15   Boscov's is still around.

00:14:17   I don't-- I think I'm sure it's a shell of its former self.

00:14:19   But Boscov's was a weird department store where they were-- how would you describe it?

00:14:26   It wasn't a discount store.

00:14:28   It wasn't--

00:14:28   No, it was actually-- I think it was supposed to be like a sort of a little bit of prestige,

00:14:32   premium.

00:14:32   It wasn't quite like Macy's or whatever.

00:14:34   Right.

00:14:34   It was trying to be-- I think central Pennsylvania did not lend itself to Macy's for a lot of

00:14:40   reasons culturally and economically.

00:14:42   But they were like aspirational.

00:14:44   And they were early on, we're going to have technology.

00:14:47   We're going to have-- at that time, it was component stereos and high-fi and whatever.

00:14:52   But then definitely, yeah, they had a computer section.

00:14:55   Yeah.

00:14:56   And they-- I'm going to say it was roughly JC-- it was regional, but JC Penney's tier

00:15:02   prestige-wise.

00:15:04   But also had weird stuff.

00:15:08   Their toy department was-- at least ours was massive compared to what you would expect

00:15:13   at a store.

00:15:14   Oh, yeah, yeah.

00:15:15   I got all my Transformers there.

00:15:16   And they had Atari cartridges at the tail end that didn't even come in a box.

00:15:21   They were in just like a sandwich bag.

00:15:25   You had loose cartridges?

00:15:26   Yeah, well, they were in a--

00:15:27   That sounds very illicit.

00:15:29   They were in a sandwich bag with a piece of cardboard on top stapled and then just hung

00:15:35   on pegboard.

00:15:36   That sounds bootleg.

00:15:38   That sounds like you had a-- that's like drug dealer game cartridges.

00:15:42   Maybe, but you could get them cheap.

00:15:44   And they definitely-- I think there was something fishy.

00:15:47   But that was exciting, right?

00:15:48   That's--

00:15:49   Wow, yeah, yeah.

00:15:49   No, that sounds-- I mean, that's so scandalous.

00:15:52   It would feel like you're getting away with something.

00:15:54   I mean, this is what I love is the idea-- and this sort of goes to the App Store point

00:15:57   is software was a physical thing in our lives.

00:15:59   It was a box on the software.

00:16:01   It was apparently a baggie at the store.

00:16:03   A baggie, yeah.

00:16:04   But that is so-- my gosh, it's depraved.

00:16:08   I just love how-- that definitely feels like the kid at school in the corner of the playground

00:16:14   opens up his coat and slides out a video game cartridge and don't tell anybody.

00:16:19   That seems like how you're getting your cartridge.

00:16:21   But then you talked about ET.

00:16:23   And so this is a famous story.

00:16:24   People can Google it.

00:16:25   But they overcreated.

00:16:27   They made too many of these cartridges for this game that wasn't very good.

00:16:30   And then they buried them in the desert.

00:16:32   I think The Verge did a story on this.

00:16:34   And the thing I love about this is imagine you make an app and it doesn't succeed, and

00:16:41   lots of them don't.

00:16:42   And you have to live with-- they will physically take the remains of your app and bury it in

00:16:47   the desert.

00:16:47   Like, that's so much more final than just the, like, you check your app sales charts

00:16:53   and, oh, I only moved three copies today.

00:16:54   And I guess I'm not going to make it go with this.

00:16:56   Like, what such a definitive failure where they're like, we have to hide your shame in

00:17:01   a hole in the ground.

00:17:02   But in a sense, though, yeah, that's interesting, right?

00:17:06   Like, wouldn't you feel better if, like, Movable Type 4.0 or 5.0 was somewhere and there were

00:17:13   a million copies in the desert?

00:17:14   There was something-- you know what I mean?

00:17:16   Yeah, yeah.

00:17:17   Yeah, I mean, the stuff that I was doing, like, 15, 20 years ago, there's some tangible artifacts

00:17:22   of, and it's like-- but it's like, schwag.

00:17:24   It's like, oh, we had a USB memory stick or something, or we had a t-shirt or something.

00:17:28   Right.

00:17:29   But I definitely-- you know, I still hold on to-- at Glitch, we redid our office, and

00:17:36   we had a conference room.

00:17:37   And I put up-- we have a box of the original HyperCard, which was a huge influence on Glitch.

00:17:43   We have the original Windows 95 CD-ROM.

00:17:46   We have Myst on CD-ROM, like, all these different sort of classic Lotus 1, 2, 3, you know, physicalc.

00:17:52   What I would think of as sort of the canon of software, and I got the physical copies.

00:17:56   And then I wanted-- one of the later ones I wanted to add was Portal, the video game,

00:18:01   you know, from Valve.

00:18:02   And I was like, oh, you know, can we get-- because it got most of the stuff off of eBay,

00:18:08   and it's actually not-- it is not at all expensive to collect vintage software, as it turns out.

00:18:12   And our-- you know, my coworker was like, oh, we can't get Portal.

00:18:18   And I was like, oh, why not?

00:18:19   Like, why don't we-- and he's like, it was never

00:18:22   released on a CD in a box.

00:18:24   But it was-- had to be, like, Orange-- he's like, there's a bundle with, like,

00:18:27   10 other games, like, in a clearance bin.

00:18:29   But, like, there is no package for it.

00:18:31   And I was like, oh, that must have been just after the end.

00:18:33   And obviously, the company that makes Steam is going to be, you know,

00:18:36   the one that's going to be the first to move to digital.

00:18:37   But it was such a-- I was like, oh, that's the first step into Too Late for there being

00:18:43   a physical artifact to software.

00:18:45   Because I loved-- you know, I was that kid when, as a music fan, reading the liner notes

00:18:49   on every album, and I loved that feel with software.

00:18:52   Like, on the old Microsoft packages, they would have the floppy disks in a little plastic

00:18:58   bag that had, like, a perforation on it that was incredibly satisfying.

00:19:01   Like, it got the feel that, like, unboxing something really great does, you know, these

00:19:05   days, where they really-- I don't think it was intentional back then.

00:19:08   But they just had gotten this, like, the tactile feel of what you do to unleash this product

00:19:13   was really gratifying.

00:19:14   And that was such an interesting thing.

00:19:17   Because that obviously was a lost art by the time it was just, like, we'll throw a CD in

00:19:20   a regular JUUL case or evidently throw a cartridge in a baggie.

00:19:24   Yeah, it was just sort of like, well, we have to give it to you on a disk.

00:19:27   Because there's no other way to deliver this many-- you know, what are you going to do,

00:19:31   suck this down on a 56K modem?

00:19:33   So we have to give you-- we have to give you a couple of disks.

00:19:37   Here you go.

00:19:38   You know, and they're just the pure-- you know.

00:19:42   Well, my Boscov story is this, is that-- so we were a 2600 family.

00:19:48   I had friends with Apple IIs.

00:19:50   Our school had Apple IIs.

00:19:51   I was very familiar with the Apple II platform.

00:19:54   And that's desperately what I wanted.

00:19:56   But I had friends with Commodores.

00:19:57   I had friends with-- I mean, again, the idea that there was a-- it just seems so natural

00:20:04   that there were so many completely rival computing platforms-- Texas Instruments, the Trash

00:20:10   Aid-- and in fact, it was not likely you would know somebody else with the same system as

00:20:16   you.

00:20:16   Like, I had one friend who had a Commodore.

00:20:18   And everybody else was.

00:20:19   Like you said, there was a TI-99-4A, and there was an Apple II.

00:20:23   And it was like you had some stuff in common, but no interoperability whatsoever.

00:20:27   Other than basic, right, is that you could get like a magazine-- you could get a magazine

00:20:32   with a basic program you could type in, and it would probably work exactly as is on like

00:20:37   a Commodore and an Apple.

00:20:40   You didn't have to be a programming whiz to figure out if there was like maybe one thing

00:20:44   that you had to change.

00:20:45   Like, oh, that-- but for the most part, it was the same.

00:20:48   But--

00:20:48   I had a piece I was working on comparing today's app stores to what the experience was in 1984,

00:20:56   say.

00:20:56   And the idea of getting your parents' car, ride to a bookstore, which is a thing, go

00:21:04   to the newsstand, go through the newsstand and find the magazine for your type of computer,

00:21:10   because there was a different variant, right?

00:21:12   Then read the articles, flip to the back, and pages and pages and pages of essentially

00:21:19   machine code.

00:21:19   And then transcribe it with no errors, typing in multiple pages of completely abstract code

00:21:25   for usually a few days, and then compile, and it's a bug.

00:21:29   It's wrong.

00:21:29   You typed something wrong.

00:21:31   Then spend a weekend debugging it.

00:21:33   Then get it all working.

00:21:34   And if all that works, all that week of prep that you had spent works, you get this little

00:21:40   game, little app, and you're like, OK, that's fine.

00:21:42   That's it.

00:21:43   And it's impossible.

00:21:45   You would not believe it if it hadn't happened.

00:21:48   It is absurd to believe.

00:21:49   And then just every aspect of that is this completely tenuous, fragile thing that you're

00:21:56   just like, please let this work.

00:21:57   Please let this work.

00:21:58   Right.

00:22:01   And sometimes you could get a clear-- you might get a clear error, like syntax error

00:22:07   line 40.

00:22:07   Oh, yeah.

00:22:09   That was a blessing.

00:22:09   But you could just get something just plain dead silence.

00:22:12   Yeah.

00:22:13   Because I don't know what happened.

00:22:14   Just I don't know.

00:22:15   Yeah.

00:22:15   I have no idea where it went wrong.

00:22:17   And you just typed in three pages of stuff, and you've just got to kind of eyeball it

00:22:21   between this screen in front of you and a magazine.

00:22:23   Yeah.

00:22:25   It's like, no, I think I'm going to go back to getting hit by my older brother.

00:22:28   That was better.

00:22:28   Right.

00:22:29   But this is bad.

00:22:31   The 1984 Mac, which of course I wanted, but which I just wanted to see even, was $2,500

00:22:37   in 1984 dollars, which is like a million dollars in today's dollars.

00:22:43   Yeah.

00:22:44   I'm no inflation calculator, but that sounds right.

00:22:45   They didn't sell things like that at Boscov's.

00:22:48   You couldn't go.

00:22:49   It wasn't a consumer device.

00:22:50   No, no.

00:22:51   That was a special thing.

00:22:52   Right.

00:22:52   But they did have stuff at Boscov's like other rival home computer things.

00:22:59   Like the Coleco vision or Intellivision.

00:23:03   My uncle had--

00:23:04   And there was a category in between sort of game console and real computer, where they

00:23:08   had kind of a crappy keyboard, but it would do a little bit of both.

00:23:11   Yeah.

00:23:12   But the one I remember desperately-- and God, this is-- and it's the black hole that maybe--

00:23:17   I might have to wait till I'm retired, because if I start going down this hole now, a daring

00:23:21   fireball will collapse upon itself is collecting vintage computer stuff.

00:23:26   Oh, God.

00:23:27   But the one that I loved was the Vectrex.

00:23:30   Do you remember this?

00:23:32   Yeah, that was a narrow-- I mean, I remember it.

00:23:34   But it was a visual-- this makes sense.

00:23:36   It was visually interesting.

00:23:37   So that must have really spoken to you.

00:23:40   I did the math, by the way.

00:23:41   It's $6,220 for an original Mac.

00:23:45   Right.

00:23:45   So think about that.

00:23:46   Think about if your kid--

00:23:47   It's enormous.

00:23:48   It's a car.

00:23:49   Well, a car.

00:23:49   A car would cost that much.

00:23:50   Think about if your 11-year-old kid came up to you and said, I would like a $6,700 computer.

00:23:57   You got $6,000 lying around, son?

00:23:59   Yeah.

00:23:59   The Vectrex, for those who don't know-- and I'll put it in the show notes-- but it was

00:24:04   a self-contained-- it was sort of like the Mac of video game consoles, because you had

00:24:08   to play-- it had a built-- unlike everything else, it didn't hook up to your TV, because

00:24:12   it was vector graphics.

00:24:13   It had a screen built in.

00:24:14   Yeah, and it's a special vector graph.

00:24:15   And if you've ever seen games like the old coin-op Star Wars game, which is my favorite

00:24:20   of the genre, but Asteroids was a thing-- and instead of pixels, big fat dots on the

00:24:27   screen, it drew lines on the screen.

00:24:29   And therefore, a diagonal line would be just as straight as a horizontal or vertical line,

00:24:35   which fascinated me.

00:24:37   I mean, in retrospect, they look jaggy, but the implementation was so good.

00:24:41   And I think one of the other things, too, is the aesthetics of the early, mid-'80s.

00:24:46   Vector graphics were the symbol of the future, in a way that bitmap was not.

00:24:50   Right.

00:24:51   Now, retroactively-- which was a little bit later-- the 8-bit graphics-- the Mario icon

00:24:59   with the blocky graphics is sort of the-- that's the definitive 8-bit image, right?

00:25:05   Is that a sprite?

00:25:06   Yeah.

00:25:06   And-- but that was actually later, right?

00:25:08   If you're in 1981, '82, '83-- I think Blade Runner sort of captures this a little bit,

00:25:13   certainly, obviously, in Star Wars, like in A New Hope, and they have the vector graphics

00:25:18   drawing of the Death Star.

00:25:19   Like, that was what the future was.

00:25:22   The future was this vector-outlined, maybe solid polyshaded-- Tron was that, too.

00:25:28   And that was a symbol of futurism.

00:25:31   And so I think what you see in your graphical-- and I think Vectrex was this symbol of-- this

00:25:37   is Future Computer, not just because the screen is built in, although that obviously was also

00:25:40   Future, because the Mac did that, too.

00:25:42   But the way-- I think there was a visual language that showed fluidity, like motion, without

00:25:50   jaggies, whereas everything else was blocky as hell.

00:25:53   Yeah.

00:25:53   So I wanted to play the Vectrex so bad, and I knew I was going to get one.

00:25:59   There's no chance that my parents are going to buy me this thing.

00:26:00   Oh, god.

00:26:01   But Boscovs had one.

00:26:03   They not only sold them, they had a counter.

00:26:06   Oh, you had a demo unit.

00:26:08   Yeah, there was a demo unit.

00:26:09   But it was always a kid in front of you.

00:26:11   Sure, yeah.

00:26:11   And I just remember, I have this vivid memory of the one time there was nobody else in line

00:26:16   behind the kid who was playing.

00:26:17   And so I had-- and my mom was shopping for whatever.

00:26:20   So I had a chance.

00:26:22   If this kid in front of me would give it up, I'd have it.

00:26:24   But I had to pee.

00:26:25   Oh, yeah.

00:26:27   That's-- you hate to-- the flesh is weak.

00:26:30   Right.

00:26:30   We're mortals.

00:26:31   So I did get to play for the first time, but I had to give it up and then run-- run to

00:26:37   the restroom and sort of put a little dot in my jeans, my tough-skinned jeans, before

00:26:44   I got there and then just--

00:26:45   Wow.

00:26:45   --peed like a racehorse.

00:26:47   That's very evocative, John.

00:26:49   Thank you for sharing that story.

00:26:50   Well, that's how desperate I was.

00:26:51   That's how desperate I was for this, you know.

00:26:53   For a higher resolution display to play games on.

00:26:56   Yeah, but to my mind, that 10-year period from the mid-'80s to the mid-'90s, to me,

00:27:03   that's so long, because to me, those mid-'80s computers, including the original Mac, even

00:27:10   though the interface was so new, it was so limited in terms of storage and RAM.

00:27:16   Oh, yeah.

00:27:17   I mean, they really-- they cut every corner they could to get that all together.

00:27:20   128 kilobytes of memory, you know.

00:27:25   Discs--

00:27:26   Yeah, I mean, but even that-- I was trying to explain this.

00:27:28   I think I was saying this on Twitter the other day.

00:27:30   But again, the Big 20, it was the first computer I had.

00:27:33   There was a Commodore computer.

00:27:34   And this was one of the very early mainstream products.

00:27:38   And it had essentially 5K of RAM.

00:27:41   And I was trying to explain to somebody, a single emoji takes up 5K.

00:27:45   Like, a smiley that you have dropped in the end of an email as an emoji, that is more

00:27:51   memory than the entire computer had.

00:27:53   And people were like, that doesn't make any sense.

00:27:54   How would you put software into that?

00:27:57   Right.

00:27:58   And it's like, well, that's what you have.

00:28:00   There was a standard control in the original Mac for text edit fields.

00:28:05   And there was an app called Simple Text, or I think originally-- which was first, Teach

00:28:10   Text or Simple Text?

00:28:11   I forget.

00:28:12   I feel like Simple Text.

00:28:14   But I think I remember it wrong.

00:28:14   Yeah, I think it was Simple Text first, and then Teach Text was the renamed version.

00:28:18   But the files, they-- and that was like what a readme would be formatted on.

00:28:24   It would be a Teach Text file.

00:28:26   Because everybody had it.

00:28:27   It was the built-in text editor.

00:28:29   32 kilobytes was the maximum size of text, which was always a bit of a problem.

00:28:37   You know, like you can--

00:28:38   You had to squeeze it in there.

00:28:39   You could squeeze it in there.

00:28:40   But I had Adam Enks, the publisher of tidbits on.

00:28:46   And for a while, the size of an episode or an issue of tidbits in the early days was

00:28:52   still limited to 32 kilobytes because it needed to work.

00:28:56   Had to be able to open it up.

00:28:57   Had to be able to open it up or view it in a text field.

00:29:00   It's just-- it was sort of like those early ones.

00:29:04   They were-- your mind-- you couldn't-- your mind can't hold 128 kilobytes of 1s and 0s,

00:29:12   but you can almost imagine it, right?

00:29:14   It was like you could-- your human mind could see it and sort of hold the scope of it.

00:29:19   And by the mid-'90s, computers were so powerful, and you could have so many things

00:29:24   running at once with the megabytes of RAM that you could have installed and the 17-inch

00:29:31   displays we had at the college newspaper, which were huge.

00:29:35   And you could see so much at once.

00:29:37   And it just seemed so much more expansive than your mind, right?

00:29:41   Like it seemed like--

00:29:43   Yeah, I do think your mental capacity is this thing that, in the changeover from--

00:29:48   I think '80s computers feel a little bit analog still.

00:29:51   Yeah.

00:29:52   Right.

00:29:52   And '90s computers don't.

00:29:54   And I think what changed in that moment is obviously the graphics interfaces come in,

00:29:58   all those kinds of things.

00:29:59   But also, if you're a coder, the thing you're always trying to do is preserve state, stay

00:30:03   in the flow.

00:30:04   You're keeping the whole mental model of the app in your head, basically.

00:30:07   And when you had such limited storage and capacity and capability, you could pretty

00:30:13   reasonably keep everything that was in the computer's mind in your mind.

00:30:16   Right.

00:30:16   And then all of a sudden, sort of two things happen simultaneously.

00:30:20   One, obviously, capacity and Moore's Law and all that kind of stuff goes up really quickly.

00:30:23   But also, it's connected to everything else in the world.

00:30:25   So all of a sudden, any information can come in.

00:30:28   If you're pulling things off the internet, the nascent web, you don't know what's being

00:30:33   rendered in your software.

00:30:35   You don't know what's showing up on your device.

00:30:37   It could be anything.

00:30:38   It used to be whatever was on this floppy disk is what I am going to have to parse and

00:30:43   handle and process as data.

00:30:45   And rather, it is like arbitrary information coming from strangers on the internet is going

00:30:51   to be the thing that I have to make software and wrap around.

00:30:53   And that was such a shift in the work of the programmer, the work of the creator.

00:30:59   And I think it's actually very different then because there's still this ethos I have where

00:31:05   like, at Glitch, we make tools for people to make apps.

00:31:07   Right.

00:31:07   And I always look at a digital audio workstation.

00:31:13   What is somebody doing in Pro Tools or in GarageBand as an analog?

00:31:16   Or you look at Photoshop or Final Cut or Premiere or whatever.

00:31:20   And those are creative tools where you're still actually basically trying to keep the

00:31:25   entire state of your work in your head.

00:31:28   And for Photoshop, it's easier if it's visual.

00:31:30   If you're doing a film in Final Cut, you're probably doing a scene at a time because that's

00:31:35   about as much as you have capability for.

00:31:38   But software went from, I think in that era before the sort of modern what we think of

00:31:44   as a development environment, whether it's Xcode or Visual Studio or whatever, you were

00:31:49   maintaining state in your head of the app that you were building, of the software, the

00:31:53   tool or whatever the program you were building.

00:31:56   And then there's this big, big shift sort of post rise of the web and then post rise

00:32:00   of these, what we now would call the integrated development environment, the IDEs, is you

00:32:06   are just handling a flow of things coming towards you.

00:32:08   You're almost, you're just, it's like the Space Invaders coming down to you in the video

00:32:13   game.

00:32:13   You're just sort of fighting off whatever's coming inbound to your app.

00:32:16   Yeah.

00:32:16   And as a user, yeah.

00:32:18   And it's sort of like it was a very sudden inversion of pre-network, pre-internet, or,

00:32:26   you know, and the funnel part of the inversion where you go from the part where you were

00:32:33   desperate, where can I get more stuff from my computer?

00:32:35   Right?

00:32:37   I've mastered every...

00:32:38   Oh God, yeah, yeah, yeah, literally.

00:32:40   Because I'll go to the bookstore and type it in if I have to, but I need to get something

00:32:42   from my computer.

00:32:43   And I have all these floppy disks and I know everything.

00:32:46   I know every game.

00:32:47   I've played every game.

00:32:48   I know every program.

00:32:49   I know every file that I've got saved because I had to make it.

00:32:54   I've mastered everything on my computer.

00:32:56   Where can I get something more?

00:32:57   Right?

00:32:59   That's the one end of this funnel where it was just this, you're alone in the desert

00:33:05   looking for just one new thing to put on your computer.

00:33:08   Then there's like the BBS dial-up era where it's like all of a sudden there's a bit of

00:33:13   community and a bit of sharing.

00:33:15   And it was such a...

00:33:16   It was a trickle, but it's there.

00:33:17   But what a brief era in hindsight, right?

00:33:20   Yeah.

00:33:20   It was so obviously transitional in retrospect.

00:33:23   But at the time it felt like the world had opened up.

00:33:25   And I think this is the thing that connectivity and the internet did to every discipline over

00:33:30   and over and over.

00:33:31   We went from scarcity to abundance.

00:33:33   And there's this intermediate stage that, again, is very brief, but the time feels so eye-opening.

00:33:38   And again, I always think of music and that's sort of all my first love.

00:33:42   But the idea of you had your CD collection or your record collection and you would know

00:33:48   the album cuts you didn't even like, because that was what you had to listen to.

00:33:51   So if you're like, "I'm going to listen to whatever, Steely Dan," and you're like,

00:33:55   "This fourth song sucks, but I need to listen to it to get to the fifth song because we're

00:33:59   sequentially accessing everything."

00:34:00   So I know all the words to the song I don't even like, right?

00:34:03   And that is what happens in scarcity world.

00:34:05   Nobody is listening through a playlist if they don't like four songs in a row on it.

00:34:10   Now, in abundance land, because you can sort of push the button.

00:34:12   And that's music, but that was true for film.

00:34:14   That was true.

00:34:14   Definitely, you wore out a VHS tape of a movie.

00:34:18   It was only a B-minus to you.

00:34:20   Because you had it.

00:34:22   And then that idea with what your computer could do and what you could do to access information

00:34:28   on your computer, the BBS era and this sort of, for folks who weren't around then, it

00:34:34   sort of flowed fairly seamlessly, I think, into the AOL or Prodigy era, where there were

00:34:38   what were called dial-up services on the...

00:34:41   Actually, one of the things we were talking about, Windows 95, Microsoft did the Microsoft

00:34:44   network.

00:34:45   And there were these multiple...

00:34:47   They were like TV channels.

00:34:50   I mean, the reason today we have a cable network called MSNBC is it was launched alongside

00:34:55   MSN, the Microsoft network.

00:34:56   This dial-up service was going to have a TV component.

00:34:59   I just explained this to my son, who's 16.

00:35:03   It doesn't make any sense.

00:35:05   It doesn't make any sense.

00:35:06   And I was like, "And lo, these many years later, they kept the name."

00:35:10   They kept the name.

00:35:11   Yeah, everything's an artifact.

00:35:12   But it's an artifact of a mental model of a moment.

00:35:15   You know what I mean?

00:35:16   In 1994, it seems eminently reasonable you should have a dial-up service and a television

00:35:21   network that have the same name.

00:35:23   That makes perfect sense to you.

00:35:24   Yeah.

00:35:25   You know what I mean?

00:35:25   Because you don't know how we're going to navigate from the old world to the new.

00:35:29   So you're just guessing.

00:35:30   And I do think it's interesting.

00:35:32   We have all these artifacts around us of this connection to, "We can kind of tell what

00:35:38   it's going to be like, but we don't really know."

00:35:39   And I just really…

00:35:42   That's so fascinating to me.

00:35:44   And I think that that's actually going to the point about the App Store.

00:35:49   We're still in a scarcity model of software.

00:35:53   You're going to buy software.

00:35:54   When we went from on a floppy disk to on a CD-ROM to maybe you download it to…

00:36:01   You're probably always downloading it to it's just a service that you connect to.

00:36:06   You don't even pay for the services to sponsor ads.

00:36:08   That whole continuum…

00:36:10   I think everything happened very, very gradually and unevenly.

00:36:13   And so we didn't ever have this breakthrough moment.

00:36:15   And the rare exception is the App Store coming out, where it was so obviously punctuated.

00:36:21   And I don't know if you want to jump into that.

00:36:23   But there's so many thoughts I have about it.

00:36:25   No, not yet.

00:36:25   Not yet.

00:36:26   Hold it.

00:36:26   Hold it.

00:36:26   Yeah.

00:36:27   I'll just say this.

00:36:32   I think that with the '84 to '94 decade, it was really…

00:36:38   And maybe I'm a little biased.

00:36:40   Well, maybe not.

00:36:41   But I think it was really a business transformation.

00:36:45   Right?

00:36:46   It was work that was changed so quickly.

00:36:49   It was totally.

00:36:50   And in my…

00:36:51   Because that's who it was buying.

00:36:53   There wasn't…

00:36:54   The home market in total was nothing compared to what…

00:36:57   Companies were all in.

00:37:00   They were like, "We have to have spreadsheets.

00:37:02   We have to have word processors."

00:37:03   Right.

00:37:03   I love those early stories.

00:37:05   When you hear the story of Dan Bricklin talking about the first time…

00:37:10   He had the idea for…

00:37:12   VisiCalc.

00:37:15   VisiCalc.

00:37:16   Jeez, I was going to call it 123.

00:37:17   And I was like, "No, 123 is way too new."

00:37:20   Yeah.

00:37:21   VisiCalc.

00:37:22   And I remember the story he tells of showing it to an accountant.

00:37:25   And the accountant was just like, "You have no idea.

00:37:28   You just turned my 40-hour week into an hour."

00:37:32   He goes, "Are you serious?"

00:37:33   And he's like, "Let me…

00:37:34   It's like this is all I do is add these numbers up."

00:37:37   And he's like, "Oh, really?"

00:37:38   Yeah, it's unfathomable, the increase in productivity.

00:37:42   And how quickly everybody embraced it.

00:37:44   And my perspective…

00:37:45   All I've ever done professionally before I did during Fireball is I made websites,

00:37:50   and which of course didn't exist, couldn't have existed pre-computer.

00:37:54   Pre-web.

00:37:54   I got paid to make websites, and I did graphic design.

00:37:58   And the graphic design work I did a lot in the late 90s typically wound up in print.

00:38:04   But none of it.

00:38:07   I never once…

00:38:08   I graduated college in 1996.

00:38:11   And especially in the four years from '96 to around 2000, I did an awful lot of freelance

00:38:17   work, graphic design, professionally, and doing a lot of it like…

00:38:21   All of it really as a freelancer going into different companies.

00:38:25   I never once…

00:38:26   In hindsight, I realize this.

00:38:28   I never once encountered pre-QuarkXPress, Illustrator, Photoshop graphic design.

00:38:36   - Like physical copy of it.

00:38:38   - Never.

00:38:38   Never.

00:38:39   - Yeah.

00:38:39   - It just never…

00:38:40   In the student newspaper where I learned all this at Drexel,

00:38:44   when I first got there at '92, '93, was all Quark, Illustrator, Photoshop,

00:38:50   print out to laser printer.

00:38:52   And we didn't send…

00:38:55   Even when I left in '96, we didn't transfer the paper to the printer who printed the newspaper

00:39:00   digitally.

00:39:01   We did print out tabloid-sized things and pasteboard them up and hand them to the printer,

00:39:07   and then they photo scanned them in.

00:39:09   - Right.

00:39:09   So you had an analog output.

00:39:10   - Analog output.

00:39:11   But everything else was digital.

00:39:14   And in my professional life, I never once encountered it.

00:39:17   And in hindsight, the Macintosh only came out in 1984, and the Laser Writer was only '86.

00:39:23   So the '84 to '86 doesn't even count for revolutionizing the graphic design industry

00:39:30   because of what didn't happen yet.

00:39:32   Right?

00:39:32   So in like six years…

00:39:34   - But you were also early on that.

00:39:35   You were early to have a fully digital career.

00:39:38   You had peers that did do paste up work and physical print work.

00:39:42   - Right.

00:39:42   - And I sort of had the same experience where my first job and then later my first company

00:39:47   were basically doing technology for construction companies.

00:39:50   And then there were some exactly what you said.

00:39:52   They had gone early to getting an IBM PC, and they had whatever the spreadsheets were,

00:39:57   Lotus 1-2-3.

00:39:58   And in that era, it was like, "Okay, we're going to move to Windows, and we're going

00:40:03   to upgrade to Windows, and that's going to be a new computer and a new printer and all

00:40:06   that kind of stuff."

00:40:07   But I definitely had…

00:40:09   I mean, this is actually…

00:40:09   This is one of those things where I tell people and they just don't believe me.

00:40:12   But like…

00:40:13   So I had Mennonite companies, people who were our clients, and I sold computers to Mennonites.

00:40:21   And for people who are not in those communities, Mennonites, I think for outsiders, are

00:40:25   indistinguishable from Amish.

00:40:27   - Yeah.

00:40:27   - They wear the bonnets.

00:40:28   And definitely we had folks that had the buggies and all that kind of stuff.

00:40:35   They are plain folk.

00:40:37   But Mennonites are a little more willing to engage with the outside world in those regards

00:40:42   than Amish folks are.

00:40:43   But anyway, the first time I ever…

00:40:45   This is a true story.

00:40:46   The first time I ever in person saw an original Mac, the 128K Mac, was on the desk of a

00:40:55   Mennonite construction company in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

00:40:58   And they had bought one when it was new.

00:41:01   And they had had it all the way into…

00:41:03   By then, that point must have been '91, '92.

00:41:05   It was old.

00:41:06   But they were like, "Well, it still works.

00:41:07   We're not going to get rid of it."

00:41:09   They are plain folks.

00:41:09   They don't get rid of an implement that still works and the Mac still worked.

00:41:14   And it was so instructive because they were a very extreme example.

00:41:19   But a lot of these people were going from handwritten spreadsheets, literally, like

00:41:24   boxes on a piece of paper, to a computer.

00:41:27   And that idea of that transformation of your life, to the point about the accountant talking

00:41:34   to Dan Bricklin when he invents a spreadsheet, you are going to go from this being all you

00:41:38   do all day to a trivial task that a computer can do for you.

00:41:41   I think it's almost impossible to overstate.

00:41:45   And how jarring it must have been.

00:41:46   Now, even if you're not Amish or near Amish, if you are just a regular person growing up

00:41:51   in society, I think there's such anxiety around it.

00:41:55   And I think that's actually the point about like, while you're talking about your parents

00:41:57   being like, "We don't want you to be at the computer.

00:41:59   You're going to spend all day with it."

00:41:59   That's different than if I said I wanted a guitar.

00:42:03   My parents would not have said, "Oh, you're going to spend all day inside on the guitar."

00:42:06   Because that's an instrument.

00:42:08   That is expression.

00:42:09   That is an art form.

00:42:12   And the reason I think that there was a really common attitude in those eras, and it's not

00:42:18   so much true now because it would be absurd to be like, "Don't be on your phone."

00:42:21   But that you would say, "I don't want you to spend all day on the computer," was there

00:42:25   was a skepticism about technology as a whole.

00:42:28   And like I said, this is the era of Blade Runner, but it's also War Games, Matthew Brodrick

00:42:33   film where he starts a nuclear war with his home computer.

00:42:35   [Laughter]

00:42:35   - Shall we play a game?

00:42:37   - Exactly, right?

00:42:39   And so there's this cultural anxiety about what are these machines doing to us?

00:42:44   Are we losing our souls?

00:42:45   Which seems quaint now, right?

00:42:48   Because they were right, actually, about a lot of their concerns.

00:42:50   There are books written in '82, '83, and I'm forgetting the name of one of them, but I'll

00:42:54   send you for the show notes if I can remember.

00:42:55   But it was a fairly prominent book.

00:42:57   It was one of those, like, the thinkers of the time are writing about it.

00:43:01   Obviously, I was a child, so I wasn't thinking about the book, but I went back and looked

00:43:04   at it.

00:43:04   And they're talking about, "This is going to enable mass surveillance, and this is going

00:43:08   to displace people's jobs, and it's going to cause all these things that have come to

00:43:13   pass."

00:43:13   And so I think a lot of people had a skepticism about personal computers that was also born

00:43:22   of, keep in mind, at that point, recent history, mainframes had come from a lot of military

00:43:27   research.

00:43:27   The country was still processing Vietnam and Watergate and all this kind of stuff.

00:43:33   And so whether it's jobs, gates, like all those early guys, they were very unapologetically

00:43:39   long-haired hippies and very much like what was then called counterculture and saw themselves

00:43:45   as reacting to that.

00:43:46   And I think that still informs, like there's this back and forth of that ambivalence about

00:43:52   the role of computers and where they came from and what they were going to do to people

00:43:55   that I think has gotten erased because I think we have this sort of warm, fuzzy nostalgia

00:44:01   view of a lot of it.

00:44:02   Like, I think there's like the Halt and Catch Fire version, and then there's like sort of

00:44:07   kitschy '80s, like I said, the 8-bit graphics and a Mario sprite.

00:44:10   But the idea that there was actually a reckoning culturally with what are these things going

00:44:14   to do to our lives, and then that repeated with the internet, right, with cybercrime

00:44:20   and like the sort of cyber era, you know, early '90s.

00:44:24   Yeah, when cyber was an actively used prefix.

00:44:27   Yes, exactly, right.

00:44:29   When people would unironically talk about something being cyber.

00:44:31   The cyber era.

00:44:32   That's what we should call it.

00:44:34   Right, it's very clear, you know what I mean.

00:44:36   And Wired magazine comes out and interestingly, like Wired or whatever was the like techno

00:44:43   utopianism.

00:44:43   Oh, this is going to free us all.

00:44:45   We will be free from the shackles.

00:44:46   And it's funny because that's also this very counterculture, you know, Timothy Leary, we're

00:44:52   going to, this, computers are LSD kind of thing.

00:44:54   Yeah, let's talk Windows 95, 25 years of Windows 95.

00:44:59   And it is a fine version of Windows.

00:45:02   You know, people lined up to buy it.

00:45:04   It was an operating system.

00:45:06   They did.

00:45:08   It's so weird.

00:45:09   That's the weirdest thing.

00:45:10   Like if you think about that retrospectively, you're like, well, what does it do?

00:45:12   Well, it lets your other software do stuff.

00:45:15   Right.

00:45:16   How do you sell that product?

00:45:17   People used to, people used to line up for lots of things.

00:45:21   This is another thing that definitely dates us.

00:45:24   But like concert tickets, you know, right.

00:45:28   You had to the only way to get good.

00:45:31   I slept in a parking lot for Janet Jackson tickets.

00:45:33   Yeah, I was a regular at the Ticketmaster in my college years over at 30 something in

00:45:41   Lancaster in Philly.

00:45:42   There was a Ticketmaster right next to the Chili's.

00:45:46   Yeah, yeah.

00:45:47   Yeah, I know that place.

00:45:49   I think that Chili's is a gentleman's club now.

00:45:51   I'm not sure.

00:45:52   But there was a Ticketmaster.

00:45:55   And when certain acts were coming to town, you'd have to, you know, maybe not overnight,

00:46:00   but you definitely, you know, the tickets went on sale at nine.

00:46:03   You'd have to get there at like four or five in the morning.

00:46:05   Yeah, you go early.

00:46:06   Yeah.

00:46:07   If it was a big show, I mean, again, I grew up in the sticks.

00:46:09   And so if it was a big show, you'd be out there because it was like one ticket window

00:46:14   for all these things.

00:46:15   But I think that sense of scarcity is such an interesting thing.

00:46:18   And then context-wise for Windows 95, it's like, I had had my first company by then and

00:46:25   people were all on Windows.

00:46:27   That was just what you used at work then.

00:46:28   Nonetheless, you were a graphic designer, basically.

00:46:30   And they were doing spreadsheets and stuff.

00:46:34   So you weren't going to splurge for a Mac that was perceived as much more expensive

00:46:39   at the time.

00:46:39   And it was wild because, you know, it was like being a plumber, right?

00:46:45   If your printer breaks, you call the computer guy and he'll come and plug in a new printer

00:46:49   for you.

00:46:50   But you didn't have an opinion about it.

00:46:53   You didn't think about it.

00:46:53   It was like thinking about your, you know, these reconstruction companies.

00:46:56   It's like thinking about your table saw.

00:46:57   If your saw blade breaks, you replace it.

00:46:58   But you're not like, "I can't wait for the new table saw.

00:47:01   That's weird."

00:47:03   And then literally summer of '95, we had customers calling us.

00:47:09   You would call back then and call us and be like, "Are you going to put Windows 95 on

00:47:15   when it comes out?"

00:47:15   And that was such a, like, it was inconceivable.

00:47:20   It was just a weird thing.

00:47:21   I'm like, "How do you even know about it?

00:47:23   I know about it, but it's my job.

00:47:24   How do you know about it?"

00:47:25   It was weird watching it remotely as a Mac user at the time.

00:47:32   And what gets popularized is the religious angle of it.

00:47:38   You know, the people who were truly...

00:47:40   Yeah, there were partisans fighting for it.

00:47:42   I mean, it was like the internet is today.

00:47:44   Yeah, it was.

00:47:44   And it was an early sign of how the internet serves to polarize people.

00:47:51   Very much so.

00:47:52   Where, and I always had the palpable sense.

00:47:54   And I'm not trying to say that I'm any kind of sociological genius.

00:47:58   I just think I'm humane and empathetic enough that it...

00:48:04   And my interests, my parents' worries should be damned.

00:48:09   My interests, you know, have been outside the computer.

00:48:14   I played sports and I liked going.

00:48:15   I just mentioned I did go to concerts.

00:48:17   I had real life.

00:48:20   I have seen the outdoors, mother.

00:48:22   I have seen the outdoors.

00:48:26   I never looked like I needed to hit the sun to get some vitamin D.

00:48:29   It wasn't like, you know, come out like I was in a bunker.

00:48:33   But it always seemed so obvious to me in the Usenet era that,

00:48:39   my God, if we could just get these same people in a room together,

00:48:43   it wouldn't be like this.

00:48:44   No.

00:48:45   No.

00:48:46   You could see that they had dehumanized each other

00:48:48   because they were interacting through these platforms.

00:48:51   And in that era, I remember very distinctly CompuServe.

00:48:55   So this was another one of these dial-up services like AOL or whatever.

00:48:57   It was one of the earlier ones.

00:48:58   And it was probably one of the first places,

00:49:01   and actually that's where the GIF was invented,

00:49:03   was for animation on that platform.

00:49:06   And there was a very...

00:49:08   Really early...

00:49:11   It was like the prototype of today's online battles in social media.

00:49:14   Right?

00:49:15   And the amazing thing about it was it would happen over anything.

00:49:18   Like operating systems were actually, I think,

00:49:19   one of the areas where it became a really big conversation

00:49:22   because everybody had one, very obviously.

00:49:25   And also, if you were using technology at that point,

00:49:27   you had to have been an enthusiast.

00:49:29   There was no casual computer user on CompuServe or on AOL

00:49:34   because you had to have done the work to get connected in the first place,

00:49:36   which was hard as hell.

00:49:37   You had to buy a modem and hook it up and do all this stuff, right?

00:49:40   And so it became a part of your identity.

00:49:42   You were a person that liked computers.

00:49:43   And being a person that liked computers was not cool at all.

00:49:47   I think it's so hard for people to understand.

00:49:50   Like now, Jack Dorsey was on a yacht with Beyonce and Jay-Z two days ago.

00:49:56   And Jack is not cool.

00:49:59   I've known Jack for a long time.

00:50:01   You know what I mean?

00:50:01   And I'm like, "That is wild."

00:50:03   I know he's got his nose ring in now and whatever.

00:50:06   God bless him.

00:50:08   But I'm just like...

00:50:08   They're nerds, right?

00:50:11   And so that idea of the biggest pop star in the world is going to hang out...

00:50:16   Or the biggest two pop stars in the world are going to hang out with a guy who made an app.

00:50:20   Like that is not in reality in the '80s and '90s computer world, even into the 2000s.

00:50:26   And what's wild about it too is also how arbitrary it was.

00:50:30   Because this sort of...

00:50:31   I think it was operating systems and then the battles were video game consoles when they came

00:50:36   out and the PlayStation people and the Sega people versus the Nintendo people.

00:50:43   And it was like, "Guys, you own all of these.

00:50:45   What are you talking about?"

00:50:47   I can't get into that because we'll get distracted, but I was a Sega Genesis person,

00:50:51   and I've mentioned what my opinion is on the Nintendo.

00:50:55   I can tell it about you.

00:50:56   Oh my God, do people think I'm wrong on that one?

00:50:58   But it was a much better system.

00:51:00   Yeah.

00:51:01   I believe that in the Bible it says, "Sega does what Nintendon't."

00:51:05   I'm not an expert, but that's a fair...

00:51:07   No.

00:51:08   You can laugh now, but it was the first time we were seeing the prototypes of these behaviors

00:51:16   where I'm like, "Why is this guy so mad?"

00:51:17   And the one that jumped out to me, and you'll probably remember this, but there was...

00:51:21   So IBM was still a player back then in tech, and they had an operating system called OS/2.

00:51:26   Oh yeah.

00:51:26   And they had a new version called OS/2 called OS/2 Warp that came out right around the same

00:51:30   time as Windows 95, a little before.

00:51:32   And I am willing to believe it was technologically superior.

00:51:35   This was what all of its acolytes, many acolytes told us.

00:51:39   But they were notorious zealots, right?

00:51:41   So it was like, "Oh, is it also ran?"

00:51:43   I mean, it was the smallest of the small audience.

00:51:45   It was maybe 5% of computers.

00:51:47   And you had to be...

00:51:48   I mean, that was some nerd shit.

00:51:49   Way less than 5%.

00:51:50   Really.

00:51:51   Way less.

00:51:51   Yeah.

00:51:52   I mean, I'm being charitable.

00:51:53   I don't...

00:51:53   Like, they're still going to get mad at me.

00:51:55   Like, there were guys in my mentions in 2020 on Twitter talking to me about OS/2 was better.

00:52:00   I was like, "Sir, sir, you are probably damn near 60 years old, first of all.

00:52:06   Second of all, the war is lost, sir.

00:52:08   It's been lost."

00:52:11   And it sounds absurd, but it's like you realize that the sort of culture of grievance

00:52:19   and the dehumanization of social media and the idea of like, "My product is my identity.

00:52:26   Like, the thing I've purchased is who I am."

00:52:27   Like, all those seeds were planted.

00:52:30   And it was so fascinating because Windows 95 was that catalyst because it was culturally relevant.

00:52:34   If it had not been...

00:52:35   If everybody ignored it or just been some app that you buy,

00:52:40   it wouldn't have mattered.

00:52:41   But this was such a big deal that they're talking about it on late-night TV shows,

00:52:45   and people are lining up at stores.

00:52:47   And that's so interesting because the...

00:52:49   Like, you can always tell a lot about the culture of organizations by what they criticize,

00:52:55   what they have contempt for.

00:52:56   To me, the definitive Apple statement of all time is Jobs saying, "Microsoft has no taste."

00:53:01   Because it just sort of speaks to what they aspire to.

00:53:04   Even though he said that while he was in exile, it was before he came back.

00:53:09   It was like a mid...

00:53:10   While he was in an ex, you know.

00:53:13   - Right, right, right.

00:53:14   He's still wandering in the desert at that point, but it's like...

00:53:17   It was to that point.

00:53:19   Even in exile, the ethos and the value of what is the thing you care about is so fundamental.

00:53:25   - Yep.

00:53:25   - Right?

00:53:26   And even when Microsoft is in the sort of Department of Justice trial and

00:53:31   being really, really castigated for the first time,

00:53:35   there's this sort of derision from Gates of like, "This is beneath us.

00:53:39   Why are you dumb people asking us questions?

00:53:41   You don't know.

00:53:42   You don't understand computers."

00:53:43   And that same sort of contempt.

00:53:44   And so this is a really interesting thing.

00:53:46   You can really tell about what the anxieties of an organization and its culture are

00:53:50   that makes technology.

00:53:51   And this idea of the IBM acolytes really, really wanted to prove

00:53:57   their operating system was technologically strong.

00:54:00   And it's like, "You know what?

00:54:03   Nobody cares."

00:54:05   Nobody is evaluating your implementation of multitasking

00:54:10   as a way of judging what product they're going to use.

00:54:13   And that still bothered the tech.

00:54:15   It still does.

00:54:16   So there was a real operating system has to be a command line,

00:54:19   or a real operating system has to have these technical constraints.

00:54:22   And the idea that the aesthetics and the brand and the marketing

00:54:25   and the cultural positioning and the social value of software,

00:54:30   let alone operating systems, the most abstract software,

00:54:34   is going to be this decision made because the box is pretty and has clouds on it.

00:54:38   Like that was such anathema to a prior culture of computing.

00:54:43   And it was what it took to really break to mainstream.

00:54:46   And also the thing that I think they're still resentful of.

00:54:49   Yeah.

00:54:50   One of my favorite Windows 95 stories.

00:54:53   And it speaks to that bridge, the early outreach of the computer industry

00:54:59   starting to touch mainstream culture.

00:55:03   So you mentioned Jack Dorsey just two days ago hanging out with Beyonce.

00:55:07   And we just don't even think about it.

00:55:10   It's so absurd.

00:55:11   So 1995, the Rolling Stones had never licensed any of their music

00:55:15   to anybody to use in a commercial.

00:55:18   And Mick Jagger went to business school.

00:55:20   And one of the reasons the Stones are massively, massively rich

00:55:27   and never got into disputes like the Beatles have with the ownership of their libraries,

00:55:32   they were better business people.

00:55:33   Because Mick was a better business person.

00:55:35   I don't think Keith is.

00:55:36   So Mick always handled stuff like this.

00:55:40   Keith Richards with the Green Accountants shade on, sitting at the Brass Lamb during the books.

00:55:45   So I don't know what the number is.

00:55:47   But Mick's standard answer for 20-some years, whenever anybody would call up and say,

00:55:52   we want to use one of your hits in a commercial, is he didn't say no.

00:55:56   He just would throw out this ridiculous $50 million or whatever.

00:56:01   I don't know what the number is.

00:56:01   It doesn't matter.

00:56:02   But it was always like at least 20 times higher than they were possibly thinking it would cost.

00:56:08   And then they would just hang up and they'd never go.

00:56:10   And Microsoft calls up and they got the Start menu.

00:56:13   It's the foundational UI element of Windows 95 compared to what came before.

00:56:18   It's the signature thing.

00:56:19   The Stones have a hit song, Start Me Up.

00:56:22   They call up.

00:56:23   They say, we want it licensed Start Me Up.

00:56:25   And Mick says, $40 million, thinking that they hang up the phone.

00:56:28   And they're just like, OK, where do we write the check to?

00:56:30   And he's like, what?

00:56:33   And that's it.

00:56:33   There was no negotiation.

00:56:34   They're like, oh, is that it?

00:56:36   And it just speaks to how much money Microsoft had.

00:56:39   And they were like, oh, that's fantastic.

00:56:43   That's perfect.

00:56:44   All right, let me take a break.

00:56:44   Let me take a break.

00:56:45   Let's just hold this.

00:56:46   We'll come back to it.

00:56:47   We can't stop.

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00:59:17   All right.

00:59:18   We were talking about Windows 95.

00:59:20   I just mentioned this story with the Stones song getting licensed by Microsoft and how

00:59:25   this is--

00:59:25   This is the thing.

00:59:26   Music finance is an obsession of mine.

00:59:29   The economics and ownership of music.

00:59:30   But the thing that's really, really interesting here, first of all, is mid-'90s, you still

00:59:34   have the idea of selling out.

00:59:35   Only a year or two before, you have Kurt Cobain in Rolling Stone magazine with the t-shirt

00:59:42   saying corporate music still sucks.

00:59:43   And Bob Dylan very adamantly, like, you won't license my music for everybody.

00:59:47   And it was a scandal only a couple of years before when the Beatles licensed Revolution

00:59:53   for a Nike commercial.

00:59:53   Right.

00:59:54   They're like, oh my god, how could you-- how could you sully yourselves?

00:59:57   Right?

00:59:58   So it's the inverse of culture now where it's like everybody brags about who they got the

01:00:02   endorsement from and who's sponsoring them and what product placement they got and whatever.

01:00:05   But that cultural context is really, really important because part of the reason why the

01:00:10   Stones are-- in addition to Jagger's business acumen, part of the reason the Stones are

01:00:14   saying you won't license their song is because the sort of '60s ethos of this is art.

01:00:19   How would you use this in an ad that would be beneath you?

01:00:24   And this is really interesting because part of the myth-making, the legend-building around

01:00:31   Windows 95 at the time was they talked about licensing the song.

01:00:35   There was this sort of meta-industry thing where they said, well, it must have cost $12

01:00:39   million, $14 million.

01:00:40   Remember, I heard that.

01:00:40   And actually, years, years later, the number came out was $3 million, which is still a

01:00:46   boatload of money, especially at that point.

01:00:49   But it's not actually that wild.

01:00:51   And I think it was a $200 million ad campaign.

01:00:54   It's like, OK, we spent 1% of our money on a song.

01:00:56   Nobody would blink at that now.

01:01:00   But I think they just saw where the future was going, was that you were going to have

01:01:04   to market stuff.

01:01:05   And I also think one of those animating forces of Microsoft all the way through the '90s,

01:01:09   really until 2000 and the sort of bomber era and well into that era, is their resentment

01:01:16   of Apple.

01:01:16   We're so much bigger, and we have so much money.

01:01:19   And Apple is really on the rocks over those next couple years after Windows 9.

01:01:23   It comes out.

01:01:24   And yet, Microsoft's like, but why are they cool and we're not cool?

01:01:27   And I think they sort of at this moment arrive at, if we spend the money and buy some friends

01:01:34   and get a song and – and at that point, too, start me up as like 14 years old.

01:01:39   That was clearly, to my mind, I felt at the time, I was like, I don't remember the song.

01:01:45   I was a kid when this came out.

01:01:47   But I was like, oh, they had some middle-aged guy that this was the song that was cool when

01:01:51   he was young, and they wanted to play this song because he's going to be the guy buying

01:01:55   this.

01:01:55   And that was like, oh, right.

01:01:57   And now I think about it.

01:01:58   I'm like, oh, yeah, if you got a song 14 years ago, I'd be like, sure, yeah, I like

01:02:01   this song.

01:02:01   When this come out.

01:02:02   You know what I mean?

01:02:03   Because I'm old.

01:02:04   And I think that's such a – all that stuff was not evident at the time.

01:02:08   I was like, this is corny.

01:02:09   And they got these old guys out there playing the song.

01:02:11   And they had Jay Leno, which they were thrilled about.

01:02:13   And I was like, I didn't think he was cool.

01:02:14   That now we all know he's not cool, but that was such a – it was such an interesting

01:02:18   thing of they still didn't have taste.

01:02:20   But they knew how to pretend they were culturally relevant.

01:02:24   Yeah, that's what was always the thing to me.

01:02:27   I was always aligned with that.

01:02:29   And again, it's like you said, why I was attracted to the Vectrex, because it was graphically

01:02:33   novel.

01:02:34   It wasn't the technical arguments, right?

01:02:38   And it was like I totally – I read the O.S. 2 Warp magazine once.

01:02:42   And it was like, I get it.

01:02:44   And I ended up graduating with –

01:02:45   Yeah, those guys were serious about it.

01:02:46   Yeah, I ended up graduating with a degree in computer science.

01:02:49   And I can program and make stuff, and I get it.

01:02:52   But that just didn't ring my bell.

01:02:55   You know what I mean?

01:02:56   It wasn't the thing I was asked to –

01:02:57   There was no soul to it.

01:02:58   Yeah, it was the taste thing.

01:03:00   And that's – so the thing I remember about Windows 95 and – the other thing that you

01:03:09   have to remember about when we talk about the cultural aspect of this was the way

01:03:13   that like in a group, if you're on the internet, it was Usenet.

01:03:17   If you were on any group on AOL or CompuServer, any of these services, it doesn't matter

01:03:22   what the group was about.

01:03:23   If it was about quilting, if it was about the Boston Celtics, if it was about vintage

01:03:29   Corvettes, there were groups for all of these interests.

01:03:32   And at some point throughout the year, it would break into a Mac versus PC flame war.

01:03:37   And it would get ugly.

01:03:38   100 percent.

01:03:38   All right.

01:03:39   Yeah, totally.

01:03:40   Yeah, yeah, yeah.

01:03:42   All of a sudden, it's –

01:03:42   To the death.

01:03:43   Hatfield versus McCoys, and it's like, you know, what are you talking about?

01:03:47   And there was this weird thing where sort of pre-95, pre-Windows 95, there was a – the

01:03:56   PC enthusiasts were – there was this command line versus GUI aspect of the argument.

01:04:02   Oh, yeah.

01:04:02   Very strongly.

01:04:04   And clearly, that one, I was like, you guys are wrong, right?

01:04:07   History is not on your side, and it's very obvious.

01:04:11   Right.

01:04:11   And there was this Steve Jobs line about like when they first saw the stuff at Xerox

01:04:16   PARC that was a GUI that, you know, it just basically, oh, I just instantly knew, oh,

01:04:21   all computers are going to work like this.

01:04:23   We just had to figure out the right way to do it.

01:04:25   That was ridiculous.

01:04:27   But then it's just like anything in politics, and I mean that in the lowercase p political

01:04:33   sense of anything being political, right?

01:04:35   Yeah.

01:04:36   That when people's minds change, it happens quickly, right?

01:04:41   Yeah.

01:04:41   Yeah.

01:04:42   I keep saying to people in the –

01:04:43   There's a tipping point.

01:04:44   I just keep talking to people in the context of national politics, like just for a cent.

01:04:49   And again, we're talking the same 12 years we're talking about with the App Store.

01:04:53   Just remember that when Barack Obama ran for president the first time, he was against legalized

01:04:59   same-sex marriage.

01:05:02   Yeah, yeah.

01:05:02   Marriage equality was a late arrival.

01:05:04   Right.

01:05:05   And, you know, and it just seems like, what?

01:05:07   That was 12 years ago?

01:05:07   That was Obama, right?

01:05:09   And it's like, well, it wasn't because he was opposed, it was that was what was politically

01:05:12   feasible, and that's how quickly public sentiment changes.

01:05:15   That's an issue that doesn't even come up, even in today's world.

01:05:18   Just gone.

01:05:19   The whole command line, you know, real computer has a command line, a real user knows how

01:05:24   to use it.

01:05:25   And it just went away.

01:05:26   Windows 95 came out, and we had – again, it speaks to what I was saying before.

01:05:29   You were doing so much on your computer, you needed it.

01:05:33   And so much of it was graphical, right?

01:05:35   I mean, you know, you're looking at pictures, you're looking at the GIFs on websites.

01:05:39   Yeah.

01:05:39   It didn't make any sense to talk about it in a command line aspect.

01:05:42   And there was a certain segment of Mac user who wanted it to be a religious argument who

01:05:47   was like, hey, what happened to the command line argument, guys?

01:05:50   Yeah.

01:05:50   And it's like, you know, it's sort of like not knowing how to accept that you won.

01:05:56   You know, you're the dog that caught the car.

01:05:58   Yeah, yeah, yeah.

01:05:59   And it's like –

01:05:59   Yeah, it's not a very – yeah, it's being a sort of winner, right?

01:06:03   Right.

01:06:03   And I think it's such an interesting thing, too, because it was also both sides were supposing

01:06:07   that it was about logic.

01:06:08   Right.

01:06:09   And it wasn't.

01:06:10   It was like asserting identity and asserting belonging and saying you're part of a community

01:06:15   by what you reject.

01:06:18   Like, what you are not is what defines you in these online communities.

01:06:21   And this is still the issue.

01:06:23   Like, this is still the issue, right?

01:06:24   Because everybody is really sort of saying, like, I have to prove I am not part of outgroup

01:06:29   because that is what – you know, we didn't have the metrics back then, but that's what

01:06:35   drives engagement.

01:06:36   That is what's going to get a response.

01:06:38   It's how we're going to form our identity with each other.

01:06:41   And I do think it was about, you know, in that era, everybody had a handle online.

01:06:45   They didn't have their real name, right?

01:06:47   And so, you would be whatever, Macfan52, right?

01:06:51   And so, you were choosing how you're going to represent yourself to people.

01:06:56   And the only way you could do it was through increasing the emotional tenor of what's

01:07:05   going on.

01:07:05   And it's so weird because that was also the moment when we had, you know, civilians

01:07:11   coming in and getting technology.

01:07:12   They were like, I heard about a Pentium.

01:07:14   I heard about a Windows 95.

01:07:15   I just saw the Netscape IPO and I realized the internet must be something.

01:07:19   Like, this is all in a moment, right?

01:07:20   Like, the Pentium bug is early '95.

01:07:22   Netscape IPO is the first or second week of August of '95.

01:07:26   Windows 95 comes out the third week of – or, you know, end of August of '95.

01:07:33   Like, all of a sudden, a person who is not interested in computers is like, I don't

01:07:37   need to know that or that's not part of my job or I'm not going to spend $2,000 to

01:07:41   have one at home is like, I am missing something and I better get it.

01:07:46   And I'm better – and, you know, a year later, AOL goes – they've already started

01:07:50   to send out the disks and stuff, but like, you know, they go with unlimited, you know,

01:07:54   internet access a year later.

01:07:56   All of a sudden, people are like, you know, I got to get on.

01:08:00   I got to get in.

01:08:01   And they're running right into that first wave of computer users, tech users saying

01:08:07   like, we have figured out that us fighting with each other about things that mean nothing

01:08:11   is what we're going to use this platform for.

01:08:13   >> And isn't it funny how it's certain that these things come around, you know, and

01:08:18   kind of do apply however antiquated they are?

01:08:21   Like –

01:08:21   >> Yeah.

01:08:22   The analogies are there.

01:08:24   >> Right.

01:08:24   But like with AOL.

01:08:25   So AOL always gets a bad rap in hindsight.

01:08:28   It wasn't great.

01:08:28   It didn't have taste.

01:08:30   It was technically limited.

01:08:32   You know, but –

01:08:33   >> But it was good at some stuff.

01:08:35   >> Well, but the – and the huge foresight.

01:08:37   And it was easy for someone like me who was in college at the time and had access to real

01:08:42   Unix systems that I could telnet into to get internet access and then use, you know, things

01:08:48   that transformed a terminal connection into an IP connection.

01:08:52   You know, it was like IP over telnet.

01:08:54   >> Yeah, yeah, yeah.

01:08:55   Right, right.

01:08:55   >> It was easy for me to –

01:08:59   >> That is the tin can, the string.

01:09:00   >> Down on AOL.

01:09:01   >> The internet.

01:09:02   >> Right.

01:09:02   But that breakthrough – you have to remember that at the time, all the online services

01:09:07   would bill by the hour, like the way that long-distance phone calls worked at the time.

01:09:11   And it was like you could see – so there's a bean-counters perspective where it's like,

01:09:15   of course we're going to bill by the hour.

01:09:17   This thing is addictive.

01:09:18   People love it.

01:09:20   And we're making a mint by charging by the hour.

01:09:23   And the breakthrough that AOL had of we're just going to charge you some reasonable amount

01:09:28   per month and you can just use it as often as your fellow family members will let you

01:09:33   hog the phone, right?

01:09:36   >> Yeah.

01:09:36   I mean, it was radical and brave, right?

01:09:38   Because it is foregoing revenues, but also it is enabling something horizontally, right?

01:09:45   There's a sort of democratization to that.

01:09:47   And I think that was actually one of the reasons that like tech insiders had been derisive

01:09:52   of AOL.

01:09:53   There's a phrase that used to be used all the time then on Usenet of the September that

01:09:57   never ended, which is alluding to September is when students would come back to universities

01:10:00   and a bunch of new people would come onto the internet and they didn't know the norms

01:10:03   and so they were frustrated by that.

01:10:06   And then AOL being like the equivalent of those people all the time, September that

01:10:10   never ended.

01:10:11   And what it was was saying we don't like these new people.

01:10:13   They aren't us.

01:10:15   They aren't the tech experts, tech insiders.

01:10:17   And I always really hated that.

01:10:20   I always was like, isn't this why we're doing this?

01:10:23   Didn't we want to give this power and this technology to everybody?

01:10:27   And I mean, this echoes with me.

01:10:28   This is the experience I had in Silicon Valley where I was like, aren't we trying to build

01:10:32   the social networks for everybody, that everybody can be on them and not be harassed and have

01:10:38   their lives ruined or whatever else?

01:10:39   And it was like, no, they really were like, this is for us.

01:10:42   This is our playhouse.

01:10:43   And I think that fundamental pattern keeps playing out over and over and over, which

01:10:48   is like, do we care about the overall experience of the design or is it only the pure

01:10:54   of this kind of technology is what defines merit.

01:10:56   I've always thought that.

01:10:59   And I was always, and again, I'm not trying to retroactively claim to be more empathetic

01:11:04   than I was as a 20 year old.

01:11:06   I was a jerk in a lot of ways that, and people are like, was it jerk?

01:11:10   And it's like, yeah, I probably still am, but I was more of a jerk.

01:11:13   I was a lot more of a jerk and I was cocky, but I was never as like anti let those newbies

01:11:21   in and let the AOL people in as to me, it was always more, doesn't this just show how

01:11:29   broken the system is?

01:11:30   Like it just shows these systems weren't built for this.

01:11:34   And think about just the simple fact of email and we're literally, it's the social network

01:11:39   that will outlive us all.

01:11:40   It's the cockroach of social networks, but the fundamental of idea of once you have an

01:11:45   email address, anybody, anywhere can send you email and the marginal cost of sending

01:11:51   it is literally zero.

01:11:53   I mean, as close to zero as you can possibly get, it's like the power to keep the computer

01:11:59   on that's chunking out the spam.

01:12:01   Like if, and the real world analogies work, like if physical printed mail had that, if

01:12:09   you got as much junk mail in through your door as you get spam, it's ridiculous.

01:12:17   And there's no possibility in the real world of a spam filter, right?

01:12:21   So just like go into your email program and look at your junk mailbox and look at how

01:12:25   many mails you don't even have to look at every day.

01:12:27   Imagine if they were coming in through your door every day, but that's the way the system

01:12:30   was made because it never even occurred to anybody when they made the email system that

01:12:34   anybody would abuse it.

01:12:35   It just was a poorly designed system.

01:12:38   - And that's what it is, like that idea of like the assumptions are baked into the technology

01:12:42   at such a deep level, right?

01:12:44   And who it's for, who was using it, what they anticipated.

01:12:47   And I think of a generation later where we were building early social platforms, all

01:12:53   the mistakes we made were the same thing of just conceiving like how many people could

01:12:57   possibly use this and what are they going to use it for?

01:12:59   And you don't know what you don't know.

01:13:01   - Yeah.

01:13:03   And again, we did, we made this, I say we, I never had comments on my site because I

01:13:09   kind of saw it.

01:13:10   - You got it right.

01:13:10   But that's actually a great example, right?

01:13:14   Like I did for a long time and it was this very optimistic, well, I still have friends

01:13:21   that I made that way.

01:13:22   There are people that were at my wedding, there are people that have been there for me and

01:13:26   the hardest parts of my life that I know because of the comments on my site, right?

01:13:31   And so like there was a place to make a connection if you were going to put in the work.

01:13:35   That was sort of the other part was like, well, who would have a website and not moderate

01:13:38   the comments?

01:13:39   That would be wrong.

01:13:40   - Right.

01:13:40   - You know what I mean?

01:13:41   Like that naive, that was actually the part, that was the part where we fell down.

01:13:44   It wasn't like, oh, put a comment box on your website is a bad idea.

01:13:48   It was, you know, I think the choice you always made, I remember this from back in the day,

01:13:52   you're like, I don't want to deal with that.

01:13:54   - Yes.

01:13:55   - And I'm like, and I'm like, that makes perfect sense.

01:13:57   That is a reasonable choice.

01:13:59   But the idea that you would say, I don't want to deal with that and I'm going to have it

01:14:03   was not a thing that we anticipated.

01:14:04   Like that was one where it's like, who on earth would do that?

01:14:07   Who would say, I don't want to be responsible for what I'm putting out in the world.

01:14:11   And I would like to have it.

01:14:12   Like that seemed so irrational, let alone that every newspaper in the country would do it.

01:14:17   - Right.

01:14:17   - Like that was unimaginable.

01:14:20   I was like, that's so stupid.

01:14:21   Obviously nobody would ever do that.

01:14:23   And everybody did it.

01:14:24   - Yeah.

01:14:24   It was, and it was such, again, we could do a whole nostalgic show, but there was in the

01:14:29   early era of newspapers going online, they would just have open comments on every article.

01:14:35   - Why open?

01:14:35   - It was just anybody you just type your name in, you know, they'd ask for an email, never

01:14:40   verified it.

01:14:41   And you'd type whatever your comment is.

01:14:43   And every news article you read on any topic just had whoever wanted to commenting below

01:14:48   it and they would just put them in there.

01:14:50   And ignoring automated spam, it was just, you know, the level of crackpottery that you

01:14:58   would think it might be.

01:14:59   - Yeah.

01:14:59   - And I think that's sort of this recurring thing where like that caused real harm because

01:15:05   we didn't anticipate the abuse of the system.

01:15:07   - Right.

01:15:07   - And there's this tension that comes, and I think this goes to the point about sort

01:15:11   of Windows 95 or everything.

01:15:13   There's this back and forth around democratization of technology along with enabling new forms

01:15:18   of abuse, misuse, or manipulation.

01:15:21   And they go hand in hand every time.

01:15:23   Like there's always that cycle.

01:15:24   And it was, I mean, people were worried about this in the rise of desktop publishing.

01:15:28   You talk about that as like, well, if anybody can print a pamphlet, you know, if anybody

01:15:33   can make something that looks professionally designed, how are we going to know it's

01:15:37   real information?

01:15:38   I was like, you never did.

01:15:39   But that was a real concern that was raised.

01:15:41   - Yeah.

01:15:41   - It was like a laser print is going to make it look official.

01:15:44   You know, it's like, yeah.

01:15:45   And I was like, great, then my band is going to look like it's putting on a real show.

01:15:48   - Right.

01:15:49   - You know, but they were like, well, then you're going to have, you know, propaganda

01:15:51   there.

01:15:51   And so that framing, I think, just comes back over and over and over.

01:15:55   And it's such a like, after the 50th time, the cycle repeats, are we going to learn the

01:16:00   lesson?

01:16:00   I don't know.

01:16:01   - All right, let me take a break right here.

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01:18:09   All right, let's get up.

01:18:10   Let's flash forward to the future.

01:18:11   And let's talk about-- and I think that it's like the jump cut in 2001 where the bone in

01:18:18   the air transforms into the floating space station that's like a missile silo.

01:18:24   Yeah.

01:18:27   The App Store and where Apple is and where we've gotten in this sort of eruption of--

01:18:32   it's just college.

01:18:34   Not to make light of the other protests of more pertinent social matters, but it's protest,

01:18:39   right?

01:18:40   There's an eruption of protest about Apple's control of the App Store.

01:18:44   This is the biggest widescale criticism of certainly the App Store, and I think of Apple's

01:18:50   business practices that I can recall in their modern era.

01:18:53   Yeah.

01:18:54   And I'm struggling to keep up with it at Daring Fireball.

01:19:00   I really am.

01:19:00   I'm even struggling to come up with the analogy, but the best I've come up with is like--

01:19:06   there's no single way to wrap it up, and that's my instinct.

01:19:12   My style is to write.

01:19:14   And even if it takes me 3,000 words, I get the 3,000-word Daring Fireball column out

01:19:21   on the thing.

01:19:22   And then at the end, I type that last period, and it's like, boom.

01:19:26   There it is.

01:19:27   Drop the mic.

01:19:27   That's my word.

01:19:28   Right.

01:19:28   Your definitive take.

01:19:29   There is no-- there's no way to do that with this App Store issue.

01:19:33   It is like--

01:19:34   No, this thing is fuzzy.

01:19:36   Yeah.

01:19:36   And it's so sprawling, and there's so many different things.

01:19:39   It's like going into a Vegas buffet, and you're hungry, but you can't even possibly sample

01:19:49   everything, right?

01:19:50   There's just no way to do it.

01:19:52   It's not feasible.

01:19:53   It's like there's the beverage station that everybody goes to.

01:19:58   Everybody has to get something to drink when they go to the buffet.

01:20:00   Right.

01:20:00   There's some consensus.

01:20:01   And that's the 30%.

01:20:02   The 30-70 split is like the beverage station.

01:20:06   And it doesn't matter if you're here for the prime rib, or you're a vegetarian, or you're

01:20:11   actually just going to do all dessert because screw it, you're on vacation.

01:20:15   You're still going to the beverage station, so everybody is talking about 30% is too much,

01:20:20   blah, blah, blah.

01:20:21   But there's so much other stuff.

01:20:22   But the thing that to me is like the part of the argument at the forest level rather

01:20:29   than the tree level that is very frustrating, and I feel people aren't talking about it

01:20:36   enough, is however much money Apple is making from this, this is a side gig for them.

01:20:44   It really is.

01:20:45   Yeah, it's not material.

01:20:46   And you talk about the abuses-- and again, going back to the '90s, I was never-- even

01:20:54   as a Mac enthusiast at the time, I was never very keen about the DOJ's suit against Microsoft

01:21:01   and never really thought-- I wasn't really like a Mac user who was like, ah, they're

01:21:05   getting there.

01:21:06   I was like, this doesn't seem right to me and seems short-sighted.

01:21:09   I didn't think that making IE free was abusive.

01:21:13   I was like, yeah, I think that this is the way things are going.

01:21:16   And it kind of sucks that Netscape was selling copies of Netscape Navigator Pro or whatever

01:21:20   they called it, but--

01:21:21   Gold.

01:21:22   Yeah, gold.

01:21:22   It was, though, what Microsoft-- what people accused-- what people were upset about Microsoft's

01:21:32   abuse of their position was their primary business, right?

01:21:35   And that this-- to encapsulate it, the idea that they had control of the operating system

01:21:41   and their real moneymaker was the office suite of software that ran on the operating system--

01:21:47   that was their whole business.

01:21:48   Their whole business was licensing the operating system to OEMs and selling Office.

01:21:55   Like, the whole idea that Microsoft became the biggest company in the world or the second

01:21:59   biggest company in the world-- and Bill Gates is a cultural icon-- at the time was entirely

01:22:05   about this two-sided coin of they have the OS that every computer runs on, and they have

01:22:11   the apps that run on the OS.

01:22:15   And that's their whole business, and that's where people poked at.

01:22:17   And now we're talking about Apple and Apple having dominance.

01:22:21   That's for sure.

01:22:22   We can argue about what's a monopoly.

01:22:24   But we're talking about them and this widespread criticism of their business practices over

01:22:30   a thing that is not really--

01:22:33   I'm not going to say it's not material, but it's not that big a deal.

01:22:36   And you can say, oh, services, services, services-- that's what they've been pushing.

01:22:39   But even when you break out services, the part from the App Store is only-- I'm not

01:22:45   saying it's a tiny part of it, but it's only a small part of it.

01:22:48   You know, they make $20 billion a year from Google just to make Google the default search

01:22:53   engine, and I think they've only got like $50 billion in services a year.

01:22:58   Like, a huge chunk of their services isn't-- is just money from Google.

01:23:02   It's not even all of these subscription things that Apple is selling.

01:23:06   Right.

01:23:06   That's like found the money under the couch cushions.

01:23:08   So yeah, there's a lot in there, and I want to-- I think actually context setting is really

01:23:12   useful.

01:23:12   You go back to the earlier topic, Windows 95.

01:23:17   One of the things they introduced along with Windows 95 and Office 95 and all that stuff

01:23:21   was Microsoft introduced the "Design for Windows 95" logo.

01:23:23   And it was like-- it was seen as valuable.

01:23:27   You're going to be part of the marketing campaign, but you're not called App.

01:23:31   I was going to say App, but your program, your software, has to conform to a certain

01:23:35   set of rules.

01:23:36   And I was all in favor of it.

01:23:38   I thought it was great because it's like there's a lot of crap.

01:23:40   There's a lot of shovelware.

01:23:41   There's garbage bargain basement CD-ROMs at your Office Depot store back then.

01:23:48   And so it'd be like, no, no, no.

01:23:50   If you want to get this logo, you got to do these things.

01:23:53   And I was a big believer in it, and I saw a straight line from that kind of thing to

01:23:58   the early versions of the App Store.

01:24:01   Right?

01:24:01   And so my context on that was-- you'll remember this, but for your audience, I was working

01:24:07   in a company that did blogging tools at the time.

01:24:09   We had a blogging service called TypePad.

01:24:11   It's like WordPress is now.

01:24:12   And the TypePad app launched at the launch of the App Store.

01:24:18   It was the second app ever shown off.

01:24:20   Michael Sippy, who's now at Medium, was on stage with Steve Jobs showing off this app.

01:24:24   And so we got a glimpse at what it is to be the featured app during an Apple keynote,

01:24:31   really before anybody.

01:24:33   Right?

01:24:34   And what they asked for.

01:24:36   Like what was it going to take to be in the App Store as the first app that people see?

01:24:41   And it was interesting because to my mind, it was very much of a piece with design for

01:24:47   Windows 95 or design for Windows XP or any of these kind of things.

01:24:50   Like this is-- and that was actually very, very contentious at the time.

01:24:54   The idea that Apple would set standards, separate from the 30%, separate from anything else,

01:25:00   the economics of it, the idea that they would set rules about what you could or couldn't

01:25:04   do on the device with software that you made was extremely controversial.

01:25:09   And I think that's sort of important to start with, is there is a fundamental developer

01:25:13   tension.

01:25:13   And that's a long time ago, but it's not that long time ago.

01:25:16   I think Apple-- in particular, Apple developers have a longer institutional memory than most

01:25:22   developer communities.

01:25:23   So because we still talk about things getting Sherlocked.

01:25:26   How long ago was that?

01:25:27   Right?

01:25:27   So--

01:25:28   How many people really remember Sherlock?

01:25:30   I mean--

01:25:31   Right, right.

01:25:32   Yeah.

01:25:32   I mean, how many users did Sherlock have at its peak versus people who've talked about

01:25:36   an app getting Sherlocked, right?

01:25:37   Right.

01:25:37   Let alone Watson, the third party tool that got Sherlocked.

01:25:41   Yeah.

01:25:42   Right, right, right.

01:25:43   Yeah, Watson is a footnote.

01:25:46   Right?

01:25:46   And so we have a perception about what developer culture in the Apple ecosystem should be.

01:25:52   And interestingly, even the iOS ecosystem, though it's much larger and more culturally

01:25:57   relevant, is still shaped by the Mac history.

01:26:00   Right?

01:26:00   So like the way we parse what I ought to be able to do because I make software is this

01:26:08   very-- it's a set of cultural norms and expectations.

01:26:11   And that's why it's fuzzy.

01:26:12   Because it is not about an economic argument about 30%, where if they reduce 30%, 28%,

01:26:18   everybody would be like, OK, we're good.

01:26:19   Let's pack up.

01:26:19   We're good.

01:26:20   Right?

01:26:20   Like, it is not that at all.

01:26:21   And this is actually what Microsoft got wrong in the DOJ and antitrust trial around Internet

01:26:26   Explorer, which was, one, the amount of resentment of Microsoft was off the charts.

01:26:32   It is like what Apple is now for the people that don't like it, you know, Epic or whatever,

01:26:36   where they were just seen as bullies.

01:26:38   They were seen as having all the control.

01:26:40   And we have a fundamental mismatch between how the tech industry works, how modern software

01:26:45   platforms work, and how the law works.

01:26:49   Right?

01:26:49   So antitrust law is based on a whole bunch of false assumptions.

01:26:52   You know, one of them is that there's this market and there are these two players.

01:26:55   Right?

01:26:56   I can buy whatever.

01:26:57   I can buy a pencil from this company.

01:26:58   I can buy a pencil from that company.

01:26:59   And there is nobody that is like, I'm going to make a considered decision about what social

01:27:06   network I'm going to use.

01:27:07   And I evaluated all the options.

01:27:09   And Facebook didn't have the features I want, so I'm going to use Brand X.

01:27:13   It doesn't exist that way.

01:27:14   Right?

01:27:14   And that's the misapprehension that our regulatory framework has in the US.

01:27:19   And that affects the whole world because everybody's using American companies' technology.

01:27:23   And then, and this sort of goes to, you know, when you were talking, I think, with Neelay

01:27:26   about the congressional hearings.

01:27:28   Amazon, Google, Apple, Facebook, these companies are completely different.

01:27:35   Yeah.

01:27:36   Like they all have apps, but their business models are different.

01:27:38   Their goals are different.

01:27:40   In some ways, they compete with each other.

01:27:41   In some ways, they all collaborate together.

01:27:42   But they have nothing in common fundamentally.

01:27:45   Right.

01:27:45   And even in terms of what they're trying to do in the world.

01:27:47   And so when you have all that stuff that's wrong and the people talking about it are

01:27:52   developers that have their own distinct culture and goals of what they're trying to enable

01:27:55   and what they expect from a platform, and that is illegible to policymakers and to users.

01:27:59   Like that's, I think, where the fuzziness comes from because everybody is forced to

01:28:03   reframe their argument in terms that are either, in the case of Epic, legible to lawmakers,

01:28:10   to regulators, which is their clear audience that they're sort of speaking to, or to consumers,

01:28:15   which they're also speaking to.

01:28:16   But all the other devs are like, I need the user to understand why this, you know, the

01:28:20   30% cost will be passed down to you.

01:28:22   Like people fixate on the 30% because users like that must be expensive.

01:28:25   That's, I think it's very easy to understand.

01:28:28   But if we talk about what we're actually trying to enable is competition, then the question

01:28:32   is what competition to whom at what level?

01:28:34   Right.

01:28:36   And in the case of Microsoft and DOJ, it manifested in the end of the game as they had people

01:28:42   in the room watching them during meetings that slowed them down from being able to do

01:28:45   stuff.

01:28:45   And we saw that with the stagnation of Microsoft for the decade after, right, from the first

01:28:50   decade of Bloomberg's rise, where they just made a bunch of boring enterprise products

01:28:53   and they made billions of dollars and nobody cared, except for the Xbox.

01:28:56   Right.

01:28:57   And that's actually great because you have the rise of, well, web standards, period,

01:29:04   which would not have happened if the Internet Explorer monopoly had stayed.

01:29:08   You had Firefox and then Chrome.

01:29:11   You had, and the thing at the moment I think about all the time is in the original iPhone

01:29:17   demo, when Jobs gets out the iPhone and he does the pinch and zoom on the New York Times

01:29:23   homepage.

01:29:24   Right.

01:29:25   And it is stunning.

01:29:26   It's just, it's one of the, it's one of those moments in that entire, in the entire

01:29:29   history of Apple, right?

01:29:30   That, and they got tech that is stunning.

01:29:32   And for me, that was like, well, Jeffrey Zeldman and many others had fought for web standards

01:29:39   for the decade prior to that.

01:29:41   And that was why that could render on Safari.

01:29:43   Period.

01:29:44   And then on any platform.

01:29:45   And the New York Times hadn't done a damn thing, right?

01:29:48   It was the New York Times.

01:29:49   And the reason it was such a great demo and so perfectly selected by Jobs was the New

01:29:54   York Times homepage.

01:29:56   It still is kind of recognizable.

01:29:58   It still looks very New York Times-y.

01:30:02   And it came up on the phone and he was just the master of demos, right?

01:30:06   Because it didn't, he didn't belabor the point, but he brought it up.

01:30:09   It, it, you can see it's the New York Times on the phone and it looks exactly right.

01:30:16   So you're, you as the viewer, you, I, everybody had the same thought was, wow, that little

01:30:22   drone has it.

01:30:23   It's real.

01:30:24   And then immediately you think, but it's useless.

01:30:26   It's too, way too small.

01:30:28   Not like, not like, oh, you have to be 21 years old with perfect eyes and you can read

01:30:32   it.

01:30:32   Like literally nobody could use, nobody could read it.

01:30:34   The pixels were too small.

01:30:36   And then immediately he pinches to zoom or double taps, you know, and then he was like,

01:30:40   also, you could just double tap and it'll zoom in and zoom into the image.

01:30:43   And that's where the web standards angle really worked was because you could double tap on

01:30:47   the page and it would semantically pick out the element you double tap.

01:30:53   Right.

01:30:53   The div and then go, yeah.

01:30:54   And so this is a really interesting thing because there's so much in there and obviously,

01:30:57   you know, the greatest software or tech demo of all time, but, but, but you come back from

01:31:02   that and there's a bunch of interesting things packed into there.

01:31:05   First of all, like his framing of it's the real web, not the baby web.

01:31:08   And people forget there had been wap and all exactly like all these weird, like, you know,

01:31:13   junkie mobile sites, but also developers and through developer culture and developer advocacy

01:31:22   had spent a decade prior saying we need to be ready for new devices.

01:31:27   And then eventually, you know, Ethan Marko and others would call it responsive web, you

01:31:31   know, a few years later and as it sort of came to be known, but this idea of we're going

01:31:35   to embrace web standards are going to brace the responsive web.

01:31:37   This is something that came from developers articulating a value around really freedom.

01:31:44   Like it is this very highfalutin, you know what I mean?

01:31:48   And like, it is like wave the flag kind of stuff.

01:31:51   We ought to be free and we ought to use standards.

01:31:53   And it was like.

01:31:55   And I was a part of the web standards project and I was like, you know, this sounds very

01:31:58   theoretical and very abstract.

01:31:59   I don't know what we're fighting for.

01:32:01   Why does standards on their own matter?

01:32:02   Why does it matter for renders and Internet Explorer?

01:32:04   Why isn't that good enough?

01:32:05   You know, you have to really interrogate that if the challenge and that's sort of the mode

01:32:09   we're in is people can't say where they're going to.

01:32:13   Developers can't say the solution to mobile apps being fair to people and developers and

01:32:20   users is do XYZ because they couldn't for the same reason in 2000 when I started working

01:32:26   on web standards project, we couldn't say, well, we want a smartphone, which didn't exist

01:32:30   then to be able to render the New York Times homepage.

01:32:33   But if everybody's building to this standard and there's an openness there and anybody

01:32:37   can participate in a fair way, then experiences will be enabled like this.

01:32:42   And actually it's really interesting because there is no retroactive claiming.

01:32:45   Jobs didn't nod to thanks to web standards.

01:32:47   If we so far you could do this and nobody in the even in the advocacy community didn't

01:32:52   claim it as a win.

01:32:53   I mean, that's what's really, really striking is like when you change developer culture,

01:32:56   everything happens at this weird, ephemeral, non visible level.

01:32:59   I mean, this is why I build developer tools like this is why this is my job is like I

01:33:02   obsess over this.

01:33:03   And so in the moment we're in with with the App Store, what I think are the principles

01:33:10   that if we could get to a distillation of it is put aside consumers for a minute for

01:33:14   developers is one, I want to level playing ground.

01:33:19   I do want it to be the same rules.

01:33:20   I want it to be something I can understand.

01:33:22   And I know what I'm getting into.

01:33:23   What did I agree that I, you know, this is not a Darth Vader deal.

01:33:27   Pray it'll alter the deal further.

01:33:28   Right.

01:33:29   And that is what it feels like.

01:33:31   I think I think actually everybody has some degree of consternation there.

01:33:35   And that it doesn't actually affect most apps.

01:33:39   It's not actually on policies that most devs are going to run into.

01:33:42   But the uncertainty is the killer.

01:33:44   And then the other part is there is different, there are different deals.

01:33:49   It is unfair.

01:33:50   And that's because, well, if you're Adobe or you're Epic and you're Fortnite or you're

01:33:54   Microsoft with Office, they do make a different deal with you.

01:33:57   If you're Facebook, they do make a different deal with you.

01:33:59   And they can't say it right.

01:34:02   And before they couldn't say it because it doesn't fit Apple's aesthetic.

01:34:05   Like we don't explain.

01:34:06   That's not what we do.

01:34:07   Now they can't say it because there's congressional scrutiny.

01:34:10   And if you admit, you know, like, you know, Amazon's ethos can be F you.

01:34:15   That's what we did.

01:34:17   What's your problem?

01:34:18   And old Microsoft definitely would be like, yes, and yeah, we did.

01:34:23   So what?

01:34:23   What are you gonna do about it?

01:34:25   Right.

01:34:25   Apple can never be that.

01:34:27   They don't they don't they don't want to communicate that way.

01:34:29   And then I think, you know, there's a sort of idealism to it.

01:34:32   And so they are facing the reality of one, they do.

01:34:36   They are a giant.

01:34:37   They're a trillion dollar business.

01:34:39   That didn't happen that way accidentally.

01:34:41   And they do make calls and they do make partnerships and they do compromise.

01:34:43   I mean, it's just like, you know, Tim Cook is probably the greatest supply chain manager

01:34:50   in human history, or at least since like Genghis Khan.

01:34:52   Right.

01:34:53   And and I think if given his druthers, he'd be like, we would like to not be in bed with

01:34:58   the human rights injustices in China right now.

01:35:01   But he's like, you know what?

01:35:02   You got to do what you got to do.

01:35:03   That's where he's at.

01:35:04   Yeah.

01:35:04   Everybody makes a choice.

01:35:05   And I want I think they're on that same same part with developer rules.

01:35:08   Yeah.

01:35:09   I know that's not a bad analogy.

01:35:11   I get it, you know, and I but I do feel that there is a very easily like a lot of this

01:35:19   would be very hard to unwind and could be and should be and maybe will be at the point

01:35:23   of a regulatory gun, you know, and maybe not.

01:35:26   But there's an easier part where it really does feel like they're Darth Vader in people.

01:35:34   And in terms of we're changing the deal.

01:35:36   And at least when Darth Vader screwed Lando for that deal, it was for the fate of the

01:35:45   galaxy, right?

01:35:46   Like it was he's going to he wants Luke.

01:35:48   Yeah, right.

01:35:49   Thanks for hi.

01:35:49   Like Luke, it was obvious was the key to the whole thing.

01:35:53   Right.

01:35:53   And it's it's almost as though Darth Vader was putting the squeeze on Lando over, you

01:36:00   know, wedge Antilles, you know, he's a good pilot.

01:36:03   You know, if you just pick your, you know, favorite Star Wars nerd obscure character,

01:36:07   like, why are you doing this over Portkins guy?

01:36:09   But sure, right.

01:36:10   But like, you know, with with with this idea that that Apple has a team combing through

01:36:16   the App Store looking for apps that have been in there for years, maybe 10 years, like the

01:36:22   WordPress app has been there for over 10 years years.

01:36:25   Yeah.

01:36:25   And retroactively, nefariously being like now, right, shake down and, you know, and

01:36:30   that, you know, companies like and you know, disclaimers, sponsor of this podcast, Squarespace

01:36:36   and and all the other hosting all the things that WordPress competes with that Apple's

01:36:42   looking at apps in that space and saying, you have a free app that you just use that

01:36:48   you can get in and you know, add content to your CMS and stuff like that of a paid service

01:36:53   you're paying for outside because it's not really a thing you do on your phone.

01:36:56   Your phone is you're just using the app as a better client than a web client would be.

01:37:00   Why in the world are they trying to get them to do in app purchases that they don't want

01:37:07   to do?

01:37:07   And then people mistakenly jump to add the polarization angle is that Apple is trying

01:37:13   to take 30% of WordPress's money or 30% of Squarespace's number.

01:37:18   That's not even true, because they're only going after 30% of the people who would sign

01:37:24   up through the app, which is clearly less, far less, especially for that.

01:37:29   That math doesn't matter.

01:37:30   I mean, you're right about that, but like, why people feel it, but it just shows why

01:37:35   is Apple?

01:37:35   Why doesn't Apple see that they are however much money?

01:37:39   They're the last few, the drops of cash they're getting out of this campaign.

01:37:45   Are so much less in value than the brand damage they're doing to the company and brand damage.

01:37:53   You cannot put a dollar sign on what is no, no.

01:37:56   And to win back developer trust, like, I mean, you look at Microsoft, which was vilified

01:38:01   by developers, and now they bought GitHub and people were like, great, which is wild.

01:38:05   But that literally, literally took them 20 years.

01:38:11   It took 20 years and billions of dollars.

01:38:14   Right.

01:38:14   I think about the first time that at Azure sponsored something you did and people were

01:38:18   like, they did what?

01:38:19   Right.

01:38:20   It was, it was, Oh my God.

01:38:21   But they're the, you know, they're the evil empire.

01:38:22   And now people are like, yeah, Azure.

01:38:24   Sure.

01:38:24   It's like alongside AWS.

01:38:25   No, we did a video.

01:38:26   It was when I did was doing the Vesper app with Brent Simmons and Dave Whiskus, and we

01:38:30   needed a backend and iCloud storage stuff wasn't there yet.

01:38:33   It wasn't a good option.

01:38:34   And Azure was perfect.

01:38:36   It was what we needed.

01:38:37   And we talked to them.

01:38:38   But people were surprised, right?

01:38:39   Because Microsoft was still shifting their perception about what they were.

01:38:43   And the point was that, and that was, that was developer culture dead, that they had

01:38:48   been paying down for the better part of two decades at that point.

01:38:51   And to the tune of billions of dollars invested and, and, and, and Apple was on the cusp of

01:38:57   making a mistake like that.

01:38:58   I really believe that.

01:39:00   I really believe that because right now developers kind of like them, even though, you know,

01:39:03   there's all the, there's all those complaints, blah, blah, blah.

01:39:05   But right now there's actually a lot of positive affinity.

01:39:07   And also on the cusp of the, you know, the Apple Silicon systems coming out and, and

01:39:14   this sort of revolution that I think is going to come, that is so exciting.

01:39:17   It's actually one of the most exciting things in Apple history.

01:39:20   Right.

01:39:21   And, and, and, and you're like for, for like, don't make this mistake for small money.

01:39:26   If it weren't for, you know, $50 billion, all right, have a conversation.

01:39:30   Right.

01:39:31   If it's for a nickel and dime under Matt Mullenweg's couch on the WordPress app, why

01:39:34   are you doing it?

01:39:35   Right.

01:39:35   And so what I come back to out of it is you first principles, like what did Jobs say when

01:39:43   the app store came out?

01:39:44   Look, we're not trying to make money off.

01:39:45   He said it, we're not trying to make money off of this thing.

01:39:47   We want to, we want to make sure it's good quality stuff.

01:39:50   We want to make sure there's no viruses and junk and malware on there, spyware, whatever.

01:39:54   Right.

01:39:54   Like that's kind of what I think I'm paraphrasing, but it's almost exactly what he said.

01:39:57   You don't want to go to make a phone call and then your phone doesn't work because you

01:40:00   installed something.

01:40:00   Exactly.

01:40:00   And he said, you know, and we're just covering our costs.

01:40:04   Like we got to host it.

01:40:04   We got to provide it.

01:40:05   All the free ones are going to be free.

01:40:07   So we want to subsidize that.

01:40:08   And, and, and it was such a strong argument.

01:40:11   It was such a strong argument.

01:40:12   And I was one of those people where like everybody around is like, man, they're going to try

01:40:15   to control everything.

01:40:15   And why can't there be this?

01:40:16   And why can't there be that?

01:40:17   And I was like, look, I think this is a really valuable thing to add into the ecosystem.

01:40:20   And I, you know, my perspective was coming off of, you know, I was much more on the Windows

01:40:25   side those days.

01:40:25   And I just switched to the Mac right before that, I think.

01:40:28   But, but it was like trustworthy computing at Microsoft.

01:40:32   Then they had done the big push on like, we're going to stop all development on Windows XP

01:40:36   and just redo it to not have viruses all the time.

01:40:38   And, you know, every day was an Internet Explorer bug or a Outlook bug or whatever it was.

01:40:42   Right.

01:40:43   And so they were right in saying, here's this other model.

01:40:46   And that was the world that came out of.

01:40:48   And they were right in saying, we're just covering our costs.

01:40:50   It's not a revenue driver for us.

01:40:52   And, and, and, but I don't, I think they were naive about was the move to paid services.

01:40:58   And most importantly, I think what, you know, the thing I, it's such a, it's weird cause

01:41:04   it's actually like almost moving to me, even though I'm as cynical as anybody.

01:41:08   You set up a Mac, you set up an iPhone and it says in the start screen, privacy is a

01:41:14   human right.

01:41:16   And the boldness of declaring human rights as a thing you even care about when you've

01:41:24   unboxed your device is still, that is like, that is the pure, like that is the best distillation

01:41:30   of like anybody in technology of what you want to do is you want to say, these are rights

01:41:33   and this is what we do about it.

01:41:34   Right.

01:41:35   And then, and you come back out of that into where they, where they lost the plot on this

01:41:43   is, is, is that there are principles that fundamental underlying why you have an app

01:41:48   store that is about protecting music experience and data and all these kinds of things.

01:41:53   And actually one of the most important parts is the framing.

01:41:58   So many people have used, if you're not paying for the product, you are the product apps

01:42:01   that are paid are important because they sustain creators to make them apps that are subscriptions

01:42:09   are even more important because they sustain creators over time and for coders to be able

01:42:13   to keep making it over time.

01:42:14   And without that you end up with the anti-pattern of in-app purchases, which are extractive

01:42:19   and even worse, you end up with ad based surveillance, which everybody's doing.

01:42:22   And we've normalized, but it's incredibly destructive.

01:42:25   And his intention with the human rights declaration that Apple makes the first time you open up

01:42:30   any of their products.

01:42:31   And like, this is actually the, but this is the thing, like if I have Tim Cook on the

01:42:35   phone, this is what I would tell him is real simple.

01:42:38   You say privacy is a human right.

01:42:40   We have ad surveillance that is violating people's human right to privacy on your platform.

01:42:47   The most reasonable, understandable way to undo that is subscription based products.

01:42:52   And you have put a chill on the entire subscription based market by introducing uncertainty for

01:42:57   no reason and no benefit to your company.

01:42:59   Right.

01:42:59   That's the argument.

01:43:00   Right.

01:43:01   And it's funny because my, one of my things that I don't want to go too far into the

01:43:05   Epic Fortnite thing, because I talked about it in my last episode and we have limited

01:43:09   time, but I think it's so weird from Epic's part that they didn't foresee the threat

01:43:15   to Unreal Engine and their responsibility as the platform vendor to that, that you,

01:43:22   you have to, you know, you need certainty to, to, to develop.

01:43:26   And, and the thing with Unreal Engine is it's like, sure, there's hobbyists who are using

01:43:31   it to make hobbyist games, but you know, it's used by people with, you know, budgets for

01:43:35   their games, billions of dollars created on it, tens of millions of dollars budget.

01:43:40   And, you know, hundreds of millions up to billions of dollars in potential revenue from

01:43:44   the big games.

01:43:45   You need to depend on it.

01:43:47   And yet Apple on the other side of the exact same argument is the one who's also reducing

01:43:52   the dependability of their platform that, Hey, we had this app or, you know, and that's

01:43:57   why the hay situation is so clarifying because I think that their fundamental argument.

01:44:05   That, Hey, we'd been doing this with Basecamp for 10 years and we have an email thing that

01:44:10   we wanted to do the exact same way.

01:44:12   And now you're telling us we can't because this one's email and that one is project

01:44:16   management.

01:44:17   And I think that's so fundamentally clear and true.

01:44:21   And the way that, you know, there was an interview Jason Freed did with Jason Calacanis on his

01:44:26   podcast where he said, you know, if this turned out the wrong way, I was thinking about just

01:44:29   retiring.

01:44:29   Cause I don't need, I don't need this.

01:44:30   I don't, I didn't get into business to have somebody tell me what to do.

01:44:35   Um, and it's just, it's the, the fact that they just assumed that it would, you know,

01:44:41   and putting aside whether they could take signups in the app, they're like, fine, we

01:44:44   didn't do it with Basecamp.

01:44:45   We'll sign people up on our website.

01:44:46   We can get our own customers and we'll just have a client.

01:44:49   And, and the fact that Apple doesn't see that this entitlement that they express in

01:44:53   a lot of their few public statements on these things where they're there, they express

01:44:57   a sort of, why aren't these developers grateful for us for, for developing these tools that

01:45:04   Apple themselves needs to make their own apps?

01:45:06   Right.

01:45:06   That's the, the, the benefit of this that, you know, they make the, uh, you know, Epic

01:45:10   doesn't, isn't grateful for metal, but Apple's using metal.

01:45:13   And the fact that developers get to use it, the whole dog fooding thing is what makes

01:45:17   the platform work.

01:45:18   But why doesn't Apple see that even the free apps make the platform better, right?

01:45:24   That if you have a great WordPress client for your iPhone that is better than going

01:45:32   through the mobile website on the same phone is a, is a net benefit for everybody.

01:45:39   It's a win-win-win where WordPress and all the WordPress open source sites and other

01:45:44   people who aren't related to the company automatic, everybody with WordPress installed,

01:45:49   which is like a third of the web has a client they can get on the iPhone and it's, and

01:45:54   it's a better experience.

01:45:55   So the user benefits, they have a better experience for managing the website and Apple benefits

01:46:01   because their platform has a great client.

01:46:05   That's better than the web for managing WordPress sites.

01:46:08   It's win-win-win all around.

01:46:09   Why in the world are you trying to squeeze 30% of the money out of people who aren't

01:46:13   going to sign up in the app anyway?

01:46:15   Nobody's going to sign up to make a website for their company through the app.

01:46:19   It's crazy.

01:46:20   Yeah.

01:46:20   It's not going to happen.

01:46:21   Right.

01:46:21   So, so you look at like, what are you trying to enable in the world?

01:46:25   Right.

01:46:26   And I think if you're Apple, I assume, you know, I don't know these guys personally,

01:46:30   but like you want more base camps in the world, right?

01:46:34   You want more automatics in the world, but these are good.

01:46:36   You know, and I happen to know, you know, the founders of base camp and automatic for

01:46:40   20 years too, but like, these are, these are good software developers, right?

01:46:44   Right.

01:46:44   You know, these, these are people that make the tools we use.

01:46:47   Their business models make sense.

01:46:49   They are not enabling widespread misinformation and violence.

01:46:53   They're not, you know, they're not doing all the terrible things.

01:46:55   They're like, we made you a tool.

01:46:57   You use it to your job.

01:46:58   You pay us some money.

01:46:59   Bob's your uncle.

01:47:00   All's good.

01:47:00   You know what I mean?

01:47:01   I was like, yeah, all day long, more software like that, please run by thoughtful people.

01:47:05   Great.

01:47:05   Even better.

01:47:06   Right.

01:47:06   That's what you want.

01:47:08   That's what you want your software development ecosystem to be.

01:47:10   And then I look at it and I got a dog in this fight, right?

01:47:12   I make a tool that lets people make stuff on the web.

01:47:15   And it's very intentional that we've built a platform for the open web.

01:47:19   We think that's valuable, you know, but even putting that concern aside as a developer

01:47:25   and I've been involved, you know, I've developed for every platform really over a course of

01:47:29   my career.

01:47:30   When you develop for proprietary platform, it is in some ways fundamentally, you know,

01:47:37   a sharecropper position.

01:47:40   It is an extractive position because you are creating value to that platform owner and

01:47:44   you are trusting them to reciprocate enough value and kind, right?

01:47:49   Where you're going to be able to make a living and your users are going to benefit and the

01:47:53   over time, the value accrues to you.

01:47:54   And this is why, whether it's Sherlocking or bundling or tying those things are so fraught

01:47:59   because it violates that trust in there.

01:48:01   And it also reveals the thing that everybody is not talking about, which is there is a

01:48:04   fundamental tension.

01:48:05   If you make enough money on any platform, the platform will integrate that thing.

01:48:09   They will either buy you or they'll compete with you, right?

01:48:12   Because if it's that much value on the platform, they can't let it go outside.

01:48:14   And I think about this a lot of times.

01:48:16   It's like, yeah, put aside Basecamp and Automattic.

01:48:18   You know, Adobe made its bones on the Mac platform.

01:48:21   That's how it became a global software titan.

01:48:25   But you couldn't make Adobe today on iOS, right?

01:48:28   If you extracted that much value, they would bundle you or they would buy you or they would

01:48:32   compete with you and shut you down.

01:48:33   And then the inverse of that is nobody can argue.

01:48:38   It's pretty good now, but nobody can argue V1 of Apple Maps got millions of users on

01:48:42   merit.

01:48:43   Nobody would argue that, right?

01:48:45   And maybe it got an unfair time or whatever, but there's nobody that's like, I made a

01:48:50   considered decision, I looked at all the options and most people chose this thing.

01:48:54   And so there is a thumb on the scale with bundling and tying.

01:48:59   And this was the Microsoft issue.

01:49:00   This is the Apple issue now, which gets to if you reveal that your thumb is on the scale

01:49:06   in two ways, one of which is you're only allowed to make a certain ceiling of revenue

01:49:12   before or in a certain strategic category before we will subsume you one way or the

01:49:18   other, either increase the tariff or bundle you or, you know, compete you out.

01:49:23   Or the other issue, which is that, well, we can choose what we bundle and what's in here

01:49:27   and what we compete with you.

01:49:28   Anytime you reveal that, developers have to still feel like they're not threatened by

01:49:32   it.

01:49:33   And the way you get there is certainty in defining this is where the platform goes and

01:49:36   this is where it doesn't go.

01:49:37   These are the boundaries that are there.

01:49:39   Or, or at the very least, document the interface.

01:49:43   If you'd like to swap out, here's what you do.

01:49:45   Now, there's problems around that around user experience.

01:49:47   This is where Apple, you know, I think has had a very good point of view, which is, you

01:49:51   know, the experience on the Android phones when you would like open a photo and be like,

01:49:54   here's your first time using the phone.

01:49:56   Here's five different photo apps.

01:49:57   What do you want to use?

01:49:58   Terrible.

01:49:58   Nobody wants that.

01:49:59   And it's bad for users.

01:50:00   And then there's this fundamental thing that goes back to the thing we talked about with

01:50:03   the regulation and policy.

01:50:04   We look at competitive markets as if you can substitute, you know, X for Y, Coke for Pepsi,

01:50:10   right?

01:50:11   And the truth is things blur that line all the time.

01:50:14   In the Microsoft Internet Explorer era, they were characteristically just petulant about

01:50:20   it.

01:50:20   They were like little children where they were like, oh, we can't put a browser in it?

01:50:24   Well, then we're gonna take the browser engine out.

01:50:26   We're gonna break all your apps, right?

01:50:28   Because you need to have both the app instance, the user-facing instance, and the system component

01:50:33   capability.

01:50:33   And we look at that on, you know, iOS.

01:50:36   And it's like the camera is both a system capability and an app.

01:50:40   And, you know, the WebKit so far is both a system capability and a user-facing app.

01:50:45   And so we have all these things that are both.

01:50:47   And the thing about that is internally, internal to a big company, everything that becomes

01:50:54   sufficiently used by users will reflexively be seen as, well, we have to have that on

01:50:59   the platform.

01:50:59   Of course we do.

01:51:00   Why would we want to deny anybody that?

01:51:01   Because it becomes successful, right?

01:51:04   And so there's a definitional creep that happens.

01:51:06   You just agglomerate it's colonialism.

01:51:10   Or like you just, well, of course it has to be ours.

01:51:12   If we don't do it, then somebody else could do it.

01:51:14   And then that would be bad.

01:51:15   And again, not to relitigate an old war, but PostScript was proprietary to Adobe and they

01:51:21   licensed it.

01:51:22   And everybody's fonts printed out real bit mappy before.

01:51:27   And then with PostMap, they came out of your laser printer smooth.

01:51:29   And then Apple and Adobe or Apple and Microsoft sort of were like, well, we need our own thing

01:51:35   like that and we don't want to pay Adobe.

01:51:37   So they made true type.

01:51:38   And I know I'm simplifying this argument greatly, but Adobe was like, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, we own

01:51:43   vector output of fonts.

01:51:45   And it's like, no, of course, once you see it, you have to have it.

01:51:49   It has to be built in.

01:51:50   And the idea that you would need third party software to get smooth vector font output,

01:51:54   it's just like in hindsight, it's like, yeah, of course it was going to be built in.

01:51:57   Yeah.

01:51:58   And so I think that pattern just keeps repeating, which is like, if you want to long term have

01:52:03   developer trust, and you want to do right by your consumers, you have to define the

01:52:08   boundaries around the terms by which you will either expand your grasp and pull in those

01:52:12   things, or that you will kill off third parties, or that you will change the economics for

01:52:17   devs.

01:52:18   And they're because Apple doesn't proactively communicate like that's not ever their style.

01:52:23   Like they just say what they say on their schedule.

01:52:26   It feeds the uncertainty.

01:52:29   Yeah.

01:52:29   And, and also they are shifting.

01:52:31   Right.

01:52:32   Apple is more open these days and they do engage more these days.

01:52:35   And, you know, there's been this shift, but they're still, they don't know where they're

01:52:39   going to about what their communication style to developers will be.

01:52:42   They know they're more open than they used to be.

01:52:44   And I think that the stunning moment on that was talking about the Mac Pro roadmap, right?

01:52:49   Like that was such a change.

01:52:50   And it was like, for the better, I actually think it's great, but they don't, they're

01:52:53   like, okay, we're, we're still closed by default and communication.

01:52:57   We are slightly over open when there's something really egregious, but only a certain

01:53:01   categories, right?

01:53:02   You wouldn't do that about butterfly keyboard.

01:53:04   You wouldn't do that about, you know, and tennegate back in the day.

01:53:07   Like there's still categories where we're like, we don't dignify that with a response.

01:53:10   And this thing is so diffused to your point.

01:53:13   It's so fuzzy that you can't say to a developer, well, we're going to do X or Y, right?

01:53:17   The only time you get that Christmas of answer is if you're Taylor Swift or if it's so

01:53:22   acute, you know, where I love the idea that DHH and Taylor Swift are in the same category.

01:53:27   That's fascinating to me.

01:53:28   Right.

01:53:28   And in DHH's case, it's like inadvertently, cause I don't, I love DHH and Jason Fried,

01:53:33   but like, there's no way they were so clever that they timed the hay thing that well to

01:53:38   be right before, you know?

01:53:39   No, in fact, I know it was going to come out before, but it was postponed by the coronavirus

01:53:45   and the quarantine, you know, would have been lucky.

01:53:47   But if on the, on the eve of your big developer event, you have incredibly respected visible

01:53:53   developers saying we got completely screwed and we tried to follow the rules.

01:53:58   That is your worst case scenario.

01:53:59   In a way that you really, at a common sense level, most people really saw it on their

01:54:03   side.

01:54:04   It really, you know, there's a very common sense.

01:54:06   No brainer.

01:54:07   Cut and dry.

01:54:08   All right.

01:54:08   Let me take one last break here.

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01:56:23   Here, let me read this quote.

01:56:25   And it's from Francisco Tolmaski, who was, uh, he was on the mobile Safari team at Apple

01:56:31   when the original iPhone came out and he's a very astute critic of the current app store situation.

01:56:37   "Remember Apple's iOS rules would not have allowed for the invention of the web browser.

01:56:42   Let that sink in.

01:56:43   They would have rejected one of the most important technical innovations in the history of computing,

01:56:47   Microsoft's bully tactic of making IE free seems quaint in comparison."

01:56:51   And it, you know, if you had the basic idea, if you had an idea that is to today's mobile

01:56:59   web, what the web browser was to the desktop, Apple wouldn't approve it on iOS.

01:57:05   And I think that's true.

01:57:07   It's fundamentally true.

01:57:09   And that's, it's a good way of espousing an argument that people have of there should be some

01:57:16   way, something outside the app store, whether you call it sideloading or, or whatever you want to

01:57:21   do, but some way that if somebody wanted to write software to run on iPhones, that isn't compatible

01:57:27   with the control again, skipping the money, right?

01:57:30   Nothing to do with money.

01:57:31   It's it's, I have a great idea, but it's incompatible with the rules and it would be awesome.

01:57:35   This is fundamentally broken and I get it.

01:57:40   Right.

01:57:40   And I think that there's people who are like, why don't I get it?

01:57:43   Why, you know, why don't you see that?

01:57:44   I do.

01:57:45   I do.

01:57:45   It's absolute, but it's a trade-off, right?

01:57:48   There's also the fact that the freedom to write software at that level, the freedom

01:57:53   for Adobe to write the PostScript extension for Mac OS that boots as the system boots.

01:57:58   So that the, the, the, uh, and what was it?

01:58:02   ATM, Adobe type manager that rendered anti-aliased fonts before the system could do it so that

01:58:09   the font actually looked good.

01:58:11   And it was amazing.

01:58:11   It was the future, but it was a third party that rendered

01:58:15   your PostScript fonts on screen in the operating system.

01:58:19   I mean, that was fabulous.

01:58:21   It's unbelievable.

01:58:22   And it was great and it made it move the industry forward.

01:58:25   But having the ability to install software at that level is also what led to malware.

01:58:31   And again, and I know malware is sort of scary.

01:58:34   And, and, and, and, and system instability, right?

01:58:37   System instability.

01:58:37   Disable all your extensions.

01:58:39   Right.

01:58:39   And it's at the enthusiast level where you, you co we coasted through that era, knowing

01:58:46   that we could manage our computers and were careful about what we installed and knew how

01:58:50   to fix things if they went wrong.

01:58:52   And it wasn't like our lives were over.

01:58:54   If we had to start over with a new computer or whatever, normal people aren't like that.

01:58:59   And like the encapsulation of computing into something where you can feel a hundred percent

01:59:05   confident that there is no way to mess up your iPhone is also a thing.

01:59:09   They're both things, right?

01:59:11   That is an absolute truth that part of the excess success of the iPhone isn't despite

01:59:18   Apple's control over every bit of software you can install.

01:59:21   It's because of it.

01:59:23   And yet that same control is what keeps a third party.

01:59:28   Like if glitch, if your company came up with an idea that would glitchify the OS, I mean,

01:59:34   just, you know, just cause you're here, but it's not outlandish that you would, but it

01:59:38   would involve allowing anybody to program and put apps on it through glitch on the phone.

01:59:44   It's not going to go through the app store, right?

01:59:46   It's just not, they're not going to let it, you know?

01:59:48   So how do we square that?

01:59:50   How do we, how do we deal with this?

01:59:51   Where both of, you know, how do we deal with the cognitive dissonance that both of these

01:59:55   things are true?

01:59:55   So there's, there's a, there's a real tension here because iOS devices are not general

02:00:01   computing devices.

02:00:01   They're not.

02:00:03   They're not designed to be.

02:00:04   And people go nuts when I say this, and now they're going to go after you.

02:00:07   Thank you for saying that.

02:00:08   That's fine.

02:00:09   I mean, but they're well, and I think that's actually a thing that's worth understanding,

02:00:13   which is like, um, the, the computer in your car is not a general computing device, right?

02:00:19   Right.

02:00:20   Most computers in our lives are not general computing devices, right?

02:00:23   There's one in your microwave and there's one in your car and there's one in your

02:00:26   smart speaker.

02:00:27   And none of them are general computing devices, but our expectations as developers are defined

02:00:33   by general computing devices.

02:00:35   And we see how they all could be, right?

02:00:37   It's easy to see how the iPhone could do that.

02:00:40   People do take apart whatever your clock radio and they're like, I got it to run Linux.

02:00:45   Okay, cool, cool.

02:00:46   That's great.

02:00:47   But like, like the fact that it is hackable is a different thing and it has a different

02:00:51   purpose and, and, and it would not occur to anybody to be like, my microwave computer

02:00:55   does not stream Spotify and it's as an injustice.

02:00:59   Right.

02:00:59   And so, so, so, but the nature of it is that, and I think this is the non-obvious part.

02:01:05   It goes all the way back to the conversation about the command line and real computers,

02:01:10   right?

02:01:10   Everybody who can make apps on iOS is, is somebody that's comfortable in the command

02:01:15   line at some point, right?

02:01:16   Like at some point you drop down and do it, you write code at some point.

02:01:19   And so for a developer, an iPhone or an iPad is a general computing device.

02:01:26   If you have an Apple developer account and you have X code, it is, you can do whatever

02:01:31   you want.

02:01:32   It is a device that can do whatever you want.

02:01:34   And so that's something that's really, that's, I think that cognitive tension between my

02:01:41   users can't experience it as whatever I can imagine, but I can experience what I imagine

02:01:45   because I can see under the hood.

02:01:47   I can see the Unix under the hood and, and, and like that thing, which is like, Apple

02:01:53   could articulate these principles, which is like, nobody expects, why can't I do any random

02:01:58   thing on a Nintendo Switch?

02:02:00   Nobody's, nobody's even mad about it.

02:02:02   Like doesn't even occur to them.

02:02:03   And, and, and, and, you know, the iPhone is an app console, right?

02:02:09   It is, it is a different thing.

02:02:11   And then the hardest tension with that comes from the fact that one of the apps on the

02:02:16   console is a web browser.

02:02:17   Right.

02:02:17   And, and, and that changes our expectations again.

02:02:21   And again, I don't even remember if the Switch has a web browser, but like the old Nintendo,

02:02:24   the Wii did.

02:02:25   Yeah.

02:02:25   Yeah.

02:02:25   I mean, the fact is I don't even care because it wouldn't occur to me to browse the web

02:02:29   on the damn thing because who cares?

02:02:30   Right.

02:02:30   That's what people always, when I bring up this app console metaphor, they're like, well,

02:02:33   when's the last time you browse the web on your Switch?

02:02:35   And I'm like, I agree, but that's not, that's not what I'm saying.

02:02:38   But it's the same ability to task.

02:02:40   Right.

02:02:40   Yeah.

02:02:41   And so I'll bring it all the way back.

02:02:43   I think, you know, none of these are original arguments, but, but when we make that argument,

02:02:47   the, the question is like one will developers ever be comfortable with a general, what looks

02:02:56   like a general purpose device that is not a general purpose computer.

02:03:00   And the answer is no, like they can't be because we have all tasted of the forbidden fruit.

02:03:06   Do you mean, and I'm old enough where it's like, I had computers that booted into a command

02:03:09   line.

02:03:10   If you couldn't code, you couldn't do anything with it.

02:03:11   You can do jack shit with it.

02:03:13   Right.

02:03:14   But you come all the way to this era and you're like, I know there's a computer lurking in

02:03:18   there and it is so tantalizingly close that it is frustrating.

02:03:23   They can't get to it.

02:03:23   And, and the best analog to these products on Android, you kind of can't now it's still

02:03:29   flawed and all these other reasons and, and, and it does introduce a risk.

02:03:32   And I think that's sort of this thing of like the fundamental emotional tension of like,

02:03:37   I can see, I can see through the window, right.

02:03:40   Or it's people through the keyhole to the place I want to be, but you won't let me go

02:03:44   there because you say I'll hurt myself.

02:03:45   Right.

02:03:47   And, and, and the truth of it is Apple is right.

02:03:50   Like there would be millions more people in the world whose data would be stolen or credit

02:03:55   cards would be leaked if Apple unlock the platform like that as a risk.

02:03:59   But there are also, for example, millions of people who can't do work as sex workers

02:04:04   because they, they, an iPhone won't let them use apps that they want to use for payment.

02:04:08   Right.

02:04:09   And there are people who can all these categories, right.

02:04:12   That your things you just can't do.

02:04:14   And a lot of us don't bump into them that much, but you, you feel it.

02:04:18   And developers are this sort of leading edge where they can, and it's interesting cause

02:04:22   they articulate it in terms of their own needs.

02:04:24   Right.

02:04:25   But, but I think what they're fighting for is like, but a user would want to do X would

02:04:29   want to be able to send their data to this place that's too hard right now or run an

02:04:33   app that's not fun.

02:04:34   I think like the very, very simple, clear example to me is game emulators, like a licensed

02:04:41   classic video game emulator, the Atari 2600.

02:04:43   Yeah.

02:04:43   Right.

02:04:44   It is madness that there's not a really good Atari 2600 emulator that could just include

02:04:49   the games that you want to hit pitfall and Pac-Man and you could just play it.

02:04:53   And there's a lot of reasons why, right.

02:04:55   And it's like, Oh, but it encourages piracy and all these kinds of things, but also low

02:04:58   level system access, you know, below the level of the API's that they don't want you to

02:05:02   get to because to make it perform it, you probably would have to do that.

02:05:05   Nah, I don't think you would.

02:05:06   Maybe not with Metal anymore, but, but, but that's that historically was an argument,

02:05:10   but there's a lot of reasons why we get, why they didn't do it.

02:05:12   It gets into that risky category and all those things to say is like, there's a, there's

02:05:17   a paternalism, there's a, we know better.

02:05:19   Yes.

02:05:19   Right.

02:05:20   And, and people are chafing at the, we know better, even though I think developers would

02:05:25   agree develop the users left to their own devices will put their data at risk.

02:05:28   We'll do weird, foolish things with their device.

02:05:31   If you let them, I think actually it was a triumph that they could go a decade plus without

02:05:36   having to put a file manager on iOS.

02:05:38   Right.

02:05:40   Like that's fantastic.

02:05:41   And it's great.

02:05:41   And in some ways, kind of, I know that again, this is a whole show, but in some ways kind

02:05:46   of made it worse by adding it, you know, that, that there was,

02:05:50   Yeah, yeah.

02:05:50   Now you have to, you know, they have two things.

02:05:52   Right.

02:05:52   And I've just using an app the other day where there's, it, it both tries to span.

02:05:57   I don't want to mention it cause I don't want to throw under the bus cause I think there's

02:06:00   a noble effort, but they're trying to span the, everything is in the app in a library,

02:06:05   like Apple notes, but also you can open files and it's like, uh,

02:06:09   all of a sudden it's like, where's the thing I'm typing in right now?

02:06:12   Is this one of the files or is it in the library?

02:06:14   And it's like, you kind of can't have it both ways.

02:06:17   No, yeah.

02:06:17   You don't want to have a mental model of what their data storage is.

02:06:20   But yeah, that's sort of it is there's this abstraction and that's actually, that's the

02:06:24   underlying thing, which is what feels like paternalism to a dev is actually a level of

02:06:28   abstraction, a way of concerns about technology that enables a wider audience.

02:06:33   And when you had to go to the file menu and choose open, that precluded a billion

02:06:39   people from being able to understand how to use their device.

02:06:42   And people don't want to reckon with that cause like we get it, we know not only do I know what's

02:06:46   in the file system, I know it's under the file system.

02:06:48   Right.

02:06:48   Right.

02:06:49   And it's like, but that's not where people want to live their life.

02:06:52   Right.

02:06:52   Then, you know, you know, this too, you know, this too, it's still to this day,

02:06:56   you cannot talk to normal people about the difference between Ram and storage.

02:06:59   It's all memory, right?

02:07:00   No, but it's weird.

02:07:01   And it may be, maybe that's right.

02:07:02   Maybe it's a weird glitch in the English language that we have this word memory.

02:07:07   That means both, but I suspect linguistically, it probably is true in a lot of languages,

02:07:11   but it's remembering the thing it's, you know, but is it remembering a thing and you turn the

02:07:15   power off and it goes away or remembering a thing and you turn the power off and it's still there.

02:07:19   And it's like, you try to explain this to people and they're like, what, you know?

02:07:22   And it's like, yeah.

02:07:23   Yeah.

02:07:23   And all these, right.

02:07:24   All these concepts of like abstraction are very hard.

02:07:27   And the weird thing, I say this all the time on the glitch side of things, which is like,

02:07:30   I'm like the hardest part of coding is not the coding.

02:07:32   It's everything else around, right?

02:07:34   It's understanding all the concepts and setting up your development environment,

02:07:37   all these kinds of things.

02:07:38   And it's like reading the code is like reading algebra.

02:07:41   And a lot of people can do that, you know?

02:07:43   And so that's such an interesting thing to me is like, this keeps coming up over and over,

02:07:46   which is like, we think we ignore the complexity of the abstractions we're living around

02:07:51   in favor of the part that seems easy to us.

02:07:54   So I mentioned this.

02:07:54   And defending that is hard.

02:07:57   Yeah.

02:07:57   I mentioned this to a friend and they didn't even realize it worked like this, but in terms,

02:08:00   again, I don't have a solution.

02:08:01   There is no easy answer.

02:08:03   But why does Apple insist that everything subscriptions go through their payment system

02:08:08   if it's in the app?

02:08:09   Well, the cynical answer is because they want 30% of it.

02:08:12   And that is true.

02:08:13   And I think part of whatever Apple can undo this is by starting to say, we're not going

02:08:18   to, we'll take it, but we'll also make it easy to do this outside the app, right?

02:08:24   And it's that Netflix hay model of you can take signups on your website outside the app,

02:08:32   and then you can have an app where people just sign in and use the service.

02:08:35   And we don't get a penny because you signed up outside.

02:08:38   But if you sign up in the app, you do it our way and we take our 30%.

02:08:42   And here's an idea of this encapsulation.

02:08:46   So I've complained publicly about the New York Times, and I'll throw them under the bus

02:08:49   because I love the company and I love the newspaper, but I'm a subscriber and I've been

02:08:52   a subscriber for a while.

02:08:53   But if you want to unsubscribe from the New York Times digital, you have to call them

02:08:57   on the telephone and you talk to somebody whose job it is to keep you from unsubscribing.

02:09:02   And it's not getting on the phone and people have gotten out or told me they've done it,

02:09:06   you know, and it's like the minimum amount of time it takes is like 40 minutes.

02:09:10   It's ridiculous.

02:09:11   Yeah, yeah.

02:09:11   It's a half hour of your life for somebody.

02:09:13   If you subscribe to the New York Times in the app on your phone, you go to iCloud subscriptions,

02:09:20   New York Times unsubscribe and you are unsubscribed.

02:09:23   It's, you know, so this is this actually another really good example.

02:09:27   That's all true.

02:09:28   And, you know, for Apple, the argument of we have to be mediators on payment because

02:09:33   we'll offer a better experience and we'll get our 30 percent, both are true, right?

02:09:40   Like their economic incentive is aligned with their user experience incentive.

02:09:43   And one of the hardest parts of this for third party developers is the use case you just

02:09:49   talked about.

02:09:49   They're like, well, I don't do that.

02:09:51   Right.

02:09:51   Apple is trying to protect the ecosystem from the overall harm, which is that there are

02:09:56   bad actors in the developer ecosystem.

02:09:58   Right.

02:09:58   And the individual developer, you know, the base camp guys are not the bad actors.

02:10:02   They've been good actors.

02:10:03   So they're like, why am I being punished for this other guy being a jerk?

02:10:07   And that's actually the kind of thing where, like, I think this is such a powerful opportunity.

02:10:11   Apple can set up incentives because they have a big enough platform where could a developer

02:10:16   earn the right to do payment off platform by proving over time or with affirmations

02:10:23   in the app or some kind of app review status.

02:10:25   Like, this is the thing is like that idea of there being dynamics is really powerful

02:10:30   because then again, that thing of like, well, why does Amazon get a deal on iOS that I don't

02:10:34   there Amazon or trillion dollar company or not?

02:10:37   You're some kid in the garage.

02:10:38   Right.

02:10:38   So how do you get there?

02:10:41   Right.

02:10:42   And step one can't be one be a trillion dollar company.

02:10:44   Right.

02:10:45   You know, step two, question mark, step three profit.

02:10:47   Right.

02:10:47   So you just sort of document here's a playing field that you can play on and understand

02:10:51   the rules of and not game.

02:10:53   Just just understand you can earn user trust and do these things.

02:10:56   And that's like that.

02:10:57   That's what it bugs the shit out of me.

02:10:59   It's what vexes me so much is they they they will understand the flaws in their system.

02:11:05   They make a strong argument.

02:11:06   We have to mediate overall the user experience because we are protecting users from bad actors

02:11:12   who are hard to distinguish from you.

02:11:14   Good actors.

02:11:15   Yeah, that's actually it's not easy.

02:11:17   It is not easy.

02:11:17   And and and I think that's such a that's like that's not obvious because you don't see them.

02:11:22   You don't see the bad actor.

02:11:23   They're blocked.

02:11:23   Yeah, there's there's a bit on the that's such an important idea.

02:11:27   There's a bit of that on the Mac with the Mac App Store where the Mac has these things

02:11:33   that you can do outside the sandbox, you know, where you can't it's not even conceptually

02:11:37   possible on iOS and that certain apps in the Mac App Store have entitlements to use the

02:11:41   technical term to do things like BB edit is in the Mac App Store and can do things outside

02:11:47   the file system that a default app from a kid in a garage can't do.

02:11:51   You can and then people say, well, wait, you said you treat all developers the same.

02:11:56   Well, you can ask for the entitlement.

02:11:58   So in a sense, I think that's Apple's we're not lying.

02:12:02   Every developer can ask for the same entitlement.

02:12:04   Right.

02:12:05   But they may not get it.

02:12:07   And there's where some people will say, well, then they're not being treated the same.

02:12:09   But if you have the track record that bare bones software has of being trustworthy and

02:12:14   being a decade, right?

02:12:15   And maybe, you know, you know, let's skip the decades part and say you don't have to do it

02:12:18   now 30 years.

02:12:19   But, you know, that that that maybe there could be entitlements for payment that you can earn

02:12:25   and that and then the argument for, you know, we treat everybody the same as everybody can

02:12:30   earn it the same way.

02:12:31   And so here's that's actually it.

02:12:32   I just want to say real quick.

02:12:34   There's this idea of platform brokers mediating permissions for the players on their platform.

02:12:38   And it's really important because if you don't have some mediation there, you end up with

02:12:42   the permissions overload, right?

02:12:44   Like the old I think is Windows Vista.

02:12:47   Like every time you did anything, you moved your mouse.

02:12:48   Do you want to confirm this by your admin password?

02:12:50   Right.

02:12:51   And we almost are trending towards that because like every app wants location and alerts and

02:12:55   dah, dah, dah.

02:12:55   And I'm like, I don't want to have to hit allow 15 times when I install an app.

02:12:59   So the platform has to mediate some permissions.

02:13:01   And we see this with every kind of platform, like the social networks.

02:13:04   They YouTube is completely abdicated that they have any responsibility for the content

02:13:09   on their platform.

02:13:10   And it has been to the worst.

02:13:11   People have died as a result.

02:13:12   Yeah.

02:13:12   Right.

02:13:13   And so if they take it some there's this middle ground between complete wild west and

02:13:18   where patronizing you all be by paternalistically locking down all the permissions.

02:13:24   And that's the thing that Apple can document and navigate.

02:13:27   And they are smart enough and they get it.

02:13:29   And they can also articulate.

02:13:30   They are very good at articulating their arguments.

02:13:32   This is good for users because, you know, like whatever thoughts on flash, like all

02:13:36   that stuff is a very strong articulation of user benefit value that people can be like,

02:13:41   I didn't get it at first, but I'll come along with you.

02:13:44   And if they could do this on this, where there's a third party payment entitlement and you

02:13:49   could earn it through these trusted behaviors.

02:13:51   And you know, it could be like, whatever, there's a payment escrow if we need to be

02:13:54   able to refund or you commit to following a privacy policy where you're not gonna use

02:13:58   people's data this way, whatever it is advocating for users.

02:14:01   I think devs would sign up for it enthusiastically.

02:14:03   They'd be like, I want to show I'm one of the good guys.

02:14:05   I want the gold star of trusted to do payments.

02:14:08   Right.

02:14:08   So to tie this off.

02:14:09   So you have an Atari 2600 or an old Sega Genesis or whatever the Nintendo system was that was

02:14:16   so obscure that I don't remember, but you wanted to switch games.

02:14:19   What'd you do?

02:14:19   You took the cartridge out, you put the other cartridge in.

02:14:22   Now you have a new game, right?

02:14:24   How do you delete an app on iOS and, and all of its, everything, all the files, everything

02:14:29   it had, you just delete the app from your home screen, right?

02:14:33   That's it.

02:14:33   That's it.

02:14:34   You don't have to clean anything up.

02:14:35   There's no cleaning up situation.

02:14:37   There's nothing left behind.

02:14:38   It's just, it's, it's neat.

02:14:39   Here's the cool thing.

02:14:41   So people don't know this.

02:14:42   I don't think, cause I've mentioned this to a few people and they don't realize it.

02:14:44   If you have an app with a subscription and you subscribe and then you're like, ah, I'm

02:14:50   done with this app.

02:14:51   I don't like it.

02:14:51   And you delete the app and you say, do you want to delete this app?

02:14:54   You delete the app on your iPhone.

02:14:56   It then says, do you want to keep your subscription or cancel your subscription?

02:15:00   Yeah.

02:15:01   Yeah.

02:15:01   Yeah.

02:15:01   And that is it, that your subscription is encapsulated in the app, the same way your

02:15:09   files are encapsulated in the app.

02:15:11   Everything is encapsulated in the app and it's as neat conceptually as the cartridge

02:15:16   in the old physical days.

02:15:18   And again, it's a massive form of user advocacy and it's a very incredibly hard technical

02:15:22   thing to pull off and it's seamless, but there's an, and it's a triumph, but you also

02:15:26   would never notice, right?

02:15:27   So it's not one line of code, but there could be in theory and API for your, you know, payment

02:15:32   entitlement thing.

02:15:33   You have to support this and we'll test it in review and you're, if the New York Times

02:15:38   wants to take credit cards on their own in the app, they can do it.

02:15:42   You know, through these terms.

02:15:44   And then when you delete the New York Times app, it also will say, would you like to cancel

02:15:48   your New York Times subscription and you'll cancel it the same way, you know?

02:15:51   But that encapsulation is part of the appeal of the iPhone and, and you can't ignore that

02:15:57   by saying, I wish that I could make a, an app that, that goes outside the app store

02:16:02   without acknowledging that these things are useful from the user's perspective.

02:16:06   And that's actually, I think that's sort of my fundamental frustration, which is there,

02:16:09   there's, these are solvable problems and there's no way to have this conversation.

02:16:13   And it's not, none of this is science fiction, right?

02:16:16   Like we just distilled it down into, okay, payment entitlement, blah, blah, blah.

02:16:19   Like we, we, we brought the problem down, right?

02:16:21   And Apple knows all this.

02:16:23   They've had a decade plus to think about it.

02:16:25   Somebody's floated this idea.

02:16:26   There's an entire keynote internally about this somewhere.

02:16:29   Right.

02:16:30   And, and that's not visible.

02:16:32   And that, that actually is the thing that really hurts developer trust because a million

02:16:36   people could spit all better idea than this.

02:16:37   Every person listens.

02:16:38   I will, I can fix it by doing this.

02:16:40   I have a better idea.

02:16:40   Right.

02:16:41   That's great.

02:16:41   And that's the part that I think gets to the, the inequity that people push back against

02:16:47   and gets to the, like what harms trust.

02:16:49   Right.

02:16:49   Because they're like, well, we know like, like you're affirmatively choosing this ecosystem

02:16:53   because you're frustrated by other ones.

02:16:56   Yeah.

02:16:56   Right.

02:16:56   And, and, and that's something where, you know, I, you know, I spent all day long advocating

02:17:02   to people why they should build stuff on the web.

02:17:04   Right.

02:17:04   And it's actually not that hard to sell when they think about it, but there's a generation

02:17:08   developers, you know, I'm trying to get them to look at glitch and they're like, oh, but

02:17:12   you know, you're not an app store.

02:17:14   And that's how people use apps.

02:17:16   And I call people used to use websites and they do every day, but they get to it through

02:17:19   a link on one of those other apps, you know, and.

02:17:23   The hardest concept for them to understand is especially for like young kids, students

02:17:28   are like, well, I made the, you know, my little app on the web and then who do I send it to?

02:17:34   You know, I'm like, no, you don't have to ask anybody for approval.

02:17:37   You don't have to, you know what I mean?

02:17:39   And the most mind blowing thing by far most mind blowing thing for them is view source.

02:17:44   Right.

02:17:44   When you tell them you can view source on a website and you can see it all and you can

02:17:48   copy and paste it, you know, work on your, your webpage.

02:17:51   It, they're like, did I hack this?

02:17:54   Like, am I allowed?

02:17:55   Is this like there?

02:17:57   And what I realized is because they've come up in.

02:17:59   Locked down ecosystems on platforms that were not general purpose computing devices.

02:18:04   What was the starting point for a generation of us that learned coding on computers where

02:18:08   that was all you could do is now seen as transgressive.

02:18:12   Right.

02:18:13   And that is a loss.

02:18:14   That is a thing that I actually think Apple, you know, Swift playgrounds is fine, but it's

02:18:19   called playgrounds, right?

02:18:20   It's intrinsically infantilizing, right?

02:18:23   And an Xcode is like, it's a lifestyle commitment.

02:18:26   Like you're doing a whole, you know, like there's a big leap there.

02:18:29   And, and, and, and there's actually this middle ground, which could be like, if I make

02:18:34   an app and I just want to share with my friends, I don't want in the app store.

02:18:36   Right.

02:18:37   What would I do if I just want to try stuff that generativity of what, you know, my kid

02:18:44   is on scratch all day and it's incredible.

02:18:46   Incredible platform.

02:18:47   I mean, just unbelievable.

02:18:48   And there's lots of different things like that.

02:18:50   I think that's the thing that like was the spirit that inspired these platforms and then

02:18:54   inspired the people to join them and is what is the emotional catalyst for why developers

02:19:00   chafe at the limits.

02:19:01   It is not abstract ideas about general purpose computing platforms, although I think they

02:19:06   can articulate it that way.

02:19:07   I think it is the thing that captured my spirit.

02:19:10   And that spoke to me like the first time I picked up a guitar or a keyboard and I could

02:19:13   express myself the first time I picked up a paintbrush or a pencil.

02:19:17   When I picked up a computer and I could really create with it, not toy create, not baby web.

02:19:22   Right.

02:19:23   Like, like, like job said in your little baby internet, like not baby web, but real, real

02:19:28   things.

02:19:29   Then that explained to me, you're empowering me.

02:19:31   Doesn't that explain the persistent popularity of Minecraft too?

02:19:35   Right.

02:19:36   Oh yeah.

02:19:36   Very much so.

02:19:37   Yeah.

02:19:37   Minecraft is in that space.

02:19:38   Roblox is in that space.

02:19:39   I mean, those are the, those are the models I look at when we built glitch, which is like,

02:19:42   I don't look at like, like we plug into visual studio code and that's great.

02:19:45   Then you can write code there, but like, I am not trying to clone an integrated development

02:19:50   environment made by a trillion dollar company.

02:19:52   I am like, where are people going and generatively building stuff that makes their hearts sing?

02:19:57   Right.

02:19:57   So I, we had to tie it off.

02:19:59   I know I've gone along, but let me tie this off with this thought.

02:20:03   And it's the flip side of, of Francisco.

02:20:06   Comalski's thing that you can't build the net, the, you know, the mosaic of 90 for today

02:20:12   on iOS.

02:20:13   But the flip side of it is you can't make it on iOS either.

02:20:17   Right.

02:20:17   That's what we're talking about, right?

02:20:19   You can't make it on iOS.

02:20:21   Like it's whether it should, there should be an option to turn your phone into that sort

02:20:28   of platform.

02:20:29   If you're a developer, I did, this is my spitball idea.

02:20:32   My loose, and I don't even want to get into defining it.

02:20:34   I'll just call it.

02:20:35   The name isn't sideloading.

02:20:37   It's developer mode.

02:20:40   It's developer mode.

02:20:41   There should be a developer mode for iOS and just the name alone should scare people off.

02:20:46   Your web browser.

02:20:47   Yeah.

02:20:48   Your web browser has developer tools and they're incredible and they're built in and they're

02:20:52   free.

02:20:52   But that to me is the part that it's sort of missing.

02:20:57   And I'm sure Francisco Tomasky, who I know offline a bit, I'm sure he'd agree.

02:21:00   I'm sure he'd say, yeah, you're right.

02:21:02   That does suck.

02:21:02   It sucks.

02:21:03   You should be able to use the phone and the iPad to make the thing for the phone and iPad

02:21:08   that doesn't fit within the rules.

02:21:09   But it's both sides of it.

02:21:11   Right.

02:21:11   And that's the thing is that all of the older computers and what I mean by general purpose

02:21:16   computer, and I know that it's what you mean is it's both.

02:21:19   It's that you can add things to it that weren't imagined before and you created them on the

02:21:25   thing itself.

02:21:26   And that's the magic.

02:21:27   That's the thing that is like, why am I still into these things and why I, you know, it's

02:21:32   that you use the thing to make the thing or just to break it apart and go.

02:21:37   And that thrill, that joy of getting it to light up and do the thing that you had in

02:21:42   your head and realizing this tool can make whatever I can imagine is what makes these

02:21:47   things special and why people chafe at any limits that feel like they're a barrier between

02:21:51   that.

02:21:52   And it is also the spark that inspired these companies to exist in the first place.

02:21:56   Yeah.

02:21:56   Yeah.

02:21:57   And they should just honor that thing that brought them in in the first place.

02:22:00   And I think that's such a vital.

02:22:02   It's so doable.

02:22:04   It's so close.

02:22:05   Thank you.

02:22:06   It's so good to have you here.

02:22:07   Everybody.

02:22:08   Let's do some point people.

02:22:10   So your personal site anildash.com.

02:22:13   Whatever happened to dashes.com?

02:22:15   You know, after a while, I was like, I want to put my name on it, but it's the same blog.

02:22:20   And your company glitch glitch.com where people should check this out and really very cool

02:22:30   stuff.

02:22:30   Really, really, really innovative.

02:22:33   And you could do whatever you want because it's all on the web.

02:22:35   Yeah.

02:22:35   Yeah.

02:22:36   I mean, people actually do make tons of you know, the biggest surprise was not just web

02:22:39   apps, but you can you can hook up to your iOS shortcuts.

02:22:43   Yeah.

02:22:44   And so you if you want like a little bit of like you need a little bit of logic on the

02:22:47   web to do something that you want your shortcut to do and you want to pull some data down

02:22:50   or do whatever you can do that.

02:22:52   So I think that's such an interesting space.

02:22:53   But yeah, anybody who's a dev, I think it's like, it's great that people are building,

02:22:57   you know, a slack bot or something for work or a dashboard.

02:22:59   But I just that the idea of a creative space to share something you want to make with the

02:23:03   world on the web.

02:23:04   Shortcuts is sort of and again, we can't go into it, but shortcuts is sort of the pinhole

02:23:10   through.

02:23:11   Yeah, yeah.

02:23:11   The thing that you can see the possibility through and it and it's both to see the possibility

02:23:16   and you find out that you can like, oh, now you can pop through and you can actually run

02:23:20   like a web service in your custom thing.

02:23:22   And so you can do a thing that had no imagination within, you know, you were hiding from me

02:23:27   the whole time, right?

02:23:28   It's like, oh, it is, you know, it is like a little peephole that you can see through

02:23:33   it. But the fact that it even exists in Apple clearly knows it exists and it's not often

02:23:38   a corner.

02:23:38   It's actually gets keynote time.

02:23:40   It lets you think that maybe somewhere within app, you know that they absolutely are aware

02:23:44   of this.

02:23:45   And why don't you tell us tell us your story about it?

02:23:47   Please tell us.

02:23:48   Yeah, right.

02:23:50   Yeah, yeah.

02:23:51   It's so it just it's so tantalizing.

02:23:53   All right.

02:23:53   Anil, so glad to have you.

02:23:55   Thank you for your time.