The Talk Show

72: Go To The Mat On Stickers


00:00:00   - You know what we could start with?

00:00:01   We could start with the,

00:00:04   'cause this came up on my show two weeks ago

00:00:08   with MG Siegler.

00:00:12   We couldn't figure out how to pronounce your website's name.

00:00:16   (laughing)

00:00:17   - It's pronounced Jif.

00:00:19   (laughing)

00:00:21   So no, actually I wanted to ask your advice on this

00:00:24   because it's actually, it is a bit of an ongoing issue.

00:00:29   So, you know, I thought I was being very clever and as I've learned now that I'm writing with

00:00:37   a bit more of an audience, cleverness does not go far on the web.

00:00:41   So I call it a strategic-ery.

00:00:43   There is the old Will Ferrell skit where he was being George W. Bush and they asked him,

00:00:48   you know, what's your plan?

00:00:49   And he just said, "Strategic-ery."

00:00:50   And it was a one word answer.

00:00:53   And so, you know, I was kind of the idea of strategy and tech together.

00:00:57   And I loved the kind of E with the phonetic symbol on top of it, and that's my Twitter

00:01:01   icon for the site.

00:01:06   But the problem is everyone says "St. Zachary," and honestly it makes more sense.

00:01:10   But I'm really loathe to either A, give up the phonetic symbol, or B, pronounce it in

00:01:16   opposition to the phonetic symbol.

00:01:18   So I kind of feel in a bind.

00:01:22   I was hoping for a goddamn answer.

00:01:25   If you don't know-- - I call it Stratecary.

00:01:28   But I call it Stratecary, but--

00:01:30   - If you don't know-- - I think I should

00:01:31   probably switch.

00:01:32   - I'm talking to Ben Thompson,

00:01:34   and his website is stratecary.com.

00:01:38   You've certainly seen it if you read my website.

00:01:40   I've linked to it many times over the last year.

00:01:42   Yeah, I've guessed that you meant Stratecary

00:01:48   because I see the whatever that's called over the E.

00:01:52   But it, yeah, in my head I've always called it stratechery.

00:01:57   - Yeah, I think I should probably switch it.

00:02:00   - Oh, I don't know.

00:02:01   - I'm totally doing the Jif joke for my first t-shirt, though.

00:02:06   - I didn't, I never thought of the Will Ferrell angle.

00:02:10   - I know, actually, if you,

00:02:12   I actually even have a pronunciation guide in the right bar,

00:02:14   which, you know, no one ever looks at,

00:02:16   but if you click it, it actually goes

00:02:18   to the Will Ferrell video.

00:02:21   - Which remains fantastic like 10 years later.

00:02:26   - Yeah, see, I've never been good

00:02:28   at reading those phonetic symbols.

00:02:31   In fact, the only one I know is the schwa.

00:02:34   - Which is my favorite one.

00:02:37   So I used to be an English teacher,

00:02:38   so when I first came to Taiwan,

00:02:39   that's the classic sort of,

00:02:42   I was gonna be here for a year, travel, teach English.

00:02:46   So I'm very familiar with phonetic symbols.

00:02:49   and so i thought it was kind of amusing to have them have them there but

00:02:53   yes lo and behold no one actually knows what the fuck they are so uh...

00:02:57   is this an explicit show or a clean show? I can't remember

00:03:00   I never mark it explicit but we let them fly

00:03:04   nobody ever... it's funny nobody complains i don't know i'll probably get

00:03:07   inundated

00:03:09   complaints and have itunes take it down off the store this week

00:03:14   yes so when you submit a new podcast there's

00:03:17   allegedly a review process,

00:03:19   and they say it'll take like a week,

00:03:20   but it actually comes back in like two hours,

00:03:21   and there's no way they actually listen to anything.

00:03:25   - And there's, you know,

00:03:26   I don't know what is the record for swear words

00:03:31   in an episode of the show,

00:03:32   but whatever it is, it's not that bad.

00:03:34   - Oh, no. - I don't think

00:03:36   the sweariest show that I've done is that bad.

00:03:39   - Well, considering the show's usually like two hours too,

00:03:41   the ratio of swear words to minute

00:03:43   has to be relatively low.

00:03:45   - I'm working on cutting that down,

00:03:46   And last week's show was only an hour.

00:03:49   This week's show will be short.

00:03:50   We'll be done in half an hour.

00:03:52   - Yeah, I don't have much to say.

00:03:54   - I also think it would be funny.

00:03:58   There are times if you do it right,

00:04:00   it can be very funny if you swear but bleep.

00:04:03   But it's more editing work.

00:04:07   - Well, what was the thing where they were adding bleeps?

00:04:11   Oh yeah, like that whole like,

00:04:12   what was that show that all the controversy or whatever.

00:04:16   like I've never even heard of it in my life,

00:04:18   but the guy made some like homophobic remarks.

00:04:21   And apparently one of the things they were really irritated

00:04:24   is that the network was adding bleeps to the show

00:04:27   that weren't actually swear words,

00:04:28   they were trying to like make it more interesting.

00:04:30   - Oh, was it the Duck Dynasty thing?

00:04:32   - Yes, yes, that's what it was.

00:04:33   - They were bleeping out non-swear.

00:04:35   (laughing)

00:04:37   Let it see, that's funny.

00:04:38   Jerry, I don't know if you ever heard it, dude,

00:04:41   there's an Adam Sandler song from, oh my God,

00:04:45   must be the late 90s called "Piece of Shit Car."

00:04:48   - Yes, I'm familiar. - And it's like a reggae song.

00:04:51   And the first time, we always laugh,

00:04:54   it was just one of those things we'll never forget.

00:04:56   I don't know where we were driving,

00:04:57   but it was just me and my wife in the car, and it came on.

00:05:00   And it was all bleeped out.

00:05:02   And we just assumed that the,

00:05:05   it was so funny with the bleeps

00:05:07   that we just assumed that that's what it was.

00:05:09   And in fact, no, that was the radio editor.

00:05:12   But it was just riddled with them.

00:05:15   but because everything rhymed, you knew what they all were.

00:05:18   And it really worked.

00:05:20   The swear words all hit on the rhymes.

00:05:23   So it actually was-- and I'm not a prude at all.

00:05:30   I don't think it needs to be bleeped out

00:05:32   for our precious little children's ears or anything.

00:05:36   But it was actually way funnier than the original.

00:05:40   But it's like one of those things, right?

00:05:41   Like it's weaving just a little bit to the imagination

00:05:44   makes it that much more alluring.

00:05:46   - Right, exactly.

00:05:49   Or the old trick you could pull

00:05:50   where if you write a little,

00:05:52   I used to, you know, I was a punk-ass kid,

00:05:54   and write this stupid four-line poem

00:05:57   where the last line is clearly leading,

00:06:00   you know, the rhyme is gonna end on a swear word,

00:06:02   but then you pick some other word.

00:06:04   - Yes.

00:06:05   And then when someone reads it and remarks on it,

00:06:09   you're like, that's not what I was going for at all.

00:06:12   What kind of foul intentions do you have?

00:06:13   Yeah, I was such an asshole.

00:06:15   - I wasn't.

00:06:18   (laughing)

00:06:20   - We could start with this whole WhatsApp thing, obviously.

00:06:26   I mean, it's, 'cause, what, do you understand this now,

00:06:29   when it was first reported that Facebook bought these guys,

00:06:32   that it was 16 billion, and then it went up to 19 billion?

00:06:36   Do you know what--

00:06:36   - Yeah, well, the three billion is basically

00:06:40   restricted stock units for the employees of WhatsApp.

00:06:42   It's a very, very strong golden handcuff basically to keep them in the company.

00:06:47   So there's theoretically possible that they won't be exercised and then it would be a $16 billion deal,

00:06:55   but given how lucrative they are and the fact that they should be easily, they should be converted,

00:07:03   I think from a more of a VC perspective it's probably more of a $16 billion deal.

00:07:09   deal like everyone I knew in VCU was calling it that and then everyone else is calling

00:07:13   it 19. I think it's fair to call it a $19 billion deal. I mean, there's...

00:07:16   But the deal was for, is it 16 billion in cash? Is that right?

00:07:20   No, no, no, no, no. There's, uh, I don't remember the exact numbers, but it's a, it's three

00:07:25   parts. It's the restricted stock units and then it's cash and then it's a Facebook stock.

00:07:29   All right. So that's the other thing too. I mean Facebook stock is super high right

00:07:32   now. So they have a lot of headroom to make these sort of acquisitions and that's one

00:07:41   of the advantages of having an IPO and having stock. There's tons of downsides as we see

00:07:47   with Apple a lot, but you get a lot of monopoly money to play with and they're taking advantage.

00:07:56   It's such a crazy high number. A couple of people have pointed out and there's a whole

00:08:01   Tumblr, you know, things that are worth less than WhatsApp. I should fire that up and just

00:08:10   see what's on there. Isn't Sony's market cap less than, I think...

00:08:16   I was looking at it today, so it should come up right away. Yeah, things that are cheaper

00:08:20   than WhatsApp.tumblr.com. So, yeah, four years, the National Cancer Institute, the NBA...

00:08:26   Yeah, that's...

00:08:28   - The Hubble Space Institute, the top 20 football clubs.

00:08:31   - Right, so the estimated market value

00:08:35   of every single team in the National Basketball Association

00:08:39   is less than 16 billion, or 19,

00:08:42   whatever you wanna call it, I don't know, but either way.

00:08:44   - Yeah, they're using 19 billion on this site.

00:08:46   - Right.

00:08:47   It seems crazy to me.

00:08:51   I mean, some of this, I don't know.

00:08:54   I mean, maybe it's right, and maybe it's just the way

00:08:57   that the human mind plays tricks on you.

00:08:58   But like, yeah, American Airlines,

00:09:00   they're the perfect example.

00:09:03   Like, I hate American Airlines, really.

00:09:05   I think I've only flown on American once in my life

00:09:10   and it was terrible.

00:09:13   I'm pretty sure, and if it's not once, it's twice.

00:09:15   (laughs)

00:09:17   - My favorite on here is Iceland, the entire country.

00:09:21   (laughs)

00:09:25   I

00:09:27   Mean if you want to get a lot of communication you you can put a bunch of people on Iceland and uh, you know

00:09:32   Monetize that so it is hard. It's hard to grasp numbers like that because we're talking, you know

00:09:37   it's it's a big number and you know, I'm just a

00:09:41   normal guy who carries, you know hundred dollars in his wallet, so

00:09:45   It's a big number

00:09:52   I don't think it's I mean that I was initially like I mean I

00:09:56   Got the message via a messenger app WeChat in this case. I was laying in bed

00:10:03   my you know time zones are obviously off and

00:10:05   My first in action was like whoa

00:10:09   but when you kind of dig into it if you look at like a per a

00:10:15   Per user number. It's like $40 per user, which is actually

00:10:20   relatively cheap.

00:10:21   Facebook user, according to the stock market,

00:10:24   is worth like $160.

00:10:27   Twitter user is worth quite a bit,

00:10:31   less than Facebook, but somewhere in the middle there.

00:10:34   And like Facebook bought Instagram,

00:10:36   which looks like a great deal now.

00:10:39   Same reaction then, people are like, holy crap,

00:10:40   a billion dollars. - Yeah, $1 billion, right.

00:10:42   - Right, and people were like, wow.

00:10:43   But they paid like $30 per user.

00:10:47   And now everyone's like, wow,

00:10:49   what a great deal that was.

00:10:51   And WhatsApp is in, you know,

00:10:53   $40 per user and that much more.

00:10:55   You actually, raises in my mind a bigger question

00:10:58   about like say Skype, where Microsoft paid $70 per user.

00:11:01   But the point is, on that sort of metric,

00:11:06   it's actually not outrageous.

00:11:10   I mean, it's difficult, I think,

00:11:12   to understand the scale of WhatsApp itself.

00:11:15   It is, by a significant margin,

00:11:17   second largest social network in the world. Second only to Facebook. I mean Facebook's

00:11:24   1.2 billion and WhatsApp is 450 million and it's 450 million active users. Like there's

00:11:31   lots of networks that are tons of active users, tons of registered users. And if you want

00:11:35   to value things as what are you paying per active user and you know active user is definitely

00:11:41   an important metric because there's an awful lot and I know that WhatsApp's numbers for

00:11:45   active users you know is is really really high it's something like 70% of

00:11:50   the people who've signed up are active users and so they daily yeah and so they

00:11:54   can just that's the number they actually use you know they don't they don't have

00:11:59   to talk brag about how many accounts they have or you you know users period

00:12:03   and sort of you know whitewash the fact that there's a whole bunch of them have

00:12:07   been inactive for 90 days or something like that they just talk about daily

00:12:10   active users and it's a really high number. But it's also clear if you look at the graph

00:12:17   of or any graph of like the number of messages they're sending or the number of users they're

00:12:22   sending or the number of signups they're getting daily that it's got to be an even lower number

00:12:27   than 40 or $45 per user because no matter what happens after this announcement, you

00:12:34   know, in the next couple of months, clearly they're still signing up for the next, for

00:12:38   let's just say half a year next year,

00:12:41   they're signing up somewhere around a million people a day.

00:12:43   - Yeah, there's a graph comparing the first four years

00:12:48   of WhatsApp to Facebook to Twitter to Gmail.

00:12:54   And someone quipped that this is the first time

00:12:56   that Facebook was ever willing to show a graph

00:12:58   that showed them getting destroyed

00:13:00   because WhatsApp is growing at four times the pace

00:13:03   that Facebook was.

00:13:05   And I think this is the key to really--

00:13:09   - The hockey stick part of the graph

00:13:11   is still going up on growth.

00:13:12   - Right, exactly.

00:13:13   - It's not even close to leveling off, it's accelerating.

00:13:16   So I think it's easily, you know,

00:13:19   if they're at 400 and some million now,

00:13:21   it's easy to think that a year from now

00:13:23   they might be at seven or eight, 900 million.

00:13:26   - Totally, totally.

00:13:27   And I think that, you know,

00:13:29   there's the one thing to remember is these kind of deals

00:13:33   where you're buying a accelerating service,

00:13:37   like they actually usually turn out pretty well.

00:13:39   I mean, everyone was scandalized

00:13:41   by Google buying YouTube for $3 billion.

00:13:44   Like that's a massive steal in retrospect.

00:13:48   Same thing with Instagram,

00:13:50   same thing with back in the 90s,

00:13:51   Microsoft buying Hotmail for like $400 million.

00:13:53   It was like the hugest acquisition at that time.

00:13:57   It was actually turned out to also be $40 a user.

00:14:01   And these sort of deals where you're buying a exploding viral networked sort of service

00:14:11   tend to turn out pretty well.

00:14:13   It's the ones that are more kind of like bank shot deals where lots of things have to go

00:14:18   right for them to turn out that tend to not turn out so well.

00:14:22   And so from that perspective, I think it's OK.

00:14:25   The other thing is messaging is a-- and I've been on this for a while.

00:14:29   part of it's because I'm in Asia. Like messaging is a really big deal. It's a way bigger deal than

00:14:35   Facebook was on the PC. It is the thing on mobile. Like it dominates usage, absolutely dominates

00:14:44   usage in every market except for the US. And if you remember, US was slow to SMS too. So I think

00:14:51   that's part of the kind of the bewilderment. But I think it's a justified deal in my opinion.

00:14:58   I'm going to play devil's advocate and I'm going to say, I'm going to argue here.

00:15:05   I don't necessarily believe it but for the sake of argument here, I'm going to push a

00:15:10   more common sense accounting look at this.

00:15:16   So let's say they've paid $40 a user and let's say that I'm right and even as a – let's

00:15:25   say for the sake of this argument that I'm a downer on this deal. But even so I've got

00:15:29   to admit that you've got to be looking at let's say 800 million users on WhatsApp eventually,

00:15:35   because of the growth that they're seeing in a way that these things spread socially

00:15:40   where, you know, if three, four of your friends are using it, it there's, you know, significant

00:15:44   pressure to download this free app that definitely runs on your phone because they run on just

00:15:50   about any phone that can do IP networking. So let's call it $20 a user, right? Let's

00:15:57   just say $20 a user. How the hell do they make $20 per user back from them? And if they

00:16:04   don't, how can it possibly be worth the money? Because they've already promised no ads and

00:16:10   they've said that it's eventually they're going to charge a dollar a user.

00:16:15   So, one, I think 800 million is extremely conservative.

00:16:20   I would bet you, and I'd gladly put money on this, that within five years, WhatsApp

00:16:25   will have many more users than Facebook, the product itself.

00:16:30   So that lowers the price that much more.

00:16:33   Two, if you were to ask me in isolate...

00:16:36   So the three really big messaging players are WhatsApp, Line out of Japan, and WeChat

00:16:43   in China.

00:16:44   If you were to ask me on a standalone basis which of those companies is worth the most,

00:16:49   I would have trouble putting WhatsApp ahead because they don't have any real monetization

00:16:54   strategy.

00:16:55   Whereas Lion and WeChat have very developed strategies that are actually really, really

00:16:59   interesting from a business perspective.

00:17:00   Can I ask you an honest question?

00:17:02   Yes.

00:17:03   I mean, this is how big a dummy I am.

00:17:05   How do you spell WeChat?

00:17:07   W-E-C-H-A-T.

00:17:10   Is the C capitalized?

00:17:11   It is.

00:17:12   It is.

00:17:13   - It's China, line is Japan.

00:17:16   - Line is Japan, but line dominates here in Taiwan,

00:17:19   it dominates Japan, it dominates Thailand,

00:17:23   and then they're finding it out in Vietnam.

00:17:25   It's definitely a Asian sort of a phenomena.

00:17:29   But anyhow, the point being like, yes, you're right,

00:17:33   from looking at it from a pure making money on it,

00:17:37   it's not totally queer.

00:17:39   But this is why it's so interesting

00:17:42   that Facebook bought them.

00:17:43   Number one, Facebook, the company,

00:17:46   doesn't need WeChat to monetize right away.

00:17:49   Facebook is cleaning up right now

00:17:52   when it comes to monetization.

00:17:53   They're crushing it quarter by quarter for the last year.

00:17:57   So if they don't make a dime on WeChat,

00:18:01   they're gonna be okay because their main product

00:18:03   is doing so well definitely for the next couple years.

00:18:06   - So they've got some funny money

00:18:08   because their stock after their IPO is really high.

00:18:12   investors are very keen on Facebook.

00:18:14   The last I checked their PE ratio was somewhere around 110.

00:18:18   - Right.

00:18:20   And it's honestly, it's pretty justified

00:18:23   given the rate of growth that their revenue has right now.

00:18:27   - Right, 'cause they do have real revenue and profits

00:18:31   and I would say they're probably either in line

00:18:35   or exceeding expectations.

00:18:38   And not expectations like the stupid thing

00:18:41   We do every freaking quarter with Apple

00:18:44   where it's these quarter by quarter estimates.

00:18:49   But just the ballpark, the longer term thinking

00:18:52   like before even the IPO of how's Facebook gonna make money?

00:18:56   And it's, you know, there was, well, they could do this

00:18:59   and this and they could really, they could bring in

00:19:03   so much advertising per quarter per user

00:19:05   and they're doing that.

00:19:09   It's a real business. - Yeah, I think

00:19:09   that's exactly right.

00:19:10   And they're beating it.

00:19:12   They're certainly being my expectations

00:19:13   for whatever it's worth.

00:19:16   And so given that, presuming that they're

00:19:19   fine as a business, you say, OK, then why even bother with this?

00:19:23   Why throw away $19 billion when your main business is

00:19:26   doing fine?

00:19:27   Well, the big question is, three or four years down the road

00:19:31   when, if I'm right, messaging is the dominant interaction

00:19:36   model, and Facebook has tapped out

00:19:39   their growth, then what?

00:19:41   At that point, WeChat or WhatsApp is going to cost--

00:19:44   is worth what, $100 billion, $200 billion?

00:19:48   If you believe that--

00:19:49   They're unbuyable.

00:19:49   Exactly.

00:19:51   $19 billion is on the edge of unbuyable as it is.

00:19:54   So if they were ever going to get into this space--

00:19:57   they tried.

00:19:57   They tried with Messenger.

00:19:59   And the reality is, except for the US,

00:20:02   Messenger is getting its rear end kicked all over the world.

00:20:06   this was the last chance to buy in into this area.

00:20:11   And I think in that context, it's option value.

00:20:13   - But I think it was Forbes who reported that last year,

00:20:22   WhatsApp had $20 million in revenue.

00:20:25   - Yep, no, they're not buying WhatsApp

00:20:28   for their current business model.

00:20:30   Like they're buying WhatsApp for one, the users,

00:20:33   and to the option value of messaging being the dominant form of social networking in the future,

00:20:38   which I happen to subscribe to and believe is the case.

00:20:42   And the thing is, Line and WeChat are crushing it also from a monetization standpoint.

00:20:46   So it is definitely possible to monetize this way.

00:20:50   They don't do it via display ads.

00:20:52   They do it through...

00:20:54   The stickers is a thing. It's only like 20% of revenue, but they do it...

00:20:57   It's a fascinating direct marketing channel.

00:21:01   - Dude, I will go to the mat on stickers.

00:21:03   - All right, well let's go to the mat on stickers.

00:21:04   Let me take a break.

00:21:06   Let me take a break and talk about our first sponsor.

00:21:11   We've had them before, but it's been a while

00:21:14   and I'm happy to welcome back as a sponsor of the show,

00:21:17   Warby Parker.

00:21:18   Now Warby Parker is a new concept in eyewear.

00:21:21   Really, it's just a basic disruption story

00:21:24   where there was one of the founders

00:21:26   was traveling away from home, his glasses broke,

00:21:29   He had to get them fixed or had to get a new pair

00:21:32   and it was like six or $700 for a new pair of eyeglasses.

00:21:35   And he was like, this is stupid.

00:21:36   This should not cost this much.

00:21:38   You shouldn't have to pay three or $400

00:21:41   for a new pair of eyeglasses

00:21:43   just to get a pair that looks good.

00:21:44   So you know what they did?

00:21:46   Started a business where they make vintage inspired,

00:21:50   contemporary, stylish eyeglasses that start at $95.

00:21:58   And it's no bullshit.

00:22:01   It's none of this stuff where you have to pay extra money

00:22:03   to get the good lenses, to get the anti-glare coating

00:22:08   and stuff like that, 'cause who doesn't want that?

00:22:10   Everybody wants it.

00:22:11   The regular glasses from Warby Parker

00:22:13   come with everything you need.

00:22:15   And they have an amazing system for how to get 'em.

00:22:20   'Cause you think, well, why do you wanna buy glasses

00:22:23   over the internet?

00:22:24   How you gonna tell how they look?

00:22:26   They have a thing called the Home Try-On Program.

00:22:29   You go to their website.

00:22:30   You pick five pairs that you are interested in.

00:22:35   They'll ship you the empty frames to your house and it's beautiful packaging, really

00:22:42   nice.

00:22:43   You try them on.

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00:22:46   Take a picture.

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00:23:07   out.

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00:23:22   for the glasses. That's 15% of the global population that cannot effectively work or

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00:24:21   Where do you go to find out more? Go to warbyparker.com/thetalkshow. Warbyparker.com/thetalkshow. They'll know you came from the show and they'll have a special deal for you.

00:24:36   My thanks to Warby Parker. Go check him out if you need glasses. They have sunglasses

00:24:40   So if you need sunglasses go check them out too

00:24:42   All right stickers

00:24:45   I'm gonna tell you I am the typical

00:24:49   American with all these messaging

00:24:52   But it's apps platforms social networks where I I've heard of them

00:24:57   But I don't really know anything about them and I've heard about stickers

00:25:00   but mostly from path which I don't really use but

00:25:06   Well, I'm path path ripped it off from I mean what brought from line which is which was the first one

00:25:11   Well first off you should get you should get line

00:25:14   You can you can add me if you want and I will inundate you with stickers and then you'll probably block me

00:25:19   so, you know the thing with stickers is

00:25:22   one like

00:25:24   They're

00:25:26   They're amazingly expressive. Like I mean obviously emoticons are a thing and you can have opinions about them. But like

00:25:34   There's there's just things you can express with the sticker that you can't express any other way whether it be like

00:25:38   You know some beers like some like sadness disappointment like it it honestly is a thing

00:25:44   And I know I sound absolutely ridiculous saying it but unless you've actually tried it. You can't you can't get it

00:25:50   Well, how's it? Any mode emoji emoji? How do you I always miss emoji? It's like what's the difference between like

00:25:57   You know reading something and

00:26:02   Seeing a picture or seeing a picture and seeing a movie like it's just it's that much more

00:26:07   Expressive there's so much more variety

00:26:10   Then even then a mojo. Oh totally totally I mean

00:26:14   Mojo you you get you get the it

00:26:19   It's not like honestly like I'm gonna not even do it justice like I would encourage

00:26:25   Everyone who like doesn't believe me like just go down the line

00:26:28   Get your significant other or one friend to do it and just like mess around for a little bit like use it for a week

00:26:34   To communicate this one person

00:26:36   And and then you can come back and say, you know, tell me I'm an idiot and but I would wager

00:26:42   That some of you will definitely will definitely see what I'm talking about

00:26:46   And what's interesting about wine in particular is like they've they've

00:26:51   You know just the thing with stickers everyone thinks they all make their money in stickers

00:26:55   It's only like 20% of these companies revenues actually just throwing that out there

00:26:59   But like line is really made a thing out of like some of their main characters

00:27:04   Like they have four main characters and there's like supplemental characters and it's like a whole thing

00:27:08   like, you know, like Hello Kitty is like this like scourge upon the world and

00:27:12   Is everywhere and there's all types of brand stuff like line is in Japan is already like that

00:27:18   There are there was an exhibition actually here in Taiwan

00:27:22   like about line characters like art pieces and like all this sort of stuff like it's

00:27:26   It's it's really interesting what they're doing with it

00:27:30   to being kind of this whole this whole kind of segment of

00:27:34   You know, it's definitely a Japanese thing, but it's it's it's something it's hard to get unless you actually try it

00:27:42   But take my word for it. You can be so much more expressive and so much more fast and what you want to say

00:27:48   Right up with sticker really hits the spot. So so my wife is a pretty good

00:27:53   Again, tell me how to pronounce these emoji or emoji. I

00:27:57   You know what? I'm terrible pronouncing words. I mean you're over a mode. I think it's emoji

00:28:02   I don't know whatever I did. I remember it

00:28:05   at the live talk show at WWDC, but I had this because there was a

00:28:11   bit that Scott Simpson

00:28:14   wrote and

00:28:16   Merlin Mann and and Adam Lisagor came out to perform it where they were

00:28:20   they were reading a

00:28:23   Dialogue back and forth that was communicated entirely in in emoji, you know

00:28:28   Emoji emoji is what Wikipedia says well

00:28:32   I said a mo then I must have said a mojai on stage and and Scott Simpson made a big shit out of me

00:28:37   But he knows how to speak. He knows how to speak Japanese

00:28:41   I mean he like lived there for a couple of years

00:28:43   So it's like and what the point of him being there was to make a shit out of you was that wasn't it?

00:28:46   Yeah, well, no, no, but not for my not for my

00:28:49   Pronunciation disability

00:28:54   No, but for example, my wife is very

00:28:57   Funny with them, you know and she you know, so you're talking about things like where I will you know, she'll text me in

00:29:06   if I'm

00:29:08   You know out with a couple of other dads who coach Little League or something and I say, you know meetings running late

00:29:15   And she'll just text me, you know a couple of beers emoji

00:29:20   As in as if you know, yeah, I know what you're doing. Yeah, right and she doesn't have to say anything

00:29:27   She'll just text me the beers

00:29:29   Or something like that

00:29:31   She would go nuts with the beer stickers in in in line and they come they come by default, which is great

00:29:37   So here's the main testimony that I have.

00:29:40   So the one person I've been trying to convince to line

00:29:43   is the mysterious, no one knows who he is, Casey Liss, who

00:29:49   likes to brag about his emoji capabilities on Twitter.

00:29:54   Fluency.

00:29:55   What'd you call it?

00:29:56   It's like a fluency.

00:29:57   I think he likes to think that he's some sort of master.

00:30:02   I guess in a world of-- if you're

00:30:03   living in a world with Mark Larmett and John Syracuse,

00:30:05   You've got to claim some sort of high ground.

00:30:07   So anyhow, I finally got him to sign up for Wine

00:30:12   after resisting.

00:30:13   And within five minutes, he totally got it.

00:30:19   And he posted on Twitter.

00:30:20   I find the tweet like, OK, I mocked it.

00:30:23   You had to try it.

00:30:24   Now I get it.

00:30:25   It's awesome.

00:30:27   So it's one of those things you just got to try.

00:30:30   But like I said, it's only one piece

00:30:34   the puzzle for for these apps. But all right, but let's, let's

00:30:37   talk about the other pieces. But also, I'm gonna I want to figure

00:30:39   out the stickers thing. So also, it is it like, who can add new

00:30:47   stickers? See, like one of the problems if you you know, it's

00:30:49   not well, I don't know about problem, but one of the obvious

00:30:52   deficiencies to emoji is emoji is like a standardized character

00:30:57   set. It's like, you know, I don't even I think I guess it's

00:31:00   officially part of Unicode now. I don't know. But it's all

00:31:03   predefined, right, where there's a code mark,

00:31:08   and it's a piece of code, and the code

00:31:11   maps to a smiling pile of poo.

00:31:15   - I know, that was the worst thing.

00:31:16   How did poo make it through a committee?

00:31:18   - I don't know, right?

00:31:20   But then there's--

00:31:21   - Probably the same day as all the beers.

00:31:23   - Right, and then there's, one of them is maps

00:31:26   to a barbershop pole, right?

00:31:33   - No, but you don't have a choice though.

00:31:35   So if you were writing an app that was going to,

00:31:38   or like when Apple decided to embrace emoji system-wide

00:31:44   and they made a font, they didn't get to pick those things.

00:31:47   They just drew a picture for each of those code points.

00:31:53   And whereas with stickers,

00:31:57   and if it's, you know,

00:31:58   Line has its own proprietary stickers.

00:32:00   So lines, stickers, are line only, right?

00:32:05   - So it's a super, it's actually a really smart question

00:32:09   'cause that starts to get at some of the other ways

00:32:11   that they make money.

00:32:13   So it comes with some free sets

00:32:16   and they're always releasing extra free sets,

00:32:18   like Christmas, they'll have like a set

00:32:19   of like Christmas ones or whatever.

00:32:20   But then there's also sticker sets,

00:32:23   packs for sale for like $1.99.

00:32:25   And there'll be thematic, sometimes there'll be,

00:32:29   like there's a Mickey Mouse set, there's a Hello Kitty set,

00:32:32   there's a Garfield set, just to take the US ones.

00:32:35   And obviously there's a whole ton of them

00:32:36   for all these Asian anime series.

00:32:41   And so those are very, very popular.

00:32:43   - And they're officially licensed.

00:32:45   It's a real-- - Officially licensed.

00:32:46   Yep, and so that's where they make the direct money.

00:32:50   One thing that's really interesting is brands

00:32:54   like say 7-Eleven or Starbucks,

00:32:58   they will, what they will do is they pay Line like $50,000 or $100,000 depending on the market.

00:33:07   Japan's probably the most expensive one. And then Line will, in conjunction, they'll create a set of

00:33:13   stickers that are free. And so, but it works two ways. One, like so basically you follow the

00:33:19   Starbucks account online, then you get the sticker pack for free. So Line's kind of like making money

00:33:25   on both sides. So one, Starbucks is paying them for the right to have the stickers available

00:33:30   in the store. Two, Starbucks gets the benefit of people like spraying Starbucks stickers

00:33:37   all over the place. And then three, Starbucks now has this direct channel to all these customers

00:33:43   because they willingly followed Starbucks.

00:33:46   Well, what happens when you follow them? Is it like following a company on Twitter? You

00:33:51   get posts from them?

00:33:52   Well, you can't, yeah, they can send it to you, they can send a coupon to you, they can

00:33:58   send, they could do all sorts of stuff, but it's not like a stream, like all these are

00:34:02   organized by the person you follow, and you can block them, so you can download it and

00:34:08   block it, but...

00:34:09   Do you get to keep the stickers after you block them?

00:34:11   Yeah, you can.

00:34:12   Okay.

00:34:13   But they all expire, like all the free ones always expire.

00:34:16   The stickers?

00:34:17   So, yeah.

00:34:18   What happens if you go back to an old message?

00:34:19   Does the expired sticker still show up?

00:34:22   - Yeah, it still shows up.

00:34:23   - But you can't use it anymore.

00:34:25   - Right.

00:34:25   So if Starbucks wants to keep their stickers in the store,

00:34:29   then they're paying up again.

00:34:30   So that's about another 20% of the revenue

00:34:35   is enterprises and companies paying for the right

00:34:40   to get on the platform and be available to customers.

00:34:44   And stickers is one of the main ways they do that.

00:34:47   The rest of it is, there's like,

00:34:51   I want to say 40, but the number might be a lot bigger than that, like line games and apps.

00:34:56   And there's a whole universe of apps which do monetize through in-app purchase.

00:35:02   And because--

00:35:05   >> Wait, games?

00:35:07   >> Yeah, there's a ton of line games. And they're all these super simple--

00:35:10   Like Flappy Birds have been a great fit for a line game. Like they're these simple--

00:35:14   >> You can't play that in the iPhone app, though, can you?

00:35:17   >> No, so they're all separate apps.

00:35:19   >> Okay.

00:35:20   So if you go into the iTunes store and go to Publisher and go by Naver, which is the company that owns Line, there's a ton of apps.

00:35:28   And in these apps are the classic in-app purchase money makers, whatever you may think of them.

00:35:37   But the thing is, because they own the app that people spend the vast majority of their time in,

00:35:47   And whenever there's that little badge there

00:35:49   that you have a message, you're gonna go to it.

00:35:50   And occasionally there's a message there that says,

00:35:53   oh, check out our new game.

00:35:54   Or get these stickers if you download our game,

00:35:57   which is totally something that they do.

00:35:59   And then you download the game,

00:36:00   and now you're playing the game,

00:36:01   and then you only need a small percentage to get converted,

00:36:05   and then you're making money off of them.

00:36:07   - So like on iOS, if you download their game,

00:36:12   does the game prompt you to sign in with your line account?

00:36:15   - Yeah, it's like, you know how there's some,

00:36:17   like Facebook Paper, like if you already had

00:36:19   the Facebook app installed, like you're automatically

00:36:20   signed in, well you would know about that.

00:36:21   - Well, but that's a little different though,

00:36:22   because Facebook is baked into the system.

00:36:25   - Oh, that's true, but what it does is,

00:36:30   if you click Sign In, it'll flip over to the line app,

00:36:34   it'll authorize the feedback. - And then you authorize

00:36:35   the app, right, it's like an OAuth type thing.

00:36:36   - But you don't even have to sign in.

00:36:39   Like I don't know what sort of black magic they're doing,

00:36:41   but you click like Authorize, it switches,

00:36:44   uses one of those, you know, the URL code

00:36:46   to switch to the line app and then it switches right back.

00:36:49   - Right, but you're already signed into the line app.

00:36:51   - Exactly, exactly. - Right, I understand.

00:36:52   You don't have to type a username password again,

00:36:54   but you do have to go to the line app

00:36:56   where you are signed in and authorize it.

00:36:58   Yeah, a lot of Twitter apps work like that.

00:37:00   - Yeah, exactly.

00:37:01   So what's interesting is like,

00:37:04   what's the hardest thing about making money,

00:37:07   what's the hardest thing about making money right now

00:37:10   as far as an app maker goes?

00:37:11   It's discovery, right?

00:37:13   It sucks. It's hard to market your app.

00:37:17   And Line has this unbelievably efficient and powerful marketing channel directly to customers.

00:37:26   And right now, if you're a developer, you could go into the app store and do your best to get a hit game

00:37:33   and then you get to collect 70% of the revenue.

00:37:35   Or you could partner with Line, give 30% to Apple, 20% to Line,

00:37:42   and yeah, you're making less for every purchase.

00:37:45   - But way more reach.

00:37:45   - But way more in volume

00:37:47   because you have this massive distribution channel.

00:37:49   And that's why messaging is such a big deal.

00:37:52   Like it is the killer distribution channel

00:37:55   on these mobile phones,

00:37:57   where there isn't searched like there is on the desktop

00:38:02   or on the mobile web.

00:38:03   And that's why they're a really, really big deal.

00:38:05   - So Line and WeChat are both still independent?

00:38:08   - WeChat's owned by Tencent,

00:38:11   like the huge Chinese internet company.

00:38:15   So it's interesting 'cause Tencent's biggest app

00:38:18   has always been QQ.

00:38:21   So QQ is instant messaging for the desktop, like think AOL.

00:38:26   But unlike AOL and unlike MSN,

00:38:29   QQ also had all these added services where,

00:38:34   so everyone had a QQ account,

00:38:36   that was the way to communicate in China,

00:38:37   but there was tons of ways to make money on top of that.

00:38:40   So actually, Lion and WeChat are almost copying the QQ model.

00:38:44   And what's interesting about all this is there's so much more

00:38:50   advanced and so much more innovation in this area in Asia

00:38:54   than there is in the US.

00:38:56   And it was just deeply amusing to find people kind of blown

00:38:59   away by messaging.

00:39:00   And I think once people start to realize these business models

00:39:03   that are emerging around messaging,

00:39:05   people are going to be that much--

00:39:07   like, Lion's going to IPO this year,

00:39:08   and it's going to blow people's socks off

00:39:10   for, you know, rumor last fall was 10 billion,

00:39:14   after this it's probably gonna be maybe 15.

00:39:17   And, you know, it works very well, it's very interesting,

00:39:23   it's totally mobile first.

00:39:25   And like, if you're objectively honest

00:39:29   and you say what are the most important technology companies

00:39:32   in the world, like within a few years,

00:39:35   you're gonna have to put line and WeChat

00:39:38   in that conversation.

00:39:39   Does Line have anything, does it have a web or desktop interface?

00:39:47   They do.

00:39:48   So they have desktop clients both for Windows and for the Mac, which is kind of nice actually.

00:39:52   WhatsApp doesn't.

00:39:53   And so actually that's one of the reasons I don't like using WhatsApp because I hate

00:39:57   having to have my, like pay attention to my phone.

00:40:01   And it's literally, WhatsApp is literally not really mobile only, it's phone only.

00:40:07   I mean, they won't even run.

00:40:10   - One phone only.

00:40:11   - Right.

00:40:12   - The only identification is your phone number.

00:40:15   Whereas with Line, you can add a username to your account.

00:40:19   It starts with a phone number,

00:40:20   and so that'll let you have different clients.

00:40:23   And it has like calling, so you can call client to client.

00:40:27   It has video, it has the whole set of communications.

00:40:33   - And actually, I wanted to talk about that.

00:40:35   That's an angle of WhatsApp that to me,

00:40:38   I mean, I suppose that they could pivot at some point

00:40:41   and have a mechanism where if you have

00:40:44   an existing WhatsApp account that is, like you said,

00:40:47   tied explicitly to one and only one phone number,

00:40:50   that if they wanted to expand from phones

00:40:52   to any mobile device or have a desktop client or something,

00:40:57   that they could have a way to make an account.

00:41:01   There's gotta be some way that you could expand your account

00:41:04   so that you could log in, just type your phone number

00:41:06   and add a password or something.

00:41:08   - Right, no, exactly.

00:41:09   It's totally doable.

00:41:10   - Or maybe even without a password, what they could do,

00:41:13   I was thinking about this, it just seems like a good puzzle,

00:41:16   is you could put your phone number in

00:41:21   and then they would message you on your phone

00:41:24   and authorize on the phone and say,

00:41:26   "Hey, somebody's trying to log in on your thing.

00:41:29   "Do you wanna authorize it?"

00:41:30   And then you'd have like an authorization token

00:41:32   or something like that.

00:41:34   - Yep, no, totally.

00:41:36   - But they don't, they're literally phone only.

00:41:39   - Yep, they're phone only.

00:41:41   And what's interesting too is not only phone only,

00:41:43   but it's interesting that they don't have a VoIP capability,

00:41:48   whereas the other ones do.

00:41:49   Like you can't call someone through WhatsApp.

00:41:53   It's messaging, which is, I get how that appeals to people,

00:41:57   especially from a theoretical standpoint,

00:42:00   because it's simplified, it's focused.

00:42:02   As someone who I'd like to think subscribes to that,

00:42:06   I vastly prefer using Wine over WhatsApp.

00:42:11   Simplicity is good until it's too simple

00:42:14   and it doesn't do everything that you would want it to do.

00:42:17   - It is, I have to say, I didn't sign up for it

00:42:19   until this week broke.

00:42:20   I'd heard of WhatsApp, but then once I did,

00:42:22   I had to check it out, so I downloaded it.

00:42:24   And it is a truly no-brainer sign-up process.

00:42:29   process mm-hmm for anybody who hasn't tried it you you download the app the

00:42:34   app is now free sometimes it was 99 cents but now it's free it's a reading

00:42:41   about them what they did was didn't I felt like their growth was too fast

00:42:44   they just changed the app from free to know yeah that was so interesting yeah

00:42:47   and that that alone slowed the growth it wasn't because I wanted the money from

00:42:52   99 cents they just wanted to you know maintain a servers who keep up right you

00:42:59   You launch the app and they say, "What's your phone number?"

00:43:03   Because they don't know your phone number because apps on iOS can't just read, you know,

00:43:08   it's actually private information.

00:43:11   You type in your phone number, they send you an SMS with a code and a URL.

00:43:20   So you can either enter the code manually or you can just tap the URL and it goes to

00:43:26   the web and then it bounces back to the app and it says, "Okay, the person who actually

00:43:30   owns this phone number authorized it. You're in." And then that's it. And now, people can

00:43:35   message you. Anybody who knows your phone number can message you on WhatsApp.

00:43:39   Dave Asprey Yeah, it's really smart. The other thing that's

00:43:43   interesting just from a factoid perspective is their biggest cost is SMS messages.

00:43:48   Dave Asprey Right, I saw that. I saw that, yeah. Because

00:43:51   they send, they have to pay to send those. And the only SMS messages they send are those

00:43:57   sign up authorization.

00:43:58   Yeah, it gives you the idea of how massive their growth is.

00:44:03   Right. It's not like their SMS costs are high because they're sending some of the actual

00:44:09   messages by SMS. It's just the sign up authorization. And I saw that at one point it was like $500,000

00:44:19   a month, it might be higher by now.

00:44:22   Because in some of the countries around the world,

00:44:24   it's just crazy how much bulk SMS costs.

00:44:29   Yeah, well, that's the other thing that's

00:44:31   interesting about this is 10, 15 years ago--

00:44:37   and this, I think, is why the US is behind here.

00:44:39   10, 15 years ago, it was really expensive to call people

00:44:42   in most countries from a mobile phone or to a mobile phone.

00:44:48   there was different rates, depending if you're calling a mobile phone or if you were calling a landline.

00:44:53   And so what happened was it was relatively cheaper to message.

00:44:59   So messaging became a big thing.

00:45:03   In the US in the meantime, everyone had these bucket plans where your price per call, as long as you didn't call too much in a month, was basically free.

00:45:06   And so the US has always been more voice centric.

00:45:15   over time SMS is caught up and what happened in the US is SMS became all basically you

00:45:22   pay 20 bucks a month and you get unlimited SMS.

00:45:26   In the meantime in the rest of the world you were still paying for SMS it was less than

00:45:30   talking but when you had an app come along that made SMS totally free again it was very

00:45:36   attractive because you were still paying for SMS.

00:45:39   Whereas in the US, if SMS is already free, the attraction of a free app is obviously

00:45:45   less.

00:45:46   So it's interesting how these kind of like dynamic US, everyone knows the US carrier

00:45:51   market is kind of weird.

00:45:53   And it's played out even through this deal where WhatsApp didn't really have any penetration

00:45:59   in the US, yet was dominant all over the world.

00:46:03   It's all because of like our messed up carrier system.

00:46:07   Yeah.

00:46:08   Let me take a break and I want to come back.

00:46:10   I want to talk to you about iMessage and how that fits into this.

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00:48:09   anything you need web hosting wise so here's my question in the u.s. you like

00:48:16   you said these apps are nowhere near as big as they seem to be elsewhere seems

00:48:20   like most messaging is either SMS or for me at least it's almost entirely I

00:48:29   I message. It is really rare for me to get a green message in messages. I think I have

00:48:36   one person who I regularly text who uses an Android phone so it turns up green.

00:48:44   >> And they work at Google?

00:48:46   >> No, no. It's my friend Lee who owns Hopsin Laundromat, the bar.

00:48:53   >> Someone worth keeping in touch with.

00:48:57   And that's not because, it's half because I, professionally, I'm in this Apple-centric

00:49:05   bubble.

00:49:06   And so all of my professional, you know, work-related messaging, you know, to Dave Whiskus and Brent,

00:49:14   if it's, you know, Vesper-related, or anybody who I'm texting with during Fireball-related.

00:49:22   Well, yeah, obviously a lot of them are gonna use iOS devices or all of them are

00:49:26   But even stupid things things that you wouldn't think I mean it just it just shows you know

00:49:32   How popular the iPhone is and and in the you know, the circles. I mean like my my

00:49:38   Sister uses an iPhone. I know I didn't tell her to buy an iPhone. She you know, it's just it's what she has

00:49:44   The other coaches in my son's little league baseball Little League

00:49:50   They just happen to how all have iPhones a lot of them former Blackberry users

00:49:56   It seems like to me in this in the in the wake of the whatsapp deal that that

00:50:06   Apple's

00:50:08   prescience at developing iMessage has gone sort of unremarked upon because I think iMessage is

00:50:15   Got to be up there in terms of you know number of user active users on a messaging platform

00:50:21   It just stands out because it's you know it it and BBM are

00:50:27   You know oddballs because they're proprietary to one company's devices

00:50:34   Yeah, well, I mean BBM is now cross-platform, but um, but yeah, no, I agree. I mean, it's it's uh, it is prescient. It's a

00:50:44   It's a very valuable

00:50:46   It's a valuable service

00:50:49   You know, I think it's a you know, it's a great example of how Apple uses

00:50:54   Services to make their devices more valuable. So for example, I mean just one way to look at it

00:50:59   There's I don't think Apple even ever once even considered for a moment

00:51:04   Purchasing whatsapp because they already have they have exactly what they want and need which is their own

00:51:11   Messaging platform for their just for their own devices, which is all they want. They already have it, right?

00:51:16   And they they're they're not interested in making it easier

00:51:19   you know to

00:51:22   Easier than beyond the App Store to communicate with different manufacturers. Like that's silly. Why would it why would they wanted to do that?

00:51:29   no, I mean it I think Apple from a

00:51:35   You know, this is the key thing done, you know with Apple services is they exist to make Apple devices more attractive

00:51:42   So they can charge a higher price, right? And I messaged a great example of that. I think Apple in general has

00:51:48   You know photo stream I think is really interesting

00:51:52   I would love to get some numbers on photo stream like how many people are using it?

00:51:58   I don't think you at UI is as great as it should be but it's an amazing service

00:52:04   You know, that's how I keep my you know, my parents in the loop with with the kids and stuff like that

00:52:08   and

00:52:11   you know, I almost feel like I

00:52:13   Understand why Apple did maps, you know, it's so it's so critical but I wish Apple's

00:52:20   Services energy in general. We're just totally focused on this like making their devices like

00:52:27   Such a pleasure to own like photo stream does like I message does

00:52:32   I wish like the iCloud thing like you should have like everything on an iDevice

00:52:39   an iPad or an iPhone should be backed up for free like

00:52:43   Yet you have these stupid nagging reminders and you can't even buy enough backup for all the devices that you have

00:52:51   Like that's where I would love to see Apple really focus their

00:52:56   Focus their energies like just make it if you buy an iOS device all this stuff's taken care of you're good to go

00:53:02   And I agree, it's not valued, like no one has a number on that, like how much is iMessage worth?

00:53:08   In the light of WhatsApp you could make an argument it's worth many billions of dollars.

00:53:12   Yeah, I would love to know the active number of iMessage users.

00:53:18   We kind of have a rough estimate of active iOS users.

00:53:24   >> Mm-hm.

00:53:28   Well, here's the question.

00:53:28   Have you canceled your SMS part of your carrier package?

00:53:33   >> No, because I still need to get, like I said,

00:53:35   I need to get SMSes from Hopsin laundromat.

00:53:38   >> [LAUGH] That's what would be really interesting.

00:53:42   >> I don't think it makes sense on our Verizon shared family.

00:53:46   From my understanding of the way it works, it doesn't make sense to cancel.

00:53:49   I don't even know if we could cancel SMS separately.

00:53:52   >> Yeah.

00:53:53   I mean, we have a minimal--

00:53:55   we certainly don't add any.

00:54:00   We don't need to.

00:54:01   And even things like--

00:54:04   my son is 10.

00:54:05   He doesn't text a lot yet.

00:54:08   I think he's on the cusp.

00:54:10   I suspect that the girls in fourth grade are way into it.

00:54:15   I think that it's just the way that girls socialize

00:54:17   so much faster than boys.

00:54:19   but he'll text his grandparents a little bit,

00:54:24   but it's all iMessage.

00:54:28   - You know, when I think about it,

00:54:32   it is very valuable, but I wonder--

00:54:36   - I'm just gonna throw a ballpark number.

00:54:37   I think there's gotta be at least

00:54:39   100 million iMessage users.

00:54:41   - Oh yeah, no, I think easily.

00:54:45   - Right, and maybe 200 million?

00:54:48   I think the question is not how many users there are, it's how many people prefer an

00:54:55   iOS device because it has iMessage capabilities.

00:55:00   I've heard anecdotes of, like in the high school circle, iMessage is the way to communicate

00:55:06   and if you don't have the blue bubble, you're excluded or whatever.

00:55:12   I think that's definitely possible and that stuff accrues.

00:55:16   it accrues to Apple, it accrues to what it means to be

00:55:20   an Apple owner for better or worse.

00:55:22   - Yeah, the green ones are gross.

00:55:24   - Yeah, they are.

00:55:26   It's a weird kind of green.

00:55:27   Like, I wonder if it's on purpose.

00:55:29   - I don't know, I think it kind of is.

00:55:30   I've said this before, I think one of the,

00:55:33   it seems like a stupid thing to dwell upon

00:55:36   with the gazillion changes in iOS 7.

00:55:38   The single most surprising thing in iOS 7 to me

00:55:41   is that they didn't change the icon

00:55:43   for the Messages app to a blue bubble

00:55:47   instead of the green bubble.

00:55:48   That they've kept it phone colored green,

00:55:52   which to me implies SMS, right?

00:55:55   That the reason all along that Messages

00:55:58   was the same color green as phone is it was the,

00:56:02   until iMessage came along, it was, you know,

00:56:05   it was the way that SMS and your phone conversations were,

00:56:11   you know, not data, they were voice and SMS.

00:56:15   Right, you got three things with your phone account.

00:56:19   You get phone, you get voice calls,

00:56:22   you get SMS, and you get data.

00:56:25   And WhatsApp is a perfect example

00:56:28   where not just on iOS devices,

00:56:30   but everything around the world,

00:56:31   everything is moving to data.

00:56:33   And messaging is moving to data faster than voice.

00:56:39   But voice will get there too eventually.

00:56:41   I mean, it's nonsense that we're not all,

00:56:44   that everything won't eventually soon be data.

00:56:47   I think on iOS, it's at the point where most iOS users

00:56:53   are sending the blue messages.

00:56:54   So I think they should make the icon blue

00:56:57   and make it seem like the green ones are the oddball.

00:57:00   - No, I think, in principle, I agree.

00:57:05   In reality, I keep all my messaging apps in one folder

00:57:08   and they're all green except for Facebook Messenger.

00:57:10   And I can't tell you how much having that blue icon there

00:57:13   just drives me up the wall.

00:57:15   So that would be problematic from my perspective.

00:57:18   But here's the thing, though.

00:57:20   I think it depends on market by market basis.

00:57:24   The reality is when you started out

00:57:25   saying the thing that surprised me most about iMessage,

00:57:29   like I started looking for my phone

00:57:31   because I don't think I've opened the Messages

00:57:34   app on my phone.

00:57:36   It's been months.

00:57:38   And that's because all messaging here is line.

00:57:42   I have a few friends on WhatsApp, a few friends in WeChat.

00:57:45   And the only time I use the Messages app

00:57:48   is when I'm back in the States.

00:57:51   So I think that it's probably somewhere in the middle.

00:57:55   That's the thing with messaging.

00:57:57   It's totally going to be a market by market thing.

00:57:59   I don't think anyone will win the world like Facebook

00:58:02   did on the desktop.

00:58:03   but they'll fight it out kind of country by country.

00:58:07   - Apple is in a really good spot in this regard

00:58:10   because they own iMessage and iMessage,

00:58:13   and again, I know there's a couple of bugs,

00:58:15   but I think it's gotten a lot better.

00:58:16   I use it a lot and at least for my use, it's pretty good.

00:58:21   Yes, there's definitely bugs.

00:58:22   So I just, I was traveling last weekend

00:58:26   and for whatever reason, never unpacked my iPad

00:58:29   and wanted it last night.

00:58:32   So it had been, I don't know, five days since I'd used my iPad.

00:58:37   And I opened it up and-- or I charged it.

00:58:40   I took it out, charged it, and then like two hours later,

00:58:44   took it out and started using it.

00:58:47   And then I wanted to watch TV after I'd been using the iPad

00:58:50   and put it down on the coffee table.

00:58:52   And I was done with it.

00:58:53   And then all of a sudden, every iMessage

00:58:56   I'd had for like the last five days

00:58:58   started coming in on the iPad.

00:59:01   and I was getting--

00:59:02   - Was there a mini earthquake at your house?

00:59:05   - It was weird, I mean, you know, and that's not right.

00:59:08   I don't know, I mean, it's like,

00:59:10   it's kinda cool that it could catch up

00:59:11   on those conversations, but it's,

00:59:14   it was annoying that it was just, you know, making noise

00:59:18   for old messages, and it was like,

00:59:24   it was a lot of work stuff for Vesper,

00:59:26   and so I thought, at first, I thought Dave Whiskus

00:59:28   was sending me like 40 messages all at once at 3 a.m.

00:59:33   and I was gonna give them, you know, shut the hell up.

00:59:39   - Start talking too.

00:59:39   - Yeah, but then it was, you know, they were like days old.

00:59:42   So yeah, it's not perfect, I understand.

00:59:46   But overall, I think it works pretty well.

00:59:49   So they've got that, they have that in their pocket

00:59:51   where no matter what, they've got iMessage

00:59:54   and it's pretty solid and it does what they want.

00:59:58   But number two, with the App Store,

01:00:02   they've got all of these things, right?

01:00:05   So WhatsApp is a big thing.

01:00:06   Well, there's, you know,

01:00:08   WhatsApp started as an iPhone app

01:00:10   and is still actively,

01:00:13   very actively developed iPhone app.

01:00:15   There's a line app, there's,

01:00:16   all these things have iPhone apps.

01:00:18   So, you know, you go to Taiwan and everybody,

01:00:22   nobody uses iMessage,

01:00:24   everybody's using these other services,

01:00:25   you're A-OK on your Apple device.

01:00:27   Do all these apps, is this one of those, we shouldn't get sidetracked on Windows Phone

01:00:33   yet, but is this one of those things where Windows Phone is lacking some of these apps?

01:00:40   They, I don't know about, there's like a ton of messaging apps, but for the big ones, they

01:00:46   have Windows Phone apps.

01:00:47   Line has Windows Phone app, WeChat has Windows Phone app, WhatsApp has Windows Phone app.

01:00:51   This is the thing about Windows Phone though, is those apps are crap.

01:00:56   The problem with, the secondary problem that is easy to get lost in bemoaning the apps

01:01:02   that aren't there is that the ones that are there are often very rough.

01:01:07   You have the C team working on them or you have a, we weren't going to talk about it,

01:01:11   but yeah, they are there.

01:01:12   They're a little rough.

01:01:13   No, but that's a, it is a good point and I've mentioned that point.

01:01:18   Ever since Android really first started gaining traction while, this is circa 2008, 2009,

01:01:26   9 when Android was really early stages and was behind in every metric.

01:01:35   There were fewer Android.

01:01:37   There were only a handful of Android devices released yet.

01:01:39   There were few in number.

01:01:42   Apps were way behind.

01:01:43   As the App Store started catching up and there were these...

01:01:48   The total number of apps in the iTunes App Store was way higher than the Android App

01:01:53   or the Google Play or whatever they called it back then.

01:01:56   And I emphasize right from the start, that's great,

01:01:58   but if that's the only reason to use an iOS device,

01:02:02   then we should all be using Windows computers

01:02:04   because Windows always had more apps than Mac.

01:02:07   The reason we use Macs is 'cause the apps are better,

01:02:13   not because there's more of them, right?

01:02:14   - Dude, this is such a thing.

01:02:15   - And that is an advantage.

01:02:17   To me, that's always been the bigger advantage

01:02:19   that the iTunes App Store has had,

01:02:21   is not just the breadth, but the quality of the top apps.

01:02:26   - Yep, no, so I worked at Microsoft, obviously.

01:02:29   So I was a, I was originally a Windows user,

01:02:34   switched to Mac in like 2004,

01:02:36   and then went to Microsoft where I would say

01:02:38   I'd use Windows again.

01:02:39   And to be honest, like Windows 7,

01:02:42   and then I worked on Windows 8,

01:02:43   but we're both, like, they were great operating systems.

01:02:48   There was actually some things in them

01:02:49   really quite preferred to OS X having been away for a while.

01:02:54   And when I was talking to a friend, I'm like, actually I don't mind the operating system

01:02:57   at all, but the apps are just a disaster.

01:03:00   And he was like, you know, he couldn't believe what I was talking about on Windows, I always

01:03:03   had the advantage of apps, but that was exactly it.

01:03:06   Like the quality of an outliner, I was used to OmniOutliner, the quality of a to-do app,

01:03:12   you know, I used OmniFocus, you know, I guess Omni was the one I was really pining for,

01:03:17   But the quality of the apps was, in my estimation, such a stark difference that it was a daily

01:03:26   irritant that I was having these rough edges that I didn't enjoy having.

01:03:32   I think that's still the case in phones.

01:03:34   Dave Asprey I'm the worst talk show host ever.

01:03:36   I want to talk about this stuff, but I want to talk about it later.

01:03:41   So let's call that a teaser for the final segment of the show because I do want to talk

01:03:46   about Windows Phone and Microsoft and Windows.

01:03:50   And you're exactly, you're like, it's almost as though you're reading some of my notes

01:03:53   that I prepared for the show.

01:03:56   But I still want to talk about messaging.

01:03:58   So iMessage, let's agree that Apple has, you know, this WhatsApp deal is, it's unheralded

01:04:05   but it shows that Apple has another sort of billion dollar value thing in its pocket even

01:04:12   though it's inseparable from the company.

01:04:14   yep BBM I've seen a lot of people point out so like you said they it is

01:04:22   cross-platform now and they had a plan to make it cross-platform years ago and

01:04:28   and years ago it was sort of a killer feature of owning a blackberry is that

01:04:34   you got free messaging you know and mobile messaging and mm-hmm you know I

01:04:42   I think it's fair to say that in hindsight this was one of the main innovations that

01:04:47   BlackBerry had.

01:04:49   More than the device itself but that they saw the value in mobile messaging and that

01:04:57   by making it unmetered compared to SMS, it let people do it freely.

01:05:08   You didn't have to think, hey, because the thing about SMS is it's not just costing you

01:05:11   to send the damn thing, you know--

01:05:13   - It's the mental cost.

01:05:14   - Well, and you're costing the person receiving it, right?

01:05:18   It's like when you, in the days when SMS costs,

01:05:21   when everybody used SMS and they cost,

01:05:23   you know, it doesn't matter, 10 cents, whatever,

01:05:26   it's a bit rude, it feels, to just say,

01:05:30   hey, by the way, I'm gonna take a dime from you

01:05:33   because I wanna send you this thing that says,

01:05:36   you know, can we push back dinner half an hour, right?

01:05:39   There's a mental cost to that.

01:05:40   You don't wanna charge somebody.

01:05:41   It feels rude. So Blackberry was way ahead on that. And it really does. I've seen it. This is not a unique observation and there's about 5000 people who observed the same thing that this WhatsApp deal shows just how big a mistake it was for Blackberry not to go cross platform with BBM three, four, five years ago. So three, three probably would have been too too late, but four or five years ago.

01:06:09   But this is why business is hard.

01:06:12   Because the reality is, is BBM was a killer feature.

01:06:17   It absolutely drove the adoption of BlackBerry phones,

01:06:21   particularly in emerging markets like Indonesia,

01:06:24   where BlackBerry is still, that's their last foothold.

01:06:27   - Right.

01:06:29   - And the problem is when you're selling a BlackBerry device

01:06:31   and you're making $150 of profit on that device,

01:06:36   It's really, and you're saying,

01:06:41   "Okay, we should actually pivot to removing

01:06:45   the main differentiation of this device

01:06:49   that makes it worth buying,

01:06:51   and pivot to this model where we can make

01:06:52   $5, $10 per user per year."

01:06:54   And yes, over time, it will be a much bigger business.

01:06:58   It'll be valued at $19 billion,

01:07:01   and our company's on its way to being valued at $6 billion.

01:07:01   there's this two to three year gap in there where you're basically killing your business

01:07:07   for the promise of having a better business in the future and that two to three year gap is for

01:07:14   a publicly traded company is untenable. One of the things I'd love to talk to you about, maybe we'll

01:07:21   save it for another time, but is the kind of unfortunate reality of being a publicly traded

01:07:29   company and the limitations it puts on you. And that's one of them.

01:07:37   Because it's not just that you have to go to one person, be it the chairman or the CEO,

01:07:42   and get one yes. It's that you need this consensus from a largely or often irrational herd.

01:07:54   Right.

01:07:57   And it's no way to get an explicit permission.

01:07:59   You have to get this consensus permission.

01:08:02   And if you think a committee of 10

01:08:04   is hard to get agreement upon, imagine

01:08:06   having millions of shareholders.

01:08:08   But it's worse than that, though, because especially

01:08:10   in tech, where so much compensation is tied

01:08:14   into stock, you're kind of disincentivizing your workforce.

01:08:20   The thing with Apple-- a big part of Apple

01:08:23   is people absolutely believe in the mission,

01:08:25   and they're there because they think

01:08:26   they're changing the world, no question.

01:08:28   The other thing, though, is an Apple engineer

01:08:31   does not make any more.

01:08:32   In fact, they probably make a little bit less

01:08:34   than a lot of other places.

01:08:35   But they've done very, very well with their stock options

01:08:39   over, you know, before the last couple years,

01:08:42   and that makes up for a lot of missed weekends,

01:08:45   that makes up for a lot of late nights.

01:08:47   And when that's getting stagnant or going down,

01:08:52   now you're having a retention problem, you're having people wanting raises.

01:08:57   The trouble with having a declining stock price or a stock price that's not going up is a lot more problematic than just bad press.

01:09:13   And that's, I think, it's that final one,

01:09:17   the employee issue that is important to understand

01:09:21   when you wonder why Apple bothers with this stuff.

01:09:24   - Well, and strategically, it is a lot easier

01:09:28   for a company who is maybe coming to the end of the line

01:09:33   with their previous cash cow.

01:09:39   Blackberry with their messaging oriented devices.

01:09:43   You know, let's face it, Microsoft with PC operating systems

01:09:50   and applications, it is a lot easier to get buy-in

01:09:54   for expanding and doing something new compared to

01:09:59   disrupting and undercutting that cash cow, right?

01:10:04   It's easier to add on.

01:10:05   So just an easy example, Facebook buying WhatsApp,

01:10:10   they're not disrupting Facebook Messenger, really,

01:10:16   because WhatsApp is bigger than Facebook Messenger, right?

01:10:19   And they're not making money, you know,

01:10:20   the whole thing is that Facebook Messenger

01:10:22   never really took off the way that Facebook wanted it to.

01:10:25   Right, they're adding on.

01:10:26   Now they've got something they didn't have before.

01:10:29   - Right.

01:10:30   - They're not screwing with what they already have.

01:10:32   - Yep.

01:10:33   - And screwing with what you already have

01:10:34   sometimes is the right thing to do,

01:10:36   but that's the thing that's hard to get buy-in for.

01:10:38   And I think it's hard for, like you said,

01:10:40   a public company to do because investors might object

01:10:44   because they don't see it.

01:10:45   - Yeah, well, since they don't see it, but they don't care.

01:10:49   Like they're worried about, you know,

01:10:54   they will sell your stock and invest it elsewhere.

01:10:57   Like they're worried about,

01:10:59   they're solely focused on the return.

01:11:02   and it's a kind of mismatch in incentives.

01:11:06   - Right, and I think that the time,

01:11:08   so I'm gonna agree with you.

01:11:09   I don't think, I think in theory and in hindsight,

01:11:13   yeah, maybe BlackBerry had an opportunity with BBM

01:11:17   to be one of these massive sort of platform-agnostic

01:11:22   messaging, mobile messaging platforms,

01:11:26   but that the time for them to make that happen

01:11:28   was a time when they couldn't justify losing it

01:11:33   as a competitive advantage for their devices.

01:11:38   That it was just too, it was too compelling to say,

01:11:40   look, if you want free messaging,

01:11:42   and a bunch of the people you know,

01:11:44   in Indonesia or wherever you live,

01:11:49   are doing it with Blackberries,

01:11:51   you should buy a Blackberry.

01:11:52   - This is why it remains the single most impressive thing

01:11:58   Apple has ever done is put iTunes on Windows for this exact reason.

01:12:05   Because it was basically saying, we're giving up on the Mac.

01:12:12   They weren't giving up on the Mac, but they were giving up on--

01:12:15   that wasn't going to be a differentiator for the Mac.

01:12:17   And we're kind of betting on this new business.

01:12:20   It wasn't directly the same, because they weren't undercutting the Mac,

01:12:23   per se.

01:12:25   But they were foregoing-- it was an opportunity cost.

01:12:26   They were forgoing an opportunity to make a Mac more attractive relative to Windows.

01:12:31   Right.

01:12:31   No, right. It set the iPod up as its own individual thing,

01:12:35   as opposed to a thing that made the Mac better.

01:12:38   Right, exactly. And the thing with that, though, is like what made that tenable in a lot of ways

01:12:45   was that it was, even though he was the last one to agree to it, it was Steve Jobs doing it.

01:12:49   Right.

01:12:50   And this is one of the things that you get with having a founder, a CEO. Like,

01:12:53   Like they have a lot more leeway to do these sort of things.

01:12:58   And this is for Microsoft and you know,

01:13:00   I hope this is why Bill Gates came back.

01:13:04   Is to kind of lend credibility

01:13:09   to some of the hard decisions they need to make.

01:13:11   Because there's some things that people,

01:13:15   like a founder can get away with

01:13:17   that no one else can get away with.

01:13:19   - All right, let's hold on that thought.

01:13:23   I want to thank our third sponsor and it's our good friends at Backblaze.

01:13:28   Backblaze is online, cloud-based, un-throttled backup for your Mac written by former Apple

01:13:38   engineers.

01:13:40   Great software.

01:13:41   You download it, start a free trial for 15 days, backs up everything on your Mac, everything

01:13:48   unless there's something you don't want backed up.

01:13:51   Let's say a folder full of huge movies

01:13:53   or something like that, that you don't care

01:13:55   if it gets backed up. - Movies.

01:13:57   - Movies, you know what I mean.

01:13:59   (laughing)

01:14:01   But if there's something big or, you know.

01:14:03   - I'm determined to make this the show

01:14:05   that gets you in trouble.

01:14:06   - I'm not getting in trouble.

01:14:07   You know, you could think of exceptions.

01:14:10   If you want, you can make exceptions.

01:14:11   If you want the whole drive backed up,

01:14:13   you can back up the whole drive.

01:14:14   And it just gets backed up to the cloud.

01:14:18   Does the initial backup take a long time?

01:14:19   Yes, it actually does, because you might have

01:14:22   gigabytes of stuff.

01:14:25   Just let it go.

01:14:27   It just runs in the background,

01:14:29   doesn't take up all of your bandwidth.

01:14:30   You can throttle it, you can control how much it uses,

01:14:33   and it's super easy, just goes.

01:14:36   They have iOS apps that you can use

01:14:38   once you have stuff backed up,

01:14:40   or even in the middle of your first backup,

01:14:42   whatever already has been backed up is there.

01:14:45   So you're out of the house,

01:14:46   you want to access one of the files on your Mac,

01:14:49   just open up your Backblaze app on your iOS device,

01:14:54   your iPhone, there it is, all of your files.

01:14:56   Once it is backed up, changes get backed up incrementally.

01:15:00   Unbelievable service, sounds too good to be true,

01:15:05   but it really does work, it is just great,

01:15:07   it is a no brainer, don't have to worry about it,

01:15:11   backup for your Mac, $5 a month.

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01:15:18   It's not like, oh, basic account is five bucks,

01:15:21   but if you want the good stuff,

01:15:23   or if you want enough storage to actually hold all your stuff,

01:15:26   you have to pay more.

01:15:27   Nope.

01:15:28   Whatever you've got on your Mac, $5 a month.

01:15:33   Great, great deal.

01:15:34   And I emphasize every week,

01:15:37   when these guys sponsor the show,

01:15:39   the fact that it's offline is a huge deal.

01:15:42   It is a great addition to something like Time Machine,

01:15:45   or a clone to drive by super duper that you keep in your house.

01:15:50   Offline means that if anything happens,

01:15:54   you know, somebody breaks in your house, a fire,

01:15:58   some kind of electrical surge burns out all your stuff.

01:16:02   There's something out of your house

01:16:05   where everything on your Mac is backed up.

01:16:08   Such peace of mind, really, really great.

01:16:11   Go check them out, see for yourself.

01:16:14   Go to backblaze.com/daringfireball.

01:16:19   They use the code daringfireball

01:16:22   'cause they tie the same campaign

01:16:24   to ads they've run on DaringFireball.

01:16:27   Go check 'em out.

01:16:30   My thanks to them.

01:16:31   You're nuts if you don't check out Backblaze.

01:16:34   - No, so I picked it up.

01:16:36   I didn't mean, one of the things I didn't mean to do,

01:16:39   I have a super rigorous disk backup system,

01:16:43   but I've been meaning to do the online thing for ages.

01:16:45   Did it thanks to this ad.

01:16:48   I was actually waiting,

01:16:51   but no, it was actually way faster than I expected too.

01:16:53   The upload went, that said, I'm in like a modern country

01:16:57   that actually has decent broadband as compared to the US.

01:17:01   So that might be part of it.

01:17:02   - I live in Comcast country.

01:17:04   (laughing)

01:17:05   I have good downloads. - Philadelphia.

01:17:07   - Comcast-- - I would be more impressed.

01:17:11   You know, you ever see the prototypical guy at the gym who only works his arms and he's

01:17:16   got like toothpick legs and real big arms?

01:17:18   That's Comcast.

01:17:19   Comcast has pretty good down, but up is a pair of skinny legs.

01:17:24   Yeah.

01:17:25   No, it's crazy.

01:17:26   I mean, it's crazy.

01:17:27   I think I have 100 down and 40 up and I pay like $30 a month or something.

01:17:34   It's ridiculous.

01:17:35   That's sick.

01:17:36   All right.

01:17:37   Alright last thing I want to talk about messaging wise and I think also largely

01:17:41   Under talked about this week is Twitter and

01:17:46   Twitter has direct messages and a

01:17:51   While ago, I don't know when it was like two years ago somewhere around there Twitter started downplaying direct messages

01:17:59   And on the web interface, which I know a lot of people a lot of people use for Twitter

01:18:04   They really kind of buried it. I mean that may not even kind of that. I mean they buried it

01:18:09   It's it is not there

01:18:10   They have a lot of stuff you can click right on the home page and direct messages

01:18:14   No longer was one of them

01:18:15   You had to go down a level and once you put anything down one level in a hierarchy on interface

01:18:20   It is gone from most people

01:18:22   I think there were an awful lot of people who who signed up for Twitter, you know

01:18:29   over the last few years who have no idea that there's a direct messaging and

01:18:33   Then a couple months ago earlier this year. It's like they kind of

01:18:38   you know

01:18:40   kind of

01:18:41   Realize we totally we got screw that one up. Yeah, and they you know started elevating again and promoting it

01:18:47   and

01:18:49   You know just for example this that's how you said you haven't looked at iMessage in a while that when we coordinated you know

01:18:56   The show via direct message right we did up Twitter DMS. I

01:19:02   I do, so I would say that for me personally,

01:19:06   my primary messaging is iMessage,

01:19:09   where most of the, what I would call a mobile message

01:19:11   goes through that.

01:19:12   Secondarily though is Twitter DMs.

01:19:15   There's a bunch of people who I message that way.

01:19:20   But I think largely though,

01:19:21   it's a lost opportunity for Twitter,

01:19:24   that they had an opportunity there and they blew it.

01:19:26   - No, I completely agree.

01:19:30   It's probably the primary thing for me just because being over here and that's the main way I connect and stay in touch with most people in the tech world.

01:19:39   The problem for Twitter is exactly what makes Twitter so fantastic is exactly what makes it so...

01:19:51   so such kind of a tough hill for them to climb.

01:19:56   In that, like, for me, like, I would give up

01:20:00   every single tech product in my life

01:20:02   before I gave up Twitter.

01:20:03   Like, I would use a Windows phone,

01:20:06   I would use a Blackberry, like,

01:20:07   as long as I still had Twitter.

01:20:09   Like, that's how essential it is to my life,

01:20:13   it's how I stay involved, it's how I stay connected, it's--

01:20:15   - M.G. Seigler often says, "What's the first,"

01:20:17   and when you wake up in the morning,

01:20:18   "What's the first app you go to on your phone?"

01:20:21   For me it is Twitter.

01:20:23   For me, I post something similar.

01:20:26   I think my first one was Line, but that's replaceable, right?

01:20:30   There's competitors. There's nothing like Twitter out there.

01:20:34   And what makes it so interesting is because Twitter is organized by your interest.

01:20:39   It's like what you actually care about. It's not necessarily who you know.

01:20:43   And one thing I want to hit at is I'm actually starting a new podcast,

01:20:47   and it's with someone who I met on Twitter.

01:20:50   Like, and there's tons of people I have like that.

01:20:53   The problem is--

01:20:54   - Can we have an announcement or just a hint?

01:20:56   Is this a teaser?

01:20:57   - No, it's an, I've been, it's called Exponent,

01:21:02   exponent.fm.

01:21:03   I need to, after this show, I'm gonna actually finish

01:21:06   getting the site finished so it will be presentable

01:21:08   when this is published.

01:21:10   But we recorded two episodes actually,

01:21:11   so there'll be two to download.

01:21:12   - All right, who's your cohost?

01:21:14   - It's a guy named James Allworth.

01:21:17   So he co-wrote a book with Clay Christensen,

01:21:20   How Do You Measure Your Life?

01:21:22   He went to Harvard.

01:21:23   He writes-- he used to write more West now for the Harvard

01:21:27   Business Review blog.

01:21:29   But it's about the intersection of--

01:21:31   it's not just reviewing the news.

01:21:33   It's kind of like tech and society,

01:21:34   like what's the impact of what's happening

01:21:36   in technology on society as a whole is more of the focus.

01:21:40   So the first-- there will be business stuff.

01:21:43   The first episode was all Microsoft and disruption.

01:21:46   The second one was about things like what's happening in San Francisco with the protests

01:21:52   as well as some about the Comcast merger with Time Warner and things like that.

01:21:56   So I think it should be pretty interesting and hopefully appealing to this audience which

01:22:01   is why I've been hustling to get it done.

01:22:02   But this is a guy – but you're saying though that the relevance to Twitter is that

01:22:05   this is somebody who your entire relationship with him was through Twitter.

01:22:09   Absolutely.

01:22:10   Like I found what he said on Twitter interesting.

01:22:12   I thought it was, I thought he had a interest set

01:22:16   that was similar to mine.

01:22:18   So I followed him, I reached out to him,

01:22:20   said, "Hey, can you follow me?

01:22:21   "I'd love to ping you in DM."

01:22:23   And then through that, we built a relationship.

01:22:27   We've met a few times now,

01:22:29   and now we're launching a podcast together.

01:22:33   The trouble I have with Twitter is it's hard to,

01:22:41   One thing I really try to do, and I think an advantage I have by not living in the valley

01:22:48   and almost all the people I grew up with and almost all the people I interact with now

01:22:53   are not technically inclined, is I feel it gives me a good idea of how normal people

01:23:00   experience technology.

01:23:02   I have a hard time of that with Twitter because it's so essential to my existence.

01:23:10   It's hard to get out of it and see what it is to regular people.

01:23:17   For me, because I think a lot of people who love Twitter can relate to this.

01:23:22   I grew up in the Midwest, grew up in Wisconsin.

01:23:25   No friends were technically inclined.

01:23:28   I was into computers from a pretty early age.

01:23:30   I loved following the stuff.

01:23:34   And I've lived in lots of interesting places.

01:23:37   And Twitter gives me a chance to have this ongoing conversation with people just like

01:23:41   me no matter where they are in the world.

01:23:43   And that's amazing.

01:23:46   The problem is to have that conversation, to get from day zero where you sign in to

01:23:53   having a great set of people you follow and stuff like that, it's really complicated.

01:23:59   Like incredibly complicated.

01:24:02   The learning curve is so high.

01:24:03   The payoff is totally worth it,

01:24:06   but it's so hard to get people along that path to get there.

01:24:09   That's the challenge.

01:24:11   - I also think, I think Twitter itself did not,

01:24:14   in terms of messaging, I just don't,

01:24:16   I really feel like internally they missed it.

01:24:20   - I agree.

01:24:21   - And I would judge it mainly by the interface

01:24:24   that they presented for messaging,

01:24:26   which was not chat style, right?

01:24:31   third party Twitter app developers, you know, like Tweety and I know tweetbot, which I use,

01:24:43   you know, they present your DMS, they don't look like the tweets, they don't look like

01:24:47   a stream of tweets there, they look like chat. Everything about it from you know, the way

01:24:54   that it's reverse chronological, instead of chronological, they flip the order, it looks

01:25:00   like chat bubbles. You don't type in a regular tweet posting

01:25:05   window. It's a little chat thing with a send button next to it.

01:25:08   Whereas Twitter itself made it just, you know, for a while. I

01:25:13   mean, I know that it was there were roots in, you know, back in

01:25:16   2007, when Twitter started there, it was all based on SMS

01:25:20   at first, or at least they thought it was going to be. And

01:25:23   so that was that code. What was it D or DM? I don't even

01:25:27   remember.

01:25:27   No, it's D and then the username, but without the @ symbol.

01:25:30   Right.

01:25:31   Because then you could joke, and you could type DM username

01:25:35   and jokingly make it seem like a mistaken DM.

01:25:40   Or people would do DM--

01:25:42   You could do it for real.

01:25:43   --and do it for real.

01:25:44   It was a big thing in a couple of years

01:25:46   that early pointed at Twitter.

01:25:47   Yeah, people sending accidental messages.

01:25:51   But still it was a problem.

01:25:54   Even after the whole typing D thing, D space username, people sent accidental DMs, right?

01:26:03   And that was a real problem.

01:26:04   Whereas my personal rule is I will never – I almost never use the Twitter web interface.

01:26:09   But if I do, I will never send a DM via it.

01:26:11   I only send DMs by Tweetbot because I know – I'm 100 percent sure I'd never make

01:26:17   a mistake because the interface is different.

01:26:19   Right.

01:26:20   Like you're not sending a personal tweet,

01:26:23   you're sending a message.

01:26:25   You know, even the name they picked,

01:26:28   the name they picked showed how screwed up

01:26:30   their interface was because direct messages,

01:26:32   they didn't call them direct tweets,

01:26:34   they called them direct messages.

01:26:36   - Yeah, no, there's so much, like, yeah, I completely agree.

01:26:40   The other thing too is like once they realized

01:26:42   they're no longer SMS bound,

01:26:44   like why are direct messages still 140 characters only?

01:26:48   Like, what's amazing about Twitter is the relationships

01:26:53   I can form around my interest as opposed to people

01:26:55   who I actually know in real life,

01:26:57   which all these other services are about real life.

01:26:59   And the truth is, real life matters the most.

01:27:01   Like, that's true for the vast majority of people.

01:27:06   But Twitter kinda has the market for knowing people

01:27:10   that I'm interested in, and they should make it

01:27:12   as easy as possible to live in Twitter,

01:27:16   to never leave that interface.

01:27:19   And the other thing, yeah,

01:27:20   they've made messages more accessible,

01:27:22   but they've had this ridiculous limitation

01:27:25   on sending hyperlinks through DirectMessages

01:27:29   for the last few months, which is infuriating.

01:27:31   - Right, it really, it's driving people away

01:27:33   from DirectMessages.

01:27:34   So something happened where I've heard

01:27:37   that it was Dick Costolo himself got a DM

01:27:41   with a spam Twitter link in it, and he clicked it.

01:27:45   And I don't know that anything bad happened,

01:27:47   but he was so infuriated that he just said,

01:27:50   "Shut it down, no URLs and direct messages

01:27:53   "until we can get the spam out."

01:27:55   And it's months later and it's still screwed up.

01:27:58   - Yeah, I had a few conversations where

01:28:03   I've actually resorted to posting a text file on Dropbox

01:28:08   and sending someone the link to it

01:28:09   because my only relationship with them is through Twitter.

01:28:12   It'd be weird to like, oh, can I get your Skype name or something like that.

01:28:16   Well, a lot of the DMs I get are people who I know, I don't know in real life, but I know

01:28:22   on the internet and I know they're sending me links for, possible links for Daring Fireball.

01:28:27   That's the whole reason they send me DMs is the links.

01:28:30   It's funny to me to see the different things that people will do.

01:28:33   Yeah, to get it through.

01:28:35   Right.

01:28:36   I have one guy who's a pretty good regular contributor and his thing is he'll send it

01:28:40   with three slashes, HTTP colon slash slash slash.

01:28:45   So it's not clickable, I can't click it,

01:28:50   but I can copy and paste it

01:28:51   and then just delete the slash in the URL bar.

01:28:54   - That's the idea, as you put spaces in it,

01:28:56   which I think is probably more annoying.

01:28:58   - Yeah, because, I don't know, all of them are annoying.

01:29:01   All of them takes me back to like 1994, '93,

01:29:06   when anytime you had anybody sent you a URL,

01:29:10   You had to copy, paste, go to the browser app, paste.

01:29:16   And it didn't take too long for indie Mac apps in the mid '90s

01:29:21   to get-- it was Command Click, usually, on a URL,

01:29:24   and you could open it.

01:29:26   It was a long time since I've had to copy and paste URLs.

01:29:29   But Twitter DMs have brought me back.

01:29:31   It's honestly-- it kind of blows my mind.

01:29:36   But the fact that it still is stuck like that,

01:29:39   months later and everybody who uses the answers

01:29:42   bitches about everyday just shows that twitter still doesn't have the heart

01:29:45   messaging

01:29:47   uh... i think it's a lost opportunity for them

01:29:53   because how many users just twitter have

01:29:56   uh... i think they have like a hundred million active

01:30:00   uh... mike two hundred thirty million total right like

01:30:04   yeah that that's

01:30:06   The reality is Twitter is, and this pains me to say it because it's so important to

01:30:13   me, they're in the most precarious state of all these guys. Yes, they've gone public and

01:30:21   they had a nice run up in their stock price, but I'm not sure that was deserved. What's

01:30:27   interesting about Twitter is it's so interesting because the potential is massive because they

01:30:33   they know, knowing what I'm interested in is way more valuable than knowing who I know.

01:30:39   You can market to me so much more effectively by knowing what I actually care about, and

01:30:43   Twitter knows that.

01:30:45   The problem is getting people from day zero to a curated following list that gives an

01:30:51   accurate representation of what they're interested in is devilishly hard.

01:30:57   I still don't know what they're doing.

01:30:59   going open up an incognito browser and go to twitter.com and like the home page is just

01:31:05   like the signup process is yeah I mean it's it there's a lot of room for improvement I

01:31:13   don't think they've I still don't think they've solved the explain to someone who's not on

01:31:18   Twitter why they should be on Twitter yeah elevated that's a bit of a problem but like

01:31:23   MG Sigler and I were talking about a few weeks ago. They still have something that is amazing,

01:31:31   which to me is best exemplified by the fact that when people are on TV as guests on a

01:31:38   talk show, they show their Twitter name.

01:31:39   Tim Cynova Yep.

01:31:40   Dave Asprey Or they show a hashtag. And the hashtag, I

01:31:43   know that one of the weird things about hashtags is you could use the same hashtag anywhere.

01:31:49   and that Facebook is trying to get people to use hashtags too.

01:31:53   And so if I tried to promote a hashtag daring fireball, it would work anywhere where you

01:31:58   can type plain text because it's not a real metadata field.

01:32:02   But when people see hashtags, I think they think Twitter.

01:32:06   And I know when you see @monkbend, you know it's a Twitter name, right?

01:32:16   for anybody who's interested is is Ben's Twitter handle right? M-O-N-K-B-E-N-T.

01:32:22   Monk, monk bent I guess. Yes it's a monk bent tea. Yeah the bent tea is definitely

01:32:30   you don't have to explain it. Thank you. No it's an unfortunate encounter with a

01:32:36   Spanish teacher in freshman year, freshman year of high school so. Let me just take a

01:32:42   up final break and thank our last and final last but not least our final sponsor and that's

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01:33:10   And what they want me to talk to you about is SharePoint.

01:33:14   Igloo partnered with Osterman Research

01:33:17   to study the challenges businesses face

01:33:19   when implementing SharePoint,

01:33:20   which is an intranet package from a little company

01:33:26   in Redmond, Washington called Microsoft.

01:33:28   They built a whole page about it and you can see it here.

01:33:33   Go to igloosoftware.com/the-talk-show.

01:33:38   Go there, they'll know you came from the show

01:33:39   and they have this whole sort of a,

01:33:42   I wouldn't wanna call it a white paper

01:33:45   because it's not written in that white paper-ese language.

01:33:48   It's like a plain, a real white paper.

01:33:52   It's like written in English.

01:33:53   Here's the five main results that this study showed.

01:33:56   SharePoint doesn't work well on mobile.

01:33:59   That's something that igloo does very well.

01:34:02   They have responsive web design built into

01:34:04   all the features of their platform,

01:34:06   everything you can do on the desktop,

01:34:08   even administering the internet itself,

01:34:10   you can do from the phone with a responsive design.

01:34:13   They also found that SharePoint is too expensive.

01:34:17   It requires too many people.

01:34:20   And here's the worst part, the most damning part,

01:34:23   that no one ends up using it.

01:34:24   People end up using the other things to work around

01:34:27   all the things they don't like about SharePoint.

01:34:29   So then you need all these third-party apps

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01:34:36   Check them out and if you want to try it, this is the most amazing thing.

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01:34:43   It is free to use forever with up to 10 people.

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01:34:54   So it's better, it's got better features, it is mobile, it is mobile optimized, works

01:35:00   great on the desktop too and you can try it for free for up to ten people and

01:35:06   then after that it's very affordable so go to igloo software.com slash the talk

01:35:13   show my thanks to them alright so I think we've done messaging pretty well

01:35:18   and now we have just a few minutes we could talk about Microsoft who you now

01:35:24   you used to work at Microsoft when did you leave I left last summer July 1st

01:35:29   In 2013?

01:35:31   2013, yes.

01:35:33   Wow, it feels like it's been longer.

01:35:35   I know you haven't been there.

01:35:37   I started the blog while I was still at Microsoft.

01:35:39   Right. But, you know, obviously it picked up a lot once you left.

01:35:43   Yeah. Well, it was perfect timing because a few weeks later they had the reorganization,

01:35:47   which I wrote about, and that got a lot of traffic.

01:35:53   And then Balmer left, and then they bought Nokia.

01:35:55   So it's been a very fruitful subject

01:35:58   So we were talking earlier in the show we hint we hinted at where we're going but that

01:36:03   that

01:36:06   One of the obviously a big the biggest problem Microsoft has is that the industry is shifting to mobile

01:36:12   The whole whatsapp thing and messaging is just one

01:36:16   once one of many sides of it

01:36:22   But everything is moving to mobile. I mean, that's where all the growth is and

01:36:26   That is a place where Microsoft has really just utterly failed to get traction at all

01:36:32   And

01:36:36   That it's more one of the things is that it's more than just that they don't have apps

01:36:42   you know on on Windows Phone, but that the apps like you said the apps they have just aren't that good and

01:36:48   It occurs to me that that situation that that's why it's this situation that situation there is far worse for

01:36:56   Microsoft than it was for Apple and the Mac back it does say the the nadir of

01:37:00   The Mac market share wise in like 96 97 98 is that even though the Mac was overwhelmed?

01:37:08   Market share wise by Windows and by the the number of apps available

01:37:13   The Mac still had

01:37:17   Office and it still had the whole Adobe suite and you know Quark Express and

01:37:23   Freehand and other design apps that were

01:37:27   You know really important to a lot of Mac users and even if Mac office was a little bit behind the Windows version

01:37:33   It was there and the Adobe apps and the design apps always were you know?

01:37:38   Parity or you know the Mac versions were better

01:37:42   And the Mac always had throughout that whole time had an amazing indie community that was making

01:37:49   Truly top-notch apps for people who really really cared, you know companies like bare-bones software with BB edit

01:37:56   Panic got started around, you know the mid 90s

01:38:00   And then he you know, yeah Omni with that shift. Yeah, perfect example one now

01:38:05   That's a little bit later than the 90s because that's their next step

01:38:08   But that's still like early days of Mac OS X. Mac OS X was, you know, effectively a new

01:38:14   platform and in 2001 and 2002 Mac OS X was a smaller platform than classic Mac OS.

01:38:21   I forget when it was that Mac OS X actually had more active users than classic Mac OS,

01:38:26   but it was not until 2003 or 2004 even.

01:38:33   And so, you know, when Mac OS X was getting off the ground, yeah, then you had the Omni

01:38:37   Group, people like Brent Simmons, who I work with now, so disclaimer, but NetNewswire came

01:38:44   out in 2002 and was an amazing app.

01:38:48   Dave Asprey Yeah, just an amazing app that really, really

01:38:52   changed the way I viewed the entire internet.

01:39:01   Windows and Windows Phone just don't have anything like that, especially Windows Phone.

01:39:05   - Yeah, this is exactly,

01:39:07   this is why I completely agree with you.

01:39:10   Like the Apple was in way worse financial shape

01:39:14   than Microsoft is now.

01:39:15   And then Microsoft will be for the foreseeable future.

01:39:19   The difference though is,

01:39:23   Apple's fate was in Apple's control.

01:39:28   Like they just needed to make better products.

01:39:31   And that's exactly what Steve Jobs was very good at.

01:39:34   and they came back.

01:39:36   - And they always had some people

01:39:37   who were waiting for those products,

01:39:39   who saw that potential, you know?

01:39:41   - Yep.

01:39:42   No, because they always had that bit in the UI,

01:39:46   that bit in the experience

01:39:48   that would always appeal to some people.

01:39:52   The problem for Microsoft right now

01:39:53   is their problems are out of their control.

01:39:56   Like they're dependent on developers that they can't control.

01:40:00   Like they're dependent on consumers buying their devices

01:40:03   they can't make them buy them.

01:40:05   And that's a much worse position to be

01:40:10   because they could make literally the best phone on earth

01:40:15   in every single dimension and none of us would buy it

01:40:19   and justifiably so.

01:40:20   Like Farhad Manjoo had a great column in the Times

01:40:24   like yesterday saying like reviewing the latest Nokia phone

01:40:28   saying this is an amazing phone but I can't recommend it

01:40:31   because the app situation.

01:40:33   and they can't change that.

01:40:35   And that's, and the problem is this is where like

01:40:40   being in a good financial situation actually hurts

01:40:42   because nothing helps you change what you're doing

01:40:47   than like knowing you're gonna have trouble making payroll

01:40:50   in a few weeks, which is the case for Apple.

01:40:51   - Yeah, there's not too many factors

01:40:53   on phone hardware design, right?

01:40:57   There's camera quality, screen quality,

01:41:01   battery life and performance and storage,

01:41:05   but storage is easy.

01:41:06   I mean, that's, you know.

01:41:08   - Build quality arguably.

01:41:09   - Right, build, yeah, and build, well, and let's,

01:41:12   and Nokia definitely has build quality down.

01:41:15   - And they have camera quality.

01:41:16   - And they definitely have camera quality.

01:41:18   Arguably, they're probably the one that you can argue,

01:41:21   you know, you could make a strong case is,

01:41:24   beats the iPhone 5S.

01:41:26   Better at different things,

01:41:28   but they're both excellent, right?

01:41:30   It's a top tier camera.

01:41:31   So like you said, so what's left?

01:41:34   Screen and performance.

01:41:36   And I can't judge this new one that Farhad reviewed,

01:41:40   but it might have.

01:41:42   Let's just concede that it has the leading performance,

01:41:46   good battery life, and a great screen.

01:41:48   That's not enough.

01:41:51   You don't buy the device.

01:41:52   You really don't.

01:41:53   I mean, the device definitely matters,

01:41:55   but it's the overall experience,

01:41:57   and the overall experience is largely about apps.

01:42:00   - Yeah, the other thing that's interesting about this is,

01:42:06   and I made this point in the first episode

01:42:10   of the new podcast, again, exponent.fm,

01:42:14   is what ultimately brought the Mac,

01:42:19   made the Mac a viable platform again.

01:42:21   Again, like just to be clear,

01:42:22   like even if your in-cell can value only C Macs,

01:42:25   so it's easy to think they're dominating.

01:42:27   Windows still dominates in the laptop, desktop form factor.

01:42:36   But what made the Mac a viable platform was the web,

01:42:40   because all the applications that matter now

01:42:42   ran everywhere.

01:42:44   And what's interesting for Microsoft

01:42:46   is they have to be the ones that are most--

01:42:49   they should be the ones who are most distressed

01:42:51   that the mobile web hasn't taken off in a meaningful way

01:42:54   from an application standpoint,

01:42:56   because that would be their salvation.

01:42:58   Like that, and what they should be spending

01:43:01   their resources on is they should be doing two things.

01:43:05   And like this seems so,

01:43:08   so this is what you know that they've woken up

01:43:12   if you see these two things.

01:43:14   One, they need to give up on IE.

01:43:16   Like they need to give up on the Trident rendering engine.

01:43:18   They need to do it, adopt WebKit.

01:43:20   And quite frankly, like Apple could use the help.

01:43:23   Like they've lost, like Google's forked it,

01:43:25   they're going with Blink.

01:43:27   Microsoft and Apple ought to work together

01:43:31   on the future of WebKit because Microsoft cannot afford,

01:43:34   like I, to be clear,

01:43:35   IE's done a lot to be standards compliant.

01:43:37   Like it's not a terrible browser like you think it is.

01:43:41   But that doesn't matter.

01:43:43   It's not a battle that they can afford to fight.

01:43:47   Like they need to run every website perfectly

01:43:51   with all, not just from standards perspective,

01:43:54   but also with the WebKit quirks perspective.

01:43:56   - Right.

01:43:58   - And then two, like they need to take all these resources

01:44:01   that are focused on trying to prop up their app store

01:44:04   and funnel them into like making web apps

01:44:07   into something that's meaningful.

01:44:09   Because that's the only possible way back in my perspective

01:44:14   is where web apps actually become something

01:44:17   that's meaningful on mobile.

01:44:19   And then it doesn't matter because--

01:44:21   I think that's unlikely though. I agree. I think it's a high

01:44:24   you know, I that's why they make picture they should just yet.

01:44:28   And that's a good point there. So I see two. I see three ways

01:44:33   forward. One would be to somehow get developer traction for

01:44:38   Windows Phone apps. And I don't see that happening. I don't see

01:44:42   any way they can do it. They can't bribe it. And I don't see

01:44:45   it. So that's one. It is possible. But I don't think it's

01:44:49   going to happen.

01:44:49   - The thing that people don't realize is

01:44:53   the return on investment from improving your iOS app

01:44:56   or your Android app is so much greater

01:44:58   than building a new one.

01:45:00   It's not just, oh, you finished the first two,

01:45:02   now you're gonna build a third.

01:45:04   Like, the equation never works in their favor.

01:45:07   - Two would be what you said,

01:45:11   would be some sort of way that,

01:45:14   what happened with web apps on the desktop

01:45:18   in the 90s through the

01:45:22   you know early 2000s like where big new things

01:45:26   a startup or a big new service or something

01:45:29   was almost always in that era a website

01:45:33   you know Facebook is a fine example of it even you know

01:45:37   was later it was in you know mid 2000s but what was Facebook

01:45:41   it was a website it was a thing where you went to your browser and type

01:45:44   facebook.com

01:45:45   and you went there. And so anybody could, you know, Mac or Windows could use it. Whereas

01:45:50   a decade earlier, Facebook would have been a Windows app and Mac users might have been

01:45:54   locked out. I think the last big thing I can remember that was a Windows app was Napster.

01:46:01   You know, obviously it had an online component, but there wasn't a native Mac Napster client.

01:46:09   But...

01:46:09   That's interesting because I was still on Windows then.

01:46:11   I was on the Mac.

01:46:12   Think about it.

01:46:13   This is where the indie Mac community took it up and you know Napster Napster

01:46:18   Didn't want to lock Mac users out

01:46:20   They were just focused on you know where most of the people were which was Windows and so it was just you know

01:46:26   It's the same reason. It's not that people necessarily don't even want you know

01:46:30   You know like I guess Instagram has a Windows phone client now

01:46:34   But it didn't take them a long time because they wanted to lock them out

01:46:37   It just wasn't worth their attention yet, and that's right the Mac was but the indie Mac community had a couple of

01:46:42   of pretty good Napster clients.

01:46:46   I forget the names of them.

01:46:47   I'm sure my readers--

01:46:48   - The thing about Napster, just like,

01:46:49   it was an amazingly well-designed app.

01:46:53   - Yeah, but the Mac clients were even better.

01:46:55   They were-- - I could imagine.

01:46:55   - I think there's one called Macster.

01:46:57   I forget the name of it.

01:46:59   But there were at least two or three--

01:47:00   - That sounds like what an indie Mac club

01:47:02   would be named. - Yeah, there were like

01:47:03   two or three of them, and they were good enough

01:47:06   that you could do the thing,

01:47:08   which was you typed in a song name

01:47:10   and got a bunch of results and, you know, dragged them to your desktop and now you had

01:47:16   the music on your desktop.

01:47:17   So did you used to do the download MP3s by FTP thing, like pre-napser?

01:47:22   No.

01:47:23   So, I think this was, I was in college then, so, like, which was like the ground zero for

01:47:28   this sort of stuff.

01:47:30   So used to, there were these sites you would go to and you would get people's FTP addresses

01:47:35   and then you would use an FTP client, you'd go to their site and they'd have like a whole

01:47:37   tons of music that you could download.

01:47:39   Like it was, in retrospect, like totally bizarre.

01:47:42   So from that perspective, when Napster came along,

01:47:47   like it was unbelievable.

01:47:49   Like it was like going from a old school phone to an iPhone.

01:47:54   Like it was like, it was so unbelievable.

01:47:56   And of course it made it so much more accessible to everyone.

01:47:59   Oh, fond memories.

01:48:01   Well, it was sort of like Google, where, you know, the search results used to be,

01:48:06   You'd have to reasonably expect to hunt through

01:48:09   20 search results to find the thing you were looking for.

01:48:13   And it felt amazing because, oh my God,

01:48:15   now you'd go to Alta Vista and you would type this query

01:48:20   and if you spent 10, 20, 30 seconds eyeballing the results,

01:48:25   you would find the thing you're looking for.

01:48:27   And you were like 30 seconds away

01:48:29   from almost all the information you could imagine.

01:48:32   And then all of a sudden Google came along

01:48:34   and you were two seconds away from anything

01:48:36   you could imagine.

01:48:37   And you didn't really have to eyeball it,

01:48:38   you'd just see it right there at the top of the list.

01:48:40   And that's what Napster was, right?

01:48:42   Instead of having to hunt for Keith Richards' version

01:48:46   of Run Run Rudolph,

01:48:47   which used to be before digital music

01:48:53   was like this epically hard B-side of a single

01:48:56   from 1978 to '59,

01:48:57   you'd just type Run Run Rudolph into Napster

01:49:00   and there it is at the top.

01:49:01   You know, and it was a pretty--

01:49:03   - It was unbelievable.

01:49:03   It was a pretty good rip. Yeah

01:49:05   But I remember you know, but that's where the indie Mac community really stepped in and maybe it Mac was you know

01:49:13   every once in a while something would maybe break down because

01:49:16   Napster would change something and Windows would pick up the change right away and it took a while for the Mac guys to do it

01:49:20   But after that though things were web apps, you know, at least a big new thing. So you didn't feel left out

01:49:27   Yeah, and you can get a Mac and and interchange

01:49:32   You know with people using the mass market using windows. I don't see that happening on mobile

01:49:38   I really hungry because I just it I

01:49:42   Think it was always an aberration. I always thought that and it's the the UI I

01:49:48   Critic in me always saw web apps as this gross

01:49:54   Completely agree, you know, we agree

01:49:58   No, I this is a I know this is controversial but to me it's it's so obvious

01:50:03   Like the problem is people were scared to install applications

01:50:06   Because the whole like virus right and it was hard to acquire them like it was the App Store

01:50:12   It's the App Store that killed the web as the main thing. Yeah, and

01:50:16   because apps are better like there's there's just

01:50:19   like

01:50:21   Any sort of technical or UI or any sort of way you look at it an app is going to be better

01:50:27   No, like but you get updating and yeah, you can't you just cannot under

01:50:34   emphasize

01:50:36   The fear there and rightly so that most people had Mac or Windows Mac or Windows

01:50:43   But especially Windows about installing new software because they eventually would get burned

01:50:48   You know that you did, you know, and I know that there's not just need to do it once not a problem with modern windows

01:50:53   But for a long time the DL L conflicts

01:50:56   Just so many things that you could run into and that you could eventually slow down your computer

01:51:02   and there was no way to undo it. You know that uninstall was not uninstalling everything.

01:51:08   And that you'd have things running in the background and that the freedom of the App Store,

01:51:14   and yes it is limiting, we're now apps there are cool things that an app that can do whatever it

01:51:20   wants on your system. You know, you know, great stuff on there's

01:51:25   so many, you know, that's why the Mac and iOS deserve to be

01:51:28   different, you know, but you can stall over height, we're

01:51:30   hijacking this conversation right now, like, right, what's

01:51:33   your not allowed to do right that you can install audio

01:51:36   hijack, pro or or, or Skype call recorder, and while you're in

01:51:43   Yeah, or piezo. And while you're in one app, record the audio

01:51:47   stream from another. And you can't do that on iOS, because

01:51:50   are all sandbox, but it's that freedom that it helps normal people know, you know, you

01:51:55   can install these apps willy-nilly and it will not slow your device down and

01:52:00   - You'll get a virus.

01:52:01   - Right, and if you decide you don't like the game, just hold your finger down on it

01:52:07   and hit the X and it's gone and you know it's really gone. And it doesn't have all this

01:52:11   stuff that detritus that it's left behind. And it's the remnants of that fear that fueled

01:52:18   this whole unbelievable, still persistent thing

01:52:23   that you're not supposed to leave your apps running in iOS

01:52:28   and that every half an hour or so

01:52:29   you should double click the home button

01:52:31   and delete all the apps that are running.

01:52:34   - Although given the way that iOS 7 crashes,

01:52:37   it might be good advice at this point.

01:52:39   But no, no, I completely agree.

01:52:41   And I think it's one of the classic mistakes

01:52:44   that people make in general is they attribute

01:52:48   like success in one area,

01:52:50   they don't consider all the things that might have contributed to it.

01:52:53   And so they think like, "Oh, web apps were successful because they let you build

01:52:57   once, deploy everywhere, easily update."

01:53:00   And the people saying this are developers for whom this was a big

01:53:03   advantage. It's very great to deploy everywhere, it's great to be

01:53:07   able to update easily.

01:53:08   But unless you can be empathetic and put yourself in the

01:53:13   shoes of some of the end user,

01:53:16   only then can you realize that they don't give a shit about that.

01:53:19   They give a shit about, you know,

01:53:21   not getting a virus about having their data available everywhere.

01:53:25   And not, and that sort of thing. And once that's taken care of,

01:53:30   that means what's more important.

01:53:33   Is it a developer's life being easy or is it having a responsive,

01:53:37   enjoyable to use application? And it's the latter,

01:53:41   which means they prefer an app.

01:53:42   If anything, I think that over the last,

01:53:46   is it six years or five years,

01:53:49   whatever the app store year is,

01:53:50   I guess it was announced six years ago, but it didn't--

01:53:54   - 2008.

01:53:54   - Yeah, it was announced in 2008,

01:53:56   but didn't ship until June.

01:53:58   So let's call it six years,

01:54:01   but the last five, six years, the mobile app year,

01:54:04   I think that it's more native app focused today

01:54:08   than it was then.

01:54:10   - Agreed, because all the people who were insistent

01:54:14   that it would eventually go to mobile web

01:54:15   had finally kind of given up the ghost.

01:54:16   - Yeah, there were a lot of people who thought,

01:54:19   I'm not gonna go in for this

01:54:20   'cause it's gonna follow the desktop

01:54:22   where it's gonna go to the web.

01:54:23   A lot of them have given up.

01:54:25   And Facebook, to circle back to the beginning of the show,

01:54:28   is a perfect example where I think Zuckerberg

01:54:31   had a sort of come to Jesus moment two years ago or so

01:54:36   and saw that mobile was not gonna be like the web

01:54:41   and that native apps really mattered

01:54:43   and that they shifted a lot of their development from like,

01:54:46   and they did a great job for HTML5 web views

01:54:52   in a native app.

01:54:54   They did a great job, but that it wasn't good enough.

01:54:56   And that's when they went on this Aqua hiring spree

01:54:59   and hired--

01:55:00   - And this is what, like, I think Mark Zuckerberg

01:55:03   is fantastic.

01:55:06   And what makes him a fantastic CEO is he has

01:55:10   repeatedly demonstrated the ability to change his

01:55:14   mind in the face of evidence.

01:55:16   Yes.

01:55:16   And like, that sounds so obvious, like what

01:55:21   someone should do, but you know, there's the old

01:55:23   saying, like, someone's paid to think one thing,

01:55:27   or I can't remember exactly what it is, but like,

01:55:28   it's very hard in fact to do.

01:55:30   And, and he has repeatedly shown that he's willing

01:55:34   to give up what seems to be right for him or what he thought previously if new evidence

01:55:42   presents itself.

01:55:43   And I find that very admirable.

01:55:45   Yeah, I totally agree.

01:55:48   And I think some of it too is that he has a good gut.

01:55:53   And I think, for example, hiring Mike Mattis and the other guys from Push Pop Press a couple

01:56:00   years ago and now who work there and they're the guys behind paper.

01:56:04   I think it was a gut thing.

01:56:09   Another acquirer was the sofa, was big Mac indie, very, very good design quality thing.

01:56:22   It wasn't because he wanted those products or wanted new products.

01:56:25   It was like, I want talent like this making apps for Facebook.

01:56:29   And it's more of a gut thing than I have a specific,

01:56:33   rational, here's the thing I want them to build.

01:56:36   No, totally.

01:56:37   Because the things that make sense

01:56:38   are often not rational in the present.

01:56:41   Like, if they were rational, then everyone would do them,

01:56:44   which makes them less valuable.

01:56:46   But I have to say, I loved your discussion of paper.

01:56:49   Like, I haven't heard you so excited,

01:56:53   just like giddy about a product and just like geeking out over a UI in a long time.

01:57:00   That was like – I found that podcast absolutely delightful.

01:57:04   Well, thank you.

01:57:06   I enjoyed talking – I got to write it.

01:57:07   So have you signed up?

01:57:08   Have you signed up for Facebook?

01:57:09   No.

01:57:10   You said you were going to.

01:57:11   I know, but I'm scared.

01:57:15   Is this the quote you were thinking of Upton Sinclair?

01:57:18   Yes.

01:57:19   to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

01:57:23   Exactly.

01:57:25   And that's, I think that often applies to like sort of a rank and file,

01:57:29   but I think it's true for leaders as well. You know, and I, you know, let's, you know,

01:57:35   Especially for a young CEO, right?

01:57:37   Well, let's name the obvious counterexample, Steve Walmer.

01:57:40   Right? Like how many times in the, under his CEO ship did he change his mind?

01:57:47   I don't know. Maybe not many. Maybe none. I don't know. Not a big change like that.

01:57:55   And I get it. Facebook being a young company and him being a young CEO, I think makes it even harder.

01:58:03   Right?

01:58:03   Yeah. Because people are Wall Street skeptical. Especially because Facebook got off to such a

01:58:10   a rough start.

01:58:11   You know, like their stock tanked,

01:58:13   like they were, there's a ton of criticism.

01:58:15   You know, like even more,

01:58:19   like the natural human inclination

01:58:21   is kind of want to be a people pleaser

01:58:22   and like make investors happy

01:58:24   and to retain the ability to be flexible

01:58:29   and to adjust in the face of reality,

01:58:33   I find very, very impressive.

01:58:36   - Yeah.

01:58:38   Ben Evans had a post this week on some of the advantages that--

01:58:44   specifically in the context of mobile,

01:58:46   but I think it applies to all apps.

01:58:47   I mean, messaging was the context

01:58:49   that he was talking about.

01:58:50   But what are the advantages to mobile for messaging?

01:58:54   I think it applies to all apps.

01:58:55   But some of them are it's so much easier to get at photos,

01:59:00   because your photo library is right there on the device,

01:59:03   and there's an API to get it.

01:59:04   Whereas on the desktop, it was always a pain in the ass.

01:59:07   people had to, you know, 'cause there was no central location

01:59:09   for photos and, you know, especially for the web browser,

01:59:12   you'd have to use like a weird upload form

01:59:16   and expect the user to click a button

01:59:18   and then navigate to the photos in an open dialog box

01:59:23   and it's all just IMG_0625.jpg, right?

01:59:29   It was, you know, it was a pain,

01:59:31   whereas now you go, you know, photo, you know,

01:59:35   give this app permission to your photos,

01:59:36   Yes. Boom. Here's your photos and you see the thumbnails.

01:59:40   Preview. Yeah. And as I pointed out yesterday, the other big

01:59:44   thing is not just that it has access to your photo library has

01:59:46   access to your camera because the device itself is your

01:59:49   camera. It's your main camera. And so if you want to take a new

01:59:53   photo, you don't even have the photo yet. You can do it right

01:59:56   there in the app. You don't even have to leave the app, the app

01:59:58   will let you take the picture right there. That's it desktop

02:00:02   has nothing like that. And I don't think the mobile I think

02:00:06   unlikely that the mobile web is going to get that.

02:00:12   This is something that's really interesting about the Facebook and WhatsApp thing, just

02:00:17   to quickly rewind at the beginning of the conversation, is remember a couple years ago

02:00:21   how Facebook was all about making everything public and people can follow you and it defaults

02:00:27   to the public and there's a lot of outcry about it.

02:00:32   They did that, I think, with a PC mindset where if you were going to post on Facebook

02:00:38   from a PC, by definition, because it was such a relatively speaking pain in the ass to upload

02:00:45   a photo, you were only going to post the best photos.

02:00:48   And you were only going to post things that you had thought about before you threw them

02:00:53   up there.

02:00:54   And so it made sense, if Facebook was thinking about growth, it made sense to move from not

02:01:00   just your private network but being more of a almost like taking over the blog

02:01:04   space right like people there are people who see Facebook is like their blog

02:01:07   right and they that's where they broadcast they broadcast something is

02:01:11   actually way more prevalent you might think this is this is this is what I get

02:01:15   by looking at my wife's shoulders the way she uses Facebook like she follows a

02:01:18   ton of people who she doesn't know but who who use Facebook as a broadcast

02:01:23   channel what's interesting now is that actually what that did to the Facebook

02:01:29   is it made it a brand that you didn't trust.

02:01:31   Like you were never sure if what you did on Facebook

02:01:34   was private or not.

02:01:36   And that made it impossible for them to break into

02:01:39   this messaging space in a meaningful way,

02:01:41   because that has to be private.

02:01:43   What I'm saying to my wife has to be private.

02:01:45   - Yeah, there's a definite trust issue.

02:01:47   - Well, exactly.

02:01:48   - I think I mentioned this a few weeks ago.

02:01:50   I forget who I was talking to, but it might be a repeat,

02:01:53   but I think it's worth repeating, is that

02:01:57   As we work on sync for Vesper, we thought about how are you going to sign in and the easiest way for like a custom, you know, if it's not going to be iCloud but you don't have to sign in.

02:02:13   If it was a custom thing, the easiest thing to do would be to use something like Facebook and Twitter and sign in with Twitter and Facebook.

02:02:20   Because then you don't have to create a new account and a new password and remember it.

02:02:25   You just say, "Sign in with Facebook," and you go to Facebook and you say, "Authorize

02:02:30   this app," and you bounce back to the app and then you're in.

02:02:35   But we did, obviously not scientific, but did some casual polling of friends and family.

02:02:42   It was almost unanimous that among, especially among non-technical people, they hate that.

02:02:49   Facebook because they don't trust it.

02:02:52   That simple.

02:02:53   That they don't – they almost – they try never to sign into other apps with Facebook

02:02:58   because they just assume that if they do, that unwanted stuff is going to get posted

02:03:02   to Facebook publicly.

02:03:04   And –

02:03:05   That's so interesting.

02:03:09   You know, and it was a real eye-opener that they don't see it as a convenience to having

02:03:15   another site with their email and a password, they see that using your email address is

02:03:23   better because they know that they're the only ones who read their email. It was a real

02:03:28   eye-opener. They just don't trust it. And not like they don't trust it, they don't use

02:03:32   Facebook. They just assume though that Facebook is only safe for stuff that you assume will

02:03:39   eventually be made public somehow.

02:03:41   - Yeah, and what's interesting,

02:03:44   but that was a reasonable thing for Facebook to do

02:03:46   in the PC era, because it was such a pain in the ass

02:03:49   to upload stuff, right?

02:03:50   Like you weren't gonna upload,

02:03:52   you had a chance to think before you uploaded stuff, right?

02:03:56   But in the mobile area where everything,

02:03:58   like this device is always with you all the time,

02:04:01   like you're liable to take pictures

02:04:05   and post all kinds of stuff.

02:04:06   And yeah, so that's why WhatsApp

02:04:10   never be branded Facebook. Like the biggest advantage of WhatsApp is it's not called Facebook.

02:04:15   Yeah, I totally agree. I think that's very, very, I think it's essential to it. So let's go back.

02:04:21   So what are the Microsoft options to get apps or software developed for Windows Phone? So first was

02:04:27   to actually get people, developers to really engage and write native apps for Windows Phone.

02:04:33   Not going to happen, I don't think. Second would be for web apps to really take off cross-platform

02:04:38   And then they could just piggyback on Android and iOS as developers make web apps.

02:04:44   I don't think that's going to happen.

02:04:47   Which brings us to number three, which you've written about.

02:04:50   Charles Arthur had a piece in The Guardian.

02:04:53   There was a counterargument in Ars Technica by Peter Bright, which is that-- I'm going

02:05:03   to present this as two ways of doing the same thing.

02:05:06   Charles Arthur said what Microsoft should do is fork Android, pretty much pull an Amazon

02:05:13   and just fork the open source version of Android and do their own Microsoft version of Android

02:05:19   and replace all of the stuff that like when you get a Google Play version of Android where

02:05:25   it all hooks up to, you know, with default, it goes to Gmail and has Chrome and, you know,

02:05:31   Google sign in.

02:05:32   replace that all with Microsoft services.

02:05:34   And you would get, you know, Bing and Windows Live email

02:05:39   and all that stuff.

02:05:42   Now, second version of the same argument is that,

02:05:45   and there are rumors that Microsoft is actually,

02:05:47   the second one seems more likely to me,

02:05:49   which is that they should,

02:05:53   they can stick with Windows Phone as the OS,

02:05:56   but have a runtime layer to run Android apps.

02:06:00   To me it's six of one, half a dozen of the other.

02:06:05   I think it's a little bit more likely

02:06:07   that they would go the latter route

02:06:08   because I think they would wanna control,

02:06:11   I think they would wanna control the lower levels of the OS.

02:06:14   Not that they wouldn't control an open source Android fork,

02:06:17   but that they already have it with Windows.

02:06:21   They don't need a new kernel.

02:06:22   - Right.

02:06:23   - It's the apps that matter.

02:06:25   What say you?

02:06:29   Well, first, just a small point.

02:06:36   My main question would be if they did the ladder option running Android apps on Windows

02:06:41   with a runtime for those apps, what's the performance going to be like?

02:06:46   That would be my main question.

02:06:49   Of course it's fine on a Windows 8 device that has an Intel processor, which is massively

02:06:55   more powerful than the ARM processors. But on a phone which has that smaller processor,

02:07:07   is it going to be performant? That would be my main question.

02:07:09   Yeah, you never know. Again, I wish I could quick dial in John Siracusa or someone a little

02:07:17   bit more technically in mind. I think because Android apps are fundamentally Java apps,

02:07:24   I know that there's the whole lawsuit with Oracle

02:07:27   and that they don't really use the official Java trademark

02:07:30   runtime.

02:07:30   They have the Dalvik version, and there's the second one.

02:07:34   They have a new one to replace Dalvik.

02:07:36   But because Android itself doesn't run native apps,

02:07:42   you're not emulating.

02:07:44   All they need is a API compatible runtime.

02:07:47   Right, Android is an emulator, basically,

02:07:49   for all its purposes.

02:07:50   Right.

02:07:51   So my understanding, I think with the way Java works,

02:07:56   that I think it's certainly technically feasible

02:08:01   that they could be performant.

02:08:05   - Yeah, okay, so let's assume that it is.

02:08:08   That's probably the case

02:08:11   that that would probably be preferable for them.

02:08:18   I'd imagine controlling the kernel is important to them.

02:08:23   So regardless, it would be a significant step.

02:08:27   So I think it's fair to lump those two together.

02:08:32   Regardless, in either case, it's not a totally free lunch.

02:08:38   It's not like they automatically get all the Android apps.

02:08:41   Because the Android apps depend on the Google Play Store.

02:08:45   And I'm relatively certain that Google is not going to develop a version of the Play

02:08:50   Store for Windows.

02:08:51   Right.

02:08:52   You would still need the developers to actually submit the apps to the Microsoft App Store.

02:08:56   Right.

02:08:57   And they're going to have to change a few API calls and things like that.

02:09:00   I think what Bright oversold in the Ars Technica article in particular is the number of changes

02:09:06   that developers would have to make.

02:09:07   I think it actually would be relatively trivial from a developer perspective to support the

02:09:15   this new runtime if Windows, if Microsoft added it.

02:09:20   But the fact is you're going to have to go out and do that, and there is a burden on

02:09:24   developers.

02:09:25   They have to maintain an additional, like, they're all maintaining an additional version

02:09:29   of the app.

02:09:31   But that said, if I'm going to developer, and this was my job at Microsoft, I did developer

02:09:36   relations, if you're going to developer, it's a whole lot easier to say, "Can you just change

02:09:45   these couple of lines in the API and submit it here,

02:09:49   and you're going to get upside from sales to new customers,

02:09:54   versus can you make a completely new app in a runtime

02:09:59   that you're not familiar with.

02:10:01   You might have to hire a new person.

02:10:04   And oh, by the way, we don't really

02:10:07   have any good evidence of people making it big on this platform.

02:10:12   It's a herculean effort.

02:10:16   And it was something that-- so I worked on Windows 8.

02:10:23   The run up to Windows 8, we had a bit of a story,

02:10:25   like saying, well, Windows has all this potential,

02:10:28   and Windows just sells.

02:10:29   There's going to be all these markets.

02:10:31   And we got a lot of good wins on board.

02:10:33   Once it actually came out, it got a whole lot more difficult.

02:10:37   And just the degree of difficulty in talking to a developer,

02:10:42   to me makes it a no brainer for sure.

02:10:47   - Here's my take, and maybe I'm off base,

02:10:50   because, and this is me speaking from somebody

02:10:53   who's lifelong persnickety, user interface obsessive.

02:10:58   And which is the main reason why I was,

02:11:02   I never wavered from using a Mac.

02:11:06   even when Apple was in trouble, even when the machines, you know, were compared very poorly,

02:11:12   price for performance, without question, right?

02:11:15   I was never deluded about that.

02:11:16   And even when the OS was really on shaky underpinnings and, you know, you faced things

02:11:24   like the whole system locking up when the browser locked up.

02:11:28   Because I liked, I couldn't bear the gross interface of Windows, even with Windows 95

02:11:35   798 it was just it was just too grossly designed to me. I couldn't take it is that

02:11:40   Android apps running on Windows Phone are never going to fit in right there

02:11:46   You know it's like running a Windows app on Mac. You know like when you run parallels or something like that sure it works

02:11:51   But it's gross right it doesn't fit in it doesn't use the same

02:11:55   Sharing you know when you go you know Android has its own way of sharing

02:12:00   You know in advance one of the you know nice selling points of Android

02:12:05   even versus iOS, is the inter-application sharing.

02:12:09   - Right, intense, yeah.

02:12:10   - Right, and Windows has its own version of that,

02:12:13   but they're different, it's a mismatch.

02:12:15   It's gonna look like you're running an Android app

02:12:17   on Windows, and I think that's unpalatable.

02:12:20   Now, it might be that I'm off base on that

02:12:22   because all the people who care about stuff like that

02:12:25   are all using iPhones anyway.

02:12:26   - Yeah, no, I think there is something to that.

02:12:29   Oh, sorry, go ahead.

02:12:30   - Well, the end of that point is the one area

02:12:33   where that doesn't matter and where this might help is games

02:12:37   because games it doesn't matter.

02:12:38   Games aren't really apps.

02:12:40   They don't use the sharing and the framework

02:12:43   and all that stuff, doesn't matter.

02:12:44   The games almost always have their own UI

02:12:46   for everything anyway.

02:12:47   - Yep.

02:12:48   - Flappy birds, right?

02:12:49   Would have worked perfectly.

02:12:50   So that's, it's just a funny little example.

02:12:53   It's a stupid little thing.

02:12:54   We're all gonna, by next week,

02:12:55   we're gonna probably have forgotten about flappy birds,

02:12:57   but that flappy birds was an example

02:13:00   where Windows Phone missed out on it.

02:13:02   - No, it, yeah.

02:13:03   That's what kills it is it's stuff exactly like Blackberry Birds

02:13:06   where there's this thing out there and everyone hears about it and

02:13:11   It's not a Windows Phone or you walk into Cisco or not Cisco Costco and and

02:13:18   There's a massive poster on the wall. It says download our app, but it says and there's a icon for iOS

02:13:25   There's an icon for Android and there's not for Windows Phone

02:13:28   Like it's just this constant kind of reinforcement that there's a lack that is that is

02:13:34   that's it's devastating and

02:13:37   and the problem is is like

02:13:40   the problem the reason I bring up the Costco example is

02:13:43   One of the things that that people that's hard to get about marketing in the way that by marketing

02:13:50   I mean like advertising about advertising the way it works is

02:13:53   They're advertising in a lot of ways is kind of like water running over limestone like it wears it down over like centuries

02:14:00   And that's why you have like McDonald's ads all the time. That's why you have the Kleenex coupon in every Sunday paper

02:14:08   It's not that they're getting a return on any one ad and that's why it's okay

02:14:14   They and that's why Apple runs ads all the time. It's the repetition like repetition matters. Yeah, and the

02:14:22   repetition of reminders that Windows Phone

02:14:25   isn't a meaningful platform like any one example fine. You can explain it away, but it's the repetition that kills it and

02:14:34   And yeah, no, I agree like the the

02:14:38   Especially on Windows. I think the difference is magnified because Windows met like the metro environment is so different than

02:14:47   Android in particular yeah to its credit as design wise speaking as a designer you know and it's

02:14:53   You know largely praised. You know and it is original. It is not a copy of iOS or Android

02:14:59   Yeah, it's different, but that means the apps would stick out this I mean I know

02:15:04   This is like so leaving that one one concern. I personally have it's not shared widely so

02:15:11   Take it for what it's worth

02:15:14   Being at Microsoft. I used a Windows Phone regularly. I don't like it

02:15:19   I think it reviews very well in day-to-day use

02:15:24   I found it limiting and frustrating but I might be an exception there

02:15:28   It might be fantastic as everyone has reviewed it and saying it's great

02:15:31   Well, that was sort of my I used I used one for like a month and a while ago

02:15:35   And that that was sort of my take on it. I didn't love it. I

02:15:38   Liked it better than Android though

02:15:42   Yeah, I mean what yeah, I mean it it uh

02:15:46   They'll have their strengths and weaknesses. Um, I thought it also had it. I thought it also suffered poorly from a

02:15:53   Density of information. Yes

02:15:55   You know that yeah use these big friendly fonts and big friendly things and and like you said it reviews

02:16:02   Well, it looks very friendly

02:16:04   But then it ends up that you just see fewer stuff on screen at once and it just goes annoying

02:16:08   - Yeah.

02:16:10   - The other thing too is I can't stand like soft buttons.

02:16:14   - Yeah, I mean.

02:16:15   - And especially that goddamn search button in the bottom

02:16:18   always triggering Bing.

02:16:20   Like every time I opened up any app

02:16:22   that had a search function

02:16:23   and there was both a soft button for Bing

02:16:26   and another button for search within the app,

02:16:29   like it just hurt me.

02:16:33   - Maybe because I have iOS habits

02:16:37   where I'm used to assuming the bottom of the screen is safe.

02:16:41   Every time I've tried using, not just for days,

02:16:44   but a couple weeks at a time,

02:16:46   a non-iOS device with soft buttons.

02:16:49   - I trigger it constantly.

02:16:50   - Right, by typing.

02:16:51   Because when I go to get the space,

02:16:53   my thumb, I hit underneath,

02:16:55   and then I've hit the home button, or search, or something.

02:16:59   You shift, shift, I don't know, whatever's in the bottom.

02:17:01   - I have very meaty hands.

02:17:04   Like I have these thick, like ugly fingers,

02:17:06   and massive palms, which means I just, using the phone,

02:17:11   I trigger it all the time.

02:17:12   - The second time it happens,

02:17:13   it didn't, the first time you think,

02:17:15   ooh, what was that, was that me?

02:17:16   And the second time,

02:17:17   you wanna throw the phone against the wall.

02:17:19   - Exactly.

02:17:20   Like it's, yeah, it's not just like a little annoyance.

02:17:24   It's a, yeah, it's a throw the phone annoyance.

02:17:26   - And I don't know, I guess,

02:17:27   'cause there's obviously people have phones

02:17:29   that they haven't thrown against the wall for a long time.

02:17:32   So maybe people get used to it.

02:17:33   I never did.

02:17:34   I don't like soft buttons.

02:17:35   And I thought that was a mistake.

02:17:36   I thought that Windows phone copied the wrong thing there.

02:17:40   - I agree.

02:17:41   - That they should have gone,

02:17:43   I also don't like the,

02:17:44   I've written too long for this show, can't get into it.

02:17:47   I hate the whole back-button metaphor.

02:17:49   I think they should have ignored that.

02:17:51   - Agreed.

02:17:52   And the other thing we go into is like

02:17:54   why the home button on iOS will never go away.

02:17:57   And anyone who says that they should get rid of it,

02:17:59   like doesn't grok iOS.

02:18:02   - Yeah, I agree.

02:18:05   It's a safety risk.

02:18:06   - Exactly.

02:18:07   Like you can, it's always there.

02:18:10   - Right.

02:18:11   To me, it's the Einstein quote,

02:18:13   "Everything should be as simple as possible,

02:18:14   "but not more so."

02:18:15   Or paraphrase or whatever.

02:18:19   But to me, it's a quote, it's genius

02:18:21   because it doesn't quite have a logical meaning.

02:18:24   But to me, what it means is,

02:18:25   don't take simplicity too far.

02:18:29   - Yeah.

02:18:30   - I think we talked about it

02:18:31   when we were talking about the paper app,

02:18:33   that you can make an app

02:18:34   that literally has no buttons, you know,

02:18:36   like the Clear app, the Clear To Do app.

02:18:39   But then it just feels almost like a gimmick to me.

02:18:43   It's like, whereas paper has almost no buttons,

02:18:46   but then when you wanna like post something,

02:18:48   there's a button there that just says post,

02:18:50   and it's a button, and it's exactly what you want.

02:18:52   They didn't take it too far.

02:18:53   So you could say, man, wouldn't it be great

02:18:55   to have a phone with no buttons?

02:18:57   Man, that would be amazing.

02:18:58   There's the ultra minimal,

02:19:00   and that you can imagine some kind of way

02:19:02   that you could make a version of iOS

02:19:04   that didn't have a home button.

02:19:05   And then you'd have this ultra minimal no button.

02:19:09   And you know what?

02:19:10   That's too few buttons

02:19:11   because people love that one button.

02:19:14   - No, you know, yeah, gestures,

02:19:17   I think gestures are only workable

02:19:20   as a secondary interaction.

02:19:22   - Yeah, it's for--

02:19:23   - They're like keyboard shortcuts.

02:19:24   - They're all for power users.

02:19:25   - Exactly. - Every one of them.

02:19:26   Everything other than single tap

02:19:29   and one finger drag up and down

02:19:32   is a power user feature.

02:19:34   - And this is the thing with Windows 8,

02:19:35   beyond the whole gluing two interfaces

02:19:40   that were totally different together,

02:19:42   it was so gesture dependent.

02:19:45   It was like delivering an interface

02:19:50   where the only way around was,

02:19:51   it was almost like returning to the terminal.

02:19:54   The only way around was using the keyboard.

02:19:56   Like you have to have the thing you can see

02:20:00   and can point or tap, tap or touch.

02:20:03   - Yeah, one thing that they never lost with iOS,

02:20:05   even with the redesign in iOS 7,

02:20:07   is that you never need to do anything

02:20:10   with more than one finger,

02:20:12   and you never need to do anything with more than one tap.

02:20:15   You can double tap like to zoom in a webpage,

02:20:17   but if you don't know that, you'll be fine,

02:20:19   'cause you can pinch.

02:20:20   Pinching does take two fingers, but it's natural, right?

02:20:23   - Yeah, it makes sense.

02:20:25   You can figure it out with something you can do.

02:20:26   - You can figure it out.

02:20:27   And everything else is a thing you can see on the screen and tap.

02:20:33   And so there's stuff like Notification Center

02:20:36   that you have to use an edge gesture from the side to get,

02:20:40   and the new control center from the bottom.

02:20:43   But that's just shortcuts.

02:20:45   And I swear, I know there's so many people out there

02:20:47   who are going to say, that's not for power users.

02:20:49   And I'm telling you, at some level, it is.

02:20:51   Because what a lot of people can still do is tap the Home button,

02:20:55   go to settings, go to--

02:20:57   - Yep, exactly.

02:20:58   There's another way to do it.

02:20:59   It might be slower, but--

02:21:00   - An explicit way.

02:21:02   - Yep.

02:21:03   This is why, by the way, I think Safari

02:21:04   is the worst of the new apps.

02:21:06   Because it's, I am definitely a power user,

02:21:12   and I still get confused about how to bring up

02:21:15   the address bar and the command bar.

02:21:17   It's not obvious, and it's not clear how to do it.

02:21:22   And it's not as terrible as it could be,

02:21:24   because if you've touched on the,

02:21:26   if you muck around, it will come up.

02:21:29   But that's the weakness in it,

02:21:31   is that there's not an explicit path

02:21:34   that's always available to the user.

02:21:36   - Are you okay with it on the iPad, though?

02:21:39   'Cause it's a lot more explicit there.

02:21:41   - No, exactly.

02:21:42   And I was fine with it on iOS 6, too.

02:21:43   I think--

02:21:45   - They took it too far to minimize the Chrome.

02:21:48   - Exactly, exactly.

02:21:49   - Well, and the big one to me that still gets me,

02:21:53   and I've been using iOS 7 full time since sometime in July,

02:21:58   still gets me is iCloud tabs,

02:22:01   because on the Mac there's a cloud button

02:22:05   that brings down your list of open tabs and other devices,

02:22:08   and on the iPad there's a cloud button

02:22:10   that brings down the list of your tabs on other devices.

02:22:12   But on the iPhone you have to hit the plus button

02:22:15   to make a new window,

02:22:16   and then scroll down underneath all your windows,

02:22:18   and then just magically they're hovering over

02:22:21   you're fogged over desktop or wallpaper

02:22:25   is the list of open tabs.

02:22:27   - Well, I mean, open tabs on other devices

02:22:29   are kind of a power user feature anyways.

02:22:32   - Yeah, but it's such a mismatch though

02:22:35   to the way you get it from the other two devices

02:22:37   where there's a cloud button that brings up the list.

02:22:40   Whereas they're just there floating underneath your tabs

02:22:42   and still--

02:22:43   - I'm happy to agree with you that Safari on the iPhone

02:22:46   is, could be a lot better.

02:22:48   - Well, I still like it.

02:22:51   I still think it's pretty good.

02:22:53   I don't know, maybe I do question whether they've,

02:22:57   and I like the new tab interface a lot.

02:22:59   I love it actually.

02:23:00   - Yeah, to be fair, I switched to Safari.

02:23:02   - I question the Chrome hiding.

02:23:04   - Yeah, no, I switched to Safari on,

02:23:09   so I use Chrome on Mac, on the Mac,

02:23:13   but I do use Safari on iOS devices.

02:23:15   One, it's stupidly faster.

02:23:18   But two, I don't find the Chrome interface.

02:23:23   If you want a confusing interface,

02:23:27   there's a whole 'nother one right there.

02:23:29   So it's a mess in general.

02:23:32   - All right.

02:23:32   All right, let's wrap it up.

02:23:35   So what do you think about the Android,

02:23:37   Windows Phone running Android apps?

02:23:39   I think it would help with games.

02:23:41   I definitely think it would help with games.

02:23:43   But then what's the point?

02:23:47   I don't know that this solves any problem for them.

02:23:49   - No, I completely agree.

02:23:50   The problem is that Microsoft's not gonna make money

02:23:53   on licensing the OS.

02:23:54   - Right.

02:23:55   - That's just never gonna happen.

02:23:56   - Right, you just wrote,

02:23:57   I'm 99% sure it was you who just wrote that,

02:24:00   look, the whole, go to the bottom line.

02:24:02   The bottom line, the whole reason they made Windows Phone

02:24:04   in the first place, or call it Windows Mobile or whatever,

02:24:06   is on the assumption that they could license it to OEMs

02:24:08   for 10 bucks a pop.

02:24:10   - Right.

02:24:11   - That's the whole reason it exists,

02:24:12   is we'll make an OS, phones will run it,

02:24:15   we'll license it for 10 bucks a pop,

02:24:17   and there'll be a billion of them

02:24:19   and then we'll have $10 billion.

02:24:20   And guess what?

02:24:21   Android took all the air out of that

02:24:23   where like the licensing value of an OS is like $2.

02:24:26   - Yeah, no, exactly.

02:24:29   I mean, it's whatever the patent fees they pay to Microsoft.

02:24:33   - Right, and you're competing against,

02:24:35   and the other thing too is, and it's a big difference,

02:24:40   and I think it was a blind spot to Microsoft,

02:24:43   is that in the real low-end markets,

02:24:45   You know all throughout Asia China for example

02:24:49   Where they use the the open source version of Android where they don't pay any licensing fees to Google

02:24:55   They don't even pay the 75 cent, you know device activation or inspection fee

02:25:00   They don't pay any patent royalties to Microsoft because they're in countries that have different IP protection levels

02:25:05   They're not paying anything to anybody. Yeah, and so it's zero and in the PC era

02:25:12   it didn't fly like that. What the people who wanted a zero license fee did for their PCs was pirate a version of Windows.

02:25:23   And Microsoft got some value out of that. Because it was, you know, they were either paying for Windows or they were pirating Windows, but it was Windows everywhere.

02:25:31   And that's not going to happen.

02:25:34   No, exactly the Android of the PC area arrow was pirated windows, right?

02:25:39   Like which is like yeah, maybe we're not actually making money. It's a nice. It's a nice problem to have though

02:25:45   Exactly. It really you know, it's it

02:25:49   It's a funny argument to make but it Microsoft was far better served from that because it helped make it helped

02:25:55   It just at least helped build the windows

02:25:57   How do you pronounce the word ecosystem hegemony? Yeah

02:26:02   - Hegemony? - Hegemony?

02:26:04   - Hegemony? - Whatever.

02:26:05   - I actually, I have no idea.

02:26:06   - It's a wonderful word, but I don't know how to pronounce it.

02:26:09   - Well, we're problematic together at a podcast.

02:26:11   We know way too many words.

02:26:12   - Right.

02:26:13   - Their meaning and not their pronunciation.

02:26:15   - It goes right back to the beginning.

02:26:16   You can send me the phonetic spelling of it.

02:26:21   (laughing)

02:26:23   - I didn't teach any Chinese kids hegemony.

02:26:27   - Hegemony, no, I just looked it up.

02:26:29   It's a soft G, like GIF.

02:26:32   - GIF is GIF.

02:26:35   I was always right on that.

02:26:37   - No, it's GIF.

02:26:38   - So here's the thing with Microsoft.

02:26:40   I think big picture,

02:26:42   if you back out and say, "What's the point?"

02:26:48   There is nothing to be gained from Windows Phone.

02:26:51   The purchase of Nokia was throwing good money after bad.

02:26:55   There's no money you made.

02:26:57   The only way you make money by selling a device

02:27:00   is if you're highly differentiated like iPhones are.

02:27:04   If you're not, it's a commodity device.

02:27:06   You're gonna, it's a race to the bottom,

02:27:08   and you don't wanna be in that business.

02:27:10   Microsoft knows that very, very well.

02:27:12   Like, they've forgotten what they know

02:27:15   in the, like, assumption they have to be an OS company.

02:27:18   - Right.

02:27:19   - Like, they need to be a services company.

02:27:21   They need to be Apple's absolute best friend.

02:27:25   like get Bing on iOS in exchange for Office,

02:27:30   get Azure services built into Xcode.

02:27:34   This is the sort of stuff they need to be thinking about.

02:27:37   Google will never let them in.

02:27:40   So yes, it makes sense to do something on the low end

02:27:43   to compete with that, but at the end of the day,

02:27:46   what's the point?

02:27:48   And the problem is the BlackBerry problem,

02:27:51   is going from where I'm at now

02:27:55   to where I need to be in three to four years,

02:27:57   there's this valley where I'm not making any money

02:28:00   or I'm losing money.

02:28:01   And it's really hard to cross that valley.

02:28:04   And the problem is the longer you wait,

02:28:06   because it's hard to cross,

02:28:08   the more your kind of inherent advantage on the other side

02:28:11   start to dissipate.

02:28:13   And the problem for Microsoft

02:28:15   and the big danger they face right now

02:28:17   is the longer they wait to kind of capitalize

02:28:21   on what they have, whether that be Office,

02:28:23   whether that be Bing, whether that be the maps

02:28:27   that they have, the longer they wait,

02:28:29   the more those become commoditized as well.

02:28:33   And when they finally go across that valley,

02:28:36   they find that the pot of gold that might have been there,

02:28:39   it has dissipated.

02:28:41   And it's really getting to crunch time for them.

02:28:45   And what makes it so hard is they make so much money still,

02:28:51   especially in the enterprise,

02:28:52   that there's not that life-threatening,

02:28:55   we're gonna go out of business

02:28:57   if we don't make a change that Apple faced in the '90s.

02:29:00   They don't have that yet.

02:29:02   - I think the best way they can manage it

02:29:05   is to view, just separate legacy and future,

02:29:09   and just run the PC business separately,

02:29:14   and just not run it into the ground,

02:29:17   but run it into the sunset.

02:29:19   and focus, refocus Windows, and I think they're doing this

02:29:23   with what everything I've heard about Windows 8.1,

02:29:26   at least in some small degree,

02:29:28   that they're shifting it back away from the changes

02:29:30   and back towards let's make the traditional

02:29:33   Windows user happy.

02:29:34   And let's just concentrate on making Windows happy

02:29:38   for the people who wanna use a PC with a keyboard

02:29:41   and a mouse, and focus separate efforts on everything new.

02:29:49   - Yep, no, I agree, that's exactly right.

02:29:52   But the thing is, I think they need to give up

02:29:53   on the OS Dream, and they need to figure out

02:29:56   how can we pass the money. - Well, on everything

02:29:58   other than PCs. - Exactly, no, exactly.

02:30:00   - But they have to accept the fact that the PC

02:30:02   is now effectively already a minority of computing devices.

02:30:07   - Yep. - And that it's only

02:30:09   gonna shrink. - Yep.

02:30:11   - And that there's money to be made there

02:30:13   for years and years to come.

02:30:14   - But there's no growth. - Right, but there's no growth.

02:30:18   Exactly. Ben Thompson. People can read your website at Stratechary.com.

02:30:26   Yes. Stratechary.com.

02:30:30   Or they could just Google Ben Thompson.

02:30:32   Yes, it is the first result.

02:30:34   With a P.

02:30:35   Yes, with a P. So people were irritated that the title of my site was Stratechary by Ben Thompson.

02:30:42   in, you know, like if you look at the top of the browser bar.

02:30:47   But Ben Thompson is way too common of a name. Like I had to play every trick in the

02:30:51   book.

02:30:52   That's pretty good.

02:30:54   And they could also find you on Twitter at

02:30:58   MonkBent, M-O-N-K B-E-N-T, good Twitter feed.

02:31:03   And last but not least, your new

02:31:06   podcast.

02:31:08   Yes, the site is actually up there. It's

02:31:12   pretty brutal website. I have one post, I have one podcast posted so we can get into iTunes,

02:31:17   but exponents.fm, exponents.fm. There you go. Thanks. Great show. Cool.

02:31:25   [ Silence ]