The Talk Show

70: Ken Turns Effect


00:00:00   So, lots of stuff going on this week. I guess the big one, you know, I think if we look

00:00:04   back, if we did like a week by week highlight, you know, years from now, we'd look back

00:00:09   and the big news this week is Satya Nadella is being named the CEO at Microsoft.

00:00:14   Pete: Yup.

00:00:15   Pete: Yup.

00:00:16   Dave: And it's a little weird because it leaked a little bit early and I think in

00:00:22   hindsight, it's sort of a, like my initial take is why did it take him so long to name

00:00:28   the guy because it seemed pretty obvious.

00:00:30   Right. I totally agree with that. You know, there have been...how many different front-runners

00:00:37   have there been? At first it was Steven Elop, right?

00:00:40   Right.

00:00:41   Then it became the Ford CEO, Alan Mulally. Is that right?

00:00:47   Mulally?

00:00:48   Mulally? I'm not sure how to pronounce it.

00:00:49   I think it's Mulally.

00:00:51   And then, you know, there were some other names bandied about.

00:00:56   The Skype guy, Tony Bates.

00:01:00   But they were more, I guess they were more dark horses.

00:01:03   But Satya Nadella is one that was always mentioned, certainly, because he is one of the senior

00:01:08   executives there.

00:01:09   But it is, you know, it seems like everyone is saying that this is the absolute right

00:01:14   call, but why wasn't it the right call six months ago?

00:01:17   Yeah, and the only one that I could see that maybe they wanted to really push on was Malali

00:01:26   from Ford and he used to be at Boeing, which means he has Seattle area roots.

00:01:32   And you know, and while I first I thought, well, Ford, that's not really a technical

00:01:38   company, but you read up on Malali, he does have an engineering background.

00:01:42   He's not like a business school mind.

00:01:46   He's an engineering guy who worked up to become an executive.

00:01:49   So it's not outlandish.

00:01:51   And the story that was told on that was that, hey, and he's a little bit older.

00:01:56   He's already had a successful career.

00:01:57   He's very successful at Boeing, turned Ford around through a very difficult time for the

00:02:02   car industry.

00:02:03   He would just go to Microsoft for a couple of years and sort of take probably, and it

00:02:08   was even rumored, Nadella under his wing and sort of teach him the ropes of being a CEO.

00:02:14   Yeah, that sounds like a pretty good theory about that because that is the one main criticism,

00:02:20   I guess, that people have of Nadal is that he's never been a CEO at all. And so taking

00:02:24   over one of the largest companies in the world is certainly going to be a challenge and it

00:02:28   probably would have been beneficial to have a "coach" to help him along that. But he is

00:02:35   Bill Gates now to do that too.

00:02:38   Right. But my thought on the timing is though, when Mullally backed out and just said, pretty

00:02:44   much point blank. You know what? I'm staying at Ford. That's it. Then I don't understand

00:02:49   why it took months after that for this to be named.

00:02:52   Yeah, it seems like, who knows? I mean, reading into all the various stories that have come

00:02:57   out in these past few months, it definitely does sound like there was quite a bit of tension

00:03:03   on the board between, in particular, sort of between some of the candidates they were

00:03:08   talking to and the power dynamics of would Gates remain chairman and would Ballmer remain

00:03:13   on the board because that would be a very weird situation,

00:03:17   I would imagine, for someone, an outsider especially,

00:03:20   to come into that company with the two previous CEOs

00:03:24   on their board of directors.

00:03:26   Well, we didn't do it this way in the past type thing

00:03:31   coming up again and again and again, you can imagine.

00:03:34   It seems like there was definitely a board struggle

00:03:37   a little bit and they finally have sorted that out,

00:03:39   but I still don't know why that took six months.

00:03:41   - Yeah, and I feel like there was a story in the journal

00:03:46   a day or two after the announcement

00:03:48   that was purported to be the,

00:03:49   hey, here's what happened behind the scenes.

00:03:51   And there was a little bit of color,

00:03:53   but not really anything that explained why it took as long.

00:03:58   And I get, like the real story behind it did not come out.

00:04:01   - Yeah, yeah, I think I read that as well.

00:04:03   And there's other sort of things

00:04:06   that have yet to be seen on this.

00:04:07   So the one guy from, you know, the activist shareholder

00:04:12   is going to be taking a board seat soon,

00:04:14   from value click, I think that's what it was.

00:04:17   And so, you know, there was a lot of talk

00:04:20   of when that was going to happen,

00:04:21   like sort of Balmer had to concede

00:04:23   that he was going to allow this activist shareholder

00:04:26   to take the board seat.

00:04:27   And what does that mean for the dynamics of the board

00:04:29   now that Gates is no longer chairman?

00:04:32   And I don't, like no one's really talking

00:04:35   about that right now, but I don't know what that will mean.

00:04:37   because you would assume that the activist shareholder

00:04:39   wanted to take the board seat in order to shake things up.

00:04:42   Things have already been shaken up now.

00:04:44   So what is his role there?

00:04:48   And why does his company still want that position?

00:04:52   I would imagine it's to see how things go

00:04:54   for the first few months,

00:04:55   to see if Microsoft is actually willing now

00:04:58   with new leadership to change direction in any way.

00:05:02   And I don't know, what are your thoughts on that?

00:05:03   Do you think that they actually will

00:05:06   sort of changed from Balmer's last reorg stance?

00:05:11   - I don't know and I think everybody,

00:05:15   I don't think you have to be juiced into Microsoft

00:05:18   or be a keen observer.

00:05:19   Just common sense tells you that,

00:05:22   I think it was Guy English who was on the show

00:05:24   a couple months ago or weeks ago and we talked about,

00:05:26   it's just weird that they did the reorg,

00:05:30   then said Balmer's leaving.

00:05:32   - Yeah. - You know,

00:05:33   really seems like, hey, we want a new CEO and we want to reorg. It seems like the way

00:05:38   you do that is you put the new CEO in and let the new CEO run and structure and improve

00:05:45   of the reorg. And I guess naming an insider, a guy, you know, Nadella, who's been there,

00:05:52   it adds a little bit of continuity and, you know, maybe that it makes a little bit more

00:05:57   sense. But then that again raises to me the question of why they didn't just name him

00:06:00   earlier.

00:06:01   Yeah, I think that by sort of doing that reorg, that certainly seems to speak to the notion

00:06:10   that perhaps Balmer wasn't at all ready to go, even though he sort of made it seem like

00:06:16   it was his own call.

00:06:18   And ultimately it may have been, but he was certainly at least pushed in that direction,

00:06:23   I would imagine.

00:06:24   Because it does seem insane that he would orchestrate this entire change of the company,

00:06:29   Even if he thought someone, an insider, was going to take over underneath him.

00:06:33   It's still like, you know, it's someone else sort of setting the table for your dinner.

00:06:41   It's a weird thing.

00:06:42   And then what about the element of, remember all this Steven Elop stuff that leaked?

00:06:48   Yeah, yeah.

00:06:49   Talking about how different, you know, he's gonna cut everything up into little pieces

00:06:54   and sell off certain businesses.

00:06:57   Do we think that was from him or from one of his rivals camps because it obviously it ultimately I don't know if it torpedoed his

00:07:03   His candidacy, but it certainly ended up not helping it because he's not the CEO right now

00:07:08   Yeah, that's a good question either either it must be one or the other it must either be that he thought it helped and that

00:07:15   He must have also thought that he or knew you know like in private conversation that he had some support on the board

00:07:23   And that leaking it

00:07:26   would get

00:07:28   outsiders, you know like investors, you know, I mean and yeah like the like the people were just talking right the value act people who would

00:07:35   Definitely I think that that's their sort of stated goal who is sorted to get Microsoft to to cut itself up into little pieces

00:07:41   to to sort of throw

00:07:43   Pressure behind that and and make it you know

00:07:47   Put every put pressure on the ones who were maybe pushing against elop to go his way

00:07:51   Or you know and it is you know, and it's it sounds you know

00:07:55   You start you say this and it sounds a little silly and you start thinking maybe you know, come on

00:07:59   Everything's not like a movie but you know what they're in real life

00:08:02   There are politics and people do play dirty tricks

00:08:04   The other our idea would be that it was somebody else

00:08:07   Who seeded it to make him look bad like he can't keep his mouth shut and that yeah

00:08:12   It's a leak to the press sort of guy

00:08:14   Yeah, that's sort of you know again, who knows what's actually going on?

00:08:18   But that sounds fairly plausible because of the you saw what the reaction was to it when that happened

00:08:24   It's like, oh my god, this is insane.

00:08:28   Well, there were two camps, as there always are.

00:08:30   The people who think that Microsoft should be split up

00:08:33   are like, hell yeah, this is exactly what they need to do.

00:08:35   And then there's the people who are just

00:08:37   looking at the company overall and just having gone through

00:08:40   sort of this reorg and saying, oh my god,

00:08:42   this is going to throw things into further disarray.

00:08:45   This is pretty much the end of Microsoft

00:08:47   if they let this happen.

00:08:48   If I had to guess, though, I think

00:08:50   that it was Elop and his people who leaked it,

00:08:54   because if it weren't, he could've,

00:08:58   there are ways for him to, you know,

00:09:00   if he somehow tried, got thrown under the bus

00:09:03   by somebody else, there's ways that he could

00:09:05   spin it the other way, you know,

00:09:07   and if it wasn't his actual plan

00:09:09   to split the company up like that,

00:09:11   you know, he could've--

00:09:13   - Yeah, come out and just said so.

00:09:14   - Yeah, and said this, you know,

00:09:15   that didn't come from me, that's not my plan.

00:09:17   I don't-- - Yeah, what if it's,

00:09:20   what if it was a situation where he sorta knew

00:09:22   that he, at that point, somehow he knew

00:09:24   that he wasn't the front runner,

00:09:25   and he thought, let's just try something wild,

00:09:27   and sort of a John McCain kidding Sarah Palin in the race.

00:09:31   And it backfires like that.

00:09:33   - What's the old saying, never attribute to malice

00:09:37   what can be attributed to stupidity?

00:09:39   And I always thought that that made a lot of sense,

00:09:44   even with the whole thing where he was at Nokia,

00:09:51   And when he first went there from Microsoft,

00:09:53   and there were a lot of people who said,

00:09:54   "Wait, they've hired a guy from Microsoft,

00:09:56   "and then he comes in, and the first thing he says is,

00:09:58   "we should ditch all of our existing plans

00:10:01   "and go with Windows Phone."

00:10:03   And a lot of people said, "Is this, you know,

00:10:04   "is he like a double agent?

00:10:06   "Is he, you know--"

00:10:07   - The puppet government.

00:10:08   - Right, I mean, what if he's come in here

00:10:10   and purposefully trying to run the company into the ground

00:10:14   so that Microsoft can buy them?

00:10:15   And then he ran the company into the ground,

00:10:18   lost a lot of shareholder value.

00:10:20   and made tens of millions of dollars for himself when--

00:10:24   - Right, right, with a crazy contract

00:10:26   that was structured in a way that if the company

00:10:30   lost a lot of value and was sold,

00:10:33   or if the Mobile Handset Division was sold,

00:10:35   that he would profit.

00:10:36   - Right, it played out, you know,

00:10:40   the conspiracy theorists would have a field day

00:10:42   with that one, 'cause it played out perfectly

00:10:44   along those lines.

00:10:45   - Right, and so I don't know, I mean,

00:10:47   it actually, it makes sense both ways,

00:10:49   that he's actually not very good at his job, or he's devilishly good but devious.

00:10:58   Both explanations make sense.

00:11:00   I don't think either explanation makes him a good pick to be Microsoft's CEO, though.

00:11:05   I agree.

00:11:07   And there's another sort of interesting wrinkle to this one.

00:11:09   I was sort of reading through all these stories that I realized, which is that now not being

00:11:14   CEO, he is going to be when the deal, I think the deal is closing sometime this quarter

00:11:19   with Nokia, he will be the one put in charge of the devices business basically.

00:11:27   And that was with the previous re-org, if you remember there was this sort of big press

00:11:33   cycle around Julie Larson Green, who was previously an executive but not one of the senior executives

00:11:41   at the company, and she was being elevated to senior executive and put in charge of the

00:11:45   devices thing right before they announced the Nokia deal.

00:11:49   And I remember, I think there was, I don't remember who ran the profile, it may have

00:11:52   been The Verge, it may have been someone else, but they had a big profile on her and how

00:11:57   she's ascending to the top of the company and maybe she will one day be CEO.

00:12:02   And now all of a sudden with the Nokia deal, ELOP is now her boss, so she got demoted essentially.

00:12:10   And then thinking there was that, well, maybe it's only a temporary thing because maybe

00:12:15   when ELOP is anointed CEO, she will get her job back.

00:12:20   But it obviously didn't play out that way.

00:12:23   Yeah.

00:12:24   And is she still...

00:12:27   She's not in charge of Windows, though?

00:12:29   I would have to look what it is.

00:12:32   I do know that she was...

00:12:34   I know she was for a while.

00:12:35   She worked with Sinofsky.

00:12:37   Yeah, right.

00:12:39   Yeah, right because she took over when when he was out and sort of took over that thing

00:12:44   But yeah, I believe with the reorg. She was the one being put in charge of the division that

00:12:48   ELOP is now and will be in charge of once once they acquire Nokia. All right, I

00:12:54   Think one thing that springs to my mind and and it really shows I think I really do think

00:13:01   that

00:13:04   Just how how badly a job balmer did in certain ways and I do know I know that he you know under his

00:13:11   Leadership the company's revenues and profits have gone up up up

00:13:15   Yep, even over the last few years, and that's you know

00:13:18   So he's by no measure a complete failure, and and I think you know for years

00:13:24   It's not just after the fact, but all along

00:13:26   He's publicly stated that that's how he measures the success of the company right?

00:13:32   So in some measures, you know, Microsoft's board got exactly what they thought they were should have thought they were gonna get under balmer

00:13:39   but the one of the ways that I think that he really left them in the lurch was was with

00:13:44   How many other executives he effectively pushed out over the last five six years like synovsky like Ray Ozzie?

00:13:52   Robbie boss, yeah the to the Xbox guy Jay Allard Jay allard, right who you know a lot of people sort of

00:14:01   you know, even just a couple of years ago, I'm not even sure what he's up to anymore,

00:14:06   but even just a couple years ago, a lot of people considered him sort of appear to like a Tony

00:14:12   Fidele, like a rival, you know, like, right, you know, near the top, and then charge of consumer

00:14:18   devices and a keen eye for, you know, leading that sort of team. And all those people were gone,

00:14:24   and all those people and who know, you know, some of them, maybe they should have been gone. I don't

00:14:28   I always thought Ray Ozzie, for example, to me was a little bit, was not a practical person.

00:14:34   It always seemed to me when I listened to him talk that he, I was like, "What did he

00:14:39   really say?"

00:14:40   I don't know.

00:14:41   It never really made a lot of sense to me.

00:14:43   Well, and he, I mean, he had sort of the hardest role to step into, which was replacing the

00:14:47   Gates role, right?

00:14:48   Because he was supposed to be the chief software architect.

00:14:51   So I'm not going to say that all of them should have stayed or that it was possible.

00:14:55   But the fact is that none of them stayed.

00:14:57   All of them are gone.

00:14:58   And so in terms of continuity and picking somebody from the inside and having a smooth

00:15:05   transition, which, you know, and let's just face it, in some aspects the public relations

00:15:10   of a CEO transition are, the stakes are high but the optics are simple, right?

00:15:17   What you really want is a nice smooth handoff with a handshake and a smile and it all happens

00:15:22   in one announcement.

00:15:23   Right?

00:15:24   It's I'm stepping down and I'm happy to say the board has already approved that my protege

00:15:30   insert name here is

00:15:33   Replacing me the company's in great hands. We've worked together for the last so many years

00:15:38   He or she has led this part of the company it's great success

00:15:43   Couldn't be happier. It's a great day for the company

00:15:47   There you go

00:15:47   and that is which is exactly what Apple did under very different circumstances for the stepping down of the

00:15:53   of the CEO, right?

00:15:56   It was, but, you know,

00:15:59   Apple was clearly set up where,

00:16:03   in some alternate universe where, you know,

00:16:07   Jobs stayed a step ahead of the cancer,

00:16:12   but decided, you know,

00:16:15   took a look at what happened with the cancer

00:16:19   and took a look at what he'd done through, you know,

00:16:21   the release of the iPad and said, you know what?

00:16:24   I'm going to Hawaii.

00:16:25   Right, I'm gonna become chairman of the board

00:16:28   and I'm gonna come in for two or three weeks a year

00:16:30   and I'm going to Hawaii for the other 50, 49 weeks a year.

00:16:34   It would have been Tim Cook is, you know,

00:16:39   he's been COO for all this time, he's done a great job.

00:16:43   The company's in great hands, you know, Sayonara, right?

00:16:46   It would have been exact same transition,

00:16:48   just not without the tragedy.

00:16:52   - Yes.

00:16:53   - And Balmer really, and I can't help but feel

00:16:58   that political intrigue-wise that he did that on purpose.

00:17:03   That it was too, it's sort of a godfather,

00:17:06   like a mafia movie type scenario,

00:17:08   but with the set of Killing 'Em,

00:17:09   it's just squeezing people out of the company.

00:17:11   - Yeah, and there've long been those sort of rumors

00:17:14   that that is what Balmer was like,

00:17:17   not so even secretly doing, sort of just anyone who was rising to a level that seemed like

00:17:22   it could challenge him within the company was somehow immediately, you know, exited.

00:17:29   Right, 'cause so just take, for example, Sinofsky, who is a very smart guy, and when you read

00:17:33   like, you know, he's blogging now and stuff, his stuff is, to me, very cogent and makes

00:17:37   a lot of sense. You know, I think if he had still been at the company, clearly would have

00:17:43   been a if not the leading candidate and he wasn't there anymore and at once he's

00:17:49   not there anymore I feel like PR wise the board was kind of you know legally

00:17:56   speaking of course they could hire anybody you know they could hire you

00:17:59   know they could try to hire Tim Cook they could hire you know they could

00:18:03   certainly bring Sanofsky back but bringing Sanofsky back would be like a

00:18:06   slap in Balmer's face and it would make the company look bad yeah for sure like

00:18:10   Like their hands were tied in terms of if any of those people who left the company,

00:18:15   if the board actually thought these were good candidates to lead the company.

00:18:20   So what do you think happens now with Nadella as CEO?

00:18:23   Do you think that there will be more internal sort of shakeup and strife?

00:18:28   Do you think people will leave because they were either passed over?

00:18:31   Like we'll see what happens with Elop.

00:18:33   I assume that he can't.

00:18:35   He must have some sort of handcuffs that are a part of the Nokia deal where he has to come

00:18:40   over and actually stay within the company for a while. But there's others. There's Tony

00:18:45   Bates like we were talking about. There's several others who could have felt like they

00:18:50   were slighted in some way and are they going to feel weird now being managed by or being

00:18:56   overseen by what was their peer before?

00:18:58   Right. I don't know. I don't know enough about the company to have a sense of that. My guess

00:19:04   is no though it sounds to me and reading you know the blogs of people who are

00:19:10   more juiced into Microsoft and and you know no people who work there it seems

00:19:16   like he's a very pop seen as a popular choice from within the company yeah so

00:19:21   if there are executives who might leave if ELOP might try to get out now or

00:19:26   whatever I don't know but I think in terms of the rank and file though it's

00:19:29   it's seen as a good move yeah and I think that's sort of been the consensus

00:19:33   among everything you read, even sort of talking to Microsoft employees.

00:19:37   Now they seem pretty excited about this.

00:19:39   I do think though, I think there is still the lingering questions in the air as to once

00:19:45   this honeymoon period is over, what they are actually going to do.

00:19:49   Is it going to just be executing Balmer's strategy with Nadella, or are they going to

00:19:56   actually try to make some different choices with some of the products that just aren't

00:20:01   going anywhere?

00:20:02   And well, and the other big question I have is,

00:20:06   what is Bill Gates' actual role?

00:20:10   - Yeah.

00:20:10   - And it was, you know, it's, I forget how they phrase it,

00:20:14   it was actually a very deft turn of phrase where he's,

00:20:17   not that he stepped down as chairman,

00:20:20   but he stepped up into a day-to-day role.

00:20:23   It's actually, you know, we laugh,

00:20:25   but it's actually a very good PR writer.

00:20:27   - The way it is put it, yeah, totally, totally.

00:20:29   Yep.

00:20:31   - You know, so--

00:20:31   He said he's going to be spending a third of his time on this, on Microsoft now, which

00:20:35   is significant considering before, obviously he was chairman, but I think he was not involved

00:20:43   in a very major way at all.

00:20:44   It's all his philanthropy.

00:20:46   So now he's willing to take on this more.

00:20:49   But what does that mean?

00:20:51   I don't know.

00:20:53   I think the easiest thing in the world that I think he could do that would be beneficial

00:20:58   to the company is just something as simple as being the yes/no man, the last word on

00:21:06   what they actually decide to go after in terms of new projects or what they actually ship.

00:21:12   It just seems like they are at this place now where they put everything out there.

00:21:18   Windows 8 is a good example of that in my mind because all of us looking at it from

00:21:23   the outside, not all of us, but a lot of us looking at it from the outside, I think saw

00:21:27   where this was going. I remember I was talking to developers who were beta testing Windows

00:21:33   8 and trying to gauge their thoughts on it. And everyone was unanimous and saying, "This

00:21:40   is going to be a total nightmare for the company." And somehow the company didn't see that. And

00:21:46   they thought it'd be a great thing and they shipped it. I don't know if they just weren't

00:21:49   talking to people on the outside or what, but there should have been someone within

00:21:53   the company with the power to be able to say like look let's stop here I know it will look

00:21:58   really bad if we delay a major operating system but you know it might be worse if we ship

00:22:04   something that you know the community just totally rejects which is what happened.

00:22:09   I you know my take on it as I wrote last week is that I think that Windows 8 was designed

00:22:15   to fit a goal as opposed to being designed to be good in and of itself.

00:22:24   By which I mean that to me, Balmer never shook the view that the way things ought to be in

00:22:32   the world, the right way, the way the industry should be, should be that somewhere around

00:22:36   95% of all computing devices should be running Windows.

00:22:41   And that was no, you know, iOS and Android combined in two very different ways.

00:22:49   But you know, hand in hand over the last six years changed that to the case where, you

00:22:56   know, Horace Dejue is the one who graphed this.

00:22:59   I think brilliantly that it's only like, if you count smartphones and tablets as computing

00:23:05   devices, which I think is very, very fair.

00:23:07   You're installing apps on them, you're browsing the web.

00:23:09   Yeah, you're doing all the same thing windows in our computers

00:23:12   There's more windows devices in use than ever before in the aggregate, but because there's so many other computing devices

00:23:19   It's an explosion of new devices that only you know in

00:23:22   2007 90% of all computing devices were running windows 90 and in

00:23:27   2013 at the end of the year it was like 38% or 35%

00:23:32   It's an enormous number, but now it's like the world is federated. It's you know there's yeah

00:23:39   There's three or four mega platforms for computing devices and Windows is just one of them and it's not even

00:23:46   A majority anymore and it never will be again

00:23:49   But I don't think bomber ever came to grips with that and accepted it and I think Windows 8's goal was look people want touch

00:23:55   screens will add a touchscreen thing to it and then everything in theory could be running Windows 8 and

00:24:01   Yep, that'll be good. And and that's and that's so crazy when you think about that

00:24:06   just when you're saying that right now,

00:24:08   it's just like, Microsoft obviously looked at the world,

00:24:12   they saw their dominant position,

00:24:14   and you have to assume that they were looking around them

00:24:17   seeing who could possibly compete with us,

00:24:21   and sort of looking at the competition,

00:24:22   it's like Apple is out there,

00:24:23   and they have a very small percentage

00:24:25   of market share with Macs.

00:24:27   And instead what happened is they were just totally blindsided

00:24:31   'cause they didn't realize that the competition

00:24:33   wouldn't come in the form of an actual computer,

00:24:35   It would come in the form of a phone, and then later a tablet, and now Balmer saw that

00:24:41   six, seven years too late, and now is trying to squeeze windows, which doesn't even make

00:24:47   sense of course.

00:24:49   There are no more windows onto these devices in order to sort of unify and get the house

00:24:55   back in order, but you just can't do that.

00:24:57   Yeah, and I really don't think it matters that much.

00:25:02   And I got a lot of pushback on that.

00:25:03   Or I got mostly agreement, but I got some pushback

00:25:08   on my piece last week from people who truly do believe

00:25:13   that what they want is--

00:25:15   and admitting that Windows 8, as it is,

00:25:18   is not perfect and not good enough,

00:25:20   but that the goal is tenable to have one operating system

00:25:24   and have a device that is terrific for mouse

00:25:27   and keyboard or trackpad and keyboard,

00:25:29   or a mouse pointer on screen and pixel precise control

00:25:34   and touch and that you could do it

00:25:36   and then it would simplify things

00:25:37   because you've got all that,

00:25:39   you can have your cake and eat it too.

00:25:43   And I'm not gonna say they're wrong,

00:25:45   I can't prove that they're wrong.

00:25:46   All I can say is that everything I've seen to date

00:25:50   suggests that they're wrong.

00:25:52   - And you're thinking about it, of course,

00:25:55   like in a utopian world where everything is perfect,

00:25:59   would you rather have one device that can do everything

00:26:02   versus sort of two or three devices

00:26:04   that you have to have with you at all times?

00:26:05   Of course, I think everyone would want that.

00:26:08   But it's not that simple.

00:26:09   It's not that simple for both users,

00:26:10   but it's also not that simple for developers.

00:26:12   Could you imagine a developer trying to develop

00:26:14   a Windows 8 application for both a phone and a computer

00:26:19   that operates in the same way?

00:26:22   I mean, they would, first of all,

00:26:23   it can't operate in the same way.

00:26:25   And so they would take so much more developments into it.

00:26:28   And like, do you think a startup

00:26:30   is going to be able to do that?

00:26:31   You know, a company with like two people,

00:26:33   they're going to have to do all this work

00:26:35   to get something to work on this Windows unified platform.

00:26:38   It's just not realistic to think about it,

00:26:41   at least right now.

00:26:43   So I don't know, you know, who in their right mind

00:26:45   would actually argue that we can live

00:26:48   in that world right now.

00:26:49   It's just, we can't.

00:26:50   - And you know, to me, I've always said, you know,

00:26:56   question I've tried to you know my whole writing career is what is design what

00:27:01   does it mean and it's it's hard it's hard to really nail it down but the best

00:27:05   explanation I've ever come up with is design is making decisions to solve

00:27:10   problems it's the decision-making and I'll go back to when they unveiled the

00:27:16   surface strategy and they came out with two they have the surface that runs real

00:27:22   Windows and can have you know traditional Windows apps and it runs on

00:27:26   Intel chips the surface Pro it was right and then there's a surface RT which was

00:27:30   the more iPad style one which ran on ARM and was thinner and lighter but only ran

00:27:37   you know the metro apps right to me that's a failure of design it's both are

00:27:43   reasonable strategies but you can't ship both right you you know there there was

00:27:50   Just it's nowhere near as profound a difference. But I know for a fact that I'm sure you I think

00:27:57   we even talked about this but late in the game for the original iPad and and the original one

00:28:04   and for the first two years had an equal width bezel all the way around the screen. Easy to

00:28:09   forget now with the air and the new mini and they had version with the home button where it is and

00:28:17   And then they had another version where the home button was on the long side.

00:28:22   In other words, that is the default orientation of an iPad, horizontal or vertical, landscape

00:28:28   or portrait.

00:28:29   And they had both versions until very late in the game and only made that decision at

00:28:36   the end.

00:28:37   And in fact, if I'm not mistaken, I'm sure if I am that I'll get an email about it, but

00:28:41   But I'm pretty sure that the coordinate system of the iPad for developers, I don't even know

00:28:47   if it still is the same, but the coordinate system was such that the zero zero point made

00:28:52   it seem as though the home button should be on the long side, not the short side.

00:28:58   They didn't ship both of those.

00:28:59   Right?

00:29:00   They didn't say, "Hey, if you want an iPad, figure out which way you want to hold it,

00:29:05   and you know, most of the time, and buy the one with the home button as such."

00:29:10   They shipped one.

00:29:11   They had to decide.

00:29:13   And I know that that happened to be a contentious decision within the company and it really

00:29:18   was like a 51 to 49 type thing.

00:29:23   And surely, because of when it came out, the deciding vote came down to Steve Jobs.

00:29:30   But it was a lot of people on both sides of that.

00:29:33   But I don't think anybody, even the people who wanted it on the other location, nobody

00:29:38   would have endorsed the idea of shipping both.

00:29:41   Right.

00:29:42   You know, and I feel like that's what the Surface Pro versus Surface RT is, that there

00:29:45   were people within the company who wanted it one way and people who wanted it the other,

00:29:49   and so they said, "Okay, let's make everybody happy.

00:29:51   We'll ship both."

00:29:52   Yeah, and I wonder if sort of Balmer's thought on that was like, "Look, we're already behind

00:29:58   in this space.

00:29:59   Let's just get both out there and see which works, if any of them work, and maybe sort

00:30:05   let the masses decide what they want since we really can't afford to make one bet here.

00:30:11   But I can't imagine that is how that played out because of course they took a, what was it,

00:30:17   a $900 million write down on the RT that was very detrimental to that one quarter where it basically

00:30:24   sank and tanked their entire quarter. And that's not Ballmer's, as we just talked about, he's the

00:30:30   business guy. He always delivered his numbers and that was the one quarter he did really awful on.

00:30:34   A billion here and a billion there and you eventually do have a problem no matter how big you are.

00:30:39   Yeah, right.

00:30:40   Let me take a break here and thank our first sponsor. First sponsor is our good friends

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00:32:09   know you came from this show so my thanks to Squarespace go to

00:32:12   squarespace.com and remember the offer code bond as in James Bond they pick

00:32:18   they're doing like these cutesy codes where they pick things that are of

00:32:22   interest to the hosts of the show. That's good, it's easy to remember. Yeah, so go there

00:32:28   and my thanks to them. I think we're done with the Microsoft thing. Yeah, this, I

00:32:35   mean this is gonna be a story for the next, God knows how many years. I do

00:32:38   think, I guess the only other thing is the fact that that Nadella comes from

00:32:42   the server side. Servers, yep. And my colleague at Qbranch, Brent Simmons, has

00:32:48   written about it, that he's really happy about it because he's done a lot of

00:32:51   coding on on Azure you know as a back end for an iOS developer and his point

00:32:58   I thought was really really astute where the old Microsoft was always in their

00:33:03   own universe technically and you know and it worked out for them but you know

00:33:07   they wrote everything was theirs there was their own OS their own kernel you

00:33:12   know they're the only ones in in the world who've you know the whole world's

00:33:17   effectively gone Unix you know Mac OS X is Unix Linux is a clone of Unix

00:33:23   Android runs on as a Linux kernel and at the kernel level you know every the

00:33:28   whole world went Unix except you know even your TiVo runs a version of Linux

00:33:33   except Windows Windows is like the this alternate universe it's this you know

00:33:38   everything was their own their own programming languages their own API's

00:33:44   everything at a technical their own networking their own mail server you

00:33:47   know everybody else is using I map they have outlook you know it's all

00:33:51   proprietary that was the Microsoft way and it you know a little bit of

00:33:56   stubbornness strategically it was often about lock-in the Windows Server

00:34:01   division that Nadella Rand is very different you know they support you know

00:34:06   you can do things like you know really hip modern stuff like node JS I don't

00:34:12   How do people say that do they say the dot no dot JS?

00:34:14   either you know, yeah, it's

00:34:17   Yeah, and I wonder

00:34:21   So, you know you'd hope that that mentality sort of spreads to the other divisions now and they sort of Microsoft sort of opens up

00:34:28   I think you know and if they are going to do that Nadella is obviously the right person to make that happen

00:34:33   I think that he

00:34:34   Recognizes and is realistic about the world that that we live in in the world Microsoft exists in now and it can't be the siloed

00:34:41   behemoth anymore because that is the way forward of the company eventually finding hard times,

00:34:51   very hard times potentially.

00:34:54   We talked about the numbers are great now.

00:34:57   The numbers can be deceiving a lot of times.

00:35:00   The numbers were great for Nokia.

00:35:01   The numbers were great for RIM leading up to when all of a sudden they're not great.

00:35:07   You could argue that Microsoft certainly has a lot of the characteristics of those same

00:35:11   companies even win post in great numbers because there's a few things that can happen that

00:35:17   can make the this ship sort of start to sink really quickly and Nadella is given sort of

00:35:24   all the stuff that you're talking about and his willingness to realize the world that

00:35:30   we live in now.

00:35:31   I think that he is probably the best candidate to sort of try to wake Microsoft up.

00:35:36   Yeah, I think financial numbers are, and I don't think this is any kind of deep insight,

00:35:42   I think this is common sense, but it seems like an awful lot of people can be fooled by it. They're

00:35:46   a lagging indicator, not a leading indicator. So the iPhone didn't make a huge dent financially

00:35:55   for Apple for a couple of years. It happened pretty quickly, but certainly 2007, it was not

00:36:03   a significant financial thing. I mean the whole thing was they I think their goal for the first

00:36:07   year was to sell them 1 million phones. Yep. And you know a lot of people thought that was

00:36:12   a lot of people thought they weren't gonna do it or was it 10 million in the first year?

00:36:18   Maybe it was 10 million for the year. Maybe it was for the year but yeah he did state the

00:36:22   million thing he wanted to make sure to get that but then there was the the certain percentage

00:36:26   that they were trying to hit. One percent of the phone market they wanted. Right that's right.

00:36:32   it took a little bit.

00:36:33   And if you just looked at how many phones they were selling

00:36:36   when the first iPhone came out, it was not that huge.

00:36:40   And conversely, RIM had a great year in 2007 and 2008.

00:36:47   Nokia was still good.

00:36:48   I was, in the research on an article I'm writing,

00:36:52   maybe we'll talk about it later in the show,

00:36:53   the same subject, but just about that same subject,

00:36:57   leading numbers as a leading lagging indicator.

00:37:00   In October of 2007, here is a headline in the New York Times.

00:37:05   This is five or six months after the iPhone shipped.

00:37:09   Nokia profit soars as market share nears 40%.

00:37:14   (laughing)

00:37:16   Right?

00:37:16   You know, like numbers are not, I don't know.

00:37:21   I think that that's,

00:37:22   well it was you, right?

00:37:26   Who, when the Microsoft CFO stepped down

00:37:29   earlier this year, right?

00:37:31   And what did you write about that?

00:37:32   I thought that was, I just remember,

00:37:34   that really stuck out in my mind.

00:37:36   - I think I said, using the Game of Thrones analogy,

00:37:39   like who is best poised to know when winter is coming?

00:37:44   - Right. - The CFO.

00:37:46   - Right. - Who's second best to know?

00:37:47   The CEO.

00:37:48   And so both of those guys are gone within Microsoft.

00:37:52   - Right, that this, you know,

00:37:53   if there's anybody at Microsoft who maybe had a,

00:37:56   could smell something in the air that, you know,

00:37:59   not this quarter, not next quarter, but...

00:38:02   - Down the road.

00:38:03   - Yeah, let's start looking at,

00:38:04   talking about years rather than quarters,

00:38:07   and maybe look one or two years ahead

00:38:10   that trouble is brewing.

00:38:11   It very likely would have been the CFO,

00:38:15   and he got out of Dodge.

00:38:16   - He did, and by the way,

00:38:19   I think he said at the time,

00:38:21   in Microsoft's statement at the time,

00:38:22   was that he was taking some,

00:38:25   He has been in the ranks for 30, 40 years or whatever it was.

00:38:30   And he's finally ready to just take time

00:38:34   and be with his family indefinitely.

00:38:36   And I think four months later, he was in a new CFO job.

00:38:39   (laughing)

00:38:41   - Right, and that just gets back down

00:38:42   to those very simple PR optics

00:38:47   of executive shakeups at big companies.

00:38:50   You always say that.

00:38:51   You never wanna make it look like

00:38:54   there's any kind, you know, no matter how ugly it is,

00:38:57   you wanna downplay the ugliness.

00:38:59   - Yep.

00:39:00   - And it's true for all companies.

00:39:01   We're not just laughing at Microsoft.

00:39:02   I mean, it's the same way when

00:39:04   Forstall got pushed out at Apple.

00:39:08   - Yeah.

00:39:09   - I mean, and they were a little bit,

00:39:10   a little bit honest about it

00:39:12   with the whole increased collaboration, you know,

00:39:15   which is exactly what you hear.

00:39:17   - They were indirectly honest.

00:39:19   They didn't say that Forstall was the problem,

00:39:22   but they indicated there was a problem

00:39:24   with everyone sort of being on the same page.

00:39:27   - Right.

00:39:28   You could read between the lines and it came out

00:39:30   that those of us who are left

00:39:33   are gonna get along a lot better now.

00:39:35   - Have you heard of anything about him recently, by the way?

00:39:39   - No, I have not.

00:39:40   Have you?

00:39:41   - I haven't either, no.

00:39:42   I would assume, the way that these deals

00:39:45   usually are structured is that someone

00:39:48   is being shown the door, but at the same time,

00:39:52   they have so much proprietary information

00:39:54   and knowledge about, especially with Apple,

00:39:56   with top secret things sort of being worked on,

00:39:58   that Apple certainly doesn't want

00:40:00   them going to a competitor and really doesn't want them out

00:40:03   on the marketplace at all.

00:40:05   And so they usually give them some sort

00:40:08   of exit package, which very well compensated for ensuring

00:40:12   that they stay with the company for something like a year,

00:40:15   sometimes more, sometimes less.

00:40:18   I think Tony Fidell may have had the same type of thing.

00:40:20   He's a special--

00:40:21   Fidell's was not as contentious, though.

00:40:23   No, definitely not. I think that that's 100% true. But he was, as Forstall I believe is

00:40:29   now, a special advisor to the CEO or whatever.

00:40:31   Yeah, I don't know if he still is or not though. They never named it what his period was. I

00:40:38   have not heard what he's up to. I have heard from a pretty good little birdie that, yeah,

00:40:47   exactly what you're saying. But that he was offered what, and I'll never forget the words,

00:40:52   a truckload of money.

00:40:57   And you drive off in this truck full of cash and for X – now, the one thing my birdie

00:41:03   did not know is how long X is.

00:41:05   His guess was a year, but maybe it's longer.

00:41:07   And for the next –

00:41:08   I would guess it's a year.

00:41:09   For the next year, you do nothing.

00:41:11   You cannot work for anybody and you cannot speak to anybody and you don't tweet, you

00:41:18   don't have a Facebook.

00:41:19   you know, anybody, reporters call you, you don't answer the phone.

00:41:24   Not just talk about Apple, but anything, right?

00:41:27   So –

00:41:28   And I do think that that's what has happened, and the interesting thing now, of course,

00:41:31   is that it has been a year.

00:41:33   It's just over a year, right?

00:41:35   Right.

00:41:36   So it was last December.

00:41:37   Yeah, it was like December.

00:41:38   So it's, you know, I remember looking it up for the date, and I knew that it was after

00:41:43   all of the product announcements, you know.

00:41:46   Right.

00:41:47   It was the slow period.

00:41:48   Yeah, I forget if it was November or December, but it was somewhere around there and I've ever since then I've sort of like

00:41:55   Just you know double-check to make sure that he hasn't started, you know, maybe showing up at

00:42:03   Events and stuff like that, but so far I've heard nothing I heard from one reader who saw him somewhere

00:42:08   It wasn't you know, it was just like a yet. Yeah, right citing it's like he's not you know housebound. He's not under house arrest

00:42:18   But yeah, so I do think that we will see him surface at some point in the next few months

00:42:22   I do wonder you know, he's a relatively young guy

00:42:25   I think that he could definitely do a startup if he wanted to he would certainly have no problem getting any funding that he wanted

00:42:31   Yeah, he's like 40 41 something. I mean, he's right around my age very very

00:42:35   One of the weird what if one of the weird wildcards is to sort of tie this debate together

00:42:39   What if Microsoft tries to hire him, you know a lot of people that's like

00:42:44   Like a frequently asked question in my reader email is you know, well not now

00:42:48   But during the whole run-up was would that be possible?

00:42:52   I know I guess it's not impossible, but I always thought that it wasn't a good match for either company just because

00:42:58   They're so different right and in pretty much every way

00:43:02   Right, and I don't think that he would want to I would imagine that he would do something more a lot more like Tony

00:43:10   Fidel. Go get some funding and start something new that would be obviously

00:43:16   you know Nest became you know relatively big relatively quickly I mean it sold

00:43:21   for over three billion dollars I mean which is you know you're talking

00:43:26   billions not millions it's a pretty good deal but compared to Apple where Fidel

00:43:31   was before very very small right but you can't start something that big right you

00:43:35   can either start something new that's relatively small even if it has a lot of

00:43:39   investment and very big goals or you can step into an existing giant and I just don't see

00:43:45   Forstall stepping into an existing giant. I guess maybe the only one I could see and again I have

00:43:54   no idea of what he'll do or any insight into any real knowledge of what's going on but I wouldn't

00:44:00   be shocked if somehow Facebook convinced him to come there and to do some sort of skunkworks

00:44:06   project that he would be best suited for.

00:44:10   It's just like you feel,

00:44:11   when I see Facebook do sort of these deals a lot

00:44:15   where they hire sort of above what you think

00:44:17   their weight should be, right?

00:44:18   Where they convince these people to get in there

00:44:21   and sort of work on these projects

00:44:23   and just give them whatever resources they need.

00:44:26   And so that wouldn't actually shock me,

00:44:28   even though that would be sort of a shocking headline.

00:44:30   I wouldn't be so surprised by that.

00:44:33   - Yeah, I would see it more--

00:44:34   - It's a really only one.

00:44:36   - More as Facebook incubating an ambitious new division.

00:44:41   Not that he would step in and run anything

00:44:45   that Facebook already has.

00:44:48   Yeah, I could see that though.

00:44:49   I would see that as one existing company

00:44:51   that I could see him going to.

00:44:52   Couldn't see him going to Google.

00:44:54   Couldn't, Microsoft, I just don't see it.

00:44:56   I really don't.

00:44:57   It just seems like it's intriguing to think about it,

00:45:00   but I just don't see how it really matched,

00:45:01   would have matched up for either of them.

00:45:04   - Yeah, and I agree, I largely agree with that.

00:45:06   I think the only reason I bring it up now

00:45:08   is just because of the new leadership thing.

00:45:10   Like maybe he's able to be convinced

00:45:13   that things are really going to,

00:45:14   they really wanna change things.

00:45:16   And so this is how much we wanna change things.

00:45:19   We're bringing in a guy synonymous with sort of Apple

00:45:22   and one of Steve Jobs' lieutenant from the next days

00:45:25   to really show you how different we're thinking.

00:45:29   - Here's a question I've thought about.

00:45:31   And to me, I don't really mean it as a joke.

00:45:35   It actually makes me a little sad.

00:45:38   Do you think Scott Forstall upgraded his phone to iOS 7?

00:45:41   [LAUGHTER]

00:45:44   That's a very good question.

00:45:45   It is funny.

00:45:46   He still wouldn't have to yet, right?

00:45:50   You could still get away with running--

00:45:52   what was the last version of 6?

00:45:54   But he'd have to also be running an old iPhone 5.

00:45:58   You can't use an iPhone 5S.

00:46:00   And did he get a 5S?

00:46:02   And did he have to like buy it online?

00:46:04   - He seems like a green 5C guy, I don't know.

00:46:08   - But I know it is funny, it's funny, but it's not,

00:46:14   I've met Forrestal a few times, can't say I'm close to him,

00:46:17   but I've met him, he was always very nice to me.

00:46:21   And you know, I liked him, right?

00:46:26   - I would--

00:46:27   I would also say that clearly I'm a big fan of his work.

00:46:30   And whether it was the right move or not to squeeze him out

00:46:34   is almost beside the point.

00:46:36   I just feel bad that it didn't work out.

00:46:38   I do in a certain way.

00:46:39   And I can imagine it was his life's work.

00:46:42   I mean, the only thing he ever did was work at Next.

00:46:44   He went right from college to Next and worked his way up.

00:46:48   And it was a continuous thing for his entire adult life,

00:46:52   working from Next to Apple and the Mac OS X transition

00:46:57   to Mac OS X to the entire creation of iOS.

00:47:03   And I think very clearly they took iOS

00:47:07   in a different direction.

00:47:08   - And so yeah, he'd be using it every day

00:47:11   and staring at the cause of his sort of future.

00:47:14   - What else is he going to do?

00:47:15   He's not gonna switch to Android.

00:47:17   Surely he still is using an iPhone.

00:47:19   I think the only thing I can imagine.

00:47:22   My only real, like I don't think I've ever interacted

00:47:25   with Forsall, I don't think in all the time,

00:47:26   like in all the different Apple events,

00:47:27   I don't think I ever actually spoke with him,

00:47:29   but I have seen him of course a number of times,

00:47:31   and I actually saw him out and about once

00:47:33   at a concert of all places.

00:47:34   And I just remember my lasting sort of memory of that

00:47:39   is him just like being very adamant

00:47:43   about taking so many pictures using his iPhone.

00:47:46   And so that leads me to believe that even if he hates

00:47:49   He has to like the iPhone 5s just for the better camera

00:47:53   Yeah

00:47:53   And so he might be just using it solely for the camera and willing to forgo his sort of

00:47:59   Hatred if he has hatred of iOS 7 right and surely up until when the iPhone 5s came out

00:48:06   He'd never bought an iPhone in his life

00:48:08   I mean he'd been using the new ones, you know, as soon as they were, you know prototypes were in from the factory

00:48:19   You know and and presumably every single detail and pixel of the OS met with his approval or at least you know

00:48:25   He'd gotten his input into

00:48:27   and now you know

00:48:29   You know to me. It's like it's like a weird. It's just to imagine the scenario

00:48:34   What does he do go online and do it? I mean he's not a can't go to an Apple store

00:48:37   Right

00:48:40   So he's got to like I go online or maybe you know maybe as a an assistant or something

00:48:46   you know, as an assistant, and go buy it for him.

00:48:49   - This is like the end of Shawshanker's redemption,

00:48:51   or whatever, like this is, but it's more like,

00:48:54   what's the character, the old man who sort of

00:48:57   gets reintroduced into the world after all the years

00:48:59   in prison. - Right.

00:49:02   Right, and it's like-- - He doesn't know

00:49:03   how to do anything. - Right, and it's like,

00:49:05   yeah, you haven't seen a supermarket with OCR scanners,

00:49:09   right? (laughing)

00:49:10   Wasn't that the thing with George Bush,

00:49:12   the first George Bush president,

00:49:14   'cause he'd been a vice president from like 1980

00:49:17   and then he was the president.

00:49:19   And then it came out when he was running

00:49:21   against Clinton in '93.

00:49:22   He'd never seen an OCR scanner in a supermarket.

00:49:25   Why make fun of him for that?

00:49:27   The guy hadn't done grocery shopping.

00:49:29   What, do you think that the vice president

00:49:32   does his own grocery shopping?

00:49:34   No.

00:49:34   So, but the last time he'd been in a supermarket

00:49:37   was like 1979.

00:49:38   I don't know, it just to me is something to imagine.

00:49:43   I don't know. I'm betting he does. I'm betting he's...

00:49:46   I would bet he does too. I think it would be hard. I think it also would be very hard

00:49:53   for someone like him to use old technology when he's been so bleeding edge the entire

00:49:57   time. It would be frustrating.

00:50:00   But he's in a unique situation where the what-ifs will never stop in terms of what he's got

00:50:08   his hand. But that's my guess. My guess is he has a 5s and runs iOS 7 and just seethes.

00:50:13   He might even run iOS 7.1 because it finally doesn't crash every five seconds.

00:50:20   Yeah, but that raises another question. Did he sign up for a developer account?

00:50:25   A developer account, yeah.

00:50:26   Because surely his old one doesn't work. He can't, you know, I'm pretty sure that,

00:50:31   you know, that his cut off from the Apple VPN, he can't just do that.

00:50:37   Yeah, do you think like he's been tinkering around with making some apps?

00:50:40   I wonder I don't know. I mean Annette it's absolutely the case

00:50:44   I don't think that he was spent his days as you know, a senior VP writing code

00:50:49   But I mean he you know, that's he worked his way up from that right? Yeah, right. I remember there was a

00:50:55   it was a

00:50:58   WWDC session a couple years ago and it's sort of an obscure one and I forget who was leading it

00:51:04   but I was sitting in the audience and it was

00:51:06   But, you know, the guy on stage was an old next hand, but he's, you know, still just

00:51:12   an engineer, like a senior engineer at Apple, and he's given a WWDC presentation.

00:51:16   He was talking about something in iOS that was, or maybe it was Mac OS X, but either

00:51:20   way, that had roots back to an old thing that he had done at Next in 1989.

00:51:27   And he said, "Here, let me show you what I did.

00:51:29   And, you know, here was the thing I wrote in 1989 while I was at Next.

00:51:33   And, you know, you could see the roots are here to today."

00:51:35   And he was like, "Here's the about box from the thing I wrote then."

00:51:39   And the credits were him and Scott Forstall.

00:51:41   And he was like, "I don't know what happened to the other guy."

00:51:45   And this was when Forstall was still the senior VP.

00:51:46   He wasn't making a joke at Forstall's expense last year, but it was a big belly laugh at

00:51:51   the audience.

00:51:55   He was listed second because he was an intern or something at the time.

00:51:59   But he was writing code.

00:52:01   I don't know.

00:52:02   Could be.

00:52:03   Yeah.

00:52:04   Yeah.

00:52:05   It would be interesting if he came out with something, if he came out, you know, de-cloaked

00:52:10   with some kind of startup that was iOS related.

00:52:14   Yeah, and so he's always been a software guy, so you'd assume he's not going to do sort

00:52:21   of the Tony Fidell type, you know, startup, so he would do more of a software type startup,

00:52:26   you would assume.

00:52:28   Maybe he would pair up with someone who has sort of hardware experience.

00:52:32   And certainly there are plenty of ex-Apple people now with the hardware experience that

00:52:36   he would know.

00:52:37   But if he were to do something by himself, it would presumably be something in software.

00:52:41   Right.

00:52:42   Yeah, I don't know.

00:52:44   That's a good question.

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00:55:40   How about Facebook paper?

00:55:49   Yes.

00:55:52   I have not…

00:55:53   So you don't have Facebook.

00:55:54   Yes.

00:55:55   This is the dilemma.

00:55:56   Let me explain.

00:55:57   I've not written about this much on Daring Fireball.

00:55:59   I have never signed up for Facebook.

00:56:02   Still haven't.

00:56:04   Have never been tempted to until now because I'm tempted to sign up for Facebook.

00:56:10   just to use paper. And in fact, I've been thinking about this for longer than just

00:56:15   the last week because I actually got a briefing from Facebook in New York a

00:56:22   week or two before paper came out. Mike Mattis emailed me and

00:56:26   said, "Hey, I've finally got something to show. You wouldn't

00:56:30   want to come up and see I'm gonna be in New York." I was like, "Sure." And I was just

00:56:35   blown away. Absolutely positive. I haven't written about it because I don't know

00:56:38   how to contextualize it yet because I am so it why don't you just make it can

00:56:43   you make like just a dummy account not friend anyone just I don't know you know

00:56:47   and it's weird I guess that's what I should do I don't know I mean I've seen

00:56:50   it I most of my experience with the app is with Mike's account I just used Mike's

00:56:54   phone maybe he just has a beautiful family and that's why you like well you

00:56:59   know that's the pushback against it the pushback against paper that I've seen is

00:57:04   is that it's great if your friends are all

00:57:09   UI design artists who take really great photos.

00:57:14   And it isn't great if you're,

00:57:17   you'd like most people on Facebook

00:57:19   and your family takes really shitty photos

00:57:22   and posts the cat gifs and stuff like that.

00:57:27   - So, but your predicament raises an interesting question

00:57:32   which is that I wonder if Facebook is able to,

00:57:37   either for the first time,

00:57:38   obviously you know that you're certainly an oddity

00:57:41   in being in a developed country

00:57:44   and not having Facebook at this point,

00:57:46   but I wonder if they feel like it's also an opportunity

00:57:51   to not only bring in new, but reengage people

00:57:54   who are burnt out by Facebook,

00:57:56   which is many, many people.

00:57:57   Basically, you talk to anyone

00:58:00   within your own personal circles,

00:58:03   you'll have several people who say like,

00:58:05   yeah, Facebook is so lame now,

00:58:07   or Facebook is sort of, it's all just,

00:58:10   it's all for my parents,

00:58:11   or it's just sort of like old high school friends

00:58:16   that I never talk to anymore using it,

00:58:17   so it's really not that interesting to me anymore.

00:58:19   But paper is a complete reimagining

00:58:22   of what the experience should be like.

00:58:24   And there are definitely things that I like

00:58:27   and don't like about it.

00:58:28   Certainly it's beautifully designed,

00:58:31   and I think there's some great functionality in there.

00:58:33   But I don't really, I don't know.

00:58:35   I mean, we could dive into all the little things about it.

00:58:39   I'm a little concerned that a lot of what,

00:58:42   and you will know this better

00:58:43   having talked to Mike Mattis about it directly,

00:58:45   but I'm a little bit concerned

00:58:46   that it's a little bit too worried

00:58:49   about sort of addressing the Twitter question head on,

00:58:53   which is no one is using Facebook really

00:58:56   to talk about current events,

00:58:58   or at least the right people aren't using Facebook

00:59:01   that they want to get the word out there.

00:59:03   Like during the Super Bowl, you know,

00:59:04   like tweets are going crazy, everyone's talking about it.

00:59:07   Is anyone using Facebook?

00:59:08   Facebook tried to get people using it this year.

00:59:10   They reached out to a bunch of celebrities.

00:59:12   - Yeah, I saw that.

00:59:13   - That document leaked, you know,

00:59:14   talking about like what you should be using Facebook for

00:59:18   during the Super Bowl.

00:59:20   And so when I look at paper,

00:59:21   when I look beyond the obvious beauty on the surface,

00:59:25   I see sort of a desire to get back into sort of the real-time news conversation, which

00:59:32   I don't know.

00:59:33   I don't know if that's coming from the right place or not.

00:59:35   Yeah.

00:59:36   I think you're off on that and having talked to Mike about it.

00:59:40   I don't think that's what their goal is.

00:59:42   I think their goal is a little bit – it's almost obvious, which is that – and in fact,

00:59:51   It's a direct answer to the thing I just said a minute ago,

00:59:53   that the complaint is that people aren't cultivating

00:59:57   what they post to Facebook to make it beautiful.

01:00:00   And the paper's theory is, the paper team's theory is,

01:00:04   nobody's going to do that until we give them a beautiful way,

01:00:08   a beautiful interface to do it.

01:00:10   That it's the, if we build it, they will come theory.

01:00:13   That they have to build a beautiful interface to paper first

01:00:19   that encourages a sort of more,

01:00:23   I know that a lot of people are gonna laugh and say,

01:00:26   "Come on, Facebook and artistic expression."

01:00:28   It's not what it was for.

01:00:30   But that's a little bit highfaluting,

01:00:34   but it's more or less what they're thinking,

01:00:36   that if we give them this beautiful, serene interface,

01:00:39   that that's when people will start posting things

01:00:42   that actually fit better in paper

01:00:44   and are a little bit more,

01:00:47   not cultivated, but curated, I don't know

01:00:49   what you wanna say, but that people will generate content

01:00:53   that fits in paper and feels right in paper

01:00:57   only after paper is out and actually exists.

01:01:00   It has to be built first.

01:01:01   But I don't think it's about real-time stuff.

01:01:05   - Okay, that's interesting.

01:01:07   So I can understand how,

01:01:10   I can definitely understand that line of thinking.

01:01:12   I will say one other thing that I did here,

01:01:14   So this was being talked about when paper was released.

01:01:19   And I think a bunch of people tweeted about it.

01:01:21   I did, and others.

01:01:22   But I have since heard from a pretty good source on this

01:01:25   that it's also not out of left field

01:01:29   to think that this is how Facebook is experimenting

01:01:34   with new UI to see what would work for the actual product

01:01:38   itself.

01:01:40   I asked about that.

01:01:43   much of this response did you get that not a direct response and I you know so

01:01:47   I don't want to put words in the mics mouth or anybody so I didn't get but you

01:01:52   know I think reading between the line and I think just looking at the app it

01:01:56   is clear you know and it's exactly like what you wrote on Paris lemon that

01:02:01   there is no way that they could drop you know put out a facebook dot app version

01:02:08   that was this and just right right out of that no way they've got too many

01:02:12   users, right? And it's way too different. And it doesn't have the complete Facebook

01:02:17   experience. It doesn't have everything.

01:02:19   Yeah. Though it does have a lot. It has way more than I thought it would.

01:02:23   It is a very largely a... You know what it's a lot like? It's a lot like mobile email clients

01:02:31   where maybe your mobile email client doesn't do everything that you can do with email,

01:02:36   but it does most of it, right? That you can do most of what you do in email with the mail

01:02:41   client you're using on your phone, even if it doesn't do everything.

01:02:44   And you might have to use something at your desk to, I don't know, create, I don't think,

01:02:49   can you create new folders in mail or most mail apps on iPhone?

01:02:53   Maybe not, but you can certainly read all of your mail and reply to it and do a lot

01:02:57   of other stuff, flag them and stuff.

01:02:59   That Facebook Paper is largely an alternative to Facebook.app for your phone.

01:03:04   Oh, and I replaced Facebook.app with paper pretty much on day one because it is so much

01:03:12   better.

01:03:13   It's just a number of things are better about it.

01:03:15   I find the performance actually better, which is sort of surprising given how visual it

01:03:19   is.

01:03:20   But performance is better.

01:03:22   It obviously looks a lot better.

01:03:24   And it does, like you're saying, it performs the basic, sort of the high level functions

01:03:28   that you need.

01:03:29   The one thing it's missing, the one complaint that people do bring up who use Facebook is

01:03:34   that it's missing events. And the rumor, of course, is that Facebook is working on a separate

01:03:38   events app.

01:03:39   Yeah, that's what I think. Well, and I think it all, it fits, and I think, you know, I

01:03:46   certainly don't know Zuck. I don't know his mind. But the evidence that I've seen with

01:03:52   the acquisitions they've made, including Mattis's Push Pop Press a little over two years ago,

01:04:00   he bought Sofa. And also knowing, and you know this is something I can't name names,

01:04:06   but it's in the iOS and Mac developer community, they pretty much went to anybody who's done

01:04:14   like Apple design award level work and you know made AquaHire offers. There's an awful

01:04:22   lot of people who you think I wonder if they went to them, the answer is probably yes.

01:04:27   Yeah, which makes sense for them, obviously.

01:04:31   Right.

01:04:32   Like, what's the best talent in the world to do what they want to do?

01:04:34   It's right in front of them.

01:04:35   Right.

01:04:36   And I think the explanation is that for a while, Zuck had it in mind that Facebook was

01:04:41   a website and that the mobile version should be a mobile version of that website.

01:04:48   And the early versions of the Facebook app for iPhone were...

01:04:53   Who was the developer?

01:04:54   Was it Joe Hewitt?

01:04:55   It was Joe Hewitt.

01:04:56   Joe Hewitt and he did great work and he you know yeah he was you know do you do

01:05:01   you remember the HTML 5 version you know before there were native apps that was

01:05:06   like the first really impressive application that I saw again not a

01:05:10   native application right in the web browser built for the iPhone well so one

01:05:14   thing you can definitely say for Zuck and Facebook is as soon as the iPhone

01:05:17   came out they instantly saw we need to be on that and they did it you know

01:05:21   before there were even apps and then when there were apps but they their

01:05:25   Their initial app was a lot more like not native, you know, using web things, you know,

01:05:31   web views and stuff like that.

01:05:32   And I feel like a lot of, you know, as an indication that he is a very good CEO, I think

01:05:42   Zuck had a complete 180 and realized, you know what, native apps matter for mobile,

01:05:48   for performance, for latency, for just the way, you know, it just isn't going to work

01:05:53   be one level behind in abstraction with all the the little nagging things that

01:06:01   that that entails and it was like so what do we do let's hire some great

01:06:05   native app developers and designers and I think also part of that is that you on

01:06:15   on the phone on mobile in general it makes more sense to have

01:06:20   Not a ton of apps but more separate apps than one app that does everything

01:06:27   Especially for something the size of Facebook because Facebook can do so many things, you know, you do events you do chat you do

01:06:34   Status updates you do pictures like all these things. It's like it was getting it was getting almost ridiculous. That's like the side menu

01:06:42   That's in the previous one where it's like there's so there's so many different things that you can drill down into it's almost like

01:06:48   Ridiculous to try to hit some of them with a with a fingertip, right?

01:06:51   And you know take a look at Apple with iTunes right out on the Mac and Windows and there's you know

01:06:56   I think a large part of that is because they have to maintain parity on Mac and Windows

01:07:00   But it's a monolithic app and you know, it's almost at this point. It's almost infamous for being

01:07:06   Overloaded with responsibilities and

01:07:12   And iOS debuted and has sort of stayed with everything broken apart into separate apps.

01:07:18   There's a music player app and there's a store app for buying music and a podcast app for

01:07:27   podcasts.

01:07:28   And you can see, you know, like, you know, and a lot of people aren't happy with the

01:07:31   podcast app.

01:07:32   But just the fact that the way Apple sees it, it should be a separate app says a lot.

01:07:37   You know, that that's the way to develop for mobile.

01:07:40   and I think Facebook has that in mind too.

01:07:42   - And so did you talk to Madison at all about the fact

01:07:46   that it's obviously iPhone first and iPhone only right now

01:07:49   and it's not iPad.

01:07:50   - Right, and I think it's the obvious

01:07:55   that it took them this long to build the iPhone version

01:07:59   and it's ready to ship and so they shipped it

01:08:01   and they had no comment on whether there's going

01:08:05   to be an iPad version or there's going

01:08:07   to be an Android version.

01:08:08   And although I got the feeling,

01:08:11   I can't quote me on it, and it's not a quote,

01:08:15   but I did get the feeling though that his team,

01:08:17   at least at the moment, is an iOS team,

01:08:20   that they, you know, and it's relatively small.

01:08:23   - Right.

01:08:24   - You know, that if and when there is going to be

01:08:26   an Android version of paper, that it's, you know,

01:08:28   they'll need to expand to do it.

01:08:31   - Well, and I wonder if it would even be that team, right?

01:08:35   Like if Zuck really is sort of thinking about this

01:08:39   in the new way that you're suggesting,

01:08:42   sort of moving away from the Facebook is a website

01:08:45   and now it's whatever it needs to be

01:08:48   on whatever device you're using.

01:08:49   And so you could certainly make the argument

01:08:52   that maybe it should be different for Android

01:08:55   entirely than it is even right now for paper with iOS.

01:08:59   - I think that's-- - They have different

01:09:02   screen sizes.

01:09:03   And different metaphors and different capabilities.

01:09:07   iOS is much more--

01:09:10   everybody's always said this.

01:09:12   Things animate smoother.

01:09:15   It has these transitions, and it has--

01:09:19   when you want to do GPU-intensive things,

01:09:22   you have this tremendous advantage

01:09:24   of only having to target two or three GPUs.

01:09:31   I don't know what--

01:09:32   I don't know how far back Facebook paper works.

01:09:34   I don't know if they support like the 4S

01:09:36   or what the limit is.

01:09:37   But even so, there's only three,

01:09:39   even if they go back all the way to the 4S,

01:09:42   it's only three generations that they have to support.

01:09:44   And it's a very, very graphically intensive app.

01:09:48   - So I wonder if Facebook will be sort of

01:09:50   the first major service to go like total,

01:09:55   in a totally different direction

01:09:56   with their application for Android.

01:09:58   Just because like of what you're talking about

01:10:00   where Madison's team is, I would assume, all iOS right now.

01:10:04   And they would either have to hire and sort of train people

01:10:09   in terms of what they built for iOS.

01:10:12   Even though it wouldn't technically be a quote unquote port,

01:10:15   it would still sort of be a port, right?

01:10:17   It would be like--

01:10:18   - Right, if they were gonna call it paper.

01:10:20   - Yeah, so--

01:10:21   - And use the same interface and style.

01:10:24   I don't think that they're gonna do it.

01:10:25   I really wouldn't be surprised if there's never,

01:10:28   I don't know the answer, I really don't.

01:10:29   I mean, but my guess is I wouldn't be surprised

01:10:32   if there's never paper for Android.

01:10:34   But like you just said, if there's something else,

01:10:37   Facebook, something else for Android

01:10:40   that has a different interface

01:10:42   and then never exists for iOS.

01:10:44   - Which, by the way, they've done.

01:10:46   That's what Facebook Home was, right?

01:10:47   - Right.

01:10:48   - It was Android only.

01:10:49   - Right. - Yeah.

01:10:51   - Yeah, and you know what?

01:10:52   So maybe that's actually a good way of thinking

01:10:54   that they've already done that.

01:10:55   They've already done a thing for Android

01:10:57   that doesn't exist on iOS,

01:10:58   it's sort of embracing rather than trying to do this seeing them as two

01:11:05   versions of the same idea treat them as different two different things which i

01:11:09   think is actually closer to the truth you know yeah and don't do the way don't

01:11:15   see this the way that Windows and Mac OS 10 evolved where a company like Adobe

01:11:20   more or less had the exact same interface for you know Photoshop and

01:11:25   and InDesign and Illustrator on Windows and Mac,

01:11:29   where the only differences were the iOS,

01:11:32   the OS specific things like that menu bar is at the top

01:11:35   on the Mac and the menu is in the window on Windows.

01:11:39   But otherwise, they shipped at the same time,

01:11:42   they had the same features,

01:11:44   they were built from the same code base.

01:11:46   I don't think that's the way to do iOS

01:11:48   and Android development, I really don't.

01:11:50   - Yeah, I agree.

01:11:51   I think that too often we see these companies go into it,

01:11:55   well, we built the iOS version, it's doing great,

01:11:58   now let's make the Android version,

01:12:00   it's gonna be the same Instagram, it's the exact same.

01:12:02   - Right.

01:12:03   - Well, maybe Instagram's an example

01:12:04   where that makes sense, because it's--

01:12:06   - It does, yeah.

01:12:07   - It's so simple. - You can argue that.

01:12:09   But, when you, you should go into the mentality

01:12:13   with we wanna create the best application

01:12:15   for this specific device,

01:12:16   for these specific set of devices, this OS,

01:12:19   rather than the other way around.

01:12:20   - Yeah, and I, you know, Twitter maybe is an example

01:12:23   doing that wrong, where they're sort of developing

01:12:26   this single-minded, single Twitter interface

01:12:30   that's everywhere?

01:12:32   - Right.

01:12:32   - You know, I don't--

01:12:33   - Though, we'll see if that continues.

01:12:35   That was definitely the marching order for a long time,

01:12:40   and I think that a lot of that was driven by the need

01:12:43   for simplicity, cross-platform simplicity,

01:12:46   to get users to understand what they're doing.

01:12:49   When they look at one thing, you know, it's like,

01:12:51   oh, here's where the tweet button is.

01:12:53   so I know what to do.

01:12:54   But I wouldn't be surprised if that's changing too,

01:12:56   that mentality.

01:12:57   - So things with paper, the thing that fascinates me,

01:13:00   and there's two sides to it.

01:13:02   There's one, is it a good client for Facebook?

01:13:05   And that I don't know how to judge

01:13:07   because I'm not a Facebook user.

01:13:08   So I honestly don't know how to judge it.

01:13:10   But two, from a design perspective,

01:13:14   it is fascinating.

01:13:17   'Cause it is almost like a reimagination

01:13:21   of what iOS should be.

01:13:24   It doesn't feel foreign, it doesn't feel like alien,

01:13:29   but it's definitely not standard.

01:13:32   And it is of a piece with Mike Mattes' previous works

01:13:37   and very specifically with the work they did

01:13:43   at Push Pop Press.

01:13:45   The only example of which we saw publicly

01:13:48   was the Al Gore book.

01:13:50   choice right which is worth but if you're an interface designer it's worth

01:13:55   buying that not to read even if you have no interest in the book itself it's

01:13:59   worth buying as an example of an alternative way to think about

01:14:04   touchscreen design is it still it's still available I think so I hope so I

01:14:08   don't know yeah I don't know but this you know and I I don't know how much you

01:14:17   know I do you never know I mean there is a team and it's madis is not the only

01:14:19   designer but I think the whole team is on board with the philosophy and the

01:14:25   philosophy is I think one way to put it is that it that Apple wasn't bold enough

01:14:34   with iOS right and you go back all the way to Steve Jobs's 2007 unveiling of

01:14:40   the original iPhone and and he spoke a you know at the highest level when he

01:14:47   was introducing it and sort of framing how we should think about this. That it was when

01:14:52   he snuck in the dig about a stylus, you know, that look, in 1984 we made this thing called

01:14:58   the Mac and you, you know, did all this stuff visually using a mouse to guide a pointer

01:15:04   on screen. What are we going to do for a pointer here? He goes, "Well, a stylus." And everybody

01:15:10   goes, "No, of course not. It's terrible." And everybody laughed. He goes, "A stylus

01:15:14   us a piece of junk, you're going to lose it. And nobody wants that. No, we're all born

01:15:19   with a pointer right here. And he stuck up his index finger, right. And that's the, you

01:15:23   know, the high level, that's the breakthrough of iOS that you just use your finger, and

01:15:28   you do things. So instead of having a scroll bar that you move to scroll the content, you

01:15:33   just touch the content and move it, and you scroll up, and there's not you don't have

01:15:37   a button, you know, like, and you think back, and we, you know, it's easy to sort of forget.

01:15:41   you see this evolution over the years of Mac and Windows

01:15:44   where we have either the wheel or the trackpad or something.

01:15:49   But think back to the original Mac and the original Windows

01:15:54   before there were even scroll wheels on mice.

01:15:56   And to scroll the content, you had to put the cursor

01:15:59   on the arrow in the scroll bar to click

01:16:02   or put it on the, what's it called, the thumb,

01:16:04   the elevator, whatever you wanna call it, and drag it.

01:16:08   And it was a complete level of abstraction

01:16:11   that you had to click the button, the arrow buttons,

01:16:13   to scroll it or click the actual--

01:16:15   click and drag the actual wheel to do it.

01:16:20   And iOS completely eliminated the entire thing,

01:16:22   where it's all just direct.

01:16:24   But in other areas, it's a lot of the standard iOS navigation.

01:16:30   Just think about two apps that I think are very, very--

01:16:36   almost canonical if you want to study

01:16:39   what it is to be an iOS app.

01:16:40   Mail and the Settings app.

01:16:44   Settings app is maybe the best example.

01:16:46   Settings is just pure iOS.

01:16:49   It's a lot of buttons.

01:16:51   And even like you go into a level,

01:16:52   and then how do you go back?

01:16:54   You go to the top left, and there's a button.

01:16:56   And then back button.

01:16:57   And it's a back button.

01:16:58   And you tap the back button as though you use your finger

01:17:01   to tap the button in the same way

01:17:03   that you'd use a mouse pointer to click a button.

01:17:08   And the maddest philosophy, and paper really exemplifies this,

01:17:12   is that you get rid of those buttons, too.

01:17:16   And you just open and close things.

01:17:19   You can tap on a thing to open it, and then to close it,

01:17:21   you just squeeze it.

01:17:22   And it gets smaller and goes back to the smaller state.

01:17:26   And it's not just the obvious sort of-- or what's

01:17:30   been around for a while, like pinch to zoom

01:17:32   and sort of pinch to close.

01:17:33   It is like as simple as sort of drag up and drag down.

01:17:37   Yeah.

01:17:37   Yeah.

01:17:38   So you don't even have to use two fingers.

01:17:41   That's my favorite thing about it,

01:17:43   where I'm looking at it right now.

01:17:44   And it's just like the sort of bar

01:17:47   along the bottom with the content

01:17:49   that you scroll through, it almost is--

01:17:51   in a way, it's like in the shape of your thumb.

01:17:53   It's like drawing your thumb towards it to place it on there.

01:17:58   And then once you do that, you just sort of move up,

01:18:01   and then you're right into it.

01:18:02   And you can read it the entire way when it's going up, right?

01:18:05   Because it's just scaling it right up.

01:18:07   then to get it away you just push it back down. It's very well done.

01:18:10   And it's very natural and it is really unlike the standard system in a profound way even though it's

01:18:19   so simple and part of it there's a humility towards it where it's not a lot of like whiz-bang

01:18:26   stuff that you could... I mean I know for example I know that Matus worked on when he was at Apple

01:18:32   years ago worked on Time Machine and Time Machine's interface is look at look

01:18:37   at this this is supposed to be like whoa right with the whole windows going into

01:18:43   3d and they're an outer space and it's like it is a very ostentatious design

01:18:49   and it doesn't matter what you know aside whether you think it's a good

01:18:52   design for for a backup system or not it's ostentatious right the paper thing

01:18:57   is is very humble in my opinion because I think normal people they might think

01:19:01   hey this is nice but they're not going to be like wow it it's right you know

01:19:07   and I mean that as a very high compliment that it's it's not trying to

01:19:11   show off it's all and I think there's tons I know for a fact that there's tons

01:19:16   and tons of work to get these things because they're not built into the

01:19:20   system you don't get them for free from Coco Touch this these you know opening

01:19:27   and closing and smooth everything is super smooth it's all custom and it's

01:19:31   all super smooth. And the big problem with any kind of high level, like how are you going

01:19:39   to navigate this design, is that there's a very few number of gestures available and

01:19:45   you have to allocate them. You have to decide, you have to be very careful about it. So just

01:19:50   think back to the original Mac. And I think in hindsight, we can probably agree that a

01:19:55   a mistake that they made was that single click in the finder selects an item and double click

01:20:06   opens because double click is cognitively difficult for normal people.

01:20:14   And it's led to, the best example is people whose parents double click on links in web

01:20:22   browsers.

01:20:23   Right?

01:20:24   They somehow, they don't understand that some things you click on to open and some things

01:20:29   you double click to open.

01:20:30   And you kind of have to have a deeper understanding of how the computer is working as opposed

01:20:36   to how the interface is working to know that difference.

01:20:39   Which is why, you know, it makes way more sense the way that iOS and almost every modern

01:20:46   system works where you tap to open and you do like a long tap to select or something

01:20:52   else.

01:20:53   tap-dope and so you do you have so few things to do and and you don't want to

01:21:01   get into a thing where anything primary involves things like well you could put

01:21:07   two fingers on screen and drag up and down well normal people are never gonna

01:21:10   get that right pinching with two fingers they'll get because it's it is it feels

01:21:17   is real. But things like the iOS four finger swipe to switch apps, that's a power user

01:21:24   feature. That and it's absolutely fine that Apple made that. I think it's fine feature.

01:21:30   I use it especially on the iPad. I don't think I have it turned on on the phone, but on the

01:21:33   iPad I use it all the time. But I, you know, it's, I guarantee you 99.5% of all iPad users

01:21:41   have no idea that it exists and if you told them it exists they would forget it

01:21:45   by tomorrow so what Facebook had to solve with paper is what can you how

01:21:52   much can you do with one finger just dragging you've got left right and

01:21:57   you've got up down and that's it and so you go left right to navigate between

01:22:04   items in the stream and up to open down to close and it's even it's a little bit

01:22:14   more sort of interesting how they're doing it because there's also down like

01:22:20   it seems like one of the issues that they're having which I understand is

01:22:24   that people don't know at first how to create a post right because that's

01:22:28   another swipe down from the top and there's no real indication that that's

01:22:31   There is through in the walkthrough of course

01:22:33   But there's no indication when you're just looking at it that that's what you would do right and that they're trying to like create a new

01:22:39   Norm I guess for that yeah, and where it's instead of being the side sort of the hamburger bun to the side

01:22:45   It's now swiping down to get to it

01:22:47   Yeah

01:22:47   And maybe that's a spot where it's not quite fair of me to say that it doesn't feel foreign because it is

01:22:54   Because it's non-standard

01:22:58   But I guess what I see is that I when I look at paper

01:23:02   I see a way that the whole system could work that way right that in some alternate universe

01:23:08   Mike Mattes is that still at Apple and is in charge of iOS or

01:23:13   Is a lead developer and that iOS 7 works like this across the board and that there's you know, for example

01:23:20   There's no status bar all the time in Facebook paper

01:23:27   But it's there you just pull down at the top a little bit and then you can see it. Yep, and I

01:23:32   Know for a fact there's an eye that is you know, it's a stupid little thing, but I know from talking to other

01:23:38   Designers and people who think about things like this

01:23:41   There's an awful lot of people who think that that's the way iOS should work that the status bar is

01:23:45   Clutter and that you know, why not just give the whole screen and you know

01:23:49   Show the status when you need it and how do you do it? Just pull it down

01:23:54   Do you know what else I just realized like just playing around with it right now

01:23:57   I think they're one of the first ones that I can remember actually doing this

01:24:02   In a way, I think is correct

01:24:04   Which is that?

01:24:05   When you do so when you do you're on the main screen and you swipe down to get to sort of where you can post

01:24:10   Where your profile is that that back, you know the back of the sort of cards metaphor. Yeah

01:24:15   When that puts the main

01:24:18   Sort of card at the bottom so you can still get back there by tapping on it and then it just pops back up

01:24:24   right? So that's how you navigate back? Yes. But it is impossible to actually pull up the up menu

01:24:31   from there. You know how in so many apps now with iOS 7 they have the pull up menu where you know

01:24:37   where they have the flashlight and all those other things. Yeah. It is actually impossible to do that

01:24:42   at least as far as I can see right now to pull up that menu which is great because so many of

01:24:47   of these apps that are trying to be clever with sort of using

01:24:51   new UI forget that there is already a system-wide UI

01:24:57   to pull up that menu, right?

01:25:00   And somehow, I assume you can do this in--

01:25:04   you can make this a setting.

01:25:06   Paper has figured out, like, if we put this card at the bottom

01:25:12   and ask people to go back to it, a lot of times

01:25:14   they're going to end up pulling up the Settings menu,

01:25:17   and we don't want them to do that, so let's just disable that.

01:25:20   And so there's no way to do that, which is great.

01:25:22   Because I'm always afraid now whenever I'm touching something at the bottom of the screen

01:25:25   that I'm going to pull up that menu.

01:25:27   Yeah, I know exactly what you mean.

01:25:31   I think, and it's tricky too when the keyboard is visible, and it feels, I could be wrong,

01:25:38   it could just be that I've gotten better at it, but I'm running the iOS 7.1 betas on my

01:25:42   phone.

01:25:43   Yeah, me too.

01:25:45   And it feels as though they've, in the last beta or two,

01:25:48   they've gotten better at system-wide.

01:25:51   When you want to bring up the, what's it called,

01:25:54   the control center is the thing you're talking about.

01:25:57   You swipe from the bottom.

01:25:59   Previously, when the keyboard was up,

01:26:01   every time I tried it, I'd get a space.

01:26:04   It would just hit the key.

01:26:05   And they've gotten something.

01:26:07   They figured out some way of doing it now,

01:26:08   wherein the keyboard's visible.

01:26:10   You can bring that up.

01:26:11   It's a tricky thing.

01:26:12   And I agree that-- yeah, I know exactly what

01:26:13   you're talking about in paper.

01:26:14   You more or less push the whole regular interface down.

01:26:18   Regular interface meaning you're browsing through

01:26:22   the content in your feed.

01:26:23   You push that down to get a sort of meta interface

01:26:30   and it's like a transparent thing with your Facebook,

01:26:34   not your profile. - It is search.

01:26:35   It has your profile, it has create a post,

01:26:37   it has edit sections and settings.

01:26:39   - Right.

01:26:40   So another thing that they did that I think,

01:26:43   and it speaks to the thought that went into it.

01:26:45   It's like the Einstein quote,

01:26:48   everything should be as simple as possible,

01:26:50   but not more so.

01:26:52   And I've looked it up over the years

01:26:55   and maybe there's a lot of,

01:26:56   it could be one of those things

01:26:57   where he didn't even say it,

01:26:58   but that's the way I know the adage.

01:27:02   What does it mean as simple as possible, but not more so?

01:27:07   Well, it's a little cute,

01:27:09   but it more or less means don't take an idea too far.

01:27:12   And as an example, it's--

01:27:13   OK, so they've gotten rid of a lot of buttons

01:27:16   in the navigation.

01:27:17   That you don't go back, you just push it down and it closes.

01:27:21   But they don't have any kind of--

01:27:23   we're not going to have any buttons at all.

01:27:25   And we're going to figure out a way to do this with no buttons.

01:27:27   Where it makes sense to just have a button,

01:27:29   they have a button.

01:27:31   Like when you write a post, you just start typing.

01:27:33   And then there's a button that says post.

01:27:35   And it's super obvious.

01:27:37   There's no cutesy way of somehow posting

01:27:41   without actually having a post button.

01:27:44   Yeah, yeah, I think that that's right.

01:27:48   They have the minimal amount of buttons

01:27:50   you would need to do what you want to do.

01:27:53   Yeah.

01:27:54   They have a super cool thing when you go into the settings.

01:27:58   And it uses-- once you're in the settings for Facebook Paper,

01:28:04   it is a very standard iOS metaphor,

01:28:07   where there's a list, and you tap an item,

01:28:09   and it goes left to right and navigation stack

01:28:14   goes the same way that you're familiar with.

01:28:16   And I think it's exactly right.

01:28:19   Instead of trying to get real clever

01:28:20   and do something original there, they do it.

01:28:22   But they do a really cool thing with the animation

01:28:25   at the top of the screen,

01:28:27   where there is actually a back button

01:28:29   when you're in the settings.

01:28:31   But if you swipe it, it's like the back button thing,

01:28:33   unlike iOS 7 standard navigation,

01:28:36   it doesn't just fade from one to another,

01:28:38   it like shoots as though a rubber band pushed it.

01:28:41   - Yeah.

01:28:42   - Really, really, really.

01:28:44   And honestly, it's better than the iOS.

01:28:47   I wish that that was iOS 7 standard.

01:28:49   - Yeah, and everything sort of cascades in.

01:28:51   - Yeah.

01:28:52   - As they're coming, yeah.

01:28:53   - Yeah, exactly.

01:28:54   It's like a cascade animation, like almost like a wave.

01:28:58   I don't know how you would call it, but it's,

01:29:01   (laughs)

01:29:02   I'm making up a word here, but it's very physicky.

01:29:06   - Physics-y, physical, physical.

01:29:08   I guess it's just physical, but it's like physics.

01:29:11   And again, that's a little thing,

01:29:16   and that is not a standard animation from iOS.

01:29:20   That is something that they worked on themselves.

01:29:23   There's an awful lot of--

01:29:23   - So did you get a sense from him?

01:29:26   Did he talk at all?

01:29:27   Are they going to open source any of this stuff

01:29:29   for other sort of iOS developers to use, do you know?

01:29:33   - I didn't ask, I don't know.

01:29:35   I don't think so.

01:29:36   That'd be great, but yeah.

01:29:38   Yeah, I don't think so.

01:29:39   Although they did, you know, they have the tool, the meta layer on top of Quartz compositor

01:29:44   that they're using.

01:29:46   Quartz Composer?

01:29:47   That's right.

01:29:48   Or origami?

01:29:49   Is that what they're called?

01:29:50   Yeah, origami.

01:29:51   I forget if it's Quartz Compositor or Composer.

01:29:52   Whichever one it is, I always guess wrong.

01:29:53   So it's whatever.

01:29:54   Composer.

01:29:55   Quartz Composer.

01:29:56   Yeah.

01:29:57   I think the telling thing about that that's interesting as someone who works and tries

01:30:03   to think about design and stuff is that... and Matus has been using Quartz Composer for a long

01:30:11   time for his mock-ups and stuff. And I had spoken about this before, but like he showed me like with

01:30:17   PushPop Press before it came out and he was showing me the development version of it where

01:30:24   they had like in the beta versions or the in-house versions there was an extra layer of settings where

01:30:31   there were sliders for all the variables in the physics engine. And so instead of like a programmer

01:30:44   typing into Xcode that gravity for flinging down a picture to close it is at 0.78 and then you

01:30:55   compile and build and install a beta on your phone and you play around with it and then Mike would

01:31:00   say, "You know what? Try like 0.85 and then compile it and build it and give it to him."

01:31:06   He had sliders for all of those things and he could sit there and drag these little sliders

01:31:12   and adjust things and make pictures more or less really. And I got to play with it with

01:31:18   those settings enabled, make things like photos feel heavier or lighter. And it was very,

01:31:24   very, you know, it was very tactile where it really did feel like, "Whoa, that's heavier.

01:31:28   whoa, that's lighter.

01:31:30   And I think the idea is that you can't really design

01:31:35   with this modern sense of a physics-driven interaction

01:31:40   without actually having design tools

01:31:44   that are not just animated,

01:31:46   but that you can tweak all sorts of variables.

01:31:50   And I think that's where they're going with origami,

01:31:52   where you're not, you cannot,

01:31:53   you can't create things like this in Photoshop

01:31:56   and just have, here's the start frame, here's the end frame,

01:32:00   and in between it animates.

01:32:04   - Yeah, and it's 'cause you're forcing your brain

01:32:07   to shift between two different processes, right?

01:32:12   You're going from a very numbers-driven analytical process

01:32:17   by typing in .87.

01:32:20   It's like you're doing math versus designing.

01:32:24   I think it's the equivalent of like in sculpture

01:32:26   where you're working, you know,

01:32:28   it's like having clay in your hands

01:32:30   and being able to mold it with your hands

01:32:33   as opposed to defining, you know,

01:32:35   mathematically the shape of the sculpture.

01:32:37   - Right.

01:32:38   What do you think about the photo elements

01:32:42   where you're tilting to, you know, sort of look at,

01:32:45   the panoramic mode?

01:32:46   - Yeah, they call it, I don't know if this is public or not.

01:32:49   I know internally they call it Ken Turns,

01:32:52   the Ken Turns effect.

01:32:54   - That's good, that's funny.

01:32:55   - I think it's brilliant.

01:32:57   I think it is really, really,

01:32:59   I think it works.

01:33:02   It is so super effective, and I think, you know,

01:33:07   it's like, I always say, like, you know,

01:33:09   first is the original, the second is a rip-off,

01:33:13   and the third, it's a standard.

01:33:15   So somebody's gonna rip it off,

01:33:17   and then everybody's gonna say,

01:33:18   hey, they ripped off the Ken Turns effect

01:33:20   from Facebook Paper, and then two or three other apps

01:33:23   are gonna come out that use it,

01:33:24   and it's everybody's, you know,

01:33:26   well, we should always remember that they did it first,

01:33:28   but it's, I think it's gonna become a standard.

01:33:31   So the idea is, if you haven't,

01:33:32   if you're out there, you're listening,

01:33:33   and you haven't seen paper or used it,

01:33:35   if you open a photo, they open it

01:33:38   so that it always fills the screen.

01:33:41   And so if it's like a, and it's even most noticeable

01:33:44   if you think of a panoramic photo,

01:33:46   like if you take a panoramic photo with your iPhone,

01:33:48   where it's way wider than it is tall,

01:33:50   well, it opens at full height on your phone,

01:33:52   and then to see the rest of it,

01:33:54   you just hold your phone in front of you

01:33:56   and you can either twist it

01:33:58   or you can actually rotate your body

01:34:02   and the photo pans along as you move.

01:34:07   I think it's brilliant.

01:34:09   I think it works so well.

01:34:11   - And it's just like it basically turns the phone screen

01:34:15   is a window sort of into a picture,

01:34:18   making it more like real life.

01:34:20   - Yes, and it is, you know.

01:34:22   So we sit at our desks and we have things like 27-inch iMacs or 21-inch iMacs or cinema

01:34:33   displays or even on like a MacBook.

01:34:39   We have retina displays on MacBook Pros now with incredible pixel counts and compared

01:34:43   to a phone, a big screen.

01:34:46   I think this Ken Turns thing for how do you view something that you really do want big

01:34:51   like a photo, how do you view it on a little four inch screen? I think it's the best solution

01:34:57   anybody's come up with. I think it's brilliant. They told me, "Here's one thing."

01:35:02   So the name, they said that they started with the Ken Burns effect, where they would open

01:35:07   the photo at that size.

01:35:08   And then it just automatically moved?

01:35:10   Yeah. And they said the problem was that they realized was a lot of times the most interesting

01:35:19   part of the photo, maybe it was at the beginning, it's at the left edge, and then it already

01:35:23   pans past.

01:35:24   Right, and then you miss.

01:35:25   You want to go back, and you have to wait for the animation, or you have to swipe it.

01:35:29   That's interesting.

01:35:30   Right.

01:35:31   And then the main problem, so this is what this shows to me, which I think is pretty

01:35:35   genius, which is that normally, so even right now, if you open up a panoramic picture, if

01:35:42   you open it on your phone sort of in landscape mode or in horizontal mode, it will be so

01:35:49   small and so you'll want to zoom in, right? But to see then the rest of the photo, you

01:35:53   have to take your thumb and like sort of push. And so that's like putting your thumb in between

01:35:58   what you're trying to look at, whereas this totally removes it because you never have

01:36:02   to use your thumb.

01:36:03   Well, exactly. So you're not covering the photo with your fat ugly thumb. And this gets

01:36:09   back to what I said before, they've already assigned swiping left and right

01:36:13   to going to the next thing. That's right, to navigation, and it does that.

01:36:17   People, I'm assuming, right now are trying to do, you know, to get to the other part

01:36:21   of the photo just because that has previously been the norm, and now

01:36:25   they're just swiping to, you know, the next story and being like, "Oh, this is

01:36:28   different. How do I get that?" To me, it's just a genius, and it's, you know, it's so easy to

01:36:35   to overlook how much thought went into that, you know?

01:36:37   And again, it would be the wrong solution,

01:36:41   but it's, you know, the things that would be easier

01:36:43   to think of, you know, and that a simple little mind

01:36:46   like mine would think of would be, well,

01:36:47   put two fingers on the screen and swipe left, right

01:36:50   to pan the photo, and one finger is still just go next

01:36:54   or forward, but people don't think like that.

01:36:56   That two fingers on screen to go to do it is terrible.

01:36:59   You know, this, you know, using,

01:37:02   why don't we use the accelerometer and the gyroscope?

01:37:05   It's a really great idea.

01:37:08   I really can't.

01:37:09   - And they have other little things

01:37:12   like the autoplay of the videos.

01:37:14   Normally people hate that,

01:37:15   and I'm one of those people who hate that,

01:37:16   but it's like when you are in sort of full mode,

01:37:21   so it doesn't autoplay them when you're in

01:37:22   sort of the browsing mode where you can,

01:37:25   the stories are at the bottom of the screen

01:37:27   and you're swiping through them,

01:37:28   but once you bring it up to full screen,

01:37:30   it does autoplay it,

01:37:31   because it's like that's the content and you want to see it and you're just

01:37:34   removing sort of a barrier to entry to see that. Yep, yeah exactly.

01:37:38   Yeah. Really, really thoughtful stuff and you know I think you know rightly or

01:37:46   wrongly a lot of the discussion has been more about it as hey is this an

01:37:50   alternative way to look at Facebook but I think that you know interface wise it

01:37:53   is fascinating it is you know you could teach a whole course of interface design

01:37:58   and based on the novelties that they've come up with

01:38:01   in the app.

01:38:02   - So I guess the biggest complaint I would have

01:38:06   as someone who does occasionally use Facebook,

01:38:09   I mean I'm not, I certainly don't use it

01:38:10   as much as much of the world does,

01:38:12   but the difference between the regular sort of

01:38:17   standard Facebook app and even the website and this

01:38:20   is that for, it might not even be true,

01:38:23   but there's something about it to me

01:38:24   that makes it feel like there is much less content.

01:38:28   and so it's much more shallow.

01:38:30   And maybe that's on purpose,

01:38:31   maybe it's sort of making Facebook less overwhelming

01:38:33   because maybe it is too overwhelming now

01:38:35   because everyone has sort of a thousand friends on it,

01:38:37   even though you're probably not really friends

01:38:38   with a thousand people.

01:38:39   And so maybe they're doing some smart things

01:38:43   and maybe I just haven't played around with it enough

01:38:44   to know that they're serving up really what is the best

01:38:48   of the content that I should see.

01:38:50   But I do get the sense that there's just like

01:38:54   much less content.

01:38:55   And maybe it's because the cards are sort of at the bottom and they're sort of, you

01:38:59   know, you can get basically two and a little bit more into one sort of screen.

01:39:04   And so it takes quite a bit of swiping to get through to what you used to be able to

01:39:09   get through in less sort of swiping up and down when you're swiping through something.

01:39:12   Yeah, I don't think it's not a good interface.

01:39:15   More or less it's probably not a good interface for going through a ton of stuff.

01:39:19   Yeah.

01:39:20   Right?

01:39:21   Because you have to go left, right, and their minimum size is sort of a thumbnail.

01:39:25   So you can't just scroll through a ton of stuff.

01:39:28   It's not, I guess it's, you know, I don't know.

01:39:31   I think that that's, I don't think it's ever going to replace the regular Facebook interface.

01:39:36   I don't think it could, but I think it's an interesting alternative for some people and

01:39:40   maybe so that some people, people who are turned off by the existing regular Facebook

01:39:47   interface and what it promotes in terms of, you know, behavior and how many people you

01:39:54   friend and etc. It's a way for more people to want to use Facebook. I think

01:40:01   I'm probably gonna sign up but I don't think I really do and now it's almost

01:40:04   like I just I don't want to it's like I don't I think it's stupid for me to just

01:40:08   say I want to stick to this you know it I don't it's too arbitrary for me to say

01:40:14   you know what I want I'm not gonna sign up for it just because I want to be able

01:40:16   to always say I never signed up for Facebook right but I think my idea is

01:40:21   is I'll sign up. I still don't want to use Facebook anywhere else. The only way I'll

01:40:26   use Facebook is through paper. I've actually tried. You can't create an account using paper.

01:40:33   So I would have to go to the website. But then after I do that, I'm never going to use

01:40:41   anywhere else.

01:40:42   And will you start offing in with Facebook then? Will you use that aspect of it too?

01:40:47   I imagine that must be a pain for you with so many.

01:40:49   Because I don't know that there's anything I've ever wanted to use that only offers a Facebook off there

01:40:54   Yeah, I feel like that's less of an issue now like a year ago or two years ago. That was an issue

01:40:59   There would be like I remember I was you know, sort of

01:41:01   Looking at or sort of testing out many different apps that would have Facebook only and that was the number one complaint

01:41:08   Of course, right? Yeah, you know I do at least email - that doesn't seem to be an issue anymore. We actually

01:41:13   Did I mean it's it's not really it wasn't

01:41:19   scientific, but for Vesper and for the eventual syncing thing that we're working on, we thought

01:41:25   about should we have our own login system or should we use Twitter or should we use

01:41:29   Facebook or should we do both? And there's, you know, a lot of, it solves a lot of problems

01:41:33   to use an existing identity like that. But what we did is ask like real people, our wives

01:41:41   and friends and people who aren't developers and very, very quickly got a lot of, you know,

01:41:48   came very, very clear that normal people

01:41:50   don't like using that.

01:41:52   And it's because they don't trust that whatever app

01:41:55   they're authoring in is gonna post to their board

01:41:58   or to their Twitter.

01:42:00   And they just don't like it.

01:42:01   And they don't want Facebook or Twitter knowing

01:42:04   what other apps they use.

01:42:05   They just don't, you know, normal people,

01:42:08   not like nerds, not privacy experts,

01:42:12   just normal people have like a sense,

01:42:15   just a common sense like aversion to letting these big companies know everything they do.

01:42:22   Then they don't like it. They really don't. And that they also know intuitively that if

01:42:26   your ID is just your email address that nobody knows, you know, that are...

01:42:32   Right. The email provider doesn't care about that.

01:42:35   Right. That they're not seeing...

01:42:37   Or can't. I mean, they can't even really...

01:42:39   Right. It's just a...

01:42:40   There's no way that they could get access to that.

01:42:41   that your email address isn't really a system,

01:42:43   it's just a unique string,

01:42:45   just by the way that domain names work,

01:42:48   that there's one username at domain that can exist,

01:42:52   and it's just a unique identifier, not a unique identity.

01:42:56   And then it gets down to do it as an option,

01:43:03   and then it's a design question of,

01:43:05   well, how do you make people choose?

01:43:06   But I don't know, and it seems to me the trend,

01:43:09   And I've been looking at it, thinking about it for Vesper

01:43:12   for a while, it seems to me like more services going forward

01:43:16   are only offering things like Facebook and Twitter Auth

01:43:19   as an option, not as your right way.

01:43:22   - Well, and yeah, I guess the obvious upside is one button

01:43:28   and you're done, right, rather than typing in an email.

01:43:31   - Facebook is the first, or Facebook Paper is really

01:43:33   the first time that I've needed a Facebook account

01:43:36   to use a thing, and it's because it's actually,

01:43:38   you know, very specific to paper.

01:43:40   Let me do the third sponsor,

01:43:43   and there's another angle to Facebook paper

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01:43:49   the content sections.

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01:44:07   but it really is a very different visual effect

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01:44:13   It's a piece of glass with the paper printed on it.

01:44:15   It's almost like if you're old enough to remember

01:44:17   when people used to shoot slides.

01:44:19   It's like having a piece of glass

01:44:21   that's a slide of your photo.

01:44:23   And there's a certain vibrancy to it,

01:44:26   and it's also, it's a lot like with the iPhone and stuff

01:44:31   where it's just closer to the surface of the glass,

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01:44:36   They come in all sorts of sizes from very small to very big.

01:44:40   They ship it in these ingenious containers where it's, if you want to hang it on a wall,

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01:44:49   It's like a frame and a desk stand all in one.

01:44:55   Really you have to see it to believe it.

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01:45:00   My wife and I made a bunch of these for people for Christmas in the family.

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01:46:05   it's a great service so here's the other thing with facebook paper it's us only

01:46:09   not just iphone only it's us only and and the reason for that is because of the the content

01:46:14   sections they have where it's not just your regular facebook feed they have sections for

01:46:20   things like tech and sports and like world news I think. Yeah, planet, cities.

01:46:27   And they're not scraping those. It's not just like they're scraping RSS feeds and

01:46:35   showing whatever they want. They've got partnerships with content providers and

01:46:40   I more or less I think that's why it's US only for now because it's like you

01:46:47   You know, you go the—and I know a lot of people have compared Facebook paper to Flipboard,

01:46:52   but I don't really think that they're that direct a competitor.

01:46:55   I think it's because some of the animations are a little similar that people think that.

01:47:00   Yeah, and, I mean, that's sort of what I was getting at the very beginning where it

01:47:04   almost feels like this—this is the part to me that feels sort of like a response to

01:47:09   Twitter.

01:47:10   It's because Twitter is a place you go to get news right now, right?

01:47:12   It's like where a lot of people actually find links for the first time, find links

01:47:16   about news, breaking news happening. And Facebook now with this, with these sections are, as

01:47:22   you said, sort of making partnerships with the actual news organizations to make this

01:47:26   like an actual news reader.

01:47:28   Well I didn't think about that as a response to Twitter, but maybe you're right though

01:47:32   that it kind of is in terms of that you go to this app for news, but that you're not

01:47:36   expecting it to come from your followers.

01:47:41   Your friends.

01:47:42   Right.

01:47:43   Right.

01:47:44   It's about this sort of professional editorial cultivation.

01:47:46   cultivation. That's a good point because it's more along the lines of like Twitter if you only

01:47:51   followed the actual news sources, right, rather than your friends. So you follow the account of

01:47:57   New York Times and Washington Post and whoever else if you use Twitter that way, which some

01:48:02   people do I think use or at least have power users of course have separate sort of Twitter

01:48:07   screens set up with just sort of breaking news alerts on different items. Hmm, yeah. I don't know

01:48:15   You know and I do I that's something where I just don't know whether because I'm not a Facebook user

01:48:20   I don't know how much sense it makes to integrate these two things, you know

01:48:24   It's like I can't I feel like I can't judge it. Yay or nay

01:48:28   What do you think? Yeah, you say you're using it on your phone. Are you using the

01:48:33   So no, I that's that's interesting. I am using it and I as I said I have I have replaced its

01:48:42   I've replaced the Facebook app, the regular app, with paper.

01:48:46   And it's great for all the reasons we just have talked about and elaborated upon.

01:48:51   But I'm not really using the news sections.

01:48:54   I don't know why.

01:48:56   It does feel a little bit foreign to me because I am thinking about this as a Facebook replacement,

01:49:02   even though I know that's not the only mentality you're supposed to be going into this thinking

01:49:07   about and you are supposed to be focused on these different sections where you can read

01:49:11   about news, but I don't know. I just don't use it that way, and I'm never compelled to

01:49:16   sort of open up paper to be able to get to the latest Wall Street Journal story. And

01:49:23   I don't know if that's because I'm a heavy Twitter user and I feel like I will have already

01:49:27   seen it on Twitter. I guess maybe that's what it comes down to, the fact that I use Twitter

01:49:33   must be 10 to 20x more times a day than I use Facebook. And so I'm already getting my

01:49:40   news from Twitter. And so I'm just not in the right sort of mode to go into this paper

01:49:47   app to sort of read about things right now. I don't know. And maybe I'm different. Maybe

01:49:52   I'm one of 1.2 billion people who use Facebook.

01:49:55   You know, it might be an interesting way to just wrap up the show. And as a sort of...

01:50:01   I hadn't really thought about it before, but now you've got me thinking about Twitter versus

01:50:05   Facebook overall. They're not the same thing, but they're clearly rivals. Facebook clearly

01:50:18   has way more people.

01:50:19   It's like 1.2 something billion to about 200 and some million.

01:50:25   And somebody pointed out the other day, and I saw it on Twitter, that Facebook, last quarter,

01:50:32   grew by a, even though they're bigger, grew by a faster percentage than Twitter.

01:50:37   I saw that. I think that was Dustin Curtis who said that.

01:50:40   Yeah.

01:50:41   That's right.

01:50:42   But you can't watch TV without seeing hashtags on the screen, right?

01:50:51   Yes.

01:50:52   And the hashtags are clearly, I mean, you can use them in Instagram, and people do,

01:50:59   but clearly it's about tweets.

01:51:01   Yes, and you know there is no Facebook equivalent to that that that on you know just watching any

01:51:07   Stupid show or sports or the Super Bowl or anything?

01:51:12   There's hashtags on screen commercials have hashtags right and it's all in Twitter and so

01:51:17   Facebook has tried to do this you know they've they've in they've

01:51:21   Integrated hashtags as a feature now. You know sort of copying the notion

01:51:25   It still doesn't seem like it's taken off at all certainly not in the feeds of anyone that I'm friends with or that I follow

01:51:31   on Facebook. And I think that's what we were talking about earlier where Facebook was talking

01:51:38   to celebrities and influencers about using Facebook during the Super Bowl. And it's just,

01:51:43   I don't know. To me, it seems very unnatural. I don't think it's going to be used that way.

01:51:47   Facebook is what it is and Twitter is what it is. And it's especially hard to change something

01:51:53   that 1.2 billion people are already using for a reason. And if that reason is not to talk about

01:51:58   about the Super Bowl or at least not to sort of talk about

01:52:02   in real time with the same sort of speed

01:52:07   that people do on Twitter.

01:52:09   I don't know, I'm not so sure that that's like a great idea

01:52:11   for them to try to squeeze these things into this.

01:52:14   And for me, what this boils down to is both

01:52:17   of these companies are now public companies.

01:52:19   Twitter, of course, just went public a few months ago.

01:52:24   And so what this all boils down to,

01:52:27   especially with regard to television,

01:52:28   is trying to get advertisers on board

01:52:31   and trying to monetize this.

01:52:32   And so you can make the argument that while,

01:52:35   I think, so Twitter had their first earnings

01:52:37   and they beat the earnings estimates,

01:52:40   but their user numbers were sort of

01:52:42   the cause for concern there.

01:52:44   But that sort of also points to the fact

01:52:46   that I think Twitter actually has,

01:52:48   and you can make a case, will be easier to monetize

01:52:51   because it's sort of this zeitgeist

01:52:55   that people use during all of these major events,

01:52:57   like whether it's the Super Bowl,

01:52:59   whether it's now the Olympics,

01:53:01   and there's like a very direct sort of advertising

01:53:06   nut to crack.

01:53:07   I don't think that they have cracked it yet,

01:53:08   but I think that there is a way to do that,

01:53:09   much more so than with Facebook,

01:53:12   even though Facebook has so many more users.

01:53:13   - And I, it's just a strained, strained analogy,

01:53:17   and it's not gonna hold a lot of water,

01:53:18   but it's a little bit like iOS to Android,

01:53:21   where Android has more people,

01:53:23   but iOS is easier to monetize?

01:53:25   You know, that it's, that, you know.

01:53:27   - Yeah, that is, yeah, yep.

01:53:29   I think that that works in some ways.

01:53:30   - You know, and the other thing I see on TV,

01:53:32   I see it on sports.

01:53:33   Well, you know what, news too.

01:53:35   I don't watch, I watch very little TV news,

01:53:37   but I do watch sports.

01:53:39   And they'll, you know, it's ubiquitous almost

01:53:43   that, you know, the commentators,

01:53:45   they'll put their Twitter names up, right?

01:53:48   But I see it when I watch--

01:53:49   - Especially sports.

01:53:50   Sports is like the greatest example of that.

01:53:52   It's all over.

01:53:53   on SportsCenter. Every single person has their Twitter handle. There is no Facebook equivalent

01:53:57   of that.

01:53:58   Right. You know what? I was trying to think about how do I know this about TV news. I

01:54:04   know how I know it. I know because I watch The Daily Show and The Daily Show shows me

01:54:07   the clips I need to see of Fox and CNN and MSNBC. They do it too when they show you the

01:54:13   clips of whatever they're making fun of on The Daily Show and on these news channels.

01:54:19   Everybody gets introduced with their name and then underneath it, @ whatever their Twitter

01:54:24   handle is.

01:54:28   If I work at Twitter, if I'm Dick Costolo, I'm very happy about that.

01:54:33   Oh, yeah.

01:54:34   Of course.

01:54:35   I mean, they are getting free advertising.

01:54:37   But it's not just advertising though.

01:54:43   It's like a way of entering the culture.

01:54:48   culture mindshare.

01:54:49   Right. It's culture mindshare. It's like being Coca-Cola. It's just huge. And that people

01:54:59   know this. You go there and you go on TV and it'll say...

01:55:04   And you see an @ sign and you know what that means.

01:55:07   Right. You go on and it just says @ParisLemon under your name on TV and people know that

01:55:13   if they want to see you on Twitter, they'll go to just search for that name on Twitter.

01:55:18   It's really--

01:55:19   - And that's interesting when you think about it

01:55:22   compared to Facebook where Facebook,

01:55:24   for a long time their strength

01:55:25   was this real names component, right?

01:55:27   Like everyone was going to be their actual selves

01:55:30   on this service.

01:55:31   The problem was like in the beginning,

01:55:34   I don't know if you even notice not being a Facebook user,

01:55:37   but they used to not even have like an actual slash username

01:55:41   set up at all. - No, I did know that.

01:55:44   - It was a string of numbers, like 16 numbers.

01:55:47   - Right. - It was sort of crazy.

01:55:49   Now they have, of course, vanity URLs,

01:55:51   but it's still, that hasn't translated though.

01:55:55   I actually have /ParisLemon on Facebook,

01:55:58   and you can get to me that way,

01:55:59   but what would I put on,

01:56:01   what would someone put on television screen

01:56:03   if you were doing that?

01:56:05   Is it just slash?

01:56:06   Could you do that?

01:56:07   No one would know what that is, right?

01:56:08   - It is kind of, for lack of a better word, gross to me.

01:56:16   somebody who's been a longtime Mac user and always objected to file name

01:56:19   extensions in general, not just three letter ones, but just the whole idea

01:56:22   because like in like we had a more elegant system in the 80s and 90s on the

01:56:28   Mac where you didn't need file extensions period. The name of the file

01:56:31   was just a name with upper and lowercase letters and spaces you could just put a

01:56:35   space in the name, you know like things in the real world and all the other

01:56:40   computer systems you know Unix of course that you know you of course allowed

01:56:44   spaces but you know it's the worst idea in the world because then you have to

01:56:48   like backslash escape them you know at the command line right and to me the you

01:56:54   know using a punctuation character like that and same thing with hashtags like

01:56:57   to me hashtags are gross design wise but I do have to admit as they've gone on to

01:57:05   become part of the culture there's no other way to do it like to me like tags

01:57:11   you know like in tags and Vesper there's no advantage using hashtags in Vesper

01:57:17   because it's not shared it's not public so tags and Vesper are just like old

01:57:21   school Mac filings you just type whatever you want upper and lowercase

01:57:24   with spaces and it's English and it looks nice and it's readable but I

01:57:28   totally understand how on a social network that the hashtag thing is

01:57:32   genius because you can put it on screen and people know what it means and

01:57:38   there's no explanation and doesn't need a look it's just the the bang whatever

01:57:43   and there it is right because you could argue that like in you know in our ever

01:57:49   in increasing capabilities computationally like you should be able

01:57:54   to say enter a status message and it sees say like Olympics and it should be

01:57:59   able to know that the Olympics you're talking about is the same that you know

01:58:03   a million other people are talking about and so there should you know sort of be

01:58:06   way, at least theoretically, to sort of link those together. But how would you

01:58:10   convey that on television? There would be no way, right? And you can, you know, and it

01:58:13   shows up in all other places, you know, billboards and stuff like that, just

01:58:16   hashtag whatever, or usernames, you know. It's really, you know, effectively

01:58:21   it's been genius, you know. And it's funny too that neither of those things

01:58:26   came from Twitter. Right, the users. And Chris Messina, you know, definitely, I

01:58:34   I mean, we know that he more or less invented the hashtag not as a Twitter employee just as a Twitter user

01:58:40   It's this like total company building

01:58:44   Culture changing idea that he just like said hey, I think what if we just use hashtags

01:58:53   Hashines and tag names after the hashtag to group tweets

01:58:59   And the ad thing I think is a little bit murkier in terms of last time I saw anybody try to figure out who started

01:59:05   Doing it but and and you know, there was some well and it has ties to email

01:59:10   Yeah, and and flickr people were doing it on flickr where they were in a comment section, you know

01:59:15   it was a it was a thing where if if there's like

01:59:18   14 comments on a photo and you want to reply to the seventh commenter you type at their username

01:59:26   and then space

01:59:28   Meaning you were directing it at them.

01:59:30   'Cause I remember when the,

01:59:32   there was, when sort of the location services

01:59:34   like Foursquare and Goa and stuff

01:59:35   started gaining popularity, it was like,

01:59:38   it's too bad that the at symbol has already been

01:59:42   sort of taken by using it to direct a message at someone

01:59:45   rather than it being an actual location.

01:59:47   - Right.

01:59:48   - Which would arguably make more sense.

01:59:49   - Yeah, definitely.

01:59:50   Well, and in the email sense, that's what it meant.

01:59:53   It was, if you were John@daringfireball.com,

01:59:58   It's me, you know, means I'm John is me at this server.

02:00:03   You know, it kind of makes, in the Twitter sense,

02:00:08   it doesn't, except when you think about the fact

02:00:11   that the reply is supposed to be at them, right?

02:00:14   There's like a, I guess semantically,

02:00:17   the at is different than the username.

02:00:19   The at is saying this is at this person.

02:00:22   Gruber is really my Twitter handle,

02:00:25   But it's just visually, it's just become, you know,

02:00:29   at Gruber is now my Twitter handle.

02:00:33   And it's a funny way to kind of take use of

02:00:35   these characters that are on everybody's keyboard

02:00:39   that were kind of underused.

02:00:42   At was really, I mean, the only way I ever saw anything

02:00:45   used, the at symbol in my entire life before email

02:00:49   was like at a grocery store where they would say like,

02:00:52   two at one dollar or something like that

02:00:55   instead of a slash.

02:00:56   - Just because it's shorter, yeah.

02:00:57   - Right.

02:00:58   It was almost like, why in the world do we have that one,

02:01:04   especially on our keyboard?

02:01:05   How in the world did that become a standard thing

02:01:07   on everybody's keyboard?

02:01:08   But then email made great use of it,

02:01:10   and then in this username scenario, it's become great.

02:01:15   And then number sign, I guess that everybody uses it

02:01:17   for number one, number two.

02:01:18   But it somehow works.

02:01:25   and it's a thing. It looks geeky, but obviously if you just go and like surf hashtags on Twitter

02:01:30   and Instagram, I mean millions of people use them, normal people. And so another one is

02:01:34   like ampersand. Do people use, like does anyone use that often? Certainly in writing, but like

02:01:41   do you ever see that being used, you know, like in sort of in emails that you send or receive?

02:01:46   Are people still using it as a shorthand for, you know, for and?

02:01:52   There's a very few.

02:01:54   It's a pet peeve of mine.

02:01:56   And so every once in a while, like for example, you know, I don't have any co-writers at Daring

02:02:02   Fireball, but when a sponsored, my weekly sponsorships come in, every once in a while,

02:02:07   whoever wrote the sponsored thing will use ampersands instead of ands, and I just change

02:02:11   them to ands.

02:02:12   it's it's so it's not it's not rare but it's uncommon it's a little unusual I

02:02:20   don't know if it's that could be it that could be one that gets it gets taken

02:02:24   yeah I think it's there I think it's totally ripe to be taken yeah yeah what's

02:02:30   a percentage sign dollar sign now everybody knows what they mean and

02:02:33   they're kind of right you know I guess the carrot the up sort of you know yeah

02:02:38   the carrot is maybe the only other one that you could use but the tilde and the

02:02:42   the back tick

02:02:44   You know, which is probably like the least used key on anybody's keyboard, but they're too they're too small

02:02:50   You can't they're not visually discernible like the other advantages of the at sign and the pound sign or hash

02:02:56   Whatever you want to call that thing

02:02:58   Is that they're so visually distinctive

02:03:01   Yes, they stand out there the full height, you know, and they're very very visually

02:03:10   distinctive ampersand has that going for it.

02:03:13   - Karen, people of course have used,

02:03:17   most notably I guess StockTwits is the one

02:03:19   to use the money sign.

02:03:20   - Oh, right.

02:03:21   - To say that you're talking about a stock when you do it.

02:03:23   And I think that works.

02:03:24   That's pretty effective. - Yeah, that's actually,

02:03:25   I forgot about that, but that does work, right?

02:03:27   Because in the other, it doesn't collide

02:03:30   with the other sense because--

02:03:32   - There's no numbers, right? - Right, yeah.

02:03:34   Like dollar sign followed by letters

02:03:36   never had meaning before.

02:03:38   - Yes.

02:03:39   No, it actually is a good use.

02:03:41   That's another one, that's a good counter example.

02:03:45   I thought about the other day, actually,

02:03:46   I was thinking about this with the hash symbol,

02:03:49   whether if I were inventing Markdown today,

02:03:54   whether I would still use that,

02:03:56   it's a way to indicate headings.

02:03:59   - Right, right. - And I don't think

02:04:01   it collides because there's a space after it,

02:04:04   and I don't think that, you know,

02:04:06   I think I guess I would, 'cause I couldn't think

02:04:08   of another character that I would use.

02:04:09   But hashtags didn't even exist when I invented Markdown.

02:04:14   And nobody's ever written to me to complain about that,

02:04:16   so I'm guessing that it isn't a problem.

02:04:18   - Why did you, how come, why not use something

02:04:23   like the @ symbol for like a link or something like that?

02:04:27   Why do it the way that it's done right now?

02:04:29   - 'Cause I wanted it to be as visually

02:04:31   non-distracting as possible.

02:04:35   - Okay.

02:04:35   So that's why it's like square brackets.

02:04:41   Right.

02:04:41   Sounds like a show.

02:04:49   Yeah.

02:04:49   All right.

02:04:51   MG Siegeler, thank you very much for your time.

02:04:55   Of course.

02:04:55   And--

02:04:56   As always.

02:04:57   --people can catch you @ParisLemon.

02:05:01   Hash-- no hashtags.

02:05:02   Hashtags.

02:05:02   I don't have my own hashtag.

02:05:04   But you do have a username.

02:05:05   and parislemon.com.

02:05:08   - Yes.

02:05:10   - All right, I'll talk to you soon.