The Talk Show

35: Bozos and BlackBerrys


00:00:00   What a week.

00:00:01   Yeah, it's been a really crazy one for a number of reasons.

00:00:06   So, it's like just before we came on the air here, there's an announcement from the mailbox

00:00:11   guys.

00:00:12   So, this is like breaking news.

00:00:13   I mean, I never know how to handle that on the show because it's a weekly show.

00:00:17   But the mailbox guys are joining Dropbox.

00:00:20   Yes.

00:00:21   So, of course, I should mention I was an investor in mailbox.

00:00:27   And I know you and I both tested it before it came out.

00:00:31   And I know you and I had differing opinions on that.

00:00:35   You wrote about some of yours a few weeks ago, I guess, talking about how it didn't

00:00:42   really work into your workflow.

00:00:43   Mainly, I think, you made a lot of good points, I think, but mainly because you don't use

00:00:48   Gmail primarily.

00:00:49   Right.

00:00:50   Well, more or less.

00:00:51   I used Gmail in a weird way, and it didn't fit with Mailbot.

00:00:54   I think it was one of the neatest emails.

00:00:57   My compliments were sincere.

00:00:58   I think it's a great app.

00:01:00   But it implies a certain way of doing email

00:01:03   that didn't fit with the way I use all my other clients.

00:01:06   - Yeah, I think that was a big part,

00:01:08   and will remain a big part of mailbox,

00:01:10   'cause of course they're not shutting it down.

00:01:11   This is going to remain a product under the Dropbox brand.

00:01:15   But a big part of it was kinda letting go

00:01:19   of the way that you did previously do email,

00:01:21   and I think that's why the people

00:01:23   who had a hard time getting into it,

00:01:25   I talked to a number of them, of course.

00:01:27   And once some of those people were able to just totally

00:01:32   let go of the previous ways that they were doing email

00:01:36   and almost archive everything and then just wait

00:01:39   for new stuff to come in and then keep archiving it

00:01:41   or keep pushing it, then they sort of got into it.

00:01:44   And I sort of, I got into it immediately

00:01:48   because I had actually done that by myself

00:01:51   before mailbox even existed.

00:01:52   I just decided email was getting way out of control.

00:01:56   I just had to archive everything,

00:01:58   and then I was starting kind of fresh,

00:02:00   and then I would, when mailbox didn't exist,

00:02:03   I would almost, at the end of every week and on the weekend,

00:02:05   go through all my email that came in

00:02:07   and just go through it as quickly as possible,

00:02:10   and then archive anything I didn't need

00:02:12   and then respond to anything I needed to.

00:02:14   This just allowed me to do it

00:02:15   in a much more simple way on the iPhone itself.

00:02:18   - No, I think it's a really interesting way

00:02:19   to do email on a small screen device.

00:02:22   And the other thing, though, one of the reasons

00:02:24   I think it works so well,

00:02:26   and what they're almost infamous for,

00:02:28   is that to use the app, you've gotta sign up

00:02:31   and you've gotta wait for your turn,

00:02:32   and people crack a lot of jokes about how long

00:02:34   it's taking for people to get let in.

00:02:37   But it's not like just an arbitrary,

00:02:39   we're trying to be exclusive to be cool,

00:02:42   it's because there's a server-side component.

00:02:44   And this is part of what makes it work so well,

00:02:47   is you give your Gmail credentials to Mailbox

00:02:51   and they check your mail from them.

00:02:54   - Right.

00:02:55   - And the app interfaces with them,

00:02:57   and so it makes it way more efficient.

00:02:59   - Yeah, and I think they really did nail that.

00:03:02   They were really worried about rolling it out too quickly

00:03:06   that this would crash and bring down the whole thing.

00:03:08   So I think it really was out of necessity

00:03:10   that they did the system that they made.

00:03:12   And I think it's a pretty ingenious system.

00:03:14   I know a lot of people were upset

00:03:15   just because the wait has been so long.

00:03:18   They still haven't let in everyone even now.

00:03:21   But yeah, it was totally out of necessity.

00:03:22   And they worked a lot on the back end of that system

00:03:24   to make it all work as seamlessly as it does.

00:03:27   And it really does.

00:03:28   I mean, I now use it too on my iPad.

00:03:30   I use it on both iPads, the big one and the mini,

00:03:32   even though it's of course not tailored

00:03:34   specifically for those.

00:03:35   But it's great how it just is constantly in sync

00:03:38   between all of them.

00:03:40   And it's great that you can also use it with regular Gmail

00:03:43   when you're on your desktop because they do a smart things

00:03:46   with folders within Gmail.

00:03:48   So they have Mailbox slash Later slash Weekend and all the different labeling systems.

00:03:55   So it was a really smart way that they went about doing it.

00:03:58   Obviously I was a huge fan of the product and I will remain a huge fan.

00:04:02   I think that the Dropbox deal is very smart from Dropbox's perspective.

00:04:07   You think about what Dropbox is, they're now moving more towards, it looks like, becoming

00:04:12   sort of a cloud-based OS in their own right.

00:04:16   Yeah, and the Dropbox, there's a couple of things I want to talk about. It's a totally

00:04:22   funny coincidence that you're the guest on the show this week and that you're, you know

00:04:25   the mailbox guys, you're an investor. Because this literally broke like an hour ago.

00:04:33   But what, you know, clearly one of the things the Dropbox has got, I mean everybody knows

00:04:37   this, they could obviously bring them expertise with scaling to large amounts of information,

00:04:43   Large amounts of concurrency, huge number of users, and a terrific, almost maybe unparalleled

00:04:50   reputation for reliability.

00:04:52   Yeah.

00:04:53   And so I think Dropbox, they have over 100 million users, something like that, God knows

00:04:57   how many files they're actually working with.

00:05:00   But I think the mailbox guys, I think they realized that they had a huge hit on their

00:05:05   hands, but I think also they knew that in order for this to keep working as well as

00:05:11   it has been working. They need to really get to scale pretty quickly as a number of other

00:05:17   people I assume will be coming after them. Who knows what Google is doing itself with

00:05:22   Gmail. This gets them right to where they need to be. In Dropbox now, all of a sudden,

00:05:30   how do a lot of people still send attachments? It's over email. They have this perfect system

00:05:37   to do that now.

00:05:38   So, let me press you a little bit though as an investor.

00:05:41   Isn't this a little early for somebody to sell?

00:05:45   It is pretty quick.

00:05:46   We've had this happen a number of times now.

00:05:49   The last good example is Vine, the quick video sharing service that Twitter acquired actually

00:05:55   before they launched.

00:06:00   That's going to be a record that might be hard to play.

00:06:04   The good news is that I think Crunchfund, the fund where I'm a general partner at,

00:06:11   is doing a good job of picking some services that are pretty compelling and end up being

00:06:16   good things.

00:06:18   The downside is it is a little bit bittersweet to see these things just be taken under someone

00:06:24   else's wing so quickly after they launched, or like Vine before they launched.

00:06:30   Because you always want to see a startup try to do it by themselves, see what scale they

00:06:36   can get to, see if they can become the next giant company on their own.

00:06:41   And I think that's why every investor makes their initial investment to begin with.

00:06:47   Of course, there are great outcomes, and that's the way that it works, but I think that you

00:06:52   don't make an initial investment hoping that someone's going to sell the company within

00:06:55   six months because you would be an awful overall investor if you did that.

00:07:00   Well, and while you say it's bittersweet, there's a big difference between both of

00:07:04   those acquisitions and a lot of the acquisitions that I've had my eye on in

00:07:09   the last, I don't know, couple of years, which is it's not the they're both, you

00:07:15   know, Vine was acquired and so they could launch Vine and do Vine and Vine is what

00:07:20   Vine was meant to be and Mailbox, like we said, is continuing a Dropbox bought it

00:07:25   so they can continue doing it. This isn't those one of those talent acquisitions

00:07:29   where the bigger company takes the product in,

00:07:32   but all they really wanted was the team,

00:07:35   and the product immediately goes into shutdown mode.

00:07:38   I mean, a perfect parallel, 'cause it's also,

00:07:42   was a popular iOS Mac email client was Sparrow.

00:07:45   - Of course, right, and right, that's sort of,

00:07:49   I don't want to say that's sort of the nightmare scenario

00:07:51   that you kind of dread, but I think that by all accounts,

00:07:55   that's not been the greatest exit,

00:07:59   And I don't know from an insider perspective

00:08:01   if I'm not an investor in that or anything.

00:08:04   I just think that that was a pure acqui-hire.

00:08:08   The product is still working, but they said immediately

00:08:10   right after that they were basically

00:08:12   gonna stop developing for it,

00:08:13   or that they were gonna open source some of it,

00:08:15   I think they said.

00:08:16   Yeah, but it's all just faded away.

00:08:18   I mean, who talks about Sparrow anymore?

00:08:19   Right, and so yes, you're right.

00:08:21   That is like the worst case scenario

00:08:23   where that happens quite often.

00:08:26   And it's great that both Vine and now Mailbox

00:08:28   going to live on.

00:08:31   I think we're already seeing now in Vine's case,

00:08:33   there were some numbers earlier this week,

00:08:35   that they're getting to a scale that's really impressive pretty

00:08:39   quickly.

00:08:39   And that's something that Twitter enables.

00:08:41   Who knows if they would have been

00:08:42   able to do that on their own.

00:08:43   You'd like to think that they could

00:08:45   have done that on their own.

00:08:46   But I think that there's no question that Twitter gets them

00:08:49   to a place that they want to be faster than they could possibly

00:08:53   do it if they remained independent.

00:08:57   I would also—and again, I'm not trying to put you on the spot and have you reveal

00:09:02   things that they're not ready to reveal.

00:09:04   But in addition to scaling, Dropbox is doing really well financially.

00:09:07   Might help the mailbox team expand a little bit so that they can get to—I mean, I think

00:09:14   what's obviously would be coming next would be an iPad-native client and maybe even a

00:09:19   Mac client.

00:09:20   Sure.

00:09:21   Yeah, I mean, I think that everyone has been clamoring for those since they started using

00:09:25   the iPhone version itself.

00:09:27   I know you said that if they had a Mac client, you might even, that would make it sort of

00:09:30   interesting to you because then you could use it more seamlessly with your workflow.

00:09:34   Right, because it seems that's the gist of my, not even a complaint, just observation

00:09:39   with the workflow.

00:09:40   Because I know a lot of people when they're on their Mac, when they do email, they're

00:09:43   in a browser on gmail.com.

00:09:46   And if that's how you do email, I think mailbox on your iPhone is, I'm not going to say a

00:09:52   no-brainer, but it's really something you should look at.

00:09:55   But I don't.

00:09:56   I really don't like the Gmail interface.

00:09:59   And so I use Gmail-backed email addresses,

00:10:02   but primarily just as IMAP with really good spam filtering.

00:10:06   Yeah, yeah, I got that.

00:10:08   And I do use Gmail on the web, though.

00:10:12   I actually only use it basically for search

00:10:15   and to kind of look at things quickly as they're coming in throughout the day.

00:10:17   When I respond to email before Mailbox,

00:10:20   it used to be I would just use the iPad with the Logitech keyboard,

00:10:23   because it's so much faster than trying to use the web-based Gmail.

00:10:27   Yeah, so I don't know, you know, but if I could use mailbox everywhere, it would make a big difference.

00:10:34   That's really the bottom of my complaint. But anyway, I'm excited about this. This does seem like, it seems like good news overall.

00:10:40   Yeah, I think it's two great companies that will only help mailbox kind of get to the point where they need to be with all those different clients, like you said.

00:10:49   you said.

00:10:50   Right.

00:10:51   And Dropbox seems, you know, I mean you never know, but Dropbox really does seem from the

00:10:54   outside to almost like Twitter, they're determined to stay independent.

00:11:02   Like you never say never, but it doesn't seem like Dropbox is interested in selling.

00:11:07   Right.

00:11:08   We had the, of course, there were the rumors or talk a long time ago about the meeting

00:11:12   with Steve Jobs between them, you know, sort of trying to bully them into selling or whatnot.

00:11:18   And yeah, I mean, they've raised a huge amount of money, and I think that they're

00:11:25   making a huge amount of money.

00:11:26   I don't know.

00:11:27   I'm not privy to their actual finances.

00:11:29   But yeah, I think that they'll be fine staying independent, and I think that that's their

00:11:34   plan.

00:11:35   So that's great.

00:11:36   Mad Fientist Lots of other news this week.

00:11:39   But we have a couple of sponsors this week, so let me do one right now.

00:11:43   And let me tell you about Things and Things Cloud Sync.

00:11:47   Everybody knows things. Things has been a popular Mac and iOS to-do system for a couple of years.

00:11:57   But the big new thing that they've launched fairly recently is Things Cloud Sync.

00:12:01   And it was in the works for a while, almost was notorious for, you know, "Hey, when are you guys going to get sync?"

00:12:07   But it's out now, and it really does work great.

00:12:11   And so if you use things on your Mac and on your iPhone,

00:12:15   you log in with things Cloud Sync and it all just works.

00:12:20   Now, part of the thing that makes it great that they develop their own system rather than waiting for,

00:12:24   say, Apple, is all of the problems a lot of people are having with iCloud Sync and Core Data,

00:12:32   you know, almost notorious we could almost do a whole show on that.

00:12:35   They're not using that.

00:12:36   And I think it shows because their sync works instantly.

00:12:40   And they also have a really cool feature, and this would never happen through iCloud,

00:12:47   but one of the things they have with Things Cloud is what they call local push.

00:12:52   And when one device sends an update to the cloud, it also broadcasts an encrypted notification

00:12:57   over the local network telling other clients that are logged in at the same time on the

00:13:02   same account, like let's say on your home Wi-Fi network, that they should check for

00:13:07   updates now.

00:13:08   And so when you try this out, and I did it, it's almost bizarre.

00:13:12   It's like you type something on your Mac and you have your iPhone open, and it's almost

00:13:17   like you're typing on your iPhone from your Mac.

00:13:19   Like you hit return and there it shows up.

00:13:22   Really, really great.

00:13:25   Other notable features they've got, they've got integration with Siri so you can speak

00:13:29   your to-dos directly into things.

00:13:32   They have a new daily review feature that streamlines your daily decision making, sort

00:13:36   sort of take a look at your whole pile of to-dos, what am I going to do today?

00:13:41   And they have a new custom designed scrolling date picker.

00:13:44   It's really, really nice UI.

00:13:47   I think they really have sort of built something better than the OS standard for picking dates

00:13:52   to assign dates to your to-dos.

00:13:55   So check out things too.

00:13:58   Give it a spin, but you've really got to think about the Cloud Sync to understand just how

00:14:02   great the system that they have right now is.

00:14:05   Check them out at culturedcode.com, C-U-L-T-U-R-E-D-C-O-D-E dot com.

00:14:14   And my thanks to them for sponsoring the show this week.

00:14:16   It's interesting that Things was one of your sponsors.

00:14:21   Going back to Mailbox for a second, their original product was Orchestra, which was

00:14:25   also a to-do list.

00:14:27   Yeah, it just never really…

00:14:30   I think it was pretty interesting.

00:14:31   were doing before Siri existed, they were doing some of the voice techniques to kind

00:14:36   of, you know, just be able to hit a button and speak your to-do list. Yeah, just never

00:14:40   really took off in the same way that some of those other to-do lists have.

00:14:44   Yeah, I sort of feel like they… and the orchestra thing was sort of, "Hey, everybody's

00:14:50   using their inbox as a to-do list. Is there a way that we can go with that?" And they

00:14:54   tried something. And I remember looking at it and thinking, "Interesting," but didn't

00:14:59   click. Right, but it's going to end up being, you know, it already is, one of those

00:15:05   fascinating stories where what they were doing early on, while it didn't

00:15:09   quite click, really did lead to the idea of what Mailbox was, because when you

00:15:13   look at the Mailbox app, it basically is, I think that they realized the

00:15:18   notion of your email inbox is a to-do list that someone else makes for you, so

00:15:23   why don't we just kind of take that to the next, you know, logical step and make

00:15:27   it an actual sort of to-do list, push stuff off to do later, to bring it back, that kind

00:15:31   of stuff.

00:15:32   Yeah.

00:15:33   And it's an interesting way of not staying too attached to your first idea and letting

00:15:38   it take you to a next new idea.

00:15:42   Yep.

00:15:43   Don't stay too attached.

00:15:45   Yep.

00:15:47   So, what else?

00:15:49   What do you want to do next?

00:15:50   How about the Schiller interviews?

00:15:51   Sure.

00:15:52   So, on the eve, I guess it was actually two days before, but it's so that the articles

00:15:59   would hit the day before the Galaxy S4 launch. Phil Schiller did two interviews, one with

00:16:06   the Wall Street Journal, one with Reuters.

00:16:09   Are we sure there were only two also? Because I know both you and I didn't see that Reuters

00:16:12   one to begin with, I think.

00:16:14   No, neither. No, and I think it hit later, which is weird. Maybe it was conducted later,

00:16:20   too.

00:16:20   And why Reuters?

00:16:21   When does Apple talk to Reuters?

00:16:22   Like what's going on there?

00:16:24   I don't know.

00:16:25   It's all a little new.

00:16:29   I don't know.

00:16:31   Curious?

00:16:32   Yeah.

00:16:33   I don't think either really went well.

00:16:35   Or at least it didn't play out, I think, the way that Apple wanted to.

00:16:39   Although I do think, and I think you're a little bit more – this was a mistake than

00:16:45   I am.

00:16:46   Right.

00:16:47   But I don't want to put words in your mouth.

00:16:48   But I'll just say the headlines.

00:16:49   headline in the Wall Street Journal was, "In rare move, Apple goes on the defensive against

00:16:55   Samsung."

00:16:56   Right. That's clearly not what Apple was going for by speaking. If anything, they would want

00:17:02   the opposite, right? Apple goes on the offensive.

00:17:04   Exactly. Well, and that's what Reuters headline was. Reuters headline is, "Apple's Shiller

00:17:10   blasts Android, Samsung on Galaxy's Eve." So at least that's, I think, the headline

00:17:16   that Apple was going for.

00:17:18   Yeah. I assume with the Reuters thing, the only sense I can make of it is that they knew

00:17:26   that this was going to be a huge press event. I think one of the first ones that Samsung

00:17:31   has done in the United States for these types of things. And so with Reuters, they wanted

00:17:36   to get the biggest, widest mainstream media reach as possible, and same with Wall Street

00:17:42   Journal and also a little bit more from the business perspective, I imagine.

00:17:49   But it's still, I don't know. I do think it was a mistake for them to do that just because,

00:17:55   in hindsight, of course, the Wall Street Journal headline is bad for them. But I also just

00:17:59   think, I don't know, I don't think that they needed to do it. What's the benefit of doing

00:18:03   it versus not saying anything? What ended up happening is that Samsung sort of, I think,

00:18:12   everyone would agree, shot themselves in the foot

00:18:14   with that kind of weird presentation.

00:18:17   So if Apple had said nothing,

00:18:18   it would be the same outcome, I think.

00:18:21   I just don't see what the major benefit was

00:18:24   of Schiller trying to talk to these guys.

00:18:26   - I called it an unforced error

00:18:28   because Schiller had one technical error

00:18:31   in his Reuters interview where he, based on rumors,

00:18:33   said that the Galaxy was gonna launch

00:18:36   with a year-old operating system,

00:18:37   which I think meant Android 4.1,

00:18:41   It's shipped in July.

00:18:43   But it doesn't.

00:18:44   It's actually on the latest,

00:18:45   it's the first Android phone I can ever remember

00:18:47   that's other than a Nexus that's shipped

00:18:50   with the currently latest version of Android,

00:18:53   which is 4.2, which is from November.

00:18:56   - Yeah, I assume that everyone thought

00:18:58   that wouldn't be possible given they have to redesign

00:19:02   or whatever touchwiz their awful interface on top of it.

00:19:07   - I don't think they call it that anymore.

00:19:08   Or at least they didn't mention it.

00:19:09   I watched the whole presentation,

00:19:11   And I don't remember that the word TouchWiz even showed up.

00:19:13   I think that they're just calling it Galaxy.

00:19:17   - Well, that's smart.

00:19:18   That's what they should do.

00:19:19   If they want to break away, it seems like all indications are they are sort of creating

00:19:24   their own brand around these Galaxy phones, not mentioning Android as little as possible.

00:19:30   And TouchWiz was just an awful name.

00:19:33   So it's good to do Galaxy, I think.

00:19:37   But yeah, I'm kind of coming around to you.

00:19:39   And I thought that was the only error that Schiller made,

00:19:41   is Schiller said that, and now you can pick on something

00:19:44   that he said and say, "Look, that's not even true."

00:19:46   And it was risky, I think,

00:19:47   'cause he obviously didn't know.

00:19:49   I thought maybe he had some intel on it and knew

00:19:54   and attributed it to rumors that,

00:19:56   "Hey, it's gonna have a year-old operating system."

00:19:58   But that the only way he would have said it publicly

00:20:00   is if he somehow knew, like, a source at a carrier

00:20:03   or something like that. - Right.

00:20:05   But it ends up that's not even true.

00:20:07   - But why do you think that he did it?

00:20:09   Why do you think that he's going for,

00:20:12   what's he going for by saying anything?

00:20:14   It just doesn't seem like the Apple we all know.

00:20:18   - Well, usually what they do is if they want

00:20:22   to take a little air out of,

00:20:24   and it's certainly not unique to Apple,

00:20:27   but everybody kind of plays this game,

00:20:28   that if one of your opponent's competitors, let's say,

00:20:32   is on the cusp of a big announcement,

00:20:34   do something right before it to take a little air out to distract a little bit from it.

00:20:40   So Apple would usually do is, I can't off the top of my head and think of it, but announce

00:20:46   some sort of minor update, you know, like 10.83, but something for the iPhone.

00:20:53   I don't know, a minor update to something.

00:20:55   Speed bumps to the MacBook Airs, I don't know.

00:20:58   Have something to announce the day of or the day before just to take some of the top spots

00:21:04   at Techmeme and the equivalent. But not say anything, just announce a product and let

00:21:10   you think, "Well, maybe it's a coincidence, could be." And I don't know, maybe it's that

00:21:16   they had nothing to release and still wanted to somehow insert themselves into the news

00:21:23   this week?

00:21:24   Yeah, that strikes me as the right thought, if there is anything, if there is any strategic

00:21:32   thinking here, it probably is the fact that they do usually do some sort of incremental

00:21:37   update stuff right before, and they may just not have anything because we're in this very

00:21:43   extended weird lull of no real product updates because they did so many at the end of last

00:21:49   year.

00:21:50   And the other thing, and it's loose, I can't make a completely logical cohesive argument

00:21:57   for it. But I think it's loosely related to the stuff that I've been writing about lately about

00:22:02   just the plain bullshit that a lot of the business press has been writing. You know, like this,

00:22:09   the Reuters interview in the second paragraph where I wrote a whole piece last night about

00:22:13   this, this paragraph, which is the second paragraph in the story, which is pretty

00:22:19   important. The marketing chief's rare attack on arrival on the eve of the Galaxy S4's global

00:22:25   premiere in New York underscores the extent of the pressure piled upon a company that

00:22:29   once stood the undisputed leader of the smart phone arena, comma, so far so good, right?

00:22:37   There is more pressure on Apple because they're no longer undisputed. And then the rest of

00:22:42   the clause, the rest of the sentences, "But ceded its crown to Samsung in 2012." And that's

00:22:47   just, again, this is a news, this is what, you know, it boggles my mind because, I mean,

00:22:53   Honestly, I could maybe just skip the whole article I wrote and just point out that Apple had 70% of the profit in the industry

00:22:59   last year and Samsung, you know had

00:23:01   32 of it, you know, so they're both doing really well

00:23:05   It's an amazing statistic that two companies have

00:23:08   The entirety of the profits of the industry and that all the other companies combined are losing money

00:23:14   We make Samsung and Apple share out up to over a hundred. That's pretty amazing. I think that

00:23:19   it's sort of

00:23:22   - If I had to guess why these stories keep happening,

00:23:25   I think you're exactly right,

00:23:27   and I said this in a much more subtle way,

00:23:29   I even tweeted about it a few months ago,

00:23:30   where it's just that the tech press is more or less bored

00:23:33   because they've written the same thing

00:23:34   that Apple is winning Apple,

00:23:36   like oh my god, how much money is Apple making,

00:23:38   all that over and over again.

00:23:40   And so the only reason,

00:23:41   it's almost like blogging journalism 101,

00:23:44   you build something up to knock it down later.

00:23:47   And there's no way to really knock Apple down

00:23:49   other than to say the market share thing, right?

00:23:52   I mean, there's, and it's like,

00:23:54   it is sort of a silly metric when you think about it

00:23:56   as compared to the profit thing,

00:23:58   because what matters at the end of the day

00:24:00   in how healthy a company is, is not the market share,

00:24:03   even though it seems like it should be correlated

00:24:05   to the actual profit and to the revenue.

00:24:10   It's actually not, and so it doesn't make a lot of sense.

00:24:13   And so some of these guys may be thinking

00:24:16   still along the lines of the Wintel days

00:24:19   And so eventually Samsung with this huge market share

00:24:23   will just turn a few screws

00:24:25   and really kind of drive Apple into the ground

00:24:27   and then the profit will just evaporate overnight

00:24:30   because of that.

00:24:32   And I think that's ridiculous.

00:24:34   The only way you could argue that that wasn't ridiculous

00:24:38   is if somehow the carrier subsidy model

00:24:41   changes in the United States,

00:24:43   or if worldwide that market becomes so much more important

00:24:48   and if Apple doesn't do anything

00:24:49   kind of come out to more strongly meet some of the Android competition in places like

00:24:55   India and China. I think that that's the only way you could make the argument that the market

00:25:00   share stuff does matter, but it doesn't seem like any of that stuff is changing.

00:25:04   No, and one of the points I've made in the past is that you can cheat to gain market

00:25:09   share. And maybe cheating isn't quite the right word, but what you can do is take unsustainable

00:25:17   like charge for a thing below costs, you know, and eventually though you've got to

00:25:24   figure out a way to make money on it, you know, famously like in the console

00:25:30   business of video games, like everybody knew that like when the new Xbox 360

00:25:35   came out, it, Microsoft was losing money on each unit sold, right, and it was a way

00:25:42   of gaining market share. But there's really no way to cheat to gain profits. So somebody

00:25:50   could sell phones at cost and gain market share, but they can't sell-- there's no way

00:25:55   to cheat and gain profit share. Profit share is a more accurate measure, especially over

00:26:00   a long period of time. So I just sent you a link. It's from Benedict Evans.

00:26:07   Twitter DM is just so great. Let me just say how wonderfully fast it is.

00:26:12   It's a chart from Benedict Evans, or a couple of charts, but it's the bottom one that to me

00:26:17   is more interesting, where he compares unit sold, revenue, and operating profits of three entities,

00:26:26   Apple, Samsung, and all others. And this is the global handset market share.

00:26:33   And I'll put it in the show links, because I think that this chart says a lot.

00:26:37   And what you see is, in terms of units, other has like 60%, right?

00:26:45   Apple has only 10%, real small, and Samsung has, you know, somewhere around, I don't know,

00:26:51   20 to 30%.

00:26:52   Then in revenue, other only has about 30, and Samsung has about 30, and Apple has about

00:27:00   40.

00:27:01   close to a sort of three-way tie in revenue.

00:27:05   But then you look at profits, and it's the complete inverse

00:27:08   of the first one.

00:27:09   It's really kind of symmetric, where other has almost nothing.

00:27:14   Samsung has about 30, and Apple has like 70.

00:27:23   And I feel like-- so one of the things there is I feel like lazy thinkers who

00:27:27   really do think that market share equates to profit share and revenue share. They understand

00:27:33   Samsung because Samsung is right around 30 each way. They sell about 30% of the phones,

00:27:39   make about 30% of the revenue, and make about 30% of the profit in the industry. And that

00:27:43   and everybody thinks, well, that's a normal business. And then there's Apple, who's all

00:27:48   over the, you know, who it's the complete inverse, they only sell 10% of the phones,

00:27:53   but they get about 30, 40% of the revenue,

00:27:55   but they make 70% of the profit.

00:27:58   And it just doesn't register in people's minds as possible.

00:28:02   And so they think it's unsustainable and then, you know.

00:28:05   - You know, the other side of this

00:28:07   that people have been railing on for a few years now

00:28:09   is that when someone else dominates the market share,

00:28:14   and in this case now, Samsung and Android overall,

00:28:19   that developers will just flock to them

00:28:21   And that's not sustainable for Apple because people will just go for the huge quantity

00:28:28   of numbers.

00:28:29   Developers will go for where the market is.

00:28:32   And the problem there, as you know as well as I do, is that while yes, there is some

00:28:37   legitimacy to that argument you're already seeing, you see more developers go more quickly

00:28:42   to Android, they're still doing primarily iOS first, mailbox being a great example of

00:28:47   that, because if you do want to do something that's an actual business and you're making

00:28:51   money off of it, whether, not necessarily a venture-backed

00:28:55   business even, but if you're trying to do just a small shop

00:28:58   and you're making your own apps that you intend to sell,

00:29:01   it's still so much better to do that within the iOS ecosystem

00:29:05   than it is within Android.

00:29:06   And so that plays against the market share argument as well.

00:29:11   Totally.

00:29:12   And another, I feel like there's so many facets here,

00:29:16   but it's not that hard to understand it.

00:29:18   Another one is the idea if you value market share above all else, then you're assuming

00:29:24   that one user is as good as another or almost, that they're roughly equivalent.

00:29:29   And they're not. It's really, especially in the phone market, it really is not true. And that's

00:29:35   why, and I again, I wrote this on a branch a while back, but people don't want to say it because by

00:29:43   saying that somebody is a better customer than another, right? They feel like they're coming

00:29:47   dangerously close to saying they're a better person than another and that's not what I mean at all like a

00:29:52   person an individual who just goes into a

00:29:55   Verizon store and says just I want a new I want a new phone and gets talked into an Android, you know a droid whatever

00:30:02   And just uses it to make phone calls and answer texts which which by the way

00:30:08   Let me interrupt you because this is exactly the story of my father when I went to go visit him over

00:30:14   Thanksgiving holidays there in Florida, my parents.

00:30:17   Right.

00:30:18   He pulls out this phone, and I'm like, oh, you finally

00:30:21   got a new phone.

00:30:22   He had a flip phone or whatever for all these years.

00:30:24   He has this Android phone.

00:30:25   I forget what it was.

00:30:26   I tweeted about it because it was the funniest thing.

00:30:28   He just says, like, I hate this fucking piece of shit.

00:30:31   Because he just says--

00:30:32   all he's like, all I want to do is make a phone call on this.

00:30:35   So they gave me this phone.

00:30:37   I picked this phone because it was the free one that Verizon

00:30:39   was pushing at me.

00:30:41   And he happened to know, of course, because he follows me.

00:30:44   I knew that an iPhone was on the verge of being launched,

00:30:47   so he got it in September or something like that.

00:30:51   So I knew a new iPhone, so I didn't wanna get that one,

00:30:53   even though I probably happily would've gotten that.

00:30:55   I know what a big fan you are of it.

00:30:57   But this was just the free one,

00:30:58   and so I said, "Yeah, sure, why not?"

00:30:59   And so they give this to me, and he's like,

00:31:01   "God, it's got all this crap on it.

00:31:02   "I don't know, there's stuff that's preloaded.

00:31:04   "All I wanna do is make a phone call,

00:31:05   "and they make it so hard to do that."

00:31:07   So my dad is the perfect example of that.

00:31:10   - Absolutely, I mean, that's canonical.

00:31:12   And now he's probably not using it to browse the web.

00:31:14   No.

00:31:15   Right.

00:31:15   Which is hilarious.

00:31:16   He's not installing apps on it.

00:31:19   And so yes, it counts towards Android market share.

00:31:21   But it also counts away from these bizarre, seemingly

00:31:25   bizarre, statistics that show that iPhone users buy way more

00:31:30   apps, download way more free apps, browse the web more.

00:31:35   All of these usage statistics that

00:31:37   show that iPhone users use their phones more than Android

00:31:40   makes them, it's because they're better customers.

00:31:42   They're people who knew what they wanted.

00:31:45   And the people who knew what they wanted and made a choice

00:31:47   are more likely to choose an iPhone.

00:31:49   And they're better customers in so far as that

00:31:51   they're more willing to spend money

00:31:52   because they had to spend money.

00:31:54   Or you can get a free iPhone now,

00:31:56   but iPhone users disproportionately buy

00:32:00   the highest end model.

00:32:01   The best selling iPhone isn't the free one,

00:32:04   it's the iPhone 5.

00:32:07   And last year the best selling iPhone was the 4S.

00:32:09   The top-selling one, which is more expensive, sells more units than the $99 one from a year

00:32:16   ago and the free one from two years ago.

00:32:19   And the $99 one sells more units than any other phone made by anyone else, right?

00:32:24   It's the top two are always, it's the iPhone 5 and then the iPhone 4S, and then it's one

00:32:28   that I think the Galaxy S3, I think, was the latest stats on what the top actual smartphones

00:32:34   were.

00:32:35   It may have been, I don't know, I don't want to say that.

00:32:38   We should look it up.

00:32:39   have been that the iPhone was the top three top selling ones?

00:32:42   Maybe not, but it was close.

00:32:43   Yeah, it was close.

00:32:44   And I think that all three are in the top five, at least

00:32:46   in the United States.

00:32:47   Right.

00:32:47   And again, worldwide, it only accounts to Apple's--

00:32:52   all iPhones only account for 10% of all phones.

00:32:54   That just shows, though, how long the tail is of how

00:32:59   many phones are out there.

00:33:00   Right.

00:33:01   That there's so many gazillion phones on the market that

00:33:05   have 0.002% of the market.

00:33:08   And so Google only counts the ones

00:33:11   that access the Google Play Store in their statistics

00:33:13   where they break down the OS stuff.

00:33:15   But I think those other guys count

00:33:17   all different kinds of things, the people who do the surveys

00:33:19   and stuff like that.

00:33:20   And someone had the great way of putting it.

00:33:23   I forget who this was, but basically it's

00:33:25   almost like some of those Android phones

00:33:27   out there are the equivalent of dark matter, where they're

00:33:30   out there and you know they're out there.

00:33:32   And there are small little signals

00:33:34   that indicate-- you can almost infer that they're out there,

00:33:37   But there's no real direct signals because the people aren't using them in a way that

00:33:40   you can measure directly.

00:33:41   Right.

00:33:42   I totally agree.

00:33:43   And I think a big example of that is a lot of the ones in China, which are – none of

00:33:49   them – I don't think or very few of them are hooked up with the regular Google Play,

00:33:55   Gmail, Google Maps set of apps that Google wants Android phones to be using.

00:34:01   They're all set up with the Chinese equivalents, the Baidu and whatever map service they have

00:34:08   over there.

00:34:09   So how long do you think until Samsung moves away from that stack, the Google stack?

00:34:16   We got the news yesterday.

00:34:18   I think one of the now three Samsung CEOs gave an interview with someone saying that

00:34:25   their first Tizen, is that how you pronounce it, Tizen phone is coming later this year,

00:34:29   So that's their own operating system that they co-develop with Intel and some others.

00:34:34   How long do you think Samsung remains loyal to Google's actual stack for Android?

00:34:41   I think not much longer.

00:34:43   Although, honestly, I know that they're talking about Tizen.

00:34:48   And this, to me, is just going on a complete hunch.

00:34:51   But whenever I hear about a new OS from a company that's never shipped a computer operating

00:34:56   system before. I automatically assume it is never gonna hit the light of day because it's

00:35:02   just so hard and there's so few companies who have ever successfully launched an operating

00:35:08   system. I mean, right now there's only three I think that are in business. There's Apple,

00:35:14   there's Microsoft and now Google. And to their credit, you know, Android was new and, you

00:35:20   You know, they did something very, very difficult,

00:35:24   but they pulled it off.

00:35:25   - Right, and it took a while for them to do it, right?

00:35:30   The initial versions of Android were pretty bad.

00:35:32   - I presume, though, that Tizen is never really gonna hit.

00:35:35   And even if they launch a phone with it,

00:35:37   it's not gonna take off.

00:35:38   I think what's more likely is that they pull an Amazon

00:35:42   and fork Android.

00:35:44   - I totally agree.

00:35:45   - And the reason for that, and do their own store,

00:35:47   with their own Samsung or, they'd probably call it the Galaxy store and, you know, have

00:35:53   developers submit their Android apps through the Galaxy store, do their own books and music

00:36:01   and stuff like that. But the reason I think that's more likely than Tizen taking off is

00:36:07   that it would be, I think it would be so much easier to get developers on board because

00:36:11   just like with Amazon, you don't have to recompile your app.

00:36:14   Yep. I'm not saying there's no technical differences. And that is not a pain in the

00:36:19   ass to be an Android developer and to have to deal with certain differences between developing

00:36:24   for the Kindle Fire HD and the, you know, I don't know, the Nexus seven or something like that. And

00:36:31   going through, there might be some I'm sure there's some technical differences. But for the most part,

00:36:35   though, you write your app to one of the Android API, you say, we'll go to API level 15, you know,

00:36:42   which equates to, I don't know, Jelly Bean or something like that.

00:36:45   Right.

00:36:46   And it should work on any of these Android platforms.

00:36:50   But I think that's more likely than Tizen taking off.

00:36:54   Because presumably with Tizen, they would either have to have an all new API

00:36:57   and get developers to totally rewrite their apps, or do something like have an Android emulation layer,

00:37:04   at which point you're already going to have a massive performance problem on mobile.

00:37:10   and why not just stick with Android at that point?

00:37:14   - Yeah, and I think you're exactly right there

00:37:16   because I also think the only way that that works,

00:37:19   that Tizen will work, would be if Samsung said,

00:37:22   look, we're only doing Tizen, we're gonna cut off Android

00:37:25   and we're gonna cut off Windows Mobile

00:37:28   because then we go back to the market share thing

00:37:30   where it's like the scale of Samsung

00:37:32   would still make it interesting to some developers,

00:37:35   but if they're going to keep doing Android

00:37:37   and that's the majority of their scale,

00:37:39   would any developer kind of waste their resources, their limited resources that they already

00:37:43   have on Tizen?

00:37:44   Right.

00:37:45   So the problem with Tizen is twofold, actually.

00:37:47   One is actually shipping it, getting it to the point where it's complete enough to say

00:37:52   this is a reasonable, modern mobile OS with an API for developers and everything else

00:37:58   you need.

00:37:59   A, I doubt that they can even pull that off.

00:38:02   I really do.

00:38:04   But B, even if they do, how do you get developers to write for it?

00:38:08   And there's the problem that BlackBerry faces right now,

00:38:11   because the new BlackBerry 10 is real.

00:38:14   They shipped a real modern operating system

00:38:18   that if they had shipped this exact same thing

00:38:20   four or five years ago, might have set the industry on fire.

00:38:23   But nobody's writing apps for it.

00:38:25   And so they're stuck with this stupid idea

00:38:27   of running Android apps in emulation

00:38:29   or something like that, which nobody wants to do.

00:38:31   - And we see it with Windows Phone.

00:38:33   I mean, Microsoft has been offering to pay everyone,

00:38:35   every developer I talk to these days says,

00:38:37   Yeah, Microsoft's been offering to pay 10 grand or whatever

00:38:40   for us to do this app.

00:38:41   And it's just not that interesting to them

00:38:42   because there's a number of reasons.

00:38:44   First of all, it's like, yeah, we could do it

00:38:46   or we could have Microsoft do it,

00:38:48   but then we still have to support that app going forward.

00:38:51   And it's like, we just don't have the resources to do it.

00:38:53   And the scale just isn't interesting enough.

00:38:55   And so even with all of Microsoft's resources

00:38:57   and their cash being offered to developers,

00:39:00   people still aren't doing it.

00:39:01   Right.

00:39:02   And so imagine if, I don't know,

00:39:05   you know, it's like, so the S4 launches last night, and whatever you want to say about

00:39:11   it, it's at least, at the very least, it's a better version of the S3. And the S3 is

00:39:16   a well-respected phone, and it runs all the Android apps, you know, and it's, because

00:39:20   it's so popular, it's not going to be overlooked by most app developers. They're going to make

00:39:25   sure that their app works on the S3. They're going to make sure it works on the S4.

00:39:29   Yep

00:39:31   So whatever the fragmentation problems are in Android buying a galaxy s4

00:39:35   You're probably gonna see the least of the fragmentation problems as a user

00:39:40   Yeah, now imagine six months from now. They launched the galaxy blah blah blah

00:39:45   I don't know the galaxy Tizen the galaxy T. I don't know call it something like that and it runs Tizen

00:39:50   I mean it runs no apps

00:39:52   I mean, I don't get it right or they if they can maybe get a couple of developers on board

00:39:57   I don't know, but I don't even see them doing that.

00:39:59   I mean, one of the weird things to me about last night's,

00:40:02   oh, let's just call it a shit show,

00:40:05   was that they had no third-party developers,

00:40:08   no mention of any third-party software whatsoever.

00:40:11   - Yeah.

00:40:12   So two other wildcards in there,

00:40:16   'cause I do think you're right,

00:40:17   that if they do something,

00:40:18   and if they do something and they plan to be successful,

00:40:20   it is forking Android,

00:40:22   because the two wildcards now are

00:40:24   now are what Google's doing with Motorola,

00:40:27   so rumors of the X phone or whatever it is,

00:40:30   and then what Amazon is doing in the phone space.

00:40:33   So they already have, of course, the Kindle tablets,

00:40:34   and those have been successful to some degree at least.

00:40:38   And now what they're going to do with a phone,

00:40:40   which again is just rumored, but it seems like

00:40:42   that's pretty likely that they're going to do that.

00:40:43   And so does Samsung sit back and wait

00:40:46   for those two things to happen before they fork Android

00:40:49   and do their own thing, or do they preempt them?

00:40:52   That's kind of the big question in my mind.

00:40:55   - Yeah, I don't know.

00:40:56   I'm not quite sure what they're, it's hard to tell.

00:40:59   - Because it's all about being, I mean,

00:41:02   if Google really does make their own flagship phone

00:41:07   that's beyond Nexus, you know,

00:41:09   because it's a company that they actually own,

00:41:11   a Motorola phone, and they just kind of put

00:41:15   their marketing muscle, they start pushing it on Google.com

00:41:19   and they start to have more strained relationships

00:41:22   Samsung. Samsung does not want to be in that position, obviously. One of the most interesting

00:41:26   charts that you put up in your last post last night and someone else tweeted about, and I saw

00:41:32   this, the notion that Samsung is making more profit off of their smartphones than Google is

00:41:41   making as an entire company, which is just fascinating because all of that profit you

00:41:45   have to assume for Samsung is from Android. I mean, they're probably making a little bit off

00:41:49   of some of the other things.

00:41:51   Yeah, because of Samsung's business, or mobile business at least, of selling anything, you

00:41:57   know, everything from cheap candy bar phones to truly high-end.

00:42:01   I mean, some of the Galaxy S4 models have eight core processors.

00:42:05   And that's another weird thing about the Galaxy S4.

00:42:07   Just as an aside, there is no single Galaxy S4, at least in a way.

00:42:11   And I know there's a couple of different iPhone SKUs around the world for like different antenna

00:42:15   bands, but like the system on a chip is the same.

00:42:18   You get the same performance.

00:42:20   Whereas depending on what country you're in,

00:42:21   you get a radically different system on a chip

00:42:24   with the Galaxy phones.

00:42:25   Like, and apparently the US isn't getting the eight core one

00:42:29   that all the spec nerds are slavering over.

00:42:33   They're getting the four core. - Oh, I didn't even realize

00:42:34   that. - Yeah, the US is gonna,

00:42:36   ah, who knows?

00:42:38   I don't know.

00:42:39   This makes no sense to me.

00:42:41   I don't know.

00:42:42   But anyway.

00:42:42   - But you have to think about that

00:42:46   from Google's perspective for a second.

00:42:48   They, as a company, they're a public company,

00:42:52   they need to keep growing the bottom line,

00:42:53   just like Apple does, just like every public company does.

00:42:57   They have a company out there that is showing them

00:43:00   exactly how to do that, because they're making more money

00:43:03   off of a product that Google created

00:43:05   than Google is making as an entire company itself.

00:43:08   So at some point, you have to think

00:43:10   that it's their fiduciary duty to cut that off

00:43:13   and start taking that profit

00:43:15   and those revenues themselves, right?

00:43:17   - Right, and it hasn't, seemingly hasn't worked out

00:43:20   like the PC industry did,

00:43:23   where Intel and HP,

00:43:28   and back in the day, Compaq,

00:43:31   the people who made the PC hardware that ran Windows

00:43:36   made a lot of money.

00:43:37   Intel particularly, but Dell and HP and Compaq

00:43:41   all had really good years making a lot of money

00:43:43   selling PCs, and Microsoft made more than any of them

00:43:47   by providing the operating system and software.

00:43:50   And Google obviously wasn't gonna make it the same way

00:43:53   by selling the software.

00:43:56   - Right.

00:43:57   - But I think that they assumed that by giving away

00:44:01   the software but having it with all these Google services

00:44:03   that they would profit as handsomely through all the ads

00:44:07   that they could show and the search results and et cetera.

00:44:11   And it does seem like they're doing better.

00:44:14   I don't know what the numbers are off the top of my head,

00:44:16   but it does seem like they are monetizing increasingly

00:44:19   better on mobile, as you might expect, certainly

00:44:21   with the scale again, and just getting better ads

00:44:24   and getting better about figuring out

00:44:26   how to do this on mobile.

00:44:28   But it's nowhere near the profit that Samsung

00:44:31   is seeing by selling devices.

00:44:33   No, definitely.

00:44:34   It's not even close, I think.

00:44:37   And it's a little hard with Samsung,

00:44:39   because Samsung doesn't reveal

00:44:43   their handset sales numbers at all,

00:44:45   famously stopped a while back.

00:44:46   So they don't say how many Galaxy phones have been sold.

00:44:49   And so whenever you do see a comparison of,

00:44:52   and I think it's an important thing

00:44:55   that's always overlooked is,

00:44:57   when you see a comparison between how many iPhone 5s

00:45:02   were sold last quarter and how many Galaxy 4s were sold

00:45:08   in the same quarter.

00:45:09   The number for the iPhones comes from Apple

00:45:13   in an SCC filing.

00:45:14   That is like, they're legally mandated to tell the truth.

00:45:18   Well, although I guess Apple, does Apple,

00:45:21   I guess Apple doesn't break down by--

00:45:23   - Yeah, they just say iPhones overall.

00:45:25   - All right, iPhones overall.

00:45:26   But at least there's a legal number.

00:45:28   Whereas what Samsung does is nothing.

00:45:32   It's all based on analyst conjecture.

00:45:34   - Right.

00:45:35   - And the analyst says it was this many.

00:45:37   You can kind of back it out with Apple though

00:45:41   by based on average, they do reveal

00:45:43   the average selling price.

00:45:45   And so you can kind of make a reasonable informed guess.

00:45:49   Whereas the analyst numbers really seem like

00:45:51   they're just pulled out of the air for Samsung.

00:45:54   But what they do give is a number for their entire

00:45:57   mobile and telecom division.

00:45:59   Now they sell some other stuff from that division

00:46:02   other than mobile phones, but I can't believe

00:46:05   that it's that much to make that big of a dent.

00:46:08   And that division made more profit last quarter

00:46:11   than all of Google.

00:46:12   - That is crazy and untenable, I think,

00:46:17   for the Google-Samsung relationship.

00:46:19   - So I wanna do, let me do another sponsor break,

00:46:23   but let's parlay after the break,

00:46:25   let's go and talk about what that means

00:46:27   with the Andy Rubin news.

00:46:28   Think about that.

00:46:29   So a second sponsor that I wanna thank

00:46:31   is I wanna thank Pixelmator,

00:46:34   or as we call it here Pixelmator.

00:46:37   And what they want me to tell you about is their new version,

00:46:40   Pixelmator 2.2 Blueberry.

00:46:43   It's not out yet, coming out at the end of March.

00:46:46   I kind of can't believe they're calling it 2.2.

00:46:47   This really seems like a 3.0.

00:46:50   Because what they've done is they've added a ton of new vector shape

00:46:54   features.

00:46:55   And it's really sort of adding almost

00:46:58   like a vector/illustrator type aspect to the app going way beyond just pixel image editing.

00:47:10   Really great state of the art shape tools that let you create gorgeous compositions.

00:47:14   You can use it for things like logos, posters, web layouts, easy to use drawing tools.

00:47:25   is familiar with vector based drawing tools from other apps is going to find a

00:47:30   lot of stuff in there that's exactly the same. All sorts of shapes, rectangles,

00:47:35   ellipses, rounded rectangles, polygons, lines, all of these things are vector not

00:47:40   pixel. You've got fill, stroke, shadow, modes, shape settings, you can assign

00:47:48   shape styles, create a style for a shape, save it as a saved almost like a like a

00:47:53   a style sheet, then create a new shape and then instantly apply the style that

00:47:57   you painstakingly made for the first one.

00:48:01   Smart shapes have easy to use controls that let you quickly adjust the

00:48:06   shapes outline to get just the look that you're after. Custom shapes, I mean it's

00:48:12   these things look like hand-drawn icons but they're vector so they scale. The

00:48:18   The other thing they have is shape sharing.

00:48:21   So when you create a new custom shape, you can export it, drag them out to the desktop,

00:48:26   send it to your friend.

00:48:27   Your friend drags it into their shapes palette and they've got the shape that you made over

00:48:32   on your machine.

00:48:34   It's a really great feature.

00:48:36   I really, like I said, I cannot believe that they're calling it a 2.2 instead of a 3.0

00:48:40   with all of this stuff.

00:48:42   They've also added a whole bunch of other improvements.

00:48:44   They've improved their type tool.

00:48:47   improved their gradient presets, all sorts of performance upgrades. So go check it out

00:48:54   at pixelmator.com. P-I-X-E-L-M-A-T-O-R dot com. And get Pixelmator.

00:49:08   I'm a big fan of Pixelmator. Mator. Whatever you want to call it.

00:49:11   Pixelmator. Don't let me throw you off. It's really Pixelmator.

00:49:13   Yeah.

00:49:14   It's now, it's, I mean, how can I not stick

00:49:17   with the running gag?

00:49:18   - Yeah. - It is, it's a phenomenal app.

00:49:20   - Yep.

00:49:21   So Andy Rubin.

00:49:24   - Andy Rubin.

00:49:25   So,

00:49:26   is it a bombshell?

00:49:30   I think it's a bombshell.

00:49:31   - Yeah. - Although I'm not

00:49:32   as juiced into Google as--

00:49:34   - So my understanding is, and I've talked to a few people

00:49:38   about this now, this was a complete surprise

00:49:42   pretty much across the company.

00:49:44   I think a few people probably knew about it in the days leading up to it, but certainly not the weeks.

00:49:49   And just look at his schedule. He was scheduled to talk at the D11 conference and all these other places.

00:49:55   Far in the future, obviously, on behalf of Android.

00:50:00   Now he's no longer going to be speaking on behalf of Android because he's no longer doing that.

00:50:05   I didn't know that. So is he taking off the D11 conference?

00:50:09   I don't know. I actually don't know what's going on with that. I don't know if they would

00:50:12   put, yeah, maybe they put in Sundar, the guy who took over for him.

00:50:16   That would be interesting to see.

00:50:17   Yeah. But yes, the understanding is that this was a huge shock within the company as well.

00:50:22   I always thought that within Google, and it's curious that they had these two post-PC

00:50:30   operating systems, Android and Chrome OS. And I always thought it was sort of,

00:50:37   I think you're going to love this.

00:50:38   You're going to love this.

00:50:39   It's sort of like the scene in the Batman movie with the Joker where the Joker goes

00:50:45   into the black guy's gang pretending to be dead, pops out of the bag, kills the leader,

00:50:51   and there's two guys left.

00:50:53   He snaps a Q stick in half and says, "We've got room for one more guy in our gang," and

00:50:59   throws the pool sticks.

00:51:00   Right?

00:51:01   I've always thought that was Chrome versus Android, that they've got room for one post-PC

00:51:06   operating system, you two guys fight it out. Right. And now, so you know, following that

00:51:14   along, it looks like Chrome OS in some way won, at least their leader won, because now

00:51:21   he's in charge of both. Right, and I guess the surprising thing to me is that it seems

00:51:25   to me like Android is the one that's doing better, but maybe that's because I've been

00:51:29   blinded by pure market share, right? Because there's a gazillion Android things out there,

00:51:34   and nowhere near as many Chrome OS devices.

00:51:37   Right.

00:51:37   Yeah, I don't know.

00:51:38   I think that-- I do--

00:51:40   I mean, I think there's no question

00:51:42   that Android is doing significantly better than Chrome

00:51:44   OS.

00:51:45   It is curious, though, as to why they would do that.

00:51:48   Part of it is maybe the fact that Sundar Pichai, who's

00:51:55   going to be the new head of both units,

00:51:58   is very well regarded within Google.

00:52:00   Everyone I've talked to loves him.

00:52:01   I've met him a few times.

00:52:02   He's a really nice guy, really level-headed.

00:52:05   We got into it, I used to get into it with him

00:52:08   over bundling Flash and Chrome,

00:52:11   how they automatically, they make you download it

00:52:14   and automatically enable it.

00:52:16   He's just like, he would give his viewpoint,

00:52:20   I'd give mine, we'd disagree,

00:52:21   but he was very open-minded and very thoughtful

00:52:23   about the way that he would think about all this stuff

00:52:25   and the fact that he would come in

00:52:26   to have these conversations,

00:52:28   just with some random blogger at the time

00:52:31   to kind of talk about some of these bigger ideas.

00:52:35   So I think part of it is that he's very well regarded.

00:52:38   And also remember, there were those stories,

00:52:40   I guess it was last year,

00:52:41   maybe even almost two years ago now,

00:52:43   where he was sort of one of the guys

00:52:46   who was being hotly recruited by almost every startup.

00:52:49   I think the reports were that Twitter was trying

00:52:52   to hire him and I think it was actually Mike Arrington

00:52:55   who broke the news that in order to keep Sundar around,

00:52:59   and they gave him something like 50, 75 million dollars

00:53:02   worth of restricted stock or something like that.

00:53:07   And so I think that he's clearly someone

00:53:11   that Google really wanted to keep around

00:53:13   and really wanted to make happy

00:53:14   and again is really highly regarded.

00:53:16   And while Chrome OS may not be setting the world on fire,

00:53:19   Chrome certainly has.

00:53:21   It's the largest browser in the world now

00:53:23   which is pretty remarkable.

00:53:25   And so why not just put a fresh set of eyes on it?

00:53:28   That's kind of the only thing I can imagine is going on.

00:53:32   I doubt that Andy Rubin was pushed out in a bad way.

00:53:40   I mean, he is saying--

00:53:41   Like in a forestall way.

00:53:42   Yeah, because he is staying with the company.

00:53:44   It's not announced what he's doing yet,

00:53:46   but it seems like he's going to stay there.

00:53:49   And there may have been some sort of,

00:53:54   let's just get a fresh set of eyes on this thing.

00:53:56   You've been doing it for a long time.

00:53:58   I think either somebody's going to find out.

00:54:01   Either it'll leak and we'll find out sooner or we'll have to wait and see what Andy Rubin

00:54:06   does.

00:54:07   Because on the one hand, yeah, it could be that he wasn't quite pushed and maybe he was

00:54:10   bored and maybe he really does have a new idea for a new thing.

00:54:15   He really wants to just start from scratch in the Google X incubator.

00:54:22   So maybe he really – this is all – we're reading too much into it and Andy Rubin really

00:54:26   he just said, "I'm kind of done with this.

00:54:28   "This is feeling like a chore.

00:54:30   "I wanna go do something new."

00:54:32   - Right.

00:54:33   - And Larry Page is like, "That's great, have at it."

00:54:36   And Sundar, you take over, we totally trust you.

00:54:41   On the other hand though, if he was kind of pushed,

00:54:45   then maybe going to Google X is the Google equivalent

00:54:50   of serving as an advisor to Tim Cook, right?

00:54:54   - Right.

00:54:55   Because I don't even know, like, Forstall technically might still be, I don't know

00:55:01   how long that lasts.

00:55:02   Like, I never quite noticed when, you know, that's what they did to Tony Fidell.

00:55:05   Right.

00:55:06   How long was he actually there?

00:55:07   Yeah.

00:55:08   Right.

00:55:09   And they never really, it's like a gradient that just sort of feeds away.

00:55:12   They don't put out a press release saying, "Tony Fidell has stopped being a special

00:55:15   advisor to Steve Jobs now."

00:55:17   Right.

00:55:18   And then, you know, all of a sudden, two years later, Ness comes out and is like, "Oh, yeah,

00:55:22   whatever happened to Tony Fidell?

00:55:23   When did he stop being a special advisor?"

00:55:25   So, like, I'm pretty sure, though, that Scott Forstall is still technically a full-time

00:55:30   Apple employee who's a special advisor to Tim Cook, who, you know, never comes in and

00:55:35   never advises Tim Cook.

00:55:37   So maybe that's the equivalent.

00:55:39   I don't know.

00:55:40   We'll see.

00:55:41   Because, like, what have—you know, let's see if Andy Rubin is still at Google a year

00:55:44   from now.

00:55:45   I really—I have no clue.

00:55:46   My guess is that I think that he is going to do something else within Google, but that's

00:55:52   just a pure guess.

00:55:53   My other thought, which again is based on nothing,

00:55:56   is that I could see that this played out in a way

00:56:00   where Larry Page has taken over control of the company

00:56:04   for however long it's been now.

00:56:06   It's been two years, it's been a year and something.

00:56:10   So his thing was all about kind of streamlining

00:56:13   the processes, getting everyone on the same page,

00:56:16   and cutting off some of the bureaucracy.

00:56:20   And so a lot of indications about Andy Rubin

00:56:23   were that while people who were under him

00:56:26   loved working for him, and he was obviously a brilliant guy

00:56:30   and did a great job with Android,

00:56:31   he wasn't the easiest person to get along with,

00:56:33   and there were a lot of politics involved

00:56:35   within the Android system.

00:56:37   Just look how long it took to get Chrome on Android.

00:56:39   Why was there a different browser for all that time?

00:56:42   - No, and that was, you probably even know this better,

00:56:46   in fact, I know that you know it better than I do,

00:56:47   but even I know that that was a political thing

00:56:50   within the company.

00:56:51   There was, and it was like possibly between Andy and Sundar.

00:56:56   - Sundar, it could have been, I don't know.

00:56:57   - But it was definitely that they had,

00:56:59   the Chrome guys had a version of Chrome

00:57:02   that ran on Android better than the Android

00:57:05   just blandly named browser.

00:57:07   - Right.

00:57:08   - Way long before they put it into Android.

00:57:11   Like, it really did seem a little--

00:57:14   - And I think that Chrome Android team is still separate

00:57:19   from the Android team itself,

00:57:22   and that will obviously change under Sundar.

00:57:24   But so anyway, I think that,

00:57:26   I do think that I could see how that is,

00:57:30   is the situation that went down.

00:57:32   It was just, you know, everything's going great,

00:57:35   but things are still a little bit too political.

00:57:37   We really, we have this rocket ship,

00:57:39   we don't wanna slow it down at all.

00:57:42   You know, if you're open to it, you know, you can,

00:57:45   we'd love to have you do something else within Google,

00:57:49   and love to have you stick around,

00:57:50   but maybe we can just really see where we can take this now

00:57:54   with the foundation that you've built for it.

00:57:56   And another part is, I pulled this up

00:57:58   when you mentioned we were going to be talking

00:58:01   about the Andy Rubin thing.

00:58:03   So I would imagine that he's probably not been

00:58:08   the best person to work with from a negotiating standpoint

00:58:12   with the carriers, just look at the fact that,

00:58:14   remember it was in May 2011 at I/O,

00:58:17   and we're coming up on the next Google I/O now.

00:58:19   It was made 2011, so two years ago,

00:58:22   that Google announced their Android update initiative,

00:58:26   where they were gonna have all of the Android partners

00:58:29   were going to commit to getting the newest version

00:58:33   of Android on the Android devices within 18 months.

00:58:36   This was the promise, this was set on stage,

00:58:38   Andy Rubin announced this, and it was a big deal.

00:58:41   We haven't heard a word about it since.

00:58:43   And no one's really called them out for it,

00:58:46   which is sort of--

00:58:47   in order to worry about it and clearly has not come true.

00:58:49   And clearly has not come true, right.

00:58:51   And so that's another part of it maybe

00:58:55   that Google realizes that coming up,

00:58:58   now that they have Motorola under their wing,

00:59:01   if they're going to keep kind of operating

00:59:06   within with these carriers and with worldwide carriers,

00:59:09   they really need a force that's not so abrasive

00:59:13   towards working with these guys.

00:59:16   - That could be.

00:59:17   And if this is all true, it is perhaps oddly parallel

00:59:22   to the Forstall situation at Apple.

00:59:27   Internal politics, a sort of hard to get a great leader

00:59:32   and clearly successful over the last few years,

00:59:35   but hard to get along with.

00:59:37   - Yeah, and like just silos his team

00:59:42   into a fiefdom of sorts.

00:59:44   and replaced by somebody who is seemingly better

00:59:49   to get along with.

00:59:50   At least at Apple, Federighi is who I'm thinking

00:59:52   he's replaced him on a technical side.

00:59:54   Johnny Ive, I don't know, I've never heard anything

00:59:56   about what it's like to get along with him.

00:59:58   Although he doesn't really seem confrontational.

01:00:00   - Right.

01:00:01   - He clearly has very high standards,

01:00:02   but I've never heard anybody call him an asshole.

01:00:07   - Right.

01:00:08   Yeah, what's weird about the Ive thing taking over

01:00:11   is that he really doesn't like to be on stage, right?

01:00:14   So he never does that.

01:00:15   He does the video stuff, but he does not be on stage.

01:00:17   And Forstalt was always on stage, though.

01:00:19   It's interesting.

01:00:21   But yeah, so going back to Reuben,

01:00:23   again, that's all pure speculation.

01:00:25   But I wouldn't be shocked if it was something

01:00:28   along those lines.

01:00:29   Because it's just like you think about what the--

01:00:32   kind of logically what the most obvious answer is,

01:00:34   something like that.

01:00:35   There could have been some bombshell.

01:00:37   Maybe something happened.

01:00:38   Maybe some partner deal got badly screwed up

01:00:40   that we'll hear about or something like that.

01:00:42   Do you think the timing on that announcement

01:00:45   is a little weird with regard to it coming

01:00:48   on the eve of the Galaxy S4?

01:00:51   - Yeah, it is. - Is that sort of,

01:00:52   is that sort of the Google equivalent

01:00:54   of the Phil Schiller interviews of,

01:00:55   let's take some piss out of Samsung's thing?

01:00:58   - Huh, that's interesting.

01:00:59   I hadn't really thought about that.

01:01:01   Yeah, the timing is strange,

01:01:05   just because it seems like there's nothing,

01:01:08   there's no other reason to announce it then

01:01:10   and for that change to happen then, right?

01:01:12   other than this is the only Android-related thing

01:01:15   that's coming up, right?

01:01:17   - Right.

01:01:18   - It didn't work.

01:01:19   - Well, and it's possible, yeah.

01:01:21   You know, and it kind of got looped into,

01:01:24   and we can come back to this later if we have a little time,

01:01:26   but there were a whole bunch of Google,

01:01:27   we're making some changes this week, announcements,

01:01:31   you know, stuff with their calendar API,

01:01:33   big one that everybody listening to the show

01:01:35   probably wants to know about is that they've,

01:01:36   they're shit canning Google Reader come July.

01:01:40   But they mixed, the official Google blogs had this post

01:01:44   with like, here's the eight changes we're making.

01:01:46   And they just like threw some of these things in the middle.

01:01:48   It's like, oh, we're changing our calendar API.

01:01:51   Oh, and by the way, Andy Rubin is no longer leaving Android.

01:01:53   - Right, that would have been a great

01:01:54   bullet point number four or whatever.

01:01:56   - Right, our search results are 2% faster.

01:01:59   Oh, by the way, Google Reader is gonna be dead in July.

01:02:02   But I can't help but think that, I don't know.

01:02:06   And I do think it comes down to like that observation

01:02:09   that Samsung's making more from Android.

01:02:14   And there was the Wall Street Journal story

01:02:15   that this is a major concern that maybe Samsung

01:02:18   is usurping Android from Google.

01:02:21   - Right.

01:02:22   - That that might be a problem.

01:02:23   That as popular as Android is,

01:02:27   it may not be as it's evolving as aligned

01:02:30   with Google's interests as Chrome and Chrome OS are.

01:02:34   - Right.

01:02:36   maybe Andrew Rubin is going to become the fourth CEO of Samsung.

01:02:45   So what about the Galaxy S4 event? Did you watch it?

01:02:48   No, I didn't watch it. I was following along with the tweet stream. I didn't watch the

01:02:53   live stream of it, though. So I didn't actually get to experience firsthand what a fiasco

01:02:58   was, but I read a lot of the coverage of it, and sort of talking about how it was sort

01:03:02   of sexist in a way misogynist and not just yeah in a lot of ways but well the one thing good thing

01:03:10   i can say about it is that it was an hour long yeah so short yeah it it's really bizarre i mean

01:03:20   it i saw a couple people on twitter say the same thing that it's you know that it the the that

01:03:25   bizarre Qualcomm CES keynote. Had a short life as the weirdest tech keynote.

01:03:36   Did they have jugglers or something?

01:03:38   I didn't see, what, CES or the Samsung one?

01:03:42   The Samsung one.

01:03:43   No, they didn't see jugglers. They might have. My eyes started getting blinky. But

01:03:47   they had this. It was in Radio City Music Hall, and they had a big orchestra and a lot of

01:03:53   Broadway-style theatrics.

01:03:57   But then it opened with a lot of specs.

01:04:02   It opened with the president of the company coming out--

01:04:05   I forget his name-- but he came out and just sort of introduced

01:04:10   all the features they were going to talk about, but said nothing about them.

01:04:13   He just sort of read the H1 level outline of the new features

01:04:18   they were going to introduce and said that--

01:04:21   leading innovation and thank you very much and got off the stage.

01:04:24   And you know, and I think, I don't know, I think he wanted to come out, but English is

01:04:29   clearly a second language, so he wasn't going to be able to emcee the show.

01:04:34   The emcee was some actor, I don't know what his name is, something Chase, but he is, you

01:04:38   know, he's not famous, he's just like a stage actor.

01:04:41   Okay.

01:04:42   Fifteen minutes of specs, him, this actor talking to Samsung America's equivalent of

01:04:48   Phil Schiller, I guess, VP of marketing.

01:04:51   and talking about specs.

01:04:53   And then, like that's about 15 minutes.

01:05:00   So far, so good.

01:05:01   Not really weird, it is sort of the opposite

01:05:03   of the way Apple does shows,

01:05:04   where Apple does shows and talks about features,

01:05:07   and then at the end will tell you the specs

01:05:11   that they want to reveal.

01:05:12   Like the specs is sort of the one sheet

01:05:14   that they give you at the end of the show.

01:05:16   Like, you know, and here's the price,

01:05:17   and here's the, you know,

01:05:19   here's the carriers that we're gonna be on,

01:05:21   here's the bands of you know such and such that we're going to support blah blah blah get off

01:05:25   they did the specs first then 15 minutes in they just they said they're going to switch

01:05:30   they're going to tell us about the phone with a series of skits and they and and it was just

01:05:39   they kept getting weirder and weirder where the first one is is i think it was the first one but

01:05:45   but it's like here's an elementary school in New York

01:05:48   and they're having the school play

01:05:50   and here's a girl and there's a little girl

01:05:53   on stage dancing and her dad doesn't have a Galaxy S4

01:05:57   so the pictures he's taking won't be 13 megabytes.

01:06:01   And all of a sudden the girl breaks out of character

01:06:04   and comes out and addresses the MC and says, "What?"

01:06:08   And then she turns to her dad and berates him

01:06:11   for not having a 13 megapixel S4

01:06:14   and why is she practiced?

01:06:17   And it's like--

01:06:18   - Oh, God, that sounds awful.

01:06:20   - Right, it's an awful child.

01:06:22   What kind of a child would do this?

01:06:24   It's an awful, awful bratty spoiled child,

01:06:29   and the dad is apologizing,

01:06:31   and he instantly apologizes to his daughter and says,

01:06:34   "Don't worry, I'm gonna get an S4 tomorrow,

01:06:37   "and our next show I'll have these great S4 pictures."

01:06:42   - So it's like--

01:06:43   I gotta watch this now.

01:06:44   So is this like, is this a cultural thing?

01:06:46   Is this something that's poorly translated

01:06:47   from like South Korean into American culture?

01:06:50   - Somebody Twittered me and said,

01:06:52   and is somebody on Twitter who I think is Korean

01:06:56   or South Korean and said that it clearly to him

01:06:59   seems like it was written by South Koreans

01:07:02   and just translated to English.

01:07:04   Although I don't know, is that right?

01:07:05   That in Korea, your father expects his 13 year old girl

01:07:09   to berate him publicly?

01:07:10   I don't know.

01:07:11   (laughing)

01:07:13   I don't know how long I'm going, but next was this boy, and it's the same boy who was

01:07:20   in their little commercials, and he was tap dancing earlier in the show, or I guess he

01:07:25   was tap dancing on the thing.

01:07:27   The gimmick with his parents was that they're using this new picture-in-picture photo thing,

01:07:32   which seems terrible to me.

01:07:34   But the idea is that the major new feature – one of the major new features they're

01:07:37   to advertise is that when you the dad are taking pictures instead of just your wife and kids in the

01:07:46   picture you can get in the corner just like when you do a Skype chat or a video chat there's in the

01:07:52   corner from the front facing camera your face shows up too. And you can take a picture that

01:07:58   way so that you can be in the picture but if you really consider that being in the picture I mean

01:08:04   I heard it was more along the lines of like, you're watching a sports moment and then you

01:08:09   take a picture of your reaction shot along with whatever just happened.

01:08:11   I guess that makes more sense than what they were showing.

01:08:14   Yeah.

01:08:14   There was the school, I forget, I really started getting just boggled my mind.

01:08:22   A weird one was the act, then they said, "We've shown," they'd showed something else,

01:08:27   and then the actor said, the guy who was the MC said, "All right, we've shown you

01:08:31   what the Galaxy S4 means to normal people. And he says, "Let's see what it's like for someone who's

01:08:38   really special, a New York City actor." And he took a role. But it's like, what kind of attitude is

01:08:45   that? Like, you've just slagged your customers and said, "You know, moms and dads, you know,

01:08:50   you guys are boring. Let's see how it affects me, an awesome actor." And we're supposed to all of a

01:08:56   sudden the set is supposed to be his New York City apartment and out of the ground in the stage rises

01:09:04   a red convertible sports car. But I swear to you it's on its side. It is sideways. And the actor,

01:09:14   and everybody looked at it and he pointed to it and he goes, "Hey, hey, you know, parking's tight

01:09:19   in New York City." And that was the only explanation for why the car was on its side.

01:09:23   I can only assume that it was because whatever elevator they had on the stage wasn't wide enough for the car to come up

01:09:29   Right way so rather than not have the car they had the car come up sideways

01:09:34   Why did they just cut the car in half?

01:09:36   And then he had like this incredibly ignorant conversation with his agent

01:09:44   I have to watch this thing now the guy also honest to God

01:09:51   This is like when he was like talking about like the family using the s4 to do something

01:09:55   The MC would literally say let's go back to our fake family and see how they use

01:10:01   The new video thing in the phone or whatever, but he'd just say let's go back to our fake family. I

01:10:07   Almost wish I went to this now. I would have loved a live tweet during I

01:10:11   Kind of do wish I was I literally was there

01:10:15   I think it would have been something to see but then the one that really got me the one that like really made me almost

01:10:19   break out just watching it at home into a flop sweat was this bridal party in

01:10:26   Miami and the the skit was about five or six women who have been longtime friends

01:10:32   one of them is getting married this weekend and they're having her bridal

01:10:35   shower and and they're talking about all the things they love about the galaxy s4

01:10:43   and the different cases that they have.

01:10:46   And it was so sexist, it was ridiculous.

01:10:52   And these women are interested in things like calories

01:10:56   and losing weight and marrying doctors.

01:11:01   Right, when they found out about the health features,

01:11:05   these health tracking features in the phone,

01:11:06   the one woman says, "My mother always wanted me

01:11:09   "to marry a doctor.

01:11:10   "Well, this is the next best thing."

01:11:12   And then the actor breaks into an immediate disclaimer that they just cut to the actor

01:11:17   who's the emcee and he goes, "The Galaxy S4 is no replacement for a medical doctor."

01:11:21   I swear to you.

01:11:24   And then they go back to them.

01:11:26   And then there's one of the women, and I know that Molly Wood from CNET really just

01:11:30   ripped it apart, and I linked to it today, and she just ripped this thing apart perfectly.

01:11:33   But she described the one of these women as the comically drunk cougar.

01:11:42   And there's literally no exaggeration.

01:11:45   And it is not like, oh, she exaggerated

01:11:48   for the point of criticizing.

01:11:49   (laughing)

01:11:50   It was a woman, older, I'd say in her mid-40s

01:11:54   or something like that, with a drink in her hand

01:11:57   and her Galaxy S4 in the other,

01:11:59   and they were talking about this new feature

01:12:00   they have, this no-touch tracking,

01:12:02   where you can kind of just point your finger at the screen.

01:12:04   Let's see how it works.

01:12:05   I mean, we have no idea.

01:12:06   But anyway, but they were talking about

01:12:07   why you would wanna use it, and her reason was

01:12:09   she didn't wanna put her drink down.

01:12:11   (laughing)

01:12:13   And then they used her for this eye tracking feature.

01:12:17   Now this features is supposed to be that

01:12:19   like when you're reading an article,

01:12:20   if you look down, the screen is gonna start

01:12:23   scrolling automatically.

01:12:25   And if you're watching a movie or a video

01:12:27   and you look away from the screen,

01:12:29   it will pause instantly.

01:12:31   And then when you look back, it will go.

01:12:33   And I swear to you, I'm not making this up.

01:12:36   He called her over, her character's name was Dee Dee.

01:12:38   He goes, Dee Dee, come on over here.

01:12:40   and she's still got a drink in her hand, so she's watching the movie.

01:12:45   And a greenskeeper comes out, a young, looked latina.

01:12:51   They said that these women were all in Miami.

01:12:53   Young Latino stud comes out with a leaf blower, and that's what catches her eye and takes

01:13:01   her away from the movie.

01:13:02   She's watching this younger, very attractive man, and she's sort of stunned.

01:13:09   then he the MC has to remind her that she has to look back at the screen to

01:13:13   pretend that the video starts playing again and she says oh yeah and then she

01:13:17   does it and then the guy takes his shirt off and she immediately looks over at

01:13:21   him again like in awe oh my god well I mean you really have to see it to

01:13:28   believe and I guess you know maybe the explanation I've heard is that that sort

01:13:32   of thing is considered like that's what a typical TV show is like in South Korea

01:13:37   But I don't know anything about that.

01:13:40   So just compare and contrast that to, you know, like, I think we both really like the

01:13:47   one unveiling that Apple did where it was of the iPad, and it's just Steve Jobs on stage

01:13:52   with a chair.

01:13:53   It's like, could it be any more different than what you're describing right there?

01:13:58   Right.

01:13:59   And they did introduce, the other thing is that they introduced a bunch of features.

01:14:03   And I'm not going to judge them because I haven't used them.

01:14:07   And they didn't even really show them.

01:14:08   They just talked about them.

01:14:10   So with this eye tracking feature, they didn't actually show it working.

01:14:16   I doubt that the woman's phone really was even on.

01:14:18   I think she was just pantomiming it.

01:14:20   There was no video that you could see on a screen showing it in actual use or anything

01:14:25   like that.

01:14:26   You just had to pretend that these things were working.

01:14:28   And they just had characters pointing fingers at it.

01:14:31   But they gave each one of them like 30 seconds.

01:14:34   They introduced like eight features

01:14:36   and gave none of the features any breathing room

01:14:39   to actually understand how it would actually work.

01:14:42   - That sounds amazing.

01:14:45   Talk about the finger tracking thing.

01:14:50   Like you said a woman didn't want to put down her drink.

01:14:53   Why is that a good feature for a phone?

01:14:55   When will that be useful?

01:14:57   - I don't know.

01:14:59   It sounds to me terrible.

01:15:01   Again, I'm not going to prejudge it and say that it is terrible,

01:15:04   but it sounds terrible to me.

01:15:06   I guess one of the explanations that it makes the phone easier

01:15:08   to use with gloves, that you could point a gloved finger at it

01:15:13   and scroll the screen.

01:15:14   But even in the brief demo they showed that,

01:15:18   it seemed to work about as well as you think it would.

01:15:21   Like, it was nowhere near tracking the finger

01:15:23   the way a finger on the actual glass tracks the scrolling.

01:15:29   And so I love the dichotomy here of a lot of people

01:15:34   in the media giving Apple a hard time

01:15:36   because they haven't come out with new

01:15:37   and innovative features.

01:15:39   You know, what are deemed like giant tent pole features

01:15:42   is the thing.

01:15:43   And look at what the S4 has.

01:15:45   It's finger tracking.

01:15:47   Like what is that?

01:15:48   Who spends time working on that?

01:15:51   And why on earth does anyone think that that's going

01:15:53   to be a really selling point of that device?

01:15:57   Well, and the one that struck me was one of the examples they gave.

01:16:00   I guess cold weather with gloves is one where you can't touch.

01:16:03   And the one where the woman had a drink in her hand, why not just use your thumb on your

01:16:09   other hand, except for the fact that because the phone is five inches big, it's not good

01:16:14   for one-handed use, right?

01:16:15   Like I mean, again, I'm biased.

01:16:17   I really like the smaller size of the iPhone.

01:16:20   I've tried five-inch phones.

01:16:21   Really don't like them very much specifically because I do – I use my iPhone one-handed

01:16:25   a lot.

01:16:26   But that seemed like if you have a drink in one hand and still want to use your phone

01:16:30   in the other, it seems like, you know, just use your thumb.

01:16:34   I joked on Twitter that it's great if you're murdering someone and you have blood all over

01:16:38   your hands and then you can just – and that – you can still use your phone afterwards.

01:16:42   So that's good.

01:16:43   And you don't have to clean it up afterwards.

01:16:49   Let me do our last sponsor real quick and then we'll talk about Google Reader.

01:16:51   Sure.

01:16:52   And our last sponsor is Studio Neat.

01:16:54   These are the guys behind the Glyph, a bunch of other great products.

01:16:58   Well, their newest product is an iPhone app called Simple Bracket.

01:17:02   I'll bet you've heard of this, MG.

01:17:04   It's an iPhone app for filling in your March Madness NCAA college basketball brackets and

01:17:10   competing with friends and family.

01:17:14   Super easy to log in.

01:17:15   How do you identify yourself to your friends and family?

01:17:17   It's easy.

01:17:18   You log in with your Twitter ID and it's built right into the iOS.

01:17:21   You don't even have to enter your password.

01:17:23   you just authorize it to use one of your Twitter accounts that you've already got set up in

01:17:26   iOS. It has a beautiful UI. I mean, you know, everybody knows I'm a huge fan of Futura.

01:17:30   These guys know how to use Futura. And I think they've done some really innovative thinking

01:17:37   with the way that the actual brackets, anybody out there who knows what I'm talking about,

01:17:41   filling in the NCAA brackets, knows what I'm talking about. There's like a standard look

01:17:45   to them. Those of you out there who have no idea what an NCAA, what the NCAA tournament

01:17:49   is this app is probably not going to be of interest to you.

01:17:52   But if you know what the tournament is, you've got to check it out.

01:17:54   And I think they've done something really clever with the way the bracket is laid out

01:17:58   where the traditional layout would, you think, "Ah, I don't see how that would fit on an

01:18:02   iPhone screen."

01:18:03   Well, they thought the same thing and they've come out with a really neat layout.

01:18:06   I think it works perfect for something as complicated as a 64-team elimination bracket.

01:18:13   Really, really clever user interface and layout.

01:18:18   They've got their own scoring system and it's – how do you judge who wins one of these

01:18:23   bracket tournaments?

01:18:24   Well, they went to a mathematician and got a new formula for computing the winner and

01:18:28   it gives proper weight to upset picks based on the probability of outcome.

01:18:33   So in other words, if you pick a bunch of upsets, you get more credit than someone who

01:18:38   maybe had the same number of wins in the first round but their wins were all from favorites,

01:18:43   which to me does seem fair.

01:18:46   It's available now. Just go to the App Store, search for Simple Bracket. It's one

01:18:52   buck, which is unbelievable to me because I think it's a great app and everybody

01:18:56   who's going to use it, you know what you're going to do. You're going to bet

01:18:58   in pools way more than a buck. Well, you can use this to manage your pool and, you

01:19:03   know, gambling is not legal in your state. I did not tell you to do it. No, but you can use it. You can

01:19:09   set up your own pools with your friends and invite people. It all gets managed

01:19:12   through this app. If you're going to set up a pool and everybody in pool has an iPhone,

01:19:17   I mean, I can't imagine a better way to do it. It's a lot of fun. You could even do it

01:19:21   for fun without the gambling. Grab the app now, though, because the teams are going to

01:19:26   be announced on Sunday and you're going to want to have it by then to start making your

01:19:31   picks. So go to the app store, search for Simple Bracket if you have any interest in

01:19:35   the NCAA tournament. And my thanks to Studio Neat.

01:19:38   neat.

01:19:39   You like the NCAA tournament?

01:19:42   Yes, though. I know Michigan, where I went to school, they just lost today in the Big

01:19:47   Ten tournament, so I'm not thrilled about that, but they'll still be a relatively

01:19:50   high seed in the NCAA tournament, so I'm excited for it.

01:19:54   You do the same thing I do. My favorite team—the school I went to, Drexel, they're seldom

01:19:59   in the tournament, although when they are, it's very exciting. But my favorite big

01:20:02   name team has always been North Carolina. And so I always, whenever I fill out my bracket,

01:20:07   The first thing I do is just fill in North Carolina right through to the end.

01:20:10   It doesn't matter whether they're having a good season or a bad season.

01:20:13   I always fill them into the end, and I've never once not done it.

01:20:16   And here's the reason why for me is because I'm less interested in winning the thing

01:20:21   than I am in the agony I would cause myself if I didn't pick them and they actually

01:20:27   won.

01:20:28   I would think, "How can I doubt my own favorite team?"

01:20:30   So I always just start by just filling them in right to the end.

01:20:33   And then I go back and start filling in all the other ones.

01:20:36   Yeah.

01:20:37   Do you do the same thing with Michigan?

01:20:38   Yeah.

01:20:39   Unfortunately, Michigan has been awful for about a decade because they were on probation

01:20:42   for the whole Chris Webber, Fab Five type stuff, including when I was at school.

01:20:48   So they're finally good again.

01:20:49   So I'm excited for the tournament this year now that they're good again.

01:20:52   Now that they are in the tournament, they were there last year, but now that I can actually

01:20:55   fill them in for the bracket.

01:20:56   Yeah.

01:20:57   You know, I never thought about it.

01:20:58   I'm not trying to rub it in.

01:20:59   But it just occurred to me that probably the biggest moment in Michigan basketball history

01:21:05   It was against North Carolina.

01:21:06   - Yeah, the false timeout.

01:21:09   - Right.

01:21:09   - Yeah, that was great.

01:21:11   (laughing)

01:21:13   Chris Weber has done a lot of good from Michigan.

01:21:16   - You know what though?

01:21:17   Even as a North Carolina fan,

01:21:20   it was sort of an ignominious way to win.

01:21:22   It was like you're waiting for this firecracker

01:21:25   to go off of an exciting down

01:21:27   to the last second basketball game,

01:21:30   and the way that it finished was,

01:21:32   oh, one of the guys on the other team

01:21:34   poured water on the firecracker.

01:21:35   - Right, right.

01:21:36   - Right?

01:21:37   - Yeah.

01:21:38   - It's like, you win, 'cause that's not allowed.

01:21:39   You're not allowed to put water on the firecracker.

01:21:41   - Yeah, yeah.

01:21:44   - What happened, for anybody who doesn't know,

01:21:46   and again, I don't mean to rub salt in the wood,

01:21:48   but it was a close game.

01:21:49   I think North Carolina was up by one.

01:21:52   Could be getting that wrong,

01:21:53   but Michigan could've won, and they had the ball,

01:21:56   but they had no timeouts left,

01:21:58   and one of their star players,

01:21:59   probably the star player, tried to call a timeout,

01:22:02   And in basketball, if you don't have timeouts and try to call a timeout, it's a technical

01:22:06   foul.

01:22:07   The other team gets to shoot some free throws and they get the ball back and that sort of

01:22:11   ended the game right there.

01:22:14   That was the most anticlimactic ending possible ever.

01:22:18   Alright, Google Reader.

01:22:21   So I think you and I are going to maybe disagree on this.

01:22:24   Well, I think that you will think that we will because I was being sort of funny on

01:22:28   on Twitter yesterday about it, but I actually am fairly annoyed by this.

01:22:34   Just because I see my traffic logs and stuff and I see where a lot of the people are reading

01:22:40   from, it's a ton of people still reading from Google Reader.

01:22:44   So I don't know where they...

01:22:46   I mean, obviously, a lot of people now are saying that they're going to step up and fill

01:22:49   the void, but it's still...

01:22:51   It's an underlying layer that a lot of these other services were using.

01:22:55   Yeah.

01:22:56   what there's two there's two aspects to google reader there's the google reader

01:22:59   the traditional google reader interface where you go to the web and you go to

01:23:02   reader google.com or whatever the url was and and read google reader there and

01:23:07   tons of people definitely do that because i see that from my referral logs

01:23:11   of people coming from google reader urls all the time um i know what a lot of

01:23:16   daring fireball readers do is and i think that they you know i don't know i

01:23:19   don't know what it's going to mean for daring fireball because i think what

01:23:22   happens is most of my stuff my link list stuff they read and they know how it

01:23:25   how it works and they click the headline

01:23:27   and I never see them.

01:23:28   They just go to where I'm pointing, which is fine with me.

01:23:31   It's your attention that I want more than,

01:23:33   I don't want the page views 'cause I don't sell ads

01:23:35   by page views.

01:23:36   And I'm just glad to have you reading my feed

01:23:39   and that's why I sell sponsorships that go into the feed.

01:23:42   They pay for it, so it's great.

01:23:44   But what a lot of people do is when I write a full article,

01:23:47   like the one I wrote last night,

01:23:48   then instead of reading it in Reader,

01:23:50   then they come to my site because they wanna read it

01:23:52   on Daring Fireball.

01:23:53   And when I write a full article, I get almost always

01:23:57   the number one referral is Google Reader.

01:24:00   And if not, it's some Tico URL from Twitter.

01:24:03   - Right.

01:24:04   And yeah, those are going to go away.

01:24:08   I mean, so I have not used,

01:24:11   I used to be a Google Reader junkie.

01:24:13   Like maybe, I think there was a service I used the most.

01:24:17   I was like, I was so adamant about making sure

01:24:21   that I read every single thing,

01:24:23   whether, not necessarily reading, but at least seeing

01:24:25   and skimming every single thing that was in there.

01:24:27   I had like over 100 feeds that I was doing that for,

01:24:31   and I was just very diligent about throughout a day.

01:24:34   That was like my go-to thing, especially in my prime time

01:24:39   of doing tech blogging.

01:24:40   That's like how I would stay on top of every little thing.

01:24:43   And now, my life is different now, of course,

01:24:46   but it just seems like I never use Google Reader anymore.

01:24:51   I would use occasionally Reader, the iOS app,

01:24:54   which is on both iPhone and iPad and is great,

01:24:59   but uses Google Reader as kind of the underlayer for it.

01:25:03   - Right, that's the second use of Google Reader,

01:25:05   is as an API and a syncing API for client apps.

01:25:10   - Yep, right. - And that to me,

01:25:12   and Brent Simmons pointed out yesterday,

01:25:14   is at least in like referral logs is dark matter.

01:25:17   - Right. - Because it doesn't show up.

01:25:19   - Right. - Right?

01:25:20   Don't underestimate how many people are using apps

01:25:24   for feed reading, and a lot of those apps

01:25:26   use Google Reader as their way of syncing.

01:25:28   - And so people say, a few of these guys,

01:25:30   so Dig has come out, Feedly, Flipboard,

01:25:34   like a number of them have come out

01:25:35   and said that they're going to recreate, right,

01:25:37   Google Reader, but a few of them have said

01:25:39   that they're gonna try and recreate the API as well.

01:25:41   It's not clear to me how they're doing that.

01:25:44   Are they just going to scrape the,

01:25:49   kind of your, what is it, OPML?

01:25:50   Isn't that what the--

01:25:52   - I don't know, I don't know enough about

01:25:55   how the Google Reader API worked.

01:25:56   It must be more than just OPML though,

01:25:58   because there has to be a way for clients to send like,

01:26:00   hey, this one's been read.

01:26:02   - Yeah, right, you're right.

01:26:03   - And pull more, it's, but I've also heard though,

01:26:08   you know, and Brent Simmons is actually,

01:26:11   yeah, but not even heard, it's not even like a secret,

01:26:13   but it's not a great API.

01:26:15   Well, the reason everybody adopted it is that it worked.

01:26:18   know, and it's a kind of a crummy API, but it worked. And it was never really published

01:26:22   as an official API. The API use is all sort of, and it was never really official. Like,

01:26:28   Google never really blocked it and never said, "Don't use it," but they never said, "Hey,

01:26:32   here's an API you can use for syncing." People sort of backwards engineered it.

01:26:37   And for example, some of the best documentation for it, Brent Simmons of NetNewswire fame,

01:26:43   but he doesn't do NetNewswire anymore. That's at BlackPixel. But while he was doing NetNewswire,

01:26:48   NewsWire. At NewsGator, he and the guy behind FeedDemon, I'm blanking on his name right

01:26:57   now, but sorry about that. But the FeedDemon app, which is like NetNewsWire for Windows,

01:27:03   he sort of backwards engineered a lot of their API and documented it for their own use at

01:27:10   NewsGator for their apps. But Google never really published docs for it. So all these

01:27:15   These people who say they're going to duplicate it are duplicating an API that was never really

01:27:19   fully published.

01:27:20   That's interesting. The response to it was amazing. Just looking at my Twitter feed,

01:27:31   everyone was so pissed off. I do wonder. I got into it a little bit with someone yesterday,

01:27:38   wondering if this is the first time under the Larry Page era that Google goes back on

01:27:43   It almost seems like there's a chance they could do that right because the backlash has just been so great

01:27:49   Like Google has to see this and look like maybe we did have something there. Maybe we just didn't put enough resources

01:27:54   Maybe we made a mistake and like I don't think anyone would

01:27:57   Think poorly on them if they said they came out and said exactly that like well Marco Arman made the argument that it would be

01:28:04   The worst thing they could do that

01:28:05   Maybe the best thing they could have done was just stick with it and improve it

01:28:08   But now once they've announced that it's dead and all these other people start building

01:28:12   Competitors and trying to break out of the ecosystem the worst thing they could do or I think he called it a dick move

01:28:16   Would be to then say nope never mind

01:28:19   We're gonna we're gonna keep it going and then have all that wasted effort in the mean time

01:28:23   I guess unless they say reversely yeah, if they reverse course quickly enough though. I'm not quite sure that that applies

01:28:29   Yeah, I thought his other point Marcus other point was better where it's sort of I think this was his point at least that

01:28:36   Google Reader, while all these people are up in arms

01:28:40   about it, and rightfully so in some ways,

01:28:42   it's also, it really did sort of stifle innovation

01:28:45   in the RSS space, because it just became

01:28:48   such a dominant player, and sort of,

01:28:50   that maybe not killed off some of the other guys,

01:28:52   but they all had to either be compatible with it,

01:28:55   and so it really didn't help that space at all,

01:29:00   and so now maybe there will be innovation there again.

01:29:03   - At a certain point, free and good enough,

01:29:06   and with Google behind it,

01:29:09   it's almost impossible to overcome.

01:29:13   - Right.

01:29:14   - I don't know if that's quite true,

01:29:15   but in the case of the RSS market as it stood around 2005,

01:29:19   it was impossible for anybody to really overcome it.

01:29:22   And everybody who sort of survived,

01:29:25   like apps like Reader and Net News Wire,

01:29:27   survived by getting on board with it

01:29:31   as their syncing engine.

01:29:32   Right.

01:29:34   How do you view, though, RSS overall?

01:29:36   I mean, this is sort of the point where we may disagree.

01:29:39   It's like, obviously, both of our readers

01:29:43   are fairly still addicted to it and use it.

01:29:46   And you and I both, in the past, if not now,

01:29:49   were addicted to using it.

01:29:50   But it's never really been a mainstream thing.

01:29:54   I think everyone would agree on that.

01:29:57   I think that you could make the argument that it's

01:29:58   a mainstream thing in that people use things

01:30:01   like Flipboard and stuff maybe,

01:30:02   but they don't realize they're using RSS.

01:30:04   But no one, like my parents, have no idea what RSS is.

01:30:07   And now, Twitter and Facebook and the social services

01:30:12   have sort of replaced the need for it,

01:30:14   but to some extent, some of them still use it.

01:30:16   Like, I don't know, how do you syndicate out

01:30:18   the Daring Fireball Twitter account?

01:30:20   Do you just sync from a RSS feed?

01:30:22   Is that how you do it?

01:30:23   - Yeah, I wrote a little thing

01:30:24   that just reads my RSS feed and auto-tune.

01:30:26   I know there's other services that do it,

01:30:28   but I wanted to do it my own way

01:30:30   so I could truncate.

01:30:31   If I happened to write a title that plus the URL was greater

01:30:35   than 140 characters, I wanted to truncate it.

01:30:38   Got it.

01:30:38   Yeah.

01:30:39   So I did the same thing.

01:30:40   And I just wanted control over it.

01:30:41   I just wanted control over--

01:30:44   Yeah.

01:30:45   That makes sense.

01:30:46   Yeah, and you know what?

01:30:46   It's also the only way I could figure out

01:30:48   to get my custom link shortener in the tweets.

01:30:50   So the @daringfireball account is a little-- I don't know.

01:30:54   It's only like 40 lines of Perl code.

01:30:56   OK.

01:30:58   - But so how do you view RSS now?

01:31:00   Since it never has become a mainstream thing

01:31:02   and it wasn't going to, right?

01:31:04   - There's two, I think there's two ways to view it.

01:31:06   One is as technical plumbing.

01:31:08   And I don't think Google Reader's disappearance

01:31:11   changes that at all.

01:31:12   Google Reader disappears and people who, like you said,

01:31:16   who read Flipboard, and Flipboard just keeps working

01:31:19   as ever, it's not like websites are gonna pull their feeds.

01:31:22   I'm not going to, just because Google Reader's down.

01:31:24   Even if those tends to, I don't even know how many,

01:31:29   I really don't know how many people,

01:31:31   but lots and lots of during five hour readers

01:31:33   read it through Google Reader.

01:31:34   Even if those readers don't subscribe to the feed again

01:31:38   in another app and they just go away,

01:31:40   I'm still not taking my feed away, you know,

01:31:42   'cause I know there's enough people who use it elsewhere

01:31:44   and people who read it through Flipboard

01:31:45   and stuff like that.

01:31:46   I mean, it's still worth having a feed.

01:31:48   So the way that RSS is just plumbing that other apps use

01:31:52   and people don't even know they're reading RSS.

01:31:55   Google Reader really I don't think has any relevance

01:31:57   to that.

01:31:58   I don't think it changes at all.

01:32:00   I think where it does though, I think the other aspect

01:32:02   of RSS is among the people who do know what RSS is,

01:32:07   and it's clearly a minority of the overall public,

01:32:11   but who they are are the news junkies.

01:32:13   - Right.

01:32:14   - And I think news junkies are, it's again,

01:32:19   it's just sort of like with the phones,

01:32:21   where every reader is not equivalent, right?

01:32:25   It's not like, well, if only 3% of overall readers

01:32:29   use RSS and know what RSS is, then it doesn't really matter

01:32:32   if Google Reader goes away.

01:32:34   But those 3% of readers are the best readers,

01:32:36   because they're junkies, and they're going to come back

01:32:38   multiple times a day.

01:32:39   They're the ones who are likely to read every single thing I

01:32:42   post.

01:32:44   They're like the most avid readers of Daring Fireball.

01:32:47   So I think that's incredibly valuable.

01:32:49   Like, sometimes, you know, it's the same way that the Mac could be an important part of

01:32:57   the computer industry with 4-5% market share.

01:33:00   Right.

01:33:01   And that's sort of why this confuses me about why Google did it.

01:33:03   Because first of all, they're obviously, they haven't put resources into it in a long time.

01:33:07   The entire team that built it is long gone.

01:33:09   They probably had a few people, like literally a few people working on it, you know, in their

01:33:13   spare time or whatever.

01:33:15   But that's all they needed, right?

01:33:17   Like, it didn't need anything.

01:33:18   and they weren't going to build any new features for it.

01:33:20   I have to wonder if they're doing it just as a signal to,

01:33:25   we really are behind, again, Google+,

01:33:28   and we want people to read the news that way,

01:33:30   and we don't want it.

01:33:31   But it almost seems like just shooting themselves

01:33:33   in the foot with just pure bad PR for no real reason.

01:33:38   Because again, not taking up a lot of resources or whatever.

01:33:41   Yes, it's a great noble cause to say

01:33:43   that you want to be focused and have fewer products.

01:33:46   And I think that that has helped Google

01:33:48   in a lot of regards, but this is something

01:33:50   where it's such a passionate user base

01:33:53   that it was gonna never be anything but a negative for them.

01:33:56   It sort of reminds me of when Yahoo sunsetted Delicious,

01:33:59   right, it was like they ended up having

01:34:02   to spin it out and sell it.

01:34:03   It's like, does Google do that?

01:34:05   Do they sell it to someone else?

01:34:07   - And I bet there's a lot of, I bet it's a lot of overlap

01:34:09   between the people who are diehard Delicious users,

01:34:11   I bet are largely overlap with people

01:34:13   who are very avid Google Reader users.

01:34:15   Yeah.

01:34:16   And Google had to know that it's like the heavy Google Reader

01:34:20   users are also a lot, probably every single tech blogger

01:34:24   out there.

01:34:25   And they knew they were just going

01:34:26   to get pounded and pounded and pounded on these things.

01:34:30   But they did it anyway.

01:34:31   But I think you retweeted that one funny tweet where it's

01:34:34   like, so Google wants to focus.

01:34:38   Google Glass, good.

01:34:40   Google Cars, good.

01:34:42   Self-driving cars, magic glasses.

01:34:45   The Brazilian social network.

01:34:49   Those stay.

01:34:49   Google Reader, done.

01:34:52   Yeah, that's pretty funny.

01:34:54   That would--

01:34:55   Yeah, so I'm surprised that they did this, at least the way

01:35:01   that they did it.

01:35:02   And it's happening very soon, too.

01:35:04   It's only a few months, which doesn't

01:35:06   give those other teams that are working on things from scratch

01:35:08   dig a lot of time to come up with something.

01:35:11   Well, and sometimes, I do wonder what Google sees as valuable.

01:35:19   Clearly what they can sell ads against is valuable to them.

01:35:22   That's where their revenue and profits come from.

01:35:23   Right.

01:35:23   And that's an important point, because they

01:35:25   tried to do that with FeedBurner,

01:35:27   and then they had FeedSense, right?

01:35:29   And that just never took off.

01:35:30   Right.

01:35:32   And FeedBurner is still around, but the fact

01:35:35   that they're doing this to Google Reader would make--

01:35:39   and I've never put a feed in FeedBurner.

01:35:41   specifically because I never want to trust,

01:35:45   even though they give you good analytics,

01:35:47   I've always thought I'd rather control my feed

01:35:51   than have the analytics.

01:35:54   - So I am in FeedBurner, and I do wonder now,

01:35:57   what does that mean?

01:35:59   FeedBurner has been probably, in my mind,

01:36:01   one of the most neglected Google products

01:36:04   in the last at least five years, six years,

01:36:06   whatever it's been, way more so than Google Reader.

01:36:09   - They bought it and just stopped doing anything with it.

01:36:11   Right, and you know, it's sort of humorous,

01:36:13   that Dick Costolo was one of the founders of it,

01:36:16   to the point of, humorous aside,

01:36:18   he used to actually, I would have problems

01:36:20   with my personal blog feed,

01:36:22   I would email Google about it,

01:36:23   and it would be Dick Costolo on the email,

01:36:26   saying, "Hi, MG, let me look into that for you,"

01:36:29   while he was, sort of funny how times change.

01:36:32   But, so, yeah, they really didn't do anything with it,

01:36:35   and if you ever wanna hear someone

01:36:38   just complain nonstop about feed burn,

01:36:40   just talked to Gabe Rivera of TechMeam, because he sees,

01:36:43   it's not only that FeedBurner was neglected,

01:36:45   it would like really mess up feeds in some way,

01:36:49   to the point where like when he was trying to crawl them

01:36:51   for TechMeam to get headlines on there,

01:36:53   it'd be all kinds of problems,

01:36:54   and he had to create his own system

01:36:55   to like un-FeedBurner feeds.

01:36:58   Yeah.

01:37:00   - Yeah, and part of the,

01:37:01   and I've heard that too about FeedBurner,

01:37:03   that FeedBurner mangles feeds,

01:37:04   and that's so, it's so almost ironic,

01:37:08   because one of the best things about Google Reader

01:37:11   is that Google Reader is famously good

01:37:14   at understanding mangled feeds.

01:37:18   That mismanaged feeds with misformed XML,

01:37:24   Google Reader was famous for being able to-- I understand

01:37:28   what you really wanted.

01:37:30   Like in the way that web browsers have always

01:37:33   dealt as gracefully as they can with mangled HTML.

01:37:39   Part of the whole idea behind RSS--

01:37:43   not RSS, XML as a whole at the beginning was--

01:37:47   and I don't want to get into a big rant on web standards,

01:37:49   but the XML guys were sort of idealists.

01:37:52   And they looked at HTML and said,

01:37:54   this is a nightmare the way that all the browsers have

01:37:57   to support mangled, invalid HTML.

01:38:01   let's make it a rule that XML parsers, if they encounter an XML error, have to break.

01:38:06   And that's actually in the spec. And RSS is a form of XML. So if you have bad RSS, whatever the app that's reading it is supposed to throw up an error.

01:38:16   And everybody who writes software was like, "That's like the worst user experience ever. I'm not going to do that. I'm going to do my best to read it."

01:38:25   And I think overall RSS is a lot better formed and more valid than HTML, but it's, you know,

01:38:31   it's just the nature of the world.

01:38:33   People are going to write bad XML.

01:38:35   And Google Reader did a great job of making sense of it.

01:38:39   And that meant that like apps like Reader or Net News Wire that go through Google Reader

01:38:45   for syncing could get the advantages of that sort of parsing smartness.

01:38:51   So, I wonder now if, as a result of this, there's either going to be one of two things

01:38:59   happen. Either people like you and I who get a significant number of readers coming in

01:39:04   from Google Reader just lose those guys, like you said, and they don't come back. Or does

01:39:11   it help a few of the new guys that can actually innovate on top of what a news reader should

01:39:18   be sort of like reinvigorate the space? Do you think that that will happen or do you

01:39:21   think it will be like, that's it, they'll now read through Twitter and so they'll

01:39:26   read less?

01:39:28   You never know. I think there's an opportunity, clearly there's an opportunity here for

01:39:31   reinvigoration of the entire RSS market. And if you're really a news junkie, I mean,

01:39:37   and I do, I really do worry about it like in terms of the overall traffic at Daring

01:39:41   Fireball because anytime you have to make a choice, you can make a choice not to do

01:39:44   Whereas like, so like a diehard daring fireball reader

01:39:47   who's subscribed through Google Reader

01:39:49   and reads everything I write,

01:39:50   once Google Reader goes away,

01:39:52   that reader has a choice of, you know,

01:39:55   that, this, that, the other replacement for Google Reader,

01:39:58   but another one of the choices they have

01:40:00   is just not to subscribe

01:40:02   and just think in the back of their mind,

01:40:03   ah, I'll check daring fireball out on the web

01:40:05   whenever I think of it.

01:40:06   - Right, and you have to imagine

01:40:07   that that's going to be at least some percentage

01:40:10   are not going to be available.

01:40:10   - It has to, it's gonna be more than zero, right?

01:40:12   It's, you know, and who knows how big it is.

01:40:16   So I mean, I'm not going to say I'm worried,

01:40:18   but it's certainly something I'm concerned about.

01:40:20   I mean, here's one of the other things, too,

01:40:22   is I have no idea how many people read Daring

01:40:24   Fireball through Google Reader.

01:40:25   I posted a thing the other day where when they hit your feed,

01:40:28   they put in the user agent string

01:40:31   how many subscribers there are to your feed in Google Reader.

01:40:34   And for Daring Fireball, it's 370-some thousand,

01:40:37   plus a bunch of other hundred and some that are--

01:40:40   that for some reason Google Reader sometimes puts your feed in under a different ID. But

01:40:46   it's, you know, somewhere on the order of close to 400,000. But there's no way that

01:40:51   there's actually 400,000 active readers because that counts everybody who's ever subscribed

01:40:56   to my feed in Google Reader whether they're still using Google Reader or not. Right? When

01:41:01   somebody who uses any feed reader, Google Reader, Net News, or anything, when they stop

01:41:06   using it, when they just sort of fade away from using Google Reader and don't really

01:41:10   check in anymore. Nobody goes in and unsubscribes from all their feeds first. They're still

01:41:16   subscribed. So I have no idea. Is there 100,000 active readers of Daring Fireball's feed

01:41:21   in Google Reader? Is it actually close to that 370,000 number? Is it really only 25,000?

01:41:27   I have no idea.

01:41:28   And so do you also think—someone put this forward, I think it was on Twitter yesterday—the

01:41:34   The notion that because FeedSense,

01:41:37   so the monetization of the feeds never really took off

01:41:40   in the way that anyone was hoping,

01:41:42   Google viewed this as like, it's almost like the antithesis

01:41:46   of what they want to do because they want people

01:41:51   to be on the web, they want people to be using Google,

01:41:53   and they want people to be on websites

01:41:54   where they're showing up Google Ads.

01:41:56   And a lot of people, you know, like I would just view things

01:42:00   through the feed reader if it had a full feed,

01:42:02   and I would never hit those sites,

01:42:03   I'm not going to go there to comment and do other things.

01:42:06   And so there's an argument that could be made that I was, in a way, if you want to

01:42:12   call it mooching or whatever, off of those sites that were making no advertising money

01:42:17   off of me. And so since Google being the largest by far web advertiser, Google to some extent

01:42:23   then was losing money as a result of that.

01:42:26   I guess so. Maybe. I can't help but think that that must be part of the equation that

01:42:30   they put, you know, to decide to stop this, that they couldn't, you know, they didn't

01:42:34   think it was a way to make money. But the thing that surprises me is that they didn't

01:42:37   see it as a way to collect interesting information about people.

01:42:41   Like, here's what, you know, that maybe they can't put ads on it while you're reading

01:42:46   in Google Reader, but they do know what you're reading in Google Reader. And that seems to

01:42:50   me like it would inform the ads they can show you elsewhere when they can show you ads.

01:42:56   So that's what surprises me, is it seems to me that knowing what a couple of million news

01:43:00   junkies are reading seems like really interesting information from a Google perspective, like

01:43:06   something that they could do something, that just seems like prime Google material.

01:43:10   And I just always assume that's why they built it in the first place.

01:43:12   And that reminds me of something which I hadn't thought about until right now, but someone

01:43:16   had, oh, it was BuzzFeed.

01:43:19   BuzzFeed about three months ago, because I linked to it, and so I just searched for it

01:43:23   quickly.

01:43:24   had the story that goes in depth about the night

01:43:28   that Google shut off the social features

01:43:31   within Google Reader and switched over

01:43:33   to Google+ integration.

01:43:36   And this was like a giant thing for a lot of these users.

01:43:38   It was really like the first step when everyone knew like,

01:43:40   oh God, the end is coming or whatever.

01:43:43   But there's like, there's this whole thing

01:43:45   called like Share Bros.

01:43:47   I know that sounds ridiculous,

01:43:48   but there's some kind of community called Share Bros

01:43:51   within the Google Reader community that were just like,

01:43:53   using Google Reader just to share with one another.

01:43:56   And it really was like a very tight-knit community, I guess,

01:44:01   of people around news.

01:44:03   And Google could have had all of this interesting information

01:44:06   around that kind of data.

01:44:08   But instead, they tried to go for the Google+ integration,

01:44:12   and it alienated all of those users.

01:44:14   And then they either took off, or they were just pissed off.

01:44:19   But that speaks to what you were getting at, where Google could

01:44:21   have done a lot more interesting things.

01:44:23   like they had a really great social network for news

01:44:27   and they never really did anything with it.

01:44:30   - Right, it just doesn't quite,

01:44:32   I've always thought that Google had two types of things

01:44:35   they're interested in.

01:44:36   One, the things that they can actually sell ads against.

01:44:39   And then two, the type of things where they can collect

01:44:42   information about you if you're signed into Google

01:44:46   that would be useful for selling ads against you

01:44:49   of your interest later.

01:44:50   like one level away from advertising.

01:44:53   And so to me, Maps is like that.

01:44:55   Like to me, I never see many ads on Maps, very few.

01:44:59   Certainly, I've never seen enough ads in Google Maps

01:45:02   that would ever justify the value I've gotten out of it.

01:45:06   But presumably, when I'm signed into Google and use Maps,

01:45:09   the location data that they've collected about me

01:45:12   is useful to them.

01:45:14   That it's more the aggregate location data of their users

01:45:19   is what's valuable to Google Maps for them,

01:45:21   not the ads they're actually selling through Google Maps.

01:45:23   - Yeah.

01:45:25   - And I always thought the same thing about Google Reader.

01:45:27   - Yeah, so the only thing that sticks in my head then

01:45:30   is just that they feel like, once again,

01:45:33   they need to push Google+ to be that source

01:45:37   of information, right?

01:45:38   - Well, and that's, you know,

01:45:40   I guess that's the other factor.

01:45:42   And here's the other thing I thought Google Reader

01:45:43   would be interesting for.

01:45:45   Maybe it already is, maybe this is a source of information

01:45:47   that's going away, but I always presume

01:45:49   that Google Reader would be important

01:45:51   for driving the algorithms behind Google News.

01:45:54   - Right.

01:45:55   - And what's a top story?

01:45:56   What's going to get people interested?

01:45:59   Like, boy, a lot of people are interested

01:46:01   in this Galaxy S4 launch,

01:46:05   'cause they're all reading these things about it,

01:46:06   so let's promote that story on Google News

01:46:09   to the mass market of people who just check out Google News.

01:46:12   - Yeah, and there was a notion way back in the day,

01:46:16   probably five years ago or something,

01:46:17   that Google was going to create a quote, unquote dig killer

01:46:21   by using the Google Reader information, right,

01:46:24   to see what people were starring,

01:46:26   because remember that was like a big part of it,

01:46:27   you could star all the things.

01:46:29   - Right, and people would subscribe to say,

01:46:31   you know, Scoble's favorites.

01:46:33   - Right, right, right, and so you could surface then

01:46:35   the top news of the day via that,

01:46:37   and they just never did it.

01:46:39   - Right, it was like an easy way

01:46:40   to create your own link blog,

01:46:42   where you would go through Google Reader,

01:46:44   and when you saw something interesting, you'd star it,

01:46:47   and then anybody, if you're, I guess,

01:46:49   I think you had control over whether that was public.

01:46:51   - Yeah, you did.

01:46:52   They even had designs for it, right, at one point.

01:46:54   - Right, then you could, you know,

01:46:55   your starred links through Google Reader

01:46:58   was, you know, like a link blog.

01:47:00   - Yep.

01:47:01   - That's the thing, though, that you were saying

01:47:02   about Google+, is I also, I do wonder whether this was like

01:47:05   political spitefulness of that they've been trying

01:47:08   to get people to use Google+ for a lot of the same things,

01:47:12   discovery of interesting links and sharing links,

01:47:16   and it just isn't taking off.

01:47:19   Right, and somebody else made the point that

01:47:21   if the reason, if their reason for killing Google Reader

01:47:26   is it just isn't popular enough,

01:47:28   then why is Google+ still around?

01:47:29   Because clearly fewer people are using Google+

01:47:32   than Google Reader.

01:47:33   - And someone had the stats yesterday

01:47:35   that they're still seeing way more inbound traffic

01:47:37   from Google Reader than Google+.

01:47:39   - Oh, everybody is, everybody is.

01:47:40   And the only reason that when they quote Google+ numbers

01:47:43   that they quote a huge number is they count Gmail users

01:47:45   Google Plus. So everybody who uses Gmail, which is like 50 million people, counts as

01:47:50   an active Google Plus user, but nobody's actually using Google Plus as Google--well, not nobody,

01:47:55   but relatively few compared to Google Reader.

01:47:57   I can't--

01:47:58   Peter: Very few people outside of Google employees.

01:48:00   Right?

01:48:01   Justin: But Google Plus is like the baby. That's the prize, the favored child. That's the one

01:48:06   Larry Page, you know, that's his baby as CEO. That's the one that--what's his name? The

01:48:13   guy from Microsoft.

01:48:14   Peter. Vic Gundotra.

01:48:15   who's always a keynote guy at IO.

01:48:18   - Vic Gundotra.

01:48:21   - Yeah, Vic Gundotra.

01:48:22   He's obviously very influential there,

01:48:26   and Google+ is sort of his baby.

01:48:29   And I kinda can't help but feel that they've,

01:48:33   they poked some sticks, like come on,

01:48:35   move to Google+, move to Google+,

01:48:37   and none of the diehard Google reader users did,

01:48:41   and now it's like, well, now you're gonna have to.

01:48:43   (laughing)

01:48:43   - Yeah, which is just--

01:48:44   I haven't heard one single person say, "Ah, I can't believe they did this to Google Reader, but I guess I'll move to Google Plus."

01:48:50   Yeah, if anything, the opposite will happen. They'll just be more spiteful of it and just not go over there.

01:48:55   Right, because you can't even do—I mean, there's the sharing stuff you can do, but you can't subscribe to feeds.

01:49:01   I mean, that's what most people want to do, is they want to—here's these things I'm interested in, and I want to see every single thing that they post.

01:49:07   Right, and you can, I mean, you could do it in the same convoluted way that you do that

01:49:11   for Twitter, which is that you would set up some kind of automated thing where you create

01:49:16   a page for your site or whatever, and then you do an RSS to Google+ post.

01:49:21   Right, it's sort of a boil the ocean plan, though, where everybody who is publishing

01:49:26   RSS is going to publish a Google+ feed. I mean, I'm not going to do that.

01:49:32   Yeah, right.

01:49:34   I hope not. I hope I'm not going to do that.

01:49:38   That's going to be your future, all Google+ all the time.

01:49:40   Yeah, so I don't know. How do you see it playing out before we sign off? Do you think that

01:49:44   this—again, it's not—there's zero chance that RSS's technical plumbing is going away.

01:49:51   I think Renee Ritchie at iMore called it the—it's like the file system of news, right?

01:49:57   And I think that's a great analogy insofar as it's like iOS users and post-PC, all

01:50:03   All post-PC platforms sort of obfuscate the file system from the users.

01:50:07   That doesn't mean the file system isn't there, though.

01:50:10   It's just there and the code uses it.

01:50:11   That's not going away.

01:50:12   But is news reading for news junkies going away?

01:50:15   So I guess the way I would answer that is I wonder what this means relative to the world

01:50:22   just continuing to shift towards mobile computing, right?

01:50:25   It's like the RSS readers and Google Reader in particular were great on the desktop.

01:50:32   But on mobile, while Reader and there are some other good ones out there, it's not the

01:50:38   same.

01:50:39   And I don't feel like people use it in the exact same way, because you just can't.

01:50:44   It's a small screen, you can't multitask really in the same way of doing as you can on a computer.

01:50:51   And so I think that this is an opportunity for something new to come about, or for someone

01:50:58   like Flipboard or Dig or someone else to take advantage and really innovate on top of what

01:51:03   has come before it.

01:51:04   But I do think it's going to have to be different from what it was.

01:51:07   I don't think that we just get the straight up news reader as we had with Google Reader,

01:51:13   because it just, you know, everyone's on their phone all the time and most of the links I

01:51:17   click through are on Twitter and then I either save them to read later in Instapaper or whatever,

01:51:23   but I'm just not using a feed reader anymore.

01:51:27   I do on my desktop, but I don't on my phone because Twitter fills up the entirety of my

01:51:34   – I'm on my phone and I'm bored or I'm waiting in a line or I have a couple of minutes

01:51:39   to blow.

01:51:40   What's new?

01:51:41   I never get to the end of what's new in Twitter and then think, "Well, all right,

01:51:45   maybe I'll switch to RSS and see what's new."

01:51:48   I never get to it.

01:51:49   That's exactly right.

01:51:50   I'm the exact same way.

01:51:51   And I assume you still click on links within Twitter and you read some of those stories

01:51:54   as you're going.

01:51:55   It's just a different way of, it's a different mentality because it's a different use case.

01:51:59   So I do think that it's just going to be different going forward.

01:52:03   But clearly, I'm sure there's a lot of people listening right now who do, who use

01:52:08   Reader or NetNewswire or something on their phones and their iPads.

01:52:13   Reader certainly is very popular on the phone.

01:52:19   What are they going to use for syncing?

01:52:20   I don't know.

01:52:21   And I do, that's the one thing, that's the thing that Google Reader had that's essential

01:52:25   to mobile is it really, nobody wants to use an RSS readers that don't sync.

01:52:33   Right?

01:52:34   Like it's the same way that nobody wants to use email that doesn't sync.

01:52:37   Like if you read 10 emails on your phone, nobody wants to sit down at their desktop

01:52:42   and mark those 10 messages read again.

01:52:45   I mean it would drive you nuts.

01:52:47   Same thing with RSS.

01:52:48   You don't want to see all these articles you read on your phone.

01:52:50   when you sit down, you've got to have sync.

01:52:52   But everybody was using Google Reader for sync,

01:52:54   so what's gonna happen?

01:52:56   - Yeah, so one of these guys, I don't know,

01:52:58   I don't know who will win.

01:52:59   I would imagine that there won't be just one

01:53:02   that becomes massive, 'cause I think they'll all

01:53:04   go about it a different way, right?

01:53:06   There'll be a visual one, there'll be a more

01:53:08   streamlined, quick one, so yeah.

01:53:11   I think it's a good opportunity for a lot of people,

01:53:13   but it does, it's gonna hurt for a while

01:53:15   until someone builds this again.

01:53:18   - Yeah, and it also seems to me like,

01:53:19   And at first thought, if anybody thinks,

01:53:21   well, they're giving us till July,

01:53:23   that's pretty generous.

01:53:25   From an engineering standpoint,

01:53:26   boy, from now to July is not a long time

01:53:28   to build a reliable, scalable

01:53:30   platform. - Right, right.

01:53:33   It's gonna be tough.

01:53:35   One last final point I wanted to make

01:53:39   'cause you brought up, going back to Andy Rubin,

01:53:42   so going back to our earlier thing.

01:53:43   So you brought up Google I/O with Vic and Dojo

01:53:46   talking about that.

01:53:46   I wonder if maybe that has to do with the timing, right?

01:53:49   Because they know that Google I/O is coming up.

01:53:52   Android is going to be a huge part of it, maybe even half of

01:53:55   it, say.

01:53:56   And they need to nail that presentation, right?

01:54:00   And they can't have Andy Rubin on his way out the door,

01:54:05   having just stepped down two weeks earlier or whatever,

01:54:09   up there on stage giving that presentation.

01:54:11   They need cohesive leadership and everyone

01:54:14   to be on the same page.

01:54:15   So maybe that does have something to do with it.

01:54:17   Yeah, but they could have done it today.

01:54:20   That's true.

01:54:20   And even if they didn't want to bury it on a Friday,

01:54:23   then it could have done it Monday.

01:54:26   That's true.

01:54:27   I don't really get it.

01:54:28   I just-- I don't know.

01:54:29   Just verbalizing it made me think that it's not a-- it

01:54:31   really is not a coincidence that they did it the day before,

01:54:35   or the day of--

01:54:36   I forget, but right before the S4 launch.

01:54:39   Maybe that was either the ultimate middle finger

01:54:43   or ultimate olive branch to Samsung.

01:54:45   - Hard to say, it could be either way,

01:54:47   but I don't think it was unrelated.

01:54:49   - Yeah.

01:54:50   - Very interesting.

01:54:52   Well, MG Siegler, thanks for being here,

01:54:55   ParisLemon.com, @ParisLemon on Twitter.

01:54:59   - Yeah, thank you for having me again.

01:55:01   - And my thanks to my sponsors,

01:55:02   Studio Neat with Simple Bracket, the great iPhone app,

01:55:05   Pixelmature, at Pixelmature.com,

01:55:07   and Things, and Things Cloud Sync at culturedcode.com.

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