The Talk Show

27: The Glass Something or Another, with Dave Pell


00:00:00   You reminded me, my guest this week is Dave Pell. Dave reminded me of an email I sent

00:00:08   you two years ago. I'm cracking up just thinking about it. I am not somebody who

00:00:16   usually remembers his dreams, and I don't remember if I've ever even—maybe once

00:00:22   or twice in the history of the show I've recalled a dream that I had. But I don't

00:00:28   I don't know. I was thinking about it. Should I read the email?

00:00:32   I think you should. I think it's going to be pretty clear to all your listeners that

00:00:36   I'm sort of in your head.

00:00:38   So I had an upcoming trip to Vegas for a quick weekend trip with my pals, Michael Lop and

00:00:43   Jim Kudol. I was really looking forward to it. And one day I woke up and I'd had this

00:00:48   vivid dream. Here's the email I sent to you. I wrote, "So I'm going to Vegas next

00:00:52   month for the weekend, Guy's Weekend with Kudol and Michael Lop. I had a dream last

00:00:57   night that it was that weekend and it was Friday and I just got into town. It was early

00:01:02   afternoon and I hadn't met up with the other two guys yet. I decided to take a walk while

00:01:08   waiting for them. I'm on a side street off the strip and who do I run into but you, Dave

00:01:13   Pell. And you tell me that you're on your way to your favorite casino, the glass something

00:01:20   or another or something or another is some foreign sounding like French word that I had

00:01:24   never heard before. And I tell you, I've never even heard of the place and you tell me it's

00:01:28   the best. The entire building is made out of glass. It's gorgeous. You say I love Vegas,

00:01:35   but I go there all the time. And the only place I'll step into is this glass, whatever

00:01:39   it's called. So sure, I say why not? So we walk. And you know, it's a dream because who

00:01:45   walks anywhere in Vegas. You say the place is over there by the Rio but closer to the

00:01:50   strip and we're walking over that way sort of off the strip and we get there and the

00:01:55   entire lot is just a hole in the ground, a desert. It's all under construction and there's

00:02:00   a sign that says that they're replacing it, the glass whatever it's called, with a new

00:02:04   casino. And you turn to me and say, "Well, let's find somewhere else and get a drink."

00:02:09   I tell you that sounds about right to me. And then the dream cuts and immediately we're

00:02:15   inside some random generic stinky ass old school Vegas casino bar like the Riviera or

00:02:21   the Sahara or Flamingo or one of those places that just looks like generic Vegas casino

00:02:26   that's been there forever and never changes. And it's me and you having a drink. And then

00:02:30   the next thing, the dream immediately cuts to me waking up in the dream, not waking up

00:02:36   waking up on an airplane that has just landed in Philadelphia. My head hurts. And I realized

00:02:43   that my entire trip is over. It's Sunday evening, and I'm home, and I don't recall a goddamn

00:02:49   thing from the entire weekend after sitting down with you for that drink early Friday

00:02:53   afternoon. Never checked into my hotel, never once saw to my recollection, Kudol or Lop.

00:03:00   And I think to myself, "Goddamn it, I thought this weekend was going to be a lot of fun,

00:03:03   and I had stuff I wanted to talk to those guys about. What did I do? Why does my head

00:03:08   hurt. Those are the thoughts in my head. So I got up and I wrote the email to you.

00:03:13   Yeah, well, it was all part of a strange plot by me. I was upset at not being invited to the

00:03:19   guy's trip to Vegas. I decided to enter through any way I could. In this case, I entered your

00:03:25   mind through a dream, but to be more involved and sort of be one of the guys or one of the

00:03:30   wolf pack, as they say in the hangover. And then in the end, my plan was foiled because I ended up

00:03:35   completely screwing up your trip anyway, and I'll never get invited to any of your

00:03:38   follow-up.

00:03:39   [Laughter]

00:03:40   Pete: It really was. And it is funny because I do have like this like vague association

00:03:46   in my head that Dave Pell's trouble. I mean, it's because of this dream. And I don't

00:03:51   think it's true at all. I don't think it's trouble. I'm not quite sure what happened.

00:03:55   Like if the dream is telling me that you like slipped me a Mickey or something, it's very

00:04:00   unusual.

00:04:01   If it's—I don't know, but it adds any more clarity.

00:04:05   I never really responded to your original email, but I did wake up the next morning

00:04:09   with a pretty nasty STD.

00:04:12   [laughter]

00:04:14   I have a little bit of follow-up here from previous episodes of the show, and I keep

00:04:20   forgetting to do this.

00:04:22   And I want to knock this out, because I think that this is with the holidays coming up and

00:04:28   whatever.

00:04:29   No promises, I don't know.

00:04:30   might be the last episode of the talk show for 2012. And I feel like, I don't know,

00:04:35   just in the way with year-end lists and stuff like that, if you have anything to follow

00:04:39   up on, now's the time to—let's hit 2013 with an empty slate.

00:04:43   So one of them—I don't know how in the world I made this mistake—is a couple weeks

00:04:47   ago when Merlin Mann was on the show, I said that bourbon comes from Tennessee and not

00:04:55   Kentucky. And of course, that's exactly backwards. And I knew that. And I knew it

00:04:58   even when I said it and I just didn't feel like correcting it.

00:05:00   Bourbon comes from Kentucky and Jack Daniels comes from Tennessee.

00:05:05   And that's one of the reasons why Jack Daniels is not called Bourbon.

00:05:10   Seems like a very, like an awful, awful mistake for me to make though.

00:05:13   My apologies to everybody in Kentucky who listens to the show.

00:05:20   You do Bourbon, man, Dave?

00:05:22   No, I'm less of a drinker and more of a smoker, really.

00:05:27   Yeah. Your writing comes across pretty frequently in your writing.

00:05:32   Yeah, that's the vibe I'm going through.

00:05:34   Yeah.

00:05:34   I'm not sure whether bourbon comes from Kentucky or Tennessee,

00:05:38   but most of my pharmaceuticals come from my drawer.

00:05:41   Isn't that…? You know, I do think we're reaching a tipping point. Maybe I don't have any more

00:05:51   follow-up. I'm looking at my notes here. I don't think I do. No, I guess that's it. All right,

00:05:56   decks cleared, all mistakes have been repaired. I think we as a country are reaching a tipping

00:06:01   point on legalized marijuana or decriminalized marijuana. It seems to me like it's tracking

00:06:10   a couple of years behind gay marriage.

00:06:14   Yeah, I think it's going to be an interesting topic because I think in terms of people's

00:06:21   opinion, I think we're entering towards legalization as basically inevitable at this

00:06:27   point.

00:06:28   In terms of enforcement, I think it's going to be a lot more tricky than anybody has ever

00:06:33   imagined.

00:06:34   I've listened to a few people talk on this subject.

00:06:37   One guy was on Terry Gross recently.

00:06:39   I linked to it in the next draft.

00:06:41   The incredible complexities with legalizing the sale of marijuana, possibly taxing it,

00:06:48   making it legal for certain purposes and not legal for other purposes and somehow cutting

00:06:52   out the illegal trade is going to be pretty complicated.

00:06:55   But you figure we have decades of sort of setting up this system, so it's going to

00:07:00   take probably several years to sort of undo that.

00:07:06   I've always felt for two reasons, sort of the criminalization of marijuana just doesn't

00:07:12   make any sense to me.

00:07:14   The first, more basic reason is the fact that people still, to this day, argue that it shouldn't

00:07:18   be used for medical purposes.

00:07:21   And my philosophy on life is if you're in a situation where you're unfortunate enough

00:07:25   to be in some kind of serious pain or facing some serious ailment, whatever you can do

00:07:30   to make yourself feel better sounds like the right move to me.

00:07:34   And for any society that calls itself just to try to block you from that, for some sort

00:07:39   of vacuous moral reason is totally absurd.

00:07:42   Yeah, there's a whole bunch of layers of abstraction between in supporting the criminalization

00:07:51   of marijuana. It's all abstract, whereas a lot of these, you know, like you said, for

00:07:56   someone who's really in severe pain or any kind of pain, really, and, you know, it's

00:08:02   a completely practical application. There is no abstraction that when I smoke this stuff

00:08:08   or eat it or however you consume it, I feel better. And for some people, the difference,

00:08:15   if it's alleviation of pain, it's not more than just recreational, wow, this makes

00:08:20   the matrix a lot more interesting.

00:08:23   Dr. Justin Marchegiani And the funny part is even for that second

00:08:27   example, there really are two Americas when it comes to drug legalization, especially

00:08:34   marijuana because you know every day I'm reading headlines about the

00:08:37   decriminalization of marijuana but living here in the Bay Area for the last

00:08:42   30 years or whatever I it seems like it's been decriminalized for white guys

00:08:48   with plenty of money the whole time right I mean I accidentally inhaled Jim

00:08:53   Ignatowski style from taxi around the first internet boom and then Cosmo sort

00:09:01   started delivering me some munchies. I accidentally sort of stayed in that state of mind for about

00:09:06   a decade. There were certainly some minuses to it. I left revenue models out of almost

00:09:13   every project I did during that decade. But I don't remember any police storming down

00:09:19   my door and saying, "Hey, what's that smell?" They just said, "Whatever. Whatever it takes

00:09:23   for you to enjoy your movie or to enjoy this cyclist from Cosmo having to pedal up your

00:09:30   steep hill to bring you a small bag of chips on a rainy night.

00:09:34   And some of this stuff is just nuts, man.

00:09:39   And I feel like you and I are a lot alike, and we can get into this in a bit too, but

00:09:43   in terms of our attention and the way that the web seems interested, it just seems built

00:09:50   for our type of minds.

00:09:51   I mean, how many tabs do you have open right now?

00:09:54   Well, since we're talking none, but at any given time, probably about 60.

00:09:58   Right.

00:09:59   That's how my… I mean, it's just the nature of the game if you're a link blogger,

00:10:06   you know, if you do that sort of… it's just the way your mind works. And the other day,

00:10:10   I started on Kudol's site, and he had linked to this unbelievable blog just about

00:10:16   William Friedkin's 1977 movie Sorcerer, which I've never seen, which is amazing. But it's

00:10:23   apparently one of the reasons I've never seen it is… now this is William Friedkin,

00:10:28   director of the French Connection and the Exorcist. I think those are the two movies

00:10:31   he had made right before this. So he's literally at the top of his game. And it's some kind

00:10:37   of crime caper in Central America. Sounds great. But it's all locked up in legal problems

00:10:46   because it was a joint production of Paramount and Universal. And as of today, both Paramount

00:10:50   and Universal say they don't know who owns it. And so there's no, there is a DVD release,

00:10:55   but there's no Blu-ray and there's no, like it's even hard to just screen it or get a

00:11:01   good print of it because neither of the two studios is claiming ownership.

00:11:05   So Friedkin wants this movie to be treated the way it should and he's filed lawsuits

00:11:10   just to get them to just reveal the paperwork that says here's who owns it.

00:11:14   He doesn't even want to make money from it anymore.

00:11:15   He just wants it out there.

00:11:18   But anyway, I got sucked into this blog that's just about this movie and one of the stories

00:11:22   that Friedkin tells is that he flew back, they did all the shooting on location in Central

00:11:29   America and flew back to Texas, at Galpaso, Texas, on a little prop airplane. And one

00:11:35   of the stuntmen wanted to come to at the last second. He's like, "Sure, we have room. Hop

00:11:39   in." Guy hops in and he's just carrying like a little briefcase. They land and the cop,

00:11:44   some cop greets him at the airport. I guess Friedkin knew him or the guy said he was a

00:11:47   fan of the Exorcist or something like that. And he's talking and he's real, you know,

00:11:50   friendly. But all of a sudden, this German Shepherd at the airport goes nuts at scratching

00:11:55   at this airplane and ends up that the dog is going nuts because of this stuntman's briefcase.

00:12:01   And it ends up the stuntman had had some marijuana in it previously, but took it out knowing,

00:12:07   "Hey, I'm getting on an airplane flying internationally. I can't have marijuana in here." Took it out,

00:12:12   but it was just literally like a few grains, you know, just I don't know what would you

00:12:16   call them? Leaves? What are they? Buds? I don't know. Just dust. Like dust from having

00:12:21   had marijuana in there. Like nothing that you could even, not even like an amount that

00:12:25   you could smoke. But all of a sudden, like the cop, they got locked up. Friedkin got

00:12:30   locked up. Everybody who was in the plane got locked up for hours. It took like attorneys

00:12:36   from Universal Pictures, like studio attorneys, to get Friedkin out. And they kept the stunt

00:12:41   guy locked up for two weeks. I guess he didn't end up going to jail or anything because he

00:12:48   didn't really have, it wasn't like possession, you know, it was just something that the dog

00:12:53   smelled that it was like remnants. And I thought, you know, there's all sorts of stories of

00:12:57   people who were in prison for drugs, you know, people with lifetime sentences of their true

00:13:02   tragedies. I mean, a stunt man in 1977 being locked up for two weeks in an El Paso jail

00:13:08   is far, far, far from the most tragic case of misjustice in the criminalization of drugs.

00:13:13   But it just shows how absurd it is.

00:13:15   Dr. Justin Marchegiani Yeah, it's also, I mean, in a weird way,

00:13:20   it's also shows that we expect sometimes to enjoy the output of a person's work like

00:13:25   a stuntman or NFL football player, but then or a cyclist riding up 72 mountains in two

00:13:33   days in the Tour de France, and then we're totally shocked beyond belief that there was

00:13:36   any artificial substances used in that quest. If you're a stuntman in the '70s doing your

00:13:45   own stunts, like riding a motorcycle off of a wall and landing on your head, it's like,

00:13:49   "My God, take a couple hits. We understand. It's for my pleasure."

00:13:52   No, and that's exactly like the whole Friedkin style was doing all the stunts for practical

00:13:58   and apparently it was a super dangerous shoot, stunts and stuff like that. There's apparently

00:14:06   part of the thing in the movie, I don't want to, and I don't know that much about it, but

00:14:10   it's that there's a, it's about these trucks that they're using for the caper and one of

00:14:14   the trucks is, or the truck, I don't know, is named Sorcerer. It's like, you know, like

00:14:19   the name of a ship, like the name of the truck is Sorcerer. But apparently, it's, the movie,

00:14:26   one of the reasons it's not that well known in addition to the legal problems is that

00:14:29   it did pretty poorly at the box office. And one of the reasons is that apparently a lot

00:14:33   people think that the title threw everybody off because his previous movie was The Exorcist.

00:14:38   The new one was named Sorcerer and people just went in thinking it was about like the

00:14:41   supernatural or something, you know, like about some kind of wizard or something like

00:14:46   that. And, you know, instead it's like a dirty, gritty crime caper. But the title had set

00:14:53   expectations so far afield that it damaged the box office. I'd never heard of it. And

00:14:59   I'm a big Freakin fan. I don't know how that happened.

00:15:02   Well, we'll see if we can get it out there.

00:15:06   So let's talk indie publishing.

00:15:10   Dave, you've been blogging.

00:15:13   When did you first start blogging?

00:15:16   Let's see, I first started blogging in the '90s.

00:15:18   I think the New York Times had an article on me that was all about how people used web

00:15:23   blogs to share links in like sort of the late '90s, mid to late '90s.

00:15:28   So I've been doing it for a while.

00:15:31   it's sort of always been the throughput of my whole life, although I've had different

00:15:35   careers and different focal points. Aside from that, I've always sort of used writing

00:15:40   as the main thing I wanted to keep going.

00:15:43   So…

00:15:44   Pete: What was the name of your first blog?

00:15:45   Jon: My first blog was called Daveanetics.

00:15:47   Pete; Right. That's the one I remember.

00:15:49   Jon; Sort of started out as a personal blog, sort of like Dianetics with me as the god.

00:15:56   And then it had evolved into a technology newsletter

00:15:59   that I actually used to send out a handful

00:16:02   of technology-related links and headlines and blurbs,

00:16:06   much like I do at Next Draft for general news now,

00:16:09   to a bunch of CEOs that I worked with,

00:16:11   because during my time on the internet,

00:16:14   I've also, my half of my life is about the writing

00:16:17   and creative stuff, and the other half is about

00:16:19   investing in and working with startups.

00:16:21   So it started out as a business thing

00:16:22   where I'd find these articles and send them out,

00:16:24   and they would go to sort of a group

00:16:27   of internet professionals that I worked with,

00:16:29   and it sort of spread from there.

00:16:31   And at one point, I think there were about 25,000

00:16:33   or so subscribers, which back then,

00:16:35   during the early parts of the first boom,

00:16:37   was pretty widespread, 'cause there weren't

00:16:39   that many of us out here yet.

00:16:41   And as time passed on, and the boom went to bust,

00:16:45   it was sort of, I basically became

00:16:46   like a daily obituary writer.

00:16:48   - Yeah.

00:16:49   - And I just wasn't that into it anymore.

00:16:51   And also, I felt like I was writing about technology,

00:16:53   because that was the industry I was in,

00:16:55   but my passion is much more with more general news.

00:16:59   I'm into technology, and I'm a sick addict like you are,

00:17:03   and like, you know, a lot of us are.

00:17:05   I got my 70 tabs, and I'm always on,

00:17:07   and I'm controlled by these devices,

00:17:11   but my actual area of interest

00:17:13   goes beyond technology quite a bit,

00:17:17   so I sort of like more general news.

00:17:18   I've always sort of been obsessed

00:17:19   with whatever the big story is at the moment.

00:17:23   I want to counterpunch off that move who who got started first you were cod key

00:17:28   I'm not or do you not know I think it's a blogger definitely

00:17:33   I'm pretty sure Jason did because I was doing a newsletter back then hmm

00:17:37   But I definitely was one of the early blogger users for sure

00:17:41   Do you remember which other blogs most inspired you like kind of gave you that you know what I could do that

00:17:53   You know, definitely Kotke.

00:17:55   I mean, I've always felt that that was a really similar one.

00:17:58   You know, when Jason does a redesign, I check it out.

00:18:02   When I'm designing something, I always look, "What has Jason done?"

00:18:05   He usually picks good fonts and a good length of a post.

00:18:10   He has similar interests that I have.

00:18:13   You know, I've also definitely been inspired by Darren Fireball over the years.

00:18:17   You know, we cover slightly different things, but you have certain techniques that you have

00:18:22   I have a very different sort of online personality

00:18:24   that I do and a lot of it's really effective,

00:18:26   so I try to learn from that as well.

00:18:30   In the early days, it was almost anybody who could share.

00:18:32   I mean, it's interesting that I,

00:18:34   before the internet came, before the web,

00:18:36   sort of got going.

00:18:38   Every semester or so in college,

00:18:41   I used to write up like a 30-page document

00:18:43   about what I was up to or some jokes

00:18:45   or essentially a blog but in sections,

00:18:48   and I'd print it out and bind it

00:18:50   and sent to like 30 or 40 of my friends,

00:18:52   and that was also called Davidnetics.

00:18:54   So I was sort of irritating my closest friends

00:18:58   for years before the web came,

00:19:00   sort of blogging at them against their will.

00:19:03   And when I first saw blogging,

00:19:05   I just immediately realized,

00:19:07   A, this is gonna be really fun for me,

00:19:09   but B, this is just gonna,

00:19:10   this medium is gonna absolutely unleash

00:19:13   an unbelievable creative revolution.

00:19:16   And that's what I was most excited about

00:19:18   during the first boom,

00:19:19   even though most people were talking about sentences that had the word billion in it

00:19:22   a couple times.

00:19:24   But I still think that's the most exciting part about this, whether it's Twitter, whether

00:19:28   it's a WordPress blog, whether it's these weird Tumblr things that people have these

00:19:32   bizarre passions that they want to share.

00:19:37   I think the sharing of health information is something that is so – all of us have

00:19:41   like 20 things that we feel like we're the only people who has that.

00:19:47   you're suffering from something, you go on the web and you realize there's like a million

00:19:50   people out there who have felt like you were one time or another, and for some reason,

00:19:54   it felt compelled to share that.

00:19:56   Just the simple fact that you can put stuff out there and everybody can read it or see

00:20:02   it or watch it or listen to it, depending on what, you know, if it's something you wrote

00:20:06   or music or video or something like that. It's still the most amazing thing.

00:20:10   Yeah. I mean, it's totally remarkable. And, you know, some projects you're doing, you

00:20:16   you have not as many readers as you want,

00:20:18   or like right now you're on a big roll

00:20:20   and you have a ton of readers,

00:20:22   but I think sometimes people get down on themselves

00:20:25   and say, "Well, I only had 100 people read this,"

00:20:27   or "50 people read this,"

00:20:28   or even sort of more middle-level blogger

00:20:31   that might have, "I got 10,000 reads

00:20:34   "and it seems small in this day and age,"

00:20:37   whereas it seems so exciting during the first boom.

00:20:39   "Oh my God, I built something," or "I wrote something

00:20:41   "and thousands of people are reading it."

00:20:43   That's crazy.

00:20:44   Now we've sort of become dead into that because the numbers on the internet are so big, a

00:20:49   billion users of this and a hundred million users of that.

00:20:53   But sometimes when I go to, like out in San Francisco, we have a theater called Herb's

00:20:56   Theater where a lot of the famous authors come to get interviewed.

00:20:59   I'd say it holds maybe 1,500 people or so.

00:21:04   Every now and then I'll just sit in one of those theaters and I'll think, "If I think

00:21:10   it's something to write right now, even if it doesn't do that well, there's probably

00:21:14   a chance about this many people are going to read it in a couple hours after I choose

00:21:18   to post it.

00:21:19   That's just incredibly powerful.

00:21:22   I don't mean that in an ego sense like, "Wow, look at how great I am.

00:21:26   I can get 1,500 or 15,000 readers."

00:21:29   I just mean the idea that the barrier between sharing your ideas has gone down so far.

00:21:38   With a little serendipity and a little merit, you can actually have people that you have

00:21:42   no contact with, sort of experience what you think on a topic and maybe best case scenario

00:21:48   start riffing about their opinion on it in response to you.

00:21:52   And I thought that was the coolest part about the web the first day I fired up a browser

00:21:57   and I still think that's the coolest part about the web now.

00:21:59   Yeah, it's absolutely, I mean, and it went from attention being an artificially limited

00:22:10   resource, or maybe not attention isn't quite the right word, but the number of platforms

00:22:15   were artificially limited to being almost a zero-sum type situation.

00:22:20   Here's what I mean by that.

00:22:21   Let's say that I want to do what I do, like write as quickly as possible, let's say in

00:22:29   traditional terms daily or weekly, about what's going on in technology.

00:22:35   And I want to have, let's just say, 100,000 people read what I write.

00:22:41   There were only a handful of gigs like that, that people, pre-internet, that people could

00:22:47   have, right?

00:22:48   You could write for a major newspaper.

00:22:50   But even in that era, really, a lot of the major newspapers weren't national, right?

00:22:54   The New York Times really only became a national newspaper, I think in the 90s.

00:22:58   It was sort of coincident with the rise of the internet.

00:23:03   I mean, it was certainly famous, and it certainly had a very high circulation, but it really

00:23:07   was a New York newspaper.

00:23:11   I mean, USA Today was only invented in, what, 1984 or something like that?

00:23:15   I was associated with Reagan.

00:23:18   And didn't really run, never really ran the type of stuff that I write, you know, that's

00:23:23   more…

00:23:24   There just was no way.

00:23:25   I mean, what?

00:23:26   Maybe I could, you know…

00:23:27   How many people can write about technology for Time or Newsweek or something like that,

00:23:31   right?

00:23:32   handful of gigs where you could have a lot of readers and write about this stuff and

00:23:36   that's there was no way to invent your own. I often I also think about the fact that when

00:23:42   I was in college, I was at the student newspaper at Drexel. And I think we used to print I

00:23:47   had memories are hazy. But I think maybe like 3000 issues a week. It was a weekly newspaper.

00:23:53   I think we printed somewhere in the low single 1000s, you know, I don't know, two, three,

00:23:57   four thousand issues. And it was a huge, and you know, you realize when you print that

00:24:04   many that a lot of those, it's not that there's three, four thousand students at

00:24:08   the school, it was, you know, people would pick one up Monday and read it in class and

00:24:12   then they'd pick up another copy on Tuesday in a different class, you know, and throw

00:24:15   them out. So I don't know how many students really read the thing, let's just say, I

00:24:18   don't know, a thousand. But it was a huge deal, a monumental effort every week just

00:24:23   distribute. I mean, 4000 copies of like a 20, 30 page newspaper is an enormous amount of newspapers.

00:24:32   Like, it was actually like a huge thing. And that was just for a small university

00:24:37   student newspaper to reach, you know, I don't know, 1000 students a week, you just had this

00:24:41   entire expensive and heavy paper just coming in week after week after week.

00:24:50   I also think there's something really uniquely cool about the relationship between a blogger

00:24:57   or some other kind of Internet writer and his or her audience, because I realized this

00:25:02   probably in the early, early days when I first launched Dave and Eddix.

00:25:07   It appeared in a couple of publications, I think it was the New York Post and the San

00:25:11   Jose Mercury News back when they were sort of the paper record for the Valley out here.

00:25:18   Jason Kotke linked to it.

00:25:21   I'll never forget on that day when I looked at my—they weren't real-time stats back

00:25:25   then so I still had some semblance of control over my minute-to-minute of my life.

00:25:29   But at the end of the day or the next morning when I looked at the stats, to see how many

00:25:32   more people had come from Kotke.org than those two other big publications with multi-million

00:25:40   dollar budgets behind them was pretty inspiring.

00:25:45   We know intuitively why, right?

00:25:46   is it's people are not reading just a brand

00:25:50   when they're reading somebody's blog,

00:25:51   they're reading that person.

00:25:53   And when that person shares a link,

00:25:55   they're saying, hey, trust me,

00:25:56   this is gonna be worth your time.

00:25:58   If I have too many times when it's not worth your time,

00:26:01   you're gonna stop reading me.

00:26:02   So I have a lot at stake here to make sure

00:26:04   I'm giving you something I think you'll like.

00:26:06   So the likelihood of somebody clicking on a blog link

00:26:09   versus clicking on a newspaper link is so much higher.

00:26:13   And also just signing up once they get there.

00:26:16   like, "Hey, Jason said this is good. Dave or John say this is good. Let's do it. Let's

00:26:20   give it a try," because we're actually, in a weird way, friends with them. It's

00:26:24   not just some brand telling me this is cool. This is not a restaurant review from a paper

00:26:29   I've heard of. This is my friend saying, "Dude, you're going to love the pasta at

00:26:33   this place. Go check it out."

00:26:34   Yeah, and part of it is implicit, and it comes out of almost the subconscious of the publication,

00:26:45   whether it's a one-man operation like mine and Kottke's and David and Edick's, or an

00:26:50   institution like a newspaper, which is, what do you really want the person who's reading

00:26:56   this thing to do?

00:26:58   And the newspapers, even today, what they really want you to do is stay on their site.

00:27:04   Stay here.

00:27:05   Read another one.

00:27:06   Load another page.

00:27:08   Click this, you know.

00:27:11   But in the 90s, it was endemic.

00:27:14   I mean, it was almost, it almost killed, maybe it was, I think it might have been the leading

00:27:17   cause of death for a lot of those portals, right?

00:27:23   The whole idea of portals was get them to come in and stay here, right?

00:27:29   And it almost killed Yahoo, right?

00:27:31   I mean, Yahoo certainly could have been Google because Yahoo started with, you know, cool

00:27:35   side of the day and go to Yahoo to find something else cool on the internet, right?

00:27:42   like what Yahoo was in 1994. Go to Yahoo. I don't know. I want something to interest

00:27:48   me. I know. I'll go to Yahoo and they'll send me somewhere good. When they shifted

00:27:54   to this strategy of people come to Yahoo, let's keep them on Yahoo is when they almost

00:28:00   choke to death. Whereas, you know, like Kottke, when you go to Kottke, he really wants you

00:28:06   to click the links, right? I mean, when you come to my site, I want you to go and read

00:28:11   the thing I'm linking to. And I trust that you will, you know, and it's, it's super satisfying

00:28:17   to me. It is, you know, almost, you know, like, when I link to somebody, and it breaks their

00:28:23   website, it, it does me, I'm not glad that people's websites occasionally break. But I'm glad that so

00:28:29   many that it's just like, it's, it's like, almost, I can feel it, that people really do follow the

00:28:36   links. Like, I want you to go away. Trenton Larkin

00:28:39   Right. I definitely feel the same about Next Draft. I send that out with what I think are

00:28:44   the most fascinating news stories of the day. One of the key measurements, of course I measure

00:28:50   opens and forwards and shares and stuff like that, but probably my key measurement of whether that

00:28:55   day was a success was how many links got hit a lot and were there any that really stood out and

00:29:03   got several thousand clicks that both made a difference for my readership, obviously,

00:29:08   and also sort of made a noticeable difference on the stats page for that person I'm linking to.

00:29:13   You know, I said, "Wow, this is pretty cool," especially if it's sort of an unusual article.

00:29:17   You know, occasionally Jason Kotke and I syndicate each other, and he'll syndicate a blurb out of

00:29:24   Nextdraft once a week, and I'll syndicate one of his blurbs once a week in Nextdraft.

00:29:29   And when we do that, occasionally we're linking to stuff that's not necessarily that popular yet,

00:29:38   And it's fun occasionally I've seen between the two of us,

00:29:41   I can pretty quickly go to the most popular item

00:29:43   on that site.

00:29:45   So that's another thing, you feel like you have

00:29:47   some influence of, I think you're gonna think this is cool,

00:29:51   and you did think this was cool.

00:29:54   But the whole blogger mentality is sort of built on,

00:29:58   it's not built on how many page views do I get

00:30:00   or how many ads do I sell, it's really built on,

00:30:06   I'm trying to be interesting to you.

00:30:08   I'm trying to get you to like me.

00:30:10   I'll give you whatever it takes

00:30:13   for you to sort of be my friend and to love me.

00:30:15   It sounds crazy, but I think that's more of the goal.

00:30:17   So the web is about saying,

00:30:20   here's these cool stuff, check it out.

00:30:21   So it makes sense every blogger

00:30:23   would immediately go to that model

00:30:24   because they want to be,

00:30:26   they want to have these virtual friends.

00:30:28   They want to have these people that count on them

00:30:30   that when there's something big,

00:30:32   they'll point them in the right direction.

00:30:33   They'll be one of the first stops they come to.

00:30:35   something happens if there's a big story that breaks in the Mac world.

00:30:40   You know, I'll probably go to Daring Fireball first, read your intro, and then click over

00:30:44   to that big story because…

00:30:46   Well, but a lot of times, too, my personal pacing and style is such that I'm usually

00:30:52   not first, and sometimes I'm very far behind, or at least I have anything substantial to

00:30:57   say about something.

00:31:00   My favorite example of that is whenever there's an Apple event.

00:31:04   My traffic goes through the roof, especially live while it's happening.

00:31:08   But I don't do the live blog thing.

00:31:11   And because most of the time I'm there in the audience and I'm listening and I'm

00:31:16   taking notes, I'm not posting anything.

00:31:20   But the site goes nuts.

00:31:22   And it's just people reloading the homepage of Daring Fireball with last night's last

00:31:29   item at the top over and over and over again, waiting for me to say something.

00:31:32   Right and it is good in a sense. It's it's an honor and no and if I had a page view based

00:31:39   Revenue model I would have to have something. I mean, I guess I'd have to live vlog or something to take advantage of that

00:31:45   But it's kind of cool because it's a very nice knowing that the site is going nuts is a very nice sort of

00:31:54   Implicit deadline like hey get your get your thoughts together, but get them up there people are waiting, you know, like

00:32:01   a "I don't want to disappoint these people" sort of feeling in my gut.

00:32:06   Yeah, no, I think that feeling of feeling like you're part of this conversation or

00:32:14   community and people are sort of waiting to hear you chime in on something is a pretty

00:32:18   powerful feeling.

00:32:23   My goal with Next Draft basically is that when a big news story breaks—the presidential

00:32:29   was yesterday, the Academy Awards were last night,

00:32:32   the Super Bowl is Sunday, that one of the stops

00:32:36   people assume on their day, and maybe even during the event,

00:32:39   they're thinking, huh, I wonder if Abel

00:32:40   will have something weird or funny to say

00:32:42   about that moment tomorrow.

00:32:44   I'm looking forward to seeing what he says about it.

00:32:47   And that feeling is definitely what drives me.

00:32:50   And I almost feel the responsibility to do it,

00:32:53   but that makes me feel sort of more connected with the news

00:32:55   and more connected with the readers.

00:32:58   And I've always sort of been news obsessed,

00:33:01   so having a take on big news events is in my DNA.

00:33:05   So sharing those is sort of like a pleasure for me.

00:33:08   - Yeah, we're two of a kind in that regard.

00:33:10   Like I remember one of the happiest little things

00:33:15   of like my high school years was that, you know,

00:33:19   we got our homeroom teachers assigned randomly.

00:33:22   And I got Mr. Choyka, he was a great teacher too.

00:33:26   He was a social studies teacher

00:33:27   taught current events. And this is about 50 miles, it's a suburb about 50 miles outside

00:33:32   Philly. But he had a daily subscription to his office of the Philly Inquirer, which was

00:33:37   … So, A, there was a daily newspaper right there when I got to homeroom every day. And

00:33:42   he was, you know, I forget what he did, but he was, you know, shared it with, you know,

00:33:47   anybody in homeroom who wanted to do it. And none of the other kids wanted to read a newspaper.

00:33:51   So it wasn't like I had to fight over the sections. It was like I had my own subscription

00:33:55   to the Philly Inquirer every day.

00:33:58   And it was just great, to me that was just great, because it was so clearly a better

00:34:01   newspaper than the Redding Eagle, the local newspaper.

00:34:07   And the Inquirer, especially in the 80s, had a host of great columnists, just in the great

00:34:15   sense of the, the traditional sense of being a newspaper columnist.

00:34:19   Like guys who would write about anything, you know, from and women, current events,

00:34:25   you know, politics, to, you know, local stuff.

00:34:30   I remember one time it was a great column in Philadelphia, it was crazy, some, you know,

00:34:34   average city has stuff like this.

00:34:36   But we have this big, big street, it goes to the big north-south boulevard is Broad

00:34:41   Street.

00:34:42   And Broad Street, on both sides, north and south, it's separated by City Hall.

00:34:47   Broad Street is north of City Hall, South Broad Street is south of City Hall. There's

00:34:53   a median strip. So two lanes of traffic or two or three lanes of traffic each way and

00:34:57   then one lane in the middle that's empty. In South Philly, you're allowed to park there.

00:35:06   It's between yellow lines. You clearly, by the painting of the lines, should not be able

00:35:10   to park there. But if you do, you will not get a ticket. And so all – it's like three

00:35:14   miles from City Hall down to, you go down Broad Street and then you end up at the sports

00:35:18   complex where the Phillies and Eagles play. And Broad Street, it's parking on the curbs

00:35:23   and parking in the middle of the street. If you park in the middle of Broad Street in

00:35:28   North Philly, just one block, one block up above City Hall, you'll get a ticket within

00:35:32   five minutes and they'll probably call a tow truck. And there was one columnist, he

00:35:38   wouldn't write about it every week, but maybe once a year or so, he would, you know,

00:35:41   he would just, like an annual tradition was he would take one of the inquirer's company

00:35:45   cars, park it on South Broad for 24 hours, see if he got a ticket, never did, and then

00:35:50   park it on North Broad. And the inquirer building happened to be on North Broad, and then time

00:35:56   how long it took to get a ticket. And to me, that was, I just love stuff like that, the

00:36:01   way that he would do it like once a year. To me, that was, that's what I wanted to do

00:36:05   when I grew up. In a weird way, kind of is.

00:36:08   Yeah, my news childhood was probably more on the international side than on the local

00:36:14   side.

00:36:17   Our religion on weekends was the Sunday talk shows.

00:36:20   Me and my parents watched all the news.

00:36:23   If I ever moved to a new city, the first thing I'd do is get cable and turn on Bernard Shaw

00:36:27   and CNN and feel like I was at home.

00:36:30   When I was in college, a typical phone conversation with me and my dad, the phone would ring and

00:36:35   I'd say, "Hello," and he'd say, "That's cooking."

00:36:37   much," and he'd say, "Well, what do you think of this Gorbachev guy?" And basically, now a few

00:36:43   decades later, he calls and says, "What's cooking?" And I say, "Not much. How are the kids? Good. Well,

00:36:48   what do you think of this Putin guy?" That's basically our—really, a huge part of our

00:36:53   communication was about news, so I've always sort of been—it's just part of our family dialogue,

00:36:58   so I've always sort of been pretty news obsessed and following it, certainly more on the national

00:37:04   scale or international than—

00:37:05   Where did you grow up?

00:37:06   I grew up outside of San Francisco and San Rafael.

00:37:11   So what was the big newspaper?

00:37:12   I mean, our town would have a newspaper called the Marin IJ, but most people there still,

00:37:18   their main paper was the San Francisco Chronicle.

00:37:20   Right. And a big fat Sunday edition.

00:37:23   Yeah, we had a big fat Sunday edition. We had the pink section for entertainment,

00:37:29   and the sports section was actually green and called the sporting green. So I thought that was

00:37:34   When people ask me why I have such an excellent eye for user interface, I have to give credit

00:37:39   to the Chronicle making their sporting green, green.

00:37:43   This seems like the sort of thing that you'd have a strong opinion on.

00:37:45   I know I did.

00:37:47   Which of the network news broadcasts was your go-to network news broadcast?

00:37:54   This year, it's—you mean like during the election?

00:37:56   No, like in the old days.

00:37:57   Oh, in the old days.

00:37:59   As soon as we had CNN, definitely, as soon as Ted Turner hooked us up with that 24-hour

00:38:05   intravenous feed, that was it, man.

00:38:07   My family was either CNN or Wheel of Fortune.

00:38:11   Everything I learned about life, I either learned from CNN or Wheel of Fortune.

00:38:14   I learned about society from CNN.

00:38:16   I learned everything I know of business from Wheel of Fortune.

00:38:20   When somebody would buy a vowel after they already knew the answer to a little Wheel

00:38:24   fortunate in my family that was like always a teachable moments like look at

00:38:29   this guy buddy I'm buying a bottle for or the what's the other big mistake the

00:38:34   other big mistake is when you know that he knows the he knows the answer and you

00:38:39   there's four T's you know there's gonna be four T's and then he wastes it on

00:38:43   like $200 like he gets like 200 and then goes for the T and only gets 800 bucks

00:38:47   it's like no no you you know do the end and spin again to get a bigger number

00:38:52   for the tea, right?

00:38:53   - Right, yeah.

00:38:55   No, Wheel of Fortune was in many ways

00:38:57   a pivotal part of our family.

00:38:59   We used to have a rule where we couldn't watch TV

00:39:01   during dinner, so our average dinner length

00:39:04   was about seven minutes.

00:39:05   And once Wheel of Fortune came, man,

00:39:08   that combination of the letters, the prizes,

00:39:12   the blonde chick turning the letters,

00:39:15   like there was something for everybody in my family

00:39:17   and that rule just went right out the window

00:39:18   and spent the next four or five years watching,

00:39:21   eating dinner in front of Wheel of Fortune.

00:39:23   - Glenn Fleischmann and I were talking about game shows

00:39:25   'cause he was on, when he was on the talk show

00:39:27   a few weeks ago 'cause he was on Jeopardy.

00:39:28   - Right.

00:39:29   - And I was thinking about it,

00:39:31   we were talking about Wheel of Fortune

00:39:32   and I'm thinking about it more and more

00:39:33   and I really do think, I never really gave it

00:39:35   that much thought but I do think there really is something

00:39:38   to the sustained success, perennial popularity of that show

00:39:43   that has something to do with the fact that you at home

00:39:47   can figure out the answer so far in advance

00:39:50   the

00:39:52   Puzzle actually being solved and it can create a lot of drama

00:39:56   Especially if you're uncertain whether the person spinning also knows the answer like you you figured it out

00:40:01   But you're not quite sure if they did and and you can get like I'm thinking like we are cuz I remember watching with my

00:40:08   Fan and they'd get like five grand they'd get the big one and you'd be like are are there's four hours

00:40:13   And then if you know it was this incredible tension of please say are so you get all this money

00:40:18   funny. Don't screw this up.

00:40:21   There's also the aspect of the game where the game was slow enough that even if you

00:40:26   had no idea what the puzzle is, if somebody else in your house yelled it out, you could

00:40:30   almost mimic them closely enough to get your last letter out just a fraction of a second

00:40:34   after they did.

00:40:35   Right.

00:40:36   It looked like, "Oh, you just beat me."

00:40:38   And it does play into Hitchcock's definition of suspense a little bit or recipe for suspense,

00:40:44   which was that, you know, like his analogy or story was, imagine a scenario where there's

00:40:49   a terrorist who's going to put a bomb in a movie, a packed movie theater.

00:40:53   Everybody's first instinct in a movie or trying to create suspense is to have it be a surprise

00:40:59   and that you so show these people in the audience and then boom, the bomb explodes and the audience,

00:41:04   you watching the movie, are just as surprised by this explosion as the people on screen.

00:41:10   And he said, that's all wrong.

00:41:12   What you do is you show the people in the theater, and then you move the camera down

00:41:16   underneath a little girl, and you show that the bomb is under her chair.

00:41:21   Then you go back to the audience.

00:41:22   Now you, the people watching the movie, are filled with suspense, because you know there's

00:41:27   a bomb, and the characters on screen do not.

00:41:31   That's suspense, right?

00:41:33   And Wheel of Fortune has that, where you can know the answer, and you don't know if the

00:41:38   contestants do.

00:41:39   But basically the threat of somebody buying an unnecessary vowel was that bomb under my seat at the dinner table

00:41:46   for about five years of my life I

00:41:48   Don't know I feel like game shows are a lost art

00:41:53   Yeah, there's not there they've gone overboard with all the reality stuff

00:41:59   Yeah, they've been replaced with this mishmash of reality and game shows, you know, like I guess survivors the canonical example

00:42:08   which is sort of a game show sort of a reality show, but it's it's

00:42:13   You know just the the the hokiness of a traditional game show with

00:42:19   Buzzers and wheels that you spin and the fact that it's so clearly shot in a studio in Los Angeles

00:42:24   Something's lost. I do think in a strange way game shows were a precursor to social networks though. How so

00:42:33   Well, I've always felt there's certain television shows or classes of television shows that there's some people whether you read them on the web

00:42:40   Or you're talking they're like, I can't believe you watch that dude. There's no way you sit through Wheel of Fortune

00:42:46   Oh my god, Beverly Hills of you know, I mean the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. That's so brutal

00:42:52   How can you waste your time with that entertainment? And the truth is you can't waste your time with those forms of entertainment unless

00:42:59   And this is a big unless unless there's somebody else in the room with you

00:43:02   If you're with your wife and you're watching the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills the entire time

00:43:07   All you're doing is talking about how stupid all the people are

00:43:10   Is the pleasure said once you're done talking about all of the other couples, you know

00:43:16   And all the other families and you've done all the gossip for the day. It's like alright

00:43:19   Let's figure out some other people we can gossip about for a few hours. So you put on these shows even game shows even jeopardy

00:43:25   It's sort of fun when you're by yourself, but it's much more fun when you're competing

00:43:29   against somebody.

00:43:31   If you look at the early days of the web, some of it was sort of interesting, but there's

00:43:36   just some stuff that's more fun to laugh together at than to laugh alone at.

00:43:41   Last night when Google released the new Maps thing, there were about 40 jokes in my Twitter

00:43:46   stream.

00:43:47   I'm part of that, like you, part of this strange community that forget the 12-12-12

00:43:53   forget any other TV that's on, forget the fact that it's Wednesday night, it might be a good time just to relax with the family.

00:44:02   It's like, no, this is a huge tectonic news story right here. The Google Maps app has been approved.

00:44:08   But because there's this inside conversation about this event that happened where everybody sort of knows the backstory,

00:44:16   Everybody knows the characters.

00:44:19   You can get away with making jokes that are one line because people know what you're

00:44:22   referring to.

00:44:23   It sort of adds to the story, whereas sitting home alone in front of your screen reading

00:44:29   that the Google app got released, it's like, "Okay, great.

00:44:31   Click.

00:44:32   What's next?"

00:44:33   But because there's a group of people talking about it, it adds so much value.

00:44:38   I see what you mean.

00:44:39   What you're saying is that a trashy TV show like Real Housewives of insert any town where

00:44:44   have of the show, is not really best seen as a way to zone out in front of the TV in the classic couch

00:44:51   potato sense, but rather it's fuel for conversation. Right. I mean, I think that's this whole second

00:45:01   screen movement, right? It's saying, "Hey, you can't pay attention to something. So, you know,

00:45:06   look down at your other screen and share that experience with somebody, right? So now you can

00:45:10   can watch The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills with me if we're on IM or Twitter or whatever,

00:45:15   right?

00:45:16   But I think in a really weird way, the television, and this is one of the reasons why I'm very

00:45:20   protective of television and I like the web.

00:45:23   Television is like my blood.

00:45:25   And I'm very wary of how the new TV revolution, that it doesn't ruin and make TV too interactive.

00:45:33   Because when we were kids, television was seen as this, "Oh, my family's not talking

00:45:39   to each other anymore, everybody sitting in silence in a room.

00:45:42   We used to sit around the dinner table and have a conversation.

00:45:45   Today, TV has the exact opposite role in our society.

00:45:48   Today, if you close your laptop and just watch a TV show,

00:45:52   it's actually one of the rare times the whole family,

00:45:54   or a few people from the family, are doing something together

00:45:57   at the same time and are focused on the exact same topic.

00:46:02   And in a weird way, if it's a great show,

00:46:05   you're getting nurtured another way, right?

00:46:07   If somebody talks during Mad Men, you're like, "Dude, stop."

00:46:11   But if it's something stupid like a game show or a reality show, it's actually, you're

00:46:16   actually interacting with the other person on the couch where if the TV were off, at

00:46:22   least in my house, both laptops would be open and there'd be no interaction from the people.

00:46:26   Right.

00:46:27   So in a weird way, I feel like the TV is this one little character on our couch that I don't

00:46:33   want it to become so interactive that it becomes that you can have community while you're

00:46:39   alone. I want that community to still come from all the other people on the couch.

00:46:42   Dave Asprey That's interesting. I kind of agree with

00:46:44   that and I never really thought about it that way. Let me take a quick break here and do

00:46:51   a sponsor, thank our sponsor of the week. Is that all right?

00:46:56   Michael

00:46:56   I want to thank our friends at Global Delight.

00:47:00   They've sponsored the show all year long.

00:47:02   They've been great supporters of the talk show.

00:47:04   So I'm very, very happy here, though, to tell you about their huge Christmas sale starting

00:47:10   on December 18th.

00:47:12   It's amazing.

00:47:13   This is very exciting stuff.

00:47:16   Here's what the sale includes.

00:47:18   Boom.

00:47:19   Now, Boom is a system-wide Mac volume booster and equalizer app.

00:47:24   It's for the Mac.

00:47:25   Makes your sound sound better.

00:47:29   Regularly it's seven bucks.

00:47:30   Right now it's on sale for four bucks.

00:47:32   That's 43% off.

00:47:34   Voila.

00:47:35   V-O-I-L-A.

00:47:36   Like, voila.

00:47:38   That's their Mac screen capture, screen recording, and image editing.

00:47:43   Almost like a studio app.

00:47:44   It's a sharing tool.

00:47:45   A totally professional setup for taking screen captures and screen recording.

00:47:50   Regular price, $29.99.

00:47:52   Thirty bucks, right?

00:47:53   can get it for $4.99, $5. That's 83% off. I mean, this is a huge sale. It's a $30 app,

00:48:01   well worth $30. You can get it for $5. Camera+ Pro. Camera+ Pro sponsored the show just two

00:48:08   weeks ago. Great, great app. Beautiful, powerful, simple camera and photo editing app for the

00:48:13   iPhone. It's celebrating its third anniversary on the 18th of December. I guess that's why

00:48:18   they've coincided the sale with this. This is the app that really made Global Delight

00:48:22   a success. It's on sale right now for just one buck, 99 cents. That's 50% off the normal

00:48:29   price. Photo Delight is another great app. This is the color splashing app for the iPad.

00:48:34   You take black and white photos and then you paint over little sections of them to recolorize

00:48:39   them. A lot of fun. You can make some really beautiful effects with it. Right now, it's

00:48:43   That's on sale, 99 cents.

00:48:45   That's 50% off.

00:48:49   And this year's Best of Macworld show winner, the 2011, or 2012 I should say, Macworld Best

00:48:55   of Show winner, the amazing iPhone video app.

00:48:58   It's called Game Your Video.

00:49:00   And that's absolutely free.

00:49:01   That's the first time it's been free.

00:49:02   It wasn't free before.

00:49:07   Best of Show at Macworld this year, it just won.

00:49:10   this week. It was announced by Apple as one of the App Store best of 2012 apps. Award-winning

00:49:16   app. It's amazing. It's absolutely amazing. Sounds too good to be true. Normally, two

00:49:20   bucks but they're giving it away for free. Honestly, I think these people are nuts. I

00:49:24   can't believe it but it's a free app. Game your video. So, if you got an iPhone, an iPod

00:49:29   Touch, an iPad or a Mac, you've got to have some of these apps. And if you don't have

00:49:33   an iPhone, an iPod Touch, an iPad or a Mac, I honestly don't know why you listen to this

00:49:37   show. It's a good chance to get these great apps. Never going to be a better chance than

00:49:43   during this sale. And in addition to all of that, in addition, if that's not enough that

00:49:47   they have these great apps on sale for these great prices, they're also giving away a 16

00:49:52   gigabyte Wi-Fi model of the iPad mini. In a thing where you retweet a tweet to win sweepstakes,

00:49:59   you go to their website. Here's what you do. You want to find out anything about these

00:50:02   apps. You want to buy these apps. You want to find out more. You want to find out about

00:50:06   contest where they're giving away an iPad Mini, just go to their website, globaldelight.com.

00:50:19   Go there now, you'll get great apps and a chance to win an iPad Mini.

00:50:23   My sincere thanks to Global Delight for their continuing support of the talk show.

00:50:29   So here's one of the things I want to talk to you about.

00:50:32   So you mentioned this a little bit earlier,

00:50:34   that Dave and Eddick's kind of wound down originally.

00:50:39   You know, it was, and this sort of thing

00:50:42   does fascinate me for total self,

00:50:45   you know, just self-absorbed reasons.

00:50:48   But, you know, the fact that there aren't a lot of blogs

00:50:52   that have longevity.

00:50:54   People get into it.

00:50:55   I mean, there's not many people like Kotke

00:50:57   who've been going for 14 consecutive years.

00:51:01   Why did you stop with Davinetics?

00:51:04   I mean, not that it ever was shuttered,

00:51:07   but it ceased to be a daily thing.

00:51:11   - No, it's a great question.

00:51:12   I mean, I think the shorter answer is that it was a mistake.

00:51:17   I think probably if I had to pick one mistake

00:51:22   that I could take back or redo on the web,

00:51:24   it's that I just have had too many brands over the years.

00:51:30   And that was sort of an example of that where I love launching new sites and I love doing

00:51:37   the branding and the logos and the taglines and thinking of something new and having a

00:51:42   fresh start.

00:51:43   I invest in and work with startups and the only part that I have any passion for is the

00:51:48   first six months.

00:51:49   I just love that sort of launching products and whether they're my own or helping with

00:51:53   somebody else.

00:51:56   And over the years, I thought, "Well, if it's Dave and Etix's associated with technology,

00:52:01   that's creating something called Next Draft that's associated with news."

00:52:05   But I think because of that, there would always be times where it would take people a little

00:52:10   bit of time to find me again after that.

00:52:13   And I probably would have had a stronger stretch or less ups and downs over the years if I'd

00:52:18   had a single brand the whole time.

00:52:20   If I just had DavePel.com instead of Dave Pelle, the musician, getting it first, or

00:52:27   I just stuck with Dave and Eddix the whole way, I probably think it would have been fine

00:52:31   to morph that product into whatever I was into at the time, as opposed to launching

00:52:35   a totally new product.

00:52:37   But I've had so many brands over the years.

00:52:39   But now, that's all over now.

00:52:41   My wife has been telling me this for years.

00:52:43   We're focused on Nextdraft.

00:52:46   I'm sticking with Nextdraft.

00:52:48   Nextdraft is the brand, and that's it.

00:52:49   You're not allowed to relaunch a new thing. I'm not allowed to rebrand in any way.

00:52:53   Right. Well, why did you go away from Dave and Ex? Was it just that you wanted to switch to

00:53:00   something new? It was the appeal of a novel new thing and a new logo and a new name and maybe,

00:53:06   you know, a slightly new format or something like that was irresistible?

00:53:10   Yeah, I think that… Because it is sort of the same thing. I mean,

00:53:16   you know, in theory. You know, I mean, it's the same beat, it's the same sort of columnist-style

00:53:21   injection of your personality into what you're doing and links, you know.

00:53:25   Trevor Burrus Right. Well, I see the beat is a little—the

00:53:27   beat, in terms of what you mean, is the writing style, for sure. In terms of the topic, it's

00:53:31   definitely—next draft is all news. So, that's the big difference. Why didn't I just say,

00:53:36   "Hey, I'm not just into technology, this is now—David and Alex is going to be on all news,

00:53:40   hope you stick with me, and if you do, tell your friends." If I had to do it over again,

00:53:44   that's what I would have done for sure. The reason I switched is because like I told you,

00:53:48   I've always been obsessed with news and these broader issues. And I have,

00:53:52   while I'm interested in technology and my job is in technology, I feel I have more interesting/

00:53:58   potentially funny things to say about other areas. So I've always wanted to branch out into this

00:54:05   sort of broader news category. And Next draft is sort of,

00:54:12   It really is in the sweet spot of, you know, I wanted to focus on something that I felt like I

00:54:18   could do, that my skills lent themselves to, and I could do uniquely well. I can look at 100 sites

00:54:25   in a couple hours and pick out 10 stories that I'm really quite sure people will be interested in.

00:54:30   I can counterpunch off those stories either by writing something informative or funny or both

00:54:36   pretty quickly and proofread it and I don't get nervous at all about pressing send and go.

00:54:42   And I really enjoy that process. So in a way, Nextdraft is really the perfect product for my

00:54:49   personality, both my interest and my skills. Whether I should have had one brand all along,

00:54:55   I don't think there's any doubt about that. That would have been a better move and

00:54:57   wiser people than both of us have told me that several times over the last 15 years of our

00:55:04   marriage.

00:55:05   [Laughter]

00:55:06   There's two issues, I guess, in play then. One's the branding angle, and I totally see

00:55:10   what you say there, and I guess I agree with your wife. But the second one, too, is about

00:55:16   format. And that is one of the things that the internet has really freed people like

00:55:24   us, because I feel like I've been able to forge—and, you know, a big part of it, I've

00:55:32   copied a lot of it. You know, I mean, Kottke was a huge influence on Daring Fireball. Dean

00:55:38   Allen's Textism was an enormous influence on Daring Fireball. Mark Pilgrim's Dive into

00:55:47   Mark started a little bit. I think it was also the same year that Daring Fireball did.

00:55:52   But you know, his sort of just the way he wrote about technology was definitely an inspiration.

00:56:00   But I think ultimately I've sort of, especially after three, four years of doing it, sort

00:56:05   of wheedled it down.

00:56:07   I don't want to call it a formula, but there's like a voice to a day, or maybe even better

00:56:12   to look at it as like a week worth of content on Daring Fireball, that isn't really like

00:56:17   anything that came before it.

00:56:18   And it's certainly like nothing in print, right?

00:56:21   I mean, like in the print days, which is probably what I would have done if I had lived a generation

00:56:26   earlier, somehow try to break into print, but you were hamstrung by format, right? If

00:56:32   you're a columnist for the New York Times, which is a great gig, right, but three times

00:56:36   a week, every week you're writing 750 words. And it's 750 words every time, or two times

00:56:43   a week, I guess. Whereas I can write, you know, three, four little pithy one-line things

00:56:51   and then whip out a two thousand word piece,

00:56:55   one right after another.

00:56:57   Right, now I find it interesting that you've gone back

00:57:00   to the, what do you want to call it, a newsletter, right?

00:57:05   It's a daily, next draft is a weekday, once a day issue.

00:57:10   - Right.

00:57:13   - Which is--

00:57:14   - On email and an iOS app.

00:57:16   - Right, but it started as email, and in either case,

00:57:20   I said, I guess the nugget of delivery is the issue, right? And the issue contains 10

00:57:26   items. So instead of sending out 10 posts a day or 10 emails a day or 10 whatevers a

00:57:31   day, there's one issue and the issue has 10 items. I'm curious what drew you back to that.

00:57:37   And it does seem like that's your natural format.

00:57:40   Trevor Burrus Yeah, it's interesting. When I first did Next

00:57:43   Next draft as a younger man with more Red Bull, I actually had a column at the lead

00:57:47   of the whole thing.

00:57:51   So I'd write a column and then I'd link to the day's most interesting news.

00:57:58   There's something about the format.

00:57:59   First of all, email in general and these days the app also.

00:58:05   When I first relaunched Next draft about a year and a half ago, a friend of mine who

00:58:08   had used to Reddit said, "Hey, you should relaunch Next draft.

00:58:10   People would love it.

00:58:11   They need it."

00:58:12   get it right now. People have Twitter, Facebook, they're overwhelmed by news that keeps flowing in.

00:58:19   They don't want another news source. And my friend argued, "No, what they need is a news source that

00:58:24   somebody else goes out there and deals with the flood and then says, "Here's 10 things I'm pretty

00:58:30   sure you'll be interested in and you don't have to worry about following every incoming link for the

00:58:35   rest of it." So I was sort of dubious, but because I loved it so much when I did it, it's always been

00:58:41   my favorite thing to do on the internet.

00:58:43   I sort of launched it again, and I followed a really similar format from before, but I

00:58:48   think of it as a column with links.

00:58:53   It has numbers, so it's easier for people to sort of scroll through and know when it's

00:58:57   going to start and end, or on the iPhone and iPad app, you can sort of swipe through it

00:59:02   and know where you are in the story.

00:59:05   But ultimately I do think of it as sort of, it's my column on today with links.

00:59:13   A lot of people tell me that they never click on the links.

00:59:17   They just read it, they get enough of an overview so that they enjoy reading it, getting my

00:59:22   overview of the day's news and they feel like they have enough data to sort of be semi-interesting

00:59:28   at a dinner party that night.

00:59:29   Probably the most common user will click through on one or two things, maybe three.

00:59:38   There's something about it that is sort of this story that I like doing and I like being

00:59:42   able to refer back to other stuff.

00:59:43   There's certainly limitations.

00:59:45   If a big story breaks ten minutes after I publish my newsletter, that's a bit of a

00:59:50   drag.

00:59:54   I love something about that newsletter feel.

00:59:56   I think eventually there will be a blog version.

00:59:58   In fact, I'm sure of it, but there's something I've always loved about email, and I feel

01:00:04   like the app sort of mimics that experience without all the clutter of your inbox.

01:00:09   There's been so much criticism of email over the years, especially not entirely limited,

01:00:15   but especially among people in our industry that get 15 million of them a day and feel

01:00:21   compelled to update us on the status of their inbox on Twitter, which is to me the one thing

01:00:26   more irritating than a crowded, cluttered inbox.

01:00:28   You know what I've started doing recently?

01:00:31   And I got away with this from this years ago, and I sort of was relying on filters and stuff

01:00:36   like that.

01:00:38   What I've started doing is when I encounter an email and I'm annoyed by it, and I know

01:00:42   that it's not an email from a person, it's some sort of automated email.

01:00:47   If I'm annoyed by it, I've gone back to going to the bottom, clicking the unsubscribe

01:00:51   link and opting out of whatever the hell it is and going through.

01:00:56   And I've found that my email has been—I don't know, there's something about that.

01:01:03   And I think that's the complaint a lot of people have, is that you look at your inbox

01:01:06   and you can just tell by scanning it before you start reading messages that a lot of it

01:01:10   is shit you don't want to read.

01:01:12   And I got to a point where I would just, you know, there was only one more click on the

01:01:17   down arrow from going past the one I don't want to read. But I find that I'm actually

01:01:23   happier if I take a little bit of time to try to keep the crap out in the first place.

01:01:29   It makes me more likely to even go and check my email.

01:01:32   Right. I've always found myself to be a little defensive about email because it gets

01:01:37   criticized so much, but I don't think that the medium is the problem. I think the content

01:01:41   is the problem. Most emails suck. So people assume that email sucks. I think email was

01:01:50   nice at the outset. I think actually in the day of Twitter and Facebook where you're

01:01:54   constantly inundated by incoming content, it's actually in a strange way even more

01:02:02   valuable because with Twitter, the links go by, the streams go by, the stories on – we

01:02:11   We talked about how many tabs we have open.

01:02:13   It all sort of passes by and you're not sure where you saw something or how it related

01:02:17   to something else you saw, but email is always just right where you left it.

01:02:21   I started reading this email.

01:02:23   I know exactly where it is.

01:02:24   It's right where I left it.

01:02:25   I can go finish it later if I want to.

01:02:29   Do I acknowledge that for many people, especially in industries, that they sort of have a ton

01:02:35   of co-workers, sending them thousands of emails a day, paid email for sure. That's why I launched

01:02:41   an iOS app and sort of said it's the exact same sort of private intimate experience.

01:02:49   Something you can count on being there that doesn't sort of just scroll by without you.

01:02:54   But it's out of your inbox.

01:02:55   **Matt Stauffer** It makes sense because, and it doesn't seem,

01:02:59   it feels natural because like I said, to me, they feel like daily issues and anywhere where

01:03:05   idea of an issue makes sense is a natural for Nextgraph and that the app

01:03:09   feels just as it doesn't feel like it's a newsletter oh and you can read it

01:03:15   through an app it you know the when you're when I read it in the app it

01:03:18   feels just as natural as reading the reading in an email yeah well I'm glad

01:03:24   that's definitely definitely the goal when when how did you decide what's your

01:03:30   schedule like like you work in the morning or do you do start doing the

01:03:35   next day's issue the afternoon before? When do you put an issue? What's your schedule

01:03:40   like every day?

01:03:41   Yeah, I mean, I basically, I never really turn off on that topic and finding stories.

01:03:46   So I'll always check at least once a few sites the night before to make sure I'm

01:03:52   not going to miss anything that, like we said, it's all transient. It goes away by the

01:03:56   next morning sometimes. So I'll always check things, but my hard schedule is more I usually

01:04:04   get into my office around eight or so, and I just crank for the next three and a half,

01:04:08   four hours. Half that time or so is finding the stories, and the other half is sort of

01:04:14   writing proofread format. I'm pretty old school. I write it all in BP edit and just paste it

01:04:19   into a web form at MailChimp and send it out.

01:04:23   There's one big difference you have from what I have there for, and it's really like

01:04:29   almost retro, is that when an issue goes out, especially with email, I guess you could fix

01:04:34   it in the app, but if you have a typo, it's in there. Right? And it makes me not—I certainly

01:04:41   proofread before I publish, but I'm certainly far lazier than I would be otherwise. And

01:04:48   my typical style is to proofread myself, but I do it quickly, publish, and then pay attention

01:04:54   to my email and Twitter for the next five minutes to fix any typos.

01:04:58   Right because they're gonna be reported

01:05:00   Whereas that does not eat that that ain't gonna work with a newsletter, right?

01:05:04   No, I always tell people if you want to test and be sure if people are really reading your stuff

01:05:09   Just put a typo in the first paragraph

01:05:13   So especially like a one that's like a pet peeve typo, right? Yeah, it's you left the imposter free out of its right

01:05:20   You know major conniption

01:05:23   Part is that when you get the people email it and say like I'm sure I'm not the first person to tell you this but

01:05:28   And then it follows with three paragraphs on the different meaning of its and its all right, right

01:05:33   And then you have to email them back to say yeah, actually

01:05:35   Nobody else bothered. It was just you but thanks, you know

01:05:38   I made a name for that typo and it never caught on I'd still like it to catch on I call it an it so

01:05:44   That sounds good. And it's either way. It's it and it so is

01:05:48   writing one of the IT apostrophe s or or ITS where what you wanted was the other one either one it's an it so and

01:05:57   And then you could just say to someone, "You have an itso in the first paragraph."

01:06:00   Right. Yeah.

01:06:03   I-T-S-O. Itso. Let's try to make that. Can we make that catch on?

01:06:07   I'll do that. Next time somebody, the next 30 times somebody emails me about that, I will

01:06:12   respond and say, "Thanks for giving me the heads up about the itso."

01:06:14   The other one, too, is that there's this weird history in internet culture of it being deemed

01:06:19   rude to point out that somebody made a grammatical or spelling mistake, and therefore, sometimes

01:06:23   when people write to me, they'll be extraordinarily apologetic, like almost over the top apologetic.

01:06:29   I can't believe I'm bringing this up to you. And I'm so sorry. I really love your site. I've been

01:06:33   reading it for years. I buy your t-shirts. And I hate to tell you this, but you use the, you know,

01:06:38   you've got a t-a-g-i-r where you meant t-h-e-y apostrophe r in the third paragraph of this piece.

01:06:44   And then I always write back and be like, "No apologies." You know, if readers didn't point

01:06:48   this out, I'd never catch them. Carl -

01:06:50   Yeah, I probably differ with you there. I like that. I like the several paragraphs of love that

01:06:55   precede it. I hate it. I hate it. Because I feel bad because I feel like there's people out there

01:07:00   who see these or seeing typos and aren't reporting them to me because they're

01:07:03   so apologetic that they don't even want to send them to me.

01:07:07   Well, you know, you can trust from our relationship that if I ever email you, notify

01:07:14   you about a typo, it's mostly because I want you to link to one of my projects.

01:07:19   So you find yourself—you don't have a problem editing your own prose. I do. I find

01:07:29   myself usually repulsed by my own writing, especially when it's fresh, like when I'm

01:07:33   done writing it.

01:07:34   Yeah, I have a secret friend who's always on IM during the day when I'm writing, who

01:07:41   for some reason enjoys Next Draft and thinks it's a worthy use of my time, with or without

01:07:47   a revenue model. And so if I ever have a problem, I usually don't need the whole thing proofed,

01:07:53   Fred, but occasionally I'll have one or two sections that I feel like I'm not sure it works,

01:07:59   or is this joke going too far, or, you know. Get somebody else's eyes to look at it.

01:08:05   Yeah. And this guy, his name is Morty. He's a lot more literal than I am. So sometimes I'll have

01:08:11   six or seven cups of coffee and sort of get a little too wound up and I'm firing off some

01:08:16   tweets and I've just got it going on, and then I'll sort of have a paragraph that the joke is

01:08:21   sort of an inside joke between me and myself. So occasionally I'll run one of those by him too.

01:08:27   And in the process, if he tells me that I have an apostrophe in one of my "its-os,"

01:08:31   then that's just the "shit-so."

01:08:34   [laughter]

01:08:35   Pete: I think I read about it on Nextdraft actually. Was it last week? The story, I'm sure

01:08:40   you put it in Nextdraft, but I think it's where I first saw it was the news that somebody's,

01:08:45   some scientists have said that drinking excessive amounts of coffee is good for you.

01:08:49   That the people who drink, I don't know, I forget what the cutoff was, but a fair amount of coffee

01:08:55   every day have significantly higher life, or statistically, relevantly longer life expectancy.

01:09:03   Yeah, they're just too apt to die.

01:09:05   Right. But I see, and I know that I'm a total,

01:09:10   hypocrites not the right word, but I

01:09:12   When news about like the stuff that I like to take the coffee booze when it says that it's good for you

01:09:20   I I jump all over it and I read it and and I love it and then when something comes out

01:09:25   You know that points the other way. I just say yeah, it doesn't apply to me. Yeah, you just explained all of media right there

01:09:32   Why MSNBC only has left-wingers and Fox only has right wingers, you know, and I don't feel like I'm that way

01:09:40   politically I do I like to read well-written pieces from the opposing

01:09:45   View I tend to be liberal I tend to vote Democrat. I like to read some of the

01:09:52   You know certainly not the Tea Party types, but there's certainly the reasonable types

01:09:56   You know I like to read George will once in a while

01:09:58   I like to see what what you know I like to open my mind to stuff like that

01:10:02   But when it comes to the coffee

01:10:03   I don't want to read I don't want to hear about problems that you get from drinking too much coffee right well

01:10:07   But you need your stuff for claimed chowder, so you gotta read some of the dummies once

01:10:11   in a while.

01:10:12   Right.

01:10:13   I'm trying to think.

01:10:14   Anything else before?

01:10:15   We should probably talk about Google Maps.

01:10:17   So you mentioned that the Google Maps app, as we record today, on Thursday, December

01:10:23   13th, the Google Maps iPhone app hit last night.

01:10:27   You know, I have two things I want to say about that.

01:10:30   One was there was this crazy story on all things D that they promoted as an exclusive,

01:10:35   Kara Swisher tweeted it and it was this big story on all things D last night which was

01:10:42   that they had an exclusive which was that Google Maps was coming out later that night

01:10:46   and it's like a 700 word article and I the thing that struck me about it is you know

01:10:51   I'm not saying they should if they found out obviously they had a source who confirmed

01:10:56   before everybody else knew that Google Maps for iPhone was coming out last night well

01:10:59   that is news but if the entirety of what you know can fit in a tweet then it should just

01:11:05   be a tweet. Right? Just tweet it. Right? This incessant desire for exclusives and the page

01:11:11   view driven mindset that would make you write an article. They didn't have screenshots.

01:11:15   They didn't get to use it. It wasn't a review of it. They didn't have the app yet. All they

01:11:20   had was the knowledge that it was coming out.

01:11:22   Trevor Burrus Yeah. Well, that kind of stuff is mostly an

01:11:25   SEO play all learned from the folks over at the Huffington Post, you know? Think about

01:11:31   what people are going to be searching for in the next 45 minutes and have a headline

01:11:34   up that matches that. Ah, I didn't even think about that angle.

01:11:37   What time is the Super Bowl? I guarantee there'll be a big headline on Huffington Post

01:11:42   a day before the Super Bowl that will say what time is the Super Bowl and they'll come up first.

01:11:46   And the worst part is they don't answer the question right away, the article.

01:11:51   Right, they don't care about that. They just want the page view.

01:11:54   The truth is even a lot of technology news is funny, right? Because you're

01:12:00   sort of breaking exclusives at a time of night when there's like 16 of us who give a shit and

01:12:06   we all already know it. So there's always this weird thing also, you know, there's this sort of

01:12:11   race to inform the 12 people who care about something who already know it.

01:12:15   Yeah, I hear this article and I tend to follow, you know, because you tend to follow people who

01:12:20   see things the way you do, at least on Twitter. So the people I follow tend to be the type who

01:12:25   are opposed to that. And it's like an endless, almost like an in joke among a bunch of us that

01:12:29   putting exclusive in a headline is, it's, ah, it like, every time I see it, it just rings,

01:12:36   it just, I don't know, grates upon me.

01:12:40   Trevor Burrus Yeah, certainly like with the John

01:12:41   McAfee story, you know, everybody had an exclusive with him. Here's like a crazy guy standing on a

01:12:46   corner in Guatemala mumbling to himself. That's not an exclusive. We can all hear him.

01:12:51   Trenton Larkin But they were all exclusive, call it.

01:12:56   I heard it from a slightly different angle than these other 12 Guatemalans did.

01:13:01   And part of it is that it's a total internetism because it's all about, you know, like in the old

01:13:07   days, there was never like, in the print days, nobody ever put the word exclusive in a headline.

01:13:12   There was no need to, right? If you were first, you were first and everybody had to wait another

01:13:16   day to catch up anyway, right? The exclusive was inherent, right? Like if New York Times had an

01:13:22   exclusive, a bit of news about, I don't know, the war in Afghanistan. They just,

01:13:27   you know, and they still do this. They don't put "exclusive" in the headline at

01:13:30   the New York Times, but it was exclusive for a day, right? It was, because nobody

01:13:35   else, it took another day for you, the Washington Post, to get another issue

01:13:39   out. So, you didn't have to tell people something was exclusive, it was

01:13:43   exclusive. Now, people put "exclusive" in the headline, and as soon as it comes out,

01:13:47   everybody's linking to it anyway, and it's not exclusive. So I guess that's what bothers me.

01:13:53   When things were exclusive because of the nature of print, nobody ever had to say they were

01:13:58   exclusive. Now people brag about things being exclusive, and they're not. There's nothing

01:14:02   exclusive about it. I also, as a related thing that I find incredibly, I don't know if it's

01:14:09   angering or humorous or maybe some combination of the both, is the live tweeting and live blogging

01:14:15   of events that every single person in your Twitter stream is already live blogging or live tweeting

01:14:20   with, but with no irony, no added value, no joke. So I admit I live tweet every Apple event from the

01:14:28   comfort of my own desk here in San Francisco. But I mean, I'm just making jokes.

01:14:33   You're adding color. Right.

01:14:34   Like I just, it's incredible that people are absolutely seriously saying like, Oh,

01:14:42   the new phone is going to have a camera in the front and it does 10 more pixels, you know,

01:14:46   it's like, well, you know, that you're the 48th person to say that, right. And it's really not

01:14:52   urgent because it comes out in a month and a half anyway. Back is now aluminum, not glass. Yeah.

01:14:57   And everybody does it. But it's like, at least add an opinion or a joke or something. You got

01:15:03   140 characters at least make three or four of those characters, something I don't already know.

01:15:08   But I guess people get obsessed with that stuff. I have a couple friends who don't tweet much,

01:15:15   but every now and then they just get really into a football game and they'll just start tweeting

01:15:19   specific plays from the game as if we're all watching together. They don't name the game,

01:15:25   they just sort of say, "Oh, sweep left goes for two, second and seven."

01:15:29   It's like, I'm just not sure how that's adding any value here. That's how I see live tweeting.

01:15:37   I can see it second and seven. That's not a tweet, dude. Let's go.

01:15:40   Putting exclusive in a headline is no better than putting first exclamation point in a comment

01:15:48   under the article. You're just telling people that you're the first to write this, you know?

01:15:53   Yeah.

01:15:54   Crazy. So, Google Maps, what do you think? What do you think of the new Apple Maps? You probably

01:16:01   don't leave the Bay Area much. The Apple Maps are pretty good out there, right?

01:16:05   Yeah, I didn't find them that terrible. I was mostly just reading about it, the problems people

01:16:10   were having, and definitely hearing about a lot of the frustrations at Apple about it.

01:16:15   Honestly, I'm not a huge Maps user.

01:16:20   Me neither. So I do find it hard to write about.

01:16:25   In the rare circumstances that I don't know where something is, I either just ask somebody

01:16:29   who'll know or I will use Google Maps or something on the web and just take a quick glance at

01:16:35   and say, okay, that's the directions.

01:16:37   I don't really, I'm not the type to open up an app

01:16:39   and say, okay, turn left at here, you know.

01:16:42   Maybe that's because I'm a little insular here, you know,

01:16:44   which tends to happen to us old internet people.

01:16:46   I probably, I'm about as far from my desk as I ever get

01:16:49   and I'm really right next to it.

01:16:52   But I thought, you know,

01:16:55   I thought that Apple Maps was well-designed

01:16:56   and had the typical problems you would think it would have.

01:16:58   You know, it didn't have multiple years

01:17:01   of millions of people hammering on it

01:17:03   finding the holes and saying, "Fill these holes."

01:17:06   I thought the UI and the look and feel of it was fine.

01:17:09   I didn't really have that much of a problem with it.

01:17:11   With Google Maps that I've tried in anticipation of this conversation, like I said, it's not

01:17:16   something I was anticipating with bated breath.

01:17:19   I feel like the map part of it is awesome.

01:17:22   You click the button and says, "Locate me.

01:17:25   It nailed me right to the corner."

01:17:28   And I said, "Show me the front of the place

01:17:30   "I used to live in in New York City."

01:17:33   It took me right to that address

01:17:35   and gave me a beautiful street view of the exact unit.

01:17:38   And all that stuff was great.

01:17:40   When I actually started using it and saying like,

01:17:42   "Hey, take me on a drive from my office to my house

01:17:47   "as a test," it took me about five minutes

01:17:50   to figure out how to get out of that screen.

01:17:52   I just, I couldn't quite get out of that screen.

01:17:54   I feel like there's no doubt Google is improving on software, but I still don't feel like it's

01:18:01   as...

01:18:02   For me, it wasn't as intuitive as it could be.

01:18:04   I know people are raving about it.

01:18:06   When I tested it to route my directions from my office to my house, it definitely gave

01:18:12   me good directions, but I was just testing it.

01:18:15   When I wanted to get out of that screen, it actually took me a few minutes to navigate

01:18:20   my way out.

01:18:23   All the things that you would expect from a Google mapping program and from a mapping

01:18:27   back end, whether it be street view or directions or locating yourself, finding nearby stuff,

01:18:32   all seems awesome.

01:18:33   That's the critical stuff.

01:18:35   That's what they're great at and they've done a great job.

01:18:37   When it comes to navigating the map, a maps product, I actually found it was almost slower

01:18:42   for me to navigate through the app than it was to navigate through space using the app.

01:18:48   Well, I think it's pretty good.

01:18:51   I do think that one of the things that's interesting, and I know not a lot of people have both things,

01:18:57   you know, you have to be like a gadget nerd to do it, but I think it's better designed

01:19:01   than the Android Maps app, the Android Maps app that they did. It's very similar, it's

01:19:07   certainly far more similar than it used to be. But the iOS one is cleaner. It's sort

01:19:13   of, you know, they're not trying to shoehorn the Android look and feel into iOS. They are

01:19:18   writing apps purposefully for the iPhone. And I guess the other thing I find

01:19:24   interesting about it is that I think Google, you know, in this whole saga,

01:19:33   Google lost something because it was really, really, what they really want is

01:19:38   to collect location data for both you as a user so they can serve you targeted

01:19:44   and collectively because it's sort of this crowdsourcing that makes the information accurate and up-to-date and relevant.

01:19:52   And they lost something by not being the default data provider for all iOS users.

01:19:57   And Apple, I'm sure, I mean, certainly doesn't like the perception, but I'm sure that they actually want their own mapping product to be as good or better than Google's.

01:20:09   better than Google's, and they don't have that. I think it's better than the reputation

01:20:16   as conventional wisdom holds, but it's still clearly not as good, especially for search,

01:20:23   which is a big use of maps. So Google didn't get what they want. They've lost being the

01:20:27   default for all iOS users, and Apple hasn't been able to do what it wants, which is provide

01:20:31   a best-of-breed mapping experience. But the result as of now, it's one of those cases

01:20:37   where I feel like the users win because the users get an Apple Maps app that's probably

01:20:43   the best designed app, right, like you were saying about the navigation. And if you want

01:20:48   Google Maps, now you have a Google Maps app that's better than what we had before this

01:20:54   whole thing started because now it has vector map tiles that load faster and it does turn-by-turn

01:20:59   direction, which we didn't have before.

01:21:01   Right. No, I think that's certainly on the broadest level. That's the story here. The

01:21:06   users have won, and Google got better at design, and we got a better product, and we have the

01:21:11   good maps.

01:21:12   Right. And I feel like part of the excoriation that Apple went through was short-sighted.

01:21:18   It was a three-month period where iOS 6 had shipped, and last night when the Google Maps

01:21:27   app became available. And so you could say, well, yeah, kind of things were kind of if

01:21:32   you if you use, you know, lived in a place where the maps are more accurate, or you use

01:21:36   them for a purpose that the apples one was really just worse or bad or, you know, literally

01:21:41   put you in the middle of nowhere instead of where you wanted to go. That sucked, but it

01:21:47   was just a three month blip in the history of years. And now afterwards, it's actually

01:21:52   better for users. Right? The excoriation was that Apple put its own interest above those

01:21:56   of users. But I think in the long run, iPhone users are now better off than they ever were

01:22:03   before when it comes to mapping, which is sort of curious.

01:22:07   Right. Wasn't the whole controversy at the beginning that Google didn't want to share

01:22:11   the turn-by-turn directions with iOS users also?

01:22:14   Yeah. And well, but what they wanted to do, it was a classic negotiation situation where

01:22:22   It's not that they were outright refusing.

01:22:25   It's that in exchange for it, they wanted Apple to have that built-in Maps app do more

01:22:35   with Google services, like provide a way to log in to the Google location, whatever it's

01:22:42   called.

01:22:43   What's it called?

01:22:44   I forget.

01:22:45   But, or Google+ or something like that, so that they could do more.

01:22:49   They wanted more information about, you know, identifiable information from users.

01:22:55   So Apple didn't want to give them that for their own reasons, competitive reasons.

01:22:59   So Apple didn't want to give them the data, but without the data, Google didn't want

01:23:04   to give them the turn-by-turn and the vector map tiles.

01:23:08   And I think that if anybody made a mistake, I think that the people at Google who ultimately

01:23:14   had to make this decision, overestimated Apple's willingness to just say, "Fuck you, we're

01:23:23   going ahead with our own maps, whether they're worse or not."

01:23:25   Because I think that they had an accurate sense of how good Apple's maps were going

01:23:30   to be.

01:23:31   It was sort of—it wasn't really a secret, but I mean, I knew.

01:23:37   I mean, like, it was a lot more as of WWDC, right?

01:23:41   WWDC is when this maps thing was announced.

01:23:44   Everybody knew Apple though, it was working on maps.

01:23:46   I mean, the acquisitions of mapping companies over the last few years are public knowledge.

01:23:53   You don't buy, spend 20, 30, 100 million dollars on mapping companies and not be building your

01:24:00   own mapping system.

01:24:01   But there was a general sense that Apple's maps weren't yet up to snuff.

01:24:06   Maybe they were good and okay, but not great.

01:24:09   And I think Google knew that, and I think Google sort of internally estimated, well,

01:24:14   there's no way that their maps are good enough yet, so they're not—they'll come

01:24:17   to us.

01:24:18   They'll give in, and, you know, in exchange for the vector and the turn-by-turn, we'll

01:24:23   get more integration with our, you know, Google+ and stuff like that.

01:24:29   Right.

01:24:30   And I think that's why it, you know, the Google Maps app wasn't ready on day one,

01:24:36   is that they thought that they had at least another year.

01:24:40   But ultimately, I feel like it's all worked out.

01:24:46   I don't think that, I feel like people are missing that.

01:24:49   I don't see that in the coverage of this.

01:24:51   - Yeah, I mean, that was pretty much my take

01:24:54   in next draft was that everybody here wins

01:24:56   except for the guys who were working

01:24:57   on the Apple Maps team.

01:24:59   - Well, and even they do now.

01:25:00   It's even, I mean, I don't know that they win,

01:25:03   but it certainly, they know how high the bar

01:25:07   has been raised, right?

01:25:09   - Right.

01:25:10   - So I don't know.

01:25:12   I think it's wrong to think that Apple's,

01:25:16   that the situation now for iOS users

01:25:18   is that they're screwed on maps.

01:25:20   I think it's better.

01:25:22   - Oh, no doubt, no doubt.

01:25:23   The users are coming out good here.

01:25:24   They had three months of a little bit of frustration

01:25:28   for some users here and there,

01:25:29   probably outweighed by the amount of discourse

01:25:32   fun that they had around the issue and now they have the maps product they want

01:25:37   and better than ever that's probably a good place to end the show Dave Pell

01:25:43   thank you for for being here people can find out more pride number one website

01:25:49   did you'd want people to go to they want if they want more Dave Pell go to go to

01:25:52   next draft calm and right you could find out about the app you can find out about

01:25:57   how to sign up for the newsletter you can see a picture of Dave with with the

01:26:01   top part of his skull coming off his head.

01:26:04   It's as good a selling point as any.

01:26:07   Thanks.

01:26:08   I really appreciate it.

01:26:09   [BLANK_AUDIO]