129: The Wrong Kind of Munching


00:00:00   It's nice to be back on the same time zone, Myke.

00:00:03   Latency's gone. Although to be fair, there wasn't any latency in the call, to be honest.

00:00:06   I'm actually quite surprised about that. It was fun.

00:00:09   Well, I mean, look, I may have had very many things to say about Hawaii, but remarkably,

00:00:17   in Hawaii, I had a better internet connection than I have here in London.

00:00:21   So the internet connection was superior in the middle of the Pacific Ocean to my home

00:00:28   flat. I got back and checked the speed again. I was like, "Oh yeah, that's right. This

00:00:32   number is as small as I thought it was. How? How can I get literally a hundred times faster

00:00:41   internet in the middle of nowhere than I get in my apartment?" But, you know, the main

00:00:44   thing that really matters though is I'm so glad we're on the same time zone again.

00:00:49   I think both of us were getting a little loopy recording so far apart and at, for both of

00:00:55   us the least optimal time to record.

00:00:58   Yeah it was bad.

00:00:59   This feels so much better.

00:01:01   This does.

00:01:02   This feels so much better.

00:01:03   I could hear it in the editing of those two shows.

00:01:06   I was like, "Oh, that's what I sound like when I'm crazy."

00:01:09   Yeah sure, all that was was just the time of the day.

00:01:13   There was definitely no other reason.

00:01:15   Oh, there were many reasons, but the time of the day did not help.

00:01:19   It's like, "No, I don't want to be recording at that time.

00:01:21   You didn't want to be recording at that time."

00:01:24   But yes, so I have now exited the Pacific Ocean, flown halfway around the world, and

00:01:31   returned home.

00:01:32   So I'm very happy to be here.

00:01:34   How has it been returning back to your office?

00:01:37   Well, I had a funny experience.

00:01:40   So we did all of the travel back at once, and I think I do the time tracking.

00:01:44   From the time we started packing, till the time I walked in the front door, was 30 hours

00:01:53   - To be fair, from the way you set that up, I thought that was gonna be long.

00:01:58   - Yeah, like, here's the thing. It's 30 hours in a row, which is rough. But then, at the same time,

00:02:05   I don't know how long it took Captain Cook or whatever to get to Hawaii from London,

00:02:10   but it was not 30 hours, right? It may have been six months. I have no idea. Like,

00:02:16   it is totally a miracle of the modern world that that is even possible. But at the same time,

00:02:22   after 30 hours you are very tired of this and you would like it to be done.

00:02:27   But I just had this funny feeling when we landed in Heathrow airport.

00:02:31   The word that my brain has been using is city stuff.

00:02:35   Like, oh! There's city stuff again?

00:02:38   And I had the weird experience of riding on this big long escalator at Heathrow.

00:02:44   Like, wow! An escalator! Right?

00:02:46   Like I was— I've never been happier to be on an escalator and I found it like completely charming.

00:02:51   like, "Oh, look at this! This escalator in this glass tube and the whole airport! It's made of

00:02:58   city stuff!" You become like one of those people that takes a little bit too long to get off.

00:03:03   Yeah, I'm just looking around, you know, "Why isn't everybody as excited to be on this

00:03:07   escalator as I am?" Well, there's very good reasons why. I just keep thinking of all of the

00:03:13   this like minor city stuff that seems delightfully novel in a weird way to me now. This is always the

00:03:21   the benefit of traveling is things are different in the place that you go, that's why you're

00:03:27   traveling. Novelty is good for your brain and it also makes your home novel in funny

00:03:33   ways, especially if you've been gone for a long time, but even on minor trips, like the

00:03:37   experience of coming back always makes the things that you're returning to novel again.

00:03:42   So it is good to do, but having been gone for so long in such a rural environment, coming

00:03:48   back, the city itself is really striking in my brain. And the other thing that I keep

00:03:54   thinking of is just the sheer number of places I almost find slightly overwhelming. On the island,

00:04:01   there's just not that many places. I guess, like, what do I mean by this? I mean by,

00:04:07   what could you have as a pin on Apple Maps, right? Like, what would show up as a dot?

00:04:14   I was like, "Oh, there were just not very many dots anywhere on the island."

00:04:20   And this morning, before we were going to record the show,

00:04:23   I always take a walk.

00:04:24   And so this is the first big walk that I've taken since I got back.

00:04:28   I sort of went around a five-mile walk in a big loop around where I live.

00:04:32   And 100%, I passed many multiples more places

00:04:39   than exist on the entirety of the island during that walk.

00:04:42   And it's just like, wow, there are so many places to go.

00:04:47   It's just very different.

00:04:48   - I mean, to be fair, this is not a massively different feeling that I get from when I go

00:04:52   into central London, where I live in the suburbs, right?

00:04:56   And there's places around, I can go get lunch and groceries or whatever.

00:05:02   But when I go into central London for something, it's completely different, right?

00:05:08   it's this whole world of its own full of people doing all these things, right? Like, they're

00:05:13   it. I can understand what you are saying even just from my lived experience of being in

00:05:19   this city, right?

00:05:20   BRIAN KARDELL-MULLER Everything is always relative because also

00:05:23   one of the most memorable trips I ever took was I went to Hong Kong a long time ago. I

00:05:29   was able to basically like sneak on a flight with my mom who was working as a flight attendant

00:05:34   and so it was delightful because this is the kind of thing that can happen when your mom

00:05:38   as a flight attendant. She basically was like, "Hey, do you want to go to Hong Kong this

00:05:41   weekend?" And I said, "Sure, I guess." And it was like, "Whoop, off I went." And I found

00:05:45   out in retrospect, she asked, but basically never expected that I would say yes. But I

00:05:50   was like, "Sure, why not?" So anyway, I went to Hong Kong. And I remember so well being

00:05:55   in Hong Kong, having this feeling like, "Oh, I've never seen a city before." Like the density

00:06:02   compared to New York City was just insane. Like it made New York City look like it was

00:06:08   nothing. So like you always have these different like what spaces are you moving between? And

00:06:14   I think that's good. I think that's good for brains. I think it's good in a novelty experience.

00:06:19   I just think like while Hong Kong made New York feel like nothing, I think it'd be pretty

00:06:23   hard unless I was going to Hong Kong to go from a lower density of places to a higher

00:06:29   density of places on a longer trip than what I've just done now. So I've just felt like

00:06:34   very overwhelmed with all of it. But it's been nice. Like it's been really nice to be

00:06:37   back. I was thinking this morning as I was walking around, places like Hawaii have like

00:06:42   this is just a general rural problem. They have an issue with brain drain, this idea

00:06:48   that people who grow up there often move somewhere else and they don't always come back. I was

00:06:55   just thinking about it where it's like cities are so interesting and they're so important

00:07:00   to the human species as a whole, which is also I think kind of important to reemphasize

00:07:07   after we've had this like long experience where people are like, oh, maybe I don't want

00:07:10   to live in a city. Maybe I do want to live in a more rural setting. It's like, but it

00:07:14   is really important that as a general piece of advice to people thinking about their careers

00:07:21   in that transition from like, oh, I'm not a student anymore. I'm now going to be a person

00:07:26   in the world is not applicable to everyone. But I do think it is generally applicable

00:07:32   and good advice that when you are done with school, you should probably move to the biggest

00:07:41   city that is reasonably accessible to you for at least a few years. This is just part

00:07:47   of like what do you want to do and one of the things you want to try to do is earlier

00:07:53   in your career maximize optionality. You want to maximize the number of things that can

00:08:00   happen. You want to maximize the number of opportunities that exist.

00:08:05   I mean this is why people pay obscene amounts of money to crown themselves in one bedroom

00:08:09   in a like five bedroom flat right? Yeah exactly. When they're starting out in their careers

00:08:14   because if you live like we're talking about London specifically right but if

00:08:18   you live in London you maximize everything you maximize the places you

00:08:23   can go the people you can see the people you can meet the experiences you can

00:08:26   have yeah by having lived in that environment like I know this from like

00:08:31   some professional groups that I'm in and they're like people that work in large

00:08:37   like much larger companies like huge companies right in the UK and media and

00:08:41   stuff like that. And it's been really interesting to talk to them during the

00:08:45   pandemic and now coming into a different stage where we are now and it seems like

00:08:49   for a while they were very much like oh no like no one's ever going to want to

00:08:54   come back to the office to an element of like oh no there's some people that

00:08:58   really do and or there's people that like they want flexibility now where

00:09:05   they can take time to go and be somewhere but they still want to live in

00:09:10   in the center and they still want to have our central office.

00:09:14   So it's been really intriguing to watch that,

00:09:16   like the reality in some people where they thought

00:09:19   they wanted a certain thing in a certain way,

00:09:22   but then they realized that once the opportunities come back

00:09:26   they want to still take advantage of them.

00:09:28   - Yeah, like the way I think about it is it's made sense

00:09:31   and I think it still makes sense to be kind of

00:09:33   in the short term to be short cities,

00:09:36   but in the long term to be long cities.

00:09:38   It's like, well, yeah, there's definitely a trend,

00:09:41   but there's this thing that just happens

00:09:44   where the more people you have around,

00:09:47   the more things those people can do,

00:09:49   and the more people can specialize,

00:09:51   and then that creates all kinds of different opportunities.

00:09:54   It came up in Hawaii with a couple of people

00:09:57   who were thinking about work and changing things,

00:09:59   and you just realize, like, in an environment

00:10:01   where the density of people is low,

00:10:04   the options of what people can do are extremely limited.

00:10:08   And then I come to London and I just think like,

00:10:10   oh my God, how many people are simply employed

00:10:13   just as like the delivery drivers?

00:10:16   I don't know, like 25% of the city,

00:10:17   as far as I can tell, is employed as delivery drivers.

00:10:20   But like that as a thing is a thing

00:10:22   that just simply can't exist in a low density environment.

00:10:26   And it's also why you end up with people

00:10:30   who can be really specialized at their work,

00:10:32   where do they usually exist?

00:10:34   They exist in the cities.

00:10:35   So yeah, I don't know.

00:10:36   It's just something that's been in my mind.

00:10:38   - That's interesting, right?

00:10:39   That in a non-city environment, a smaller environment,

00:10:42   you end up with like this, the work is this core level

00:10:46   of work by and large, right?

00:10:47   Like what are the things that we need as a community

00:10:51   to sustain ourselves and, you know,

00:10:54   to get what we want out of life as a community.

00:10:57   But then in the cities, there's obviously the luxuries,

00:11:00   right, where like, but that goes from gig economy work,

00:11:04   delivery drivers, taxi drivers, all the way up to like,

00:11:09   the real thinking of thinking is the jobs.

00:11:12   - Yeah, also like incredibly specialized jobs.

00:11:15   Like in London, there's just a shop that's famous

00:11:16   for just selling umbrellas, right?

00:11:18   And that's what they do.

00:11:19   It's like, this is the world class shop

00:11:21   for you need a fancy umbrella.

00:11:23   - Yeah.

00:11:24   - But like, that can only exist in an environment

00:11:27   where the density of people is so incredibly high.

00:11:30   - Or like you get those like food shops, right?

00:11:32   where it's like, we do this one little thing.

00:11:34   Like one of the popular ones,

00:11:36   which unfortunately they closed during the pandemic

00:11:39   was serial killer in Shoreditch, which was a cereal cafe.

00:11:42   (laughing)

00:11:44   That was what they did. - I think you told me

00:11:45   about that, that's a great idea.

00:11:46   - You could go there and you could get a bowl of cereal

00:11:49   and it doesn't exist anymore.

00:11:50   They unfortunately didn't make it through the pandemic,

00:11:53   but they have an online store still.

00:11:54   So you can still buy from them, which you always could,

00:11:57   but they shut down their actual cafe that they used to have.

00:12:01   But like, you know, that can only exist in a place of really pure abundance, right?

00:12:07   There's no way, there's no other way to sustain something like that.

00:12:11   Yeah, or it's, I don't know, I feel like I'm lacking what I want to put into words here,

00:12:15   but it's like just simply the presence of a lot of people allows those people to engage

00:12:23   in a wider variety of activities.

00:12:26   And that is good.

00:12:27   Like a higher density of people makes people better.

00:12:32   - And I'll say, I know you're not not saying this,

00:12:34   but like just on the flip side,

00:12:36   that idea of the small community

00:12:38   is like very tantalizing to some people.

00:12:41   Like it is the speed of life, which is really attractive.

00:12:46   And as I'm getting older,

00:12:48   that becomes so much more attractive to me.

00:12:51   - Oh yeah, but this is what I mean by

00:12:53   there's a cycle that I think it is useful

00:12:56   for people to be aware of.

00:12:58   And that cycle is when you have finished education

00:13:02   and are entering the workforce,

00:13:03   it is generically good advice for you

00:13:05   to move to the largest city that is accessible to you.

00:13:08   Whatever that means, like, you know, in your region

00:13:12   and how far you're willing to move from your family,

00:13:14   you should make that move.

00:13:15   That's generically good advice.

00:13:17   But then it is also the case that as your career goes on,

00:13:23   that truism becomes less true.

00:13:26   And you can start taking of the advantages

00:13:29   in the reverse direction,

00:13:30   where after you've established yourself,

00:13:32   there may be ways that you can move away from the city,

00:13:36   but still take like the advantage of the career

00:13:38   that you have built with you.

00:13:40   And just as someone is more established in their career

00:13:44   or in their life, the optionality matters less

00:13:48   because you have chosen which of these options

00:13:51   are important to you.

00:13:52   and then you can maximize in a different way.

00:13:55   So yeah, it's something also like my wife and I

00:13:58   have discussed as well as we've thought sometimes about,

00:14:00   ooh, does it make sense maybe to move away from London now?

00:14:04   And we've deliberately decided that we're not going to do it

00:14:07   in the near term, but it is a thing where it's like,

00:14:10   oh, this starts to make more sense in a way

00:14:14   that it didn't make sense 10 years ago,

00:14:16   whereas like 10 years ago, the optionality of being

00:14:19   in a big city has been hugely important to my life,

00:14:23   but it's like that becomes less important

00:14:25   the more established you are.

00:14:27   And so I'm not surprised to hear that you're also

00:14:29   having that same experience as well.

00:14:31   You know, you also just want a bigger studio,

00:14:33   and so you need to move further out.

00:14:34   - I don't need a bigger studio.

00:14:35   Mega studio is sufficiently mega.

00:14:39   I do sit in here and look around sometimes and be like,

00:14:42   I definitely got more than a shit hub.

00:14:45   But like I remember, whenever I see that,

00:14:48   'cause I'm in a building where it's all individual spaces,

00:14:51   right, and over the time that I've been here,

00:14:53   for obvious reasons, there's been a lot more turnover

00:14:57   in the space, so every now and then,

00:14:59   there's a little space that's available,

00:15:02   and I look at it and I'm like,

00:15:03   really, that's what I should've got?

00:15:05   - Right. - Like, it's just a place

00:15:08   for two people or whatever, but at the time,

00:15:11   there was nothing available, this was all they had,

00:15:14   and so I just got it.

00:15:15   I mean, I love it and continue to find new and exciting uses for this space.

00:15:20   So I'm happy I have it, but it is funny.

00:15:21   You know, like what something I like is there was a, there's a company that was

00:15:25   in a, uh, an office opposite me and these like clothing stuff.

00:15:29   And I'm pretty sure they had like five employees, you know, they were working

00:15:33   on designs and that kind of stuff.

00:15:35   And they just look like they were constantly on top of each other.

00:15:39   Like it looked terrible for them.

00:15:40   Right.

00:15:40   Like, but now they've moved into the unit next door to me, which is actually

00:15:44   bigger than mine. And I just feel really good for them. Right? Because it's like they were

00:15:49   there for I don't know, six months or so and I always felt sorry for them because like

00:15:53   it looked like they were really squished and it made sense that they looked like they were

00:15:57   starting out. Kind of like when I saw them moving in like I said to the guy like "Oh

00:16:01   this is really great like I'm happy you're doing this." He's like "Oh yeah like things

00:16:03   have grown for us and we finally got a space." And I was like "Yeah man, do it."

00:16:08   I totally get that. When I was at a co-working space I really enjoyed also seeing that thing

00:16:12   where it's like, oh, this team starts as two people and you watch them grow over time and then

00:16:17   eventually they outgrow the co-working space entirely and disappear. But that always,

00:16:21   it always felt really good to see like, oh, people are building things, they're making things and

00:16:26   they're being successful at the things that they're building. And you know, it's real positive sum.

00:16:30   - And I've got to wonder, what did I think goes on in here? I think about this a lot, right? Because

00:16:35   I have noticed them, they have noticed me. There was like once, there was like, I had a delivery

00:16:39   go there or whatever, you know, so they know I exist and now I'm next door to them, right?

00:16:44   And it's only ever me that's coming in and out of here and they must now especially have

00:16:50   an idea for how big this space is. What do they think happens in this office? You know,

00:16:56   what's going on in here? You're a product designer, that's what's going on in there.

00:16:59   Do you know, I tell people that more now that I work in product design. Oh, do you? Okay,

00:17:03   interesting. It's easier than podcasting because if I say podcasting, I always get that like,

00:17:09   "Oh yeah, of course you do."

00:17:10   You know when it'd be like, "Oh yeah, one day you'll make it."

00:17:12   You know, a little hobby or whatever.

00:17:14   Like, that tends to be the worst.

00:17:16   "Oh, that's a fun hobby."

00:17:18   Like, "No, it is my profession.

00:17:20   I've made a good professional career out there now."

00:17:22   But now I say product designer,

00:17:24   'cause it's just, I like it.

00:17:26   One, I like it.

00:17:27   I was actually thinking about this the other day.

00:17:28   You know, people ask you like,

00:17:30   "If you could do anything that's not your current thing,

00:17:35   what would it be?"

00:17:37   And I have like two answers for it.

00:17:38   I have one which is the actual answer now,

00:17:41   which is like product design would have definitely

00:17:43   been one of mine, right?

00:17:44   Like the idea of coming up with and helping in the creation

00:17:48   of physical products that get made and then sold.

00:17:51   Like that has been something I've always wanted to do.

00:17:53   And now we're lucky enough that with the support

00:17:56   of the cortexins, we're in a position where we're doing that.

00:17:58   Like it's a thing that we do and I love it.

00:18:00   And I love coming up with ideas

00:18:02   and seeing them become a reality.

00:18:04   Like that would have been my answer before.

00:18:06   Now, because I do do that, my other answer is television.

00:18:10   I would love to do something in television,

00:18:11   like write a TV show.

00:18:13   - Really?

00:18:14   I've never heard you say anything about that.

00:18:15   - This is pure dream for me, which is why.

00:18:17   - Okay. - Right?

00:18:18   Like this is pure like, if you could do absolutely anything,

00:18:21   you already had the skills.

00:18:22   Creating a television show and writing a television show

00:18:26   and maybe even acting in a television show,

00:18:28   like I would love that.

00:18:29   - Huh. - Yeah.

00:18:30   Because I know it's not a thing for me, right?

00:18:32   Like-- - Yeah, yeah, but still.

00:18:33   - It's a dream, right?

00:18:34   Like if I could have a dream,

00:18:35   would be in that world. I love hearing people talk about it and I love like just as a viewer

00:18:42   like trying to pick things apart anyway like I've always enjoyed that. So I would love to do it but

00:18:47   it's you know I'll keep that as what little dream that I have but do you have one of those by the

00:18:53   way? Like if you couldn't do your current thing and it's the idea if you have all of the skills

00:19:00   right you've just got them. Do you know what that would be? What you would do?

00:19:05   I feel like I have a hard time processing this question.

00:19:10   Is there any profession in the world that you would like to do that's not your current one?

00:19:15   Yeah, I don't know. I know what you're sort of looking for here, but I just think there's something very different in my brain when I turn this thought upon myself.

00:19:27   It just returns nothing as an answer.

00:19:30   But I can completely understand your answer and what you mean by this.

00:19:34   - Oh, let me throw some at you. Would you like to be a writer?

00:19:37   - Well... - Like write a book?

00:19:40   - I guess. I think the problem with that is I know too well how miserable that would be,

00:19:49   both because a huge part of my work currently is writing.

00:19:52   - Yeah, yeah. I know. - I have seen up close several friends

00:19:55   write books and it's like, "Boy, that process does not sell itself when people write books."

00:20:00   - What about something with animals? - Yeah, I didn't...

00:20:03   It's like, I don't know. I don't know how to like, I think you're not gonna get anywhere with this question.

00:20:07   I'm not gonna get an answer, I can tell now. I wanted to just try on a couple.

00:20:10   Yeah, no.

00:20:11   Neither of them worked, so. But that's great though, because that means you're already doing the only thing you would want to do, you know?

00:20:17   Well, again, the way I always describe it is that I am extremely well suited to the work that I do.

00:20:22   I think that is the best, most accurate sentence to describe my current situation.

00:20:27   I mean, you have crafted your own job, so if you weren't, I don't know what you're doing.

00:20:30   Yes, exactly.

00:20:31   - You know what I mean?

00:20:32   Like if you created this, if you're not suited for it,

00:20:34   I don't know what you're up to over there.

00:20:37   But like, it's just to say like,

00:20:39   obviously podcasting is my first choice, right?

00:20:42   'Cause I did the same thing.

00:20:44   But it is that question, if I could do something else,

00:20:47   then first thing would be to make stuff

00:20:49   and now I have the joy of doing that.

00:20:51   But to go back to where I was with this initially

00:20:53   and I don't even remember how we got to it,

00:20:55   that is what I will tend to say to people now

00:20:58   when they say, "What do you do for a living?"

00:21:00   product design.

00:21:01   I have to say I'm also quite grateful to the existence of Cortex merch because I have now

00:21:07   updated the it's like this has been constantly a problem in my life is telling people about

00:21:12   what I do.

00:21:14   Partly just because on like on a personal level I just loathe the conversations that

00:21:18   come up when this happens like it's always just very awkward and weird it just never

00:21:22   it never goes well I hate everything about it.

00:21:24   also like, I had to put it this way, like at scale it can cause a bunch of problems.

00:21:31   And so it was actually very nice because the last two or three weeks in Hawaii, that was

00:21:36   when we really had all the family over. And so it's like the house was just packed full

00:21:41   of people and it was great. But one of the things that was really helpful is we finally

00:21:46   had a consistent story as a family about what does Gray do? And so like basically had a

00:21:52   meeting of like, "Okay everyone, listen." So now when someone asks you what this person does,

00:21:58   the answer is, "He works in stationery." That is the official story and it was great because I had

00:22:06   with me a bunch of the Cortex products. So it's like, "Oh, I had the pen, I had the notebook,"

00:22:12   and so it was actually quite useful because weirdly enough having those sort of props

00:22:18   really sold it to the rest of the family like, "Yes, this is not really what I do, but this is

00:22:24   what we're going to tell people what I do because it just makes everything easier for everyone and

00:22:30   reduces a bunch of security concerns and other problems and showing people, but look, I really

00:22:38   have made a pen and I have made a notebook!" I think that really sold it as like, "Oh, okay,

00:22:44   we're not lying, we're just mentioning only one part. He really does work in stationery.

00:22:49   And so let me tell you, at least the initial testing of this worked great for like a zero

00:22:56   follow-up question kind of answer. So if there was for any other reason, a good reason for us

00:23:02   to create Cortex Brand was so we both had an easier story to tell people about what we do for a living.

00:23:08   Yes, thank you. Thank you so much, Cortex Brand.

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00:25:17   Great let's do some #AskCortex questions. Yeah. I haven't touched on these in a while and

00:25:21   they've been building up so I want to ask some of the burning questions

00:25:24   from the Kotexans. Matt says, "You were both really excited for focus modes in

00:25:30   IOS 15. With WWDC right around the corner, do you actually find yourself using them

00:25:36   still?" What do you think about that Myke? My answer is yeah. I am still using the

00:25:40   exact set of focus modes that I created that we spoke about at some point last

00:25:46   year I think. So I have just Do Not Disturb the same as it always was right?

00:25:51   didn't change that and I have my recording focus mode which turns off

00:25:56   basically all notifications except from Adina and also from Kerry our VP of

00:26:01   Sales because I figured they're the two people and I'm recording that I might

00:26:04   need to hear from and then I also have my exercise focus mode which turns off

00:26:10   100% of everything except notifications from the activity app right it's the

00:26:14   only place I get anything and I still use them I use them across all my

00:26:17   devices. I'm still using the shortcuts that I have to trigger them at the times

00:26:21   that I want them. I would say that they built a really good foundation with

00:26:25   focus modes but they need to do more work on it. I want to see them continue. I

00:26:29   hope they will. WWDC literally is around the corner. It's in like a week which is

00:26:34   starting to terrify me a little bit but I'm also really excited for WWDC this year.

00:26:37   Is there something in particular that you're looking for out of focus modes?

00:26:40   What I want is a better setup process. So one of the things that I find really

00:26:47   frustrating about focus modes right now is you have to opt in every app that you want.

00:26:53   >> Right, right. >> I would prefer opting out apps that I don't want to notify me.

00:26:59   >> Yeah, I agree. >> Because the biggest thing is you've set up all your focus modes, right? You've

00:27:03   gotten perfect. Let's say you add a new chat app or a new email app. You have to go in and remember

00:27:10   to add that into all the places it needs to go. Like I would prefer focus modes to work how kind

00:27:16   kind of like notifications does where like something notifies you and you're

00:27:21   like oh I don't want this here let me get rid of it so just the setup process I

00:27:26   would like to be a bit cleaner and if they did that I would use it more just

00:27:31   for me the setup and maintenance of all of these things is too tricky for me to

00:27:35   like you know I would quite like a like maybe like a general work or like a

00:27:40   focused work focus mode you know what I mean like where I'm letting stuff in but

00:27:45   not everything and it could be a bit particular about it,

00:27:48   but I don't want to set that up

00:27:49   because then I'm having to constantly think,

00:27:51   oh, I just added this new app.

00:27:53   Do I want to add it to that?

00:27:54   I don't want that.

00:27:55   I want it to be a little bit simpler to manage,

00:27:58   but overall, I think the feature was a good one.

00:28:01   - Yeah, I mean, I complained mightily

00:28:04   about the previous system

00:28:06   and I've just been hugely pleased

00:28:09   with the addition of focus modes.

00:28:11   It's so much better than it used to be.

00:28:14   Because it is actually doing what you were trying to get downtime to do.

00:28:17   Yes, exactly.

00:28:18   It's much more in line with what I was trying to do.

00:28:20   So I'm definitely using them.

00:28:22   I would like to use more.

00:28:23   I think what you have just said though, did pin something in my mind that's like, yes,

00:28:29   the creation process feels like it does need to be streamlined because it's a heavy weight

00:28:34   to try to figure it out.

00:28:36   And it's heavy weight to get started with, I would like to have a new mode in this way.

00:28:41   I think for me, one of the things that I wish you could do is like on your phone and on

00:28:46   the iPad, it's great that you can have these custom screens.

00:28:49   One of the biggest features for me is that you can have the phone or the iPad look different

00:28:53   based on which mode you're in.

00:28:56   But once you start having more than two or three, it becomes very difficult to keep track

00:29:01   of which screen is this supposed to be for when you're making these things like I wish

00:29:06   you could name what those individual screens are on your iPhone or on your iPad to be a

00:29:11   like this is for admin mode and this is for the instead of just like check boxes of like yes I

00:29:16   want these no I don't want those. So yeah I find like I think I would customize it more if it was

00:29:22   a little bit easier to keep track of which looks are supposed to go with which devices. But yeah I

00:29:28   really do like them and my main ones are that yeah there's a general do not disturb I use sleep

00:29:34   obviously I have core which is for all of like the core important work that's the basically nobody

00:29:40   disturbed me mode. Then I have like light admin, I have something for the weekend, which is like,

00:29:47   when am I not working? What do I want? And then a separate holiday mode, which is slightly different

00:29:52   of like, I'm on holiday, I need a different sort of set of things to be able to reach me. There's

00:29:56   one little trick with focus modes that I really like, though, which is you can use them as

00:30:02   triggers on different devices.

00:30:06   So when you go in and out of a focus mode,

00:30:11   that is updated on all of your devices.

00:30:14   And so you can have a device trigger based on,

00:30:18   oh, that has happened.

00:30:20   - Doing this for shortcuts, is that what you're talking about?

00:30:22   - Personal automations, I think what they call them.

00:30:24   Like this is running on the device.

00:30:25   - Currently, weirdly, that is not a thing on the Mac, right?

00:30:27   There's no personal automations on the Mac,

00:30:29   which is one of the emissions of shortcuts on the Mac.

00:30:32   Yeah, that's the last one I would really like to fall in line.

00:30:34   But so I was like, oh, if you want to change the wallpapers

00:30:37   when you switch modes, this is something

00:30:40   you can use to trigger and to recognize.

00:30:42   Like, oh, as a personal automation,

00:30:44   like the one that I did for Hawaii

00:30:46   and being in holiday mode is like, oh, I

00:30:48   had a Hawaii pattern background on the iPad and on the iPhone

00:30:52   of like, this is holiday mode, right?

00:30:54   Get in the mood.

00:30:55   But I always wanted it to be on both devices.

00:30:58   And so you can have the automation just look and see,

00:31:01   like, oh, when we've tripped into holiday mode, change the wallpaper on the iPad.

00:31:05   And the other one I was really quite pleased with myself in terms of automation

00:31:08   is I sleep with white noise.

00:31:10   So we have like ocean sounds that play, which I'm sure also will be funny to Myke.

00:31:15   That's like, yes, I listen to airplane sounds when I'm on the airplane.

00:31:17   And when I am in Hawaii, like we were playing ocean sounds while we're sleeping.

00:31:21   Traffic sounds in London.

00:31:23   Yes, exactly.

00:31:24   That's what I do.

00:31:25   Doesn't everybody do that when you're driving in the car, you play traffic noises.

00:31:28   But what happens is the sound the white noise sounds of the wave like will keep my wife asleep

00:31:34   forever. Like basically as long as they're playing she like can't wake up. She has a really hard time

00:31:38   waking up with that. And so we're just playing those sounds off of the iPad. But you can use

00:31:43   a trigger which is really great of the phone my phone knows when I wake up like it switches out

00:31:50   of sleep mode. And so I have the iPad look for that like notice when we've swapped out of sleep

00:31:57   mode. So when sleep mode turns off, I have it then run an automation that over 20 minutes

00:32:03   slowly turns down the volume of the iPad. It's like it gets rid of the white noise sound

00:32:09   without just abruptly shutting it off, which can also wake up someone.

00:32:13   That's such a really great way to do that. Like also not just turning it off immediately.

00:32:18   Yeah, because that's what you don't want. You don't want it to just bam, waves are gone.

00:32:23   You want it to say, "Okay, repeat this loop.

00:32:26   Wait two minutes, decrease volume by 5%, do it again, do it again, and until 20 minutes

00:32:31   later you're at 0%."

00:32:33   That was one of those moments of an automating something, I'm like, "Oh, I'm so pleased

00:32:36   with myself."

00:32:37   But it took me a while to realize, "Oh, I'm so clever."

00:32:42   But I can use that focus mode as a trigger to have stuff happen.

00:32:46   And so I am really hoping they bring it to the Mac, partly for that reason of, "Oh,

00:32:50   Oh, it would be great to have something that I can have trigger on the Mac when you go

00:32:54   in and out of a different mode.

00:32:55   But yeah, so I really like those focus modes.

00:32:58   I think they're great.

00:32:59   I would like to see them improved.

00:33:00   But even if they didn't get improved, I feel like it's already so much better than the

00:33:04   old system.

00:33:05   I'm very happy with them.

00:33:07   And I think I'm going to slowly increase the number that I use over time.

00:33:11   On a similar note, Dries wants to know what Apple Maps updates you're looking for from

00:33:17   W2C this year.

00:33:18   It is all you care about, so.

00:33:20   Myke, I'm sure you have tons of things you'd love to see from Apple Maps. I know it's your favorite app.

00:33:24   Oh, I can't wait for it.

00:33:25   Apple Maps, the most interesting app that exists on the phone, which I literally think is true.

00:33:30   I don't know why you're sighing there. Look, the reason why it's so interesting

00:33:36   is because it's the place that they're clearly building their secret not-secret AR glasses

00:33:43   project right in public in front of all of our eyes. Like, they're doing it in Maps.

00:33:47   - No, they're doing more, man.

00:33:49   So this past week they had a press release

00:33:52   for Global Accessibility Awareness Day.

00:33:55   And there were a few features that they added

00:33:59   which were very AR focused and you could just see it.

00:34:02   Like one is using the LIDAR and machine learning

00:34:06   to detect doors for people that have vision problems.

00:34:09   - Oh, cool.

00:34:10   - And it can see like, do you need to pull this door?

00:34:13   Do you need to push this door?

00:34:14   Is this door locked?

00:34:16   What does the door say on it?

00:34:17   all this kind of stuff.

00:34:18   - That's really impressive.

00:34:19   - The other is live captions,

00:34:22   which I am super excited about.

00:34:24   - What do you mean by live captions?

00:34:25   - For video calls and media,

00:34:28   the system will show you captions

00:34:31   whether you have the audio on or off.

00:34:33   - Oh, that's good.

00:34:34   Yeah, YouTube does that for streams already.

00:34:35   That's interesting.

00:34:36   - Google added it to Android on the Pixel phones

00:34:38   a couple of years ago.

00:34:39   'Cause you have to do, it's all on device.

00:34:41   You have to do it on device for speed, right?

00:34:43   - Yeah, of course.

00:34:44   - And so, yeah, they're gonna add this.

00:34:45   This all looks like it's probably gonna be

00:34:47   I was 16 stuff, they weren't completely clear,

00:34:49   but it's pretty obvious.

00:34:50   But they've been doing this for the last couple of years,

00:34:52   'cause Global Accessibility Awareness Day happens

00:34:55   a few weeks before WWDC usually.

00:34:57   So rather than putting this stuff in a session,

00:35:00   they give it its own time and its own press release

00:35:04   and everybody sees it and talks about it,

00:35:05   which is just good for these kinds of features, right?

00:35:07   Makes people more aware of them.

00:35:09   And so yeah, you can see those things and you're like,

00:35:13   I see what you're doing, right?

00:35:15   I see what you're learning, I see where your efforts are,

00:35:19   and also your technology that you are building

00:35:24   is enabling these kinds of things,

00:35:26   and these things will be really good for AR glasses.

00:35:31   - I mean, behind the scenes listeners,

00:35:33   I'm teasing Myke because I do sometimes harass him

00:35:35   by sending him screenshots from my phone

00:35:38   of like cool things I found in maps.

00:35:41   - Look at this!

00:35:41   (laughing)

00:35:42   Good work, buddy.

00:35:43   (laughing)

00:35:44   And I know that Myke could not care many times,

00:35:48   but I'm just like, he still gets it.

00:35:52   - It's like things that annoy me,

00:35:53   like Apple Maps annoys me, like the transit stuff,

00:35:56   like what annoys me is they're really good at some things,

00:36:00   but the way that they show you options

00:36:03   of routes to choose from is so much worse than Google.

00:36:06   - For the transit options, I haven't used that in a while,

00:36:08   so I can't speak to that.

00:36:09   - I will like say like, I wanna go here or whatever,

00:36:11   and they're not clear completely about what you're going to be doing,

00:36:17   just like you're going to be getting on a train or something.

00:36:22   I would have to try and find an example.

00:36:23   -Oh, okay, I know.

00:36:24   Okay, I do know what you mean, yeah, some of the connection stuff.

00:36:28   -Yeah. -I think, though,

00:36:29   that this is one of those cases

00:36:30   where they're slowly building towards this more,

00:36:32   because one of the things that I did send Myke a screenshot about

00:36:35   when I was very excited to try it was the AR walking directions

00:36:39   that you can do on the phone with maps,

00:36:41   where it knows exactly where you are and it draws little floating arrows in the space in front of you.

00:36:46   Which, even on the phone, it worked surprisingly well.

00:36:50   But what I think is interesting is, also being in a big city like London,

00:36:53   you can see them testing out some of these features.

00:36:55   I love how they're clearly for special buildings and big locations.

00:37:00   They are making very realistic 3D recreations of them inside of maps.

00:37:07   So if you go browse around in London, you'll notice on the Explorer thing where they're

00:37:11   using all vector images that some of the buildings in London are really detailed and they're

00:37:17   colored.

00:37:18   Oh yeah, I'm looking at them now.

00:37:20   Tower Bridge is nice.

00:37:21   And they keep adding more and more.

00:37:22   Yeah, like the Tower Bridge, that whole area.

00:37:24   Oh, Tower London's great.

00:37:26   That's getting better.

00:37:27   They're adding these things in and I think that they're duped.

00:37:32   This goes hand in hand with the AR directions, because I also suspect, or at least this is

00:37:38   what I would be doing if I was on that project, is you can start using this to try to teach

00:37:44   AI systems how to create these detailed abstract representations of the building, because now

00:37:51   you start to, you have a data set that you can give them of, here's all of our satellite

00:37:56   images of, and all of our like that crazy flyover stuff they're doing with the airplanes

00:38:00   to measure the 3D representation of the world.

00:38:04   Here's all the raw data for Tower Bridge, and then here we of the humans have created

00:38:10   what it should look like.

00:38:12   Or here's the Tate Modern, or here's the Shakespeare's Globe.

00:38:15   And then you can start to use that to expand to the whole world of, if we give you all

00:38:20   the data we have on any building, can you do this?

00:38:23   Can you recreate what it should be like?

00:38:25   This is what I mean by, I find the Apple Maps development stuff fascinating, because it

00:38:29   isn't just about maps, it's about an abstract but very legible for both humans and for machines

00:38:39   recreation of the whole world. It's like I could see what they're doing, it's so cool.

00:38:43   Sounds creepy when you say it like that. I don't understand what's creepy about that

00:38:47   at all. The recreation of the whole world. I don't know, there's something about that,

00:38:52   I was like I don't know how I feel about that when you say it that way. But yeah, I agree

00:38:55   with you. Okay, I'll narrow it down, the human built

00:38:58   environment. They're not recreating the terrifying forest

00:39:02   gulches that I could fall into in Hawaii, right? Those aren't getting recreated

00:39:06   right now, but it's the human-built world that they're recreating inside of their

00:39:10   system. Yeah, so I legit am super excited about map stuff. I don't particularly

00:39:15   have any, like the actual answer to the question now that we've gone on a huge

00:39:19   diversion, I don't particularly have any features except for I may be the only

00:39:25   person on Earth who uses their guides as much as I do, which is the way that you can tag stuff

00:39:33   and like keep track of it in Apple Maps. So I basically put everything that's interesting to me

00:39:40   I mark on Apple Maps so that I can always just be aware of it in the world. Like even in, I mean,

00:39:46   just in London I probably have like a hundred places that are tagged as something that's

00:39:50   interesting and if I'm ever reading a book or just you know you see a YouTube

00:39:55   video on an interesting place I just love to throw in a bunch of these tags

00:39:59   so I'm just aware of them. Like they would never do this because I think I

00:40:03   really do mean it I may be the person who uses guides most among any of the

00:40:07   users on the face of the earth but I would love to have some kind of feature

00:40:10   of like show me everything that I have put in this folder that is within two

00:40:17   hours travel distance of my current location. I think that might be the only feature that I would

00:40:22   be interested in, but I would never expect that they would actually do something like that because

00:40:26   it's just too narrow of a feature. But so I'm always excited to see whatever the Amplimaps team

00:40:30   has cooking up. This episode of Cortex is brought to you by Wealthfront. So many people regret not

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00:41:58   Question from Tony.

00:42:00   If Grey and Myke had to switch jobs for some amount of time,

00:42:03   who would have the better time and who would struggle more?

00:42:05   Oh my god, what an amazing question.

00:42:07   Yeah, I've been thinking about this question for three days.

00:42:10   That's such a good question. I mean, that's- Myke, that's very easy because your job

00:42:16   would kill me. I would just die if I had to do your job. This, like, there's not even any question

00:42:23   about that. I don't think you would enjoy my job. Maybe I'm wrong, but let me tell you, your job

00:42:30   would kill me. The things you sometimes casually mention, it's like, give me heart attacks.

00:42:36   - You would hate to deal with the kind of corporatey,

00:42:41   businessy stuff that I have to handle.

00:42:44   - Yeah.

00:42:45   - And I, 'cause I was thinking like,

00:42:47   so that's kind of where I,

00:42:48   you wouldn't want to cope with my job.

00:42:52   Like you wouldn't be able to do it.

00:42:53   Now, what I was thinking is,

00:42:56   I could do what you do.

00:43:00   I would not enjoy it and I would not be good at it.

00:43:03   But like, if someone was like,

00:43:04   the two of you have to switch,

00:43:06   I feel like I could last longest.

00:43:08   - If I was put in charge of Relay,

00:43:10   it would just be a sinking ship, right?

00:43:12   It would be the freaking Titanic.

00:43:14   Just, oh boy.

00:43:16   You could last longer at my job.

00:43:19   I couldn't last at your job, but no way.

00:43:21   - But I think it is very fair to say,

00:43:23   if we swapped, both companies would end.

00:43:27   Just yours would go a little bit slower.

00:43:29   - Yeah, what's a,

00:43:32   Was there like a slower moving disaster in the Titanic?

00:43:36   But yeah, I mean, yeah, the corporate side of it

00:43:38   would all completely fall apart if I had to do your job.

00:43:42   I just--

00:43:43   - Can you imagine if you had to do all the shows I did?

00:43:45   - I give you endless credit for the sheer number

00:43:48   of shows that you do.

00:43:49   You know, it's funny, thinking about it,

00:43:51   when I was a teacher, I almost certainly talked more

00:43:55   during the day than you do as a podcaster,

00:43:58   but the key difference there is it was the same thing

00:44:02   repeated many times over the course of the week, right, which vastly made it so much easier. And

00:44:08   you could kind of tweak it of like, Oh, okay, great. I get to do this lesson

00:44:12   five times and feel like I'm improving it slightly each of the five times. And then also,

00:44:18   very importantly, save that work for next year. And so then you start reaping those benefits of

00:44:23   like, Oh, I taught this last year. So I may have been talking more, what I didn't have that you

00:44:29   have is the sheer amount of unique things. I think your podcast schedule would just,

00:44:36   I would just be sucked dry, like I had had some kind of crossover with a vampire, and

00:44:42   it's just like, "Oh, I'm just a total husk of my former self, and I have nothing

00:44:46   more to give." That's how I would be after two weeks of doing your job. I would be dead,

00:44:52   yeah.

00:44:53   I do do an element of that, right? Which is like, things come up, and it's like, "Oh,

00:44:58   was good and they become like segments or like things we do multiple times or do every year but

00:45:03   they still have to all still be unique it's like it's just the idea is the same the actual content

00:45:10   has to change like we don't do the same thing every time so yeah there is an element of like

00:45:16   you create this kind of pseudo calendar of things that you can come back to but yeah that is the

00:45:22   the hardest part is that they all need to be original every single time.

00:45:27   - I don't want to do this swap, but I would be worse at it without any doubt.

00:45:31   Peter has a question here which is, "What is one good and one bad habit that you picked up from

00:45:37   your previous careers that you still have?" Which I also think is a very good question

00:45:43   that's catching my attention. I'm also finding very hard to answer.

00:45:47   So you go first with this one, Myke. What's an answer for that?

00:45:50   Mine are, it's actually two sides of the same coin.

00:45:54   Okay.

00:45:55   So one thing that I picked up from working in a large multinational corporation, right,

00:46:02   a huge bank and most of the skill that I was able to bring forward was working in the marketing

00:46:09   department for a number of years.

00:46:11   The good thing that I took away from that is understanding corporations, how people

00:46:16   work within them, structures and hierarchies and the way that people talk. This has been

00:46:22   very useful for me when working in the sponsorship side of our business. Understanding what people's

00:46:30   wants and needs are, like the aims that they are trying to fulfil and trying to not take

00:46:37   some decisions too personally and also understanding like why it can take 75 days for an invoice

00:46:45   to be paid, right? But like that not being a joke, right? That like knowing that like

00:46:51   everyone's agreed to 30 days but knowing why that isn't possible sometimes, right? That like

00:46:58   the person who made that agreement would love to be able to do it but it doesn't work like that

00:47:03   because it's going to go into the entry of accounting. It's like oh there are three people

00:47:07   off in accounting this week so it slows it. It's like just realizing that like that doesn't mean

00:47:12   "You are being personally affronted," right?

00:47:15   - Yeah.

00:47:16   - And that everyone had the best intentions

00:47:18   when we all signed this contract,

00:47:20   but understanding that realistically,

00:47:22   things don't always work that way, you know?

00:47:25   So knowing that that's the way that things kind of move,

00:47:28   because I used to have to do this, right?

00:47:31   So someone would send me an invoice,

00:47:33   and I would send it to accounts payable,

00:47:35   and never thought about it again.

00:47:37   - Right.

00:47:38   - There was just a level of understanding

00:47:40   of the structures that was very helpful to me.

00:47:42   The bad side of it is how frustrating I find corporate speak,

00:47:47   and that never left me.

00:47:49   And I still hear it, I still see it,

00:47:52   and it really grates on me.

00:47:55   - Why does it grate on you, or like expand on that?

00:47:57   - I wished people would just say what they mean,

00:48:00   or what they want to say, rather than trying to hide it.

00:48:03   - Yeah, isn't that the purpose of corporate speak though,

00:48:05   is to obfuscate what they're actually trying to say?

00:48:07   Even from themselves sometimes, I think.

00:48:09   - But that's it, right?

00:48:11   I just wish people would get rid of it.

00:48:13   And I know I fall victim to it like everybody, right?

00:48:16   'Cause sometimes language just changes

00:48:18   and we co-opt these things.

00:48:21   But the amount of emails that I have received

00:48:25   in the last three years that have been some form of

00:48:30   in these trying times and due to the current situation,

00:48:35   I just wish people would just be a little bit more open

00:48:38   and to say what they mean rather than fall.

00:48:40   the best slash worst one that I ever got,

00:48:44   somebody sent to me,

00:48:45   I honestly couldn't believe that they'd written this,

00:48:47   like, hope you're staying positive and testing negative.

00:48:52   - Oh.

00:48:53   - And I wanted to shoot that email into the sun.

00:48:56   Like I just wanted to like,

00:48:58   what could I do to get rid of it?

00:49:00   It's safe to say I did not proceed

00:49:03   with any kind of business interaction with this individual.

00:49:06   This was one of those emails I was talking about

00:49:07   from before, you know,

00:49:09   these emails that I just get

00:49:10   'cause I'm on these lists.

00:49:12   By the way, someone sent me something recently.

00:49:14   A friend of mine forwarded this to me,

00:49:16   I think because of these conversations.

00:49:18   So one of the things that we were talking about a bunch

00:49:20   was like these people that are trying to book guests

00:49:24   onto our shows, right?

00:49:25   - Right, right.

00:49:26   - This was a person who was going out to podcasts

00:49:30   to be like, "Hey, I am a guest booker.

00:49:32   "These are my services."

00:49:35   And they would charge $1,500 a week.

00:49:38   - Oh my God.

00:49:39   And then when I saw that, I was like, "Oh, so now I know why they send so many emails."

00:49:44   Because that is an obscene amount of money for what that job is.

00:49:46   That is absurd, yes.

00:49:47   That's completely absurd.

00:49:48   Which is sending spam to people.

00:49:51   Now I have a better sense of why they send me so many emails.

00:49:55   I was just trying to think about the...

00:49:56   I can't quite remember it.

00:49:57   I feel like George Orwell has some line about people who don't use words, but they're using

00:50:03   phrases like you're complaining about.

00:50:05   They speak as though with sections of prefabricated homes.

00:50:09   what like that's kind of what that is. Man that's beautiful. Orwell was pretty good with words.

00:50:14   Like I don't remember the exact quote. That man he knew how to put a sentence together you know.

00:50:18   He knew how to put a sentence together but yeah he has he has some line that that I'm the gist of it

00:50:23   really struck me of like oh it's it's not sentences it's sections of prefabricated homes that are just

00:50:28   coming one after another and and that's like I feel like that is a lot of what corporate speak

00:50:34   It's like it's weird, samey infrastructure.

00:50:38   Like it's not actually words

00:50:41   to communicate particular meanings.

00:50:44   - I found the quote here.

00:50:45   - Oh, yeah, what is it?

00:50:46   - So like the lead up to it is Orwell writes

00:50:49   that this is a common problem in current political writing.

00:50:52   Quote, "prose consists less and less of words chosen

00:50:56   for the sake of their meaning,

00:50:58   and more and more of phrases tacked together

00:51:01   like the sections of a prefabricated henhouse."

00:51:04   [Laughter]

00:51:05   HENRY: It's even better.

00:51:06   BRIAN: Henhouse makes it even better.

00:51:07   HENRY I was going to say, that's again like the skill of someone who can write like that

00:51:11   is henhouse gives that a completely different meaning than hums.

00:51:16   BRIAN Yes, yes it does.

00:51:17   Yeah it makes it so much worse.

00:51:18   It makes it so much worse.

00:51:19   HENRY And that is a beautiful sentence that's going to stick with me for a while.

00:51:22   BRIAN Yeah there you go.

00:51:24   There's like corporate speak is falling into that same category as like oh it's

00:51:28   weird kind of infrastructure.

00:51:30   Infrastructure for a henhouse.

00:51:31   It's not even a custom henhouse.

00:51:33   And it is one of those things which like super unfortunately is just it's changing language

00:51:39   which is I find it a shame but it is what it is. Anyway so that's that's mine where I feel like the

00:51:44   one good and bad habit that I picked up from my career is about corporate communication for me.

00:51:50   Yeah I still I still wanted to talk about language because I feel like I need to stall for my answer

00:51:56   but uh like because well because I think part of the reason that that question caught my attention

00:52:02   is the bad habit is the much more interesting part of that question. But just in being human,

00:52:09   I think your own bad habits can sometimes be less obvious to you. So like, I was trying to think

00:52:15   about that. And there's nothing that that jumps to mind. And this isn't really a habit. But I think

00:52:22   something really good that has stuck with me that came out of my previous career as a teacher was

00:52:31   Again, this is a little hard to articulate, but what I want to try to express here is that,

00:52:36   like we were talking about before, you have these different phases of life, right? And you start out

00:52:42   and you're a kid and you're not responsible for anything. And like, that's what being a child is.

00:52:46   It's like, you're an idiot and everyone else is responsible for your actions, but not you.

00:52:51   And, you know, then you start going to school and society tries to civilize you from being like this

00:52:59   this little monster into a person who can tie his shoes or whatever. And as you go through

00:53:04   school, you're growing up and you're becoming more of a person and then you leave school

00:53:11   and you go out into the real world. And you still have this transitionary period where

00:53:19   you're new at the job and so people can still treat you in a less serious way, but you're

00:53:26   still in the real world. Like I have a very particular moment. It wasn't really anything

00:53:31   but like for me this was really defined as like a moment that it just really struck me

00:53:37   as oh this is real now. Like everything is serious. There's no playing around anymore.

00:53:45   You know we're not bowling with those inflatable things on either side of the runway right.

00:53:49   It's like no no this is this is the real world and I would translate this as like it helped

00:53:56   me really become serious in, "Oh, are you seriously trying to go out on your own and

00:54:05   become self-employed?" Are you being serious about it? Or are you doing things that feel

00:54:13   like they're working towards this goal, but they aren't really? And the thing that really

00:54:19   struck me about it is, it's like, "Hey guy, well, you'll know every day if you haven't

00:54:25   been serious enough because you're still coming in here to the school to work. And it literally

00:54:31   took me years. I mean, probably timeline wise, it still took me like five years to actually

00:54:37   go self employed from that moment, maybe four years, but it was just a realization of like,

00:54:42   this is really for real in in, you know, like these moments in life where you just kind

00:54:46   of you have a mental change or you realize like now this phase of life is fundamentally

00:54:51   different than the things that have come before. That's something that's really stuck with me,

00:54:56   and it's a framework that I tend to apply to a lot of things. Let's put it this way, like,

00:55:02   you see a group of people, and they're trying to achieve objective x. And a very important question

00:55:09   is to ask, are these people actually serious about trying to achieve objective x, no matter what it

00:55:16   is. And I wish I could like articulate in more precise words what I mean by that, but

00:55:25   it's like something that I got in this moment of like a real clarity of like, this group

00:55:31   looks like they're trying to achieve objective X. But if you were serious about it, what

00:55:37   would you do? Like if they want to have a world where like, X doesn't exist anymore,

00:55:43   are the steps they're taking the steps that you would do if you were serious about making

00:55:49   a world without X as soon as possible. In the same way that when I was working as a

00:55:55   teacher the question is like, what do I really need to do so that I wake up one morning and

00:56:02   I don't come in to work as a teacher because I am actually supporting myself through self-employment?

00:56:09   Like, there's lots of things that can look like you're working towards that goal, but

00:56:14   they're not serious.

00:56:15   They're like play-acting towards it in some way.

00:56:19   So yeah, I think that's not exactly like a habit or something, but it's a kind of change

00:56:24   of mind that very clearly happened and has definitely carried forward with me, and it's

00:56:32   something I think about a lot of, like, am I being serious about this thing, or like,

00:56:36   is this person serious about this thing that they claim that they're interested in in some

00:56:40   way or another? And the answer is very frequently no. But like that's a different topic.

00:56:46   I can kind of see how that spreads across the good and bad, right? Where like it's good

00:56:51   for you to be able to realize that in yourself, but it could be bad because you would maybe

00:56:58   be more quick to judge someone on whether they are making that decision for themselves.

00:57:03   I don't think it is bad to make that judgment.

00:57:05   I think it is informative to make that judgment

00:57:07   about what the situation is.

00:57:09   I do also think that it has come up on the show many,

00:57:13   like I'm not the best with people,

00:57:16   but there's a way in which, I don't know,

00:57:19   maybe this is helpful for people who are like me

00:57:22   where you come across a person

00:57:23   and like they're working on thing Y

00:57:25   and they claim that they're very interested

00:57:27   and serious about thing Y,

00:57:30   but you judge that like, oh,

00:57:31   they're not actually doing the things that if you sat down

00:57:35   and like wrote them all on a piece of paper,

00:57:36   like what is the most cost effective per unit time thing

00:57:39   that you should be working on in order to do this?

00:57:42   Like they're not doing any of the things

00:57:43   that are at the top of that list,

00:57:45   they're doing all the things

00:57:45   that are at the bottom of that list.

00:57:47   It's not a judgment that like that person is bad,

00:57:52   it's just a kind of like, oh, okay,

00:57:55   well they're just not serious about that.

00:57:59   And that's fine.

00:58:01   I don't know, I find it like it's helpful, whereas it would be more frustrating in a

00:58:06   way to kind of like take them at their word that they really mean this. It's like, "No,

00:58:11   but you don't. You're just acting as though this is a thing that like you're very interested

00:58:15   in fixing this problem, but it like it doesn't actually seem that you're doing any of the

00:58:18   things that would do that." So yeah, I don't know. I think it's just it's a useful framework

00:58:22   that I can't articulate any better than just this simple word of like "serious" or "do

00:58:27   do you really mean it?" And there's some kind of objective measure in the world that

00:58:33   would be different about it. You know, like, maybe going back to that thing about writing,

00:58:38   it is such a it's such a dumb joke but it always stuck with me. There's like a really

00:58:41   old joke from Family Guy about Brian working on a novel and there's like all these clips

00:58:46   of Stewie giving him a hard time about like the novel he's working on. And that encapsulates

00:58:51   like people who aren't serious about doing a thing. It's like, how's that novel you're

00:58:56   working on, right? Like, because everyone knows with that joke, you know people who

00:59:01   are in these situations of like, they want to be a writer. And it's like, oh, okay,

00:59:06   do you know what writers do? They write the book?

00:59:10   We've all got that great novel, right? Like everyone's got that in them.

00:59:13   On the flip side, to be quite harsh about it, it's like, you know what writers don't

00:59:16   do? They don't go to classes about how to write a novel. They don't get PhDs in English

00:59:23   literature is like, and this is again one of these things of, it's sort of obvious to say,

00:59:28   but if you just think about it for a second, it's like, oh, how many of the great and successful

00:59:33   writers in the world have formal education backgrounds in English and writing? The answer

00:59:39   is like, basically none of them. And if they do, they were all already writing before that happened.

00:59:45   And like, they got those jobs because they were writers. So that's like an articulation of the

00:59:50   seriousness. Like, you want to be a writer? Oh, but you're getting your PhD in English literature?

00:59:55   Like you're immediate—you're not serious about this at all. Like you're doing something that

00:59:59   sounds and looks like it's towards the goal, but is like—but isn't really. So anyway, that's more

01:00:05   of a mindset, but I feel like that came out of working in school and trying to become self-employed

01:00:10   and just really having this realization of like, oh, there's a totally objective measure about

01:00:16   whether or not you've achieved your goal here, and it's whether or not you're still coming

01:00:21   in to work at the school, and so what actually really needs to happen to change that in the

01:00:29   real world? And that's what you need to focus on if you are quote "serious" about accomplishing

01:00:35   that goal, which again still took me many years, but I think it wouldn't have happened

01:00:41   if I hadn't kind of like in a particular moment had this realization and this mental

01:00:46   framing for things.

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01:02:28   [BEEP]

01:02:29   So speaking about serious, you serious about TikTok?

01:02:32   Did you actually create a TikTok account?

01:02:34   Did you do it?

01:02:35   Oh, yeah.

01:02:36   No, Myke, I'm deadly serious about TikTok, because yes,

01:02:39   I did upload to my TikTok.

01:02:41   You did?

01:02:42   And I got tens of views on my TikTok.

01:02:45   No way.

01:02:47   What's your TikTok account name?

01:02:49   Oh, God, I don't even know.

01:02:50   It has--

01:02:51   The problem was I went looking, and there's already

01:02:53   a bunch of CGP Grays.

01:02:56   Yeah, I did upload to TikTok.

01:02:58   I forget what the actual official one is called,

01:03:01   but there is an official CGP Grey TikTok

01:03:04   on which was uploaded my couple of TikToks

01:03:06   and it did terribly, which is exactly what I was expecting.

01:03:08   I had no expectations in any other way.

01:03:09   - Is it CGP Grey official?

01:03:11   - Maybe, I don't even know.

01:03:14   This was like how much I didn't want to be involved.

01:03:18   - Okay, I think it is 'cause there are two

01:03:19   that have been uploaded and they're like,

01:03:21   our place one is 2200 and the towels one is 1500.

01:03:26   Yeah, so I did upload those and also since we did the last show, what came up while we

01:03:31   were recording and then I just did was also joked about uploading the towels are a lie

01:03:35   as a short since it was basically a short already so it's like yeah why the hell not.

01:03:39   This is like this is funny.

01:03:40   I've always kind of wanted this on the main channel anyway so let me just upload it as

01:03:44   a short.

01:03:45   However, I will say like this is actually kind of a funny follow-up to that very concept

01:03:49   of like being serious because so now I have two shorts that I posted.

01:03:54   The Towel is a Lie one is at like 800,000 views and it'll probably hit a million views.

01:04:00   And now again, I understand that is just a re-upload of a thing I already do.

01:04:05   It's 19 seconds long.

01:04:07   Like it's, it's even in shorts land, it is really short, but it's like those SAT questions

01:04:13   where you go like, "As A is to Y, how is X to Z?"

01:04:18   Because that first short about R-Place was to my regular videos, the second towel short

01:04:26   is to the R-Place short in terms of all of the stats that I actually care about.

01:04:33   So again, views look great, but behind the scenes…

01:04:36   I see what you're saying.

01:04:37   Right?

01:04:38   Okay, so in all the ways that the first short performed badly compared to a regular video,

01:04:44   the second short compared to even that one poorly.

01:04:48   Yes, right. So the stats that I care about for the first short were all like 1/20th to 1/30th for a regular video.

01:04:58   And this one is like a 20th to a 30th compared to the short. So it's like, oh my god.

01:05:04   I spent almost no time reformatting that and uploading it to YouTube.

01:05:09   And my business still lost money when you think about the fixed costs and the value of my time.

01:05:14   simply like re-uploading a thing that I had already done.

01:05:18   There's a couple of things I sort of shot while I was in Hawaii where I thought like,

01:05:22   "Oh, this might make like a fun short, I don't know."

01:05:24   There's one in particular that could be like,

01:05:27   "Oh, if I just spend an afternoon I could put it together."

01:05:29   So I'm not entirely done with shorts,

01:05:34   but since that conversation I have become looking into it a bit more and thinking about it more.

01:05:40   even way, way more negative on shorts as a thing that makes sense to do than I was in

01:05:47   that conversation where I was already incredibly negative.

01:05:51   It's been tech earnings season so it made me think you are bearish on shorts right now.

01:05:57   Yes I'm extremely bearish on shorts for me, like again I still think it makes sense depending

01:06:03   on what kind of creator that you are. I'm not saying it's, well actually having installed

01:06:09   TikTok and played around with it a bit and also watched more shorts to more fully understand the

01:06:13   platform. It's like, I do kind of think that the shorts format is intrinsically bad for civilization.

01:06:20   I really do. I spent more time actually thinking about it and I'm like, "Oh, I'll go on TikTok,

01:06:32   fine. I'll install it. Let me see the best of what this format has to offer."

01:06:38   I'm not saying it's not entertaining, but it makes me think of, um...

01:06:45   I don't know. It makes me think of this fundamental property of...

01:06:51   Is this a fundamental property? I don't know. Just this process by which...

01:06:57   You... Like, civilization works to refine certain sorts of experiences.

01:07:03   And I think like this is this is a refining of the I am content consuming experience that is too far.

01:07:13   It's gone too far in a particular direction. And I think particularly the like I am watching

01:07:19   something that is vertical on my phone with my thumb hovering above it to swipe it for any second.

01:07:27   It's like I just think it's bad. I think it's bad in the way it trains your brain to

01:07:33   as you said, Myke, munch through content.

01:07:35   I was just gonna say, it's the wrong kind of munching, man.

01:07:39   It's the wrong kind of munching.

01:07:42   Yeah, look, I will say, like, we obviously got quite a bit of feedback

01:07:46   from people that really love TikTok, and like, I want you to know,

01:07:49   I get it.

01:07:51   Like, I have seen some absolutely hilarious magic TikToks, right?

01:07:57   Like, things that have just really made me laugh.

01:07:59   So, like, I'm not saying that the content is bad on there.

01:08:03   I'm trying to say something slightly different, which is like the structure of it, the whole way things are presented is intrinsically...

01:08:17   I can give you an example, right? So this is part of why I was still looking into it a little bit more.

01:08:21   So when you're making a video, one of the things if you are making something that you do want to be widely seen, that's useful to think about,

01:08:28   is you have to think about the margins on that video.

01:08:31   So for example, you have things like what are called

01:08:33   title safe areas.

01:08:35   If you want to put words on the screen,

01:08:37   you should have them within a certain boundary

01:08:39   from the edge.

01:08:40   Because if someone say is in a classroom

01:08:42   and projecting onto the screen,

01:08:44   you can't guarantee that the word at the very edge

01:08:47   is gonna be shown all the way.

01:08:49   But you can be like very confident that with,

01:08:51   as long as you keep a 10% buffer from the edge,

01:08:54   they're gonna see the words.

01:08:55   And so I was also doing a thing with shorts

01:08:57   where I was thinking, oh, okay, well,

01:08:59   if I'm gonna make this stuff,

01:09:01   I need to be aware of what are the margins

01:09:04   for these videos.

01:09:05   So like with YouTube, when you hover your mouse

01:09:08   over just a regular video,

01:09:10   the controls come up on the bottom,

01:09:12   and that's a thing that you wanna be aware of.

01:09:13   You don't wanna put anything vital

01:09:15   where the controls are gonna be.

01:09:16   - One wrong mouse move and now you can't see the top part.

01:09:19   - You've obscured something.

01:09:20   Now, is that vital?

01:09:22   No, it's not vital.

01:09:23   I break that rule all the time,

01:09:24   but it's still something you wanna be aware of.

01:09:26   like where can I guarantee information can be seen

01:09:29   and where can I not guarantee

01:09:31   that the information can be seen?

01:09:32   And I started to quickly mock up on the Shorts format,

01:09:36   like what can I guarantee can be seen and what can't?

01:09:40   And I was like, oh, like this is,

01:09:43   I was like totally revolted when I realized,

01:09:46   oh, you actually have like this totally horrific margins

01:09:51   for where controls are gonna be

01:09:54   and what's actually gonna be shown on the screen.

01:09:56   And I was really thinking of your comment of like, oh, on TikTok, it's TikTok and shorts and vertical video.

01:10:04   Like there's, they're so optimized for a person on the screen.

01:10:08   Like that's, that's what this is.

01:10:11   It's optimized for, there's a talking head who's saying something, or you have an entire person's body on the screen.

01:10:19   And everything else is like almost impossible to display

01:10:23   in a way where you can be sure

01:10:25   that it's all going to be seen.

01:10:28   Which is also something if like it finally clicked

01:10:30   in my head of like even the sort of,

01:10:32   I'm gonna put them in like a thousand air quotes,

01:10:34   educational videos that I have seen in the shorts format.

01:10:38   I just think they're all kind of bad.

01:10:41   But it's like, oh, but this partly explains why.

01:10:44   Even your ability to visually communicate stuff

01:10:47   is really limited. So yeah, anyway, I'm very short shorts in terms of my own production

01:10:55   of them. I have a couple more that I might try, but in my own mental framing of like

01:11:01   constantly trying to scry the order of projects that I'm going to work on, it's like this

01:11:05   got totally put to the bottom of the pile of like, yeah, I may do some more shorts,

01:11:10   but only if it really happens to work out.

01:11:13   I'm not going to intentionally spend some time on shorts compared to almost every other

01:11:20   project, even after just two and then seriously investigating the format some more.

01:11:26   I'm just like, I just, I think it's kind of intrinsically a bad format and it's been too

01:11:31   refined as a product and it's gone past some marker where it is now bad.

01:11:36   It works for some creators, but this is kind of what I was saying before.

01:11:42   I think the energy and the way things are displayed, it's all a very specific type of

01:11:50   thing, and it's just not the area that you work in.

01:11:56   It just isn't.

01:11:59   There is a forcedness to a lot of it that I don't really think that you exhibit very

01:12:03   much or would struggle to the energy and stuff like that is I think is needed

01:12:09   it's just not it's just not your speed are you saying I don't have that high

01:12:13   youtuber energy Myke do you want to give it a go I do not know I was gonna put

01:12:20   you through the test there like oh you saying I don't have it was like come on

01:12:23   and show me show me what you got yeah I've been thinking about the visual for

01:12:27   like like for tik-tok right there is an episode of The Simpsons always comes

01:12:32   to the Simpsons.

01:12:33   There's an episode of the Simpsons,

01:12:34   I think it's one of the Halloween episodes,

01:12:36   the Treehouse of Horror episodes,

01:12:38   where Homer is sent to hell

01:12:40   and the devil is feeding him donuts.

01:12:42   - Right, I'm like, it's the donut machine,

01:12:44   whatever Myke's talking about.

01:12:45   - Where the devil's trying to give him what he wants

01:12:49   in a way that he would hate it.

01:12:50   And he just loves that these donuts

01:12:53   are being constantly fed to him

01:12:55   in a way where he barely has to do anything.

01:12:58   And this is what I imagine TikTok is for.

01:13:00   And again, I really want to come back to like,

01:13:02   if you love this content,

01:13:04   I love that you found something you like.

01:13:07   I just know for me, like this is how I feel about it.

01:13:10   Like for me as a consumer,

01:13:12   like I don't want to just be like over and over

01:13:16   and over again, getting served this stuff

01:13:19   like over and over.

01:13:21   It's just not the way I want too much content.

01:13:24   And it works for Homer, right?

01:13:26   And it may work for you like,

01:13:28   but it's just not my thing at all.

01:13:31   - Yeah, I mean, again, to bring this to The Simpsons again,

01:13:34   I understand that I can sound like

01:13:36   old man yells at cloud here.

01:13:38   - Yes.

01:13:39   - I get that.

01:13:40   - Yep.

01:13:40   - But I also, again, sometimes it's hard to articulate

01:13:45   thoughts on the fly like that.

01:13:48   This is why, Myke, I prefer to work in writing

01:13:50   because when you're just talking,

01:13:51   you have to just think a thought and say it straight away

01:13:54   and you can always have this miscommunication.

01:13:56   - Is it I who is out of touch?

01:13:57   That's what I'm thinking of now.

01:13:59   - No, the children are wrong.

01:14:00   (laughing)

01:14:03   There is a tendency to think that,

01:14:07   it's like, oh, so I've been on YouTube for 10 years

01:14:10   and then TikTok comes along

01:14:11   and there's a very easy way to go,

01:14:14   oh, of course, all the people on YouTube,

01:14:17   they don't get the new format

01:14:19   and this is the way that it's all going.

01:14:22   And it's like, yes, that can be true,

01:14:25   but I'm also saying like,

01:14:26   I think that TikTok is bad and, you know, and shorts content is bad.

01:14:34   And I guess what I keep trying to say by "refine" is the history of media is, "Oh, well, a

01:14:41   long time ago, we used to only have oral traditions in which we would just tell stories to each

01:14:45   other.

01:14:46   And then we had writing.

01:14:48   And then there were books.

01:14:49   And books is what existed for a really long time."

01:14:52   And you'll have people dig up these quotes where it's like, "Oh, Aristotle was really

01:14:57   concerned that the kids aren't going to be able to remember anything because now we

01:15:01   have writing."

01:15:02   And it's like, "Oh."

01:15:03   It's easy to take that metaphor to everything that's modern and to go like, "Oh, it's

01:15:08   as ridiculous as Aristotle being worried that books were going to make the kids forget how

01:15:12   to remember things."

01:15:13   It's like, "Yes, okay."

01:15:15   But so we had books for a thousand years, and then we have radio, and then we have TV,

01:15:22   And it's like you can start to see the refinement process happen, particularly from like written

01:15:27   word to radio is, oh, this is easier, but you're still imagining stuff.

01:15:33   And then to TV, oh, this is easier, but you're not having to imagine things at all in in

01:15:39   the same kind of way.

01:15:40   There's just like editing implications of like, oh, what might have happened off screen,

01:15:44   which is now a concept that exists.

01:15:46   And then you progress to watching media on the internet, which is fundamentally different

01:15:52   from watching media on TV with streaming services and the rest of it.

01:15:57   And you have YouTube, which is like, I'm gonna put YouTube as net positive, but it's not

01:16:07   crystal clear to me that that's true.

01:16:09   Like I think I could have someone argue that it's not net positive and I'd be open to that

01:16:13   argument.

01:16:14   Like, watching videos on YouTube, while your alternatives are a click away, is a refinement

01:16:22   of watching something on TV where you can change the channel.

01:16:25   Like it's the same idea, but it's more.

01:16:28   And it's more precise.

01:16:29   And it's more targeted.

01:16:31   And so then switching from something like YouTube to something like TikTok is a further

01:16:36   refinement.

01:16:37   And at each one of those steps, you can use the Aristotle thought books were bad argument

01:16:45   to be like, "This is just the new thing."

01:16:49   But at a certain point, a difference in amount becomes a difference in kind.

01:16:55   And I think that Shorts have crossed that line of, "It's too refined.

01:17:01   It's too much."

01:17:02   And I think even if you like the content that shorts is creating and the content that is

01:17:08   on TikTok, which again, I found very funny, I think it is a bad environment for your brain

01:17:15   to be in that the like the ability to switch is too much like the algorithm is too good

01:17:22   at the next guessing of what it is that you want to do.

01:17:26   And I think like a like a key marker of this is, is, is also just like, even when I say

01:17:32   it that way, I think people can hear it the wrong way of like, oh, you're just thrilled

01:17:36   in every moment that you're watching TikTok.

01:17:38   But that's not necessarily the case.

01:17:40   I think a marker of, of its bad is just the ability to spend a huge amount of time on

01:17:47   it and kind of come away a bit like, oh, you know, where did all those hours go?

01:17:54   I don't know.

01:17:55   I just spent three hours watching things 30 seconds at a time.

01:18:01   And if you think that's not doing something to your brain, I think you're wrong.

01:18:06   And again, I may be Old Man Yells at Cloud here, but this is part of the reason why I'm

01:18:12   also more negative on the shorts is kind of thinking like, even if I made the best versions

01:18:20   of the things that I tried to make. It's clearer to me now that they're still existing in an

01:18:28   environment that is just, I think, kind of antithetical to brain health. So yeah.

01:18:36   Clearly we are both quite anti this form of content, right? Like I think this is very

01:18:41   obvious, right? And I know that there are going to be many people who think we're wrong and I'm

01:18:47   I'm fine with that, right?

01:18:48   Like, this is fine.

01:18:50   This is gonna happen, you know,

01:18:51   and I encourage people to enjoy the things they enjoy,

01:18:56   but I agree with you.

01:18:57   I think that this form of content

01:19:00   is ultimately not good for the consumer,

01:19:02   and I actually think it's worse for the creator.

01:19:04   I watched a really incredible video

01:19:06   that I'll put in the show notes

01:19:08   that I encourage people to watch, made by Hank Green,

01:19:10   where he was going through the economics of TikTok,

01:19:14   and how basically you can't make money on TikTok.

01:19:18   And this is one of those things

01:19:19   that we spoke about last time of like,

01:19:21   once anyone gets super famous on TikTok,

01:19:24   they try and do something else.

01:19:26   Because it's just this style of content,

01:19:30   I don't think can really work for monetization.

01:19:35   Because even if TikTok start giving you money, right?

01:19:39   Everybody knows, it's the same with YouTube,

01:19:41   like for a lot of people,

01:19:43   for most creators, the real money is in the ads

01:19:46   you can put inside of a video,

01:19:48   not the stuff that goes around it.

01:19:50   And if typically the videos are short,

01:19:53   even though they can be long,

01:19:54   but typically the videos are short,

01:19:56   and also they're like being served purely

01:19:58   by this algorithm, by and large,

01:20:01   I'm not sure if that's gonna get conversion

01:20:03   'cause you're not building relationships

01:20:04   with the audience in the same way,

01:20:06   so for a lot of creators.

01:20:08   So yeah, I just think that ultimately,

01:20:11   this is a thing that's happening right now,

01:20:14   but I think is going to adjust.

01:20:16   I mean, I could honestly see TikTok kind of,

01:20:19   as it is anyway, changing to become more like YouTube

01:20:23   and less like it started.

01:20:25   - Yeah.

01:20:26   - The videos are getting longer, right?

01:20:28   It's like a thing.

01:20:29   So it's like, well now you're just becoming

01:20:31   more like YouTube than you were this,

01:20:33   hey, here's a seven second,

01:20:36   basically more like YouTube, less like Vine.

01:20:39   - Yeah, I mean, I know, and some people push back

01:20:42   about TikTok moving in a direction

01:20:44   where there's longer videos.

01:20:46   I think the key defining feature for me

01:20:48   of the two bad elements is vertical video

01:20:53   combined with instant swipe to next.

01:20:57   Like that to me is the refinement that I think is bad.

01:21:02   - Yes, I agree with you.

01:21:03   - Vertical video for a bunch of technical reasons

01:21:05   that I think people just, it's just not obvious

01:21:07   unless you are on the creation side of things

01:21:10   about how limiting that actually is.

01:21:12   But I think it's successful because it limits in a way

01:21:15   which is very attractive to people,

01:21:17   which is that it makes everything very people-focused.

01:21:20   - Yeah, 'cause I was gonna say,

01:21:21   I think vertical video is great for Instagram stories,

01:21:25   which is, you know, and like that kind of sharing,

01:21:28   which is like, I'm showing you something about my life,

01:21:31   I'm showing you what I'm doing.

01:21:33   Vertical video is great for that.

01:21:34   But when you're creating content, as you say,

01:21:37   It can give you a bunch of hurdles to jump through, which is complicated.

01:21:42   >> Yeah.

01:21:43   So if people are telling me like, oh, TikTok is moving in the direction of YouTube and

01:21:47   things are longer, it's like, yeah, that's better.

01:21:50   But I think it doesn't get to what is my fundamental concern about this way of munching through

01:21:57   content.

01:21:58   But I am significantly less convinced than you that it is going anywhere.

01:22:04   It's like, let me think.

01:22:05   What was that incredibly dumb platform that popped up in the pandemic where everyone was

01:22:10   like, "Oh my god, this is going to be amazing."

01:22:12   I was just thinking about it. I was about to bring it up. Clubhouse.

01:22:15   Clubhouse, thank you.

01:22:16   Like, I could see this would not work, but everyone was trying to say, "Oh, Clubhouse

01:22:20   is better than podcasting. Clubhouse is going to crush podcasting. It's the new podcasting."

01:22:25   And I'm like, "I tell you what, as someone who's been doing this for 10 years and have

01:22:29   seen products just like this come and go, it's not."

01:22:33   Yeah, I hadn't seen anything like that come and go, but I remember having a conversation with

01:22:38   my mom early in those days where she's always very interested in all the tech stuff.

01:22:42   She's like, "What's this clubhouse?" And I was like, "Oh, mom, you don't have to listen to

01:22:47   anything anyone says on this entire topic." I'm like, "I would bet my entire net worth that this

01:22:53   thing is gone in two years or is basically completely irrelevant, which is exactly what

01:22:58   what happened. And I felt so like I would have bet everything, right? Like I am all

01:23:02   in double down on this will not work. But I don't feel that same way about short video.

01:23:10   Even though we have had several different, including Vine, short video kinds of projects

01:23:15   in the past that have failed, I'm less confident in saying that the short video will will go

01:23:20   away. Which is also why I just just like concerned, I'm concerned about this as a thing that exists

01:23:27   in the world.

01:23:28   I don't think it's gonna go away, but I think that it's going to settle to something

01:23:32   where it feels like at the moment it's like it's being treated like this is the future

01:23:37   and I'm not convinced about that.

01:23:40   Right okay I would I would still take the position that I feel like I could be very

01:23:44   reasonably convinced that this is the future in a way and that makes me concerned would

01:23:49   be my my current position on it but.

01:23:52   We've got a very mic question here, I think.

01:23:55   Jim Behar wants to know, "With the supply chain issues and overall complexity of launching

01:24:01   physical products to diversify your business, are you happy this was the right decision

01:24:06   instead of perhaps doubling down on podcast membership or other digital products?"

01:24:11   Yes, I am happy that this was the right decision.

01:24:14   I think that there is still an element of time

01:24:18   to tell if this was the right decision.

01:24:23   - Okay.

01:24:23   - Because, you know, like physical products,

01:24:26   the creation of them take time.

01:24:29   And we have things that we've still been working on

01:24:32   for an amount of time

01:24:34   that we should see the light of day this year, right?

01:24:38   And that I think as we start to put more things out

01:24:40   in the world that's not the journal,

01:24:43   we can start to understand if we do actually have

01:24:46   like a solid business in our hands, right?

01:24:49   That it's not just the one thing.

01:24:51   But it has been complicated, yes, right?

01:24:55   And we did decide to do this more seriously

01:25:00   at possibly the worst possible time

01:25:04   that someone could decide

01:25:06   to launch a physical product business.

01:25:09   - Yeah, I mean, for listeners,

01:25:11   supply chains is to like it's unreal behind the scenes of just the whole world. Everything

01:25:17   involved in manufacturing it's shocking what's happening with supply chains behind the scenes

01:25:22   and getting access to materials and costs like it's it's very alarming I would say.

01:25:30   Like our paper just increased in price the paper we use for journals we just restocked the journals

01:25:36   and the price has gone up.

01:25:39   Yeah, which we knew this was gonna happen.

01:25:41   We've actually been pretty lucky so far

01:25:43   that the price has not yet gone up.

01:25:45   Like this is the first time we've had a price increase

01:25:47   on the actual paper that goes inside the journals themselves.

01:25:51   But like, you know, I hear people talk about this

01:25:53   and I believe it.

01:25:55   We're actually feeling the effects

01:25:57   of the beginning of the pandemic now.

01:26:00   - Yeah, this is more like what I expected at the start.

01:26:04   - It's slow moving.

01:26:05   So like issues that are occurring now, right?

01:26:08   'Cause a lot more lockdowns in China happening now

01:26:12   that it's affecting things,

01:26:13   you know, for other types of manufacturing.

01:26:16   That specifically doesn't affect us.

01:26:18   Our issues are more European based,

01:26:21   but it's still this knock on effect of everything, you know?

01:26:26   So these things are gonna continue to happen for a while.

01:26:29   But at the same time, there is kind of a joy in like,

01:26:32   well, it can't be this bad forever.

01:26:35   and like we started doing this,

01:26:37   what would have been the most stressful time to do this.

01:26:39   So we've learned a lot of really valuable lessons

01:26:41   really, really quickly.

01:26:43   You know, is that we jumped into the fire kind of thing,

01:26:46   right, like we really in the deep end on it.

01:26:48   I still think it was the right decision

01:26:50   because a business like this,

01:26:53   if it works the way we want it to,

01:26:56   can reach more people

01:26:58   than we can necessarily reach for the show.

01:27:01   - Right.

01:27:02   - Like that's the overall goal here,

01:27:04   that Cortex Brands products will be desired

01:27:08   and bought by people that don't necessarily care

01:27:12   about Cortex.

01:27:14   I mean, I think we've achieved that to a point, right?

01:27:17   Kind of cheated a little bit

01:27:18   in that you've produced some great videos, right?

01:27:21   And so I believe that there are people

01:27:23   that use the theme system journal

01:27:24   that don't listen to the show.

01:27:25   Like I genuinely believe that is a thing that happens now.

01:27:28   - Yeah, but that's totally, that is totally a cheat.

01:27:31   And that's not really what you mean

01:27:33   or what I think about when we say that,

01:27:35   like that people who don't know us would use the product.

01:27:38   - But my point on that is that is a proof of concept

01:27:41   that is important, right?

01:27:44   That like, if there are people that want the product

01:27:47   that don't listen to the show, do know you,

01:27:50   that's still like a step in that direction, right?

01:27:53   - Right, right.

01:27:54   - That like ultimately,

01:27:55   like eventually all we're ever doing, right,

01:27:57   is like advertising the product to whoever,

01:28:01   is like the further steps.

01:28:02   So it's just like steps in that direction.

01:28:05   I think that that is still the right decision

01:28:09   other than just being like,

01:28:11   "Oh, hey, we do a whole other paid podcast now."

01:28:16   - Right.

01:28:16   - Which would probably do really great.

01:28:18   It's not just more content.

01:28:21   It's not just ad removal.

01:28:22   It's like a whole brand new show that we're doing

01:28:25   and you can give us five dollars a month for it.

01:28:28   I'm very confident that would have performed better

01:28:30   than what we're doing with more tax.

01:28:32   But I believe that would have sat in the middle

01:28:34   of what we're able to do with Cortex brand.

01:28:36   - Yeah, I agree with that, yeah.

01:28:38   - So I still think it was the right decision

01:28:40   and I am very confident in that currently.

01:28:43   - Yeah, maybe that would have been a better

01:28:45   short term decision, but not a better long term decision.

01:28:48   - It would have been a way better decision

01:28:50   for the short term.

01:28:52   Because all of the money that Cortex brand has been making

01:28:56   for a long time has just been reinvested

01:28:58   into that business.

01:29:01   So that's, which is not a thing that would have happened

01:29:03   if we would have done digital products,

01:29:05   'cause there's no cost really other than our own time,

01:29:08   where, you know, for a long time,

01:29:10   we were just putting our own time and effort

01:29:13   into making money that would buy more stock.

01:29:16   And so like, that is a weird short term,

01:29:21   but the Cortex brand has never been a short term idea.

01:29:24   It's a long term business idea for the two of us.

01:29:27   It's like a future, we're betting on our future with it.

01:29:30   So I can't say it was definitely the right decision

01:29:34   because we haven't hit that,

01:29:36   we haven't even looked close to getting to the point

01:29:38   where we could make that decision

01:29:39   because, you know, as you said many times,

01:29:42   it was never about just having one product to sell.

01:29:45   And we are like, while we have multiple products,

01:29:47   really we're a one product business.

01:29:48   - Yeah, it is still functionally a one product business.

01:29:51   - And that's not the plan, that's not the goal.

01:29:54   And we need to continue accelerating

01:29:57   from the point that we're at now,

01:29:58   which we are working on,

01:30:00   to try and understand this answer more fully.

01:30:03   So can't really answer it now,

01:30:07   but I still think it's, my point of this is,

01:30:09   I still think we have made all of the right decisions

01:30:12   to get to the point that we're at at the moment

01:30:15   to allow us to continue moving on from it.

01:30:17   By the way, we do have a membership option though.

01:30:20   (both laughing)

01:30:23   Which you can always get access to

01:30:26   by going to getmoretext.com,

01:30:28   which gives you longer ad-free episodes

01:30:32   of every single episode of Cortex.

01:30:33   So you get more content with no ads at getmoretex.com.

01:30:38   - Getmoretex.com.