169: My Fingers Are Still Moving


00:00:00   I don't think we let ourselves just be idiots often enough.

00:00:03   - We don't?

00:00:04   I feel like that's our core competency.

00:00:05   (laughing)

00:00:07   - So I was using my iPhone today.

00:00:12   I was sitting at, I would guess, 30% battery life.

00:00:16   I am aware that you can turn on battery percentage.

00:00:19   I think that is the mark of a lunatic

00:00:22   because all that does is stress me out when it's on.

00:00:25   I'd rather not know.

00:00:26   So anyway, so I was sitting at,

00:00:28   I would guess about a third battery life. And I go to record a video of Declan. We were

00:00:33   walking around outside. And as I'm recording the video, it's not that I was framing it,

00:00:39   I'm actively recording the video. All of a sudden the phone turns off. Okay. That in

00:00:44   and of itself is unfortunately common, but that was weird. But okay, so I go to turn

00:00:48   the phone back on.

00:00:49   Wait, wait, wait. That's common?

00:00:51   Well, common enough that we're… I don't want to say functional high ground, but it

00:00:56   It felt like a functional high ground sort of occurrence.

00:00:58   Like, oh, that was weird, but I'm sure once it reboots

00:01:02   itself, everything will be fine.

00:01:03   - Okay, your Windows recency is showing.

00:01:05   Like, that is not acceptable behavior.

00:01:09   That is not normal.

00:01:10   - Yeah, well, before the show, we were just talking about

00:01:13   how you were rebooting your iMac fixed everything,

00:01:15   but that's neither here nor there.

00:01:17   - Yeah, I didn't say that was right either.

00:01:19   - So, I go to start the phone back up, and it tells me,

00:01:23   "No, I won't because your battery's dead."

00:01:26   What?

00:01:27   You know what I'm talking about?

00:01:27   Like the, "I will not start until you plug it in."

00:01:30   - Yeah, like, yeah, the little like,

00:01:31   battery with the red line and black screen, yeah.

00:01:33   - Yeah, yeah, so I'm like, "That's weird, I was just at 30%."

00:01:36   So I do the like, "Hold both buttons

00:01:39   "until it force restarts itself" dance,

00:01:42   and it starts back up, and I'm back at 30%.

00:01:44   Okay, that was really weird, but I'll roll with it.

00:01:47   And then I go to record a video again,

00:01:50   same exact thing happened.

00:01:52   except this time it didn't want to turn itself back on.

00:01:54   - Yeah, your battery is toast.

00:01:56   I've heard of this.

00:01:56   A lot of people have had this problem

00:01:57   with many different models of iPhone in the past

00:02:00   that exactly the same symptoms.

00:02:02   You get your battery down to something that's below half,

00:02:05   but not really, really low.

00:02:07   And then it's just like, nope, no battery for you.

00:02:10   And the same thing, like sometimes it'll come back like,

00:02:11   oh, here I am again, 20%.

00:02:13   You gotta take that in.

00:02:14   That is a very common symptom.

00:02:16   And I don't know what it is.

00:02:17   It could just be a bad battery

00:02:18   that just can't maintain the voltage.

00:02:20   And once it gets to blow a certain level,

00:02:21   the phone is just like, "Yeah, so much for that." But then you bring it back and it's

00:02:24   like, "Oh, I can maintain the voltage now. Oh, not really. I can't." You just got to

00:02:27   bring it in. Don't bother. Like some people, John Roderick, who lived with this for like

00:02:32   a year or more and accepted as just like, "This darn phone." It's like, that's like

00:02:37   Marco said, that's not the way it's supposed to work. You have to bring that in. Tell them

00:02:41   the symptoms. I'm sure they've heard it a million times before because this is a common

00:02:44   symptom.

00:02:45   There is one exception though that is also almost exactly the same behavior you get during

00:02:49   a hot or cold thermal shutdown?

00:02:51   Yeah, yeah, obviously temperature stuff,

00:02:53   but I'm assuming it's spring.

00:02:54   It's like it's not too hot, not too cold.

00:02:55   I assume that you hadn't left it in the sun

00:02:57   on the dashboard of your car before using it.

00:02:59   No, we had just gone for a walk, about a mile and a half walk.

00:03:02   It was in my jeans pocket.

00:03:05   There was no-- I mean, it's humid out

00:03:08   because it's been raining for the last year.

00:03:10   But no, there was nothing environmental

00:03:13   that should have caused it.

00:03:14   What I've done is I've left it plugged in

00:03:16   and have planned to leave it plugged in all night,

00:03:19   just to see, this is before we had this conversation,

00:03:23   but I thought, well, maybe it's just like not calibrated

00:03:25   or something like that, so I'll just,

00:03:27   I'll leave it plugged in all night long,

00:03:28   I mean, I always leave it plugged in all night long,

00:03:30   but I'll just, I'll be really diligent

00:03:32   about leaving it plugged in,

00:03:33   and we'll see if that changes it,

00:03:34   but it sounds like I'm making a trip to the Genius Bar.

00:03:37   Wee! - Typical Windows,

00:03:39   blame yourself, just defrag at first.

00:03:41   No, you didn't update your Windows update virus definitions.

00:03:45   It was your fault, it's totally your fault.

00:03:47   - But aren't you happy now?

00:03:48   Like if I had something like this happen,

00:03:49   especially on a device that I've had for a while,

00:03:51   but like, oh yes, new battery.

00:03:53   Your battery's getting old anyway.

00:03:56   How many cycles has it been through?

00:03:57   You're gonna get a fresh new battery,

00:03:58   assuming you're still under warranty.

00:04:00   - Well, I mean, it's a 6S, so yeah,

00:04:03   I'm still under warranty.

00:04:04   But what that also means is I gotta go to the Genius Bar.

00:04:07   I've gotta do the backup dance.

00:04:08   I've gotta convince them that this is an actual issue

00:04:11   that isn't my fault, et cetera, et cetera.

00:04:14   - I guess I'm sure they're well versed

00:04:16   on this exact problem and have a procedure

00:04:18   and you are not the first person to tell them

00:04:19   is it'll be fine.

00:04:20   - I will say though, it really,

00:04:23   when I first saw this doing thermal shutdown,

00:04:26   it was on Tiff's phone this past winter

00:04:29   when she was trying to take videos of our kid

00:04:31   playing in the snow in like the high 20s or low 30s

00:04:35   in Fahrenheit.

00:04:36   And the phone, after a couple seconds of shooting video,

00:04:39   it just kept shutting down on her.

00:04:40   And we thought it was broken.

00:04:42   And I was like, oh, we gotta bring it in.

00:04:44   And then once we came inside,

00:04:46   and the problem could never be reproduced

00:04:48   at room temperature, and we were like, oh.

00:04:50   And I looked up and I figured out

00:04:52   that's actually expected behavior that,

00:04:55   I guess all those videos you see in Apple commercials,

00:04:57   like the shot on iPhone where people are on ski vacations,

00:05:00   I guess they're taking really short shots.

00:05:02   - No, you actually have to keep the phone,

00:05:04   you can't keep the phone in a pocket

00:05:05   that's essentially outdoors.

00:05:07   If your pockets are, if your pockets get cold,

00:05:10   in other words, you have to have it in a pocket

00:05:11   that's sort of the inside of the body heat part of it,

00:05:14   because that's all there really is.

00:05:15   as if your phone freezes solid within 20 seconds. It's already frozen when it's in your pocket,

00:05:19   and you take it out and it just goes that, you know, a little extra bit. So you really have to

00:05:23   either keep it inside your glove or someplace close to your body so that the phone stays

00:05:28   at more or less body or room temperature. Then you get a long time before it freezes solid into

00:05:32   a brick of inert lithium-ion battery. Or you get one of those, you know, those little hand warmer

00:05:39   thingies, you know, the little shaky packets with the chemical stuff that they give off heat. You

00:05:43   You could, someone should sell a case like that.

00:05:45   You've already got the big lump for the battery case

00:05:46   to have by the heat case for the winter.

00:05:48   - Then it would get hot thermal shut down.

00:05:50   - Well, it doesn't, they don't get that hot.

00:05:52   Those things are, you know.

00:05:53   - So the hand warmer things are the things

00:05:55   that people who live in ridiculous climates use, right?

00:05:58   So you guys use that all the time?

00:05:59   - Skiers use it.

00:06:00   Oh, the best is, I don't remember,

00:06:02   someone in the chat room would remember this.

00:06:03   Before the age of the chemical packets

00:06:05   that you would put in your pocket,

00:06:06   that you know, you'd start a reaction

00:06:07   and it would get warm, not hot, but you know, warm.

00:06:09   Like they're not burning your hands

00:06:10   'cause they'd have lawsuits.

00:06:12   They had these things that were kind of like metal clamshell things that had inside them

00:06:17   essentially burning embers.

00:06:19   Like not open flames, but burning embers to give off heat.

00:06:23   It sounds like the most dangerous thing you could possibly imagine.

00:06:27   And that was the old tech.

00:06:29   And that was much worse.

00:06:30   So the new stuff is considerably safer and more civilized.

00:06:35   Was it like, was it airtight sealed in there?

00:06:37   Or how did that...

00:06:38   My recollection was that it was like a clamshell.

00:06:40   or look more kind of like a compact or a snuff box or something and the little burning ember

00:06:44   things you could get at by opening and closing it that way, but you'd use it closed and

00:06:47   just had a metal outside that would radiate the heat.

00:06:49   Weird.

00:06:50   It sounds like some kind of crazy contraption from your drug days, Jon.

00:06:54   Yeah, my drug days, right?

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00:09:03   - Anonymous has written in and said,

00:09:05   "Can you please address the business model behind Tesla's offering to 'unlock' physical

00:09:11   features already in the car, like battery capacity otherwise locked down?

00:09:15   It seems worrisome that an in-app purchase strategy is spilling over into hardware, not

00:09:19   just software updates like Autopilot."

00:09:22   What this is about is the Tesla Model S, the 70 kilowatt hour.

00:09:27   I couldn't remember what the 70 stood for.

00:09:30   Anyway, for the 70, you can pay $3,250 to unlock another five kilowatt hours.

00:09:39   So you can pay $3,250 for someone to flip an electronic switch.

00:09:45   And that...

00:09:46   I don't know about that, man.

00:09:48   That just seems a little weird to me.

00:09:50   Like, on the one side, they are indeed making the car better, so shouldn't you pay for that?

00:09:55   But on the other side, they make it better in so many other ways, and you don't have

00:09:58   to pay for that.

00:09:59   Is this something that costs money?

00:10:01   - The joke I made on Twitter about this was,

00:10:03   it's like in-app purchase where they ship you the app

00:10:05   that has the code for the features

00:10:07   that are currently locked.

00:10:08   And by doing in-app purchase,

00:10:09   all they do is flip a bit that enables that feature.

00:10:12   In other words, you got, just like when you get the car,

00:10:14   the car comes with this extra battery,

00:10:17   but it's not enabled.

00:10:18   Well, you get this app,

00:10:18   the app comes with this extra functionality,

00:10:20   but it's not enabled.

00:10:21   And that was mostly me being snarky

00:10:23   because of course the difference is

00:10:25   that it doesn't cost money

00:10:26   to manufacture the additional functionality,

00:10:28   Like copying bits is essentially free.

00:10:31   Whereas someone paid to manufacture and assemble

00:10:35   the parts of your car that they're giving to you

00:10:39   in a disabled state.

00:10:41   So you actually are receiving like,

00:10:44   that's part of the package, it's a physical good.

00:10:48   It costs every time they do that,

00:10:49   whatever it is, they put that extra bit of battery in.

00:10:52   That's a real physical item.

00:10:55   It's not just a simple copying of bits.

00:10:57   Now, I don't know if this makes this good from a business standpoint in terms of do

00:11:01   you feel better or worse about Tesla as a company in light of this?

00:11:04   Maybe you feel better because it's like your car magically got better, but maybe you feel

00:11:07   worse and that you understand you paid to manufacture, assemble this stuff and then

00:11:13   you give it to me, but you intentionally turn it off.

00:11:15   It's like you're making my car worse on purpose and then ransoming it that last little bit.

00:11:20   Unless I'm totally misunderstanding what they're actually doing with this bit flipping, but

00:11:25   if it is actually a physical thing that they are paying to create and then giving to you

00:11:30   in a shutoff state to try to ransom more money from you later, it doesn't give me a particularly

00:11:34   good feeling about the company or the car.

00:11:37   - It's definitely a weird thing. And yeah, I agree that it's probably not a way to win

00:11:44   customer satisfaction. People will feel ripped off by that. Like people who own the 70D and

00:11:52   then learn that actually you have 75 kilowatt capacity physically, but we only shipped it

00:11:58   to 70, and then if you want you can pay $3,000 to unlock it. I can totally see why the people

00:12:05   who own those 70Ds are like, "That's kind of BS-y. That's a little bit BS-y." But,

00:12:12   you know, Tesla, it's a weird company at a weird stage in its life doing weird things,

00:12:17   and most of those things are, I think, overall for the better.

00:12:21   With the Model S, keep in mind that the Model S is sold with a pretty healthy profit margin,

00:12:26   from what I understand, and the main reason is to basically fund the company's further

00:12:31   development to do things like the Model 3.

00:12:33   Because if you look at what's included in the Model S, and the starting price of whatever

00:12:38   it is, like $70,000, whatever the starting price of the Model S is, and then you look

00:12:43   at the Model 3 with the starting price of $35,000.

00:12:47   And we already know some of the things that will be included and won't be included in

00:12:49   that.

00:12:50   And it seems kind of crazy if you try to estimate, well roughly how big of a battery is there

00:12:55   in the Model 3?

00:12:56   Roughly how big of a battery is there in the Model S?

00:12:59   How can they possibly cut the cost of the car in half and sell the Model 3 with so much

00:13:06   of what's also in the Model S?

00:13:09   And the answer is that their costs aren't being cut in half, just the Model S has a

00:13:14   nice fat profit margin and the Model 3 won't.

00:13:17   So what you're paying for with the Model S today is not just like cost of the components

00:13:22   plus 20%, you know, you're paying a premium for it because it is a brand new product.

00:13:27   You're paying kind of like the early adopter premium on it.

00:13:30   It has high profits now.

00:13:32   In the long run, it will have lower profit margins in all likelihood because competition

00:13:36   will come in and push some of these prices down.

00:13:38   And as things mature, then the cost will also go down.

00:13:41   But the role of the Model S is basically

00:13:44   to generate lots of profit for Tesla to make the Model 3.

00:13:47   So from that perspective, I can see why they do things

00:13:50   like this, because you know that that additional battery

00:13:53   that you're hauling around, the additional

00:13:55   five kilowatt hour battery, did not cost Tesla

00:13:58   $3,000 to put in there.

00:14:00   - Or even if it did, you already paid for it.

00:14:02   Like they sold you a car with that battery in it

00:14:04   for the price that you paid, you know what I mean?

00:14:06   Like that was like, someone in the chat room is saying

00:14:09   it's the type of thing where they stopped manufacturing

00:14:11   the 70 kilowatt, but you bought a 70 kilowatt.

00:14:13   So it's like, well, we don't have any more 70 kilowatts,

00:14:15   but we'll give you a 75, but flip the switch

00:14:18   so that when you get it, it looks like the 70

00:14:20   that you ordered.

00:14:21   Like that was the arrangement.

00:14:22   You order the 70, comes with 70 kilowatts,

00:14:24   we give you a car that comes with 70 kilowatts,

00:14:26   everyone should be happy.

00:14:27   But again, from a feel good about the company perspective,

00:14:31   they should do what Apple does in those cases

00:14:33   where like if you have a really old Mac

00:14:34   and something goes wrong with it

00:14:35   and you're still within warranty or whatever,

00:14:37   or Apple just feels bad, they're like,

00:14:38   "Well, we can't fix this for you.

00:14:41   "We can't replace the part

00:14:42   "'cause we don't make that part anymore,

00:14:44   "and we can't give you a new laptop of this kind

00:14:47   "'cause we don't even make that laptop."

00:14:48   But here you go, here's the current model of that laptop.

00:14:51   That happens all the time at Apple,

00:14:53   and every time it happens,

00:14:55   it's like a miracle to the people who get it.

00:14:58   Like, "You're giving me,

00:14:59   "not only are you giving me a new laptop,

00:15:00   "you're giving me a new, better laptop

00:15:02   because you don't make my old crappy one anymore and you're not charging me any money for it

00:15:06   because it's just like this this laptop is a total write-off it's having too many hardware

00:15:09   failures we can't get apart that makes people love Apple so if Tesla someone in the chat

00:15:13   room said it would make the people feel bad who bought a 70d and just got a 70d if you

00:15:16   bought a 70d after they stopped manufacturing them and they gave you a 75 they're like yeah

00:15:20   I know you ordered a 70 but here's a 75 you would love Tesla you'd be like this is awesome

00:15:24   and would 70d people be mad no because they've had their car for a year or whatever like

00:15:28   it's not well they'd be mad but it wouldn't be for legitimate reasons but you know do

00:15:32   Do other Mac users get mad like,

00:15:33   "Hey, that's no fair, I had to pay for that computer new.

00:15:36   You bought an old crappy computer and it broke

00:15:38   and you got the new one for free."

00:15:39   Anyone who begrudges people their good fortune

00:15:42   involving the time they chose to purchase

00:15:45   or the time their thing broke, it's just ridiculous.

00:15:47   So anyway, I don't think this is, as you noted, Margot,

00:15:51   like this is a car that, you know,

00:15:53   it costs a lot of money, has a big margin.

00:15:55   The people who are buying it

00:15:56   are probably not caring that much about $3,000 here or there

00:15:59   because this is a very expensive car.

00:16:01   So in the grand scheme of things,

00:16:02   maybe it doesn't hurt them,

00:16:03   but they've sort of,

00:16:05   they've missed an opportunity to become even more beloved

00:16:08   using the Apple style things of just like,

00:16:11   surprise and delight or whatever,

00:16:12   not just in your application, but also in your policies.

00:16:14   It's one of the reasons people like the Genius Bar.

00:16:17   I know people have bad experiences with it as well,

00:16:19   but to go there, have a person who,

00:16:21   will take care of your needs

00:16:23   and if there's any sort of issue to have the people go,

00:16:27   that's like kind of like a luxury goods experience

00:16:29   If you pay, if you really, really massively overpay for something, the one good thing

00:16:33   is like if you have any problem with it, like, "Oh, return it anytime or we'll give a new

00:16:36   one or we'll clean it up for you for free or whatever," even though you don't massively

00:16:41   overpay for Apple stuff, maybe just a little bit overpay, when you go in with your broken

00:16:45   computer and they can't replace it because it's too old and they give you a brand new

00:16:48   model, that's just awesome.

00:16:50   That's like you are loyal for at least another three years before you get mad at them again.

00:16:54   - Yeah, and also, keep in mind also,

00:16:56   even though all the hype right now is about the Model 3,

00:17:01   for the next two years, possibly more,

00:17:04   the Model S is still the only Tesla you can buy,

00:17:07   or the X, I guess, but nobody wants that one.

00:17:10   Sorry, X people.

00:17:11   So the entry price, whatever they can make

00:17:14   the cheapest Model S, that is the entry price for Tesla

00:17:18   for the next X years, two, three, whatever it ends up being

00:17:21   before anybody can just go order a Model 3

00:17:24   and have it delivered in six weeks or whatever.

00:17:27   So the lower they can make that price,

00:17:29   the more people they can get into

00:17:31   being Tesla customers at all.

00:17:33   They also, though, want to preserve those profit margins

00:17:35   on the higher spec models,

00:17:37   because that's funding the rest of the company.

00:17:40   So it's important for them to somehow

00:17:44   get the price down enough

00:17:45   so they can get a few more people in,

00:17:47   basically without cannibalizing their higher end sales,

00:17:50   So they have to do tricks like this,

00:17:52   where it's like, well, if we sold it just as a 75 before,

00:17:57   so it was like 75 for that one, or 85 for the big one up,

00:18:02   that was too small of a difference.

00:18:03   We would lose too many sales, maybe they figured,

00:18:05   so they made that one a 70,

00:18:07   even though it technically had 75 in there,

00:18:08   or something like that, you know?

00:18:10   And then when they raised the other one from 85 to 90,

00:18:13   then they raised the other one from 70 to 75,

00:18:15   'cause now you're just keeping the same difference.

00:18:17   There's all sorts of reasons why they could have done this

00:18:19   that make total sense and that even though

00:18:22   they might annoy some of the customers

00:18:24   who don't think things should work that way,

00:18:26   it might be better than the alternative

00:18:28   for the company as a whole.

00:18:30   - You know, this isn't unprecedented either.

00:18:32   Like when I first heard about the story a few days back,

00:18:34   my first thought was, "Oh, that's a little gross."

00:18:37   But as I was thinking about it while you guys were talking,

00:18:41   I paid almost $1,000 for a COB access port,

00:18:45   which is a thing, I referred to it as a chip colloquially,

00:18:49   But really, it's just a software reprogrammer that you plug into the OBD2 port, and it will

00:18:58   reflash the computer and give you a little bit more power, and it makes the car a little

00:19:02   bit faster.

00:19:04   And then I was thinking to myself, "Well, but that's a little bit different, because

00:19:06   that's third-party."

00:19:08   And so, yeah, it makes sense that a third-party is going to want to sell you something to

00:19:12   make your car better.

00:19:13   But then I got thinking about it a little more, and it occurred to me, BMW sells what

00:19:16   they call the Performance Power Kit, which to my understanding does have a little bit

00:19:21   of hardware involved, but the majority of the changes are simply a reflash just like

00:19:28   my Cobb does. So this is a first-party thing. And again, it's not entirely apples to apples

00:19:34   because there is a little bit of hardware, but it's a first-party thing that I'm looking

00:19:38   on BMW's website right now and it's $2,107. So this is not that different in my eyes than

00:19:48   what BMW is already doing and presumably other manufacturers as well. I wonder, can you pirate

00:19:53   a battery? Yeah, I don't know. You could pirate the bid flipping, but no, but in the BMW case,

00:19:59   maybe part of the money that you're paying is to offset increased warranty repairs for your engine

00:20:04   that is operating slightly outside the intended, you know, boundaries of whatever, you know,

00:20:10   depending on what it's changing about the engine. It could be impacting reliability or other issues

00:20:16   like that. So the price is basically, everyone pays this price as a blanket insurance policy

00:20:21   for these slightly increased odds that you're going to have your valve train blow up or whatever.

00:20:25   It could be, but I mean, I would hope and assume that these engines are built in such a way that

00:20:33   that their tolerances give them enough leeway that a first party solution would not bump

00:20:39   up against any of that. Now my solution might.

00:20:42   But there's a reason they sell them where they sell. They sell the, they try it, but

00:20:45   the car manufacturer trying to do or sell their engines tuned in a way that balances

00:20:51   performance with reliability because. And economy. And emissions. Right, right. So there's

00:20:56   a whole bunch of things in the mix there and they're going for something that makes, you

00:21:03   You know, the worst thing you want to happen is you put these cars out there with a particular

00:21:07   balance of things and it turns out that all of them end up coming back in like six years

00:21:11   with something really expensive wrong with the engine.

00:21:13   Like you don't want that to happen.

00:21:14   But if people say, "Well, I know you can squeeze some more horsepower out of this thing if

00:21:18   only you increased the boost on the turbos or, you know, changed the timing or, you know,

00:21:24   whatever you want to do on the thing."

00:21:26   And it might have a slight detrimental impact on reliability, but if people are willing

00:21:30   to give us some money, we'll do that. And then, I guess, like a big pool to pay for

00:21:35   the one guy out of every hundred whose engine dies a premature death due to this tuning

00:21:39   thing. But everyone has the same engine. It's not as if it's part of your engine that you're

00:21:43   not being allowed to use. It's more like, I think of it as like buying AppleCare+ or

00:21:49   whatever.

00:21:50   Fair enough.

00:21:51   I was going to say it's like 80-minute CDRs versus 74-minute standard, but as you kept

00:21:57   going it ended up being nothing like that.

00:21:59   (laughing)

00:22:00   - Goodness.

00:22:02   All right, Adam Bushman writes in to say,

00:22:04   "Getting to love something like ad bumpers

00:22:06   "by just being exposed to it frequently,

00:22:09   "that's called the," is that Meri or Meri exposure effect?

00:22:13   I'm surely mispronouncing that,

00:22:15   but M-E-R-E exposure effect.

00:22:17   - You know, Casey, you are the chief pronouncer on the show.

00:22:20   - Oh, great.

00:22:21   - Chief summarizer and chief pronouncer.

00:22:23   - I thought it was like merely by being exposed

00:22:25   and it's like the worst name effect ever,

00:22:27   the mere exposure effect.

00:22:28   Merely by being exposed.

00:22:30   (laughing)

00:22:32   Anyway, we'll link the Wikipedia article,

00:22:34   which obviously none of us actually read,

00:22:36   but you can read it.

00:22:37   - Indeed.

00:22:38   - You all can do our homework for us.

00:22:39   - That's how the show works.

00:22:40   It's accidental.

00:22:41   - Well, you know, one of the jobs of Wikipedia

00:22:44   is every phenomenon that you think has a name probably does.

00:22:47   That's probably a phenomenon,

00:22:49   the idea that you tell them there's an idea

00:22:51   and it turns out there's a name for it already.

00:22:53   What is the name of that phenomenon?

00:22:55   I bet nobody knows except Merlin.

00:22:56   I guarantee you he knows.

00:22:58   - He doesn't know, he just looks it up on Wikipedia

00:22:59   like everyone else.

00:23:00   (laughing)

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00:25:30   - This is the end of the ad.

00:25:32   - So, the New York Times on the seventh,

00:25:37   which was this past Saturday as we record,

00:25:40   released an article, Podcast Surge,

00:25:42   but Producers Fear Apple Isn't Listening.

00:25:46   And this article, it had some problems.

00:25:51   The quick summary from your summarizer-in-chief

00:25:55   is that Apple supposedly had a handful

00:26:00   of big-name podcasters into their campus

00:26:04   to talk to Apple about what they want from Apple

00:26:08   to make their jobs easier.

00:26:10   And the way this New York Times article was written

00:26:12   was basically we want all the data about all the things.

00:26:16   And Apple may or may not be giving that to us,

00:26:20   and that's mildly alarming.

00:26:22   This has created quite obviously quite a hubbub

00:26:26   in our little circle, because most of the things

00:26:29   that the New York Times article is talking about,

00:26:31   about big data, about getting access to who listened

00:26:34   to what when, and when I say who, I mean, you know,

00:26:37   how old is this person, what gender are they,

00:26:38   where do they live, how much do they make,

00:26:40   what do they like, what do they not like, et cetera.

00:26:42   when they listen? Do they listen to the whole thing? Do they only listen to part of it?

00:26:44   Did they listen to the beginning and skip the middle? Did they skip the ads? Did they

00:26:47   not skip the ads? Do they like the ads? Do they not like the ads? Tell us everything.

00:26:51   Well, for those of us who care about our listeners, we don't want that. We don't need that. We

00:26:57   don't want that. And we hope we never get in the position that we do need that. And

00:27:01   so this article had a lot of problems. And Marco, you wrote a really nice post about

00:27:06   I don't really know what to say that hasn't already been said in either Marco's post or

00:27:13   Federico's, but I'm sure there's something to be said, so Marco, take it away.

00:27:18   I mean, the good thing is all the other stuff that had to be said, Jason and Mike said on upgrade

00:27:22   this week, so I suggest you go listen to that instead. But if you really want to stick around

00:27:27   here as well or listen to us as well, there's a few parts here. I mean, so you mentioned the data

00:27:33   gathering part that the leading podcasters allegedly wanted. By the way,

00:27:36   this whole article is stating a bunch of things as fact. Like, this is definitely

00:27:43   how Apple does things now. This meeting definitely happened. It definitely

00:27:47   happened like this with these people in it. And so far I have not heard any

00:27:52   corroboration to support some of these facts, like the specifics about the

00:27:58   meeting. Additionally, I know firsthand that many of the things in the article

00:28:02   stated as fact or implied as fact are wrong or misleading

00:28:06   with how the system works or Apple's role in it

00:28:10   or technical details of how it works.

00:28:13   So take this article with a giant pile of salt.

00:28:16   Honestly, I would say don't even bother reading it

00:28:19   if you did read it.

00:28:20   It reads more like something that maybe somebody

00:28:24   on Forbes would have written to be like an anti-Apple

00:28:27   like clickbait piece 'cause it attributes a lot

00:28:30   of intent and malice to Apple for what they've been holding back on all these years and stuff

00:28:38   like that, that is just misleading at best and in some cases just outright wrong. It

00:28:44   needs to be taken with a lot of salt. So that being said, I think you can look at the medium

00:28:51   here, the podcasting medium, the way it has worked so far, which basically works like

00:28:57   RSS readers that happen to play audio files. That's basically it. Like, sites publish RSS

00:29:02   feeds with MP3s or AACs and the vast majority are MP3s, so I'm just going to say that from

00:29:07   now on. And clients are basically RSS readers and they fetch those RSS feeds for everything

00:29:12   you subscribe to and when a new episode is present, they download the MP3 file that's

00:29:17   embedded, the link of which is embedded in the feed. Then they show it to you as an episode.

00:29:21   it's playing, it's simply playing an MP3. It is not like loading pages on the site of

00:29:29   the podcast provider or anything like that. It is not executing JavaScript on their behalf.

00:29:34   It is not sending them tracking information. They do get the hit on their server for when

00:29:41   you fetch that MP3. So podcasters already have a certain amount of data about their

00:29:48   listeners. And so the idea that like, you know, Apple needs to step in and provide data

00:29:54   so that people can have any idea what size their audience is, it's a little exaggerated

00:29:58   because we already know how big our audience is. It's a little bit approximated, but I

00:30:03   think, you know, I think history shows with a lot of this, you know, data science in massive

00:30:09   quotes, I'm just, my fingers are just constantly moving during this whole thing. Constant air

00:30:13   air quotes, just up and down.

00:30:15   All the web data stuff is also imprecise,

00:30:17   so, you know, and is also very easily faked

00:30:20   and defrauded all the time and everything,

00:30:22   so all the problems that apply to what we have now

00:30:24   also apply to proper, my fingers are still moving,

00:30:29   big data kind of analytics and creepy tracking stuff.

00:30:34   Anyway, so we already know how big the audience is,

00:30:37   to a rough degree, where they are, to a rough degree,

00:30:41   and how many of them download each show.

00:30:44   We don't need that level of data integration

00:30:47   where you go much beyond this yet.

00:30:49   And we might in the future,

00:30:51   in order to get high ad rates, but right now we don't.

00:30:55   The reason the web had, well, quote, had to,

00:31:00   my fingers are still moving,

00:31:01   had to do all this creepy data stuff,

00:31:03   is because web ad rates just plummeted.

00:31:07   I mean, they were never great to begin with,

00:31:09   And over the years since the web has been a thing,

00:31:12   I think they've just basically always gone down.

00:31:15   Because general web display ads,

00:31:17   like ads you'd see on the side of a news site

00:31:19   or increasingly on top of the news site

00:31:21   you're trying to read floating in,

00:31:23   flying around the news site,

00:31:24   in the background of the news site,

00:31:26   in every sidebar above and below the content,

00:31:27   posing as content, posing as,

00:31:29   oh, these top news stories,

00:31:30   these weird new tricks the new scientists

00:31:32   wanted you to learn about Britney Spears.

00:31:34   The reason it keeps getting so bad on the web

00:31:36   is that nobody looks at web ads, nobody sees,

00:31:39   it's not that people see them and ignore them,

00:31:42   people don't even see them.

00:31:43   Even if you don't have an ad blocker installed,

00:31:46   you visually don't see them.

00:31:48   Like you don't perceive them, you skip over them.

00:31:52   The whole banner blindness thing is real.

00:31:54   There's very little that web publishers can really do

00:31:57   to make a lot of money on those things.

00:32:01   And so they've had to do all this crazy tracking stuff

00:32:04   just to try to make it slightly more targeted,

00:32:07   to raise the rates slightly more,

00:32:09   and then of course there's the rise

00:32:11   of all these programmatic ad exchanges,

00:32:12   which makes everything even worse,

00:32:14   and even more horrible, and even more creepily tracked,

00:32:16   but that's a long side that we don't need

00:32:18   to get any more into.

00:32:20   Summary version, basically, the web sucks for ads.

00:32:25   It is a terrible place to advertise,

00:32:27   it is a terrible place to publish advertisements,

00:32:30   to try to make money from them,

00:32:31   additionally, as I mentioned before,

00:32:33   all the massive fraud that goes on.

00:32:35   It's such a mess.

00:32:37   It is so, it's just bad for everybody

00:32:39   because the medium just doesn't work that well for display.

00:32:43   It just doesn't work very well, simple as that.

00:32:45   And as everything gets more and more cutthroat

00:32:47   and advanced technically and algorithmically generated

00:32:50   and everything, it's just getting worse and worse and worse.

00:32:53   And there's kind of no end in sight there.

00:32:55   The web as a place to make money through advertising

00:32:58   is really a pretty bad place to be.

00:33:02   So podcasts on the other hand,

00:33:05   because these are just MP3 files,

00:33:07   it's just an audio stream,

00:33:09   there's basically nothing you can really do

00:33:12   to advertise in an audio stream

00:33:15   except just insert an ad that somebody is speaking

00:33:19   into the stream.

00:33:21   And because of lots of reasons,

00:33:23   there's not a lot of tracking you can do

00:33:25   to say like, you know, did people hear that ad?

00:33:27   With a few exceptions, but for the most part,

00:33:30   you can't really track did people hear this,

00:33:32   Did people listen this far on the show?

00:33:34   You pretty much can't do it,

00:33:35   'cause what if somebody's playing it on their iPod

00:33:38   that doesn't even have an internet connection?

00:33:40   You don't know that.

00:33:41   They're still playing the file they downloaded from you,

00:33:43   and there's no way for that to be reported to you.

00:33:45   What if they're playing it in some web embed

00:33:48   or Twitter embed, where they can see the MP3 file,

00:33:52   but they're not loading a whole app,

00:33:55   or they're not loading your whole webpage or something.

00:33:58   They're still listening.

00:34:00   And by the raw metric of download counts,

00:34:03   they will be counted.

00:34:05   But that's all you can really get.

00:34:07   - What if the soothing sound of our voice

00:34:09   put them to sleep, and as they fall asleep,

00:34:11   five ants play?

00:34:12   - Exactly, yeah, like, should we get paid for those?

00:34:14   So there's no way to tell whether somebody

00:34:17   has listened to a certain point, basically,

00:34:19   unless you control the app.

00:34:21   And we'll get to that.

00:34:22   So anyway, this to me is like this beautiful system,

00:34:26   because the web, I love the web.

00:34:29   And it makes me so sad to see what the web has become

00:34:33   over the last five years or so,

00:34:36   as everything has just gotten so much more cutthroat

00:34:38   and driven by automated ad tech

00:34:40   and algorithmic content generation.

00:34:42   And it's just, as I said, it's just a mess.

00:34:44   And as a fan of both the web as a medium

00:34:47   and also the openness of blogging

00:34:50   and RSS feeds and everything,

00:34:52   which I still use, by the way,

00:34:53   I still use an RSS reader, it's not dead,

00:34:56   That world is losing to Facebook and Twitter

00:35:01   and Apple and these kind of closed ecosystems.

00:35:06   That makes me very sad.

00:35:08   Podcasting is still run that way.

00:35:12   The question basically, the debate here,

00:35:15   is whether podcasting can still be run that way

00:35:19   for a longer time or whether this,

00:35:22   the article kept saying it has outgrown its roots.

00:35:26   has it, like, does podcasting really need

00:35:29   to add all this crap to let people's business grow?

00:35:33   Because podcasting is working just fine the way it is.

00:35:37   So if you talk about how much you make per listener

00:35:41   or per user, ad people call this the CPM,

00:35:44   the cost per thousand impressions,

00:35:46   however you measure that.

00:35:48   Thanks, France, by the way, for the M.

00:35:50   So the web, I think you're lucky to get,

00:35:54   I mean, what's a good web CPM today?

00:35:56   Like a few dollars maybe at most?

00:35:58   I mean, and with podcasting, the numbers are lower.

00:36:01   The listener numbers are lower.

00:36:02   Like, you know, a good website can get

00:36:04   millions of hits a month.

00:36:07   The top podcast, things like This American Life,

00:36:09   like really big podcasts might get like

00:36:12   a million downloads a month or something in that ballpark.

00:36:14   I don't know, I don't have recent numbers on that,

00:36:15   but that's what I heard like a year or two ago

00:36:17   or something like that.

00:36:18   So you know, a million downloads a month for a podcast

00:36:21   would put you in like the top handful of podcasts

00:36:23   exist in the world. Whereas a million hits to a webpage is kind of like lower to mid-level

00:36:28   traffic these days. Like you can get way more than that if you're a big site. But the podcast

00:36:34   can command something like a $20 to $60 CPM instead of what the web is getting like, you

00:36:41   know, a dollar or two. Because podcast advertising is just so much more effective. It's not even

00:36:47   close. It is way more effective. And part of that is because you have, you know, people

00:36:53   like us, like the hosts reading the ads,

00:36:55   and that makes you pay attention more,

00:36:57   a big part of it is you're actually hearing them,

00:36:59   as opposed to the web where you just do not

00:37:01   even see the ads at all.

00:37:02   And not because of ad blockers,

00:37:03   because you actually just ignore them.

00:37:06   Podcast ads are so much more effective

00:37:07   just because of the medium, because of how it's heard,

00:37:10   where it's heard, who is saying it, what they're saying,

00:37:13   the relationship people have, the dedication they have,

00:37:16   where and how they're listening,

00:37:18   as opposed to like on the web,

00:37:19   you're kind of just like skimming constantly,

00:37:21   and you kind of get through as fast as you can.

00:37:23   A podcast you're probably listening to

00:37:25   while doing something else, whether it's working,

00:37:27   driving, whatever the case, you're less physically engaged

00:37:31   in the activity, so you're less likely, I think,

00:37:33   to skip the ad.

00:37:34   It's just such a different environment

00:37:36   that it just happens to work way better for ads.

00:37:40   So for some reason, this handful of big podcasters

00:37:44   allegedly met with some people at Apple,

00:37:47   allegedly trying to get them to say,

00:37:50   Well, we want to basically do web levels of data tracking,

00:37:55   and we want Apple to put that in their app,

00:37:58   because that's the only way we can really have it done

00:38:00   is to put these things in apps.

00:38:02   The implication there is because they want

00:38:04   their business models to be more like the web,

00:38:07   and that just seems insane to me,

00:38:10   because the web is in such shambles,

00:38:12   and we have it great over here in podcast land.

00:38:16   They don't know how lucky they are.

00:38:18   The web does these data things because it has to

00:38:21   for most sites to get anything at all,

00:38:24   not because that is the inevitable way forward

00:38:28   to quote, "grow" your business.

00:38:30   Podcasting is not new.

00:38:33   It is not even, I wouldn't even say it's booming.

00:38:37   I think it's growing steadily

00:38:39   the same way it has for 10 years.

00:38:41   And if you look at like podcast growth,

00:38:44   it's not a hockey stick curve.

00:38:46   it's basically a line. And everyone who thinks it's new, it's just like the tip of the iceberg

00:38:52   thing where it finally pooped out of the ocean, where it's like they think, "Oh my god, this

00:38:56   is here all of a sudden." And in reality, like, no, it's been growing the entire time

00:38:59   under the ocean, you just didn't see it. There's basically the debate over whether podcasting

00:39:07   needs to change in order to enable "growth" or to mature or something. And what angered

00:39:14   me so much about this article, in addition to all the things that it got factually wrong

00:39:18   or misleading, it basically stated as given, as fact, that podcasting was outgrowing its

00:39:26   roots and needed to change the way it operates, to be more like the web. I very strongly disagree

00:39:33   with that. I'm not saying that podcasting should never change, but I am saying I don't

00:39:38   think it needs to change in this way right now, and possibly ever, because this is a

00:39:44   a different medium, it works very differently, and the idea that a few people, most of whom

00:39:49   come from the web and ad tech worlds, think that podcasts should work more like the web,

00:39:55   first of all I find that baffling, because as I said the web sucks, and second of all

00:39:59   I think that is a bad argument, it doesn't follow, like you can't make that argument

00:40:04   without support that's showing that somehow podcasting is really suffering without this

00:40:09   and is declining and needs this to survive, and I'm seeing no evidence of that at all,

00:40:13   In fact, I'm seeing the opposite.

00:40:14   I'm seeing podcasting is growing and is doing very well.

00:40:17   Going to the Apple side, like what could Apple do?

00:40:20   Apple is a directory, they're the biggest directory,

00:40:25   and they have this big editorial section

00:40:27   where they can promote shows, which they do.

00:40:29   And as far as I know, they're the only people

00:40:31   who invest a lot of human effort

00:40:33   to actually make editorial podcast picks

00:40:36   in lots of different categories every week,

00:40:38   and around the world, I think.

00:40:40   So they're already doing a lot on the editorial side.

00:40:44   I don't know what else they could do on the editorial side.

00:40:46   I think they're already doing way more

00:40:49   than anybody could be expected to do,

00:40:52   given that they're making so little money off of podcasting.

00:40:54   I think they're doing a very good job.

00:40:56   Apple, I think editorially, I think they're set.

00:40:59   We should be thankful they're doing as much as they do.

00:41:02   And then you have the Apple Player.

00:41:05   And this is kind of where, so the Apple Podcast Player

00:41:08   is the most popular podcast playing app,

00:41:10   the one built into iOS.

00:41:11   I don't know how well iTunes does anymore on the desktop.

00:41:13   I think it's pretty small probably,

00:41:14   but the one on iOS that comes with iOS

00:41:17   called Podcasts from Apple with the purple icon,

00:41:20   that is the most popular podcast player on the world.

00:41:21   It has something like 60% or 70% of podcast downloads

00:41:26   according to most people.

00:41:28   And so they're basically pushing Apple to say,

00:41:30   the stats we get now are not enough.

00:41:32   We want you to do two things for us.

00:41:34   We want you to A, give us as much data as you can

00:41:37   about the people.

00:41:38   So tell us like how many of these downloads into your app

00:41:40   actually get listened to?

00:41:41   Where do they listen, you know,

00:41:43   where do they stop playing each episode?

00:41:44   Like what, exactly what timestamp down to the second

00:41:47   so we can optimize our content

00:41:48   and tweak our storytelling abilities

00:41:51   and then our advertisers can ask

00:41:52   how many people actually heard our entire ad

00:41:54   so they can then, I guess, not pay us?

00:41:57   Like I, I get, a lot of these things don't make sense

00:42:00   once you think them through.

00:42:01   But I don't know why, why are podcasting

00:42:04   to be asking for some of these things?

00:42:05   But anyway, so that's part one,

00:42:08   is that they want Apple to add all this creepy data tracking

00:42:11   to their player app, and then to report it

00:42:14   to the podcasters in some way.

00:42:15   And once again, I think Jason Snow and Mike Hurley

00:42:18   on Upgrade this past week did a very, very good job

00:42:21   of covering exactly what the kind of implications

00:42:24   of this would be, and how just the scale

00:42:27   of the operation this would entail to even do this

00:42:30   if they wanted to, and how useful the data would actually be

00:42:33   considering that it's not, like it isn't all listeners.

00:42:37   It's, depending on the show, somewhere between like

00:42:40   probably 20 and 70% of the listeners.

00:42:43   So, you know, and it might not be a representative sample.

00:42:46   So it's, you know, the quality of the data they would get

00:42:49   would itself be in question even if they got it.

00:42:52   And in the process of them getting it

00:42:54   and the systems involved, the implementation of that

00:42:57   would be a huge mess, not to mention all the ethical

00:43:00   and quality issues, it would then create

00:43:03   the incentives it would create with podcast creation,

00:43:06   with these pro podcasters to like,

00:43:08   structure their shows differently

00:43:10   so that they would boost these numbers

00:43:11   in these little tiny ways that would kinda

00:43:14   sacrifice quality or overall flow,

00:43:17   but it would give us 5% more this month, you know.

00:43:20   'Cause you can say now that would never happen,

00:43:22   but look at the web, it happens, it always happens.

00:43:24   So, you know, let's not kid ourselves,

00:43:26   like that would definitely happen.

00:43:28   So you have this massive problematic request

00:43:32   of the more data.

00:43:34   Then you also have the request from the podcasters

00:43:37   that Apple enable other business models.

00:43:39   And what they basically mean is,

00:43:41   enable a way for people to pay for our shows.

00:43:44   You know, there's already ways to pay for podcasts.

00:43:47   Lots of podcasts do.

00:43:49   I know this because Overcast doesn't support their feeds.

00:43:51   And I hear from all their fans every day.

00:43:54   (laughing)

00:43:56   There's already ways to do things like paid feeds,

00:43:59   members only feeds, whether it's password protected

00:44:01   or it's hidden URLs, I do support those,

00:44:04   thanks Jason, I do support those.

00:44:07   Please subscribe to Six Colors.

00:44:09   You know, the password stuff I don't support

00:44:10   and a lot of them, there'll be like a members only area

00:44:14   or paid podcasts that aren't even distributed

00:44:16   as podcast files, they're in a feed,

00:44:18   you sign up with their website

00:44:19   and then you can download the raw audio files.

00:44:21   There are lots of ways to do this.

00:44:23   The biggest way to do this though,

00:44:26   Apple made in 2008.

00:44:27   It's called the App Store.

00:44:29   This is what most people do.

00:44:31   If they wanna have a paid podcast,

00:44:33   they release their own app to play their podcast,

00:44:37   which gives them all of the capabilities

00:44:40   that the podcasters are asking Apple for, allegedly.

00:44:43   That already exists.

00:44:44   It's existed for eight years.

00:44:46   It's called the App Store.

00:44:48   You can make your app,

00:44:49   you can charge whatever you want for the app,

00:44:51   you can have in-app purchase in the app,

00:44:53   you can control the entire player experience

00:44:55   and do all the creepy data tracking you want.

00:44:58   That's already there.

00:44:59   Many podcasts have their own apps.

00:45:02   This is not a new thing.

00:45:03   And it works okay.

00:45:05   I don't know anybody who makes a ton

00:45:07   of their listenership or money that way,

00:45:10   but they make some, it's fine.

00:45:12   So you know what?

00:45:13   If that's the kind of system you want, it already exists.

00:45:16   And take it from a developer,

00:45:18   I guarantee you that whatever Apple would do

00:45:21   with the podcast app store,

00:45:22   or with the podcast store

00:45:24   that everyone's apparently asking for, would be worse.

00:45:27   That would be a worse system than just making your own app.

00:45:32   You don't want that.

00:45:33   Trust me, either way, Apple's taking 30%.

00:45:35   Let's be honest here.

00:45:36   I mean, we know that.

00:45:37   They're taking at least 30% either way.

00:45:40   At least in the App Store, it's only 30%.

00:45:42   If they make their own podcast store,

00:45:44   that gives them the opportunity to set a new rate.

00:45:45   They might be hired now that Apple's a services company.

00:45:47   So, believe me, you don't want that.

00:45:50   - But don't you understand why they don't want

00:45:51   to make their own app?

00:45:52   Like, isn't it obvious, like, the fragmentation problem of that?

00:45:56   If everyone has their own app, like, the advancement of the app store is like the one place you

00:46:00   go to get all the software instead of having to go to individual developers' websites that

00:46:04   have discoverability problems and making people aware and getting the fatigue.

00:46:08   Kind of like we have on Apple TV now, like, the fatigue of, like, if I want to list this

00:46:12   podcast, I got to do this app, and I want to do that podcast, I got to do that app.

00:46:16   Kind of like when books were individual apps back when Apple was allowing that, where you

00:46:19   got one book as an individual app. It's just a lot of fragmentation and if everybody did

00:46:24   that, it's really hard to get attention from anybody. And the sort of level playing player

00:46:29   that you were talking about before is an advantage of saying, "Look, Apple, if you just implement

00:46:33   this stuff as sort of the baseline within the only podcast player app that matters,

00:46:38   the built-in Apple one as far as these people are concerned, allegedly, in this article

00:46:42   here, then we wouldn't have to fight for the attention to get our app downloaded." And

00:46:47   It really is a barrier to people.

00:46:48   Like people don't want to have to download a new app for,

00:46:51   it's like having to download a new app

00:46:53   for every movie you want to see.

00:46:54   It's like rather just go to a store

00:46:55   and be able to rent or buy the movie

00:46:56   and you don't have to go to 17 different stores.

00:46:58   Then there are still multiple stores,

00:46:59   but if it was one per podcast, that's bad.

00:47:02   So I kind of, what I'm trying to do reading this article

00:47:05   is put myself into perhaps not the head space

00:47:08   of the theoretical people who talk to Apple,

00:47:11   but the head space of the author of this article,

00:47:14   because a lot of things in this article are not quotes,

00:47:17   are not like sentiments attributed to people

00:47:20   who supposedly met with Apple,

00:47:21   but rather are just stated in what looks like

00:47:24   the author's voice, presumably informed by,

00:47:27   I don't know, by accounts of the meeting.

00:47:31   And I'm trying to figure out like,

00:47:33   why is it that the author or the people

00:47:37   that the author spoke to believe these things

00:47:40   about podcasting?

00:47:41   Like what is, I don't know, what are we missing?

00:47:45   'cause I think you've outlined it pretty well.

00:47:47   Like from our perspective, it doesn't make any sense,

00:47:48   but our perspective isn't the only perspective.

00:47:50   And I think the best thing I've come up with is that

00:47:54   if you want to reach a bigger audience,

00:48:00   like podcasts are the size that they are.

00:48:02   Serial is way bigger than lots of podcasts.

00:48:04   This American Life is way bigger,

00:48:05   but that kind of barely counts

00:48:06   'cause it built its audience on the radio

00:48:08   and not as a podcast, right?

00:48:10   If you wanna go really big with that,

00:48:14   Big audience means, I suppose, high production values.

00:48:19   It costs more to make shows than good to,

00:48:21   I don't even know if that's true, but again,

00:48:22   I'm trying to get in their head and they're thinking.

00:48:25   - I think it's loosely correlated.

00:48:26   High production values can result in better shows.

00:48:28   They sometimes do result in better shows,

00:48:30   but they don't always, and they aren't always required.

00:48:33   - Right, but anyway, if you were going

00:48:35   for a much bigger audience, part of that would also

00:48:38   be going for bigger advertisers, advertisers who are used,

00:48:43   who would not bother advertising on the numbers

00:48:47   that most podcasts put up.

00:48:49   And if you want big advertisers,

00:48:52   big advertisers having been conditioned

00:48:54   by all the crap on the web that you just talked about,

00:48:57   want this information that is not available from podcasts.

00:49:00   So it's kind of like, we wanna go really big,

00:49:03   we wanna go mass market.

00:49:04   And by the way, when you go mass market,

00:49:05   your CPMs go down because mass market,

00:49:08   like we're gonna make a show for everybody,

00:49:10   everybody is not as valuable as people

00:49:12   who are super duper into model trains.

00:49:14   Because if you have a podcast, you know,

00:49:16   for people who are super duper into model trains,

00:49:19   model train manufacturers will pay a lot for that, right?

00:49:22   Whereas if you're gonna have,

00:49:23   our podcast is listened to by everyone,

00:49:26   everyone's not a great demo.

00:49:27   Or like, our podcast is listened to by, you know,

00:49:30   like you really, the reason podcasts get such high CPMs

00:49:33   and the reason I think a lot of tech podcasts

00:49:35   get high CPMs is it's a narrow self-selecting audience

00:49:39   based on the topic.

00:49:41   and those audiences can be much more valuable

00:49:43   than the mass audiences.

00:49:44   So anyway, if you want to make podcasts way bigger

00:49:47   and sell to a mass audience and your CPM goes down,

00:49:50   you really need the tools that will let you get Coca-Cola

00:49:53   to put an advertisement on your thing,

00:49:54   or talk to Procter and Gamble or whatever.

00:49:56   Like these really big things that buy Super Bowl ads

00:50:01   and you have huge ad budgets.

00:50:04   And I think that's kind of the chicken egg,

00:50:07   the thing they're trying to go.

00:50:08   It's like podcasts,

00:50:09   it looks like almost like a wasted medium

00:50:11   from the perspective of these people

00:50:13   who wanna go for a big audience.

00:50:14   Like I bet many more people would go for,

00:50:17   or think about radio.

00:50:18   Like you'd have, you know,

00:50:20   every kind of mass advertiser would be on radio

00:50:22   because like, oh, this reaches everybody.

00:50:24   But the everybody model is so different

00:50:26   than the current podcasting model.

00:50:27   I think what they want to happen is,

00:50:29   please make a world where Coca-Cola will advertise.

00:50:32   And here are the ingredients we see

00:50:34   that will hook up all the pieces in this chain

00:50:37   so that we will have a podcast that plays to 50 million people and that really big companies

00:50:42   pay for ads at a tremendous rate and a tremendously low CPM, but we'll make it up in volume and

00:50:47   now we are a big player and we will just squish all the other shows and it'll make Serial

00:50:51   look like a little silly NPR fluke. I don't even know if Serial was NPR, sorry PRI if

00:50:56   that's you or whoever the hell it is. And that's so outside our understanding of podcasts

00:51:03   and our little tech circle and our nerdy podcast and stuff like that.

00:51:07   I don't necessarily think that that can't and shouldn't exist, but as a goal, I kind

00:51:16   of see it as, "Well, there's something to that.

00:51:18   Imagine if you have the podcast that everybody listened to."

00:51:21   Seriality seems like it was.

00:51:22   Most people, you know, it's just big compared to other podcasts.

00:51:25   It's not as if someone came out with the equivalent of Star Wars 1977, the movie that everybody

00:51:33   and a generation saw, there is no podcast equivalent to that yet.

00:51:37   And they could be going for it, and I think that's an interesting goal and interesting

00:51:40   thing to aspire to, but the things they're asking for, A, are informed by the web, and

00:51:45   like you said, that's pretty stupid, and B, what they're asking Apple to do, I don't understand

00:51:51   why maybe they haven't been burned enough by this, but asking Apple to, "Hey, build

00:51:55   these analytics into your app and subscriptions and stuff like that," and of course there

00:52:00   There are so many things that only Apple can do because they're platform-level things or

00:52:03   have to do with the App Store and there's only one way to get software on your things

00:52:06   is through the App Store.

00:52:08   Again focusing on iOS, but I'm sure they make the same pitch to Google, although Google

00:52:11   has its own Google Play thing going on over there.

00:52:14   But were they successful in lobbying Apple for the things they supposedly want, they

00:52:18   will just, you know, in their wildest dreams, what they will have successfully done is created

00:52:23   YouTube, which is terrible.

00:52:24   which is never a situation where the only

00:52:27   Reasonable way to make money with video on the web is through YouTube and YouTube controls or music

00:52:33   Yeah, yeah YouTube controls everything about it

00:52:36   And there's no competition and they can change the terms at any time and what the hell you gonna do because it's YouTube like why?

00:52:42   Would you ask for that? Why would you you are you know again Tapples credit or whatever or apples apathy or whatever like that?

00:52:49   Probably not gonna do any of this stuff

00:52:51   But if they did it would be terrible for everyone involved both the big guys because they would just be

00:52:56   Putting themselves under the thumb of Apple and for the small people who were like no we don't want that

00:53:00   We like to be free and open or whatever like so it's a terrible

00:53:03   Doomsday scenario if they got what they wanted because it would it would just make it

00:53:08   dysfunction all the ways you talked about for the web and the data and the in ever-decreasing

00:53:11   CPMs and the perverse incentives and the fraud and everything like that and you would be shoveling all of the power in the market to

00:53:18   this one gatekeeper just because you didn't want to write your own app and because you couldn't

00:53:22   abide to have a simple open system with RSS feeds because it just didn't give you the analytics you

00:53:27   want. It's such a terrible thing to want. Again, I kind of see where they're coming from and we want

00:53:33   the big breakout hit and we need this data and we need these tools, but I feel like you should work

00:53:37   that out. It's so hard for me to talk about this to even accepting the premise that these things

00:53:42   happen in the article, what they said they did, but let's pretend that it did. You should be

00:53:46   talking to Coca-Cola about how they should be okay with funding this podcast full of

00:53:53   celebrities that you think millions and millions of people are going to listen to without the

00:53:57   obsessive data that they think they should technically be able to get.

00:54:01   It's like Coca-Cola, picture back to the olden days when people filled out little paper forms

00:54:05   after they watched television shows and you bought advertisement based on that.

00:54:10   And now we're going to tell you a precise number of downloads and you won't do it because

00:54:13   it's just not enough data and you need to know the exact demos and again where they

00:54:16   live and what their income is and what things they last clicked on and what their last boss

00:54:18   on Amazon, what Cookie has been tracking them through their Facebook clicks for the last

00:54:23   - oh, it's just...

00:54:26   It's a somewhat admirable goal to try to make a podcast breakout hit, but I think the supposed

00:54:34   demands of these people in this article are totally the wrong way to go about it.

00:54:41   And one tiny passage that I highlighted here, just to finish up, like, makes me just question

00:54:46   everything about this.

00:54:47   This is, again, not a quote and not attributed to anything, but the article says, "Promotion

00:54:51   within iTunes, which is one of the only reliable ways to build an audience, particularly for

00:54:56   a new show, is decided by a small team, blah, blah, blah, blah.

00:55:00   Promotion within iTunes is not only one of the only reliable ways to build an audience,

00:55:07   But probably one of the worst ways to build an audience.

00:55:13   If you could guarantee that you would be promoted as the number one podcast on iTunes for an

00:55:18   entire year, would that build an audience?

00:55:21   Versus, say, if you made a podcast that promised to slowly lay out the plot for Star Wars Episode

00:55:28   VIII, the episode VIII, entirely unpromoted on iTunes podcast, would crush your podcast.

00:55:34   the only reliable way to build it you build an audience by making things that people like and

00:55:39   Leveraging an existing audience is probably the best way to build nights

00:55:43   But the only reliable way like I don't know

00:55:45   I can't think of a single person who found their favorite podcast because it was promoted on iTunes

00:55:50   I'm sure they're out there and I'm sure they'll send us things but like it's just such a warped view of the world of podcast

00:55:55   Listening like that's not how people discovered cereal people did not discover cereal because it was promoted on iTunes

00:56:01   It was promoted in iTunes because people discovered cereal like it's you know, like there is a place for editorial order

00:56:07   But if you got it in your head that iTunes is already this this kingmaker gatekeeper

00:56:12   I don't know you you are

00:56:16   abdicating all of your responsibility to build your own audience by having a good show and doing your own marketing and stuff like that like

00:56:21   Again, editorials important and they do promote shows and it's important like, you know for shows to come out of obscurity

00:56:28   That Apple can you know put them in new and noteworthy and whatever whatever weird systems they're having and it's a fun little thing

00:56:35   But really to frame it as the only reliable way to build an audience particularly for a new show that

00:56:41   That just does not match with my understanding of the podcast world at all

00:56:46   Especially when it comes to mass-market shows because the mass market is not trolling the iTunes podcast directory

00:56:52   They don't even know what podcasts are right

00:56:54   they only know because they heard about cereal

00:56:56   and then they figured out what podcasts are.

00:56:57   - Like that's the problem,

00:56:58   like by treating Apple as the whole world,

00:57:02   you know, as you very well said,

00:57:04   like you're not only like trying to make them

00:57:07   the only platform that matters at all

00:57:08   and trying to increase their share,

00:57:10   but you're also kinda investing in the seeking shit

00:57:12   because that 60% market share

00:57:15   that they most likely have among listening,

00:57:17   that goes down every year.

00:57:19   Believe me, I've been watching.

00:57:20   That's decreasing over time.

00:57:23   as more podcast players sprout up on iOS,

00:57:27   and as more people finally get around to listening on Android

00:57:29   because Android so far has been very underrepresented

00:57:32   in podcast stats, according to most big hosts.

00:57:35   I know Libsyn used to announce numbers every so often.

00:57:38   It used to be something like eight to one in favor of iOS

00:57:42   for every show that they host, which is a lot of shows.

00:57:45   Now Android's getting higher.

00:57:46   You have people like Google Play and Spotify

00:57:49   entering the podcast market in possibly big ways.

00:57:53   We'll see how those end up going,

00:57:55   and I don't like them, but they exist,

00:57:57   so we'll see how that ends up going.

00:57:58   But you have the podcast market

00:58:02   becoming more and more diverse.

00:58:04   Apple's market share is going down,

00:58:07   and all of a sudden these people want to give Apple

00:58:09   a reason to lock things down and dominate.

00:58:12   That's a terrible idea.

00:58:14   And also, the idea of relying on them

00:58:17   for all of your audience growth is ridiculous.

00:58:21   We know from the App Store,

00:58:24   we know everyone who relies only on the App Store

00:58:28   for their promotion, we tell them they're doing it wrong.

00:58:31   We tell them, no, you can't,

00:58:32   even the App Store people will tell you,

00:58:34   please don't rely on us.

00:58:36   And if you're trying to get featured by the App Store

00:58:39   and you have no other marketing,

00:58:42   that actually hurts your chances of being featured.

00:58:45   they want to feature things that have real marketing plans.

00:58:48   And so the idea of trying to basically make Apple

00:58:52   do all your work for you to promote your podcast,

00:58:55   as you said, Jon, is terrible.

00:58:56   Also, getting back to the ad thing for a second,

00:58:59   which kind of ties into this,

00:59:01   everything that the podcasters are asking Apple to do,

00:59:06   or asking for, basically comes down to

00:59:09   we are not making enough per listener from our ads,

00:59:14   and we would like to add all this tracking

00:59:15   so that we can make more money.

00:59:17   It's basically like saying the only way for us to grow

00:59:21   is to extract more out of the existing listener base.

00:59:24   Remember what I said earlier about the relative size

00:59:27   of the audience between podcasts and the web?

00:59:30   A great podcast might get a few hundred thousand downloads

00:59:34   an episode.

00:59:35   That would put it in like the top probably five or 1%

00:59:39   of podcasts.

00:59:40   On the web, that's nothing.

00:59:42   if you want to grow your business as podcasters.

00:59:46   The way for growth is to get more people

00:59:49   listening to podcasts, and then to get more people

00:59:52   listening to your podcast.

00:59:53   That's obvious, like I don't understand

00:59:57   how anybody can look at the situation now and say,

01:00:00   well what we need to really grow this,

01:00:03   we're outgrowing this old model here,

01:00:06   what we really need is ad tech?

01:00:08   What?

01:00:09   No, you need more people listening to podcasts.

01:00:12   You know how you do that?

01:00:13   It's not by making podcasts suck.

01:00:15   It's not by getting all creepy on people

01:00:18   and putting all this stuff in their face.

01:00:20   It's not by putting up a paywall, sorry.

01:00:23   Grow the audience!

01:00:24   That's the way for revenue growth.

01:00:28   You start doing all this data mining crap

01:00:30   when either your ads don't work

01:00:32   or when you have saturated the audience

01:00:35   and you need to find new ways to extract more

01:00:36   out of what you have.

01:00:38   Neither of those things are true for podcasting.

01:00:40   It's the opposite.

01:00:41   Podcasting has tons of room to grow.

01:00:44   It is growing, not as a hockey stick level growth,

01:00:47   but it is steadily growing over time.

01:00:49   There's tons of potential still to grow into,

01:00:52   especially as we have further penetration

01:00:55   of Bluetooth and cell phones in cars,

01:00:57   which is where a lot of listening happens,

01:00:59   and we have all these new cheap home speaker

01:01:02   Bluetooth devices, people who listen more at home,

01:01:05   and you have people getting more and more

01:01:06   into the habit of listening to things on their smartphones.

01:01:09   There is tons of room for growth here.

01:01:12   And there are so many people who don't listen

01:01:14   to podcasts now.

01:01:16   That's where you focus.

01:01:17   You focus your effort on growing the pool.

01:01:20   We're already making great rates on the ads.

01:01:23   Rates that, as you said, when you expand Coca-Cola,

01:01:27   all these things where like, oh, we have to expand it

01:01:29   to brand advertising.

01:01:29   Okay, so right now, we have mostly

01:01:32   direct response advertisers.

01:01:33   This is things like Squarespace, things like,

01:01:35   things where you sign up for a service,

01:01:38   or you buy a product and you give them some kind of coupon

01:01:41   or discount code or you visit a special URL

01:01:43   and they track how many people bought their thing

01:01:48   through each show or each episode's URL

01:01:50   and that kind of gives them an idea

01:01:51   of how many people might have heard the ad

01:01:53   and how much they are willing to pay for future ads

01:01:56   as a result of how much they're making from their past ads.

01:01:58   All these articles about how much we have to like,

01:02:02   you know, move into brand advertising,

01:02:03   they're all like, well, we just keep hearing the same ads

01:02:06   from like Squarespace over and over again.

01:02:07   You ever wonder why?

01:02:09   They're not dumb.

01:02:10   They're buying them because they work really well.

01:02:13   And whatever they're spending on the ads,

01:02:14   which as I said is a really nice amount by CPM,

01:02:18   whatever they're spending on the ads,

01:02:20   they're making that back.

01:02:21   They can see it in direct response conversions and results.

01:02:25   The reason why we have so many direct response advertisers

01:02:28   and why every podcast for the most part does

01:02:32   is because they can directly measure the value,

01:02:35   they see it and they say we want more because these ads are working ridiculously well. Brand

01:02:42   advertising, things like, oh we're going to plaster Coke ads all over these billboards

01:02:46   for the next 10 years and hope that increases our margin slightly. Brand advertising by

01:02:50   definition is almost impossible to measure. It basically goes unmeasured. Brand advertising

01:02:56   is basically a shot in the dark. There are people are just hoping that over time by getting

01:03:01   their logo and their name out there and associating happy things with their brand or whatever,

01:03:05   people will start recognizing their brand

01:03:07   and sales will slowly increase as this recognition builds.

01:03:10   The web has developed such incredibly sophisticated

01:03:13   and creepy levels of tracking and analytics

01:03:15   and behavioral monitoring and surveillance

01:03:18   that they can see to a much greater degree

01:03:20   what works and what doesn't.

01:03:22   Brand ads don't pay that much on the web

01:03:24   because they can see it's not working.

01:03:27   When you're saying you want brand ads,

01:03:29   what you're really saying is,

01:03:30   we're gonna sell brand ads because our ads don't work.

01:03:33   So we're gonna sell these to you, Coke,

01:03:34   because we know you won't really be able to measure.

01:03:37   - Well, but Coke also isn't interested in the small numbers

01:03:39   and Squarespace, maybe not Squarespace,

01:03:42   but some other advertisers that are basically paying

01:03:45   to acquire new customers for some kind of subscription plan

01:03:48   may not be able to pay, like Coke will pay more

01:03:52   because brand advertising is by definition

01:03:54   a we want the big numbers, huge shotgun approach.

01:03:58   That's the only type of advertising

01:03:59   to which the sort of general purpose broad demographic

01:04:03   is actually desirable because that's what we're going for.

01:04:05   We want everybody to know what Coca-Cola is.

01:04:07   We don't care who you are, what you do,

01:04:08   what you're interested in,

01:04:09   you need to know about Coca-Cola and it's awesome.

01:04:11   They want the big numbers.

01:04:14   Anything that is acquiring customers,

01:04:16   even something like, you know, fracture or whatever,

01:04:19   like, I don't think that they,

01:04:22   they're not gonna keep the same CPM

01:04:24   and pay for a show that gives 100 million people

01:04:26   to bankrupt the company, right?

01:04:28   And they're not interested,

01:04:30   they're not interested in spraying their,

01:04:32   like they'd be overpaying because only a small fraction

01:04:34   of those people actually interested in signing up

01:04:36   would be much better to go on a podcast

01:04:38   where a much higher percentage of the people who listen

01:04:40   are into digital photography

01:04:42   and making prints of it or whatever.

01:04:43   So I feel like they wanna get those big advertisers

01:04:46   because the number on the check is gonna be really big.

01:04:49   And the only people who are gonna write that check

01:04:51   are the people who are doing brand advertising.

01:04:53   And that's the way you get, again,

01:04:54   if you wanna get a podcast that has 200 million downloads

01:04:58   for every episode,

01:05:00   I think brand advertising is your only path to that.

01:05:03   And so they're trying to connect the dots

01:05:06   to make that happen.

01:05:07   And by the way,

01:05:08   like I agree that the way you would get a big podcast

01:05:11   like that is you have to get more people

01:05:12   listening to the podcast.

01:05:13   But the best way to do that

01:05:14   is to keep podcasts like the web.

01:05:17   The reason everybody can and did eventually come

01:05:20   to use the web is because it wasn't controlled

01:05:23   by Microsoft or Yahoo or whoever else.

01:05:26   Like it was a thing that anyone can implement

01:05:28   the web browser and anyone can make a website

01:05:29   no one company owns and controls it, that's what let it spread everywhere.

01:05:34   If you try to make Apple the king of podcasts or Android the king of podcasts or whatever,

01:05:40   you're narrowing the number of people who can listen to podcasts, especially if you

01:05:44   pick somebody who has a platform.

01:05:45   Because again, say you took iOS or Android and one of them became the only thing in podcasting

01:05:50   that mattered, you're cutting off half of the market right there.

01:05:52   You want everybody to be able to listen to podcasts really easily, no matter what device

01:05:57   they have, whatever weird thing they buy in their house or have on their person or in

01:06:02   their car or wherever, you want everybody else in the podcast just like everybody can

01:06:06   go to your website.

01:06:07   The reason websites have huge amount of traffic is because everybody can go to websites.

01:06:12   You don't have to have a special kind of computer or a special operating system or a special

01:06:16   application or whatever.

01:06:18   Essentially every platform has some way to browse the web.

01:06:21   And we're at that point with podcasts now.

01:06:23   It's just RSS.

01:06:25   you can make a player for it for any type of thing.

01:06:28   Any move that big podcasts would do

01:06:31   in the hopes of getting like big brand advertising

01:06:33   or making a big podcast that tried to make podcasting

01:06:37   more narrow in that way is shooting themselves in the foot

01:06:40   because those people are out there,

01:06:43   you wanna make them be able to listen to podcasts

01:06:46   no matter where they are, what they're doing,

01:06:47   do not make podcasting tied to a particular store,

01:06:50   a particular application or anything like that.

01:06:51   That'd be so dumb.

01:06:52   This is the beginning of the ad.

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01:09:09   - So we talked about an episode or two ago

01:09:11   how I felt like it's been trendy to dislike the Apple Watch.

01:09:15   Well, it's been trendy to really, really, really freaking love the Amazon Echo.

01:09:21   I do not have one.

01:09:23   I don't know that I've ever...

01:09:24   I mean, sure, probably.

01:09:28   I've never seen one in person to my recollection, but everyone that I know swears by it loves

01:09:33   it, etc.

01:09:34   And so it seems like everyone's getting really infatuated with voice-based control.

01:09:39   And the people who did Siri, which was, you know, that software was eventually bought

01:09:45   up by Apple, and I believe the company was as well.

01:09:48   So a lot of the XSiri people have gone on to create Viv, which is kind of the spiritual

01:09:55   successor to Siri, and they demoed it on Monday.

01:09:59   Now, I didn't have the time to watch the video, but my understanding was this was something

01:10:03   pretty darn impressive.

01:10:04   - Impressive if you don't think about it too much, I guess.

01:10:08   Why do you say that?

01:10:10   I have hound. I've seen the the the viv things. I don't maybe maybe this only bothers people like me

01:10:16   But on the flip side of it. I think none of these things are up to the point where they pass

01:10:23   the regular person

01:10:26   thresholds of

01:10:28   Magic because as we've discussed many times in the past with Siri the problem with Siri and things like that is

01:10:33   And you'll see when you have any kid use Siri for five seconds people immediately jump to oh

01:10:37   this is a little person in my computer, but obviously it's not and as soon as they discover

01:10:42   the very real and very close limits of any of these things, it breaks the illusion. It's

01:10:47   like, oh, I thought this was like a little person on my computer I could talk to. Instead,

01:10:51   it's just a crappy program that's like, basically boils down to like playing a text adventure

01:10:56   game where you have to learn the syntax and what you can say and what you can't say. And

01:11:00   it's disappointing. It's disappointing to people and then they kind of put it in a bin

01:11:03   with I thought it was going to be this magical thing where I can talk to a person in my phone

01:11:07   really it's just like the voice version of the command line where I have to

01:11:13   learn the things that it can do first of all and then I have to learn the ways I

01:11:17   can say the things that it can do and granted there are many ways that you can

01:11:20   say it maybe more than in the average text adventure but probably about the

01:11:23   same as in any good text adventure and the new demo is like showing off context

01:11:28   like oh it kind of remembers last thing I said to it so I can refer back to it

01:11:31   using you know if I as long as they use the right words and they're the it will

01:11:36   understand what I'm talking about and build on my past conversations and it's like I'm having a conversation if you see a demo with a

01:11:42   preset script it is it seems to be very impressive until you realize there is only a very small number of things that you can ask about and

01:11:50   Those things aren't always

01:11:53   interesting do you like it's you want to ask about facts that you can pull out a wall from Afra or

01:11:59   Things having to do with the weather or date and time or unit conversions

01:12:03   Then you can have this amazing but extremely boring conversation about stuff that you don't really care about but if you really want to know

01:12:09   something more complicated

01:12:12   You better hope that's within the problem. I mean, I'm not saying well these are bad products. I think they're amazing

01:12:16   We need to keep advancing us and it's great

01:12:18   But I get like I said as soon as you have a voice talking to you or they can understand what you're saying people

01:12:22   Immediately jump to this is how 9000 or like it's a little person, but it's totally an older person

01:12:28   It's so far from that that there's always the inevitable

01:12:32   Let down

01:12:34   So as we continue to March there progress there

01:12:37   I'm you know

01:12:37   I think that's good

01:12:38   But this this slight diversion with Veeve and or Viv or however you want to say it and all those other ones

01:12:44   bothers me as the type of person who like reads the wire cutter or

01:12:49   Marcos headphones reviews or Marcos light bulb reviews or anything like that and that the the

01:12:55   very boldly stated business model of these companies is

01:12:58   We will make deals with other companies so you can say

01:13:01   you know, have a pizza delivered at my house at 5 p.m. and also send flowers to my mom for Mother's Day.

01:13:06   You're like, "Wow, what an amazing demo! It's like having a personal assistant!"

01:13:09   But you don't get to pick what pizza it is or what company sends the flowers.

01:13:14   The company that makes the product that you're talking to does deals with dominoes and pro flowers,

01:13:20   and that's what gets sent. Not because those are the best flowers or because your assistant knows the best flowers to get for your mom

01:13:25   or the kind of pizza that you like,

01:13:27   But because these are the deals the company whose voice agent that you're talking to made, you know

01:13:32   Made partnerships with and so their incentives are all screwed up

01:13:37   Their incentives of the supposed personal assistant is not to help you get the things that you want in your life. It's to

01:13:43   dutifully follow through on the business deals that the company's made and all these companies are looking for if we make this thing so

01:13:48   Sticky that people love talking to it and just like rely on it as part of their life

01:13:52   Then we can charge people a lot of money to you know, like the same way that Google can charge money for search results

01:13:58   We got everybody typing into our search box now all of a sudden you buy you buy

01:14:02   Advertising keywords or search keywords for us. It's very valuable

01:14:05   Everybody does all their pizza ordering then we can charge whatever pizza company a lot of money

01:14:09   They said did you want on the pizza be the pizza company fulfills pizza requests?

01:14:13   but

01:14:14   You know obviously people like me and I think a lot of people kind of care where their pizza comes from

01:14:19   maybe they don't care so much about where the flowers come from, but

01:14:21   And the model that they should be presenting is, "Here is an artificially intelligent

01:14:27   agent or whatever."

01:14:28   The agent's a good 90s Apple thing.

01:14:31   The knowledge navigator is going to help you in real life.

01:14:34   It's supposed to be helping me.

01:14:35   It's supposed to be like I want it to do things that, you know, if it's going to save me work,

01:14:39   I would go and figure out what the best dishwasher is and what the comparative features are and

01:14:44   stuff like that.

01:14:45   Or, you know, I would, if I moved into a new area, I would, you know, troll reviews to

01:14:49   to try to find out where do people like, you know,

01:14:52   the best pizza or, you know, like ratings or like,

01:14:55   I want it to figure out what I want in my life,

01:14:58   what my needs are and follow through on that.

01:14:59   But I don't know if there's money to be made in that

01:15:01   because we're not willing to pay for that service.

01:15:03   So someone's got to pay and the people who are paying

01:15:05   is Domino's and you're gonna get a stupid Domino's pizza.

01:15:08   - So you get what you deserve.

01:15:10   - Right, and it's just, it's misaligned incentives,

01:15:12   but I don't know the way out of it

01:15:14   because aligned incentives would be,

01:15:16   you pay me $5 a month for the privilege of using

01:15:18   Siri or Veeve and no one wants to do that either because they're not good enough for

01:15:22   five dollars a month. It's like, "Nah, I'll just do the web search myself or I'll just

01:15:25   go to the wire cutter myself," right? So I don't know how you find your way out of this.

01:15:30   It could be, I don't know, it could be that most people are fine with that. They're like,

01:15:34   "I don't really want to know or care what deals you make behind the scenes as long as

01:15:38   somebody comes and picks up my package. I don't care what they ship it by or anything

01:15:42   like just..." They're not as picky. They're not reading reviews about their light bulbs,

01:15:46   right? They're just like, "Whatever, it's just convenient for me to be able to do this and I

01:15:50   don't really care what company or product is involved in. I don't care what deals are made

01:15:55   behind the scenes and I don't care that my needs aren't the most primary thing. It's a service I

01:15:59   get for free. It's built into my phone or I yell it into the air and Amazon Echo does it. I don't

01:16:03   care that all the products are fulfilled through Amazon or, you know, like it's like pushing that

01:16:06   button for paper towels, you know, at least you get to pick because Amazon has a wide variety,

01:16:10   but I don't care that they all come from Amazon. Maybe most people are fine with that.

01:16:15   But for me personally, I don't like it and I also think that the misaligned incentives will just

01:16:21   become a larger and larger problem until and unless these services actually become so good

01:16:27   that people are willing to pay for them. Because wouldn't you pay $5 a month to have a personal

01:16:30   assistant who you could just shout orders to and would do stuff and was not actually a person,

01:16:34   you didn't have to like care about their feelings and well-being or anything? Like that's the dream

01:16:38   of artificial intelligence personal assistants from every movie about the future where you just

01:16:41   you just yell things into the air and things get done.

01:16:43   And wouldn't you love if that assistant

01:16:44   learned more about you and about what you like

01:16:47   and what you dislike and did the research for you

01:16:49   and collaborated with other agents

01:16:51   and just sort of asked your reaction

01:16:53   to the meal you're just eating

01:16:54   instead of you having to hit a star rate.

01:16:56   That's the magical future we think about

01:16:58   and I think everyone would be willing to pay for that

01:17:00   because paying for an actual personal assistant

01:17:01   to do all that stuff, it's really expensive.

01:17:03   $5 a month looks like a bargain.

01:17:05   But we're not there yet,

01:17:07   the products just aren't that good.

01:17:08   So in the meantime, Domino's will be paying them

01:17:10   to deliver you excurable pizza to your house.

01:17:14   - I love that your dream scenario here

01:17:16   is that you can basically have a virtual person

01:17:21   who is totally basically your slave

01:17:23   and you can be a jerk to.

01:17:25   - It's not actually a person, it's just a computer.

01:17:27   But you don't have to be a jerk to it,

01:17:28   but you also don't have to worry about,

01:17:30   they don't sleep, don't eat, don't get annoyed

01:17:34   when you're frustrated, don't get annoyed if you yell,

01:17:36   and that's why we use computers,

01:17:38   because we don't have to have this constant,

01:17:40   we're not trying to emotionally support our computers

01:17:42   most of the time.

01:17:43   We just want them to do what we tell them to do

01:17:45   when we do it, 'cause they're machines

01:17:46   and they're not people, right?

01:17:48   And that's the dream of having the computers,

01:17:51   just think not as a personal assistant,

01:17:53   but rather think of it as like using a computer

01:17:58   without having to sit in front of a computer

01:17:59   and click on things or touch a screen or type things in.

01:18:01   You're just talking into the air and then somewhere else,

01:18:03   a computer is doing your thing.

01:18:04   And the whole machine learning angle,

01:18:07   the same way a personal assistant would learn your preferences and everything, that's what

01:18:12   computers are great at.

01:18:13   That's what Netflix is great at, by seeing what we watch, and we have to help with the

01:18:16   silly way of hitting stars and stuff, but eventually Netflix gets good at thinking,

01:18:19   "I think you will like this movie based on movies you've seen in the past and have liked."

01:18:25   It's incredibly primitive compared to what we could do if we had a conversational, long-term

01:18:29   relationship with a voice-controlled thing that was on our side and was entirely made

01:18:35   to try to make our lives better, but again, there's no business model for that, and the

01:18:40   tech still isn't quite there. But I feel like we can get there eventually. And once we do,

01:18:44   someone is going to get $5 a month from a hell of a lot of people once that becomes

01:18:48   good enough.

01:18:49   Well, but it doesn't have to be that it's $5 a month. I mean, it could be that this

01:18:55   future Siri or what have you takes a cut of whatever it facilitates a sale for.

01:19:01   So like-- - But that's incentivized

01:19:04   to make deals with the highest bidder

01:19:06   who makes crappy pizza.

01:19:07   In fact, the crappy pizza problem.

01:19:09   - Well, perhaps, but first of all,

01:19:10   Domino's Pizza is not crappy.

01:19:12   Second of all-- - Oh my God, it's so bad.

01:19:14   What are you talking about?

01:19:15   - Hi, Jon. - Yeah, I'm with Jon.

01:19:16   Sorry, Casey, that's just an excuse.

01:19:18   - Well, you guys are, you're way too snooty.

01:19:20   Anyway, the point is that,

01:19:22   why couldn't we have a hypothetical conversation

01:19:25   where I say, "Hey, (beep)

01:19:26   "I'd like a pizza, please."

01:19:27   Sure, where would you like it from?

01:19:29   Papa John's or Domino's or what have you mean presumably would have to be some national change, so I'm not it's not

01:19:34   But then how do you get paid? How does that service get paid?

01:19:37   You think it's just taking a cut of that because they were kind of like grub hub or whatever like they'd have to kind of

01:19:41   Opt in the money's got to come from somewhere because unless you want to pay extra for that pizza and like have this you know

01:19:46   Siri surcharge of experts because grub hub is so friggin expensive like there's lots of services that kind of do a small portion of what?

01:19:52   We would imagine Viva Siri doing but all of them the disincentive is

01:19:56   This is great if you have money to burn and you can't be bothered to go someplace and you don't mind your food being

01:20:01   Cold by the time it gets here and you don't mind waiting a long time and half the time

01:20:03   It doesn't work like this. There's so many caveats, but the the money is a big deterrent

01:20:08   Five dollars a month for the blanket service of essentially just connecting the dots to things that you could do themselves

01:20:14   That works financially if you have enough people do it as does Domino's being the exclusive will bring you a crappy pizza provider

01:20:21   but I feel like the percentage of everything is just back to the grubhub model and it's

01:20:26   That has proven to be good for, you know,

01:20:31   in my day we would say yuppies,

01:20:32   but like good for people who with high paying jobs

01:20:35   and not a lot of time and more money,

01:20:39   money is less important to them than their time.

01:20:41   And so they do that.

01:20:42   And even those things you're kind of like,

01:20:45   sometimes that just, it's more worth of you

01:20:47   to go there yourself and get the thing.

01:20:48   I don't know.

01:20:49   - Everyone needs to--

01:20:50   - Would any of us order pizza in that way?

01:20:53   Even if you could like,

01:20:54   So if you could tell at the store, but it charged you 20% on top of that, would you

01:20:58   order pizza that way?

01:20:59   I mean, if I was in a position where I didn't want to sit down at a computer or an iPad

01:21:04   or an iPhone, and I just wanted to within 30 seconds say, "Hey, get me..."

01:21:10   Oh, I forgot.

01:21:11   I can't say that.

01:21:12   Sorry.

01:21:13   Well, it's too late now.

01:21:14   Yeah.

01:21:15   What did they say on upgrade?

01:21:18   Thank you.

01:21:19   I wanted to say Aloha.

01:21:20   Aloha, telephone.

01:21:21   (laughing)

01:21:23   Get me a pizza, a large pepperoni, no pineapple,

01:21:28   pizza from Domino's delivered to my house.

01:21:31   - Your bad taste continues.

01:21:33   - You're in favor of this bull siri pepperoni in pineapple?

01:21:38   - I honestly have not tried pepperoni in pineapple yet,

01:21:40   but I do like pineapple and ham.

01:21:42   I don't get that a lot in New York

01:21:44   'cause they don't really do it here

01:21:45   'cause it's not canonical, Jon,

01:21:46   but I do enjoy that combo when I can get it.

01:21:50   But yeah, normally, I mean I like pepperoni,

01:21:53   and I like pineapple, so you know.

01:21:55   - There was a ham and pineapple discussion,

01:21:57   but I'm not sure if it's on a podcast

01:21:58   that has yet to be released.

01:21:59   Did you hear me talk about Hawaiian pizza on any podcast?

01:22:02   If not, it hasn't been released, so I won't spoil it.

01:22:04   - I did hear you talk about it.

01:22:06   I forget which show it was on.

01:22:08   - Yeah, same here.

01:22:09   - It might have been when you guessed it on upgrade.

01:22:10   You did that recently, right?

01:22:12   - Yeah, maybe that was it.

01:22:12   But anyway, yeah, I don't wanna get into it now.

01:22:15   - All right, so the point is, the point is.

01:22:16   - The point is Casey has terrible taste in pizza,

01:22:19   so his answer to this question is irrelevant.

01:22:21   - Whatever, if you, Marco and John slash you--

01:22:25   - Switch to hamburgers if you need to.

01:22:27   - Oh, no, because then I'm gonna tell you

01:22:28   I think Wendy's is just fine,

01:22:29   and then you're gonna bust my balls about that too.

01:22:31   - All right, what are they like in the South?

01:22:32   How about barbecue?

01:22:33   - Oh, God. - Yeah, would you just get it

01:22:34   from Dallas Barbecue because it doesn't matter?

01:22:36   - Oh. - Would you say,

01:22:37   well, barbecue is barbecue.

01:22:38   I mean, I guess Dallas Barbecue is fine.

01:22:40   - But for all these things, though,

01:22:42   the money's gonna be coming from taking a cut.

01:22:44   The money's gotta come from somewhere,

01:22:45   so it's gotta be a surcharge, right?

01:22:46   Because unless you, you have to have deals

01:22:49   If you're going to take a cut, like the price remains the same, but they cut us in, you

01:22:52   have to have deals for that.

01:22:53   And if you don't, then you just have to add a surcharge because then you don't need deals

01:22:56   on either end.

01:22:57   But the surcharge is usually pretty significant.

01:23:00   And that's in addition to whatever additional things they're charging you to deliver it

01:23:03   plus tip and all that other stuff.

01:23:05   Well, that's the thing exactly though, because the delivery surcharge is a surcharge.

01:23:09   You could, if you wanted, get in your car or ride your bike or walk or what have you

01:23:14   and go fetch your pizza.

01:23:17   But sometimes you just want the convenience of this meal magically showing up at your

01:23:22   doorstep.

01:23:23   I personally cannot imagine a time where I would want to say, "Hey, Ahoy!

01:23:29   Telephone!

01:23:30   Get me a Domino's large pizza."

01:23:31   But there are certainly people in the world that may be willing to pay a dollar or two,

01:23:37   or whatever the case may be, to Ahoy!

01:23:39   Telephone!

01:23:40   Themselves a pizza.

01:23:41   I mean, Domino's lets you order pizza with emoji by some mechanism I've never tried.

01:23:45   So I would imagine that there are people

01:23:47   that are doing that too.

01:23:48   - You ever wonder why Domino's has to make it so easy

01:23:51   to order their pizza?

01:23:53   - You know, fine, okay.

01:23:54   If you wanna believe Domino's is gross, that's fine.

01:23:57   All I know is, just listen to the forthcoming episode

01:24:00   of Analog where we probably won't cut the discussion

01:24:03   about people that are too good for chain restaurants

01:24:06   and how much I hate all of them,

01:24:07   which is basically everyone in the chat room

01:24:09   and the two of you.

01:24:10   - There are good chain restaurants.

01:24:12   There just are very few good chain pizza restaurants

01:24:14   and I think most of them would be local chains

01:24:16   that you wouldn't have heard of.

01:24:18   But it's fine, no it's fine.

01:24:19   Also, if you're gonna have chain pizza,

01:24:21   I'm not sure Domino's is even the best one of those.

01:24:24   - Well what would it be?

01:24:25   - I was always a bigger fan of like the really crappy ones,

01:24:28   like Little Caesars or Pizza Hut,

01:24:30   because it's like, - Come on, what are you doing?

01:24:32   - If you're gonna go with some really crappy

01:24:34   big brand pizza, you might as well go like super crappy

01:24:38   and get like all the junk food value of it.

01:24:41   - I feel like I would get something frozen

01:24:43   the supermarket before I would take the delivery from any chain.

01:24:47   Yeah, I did a lot of those too.

01:24:48   Like a lot of like the big- And those are not good.

01:24:50   Don't get me wrong, they are terrible.

01:24:52   That's how bad I think the delivery is.

01:24:53   You would take a Red Baron pizza over Domino's.

01:24:56   Not Red Baron, but maybe something else.

01:24:59   What is the thing that's not delivery?

01:25:01   It's DiGiorno.

01:25:02   Man, that marketing works.

01:25:03   Nice.

01:25:04   That would kind of be like a match-up.

01:25:06   Like even- Anyway, like we shouldn't have gotten to the pizza topic.

01:25:11   How is it so- Why?

01:25:13   So moving on from-- - I can't imagine.

01:25:15   No, I can't get past this.

01:25:17   I can't imagine a world where somebody says,

01:25:20   "Man, I'd really like some pizza,

01:25:22   "and I'd like to get Domino's."

01:25:25   And you have to be like, "Mm, Domino's is not good enough

01:25:29   "for me, I'm sorry, we're gonna have to go somewhere else."

01:25:31   - Well, you know, sometimes you have to eat things

01:25:33   you don't like, but I think, I'm even,

01:25:36   this is more of an issue for me even than Marco's thing,

01:25:37   'cause Marco's like, he has this fancy coffee, right?

01:25:39   But when he's on the road, he'll get Starbucks.

01:25:41   - Yeah. - Precisely.

01:25:42   When I'm on the road, the equivalent of me is I would choose not to have coffee.

01:25:46   Sometimes I do.

01:25:47   Like that's the level I'm at with…

01:25:49   Same thing with pizza and bagel.

01:25:50   I just don't get pizza if I can't get good pizza.

01:25:54   And it's fine.

01:25:55   I eat something else.

01:25:56   And if someone else gets bad pizza, I'll eat it.

01:25:57   You know, you gotta eat to stay alive, right?

01:25:59   But I will never choose it.

01:26:00   Whereas Marco, because he's addicted, will choose to get Starbucks because it's like,

01:26:05   "Well, it's better than no coffee."

01:26:06   But no, it's not better than no pizza.

01:26:08   No pizza beats Domino's pizza.

01:26:10   Oh my God.

01:26:11   If I, listeners, if I ever get to the point that I'm this fussy about fricking anything...

01:26:16   It's not fussy, it's just like, it's just a preference.

01:26:19   Like I don't consider it the same category of food.

01:26:21   It's like I'll just pick a different—there's plenty of kind of foods to choose from.

01:26:24   Like I'm not that picky about burgers, right?

01:26:27   Many more options for burgers, including ones from chains and lots of things from chains,

01:26:30   but when it comes to pizza, I will just pick a different food product.

01:26:33   And I don't think it's being snobbish, it's just kind of like that's—I don't like that.

01:26:37   Doesn't taste good to me.

01:26:38   I don't want it.

01:26:40   and I don't need it for chemical reasons,

01:26:41   so I will just pick something else.

01:26:44   I'd rather have a sandwich from Subway than bad pizza.

01:26:46   - Oh, I don't know about that.

01:26:47   - And sandwiches from Subway are probably

01:26:50   the bottom rung of thing that you can call sandwich.

01:26:53   As people know in the chat room,

01:26:54   we've lost the Domino's brand sponsorship

01:26:56   and we're losing the Subway brand sponsorship

01:26:58   from the show, it's fine.

01:26:59   - This is why we can't have brand advertisers in podcasts

01:27:01   'cause we've already pissed off all the brands.

01:27:03   - We'll take Waffle House sponsorships though,

01:27:05   because I feel like they embrace what they are.

01:27:08   - I'm more of a steak and shake person myself,

01:27:10   I don't even understand why Subway is so bad. You're watching them create it in front of you.

01:27:16   You don't understand why Subway is bad? Please, Casey, please stop. Please stop.

01:27:19   I don't.

01:27:20   No, I'm trying to help you here.

01:27:23   I don't want your help.

01:27:25   Subway is not the hill you want to die on.

01:27:27   No, I'm not saying that it's the hill I want to die on. I don't want your help.

01:27:30   I want to be able to go to any friggin restaurant I want and be

01:27:34   genuinely happy with the meal I've had. I have gone to Subway, although not lately, and been

01:27:39   Genuinely happy with the meal I've had are there better sandwiches in the world abso-freakin-lutely does that count as a restaurant sure oh

01:27:46   I haven't been this angry at you two since the Mac Pro discussions

01:27:50   Just if I ever get this fussy and high-maintenance just kick me in the shins

01:27:57   What vodka would you drink Casey would you drink that they hit the big handle of like the cheap Russian?

01:28:02   Whatever vodka that comes in the plastic bottle would you drink that he just got to run it through Brita filters, and it's fine

01:28:06   How do you know that, John?

01:28:10   No, you weren't privy to this.

01:28:12   Because it's the stupid secret of vodkas.

01:28:14   Once I saw that, I don't drink anything about it, but once I saw that thing with the filters,

01:28:19   I'm like, "All right, everyone who deals with vodkas just..."

01:28:21   I thought that was BS.

01:28:22   I know exactly what you're referring to, but I thought that was BS.

01:28:25   Maybe it is BS.

01:28:26   I might be wrong.

01:28:27   I'm entirely willing to believe it, especially with alcohol.

01:28:30   After the first few drinks anyway, you can just secretly switch to the crappier stuff,

01:28:34   and no one cares.

01:28:35   Well, that's true.

01:28:36   Here's the thing, I would absolutely choose a fussy vodka like Tito's if I had the choice,

01:28:41   but if I don't have the choice, or if I'm, like a rail vodka's on happy hour, you know

01:28:45   what you do?

01:28:46   You just put a couple lemons in there, wait a second to get a little bit watered down

01:28:49   with a little bit of lemon in it, and then you're fine.

01:28:52   I'd prefer the Tito's for sure, but I am perfectly happy with a slightly watered down, slightly

01:28:57   lemony vodka, and I'd be happier about that having saved a bunch of money off getting

01:29:03   a rail one instead of a Tito's, I would be happy with that. Although that is the best

01:29:08   example I've heard so far of me being fussy.

01:29:11   Wouldn't you ruin like a $13 Brita filter by converting your cheaper vodka into $13

01:29:17   more expensive vodka?

01:29:18   You'd still come out ahead if you run it through enough times so it's equivalent to like the

01:29:23   $500 bottle.

01:29:25   Is there $500 vodka? Vodka's not that good.

01:29:27   I'm sure there is. I'm absolutely sure there is.

01:29:29   Oh, there absolutely is. And I should also note that my fussy vodka, Tito's, is like the cheapest of the fussy vodkas.

01:29:36   Which is part of the reason why I like it so much.

01:29:38   Yeah, I remember when you were coming over and we bought a bottle so that you would not judge our vodka collection because you're so judgy of things.

01:29:45   I remember being very surprised how inexpensive it was, because the way you talked about it, I thought it would be like a really premium priced one.

01:29:52   But nope, turns out vodka's just terrible, so nobody prices it very high.

01:29:55   - It's not terrible.

01:29:57   Are you a gin drinker?

01:29:58   You are a gin drinker, aren't you?

01:30:00   Oh, how's your grass taste?

01:30:02   - I occasionally drink gin.

01:30:04   Not by itself.

01:30:05   I mean, I prefer gin-based drinks like Martini's

01:30:07   to drinking it straight, but.

01:30:09   - Oh, God, a gin Martini.

01:30:11   I forgot. - Honestly,

01:30:11   I'm not that much of a liquor person.

01:30:13   I much prefer either not drinking or drinking beer.

01:30:16   - Oh, so you like to drink your bread.

01:30:17   I understand.

01:30:18   I'm gonna get so much angry email,

01:30:21   I'm gonna have to quit the show.

01:30:23   It's gonna be the worst.

01:30:24   - I tried to help you with the subway thing,

01:30:26   it's not too late to ask Marco to cut it out.

01:30:28   (laughing)

01:30:29   - Oh, this is staying in.

01:30:31   - No, you can let it stay in.

01:30:32   - Try to get this back on the rails slightly.

01:30:34   I will say, John, you were seemingly puzzled

01:30:37   by the idea of why would somebody pay a 20% premium

01:30:41   for the convenience of ordering through this,

01:30:42   through a cylinder robot voice.

01:30:44   - Not why, but that your audience is limited.

01:30:47   Because I know those services exist

01:30:48   and I know the people who use them,

01:30:49   but they're never gonna be mass market

01:30:50   because 20% is just too much for most people.

01:30:53   - I'll tell you what though.

01:30:54   I would probably pay roughly that premium

01:30:57   to avoid talking to somebody on the phone.

01:31:00   - I hear ya.

01:31:01   - Again, yeah, I know, I understand.

01:31:03   - If that was my only alternative,

01:31:05   'cause a lot of the places around here,

01:31:07   in the area that I think Jon and the both of us live in,

01:31:11   there's not a lot of chains present.

01:31:13   And a lot of the places you order from

01:31:14   are just independently owned places.

01:31:16   And so anything that relies on really convenient,

01:31:21   you can order with our app or things like that,

01:31:23   most of the places around here don't support that

01:31:24   'cause they're not a big enough operation

01:31:27   to be integrated that way or to have their own app

01:31:29   or whatever else, which means A,

01:31:31   I can't use Apple Pay anywhere.

01:31:33   I can't even use my chip card anywhere

01:31:36   in most places either.

01:31:37   And B, they don't support any of these

01:31:41   automated ways of ordering.

01:31:42   So if I wanna order something,

01:31:43   I'm still doing it the way the San Francisco people think

01:31:45   is barbaric of calling them on the phone

01:31:49   and placing an order for delivery

01:31:50   or going and picking it up in my car.

01:31:52   And I hate talking on the phone so much, especially--

01:31:56   - Me too.

01:31:57   - Nerdy introverts with disposable income,

01:31:59   again, it's a narrow market.

01:32:01   Like, the potential for agents

01:32:03   that can do things conversationally

01:32:06   without you having to type things or really pay attention,

01:32:09   just yelling commands out into the air,

01:32:10   the potential for that is mass market.

01:32:12   But the number of people who are currently willing

01:32:15   to pay to avoid phone calls and stuff,

01:32:19   and don't blink at 20% is just too small.

01:32:23   Like, and I feel these things with the,

01:32:25   that's another ding against these things

01:32:29   that are funded by having deals

01:32:31   with providers of their services,

01:32:34   is that exactly the people who are the nerdy introvert,

01:32:37   people who don't wanna make phone calls,

01:32:39   those are exactly the people who read the wire cutter

01:32:41   and obsess over which light bulbs they're gonna get.

01:32:43   And those people will not be happy

01:32:45   not being able to choose who provides their flowers

01:32:47   or even who gives them their weather report.

01:32:50   Those are exactly the people who want the thing that's

01:32:52   going to use big data to figure out what the best whatever is

01:32:57   and learn your preferences and do all that stuff.

01:32:59   They don't want to be hemmed into particular vendors.

01:33:04   And so maybe Veeve is just hoping

01:33:06   to be purchased by Apple or Google or Alphabet or whatever.

01:33:11   And that's their big exit plan there.

01:33:13   but I am not a fan of this model where

01:33:16   the product isn't good enough for users to pay for it yet.

01:33:20   And the way they make their money is with back end deals.

01:33:23   And you have this agent who you can't,

01:33:25   you have this personal assistant

01:33:26   who can do a limited number of things.

01:33:28   Hopefully if you get the syntax right

01:33:30   and you have no control of or awareness over the companies

01:33:34   that are fulfilling the things

01:33:37   and seemingly no way to give feedback

01:33:38   about how well it went when the pizza arrived.

01:33:40   Did you like it or did you not like it?

01:33:41   you could just say get me a pizza,

01:33:42   but not from that last place 'cause it was gross.

01:33:45   - So going back to the original topic here

01:33:47   of these voice assistant things,

01:33:49   I think there's a lot more to discuss here,

01:33:50   which we probably don't have time for today, honestly.

01:33:52   There's a lot more to discuss here

01:33:53   about just how these things are

01:33:55   and the kind of ecosystem around this.

01:33:57   First of all, I think it would be a hilarious business model

01:34:00   if the Siri founders just kept making things,

01:34:03   selling them to Apple,

01:34:04   and then just quitting and making the next thing,

01:34:07   and then Apple buys that one.

01:34:09   - People do that all the time.

01:34:10   That's the serial entrepreneur thing.

01:34:11   You make a startup, you know exactly what to make,

01:34:14   and you know that you have multiple potential buyers,

01:34:17   you play them off each other, you sell, you do the next one.

01:34:19   And what you get to do, I guess, is during all that time,

01:34:21   do the fun part that you like, starting the company,

01:34:24   doing the exciting thing or whatever,

01:34:25   and you just have exit after exit.

01:34:27   That's the way some people live their lives.

01:34:29   Totally viable business model, especially in this case.

01:34:33   - So I do think, getting back,

01:34:35   'cause it wouldn't be an episode of this show

01:34:37   without a complaint about Apple.

01:34:38   - We almost made it.

01:34:39   I know, I'm a little bit worried that this is an area

01:34:42   where Apple started this game, really.

01:34:46   Apple came out with Siri in 2011, right?

01:34:50   Yeah, 2011.

01:34:52   And Apple started this whole thing, really.

01:34:56   There was voice command stuff before that,

01:34:58   but Siri took it to another level

01:35:00   and integrated it with the phone.

01:35:02   It was a big deal.

01:35:04   And then since then, Siri has advanced,

01:35:06   but fairly slowly and in fairly small steps.

01:35:10   While at the same time, it seems like now

01:35:15   there are multiple companies.

01:35:17   There's Amazon, there's How, Hound, sorry.

01:35:20   Amazon, Hound, V, Vive, Viv.

01:35:22   There's all these companies now coming out

01:35:25   with even better stuff that's like,

01:35:28   it seemed like a generation ahead of Siri

01:35:30   in like the intelligence and the recognition

01:35:32   and the accuracy and things like that.

01:35:34   It seems like Apple kind of started this

01:35:36   and now everyone's kind of overrunning them,

01:35:38   and I don't think Apple is hustling.

01:35:41   I've used this word before,

01:35:44   that it seems like Apple recently lacks hustle.

01:35:47   This isn't the only area that this applies to,

01:35:49   where Apple kind of starts something,

01:35:51   and then everyone else kind of rushes in

01:35:53   and does their own version of it better,

01:35:55   and Apple just kind of can't keep up.

01:35:57   Is this a problem?

01:35:58   - Well, I wouldn't call it hustle in this case.

01:36:00   Do you remember when Jobs can, the ATG,

01:36:04   Apple Technology Group or Advanced Technology Group.

01:36:06   I forget what ATG stands for.

01:36:08   Someone who works at Apple.

01:36:10   But anyway, Apple used to do way more

01:36:12   basic research type stuff.

01:36:13   Like that whole department whose job was to do

01:36:16   basic research type things and in theory,

01:36:20   maybe they would come up with a couple ideas

01:36:21   that other groups in the company

01:36:23   that made actual products would do.

01:36:24   And Steve Jobs concentrated the whole company.

01:36:25   I'm like, no, don't do pie in the sky.

01:36:28   Wouldn't it be cool if,

01:36:29   let's investigate this kind of technology type thing.

01:36:31   I mean, Brett Victor used to work at Apple

01:36:33   for crying out loud, right?

01:36:34   And Jobs is like, no, we want to make great products

01:36:36   that ship now.

01:36:37   And they've done that, and that's a very successful

01:36:39   advanced technology group, the helpful Casey List

01:36:42   as in the chat room.

01:36:43   (laughing)

01:36:46   We want to make actual products,

01:36:49   because it doesn't do anybody good

01:36:51   to have these research ideas,

01:36:52   and maybe one of them shows up many years later.

01:36:55   But things like Siri, that's the only real way

01:36:58   you advance that is with some amount of basic research.

01:37:01   So it feels like Apple found a company

01:37:03   was doing this thing, whatever the SRI company or whatever company Siri came from, that already

01:37:06   had done the basic research, acquired them, productized it, and is working the improvements

01:37:12   to Siri you're talking about, a lot of them have to do with productized improvements,

01:37:16   make it more reliable, make it faster, build it on a different platform, but the basic

01:37:20   research needed to take Siri to the next level, I don't know if that is budgeted for or accounted

01:37:24   for or dealt with within the realm of the Siri, the product. So they feel like they're

01:37:29   advancing the product, and meanwhile the founders have left because they're like, "I don't

01:37:32   to just incrementally advance this product

01:37:34   or make it more reliable or faster.

01:37:35   Like that's your problem, I'm not interested in that.

01:37:37   I'm interested in how do you make

01:37:38   the next great personal assistant or whatever.

01:37:42   And the fact that they felt like

01:37:44   they had to leave Apple to do that,

01:37:46   I mean, maybe they're misinformed

01:37:48   and really there was a place in Apple

01:37:50   for them to do that basic research

01:37:51   and it should have been part of the plan or whatever.

01:37:52   But the Apple of today is much less focused

01:37:55   on basic research stuff.

01:37:58   And they do, like the things they do,

01:38:00   like all that research into touch screens

01:38:01   and stuff like that, that's not the same as basic research.

01:38:03   It's more like pre-production product things,

01:38:07   like ideas for future concrete products.

01:38:09   And again, I think this is a great strategy

01:38:11   and it gives you great products

01:38:12   instead of just great concept videos

01:38:13   that don't actually lead to anything.

01:38:14   It's been the cornerstone of Apple's success,

01:38:16   so you can't really fault them for that.

01:38:17   But I think it's also the reason that Google,

01:38:20   who does tons of crazy ideas and basic research stuff

01:38:23   in-house that just never goes anywhere,

01:38:24   which we criticize them for,

01:38:26   and startups, who their whole point is like,

01:38:28   oh, you have a great idea, let's see it.

01:38:29   And half of them die and you don't care,

01:38:31   but if any of them end up being successful,

01:38:32   as we said before, Apple can just buy them again.

01:38:35   That I think is actually a viable strategy.

01:38:37   Like if they can't or don't want to support

01:38:42   that type of advancement in-house,

01:38:44   allow it to flourish out in the market,

01:38:46   wait for all the crappy ones to die,

01:38:48   find the ones that are left and buy them at the right time

01:38:50   because one thing Apple does have is a lot of money.

01:38:52   So maybe Apple buys Viv

01:38:54   and the next version of Siri is powered by that.

01:38:56   And who can say that's a bad strategy?

01:38:58   It's just uncomfortable during this time now

01:39:00   where we see like, seemingly everybody else

01:39:03   can do Siri better than Apple can.

01:39:05   And Apple is just barely working on,

01:39:07   can we make existing Siri reliable and a little bit smarter

01:39:10   and expand the capabilities.

01:39:12   And by the way, still no API,

01:39:13   so no real ecosystem or whatever.

01:39:15   And that I think is uncomfortable,

01:39:16   but I don't think it's insurmountable

01:39:17   because you just throw money at whatever

01:39:20   the most successful thing is.

01:39:21   The problem is if Google is the one who does the,

01:39:24   Siri better than Siri, which arguably they already have,

01:39:27   'cause Google is not gonna sell you their stuff.

01:39:28   So that's a problem for Apple,

01:39:29   but Viv or Veve is not a problem for Apple.

01:39:33   It's an opportunity.

01:39:35   - I'm going with Vive.

01:39:37   - No, that's the HTC VR thing.

01:39:40   - Yeah, but I'm never gonna get that.

01:39:41   - Or is that Veve too?

01:39:42   I don't even know.

01:39:43   - That's Viv.

01:39:44   All right, thanks a lot for our three sponsors this week.

01:39:46   Fracture, FreshBooks, and Backblaze,

01:39:48   and we will see you next week.

01:39:50   (upbeat music)

01:39:53   Now the show is over, they didn't even mean to begin

01:39:57   'Cause it was accidental (accidental)

01:40:00   Oh, it was accidental (accidental)

01:40:03   John didn't do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn't let him

01:40:08   'Cause it was accidental (accidental)

01:40:11   Oh, it was accidental (accidental)

01:40:13   And you can find the show notes at ATP.fm

01:40:19   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them

01:40:23   @C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S

01:40:28   So that's Kasey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M

01:40:32   Auntie Marco Arment, S-I-R-A-C

01:40:37   USA, Syracuse

01:40:39   It's accidental

01:40:43   They didn't mean to

01:40:45   Accidental

01:40:48   Tech Podcast so long

01:40:52   So Instagram changed their icon and everyone lost their I don't like the icon that much but I don't think it's the total dumpster fire

01:40:59   That everyone else it's pretty bad. It's pretty bad. Remember when web 2.0 was a thing you guys remember web 2.0

01:41:04   Yeah gradients and rounded corners. Yeah, the web 2.0 parody sites that would like make fun of all the design tropes

01:41:10   The Instagram icon looks like a modern version of making fun of the flat design tropes

01:41:18   I could see that like if you tried to do a parody icon of like imagine the Instagram icon

01:41:23   Adopted all of the current fashion trends in the most obvious and glaring ways you would get that stupid thing

01:41:29   But I don't think it's that bad. I mean, it's not as bad as Domino's Pizza or vodka

01:41:33   Like it's it's fine. Whatever like it has some things going for it

01:41:38   Especially we look at their alternate designs and how boring some of those were I like the design that was like a a black

01:41:44   Square with a white circle in the middle of it. It's like just you know, let's workshop that a little bit more

01:41:48   At least this one has something to it. It will stand out a

01:41:52   Little bit on people's screens because it's not just a flat color

01:41:57   like as so many people have said on Twitter and

01:42:01   As I've said about Windows XP at bumper sounds in the end. It doesn't matter that much

01:42:05   Because long term eventually you will come to associate with whatever the hell image they make you will come to associate that with Instagram and kids

01:42:12   who are just getting their first iPhones now who don't know what the old icon look like will be fine with it and it will

01:42:16   just cruise in but

01:42:18   It is not the type of I think

01:42:20   That that explains why it's not a disaster

01:42:25   But I think you can also have an icon that the initial impression is that it's a nice well-designed pleasing icon

01:42:33   And it also will come to be associated with the application that you know and love like you don't have to it's not as if it's

01:42:38   An either/or well, you can have an icon that is immediately attractive, but it will be crap long term

01:42:42   No, it'll also be good long-term.

01:42:44   So I feel like this one is a missed opportunity

01:42:48   to make a better icon, and I don't particularly like it,

01:42:50   but it'll be fine.

01:42:51   It's not disastrous.

01:42:52   Like, what was the disastrous one?

01:42:54   Like when they tried to do the Tropicana orange juice

01:42:56   and they backpedaled on it?

01:42:57   You always know it's disastrous if they change their mind.

01:42:58   So come back in two shows from now

01:43:01   and see if they change the icon back,

01:43:02   but I have a feeling they won't

01:43:03   because it's not that bad.

01:43:04   - The other changes they've made recently are more offensive.

01:43:08   The icon, like they replaced one crap icon

01:43:11   with another crap icon.

01:43:13   Like the old icon was crap too.

01:43:15   It was just--

01:43:15   - It wasn't crap, that had a really good branding.

01:43:18   Like it was--

01:43:19   - Yeah, it looked great in iOS 6.

01:43:21   - Right, and it stayed a long time,

01:43:23   but at a certain point, when you're the last one standing,

01:43:25   I think it becomes sort of an act of defiance

01:43:29   or like a quirk, and you know,

01:43:31   only one icon gets to do that.

01:43:34   You can't have a home screen that has like six icons

01:43:36   that still look like iOS 6, but if only one does it,

01:43:39   you're like, all right, sure, go with that.

01:43:41   But yeah, it did need to be updated

01:43:43   and they had a difficult challenge.

01:43:44   But inside the app I actually like.

01:43:46   I like the fact that it doesn't look like

01:43:48   the central item on the toolbar is constantly selected.

01:43:51   I like the fact that stupid blue is gone.

01:43:53   I'm a pretty big fan.

01:43:54   - Yeah, I completely agree.

01:43:56   I really, really like the new look of the app.

01:44:00   And I think you and I are mostly

01:44:02   on the same page about the icon.

01:44:04   Like I don't love it, but I don't think it's bad.

01:44:07   And I also didn't think the last one was bad.

01:44:09   Yes, it looked outdated, but I completely concur

01:44:11   that the branding was great.

01:44:13   I think I would have preferred just a flattened

01:44:15   or perhaps simplified, a simplified version

01:44:19   of the old icon, but--

01:44:21   - That would have been pretty timid though.

01:44:22   If they did that, everyone would have been like,

01:44:25   like, oh, you did the obvious thing.

01:44:27   You just made a flat shaded version of the camera.

01:44:29   And I think that would be more difficult.

01:44:31   I think that would actually be less successful than this

01:44:33   because although it may be immediately kind of inoffensive,

01:44:37   you won't have gone anywhere.

01:44:38   this at least is, you know,

01:44:41   you can tell they made a change.

01:44:42   It's not like, oh, it's a subtle tweak.

01:44:44   Nope, big change.

01:44:45   - Well, and on top of that,

01:44:46   this icon definitely stands out,

01:44:48   which presumably is the goal, right?

01:44:51   It's not another damn blue icon.

01:44:53   You know, it's something that is a color palette

01:44:56   that looks different than anything else

01:44:59   I have on my home screen.

01:45:01   And of course, that may not be true for everyone,

01:45:03   but it's certainly the case on my phone.

01:45:04   I mean, it jumps out at me on my home screen.

01:45:07   It is on my very, very first home screen

01:45:09   because that's how much I love this damn app.

01:45:12   So I think the icon's okay.

01:45:15   I'm sure I'll come to think it's decent over time,

01:45:18   like you had said, Jon, but I completely, completely agree.

01:45:21   I love the muted look of the app itself

01:45:25   so that damn near all the color is either profile pictures

01:45:29   or the actual photos on Instagram.

01:45:31   I really, really like it.

01:45:33   - I wish I could pay money to get rid of the ads, though.

01:45:35   The ads in my Instagram feed are just oppressive.

01:45:39   Maybe I don't follow enough people,

01:45:40   but it seems like every fifth thing is a giant ad.

01:45:42   I'm seeing, or rather scrolling past without looking,

01:45:46   way too many frigging ads in Instagram.

01:45:48   Please, I will give you,

01:45:50   I guess I would give them a dollar a month.

01:45:52   Maybe that's not worth it to them.

01:45:53   So I'll just continue to scroll past the ads.

01:45:55   But I know some people are like,

01:45:55   "Oh, I don't see any ads in my feed."

01:45:57   And I don't know what algorithm I've tripped

01:45:59   to make them spam me with ads like crazy,

01:46:00   but too many, too many ads.

01:46:04   - Yeah, I mean, for a while I had no ads and it was great.

01:46:07   Then a few months ago I started getting

01:46:09   a very heavy ad load like we were describing

01:46:11   and it really almost ruined Instagram for me.

01:46:14   And I didn't go back for a while.

01:46:16   I guess my engagement dropped.

01:46:18   And then recently I just kinda stopped seeing ads.

01:46:21   It flipped back off for me.

01:46:23   But the other day, about two days ago,

01:46:27   I somehow got switched to the algorithmic timeline.

01:46:31   and they could put any icon they wanted

01:46:36   into the ugliest graphical theme they wanted.

01:46:39   Just give me my stupid chronological timeline back

01:46:42   because the algorithmic timeline,

01:46:45   I mean, I'm just not used to it,

01:46:47   so maybe I will get used to it and appreciate it,

01:46:50   and I've never used anything else

01:46:52   with an algorithmic timeline.

01:46:54   I don't read Facebook.

01:46:56   I technically have an account there,

01:46:58   but I literally have never used it to read its newsfeed.

01:47:01   I've never done that.

01:47:02   I don't use YouTube subscriptions or things like that

01:47:06   to browse YouTube.

01:47:07   And whatever Twitter is doing with their algorithm,

01:47:10   I think I don't, whatever,

01:47:11   maybe it doesn't show up in Tweetbot.

01:47:12   I don't see it, I've never seen it.

01:47:14   So this is the first time I'm ever actually seeing

01:47:18   an algorithmic timeline in something

01:47:19   that previously didn't have one.

01:47:22   And it's terrible.

01:47:24   Like, it doesn't make any sense.

01:47:26   Like, I'm seeing pictures out of order that they happened.

01:47:29   I have no idea when I've seen everything.

01:47:32   I'm seeing things that don't make sense,

01:47:35   that make me think that I've reached completion,

01:47:37   but then I haven't 'cause I see right below it,

01:47:39   like, oh, here's one that I saw 12 hours ago,

01:47:42   and then right below it is one from eight minutes ago.

01:47:45   And it's like, you gotta be kidding me.

01:47:46   - For all these years I've been using Instagram,

01:47:48   but I think I've mentioned this before,

01:47:49   but what I do is I launch the Instagram app,

01:47:51   and it shows me whatever picture I was viewing last time,

01:47:54   briefly, but it refreshes. - Yeah, that refreshes.

01:47:57   - Right, and then I memorize in that brief moment.

01:48:00   I memorize what that image is,

01:48:01   and then I scroll backwards 'til I get to it.

01:48:02   - Yep, same here.

01:48:03   - And I'm basically doing my own tweet marker.

01:48:05   - Yeah, don't get used to that.

01:48:06   - Because that's how I read it.

01:48:07   I'm an Instagram completionist,

01:48:08   and I read them chronologically,

01:48:10   and I don't wanna miss any.

01:48:11   It's slightly confused by the fact

01:48:13   that I see a lot of them cross-posted to Twitter,

01:48:14   'cause sometimes I think,

01:48:16   oh, I've seen that one already,

01:48:17   it must have gone too far,

01:48:17   but no, that's why I gotta memorize the one that--

01:48:19   - Oh my god, I know exactly what you're saying.

01:48:21   - If they ever fix the app

01:48:23   so it doesn't flash the last image you saw on the screen

01:48:25   before it refreshes the timeline,

01:48:26   it would totally screw with my workflow.

01:48:27   So if I got hit with the algorithmic one,

01:48:29   I don't know what I would do.

01:48:30   Maybe I would just stop using Instagram,

01:48:31   but I'll have to try it.

01:48:33   - Honestly, that's what I'm considering it,

01:48:35   'cause it's that bad.

01:48:36   So here, we're reading my timeline now.

01:48:38   I have four hours ago, three hours ago,

01:48:41   four hours, four hours, five hours, 10 hours,

01:48:45   one day, eight hours, two days, 10 hours, one day.

01:48:50   Like it's completely, it's just shuffled,

01:48:53   12 hours, it's just shuffled.

01:48:54   Like, I'll see things, even like, you know,

01:48:57   so you might be able to say, oh, well, you know,

01:48:58   like, I noticed that it puts my wife up top,

01:49:01   'cause I usually like her photos,

01:49:03   and I try to see them all.

01:49:04   It even shows her photos out of order.

01:49:07   It is so disruptive, and there's,

01:49:10   I can't find any option anywhere to flip it back.

01:49:12   I think this is just something that they're presumably doing

01:49:15   to either boost some engagement thing

01:49:19   that they measured once on Facebook,

01:49:21   or they want a new revenue stream of like,

01:49:26   charging the brands that you follow

01:49:28   to appear higher up in your stream, or both.

01:49:31   - Yep, charging brands to make more people see their things.

01:49:34   You have 20 million followers,

01:49:36   but we'll show your thing to 10 of them unless you pay us.

01:49:38   - Yeah, it's like, you earn those followers,

01:49:40   those people all said I want to see everything

01:49:42   this person posts, and we're gonna charge you

01:49:45   for access to the audience that you earned.

01:49:47   Yeah, that's the Facebook model,

01:49:48   and Facebook goes Instagram,

01:49:50   so that's probably what this is for.

01:49:51   And man, it sucks as a user.

01:49:53   I feel so bad now for literally the entire rest of the world

01:49:58   who actually uses Facebook,

01:49:59   who, you know, trying to make sense of that newsfeed.

01:50:01   I remember when they made that change to the newsfeed

01:50:04   a few years back.

01:50:05   I remember everybody was all upset

01:50:06   and I didn't really understand why,

01:50:08   but now I do, 'cause it completely changes

01:50:11   the nature of the service and it kinda breaks it for me.

01:50:14   Like, I really don't like this

01:50:16   and I think this is going to reduce my usage of Instagram

01:50:19   substantially. I think it's maybe I'm wrong about this but Instagram seems not

01:50:25   uniquely vulnerable but more vulnerable than usual to if they screw things up to

01:50:30   someone saying all right well I'll just make an Instagram that work like it used

01:50:33   to like imagine one that actually kept track of where you were in the timeline

01:50:35   and just did it straight ahead. I believe it's called Tweetbot. I know but it is the

01:50:40   social graph so embedded because I can't do that to Facebook. Facebook has too

01:50:44   many features, too many users, it's too big. Instagram has a lot of users but not

01:50:47   a lot of features and it's still kind of an island unto itself, like they haven't really

01:50:51   totally integrated with Facebook at this point.

01:50:54   So if Instagram really does screw things up, and maybe there's a generation of people who

01:50:59   are like, "Oh, they're stuck on Instagram," but like look at Snapchat, it comes out of

01:51:02   nowhere.

01:51:03   You can grab new users with a new product that people find compelling.

01:51:04   And if Instagram breaks everybody's workflows, who they care about, there is a market opportunity

01:51:10   for someone to do a very straightforward iOS app that shows you the pictures your friends

01:51:14   took in order and has a simple asymmetrical following process like Twitter and has likes

01:51:20   and comments. Like it's not technologically unfeasible. All that's required is for Facebook

01:51:26   to anger enough people to make a viable market for some other small competitor, even if it's

01:51:30   just like a company that's never going to be as big as Facebook, it's never going to

01:51:34   be as big as Instagram, never going to usurp Instagram, but merely become an alternative.

01:51:38   I guess you could consider it a successful app.net for Instagram.

01:51:41   - Oh, dammit, you took the joke right away from me.

01:51:44   I was so excited to make that joke, but nevermind.

01:51:47   - It's a joke, I mean,

01:51:48   it's a thing that could possibly happen.

01:51:49   Like it's not inconceivable that that can be a thing,

01:51:52   depending on how badly Instagram screws it up

01:51:54   and how many people's workflow actually does disrupt.

01:51:56   For all we, as people say in the chat room,

01:51:57   if you follow tons of people,

01:51:59   an algorithmic timeline is indistinguishable

01:52:00   from a non-algorithmic one,

01:52:01   because you're never keeping track of anything anyway.

01:52:03   You just launch the app

01:52:04   and you scroll until you're satisfied or something.

01:52:06   Do people scroll backwards?

01:52:07   Like they launch the app,

01:52:08   they get zipped to the top of their timeline

01:52:09   and they scroll the other way?

01:52:11   - I do, yeah, I did. - Until they see,

01:52:13   until they see a picture that they recognize already,

01:52:15   then they stop?

01:52:16   - Yep. - Is that how people use it?

01:52:17   - That's the only way you really could use it before.

01:52:20   - Oh, he used the way I was using it,

01:52:21   and the way Casey was using it.

01:52:23   - Yeah.

01:52:24   - Memorize the picture, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll,

01:52:25   it's like a little game, scroll, scroll, scroll,

01:52:26   found it, now go through them.

01:52:28   - Oh, see, I misunderstood,

01:52:29   I actually do what you just described.

01:52:31   I misunderstood your original point.

01:52:32   - No, no, when it loads, I see the picture,

01:52:34   like I see the picture of like, I don't know,

01:52:36   like Mike Mattis took pictures of cows in a field,

01:52:39   and that blinks on the screen for a second,

01:52:41   and then it loads 50 other pictures.

01:52:42   Then I scroll down to find the cow picture,

01:52:44   and then I see the cow picture, and then I move it down.

01:52:47   - But then you're spoiling it.

01:52:48   - Yeah, no, I go past them really fast.

01:52:50   - Oh, come on.

01:52:51   - What you have to do is you have to pay an assistant

01:52:53   five dollars a month to scroll for you.

01:52:55   (laughing)

01:52:56   - And I say, "Veeve, take me to the picture

01:52:59   "that I last saw," which again,

01:53:02   when I first played with Instagram,

01:53:03   I'm like, "Maybe I don't understand how this app works.

01:53:05   "Is it broken?

01:53:06   "Do people, how do regular people use Instagram?"

01:53:08   because every time I launch it, I wanted to show me the last picture I saw. The same way

01:53:11   whenever I launch a Twitter app, I want it to show me the last tweet I read. Frustrating.

01:53:15   I think the way regular people do it, if they care enough at all, is what you just described

01:53:20   and what I do, and it sounds like what Marco does, which is, "Okay, memorize what I just

01:53:23   saw, and then start at the top and keep going."

01:53:26   And then stop when you hit it?

01:53:28   Right, exactly.

01:53:29   I'm too old to keep that in short-term memory for that long. I have a couple of seconds

01:53:32   before it leaves my head entirely. Scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, cow, stop,

01:53:35   good. And then I don't have to remember that picture anymore.

01:53:38   the problem is I the cross posts also screw me up too because on it then I

01:53:41   convinced myself that the one I just saw like that that I'd seen on Twitter

01:53:45   previously was the one that flashed when I opened the app and sometimes that's

01:53:49   not right that's why you got it you got a yeah try my technique it's uh it's you

01:53:53   only have to remember it for a very short period of time and you can

01:53:55   immediately forget it enjoy it while you can don't close the Instagram app though

01:53:59   because when you relaunch it if it got purged out of memory then you'll be back

01:54:02   to the top again I never noticed that but now that you say that you're

01:54:06   - You're absolutely right.

01:54:08   I never thought about it that way.

01:54:09   - That's why I follow like three people on Instagram.

01:54:11   I'm able to maintain this workflow.

01:54:13   (laughing)

01:54:16   - Just giving my regular timeline back for God's sake.

01:54:18   - I'm gonna get so many emails.

01:54:20   - Oh, definitely, yeah.

01:54:22   - I think that you will find there are some kin

01:54:25   of the subway defenders.

01:54:26   - Someone already wrote just me, of course,

01:54:29   saying that I'm not crazy and that it's okay

01:54:32   to like things that other people don't like.

01:54:34   - Yeah, they were too scared to sit on the door, huh?

01:54:36   Apparently.

01:54:37   But Subway is vile.

01:54:38   Subway is vile though, seriously.

01:54:39   Oh yeah, Subway is the worst.

01:54:40   Oh yeah, but you know, Sbarro pizza, that's so much better.

01:54:43   Sbarro pizza is better than Subway.

01:54:45   Yes, you're correct.

01:54:46   Mmm, is it?

01:54:48   I don't think it's equivalent.

01:54:50   It is absolutely equivalent.

01:54:51   No, it is better.

01:54:52   It is better.

01:54:53   It is a better food product.

01:54:54   It's not a good food product, but it's better.

01:54:57   I think there is something I could order at Subway that I would rather have than anything

01:55:01   Sbarro would serve.

01:55:02   No, because here's the thing with Sbarro.

01:55:05   They have dough, they have sauce, they have cheese, they assemble them and they make them

01:55:08   hot.

01:55:09   Dough is not good, sauce is not good, the cheese is not good.

01:55:11   How is that any different than Subway?

01:55:14   Subway has something that you think is bread but is actually some kind of mold that grows

01:55:18   into a bread shape.

01:55:19   Oh, come on.

01:55:20   It's like this little mutant like bread fetuses that have so many preservatives and chemicals

01:55:24   in them, right?

01:55:25   And then the cold cuts are, I don't know what they are, but like they're just, are they

01:55:31   frozen?

01:55:32   are they like they're just they're not they don't look like or taste like what

01:55:35   cold cuts are supposed to be like we know what cold cuts are supposed to be

01:55:38   you go to the store and you slice them you get them like these these sort of I

01:55:41   don't I don't know what's wrong with them they just they just like look and

01:55:44   taste like preservatives and come in these little units that they it just

01:55:47   they just there's not they're just not right but what do you what do you think

01:55:50   is the ingredient quality at Sbarro's right well but that's what I'm saying I

01:55:54   feel like their cheese is more like real cheese like there's nothing to go wrong

01:55:57   like there's no equivalent like salami like salami is a difficult

01:56:01   product to get right and Sbarro's, not Sbarro's,

01:56:04   Subway salami is, I don't know what the hell it is.

01:56:06   Like same thing with their cheese, same thing,

01:56:08   just the little pre-assembled, like here's the ingredients

01:56:11   for this type of sandwich slapped on there.

01:56:13   And again, the bread and the cola cups

01:56:17   are such a big part of it, then you can say,

01:56:18   okay, well maybe their tomatoes and the lettuce are fine.

01:56:20   Maybe, maybe their tomatoes and lettuce are fine,

01:56:22   equivalent to whatever the Sbarro's using.

01:56:24   But Sbarro has no equivalent.

01:56:26   Even the pepperoni, I feel like pepperoni's

01:56:28   the type of product where you're not,

01:56:30   You know, there is no sort of gold standard for pepperoni.

01:56:33   There's lots of variability and it's all kind of crappy

01:56:35   in one way or the other, but just, you know,

01:56:37   sauce, dough, and cheese, I feel like is as a higher quality

01:56:40   as like, these are honest products,

01:56:41   not good tasting products as Zabaro,

01:56:43   but they're honestly there.

01:56:44   Whereas at Subway, they're taking a sandwich

01:56:47   and screwing up the bread and the cold cut parts of it.

01:56:49   And then I'm like, all right, I'm out, that's it.

01:56:51   What else is left?

01:56:51   Like, I'm not gonna go there for the tomatoes

01:56:54   and the lettuce.

01:56:55   It is just, it is incredibly vile.

01:56:56   - This is cognitive dissonance.

01:56:57   - What about the cheese triangles, Jon?

01:56:59   - Hmm?

01:57:00   the cheese, the tessellation, I mean that's just a silly assembly problem.

01:57:04   But although cheese shouldn't really be triangle-shaped, really.

01:57:07   I mean it should be squares or circles, right?

01:57:10   I mean, who makes triangle cheese?

01:57:11   It's just like, why are they even bothering to cut it into that shape?

01:57:13   Well, I think it starts out as a square.

01:57:15   I know, and they cut it into triangles, why?

01:57:16   So they can screw up the tessellation and anger people?

01:57:18   It doesn't make any sense.

01:57:20   I don't understand.

01:57:22   You're just waving your hands in the air and saying, like you just don't care, and saying,

01:57:26   "Oh, Sbarro's great ingredients, but Subway, they can't be great."

01:57:30   - Not a great ingredient, they're more straightforward

01:57:32   and honest, like no one's gonna say that pizza dough

01:57:34   isn't pizza dough, whereas I think their bread is not bread.

01:57:36   - Nobody says that, no.

01:57:38   - It's like eating a hot dog bun.

01:57:39   - They make it fresh every day.

01:57:41   - They bake it fresh from what, from what?

01:57:43   From terrible like mushroom mold spore bread fetuses.

01:57:47   - Oh and Sbarro doesn't get shipped the same bread,

01:57:50   probably from the same damn bakery?

01:57:52   - It's dough, no, pizza dough is more straightforward too.

01:57:56   Here's the problem, there are so many good places

01:57:58   where you can get sandwich,

01:57:59   maybe you have to be from New York and understand delis.

01:58:01   If you want a sandwich with cold cuts on it,

01:58:03   it's not a high bar.

01:58:04   There's a billion delis in New York State

01:58:06   that can give you a sandwich with cold cuts on it

01:58:09   that is so much better than Subway

01:58:11   that you shouldn't just pretend

01:58:13   that store doesn't even exist anymore.

01:58:15   You can go to Whole Foods and get a better sandwich.

01:58:18   You can go to any supermarket and have them assemble you

01:58:20   a sandwich with cold cuts on it that's better than Subway.

01:58:22   You can go to Panera, also way better than Subway.

01:58:25   I can't think of anything worse than Subway.

01:58:27   "Is there any place that will sell you

01:58:28   "a worse sandwich than Subway?"

01:58:29   This is my question.

01:58:30   I can't think of one.

01:58:32   Like the airport, the airport,

01:58:34   when they're wrapped in Saran wrap,

01:58:35   those sandwiches are better than Subway.

01:58:37   This is what I'm getting at.

01:58:38   At least they have real bread on them.

01:58:39   - Actually, even when Arby's added sandwiches

01:58:42   to their menu a while back,

01:58:44   they're way better than Subway sandwiches,

01:58:46   and that's from Arby's.

01:58:47   - Yes, that's what I'm saying.

01:58:49   And again, those are probably literal hamburger buns.

01:58:51   - No, they actually got bread.

01:58:53   They started stocking all bread and cold cuts and stuff,

01:58:56   and they started making those.

01:58:56   - Subway is, I feel like the bottom rung

01:59:00   of any chain food in the world.

01:59:03   I guess probably in the world.

01:59:04   I can't think of anything worse.

01:59:05   - Ooh, Utah Brian just pointed out what is worse,

01:59:08   which I assume, he said the plastic triangle sandwiches,

01:59:11   I assume he's talking about the ones you get

01:59:12   like in gas stations.

01:59:13   - That's what I was saying.

01:59:14   I was saying the plastic triangle sandwiches

01:59:16   at the airport are better than Subway.

01:59:18   They'll probably give you food

01:59:19   before they can kill you. - No, no.

01:59:20   Those are worse. - No, John, John.

01:59:21   - No, because they're made with real bread.

01:59:23   And you know, granted. - What?

01:59:25   Are you sure?

01:59:26   - The ingredients are gonna be gross,

01:59:27   but most of that grossness is because they've been there

01:59:29   for a long time, which is also why you're gonna get

01:59:30   food poisoning, which is why you shouldn't eat them.

01:59:32   But based on like, you know, what are they made of?

01:59:36   They're made of bread.

01:59:37   They're, and the ingredients in them--

01:59:39   - They're made of pathogens.

01:59:40   - Sometimes the airport sandwiches are bad

01:59:42   because they're made with ingredients

01:59:43   that don't have enough preservatives in them

01:59:44   and they just sit there and they get all gross.

01:59:46   Like it's like any airplane food, like they try to make it

01:59:49   out of good ingredients, but if you know,

01:59:51   you have this pre-cooked chicken and tomatoes

01:59:53   and then you let them sit there and you're like,

01:59:54   would have been better with preservatives because this has just sat there too long and gone through

01:59:57   too many pressure changes and now it's just a vile, rubbery, tasteless mess. You know what's

02:00:02   infuriating about doing this show with you, Jon, is that you are just completely and utterly wrong.

02:00:08   Completely wrong. I could concede that Subway is not great food. I'm not arguing that. But you are...

02:00:13   Name a worse sandwich. Name a worse sandwich. Hold on, hold on, hold on. The airport sandwiches are

02:00:18   unequivocally worse, but the problem is because everyone on the internet thinks you can never

02:00:22   say anything that's wrong ever, now we're going to get a thousand emails with people

02:00:27   saying, "Oh, Jon is completely right."

02:00:28   I'm trying to help you here. Subway really is the bottom.

02:00:31   Okay, well, okay, let's again, let's concede for the sake of discussion that Subway is

02:00:36   the worst. Let's just assume, even though it's not, but let's assume it is. I don't

02:00:40   understand why you think Sbarro is any better or different. Pizza dough is the same kind

02:00:46   of dough that's shipped from some factory in West Bumblescrew into the local Sbarro

02:00:52   that the Subway dough is.

02:00:54   And every day at Subway they cook the dough.

02:00:58   You think they make the friggin' dough at the Sbarro?

02:01:00   Rip the crust off a Sbarro thing.

02:01:03   That crust has more bread-like qualities than any bread ever to come out of Subway.

02:01:07   I don't know what crap Subway uses.

02:01:10   Because it's cooked at high temperature, it is more chewy and gluten-y, it is much more

02:01:15   like bread, not particularly good tasting bread, but much more like bread than that

02:01:19   stuff in Subway.

02:01:20   You and I are going to opposite Subaro's and Subway's.

02:01:24   Like, again, I'm not trying to say that Subway is the definition of good food.

02:01:28   I'm not saying that.

02:01:29   But what I'm saying is I cannot reconcile in my head that you think that Subaro is leaps

02:01:35   and bounds better than Subway, because they are, to my eyes, of effectively the same quality.

02:01:40   I like both.

02:01:41   That's better.

02:01:42   I wouldn't say leaps and bounds, it's better.

02:01:43   But it's better.

02:01:44   Because of degree of difficulty. It's got so few ingredients and none of them are weird

02:01:49   mutant versions of legit ingredients.

02:01:51   Pizza has so many more ingredients.

02:01:54   You're saying it's easier to make good pizza than a good sandwich?

02:01:57   Right.

02:01:58   It's easier to make pizza with actual honest ingredients. Like, cold cuts are a serious

02:02:03   problem. Like, any kind of cold cuts are, like, it's very difficult to, there's a high

02:02:08   degree of difficulty there. It's not simple like, oh, sauce, cheese, and bread made really

02:02:12   hot in an oven. Cold cuts are a processed product that is complicated to make, that

02:02:17   has a lot of variety. The things that are similar between roast beef and turkey and

02:02:22   salami, there's a huge range of expertise that you need to make any of those.

02:02:26   But they're not making them in each location, they're buying that in.

02:02:30   I know, but where they're buying them from is like the lowest bidder and they're so incredibly

02:02:34   vile that they should not even be called salami or even their ham or their turkey. Everything

02:02:39   is just terrible. Like, again, something like Panera, who has similar challenges. Their

02:02:43   Italian combo at Panera is not a good Italian sandwich. The coconuts on it are not good,

02:02:47   and yet still way better than the ones at Subway.

02:02:51   Everything you're saying about Subway, how does that not apply to Sbarro?

02:02:54   Thank you.

02:02:55   Because, like I said, cheese, mozzarella cheese, is very, it's hard to screw up. It's a very

02:02:59   simple cheese. It doesn't need to be aged. It's inexpensive. And most of it tastes like,

02:03:04   more or less like mozzarella cheese. It's not a complicated product like salami or slicing

02:03:07   ham or roast beef or like, marshmallow cheese is very straightforward. So is the dough.

02:03:11   It's very straightforward dough. It's not a complicated dough. It's not a sour dough.

02:03:14   It's not some special thing you need to do. It's like perhaps one of the most straightforward

02:03:17   doughs. And tomato sauce is also very easy. Tomatoes can very well.

02:03:21   Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Slow down. How long do you spend making sauce when you make

02:03:27   your own sauce?

02:03:28   It's pasta sauce. It's not pizza sauce, Casey. Please don't tell me you're putting pizza

02:03:31   sauce on your pasta or vice versa.

02:03:33   It's just the same thing with oregano.

02:03:34   Right. I mean, it's really not that different.

02:03:36   - I was gonna say, those are sturdier ingredients

02:03:38   that are harder to screw up that have a lower degree

02:03:40   of difficulty to make something that qualifies as the food.

02:03:43   Obviously it's not good, but it is honest,

02:03:46   straightforward, it is the food.

02:03:48   Whereas cold cuts and bread are,

02:03:50   I don't think bread is that difficult,

02:03:52   Subway somehow managed to screw it up,

02:03:54   but cold cuts definitely are difficult.

02:03:56   And I would just rather not have cold cuts

02:03:58   than have cold cuts that are that bad.

02:04:00   And not have bread rather than have bread that's that bad.

02:04:02   - I just, I can't reconcile you saying

02:04:04   it's harder to screw up a cold cut like a slice of ham. Harder to make, yes. Yes. How can you screw

02:04:12   up a slice of an animal easier than you can screw up a complicated multi-part salt? Because it's not

02:04:18   just a slice of an animal, like that's the whole thing. You have to, you know, they put tons of

02:04:22   preservatives and goop and everything on those things to try to make them be shelf stable for

02:04:26   longer periods of time. They're generally pretty perishable and you kind of, to do it right,

02:04:30   you have to ship them a big giant hunk that you slice on demand, but there's no way in hell

02:04:32   somebody's gonna do that. I just I can't reconcile this like I've left behind.

02:04:37   Have you not had cold cuts? Maybe this is the problem. Do you not know what cold cuts are supposed to taste like?

02:04:41   Oh absolutely. If I could if I could live off of Boar's Head White American Cheese, I would.

02:04:48   And this is where you start bitching at me about how American cheese isn't cheese.

02:04:51   But white American cheese is what you go for. Cheese is actually one of the easier ones because again cheese is inherently has is a little more shelf stable than something,

02:05:01   I mean salami is pretty good, but like something like sliced turkey or roast beef

02:05:05   That's that's got a pretty low shelf life compared to cheese, right?

02:05:10   Cheese is gonna be much more sturdy to a fast-food type environment cold cuts are hard not much

02:05:15   So he's trying to do mass-market with with cold cuts and they are forced to to make this unholy alliance with chemicals

02:05:23   preservatives and crap products

02:05:24   But I mean isn't that also true of like every fast-food place that has like burgers and stuff like that's all that it's all the same

02:05:30   challenges.

02:05:31   Yeah, I mean, burgers have the advantage that ground beef, frozen ground beef, reheated

02:05:37   -- there's a lot of fat that gets you by in those things where it's just like, yes, it's

02:05:41   terrible, it's grade D meat, it's frozen, but there's a lot of fat involved and there's

02:05:46   actually not that much meat in the grand scheme of things and you slather a bunch of other

02:05:48   stuff on it and it basically just tastes like salty, squishy fat.

02:05:52   It's more difficult to hide bad salami because bad salami has a very distinctive taste, it's

02:05:57   a strong taste, and if it's bad, it's bad. But it's the same thing with burgers to some

02:06:03   degree in that that's why you can tell the difference between Shake Shack and a burger

02:06:08   that came to the store frozen, right? Like, it's not that big of a difference, but you

02:06:11   can tell.

02:06:12   Oh, you're so wrong, John.

02:06:13   Also, Jared is a really bad person, so you should...

02:06:17   Well, there is that. So are you basically saying that McDonald's is better than Subway

02:06:20   because it's burgers?

02:06:21   Better how? McDonald's is kind of its own thing.

02:06:24   I would eat McDonald's before I'd eat Subway.

02:06:27   I would eat Subway before McDonald's if only for health reasons.

02:06:29   Because I feel like McDonald's has fewer healthy choices whereas even Subway will taste really

02:06:34   bad if it's going to have less saturated fat and hopefully less calories depending on what

02:06:39   I pick.

02:06:40   Well McDonald's is also so incredibly strictly managed and regulated and down to so many

02:06:45   sciences and also they probably do more throughput customer-wise.

02:06:49   So I think the risk of...

02:06:51   More throughput than Subway?

02:06:52   I bet they do.

02:06:53   I think Subway has a pretty good system.

02:06:54   I found Subway to be about as consistent as McDonald's.

02:06:57   I don't go to McDonald's at all.

02:06:58   - Well, but from a pure fear of foodborne illnesses

02:07:02   perspective, I think McDonald's is probably a safer bet.

02:07:06   - And things are hotter there, especially good odds.

02:07:09   I can tell you that I have eaten Subway

02:07:11   much more recently than I've eaten McDonald's,

02:07:13   but it's mostly, it's not for taste reasons,

02:07:15   because someone else wants Subway,

02:07:17   someone who shall remain nameless, and I will eat it.

02:07:21   Whereas when we want burgers, we go to Five Guys

02:07:23   or Shake Shack these days.

02:07:25   Or In-N-Out when you're in California.

02:07:27   - Oh, five guys, five guys, I mean it's delicious.

02:07:32   - Five Guys is better than McDonald's.

02:07:33   - But it's pure fat, it is pure fat.

02:07:35   - I know, but it tastes better than McDonald's.

02:07:37   - I have to agree with Casey.

02:07:38   I haven't had McDonald's in I think a few years.

02:07:41   But I've had Five Guys recently and I don't get the appeal.

02:07:47   Honestly, I really don't get the appeal of Five Guys.

02:07:48   Like it's not bad, but it's just like greasy fast food burger.

02:07:53   There's nothing special about it.

02:07:54   I don't think it's any better than like a Wendy's or an Arby's.

02:07:57   - Oh no, it's way better than Wendy's or Arby's.

02:07:59   Maybe you're going to the wrong ones.

02:08:00   It's a higher class of food than those places.

02:08:04   - Is it?

02:08:04   (imitates air horn)

02:08:07   - The way I describe Five Guys is it's more like a burger

02:08:09   that you would make yourself in your house

02:08:11   with ingredients that you bought yourself.

02:08:12   Which is, being an expert chef is not gonna be

02:08:15   a great burger, but it definitely does not taste like

02:08:17   McDonald's Burger King or even In-N-Out where you totally tell like that's a fast food burger.

02:08:22   Five Guys tastes more like a mediocre regular burger.

02:08:24   If I have a mini, I haven't had Five Guys in probably as long as Marco's had McDonald's,

02:08:29   but if I eat a Five Guys, I forget what they call it, like a mini bacon cheeseburger, whatever

02:08:33   the smallest bacon cheeseburger.

02:08:35   Don't get bacon at Five Guys, that's my tip.

02:08:37   Don't get bacon.

02:08:38   You might think you want it, but don't get it.

02:08:39   It tastes better without their bacon as bad.

02:08:41   I don't know about that.

02:08:42   I have not gotten their bacon before and I still think it's bad.

02:08:45   Well, hold on. But the point I'm trying to get to though is if I eat a mini bacon cheeseburger,

02:08:50   whether or not bacon is a good call of Five Guys, if I eat a mini bacon cheeseburger,

02:08:53   and some of their fries, an hour later, I feel like a beach friggin whale. I can eat a equivalently

02:09:01   sized burger at McDonald's or Wendy's or what have you, and still be a functional human being an hour

02:09:07   later. Whereas Five Guys, not so much. That may be a digestive issue you have. I don't know.

02:09:13   I don't typically have digestive problems. How do you feel about In-N-Out?

02:09:16   I think that it is very good. I think that if I'm really honest, it is overrated by East Coasters

02:09:23   because we don't get it ever. So it's a very good burger, but I don't think it's that much better

02:09:28   than any other equivalent chain. I would lump In-N-Out as in the same family as McDonald's

02:09:33   Burger King, but better than both of them. But I would not put it in the same family as Shake Shack

02:09:38   Shake Shack or even Five Guys, because it's more of a fast food style burger.

02:09:42   Everything about it, the bun, the way the burger is prepared, everything about it is

02:09:45   a fast food style burger.

02:09:46   And it is a higher quality fast food style burger, but it is not the non-fast food style

02:09:52   burger that includes Five Guys and Shake Shack, because it's a different style.

02:09:56   Everything about it, the size, the proportion of the meat to the bun, what the bun is made

02:09:59   out of, how the burger is prepared, whether the burger has ever been frozen before, a

02:10:03   whole nine yards.

02:10:04   - To me, I honestly object to lumping Five Guys

02:10:08   and Shake Shack together.

02:10:09   I think Five Guys is way closer to the big fast food chains

02:10:14   than it is to Shake Shack.

02:10:15   - It's closer to Wendy's,

02:10:16   'cause Wendy's has a style of burger

02:10:18   that's a little bit different

02:10:19   than McDonald's Burger King in and out, I feel like.

02:10:21   So as you go on the continuum,

02:10:23   I think you go to Wendy's, then go to Five Guys.

02:10:24   And I agree with kind of separating it from Shake Shack,

02:10:26   'cause Five Guys is obviously not as good as that,

02:10:28   or not as weird, not as different.

02:10:30   I mean, Shake Shack's got a potato bun and everything.

02:10:31   It's got all sorts of weird stuff going on

02:10:33   that is not involved in the Five Guys burger.

02:10:36   But Five Guys is definitely more straightforward.

02:10:38   And I think a lot of this is colored by their fries,

02:10:40   which are all over the freaking map among all these ones.

02:10:42   And if you had to categorize them just by their fries,

02:10:44   I don't know what you would do.

02:10:45   'Cause the fry variability I found to be huge.

02:10:49   And even in individual locations.

02:10:52   - Wait, where at McDonald's?

02:10:53   - Every place.

02:10:54   Like, I mean, just locations.

02:10:56   Like this Shake Shack has good fries,

02:10:57   but this Shake Shack has bad fries.

02:10:58   How does that even make sense?

02:10:59   It's like no consistency.

02:11:00   I mean, there's more consistency

02:11:01   as you get to McDonald's and Burger King,

02:11:03   I was gonna say, okay.

02:11:05   And I was also not impressed with Five Guys fries, to be honest.

02:11:08   I mean, some people love them, some people don't.

02:11:10   Now, I've gone to the same Five Guys different times.

02:11:13   Sometimes the fries are good, and sometimes they're not. The same exact location. No consistency.

02:11:17   Now, really, if you're talking about french fries, it's Chick-fil-A waffle fries or Get Out.

02:11:21   I don't think... I think you have to put waffle fries aside. I don't think you can put them into the fryer.

02:11:25   We're talking about steak fries.

02:11:27   Yeah, that's basically hash browns at that point.

02:11:28   Oh, come on.

02:11:29   Well, yeah, waffle fries is a different thing.

02:11:31   They're good, I'm not saying waffle fries are great, but you can't bring a waffle fry

02:11:36   to a regular fry fight.

02:11:37   That's not kosher.

02:11:38   It's cut up potato.

02:11:41   You have the weirdest rules.

02:11:43   I mean, like, home fries are also cut up potato.

02:11:46   Again, yeah, exactly.

02:11:47   Why not include home fries and hash browns?

02:11:49   Like why not throw a waffle house in there?

02:11:51   They got hash browns.

02:11:52   Oh my god, it's not a hash brown.

02:11:53   It's not even near a hash brown.

02:11:55   You guys are crazy.

02:11:57   Now I just want steak and shake.

02:11:58   I tried making a Steak 'n Shake Frisco Melt last week.

02:12:02   I actually didn't get that far off.

02:12:04   The hardest part about it that I didn't achieve properly

02:12:08   is that Steak 'n Shake Frisco Melts

02:12:09   have two very thin burgers.

02:12:12   And I don't know how you make a burger that thin.

02:12:14   I tried and it wasn't even close.

02:12:17   - Yeah, it falls apart.

02:12:18   - I've never been to Steak 'n Shake.

02:12:20   - Yeah, me neither.

02:12:20   Heard good things about it.

02:12:22   - I would imagine you'd probably have to freeze the patties

02:12:25   to make them hold together.

02:12:27   Yeah, no, that's the secret to those very thin ones. They come frozen as hockey

02:12:32   box and you put them on the grill and they cook really fast because fast foods need to

02:12:35   cook things really fast.

02:12:36   Oh, dang. If it tastes good, I don't really care.

02:12:38   That's like a, what do you call it, minute steak or the other steak with the holes pounded

02:12:42   in it so it'll cook faster?

02:12:44   Wow. Speaking of, I had White Castle when I was at that bachelor party in Vegas a few

02:12:49   weeks back.

02:12:50   So that's the bottom of the run of hamburger, speaking of, right?

02:12:54   It was different, but I was fairly inebriated, so it hit the spot at the time.

02:12:59   Drunk Vegas White Castle?

02:13:01   No.

02:13:02   That totally happened.

02:13:03   This sounds like a really bad idea.

02:13:06   The same reason people find themselves at Taco Bell.

02:13:08   So were you drunk?

02:13:09   Oh yeah.

02:13:10   Oh no, Taco Bell's great.

02:13:12   I'm not kidding either.

02:13:13   I love Taco Bell.

02:13:14   Again, bottom of the ladder for Mexican food, right?

02:13:18   Taco Bell?

02:13:19   We all agree?

02:13:20   That's probably fair.

02:13:21   - I'm just speaking, the later your fast food place is open,

02:13:25   the worse it probably is.

02:13:25   - The worse the food is, yeah.

02:13:26   - I think that's fair too, but I love me some Taco Bell.

02:13:29   And actually their morning crunch wrap,

02:13:31   their breakfast crunch wrap, very good, believe it or not.

02:13:33   - Wow.

02:13:34   - Which has hash brown in it, as it turns out.

02:13:36   - Of course it does, why wouldn't it?

02:13:38   I still remember the Saturday Night Live ad

02:13:40   where they're adding the,

02:13:42   they're making the ridiculous menu item for Taco Bell.

02:13:44   Put it in a tote bag 'til it was all done.

02:13:46   You remember that ad?

02:13:47   - Nope.

02:13:48   - Nope.

02:13:49   Pick a title while I look this up.

02:13:52   - Pete Jackson on Twitter.

02:13:54   Casey has never had a good sub, couldn't be more obvious.

02:13:57   That was 13 minutes ago, four minutes ago.

02:14:00   Okay, listen to a little further.

02:14:01   Revised thesis.

02:14:02   Hold on, revised thesis.

02:14:04   Casey has never had a good meal of any kind.

02:14:06   (laughing)

02:14:07   - I don't wanna say it, but some people, sounds about right.

02:14:11   - Tag thing.

02:14:12   - Tag thing, you're trying to, who is it?

02:14:13   Who's the chain food hound?

02:14:15   It's not you, Casey, there's someone else who's better.

02:14:17   Is it Lex who's really into going to Applebee's and TGI Fridays?

02:14:22   Oh, see, curiously enough, I don't particularly care for those.

02:14:26   I'll eat there.

02:14:27   No, but it is.

02:14:28   They're terrible.

02:14:29   But it is somebody in our circle who is an aficionado of them.

02:14:30   Like, yeah.

02:14:31   Or you know what I'm talking about.

02:14:34   Again, the bottom rung of the chain restaurants.

02:14:36   Kind of like mid-priced chain restaurants for full table service.

02:14:42   Yeah, everything is really bad for you.

02:14:45   and they have weird meals that appeal.

02:14:48   It's kind of like before Guy Fieri came

02:14:50   and showed everybody the true meaning of evil,

02:14:53   with his terrible restaurants.

02:14:54   - I mean honestly, there's a lot of those

02:14:57   big chain restaurants I've never even been to.

02:14:59   'Cause in the times in my life that I lived

02:15:02   in places that had them, I couldn't afford to go there.

02:15:04   - What was that one that was with a bee or something?

02:15:07   Bennigan's, Bennigan's, there you go.

02:15:09   - I mean I used to go to Ponderosa sometimes

02:15:11   for special occasions.

02:15:13   Like growing up, I'd go like once a year to Ponderosa.

02:15:16   - I would put it in a similar category as Outback,

02:15:18   but I would put it in a separate category

02:15:19   from TGI Fridays, Applebee's, Bennigan's.

02:15:21   Is Bennigan still around?

02:15:23   - So CMF, I went to college in Pennsylvania, that is true.

02:15:26   I went to college, however,

02:15:27   in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania, where--

02:15:29   - Most of Pennsylvania is the middle of nowhere.

02:15:31   - Yeah, where basically,

02:15:33   I went to college in Meadville, Pennsylvania,

02:15:36   where the only restaurant in town,

02:15:40   there was a Ponderosa, I think, but we never went there.

02:15:43   The only restaurant in town that anybody would ever go to

02:15:44   was just a Perkins.

02:15:46   And so I went to Perkins a lot.

02:15:48   Before that in Ohio I went to Denny's a lot,

02:15:50   which is basically the same restaurant.

02:15:51   - Oh, Denny's is awesome.

02:15:53   - It's something.

02:15:54   It's better than Waffle House.

02:15:56   - Oh, it's so good.

02:15:56   - Denny's is awesome, please.

02:15:59   - Oh, so good.

02:16:00   - I would disagree strongly on that.

02:16:03   - Best pancakes in the world, IHOP.

02:16:06   That was, in case it's not clear,

02:16:10   That was an attempt to ridicule Casey's

02:16:14   very low level tastes.

02:16:15   - I love eschatologist in the chat saying,

02:16:19   "Denny's is a place you wind up."

02:16:22   That is perfect.

02:16:23   - That is well put.

02:16:24   - Well again, it's open very late, like IHOP,

02:16:26   also open late.

02:16:27   - Again, that's why we went to Perkins in college,

02:16:29   'cause it was open 24 hours.

02:16:31   So the interesting story, Tiff and I, our first date

02:16:34   was we drove 40 minutes to Erie, Pennsylvania,

02:16:38   the nearest big town.

02:16:39   We drove 40 minutes to get there to go to the Olive Garden.

02:16:43   - Oh, hell yeah.

02:16:44   - It's amazing this relationship lasted.

02:16:48   - That was our nice restaurant for our first date.

02:16:50   - Again, I would say bottom of the ladder

02:16:55   for Italian food restaurants, we all not agree,

02:16:57   is name a worse Italian food restaurant

02:16:59   than the Olive Garden.

02:17:00   It's impossible.

02:17:01   - It's Sbarro's, obviously.

02:17:02   - No, I know.

02:17:03   Sbarro's has better Italian food than the Olive Garden,

02:17:05   hands down.

02:17:06   - No. - That's not true.

02:17:07   That is untrue.

02:17:09   Not at all. The Olive Garden breadsticks are the only other bread item that I can think

02:17:13   of that is similar to Subway bread.

02:17:14   They're delicious!

02:17:15   And it's basically a hot dog bun with grease sprayed on it.

02:17:19   Yes, and it's wonderful.

02:17:21   That's not bread! That is not a breadstick.

02:17:23   It is absolutely bread.

02:17:24   It is, oh, you know. As I once said on my blog, Olive Garden is the gold standard for

02:17:30   bad Italian food. Like, they intentionally overcook their pasta so they can be gummed

02:17:35   by the senior citizens who are there and so it won't affect the sensibilities of middle

02:17:38   America.

02:17:39   This is not like a made up thing, this is what they do as corporate policy.

02:17:43   It is…

02:17:44   No, just no.

02:17:45   Please, please, Olive Garden, please.

02:17:47   I don't understand why people like you so much.

02:17:51   Of all the fast food places that we've mentioned so far, I think I'd rather eat in an Olive

02:17:55   Garden than almost any of them.

02:17:57   Oh, amen.

02:17:58   Margot, what's happening to you?

02:18:00   You're in New York, go have some real Italian food.

02:18:03   Please stop going to Olive Garden.

02:18:04   If that's an option sure but like if my if my alternatives are like subway and Sbarro like I'm going to Olive Garden

02:18:09   Amen, brother

02:18:12   Any day not because I love Sbarro because I hate all the guns

02:18:16   Yes, oh, that's because it's cool to hate Olive Garden particularly when you're telling I

02:18:22   Didn't know about I didn't all gotten existed until like much later in life long after I left long island because when I was in

02:18:28   Long Island either there wasn't Olive Garden there. I didn't know they existed certainly never went to one right

02:18:33   When I went to like people like oh they like Olive Garden, it's like this chain restaurant. I expected it to be

02:18:38   Not good

02:18:40   Probably bad, but I was not prepared for exactly how bad it was and I did internet research say why how can this be so?

02:18:45   bad

02:18:47   They are intentionally making food to appeal to the tastes of people who don't like Italian food, that's basically what it boils down to oh

02:18:54   Okay, well you clearly have never been to Fazoli's which was I've never been to bezel is I don't even know what that is

02:18:59   It's fast fast food Italian. There's there. There's the place

02:19:02   it's like Italian racial stereotypes and it's like insulting to Italians. It's the bucadet

02:19:09   whatever thing.

02:19:10   >>Ezra Kleinberg Bucadibepo.

02:19:11   >>Joe Kralovski Yes. That is more insulting than avgar.

02:19:14   >>Ezra Kleinberg Yeah, that is pretty bad. I will give you that.

02:19:16   >>Joe Kralovski As an Italian when I go to that restaurant,

02:19:18   I feel insulted. My heritage feels insulted.

02:19:21   >>Ezra Kleinberg You should. Yeah, bucadibepo is a disaster.

02:19:24   To go back a step, I met Aaron at an Applebee's and you could argue our first date, which

02:19:29   we didn't think was a date at the time, but in retrospect was our first date was at an IHOP.

02:19:33   And here we are almost a decade, well a decade after that first date, and almost a decade into

02:19:39   marriage. Oh, in Markerstar at Almgarten. Yep, see, that's what you need, you need s*** food.

02:19:43   That's how you build a good relationship. That's the cornerstone really. Subway, fresh is what we do.