164: Waiting for the Bla-Bloop


00:00:00   I like the fact that every time I start a call,

00:00:02   I have to click the button to say that I want to see the chat,

00:00:05   even though every single time I start a call, I do it.

00:00:07   Yeah, of all the work they've put into Skype,

00:00:09   they've never decided to make that persistent.

00:00:12   Yeah, God forbid an application remember anything that you do to it.

00:00:15   It's born anew every launch.

00:00:18   Happy birthday.

00:00:19   We have important things to talk about, so we should dive right in.

00:00:23   How's the Tesla?

00:00:24   Not that different from my opinion of it last week.

00:00:27   It's amazing. Like, it's just amazing. I really am appreciating it more and more every day,

00:00:33   and I already appreciate it quite a bit, so that's saying a lot. I'm very happy with the decision I

00:00:37   made to go with it. I'm also very happy with the one I chose to get, not getting the faster one

00:00:42   with less range for a lot more money. I'm just very happy with it. Now, tell me about—you tweeted

00:00:46   earlier today as we record that you put, like, this little teeny tiny USB stick. What is this

00:00:53   all about? Is this to put like three fish songs? Because it's like a 30 gig stick, right?

00:00:57   So that's like three or four fish songs?

00:00:59   It's 128 gig sticks, so it's six fish songs.

00:01:01   Ah, fair enough.

00:01:02   I don't actually need 128 gigs of storage in my car, but it was like 10 bucks more than

00:01:07   what I needed, so it's like, okay, just in case. I'm sure I will have some reason to

00:01:11   use 128 gig USB stick. It was like 40 bucks.

00:01:15   Is that all they are now? Good grief.

00:01:17   Yeah, exactly! So this is the first USB stick I've ever purchased.

00:01:21   Really?

00:01:22   I've really used them and I've accumulated enough

00:01:25   little ones from freebies from things here and there

00:01:28   over the last decade that if I ever needed one

00:01:31   for the one time every two years I might actually need one,

00:01:35   I would just use one of those.

00:01:36   But none of them were big enough.

00:01:37   And if you wait until 2016 to buy a USB stick,

00:01:41   USB sticks are really good and are almost free.

00:01:44   (laughing)

00:01:45   I want something very, very small

00:01:46   'cause this is in the center console of the car.

00:01:49   It's in the passenger compartment, so it's visible

00:01:51   protrudes from a little port. So I wanted it to be as small as possible. You know, there

00:01:56   was basically this one and a SanDisk one and the reviews of the SanDisk one all said that

00:02:00   it overheated constantly and ran weirdly hot all the time and the Samsung one everyone

00:02:05   said, "Nope, works great, doesn't overheat like that weird SanDisk one." So I went with

00:02:09   that. And the only downside of it, you know, it's incredibly fast, it's USB 3 and it has

00:02:14   really high quality flash in there because Samsung is really good at flash. I also have

00:02:18   I also have Samsung external flash drive

00:02:20   just in a two and a half inch enclosure for my computer.

00:02:23   'Cause they make two gig SSD, or sorry,

00:02:25   two terabyte SSDs now for like 600 bucks.

00:02:29   And granted, $600 is a lot of money.

00:02:32   And two terabytes is not an earth-shattering

00:02:34   amount of space in 2016.

00:02:35   However, a two terabyte SSD that exists at all,

00:02:39   let alone is an affordable price, is quite something.

00:02:42   So I'm very happy with that,

00:02:44   'cause it is totally silent and very, very fast.

00:02:47   so I store all my media on there anyway.

00:02:49   So this little Samsung stick, the only flaw in it

00:02:52   is that it has this giant Samsung logo written

00:02:56   on the part of it that sticks out.

00:02:58   So I just sanded it off with some light sandpaper

00:03:01   in about five minutes that I found in my garage.

00:03:03   And it's great.

00:03:04   So now it's a nice blank USB drive that is perfect.

00:03:09   Turns out USB sticks are kind of useful sometimes.

00:03:11   So anyway, the reason it's there in my car

00:03:13   is because the car has the ability to,

00:03:18   like many modern car stereos,

00:03:20   to browse folders of MP3 files

00:03:23   that you put on USB storage media.

00:03:26   And I don't think, I have to double check,

00:03:27   but I was pretty sure that it didn't have the ability

00:03:30   to use the iPod music browsing interface

00:03:35   from the iPhone when that was plugged in.

00:03:37   So, which is fine, because I actually prefer

00:03:40   having folders that I can organize things in,

00:03:41   'cause I don't take my entire collection in the car,

00:03:44   'cause most of my collection doesn't matter in the car.

00:03:47   So it's nice to kind of be able to organize it into folders

00:03:50   and have actual like subfolders.

00:03:52   So I have a folder for FISH 2015,

00:03:55   and then in that is like each 2015 tour,

00:03:57   and I can organize it how I want,

00:03:58   which is kind of different from what you get

00:04:00   in like a typical iPod thing.

00:04:03   And it plays the songs in order,

00:04:06   which thank God, it's amazing.

00:04:08   I don't know who designed whatever system many other car manufacturers and head unit

00:04:14   manufacturers use where whatever you insert, it plays the songs alphabetically by song

00:04:21   title.

00:04:22   Whoever wants to hear things alphabetically by song title.

00:04:26   There are two orders that you're allowed to play things in.

00:04:28   Either the order that they are on the album or shuffle.

00:04:33   Nobody ever wants any other order.

00:04:35   Yeah, see I I have I don't remember how much music I have my car I only have about 12 gigs

00:04:40   That's available to me

00:04:40   I believe

00:04:41   But I almost exclusively listen to stuff on my car and even though the Bluetooth stack is pretty good on my car

00:04:47   I find it just easier to navigate via iDrive and so with that in mind

00:04:52   Why do you not use Bluetooth on the Tesla?

00:04:54   I would think

00:04:55   Not having played with it that that being able to manipulate things on the Tesla would be a lot easier because you have that whole

00:05:01   big display there, but I guess if all you really have available to you via Bluetooth

00:05:04   is like skip forward, skip back, play, pause, maybe it's not really any different than

00:05:09   any other car.

00:05:10   You're right that having the big display there actually does make it much more useful

00:05:13   when you're doing things like navigating a USB stick full of folders and stuff, so

00:05:18   that is awesome on there. You are also right that Bluetooth is very limited in its interaction,

00:05:22   and making this problem worse, Tesla's Bluetooth implementation isn't particularly

00:05:27   great, it's an okay one, but there's a couple of shortcomings. The biggest one to me is

00:05:33   that it doesn't display the time elapsed or remaining, which is really annoying for podcasts.

00:05:40   More humorously, there is some method to transfer album art, and many Bluetooth stereos will

00:05:46   show album art as transferred from the end, but I think that's actually an Apple extension

00:05:50   to the standard or something anyway, it doesn't matter. Tesla doesn't support the album art

00:05:54   extension or whatever displays album art over Bluetooth. So instead, they show you the album

00:06:00   art from some kind of central album art database of a fuzzy match of whatever title is being

00:06:06   supplied by the device. So it tries to be smart, but then you end up with completely

00:06:12   nonsensical, random, often slightly risque album art when you're listening to Back to

00:06:19   It's like, it's, it makes no sense.

00:06:22   Like, the other day, I was like back to work

00:06:24   and I'm showing like some girl in a bikini

00:06:26   on like some album, I was like, you gotta be kidding me.

00:06:28   Like, and then I'm driving around like,

00:06:30   I'm like in my son's high school or preschool parking lot

00:06:34   and there's like this bikini girl showing on my dashboard,

00:06:37   I'm like, oh my God, I gotta listen to something else.

00:06:40   - That's not gonna work.

00:06:41   - So yeah, that is very strange.

00:06:45   I hope Tesla improves that shortly.

00:06:48   I'm not keeping my hopes up here,

00:06:51   'cause I know that chances are this'll just be

00:06:53   how this car is for most of the time I have it,

00:06:55   'cause nobody cares about this area of the software

00:06:58   except me, but yeah.

00:07:00   (laughing)

00:07:01   - Well, you've said you never work at Apple.

00:07:03   Would you work at Tesla?

00:07:05   - I mean, I don't really want to move to California

00:07:08   for a job, however, I actually did,

00:07:10   I was thinking recently, like,

00:07:11   would I be interested in working for Tesla?

00:07:13   And I think it would be actually potentially very interesting.

00:07:20   It would certainly give me pause.

00:07:21   I would certainly consider it.

00:07:24   Not to work on any of the fancy electrical stuff because I'm not qualified and also

00:07:28   don't care, but in order to work on the in-dash software, the touchscreen software,

00:07:36   the interface, the media stuff, maybe.

00:07:39   I don't know.

00:07:40   Maybe.

00:07:41   the house. Change the answer a little bit? Maybe a little. Could I bring hops? No. Like

00:07:50   a job where you get up and you get in your Tesla and you drive to the office and you

00:07:55   do your work there and then you drive back home and you have to do it Monday through

00:07:59   Friday and when you take vacation you have to tell them and you get a certain number

00:08:02   of those a year. I'm reminding you what a job is in case. If I can wear my slippers

00:08:06   slippers? And if I can take naps at the office, then yes.

00:08:10   Slippers? I don't know. I think, although we have some people at work who wear socks

00:08:16   and some people at work who are barefoot, but I feel like that is not the norm.

00:08:21   Do you ever rock either of those looks, Jon?

00:08:23   No. Are you kidding? I mean, if anyone has ever been in an office late in New England,

00:08:31   - You see the mice that come out.

00:08:34   Like, I mean, you're just there late,

00:08:36   and you look over, and you're like,

00:08:37   "Oh, there's a mouse."

00:08:37   And they just hop across the carpet.

00:08:38   And then you think about all the people

00:08:40   walking around all day with socks or bare feet

00:08:42   in this office, like, "Nope, just a big nope there."

00:08:46   (bright music)

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00:10:13   - Alright, so Anonymous wrote in again.

00:10:17   Anonymous does that from time to time.

00:10:18   And they cleared something up, sort of,

00:10:21   about Apple and renewable energy.

00:10:23   And I was wondering, and I think a lot of people

00:10:26   wondering, "Eh, are they really using renewable energy, or are they just like doing an offset

00:10:32   sort of thing?"

00:10:33   So Anonymous wrote, "Apple is engaging in agreements for 15 to 25 years of power from

00:10:38   renewable facilities by contracting with a wind or solar developer and agreeing to a

00:10:42   fixed price of power over the term.

00:10:45   So Apple doesn't physically use this power.

00:10:47   Instead, they agree to pay the wind or solar operator the fixed price per megawatt hour

00:10:52   of energy generated by the farm.

00:10:54   The operator then sells the actual power into the local market or utility service area where

00:10:59   the facility is located.

00:11:02   And I don't know, Jon, do you want to kind of distill this whole economic bit after here?

00:11:07   I believe this anonymous person was somebody who works for some alternative energy or works

00:11:12   in the alternative energy industry.

00:11:14   And I don't think they were going from any firsthand knowledge of contracts, but just

00:11:18   like last time we talked about solar and everything.

00:11:20   And I think some people have a vision in their mind of Apple building solar farms and connecting

00:11:27   a big wire from those solar farms to their facilities, which may be a thing that happens

00:11:31   in certain circumstances, depending on the geography and the available existing alternative

00:11:35   energy sources.

00:11:36   And then other people are imagining, all Apple is doing is buying offsets from some distant

00:11:41   land and just saying, "We'll pay you for that energy, and that offsets the energy we're

00:11:46   taking from our local power provider, and then you give that energy to the people who

00:11:49   live near the existing solar wind farm. and i imagine they do all those things and this

00:11:55   feedback had more detail in terms of the specifics of the agreement of not just that they're paying

00:12:00   for energy you know elsewhere because like there's a you know solar power facility miles and miles

00:12:05   away and they're not going to like run a wire from that to them you know. but that there it's not even

00:12:10   that they entered these contracts where they say we'll pay you a certain amount every month for you

00:12:15   for each megawatt hour of energy.

00:12:18   And it's kind of like a bet

00:12:19   between the alternative energy provider and Apple,

00:12:22   because if it turns out that the price to generate

00:12:25   that energy was lower than what Apple agreed to pay,

00:12:28   then that's good because the solar operator says,

00:12:32   "We only had to pay 2 cents per megawatt hour,

00:12:35   and you're buying it from us for $1 per megawatt hour,

00:12:37   and we get to keep the difference."

00:12:38   And the reverse is true too.

00:12:39   If it costs the solar energy provider,

00:12:41   "Oh, it turns out this month,

00:12:42   it costs us 10 bucks per megawatt hour,

00:12:44   and Apple agreed to pay us $1,

00:12:46   we just have to eat that $9 per megawatt hour.

00:12:48   So the key financial deal here,

00:12:51   because this comes in when I was talking about

00:12:53   how Apple can do this

00:12:54   because they have all this money to burn,

00:12:55   is that in a deal of this kind,

00:12:57   there's no upfront payment for the power.

00:12:59   If the facility already exists,

00:13:00   all Apple has to do is enter into a contract with them

00:13:03   and have this agreed upon price

00:13:04   in this particular arrangement, I think,

00:13:05   what is it called?

00:13:06   A contract for differences, it's called.

00:13:08   So you don't necessarily even have to have a lot of capital

00:13:12   if you can enter into one of these agreements and then it's just a matter of striking a

00:13:16   good deal based on what you think it will actually cost over the long term to generate

00:13:21   this power from this particular facility.

00:13:23   So anyway, the world is weird and that is a detail that's not particularly important.

00:13:28   It's not as if Apple's being disingenuous because buying offsets or entering into these

00:13:32   agreements or paying for someone who lives near a solar facility to get that energy from

00:13:35   this whole facility while you get it from the coal-fired plant.

00:13:38   Like, it's all, it all comes out in the wash.

00:13:40   all on the same planet, it's all the same atmosphere, all the same CO2. And if Apple

00:13:43   didn't do this and didn't pay for these renewables, no matter who is actually getting those specific

00:13:47   electrons, I wouldn't make a difference. What you're looking for is total CO2 output of

00:13:53   the planet and not, you know, whether it's like right next to you or right next to someone

00:13:57   else. Anyway, I thought it was interesting.

00:14:00   All right. So have all of us switched to Purple Safari? I am using it on my work computer.

00:14:05   I just tonight installed it on my iMac, but haven't started using it yet. I should note

00:14:10   actually as I forgot about this follow-up, the beta of 1Password for sure. And at this

00:14:17   point they might have released a new non-beta version. But anyway, the beta of 1Password

00:14:23   supports the new Purple Safari. So if you are having the same woes that I was, you can

00:14:28   run the beta. Additionally, there's a switch in preferences that a couple people wrote

00:14:32   in to tell me about, and forgive me because I don't have either your names or the preference

00:14:36   in front of me, but even on the regular version, somewhere in like the advanced preferences

00:14:41   where they have the little Jedi-looking person on the right-hand side or the robot or not,

00:14:48   there's a switch that says you can override the security checks on the browser.

00:14:53   But anyway, we're not here to talk about 1Password, we're here to talk about Purple Safari.

00:14:56   So have you guys been using it?

00:14:58   I've switched everywhere, and last week I was worried that switching—that I'd have

00:15:02   to somehow disable my regular Safari or it would like get launched by like an Apple event

00:15:07   somewhere or you know whatever but after using it both at home and at work for a week my

00:15:12   fears were unfounded.

00:15:14   You switch the default browser in the Safari preference panes for either version of Safari

00:15:19   you know pull the other one off your dock and it's purple Safari all the way from there

00:15:23   and it works fine.

00:15:24   The only annoyance I found is that it unlike Chrome which will like sync your extensions

00:15:29   everywhere. I had to sort of reinstall all my Safari extensions and a lot of them I had to kind

00:15:33   of track down and find the original websites where I mean I could just dug them out of the folder but

00:15:36   I was trying to you know it was a good time to just get them from the web again or go through

00:15:41   the you know maybe get the later version if I had a bad update URL but anyway I had to reinstall my

00:15:46   extensions rearrange all rearrange all my icons on my toolbar, re-import the options like I have

00:15:51   the Safari keyword extension lets you type stuff in the address bar and do searches. I had to export

00:15:56   those from Safari and import them. Once I get everything set up, I'm all purple Safari now,

00:16:00   and I think I'll just stay this way unless I have some compelling reason to switch back,

00:16:03   like purple Safari suddenly starts crashing. But so far so good. I recommend people trying it out

00:16:08   if you're interested in maybe having a little bit faster Safari, or if you're interested in any of

00:16:13   the many new web technologies that are introduced in it, like if you're a web developer and want to

00:16:17   try them out. Yeah, I did feel like it was faster, although that very well could be a placebo effect.

00:16:23   But I remember thinking to myself, "Wow, this feels fast."

00:16:27   So I don't know.

00:16:29   But do you feel like it's been quicker for you as well?

00:16:32   - Purple is faster, everyone knows that.

00:16:34   - Ah, totally.

00:16:35   All right, good talk.

00:16:36   I don't know what that reference was, if it was one.

00:16:38   Anyway, so there's been a pretty considerable kerfuffle

00:16:43   going across the internet over the last couple of days

00:16:47   about TextExpander 6.

00:16:49   TextExpander is an app that,

00:16:51   have they sponsored us in the past?

00:16:53   I believe they have.

00:16:54   - They sponsor so much stuff.

00:16:55   I think, I'm pretty sure, I mean,

00:16:57   I think PDF Pen sponsored my site a while back,

00:17:00   which is also Smiles, so, at any rate,

00:17:01   they've probably sponsored our stuff.

00:17:03   - Right, so, TextExpander 6 is new,

00:17:06   and it is moving to a subscription model.

00:17:10   And it previously was somewhere between 10 and 20 bucks,

00:17:14   depending on the platform, I believe.

00:17:16   And they tended to do an update about once a year,

00:17:19   from what I gather.

00:17:20   I am actually not a TextExpander user,

00:17:22   but that's the general gist of what I've understood.

00:17:25   And they've announced that, hey, they're going to switch

00:17:27   to subscription pricing.

00:17:28   It's about 50 bucks a year, give or take,

00:17:31   and you can get sync through their own servers,

00:17:34   kind of like what 1Password's doing now

00:17:36   with 1Password for Teams and 1Password for Families,

00:17:40   and actually day one as well.

00:17:42   So you can sync via their servers

00:17:45   and you can have collaborations

00:17:48   or you can have a shared text expander snippets

00:17:52   across teams, if that's something that you're interested in.

00:17:55   But by the way, we are not supporting Dropbox-based sync anymore.

00:18:02   Basically it's either use the old version until it doesn't work anymore, or give us

00:18:07   money and we'll give you the new hotness.

00:18:10   And a lot of people are flustered.

00:18:13   And we'll put a link to MJ Sai's blog, which as always is a really good summary.

00:18:20   This is one of the longer ones I've seen, actually, but a really good summary.

00:18:24   And it kind of goes through a lot of different reactions.

00:18:27   And I think the general summary is those who are developers or know developers completely

00:18:33   understand it and are probably willing to pay for it.

00:18:38   But those who are just users or can kind of put on their user hat, it's a tough sell.

00:18:47   unlike 1Password, they're kind of taking something away. 1Password will continue to let you use

00:18:53   Dropbox at least for now, and it seems that Smile's taking away that option for any future

00:18:58   version. So, I don't know. I don't really have a lot to say about this, because like

00:19:03   I said, I'm not a text expander user, but it's certainly a tough thing, because how

00:19:07   do you make money in the app store these days? I mean, it's not easy, is it, Marco?

00:19:11   - No, it's really not.

00:19:12   I mean, my view on this is certainly colored

00:19:16   by my own experiences in the app store.

00:19:19   And I have some distance from it because

00:19:21   while I did purchase the most recent version

00:19:23   of Text Commander before this,

00:19:25   when I was thinking I could actually answer support emails,

00:19:28   I don't currently use it because it turns out

00:19:31   I can't answer support emails.

00:19:32   So I'm not an active user of it,

00:19:34   so I'm not really invested in it either way.

00:19:36   And at the same time, I also now sell an app

00:19:40   with subscription pricing, sort of.

00:19:42   I see why a lot of people are mad about this.

00:19:45   What I've seen from my own experience

00:19:47   is that people get mad when they sense

00:19:50   that you're like double dipping or unfairly charging

00:19:54   in whatever their view is of unfair,

00:19:57   or if you charge them or if you ask for money

00:20:00   or if you put up barriers in a way

00:20:02   that they are not accustomed to

00:20:04   that breaks their expectations of like,

00:20:07   I've never had to pay this way before

00:20:09   or I've never had to pay for this thing before,

00:20:11   or I thought I already owned this thing outright.

00:20:14   And this is all very, very tricky these days,

00:20:16   because the reality is people's expectations

00:20:19   of software where you buy it and then you can use it

00:20:23   for a while until maybe there's an upgrade

00:20:25   a few years down the road, and then you buy the upgrade,

00:20:27   maybe at a discount.

00:20:28   People's expectations of that kind of software

00:20:31   is that you pay once and then you have it.

00:20:34   And at the same time, though,

00:20:37   they also expect updates to it.

00:20:39   They expect you to be fixing bugs,

00:20:41   to be providing compatibility for new versions of the OS,

00:20:44   and possibly even adding features

00:20:46   all within that same initial price they paid.

00:20:49   Somewhere along the line, that doesn't work.

00:20:53   The people are thinking of the benefits of the software

00:20:55   and the responsibility of the software makers

00:20:58   as a service that is constantly provided over time

00:21:02   for their one initial purchase price.

00:21:04   But of course, they get really mad

00:21:06   if you want them to pay on a subscription basis

00:21:09   for what they're really getting,

00:21:11   which is subscription benefits.

00:21:13   It's kind of hard to not do that in some way or another

00:21:16   if you're the software vendor.

00:21:18   You are having ongoing cost.

00:21:19   You're having cost as a service.

00:21:22   Whether you're running servers or not,

00:21:23   it's like you're having cost of just ongoing maintenance

00:21:25   of this app and advancing it, moving it forward,

00:21:28   keeping it working, improving it, et cetera.

00:21:31   So there is this disconnect between

00:21:35   what people are willing to pay for,

00:21:37   which is they wanna pay once and own it forever,

00:21:39   but also that if you don't give them constant updates,

00:21:44   they will hate you even more for that.

00:21:46   And they certainly don't want you to go out of business,

00:21:48   they really hate when you do that,

00:21:49   or when you pull a product.

00:21:51   They really hate that.

00:21:52   So that's worse.

00:21:54   So they want you to be there,

00:21:56   and to be providing updates on a regular basis,

00:21:59   and to fix any bugs that crop up,

00:22:01   and to improve the product,

00:22:02   and to make it work whenever there's a new OS.

00:22:04   They want that, but they don't want to pay more than that one time up front.

00:22:09   So obviously something has to give here.

00:22:12   So I don't begrudge the idea of subscription pricing.

00:22:16   I do think, however, that this particular case, I don't think they did a very good

00:22:22   job with it.

00:22:23   And I'm not too close to it, so maybe I'm wrong, but I think the reaction of a lot of

00:22:30   their customers that I've been hearing about from today that might back up that I'm

00:22:34   What TextExpander has done is they've transformed from a,

00:22:39   what was the price of the app, like 35 bucks,

00:22:41   something like that?

00:22:42   - I don't know, to be honest.

00:22:43   I thought it was closer to 20 originally,

00:22:45   but I very well could have that wrong.

00:22:47   - Whatever it is, I think it's somewhere in that range.

00:22:50   It has transformed from that into a required

00:22:54   $5 a month service.

00:22:57   So it's a pretty substantial price increase,

00:23:00   as well as the justification for this service

00:23:04   being something, they justify it by saying,

00:23:06   "Oh, well now you can like share your snippets

00:23:08   "with coworkers or family or whatever else."

00:23:12   And this is, it's like they took away the problem,

00:23:15   or the solution they had for syncing

00:23:17   for your own personal stuff between your own computers,

00:23:19   which was syncing via Dropbox or BitTorrent sync

00:23:22   or whatever other options they had

00:23:23   that you could sync pretty much any way you wanted to,

00:23:25   but I think a lot of people did Dropbox syncing.

00:23:27   So they took that away, and now they're saying,

00:23:29   now you have to pay us a lot more than you were paying before, but you will get these

00:23:33   benefits. And the problem is those benefits were things that most of their customers,

00:23:37   at least who we're hearing from, and I don't know if this applies to their entire customer

00:23:40   base, but the customers we're hearing from don't really want those benefits, they don't

00:23:43   really care about those benefits, and they're not going to use those benefits. So the reason

00:23:47   everyone's mad is because not only have they changed the model in a way that a lot of people

00:23:52   don't like, because a lot of people just don't like subscription pricing. And again, I totally

00:23:56   get why people don't like that. I don't like it either, but I also don't like software

00:24:02   that goes out of business or that can't afford to keep updated or anything else.

00:24:06   So it's hard. I recognize the way that software developers really need to have some model

00:24:12   that provides recurring revenue over time for users who are using it all the time. Whether

00:24:17   you do that via occasional upgrade to upgrade pricing or whether you do it via a monthly

00:24:21   subscription or some other scheme where they do with ads, you know, somehow you need to have some way to

00:24:27   Make money from people over time not just once up front

00:24:31   I don't think you need to be deep in the development community like, you know the mindset, you know

00:24:36   Certainly Marco is coming from and all of us because we know developers and we talk to developers and like we have that perspective

00:24:41   But I think for this particular change

00:24:43   I think you could take just anyone from business school and throw them at this and even if they don't understand what software is

00:24:50   I think it looks like so many other business decisions.

00:24:55   So from my perspective, what they're doing,

00:24:58   and it explains a lot of the anger that Marco just,

00:25:00   you know, talked about from the, you know,

00:25:01   the customer's perspective at the very least,

00:25:04   is they have a customer base now that uses their product.

00:25:08   If you were to survey those customers and say,

00:25:10   how much value do you get out of using TextExpander?

00:25:13   A lot of them would say, you know,

00:25:15   I mean, maybe I get $45 worth of value out of,

00:25:18   over the lifetime that I've been using it.

00:25:20   Some would say, maybe I, you know,

00:25:22   it's like asking like, how much would you pay?

00:25:24   If we say, take TextExpander away from you

00:25:26   and to get it back, you have to pay some money.

00:25:28   Obviously, if someone like uses it to answer support email,

00:25:32   for example, or like does a lot of repetitive emailing

00:25:35   or uses very sophisticated features

00:25:36   where you fill in the blanks and everything like that,

00:25:38   they're gonna say, oh, you know,

00:25:40   this is the main tool I use to make my living.

00:25:42   Like it is an essential part of my workflow.

00:25:44   If TextExpander was gone,

00:25:45   I don't know what I would do with myself.

00:25:46   It is incredibly valuable for me.

00:25:48   The fact that I paid $45 for it last year is like the steal of the century.

00:25:51   This is literally how I get all of my income.

00:25:55   And the dream of any business school major is like, "Can I charge that guy like $3,000

00:26:01   and then charge the guy who's only going to use it twice a year like five bucks?

00:26:05   Can I charge every customer the maximum amount they're willing to pay for this software?"

00:26:11   The answer is you can't do that because we don't know how much it's worth or whatever.

00:26:15   what you can do and what it seems like Texas Smile is trying to do with this

00:26:18   one is say we've got all these customers for a lot of them they're getting like

00:26:23   $45 worth of value or even less out of the software but there are some users

00:26:28   who get a tremendous amount of value because Texas Spanner is very powerful if

00:26:31   you do the type of things that Texas Spanner is made to do this is like best

00:26:34   in class like very sophisticated features you know like it makes and you

00:26:39   know a very polished workflow at mature product stables you know like this is

00:26:44   this is a it's not just like my first text expander type thing this is a very

00:26:48   substantial product for the people who do this all the time and you say i would rather just sell to

00:26:55   those people for a much higher price in a way that we can continue to sell to those people

00:27:01   essentially forever as long as those people exist because they're doing it for their job and we're

00:27:06   going to provide them this tool to do their job and the same kind of like photoshop type arrangement

00:27:09   Like, you're a graphic designer.

00:27:12   You use Photoshop to make your living.

00:27:15   And we will give you the tool to make your living.

00:27:16   And so you will subscribe to Photoshop because it's a bargain to you to pay whatever it is,

00:27:20   100, 200 bucks a year to make thousands upon thousands of dollars as a graphic designer

00:27:24   every year.

00:27:25   And if we took away Photoshop, it would seriously impair your productivity because you have

00:27:28   to learn a new program and so on and so forth.

00:27:30   So it's like TextExpander is saying, "Thanks for all the participation, casual TextExpander

00:27:35   users, but we would much rather sell to the heaviest text expander users at a price that

00:27:43   they find justifiable and that we feel like is the most sustainable, the most profitable,

00:27:49   like whatever, you know, we're going to make it up in lack of volume, essentially. It's

00:27:52   the opposite of we're going to make it up in volume. I just want the good customers,

00:27:56   the ones who, the power user customers. And so why people are mad is text expander basically

00:28:01   saying to them, not really, but basically saying, "We're not that interested in your

00:28:06   business anymore. If TextExpander was only worth $45 and you want to use it for five

00:28:10   years, that's not the kind of customer that we want to serve." Maybe it's because they

00:28:16   feel like they can't serve it. Maybe, you know, like, I don't know what the motivation

00:28:19   for it is, but even if they were doing great, they could say, "We're refocusing our business

00:28:23   on the pro TextExpander market," right? And so everybody who wasn't a pro TextExpander

00:28:27   is like, "But I like TextExpander. Like, I don't use it that much, but I really like

00:28:31   it and now you're telling me I've been priced out of this market like because you want those

00:28:35   other customers and that can definitely make people mad but what I keep thinking is do

00:28:40   those people getting mad does that affect tax expander at all like you know that's the

00:28:45   business you try a business model and you see are there enough people who are willing

00:28:48   to pay 50 60 bucks a year for tax expander to make up for all the people you're losing

00:28:52   who wanted to pay you know $45 once and use it for three years that's the experiment they're

00:28:57   running, I think it is a perfectly valid experiment to have, but a necessary side effect is the

00:29:04   disenfranchised become angry about the fact that previously they had access to this very

00:29:10   powerful utility that maybe they only used occasionally or used a fraction of the power

00:29:14   of, and now they can just use the old version until it eventually stops working.

00:29:21   They've been cut out of that market and they have to look elsewhere so they could be annoyed

00:29:24   by it.

00:29:25   I can't feel like I can get particularly mad about it just because I think it is a reasonable

00:29:32   strategy for trying to make your business both more profitable, which, you know, like,

00:29:39   "Oh, they just want more money."

00:29:40   Yeah, that's how business works.

00:29:42   More profitable and more sustainable.

00:29:44   Because if you ever hit that critical mass, like apparently Adobe has and many other companies

00:29:48   try to, of, "These users use my tool to make their living.

00:29:52   They're willing to pay this much every single year, and that amount that they pay every

00:29:55   single year with the number of them there are is enough to sustain development, you

00:29:59   can do that essentially indefinitely. As long as a competitor doesn't come and steal your

00:30:03   thing or your product doesn't become moot because everyone uses mind control or so many

00:30:07   other things can affect you. But at the very least, you've got the basic inner workings

00:30:11   of a sustainable business model there, which is a refreshing change after the boom bust

00:30:17   viral hit throwaway application things that the app stores have brought on where it's

00:30:24   It's like, I gotta make a new app every year

00:30:26   and it's gotta be a big hit

00:30:26   and if it isn't, we're going out of business.

00:30:28   It's so much more comfortable to be able

00:30:29   to have loyal customers who pay for your product

00:30:32   and they're paying for your product every year,

00:30:33   pays for your development and you just do that.

00:30:35   - You know, if that really works out for them,

00:30:37   if they end up making more money from this, that's fine.

00:30:39   I think there's a couple angles to reconsider though.

00:30:42   First of all, and I know you didn't say this,

00:30:44   but for people thinking this, you can't just say,

00:30:46   oh, they just wanted to make more money.

00:30:48   It might be that they were declining in revenue

00:30:51   and they're trying to sustain this business

00:30:53   to keep this product going.

00:30:54   - Well, that is making more money.

00:30:56   More money than they were previously making

00:30:58   because the previous amount was not enough

00:30:59   to keep them in business.

00:31:00   Like, they need to pay the bills and get the lights on.

00:31:02   - Right, but you can look at it as a pure greed angle

00:31:04   if they were doing fine before

00:31:06   and now they just wanna juice it even higher,

00:31:08   but it's also possible that it was going down before

00:31:10   and now they're trying to just bring it back up

00:31:12   to where it was, right?

00:31:14   And if you read between the lines

00:31:15   and some of the statements they've made,

00:31:16   it sounds kind of like it wasn't making enough money before

00:31:20   for them to justify working on it.

00:31:22   Do you draw a distinction between those two cases

00:31:24   that you just outlined?

00:31:25   As in, previously we were sustainable,

00:31:27   but we felt like we could make more money with this model,

00:31:29   and previously we were unsustainable,

00:31:31   so we have to do something to avoid going out of business.

00:31:33   Do you think those are really any different?

00:31:37   Is that a distinction that you make as a customer?

00:31:40   Certainly it's a distinction you can imagine

00:31:42   making just as kind of like a human being,

00:31:44   where if it looks like they're gonna go out of business,

00:31:46   you feel bad for them, you have empathy.

00:31:48   You're like, I like those guys, I like their product,

00:31:50   I don't wanna see them go out of business,

00:31:51   both for self-investry reasons, like you said,

00:31:52   because I'm a user of their product

00:31:53   and I want it to continue to be developed, right?

00:31:56   And also because you feel bad,

00:31:58   like, oh, they've been doing a good job.

00:31:59   Their job is to write programs.

00:32:01   I think they're good at their job.

00:32:02   And I would like to see them succeed

00:32:04   because just basic human empathy.

00:32:07   And therefore you're more willing to sort of

00:32:10   allow for changes in their pricing model

00:32:13   to sort of help them out

00:32:14   versus they had a sustainable business

00:32:16   and they just want more money.

00:32:17   And that suddenly it's villainous to do that.

00:32:20   like that you should never,

00:32:21   that as soon as you have enough to pay your bills

00:32:24   and not go hungry and pay for food and shelter,

00:32:26   you should never want more

00:32:27   because wanting anything more is entirely like,

00:32:30   is essentially evil and that's greed.

00:32:33   And I don't see a hard line between those things.

00:32:36   I know a lot of people do,

00:32:37   but it's like, where do you draw that line?

00:32:39   When, what is enough money?

00:32:40   Like I have enough to have payroll

00:32:42   and enough to pay my mortgage,

00:32:45   but not enough to save for retirement

00:32:47   or send my kids to college.

00:32:48   Is it okay to ask to make more money then?

00:32:50   Like, I don't know that,

00:32:52   if you start breaking that down,

00:32:53   it starts to be nonsensical.

00:32:54   So I'm personally willing to give wide latitude

00:32:59   to making more, figuring out ways to make more money

00:33:01   with your labor.

00:33:02   If you're good at writing software

00:33:04   and the software product you have made

00:33:05   and polished over the years is TextExpander,

00:33:08   and you find a way to make more money from that product,

00:33:11   I don't attach any moral judgment to that at all.

00:33:14   Even if it means that a whole bunch

00:33:16   your previous customers are no longer in your customer base for future versions. But I know

00:33:20   a lot of people do and I think a lot of that, like what you just highlighted, Marco, explains

00:33:24   a lot of the anger that people really do draw that line of like, "You were making enough

00:33:28   money to not live in the street already and now you want more? Forget it, you're evil."

00:33:33   Oh, totally. Believe me, I hear from them that a lot of people draw that line and I'm

00:33:39   not one of them. But I think that could be something to consider here. If you're getting

00:33:44   angry at Smile for really dramatically raising the price of this app in a way that you might

00:33:51   not like. It might be because they had to. But also, you have to look at the competitive

00:33:57   landscape here. There are lots of similar utilities that do the same basic job and just

00:34:03   differ in the features they offer on top of that. So there's lots of alternatives to

00:34:08   this and honestly, today has probably been a very good day for them. However you feel

00:34:11   about this with whether you're a customer or not, looking at it from Smiles' perspective,

00:34:17   I think this was a mistake for them. And time will tell, obviously. I don't know the market

00:34:21   at all. Time will tell. But they have basically discarded a big part of their existing customer

00:34:28   base in an effort to either get more money from the part that's left and/or to move

00:34:33   into a more business-oriented one where there will be allegedly businesses who use synced

00:34:40   snippets and everything from Texas Commander and that might be a big business. I don't

00:34:44   know. I don't, I wouldn't have guessed it would be a big business but I'm wrong all

00:34:48   the time. So that might work out for them. If it does, that's fine. But I don't think

00:34:53   this is going to go well because what I see mostly happening here is, you know, you can

00:35:00   make a move like that when you are in a position of strength. You know, when you're like the

00:35:04   only game in town and people depend on you to get their work done. And for a lot of people,

00:35:09   will be true, but I don't think for enough people, because for a big part of the customers

00:35:14   who are now faced with a big price hike and removal of features they used versus other

00:35:20   choices, they have lots of other choices. There's all these alternative software things

00:35:25   that do this for substantially less money now. Before, they were much more competitive.

00:35:31   Now they're in a high competition environment, so I think one way to do this, one way to

00:35:38   resolve this if they wanted to make more money

00:35:41   or needed to make more money from this,

00:35:42   you can either cut the costs that you're putting into it

00:35:46   or you can charge more.

00:35:48   Both of those are gonna affect your users

00:35:50   negatively in some way.

00:35:51   The question is which one can you get away with better?

00:35:54   And I'm not sure they chose correctly,

00:35:57   but I don't know how many choices they had.

00:35:58   I don't know anything about their business.

00:36:00   - The natural consequence of this,

00:36:02   if you just keep playing it out,

00:36:03   is that someone gets the idea,

00:36:04   we could be enterprise software,

00:36:06   we could charge minimum five figures

00:36:08   for any installation of our thing.

00:36:09   Like why not sell TextExpander into, you know,

00:36:13   the sort of large email-based support networks of like,

00:36:18   where if you're a very large company

00:36:20   and you just have to hire like literally hundreds

00:36:22   and hundreds of people to answer your support emails

00:36:24   and everything, you'd want to give them tools

00:36:26   to do their job well and sort of standardize

00:36:28   on basic snippets and templates and so on and so forth.

00:36:31   You can imagine, I'm sure there is really terrible

00:36:34   enterprise software that already does that.

00:36:35   And TextExpander perhaps sees that market and say,

00:36:38   I would rather sell $5 million installations than $1.5 million apps, right?

00:36:44   We want to actually become enterprise software.

00:36:46   And so as we've discussed in many past shows, enterprise software can be tempting and can

00:36:51   be lucrative, and you can be protected from competition by the fact that it's a pain in

00:36:57   the butt to sell enterprise software and you have to hire salespeople and there's a high

00:36:59   barrier to entry and you have relationships and make deals on golf courses or whatever

00:37:03   the hell goes on.

00:37:04   Enterprise software is absolutely poison to the quality of your products and it makes

00:37:09   you vulnerable to anyone making anything worth a damn because eventually, you know, the enterprise

00:37:12   software, my definition from many years ago was like, when the person who buys your software

00:37:17   is not the person who uses it.

00:37:18   And that is a totally misaligned incentive and it leads to software that is very, very

00:37:25   attractive to buy, but terrible to use.

00:37:27   Like, it's why igloo stays in business.

00:37:29   Like you really, you really want to, you are vulnerable to someone who actually makes a

00:37:33   a product that the user's like.

00:37:34   Because eventually even enterprise users start to revolt

00:37:36   and bring their iPhones to work or bring their Macs to work

00:37:39   or bring whatever product they think is not a piece of crap

00:37:42   and use that instead.

00:37:43   So not that I'm saying TextExpander is suddenly

00:37:45   a terrible, you know, Oracle or SAP type company,

00:37:48   but that is, if you just keep playing that out and say,

00:37:51   instead of mass market, low price, let's do, you know,

00:37:55   much smaller market, much higher price.

00:37:57   And it could be, like you said, Mark,

00:37:58   if it's the crowded market for a TextExpander type products,

00:38:01   how does TextExpander differentiate?

00:38:03   What do they have that the other ones don't?

00:38:04   Maybe what they have is we have a very sophisticated feature set.

00:38:07   We want to be the pro-text expander product.

00:38:10   We're going to leave the consumer market to our competitors and let them fight it out

00:38:13   for the thousands and thousands of people who want to pay $5, $10, $15, $20, $30, $40,

00:38:19   and we want to move upmarket and just keep the sort of high-end, the people who are willing

00:38:23   to pay more for a better, more sophisticated product because it's part of how they do their

00:38:27   job.

00:38:28   I don't know how to handicap it either.

00:38:29   Like you said, Margot, neither one of us knows the details of the text expander market landscape

00:38:35   or whatever.

00:38:36   I have the same feeling that this doesn't seem like a power move to me.

00:38:39   This seems like something they would do because they were having trouble sustaining.

00:38:43   I do agree that the alternatives you laid out are there.

00:38:46   Maybe you just lower your costs.

00:38:47   Maybe they had hired too many people.

00:38:49   I have no idea how big their staffing is there.

00:38:53   That's one way to go.

00:38:54   But the other way is to, like I said, make it up in lack of volume.

00:38:58   we make more money by selling to fewer people for a higher price?" And that seems, again,

00:39:04   with total vacuum of knowledge. To me, if I had to make a bet, I would say that that

00:39:08   has a higher chance of failing than not, because it's really, really hard to do that. I mean,

00:39:12   it's hard to do in either direction. It's hard to say, "Hey, if we cut our price in

00:39:15   half, will we get more than double the customers?" Especially in the App Store market, the way

00:39:19   it is, that has worked for many people more often than, "Hey, if we double our price or

00:39:24   triple our price, can we get more than half or a third as many people? I don't know. But

00:39:31   anyway, this is business. Again, I understand why people get angry about it, but that's

00:39:35   how it works. They decide a price and they say we are offering you the server with this

00:39:39   price and then customers decide whether it's worth it for them. If it's not worth it, they

00:39:42   don't buy it, and that is a signal to the company that you need to change something.

00:39:46   And maybe the signal they were getting with the $45 one-time purchase product was people

00:39:50   will buy it, but they don't like upgrades and we can't pay to maintain the software.

00:39:55   So I think we'll revisit this in a year and see how it worked out for them, but I think

00:40:01   going on-market is a viable strategy. I just feel like they might have to go even farther

00:40:04   on market than this. And I agree with everything Marco said about, it's kind of like the things

00:40:10   we talked about with Overcast, like perception-wise that you being cut out of the market in a

00:40:17   way it makes you feel bad like I you know I like the previous deal I was

00:40:23   getting and now they've altered the deal and Casey can finish that reference for

00:40:28   me if he remembers it and they're sad about it and they also think there's no

00:40:34   reason for it but I don't think they're looking at it from the perspective of

00:40:36   Texas banner why should they they're just the customer but from the

00:40:39   perspective of Texas banner is like maybe maybe take Spanish doesn't want you

00:40:42   as a customer anymore it's like what do you mean they don't want me I've been

00:40:45   such a loyal customer, I love their product, why wouldn't they want me anymore? Why can't

00:40:48   they just continue to make the product that I've been using that syncs with Dropbox, why

00:40:51   can't they just keep making that forever?" And the answer is, "Because you don't want

00:40:55   to pay for it again." I'm like, "Oh, I do want to pay for it again, I'll pay you $45

00:40:58   right now." Would you? Suddenly you're ready to pay $45 if they came up with a new version

00:41:02   of Sex Expander and you bought six months ago, you'd be excited to pay $45 for a new

00:41:05   version? I don't know if you would. Anyway, even if you would, maybe there's not enough

00:41:09   other people like you, and so they have to come up with something different. It's not

00:41:13   It's not personal.

00:41:14   It's just business.

00:41:15   I made a passing reference to this earlier, but I think it is important to reiterate that

00:41:20   1Password changed—well, maybe not changed their model, but augmented their model by

00:41:25   this 1Password for Teams and then 1Password for Families.

00:41:29   And the thing that made me cool with 1Password for Teams and 1Password for Families was it

00:41:35   didn't change the way things were.

00:41:37   So it was not a change as, like I said a second ago, it was an augmentation or an addition.

00:41:44   If one password, hypothetically, had said, "You know what?

00:41:48   If you want to sync between your own devices, leave aside other people, leave aside the

00:41:52   team aspects and the family aspects."

00:41:54   If they had said that, "Hey, if you want to sync your passwords between your devices,

00:41:58   guess what?

00:41:59   You have to sign up for $5 a month," I would be fairly upset because I would feel like

00:42:05   I got hoodwinked.

00:42:06   like it was a bait and switch. And I freaking love 1Password. I consider it like you were,

00:42:11   I think it was you John describing earlier, maybe it was Marco, but it is essential for me to get my

00:42:16   my life done. Not even my work, but my life. I love 1Password. I would probably pay $5 a month for

00:42:23   this hypothetical sync only service, but I would be pretty frustrated with it. And I would perhaps

00:42:30   go from saying, "I freaking love 1Password," to, "Yeah, I like 1Password and I use it."

00:42:36   As it turns out, because they didn't take away what I already had, and additionally

00:42:42   they added this new family feature that's $5 per, I think, per family per month, and

00:42:49   a family is defined as like, I don't know, five or so people, I forget exactly the specifics,

00:42:54   I've signed up for 1Password for Family, and that was actually the impetus I needed to

00:43:00   get Aaron using 1Password as well, which we haven't actually done yet, but it's on our

00:43:03   to-do list for the weekend, is to get Aaron finally using 1Password.

00:43:08   And that to me is the right way to handle this.

00:43:11   But just like you guys said, you know, I'm making all these proclamations in a vacuum

00:43:14   and I don't know what Smile's dealing with, I don't know what they're up against, but

00:43:18   taking away what's already there in that they're saying that they're not going to support Dropbox

00:43:22   and other sync methods, man, it's hard not to feel burned by that.

00:43:28   Even if you're sympathetic to them, it's hard not to feel burned.

00:43:32   You wonder if it's intentional.

00:43:34   We'll see in the coming days if they change course.

00:43:36   It could have been like what OnePassword did was essentially expanded their market.

00:43:39   Like they said, we have all these customers, they use our product.

00:43:42   We think some of these customers would be willing to pay more because it is really important

00:43:47   to them.

00:43:48   So if we give them this one extra feature, this family sinking or whatever, we're going

00:43:51   to leave all the existing customers with the product they have.

00:43:53   It's the same product.

00:43:54   We're not excluding them.

00:43:56   We just want to expand the market with this new little bump in our little, you know, the

00:43:59   blob that is the market, put another little bump that's, and these people are willing

00:44:02   to pay five bucks a month.

00:44:03   Everyone else keeps what they've got, but we can, we can extract more monies from our

00:44:07   customers for a certain subset of the customers by giving them a little bit more and charging

00:44:11   them a little bit more.

00:44:12   It totally, if that's what TechSpender was trying to do, it doesn't seem like they did

00:44:16   it well because what they did instead was took the blob that is their market, sliced

00:44:20   off most of it, and then the remaining part is the people who are willing to pay $50 a

00:44:25   year, right? If that's not what they intended, then you'll see

00:44:29   scrambling a week from now, oh, we've changed our mind. And in

00:44:31   fact, you can use text expand or sync with text expand or sync

00:44:34   with Dropbox syncing, or you can use text expand or sync with no

00:44:36   syncing for the old price or whatever, like, we'll see, like,

00:44:39   I'm basing my, you know, looking at what this move as if this is

00:44:44   intentional, because we all see the effects that it's having, I

00:44:46   think they see the effects that it's having. If that isn't

00:44:48   intentional, I think they will backpedal and say, we need to

00:44:52   what we really meant to do was actually just get more money

00:44:55   from the people who use it a lot, but not lose all those other customers because we

00:44:58   totally need them.

00:44:59   So we'll see if they change their mind based on the first week or two of sales and returns

00:45:04   and complaints about it.

00:45:06   But I think both of those strategies are viable.

00:45:10   One of them makes Casey sad.

00:45:11   Obviously if you're in the market that gets cut off by that strategy, it can be not good

00:45:15   for you.

00:45:16   But in the end, from the company's perspective, it doesn't matter, except for perhaps long-term

00:45:21   brand loyalty decisions.

00:45:22   But again if you're going towards the high-end or enterprise the enterprise people may love you even more if you add all these super power

00:45:28   User features like hell yeah, I'll pay $50 a year. You know this is how I make my living sure you know sign me up

00:45:33   And especially if they they realize the after year that this means new versions come out regularly bugs get fixed. You know better or whatever

00:45:40   But yeah, but as with all things you can't assume

00:45:44   Omniscience on the part of either party here

00:45:48   So it's possible that they just didn't anticipate

00:45:51   the backlash, and I guess we'll find out

00:45:53   in the next week's shows, or the week after.

00:45:56   (upbeat music)

00:45:57   - We are also sponsored tonight by Ring,

00:45:59   the Ring Video Doorbell.

00:46:01   Go to ring.com/ATP to see the Ring Video Doorbell.

00:46:04   Now, video doorbells are pretty cool gadgets,

00:46:07   and there's lots of reasons to have them

00:46:09   for convenience, of course.

00:46:10   You can see who's at your door, you can respond,

00:46:13   and what's really cool is there's advanced

00:46:15   motion detection here.

00:46:16   this alerts you whether or not somebody actually rings the doorbell or not. If there's just

00:46:21   like a person who walks up to your door, Ring will alert you about that too. It's like caller

00:46:25   ID for your house. Like no matter whether somebody rings the doorbell or not, they alert

00:46:28   you to it. Regardless of whether you're home or not, because it uses your phone in addition

00:46:33   to your actual doorbell like ringer. So if you're not home, you still get notified and

00:46:38   you can respond through two-way audio through the Ring doorbell. So you can pretend like

00:46:44   your home, the advantages here are not only your convenience but also safety for your

00:46:48   home and your possessions. Because Ring has found over 95% of home break-ins and burglaries

00:46:54   happen during the day. And burglars usually start by ringing your doorbell to see if somebody's

00:46:59   home. And of course if they're home, they generally move on, right? So with the Ring

00:47:03   Video Doorbell, it can actually be a security benefit as well, not only showing you when

00:47:07   people walk up to your door and having a record of that, but also it can help deter people.

00:47:12   First of all, they know they're being watched

00:47:13   once you respond, and they'll think you're home,

00:47:16   and so they'll move on.

00:47:17   So in addition to all the incredible convenience features

00:47:19   of having a video doorbell,

00:47:21   it's pretty great for home security as well.

00:47:22   - You missed the essential feature of this.

00:47:25   So we talked about home security,

00:47:26   and if you're not in the house,

00:47:28   the key one is for the ultra lazy.

00:47:31   You can answer the door without getting up on your couch.

00:47:33   You can send away solicitors,

00:47:35   you can tell the delivery guy

00:47:36   to just put it on the doorstep,

00:47:38   you can see who it is,

00:47:41   and decide to pretend you're not at home

00:47:42   all while you just sit in your living room watching TV.

00:47:46   - I love that that's what you took away from this.

00:47:48   - Yes, this is a laziness enabler.

00:47:51   You don't have to get up from your couch.

00:47:52   You can just pick up your phone and go,

00:47:54   no, I'm not answering that.

00:47:55   Nope, sorry, I'm not interested

00:47:57   in whatever you're selling, you know.

00:47:59   - Oh, they're only robbing the Civic, it's fine.

00:48:02   - Yeah, no.

00:48:03   - So check it out today.

00:48:04   It can work with your existing wiring for your doorbell,

00:48:06   or they also have a model that uses a battery

00:48:08   so you don't need to wire it.

00:48:09   Go to ring.com/ATP.

00:48:12   This is widely recognized as a great gadget

00:48:15   by Time Magazine, USA Today, to name a few.

00:48:17   Listeners get a free, extra shipping rate by using our code.

00:48:21   So if you go to ring.com/ATP, you get free, fast shipping.

00:48:25   Check it out today with the Ring Video Doorbell,

00:48:27   You're Always Home.

00:48:28   Go to ring.com/ATP now.

00:48:29   Thanks a lot.

00:48:30   - This actually segues into our next topic,

00:48:36   slightly unbeknownst to Marco,

00:48:37   although he's probably the one who wrote it there.

00:48:40   'Cause I think this is a good time to bring this up,

00:48:42   what with me having my iPod stolen out of my car.

00:48:44   By the way, speaking of my iPod being stolen out of my car,

00:48:46   one thing I forgot to add when you guys were talking about

00:48:48   your various ways of trying to play

00:48:50   folders sold of MP3s like it's 1994 in your cars.

00:48:54   Why do neither one of you do what I had been doing,

00:48:59   which is take one of the many old iOS devices

00:49:02   that is no longer useful for anything

00:49:04   and connect it through USB to your car

00:49:07   and just leave it in there permanently,

00:49:08   aside from the fact that you're afraid

00:49:09   it's gonna get stolen out of your car.

00:49:10   Setting that aside, if you do that,

00:49:13   you will get all the things you talked about,

00:49:15   like a real interface to playing things,

00:49:18   hopefully reasonable album art,

00:49:19   not worry about it accidentally doing things alphabetical.

00:49:23   If you park your car close enough to get wifi

00:49:25   from your house and your thing has iTunes

00:49:28   in the cloud thing synced,

00:49:29   you won't even have to bring the thing back in

00:49:31   to put your new music on it.

00:49:32   Your new music will just sync to it silently

00:49:34   when you drive your car home

00:49:36   and just let it sit there, right?

00:49:37   That seems like it would solve all of your problems,

00:49:39   assuming you had a place to store

00:49:41   the connected iPod and all that.

00:49:43   Is that not something you guys are interested in?

00:49:46   - No, definitely not.

00:49:46   I don't want another thing to manage.

00:49:48   I would either use the stuff that's built into the car,

00:49:51   like I was describing earlier,

00:49:52   because I actually don't have a problem with it.

00:49:55   Or if it's not already in my car,

00:49:57   then I would just use Bluetooth on my phone.

00:49:59   - But what are you managing though?

00:50:00   'Cause like literally my thing is just,

00:50:02   it's plugged in in a closed compartment

00:50:04   and I never even see it.

00:50:05   And like I said, now that I park within the wifi range

00:50:08   of my house, it gets my new music on.

00:50:10   If I buy a new song, that song is on my car,

00:50:13   like the next time I drive it.

00:50:15   There's nothing to manage.

00:50:16   You don't need to recharge it

00:50:17   because it charges when you drive your car.

00:50:19   I get all the features that you would expect,

00:50:21   like on my onscreen display showing the artist,

00:50:23   the album, the whole thing.

00:50:23   It even shows Unicode characters and the titles correctly.

00:50:26   Like everything just works.

00:50:28   And this is a Honda Accord.

00:50:29   I'm assuming all your fancy BMWs and Teslas

00:50:31   have the same ability.

00:50:32   The only downside is you gotta have an iOS device

00:50:35   which is way larger than the little tiny thumb drive

00:50:37   that Marco has.

00:50:38   - So it turns out Tesla actually does not support

00:50:41   iPod USB interfaces.

00:50:43   - Oh.

00:50:44   - Like they only support either USB folders,

00:50:46   like USB file browsing, or Bluetooth.

00:50:49   - They're preemptively spiting the Apple car.

00:50:51   (laughing)

00:50:52   - Maybe.

00:50:53   - Gonna compete with us, Apple?

00:50:54   Rumored to be possibly in the future competing with us?

00:50:57   No USB support for iPods.

00:50:59   - I mean it also could be possible that like,

00:51:01   either A, they haven't gotten to it yet

00:51:02   because they're a little bit new,

00:51:04   or B, they just probably think the future is Bluetooth anyway

00:51:09   for that kind of role for most people.

00:51:11   So it probably isn't worth the trouble

00:51:13   to build that into a car that you started

00:51:16   the media system platform only a few years ago.

00:51:18   - Yeah, I mean, you could do also the same thing.

00:51:20   My iPod that I have plugged in with the USB interface,

00:51:23   I could leave it plugged into USB just for charging purposes

00:51:26   and then have that connect through Bluetooth.

00:51:28   - Yeah.

00:51:28   - Like, anyway.

00:51:29   Anyway, sorry for that derail.

00:51:30   The topic that's related to the Ring doorbell is,

00:51:34   quoting the show notes here, presumably written by Marco,

00:51:37   "Marco's recent experiments in home automation,

00:51:39   "surveillance, and general madness."

00:51:41   I'm adding that last part.

00:51:43   - Yeah, this was my grab bag of topics.

00:51:44   If we ran out of time or ran out of topics today

00:51:47   and we wanted something else.

00:51:48   And you moved it up.

00:51:49   - We didn't run out.

00:51:50   I actually, I shuffled it upwards

00:51:51   because I see your tweets about like,

00:51:54   does anyone, can anyone tell me how to find

00:51:57   a replacement for three-way light switches

00:52:00   that will respond to voice commands to my Amazon Echo,

00:52:03   and it sounds like you're really going off the deep end,

00:52:05   as is your way, so I actually do wanna hear about it.

00:52:08   - Okay, so let me preface this by saying,

00:52:11   and I think I said this last week,

00:52:12   that earlier in, I forget when it was,

00:52:17   whether it was our Thanksgiving episode

00:52:18   or whether it was after the new year,

00:52:19   sometime we were in a positive mood,

00:52:23   and we were expressing what we were gonna do

00:52:25   in the future or this year or whatever,

00:52:26   and one of the things I said was,

00:52:29   Because I had been having trouble getting excited

00:52:33   about a lot of stuff that's coming out of Apple recently,

00:52:35   I decided that I wanted to start exploring more

00:52:40   outside of the Apple ecosystem, just other stuff,

00:52:42   other platforms, other exciting things happening

00:52:45   in technology that aren't from Apple.

00:52:47   And so the Tesla obviously was contributing

00:52:50   to that quite a bit.

00:52:52   But also, I've recently decided, you know what,

00:52:54   let me explore past Siri, and everyone's saying

00:52:59   the Amazon Echo is really good. So you know what, what the heck, I'll try. Our friends

00:53:03   have had one for a while and whenever we're over there I always would think, "You know,

00:53:07   that's kind of really awesome." You know, they just talk to it and it plays good music

00:53:11   and the voice activation was really good and fast and always worked. That's kind of incredible.

00:53:20   I'm going to try to not make a negative about Apple, but just being accustomed to Siri from

00:53:25   Apple, the Amazon Echo by comparison is extremely fast to recognize what you're saying and

00:53:32   can recognize it at a seemingly much higher success rate, for me at least, and in the

00:53:38   environments I've seen. And even in conditions that you would think would be hostile, like

00:53:42   while it's already loudly playing music in a loud room and you are 12 feet away, it

00:53:48   can still recognize you most of the time. So that it's actually surprisingly good.

00:53:54   if you've only ever used Siri as your voice control baseline,

00:53:59   it really is surprisingly good.

00:54:01   I would say in many ways substantially better.

00:54:04   Probably not every way, but in the ways that I use it for,

00:54:06   it is substantially better.

00:54:08   Anyway, so we got an Echo, I decided,

00:54:10   what else can this thing do?

00:54:11   And it turns out, similar to what I discovered

00:54:14   with USB sticks, when you're not in the Apple ecosystem,

00:54:18   nothing costs any money.

00:54:21   You can get a ridiculous number of smart objects

00:54:24   and things with ports or wifi in them for almost nothing.

00:54:29   So for instance, one of the things we just got

00:54:30   was Amazon Dash Buttons, which it seems ridiculous.

00:54:35   For $5, which becomes a $5 credit once you use it,

00:54:38   so for basically free, you get a little button

00:54:42   the size of a key chain with a sticky back

00:54:44   and it comes assigned to a certain brand's products.

00:54:48   things like Charmin for your toilet paper,

00:54:52   or Bounty for paper towels, or razor blades, or whatever.

00:54:56   There's just a button on it, there's no screen,

00:54:57   it's just a single button.

00:54:58   You stick this wherever you store these household objects,

00:55:01   and when you are running low, you hit the button.

00:55:04   It automatically orders more of that thing,

00:55:07   whatever you've assigned it to order from that brand,

00:55:09   from Amazon, and it comes in a couple days.

00:55:12   So, I have one for paper towels,

00:55:15   and I have one for toilet paper.

00:55:16   - Wait, now let me interrupt you right there.

00:55:18   Genuine genuine question. Yes, if there are like 84 different flavors of Charmin so to speak do you like specify?

00:55:25   What one it is that you want?

00:55:27   Yes, and you can you can go on the site and you can it with each - button

00:55:31   There's like a little green thing. It looks like a banner ad and so you miss it the first few times

00:55:35   But it's not a banner

00:55:37   there's a little like green banner right below the item description on each - button and it says like, you know view what this button can

00:55:43   order and you can click on that and that'll show you before you even buy it.

00:55:46   You can see like make sure that it can order the thing you know the version of

00:55:49   it that you use and then you set and when you set it up it's kind of crazy so

00:55:53   it's it's this little button thing with no screen and with some kind of you know

00:55:59   long-lasting battery and it's a permanently installed I think battery

00:56:02   it's a Wi-Fi device so it has to be pretty hefty like lithium something

00:56:05   rather battery in there. Anyway how do you pair the thing? Normally these things

00:56:09   things, many of these smart objects, they will create their own little ad hoc Wi-Fi

00:56:14   network. And so you launch the app on your phone, you join your phone to this stupid

00:56:17   thing's Wi-Fi network, and then it auto-configs with the app. The app tells it your real Wi-Fi

00:56:23   network's password, and then you click back over and it sucks. Huge, clunky process that

00:56:28   I hope Apple gives some kind of method of improving with multi-mode Wi-Fi. I'm pretty

00:56:35   I'm not sure if things like that exist.

00:56:36   Anyway, those kind of like temporary ad hoc

00:56:39   Wi-Fi networks don't take over your main Wi-Fi,

00:56:41   whatever those are called, that camera things can use to.

00:56:44   Anyway, please, Apple, add those things.

00:56:46   Anyway, so the way that the Amazon dash buttons work

00:56:51   is you place the button next to your phone

00:56:54   and the phone emits static pulses out of the speaker

00:56:59   via audio and the dash button has a little microphone in it

00:57:02   and it just communicates via these static pulses

00:57:04   the wifi information to the dash button.

00:57:07   And then it's just like, all right, after a few seconds,

00:57:09   you hear this little weird static, and then it's like,

00:57:10   all right, done.

00:57:11   Just so cool.

00:57:12   And all this was for $5.

00:57:14   I know this is all just shameless consumerism

00:57:17   to honor the god of Amazon and make you buy

00:57:20   even more things from Amazon, but that is still remarkable

00:57:23   from a technology perspective that that works

00:57:24   and costs nothing.

00:57:26   That's kind of incredible.

00:57:27   - I've really looked into recently,

00:57:31   and I think this is just fascinating,

00:57:33   Somebody has reverse engineered how all of this works, and there's actually a node module

00:57:41   called Node Dash Button that you can use to have a Dash Button instead of calling, phoning

00:57:47   home to Amazon, it just tells a node server running on the local network the button has

00:57:53   been pressed.

00:57:54   And so what I was really looking into, but I couldn't quite make it work, just the other

00:57:58   side of it worked. I really wanted to buy a dash button and then stick it on like the bedside table

00:58:05   and then have that call down to my internet connected garage door opener, my chamberlain myq,

00:58:12   and if the garage door is open close it. So that my bedtime routine would just be to smack this

00:58:18   dash button that has nothing to do with Amazon anymore and if the garage door is open it'll

00:58:22   automatically close. I could never get it to work but I think it's really cool and fascinating that

00:58:27   people took this $5 device and are now hacking it such that it can be used for something

00:58:32   entirely different.

00:58:34   And I just think that's fascinating and super cool.

00:58:36   And it's for reasons like this that I really want to start figuring out how the hell Raspberry

00:58:41   Pis work and what that's all about.

00:58:43   Yeah.

00:58:44   My question about these buttons is, the reason I—when they came out with them, it was like,

00:58:48   "Is this like a joke?

00:58:49   Is this like an April Fool's joke?"

00:58:50   You know, they came out with it last year or the year before or whatever.

00:58:53   It just seems so ridiculous that you're gonna have talk about a you know, Alton Brown

00:58:57   Answering unitasker you're you can't have a big shiny red button in your house and all it does is order paper towels

00:59:03   My fear and why I'd never want to have that thing and it's like I'm the same type person who was always afraid to enable

00:59:08   one-click ordering is I

00:59:09   Know that I and everyone else in my house would forget when we have hit that stupid button who knows

00:59:14   Oh, we need paper towels and I would click the button

00:59:16   But I have no idea if someone who came into the same room and came to the same conclusion an hour ago

00:59:21   And so now we have two orders of paper towels coming.

00:59:23   I know someone else would have, you know.

00:59:24   - It turns out they thought of that.

00:59:25   Once somebody hits it, it doesn't accept an order

00:59:29   for another one until that one has been delivered.

00:59:32   - All right, that's pretty good.

00:59:33   I mean, that's what I was thinking, like,

00:59:34   well, rate limiting and debouncing,

00:59:36   and here's the other secret thing of like,

00:59:39   if it doesn't order it until it's delivered,

00:59:41   but you have small children in your house,

00:59:42   you figure out how these buttons work,

00:59:44   they wait for a package to be delivered,

00:59:45   and then they go around the house

00:59:46   and press every other button.

00:59:47   Like, just, you know, 'cause essentially it's allowing,

00:59:49   It is allowing anyone with physical access to your home

00:59:52   to spend your money.

00:59:54   - Yeah, but it's not like ordering an iPod.

00:59:56   Like it's, you know, well the iPods are pretty cheap.

00:59:57   It's a bad example, but--

00:59:58   - Yeah, they just wait for the iPod buttons,

01:00:00   you know, the iPhone button.

01:00:01   I mean, they'll put it in your house and in Gruber's house,

01:00:04   and as soon as the keynote's over,

01:00:05   you just slam your fist down on the button

01:00:06   and it orders one for you.

01:00:07   (laughing)

01:00:10   - That's the new method of trolling

01:00:11   is you go visit somebody's house,

01:00:12   and like when they're like, you know, in the other room,

01:00:14   you go pushing all their buttons

01:00:15   to order all their paper towels.

01:00:17   - So these dash buttons,

01:00:18   - So these are entirely independent of the Echo

01:00:20   other than the fact that they're all made by Amazon

01:00:21   and hook up to your Amazon account, right?

01:00:23   - Yeah, yeah.

01:00:23   So that was just totally an aside that, you know,

01:00:25   I'm now like giving Amazon the benefit of the doubt

01:00:27   and trying some of the stuff that they're doing

01:00:29   that's all crazy.

01:00:30   And after the Fire phone and after some of the really

01:00:34   crappy Fire tablets, it's easy to write off

01:00:37   Amazon's hardware efforts, but they're getting better.

01:00:40   And they're kind of getting remarkably better

01:00:42   at some things.

01:00:43   and I think writing them off completely is not wise

01:00:48   because they are gonna keep making a lot of duds, I'm sure,

01:00:51   but not everything they make is a dud,

01:00:53   and some of those they make is actually pretty cool.

01:00:55   Anyway, so yeah, so I have some

01:00:59   Belkin WeMo switched outlets

01:01:02   that I'm using to switch some lamps.

01:01:04   - Yeah, can you explain that to me?

01:01:05   Because I understood that you were trying to make it

01:01:07   so you could say words into the air and cause lights to go on

01:01:10   but I don't know anything that connects those things

01:01:12   other than the Amazon Echo is listening to you

01:01:14   and then presumably what happens after that?

01:01:16   The Amazon Echo hears you and what does it do?

01:01:18   What does it communicate with?

01:01:19   Is this like an open standard?

01:01:21   Are they all Amazon products?

01:01:22   I don't understand this world.

01:01:23   - Honestly, I don't know that much about it.

01:01:25   I haven't looked that much into it.

01:01:27   You know, you go on Amazon's site and it tells you

01:01:28   like here's all the things that work with the Echo.

01:01:32   Some of the things require like a smart devices hub.

01:01:34   Some of them don't.

01:01:35   I've been only getting the ones that don't so far

01:01:37   just 'cause why not?

01:01:38   I bought a couple of Wemo switched outlets

01:01:40   because the better way to do lighting is,

01:01:43   if you can swing it, to use Wi-Fi light bulbs,

01:01:46   like LIFX or Philips Hue, that kind of thing.

01:01:49   I haven't used any of those yet

01:01:50   because the LIFX bulbs are too large

01:01:53   to fit into the lamps in question,

01:01:56   and the Philips Hue bulbs are not bright enough.

01:01:59   I like nice bright bulbs, and even LEDs,

01:02:01   I like to get the ones that are like the 100 watt equivalent

01:02:04   rather than the more common ones

01:02:05   that are more like a 60 watt equivalent.

01:02:07   So they're just not bright enough.

01:02:08   Anyway, so the way I do this is I keep my fancy bulbs

01:02:12   and I just switch the outlets the Lancer plugged into.

01:02:14   Again, I don't know how any other system works,

01:02:15   but the way Belkin's Wemo thing works

01:02:18   is all just local Wi-Fi.

01:02:20   And there's probably a way to connect to a web service.

01:02:22   I don't really care.

01:02:23   - There is.

01:02:24   - But right now I'm doing it on local Wi-Fi only.

01:02:26   So you use their app to configure the things,

01:02:29   using the stupid join the Wi-Fi network thing.

01:02:31   But then once it's configured,

01:02:33   the Echo knows how to talk to it directly.

01:02:34   So the Echo just has support for whatever local protocol

01:02:37   that uses over the local wifi network.

01:02:39   And then you go into the Alexa app to configure the Echo,

01:02:42   it shows all your compatible devices

01:02:44   and you can create groups.

01:02:46   So you can say like, Alexa, turn off all lamps.

01:02:48   And it just says, okay, and turns them all off.

01:02:51   And that's it.

01:02:52   Sorry for anybody whose lights I guess turned off.

01:02:54   It's really cool.

01:02:55   Like, what's really cool about it is that it's fast enough

01:02:59   and it works enough of the time

01:03:01   that it's actually convenient.

01:03:03   So part of my nightly routine,

01:03:04   you know, you're saying your garage

01:03:05   like trying to like eliminate steps from your nightly routine. Part of my nightly routine

01:03:10   is you know we don't watch TV for the night or whatever so I go around locking all the

01:03:14   doors, turning off all the lights, taking hops out you know one last time in the back

01:03:19   yard and more lights go on and off, go on and off, and then come in lock, lock, lock.

01:03:23   Any step I can remove from that process will save me like 15 seconds a day. And yeah, it's

01:03:28   stupid to be talking about 15 seconds a day. You know this is obviously a position of like

01:03:32   like first world privilege here, but that's convenient.

01:03:35   And when everything is so cheap,

01:03:37   it's actually kind of compelling.

01:03:39   I've effectively cut 30 seconds out of my nightly routine

01:03:43   just by automating some light switches

01:03:44   and being able to tell the Echo,

01:03:46   turn everything off at once.

01:03:48   - Will the Amazon Echo tell my children 8,000 times

01:03:50   to brush their teeth and get their pajamas on?

01:03:53   'Cause maybe I'll just say, "Amazon Echo,

01:03:55   "do the bedtime routine."

01:03:56   And then Amazon Echo will say,

01:03:58   "Do you guys have your pajamas on yet?

01:03:59   "Or have you brushed your teeth?

01:04:01   Have you brushed your teeth yet?

01:04:02   Have you had your pajamas on?

01:04:03   And you find them in their room an hour later

01:04:05   playing with Lego without their pajamas on?

01:04:06   Have you put your pajamas on?

01:04:07   Have you brushed your teeth?

01:04:09   That's the service I need.

01:04:10   - You could probably bring that up with,

01:04:11   you know, I have TCT or something.

01:04:13   I bet you could.

01:04:14   (laughs)

01:04:14   I bet there's something like that.

01:04:15   I mean, the thing is, like, and this is why

01:04:18   I really am enjoying the Echo and why I do worry

01:04:22   for Apple's presence or lack thereof in this market.

01:04:25   In order to make this market succeed, you know,

01:04:27   in order, like, what makes the Echo so good

01:04:30   is a combination of having what seems to be a pretty awesome, solid, big data web service

01:04:37   behind it, which is not something Apple's good at.

01:04:40   Apple can do things like keeping notifications running, keeping iMessage running.

01:04:44   When it comes to a kind of web service that uses big data and AI type stuff, Apple is

01:04:50   not as competitive as other entrants in the market.

01:04:54   And it seems, maybe that will change over time, but they're just not there and they've

01:04:58   they've been not there for so long after it began to matter, that it does seem like

01:05:03   they're not capable of it, or at least they don't prioritize it.

01:05:06   It seems like this is the kind of problem that other companies, Google, Facebook, Amazon,

01:05:12   just do big data services better than Apple does. And what also makes this so powerful

01:05:18   is all this integration with third-party stuff. And so Apple has HomeKit, but HomeKit is a

01:05:23   much less successful program, I think, than what it needs to be. Whereas the Echo doesn't

01:05:29   really care. The Echo is kind of all inclusive. It'll work with everything. They talked briefly

01:05:33   about this on Connected this week on Relay. They were saying that there was some kind

01:05:38   of hardware requirement for HomeKit devices and that Belkin's kind of balking at it.

01:05:43   Amazon doesn't really care. Amazon works with everybody. Siri launched in 2011. It

01:05:47   2016, there is still no Siri API. There is no way for third parties to integrate with

01:05:54   Siri at all. The Echo comes out like not that long ago, what, like a year ago, last June

01:05:59   or something, so almost a year ago. It is already full of third party integrations.

01:06:05   There's an API for a lot of what it can do, not everything. There's still no music API,

01:06:09   which means I can't make overcast for it yet, but I'm hoping there will be soon. So it has,

01:06:14   But it has tons of integration

01:06:17   with all these third-party things.

01:06:18   Anybody can go in and make a speech response API to it.

01:06:22   And it integrates with all this different hardware

01:06:24   from all these different vendors.

01:06:26   Amazon, I feel like, they're in a better position

01:06:30   than Apple is to really take over this kind of thing,

01:06:34   'cause this is so dependent on both

01:06:36   the big data web service

01:06:38   and also tons of third-party integration.

01:06:41   - Yeah, Apple had the foresight to purchase

01:06:44   Siri research project company or whatever they were like that they that they understood very early on

01:06:48   that something like this could add value to their products and you know i forgot when they bought

01:06:54   them but obviously it was before it was actually released to the public when released to the public

01:06:57   with the exception of google like they i don't know if they were in the lead next to google but

01:07:03   they were at the very least seemingly neck and neck with google in terms of we recognize this

01:07:07   is going to be important thing for the future and maybe our thing is kind of crappy when it launches

01:07:10   because Siri certainly was. But at least, you know, at least we're not ignoring this market.

01:07:16   Like, in fact, we're out ahead of a lot of our competitors. But like Marco said,

01:07:19   like, and then what happened? It was like the Mac Pro all over again. Well, we'll make Siri better,

01:07:24   and Siri certainly hasn't gotten better. But there's no reason Apple couldn't have done

01:07:29   something like Amazon Echo years and years ago, because they had like their and Google

01:07:33   has been expanding Google now and, you know, to make it much more sophisticated and complicated

01:07:39   in Siri and we even have like just random apps like this third-party hound application that

01:07:43   Merlin was raving about a little while ago like like lots of other companies are you know it's

01:07:48   not early days anymore everyone is like oh some kind of intelligent agency you can talk to is

01:07:52   basically like speed recognition has kind of crossed a vaguely good enough barrier and then

01:07:57   understanding of speech and breaking it down into meaning and figuring out what you mean not just

01:08:00   like translating into text and doing a google search or whatever you know that's getting more

01:08:04   sophisticated and it just takes a little bit more stuff to put it together into ways that allow like

01:08:10   the community essentially the community of like nerds and hackers to come up with more uses for

01:08:14   this thing so like that was on echo and all that stuff definitely seems like much more you know

01:08:18   nerd uh you know hacker friendly if someone who wants to just toy with it and figure out what

01:08:23   kind of cool things to do with it i'm like sure whatever build whatever on you want it's a pretty

01:08:27   open protocol you can reverse engineer it like just going up because they don't know like you

01:08:31   their approach is like, let's do stuff

01:08:32   and see what sticks, right?

01:08:34   Apple is just totally absent in this market.

01:08:36   And you could say that makes sense

01:08:37   'cause Apple doesn't make sort of like tinker products

01:08:39   for people who just wanna hack on things.

01:08:41   And if Apple wanted to have this product,

01:08:43   it would be like, no, no, no,

01:08:44   it has to be beautiful and elegant and integrated

01:08:46   and blah, blah, blah.

01:08:47   But if the end result is they just aren't in the market

01:08:49   at all or know what, they do HomeKit

01:08:51   and they say, we have these strict requirements

01:08:52   'cause your products must meet these stringent standards

01:08:55   that we as Apple and blah, blah.

01:08:56   In the meantime, Amazon is just like running off with it

01:08:59   and they're gonna wake up one day and say,

01:09:01   you know, we could have had a substantial chunk

01:09:04   of that market and we just waited too long for perfection

01:09:08   and didn't, you know, just start releasing and iterating.

01:09:10   Again, that's not the Apple way to do it,

01:09:12   but I feel like in many other, Siri was like that.

01:09:15   It was like, Siri's not gonna be perfect initially,

01:09:17   but it's important for us to get this out there

01:09:18   because we feel like in the future,

01:09:20   you telling your phone to do something

01:09:22   is a feature that we need to have.

01:09:23   And they were right about that.

01:09:24   Every cell phone you buy now has some feature

01:09:26   where you can speak to it and have it do something,

01:09:28   either while you're driving to tell it to play a song,

01:09:31   or if you're just lazy and don't wanna go find an icon

01:09:33   and tap something, just run a search or whatever.

01:09:35   They all have that, and Apple recognize that.

01:09:38   Not saying they have to be in the Amazon Echo market,

01:09:41   but I'm just thinking like VR,

01:09:42   where we all assume Apple's secretly doing things

01:09:44   behind the scenes, I hope they don't stay secret

01:09:46   for too long either.

01:09:46   If VR turns out not to be a bust,

01:09:48   Apple doesn't wanna just be sitting there waiting

01:09:51   for their perfect entry in that market either.

01:09:53   And I think the watch, as much as we've all talked about it

01:09:57   and had complaints about it,

01:09:58   I think it was important for Apple to do a watch,

01:10:01   even if the watch they did has problems,

01:10:03   rather than saying,

01:10:05   we're not entirely sure we figured out

01:10:06   every aspect of what makes a watch good.

01:10:08   Like the only way you're gonna figure out

01:10:09   is to make a product, right?

01:10:10   That's, and you can't hold back from it.

01:10:13   And hell, if they're making a freaking car,

01:10:15   surely they can make an Amazon Echo type competitor.

01:10:19   And I think they could do a reasonably good job for it,

01:10:22   if only because it would force them,

01:10:23   like Morgan was saying,

01:10:24   force them to work on their back ends more,

01:10:26   as Siri has, like they have all those presentations

01:10:28   of like, look, we're using these open source,

01:10:30   you know, data processing backends for Siri

01:10:33   and we're all impressed by it

01:10:34   and we're talking at conferences,

01:10:35   like Siri forced them to do that

01:10:37   because it wasn't simple enough

01:10:39   to use whatever they were using before.

01:10:40   It was complicated.

01:10:42   What is it, Mesos, someone just wrote in the chat room?

01:10:44   Having a product like Siri

01:10:46   forces them to get better at that stuff.

01:10:48   Having a product like Amazon Echo

01:10:49   would also force them to get better at this type of thing

01:10:52   as HomeKit should be forcing them to as well.

01:10:53   But if they're going into the same situation where they're making very onerous demands

01:10:59   of the third parties and the result is few third party products, they're not winning

01:11:05   that battle.

01:11:06   So it's kind of disappointing.

01:11:09   And with Amazon, their challenge is always going to be, it's easy to do the beginning

01:11:13   part.

01:11:14   We're just very open and we'll try lots of things, lots of people go in.

01:11:16   How do you develop it?

01:11:17   I've been waiting personally.

01:11:18   I don't know if enough people who have an Echo that I've been like, "I'm kind of interested

01:11:21   in that.

01:11:22   would like to wait for the Echo 2 to come out, the one that is nicer and smaller and

01:11:26   faster and more reliable and has more features.

01:11:28   I know they came out with that little tiny one that doesn't have the speakers in it and

01:11:30   stuff like that, but I want the full-fledged Echo version 2.

01:11:34   If Amazon doesn't make an Echo version 2 for three years, they will be again pulling a

01:11:39   Mac Pro.

01:11:40   It's like, "We're right there.

01:11:42   Why did you stop?"

01:11:43   I don't think they will.

01:11:44   I think they will continue to iterate, just look at how many freaking Kindles they've

01:11:47   come out with.

01:11:48   And there's about to be another one.

01:11:49   They're hyping up next week.

01:11:50   I have more kindles to mail you and they're hyping up next week. They're gonna make another one. That's even thinner. Awesome

01:11:56   Yeah, and we have no idea how many kindles they've ever sold because they never put numbers on their graphs

01:12:00   But they continue to plug away at that

01:12:02   So I fully believe that Amazon will continue to plug away at the echo

01:12:05   If only because it just has such a natural synergy of like make it easier for people to give us money

01:12:09   Alright thumbs up. This is a good product for Amazon to make especially since the hardware costs don't seem that big

01:12:14   it's like it's a speaker with Wi-Fi and

01:12:18   a whole bunch of microphones and a little bit of software.

01:12:21   They'll make that up the first year alone

01:12:24   with people accidentally ordering things

01:12:27   by saying Alexa buy paper towels

01:12:29   or whatever your kids are saying

01:12:30   when you're not in the room.

01:12:32   Anyway, I'm enjoying this thing.

01:12:34   It's not perfect.

01:12:35   There's lots of things about it that are not perfect,

01:12:37   but overall, it's really cool.

01:12:40   I would say if you're on the fence,

01:12:42   if you've been tempted by the Echo,

01:12:44   if you're on the fence, just get it.

01:12:46   Just order it now.

01:12:47   You won't regret, if you're already thinking

01:12:50   you might enjoy it, you probably will enjoy it

01:12:52   and you should just try it.

01:12:53   'Cause it really is quite good.

01:12:55   - What does Adam say to Alexa?

01:12:57   - He gets very mad that she doesn't recognize him.

01:13:00   (laughing)

01:13:01   - He doesn't enunciate well enough that--

01:13:03   - Yeah, basically.

01:13:05   - You ask her to define words, multiply numbers,

01:13:07   play music, convert units of measurement when cooking,

01:13:11   so many things you could do.

01:13:12   - Setting timers by voice while cooking is so useful.

01:13:16   Like that's, it always drew me nuts with the Apple Watch.

01:13:18   It was so slow and somewhat unreliable to do that,

01:13:22   because when that works, it's so useful,

01:13:24   it just doesn't work enough with the Apple stuff.

01:13:26   But it works all the time with the Amazon thing.

01:13:28   - Or you have to push a button, like activate Siri.

01:13:30   And if you don't have Hey Siri enabled,

01:13:32   you basically have to take your dirty cooking fingers

01:13:35   and touch some iOS device and then have it go bloop bloop

01:13:38   and figure out, do I talk before the bloop,

01:13:40   or does it not, do I have to wait for the bloop?

01:13:43   And then you say, set a timer for five minutes,

01:13:45   and then you wait and then you see

01:13:47   and then sometimes it misunderstands you.

01:13:49   It seems to me from all the people I know who have echoes

01:13:51   that you can basically just yell it into the air

01:13:53   with a reasonable expectation that it's gonna get you

01:13:55   and if it doesn't, you yell it again

01:13:56   and you're not ever waiting for a loop.

01:13:59   And the echo plugs in, right?

01:14:00   It's not just battery powered?

01:14:01   - Yeah, yeah.

01:14:02   They have one that's battery powered

01:14:03   but the one that's battery powered is the tap

01:14:06   and that one doesn't listen all the time.

01:14:07   You have to push it to listen.

01:14:09   - Yeah, that's not good.

01:14:10   - So if you wanna be listening all the time,

01:14:11   you need to plug it in.

01:14:12   - Is that the one I'm thinking of?

01:14:14   - I thought the one I was thinking of is like,

01:14:16   is a very short cylinder, it doesn't have,

01:14:18   it doesn't double as basically a Bluetooth speaker.

01:14:20   - That's the Dot.

01:14:22   - Great names, I remember that.

01:14:23   - The Dot does also plug in, and is always listening.

01:14:26   The Dot is basically just like the Big Echo,

01:14:28   but without the Big Speaker, so it sounds substantially

01:14:31   worse if you're playing music through it.

01:14:32   And the Big Echo, like, as a speaker,

01:14:35   it's also a Bluetooth speaker, as a speaker,

01:14:38   it is merely decent, it is not an amazing speaker.

01:14:41   Like I have a Sonos Play One right next to it,

01:14:44   and the Play One is a way better speaker, by a mile.

01:14:48   You know, for like music quality, volume, tone,

01:14:51   you know, the Sonos system has way better speakers.

01:14:54   But the Amazon Echo is really convenient,

01:14:57   and that often wins.

01:14:59   - Cool.

01:15:00   (piano music)

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01:17:39   (guitar strum)

01:17:40   - Starting to think about why Apple,

01:17:42   why Apple is the way it is about third party integrations.

01:17:46   It's not as if Apple says,

01:17:48   "Oh, we have to do everything ourselves."

01:17:49   Almost everything Apple does that has a reasonable place

01:17:52   for third parties to be part of it,

01:17:55   there is a place for it to do it.

01:17:57   Like their APIs, they make APIs for third parties

01:18:00   to write software for their platforms.

01:18:03   They have programs for hardware vendors to make accessories

01:18:06   for all their various hardware devices.

01:18:08   They have, especially for hardware,

01:18:09   they have compliance programs.

01:18:10   You have to fulfill these requirements in terms of size

01:18:13   and voltage and reliability and you know, whatever.

01:18:15   Like all sensible things, especially in the hardware realm,

01:18:19   there's no shortage of accessories for iOS devices.

01:18:21   You can buy, even for the watches, you can buy watch bands,

01:18:24   you can buy cases for your iOS devices,

01:18:25   you can buy docs for them, keyboards,

01:18:28   like everything that Apple sells for its devices,

01:18:31   there's tons of choices for third parties.

01:18:33   So it seems like they know how to foster

01:18:37   an open ecosystem of third parties

01:18:39   selling things for their products.

01:18:42   And in software, on the application front,

01:18:44   they're okay at that.

01:18:46   We've talked about the App Store

01:18:47   and the problems it might have,

01:18:48   but it's not as if people have the impression

01:18:50   that if you buy an Apple product,

01:18:51   you're stuck with Apple software.

01:18:52   They know lots of people make software,

01:18:54   especially for iOS devices.

01:18:56   And most of those people are not Apple that make them.

01:18:58   And yet, for things like this, where they're connecting to web services, or they're sending

01:19:07   you to someone else's store, or they're integrating with someone else's line of products for your

01:19:12   home, that seems to be like Apple's kryptonite.

01:19:17   Anything having to do with the web, certainly.

01:19:19   Anything having to do with money, like giving other people money or becoming their customer.

01:19:24   seem to be areas that Apple is not willing to sort of open the doors and make connections.

01:19:30   And they're precisely the area that you would want anything having to do with home automation

01:19:35   to connect. Because imagine if Apple sold something like this, but you couldn't use it

01:19:40   to buy things from Amazon. Apple's not a retailer of physical goods other than its own products.

01:19:45   Like it's not technically a competitor to Amazon in this way, but can you imagine Apple

01:19:53   selling products and say oh and doing like a keynote demo and say look how easy it is for me

01:19:57   to order new paper towels because they don't care about ordering paper towels. Their customers have

01:20:01   to order paper towels but they're not going to endorse Amazon unless they can extract some money

01:20:06   or some deal from Amazon or whatever. But that would be a perfect third-party integration. If

01:20:12   they made a product like this and made an open API surely a third party would make an integration for

01:20:17   their favorite brand of you know wi-fi enabled light bulbs or their favorite retailer or

01:20:23   or a Raspberry Pi thing, or an integration with the Ring doorbell that we just talked

01:20:26   about or whatever.

01:20:27   Those are the things that you have to do if you're going to try to break open this market

01:20:32   and be like this sort of de facto central speaking into the air in the middle of my

01:20:36   house hub for home automation.

01:20:39   And it just seems like Apple and even companies like Nest still have the idea of like, "No,

01:20:42   we're going to own the whole freaking house and we're going to tightly control our hardware

01:20:45   vendors and they're going to comply to our specifications."

01:20:47   And in the meantime, Amazon using the old PC strategy of just, "We're completely open,

01:20:51   do whatever the hell you want, and we'll just look at it a couple years later and see

01:20:55   what worked so far is the only thing that has had any measure of success, even though

01:21:01   it's a very small measure of success just among nerds who are willing to pay $180 to

01:21:05   have a weird black cylinder of the house so that they can ask how to spell words.

01:21:10   Apple has always had this part of its corporate personality reflected originally by Steve

01:21:16   and by a lot of the people who are still there, I think,

01:21:19   and who are still making important decisions.

01:21:22   They've always had these parts of their personality

01:21:25   where sometimes a little bit too much greed shows

01:21:29   and sometimes a little bit too control freaky shows,

01:21:34   if that makes sense.

01:21:35   And that often holds these things back.

01:21:38   So for instance, the 30% in-app purchase rule on iOS apps,

01:21:44   One of the reasons why you can't buy Amazon books

01:21:48   in the Kindle app for iOS is this rule

01:21:50   that Apple won't let Amazon sell them directly

01:21:52   without using an app purchase,

01:21:54   and if you use an app purchase, Apple takes 30%.

01:21:56   And that is a very, very high commission to take on sales

01:22:01   that you're kind of not much of a part of.

01:22:04   But they do it, and it works, and it's the only game in town

01:22:07   and if you wanna be on this platform,

01:22:08   which really matters a lot,

01:22:09   you basically have to play by those rules

01:22:11   or avoid them like Amazon does

01:22:12   and just don't sell anything there.

01:22:14   And that kind of attitude goes way beyond that rule.

01:22:18   That kind of attitude also extends to things

01:22:20   like 16 gig devices, the price hike in the iPad cases.

01:22:25   Apple has some greed there.

01:22:28   And depending on our discussion earlier

01:22:32   about whether you consider that offensive or not,

01:22:35   or whether it's just business,

01:22:37   but they do oftentimes prioritize profitability of things

01:22:42   over making everyone else happy.

01:22:45   And that is often good business,

01:22:46   so I can't really fault them for that.

01:22:48   But it does hold back certain kinds of advancements

01:22:50   from the products.

01:22:51   - Or they're going for an ideal.

01:22:53   Like sometimes they have a vision in their mind

01:22:55   of how it's gonna look, and third parties

01:22:56   will just screw up that vision with the crap that they add.

01:22:59   - Right, and so that's the other side of it,

01:23:00   is the controlling part of it,

01:23:02   where Apple's very opinionated in a lot of ways,

01:23:06   and very controlling.

01:23:08   So for instance, one of the more recent dust ups

01:23:13   around Apple's decision making was in the early betas

01:23:17   of 9.3, they stopped letting the Apple Pencil

01:23:21   navigate the entire iPad interface.

01:23:23   So the Apple Pencil came out in November or whatever

01:23:25   with the iPad Pro, it could navigate the whole interface

01:23:27   for its first few months, and then in the early betas

01:23:31   of 9.3, they removed that ability.

01:23:34   And it was from, the official PR statement on it

01:23:37   was kind of BSE, what we've heard from people who are better informed on the matter is that

01:23:43   this was actually an intentional decision because it was not being used the way they

01:23:46   thought it should be used. They didn't want it to be used to navigate the whole interface.

01:23:49   They wanted it to only be used for like artistic purposes or drawing or whatever. It was just

01:23:55   being used in a way that Apple didn't foresee and didn't think was proper but wasn't really

01:24:00   hurting anything. And Apple almost removed that ability. And it was only, I think, only

01:24:06   by a decent amount of public shaming and outcry over this during the beta period that reversed

01:24:14   their decision. They were being a little too overreaching in their control, you know, their

01:24:19   desire for control.

01:24:20   I don't know if that's so true though, because there was no obvious reason for them to get

01:24:25   rid of it today, but what if something's coming in the future that would conflict with this

01:24:30   the pencil is equivalent to your finger approach that Mike and Gray love so much.

01:24:36   You know, it certainly seems to me like they should have some sort of happy medium,

01:24:41   like there should be a switchboard or something like that, but I think it's a little bit bold of

01:24:49   us to assume they're doing it just to be jerks. They very well could be that they're doing it

01:24:53   to set themselves up for something in the future. Well, it might not even, you know,

01:24:57   I don't want to say that they're being jerks necessarily, it's that they're being controlling.

01:25:01   We see a lot of this with App Review too, and whenever there's an App Review controversy,

01:25:07   a lot of times it's because Apple doesn't want us to do things a certain way, like what

01:25:14   happened with the disaster of various rejections around today widgets with calculators and

01:25:19   drafts and everything else, where like PCALC in today's view, and it's like, "No, well

01:25:24   you can't have buttons there,

01:25:26   'cause we don't want people to do calculations

01:25:28   or to do work in today view.

01:25:30   I was like, okay, that's kind of weird.

01:25:32   And maybe there might have been a technical reason for that,

01:25:35   but it seemed, from Apple's statements

01:25:38   to the various developers who were

01:25:39   affected by those things, it didn't seem like

01:25:41   it was a technical limitation,

01:25:42   it seemed like it was just an ideological thing,

01:25:44   like no, this is not right,

01:25:45   they should be using your app for this.

01:25:47   All this is just to say,

01:25:48   there are these areas in the company

01:25:52   that still show these negative personality traits

01:25:56   that I think do hold them back in some ways.

01:25:59   And sometimes it's the right move,

01:26:01   but a lot of times it's not.

01:26:03   Sometimes it leads to better products,

01:26:04   but a lot of times it doesn't.

01:26:06   - I brought up the iPod and everything

01:26:07   because I feel like they do this so well in so many areas.

01:26:10   They strike the right balance in terms of,

01:26:13   the reason we buy their products is they're opinionated

01:26:14   and we like their opinion.

01:26:16   If you don't like their opinion,

01:26:16   you buy different products, right?

01:26:17   But if you like their opinion,

01:26:18   you like the fact that they're designed,

01:26:20   and again, especially on the hardware,

01:26:23   carefully designed for the particular look and feel

01:26:25   and the features they put in them

01:26:26   and just the whole iPhone itself.

01:26:28   When is it, what is the iPhone?

01:26:31   When do we make a touchscreen

01:26:32   that Apple feels like is good enough?

01:26:34   What are the aspects of it?

01:26:35   The whole, that's how you end up with something

01:26:37   like the iPhone, that you have tastes and opinions

01:26:39   and you are controlling about it

01:26:40   and you slowly open it up.

01:26:41   But if I look at the market of iOS devices,

01:26:44   especially on the hardware side,

01:26:46   they're striking such a good balance

01:26:47   terms of having the products they want to have, selling accessories that they want to

01:26:53   sell, but also having this huge ecosystem of accessories from other people. Every kind

01:26:59   of case you could possibly imagine, including ones that Apple surely thinks are ugly, but

01:27:02   they're not forbidding those to be made or forbidding an integration. We're not going

01:27:07   to let our iPhone be docked into this docking device because we think it's gross or we don't

01:27:13   want it.

01:27:14   We don't want you to be able to plug this thing in with USB cable and control this other

01:27:18   thing.

01:27:19   For the most part, within the constraints of their programs, they have a hands-off type

01:27:22   of attitude.

01:27:23   You want to make a weird keyboard case that folds onto your iPad six years before we come

01:27:28   out with a hardware keyboard for our iPads that's not Bluetooth?

01:27:31   Fine.

01:27:32   We're not going to be like, "Oh, well, we want to forbid that because we haven't decided

01:27:34   whether we're going to do a keyboard with a thing."

01:27:37   Even styluses.

01:27:38   we don't want you to, we won't give you a made for, you know,

01:27:41   iOS stamp of approval on any styluses

01:27:43   because we don't want to have a stylus.

01:27:45   Like for years, you had those little fake finger styluses

01:27:47   and there was a million of them, right?

01:27:49   Apple's willing to just let that go.

01:27:50   And I think that was an important thing

01:27:53   because it showed them,

01:27:54   like especially if they sell any in their stores,

01:27:56   boy, a surprising number of people buy these super terrible,

01:27:59   you know, stylus things that they pretend to be fingers.

01:28:01   Maybe there's something to the stylus thing after all.

01:28:03   And eventually they came up with their own solution,

01:28:05   which of course didn't have to emulate a finger

01:28:06   and was much, much better.

01:28:07   and they did a really good job.

01:28:08   But that, I feel like that falls out

01:28:11   of the having a big open market.

01:28:13   And it's just certain kinds of products

01:28:15   that have a blind spot about that with.

01:28:18   Even you can even say Apple TV has that

01:28:19   for so many years not having apps on it,

01:28:21   which just seems crazy because they had learned

01:28:23   how important apps are.

01:28:24   And even now having the apps

01:28:25   and having them be limited in all sorts of ways,

01:28:27   because Apple has an idea of what a TV app should be like.

01:28:30   And they're necessarily fencing off whole ranges

01:28:33   of possibilities, even going down to, you know,

01:28:35   my own particular pet peeves about 24 Hertz output

01:28:37   whatever like that's a whole class of applications that could flourish or not

01:28:41   on the Apple TV but because Apple has this narrowly defined you know you get

01:28:45   200 megs you download stuff on demand you can have games but you have to

01:28:48   support the remote just like they're just they fenced it in so narrowly

01:28:51   they're not allowing that ecosystem to expand in the ways that some of their

01:28:57   other ecosystems have been allowed to expand and it's and I think it's just

01:29:01   it's just not the right balance like I think that's what Apple is always

01:29:04   looking for and what I'm looking for Apple to do is not to be completely open,

01:29:09   not to be completely closed, to find the right balance for each product line and

01:29:12   it's and the way we see when Apple hasn't found the right balance is

01:29:15   competitors. Competitors show us because they say if Apple's dropping the ball

01:29:19   here then we can do better and show you something and then you look at it after

01:29:24   the fact and you go boy Apple had all the pieces they had all the technology

01:29:26   and they just didn't they just didn't do it or they were their own worst enemy

01:29:30   and I see that I see that the most for every product that Apple does that has

01:29:33   anything to do with sort of the open web and web services. Not that Apple is against the

01:29:37   open web or web services, but it just seems to be a big blind spot for them. They don't

01:29:41   realize the inherent power in that. And Amazon Echo, I think, is the most recent and most

01:29:47   glaring example.

01:29:48   All right, thanks so much for our three sponsors this week. Betterment, Ring, and FreshBooks.

01:29:53   And we'll see you next week.

01:29:55   Now the show is over, they didn't even mean to begin

01:30:02   'Cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental

01:30:07   John didn't do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn't let him

01:30:12   'Cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental

01:30:18   And you can find the show notes at ATP.fm

01:30:23   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them

01:30:28   @C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S

01:30:32   So that's Kasey Liss M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M

01:30:37   Auntie Marco Arment S-I-R-A-C

01:30:42   USA, Syracuse, it's accidental

01:30:47   They didn't mean to, accidental

01:30:52   ♪ That's the tech podcast ♪

01:30:55   ♪ So long ♪

01:30:57   - So Tesla came out with a new car,

01:31:03   which means your Model S is effectively old and busted.

01:31:06   - Yep, totally obsolete.

01:31:07   No, it isn't, because his car is still better

01:31:09   than the preview car.

01:31:11   In so many ways, it's better.

01:31:14   - So Tesla came out, or debuted with the Model 3.

01:31:19   - I like the emphasis on the master plan

01:31:21   in the presentation like, oh, so many years ago,

01:31:23   I had this master plan about what we're gonna do.

01:31:25   If you're making a master plan,

01:31:26   maybe that's the time to come up with like a naming scheme

01:31:29   for your cars that's sensible, like so many other,

01:31:31   like you only got three cars.

01:31:33   It could be model one, two, and three, model A, B, and C,

01:31:36   you know, four, six, eight.

01:31:38   Like there are many possibilities that you could draw

01:31:40   from one or name them after your favorite cities

01:31:43   or whatever, but I don't think anybody drawing

01:31:46   a master plan would be like Roadster S, X, and 3. Like, in your first outing, that's

01:31:54   a ball drop. Anyway, we don't care about the name.

01:31:57   Right. So, for those who are not aware, this is their cheaper sedan, their kind of mass

01:32:05   market car. I did watch the presentation, which we'll have a link in the show notes.

01:32:09   Elon had said, "Hey, the roadster was to kind of get really, really, really rich people

01:32:15   to spend money on something stupid, and then that would let us bootstrap the S, which would

01:32:22   let well-to-do people spend money on something that was less stupid, which in turn will let

01:32:28   us do what we really want to do, which is the mass market Model 3."

01:32:34   And they open pre-orders for the Model 3 the day of the announcement, but I think really,

01:32:41   really early in the morning in whatever your local time was.

01:32:45   And by the time of the announcement, they had over 100,000 pre-orders, is that right?

01:32:49   A hundred and ten, I think, yeah.

01:32:51   Something like that.

01:32:52   And so the pre-orders, you have to put $1,000 down, but it is refundable.

01:32:56   So that means 100,000 people had given Tesla $1,000 apiece.

01:33:03   And I think they're up to like a quarter million.

01:33:06   - Something like that, yeah.

01:33:07   - But what's interesting is, you know,

01:33:08   the first half of those people did it sight unseen.

01:33:10   They knew nothing about the Model 3.

01:33:11   Other than that, it was gonna cost, eh, around 40 grand.

01:33:14   And it should have, eh, around the same range

01:33:17   as the Model S, give or take.

01:33:19   And then they did the reveal,

01:33:22   which it was clear that Apple employees

01:33:26   spend a lot of time practicing their presentations,

01:33:28   not only those in the keynote, but those that like dub-dub,

01:33:31   Because, man, Elon Musk was not built for this sort of presentation.

01:33:35   And that's okay.

01:33:36   Yeah, he could have used some rehearsal.

01:33:38   It seemed like he didn't rehearse it once.

01:33:41   Right.

01:33:42   But the presentation, nevertheless, was impressive.

01:33:45   And the Model 3, on the whole, I like it.

01:33:49   I think, aesthetically, it's got a little bit of problems on the outside.

01:33:54   I think Jon takes more issue with the outside than I do.

01:33:56   On the inside, I have major issues.

01:34:00   a $40,000 plus car-ish that has 200 miles plus-ish of range, that's pretty damn appealing.

01:34:12   And supposedly they're going to ship the end of next year. Like, this is sounding pretty

01:34:16   good. I'm definitely interested.

01:34:19   I wouldn't call this mass market, though. I understand the progression. Like, you go

01:34:21   from a $100,000 impractical car to a $70,000 or $80,000 very practical car to a $35,000

01:34:29   still pretty practical car. But you know, mass market is 25k. They're doing everything

01:34:36   they can. The batteries cost a lot of money, right? So they're building this big factory

01:34:39   or whatever, they're driving the price down. Eventually you would expect, if Tesla is still

01:34:43   in business 10 years from now, that they will have something in the Honda Civic category

01:34:47   or whatever. So they're working their way down. I like the progression, I like what

01:34:50   they're doing. As for the specifics of the product, I was never really impressed with

01:34:55   roadster because it's just the, you know, the, what do you call it? Lotus Elise. Yeah,

01:35:00   yeah, but you got to do what you got to do. And I never, I, you know, it's, it was a sort of a

01:35:05   minimum viable product type thing, but as a car I was like, all right, fine, whatever. The S, I was

01:35:11   generally impressed by the styling because I think the overall shape of the car is good. They didn't

01:35:14   get the details very right, but practically speaking, having both written in model S's and

01:35:21   driven one, it's a good car. Like we've talked about this before, like it's not just a good

01:35:25   electric car, it's a good car. I mean, and you'd imagine, well, it better be for the

01:35:28   price you get, but they successfully made a good car, which is no small feat because

01:35:31   not a lot of new car companies have come out and made a good car in our lifetimes, right?

01:35:38   And it seemed to have enough of all the components together that even if you have complaints

01:35:44   about certain small areas, that it's not a big deal. I totally expect the Model 3 to

01:35:48   to do the same thing.

01:35:49   To be good in all the same ways that the S is good.

01:35:52   Because they can use the same foundation.

01:35:54   Battery, electric motor, wheel, suspension, steering, everything.

01:35:59   I see no reason to believe that those aspects of the 3 won't be just as good as the Model

01:36:05   S. The only place you're saving any money is I would imagine this car is smaller, lighter,

01:36:09   has less batteries in it, and they're made in the big giga factory and economies of scale

01:36:14   and blah blah blah.

01:36:15   All the sorts of reasons why does this car cost less than the Model S.

01:36:18   Mostly it's because they're getting better at building these cars and have the big factory building the batteries and there's fewer of them and it's smaller

01:36:24   And all that other stuff, but I can imagine for instance the interior of the model 3

01:36:28   Giving the model s a reasonable run for its money mostly because the model s is not super luxurious to begin with

01:36:33   But like that's not where the money is in these cars like the money is all in that freaking battery

01:36:37   And just you know general raw materials and assembly like the lecture motors aren't super expensive in the grand scheme of things certainly not compared

01:36:44   to an internal combustion engine

01:36:46   Where I think the three falls down for me is

01:36:48   I feel like it should it had the opportunity to learn

01:36:52   From the s-class and exceed it in all the few areas where it falls down

01:36:56   So is the interior gonna be better than the s?

01:36:58   Probably not design wise having that big screen in the middle doesn't strike me as a we learned a lot from the

01:37:06   The model s and so now we know how to make a better interior other than the fact that they learned that bigger screens are

01:37:13   better. But my biggest complaint about the outside is what they've done with the front-end

01:37:17   treatment. And in some respects, it's obvious what they're going for. It's like, "Hey,

01:37:23   guys, we don't have to have a place where air goes into the front of our car because

01:37:27   there's not a giant exploding internal combustion engine there that we have to blow air on,

01:37:30   otherwise it overheats. We don't have to do that. So we should not be constrained by

01:37:35   the styling of internal combustion engine cars. We have all this freedom. Let us now

01:37:41   Reimagine what the front end of a car can look like because why should we make it look like an internal combustion engine?

01:37:46   That's a good spirit and that's a good idea and they should pursue that that I feel like what they did

01:37:50   Was took the front of an internal combustion engine car and just erased the grille in Photoshop

01:37:55   There's a place for the grille

01:37:58   It is shaped like a car with a grille would be was Marcos does the same thing the model s has a place for the grille

01:38:03   And they just put a thing there that is a different color and it looks grill like but there's no holes in it

01:38:07   It's you know because you don't need air to go into there, right?

01:38:10   That at least like visually from a distance like,

01:38:13   oh, that's a car with a grill, but it's not really grill.

01:38:16   This car clearly has no grill,

01:38:18   but it has shape wise the place for the grill.

01:38:20   So I would encourage them to pursue

01:38:23   this avenue of styling further,

01:38:27   not like that they went too far,

01:38:29   they didn't go far enough,

01:38:29   they didn't sort of reimagine the front end

01:38:32   of an electric vehicle that does not need to suck air

01:38:33   through a big opening in the front,

01:38:34   they didn't do it enough.

01:38:36   And this is not, I think this may not be the final design,

01:38:38   They could conceivably change it and add other little trim things to mess it up.

01:38:43   So front end is a mess as far as I'm concerned.

01:38:46   And then the overall shape, I get why they made it this way.

01:38:49   They're touting like the interior space, the headroom or whatever, but its proportions

01:38:53   are just not as nice as the S. The S is a bigger car.

01:38:56   The bigger car allows it to have nicer proportions, to look more aggressive, to look less kind

01:39:00   of hunchbacked and dowdy and like a droplet of water or whatever.

01:39:06   I suspect the three will look better in person than it does in pictures.

01:39:09   I really hope it will look better in person than it does in pictures.

01:39:12   But if I were Marco, I'd be feeling pretty good about my purchase because he still has

01:39:17   the best looking, largest, best performing, and prettiest Tesla and will for, it seems

01:39:23   like, a long time now.

01:39:24   Well, yeah, I mean, I don't have any buyers remorse, you know, if for no other reason

01:39:29   that this probably won't even be out until my lease is over.

01:39:33   They're saying this will allegedly ship by the end of next year, so about 18 months from

01:39:37   now.

01:39:38   I would be surprised if it shipped on time.

01:39:41   And also, there are 200,000 preorders and they currently can make something like 50,000

01:39:48   cars a year.

01:39:49   Obviously, not all those preorders will turn into real orders because it's a refundable

01:39:53   deposit.

01:39:54   So, a lot of those people are going to cancel.

01:39:57   But even if like a quarter of them end up actually going through with it and accepting

01:40:03   their cars and buying them, and even if there are no production delays, which is unlikely,

01:40:11   it would still put it out in like three years, roughly, before I could even get one if I

01:40:18   wanted one instead of my Model S. And it turns out I probably won't because I like big

01:40:23   big sedans and I like the additional features of the Model S. I like the additional space.

01:40:27   I like the additional luxury that it will almost certainly continue to offer over the

01:40:32   3. You know cost wise the Model 3 is from the info we have so far, and none of it is

01:40:37   final, but from the info we have so far it is substantially de-contented or de-optioned

01:40:44   from the base model Model S. And the cheapest you can get a Model S right now, I just went

01:40:50   and configured it, 70 kilowatt hour battery,

01:40:53   and you turn off all wheel drive,

01:40:55   you get the cash price down to 70,000.

01:40:58   And the cash price for this is allegedly gonna be 35,000.

01:41:01   And they've said this enough times

01:41:03   and been really sure about it enough times

01:41:04   that they probably really can't go back on that PR wise,

01:41:07   or at least not by much.

01:41:08   So in order to cut the cash price of the car in half,

01:41:12   it's going to have to come with less

01:41:14   than what the S comes with at its base model.

01:41:17   So they've already said it's gonna have things

01:41:19   like it's not gonna have supercharging built in by default.

01:41:24   Like you'll have to pay extra for that if you want.

01:41:26   Supercharging.

01:41:27   There's a whole bunch of stuff that comes standard

01:41:29   on every Model S that the Model 3 probably will have

01:41:32   to not come with just to hit that price point.

01:41:35   I'm guessing that there's gonna be a major difference

01:41:38   between these two cars.

01:41:40   And part of the reason they had to make it so much smaller

01:41:43   and make it kind of these weird proportions

01:41:46   is to help set it apart, I think, from the S.

01:41:49   Because the S is kind of competing

01:41:51   in a different bracket here.

01:41:52   But overall, I think, from what they've shown so far,

01:41:56   we can have quibbles about the dash, which I do.

01:41:58   But even Elon said on Twitter,

01:42:00   it's not even the final steering wheel,

01:42:02   and the final steering wheel's gonna be amazing,

01:42:03   like a spaceship, so that kind of might take care

01:42:06   of the weird issue with not having any display

01:42:08   in front of the driver.

01:42:09   But overall, I think this looks like a really,

01:42:12   potentially awesome car.

01:42:13   But there's still a lot of question marks

01:42:15   over whether they can actually deliver

01:42:17   and whether they'll deliver on time

01:42:20   and what you'll actually get for the money

01:42:22   because I suspect there's gonna be a lot of things

01:42:25   that we think you'd probably want

01:42:28   that are gonna be optional add-ons at that price point.

01:42:31   - Real-time follow-up, the whole chat room and my memory

01:42:34   says that actually they said that they will have

01:42:36   supercharging on all models, but--

01:42:37   - They will have the capability to,

01:42:39   but Elon said on Twitter to somebody recently

01:42:42   that it might be an additional fee to activate it,

01:42:45   just like the old Model S was.

01:42:47   So they will all have the ability to.

01:42:49   Same thing with the autopilot.

01:42:51   They will all have the hardware to do it,

01:42:53   but you won't necessarily have that enabled

01:42:55   unless you pay extra.

01:42:56   - It's an in-app purchase.

01:42:58   In-car purchase.

01:42:59   - Yes, it really is, basically.

01:43:01   - I have some faith that the only wildcard I feel like

01:43:04   in their ability to deliver on this,

01:43:06   in terms of schedules and pricing and everything,

01:43:07   is the battery factory,

01:43:09   'cause many things can go wrong there,

01:43:11   it is a very large endeavor as they emphasize in the keynote and right sorry but everything

01:43:15   else about this car they've already done on the model s it doesn't have any weird

01:43:19   falcon wing door bs it is essentially a smaller s everything in it they they have substantial

01:43:27   experience doing in the s they know how to make cars with doors with door handles with mirrors

01:43:31   with wheels suspension steering the of the motors if they can get the battery manufactured at the

01:43:37   price they want working the way they want and sticking in this car i totally believe they will

01:43:40   hit their delivery dates because this is the kind of iteration I would expect.

01:43:46   I feel like the X is a weird boondoggle with those much larger size and the weird doors

01:43:52   that it's its own worst enemy. This is the natural evolution downmarket of the S.

01:43:58   And how did they make it cheaper? I still feel like the way they make it cheaper is

01:44:01   I feel like it's going to have a smaller battery than the S because it's a smaller car and you

01:44:06   and you can get away with equal range,

01:44:09   whatever the target was, like 215 range.

01:44:10   I think 250s was the rumor, but I think they announced 215.

01:44:13   - Yeah, it's officially spec'd at 215,

01:44:15   and for reference, the 70, the Model S 70 kilowatt hour one

01:44:19   specifies 230, and that's also a much bigger, heavier car.

01:44:23   Like if you look at the ratings

01:44:25   between the S and the X, the X ratings are lower

01:44:28   per kilowatt hour because it takes more energy

01:44:30   to move the larger, heavier car.

01:44:31   So I'm guessing with the S having 230 miles

01:44:36   out of a 70 kilowatt hour battery,

01:44:38   I'm guessing they could put maybe a 50 or 55

01:44:41   into the Model 3 to hit that goal.

01:44:43   - Yeah, the other thing that Wildcard,

01:44:45   I don't know about is how much is this gonna weigh?

01:44:47   Because obviously it would weigh less than the S,

01:44:49   but how much less?

01:44:50   And the only way you get it to weigh a lot less

01:44:52   is to use a much smaller battery,

01:44:54   'cause those things weigh a ton,

01:44:55   or to use lighter materials.

01:44:56   Are they replacing steel with aluminum?

01:44:58   Is there any like magnesium or other weirdness going on?

01:45:00   You would imagine it can't get too exotic because it's a $35,000 car, but aluminum at

01:45:03   the very least could be in the mix to try to lighten the car.

01:45:08   And obviously the base model, I would just assume, I don't remember if this was announced,

01:45:11   you know, one motor in the base model, right?

01:45:13   Not that the motors are, again, not as expensive as internal combustion engines, but if you

01:45:16   want to save money, like, that's the beauty of electric cars and the sort of the curse

01:45:20   is there's not much to them.

01:45:22   There's electric motor, like, more or less directly attached to your wheels through a

01:45:25   fixed gear ratio.

01:45:27   There's suspension.

01:45:28   There's steering.

01:45:29   pumps and compressors, there's a giant battery, and then there's a living room that you put

01:45:33   the chairs in, right? And that's it! That's all there is in the car, this inventing, I guess,

01:45:38   for blowing air on you. Like, there are so many fewer components than the giant mess that is under

01:45:43   the hood of internal combustion engine cars, where just like the little villages, you know,

01:45:47   all around the engine in terms of keeping the engine cool and keeping the oil flowing through

01:45:52   it and things going up and down and firing sparks and wires, and it's just, there's just so much

01:45:57   extra stuff there that just isn't in this car which means that if you want to make the car for cheaper

01:46:02   You can reduce your component costs or you can use less of something that's expensive

01:46:06   But there's not much else there. Like I really don't feel you know, that's why I say on the interior

01:46:11   I guess they have to make it not as nice as the s just to like to

01:46:15   Differentiate their lines, but how much money are you really gonna save by using different seat materials?

01:46:20   Like you could save a couple hundred bucks here and there but the big ticket items are that stupid battery

01:46:26   all the big steel parts that make up a car that you can't get rid of because you need suspension and wheels and a body and

01:46:32   Crash protection and stuff like that

01:46:34   And I guess that you know one motor is cheaper than two and then that's it then you know

01:46:40   So they're they're wise to go after their big cost center

01:46:43   Which is the battery is like how cheaply can we make them can we build like this giant factory and make pretty huge capital?

01:46:48   Investments so that we can churn out

01:46:50   at the first year, 250,000 of these batteries

01:46:53   and put them into cars that we can sell for $35,000

01:46:55   and at least break even or come close to a product.

01:46:57   I mean, that's the sort of meta thing

01:46:59   that we're not really talking about here

01:47:01   is that Tesla is, regardless of what you may think

01:47:05   as a car guy about their individual products,

01:47:08   they're actually doing the thing

01:47:09   that so many other car companies have failed to do,

01:47:12   which is build electric cars, build a business on them,

01:47:15   and make them good cars that people wanna buy.

01:47:18   Like that is just, you know, it's, it's,

01:47:20   it kind of goes without saying, we don't say, we're like,

01:47:21   oh, I have complaints about this particular car,

01:47:23   but like nobody else is doing that.

01:47:25   Hell, the biggest car companies in the world

01:47:27   sometimes have difficulty making a car

01:47:29   that people want to buy

01:47:30   and they're making internal combustion engine cars.

01:47:32   Sometimes they miss that target.

01:47:33   Tesla is making electric cars that people want to buy,

01:47:36   but hundreds of thousands of people will order

01:47:38   sight unseen.

01:47:39   So they're, you know, they're,

01:47:42   they're quite a phenomenon,

01:47:44   regardless of the quality of their individual products.

01:47:46   and this is like their third car or whatever,

01:47:49   I'm willing to give them wide leeway to continue to--

01:47:51   Fourth.

01:47:52   --to continue to figure out how to do cars.

01:47:55   If they are still in business, which I really hope they are,

01:47:58   when my grandkids are driving, they

01:48:00   should be making pretty amazing cars for prices

01:48:04   that hopefully anybody can afford.

01:48:07   First of all, being in business all the way out there,

01:48:09   I think someone's going to buy them.

01:48:11   Apple tried, right?

01:48:14   I suspect a car company's gonna buy them.

01:48:16   But, well, maybe Apple is a car company.

01:48:18   Good point.

01:48:19   - Would Elon sell to a car company?

01:48:21   I think they had to assassinate Elon first before.

01:48:23   - But I'm thinking like, you know,

01:48:24   worst case scenario, if they're like desperate

01:48:26   and if they're gonna go out of business,

01:48:28   I think they're gonna get bought

01:48:29   rather than just shutting down.

01:48:31   But anyway, it's really quite something,

01:48:34   like to see the amount of enthusiasm and energy

01:48:37   and momentum behind this launch of this car

01:48:40   that we know almost nothing about.

01:48:42   And even before we knew anything about it, how many orders there were.

01:48:46   This is really, we're on the cusp of something big here.

01:48:49   And it's happening now.

01:48:50   It's not like this is like, "Well, in the future cars will be really nice and they'll

01:48:54   be all electric."

01:48:55   No, today cars are really nice and all electric.

01:48:58   They're just really expensive right now.

01:49:00   But they're here, they exist.

01:49:02   They're selling, you know, I think they have something like 150,000 Model S's already out

01:49:07   in the world.

01:49:08   So they already sell these cars in decent volume.

01:49:13   And yeah, that isn't as much volume as the entire

01:49:18   world driving population or some other big brand cars,

01:49:21   but that is real volume that counts for something.

01:49:26   These things already exist today,

01:49:28   and they're only going to become more of them in the future.

01:49:31   I don't think this is a temporary fad.

01:49:33   I think this is, and once you drive one,

01:49:36   you realize, oh my god, this is amazing.

01:49:38   why doesn't everybody have this?

01:49:40   And of course the answer is because

01:49:41   it's very expensive right now,

01:49:43   but that seems to be a temporary problem.

01:49:45   - I'm kind of confused about why

01:49:47   some of them have L-shaped door handles

01:49:49   and at least one model, I presume the base model doesn't.

01:49:52   Is that like a value add feature?

01:49:54   Well, if you buy the base model,

01:49:55   you get straight door handle like Marco's crappy car.

01:49:58   But if you buy the upscale models,

01:49:59   your door handle is slightly L-shaped.

01:50:02   - They probably just haven't decided which one it is yet.

01:50:04   They built one with the Ls

01:50:06   and built the other one without them.

01:50:07   - Oh, that was the nice thing about it,

01:50:08   when they drove the cars out onto the stage,

01:50:10   it's another one of those electric car moments

01:50:11   when you realize they don't have to worry

01:50:13   about filling the room with carbon monoxide

01:50:15   as they drive their cars out onto the stage.

01:50:17   - Right, exactly.

01:50:18   - And they also don't have to worry

01:50:19   about the noise of the engines running.

01:50:20   Just drive 'em right out, it's fine.

01:50:22   - Yeah, that was pretty wild.

01:50:24   - I mean, really, every time I drive

01:50:26   this electric drive train, I'm just like,

01:50:28   "Oh my God, this is so good."

01:50:29   Like, why, if you can get one of these,

01:50:34   if you can both swing the price

01:50:35   and if it fits within your lifestyle

01:50:38   with like range concerns and everything.

01:50:40   And those are two big ifs.

01:50:43   But if it fits, why wouldn't you get it?

01:50:45   Like once you drive it, that's honestly how you feel,

01:50:48   because it's so good.

01:50:50   - If you have the means, I highly suggest picking one up.

01:50:54   I have to tell you though,

01:50:55   the interior is so unbelievably bad to my eyes.

01:50:59   It's got a dashboard-ish.

01:51:02   It has a thing that looks like a dashboard,

01:51:05   But all it has on the dashboard is a steering wheel

01:51:08   and a touchscreen.

01:51:10   And yes, I'm aware that all of this is in flight.

01:51:13   But it looks like they didn't even try yet.

01:51:16   Like, oh, god, I don't like the floating display.

01:51:20   It just looks fragile to my eyes, which

01:51:22   I know is a KC problem.

01:51:24   But I don't like it.

01:51:25   And I definitely do not like having any sort of gauges

01:51:28   behind the steering wheel.

01:51:29   I just think that's a terrible idea.

01:51:31   Yeah, a lot of other cars have tried that.

01:51:33   And there have been various theories.

01:51:35   I mean, the economic one is like,

01:51:37   we'll make a world car that's symmetrical,

01:51:39   so we can do right and left hand drive

01:51:40   and just put the TASH cluster in the middle.

01:51:42   I'm not sure how much I buy that as a reason,

01:51:45   but it's something that you can see and think about.

01:51:47   One of the reasons they gave was like,

01:51:49   it's better to not have to change your focal distance

01:51:53   as much from looking out the window

01:51:55   where your focal distance is way off down the road

01:51:57   to looking super close to you, like the gauge cluster.

01:52:00   So let's do like a two level dash or put it in the center

01:52:02   So it's, you know, the difference between focusing at four feet versus two feet.

01:52:07   I'm not sure I buy that because I don't know. I mean,

01:52:09   I can understand maybe the focal distance.

01:52:11   You don't want to go from really close to really far,

01:52:13   but how much farther away from you can you get that dashboard when it 10 hat

01:52:16   still have it inside the car with you. It can't, you know,

01:52:19   make that big of a difference. Uh,

01:52:21   and I just think consumers have voted with their feet to say

01:52:26   every car that has tried to do this, and there have been many of them,

01:52:29   The feedback has been universally negative,

01:52:32   not massively negative, but enough negative

01:52:34   that in subsequent models they change it.

01:52:36   Every car that's done a two-level dash where

01:52:37   you have one set of gauges close, one set of far,

01:52:39   every car that's had a bunch of gauges in the middle

01:52:42   has eventually gone back to a more conventional arrangement

01:52:46   or like that model has faded away

01:52:48   and a new model is replaced.

01:52:49   I think maybe the Toyota Echo still

01:52:51   has that arrangement as the lone stalwart,

01:52:54   but it baffles me why people want

01:52:58   to do that in anything other than a concept car.

01:53:00   And the wild card is, and of course we don't know,

01:53:01   is like, fine, do you have another solution?

01:53:04   Maybe it's all heads up display,

01:53:05   and they have an amazing HUD.

01:53:06   All right, fine, all I'm just saying is like,

01:53:09   somewhere where the driver doesn't have to turn his head,

01:53:12   you need to be able to see things like how fast you're going

01:53:15   and other information about the car,

01:53:17   is your turn signal on, are your headlights on,

01:53:19   without having to look elsewhere.

01:53:21   I feel like that should be easily within the driver's vision

01:53:24   without requiring a head,

01:53:25   That's why we have gauge clusters.

01:53:28   So I really hope they have some solution to that

01:53:31   that isn't just look at the giant screen,

01:53:34   the giant 17 or 18 inch screen

01:53:37   that we've stabled to the front of the dashboard.

01:53:39   - Yeah, I completely agree.

01:53:41   I understand it's not the final design,

01:53:43   but God, I do not like it at all.

01:53:46   It just looks so boring.

01:53:47   And it's just this vast emptiness there.

01:53:50   It's terrible.

01:53:53   All in all, I am very interested in the car.

01:53:55   I am not interested enough to have put down a pre-order,

01:53:59   and at this point, there's no point

01:54:01   putting down a pre-order,

01:54:02   'cause Declan will be out of college

01:54:03   by the time they would deliver on that pre-order,

01:54:05   like Marco was saying.

01:54:07   But I'm really intrigued,

01:54:09   and I'm really pleased that they're moving,

01:54:12   I don't know if down-market

01:54:13   is really the right way to describe it,

01:54:14   but certainly into a larger segment of the market.

01:54:17   And having driven Underscore's Model S,

01:54:20   it kind of ruined me for life.

01:54:22   I mean, electric cars done right are phenomenally cool.

01:54:27   And I'm really, really anxious to see what this looks like

01:54:32   when it's all said and done and when it's actually released.

01:54:35   - Well, and what I also wanna see is like,

01:54:38   how does everyone else respond to this?

01:54:40   What happens when this eats into a big part of sales

01:54:44   of the BMW 3 Series?

01:54:46   How does everyone else react to this?

01:54:49   - Well, they've all got electric car projects in the works,

01:54:51   like all of them.

01:54:52   BMW's already got what is the i8 and the i3 and Porsche's got the their electric car product.

01:54:59   A lot of people have essentially Model S competitors in various stages of development.

01:55:03   I think now it's just a race of who can get their cars to market soon enough because if

01:55:08   Tesla beats them to market it's going to be a real problem because as we've seen people

01:55:12   are just going to buy whatever good electric car is available they're going to buy it.

01:55:16   If Porsche beats the Model 3 out, I mean the Porsche's are kind of already lost because

01:55:19   Model S has been out. Something was brought up in a recent article I was reading. Porsche's target

01:55:25   for their electric vehicle was like, "Oh, it's going to have a 3.5 second 0 to 60."

01:55:28   The car that's already out now beats that. The Model S already beats that. And this is a car

01:55:33   you're going to come out with in three years? That's not good planning, right? Especially if

01:55:37   your name is Porsche and you're going to sell it for Porsche level prices. Tesla is a strong

01:55:42   competitor and has a lead. But I feel like every car company they're competing with, even like the

01:55:46   the new Audi A8 was designed from the beginning to be this structure, this chassis, this underpinnings

01:55:53   of this car, accepts both an internal combustion engine and a full electric setup. Will they

01:55:58   do a good job? Will they be as good as Tesla? Who knows, but everyone else has woken up

01:56:02   now and said, "We have to do this," and now it's just a race to see who gets there first.

01:56:08   I really do feel like the only edge the established car companies have is, I feel like they're

01:56:12   better at styling and they're better at details and interior and just general kind of like the

01:56:18   the intangibles because the tesla is for all of their their good looks and everything still

01:56:22   they haven't i don't know they haven't really defined a strong visual language and i was that's

01:56:30   you know they kind of have because you can tell a tesla looks like a tesla but they all kind of look

01:56:35   more generic and lozenge like than the fairly distinctive personalities of the other car lines

01:56:42   that if you see an Audi, you know it's an Audi.

01:56:44   If you see a BMW, you know it's a BMW.

01:56:46   Like there's family resemblances that change over the year,

01:56:49   and I think Tesla is, to my eyes,

01:56:51   having trouble establishing anything outside

01:56:55   the sort of generic future-y looking car aesthetic.

01:56:58   - In the early days of the iPod,

01:57:00   Apple had a really, really strong advantage

01:57:03   over the rest of the market that not only were they

01:57:05   often first to some of those form factors,

01:57:08   they would negotiate rates with the flash memory

01:57:11   and they would consume so much flash memory production in the world that other manufacturers

01:57:17   were not even able to match them on price or to even get enough flash memory or to get

01:57:21   the best kind of flash memory because Apple was consuming it all and had locked up all

01:57:25   the supply. What if Tesla has that for lithium ion battery production?

01:57:29   Yeah, they're not buying, they're making themselves. What I fully expect to happen is as part of

01:57:35   Tesla's financial viability, if they have any excess capacity, they will sell batteries

01:57:39   from their Gigafactory to Audi and BMW and Mercedes or whatever, because why wouldn't

01:57:44   you?

01:57:45   I mean it's the same reason Toyota sells the Prius electric drivetrain to so many other

01:57:50   car manufacturers.

01:57:51   They're not afraid of people competing with the Prius because they feel like that's the

01:57:53   whole package, but they'll sell you their system at a profit and license it essentially

01:57:58   to you to use in your car so you're not interested in it.

01:58:01   One other thing I'm recalling is that, remember the Volkswagen Phaeton, however you pronounce

01:58:06   it?

01:58:07   attempt to make a high-end VW which is weird because a high-end VW is called an Audi but

01:58:11   anyway it's a vaguely confused product but anyway the the reason I'm recalling is the

01:58:17   new Audi A8 about the option of electric drivetrain my understanding is the new Phaeton is only

01:58:22   electric like so that's that's going to be the Volkswagen what is the Volkswagen Model

01:58:26   S competitor like everyone seems like they want to have one and it's just it's not so

01:58:30   much that like the secret tech that Tesla has unlocked it's that Tesla has proven that

01:58:34   that if you just do a really good job

01:58:36   with modern lithium ion battery technology

01:58:38   and put some electric motors,

01:58:39   people will buy that car for like,

01:58:41   like if you had told any car manufacturer,

01:58:44   I told Audi several years ago,

01:58:45   just sell a car starting at 70 grand

01:58:47   that's electric and get like,

01:58:48   if you gave them the specs of the model,

01:58:50   they'd be like, no one's gonna buy that, that's ridiculous.

01:58:52   Why don't we just sell them the cars we know how to make

01:58:54   for exactly the same price

01:58:55   that's better in every possible way?

01:58:57   Like that was their short sightedness.

01:58:58   They didn't see that this,

01:58:59   they didn't see the advantages of this product.

01:59:01   It's not because they said,

01:59:02   we have no idea how to build that.

01:59:04   Because in so many respects, building a pure electric car

01:59:07   is so much more straightforward than hybrid,

01:59:09   which is what all of them were doing,

01:59:10   like, oh, hybrid systems, and we'll go back and forth,

01:59:12   and the motor will charge the battery,

01:59:13   and this, that, and the other thing,

01:59:15   like the Chevy Volt and everything.

01:59:17   Once Tesla was so smart to commit early,

01:59:20   no, just electric, that's it.

01:59:22   Like, no hybrid, no internal combustion engine,

01:59:24   it makes everything simpler,

01:59:25   we are completely focused on this,

01:59:26   and they proved that people will buy this product.

01:59:28   And now, I feel like the other auto manufacturers

01:59:31   have woken up to that market possibility,

01:59:33   And I have to think that there's enough in-house car design

01:59:36   expertise.

01:59:37   All they need is the battery and electric motor expertise

01:59:40   that if they can't develop in-house, at the very least,

01:59:43   they can buy.

01:59:45   So I think all the established car makers

01:59:48   are going to make good electric cars sooner

01:59:51   than we think they are.

01:59:52   It's just a question of whether Tesla can continue to outrun

01:59:55   them.

01:59:55   (door slams)