13: #AskUpgrade


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:08   From Relay FM, this is Upgrade, episode 13. This week's episode of Upgrade is brought to you by

00:00:16   Boom 2 from Global Delight, a system-wide volume booster and equalizer for the Mac.

00:00:23   PDF Pen Scan Plus from SMILE, the app on mobile for scanning and OCR and mail route.

00:00:30   A secure hosted email service for protection from viruses and spam.

00:00:35   My name is Myke Curley and I am joined by your host and mine, Mr. Jason Snell.

00:00:39   Hi Myke, how's it going?

00:00:41   Very well, Mr. Jason Snell.

00:00:42   How are you?

00:00:43   I am doing fine, Mr. Myke Curley.

00:00:46   How are things in the Snell Zone this week?

00:00:50   They are a little damp because we've had a lot of rain.

00:00:54   Well, by your standards, we've probably had very little rain.

00:00:57   You've had a Wednesday afternoon's amount of rain.

00:01:00   There have been days where we didn't get rain, which is unlike, I think, England.

00:01:06   So yeah, but we know we've had a lot of rain, which is good, and the hills are turning green

00:01:10   and not the sort of brown sun-blasted hellscape that was described by John Zaragoza when he

00:01:15   visited my house once.

00:01:17   It's greening up.

00:01:18   Yeah, so it's good. We're getting ready for the holidays, we got the Christmas lights on, the house, and we have a Christmas tree, and we're frantically shopping for things, and you know, all the usual things that make December the most stressful time of the year.

00:01:37   [laughter]

00:01:41   Does it snow where you live, Jason?

00:01:44   No.

00:01:45   Not at all?

00:01:46   >> Oh, interesting.

00:01:47   >> Not at all.

00:01:48   Never, never ever.

00:01:49   I think there have been two times since we've lived in this county where snow was visible

00:01:59   briefly as it was falling and then was no longer snow again.

00:02:04   But generally because we're by the ocean, the temperature stays pretty warm and anytime

00:02:11   you have a storm that comes in, the storm insulates the air and keeps it from getting

00:02:17   too cold. So we can be cold, we can be below freezing, or we can be rainy, but it's very

00:02:21   rare that it's cold enough to cause snow because when it's that cold it usually doesn't rain.

00:02:29   But where I grew up we used to get snow a few times a year up in the mountains, but

00:02:33   down here by the bay there's not a lot of... there's no snow. It doesn't happen.

00:02:38   We don't get a lot. Every couple of years I think these, these in recent times there's

00:02:46   been enough snowfall to make a disruption. But that doesn't take a lot of snowfall here

00:02:51   because we're not prepared for it. So if you have just a moderate amount of snow it kind

00:02:55   of shuts England and the UK just down, just shuts us down. Actually just England really.

00:03:01   That's what rain does in California. It rains in California. It's like "Oh go it's raining,

00:03:05   "No, we don't know what to do!"

00:03:07   Sure, Scotland is probably just used to it, and they shrug it off.

00:03:10   It just rolls down the hills, it's no problem.

00:03:13   But yeah, it shuts England down anyway.

00:03:16   Anyhow, we have some follow-up, I believe.

00:03:19   What is our follow-up this week, Mr. Snow?

00:03:21   Oh, is there follow-up on this show? I didn't know.

00:03:24   I think it's an important part of this show.

00:03:27   I need to snap out of my reverie about snow and weather and get to...

00:03:31   That was our weather vertical, Myke.

00:03:33   putting that in the weather vertical. Follow up, listener Michael wrote in and said, "Your

00:03:41   discussions the last two weeks about striking out on your own and your hopes for the future

00:03:44   of your new businesses struck a chord with me." And this is what he said that I thought

00:03:50   was really interesting. "As I explored different opportunities, I learned about many businesses

00:03:56   that exist to help small firms like yours. I encourage you to look to other small businesses

00:04:01   for the services that you need but for which you can't afford to pay full-time staff.

00:04:06   My point is you can become a good-sized business without hiring full-time personal staff.

00:04:10   So this was that question we got last week about what if you become a big business?

00:04:15   And listener Michael's point is that you don't necessarily have to become... that's not the

00:04:21   only path to suddenly have five employees in an office somewhere because there are lots

00:04:25   of other people who are doing what we're doing and they would love our business to help their

00:04:30   business too, which I thought was a nice point. So and he says, Myke, I'm assuming the small

00:04:35   business professional market is robust in the UK as well. He's in Chicago, so he says,

00:04:40   we're unlikely to be a client for him. Sorry, but there are people all over. I thought that

00:04:46   was an interesting point, the idea that a lot of times you have different small businesses

00:04:50   that specialize in different things and they work together and that's good. And you don't

00:04:54   have to just kind of—so Relay doesn't have to become a giant 20-person operation if you

00:04:58   don't want it to be. I don't want it to be. I would love an assistant. Yeah, well sure,

00:05:04   and that's harder to outsource. Although, I think I know somebody who's got an outsourced

00:05:10   assistant that's like part of an assistant. This isn't the name of it, but it's like myassistant.com

00:05:15   kind of thing where... I know people that have used these sources of services, and I

00:05:20   don't trust them. I feel like you would just be spending most of your time trying to explain

00:05:24   to somebody what you need.

00:05:25   Yeah, I don't know whether this is a...

00:05:29   Well, let's face it, I'm talking about Lex Friedman here.

00:05:34   Because occasionally we'll email him and suddenly I'll get a CC and it'll be like, "Oh, take

00:05:38   care.

00:05:39   Can you schedule something with Jason here?"

00:05:40   And I think his assistant is in Texas or somewhere, just like literally random location.

00:05:46   And I don't know whether she works for their company or works as a contractor or what the

00:05:50   deal is.

00:05:52   But I agree that having somebody who knows the business and is going to be preferable

00:05:57   if you can get to the point where that's feasible.

00:06:02   I like how you said "let's face it," like everybody assumed you were talking about Lex.

00:06:08   That's how I chose to throw Lex under that particular bus.

00:06:10   Gigs up, you got me, it's Lex.

00:06:12   It's Lex, of course.

00:06:14   It's always Lex.

00:06:16   That's the answer to everything, it's always Lex.

00:06:17   I don't think I want an assistant sitting here right next to me.

00:06:23   I think I like the idea of having... because most of the stuff that I do I don't need somebody

00:06:27   here.

00:06:28   But you know, just somebody to... for example there's this thing that I need to do with

00:06:32   some old audio files, I need to check some, make sure that one is the correct version

00:06:37   basically and it could be like a hundred audio files I need to go through and I would love

00:06:43   to be able to give that to somebody to do.

00:06:45   Oh, and by the way, listeners, I'm not asking for volunteers.

00:06:51   It's perfectly fine.

00:06:53   I will one day hire someone, but right now I can just get on with it and deal with it.

00:06:59   Because I know that there are people that would very gladly offer help because they

00:07:04   enjoy what we do because we get that sort of stuff.

00:07:06   But I already thank you for your fault, but it's fine.

00:07:12   I need to hire somebody in right now.

00:07:14   I don't want to, I can't really afford to do that.

00:07:19   Next piece of follow up.

00:07:20   All right, good, good follow up.

00:07:22   Listener Eugene wrote in, and you may have missed this because Eugene's name was printed

00:07:27   in Cyrillic and so I think my email client was like, "I think this is probably spam,

00:07:31   but it's not spam.

00:07:33   It's listener Eugene."

00:07:35   Poor Eugene.

00:07:38   So he says, "I think all the things you're saying on the show and all the people in the

00:07:42   podcast field are really supportive and encouraging newcomers. However, I think it's worth mentioning

00:07:47   or talking about how the podcast should be distributed if you're new in the field. This

00:07:52   comes from real questions of my own. I'd love to do a show myself, but who might want to

00:07:56   listen to the ramble of a 19-year-old without any guess? All independent podcasts are made

00:08:01   by people well-known in their field, and most of the people don't have such a background

00:08:05   and such a number of followers. What can a young novice podcaster do to find an audience?

00:08:11   What would you do if you started from scratch?

00:08:13   I suppose that Myke can answer this question because he started doing this on his own way

00:08:18   back when.

00:08:19   So Myke, what's the advice for somebody who's just getting started in podcasting?

00:08:23   Do you have to be famous doing something else before you can be a podcaster?

00:08:27   >> Definitely not, but find a friend, either a friend in real life or a friend that you've

00:08:32   made on the internet and do the show with them because it really helps to be able to

00:08:38   talk to somebody.

00:08:40   yes you probably can't get guests on the show if you're just starting out but you

00:08:45   shouldn't have guests on your show if you're just starting out in my opinion

00:08:49   so I think it's difficult for people who want to do interview shows because you

00:08:56   need to build your skills especially if you've never sat down in front of the

00:09:01   microphone before and you're maybe best waiting until you've had a bit of

00:09:06   practice before you start bringing guests onto your show because I mean

00:09:09   Obviously one of the great reasons about having a guest on your show is it brings

00:09:12   more people to your show but if you've not yet gotten to a point where you are

00:09:17   comfortable with what you're doing then you may be doing a disservice for your

00:09:22   show because it can't be as good as it could be if you did it in two months time

00:09:24   for example. So find a friend and do the show with them so you can share the work

00:09:30   and you can share in the success that you'll have later on and also because it

00:09:35   is way easier to talk to somebody than to talk on your own. So yes anybody can

00:09:40   do it you just need to I would say to find somebody to do the show with start

00:09:44   doing it with them and as you get better then invite guests. However in this day

00:09:48   and age with there being so many podcasts having guests having high

00:09:52   profile guests don't necessarily mean that your show is gonna become an

00:09:57   overnight success but just keep plugging away and working on it and I assure you

00:10:02   you that you an audience will build. So was Terry Lucy your find-a-friend?

00:10:08   He was. He was. He was one of my best friends in real life. We went to school together and we

00:10:14   started doing the show together. And then as time went on I then started finding

00:10:17   online friends, people that I met by Twitter or via other networks and in

00:10:22   little groups and then started doing the shows that way and that's how the rest

00:10:25   of my shows have been born is through people that I've met over the internet.

00:10:30   Which is something me and Casey talk about in analog this week actually is that sort

00:10:34   of like how Twitter becomes like you get into these groups you know like you find

00:10:39   a group of people that love X so for example there are people that I know

00:10:45   like this little group of people who are big fans of relay shows and they talk

00:10:49   and we talk and they talk together and it's fun you know and there's like a

00:10:52   community that's built around people that enjoy the stuff that we do which is

00:10:56   awesome. I was in that for 5x5 back in the day, you know, and it's nice to see

00:11:02   those groups build up and then it's nice to see people that are in those groups

00:11:06   and that kind of stuff. They start doing their own work together. It's cool.

00:11:10   I was just listening over the weekend to an episode of Joe Steele's

00:11:14   podcast with Dan Sturm, "Defocused," and well, and Joe was on the Incomparable

00:11:21   this weekend, which was fun. Long time listener, first time caller kind

00:11:24   thing. And that was, that struck me because those guys are visual effects

00:11:30   professionals and they're talking about movies and yet almost every reference

00:11:35   they make there's a there's a reference to tech podcasts. And at some point I

00:11:41   think in the Ghostbusters episode Joe actually says something that leads me to

00:11:46   believe that he literally believes that they are like the footnote to the tech

00:11:51   podcasts that they assume their entire audience listens to Roderick on the Line and Upgrade

00:11:59   and The Incomparable and ATP and The Talk Show and I thought that was really funny because

00:12:04   they're not it's not a tech podcast but they're it's like they definitely view themselves

00:12:09   as living at least mostly inside this like inside the existing subculture even though

00:12:15   their podcast isn't about that I thought that was an interesting way of doing it yeah so

00:12:19   So I love those guys.

00:12:21   Defocused.

00:12:22   Although it's amusing to hear somebody who didn't live through the '80s, people who didn't

00:12:27   live through the '80s talk about movies from the '80s because every time they make a comment,

00:12:32   I feel like John Syracuse, actually.

00:12:34   I want to say, "That was real.

00:12:37   It was really like that."

00:12:38   They're like, "Oh, this is a very '80s sort of movie thing."

00:12:41   No, no, that's a really '80s thing.

00:12:42   It was really like that.

00:12:43   That's a real thing.

00:12:45   People did aerobics.

00:12:46   That was a thing.

00:12:47   - It's not just a movie trope.

00:12:49   - Not just, that's where the trope comes from.

00:12:52   Listener Ryan has some follow up for us

00:12:55   that I thought was really interesting.

00:12:56   We asked about how to take listener requests

00:12:59   because we did our lightning round

00:13:01   that was very, very slow lightning last week.

00:13:04   And he said, "I work at an ad agency doing social media work

00:13:07   "and I found the Twitter hashtag to Google Sheet

00:13:10   "if this, then that recipe useful for aggravating, yes,

00:13:15   and aggregating everything coming into a designated hashtag into a shareable spreadsheet. And

00:13:20   he shared a link to a recipe, which is not his recipe, but it's an if this then that

00:13:25   .com recipe for a hashtag. And his suggestion is #askupgrade. I actually turned this on.

00:13:34   So if you want to tweet your questions to #askupgrade, and you can mention me and Myke

00:13:42   too, but that will actually stick them all in a Google spreadsheet that I will share

00:13:47   with Myke and we will look at, and then I can't guarantee we will actually answer your

00:13:51   questions, but that's a really cool idea. So thank you, listener Ryan.

00:13:57   That's actually an awesome way to do follow-up as well.

00:14:00   Mmm. Yeah, I mean, throughout the week people can be sending their questions to...

00:14:05   Just any time. Any time you have a question, like, "What shall I have for breakfast?"

00:14:10   #AskUpgrade.

00:14:11   I hope it works. I don't, you know, it hasn't created it yet, but I'm hoping it will work.

00:14:16   Interesting. I like that. That's really cool, actually. I should have been on the lookout for

00:14:23   a social media professional from the get-go. They could have helped me, so thank you, Ryan.

00:14:27   If you need to hire an ad agency to do some social media work, I recommend Listener Ryan.

00:14:33   Listener Ryan Incorporated.

00:14:36   Yeah, LLC.

00:14:37   [laughter]

00:14:38   Shall we take a break to thank our first friend for this week's episode?

00:14:45   I feel the need for some friend thanking right now, yes.

00:14:48   This episode of Upgrade is brought to you by Boom 2 from Global Delight.

00:14:52   Boom 2 is a pro audio app for the Mac that offers a system-wide volume booster, advanced

00:14:58   equalizer control with presets, amazing audio effects, and so much more.

00:15:02   This app was built from scratch and is designed for Yosemite.

00:15:06   Boom 2 is tailored to calibrate itself to your Mac as no two Macs are the same and once

00:15:11   you get used to using Boom 2 it becomes something you cannot live without.

00:15:15   Personally I remember Boom 2 saving me from going mad when I was using an 11" MacBook

00:15:20   Air.

00:15:21   I couldn't watch movies or TV shows on it, Netflix was just horrific as it was just too

00:15:25   quiet I just couldn't hear anything.

00:15:27   But then I found Boom and it totally saved the day.

00:15:30   And now Boom 2 is here and it's louder, clearer and better than ever before.

00:15:35   With personalised and customised sound to suit any occasion, it also gives your Mac

00:15:40   the power to fine tune and control every single element of audio.

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00:15:49   a whole lot better and is localised to German, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch and five other

00:15:54   languages as well.

00:15:56   The first version of Boom, Boom version 1, was awarded the Macworld Best of Show in 2011.

00:16:02   The Global Delight team is a small team that operates from a small town in southern India

00:16:08   and my illustrious co-host, Mr. Jason Snell, was the man that actually went to their booth

00:16:12   to hand over this coveted badge.

00:16:15   And the Global Delight guys were very excited to tell me this story and I think it's so

00:16:18   awesome.

00:16:19   Jason, do you remember doing this?

00:16:20   You know, you were setting that up.

00:16:22   It was really going to sound like I traveled to a town, a small town in the south of India

00:16:27   to seek out new Mac applications.

00:16:29   And what I found will surprise you.

00:16:32   But I do remember, I actually remember when we had, so every year we would have the Best

00:16:37   of Show debate where all the editors would bring the stuff that they'd seen.

00:16:41   And it's not a scientific process like something like, even like the Eddie Awards was a little

00:16:48   bit more like we had tested everything and then we would argue about what we thought

00:16:52   the best was.

00:16:53   Best of Show was even more hazy.

00:16:54   It was like, is this cool?

00:16:55   Is this cool enough?

00:16:56   And you'd end up with these long, weird arguments between various editors.

00:17:02   And I remember that one, especially we were in a room somewhere at the convention hall

00:17:06   having that conversation.

00:17:08   And I remember somebody actually brought out their laptop with a beta, I think, of Boom

00:17:12   installed on it and said, "Listen to this," basically like, you know, demoed it for us

00:17:18   right there.

00:17:19   And so, and that convinced the crowd.

00:17:21   And so, yeah, then I had the job that year of walking around and sort of giving everybody

00:17:25   their little trophies or ribbons or whatever it was that we were handing out.

00:17:29   So I remember that well.

00:17:30   You can now try Boom 2 for free for 7 days by going to bit.ly/upgradeboom

00:17:37   which I quite like that. bit.ly/upgradeboom and we'll put the link to that in the show notes of course.

00:17:42   And when you decide to buy, get 20% off by using the coupon code UPGRADE.

00:17:46   This offer is valid throughout December. Thank you so much to Global Delight and Boom 2 for sponsoring this week's episode of Upgrade.

00:17:53   Good friends.

00:17:56   Good friends indeed.

00:17:57   In a small town. When I visited them in their small town is...

00:17:59   small town in the south of India. I know I've never been to India, but they came and visited

00:18:04   us in San Francisco.

00:18:06   It's not the same thing at all.

00:18:09   What are friends for?

00:18:10   Indeed. Do we have any more follow-up today?

00:18:14   We do. We have a couple more. I'm going to say listener Tebow. It could be Tebow. I don't

00:18:23   know. I'm like, once again, this is the third time I'm going to say this. Little John Syracusian

00:18:29   and failing to, I'm tried, but probably failed.

00:18:32   Anyway, listener Tebow says,

00:18:34   "Follow up regarding Marvel Unlimited.

00:18:36   Another reason why there's a six month delay,"

00:18:37   he said, "I thought this might be tied

00:18:39   to a deal with ComiXology.

00:18:40   Maybe ComiXology and Amazon are getting a cut from sales

00:18:44   and they'd want to prevent Marvel

00:18:45   from offering the same catalog."

00:18:47   Now, I think this is a good thought,

00:18:50   but I don't think it's accurate.

00:18:51   I actually think that Marvel could control this

00:18:55   and do whatever they wanted.

00:18:56   I think it's, it's, uh, I don't think that there's an exclusive window, uh,

00:19:01   that comiXology and Amazon have.

00:19:03   I could be wrong, but I think not.

00:19:05   I think the way this is working is that they, they like with Netflix, there's a

00:19:10   primary market and the secondary market.

00:19:11   And the primary market is people who spend a lot of money on brand new comics

00:19:14   and they don't want to lose that market and have all their hardest core fans

00:19:18   sign up for a $70 subscription service because they would lose money on the

00:19:22   deal because those people buy a lot of comics, more than $70 a year worth of comics by a

00:19:27   long shot from Marvel. So I think it's not that. I think that's more of the symptom,

00:19:34   which is Amazon, Comixology, and Marvel are very happy to have people paying the full

00:19:40   price for those issues. In fact, you can see it, that new issues cost maybe $4 and then

00:19:44   after three months or so, they get cut to like $2. And then eventually they end up on

00:19:49   Marvel Unlimited as well so they can, because they're digital, they can now cut

00:19:53   the price as they get older because they realize that the number one

00:19:58   moneymaker for them in terms of profit margin is the people who are gonna buy

00:20:02   it the first week or two that it's out for full price. So that's my theory.

00:20:07   I believe this is Thibaut. It's French. It works at RealMyke Software.

00:20:16   also friends of the show. Listen, Michael also had some follow-up for us.

00:20:21   - He did. - Which is interesting. I saw this. I'm surprised this is in here. I thought this

00:20:26   is a very interesting follow-up to send in. Michael is a very open individual. I don't know

00:20:32   if he expected this to be follow-up read on the show, but here we are.

00:20:36   - He put it on Twitter. If he had sent this in a personal email to us, I might have felt

00:20:40   a little different, but he did put it on Twitter and included it to both of us. So it's very

00:20:44   definitely about the show and he says, listener Michael, he says, "I'm not sure how it happened,

00:20:49   but we had an ahoy telephone moment during our special," in quotes, "special cuddle time

00:20:55   this weekend." So he says, so yes, during some private time, listener Michael and his partner

00:21:04   seem to have accidentally triggered ahoy telephone on his partner's phone.

00:21:13   Not his, he said, "I have that turned off. I have a hoei telephone turned off on my phone."

00:21:20   But I believe it was on her phone and they have a special. So Siri got to be a part of that

00:21:27   relationship, apparently. That is what I like to hear. Siri's bringing people together with

00:21:37   a hoei telephone. So another reason to turn off that feature is what I'm saying.

00:21:41   Yes.

00:21:43   Or, before you have special cuddle time, unplug your phone. It's one of those.

00:21:50   [Laughter]

00:21:52   Alright.

00:21:53   Oh, dear.

00:21:55   [Laughter]

00:21:57   Should we go to a topic, Myke?

00:22:00   Please, I would very much like to go to a topic. What would you like to discuss today?

00:22:04   the dice case. The topic I would like to discuss at least at the start is merchandise. Merchandising.

00:22:13   I've been over the last year or so selling t-shirts for various incomparable things.

00:22:18   I put a I put an incomparable mug up on Zazzle last night because everybody wanted a mug

00:22:25   and I didn't want to make and ship heavy mugs and worry about them breaking so I just did

00:22:32   design and put it up there and I'm letting Zazzle, uh, Lazel, Zazzle, Lazel, Spazzle,

00:22:37   Mazel, Basil, I don't know, them. Zazzle, what a great name, I don't know what it means.

00:22:42   - It's terrible. - Anyway, Zazzle with the three Z's, uh, it's up there. And then Relay FM has

00:22:49   merchandise too, that you opened a Relay FM shop where there's a, uh, a t-shirt with a big R on it,

00:22:55   which I've worn a couple of times, um, indicating that I'm a registered trademark. And, uh, stickers.

00:23:01   as well. Yep my stuff actually arrived today finally. Oh good. Shipping is a fun

00:23:07   fun thing. We should talk about that actually because there's interesting points in the

00:23:13   merchandise because what we've done, what we've decided to do, we decided

00:23:21   that we would like to go the route of owning and operating the store

00:23:25   ourselves as opposed to using someone like Cotton Bureau or Teespring or Zazzle.

00:23:31   Don't get, don't know Zazzle t-shirts, they're not good.

00:23:35   So I've, we, we decided... They fade after like one wash.

00:23:39   Oh really? I don't recommend it, yeah. Yeah, that's not good. I got those for the Space Shuttle launch. I got a, I made a, I made a

00:23:44   couple t-shirts, one, one-off t-shirts for, which, you know, they do, which was great.

00:23:49   And they were great for the event and then I put them in the laundry and they

00:23:53   were like half faded away that after that but they were good for one shot.

00:23:57   You used them quite a lot. Oh yeah. Zazzle like your just I would like a

00:24:04   t-shirt or a mug or a hat. Well no so I don't the t-shirts I don't I don't I

00:24:08   don't do the hats turned out pretty well and then the mugs I you know I've been I

00:24:12   had a I've had a mackerel oat mug that I made on Zazzle for like three years now

00:24:17   and it's still great which is why I did the incomparable mug on Zazzle it's the

00:24:21   same thing. That's like, have you, but this is what you were saying is, there's a lot

00:24:27   that goes into this. You've got, if you were making t-shirts, who's going to make the t-shirts?

00:24:31   And then how are you going to distribute the t-shirts? Do you make a batch? Do you anticipate

00:24:35   what the sizes are? Do you get, a lot of these things like Teespring and Cotton Bureau, they

00:24:39   take the orders up front and that's so that they know exactly how many to make and they

00:24:43   make that many and then they're done. If you don't do that, you risk selling out or being

00:24:48   left with stuff that's extra and then somebody's got to fulfill, they call it

00:24:51   fulfillment, I hope it's a fulfilling job because technically that's the industry

00:24:55   they're in is fulfillment. They've got to put them in boxes and mail them out to

00:24:59   people. So there are lots of different choices you have to make when it

00:25:02   comes to merchandising.

00:25:03   Yeah so what we decided, so basically the hope is that we could try and make some

00:25:09   money out of this like there's another way to help support the network and we

00:25:13   figured the best way to make the most money, in theory, is to manage the entire

00:25:19   thing ourselves. And also we would like to do some different stuff,

00:25:24   some interesting things, and we'd like to have a permanent store. And kind of we

00:25:29   found the only way to really have a permanent store that we could control

00:25:32   in the way we wanted was to set up our own. So that's what we did. So Relay FM's

00:25:37   store, like we own an operator, and luckily Brad Dowdy from The Pen Addict,

00:25:42   he has a company called Nokk where he makes and sells with his friend and co-business

00:25:48   partner Jeff. They sell pen cases.

00:25:52   Of course they do.

00:25:54   They do indeed. They pack and ship all this stuff out of Atlanta. So they are operating

00:25:59   the fulfillment of our products for us. So Brad is helping with the t-shirt printing.

00:26:06   They're being printed in a local place in Atlanta. And he was sort of on the ground

00:26:11   to check all those out and make sure the proofs were okay. Then we kind of guessed

00:26:15   the amounts that we wanted to order because we had no idea of knowing. So we

00:26:22   kind of took some guesses, we ordered a bunch in, the t-shirts sold pretty well.

00:26:27   The stickers, they were selling a lot better and then we used a sticker

00:26:32   printer for that and then we had the sticker printer send the stickers to the

00:26:38   shipping house. However we discovered after having all the stickers sent out

00:26:44   that they are in varying quality. Unfortunately some are blurry, some

00:26:49   are not. We are actually getting them all replaced so if you have been trying to

00:26:53   buy a sticker and haven't been able to because we took them off the store

00:26:56   because we didn't want to continue getting orders, those stickers should be

00:27:00   arriving as we record on the 8th of December 2014. The refreshed stickers

00:27:05   arrived today so we hope that they look good and then we'll be able to ship out

00:27:09   all of the orders that have been made and then put them back on the store. So

00:27:12   these are like the perils of doing it. The thing is we are making more

00:27:18   money per order than I have done in previous stuff like this, but we're

00:27:24   also just kind of, you know, we're trying to deal with the balancing of when do we

00:27:31   actually start making some money because there's not an awful lot of money in it

00:27:35   And in theory, the money will get better in the future,

00:27:38   but that means we need to keep coming up

00:27:39   with new and interesting things

00:27:41   that people actually want to buy,

00:27:42   because the real AFM t-shirts, the logo t-shirts,

00:27:45   which we hope, which we'll probably keep in stock,

00:27:48   like forever, you know, at some point,

00:27:52   everybody's gonna have one that wants one.

00:27:54   - Right, there'll be an army of people

00:27:55   wandering around WWDC with the black t-shirt

00:27:58   with the white R on it.

00:28:00   - I hope so.

00:28:01   It's more of a sort of slate blue.

00:28:04   - Okay.

00:28:05   - It's the same color as the background of the...

00:28:08   - It's very dark.

00:28:09   - It is very dark.

00:28:10   - It's dark, you're right,

00:28:11   it is more of a slate blue, isn't it?

00:28:12   - Yeah.

00:28:13   - All right, you win that one.

00:28:14   - So, oh as well by the way,

00:28:16   if I do ever see anybody in the world

00:28:18   wearing one of these t-shirts,

00:28:20   you get a free hug if you want it.

00:28:21   - Free hug, yep.

00:28:22   - It's yours if you want it,

00:28:23   you don't have to take it, I'm not gonna jump.

00:28:25   - $100 value.

00:28:26   - I may jump on you, but I'll try not to.

00:28:28   - Oh my, just don't activate Ahoy! Telephone with that.

00:28:32   - Attack hug.

00:28:34   And you know, we want to try out some other things.

00:28:36   We will do show t-shirts, but they will all be limited.

00:28:40   We'll buy X amount of show t-shirts

00:28:43   and when they're gone, they're gone.

00:28:45   But I think it's about just, this is a lot,

00:28:48   this is actually kind of a running theme

00:28:49   of the way that me and Steven have set up Relay.

00:28:52   We kind of want to control as much of it as possible.

00:28:56   It would have been so much easier

00:28:58   for us to just set up Teespring.

00:28:59   We did it, we did it with the prompt, we had a Teespring.

00:29:03   I've done a couple of Teesprings for,

00:29:04   I think I did one for the Pen Addict,

00:29:06   and I did one for 70 Decibels T-shirts.

00:29:08   And I've always been very happy with them, actually.

00:29:10   They're very responsive,

00:29:13   I've found the quality to be very good.

00:29:15   But I and Steven, there we go, that's that.

00:29:20   I and Steven wanted to be able to control ourselves,

00:29:25   and there's just like, this is a running theme

00:29:28   of the things that we're doing,

00:29:30   is trying to do it on our own.

00:29:32   I mean, obviously it causes a lot more work,

00:29:35   but I think that we're happier

00:29:37   with the end product actually, in theory.

00:29:40   - Well, so this is, I think this is interesting

00:29:43   'cause I'm going to, you may well be right,

00:29:46   but I'm going to say, I wonder if you're insisting

00:29:50   on controlling everything, including things

00:29:54   that it may not be worth controlling, maybe not,

00:29:57   but having talked to people about this before I did it,

00:30:01   I think there are levels here,

00:30:04   and you guys are going to this extreme,

00:30:07   well, you're not packing and shipping them yourself.

00:30:10   You've got somebody to do that,

00:30:11   but you did, you wanna keep the store open

00:30:14   and you did order a larger amount of merchandise,

00:30:17   which is tricky because the more you order,

00:30:20   the cheaper per item, but the more stock you have,

00:30:23   and then you have to sell out of it,

00:30:27   or at least get close enough that you are in the profit,

00:30:30   Your profits come at the end after you've sort of,

00:30:33   you know, you've sold enough shirts to pay for the run

00:30:35   and then the remaining shirts you sell are in the profits.

00:30:39   Merchandise can be really successful.

00:30:41   The nonprofit that I work for,

00:30:44   National Novel Writing Month, that I'm on the board,

00:30:47   they make a pretty good amount of money

00:30:51   from their merch sales every year,

00:30:54   where they've got a new T-shirt every year

00:30:57   and a new set of merch and their event is once a year.

00:30:59   And that speaks to something, which is there's the ongoing sale versus the kind of stunt sale.

00:31:06   And the advantage of doing that stunt sale, like daring fireball t-shirts or when we've done incomparable t-shirts,

00:31:12   is there's a time frame you need to order by a certain date or you can't get that.

00:31:16   And in terms of buying psychology, a lot of times that's a real motivator.

00:31:21   It's, "Oh, I want to buy that now because I want that shirt and I can't just say, 'Well, I'll get it eventually because it'll be gone.'"

00:31:27   But it has the direct benefit to the economics of the project by only you're only making

00:31:33   as many as there's demand for. And then within that you can go two different ways.

00:31:40   Cotton Bureau is basically the people who did Pixel Workers, United Pixel Workers, and

00:31:45   a screen printer in Pittsburgh. And they work together now to do Cotton Bureau, and that's

00:31:51   end to end. Like literally, you send them a design and if they like it, they will put

00:31:55   it up and then there's a crowdfunding kind of model for two weeks and then

00:31:59   they print the shirt and they take a lot of money for it but they do everything

00:32:04   other than you do the design but even then they they will sometimes help with

00:32:09   the design and they want to make sure that it fits with what they're trying to

00:32:11   do on the on their site. What John Gruber does with Daring Fireball I believe is

00:32:18   he's got a screen printer that he's worked with and that other people have

00:32:20   work that he likes.

00:32:22   And the screen printer will do the shirts,

00:32:25   but John is still taking orders up front.

00:32:29   He uses the order taking to determine how many shirts

00:32:33   he has the screen printer order.

00:32:34   And then I believe the screen printer

00:32:36   will do the fulfillment, we'll ship those out.

00:32:39   So what John Gruber is doing is he's doing the part

00:32:44   of taking orders himself,

00:32:46   and then passing that onto the screen printer.

00:32:48   So there are lots of different ways you can do this

00:32:51   and it sort of becomes how much time do you wanna spend

00:32:53   and how much control do you want over it?

00:32:55   And for me, with the incomparable stuff,

00:32:58   I always felt like,

00:33:01   on one level I wanted a lot of control over it,

00:33:03   but on another level, I really didn't wanna spend my time

00:33:07   worrying about shipping out T-shirts or mugs

00:33:10   or anything like that.

00:33:11   And so for me, I was willing to pay somebody to do that.

00:33:14   And I ended up using Cotton Bureau

00:33:17   because I'd bought some pixel worker shirts and they as a proof of concept

00:33:21   they were really high quality so I knew I was gonna get something that wasn't

00:33:26   like that Zazzle shirt that faded after after one wash.

00:33:29   See I appreciate that it what we are doing it requires more work and and at

00:33:36   the moment it's requiring an amount of work but in theory if it goes the way we

00:33:41   would like it to go a lot of the printing and fulfillment stuff will be

00:33:46   handled by and estimated by the guys at NOC. And me and Steven just send them a check,

00:33:52   right? And then we split the profits at the end of it. But if it turns out that this doesn't work,

00:33:59   then that's fine. But it's an experiment that we wanted to try, and we haven't lost any money on it.

00:34:04   And it's tied in with the brand promise of Relay, right? Which is, "Let's do this stuff ourselves."

00:34:11   I mean, in some ways, that's part of what Relay represents.

00:34:15   And so to have you guys set up your store--

00:34:17   and I will admit, I think it's really cool

00:34:19   that you've got a store that's open all the time.

00:34:20   And things may come in and out of stock,

00:34:22   but it's open all the time.

00:34:24   There's something cool about that.

00:34:26   Because if you want an incomparable Zeppelin shirt

00:34:29   today, you can't get it.

00:34:30   You just can't get it.

00:34:31   We're not selling them.

00:34:32   We sold some last year, and we sold some earlier this year.

00:34:36   And right now, they're not for sale.

00:34:37   And we may have gotten more orders in the meantime,

00:34:41   but I also look at Cotton Bureau site where they have a request, a reprint, and there's,

00:34:45   you know, there are a bunch of people who've requested a reprint on that already because

00:34:48   they just missed it and now it's too late. So I like the idea that it's just sort of

00:34:53   all, always available. The problem is just the behind the scenes stuff of the fact is

00:34:57   you can't, you can't do a run of one t-shirt. So, you know, if somebody wants, you know,

00:35:04   a men's XXL and you're out of men's XXLs, your only choices are to go back and print

00:35:10   20 of them or say sorry out of stock maybe later but I like the idea that your store

00:35:16   is always there.

00:35:18   That was kind of where the original feeling to do this came from was we like the idea

00:35:26   of having a permanent store that had some stuff in it.

00:35:30   You know, stickers and t-shirts of some description will always be there and maybe if we try some

00:35:37   other little things in the future. We'd love to do mugs but we can't do mugs. The fulfillment

00:35:44   is too complex and expensive.

00:35:47   That's why the incomparable mug that never existed is now exists and it exists on Zazzle.

00:35:52   Like I was saying, they're heavy, they're breakable. Just, mmm, no.

00:35:57   There are potentially some other things we could do as well as t-shirts, because we will

00:36:02   always do t-shirts because t-shirts are fun and also I like having t-shirts for

00:36:07   my shows and my stuff however I know that everybody has a million t-shirts so

00:36:14   we are thinking of ways and stickers is a good one because

00:36:17   stickers are a good one because they're very cheap you know you can get a whole

00:36:22   pack for I think it's like eight or nine dollars or something like that and you

00:36:26   can buy just a single sticker of your favorite show for two dollars I mean you

00:36:29   know that that's that's fun and you can be like me and cover your laptop in stickers.

00:36:36   Should we take a quick break and then because I know that you wanted to talk about...

00:36:40   We'll jump off of this and talk about something a little bit beyond merch but yes we should

00:36:46   hear from a friend first.

00:36:47   This week's episode of Upgrade is also brought to you by Smile Software and PDF/Pen Scan Plus.

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00:38:33   Uh, you know, yeah, it's, that's good stuff. That's there, and from friends. Scanning in things,

00:38:41   you can scan in real world items, you can scan in crazy stuff, and then you've got it forever.

00:38:48   Good. Indeed. So, funding. Funding. This is what we want to talk about right now, right?

00:38:55   Yes, we're going to put the fun in funding now. Well, no, I just, we're talking about merchandise,

00:39:01   and that brings up a larger issue, which I think is getting money from... Look, we are

00:39:10   are, as we've talked about in previous shows, we are people who are trying to find a way

00:39:14   to do what we want to do for a living. But part of that is the for a living part, that

00:39:19   you can do what you want to do, but then also how are you going to eat? And there are different

00:39:24   approaches here, which I think is interesting. It used to be that the approaches were, you

00:39:30   know, mainstream media approaches where people paid you for your content and then you also

00:39:34   put ads in it. These days, there are lots of different gradations, right? So somebody

00:39:41   like John Gruber has site sponsors and podcast sponsors, and we've got podcast sponsors,

00:39:46   and that's how we make money from this show is that our good friends give us money in

00:39:52   exchange for us talking about our good friends. But there are other approaches, right? Tom

00:39:58   Merritt, who used to be at Twit, now has his own daily tech news show. He's using Patreon

00:40:04   and he's bringing in $13,000 a month.

00:40:06   He's basically got thousands of fans who are paying him,

00:40:11   I think it's maybe roughly 5,000 fans paying him about,

00:40:15   you know, a little bit less than $3 a month on average.

00:40:18   - I'm one of those people.

00:40:20   I actually don't even listen to his show every day,

00:40:22   but I love Tom and I think he's amazing

00:40:26   and he deserves this.

00:40:28   - Oh yeah.

00:40:28   - He is just the best.

00:40:30   He's such a pro.

00:40:32   - Oh, he's great.

00:40:33   has 4,590 patrons currently paying him $13,149.72 per month. He's fantastic. I've interviewed

00:40:43   him a bunch of times. I think I've had him on inquisitive. I'll put the link to that

00:40:48   in the show notes.

00:40:49   Yeah, so this is, to me, one of the real Patreon success stories, where he's got fans, 4,500

00:40:58   of which are able to donate, again, $3 a month. It's not a lot. And that allows him to do

00:41:04   the show. And then the show is free. You're not getting anything by donating other than

00:41:08   to fund more things for him to do. But that's okay. That's the point of it. And that's a

00:41:13   great success story. Then there's somebody like Ben Thompson who does Stratechery. And

00:41:18   he posts like a couple of interesting think pieces every, like a couple a week, I think,

00:41:25   on stratechery.com, and then he has a daily newsletter

00:41:30   that's full of links and other thoughts that he has,

00:41:33   and it's a really good newsletter.

00:41:34   I subscribe to that, and that's $10 a month

00:41:36   or $100 a year, and so for that, you're getting something.

00:41:40   You're spending something to support him,

00:41:43   but also to get this newsletter that he writes,

00:41:46   and he puts a lot of effort.

00:41:47   I would say probably 70% of the effort we see

00:41:50   on Stratechery is in the newsletter,

00:41:54   and then the other 30% is in the pieces on the site.

00:41:56   Maybe he would define it differently,

00:41:57   but the point is it's a lot.

00:41:59   And there are other people out here doing this.

00:42:02   I actually had a phone call a few weeks ago

00:42:04   with Sean Blank about this,

00:42:05   because he has got members on seanblank.net.

00:42:08   - He'll be very upset with you, by the way.

00:42:11   - Why? - Blanc.

00:42:12   - It's Blanc? - Yeah, like Mont Blanc.

00:42:14   - Really? - Yeah.

00:42:15   - I apologize to Sean and to listener, Tebow.

00:42:20   For my, I don't do French.

00:42:22   - Sean Blanc, Mont Blanc.

00:42:25   Of course you say he's pronounced like a pin, Myke.

00:42:27   Of course you would say that.

00:42:28   - It's an easy way to remember it.

00:42:30   - Shane, Shane Blanc is his name, okay?

00:42:33   Shane Blanc.

00:42:34   And if you go to shaneblanc.biz.plumbing,

00:42:37   you will see, so Sean Mont Blanc pin has a membership too.

00:42:46   And I talked to Sean about it.

00:42:47   I only used his first name because I hate names, Myke.

00:42:50   I don't use, I was walking with my wife yesterday

00:42:53   and we were talking about names and how I never,

00:42:56   I just never use names.

00:42:57   I try not to use people's names ever, Myke,

00:43:00   except on shows maybe, Myke.

00:43:02   - I'm the same because I'm terrible at remembering names.

00:43:06   I'm great at remembering faces, horrible at remembering names.

00:43:10   - Yeah, hey you.

00:43:11   - So I fall back. - Good to see you.

00:43:12   - I fall back to being very British.

00:43:13   Oh, hello sir, oh, hello mate.

00:43:15   And it works, people just, they like to hear that.

00:43:19   especially Americans. It doesn't work so well in this country but Americans like to hear it,

00:43:22   they say to let it go well. Ahoy, ahoy, buddy. Yeah, hey pal, hey skipper. That's what I say

00:43:28   here to British people. So anyway, Sean's got a membership too and his membership has,

00:43:34   I think he does a podcast, a short podcast. Yeah, he does a daily members-only podcast called Sean

00:43:41   Today. That's his main thing that he gives and he has like a pledge drive, like a membership drive

00:43:48   every year, it's like giveaways and stuff.

00:43:51   - Right. - And I know,

00:43:51   like Sean is an interesting one to me because he,

00:43:56   he was doing this, he's been doing this for a while,

00:43:59   there weren't a lot of people that were doing memberships

00:44:01   when Sean did his, and he kind of looked to Jon Gruber

00:44:05   for inspiration, and then Sean set up his own,

00:44:09   and it kind of, it started off a lot of people

00:44:11   trying to do sort of, I am an independent writer,

00:44:15   please support me type stuff,

00:44:17   and Sean has done very well and continues to do very well.

00:44:20   I believe it's his main source of income,

00:44:22   even though he does own, like, 1,000 websites.

00:44:25   I believe that the membership is Sean's thing mainly,

00:44:29   and he continues to be very successful from it,

00:44:32   which is a great success story.

00:44:34   But he also takes sponsorship as well.

00:44:36   It's like it's another avenue of income for Sean.

00:44:38   - Right, and you put it together.

00:44:40   And this is--I think this is interesting.

00:44:42   This is not that different from, I think,

00:44:44   the struggle that app developers face in terms of deciding how am I going to, you know, can

00:44:50   I charge for this app? Can I do in-app purchases? Is there a subscription model here? I mean,

00:44:54   this is finding the right way to get people to pay for things is a challenge. And then

00:45:01   what I found, and I think Sean has found this, I think Ben Thompson has found this, and it's

00:45:07   obvious that Tom Merritt has found this, is there are people who like what you do and

00:45:11   and want to support you.

00:45:13   And there are different ways to approach that.

00:45:15   Tom Merritt, like I said,

00:45:16   I don't think the people who give him $3 a month on Patreon

00:45:19   are getting access to any special content.

00:45:21   They're just getting the good feeling

00:45:23   of supporting this guy who's gonna make great stuff

00:45:25   that they listen to or watch every day.

00:45:28   For someone like Ben or Sean,

00:45:32   you're getting something out of it.

00:45:33   Now, you may or may not actually listen to every podcast

00:45:35   or read every newsletter,

00:45:37   but there is a feeling like it's an exchange

00:45:40   where I'm giving you money

00:45:41   because I like you, but also I get something out of it,

00:45:43   whether I take advantage of it or not.

00:45:45   And there's some psychology there.

00:45:47   And it's just, it's fascinating

00:45:49   to see these different approaches.

00:45:50   And I mean, the reason that I talked to Sean

00:45:54   and didn't use his last name a couple of weeks ago

00:45:56   is that I'm absolutely thinking about this.

00:45:58   This is one of those things that I'm thinking

00:46:00   when I'm trying to come up with a way to, like I said,

00:46:04   you know, make a living doing things that I love.

00:46:07   And I've heard from people since I left Macworld saying,

00:46:10   "How can I support you? I'm not an advertiser. I don't have a product, but I'd like to support you."

00:46:15   And right now my answer is, "Well, you can't. I have no way to do that."

00:46:19   But tell people about the site. But I'm definitely thinking about this for me or for Six Colors or

00:46:26   something like that. Could I do a membership? What would I offer? Would people want to give

00:46:31   some money to me on a regular basis to support what I do? In addition to the sponsorships,

00:46:35   would that be the difference? It's entirely possible that that could be the difference

00:46:39   between me making it or not with something like six colors. It is knowing some of these

00:46:45   other examples out there, and Tom is in the stratosphere, I would say, but you can see

00:46:53   he's in the stratosphere with 4,500 people. So, you know, it doesn't take that thousand

00:46:59   true, that Kevin Kelly thousand true fans thing, there's truth to that. Like, a small

00:47:04   group of people paying a small amount of money to somebody to do something that they, you

00:47:09   to keep doing what they like that person doing can make the difference between success or failure.

00:47:14   And that's fascinating. Now, I haven't done anything about it yet other than think about it,

00:47:19   but it's definitely something that I've thought about. I don't know, you know, I don't want to do

00:47:23   a tip jar, right? That I don't, and I don't know if you've thought about this for Relay, if you

00:47:28   want to do anything other than, you know, sponsorship and some merchandise things. I know

00:47:33   people feel like when they buy a t-shirt they're supporting you, but, you know, the amount of money

00:47:37   you get it like you said out of a t-shirt is not particularly great so yes

00:47:42   I have thought about it yeah yes to which okay I asked you like 90 questions

00:47:48   there well in the form of statements so yes yes all of them basically so I get

00:47:55   the same thing we get the same thing I would love to support you what do you

00:47:58   have a patreon I get that question a couple of times a week at the moment for

00:48:05   For a while I was thinking about it, but then after having some conversations and then also

00:48:11   thinking about it some more, I love Patreon.

00:48:15   I think it's amazing, but for some reason I don't think it's right that we're there.

00:48:20   Relay is maybe different to say you.

00:48:25   Well, right.

00:48:27   I think that's an aspect of this too, is people versus product, because I thought about doing

00:48:32   a membership for Incomparable too, but that would be a different thing, and that would

00:48:36   be, that's much more complicated because there's different podcasts and different

00:48:39   people who would be involved and the money would need to go to different places, and

00:48:43   I'm not, you know, that would be a different kind of thing. Not necessarily better or worse,

00:48:47   but a very different thing than I'm supporting Jason, doing, and Six Colors being the most

00:48:52   obvious place where it's, you know, it's sort of my thing, and I have some other people

00:48:56   writing there occasionally, but it's really my thing. And Relay is many things, right?

00:49:00   So it's a little harder to pin down,

00:49:03   I wanna support Myke versus I wanna support Relay.

00:49:06   - And because I am Relay, right,

00:49:08   this is where all of my creative endeavors go,

00:49:11   I don't wanna have a Patreon for me, right?

00:49:14   - Right. - It doesn't feel right.

00:49:15   I don't wanna have a Patreon for Relay

00:49:17   because Relay is a company that sells ads

00:49:22   as well as a company that creates podcasts.

00:49:26   - Right.

00:49:27   - And there's just something in that to me

00:49:29   which is peculiar. Like that I am an entity, as in the business, right? The

00:49:37   business has these two parts of it so I don't really want to have a Patreon for

00:49:41   that. There's just something about it. So then I thought could we have a direct

00:49:45   membership? Again, we do it ourselves. It's another thing I'm thinking would we

00:49:49   want to do it ourselves? Maybe. That one is a maybe I think. But I just don't know

00:49:54   what I would give and I feel like it would have to be something really good

00:49:57   and I don't know what it is yet. I have an idea for a thing that I'm working on, which

00:50:01   is not membership-related, but there could be something that falls out of that, which

00:50:06   we could offer to people. And maybe, I don't even know if we would want to call it a membership,

00:50:12   we might call it something completely different, but it could be a way for people to give us

00:50:15   money for a certain thing, right? Like, you're buying something regularly from us, which

00:50:21   is digital.

00:50:22   And I feel like whether it's a direct transaction of money for a certain thing or it's money for access to a thing, I'd like that.

00:50:33   I mean, I mentioned Sean's podcast, right, and Ben Thompson's newsletter, and I think there's some truth to that, that you may not actually read the newsletter.

00:50:42   You may not actually subscribe to that podcast. But I still think psychologically you're getting something for your money and that I like that.

00:50:51   I like that as a person giving money and as a person receiving money, I think that is a better kind of transaction than Patreon.

00:50:59   Although I like the idea of Patreon.

00:51:01   I just, it makes me a little uncomfortable because it is, it is surely, I like you.

00:51:07   And instead of being like, I like you, so I'm buying your product or subscribing to your, your product.

00:51:14   And for me, that, that second one feels better to me.

00:51:17   It feels more tangible, even if you don't use the product.

00:51:21   Right.

00:51:21   You just want to support the person.

00:51:23   You don't have to use the product.

00:51:25   Nobody's going to make you read the newsletter, but, uh, but there is something

00:51:29   there, you are getting something.

00:51:30   And when it comes time a year down the road to renew, you have a reason for

00:51:36   renewing beyond support, which is access to these, you know, this thing that.

00:51:41   Has has maybe some value to you.

00:51:44   I don't know.

00:51:45   It's, it's a, it's, it's, it's tricky, but I do believe that, that if I were

00:51:49   gonna do something like this, I would want to have something as a benefit and not just

00:51:53   do Patreon. Patreon, it's really cool. We've talked about it for Incomparable, we've talked

00:52:00   about doing it for like our radio dramas, although we've talked about doing Kickstarter

00:52:03   for that too, which is also another thing that's out there. The difference there is

00:52:07   that Kickstarter, there starts to be this implication that everybody's gonna get goodies

00:52:12   and that you're using the cash specifically to fund the project, whereas with Patreon

00:52:16   it's more about support. It's about these are people making a cool thing and I want to support them.

00:52:21   And that's the, to me, that feels like a difference from Kickstarter where it's literally like,

00:52:27   why am I giving you this money to make this thing? So I, you know, the money better be in the thing,

00:52:31   which is not always how it works. So I don't know. It's fascinating that there's so many

00:52:36   different options here, but I feel totally paralyzed about it. I'm only now at the point

00:52:42   where I'm starting to really think maybe I will do something like this, but it's just been,

00:52:46   there's so many different approaches and asking people for money, you know, that also is a big

00:52:52   step. But at the same time, it's very hard when you're out on your own and people are saying,

00:52:56   "I really like the stuff that you've done and I like the stuff you're doing now, but I'm never

00:53:00   going to be able to do anything beyond buy a t-shirt and I have too many t-shirts," to just

00:53:04   turn them away and say, "Well, you know," I mean, this is what Lex Friedman does when we talk about

00:53:11   podcast advertising is, you know, he says, he's told me a few times that, you know,

00:53:16   you can do a Kickstarter or you can do something like that, but it's very difficult to get that

00:53:20   to work instead of advertising. But you could do both. And that, you know, there, I don't think

00:53:28   there's anything wrong with that if the advertising is reasonable.

00:53:32   That just feels like, I agree with what you're saying, but it feels like to me, the difference

00:53:38   is you, it's just Jason.

00:53:42   I don't know, it feels like there's something there

00:53:45   which is, it feels better than a big company,

00:53:50   but a company.

00:53:54   - Certainly, certainly that's true.

00:53:56   In the chatroom Brian Hamilton says,

00:53:58   I would pay a few bucks a month

00:54:00   to see six colors without ads,

00:54:02   but this is the thing, and this is actually a path,

00:54:03   we tried to go down this with Mac World Insider.

00:54:06   First off, the ads on Six Colors are a little text block,

00:54:10   a single text block at the top

00:54:11   that doesn't change for a week

00:54:12   and a single post once a week.

00:54:16   So there's not a lot of ad clutter there,

00:54:18   but this is the challenge is,

00:54:21   if you take your best audience

00:54:24   and you sell them a product essentially that blocks the ads,

00:54:28   then what you're doing is you're trading,

00:54:31   you're adding value by having people give you money

00:54:34   and removing value from the people seeing the ads.

00:54:37   And that essentially,

00:54:39   I've come to believe the math doesn't really work

00:54:43   when you do that.

00:54:44   You kind of need to do both and it needs to be supplemental.

00:54:48   And I think removing ads as the product that you're selling

00:54:51   is not necessarily that much of a strong point.

00:54:54   Plus people who wanna remove the ads

00:54:56   can remove them anyway, or you can ignore them.

00:54:58   But that goes, that's sort of what Lex's point was,

00:55:01   is if you're trading one for another,

00:55:02   it's a lot harder to make the math work.

00:55:04   - Yeah, it's like anything that we ever did,

00:55:06   we're not gonna get rid of ads

00:55:08   and we're not gonna talk about that.

00:55:10   I know that it's something that Dan Benjamin talks about

00:55:12   with his Patreon.

00:55:14   You know, they talk about reducing ads,

00:55:16   which is, I mean, I could say it's a very perplexing thing

00:55:19   to me because he's in that business.

00:55:22   So it's one of the reasons that we wouldn't wanna do it

00:55:24   is I believe in the advertising model for podcasts

00:55:30   and I will show that it's selling our advertising.

00:55:33   - Right.

00:55:34   - And that's a big important,

00:55:35   that's an important thing to both of me and Steven,

00:55:38   is that we don't dilute that.

00:55:40   - I appreciate Dan saying,

00:55:42   if I get enough money on Patreon,

00:55:45   maybe we don't have ads in our podcast,

00:55:47   but really that sounds to me like saying,

00:55:50   like a professional sports franchise saying,

00:55:53   if you fund upgrades to our stadium,

00:55:58   maybe ticket prices will go down.

00:55:59   No, they're not going to go down.

00:56:02   They're going to go up because you're going to get the money from over there.

00:56:04   And you're going to get the money from over here.

00:56:06   And that's just going to, that's sort of how it works.

00:56:09   That's not, you're not, it seems unlikely that it would happen any other way.

00:56:14   So yeah, I, I, if nothing else, um, I think what this points out is it's,

00:56:22   it's complicated and these things are at least for us, I can't speak for everybody

00:56:28   else are things that we think about a lot and think about the ramifications of. And

00:56:32   that it's not something you do on a lark. I appreciate that you guys, like me, are really

00:56:40   wary about the idea of asking your audience for money. And if you're going to do it, you

00:56:45   want to do it right. And if you can't do it right, you don't want to do it. And that's

00:56:49   definitely where I am now. And, you know, people like Tom Merritt and Ben Thompson and

00:56:56   and Sean Blanc are, that's how you pronounce that,

00:56:59   are inspirations in that way, that they have done it.

00:57:02   And they've gone out there and asked for support

00:57:04   from their audience and gotten it.

00:57:06   And that is really inspirational, but it's, you know,

00:57:10   when money is involved, especially,

00:57:11   you don't want to screw that up.

00:57:12   And not just because like, oh no, I might lose money,

00:57:15   but like, I don't want to cause a rift between the people

00:57:19   who like what I do and me over me mishandling the,

00:57:24   you know, whatever it is where money is involved.

00:57:26   You know, money can change relationships.

00:57:29   I would hate to sour my relationship

00:57:31   with the people who like what I do

00:57:32   because I asked for money in some, you know,

00:57:37   inappropriate way or did something wrong

00:57:40   where it was a mess.

00:57:41   I don't wanna do that.

00:57:43   - Do you know what part of the problem is

00:57:44   with removing the ads for money?

00:57:47   You actually lose the people that are probably

00:57:50   most likely to click or listen or connect to your ads.

00:57:54   Yes, that's exactly what they said when we tried to do Mac World Insider was,

00:57:59   it's very hard for the salespeople to go out and say,

00:58:01   "We're giving you this great audience, the most tied in of which won't see your ads."

00:58:09   That's tough. That's a tough one.

00:58:11   And that is a true thing.

00:58:13   I find that the people that support our sponsors,

00:58:17   there are a portion of people that support our sponsors to support us.

00:58:22   And that is like the best thing that anybody can do because, I mean, I believe that Relay

00:58:29   can make more money from advertising than it can from direct.

00:58:32   Yeah.

00:58:33   I think in most cases that's just the truth, is that the advertising money has much more

00:58:39   upside than the direct sponsorship money.

00:58:42   The direct sponsorship money is more constant.

00:58:45   It's from the people who really care about you.

00:58:46   It's going to be there for you in the lean times, but it's never going to be with very

00:58:51   few exceptions. I would say even Tom Merritt, somebody like Tom Merritt who's a success

00:58:55   story for Patreon, he can monetize his podcast better with ads on his podcasts than the money

00:59:04   he's making from Patreon. And he can choose to do that or not do that, but with an audience

00:59:09   the size that he probably has, I would be surprised if that isn't a product that could

00:59:14   generate way more than $13,000 a month, right? And that's the trick. So yeah, it's weird

00:59:21   "We all just want to make great stuff." Bottom line is we all just want to make great

00:59:25   stuff and be able to do that for a living. That's really what it is. And then it's

00:59:28   just a matter of the math of how do you do it, how do you make something. I've seen

00:59:33   so many businesses that get so deep down into advertising and it's crappy advertising

00:59:37   and they make bad decisions and the product suffers. I saw it happen at my previous employer

00:59:45   and I've seen it happen elsewhere in the media. I actually don't like the idea of

00:59:50   entirely relying on advertising to support yourself because once you're that down in

00:59:57   it, it's very hard to, it gets very hard to say no, and you end up compromising so much

01:00:02   of what you're doing. Not, not like saying things that aren't true, but like putting

01:00:07   junk all over your pages and sending out emails that are full of sponsor messages because

01:00:13   you need, nobody wants it, but you need to send it. And I just, I would really like to

01:00:18   to not go down that route because I've been there.

01:00:21   And audience support is one way

01:00:23   that you avoid going down that route and diversifying.

01:00:25   And it gets you through the tough times

01:00:27   when you might accept that really crappy ad

01:00:31   and lets you say, "No, I'm not gonna do that.

01:00:33   "That's not what my audience wants."

01:00:35   - I have one more last little point

01:00:37   that I've been thinking about with this sort of stuff.

01:00:38   And I've been having some conversations about this recently.

01:00:41   You know that people say quite a bit,

01:00:44   not too frequently, but you hear it.

01:00:47   your advertisers influence your content.

01:00:49   Like this is something that you hear people make the claim

01:00:52   or ask, do they?

01:00:54   I wonder if listener support or direct support would actually

01:01:00   make a bigger change or influence to your content than

01:01:05   advertisers.

01:01:06   Like for example, if you had a podcast that you liked to be

01:01:14   for an hour, but you know, you had a bunch of your listeners that you in, you know, that

01:01:22   like the show to be 30 minutes, and the ones that like it to be 30 minutes are the ones

01:01:27   that pay, but the people that don't pay like it to be an hour.

01:01:31   Where are you going to go with that?

01:01:32   Right, and well, if all your funding is from the listeners who pay, you might very much

01:01:39   want to do that, or you might provide them with two versions of the show.

01:01:43   are lots of different ways to go, but you're right that you've got different customers

01:01:47   then in a way, except in some ways that's pure, right? Because we really do make these

01:01:52   shows for the audience and not for the advertisers. We had an interesting email thread, you and

01:01:56   I, with a gentleman who congratulated us on being independent and then said, "But you

01:02:04   know you're not really independent because you just do what your advertisers want you

01:02:08   to do." It's like, "Well, no, that's not really how it works." And his response was something

01:02:11   like, "Yes, that's really how it works." No, that's not how it works. You have to

01:02:17   make the show or the website or whatever for the people who are reading it. And then the

01:02:23   advertisers love that you've got such great people reading your stuff or listening to

01:02:27   your stuff and they want to reach those people too. But that's not the same as saying,

01:02:32   if you build a product for an advertiser, nobody will want to see it. Trust me. I've

01:02:36   done the holiday gift guide with like 40 articles about whatever that's labeled holiday gift

01:02:44   guide because we sold it.

01:02:47   And nobody wants it, but you have to make it because it got sold.

01:02:53   And that's not good.

01:02:55   That's not good content.

01:02:56   The good stuff is the stuff that you make for the real people out there.

01:03:00   And so yes, if the real people were giving you money and so your entire model was your

01:03:04   audience gives you the money and all you need to do is make them happy, then it's doubly

01:03:10   you serving your audience. But you should already be serving.

01:03:13   Yeah, of course. It's not why I'm saying that I don't listen to people and do what people

01:03:22   would like us to do because ultimately we need the listeners to be here. But I think

01:03:27   There's an interesting, I just wonder what is a bigger potential effect, sponsor money or crowdfunding money.

01:03:35   Because I would feel more personally attached to the individual who's giving us their money that they earned than the sponsor that we work with.

01:03:45   There is just a greater human personal attachment in that instance.

01:03:50   Our sponsors are great and I love working with them, but many of them are really large companies.

01:03:55   And the person that I'm dealing with is awesome, but they're spending a marketing budget.

01:03:59   So it's a little bit more detached.

01:04:01   It's a business transaction, but the crowdfunding thing is a direct kind of exchange between

01:04:09   two people.

01:04:11   And I don't know, I haven't really got a fully fleshed out thought with this one, but it's

01:04:16   just something that I've been pondering when thinking about this stuff.

01:04:21   Is there a potential bigger, uh, or at least would I feel different about the content?

01:04:29   I think I would.

01:04:30   I think I would feel different if people were paying me directly for it.

01:04:33   Well, I think, I think the most, um, the, the biggest difference would be, we were talking

01:04:42   about the thousand true fans approach, right?

01:04:44   So you've got a podcast that's being listened to by 20,000 people, but a thousand of them

01:04:48   are your true fans.

01:04:50   And this is the difference, right? Your sponsors are very happy to reach 20,000 people. So

01:04:57   if you're getting money from sponsors, the 20,000 people, that is your target audience.

01:05:03   But if you're giving the show away for free, but a thousand people are funding it, then

01:05:08   the thousand--shouldn't a thousand people be your target audience, if that's all you're

01:05:12   doing? I think this is why it ends up being that a little bit of both is probably a good

01:05:16   idea, because you're making something that's got broad appeal, but only a small percentage

01:05:20   of the people are going to love it enough to want to give you money for it, and so you

01:05:23   have to do a little bit of both.

01:05:26   But it's funny that we're living in a world where all these things are possible.

01:05:30   Like I said, that just makes it that much more difficult to figure out what you actually

01:05:33   want to do.

01:05:36   So we've spoken quite a bit about making money.

01:05:38   Yes.

01:05:39   Jason, let's take a sponsor break.

01:05:42   I think it's the right time.

01:05:43   Jason, would you like to tell me all about MailRoute?

01:05:46   I am speaking to you about MailRoute because they are a friend and because you are my friends.

01:05:52   This is the perfect time or the least perfect time to do a sponsor read, isn't it? I use

01:05:58   MailRoute. I've been using MailRoute for more than a year now and MailRoute is a system

01:06:02   that lets you get rid of spam and viruses and bounced emails so they don't even come

01:06:08   to your inbox and you don't have to buy any hardware or invest in any software that runs

01:06:13   on your own systems, it happens in the cloud, they would say now, I suppose, at mail route

01:06:19   servers. So mail route, the way it works is basically you point your mail inbound at mail

01:06:24   route and then it comes to your mail server after that. And mail route does this thorough

01:06:29   kind of washing of your email and pulls the spam out. I've been very satisfied. They send

01:06:33   me a little email every day that says, "Here's what spam we trapped." And 99 times out of

01:06:39   hundred I would say it's all spam and I get a good laugh at some of the subject

01:06:44   lines it's like I found your ATM card and you know things in broken English

01:06:49   about how I've got an incredible value waiting for me if I will just give them

01:06:54   my credit card. Oh you got my email? Yeah thanks Myke I mail route took care of it

01:06:59   for me. Such a shame. So it really does a very good job and so I'm getting a lot

01:07:04   less spam it's got a lot of settings that you can configure to make it work

01:07:08   the way you want, how often you want to get the digest saying what got filtered out.

01:07:13   If you're a regular person like me, who's just an individual or I've got a Google Apps

01:07:17   installation so I've got like four users on my domain and that was very easy to set up.

01:07:22   It all routes through mail route and then comes to us and that's great.

01:07:27   If you're an email administrator, an IT pro, something like that, they've got all the tools

01:07:33   For you, they've got an API, they support LDAP, Active Directory, TLS, outbound relay,

01:07:40   and Myke's favorite feature, mailbagging.

01:07:42   Love a mailbag.

01:07:44   It's the best. Everything you'd want for people handling your mail.

01:07:47   So if you're an admin for your organization and you're tired of dealing with spam,

01:07:52   MailRoute could be great for you. And if you're a regular person,

01:07:55   you could potentially use MailRoute as well for your mail.

01:07:58   mail. So here's what you need to do to take advantage of our very special offer and remove

01:08:04   your spam from your life for good. Go to mailroute.net/upgrade. You'll get a free trial and 10% off for the

01:08:16   lifetime of your account. Not 10% off the first month of the first year, but forever

01:08:21   if you go to mailroute.net/upgrade. And thank you so much to MailRoute for helping put food

01:08:26   on the tables here at my house and at Myke's house.

01:08:32   Thank you Mauro.

01:08:34   And a good friend.

01:08:35   A good friend indeed.

01:08:36   What else is on the agenda for today's episode?

01:08:41   So in the story arc of today, I want to move next.

01:08:44   So we talked about merch and then we talked about money and I want to talk about success

01:08:47   and failure and we will probably need to go on and on about this at some point in the

01:08:52   the future. But Lister Myke sent a link to a post I'd actually already seen, but I hadn't

01:08:58   really thought of it as a topic until Lister Myke sent it in, which Anil Dash did a post

01:09:04   on the ThinkUp blog at thinkup.com about how ThinkUp is doing as a business. And it's a

01:09:12   really good, honest post about how, you know, this is the—Anil is doing this startup with

01:09:18   Gina Tripani. It's like social media analytics. I paid for a year of ThinkUp. It's actually

01:09:26   really kind of cool. It sends you an email every day saying like finding interesting

01:09:29   nuggets about how people have interacted with you on social media. But it's going okay.

01:09:36   They're happy with the product, but it's been problematic to market it. And they are building

01:09:42   basically what he says is a small solid business, not a venture capital scale business.

01:09:48   So it looks like they laid some people off, but they still have other people working on

01:09:53   it and it's not dying, it's just not growing as fast as they had hoped.

01:09:59   And this resonated with me because John Gruber in his talk at XOXO this year said this too,

01:10:05   and it was something that as I was just going out on my own, I filed away and I keep thinking

01:10:11   about it too, which is there's success and there's failure and there's this muddy middle.

01:10:16   And forgive me, because I think I've talked about this a little bit before, but Anil's

01:10:20   post really brought it home, which is, you know, we all view things through the lens

01:10:26   of did it work or did it not work? Was that business a success or a failure? Myke, when

01:10:31   you quit your job and went out on your own, did you win or did you lose? When I left Macworld

01:10:37   and decided to go out on my own, did I win or did I lose? And what Gruber said at XOXO,

01:10:42   that's the resonance with Anil's post is, the problem is that it's not a binary

01:10:48   answer usually. You usually aren't a crashing failure or a runaway success. A

01:10:54   lot of the truth is in the middle and it's the "it's going okay" kind of thing,

01:11:01   right? It's not great, it's not terrible, it's okay. And it's much harder to make a

01:11:05   decision about "do I want to keep doing this? Is this gonna work? Can I make

01:11:10   this work if it's in the middle, because you can say, "Forget about it." Except, I mean,

01:11:16   Glenn Fleishman was talking about this for the magazine. It was the same thing. The magazine

01:11:20   is wrapping up this month, and he's shutting down production of it. But for a year, he

01:11:25   had been caught in the middle of, "I don't want to shut it down because there's money

01:11:29   coming in, but there's not a lot of money coming in. So it's not a success. It's not

01:11:33   a failure. What do I do?" And I think that's, I think the ThinkUp post just brings it home

01:11:38   again that there's a whole lot of gray and that is where most businesses operate and

01:11:46   you know especially I think most small businesses and most independent people like us and it

01:11:53   I really recommend in Neil's post just because you get that glimpse into they're not a runaway

01:11:58   success nor are they a failure. What happens when you're in the middle? How do you do course

01:12:02   corrections? How do you figure out how to make it work? When do you start doing what

01:12:06   you know, you and I were talking about, which is, are there other revenue streams? Is there

01:12:09   some other thing to do? And I, it's way too early in my journey to know whether I'm in

01:12:16   success or failure mode here. I would, I would say that I'm not in failure mode yet, but

01:12:20   I would say I'm also not yet in success mode. I'm kind of in the middle and I didn't expect

01:12:25   to be, but in six months, you know, I'm at the point where I need to make a decision

01:12:29   about am I going to, am I going to do this or am I going to write this off? It would

01:12:34   really be nice if I had clarity but I need to steel myself for the fact that it's not

01:12:38   going to be clear because it probably won't. Chances are it won't be because that's not

01:12:42   how most of this stuff ends up.

01:12:47   I promise this is not purposeful because there's like another link to inquisitive in the show

01:12:53   notes. It's like 4 now. I spoke to Gina Jopani about this last week and there seems to be

01:13:00   this the interesting like the idea of where where are you comfortable with

01:13:04   your company being and like and it kind of ties into how we were talking about

01:13:08   that team aspect like earlier in the show today and last week like I'm happy

01:13:12   with us making a decent amount of money and being okay like I say this to people

01:13:19   quite a lot like I have no I don't want necessarily it's like it's not on my

01:13:25   list of goals for Relay to make me a very wealthy man. That is not what I do

01:13:31   this for. I just want to earn a comfortable living and be a podcaster

01:13:37   forever. That's all I want this to do. So that kind of middle, like we are

01:13:42   surviving, we're doing good, we're paying people, we're making money, it's

01:13:46   fine. I'm happy with that. I don't need this to be this American life for me to

01:13:53   be happy. Like I'm happy where we are now and I hope that we just scale at that

01:13:59   level and then I would you know that's great for me that's all I really need

01:14:03   and want this thing to do. Yeah I another part of this I think that goes into

01:14:10   Anil's post is that you know they got investors and investors tend to want

01:14:14   that venture capital scale growth and that comes back to you know why are you

01:14:19   why are you doing this? Neither of us, I think, is in this to create some explosive growth that

01:14:29   is going to make us all rich, rich, rich. I think we're all trying to explore doing this and making

01:14:35   a living with it. And that's just a different approach. I read all these stories about Gimlet

01:14:40   Media and the Startup Podcast and all that, and I thought, well, that would have been the other way

01:14:45   to go, right, for Relay or for me or whatever to say, "I'm going to find some investors. They're

01:14:50   going to give me a few million bucks and I'm going to get marketing and I'm going to hire talent and

01:14:55   I'm going to hire producers and we're going to make a big podcast thing." And that's great as

01:15:00   long as it works and you have the explosive growth that's going to be needed to make that investment

01:15:07   worthwhile. And neither of us is doing that with what we're doing. We are doing the

01:15:15   the sustainable, slow and steady, I want to make something that's successful, but I'm

01:15:23   not in this to create that giant thing. And that's okay. I'm not saying that the big startup

01:15:28   podcast thing is a bad idea. It's just a very different way to approach it.

01:15:33   We thought about it. You know, is this something that we would want to do? And we decided we

01:15:39   didn't want to do it. We didn't even go far into, like it was just an idea at the start,

01:15:46   you know, do we want to do this? Do we want to look at investment? And it was, for us

01:15:51   at least, just very quickly became a, no, we don't want to go down that route. Simply

01:15:57   because, you know, the idea of doing it on our own, it doesn't lend to that. So we decided

01:16:05   that we wouldn't do it.

01:16:07   It just wasn't something that we were willing to try out

01:16:10   and we just didn't pursue that route.

01:16:12   And I don't begrudge people from doing that.

01:16:15   I think that there are definite merits,

01:16:19   but we were in a very lucky position

01:16:21   that we were able to start this company

01:16:24   from savings accounts.

01:16:26   And that was perfectly fine.

01:16:29   As I'm sure you started Six Colors in the same way,

01:16:34   from a savings account that you had probably and won't move it from there.

01:16:39   Yeah, oh yeah it's very much that thought, well plus I'm decompressing from

01:16:45   you know whatever 17 years at this corporate media job where the other part

01:16:48   of it is do I want to immediately come out of that and then enter in a situation

01:16:52   where I'm doing something where I have an investor or owner or something

01:16:57   who's going to have me make those decisions based not necessarily on

01:17:00   making the best product, but on doing what we need to do to grow and generate large revenue

01:17:07   growth and boy was I not willing to have those conversations when I was exiting my old job.

01:17:15   So under other circumstances would I talk to somebody about creating a media company

01:17:21   and with investors and all of that? Sure. I might under other circumstances do that

01:17:29   because I have skills in working, you know, creating different products and working with

01:17:34   big staffs and stuff like that. But boy, not now. I need more time. I need a lot more time

01:17:41   before I would even consider something like that.

01:17:43   So do we have anything on others today? I have something I wanted to talk to you about

01:17:48   very quickly. Yeah, well, let's do your topic and then we'll forward promote the topic for

01:17:54   next week.

01:17:55   So this is just a very short thing.

01:17:57   I, for the first time today, held an iPad Air 2.

01:18:02   And I'm interested by it.

01:18:07   It was surprising how thin it actually is.

01:18:13   It's not that I'd avoided it,

01:18:14   I just assumed that I wouldn't be interested in it

01:18:16   because the big iPads are not really the iPads that I buy.

01:18:21   Or at least I thought that I was interested in

01:18:24   I find sometimes the big iPad to be kind of comical in its own way because it feels like

01:18:31   a weird iOS. It's like this huge thing and you know, etc. Anyway, and I know that you

01:18:39   have yours. Are you still using the iPad Air 2 as your iPad?

01:18:45   No, I'm back to my iPad Mini 2 that I've been using for the last year. I still have the

01:18:53   iPad, it's a review unit so I think I have to get it back to them next month

01:18:56   but it's around and I will use it occasionally for you know

01:19:01   checking something on that on that device but mostly it's back to my the

01:19:06   one that I have been using all along the Mini 2. I do every time I get

01:19:11   another like Safari tab reload or switch to an app and it has to reload I'm

01:19:16   reminded of how much nicer the iPad Air 2 is. Not just because of the speed of

01:19:21   processor but because of the RAM. So what would you consider going to iPad Air 2

01:19:31   or do you think you're gonna stay with the mini? If I was looking for a brand

01:19:39   new iPad right now today, if I didn't have that that mini, the mini 2, so it's a

01:19:48   Retina, it's essentially last year's model,

01:19:51   same as this year's model of Mini.

01:19:54   I would seriously consider the Air 2

01:19:59   only because it is so much faster,

01:20:03   having that extra RAM is a big deal.

01:20:07   And it's so light and thin

01:20:11   that even though it's got that huge screen,

01:20:14   It doesn't feel enormous.

01:20:17   And since I read comics on an iPad,

01:20:22   having the bigger screen to read the comics is great.

01:20:24   That said, I do so much work responding to emails

01:20:28   and tweets and things like that.

01:20:30   So much active typing and stuff on the mini

01:20:35   in landscape orientation.

01:20:38   And I can thumb type really well on that device.

01:20:42   And I can't on the Air 2, it's too big.

01:20:45   I can't type like that.

01:20:46   So I would have to find a new typing strategy,

01:20:49   move it into portrait.

01:20:51   I don't know what I would do,

01:20:52   but I can thumb type really well on the mini.

01:20:55   So it would be a lot to give up,

01:20:56   but that extra RAM especially, it's just huge.

01:21:00   So I don't know, it would be a toss up.

01:21:03   Even now it would be a toss up.

01:21:04   I think I said in my little "Six Colors Holiday" gift guide

01:21:06   that the iPad I recommend right now is the iPad mini 2,

01:21:10   'cause it's a really great deal for what it is.

01:21:13   And the iPad Mini 3 is not a very good deal.

01:21:17   But the Air 2 is a beautiful thing.

01:21:20   So, I don't know.

01:21:21   I don't know, I'd say it's a toss up.

01:21:24   But I'm gonna accept that I'm a weirdo

01:21:27   who likes that little iPad Mini.

01:21:29   And that most people, I mean you've got a 6 Plus,

01:21:34   so geez, you don't need an iPad Mini.

01:21:36   - Yeah, so the iPad Mini is in this weird place

01:21:39   So sometimes I just want something for a slightly bigger screen, but those things are very, very far and few between.

01:21:47   So I was wondering, do I need an iPad in my life? And I was hoping that you would just flat out tell me no, not to get it.

01:21:55   But you haven't done that, which is fine. I don't want you to change your...

01:22:00   I think, I don't know, I think given what you do for a living, that it's less...

01:22:08   just the podcast stuff, I have this dream of being able to take only my iPad with me on a trip or something

01:22:15   and leave the Mac at home, but podcasting makes that just not possible.

01:22:20   Just the recording and editing and podcasting, some of it is difficult and some of it's impossible.

01:22:24   And, you know, I think you've got your laptop and you've got your Mac Mini and you've got your iPhone 6 Plus.

01:22:33   And I don't know. I mean, where I use my iPad is on the couch and in the kitchen and in bed.

01:22:39   It's like in the house and I'm not actively like writing something.

01:22:44   That's what I use. That's my auxiliary computing device.

01:22:48   That's what I do Twitter on and check email on.

01:22:52   it's almost entirely that on the iPad mini.

01:22:57   And it's great for that.

01:22:58   - A bit of real time follow up.

01:23:03   - Yes.

01:23:05   - The new stickers look good.

01:23:07   - Oh good.

01:23:08   - So just receive pictures right now.

01:23:10   - And I have opened the all the #AskUpgrade tweets

01:23:14   at Google doc and there are indeed three tweets in it.

01:23:17   - Wow.

01:23:19   And Kyle Seth Gray says, what's the best burrito?

01:23:24   - Okay.

01:23:25   - And my favorite burrito is a barbecue chicken burrito

01:23:29   that I get at my local burrito,

01:23:32   burrito, burriteria?

01:23:36   I don't know.

01:23:37   That's the one that I like.

01:23:38   That's my favorite, it's great.

01:23:39   So yeah, barbecue chicken and beans

01:23:42   and like a barbecue saucy kind of sauce

01:23:45   and some grilled onions and it's really good.

01:23:49   That's my best burrito.

01:23:50   So see, right from the spreadsheet, look at that.

01:23:52   - Perfect.

01:23:54   - And a listener at Murder of Crows on Twitter asks,

01:23:57   "Does this thing work? #AskUpgrade."

01:24:00   Yes.

01:24:01   - We can confirm it does.

01:24:02   - Yep.

01:24:03   - So we would like to tease next week's topic.

01:24:07   - Yes.

01:24:09   Holidays, did you know that it's the holidays, Myke?

01:24:15   - I'd heard the rumors.

01:24:17   Thanksgiving is over, as you know.

01:24:19   You're finally out of the haze of Thanksgiving.

01:24:22   All those leftovers, all that turkey.

01:24:23   Woo.

01:24:24   It is the holidays.

01:24:27   It is the end of the year,

01:24:28   celebrating the fact the earth goes around the sun.

01:24:31   It's like another loop completed, happy new year.

01:24:36   I think something that we should probably talk about

01:24:39   this month is about the holidays

01:24:41   and about what all goes into that

01:24:44   along with like bests and favorites of the year

01:24:46   and gift ideas and other things like that.

01:24:49   So if people have feedback or thoughts

01:24:51   about best of the year and holidays and gifts

01:24:53   and things like that, maybe they should send those along

01:24:56   because we'll talk about that next week.

01:24:58   And then presumably the week after too,

01:25:01   because we've got December on one level,

01:25:03   it feels like it goes on forever.

01:25:04   On another level, I feel like completely stressed out

01:25:09   about how little time I've got between now

01:25:12   and when we're leaving,

01:25:13   'cause we're going to visit my mom in Arizona.

01:25:15   And so I've only got two weeks and then we're on the road.

01:25:19   Um, and I'm hoping still to do an episode of upgrade where I just call you from out

01:25:23   in the middle of the desert, just like in the car, driving through the desert.

01:25:27   And there's no one around, but like a tumbleweed and a coyote.

01:25:30   And we do a show.

01:25:31   I would like that very much.

01:25:33   We'll see.

01:25:33   Maybe.

01:25:34   I would like that very much.

01:25:36   Indeed.

01:25:37   If you'd like to find the show notes for this week's episode, you want to take your

01:25:40   web browser and point it towards relay.fm/upgrade/13.

01:25:47   Lucky number 13 is a lovely list of links in there.

01:25:50   If you'd like to find me on the internet I'm @imike and I'm a podcaster at relay.fm.

01:25:56   Mr Jason Snell writes the fantastic six colours and he is @jsnell on twitter j s n e double

01:26:02   L. We'll be back next time don't forget #askupgrade.

01:26:05   Ask Upgrade. And I hope that you've enjoyed this episode.

01:26:11   Yes, as do I. And we'll be back. Say goodbye, Jason.

01:26:15   Farewell.

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