11: Drifting Shower Schedule


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00:00:02   Hello, and welcome to episode 11 of Upgrade on Relay FM.

00:00:07   This episode of Upgrade is brought to you

00:00:09   by Studio NEAT, makers of the Glyph, the Cosmonaut,

00:00:12   and the NEAT Ice Kit.

00:00:13   Drafts, where text starts on the iPhone and iPad,

00:00:16   now easier and more powerful than ever.

00:00:19   And Mailroute, a secure, hosted email service

00:00:22   for protection from viruses and spam, which you don't want.

00:00:25   My name is Myke Hurley, and I'm joined, as always,

00:00:27   by your host and mine, Mr. Jason Snell.

00:00:30   - Hey Myke, how's it going?

00:00:32   - Very well, sir, how are you?

00:00:34   - I'm doing great.

00:00:34   How's your Thanksgiving week going?

00:00:36   - Oh, so good.

00:00:37   I have so many thanks to give.

00:00:40   I don't even know where I'll start.

00:00:41   - Well, we'll cover that later then.

00:00:44   I, in our episode where we had Scott McNulty on

00:00:47   went so well that I've invited somebody to join us

00:00:50   on this episode too.

00:00:51   - Oh.

00:00:52   - I'm not gonna make you guess because you know who it is.

00:00:57   It is my friend Greg Noss.

00:01:00   Hi, Greg.

00:01:01   - Hi.

00:01:02   - Greg and I went to college together.

00:01:05   Greg knows everybody on the internet,

00:01:08   or at least knew everybody on the internet

00:01:09   in the early to mid 90s.

00:01:12   Would that be accurate?

00:01:13   - Literally everybody.

00:01:14   - I think actually.

00:01:16   - There were like three dozen of us.

00:01:17   - A lot of the people who were early website creators

00:01:20   and bloggers and the like in the 90s,

00:01:23   that was, believe it or not, a very tight knit community.

00:01:26   There were not that many of them and Greg,

00:01:28   every now and then I would run into somebody

00:01:30   and they would know Greg.

00:01:33   It was very funny.

00:01:34   And I would say, you know, I went to college with Greg.

00:01:36   It was just, 'cause we, Greg was a common bond

00:01:39   in a lot of conversations.

00:01:40   There was a day where John Gruber mentioned Greg

00:01:43   on "Daring Fireball" and I was like, what is happening?

00:01:45   (laughing)

00:01:48   Just completely-- - Welcome to Upgrade,

00:01:49   Mr. Neistat. - All around the other way.

00:01:50   Yeah. - Thank you very much.

00:01:53   Greg is here for a very good reason, which we'll get to,

00:01:57   which is that he, like Myke and me,

00:02:00   is somebody who no longer has a big company

00:02:04   employing him as a full-time employee.

00:02:07   Is that still accurate, Greg?

00:02:10   You didn't take a job last week when we set this up,

00:02:12   did you? - No.

00:02:13   - Okay. - No.

00:02:15   - But we'll talk about it. - Couldn't if I wanted to.

00:02:16   - But we should do follow-up first.

00:02:19   - Indeed, we should.

00:02:21   - Follow-up. - Follow-up.

00:02:22   Sorry, I'm used to that sound effect

00:02:24   from a totally different podcast that doesn't exist anymore.

00:02:28   Just a little bit of follow-up this week

00:02:29   from previous episodes.

00:02:31   We talked about podcasting

00:02:32   and I wrote about podcasting today on six colors.

00:02:35   Enough talk about podcasters.

00:02:36   Talking about podcasting on podcasts is boring

00:02:39   and we shouldn't do too much of it,

00:02:41   but I have a couple little bits.

00:02:43   One, oh my God, I lost who this is from.

00:02:47   Now I feel really terrible.

00:02:48   I'm gonna see if I can figure that out.

00:02:50   It's a, this person wrote in.

00:02:53   - I can find this, I can do this.

00:02:57   - Unnamed, oh no, it's listener Russ.

00:03:00   - Good work.

00:03:01   - Listener Russ, I just got it in time.

00:03:04   Listener Russ wrote in just talking about how,

00:03:07   when we were talking about the uptake of podcasts

00:03:08   and having them break out into a broader audience

00:03:10   that he wanted to point out that many churches

00:03:13   have podcasts of their sermons

00:03:15   and there's actually a white label app

00:03:17   called the Church app that lets you

00:03:20   basically I think build an app version for your church with a podcast feed and they actually do

00:03:26   like drives to donate old phones or iPod touches that they can put the app on and take to people

00:03:31   who can't make it to the service to shut-ins so that they can get the sermons every week instead

00:03:35   of like sending them CDs or something like that. And he says that the company he works for does

00:03:40   web and app platforms for agriculture companies and one of their customers has a podcast player

00:03:48   built into their app. So it's an interesting idea that there are some closed platforms

00:03:53   that are basically podcasts, but they're tied into one organization and it's sort of hardwired,

00:03:59   which actually kind of makes sense if you want people to listen to what you have to

00:04:03   say and you don't want to say, "Oh, go get a podcast app and search for us in iTunes."

00:04:08   If you just build it into your app and just say, "You've got our app, right? Well, you

00:04:11   can go to this screen of this app and just listen to what we have to say," which is an

00:04:16   interesting perspective. I hadn't really thought about hardwiring podcasts into other apps.

00:04:23   So that's neat. So Myke, there's a future for you in agriculture-related podcasting.

00:04:30   It's kind of all I've ever really wanted, so I'm happy for it.

00:04:33   I figured. You seem like an agriculture kind of guy.

00:04:39   Good old farm boy. Yeah. I guess technically I would be the one

00:04:44   who should be doing agriculture related farmcasts.

00:04:46   - That's very true actually. - Farmcast.

00:04:47   Oh my God, I said farmcast, farmcast.

00:04:49   It's a thing, copyright, trademark,

00:04:51   R with a circle in it, farmcast.

00:04:53   It's gonna happen.

00:04:55   I'm gonna do one about sheep.

00:04:56   I'm gonna do one about horses.

00:04:58   Do one about horses and buggies,

00:05:00   which is totally different vertical from horses.

00:05:03   We may talk about barn maintenance.

00:05:06   These are all things that I actually did grow up with.

00:05:09   So I could totally do it. - All the important things

00:05:11   really. - Farmcast.

00:05:13   Look out, see a relay FM.

00:05:17   The Farmcast network is on the air right now.

00:05:21   I did grow up.

00:05:22   We weren't really as much a farm as a ranch, but yeah,

00:05:24   we had cows and barns and stuff.

00:05:27   I'll do a podcast about that one day.

00:05:28   Nobody will listen.

00:05:29   Lister and Jeff also wrote in with a definition of podcast.

00:05:33   He said it's like a radio talk show that's

00:05:34   distributed over the internet instead of over the air.

00:05:37   That's not a bad way to define it.

00:05:41   And I actually just had somebody today on Twitter

00:05:45   argue with me a little bit about my definition.

00:05:47   Listener, Ash Doyle, who said,

00:05:50   "Well, is it really a medium?

00:05:52   "Isn't just spoken word a medium?"

00:05:54   And you could argue whether it's a medium

00:05:56   or a format or whatever.

00:05:57   I think podcasting is very different

00:05:59   from what we think of as radio.

00:06:00   And I just wanted to mention that Tim Goodman

00:06:04   from The Hollywood Reporter,

00:06:05   who I do a podcast with called TV Talk Machine,

00:06:08   he's always described podcasting as radio

00:06:10   without the listeners, which I think is a lovely description.

00:06:14   That's how I tell my mother what I'm doing.

00:06:17   It's like radio except nobody listens.

00:06:18   So there you go.

00:06:21   Nobody but us people.

00:06:22   That's a podcast followup.

00:06:26   Listener Sebastian wrote in via Twitter

00:06:31   to talk about app store pricing.

00:06:35   And basically he says,

00:06:37   I paid $15 for an iOS game, Civilization Revelation 2, and I think it's fairly priced.

00:06:42   I hate in-app purchases for games. I prefer to pay more and have the whole thing right there.

00:06:48   Which I agree with. I think I might have mentioned this on a previous show. Like, I really like Super

00:06:54   Stickman Golf, and I felt like when Super Stickman Golf 2 came out, they had calibrated it so much for

00:07:00   buying coins and tokens and unlocking things piecemeal.

00:07:07   And Rob Griffiths did this analysis and figured out it would take several hundred dollars

00:07:11   to unlock everything in Super Stickman Golf 2.

00:07:14   And like Lister Sebastian, I feel like if I really like a game, I would like to pay

00:07:19   one reasonable price and just unlock it and be done with the...

00:07:23   Even if they...

00:07:24   I'll pay upfront, but if they want to do some sort of nickel and diming kind of thing, I'd

00:07:27   like the option to say, "Look, I want to go all in."

00:07:30   Can I just buy this now?

00:07:32   So many times I wish this.

00:07:34   Like okay, I get it, but just let me pay like $10 if that's what it takes so I don't have

00:07:39   to keep jumping round and round through these hoops of purchasing things.

00:07:43   Right, because some people will just keep paying 99 cents for everything.

00:07:46   And that's fine, that's fine, but I'm not going to do that.

00:07:49   So they have two choices.

00:07:51   Either I can just abandon their game and maybe that's fine with them, or give me the option

00:07:55   to pay them a reasonable price to unlock their game.

00:07:58   I would like to do that.

00:08:00   I wish more game developers would do that.

00:08:02   So if they're not gonna make me pay upfront,

00:08:05   could they make me unlock later?

00:08:08   I don't know.

00:08:09   App store dynamics are difficult.

00:08:12   Greg, you released an app for $2, is that right?

00:08:17   - $2, yes.

00:08:19   - And how'd that go?

00:08:20   - Publicity was terrific.

00:08:24   Economically, it hasn't been like great.

00:08:27   I could have freelanced with that time

00:08:28   and made quite a bit more money.

00:08:30   My thinking with the $2 was,

00:08:33   if you're gonna spend a buck, you're gonna spend two.

00:08:36   And the one year anniversary is coming up

00:08:38   and I'm toying about whether just to make it free

00:08:41   and with or without ads,

00:08:42   just because it's selling like three or four copies

00:08:46   a week now and that doesn't mean anything to me.

00:08:48   And I'd rather have my code out there and in use

00:08:50   than have it not be in use because it's a couple of bucks.

00:08:56   I don't want to disappoint the people who forked over

00:09:00   the $2 anytime in the past year.

00:09:02   I am officially now cannibalizing all sales I'm going to make

00:09:08   between now and the one year anniversary.

00:09:11   But it wasn't frustrating because I did it for fun.

00:09:16   But if I had to make a living building apps,

00:09:19   I have no idea what the line is between being reasonable

00:09:24   and exploitative in order to make enough money to get by,

00:09:28   the app economy just seems like a disaster area to me.

00:09:31   That in order to be successful,

00:09:35   you either have to get really, really lucky,

00:09:37   or you have to exploit your users in some way.

00:09:40   And neither of those seem like viable options.

00:09:43   - Yeah, Myke was talking on "Inquisitive" this week

00:09:48   with the executive producer is the title that he invented

00:09:53   so that people would not ask for his manager,

00:09:56   who did Monument Valley from US2Games.

00:09:59   And that was really interesting to hear Myke walk

00:10:03   through that and people out there who haven't listened

00:10:05   to that interview, you should go listen to it.

00:10:06   It's really interesting, but they invested a lot in it.

00:10:10   They took a risk, they had some luck and,

00:10:14   but they've been successful with that.

00:10:17   But I feel like the game,

00:10:20   you take the game economy out of the App Store

00:10:22   and the rest of the app economy is more problematic.

00:10:25   And then you look at somebody like Marco Arment,

00:10:28   who I think if you asked him a year or two ago,

00:10:30   if he would do a freemium app,

00:10:32   he would be like, no, that's crazy.

00:10:34   And that's what he did.

00:10:36   Overcast is free with an upgrade.

00:10:38   - I think Overcast is a pretty good model.

00:10:41   It's not exploitative because you can just buy it

00:10:44   once you've tried the app out.

00:10:45   - Well, it's a demo, right?

00:10:46   It's using an app purchase for demo purposes.

00:10:49   - Yeah.

00:10:49   But if, I mean, I don't know how many copies Marco has sold,

00:10:54   but is having a single app or two

00:10:59   with a reasonable price point in the app store

00:11:02   a way to make a living long-term?

00:11:04   - I don't know. - No.

00:11:06   I mean, I just don't see it.

00:11:08   - Some people do it, but they seem to have a spread of,

00:11:12   they seem to have a spread of,

00:11:13   like James Thompson has Pcalc for iOS

00:11:15   and Pcalc for Mac and DragThing for Mac.

00:11:18   And he's got a spread.

00:11:19   And I think iOS is doing better for him than the Mac is.

00:11:24   But you know, it's not-

00:11:25   - But Peacock is also the very best app of its kind.

00:11:28   - That's true.

00:11:29   That's definitely true.

00:11:31   - And it's got a wide audience and universal acclaim.

00:11:35   And to stand out in the app store,

00:11:38   you need to have basically all of those things.

00:11:41   - Yeah.

00:11:43   It's a challenge.

00:11:44   I mean, it's a challenge for game developers too.

00:11:46   - Oh, absolutely.

00:11:48   I think game developers have it even worse,

00:11:50   just because if you don't get noticed

00:11:52   in your first like eight hours,

00:11:54   you are rolled under the avalanche

00:11:58   of what's coming behind you.

00:11:59   - Talking about games, can I just recommend Crossy Road

00:12:04   to anybody that hasn't played it?

00:12:05   - No, no, stop it.

00:12:08   - So good. - You're spreading the disease.

00:12:10   - I think my high score is 129.

00:12:12   - Nice, that's a good score.

00:12:14   - What's yours, Myke?

00:12:16   - I think I got into 200.

00:12:18   - Wow. - Let me double check.

00:12:19   I wanna double check now.

00:12:20   - I'm at one point impressed by the fact that I've got 129

00:12:25   and another point I felt like it was doable to the point

00:12:29   where I could go a lot further.

00:12:31   That if I really put my mind to it and took a day off

00:12:34   and just played Crossy Road all day.

00:12:36   - I have stopped seeing anybody's name.

00:12:39   I can reach my high score and not pass anybody.

00:12:44   - Yeah.

00:12:45   - 236 is my top score.

00:12:47   - Oh my God, well that's good.

00:12:49   - I'm pretty proud of that one.

00:12:51   - I got 128 as my high score

00:12:53   and the next day I played it some more

00:12:54   and I got 128 again and then I was like, this is it.

00:12:57   I'm gonna break it and I died.

00:13:00   I was like, no, but I got the same.

00:13:01   And then I got 129 another time,

00:13:04   just one more and then died.

00:13:07   But it's a good game.

00:13:07   - You clearly understand and achieve your peak.

00:13:10   You know, you've got your level there.

00:13:12   - You know, I took the SAT, the college exams twice

00:13:16   because I wanted to improve on my score.

00:13:17   And the component scores changed slightly,

00:13:21   but in opposite directions.

00:13:22   So my score was the same the second time.

00:13:24   And I had friends who were like,

00:13:25   "Well, are you gonna take the SAT again?"

00:13:27   And I said, "Nope, I think I found my level."

00:13:30   I got the same score twice, we're done.

00:13:32   - I did exactly the same thing.

00:13:34   - Huh, it's like, this was accurate.

00:13:36   I don't know if this is an accurate depiction

00:13:38   of whether I'll be successful in college or not,

00:13:39   but whatever score I get is the score I'm gonna get.

00:13:43   So I give up. - Just a random

00:13:45   US UK side we call them sats but same idea huh it's the same letters same

00:13:53   letters what we call we've ruined we've ruined college yeah sats sure okay

00:13:59   anyway should we take a break to talk about our first friend our first friend

00:14:06   well I just want to explain crossy road is a game it's like Frogger except it's

00:14:10   infinite there aren't levels it is in the style of you know pixelated art I

00:14:14   I suppose it's in the style of Flappy Bird,

00:14:16   but it's really not anything like Flappy Bird.

00:14:19   And it's really fun and funny and easy to play

00:14:22   and frustrating.

00:14:23   And I found out about it because Andy Bayo,

00:14:26   one of those people that Greg knows,

00:14:28   who's on the internet, tweeted about it and said, basically,

00:14:32   I played Flappy Bird all day, got 70

00:14:37   and threw my phone across the room.

00:14:40   And I thought, yep, that's, yep, that's-

00:14:42   Andy's son, Elliot, is a video game savant,

00:14:45   and he has like a 384 high score now.

00:14:47   - Oh my God.

00:14:49   Yeah.

00:14:50   - Yes, you're being humiliated by a 10 year old Jason.

00:14:51   - It's fun.

00:14:52   Andy's super good for stuff like that.

00:14:55   - Yeah, oh yeah, Andy spots everything before it's big.

00:14:59   He's a cool finder in the term of the 90s.

00:15:02   Let's talk about a friend, Myke.

00:15:06   - Good idea.

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00:17:54   Our friends.

00:17:57   I have two... So we're transitioning out of a follow-up. There's one little last bit of

00:18:02   follow-up, but it sort of fits into our next topic, which is listener Kev wrote in and

00:18:07   said that we overlooked when we were talking about differences between the US and UK linguistic

00:18:12   divergences, which he says are committed with great frequency on this very show, fair enough.

00:18:20   Here in the US, things that are not alike are different from each other, whereas in

00:18:24   the UK these things are different to each other. Is that accurate, Myke? Would you say

00:18:29   that?

00:18:30   Yeah, I would say it's different to this rather than different from this.

00:18:34   And listener Kev says, "The latter formation sounds so deeply wrong to my ears," which

00:18:38   is true, but this is one of the wonderful things about having a podcast with Myke on

00:18:43   it is that Myke gets to expose all the strange things that Americans say and all the strange

00:18:50   things that English people say.

00:18:51   Which brings me to my topic, which is Thanksgiving.

00:18:56   (laughing)

00:18:59   And I wanted, it is Thanksgiving week,

00:19:00   and I wanted to ask you,

00:19:02   what do you know of Thanksgiving, Myke?

00:19:06   What is your, as an English person,

00:19:09   what is your perspective on what this holiday is,

00:19:12   and what we do for Thanksgiving?

00:19:14   - So my understanding of Thanksgiving

00:19:16   is that it's celebrating the pilgrims

00:19:20   coming from Europe somewhere to the shores of America.

00:19:23   - Your place, your place actually, but yes.

00:19:26   - And it was when, I mean, I think like the story goes,

00:19:32   like you arrived and worked with the Native Americans

00:19:35   to build a new beautiful land,

00:19:36   but it's probably more like arrived, killed them,

00:19:39   stole the land.

00:19:40   (laughing)

00:19:42   - And how-- - Totally assumed.

00:19:43   - It's not, in fact, the story of Thanksgiving

00:19:46   is about the first settlers in New England having--

00:19:52   I hope I don't get this wrong--

00:19:53   actually having a hard winter and having difficulty

00:19:58   feeding themselves, and that the Indians brought them food.

00:20:04   And it was a sort of like a celebration and a bonding

00:20:07   and things, which I'm not going to talk about what

00:20:10   happened in the long run, but that it's

00:20:11   this nice sort of moment.

00:20:13   And obviously, it's a harvest celebration.

00:20:15   Canadians have Thanksgiving and they have it about a month earlier because the harvest

00:20:19   is earlier that much further north. But it really is sort of in the tradition of a fall

00:20:24   harvest holiday. So what do you think, what do you know of what we do for Thanksgiving?

00:20:32   So, everybody gets together, the families all come together for like holiday times.

00:20:40   So in effect like a Christmas dinner or something like that, everybody gets together, you have

00:20:45   a big family meal, I know that cranberry sauce is part of it, there is some sort of dish

00:20:50   which has marshmallows in it, like a casserole or something. This feels like that show, like

00:20:59   one of those shows where you ask a child to explain like what is this item. There's the

00:21:05   Macy's parade thing with the big inflatables and there tends to be a big American football

00:21:12   game that day. These are things that I've mainly picked up from Friends.

00:21:18   You mean the TV show Friends or Friends on the Internet?

00:21:20   A bit of both, but mainly the TV show. Okay, that's what I thought you meant. The

00:21:25   one with the Thanksgiving parade. Oh, and there's Turkey. Turkey is a big thing.

00:21:31   Turkey. Well, I was going to say, I feel like in some ways your conception of Christmas

00:21:38   in the UK, you could just kind of like take that and make it Thanksgiving, because it's

00:21:41   kind of like that. It's a big meal, families get together, have a turkey. The dish with

00:21:46   marshmallows, I wouldn't say, this is not like Passover where they're like very specific

00:21:52   things that everybody does. It's not quite as regimented as something like that. It's

00:21:56   a, there, people do have a marshmallowy candied yam kind of thing. Greg, what was the, what

00:22:03   were the main Thanksgiving things that you'd have at Thanksgiving or that you have now?

00:22:07   absolutely classic Thanksgiving. Turkey, stuffing. Stuffing. Yams? Do you have the can?

00:22:14   Cranberry sauce in the shape of the can. Yes, for sure. Oh, I know that one from the Simpsons.

00:22:19   Yeah, yeah. See, that's it. That's about right. I mean, it is families, people travel to do it.

00:22:26   One of the nice things about it, one of the things I like about Thanksgiving is that it's

00:22:30   kind of a firewall against Christmas. Really the Christmas season doesn't start.

00:22:37   Oh god, if only that were true.

00:22:39   And no way, really. Well, I consider that Thanksgiving is like a firewall that holds

00:22:45   back most of the tide of Christmas and Christmas music and Christmas displays until after

00:22:50   Thanksgiving. It's not entirely true, but I'm telling you, I was at, coming back from

00:22:54   Uhl last year, I was at the, oh no, it was, that was spring, coming back from Ireland

00:22:59   when I was there with IDG last fall. It was mid-October and the entire Dublin airport was

00:23:05   full of Christmas stuff. And I asked somebody why that was, and they theorized that there's no—you

00:23:14   could really do it anytime, whereas I think in the US we've got Thanksgiving as at least a little bit

00:23:18   of a dividing line, like this is when the holidays start. And so that's nice. And you get a second

00:23:24   feast day basically. You've got this big meal day, there are, there used to be two, now there are three

00:23:29   American football games on that day, so you turn on the usual, often terrible, so you usually turn

00:23:35   that on and it's in the background and the Dallas Cowboys are winning by 50 points or whatever, or

00:23:40   losing by 50 points. It's really a good game, and but it's a feast day like Christmas except there

00:23:46   are no presents really, it's just about the family and the feast part. And my mom always made candy

00:23:53   yams. So that was the weird super soft sweet potatoes with melted like marshmallowy goo

00:23:58   on the top, which I never really liked. They were weird and sweet and all that. We're having

00:24:04   people over. I think we're having like 10 or 11 people this year and we're having it

00:24:09   here. We usually go to my wife's parents house for Thanksgiving and last year we went to

00:24:13   my mom's house. This year we're having people here so we have to write a table because our

00:24:17   our table only seats six and we've got like 10, 11, 12 people coming. I'm cooking a turkey

00:24:23   using Alton Brown's brine, turkey brine recipe. We're gonna have, my son has insisted that

00:24:31   we have rolls, we have crescent rolls, so we're gonna do that and my wife makes a cornbread

00:24:36   dressing that's again an Alton Brown recipe and there'll be some sort of vegetable and

00:24:42   I won't eat it. And that's pretty much been a constant in my life since my first Thanksgiving.

00:24:46   makes vegetables and I go, "Nope. Not gonna eat that."

00:24:51   You also forgot having the relatives that you avoid on Facebook come over to your house

00:24:55   and spend eight hours. Oh yeah. Well, before Facebook, that weird cousin

00:25:01   or uncle that would say impolitic things at the table, that was like a Thanksgiving thing,

00:25:06   right? And now you can just go on Facebook and they're doing that all the time.

00:25:10   Thanksgiving has gotten a lot easier since my in-laws died.

00:25:14   - Ouch.

00:25:15   (laughing)

00:25:17   Ouch.

00:25:19   - Well, on that happy note.

00:25:22   - Well, you got it now?

00:25:24   Are you clear now, Myke?

00:25:25   You got Thanksgiving?

00:25:26   - It really is the beginning of the holiday season.

00:25:28   - It is.

00:25:29   It's fun.

00:25:30   I like Thanksgiving a lot.

00:25:31   I feel like it is not only a firewall against Christmas,

00:25:35   so it doesn't spill too far into November and October,

00:25:38   but I also love that it's a kickoff.

00:25:40   That it's like this is the beginning of this period

00:25:42   where there are so many different kind of holiday things

00:25:45   going on ending at New Year's.

00:25:47   So I like that about it too.

00:25:49   So it's a lot of fun.

00:25:50   And is there anything, so my last question before,

00:25:53   this is the US-UK divide vertical we're doing here.

00:25:57   Is there anything like this some other time of year

00:26:00   in England where there's a feast day like this

00:26:03   or is it really just for Easter and Christmas

00:26:06   and that's about it?

00:26:08   - To my knowledge right now,

00:26:11   I can't think of any specific meal

00:26:13   that we don't share with you guys.

00:26:15   We also don't have something

00:26:18   that's kind of like the 4th of July.

00:26:20   We don't have a celebration like that.

00:26:22   I mean, the only other thing that we do

00:26:24   that you guys don't do is fireworks night

00:26:26   on the 5th of November,

00:26:27   which is about Guy Fawkes night.

00:26:30   Guy Fawkes tried to blow up parliament,

00:26:32   and we celebrated.

00:26:33   - I've seen V for Vendetta.

00:26:35   - There you go, V for Vendetta.

00:26:37   - You have a documentary?

00:26:39   Yeah, it's a very historically accurate movie about Guy Fawkes.

00:26:43   That's kind of the only thing that I can think of.

00:26:45   I feel like I'm forgetting something glaringly obvious, like Britain's Day or something,

00:26:50   but I can't think of anything.

00:26:53   And my last question is, has U.S. culture infiltrated to the point where people in the

00:26:58   UK are actually like, some people do something for Thanksgiving, like we've infiltrated you

00:27:05   with Halloween?

00:27:06   Or has that not happened?

00:27:07   No.

00:27:08   Because Halloween you can kind of get away with, but like Thanksgiving like what we're giving...

00:27:12   It doesn't make any... It can't translate. Like what are we giving thanks for?

00:27:16   I mean things like Black Friday exists here now.

00:27:19   So we have Black Friday.

00:27:22   I'm sorry.

00:27:22   That's okay. It's not like the Black Friday sort of sales that happen in the States.

00:27:29   People aren't trampling each other.

00:27:31   But there are just that... It's not even really called Black Friday.

00:27:34   It's just a day that there are sales because there are a lot of American companies that just carry the sale over so like

00:27:40   Apple for example, they have a sale day on that Friday

00:27:44   So the Friday after Thanksgiving

00:27:47   Okay, I feel like we've we've worked this out and

00:27:52   Joe Steele in the chat room is pointing out that he's looking forward to you quizzing me about Boxing Day come

00:27:58   Whenever Boxing Day is I know where it is. It's the day after

00:28:02   It's the day after Christmas and that's a day that Britain celebrates its most famous boxers

00:28:08   Including I can't name an English boxer. Sorry. It's really it's really for Muhammad Ali though. I mean, it's not for the dogs. Oh

00:28:17   Hmm good question. I actually can never remember what Boxing Day is about there's so many like conflicting things

00:28:25   It's just it's just a day after Christmas

00:28:28   Lost to history, yeah, exactly.

00:28:30   Many families like mine kind of celebrate it by having a repeat of Christmas dinner.

00:28:36   So we have another one.

00:28:38   So that's when we have our Thanksgiving dinner, is on Boxing Day.

00:28:42   I was talking to somebody who's doing just that. They have two Thanksgivings.

00:28:47   They're at one person's house on the Wednesday and then on the Thursday they're doing their own.

00:28:54   It's like double turkey, double shot of turkey.

00:28:57   We used to have three Christmases, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and then the 26th afterwards,

00:29:01   depending on who we had to service with our presents.

00:29:04   Wow. Well, happy holidays, everybody.

00:29:08   Hey, Myke. Is it time to talk about another friend?

00:29:14   It is. This is actually a good friend to talk about in regards to the holiday season. This

00:29:19   episode of Upgrade is brought to you by Studio Neat. Studio Neat is a design company with just

00:29:24   Those two employees, Tom and Dan, make cool stuff with the aim of making your life a little

00:29:28   bit more delightful and I honestly believe that I succeed every time.

00:29:32   I have so many Studio Neat products and I love them all.

00:29:35   But today I want to focus on the Glyph.

00:29:38   The Glyph is an accessory that lets you mount your iPhone to a tripod or prop it up at any

00:29:43   angle like a little kickstand.

00:29:45   It's a great gift for anyone getting a new iPhone this holiday season of its fancy new

00:29:49   camera and high frame rate video.

00:29:51   The Glyph is a perfect companion.

00:29:53   It's just one of those little things that ends up being super useful in a ton of situations,

00:29:57   especially of all the photo and video apps that are out there nowadays.

00:30:00   Tom and Dan have a couple of ideas of some things that you can do with your iPhone over

00:30:05   the holidays and I really thought they'd be cool to share with you.

00:30:08   So these are some things that you can do when you pair your iPhone and the Glyph together.

00:30:12   So maybe you're being a super cool parent and helping your kids build their Lego sets

00:30:17   this holiday season.

00:30:18   Of course they're just for the children, not for you at all.

00:30:21   Wait, if they are, you can make a cool stop motion video with them.

00:30:24   So maybe you could make a stop motion of you building the set, or maybe make a little video

00:30:29   of Lego Batman coming to life and catching the Joker or something like that.

00:30:32   So it'd be pretty cool to do.

00:30:34   Maybe you want to be in those family portraits for once, so you could use your glyph to mount

00:30:37   your iPhone to a tripod and use the new timer feature in the camera app to do that.

00:30:42   Or maybe you want to make a much calmer opening gifs time-lapse.

00:30:45   You could prop your iPhone up and take a time-lapse video of the chaos of wrapping paper being

00:30:49   torn apart. With the glyph and some nifty apps, your iPhone can do so much more than

00:30:55   take still photos and video. The glyph actually works with all phones, they have the adjustable

00:30:59   glyph now so it works with phones of all sizes. And talking about apps, Studio Neat have their

00:31:05   own super cool app called Slow Fast Slow that you should check out. It's in the app store

00:31:09   right now, it's now free and it helps make your slow-mo video even cooler. Head on over

00:31:13   to StudioNeat.com right now to check out the glyph and some of the other cool products

00:31:18   that the Studio Neat guys do too.

00:31:20   They're great gift ideas, great for the holidays.

00:31:22   And if you use the code upgrade at checkout,

00:31:24   you can get 10% off absolutely anything at studioneat.com.

00:31:28   Thank you so much to Studio Neat

00:31:30   for their support of this show and all the real AFM.

00:31:32   - And a good friend.

00:31:35   - They're a good friend indeed.

00:31:37   - They are.

00:31:39   All right, we have two topics

00:31:41   and the big one is the fun employment topic.

00:31:45   But before we get there,

00:31:45   I wanted to cover a really mini topic, which is,

00:31:49   and I think Greg might have opinions about this too.

00:31:52   So I'm glad Greg's here.

00:31:53   And if you don't have opinions about it, Greg,

00:31:55   then you know, it's fine.

00:31:57   Don't read the comments is what my notes say.

00:32:02   Recode this week, Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher's website

00:32:06   with news and reviews and things like that,

00:32:09   turned off comments.

00:32:10   They shut down, they did a site redesign

00:32:12   and they got rid of article comments.

00:32:14   And there was a varied reaction to this.

00:32:17   There were some people saying, yes, yes, it's about time.

00:32:19   And there were other people saying, boo, Recode

00:32:22   doesn't care what their audience has to say.

00:32:24   And people who have big commenting communities

00:32:27   like The Verge made sort of snide comments

00:32:31   about how their comments are great

00:32:34   and so they're much cooler than sites that don't have them.

00:32:37   And other people have made it a policy

00:32:40   never to read the comments and have said,

00:32:42   comments are a cesspool and good riddance.

00:32:45   Chris Breen at Macworld, my former colleague over there,

00:32:49   wrote a nice piece, I think,

00:32:52   where he went into the reasons why you'd want to kill

00:32:54   comments and why you'd want to keep comments.

00:32:56   And in the end, his point was comments can be good

00:32:59   if you've got a good community with clear rules.

00:33:02   And, you know, in fact, at one point at IDG,

00:33:05   we had a community manager whose job full time

00:33:07   was to patrol the forums and set the rules

00:33:10   and work with the community.

00:33:12   and that was great. These days, as you might imagine, I think there's, you know, Chris

00:33:17   Breen basically is patrolling the Macworld forums himself, the story comment threads

00:33:21   himself, but he feels that it's valuable to do that because you get a much higher quality

00:33:27   of comment if you bring down the ban hammer on bad behavior and make it clear what's okay

00:33:32   and what's not okay. And that can have some value that just sort of diffusely saying,

00:33:39   about this on social media, which is what Rico had said, might not be able to let you

00:33:46   do. So, do you guys have any thoughts about this story and about comments on the internet

00:33:53   and whether they should be on or off?

00:33:56   I like never find a situation in which comments on most articles are useful. So much that

00:34:04   I never even bother to read them. The only time that I ever look in comments is when,

00:34:10   say I'm looking at an instructional article, like for example how to flash an Android phone

00:34:15   to put a new ROM on it. Yes, I've done this, it's a horrible thing. If I'm having some

00:34:23   sort of bug or problem with the process, then I may look in the comments to see if anybody

00:34:29   else is having the same issue. I never look in comments of articles for thoughtful opinion

00:34:36   because 90% of the time most of the stuff that I've ever seen is kind of useless. I

00:34:43   feel like if comments are the type of thing that you're looking for, communities like

00:34:47   Reddit are a lot better for that type of thing. I genuinely feel like myself that comments

00:34:53   on an article on the page in which the article is written tend to trend towards uselessness.

00:34:59   Yeah. Greg, do you have any thoughts about commenting?

00:35:04   Neil Dash, I think, wrote a couple of years ago the definitive opinion on comments,

00:35:09   which is you get the community that you work towards. That if you decide to just leave your

00:35:13   comments open, you're going to get every foul-mouthed little jerk out there who can,

00:35:19   you know, manage to create an account and leave horrific profanity, that's what you're going to

00:35:26   be stuck with unless you actually actively work towards patrolling your community and cleaning up

00:35:30   your comments. And that takes time and that takes money and it can be very expensive, but when it

00:35:35   works it can really work. You can have a vibrant community, but if you're not willing to put in

00:35:39   the effort I would not provide the trolls with the platform. Yeah, I... It just seems as simple as

00:35:47   is that to me and so many people open up comments because they think it's going to increase

00:35:50   the number of views they have or it's going to increase participation but your community

00:35:56   becomes how people recognize your site and if you're not willing to patrol your community

00:36:03   with the same attention you give your content then they will override it and make everything

00:36:08   else you do moot.

00:36:09   I mean there's a reason why newspaper, so many newspaper sites the comments are terrible

00:36:14   as the newspapers didn't put the comments there because they value your comments.

00:36:17   They put them there because, and I know this from my time at IDG,

00:36:21   forums don't make money, right?

00:36:25   Like advertisers don't want to be on forums.

00:36:28   If you put ad rotations on forum pages, nobody clicks on them,

00:36:31   nobody's looking at them, they're there to be in a conversation.

00:36:34   So instead, what you do is you stick them on a story page.

00:36:37   And then it's a page view.

00:36:39   Every time people come back to comment, it's a page view for the story.

00:36:42   and stories have value, right?

00:36:44   Even though these people are not really reading the story,

00:36:47   they're just going there to argue.

00:36:49   And so there is one aspect of it from some publishers

00:36:53   that is completely cynical, which is, you know,

00:36:55   we're only doing this because it improves our traffic.

00:36:58   And most of those publishers do not have very much of an,

00:37:02   are not making much of an investment

00:37:04   into having it be a real community.

00:37:06   I know at Macworld, we had for a long time,

00:37:08   Lisa Schmeiser did it for a long time.

00:37:12   and then Kelly Parker did it for a long time,

00:37:14   but we had moderation and we had volunteer moderators

00:37:17   and the community was better.

00:37:21   I would say you can do that.

00:37:23   And if you have really strict rules, it's a lot of work,

00:37:27   but you can eventually cultivate a community

00:37:29   that knows the rules and knows how to behave

00:37:31   and recognizes one another and cares about

00:37:35   what that community is like.

00:37:38   - But it's a long hike to get there.

00:37:40   - It's a long way to go there.

00:37:41   And that said, I gotta say, a community of people

00:37:45   is still people and it is very difficult.

00:37:49   Well, it is very difficult.

00:37:51   And this is, I don't have comments on six colors

00:37:53   and I've had people ask me, why don't you have comments?

00:37:55   Or are you gonna add comments?

00:37:56   And my answer is no.

00:37:58   And it's very much the Gruber answer,

00:38:00   which is this is a place for my stuff

00:38:03   and stuff that I want to approve

00:38:05   and opening a box where anybody can say anything.

00:38:09   I'm not comfortable with that,

00:38:10   not because they're gonna challenge me,

00:38:11   but because this is my place and I want the conversation to be--

00:38:15   the conversation can happen around what I write,

00:38:17   but I want this to be a place where my words come out

00:38:21   and this is where I say what I feel.

00:38:22   And one of the problems that I observed at Macworld

00:38:25   with the comments was even if you police them really well,

00:38:28   you've got people who have pet issues

00:38:30   who are gonna come into threads about a pet issue

00:38:33   and they're gonna grind their ax.

00:38:34   And at some point it becomes very difficult to say,

00:38:37   "Well, just because you're pissing on this story,

00:38:40   I'm gonna delete what you said,

00:38:44   because you understand the rules

00:38:45   and you're within the rules,

00:38:46   you're just hijacking it to take it on a different tangent,

00:38:49   or you're asking about something minor.

00:38:51   We've seen that when we talked about

00:38:52   Gamergate a few weeks ago.

00:38:54   There's so many different rhetorical tricks you can do

00:38:57   to push people off of the subject

00:38:59   or to question something that's irrelevant.

00:39:00   And people do that in the forums.

00:39:02   And I decided with "Six Colors"

00:39:06   that I just didn't wanna deal with it.

00:39:07   And when I did that,

00:39:09   I also discovered that I had a little forum commenter troll

00:39:14   on my shoulder when I was writing articles.

00:39:16   That I would literally, there were sentences

00:39:19   that I would pause and be like, oh geez,

00:39:21   I need to rewrite this or not mention this,

00:39:23   even if it adds to the story,

00:39:25   because somebody's going to use this for their pet topic,

00:39:29   or they're going to try to split hairs

00:39:32   about something that I think is very clear,

00:39:34   but they're gonna use it to go in a different direction.

00:39:38   And it was actually really freeing for me to say,

00:39:42   basically if they wanna talk to me about it

00:39:45   or post about it somewhere else, that's great.

00:39:48   But here, I'm gonna say this

00:39:49   and I'm gonna feel free to say it

00:39:51   because I'm not writing to avoid a stupid comment

00:39:54   at the bottom of my article anymore.

00:39:56   - And that's the thing is 10 years ago,

00:39:58   it was much more difficult to get your own content

00:40:01   onto the internet.

00:40:02   Now, I mean, between Facebook and between Twitter

00:40:05   and between, it's hard not to post.

00:40:08   And so anybody can participate by posting their own content to a different system and

00:40:12   pointing to your article.

00:40:14   It's not like the only way they can react to it is in comments.

00:40:17   And if you talk about something like Reddit, if you talk about something like even Hacker

00:40:21   News, which I know like that's sort of the de facto Marco Arment system because they

00:40:26   always post his links in there.

00:40:28   And that I think that's a corrosive awful environment actually generally, but it's theirs

00:40:34   and they can talk about it.

00:40:36   I think Twitter and Facebook would be well served to make better linkages between web

00:40:41   content and commenting, so it was easier for publishers to say, "You can talk about this

00:40:46   on Twitter," and round up a list of what people are saying on Twitter. And I like how Ars

00:40:51   Technica does it, they have a forum, and they'll actually show you how many comments are on

00:40:55   an article, but the comments are not on the page with the article, you have to choose

00:40:58   to go see them. You have to choose to be a part of that community and have a conversation

00:41:01   about the article. It's not people writing their own stuff on top of what you wrote.

00:41:06   It's like literally if somebody wrote in the margins of a book you wrote and it appeared

00:41:10   on all the books that were published. It's just not, you know, and I didn't want to deal

00:41:16   with it. Plus it's just me and I don't want to have those fights and police that and have

00:41:21   angry people who are feeling like I'm abridging their rights, which they don't have on my

00:41:25   website by telling them what they can or can't say. I'd really just let them say whatever

00:41:29   they want somewhere else, write their own blog, post it on Tumblr, put it on social

00:41:34   media, and that's not the right choice for everyone. And you can have, if you put in

00:41:39   the effort, have a good community. That said, I think I'm very happy to, I get lots of feedback

00:41:48   on Twitter, I'm happy to get it, and it's not all positive, but I'm happy to have my

00:41:53   words be the words on my site and have and not have that moment where I'm reverse engineering,

00:42:00   literally reverse engineering what I write in order to avoid specific trolls or forum

00:42:07   members in at NAC world, valued members of the community, valued community members. So

00:42:13   I get what Recode's doing. Recode's saying, look, this isn't important to us. We're not

00:42:16   going to invest in the community. We're just going to go on. So Joe Steele in the chat

00:42:22   room is going to follow up because there are comments. Greg, you and I put "discuss comments"

00:42:26   on the incomparable site. And Joe's like, "Well, any second thoughts about that?" I don't have

00:42:32   second thoughts about that. Only, well, okay, I have had second thoughts about it, but I'm

00:42:36   actually kind of happy that there are comments on the incomparable site, mostly because we,

00:42:44   podcasting, it's a little harder to close the loop. I mean, you get comments on Twitter.

00:42:49   Also, it's harder for people to see those comments unless I retweet them.

00:42:55   In the past when we did comments on The Incomparable back when we started it, the first year we

00:42:59   did it, before we went on 5x5, there was actually a little bit of a community there.

00:43:04   The fact is most episodes get no comments, and every now and then there's an episode

00:43:07   where there are some comments.

00:43:08   You would not want to hear what everybody shouts back at the podcast while they're listening

00:43:13   to it.

00:43:14   Right, but people can add things and there are great ways.

00:43:16   have to seek out it's the same as the comments not being on the page with the article.

00:43:20   Exactly.

00:43:21   Comments are not on the broadcast with the podcast.

00:43:24   Right, they're attached to the show notes.

00:43:26   And so the people who care enough to seek out the comments are going to have something

00:43:30   that they care about saying.

00:43:31   They're not going to immediately react.

00:43:33   Because I shout back at the incomparable all the time and you wouldn't want to hear that.

00:43:37   Definitely not.

00:43:38   So, would I implement comments on the incomparable site today?

00:43:42   Maybe not.

00:43:43   But I'm okay that they're there.

00:43:45   That's not, like Greg says, that's not the canonical bit of content, it's the podcast.

00:43:51   This is supplemental material, show notes are supplemental material.

00:43:55   Whereas when I write something on six colors, that's the canonical content, that's what

00:43:58   I wrote.

00:43:59   And then if I've got some jackass making a point that is not technically in violation

00:44:04   of any of the rules but is completely distracting from my primary point, I have to make a decision

00:44:11   about just deleting it because I don't want it to be there because artistically it's distracting

00:44:18   and then getting in an argument with that guy because he thought it was a perfectly

00:44:22   valid point or I can just not have them and that's the decision that I've made. But I

00:44:26   don't think it's wrong to have them and I don't think it's wrong to not have them. I

00:44:30   think this is a and I think social works for me. We have great feedback about this podcast

00:44:37   Myke from people on Twitter and people send in emails too. There are lots of ways and

00:44:42   people can write blog posts and Tumblr posts about it. There are so many different ways

00:44:47   to do it and I love, like The Incomparable has this whole collection of people around

00:44:51   it on Twitter and that's hugely fun to get that kind of feedback too. So there's plenty

00:44:56   of ways to give people feedback and it's not like we don't interact with the people who

00:45:00   write in. I think, in fact, when people write to the Upgrade FM Twitter account, you'll

00:45:07   and I almost always write back and thank them for saying a nice thing about us.

00:45:12   So there are plenty of places to do it.

00:45:14   Jason, I'm interested on a couple of things with how you work in this world now.

00:45:20   Because I mean, you've probably had comments on the stuff that you've written for your

00:45:23   entire career up until Six Colors.

00:45:25   So you said it changed the way that you worked in that way.

00:45:29   Well, we actually added them to Macworld in the, I'm going to say like 2000, 2001.

00:45:36   Before that we didn't have them, but it's been a long time.

00:45:39   Nearly 15 years, basically.

00:45:41   So obviously it's changed your writing style because you mentioned about the comment troll

00:45:45   on your shoulder.

00:45:46   Do you still not feel that though, like with people going to be upset at you on Twitter

00:45:50   or something like that?

00:45:54   It's different.

00:45:56   You're always anticipating what an audience's reaction to what you write is going to be,

00:46:00   and you always try to...

00:46:01   It's like if a writer writes something and everybody misunderstands them and they get

00:46:06   angry at the people for misunderstanding them, that's problematic because they wrote it in

00:46:10   a way that it could be misunderstood.

00:46:11   It's really on them.

00:46:13   However, there are limits to that.

00:46:17   So what I would say is if I'm writing to reverse engineer so that a commenter doesn't post

00:46:23   something really annoying and make my article weaker, that's bad.

00:46:28   But sure, I know that some stuff is going to maybe engender a response on Twitter, and

00:46:34   it doesn't bother me as much.

00:46:36   Maybe I've got a thicker skin on Twitter, maybe not, but I don't know.

00:46:41   Throwaway accounts, the fact is people who are on Twitter are generally invested in being

00:46:45   on Twitter, and they're much less likely to be trolls.

00:46:47   They may disagree, but they're much less likely to do a throwaway account.

00:46:52   or Gate may be accepted, but annoying comments I get from people with egg avatars, those

00:46:59   people are drive-by people and you can just ignore them or block them and move on with

00:47:04   your life. But there aren't as many of those on Twitter, I would say, as you see in these

00:47:10   comment threads where it could just, you know, you register for account, it could literally

00:47:13   be anybody. But it does, so yeah, I mean, you're always anticipating what your audience's

00:47:19   responses to what you write. But it's just a little bit different when you're--like I

00:47:25   said, I feel like I worked on a story and until the end of time, this asinine post that

00:47:32   takes us completely off topic is going to be right below what I wrote. Then you start--I

00:47:39   mean, that's problematic in the extreme. Then you start asking yourself, "How do I avoid

00:47:43   that guy?" Because I know if I mentioned this one thing, that guy's going to come in there.

00:47:48   And I, you know, with the comments gone, I don't do that anymore.

00:47:52   Ah, well, that's that topic.

00:47:57   How do you feel?

00:48:00   Summing up, people are awful, avoid them.

00:48:02   Well, the line is from Seinfeld, right?

00:48:05   Which is people, oh, they're the worst, right?

00:48:08   That's the fundamental misanthropy.

00:48:11   Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, anyone and someone.

00:48:15   Happy Thanksgiving.

00:48:17   Should we move on?

00:48:18   Yeah, I think we should.

00:48:20   Should we hear from a friend, or should we wait and hear from a friend in a little bit?

00:48:23   No, let's talk about a friend now.

00:48:25   Jason, why don't you tell us about a friend?

00:48:30   I would be happy to, Myke.

00:48:32   This is what friends do.

00:48:33   Friends let other friends...

00:48:35   Talk about friends.

00:48:36   ...occasionally talk about friends.

00:48:38   That's it.

00:48:39   Now, one of our friends this week is MailRoute.

00:48:42   I asked specifically, "Are they MailRoute or MailRoute?"

00:48:45   And I believe they're mail route, but they're happy if you call them mail route.

00:48:48   It doesn't matter.

00:48:49   And I don't think that's a US-UK thing.

00:48:51   I think that's just a word that can be-- is it always route in the UK, Myke?

00:48:55   No, it's route.

00:48:57   It's always route in the UK.

00:48:58   Yeah, but I don't say mail route, because that's not--

00:49:02   No.

00:49:03   That's weird.

00:49:04   That's not their name.

00:49:05   It's never how I've heard it said, you know?

00:49:06   Yes.

00:49:07   It's mail route.

00:49:08   Yeah.

00:49:09   They should have a little accent somewhere, but we'll let them work that out.

00:49:10   Anyway, mail route is a really great service that I've been using for more than a year

00:49:15   It's an email filtering service.

00:49:18   So if you can imagine a world where there is no spam,

00:49:21   there are no viruses, and there's no bounced email,

00:49:24   if you can imagine opening your inbox

00:49:26   and seeing only real mail and not spam,

00:49:28   this is a world that mail route can make happen.

00:49:33   And I've seen it happen myself.

00:49:36   You set up mail route, it basically sits in between

00:49:40   your incoming mail and you.

00:49:41   It receives your mail, it cleans it of spam,

00:49:45   and then it passes it on to your existing mail server.

00:49:47   There's no hardware to install,

00:49:49   there's no software to install.

00:49:51   They get your mail, they sort it, and they deliver it.

00:49:54   It's super easy to set up.

00:49:55   It took me about five minutes to set it up.

00:49:58   You have to tick a couple of boxes

00:49:59   and change a couple of things

00:50:01   depending on your mail provider,

00:50:04   but they make it easy, they let you walk it through.

00:50:07   And then my favorite thing about mail route is that,

00:50:10   or mail route. Now I'm saying it backward. Wow, Myke, you've destroyed me with your British

00:50:15   ways.

00:50:16   I'm so sorry.

00:50:17   The mail route, you can set it up to send you a notification every day with what it's

00:50:22   filtered out. And I always worry about filtering out legitimate mail. And so every day I get

00:50:28   a mail route notice, which lists all the mail that was filtered out. There are links in

00:50:32   this email so you can immediately whitelist a sender, you can deliver the message, or

00:50:38   you can do both. You can deliver the message and whitelist the sender so that from this

00:50:42   point on, they will always get through and not be viewed as spam. Very convenient. What

00:50:48   I've really learned in the last six to nine months is that mail route is really efficient.

00:50:57   That report is almost always entirely spam, and I'm not seeing spam in my inbox. So it's

00:51:03   It's really a great service.

00:51:05   If you're an email administrator or an IT professional, the tools are built with you

00:51:09   in mind.

00:51:10   They've got an API, they support you name it, LDAP, Active Directory, TLS, Outbound

00:51:15   Relay, everything you'd want.

00:51:17   And if you're a regular person like me, it's super easy to set up and easy to use.

00:51:21   And I set it up for my whole domain because I have a Google Apps domain and so I'm filtering

00:51:27   mail for me and for my wife and for my mom and for my kids and it's really great.

00:51:32   So if you want spam out of your life, you don't have to fiddle around with plugins and

00:51:38   extra software or hardware or anything like that.

00:51:40   You can just get MailRoute and it will do all of the work for you and that spam will

00:51:44   never even hit your inbox.

00:51:46   So here's what you need to do.

00:51:47   Myke, are you listening?

00:51:48   I'm ready listening.

00:51:49   I'm ready.

00:51:50   I'm ready for your instructions.

00:51:51   Okay.

00:51:52   This is what you need to do.

00:51:53   You need to go to MailRoute or mailroot if you like, .net.

00:51:56   Mailroute.net/upgrade.

00:51:59   Easy to remember.

00:52:00   you get a free trial and 10% off, and this is not a one-time 10% off for the first month

00:52:05   or something, 10% off for the lifetime of your mail route account if you go to mailroute.net/upgrade.

00:52:11   And thank you so much to our friends at MailRoute for filtering the spam out of my mailbox every

00:52:17   day for more than a year now and for sponsoring Upgrade. How'd it do, Myke?

00:52:22   Oh, it was perfect. Top notch. I couldn't have done any better, so you did a fantastic

00:52:26   job and I'm jealous of your incredible mail route skills.

00:52:30   than calling it mail route a couple of times. Other than that.

00:52:34   Ah, don't worry about it.

00:52:36   Yeah. All right. So, Fun Employment. This is, this is, now that we've done an hour, we've

00:52:41   come to the real topic. We are, we are three gentlemen of leisure in a certain sense, which

00:52:47   is we are no longer employed by big companies. Greg, do you want to talk a little bit? I

00:52:52   mean, Myke and I are recent, recent members of this class. You, you've been doing this

00:52:56   for a while. Do you want to tell people a little bit about your story of where you were

00:53:03   and what happened? What the heck happened?

00:53:10   So like 20 years ago, I entered the workforce, a little over 20 years ago, and I held dreams

00:53:18   of always being able to go off and do my own thing, have my own little business, make my

00:53:22   my own products, but you know, the first thing you do

00:53:25   after you get out of school is start applying for jobs,

00:53:27   and I got a job and it was with a massive corporation,

00:53:30   and then I just kind of spent 20 years almost

00:53:33   being inside massive corporations, just as the next thing.

00:53:37   I got married, I had kids, I had a mortgage,

00:53:40   I have car payments, all the kind of stuff

00:53:42   that goes into making the modern American middle class life.

00:53:46   And then, the next thing that goes into making

00:53:49   the modern American middle class life was

00:53:51   the company decided to move their headquarters

00:53:52   to Austin, Texas.

00:53:54   - Yeehaw.

00:53:55   - And I would rather sever a limb than move to Texas.

00:53:58   And so I took the buyout and I thought,

00:54:01   okay, here I have a little chunk of money

00:54:03   and I can go off and start doing my own thing.

00:54:05   And so three years ago, I set up a business,

00:54:08   I started contracting,

00:54:09   and my plan was to start producing all of the products

00:54:13   that I've had in my head for a couple of decades.

00:54:15   All sorts of crazy stuff on the web and in apps

00:54:18   and the opportunities are endless.

00:54:20   So what happened?

00:54:24   This is where you insert the sad trombone sound.

00:54:30   Because my ambition didn't account for a lot of what goes into actually running a business

00:54:36   day to day.

00:54:37   I have technical skills, but I don't have managerial skills and I don't have accounting

00:54:41   skills and I don't have all sorts of other things that actually are done semi invisibly

00:54:46   when you're working for someone else.

00:54:49   You go in, you do the technical work,

00:54:50   they give you a paycheck.

00:54:51   It's a nice, simple transaction.

00:54:52   When you're working for yourself,

00:54:54   you sit down and you realize

00:54:56   that somebody's behind on an invoice

00:54:58   and you actually need to invoice this other client

00:55:00   and oh my god, taxes are due

00:55:02   and all sorts of other things that continually pile up

00:55:06   and it's awfully easy,

00:55:07   since there's nobody looking over your shoulder,

00:55:09   to just end up watching Netflix the whole day

00:55:11   instead of dealing with all that stuff.

00:55:13   And so now three years later, I'm in a comfortable groove.

00:55:17   I've got contracting clients that I like

00:55:20   and that I think I've done really good work for,

00:55:23   but I have never kind of executed on my original plan,

00:55:26   which was to produce my own products, to own my own thing.

00:55:29   And I've gotten part of the way through some of them,

00:55:34   and I've actually shipped one,

00:55:36   but that's a pretty poor track record for three years.

00:55:38   And I've been struggling lately with why that is

00:55:42   and how I can correct it or if I really wanna correct it.

00:55:45   because when I started,

00:55:47   I was dealing with 20 year old dreams,

00:55:48   you know, the startupy thing, the mid 90s,

00:55:51   wired San Francisco web 1.0.

00:55:53   And is that still a realistic goal for a man

00:55:56   who is now edging into his late 40s,

00:55:58   who still has all the obligations

00:56:00   that he built up over the past 20 years.

00:56:02   I'm at this weird place where

00:56:05   I don't know if my dreams are still relevant

00:56:08   to my current life.

00:56:10   And I certainly haven't executed on them.

00:56:14   One of my favorite aphorisms from Merlin Mann is

00:56:17   that priorities are discovered, they're not assigned.

00:56:21   And so if truly shipping my own apps were my priority,

00:56:25   then I would be doing it.

00:56:26   But I don't have the conscious realization of,

00:56:31   or an explanation of why I'm not.

00:56:33   And so I'm doing okay, I'm not making my corporate salary,

00:56:38   but I am also not sitting in all day meetings,

00:56:41   which seems like a totally fair trade to me.

00:56:43   And I'm doing work that I enjoy with people I like, but it's not what I thought it would be.

00:56:49   So it's interesting to me that for you, quitting the corporate job and staying at home was not,

00:56:57   you, there's this dichotomy to what you're saying. There's the, there's the doing,

00:57:02   doing what you want, working on your projects and there's building a business basically as

00:57:08   consultant and a contractor and supporting yourself and your family by doing that.

00:57:15   And the second one you are doing, you are doing that and yet I sense some disappointment that

00:57:21   was your dream more about quitting to work on your own projects than it was about escaping the man?

00:57:28   I had a very good job for the most part. Let's say it was insanely maddening only like

00:57:36   a third of the time. I wanted to create my own stuff. I wanted to own my own stuff.

00:57:45   I felt like I'd spent a couple of decades creating value and then leaving that for my employers to

00:57:54   enjoy the rewards of. They paid me very well, but obviously I thought that the value I was

00:58:00   creating was worth more than what I was getting paid. And the, you know, the makeup in that,

00:58:05   the kind of gap in that is made up in for insecurity and consistency and you know if

00:58:11   I decide I'm just going to be brain dead for a couple of days nobody notices that's kind of

00:58:15   the way corporate America works and that's just not the case when you're working for yourself.

00:58:22   So that I'm not shipping my own products is my failure now and there's no place to hide from that.

00:58:29   I think it's interesting that, you know, you are the, we talked about this at XOXO,

00:58:35   you are the voice of our future, or at least the cautionary voice from our future,

00:58:41   because Myke and I both are— Haven't I demonstrated relentless optimism at this point in the podcast?

00:58:46   Myke and I both left our jobs and wanted to set out on our own to build our own things, right?

00:58:55   - Yes, exactly.

00:58:56   - And I wonder about this too.

00:58:59   When I talk to people about me doing this,

00:59:01   I say, well, look, my plan is to do the website

00:59:04   and podcasting and maybe some freelance and stuff like that,

00:59:07   but really to do this as my primary job

00:59:10   and make a living doing it.

00:59:12   And I had that conversation where I say,

00:59:15   well, in the end, we'll see how it works.

00:59:17   Maybe I'll need to do more freelance.

00:59:20   Maybe if it doesn't work out, I'll have to look for a job.

00:59:22   If I do that, I would really prefer it be something

00:59:24   that I could do from home and be similar

00:59:26   to what I'm doing now.

00:59:27   And it's weird when I have that conversation too,

00:59:30   because that's not my intent.

00:59:32   My intent is to do my own things primarily

00:59:35   and have those projects be what I do.

00:59:37   But there's also this kind of knowledge

00:59:39   that that may or may not work.

00:59:42   And that part of the components of this life

00:59:45   may be what you're describing as,

00:59:48   mostly what you do now,

00:59:49   which is working with clients on projects.

00:59:53   And it's not your stuff,

00:59:54   but you are still working out of your house

00:59:57   and not commuting and not sitting in meetings all day.

01:00:00   So there's like a couple things going on.

01:00:02   - In every aspect, other than financially,

01:00:04   than just the straight up money, it's better.

01:00:07   - All right.

01:00:07   - I have a much more flexible time for my kids.

01:00:10   I can coach Little League,

01:00:11   'cause I'm not gonna be at the office until six every day.

01:00:14   If I feel like blowing off a morning,

01:00:18   I can blow off a morning.

01:00:22   And so, and now my wife has gone back to working,

01:00:26   now that the kids are old enough

01:00:28   to get themselves in trouble all by themselves.

01:00:31   And so our income has remained fairly stable

01:00:34   between me working a corporate job,

01:00:36   me going independent and her returning to work.

01:00:39   - So Myke, how do you view this in terms of,

01:00:43   of doing your own thing versus making it work

01:00:46   so that you don't have to go back to a,

01:00:48   to a job like the one that you had?

01:00:51   I kind of don't even see it as a possibility,

01:00:55   like going back now.

01:00:58   I feel like I couldn't and I really don't want to,

01:01:02   so it's just not gonna happen.

01:01:04   It's just like this feeling that I have in my mind,

01:01:06   it's like this will work because I'm going to make it work,

01:01:10   because I won't give myself even the safety net of,

01:01:14   oh, I'm sure you could still get a job somewhere else.

01:01:16   It's really not what I wanna do, you know?

01:01:18   So it's kind of like for me right now,

01:01:20   It's like, well, this is what's happening,

01:01:22   this is what I do now, this is my job and it's going to work

01:01:25   and I have this idea, I mean, things are going really well.

01:01:28   Like Relay is, well, it became my full-time employment

01:01:33   much faster than I thought it would

01:01:38   and I'm making more money now than I did before currently,

01:01:43   which is fantastic.

01:01:45   (laughing)

01:01:46   And I'm sure it won't last forever,

01:01:50   But I was quite underpaid in my corporate role

01:01:53   because I was loyal to my company

01:01:55   and was there for eight years,

01:01:57   which strangely means that I get paid

01:01:59   a lot less than my colleagues.

01:02:01   However, that was a great thing though,

01:02:03   that worked out well for me

01:02:04   because it meant that I was able to quit sooner

01:02:07   because I only needed X amount of money, right?

01:02:09   So I could just quit quicker.

01:02:10   But I mean, the finance thing is horrible.

01:02:16   I spoke about this on analog with Casey Liss.

01:02:19   My final paycheck from my employer

01:02:23   was a lot lower than I expected it to be.

01:02:26   So it was kind of like a wake up call.

01:02:28   So it's like, oh, you have to look after your money now.

01:02:32   You have to think about these things and budget better

01:02:34   because who knows if the money's gonna be in

01:02:36   and when it's gonna be in and how much it's gonna be.

01:02:39   So it's like the finance thing is something

01:02:42   that I never really paid too much attention to

01:02:44   but now I kind of don't have a choice.

01:02:46   But I also, I kind of take some,

01:02:51   I don't even know what the right emotion would be,

01:02:54   but I take a feeling in the fact that it's up to me

01:02:58   how much money I make, you know?

01:03:01   I can work really hard, or I can maybe not work as much hard

01:03:04   and then as much hard apparently

01:03:06   is a phrase that I'm gonna use now.

01:03:07   And-- - That's UK phrase, right?

01:03:10   - It's UK, it's UK English.

01:03:13   - It's different to how we would say it, Craig.

01:03:15   - I can choose how hard I want to work

01:03:20   and from that will be an amount of money

01:03:22   that is equivalent to that.

01:03:24   And I am very much enjoying the balance I'm having

01:03:27   and trying to settle into some sort of schedule

01:03:30   which makes sense for me now.

01:03:32   And I'm trying to not feel guilty

01:03:35   about taking long lunches with friends

01:03:37   if I really want to and stuff like that, yeah.

01:03:39   - Yeah, I mean, how much you work

01:03:42   is one of the questions that I wanted to ask both of you,

01:03:44   because this is something that I've struggled with

01:03:46   in the two months that I've been doing this,

01:03:47   is how do you structure your time?

01:03:49   And you have the flexibility to walk your kids to school

01:03:52   or whatever, but there also is a job to be done.

01:03:57   And then what I find too is that

01:03:59   literally I could do it forever.

01:04:01   I could be working all day, every day, forever.

01:04:04   I could certainly create that kind of work for myself.

01:04:07   My wife was talking to her parents

01:04:10   who were coming for Thanksgiving on the phone last night.

01:04:13   And I could intuit from the conversation

01:04:15   that what my mother-in-law was asking was,

01:04:19   am I working on Wednesday when they're gonna get here?

01:04:22   And my wife said, well, his boss is really mean,

01:04:25   he makes him work all the time.

01:04:27   (both laughing)

01:04:29   And there's something to that,

01:04:30   'cause she was like, well, what about Wednesday?

01:04:31   And I said, well, I don't know, I got a lot of,

01:04:32   I got some deadlines, I got some stories

01:04:34   I need to turn in for other people.

01:04:35   And then I've got, you know, I don't want the site

01:04:37   to be just tumbleweeds blowing through the whole week.

01:04:40   And so I've been struggling with that.

01:04:43   Like, when do I shut it down?

01:04:44   When do I say I'm gonna step out of the office

01:04:49   and not work on Six Colors or not work on podcasts anymore?

01:04:52   And it's coupled with the extra complexity

01:04:55   that back when I was working at IDG,

01:04:57   I would work in the office and I would come home

01:04:59   and we'd have dinner

01:05:00   and then I would go and do "Incomparable," right?

01:05:03   We would record a podcast or I'd have to edit an episode

01:05:06   in order to get it live.

01:05:07   And so it was my nighttime job.

01:05:10   So I was used to putting in that extra time

01:05:13   and I'm struggling with that too of like,

01:05:15   do I balance, do I keep doing some of that

01:05:18   or do I really owe it to myself and my family

01:05:21   to not put in that extra time and schedule that time

01:05:25   into my regular day?

01:05:28   And I don't have any answers here.

01:05:29   It's just, it's interesting to have that moment

01:05:33   of trying to be able to decide,

01:05:35   well, I could do more work, but I need to stop.

01:05:37   Even though, yes, if I don't do it,

01:05:39   it isn't gonna get done.

01:05:40   But at some point I need to just call it and say,

01:05:43   I need to not do this now.

01:05:44   - I hardly ever work after 2 a.m.

01:05:47   - That's good.

01:05:49   It's important to have barriers, some boundaries.

01:05:52   - So like I currently put in more hours

01:05:55   than like an eight hour work day,

01:05:57   but I work less than I did two months ago.

01:06:01   Because-- - Because you were doing relay

01:06:04   you were doing your job. Yeah, like at the moment I'm not doing like an

01:06:09   exponentially large, you know, amount more work. Like I'm not doing two times the

01:06:17   amount of work on Relay as I was before. I'm working more, I'm putting more time

01:06:22   into things, but I am doing less work in total because I don't have to put in

01:06:30   eight hours in an office as well as doing everything else and it's nice

01:06:35   because I'm able to actually do things, social things, or play video games or

01:06:40   watch movies. Like I can find that time in my day but the weird thing for me is

01:06:46   my work day is extremely long. Like I wake up, say I wake up at like 10 a.m.

01:06:53   or something, I will be working until like 2 in the morning because I

01:06:57   work in sort of chunks throughout the day because I still need to record in

01:07:01   the evenings. So my work days is very long but it's just my whole day can be

01:07:08   filled with work stuff in like with little gaps in between where I'm doing

01:07:14   things for myself and that's that's been the biggest change in my life over the

01:07:20   last few weeks is being able to actually find some of my own time. But Jason I

01:07:27   I think that for you, with the incomparable, you should start counting that into your work

01:07:34   day, I think.

01:07:35   Oh, I'm trying to, other than the fact that we record at night.

01:07:39   But I've actually put something on my calendar for Fridays now, that is edit the incomparable

01:07:44   on Friday, during the day.

01:07:46   I've scheduled in the time for that, because I do feel like that should be something that's

01:07:50   in my day, and I should get my Saturday morning back, if at all possible.

01:07:55   And every now and then that may shift, but that should be the plan to do that.

01:07:59   And some of this is getting started with something new.

01:08:03   It's a very big change from the kind of work I was doing the last couple of years at IDG

01:08:07   because I was much less involved in writing things and I wasn't doing as many podcasts.

01:08:12   So some of it is adjusting to it being different work.

01:08:16   It's very hard for me to compare it to the work I was doing before where it was sitting

01:08:19   in meetings and managing things and not being able to write, which was frustrating.

01:08:24   That said, I got Destiny for Xbox the day that the Apple event happened, which was the

01:08:31   day before the layoff, and it's still in its shrink wrap.

01:08:35   And that says something because I was really excited to pre-order that game.

01:08:38   And I pre-ordered it like last year, and I still haven't opened the box two months later,

01:08:42   and it's really down to the fact that I have not had time, nor have I scheduled time in

01:08:47   to my life to play a video game.

01:08:49   I also don't have a video game podcast like Myke does, which is a really good excuse to

01:08:54   play video games. Amazing excuse to play video games. Although I have a great excuse to watch movies and TV shows

01:08:59   and read books, which I do, and that's great. But, so, yeah, I'm trying to structure it.

01:09:07   I'm trying to do things. My wife and I have scheduled walks in the morning where we drop

01:09:10   my son off at school and then we go for a walk for an hour. And if it's on the calendar

01:09:16   it happens and if it's not on the calendar it doesn't happen. Oh yeah, that's something

01:09:20   focus but... Like I have noticed so much is my like calendar is king right now

01:09:25   like if something's on my calendar it's getting done I mean and I always used a

01:09:29   calendar for things but it feels like now my calendar has become so much more

01:09:37   important than than it was previously because everything's going in there you

01:09:41   know like for example if I put swimming on the calendar swimming will happen if

01:09:45   It's not on the calendar, it's not happening.

01:09:48   - Yeah, that's--

01:09:50   - Do you guys have any regrets at this point?

01:09:53   I mean, it sounds like you're both doing

01:09:54   exactly what you wanted and it's going very well.

01:09:56   - I love the Greg, "Ooh, bring out your regrets."

01:10:02   - I'm curious, I'm curious.

01:10:03   I don't have any, I do not regret what I've done.

01:10:06   I regret my inability to pursue what my original intent was.

01:10:11   - I don't have regrets.

01:10:14   I have a huge list of things that I thought I would try

01:10:17   that I haven't even gotten to yet.

01:10:19   And Destiny, I'm not even saying like playing Destiny.

01:10:21   I'm saying like content things that I wanted to do.

01:10:24   I wanted to do, this is funny

01:10:25   'cause Dave Whiskus did his video

01:10:27   about people doing more than just podcasts,

01:10:29   like for example, videos like Dave Whiskus does.

01:10:31   And I talked to him about that at Singleton

01:10:33   and I was already on my list of things to do

01:10:36   when I left IDG was gonna be like a video series

01:10:39   of some sort and I wanna do it

01:10:40   and I have not had any time to do that.

01:10:43   So I've got a list, I've got like a to-do list of things.

01:10:45   It's like, boy, I didn't realize that I was going to be able

01:10:49   to pack my schedule as full as I've been able to pack it

01:10:52   without even doing some of those things.

01:10:56   So some of it is that, and some of it is just being open.

01:10:59   Like I did a little consulting and I'm working

01:11:02   on a couple of freelance articles.

01:11:03   And I said yes to those assignments

01:11:06   because I wanted to see what it was like

01:11:07   and to work with some people

01:11:08   who I thought were really interesting

01:11:10   and get a sense of how you balance freelance

01:11:13   versus doing your own thing.

01:11:14   But I've got a whole list of things

01:11:17   that I want to do that I just haven't gotten to yet.

01:11:22   I wouldn't say those are regrets.

01:11:24   I didn't have, unlike Myke,

01:11:27   my timing was not a choice that I made.

01:11:30   I spent eight months between trying to leave

01:11:35   and having this layoff,

01:11:37   and then my timing was tied to the layoff.

01:11:39   So it had to happen on that day.

01:11:43   And I'm not sure I, well, if I have any regrets,

01:11:47   it's that I realized the other week

01:11:50   that I probably could have gone to my boss

01:11:52   when I tried to resign last December and said,

01:11:54   "You should lay me off."

01:11:55   And they probably would have done that

01:11:57   instead of just offering to leave with no money.

01:12:00   And then I could have started this in January

01:12:02   instead of in September.

01:12:06   But so maybe I regret that, but at the same time,

01:12:09   I'm eight months more prepared to do this on my own than I would have been back then.

01:12:13   So are there any business aspects that have taken you by surprise?

01:12:17   Any things that the corporation was handling previously?

01:12:20   Well, so the the incomparable was training wheels for me because we set up, not only did we start taking ads last year,

01:12:26   but we incorporated and

01:12:28   we got an accountant and we set up a bank account.

01:12:32   And so that was good because I'm still using that corporation and Six Colors is in the

01:12:38   incomparable corporation.

01:12:39   It's the same thing.

01:12:41   And so I feel like everything I was doing for the last year and a half was set up to

01:12:47   leave.

01:12:48   It was totally set up to go out on my own.

01:12:50   That was always part of the idea was to try this stuff out.

01:12:53   I'm fortunate that my wife has an MBA and is only a part-time librarian, so she's got

01:12:59   a little bit of time to do some of the business stuff for me and I'm really grateful for that

01:13:03   because if I had to do more of the business stuff that would be more problematic but she's

01:13:08   been able to take on some of that stuff and that's been really helpful.

01:13:14   I feel like there doesn't exist a, oh I'm sorry Myke go ahead.

01:13:17   Regrets, regrets Myke.

01:13:20   I don't have regrets yet or any and I don't think, like it's interesting to look at regrets.

01:13:26   You mean you don't regret making more money and working less with greater freedom?

01:13:31   Funnily enough I'm not sure how I feel about that.

01:13:34   But I get the idea that there are things that I want to do that I haven't done, but I don't

01:13:41   look at that as a concern because in my mind I have another 50, 60 years to do them.

01:13:47   So it's not a concern of mine, you know?

01:13:50   Because my plan is just to do this forever, for as long as the internet will have me.

01:13:56   And to echo Jason's point in the business stuff,

01:14:01   it is tricky.

01:14:02   I mean, luckily I have Steven, my wife, I suppose.

01:14:07   And we work on this stuff together

01:14:11   and it's great to have a co-founder

01:14:13   because we're able to balance a lot of things.

01:14:16   And there are things that either I don't want to do

01:14:19   or I don't know how to do and it's the same for him

01:14:21   and we're able to balance that stuff.

01:14:23   And even when it comes to working out how we pay people,

01:14:28   and when we pay people, and going through

01:14:31   all of the invoices and stuff like that,

01:14:32   we can just jump on a call together

01:14:34   and cry about it for an hour and get it done.

01:14:37   And that has been a great thing.

01:14:39   I don't think I could do this without him,

01:14:42   and I think he would feel the same about me too.

01:14:44   And that's a real great thing to have in a business.

01:14:48   And it's one of the main reasons why

01:14:50   I know we both wanted to do this together,

01:14:53   because we would be able to have each other and that makes it--it feels much

01:14:57   nicer doing this as a partnership than on your own.

01:15:02   I have some other key questions that I wanted to ask you and share my

01:15:06   experience as well. What about getting out and doing things?

01:15:11   Do you have those issues where you're like, "Oh my god, I didn't go

01:15:14   outside today"?

01:15:16   I've been trying to go outside a lot. I actually think I spend more

01:15:19   time outside the house now than I did before and that's simply because I know that if I

01:15:25   don't leave the house, I'll stay in the house.

01:15:28   Like I know that sounds stupid but like I if I don't make an effort to go out then I'm

01:15:33   just not going to.

01:15:34   So I try and work outside now so like I go to a coffee shop or something and do stuff

01:15:41   in the daytime or I go out meet a friend or I just go out for a long nice walk or something

01:15:46   like that because I genuinely had a fear that it would get to the point where it'd be like

01:15:50   six days passed and I realized that I'm still at home eating Cheerios.

01:15:55   Your fingernails are five inches long, you've got a beard.

01:15:58   And that was the same thing, like there were people in my family and important people in

01:16:03   my real life that were saying, "You need to go outside."

01:16:07   And like, "Would you really be concerned?"

01:16:09   When I was telling them I was going to do this, that I would just sit at home all the

01:16:11   time.

01:16:13   So it's also part for me and part for them to show them that I can actually be a member

01:16:17   of society and not a crazy person, you know?

01:16:21   What about you, Jason?

01:16:22   Do you go outside?

01:16:23   I know you've got -- obviously you take your kids out and stuff, but do you make an effort

01:16:26   to do other things?

01:16:27   Well, that's -- being in the suburbs, it's a little bit more of a challenge where it's

01:16:31   not like I've got a big vibrant -- if I could step out my front door and be south of Market

01:16:35   where my old job was, it would be different, but I step out my front door and I'm in a

01:16:38   quiet neighborhood.

01:16:40   And so it's a challenge we do.

01:16:43   My son's elementary school is within walking distance, so we walk him every morning, and

01:16:47   I do that some mornings.

01:16:48   And like I said, my wife and I try to schedule it so that we walk him and then just take

01:16:52   a walk.

01:16:53   I try, but I would say I don't get out as much as I would like, and I'm trying to figure

01:16:58   out how to do it.

01:16:59   Like I said, I'm busier than I thought I would be.

01:17:02   I thought I would have moments where I'd be like on my work from home days back when I

01:17:06   worked at IDG where I'd say, "Oh, I'm going to go to a cafe and write for a little bit.

01:17:11   Won't that be nice?" And instead, I just, you know, my office is comfortable enough that I sit here

01:17:15   and I'm like, "All right, I'm just going to keep on grinding. I got another thing to do, and then

01:17:18   I got another thing to do." And so it's a challenge. I'm trying to be more receptive to

01:17:23   if there are, you know, if somebody's going over to somebody's house in the afternoon because the

01:17:29   kids are going to be there and, you know, various kids are going to be there and we can, you know,

01:17:33   know, we'll have a beer and talk for a little while while the kids hang out and then, you

01:17:37   know, on Friday afternoon or something. I'm trying to be more aware that those things

01:17:40   are going on that I never used to be able to go to. And I keep telling my wife that,

01:17:45   you know, I'm going to ruin all of her social engagements now by showing up for them, but

01:17:50   she's been really supportive of that. So, of me ruining her social engagements. So it's

01:17:56   a work in progress. I keep telling myself I need to get out more. I need to ride my

01:18:00   bike or go for a walk or something but right now the fact that I'm walking my

01:18:06   son to school a bunch and picking him up from school a bunch that sort of at

01:18:10   least gets me fresh air and some Sun if not a lot of human interaction so it's a

01:18:17   it's a work in progress I wouldn't say that I'm happy about that

01:18:20   Greg you're in a you're in a suburb or do you get out of the house I actually

01:18:24   started renting office space to give me an excuse to shower and leave the house

01:18:28   I feel like since I'm paying for it, I have to use it.

01:18:32   And the first year I was working just from home

01:18:35   and you sit down and you start working

01:18:37   and you work with people on the East Coast.

01:18:39   And so by the time you sit down,

01:18:41   it's already 11 o'clock where they are.

01:18:43   And suddenly the whole day has gone by

01:18:45   and you're still in your pajamas

01:18:46   and you're unshaven and unchowered.

01:18:48   And you can only do that for so long.

01:18:50   And usually it's just the freshman year of college.

01:18:54   And so my wife and I, she also works for herself,

01:18:58   we got some office space and so we use that as an excuse

01:19:02   to actually leave the house.

01:19:05   - Oh, that's good.

01:19:06   - And it's worked out pretty well.

01:19:06   I mean, I'm sitting in it now, it's not fancy,

01:19:09   but it's a place, it is an other,

01:19:11   it is a place to go and work.

01:19:12   Now too often I'll leave to go pick up the kids

01:19:15   and then sit down when I get home and start working again.

01:19:20   And so I haven't completely separated my home and work lives

01:19:23   but it has helped.

01:19:24   - And it's given you some structure.

01:19:26   - Yeah, and certainly that is lacking.

01:19:29   I mean, I can't believe that there used to be a time

01:19:31   where I was actually 45 minutes away

01:19:34   wearing a shirt and a tie at eight o'clock in the morning.

01:19:37   - Yeah.

01:19:39   You guys both worked in financial related industries too.

01:19:45   Oh my God, you have that in common.

01:19:48   For me, I have to say the whole blogger

01:19:51   in their pajamas thing.

01:19:53   I mean, I've discovered that sort of kind of true.

01:19:56   Today, I was very proud of myself.

01:19:58   I took a shower in the morning and am wearing pants.

01:20:02   I'm wearing pants, not shorts or flannel pajamas,

01:20:06   but actual pants.

01:20:07   I am wearing slippers because it's kind of cold out here

01:20:10   and they keep my feet warmer.

01:20:11   But there are days, I have a drifting shower schedule.

01:20:17   There are days where it's 11 o'clock and I'm like,

01:20:19   okay, I'll jump in the shower now, I've done some work.

01:20:21   And on one level, that's kind of great

01:20:23   'cause I just sort of like started working

01:20:24   at eight in the morning or 7.30 in the morning

01:20:26   and was at a full, I was kind of feeling it,

01:20:29   I was in the flow, I was really busy doing stuff.

01:20:31   And then it's 11, I'm like, okay, well, I'm smelly.

01:20:34   I need to go take a shower now.

01:20:36   But I've also had days where I've taken a shower

01:20:38   at like three or four in the afternoon.

01:20:40   And on one level it's like, hey, freedom.

01:20:42   And on another level, that's not good.

01:20:44   - I disgust myself.

01:20:46   - Yeah, well, you start to think, hey,

01:20:47   if I shower in the afternoon every other day,

01:20:50   then I can just move to a day and a half schedule,

01:20:52   - No, that's not good.

01:20:54   Nobody wants that.

01:20:55   - I now work a 40 hour day,

01:20:57   so I only need to shower twice a week.

01:21:00   - That's right, I'll see you tomorrow at 4ZM.

01:21:04   (laughing)

01:21:05   - The biggest problem I have with structure

01:21:08   is that I find inertia to be way more powerful

01:21:12   than it did when somebody else

01:21:14   was basically setting my schedule.

01:21:16   So that if I start working in my pajamas,

01:21:18   I will keep working in my pajamas.

01:21:19   And then if I finally take a break and shower,

01:21:22   I will just want to stand in the shower

01:21:24   for an hour and a half.

01:21:26   And if I take a break to go out to lunch,

01:21:29   there's not a real pressing reason to go back to work.

01:21:33   That's just a matter of discipline, I think,

01:21:34   something that I haven't mastered yet.

01:21:36   - Yeah, I'm not having problems with that.

01:21:40   For me, I mean, I think mine is the discipline to be,

01:21:44   the discipline to allow myself a little bit less discipline.

01:21:49   I don't know, like I said, you know.

01:21:51   I thought I would be seeing like a movie a week.

01:21:53   - Well, yeah, you know, I keep thinking,

01:21:55   well, Interstellar, you know,

01:21:57   I don't wanna take my kids to see it.

01:21:59   I'm not sure my wife really wants to see it.

01:22:01   She'd probably be up for seeing it,

01:22:02   but it's like one of those things where I thought,

01:22:04   I could just go in the day to see it,

01:22:05   but it's three hours long and there's podcasts

01:22:07   and I haven't done it.

01:22:09   And I haven't played Destiny, right?

01:22:10   And I could plan it.

01:22:13   And so I'm like, no, no, no, I'm just gonna work more.

01:22:15   So some of that is, I think, in there

01:22:16   that I need to be better at turning it on and off

01:22:20   little bit more and putting it on like Myke said calendar is king put in the

01:22:24   calendar maybe then it will happen basically like I love I spent the first

01:22:28   week I mean I know I'm only like three or four weeks into this but like so this

01:22:32   is pretty condensed recent but I spent my first week panicking that I wasn't

01:22:37   working enough but forcing myself to do things that I wanted to do and now as

01:22:44   I'm as I am getting into that rhythm I feel better about it but about playing a

01:22:49   video game for a week or two because when I did that, not a week or two, an

01:22:53   hour or two, I played video games for a week, I played video games or whatever or I

01:22:59   went and had lunch with a friend today for a couple of hours, you know, going

01:23:03   to London and it takes like 45 minutes to get to London and we're having lunch

01:23:06   so I lose like four hours of my day doing that but the thing is the business

01:23:11   has not fallen apart and I think once, and I feel silly giving you

01:23:17   advice about this stuff but like once you get to the once you do that stuff

01:23:22   and you make time for yourself and you see that the site doesn't cease to exist

01:23:27   I think you might feel better about it. Some of that too is a reaction to what I

01:23:31   want my job was before and I realized this and it and it's like literally oh

01:23:36   you get to write things now and so part of me is like we write things and so

01:23:41   then I'm like writing like if you factored in like how much money I hope to

01:23:47   to make from the site and from podcasts and all of that. I'm probably spending way too

01:23:51   much time on Six Colors, honestly. I think it's good because more content is good, it's

01:23:56   building it up, it's hopefully growing the traffic. There's an investment aspect to it,

01:23:59   but there's also a release of like, "Yay, I get to do this, and it's so much fun that

01:24:04   I'm just going to do it because I wasn't able to do it at my previous employer." And like

01:24:07   what was with the podcast, it's like, "Finally, I can do that podcast with Myke," and then

01:24:12   we're still doing Clockwise, and I added the thing with Tim Goodman. So some of it is just

01:24:16   the glee of being able to do these things

01:24:18   that I've wanted to do for two years.

01:24:19   And so I'm just doing them because it's fun

01:24:22   and I wanna do them.

01:24:23   And so I don't mind, but I am also trying to not overdo it

01:24:26   where these things I'm gonna get tired of

01:24:29   because I'm not giving myself breaks.

01:24:32   So there's a little bit of both in there, I think.

01:24:35   - As down as I may sound on what my original goals were,

01:24:39   I still have survived for three years.

01:24:42   Taking the jobs I wanna take

01:24:45   and working with the people I want to work with

01:24:48   and blowing off an hour and a half

01:24:49   in the middle of the afternoon

01:24:50   to do a podcast with some friends.

01:24:52   - Yeah.

01:24:53   - On the whole, yeah, it seems to be working.

01:24:56   - So, and that was my, the last question I wanted to ask,

01:25:00   which for you, Greg, can you envision,

01:25:03   can you envision going back to a job

01:25:07   where you had to get in your car and drive for 45 minutes

01:25:10   and wear a tie and be there at 8 a.m.?

01:25:13   Can you imagine that?

01:25:13   Or are you pretty much spoiled for doing contract work

01:25:17   and stuff for yourself and charting your own course?

01:25:21   - I can see the possibility of a company

01:25:25   that impresses me so much that's doing something

01:25:27   that is both important and interesting

01:25:29   that could lure me back to a full-time job,

01:25:32   but it would have to be amazing.

01:25:35   - That would be special, special situation.

01:25:37   - Yeah, well, I think there are some companies out there

01:25:39   that I see and they just look like

01:25:41   they are doing things right.

01:25:43   And I'm not seeking employment because there's a lot

01:25:46   of constraints with that too.

01:25:48   I live in Los Angeles, they have to be within driving

01:25:50   distance of Los Angeles because this is where my home is.

01:25:53   I have a ton more freedom doing what I do now

01:25:56   and so it would be a big hill to climb.

01:26:00   It's not an impossibility but I can't imagine

01:26:03   the set of circumstances coming together in a way

01:26:08   that would require that I pursue them. And Myke you said earlier you forget it.

01:26:15   It's not even like a it feels like it's not even an option like I definitely couldn't do anything

01:26:22   like I did before like if one day I had to try and find a job again like I would try and find

01:26:29   it something else but if I felt like Relay was failing I would try and find some other creative

01:26:35   of work to do, you know?

01:26:37   Or try and get the audience to save me or something.

01:26:42   You know?

01:26:43   Like, please help!

01:26:44   Because I just, it's just not something

01:26:47   that I'm interested in.

01:26:48   And I think I'm best placed doing this rather than that.

01:26:53   I think I add more to this world,

01:26:57   creating podcasts than I do in financial services marketing.

01:27:04   - Well, I think that's almost certainly the case.

01:27:05   I mean, I don't know how wonderful you were

01:27:07   at financial services marketing.

01:27:10   - Pretty great, Jason.

01:27:11   - Possibly awesome.

01:27:13   - Yes, you can apply a 10,000 multiplier

01:27:16   to a 0.001% world benefit.

01:27:19   - Yeah.

01:27:21   - Still not have it come out on the right side.

01:27:23   - So, I mean, I sort of feel this way too.

01:27:26   People are asking this now,

01:27:27   and it's early days for you and me, Myke,

01:27:30   But I fully accept that after a year away

01:27:35   from 20 years of commuting every day to an office,

01:27:41   that I might say, "Oh, you know, it wasn't so bad

01:27:44   and there are benefits and teamwork and all of that."

01:27:47   So I'm not shutting the door to that either.

01:27:48   But I mean, I have spent the last few years

01:27:50   looking at this and saying,

01:27:51   "Well, you know what I really ought to do

01:27:52   is something like that.

01:27:53   And I want to build something

01:27:54   and maybe grow it to the point where that can be my thing

01:27:57   and that can be my business.

01:27:58   and I can have a team that's my team

01:28:00   and work with a lot of interesting people

01:28:02   and do podcasts and do websites and things like that.

01:28:05   When I think about ways that I could be induced

01:28:10   to come back, it is definitely that slippery slope

01:28:14   of there's the stuff, well, it's not a slippery slope,

01:28:16   it's like a hierarchy.

01:28:18   There's the stuff that I'm doing that's my stuff.

01:28:20   And then there's the stuff that I'm doing for other people

01:28:22   like freelance and consulting, but it's their stuff,

01:28:25   but it's my stuff that I'm choosing to work on with them.

01:28:28   And then below that, there would be like working hourly

01:28:32   for somebody, but from my house, from my desk.

01:28:36   It's a job, but it's a job here.

01:28:38   And then, or whether it was like 20 hours a week

01:28:41   or full time even from here though,

01:28:44   doing the stuff that I like to do from my office here

01:28:47   instead of commuting.

01:28:48   And then below that is the commute job.

01:28:51   And some of that I think is just having not had

01:28:55   get on a bus an hour each way every day. I don't miss it and I don't really want to go back to doing

01:29:04   that. That's not a life that I would choose. I'm fully aware that I may need to choose it

01:29:09   at some point. If that's the difference between my kids eating or not, then I'm going to choose it,

01:29:17   but it's low down on the list. And right now I'm trying to focus on the things that are in box

01:29:23   number one and maybe and learn a little bit about what's in box number two.

01:29:27   When I first started and I every once in a while would have doubts you know you

01:29:31   get hooked up with a bad client or you're worried about how much income

01:29:35   you're gonna bring in a month I would schedule a lunch with my old co-workers

01:29:38   and I would just listen to them complain about politics and corporate stupidity

01:29:42   for an hour and then I would feel much better about the choice I had made.

01:29:46   Yeah. Though I do miss listening to podcasts on the commute. Me too, me too.

01:29:52   It's actually really hard to find time to listen to podcasts now. I've taken all that time and it's housework put it

01:29:57   Yeah, I I do

01:29:58   That's what I do when I'm making dinner or doing the dishes or anything like that or if I'm taking a walk by myself

01:30:04   To get out of the house and be and get some exercise if my wife doesn't come with me

01:30:09   Then I am doing podcasts then because that is the one thing that I had a I had some mandated

01:30:14   Podcast time that was the only thing that kept me saying I'm not I'm not 100% sure what I'm doing

01:30:22   But I listen to more podcasts now than I ever have.

01:30:26   And I don't know how I'm doing that, because it seems to fly in the face of

01:30:30   basically everybody else that doesn't have a commute anymore.

01:30:34   I don't know what I'm doing. But I listen to podcasts all the time

01:30:38   at home, as well as when I'm traveling around.

01:30:42   So, like, I might, like, when I'm

01:30:46   in my morning routine of trying to wake up and make coffee

01:30:50   and breakfast and check email. I just put a podcast on then. Total Party Kill was a

01:30:54   great show and it's very nice for my morning wake-up ritual so thank you for

01:30:58   that Jason. Yay! It's long shows where it's like you can kind of just leave

01:31:04   them on and enjoy them because they're more like entertainment they work really

01:31:07   well for that kind of stuff I think. Yeah that's good to hear. I you know when I'm

01:31:11   sitting at my computer writing I can't listen to podcasts. That's the only thing.

01:31:16   - I also can't listen to them whilst I'm podcasting.

01:31:19   - Indeed, or editing podcasts.

01:31:21   - Yes, especially.

01:31:22   - Well, you can listen to the one that you're editing,

01:31:25   but that's really the limit is the one.

01:31:27   - By the time you finish editing it, you hate it.

01:31:28   - Every now and then I cue up music to play

01:31:30   while I'm working and then I open up Logic

01:31:32   and I'm like, wait, I can't do that.

01:31:34   I can't listen to music while I'm editing a podcast.

01:31:36   It doesn't work that way.

01:31:37   But for other things, I'm trying to do that.

01:31:39   I've got a little Bluetooth connector to the speaker

01:31:42   that's in my kitchen and so I can put it on there.

01:31:45   When my kids are around and my wife is around,

01:31:47   I end up putting in the headphones

01:31:49   and it's a little antisocial,

01:31:50   but I do that sometimes when I'm cleaning up or whatever.

01:31:55   But I admit that there are different kinds of podcasts too.

01:31:59   And they're the ones that are more kind of entertainment

01:32:01   based that are telling you a story or something.

01:32:03   And then they're the ones where you're listening

01:32:05   'cause it's, you know, that's with ATP.

01:32:08   I can't really tune out ATP

01:32:09   'cause I really wanna listen to ATP

01:32:11   and the technical details of everything that they're saying.

01:32:15   Whereas, you know, as something that's a more entertainmenty podcast, I can just listen and it's fun and I'm not taking notes mentally.

01:32:21   When I'm doing yard work or housework with a podcast in, I ask my kids to text me rather than try and get my attention audibly.

01:32:29   Yeah.

01:32:31   Yeah.

01:32:32   When I'm doing podcasts, that's what I tell my son.

01:32:34   He's in the other room right now.

01:32:35   They have Thanksgiving week off and I just said, I said, he's got an iPad.

01:32:39   Send me a text if you need me.

01:32:40   I'm podcasting now.

01:32:42   That's the future.

01:32:44   have to hear from your kids anymore. Just like my dad did for me. Yeah, exactly. And my daughter's

01:32:48   a teenager now, so she's happy to not speak to me. So it's beautiful. Well, that exhausts all my

01:32:54   questions about this funny world that we're living in. But I think it's really interesting. I always

01:33:01   listened when Dan Benjamin would do Quit and Merlin would talk about the JOB jobs and all of

01:33:10   all that stuff. I would always listen and be like, "Oh, that's interesting." And now,

01:33:17   especially when you've got the perspective of people who mostly... I've known so many

01:33:19   people who are like freelancers and that's what they've always been, that it's different

01:33:24   when you are used to the job life and then you're not in it anymore. And it's not like

01:33:32   I'm not working. I think we've all said, we're all... Other than Myke, who is working less

01:33:35   and making more. We're all working pretty hard.

01:33:39   I don't like that summary, by the way. I would like to point that out that I am not on board

01:33:44   with that. He plays video games.

01:33:46   Your objection is noted. He takes four hour lunches.

01:33:50   And we'll save you a turkey leg. But it's different. The contrast is kind of breathtaking

01:34:01   in some ways of being out on your own and having no more support structure, but also

01:34:07   no more meetings and control structure, and having to make those decisions yourself. But

01:34:13   my fear, which is that I would not have enough to do and would be like, "Oh crap, what do

01:34:18   I do now?" It hasn't been borne out. So that's a good start. And hopefully, that'll continue

01:34:27   because I'm enjoying it.

01:34:29   And as I've said on previous shows,

01:34:32   although I am in my garage,

01:34:33   it has been converted almost to the point,

01:34:36   there's still a garage door and there's some bikes parked,

01:34:40   but they're like, I got curtains and carpet

01:34:43   and it's all insulated and there are new windows.

01:34:45   And it's other than the fact that the washer and dryer

01:34:48   is over here threatening to spill out

01:34:50   and flood me at any moment,

01:34:52   I am otherwise in a pretty comfy spot

01:34:54   that I had a year or more to set up.

01:34:57   And so I'm pretty happy being able to execute a plan

01:35:00   that I sort of like, okay, I'll say it,

01:35:04   I'm living the dream because for two years,

01:35:05   this was the dream and now I get to actually do it.

01:35:08   So that's pretty great.

01:35:09   - Don't mess it up.

01:35:11   - Thanks, Greg.

01:35:12   Voice of, ooh, regret, later.

01:35:16   But it's good to have the voice of warning out there

01:35:18   'cause I know that's why I wanted you on.

01:35:20   That's why I asked you to be our guest today

01:35:21   is I wanted you to say, look, I lived through this

01:35:24   and you have the positives of it

01:35:27   and also the things that you expected that didn't come to pass.

01:35:29   And I thought that was worth talking about for young Myke and for me,

01:35:33   both of whom are out on our own now.

01:35:34   And I think that's it, Myke.

01:35:38   - So this ends the group therapy of the home workers on the internet.

01:35:48   We will reconvene at another point and check in to see how these guys are doing.

01:35:53   And what regrets... - Via Skype.

01:35:54   - Yeah, via Skype. - Not in person.

01:35:56   And what regrets myself and Jason have about

01:35:59   our new pajama lifestyle.

01:36:00   Um, if you'd like to find the show notes for

01:36:03   this week's episode of upgrade, you want to

01:36:04   point your web browser at relay.fm/upgrade/11.

01:36:09   Um, Mr.

01:36:11   Narsway, can people find you if they would

01:36:12   like to do so?

01:36:13   At eod.com.

01:36:16   Perfect.

01:36:17   Yeah.

01:36:17   How about that three letter domain?

01:36:19   End of days.

01:36:21   Though I, I, I think the post that's there is

01:36:24   almost exactly a year old.

01:36:25   How about GNOS at Twitter?

01:36:29   Perfect.

01:36:30   There you go.

01:36:31   And that will of course both be in the show notes too.

01:36:33   If you'd like to find me online I am @imike on Twitter and Mr. Jason Snow is @jsnell and

01:36:43   he of course writes the fantastic sixcolors.com.

01:36:47   We'll be back next week with another episode of Upgrade.

01:36:50   Thanks again to our sponsors this week, Drafts, Studio Neat and Mailer Out.

01:36:54   Until next time, say goodbye everybody.

01:36:57   Goodbye everybody!

01:36:59   [ Music ]