145: Problems Are Meant To Be Solved


00:00:00   So, it's the year of work as part of the year of work. I want to take more work trips,

00:00:06   more greycations. Rent a hotel room, basically a self-created prison to just do a bunch of

00:00:14   work. That's where I'm recording the show from right now. I'm once again at an undisclosed

00:00:20   location in England in a hotel room.

00:00:23   Is this like you've spoken to the guard and this is your one call from the prison?

00:00:29   I get my one phone call! And this is it.

00:00:32   You can have your one phone call but it also has to be work and thus we're talking.

00:00:37   And that phone call will last six hours but it is just one phone call.

00:00:40   So of course finding the right kind of place, difficult. But found a hotel, came to hotel,

00:00:47   come into the hotel room and of course the very first thing I do is I go to the air conditioning

00:00:53   and I turn it all the way down to 16. And it let me. I thought, "Wow! This is great!

00:01:01   Just what I wanted, just what I hope for in the world." But as I'm unpacking, as I'm setting

00:01:06   up I feel like, "Boy, it just doesn't feel like it's actually getting cold. What's happening

00:01:13   here?" And I look back and the thermostat says, "18." That's funny. I could have sworn

00:01:20   that the thing that I always do I did when I entered this room which was turn it down

00:01:24   to 16. So I go over there, boop boop boop, set it down to 16, stays at 16, I walk away,

00:01:32   do my stuff, but later in the evening I again notice 18, not 16. So I thought, "Uh oh."

00:01:39   I go over, I press the little thermostat down, boop boop boop, 16. But this time I stand

00:01:44   there and I watch it. And I swear to God for people just like me, this hotel put in some

00:01:51   delay which is, "Let them set the temperature to whatever they want, but wait 10 seconds

00:01:58   and then bring it back up to 18 and hope that they don't notice." So of course, where do

00:02:05   I go immediately? 10 p.m. at night I'm down at the front desk. "Hey, let me put the air

00:02:11   conditioning whichever way I want." "What would you like to do in the room, sir?" "I

00:02:14   would like to set the AC lower." "Oh, you want the room colder?" "Yes, colder." "Why

00:02:20   would you like it colder?" And this is where it's like I lose my mind, right? Like I don't

00:02:24   need to explain to you why. They can tell you, "No sir, we can't do that." Right? And

00:02:29   that's like whatever, like these are the rules, this is the system, whatever. There is absolutely

00:02:34   zero point being like, "Why?" What do you mean, "Why?" I'm not like running a science

00:02:39   experiment that you're going to find out about. I just want it to be colder. Like you can

00:02:43   do it or not, but the why is unimportant. I've got some cryogenically frozen dinosaurs

00:02:49   embryos in my suitcase. Like what do you mean, "Why?" Like it's, I would like it colder.

00:02:53   I've been a hotel room that I'm paying for. Like just can we do the thing? So we had to

00:02:58   have this like awkward conversation about why I would like it to be colder, which I'm

00:03:03   trying to shortcut to, "Can you make it colder?" What was your answer? I'm intrigued. When

00:03:07   they said, "Why do you want it to be colder?" What did you say? Mike, this is not me at

00:03:12   my best. I will just, I will fully admit like these are the kind of human interactions where

00:03:17   I just, I do not perform the best. And I just repeat, "Because I would like it colder?"

00:03:24   And then they ask again and then I say, "Because I'm uncomfortable." There must be something

00:03:28   about like this interaction. I could always feel like, "Oh, this doesn't go well." Right?

00:03:32   I already know I'm in trouble. No, but like, but this is why I ask because I actually don't

00:03:35   think that there is a good way for this conversation to go. Yeah, there's no good way for it to

00:03:39   go. The question is pointless. Like the only answer is the one that it is, which is I want

00:03:43   it to be colder. Right. There doesn't have to be like a reason, you know? Yeah. And I

00:03:49   also, I feel like I think the reason it trips up my brain is I feel like questions like

00:03:54   that, which I do get sometimes when you're interacting with like customer service people

00:03:58   in some ways, like I would like to do a thing. And frequently I feel like they ask me why

00:04:02   because I'm wanting something that's just like slightly out of the ordinary. How many

00:04:06   guests ever come down to the front like hours after checking in to ask about the thermostat?

00:04:10   I don't know, man. I expect every American that's ever gone to that hotel has come down

00:04:14   to the front desk to ask that question. Honestly, like I don't think that this is that rare

00:04:20   for them. You might be right. You might be right. But yeah, I feel like a why question.

00:04:25   It's like an implicit invitation to lie, right? Because the sort of implication is if you

00:04:32   have a good enough answer, this will be granted. I feel like that's kind of the implication

00:04:37   behind a why question. So anyway, we stumble around with the why question. Again, in my

00:04:42   whole life, all I wish to be is not noticed. But now we're having the manager come down

00:04:48   to the front desk because I've like thrown off the person who's actually at the front

00:04:52   desk and the manager's like, we went through the whole rigmarole again. She asks, "What

00:04:56   would you like to do? Why would you like to do this?" I find the room physically uncomfortable

00:05:00   at the temperature. Like I could see that the thermostat will go down to 16, but then

00:05:04   it bumps it back up to 18. Can I get this changed? So the strategy now from the hotel's

00:05:08   perspective was delay. So they tell me, "Oh, we need the maintenance department in order

00:05:14   to do that. But we have no maintenance department on the weekends." And I'm just like narrowing

00:05:21   my eyes looking at the manager, because I'm thinking, "What do I do if something breaks

00:05:24   on a Sunday?" Exactly. I'm in a hotel. There are hundreds of rooms in this hotel. There

00:05:29   is no universe where you don't have a maintenance department on the weekends when you have hundreds

00:05:36   of hotel rooms. It's just not possible. So they delay, delight, and they're like, "Well,

00:05:40   sir, I checked in on a Saturday." "Well, sir, we'll have to get the maintenance department

00:05:44   in on the weekday, right? When the Monday starts." And then of course, when I follow

00:05:48   this up, the end result is, "No, I'm afraid we just can't do anything about the air conditioning.

00:05:54   It's centrally set."

00:05:55   I was waiting for that. Essentially. So many times I've heard you hear things like that,

00:06:01   right? "Oh, it's centrally set." "Oh, central's doing it."

00:06:05   Okay, central's doing it, right? Yes, exactly. So it's like this is my life now, right? I'm

00:06:12   thinking, again, ideally I would like to do at least one or maybe two more little short,

00:06:19   intense working trips before the year is over to just try to knock out a bunch of stuff

00:06:23   that I want to do for a year of work. But I'm just thinking, great, now this is another

00:06:27   thing that I need to add onto my checklist. It's like, does the hotel have air conditioning?

00:06:32   Yes, which is hard enough to find in England. But then what? I need to call and ask them,

00:06:37   tell me what your air conditioning is really set at. Like, I know you have it, but I also

00:06:43   know now this is just a thing that's going to be spreading everywhere. You're all centrally

00:06:47   setting the air conditioning at whatever you want to set it at. And I am but a humble pawn

00:06:52   in this system and I can't do anything to try to improve my situation.

00:06:57   If you will allow me, I want to roleplay this conversation when you call.

00:07:01   Oh no, okay.

00:07:02   Okay, so you've called and I'm like, "Hello, this is the hotel. How can I help you?"

00:07:07   Oh, oh, okay. Well, I don't want to be on this call in the first place.

00:07:10   Well, you're on it now.

00:07:11   Oh no, okay. Hi, I'm thinking of booking a room in your hotel, but I need to know what

00:07:17   you actually set the minimum air conditioning to.

00:07:21   Why?

00:07:22   Oh, no!

00:07:23   You really think that this is a question that anyone's going to answer in a way that you

00:07:28   find satisfying? They'll tell you either whatever you want to hear or they'll just say, "Why?"

00:07:34   I know. This is the thing. I know that this is one of these things where, from the hotel's

00:07:39   perspective, they just want me to book the room, right? And then later it'll be like,

00:07:44   "Oh, well, we didn't have that policy in place when you booked, but between then and your

00:07:48   arrival like this new system rolled out."

00:07:50   So here's my thought on the future because I was like, "Alright, well, this is just going

00:07:54   to be a problem in my life." But problems are meant to be solved. I went on YouTube

00:07:59   and I tried to find like some thermostats will have a secret like bypass mode if you

00:08:03   press the right set of buttons. This one didn't have a secret bypass mode. But in the process

00:08:08   of doing that, it occurred to me, I was realizing, "Oh, HVAC systems are actually very electrically

00:08:13   simple." Like, I know behind this panel, there's really only three wires, only one of which

00:08:20   is powered, and one of them just needs to get the correct signal to turn the AC on.

00:08:26   So I've just been trying to think and trying to strategize about what can I do in the future.

00:08:31   And I guess my plan is going to be if I've booked a hotel room, see if I can find the

00:08:37   exact model of thermostat that they're using on one of the product photos of the room,

00:08:43   and just order one of those to bring with me with a small electrical kit to just replace

00:08:49   it on the wall. I think this is going to be my plan going forward.

00:08:52   I think this is a step too far. Actually, I think it's more than one step too far, I

00:08:57   think.

00:08:58   What's too far about this?

00:08:59   Fiddling with the electronics and like, I just think that's too far. I also, also, I

00:09:04   bet it won't get you what you want anyway.

00:09:06   What do you perceive is going to be the roadblock for this plan?

00:09:09   I mean, I don't know enough about how HVAC systems work, right? But I don't think that

00:09:14   the actual thermostat on the wall is the problem. Because you're telling that thermostat what

00:09:18   you want, right?

00:09:19   Yeah. So I went to the company that manufactures the thermostat in my room and went through

00:09:25   all of their technical details and discovered, much to my delight, that…

00:09:29   You're supposed to be working. What are you doing?

00:09:33   I'm trying to work, right? The hotel is like getting in my way.

00:09:37   It's not that hot. 18 degrees is like, I will say like 16 is freezing. I don't know

00:09:44   why you want to sit in that temperature anyway. 18 is like in a room that's cold.

00:09:50   I'm literally sweating right now as we're having this conversation.

00:09:52   Well, because you're getting worked up. That's why.

00:09:53   I can mop the sweat off of my brow in this 18 degree room.

00:09:58   Then look, let me tell you, right? If that's the thing, your problem is not the air conditioning.

00:10:02   You need to see a doctor. That I think is the actual situation. You shouldn't be that

00:10:07   hot. How many clothes are you wearing? What are you doing?

00:10:11   I'm just here in a t-shirt. But okay, so listen, the important thing is HVAC systems

00:10:16   in the hotel rooms, even according to a company that is very clearly marketing this to hotels

00:10:22   as "Hey, we will save you a bunch of money by mildly inconveniencing all of your guests."

00:10:28   Like that is totally the pitch, right, from the HVAC company. But each of the systems

00:10:33   is electrically isolated in the room. The thermostats are on the Wi-Fi network. That's

00:10:39   where they're receiving instructions from. It's like, "Ah, okay." So they're connecting

00:10:44   to like the hotel Wi-Fi to get the instructions of like, "We're not allowed to turn it down

00:10:49   below here." And ultimately, this is just a little machine that is applying or not applying

00:10:54   voltage to these three wires on the back. So I don't think there's any kind of direct

00:11:00   communication between the actual AC and heating system and the rest of the hotel. I think

00:11:05   it's purely for that little panel that's sitting on front. So anyway, this is what was going

00:11:10   through my mind, but I have gotten the temperature just a little below 18 to, when I'm not renting

00:11:17   on a podcast, acceptable temperatures. Because there's a very strange layout in this room,

00:11:22   which is that the TV is basically right next to the thermostat. And the other thing I wanted

00:11:28   to know is, where is the heat sensor in the thermostat? So if I turn on the TV and put

00:11:38   a big towel over the TV, the TV gets very warm. And it's clearly tricked the thermostat

00:11:45   into thinking the room is like half a degree warmer than it really is for the air temperature.

00:11:51   And when the TV eventually sets fire to the towel, the room will get even colder. So that

00:11:56   will be good for you. See, my feeling here, like this thing that you've mentioned, this

00:11:59   is exactly the reason they should just let me set the temperature to where I want it

00:12:03   to be. You cannot draw the like a line between these. You should because otherwise I'll have

00:12:09   to set the room on fire. Like this is not like a logical cause and effect of why they

00:12:13   should make the room colder because otherwise the guests will catch fire to things. Look,

00:12:19   you don't want people monkeying around with your electrics. So don't force them to. We

00:12:24   cannot draw the conclusion here. Like, because this isn't a natural evolution of this problem.

00:12:31   No, but it is a very natural evolution of this problem. I have a problem. What are my

00:12:35   tools to solve the problem? Like that's, of course it's going to go this way. Yeah, but

00:12:39   most people will have stopped at bring my own thermostat. There are many steps between

00:12:46   like, yeah, there are many steps that people would naturally end before I will research

00:12:56   the thermostat, buy a thermostat, wait for the thermostat to be delivered, bring it and

00:13:02   a screwdriver to the hotel. Most people will have stopped before then. I mean, what most

00:13:06   people do is not my problem. I'm just talking about what I'm doing and why the hotel should

00:13:10   let me do what I want to do. I don't want to bring a thermostat to the room either. Like,

00:13:14   I don't want to be monkeying around with the electrics. I was also trying to think like,

00:13:18   can I rig up or maybe Cortex brand could sell some kind of product where it's like, you

00:13:24   can attach something to the thermostat and put a hot water bottle in it or something

00:13:27   to like, again, trick the thermostat into thinking what is the actual temperature of

00:13:31   the room so that it will drop the temperature. Maybe there are like less invasive ways to

00:13:36   do that. I don't want to be any more involved in this situation than I already currently

00:13:41   am. So no, I'm going to veto the Cortex brand thermostat tricking water bottle from existing.

00:13:48   I don't know Mike. I think there could be a really big market. Only, only, no, no.

00:13:58   This episode of Cortex is brought to you by Factor. With the busy fall season just around

00:14:03   the corner, you might be looking for some wholesome convenient meals for jam packed

00:14:07   days. Factor is America's number one ready to eat meal kit, and it can help you fuel

00:14:12   up fast with chef prepared, dietitian approved, ready to eat meals delivered directly to your

00:14:19   door. You'll save time, eat well and stay on track with your healthy lifestyle. With

00:14:24   Factor, you can skip the extra trip to the grocery store. Their fresh, never frozen meals

00:14:30   are ready in just two minutes and you have more than 34 flavour packed options to choose

00:14:35   from every single week. And if you want something special, level up with gourmet plus options,

00:14:41   prepared to perfection by chefs and ready to eat in record time. So you can treat yourself

00:14:46   to upscale meals with premium ingredients like broccolini, leeks, truffle butter and

00:14:51   asparagus. How fancy. Plus you can keep your energy up with lunch to go. Factor's effortless,

00:14:57   wholesome meals like grain bowls and salad toppers, no microwave required. Then to finish

00:15:03   your order choose from 45 add ons including breakfast items like apple cinnamon pancakes,

00:15:09   bacon and cheddar egg bites and smoothies. I've spoken on the show in the past about

00:15:13   honestly how frustrating I find lunch because I don't want to spend a bunch of time, I don't

00:15:18   want to be eating out all the time. And Factor is awesome for this because it lets you keep

00:15:22   these awesome meals just in the fridge and they're ready to go whenever you need them.

00:15:26   It's super super simple, you can heat them up or you can have some cold options too.

00:15:31   It really takes that trip to the grocery store out, that meal planning taken out, really

00:15:35   makes it super simple and they have so many awesome add ons. Man those apple cinnamon

00:15:40   pancakes, yes please. I really love how simple they make it, I love the options and the quality

00:15:45   of their ingredients is awesome. You can rest assured you're making a sustainable choice

00:15:49   as well because Factor offset 100% of the delivery emissions to your door along with

00:15:54   sourcing renewable electricity and featuring sustainably sourced seafood. Head to factormeals.com

00:16:01   slash cortex 50 and use the code cortex50 to get 50% off your first box. That's the

00:16:07   code cortex50, cortex50 at factormeals.com slash cortex50 and you will get yourself 50%

00:16:16   off your first box. Thanks to Factor for their support of this show and all of Relay FM.

00:16:22   So I took my assignment after our last episode which was to install iOS 17 and try out the

00:16:27   mood tracking. Yes, yes I forgot about that, right, right. And so in between us recording

00:16:33   and publishing the show I installed iOS 17 on my phone and I would say like overall the

00:16:39   beta has been mostly okay, it's as good or bad as any other beta but I really wanted

00:16:44   to try out the mood tracking. And I would say that like overall it's doing what I expected

00:16:51   in the way that I expected but I think it has for me I think one key problem. So this

00:16:57   system will allow you to multiple times a day either whenever you decide or if you set

00:17:03   up the system to prompt you via notifications to tell it how you are feeling. It's all contained

00:17:09   in the health app which if you want to go in manually and add it to yourself suffers

00:17:14   the exact same problem that everything else in the health app does which is just it's

00:17:17   just not very well laid out. It's like just in this like list of cards. I would honestly

00:17:23   prefer Apple to have distinct apps for all of these things like the medicine tracking

00:17:28   and you know which they do on the Apple watch but not on the phone. I would just prefer

00:17:31   if they broke all these out into their own separate things so it would be easier to get

00:17:35   to them. But you will go in and you press the log button and it asks you know how are

00:17:40   you you can log how you're feeling right now or how you felt overall in the day. And the

00:17:44   first thing that it takes you to is like this really pretty animation and you can on a scale

00:17:49   from very unpleasant to very pleasant you like drag this slider to say how you're feeling.

00:17:54   And my favorite thing about all of it is the colors and the animations and the shapes that

00:17:58   the system shows you. I just think this is a really nice and soft way to help somebody

00:18:04   maybe kind of get across what they're trying to get across of how they're feeling. I just

00:18:08   think that it looks really good and I think people could maybe attach to certain shapes

00:18:13   and colors. I have no doubt that there is some really good science in this you know

00:18:18   is more than for me to understand right of like why you would do it this way.

00:18:21   Also, Apple has finally validated my purple is clearly the worst color feeling because

00:18:27   very unpleasant is purple.

00:18:29   Like kind of salmon-y orange is like very pleasant with green and blue in the middle.

00:18:35   So everything's kind of like stars and flowers right is like what they're going for. It's

00:18:39   all really interesting design wise. You go in and you state how you're feeling. The next

00:18:45   question you're given is what best describes this feeling and it gives you a bunch of words

00:18:49   that you can just tap the word which is the most applicable and these words differ depending

00:18:55   on how pleasant and unpleasant you're saying you're feeling. But you can tap a button that

00:19:00   says show more and it gives you the full list of all of them. So like for example if you

00:19:05   are feeling very pleasant but for some reason want to say annoyed you can say that by tapping

00:19:10   into the show more. Right like I don't know why you would necessarily match that up but

00:19:14   you can.

00:19:15   My main issue with the app is what happens after you press this button. So it says what

00:19:20   best describes this thing you choose then you press next and it says what's having the

00:19:25   biggest impact on you. And you are given a list of things that's set up into like three

00:19:31   groups but in my opinion there is just not enough descriptors here. So like I'll give

00:19:37   you a good example right. One day I was like not feeling too great about something we had

00:19:42   going on in the house with some renovations that we have going on. So I said that I was

00:19:47   feeling very unpleasant and you know it's like what best describes this feeling and

00:19:52   I was like disappointed, stressed, worried right. I press next and there is nothing in

00:19:59   here for what is having the biggest impact on you that is relatable to what I'm feeling.

00:20:07   There is nothing about home here for example. Right so like I could have said health, fitness,

00:20:13   self care, hobbies, identity, spirituality, community, family, friends, partner, dating,

00:20:18   tasks, work, education, travel, weather, current events, money. They are the same always. Now

00:20:24   if you tap one of these it gives you the ability to add additional context and so you could

00:20:30   write down what you are feeling. But there were multiple times where I felt like I couldn't

00:20:34   express what I wanted because this biggest impact field just didn't have something that

00:20:41   was relating to what was making me feel a certain way. And what I don't understand is

00:20:46   why they have so many options for the description words but so few options for the impact words.

00:20:56   I think it will turn people off because I think people are pretty vulnerable a lot of

00:21:01   the time when they are entering something like this. And if you are feeling a certain

00:21:05   feeling you are looking for validation that what you are feeling is real and if you come

00:21:12   to this screen and you can't find it, it almost makes me feel a little bit like worrying

00:21:18   about your home is not something to worry about.

00:21:22   I don't mean to laugh but I'm just realizing you feel like the phone isn't validating

00:21:27   that feeling? Is that the way you would want to express that?

00:21:30   Yeah. It's like you could go to here and you go to very unpleasant and you are looking

00:21:35   for air conditioning thermostat but it's just not there.

00:21:37   It isn't there yeah. I'm feeling very unpleasant about it.

00:21:40   Yes you are feeling very unpleasant right now because your co-host won't agree that

00:21:43   you should be able to take an electric screwdriver to a hotel room.

00:21:46   No he won't help me make the product with the hot water bottle.

00:21:49   Okay same thing.

00:21:51   I still have agency with the screwdriver Mike.

00:21:53   I find this to just be an odd omission or even the additional context allowing you to

00:22:00   type in whatever you want that should just be there always. Rather than it necessarily

00:22:06   being the buttons. They're restricting me to choosing and some of the time the feelings

00:22:10   that I was having I couldn't express with the choice that they were making me make.

00:22:17   And so I found that to be weird.

00:22:19   You felt boxed in by the end result of like what is the root cause of this thing?

00:22:24   Yeah I had to say like oh money but it wasn't a money problem. That's not the problem

00:22:30   that it was. It was just something that was frustrating to me that was going to take more

00:22:34   time for something to be done. But there wasn't anything that I could tap inside of this screen

00:22:41   that I felt could accurately like get across what I was frustrated about.

00:22:46   So in its current state how useful do you think this is for you?

00:22:52   I mean for me not but I wasn't looking for this. At the moment I don't really feel

00:22:56   like I need an app like this. But if I was in a time when I feel like I did or if I take

00:23:03   myself back to the time when I was using mood path this would be very useful for me. It

00:23:07   is not perfect but I feel like it would at least give me a low friction way to be able

00:23:14   to think a little bit more deeply about what's making me upset or how I'm feeling in any

00:23:20   moment whether it's good or bad or otherwise. And the simplicity and visual nature of it

00:23:25   are fantastic. Like this is the kind of thing that Apple is good for right? It's like

00:23:29   boiling things down to their simplest form and giving you an entry path into this kind

00:23:35   of idea. And I think that this app does that. So where like for example I might start using

00:23:40   this and start logging and then be like "Oh I can't actually find all of the things

00:23:45   I want. Is there anything else out there that is more advanced?" And then I can start

00:23:52   my way into finding a different mood tracking app. But I just feel like there is for me

00:23:56   just this one thing that if they change. And what I would like is for there to be more

00:24:01   options but in lieu of more options just allowing me to by default type whatever I want into

00:24:08   a text field which is a thing they do offer but only when you tap a button to then add

00:24:13   more context. If there was just an empty text field there where I could just type whatever

00:24:17   I wanted this thing would be ideal I think. In its current state I think this is a good

00:24:22   first attempt and baking it into the system having notifications that can grab me during

00:24:27   the day like by and large a lot of the basics are there but I think it's just missing

00:24:31   that one little thing.

00:24:32   B: It's interesting to hear those thoughts. Last time we had a conversation about this

00:24:39   mood tracker which I didn't like and then you sort of talked me around last show of

00:24:44   like "Oh how would you use this?" and I said "Oh Mike's making some interesting

00:24:47   points." When I go to edit the show and I'm re-listening to the conversation I got mad

00:24:53   all over again and I was having that experience of "Past Gray! Why are you letting Mike

00:24:58   talk you into this?" It's a very funny thing to be in that disagreement with yourself

00:25:05   on such a short period of time. I don't know. I'm trying to articulate what is going

00:25:13   on in my mind about this app because it really is sticking something with me and I think

00:25:18   what I'm trying to like narrow down here is we also brush up against this when we

00:25:23   talk about the theme system journal of "You use it in a different way than I do." I

00:25:29   focus on the gratitude stuff and you will often mention like writing down things that

00:25:36   aren't going well or things that are bothering you and it always kind of like sticks in my

00:25:41   brain of like "I don't like that." But that totally works for you. That's the

00:25:46   point of the whole product is like that works for you. That's great. So what is my problem

00:25:51   with this app is I feel like there's just a big difference between someone like you

00:25:56   like a smart self-aware person who thinks about this stuff a bunch. Part of your job

00:26:02   is to literally think about this stuff and intentionally choosing a tool and using it

00:26:07   in a way that it works well for you. And I guess on the flip side of that I look

00:26:11   like at this app and it's a bit like an epidemiological problem like you're going

00:26:17   to just suddenly roll out to millions of people a mood tracker. And so even if there are people

00:26:25   this could work for I'm concerned that like on average I think the way this thing is set

00:26:32   up is bad for people. And trying to articulate it it's like I've always kind of had this

00:26:39   rule for the internet which is what you pay attention to you grow. And so everyone knows

00:26:47   this experience with the algorithms right like you click on a couple of news things

00:26:52   and then guess what you've just grown in your world. You've grown the presence of

00:26:56   news right. You start watching some beekeeping videos and guess what suddenly like it's

00:27:00   all beekeeping videos like this this way of like what you pay attention to is what you

00:27:05   grow and everyone can see that really directly with the algorithm. But I think it's also

00:27:11   just true in your life like what you pay attention to is what you grow. The more you pay attention

00:27:18   to a thing whatever it is in your life the more you become the kind of person who pays

00:27:24   attention to that thing. And I just I just really worry about the negative side of this

00:27:32   app precisely because it just says how are you feeling right now and I really don't

00:27:38   like this workflow of like I'm feeling very unpleasant and then you say that I'm angry

00:27:43   and anxious and then you say next what are you angry and anxious about and then you have

00:27:47   to pick the things oh my family and my friends right and you select those two boxes. I mean

00:27:53   I don't know maybe people are just much more internally unaware of their own feelings than

00:28:00   I estimate they are but I just feel like focusing in that way you're growing your own attention

00:28:09   to that thing and I just worry about like it could start like tiny reinforcement loops

00:28:17   in people's heads particularly around the social stuff I just find quite concerning

00:28:22   of like yeah family and friends and co-workers could just be annoying in life and I just

00:28:29   I think like rolling this out to millions of people I think they're like lots of times

00:28:34   people are gonna do that thing where it's like oh they pick I'm feeling annoyed at this

00:28:38   person and you've just kind of like grown that thought a little stronger in your own

00:28:44   mind like you grow what you pay attention to and it's again this could also just entirely

00:28:50   be because of my experience with how frustratingly effective gratitude journaling is that just

00:28:56   like just paying attention to something like this cup of coffee smells nice like just grows

00:29:04   appreciation very clearly and very strongly so I think maybe I'm over tuned to worry about

00:29:10   the opposite but I still feel like I've been playing around with this app and I've been

00:29:16   just trying to see what it is and trying to articulate my thoughts it's like every time

00:29:20   I interact with it I hate it more and I worry more about it just again not for any individual

00:29:28   person but Apple just works on such a scale I think it's like a slight nudge for the whole

00:29:35   population in an averagely bad direction and I think the other part of that as well which

00:29:44   is just concerning to me is also like with so much of the health app that I also have

00:29:50   increasingly large number of things to complain about where does this translate into action

00:29:56   is is my other concern like simply logging is not action.

00:30:02   Well they did say I mean and I don't know but they did say that they would point people

00:30:07   towards questionnaires and resources I think probably if you're consistently saying you're

00:30:12   feeling bad in some way or another would be my assumption.

00:30:15   Yeah but I fully expect it's a you see TV shows do this as well it's I feel like it's

00:30:21   a kind of…

00:30:22   Please contact a such and such person if you did it.

00:30:25   It feels like covering themselves and also the thing with with the mood tracking is that's

00:30:32   too far of a step right if your app says you need to go to therapy for most people that's

00:30:39   like a really far step to do especially just on their own because their phone is telling

00:30:45   them and like I was looking at some of the other mood trackers I was looking at Dalio

00:30:49   so I have a friend who uses Dalio and was really liking it I was kind of because of

00:30:53   this topic I was asking like what do you like about this or what does it do this different

00:30:56   and again maybe it's because it's not Apple maybe it's because it's a smaller

00:31:00   company and they're less concerned about all of the implications of this stuff but

00:31:04   they do the thing that I wish Apple would do which is like straight up give you a correlation.

00:31:09   In between these two things your mood is heavily impacted by did you go outside today but I

00:31:17   just worry that for people it's going to be a place to merely reinforce negative thoughts

00:31:25   without clear but also small tractable actions to take like going outside makes a big difference

00:31:34   or like all of the things that your phone knows about you I feel like it could just

00:31:39   make little nudges in those directions but it just seems like Apple is like never gonna

00:31:44   do that they're just never showing you a graph that correlates one thing with another

00:31:49   so in summary I just really don't like this thing now that we're recording the show

00:31:55   I'm going to turn it off and try not to think about it but it is just silently in

00:32:01   the back of my mind you know partly because we do have that theme system journal and we've

00:32:05   talked about this kind of self-improvement stuff like I just I care a lot about people

00:32:13   living good and happy lives like it's you know it's not a thing that we talk about

00:32:19   a ton directly but it is something that comes up on the show it's like how do you make

00:32:24   yourself better how do you improve how can you just be happier with your life it matters

00:32:31   a lot to me that the audience can like move in a right direction and those are always

00:32:38   the best messages to get from people is like impacts that you've had on people in a positive

00:32:43   direction so I care a lot about this stuff and I just I just really worry about this

00:32:51   one right so I have two things okay for you here talk me out of this please I'm not

00:32:56   going to talk you out of it because I don't think I can but in the state of mind area

00:33:01   of the health app which is where you access the the mood tracking there is a button that

00:33:06   says show in charts and when you press on that you get a couple of things you get over

00:33:12   the week months six months or years you can choose to look at all of the events that you've

00:33:17   logged and you can see the breakdown of your daily moods and your momentary emotions they

00:33:22   then have a button called associations where you can then see like what you thought about

00:33:26   each of the categories meaning like partner money friends all of those things I was talking

00:33:31   about earlier on there's another button called life factors where it shows you on a couple

00:33:36   of charts you're very pleasant to very unpleasant tracked entries as little dots and then you

00:33:42   have a chart underneath and it will let you compare your emotional state to exercise mindful

00:33:50   minutes the amount of sleep that you've got and the time you've had in daylight okay that

00:33:53   is good yeah that is not doing nothing like it is doing some layering of information that

00:34:00   you've provided with other stuff that the health app can know about you I think the

00:34:06   reason why I was just kind of blowing past this is because as you were describing it

00:34:09   I'm looking at on my phone I'm going like where is this and I realize oh of course it's

00:34:13   directly above where I go to log the thing it shows time and daylight exercise minutes

00:34:18   and sleep last last night sleep was particularly brutal so maybe that's why I'm feeling very

00:34:23   grumpy right now I know that it layers but I still think there's something different

00:34:27   between like layering like you draw the conclusion and them drawing the conclusion and and saying

00:34:36   like we know this well this is something that we want from them in a bunch of areas right

00:34:40   as we said before like this idea of like your heart rate changed and say okay like is this

00:34:47   good or bad like can you let me know but so that's one point but I wanted to just state

00:34:51   that like it does do I think more than a lot of areas of the health app of actually taking

00:34:56   two pieces of information and putting them on a chart together so I actually think it

00:35:00   is better than other areas I will agree I will concede that point the other one is I

00:35:04   just want to state like what the way you've explained about how this makes you feel I

00:35:08   understand it and it makes sense to me but it is not how I feel right right and so like

00:35:14   I just want to like put that out there of like just you know and I'm sure you're aware

00:35:18   of this but just to like state this clearly on the show of like walk me through it again

00:35:23   like please do this kind of thing helps me because sometimes all I know is I'm feeling

00:35:29   something but I don't know what it is but I have a feeling like this morning I woke

00:35:36   up and I was feeling very anxious and worried and I had to sit and because I've gotten better

00:35:42   at this of like taking a check for myself of like why am I feeling this way like what

00:35:49   is the thing and then I could end up thinking about it I worked out what it was then I made

00:35:55   a note because I needed to talk to you about it and so I spoke to you about it and now

00:36:00   I feel better but it was it's only because I have gotten better because of the work that

00:36:04   I've done with mood tracking and with therapy and stuff like that of like being able to

00:36:09   label my feelings because I very frequently have feelings more than I know what they are

00:36:17   or like where they're coming from and so an app like this it forces me to reflect and

00:36:23   that is helpful now I understand what you're saying about like reflecting on negative things

00:36:28   could make you feel worse but the negative things are still happening anyway so there

00:36:34   can be a value I think of like say negative about friends and it's forcing me to say I'm

00:36:39   feeling better with my friends when I do stuff like that sometimes I'm like yeah but they're

00:36:44   not so bad like they're annoying me today but tomorrow you know like it makes me like

00:36:50   assess a little bit more deeply like why I'm feeling a certain way because I get like that

00:36:55   this morning I was in a group chat and someone frustrated me in the group chat and I was

00:36:59   annoyed about it and then later on it's like no you know what like they're just living

00:37:04   their life they're doing their thing it's not against me but it affects me sure but

00:37:10   it's not they're not doing it to affect me I'm just like collateral damage in the decision

00:37:15   that they've made they don't even know it's going to affect me but it does and so like

00:37:19   these are the kinds of things that like being able to reflect on my feelings more help me

00:37:25   label them contextualize them and move on rather than necessarily being like about them

00:37:32   like weeks and weeks and weeks but I think though that there is a spectrum of people

00:37:37   between me and you and different people are going to feel differently about the way this

00:37:42   is and realistically this tool is maybe for more people like me than people like you.

00:37:48   Yeah I think so trust me I'm aware that I'm a bit of an outlier in this conversation I'm

00:37:55   the weirder one I think you're the much more normal person in this conversation I do just

00:38:00   find it just very strange to try to internalize what you mean by a sentence of like having

00:38:07   a feeling and you don't know what it is like I just I cannot even conceptualize what that

00:38:14   means like it's very strange to me but but if I if I try to internalize that as like

00:38:19   oh that's a state of existence that could be then yes maybe getting a notification that

00:38:26   at that moment forces me to try to clarify what like a like a collection of physical

00:38:35   associations into an emotion I don't even I don't even know but like I guess if you

00:38:41   are unaware that you're having a an unclear emotion perhaps being forced to clarify that

00:38:49   is helpful in and of itself taking that on board I think I could understand that and

00:38:54   and and again it's like oh Mike's Mike's talking me back into like maybe this is good maybe

00:38:58   I should be less concerned if I think I'm just an outlier in this conversation.

00:39:03   I mean look I don't know but my my gut suggests that you are.

00:39:07   Yeah whoever at Apple is working on this thing the one that really says to me more than anything

00:39:13   like this app is not made for me is when you go like how do you feel right now and it starts

00:39:18   in the middle it says neutral which again for me is like 95% of the time would be my

00:39:24   answer if I click next it's the only one that has a very different set of tags so it

00:39:30   says what best describes this feeling content calm peaceful and I look at that and I think

00:39:40   no one who feels neutral would have those three as the only three options.

00:39:45   Well you see this is where I disagree with you if you're neutral they are like the perfect

00:39:50   descriptors like if you're feeling neutral what else would you be feeling?

00:39:55   Do you know what I want to have as an option?

00:39:58   Neutral that's what one of those tags it's like why do you want the room cold I would

00:40:01   like the room cold how do you feel right now I feel neutral.

00:40:04   I guess in that situation I believe you can just log the feeling you don't actually have

00:40:09   to put anything so like you could do that because I've done that right and like in these

00:40:13   situations where like I don't get to give it more you can just click next next done

00:40:19   like you know when I can't find the words that I want but I would like to be able to

00:40:23   log the words that I want but you can just log the feeling but yeah to me like if you're

00:40:27   feeling neutral I see content calm peaceful indifferent and drained.

00:40:32   Oh you've drained that's very strange clearly here's the thing content calm and peaceful

00:40:38   to be all register as positive feelings and drained would be a negative feeling.

00:40:43   So is indifferent to me and indifferent I see it as a negative.

00:40:47   Indifferent is the only one that should be in the neutral category right different indifferent

00:40:51   is clearly a neutral thing right.

00:40:53   I know what you're saying but I just don't really feel like being indifferent is like

00:40:57   a good thing like to me that doesn't register as like a good emotion to be feeling.

00:41:04   You're putting emotional valence on the word indifferent that doesn't belong there it's

00:41:08   like oh I'm indifferent to two outcomes right like I have no preference between these two

00:41:12   that's what that's what indifference is.

00:41:14   Yeah but I think that a life led indifferent is a life not like it's not being lived like

00:41:19   you've got to have an opinion about everything Greg come on good bad otherwise what's the

00:41:23   point you know.

00:41:24   No indifference should be your default state of being.

00:41:28   No I'm very different.

00:41:31   I'm team indifferent.

00:41:33   This episode of Cortex is brought to you by memberful.

00:41:36   Leading a business is hard work you're in charge of a ton of things including looking

00:41:40   ahead to make sure that your business remains profitable long term.

00:41:45   One way to diversify your revenue stream is to introduce a membership program and memberful

00:41:49   can help you do it.

00:41:51   Memberful has everything that you need to run a membership program of your own including

00:41:55   a streamlined and powerful checkout easy to use member portals transactional emails and

00:41:59   a member management dashboard.

00:42:02   Memberful lets you build the membership that's best suited to your audience with custom branding

00:42:06   newsletters podcasts gifts descriptions apple pay free and paid trials automatic referral

00:42:12   discounts and tons more with analytics to give you an easy to use in-depth view of what's

00:42:17   working what's not and where to double down.

00:42:20   You have heard us on the show in the past talk about moretex which is our membership

00:42:24   program here at cortex we use memberful for this they are the option that we chose long

00:42:29   before they were a sponsor as a way to help us diversify our revenue streams to be able

00:42:34   to provide additional content to our members that ranges from podcast content to newsletter

00:42:40   content and integrations of discord to let us set up a discord server for people to hang

00:42:45   out in and share what they love.

00:42:47   Memberful is the best I love how easy it is to use I love how easy it is to use for us

00:42:51   and for the people that want to sign up they really are the no brainer option for running

00:42:55   a membership program.

00:42:58   Memberful seamlessly integrates with the tools you're already using I mentioned discord but

00:43:01   also MailChimp wordpress stripe and tons more if you need them you can contact their world

00:43:06   class support team who are ready to help you simplify your membership and grow your revenue

00:43:10   I can attest to this Memberful support is the best in the business they're passionate

00:43:15   about your success and you'll always have access to a real human go and check it out

00:43:19   right now to see how it can work for you you can get started with a no credit card required

00:43:24   trial go to memberful.com/cortex this could be the next great move for your business take

00:43:31   it from us go to memberful.com/cortex to learn more thanks to Memberful for their support

00:43:36   of this show and relay FM.

00:43:39   In installing iOS 17 I have become a magsafe person I am a magsafe believer now.

00:43:45   Oh is this what it finally took?

00:43:47   It took standby standby standby mode yeah standby is super good I've really...

00:43:52   Aren't you worried about the fires though Mike what about what about all that heat that's

00:43:55   being produced by the magnets and the electricity isn't that isn't that concerning to you?

00:43:58   I mean yeah it is concerning to me and also realistically I'm concerned about my battery

00:44:02   health of my phone as well which I know has taken a dive I don't know if it's standby

00:44:05   related but my battery health has gone down.

00:44:07   I think that's the beta that's not the that's not the charging itself or I'd be very surprised

00:44:11   if it was.

00:44:12   You know wireless charging still not a super big fan of it but standby is worth it I'll

00:44:17   take the risk of the fires maybe it will change the heat of the thermostat and it will be

00:44:21   good you know what I mean?

00:44:22   That's what you should do you should put your magsafe charger next to the thermostat.

00:44:25   I'm also just realizing there's a thing that I that I've I think I've told you before but

00:44:28   again I'll just it probably doesn't make you feel better to know that I put money in between

00:44:34   my case and the phone so there's like a little bit of kindling there waiting for the charger

00:44:39   to light.

00:44:41   It hasn't caused a problem in all of these years but I just you know so you can sleep

00:44:45   a little less comfortably at night know that my phone is always charging with like a tiny

00:44:49   bit of money that's just waiting to catch fire.

00:44:51   Just a little fire start.

00:44:53   Just a little just a little kindling.

00:44:54   Probably never hurt anybody.

00:44:56   It's really interesting to hear you say that like you've been I don't know like a magsafe

00:45:00   denier for 10 years now.

00:45:03   You haven't wanted to do it but standby is the thing this got you over the hump?

00:45:09   Because look for me I was already charging my phone fine like I had spent a decade finding

00:45:15   the product that I liked to charge my phone and I found it to be very convenient.

00:45:19   I was using a dock where I just pop it in and it was no problem.

00:45:22   I wasn't like I was fumbling around for cables.

00:45:25   I knew where the charging always was and it was just very easy.

00:45:28   So the idea of having just a different kind of dock that was magnetic rather than place

00:45:33   in it where it needs to be like that was just it was just a problem I didn't need to solve.

00:45:40   But standby as a feature so like you know my phone is over there on my little Anker

00:45:45   three in one cube which is a cool product that I have.

00:45:48   Adorable.

00:45:49   I've got one.

00:45:50   I look at it right now and I have a timer from Timery and I have my weather as little

00:45:55   widgets and they cycle through on their own sometimes I get a clock sometimes I get some

00:45:59   photos you know or I can scroll over to the next one and see some like nice images that

00:46:04   iOS is pulling out for me.

00:46:06   Like it's just a very good feature to make my phone useful for the majority of my workday

00:46:13   when it is sitting on a dock.

00:46:17   Maybe that's what it is.

00:46:19   The reason I was asking you is when I watched the presentation and they showed like we have

00:46:25   this new thing standby where you put your phone on the dock and then it shows you this

00:46:29   information in a beautiful way and in the presentation where it's like oh we also have

00:46:34   like VR helmets right that was the only thing that also just stuck out into my mind after

00:46:39   VR blew it away was like oh there's that standby thing and when I installed the beta I it's

00:46:44   like I'm almost baffled by why do I love this feature so much like I think it's amazingly

00:46:51   great but I like it so much I'm almost confused by why do I like this so much so like on this

00:46:59   trip normally I just bring up with me a bunch of little wireless charging pads but I specifically

00:47:05   brought that anchor cube over there because like I want to see standby in my hotel room

00:47:12   it's like I just love it and yeah I mean for me most of the time it's just showing the

00:47:17   weather or the clock and then I have the little battery progress meters and it's like man I

00:47:21   just love seeing this it's great but it's almost baffling because it's simultaneously

00:47:28   a little nothing of a feature but also having shown it to some other people everyone has

00:47:34   the same reaction of like oh I absolutely love this.

00:47:37   Well I mean it's why we like widgets right it's just like this is just like for the

00:47:41   whenever your phone is charging it's just this like little permanent widget machine

00:47:45   just always showing you something right which is interesting to you or helpful to you or

00:47:49   useful to you or pretty in some way it's like I just think it's just very very good.

00:47:55   I really do think you nailed it though it makes the phone useful all the time whereas

00:48:01   in its default state it's not and like the lock screen widgets were halfway there but

00:48:07   I guess the difference is with the lock screen widgets they're still only useful when you're

00:48:13   holding the phone right before you open it to show you some information so you were already

00:48:17   going to do something.

00:48:18   It's not enough information even if like even though like you can have them on the

00:48:22   always on which I did it's just too small.

00:48:25   Yeah and yeah I want another row the four is infuriating but yeah I guess maybe that's

00:48:29   what it is like oh I can just it's big and visible and again like those little those

00:48:35   little battery circles I just love at a glance knowing oh I forgot to plug in my headphones

00:48:42   like when I left the office and they're running low like it just it's really nice to be able

00:48:45   to see that at a glance all the time so I'm also glad it finally got you on the on the

00:48:50   MagSafe train and now you can now you can have fun with the whole world of MagSafe accessories

00:48:55   of which there are a bazillion.

00:48:57   Yeah because I'm well you know I'm still using my popsocket but I just take it off put it

00:49:01   on the charger and then just when I pick up my phone just put the popsocket back on the

00:49:04   back again and that has actually been something which has become very natural for me like

00:49:09   I don't really think about it I'm happy with how that's going that I was worried that that

00:49:13   was going to be frustrating but it hasn't been at all really.

00:49:16   Yeah I do wonder if that will eventually go away as a habit for you because that does

00:49:20   seem like an annoying extra step but.

00:49:23   But the utility I get out of the popsocket is worth it for me like the biggest thing

00:49:28   that I love about popsockets now it's not even holding it it's how easy it is to watch

00:49:33   a video which I watch a lot of.

00:49:35   Oh to use it as a little stand?

00:49:36   All the time.

00:49:38   I will just say last thing on iOS 17 when I wrote the show notes a couple of days ago

00:49:43   I wrote like this is this for me like the top feature of iOS 17 standby and I still

00:49:49   think so but I'm getting more interactive widgets and there is some bananas stuff happening.

00:49:58   Oh right because you're you get all the cool test flight invitations.

00:50:01   I'm on a few betas and I know of there being some others that I'm not on but I know what's

00:50:06   going on right with some developers and like people are doing things right.

00:50:12   It's like you've got your ear to the ground.

00:50:14   That's very exciting.

00:50:15   Yeah there's some there is some stuff happening right now and it's I'm excited about it because

00:50:23   with the original widgets it was like oh this is nice and then you'd start to see a few

00:50:27   things like oh okay there's some cool stuff going on here but I feel like I'm seeing more

00:50:33   really interesting things this time around than I even did with the original widgets

00:50:37   when they came to iOS 15 or whatever it was.

00:50:41   People are doing some really cool stuff and it seems like Apple kind of underplayed this

00:50:46   system like what it was capable of like one of the biggest things that I have seen of

00:50:52   just like an idea which I never even conceived of is I've seen a bunch of widgets that allow

00:50:58   you to scroll through pages of information effectively.

00:51:02   What so it's like they're like a pseudo stack of informational pages?

00:51:05   So I'll use I'll use Timery as an example because Joe has been open like online about

00:51:11   what he's building.

00:51:12   I don't want you to break anyone's secrets here.

00:51:15   So in Timery you can set up saved time tracking entries right so you can have a bunch of things

00:51:21   that you'll save to timers that you can just fire off easily and he has had a widget of

00:51:26   save timers for a while but it can only show an amount of timers in it right so you could

00:51:30   say you could have five in there or whatever.

00:51:32   Well he has the ability now in one of these widgets where you can check a box in the configuration

00:51:36   of that widget to show pages so you for example would see four and then a little button to

00:51:42   go to the next page of save timers.

00:51:46   So it's one widget but you're able to load multiple views in that widget.

00:51:52   I think that that it has been underplayed and I am very keen to see what developers

00:51:59   have worked out what they can do.

00:52:01   I completely forgot this even existed as a feature the interactive widgets like I just

00:52:05   I just didn't remember this at all and I think oh no I have just spent a huge amount of time

00:52:12   trying to redo the configuration for all of my widgets for all of the home screens for

00:52:18   all of my focus modes which ended up being like quite a lot of work to put them all the

00:52:22   way that I want them to be and it feels like oh right I forgot every single widget is going

00:52:27   to be completely overhauled and this is going to just throw all of my work right up into

00:52:32   the air to be redone again but that's very exciting.

00:52:35   So I've been working on something for a while that I'm very excited about that is very far

00:52:41   away from now.

00:52:43   Relay FM just turned nine years old.

00:52:44   It was in the 18th of August.

00:52:49   Nine years old.

00:52:50   That's horrifying.

00:52:51   Nine is one away from ten.

00:52:53   To celebrate our tenth anniversary we're going to be doing a live show similar to what we

00:52:59   did for our fifth anniversary.

00:53:01   We did that in San Francisco.

00:53:03   We had a large host of Relay FM personalities come in and we played a game of Family Feud

00:53:09   or Family Fortunes if you're in the UK it's the same game different name and we had a

00:53:13   great time.

00:53:14   Well we're doing it again.

00:53:16   Similar makeup for our tenth anniversary show next year we're going to be having a live

00:53:20   show and we're going to be playing Family Feud but it will especially be called Family

00:53:26   Fortunes because it's going to be in London.

00:53:30   Live in London.

00:53:32   Live in London.

00:53:33   You can go to relay.fm/london to go and get tickets.

00:53:37   Tickets are available now.

00:53:38   It's going to be on Saturday July 27th 2024.

00:53:42   It's going to feature many of your favorite relay FM hosts.

00:53:46   We have a bunch of hosts here in the UK and there are going to be a bunch of hosts that

00:53:50   are going to be traveling in for it which I'm super excited about.

00:53:53   I cannot even truly describe how much this means to me.

00:54:00   We will be able to do a show in the city I grew up in and all my family will be there

00:54:06   to see what I do.

00:54:08   One of the things I keep mentioning this to friends when I talk about it which is like

00:54:13   my family know what I do for a living right?

00:54:18   They're aware of it but I feel like no one really understands like what it is you know

00:54:24   but I feel like being in a beautiful theater and coming out on stage and people applaud

00:54:32   then they'll understand what I do for a living you know?

00:54:35   I feel like it might get it across a little bit that there are people that listen to the

00:54:40   podcast that I make and enjoy them you know?

00:54:43   Rather than it just being like Michael does that thing that he does.

00:54:47   Do you notice I said Michael too because no one in my family calls me Mike.

00:54:51   Everyone calls me Michael.

00:54:52   So Michael's over there doing the stuff that he does.

00:54:55   We're also going to be doing it in one of my favorite venues in London.

00:54:58   It's a place called Hackney Empire.

00:55:00   Gorgeous theater.

00:55:01   Absolutely gorgeous theater.

00:55:02   So a few months ago I went to a show at Hackney Empire and we knew that we wanted to do the

00:55:08   live show in London.

00:55:09   We've been talking about it for a long time and I was at the Empire and I was like yeah

00:55:13   this is I want to do it here.

00:55:15   Like this is where I want to do it.

00:55:17   Like because Hackney Empire looks as beautiful as any theater you could imagine in London

00:55:23   right?

00:55:24   And it's in East London.

00:55:26   It's not in the West End so it's something we can afford to do.

00:55:31   Also it means that we can get it at a good time right?

00:55:34   Like a Saturday evening.

00:55:36   Not all theaters are going to be able to provide you with this.

00:55:39   We looked at some of the theaters in the West End and it could be like well you could have

00:55:42   two o'clock in the afternoon on a Wednesday.

00:55:44   It's like that's no time.

00:55:46   I don't want to do that.

00:55:48   I am so incredibly excited about this.

00:55:52   If you're in the United Kingdom you should buy a ticket and come to this show.

00:55:57   Prove that we should do more shows in the United Kingdom.

00:56:01   If you're in Europe, hell if you're in America come over and see it.

00:56:05   This show is going to be awesome.

00:56:06   We're taking a slight departure from other live shows and we are focusing on making it

00:56:12   the best it can be just for the people in the room.

00:56:15   We will be endeavoring to record this show and if we do get a good recording of it, we're

00:56:19   working with the theater on this, we will be releasing it to everyone.

00:56:23   But I really want to make this a special event for the people that can make it.

00:56:26   So please buy a ticket and come and see us do our thing in July 2024.

00:56:31   I think that's a good decision because when you do this kind of thing you always have

00:56:34   to ultimately decide like who is the audience for this thing and when you first told me

00:56:42   about this idea of like it is for the people in the room that really clarifies a bunch

00:56:48   of decisions like what are you going to do and so.

00:56:51   Everything has always been more complicated because we have tried to have like audio and

00:56:56   a live stream and like no we're just going to do this.

00:57:01   Video can't work in the space so we'd knock that one out.

00:57:05   We're going to use the equipment that the technicians at the theater will provide for

00:57:09   us which will make things way easier.

00:57:11   It means that we don't need to bring all of our own gear which we have in the past.

00:57:14   This is going to be more complicated because Steven has all of that and he'll be coming

00:57:18   over from Memphis.

00:57:19   It's just like it's just easier to just trust the technicians.

00:57:22   They know what they're doing.

00:57:23   They told us they'll be able to get an audio recording which I'm sure that they will

00:57:27   but the best way to experience our 10th anniversary extravaganza is to be in one of these beautiful

00:57:33   seats in this incredible theater in London and see it.

00:57:37   And prove the viability of an in-person show in London and also I feel like got to buy

00:57:42   a ticket so that Mike's family sees a packed theater in London.

00:57:48   It totally is a thing of podcasting.

00:57:51   It's a strange job because you have both of these things of like oh I'm talking to thousands

00:57:57   and thousands of people but I'm also in a room all by myself all day right and I feel

00:58:05   like that's the thing that you have and whenever you're explaining your job to people

00:58:09   it's like well oh lots of people listen to me trust me it's like ah but when I look

00:58:14   at you I see you just in a room by yourself.

00:58:16   It doesn't seem like it so I want you to come out on stage to like a packed theater and

00:58:21   I think we can do that.

00:58:22   That's what I want.

00:58:23   I would say like over the history of this show the Cortex's have provided me with many

00:58:27   of these incredible life moments like I remember like the pug cons and stuff like that right

00:58:31   where my booth lines were way longer and they were underestimated how many people were coming

00:58:36   and it was awesome right for like the signings I would do and stuff like that.

00:58:39   And I'm asking for another one and it is I want to feel the energy of 1,200 people

00:58:47   inside of a theater like what does that feel like?

00:58:51   Like I live an incredible life where a bunch of wild things happen to me.

00:58:55   I don't know if I'll ever experience that thing again right.

00:58:58   I want to feel what it's like to walk out onto a stage and have 1,200 people cheering

00:59:04   like that feels like something that only a small few people in the world will ever experience

00:59:11   and I am pleading you to give me that experience because we can do it gang.

00:59:17   We can do it.

00:59:18   Yeah I'm gonna say Cortex's in Europe buy a ticket come see the show.

00:59:23   Cortex's in America make a trip out of it.

00:59:26   London an amazing city to visit easily one of the best cities on earth totally worth

00:59:31   it just for a trip on its own and when Mike comes out on that stage for his bomb I want

00:59:38   you to go like wild right with like excitement and applause.

00:59:42   It's also just I cannot believe that this is finally happening because I you know years

00:59:48   ago you vaguely mentioned to me like when the date of relay FM's 10th anniversary was

00:59:55   you know and it's like oh I put that on my calendar or whatever and it's like ah but

00:59:59   that will never come and it's like here we are it's 10 years later like you know you

01:00:05   and Steven have been running like a successful podcasting company for 10 years it's just

01:00:12   it's both crazy like how fast time has gone and also like how much you guys have done

01:00:17   and it's it's great to be doing like a live show as as part of like a real celebration

01:00:24   and acknowledgement of that accomplishment.

01:00:27   That's what it's really going to be and that's what I'm you know we will we were concerned

01:00:31   when we decided to do it in London that maybe we'd have like a much smaller group of hosts

01:00:36   that would be able to participate but we've been super happy that there are a bunch of

01:00:40   people that like want to make the trip and so like the roster to be determined right

01:00:45   like that is to be announced situation right now but it is going to be a fantastic time

01:00:51   full of awesome people we're gonna have a great time and we're purposely doing the kind

01:00:55   of show where like you could bring a friend or a partner with you we're not going to be

01:01:00   doing like let's talk about the newest thing in technology we'll be doing like if you've

01:01:05   seen Family Feud you've seen Family Fortunes we'll be putting out like a poll to people

01:01:09   if we were to answer questions like what's your favorite movie you know like all that

01:01:13   kind of stuff and then the hosts just have to try and guess what the audience say like

01:01:16   it's a very good format for fun times and I'm really looking forward to it and I cannot

01:01:22   wait to host in my own city oh man I'm so excited.

01:01:26   Relay.fm/London it's the Relay FM 10th anniversary show live in London. Tickets on sale now.

01:01:36   This episode of Cortex is brought to you by Fitbaud. When you want to change your fitness

01:01:40   level it's hard to know where to start which is why I want to tell you about Fitbaud, the

01:01:45   easy and affordable way to build a fitness plan that is made just for you. Everybody

01:01:49   has their own fitness path and that is why Fitbaud uses tons of data to make sure that

01:01:53   they're able to customize things exactly to suit you. They have built some powerful algorithms

01:01:58   that will learn about you and your goals and your training ability to create a custom dynamic

01:02:02   program based on your experience and any equipment you have access to. This is all featured in

01:02:07   an app that makes it incredibly easy to learn how to perform every exercise. Superior results

01:02:13   are achieved when a workout program is tailored to your unique body, experience, environment

01:02:17   and goals. Your muscles improve and they're working in concert with the entire musculoskeletal

01:02:22   system so overworking some muscles while underworking others will negatively impact results which

01:02:28   is why Fitbaud does so much work to track muscle fatigue and recovery to design a well

01:02:34   balanced workout routine. By mixing up muscle groups, exercises, sets, reps and weight over

01:02:40   time, Fitbaud serves to increase your overall strength and keep your body sharp. This also

01:02:45   keeps your gym sessions fresh and fun by mixing up your workouts with new exercises. The Fitbaud

01:02:51   app is easy to use with over 1400 HD video tutorials. They're shot from multiple angles

01:02:57   to make sure that learning every exercise is a breeze. You can keep track of your achievements

01:03:01   and your personal bests if Fitbaud's progress tracking charts and it also integrates with

01:03:05   your Apple Watch, Wear OS, Smart Watch and apps like Strava, Fitbit and Apple Health.

01:03:09   I really love the Apple Watch integration so when I'm doing my Fitbaud exercises I can

01:03:13   see what exercises I've got coming up now and I can change the sets and reps if I want

01:03:18   to. I can also advance through them and then if it's an exercise that I'm unfamiliar with

01:03:22   I can go to my phone and watch the videos. It's a great combo. Personalised training

01:03:26   of this quality can be expensive. Fitbaud is just $12.99 a month or $79.99 a year but

01:03:32   you can get 25% off your membership by signing up today at fitbaud.me/cortex. So go now and

01:03:38   get your customised fitness plan at fitbaud.me/cortex. That is F I T B O D.me/cortex for 25% off your

01:03:46   membership. Our thanks to Fitbaud for the support of this show and Relay FM.

01:03:51   In this episode I was talking about feeling a little like, you know, having feelings,

01:03:56   big feelings. Mike's having big feelings. Anxiety and stress and stuff. Past few weeks

01:04:01   there's a bunch of things going on, right? So the aforementioned live show, Getting That

01:04:06   Ready, September is like around the corner. It's fundraising time for St Jude and Podcastathon.

01:04:12   As we approach the end of the year, Cortex brand almost explodes with energy for like

01:04:19   any other physical product business. I posted about this on threads the other day that I

01:04:25   realised that like if you run a physical products business your entire year is the holidays?

01:04:31   Yes I know. I feel like we just recovered from the holidays and now we are preparing

01:04:37   for the holidays again. That end of the year time for any business is like there's always

01:04:43   a lot going on, especially if you have like a product that's focused around, you know,

01:04:49   getting a push for new year like we have at the theme system journal. So like I've got

01:04:53   a bunch of stuff going on and I have like a pretty hectic personal life right now. We

01:04:59   have mother-in-law in town and we've got like a bunch of things going on as well. Just finishing

01:05:04   off a renovation. I just feel very overwhelmed but I think a lot of it is coming from running

01:05:13   two businesses. Yeah, yeah. This is the thing where this year we've sort of talked about

01:05:21   it before but like Cortex brand has become very really real this year for us which also

01:05:28   beads like I'm sure we'll talk about like very really terrifying with some of the decisions

01:05:32   that we have to make with regards to it and I mean yes I have another business but like

01:05:41   I don't run two businesses in the same way that you do. Relay is just a completely different

01:05:47   beast and then to have Cortex brand on top of it like the last quarter of the year is

01:05:54   always the busiest quarter of the year and every year it comes around like you tell me

01:05:58   what your schedule is like for the last three or four months and I get anxiety by proxy

01:06:03   just listening to you but if we think about your 10 years of being in the business it's

01:06:10   like oh every final quarter got like 20 to 50 percent busier every year but it feels

01:06:16   like for you this year it is like four times busier than it was last year or like there's

01:06:22   four times as much stuff on the line so I honestly don't know how you're handling it

01:06:31   at all.

01:06:32   I didn't even lie just to put this into a little bit of context right so like obviously

01:06:38   I do time tracking. I have in the first seven months of this year have tracked over twice

01:06:44   the amount of hours for Cortex brand than I did all of last year which is quite quite

01:06:51   growth yeah that's a really big growth and so I feel like that that is indicative of

01:06:56   the efforts that we've been putting in this year we've done a lot more marketing a lot

01:07:01   of stuff that no one's seen yet because we're just like trying to get more ducks in a row

01:07:07   and we're working on new products and we're working on bigger strategy stuff and it's

01:07:13   just like a lot of things that we're lining up for eventually right but there is just

01:07:18   like a lot more of it happening than we've had in the past and at the moment like you

01:07:24   know you're saying about like I write a good thing and a bad thing in my journal every

01:07:28   day and the last couple of weeks my bad thing has been something along the lines of I'm

01:07:35   behind or yeah my workload is too heavy right now and because this is also I'm not sacrificing

01:07:42   my theme this year the year of the weekend it's been awesome and I look forward to talking

01:07:47   about it in more detail at the end of the year I'm happy to hear that because I was

01:07:50   wondering like is this the thing that's crumbling and I was I was hoping not so obviously we

01:07:55   again we have this weird thing where it's like we don't talk to each other very much

01:07:59   about our themes so it's like I don't really know but it's like boy I'm I was really hoping

01:08:03   for you that you're not caving on that so I'm happy to hear that but it sure doesn't

01:08:08   make things easier no because I'm not sacrificing my personal time and I'm adding more hobbies

01:08:13   in and I'm adding more time with people in my life that I care about in person like I'm

01:08:17   still doing all of those things and I think it is what is helping to smooth out the rough

01:08:23   edges of my workload right now and like just like the pressure of the responsibilities

01:08:28   that I have but also it does mean I have less time to potentially do all the things that

01:08:36   I want to do right like work wise and so like I'm in this like tightrope walk right now

01:08:42   of trying to manage all this stuff but it's like the tightrope walk within a tightrope

01:08:47   walk which is there's two businesses it really feels like now more than ever there are two

01:08:54   businesses yeah where like I felt like I had relay and then cortex brown was this thing

01:08:59   we were working on yeah it's like a side project for both of us but yeah it's growing to not

01:09:05   be that very fast yes in the sense of also that like I feel like we have like in this

01:09:12   past week or so taken our first like risk yeah I'm not quite sure I agree with that

01:09:23   but what else would it have been I feel like I would want to look well okay all right so

01:09:30   so what's what's happening here is that we've just we're taking a really big bet with sidekick

01:09:37   notepad stock ordering and it's like here we are again catching the eel right like inventory

01:09:45   management and what are we going to do and spreadsheets can try to help you make decisions

01:09:50   in normal times but we've been talking a lot about trying to make a big bet about not having

01:09:58   a normal time in this last quarter with sidekick sales so like it'll be no surprise to anyone

01:10:06   that's like okay ultimately I'm going to make a video promoting sidekick notepads and we're

01:10:12   going to hope to sell a bunch of them there's also things that we can try with advertising

01:10:16   and it is it is just the it's just the fact like you said of a product business we should

01:10:23   expect that most of the business happens in the last quarter of the year and I don't know

01:10:30   we've been talking for like two months seriously about how much of a bet do we take on this

01:10:38   and I guess I was thinking oh we've taken bigger bets in the past on the theme system

01:10:43   journal but I think I think yeah that's not comparable because there was just there was

01:10:53   like less at risk in some ways whereas this time it's like boy ordering a big amount of

01:10:59   stock is a huge amount of money to outlay and this this is where it's like we just don't

01:11:06   have any real data to make a real decision on and we're just we're just guessing.

01:11:11   So basically Gray's made two videos about the journal and each time we sold out of what

01:11:19   we had available and so I don't want that to happen with the sidekick notepad. Yes.

01:11:26   So when Gray makes a video and we publish the video and people see it maybe for the

01:11:30   first time and they decide this looks cool I don't want to buy one I want them to be

01:11:34   able to go to the website and buy one like yes and I want to do all we can to mitigate

01:11:40   that because my feeling is it's fun and maybe cute for us with the journal when we couldn't

01:11:47   keep it in stock and we came up with the eel metaphor right of like you know we are we

01:11:51   just can't get our heads around this but I feel like at a certain point if we want to

01:11:55   be taken seriously we have to be able to control our inventory. Yeah yeah. I feel like you

01:12:01   can't just keep being in this scenario and I know that there are businesses that run

01:12:05   this way and it is I and I understand the potential thinking that is an effective marketing

01:12:11   tactic and I think that it worked well for us with the journal I think that because we

01:12:16   kept selling out we did sell maybe more faster initially because people were like I don't

01:12:22   know this but I can see there is an argument right that like every time we put them in

01:12:26   stock we would sell out and it might have been like a thing where some people were like

01:12:31   if I'm interested in one of these I have to try and get one as soon as I can get one because

01:12:35   these guys can't keep them in stock right and I I understand that as like you know everyone

01:12:40   ever about my age remembers the Nintendo Wii and that was always a thing with the Nintendo

01:12:44   Wii Nintendo couldn't keep it in stock and there was always rumors around like were they

01:12:48   stock limiting it so it created hype. I just I just don't believe like okay I'm just I'm

01:12:53   sorry I just have to interject here because I just refuse to accept this as a valid business

01:12:58   strategy with the only asterisk of like is your business in fashion in some way I think

01:13:05   that's the only world where this is really true. You're creating a supply demand issue

01:13:11   and then that can create some element of scarcity and that scarcity can drive interest or prices

01:13:17   right like it's a thing that happens. It is what I'm saying it is a thing that either people

01:13:23   believe is a tactic or is a tactic or is a mixture of the both or whatever but that wasn't

01:13:27   what we wanted to do. Yeah it wasn't what we wanted to do at all. I wanted to sell one

01:13:31   to every single person that could buy one. That's how I feel with the psychic notepad

01:13:35   this time so we have placed an order which is like stupid. It makes me physically uncomfortable

01:13:42   to think about. Yeah it really does but it's like I have to keep reminding myself of the

01:13:47   thing that you're saying right now which is we are placing this order to be guaranteed

01:13:55   that we don't run out of stock. But we also don't know that as well. I know I know. But

01:14:02   like we're taking the best bet we can. But the thing is if we run out of stock if we

01:14:08   run out of stock I will be content that we did all we could. If we sell out of the amount

01:14:13   that we're buying it will I mean look it will be incredible for the business right if we

01:14:18   sell out of the amount that we're buying because we are overstocking by such a large amount

01:14:22   if we do I will be content that we could not realistically afford to buy more of them.

01:14:28   Yeah we literally couldn't have bought any more. There wasn't more that Cortex brand

01:14:33   could do to prevent this and so like that's just gonna be the way it goes and then we've

01:14:39   learned another lesson. Yeah I guess that's also part of the feeling of like I know that

01:14:45   that's true but it also means we've like once again done the thing of like oh put it all

01:14:52   on black roll the wheel but it's like yes we're doing that because like what we really

01:14:57   don't want to do I'm also talking to myself here in case it's not obvious because what

01:15:01   we don't want to do is we don't want to sell out. That's very bad I just don't believe

01:15:09   in the marketing of like oh you generate hype so you sell more. No selling more is selling

01:15:14   more not generating hype. Well because also this product takes a long while to produce.

01:15:20   From order to delivery is about 15 weeks. Yes. It's a really long time to be out of

01:15:27   stock right like it's a really really long time. And as always the huge asterisk with

01:15:32   that is 15 weeks if everything goes right and things can always go wrong and then it

01:15:37   could be months. We don't know if this if the paper will even be available and like

01:15:41   we had that like when we made the original set we had to wait an extra few weeks because

01:15:45   they needed to make the paper so we like the coffee cup paper had to be made because the

01:15:52   amount that we wanted they didn't have. But as I say like if we sell out then I'll know

01:15:58   that we did all we could and then it's just a case of like we've learned a valuable thing

01:16:03   because what we genuinely do not know and I don't think anybody can tell us is like

01:16:09   a video that gets seen by half a million to say a million people. Let's say half a million

01:16:14   people. Say half a million. I'm just looking at the two right so the original journal video

01:16:17   you did was half a million the other one was 1.6 million so I'm just saying let's just

01:16:22   say half a million right. Yeah I predict that this video will be much closer to the first

01:16:26   journal video than the second journal video. I think you're right. But let's just say half

01:16:29   a million then right. If 500,000 people watch a video about a product how many buy it? I

01:16:37   have no idea. Exactly. We don't know. But like we will be attempting to take another

01:16:43   step in understanding what that number is. And like look I understand right completely

01:16:50   different product completely different price point completely different thing. I don't

01:16:54   I genuinely can't tell you which one or the other makes more sense to buy right like the

01:17:01   theme system journal was a cheaper product than it is a cheaper product than the psychic

01:17:06   notepad and it has like a whole story around it that you can you know you you build your

01:17:10   life around this theme but to buy the journal you have to decide you want to set a yearly

01:17:15   theme. Yeah there's like an onboarding process. It's a pro and a con for its story. Psychic

01:17:20   notepad is a more expensive product but it also can be used by anyone. So like the amount

01:17:26   of people like the barrier to entry of imagining this product in your life is way lower I think

01:17:32   than the theme system journals is. Yeah it's interesting for me so this is this is also

01:17:37   like what's so nerve-wracking about this from a business perspective is just the YouTube

01:17:42   variable of like you just never know how much a thing gets seen and how much it gets resonated

01:17:47   with people. This is also why it's like placing a big bet on the stock is terrifying because

01:17:53   you just never know what's going to happen on the other end. And I'm gonna put a call

01:17:57   out to the cortexes because like at this point we've sold a ton of psychic notepads and people

01:18:04   are using them and I would like even more feedback from people who are using it and

01:18:10   who like it what is it that you like about it. Okay. As you said the theme system journal

01:18:16   you can use it in different ways but there's a very particular concept behind it. We just

01:18:21   had dinner the other evening with our friend underscore widget Smith and it was interesting

01:18:26   I was talking to him about using it and it's like oh he laid out a way that he uses the

01:18:31   sidekick which I would have never thought about and I was like oh that's really interesting.

01:18:36   I feel like I'm in the process of trying to like gather up since there's a less clear

01:18:41   message about this what is it that resonates with people and like I would just love to

01:18:48   know like the details the specifics if you bought it and you like it what exactly why

01:18:56   I have some thoughts about that I have a bunch of directions like where do I think I'm gonna

01:18:59   go with this but like that conversation with underscore was just like very unexpectedly

01:19:05   enlightening in a interesting way for me of like oh I just would never have thought of

01:19:09   that that is literally the opposite of the way I use it and so he kind of had a better

01:19:15   way to use it than the way I use it I was like oh that's genius. I'm gonna get the calls

01:19:20   to action so you can either go to cortexfeedback.com and you can just leave us some follow up there

01:19:25   or some feedback there about it or on threads or Instagram we are @cortexbrand you can send

01:19:31   us a post on threads you can send us a message on Instagram and we'll collate it together

01:19:36   I will say great I will share with you in our notion I did ask for some testimonials

01:19:40   recently because we're looking to do some stuff with marketing we have a very beautiful

01:19:44   like template for posting testimonials which I will share with you there were some fascinating

01:19:48   things in there but we do want more of them so please send them to us at these places.

01:19:54   And also those places because this is another one of these things of we're trying to grow

01:19:58   the business in a bunch of different ways and so listen straight up guys like we just

01:20:03   want bigger numbers on Instagram and threads like that matters that's an important thing

01:20:08   give us a follow on those platforms because I think it really matters.

01:20:11   We're very chill like we don't post a ton it's fun I'm also like I'm still living up

01:20:16   to the original bargain of the Cortex brand Instagram account I do post pictures of unreleased

01:20:22   things there every now and again on our stories I give little hints of some stuff that we're

01:20:26   working on so if you do care about that it is a good place to get some of that information

01:20:31   and this is one of those things so I mentioned like marketing earlier right so like one of

01:20:34   the other projects that I'm managing is like trying to beef up and sort out like our Instagram

01:20:42   page and the story and the story we tell around our business and stuff like that which is

01:20:46   like a whole other big thing.

01:20:48   So Carrie who is chief advertising officer at Relay FM is also helping us with marketing

01:20:54   a Cortex brand she's very good at all that kind of stuff too along with all the other

01:20:57   things she's good at and one of the things that she told me about Instagram is she's

01:21:01   like your Instagram profile page is like your storefront and I was like oh that's really

01:21:06   smart and so like we've done a bunch of stuff of tidying that up and we're going to do some

01:21:09   more but for me one of the things that I know that I do all the time is I go to an Instagram

01:21:14   account and see how many followers there are and it's like an indication of whether that

01:21:18   business is real or not.

01:21:20   Yup it's like subscribers on a YouTube channel it's just a first check number to verify oh

01:21:25   do other people find this useful so we want to bump that number.

01:21:29   Please.

01:21:32   Please make Mike's life slightly less stressful by having those numbers look better.

01:21:37   This episode is brought to you by Squarespace the all-in-one platform for building your

01:21:41   brand and growing your business online.

01:21:43   With Squarespace you can stand out from the crowd of a beautiful website, engage directly

01:21:47   with your audience and sell your products, services or the content that you create.

01:21:52   Squarespace has got everything you need all in one place.

01:21:55   With Squarespace you get started with a best in class website template.

01:21:58   You can customize every single design detail and they have a reimagined drag and drop technology

01:22:03   for desktop or mobile.

01:22:04   It's called Fluid Engine.

01:22:06   This is their next generation website design system that helps you unlock your creativity

01:22:10   more easily than ever before.

01:22:12   You can stretch your imagination online with Fluid Engine.

01:22:15   It's built in and ready to go on any new Squarespace site.

01:22:20   But that's not all that's flexible.

01:22:21   You also get flexible payment options.

01:22:23   So if you set up an online store where you can sell physical or digital goods, they have

01:22:26   all the tools that you need there, including checkout, which is seamless for your customers

01:22:32   with simple but powerful payment tools.

01:22:34   You can accept credit cards, PayPal and Apple Pay as well as offering customers the option

01:22:38   to buy now and pay later with Afterpay and Clearpay.

01:22:42   And you'll be able to learn everything you need to grow your business with Squarespace's

01:22:45   analytics platform.

01:22:47   You can learn where your site visitors and sales are coming from and analyze which channels

01:22:51   are most effective for you.

01:22:52   You can use this to improve your website and build a marketing strategy based on your top

01:22:56   keywords or most popular products and content.

01:22:59   We all have that idea in us.

01:23:00   We all have that business in us.

01:23:01   We all have that side project.

01:23:03   All of these things need a website and Squarespace is the place to go.

01:23:06   They make it so simple, so easy to create a beautiful website that looks fantastic and

01:23:10   has all the functionality that you need.

01:23:12   Just as simple as going to squarespace.com/cortex.

01:23:15   You can sign up for a free trial there.

01:23:17   Try it out for yourself and build the website that you want.

01:23:19   When you're ready to launch, go to squarespace.com/cortex and use the code CORTEX to save 10% off your

01:23:25   first purchase of a website or domain.

01:23:27   That is squarespace.com/cortex and the code CORTEX to get 10% off your first purchase

01:23:32   and show you support for the show.

01:23:33   Our thanks to Squarespace for the support of this show and all of Relay FM.

01:23:38   I feel like in talking through that, I hope is giving an idea to people of like, this

01:23:44   is just one of the things in one of my businesses that I am dealing with right now, which is

01:23:50   like they're really big things, right?

01:23:54   Like operating a live show for 1200 people in London in 10 months time.

01:23:59   God knows if we'll sell the tickets, right?

01:24:01   Like we think we will.

01:24:02   It's why we took the bet, but we we've never done a live show outside of America before.

01:24:06   So we don't know.

01:24:07   Just the first time you do anything, it's like the unknown unknowns are everywhere.

01:24:13   You just have no idea what you're going to run into as an unexpected problem.

01:24:17   Yeah.

01:24:18   It's just like, yeah, you've got the live show.

01:24:21   Again, the podcastathon, which like every year grows in new and interesting ways in

01:24:27   complexity is like,

01:24:29   Yes.

01:24:30   And we are always growing the complexity of it once again.

01:24:32   We'll talk about it in the next couple of weeks because we don't know until September.

01:24:36   I feel sick already about it being even more.

01:24:38   It's like you've got so much going on, Mike.

01:24:40   But yeah, there's the pressure of raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity,

01:24:44   which we want to keep doing forever.

01:24:46   But it's like it takes a lot of work now.

01:24:48   You know, like thankfully with the live show and the podcastathon, these are actually both

01:24:53   areas that Steven manages, especially the podcastathon.

01:24:57   But they're still in my mind, right?

01:25:00   And sometimes that's the stuff like, you know, I don't have to put the hours in, but it's

01:25:05   still like there in the brain.

01:25:07   And I haven't even spoken about the fact that it's like iPhone time.

01:25:10   Oh, God.

01:25:11   Right.

01:25:12   Yeah, of course.

01:25:13   I was talking to a friend about this yesterday and they were like, oh, and it's like iPhone

01:25:18   time is busy for you.

01:25:19   I was like, honestly, I don't even think about that anymore.

01:25:21   Like I just roll with that.

01:25:23   Like there's that's just happening anyway.

01:25:26   And like I have no control over that.

01:25:28   So I'll just deal with that as it starts to occur to me.

01:25:31   Right.

01:25:32   Like, that's so funny.

01:25:34   It is so funny that like at this point, how low in my like what I consider it to be like

01:25:39   a like a quote unquote priority to be of like my attention where I'm just like the iPhones

01:25:45   come in.

01:25:46   I know it's come in whenever it comes is when it comes.

01:25:48   And like the machine is oiled well enough right now that it just handles that.

01:25:55   Like it's so funny how the priorities have shifted.

01:25:58   They're like, I have these other things going on and it's like everything else is just hitting

01:26:04   higher.

01:26:05   Like, you know, September is one thing for me.

01:26:07   Top priority without a doubt is St. Jude.

01:26:10   I will put every hour I can into that and we'll just get it done.

01:26:14   And it's so funny that like the iPhone comes and it's like, all right, I'll just squeeze

01:26:18   that in.

01:26:19   Like when I'm not raising money, I'll just like put these episodes in the most like important

01:26:24   episodes of the year of upgrading connected.

01:26:27   They just like go in there and it's fine.

01:26:29   Yeah.

01:26:30   The most, the most important event for the whole of the network is like, yeah.

01:26:33   And also I'll do that.

01:26:35   I guess I'd never really thought about it before, but it's a bit like this time of year

01:26:40   is so busy because presumably what has basically happened over time is that with the iPhone

01:26:46   being the tent pole event, it's also the time when you knew you could be most certain that

01:26:51   most people are paying attention and tuning in and want to hear stuff.

01:26:54   So you started doing these other events, but the other events have, it's like they've completely

01:27:00   grown to like over consume the original event that they grew out of.

01:27:05   It's like, oh, they were just tiny branches off of the trunk of the iPhone, but it's like,

01:27:10   no, now these things are the massive tree.

01:27:14   And the original thing from which they sprouted is just like a tiny little side branch.

01:27:18   It's like, oh, oh my.

01:27:19   The iPhone also happens.

01:27:21   It's not even in the list that I wrote in the show notes.

01:27:26   Yeah, it's not even in the list.

01:27:28   And the funny thing is I didn't think of it either looking at like, oh, what is Mike so

01:27:32   busy with?

01:27:33   It's like, it didn't even cross my mind of iPhone season.

01:27:36   It's like, nope.

01:27:37   Didn't even make the top five list for what is going on in Mike's life that he's, he's

01:27:41   so busy with.

01:27:44   So like, how are you feeling buddy?

01:27:47   I mean, I'm stressed, right?

01:27:49   And for me, a time like this, it's not necessarily just the hours of work.

01:27:57   While they are increasing in some ways, it's not like they're unmanageable.

01:28:00   It's just the way that it all makes me feel, which is like, there's just a lot of different

01:28:06   things riding on all of these elements.

01:28:10   What's riding on the 10th anniversary show is there being a sold out theater.

01:28:15   Yes.

01:28:16   And there is money on the line of course, too, right, of like hiring the theater.

01:28:21   And then the podcastathon is there's just expectation that we set about wanting to do

01:28:27   a good job.

01:28:28   Like I want to, I cannot stress enough, like the Saint Jude put no pressure on us to raise

01:28:35   any amount of money, right?

01:28:37   Like it just doesn't happen.

01:28:39   They're just happy that we're involved and wanting to do anything.

01:28:42   But me and Steven want to do a good job every time.

01:28:47   We just want to, because it means so much.

01:28:49   It's the only reason to do it.

01:28:51   Like if you didn't want to do a good job, you would drop this as a project.

01:28:54   Like there'd be no point in doing this as a half-assed project.

01:28:59   You're either like doing it or you're not doing it.

01:29:02   And so like we just keep wanting to like raise loads of money and like make that a thing

01:29:07   that continues and that we can all keep doing this thing as a community and like move this

01:29:14   project forward.

01:29:15   And then you've got like the potential future of our business isn't like riding on this,

01:29:23   but it would certainly be helped if we've made the right decision.

01:29:27   Where like if we've made the wrong decision, it's just going to take a long time to resolve

01:29:33   itself.

01:29:34   But the problem, I think this is also a case where like you and I got together in person

01:29:40   and we had to just like talk in person all freaking day through just a bunch of stuff.

01:29:47   And I think part of it, yeah, it's like if we guessed wrong here, it's not that we'd

01:29:53   go bankrupt or anything, but I think what I hadn't appreciated before is if this goes

01:30:01   wrong, if we like wildly overestimate the stock purchase and then like wildly undersell.

01:30:07   So we just have this business problem where your capital is tied up in physical inventory.

01:30:15   And that has knock-on effects for when can you place the next orders for the next projects.

01:30:20   That has knock-on effects for marketing and all sorts of things.

01:30:23   And so it's like I intellectually knew that, but it's very different to have it quite

01:30:30   viscerally sink in that the like the bet we're making here is that if it goes wrong, it slows

01:30:38   down Cortex brand for like a year by tying up all of this capital.

01:30:43   Like that's what's really on the line here.

01:30:46   And that's the stressful part of it is this impacts other projects.

01:30:52   It's not just a, oh, well, we'll launch something and we'll see how it does.

01:30:57   Right.

01:30:58   Like with the subtle notebook, which we did, that was totally like, we'll launch it and

01:31:02   we'll see how it does.

01:31:03   And like, it's like, okay, great.

01:31:05   We sell some, but it's not like, oh, if we didn't sell a bunch, it was going to impact

01:31:09   the other products.

01:31:11   But Sidekick is now big enough that it really does.

01:31:15   And that turns up the pressure.

01:31:17   I will say like for us too, and it is worth remembering that like we were having conversations

01:31:21   like this when the Sidekick notepad launched.

01:31:24   Like I was worried about the future of Cortex brand if this product did not take hold of

01:31:30   people.

01:31:31   Yeah.

01:31:32   And so like, you know, we, we, we have been through that specific thing with this product

01:31:38   of like, if people don't want this or if this doesn't work or if people don't like it, it

01:31:43   calls into question if we're ever going to be more than the company that sells the theme

01:31:48   system journal, which is totally fine, but we have higher aspirations than just to be

01:31:53   like a one product company.

01:31:55   And so that the Sidekick notepad was, I think that the proof of concept of like, can we

01:32:01   do more than just the journal and it be a success and that ended up going great.

01:32:06   And we're very, very, very happy with the way it launched.

01:32:09   But now we're back here again, which is like, it's slightly different, but in just that,

01:32:14   like we tied up our money and so into this product again, and we need to hope that it

01:32:19   will take hold the way the journal did when shown to the CGP Grey YouTube audience.

01:32:24   Yeah, I guess, I guess as the things feel bigger to me when you're doubling down.

01:32:32   Yeah.

01:32:33   We were concerned about like, if Sidekick hadn't done well, it would mean that like,

01:32:37   we were doing something wrong with modeling what does the audience potentially want?

01:32:43   Like, what is the market potentially interested in?

01:32:46   And that would have been bad news of like, oh, we guessed wrong, which would have a bunch

01:32:52   of other kinds of implications about what other products do we try or what other things

01:32:56   do we do?

01:32:57   But yeah, it's just, it's the feeling of like, okay, but now we're going to take all of the

01:33:03   business capital and double down on one thing that feels just like very breathtaking to

01:33:09   me.

01:33:10   And again,

01:33:11   I just want to correct you because like, I don't want to have to deal with the MBAs in

01:33:17   my email.

01:33:18   We have not taken all of our capital and put it on one product.

01:33:21   We have just taken the majority of our available cash that we had set aside for any type of

01:33:27   product when we have paused something else that we were hoping to do this year and reallocated

01:33:33   all of our potential restock funds into this.

01:33:37   If this doesn't sell, Cortex brand still has some money, but like, I know what you mean.

01:33:43   And I think there'll be people that know what you mean, but like, I want to state it so

01:33:46   we don't be like, actually, you shouldn't take all of your money and put it on one product

01:33:51   as our companies go bankrupt.

01:33:52   Like, no, I know.

01:33:54   That is very fair to say because internet.

01:33:56   But yes, it's like when I say that, I mean, all of the like unspoken for capital, right?

01:34:01   That's basically what it means.

01:34:03   Like, yes.

01:34:04   We have bills and things as like, you're not a lunatic and say like, oh, we'll just really

01:34:09   think about it this way.

01:34:10   It's like, no, no, no.

01:34:11   It's all of the available capital is the thing that we're doing on this.

01:34:14   And we have plans, right?

01:34:16   Like there is an item of clothing that will return imminently that will help, right?

01:34:23   With this, like it's all part of our like end of year plan.

01:34:27   But again, it's like, got to get that ready, right?

01:34:30   That's like a big thing coming up.

01:34:31   And like a lot of expectations sitting on that because it usually does really well for

01:34:34   us and we hope that it will again.

01:34:36   You know, it's like all of these things are like building and building.

01:34:40   Yeah.

01:34:41   Yeah.

01:34:42   It's just a lot right now.

01:34:43   I felt really bad because I messaged you the other day.

01:34:44   I can't even remember what it was, but I asked you some question about like, hey, for this

01:34:47   thing, I thought we made a decision about this and like, when is this going to happen?

01:34:51   And you wrote back of like, dude, we've got two major things that need to happen before

01:34:56   we even think about rolling it down.

01:34:58   It's like, yep, I'm sorry.

01:35:00   Like, let me back away from the keyboard.

01:35:03   It's like, I just did the terrible thing of like a thought casually popped into my head

01:35:08   and I just messaged it to you.

01:35:09   And I was like, oh no, Mike is Atlas over here.

01:35:13   Don't just like be randomly throwing some ideas in his direction about stuff.

01:35:18   It's like, there's a queue of very important things that are happening in a very particular

01:35:23   order.

01:35:24   I'm definitely aware of that right now.

01:35:26   Like that I know I'm doing that, that people that I work with are asking me about things

01:35:31   and I'm answering them, but I am very aware of the fact that my answers may be giving

01:35:39   away my feelings in a way that I kind of don't want, but you sometimes can't help.

01:35:45   Right.

01:35:46   Right.

01:35:47   It's kind of like, yeah, I know.

01:35:48   Like I know.

01:35:49   Right.

01:35:50   Like, trust me, I know as well, but like there's, there's six plates over there that we've got

01:35:55   to keep moving and I've got to put my effort into that, but like we'll put this one on

01:35:59   the counter and it can go up maybe in three to four months from now.

01:36:03   Yeah.

01:36:04   Your response was nothing out of line, but it's like, I totally realized that like, uh

01:36:08   oh, right?

01:36:10   Like, I know that feeling, like I've done that to people, but it's like, I just did

01:36:14   the thing to bike, so I'm just going to like back away real slow.

01:36:17   And for the next few months, I'm going to try to practice thinking before I press enter

01:36:23   when something comes into my head about the business is like, does this really need to

01:36:28   be sent as a message right now?

01:36:30   Is this relevant to the top two projects that are the next two projects?

01:36:34   If the answer is no, like I'm just going to keep it in my own system and this will float

01:36:39   back up in January, right?

01:36:41   When we're on the other side of all of this.

01:36:44   This is kind of a weird topic to talk about on the show because I usually feel like something

01:36:49   that I try and do and I think we try and do is like, we talk about a thing and then talk

01:36:53   about what is the resolution to that?

01:36:55   Like what is the path or like what have we learned?

01:36:58   Like, I just don't really feel like I have an end to this.

01:37:01   It's just like, Hey, I'm feeling like this, but like there's not really, and there isn't

01:37:06   a, there's no end.

01:37:07   It's just like, this is just it right now.

01:37:11   Yeah.

01:37:12   I know what you mean because I'm very aware of, again, I always want to be trying to communicate

01:37:18   actionable things in the conversations, which often means you talk about things in retrospect

01:37:26   for here is a problem.

01:37:28   Here's how I solved it, right?

01:37:29   This room is too warm, so I made a new product which will fix this going forward into the

01:37:34   future, right?

01:37:35   Like the, you know, here's a thing and here's what we can do about it.

01:37:39   But I think this is just a real insight into and like in the moment feeling of, Oh no,

01:37:49   a really busy time is coming up.

01:37:53   And what are the action about that?

01:37:55   There really isn't any action.

01:37:57   I mean, like just for me, I have so much less to do than you have to do.

01:38:03   But even for me, it's like, why am I recording this from a hotel room right now?

01:38:06   Because I've got to shut out everything else in my life to try to finish the things that

01:38:10   I need to finish before the end of the year.

01:38:12   But that's about it.

01:38:14   Like that's what I'm doing.

01:38:15   And the rest of it is just, we've got to get through this and we will know in a couple

01:38:21   of months how these decisions have gone and how things work out.

01:38:25   But you're hearing us talk about this before, right?

01:38:29   Like right before everything really kicks off in September.

01:38:33   And there isn't like a lesson.

01:38:36   It's just, Oh, when you have a lot going on, it can be really stress inducing in a non

01:38:44   actionable sort of way.

01:38:45   You just have a background level of like, Oh boy, is there a lot to do?

01:38:49   And I've got to get working on this.

01:38:51   It's like, I'm very aware of like, this is a conversation we had before where like, I

01:38:59   need to ask of you the thing that you like less in your life and have built for multiple

01:39:05   years to not ever have to deal with anyone giving you a deadline.

01:39:13   But like you've got a deadline.

01:39:15   Like there is a time in which this video needs to be ready so that we're able to just, when

01:39:22   the stock arrives, we can put the video out and give us enough time before the next thing

01:39:29   before the end of the year that we need to deal with.

01:39:32   And so like this is months away from now because as we said before, it takes like, I don't

01:39:38   know, it's like about 12 weeks for them to be made and then a few weeks for them to arrive.

01:39:44   So you kind of like 14, 15 weeks, maybe a little bit more depending on the fact of what

01:39:47   time of the year they'll be shipping out on.

01:39:50   But there is a time in which you need to be done.

01:39:55   And like, I don't feel comfortable with the fact that I have to ask that of you because

01:40:02   I know, but I just, I know that like what I am asking you to do is something I know

01:40:08   you don't want.

01:40:10   That is just a complicated thing in a personal relationship and in a business relationship

01:40:15   is like, not only do I have to ask you to produce a video on a timeline, I also need

01:40:22   you to do a good job, right?

01:40:24   Like, you know what I mean?

01:40:26   So it's a very hard thing to balance.

01:40:29   You could just do one tomorrow.

01:40:32   It's probably not going to be any good, right?

01:40:33   So it's like that it's complicated.

01:40:36   The other thing is, from my perspective, I will do it if it's necessary, but I really

01:40:41   strongly prefer not to have a what I think of as like a promo video where it's like,

01:40:47   I'm promoting something just appear in the middle of nowhere, right?

01:40:51   Where it's like, oh, there hasn't been a real video and then a product video shows up.

01:40:55   I really want to try to avoid that.

01:40:57   So it means that like, there's a knock on effect here of I rarely do this, but I have

01:41:03   scheduled for like, okay, then it has this knock on implication of like, what are the

01:41:10   next four projects?

01:41:12   And like, what's happening in what order for a couple of things related to the end of the

01:41:17   year?

01:41:18   I'm unusually scheduled in a way that I don't normally do.

01:41:23   But this, from my perspective, is also the thing of when we started to do Cortex brand

01:41:27   together, I knew like, I am signing up for this.

01:41:32   This is the nature of just working with other people is sometimes you're going to have to

01:41:37   do things that you don't necessarily want to do.

01:41:40   Like, this is so minor about having a deadline.

01:41:43   But still, like, the reason I did that is like, I think and it's really borne out over

01:41:48   the years, like Cortex brand is totally worth this.

01:41:51   Like this makes sense.

01:41:54   And there are ways in which by working with other people, you can get way more done than

01:42:00   if you're just working on your own.

01:42:02   But it does mean like, you don't get to have absolutely everything go like just perfectly

01:42:07   and only the way that you want it to go.

01:42:09   Yeah, it's like these days, it's unrealistic for me to send you a message and wait for

01:42:13   three weeks for a reply.

01:42:14   Like, a lot of the time, it just can't work like that.

01:42:17   And I can tell that you're aware of that, right?

01:42:20   Because the frequency in which you respond to my messages has changed a lot in the last

01:42:23   year or so.

01:42:24   Like, we have to have more meetings, we have to have more phone calls, like things that

01:42:29   maybe neither of us would naturally want to add more of any of this stuff into our lives.

01:42:35   Like, there are practicalities of running a business and you have to do them.

01:42:40   Having in-person meetings with accountants and business advisors and going over corporate

01:42:45   structures and all of these kinds of things.

01:42:47   It's like, yep, here we are.

01:42:48   We're doing all these things.

01:42:50   Contracts and insurance and all kinds of fun stuff.

01:42:55   Yeah, but I mean, look, anytime I might be even slightly tempted to feel badly about

01:43:02   my situation, I'll just think about your situation and then go, "Oh, right.

01:43:07   Once again, Mike's job would kill me."

01:43:10   Happy to do that for you.