Today, on the This Week in Startups News Panel, we welcomed Dave Mathews of NewAer, Erik Rannala of Muckerlab and Matthew Panzarino of The Next Web to discuss the new FaceBook ad, Craigslist and Wanderfly’s acquisition of TripAdvisor. The panel also takes a moment to remember Steve Jobs.
Jason Calacanis: Hello everybody. Hello everybody. It is Friday so it is the News Roundtable on ThisWeekIn Startups. We’ve got a great All-star panel again today. Dave Mathews, inventor of the CueCat and many other amazing things, is with us. He’s back from the demo conference actually. Erik Rannala of MuckerLabs, which is one of the elite elite incubators-accelerators in town. And Matthew Panzarino is with us for the first time, from The Next Web, really amazing publication that’s getting a lot of press. Kirin’s gonna read the news and Tyler Crowley hopefully, will give us an insight instead of chatting with his girlfriend from Sweden. Anyway, anything’s possible, stick with us. I have this computer on, locked down, I have this computer on the TriCaster Service. Doing iChat, we might actually see Tyler’s girlfriend for the first time on the show. Stick with us, it’s gonna be amazing.
Jason Calacanis: Hey everybody, hey everybody. It’s ThisWeekIn Startups. We’ve got an amazing show with tons and tons of news, and also it’s the anniversary of Steve Jobs’ passing, sadly. And we’re just gonna do some remembrance of that. With me on the show, Matthew Panzarino is with us from The Next Web, first time. How you doing, Matthew?
Matthew Panzarino: Just fine, just fine. How’re you doing, Jason?
Jason Calacanis: Where are you based?
Matthew Panzarino: I’m actually in Fresno, which is a couple of hundred miles east of San Francisco, so in the middle of the desert basically.
Jason Calacanis: Wow, blogging from the middle of the desert, I like it.
Matthew Panazarino: Yup.
Jason Calacanis: Also with us, Dave Mathews of NewAer is here, and he recently closed a round of financing. Congratulations.
Dave Mathews: Yeah, thank you, yeah. Intel Capital saw what we were doing and said they had not thought of it. I always like strategic money, so built a product…
Jason Calacanis: What is that? What did you actually do?
Dave Mathews: ‘Cause I want to be aligned with what, obviously I want more than just cash right, I needed some benefits out of Intel which, they make laptops of course, Ultrabooks and now mobile phones with Orange and now tablets. So we launched in 2011 at their conference, won Best Technology, that was nice.
Jason Calacanis: ToothTag and everything, yeah?
Dave Mathews: ToothTag. And then I spent a year selling the technology, so we have some people licensing it and then Intel came in and said, we wish we would’ve thought of this. So, good for me.
Jason Calacanis: So does that mean, like, when someone like Intel invest, are they investing because they wanna see your technology, make it accelerate the growth of use of their chips, like, is that their strategic reason?
Dave Mathews: Yes, exactly. Yeah.
Jason Calacanis: Or is it because they eventually wanna buy the company and they’re cozying up to you and getting to know you?
Dave Mathews: Yeah, it could be. I’ve had some people ask me what the relationship is like, do they wanna keep the valuation low or do they wanna keep it high. What I love about what they’re doing is they’re introducing me to every business unit and every customer that they can. On Tuesday and Monday this week, we were at the CEO Roundtable. There’s a thousand executives from, you name the company. All the fortunes. And they put ten of us on stage, that they just invested in. Forty million total investment and ten companies. And man, we got carpet launched, we got invited…
Jason Calacanis: Yeah, they got the forty million back because all those people are then gonna go buy your products and services. Well done. Congratulations, Dave.
Dave Mathews: Thank you.
Jason Calacanis: And Erik Rannala is here from MuckerLabs. How’s everything going, over at the Mucker?
Erik Rannala: It’s going well. We just launched a new batch of companies, eleven companies in this cycle.
Jason Calacanis: Wow!
Erik Rannala: And, the other eight from the last batch are doing well. All of them raised follow-on financing, about a million and a half on average.
Jason Calacanis: You’re eight for eight?
Erik Rannala: From that batch, yeah.
Jason Calacanis: Wow, eight for eight, really.
Dave Mathews: Nice.
Erik Rannala: I didn’t know they were always going to bat a thousand, but uh…
Jason Calacanis: That’s pretty good. What do you attribute that to? Was it good selection process on the way in or was it just the markets really high, what do you think?
Erik Rannala: Probably all of the above. I’d hope, I’d like to think and I think we try to help a lot along the way as well, so we’re pretty operationally focused and hands-on.
Jason Calacanis: It’s gotta feel pretty good that the other accelerators in town, one of them did like, whatever, eighty percent, the other one did like, a third. Kinda feels good, doesn’t it? To beat all those competitors?
Erik Rannala: Yeah I mean, it does feel good. But in reality, our goal isn’t to get a hundred percent always from the try, because if we’re not, you know, if we’re not seeing some drop off, we’re probably not taking enough risk.
Jason Calacanis: So the goal was not stretched enough as we say in the managing business.
Erik Rannala: Perhaps. Perhaps.
Jason Calacanis: Not a strong enough stretched goal? You’re only supposed to hit seventy percent if you’re really pushing hard.
Erik Rannala: Exactly.
Jason Calacanis: So basically you’re saying that there was nothing really particularly out there in innovative. I mean, that would be one argument right, like, is it too easy to fund or you do not do big enough audacious ideas that confuse Angels.
Erik Rannala: Yeah. No, I mean, I think there were some pretty big audacious ideas and those got funded, like SurfAir, for example.
Dave Mathews: I love that. That’s such a great idea.
Jason Calacanis: That’s pretty audacious, yeah. See, I love the fact that those guys didn’t take my money. Not that I keep track of such things. Hey, believe it we’re on the TriCaster. When I look at the TriCaster and do that, that’s my signal. That means I want my close-up. Hmm, SurfAir… SurfAir and no. No to Jason. Okay, keep going. So, SurfAir, that was incredibly innovative, what a great idea. That I didn’t get to invest. Keep going, what else? Why did they not take my money?
Erik Rannala: I have no idea.
Jason Calacanis: J-Cal money no good.
Erik Rannala: I’m gonna have to talk to them about that.
Jason Calacanis: J-Cal money no good.
Erik Rannala: No, J-Cal money good.
Jason Calacanis: Unbelievable.
Erik Rannala: I’ll have to talk to them about that.
Jason Calacanis: Okay, that’s fine. But I really do wanna try it, I mean, I’d probably become a customer. Explain the concept of SurfAir and why it’s captured people’s imagination.
Erik Rannala: Sure. I mean, it’s a membership based subscription airline, so it’s kind of a semi-private airline, where you pay the monthly subscription to fly on private planes, private airports. So it’s kind of the private aviation experience that’s really out of reach for everyone but brought down to a mass market price point with the subscription.
Jason Calacanis: And the price point is twelve hundred a month, fourteen hundred a month?
Erik Rannala: Yeah.
Dave Mathews: Yeah, six flights right?
Jason Calacanis: You can book two flights with the fourteen hundred?
Erik Rannala: With the thousand.
Jason Calacanis: With the thousand.
Erik Rannala: With the thousand, you can have four reservations outstanding any given time. Eight hundred is two reservations and six for twelve hundred.
Jason Calacanis: And their idea is, they’re gonna fill up.
Dave Mathews: Yeah.
Jason Calacanis: And it’s going to be basically, the south west corridor. San Francisco, LA, Vegas.
Erik Rannala: Yeah, right now they’re starting with LA, San Francisco or LA Bay Area and then they’ll take it to Santa Barbara, Monterey as well.
Jason Calacanis: So basically for us. Especially for us.
Erik Rannala: Exactly. The first route is for us.
Jason Calacanis: And they haven’t started yet?
Erik Rannala: They haven’t. They have the planes, they’re still…
Jason Calacanis: They’ve to get that certification still.
Erik Rannala: Yeah, the FAA is something that you can’t sort of speed up or slow down very easily. So, they have a process…
Jason Calacanis: And they’re using the Pilatus plane…
Erik Rannala: Pilatus PC12.
Jason Calacanis: … which is Swiss-made plane, which has got one of the best safety record ever, even though it’s a turbo prop.
Erik Rannala: Yeah. It does. It’s a fantastic plane, and using turbo props, I mean, especially for distances like that, you get there on just as much time and they’re much cheaper. Exactly.
Dave Mathews: Is that an eight-seater?
Erik Rannala: Eight or nine. Depending on configuration. They’re doing eights mostly.
Jason Calacanis: Hmm, very interesting. Hey, listen, and if you’re gonna run a small business, one thing you need is Hiscox Small Business Insurance. And it was amazing, last week, we had Chris Sacca on the program, famously…
Dave Mathews: What a great show!
Jason Calacanis: Thank you. You watched it?
Dave Mathews: Yeah, I watched it.
Jason Calacanis: Well, that’s great. I love when the guests actually watch the show. And the part two is coming out,, I think, this Tuesday. But he needed small business insurance and he forwarded me the fact that he got small business insurance and then another high profile person did it and tweeted it. Who was that? Does anyone remember? Somebody asked Jason whatever, but anyway, another famous famous person was like, I heard your ad for Hiscox and I bought it. Do I even have to read the ad? Chris Sacca bought Hiscox Insurance. Chris Sacca, Hiscox. Jason Calacanis, Hiscox. Other famous people, they just go there, they sign up, and it just works. And hey, listen, go to their blog, read their blog, they spend a lot of time and effort trying to cover and tackle all the topics that you care about. So go to hiscoxusa.com and click on their blog and read their My Startup story. It features top entrepreneurs, like the founders of Cloud, Mashable and Tumblr, discussing their ideas on how they became successful and they really wanna get you to read that because that’s great advice from founders, just like on this program.
Dave Mathews: Sacca had my favorite quote when we launched NewAer.
Jason Calacanis: Oh, so he was on the judging panel?
Dave Mathews: Yeah, he was on the panel. He said we’ve created a scripting language for the real world. And as a geek, how cool is that?!
Jason Calacanis: Yeah, that was a pretty cool… Yeah, that’s pretty good. Well, don’t make it about yourself. As my wife says, way to make it about yourself.
Oh, wait a second, Hiscox Insurance is to Chris Sacca as Chris Sacca is to me. And my products. This is the thing, entrepreneurs always A-B-S. Always Be Selling. And closing. ABC, ABS, Always Be Selling, Always Be Closing, yeah, that’s right. And go to hiscoxusa.com/SmallBiz and click on the small business blog under useful information. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook, @hixscoxsmallbiz. What a great team, and it’s so so easy to sign up for business insurance and if you’re doing, all your guys, you make sure your Startups have to get insurance right?
Erik Rannala: Yeah, they have to.
Jason Calacanis: They have to. It’s a requirement.
Erik Rannala: It’s not a requirement from us, but if, depending on what they’re doing, most of them need it.
Jason Calacanis: Yeah. And, especially when you start getting investors, then it becomes required.
Erik Rannala: Then it does, yeah.
Dave Mathews: Some of my contracts required it. To do a deal with some of these bigger companies, you have to get insurance.
Jason Calacanis: For NewAer?
Dave Mathews: My company NewAer, NewAer’s actually hiring, I don’t know if we talked about that. Newaer.com.
Jason Calacanis: I’d kinda stop saying kill yourself, all the people in the suicide lobby and then email me. Okay, listen, thank you Hiscox.
Jason Calacanis: Oh, Steve Jobs. I kind of, I’m torn about this issue. And I want to get the feedback from the audience, from the panel. Should we celebrate the death of Steve Jobs like we’re doing or memorialize it or should we do his birthday, ‘cause I kinda feel, obviously it’s on everybody’s minds, everyone’s tweeting about it, everyone’s tweeting and talking about the death of Steve Jobs because he meant so much to us. But I do think we might wanna think about maybe like the day he founded Apple or something maybe better than, it kinda bums me out to think about his death. Are you bummed out about it? I mean, you’re an inventor, you must be super bummed. He was your hero, right?
Dave Mathews: You know what I liked about him, he chartered his own course right. A lot of times inventors, most inventors have that A-type personality, that they’re so annoying, they you know, like, push push push to the end. So, but he started with a computer company that no one liked, no one bought and then it was the most valuable company right before he passed way, right?! Be it all those oil companies that normally hit those top ten slots, Apple went up to number one, right before passing. So how cool is that? It is such a great legacy.
Jason Calacanis: Yeah, it was such an incredible legacy on all levels. Hey, let’s play a clip. Do we have a clip? Which one?
Kirin Kalia: We do. This is actually my favorite.
Steve Jobs(in the video): It is now 1984, it appears IBM wants it all. Apple has perceived to be the only hope to offer IBM a run for its money. Dealers initially welcoming IBM with open arms, now fear an IBM dominated and controlled future. They’re increasingly and desperately turning back to Apple as the only force that can ensure their future freedom. (People applaud) IBM wants it all and it’s aiming its guns on its last obstacle to industry control, Apple. Will Big Blue dominate the entire computer industry, the entire information age? Was George Orwell right about 1984?
Dave Mathews: That’s so great.
Jason Calacanis: That’s so awesome. He was such a gangster. That’s from, when was that, 1983 when he introduced the 1984 ad. And it’s just like, he knew how to fight, you know, he was such a great competitor. It’s kind of laughable now that IBM dominate the information age. Like, IBM was just like, let’s take the easy money being a consulting company. What do you think, Matthew? What do you think of the legacy of Steve Jobs and watching that video, what do you think?
Matthew Panzarino: That’s just one of those demonstrations of practice and perfection. I mean, he is, obviously he was a great speaker, but that kind of performance doesn’t happen, you know, naturally. I mean, obviously he rehearsed that very well but it’s just the testament to how much of that actually came from his brain. That when reporters talk to him casually, like you know, you see videos where people are grilling him on stage or casually in person or catching him off at like an event and still that message comes out the same way. It’s not exactly well rehearsed, there’s a little um’s and uh’s and maybe some stuttering but the force of personality is there, so that persona you see on stage is a polished and perfected version of that, but it’s the real person.
Jason Calacanis: It’s all authentic. He authentically felt that way, he authentically always felt like he was in a battle for his life. It was just computers, you know, but he made it into such a personal freedom and everything, which was also kinda ironic, you know, in later life, kinda hypocritical that he had such a locked down operating system and you know, he was so anti-open when you hear him talking about it. I think a lot of people only know the gorgeous products, you know, most people on the planet. Just thinking about the gorgeous products, they don’t realize that he had this huge battle for just the life of his company and that he was just buzzing around huge lions like Microsoft and…
Dave Mathews: But because he had control over both the operating system and the hardware, he was able to give the right experience for the people.
Jason Calacanis: Right. He’s the benevolent dictator in that way.
Dave Mathews: Yeah. When he gave us the new tablet, the iPad, I hated it. A year later, it was great. All was apt.
Jason Calacanis: It is like they say, the best form of government is benevolent dictatorship. They do say that, it actually operates the most efficiently, ‘cause think about it, if you have a dictator who is extremely benevolent, they’re going to not have corruption and lobbying and all the things that we’ve in a democracy. It’s just that, it never quite works.
Erik Rannala: Things will actually get done, ‘cause someone’s in-charge, right? It’s not like a direct democracy where everyone’s gonna be, like it’s gonna be gridlock, like nothing will get done.
Jason Calacanis: Hyper-efficient and whatever. All right, let’s see the next clip. Let’s do, which clip are we gonna see, Kirin? Which one do you wanna do?
Kirin Kalia: I’d like to do the Stanford commencement speech.
Jason Calacanis: Aah, Stanford commencement speech, let’s hear that. That’s a great one.
Steve Jobs(in the video): Because believing that the dots will connect down the road, will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path and that will make all the difference.
Jason Calacanis: That was too short. We need to play more of that. Keep playing. Or actually, you know, what, you gotta cue up the part where he was talking about following your dreams, I can’t remember which one, but anyway, everyone’s seen that speech. Is that your favorite?
Dave Mathews: That’s my favorite, yeah. Because he, you know, right in his own backyard, kinda like, was it a surprise or there was some setup behind that story that I don’t really remember.
Jason Calacanis: Yeah, I don’t know, I think it almost is, Matthew mentioned earlier that he’s very prepared and scripted. It’s authentic but it was authentically strategic, you know. And it’s pretty clear to me, he gave that after he had cancer.
Dave Mathews: Yeah, I know.
Jason Calacanis: And he knew that the legacy was gonna key off some moment in time, like his keynote. But he wanted to have his grand vision of life, his philosophy of life captured. He had to have written that and performed it and studied it as, this will be thing that people will remember me by, ‘cause that speech, I think, I mean, an iPhone 5 launch is going to look, you know, sort of dorky in the annals of history, but his philosophy of life…
Erik Rannala: It’s the big picture right, it sums up my favorite things about him too. Everything he did, he was on a mission, right. I mean, that’s why he was so passionate about the products and experience and you know, that’s the way I like to remember him, as on a mission to build great things. It’s transferrable to what anyone’s doing, be passionate about what you’re doing and be on a mission and you know, don’t compromise.
Jason Calacanis: Yeah, don’t compromise, but also, there has to be some balance too. You know, I think there’s probably some lessons there that you don’t get from Steve directly in what he says, but if you read the autobiography or you looked at his life, a lot of things he did that he regretted, you know, whether it’s relationships with certain people or even with the cancer, I mean, there’s a pretty big contingent of people who think he might have been with us today or a while longer if he’d just not been so headstrong about listening to alternative people.
Erik Rannala: Yeah. I mean, for sure, none of us are perfect, but that speech I think is a great one about really following what you’re passionate about.
Jason Calacanis: Let’s do the last one, and then we will end, we’ll wrap up this tribute to Steve. The last one is the crazy ones, which I think is my favorite.
Steve Jobs (in the video): Apple, at the core, its core value is that we believe that people with passion can change the world for the better. That’s what we believe. And we’ve had the opportunity to work with people like that, we’ve had the opportunity to work with people like you, with software developers, with customers who have done it. In some big and some small ways. And we believe that, in this world, people can change it for the better. And then, those people that are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that actually do.
Jason Calacanis: And going to Matt’s point, he says talking to partners and that wasn’t the commercial. I’m thinking that was, you know, whatever is the off the cuff, you know, talks to developers or partners, but he actually, he’s sorta inspiring them to like, hey, be crazy, change the world, then you can make a dent in it.
Dave Mathews: And that whole different thinking campaign, you know, spurred from that.
Jason Calacanis: And the part of the ‘Think Different’ campaign that I loved was that he originally recorded the commercial and, like yeah, let’s use, what’s his name. Richard Dreyfuss. And, the Richard Dreyfuss on is obviously done more professionally, but not as good as Steve’s. Let’s see, I have that one here on my computer. So, this is… (Plays video of ‘Think Different’ campaign – Richard Dreyfuss version) It is probably one of the best commercials ever made, I mean, it is pretty much the best commercial ever made.
Dave Mathews: Did you see the Hiscox ad on Youtube right next it.
Jason Calacanis: Oh, I guess. No, I think that is obviously if I pulled up the website, that’s retargeting.
Dave Mathews: You think it’s some of that Cookie Monster action going there?
Jason Calacanis: I think it’s retargeting definitely. I mean, it’s just that, I know it is, how often that happens now, it cannot be a coincidence. And then of course, Steve Jobs’ doing. And look at that, that’s interesting, I tried to play the Steve Jobs version and Samsung has bought the ad. God, it’s just like, would the internet and retargeting kill themselves please?! (Plays video of ‘Think Different’ campaign – Steve Jobs narrated version) And Tyler’s obviously getting emotional. Did you wipe a tear over there?
Tyler Crowley: I got a tear over the irony of the fact that now, you’d be, uh, you could use this against Apple if you were a new computer company.
Jason Calacanis: What?
Tyler Crowley: The fact that it’s the dominant thing, his whole point was that he was the underdog, which is why this worked. Now there’s nothing thinking different about using Apple. Every-frickin’-body is using Apple.
Jason Calacanis: Yeah, one of the things about leading a revolution is that sometimes you actually do change the world and then it gets, it’s kind of anti-climatic right.
Tyler Crowley: Then you become the status quo, right?!
Jason Calacanis: And then you become the status quo and like, how do you push yourself past that?
Tyler Crowley: That’s like the dog catching the ambulance.
Jason Calacanis: It’s like the dog catching the ambulance. Matthew, which one do you like better? You like the Steve Jobs or you like the Richard Dreyfuss…
Matthew Panzarino: I don’t know, I’ve always wanted to hear the original Phylllis Diller recording. I mean, that’s, you know, did you know that Steve Jobs always wanted Phyllis Diller?
Jason Calacanis: Phyllis Diller?!
Matthew Panzarino: I’m not joking. You know Ken Segall, he wrote a book called ‘Insanely Simple’ recently, and he said that Jobs originally wanted Phyllis Diller. He brought her in and did some test recordings and she was like, you know, getting ready and just right up to the mic and she’s all “HERE’S TO THE CRAZY ONES!” and they just, they went crazy because her voice-over was just manic, you know, and Ken was like maybe, maybe not, you know, and then they ended up going with Dreyfuss.
Jason Calacanis: I don’t even know, what does Phyllis Diller sound like? (Plays ‘Phyllis Diller on The Ed Sullivan Show’ video) I get what he was going for. Now that I listen to it, I get what he was going for. She’s kinda like…
Matthew Panzarino: If they could’ve given her to deliver like a major performance, you know, maybe, but…
Jason Calacanis: She’s got that like sarcastic, you know, abrasive, “Here’s to the crazy ones”, I mean, you know, whatever.
Tyler Crowley: There’s also one other, did you hear the news about the Steve Jobs audio clip that came out a couple of days go.
Jason Calacanis: Yes, somebody had a cassette tape, the lost tape. Yeah, I listened to the first third, he’s like predicting everything and…
Tyler Crowley: Yeah, he predicts everything with such accuracy, I don’t, I can’t think of anything else.
Dave Mathews: Steve-stradamus!
Jason Calacanis: Yes, very much Steve-stradamus kinda thing.
Tyler Crowley: Rather mind-blowing.
Dave Mathews: It’s easy to predict the future though, when you’re inventing it.
Jason Calacanis: It’s a pretty good point.
Dave Mathews: Tyler, you should’ve said that.
Jason Calacanis: That wouldn’t be an insight, it’s more like a quip. Hey listen, um, obviously we all miss Steve and yeah, it’s already said that it’s not the same without him, but to a certain extent, I feel everybody’s building off of that momentum and it’s like, it almost gives you some sort of like, hope in humanity that like, you know, somebody as great as him can pass and then people can celebrate and move on and still create awesome stuff and it’s like Apple is still making great stuff and they’re still like, kicking ass over there and other people…
Dave Mathews: Have you seen the stock price?
Jason Calacanis: Yeah. And then, Tesla’s like, you know a lot and must decide, you know, I’m going to put charging stations across the world that are free. And so everybody will try it for free, it’s almost like the crazy that Steve Jobs had, has infected so many other people. Do you feel that way? It’s like, it’s affected everybody, everyone’s like, I need a bigger mission, I need something bigger, I need more passion.
Erik Rannala: Yeah. No, I mean, I think a lot of the biggest ideas end up or are crazy or sound crazy in the beginning right, I mean, the best, some of the biggest companies and best ideas sound like stuff that ninety-nine percent of the people would think are insane.
Jason Calacanis: Making a computer that’s easy to use, easy enough for anyone on the planet to use in 1970-whatever or even Bill Gates putting a computer on every…
Erik Rannala: Private space companies, sending spaceships into space…
Jason Calacanis: Going to Mars.
Erik Rannala: Yeah, I mean, going to Mars.
Jason Calacanis: Hey, it’s crazy. And hey, here’s something you’d be crazy not to use.
Tyler Crowley: Speaking of crazy, no, it doesn’t work.
Jason Calacanis: No, this doesn’t work. Squarespace is a great product. I use it and it is the best product for creating beautiful, professional looking websites. Squarespace version six has just been launched and you can make gorgeous experiences that work, and I’ve been showing you these over the weeks. I can go over here and pull up my website on the browser and I can pull up the iPad here. And these beautiful websites will publish once to iPad, to iPhone, and be gorgeous wherever you look at them. And that’s what you’re looking for right now, you don’t wanna leave behind, the fifty percent, the one-third, the two-third sometimes, depending on what type of business you’re running or consuming your content and your small sized business, medium sized business, large sized businesses, websites on mobile. And if you purchase a yearly, a bi-yearly plan, you get a twenty percent off. Go to squarespace.com/twist, T-W-I-S-T and try the free trial for two weeks, no credit card required and if you wind up continuing, which you will, enter the code TWIST 10 at checkout time and you get another ten percent off. Again, that code, TWIST 10. It’s very important that you use it, I know that you can afford to not even use the code, but you are doing me a big favor by using the code TWIST 10 because it signals to them that, hey you guys are listening to the program and trying out the great products, including Squarespace. I’m using the product, I’ve used it for years, it’s gorgeous. It’s buttery, it’s perfect. I’d say beautiful website, Tyler says…
Tyler Crowley: Squarespace.
Jason Calacanis: I say Squarespace and Tyler says…
Dave Mathews: Buttery website.
Jason Calacanis: Thank you. Thank you, I’m going to give you Tyler’s spot from now on.
Dave Mathews: Buttery website.
Jason Calacanis: Buttery, delicious, gorgeous website. Okay, let’s go to the news stories. What’s the first news story?
Kirin Kalia: The first story you gotta talk about, Facebook hitting a billion monthly users. And also, they took this as the occasion to debut their own ad ‘Things that connect’ and so I think we can have an interesting discussion there about how their as compares to what Apple used to do, but some of the interesting things that came out around this, Facebook has a thousand engineers, that’s basically one engineer for every million users. And recent told Mark Zuckerberg that probably the only other companies with a thousand customers are Coke and McDonald’s. Now for Zuckerberg, the big question is, what services can be built on Facebook’s infrastructure, he thinks commerce is going to be the next big push. He also mentioned that six hundred million are using Facebook on phone. And he expects long-term that they will make money for each user based on the time spent on phone.
Jason Calacanis: Anyone see the ad? The Facebook ad on Youtube? Anybody see it? I did. It’s terrible.
Dave Mathews: What is the topic of the ad?
Jason Calacanis: I’ll play a little bit of it, I’ll let you guys tell me what you think. But I kinda felt this was almost like kinda dystopian, what is the film that Ridley Scott just did? Um, Prometheus.
Kirin Kalia: The director of the particular commercial in question is Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, who did ‘Amores Perros’.
Jason Calacanis: God, they really made him do this?!
Kirin Kalia: It took them a year to put it together and decided that this was kind of the right time to do this as a capstone to the one billion thing.
Jason Calacanis: Yeah, I mean, I understand why they would have him do it, I can’t even find Facebook’s channel on…
Kirin Kalia: I have the link there on…
Jason Calacanis: Oh, you do? Oh, there it is. Facebook’s official channel. Oh, there you go. The things that connect us. (Plays ‘The Things That Connect Us’ video)
Dave Mathews: Oh my God! This is way too heady. I can’t watch this anymore. Turn this off. This is just like saying…
Jason Calacanis: THE UNIVERSE!
Dave Mathews: Facebook is the Operating System for the internet.
Erik Rannala: Facebook is the universe. The universe is Facebook. I mean, this could easily…
Jason Calacanis: So terrible. I mean, just tell me exactly how bad it is? Go ahead.
Dave Mathews: So bad. Okay…
Jason Calacanis: So what is it? Is Facebook the chair? The nation? The chair?
Dave Mathews: I think it’s the basketball court.
Jason Calacanis: The basketball court? You think it’s the basketball court? I think the basketball court id the universe.
Erik Rannala: Facebook is the universe according to them.
Jason Calacanis: I thought they were the airplane.
Dave Mathews: So lame. Facebook is yesterday’s news. It’s the biggest time-suck on the planet, and there’s just no redeeming feature other than to see how fat your ex-girlfriend from high school got.
Jason Calacanis: Wow. How do you really feel? That was brutal.
Kirin Kalia: I think that’s the unanimous thumbs-down on the ad?!
Jason Calacanis: Matthew, what do you think?
Matthew Panzarino: I don’t know, I mean, I won’t be as hard on the ad as a lot of people have been. I understand what they’re trying to do with it. You know, they’re presenting to you something that’s automatic, you know. I mean, everybody’s got a chair, everybody’s got Facebook. That’s a double-edged sword because you’re also painting Facebook as boring, and as a chair, I mean, who cares about a chair really. You use them, but you’re not really that excited about using them. You use them because you’ve to have something to sit on.
Jason Calacanis: Toilet paper.
Matthew Panzarino: Yeah, exactly.
Jason Calacanis: Spoons.
Matthew Panzarino: It works for half of Facebook’s strategy, which is to present themselves as infrastructure.
Jason Calacanis: Pens!
Matthew Panzarino: Zuck wants to present himself, or present Facebook as infrastructure for the web. Layer that people can use to build things on.
Dave Matthews: So was AOL, so you see where that went.
Matthew Panzarino: But the problem is, they’re pitching that to customers, whereas that message needs to be pitched to developers. Because people don’t care about infrastructure, they care about products.
Jason Calacanis: It’s a very…
Matthew Panzarino: And I think that the commercial is pointing towards the infrastructure and not the product.
Jason Calacanis: Well, here’s the difference. This shows exactly the difference between Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. Steve Jobs would look at that commercial and say to the person who produced it, “Are you a facking idiot?! You stupid motherfacker, get the F out of my office. I’m going to murder you and your family and burn your house to the ground. How dare you show me something so stupid?! That is the stupidest commercial ever.” Facebook – It’s like pens. It’s like a phone. It’s like a Poi pounder. It’s like this swear jar. I mean, what the F is it?! It’s the worst commercial ever. And that’s their first commercial?! They’ve literally, now it’s like, Steve Jobs created the best commercials. The two best commercials ever created. Number one and number two are Steve Jobs and Steve Jobs. And we can debate whether it’s the 1984 or the crazy ones, which one’s better! And then Zuckerberg has made the worst commercial in the history which obviously shows you that Facebook is not long for this world. And it is complete garbage. And it is in fact dying slow death on the line ‘cause young people hate it. Everybody hates it now.
Dave Mathews: Yeah. Instagram and SweetIM, they’re not even on Facebook anymore. So, Tyler and I were running around the hills like ‘The Sound of Music’, it was amazing and everyone in Sweden loves Instagram.
Jason Calacanis: Oh really? They’re on Instagram?!
Tyler Crowley: Yes.
Jason Calacanis: And what do you think about the commercial, Tyler?
Tyler Crowley: I haven’t seen it yet.
Jason Calacanis: I just played it.
Tyler Crowley: I don’t see it, I’m at the back of the screen here.
Jason Calacanis: Oh, we put Babe in the corner I guess. Well what do you think about this concept? Pens and chairs? Facebook is like these things.
Tyler Crowley: I was about to watch the video. From what I could see, I could not see the visuals, I could only hear it, it sounded rather the closest thing you could compare it to was some of those Apple commercials that you were previously playing.
Jason Calacanis: See, this is the thing. I think he was going for that, for the gravitas, except if you don’t actually don’t authentically have to contribute to the universe, what that was telling me. This is why I think that was dystopian, when they say like nation state, you know, like countries, and dance floors, it was almost like they were trying to program us like you do like Facebook. You like it like you like doughnuts, like you like chairs, like you like mommies, like you like puppies. Facebook is something that you need and you like. It was like ‘Manchurian Candidate’ level trying to brainwash you. Garbage! What do you think, Erik?
Erik Rannala: It seems like they were going for the Apple, but they fell way way short. Right, I think that is what they were aspiring to, but it fell completely flat.
Jason Calacanis: I think it was a college humor bit.
Kirin Kalia: And this took a year. It took a year.
Erik Rannala: It could’ve easily been a parody.
Jason Calacanis: What is this? I mean, Zuckerberg is trying to rip off Steve Jobs, like the week of Steve Job’s death, he’s going to come out and say, oh, we’re the same thing every day? Oh, wow, how original of you. You wear the same perfect shirt every day? The difference is, he wears a shirt from Old Navy every day and Steve Jobs wore on by a famous designer in Japan, and he had sorted out and founded and Steve Jobs had taste. And Zuckerberg has something whatever the antithesis of taste is. Like if they just, if there was a mental disease where they took out your ability to understand flavor, there must be some disease like that where you put something in your mouth and don’t know if it’s salty or sweet.
Dave Mathews: That’s the miracle fruit.
Jason Calacanis: That’s what Zuckerberg has. Zero taste. And then, this proves it. It proves it. All right, thank you for tuning into this. It’s such a terrible commercial, it’s laughable.
Kirin Kalia: Let’s get back to the other…
Jason Calacanis: I think this might be the point, there was a college humor joke ‘cause I saw it like in the, you know, guess they’re paying for ads or something. So it came up on one of the sponsor slots, I think. And I saw it and I’m like watching, I think that this is like college humor and I’m waiting for the punch line, when is this gonna get funny, and it just got stupider and stupider. And it was almost like they’re putting the Coldplay like piano melodic music to it. And it just never got anywhere. It just…
Dave Mathews: Do you think this will be like parody-ised? Like Saturday Night Live will do something or…
Jason Calacanis: Wait wait wait wait. Hold on. If the chair’s large enough, anyone could sit on it and if it’s big enough, they could sit together.
Dave Mathews: That’s amazing.
Jason Calacanis: Let me just think about how profound that is. Anybody can sit in a chair, Matthew. And two people could sit in a chair if it’s big enough. Look at Matthew, look at his reaction.
Matthew Panzarino: Ohh, it’s like deer in headlights.
Jason Calacanis: Two people, Matthew. If the chair is big enough, two people can sit in it.
Matthew Panzarino: Uh-huh.
Jason Calacanis: Do you understand?
Matthew Panzarino: No.
Jason Calacanis: Let me just play a little more for you. It’ll become clear. Hold on a second. Matthew’s gonna get it. Pay attention, Matthew. Are you concentrating, Matthew?
Matthew Panzarino: I am. I’m paying attention.
Jason Calacanis: Okay, pay attention. Here we go. Right, hold on. You can tell jokes in a chair, you can make up stories or you can just listen, Matthew. Now do you understand what the point is, Matthew? Concentrate, Matthew.
Matthew Panzarino: I don’t. I don’t. Give it to me straight.
Dave Mathews: I think the problem it, Matthew is not in a chair, you’ve to be in a chair.
Jason Calacanis: There are chairs, Matthew. And you can sit in them, but two people can also sit in them and when you sit in them, are you getting it now? When we’re sitting in the chairs, you could tell a story or you could listen to the story. You understand what I’m saying? You getting it?
Matthew Panzarino: Like, how are they pitching this to people? I don’t understand.
Jason Calacanis: Give me one more minute. I want you to really concentrate, Matthew. Just concentrate for just five seconds. Concentrate, please. Please concentrate. Okay, chairs are for people, just like Facebook and bridges. Now do you understand, Matthew?
Matthew Panzarino: No, I don’t.
Erik Rannala: I’m starting to understand. We already have lots of chairs, lot of bridges and airplanes, so I guess we don’t need Facebook.
Jason Calacanis: Exactly. All right, listen, I just want to say, I think this is really, somebody very very very very very very famous, more famous than anybody that’s ever been on the program, I was talking to. And he said of his meeting with Zuckerberg, which happened not too long ago, but a little bit ago. He said that he was so underwhelmed that there was nothing there. That Zuckerberg had absolutely nothing to contribute to the conversation, or nothing like insightful or interesting to say, that he had, that he shocked with the level of success that he has with nothing to say, literally nothing to say. Nothing. No insight to the world, no grand vision or anything like that. This company is going to crash or burn any day.
Dave Mathews: It’s built on vanity though. So right, when you have vanity as your sole purpose, uploading pictures and showing people party pics and what you did last night…
Jason Calacanis: You know, like, Steve Jobs had this grand vision to make computers easier to use and it’s going to make their lives easier. And Zuckerberg’s mission is that I’m going to connect everybody and make a lot of money and have all this information on them and then they’re going to start behaving like my very image that mind thinks that human beings should behave, like I’m going to reprogram their behavior and then how dare he put out this stupid ad! That’s just so insulting. I’m sorry, you know what, I took a year off from bashing Facebook and I’m back. Well, just this ad makes me so infuriated, I don’t know why, this ad is making me so mental.
Kirin Kalia: This has upset you more than the idea that people will pay seven dollars to promote their own post?
Jason Calacanis: That is another insane thing. Read that story.
Kirin Kalia: Well, I didn’t put that in here. But that’s basically the gist. They just started testing it in May in New Zealand and it’s already in twenty countries and it started in the US just this week, and so you can actually pay to promote your own posts. So if you wanna make sure that everybody who’s friends with you see that you just got engaged or that your baby just had the first birthday or that you got a new job or whatever that you think is important about you and you want everyone to know, you can pay to promote it.
Jason Calacanis: All right, so basically, Facebook hits a billion people and then they launch pay-per-post. Remember pay-per-post, which I went on about and I had that stupid Ted Murphy on the program and I wrote, I had Tyler write my name on his forehead for a hundred dollars.
Tyler Crowley: A thousand.
Jason Calacanis: A thousand. Whatever, we paid him like to prove how stupid it was that people should pay to promote to their friends like this and now they’ve come up with this. What is everybody complaining about Facebook right now, Matthew? What’s the number one complaint about Facebook, Matthew?
Matthew Panzarino: Privacy?
Jason Calacanis: Well, privacy, no.
Dave Mathews: Well, timeline. They converted everyone to timeline now.
Jason Calacanis: Yeah. I guess, maybe a little bit about privacy, but it’s the inaneness of the timeline. The newsfeed.
Matthew Panzarino: Oh right, yeah yeah yeah. The lowest common denominator is everything that streams by, it’s bland, all of it’s bland.
Jason Calacanis: It’s garbage. All of it’s garbage. People say, oh God, it’s bland, there’s nothing there.
Dave Mathews: It’s noise.
Jason Calacanis: It’s noise. It’s a waste of time.
Matthew Panzarino: But the pay-per-post is ridiculous.
Jason Calacanis: So, how do we make that better, right Matthew?
Matthew Panzarino: Yeah, you pay for it, right.
(Jason plays video on Facebook about promoted posts)
Jason Calacanis: Look at the stupidity. Look at this stupidity. Ugh! It’s just insufferable. Like, really, like, I’m gonna post my wedding announcement and pay seven dollars.
Erik Rannala: So are they really targeting this at individuals or…?
Jason Calacanis: So this is for a sandwich store, but the way they’re targeting it is…
Kirin Kalia: Right, for individuals.
Jason Calacanis: Right, this is promoted posts. I pulled up the wrong thing, this is not the individual version. I’ll show you the individual.
Erik Rannala: I mean, it would seem embarrassing. It sounds like they’re gonna actually mark them a sponsored post, right?! So…
Jason Calacanis: Well, I don’t know if that video… The video that I played is not what I think it is, but here it is, look. This is what they used as their example. This is what they sent to the press. “Excited to announce that Elizabeth and I are engaged to be married”, promote. Really? You don’t have enough friends who’re liking your, if your friends are not liking and commenting, congratulating you on your engagement enough to do it, you probably shouldn’t have just gotten engaged to that person. If you’ve to pay seven dollars to get your friends to see it.
Erik Rannala: I would think people would be embarrassed about having a sponsored post for their, you know, for their engagement announcement.
Jason Calacanis: Yeah.
Dave Mathews: Well maybe, Facebook says that people used to take these ads on the newspaper and spend, you know, wedding announcements or whatever…
Jason Calacanis: Uh, I don’t know about that.
Dave Mathews: Can we go to another bad story, like Zynga?!
Jason Calacanis: All right, let’s move on. Let’s move on.
Erik Rannala: Bash someone else?!
Kirin Kalia: All right, let’s do Zynga! All right.
Jason Calacanis: All right, we’ll do Zynga.
Kirin Kalia: We’ll do Zynga, I know Jason’s got something to say about this one. So, as you all probably know by now, Zynga has lowered its outlook for 2012, it also announces expected Q3 revenue, three hundred and five million and a net loss of ninety million to a hundred and five million. And big part of that’s of course going to be the OMGPOP acquisition that they’re writing down, expected to be between eighty five and ninety five million. That means in other words that the hundred and eighty million they paid for it six months ago, it has lost about half of its value.
Jason Calacanis: Right, they got half back. Could they have some amount of revenue coming in from that?
Kirin Kalia: Right.
Jason Calacanis: ‘Cause it was making a quarter million dollars a day or half a million dollars a day at the peak.
Kirin Kalia: I don’t think people are playing ‘Draw something’ the way they were six months ago.
Erik Rannala: OMGPOP? Yeah, I don’t think any more probably.
Jason Calacanis: Yeah, not anymore, but at the peak it was half a million dollars a day, I understood.
Kirin Kalia: And so, this caused such an uproar that Mark Pincus himself wrote a post saying, you know, they’ve lowered the guidance because of the web games having reduced performance, but he did want to be overall positive. He says the ‘With Friends’ franchise is to finding social plan mobile, he says Farmville 2 is their most successful launch since Castleville which came out last fall. So, I guess, was buying OMGPOP worth it? And what do you think they’re behind? What’s going on?
Jason Calacanis: Matthew, any thoughts? Zynga?
Matthew Panzarino: Well, I mean, you know, the acquisition at the time, I mean, I think a lot of us called it on day one. It’s like, you’re buying this at the very peak of its popularity…
Jason Calacanis: Right.
Matthew Panzarino: So, you know, they’re buying the users, so that’s good I guess. But I don’t know how you, I don’t know how you translate a casual games user into an ecosystem user. Like yes, you make other casual games, but, by their very nature, those users are flighty, right. They play whatever their friends are playing, whatever happens, they catch on. And that doesn’t mean it’s another Zynga property, so I just don’t, I never saw the value from day one in that purchase. You know, I mean they’re buying at the peak of its popularity and then what?! You know, it’s all gonna go down from there.
Dave Mathews: This was the one-hit wonder company as well, when you look at all the stuff they built. Like Tapulous had the same problem, they had ‘Tap Tap Revenge’ to the one, two, three power.
Jason Calacanis: Yeah.
Dave Mathews: They had special versions of ‘Tap Tap Revenge’. And I kept bugging the CEO and I’d say I wanna design your next game because you’re a one-hit wonder, and finally he relented. And we did a new game. But, Disney bought that company, but they kinda turned that into a mobile strategy play, so…
Jason Calacanis: It is a risk when you’re, like a movie studio, a game studio needs to have the wear-with-all to make a lot of games and buy a lot of movies on the market. What do you think, Erik? I mean, you have, are people still coming in and saying they’re doing social games like they did last year or the year before?
Erik Rannala: Not any more. I mean, it is hit driven right, I mean they’re trying to milk the wills for as far as they can go. But at some point, I mean, there was going to be a decline. They’re all declining, so they need to come up with new hits. And that’s not trivial to do.
Jason Calacanis: It almost feels like what’s happening in the movie business because in the movie business, whatever you make in the first like, three weeks, is like, how the movie’s gonna do, right. I mean there’s DVD and whatever, but it’s so all riding on that like, initial pop. And so, with the purchase, and I’ll give two disclaimers. One, I’m friends with Mark and he’s an investor at Mahalo and we’ve known each other for decades, went to each other’s wedding, whatever, we ‘re friends. And I bought ten thousand shares on the program when it hit three dollars and five cents or ten cents or something.
Kirin Kalia: Yeah, it’s below three again right now.
Jason Calacanis: It is. Actually, today I think it’s, it’s at two-fifty right now. Two-forty eight. So, um, I’m a fan of Mark’s. Obviously it’s hard to see this happening to him. And then I sent them an email saying, hey keep your chin up, but they have a billion dollars in revenue. They have a billion-five in assets and cash, the building and the cash. They make a billion dollars a year. They’ve a billion-five, and their market cap’s at 1.88 billion right now, so if you take out the cash, you’re saying that the enterprise value of the company is three hundred million dollars. And it’s got a billion in revenue. A billion in revenue, three hundred million dollars. Instagram, a billion dollars and no revenue. They have three hundred and eleven monthly active uniques last month. Three hundred and eleven monthly active uniques. Facebook has a billion. AOL has, whatever, a hundred and fifty million or hundred million maybe. Yahoo! has maybe three or four hundred million. Like, this is a very large significant company, that is absolutely getting destroyed, and I think that the pricing of the IPO was so off. The market was so hot and they just started out, if it had gone public at six or seven dollars, I bet you this wouldn’t have happened. But at fifteen-sixteen dollars, going public, fourteen-fifteen-sixteen dollars with all that build-up, I blame a lot of this on the secondary market and the private transactions. It’s like, so funny, we talked about it on the program when they were happening and remember what I said, like, these are the IPOs and these prices, now when they go public, what’s left for the public to get…
Dave Mathews: Yeah, but you know what, the bankers milked every last dollar out of Zynga, they milked everything out of Facebook, right. It was brilliant. This is textbook how-to-take, you know, the rich get richer, the poor…
Jason Calacanis: I know, but it’s short-term thinking ‘cause now are these companies, now Zynga, ‘cause Zynga’s obviously worth more than it’s trading at right now. People are essentially betting that Zynga goes to zero, or Zynga goes to three hundred million right now, that’s the bet. Do you think that bet’s right, Erik?
Erik Rannala: It seems undervalued, but again, it’s such a hit driven business, so you need to come up with new hits, right. But it seems like it’s a pretty low price right now, pretty good deal.
Jason Calacanis: Yeah, I mean, it’s like even the games are having a shorter half-life. And there’s more competition, right, of course. But now they’re going to other markets, you know, I guess a lot of this also is, a little bit of Karma going on I think. I think Mark, he’s been such a hardcore business guy with repricing people’s options or whatever, or changing their amount of options and just you know, the relentless copying of other people’s games that Zynga did and obviously everybody does that in this business, like in the movie business, they all follow the hits. So it’s like, oh you had a great film about vampires and everybody’s gonna do a vampire film. You know, so it’s probably a little bit nasty to us in our business, but in games that’s just sorta how it goes, just like in movies. But I think what’s happening now is, people are unfairly punishing him for this sorta perception of Zynga as a bad company and now it’s, at this price, shouldn’t Marissa or Facebook just come in and buy it?
Erik Rannala: Somebody’ll buy it, yeah. Well, I think you’re right too about the IPO price and the secondary markets right. Stuff has gotten so bid up in the secondary market that, you know, without a lot of transparency and a lot of folks getting in at prices that they shouldn’t have been getting in at.
Jason Calacanis: Yeah, I thin Groupon was another on that went crazy with the secondary market and now look at them. And, I guess Twitter is the next one with eight billion dollars, and that’s why Twitter is probably pushing off going public for as long as possible. Matthew, What do you think?
Matthew Panzarino: Yeah, I mean, what, you mentioned Twitter, I mean, I think that Twitter is definitely dragging their toes until they get their balance books in order, but you know, this initial pop era of IPOs needs to go away for a lot of reasons obviously. But I mean, I think Facebook’s IPO, as much as people are criticizing it, was handled beautifully by, you know, everybody involved on their side of things. And I think Zynga’s definitely wasn’t, but do you think that Zynga’s a strong company? And people are undervaluing it.
Jason Calacanis: Yeah. Why do you Facebook did their IPO correct and Zynga did it wrong…
Matthew Panzarino: Facebook got what they wanted outta their IPO, you know. They got their cash, they got it handled, you know, I am unfortunately not well-versed on the intricacies of whether they did the right thing ethically or not and in the back in helping the stock and all that, so I can’t comment on that. But I do know that in the end, Facebook got their value out of their stock and the huge pop thing, it’s an unnatural state right, and we’ve always known it’s a natural thing, but it’s become expected because it happens every time. But in Facebook’s case, that pop didn’t happen, so everybody treated that as an automatic bad thing, but in reality, it just means that it was priced correctly, at least initially.
Jason Calacanis: And the two stocks track almost identically, which is incredible. Zynga down seventy percent, year-to-date. Facebook down forty-five percent year-to-date. It’s amazing, they track almost in-sync. In fact they were exactly in-sync and then there was this bifurcation I guess in June, when Zynga just took a much bigger hit than Facebook did.
Dave Mathews: I think people stopped farming in the summer because it got a little too hot.
Jason Calacanis: A little too hot in summer. Yeah, I wish Mark the best. I hope it works out. And I think that, you know, everybody’s looking for that secondary they did and he sold two hundred million dollars in shares or whatever. Oh my God, they just flushed it, they didn’t know this was coming. Nobody expects this right, Erik, I mean.
Erik Rannala: I wouldn’t think this dramatic, yeah.
Jason Calacanis: No. And the revenue picture, how much exactly did they change the short 2012 estimate? Was it…
Kirin Kalia: It wasn’t by much. It was like somewhere around five-ten percent of the range or lower.
Jason Calacanis: Right. It just shows you, you know, how finicky Wall street is. Like if something is off five percent, they just do not wanna be involved because I think what they’re used to is if something goes down five percent, it’s a much more likely scenario that it’s gonna continue, the problem’s gonna continue to get worse, right. The problem typically always doesn’t have a rebound.
Erik Rannala: Yeah, I think they’re interpreting a trend. It’s not the five percent, it’s the direction, it’s the trend.
Jason Calacanis: And so it’s the downward trend that I just railed on Facebook, that people don’t wanna hang out on Facebook. Zynga’s problem is Facebook’s problem, which is, Facebook has an ecosystem in a place to hang out is getting ickier and ickier.
Dave Mathews: Nobody wanted to be on AOL, right.
Jason Calacanis: At a certain point, with these social networks and these things, it’s just, people don’t wanna be there. And is there any solution? Because Facebook now Erik, has to raise revenue and earnings, right. It has to make more money. So now, they star doing garbage things like promote your engagement, promote your baptism, whatever, promote your birthday, you know. Self-promotion is the death of like, social networks. To try to get people to pay, to try to beg for seven dollars from their billion members, like…
Erik Rannala: It seems like such a, such a departure from where they were six years ago right, when Zuck would summarily fire people away, wouldn’t even interview them, would walk out of an interview if they were pressing him on revenue, right. And now to get to the point where they’re sort of hocking promoted, you know, promote your engagement…
Jason Calacanis: It’s so cheap.
Erik Rannala: You know, it’s like hundred and eighty degrees different from what their…
Dave Mathews: We’re not gonna get rid of this now, ‘cause we’re gonna get maps now and when you do a Google Maps search, there’s promoted content inside there, that’s killing me.
Jason Calacanis: That’s gotta stop. Yeah, Google’s gotta stop that. Like, literally let me pay five dollars a year for my map product and take the damn ads off of it. That is the stupidest move on Google’s part. And Google is crushing it now in terms of revenue, the stocks are at an all-time high, seven hundred and fifty bucks is Google or something. The chart you really wanna look at is Google versus Facebook. And it was hystErikal. Two years ago on this program, three years ago, everyone’s telling me how Facebook’s gonna crush Google. I don’t know, if I would bet against Google, they’re got this really established business, that like clockwork, keeps growing.
Dave Mathews: Yeah, utility.
Jason Calacanis: And Facebook’s is totally unproven. And look at this bifurcation here. You had just at the beginning of the year, obviously they start out at the same. And Google and everybody takes a little dip and the market had its little correction in May or whatever, and then Google, let me do year-to-date ‘cause that’s even better. Oh, you know what, you can’t. You gotta do it from the April, the April IPO. But since Facebook’s IPO, Google’s up twenty-three percent, Facebook’s down forty-five. That’s a seventy-five points swing. In six months. Facebook is gonna have zero impact on Google and this is what all the people said. Google doesn’t have to worry about social, I mean why is Google even doing Google Plus, they should just skip social. And I said well, it’s not gonna cost them that much, they might as well try. I think those people are turning out to be geniuses. Like, why even bother with this social network, they’re this transient places that, yeah people spend a lot of time on them, but they’re so hard to monetize. And the second you try to monetize them, you look like you’re just interrupting people at a dinner party.
Dave Mathews: They’re taking what, circles and bringing it into Google chat now, so there’s hangouts part of gchat. So you can bring, it’s interesting to watch how they build all these properties and then they just shuffle them around. Move in other elements.
Erik Rannala: I’m surprised that Facebook hasn’t…
Jason Calacanis: That’s something that Google’s not good at. That is like, cross-product integration is terrible at Google.
Erik Rannala: And social. They just haven’t really, they haven’t…
Jason Calacanis: Well, like yeah, local in Zagat is part of Google Plus. I’m like, it is?! They’re gonna get to that one, I was like, why is Zagat being, Zagat being put inside of Google Plus. Shouldn’t that be a part of…?
Dave Mathews: Force people into the platform right…
Jason Calacanis: No, that was a terrible idea.
Erik Rannala: I’m shocked that Facebook hasn’t done anything around search. It feels like to me that that’s the one…
Dave Mathews: Bing.
Erik Rannala: Yeah sort of. But it’s more of a translate gate. It’s a very small kind of, around the edges effort, I mean…
Jason Calacanis: Well, they did say in the Mike Arrington interview, Zuck said search is something they’re going to get to.
Kirin Kalia: And Sheryl confirmed that this week.
Jason Calacanis: And Sheryl confirmed it this week, which either, and I’ve always said they’re going to do it but, Matt do you think he said that in a pre-meditated way, in order to get the stock to go up and get people excited again or did Mike Arrington get him to slip up and mention that, and then Sheryl said, oh, the stock went up when you talked about it, let’s talk about it more ‘cause the market seems to like that concept. What do you think?
Matthew Panzarino: Yeah, I mean, that’s a good point ‘cause Mike Arrington is pretty good at that, but he’s been pretty measured. I mean, you can tell he’s been working with speech coaches and presentation coaches massively over the past year. I mean, he’s definitely a lot better presenter now than he has been, so maybe it was calculative, maybe it was a move to say, let’s just put this out there, let’s just drop this. You know, um, it’s definitely something that they could approach differently than Google because they have such an immense graph of connections between people. They can deliver search results that maybe personal in a different way. So I mean, I can definitely see the pitch for it, it’s just, it’s like Apple taking on maps. There’s just so much work there, that I’m not sure they even realize it internally, you know…
Jason Calacanis: You know, if they do realize it internally, they wouldn’t do it. I mean if you understand exactly how hard it is to do, you wouldn’t do it. As a matter of fact, Microsoft, they don’t think would do being a second time after all the losses and the pain in the ass it’s been for them, I don’t know if they’d actually go after it again. Let’s do the next story.
Kirin Kalia: Okay, another story you’re interested in, the Craigslist-Padmapper-3taps sorta situation. Craigslist quietly launched Map View this week so you can actually see live apartment listings on area map, you can zoom in for detail and hover over individual listings, with like Craigslist peace signs and have a little pop-up with individual info about the apartment or the house. And so we saw it first earlier this week in Portland, as of yesterday San Francisco. The maps are powered by a company called Leaflet which is an open-source library for maps and as we know, Craigslist had sent a seasoned assist to Padmapper over the summer and it’s now suing 3taps for copyright infringement, 3taps is counter-suing for anti-competitive behavior. So just from a product basis, I’m just kinda curious what you guys think, is the Craigslist Map View ad good, better or worse than what Padmapper was doing before and you know, Craigslist has been around forever and internet-terms, why has it taken this long for Startups to force Craigslist to actually do something innovative?
Jason Calacanis: What do you boys think?
Dave Mathews: Man, Padmapper was the coolest mashup, it’s just when I moved to LA, it was working really well for me to try and find a place as I was figuring out the communities.
Jason Calacanis: Yeah.
Dave Mathews: And um, for them to, it was a weird smack down because they want to let it used on mobile, which I thought was even better. I could be at a neighborhood restaurant, I could click on the Padmapper mobile link and then see all the places nearby.
Jason Calacanis: Right. Obvious feature.
Dave Mathews: Yep, so great. But the, when you bite the ecosystem that feeds you, how does that work?!
Jason Calacanis: Yeah I don’t know.
Erik Rannala: Yeah, I mean I think it’s frankly disappointing right. I mean, Craigslist has always positioned itself is this, uh, you know, uh, almost as a utility and a community service in some sense. But yeah, they won’t open it up to folks who’re trying to build on top of it and build better products as part of that community service. So, it’s a little bit disingenuous of themselves to position themselves as this kind of community service but not let other folks build on top of it.
Dave Mathews: Yes, it kinda reminds me of the days of RSS readers. Right, Jason?
Jason Calacanis: Yeah!
Dave Mathews: You know this. Remember when people were aggregating news and newspage and all that stuff. Even Drudge Report had these issues right. And when RSS got ad insertion within the feeds, that gave RSS readers a little more life. But I guess who does RSS anymore?!
Jason Calacanis: Right. And it goes, I think it speaks to a major point, uh, is they’ve building on another platform. Like if you build a feature for some other big entity and you’re successful, you’ve basically told them, build that feature.
Dave Mathews: Well, eBay had this too. Think of all the companies eBay shutout that would help you list ads and host photos. I mean, even PayPal right, they did their own bill pay and…
Jason Calacanis: Yeah. And it’s not even working, I mean it’s very weird. I just went to apartments and I did like a three-bedroom search and it’s coming up with zero results, it makes no sense. Anyway, Matthew what do you think? I mean, I actually read about this first on The Next Web, I think they broke the story.
Matthew Panzarino: Yeah yeah, they did a good job taking care of that. I mean, we’ve following this for a while. Everything since the Padmapper thing dropped and I think it popped up on Hacker News and we picked it up from there and ran with it and did some research into it. Obviously, Craig is a history of kind of being very very protective, on the web and desktop of Craigslist’s API and of its data. On mobile strangely enough, he doesn’t really touch it so people that billed mobile apps with Craigslist data, there hasn’t been a whole big history there of him going after them. But on the web or desktop, he will aggressively pursue it and go after them and shut them down. Um, obviously with Padmapper there seems to be this, you know, obvious like, hey I was already building this so he wants them to shut down but I just don’t see, I don’t know, I mean in one aspect, obviously shutting a competitor down like that is gonna look very very very bad. And it does look bad, and it is bad for him in general. But, it’s definitely, if you’ve got a weak product building team, or you’re not confident in your ability to lever a class A product, what do you do? You limit the competition, that’s my feeling.
Jason Calacanis: Yeah, I agree and I think Craig has just wanted to keep the business small, and I think he’s a fan of like, Mac changing interfaces and with all this scraping going on, we had the founder and CEO of 3taps, 3taps on the program and his, the interesting argument he had was, listen, you cannot, uh, copyright facts, facts or facts. People try to do it with phone books, they can’t and if I can get those facts, however I get them, scraping whatever. And you know, we had Gil from uh, what’s Gil Elbaz’s company?!
Erik Rannala: Factual.
Jason Calacanis: Factual! We had Gil from Factual on and he said the same thing to me. Facts are facts, you can’t copyright facts. Now, what you can do is you could sue somebody for hammering your servers and ripping this data off of it. If you win that or you lose that, I don’t know that, I don’t know that that’s ever gone to trial. So I would be interested in it if the judge would say, well if you put it out there in the public and then you go scrape my website and they say my terms of service say you can’t scrape my website and the judge will say, well you don’t get to have that.
Dave Mathews: Twitter sells this as the Firehose feed right.
Jason Calacanis: Right.
Dave Mathews: So there is ways to monetize your data.
Jason Calacanis: Right. But if Twitter says you can’t and I scrape their servers, I guess they could sue me for you know, the load bearing on the servers and breaking the terms of service. But terms of service, just ‘cause you have a terms of service, doesn’t mean it’s legally binding. And then additionally, what they said that 3taps is going to search engines and other places that are syndicating Craigslist and indexing it, ‘cause Craigslist lets itself be indexed.
Erik Rannala: Yeah, by Google.
Jason Calacanis: By Google. And they’re just taking the abstract and they only need the abstract ‘cause Google is so smart that they put in the abstract the most relevant information like the bedrooms and the amount, so they just pull that information only.
Erik Rannala: They can even take the cached version from Google right.
Jason Calacanis: Yeah, that’s what I asked him and he was like, yeah we can do that too. He was a little circumspect about… Circumspect, is that right?
Kirin Kalia: Sure.
Jason Calacanis: Sure. He was a little unclear about how they did it. But he did say they got it from Google and other places.
Erik Rannala: Because Google’s got cached version, full cached version…
Jason Calacanis: Full cached version. Unless you say cache off right…
Erik Rannala: Yeah.
Jason Calacanis: I mean, you can turn the cache off. So, um, interesting. And I guess what this is going to do is we’re going to see Craigslist start adding more and more features.
Erik Rannala: Hopefully.
Jason Calacanis: I think they should charge, they should have an API and they should just charge a very generous amount for it. Like just make it expensive. Like it’s up to ten thousand queries a day is free, once you get over ten thousand, or whatever one percent or two percent of listings is, then you have to pay ten cents a listing.
Erik Rannala: Yeah.
Jason Calacanis: Make it exorbitant, you know.
Dave Mathews: But the only way they’re making money is job postings right.
Jason Calacanis: Right. But the API in Padmapper, then Padmapper would have to come and say like, and I’d just go to Padmapper and say like, how much are you making per year? We want fifty percent, that’s the way I do it.
Erik Rannala: So in LA…
Jason Calacanis: That is what I’d say to Padmapper. Whatever money you make, we want fifty percent. And it’s a year over year deal, and we renegotiate every year and you’ve to give us your complete revenue.
Dave Mathews: But I pay twenty bucks, just like Carfax, um, Westside Rentals here in Los Angeles, they have set themselves to be great services.
Jason Calacanis: Yeah.
Dave Mathews: Annual Paid for you know, two months, three months, however much time you need for these things, so.
Jason Calacanis: Let’s move on, let’s move on. Next story. Matthew, you have anything to add?
Matthew Panzarino: What’s that?
Jason Calacanis: Anything to add to the mapping, uh…
Matthew Panzarino: No. I mean, I think it’s, we’re definitely gonna see more features for Craigslist but if it moves at the pace that he has been moving, it’s gonna be a long time before we see the next one.
Jason Calacanis: Yeah, I mean, I think it’s pretty clear who’s gonna win this battle long term. It’s not gonna be Craig, it’s gonna be the people doing the scraping, in fact, for facts kinda people are gonna win and it’s just a matter of you know, how Craig can catch up and fight the barbarians at the gate off. Next story.
Kirin Kalia: All right, Jason, so…
Jason Calacanis: Just two more stories.
Kirin Kalia: Let’s talk about the TripAdvisor acquisition of WanderFly. We talked about this one our little news discussion earlier this week, but for the benefit of everyone else, so financial terms were not disclosed. This is TripAdvisor’s first acquisition in 2012. WanderFly actually came out with a 2.0 at the launch festival this year. It kinda has a Pinterest-looking feel. WanderFly did raise 1.4 million from Roser Ventures, Dave Moran and our very own Jason here. And of course we know, TripAdvisor is a huge company, 4.75 billion market cap. So I guess, for you guys where is the social travel space headed? And was this a good outcome for WanderFly?
Jason Calacanis: I can’t talk of the specifics of the deal ‘cause I’m in the deal, obviously, you know, I have responsibility there, but it’s a great team and places like TripAdvisor need teams like this for building cutting-edge products and so I think, for TripAdvisor, this is a really awesome deal. Uh, you know, as an angel, you always wanna see people go big and keep pushing. But you have to be as an angel, I have to, you know, be at peace with the fact that I don’t get to decide the fate of the company. And I have investors in my company and they can have an influence over that, but as a small investor, you don’t really have much influence, right…
Dave Mathews: We’ve got a TripAdvisor guy right here.
Jason Calacanis: Oh, we do?!
Erik Rannala: Yeah, I was VP of Product at TripAdvisor, long time ago.
Jason Calacanis: Oh, what do you think?
Erik Rannala: I mean, I think, you know, I don’t know the numbers on WanderFly, but uh, I don’t know if it was a good deal or not for them frankly but uh, I have to imagine this was mostly kind of a talent acquisition at this point, there traffic was still really small. And uh, beautiful product, great team. And you know, great pick up for TripAdvisor because I think, like you said, I think social, no one’s really cracked as far as travel goes. And it’s a tough category, you know, it’s a tough, it’s a very expensive category to drive traffic. There’s a lot of money sloshing around, there’s a lot of revenue…
Jason Calacanis: In the hotels side right?
Erik Rannala: Hotels. And that’s where TripAdvisor always had strength.
Jason Calacanis: Yeah. They don’t make any money out of flights. Flight sucks.
Erik Rannala: Air, there’s no money in air. Air is a broken industry.
Jason Calacanis: Four bucks, five bucks a ticket right.
Erik Rannala: Yeah. Best case. Yeah, so hotels is where all the money is and that’s where TripAdvisor’s been strong, so I think anyone that figures out social travel, is gonna have a great business. But nobody’s cracked it yet. But WanderFly, I mean, built a beautiful product and um, it’s a great team, so I think it’s a great pick for TripAdvisor.
Jason Calacanis: All right, next story. Next story.
Kirin Kalia: All right. Uh, let’s talk about Google introducing its new Ad format lightbox. So you guys might have known that this was Ad Week in New York. Um, it’s a standard ad size and if you hover over it for two seconds, it’ll expand into one of those super-size kinda takeovers and advertisers will only pay when the ad is expanded. And they claim that the smart hover has eliminated nearly one hundred percent of accidental expansions and you of course can put Youtube videos, games, photos, whatever you like in those expanded ads. And they’re claiming that this has very high return on investment. One dollar invested returned uh, one dollar seventy return in sales. They’re saying it’s 2.4 time more effective than a TV ad spend. So I know, display advertising is not the sexiest business in the world, did Google actually do something to reinvent it and will this work on mobile. They haven’t launched it on Google yet.
Jason Calacanis: Yeah.
Dave Mathews: And then there was pop-ups to make them even more aggravating.
Jason Calacanis: I mean, advertising has to be disruptive in order to be effective. Correct or not?
Dave Mathews: Yeah, correct. But, we’re targeting, we could do better, we could look at the heuristics of what I’m doing…
Jason Calacanis: Well I mean they are targeting, I just got Hiscox ads and Samsung ads, because I’d been to the Hiscox ad and they’re retargeting me. And I got a Samsung ad because I was on an Apple search for Steve Jobs, you know, it’s like we are doing the retargeting. So for me, if that was the retarget over the Hiscox ad, and I’d been on ThisWeekIn Startups or I watched the video, like to me, it’d be great that it popped open and I got a little bit more information. It was beautiful so I…
Erik Rannala: Yeah.
Dave Mathews: Yeah, but that’s cool, but there’s nothing more aggravating than moving your mouse across the page or just…
Jason Calacanis: Well, they said two seconds right?
Kirin Kalia: Right.
Jason Calacanis: It doesn’t go, you’ve to hover over it for two seconds. It’s not like that. I agree with you. There are some people who are doing this thing where like, on Business Insider, like, which I don’t even go to anymore, now that we’ve have like, the Ticker DOTE going. I used to go to Business Insider, TechMeme, TechCrunch like all the time. Like ten times a day each or five times a day, five times a day each. Now I just watch, you know, launch ticker dot com and I don’t even go to it once a day, just to see if my writers happen to miss something that I would’ve liked but, oh God, when you hover over something and it takes over your page, huh…
Erik Rannala: Yeah, disruptive works, but it’s not ideal. I think relevant is a lot better.
Jason Calacanis: That’s right.
Erik Rannala: Relevant is what really works. I mean, look at AdWords, I mean that works.
Jason Calacanis: And the retargeting seems to be working brilliantly. Like, I’m getting followed all over the web for stuff I search for. It is amazing, like, things I’m looking at on Amazon, I’m then getting retargeted to on other sites…
Kirin Kalia: I thought you used Disconnect, Jason.
Jason Calacanis: I do. Yeah, sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.
Kirin Kalia: Okay. So you’re not…
Jason Calacanis: It depends. Sometimes I think, Disconnect the way I use it is, I’ll have it off, I’ll have it on and then will turn it off for like, certain sites and stuff like that. So I use it on and off depending.
Erik Rannala: Is it a Firefox-Chrome plug-in?
Jason Calacanis: It’s a Chrome thing, that just takes off the, the, the really annoying part about it is sometimes they don’t have that plus one button there so what I wish is, I wish they’d have the plus one button there and just, it puts like another plain box, but what I want to do is still see the button, but have the button neutered so I press the button and I gotta talk to Brian about it, then it actually like, redoes the button and then I can click it. You know, so I can still see the button ‘cause extra get there, I wanna Google Plus this. But I use this thing only to pull-buffer now. But anyway, the really interesting thing that I heard was, Google on Youtube, you know the skip the ads, the five seconds?
Erik Rannala: Yeah.
Dave Mathews: Yeah.
Jason Calacanis: Every ad has that now. I don’t think you can run an ad on Youtube without that now. Matthew, I don’t know if you wanna look that up if it’s true or not, but you can’t look at an ad without getting that five-second skip. Somebody told me the creative on Google-Youtube is now a thousand percent better and the drop-off rates have totally leveled off, because the advertises don’t have a choice. It’s the publisher’s choice to allow that, or it maybe it’s not even the publisher’s choice, maybe they just force it on everybody. The creative has gone whoosh, and I don’t know if you’ve noticed it but the first five or ten seconds of every video on Youtube is really clever now, it’s smart and fun and bright. It’s not like these boring, ugly ads. Creative’s gonna have to get better if…
Dave Mathews: So you’re saying people aren’t clicking the skip button because the ads are so awesome on Youtube?
Jason Calacanis: Exactly!
Dave Mathews: Meh!
Jason Calacanis: Exactly. No, some of them are. Some of them you don’t even realize it’s an ad and, it feels like a Youtube video or like, a Vimeo video. It’s starts off with like, there was somebody doing bike tricks and I’m watching this bike tricks thing last night and it’s for like a man grooming, Gillette-like uh, what do you call those things?!
Dave Mathews: Manscaper.
Jason Calacanis: A hair trimmer. A manscaper, right. But this manscaper’s incredible. This manscaper’s like, it’s got a digital readout, so you can make like, instead of like, it’s like a one-two-three to buzz your hair.
Dave Mathews: Yeah, dial in…
Jason Calacanis: You could dial in like 1.35, like you’ve literally, it’s got a digital readout.
Kirin Kalia: Was this the ad or the video you were watching?
Jason Calacanis: Well, the video, um, what is this hair trimmer, no, it wasn’t a Gillette hair trimmer. God, I’ll never be able to guess this ‘cause I saw it on Youtube, but anyway, the point is, it was, it was an ad for this hair trimming thing and it was a guy doing freestyle-like biking. You know, like those, what do you call that biking?
Dave Mathews: BMX?
Jason Calacanis: BMX, yeah. It was like freestyle BMX, and it was sick. Sick sick sick. Like the craziest, like through San Francisco stuff, and I watched the whole thing. Freestyle BMX, let’s see what’s in the ad spots here. No. It was so crazy this thing, like this guy was doing the best tricks I’ve ever seen like parkour style like, through the streets of San Francisco. So I think everybody’s moving their ads to that. It’s just gonna all be content with you know, a little bit of advertising embedded in the content.
Dave Mathews: Throw in some James Earl Jones voice-over and boom, got an ad.
Jason Calacanis: Well no, I mean, look at this show, I’m gonna rejoin ad for two products I really like and I use and uh…
Dave Mathews: That’s TalkRadio.
Jason Calacanis: It’s TalkRadio but, I think that’s what’s going to, on Youtube, it’s gonna be, if you’re gonna, you know, promote your product to me, whatever it is, a phone or whatever. It better be funny or interesting or beautiful or relevant, or people are gonna skip.
Dave Mathews: But because television came out of radio, remember the Colgate Palmolive Comedy Hour right, so you’d have the same situation. We’re just going back in time.
Jason Calacanis: Right. So what do you think about the Lightbox, Matthew? Lightbox and Youtube skip ahead, what do you think, Matthew?
Matthew Panzarino: Well, I mean the pre-roll thing I’ve a thought on too, but as far as the Lightbox goes, what stood out to me was that they really stressed this eliminates nearly one hundred percent of accidental expansion, right so the accidental click thing I think is becoming a major problem, especially on mobile. So I would look for new ad products from Google, to be fixing that problem a lot more. ‘Cause that I think is a big big issue that a lot of, a lot of ad-buys are concentrating on. And I think that Google is looking to put aside those fears that you know, these people are not getting accidental clicks, they’re getting true clicks. But as far as the TrueView stuff, the pre-roll, I mean, that’s the whole reason Google was fine with Apple, you know, kicking their Youtube app off. I mean, they released their Youtube app with their own pre-roll ads on the iPhone, which is where they get a mass amount of Youtube views mobile. You know, probably more than Android if the usage numbers are any, you know, identifier.
Jason Calacanis: Yeah, of course.
Matthew Panzarino: So I think that they’re, they’re hot on the TrueView and I think it doesn’t mean like, back in June of 2011 I think, the said, like thirty percent of all people watched the ads. And thirty percent is, anybody in ads knows that’s enormous, you know.
Jason Calacanis: Yeah.
Matthew Panzarino: So I mean, I think it’s definitely good. And I’m with you, I’ve watched them and one of them was like an entire performance from a concert and I watched the whole thing. For like, you know, seven minutes or whatever.
Jason Calacanis: Yeah, all right, Matthew. Watch this for a second, tell me what you think.
(Plays Facebook’s ‘Things that Connect Us’ video again on Youtube)
Dave Mathews: I gotta go. I’m out. I’m done.
Jason Calacanis: All right, did you get that? Basketball. Dance floors. And a great nation. What is, what do these three things have in common? Basketball.
Matthew Panzarino: Uh-huh.
Tyler Crowley: Dance floors.
Jason Calacanis: Dance floors. And a great nation. Yeah, I feel like, this is like, what was the…
Erik Rannala: Like chairs.
Jason Calacanis: What was the, what was the bit on Johnny Carson where you, Kreskin?
Dave Mathews: Oh yeah.
Jason Calacanis: Chairs, a great nation and dance floors.
Matthew Panzarino: Oh my God! They all involve more than one person? I have no idea.
Dave Mathews: What is Douche space?
Jason Calacanis: What is a priest, a rabbi, and uh, uh, uh, whatever! You know what I’m talking about. I mean, this is so great. Was it Kreskin? I think it was Kreskin.
Dave Mathews: I think so. I think you’re right.
Jason Calacanis: Kreskin-Johnny Carson. For the kids who’re watching this, who’ve absolutely no idea what Kreskin is, no it wasn’t Kreskin, what was this, it was Shwarmy, what was this, what’d they call that? When he wore the…
Dave Mathews: Does someone in-chat know this? So that we can get the show done.
Jason Calacanis: Carnac. Carnac!
Erik Rannala: Carnac.
Dave Mathews: Carnac!
Jason Calacanis: Carnac. Carnac. Carnac the Magnificent. Here we go, watch this everybody, for those who don’t know. Watch the seventeen-second ad. Look at that ad.
(Plays ‘Carnac the Magnificent with Predictions about Snoopy and Taxi Driver’ video on Youtube)
Matthew Panzarino: So cute!
Jason Calacanis: So cute. You’re not gonna skip that. Look, no skip. Seventeen seconds. No skip. All right, here we go. For kids who don’t know what bit we’re doing. We should do this on the show. It’s gonna be hysterical. Tyler and I did it.
Dave Mathews: I liked that he walked the wrong way when he came out.
Jason Calacanis: Yeah. Envelope number one.
Dave Mathews: I think that’s a publisher’s clearing house check.
Jason Calacanis: Thank you for tuning in to ThisWeekIn Startups. What an amazing program, Matthew, Dave, huh…
Tyler Crowley: Before we’re done, there’s one other, I think the cool thing Google did this week was their Google Wallet pay-per-viewing of content. Though with the twist to it…
Jason Calacanis: Oh, look at that, Tyler all of a sudden woke up.
Tyler Crowley: Yes.
Jason Calacanis: Yeah, what was that, Tyler? Explain.
Tyler Crowley: The Google…
Jason Calacanis: The microtransactions.
Tyler Crowley: The microtransaction paywall for content. But the unique twist which is, you can say, if you weren’t happy or not with the content and you’d get an instant refund.
Jason Calacanis: If thirty second, if you didn’t like the paywall, you can go back, yes.
Dave Mathews: They had to do something ‘cause no one was using Google Wallet. I bought an Android phone and I still have twenty-five bucks in that account that I can’t spend. I’ve actually tried to spend it. And Harry McCracken, my buddy, he said, the write, he said he tried to live for a month on Google Wallet. And he said most of the time his wife just paid cash for what they needed to do.
Jason Calacanis: Yeah, Google Wallet is just terrible. I don’t know why they couldn’t make that work. But yeah, I think this is a really interesting idea. I hope it works, but micropayments have never worked. In, in the nineties, we used to talk about micropayments all the time. In your web browser, it’d be a certain amount of money. In your explorer, was thinking about doing it, everybody was thinking about doing it. And you’d pay a penny per page or a tenth of a penny…
Tyler Crowley: Perhaps one of the most talked about concept that never really came…
Jason Calacanis: And the reason, you know the reason why?
Dave Mathews: Why?
Jason Calacanis: The reason why it was cognitive, it required a decision and the cognition required to make a decision every time you look at an article. It was so annoying to people, that they were just like, screw it, I’m not gonna do it. They’ve to make a decision. What this does is, it’s like, oh it’s just a couple of pennies, and if I click, on, if they really make it that easy that if you click on something and say refund, it’s gotta be flawless, which is, it should go “ding” and it should put like, one cent on the top right of your browser and then you should just be able to click it and say refund. And what’s gonna happen is, people are gonna feel guilty. What I like about this idea and why it had a five percent chance of working whereas other micropayments have a zero chance of working, what 0.1 percent, is that, if there was no, if there’s an instant refund, you might just be like, oh it’s a good donation, you may feel okay about it. And you’re not going to have that cognitive dissonance.
Kirin Kalia: What about Copper? The folks we had at the launch festival?
Jason Calacanis: Right. And Copper I liked because that was donation only, you weren’t forced to pay. It was only on the donations side. So Copper, which is a great example, was another thing that I think those things could work if it’s really, is truly just one click-one touch. I mean, look at something like, uh, Kickstarter. Like that idea was out there fifteen years before it, and people wrote uh, the street performer was like, somebody had written this paper, the street performer or something like that. And how street performers could do this as a technique. The public street performer, the public, you remember this paper?
Erik Rannala: Yeah.
Jason Calacanis: Somebody did a paper basically around this concept of Kickstarter and then other people tried to implement…
Dave Mathews: Groupon started as a Kickstarter as well.
Jason Calacanis: Yeah.
Dave Mathews: It was a community-based messageware. But let’s go back in time to 1998, you remember…
Jason Calacanis: But things can change is my point, in commerce. And then something has fundamentally changed in commerce with Groupon and with Kickstarter, so it could fundamentally change in the payment for content. It could. If executed well.
Dave Mathews: Remember in ’98 New York, Whoopi Goldberg had ads all over.
Jason Calacanis: Yeah, Flooz!
Dave Mathews: Yep, there it is.
Jason Calacanis: Flooz. Awesome! Flooz!
Dave Mathews: What’s old again is new.
Jason Calacanis: I think she also, didn’t she diss it at some point? She like, dodn’t know what it was. I think that was the problem. They hired Whoopi for millions of dollars and she didn’t know what it was. I wish we had a Flooz commercial. Flooz Whoopi, look at…
Kirin Kalia: We have enough young kids who don’t even remember that one either, Jason.
Jason Calacanis: Yes, I know. Oh God, things with people are old. All right, anyway, Matthew, you have any thoughts about the Google payment system, you gonna put it on The Next Web?
Matthew Panzarino: Uh, yeah I don’t know, it just isn’t anything yet. It’s all just a morphus and they haven’t figured out into how to make it indispensable and until they do, then it’ll just be nothing. It’ll be a side project.
Jason Calacanis: Yeah, I mean, people would, it’s be really cool if it was integrated into Youtube, where it’d be like I could watch this video or movie and it’d cost a dollar.
Dave Mathews: I’d pay a couple of cents to get rid of an ad. ‘Cause when I got to Youtube, I…
Jason Calacanis: Yeah, but what if it was a dollar and then you said, at any point during the first whatever ten percent of the video, you could click refund.
Dave Mathews: Or if you bail out of the video. If quit watching.
Jason Calacanis: if you quit watching, that’s a great idea. That’d be amazing.
Dave Mathews: Yeah, I need a patent, that’s it, right now.
Jason Calacanis: You motherF-er with your patents. You stop with those patents.
Dave Mathews: I gotta go. I gotta go. Time to go.
Jason Calacanis: I told you with those patents. Now this would be a great patent though, you’re right. I pad it first, I pad it first, I do it and here it is, there’s the schematic, I get it before you.
Dave Mathews: Right.
Jason Calacanis: You have no pad. Hold on.
Dave Mathews: Yeah, so we need to, I need you to write this up immediately.
Jason Calacanis: Everybody knows I came up with it first. I have the video. I own the video.
Dave Mathews: I made it better. I made it better.
Jason Calacanis: I’m editing the video. I’m editing the video. I had this idea first. Now imagine you’re watching television and all the pay-per-view channels were there, you could start anything, and the first ten minutes of the movie were free. And when it got to the ten-minute mark, you went charging your card in ten, nine, change the channel, eight…
Dave Mathews: What Terk TV does is…
Erik Rannala: They do this for pay-per-view actually.
Dave Mathews: Just the first few minutes and then you hit the button.
Jason Calacanis: Oh, really?
Erik Rannala: Yeah.
Dave Mathews: Yeah.
Jason Calacanis: So then somebody does have the patent apparently.
Erik Rannala: They don’t have the patent, but they’re doing it, somebody’s doing it.
Jason Calacanis: Oh! Thank you so much, Hiscox. Everybody follow @Hiscoxsmallbiz on their Twitter
account, just go ahead and thank them for their support of the program. Thank you @squarespace. Thank you Eric, Dave, Matthew, Tyler, Kirin, Brandus, everybody. And hey, when was Caroline’s last day?
Kirin Kalia: It was Tuesday.
Jason Calacanis: I wasn’t here.
Kirin Kalia: You were here.
Jason Calacanis: I didn’t see her. She didn’t say goodbye. Hey Caroline, if you’re listening, gosh, thanks for all the…
Dave Mathews: Do you really think she’s listening?
Jason Calacanis: No.
Dave Mathews: No? But it was nice, it was good.
Jason Calacanis: No, we don’t like to say goodbye on the air. But if she wasn’t here, I’d have brought her in for a second. Caroline was great. And she’s going out to do her dream and work in food, and uh, be a cheese gourmand. (Imitates Carnac) What does Cheese and Jason Calacanis have to do with each other?
Dave Mathews: Stinky. Both stinky.
Jason Calacanis: Stinky. Anyway Caroline, thanks for all the effort and somebody on the staff should send her a little “You’re…”. You did a great job, you should be proud and we’re gonna miss you a whole bunch for all the great things you did here. We’ll see everybody next time on ThisWeekIn Startups.
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