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On today’s TWiST Round Table, the panel discusses the death of Aaron Swartz, who stood out at CES, Facebook search, and we get on update from SourceBits on Jason’s LAUNCH app!
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Jason: Hey, everybody. Hey, everybody. It’s Jason Calacanis. This is a very important episode of ThisWeekIn Startups. It’s our New Roundtable Edition. A lot of things happened this week. Facebook launched their search engine. Sadly, Aaron Swartz committed suicide. We’re going to talk about that. What else happened this week?
Kirin: A little thing called, Apple Cut Orders.
Jason: Apple cut orders on their phones, CES happened. Steve Levy had that great interview with Larry Page. There’s a lot going on. A lot of stuff I’m kind of hot under the collar about. It’s going to be an amazing episode. With me will be Declan McCullagh. Who is a long-term friend and just a brilliant columnist, over at CBS’s CNET. Eric Savitz, from Forbes.com, is with us for the first time. An old friend of mine. A really smart gentleman. Kirin’s going to read the news. It’s going to be an amazing episode. Stick. With. Us.
TWiST title sequence.
Jason: Hey, everybody. Hey, everybody. It’s Jason Calacanis. This is a very special edition of ThisWeekIn Startups. It is friday. We’re going to talk about a lot of stuff in the news. I’m going to have two very intelligent guests, today. Eric Savitz and Declan Mccullagh. You know their names. You’ve read their work. Two brilliant guys. I’ll have them on the program, in just a moment. We’re also going to be having the third edition of ThisWeekIn Startups Live. We don’t really tweet this or talk about this. The tickets sell out so quickly. Dave McClure will be with us, February 8th, at RocketSpace. We just had Phil Libin, at RocketSpace, from Evernote. Interestingly, all these guests agreed to do a raffle for lunch with them. Somebody got to go to lunch with Phil Libin. On their sushi wednesdays. Previously, with Jeff Clavier. We’ve had a great run. There was over 150 people there. Standing room only. Fantastic audience. Really smart people. It’s one of those things that I love about doing this show. That I have the smartest listeners on the planet. The questions were brilliant. Everybody is learning together. That’s what ThisWeekIn Startups is about. It’s about everybody learning. It’s about technology, starting companies, entrepreneurship and putting a dent in the universe. This is the real world manifestation of it. ThisWeekIn Startups Live. Go to twistlive3.eventbrite.com.
Jason: I’m getting good at reading like ads and stuff like that. Have you noticed that?
Kirin: Well, when you know them so well, it’s easy.
Jason: I’m getting good at it though. I think I’m getting rid of my nasally voice and I’m trying to get, a little bit more of a radio voice.
Kirin: You seem really serious, today.
Jason: I’m in a pretty serious mood. Anyway… Listen. I’m in a pretty serious mood. There’s a lot of business that we need to talk about. It’s going to be… There’s a lot of topics I want to talk about. Especially, the Aaron Swartz thing. Which has really been upsetting me. And, a lot of other things are upsetting me. I want to talk about all those things. I may be a live wire today. At the end of the program, my friends from Sourcebits will be on the program. As you know, we’re doing crowd funding at the Launch Festival, on March 4th, 5th, and 6th. The event’s doing fabulous. Isn’t it amazing? It’s so nice.
Kirin: It’s amazing.
Jason: It was the third year you’ve worked on it.
Kirin: It is.
Jason: The sixth year of the event. We’ve got such an amazing team. Demant and…
Jason: Krute. All you guys are just crushing it. Getting all these great companies, great guests. It’s going to be thousands of people there. We’re really going to help startups, a lot. If you would like to come to the event, go to festival.launch.co. Or just go to Launch.co and click on the ‘festival’ icon. Stay tuned, at the end. We’re going to talk about the crowd funding app, we’re going to do. This episode of ThisWeekIn Startups is brought to you by, our friends at eMinutes. They’re a law firm, with 20 years of service, to the biggest names in sports, music and film. They’ve embarked on a mission to incorporate 500 first time entrepreneurs, for free. They’ve done 350. There’s only 150 slots left. Go to eMinutes.com and sign up for that. They’ll pay the actual filing fees for you. Which are usually about $200-$300. Why do they do this? How do they do this? They are trying to help the startup community. Which makes them, very much, in line with our mission. They have a new service. It’s called entity management. That means managing your entity for corporate minutes and all this kind of stuff. It’s incredibly affordable. Only $135, per year. Their the experts in this. With over 10,000 companies enrolled. Their lawyers handle all the cooperate minutes and all the Secretary of State filings. All the stuff you have to do, to be in the good graces of your local municipality. If you want to keep the benefits of becoming g a corporation, you really have to do this. Make sure your company’s active and in good standing. Again, over 10,000 are enrolled in this program. Go to eMinutes.com. Really, thanks guys over at eMinutes. You’ve really supported the show, for years. I do appreciate it. On behalf of my audience. The smartest audience in the business. With me today, Eric Savitz, from Forbes.com. Eric, how are you doing?
Eric: I’m good. How are you?
Jason: Good. Formerly of Baron’s, of course. Many years, there.
Eric: I was at Baron’s for an eternity. I’ve been at Forbes, 13 years.
Jason: How long have you been writing about tech, by the way?
Eric: A long, long, long, long time. It takes us back to close to 30 years ago.
Eric: When I was a young wire service guy, working for Dow Jones, back in the mid 80s.
Jason: The big story in the 80s, of course, was?
Eric: The big story of the 80s? I spent a lot of my time writing about things like the mini-computer companies and Route 128.
Eric: Data General.
Jason: You’ve seen a lot and you know where the bodies are buried. It’s great to have you on the program, for the first time. Declan Mccullagh is back again. This is probably his… I don’t know… the fifth appearance. He works over at CNET. How are you doing Declan? Declan are you there? Can you hear me Declan?
Kirin: Oh, man.
Kirin: He looked like he was doing something.
Jason: You. Declan Mccullagh. You can’t hear me. Put your sound on Declan. Put your headset on. We will have Declan on, in a moment. Everybody knows, he’s over at CBS CNET. Declan, when your sound is working, let me know. Let’ s go to the first story.
Kirin: Alright. You said you wanted to start with Aaron?
Kirin; This was a pretty heavy story from last friday. Aaron was just 26. He committed suicide. He hung himself in his Brooklyn apartment. He is probably best known for co-creating the RSS standard, when he was just 14 years old. He was the founder of Demand Progress.org and co-fonder of Reddit. Now, the problem here was, the government was investigating his involvement in the theft of documents from JSTOR. He was using MITs network to download about 14M academic articles. Aaron really believed that information should be free. He was facing 13 felony counts of hacking and wire fraud, looking at fines, decades in prison. He was offered 6 months in federal prison.
Kirin: Supposedly. The US attorney, who was working on this case, Carmen Ortiz, she came out and said that their conduct was appropriate in bringing and handling this case. A lot of people have been criticizing the government for overzealously prosecuting it. Representative Zoe Lofgren, who’s district is in Northern California, she wants to amend the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act so that is excludes terms of service violations. Which was part of what was going on here. Do you think it’s fair to blame the government? We had the co-founder of Diaspora commit suicide last year. Is there something going on here?
Jason: There’s a lot going on here. First of all, we’re taking young people, our greatest resource and when they do… Obviously the spirit of the law here and the actual circumstance, combined with this Carmen Ortiz, who was clearly out to make a name for herself, but is now denying it. Clearly, she was one of these ambitious prosecutors. You see we have a broken system, where they’re just trying to layer on as many layers of charges as possible. To try to get the person to basically plea their case. What it means, I think for society is, unless you’re rich and you really want to… but you may be forced to face this incredible deluge of felony counts. It just means that they can, in a heavy-handed way, make you not have your day in court. I think it kinda screws up the legal process. Additionally, what the person did in this case, was clearly with a positive intent. The people who owned the actual content, did not want to see him prosecuted or persecuted.
Kirin: That’s true. JSTOR didn’t want to prosecute him.
Jason: MIT has a little blood on their hands too. I hate to say it, but they did not pull back on their…
Kirin: Right. They didn’t support him.
Jason: Harvard did. JSTOR did. MIT didn’t. MIT, shame on you. MIT community, shame on you. I think they have to take a deep, hard look at this. Now, could anybody anticipate that the person would kill themselves?
Kirin: He did have a history of depression.
Kirin: So, there’s some background there. His girlfriend was concerned because he had been really down.
Jason: Who’s not going to be down, when their faced with a life time in prison. I met Aaron before. I’m not going to claim to be good friends with him, or anything like that. I just met him. It’s just tragic. All these young people killing themselves, including the Diaspora founder, it’s just heart-breaking to me because these are incredibly talented people. The cases are probably different. What it shows is people are suffering. Highly intelligent people, put under stress, will do stuff like this. It seems to correlate actually with… in some sad, paradoxical way… the more intelligent the person is, it feels like the more depressed they get. Cause they realize how horrific the situation is, then suicide… this horrible option… becomes, in their minds, a viable one. Which is just tragic to me. I don’t know. What do you think, Declan?
Kirin: You know, Declan’s been on the air, about this.
Jason: Declan. We’re not getting you yet, Declan. Your sound is down. Why don’t you try, one more time. You may have to check your settings on your system preferences and in your GoTo Meeting. It’s two sets of system preferences. Let’s go to Eric. Eric, what are your thoughts on this? While we wait for Declan to get on here.
Eric: Obviously, it’s a huge tragedy. I think that what’s so alarming about it, in a way, is that the case that was brought against him, feels like he was being prosecuted criminally for kind of a commercial protest move. That the level of prosecutorial zealousness for the crime that was involved, seems way over the top. It’s obviously tragic, beyond tragic, that he chose to commit suicide. It’s hard to know whether you need to blame the prosecutor for doing that. might get some of the blame for that. Clearly, it feels like they were charging him with things that were well beyond the scope of the seriousness of what he was doing.
Jason: Declan, you’ve been following it. What are your thoughts?
Declan: I have been following it. I think the truth of the matter is, yes, we can probably blame the prosecutor. There was nobody who was harmed in this. Nobody had any data stolen. In the sense, the private data was accessed and published. All that happened is that Aaron Swartz had the right to download a small number of articles for his personal use, because he was affiliated with Harvard. He went to MITs campus and downloaded a large number, over a million, for his own personal use. Perhaps, to distribute. We don’t know because he got interrupted half way through. But, you don’t levy charges, including an additional 10 charges filed in a superseding indictment last fall, that could land this fellow in prison for a maximum of 50 years, 5 0 years, when the company the company that was allegedly wronged here, didn’t even care anymore. JSTOR has been saying since the last two years, that they’re done with this case and that they are not encouraging the prosecutor to pursue it. I think this prosecutor is facing some hard questions, justifiably so. I would not be upset if she resigned or were removed. I think there’s a congressional investigation underway, as well.
Jason: Yeah. Just in general, cyber crime, Declan, I know you’ve followed a lot of these legal issues. Prosecutions. Is there some sort of justification for this, sort of… Forget about justifications. Is the reason for this deluge of charges is because the system is desperate to have cases not go to court, because of expense? Therefore, the prosectors are just gaming the system saying, “Let’s just pile on as much as we can, get the person to fold their hands.” In a way, in a poker analogy would be just shoving all the chips in the middle and saying, “You have to fold now. There’s no way you can afford to fight this many charges.” In other words, is it just a crazy bullying tactic?
Declan: I’m not saying that the problem is specific to the prosecution of Aaron Swartz. I talked to an attorney that he had known, Harvey Silverglate. Who he’s known for over a decade and who he consulted early on, in this case. Harvey was busy on a book and couldn’t represent him, but he referred him to his old law firm. Harvey was predicting that this would have cost him over $1M. $1M if this went to trial. Defending against the Department of Justice, the world’s largest law firm, is that expensive. It’s not a case of just Aaron. This is the way prosecutors often run their business. It’s just that two things happened here, to bring it to light. The first is that the target committed suicide, instead of pleading guilty and going away quietly. The second is that the target of their prosecution had some powerful and influential friends. Including members of the media. Including Larry Lustig and Tim Berners Lee. Both, who spoke at his funeral. So they are able to raise the profile. This happens all the time. This is the way computer crime laws are written. If you talk to prosecutors, perhaps after they’ve had a few drinks and they’re being honest. They’ll say that federal law, not state law, but certainly federal law is written so broadly that they can indict anyone. Everyone has committed some felonies. So, you end up having to trust discretion. This case shows us, we can’t trust as much as we might like.
Jason: This is incredible disturbing. We really need to look at what is the goal here? If the person was doing identity theft, stealing money, and compromising civilians by taking mortgages out under their name and credit cards, and making their lives hell… I understand the tactic. Right?
Jason: Where is the judgement on this woman, this prosecutor, Carmen Oritiz’ judgement that this, essentially, gifted young man, with so much to give to society, who wanted…
Kirin: He broke the law. He broke the law and you will pay for breaking the law.
Jason: I know. It’s just ridiculous. There has to be some judgement.
Jason: Also, why not have the judgement to say, “Let’s let this one go. Let’s let this one off easy, so that we can actually fire the cannons and use our bullets on the next person who’s actually doing something that’s truly damaging to society?” Why not really, be looking at these people who act up like this… I don’t think he acted up that much. It’s so borderline if even what he did is illegal. Going into the broom closet and putting a computer there, to do some… It almost feels like it was a prank, in a way. A high tech prank. Like, “I’m going to take all the books out of the library”, kind of thing. It didn’t feel like it was…
Kirin: Sort of like a Wiki Leaks kind of thing. This information should be out there. No one should have to pay for this.
Jason: Even if he did release it, releasing some academic paper that nobody’s read in ten years…
Kirin: Nobody cares about.
Jason: … nor ever read, is not like Bradley Manning releasing some covert agent’s information. Bradley Manning being prosecuted, I have less sympathy for. He was under oath to protect those people and their identities. Whatever you think of the war, you don’t get to out every covert agent. If you do something that crazy, which it really was crazy what they did, him and the Wiki Leaks founder. Whatever his name is.
Kirin: Julian Assange.
Jason: Like Assange, that should pay the price. They did something that they knew was so, so wrong. But, this case is so different. Eric, what are your thoughts?
Eric: One thing that puzzles me is, why was there so much prosecutorial aggressiveness about the way that they went after this guy? I wonder, who is pushing the prosecutor to go after him, in this sort of tacky way? As you say, this was actually a victimless crime. These were, as you said, nobody was reading these papers. He didn’t really distribute them anywhere. I’m not sure I understand why the government chose to approach it, in this way, if he was truly committing heinous acts. It’s very peculiar.
Jason: Perhaps, when you mix this over-zealous prosecutor…who has absolutely no judgement, empathy, obviously. This vicious, personal personality. I don’t know the person. This is, obviously, a very vicious person who’s trying to…
Kirin: She was very career driven.
Jason: Very career driven, vicious person who doesn’t… just looks through Aaron as an object. Then you put on the other side, someone who’s on the borderline anyway. This person, obviously, had talked about… Aaron had talked about…
Kirin: His depression.
Jason: … his depression. I think he had talked about suicide at some point on his site, or something. So, you have this incredibly emotional thing. It’s a really bad confluence… When bad confluences just happen, it really… society needs to get their act together and start looking at these things and having common sense come in to play. I see a really big parallel here, with what happened in New Town. I know they seem like disparate things, but we have this terrible situation where someone is mentally ill. Again, mental illness. In that case, the mentally ill person having access to guns. Right? So, you have this fringe gun issue. You have mental illness. You put it together, you have a tragedy. Then, nothing good comes out of it. It remains to be seen if something good comes out of it. For the love of God, can we as a society, when we have these horrible situations… There are fringe… thankfully these are not daily occurrences. But, for goddamned sake, can we learn from it. Move our society forward, in some intelligent fashion. Both with Aaron’s death and the tragedy in New Town. That’s all I really have to say, on it. Declan, you have the final word on this.
Declan: You talked about laws that follow common sense. I’m with you on that. I don’t know if there’s much of a common sense constituency in Congress. Members of Congress, generally, don’t get re-elected for saying, “We’re going to relax computer crime laws.” That’s not how the Department of Justice, the State Prosecutor’s Association, National Association of Attorneys General, all of these groups exist to create a ratchet effect, to lobby for tougher and tougher laws. There’s a very limited constituency to go the other direction. Also, I think Aaron was a man of principal. He did not want to say that he committed felonies. As a practical matter, if you’re a convicted felon, there’s some things you can’t do. You can’t own a gun, for instance.
Jason: You can’t vote, right? Can you vote?
Declan: You’e going to be discriminated against for employment. I guess, he did not want to sign that paper. Now, if they said, misdemeanor, a few years of probation, I think he would have gone for it. We wouldn’t be talking about him. Today we would have been reading a new blog post earlier in the morning.
Jason: Yeah. I feel like there’s some disconnect in the world, right now. It’s getting more and more pronounced between what is really going on in the world, what is going on with our government, and the people who work in it, common sense. It’s just two layers of reality. There’s a reality that we all see here, on the program and intelligent people see. Whether it’s the gun program debate or mental health or this prosecutorial debate. Or the fiscal cliff and the debt ceiling. It’s just obvious what we need to do, as a society. There’s an intelligent common ground that can be easily reached on these issues. Then, there is this polarized insanity going on in our government and our representatives that is completely, completely disconnected from how citizens feel and how they want this society to be governed.
Kirin: The only way you fix that is to have enough people say to the representatives, “I want you to do something.” As long as they bring home the pork, let’s be honest, they get re-elected every year. They don’t get punished for blocking common sense legislation or for doing the right thing.
Jason: You also see it in the media. The media can’t seem to get this… There’s a whole new level of media occurring. Like, this show and some of the people who are here writing, who get’s what’s going on. Then, there’s like a fake level of media that’s CNBC just playing into all of this.
Kirin: They just need to have…
Jason: Just go to the next story.
Kirin: … more things to talk about. Alright. You want to talk about something more inspiring?
Kirin: Alright. Let’s talk about CES, cause you were there, last week. Lots of cool stuff. This is the happy side of technology, right?
Kirin: VentureBeat and both The Verge had some interesting wrap-ups. You know, this is all about mobile. This is the mobile generation. There’s a lot of fitness and health things going on.
Kirin: There’s gesture, voice, touch. Kind of ways to authenticate yourself. Not through passwords, anymore. You had eye recognition technology, in there, as well. You had the 4K Ultra HD TV sets. Then, Kickstarter had it’s kind of coming out, if you will, at CES with the smart watch. The Pebble Watch getting so much attention.
Kirin: I’m just curious to know, what you found most impressive, while you were there. Or…
Jason: Eric, what are your thoughts? What do you think of CES?
Eric: This was not a year with one gigantic winner of a product at CES.
Jason: I agree.
Eric: It was a little bit odd scene too, at CES, in some ways. Many of the most important companies in technology now, don’t go. Apple has never gone. MicroSoft didn’t go this year. Google doesn’t do anything there. There’s no signs of Amazon. A lot of the really big names that we think about everyday, are not there.
Eric: As I said, there’s a couple of big take-aways. One is, this was really the CES about mobile devices. Early on in the show, there was a presentation by the Economist, for the CEA, which started the show. Their forecast for 2013, if you look at sales, there’s two categories of products that will grow in sales, in 2013. It’s tablets and smart phones. Everything else is shrinking. Televisions are shrinking, video games, you name it. Everything else is losing market share. So, this is really the mobile device year. Even in some of the other product categories, like health and fitness. A lot of what you saw in health and fitness were products that connected you with a mobile device. You’re taking your blood pressure with some device, wirelessly sending the data to your mobile phone or your tablet. You’re keeping track of your fitness activity, those kinds of things. That was one of the big take aways. Everybody did talk about these 4K televisions. They looked great. Their super crisp screens. There’s no content. No one’s going to buy them for about 5 years. I think it’s a sign in some ways that the television business is in. They tried to push 3D on us for the last few years. That was going to be the big thing. Nobody really bought those. There was a lot of discussion around connected televisions. But, again that kind of comes back to mobile devices and the roll of content
Jason: I’m going to agree with Eric on that. I think, this is a CES of just product excellence. It feels like there’s a product excellence across a number of categories. The stuff I saw was very impressive. I met with Samsung. I actually bought the Note 2, after making fun of…
Kirin: The one you made fun of when James was on the show, two weeks ago.
Jason: I did, obviously. James was crazy about it. David Eun, from Samsung was crazy about it. He works for the company, Adeo Ressi from Founder’s Institute. Everybody is going crazy about this sort of large. Just to give you an idea, that’s the iPhone in front of it. Actually you can’t even see it. Maybe you can see it there. But, the iPhone is just dwarfed by it. The iPad mini dwarfs this.
Jason: When I have the 3 devices there, in the past week, I’m picking up this one most of all.
Jason: Because it feels like it’s the right balance between the screen real estate of a tablet and the keyboard of a smart phone, is what I’ve come to the conclusion of. You can type on here, reasonably. You can’t type on a large 7″ tablet. Certainly, not 11″, 13″ ones. But, you get this massive screen real estate. I think this becomes the winning format.
Kirin: You can get over the geeky factor, putting it next to your head?
Jason: I put it next to my head today for the first time. I felt like a complete idiot. I just put a headset on. So, you gotta wear a headset with it. But, I do think the other unspeakable thing that happened this week was the BlackBerry 10. So, somebody handed me a BlackBerry 10. Oh, my God.
Kirin: That’s what you’ve been waiting for?
Jason: Well, it wasn’t the one with a keyboard.
Kirin: It doesn’t have a keyboard.
Jason: They have the one with the keyboard coming. It has caught up to iOS, in terms of the fit and finish of the hardware, the speed of the device, and the interface was beautiful. Say, better interface than Android, on par with iOS. It feels like even BlackBerry, as dogged as they have been, or as dogged as they’ve been, has doggedly…
Kirin: Come back.
Jason: … come back to catch up to Apple, circa 2012.
Kirin: But, it might be
Jason: Then, you have a thousand cuts from Samsung and other places. I think Apple is at great risk, right now. I can’t believe I’m saying that. MicroSoft… I just got the Surface. I have my Surface right here, today. Just came in the mail. I feel like, for the first time, I’ve been talking to people who were 100% Apple. They’re like 60% or 80% Apple now. They’re trying different things.
Kirin: They’re trying because they think they’re good enough.
Jason: They’re trying because they’re sexy and they’re better and they’re more interesting. The Windows 8 product line of desktops there… I know desktops are out… much more super fascinating. Lots of innovation gong on there.
Kirin: You like the flip screen?
Jason: The flip screen, the twist screen. What do they call them? Convertibles. I don’t know. I kind of feel like MicroSoft and blackBerry, not dead.
Eric: Hey, Jason.
Jason: Go ahead.
Eric: One thing I’d agree with you there. Every year at CES, Apple is the presence that’s not seen.
Eric: There was one year when, I think the official iPhone launched, during CES at an event in San Francisco. Reporters flying back and forth. This year, the interesting thing was that the discussion around Apple touches on what you were suggesting. That the gap between Apple and competitive devices, whether it’s in mobile phones or tablets, or in laptops and ultra lites has narrowed.
Eric: You’re talking about the Note 2. The fabler type phones.
Eric: Phone plus tablet is phablet.
Jason: Oh. Kill that name.
Eric: It’s a horrible word, but they’re nice devices. Some of them really created a buzz at the show. was showing one that was 6″. Almost a tablet size, but not quite. Samsung was getting tremendous buzz at the show too. I think that is a risk for Apple, that they are a little less special than they were, even a year ago.
Jason: What do you think Declan?
Eric: You can even see it in the stock.
Jason: Yeah. You definitely see it in the stock price. Declan, do you think Apple is at risk now? The strategy that got them to this incredible renaissance, do you think that strategy is now, the sort of closed strategy is sort of outdated, out modes? Do you think they’re going to get some kind of attrition? Death by a thousand cuts, kind of thing.
Declan: I think you’re right. I’ve been an Apple user since the Apple 2 days, 1983 somewhere there about. I once worked at Next in the early 90s. I’m a fan of Apple products. The only reason I got the iPhone 5 is because my home control app at home is iOS only. If it were Android, I think I would switch. What we’re seeing now is inevitable. It may not be that terrible a situation for Apple. Think of BMW. They’ve got about a 3% market share in the overall U.S. market. Including trucks and autos. But, something closer to an 18% market share. Porsche is 1%. Margins are higher at the top than the bottom. Both would be nice businesses to own. Apple kinds of slips into that category. The question for Apple… maybe this is what you were getting at… is if they can take that huge leap beyond what they’re competitors have done? The problem is, for Apple, that Google has done this, or seems to be doing this with Google Glass. I have an iPhone 5. I like it, but I’m more excited about Google Glass than the next iPhone.
Jason: Yeah. What do you think the chances are that Apple releases a ground-breaking product in 2013?
Declan: They’ve got a lot of smart folks working there. They’re very secretive, obviously. I wouldn’t underestimate them. It’s going to take a lot to dislodge Samsung. It’s got momentum on their side. People are more excited about the next Samsung product than the next iPhone. Which is something I have not seen before.
Jason: It’s a very weird thing to be talking to the top bloggers. A lot of the top gadget bloggers, obviously, I’ve worked with at Engadget and whatnot and at GDGT.com. They’re using Samsungs. They’re talking about HTCs. They’re talking about Nokias. It’s like, I think this fewer products has got Apple to the point of having massive excellence. It’s now working against them. There’s more experimentation going on.
Kirin: They’re a big target too.
Jason: And, they’re a big target. I think, what’s really going to be interesting is, market share, market share, market share. As I wrote this week in my column. Which is, it’s great that they have these high margins, but what has that $100B+, $120B.
Kirin: What are they doing with it?
Jason: What is that doing for them? Why would they not go out and buy cross-platform products? For example, Google is infecting Apple from the inside out. I now… I don’t touch the Mail app. I would delete it if I could. The Apple Mail app. Obviously, I use Twitter. I use DropBox and Google Drive. iCloud, I’m like why did I pay $50 for that? I’m going to turn it off.
Kirin: You use Chrome instead of Safari.
Jason: And, I use Chrome instead of Safari. Yes. And, I’m using Google Maps, not Apple Maps. Sometimes, I try Apple Maps, but I prefer Google Maps. So now, even on the iOS ecosystem, I am 0.0% Apple software. Apple’s philosophy of, “We make the most elegant software,” is not true. They’re holding to this idea that it’s not cross-platform, when Evernote is available on BlackBerry.
Kirin: Evernote’s everywhere.
Jason: Android, iOS, everything. DropBox, everywhere. So, you have this class of application that comes out that cuts through OS’s. It doesn’t matter what OS you’re on anymore.
Kirin: So, Steve’s philosophy is outdated?
Jason: The thing is, Steve’s philosophy with Steve’s performance and his charisma and his drive, I think can work.
Kirin: Even today?
Jason: Maybe. I think it would still be competitive. Yes.
Eric: You know, Jason, there are examples. You can run iTunes on a PC. So, they’re not unfamiliar with the idea that their software might want to be run on other devices. but, you touched on another interesting thing about the cash. One of the things that we’ve seen in the post-Steve world is a little more willingness of Apple to do some things with the cash. They are paying a dividend now. They are buying back stock now. Things that they never did when Steve was running the company. Now it raises the interesting question, are there other things they would do with that cash? Would they make acquisitions? They’ve effectively done… You can count on a couple of fingers the number of sizable acquisitions they’ve done. Including buying Next, to get Steve back five years ago. It is an interesting question. Particularly, given that most of that cash is outside of the country. You got $120B in cash. $80B of it outside the country that you can’t really bring back, because of the tax situation that you’d face if you tried to bring it back. Maybe they go out and buy…
Jason: Let me ask you a technical question on that $80B, that they would have to pay like a 50% on. Or something like that. Without getting into the politics of should they be given amnesty or whatever. Could they create a company in wherever… London, in the U.K… then in that company, buy Twitter, Evernote and DropBox, then, make them subsidiaries of that company in Europe?
Eric: I’m not sure how you would do that without incurring tax. I’m not sure that you could… I’m not a tax expert. I only play one on TV. I think that you would still run into this issue, that in order to bring the cash back to the U.S., to make an acquisition of a U.S. based company, you’re still facing probably a 30% tax penalty. So, you’ve seen companies with the same problem do acquisitions over seas. Right? So, you saw MicroSoft use overseas cash to buy Skype.
Eric: We just saw Cisco buy NDS, a cable technology company. Cisco also bought Tandberg, the video-conferencing company. All overseas companies. So, you’ve got this cash that’s effectively sitting there. You’ve got to do something with it.
Jason: They’ve got to work this out and get that money in. They’ve got to get this money back into The United States. They’ve got to give them like a one time tax break or something. Pay 20% tax on it, or something. When we get back, I want to talk about the return of SOPA, with Declan. As well as the Facebook friend graph search. I have some thoughts on that as well. Steve Levy, a great interview with our friends over at Wired. Let me take a moment to thank… Who’s the other sponsor, today?
Kirin: We have Sourcebits and eMinutes. We’re going to see Sourcebits at the end.
Jason: Oh, we’re going to see Sourcebits at the end. So, I can just keep going?
Kirin: You can keep going.
Jason: Oh, fantastic. Sourcebits you know builds really great apps. They’re going to be on at the end of the program. Thank you to Sourcebits. Stay tuned for that discussion at the end of the show. Let’s talk about this SOPA thing that Declan’s writing about.
Jason: I thought this was all worked out.
Kirin: Yeah. So, last year… actually January 18, 1012, which is now being called Internet Freedom Day, there was this mass uprising of the internet and Congress listened. All these folks who were trying to stop the Online Piracy Act, was really more a Hollywood thing, than anything else. Because they were worried about copyright infringement.
Kirin: Basically, shut it down. So, Declan went out and talked to some of the people who were pro-SOPA, last year. The Motion Picture Association of America, The IRAA, some folks in Congress. A lot of them sounded like they want to work with the industry. The MPAA…
Jason: Oh, that’s a nice turn.
Kirin: Yeah. “Let’s use this path to forge a future where the creative content and technology industries work together to develop meaningful solutions that ensure an Internet that works for everyone.”
Jason: Oh, wow.
Kirin: The RIAA said, “Instead of looking to Congress, we are tuned into the marketplace and actively seeking out partnerships with…
Jason: Wait a second. Declan, did you make these quotes up? Is this an April Fool’s joke? Because, this makes no sense to me. The MPAA and RIAA were like, “Death to Internets. We’re going to go to our last dying breath.”
Declan: Would I do that to you, Jason, and my esteemed readers at CNET? No. These are real. Look. They didn’t give up voluntarily. They got dragged kicking and screaming into negotiations without SOPA. This is negotiations in the market place over licensing and things like that. As opposed to, “We’re going to get Congress to do things our way.” They didn’t do this voluntarily, because it’s very painful for them. They’re used to getting their own way. Ever since the mid 90s, there’s been different copyright laws enacted that Hollywood and their allies had suggested. They’re used to winning. But, now they realize that SOPA was a big deal. Over 10M… Senator Ron Widen puts it closer to 16M, but over 10M is a fair estimate… saying, “Don’t do this. Don’t pass this law.” Congress’ website crashed. They’re forced to listen. I’m not saying this is never going to happen again. The White House said, months after SOPA, that, “We still want to have some legislation dealing with online piracy, overseas websites, The Pirate Bay. The new Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee that writes copyright law in the House, has said that he wants to see more digital copyright legislation move forward. So, something is still going to happen. In the short term, The MPAA and The RIAA, they’re kind of humbled.
Jason: Is the reason why the MPAA, we’ll just take them, maybe backing off legislation, aside from losing, popular, is this in part because there’s so many people lining up to give them checks from the technology industry, i.e. Hulu, Netflix, Amazon. It feels like there is a dog fight for original content. They should just shut up about the legislation and collect the checks.
Declan: Yeah. Just look at the Google Play Store as well. Maybe not in the last year, but look at it 10 years ago. Ten years ago we had this horrible legislation from Senator Hawlings. It was the CBDTPA. The idea was, we’re going to have an anti-copying technology implanted in every PC, digital watch, phone. Anything with a microprocessor. Which recognizes the content that shall not be copied and it would not copy it. It was insanity squared. That’s where we were ten years ago. The broadcast flag came around that time as well. Now, as you said, all these companies are wiring checks to Hollywood. It’s a different era. I think that the large content owner, have probably realized this.
Jason: You know we had the other issue to. It reminds me of that crazy legislation like, every PC has to have bundled with it DRM. Which is insane. It almost reminds me of the car legislation going… which, I’m not super up on… but, every car has to have a black box, recording everything? You’re not going to be able to drive a car that is not tracked. I think that might even include GPS. Is that correct, Declan?
Declan: I haven’t written about this recently. About 80% of cars sold today do have black boxes. The question is, should you as the end-user and owner of this bloody thing be allowed to disable it? Should you be allowed to access the data in it? Because it is recording you. It may not be entirely accurate. So, there’s a consumer rights issue, there. I think, if I recall properly, the Department of Transportation has a proceeding. I haven’t followed it in the last six months. It’s kind of similar. If you buy something, who controls it? You or someone else.
Jason: Now, I have the Tesla, it’s got 3G in the dashboard. All this for cars that are going to have 4G in the dashboard. You know like find my iPad?
Jason: It’s sort of like find my car. Everything’s got… What was that called? That device that you would put on your car. Lo Jack. It’s like Lo Jack is built into everything. Anything that can be hacked, will be hacked. Hackers are going to be able to know where everybody is, at every moment.
Kirin: Are you worried about somebody hacking into your car?
Jason: Well, there is this possibility. That system is isolated from the drive train. So, I’m not worried about somebody hacking in and putting the car in reverse or neutral on the highway or something. That should not be technically capable, because they’re isolated systems. But, somebody could track where I am and know that I’m not at my home or whatever. You know something bad could happen. I have security at home and all this kinds of stuff. It’s just bizarre that we’re getting to that point where we’re opting in. I think that Facebook search, sort of, dovetails with it. Eric, what are your thoughts on the music industry and the movie industry, now just feasting at the trough, as opposed to try to create failed legislation?
Eric: Well, you know, I think you’re right. This is kind of the golden age to be in the content business. You walk around CES and you saw a whole set of companies: television companies, the cable industry, OTT, device providers like Roku and others. All kinds of people were trying to take your video experiences that you were having over your cable box or the top content, personal content, or social media or whatever, and trying to put it together in a way that was novel. At the end of the day, they were all relying on content from the major studios. I mean, we’ve talked a lot over the years about user-generated content and the role of user-generated content. But, if you’re sitting back on your couch and you want to watch programming, you’re first choice is still mostly going to be highly produced, professionally produced, high budget programs.
Jason: Yeah. Certainly.
Eric: People still buzz, whether it’s Breaking Bad or Homeland. There’s still all kinds of professionally produced content, even in a 500/1,000 channel environment. I think that the content producers are in a really good spot here, because there is so much competition to gain access to that content. I think they could just keep ringing the cash register. I think we are transitioning from a period when they were extremely worried about piracy of their content. That will always be something of an issue. I think, the ability to monetize that content in so many ways now, an increasing number of ways. They control the experience that people want to have with video on the web or on their screens.
Jason: Yeah. It feels to me that the platforms are becoming… There’s parity amongst platforms. Remember we were talking before about how the BlackBerry 10 feels as good as iOS. Windows 8 feels actually a little bit better to some people. It feels like it’s 20% ahead of where Apple is. Android is finally usable. I would say it’s about 80% of what iOS is. So, you’re starting to have this parity. When you start to have parity across devices, what becomes the differentiator becomes apps. Now, you having parity in the app stores. I couldn’t find a single app, so far, on a week with Android… just under a week… I couldn’t find something that I have on iOS, that I love on iOS, that I can’t get on Android. That was a very eye opening experience. I’m not saying that’s the same on BlackBerry and Windows yet. What does that mean when there’s parity on the graphic user interface, the OS and the apps? I think it means that this content is going to be the dog fight.
Kirin: Well, the way the device looks. There, Apple still has the advantage. They make beautiful looking things.
Jason: Maybe. I don’t. The BlackBerry I held had just as good a hand feel as iPhone 5. Just as good. So, I don’t know. The Surface R/T, the first thing everybody says about the Surface R/T or the Surface is, “That the hardware is the most amazing part of it.” The software is a little ganky. They’re still getting the bugs out. But, the hardware, I felt it, the weight and the craftsmanship feels amazing. Let’s go to this Facebook search.
Jason: Declan, what did you think of the announcement?
Declan: I think it’s clever in retrospect. It’s obvious, it’s not just an advanced search. It’s advanced. Very smart search. I don’t see it changing things. I don’t see that this taking a lot of revenue. Unless, you’re going to search for local plumbers that friends used. Who really posts about what their plumbers are? This is the kind of hyper-local advertising which helps Google, in large part, pay it’s bills. I just don’t see that appearing on Facebook. You’d need all your friends and family members, etc. to post all of this information. that they probably aren’t. Maybe with a dating site it’ll work. But, I’m not sure. Search is powerful. It made Google. It also kind of made Amazon. People type what they want in the search box and they click, “Buy this now.”
Jason: Eric. Thoughts. Is this overwhelming, underwhelming, an enigma?
Eric: I think it’s fascinating to watch them move into search in a way that isn’t… it’s kind of transgental to Google search, main stream search. It is interesting to watch the way the financial market respond to this. Yelp’s stock, for instance, sold up. Declan was talking about local search. There’s some concern, when you search for a plumber or electrician or some place to have dinner friday night, that you might bypass Yelp and search your Facebook graph. I don’t know whether that’s true. We’ll see if that’s true, then whether that becomes monetizable. I think it is a very clever use of the technology. You touch on the privacy questions… I think that the jury is still out, there. We’ll see when people bang on this for a while whether they discover they’re tracking everything that Mark has ever done in his spare time, that he happens to post on Facebook. Those kinds of things, we’ll see how they play out. I think it’s a fascinating way to approach this. People have been waiting on them to do some kind of search. I think this was an interesting way to do it.
Jason: OK. Let me explain to you, what’s going on here. This is… everybody knows what’s coming. It’s almost like…
Kirin: Here he goes.
Jason: Here we go. I’m winding up.
Eric: Take a deep breath.
Jason: This company is so lost on a product basis.
Kirin: They’re not innovative.
Jason: It is laughable.
Jason: Number one. When I was a journalist… I’m still sort of a journalist… i write some posts for this program. There some random acts of journalism that occur, here. When I was also on the other side of the table meeting with Declan or Eric and telling them about projects as a CEO. Or, whispering in their ear as an angel investor. The examples, the use cases you give for your product, speak volumes for how important that product is. If you come up with a use case, that when your talking to a respected journalist and it makes them go, “OOHHH.”
Kirin: “I get that.”
Jason: Then you’re in good shape. When you give the use example and the person is like, “Huh? What?” Then, you’re absolutely ‘F’d’. Completely and utterly ‘F’d’. When I saw this I said, “Oh, my God. Facebook has such potential in search.” I’ve been saying this for a long time.
Kirin: Yeah. You have.
Jason: They absolutely will launch a search engine, if only to kick Google in the nuts for making Google+. They have no choice. We can see that the social network is not monetizing that well. So, when they launch this and I’m looking at their “Chinese food places that my friends have been to in Boston.” Let me tell you something. The people who’s opinion you don’t need on food and movie recommendations are your friends. Your friends have no idea what they’re talking about. Zagat, Yelp, MetaCritic, Rotten Tomatoes, professional reviewers, Engadget, The Verge, GDGT. These are the people who are experts. They look at crowd sourced stuff. Even in Yelp’s case, Yelp has a great process… a very well thought out, singular focus on how to make sure those reviews are accurate on a crowd sourced basis. Then, Zagat, also the original… People are not… There’s going to be no network liquidity here. So, friends are not going to… I think either Declan or Eric were saying… are going to go through, like, these are all the plumbers I like. They’re just not going to do it. Who’s got the time to do that? Nobody does that. By the way, nobody types boolean type searches in. “I’m looking for my friends, over 40, who I’ve been friends with over a year, who likes chinese in Boston.” I mean, these searches were so absurd that they were showing.
Kirin: Well movies my friends watch isn’t that weird.
Jason: You may ask your friends, anecdotally, “What did you think about Argo?” But, how many times do you ask your friends what they like and they don’t like the film that you liked? It’s not good judge. There’s a better systems and processes out there. This is such a terrible launch, they should… What they launched was Match.com search, from 10 years ago. “I’m looking for males and females…” It’s dating search. It’s terrible. Now, there’s so many…
Eric: Jason, do you think this is fixable? Or do you think they released an early beta and… Do you think it’s irretrievably bad? Or do you think they can fix it?
Jason: Yeah. See, that’s an interesting question, Eric. Did they show 10% of what they were working on, just to sort of tease the audience? The other 90% is going to be just extraordinary. Well, I’ll tell you something, after seeing this, I can guarantee you this will not be a success. Nobody will ever use this. We’re not going to talk about it. There better be 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 features here, that are extraordinary. By the way, if you want to do search, crawl the goddamned web.
Kirin: Not just your friends.
Jason: Not just your friend’s graph. They went to Boston, what restaurant they were in in Boston. Not a great…
Kirin: What about the Bing part?
Jason: To default to Bing is no big deal. Who cares? Anybody can do that. In the old days, you could get a Yahoo Search Monkey account.
Eric: For them to do general purpose search, just doesn’t make sense. I mean you don’t need another party crawling the entire web to do general purpose search. That’s not really their strength, right? So, they had to do something else.
Jason: The only reason they would do that is so that people don’t have to leave the Facebook ecosystem. Here is my problem with Facebook. They spend $1B buying Instagram. One of the most loved products, the last couple of years.
Jason: Yeah. OK, right. So their stock price went down so much, it was worth $750M. Whatever. They spent upwards of $1B on this incredible… they thought they were spending $1B, whatever. They spent all this money on this incredibly loved product, that’s growing like a weed and they promote nothing about that product. Then, there last two product announcements are, a search engine that’s pathetic, that’s existed before and that nobody wants to use. That has incredibly bad use cases. then they rip off SnapChat and make a 12 day, pixel by pixel copy. Which, by the way, in Apple’s Terms of Service, you cannot copy somebody else’s app pixel for pixel and then put it up there. Why isn’t Poke being kicked out of the iTunes store for copying pixel for pixel, SnapChat?
Kirin: Cause it’s Facebook?
Jason: But, they should. They should kick them out for making a blatant copy. The point is Wall Street is looking at this company saying, “What is going on?” Then, I loaded on the Samsung Note 2… I feel like I’m doing a commercial for these goddamned guys. I should be getting paid. Anyway. I load on there and I saw an ad that I couldn’t tell was an ad. It says all my friends like this. Then, in tiny little grey, it says sponsored and I didn’t realize it. Declan, you can talk about this. Isn’t it illegal to put ads out there that people don’t know. Is that the FTC who handles that? Who handles that?
Declan: That would be the FTC. If it’s either unfair or deceptive and it’s done in business, then it would be under the FTC’s jurisdiction. Whether that is… the FTC is not… it’s top priority, maybe it’s shifted now that they’ve settled with Google. They didn’t even demand a settlement. They declined to pursue Google. But, in general, their top priority is not going out for things that are disclosed in fine print, at the bottom. They’ve got real scamsters out there. They’ve got real people stealing stuff and committing identity fraud, to go after. So, it’s probably not their top priority. But, on the other hand, class action lawyers are always trying to get $1M+ settlements.
Jason: So, if 7 out of 10 people did not realize those weren’t ads, should the FTC investigate?
Declan: Without really spending a lot of time really looking at something, I’m always hesitant to say, this is absolutely, definitely. If there is enough stink raised the FTC is, in the end, a political organization. All the commissioners want to move on to higher things. It could be Secretary of Commerce or Senator or something, one day. So, if there’s political stink, they’ll look into it.
Jason: Thank you for the honest overview of it, because it is cynical. If the majority of the people don’t understand that something’s an ad…
Kirin: No. You can’t do that.
Jason: It feels smarmy. Remember Zuckerberg was like, “We’re never going to have ads. We’re never going to have ads?” When you open a mobile device… I don’t know Eric, if you’ve noticed this… but, the first thing you notice when you open it is a huge ad for TurboTax, or this or that. They must be so desperate for revenue that they’re doing an interstitial on mobile. Nobody knows it. Nobody is talking about it.
Eric: That’s right. The problem they face… This is not uniquely a Facebook problem. Forbes has this problem. Anybody who’s doing content on the web has this problem. Your viewers are moving to mobile devices from PCs and Macs. You have less screen real estate. You must figure out some way to generate revenue. I will say, by the way, when you think about the way Wall Street looks at Facebook shares, the stock has had a nice rebound off the bottom. The rebound off the bottom is, in part, based on the ideas that they are starting to figure this out. That they are making some headway in monetizing on mobile devices. Now, the question you might have over time is, where is the tolerance point? How much of this will users tolerate before you just get to a point where they just go, “I’m tired of Facebook. I’m going to go do something else.” I don’t know that we’ve seen that yet. We have seen belief… certainly from the outside analysts on the street, that Facebook is starting to figure this out. You’re going to see a really big ramp over the next few quarters of their mobile advertising revenue.
Jason: You’re saying there’s a market correction that occurs, if people get too abusive?
Eric: Yeah. There will be some market correction that will occur if they push it too far. You are going to see ads on Facebook, on Twitter, on every kind of content based property on a mobile device.
Jason: Speaking of pushing it too far. The Atlantic, David Bradley, who is an investor in Mahalo. Full disclosure. Just a small angel investor. Nice guy. The Atlantic ran a featured content sponsor story, in the main column. This is like The New York Times giving you like A1. A1 coverage. What do they call the big whatever. Column 1, A1, whatever. Left hand column, sort of like the right hand column online. Boy, did this create a huge storm. Look at this on my screen. It says sponsor content, in yellow. So, I pretty much knew this was sponsored content. But, boy did people go absolutely crazy in the media business. The Atlantic pulled it down. Putting aside how you feel about scientology or not, are we in a desperate era where… cause QZ, Quartz is another one that he’s doing, where there’s sponsors… they call it native advertising now. I guess Andrew was asking about this native advertising. I think native advertising means, you don’t know it’s an ad.
Kirin: It’s supposed to feel like regular content.
Jason: Feel like regular content. But, we’re really having a disclosure issue here, I think. You guys are aware of this Atlantic thing. What’s your take Declan?
Eric: Let me mention a couple of things. Forbes does some of this.
Eric: We have a thing we call Brand Voice. Which, is basically, a lot of our content is in the form of blogs on our site. We basically do advertising sponsored blogs, written by the advertiser. They’re all labeled ‘paid content’ or ‘advertising content.’ It’s pretty clear there’s a difference, but they’re treated on the site like content from any other place. You look at the top 10 posts, top 10 most trafficked thing on the site any given day. One or two of them might be SAP Brand Voice, or something like that. Some advertiser that’s on the site. The question is, how do you treat the content on the site? Are you completely transparent about how you’re doing it. So, the scientology thing is hot button for all kinds of reasons. Not the least of which is, there’s a new book that came out on this. I forget what the author’s name is, sorry. There’s this new book on scientology. There’s all sorts of media coverage that’s been out now. They do this thing, prominently display it on their homepage…
Jason: Lawrence Wright, scientology.
Eric: Yes. Thank you. There’s a lot of reasons to have , but you need to be clear about it. People have been doing this for a long time. If you go back…
Jason: But, it used to be so clear, Eric. Come on. We’re old school guys, here. It was very clear, what was ads and what was not. You have to admit that the last couple of years, it’s gotten very, very blurry. Does it make you uncomfortable, personally? Does it make you uncomfortable as a writer? Did you ever think it would come to this?
Eric: It’s certainly disturbing, particularly when it’s hard to tell what is what. Go beck to the 1970s. In the mid 70s, during the oil crisis, Jimmy Carter was in the White House, Mobil Oil used to run an ad on the op-end page of the New York Times. There’s a guy named, Herb Schmertz. It’s his actual name. Herb Schmertz used to write a piece as an advertorial. It was a piece of text… it was not like your typical ad… commenting on something. It would run all the time on the op-end page of the New York Times. This is like an old school problem, wrapped in a new technology wrapper. Again, it’s all about, can you be clear about what you’re getting and where it’s coming from? That’s the issue.
Jason: Here. I’m on the Forbes site. I think the reason why this went… Oh, Declan. What are your thoughts on this, as a journalist?
Declan: It depends on what users are used to. If the Atlantic had been doing this all along, nobody would care. They just sprung this on everyone. They made some very good decisions online, over the years, to embrace the web. It came as a surprise. Megan Mcardle, a great writer was there, working for 5 years, I think. To their credit, they backed down on tuesday. I think, their statement said, their first few words were, “We screwed up.” So, give them some credit for this.
Jason: Yeah, I do. I think, particularly, for example there is this whole SAP section on Forbes. It’s clear enough to me. I get it. I think what happened here is, the Atlantic audience is so anti-scientology… or probably anti any religion… I mean, put any religious thing up there, they would… probably a very high number of atheists, agnostics on that thing. There going to be anti any religion. But, if you put one of the most polarizing religions up there, they’re going to go crazy for it. Now, if this had been the Sundance Film Festival content, what’s the breaking films. Brought to you by American Express and Mercedes. Would we have had such a big deal, Declan? Yes or no.
Declan: No. Probably not. You’re right. Scientology has had a mixed history. I remember writing about them in the 1990s. Their lawyers once tried to remove an entire internet… a usenet at the time… discussion groups. They’ve filed their share of lawsuits. It’s not the most pleasant history so that played into it.
Jason: Yeah. Definitely. It’s very interesting, this whole sponsored content thing. I do think there is… the banner ad doesn’t work. People need to have a voice. I think it’s cool that advertisers… If you look at Forbes, as well. At the top… this is where it gets super interesting… is a thing on Momofuku. Momofuku, obviously, the famous restaurant in New York and restauranteur, David Cheng. This is hosted by Brian Lehrer, of ThrillList. So, that’s quality person. With a restauranteur. That’s a quality person.
Kirin: Why wouldn’t you want to watch that?
Jason: I do want to watch that, actually. But, it’s an ad and it’s calibered to Cartier. I don’t even know who that is. Oh, Cartier. Cartier presents this. I’m like, you know what? I’m glad that Cartier is sponsoring that interview. I want to watch it. I almost feel… You look at Red Bull, the Space Jump. I can’t believe that guy didn’t die. that guy almost died. This is what people don’t know. He spun out of control. He went into the death spiral, like they feared he would, that would have made him go unconscious and die. Like his blood would have rushed to his brain or away from his brain. He would of died. Seizures, horrible death. They cut like 20 seconds from it. I said, “This guy is going to die.” He almost did. I talked to the Red Bull people, they were like, “That was not a good moment. We cut the feed.” I don’t know if that’s, generally, common knowledge.
Kirin: Something that was probably a wise thing to do. Cause, nobody needed to see that.
Jason: He was spinning so fast and out of control, that the guy thought he was going to die, he told me.
Kirin: You talked to…?
Jason: Not the guy, but the Red Bull guy. The Red Bull guy said, the guy thought he was going to die. That was his biggest fear, was the spin. But, that was the biggest, most viral media events.
Kirin: One of the top YouTube events, too.
Jason: Those are good brands. Who cares if the logos are on there. If it’s good content then people are forgiven.
Kirin: So, the answer for advertisers is, have great content?
Jason: I think that is it. If the content’s amazing and the brand’s amazing, then you’re fine.
Eric: There are other examples of content that people like to watch. Of the advertising content that people like to watch, the most obvious of them is movie trailers. There are all sort of sites that are dedicated to people being able to watch movie trailers. They voluntarily seek out advertising content. You see the same thing around… The Super Bowl’s a couple of weeks away, there’s going to be a big hoohah before and after, about the ads on the Super Bowl. Some people don’t care about the game. They just want to watch the ads on the Super Bowl. People will reshow… On all these websites, you’ll have collections of Super Bowl ads. People will spend lots of time watching ads, voluntarily. They’re highly produced. They’re entertaining, in many cases. That’s the key. Right? You have to engage with you’re audience, so you have to think up more clever things to do than run banner ads. You mentioned the Momofuku ad, whether it’s sponsored content. The problem you face as a content producer is just making it clear… you need to be crystal clear… about when something is a piece of editorial product, that’s been produced by journalists, in the usual fabulous way. Or, when it’s produced by someone who’s paying for it to be there. That’s the line. In the case of what happened with the Atlantic, it was not clear to some people. As you say, the nature of the content was highly inflammatory. If it would have been a piece about the NRA, say, you would have had the same thing happen.
Jason: Yeah. You know what this is an example of? This is an example of the salespeople were starting to run the ship.
Kirin: That’s a bad thing.
Jason: That’s a bad thing. I’m not going to name the sponsor. I guess I could name the sponsor. Anyway. There was this sponsor recently, who wanted to be on the program. It’s one of these polarizing sponsors. You hear them on the radio, constantly. It’s like, I hear that product’s a scam. I typed the name of the product and the word scam into Google. Sure enough 18 gazillion results of, “This product is a scam.” I said to Demant, “There’s a lot of people. Would you use this product? Would you advise your family members use this product?” He was like, “Umm, I don’t…” He sort of didn’t think so. “Do me a favor. Don’t bring them to me, anymore.” I’d rather the show had no ads. Literally, zero ads. This way… I spent 20 years of my career trying to build up some level of credibility, then I’m going to read an ad for… It wasn’t an eCigarette company. I just use this as an example. I’m going to read something like an eCigarette commercial? “Wow. MailChimp is great. Now, try ecigarrettes. I use both.” It’s obvious I don’t take eCigarrettes.
Kirin: Of course not. But, you do have a line that you won’t cross. It’s very clear. That’s your own personal line, but some of these organizations don’t.
Jason: But, the Atlantic can do that too. That’s my point. The Atlantic doesn’t need the money. This is the salesperson who wanted the commission. This is an evil salesperson. This is a reckless salesperson. The salesperson should have told the NRA or the Church of Scientology, “This is not going to go over well.” Maybe the Church of Scientology and the salesperson were like, “We know it’s going to get pulled. We’ll just take that…”
Kirin: “We’ll just take the PR.”
Jason: Ohhh. That’s what happened. They knew this would happen.
Kirin: It’s brilliant.
Jason: Declan, is that what happened?
Declan: I think, you accused me of being cynical, earlier. I think often sometimes Rayzor says that, “No. This really was a bad decision on the part of management. Probably not just a lone sales droid.
Jason: Wait. You had a controversy, too, with Jim Lanzone. What about the Hopper thing? Are you allowed to talk about the Hopper being banned from the… How do you feel about being a senior journalist, when that happened?
Declan: I think you should talk to the people who were involved in that, rather than me.
Jason: Right. There you go. Very diplomatic. I had dinner with Jim Lanzone on monday.
Kirin: What did he say?
Jason: It’s off the record, so I can’t say. I would just say that a lot of the journalists… I don’t feel that he feels differently than the journalists who work for him. I don’t think it was a fun week for him.
Kirin: No. This went all the way to the top.
Jason: Yeah. I understand you’re in a lawsuit with the company, but it sort of… there has to be a line between editorial and the business unit. If they won fair and square, they won. That’s it.
Eric: I think to me, what happened there is understand that the lawyers may have said, “We shouldn’t be doing this.” We don’t want to have reviews on our site saying how great this product is when we’re suing them. Arguing that the product is illegal. The problem you face is you’re damaging your own editorial credibility. People come to CNET, in many cases, to read product reviews or product news. If you begin to have doubts about the editorial integrity of what they’re doing, on some level, you’re creating problems for yourself, with your own audience. I understand the impulse of what they did. Just from an editorial point of view, in terms of how you’re viewed by your own audience. That seems like a really unwise
Jason: I’ll tell you why this is unwise. To just build on that. Eric, obviously, you’re right. You’re ability to pick winners and review stuff, for a review site, is kind of important. Let me tell you why Les Munfez made a big blunder here. So somebody who knows Less… I’m sure there’s people who watch the show, have his email. You can just email him. He’s not going to watch the whole program. He’s too busy to watch this stupid show. You can just forward him to 1:58. This is a message to Les Munfez. “This is incredibly stupid of you. You’re an incredibly brilliant guy. You’re an investor in Mahalo. Actually, they put about $1M, in Mahalo. Anyway. Point is, this is so stupid…
Jason: … because, number one, if your concern is that it’s illegal and that it’s great, of course illegal things that let you steal would be reviewed as the best product ever. If, it is in fact illegal. Right? Napster was the best problem either. That actually buoys your case. Yes. Of course, everybody loves it. It’s too good to be true.
Kirin: You shouldn’t have it out there.
Jason: It shouldn’t be out there. Just too good. Then, number two, nobody even knew what the Hopper was. Dish is like… Who is Dish and the Hopper? Nobody knew who it was. It would have quietly won. Nobody cares about Dish.
Jason: Whatever. I’m into Hulu. I’m into Netflix. Now, all of a sudden, everybody’s like, “Ohh. I gotta go check that out.”
Kirin: Now, that there’s all this controversy.
Jason: People would have been like, “The Hopper by Dish. Yeah, whatever. Who cares. Tell me about Netflix. Tell me about the iPad. The Note 2. The Surface.” Now, they put a spotlight on this stupid Hopper thing. Nobody even knew what it was. I’d heard of it. I don’t even know what this thing was. Now, I want it.
Kirin: Now, you want it?
Jason: Well, no. But, I think a lot of people do want it. People want the thing that’s too good to be true. It’s like the Aerial thing, that Barry Diller is doing.
Kirin: Yep. In New York.
Jason: I’m like, oh, I gotta have that. Nobody wants it to happen. They’re suing Barry Diller.
Jason: I want that.
Kirin: Or course you do.
Jason: Of course I want that. What do you guys think about the Aerial thing?
Eric: I think you’re right. It’s a technological fix to get around a set of business legal constraints on how you manipulate content. That’s really, at the end of the day, what the Hopper does. The Hopper service allows you to record the entire block of prime time content. A day later, to watch it, all of it, whenever you want and to skip the ads. We kind of know that we need to have ads alongs the way. People, kind of, understand that. But, if I can watch it without the ads, that’s what I’m going to do.
Jason: I think Dish is making a huge blunder, also. The Hopper is the one thing, they probably would have got away with that. But, if they would have skipped the ads, that’s kind of dumb.
Kirin: Tivo went through that, back in the early days.
Jason: I know. Make people do a little bit of work to skip the ads. I’m not saying, it shouldn’t be technologically impossible. I’m just saying, it’s not a savvy business decision, if you’re trying to exist in the ecosystem. Fast forward, sure. Fast forward and rewind has to exist to get to the point in the program you wanted to watch. If it happens to let you fast forward through the commercials, that’s fine. You know. You’re going to see a little bit of the commercial, or whatever. But, to let people wholesale skip them. It’s just not a savvy business decision for Dish or DirecTV or anybody. All you’re doing is poking the tiger. It’s also, unreasonable. Back to the beginning of the show. We were talking about being reasonable in the world. Nobody’s being reasonable anymore. Everybody wants to be unreasonable and only cares about their own position. Thank you for tuning in to ThisWeekIn Startups. This has been an amazing episode. Thanks to our guests, Eric Savitz, from Forbes.com. Everybody follow @savitz. What a great writer. If you’ve got a great tip and a scoop, email@example.com. Eric, anything you plugging?
Eric: No. Come visit Forbes.com. We’re doing unbelievable content. We have like a thousand new contributors on our website now. Lots of great tech content.
Jason: Oh. You guys opened up, a little bit of a Huffington Post kind of style thing. You can be like a contributor.
Eric: Yeah. We have lots of contributors on the site now. Everything on the site is in WordPress. All of our staff blogs on the site. But, we have close to a thousand writers on the site. All different kinds. Journalists and non-journalists. All kinds of topics. giving amazing traffic. We had more traffic in December, than the Wall Street Journal.
Jason: Do those people… More than the Wall Street Journal? Really? Wow.
Eric: We had more uniques in December than the Wall Street Journal.
Jason: Those people are unpaid columnists, I take it. Yes?
Eric: It’s a mixture. If you look at the… I don’t know exactly the percentages. But, a fair number of those people are in fact, paid. We have a lot of name brand journalists who have been working in the tech business for a long time. We got some Business Week people. Other people who you’d recognize, who are writing for us and getting paid for what they do. Some of them are doing things where, they are consultants or lawyers or whatever. They’re doing it to kind of wave the flag around.
Jason: Alright. Everybody go over to Forbes.com and check out the Cartier video feature. I thought that was particularly good. I’m getting a plug for Cartier.
Kirin: There’s actually a page for writers, like Eric. You can read how he answered his little questionnaire. I guess when he started, a lot of baseball stuff on there.
Jason: Oh, really?
Jason: Interesting. Everybody go check out Forbes.com. Declan McCullagh, of course, of CNET. He is @declanm on Twitter. Follow him. Anything you plugging Declan? Any plugs?
Declan: News.com is a good way to get to our stuff directly, in our little corner of CNET. CNET overall is big. News.com is where to get to my best part. Our best part.
Jason: Absolutely. Go to News.com and you’ll get the filet mignon on CNET’s buffet of amazing technology news. Thank you so much to my friends at eMinutes. Thank you to @sourcebits. Good job Brandice, on the audio. Hey, if you ever have any audio problems or anything like that, just email firstname.lastname@example.org, so that we know about it. Or download problems. Just email us, if there’s a problem. If you’re using us on some weird thing, like a television set, take a picture and tweet it. My twitter handle is @jason. Kirin’s is @kirinkalia.
Kirin: That’s correct.
Jason: The Launch Festival is coming up. March 4th, 5th, and 6th. The Hack-A-Thon is the 2nd and the 3rd. There’s $50K, maybe $75K in prize money, for that investment.
Kirin: Just, the Hack-A-Thon.
Jason: Just, the Hack-A-Thon. Go to Festival.launch.co. Or, go to Launch.co and click on ‘festival.’ You can get a free ticket, if you’re a broke founder. We’ve got so many great sponsors. I’m so happy about the festival. It’s going so well. Thank God. Launch Festival is doing great. March 4th, 5th, and 6th. We’ll see you all next time. Stay tuned for my little discussion with my friends at Sourcebits. Thank you Eric and thank you Declan. Bye-bye.
Jason: OK. Now, we go straight into the Sourcebits thing?
Kirin: That’s correct.
Jason: OK. Here we go. With us, joining me, from Sourcebits… just let me get my. I think, Cary is on the phone. Cary are you there?
Cary: Hey. Yeah. Hi Jason.
Jason: You are the project manager on my project.
Cary: I am. Yeah. Yeah.
Jason: OK. Rick is there. Is Rick there, the senior designer?
Rick: Yeah. I’m here.
Jason: Rick how you doing?
Rick: I’m doing great. How are you doing?
Jason: I’m doing well. Let’s take a look at some progress, here. I am looking at, what looks like… That’s beautiful looking. Look at that. OK, so Leaf It would be that startup there. Yes? Is what we’re looking at? There is the product name, average valuation, the founder, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook. Is that the profile of the company?
Rick: The founder or the CEO. Yeah.
Jason: Then, next over we have… Ah, yes. Here is the schedule coming up and how much money has been committed to those companies. That’s looking very nice. You can quickly go ahead and click the ‘Now’.You’re telling people… I love that. The next event unlocks. Anything to discuss there, on that screen?
Rick: The only thing to really note is that, from the initial proof of concept, that we passed on to you initially. We’ve kind of toned it back on the glitz. Cause, we feel that there is enough… we can provide enough contrast and readability and focus there. Without going too far. Most distracting.
Jason: Love it. Then, here we go. Super Fancy App from the Super Startup. You can commit right there. You can see how much they’ve raised. Ooh. I like this. They can put their screenshots in. Or, maybe we can pull it from their AngelList or wherever. They just flip through different screens?
Jason: Very nice. Who is the presenter and what’s the product’s name. Oh, very nice. Here, is our app sprint plan. Wow. So, yeah. We’re going to be sprinting, huh?
Cary: There’s a lot of sports metaphors, during this.
Jason: What questions have come up during this process? Are there things that you guys have questions for me? Things that have become apparent from the design of this. Taking the concept and making it a reality that concern you, maybe, about the actual funding of companies. Or things that you maybe think is opportunities, that I should consider, as the client? Concerns or opportunities.
Cary: Rick, you don’t like to handle this one?
Jason: Hey, there’s Rick.
Rick: Opportunities and concerns. I don’t think we’ve run into any concerns, really. I think the whole idea behind it is there to facilitate the startups. I think the energy that it will bring to the event, it will be a big help for them. A lot of these people, it’s hard to get into it. It’s hard to break in. It’s hard to get that attention. The application really needs to focus on providing information. But, also restricting it somewhat. That we could lead it to the companies that people can say, “That interests me. I’m going to find out more about it.”
Jason: Yeah. So, thus the reason for the LinkedIn, the Twitter and the Facebook profiles. If you click on those, what happens, exactly?
Rick: That will ship you over to a Safari window.
Jason: A web window?
Jason: Do think it will actually take you to the Twitter app? What do you think it will launch? What’s the best practice, there?
Rick: Typically you’d go down a line. You’d kind of try to support the built in apps. Then, you’d fall back to the web, ideally. Some applications they bundle the view end. A lot of Twitter applications, they will bring up a web view. They’ll say, “If you want to go to a proper web browser, they’ll pass you along.
Jason: So, what do you think we should do here? Should we click the Twitter and go to that person’s Twitter profile? Or, should it show you the last three tweets and then another click over to. What do you think the best practice should be for us?
Rick: I think it would be better for us to pass them straight along and not interfere. If people… People are going to be logged into their Twitter. They can sort that out. Let’s not introduce a step.
Jason: Yeah. In other words we can trust that we can send them to Twitter and if they want to come back, they’ll tab back over to our app. We’ll trust them and not try to game the user.
Jason: I kind of agree with that. Now, what about the sort of contacting the person and them getting the contact information. That’s going to be in the background, going on?
Jason: So, how do you see that happening? Every time somebody commits, it will send an email alert to some dedicated person? Or, are they going to get a Google spreadsheet? Have you thought about that? Have you thought that through?
Rick: I think, on the back end, I don’t think that has been decided fully, yet. I think, probably we’d try to consolidate our down. I think, if they get 50, 100, 200 people committing to their product or company, that is going to be a lot of emails to deal with. Let’s make it simpler for them.
Jason: That’s something I’ve started to think about. If I was the entrepreneur. Let’s say things are tricking in on day 2, when I’m on stage, I might get 100 people. Then, day 2, I may get another ten. I would actually like to see them as they come in, but the first 100 might be a flood. So, I kind of feel, they would want to get the alerts, one at a time. Even though there might be 100 at once. Just like if you’re doing KickStarter, I would like to get an alert, each time. It makes me feel good that their coming in.
Kirin: Right. Do you get the alerts on your phone, email, do you have different options?
Jason: I just think we should do it by email. To make it simpler. We can have the email of their team. Give us the email you want to get alerts to.
Rick: We can bundle it together, within this period. Bundled into one email.
Rick: That way you’re avoiding that rush. But, we give it that flexibility.
Jason: Right. So, we’ll send it every 15 minutes. We’ll bundle the 15. So, if 100 come in the first 15 minutes, it’ll say, “107 people are interested in funding your company.” Then, it just gives you a big long document.
Kirin: Right. Do they get that as a spreadsheet, then?
Jason: I think we’re going to have to give them a spreadsheet. They would like to get it, because they’re going to be mobile, on the road.
Jason: I don’t think, we have to build a whole app around it. I think I would just rather get it in a document format or an email. Something like that. I can just scan it and say like, “Oh. I’ll just go call this person.” Cause their phone number’s there or their email’s there. Click their email. Or, just text them. Any of those things. but we don’t want to make this app, super bloated either. I don’t want to build a communication layer into the app. I don’t think. I would rather use the communication, where this would occur. The best place for these discussions to occur, would be email.
Jason: Well, it’s email. It’s still online. It’s just off app. Off app. Then, we’re making some sort of intranet, for all this? So, that my editors can add all the information.
Rick: Yes. On the back end, we have the admin console. We handle the scheduling, the company additions, everything, like that.
Jason: Great. So, now we have all the database designed. The sign in screen will be Facebook or Twitter. We’ll have that questionnaire so we know if they’re an accredited investor, or not. Just to be completely honest with everybody, the crowd funding piece is going to have to be Launch dollars. So, if they’re not accredited, it will be Launch dollars. If it’s an accredited person, it will be a non-binding commitment. Cause, obviously, both parties need to meet each other and decide.
Jason: So, we don’t want to consummate anything, right now. “Even though there are some people doing, like second market, I guess. AngelList, some people are doing those $1K commitments. But, that’s incredibly complicated. They’re only doing it for a small number of people. So, it seems, due to the SECs turn over, at the top… I guess they turned over their head person and they’re 6 months behind on crowd funding. This is going to be a simulation, for non-accredited investors. We’re going to make that decision, right now, at this very moment. It’s going to be a show of interest for people who are accredited. Lest anybody wants to arrest me. It’s going to be a simulation, with Launch dollars. We’ll call them Launch dollars.
Kirin: Everybody will have Launch dollars. Not just the unaccredited.
Jason: That’s a good question. I think accredited people would have Launch dollars, too. They could submit Launch dollars. I think they’ll more generally pick.
Kirin: A Launch dollar is equivalent to a regular U.S. dollar.
Jason: A Launch dollar is equivalent to a U.S. dollar, except they’re not committed to do it, because they can’t invest. So, since they can’t, they’ll be simulating if they could. Then, we have to pick a dollar amount that the non-accredited would have to spend at the event. We’ll put that at, maybe, non-accredited investors have a total of $25K in Launch dollars.
Kirin: That’s a lot.
Jason: Yeah. But, if you think the average net worth and salary of a couple, $200K, a year, 10% or something. If it’s like two persons.
Kirin: Even the broke founders?
Jason: No. Broke founders is totally different. Maybe, we’ll let them pick what they want it to be. But, it’ll be up to $25K. Once you get above $25K, 10% of your salary, then you’re starting to tip over into accredited. So, I just thought the max they could do would be $25K.
Jason: Then, you can self… Since it’s a simulation, we can rely on people to self-police themselves.
Kirin: So, you shouldn’t be pledging more money than you would actually ever have?
Jason: Right. Some people will. It’s just an indication.
Kirin: Sure. Cause, if it’s funny money, sure, I’d give $10K to that company.
Jason: That’s a good point. Maybe, we should just limit it to $10K. OK. $10K for the non-accredited.
Kirin: That’s a good, nice, round number.
Jason: Ten’s a round number. We’ll make it ten. OK. The schedule here. Great. So, any other toughest or questions for me guys? Or, Kirin?
Rick: How do you like the design side?
Jason: The design side looks very tight. It’s beautiful. That’s one of the things I like working with you guys. It’s almost like a lot of the time when I work with people, how much I have to focus on design, because design never comes out right. I just look at this and I’m like, I could give you feedback on the design, but I think I would actually make it worse. I think it’s so… I love the fact that you’ve gone stripped down and clean. I love the… this sort of striping, here, of different blues. Keeping that palette of blue.
Kirin: You definitely wanted the blue.
Jason: I like the blue. I like blue. Orange is my favorite color. I’m not going to pick it based on my favorite color. I’m going to pick it based on what people think is pleasant to use. The blue just looks nice. What do you think? Do you like the blue?
Kirin: Yeah. I like the blue. I wasn’t sure if for branding purposes you wanted it to be orange.
Jason: Yeah. Orange and blue are our colors. That’s the colors of the Nicks. My favorite two colors are blue and orange. I think it’s fine.
Jason: We could put a little Launch rocket right in the top right hand for the home screen. I’m not really worried so much about our branding in the app. splash screen or whatever.
Jason: The sponsor logos will be in there, obviously. I think we’ll be good. Awesome guys. This has really come together great. It’s awesome having a partner like Sourcebits, because with your design-led engineering, it makes things so simple. I’m very confident of your ability to execute on this. Thanks again, to Kerry and Rick. Over at Sourcebits.
Cary: Thank you, Jason.
Jason: Now, I’m like one of 5 or 6 clients that’s been generated from the show, that I know of. That I’ve seen work. That’s come out of it. That I have actually seen the work. I have to say, you guys are living up to the promise of doing beautiful work and being very professional about it. How’s the business over there? You guys are crushing it? More work than you can handle?
Cary: It’s going pretty well.
Jason: Is it honestly, more work than you can handle?
Cary: No. 14, 15 hour days. I can handle it.
Jason: Are you really working 14 hour days? Is it that intense?
Cary: It’s not like you’re going to flip burgers for 14 hours. It’s quite great, actually.
Jason: Yeah. Cause, it’s creative. You guys are busy. Busy, busy.
Cary: Yes. We are very, very busy.
Jason: That”s the thing. Everybody is so behind on mobile, that trying to build this inside your company, in a lot of cases, is just not worth it. So, if you got a big company or a medium sized company, a startup even, the folks over at Sourcebits will work with a two-person startup, all the way up to a 2,000 person.
Kirin: Like the guy we had from Mexico City, who built the Instplayer. Right?
Jason: The Instaplayer was brilliant. I love the Instaplayer. You guys work on Instaplayer? You guys involved…
Cary: Rick did.
Jason: Rick, you worked on Instaplayer?
Rick: Yes. I did the original VD comps for that.
Jason: Yeah. It’s beautiful. Love that. We had them on the program. Alright. Thanks again Sourcebits for being a great sponsor of the program and the festival. Really helping us grow this really unique concept. I’m really interested to see where it goes. I think we’re going to have a lot of people who are interested in crowd funding.
Kirin: It’s one big experiment, right?
Jason: Listen. We’re trying different things. That’s what entrepreneurship is all about. Thanks again Sourcebits. Eric and Declan, thanks for being on the program. What great guys. Make sure you check out Forbes.com. Tons of great editorial. Right now, go check it out. Of course, go to News.com. and read Declan. He’s @declanm, on Twitter. Please, follow him. For, my super fans, go ahead and thank @sourcebits, @eminutes, and @savitz and @declanm. Just thank the guests and the sponsors, right in the same tweet, for making a great, @twistartups.
Jason: @twistartups. What a great episode. Lots of great stuff going on. Great to see progress. We have almost ten of the slots filled for the Launch Festival, looks like?
Kirin: Yeah. Lots of good stuff.
Jason: So, if you have a great startup or someone with a great startup, who wants to launch at the festival, have them go through the front door. But, if you have my email or Kirin’s: jason@Launch.co and email@example.com. You can always send a little email. Since you’re a fan of the show and you made it to minute 120. You can email this and say, “Check this out. It’s super cool sugar.”
Jason: We’ll see you all next week on ThisWeekIn Startups. Bye-bye.