It’s the last news roundtable of the year! Jason is joined by Robert Scoble of RackSpace and Rafe Needleman of Evernote. The panle discusses the new and back again Instagram TOS. Also, Twitter delivers on @dickc’s promise to download your archive and much more. We’ll see you next year!
0:35 We have a great final show of 2012. Let’s welcome Rafe Needleman of EverNote and Robert Scoble of
3:00 Thanks to SnapTerms for sponsoring the program.
4:45 Rafe how doe sit feel to be out of journalism?
5:25 What is your title at Evernote?
7:25 Let’s talk about the future of ThisWeekIn
9:20 Robert do you think was the right call for me?
15:45 Should Instagram have backtracked after changing their terms of service? Do you think Systom’s plan will work?
18:55 Is this indicative of the purchase of Instagram by Facebook? Do people just not trust Facebook?
20:15 Robert is leaving Facebook/Instagram a growing trend?
22:25 Robert do you trust Facebook?
24:00 Thanks to our sponsor NewRelic. Use code TWiST to get a free month of NewRelic Pro
26:00 Robert is the reason these are inaccessible so they can’t be imported into Path?
29:15 What are the chances that 10 years from now that the leading social network will be Twitter, Facebook, or other?
33:25 What do you think of the new Windows 8 interface and the Surface?
34:50 Rafe what do you think about the state of the union of Microsoft?
36:20 Will they ban Google Glass in schools?
38:10 What impact will this have on society with Glasses?
41:30 What do you think about Path adding search Is it still a social network? Will you use this feature?
42:50 Robert what do you think of the new search features?
43:20 Is Apple going to launch a YouTube competitor?
46:00 Is the YouTube capture App better than the native iOS camera?
49:35 What is the most innovative thing they have done?
51:20 What should KickStarter do differently in 2013? How much does late delivery matter in the bigger picture of crowd funding?
56:00 Robert what do you think Kickstarter should do?
57:35 Kirin what do you know about Apple killing a Kickstarter project?
61:00 How important is it for Apple to get a handle on advertising?
63:00 Why hasn’t Apple purchased Twitter
64:45 What is ‘Demand a Plan’?
66:00 Let’s talk about Gun Control?
71:15 Do you think people will actually change their position on guns?
72:20 What’s easier getting people to give up iphones or guns?
64:15 What can the tech and startup industries do to change the world in terms of gun violence?
87:40 Thanks to SnapTerms and NewRelic for sponsoring the program!
88:15 We’ll see you in 2013!
Distribution provided by CloudSigma. The cloud that adapts to you. Visit CloudSigma.com/ThisWeekIn, for a free $200 credit.
Today’s episode of ThisWeekIn Startups, is brought to you by, NewRelic. Use promo code: TWIST and get a free month of NewRelic Pro. To redeem: visit NewRelic.com/ThisWeekIn, and see why thousands of developers, world wide, don’t deploy, without it.
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Jason: Hey, everybody. Hey, everybody. It’s ThisWeekIn Startups. It’s the last week of the year. I am 12 hours away, from going away on my vacation. I’ve got two of the most amazing guests, you could possible have, to recap the year. Rafe Needleman, is with me. Formerly, of CNET. Now, working at the amazing, Evernote. Robert Scoble. I need not introduce him. You know what he does. He blogs, he videos, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Two really, really brilliant people and Kirin. Sassy. Is going to read the news. Stick, with us.
TWiST title sequence.
Jason: Hey, everybody. Hey, everybody. I am Jason Calacanis. This is, ThisWeekIn Startups. For, the last three years, I’ve been here, talking to you guys. About, internet companies, technology, startups, and, entrepreneurship. It’s our year-end roundup. It’s 2012. We’re going to talk about the news, this week. Boy, do we have an amazing, amazing panel, for you, today. Rafe Needleman, formerly of CNET, now, with Evernote, is going to be on the program. So, is Robert Scoble. Kirin, is going to read the news. But, before I do that, let me take a moment. Hey, speaking of Evernote. Our friend, Phil Libin, who, has been on the show, a couple of times. He’s really a great, smart guy.. looks like, he’s losing a little bit of weight, to me… is going to be at our live event. I don’t announce this, on my Twitter. I just do it on the show, for the real fans. On, January 11th, right after CES, we’re going to do our second private event. Boy, did the first one, with Jeff Clavier, go brilliantly. 100 people showed up. RocketSpace, put out beautiful wine and cheese. Little flags, like, this is a blue cheese, this is a Rockford. They had the San Pellegrino. Good job, RocketSpace. On, an amazing, amazing spread they put out. They were, very, gracious. A packed crowd of great entrepreneurs, on a friday night, in San Francisco. We had a wonderful time. Jeff Clavier, brought the noise. He brought, incredible, insights. it was an incredibly great, great evening. It, really, super-charged me up, to see all of these super fans, there. They asked all these intelligent questions. So, we’re going to do it, again. We’re going to do it, every month, I think. January 11th. It’s very expensive, to go. Most of you, can’t afford it.
Kirin: Two dollars.
Jason: It’s a full $2, for my fans. $2 to go. Why do we charge $2? Just, because, we want to put a little barrier, there. You have to take your credit card out and type it in. We’re going to make two hundred bucks. Two hundred beans. That’s good. Put it on black. Thank you, to my friends, at SnapTerms. For, helping us create our legal terms of service. Our legal terms of service is funny and informative. If, you don’t have a terms of service… I don’t know if you’ve been seeing this. In the news, people without terms of services, are getting sued. People… what the hell is Bryce doing, in the background shot? Anyway, tons of people are getting in trouble, because,… you’re breaking my concentration. What the hell are you doing, down there?
Bryce: There’s no… you’re not plugged in.
Jason: My audio?
Bryce: No. Your Mac.
Rafe: Good God. Has it been that long? It’s good to see you.
Jason: It, good to see you, my brother. How are you enjoying getting out of journalism? I owe you an email. Sorry, I haven’t gotten back to you. I been just crushed.
Rafe: No worries.
Jason: Now, you’re working at the amazing, Evernote. Which, we’re all in love with.
Robert: Yeah, I know. That’s why I came here. Right? People, were playing drinking games. Every time I mentioned Evernote, on my podcast, we had to take a drink. People, were getting sloshed. So, I thought, I’d just make it easy: come here and come work here. It’s awesome. I love being on this side of the house and working on a project, a product, that I am in love with. I’ve loved the product, for many years.
Jason: What is your title?
Rafe: My title is Platform Advocate.
Jason: Hmm. I like that.
Rafe: What I’m doing is, half is blogging about startups. Which, I still do, on my Opportunity Notes blog. opnotes.com. Also, I’m an evangelist, for the platform team, for the API. Working with startups and getting them on board, as best I can. To do cool stuff, with Evernote.
Jason: That’s fantastic. Everybody, go check out, Evernote. You can follow, Rafe, @rafe, on Twitter. He’s old school. He got @rafe. Robert Scoble, is back on the program. Robert, are there?
Robert: What’s up?
Jason: What’s up, my brother. Whatzzuuuppp?
Robert: Rafe, can’t pitch his own stuff, cause, that’s not allowed. I love this new app.
Rafe: What, you’re not allowed… you should have told me that, before hand.
Jason: Evernote Food. What the hell is that?
Robert: It let’s you capture everything you eat, everything you experience, with food, and, put it into Evernote, baby. It’s a new app.
Jason: I love it. I love it. Robert, you do love food. Like me. You and I, are both foodies.
Robert: You can tell that, huh?
Jason: You’re, of course, in fantastic, Half Moon Bay, in the Ritz Carlton. Was it the Ritz or the St. Regis, where, we got drunk?
Robert: The Ritz.
Jason: The Ritz. We went down to the Ritz and started drinking.
Kirin: That’s some expensive drinking.
Jason: We started drinking double shots of Macallan, or something.?
Robert: A Diet Coke, is six bucks. So, you figure out what we spent.
Jason: I’m like, Robert, let me take you to dinner. Let me have a couple of drinks, with you. We go and we’re drinking double Macallan’s? I don’t know what it was. By, the fire pits.
Robert: We, usually, have an Oban, or a nice wine, there.
Jason: I think, we had Oban and some cigars. I was a great time. Hey, let’s get to the news. Kirin Kalia, the… what do you want your title to be? What’s your title, again? She runs the Launch Conference, for me, now. You run all the editorial.
Kirin: Anything editorial.
Jason: Anything editorial. ThisWeekIn Startups, The Launch Conference, The Launch Ticker. What’s the first story?
Kirin: You said, you wanted to talk about your news, about ThisWeekIn.
Jason: Yeah. Sure. Why not. Everybody’s talking about it.
Kirin: That’s something we’ll get out of the way. So, as some folk know, you wrote a nice editorial, explaining moderate success is the enemy of big success. You felt, ThisWeekIn, had not gotten to anything beyond moderate success.
Kirin: It’s, really, tough to make a business out of podcasting. Unless, you can pull together some really amazing people. Like, yourself and Kevin Rose and Adam Corolla. If, you guys had a network, together, that would be a little bit different. So, you’re shutting down the company, but, you’re going to keep doing ThisWeekIn Startups.
Jason: Yeah. Listen. We raised, a little bit, of money for the company, including myself and a couple of my friends. We still had most of that money, in the bank. 50% or 60% of it. We’d gotten to break even. We were, sort of, going sideways, as you know. Getting a second or third or fourth podcast to break out… very hard for these networks. I thought to myself, “My show is doing OK. Kevin Pollak’s show is doing great. But, really, to get to scale… that was the part of my piece, that people didn’t quite focus on. I could have written it better, I guess. For me, scale is building a $100M+ company. To build a $100M+ company, you’re going to need to have $10M, $15M, $20M, $25M in revenue. Right? I think, only a hand full of people have, ever, made it to $3M, $4M, $5M. I think, Leo is at $5M, right now. That’s after 8 or 9 years, he’s been doing this. Adam Corolla, might be at a million. We’re at $500K, $600K. I just felt the podcasting space… although, I think people are passionate about podcasting, I think, it’s a solo practitioner, kind of thing. Where, you’ll have people who are so good at it, they’ll just have a small company. Really, to get to scale… I’m not trying to merge, with Leo’s business. But, I do think, someone should try to do a business… I would, obviously, participate if they did… If, someone could coral, 5, 10 people with a half million to $1M, in revenue, I would probably join some sort of consortium, like that. For now, I thought, it was better for me, in terms of the projects I have on my plate. With the relaunch of Mahalo, as Inside.com. With the Launch Conference doing well, to focus on the winners and not trying to force that issue. Robert Scoble, what do you think? Did I make the right call?
Robert: I think so. I’m thinking, if I had half a million dollars, in revenue, I’d have enough to have good lifestyle. It’s a lifestyle business, right? Why do I need investment? Is taking investment going to help me scale my effort up? Not really, cause, the limiting factor here is attention, not money. What would you do? You would blow it all, on advertising, trying to get a bigger audience.
Jason: Right. It seems to me, that the podcast reach…
Robert: It’s better to think about doing another Huffington Post or something like that. Going back and looking at that model. She got $300M, when she sold.
Jason: Yeah. But, that wasn’t podcasting. The thing is, if you change up the writers on the home page of the Huffington Post, it keeps going. If, you take Kevin Rose off Digg, or Alex, it’s over. If, you take Leo, off TWiT, it’s over. If, you take Adam Corolla, off of the Adam Corolla or Kevin Pollak, off of the Kevin Pollak podcast, they’re over. It’s a, distinctly, different thing. Rafe, did I make the right decision or am I an idiot?
Rafe: I’m a big fan of lifestyle businesses. I would love to have one that generated $500K, a year. But, churning that into a $100M business, that’s a, totally, different animal. I think, you’re right: If, you want to do this, for a living, great. Go, do it, by yourself. If, you wanted to have a giant media empire, you have to start a, totally, different company. It’s hard. Podcasting, I know from experience, making money from podcasting is a, totally, hit/hit business. It’s, incredibly, hard to find that hit. You have to cast, a lot, of stuff out there. Maybe, one out of a million will work. You know?
Jason: Look at CNET. They had… what was the buzz show?
Rafe: Buzz Out Loud. I was on that, for a while.
Jason: You were on, Buzz Out Loud, for a while. Buzz Out Loud, seemed to me like the break out. Then, you had, who was on it? Veronica. At the peak, it was you, Veronica Belmont. Who else was on it? Molly Wood.
Rafe: Tom Merritt, Molly Wood. It was, a lot, of fun. There, was some good people, there. We had a really good, daily, engaged audience.
Jason: But, Veronica left, for Tekzilla. Tom left, to do the TechNewsDaily, with Leo. Then, nobody cares, anymore. You lose the team, it’s over. It’s like losing Howard Stern, or something. It felt like, too, hard of a business and too small of a reward, for me.
Rafe: With video, it’s very hard to get a large audience, very quickly. Unless, you do something sensational, like, you’re doing Gangnam Style, that the people just spread. A GoPro, kind of video. I just cleaned up my YouTube subscriptions. I went down, from about 300 down to about 40. I watched each one. I went to each homepage and looked at the content, again. The ability to get people to want to watch, even, a ten minute video, is very difficult and the quality bar has gone up.
Robert: When, I started doing videos at MicroSoft, with a $250 camera, we got to 4M users, a month, very very quickly. Partly, because, we had exclusive access to something that was interesting, already, inside MicroSoft. But, partly, because there was a hunger for content. That does not exist, right now. We have too much content. We’re resistant to new kinds of content, coming along. It’s not something we’re seeking out. So, building a business in the space, is going to be tough. It can be done, if you have extraordinary content, that punches through that noise stream. But, it is tough.
Jason: Yeah. My point… Kirin, works side-by-side, with me, everyday… is, you see how distracted, I get. By, having so many different things, on my plate.
Kirin: It’s ridiculous. It’s become too much.
Jason: Now, it’s become like a consolidation play, to me. Like, OK, the best thing, over here, that was working, is ThisWeekIn Startups and Launch. Now, that’s essentially ThisWeekIn Startups. I’ll keep doing for 2013. It’ll be part of Launch, 4 or 5 employees, off to the side, that, I own 100% of. It sort of runs itself, now. Then, on the other side, I can focus on Inside.
Robert: The best advice, I got this year, was from an executive, at Red Bull. He said, “Do fewer things, better.”
Jason: They did it, with the jump. That’s a $10M video. What were you saying, Rafe?
Rafe: As a media business, the thing about podcasting in videos, that’s really interesting, online you have, generally, a really small audience, but, they’re highly engaged. People, who watch this podcast or listen to any show, your fans are going to be with you, for 10, 20, 30 minutes. That’s amazing. When, you go to a website, when you go to the Huffington Post, CNET, or whatever, you’re in and out in 90 seconds, if that. It’s quality versus quantity, of engagement with the audience. That’s a really, really hard thing to sell to advertisers. Really hard. Low audience, high engagement. Nobody knows how to sell that.
Jason: To, Leo Laporte’s credit, I think, when he reads the ad… we’ve had some funny ad reads together, for Audible, back in the day. Obviously, doing live ads, how radio and television started, that model does work. Us, doing the live read for, either New Relic, that I’ll do in ten minutes or previously, for… the MailChimp ones or the other ones, for SnapTerms and other people. That really works. You have this really tight, hardcore audience, that amplify it. In business to business, it works. Like, with what Leo is doing and with what I’m doing. But, for Adam Corolla, I think, it’s a little bit more challenging. You have to hit, really, true scale to get Budweiser or Nike. Anyway, listen. It’s an interesting discussion. I don’t want to talk about, myself, too much, on my own show, because, we’re here to talk about the news. For me, also, I’ve got to think about my career. I want to do bigger and better things. Like, the Launch Conference, is getting really big and scaling. I’m giving away thousands of free tickets to developers. I’m doing a hack-a-thon. I want to focus on the things that are winning and are easier to do. I’ve got the launch of Inside. I got… Mahalo is really doing well, now. Again, with the video content. There’s only so much time, you have, in a day. You gotta start cutting things. That’s what I’m doing. I’m paring down, to focus on the winners. Let’s go to the next story.
Kirin: Alright. The big story this week, was about Instagram. It started off, in the beginning of the week, with Instagram saying, “Hey, we’re going to change our terms of service.”
Kirin: Everybody freaking out.
Kirin: Instagram, saying, “OK. Maybe, we won’t do that, after all.” The language that really freaked people out was, ” to help us deliver interesting paid or sponsor content promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us, to display your user name, likeness, photos, along with any associated meta data, and/or actions you take in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any paid compensation, to you.”
Jason: Kill yourself.
Kirin: Yeah. Instagram said, “This is to combat spam, protect users. Nothing’s changing about photo ownership.” Even, Mark Zuckerberg’s wedding photographer, got involved. He said, he didn’t like the new terms of service. National Geographic said, they’re not going to post any new photos, to Instagram. Of course, this forced Instagram to change direction. Kevin Systrom said, “We’re going back to the original terms of service we’ve had, since, 2010.” He said, “We’re going to take the time to complete our plans. Then, come back to users, and explain how we would like for our advertising business to work.” Should Instagram have backtracked? Is Kevin Systrom’s plan going to work?
Jason: Rafe, what do you think, about this whole brouhaha?
Rafe: It’s fitting that Instagram’s part of Facebook, isn’t it? This is a company, that is… Facebook, traditionally, has had a… I’m part of Evernote, now. I have to be judicious about this thing. I think, historically, they’ve been a little bit tone deaf on changes they make to privacy policies, coming back to bite’em. Then, they end up doing them anyway, just in a different wording. So, it was a mistake. It wasn’t a huge fundamental difference, from their previous terms of service, though. Which, is what’s staggering me. The Instagram TOS, always said, we could reuse your images, in anyway that we want, including to sell advertisement on them. So, this just brought it to the fore. It tweaked it, a little bit, to make it appear to be much more horrible than it already was. It was already, pretty much, you put something on Instagram, you’re putting something on Instagram. What do you expect?
Jason: Robert, what do you think, about the whole brouhaha? Is it an indication of something larger?
Robert: I spent a day at Facebook, on Tuesday. I got to meet a lot of their executives and see how they think. They’re heading into war with Google, over a contextual future. What do I mean by that? Let’s say, I take a picture, of you… I’m looking at the Golden Gate Bridge… on the Golden Gate Bridge and we’re walking around. It’s going to know, based on our past behavior, when we have lunch, what we usually have for lunch, what’s our next meeting? Google, now, is already doing this. It can come back and say, right underneath the photo, “Do you want to go to lunch, in Saucelito?” It will give us three choices. That’s a new kind of advertising. They’re going to play around with this new kind of advertising. That’s laid on top, or next to, our photos, our content. They were just signaling to the world, that they were going to be playing around with new kinds of advertising. What’s funny is, The Verge, just nailed it. The old terms of service, was less restrictive on this kind of advertising, than, the new terms. The new terms were just clearer. They say the lesson for startup entrepreneurs is that, be less clear on your terms of service, so that nobody can take you out in the public and trash you.
Jason: Sounds like they were becoming more clear.
Rafe: That’s a cynical way of putting it.
Robert: It’s cynical, but, it’s out there on The Verge.
Rafe: Another thing you can do, which is, to build a business that isn’t based on turning other people’s content into advertising material. I’m just saying.
Robert: OK. Welcome, to SmugMug. Is everybody going to pay $40, a year, for storing their photos and sharing them, with other people?
Jason: It’s just indicative, though, of the fact, Instagram was a loved company, when it was independent. People loved this company in a way they love Evernote. They go into Facebook, now, they are absolutely hated and people mistrust them. Even, when, the announcement that they were bought by Facebook, you had this bubbling up of… let’s call it the avant-garde, the early adopters were, “I’m turning off my Instagram. I’m turing off my Instagram.” I stopped posting to Instagram, photos. Now, you have what feels like, a hundred times more noise, about this. Do people just, absolutely, not trust Facebook, Rafe?
Rafe: The thing about people complaining about Facebook’s missteps, or Instagram’s, is that, a small number of people can make, a lot, of noise. When, you have two million people complaining about something that Facebook does, changing their TOS… this type of thing had happened, before… and posting about it. Saying, they’re going to leave. That’s two million people. That is a lot of people. It’s also 2/10 of 1%, of the Facebook user base. It’s a tiny proportion of people who, are saying, that they’re really annoyed. Really, I think, most people, it doesn’t really affect.
Jason: Obviously, most people are not leaving the service, but, it is significant. Robert, is this a growing trend?
Robert: Yeah. Facebook, is not a company that people use the word, “trust”, with. There’s a whole lot of reasons. Every year, they piss off their existing user base. All the way back, to when, they were at Harvard. Right?
Robert: Yep. The Harvard kids, all, hated that the Stanford kids got let onto the service. Then, the Stanford kids, all of them, hated that parent could join the service. Then, remember, a million people protested the new News Feed when, that turned on.
Jason: And, Beacon.
Robert: Every year, they do something that pisses off their existing user base.
Robert:That’s part of their culture. Walking around their headquarters, it’s signs, every 30 or 40 feet, that says, “Hack This. You should be a hacker culture.” I have to get ready to go.
Jason: It is a hacking culture. Yes.
Robert: “It’s your duty to hack.” Is what the sign says.
Rafe: Jason, going back to your thesis, earlier, this week, about moderate success.
Jason: What does the sign say? “It’s your duty to hack this.”
Robert: Here’s a picture, of one of the signs.
Jason: “It’s Your Duty To Hack.” Right. When, they say, “Hack”, though, it’s a fine line between creating something novel, but, actually thinking about the repercussions of it. They don’t seem, at that company… companies take on the personality of their leaders… they don’t seem to care about the repercussions of their own actions. Including, with groups, people allowing other people to be assigned to groups. Which, led to dozens of gay people being outed, to their families. Robert.
Robert: They do, deeply, care about what you think. But, they have a culture, where, they test things out and watch how we behave, in real time. Then, they turn up the dial or down the dial. Even, with this privacy thing, they checked them in, in New Zealand first, watched the results. Do people like it more or less? They can tell, based on your behavior, on the service. Whether, you like a change or not. It’s extraordinary, the amount of instrumentation that, Facebook, has put in place, so their algorithms can adjust to our behavior and know in real time, whether or not we like it or we don’t like them.
Jason: Do you trust them, yes or no, Robert?
Robert: I do.
Jason: You do. Why?
Robert: They run four companies, that have my credit card.
Jason: Interesting. Rafe, do you trust them?
Rafe: Trust, Facebook?
Rafe: With what? They don’t have my credit card.
Jason: On, a personal basis, do you trust them? Would you put any private information.
Rafe: No. I put, on Facebook, what I’m comfortable putting on Facebook. What I might end up on some public site or government archives.
Rafe: I trust them, as much as, I trust myself. But, look. Here’s the thing about Facebook pushing the envelope. Would Facebook, be as successful as they are right now… successful at all… if they didn’t puts the boundaries? When, you’re in technology, you gotta push it. You gotta take risks. The only difference, with Facebook, they’re taking risks with people. But, they have… I’m not apologizing for Facebook. I’m saying, their business model is to push the boundaries of acceptability, what we consider socially OK. As, Robert said, then, dial it back if they go too far. But, they have to push it, or they cannot go forward.
Jason: OK. When, we get back from the commercial, Apple killed a KickStarter project, essentially. Path added search. Looks like, Facebook ripped off SnapChat and created a competitor. 84% of Kickstarter projects ship late. Facebook put the ads on its network. Blah, blah, blah. Lots of interesting stuff, coming up, in just a minute. Let me take a pause, right now, for the cause, and tell you about New Relic. New Relic, this is what I’ve used, internally. To do, all of our server monitoring and real user experience, code level app performance, server resources. You can see it, all, here on my screen. If, you’ve got web servers and you’ve got apps running, you want to know, how much of your speed, or delays, or efficiency is being caused by page rendering, or your network, or the web application, or the servers. I get this beautiful email, everyday, telling me, how we’re doing with up time, down time, etc… New Relic provides that same service. Not, just, to me, but, to SkullCandy, Nike, Zillow, Vonage. A huge swath of the top, top names in the industry. A lot of the fans, of the show, are using the product. If, you go to: NewRelic.com/ThisWeekIn, you can get the exclusive TWiST samurai t-shirt, for free. By, signing up. It’s fast, if’s easy. There’s no credit card. If, you want X-ray vision, into your web apps, sign up today. Get a free, ThisWeekIn Startups t-shirt. That’s right. NewRelic.com/ThisWeekIn. If, you just want to take a moment to thank them, on your Twitter account, just say, thank you @newrelic, for supporting ThisWeekIn Startups and that you, really, appreciate it. They love that kind of stuff. Kirin, next story.
Kirin: I, actually, find this very interesting. Twitter is, finally, going to let you access your full archive of tweets.
Kirin: This was something that, Dick Costolo, had promised would happen by the end of the year. I think, the engineers were, a little, worried when he said that. If, you are, actually, one of the people who’s got access to your archive, already. You can view tweets, by month, you can search certain words, phrases, hash tags, user names.
Jason: Long overdue.
Kirin: Right. Right.
Jason: Facebook, would have had this feature in month five.
Kirin: Right. You’re going to have, what I think, you should have had since the beginning.
Jason: What do you think, Rafe?
Rafe: It took Facebook years, before they offered a download everything feature.
Jason: Did they?
Rafe: Yeah. They do, now.
Jason: Why is it such a big deal, for people to have this feature? Is it the last thing you get to, on the roadmap?
Rafe: I guess so. It’s not something that most people use everyday. I think, it’s a great thing. I consider all my tweet precious. I want to keep them. Finally, is what I say.
Robert: I’ve got 60,000 of them.
Jason: Robert, is the reason they’ve made this inaccessible, so that people cannot create a competitor and export them and auto-import them into Path?
Robert: That’s part of it.
Rafe: Oh, come on.
Robert: That’s, certainly, part of it. Part of it’s, like you said, a startup has to prioritize what it does. Look at they’re dealing with lists. I need lists. I’m a heavy user. I need lists. They say, nobody uses lists. They aren’t looking at the user who just joined, to watch the Pope, right now. There’s, a lot, more of those users out there, than, are going to listen anything you, I or Rafe say.
Jason: God. The list service sucks. It’s still, like, you’re capped at 500 people, per list. You can’t edit your lists, easily.
Roberts: On Facebook, I’ve got a list of 2,100 startups.
Jason: I love that move.
Robert: I’m only a couple of months into this project, of mine: To find, every startup and put it on a Facebook list. Twitter limits you to 500. So, I can’t even do enough lists, on Twitter. Even, though, I wish I could because, Twitter has, a lot, more startups and, a lot, more flow. Let me, just, show you my Twitter, what it looks like. All day long, it looks like this. It just keeps moving. I’d love to watch, every startup, like that, but, I can’t.
Jason: Rafe, you sort of, snickered and laughed, when, I said, are they not providing the full archive, because, somebody could use that as an export to a Twitter competitor? Like, AppNet or Path. Why is it laughable?
Rafe: Well, because, these services: Path, Twitter, App.Net, they’re all about the present. The ability to archive, is a feature for geeks and writers. I don’t think, it’s a competitive thing. I don’t think, anybody’s going to leave Twitter, for a competing service, over the archive feature. I think, it’s to keep the geeks happy. I don’t think, it’s that big a deal.
Robert: But, the fear is, Rafe, if you import, let’s say my 60,000 tweets. I’ve, literally, retweeted, or touched, or shared, almost everybody in the tech industry. You could get a really good social graph, off of that. Now, you can import that and build a new kind of service, that would be even better than Twitter and offer more utility. Then, all of a sudden, the geeks have started going over. Once, the geeks do, that brings everybody else.
Jason: In a way, Robert, what you’re saying is, super routers like yourself… and myself, to a lesser extent… people who have 100,000 followers, or more, they become like this, incredible archeological discovery, for the new services.
Robert: Yeah. If, we can convince the geeks in the world, to move, that causes everybody else to move.
Jason: Interesting. This is a, very, interesting discussion that has never, actually, taken place. It’s an interesting discussion.
Robert: I joined, when, Twitter had 13,000 people on it. I was the 13,561 person, on Twitter, you know. Now, there’s 200M people on the service, since 2006. I’ve seen this, over and over, again. I remember, being early on ICQ. I watched how that spread. From the geek community, to middle adopter, to late adopter. People assume that these things just happen. They don’t just happen. Somebody starts talking about something, it gets all their friends on it.
Jason: Robert, ten years from now, what are the chances… percentage basis, please. Then, Rafe, you go next… that the leading social network… in terms of uniques users, per month- monthly active users… ten years, from this date, percentage chance it’s Twitter, percentage chance it’s Facebook, percentage chance, it’s some other one? Robert.
Robert: Some other one, 89%.
Jason: 89% some other one. Break the 11% down, by Twitter and Facebook.
Robert: Look, at Instagram. Instagram is only two years old. It has 130M users, on it. I’ve sat next to people, who say, “I use Instagram, more than, I use Facebook.” Now, they’re using Facebook, because, it is on Facebook.
Jason: Rafe, what do you think, on a percentage basis? If, you had to guess, ten years from today.
Rafe: Ten years, from today, I would say 95% Facebook is not the #1 social network.
Rafe: Ten years, come on. Anything can happen. It will.
Jason: Wow. It’s very interesting. When, you ask smart people, if they think… This is an indication not, clearly, of the Facebook executive team or management team, because, they’re amazing. It’s not an indication of the money they have in the bank or the scale of their network. It’s an indication of how fickle the audience is. Is it not, Robert?
Robert: Yeah. I’ve been on the online community, since ’85. I used to be on Prodigy. Then, we moved to AOL. Then, we moved from AOL to CompuServe. We moved from CompuServe to Usenet. We moved from Usenet to the web. Then, we moved from the web to all these new things: blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LInkedIn, Instagram. We move around, a lot, because our devices change. I mean, hell, five years ago, we didn’t have these things, in our hands. Or, these things. You know? The world changes.
Rafe: Not only, do we move around, the audience continues to renew itself. The bar keeps coming up from fresh. Young people, the kids, come online and they don’t want to use the same thing that everybody else is using. It’s a natural progression, to push away from the existing established networks, into new networks. That’s the way human society grows up.
Jason: Which, is the same as music, right? “I’m not going to listen to rock and roll, I’m going to listen to punk. I’m not going to listen to punk, I’m going to listen to new wave. I’m not going to listen to new wave, I’m going to listen to garbage Britney Spears.”
Robert: Look at how fast SnapChat grew. The next one that happens, will grow extraordinarily fast, because, we’re all connected to each other. We have the ability to say, “Check out this new thing.”
Jason: Let’s segue, into SnapChat’s latest competitor, Kirin.
Kirin:That was Facebook.
Jason: Poke. Facebook, took their feature, “Poke,” and made their own social network, today. Robert, is this a pathetic, desperate act on Zuckerberg’s part. Or, is it part of a negotiating tactic, to buy SnapChat?
Robert: I think, it’s smart business to be a fast follower. I watched, MicroSoft, put fast follow into play, in the 90s, and they just wiped the table, being a fast follower. You don’t need to be first. The first guy had to spend, a lot, of time innovating and figuring out a new usage model. As long as, you’re there, within a few months of something happening, you can, 1. keep that other thing from happening in a big way. 2. you can keep your service relevant. 3. you buy the ones that you can’t. Like, Facebook bought Instagram, right? If, Zuckerberg keeps doing that, he stays on top. It’s going to be, when, he has to take his eye off the ball. Either, he gets old and really rich and he wants to go and enjoy life. I saw this happen, with Bill Gates. I kept bringing stuff, to Bill Gates, saying, “Something’s happening with this blog world, with Skype, with wikis.” Bill and the executive team were like, “Go, away. We’re running a $4B, a year business.” Later, I learned, Bill didn’t want to run the company. He wanted to go and run his foundation. He took his eye off the ball and that’s why, MicroSoft, is very, very profitable but, it’s not interesting, anymore.
Jason: Yeah. With the exception of, I guess, the XBox, which has been a phenomenally, with Connect and exceptional product. What do you think, of the new Surface and the Windows 8 and the tile interface? I think, it’s beautiful.
Robert: It’s beautiful, but, it has no apps. I look around the plane, I don’t see one. I look around, I go to startups, they’re like, “Ehh.”
Jason: Interesting. Rafe, what are your thoughts on…
Robert: You know, a lot, of developers in L.A. Is anybody going, “Oh, my God. I’m building for this. I’m stopping all iOS development. I’m stopping all Android development. I’m just going to pour my entire life into this thing?
Jason: Not yet. What I do see is, I do see people putting in orders for Surfaces and saying, how much potential, they see in it. How they really like the interface. If, they get to scale, they’re going to try something. It reminds me of the early days of Android, like, “I’m monitoring it.” So, I think, we’re in the monitoring phase. Looking for a pulse.
Robert: I think they’re nuts. The minute these Google Glasses ship… Google sold 2,000, in one day, at $1,500 a pop, to 7,000 developers. That tells me, there’s heat, motion, emotion. There’s, “I want to build, for this thing.” When, they get those, whether, it be March, April, May, June. They’re going to spend every minute, of every day, thinking of new apps to put on those things and play around. That’s where they’re attention’s going to be. It’s not going to be, to build a Surface app.
Jason: Go, ahead Rafe. What do you think?
Rafe: I think, we’re locked in the bubble. I think, we have to get out of Silicon Valley, to understand what’s really happening here. You walk around, anywhere in Silicon Valley, everybody’s got their Macs. All the developers are excited about Google Glasses. We are too. Come on. That’s unbelievably awesome.
Jason: Is, Evernote, developing for the glasses?
Rafe: I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t know. I know that the engineers can’t wait to get them.
Jason: OK. So, you’re obviously going to be part of the prototype. What would Evernote do with those glasses? Would I be taking screen shots?
Rafe: It is, so easy, to figure out ways to integrate, Evernote applications.
Jason: What’s #1 on Rafe’s list? For, your personal use of Evernote?
Rafe: I’d like to get all the notes, on somebody I’m meeting with, displayed in front of me. So, I can say, “When, you last met with, Jason, six months ago, this is what you talked about.” While, I’m talking to you.
Jason: Yeah. See, I would like to record what I’m doing, into Evernote.
Rafe: That too.
Jason: Like, I’m talking to you and it’s transcribing the conversation, in real time. Then, I have a full text search. Then, when I meet you the next time, I can say, as I’m walking up to you, “What’s his kids name? What’s his son’s name. I forgot.” Boom. It queries back. What’s the kids name and what grade he’s in.
Robert: I think, that stuff is, a little bit, of the rocket science stuff. My son’s in school, right now. He’s using Evernote to capture whiteboards and stuff like that, and keep notes. When, you’re wearing glasses, you can scrub through, the four thousand images your glasses automatically shot, today. Grab the four, that have your notes from the board and put them, in Evernote.
Jason: This is going to be crazy. Are they going to ban these, in schools, do you think?
Rafe: They banned calculators, until they allowed them. They change education to focus on something else.
Robert: My chemistry teacher, by the way, was a renegade. She said, “You’re allowed to bring any modern device into your test and use it, all you want.” She time tested. She made it so hard, that, if you spent one minute looking up a formula, because, you forgot the formula, that you would not pass the test. You had to memorize the formulas and you had to know the principles to pass her tests. That made it, extraordinarily, hard to use technology. You had to know it, anyways.
Jason: You want to go into a mixed-martial arts fight, with a book on martial-arts? Come on.
Rafe: She made you into a better computer, than, a computer was. That’s hilarious.
Jason: What do you think, Rafe?
Rafe: About what, Windows 8 or Google Glasses?
Jason: No. Let’s talk about the glasses, and education and the world. Because, we spun into… Sometimes, the most interesting topics, on the show, are the ones we stumble upon. These things are going to start getting banned. We saw the guy, who made his own version at McDonald’s. The french, basically, beat him up. The french are so serious. Talking about privacy. These french guys, in a McDonald’s beat up a guy, who’s half-blind, for coming in with a camera, recording them.
Rafe: I nearly, got kicked out of the Pompidou Centre, when, I was at Le Web, a week or two ago. Cause, I was taking a picture of myself, in front of something. Which, you’re allowed to do. I had the camera, like that, with the front camera. It just happened to be pointing at a…, or something.
Rafe: He was, in french, it is not allowed to take pictures, of the staff. “But, but, but.” He was like…
Jason: Exactly. They, basically, beat this guy up and took his glasses from him. The guy’s half blind. What impact is this going to have on society? Are they going to have signs, at bars and restaurants? Or, gyms, gym lockers. I remember, in New York, they had to put signs in lockers. You weren’t allowed to take your phone out in the locker room, because, people were taking pictures of other guys dongs.
Rafe: Eventually, the glasses… I don’t know what the heck is going to happen, with the glasses. The first version, where, it’s like obvious. I saw somebody walking down the street, the other day, in Noe Vally, where every other person is a Google employee. They’re wearing the Google Glasses. I was like, “Well, he sticks out.” But, look 3 or 5 years out from that. They’re going to be invisible. Totally, invisible. Maybe, it’ll be a button on your shirt or something in regular glasses like these, or a contact lens, or something. You won’t be able to tell. So, the idea of having a no glasses zone, a no recording zone, is just going to be honor system. It’s going to change the way society works, if it comes to that.
Jason: So, assume everything’s being recorded, at all times.
Jason: Robert, what do you think?
Robert: I’m showing you this app, called, Lightt. Which, I use. Here’s the QualComm museum, I visited. I just shot a bunch of frames. Now, I can scrub through days, of my life. Really, really quickly.
Jason: Is that the one, you put in a pouch, on your chest?
Rafe: No, no. I just shot these with my iPhone. Imagine, I’m walking around the world, wearing Google Glasses. I could scrub through thousands of frames, like this.
Jason: Wait. You did that how? You were just holding your phone?
Robert: I’m using this app, called, Lightt. When, you take one picture, it likes to take 10 pictures, over two seconds. It makes, almost, like a video. But, it’s not a video. It’s discreet frames, that you can scrub through.
Jason: This lifecasting is starting to hit.
Rafe: You guys got to check out this thing, called, Memoto. It’s a little camera you wear on your shirt. It takes a picture, every thirty seconds. That’s what we’re talking about.
Robert: Google Glasses, is going to do that. GoPro, is doing that. I know people who wear little GoPro cameras.
Jason: Wow. Look, at this Memoto. You knew these were coming. Wow, that’s incredible.
Rafe: Isn’t it?
Jason: That’s nuts. So, it just takes a picture, every X number of seconds. Now, you’re lifecasting.
Rafe: Buy Seagate. Cause, those things generate like a terabyte, a day, of data.
Jason: Wow. Look, I’m going to play it. Pull up my computer guys.
Robert: Seagate was, here, this morning, by the way.
Jason: Guys pull up my computer, in the control room. Oh. It’s not working? OK. We can’t. I’m going to plug it in, again. That’s a pretty amazing demo. There was someone, who was making a really cool product. Like, a pouch that you wore, on your chest. You put the iPhone, in the pouch and you flip it, then… Oh. You got my computer? Here, it is. This is the video. But, you’d flip that pouch around, the app would take a picture, every second. Then, you would stitch it, together. It was really interesting. So, let’s see, here. But, you guys aren’t getting my audio or are you getting my audio? They’re going after… Aw. So, remembering first kisses. Alright, whatever. Enough, of that. Alright, let’s do the next story.
Kirin: Since, you’re talking about remembering things, I think, Path adding search seems like a good story to go to.
Jason: Yeah. Path.
Kirin: We know, you’re a big fan of Path.
Jason: Love Path. Dave Morin. Great entrepreneur.
Kirin: Just, yesterday, this came out. Now, you’ll have the ability to search your moments. You can use all kind of terms, like, “watching a baseball game” and things like that. Things that are not, necessarily, search terms. You can import things from Facebook, Instagram, and FourSquare. It’s also going to have this “nearby” feature. Where, you can get nearby moments. Like, you’re at this bar and you can see what else is around, there.
Jason: In your life?
Kirin: In your life. Exactly.
Jason: Why didn’t Facebook come up with this. Oh, yeah. They’re going to copy it, in 30 days. Keep going.
Kirin: Actually, Sarah Lacy, had an interesting piece, yesterday, saying, “This gets around the problem of your close friends and family not adopting Path. You know, I have friends and family, who, won’t get on Path. They’re on Facebook. For, whatever, reason they’re not moving, anytime soon.
Jason: Wait. What was Sarah’s point?
Kirin: Part, of the problem, with Path, is that there are folks, who, can be on it themselves. But, they’re not getting those important 10, 15 people, in their lives, to get on it.
Jason: I’ve been trying to do this. I’ve got my brother, Josh, on it. I don’t have my mom on it, yet.
Kirin: I can’t get my mom, my father, my brother. They’re not going to get on.
Jason: This helps it, how?
Kirin: This helps, because, now it becomes part of your journaling. So, I can go back and use this as my own life, sort of, place to capture memories.
Jason: Oh, it incentivizes. It reminds people that, you’re missing mom, in your life… What do you think, about, the new search features, Robert? You’re a big…
Robert: I like them. I think, this is yet another trend that we’re seeing of big data, used to bring us value, out of our lives. Path, won’t be the only one. Facebook, has a few things up it’s sleeve. Google Plus, I was talking to, Vic, this morning, he has a few things coming, to show you your life back. It’s going to be a big trend. Yeah. I like it.
Jason: Is Facebook going to launch a YouTube competitor, Robert? I’ve been hearing the buzz, a little, bit now. The chatter is getting louder. What do you think? What are you hearing?
Robert: I assume they will. They don’t want Google to take over any part of the world. They need to compete, with Google, on all fronts. Capture our emotional behaviors, around people, places, and things.
Jason: So, video is a key component?
Robert: Absolutely. We’re recording video, all the time, in our lives. This is professional video, but, I pull out the camera and shoot my kid. That’s the emotional thing. An emotional time.
Jason: That’s what Google Hangout is about. Correct?
Robert: Well, Google Hangouts, is about collaboration.
Jason: But, then, saving to video. Recording for posterity.
Robert: Yes. Yep.
Jason: There’s a lot there.
Robert: Google and Facebook, to a lesser extent, Apple and Amazon, are going to study us. Try to get new insights into our behaviors, to build new product, in the future. Google Now, is a great example of that.
Jason: Rafe, what do you think about the new Path?
Rafe: I was just Pathing, right now. I love Path. I think, it’s beautiful, but, until they launched this search feature and I saw it bubble up in the news, I haven’t been on it, in a long time, because… it’s the standard argument I made two years, ago. Between, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook, which, are my main social avenues, I have not been able to fit Path in. The new feature, I think, is beautiful. Path, has an unbelievably gorgeous experience. We all know that, right. Is it enough to pull me away and pull my friends away from these other services? I’m trying to get into App,Net. It’s like, I want to but, come on. It’s too many.
Jason: I’ve been syndicating over to App.Net. I really want to see them succeed. I haven’t moved everything over there, yet. But, in terms of pictures of your kids, do you share pictures, of your kid? You have one kid, right?
Jason: In terms of, children, you wouldn’t share it, on Twitter or Facebook, would you? Or, do you?
Rafe: I would share it on Facebook, to a limited circle. Which, is a pain in the neck, but, you can do it. I don’t share things, like that, on Twitter anymore. I would do it on Path, if my family was on Path. When, we talk about YouTube, a little bit, later, we’ll talk about video sharing. Where, things get rely interesting. There’s a real opportunity, there. It’s so freaking hard, right now, to share videos.
Jason: What is the opportunity, there? Tell us, Rafe.
Rafe” Well, if you want to share a video, right now, it’s a pain in the neck to upload it, and, the easiest thing to do is put it up on YouTube. Then, you get this private URL, which, is obfuscated, but not really secure. There are other companies, like, Boxee’s doing with Cloudee. Another one that I saw, who’s name will come back to me. That makes sharing videos easier, which, is really important.
Robert: Rafe? Did you see the new YouTube capture app, that was released?
Rafe: That’s, exactly, what I’m talking about.
Jason: Let’s let, Kirin, read the news. Go, ahead, Kirin, read it.
Kirin: The capture app, that came out this week, it’s ready to record as soon as you open it. You write a caption, you choose where to share it to. The video keeps uploading in the background. It allows you to do color correction, stabilization, you can trim length, add background music, records horizontally, even if you’re shooting vertically. Which, Liz Gaines, of AllThingsD, seemed to like, a lot. Right now, it’s iOS, only. Android, in the future. I’m wondering, is this better than the native camera app, on your iPhone?
Jason: Definitely. The way you described it, it’s much better.
Kirin: Who do you think, is going to be the most passionate user?
Jason: Is this to send stuff privately, though, to your Google+ circles?
Jason: Wow. So, that’s a killer feature. I think, it’s the one, Rafe, just described. I’ve been using Vimeo, for this a little bit. Putting passwords on London’s videos, then, send them to my mom.
Kirin: That’s kind of complicated.
Jason: I was hoping that the new iOS… what do they call the streams, on iOS? The photos. The photo stream, or something.
Rafe: Photo stream.
Rafe: We all expected, that they would make sharing videos from photo stream, as easy as it makes photos. But, for some reason, Apple has decided not to enable that feature. Obviously, it’s expensive, in terms of bandwidth and storage. That’s an opportunity. I don’t know why, they’re not doing it.
Jason: I don’t understand Apple, with the software. Why could they suck, so bad, at software. They fire the guy, Forstall, who got the Apple Map going. I felt like they, at least, got a product out into market. I feel like they’re such perfectionists, that they would not, just, release product. The goddamned stock ticker, on the Apple, has not changed in five years. Why does Apple suck, so much, Robert?
Robert: I think, it’s unwillingness to compete with it’s own developer community. The real thing that keeps me on Apple, right now, is the apps. Like, you said, Windows Phone has a better user interface. You can argue, it even has better hardware, thanks to, Nokia. Although, I’d make that argument, on the iOS side. They’re coming up with some good ideas. Certainly, better cameras. But, the thing that keeps me on Apple, is the apps.
Robert: It’s Evernote. Until, I hear developers, at Evernote, or Facebook, or Twitter, or any X number little startup, get excited about some other platform and start building for that, on some nights and weekends, which is where the love happens, I’m not going to switch. That’s where, these companies come from.
Jason: It’s a Scoble law: If, developers are making stuff on nights and weekends, that means, your platform is going to be successful. Rafe, what do you think?
Go ahead Rafe.
Rafe: Yeah. That means the developers are going to develop the platform. Then, you’ve going to have to sell the thing. The real world, out there, even if developers aren’t excited about things, like, Windows and Windows 8, that’s the market. And, $600 PCs. That’s a big market, that will remain a market, for a while.
Robert: That just means, you get Me Tooism. The means, you port your Evernote app, to that platform. That’s great. You’re going to make a shitload of money, doing that.
Jason: Ding, ding, ding.
Robert: That’s not your love. That’s not love. What I’m watching now is, sit down with the engineering team, at Facebook, and ask them, “What’s going on, at night? What are you guys building, here, at night?” I haven’t seen a mass move.
Jason: Why haven’t they done something innovative, though? What’s the most innovative thing you’ve seen, out of Facebook, in the last year, Robert?
Jason: Lists? That’s the most innovative thing? Wow.
Robert: Has anybody else, done them? Google+, spent a billion dollars for a social network. It hasn’t built them. I can’t share a list, with more than 500 things on it.
Jason: I do like the community feature of Google+. You have to admit, that’s pretty slick.
Robert: Twitter, has a list that I can’t put more than 500 things on it. I have a startup list, with 2,200 startups, on it. I can share that with you.
Jason: So, OK. That’s the state of startups, today. Facebook’s innovation is, they made a list that goes over 500. Is that really it?
Robert: You know, Facebook’s innovation and Twitter’s innovation and Google+’s innovation, is innovation at scale. They have 1B people, when they do it, everybody gets it.
Jason: Their innovation is, to get the 19th most popular Android phone, to work better.
Robert: You’re mishearing me. I’m not asking, what they did at Facebook, nights and weekends. I’m asking, what are the engineering… if, you get the engineers drunk…
Jason: What are they screwing with?
Robert: What are they screwing with? What are do they care about? What are they building?
Jason: What startup are they conceiving?
Robert: Exactly. Cause, startups happen, a lot of times, in the bowels of a big company. Remember, how Apple happened? It was, Steve Wozniak, working at HP. Steve wanted to work at HP and keep working there.
Robert: His boss said, “I will never sell your personal computer. Go, build a company about that, if you care so much about it.” He asked him twice, to do that. That’s how companies happen.
Jason: Does anybody have the remote, the universally remote, that Woz made? Did he ever get that done? Remember the universal remote?
Robert: It didn’t take off.
Jason: Who’s got the prototype? Who’s got one of those? What was it called?
Robert: They sold them. You could have bought one for a price.
Jason: Oh, God. I want to get one of those and put it in a glass box. Next story, Kirin.
Kirin: I think, we’ve got to talk about, Kickstarter.
Jason: Kickstarter, is in the news, big time.
Kirin: Yes. 84% of the top 50… that’s just of those that, CNN Money examined. All with ship dates of 2012, or earlier. Of that top 50, 84% shipped late.
Jason: This is why everybody’s in a panic, right now, at KickStarter.
Kirin: Median delay was two months. The caveat, of course, what that a lot of those top projects were, tech-designed video games.
Kirin: They think that, other categories, might not have the same issues.
Jason: Yeah. Like, most independent films, get done, on time. Keep going.
Kirin: A common problem, from talking to these companies, is that when they get, really, really popular, suddenly, they’re overwhelmed and that, totally, blows their timeline for shipping projects.
Kirin: Maybe, if you have to make a couple hundred. If you have to make a couple thousand.
Jason: That doesn’t make sense, to me. If, you have to make a thousand or ten thousand…
Kirin: If, you’re making them, by hand.
Jason: Oh. If, you’re making them, by hand, of course. If, you’re making a thousand or ten thousand, it shouldn’t be a problem. Right, Robert? Or, Rafe?
Rafe: Those things are, still, in development. Kickstarter projects… This, to me, is what do you expect, from a bunch of engineers, trying to estimate how long it’s going to take them to design and then, build something.
Jason: Yeah. The expectation should be, it’s delayed.
Rafe: I mean, two months. A two month delay on a brand new piece of hardware, or software, or a game, a film, or even an album? That is nothing. Why are people getting upset, about this? If, you’re buying something on Kickstarter… “buying”, right. Because, you’re not supposed to do that… If, you’re funding something, on Kickstarter, in September, and you think, you’re going to get it in time to give it as a present, in December…
Jason: You’re an idiot.
Rafe: … you’re at the wrong place.
Robert: Also, you should accept, when you’re investing… whether it be $100 on a Kickstarter team or $100K on an angel startup… you are taking an extraordinary amount of risk. You know, Jason.
Jason: It’s accepted.
Robert: It’s accepted, right?
Jason: I’ll tell you what this is. This, is the press causing trouble. It’s like this series A crunch. A lot of the member of the press, have no idea what they’re talking about. Right? They’re writing posts that Google bought a company for $400M, based on a press release. Never, calling anyone at Google. I believe, they’re blogging aimless. Or, they’re blogging drunk.
Kirin: CNN Money, actually, went and did the research.
Kirin: This isn’t something they just pull out of their butts.
Jason: No. I know that. What I will say is, the press is in such a dogfight, for attention, right now, for survival. I think, Rafe, got off of the bus, at the right time. Right, before it went off the cliff. Is that, they have to cause trouble. They have to try to come up with a controversy. To try to get some of the attention back, from all the other stuff, that’s going on in the world. This constant fascination with products being delayed or being cancelled, on Kickstarter. I’m surprised, that any of those Kickstarter projects made it to fruition.
Jason: If, 1 out of 5 did, you should be happy. Right, Rafe?
Rafe: Totally. But, you know what? I think, this is interesting. If, this is actually a deal with consumers, which, I’m not sure it is. But, if it is, I think, crowd funding is going to be in trouble. Because, Kickstarter is not an investment and it’s not a purchase. It’s funding something, because, you think it’s going to be cool. Maybe, you’ll get a little bit back.
Jason: It’s a gift. It’s a donation.
Rafe: Yeah. Yeah. They give you the product, to encourage the donation. It’s a weird transaction. Crowd funding, I don’t know, if consumers are going to get it. Kickstarter’s, kinda, half way there. When, people put a thousand dollars, in some cool startup, then, it goes belly up… Oh, man. It’s going to be messy.
Jason: It’s going to be a disaster.
Kirin: Yancey Strickler, did say, of course, “We’re not a store. It’s about the journey.” Those kinds of things, he said, in the past. He also said, “It’s worth having a conversation about promise versus delivery.” What do you think, Kickstarter should actually do, in the coming year?
Jason: I think, Kickstarter, needs to be very explicit in telling people, “You’re taking a huge risk. There’s no guarantees. They may have to just say, “Timelines will move.” This idea of an expected delivery date, maybe they should take that off of there. Be like, “We predict, this project will take 6-12 months, to complete.” And, put a range in there. Which means, you could get the product in the 3rd or 4th quarter. You know? Open up the range of when things are going to be delivered. As opposed to, now, where they’re forcing people to make definitive timelines and dates. Just, make it a range. “We think, it’s going to take six months, we’re going to take twelve months.” Look, at SpaceMonkey, from last year. Which, I’m an investor in. Without inside information. They’re not launched, yet. They’re going to launch, soon. These projects take a long time.
Rafe: Yeah. Where the hell are they? That’s one of the most awesome things, I’ve ever seen.
Jason: What’s that?
Jason: I’m an investor, in it. Listen. There’ll be some news, very shortly.
Rafe: Alright. I’m waiting.
Jason: It’s very close. It does take a long time, when, you’ve got, like, a prototype. That was a very “prototypey” type thing. We let it onto the Launch Conference, to make it a reality. Things take a year, sometimes. That’s it. What do you think, they should do, Robert? Any ideas?
Robert: Try to be transparent about what the risks are. I’m just thinking back. I’ve been to China… I’m one of the few journalists, by the way, who’ve been to PCH. Liam, who owns PCH, says, it’s shocking to him, how few journalists, actually, go to China.
Jason: PCH is?
Robert: PCH is a huge supply chain, in Shenzhen, that makes a lot of the things, we own.
Jason: I’ve been to Shenzhen. Just, for the record.
Robert: They make… You’ve been to Shenzhen?
Jason: I’ve been to Shenzhen.
Robert: Most journalists, don’t go, don’t visit, don’t see inside the machinery. Why, it’s so difficult to build a product. Why, it’s so difficult to get it to market. Here’s an example. GoPro, for instance. GoPro was designed 200 yards, from my house. I spent some time, with Nick, talking about GoPro. They just got a $200M investment, from the other guys, in China. Who makes the iPhone?
Robert: Foxconn. Yes. It didn’t start that way. It started with less than $10,000. With, his mom’s sewing machine, he made a prototype, of an idea. He found a partner, in China, who made the first product. It didn’t, quite, work right. You have this iteration loop, that’s very, very long. If, you don’t understand that, you’re going to be, really, in trouble, when, you try to promise something. Cause, it takes time for a design, to come back.
Jason: What is this one, Apple, essentially, killed a Kickstarter project? Explain that, Kirin. Explain that.
Kirin: This is, a little bit, different than your typical Kickstarter project.
Kirin: They were funded, $139,000.
Jason: The name of the project is?
Kirin: It’s POP. It’s a portable power station.
Jason: I paid, for this.
Kirin: Yes. The idea being, that, you could plug in and charge any kind of small device. Not, just an iPhone or an iPad.
Jason: It’s a multi-device charging battery station.
Kirin: Exactly. The problem was, that Apple refused to license the Lightening connector, to them.
Jason: Right. The reason was?
Kirin: The reason was, because, they were going to be able to charge things, other than Apple products. That’s what seems to be the issue. The CEO, Jamie Siminoff…
Jason: Who’s been on the program.
Kirin: … he said, “We’re pissed. I think, they’re being a bunch of assholes. I think, they’re hurting their customers.” In his letter to backers, he said, “We don’t believe in selling a sub-standard, compromised product. That, only satisfies the needs of a few backers.” So, he’s actually refunding all their money. I mean, everything.
Jason: Including the 5% fee?
Kirin: He’s taking the hit, from the credit card fees.
Jason: He’s taking a $10,000 hit. $5,000 hit, probably. 5% of $100,000.
Kirin: He said, “We’re just not going to do this.”
Jason: Here’s the thing. I’ll tell you why this is a PR marketing stunt. I’m friends, with James, obviously. He’s been on the program. This, is a PR marketing stunt. Because, there’s such an, obvious, solution to this. They should let you plug any cable into the POP, that’s a USB cable. You plug the USB cable, what’s on the other end? Apple can’t control that. You can buy a USB-to-Lightening. USB-to-30 pin. USB-to-micro, whatever. USB-to-anything. They could have solved this problem. I’ll tell you what’s going on, here. He has his own platform, now. Right?
Kirin: He has a company, called, Edison Junior.
Jason: Doesn’t he, also, have his own platform for doing like, sort of, KickStartery things?
Kirin: I didn’t look into that.
Jason: I think, he’s sort of making noise, because, he wants to get more people, onto his platform and stuff like that. Create more attention, around what he’s doing. This, to me, reeks of a PR stunt.
Kirin: Do you think, he had legitimate beef, with Apple?
Jason: What do you think, about the beef, with Apple?
Robert: Apple, being controlling and wanting to keep it’s destiny intact. Ha. Yeah, of course.
Rafe: Look. I’m inside a software company, right now. Apple’s one of our biggest platforms. Let me tell you something. You do not go, calling Apple names, like that. Not, if you want a future, with Apple. That’s a very interesting and it’s got to be… I hope. I really hope, it’s a calculated PR move. Cause, otherwise, it’s really dumb.
Jason: Well, yeah. Telling them that, they’re a bunch of “A”holes… any company. Put it this way: He’s not getting any free lunch, anytime.
Rafe: Apple, in particular, you don’t do that.
Robert: Jason, let me tell you the economic power that Apple has. In June, of last year, an Apple team, went to Oakley and says, “We have a partner and we have shelf space.” Guess what? By, November, their product was on the shelf. It’s called, AirWave. It has a heads-up display, in ski goggles. They are sold out. Apple has the ability to change companies balance sheets, forever.
Jason: Because, of the stores.
Robert: Because, of their stores, their economic power, and their brand love, around the world. I’m talking through an Apple computer. I have two Apple computers, here. The economic power of this company, is extraordinary.
Jason: So, do you think the stock is going to get cut, in half, like, somebody else said. I know, you’re not a stock picker, but.
Robert: No. I think, there’s a good risk of that, because, of other market forces. Google is in a much better position, for this contextual age. I’ve been saying that now, for about 3 or 4 months.
Jason: How important is it for Apple to get a handle on advertising. Or, can they just live…
Robert: It’s not advertising. It’s a handle on everything.
Jason: They have no advertising ability and the world wants free product.
Robert: They have a “no everything” ability. Facebook, Google+, and, Twitter know a lot about me.
Jason: Apple knows what?
Kirin: Credit card number.
Robert: What do they know? That’s a good question. They know my credit card number.
Jason: They do know your credit card number. They know what apps you use.
Rafe: They know who you are.
Robert: They know, maybe, what apps I use.
Rafe: Apple’s hardware business. They make nice margins, on their hardware. As long as, the software is good enough. As long as, the apps keep coming in. As long as, people like, Robert and me, keep changing out their old machines for new Apple machines. That’s what makes Apple work. Their hardware is, still, second to none.
Jason: Do they need to have an advertising business, at some point, that works? Or, social network? Rafe.
Rafe: I don’t think, they’ve got the genetics, for it. I’m not sure. Even, Apples iTunes store, supports their hardware business. Not, the other way around. That’s their model: hardware business. It works.
Robert: Here’s the problem. I’ve talked to the guys, at Oakley, about this. They predict: within a few years, every single product that you buy is going to be personalized. It’s going to tell you stuff, about you. They talk about having sunglasses, with a little heads-up display, that are going to tell you, “Oh. You should change the lenses, to this lens. Cause, that will give your experience, a better experience.” Everything’s going to be personalized. So, if Apple is going to compete, in a hardware world, where everything is personalized, based on, our behavior…
Jason: They’re going to need a profile system.
Robert: They’re going to need everything. They don’t have data, about who we are. Google does. Facebook does, some.
Jason: That’s why the cloud is, so, important for them. The iCloud product line.
Robert: Absolutely. Why, they tried to get free of maps. There’s five things, in this world…
Jason: Why haven’t they bought Twitter? It seems like the perfect purchase.
Robert: There’s cultural… Steve Jobs, didn’t understand Twitter and didn’t understand social.
Jason: Yeah, but, now you have, Tim Cook, is running the place. So, shouldn’t, Tim, just make a run at it.
Robert: I know, but, Tim, came out of, Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs hired, Tim. Those guys are not on line. Do you ever see, Time Cook, out on Facebook, or Twitter, or Google+?
Jason: No. I do see him on TV, now. Maybe, we’re a step away. Kirin, last story. Pick a good one.
Kirin: Let’s talk about… it’s topical. The tech industry folks supporting gun control. That’s going on, right now.
Jason: Sure. Let’s talk about gun control. Sure.
Kirin: Demand A Plan. That’s something, that, actually started over the summer. In a reaction to the shooting, in Aurora Colorado.
Jason: Demand A Plan. I’m not aware, of what this is.
Kirin: Demand A Plan, seeks a plan, from Washington, to end gun violence. They have a couple of specific points. The interesting thing is, this week, they did a full-page ad, in The New York Times, with a lot of, people’s signature on it. It included some Hollywood folks, but also, a lot of tech people. Michael Moritz, Fred Wilson, Marc Benioff, Ron Conway, Ev Williams, Dennis Crowley, Chris Dickson, Caterina Fake, Mike McCue, Craig Newmark, David Tisch, Jose Ramon, Sarah Lacy. Those are the ones, I picked out. Some of those folks, also, have put a Demand To Plan, on their Twitter profile picks. The homepage, actually, uses Rebel Mouse. We had, Paul Berry, of Rebel Mouse, on the Startup of the Week, earlier this week. How else, do you think, the industry can be a force for change, or good, on this issue?
Jason: I’m just watching this video, right here. Look, at who they got. It’s everybody. It’s everybody. Carmelo. We do need to have a plan. It’s getting ridiculous. Anyone who’s got kids, is particularly, attuned to this issue, after las friday. It’s terrible. What do you guys, think? You’re both parents.
Robert: I’ve been arguing… My brother-in-law sold guns. So, it’s a family debate, for me. It’s not one that is winnable. I just don’t see our love of guns, in our country, going down. This lady, this mother, had guns in the house, with a mentally disturbed child. Why the hell did she do that? Because, there’s such a deep love of guns, in our country. Until, we solve that, you’re not going to right the laws.
Rafe: You can’t solve that. But, there are things that can be done. The problem is not guns, the problem is mental illness and lack of social services.
Robert: No. It’s guns. The stats clearly show, it’s guns.
Jason: It’s both, right? It’s gotta be both. You’ve got too many guns and, absolutely, no health care.
Robert: These things don’t happen in countries, that, don’t have guns. The same day, a wild crazy guy, used a knife on 20 kids, in China. These things happen, but, the guns make it so efficient to kill.
Jason: I think, Robert’s, exactly right. Rafe, I think, you’re exactly right, too. Listen. Let me put, together, the two positions of our guests. Rafe, is right. This is a mental health, right. Guns don’t kill people. The mentally ill people do. Then, Robert’s right. Americans love these goddamned guns. The guns are, too, powerful. You put those two things, together, it is a recipe for disaster. Let alone, a parent who’s got a kid, who is living in the basement. Who’s 20 years-old. I, really, wish the mother was, still, alive so we could learn something. From, what would possess a mother… I wish everybody was alive.
Robert: She believed, there was going to be a war. She’s a survivalist kind of… my mom was in a cult, with this same kind of mentality. She didn’t own a gun.
Jason: The all believe, it’s the end of goddamned days. They have these guns, that, are just ridiculous. She’s got a mentally disturbed patient and she’s got AR-15s, or whatever.
Robert: Obviously, she didn’t have them locked up, because, the kid got them.
Jason: A kid’s going to be able to break into anything.
Robert: No. have you ever seen a gun lock?
Jason: I have a gun and I have a gun lock.
Robert: Yeah. You have a gun lock. Can anybody break that gunlock?
Jason: It would take a lot of work. You’d have to have a hacksaw.
Rafe: The kids are going to find the keys.
Robert: My fried has a gun safes. You are not going to break into that gun safe, if, you have the key under control.
Jason: Right. You have to have the key on you. If, you leave the key at the house, the whole thing is broken.
Robert: Here’s something, I want to throw out there. With this problem, guns are not going away. Mental illness is not going away. What did happen, at that school, though, that was interesting? The kids who got locked in a closet, survived. So, maybe, that’s the answer. Come up with a cheap closet, of some kind, that you can go into…
Jason: Safe rooms.
Robert: … that are bulletproof or safer. Give people a chance, to survive in some situation, like this.
Jason: Let me tell you happened.
Robert: Maybe, that’s Silicon Valley thinking. It’s think different. We might be able to come up with something new.
Jason: We have to have a fresh discussion, on this. The kooks and the people, who are, no gun control people, now, have lost. Because, this involved children, they’ve lost the argument. They don’t have the high ground, anymore. They can’t defend they’re position. We’re going to see change. It’s going to come in the form, I predict, in the form of an executive order. I don’t know the, exact, laws around it. You’re going to have some executive orders, to change this stuff. We do need to have some creativity around this. I think, what we should do is, offer… maybe, we should just limit it to one gun. Everybody can own one gun. Obviously, not these crazy, powerful ones. If, everybody can own one gun, at a time, then the second gun is $1,000. The third gun is $5,000, in tax, a year. People are going to own one gun.
Jason, I’m going to go pro-gun, on you.
Jason: Go ahead.
I believe, we should have an Israeli or Switzerland-style society. But, there’s one catch.
Jason: What’s that?
Robert: You have to serve two years, in the military, to get that gun.
Jason: Oh. So, you can have a gun, if you serve two years.
Rafe: In Switzerland, you have to keep a gun, after you do your mandatory service, in the military. Everybody has one.
Robert: And, there’s very few of these. Because, 1. by putting somebody through the military, they get attached to society, in some deep way and we can study and see, if they’re mentally ill, so we can keep guns away from there.
Jason: That’s a great idea.
Robert: And, 3. The gun is issued to you, by the government. It’s a gun that, I think, holds eleven bullets. It is not concealable. I’ve seen the Switzerland guns. They’re big. You can’t just walk around the street, with one of those. You’ll get attention.
Jason: Something’s got to change.
Rafe: I don’t want guns… Look. I don’t think, that would fix the problem, in the school. Because, I don’t want guns in my kid’s school. I respect it, but, I do not want guns around my kids.
Robert: In Israel, they do have guns.
Rafe: Yes, they do. But, we’re not in Israel.
Robert: They had trained teachers, cause, they had a shooting, of this style, in an Israeli school. They trained administrators, to have guns, and the problem stopped. When, you have a few people, who are trained, with a good gun, that’ll take care… I do agree, there are other approaches to…
Jason: The good news is…
Robert: This is not going to work in our country.
Jason: There’s no good that can come out of 20 children being killed. We do have a moral obligation, to the memory of those children. To do our best to debate the issue and to make some changes. This cannot be like the Aurora shooting. Where, after week, everybody forgets about it. This has to be… New Town, has to be the one, where action occurs.
Robert: The problem is, Jason. None of us are willing to change our position, on this, or a number of different issues. Personally, we focusing, this week…
Jason: I don’t know, about that, Robert. I think, people are going to be, very, reasonable to discussion. I think, what’s happened is…
Robert: I don’t think so.
Jason: Robert. You’ve been trained to think, that things can’t change. When, you look at technology, you believe that everything can change, easily. If, people can switch their goddamned social network, like they change their underwear, they can switch their position on guns. If, they can switch, from MySpace, to Facebook, to Instagram, they can switch their round clips, to six.
Robert: I can change. I used to be a, very, very, conservative christian. I’m not. I’m on both sides of those issues.
Jason: You’re an atheist. I understand.
Robert: Not an atheist. I’m agnostic. I’m not sure, God doesn’t exist, but, I’m not sure, He exists either. Or, She exists. But, I’m open to the possibility, if She starts talking to me, right now.
Jason: Exactly. “Robert. It’s, Me, God, Robert. I exist. You have to switch to Windows, Robert. It’s Me, God.”
Robert: That’s easier, than, trying to get a pro-gun guy to change.
Rafe: You are a cruel and vengeful God.
Jason: What’s easier? Getting people to give up their guns or getting people to give up their iPhones? Robert.
Robert: Easier, to give up an iPhone.
Jason: Really? Than, a gun?
Robert: Absolutely. It’s cultural.
Jason: Listen. If, you…
Robert: The guns are cultural.
Jason: I bet you, if you went to the majority of gun owners and said, “Internet or guns. You can only have one.”
Jason: They’re going to give up the gun.
Robert: Now, that’s cultural. You switched the question, on me.
Jason: I did.
Robert: It was give up iPhone, go with Windows Phone. That’s going to be easier, than, going from gun to no gun, or, internet to no internet. I’ve been arguing with people online, including family members. This is a, very, deep issue. It’s not going to change fast. Look at how long it took for our attitudes towards tobacco and smoking to change, in our country.
Jason: I think, that the president has to do an executive order. The same way, when 9/11 happened…
Robert: It’s ineffective, though. What’s he going to do? There’s 300M guns, in The United States.
Jason: I think, he’s got to just ban…
Rafe: Outlaw the sale of guns, that hold more than nine rounds.
Jason: Yeah. He’s got to start with
Rafe: Buy back or destroy the rest. He can’t grandfather the old guns.
Jason: Exactly. He’s got to do a buy back program. This is what I would do. You get 100% of the cost of your gun. If, you sell it, in the next year, you get 80%. Then, 60%. Then, 20%. No more selling of the clips. It is an executive order. He gets tons of lawsuits, from people: NRA. It creates this massive gridlock and madness. I don’t know, if he’s going to do it, or not. What do you think, Kirin? Let’s hear Kirin’s point of view.
Kirin: I think, that you guys are having the typical discussion that everybody has. I actually, want you to have the discussion of how what you guys do everyday, all the technology stuff, can actually be a force for good. That was my question. How can this be force for good? Beyond, the usual, like, government has to do something. What else has to happen, through…
Jason: Non-government stuff.
Kirin: … through technology.
Jason: How about, we do a Kickstarter campaign. I’ll tell you something. If, we did a Kickstart campaign to raise money, for gun buy backs. That can happen outside the government.
Robert: Naaa. It doesn’t happen, man.
Jason: We can fund the buy back. We can see, how many people… I’ll put up $500 to buy back guns, to destroy them. Sure.
Robert: Jason. At RackSpace, we fit 18 people into a little mini car. The people who survived the shooting, were in a closet. That’s the Silicon Valley kind of answer. In fact, SRI…
Jason: Is a safe room the best we can do?
Robert: No. We can come up with technology solutions, to save lives. By the way, we’re going to have a far deeper problem, over the next 30 years. With, climate change and other issues, than, gun control.
Jason: Here’s a technology one. How about, every gun that we sell, going forward, has to be hardcoded, with a thumbprint reader, on it. You have to activate it, by thumbprint.
Robert: I like that idea.
Rafe: These mass murderers are suicidal. They kill a dozen people, then, they kill themselves.
Robert: I know. But, at least, you know that the person has the gun, that they bought. This problem…
Jason: I’m saying, this gun does not fire, without thumbprint recognition.
Robert: Right. This problem…
Rafe: For some reason, that won’t go. It’s privacy, government control. It won’t fly. Why not make all the guns radio-controlled, so the government can authorize fire. It just won’t work.
Robert: The problem is, the gun nuts think, we’re coming after their guns. So, they’re not going to be, very, likely to use monitoring methods and stuff like that. This is a technology problem, that could be solved. Now, that sensors are getting cheaper. We have lots of technology, that we can throw at the problem.
Jason: This is what I would like to see. At the very least, we could throw this to, a state by state issue. I think, there needs to be a referendum, in each state. Maybe, that’s something the president can do. Do a referendum, where, every state has to vote on the exact gun control, they want. That way, we get an idea of what everybody wants. Do it online. Do it at thewhitehouse.gov. Where, everybody gets to chime in. The votes are counted and we, actually, see which states want to have bedlam, and which ones don’t. Then, we can say, “California, doesn’t want to have this. We’re going to really work hard on the legislature. Based, on the internet voting.” Almost like… what do you call, when, we have the ballots. What do you call those ballots?
Jason: Referendums. We need a referendum, on this. You can pick what state you want to live in. If, you want to live in the OK Coral, great. Move to Texas. If, you want t live in a gun-free zone, move to New York state, or whatever.
Robert: Naa. Jason, you’re talking crazy.
Jason: I am talking crazy.
Robert: You’re talking crazy. It’s not going to happen.
Jason: I am so, so depressed.
Robert: So, let’s find another way to attack this problem. I visited Lab, where, the mouse was invented. They, also, do material research. They came up with bulletproof glass, there. I interviewed some of the scientists. They are working on bullet resistant materials, that are light weight and low cost. They, already, put them in lots of places.
Jason: Yeah. I got to put my daughter in Kevlar, to send her to fucking school?
Kirin: That’s $10, in the swear jar.
Robert: If, it helps you survive… perhaps, one kid survive. That’s better, than, trying to put through a gun law, that’s not going to happen.
Jason: Robert, you owe the swear jar $10, by the way. I’ll just take it off you, the next time I see you.
Robert: I’m sorry.
Jason: No. You know what? It, just, sucks to end the year… 2012. What a great year, for the industry, for the country. Individually, I had a great year. To, end the year, on New Town. To end the whole discussion, on this, is ultimately depressing. My heart goes out to those families. I hope, we come up with something. It, really, feels like we, definitely, need to demand a plan. We, definitely, need to come up with some creative ideas. Some people, in my audience… If, somebody could come up with a startup idea. I think, some crowd funding of the pulling guns out of the system could help, actually. Or, I do think, we need to think about mental health being free. Because, if you think about mental health, two thirds of the people on the street, who are homeless, suffer from mental health? It’s some incredible amount. Put aside, what you think about ObamaCare or state-run healthcare. Can we all agree, that mentally disturbed people should be able to get free healthcare. I think, that’s a pretty easy one, for the majority of people to agree with. If, people are insane, we put them…
Rafe: It saves lives.
Jason: That’s what I’m saying. It’s in it’s own best interest.
Robert: Let me tell ya. I have an autistic kid. He’s five years-old. A psychologist is saying, he’s going to need a private school. The one that he, really, needs to be in…
Robert: It’s $75,000, a year. It’s more than a Stanford education.
Jason: It’s unbelievable.
Robert: It’s expensive. I don’t know how… I’m not going to pay for it. He’s going to stay in public school. Where, he’s not getting the best help, possible.
Jason: We’re talking about, such, a small amount of money, when we share the burden of the mental health cost, across the wealth continuum. It would be pennies and dollars, for us to take care of these people, in society. If, we can’t take care of the people who are the most vulnerable, the people who are suffering the most, what kind of society are we living in?
Robert: It’s a cyclical thing. The other thing that happened in politics, this week, this financial cliff, fiscal cliff.
Robert: The republicans can’t even agree, amongst themselves, to raise taxes…
Jason: I’d hate to make it a party by party issue. The republicans…
Robert: I’m not making a party thing. The republicans, themselves, can’t agree how to solve this problem.
Jason: This is because, there’s two republican parties. There’ s the republican party, driven by logic. Then, there’s the republican party, driven by absolute nut cases, or, religious right-wingers. Who, the normal republicans think, in order to get elected, they need to appease God-fearing maniacs. Who, are just out there, injecting God and all this madness into what the Founding Fathers wanted. I hate to make this a God thing, but… I’ll tell you something. God, didn’t want those 20 kids to get killed. God, doesn’t want the country to go bankrupt. God, doesn’t want gridlock… if, you do believe, in God, in Washington. For, God sake. You got me all worked up, now, this is a stupid issue. I’m telling you, right now. When, I retire, I’m starting… this is why, I’m going to start a talk show. Where, I just be like, Howard Stern, everyday. Do drive-time radio. I’ll talk about these issues, for like an hour or two. Because, it’s literally, been making me mental. I watched, Anderson Cooper, read the names of those kids. I don’t know, about you guys. I’ve been obsessing about this, for the last week. Watching, every piece of media, on it. I am so depressed, going into my vacation. Robert, are you deeply impacted, by this, emotionally?
Robert: Yeah. It’s depressing.
Jason: Did you cry about it, at all?
Jason: What about you, Rafe? Did you cry about this, at any point? When, you were watching the media, or anything?
Rafe: I couldn’t… I was working, here, and was like,…
Jason: You opted out?
Rafe: … how can I get anything done? I was just like… I was thinking about, my own kid. Who… I’m down in Redwood City. He’s in San Francisco. I’m an hour away, from him.
Jason: What is he, 7 or 8? You have an 8 year-old?
Rafe: He’s six.
Jason: Six. The same age.
Rafe: They locked the building down. He was in a school and they locked it all down. Just like every other school, across the country, probably did. This guy, forced his way in.
Jason: That’s the force of it. Everybody’s having these discussions.
Rafe: It wasn’t like, this guy waltzed in.
Jason: No. He shot the windows out, with an automatic rifle, semi-automatic rifle.
Rafe: I know. It’s ridiculous.
Jason: By the way. There’s this whole discussion, of like, semi-automatic vs. automatic rifles, by the way. For, anybody, who’s ever fired a gun, the difference is pop, pop, pop… (imitating rifle shots)… versus, BBBLLLLLRRRRRRR. (imitating fully automatic gunfire). In other words, against people who are unarmed, there is no difference between automatic and semiautomatic, if you are unarmed on the other side of the equation. Even, the Navy Seals. When, they go into a fighting situations, they’re not on automatic. Automatic, doesn’t matter. It’s the power of the rifle and the fact that, as fast as you could hit the trigger… da, da, da, da, da, da, da, (imitating semi-automatic gunfire)… is as fast as you could fire. It makes no difference. We’re having this farcical argument, that, it’s automatic vs. semiautomatic. No. It’s the power of the goddamned rifle and the number of bullets in it. And, the mental health.
Kirin: Do you want to end, on a happy note, Jason?
Jason: I do want to end, on a happy note.
Robert: Let’s go back to startups, man.
Jason: You going to get me a cupcake or something?
Kirin: I’ll have a cupcake.
Robert: Startups make me happy. They bring cool things to my life.
Jason: Yeah. Last thing. Make me happy, please. I’m going to Hawaii, tomorrow. I want to have something nice to think, laying on the beach.
Kirin: Well, I think, this is not “news” news, but, you did get your Tesla bag.
Jason: I got a Tesla bag. You’re right.
Kirin: As, a thank you, for Signature Model S owners. There was some Model S love, going on Twitter, this week.
Jason: Oh. Yeah. Definitely.
Kirin: Ev Williams, called it, “the most amazing, best car, ever.”
Jason: Jason: Correct. So, did, Chris Sacca.
Kirin: So did, Chris Sacca.
Jason: Ev Williams and Chris Sacca, got theirs. Do you want to know the back story?
Jason: Here, is the back story. There, was a family gathering. Ev Williams, is there. Chris Sacca, is there. I’m there, with my family. I bring the car. I got the car, three days earlier. I take those two guys for rides… and their wives. Their, just, going crazy over it. The wait’s a year, right? But, there are people who cancel, once in a while, who drop off the list. They had to buy another care, whatever. They had a divorce. They can’t afford to pay for it. Once in a while, somebody drops off of the list. So, I got the car. The guys said, “You’re good friends, with Elon. Can you get me up the list?” I said, “Listen. If, you are really serious about that, buy the car. Put, a full deposit down. Send me your receipt and I’ll show it to, Elon. I’ll introduce you, to him. The next day, monday, they both send me… they bought the highest end, everything. They sent it to me. I introduced them, both, to Elon.
Kirin: He didn’t know them?
Jason: He knew, of them. Obviously, they know each other. Anyway, moved them up the list. Long story short. To a cancelled slot. They got their cars. Now, they can’t stop crowing about it. Now, that gives me a huge problem, because, everybody knows, that I helped them get their cars. Everybody thinks, I can help, now. I’ve got about 20 people. I’m like, “I’m not sending, Elon… This is the same problem I’m having, with Mark Cuban. Everybody wants tickets, to the Mavericks. Everybody wants a favor, from Mark Cuban. I like, “I can’t forward, every request, that somebody sends along, to Mark Cuban. Don’t ask me to move you up the list.
Rafe: Can you give me a ride? I’ll cover, for that.
Robert: It’s a great car.
Jason: I’m going to bring it, to CES, with me. I’m going to have a driver. I’m bringing it, to CES.
Robert: It’s a great car. By the way, Jervison, lives about eight blocks, from my house.
Jason: Yeah. He’s got that crazy house, on the water.
Rafe: He’s #1, on the list.
Jason: Hold on. Hold on!
Kirin: Let’s get this right.
Jason: Let’s get this right. Don’t get it twisted. Jervison has #1, of the Founders Series. Which is 30 cars they made, for the people who invested, in the company. The first one made available, to the public, Signature Model #000001, belongs to, Jason Calacanis. Don’t get it twisted. I could have had a Founders Series. I elected to get the #1. I wouldn’t have had that. Jervison, got that. So, Jervison, got his, a month before me. He has an earlier model. I have the first one, ever available to the public. Signature Model #1. 000001 serial number.
Rafe: Boy, Jason. You’re going to be so pissed, when Tesla does an Apple and upgrades. You’re like, “I just got mine, six months ago.”
Jason: You know what? Four times, that’s happened and I got the over-the-air upgrade. The whole software rebooted. Your car goes into lock down mode, for an hour. It downloads.
Kirin: What happens, if your driving?
Jason: No. You can’t do it. You, basically, have to be home. You have to plug it in. Just, like, you do when you’re upgrading your firmware, on your laptop. It’s like, “Be plugged into the power.”
Jason: So, when you do the over-the-air upgrade, you have to be in park. You have to be plugged in. So, something, like that, can’t happen.
Robert: Listen. It’s a great car, by the way. I got to drive #6, of the Founders cars.
Jason: I’m going to bring the car, with me, to… I’m going to bring, Bryce, with me. He’s going to be my driver. I just realized. At, CES, you can’t get a driver. Even, if you wanted to pay $1,000 or $2,000, a day. As, Robert and Rafe, will tell you, CES, is an incredible disaster, getting around. Right?
Rafe: I’m not going, this year.
Jason: Right. Exactly. I’m going after a three year break. You going, Robert?
Robert: I have the working man’s Tesla, called, the Prius.
Robert: Ford, is giving us a, C-MAX. A new hybrid car. To compare the Prius, against the C-MAX.
Jason: Is RackSpace, going to have a big presence, at CES? Are you going to have a party, a blog lounge or anything?
Robert: Yeah, we are. At, New Media Expo.
Jason: OK. Great.
Robert: We’ve got a booth at the New Media Expo, not CES.
Jason: Well, RackSpace, a great company. I want to thank, RackSpace, for providing service, to so many people, out there. I know, a lot of my fans, use RackSpace. RackSpace makes… in terms of making independent media possible, Robert’s entire existence, at this point, is thanks to, RackSpace underwriting the great content he makes, with startups, everyday. I just want to… if, you listening or you’re a fan of, Robert’s work, or of him being on the show, just, say thank you @rackspace. It’s a great company. World class company.
Robert: We’re more open than, the other guys. We’re on, OpenStack. OpenStack, was just chosen, by Stern. By the way.
Jason: Oh, great. They have OpenStack. It’s cloud-based and awesome. So, thank you. Hey! Evernote, obviously, is the greatest product, ever known to man. Everybody’s addicted to it, here, at Mahalo/Inside.com, ThisWeekIn. Every company. Everybody loves, Evernote. The new food app, is out. What is it called, FoodNote?
Rafe: Just, Evernote Food.
Jason: Evernote Food.
Rafe: Also. Try, Hello, for recording the interactions, the meetings, you have with people.
Jason: Oh, cool.
Rafe: It’s one of my favorite unknown features or products, that Evernote makes.
Jason: Yeah. Everybody, follow @rafe. Everybody, follow @scobleizer. Thank you, to my friends @snapterms, for making great products. Thank you, to New Relic. @newrelic. Real user experiences. Code-level app performance. Server response. Awesome. Hey, Kirin. Thanks. It’s your first full year, here. It’s wonderful… you’ve been, here, half a year?
Kirin: I’ve been, here, two years, dude.
Jason: No. But, you were, here, for a half a year, last year before that?
Kirin: I started, December 9, 2010.
Jason: Oh. It was, December. I thought, it was, January.
Kirin: If, anyone’s keeping track. That, is two years, my friend.
Jason: Listen. You’ve done an amazing job. Well done. The show, ThisWeekIn Startups, some people are wondering, “How is it going, so well? You’re getting such great guests.” If, you want to know the answer, Kirin has taken over booking the guests. The guest level is getting to another level. Last week, on the news, we had, David Cohen and Kara Swisher.
Kirin: We had, Peter Diamandis.
Jason: We had, Peter Diamandis, on. We had, Jeff Clavier, on. This week, Rafe and Robert Scoble. You’re doing a great job. Well done. Have a great break. You earned it. The Launch Ticker, doing fabulous.
Kirin: Thank you.
Jason: Thank you, to Brandis. Making things happen.
Robert: I should hire her.
Jason: Who would you like to hire? Kirin?
Jason: Be careful, Robert. Everybody thank, Robert, for his last appearance, on the show.
Kirin: Hey, now. Robert’s going to join us, at the Launch Festival, yes?
Jason: Of course, he is. The Launch Festival, is going to be amazing, this year. We’ve got an amazing, amazing… we’ve got 3 days, this year. Already, I think, we’re at $350,000, in sponsorship. Which is, further along, than we’ve ever been. We got to get to $650K, or so. Which, we’ll get to. I think, pretty confidently. We gave 1,000 tickets away, to developers and UX professionals. They took us up on it. We check their LinkedIn, to make sure they’re, actually, real builders. Then, we gave another 1,000 away. There’s going to be 5,000 people there, Robert. I don’t need to make a profit, off of this. Unlike, other conferences. We’re going to have 2,000 seats, this year, in the auditorium. It’s going to be insane. I’m going big.
Robert: Are you going to bring Tequila, to the press, again?
Jason: Absolutely. The VIP waiter service, will be there, again. You email: VIP@Launch.co. We bring it to your seat number.
Robert: I’m noticing a trend. Le Web, Loic, took us to some awesome wine. We had Palma wine. Which, is about $300, a bottle.
Jason: Oh. He brought it to your desk, at the event?
Robert: He took us to… Which, was pretty good.
Jason: You have wines, in the afternoon. It’s going to be amazing. We just announced, we’re going to have a Hack-a-thon, on saturday.
Robert: I’m super siked, about that. I gotta say, by the way.
Jason: Great. Maybe, Evernote, can put a prize or buy lunch. If, you guys are into it.
Rafe: Yeah. That’ll be cool.
Jason: You should, definitely, come. The hack-a-thon, we’re going to have 50 teams, of 4. We’re going to limit it to 250 people. The exciting news is, I decided, I’ll invest $25,000, and, whoever the winner is, join their board. So, I’ll, literally, take an initiative. Then, the top 5 people, from Hack-a-thon, out of 50, which means, 10% of the people who present, at Hack-a-thon, will make it to the main stage. We’re going to have a new award. It’s going to be called, the Launch Alpha. So, we have Launch 1.0. Brand new company. First time anybody has ever seen the product. Launch 2.0 is, a new product, from an existing company, or a pivot. Now, we have the beginning of the life cycle, which is, the Launch Alpha. Which, is something that was just made, in the last 48 hours. I’ll, personally, invest $25,000 and join the board of the company, and, work with them over the next two or three years. The five people, who get on stage, automatically get a slot in the 2014 competition. For, that product or another one. As long as, it’s the same team. What we’re doing, here, not only do you get $25,000 investment, if you’re the winner. You get to, then…
Kirin: You’ll have money to build it, first of all.
Jason: You’ll have money, but, you’ll be able to go to VCs and angels and say, “We were in the top 10%. We have a guaranteed spot on stage, in front of 2,000 people. I’m pulling out all the stops, on this one. I basically said, to myself, “I’m getting bored.” Well, you know. I said it. We had this discussion.
Kirin: You get bored, easily.
Jason: I do. I get, a little bit, bored. I’m a bit of a junkie, when it comes to trying to get a rush, out of something. I want, a little bit, more of a rush, out of the event. So, I say, “You know what? “F” it. We’re going the three days. We’re doing the Hack-a-thon. I’m going to put $250,000, at risk. If, I don’t get those sponsors, I lose it. But, I need to have some skin, in the game, here. You know what? It’s working out. We’ve got these great sponsors: Sequoia, Google, Bing, Wilson Sonsini. Maybe, you’ve heard of some of these people.
Jason: MailChimp. EEeeEEE.
Robert: We should talk. RackSpace, is going to have some new…
Jason: Listen. I owe, RackSpace, some love. As, you know, Robert, on the back end tip. So, I’m willing to eat crow and do whatever it takes, to show my love, for RackSpace, because, we’ve had, a little bit, of a rocky thing, in the past. We’ll leave that off the table for, now, but I gotta show my love, for RackSpace.
Robert: We’re thinking of an incubator, in San Francisco. It would be good to talk about that.
Jason: Oh. Good. That’ll be great. Maybe, you could launch it, onstage and I could interview the CEO, of RackSpace.
Robert: “Co-working space”.
Jason: Genius. Great idea. Listen, everybody.
Robert: It’s great space. Right, at Second and Fulsom.
Jason: Awesome. Thank, to everybody, who made this year in, ThisWeekIn Startups. Especially, the fans.
Robert: One last thing, Jason.
Jason: What’s that?
Robert: We talked about that Apple/KickStarter thing.
Robert: There’s news breaking, right now. Apple answered the concerns and replied, “It’s not our fault.” Now, it’s a he said, she said, kind of thing.
Jason: Oh, good.
Robert: Up, on VentureBeat, there’s an answer, from Apple.
Jason: Which, shows you the Apple people need to get a lesson, in PR. Never fight down.
Kirin: They shouldn’t have said, anything.
Jason: They shouldn’t have responded. Silence, is golden. Nobody would have thought about this. Now, this becomes the top story, on TechMeme, again. So dumb. Never respond. Learn your lesson. Hey. Anyway, I’m trying to wrap up, here.
Kirin: We’re going to end it.
Jason: What an amazing 2012, it’s been. What an amazing 2013, it will be. It’s been so great, to have all these great guests, for the year. Sacca, Peter Diamandis.
Kirin: Naval. Chamath.
Jason: Naval. Chamath. So many great people. David Sachs, was on the program. I’ve had, Dave Goldberg. I just want to thank, everybody, for coming on the program. I want to thank the audience, most of all. For, tuning in week after week. For, harassing people who haven’t been on the show. For, yelling at the people who have been on the show. “I saw you, on the show.” This, is what I need you maniacs to do. You have to be the super fans, that you are. That means, that you have to, sometimes, put yourself, out on a limb. When, you meet somebody famous, say, “Why haven’t you been on ThisWeekIn Startups? Why haven’t you been on ThisWeekIn Startups?” Like, a mental patient. And, you need to thank people for being on the program. You nee to thank the sponsors, for supporting it, and, you have. That’s why the show has leveled up. It leveled up, in 2012. You guys recharged me. Now, I’m ready to go into 2013 and do another full year of the show. 2014, absolutely not. I’m announcing it, right now. I’m done, in 2014. 2014, end of the show. Done. I’m doing 2013. Everybody’s got 52 weeks.
Kirin: About 100 more episodes.
Jason: You got about 100 more episodes. That’s all your taking, out of me. But, it’s going to be a good 2013. I’m predicting, this is going to be the best 2013, ever.
Kirin: Now, you’re going to go lie on the beach?
Jason: Now, I will go to Maui. You know who’s watching my house and my dogs?
Jason: Josh Harris. We Live In Public.
Kirin: Oh, my God. That’s not a good idea, is it?
Jason: It is. Yeah. Gotta watch the hacienda. I just realized, I got two people staying in my house, when, I’m gone. For, those people who want to rob my house, when, I’m gone. I have two people staying at my house. And, a bunch of firearms. Stay out of there.
Kirin; You, just, don’t want Josh, to recreate We Live In Public, in your house.
Jason: In my house. Exactly. I’ve got seven cameras, at my house. Which, I do own a firearm. I own a firearm, because, I’ve had a specific threat. I’ve had threats before. So, I got to think about these things. Now, I’m starting to think, God, what am I doing with a firearm. I’ve got armed security response. I’ve got everything at the compound. Whatever. Anyway. Listen, it’s going to be a good 2013. Everybody, enjoy the break. See you next time, on ThisWeekIn Startups. Bye-bye.