11: A Particularly Exuberant Adolescence03 May 2013
The WWDC ticket lottery, why Marco sold Instapaper, future app prospects, developer motivation, and iOS 7 speculation.
- The WWDC ticket lottery and potential solutions, or a merit system.
- Why Marco sold Instapaper. (See also.)
- Prospects for replacing Instapaper's income.
- Speculating on today's app market.
- The Magazine's app and Newsstand quality.
- Motivation, development, and homework.
- iOS 7's rumored visual overhaul and other speculation.
- The transition away from Steve Jobs' influence.
- What's left for iOS 7 to add?
Sponsored by Squarespace: Use discount code ATP5 at checkout for 10% off.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, retweet everything and then let’s get going so nobody gets bored and leaves.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think we already lost that battle.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So what are we talking about this week?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So what are we talking about? Well, this was a big week. And first
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and foremost, WWDC tickets happened.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco They did. And that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It was nothing like we predicted at all. We were completely wrong.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Which means… I
⏹️ ▶️ John was right, because I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t remember what I said. What did I
⏹️ ▶️ John say last time? I think I said that I thought I would get a ticket and I did. So I was right.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Jonathan Mann about
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that? I don’t know. I just I saw it going very differently
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in my head. I mean, I knew it would be quick, but I think
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I saw someone who kind of someone who had the source that cannot be named that said it was 71 seconds. Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco they said it was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like somebody had dinner with somebody who would know, and they said it was something like that.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I mean, based on what I saw, that seems right. And that’s just, that’s insane. So
⏹️ ▶️ Casey my question, or two questions really to you guys, or a two-part question is, one,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey as has been talked about in our little circle of life ad nauseum, is this
⏹️ ▶️ Casey sustainable? And two, does Apple give a crap anyway? I mean,
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s the I don’t like that whole line of reasoning doesn’t make any sense to me where
⏹️ ▶️ John if people are angry about how things went, they decide that it has to be some kind of neglect
⏹️ ▶️ John or malicious neglect on the part of the personified entity that is this company that somehow
⏹️ ▶️ John they don’t care. They care.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, I think it’s, you know, we almost everyone who has a blog and likes Apple stuff
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the last week has written something about WWDC and ideas on on you know either
⏹️ ▶️ Marco how it could be fixed whether it needs to be fixed or you know what this means in the universe
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and you know my position is basically that basically agreeing with with John you know and you know John
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you wrote this great thing about the lottery how you know it basically is it has become a de
⏹️ ▶️ Marco facto lottery even though it technically isn’t one because even
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if were there in the very first minute, it was pretty random whether or not you got a ticket because there
⏹️ ▶️ Marco are so many server errors as everybody slammed the server even from the very first few seconds. So,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, it is a lottery now. And this is kind of… isn’t that the same way that Google I O goes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John There was something where… I’ve
⏹️ ▶️ John never tried to get a ticket, but it goes fast.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I think it’s similar in that, like, you know, it’s basically random. Like whoever gets the first 5,000
⏹️ ▶️ Marco database connections get it, basically. or something like that.
⏹️ ▶️ John There’s no point in that, because if there’s nothing you can do to increase your odds, then
⏹️ ▶️ John it is a lottery. I mean, you could say, like, well, there’s something you can do to make sure that you have
⏹️ ▶️ John non-zero odds, but you can’t do anything to increase them, because it’s just the luck of the draw.
⏹️ ▶️ John What hit on the database you happen to get when your CDN refreshes to have the new content?
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s like, there is really nothing you can do. The only thing you can do is decide to enter or not.
⏹️ ▶️ John means basically being paranoid for months and then being relieved when you find out it’s gonna be pre-announced
⏹️ ▶️ John and then sitting there at your computer with hopefully a synchronized clock and reloading the page a bazillion times
⏹️ ▶️ John that all that annoying effort is essentially you putting your little ticket into the box and then everything that
⏹️ ▶️ John happens after that is out of your control so it’s it’s a lottery it’s in it’s the world’s most annoying lottery
⏹️ ▶️ John because if it was a regular lottery and they just said three months ahead of time put your name in this box if you’re interested
⏹️ ▶️ John in WODC then you’d be like all right, I did that. And then there’d be no more. You’d be like, you’d be wondering if you got
⏹️ ▶️ John it, but you wouldn’t have to be sleeping with your phone next to you on loud for months at a time and signing up
⏹️ ▶️ John for alerting services and sitting there at your computer clicking, clicking reload. Like none of that would
⏹️ ▶️ John be required. That’s all just pointless stress for the people involved.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Right. So I mean, at that point, why not just make it an honest to goodness, regular lottery where
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you say, hey, for this week, we’ll sign or for this day, we’re going to sign you up. And then two days later, we’ll draw out of a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey hat. And I mean, I don’t know, it just, it seems like, it seems like what we’ve got
⏹️ ▶️ Casey isn’t right. And maybe that’s just because all of the people who didn’t get a ticket have
⏹️ ▶️ Casey launched onto the internet, like Marco said, and complained about it. But I don’t know, it just
⏹️ ▶️ Casey doesn’t feel right to me. And one thing I read was Dan Provost, who is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey co-founder of Studio Neat, who makes like the Cosmonaut and the Glyph and other cool things like that.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey He had an interesting post, which I just put in the chat, about how you could do kind of a half lottery, half
⏹️ ▶️ Casey merit system. This I believe he based on your post, John, where he had said,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I’m going to butcher the details because I read it a few days ago, but he said something like, hey, for some marathon, I think it was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the New York Marathon, you get preference based on seniority, sympathy,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the elite, legwork, or charity. And so he said, hey, what if we did that for
⏹️ ▶️ Casey WWDC, where, and his examples were seniority. If you attended the past 10 WWDCs,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey then you’ll more likely get a ticket or maybe be guaranteed to get a ticket. Or sympathy,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey if you lose the lottery for three consecutive years, well, womp, womp, we’ll give you a ticket. Or
⏹️ ▶️ Casey elite or leg worth or charity, there’s many ways in which you could say, hey, if you apply,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey if you’re one of the 100 or 1,000 people that apply to these categories, we’ll give you a ticket,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but everyone else, you’re going in a regular lottery, tough noogies. And I don’t know that that’s right,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but I thought it was a very interesting kind of halfway to do it.
⏹️ ▶️ John I think there’s a lot of problems with that. First is it’s not that it increases your odds if
⏹️ ▶️ John you fulfill those things. It was grouped into guaranteed and non-guaranteed. And the guaranteed people got tickets and non-guaranteed
⏹️ ▶️ John were all put into the lottery, right? I
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey think that’s right.
⏹️ ▶️ John Not the specifics of that, but the problem with having any type of things that human beings can do to guarantee
⏹️ ▶️ John a ticket is that all you’re doing is shoving the race into another realm. you know, 20,000 people would do
⏹️ ▶️ John what it takes to be guaranteed. And then it would be like, OK, well, to be guaranteed,
⏹️ ▶️ John you have to climb Mount Everest and save a child from a burning building. And I mean, you’re just getting rid of these, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John like, I have no doubt that all those people who are sitting there hitting reload would do the things
⏹️ ▶️ John required to be guaranteed. And if you oversubscribe the quote unquote guaranteed pool, well, then you’re back
⏹️ ▶️ John to the same stupid problem again. That’s the problem I see is like, you know, the marathon,
⏹️ ▶️ John I guess marathon helps a little bit because inherently it’s a difficult thing to do. So if some of the guarantees are like run
⏹️ ▶️ John a whole bunch of marathons and that’s perhaps Maybe if that was the actual requirement to be
⏹️ ▶️ John guaranteed for WWE see take it you have to run three marathons in a year certified, you know like
⏹️ ▶️ John Obviously, it’s not gonna be doesn’t make any sense but I’m saying if if the things I tried to imagine what those things could possibly be
⏹️ ▶️ John and I think of the post went into Them as well. Like what could the criteria be for getting a guaranteed ticket
⏹️ ▶️ John if they’re physically possible people will do them Because there’s that much demand I think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco well Well I think it’s worth asking. A lot of these
⏹️ ▶️ Marco systems that try to prioritize people or give certain people an easier time getting tickets,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot of them have assumed that loyalty is one of the big factors that matters. Like the seniority,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you’ve gone to past ones and you’re guaranteed a ticket now or whatever. But isn’t that kind of counter
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to WWDC and what it’s for in Apple’s mind? Apple loves
⏹️ ▶️ Marco having a very high percentage of first-timers there, because that really shows they’re bringing new people into the ecosystem,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’re training new people. There is some repetition between consecutive years
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of WWDC. And so, a lot of people, even before this crazy sellout,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot of people who I read or who I’m friends with were saying that they only buy a ticket every other year,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because the repetition just doesn’t make it worth it for them. from Apple’s perspective, they want
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as many people as possible to have experienced WWDC so that they become
⏹️ ▶️ Marco better developers and become more, you know, I guess more loyal or more likely to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco do things Apple’s preferred ways. So Apple really doesn’t want
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a bunch of repeat visitors. And so it’s been, you know, we’ve had all the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco years up till now, or, you know, not including this year, but all the previous years up till this year,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you really cared a whole lot about getting a ticket, you could get one every single year. And that’s why you have people who have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco been there for 10 years or more in a row. But maybe that’s over now.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Maybe the idea, and I would say probably definitely it’s over now, that the idea that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you just really want a ticket really badly that you’ll pretty much get one, that’s over. And that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco probably never coming back. And maybe that’s a problem Apple doesn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, that’s you know with those conditions even if there weren’t enough like like I said Which I think there would be there would be enough people
⏹️ ▶️ John willing to do whatever it takes to be guaranteed and you go back To the same problem,
⏹️ ▶️ John, Jonathan Mann but assume
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s not true assume that you really you really did come up with some kind of criteria That would not
⏹️ ▶️ John be over subscribed Then it’s a question of what what do you pick? What
⏹️ ▶️ John what conditions do you set for the people to be there and like you said? It’s not at all clear like if you
⏹️ ▶️ John ask if you ask each individual possible attendee they’ll have like, oh, I think it should be people who have been
⏹️ ▶️ John loyal and have been there many years or whatever because they Should be rewarded for their loyalty and then Apple might say, but we want fresh
⏹️ ▶️ John blood because we want people who haven’t seen these things before and you know there’s a whole bunch of different constituencies who want
⏹️ ▶️ John different things about out of the attendees and Ultimately Apple would be the one to set these
⏹️ ▶️ John rules And I’m pretty sure the rules that they would pick would not make the people who are
⏹️ ▶️ John complaining about not getting tickets happy Because those are mostly You know the people who have been there year
⏹️ ▶️ John after year and and you know Apple would be ruining their There you know old boys club or whatever of just like
⏹️ ▶️ John we see the same people every single year I think it’s a moot point though because I think there are no conditions that could
⏹️ ▶️ John possibly Set that would not be over subscribed the only the only way out of this I can see for the
⏹️ ▶️ John people who want to see all their friends at the same time every year in San Francisco is what’s kind
⏹️ ▶️ John of been happening with the alternative conference taking place alongside alongside
⏹️ ▶️ John WWDC. So sure, everybody go out there. Obviously, the hotels can probably hold everyone, right? So everyone go
⏹️ ▶️ John out there whatever week WWDC is announced and attend whatever conference you want, which
⏹️ ▶️ John may be WWDC or maybe something else, and see all your friends at night. Because there’s nothing, Apple
⏹️ ▶️ John can’t stop you from you and a bunch of people you know all going to the same city for the same week and hanging
⏹️ ▶️ John out at night and going to bars. You can still have that part of it. You just can’t have the part where you’re all in the same conference hall
⏹️ ▶️ John if there’s 20,000 of you and it only holds 5,000.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Right, and I think, Mark, you touched on an interesting point a minute ago, which is WWDC
⏹️ ▶️ Casey kind of is two-headed in the sense that, to me, part of it is evangelizing
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the platform, and by that I mean grabbing new people and encouraging people who
⏹️ ▶️ Casey are new to the platform. And then part of it is just the general knowledge transfer of here’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey best practices, here’s what’s new, and it’s hard to serve both of those
⏹️ ▶️ Casey audiences well in general, doubly so when you only have, what is it, like 5,000 or 5,500 tickets.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And so I just, I don’t know, I don’t know where they can go from here, but I think making
⏹️ ▶️ Casey WWDC bigger is probably not the answer. And I think like John said, I mean,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey maybe it’s just that the alternative things take over. I mean, I know the three of us
⏹️ ▶️ Casey were pretty much bent on being there no matter what, and that’s what’s happening. We’re all going
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to be there. So I don’t know. It’s just, it’s hard. I don’t know where to go from here.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s a really good question. I don’t know either. I mean, I don’t, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all the suggestions of scaling up the conference and adding capacity,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, renting out the other Moscone’s and everything, all of those suggestions sound like they would ruin it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And you know, I think that there’s going to be a whole lot of people who,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, just go out there and try to do alternative conferences themselves and everything. But I don’t really
⏹️ ▶️ Marco see that, I don’t know, I mean I guess we’ll see this year, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t really see that catching on. I don’t know how it could catch on. I just,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t think it’s going to reach critical mass. I don’t think enough people will go out there without a ticket. And so,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know, but we’ll see.
⏹️ ▶️ John I think, I mean, there’s no solution to make W2C what it was before, but
⏹️ ▶️ John there is, I think, solution to the overarching problem, which is how do you solve the
⏹️ ▶️ John demand for WWDC, aside from the obvious raising ticket prices a lot, which will make nobody happy, but
⏹️ ▶️ John hey, that would solve it, a million dollars a ticket, oh, plenty of time to get tickets now, is
⏹️ ▶️ John that Apple needs to communicate more with the developer community throughout the year in
⏹️ ▶️ John some way that at least approximates the fashion that they communicate at WWDC,
⏹️ ▶️ John because what happens at WWDC is you have a chance to do in-person, obviously they can’t always simulate that all the
⏹️ ▶️ John tech talks help. Informal direct human communication, non-corporate communication,
⏹️ ▶️ John not communicating through official channels in written form with DTS, not burning one of your support
⏹️ ▶️ John tickets, not talking to the app review board, not communicating through button presses in
⏹️ ▶️ John iTunes Connect. All those other ways that developers have to scream into the void and throw
⏹️ ▶️ John their bugs into the black hole that is RadarWeb and the whole nine yards.
⏹️ ▶️ John developers crave like human contact. And if Apple can give
⏹️ ▶️ John communicate more like with human beings during the year, in a way that satisfies
⏹️ ▶️ John some of that itch, like so you’ve got some thorny technical problem, let there be some chance in hell
⏹️ ▶️ John that you’re going to be able to get the type of support you can get in a WWDC lab talk to an
⏹️ ▶️ John actual human in an informal way. I mean, I guess labs are formal too. But just like, that’s the reason
⏹️ ▶️ John people are dying to go to WWDC because that one 15 minute exchange they have pays for the whole trip.
⏹️ ▶️ John And if Apple was, I’m not saying you have to be super duper engaged with the
⏹️ ▶️ John community and be something that they’re not. They can still be Apple, but they’re too far over in the other
⏹️ ▶️ John direction of being, we don’t talk to you at all except for WWDC and that’s your one chance to come in contact with the insides
⏹️ ▶️ John of Apple. And that’s why everyone needs to be there. Everyone wants to be there. If they
⏹️ ▶️ John were just a little bit more open as a company in their communications with developers and a little bit less
⏹️ ▶️ John rigid, I think that is the only thing you can do to tamp down the incredible demand for WWDC.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I know. It’s tough because it’s, how do you, like you said, stay Apple and stay secretive
⏹️ ▶️ Casey without, but while doing something more than WWDC. We’ll see how the tech talks go this year. I didn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey go to any last year. You guys didn’t either, did you?
⏹️ ▶️ John I couldn’t. I’ve been to Tech Talks before, and they really are useful. First of all, they have a couple
⏹️ ▶️ John of things over at W3C. One, they’re more likely to be close to you wherever you happen to live,
⏹️ ▶️ John because they have them. They come to you more or less. I mean, at least, you know, it’s closer than
⏹️ ▶️ John San Francisco, you know. They have them on different continents. They have them on different coasts. And two is, the one I went
⏹️ ▶️ John to was free for registered developers. I don’t think, is that still the case? But it was free for like, if you paid for
⏹️ ▶️ John the $500 select program or whatever. I don’t know if they’re still free, but I have assumed they’re
⏹️ ▶️ John not $1,600. But they were really like a miniature WWDC,
⏹️ ▶️ John and you got to talk to a smaller subset of the people, but it was usually like,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, they would have the head of graphics and imaging instead of the head of graphics and imaging
⏹️ ▶️ John plus five engineers from graphics and imaging. So
⏹️ ▶️ John, Jonathan Mann you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John you get to talk to the bigwig, maybe not the other people, maybe one of those people is the person who implemented the particular
⏹️ ▶️ John API that you’re dealing with, and oh well, but it’s better than nothing.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I went to one, I think, two or three years ago, when they, or I think three years ago,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they came to New York, and like the last year, I couldn’t get in because it filled up too fast, but,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and now people are setting up alert systems for the tech talk availability,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco which is hilarious. But I went to the one in New York like three years ago, and it was really good. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it was, it was exactly like a one day WWDC light,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco BWDC light and it was free and there were a few hundred people there and it was it was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco really really good but they I mean that doing those tech talks is a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco huge drain on their evangelism team and on the engineers who have to go with them and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco from what I could tell like last year’s one it was just the evangelism team that did the majority of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it was just tons and tons and tons of work and it burned them out like crazy. And so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t really see Apple doing those much more frequently. Maybe they’ll do it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco every year now instead of just every few years. But even that doesn’t really solve the problem that they’re going
⏹️ ▶️ Marco around to smaller places doing a smaller conference for less time serving a few hundred
⏹️ ▶️ Marco people in each place. I mean, that doesn’t really solve the problem.
⏹️ ▶️ John I feel like it also ties up, it disproportionately ties up a small group of important
⏹️ ▶️ John people at Apple. Because the crew that does the tech talks is like the developer evangelism
⏹️ ▶️ John team plus some key people from, you know, who do the presentations for each section of, you
⏹️ ▶️ John know. And like, it’s unfair to lean on that group and have them tour the world. Like, because that becomes
⏹️ ▶️ John practically their job. Like, if you really wanted to scale that up, you’re taking these important people and making them
⏹️ ▶️ John not be able to do their other job because they’re spending weeks or months out of the year
⏹️ ▶️ John traveling the world and giving presentations. I think this was in my
⏹️ ▶️ John WC lottery article. I think you have to scale up the organization. You have to
⏹️ ▶️ John decide that one of the important things that I’ve learned to do is communicate with developers. Previously, we
⏹️ ▶️ John accomplished that goal by really dedicating the company to this one-week conference, and that was getting the job done. Now
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not anymore because there’s just too many developers. So we need to adjust our organization
⏹️ ▶️ John to have more people dedicated to just education and evangelism and more people
⏹️ ▶️ John who part of their time is dedicated to that, which just means basically you need more people bottom line.
⏹️ ▶️ John And if you decide that’s important to the company, you can hire for it. You can hire people who want to
⏹️ ▶️ John just be like evangelists and technical face of the company type people who are also
⏹️ ▶️ John could be programmers but don’t want to be. Hire people who are OK with spending a week or two weeks
⏹️ ▶️ John out of the year doing this part of doing WWDC-type activities and the
⏹️ ▶️ John rest of the year as a developer, and then still have the people who are basically developers all year except
⏹️ ▶️ John for the one WWDC week. If it’s important to the company, you have to staff for it. And it seems like
⏹️ ▶️ John what they’ve been doing now is take the engineering organization we have that we need to make our products, and
⏹️ ▶️ John one week out of the year, shut them off and send them to San Francisco. And that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John not enough yet for the developer community they have now. They need more.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But, you know, my position in my blog post, I love how we’re basically talking about our blog post.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco My position was more that you can do all these things. You can address the demand.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You can try to add more developer relations
⏹️ ▶️ Marco throughout the year, add more developer resources, more videos, more interaction, et cetera. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if this is the one big one, if this is like the king of the Apple developer events
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for the whole year, and every year it happens and it’s this huge event and tons of people go and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple starts it by jazzing everyone up by announcing a new version of iOS and showing it off
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know it it’s still gonna be the big one and that’s still gonna be where people are
⏹️ ▶️ Marco gonna want to go and it like that’s gonna be the one like everyone picks if they can only go to one Apple conference
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a year they’ll try to go to that one so I don’t really think that any of these
⏹️ ▶️ Marco efforts are going to necessarily address that problem. They will address
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John other problems.
⏹️ ▶️ John Why do you think they’ll want to go to that one thing a year and not—like, what are they getting
⏹️ ▶️ John out of it that they need to be in San Francisco for that week? Because if it’s just the seeing the other people, then that could be solved by just
⏹️ ▶️ John everyone going there and doing whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey No, but it’s the new shiny thing. I get to be there in person for the new shiny thing.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, that’s a separate issue. I saw a lot of people saying, oh, I think, you know, they
⏹️ ▶️ John wouldn’t have such demand for WWC if they just separated the keynote or whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ John My impression is that, first of all, everyone who goes to the WWC does not get to see the
⏹️ ▶️ John keynote in person. I’m not sure how many people who don’t attend the conference know this, but there’s just not
⏹️ ▶️ John enough room in that room. What does the room hold? 2,000, Presidio? When
⏹️ ▶️ Marco full, I think it’s more like three or four.
⏹️ ▶️ John Right, but there’s 5,500 people there at least, right? Yeah. And so not everyone fits in that room, all right?
⏹️ ▶️ John So just because you get a ticket doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to go in there. And second, like, press is a portion of that, and they get
⏹️ ▶️ John press passes to go just to the keynote. They don’t get to go to the rest of the conference. It seems to
⏹️ ▶️ John me that, like, I know that’s kind of a draw off, and that’s the most publicly visible thing, but
⏹️ ▶️ John there’s a whole week-long conference filled with people, and, you know, the press people
⏹️ ▶️ John who are, I don’t know, what percentage of the keynote do you think is press? Maybe 2%, 3%?
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know what percent it is, but those people are not there for the rest of the week. gone, they’re off writing their stories, they’re interviewing developers,
⏹️ ▶️ John doing whatever. People want to go to the WRC because it’s a week-long conference and they go to the sessions,
⏹️ ▶️ John or at least they go to some of them, or they go to the labs or they do something. If you took away the keynote entirely and just said,
⏹️ ▶️ John this is just a developer thing, you would scare away the, like the press wouldn’t be
⏹️ ▶️ John there, but they’re not the ones buying up all the week-long tickets anyway. I feel like if you separated out
⏹️ ▶️ John, Jonathan Mann the keynote and the announcements.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, there are a few. Like, because who’s, who’s spending $1,600 and a week in San Francisco just to see
⏹️ ▶️ John something they could see live on video and that you know like you’re not getting anything out of being there especially now that Steve Jobs
⏹️ ▶️ John is gone and you don’t have any celebrities just Tim Cook he stands on a stage he announces things you can see it from anywhere
⏹️ ▶️ John you get the news in real time I don’t think that’s why the tickets are selling I think well
⏹️ ▶️ John developers want to go to WWDC
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean there there certainly is a portion of that like there are there are people who you know
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they work for smaller blogs or sites and an Apple press doesn’t give them press passes because they don’t care about
⏹️ ▶️ Marco them or they don’t like them or whatever and they just usually try to buy tickets too. I see a lot of people doing that but the problem is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that might be a couple hundred people at most out of you know the 6,000 people who get tickets so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s not it’s not that big of a slice and then you know there are certainly people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco who people who buy tickets who aren’t press and who aren’t developers
⏹️ ▶️ Marco necessarily or who aren’t full-time developers at least who kind of like they buy it because they just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of want to be there and I and or you know they try to get their company to buy it because they just want to be there because it’s kind of cool.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But again, I don’t think that’s a whole lot of people, you know, relative to this massive
⏹️ ▶️ Marco pool of developers who want to be there. So like, you know, these, these little subsets are there are people who
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, you know, depending on how you define it may not may not deserve a ticket or might be wasting a ticket.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But you know, anybody who’s been there in the last couple years, you know, that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco even Even after Keynote Day, all the sessions are still crammed full. All
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the popular sessions, it’s not that everyone just buys a ticket to see the Keynote and then leaves. Some people do,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but all the sessions are still packed full and you can’t even get into some of them on
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Thursday, still well into the week. There are people who do that,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but it’s not a meaningful quantity.
⏹️ ▶️ John I guess that on a past show, I think the attendance does taper off during the week, but it’s mostly because every
⏹️ ▶️ John person doesn’t want to go to every session. How many of the people who clamored for a WWDC ticket are desperate
⏹️ ▶️ John to go into the Cortex session? Maybe not a lot of them, and maybe their room isn’t that full, and
⏹️ ▶️ John maybe people have hangovers and sleep in late, and the whole nine yards, right? Because it gets distributed in a
⏹️ ▶️ John natural way. The keynote is a big rush because anyone who wants to be at WWDC is interested in what they have to say, and hey,
⏹️ ▶️ John you’re in there, so maybe you’ll wake up early and go. But some people don’t even bother waiting in the keynote line. They’re like, I ought to sit in the
⏹️ ▶️ John overflow room, or I’ll just sleep late, or whatever. It does thin out, and that’s why I mentioned on a past show that you
⏹️ ▶️ John could oversell it by a couple hundred to squeeze in a little tiny bit of extra capacity. Because
⏹️ ▶️ John what I definitely didn’t want was expand the conference to be much, much bigger. So maybe you could squeeze in one or 200 more. And
⏹️ ▶️ John I bet people who don’t have tickets would love it if they expanded it just by 50, 100 more people,
⏹️ ▶️ John as long as they were one of the 50 or 100 more. So you’re right. I think it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John mostly developers. I’ve never met anyone at the conference who
⏹️ ▶️ John was a looky loop. Because I’ve only gone for the past two years. And the past two years have been hectic. And there’s no one like, well, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m not really into it, but my boss said he would pay for me to go. So I decided no, there’s no casual
⏹️ ▶️ John W2C ticket buyers anymore. And for the past two years, I don’t think there have been because they saw too fast. And
⏹️ ▶️ John if you were that casual, you probably weren’t like I’ve never met anyone who was there who did not have a legitimate reason to
⏹️ ▶️ John be there, either press or a developer. Yeah.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right. Anything else on WWDC? I keep
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco stumbling all over
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the words. I hate the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco term. It’s a terrible, awkward name.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I know I hate dub dub. It just sounds so silly.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco can’t like do those trendy abbreviations. Like I still say guacamole
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and not guac. Like there’s like, I don’t,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John I can’t do those things.
⏹️ ▶️ John Nobody says guac. Who says guac besides waiters and waitresses?
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco You’d be surprised.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You would be surprised.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Anyway, way better than
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⏹️ ▶️ Casey So on a quick side note, Aaron makes an unbelievable guacamole. So-
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Does she call it guac?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco can’t say that anymore. I just, I feel dirty even saying that.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So Marco, did you do anything interesting last week by any chance?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, I announced something interesting. I did it, you know, the week before really.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey What did you announce last week, Marco?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I announced that I sold Instapaper.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Why’d you go and do that?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I discussed it at length for about an hour on Dan Benjamin’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Quit Show on 5x5, so I don’t want to go over it too much here, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the gist of it was that I was really getting
⏹️ ▶️ Marco tired of working on it and the work was growing far beyond what I could do. So the combination of those
⏹️ ▶️ Marco two things was basically fatal and I just I couldn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco do it anymore. And so, you know, I was seeing for like a year
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that I was falling behind and, you know, not, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it isn’t it isn’t really about the competition necessarily. A lot of people have asked me that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s not really about the competition. It’s about Instapaper. And what I mean by that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is Instapaper’s problems were self-inflicted.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco My problems with Instapaper were that I wasn’t keeping up with my own
⏹️ ▶️ Marco features. I wasn’t maintaining my own features well enough, and I wasn’t able
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to move forward with my own ideas. And so, it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco doesn’t help that there was a lot of competition in the last couple of years, But that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not really why I wanted to get out of it. And the main reason why I wanted to get out of it was because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I couldn’t keep up with it anymore myself. And, you know, a lot of people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco might think that it’s for podcasts or for the magazine or whatever else. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it really isn’t that. You know, people always dramatically overestimate
⏹️ ▶️ Marco how much work the magazine is for me. In reality, the editor Glenn Fleischman does like 95%
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the work for the magazine. I work about half a day every two weeks
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on it. So it really isn’t a huge time sink. You know, it isn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco about that necessarily. It isn’t about competition for my time. It’s that even
⏹️ ▶️ Marco when I was motivated to spend 100% of my time doing Instapaper, that amount
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of effort is no longer enough to drive the service, to keep it even just simply
⏹️ ▶️ Marco maintained, alone moving anything forward and making any big updates and doing any kind
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of major upgrades and redesigns and anything else. So I think,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, so what I wanted was a staff, what I needed was a staff,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but I’ve been doing this for five years and I’m a terrible manager, so the combination of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a little bit of burnout, a little bit of wanting to try new things, and knowing that I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco would be terrible at managing a staff, I realized that that was a terrible idea for me to hire people directly.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So the much better idea was to sell the company to somebody who would staff it and who would
⏹️ ▶️ Marco keep it going. And it took me a while to figure out, you know, how I wanted
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to do that, who I wanted to sell it to. But, you know, as I wrote in the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco post, like, one night at like 1.30 a.m. I jumped out of bed because I realized, oh yeah, I should sell it to Betaworks.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That would be perfect. work. And yeah, so I got out of bed, emailed John Borthwick
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at Betaworks because I knew him already and I went in there like a few days later
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and we talked about it and we basically had the deal like within a week, I think. It was pretty quick.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So, you haven’t divorced yourself of it, and that’s a poor choice of words, I’ll be the first
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to tell you, but you haven’t really divorced yourself of it. Well, you’re not going to entirely to begin with and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey how much have you really been able to let go so far?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, so financially, I still own a stake in the company. It’s just a small stake now.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s no longer the majority stake. It’s no longer 100% how it used to be.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So now I still own a small stake in the company, and I’m still going to advise them kind of indefinitely. Whenever
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they have questions or if they want guidance on what I think they should do with a certain thing or
⏹️ ▶️ Marco decision or feature, I’m going to be advising them basically indefinitely. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco my day-to-day role is going to be gone. And that is in the process of being migrated
⏹️ ▶️ Marco right now. Like, you know, yesterday I went in there and gave him a whole bunch of passwords and usernames and everything. And we’re, you know, we’re
⏹️ ▶️ Marco doing all those transfers and changeovers this week, basically.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I expect that my major stress and major responsibilities
⏹️ ▶️ Marco should be pretty much gone by next week. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so that’s great. I’m very happy about that. I already feel like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco most of the stress has been lifted because the end is in sight. I’ve
⏹️ ▶️ Marco handed over the keys, the deal is done, everything’s signed, nobody can go back
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on anything, I can’t change my mind anymore. And so it’s effectively done.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Now we’re just executing it. Everything on paper is done. And so that relieves
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a whole bunch of my stress and my guilt at, you know, I spent most of the last year
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not being able to keep up and having no idea how I would solve this problem.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And feeling very, very guilty about it. Especially like every time somebody would send me a Twitter message or an email saying
⏹️ ▶️ Marco how much of a dick I was being by not updating Instapaper or how neglectful I was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco being by ignoring their bug report or their badly parsed site report.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco They were right and that made me feel even more guilty. And so, you know, all that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco guilt and all that stress has now been lifted because I’ve solved the problem. You know, I like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have now established a path forward for Instapaper, I have given it a staff in my crazy way.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so I no longer have to bear all that guilt and all that weight and all that stress
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of maintaining and upgrading the service indefinitely myself
⏹️ ▶️ John Do you want some more stress? Because I have some more for you.
⏹️ ▶️ John This is a question that I don’t think Dan asked. I listened to the Quit episode that you were on.
⏹️ ▶️ John How do you feel now about your prospects for, because you mentioned on Quit
⏹️ ▶️ John that people also overestimate what a big moneymaker the magazine
⏹️ ▶️ John is. Not that it’s not doing well or anything, but just that it’s not a complete replacement for Instapaper
⏹️ ▶️ John was the impression I got listening to
⏹️ ▶️ John, Jonathan Mann you. No, it’s not. The
⏹️ ▶️ John question is, how do you feel your chances are, now you’re sort of
⏹️ ▶️ John on the line to, okay, well, Instapaper is not gone but fading away, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John You have to make the next great thing that’s going to be as big as Instapaper was.
⏹️ ▶️ John And do you have any fear that that is gonna be harder for you to do in 2013
⏹️ ▶️ John than it was when Instapaper was launched in what, 2004 or five or something? Eight,
⏹️ ▶️ John, Jonathan Mann don’t know. But anyway,
⏹️ ▶️ John the iOS ecosystem was young back then, and in any realm there was less competition than
⏹️ ▶️ John there is now. So now you are on the hook to come up with—because you said what you want to do is write an iOS
⏹️ ▶️ John are now on the hook to come up with an iOS app that is going to be at least as successful as Instapaper.
⏹️ ▶️ John Do you feel any pressure about doing that?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So in summary, do you have second album syndrome?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Right. There is certainly pressure there, no question. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what I’ve also done since I launched Instapaper was now I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have a much better read blog than before. I’m making good money from my blog.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have a podcast with you guys, and we’re making good money from the podcast.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco we are? You’re not
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Jonathan Mann sharing
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco with us, man.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Jonathan Mann Don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Casey. It’s a secret. Some of us are making good money from the podcast. Oh, you guys.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And you should see this crazy invoicing system I built, by the way, but we’ll talk about that when it’s done.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So you know I have other income now is what I’m saying and that helps a lot. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco rather than having one big thing that I’m relying on, to me it’s way less stressful to have a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco few smaller things and you know I’m diversified. My income is diversified which for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco most people that is not the case. It can’t be the case. Most people have one job and that provides all their income and that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it and I’ve been there and it’s very stressful for me. I’m very I always say
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that, you know, financially I’m very risk-averse and I also don’t like not being in control of my own destiny
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and so whenever I have everything coming from one source that actually adds more stress. So,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but you know, so I have these diverse sources now and so I’m not constantly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco worried that whatever I do next won’t live up to Instapaper because it doesn’t need to because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have other income to pad it. That being said,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, the magazine is special case because the magazine is not a regular app. Nobody
⏹️ ▶️ Marco buys the magazine because of the app. They buy it for the content. And the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco magazine also has, you know, crazy costs associated with running it because you’re, you know, you’re doing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all this paying of authors and everything and paying the editors and paying for pictures and like there’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s constant ongoing costs. It’s not like an app where like, you know, you can invest
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a couple of weeks worth of high cost and high time investment and then coast for a few months while it makes money
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know the magazine I have to run constantly like there it’s on a fixed schedule of effort
⏹️ ▶️ John but it’s recurring revenue unlike the app
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s true however you know and I thought at first when I was thinking about doing that I thought that would
⏹️ ▶️ Marco be a goldmine but it turns out that the reason recurring
⏹️ ▶️ Marco revenue is was there for newsstand is because it has to be because it’s almost impossible to run something like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this without it because the costs are so high you know like as I said like you know with software you can
⏹️ ▶️ Marco put a bunch of effort in and then stop putting effort in or shift to putting minimal effort in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for you know six months and and you know let that profit build up and rake in all the cash.
⏹️ ▶️ John that gets back to your potentially warped view of the iOS app store and that
⏹️ ▶️ John yeah you can do that if you have a really successful product but most people like they launch they get
⏹️ ▶️ John a one little blip on launch day and then it drops to like zero and they can’t go for six months because they’re like
⏹️ ▶️ John oh I just put it all that time and my app no wants to buy my app you know
⏹️ ▶️ Marco well well I did find though and with instapaper over the years I did find that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco update frequency didn’t really impact sales as much as you’d think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s a whole lot of apps out there that hardly ever get updated or that that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know get that get frequent but very very minor updates and so you know there’s a whole lot of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco apps out there that are making money money doing very, very well, or at least moderately well,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco without having tons of effort poured into them constantly. It really depends on the app and depends on the market it’s in and all
⏹️ ▶️ John stuff. I’m not saying that you need to have updates every couple months, although I recently saw people declaring NetBot
⏹️ ▶️ John as a dead application because it hadn’t been updated in two months. But anyway, my point is that regardless of updates,
⏹️ ▶️ John you’re hoping that… The only way you can coast for six months on sales is if you have any sales.
⏹️ ▶️ John three weeks if your sales are not at zero. You know what I mean? Like if you launch an app and it goes out there and a couple people buy
⏹️ ▶️ John it who are interested in it and it just doesn’t appeal to anyone else, you know, there’s no more sales for
⏹️ ▶️ John you and it doesn’t matter what you do to update it because maybe you built the wrong app or whatever. Like that’s what I’m getting at with the pressure of like,
⏹️ ▶️ John even if it’s not financial pressure, just in terms of, you know, the idea that you’re,
⏹️ ▶️ John you’re looking for something that people are really going to want to buy that there’s not a hundred of already out there that’s going to,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s going to be something that, you know, you’re going to put a certain amount of effort in, you’re going to hope that at the very least,
⏹️ ▶️ John enough people buy it to make for the effort that you just put into it. And then what you’re hoping for is that you get much more
⏹️ ▶️ John than that, that you’re able to, like you said, you know, put it into maintenance mode, get a bunch of sales, maybe work on
⏹️ ▶️ John the next major version farther down the line. Like, you know, like I said, Instapaper was a very, very, very successful
⏹️ ▶️ John product that a lot of people wanted that was unique at the time. And even after it was unique, people still wanted it because you
⏹️ ▶️ John did such a good job at it and everything like, and now, now you’re, I don’t know if you, I maybe I’m
⏹️ ▶️ John feeling fresher for you. I feel like you are on the hook to come up with another hit app, regardless of the finances.
⏹️ ▶️ John Maybe it’s a free app and you’re never charged for it. I know you wouldn’t do that.
⏹️ ▶️ John You are associated with one of the pillars of the iOS application
⏹️ ▶️ John world. If the next thing you come out with is Nursing Clock 2.0 and 10 people
⏹️ ▶️ John buy it, it’s going to be disappointing.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, well, and you know, I don’t really know what to expect with whatever
⏹️ ▶️ Marco my next app ends up being. You know, I have like two or three ideas that I’m deciding between,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and one’s leading the way, so I’m probably going to go with that. I’m probably not even going to keep it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco secret for long, but I don’t know. It’s still secret now until I decide, at least. But,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, I think I don’t know what to expect in the market because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Instapaper sales over the last few months have been pretty soft relative to past sales.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But I think that’s because the app has been in disrepair. I really haven’t updated it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in a long time. My last official update I think was February
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or something, but the last meaningful update I think was December. It’s been a while. That might have even been
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the last shipped one. I don’t know. It’s been a while. You can even see on GitHub as I was doing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the handover, I looked at my commit history and it’s really sad.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco My sales haven’t been awesome the last few months. Part of that though could
⏹️ ▶️ Marco be that Apple hasn’t released any new iOS devices in the last few months. Every spring until now has had a new
⏹️ ▶️ Marco iPad in it and that always has boosted sales. It’s hard to tell
⏹️ ▶️ Marco why sales were soft the last couple of months or why they might not have been or whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s very hard to tell with iOS because it’s always been a roller coaster. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with the exception of the last few months, Instapaper’s sales were solid the entire rest of its history.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco They were really solid. And so I have to wonder,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if I release something new, will it do as well as Instapaper
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was doing in the last few months because the market’s so saturated or
⏹️ ▶️ Marco will it have some kind of massive explosion of income because all those people who were buying instapaper
⏹️ ▶️ Marco over the years like they now have another app they can buy that like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what I mean is like instapaper never had upgrade revenue and so now
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have all those you know all those people who I never got upgrade revenue from not that they would
⏹️ ▶️ Marco automatically buy whatever I make and you know I mean there’s some of people but not not like not a crazy amount
⏹️ ▶️ John they would have all bought nursing clock if that was true right
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but you know like there’s gonna be like I don’t know how big the market really is firsthand
⏹️ ▶️ Marco today if I start if I launch on something new today I don’t know because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know I it’s it’s gonna be hard to tell like until I actually just do it it’s gonna be hard
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to tell how many people there are sitting around looking to buy new apps because I’ve
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ve really only addressed them slowly over time as they’ve trickled in, as they’ve bought
⏹️ ▶️ Marco new devices and everything.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, the magazine is a good example because it’s not entirely unrelated
⏹️ ▶️ John to Instapaper, even though it’s a newsstand app and it’s a different business model and it’s just a different
⏹️ ▶️ John app. But it’s addressing an audience of people who are interested in reading things on their
⏹️ ▶️ John iOS devices, made by the same person with a similar aesthetic. that’s going to, you
⏹️ ▶️ John know, if you like Instapaper, you probably like the magazine. And just in terms of the application and typography
⏹️ ▶️ John and all that stuff. So that was kind of like a natural sibling application. And it’s the type of thing where you feel
⏹️ ▶️ John like you have, if you have a built-in audience of like fans of your products, and you go off and make, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John again, Nursing Clock or like a random game or something, maybe, you know, the audience that loved Instapaper,
⏹️ ▶️ John maybe they like games, maybe they don’t. Maybe they’re a lactating mother, maybe they’re not, you know. But
⏹️ ▶️ John with the magazine, it’s like, oh, well, you probably like reading stuff.
⏹️ ▶️ John And here’s another way for you to read even more stuff. And that works. And
⏹️ ▶️ John I think having a built-in audience helps. But you also have to know your audience
⏹️ ▶️ John a little bit. I mean, I’m sure you wish this, too. You had better information
⏹️ ▶️ John about the people who are buying your applications, and how they found them, and all those other things you’ve complained about so many times that you don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John have, how people come, how do all these, where do the Instapaper buyers come from? How do they come
⏹️ ▶️ John to you and how satisfied are they and what aspects of Instapaper
⏹️ ▶️ John do they like and not like and all these things that you wish you knew about your customers and all you see is just you know a number
⏹️ ▶️ John that hopefully makes a nice graph that goes up or at least stays level
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well and like you know I don’t like what the magazine is not a good indicator because as I said like people don’t judge
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it based on it being an app they judge its content because it’s conceptually a magazine.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Just like, you know, nobody really judges paper magazines based on the quality of the paper they’re printed on.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, don’t sell the magazine app short because so many people, myself included, have rejected electronic versions
⏹️ ▶️ John of content that they otherwise find interesting because the applications are so awful. And you, by not making
⏹️ ▶️ John an awful application, like, that’s part of the Instapaper brand of like, your whole thing was I can make that awful website that
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s impossible to read nice and readable for you and the magazine is nice and readable. And I think
⏹️ ▶️ John that is really a factor because I and you know there are publications I read in paper that I refuse
⏹️ ▶️ John to use their iOS apps because they’re terrible and slow and bulky and want to download 700 megabyte issues and all those
⏹️ ▶️ John disgusting things that are not an issue with the magazine app.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, but most people like I mean, you know, the magazine app, no matter how good I make it,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you’re only going to be using it for you know, maybe an hour every two weeks.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, it’s mostly like a lack of a negative instead of like, oh, big positive, but I think the lack
⏹️ ▶️ John of a negative is standout because the other people competing in this field have such big
⏹️ ▶️ John negatives in that area.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Right. But you know, it’s just it’s I what I’m saying is like, I don’t think it represents
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the the app market very well, because people don’t judge it as an app. They judge it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as content. And that’s a very different business.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think to john’s point, it’s both but but it’s more about the content than it is about the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey app. Because I mean, if the app was a steaming turd, nobody would buy it or maybe
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s not true though because look at all the conda nast apps
⏹️ ▶️ Casey well and then I was gonna say you know maybe your fans however you define that group be that one or 1,000 or 1
⏹️ ▶️ Casey million maybe some of them would buy it but but presumably nobody
⏹️ ▶️ John has the built-in audience of the people who are interested you know from the paper world
⏹️ ▶️ John of whatever magazine they’re they’re shilling their bad app for you know I mean so like that’s that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not fair to judge against that because they have people who are in a What’s a property
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s like Vogue magazine or GQ or whatever or Rolling Stone? I don’t know if any of these are content. But like
⏹️ ▶️ John name brands before iOS existed and Despite their terrible applications
⏹️ ▶️ John people will come to that so content really is driving those things and they’re fighting their way through the applications
⏹️ ▶️ John But for me and for more tech savvy people If I even if I like the content there’s just
⏹️ ▶️ John a limit to what I can tolerate from these applications before I say, you know It’s actually better for me to just get a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But I think it’s probably fair to say that you might be a little bit more critical than the average person
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, I mean the 700 megabyte thing would like if you’re interested in wired or whatever Why are does a name-brand that existed
⏹️ ▶️ John before iOS that people want but there’s a limit like, you know People just can’t wait for
⏹️ ▶️ John that much stuff to download and their iOS devices fill up And my wife is you had that problem with
⏹️ ▶️ John newsstand because she reads a bunch of magazines and newsstand and the issues are huge and she Has you know 32
⏹️ ▶️ John gigabyte iOS devices and they fill up and it’s like oh I now she knows she just has to go to newsstand and you know delete
⏹️ ▶️ John out old stuff And it’s because these things are gigantic these magazines that should not be this big
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, but you know what the reason why they are that big is because in the grand scheme of things
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it doesn’t matter because in the grand scheme of things as you said she she’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco had these problems with these apps and As I’m sure I’m sure she experienced.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco They’re not that great to use the reading experience isn’t that great, but she still subscribes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Because they’re not being judged as apps, they’re being judged as magazines.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, I mean, it’s a lot of us carry over from name brands. Just think of the Daily, which didn’t have a pre-existing name brand,
⏹️ ▶️ John had an awful application that people didn’t like, and you could say, oh, well, the Daily’s content wasn’t as good.
⏹️ ▶️ John Is the Daily’s content not as good as, you know, People Magazine? It’s probably about the same, or USA
⏹️ ▶️ John Today, or whatever. It’s just that people in USA Today were names that existed before iOS,
⏹️ ▶️ John, Jonathan Mann but the
⏹️ ▶️ John Daily was not. And that means a lot.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, but Marco Arment was a name before the magazine. And so, I think to some degree,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think you did trade on your name, and that’s not a bad thing.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Jonathan Mann Oh, I definitely did. You should.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And so, I’m curious to see with whatever comes next, assuming it’s not Nursing Clock 2,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey how that ends up. I did have one other question for you. Out of curiosity,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey maybe you don’t have a good answer for this, but what has surprised you since the announcement
⏹️ ▶️ Casey other than the absolutely hysterical at replies, many of which you retweeted? Oh, they were great.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was dying laughing all of whatever it was Thursday, Friday,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey watching all of them. But what has surprised you? I mean, when was your first really good night’s sleep? Was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it immediately after you opened communication with Betaworks? Was it as soon as you released? Both? Neither?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think it was last night. that I got home from their office, from visiting
⏹️ ▶️ Marco them the first time after the sale had closed and doing this whole transfer of a bunch of stuff.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But I don’t know. So to answer your other question though, it wasn’t it, I forgot what it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey What surprised
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you? Right, that’s right. I think overall
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I was expecting a bit more heat. And it’s not to say, like you know, I didn’t go into this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco knowing people would hate it or expecting everyone to hate it. But I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco thought I would hear more from the anti-acquisition
⏹️ ▶️ Marco fans, people who have had a bunch of apps that they used to be acquired in the past
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and shut down and they hate that and so they rage against any acquisition.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think the only actual negative I read from anybody who
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I thought was remotely credible, I think on that was Ben Brooks, who complained. He said
⏹️ ▶️ Marco he briefly considered switching to pinboard when he first read my announcement because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it was acquired by somebody. But with the exception of Ben, I don’t really think—certainly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco nobody else who I would consider like, you know, a legitimate
⏹️ ▶️ Marco person whose opinion I want to listen to, like, none of them had a major problem with it. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know, I mean, because I think if you’re a real, you know, if you’re a devoted
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Instapaper user, I think you could read my blog post and you could
⏹️ ▶️ Marco see how I was saying I was having trouble keeping up with it for the last year, and if you’re a devoted
⏹️ ▶️ Marco user I think you’d read that and say yeah he’s right because you would know you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know you would have seen very few updates in the last year and you know very few
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know very very little maintenance going on and not a lot of movement on the feature set
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know any devoted user can see those shortcomings and so I was really
⏹️ ▶️ Marco expecting a lot more flack from that crowd and I didn’t get get it, and I’m very
⏹️ ▶️ Marco happy about that, really. I’m very pleasantly surprised that the response was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ridiculously positive.
⏹️ ▶️ John I think people are okay with it because they could see a plausible, like, the story you put together,
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m selling this to these people and they’re going to take it and run with it. People look at that and like, yeah, that makes sense because
⏹️ ▶️ John it wasn’t like when Sparrow goes to, I think Sparrow announced at the time of the acquisition, but sometimes a
⏹️ ▶️ John company buys another thing and you know it’s doomed because you can’t imagine any reason they would keep it around.
⏹️ ▶️ John It just doesn’t make any sense. So with you selling to who you sold to, it’s like, oh, that’s what they do. They’re not going to shut
⏹️ ▶️ John it down. They didn’t get you. Like, the only reason they would do this thing is if they wanted to have this
⏹️ ▶️ John product. And later, when they screw up the product by putting ad banners on top of it or whatever, we’ll blame them, because
⏹️ ▶️ John it’ll be like, well, when he sold it, you know, it
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey wasn’t like…
⏹️ ▶️ John It was pure. When he sold it, it was a story that made sense. Surely they’re going to keep this product
⏹️ ▶️ John and they’re not going to immediately shut it down. So that your responsibility is gone once you’ve given it a good home. And if
⏹️ ▶️ John the home turns out not to be so good a year later, we don’t go back and say, damn you, Marco, for selling it. Now we blame
⏹️ ▶️ John the new owners for mistreating us.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco To be fair, it’s never wise for me to assume that people will read what
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I write before responding.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Jonathan Mann Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco like I said, it’s the
⏹️ ▶️ John people you care about
⏹️ ▶️ John, Jonathan Mann responding.
⏹️ ▶️ John They’re going to read it.
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s why I think people weren’t angry and I wasn’t angry or anything. And the other thing about you feeling
⏹️ ▶️ John guilty about not adding features, I know from doing enough tech support with my family and everything that applications
⏹️ ▶️ John that don’t change as long as they do what people want them to do are actually kind of a comfort.
⏹️ ▶️ John You know, I’m trying to walk my sister through the Google Reader shutdown now and she would just like
⏹️ ▶️ John it if the ancient version of NetNewsWire she’s using would continue to work forever and ever exactly
⏹️ ▶️ John the same way as it always did. And if, you know, Instapaper not changing for a year, you think it’s the end of the world
⏹️ ▶️ John but people who are using Instapaper happily for a year, they’re like, what? What was wrong with Instapaper? I use it every day.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s fine. on it. You know what I mean? Like, I know you get the email, like the text parts are screwing up or whatever, but that’s,
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s a small fraction of the audience. Most of the people are just using it happily. And as far as they’re concerned,
⏹️ ▶️ John there’s nothing wrong because they’re not, they’re not cruising the market for retail later services every day,
⏹️ ▶️ John comparing them, weighing them in, and they’re just using their, their phone or their iPad happily with these applications,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh yeah. I mean, and I mean, I still use Instapaper every day and uh, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco fine, you know, but, it could be so much better, you know, and that’s very clear,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and the text parts could be so much better, and there’s just so much about it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think what really told me that it was time was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there was about a two-week period where David Smith had convinced me to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco try to keep it and try to work on it, and you know, before deciding to sell it. And I did,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I I started like one night I sat down and I was all motivated and I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco sat down and started the big 5.0 branch and started tearing stuff out and started
⏹️ ▶️ Marco changing major things around and started laying the foundation for what I wanted to do in 5.0.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I wasn’t motivated to do it for more than about 20 minutes.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And that’s what really told me like, you know what, I really don’t want to be doing this anymore because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I looked at the giant mountain of work ahead of me to do even even just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like a modest redesign and and you know a modest feature set addition
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I didn’t want to do it I would like froze up and it was like doing it was like being told
⏹️ ▶️ Marco when I was you know in middle school being told I had to sit down and do my homework I just did not want to do it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and motivationally I just I had no steam left and that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco when I knew that was probably back in probably January or so that I did
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that and that’s when I knew I have to start finding somebody to buy this thing. And I also I had a great
⏹️ ▶️ Marco talk with Brent Simmons because Brent said a few times I think in the past
⏹️ ▶️ Marco he said on various podcasts or somewhere he said you know because people always always
⏹️ ▶️ Marco asked why he decided to sell NetNewsWire. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco his usual answer or his theory was something along the lines of, I know
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that once I no longer want to work on something, I need to sell it and give it to somebody.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it’s the best thing for everybody, really. It’s the best thing for you because you can go and do something else.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it’s the best thing for your product and your customers because they’ll then be in the hands of somebody who actually
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wants to work on a thing and actually make it better. So, you know, and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco when Brent said that, I don’t know, probably years ago, it stuck with me and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so I actually called him too when I was thinking about what to do here. I talked to him and he was very generous
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with his time and yeah, he basically kind
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of encouraged me to follow my instinct and he’s like, you know, if you don’t want to work on it anymore, you don’t want to work on it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s as simple as that. There’s not a lot to really change that. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that helped a lot. So a combination of David Smith and Brent Simmons, I really owe them some thanks for helping
⏹️ ▶️ Marco me clarify what I wanted to do.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Cool. All right. Do we want to do one more? Do we want to cut it now?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco We can do one more. What do we got?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was curious if you guys had any input, and I don’t think we’ve talked about this on the show, any input into this
⏹️ ▶️ Casey new or not new, this, I can’t think of the word I’m looking But anyway, there’s a rumor that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that I was seven will be flattened and Johnny Ive has gone through like Godzilla
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and flattened New York and I was seven and I was curious
⏹️ ▶️ Casey if you guys had any insight not not insider information But just insight into what you think that means whether you believe
⏹️ ▶️ John there’s like the most boring rumor ever because Like it would be more exciting
⏹️ ▶️ John if I guess it would be exciting with screenshots But like as soon as Forrestal was out,
⏹️ ▶️ John like the, you know, the ink hadn’t, the virtual ink hadn’t dried on the stories being written
⏹️ ▶️ John about him going out. The people weren’t saying, that means the next version of iOS will be flat. And like, I mean,
⏹️ ▶️ John and this is just like, as we creep up on the date, the noise about that ramps up. And
⏹️ ▶️ John now you start getting unnamed sources, but we don’t have any screenshots yet or whatever. But yeah, this is what everyone’s been saying,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? It’s like, it’s kind of like leading up to the iPad announcement. We’re like, what do you think? Is there going to be an iPad? you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John like where there’s smoke there’s fire. So it makes, you know, I don’t know if it’s going to be as extreme
⏹️ ▶️ John as people might be picturing it, but it makes perfect sense that things have gone very far in one direction,
⏹️ ▶️ John and a change in leadership away from the guy who was
⏹️ ▶️ John reportedly in favor of that extreme direction is obviously going to result in the thing looking different.
⏹️ ▶️ John So show me the screenshots is what I have to say. I’m just waiting patiently. This is fully what
⏹️ ▶️ John I expect, but it’s kind of like confirming things we already thought.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I don’t know. I think it’s more likely that… Well,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think the reason they had to do this is because people are so… We’ve talked about
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it in the past. People are so kind of complacent and just so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco bored with smartphones, and in particular with
⏹️ ▶️ Marco iOS and Apple products in general. But I think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple needs to do stuff to shake things up a bit. Normally in the past we’ve always kind of stuck with,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. And Apple doesn’t need to redesign things for the sake of redesigning them.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But I think in this case, this year, I think they do. Because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco iOS does look kind of old. iOS 6 gave a minor refresh to some of the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco controls and everything, but it still looks mostly the same way it did in 2007.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And Apple has never had this severe pessimism before.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s never reached this level before. So I think they do need to just shake things up. Just refresh
⏹️ ▶️ Marco things. And different isn’t necessarily going to be worse. Chances
⏹️ ▶️ Marco are, if they’re rethinking things at all, if they’re going into it saying we’re going to have a major change,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco then it’s probably going to be better overall. And so I think this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is, I think the rumors of it being a very major visual change
⏹️ ▶️ Marco are very plausible. And if they do it, I think it’ll both be good
⏹️ ▶️ John There’s two things this reminds me of. One is an older episode of Hypercritical I did talking about
⏹️ ▶️ John the Surface tablet and the Windows Metro UI. And one of the things I said
⏹️ ▶️ John on that episode was that if you spend a long time staring at the Metro UI,
⏹️ ▶️ John this was like a video that showed the philosophy behind it. If you spend a long time staring that, as I was watching this hour and
⏹️ ▶️ John a half long demo of this guy explaining the philosophy, and then you go back and look at any iOS device,
⏹️ ▶️ John the iOS device looks old. It looks weird, like wood textured and big 3D lumpy things.
⏹️ ▶️ John And it’s like, that looks like the past, and this looks like the future. And the second thing I’m thinking of is,
⏹️ ▶️ John if you look at the evolution of Mac OS X and It’s look, which changed many times,
⏹️ ▶️ John frequently for fashion-based reasons, from the incredible pinstripes and the shiny
⏹️ ▶️ John blue buttons and the things like now you go back and look at a 10.1 screenshot, and you’re like, oh my God, how did we ever use that, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John To the slow evolution to remove the pinstripes, not as much textures, the buttons are no
⏹️ ▶️ John longer giant teal capsules, now they’re a little bit flatter, now flatter still,
⏹️ ▶️ John now all the windows look the same, now brush metal is gone. Mac OS X has evolved, and it seems like every
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple OS and hopefully every Apple application, if we’re lucky, is forced now to go through this
⏹️ ▶️ John thing where you get like the, bam, here we are, aqua, gel buttons, pinstripes, textures, crazy things.
⏹️ ▶️ John And then you just have to mellow with age. And it seems like iOS had a
⏹️ ▶️ John particularly exuberant adolescence,
⏹️ ▶️ John, Jonathan Mann where it went a little bit crazy
⏹️ ▶️ John with green felt and wood and stuff like that. But now it’s kind of like the leopard thing, where in Leopard they unified
⏹️ ▶️ John the look of all the windows and got rid of brush mallow, if I’m remembering. I think it was 10.5.
⏹️ ▶️ John And it makes sense for it to be maturing in that direction. But I think overall
⏹️ ▶️ John in all of this is the idea of fashion. And that is a real thing. And it’s not change for change’s sake. It’s fashion
⏹️ ▶️ John because fashion changes. And if staring at Metro and then looking back at my iOS device makes my iOS
⏹️ ▶️ John device feel heavyweight and old and look like a Walkman from the 80s, that’s time
⏹️ ▶️ John for the fashion to change. So I think this is a completely natural evolution. And I, for one, welcome our new
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So I have a couple of thoughts. Firstly, the chat room is going crazy with
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the exclamation point S to suggest topics, which is comical because they’re just unless somebody
⏹️ ▶️ Casey else put one in there, there’s no
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco show. But But secondly, I’m
⏹️ ▶️ Casey going to probably get this all wrong, because this is an accidental podcast, and I didn’t do any research. But
⏹️ ▶️ Casey what was the the the hallmark feature of iOS four was was multitasking, right?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah. And, and then the hallmark feature of iOS five was notification
⏹️ ▶️ Casey center. Is that also right? Yep. So what would we see?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Jonathan Mann Lots? And I cloud.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I cloud. That’s another good one. So what was what was the hallmark of six other than maps?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco right? There wasn’t there kind of wasn’t just one. It was,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Jonathan Mann it was a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco combination of like, you know, more iCloud and you know, better, more and better iCloud,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco tons of new APIs for interface and stuff. But I don’t…
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Maps. Yeah, Maps was like one of the big focuses. Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I guess that’s like the biggest, the hallmark user-facing feature, I think,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was pretty much Maps and Passbook.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Right, so what I’m…
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And just a whole bunch of refinement on other things.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Exactly, so what I’m driving at is, are we somehow falling into a TikTok with iOS? Because
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know that I would say that we had been up until maybe now. But it’s sorta
⏹️ ▶️ Casey kind of seems like starting with iOS 5, which was really massive, I was six, I think there’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a genuine, genuine and valid argument that that was big, but maybe not massive. And now we’re talking
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that theoretically iOS 7 would be a pretty big, massive change, I guess, visually,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey if nothing else. Do you, do you guys think we might be heading for a Tik Tok and iOS?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know. I mean, I guess the big question is, you know, visually,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco sure, you know, if they re-themed the whole thing, that’s going to be a lot of work, it’s going to matter a lot
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to people, and maybe people will really start thinking it’s fresh again. I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco guess the big question, though, is whether any of the other, like, core defining
⏹️ ▶️ Marco limitations of iOS still exist. Like, how many things
⏹️ ▶️ Marco will we be able to do with iOS 7 that we couldn’t do before, either as users or developers or both.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That is a big question and and six didn’t really add a lot of those things for users.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It did a lot for developers but for users it was pretty minimal. Seven,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know, you know, if they do something that, for example, that breaks down some of the walls between
⏹️ ▶️ Marco applications and has any kind of cross-application
⏹️ ▶️ Marco contracts-like system or intents-like system, you know, that would be great and that would
⏹️ ▶️ Marco radically change how things can work but you know that’s also really big job
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and who knows if they’ve been able to pull that off in the time they’ve had uh… you know we don’t really know
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and who knows if they would want to do that and you know keep in mind fourstall has not been gone for very long
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and so they really you know anything anything that fourstall was keeping there
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that we want to change probably has not had time to change for iOS 7
⏹️ ▶️ Marco maybe i was eight that might have time to change but you know for this it’s i’m guessing seven
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is going to be mostly uh… cosmetic update and then with you know
⏹️ ▶️ Marco some kind of like it you can you can even look at past at pasta versions like we just did you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco can say all right well the uh… the rate of change for major
⏹️ ▶️ Marco user facing features and major new a p eyes does seem to be slowing down as a platform matures
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so there’s not a whole lot of low-hanging fruit left. Like, you know, last year we got
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Passbook because, you know, we already did all the other big stuff that was doable
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in that time. So, you know, you start getting these kind of like lighter weight features. You know, Game Center in iOS 5,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think, was Game Center or 4. You know, like you start getting these kind of like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of lightweight, fluffier features, not like, you know, multitasking, you know, like major,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know architectural changes so I don’t know what to expect with seven but it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wouldn’t be that much of a disaster if they didn’t break down any of those walls and they just did a major visual refresh
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and a few minor tweaks
⏹️ ▶️ John I was thinking of like iOS 7 you have to divide into two halves one half is
⏹️ ▶️ John the features that were planned and partially implemented before forest all was gone and the second half
⏹️ ▶️ John is anything that happened after he was gone and so like at least a good half of iOS 7
⏹️ ▶️ John was gonna happen regardless of the change in leadership and then once the change in leadership happens there’s only
⏹️ ▶️ John so much you can do in half the development time that you have you know what I mean that’s why they’re working by this pushing up against the
⏹️ ▶️ John line and one of the things he could presumably do in half the time is like a reskin type
⏹️ ▶️ John of thing but the one semi interesting thing I saw in these rumor articles was the idea
⏹️ ▶️ John that built-in applications that people use every day that come to define the iOS
⏹️ ▶️ John experience could potentially be rethought, not in terms of the look and feel, but in terms of the feature
⏹️ ▶️ John set and how they work. Kind of like the podcast revision that made it more
⏹️ ▶️ John normal, but the one app I saw and got excited about was one of the articles vaguely mentioned, the Mail app, which is
⏹️ ▶️ John not exactly the same for the entire life of iOS, but is certainly not flashy. And
⏹️ ▶️ John stuff like that coming back on the table for revisions, for
⏹️ ▶️ John rethinking how that application could work. Because even though we know that’s not like OS,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s just an app, right? It comes with the OS. And when we think of OS, we’re actually thinking of the
⏹️ ▶️ John operating system. We’re like, oh, you know, inter-application APIs and stuff. But when other people think of it, they’re like, when
⏹️ ▶️ John I buy a new iPhone and I push the little thing that says mail, what do I see? Oh, it’s totally different. They changed
⏹️ ▶️ John the OS. That concept of an OS, basically, the stuff that comes on my
⏹️ ▶️ John phone, is probably just as important, if not more important, than the actual
⏹️ ▶️ John stuff that just makes up the OS. And in both realms, I think there’s a tremendous amount that can be improved.
⏹️ ▶️ John And we’ve talked about the new application communication, but there’s the whole
⏹️ ▶️ John natural evolution that iOS is going to climb as the hardware gets better. Like,
⏹️ ▶️ John just in terms of the out of memory killer and not being able to run background applications and
⏹️ ▶️ John all of these things that, they’re not coming down this year, they’re not coming down next year, they’re gonna be around for a long
⏹️ ▶️ John time, But we’re slowly clawing away at them as the hardware starts getting, you know, eventually
⏹️ ▶️ John the hardware in our phones will be at the level of the hardware in our sad 2008 Mac Pros
⏹️ ▶️ John, Jonathan Mann It’s
⏹️ ▶️ John not there now. My Mac Pro has 16 gigs of RAM and my phone does not. And you know, but we’ll get
⏹️ ▶️ John there. And once we get there, the out of memory killer becomes less important. You know what I mean?
⏹️ ▶️ John And not being able to run in the background maybe becomes less important depending on how much
⏹️ ▶️ John better battery technology you can get and all that stuff. So there is a long, slow, painful road for the OS
⏹️ ▶️ John to climb as a natural evolution of it, but in the meantime, there’s so many other things they can do to make the actual
⏹️ ▶️ John using of the phone better simply by revving bundled apps and doing server-side stuff. I know
⏹️ ▶️ John you said, oh, it’s not a big deal, but like Maps, Game Center, stuff like that, that stuff is actually
⏹️ ▶️ John happening off of your phone, and it’s going to become increasingly important and will increasingly define the experience of
⏹️ ▶️ John using your phone. So even if it doesn’t seem like iOS 7 has anything in it, in it, if there’s
⏹️ ▶️ John some big, massive, important server-side feature. Like you can watch any TV
⏹️ ▶️ John show for free for $2.99 a month paid to Apple. Right. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ John, Jonathan Mann It’s
⏹️ ▶️ John Pipe Dream or whatever. And all they do is put a video player on your phone. You’re like, wow, that’s amazing. But it all happened
⏹️ ▶️ John off of your phone. So is that a feature of iOS 7? Well, no. It’s a feature of Apple’s crazy content
⏹️ ▶️ John deals with the world of media and things happening on their servers. But I think that’s just going
⏹️ ▶️ John to increase with time. The things that happen off of your phone are going to become just as important.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, I think they are just as important today. just Apple has not done very well historically in that area.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I’m being optimistic for two seconds. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think something else to consider also is that we’re now in a time,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, Steve Jobs officially left the company and then
⏹️ ▶️ Marco died a few months later, unfortunately. But he officially left the company, what now, two years ago, roughly?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Or one and a half, something like that? Two and a half? It’s been a couple of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco years, at any rate. And from what we know from various reports, it sounds
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like Forstall really carried a lot of Steve’s torches, but now Forstall’s been gone
⏹️ ▶️ Marco too for a few months. Whatever they were holding
⏹️ ▶️ Marco onto, like the old Steve Jobs causes, for all the good that Steve
⏹️ ▶️ Marco had for the company and for the products, he also was holding certain things back.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And you can look at things like power user features and uh… you know control
⏹️ ▶️ Marco issues you can see it you can see like you know a lot of what steve championed and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and and a lot of what he refused to compromise on uh… was very very good and some of it wasn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and so we’re seeing now like it’s been long enough that the post steve apple
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is really starting to build its own personality separately from the steve uh…
⏹️ ▶️ Marco past forced all being out i think is going to accelerate that in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in a few ways cuz he He was, you know, he had a lot of power and was very loyal to Steve and his ideas
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as far as we know. So we might start seeing some of these walls in iOS
⏹️ ▶️ Marco fall more quickly than we hope. Like, like, I, we, we read rumors, I’m sure all of us read them,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that OS 10.9, is it? Are we up to 10.9 already, the next one? Yes, 10.9. What are they going to
⏹️ ▶️ Jonathan Mann do with 10?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Anyway, you know, OS 10.9, the rumor is that it’s going to have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco better power user features, like more power features in the Finder and stuff like that. They
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s hardly a power user feature. Yeah, that’s kind of weak actually. But if they do go that direction,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think that’s worth paying attention to because so far Apple,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in most of the previous releases, especially with Lion, I think it’s a major step backwards from any power user features
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or possibilities thereof. But I think it’s worth looking
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at Apple from the eye, from the perspective of like what are they doing now? Like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco look for signs of a potentially major course change in their products
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and not just one big one, but look for little course changes. I think the podcast
⏹️ ▶️ Marco app might be a microcosm of this. You know, like you can see like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they had this crazy, like extremely polarizing, mostly bad design
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the first version after they split it off from iTunes. And then the new update
⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of toned all that down. And a lot of people said that was like, you know, a Forstall versus Ive kind of thing, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, we don’t necessarily know, it doesn’t seem that severe. But it was like the 1.0 of that app
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was very clearly a Steve Jobs style app. Whether he ever saw it or not, I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t know, probably not. But that was very much a Steve Jobs style app. And then the new one
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is a major course change from that. And you know, now going towards better.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so I wonder if, you know, I’m, it’s probably too soon
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to really see a whole lot of that so far in iOS 7 and OS 10.9, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I bet we’re going to see some of it. I bet we’re going to see hints of it and the beginnings of it. And I’m really curious to see how that turns out.
⏹️ ▶️ John I think you are onto something there. I think we can start a new meme here. And the new meme is Steve Jobs
⏹️ ▶️ John as the new forestall, because everyone’s blaming like whatever thing you don’t like, it was forestall’s fault and now that he’s gone, it
⏹️ ▶️ John will be fixed. Right. But if you extend that backwards to Steve Jobs, you say, you know, Steve Jobs is the one, he was
⏹️ ▶️ John the one who was making the mail app be so simple for all these years. Damn him, and now finally he’s gone, and
⏹️ ▶️ John we’ll have a, you know. I don’t know. I’m mostly making a joke there. But like, about the podcast
⏹️ ▶️ John app and everything, you’re right. We don’t know who’s responsible for what and everything. We just can look at coincidental timings. But one thing
⏹️ ▶️ John we do know from years and years of Talking Head videos from Johnny Ive is
⏹️ ▶️ John his design philosophy as expressed in those videos. And we know two things. One, I think that really was
⏹️ ▶️ John his design philosophy, because he was Steve Jobs’ design guy, and I don’t think he was up there
⏹️ ▶️ John spouting something he didn’t believe in. And his philosophy has always been that the thing has to be true to itself.
⏹️ ▶️ John And whatever it is, whatever essential element, I mean, this works much better for hardware than software, but
⏹️ ▶️ John whatever essential thing that’s essential about this thing, like the flower iMac where the
⏹️ ▶️ John base has to be true to being a base and hug the ground, but the screen is thin and it should float in the air,
⏹️ ▶️ John or that it shouldn’t have extraneous decoration or bulges or other things that are not
⏹️ ▶️ John a part of the essential nature of the hardware product, right? That is his hardware philosophy expressed over and over and
⏹️ ▶️ John over again and embodied in all of his products. If he applies that same philosophy to software,
⏹️ ▶️ John which is an if, but if he does, you know, the essential nature of a podcast
⏹️ ▶️ John application is not an animated tape deck, you know? Like he’s gonna, I can imagine him thinking about
⏹️ ▶️ John what does it mean to listen to audio on an iPod? Not what does it mean
⏹️ ▶️ John to, you know, what kind of things in the past can we connect it to? And I remember, it’s the reason people think he’s against skeuomorphism
⏹️ ▶️ John and all that other stuff, because he wants to know, you know, forget about the past. On this
⏹️ ▶️ John device, on this thing, what this thing is doing, how is this software true to itself? And we don’t know how that embodies
⏹️ ▶️ John itself yet, but I think we’ll start to get a feel for it when we see what iOS 7 looks like, and hopefully
⏹️ ▶️ John even more so, not so much what it looks like, but if he tackles maybe not this version, but the next
⏹️ ▶️ John version, some commonly used application, whether it’s a far your mail or some other thing on the phone,
⏹️ ▶️ John or on the iPad, for that matter, and rethinks like, what does it mean to browse web pages on
⏹️ ▶️ John a portable device? And what is the essential nature of that activity? And is it different than a toolbar
⏹️ ▶️ John on top of toolbar on bottom with a little number button that you click to, you know, like, those type of things, I like to see him rethink,
⏹️ ▶️ John and I, this will be really interesting to see how his hardware philosophy
⏹️ ▶️ John transfers onto software.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Do you expect much of it in the sense that, as you just pointed out, this isn’t his normal cup of tea?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So do you expect that that’ll be successful, or would you wager that it will be kind of ugly
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or a little rough at first?
⏹️ ▶️ John I worry about the fact that at least half of iOS 7 happened before
⏹️ ▶️ John the switcheroo, right? So I worry about him trying to jam too much into the second half of
⏹️ ▶️ John iOS 7 development. I don’t know how much time he got in this, but I know this
⏹️ ▶️ John is not going to be a top to bottom iOS. 8 will be that if he’s still on board.
⏹️ ▶️ John So I worry that doing too little means just shipping an iOS 7 has not changed that
⏹️ ▶️ John much. You’re like, oh, Johnny, I didn’t make a difference. And trying to do too much is like, oh, we’ve got to reskin everything, and
⏹️ ▶️ John everything’s got to be radically new, and we’ve got to redesign all the built-in applications, and And then you don’t have time to really polish it.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And, or it’s all buggy as crap.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John Yeah, there’s
⏹️ ▶️ John that on top of it as well. So I worry about seven for those reasons, but
⏹️ ▶️ John assuming there’s not another change in the leadership, eight should be where we really get to see
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s all Johnny Ive at that point and we don’t have to worry about any leftover forestall or Steve
⏹️ ▶️ John Jobsism. Who was that guy? Messing
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey everything up. God,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey nobody liked him anyway.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco All right, do you want to end on that?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think we’re good.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco All right. Well, thank you very much to our sponsor this episode, Squarespace. They’re everything you need to create an exceptional website.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Use offer code ATP5 for 10% off and they’ll tell us, it’ll tell
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⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the podcast review directory. Unless you don’t like the show, then you can skip that step if you’d like.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I believe that’s it.
⏹️ ▶️ Jonathan Mann And if you’re into Twitter, you can
⏹️ ▶️ Jonathan Mann follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S
⏹️ ▶️ Jonathan Mann So that’s Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M, and
⏹️ ▶️ Jonathan Mann T. Marco Armin S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A
⏹️ ▶️ Jonathan Mann Syracuse It’s accidental, accidental, they
⏹️ ▶️ Jonathan Mann didn’t mean to Accidental, accidental, check my cast so long
⏹️ ▶️ John things because like there’s nothing for it to hold so why would you draw stitches well because the real-life
⏹️ ▶️ John item to connect leather to another piece of leather needed stitching to do it because you couldn’t glue it and you know you know I mean
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s skeuomorphism it’s an element from earlier physical element that no longer has any purpose in the newer element but you put
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah I don’t know I don’t even want to agree with you because I don’t want to hear from people about this
⏹️ ▶️ Casey yes I think I think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco agree with you but I don’t I don’t want to commit to that.
⏹️ ▶️ John You just look it up! It’s a word! It has a definition! You can look it up and
⏹️ ▶️ John, Jonathan Mann yeah there are visual
⏹️ ▶️ John metaphors and there is skeuomorphism and they are different things but they overlap a lot.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Hey so uh in wildly unrelated news I finally unloaded the Subaru so you rat
⏹️ ▶️ Casey bastards can leave me alone now.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Now you only have one white car.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey God, I hate you so much. I knew I was setting myself up for that.