Unofficial Accidental Tech Podcast transcripts (generated by computer, so expect errors).

164: Waiting for the Bla-Bloop

Home automation with Amazon, TextExpander’s pricing controversy, and the state of USB thumbdrives in 2016.

Episode Description:

Sponsored by:

  • Betterment: Investing made better.
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Transcribed using Whisper large_v2 (transcription) + WAV2VEC2_ASR_LARGE_LV60K_960H (alignment) + Pyannote (speaker diaritization).


  1. USB sticks in a Tesla
  2. Sponsor: Betterment
  3. Follow-up: Apple’s renewable energy
  4. Purple Safari, one week in
  5. TextExpander controversy
  6. Sponsor: Ring Video Doorbell
  7. Old iPhones in the car
  8. Amazon home automation
  9. Sponsor: Freshbooks
  10. Apple and third-party integration
  11. Ending theme
  12. Post-show: Tesla Model 3

USB sticks in a Tesla

⏹️ ▶️ John I like the fact that every time I start a call I have to click the button to say that I want to see the chat,

⏹️ ▶️ John even though every single time I start a call I do it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, of all the work they’ve put into Skype, they’ve never decided to make that persistent.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, God forbid an application remember anything that you do to it. It’s born anew

⏹️ ▶️ John every launch. Happy birthday.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey We have important things to talk about, so we should dive right in. How’s the Tesla?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Not that different from my opinion of it last week. It’s amazing. Like, it’s just amazing.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I really am appreciating it more and more every day, and I already appreciate it quite a bit, so that’s saying a lot.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m very happy with the decision I made to go with it. I’m also very happy with the one I chose to get,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not getting the faster one with less range for a lot more money. I’m just very happy with it. Steven

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Now, tell me about, you tweeted earlier today as we record, that you put like this little teeny

⏹️ ▶️ Casey tiny USB stick. What is this all about? Is this to put like three fish songs because it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like a 30 gig stick right so that’s like three or four fish songs

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s 128 gig sticks so it’s six fish songs fair enough I don’t actually need 128 gigs

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of storage in my car but it was like 10 bucks more than what I needed so it’s like okay just in case

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m sure I will have some reason to use 128 gig USB stick it was like 40 bucks is that all they

⏹️ ▶️ Marco are good grief yeah exactly so this is this is the first USB

⏹️ ▶️ Marco stick I’ve ever purchased purchased. Really? I’ve never really used them and I’ve accumulated enough like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco little ones from freebies from things here and there over the last decade that if I ever needed

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one for like the one time every two years I might actually need one I would just use one of those.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But none of them were big enough and if you wait until 2016 to buy a USB stick, USB

⏹️ ▶️ Marco sticks are really good and are almost free. I want something very very small because this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is in the center console of the car. It’s like in the passenger compartment so So it’s visible and it protrudes from a little

⏹️ ▶️ Marco port. So I want it to be as small as possible. You know, there was basically like this one and a SanDisk

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one, and the reviews of the SanDisk one all said that it overheated constantly and like ran weirdly hot

⏹️ ▶️ Marco all the time. And the Samsung one, everyone said, “‘Nope, works great, doesn’t overheat “‘like that weird SanDisk one.’”

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I went with that. And the only downside of it, you know, it’s incredibly fast, it’s USB 3,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it has really high quality flash in there, because Samsung is really good at flash. I also have a Samsung

⏹️ ▶️ Marco external flash drive just in a two and a half inch enclosure for my computer. Cause they make two gig

⏹️ ▶️ Marco SSD, or sorry, two terabyte SSDs now for like 600 bucks. And granted, $600 is a lot of money,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and two terabytes is not an earth shattering amount of space in 2016. However, a two terabyte SSD that exists at all,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco let alone is an affordable price, is quite something. So I’m very happy

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with that, cause it is totally silent and very, very fast. and so I store all my media on there. Anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so this little Samsung stick, the only flaw in it is that it has this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco giant Samsung logo written on the part of it that sticks out. So I just sanded it off

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with some light sandpaper in about five minutes that I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John found in my garage. And it’s great.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So now it’s a nice blank USB drive that is perfect. Turns out USB

⏹️ ▶️ Marco sticks are kind of useful sometimes. So anyway, the reason it’s there in my car is because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the car has the ability to, like many modern car stereos, to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco browse folders of MP3 files that you put on USB storage media. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t think, I have to double check, but I was pretty sure that it didn’t have the ability to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco use the iPod music browsing interface from the iPhone when that was plugged

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in. So, which is fine, because I actually prefer having folders that I can organize things

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in, I don’t take my entire collection in the car, because most of my collection doesn’t matter

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the car. So it’s nice to kind of be able to organize it into folders and have actual like subfolders.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I have a folder for Phish 2015 and then in that is like each 2015 tour

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I could organize it how I want, which is kind of different from what you get in like a typical iPod

⏹️ ▶️ Marco thing. And it plays the songs in order, which thank God, it’s amazing.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know who designed whatever system many other car

⏹️ ▶️ Marco manufacturers and head unit manufacturers use where whatever you insert, it plays

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the songs alphabetically by song title. Whoever wants

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to hear things alphabetically by song title, there are two orders that you’re allowed to play things in.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Either the order that they are on the album or shuffle. Nobody ever

⏹️ ▶️ Marco wants any other order.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, see I I have I don’t remember how much music I have my car. I only have about 12 gigs It’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey available to me I believe But I almost exclusively listen to stuff on my car and even

⏹️ ▶️ Casey though the Bluetooth stack is pretty good on my car I find it just easier to navigate via iDrive.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And so with that in mind, do you why do you not use Bluetooth on the Tesla? I would think not having

⏹️ ▶️ Casey played with it that That being able to manipulate things on the Tesla would be a lot easier because you have that whole

⏹️ ▶️ Casey big display there But I guess if all you really have available to you via Bluetooth is like skip forward skip back

⏹️ ▶️ Casey play pause Maybe it’s not really any different than any other car

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You’re right that having the big display there actually does make it much more useful when you’re doing things like navigating

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a USB stick full Of folders and stuff so that is awesome on there You are also right that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Bluetooth is very limited in its interaction and making this problem worse Tesla’s Bluetooth implementation

⏹️ ▶️ Marco isn’t particularly great. It’s it’s an okay one, but But there’s a couple of shortcomings.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The biggest one to me is that it doesn’t display the time elapsed or remaining,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco which is really annoying for podcasts. More humorously, there is some

⏹️ ▶️ Marco method to transfer album art, and many Bluetooth stereos will show album art as transferred

⏹️ ▶️ Marco from, but I think that’s actually an Apple extension to the standard or something. Anyway, it doesn’t matter.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Tesla doesn’t support the album art extension, or whatever displays album art over Bluetooth.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So instead they show you the album art from some kind of central album art database

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of a fuzzy match of whatever title is being supplied by the device.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So it tries to be smart, but then you end up with completely nonsensical,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco random, often like slightly risque album art when you’re listening to like Back to Work.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s like it’s it makes no sense. Like the other day was like Back to Work and it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco showing like some like girl in a bikini and like some album as I was like you got to be kidding me like that, then I’m driving

⏹️ ▶️ Marco around like I’m like in my in my son’s high school or preschool parking lot and and there’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like this bikini girl showing on my dashboard. I’m like oh my God, I got to listen to something

⏹️ ▶️ Casey else.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco That’s not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco gonna work, so yeah that is very strange.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I hope Tesla improves that shortly. I’m not I’m not you know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco keep my hopes up here, because I know that chances are this will just be how this car is for most of the time. I have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it because nobody cares about this area of the software except me, but yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, you’ve said you’d never work at Apple. Would you work at Tesla?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, I don’t really want to move to California for a job. However, I actually

⏹️ ▶️ Marco did. I was thinking recently, like, you know, would I be interested in working for Tesla? And I think it would be actually

⏹️ ▶️ Marco potentially very interesting. It would certainly give me pause. I would

⏹️ ▶️ Marco certainly consider it. Not to work on any of the fancy electrical stuff,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because I’m not qualified and also don’t care. But in order to work on

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the in-dash software, the touchscreen software, the interface, the media

⏹️ ▶️ Marco stuff, maybe. I don’t know. Maybe. What if you had to leave the

⏹️ ▶️ John house? Change the answer a little bit? Maybe a little.

⏹️ ▶️ John Could I bring hops? No. Hmm like a job or you

⏹️ ▶️ John get up and you get in your Tesla and you drive to the office and you do your work there and

⏹️ ▶️ John then you drive back home and you have to do it Monday through Friday and when you take vacation you have to tell them

⏹️ ▶️ John and you get a certain number of those a year. I’m reminding you what a job is in case

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if I can if I can wear my slippers and if I can take naps at the office then then yes

⏹️ ▶️ John uh slippers I don’t know I think although we have some people at work who

⏹️ ▶️ John wear socks and some people work who are barefoot but I feel like that is not the norm.

⏹️ ▶️ John Do you ever rock either of those looks, John? No, are you kidding? Like, I mean, if you’ve been in

⏹️ ▶️ John the, if anyone has ever been in an office late in New England,

⏹️ ▶️ John you see the mice that come out. Like, I mean, you’re just there late, and you look over, and

⏹️ ▶️ John you’re like, oh, there’s a mouse. And they just hop across the carpet. And then you think about all the people walking around all day with socks or bare

⏹️ ▶️ John feet in this office. Nope, just a big nope there.

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Follow-up: Apple’s renewable energy

⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right. So Anonymous wrote in again. Anonymous does that from time to time.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And they cleared something up sort of about Apple and renewable energy. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was wondering, and I think a lot of people were wondering, are they really using

⏹️ ▶️ Casey renewable energy or are they just like doing an offset sort of thing? So Anonymous wrote,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apple is engaging in agreements for 15 to 25 years of power from renewable facilities

⏹️ ▶️ Casey by contracting with a wind or solar developer and agreeing to a fixed price of power over the term.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So Apple doesn’t physically use this power. Instead, they agree to pay the wind or solar operator

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the fixed price per megawatt hour of energy generated by the farm. The operator

⏹️ ▶️ Casey then sells the actual power into the local market or utility service area where the facility is located.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I don’t know, John, do you want to kind of distill this whole economic bit

⏹️ ▶️ John after here? I believe this anonymous person was somebody who works for some alternative energy

⏹️ ▶️ John or works in the alternative energy industry. And I don’t think they were going from any firsthand knowledge

⏹️ ▶️ John of contracts, but just like last time we talked about solar and everything and I think some people

⏹️ ▶️ John have a vision in their mind of Apple building solar farms and connecting a big

⏹️ ▶️ John wire from those solar farms to their facilities, which may be a thing that happens in certain circumstances, depending

⏹️ ▶️ John on the geography and the available existing alternative energy sources. And then other people are imagining,

⏹️ ▶️ John Oh, all Apple is doing is buying offsets from some distant land and just saying, we’ll pay you

⏹️ ▶️ John for that energy. And that offsets the energy we’re taking from our local power provider. And then you give that energy

⏹️ ▶️ John to the people who live near the existing solar wind farm. And I imagine they do all

⏹️ ▶️ John those things. And this feedback had more detail in terms of the specifics of the agreement,

⏹️ ▶️ John of not just that they’re paying for energy elsewhere, because there’s a solar power facility

⏹️ ▶️ John miles and miles away. And they’re not going to run a wire from that to them. but that there is

⏹️ ▶️ John not even that the enter these contracts where they say we’ll pay you a certain amount

⏹️ ▶️ John every month for you know for each megawatt hour of energy and it’s kind of like a bet between

⏹️ ▶️ John the alternative energy provider and apple because if it turns out that the price to generate

⏹️ ▶️ John that energy was lower than what apple agreed to pay um then

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s good because the the you know the solar operator says we only had to pay you know two cents per megawatt hour and you’re

⏹️ ▶️ John buying it it from us for $1 per megawatt hour, we get to keep the difference. And the reverse is true too. If it costs the solar

⏹️ ▶️ John energy provider, Oh, it turns out this month, it costs us 10 bucks per megawatt hour. And Apple agreed to pay us $1,

⏹️ ▶️ John we just have to eat that $9 per megawatt hour. So the key financial

⏹️ ▶️ John deal here, because this comes in when I was talking about how Apple can do this, because they have all this money to burn, is that in a

⏹️ ▶️ John deal of this kind, there’s no upfront payment for the power of the facility already exists. All Apple has to do is

⏹️ ▶️ John enter into a contract with them and have this agreed upon price in this particular arrangement, I think what is it called

⏹️ ▶️ John a contract for differences, it’s called. So you don’t necessarily even have to have a lot of

⏹️ ▶️ John capital if you can enter into one of these agreements. And then it’s just a matter of striking a good

⏹️ ▶️ John deal based on what you think it will actually cost over the long term to generate this power from this

⏹️ ▶️ John particular facility. So anyway, the world is weird. And that is a detail that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John not particularly important. It’s not as if apples being disingenuous, because buying offsets or entering into these agreements

⏹️ ▶️ John or paying for someone who lives near a solar facility to get that energy from the solar facility while you get it from the coal-fired plant.

⏹️ ▶️ John It all comes out in the wash. We’re all on the same planet, it’s all the same atmosphere, all the same CO2.

⏹️ ▶️ John And if Apple didn’t do this and didn’t pay for these renewables, no matter who was actually getting those specific electrons,

⏹️ ▶️ John I wouldn’t make a difference. What you’re looking for is total CO2 output of

⏹️ ▶️ John the planet and not whether it’s right next to you or right next to someone else. I thought it was

⏹️ ▶️ John interesting.

Purple Safari, one week in

⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, so have all of us switched to Purple Safari? I am using

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it on my work computer. I just tonight installed it on my iMac, but haven’t started using it yet. I should note,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey actually, as I forgot about this follow-up, the beta of 1Password

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for sure, and at this point they might have released a new non-beta version, but anyway, the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey beta of 1Password supports the new Purple Safari. So

⏹️ ▶️ Casey if you are having the same woes that I was, you can run the beta. Additionally, there’s a switch in preferences

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that a couple people wrote in to tell me about and forgive me because I don’t have either your names

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or the preference in front of me. But even on the regular version, somewhere in like the advanced preferences where they

⏹️ ▶️ Casey have the little Jedi-looking person on the right-hand side or the robot

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or not, there’s a switch that says you can override the security checks

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on the browser. But anyway, we’re not here to talk about 1Password. We’re here to talk about Purple Safari. So have you guys

⏹️ ▶️ Casey been using it?

⏹️ ▶️ John I’ve switched everywhere and last week I was worried that switching that I have to somehow Disable

⏹️ ▶️ John my regular Safari or it would like get launched by like an Apple event somewhere or you know, whatever

⏹️ ▶️ John But after using it both at home and at work for a week My fears were unfounded you

⏹️ ▶️ John switch the default browser in the Safari preference panes for either version of Safari You know

⏹️ ▶️ John pull the other one off your dock and it’s purple Safari all the way from there and it works fine The only

⏹️ ▶️ John annoyance I found is that it unlike Chrome, which will like sink your extensions everywhere.

⏹️ ▶️ John I had to sort of reinstall my Safari extensions and a lot of them I had to kind of track down and find the original

⏹️ ▶️ John websites where I mean, I could have just dug them out of the folder, but I was trying to you know, it was a good time to just

⏹️ ▶️ John get them from the web again or go through the you know, maybe get the later version if I had a bad update URL. But anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ John I had to reinstall my extensions rearrange all my icons on my toolbar. I’ll re import

⏹️ ▶️ John the options like I have the Safari keyword extension. It lets you type stuff in the address bar and do searches.

⏹️ ▶️ John I had to export those from Safari and import them. But once I got everything set up, uh, I’m all purple Safari

⏹️ ▶️ John now. And I think I’ll just stay this way unless I have some compelling reason to switch back, like purple Safari suddenly starts crashing, but

⏹️ ▶️ John so far so good. I recommend people trying it out. If you’re interested in maybe having a little bit

⏹️ ▶️ John faster Safari, or if you’re interested in any of the many new web technologies that are introduced in it, like if you’re

⏹️ ▶️ John a web developer and want to try them out.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I did feel like it was faster, although that very well could be a placebo effect.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But I remember thinking to myself, wow, this feels fast. So I don’t know.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But do you feel like it’s been quicker for you as well?

⏹️ ▶️ John Purple is faster. Everyone knows that.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Totally. All right. Good talk. I don’t know what that reference was, if it was one. Anyway.

TextExpander controversy

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So there’s been a pretty considerable kerfuffle

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Going across the internet over the last couple of days about text expander 6

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Text expander is an app that have they sponsored us in the past. I believe they have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they sponsor so much stuff I think I’m pretty sure like I mean, I think PDF pen sponsored my site a while about

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a while back Which is also smile. So at any rate, they’ve probably sponsored our stuff, right?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So, TxExpander 6 is new and it is moving

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to a subscription model. And it previously was somewhere between like $10 and $20

⏹️ ▶️ Casey depending on the platform, I believe. And they tended to do an update

⏹️ ▶️ Casey about once a year from what I gather. I am actually not a TxExpander user, but that’s the general gist

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of what I’ve understood. And they’ve announced that, hey, they’re going to switch to subscription pricing. about 50

⏹️ ▶️ Casey bucks a year, give or take, and you can get sync through their own servers, kind of

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like what 1Password’s doing now with 1Password for teams and 1Password for families,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and actually day one as well. So you can sync via their servers

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and you can have collaborations or you can have a shared text

⏹️ ▶️ Casey expander snippets across teams if that’s something that you’re interested in. But by the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey way, we are not supporting Dropbox-based sync anymore.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Basically, it’s either use the old version until it doesn’t work anymore,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or give us money and we’ll give you the new hotness. And a lot of people are

⏹️ ▶️ Casey flustered. And we’ll put a link to MJ Sai’s blog,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey which as always is a really good summary. This is one of the longer ones I’ve seen, but a

⏹️ ▶️ Casey really good summary. And it kind of goes through a lot of different reactions.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I think the general summary is those who are developers or no developers completely

⏹️ ▶️ Casey understand it and are probably willing to pay for it. But

⏹️ ▶️ Casey those who are just users or can kind of put on their user hat,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s a tough sell because unlike 1Password, they’re kind of taking

⏹️ ▶️ Casey something away. One password will continue to let you use Dropbox, at least for now. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it seems that Smile is taking away that option for any future versions. So I don’t know.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t really have a lot to say about this because, like I said, I’m not a TextExpander user, but it’s certainly a tough

⏹️ ▶️ Casey thing because how do you make money in the App Store these days? I mean, it’s not easy, is it, Marco?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, it’s really not. I mean, my view on this is certainly colored

⏹️ ▶️ Marco by my own experiences in the App Store. And I have some distance from it because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco while I did purchase the most recent version of TextEventer before this when I was thinking I could actually

⏹️ ▶️ Marco answer support emails, I don’t currently use it because it turns out I can’t answer support

⏹️ ▶️ Marco emails. So I’m not an active user of it so I’m not really invested in it either way and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco at the same time I also now sell an app with subscription pricing, sort of.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I see why a lot of people are mad about this. What I’ve seen from my own experience

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is that people get mad when they sense that you’re like double-dipping

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or unfairly charging in whatever their view is of unfair

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or if you charge them or if you ask for money or if you put up barriers in a way that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they are not accustomed to that breaks their expectations of like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ve never had to pay this way before or I’ve never had to pay for this thing before or I thought I already owned this thing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco outright and this is all very very tricky these days because the reality is people’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco expectations of software where you buy it and then you you know you can use it for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a while until maybe there’s an upgrade a few years down the road and then you buy the upgrade maybe at a discount

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people’s expectations of that kind of software is that you pay once and then you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have it and at the same time though they also expect updates

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to it they expect you to be fixing bugs to be providing compatibility for new versions of the OS

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and possibly even adding features all within that same initial price they paid. Somewhere

⏹️ ▶️ Marco along the line like that that doesn’t work. They are thinking, the people are thinking of the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco benefits of the software and the responsibility of the software makers as a service that is constantly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco provided over time for their one initial purchase price. But of course they get really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco mad if you want them to pay on a subscription basis for what they’re you’re really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco getting, which is subscription benefits. It’s kind of hard to not do that in some way or another

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you’re the software vendor. You are having ongoing costs. You’re having costs as a service.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Whether you’re running servers or not, it’s like you’re having costs of just ongoing maintenance of this app and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco advancing it, moving it forward, keeping it working, improving it, etc. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there is this disconnect between what people are willing to pay for, which is they want to pay

⏹️ ▶️ Marco once and own it forever, but also that if you don’t give them constant

⏹️ ▶️ Marco updates, they will hate you even more for that. And they certainly don’t want you to go out of business. They really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco hate when you do that or when you pull a product. They really hate that. So that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco worse. So they want you to be there and to be providing updates on a regular basis

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and to fix any bugs that crop up and to improve the product and to make it work whenever there’s a new OS.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that, but they don’t want to pay more than that one time up front.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So obviously something has to give here. So I don’t begrudge the idea

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of subscription pricing. I do think, however, that this particular case,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t think they did a very good job with it. And I’m not too close

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to it, so maybe I’m wrong, but I think the reaction of a lot of their customers

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that I’ve been hearing about from today that might back it up that I’m right. Expander

⏹️ ▶️ Marco has done is they’ve transformed from a like what was the price the app like 35

⏹️ ▶️ Marco bucks something like that?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know to be honest I thought it was closer to 20 originally but I very well could have that wrong.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Whatever it is I think it’s somewhere in that range right it has transformed from that into

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a required $5 a month service so it’s a it’s a pretty substantial

⏹️ ▶️ Marco price increase as well as the justification for this service

⏹️ ▶️ Marco being something they justify it by saying oh well now you can like share your snippets with co-workers

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or family or whatever else and this is it’s like they took away the the problem or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the the solution they had for syncing for your own personal stuff between your own computers which was thinking via

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Dropbox or you know BitTorrent sync or whatever other options they had that you could think pretty much anyway you wanted to but I think a lot

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of people to Dropbox thinking so they took that away and now saying, now you have to pay

⏹️ ▶️ Marco us a lot more than you were paying before, but you will get these benefits. The problem is those benefits were things

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that most of their customers, at least who were hearing from—and I don’t know if this applies to their entire customer base—but the customers

⏹️ ▶️ Marco were hearing from don’t really want those benefits, they don’t really care about those benefits, and they’re not going to use those benefits.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The reason everyone’s mad is because not only have they changed the model in a way that a lot of people don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, because a lot of people just don’t like subscription pricing. Again, I totally get why

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people don’t like that. I don’t like it either, but I also don’t like software

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that goes out of business or that can’t afford to keep updated or anything else. So it’s hard.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I recognize the way that software developers really need to have some model that provides

⏹️ ▶️ Marco recurring revenue over time for users who are using it all the time. Whether you do that via occasional

⏹️ ▶️ Marco upgrade to upgrade pricing or whether you do it via a monthly subscription or some other scheme or you do

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it with ads, somehow you need to have some way to make

⏹️ ▶️ Marco money from people over time, not just once up front.

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t think you need to be deep in the developing community. Like, you know, the mindset, you know, certainly Marco is coming

⏹️ ▶️ John from and all of us because we know developers and we talk to developers and like we have that perspective. But I think

⏹️ ▶️ John for this particular change, I think you could take just anyone from business school

⏹️ ▶️ John and throw them at this and even if they don’t understand what software is, I think

⏹️ ▶️ John it looks like so many other business So from my perspective,

⏹️ ▶️ John what they’re doing, and it explains a lot of the anger that Marco just, you know, talked about from the, the, you know, the customer’s perspective

⏹️ ▶️ John at the very least, um, is they have a, they have a customer base now that uses their product.

⏹️ ▶️ John If you were to survey those customers and say, how much value do you get out of using text expander?

⏹️ ▶️ John A lot of them would say, you know, I mean, maybe I get $45 worth of value additive over

⏹️ ▶️ John the lifetime that I’ve been using it. Some of them would say, maybe I, you know, it’s like asking like, how much would you

⏹️ ▶️ John pay. If we say, take Texas Spanner away from you and to get it back you have to pay some money. Obviously if someone

⏹️ ▶️ John uses it to answer support email for example or does a lot of repetitive emailing or

⏹️ ▶️ John uses very sophisticated features where you fill in the blanks and everything like that, they’re going to say, oh, this is

⏹️ ▶️ John the main tool I use to make my living. It is an essential part of my workflow. If Texas Spanner was gone, I don’t know

⏹️ ▶️ John what I would do with myself. It is incredibly valuable for me. The fact that I paid $45 for it last year is like the

⏹️ ▶️ John steel of the century. Like this is literally how I get all of my income. And

⏹️ ▶️ John the dream of any business school major is like, can I charge that guy like $3,000 and

⏹️ ▶️ John then charge the guy who’s only going to use it twice a year like five bucks? Like can I charge every

⏹️ ▶️ John customer the maximum amount they’re willing to pay for this software? Yeah, the answer is you can’t

⏹️ ▶️ John do that because we don’t know how much it’s worth or whatever. But what you can do and what it seems like

⏹️ ▶️ John Texas smile is trying to do with this one to say, we’ve got all these customers, for a lot of them,

⏹️ ▶️ John they’re getting like $45 worth of value or even less of the software. But there are some

⏹️ ▶️ John users who get a tremendous amount of value because Texas is very powerful. If you do the type of

⏹️ ▶️ John things that Texas banner is made to do, this is like best in class, like very sophisticated features.

⏹️ ▶️ John You know, like it makes and you know, very polished workflow and mature product stables, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John like this is this is a it’s not just like my first text expander type thing. is a very

⏹️ ▶️ John substantial product for the people who do this all the time and you say

⏹️ ▶️ John I would rather just sell to those people for a much higher price in a

⏹️ ▶️ John way that we can continue to sell to those people essentially forever as long as those people exist because

⏹️ ▶️ John they’re doing it for their job and we’re gonna provide them that’s this tool to do their job and the same kind of like Photoshop

⏹️ ▶️ John type arrangement like you’re a graphic designer you use Photoshop to make your living

⏹️ ▶️ John and we will give you the tool to make your living and so you will subscribe to Photoshop because it’s a bargain to you to pay you to whatever

⏹️ ▶️ John it is 100 200 bucks a year to make thousands upon thousands of dollars as a graphic designer every year

⏹️ ▶️ John and if we took away Photoshop it would seriously impair your productivity is you have to learn a new program and so on and so forth.

⏹️ ▶️ John So it’s like text expander is saying thanks for all the participation casual text expander users

⏹️ ▶️ John but we would much rather sell to the

⏹️ ▶️ John heaviest text expander users at a price that they find justifiable

⏹️ ▶️ John and that we feel like is the most sustainable, the most profitable, like whatever, you know, we’re, we’re gonna make it up in lack

⏹️ ▶️ John of volume, essentially, it’s the opposite of we’re gonna make it up in volume. I just want the good customers, the ones who

⏹️ ▶️ John the power user customers. And so why people are mad is Texas manner basically saying to them,

⏹️ ▶️ John not really, but basically saying, we’re not that interested in your business

⏹️ ▶️ John anymore. If Texas manner was only worth $45, and you want to use it for five years, that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John not the type of customer that we want to serve? Maybe it’s because they feel like they can’t serve

⏹️ ▶️ John it. Maybe you know, like, I don’t know what the what the motivation for it is. But even if they were doing great, they could say, we’re refocusing

⏹️ ▶️ John our business on the pro tax expander market, right? And so everybody who wasn’t a pro tax expander is like, but,

⏹️ ▶️ John but I like tax expander, like, I don’t use that much, but I really like it. And now you’re telling me, I’ve been priced out of

⏹️ ▶️ John this market, like because you want those other customers. And that can definitely make people mad. But what I

⏹️ ▶️ John keep thinking is, the those people getting mad, does that affect tax expander at all? Like,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, that’s that’s the business you try a business model and you see are there enough people who are willing to pay 50

⏹️ ▶️ John 60 bucks a year for tax expander to make up for all the people you’re losing who wanted to pay you know $45

⏹️ ▶️ John once and use it for three years. That’s the experiment they’re running. I think it is a perfectly valid

⏹️ ▶️ John experiment to have but a necessary side effect is the sort of the disenfranchised

⏹️ ▶️ John become angry about the fact that previously they had access to this very powerful

⏹️ ▶️ John utility that maybe they only used occasionally or used a fraction of the power of and now

⏹️ ▶️ John they you know they can just use the old version until it eventually stops working and they’ve you know they’ve been cut

⏹️ ▶️ John out of that market and they have to look elsewhere and so they could be annoyed by it but I can’t feel like

⏹️ ▶️ John I can get particularly mad about it just because I think it is a

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s a reasonable strategy for trying to make your business both

⏹️ ▶️ John more profitable, which you know, like, Oh, they just want more money. Yeah, that’s how business works, like more profitable,

⏹️ ▶️ John and more sustainable. Because if you get if you ever hit that critical mass, like apparently, Adobe has many other companies

⏹️ ▶️ John are trying to have these users use my tool to make their living, they’re willing to pay this much every single

⏹️ ▶️ John year. And that amount that they pay every single year, with the number of them there are is enough to sustain

⏹️ ▶️ John development. You can do that essentially indefinitely, like as long as you know, a competitor doesn’t come and steal

⏹️ ▶️ John your thing, or your product doesn’t become moot because everyone loses mind control, or you know, so many other things can affect you. But

⏹️ ▶️ John at the very least, you’ve got you’ve got the basic inner workings of a sustainable business model there,

⏹️ ▶️ John which is a refreshing change after the sort of boom bust, you know, viral hit,

⏹️ ▶️ John throwaway application, you know, things that the app stores have brought on where it’s like, I got to

⏹️ ▶️ John make a new app every year, and it’s got to be a big hit. And if it isn’t, we’re going out of business, it’s so much more comfortable to be to be able to have

⏹️ ▶️ John loyal customers who pay for your product and they’re paying for your product every year, pays for your development, and you just do that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You know, if that really works out for them, if they end up making more money from this, that’s fine. I think there’s a couple angles

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to this to reconsider, though, first of all, and I know you didn’t say this, but for people thinking this, you can’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just say, oh, they just wanted to make more money. It might be that they were declining in revenue and they’re

⏹️ ▶️ Marco trying to sustain this business or to keep this product going.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, that is making more money, more money than they were previously making the previous amount was not enough to keep

⏹️ ▶️ John them in business. Like, they need to pay the bills and get the lights on.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Right, but like, you can look at it as a pure greed angle if, like, they were doing fine before and now they just want

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to juice it even higher, but it’s also possible that it was going down before and now they’re trying to just, like, bring it back up

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to where it was, right? So, and if you read between the lines in some of the statements they’ve made, it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco sounds kind of like it wasn’t making enough money before for them to justify working on it.

⏹️ ▶️ John But do you draw a distinction between those two cases that you just outlined? as in previously we were sustainable, but

⏹️ ▶️ John we felt like we can make more money with this model and previously we were unsustainable. So we have to do something to avoid

⏹️ ▶️ John going out of business. Like do you do you think those those are really any different? Like is there

⏹️ ▶️ John is that a distinction that you make as a customer? Certainly it’s a distinction you can imagine making just

⏹️ ▶️ John as kind of like a human being where if there are if it looks like they’re going to go out of business, you feel bad for them. You have empathy.

⏹️ ▶️ John You’re like I like those guys. I like their product. I don’t want to see them go out of business both for self restrictions like you said because I’m a user

⏹️ ▶️ John of their product and I don’t you know, I want it to continue to be developed, right. And also, because you feel bad, like, oh, they’ve

⏹️ ▶️ John been doing a good job. But their job is to write programs, I think they’re good at their job. And I would

⏹️ ▶️ John like to see them succeed, because, you know, just basic human empathy. And therefore, you’re more

⏹️ ▶️ John willing to sort of, you know, allow for changes in their pricing model

⏹️ ▶️ John to sort of help them out versus they had a sustainable business, and they just want more money. And that suddenly that that

⏹️ ▶️ John is, it’s villainous to do that, like that, that you should never that as soon as you have enough to

⏹️ ▶️ John pay your bills and not go hungry and pay for food and shelter. You should never want more because wanting anything more

⏹️ ▶️ John is entirely like is essentially evil. And that’s that’s greed. And

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t see a hard line between those things. I know a lot of people do. But it’s like, where do you draw that line? When it what is

⏹️ ▶️ John enough money like I have enough to have payroll and enough to pay my mortgage,

⏹️ ▶️ John but not enough to save for retirement and send my kids to college? Is it okay to ask to make more money then?

⏹️ ▶️ John Like, I don’t know that that if you start breaking that down, it starts to be nonsensical. So

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m personally willing to give wide latitude to making more figuring out ways to

⏹️ ▶️ John make more money with your labor. If you’re good at writing software, and the software product you have made and

⏹️ ▶️ John polished over the years is text expander, and you find a way to make more money from that product.

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t attach any moral judgment to that at all, even if it means that a whole bunch

⏹️ ▶️ John of your previous customers are no longer in your customer base for future versions. But I know a lot of people do. And I

⏹️ ▶️ John think I think a lot of that, like what you just highlighted, Marco explains a lot of the anger that people really do draw

⏹️ ▶️ John that line of like, you were making enough money to not to not live in the street already.

⏹️ ▶️ John And now you want more. Forget it, you’re

⏹️ ▶️ Marco evil. Oh, a lot of it. Believe me, I hear from them that a lot of people draw that draw that line.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I’m not one of them. But that you know that I think that could be something to consider here

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for it. You know, if you’re getting angry at smile for really dramatically raising the price

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of this app in a way that you might not like. It might be because they had to.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But also, you have to look at the competitive landscape here. There are lots of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco similar utilities that do the same basic job and just differ in the features they offer

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on top of that. So there’s lots of alternatives to this. And honestly, today’s probably been a very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco good day for them. However you feel about this, whether you’re a customer or not, looking at it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco from Smile’s perspective, I think this was a mistake for them. And time

⏹️ ▶️ Marco will tell. Obviously, I don’t know the market at all. Time will tell. But they have basically

⏹️ ▶️ Marco discarded a big part of their existing customer base in an effort to either get

⏹️ ▶️ Marco more money from the part that’s left and or to move into a more business-oriented one

⏹️ ▶️ Marco where there will be allegedly businesses who use synced snippets

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and everything from Texas Commander. And that might be a big business, I don’t know. I wouldn’t have guessed

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it would be a big business, but I’m wrong all the time. So that might work out for them, if it does that’s fine.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But I don’t think this is going to go well, because what I see mostly happening

⏹️ ▶️ Marco here is, you can make a move like that when you are in a position of strength.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco When you’re the only game in town, and people depend on you to get their work done. And for a lot

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of people that will be true, but I don’t think for enough people. for a big part of the customers

⏹️ ▶️ Marco who are now faced with a big price hike and removal of features they used versus

⏹️ ▶️ Marco other choices, they have lots of other choices. There’s all these alternative software

⏹️ ▶️ Marco things that do this for substantially less money now. Before, they were

⏹️ ▶️ Marco much more competitive. Now, they’re in a high-competition environment.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco One way to do this, one way to resolve this if they wanted to make more money or needed make

⏹️ ▶️ Marco more money from this, you can either cut the costs that you’re putting into it, or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can charge more. Both of those are going to affect your users negatively in some way. The question

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is, you know, which one can you get away with better? And I’m not sure they chose correctly, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know how many choices they had. I don’t know anything about their business.

⏹️ ▶️ John The natural consequence of this, if you just keep playing it out is that, you know, it’s like someone gets the idea we could be enterprise software,

⏹️ ▶️ John we could charge minimum five figures for any installation of our

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco thing, like,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey why

⏹️ ▶️ John not sell text expander into, you know, the sort of large

⏹️ ▶️ John email based support networks of like, where if you if you’re a very large company, you just have

⏹️ ▶️ John to hire like literally hundreds and hundreds of people to answer your support emails and everything, you’d want to

⏹️ ▶️ John give them tools to do their job well and sort of standardized on basic snippets and templates and so on and so forth.

⏹️ ▶️ John You can imagine I’m sure there is really terrible enterprise software that already does that And tech expander perhaps sees

⏹️ ▶️ John that market and say, I would rather sell $5 million installations than $1,000,005 apps,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? Like we want to actually become enterprise software. And so as we’ve discussed

⏹️ ▶️ John in many past shows, enterprise software can be tempting and can be lucrative.

⏹️ ▶️ John And you can be protected from competition by the fact that it’s a pain in the butt to sell enterprise

⏹️ ▶️ John software. You have to hire salespeople and there’s a high barrier to entry and you have relationships and make deals on golf courses. the road

⏹️ ▶️ John the hell goes on. But enterprise software is absolutely poison to the quality

⏹️ ▶️ John of your products. And it makes you vulnerable to anyone making anything worth a damn because eventually you know, the enterprise software, the

⏹️ ▶️ John my definition for many years ago was like, when the person who buys your software is not the person who uses it, and

⏹️ ▶️ John that is a totally misaligned incentive. And it leads to software that is very,

⏹️ ▶️ John very attractive to buy, but terrible to use. Like it’s like igloo stays in business like you

⏹️ ▶️ John really you really want to you are vulnerable to someone who actually makes a product that the users like because eventually

⏹️ ▶️ John even enterprise users start to revolt and bring their iPhones to work or bring their Macs to work or bring whatever product they think

⏹️ ▶️ John is not a piece of crap and use that instead. So not that I’m saying tech spender is suddenly a terrible, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John Oracle or SAP type company. But that is if you just keep playing that out and say, instead

⏹️ ▶️ John of mass market low price, let’s do, you know, much smaller market much higher price.

⏹️ ▶️ John And it could be like you said, Mark, if it’s if it’s a crowded market for a text expander type products, how does text expand and differentiate?

⏹️ ▶️ John What do they have that the other ones don’t maybe what they have is we have a very sophisticated feature set, we want to be the pro

⏹️ ▶️ John text expander product, we’re going to leave the consumer market to our competitors and let them fight it out

⏹️ ▶️ John for the you know, the 1000s and 1000s of people want to pay, you know, 510 1520 3040 bucks, and we want to move up market and just keep

⏹️ ▶️ John the sort of high end, the people who are willing to pay more for a better, more

⏹️ ▶️ John sophisticated product because it’s part of how they do their job. I don’t know how to handicap it either. Like you said, Margot,

⏹️ ▶️ John we neither one of us knows like the intimate details of the text expander market landscape or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ John I have the same feeling that this doesn’t seem like a power move to me. This seems like something they would do because they were having

⏹️ ▶️ John trouble sustaining I do agree that the the alternatives you laid out are there like

⏹️ ▶️ John maybe just lower your cost. Maybe they had hired too many people may you know, I have no idea how big their staffing

⏹️ ▶️ John is there. But that’s one way to go. But the other way is to, you know, like I said,

⏹️ ▶️ John make it up and lack of volume. Can we make more money by selling to fewer people for a higher price?

⏹️ ▶️ John And that seems again, with total vacuum of knowledge to me, if I had to make a bet, I would say

⏹️ ▶️ John that that has a higher chance of failing than not because it’s really, really hard to do that. I mean, it’s hard

⏹️ ▶️ John to do neither direction hard to say, hey, if we if we cut our price in half, we get more than double the customers,

⏹️ ▶️ John especially in the App Store market the way it is, that has worked for many people more often than

⏹️ ▶️ John Hey, if we double our price or triple our price, can we get more than half or a third

⏹️ ▶️ John as many people? I don’t know. But anyway, this is business like I don’t I, again, I

⏹️ ▶️ John understand why people get angry about it. But like, that’s how it works. They decide a price and they say

⏹️ ▶️ John we are offering you this service this price and customers decide whether it’s worth it for them. If it’s not worth it, they don’t buy it. And that is a

⏹️ ▶️ John signal to the company that you need to change something and if it is, you know, and maybe the signal they were getting with a $45 one

⏹️ ▶️ John time purchase product was people will buy it, but they don’t like upgrades and we can’t pay to maintain

⏹️ ▶️ John the software. So I think we just you know, we’ll revisit this in a year and see

⏹️ ▶️ John how it worked out for them. But I think going on market is a viable strategy. I just feel like they might have to go even

⏹️ ▶️ John farther up market than this. And I agree with everything Marco said about it’s kind of like

⏹️ ▶️ John the you know, the things we talked about with with overcast like perception wise that

⏹️ ▶️ John you being cut out of the market in a in a way. It makes you feel

⏹️ ▶️ John bad. Like I you know, I like the previous deal I was getting. And now they’ve altered the deal.

⏹️ ▶️ John And Casey can finish that reference for me if he remembers it. And they’re sad about it.

⏹️ ▶️ John And they also think there’s no reason for it. But I don’t think they’re looking at it from the perspective of tech spanner.

⏹️ ▶️ John Why should they they’re just the customer but from the perspective of tech expanders, like maybe maybe tech spanner doesn’t want you as a customer

⏹️ ▶️ John anymore. It’s like what What do you mean they don’t want me? I’ve been such a loyal customer. I love their product. Why wouldn’t they want me anymore?

⏹️ ▶️ John Why can’t they just continue to make the product that I’ve been using that syncs with Drockbox? Why can’t they just keep making that forever?”

⏹️ ▶️ John And the answer is, because you don’t want to pay for it again. I’m like, oh, I do want to pay for it again. I’ll pay you $45 right now. Would

⏹️ ▶️ John you? Suddenly you’re ready to pay $45 if they came out with a new version of Texas Spender and you bought six months ago. You’d be excited to pay $45

⏹️ ▶️ John for a new version? I don’t know if you would. Anyway, even if you would, maybe

⏹️ ▶️ John there’s not enough other people like you. And so they have to come up with something different. It’s not, it’s not personal,

⏹️ ▶️ John just business.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I made passing references earlier, but I think it is important to reiterate that, you know, one password

⏹️ ▶️ Casey chain, well, maybe not change their model, but augmented their model by this one password for

⏹️ ▶️ Casey teams, and then one password for families. And the thing that that made me

⏹️ ▶️ Casey cool with one password for teams, one password for families was it didn’t change the the way things were.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So it was not a change as, like I said a second ago, it was an augmentation

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or an addition. If one password hypothetically had said,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know what, if you want to sync between your own devices, leave aside other people, leave aside the team

⏹️ ▶️ Casey aspects and the family aspects. If they had said that, hey, if you want to sync your passwords

⏹️ ▶️ Casey between your devices, guess what, you have to sign up for $5 a month, I would be

⏹️ ▶️ Casey fairly upset because I would feel like I got hoodwinked. I would feel like it was a bait and switch and I freaking

⏹️ ▶️ Casey love one password. I consider it like you were, I think it was you, John, describing earlier. Maybe it was Marco,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but it is essential for me to get my, my life done. Not even my work, but my life.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I love one password and I would probably pay $5 a month for this hypothetical

⏹️ ▶️ Casey sync only service, but I would be pretty frustrated with it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I would perhaps go from saying, I freaking love one password too. Yeah, I like 1Password and I use

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it. As it turns out, because they didn’t take away what

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I already had and additionally they added this new family feature

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that’s $5 per family per month, and a family is defined as like,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know, five or so people. I forget exactly the specifics. I’ve signed up for 1Password

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for family and that was actually the impetus I needed to to get Aaron

⏹️ ▶️ Casey using 1Password as well, which we haven’t actually done yet, but it’s on our to-do list for the weekend, is to get Aaron finally using

⏹️ ▶️ Casey 1Password. And that to me is the right way to handle this. But just

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like you guys said, I’m making all these proclamations in a vacuum and I don’t know what Smile’s dealing with, I don’t know

⏹️ ▶️ Casey what they’re up against, but taking away what’s already there in that they’re saying that they’re not going to support

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Dropbox and other sync methods, man, it’s hard not to feel burned by

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that. And if you’re sympathetic to them, it’s hard not to feel burned.

⏹️ ▶️ John You wonder if it’s like intentional, like we’ll see in the coming days if they change course because it could have been like what one password

⏹️ ▶️ John did was essentially expanded their market. Like they said, we have all these customers, they use our product.

⏹️ ▶️ John We think some of these customers would be willing to pay more because it is really important

⏹️ ▶️ John to them. So if we give them this one extra feature, this family syncing or whatever, we’re going to leave all the existing customers with the

⏹️ ▶️ John product they have. It’s the same product. It’s not, you know, we’re not excluding them. just want to expand the market with this new little

⏹️ ▶️ John bump in our little you know, the blob that is the market, put another little bump that’s and these people are willing to pay five

⏹️ ▶️ John bucks a month, everyone else keeps what they’ve got. But we can we can extract more monies from our customers for

⏹️ ▶️ John certain subset of the customers by giving them a little bit more and charging them a little bit more. It totally see

⏹️ ▶️ John if that’s what techspanner was trying to do. It doesn’t seem like they did it well, because what they did instead was took the blob that

⏹️ ▶️ John is their market, sliced off most of it. And then the remaining part

⏹️ ▶️ John is the people who are willing to pay $50 a year, right? If that’s not what they intended, then

⏹️ ▶️ John you’ll see scrambling a week from now, oh, we’ve changed our mind. And in fact, you can use text expander sync with six better

⏹️ ▶️ John six with Dropbox thinking or you can use text expander six with no syncing for the old price or whatever, like, we’ll see,

⏹️ ▶️ John like, I’m basing my you know, looking at what this move as if this is intentional,

⏹️ ▶️ John because we all see the effects that it’s having, I think they see the effects that it’s having. If that isn’t intentional, I think they will

⏹️ ▶️ John backpedal and say, uh, we need to, what we really meant to do was actually just get

⏹️ ▶️ John more money from the people who use it a lot, but not lose all those other customers because we totally need them. So we’ll see if they

⏹️ ▶️ John change their mind based on, you know, the first week or two of, you know, sales and returns and

⏹️ ▶️ John complaints about it. But I think both of those strategies are viable. Like one is not, I mean, one of them makes Casey

⏹️ ▶️ John sad. I mean, you know, obviously if you’re in the market that gets cut off by that strategy, it can be, you know, not good for you.

⏹️ ▶️ John But in the end, it doesn’t, you know, from the company’s perspective, it doesn’t matter, except for perhaps

⏹️ ▶️ John long term brand loyalty decisions. But again, if you’re going towards the high end or enterprise, the enterprise people may love you even more

⏹️ ▶️ John if you add all these super power user features like hell, yeah, I’ll pay $50 a year, you know, this is how I make my living.

⏹️ ▶️ John Sure, you know, sign me up. And especially if they, they realize year after year that this means new versions

⏹️ ▶️ John come out regularly bugs get fixed, you know, better, whatever. But yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John as with all things, you can’t assume omniscience on the part of either party here.

⏹️ ▶️ John So it’s possible that they just didn’t anticipate the backlash. And I guess we’ll find

⏹️ ▶️ John out in the next week’s shows or the week after.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco We are also sponsored tonight by Ring, the Ring video doorbell. Go to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to see the Ring video doorbell. Now, video doorbells are pretty cool gadgets and there’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco lots of reasons to have them for convenience, of course. You know, there’s, you can see who’s at your door, you can respond,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and what’s really cool is there’s advanced motion detection here. This alerts you whether or not somebody

⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually rings the doorbell or not. If there’s just like a person who walks up to your door, Ring will alert

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you about that too. It’s like caller ID for your house. No matter whether somebody rings the doorbell or not, they alert

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you to it, regardless of whether you’re home or not, because it uses your phone in addition to your

⏹️ ▶️ Marco actual doorbell ringer. So if you’re not home, you still get notified and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can respond through two-way audio through the Ring doorbell. So you can pretend

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like you’re home. The advantages here are not only your convenience, but also safety for your home and your possessions,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because Ring has found over 95% of home break-ins and burglaries happen during

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the day. And burglars usually start by ringing your doorbell to see if somebody’s home. And of course,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if they’re home, they generally move on, right? So with the ring video doorbell, it can actually be a security

⏹️ ▶️ Marco benefit as well. Not only showing you when people walk up to your door and having a record of that, but also it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco can help deter people. First of all, they know they’re being watched once you respond, and they’ll think you’re home

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and so they’ll move on. So in addition to all the incredible convenience features of having a video doorbell,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s pretty great for home security as well.

⏹️ ▶️ John miss the essential feature of this. So we talked about home security and you know, if you’re not in the house,

⏹️ ▶️ John the key one is for the ultra lazy. You can answer the door without getting up on your

⏹️ ▶️ John couch. You can send away solicitors. You can, you know, tell the delivery guy to just put it on the doorstep. You know,

⏹️ ▶️ John you could like you can see who it is and decide to pretend you’re not at home all while you just sit in

⏹️ ▶️ John your living room watching TV.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I love

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s what you took away from this.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Yes, this is a lazyness enabler. You

⏹️ ▶️ John You don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco have to get

⏹️ ▶️ John up from your couch. You can just pick up your phone

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey and go,

⏹️ ▶️ John No, I’m not answering that. Nope. Sorry, I’m not interested in whatever you’re selling, you know.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh, they’re only robbing the civic. It’s fine. Yeah, no. So check it out today. It can

⏹️ ▶️ Marco work with your existing wiring for your doorbell, or they also have a model that uses a battery so you don’t need to wire

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⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot.

Old iPhones in the car

⏹️ ▶️ John This actually segues into our next topic, slightly unbeknownst

⏹️ ▶️ John to Marco, although he’s probably the one who wrote it there. Because I think this is a good time to bring this up,

⏹️ ▶️ John what with me having my iPod stolen out of my car. By the way, speaking of my iPod being stolen out of my car, one thing I forgot to add

⏹️ ▶️ John when you guys were talking about your various ways of trying to play Folder Show of MB3s like it’s 1994 in your cars.

⏹️ ▶️ John Why do neither one of you do what I had been doing, which is take one of the many

⏹️ ▶️ John old iOS devices that is no longer useful for anything and connect it through USB

⏹️ ▶️ John to your car and just leave it in there permanently aside from the fact that you’re afraid it’s gonna get stolen out of your car. Setting that aside

⏹️ ▶️ John if you do that you will get all the things you talked about like it you know a real interface to playing

⏹️ ▶️ John things hopefully reasonable album art not worry about it accidentally doing things alphabetical

⏹️ ▶️ John if you park your car close enough to get Wi-Fi from your house and your thing has you know iTunes in

⏹️ ▶️ John the cloud thing synced you won’t even have to bring the thing back in to put your new music music on it, your new music will just sync to it, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John silently when you drive your car home and just let it sit there, right? It seems like it would solve

⏹️ ▶️ John all of your problems, assuming you had a place to store the connected iPod and all that. Is that

⏹️ ▶️ John not something you guys are interested in?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey No, definitely not. I don’t want another thing to manage. I would either use the stuff that’s built into

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the car, like I was describing earlier, because I actually don’t have a problem with it. Or if it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey not already in my car, then I would just use Bluetooth on my phone.

⏹️ ▶️ John But what are you managing though? Like literally my thing is just it’s plugged in in a closed compartment and I

⏹️ ▶️ John never even see it. And like I said now that I park within a Wi-Fi range of my house

⏹️ ▶️ John it gets my new music on. If I buy a new song that song is on my car like the next time I drive

⏹️ ▶️ John it. There’s nothing to manage. You don’t need to recharge it because it charges when you drive your car. I get all

⏹️ ▶️ John the features that you would expect like on my on-screen display showing the artist, the album, the whole thing. It even shows you

⏹️ ▶️ John know Unicode characters and the titles correctly like everything just works and this is a Honda Accord. But I’m assuming all

⏹️ ▶️ John your fancy BMWs and Tesla’s have the same ability. The only downside is you got to have an iOS device, which

⏹️ ▶️ John is way larger than the little tiny thumb drive that Marco has.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So it turns out Tesla actually does not support iPod USB interfaces.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh, like they only support either USB folders like USB file browsing, or Bluetooth.

⏹️ ▶️ John They’re preemptively spiting the Apple car. You’re gonna compete with us Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John rumored to be possibly in the future competing with us. No USB support for iPods.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, it also could be possible that like, you know, either a they haven’t gotten to it yet because they’re a little bit new

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or be they just probably think like, you know, the future is Bluetooth anyway for, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for that kind of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John role

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for most people. So it’s it’s kind of it. It probably isn’t worth the trouble to build that into a car that like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you started the media system platform only a few years ago.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I mean, I couldn’t you could do also the same thing like my iPod that I have plugged in with the USB interface. I could leave it

⏹️ ▶️ John plugged into USB just for charging purposes and then had that connect through Bluetooth yeah like

⏹️ ▶️ John anyway anyway that sorry for that derail the the topic that’s related to the Ring Doorbell is…

Amazon home automation

⏹️ ▶️ John quoting the show notes here, presumably written by Marco. Marco’s recent experiments in home

⏹️ ▶️ John automation, surveillance, and general madness. I’m adding that last part.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, this was my grab bag of topics if we ran out if we ran out of time or run out of topics today and we wanted something else

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and you moved it

⏹️ ▶️ John up. We didn’t run out. I actually I shuffled it upwards because I’ve seen I see your tweets about like

⏹️ ▶️ John does anyone can anyone tell me how to find a replacement for three way light

⏹️ ▶️ John switches that will respond to like voice commands to my Amazon Echo and it sounds like you’re really going off

⏹️ ▶️ John the deep end, as is your way. So I actually do want to hear about it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Okay. So let me preface this by saying, and I think I said this last week, that earlier in…

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I forget when it was, whether it was our Thanksgiving episode or whether it was after

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the New Year. Sometime we were in a positive mood and we were expressing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco what we’re going to do in the future or this year or whatever. And one of the things I said was,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because I had been having trouble getting excited about a lot of stuff coming out of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple recently, I decided that I wanted to start exploring more

⏹️ ▶️ Marco outside of the Apple ecosystem. Just other stuff, other platforms, other exciting things happening in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco technology that aren’t from Apple. And so the Tesla, obviously, was contributing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to that quite a bit. But also, I’ve recently decided, you know what, let me explore

⏹️ ▶️ Marco past Siri, and everyone’s saying the Amazon Echo is really good. So,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know what, what the heck, I’ll try. You know, our friends have had one for a while, and whenever we’re over there, I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco always would think, like, you know, that’s kind of really awesome. Like, you know, you just talk to it, and it plays good music, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it just, and like the voice activation was really good, and fast, and always

⏹️ ▶️ Marco worked. And we’re like, that’s kind of incredible. Like, being a customer, I’m gonna try not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be negative about Apple, but just being accustomed to Siri from Apple,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the Amazon Echo, by comparison, is extremely fast to recognize what you’re saying

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and can recognize it at a seemingly much higher success rate, for me at least, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the environments I’ve seen it in. Even in conditions that you would think would be hostile, like while

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s already loudly playing music in a loud room and you are 12 feet away, it can still

⏹️ ▶️ Marco recognize you most of the time. So that it’s actually surprisingly good.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco If you’ve only ever used Siri as like your voice control baseline,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it really is surprisingly good. I would say in many ways, substantially better.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Probably not every way, but in the ways that I use it for, it is substantially better. Anyway, so we got an Echo.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I decided, you know, what else can this thing do? And it turns out when you’re not in, you know, similar to what I discovered with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco USB sticks, when you’re not in the Apple ecosystem, nothing costs any money.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You can get a ridiculous number of smart objects and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco things with ports or wifi in them for almost nothing. So for instance, one of the things we just got was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Amazon Dash buttons. It seems ridiculous. For $5,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco which becomes a $5 credit once you use it, so for basically free, you get a little button

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the size of a keychain with a sticky back, and it comes assigned to a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco certain brand’s product. Charmin for your toilet paper,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or Bounty for paper towels, or razor blades, or whatever. There’s just a button on it. There’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco no screen, it’s just a single button. You stick this wherever you store these household objects, and when you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco are running low, you hit the button. It automatically orders more of that thing,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco whatever you’ve assigned it to order from that brand, from Amazon, and it comes in a couple days. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have one for paper towels, and I have one for toilet paper.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Wait now let me interrupt you right there genuine genuine question Yes, if there are like 84

⏹️ ▶️ Casey different flavors of Charmin so to speak Do you like specify what one it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is that you want?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yes And you can you can go on the site and you can with each dash button. There’s like a little green thing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It looks like a banner ad and so you miss it the first few times, but it’s not a bit There’s a little like green

⏹️ ▶️ Marco banner right below the item description on each dash button and it sounds like you know view what this button can order

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and you can click on that and that’ll show you before you even buy it you can see like make sure that it can order the thing you know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the version of it that you use and then you said and when you set it up it’s kind of crazy so it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s this little button thing with no screen and with some kind of you know long-lasting

⏹️ ▶️ Marco battery and it’s a permanently installed I think battery it’s a Wi-Fi device so it has to be pretty hefty like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco lithium something or other battery in there anyway how do you pair the thing Normally,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco many of these smart objects will create their own little ad hoc Wi-Fi network. You launch the app on your phone,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you join your phone to this stupid thing’s Wi-Fi network, and then it auto-configs with the app. The

⏹️ ▶️ Marco app tells it your real Wi-Fi network’s password, and then you click back over, and it sucks.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Huge, clunky process that I hope Apple gives some kind of method of improving with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco multi-mode Wi-Fi. I’m pretty sure things like that exist.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of like temporary ad hoc Wi-Fi networks don’t take over your main Wi-Fi whatever those are called that like you know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco camera things can use to anyway please Apple add those things anyway so the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco way that the the Amazon dash buttons work is you you place the button

⏹️ ▶️ Marco next to your phone and the phone like emits like static pulses out of the speaker

⏹️ ▶️ Marco via audio and the dash button has a little microphone in it and it just like communicates via these static pulses

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the the Wi-Fi information to the dash button. And then it’s just like, all right, after a few seconds you hear this little weird static

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and then it’s like, all right, done. It’s just so cool. And all this was for $5. I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco know this is all just shameless consumerism to honor the god of Amazon and make you buy even

⏹️ ▶️ Marco more things from Amazon, but that is still remarkable from a technology perspective that that works and costs

⏹️ ▶️ Marco nothing. Like, that’s kind of incredible.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’ve really looked into recently, and I think this is just fascinating, somebody has reverse

⏹️ ▶️ Casey engineered how all of this works, and there is actually a

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Node module called Node Dash Button that you can use to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey have a dash button instead of phoning home to Amazon, it just

⏹️ ▶️ Casey tells a Node server running on the local network, the button has been pressed. And so what I was really

⏹️ ▶️ Casey looking into, but I couldn’t quite make it work, just the other side of it work, I really wanted

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to buy a dash button and then stick it on like the bedside table

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and then have that call down to my internet connected garage door

⏹️ ▶️ Casey opener, my Chamberlain, my cue. And if the garage doors open, close it so that my

⏹️ ▶️ Casey bedtime routine would just be to smack this dash button that has nothing to do with Amazon anymore. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey if the garage doors open, it’ll automatically close. I could never get it to work, but I think it’s really cool

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and fascinating that people took this $5 device and are now like hacking it such that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it can be used for something entirely different. And I just think that’s fascinating and super cool. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s for reasons like this that I really want to start figuring out how the hell Raspberry Pis work and what

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that’s all about.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah. My question about these buttons is like the reason I when they came out with them was like,

⏹️ ▶️ John is this like a joke? Is this like an April Fool’s joke? You know, like they came out like last year or the year before or whatever. seems so

⏹️ ▶️ John ridiculous that you’re gonna have talk about a you know Alton Brown angering unit tasker

⏹️ ▶️ John you’re gonna have a big shiny red button in your house and all it does is order paper towels my fear

⏹️ ▶️ John and why I’d never want to have that thing and it’s like I’m the same type person who was always afraid to enable one-click ordering is

⏹️ ▶️ John I know that I and everyone else in my house would forget when we hit that stupid button who knows oh

⏹️ ▶️ John we need paper towels and I would click the button but I have no idea if someone who came into the same room and came to the same conclusion

⏹️ ▶️ John an hour ago and so now we have two orders of paper towels coming I know someone else would you know it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco turns out they thought of that once you when somebody hits it it doesn’t accept an order for another

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one until that one has been delivered

⏹️ ▶️ John all right that’s pretty good I mean I was this was thinking like it but well rate limiting and debouncing and here’s here’s the other

⏹️ ▶️ John uh secret thing of like if it doesn’t order it until it’s delivered but you have small children in your house you figure

⏹️ ▶️ John out how these buttons work they wait for a package to be delivered and then they go around the house and press every other button like

⏹️ ▶️ John just you know because essentially It’s allowing it is allowing anyone with physical access to your home to

⏹️ ▶️ John spend your money

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, but it’s not like ordering an iPod like it’s you know well the iPods are pretty cheap It’s a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John bad example, but you

⏹️ ▶️ John just wait

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco for the iPod

⏹️ ▶️ John But the iPhone button just I mean just put it I’ll put it in in your house and in Gruber’s house and as soon as the keynotes over you just

⏹️ ▶️ John slam your fist down on The button and then it always

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s the new method of trolling as you go Like when they’re when they’re like you know in the other room you go pushing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco all their buttons to order all their paper towels Alright,

⏹️ ▶️ John so this is these dash buttons. These are entirely independent of the echo other than the fact they’re all made by Amazon hook up to your Amazon

⏹️ ▶️ John account, right?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, yeah. I was just totally an aside that, you know, I’m now like giving Amazon the benefit of the doubt and trying

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to have the stuff that they’re doing. That’s all crazy. And after the fire phone and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco after some of the really crappy fire tablets, it’s easy to write off Amazon’s hardware efforts,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but they’re getting better and they’re kind of getting remarkably better at some things, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think writing them off completely is not wise, because, you know, they are going

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to keep making a lot of duds, I’m sure, but not everything they make is a dud, and some of the stuff they make is actually pretty cool.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Anyway, so yeah, so I have some Belkin Wemo

⏹️ ▶️ Marco switch to outlets that I’m using to switch some lamps.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, can you explain that to me? Because I understood that you were trying to make it so you could say words into the air

⏹️ ▶️ John and cause lights to go on, but I don’t know anything that connects those things other than the Amazon Echo is listening

⏹️ ▶️ John to you? And then presumably what happens after that? The Amazon Echo hears you and what does it do? What does it communicate

⏹️ ▶️ John with? Is this like an open standard? Are they all Amazon products? I don’t understand this world.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Honestly, I don’t know that much about it. I haven’t looked that much into it. You know, you go on Amazon site and it tells

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you like, here’s all the things that work with the Echo. Some of the things require like a smart

⏹️ ▶️ Marco devices hub. Some of them don’t. I’ve been only getting the ones that don’t so far because why not?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I bought a couple of Wemo switched outlets because the better way to do lighting is if you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco can swing it to use Wi-Fi light bulbs like LIFX or Philips Hue, that kind of thing.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I haven’t used any of those yet because the LIFX bulbs are too large to fit into the lamps

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in question and the Philips Hue bulbs are not bright enough. I like nice

⏹️ ▶️ Marco bright bulbs and even LEDs, I like to get the ones that are like the 100 watt equivalent rather than the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco more common ones that are more like a 60 watt equivalent. So they’re just not bright enough. So the way I do

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is I keep my fancy bulbs and I just switch the outlets the lamps are plugged into Again, I don’t know how any

⏹️ ▶️ Marco other system works But the way Belkin’s we know thing works is all just local Wi-Fi

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and there’s probably a way to connect to a web service I don’t really care there is but right now I’m doing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a local Wi-Fi only So you use their app to like configure the things using the stupid like you join the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Wi-Fi network thing But then once it’s configured the echo knows how to talk to it directly So, you know, the Echo

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just has support for whatever local protocol it uses over the local Wi-Fi network. And then you go into

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the Alexa app to configure the Echo. It shows all your compatible devices and you can create

⏹️ ▶️ Marco groups. So you can say like, Alexa, turn off all lamps. And it will, and it just says, okay, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco turns them all off. And that’s it. Sorry for anybody whose lights I guess turned off. It’s really cool. Like it,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco what’s really cool about it is that it’s fast enough and it works enough of the time

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that it’s actually convenient. So part of my nightly routine, you know, you’re saying your garage like trying to like trying

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like eliminate steps from your nightly routine. Part of my nightly routine is, you know, we we’re done watching TV for the night

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or whatever. So I go around locking all the doors, turning off all the lights, taking

⏹️ ▶️ Marco taking hops out, you know, one last time in the backyards and more lights go on and off, go on and off and come in, lock, lock, lock.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Any step I can remove from that process will save me like 15 seconds a day. And yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s stupid to be talking about 15 seconds a day. today, you know, this is obviously a position of like first world privilege here,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but that’s convenient and when everything is so cheap, it’s actually kind of compelling.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ve effectively cut 30 seconds out of my nightly routine just by automating some light switches

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and being able to tell the echo turn everything off at once.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, the Amazon Echo tell my children 8000 times to brush their teeth and get their pajamas on

⏹️ ▶️ John because I may be able to say Amazon Echo do the bedtime routine and then Amazon Echo will say,

⏹️ ▶️ John Do you guys have your pajamas on yet? Or have you brush your teeth? Have you brush teeth yet? Have you have your pajamas on? And

⏹️ ▶️ John you find them in their room an hour later playing with Lego without their pajamas on? Have you put your pajamas on? Have you brush your teeth?

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s the service I need.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You could probably bring that up with you know, I have to TT or something. I bet you bet there’s something like that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, the thing is, like, and this is this is why I really have been joined the echo and why

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I do worry for Apple’s presence or lack thereof in this market. In order to make this market succeed,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco what makes the Echo so good is a combination of having what seems to be a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pretty awesome, solid, big data web service behind it, which is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not something Apple’s good at. Apple can do things like keeping notifications running, keeping iMessage running.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco When it comes to a kind of web service that uses big data and AI-type stuff,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple is not as competitive as other entrants in the market. It seems

⏹️ ▶️ Marco maybe that will change over time, but they’re just not there, and they’ve been not there for so long after

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it began to matter that it does seem like they’re not capable of it, or at least they don’t prioritize it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It seems like this is the kind of problem that other companies—Google, Facebook,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Amazon—just do big data services better than Apple does. What

⏹️ ▶️ Marco also makes it so powerful is all this integration with third-party stuff. Apple has HomeKit,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but HomeKit is a much less successful program, I think, than

⏹️ ▶️ Marco what it needs to be. Whereas, the Echo doesn’t really care. The Echo is all-inclusive. It’ll work

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with everything. They talked briefly about this on Relay.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco They were saying that there was some kind of hardware requirement for HomeKit devices, and that Belkin’s kind of balking

⏹️ ▶️ Marco at it. Amazon doesn’t really care. Amazon works with everybody. And like Siri launched in 2011, it is 2016, there is still no Siri

⏹️ ▶️ Marco API. There is no way

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for third parties to integrate with Siri at all. The Echo comes out like not that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco long ago, what, a year ago, last June or something, almost a year ago. It is already full

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of third party integrations. There’s an API for a lot of what it can do. Not everything. There’s still no music

⏹️ ▶️ Marco API, which means I can’t make overcast for it yet, but I’m hoping there will be soon.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So it has tons of integration with all these third party things.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Anybody can go in and make a speech response API to it. And it integrates with all this different

⏹️ ▶️ Marco hardware from all these different vendors. Amazon, I feel like they’re in a better

⏹️ ▶️ Marco position than Apple is to really take over this kind of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco thing because this is so dependent on both the big data web service and also tons of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco third party integration.

⏹️ ▶️ John And Apple had the foresight to purchase the Siri Research Project Company or whatever

⏹️ ▶️ John they were. Like they understood very early on that something

⏹️ ▶️ John like this could add value to their products. And I forget when they bought them, but obviously it was before it was actually

⏹️ ▶️ John released to the public. And when it was released to the public, with the exception of Google, like they, I don’t know

⏹️ ▶️ John if they were in the lead next to Google, but they were at the very least seemingly neck and neck with Google in terms of

⏹️ ▶️ John we recognize this is going to be an important thing for future. And maybe our thing is kind of crappy when it launches because Siri certainly

⏹️ ▶️ John was. But at least you know, at least we’re not ignoring this market like and

⏹️ ▶️ John in fact, we’re out ahead of a lot of our competitors. But like Marco said, like, and then what happened? It was

⏹️ ▶️ John like the Mac Pro all over again. Well, we’ll make Siri better and Siri certainly hasn’t gotten better. But

⏹️ ▶️ John there’s no reason Apple couldn’t have done something like Amazon Echo years and years ago because they had

⏹️ ▶️ John like their and Google has been expanding Google now and you know, to make it

⏹️ ▶️ John much more sophisticated and complicated than Siri. And we even have like just random apps like this third party hound application

⏹️ ▶️ John that Merlin was raving about a little while ago, like, like lots of other companies are, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not early days anymore. Everyone is like, Oh, some kind of intelligent agency you can talk to is basically like speed recognition

⏹️ ▶️ John has kind of crossed a vaguely good enough barrier and then understanding of speech and breaking it down into

⏹️ ▶️ John meaning and figuring out what you mean, not just like translating into text and doing a Google search or whatever, you know, that’s getting

⏹️ ▶️ John more sophisticated. And it just takes a little bit more stuff to put it together into

⏹️ ▶️ John ways that allow like the community, essentially, the community of like nerds and hackers to come up with more uses for

⏹️ ▶️ John this thing. So like that was an echo and all that stuff definitely seems like much more, you know, nerd,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, hacker friendly, if someone who wants to just toy with it and figure out what kind of cool things to do with it. And I’m like, sure,

⏹️ ▶️ John whatever, build whatever on you want. It is a pretty open protocol, you can reverse engineer it, like just go because

⏹️ ▶️ John they don’t know like, you know, their their approaches, like, let’s do stuff and see what sticks, right? Apple is just

⏹️ ▶️ John totally absent in this market. And you said that makes sense, because Apple doesn’t make sort of like tinker products for people who just want to hack

⏹️ ▶️ John on things. And you know, if Apple wanted to have this product, it would be like, no, no, no, it has to be beautiful

⏹️ ▶️ John and elegant and integrated and blah, blah, blah. But if the end result is they just aren’t in the market at all, or know what, you know, they do home

⏹️ ▶️ John kit, and they said, we have these strict requirements, because your, your products must must meet the stringent standards that we have Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John and blah, blah. In the meantime, Amazon is just like running off with it. And they’re going to wake up one day and say,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, we we could have had a substantial chunk of that market. And we just we just

⏹️ ▶️ John waited too long for perfection and didn’t, you know, just start releasing and iterating. Again, that’s not the Apple way

⏹️ ▶️ John to do it. But I feel like in many Syria was was like that it was like, Siri’s not gonna be perfect

⏹️ ▶️ John initially, but it’s important for us to get this out there. Because we feel like in the future, you telling your phone to

⏹️ ▶️ John do something is a feature that we need to have. And they were right about that every every cell phone you buy now has some feature

⏹️ ▶️ John where you can speak to it and have it do something either. But while you’re driving to tell it to play a song or if you’re just

⏹️ ▶️ John lazy and don’t want to go find an icon and tap something just to run a search or whatever. They all have that and Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John recognize that not saying they have to be in the Amazon Echo market, but I’m just thinking like VR where

⏹️ ▶️ John we all assume Apple secretly doing things behind the scenes. I hope they don’t stay secret for too long either if VR turns

⏹️ ▶️ John out not to be a bust. Apple doesn’t want to just be sitting there waiting for their perfect entry

⏹️ ▶️ John in that market either. And I think like the watch as much as we’ve all talked about it and had complaints about

⏹️ ▶️ John it, I think it was important for Apple to do a watch, even if the watch they did has problems,

⏹️ ▶️ John rather than saying, we’re not entirely sure we figured out every aspect of what makes a watch good. Like

⏹️ ▶️ John the only way you’re going to figure out is to make a product, right? That’s that’s, and you can’t, you can’t hold back

⏹️ ▶️ John from it. And how if they’re making a freaking car, surely they can make an Amazon echo type

⏹️ ▶️ John competitor. And I think they could do a reasonably good job for it, if only because because it would force them

⏹️ ▶️ John like like Margo was saying, force them to work on their back ends more as Siri has like they have all those presentations of like, look,

⏹️ ▶️ John we’re using these open source, you know, data processing back ends for Siri, and we’re all impressed

⏹️ ▶️ John by it. And we’re talking at conferences like Siri forced them to do that. Because it wasn’t simple

⏹️ ▶️ John enough to use whatever they were using before it was complicated. What is it? mezzo someone just wrote in

⏹️ ▶️ John the chat room. Having a product like Siri forces them to get better at that stuff. Having a product

⏹️ ▶️ John like Amazon echo would also force them to get better at this type of thing. As HomeKit should be forcing them to as well,

⏹️ ▶️ John but if they’re going into the same situation where they’re making very onerous demands

⏹️ ▶️ John of the third parties and the result is few third party products, they’re

⏹️ ▶️ John not winning that battle. So it’s kind of disappointing and with Amazon,

⏹️ ▶️ John their challenge is always going to be, it’s easy to do the beginning part, we’re just very open and we’ll try lots of things,

⏹️ ▶️ John lots of people go in. How do you develop it? I’ve been waiting personally, I know enough people who have an echo that I’ve been like,

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m kind of interested in that. I’d like to try it, but I would like to wait for the Echo 2 to come out. The one that is

⏹️ ▶️ John nicer and smaller and faster and more reliable and has more features. I know they came out with that little tiny one that doesn’t have the speakers in it and stuff

⏹️ ▶️ John like that. But I want like the full fledged Echo version 2. If Amazon doesn’t make an Echo version 2

⏹️ ▶️ John for three years, I will have, you know, they will be again, pulling a Mac Pro. It’s like, you were

⏹️ ▶️ John right there. Why did you stop? I don’t think they will. I think they will continue to iterate. Just look at how many

⏹️ ▶️ John freaking Kindles they’ve come out with.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And there’s about to be another one. They’re hyping up next week. I have more Kindles to mail you and they’re hyping up next week. They’re

⏹️ ▶️ Marco gonna make another one that’s even thinner. Awesome.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, and we have no idea how many Kindles they’ve ever sold because they never put numbers on their graphs, but they continue to plug

⏹️ ▶️ John away at that. So I fully believe that Amazon will continue to plug away at the Echo. If only because it just has a

⏹️ ▶️ John natural synergy of like, make it easier for people to give us money. All right, thumbs up. This is a good product

⏹️ ▶️ John for Amazon to make, especially since the hardware costs don’t seem that big. It’s like a, it’s a speaker with wifi

⏹️ ▶️ John and a whole bunch of microphones and a little bit of software. They’ll

⏹️ ▶️ John make that up the first year alone with people accidentally ordering things by saying

⏹️ ▶️ John Alexa, buy paper towels or whatever your kids are saying when you’re not in the room.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Anyway, I’m enjoying this thing. It’s not perfect. There’s lots of things about it that are not perfect,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but overall, it’s really cool. I would say if you’re on the fence, if you’ve

⏹️ ▶️ Marco been tempted by the Echo, if you’re on the fence, just get it. Just order it now. like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you won’t regret if you if you’re already like thinking you might enjoy it you probably will enjoy it and you should just try it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because it really is quite good what does Adam say to Alexa he gets very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco mad that she doesn’t recognize him

⏹️ ▶️ John yeah basically yeah ask her to define words multiply

⏹️ ▶️ John numbers play music convert units of measurement when cooking so many things you

⏹️ ▶️ John could do

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Setting timers by voice while cooking is so useful. Like that’s, it always drove me nuts with the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple Watch. It was so slow and somewhat unreliable to do that because when

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that works, it’s so useful. It just doesn’t work enough with the Apple stuff. But it works all the time with the Amazon

⏹️ ▶️ Marco thing. Or

⏹️ ▶️ John you have to push a button like activate Siri. And if you don’t have Hey Siri enabled, you basically have to take your dirty,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, cooking fingers and touch some iOS device and then have it go bloop bloop and figure out,

⏹️ ▶️ John do I talk before the bloop or does it not? Do I

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco have to wait

⏹️ ▶️ John for the ba-bloop? And then you say, set a timer for five minutes, and then you wait, and then you see,

⏹️ ▶️ John and then sometimes it misunderstands you. It seems to me, from all the people I know who have echoes, that you can basically

⏹️ ▶️ John just yell it into the air with a reasonable expectation that it’s gonna get you, and if it doesn’t, you yell it again, and you’re not

⏹️ ▶️ John ever waiting for a ba-bloop. And the echo plugs in, right? It’s not just battery

⏹️ ▶️ Marco power? Yeah, yeah. They have one that’s battery powered, but the one that’s battery powered is the tap,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and that one doesn’t listen all the time. You have to push it to listen.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Yeah, that’s not good.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So if you want to be listening all the time, you need to plug it in.

⏹️ ▶️ John Is that is that the one I’m thinking of? I thought that the one the one I was thinking of is like is a very short cylinder.

⏹️ ▶️ John It doesn’t have it doesn’t double is basically a Bluetooth speaker. That’s the dot that great names. I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the dot does also plug in and always always listening. The dot is basically just like the big echo, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco without the big speaker. So it sounds substantially worse if you’re playing music through it and the big echo like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as as a speaker It’s also a Bluetooth speaker. As a speaker, it is merely

⏹️ ▶️ Marco decent. It is not an amazing speaker. Like I have a Sonos Play One right next to it, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the Play One is a way better speaker, by a mile. You know, for like music quality,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco volume, tone, you know, the Sonos system has way better speakers. But the Amazon

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Echo is really convenient, and that often wins. Cool. you

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Apple and third-party integration

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m starting to think about why Apple is the way it is about

⏹️ ▶️ John third-party integrations. It’s not as if Apple says, oh we have to do everything ourselves. Almost everything

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple does that has a reasonable place for third parties to be part

⏹️ ▶️ John of it, there is a place for it to do it. Like their APIs, they make APIs for

⏹️ ▶️ John third parties to write software for their platforms. They have programs for hardware vendors to

⏹️ ▶️ John make accessories for all their various hardware devices. They have especially for hardware, they have compliance

⏹️ ▶️ John programs, you have to fulfill these requirements in terms of size and voltage and reliability and you know, whatever,

⏹️ ▶️ John like all sensible things, especially in the hardware realm, there’s no shortage of accessories

⏹️ ▶️ John for iOS devices, you can buy even for the watches, you can buy watch bands, you can buy cases for your iOS devices, you can

⏹️ ▶️ John buy docs for them, keyboards, like everything that Apple sells for its devices,

⏹️ ▶️ John there’s tons of choices for third parties. So it seems like they know how to foster

⏹️ ▶️ John an open ecosystem of third parties selling things for their products. And

⏹️ ▶️ John in software on application on the application front there. They’re okay at that. Like, you know, we’ve talked about the App Store and

⏹️ ▶️ John the problems that might have but it’s not as if people have the impression that if you buy an Apple product, you’re stuck with Apple software.

⏹️ ▶️ John They know lots of people make software, especially for iOS devices. And most of those people are not Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John that make them. And yet, For things like this, where

⏹️ ▶️ John they’re connecting to web services or they’re sending you to

⏹️ ▶️ John someone else’s store or they’re integrating with someone else’s line of products for your home,

⏹️ ▶️ John that seems to be Apple’s kryptonite. Anything having to do with the web, certainly.

⏹️ ▶️ John Anything having to do with money, like giving other people money or becoming their customer, seem

⏹️ ▶️ John to be areas that Apple is not willing to sort of open the doors and

⏹️ ▶️ John make connections and they’re precisely the area that you would want anything having to do with home automation

⏹️ ▶️ John or to connect. So imagine if Apple sold something like this but you couldn’t use it to buy things

⏹️ ▶️ John from Amazon. Apple’s not a retailer of physical goods other than its own products like it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John not it’s not technically a competitor to Amazon in this way but

⏹️ ▶️ John can you imagine Apple selling products and say oh and had doing like a keynote demo and say

⏹️ ▶️ John look how easy it is for me to order new paper towels because they don’t care about ordering paper towels their customers

⏹️ ▶️ John have to order paper towels but they’re not going to endorse Amazon unless they can extract some money or

⏹️ ▶️ John some deal from Amazon or whatever but that would be a perfect third-party

⏹️ ▶️ John integration if they made a product like this and made an open API surely a third party would make an integration

⏹️ ▶️ John for their favorite brand of you know Wi-Fi enabled light bulbs or their favorite retailer

⏹️ ▶️ John or a raspberry pi thing or an integration with the ring doorbell that we just talked about or whatever. Those

⏹️ ▶️ John are the things that you have to do. If you’re going to try to break open this market and be

⏹️ ▶️ John like this or de facto, central speaking into the air in the middle of my house hub for home automation.

⏹️ ▶️ John And it just seems like Apple and even companies like Nestor still have the idea like no, we’re gonna own the whole friggin house. And we’re

⏹️ ▶️ John going to tightly control our hardware vendors, and they’re going to comply to our specifications. And in the meantime, Amazon

⏹️ ▶️ John using the old PC strategy of just work completely open, do whatever the hell you want, and we’ll just look at it

⏹️ ▶️ John a couple years later and see what worked. So far, it’s the only thing that has had any measure

⏹️ ▶️ John of success, even though it’s a very small measure of success, just among nerds who are willing to pay $180

⏹️ ▶️ John to have a weird black cylinder of the house so that they can ask how to spell words.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple has always had this part of its corporate personality reflected by,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco originally by Steve, by a lot of the people who are still there, I think, and who are still

⏹️ ▶️ Marco making important decisions. They’ve always had these parts of their personality where

⏹️ ▶️ Marco sometimes a little bit too much greed shows and sometimes a little bit too

⏹️ ▶️ Marco control freaky shows, if that makes sense. And that often holds

⏹️ ▶️ Marco these things back. So for instance, the 30% in-app purchase rule

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on iOS apps. One of the reasons why you can’t buy Amazon books in the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Kindle app for iOS is this rule that Apple won’t let Amazon sell them directly without using an

⏹️ ▶️ Marco app purchase. And if you use an app purchase, Apple takes 30%. And that is a very,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco very high commission to take on sales that you’re kind of not much of a part

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of. But they do it, and it works, and it’s the only game in town. If you want to be on this platform, which

⏹️ ▶️ Marco really matters a lot, you basically have to play by those rules or avoid them like Amazon does and just don’t sell anything

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there. And that kind of attitude goes way beyond that rule. That kind of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco attitude also extends to things like 16 gig devices, the price hike in the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco iPad cases. Apple has some greed there.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Depending on our discussion earlier about whether you consider that offensive

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or not, or whether it’s just business, but they do oftentimes prioritize

⏹️ ▶️ Marco profitability of things over making everyone else happy. And that is often

⏹️ ▶️ Marco good business, so I can’t really fault them for that. But it does hold back certain kinds of advancements from

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the products.

⏹️ ▶️ John Or they’re going for an ideal. Sometimes they have a vision in their mind of how it’s going to look, and third parties

⏹️ ▶️ John will just screw up that vision with the crap that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they add. Right. And so that’s the other side of it, is the controlling part of it, where Apple’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco very opinionated in a lot of ways and very controlling.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco For instance, one of the more recent dust-ups around

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple’s decision-making was, in the early betas of 9.3, they stopped letting

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the Apple Pencil navigate the entire iPad interface. So the Apple Pencil came out in November or whatever

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with the iPad Pro. It could navigate the whole interface for its first few months. And then

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the early betas of 9.3, they removed that ability.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The official PR statement on it was kind of BS-y. What we’ve heard from people who are better

⏹️ ▶️ Marco informed on the matter is that this was actually an intentional decision because it was not being used the way

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they thought it should be used. They didn’t want it to be used to navigate the whole interface. They wanted it to only be used for artistic

⏹️ ▶️ Marco purposes or drawing or whatever. It was just being used in a way that Apple didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco foresee and didn’t think was proper, but wasn’t really hurting anything. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple almost removed that ability. And it was only, I think, only by

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a decent amount of public shaming and outcry over this during the beta

⏹️ ▶️ Marco period that reversed their decision. They were being a little too overreaching

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in their control, you know, their desire for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey control.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know if that’s so true, though, because there was no obvious reason for them to get rid of it today, but what if something’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey coming in the future that that would conflict with this? The, the pencil

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is equivalent to your finger approach that Mike and Gray love so much. You know,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it certainly seems to me like they should have some sort of happy medium, like there should be a switchboard

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or something like that. But I think it’s, it’s a little bit,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s a little bit bold of us to assume they’re doing it just to be jerks. They’re, they very well could be that they’re doing it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to set themselves up for something in the future?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, it might not even… I don’t want to say that they’re being jerks, necessarily. It’s that they’re being controlling.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco We see a lot of this with AppReview, too. And whenever there’s an AppReview controversy,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot of times it’s because Apple doesn’t want us to do things a certain way.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Or like what happened with the disaster of various rejections around Today widgets,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with calculators and drafts and everything else, where like pCalc in TodayView

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it’s like, no, well, you can’t have buttons there because we don’t want people to do calculations or to do

⏹️ ▶️ Marco work in today’s view. I was like, okay, that’s kind of weird. And maybe there might have been

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a technical reason for that. But it seemed from what they, from Apple’s statements to the various developers

⏹️ ▶️ Marco who were affected by those things, it didn’t seem like it was a technical limitation. It seemed like it was just like an ideological thing. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco no, we, this is not right. They should be using your app for this. All this is just to say, there are these

⏹️ ▶️ Marco areas in the company that still show these negative personality

⏹️ ▶️ Marco traits that I think do hold them back in some ways. And sometimes it’s the right move,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but a lot of times it’s not. Sometimes it leads to better products, but a lot of times it doesn’t.

⏹️ ▶️ John I brought up the iPod and everything because I feel like they do this so well in so many areas. They strike the right

⏹️ ▶️ John balance in terms of… The reason we buy their products is they’re opinionated and we like their opinion. you don’t like their

⏹️ ▶️ John opinion by different products, right? But if you like their opinion, you like the fact that they you know, designed and you know, again,

⏹️ ▶️ John especially in the hardware, carefully designed for the particular look and feel and the features they put in

⏹️ ▶️ John them and just you know, the whole iPhone itself like when is it when is what is the iPhone when

⏹️ ▶️ John is when do we make a touchscreen that Apple feels like it’s good enough? What are the aspects of like the whole you know, that that’s how

⏹️ ▶️ John you end up with something like the iPhone that you have taste and opinions and you are controlling about it and you slowly open it up. But

⏹️ ▶️ John if I look at the market of iOS devices, especially on the hardware side, they’re striking such a good balance

⏹️ ▶️ John in terms of having the products they want to have, selling accessories

⏹️ ▶️ John that they want to sell, but also having this huge ecosystem of accessories from

⏹️ ▶️ John other people. Every kind of case you could possibly imagine, including ones that Apple surely thinks are ugly, but they’re not

⏹️ ▶️ John forbidding those to be made or forbidding an integration. We’re not going to let our iPhone be docked

⏹️ ▶️ John into this, uh, you know, docking device cause we think it’s gross or we don’t want it.

⏹️ ▶️ John You know, we don’t want you to be able to plug this thing in with the USB cable and control this other thing. We’re like, for

⏹️ ▶️ John the most part, within the constraints of their programs, they have a hands off type of attitude. You want to make a weird

⏹️ ▶️ John keyboard case that folds onto your iPad six years before we come out with a hardware

⏹️ ▶️ John keyboard for our iPads? It’s not Bluetooth. Fine. We’re not going to be like, oh, well, we want to forbid that because we haven’t

⏹️ ▶️ John decided whether we’re going to do a keyboard with a thing, even styluses. Oh, we we don’t want you to. we

⏹️ ▶️ John won’t give you a made for you know, iOS stamp of approval on any styluses because we

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t want to have a stylus like for years you had those little fake finger styluses there was a million of them right apples willing

⏹️ ▶️ John to just let that go and I think that was an important thing because it showed them

⏹️ ▶️ John like especially if they sell any in their stores boy a surprising number of people buy these super terrible you know stylus

⏹️ ▶️ John things that pretend to be fingers maybe there’s something to the stylus thing after all and eventually they came up with their own solution which of

⏹️ ▶️ John course didn’t have to emulate a finger and was much, much better. And they did a really good job. But that I feel

⏹️ ▶️ John like that falls out of the having a big open market. And it’s just certain kinds of products

⏹️ ▶️ John that have a blind spot about that with even you can even say Apple TV has that for so many years not having

⏹️ ▶️ John apps on it, which just seems crazy because they had learned how important apps are. And even now having the apps and

⏹️ ▶️ John having them be limited in all sorts of ways, because Apple has an idea of what a TV app should be like. And they’re necessarily

⏹️ ▶️ John fencing off whole ranges of possibilities, even going down to, you know, my own particular pet peeves

⏹️ ▶️ John about 24 hertz output or whatever, like, that’s a whole class of applications that could flourish or not on

⏹️ ▶️ John the Apple TV. But because Apple has this narrowly defined, you know, you get 200 megs, you download

⏹️ ▶️ John stuff on demand, you can have games, but you have to support the remote just like they’re just, they fenced it in so narrowly,

⏹️ ▶️ John they’re not allowing that ecosystem to expand in the ways that some

⏹️ ▶️ John of their other ecosystems have been allowed to expand. And it’s, I think it’s just it’s just not the

⏹️ ▶️ John right balance. Like I think that’s That’s what Apple is always looking for. And what I’m looking for Apple to do

⏹️ ▶️ John is not to be completely open, not to be completely closed to find the right balance for each product line. And it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John and the way we see when Apple hasn’t found the right balances, competitors, competitors show us because they say,

⏹️ ▶️ John if Apple’s dropping the ball here, then we can do better and show you something.

⏹️ ▶️ John And then you look at it after the fact, you know, boy, Apple had all the pieces, they had all the technology, and they just didn’t, they just didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John do it. Or they were their own worst enemy. I see that the most for every product that Apple does that has

⏹️ ▶️ John anything to do with sort of the open web and web services. Not that Apple is against the open web or web services,

⏹️ ▶️ John but it just seems to be a big blind spot for them. They don’t realize the inherent power in that.

⏹️ ▶️ John And Amazon Echo, I think, is the most recent and most glaring example.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco All right, thanks a lot to our three sponsors this week, Betterment, Ring, and FreshBooks. and we will

⏹️ ▶️ Marco see you next week.

Ending theme

⏹️ ▶️ John Now the show is over,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey they didn’t even mean to begin Cause it was accidental, oh

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was accidental John didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn’t let him Cause it was accidental,

⏹️ ▶️ John oh

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was accidental And you can find the show

⏹️ ▶️ John notes at And if you’re into

⏹️ ▶️ John Twitter, you can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So that’s Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and T.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Marco

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Armin,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A

⏹️ ▶️ John Syracuse, oh it’s accidental, they

⏹️ ▶️ John didn’t mean to Accidental, check my cast so long

Post-show: Tesla Model 3

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So Tesla came out with a new car, which

⏹️ ▶️ Casey means your Model S is effectively old and busted.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yep, totally obsolete. No, it isn’t because his car is still better than the previewed car.

⏹️ ▶️ John In so many ways, it’s better.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So Tesla came out or debuted with the Model 3.

⏹️ ▶️ John I like the emphasis on the master plan in the presentation. Like, oh, so many years ago, I had this master plan about

⏹️ ▶️ John what we’re going to do. if you’re making a master plan, maybe that’s the time to come up with like a naming scheme for your

⏹️ ▶️ John cars that’s sensible. Like somebody like you only got three cars, it could be model one, two and

⏹️ ▶️ John three, model A, B and C, you know, 468. Like there are many possibilities

⏹️ ▶️ John that you could draw from what or name them after your favorite cities or whatever. But

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t think anybody drawing up a master plan would be like, roadster

⏹️ ▶️ John s, x and three, like in your first outing. That’s

⏹️ ▶️ John a ball drop anyway, but we don’t care about the name.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Right. So for those who are not aware, this is their, their

⏹️ ▶️ Casey cheaper sedan, their kind of mass market car. I did watch the presentation,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey which will have a link in the show notes. Elon had said, Hey, the roadster was to kind

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of get really, really, really rich people to spend money on something stupid. And then that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey would let us bootstrap the S, which would let well-to-do

⏹️ ▶️ Casey people spend money on something that was less stupid, which in turn will let us

⏹️ ▶️ Casey do what we really want to do, which is the mass market Model 3. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey they opened pre-orders for the Model 3 the day of the announcement, but

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think really, really early in the morning in whatever your local time was. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey by the time of the announcement, they had over 100,000 pre-orders. Is that right? A hundred and ten,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think. Yeah. Something like that. And so the pre-orders, you have to put a thousand dollars down, but it is refundable.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So that means a hundred thousand people had given Tesla a thousand dollars

⏹️ ▶️ Casey apiece. And I think they’re up to like a quarter million. Something like that. Yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But what’s interesting is, you know, the first half of those people did it sight unseen. They knew nothing about the Model 3. Other than that, it was going

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to cost around 40 grand and it should have around the same range as

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Model S, give or take. And then they did the reveal, which

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was clear that Apple employees spend a lot of time practicing their presentations,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey not only those in the keynote, but those that like dub-dub, because, man, Elon Musk was not

⏹️ ▶️ Casey built for this sort of presentation. And that’s okay. I mean, but— Yeah, he

⏹️ ▶️ Marco could have used some rehearsal. It seemed

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey like he didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco rehearse it once. Right.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But the presentation nevertheless was impressive and the model three on the whole,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I like it. I think. Aesthetically it’s got some, a little bit of problems

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on the outside. I think John takes more issue with the outside than I do on the inside. I have major

⏹️ ▶️ Casey issues, but a $40,000 plus car ish that has 200 miles plus ish of

⏹️ ▶️ Casey range, that’s pretty damn appealing. And so, and supposedly they’re going to ship

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the end of next year. Like this is sounding pretty good. I’m definitely interested.

⏹️ ▶️ John I wouldn’t call this mass market though. I understand the progression. Like you go from a hundred thousand dollars in practical car to

⏹️ ▶️ John a 70 or $80,000, very practical car to a $35,000, still pretty practical car. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ John but you know, mass market is 25 K, but it’s not, it’s not,

⏹️ ▶️ John they’re doing everything they can. Like they the batteries cost a lot of money, right? So they’re building this big factory or whatever. They’re driving

⏹️ ▶️ John their price down Like eventually you would expect if Tesla is still in business ten years from now that they will have

⏹️ ▶️ John something in the Honda Civic category Or whatever, so they’re working their way down. I like the progression. I like what they’re doing

⏹️ ▶️ John as for the specifics of the product I was never really impressed with the roadster because it’s just

⏹️ ▶️ John the you know, what do you call it? Uh lotus lotus of these Yeah, uh, you know, but you got to do what

⏹️ ▶️ John you got to do. I never I you know, it’s It was a sort of a minimum viable product

⏹️ ▶️ John type thing. But as a car, I was like, all right, fine, whatever. The S, I was generally impressed by

⏹️ ▶️ John the styling, because I think the overall shape of the car is good. They didn’t get the

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey details

⏹️ ▶️ John very right. But practically speaking, having both ridden in Model S’s

⏹️ ▶️ John and driven one, it’s a good car. Like we’ve talked about this before, it’s not just a good electric car, it’s a good

⏹️ ▶️ John car. I mean, and you’d imagine, well, it better be for the price you get. But they successfully made a good car, which is no small feat, because

⏹️ ▶️ John not a lot of new car companies have come out and made a good car in our lifetimes, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John And it seemed to have enough of all the components together that

⏹️ ▶️ John even if you have complaints about certain small areas that it’s not a big deal. I totally expect the Model 3

⏹️ ▶️ John to do the same thing. To be good in all the same ways that the S is good. Because, you know, they can

⏹️ ▶️ John use the same foundation. Battery, electric motor, wheels, suspension, steering, everything.

⏹️ ▶️ John I see no reason to believe that those aspects of the 3 won’t be just as good

⏹️ ▶️ John as the Model S. The only place you’re saving any money is, I imagine, this car is smaller, lighter, has less batteries

⏹️ ▶️ John in it, and so that’s how you… and they’re made in the big gigafactory and economies of scale and blah blah blah. All the sorts

⏹️ ▶️ John of reasons why… why does this car cost less than the Model S? Mostly it’s because they’re getting better at building

⏹️ ▶️ John these cars and have the big factory building the batteries and there’s fewer of them and it’s smaller and all that other stuff, but I can

⏹️ ▶️ John imagine, for instance, the interior of the model three giving the model s a reasonable run for

⏹️ ▶️ John its money mostly because the model s is not super luxurious to begin with but like that’s not where the money is in these cars like the money

⏹️ ▶️ John is all in that freaking battery um and just you know general raw materials and assembly like the electric

⏹️ ▶️ John motors aren’t super expensive in the grand scheme of things certainly not compared to an internal combustion engine um

⏹️ ▶️ John where i think the three falls down for me is i feel like it should it had the opportunity

⏹️ ▶️ John to learn from the S class and exceed it in all of the few areas where it falls down. So

⏹️ ▶️ John is the interior going to be better than the S? Probably not. Design wise, having that big screen

⏹️ ▶️ John in the middle doesn’t strike me as a we learned a lot from the,

⏹️ ▶️ John uh, the model S. Uh, and so now we know how to make a better interior other than the fact that they learned

⏹️ ▶️ John that bigger screens are better. Um, but my biggest complaint about the outside is what they’ve done with the front end treatment.

⏹️ ▶️ John Um, and in some respects it’s obvious what they’re going for. It’s like, hey guys,

⏹️ ▶️ John we don’t have to have a place where air goes into the front of our car because there’s not a giant exploding

⏹️ ▶️ John internal combustion engine there that we have to blow air on. Otherwise it overheats. We don’t have to do that. So

⏹️ ▶️ John we should not be constrained by the styling of internal combustion engine cars. We have all

⏹️ ▶️ John this freedom. Let us now reimagine what the front end of a car can look like because

⏹️ ▶️ John why should we make it look like an internal combustion engine? That’s a good spirit and that’s a good idea and they should pursue

⏹️ ▶️ John that, but I feel like what they did was took the front of an internal combustion engine car and just erased

⏹️ ▶️ John the grill in Photoshop. There’s a place for the grill. It is shaped like

⏹️ ▶️ John a car with a grill would be, because Marcos does the same thing. The Model S has a place for the grill, and they just put a thing there

⏹️ ▶️ John that is a different color and it looks grill-like, but there’s no holes in it. It’s because you don’t need air to go into there,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? That at least visually from a distance, like, oh, that’s a car with

⏹️ ▶️ John a grill, but it’s not really a grill. Car clearly has no grill, but it has shape wise the

⏹️ ▶️ John place for the grill, so I would encourage them to pursue this avenue of styling

⏹️ ▶️ John Further not like that they went too far They didn’t go far enough that it didn’t sort of reimagine the front

⏹️ ▶️ John end of an electric vehicle It does not need to suck air through a big opening in the front They didn’t do it enough, and this is not

⏹️ ▶️ John I think this may not be the final design They have they could conceivably change it and add a little trim things

⏹️ ▶️ John to mess it up So front end is a mess as far as I’m concerned and then the overall shape

⏹️ ▶️ John I get why they made it this way They’re touting like the interior space the headroom or whatever But its proportions

⏹️ ▶️ John are just not as nice as the S the S is a bigger car the bigger car allows it to have nicer proportions

⏹️ ▶️ John to look more aggressive to look less kind of hunchbacked and and Dowdy and

⏹️ ▶️ John like a like a droplet of water or whatever. I suspect the three will look better in person than it does in pictures I really

⏹️ ▶️ John hope I’m look better in person than it does in pictures But if I were Marco,

⏹️ ▶️ John I’d be feeling pretty good about my purchase because he still has the best-looking, largest, best-performing,

⏹️ ▶️ John and prettiest Tesla. And will for, it seems like, a long time now.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, yeah, I mean, I don’t have any buyer’s remorse, you know, if for no other reason that this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco probably won’t even be out until my lease is over. They’re saying this will allegedly ship by the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco end of next year, so about 18 months from now. I would be surprised if it shipped on time.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And also, there are 200,000 pre-orders, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they currently can make something like 50,000 cars a year. Obviously, not all those pre-orders will turn into real

⏹️ ▶️ Marco orders because it’s a refundable deposit. So a lot of those people are going to cancel.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But even if like a quarter of them end up actually going

⏹️ ▶️ Marco through with it and accepting their cars and buying them. And even if there

⏹️ ▶️ Marco are no production delays, which is unlikely, it would still put it out

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in like three years, roughly. So before I could even get one if

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I if I wanted one instead of my Model S. And it turns out, I probably won’t, because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I like big sedans. And I like the additional features of the Model S. I like the additional space. I like the additional

⏹️ ▶️ Marco luxury that it will almost certainly continue to offer over the three. You know, cost-wise, the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Model 3 is, from the info we have so far, and none of it is final, but from the info we

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have so far, it is substantially de-contented, or de-optioned

⏹️ ▶️ Marco from the base Model, Model S. And the cheapest you can get a Model S right now, if I just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco went and configured it, 70 kilowatt-hour battery, and you turn off all-wheel drive,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you get the cash price down to $70,000. And the cash price for this is is allegedly going to be $35,000.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And they’ve said this enough times and been really sure about it enough times that they probably really can’t go back

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on that, PR-wise, or at least not by much. So in order to cut the cash price of the car in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco half, it’s going to have to come with less than what the S comes with at

⏹️ ▶️ Marco its base model. So they’ve already said it’s going to have things like, it’s not going to have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco supercharging built in by default. Like you’ll have to pay extra for that if you want supercharging.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco There’s a whole bunch of stuff that comes standard on every Model S, the Model 3 probably

⏹️ ▶️ Marco will have to not come with just to hit that price point. I’m guessing that there’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco going to be a major difference between these two cars. And part of the reason they had to make it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so much smaller, you know, and make it kind of these weird proportions, is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to help set it apart, I think, from the S. Because, you know, the S is kind of competing in a different bracket here. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco overall, I think from what What they’ve shown so far, we can have quibbles about the dash, which I do,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but even Elon said on Twitter it’s not even the final steering wheel, and the final steering wheel is going to be amazing like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a spaceship, so that kind of might take care of the weird issue with not having any display in front of the driver.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But overall, I think this looks like a really potentially awesome car, but there’s still

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot of question marks over whether they can actually deliver, and whether they’ll deliver

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on time, and what you’ll actually get for the money, because I suspect there’s going to be a lot

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of things that we think you’d probably want that are going to be optional add-ons at that price

⏹️ ▶️ Marco point.

⏹️ ▶️ John Real-time follow-up of the whole chat room and my memory says that actually they said that they will have supercharging

⏹️ ▶️ John on all models.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco They will have the capability to but Elon said on Twitter to somebody recently that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it might be an additional fee to activate it just like the old Model S was. So they will all have the ability

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to. It’s the same thing with with the autopilot. They will all have the hardware to do it But you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco won’t necessarily have that enabled unless you pay extra. It’s an in-app purchase

⏹️ ▶️ John Any car purchase? Yes, it really is. Basically. I have some faith that The

⏹️ ▶️ John only wild card I feel like in their ability to deliver on this in terms of schedules and pricing Everything is the battery

⏹️ ▶️ John factory because you know many things can go wrong there And it is a very large endeavor as they emphasize in the

⏹️ ▶️ John keynote and right sorry, but everything else about this car They’ve already done on the Model

⏹️ ▶️ John S. It doesn’t have any weird weird Falcon wing door BS. It is essentially a smaller

⏹️ ▶️ John s everything in it they have substantial experience doing in the US they know how to make cars

⏹️ ▶️ John with doors with door handles with mirrors with wheels suspension steering the motors

⏹️ ▶️ John if they can get the battery manufactured at the price they want working the way they want and sticking in this car I totally

⏹️ ▶️ John believe they will hit their delivery dates because this is this is the kind

⏹️ ▶️ John of iteration I would expect. I feel like the X is a weird boondoggle with those, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John much larger size and the weird doors that like it’s its own worst enemy. This is the

⏹️ ▶️ John natural evolution down market of the S and how did they make it cheaper? I still

⏹️ ▶️ John feel like the way they make it cheaper is I feel like it’s going to have a smaller battery than the S because it’s a smaller car

⏹️ ▶️ John and you can get away with equal or range or whatever the target was like 215 range. I think

⏹️ ▶️ John 250s was the rumor but I think they announced 215. Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s officially specced at 215, and for reference, the 70, the Model S 70 kilowatt hour one

⏹️ ▶️ Marco specifies 230, and that’s also a much bigger, heavier car. Like, if you look at the ratings

⏹️ ▶️ Marco between the S and the X, the X ratings are lower per kilowatt hour because it takes more

⏹️ ▶️ Marco energy to move the larger, heavier car. So I’m guessing with the S having 230

⏹️ ▶️ Marco miles out of a 70 kilowatt hour battery, I’m guessing they could put maybe a 50 or 55 into

⏹️ ▶️ Marco model three to hit that goal.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t the other thing that wildcard I don’t know about is how much is this going to weigh because you obviously it will be way

⏹️ ▶️ John less than the ass but how much less and the only way you get it to weigh a lot less is to use a much smaller battery because

⏹️ ▶️ John those things weigh a ton or to use lighter materials. Are they replacing steel with aluminum? Is there any like

⏹️ ▶️ John magnesium or other weirdness going you would imagine it can’t get too exotic because it’s $35,000 car but aluminum at the very

⏹️ ▶️ John least could be in the mix to try to lighten the car and obviously the base model

⏹️ ▶️ John I’ve just assume I don’t remember if this was announced, you know, one motor in the base model, right? That not that the motors are

⏹️ ▶️ John again, not as expensive as internal combustion engines. But if you want to save money, like that’s the beauty of electric cars. And the sort

⏹️ ▶️ John of the curse is there’s not much to them. There’s electric motor, like more or less directly attached

⏹️ ▶️ John to your wheels to a fixed gear ratio. There’s suspension, there’s steering, there’s some pumps and compressors,

⏹️ ▶️ John there’s a giant battery, and then there’s a living room that you put in right. And that’s it.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s all there is in the car, there’s some venting I guess for blowing air on you. Like there are so

⏹️ ▶️ John many fewer components than the giant mess that is under the hood of internal combustion engine cars where just like

⏹️ ▶️ John the little villages on you know all around the engine in terms of keeping the engine cool and and keeping the

⏹️ ▶️ John the oil flowing through it and things going up and down and firing sparks and wires and it’s just

⏹️ ▶️ John there’s just so much extra stuff there that just isn’t in this car which means that if you want to make

⏹️ ▶️ John the car for cheaper You can reduce your component costs, or you can use less of something that’s expensive,

⏹️ ▶️ John but there’s not much else there. I really don’t feel… That’s why I say on the interior, I guess they have

⏹️ ▶️ John to make it not as nice as the S just to differentiate their lines, but how much money are

⏹️ ▶️ John you really going to save by using different seat materials? You could save a couple hundred bucks

⏹️ ▶️ John here and there, but the big ticket items are that stupid battery, all the big steel parts

⏹️ ▶️ John that make up a car that you can’t get rid of because you need suspension and wheels and a body and crash protection and stuff like

⏹️ ▶️ John that. And I guess that you know, one motor is cheaper than two.

⏹️ ▶️ John And then that’s it, then you know, so they’re they’re wise to go after their big cost center, which

⏹️ ▶️ John is the battery is like, how cheaply can we make them can we build like this giant factory and make pretty huge capital

⏹️ ▶️ John investment so that we can churn out the first year 250,000 of these batteries and put them into cars

⏹️ ▶️ John that we can sell for $35,000 and at least break even or come close to a product. I mean, that’s the

⏹️ ▶️ John sort of meta thing that we’re not really talking about here is that, you know, Tesla is

⏹️ ▶️ John regardless of what you may think as a car guy about their individual products, they’re actually doing the thing that

⏹️ ▶️ John so many other car companies have failed to do, which is build electric cars, build a business

⏹️ ▶️ John on them and make them good cars that people want to buy. Like that is just, you know, it’s, it’s, it kind of goes without

⏹️ ▶️ John saying we don’t say we like, Oh, I have complaints about this particular car but like nobody else is doing that hell

⏹️ ▶️ John the biggest car companies in the world sometimes have difficulty making a car that people want to buy and they’re making

⏹️ ▶️ John internal combustion engine cars sometimes they miss that target tesla is making electric cars that people

⏹️ ▶️ John want to buy but hundreds of thousands of people will order sight unseen so they’re you know

⏹️ ▶️ John they’re they’re quite a phenomenon regardless of the quality of their individual products and this is

⏹️ ▶️ John like their third car or whatever i’m willing to give them wide leeway to continue

⏹️ ▶️ John to do it for us to continue to figure out how to do cars if they’re still in business, which I really

⏹️ ▶️ John hope they are. You know, when my grandkids are driving, uh, they should be making

⏹️ ▶️ John pretty amazing cars for prices that hopefully anybody can afford.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think first of all, it being in business all, you know, all the way out there and I think someone’s going to buy them. Apple tried,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco right? I suspect a car company is going to buy them. Um, but well,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco maybe Apple is a car company. Good

⏹️ ▶️ John point. Would Elon sell to a car company? I think have to assassinate Elon first

⏹️ ▶️ Marco before you know but I’m thinking like you know worst-case scenario if they’re like desperate and if they’re gonna go out of business

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think they’re gonna get bought rather than just shutting down but anyway it’s really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco quite something like to see the amount of enthusiasm and and energy and momentum

⏹️ ▶️ Marco behind this launch of this car that we know almost nothing about and even before we knew

⏹️ ▶️ Marco anything about it how many or so I mean it’s this is really we’re on the cusp of something big

⏹️ ▶️ Marco here and it’s it’s happening now. It’s not like this is like, well, in the future, cars will be really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco nice and they’ll be all electric. No. Today, cars are really nice and all electric. They’re just really expensive

⏹️ ▶️ Marco right now. But they’re here. They exist. They’re selling, you know, like they, I think they have something

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like a hundred and fifty thousand Model S’s already out in the world. So like, they, there’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco all, they already sell these cars in decent volume. And yeah, there’s, that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco isn’t as much volume as the entire world driving population

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or some other big brand cars, but that is real volume that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco counts for something. These things already exist today, and they’re only going to become more

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of them in the future. I don’t think this is a temporary fad. Once

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you drive one, you realize, oh my God, this is amazing. Why doesn’t everybody have this? Of course, the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco answer is because it’s very expensive right now, but that seems to be a temporary problem.

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m kind of confused about why some of them have L-shaped door handles and at least one model,

⏹️ ▶️ John I presume the base model, doesn’t. Is that like a value-add feature? Well, if you buy the base model,

⏹️ ▶️ John you get straight door handle like Marco’s crappy car, but if you buy the upscale models, your door handle

⏹️ ▶️ John is slightly L-shaped.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco They probably just haven’t decided which one it is yet. They like built one with the Ls

⏹️ ▶️ John and built the other one without them. Oh, that was the nice thing about when they drove the cars out onto the stage, another one of those

⏹️ ▶️ John electric car moments when you realize they don’t have to worry about filling the room with carbon monoxide

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco as they drive their cars out onto the stage.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Exactly.

⏹️ ▶️ John And they also don’t have to worry about the noise of the engines running. Just drive them right out. It’s fine. Yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That was pretty wild. Really, I mean, really, every time I drive this electric drive train,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m just like, oh my God, this is so good. Like why, why would, if, if you can

⏹️ ▶️ Marco get one of these, if you can both swing the price and if it fits within your lifestyle

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with like, you know, range concerns and everything, those are and those are two big ifs but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if it fits why wouldn’t you get it like once you drive it that’s honestly how you feel

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because it’s so good.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey If you have the means I highly suggest picking one up. I have to tell you though the interior

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is so unbelievably bad to my eyes. It’s got a dashboard-ish.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It has a thing that looks like a dashboard but all it has on the dashboard is a is a steering wheel

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and a touchscreen. And yes, I’m aware that all of this is in flight, but

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it looks like they didn’t even try yet. Like, oh, god, I don’t like the floating

⏹️ ▶️ Casey display. It just looks fragile to my eyes, which I know is a casey problem, but I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like it. And I definitely do not like having any sort of gauges behind the steering wheel. I just

⏹️ ▶️ Casey think that’s a terrible idea.

⏹️ ▶️ John A lot of other cars have tried that, and there have been various theories. The economic one is

⏹️ ▶️ John like we’ll make a world car that’s symmetrical so we can do right and left hand drive and just put the Dash cluster in

⏹️ ▶️ John the middle I’m not sure how much I buy that as a reason but it’s something you can see and think

⏹️ ▶️ John about the one of the reasons they gave was like It’s better to

⏹️ ▶️ John not have to change your focal distance as much from looking out the window where your focal distance is way off down The

⏹️ ▶️ John road to looking super close to you be like the gauge cluster So let’s do like a two level dash or put

⏹️ ▶️ John it in the center So it’s you know difference between focusing at four feet versus two feet

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m not sure I buy that because I don’t know I mean I can understand maybe the focal distance You don’t want to go from really close

⏹️ ▶️ John to really far But how much farther away from you can you get that dashboard when it 10 heads still have it inside the

⏹️ ▶️ John car with you? It can’t you know make that big of a difference and

⏹️ ▶️ John I just think Consumers have voted with their feet to say every car that has tried to

⏹️ ▶️ John do this and there have been many of them The feedback has been Universally negative not massively

⏹️ ▶️ John negative, but enough negative that in subsequent models They change it every car that’s done a two-level dash where you have one set of gauges

⏹️ ▶️ John close one set of far every car That’s had a bunch of gauges in the middle has

⏹️ ▶️ John Eventually gone back to a more conventional arrangement or like that model has you know faded

⏹️ ▶️ John away and a new model is replaced I think maybe the Toyota echo still has that arrangement as the as the the

⏹️ ▶️ John lone stalwart, but It baffles me Why people want to do that

⏹️ ▶️ John in anything other than a concept car and the wild card is and of course we don’t know is Like fine. Do you have another solution?

⏹️ ▶️ John Maybe it’s all heads-up display. They have an amazing HUD. All right fine I’m you know All I’m just saying is like

⏹️ ▶️ John somewhere where the driver doesn’t have to turn his head you need to be able to see things like how fast

⏹️ ▶️ John you’re going and You know other information about the car is your turn signal on are your headlights on like

⏹️ ▶️ John without having to look elsewhere I feel like that should be easily within the driver’s vision

⏹️ ▶️ John without requiring it. That’s why we have gauge clusters. So I really hope they have

⏹️ ▶️ John some solution to that that isn’t just look at the giant screen, the giant 17 or 18 inch

⏹️ ▶️ John screen that we’ve stapled to the front of the dashboard.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I completely agree. I just, I understand it’s not the final design, but God,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I do not like it at all. It just looks so boring. And it’s just this vast emptiness there.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s terrible. All in all, I am very interested in the car. I am

⏹️ ▶️ Casey not interested enough to have put down a pre-order. And at this point, there’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey no point in putting down a pre-order because Declan will be out of college by the time they would deliver on that pre-order, like Marco

⏹️ ▶️ Casey was saying. But, but I’m really intrigued and I’m really pleased that they’re moving.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know if down market is really the right way to describe it, but certainly into a larger segment

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of the market and having driven underscores Model S, it kind

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of ruined me for life. I mean, electric cars done right are phenomenally

⏹️ ▶️ Casey cool and I’m really, really anxious to see what this looks like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey when it’s all said and done and when it’s actually released.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco What I also want to see is how does everyone else respond to this?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco What happens when this eats into a big part of sales of the BMW 3 Series?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco How does everyone else react to this? Well, they’ve

⏹️ ▶️ John all got electric car projects in the works, like all of them. I mean, BMW’s already got, what is it, the i8 and

⏹️ ▶️ John the i3, and Porsche’s got their electric car project. A lot of people have essentially

⏹️ ▶️ John Model S competitors in various stages of development. I think now it’s just a race of who can

⏹️ ▶️ John get their cars to market soon enough. Because if Tesla beats them to market, it’s going to be a real problem.

⏹️ ▶️ John Because as we’ve seen, people are just going to buy whatever good electric car is available, they’re going to buy it.

⏹️ ▶️ John Porsche beats the Model 3 out. I mean, the Porsches are kind of already lost since the Model S has been out. Like, that was something

⏹️ ▶️ John that was brought up in a recent article I was reading. Porsche’s target for their electric vehicle was like, oh,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s gonna have a 3.5 second zero to 60. The car that’s already out now beats that. The

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Model S already beats that. And this is a car you’re gonna

⏹️ ▶️ John come out with in three years? That’s not good planning, right? Especially if your name is Porsche and you’re gonna

⏹️ ▶️ John sell it for Porsche-level prices. Tesla is a strong competitor and has a lead, but

⏹️ ▶️ John I feel like every car company they’re competing with, even like the new Audi a eight was designed from the beginning

⏹️ ▶️ John to be this is this structure, this chassis, this this, you know, underpinnings of this car,

⏹️ ▶️ John accepts both an internal combustion engine and a full electric setup. Will they do a good job? Will they will they

⏹️ ▶️ John be as good as Tesla? Who knows? But all everyone else has woken up now and said, you know, we have to do this. And now

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s just a race to see who who gets there first. I really do feel like the only edge

⏹️ ▶️ John the established car companies have is I feel like they’re better at styling and their better, better details

⏹️ ▶️ John and interior and just general kind of like the, the intangibles because the Tesla’s for all of their,

⏹️ ▶️ John their good looks and everything still, they haven’t, I don’t know, they haven’t really

⏹️ ▶️ John defined a strong visual language. I know that’s, you know, they kind of have, cause you

⏹️ ▶️ John can tell a Tesla looks like a Tesla, but they all kind of look more generic and lozenge like

⏹️ ▶️ John than the fairly distinctive personalities of the other car lines

⏹️ ▶️ John that you know if you see an Audi you know it’s an Audi if you see a BMW you know it’s a BMW you know like there’s

⏹️ ▶️ John there’s family resemblances that change over the year and I think Tesla is to my eyes having trouble

⏹️ ▶️ John establishing anything outside the sort of generic putri looking car aesthetic.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco In the early days of the iPod, Apple had a really really strong advantage over

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the rest of the market that not only were they often first to some of those form factors, they would

⏹️ ▶️ Marco negotiate rates with the flash memory and they would they would consume so much flash memory production

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the world that other manufacturers were not even able to match them on price or to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco even get enough flash memory or to get the best kind of flash memory because Apple was consuming it all and had locked

⏹️ ▶️ Marco up all the supply. What if Tesla has that for lithium ion battery production?

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, they’re not buying they’re making themselves. What I fully expect to happen is, as part

⏹️ ▶️ John of Tesla’s financial viability, if they have any excess capacity, they will sell batteries from their

⏹️ ▶️ John gigafactory to Audi and BMW and Mercedes or whatever. Because because why wouldn’t you like

⏹️ ▶️ John him? It’s the same

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco reason

⏹️ ▶️ John Toyota sells the the what do you call it? The Prius electric drivetrain to so many other car manufacturers.

⏹️ ▶️ John They’re not afraid of people competing with the Prius because they feel like that’s the whole package. But they’ll sell you their system at a at a you

⏹️ ▶️ John know, at a profit and license it essentially to you to use in your car. So you’re not that interested in it.

⏹️ ▶️ John One other thing I’m recalling is that, you remember the VW Faitian? It was

⏹️ ▶️ John their attempt to make a high-end VW, which is weird because a high-end VW is called an Audi. But anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s a vaguely confused product. But anyway, the reason I’m recalling it is the new Audi

⏹️ ▶️ John A8, with the option of electric drivetrain, my understanding is the new Phaeton is only electric.

⏹️ ▶️ John So that’s going to be the Volkswagen. What is the Volkswagen Model S competitor? Everyone seems like they want to have one.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s not so much that like the secret tech that Tesla has unlocked is that Tesla has proven that

⏹️ ▶️ John if you just do a really good job with modern lithium ion battery technology and put some electric motors, people

⏹️ ▶️ John will buy that car for like it like if you if you had told any car manufacturer told Audi several years ago,

⏹️ ▶️ John just sell a car starting at 70 grand, that’s electric and get like if you gave them the specs of the model, they’d be like no one’s

⏹️ ▶️ John gonna buy that. That’s ridiculous. Why don’t we just sell them the cars we know how to make for exactly the same price that’s better

⏹️ ▶️ John in every possible way. Like that was their short sightedness. They didn’t see that this they didn’t see the advantages

⏹️ ▶️ John of this product. It’s not because I said we have no idea how to build that. Because in so many respects, building

⏹️ ▶️ John a pure electric car is so much more straightforward than hybrid, which is all we’re doing like oh hybrid

⏹️ ▶️ John systems and we’ll go back and forth and the motor will charge the battery and this that and the other thing like like

⏹️ ▶️ John the Chevy Volt and everything. Once Tesla was so smart to commit early, no just

⏹️ ▶️ John electric that’s it like no hybrid no internal combustion engine, it makes everything simpler, we are completely focused on

⏹️ ▶️ John this and they prove that people will buy this product. And now I feel like the other auto manufacturers have woken up

⏹️ ▶️ John to that market possibility. And I have to think that there’s enough in-house car design

⏹️ ▶️ John expertise. All they need is the battery and electric motor expertise that if they can’t

⏹️ ▶️ John develop in-house, at the very least they can buy. So I think all the established car

⏹️ ▶️ John makers are going to make good electric cars sooner than we think they are.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s just a question of whether Tesla can continue to outrun them.