333: Pesky Human Issues04 Jul 2019
Jony Ive is leaving Apple, but John’s favorite spatula will never leave him.
- Jony Ive leaves Apple
- Clockwise #301: My Vulcan Mind
- Ben Thompson's piece
- ATP #120: One Magical Wire
- Wall Street Journal on Ive's Departure
- Jony Ive's Christmas Tree
- The Talk Show #256: 'A Bit Too Thin', with Special Guest Ben Thompson
- Dieter Rams
- Gruber last week and this week
- Evans Hankey & Alan Dye
- May-Li Khoe's tweet
- Love, Death, & Robots ("Zima Blue" is the episode mentioned)
- How does the Overcast recommendation engine work? (via Markus Ernst)
- What's the best way to enter "the zone" while programming? (via Paul Wood III)
- What happens to Overcast/Vignette/ATP/etc when we pass? (via Leon Zandman)
- Post-show: John's Rubbermaid #1971 spatula
- Eero: Get $100 off the eero base unit, 2 beacons, and 1 year of eero Plus with code ATP.
- Casper: Casper is a sleep brand that makes expertly designed products to help you get your best rest, one night at a time.
- Squarespace: Make your next move. Use code ATP for 10% off your first order.
- Expansion Slot Utility
- Sponsor: Squarespace (code ATP)
- Jony Ive leaving Apple
- Sponsor: Casper (code atp2019)
- Power dynamics
- Sponsor: Eero (code ATP)
- #askatp: Overcast recommendations
- #askatp: The zone
- #askatp: Death planning
- Ending theme
- John’s favorite spatula 🖼️
Expansion Slot Utility
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And so, the two of us plucked out that $20, and we legitimately found $20.
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s how the plague began to spread.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, right? It’s a four-time better story than my previous story, where I only found $5. I’m not
⏹️ ▶️ John sure that’s how stories work. All
⏹️ ▶️ Casey right, so let’s get started. We are required by law to do some follow-up. Are we? A friend of the show,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey allegedly, a friend of the show, Guy Rambeau, has discovered an an expansion slot utility
⏹️ ▶️ Casey app in Catalina, which is for the new Mac Pro. And I think we had seen a screenshot
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of this. I feel like I’ve seen this before somewhere, but this had more information that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’d seen previously. And so tell me, gentlemen, what this is about. So I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey pay attention to the internals of PCs anymore, or about computers anymore, because I just buy
⏹️ ▶️ Casey whatever size laptop or desktop I want. I even had to worry about a tower since like college.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So what is happening here? is arranging PCI cards in the most efficient way possible?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So, first of all, this is version 2 of this utility because version 1 of this utility was made
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for John’s computer. And actually the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco before it. Because it’s a way, and I don’t know, John, was there even one before this for like G5s
⏹️ ▶️ John There were similar things, but they only told you how you were doing. They would show
⏹️ ▶️ John you all your expansion slots and memory slots and everything and show you what’s in them, and
⏹️ ▶️ John then it would scold you if you have put things in non-optimal places.
⏹️ ▶️ John And this is different though.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco — Okay, so there’s a couple things going on here. Number one is, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco when you have desktop components, you have a lot of slots and people can kind of arrange things as they want, as
⏹️ ▶️ Marco opposed to like, you know, an iMac is kind of always, you know, optimized in the right way and everything. There’s been a couple of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco things over time where like, for certain chipsets, there’s like an optimal number of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco RAM sticks, or it has to be like a multiple of two or three or something to get optimal performance
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because there’s like two or three memory controllers and there’s similar things although to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in that work a little bit differently with PCI Express lanes and PCI Express lane allocations
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for different slots and different different parts now we don’t have to worry about PCI Express lanes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on most Macs because they allocate the lanes when they design the computers and there’s no
⏹️ ▶️ Marco slots and so you can’t change how they’re allocated you occasionally will see like some
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like some part of the internal limitations or designs will leak out in ways
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like how not all of the Thunderbolt ports on all of the laptops have equal
⏹️ ▶️ Marco bandwidth. Like they’ll have like there’s like the KBase articles that say like on 13-inch MacBook Pro with four
⏹️ ▶️ Marco slots like the left two will have more bandwidth than the right two or something like that right? PCI
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Express the communication protocol used between you know most high-speed peripherals and things these days
⏹️ ▶️ Marco inside computers and actually Thunderbolt is basically PCI Express over a cable.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco PCI Express has a certain number of lanes that come out of the CPU and every
⏹️ ▶️ Marco CPU family has a different number of these. One of the reasons why the high-end computers use Xeons
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is because Xeons tend to have more PCI Express lanes than the consumer chips and the laptops
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like the reason why the Escape only has two Thunderbolt ports and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the bigger MacBook Pros have and why the 12-inch only has one port and it isn’t even Thunderbolt
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is all related to like each of those chips from Intel has a certain number of PCI Express lanes that it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco offers and there and how you allocate those lanes to different parts you know it’s up to the engineer
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the computer anyway the new Mac Pro has a lot
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of PCI Express lanes I think I think it has like 32 or 48 coming out of the CPU something like that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but the if you add up all the amount of PCI Express
⏹️ ▶️ Marco lanes that all of its slots and built-in peripherals need, it’s way more than
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that. So they actually do a few tricks to allocate these things. The main thing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is that they have a bridge chip in there, and I don’t know the details of it, but I know
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there is one there. I was told there is, they actually are using a bridge, or some kind of switch,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or something like that, like a PCI Express multiplier, basically, that can allocate,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it can offer more lanes to peripherals than what the CPU actually has available and then
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can kind of allocate how those work and and I think what this is telling us it with this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco utility I think you can actually maybe dynamically allocate them as opposed to just like you have to move this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco card to this other slot every time but there are also certain slots that have certain that have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco more lanes available to them than others and so so what so what this utility is telling us
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is like you like there’s going to be certain figurations where like certain cards you put in there, they don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco need any kind of, they don’t need meaningful bandwidth. Things like, you know, a USB port card doesn’t need
⏹️ ▶️ Marco much. An audio card, you know, like for sound in and out doesn’t need much. But like a GPU needs
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot, certain other kinds of cards need more or less, and so this this utility is there
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to basically tell you, the user, when you have plugged something into a slot that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is not offering it the amount of lanes it needs, and can make recommendations to you of where to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco move it, and it’s like the example Screen shots said like you know move move this card from slot 5 to slot 3
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or something like that and all this is to Get around the fact that you don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually have enough PCI Express lanes in a Mac Pro to Allocate full bandwidth
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to all of its slots And that’s just that’s not you know Apple cheaping out in some
⏹️ ▶️ Marco way That’s simply you know limitations on the Xeon CPUs that Intel
⏹️ ▶️ Marco offers for this for this computer
⏹️ ▶️ John And apparently there’s two pools of bandwidth again probably getting back to the switch type thing where there’s a bunch of radio buttons
⏹️ ▶️ John where you can change you can’t change the the speed of the slots and aX slot a
⏹️ ▶️ John 4x slot like they’re labeled and it’s fixed but you can change which pool those lanes are allocated to
⏹️ ▶️ John and presumably you’re trying to strike some kind of balance there’s also a checkbox says automatic bandwidth configuration
⏹️ ▶️ John that will theoretically you know divvy stuff up into pools according to what
⏹️ ▶️ John the computer thinks is best but for most of the history of Apple’s most of the modern
⏹️ ▶️ John history of Apple’s slotted computers in the PowerPC era and later, if you put something in a non-optimal
⏹️ ▶️ John slot, whether it be RAM or PCI cards or whatever, usually on the first boot some dialogue from a similar
⏹️ ▶️ John utility that this will pop up and tell you that you’ve put things in a suboptimal place. Sometimes you
⏹️ ▶️ John just dismiss that and it will never bother you again. Sometimes it’ll pop up every time depending on how dire the situation
⏹️ ▶️ John is. But this utility, like everything else having to do with the Mac Pro, is getting bigger and fancier.
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Jony Ive leaving Apple
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⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, so big week, a little bit. So we
⏹️ ▶️ Casey got word. What was it the day after we recorded last week? I think it was as as
⏹️ ▶️ Casey as is off to happen.
⏹️ ▶️ John I was thinking about that, by the way, like our show is kind of sort of intentionally on Wednesday because Apple
⏹️ ▶️ John does lots of announcements on Tuesdays, but Apple announces good news on Tuesdays.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Apple does not announce bad news on Tuesdays. So I think
⏹️ ▶️ John we struck the right balance and I’d rather have the show like right after the good news comes out.
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m fine with waiting,
⏹️ ▶️ John almost a week to talk about the bad news. So here we are.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Aaron Powell So the news, which may or may not be bad, is that Johnny Ive is officially leaving
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apple. He is going to start his own consultancy, which is called, what,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Love From, I believe, or something like that? Marc
⏹️ ▶️ John Thiessen Terrible name, yes. That’s what it’s called.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Steven Connelly It is a truly terrible name, but it is what
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco it is. Marc
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Thiessen It doesn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John the name is. Steven Connelly No, it doesn’t. Marc Thiessen It’s John Niaz Design Firm. That’s it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Steven Connelly Yeah. Design companies always have weird names, anyway. Marc Thiessen Yeah. It’s a thing.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s like ad agencies. These are not names that the public tends to see. Steven Connelly
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Mm-hmm. Is that right? I believe I read that somewhere.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I believe that’s right. And I think Richard Howarth also. Oh, is that right? It seems like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it seems like I’ve Howarth and Mark Newsome. I think it seems like they all might
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have left together.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Interesting. So one way or another, Apple was quick to point out that Apple will be consulting with
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Love From or whatever it’s called. You know, Apple will be a client. All is well, everyone. Don’t worry.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Don’t worry. Everything’s okay. Don’t look behind the curtain. And then they have announced
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that Evans Hanke is going to be head of industrial design and we’ll talk about her
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a little bit more in a minute. And Alan Dye is going to be the VP of human interface
⏹️ ▶️ Casey design and we’ll talk about him a little more in a minute. Before we discuss the two of
⏹️ ▶️ Casey them though, what are your guys’ initial impressions? I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey actually recorded an episode of Clockwise earlier today where this was one of the subjects And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I feel like if you’re, if you look at the tea leaves for the last several years, and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think Ben Thompson was the first one I noticed to get kind of in front of this. It sure seems like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’ve has been moseying his way out the door for the last several years. And there was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a semi-explosive piece from the Wall Street Journal, I believe it was, where they said,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey basically, Johnny Ives a big turd and is blowing off meetings left and right. And, you know, he’s caused strife and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey blah, blah, blah. And then Tim responded. Tim Cook responded saying, Oh, no, none of that’s true, blah, blah, blah. So
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know what’s going on here. All you can do is guess. But it seems to me like this is mostly
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a non event. But I don’t know one of you guys convinced me that I’m wrong. And let’s start with Marco.
⏹️ ▶️ John Before we start with Marco, we were out in front of this. Don’t don’t give Ben Thompson credit
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey for this. I went back and listen to
⏹️ ▶️ John it. Like, we haven’t talked about this in a long time. And it’s mostly because back in the episode when he had
⏹️ ▶️ John his title change, we all basically wrote him him off. He’s like, well, that’s it. He’s, he’s on his way out
⏹️ ▶️ John in, in everything. But you know, and it took a while for it to happen. I don’t remember what episode that was, but I did go back and dig it out.
⏹️ ▶️ John And I think it’s part of the reason we haven’t really talked about other than, you know, occasionally
⏹️ ▶️ John invoking his name as an expletive when complaining about some pieces of hardware or whatever, which is something that I
⏹️ ▶️ John Uh, we’ve mostly not discussed him
⏹️ ▶️ John in the same way that we’ve discussed other Apple’s negatives because I think we collectively wrote him off back when we did
⏹️ ▶️ John that show and this hasn’t come up again. I mean, you know, I anyway, I went back and listen to the audio and that was
⏹️ ▶️ John that was my impression. It was that was everyone’s take really when what was it get changed like chief design
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco something? Yeah.
⏹️ ▶️ John So anyway, go on, Margot. I didn’t mean to interrupt you and your your mute
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey fighting with. No, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey fine. Thank you. Thank you for your correction, John.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think there this isn’t nothing. I don’t think it’s as big of a deal as a lot of people think because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco again, I do think, as John said, that this seems to have been in the works for years.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco We’ve heard bits and pieces here and there of Johnny kind of slowly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco backing away and being less and less involved in day-to-day. And I think the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco announcement of his promotion to the Chief Design Officer, I think, was a very clear move.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like, Johnny Ive, who is the head of industrial design, no longer is involved in day-to-day management
⏹️ ▶️ Marco from that point. like, okay, well then what is he doing? If he’s not day-to-day managing, that’s usually…
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah, that person’s just not really working here anymore. And I understand from a lot of reports that it wasn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco quite so severe with in this case, but clearly it was a step in the direction of him,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, ascending into the sky and slowly, you know, leaving Apple. It has seemed for a while
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that he was probably experiencing severe burnout, that he
⏹️ ▶️ Marco he might have been creatively bored and wanting to explore other areas. He was known to have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco played major roles in the design of Apple Park and a lot of the details of Apple Park,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like you know, interior details. Didn’t he also design like the desks and the chairs and stuff? Like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco he did a bunch of stuff. You know, he’s a designer, he’s a creative person. There’s only
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so much you can do, you know, there’s only so many iPhones you can design before you get
⏹️ ▶️ Marco bored and want to do other things. And he very clearly for years has been
⏹️ ▶️ Marco extremely interested in branching out into other areas of product design. You know, he did
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like that Christmas tree a few years ago, remember? I think also in collaboration with Mark Newsome,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco he did obviously the Apple Watch and a lot of the Apple Watch bands and stuff like that. There
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was a good discussion about this on the talk show this week with John Gruber, with Ben Thompson as the guest.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco They talked a lot about this stuff of like basically, you know, you have somebody like Johnny Ive, you know, a professional
⏹️ ▶️ Marco designer and well-known world-renowned designer, they want to do other
⏹️ ▶️ Marco things. And he especially seems very interested in the world of high design, I guess,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if there’s a thing like high fashion, but for design, I don’t know what that world is called, but the world of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco high-profile design, where you’re not going to be able to hire him. His studio
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is going to do whatever he wants. He doesn’t need your money. He’s going to do fun
⏹️ ▶️ Marco stuff that is shown off like in hoity-toity exhibitions and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco places like Sotheby’s and stuff. Like that’s where his stuff’s gonna go. It’s not gonna, you’re not gonna be able to go to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Target next year and buy a Johnny Ive toaster. Like nope, that’s not at all the kind of stuff he’s likely to be doing.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So creatively I think he clearly has wanted to do other things for years now.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple was able to keep him going with things like the watch for a while longer. I think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that extended his time there. But ultimately, it’s kind of like when somebody is unhappy
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with a job, you can offer them more money and they might stay for a little while longer, but ultimately,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’re gonna leave. You’re just buying a little bit of time maybe. And so similarly, it’s like Johnny
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Ive clearly both was suffering from severe burnout and also clearly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wanted to design other things that Apple would never make. Things like, well, I was gonna say things like cars, but
⏹️ ▶️ John that was a bad example. That’s one of the things that we talked about, I think, going back and listening to that episode was
⏹️ ▶️ John what kind of things you know would keep Johnny, someone like Johnny Ive around after he’s already made the iPhone and the
⏹️ ▶️ John iPod and the iMac and stuff like that.
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t think Apple Park was something we discussed because maybe that wasn’t a thing
⏹️ ▶️ John on our minds at that point, but I think we did talk about the cars and that’s something you could do to keep,
⏹️ ▶️ John because he is into cars and it’s very unlike computers, right? But you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John in the end, I mean, A, nothing car related has shipped yet other than in CarPlay and
⏹️ ▶️ John be, like you said, Marco, like that’s extending your timeline for sure, but it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John not really satisfying whatever the itch is.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Exactly, and Johnny Ive had a high public profile for Apple
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it would have looked bad for Apple if he just all of a sudden left one day with no warning.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so his exit was designed. It was very carefully staged out
⏹️ ▶️ Marco over years. And this is, you know, Apple clearly has a way that they do
⏹️ ▶️ Marco succession planning. Back when Steve was around, like they knew, when it became
⏹️ ▶️ Marco clear that Steve’s health was failing and that he might not make it, I think they very carefully
⏹️ ▶️ Marco staged out the public introduction of Tim Cook as the new CEO
⏹️ ▶️ Marco until it was time to actually execute the transition and then when Steve ultimately died. We were,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like the public and the shareholders and the markets and the press, we were introduced
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to that transition gradually. And so it wasn’t as big of a shock. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, you know, Apple wasn’t, you know, immediately quote doomed or anything like that. Like if the most part, like the market was okay,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the stock didn’t totally tank, you know, like when Tim took over or when Steve actually did die, it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was mostly a smooth transition. Johnny Ive had such a high profile,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not quite Steve Jobs high, but still very high. And so for him
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to leave had to be staged out very carefully with the press, with
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the markets, with public perception. It was clear he was going to leave
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or burn out at some point, you know, soon. So I think that was what this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco chief design officer thing was. Clearly, they knew then he was leaving. That was just part
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of it. I think we’re also seeing this transition now. I think we’re seeing that Jeff Williams
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is the backup for Tim Cook. Whether Tim Cook is going to retire or leave
⏹️ ▶️ Marco anytime soon, I don’t know. I don’t think this indicates that either way, but I do
⏹️ ▶️ Marco think we are seeing now Johnny Ive was slowly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco escalated into the sky and now he’s just poof, disappearing. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco by the way, this thing about like, you know, he’s now a consultant to Apple and Apple’s going to be a customer of his. nothing. Like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco nothing’s gonna come out of that. Like maybe he might design like a watch band or something, but like Johnny Ive is not going to be designing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco major Apple products anymore. Like that’s not what this is. That’s PR. That’s spin.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it worked and that’s great. But like Johnny Ive is no longer designing things for Apple
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the sense that any of us would expect. The whole thing about like, oh, now he’s a consultant. That’s a smokescreen.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I was a consultant too. Yeah, I didn’t. I never was consulted.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Anyway, so they have done that, you know, they did that with Steve to Tim,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they did it with, you know, Johnny to the Sky, and now I think they are
⏹️ ▶️ Marco also clearly preparing the public for Jeff Williams to be the next CEO.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I don’t know whether that’s the official plan, like whether Tim actually does
⏹️ ▶️ Marco intend to leave, you know, in the next few years, or whether they just want to always have a a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco backup, or in case something happens to Tim, or in case he has to leave quickly, then
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they have somebody kind of groomed, ready to go, to the public,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they have a clear plan. If Tim Cook decided he wanted to run for president or something, he could
⏹️ ▶️ Marco just quit, and Jeff Williams would take over now, and it wouldn’t be that big of a disruption, it seems,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to the public. We don’t know how it works internally. To the public, it kind of seems. I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco think the way Johnny left was a surprise at all. I don’t think the timing was that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco much of a surprise. And ultimately, going back to the initial design side of this, I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually don’t think this is going to be that big of a change because it does seem, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Tim’s email can say things about how collaborative they are and everything else, but the reality is there’s a lot
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of smoke behind the fire that he really wasn’t that involved recently, and that he really wasn’t,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, you know, very hands-on in the last few years even in the actual products. You know, I don’t think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco he had zero design or zero influence. I think he had some, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it certainly does seem like most of the design of Apple’s products over the last few years
⏹️ ▶️ Marco has been coming out of the people who are still there now, not Johnny Ive personally himself.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco They have a design team and actually and Evans Hankey apparently, I’ve never heard
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of her before this. It doesn’t seem like she had any kind of public profile before this, but in the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wake of this news, we’ve heard rumblings here and there and stories here and there. She seems
⏹️ ▶️ Marco very well-respected and she seems like she’s been running stuff there for a while in industrial design.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It seems like she’s basically been running the team effectively for a while now.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So this is more like making formal what was already basically happening.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so I’m guessing most of the change of like what’s gonna happen when Johnny I have leaves
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple leaves Apple I bet most of that change has already happened I bet we’re already
⏹️ ▶️ Marco seeing what what’s gonna happen when Johnny I have has left Apple it wouldn’t surprise me if
⏹️ ▶️ Marco much of the recent design coming out of Apple had little to no Johnny
⏹️ ▶️ Marco involvement like how much of the new Mac Pro do you think he designed because that we know that was designed entirely like in the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco last two years how much of that do you think he designed I’m guessing nearly zero do you Do you think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco he designed the newest iPad Pro that had a radically different shape in the previous ones? Maybe, maybe he had
⏹️ ▶️ Marco some involvement, but probably not heavy involvement. You know, like the more recent designs. Do you think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco he designed much of the iPhone 10? Maybe, but I bet a lot
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the people who are still there now did a lot of that work. You know, so I think we’re already seeing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco post Johnny Apple. We’ve been seeing it now for years and it’s fine
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because ultimately the design design team is a big, you know, it’s not a big team, but it’s a team of multiple
⏹️ ▶️ Marco people, not just the guy, like the one guy whose name we knew, who
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we heard in videos and white worlds. Like there was always, it was always much deeper
⏹️ ▶️ Marco than that. And it seems like the people who have been doing most of the design
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and most of the operating of that team for the last few years are now just formally in charge.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And before they were kind of been informally in charge. That’s kind of how it seems. So I’m not worried at
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all about this transition. We should get to the whole reporting to ops thing the group brought up. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco before we do, John, did I get most of this right so far?
⏹️ ▶️ John I disagree with some of your assessments, but it’s hard to—I mean, it’s just a gut feeling because
⏹️ ▶️ John neither one of us actually knows. We’re not there talking to the design team. But it’s an age-old problem we talk about all the
⏹️ ▶️ John time. It’s hard to tell what exactly is going on inside Apple. One thing like
⏹️ ▶️ John the idea of him phasing out of the company, again when he had the title change, it was so clear that like,
⏹️ ▶️ John alright, well, you know, he’s done a lot of things. I
⏹️ ▶️ John feel like he’s accomplished what he wanted to accomplish in this realm and
⏹️ ▶️ John probably wants to be less closely involved. And that would have been a nice smooth ramp over multiple years
⏹️ ▶️ John to him transitioning out, except that in the middle there, because these things things are never like you can never plan out perfectly.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s something like Jeff Williams being a successor CEO like he might leave and go run JC Penney
⏹️ ▶️ John like weird things happen. You know anyway during the after he became CDO
⏹️ ▶️ John there was a period where apparently Tim Cooke or whoever convinced him to take
⏹️ ▶️ John him or come back and take a more hands on role because apparently he pulled
⏹️ ▶️ John too far back and maybe the transition wasn’t ready. So it was kind of a bumpy ride on his way out. It wasn’t like
⏹️ ▶️ John you’ll just slowly fade away. It was like, I’m disengaging, I’m gonna be the CDO,
⏹️ ▶️ John and then it’s like, well, we need a little bit more from you, okay, well, I’ll come back. But no, actually, I’m out.
⏹️ ▶️ John Right, so these things never quite go as smoothly as you would want them to. And as for what
⏹️ ▶️ John he’ll do next, sure, he likes to do those weird Christmas tree things and the super expensive stuff for rich people.
⏹️ ▶️ John And weird, so certainly he’ll end up doing weird things, like weird from the perspective of the guy who makes
⏹️ ▶️ John iPhones, right, because, you know, He’s done a lot of consumer electronics. I don’t expect him to
⏹️ ▶️ John do immediately more consumer electronics. I expect him to do like a spatula or God knows,
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco you know what I mean?
⏹️ ▶️ John But for everything I know about him, I don’t think,
⏹️ ▶️ John what do I know about him? I read a book on him. I’ve seen him in lots of videos. That’s what I know. Anyway, based on that,
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m not sure he would be satisfied just doing weird designery stuff for rich people because
⏹️ ▶️ John there is a kind of populist,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, silversmith’s son, man of the people
⏹️ ▶️ John angle where he wants to make things that people actually use.
⏹️ ▶️ John Like, you know, granted, you got a weird Christmas tree, but like, I think he would be equally excited about
⏹️ ▶️ John a really good pen that costs, you know, $1.50. You know, can you make a good pen
⏹️ ▶️ John for $1.50? Like, or a spatula or whatever, like… No, you can’t.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Prozac. No, I
⏹️ ▶️ John I think I mean anyway, but like I think that
⏹️ ▶️ John Inevitably if he continues to work at all, which is not a given because like he like you said he doesn’t need to work
⏹️ ▶️ John anymore right, I Think he one of the things he may end up doing is more
⏹️ ▶️ John Prozaic design that has a chance of being used by people other than his you know point.
⏹️ ▶️ John Oh one percent rich friends Because, you know, obviously going from
⏹️ ▶️ John a company where you make something that literally billions of people use,
⏹️ ▶️ John you’re going to step back and make something that five rich people use, right? But inevitably, if he keeps doing that,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s going to be like, you know what, I’m kind of sick of making, you know, extremely expensive baubles
⏹️ ▶️ John that look really cool. I’d rather make something that I think some people
⏹️ ▶️ John will actually use and appreciate in its use. It’s not, it’s just, he’s not becoming an artist
⏹️ ▶️ John or a sculptor. Like he wants to be a designer and I really believe he is bought into the idea
⏹️ ▶️ John that design is about being functional for the intended purpose and all that stuff.
⏹️ ▶️ John So who knows? If he continues to work at all in the long term,
⏹️ ▶️ John I expect him to make boring things occasionally.
⏹️ ▶️ John Will we know that he made them? I suppose so. I don’t even know how this works in the world of high profile design,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? Like, we put his name on them, they probably won’t be in Target, you’re right about that, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John But who knows, like, weird things have happened. And when you have somebody like him who
⏹️ ▶️ John doesn’t have anything to prove, first of all, like,
⏹️ ▶️ John his resume is set. Like, he never needs to do anything else significant in his life ever again,
⏹️ ▶️ John and he’s fine, right? Doesn’t need money. When someone is in
⏹️ ▶️ John that scenario, they can end up doing weird things. So if he wakes up one day and says, you know
⏹️ ▶️ John what, I wanna make that spatula for Target, by God, he’s gonna make that spatula for Target
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco because no one can
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey tell him not to.
⏹️ ▶️ John And it’s not going to diminish anything that he’s done. Like there’s no
⏹️ ▶️ John thing that he can design that will diminish his past accomplishments. So I’m ready
⏹️ ▶️ John for weird stuff, but I’m also ready for him to just, he’s never been the most public
⏹️ ▶️ John person and I expect to see him not
⏹️ ▶️ John be grabbing the spotlight at every opportunity. That’s just the MO for anyone important who leaves Apple. Like if you look at
⏹️ ▶️ John all the people, even if they leave on bad terms like Forrestal, he didn’t run out and be like, I’m gonna be on every cable
⏹️ ▶️ John news channel bad-mouthing Apple every time someone wants to comment for the next five years. That is not how things work, even
⏹️ ▶️ John when you essentially get fired and leave on bad terms. So I really don’t expect
⏹️ ▶️ John Johnny Ive to be appearing on every cable news show every time they need someone to talk about design.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know, what was it, Tony Fidel, who seemed to be very forthcoming with the bad-mouthing of
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apple once he left? Is that who I’m thinking of?
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, he definitely does that, but even he had a quiet period immediately after he left.
⏹️ ▶️ John And whether it’s because people aren’t interested in hearing what he has to say, or he got involved in other things, it’s just like,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not the usual MO for the big executives. And again, Tony Fidel is not leaving
⏹️ ▶️ John on the same terms as Johnny Ive, like going out a hero to the company or whatever. So
⏹️ ▶️ John yeah. What I’m most interested in on this topic
⏹️ ▶️ John before we get to the new folks at Apple is taking a little
⏹️ ▶️ John bit of time now, because if not now, then when, to look back
⏹️ ▶️ John at Johnny Ives’ work at Apple.
⏹️ ▶️ John Like, what did he mean to the company? what did he mean to the products,
⏹️ ▶️ John the Johnny Ive era, as you know, it spans all of his career
⏹️ ▶️ John where he was a publicly known person, more or less, and all the products we know about. I think it’s worth
⏹️ ▶️ John looking back at that. And I think it also,
⏹️ ▶️ John my, at least my view of looking back on it also influences how I think the company will go forward
⏹️ ▶️ John without him, because it’s sort of like, well, when he was there, what did he do? And now that he’s not there,
⏹️ ▶️ John what will not be done or be done differently. And I wanna start with
⏹️ ▶️ John what I think is an easy one, but I think it’s worth saying explicitly, especially on this
⏹️ ▶️ John program, which is, do we think that Johnny
⏹️ ▶️ John Ives’ time at Apple has been a net positive for the company?
⏹️ ▶️ John Oh yeah, definitely. Yeah, is that a legitimate question? Yeah, I just, the correct answer is
⏹️ ▶️ John yes. I just want to put that out there. And the reason I want to say that is because if you listen to the show, especially
⏹️ ▶️ John if you only listen recently, the only time you ever hear us invoke the name Johnny Ive is when we’re complaining
⏹️ ▶️ John that the laptops are too thin or they don’t have enough ports or the keyboard is bad. And like
⏹️ ▶️ John I said before, his name is used as an expletive, as the singular personification
⏹️ ▶️ John of all the design we don’t like at Apple, because he was in charge of all design at Apple. And therefore, if there’s some part of design
⏹️ ▶️ John at Apple that you don’t like, you get to use that name your little hook to
⏹️ ▶️ John explain who you’re talking about. But let’s be clear, second
⏹️ ▶️ John only to Steve Jobs, I feel like he has, the two of
⏹️ ▶️ John them combined, which I think is worth discussing that team, have
⏹️ ▶️ John done the biggest turnaround in US corporate history, added
⏹️ ▶️ John tremendous value to the company, made not one, not two, but three, four,
⏹️ ▶️ John five, depending on how you count them, insanely popular, good
⏹️ ▶️ John products that sold really well, that were beloved, that did things, that broke new ground,
⏹️ ▶️ John that defined entire product segments and industries. If you take any one of those things, the
⏹️ ▶️ John iMac, the iPhone, the iPod, the iPad, even I would say even the Apple Watch,
⏹️ ▶️ John any of those things, pick any single one and any designer would kill to if it had been remotely involved with a single one of those.
⏹️ ▶️ John to be the head of design or personally responsible for major aspects of the design before he was elevated
⏹️ ▶️ John to that level for a single one of those is just, you know, the accomplishment of lifetime. And he has this
⏹️ ▶️ John ridiculous resume. And during that time, Apple went from a company that was basically going out
⏹️ ▶️ John of business because remember, he was there before Steve came back, right? He was at Apple. It was at the Apple that was going down
⏹️ ▶️ John the tubes, toiling away behind the scenes, making things that no one actually had him ship until
⏹️ ▶️ John jobs came and and said, look at all this great stuff. We should let this guy ship some of this stuff. I think it’ll be cool. And then we got
⏹️ ▶️ John the iMac and all that other stuff. So yes, Johnny, I’m probably
⏹️ ▶️ John the best product designer that has ever existed
⏹️ ▶️ John as measured by anything that you can objectively measure. Like you could have opinions about
⏹️ ▶️ John what product you think is better or more elegant or whatever, but as measured by, beloved by the most
⏹️ ▶️ John people, sold the most number, made the most money, turned
⏹️ ▶️ John around the company that he worked at, was the most positive influence on the company that he worked at. He is head and
⏹️ ▶️ John shoulders above anybody else, just because of the scale of things. We talk about this all the time, but like great designers
⏹️ ▶️ John of the past who made things that are iconic, you know, the designers of the Volkswagen Beetle. Like so rarely
⏹️ ▶️ John has there been a singular name associated with it, and so rarely has,
⏹️ ▶️ John have there been a series of them that have, know, within the same company that have pulled
⏹️ ▶️ John that company from the brink of bankruptcy to the biggest company in the world. Like it’s a story that hasn’t existed
⏹️ ▶️ John before. And Apple is so large that if you actually compare any of the numbers against anything that you can think of, except maybe the wheel,
⏹️ ▶️ John like the iPhone is the biggest best selling, most influential
⏹️ ▶️ John like product ever made, especially when you consider that every phone on the market is now
⏹️ ▶️ John essentially an iPhone, like in terms of, uh, you know, it’s influence on, on the, uh,
⏹️ ▶️ John the world of products. And I’m not sure if he was involved in any of the laptops, but I always, this is the old man segment
⏹️ ▶️ John of the show. Um, Apple basically defined what the modern laptop is to when they decided
⏹️ ▶️ John to make a laptop where the keyboard is shoved up against the screen and below it is a pointing device, which started as a track ball
⏹️ ▶️ John and eventually became a track pad. That’s what every laptop looks like now. Still before Apple made
⏹️ ▶️ John the power book line, that is not what laptops look like at all. So in the same way that before Apple made the phone. Phones
⏹️ ▶️ John did not look like the iPhone. And then after Apple made the iPhone, now all phones look like that. Like,
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know if that was a Johnny. I’ve even worked at the company at that point. But, um,
⏹️ ▶️ John and of course the Mac with the gooey Apple’s done that a couple of times, but Johnny hasn’t been involved with
⏹️ ▶️ John a lot of them and especially of the all the most recent ones. So all that is a long winded
⏹️ ▶️ John way to say that regardless of what we may think about his particular
⏹️ ▶️ John tastes versus our particular tastes as they relate to the details of an individual products.
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m not going to say we’re nitpicking because it’s not just knits, they are fundamental differences, but you
⏹️ ▶️ John can’t argue with the results. Like you can’t, there is no arguing with his work as a designer.
⏹️ ▶️ John He is one of the greatest designers to ever live. Probably the greatest designer we’ll
⏹️ ▶️ John ever see in our entire lifetime. Doesn’t mean that he’s always right. Doesn’t mean that he,
⏹️ ▶️ John uh, everything he did is perfect and without flaw and without argument. It doesn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John even mean his design philosophy has not evolved over the course of that, but you can’t
⏹️ ▶️ John argue with the numbers.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Steve McLaughlin So I am not an avid designer by any
⏹️ ▶️ Casey means, and I feel like as I get older and older, I appreciate design more and more, but I don’t really know what I’m talking
⏹️ ▶️ Casey about when it comes to design. But I feel like I know enough to know that Dieter Rams
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is frequently cited is one of the best designers, if not the best designer who has ever lived. I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey don’t know the answer to this question because I’m not familiar enough with Rams’ work, but if you,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey John, I’m hoping you’re at least slightly familiar with it, if you had to pick between him and Ive, would you still pick Ive?
⏹️ ▶️ John John Greenewald Yeah, based on objective measures, for sure. Because yes, he did, it was very influential and he made some
⏹️ ▶️ John beautiful, elegant products, but did he take the companies that he worked for, his design studio,
⏹️ ▶️ John to the levels that Ive took Apple? his products in the hands of as many people as
⏹️ ▶️ John Ives products have been? Are his products as beloved by as many people as Johnny’s? It’s just it’s just scale,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? And I feel like you can, you know, you can judge on artistic merit and say, well, this this one designer who made this
⏹️ ▶️ John one thing that five people have ever seen is really the best, you know, but that’s what I’m saying. Like, all right, that’s that’s like, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John judging your, you know, art, judging on the level of art or whatever. But as a as a practical concern,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, if your goal is to make make great things that are useful and beloved by people,
⏹️ ▶️ John the sheer scale of Apple. And you know, that’s the only thing you can objectively measure. Everything else is just opinion.
⏹️ ▶️ John But if you say fact based, are you a successful product designer? What would
⏹️ ▶️ John what is the how do you measure the success of a product? And I feel like the way you’d measure the success is,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, that everybody likes it, that it’s the company you work for as a designer is successful
⏹️ ▶️ John because of your designs, and the products are successful at what they’re intended to do.
⏹️ ▶️ John And you know, I felt data ramps, you know his scale is one bazillionth the size of johnny ive scale
⏹️ ▶️ John so the other aspect of this i know we’ve we’ve talked about his legacy and i’ve all i’ve said all these things
⏹️ ▶️ John nice things because now i want to bring the more difficult question which is
⏹️ ▶️ John it all right so getting back the idea that johnny i was you know
⏹️ ▶️ John not designing these things personally right this is and and the other and also the concept
⏹️ ▶️ John that we can’t actually know what goes inside Apple, we’re just looking in from the outside. Those two things
⏹️ ▶️ John combined gets back to my rule that I always invoke whenever talking about Apple, which is that it doesn’t,
⏹️ ▶️ John in the end, it doesn’t matter who specifically decides that
⏹️ ▶️ John the laptop should be this thin or shouldn’t have an SD card slot or, you know, the
⏹️ ▶️ John keyboard, they should stick to the butterfly keyboard or any particular design concern you might
⏹️ ▶️ John have. And, you know, frequently attributed to that darn Johnny Ive, he wants the things to be featureless with no buttons on them.
⏹️ ▶️ John We have no idea if that’s not like a faction inside his design studio. And in fact, Johnny, I wanted to add tons
⏹️ ▶️ John more buttons, but but you know, was deferring to his design. We just don’t know. But here’s what we do know. Like we can never
⏹️ ▶️ John know those internals until they write their telebooks. But here’s what we do know. He was in charge of design.
⏹️ ▶️ John And despite all the collaborative type of things where they go, we discuss it all together, whatever,
⏹️ ▶️ John the buck stops with the people who are in charge. So the bottom line is, if there’s something
⏹️ ▶️ John that you don’t like about Apple design during the time when Johnny Ive was the head of design, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John on Johnny Ive whether it was his decision when it was his design or not. And certainly it wasn’t his design. He’s
⏹️ ▶️ John but he was the person who made the decisions. He was the one who gave the thumbs up or thumbs down. And
⏹️ ▶️ John ultimately, what is produced design wise by the company is his responsibility. That’s what it means to be leader,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? The buck stops with him, even if he had nothing to do with it, even if he was against the idea but went along with
⏹️ ▶️ John it like that’s that’s the job of being the leader it’s not to design all the things it’s to
⏹️ ▶️ John have a position and a vision and make decisions that can’t you know the people
⏹️ ▶️ John below you can have positions and argue for them or whatever but in the end like it’s a hierarchy and i feel
⏹️ ▶️ John like especially with the absence of jobs that tim cook was highly unlikely to override
⏹️ ▶️ John johnny i’ve designed decisions so if there is something you don’t like if
⏹️ ▶️ John you think The laptop should have an SD card slot, right? If you don’t like getting rid of Touch ID
⏹️ ▶️ John to have the swipey home button, you know, if you don’t like something about the Apple Watch, no matter what
⏹️ ▶️ John it is, I feel as entirely comfortable to not blame Johnny F personally, but
⏹️ ▶️ John to say that is part of his legacy. Because during the time that he was in charge of design,
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple did certain things. Every single thing Apple did, I’m totally comfortable saying
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s at his feet. Because he could have stopped that from happening. he could have made a different thing happen,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? So despite the fact that we know he’s not doing anything personally,
⏹️ ▶️ John and in spite the fact that we can’t know what goes on inside there, I will continue to think about
⏹️ ▶️ John the legacy of Johnny Ive in terms of what the company produced when he was in charge, not in terms
⏹️ ▶️ John of what he did personally, not in terms of, you know, his specific opinions, but
⏹️ ▶️ John like, like, that’s that’s your legacy when you’re at that level of an executive, like, were we to get Johnny Ive on the program,
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m sure we could ask him lots of questions about his opinions about design, but ultimately you can also
⏹️ ▶️ John ask him say, during your tenure at design at Apple, here are some things that Apple did.
⏹️ ▶️ John Looking back on those are the things that the company did during your tenure that you regret that you are particularly
⏹️ ▶️ John proud of that you wish could have been more like this and less like that, like, like, you can,
⏹️ ▶️ John as a leader, you can have opinions on your legacy in that way without it being personal,
⏹️ ▶️ John because you’re like, well, I didn’t I didn’t design the iPhone five personally and draw every line of it.
⏹️ ▶️ John I saw seven competing designs and picked one of them and heard it and refined it or gave a vision statement
⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever. But in the end, Apple ships a thing. And that’s a thing that you said, yes, we’re going to ship.
⏹️ ▶️ John So that I feel like is the most important lens through which outsiders can
⏹️ ▶️ John judge Johnny Ive not so much as a designer,
⏹️ ▶️ John but as a leader of designers, as a leader of the design wing of
⏹️ ▶️ John the company best known for design. And so that’s why I will continue to invoke his name, despite the fact that we all know
⏹️ ▶️ John that he’s not drawing every single design. And he’s, you know, half the time he may be
⏹️ ▶️ John deferring to strongly held opinions by his collaborative group, but in the end, it’s his responsibility.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, the thing with that that’s very interesting to me is, as I’m thinking about the things that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the three of us love to complain about. Things like the keyboard, things like the Apple
⏹️ ▶️ Casey TV remote, things like the touch bar. As I sit back and think about all of
⏹️ ▶️ Casey these things, I can’t think of anything other than the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey keyboards that I really and truly believe is unequivocally bad.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I will even go to bat for the Apple TV remote. And I know I’m the only one on the planet that will. It has problems. I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m, I’m not denying that, but I don’t think it’s objectively bad. The Touch Bar to me is not objectively
⏹️ ▶️ Casey bad. It’s, it may not be for the three of us, but I don’t think it’s objectively
⏹️ ▶️ Casey bad. So many of the laptops and computers of recently,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t think that they’re objectively bad. Like I want an SD card slot, but I don’t think it is objectively
⏹️ ▶️ Casey wrong that it’s not a part of Apple laptops anymore. And I’m trying
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to think, is there anything, and I know you’re going to light me up about the Apple TV remote, but is there anything other than
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the keyboards that we can say, no matter who you are or what you’re doing with
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this device, this is actually bad or wrong or what
⏹️ ▶️ Casey have you? Is there anything?
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, the remote definitely qualifies. And here’s why.
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s like you can have opinions about what features a product might have. Oh, I wanted to have this port. I wanted to have this battery
⏹️ ▶️ John life or whatever. But every product has a job to do. The job of the remote is to let you
⏹️ ▶️ John control what happens on a television while you’re sitting on the couch. And you can measure
⏹️ ▶️ John how well the Apple TV remote does that job. And you can like,
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, bad. What does bad mean? You’d measure it against other remote controls and you’d have to come up with some criteria.
⏹️ ▶️ John How? What criteria do we care about? You know, you pick pick anything you just you’re the person
⏹️ ▶️ John who’s going to say, I’m going to judge remotes against each other and I’m going to have a bunch of tests to to see if they fulfill
⏹️ ▶️ John the purpose. Almost anything that you can think of,
⏹️ ▶️ John the Apple TV remote does worse than, worse than the best remotes for sure, which I feel like is the bar
⏹️ ▶️ John that Apple should be judged against. Like, is it worse than like the worst cable box remote? Maybe not, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John Maybe it comes out, you know, as a wash and nothing, but against a good remote, the Apple TV
⏹️ ▶️ John remote gets destroyed. And that’s, you know, you can have lots of opinions about features and sort
⏹️ ▶️ John of the product design, But I feel like the job to be done in the parlance of all the economic
⏹️ ▶️ John whiz kids, it’s supposed to let you control your television. And it does
⏹️ ▶️ John that, but it does that very, very badly in almost all aspects. That’s a great example
⏹️ ▶️ John of a thing that I put at the feet of Johnny Ive, whether he had anything to do with that remote or not. The bottom line is he was in charge
⏹️ ▶️ John and they shipped that. Now, all that said, back when Jobs was there, it was clear to everybody involved
⏹️ ▶️ John that Johnny I’ve got to have a say, but in the end, if Steve decided something needed to be
⏹️ ▶️ John like stitch leather, it was going to be stitched leather. Like it doesn’t really matter what Johnny Ivor, anybody else thought,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? So when he was there, that’s why I’m totally comfortable putting it at the feet of Steve Jobs, everything.
⏹️ ▶️ John And it’s weird, you know, like I said before, well, then jobs goes and you don’t put this all at the feet of Tim Cook. Yes,
⏹️ ▶️ John kind of ultimately. But my read on the dynamic inside the company is that again,
⏹️ ▶️ John Tim Cook, unless there is some large economic concern, and even if there is one, with the gold watch. It seems
⏹️ ▶️ John to me that Tim Cook is not inclined to override Johnny Ive when it comes to design
⏹️ ▶️ John or anything like that. Override him maybe when it comes to pricing and maybe when it comes to what we
⏹️ ▶️ John should make and what we shouldn’t. Like Johnny Ive had to pitch Tim Cook reportedly to say we should make a watch. Ultimately Tim Cook said
⏹️ ▶️ John sure fine go ahead. Again perhaps another you know thing to get Johnny to stick around right?
⏹️ ▶️ John But I don’t think Tim is the design decider in chief despite the fact that rank wise he
⏹️ ▶️ John could decide that i like especially if tim ever did that uh johnny would have left
⏹️ ▶️ John long ago because i don’t think he would stay at a company where that happens would he stay at a company where steve job overrides him yeah sure
⏹️ ▶️ John but that’s probably the only person on the planet that johnny i would would allow that to happen from
⏹️ ▶️ John at the point that he’s grown to the level that he is so um so yeah there are there are
⏹️ ▶️ John definitely i think objectively bad uh designs as measured by
⏹️ ▶️ John anything that you could objectively measured about the job that thing is supposed to do. Are they the worst? No,
⏹️ ▶️ John but it’s like average or like somewhere below good and we want apples to be
⏹️ ▶️ John the best and the remote is so galling because it’s obvious to almost anybody what the problems with
⏹️ ▶️ John the thing are like it’s not like you need it’s not some nuance or subtlety that you have to really understand
⏹️ ▶️ John the essence of a remote it’s like no just it’s it’s hard to use uh you make mistakes all the time the thing gets lost
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not comfortable to hold like it’s just you know i don’t want to talk about the remote but that’s an easy one. Touch bar
⏹️ ▶️ John you could argue that accidental input is more of a problem than they think but like you know and then of course obviously the keyboard
⏹️ ▶️ John the reason why you gave that as a gimme it’s like its job is to type letters and if it doesn’t do that right sometimes it doesn’t make any
⏹️ ▶️ John letters and sometimes make double uh you know that’s no good and you say well
⏹️ ▶️ John it still gets the job done it’s just a little bit tricky how you got to do that backspace bar like yeah but we’re judging it against like
⏹️ ▶️ John average competence and it is below the average competence therefore we say it’s bad.
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⏹️ ▶️ Marco The dynamic that you said a minute ago about like, you know, Tim wouldn’t really want to override
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Johnny on much because like that’s that was probably like a very expensive fight to pick.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think the dynamic between like, you know, what happens when Steve died and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco then there’s There’s a new CEO who’s not a product person at all. And then there’s this designer
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that everyone loves much the same way they love Steve, who is still there.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it created this weird dynamic where it seemed in some ways that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Johnny was more powerful than Tim. Or at least
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there were lines drawn that Tim probably didn’t want to cross certain lines
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it would cause friction with Johnny or override Johnny in ways that Tim thought that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco he should be empowered or things like that. And so what ended up happening when
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Steve left, Johnny got elevated to not like a dictatorship,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but to a position of extreme power, more power than he had before, with very little
⏹️ ▶️ Marco editing going on. And look, many of the world’s greatest creatives
⏹️ ▶️ Marco really benefit from some editing and Johnny was that way too you know but but when because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of like the the politics and the stature of the higher-ups because of like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco how that all worked out over the last few years that you know after Steve died
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and everything Johnny had seemingly a lot more power
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and influence than he probably should have had and for various political reasons
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with the public especially, and maybe with markets and whatever else, like, you know, Tim basically
⏹️ ▶️ Marco turned Johnny into the new Steve in like a power sense.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco He moved software design under Johnny. He moved, you know, he seemed to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco let design dictate a lot more about the products than before. And so like when Gruber initially
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wrote the take, you know, last week about like worrying that that Johnny wasn’t replaced
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because the new heads of design report directly to Jeff Williams.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t see that as a problem because I see the current situation,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like up till now, as being a weird hierarchy where basically
⏹️ ▶️ Marco design has been in charge of all products. Like, the head of products.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco We wondered for the last few years, like, who at Apple is the head of products really. You
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, it was Steve before. Tim never had that job and didn’t seem to want
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that job or have the ability to do it. He seemed to delegate it, but it seemed like he delegated it mostly to Johnny.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So effectively the head of products at Apple, if you had to pick someone
⏹️ ▶️ Marco who it was, it seemed to be Johnny for the last, you know, X years.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so now, and I’m so mad that Gruber wrote this article today. I was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco waiting for the last few days to come on this
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s what happens when it happens the wrong day for our show.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, like I’ve been waiting to come on this podcast and say exactly what Gruber wrote in his article today. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco basically, for the last few years, Jeff Williams
⏹️ ▶️ Marco seemingly has been being slowly elevated into the role where now
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the question of who is the head of product designer at Apple, the answer now
⏹️ ▶️ Marco seems to be Jeff Williams. And I have a lot of thoughts about that, and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco most of it is a little trepidation because we don’t really know what Jeff Williams
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is like as a product, as the head of product, except that we can see the Apple Watch, right?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It seems like he has effectively always been the head of product for the Apple Watch, so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we have that example seemingly. But we don’t know much about Jeff Williams. He doesn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have much personality displayed to the public, and so it’s hard to really get a read
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on him from our side of things. But it does seem like now Jeff
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Williams is the head of product, whatever. Tim is the administrator above all
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of this. And Tim can probably set the direction of large initiatives like privacy or
⏹️ ▶️ Marco services, that kind of stuff. doesn’t seem like Tim has any interest in product details, and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s fine. Well, he decides whether or not they’re going to make a
⏹️ ▶️ John watch, for example.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Yeah, sure, exactly. That’s his call.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, that’s probably right. But it seems like before,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the head of products was somebody who kind of was on
⏹️ ▶️ Marco his own. Johnny was kind of on his own, kind of politically more powerful than Tim,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco maybe, or at least closer to equals, which probably made that relationship a little bit awkward or
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a little bit hard to, you know, to edit or administer. And also,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if Johnny did indeed have this role of being kind of de facto head of products, and even if not, in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco his role as the head of design, it’s kind of weird to have a head of design
⏹️ ▶️ Marco who’s barely there, or who is working out of his house in San Francisco
⏹️ ▶️ Marco when the rest of the company’s an hour away working in an office every day. And, you know, like Johnny, like, even
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if only a little bit of that is true, that’s still like when you have a manager
⏹️ ▶️ Marco who is very powerful, very respected, very opinionated, but is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not always there, that makes it hard to make decisions. Or when you have that manager
⏹️ ▶️ Marco who is busy like you know designing the building and the desks and stuff, like it’s for the last few
⏹️ ▶️ Marco years they’ve had kind of a half absentee, highly distracted,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco highly burnt out head of design. Now they have moved
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the design organizationally back where it belongs in the ranks.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Now they have some they have two people who are clearly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco officially in charge. You have Evans Hanke as industrial design head, you have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Alan Dye as VP of human interface design, which I think he is horrible. Oh god, I really don’t like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that he is the head of this, but he has been you know, since iOS 7, so this is, you know, this is not new.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh my god, I don’t like Alan Dye’s direction. But, uh, that’s,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s for another day. But like, now you have two clear
⏹️ ▶️ Marco heads of design, hardware and software, and they both report to the COO
⏹️ ▶️ Marco who is basically the head of product right now. That seems like an actual functioning,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco healthy organization. And I don’t think you need design
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be CEO level. You don’t need like the chief design officer. Like, you don’t need
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that if you have a functioning hierarchy where there is a head of product who is very empowered to do things,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco whether it’s the CEO or not. I think Apple should be somebody very close to the CEO.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like I think it only works here, like with Jack Williams being that, that’s probably only going to work because Tim
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is very happy to delegate that to him. you have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco design reporting to the head of product. That is the way it was under
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Steve. Steve was the head of product, design reported to him. So I think this now makes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot more sense than the kind of weird, vague, you know, minefield of how things
⏹️ ▶️ Marco were before. And because now we have actual full-time employees
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on site serving in these roles, I think things are gonna be a lot more clear and it’s probably
⏹️ ▶️ Marco going to function better. So I think even though I don’t know
⏹️ ▶️ Marco anything about these people really, the few things I’ve heard about Evans Hanke have been very good.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have high hopes that I think this is like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco cleaning up something that was kind of messy, putting it in a way,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in a structure that is more likely to produce good, consistent results.
⏹️ ▶️ John So that mess is part of any
⏹️ ▶️ John group of people doing anything, but certainly part of corporate America or large companies.
⏹️ ▶️ John Like to think of it as they make products, and we talk about their products,
⏹️ ▶️ John and we judge the various political maneuverings, and the
⏹️ ▶️ John org chart, and their financials. But in the end, in the end, these are all just
⏹️ ▶️ John people. They’re all just people. And people problems are always the biggest problems of any corporation,
⏹️ ▶️ John which is why staffing, HR, all those sort of
⏹️ ▶️ John soft skills, they call them, or whatever, like that’s the whole ballgame, right? So
⏹️ ▶️ John in a situation like, how did Apple find itself in this situation? They were so successful,
⏹️ ▶️ John and they had these successful products, and they had this team making them. And eventually, that success,
⏹️ ▶️ John your success as a company, leads to the elevation of individual
⏹️ ▶️ John people within the company to the point where, you know, you mentioned before that Johnny Ive had been elevated,
⏹️ ▶️ John but then, you know, later clarified, it’s not like he had been elevated in the past of the voice. Tim Cook elevated him.
⏹️ ▶️ John Tim Cook elevated him for for several good reasons. One, he’s the he
⏹️ ▶️ John was your meal ticket. He brought made Apple what it is today, right? Two, there
⏹️ ▶️ John is a public perception, which was probably the truth that he is your apples meal ticket.
⏹️ ▶️ John And if you have, if there’s a fight between forestall and johnny Ive and you pick Ive,
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s probably the right call. Like as far as the stock market is concerned, certainly, but probably as
⏹️ ▶️ John far as you’re concerned in terms of like, what is fair, who is meant more to the company, who
⏹️ ▶️ John is more important to keep right. And so and, and, you know, these kind of decisions,
⏹️ ▶️ John you think of academically, but in the end, those are actual people. So if you get to the point where you’re in a a situation
⏹️ ▶️ John where you are convinced and everyone around you is convinced and it may actually even be
⏹️ ▶️ John the right thing to be convinced that is really important for you to keep Johnny Ive happy and he wants to be in San
⏹️ ▶️ John Francisco and be less engaged from the company you start doing things that if you had
⏹️ ▶️ John pulled back a little bit like is this actually the best for the company and the products
⏹️ ▶️ John or at a certain point am I you know pig-headedly
⏹️ ▶️ John pursuing a goal that involves keeping a human happy when really like
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s great and it is good to keep Johnny around. But like I feel like the company probably passed the point
⏹️ ▶️ John where they should have let him go like they
⏹️ ▶️ John if he wasn’t engaged anymore like the goal of the company is not keep Johnny I’ve employed and happy
⏹️ ▶️ John like the company doesn’t exist to serve Johnny I’ve Johnny I’ve exist to serve the company right
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know if from the inside did ever look like that. From the outside, I
⏹️ ▶️ John feel like that may be the case. And again, trying to read the tea leaves and say, well, he’s responsible for everything they ship.
⏹️ ▶️ John If there’s something that characterizes, you know, the time after he was elevated to the head of everything,
⏹️ ▶️ John I feel like when it came time to make a product better,
⏹️ ▶️ John the philosophy embodied by the product and the execution by the design team was to, to, you
⏹️ ▶️ John know, attack it as designers and do things to it that
⏹️ ▶️ John had mixed success in the market, let’s say. And I’m contrasting this with, and you get back to
⏹️ ▶️ John what Marco was saying earlier in the show about like, we already kind of know what post-Johnny Ab looks like this. I’m contrasting this to
⏹️ ▶️ John the philosophy, the product design philosophy, uh, as embodied
⏹️ ▶️ John by things like the Mac pro and the iMac pro and like the pro workflow team, like the
⏹️ ▶️ John idea of addressing that market and figuring out what their needs are and doing something that
⏹️ ▶️ John generally designed under both Steve and Johnny didn’t do, which is like, let’s ask
⏹️ ▶️ John the customers what they want, which is the antithesis of Apple design. If you ask them what they want, they say a faster horse
⏹️ ▶️ John like it’s the whole, you know, you don’t, if you ask people what they want, you don’t get the iPhone, right? You don’t get the iMac
⏹️ ▶️ John or the iPod, you know, like, that’s not how great design works. But you can take
⏹️ ▶️ John the other approach too far, especially you have a singular person with a tremendous amount of power
⏹️ ▶️ John who the entire company thinks is very important to keep happy, you can end up with designs like
⏹️ ▶️ John the Apple TV remote and you know, things like the touch bar, whatever, like whatever your
⏹️ ▶️ John pet peeve is, or the very thin keyboard that ends up being not being reliable, right? Whatever you want to
⏹️ ▶️ John assign the blame for that, it’s clear that like the fault in those things wasn’t that Apple
⏹️ ▶️ John was was asking for too much customer feedback and just making what customers want. Like There’s
⏹️ ▶️ John a spectrum, right? If you go too far and you just make what customers want, you will never make an innovative product. You will
⏹️ ▶️ John never make a hit and you will end up making like mainframes, right? On the other hand, if you just do
⏹️ ▶️ John what one very powerful person wants to do at their whim, despite ignoring what the
⏹️ ▶️ John customers want, you might end up with products that are less successful than they couldn’t be, let’s say. And I feel like towards the end of Johnny
⏹️ ▶️ John Ives tenure, that’s how things were going. And I feel like the whole pro workflow team is
⏹️ ▶️ John like, If, look, if Johnny Ive wanted to have something like that, he would have had that long ago.
⏹️ ▶️ John It came recently, right? It was a change in direction for the company. It has demonstrably
⏹️ ▶️ John changed the kind of products Apple produces and the way they produce them. And I would argue for the better,
⏹️ ▶️ John for the better as far as we’re concerned, but certainly it has changed them, right? You know, and we were seeing the fruits
⏹️ ▶️ John of that change. We like it better. Some people else might like it worse, but I feel like again,
⏹️ ▶️ John we can measure objectively How well loved are the new laptops compared to the history of all the laptops
⏹️ ▶️ John that Apple has ever made? I would argue that these are not particularly well loved in the pantheon of Apple laptops for
⏹️ ▶️ John a variety of reasons, right? And so you can like them or not like them But you can judge them against history
⏹️ ▶️ John and you can look at why they may be less well-loved versus for example How well loved was the
⏹️ ▶️ John iMac Pro in the pantheon of all-in-one computers from Apple? Pretty well loved by the people
⏹️ ▶️ John who that product is aimed at as far as I can tell like it’s an all-in-one computer Apple has made a lot of them.
⏹️ ▶️ John Some of them have been more loved than others. Everybody freaking loves the iMac Pro, like for the people who are
⏹️ ▶️ John in that market, right? So there are ways to measure the success and
⏹️ ▶️ John I feel like the pesky human issues of the individual
⏹️ ▶️ John person who has, you know, all their own feelings and emotions
⏹️ ▶️ John and accomplishments and an ego and, uh, you know, just opinions
⏹️ ▶️ John and, and the amount of power they’re given like that, that all, it’s not a toxic health stew, Tim, but
⏹️ ▶️ John it is quite a stew. Uh, and even the biggest, the best companies
⏹️ ▶️ John in the end can be reduced to the decisions of a small number of people. And those people problems
⏹️ ▶️ John can result in less than optimal situations. And you know, I’m not going to say they
⏹️ ▶️ John should have got rid of him sooner or he should have been allowed to leave sooner or whatever. Like there’s lots of different ways this could have gone.
⏹️ ▶️ John Obviously, the pro workflow team and everything happened while Johnny was ostensibly still there. So it’s not like he was
⏹️ ▶️ John opposed to it or left because of its existence or felt like it was undercutting him. But like, and I totally
⏹️ ▶️ John believe in all the you know, all the press releases about how they’re collaborative. I believe that’s true. Like they are collaborative.
⏹️ ▶️ John They do bounce ideas of each other. I bet even Tim is involved with in some capacity,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? But there is a hierarchy of where the decisions get made, right? The hierarchy is clear. The fact
⏹️ ▶️ John that they’re collaborative at the highest levels is the strength of the company. The fact that ideas can come from anywhere that
⏹️ ▶️ John Phil Schiller, the marketing guy can come up with the click wheel on the iPod, for example, and they don’t just dismiss
⏹️ ▶️ John the idea because he’s just the marketing guy, right? I believe all of that, that it is collaborative and it is true,
⏹️ ▶️ John but there are also lines of hierarchy and that’s how they resolve the collaboration. It’s not designed by committee.
⏹️ ▶️ John It is collaborative design within the design group in the leadership team of Apple all the way down
⏹️ ▶️ John to the rank and file levels like Like that’s how great things get made. But
⏹️ ▶️ John you do need those decision points. And in the end, Johnny, I feel like was elevated to the point
⏹️ ▶️ John where he had where his power and his engagement combined
⏹️ ▶️ John to allow some of his, I’m not going to say his worst instincts, but
⏹️ ▶️ John some of his instincts that were less optimal to Apple’s product success
⏹️ ▶️ John than they had been either when his opinions were different or when his opinions were
⏹️ ▶️ John combined. I’m not gonna say moderated by or edited by. I’m gonna say combined with a collaborator
⏹️ ▶️ John like Steve Jobs, right? Or even forced or whoever, like whatever. If you want to be an antagonistic
⏹️ ▶️ John collaboration or like this, this came up in a couple of our slack channels, or maybe it was also in someone’s article. Uh,
⏹️ ▶️ John the comparison a lot of people drew between I’ve and jobs was, uh, John Lennon and Paul
⏹️ ▶️ John McCartney, which also at times was antagonistic, but also very fruitful collaboration of two very
⏹️ ▶️ John different people. One was not editing the other or rather they were both editing at each other, but that
⏹️ ▶️ John the collaboration produced more than the individuals could have done. And I feel like that’s why Apple collaborates
⏹️ ▶️ John at the highest level. And that collaboration comes down to individuals, right? So how will
⏹️ ▶️ John Alan die? Evans, Hankey and Jeff Williams collaborate together in the absence of Johnny?
⏹️ ▶️ John How will the pro workflow team be factored into that? Who runs the pro workflow team?
⏹️ ▶️ John Who decides that it’s a thing that they should do or continue doing. How will Tim Cook collaborate
⏹️ ▶️ John with them differently than he collaborated with Johnny Ive? Presumably, Tim Cook is less concerned
⏹️ ▶️ John about keeping Evans Hankey happy than he was about keeping Johnny Ive happy. Concerned, like he wants everyone
⏹️ ▶️ John to be happy, but the power dynamic between Evans Hankey and Tim Cook is different than it was between
⏹️ ▶️ John Johnny Ive, inventor of name and bazillion products. That you know, like that the dynamics,
⏹️ ▶️ John the people are different. The arrangement of people of different in the corporate hierarchy and the interpersonal
⏹️ ▶️ John dynamics are different. Um, we’re hoping that the new dynamic will produce,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, products that are more successful, that we like better, whatever, pick your criteria, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John But honestly, we don’t entirely know. We know a little bit if we assume that Johnny I have has been checked out for a long time,
⏹️ ▶️ John but in the end he was there and if there was something that he vehemently didn’t like, he
⏹️ ▶️ John could have given him a thumbs down, which is why we have all those stories about, oh, you know, the team had to go out to San
⏹️ ▶️ John Francisco and wait around for Johnny to come. Uh, and in the end, he didn’t even give us the decision we wanted. Why did,
⏹️ ▶️ John why did they need his decision? Cause he was in charge of design and they had, like, we have option a and option B and we have
⏹️ ▶️ John opinions in both directions. We need you to pick one because that’s your job
⏹️ ▶️ John as the leader. We like, we, we bring you what we think are the best options and we have factions internally,
⏹️ ▶️ John but none of us can decide because you’re the boss. And they were disappointed that there are no decision was made, which
⏹️ ▶️ John happens all the time. And it’s not like slamming him for not making the decision. Sometimes you just need to think about it some more
⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever. But again, getting back to what I said before, in the end, everything that goes out the door when
⏹️ ▶️ John he’s in charge is on him, whether it was his idea or whether he even, you know, maybe he just punched it and they just
⏹️ ▶️ John went with whatever they, you know, we don’t know the dynamics, but we know it’s his responsibility.
⏹️ ▶️ John Anyway, that’s, that’s how I feel about the tail end
⏹️ ▶️ John of Johnny Ives tenure at Apple that it’s could have gone better. So I’m gonna say,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think that’s fair. But you said a moment ago, pick any one of the gazillions of
⏹️ ▶️ Casey products that I’ve done to cite as an example. But from what I understand,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Evans, Hankey has done a ton of products at Apple and has
⏹️ ▶️ Casey like hundreds of patents with her name on them or something like that. And so I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey was digging into who are Evans and Allen and I came across an
⏹️ ▶️ Casey article, which of course I didn’t save the link for so now I’m going to have to dig it back up, but that’s That’s okay. I came across an article.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Professional
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, there we go. Wherein they discussed, you know, who these people are
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and they cited a tweet from Maile Coe, I hope I pronounced that right,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey who I saw speak at Layers several years ago and is tremendous. And Maile wrote
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on Twitter, this is with regard to Evans, and she’s been making s*** run right
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for a long ass time, undercredited, excuse me, in my personal
⏹️ ▶️ Casey opinion. So this is from someone who worked at Apple design.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey In fact, on Meili’s own website, she writes, in 2014, I left a long stand at Apple where I designed
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and prototype new things to poke at with the human interface design device prototyping team.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey My work included blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, uh, fundamental UI concepts for Apple’s force touch and Taptic Engine.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and my explorations help justify and refine the development of the iPad mini, iPad Pro, and Apple Pencil.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So, Maile is someone who I would think knows what the crap she’s talking about,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and she says that Evans is very undercredited. So, that is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey kind of a big deal, and certainly it sounds like Evans has been running the design studio for a long time,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and is effectively the head of—has been the head of design for a long time as well,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey from what I can tell.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, everybody in the design group is undercredited. That’s the whole point of having a figurehead. Johnny Hive is the figurehead.
⏹️ ▶️ John And then literally everyone else is undercredited. He is overcredited, and everybody else, because of the conservation
⏹️ ▶️ John of credit, is undercredited.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco That’s just how it works.
⏹️ ▶️ John I remember it used to be like, Apple didn’t even want you to know who worked for them in this secret room. They didn’t even want you
⏹️ ▶️ John to know those people’s names, let alone their faces, because they were afraid of people getting poached, and they would brag about how there was no turnover.
⏹️ ▶️ John Of course, the actual work is done by the employees, the boss is just in charge and gets to take
⏹️ ▶️ John all the glory and credit because everyone can’t be a figurehead. So I’m not slighting the work of the people
⏹️ ▶️ John who are actually doing the design, but there is a design direction and there is a head of
⏹️ ▶️ John design and that head of design makes decisions. And again, in the end we have to just judge the products that
⏹️ ▶️ John are put out no matter whose idea it was. It was Johnny’s, you know, in the latter
⏹️ ▶️ John years, Johnny’s decision to put it out. So that’s, that’s another question, right? So all these designers
⏹️ ▶️ John who are there doing their design, they have designers having lots of ideas. Like, you know, if you read any of the
⏹️ ▶️ John books about the things that design team does, like when they were making the original iPhone, one of the original ideas
⏹️ ▶️ John they had was basically the iPhone four look kind of like an ice cream sandwich. You know, like we all know what the iPhone four looks
⏹️ ▶️ John like. That was one of the designs in the running for the original iPhone. They didn’t pick that
⏹️ ▶️ John one. They picked the design that we saw as the original iPhone. But eventually, many years later, they did the iPhone four,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? And you know, these designers all have lots of ideas about what a product could be
⏹️ ▶️ John like, right? They also probably have ideas about the features that the product could have met shades into, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John the sort of there’s designing the thing to do the job and there’s deciding what the heck is the job,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? And that’s all part of the same, you know, part of the same stew when Johnny I
⏹️ ▶️ John was the head of everything, right? But with some more divisions, I feel like what will these
⏹️ ▶️ John designers do? What kind of ideas will they have when given given direction
⏹️ ▶️ John from not just Evans Hankey, but also from, you know, Jeff Williams,
⏹️ ▶️ John or maybe even from Alan Dye with the software idea like that when more people are combined,
⏹️ ▶️ John those same designers working in a different situation, maybe certain ideas that before wouldn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John get past the, you know, here a bunch of options stage could go farther or,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, it really depends on what, what opinions the new bosses have about the work
⏹️ ▶️ John that is produced, because in the end, you know, this group of designers don’t just
⏹️ ▶️ John dictate exactly what it’s going to be and get it right on the first try. You try all sorts of things, you have all sorts of ideas,
⏹️ ▶️ John and you discuss them. And that discussion with those particular people and those particular bosses, it
⏹️ ▶️ John decides what actually makes it out the door. And so certainly, with this new set of people, but the
⏹️ ▶️ John exact same designers, we’re going to see different products. Even if they wanted to, they couldn’t make the same decisions as Johnny,
⏹️ ▶️ John because I’m sure Johnny, like every other person, is inscrutable, and who knows what he would have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco picked. And I think that’s actually a feature, not a bug. It seemed especially up to about a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco few years ago that Apple was kind of like running out of ideas of like how to move
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the products forward. And now, by having a change
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in design leadership, whether or not this was like kind of what was happening all along or not,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this I think will give almost like give them permission to do things differently. It will certainly give the designers
⏹️ ▶️ Marco permission to do things differently because they won’t have the fear of like what what happened you know what if Johnny
⏹️ ▶️ Marco overrides this or like they’ll be they’ll be able to more explore new ideas without having to worry about like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what would Johnny do you know so it’s part of that but also just like I want to see you like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I want to see what happens when Apple gets things shaken up a little bit because when you’re in a rut
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and which it seems you know like it seemed for a while like the iPhone was in a rut before the iPhone 10 be like that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you had like the six seven they were all kind of just a 6s like it was all kind of like here’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the most boring phone you’ve ever seen and eventually like it got you know improved um with
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the 10. The iPad was kind of in a in a lull for a while and then
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the the pros that came out last fall with you know with the new industrial design like are really cool you know
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the laptops I think have been in a rut for a little while and I really can’t wait to see what this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco fall’s one ends up being uh to see you know what direction that’s taking, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m looking forward to having the influence of new designers able to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco flourish and able to get products out the door with just someone else
⏹️ ▶️ Marco being in charge and someone else being the filter at the top of that group. And this is why,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to have Jeff Williams be seemingly the effective head of products,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it seems a little weird to think about that because we haven’t really thought about Jeff Williams that way
⏹️ ▶️ Marco up till recently you know very recently but he’s somebody new and you know if to this role
⏹️ ▶️ Marco seemingly or at least new in scope of the role I want to see what that what that brings that’s kind of exciting
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to me it’s kind of like and it isn’t all gonna be perfect you know not everything they do is ever perfect
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but it’s it’s new it’s different it’s some it’s changed it’s moving things forward you know
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s it’s just it’s getting new blood in there you know into into existing roles I want to see
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what that brings and I’m kind of excited about that, and I know I’m not gonna like everything, and that’s fine. You
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, we wouldn’t have a podcast if I liked everything. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m very excited to just see, like, it’s just like something being shaken up and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco seeing some new blood, you know, and seeing some people who’ve been apparently working for a very long time being
⏹️ ▶️ Marco elevated into new power. Like, that’s—I want to see what that brings.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I couldn’t agree with you more. I I really feel like, I don’t know if stagnant’s the right word,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but it’s certainly, I feel like Apple has been, and again, I don’t think cruising
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is the right word, but I can’t think of the word I’m looking for, but it’s just been kind of business as usual. And I really
⏹️ ▶️ Casey am excited at the thought of having this new blood really
⏹️ ▶️ Casey allowed to spread their wings and do what they want to do. And this is going to be a very
⏹️ ▶️ Casey exciting time to be an Apple fan, which is good because in
⏹️ ▶️ Casey my opinion, Apple’s been pretty dominant for the last several years. I mean, they’re
⏹️ ▶️ Casey occasionally, if not often, the most valuable company in America, if not the world. So
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’ll be interesting and cool to watch this all go down and watch this kind of work itself out,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey just like you said. Yeah, I’m right there with you, Marco. I’m really excited about where things are going
⏹️ ▶️ John I wouldn’t call it stagnation, but like this is another thing that from the outside I tend
⏹️ ▶️ John to map onto Johnny Ive because I assume that he is the one making these decisions. If you’re
⏹️ ▶️ John doing any job, especially a creative job, but really any job for a very long
⏹️ ▶️ John period of time, like in the beginning when you’re just getting started
⏹️ ▶️ John in whatever your career is, you’re very excited to attain the skills that those skills in the art have.
⏹️ ▶️ John Whatever the thing you’re doing, if you’re a baker to make your first wedding cake, right, whatever, like
⏹️ ▶️ John just do the basics, do them with your own twist or flair, but become competent and
⏹️ ▶️ John and you can keep going along that ramp where then you, you know, start having your own style more and deciding what you like and what you
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t like. But if you’re doing this for a very long time and you’re very successful, especially in creative
⏹️ ▶️ John endeavors, I think people have a tendency, both because as they age and get more experience, but also
⏹️ ▶️ John as they become more skilled, you’re less excited by things that you’ve already done.
⏹️ ▶️ John Uh, And you like whatever your philosophy is for your craft
⏹️ ▶️ John or your art I’m not gonna say you make more extreme versions of it, but you pursue
⏹️ ▶️ John you pursue your muse more thoroughly So in the beginning you
⏹️ ▶️ John may when you’re making your wedding cake, you may be like well in general like
⏹️ ▶️ John cakes Tend to be like layered with big layers in the bottom and small layers on the top like a
⏹️ ▶️ John kind of thing and you know know, and they’re made of this kind of material and this is about how big they
⏹️ ▶️ John are. And like you’re, you’re constrained by the orthodoxy a lot because like you’re just learning right
⏹️ ▶️ John in the middle. You’re like, I’m making a wedding cake that’s a single layer and it’s a cylinder
⏹️ ▶️ John straight up and down and it’s the new design trend. And now I’ve defined what wedding cakes are going to look like for the next 20
⏹️ ▶️ John years or whatever. They’re not pyramid shaped. They’re like, they’re like skyscraper shaped or something. And by the way, they’re,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, they’re pink or whatever but whatever your whatever your muse
⏹️ ▶️ John is you I feel like you do end up pursuing it
⏹️ ▶️ John trying to get it like the root of it if you’ve seen Johnny Ives videos in his white world over the course of the past decade
⏹️ ▶️ John or so you see him talk about always trying to find the essential nature of the product the essence
⏹️ ▶️ John of the product to get rid of extraneous things like that that, you know, as expressed
⏹️ ▶️ John in those videos, his design philosophy is all about, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not about ornamentation. It’s about figuring out what is the essence of insert whatever the product is, whether
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s a laptop or you would probably say a remote or a pencil or an
⏹️ ▶️ John iPad or a phone. Like what is the essential nature of this product? What
⏹️ ▶️ John parts of it that we think are integral to the product are actually superfluous?
⏹️ ▶️ John And can I get rid of those? Can Can I simplify the design? Can I use fewer
⏹️ ▶️ John parts? Can I remove ornamentation or extra things? And
⏹️ ▶️ John that he has his under under his design leadership,
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple has pursued that philosophy in its products to an ever more extreme degree, almost entirely
⏹️ ▶️ John across the board, with the only only recently a slight change in direction with the pro products.
⏹️ ▶️ John And it made me think of something I saw recently. This is a program on Netflix.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s like a sci-fi anthology series of little animated shorts. It reminds me of like Liquid
⏹️ ▶️ John Television MTV back in the day. A particular episode called Zima Blue.
⏹️ ▶️ John The series is called Love, Death, and Robots. It’s on Netflix. Every episode is standalone.
⏹️ ▶️ John Most of them are not that good. Some of them are kind of exploitive and extreme. But I would recommend that everybody take a look at
⏹️ ▶️ John Zima Blue. And it’s a sci-fi story. It’s animated. it’s a story of an artist and this artist
⏹️ ▶️ John I won’t spoil the thing for you you should watch it’s like 15 minutes long like they’re all very short
⏹️ ▶️ John pursues his his muse his passion his
⏹️ ▶️ John artistic intent to an extreme for an explicable reason a more extreme
⏹️ ▶️ John than Johnny Ive because again it’s a sci-fi story but I would encourage everybody to check out Zima blue on Netflix
⏹️ ▶️ John to see you know So what could have become of Johnny Ive if
⏹️ ▶️ John his life turned out a little bit differently and he was in a sci-fi animated show? But anyway, getting back to
⏹️ ▶️ John the Apple, I feel like that’s the natural arc
⏹️ ▶️ John of someone’s career. And by putting people in, replacing him with
⏹️ ▶️ John people and other, and the people we just discussed, who are at different points in their career, none
⏹️ ▶️ John of those people made the iMac, right? of them made all of those products were like made, you know, we’re responsible
⏹️ ▶️ John for the for design when those products were produced or however you want to parse it. They’re all
⏹️ ▶️ John at different parts in their careers. They all have their own personal design philosophies. Do they all? Are
⏹️ ▶️ John they all subscribed 100% with the essentialism and all the philosophy espoused
⏹️ ▶️ John by Johnny and all of his videos? Maybe, maybe not. Like I, I would imagine that the design
⏹️ ▶️ John group is filled with a diversity of opinion about what thing they should be pursuing in their products.
⏹️ ▶️ John I also think that the design group probably lacks
⏹️ ▶️ John some opinions that are important for Apple’s products to be very good. Some of those opinions may be coming
⏹️ ▶️ John from the pro work group people, like some of them might be coming from the software side,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? When Johnny was the head of everything and he was so closely tied to the design group, like there are
⏹️ ▶️ John aspects of successful laptops that may not be represented at all anywhere in the design
⏹️ ▶️ John group, not because Johnny, I’ve expunged all contrary opinion, but just because it’s a bunch of industrial designers
⏹️ ▶️ John and product designers, and they think differently than someone who is, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John a professional in some market that products are sold into or a marketing person or, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John like there’s, there are other perspectives. And so having
⏹️ ▶️ John apples products now not only have a different decider in front of the design group, but have
⏹️ ▶️ John what has to be more influence from things outside the design group, I think that’s the better
⏹️ ▶️ John way to make a well-rounded, successful, pleasing product than to have
⏹️ ▶️ John even, you know, the diversity of opinion that may be present in the design group. You need more perspective than
⏹️ ▶️ John that because in the end, products are more than just the things that people
⏹️ ▶️ John in the little Waldorf design group think about. They’re also things that have
⏹️ ▶️ John prices and names and features and customers and jobs to do.
⏹️ ▶️ John And those I feel like are not well represented by the design group. Hopefully that will change
⏹️ ▶️ John for the better now.
Sponsor: Eero (code ATP)
⏹️ ▶️ Marco We are sponsored this week by Eero. Never think about Wi-Fi again. The
⏹️ ▶️ Marco single Wi-Fi router model just doesn’t work for our increasingly high bandwidth world.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s simple physics. Like light waves, Wi-Fi waves don’t go through walls very well. So imagine
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you were having like a big light bulb in your living room trying to light your master bedroom.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It doesn’t really work. You need a distributed system. We now have so many devices, not only inside of our houses, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco outside too. You’ve got like video doorbells, security cameras and All these things rely on stable Wi-Fi.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And offices have had these kind of systems for years, but at considerable work and expense. Eero gives
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⏹️ ▶️ Marco I gotta say, I use Eero myself. Whenever I’m in a… So this is what happened. I’m
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in a vacation rental, and the very first day I got here, I noticed the Wi-Fi
⏹️ ▶️ Marco just didn’t reach the bedroom. And the bedroom is where I was putting my iMac Pro. I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ordered myself overnight an Eero package, the base unit and the two beacons,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because I knew that A, I needed to get a better system, and B, I knew that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Eero was it. Because I’ve used Eero’s now in a number of different places like this, and it’s just the best system.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s easy to set up, it takes two seconds. I set it up to match my home network, so all the things automatically connect to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it without me changing anything. it’s so fast. It’s so much better than like, you know, the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ISP router that came with the place. I’m just so you know, I’m that kind of nerd who immediately replaced
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#askatp: Overcast recommendations
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So go to Eero.com, E-E-R-O dot com slash ATP and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco use code ATP to get $100 off the package that has the Eero base unit, two beacons, and one year
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of Eero Plus. Thank you so much to Eero for sponsoring our show.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So I’m going to ask ATP. Let’s do it. All right. We start tonight with Marcus Ernst who
⏹️ ▶️ Casey writes, how does the recommendation engine in Overcast work? Did you try multiple approaches? Is it some fancy
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have tried multiple approaches. It is not a neural network or anything
⏹️ ▶️ Marco remotely fancy like that, primarily because I don’t know how to use those things or understand
⏹️ ▶️ Marco anything about them. I use Core ML. Honestly, I thought about that. Core ML and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so as Core ML has evolved and other tools that are like Core ML that are more
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like in the non-Apple world, I think like TensorFlow is one of these things. Forgive me,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is a whole world, the whole world of ML models and everything I really don’t understand much
⏹️ ▶️ Marco about it and I don’t I’m not familiar with any of the tools or any of the real
⏹️ ▶️ Marco concepts of it the main reason I haven’t gotten into all this stuff yet is because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I haven’t really needed to because I have some data
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with overcast like I try to keep a little data as possible about people and their behavior
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and everything but I do know the list of of podcasts that each user subscribes to.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I can do simple correlations like, you know, people who subscribe to this tend to also subscribe
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to that. Like that’s stuff that you don’t need fancy ML
⏹️ ▶️ Marco stuff to do that if you have decent data. And that’s all the data you really need
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to do that. So the recommendation engine, man, the current one
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is based on Twitter stuff. And it’s like what people subscribe
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to, who you follow on Twitter. I will give you an exclusive
⏹️ ▶️ Marco news-breaking heads up here. I’m removing that feature. I’m getting rid of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the Twitter integration for lots of reasons. Number one, almost nobody
⏹️ ▶️ Marco uses it. So it’s already like on the chopping block for that. And there’s a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco bunch of liabilities of having Twitter integration and it causes a lot
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of confusion among users. I get a lot of support email about people who either don’t understand it or wish it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco behaved differently. And I’ve been, I’ve actually just rebuilt the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco recommendation engine over the last couple of weeks using an even better approach,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco again just involving subscription data, like nothing super fancy, but I just, I figured out better algorithms
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and so I’m going to ship an update soon, like still for iOS 12,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like you know before the beta is as far, I’m gonna ship an update soon that switches out the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Twitter feature for my new recommendation engine. And I’ve been testing it with some testers here and there
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it has significantly better recommendations for podcasts you might like.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I think it’ll be a positive change and it also allows me to do things which I don’t think I’m gonna have time to do for this update,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but it’ll allow me to do things like on a podcast’s individual page to be able to say
⏹️ ▶️ Marco these podcasts are similar to this. Or people who like this also
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like this. It allows me to do all that stuff. And it’s a way better engine than the one I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco had before. And it will allow me to integrate a lot more stuff more nicely
⏹️ ▶️ Marco into the app, and not have to deal with weird interactions
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, risky and toxic social network.
#askatp: The zone
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Paul Wood III writes, what is the best way for you to enter the zone
⏹️ ▶️ Casey while programming? Do you have any tricks you play on yourself to help you focus? And why do you think that this trick works? For me, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey listening to Daft Punk’s Discovery album because I listened to it at my first programming job.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t have any great tips about getting in the zone, although I will say now that I don’t have an
⏹️ ▶️ Casey office to go to in the traditional sense. I do like once or twice a week going somewhere else
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to get work done and I think the change of scenery really does help me. And then as I think I’ve mentioned
⏹️ ▶️ Casey several times on this program in the past, I have my secret weapon, which I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey deploy extremely tactically, which is if I have a programming problem that I just can’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey figure out, Tools 10,000 Days has not yet failed in getting me through
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that problem. It usually takes one run-through or less to get me there, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey if I deploy it very tactically, I can usually use that as my secret weapon to solve programming
⏹️ ▶️ Casey problems. John, how do you get in the zone?
⏹️ ▶️ John The only thing I’ve found that works for me consistently, because I think about times in my career
⏹️ ▶️ John when I have had a difficult programming challenge that I have
⏹️ ▶️ John put myself to dealing with either because there was a hard external deadline or I was very
⏹️ ▶️ John motivated to do it because I was super into a project or something like that.
⏹️ ▶️ John think the thing that I’ve used is not isolation, but
⏹️ ▶️ John removal of distractions. So to give some examples, at one point I was dealing with a particularly –
⏹️ ▶️ John I think I’ve talked about this on the show. I was dealing with a particularly thorny thing having to do with
⏹️ ▶️ John e-book site that I – for the company I used to work for. It had to do with the complexities
⏹️ ▶️ John of royalty calculations for bundled products for e-books or whatever. And it was
⏹️ ▶️ John a fairly complicated system and I’d taken a couple of runs at it and I just wasn’t satisfied that we were solving the problem
⏹️ ▶️ John in an elegant way. So I basically took a weekend and I said, all I’m going to do this weekend is I’m to rewrite
⏹️ ▶️ John everything having to do with royalty calculations, right? And everything having to do with product bundles or whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ John And I’m just, that’s, you know, cause I’d, I’d thought about it for like weeks and weeks and months leading up to
⏹️ ▶️ John that point. Like the site was running and it had a thing, but it was like, it was unsatisfactory. Like every time their new requirement
⏹️ ▶️ John would come in, it would be a problem. So I’m like, I’m just going to tackle this. Right. So isolated myself for like a weekend for the thing I could
⏹️ ▶️ John do before kids or before kids who were older. Cause I had one little tiny baby at that moment, just two days
⏹️ ▶️ John at home on a weekend, me and the computer. Similarly, at an earlier job,
⏹️ ▶️ John I had another, like it was a very complicated system designed by product designers or marketing
⏹️ ▶️ John people essentially, it was like, here’s how we want it to work. And they described in like this 17-page Word document, here’s
⏹️ ▶️ John how we want the system to work. And I was like, there’s no way I’m gonna be able to make this thing if I just
⏹️ ▶️ John come in every day and try to chip away at it, right? So again, I set myself a task, and this time it was at work, but I set
⏹️ ▶️ John myself a task of like, I’m not doing anything else, else, I’m just going to hide in my then
⏹️ ▶️ John actual office. Those were the days.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Never had one. For this
⏹️ ▶️ John week, I am going to turn that eight-page Word
⏹️ ▶️ John document written by non-technical people into an implementation that matches it exactly, clarifying
⏹️ ▶️ John all the ambiguities or whatever, and just spent that week doing it. So every time I feel like I’ve had to get in the zone
⏹️ ▶️ John and tackle a programming problem, I feel like I’ve had to shut out distractions
⏹️ ▶️ John and remove contact switches. I imagine that’s true for most people because it’s a common thing that people measure like the contact
⏹️ ▶️ John switches are bad or whatever. But some people may be like, oh, I’d rather be in a cafe or whatever. I’m like, no, I don’t wanna
⏹️ ▶️ John see or hear any other human. I don’t wanna see or hear any other noise. It’s just gonna be me and the computer,
⏹️ ▶️ John absolutely no distractions, absolutely no one else there, no music, no sound, no things on in the background,
⏹️ ▶️ John no people walking around, nothing. That’s how I get in the zone.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Marco? headphones and fish. Nobody saw that coming. Surprise!
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I would also say too, the way I work, I don’t know if this is true of everybody, I think it might be, the way I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco work, I can’t really create the zone at will.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I can just recognize when I’m ready for it and encourage it and preserve
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the state as well as possible. It’s like the zone is here and I get a chance
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to harness it or not harness it. And so I choose whenever I can
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to harness it when the opportunity arises. Like, you know, when I have that motivation, when I have that focus,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, whatever causes that mode to happen, I try to recognize when that is happening
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and preserve that and harness it to get good stuff done. Like, when I can tell that I’m
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the zone or that I’m able to be in the zone, I’m not gonna do things like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco read Twitter or answer email. Like, I’m gonna wanna harness that to,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m gonna ideally apply that to like coding and things
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that are like more substantial like that, you know, as opposed to just like administrative work or messing around.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But I’m not perfect at this, but that is the idea.
#askatp: Death planning
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Leon Zandman writes, do you have any idea what should or could happen to Overcast
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and your other endeavors in the unfortunate event of you dying? Maybe a weird slash creepy question, but I’m just wondering
⏹️ ▶️ Casey if and how you as a one person’s business with paying clients are handling this. And I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey thought this was fascinating in no small part because I just heard Independence No. 55, the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey single point of failure where this exact conversation is discussed.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey For me, I mean it’s not as big as and certainly not the financial
⏹️ ▶️ Casey powerhouse, let’s say, that Overcast is. But for Vignette and all the other
⏹️ ▶️ Casey associated stuff with my business, I have written out kind of the instructions
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on, hey, if I disappear, where is everything? And that’s true not only of the business but actually my personal life
⏹️ ▶️ Casey as well. And I’ve given copies of those documents to people I trust. So in
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the unfortunate event that I pass away, then both Aaron
⏹️ ▶️ Casey as my wife and Aaron as probably the person who will end up dealing with my businesses
⏹️ ▶️ Casey stuff should hopefully be squared away. And I’ve actually been thinking about writing a blog post about
⏹️ ▶️ Casey what sorts of information I’ve included on these documents, because I think it would probably be helpful. So I’ll probably get around
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to that one day. But Marco, what are you doing if God forbid something happens
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, my family’s taken care of with things like life insurance,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco actual business, like for Overcast, I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco really have any plans. I’ll be dead, so I won’t care. Fair. I guess people can do
⏹️ ▶️ Marco whatever they want with it. I don’t know. I have not put anything in place. I also heard that episode,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I also thought about,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John like, I wonder if I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco should some process in place here, but I have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco found that transitions of app ownership
⏹️ ▶️ Marco rarely really preserve what the app was about and what made it good. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so I don’t think it really matters. Like if I’m gone, Overcast
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is going to die with me or is going to be picked up
⏹️ ▶️ Marco by somebody else and change in a way that that you’re all going to hate. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like it kind of doesn’t really matter, honestly.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s an interesting point. You know, a couple of years ago, maybe even several years ago now, a friend of
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the show underscore David Smith went somewhere and he didn’t tell
⏹️ ▶️ Casey his friends that he was going anywhere, which is fine. Like he doesn’t have to report into us that he’s going on a vacation.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But he went somewhere and this is I think when Feed Wrangler was fairly new and something happened.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know if you remember this, Marco, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco something happened.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I sure do. when Feed Wrangler basically took a dump. And this was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey fairly significant and nobody could get in touch with Dave. And I can only speak for myself, but I was getting
⏹️ ▶️ Casey increasingly and increasingly and increasingly worried about what was going on. And it turned out everything
⏹️ ▶️ Casey was fine in, well, in his world, it’s just that, you know, some server had had
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like that. And he was like on vacation, like at a cabin in the woods, no internet connectivity.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But like, but yeah, it was like, his server went down like at the worst possible time, basically like right after he left.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so like it was down for a while and you know, and you know, I’ve taken vacations where I’ve been offline and you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco just kind of assume like, well, I just hope that in the next couple of days my servers don’t break. Right. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it, it, you know, his servers happened to break during that time. And, but yeah, we all thought the worst.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah. I was genuinely like getting really concerned. Well, anyway, so bring all this up because
⏹️ ▶️ Casey there was a time when he went on a different trip later and I, I genuinely don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey know if this is still true or not, But there was a window of time where he had given me like a, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey 400 character password to use and like the bare bones of server information that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I could use to basically like log in and just restart the thing, the thing and hope for the best. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I honestly, I’m sure if I have it at someone password somewhere and I don’t even know if I do have this information
⏹️ ▶️ Casey anymore. And even if I do, I doubt it still works. But I thought it was an interesting point that, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it may not be terrible to take someone you trust and give them, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a key or the keys to the kingdom, just in case something happens. Now, obviously, I wouldn’t be able
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to properly debug whatever Dave’s issues may be, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I could go in there, like I said, and restart the server and hope for the best. That’s another thing to think about as well if you ever
⏹️ ▶️ Casey go off the grid. In any case, John, what about you? Have you thought about any of this?
⏹️ ▶️ John I have no kingdom for which keys must be handed to someone. When I’m dead, nobody cares, and
⏹️ ▶️ John there’s nothing that needs to
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey continue. I’ll
⏹️ ▶️ John care. But there’s nothing that needs to keep running.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey enough. Dot hypercritical dot co, is that right? It’s not com,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? Nobody cares about that stuff.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, you only write on it once a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John year, so. That’s
⏹️ ▶️ John right. I mean, yeah, I don’t have any ongoing endeavors like that. Other than the ones that actually involve me,
⏹️ ▶️ John in which case those no longer involve me.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Fair enough. Thanks to our sponsors this week, Eero, Squarespace, and Casper.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And we’ll see you next week. Bye. Bye. Bye.
⏹️ ▶️ John Now the show is over, they didn’t even mean to begin
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental
⏹️ ▶️ John John didn’t do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn’t let him Cause
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And you can find the
⏹️ ▶️ John show notes at atp.fm And if you’re into
⏹️ ▶️ Marco 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, D-N-T,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Marco Armin, S-I-R-A-C, U-S-A
⏹️ ▶️ John Syracuse It’s accidental, they didn’t mean to to
John’s favorite spatula
⏹️ ▶️ John I so desperately want… I have a favorite spatula. Rubbermaid
⏹️ ▶️ John used to make utensils for some brief period. They no longer do. I have two Rubbermaid
⏹️ ▶️ John spatulas, one of which is my favorite spatula, and I cannot find one that is even remotely like it.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s not complicated. It’s one piece of Rubbermaid plastic, but it’s it’s exactly the right size and shape,
⏹️ ▶️ John doesn’t have any weird places where, you know, gunk gets stuck. Like, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John the right flexibility it’s you know it’s a good spatula Johnny might even like
⏹️ ▶️ John it but I have to hope that it never breaks or like accidentally melts on something or whatever because I
⏹️ ▶️ John can’t find a replacement so yeah he should make a spatula it would be it’s a perfect Johnny I’ve thing because it should
⏹️ ▶️ John be basically like you know featureless and white and just like you know a simple
⏹️ ▶️ John solid with no moving parts and no ports not
⏹️ ▶️ Marco white though because you then you like sauce would discolor
⏹️ ▶️ John it well mine’s not white it’s like you know an off off-white kind of color. And yeah, it is a little bit discolored,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know. The amount of tomato sauce you make, of course, it’s going to be discolored.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, no, it’s not. You don’t use a spatula in
⏹️ ▶️ John sauce. But anyway, it is mostly like sort of discolored from like Bernie stuff being
⏹️ ▶️ John on it. So it’s like
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey a little bit of a brown.
⏹️ ▶️ John Bernie stuff. Bernie stuff, yeah. Like a little bit of a brown speckling, like, but it’s not colored like purple or red
⏹️ ▶️ John or any kind of like food dye color. Ryber in the chat room, not that.
⏹️ ▶️ John a bowl scraper that’s not a yeah not that kind of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco spatula you’re talking about the pancake Turner
⏹️ ▶️ Casey flipper if anything but
⏹️ ▶️ John yeah like it’s shaped a more like a hockey stick yes you could like get it underneath
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I gotta say the so the the what you’re calling like a bowl scraper I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have been using those more for eggs just like as like the thing that you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco stir stuff in a pan with yeah that’s not not the
⏹️ ▶️ John right not the right tool for that job please stop doing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that. Honestly, I find, like I used to be a wooden spoon
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but ultimately I find that a good flexible silicone spatula, that what you’re
⏹️ ▶️ Marco calling the bowl scraper kind of spatula, like you know, not the pancake turner with the slots, but like the thing that you would like, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ice a cake with, like that kind of thing. I have found that is actually a much better tool
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for stirring stuff around in a pan during, for most types of things that I’m stirring around in pans. I really
⏹️ ▶️ Marco enjoy it. I got converted to it a couple years ago by a friend and I am solidly in that camp now
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of like, that is the better tool for that job.
⏹️ ▶️ John Paul Matzko, Jr.: So the thing my wife does and it drives me nuts, but it is still one step up from the
⏹️ ▶️ John worst thing, which is using silverware.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Aaron Powell, Jr.: Yeah, that’s definitely
⏹️ ▶️ John the worst thing. Paul Matzko, Jr.: Oh, goodness. Yeah, that’s messed up.
⏹️ ▶️ John Please do not use silverware for so many reasons. Aaron Powell, Jr.: Yeah, that I agree. Paul Matzko, Jr.: Using the
⏹️ ▶️ John wrong cooking tool is a step up from
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that and then using the correct tool, of course, is what you should be doing. Aaron always used to use one of these things that you’re describing, Marco,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for scrambled eggs. And for the longest time, I was like, what the hell are you doing? That’s why you use a spatula. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey then I tried it once, or I was like, as she started them and left the little
⏹️ ▶️ Casey scrapery, plasticky, whatever thing, right near the pan. And so I was like,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey oh, screw it, I’ll just use this. I think both you and Aaron are correct for something along
⏹️ ▶️ John When you’re making eggs, you are, in fact, much of the time scraping the bowl,
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco essentially. You know what I mean?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually is closer. Yeah, especially if you’re making scrambled eggs in a nonstick pan, this thing is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco perfect because you really do want to get it all off the side. Yeah, it
⏹️ ▶️ John little bit. Well, so if your pan is properly nonstick, you shouldn’t need this, actually. This is to get things off
⏹️ ▶️ John the side that are sticking to the side. Really, you should be able to not even touch it with anything and just flip
⏹️ ▶️ John it, and it should slide right off, just like in those commercials. but as nonstick degrades, they
⏹️ ▶️ John become less nonstick. They become more stick, and so then you need, you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco might need a scraper. Every pan eventually becomes a stick pan.
⏹️ ▶️ John Except for the super duper cast iron thingies, supposedly. I’ve
⏹️ ▶️ John never successfully pulled this off, but the theory is the carbonization, long period of time, smooth glassy surface,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I’ve never been convinced by the cast iron lifestyle. It
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John seems like it
⏹️ ▶️ John is. You need a grandma pan. You need a pan that someone’s used for 100 years that has that glassy surface that no one has
⏹️ ▶️ John put their stupid metal utensils into and screwed up.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey John, click that most recent link in the chat. Is that, it’s circa 1972 spatula. That’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey right in your wheelhouse in terms of
⏹️ ▶️ John era. I didn’t get, hey, that’s it. That’s not the one that I like. That’s the big one. The small version of
⏹️ ▶️ John that is my spatula. We also have the big one and that’s what we use for pancakes and stuff, but I’m not married
⏹️ ▶️ John to the big one. I feel like the big one is too big. The small one is maybe like half that width. That is my spatula.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is not at all what I thought you
⏹️ ▶️ John doesn’t look like a Johnny Ive thing other than obviously the giant Rubbermaid thing, which is why I know it’s Rubbermaid because like you can’t not
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Rubbermaid. Right. That’s the only, you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know. So you can’t find anything as good as that?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I hear the skepticism all the way from
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John here. And again,
⏹️ ▶️ John not the big one, the small one. God, if anyone sees the small one on eBay, I will buy
⏹️ ▶️ John it for a ridiculous price. Like,
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m already running low on my grated cheese, the Oxo thing,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco right? Oh, no. I remember you mentioned that in the past, right? Like, you’re holding on to an old
⏹️ ▶️ John cheese grater? I think I have one or possibly two left unopened. But they’re lifetime.
⏹️ ▶️ John And my current one, I’m just like, hang on a little bit longer. I’m trying to get the maximum life out of it. I have seen on television
⏹️ ▶️ John a few more commercial kitchens with electric ones. And that’s totally what I want. I want to not do
⏹️ ▶️ John it by hand, but I haven’t found a good electric one yet So
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m always on lookout for that But in the meantime, I got to keep my hand ones.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, do you see this Etsy link?
⏹️ ▶️ John Is it really from the 70s? Yeah that one in the middle. There you got it right there. That’s my spatula Boom,
⏹️ ▶️ John is it from the 70s? Okay. I mean we bought it after
⏹️ ▶️ Casey were you can buy one for
⏹️ ▶️ John $74.99 John we bought it after we were married. So I it’s not like this is I mean Maybe they’ve made it since the 70s
⏹️ ▶️ John and yeah. $70, hmm.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Jesus, you’re actually thinking about
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it? I would love so much for you to go back in time to the 70s and explain to your parents or grandparents
⏹️ ▶️ Marco whoever bought this that in 2019, you’re gonna buy one for $75. We bought it, we bought it ourselves.
⏹️ ▶️ John After we were married, when you’re buying stuff for your house, you gotta buy a kitchen table and utensils and plates and spatulas.
⏹️ ▶️ John And we bought a spatula. We just probably went to whatever
⏹️ ▶️ John the kitchen store and bought a bunch of cheap, you know, we were like in our 20s, we were just married, we didn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John have a lot of money, this is not an expensive product. I’ve never seen that
⏹️ ▶️ John weird soup ladle. I’m really not on board with that probably, but.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey $75 for this piece of plastic, good
⏹️ ▶️ John God. Big and the small spatula. Rubbermaid, why did you stop making these?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, and it’s only available in black apparently, sorry John.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can pay $75 and get the spatula pro. Wow.
⏹️ ▶️ John Actually, now that I see it in black,
⏹️ ▶️ John it does look kind of Mac
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Pro-y. It also appears, if you go to the very last photo where it’s the black one and it’s showing the underside, it looks like it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco might be used. You see that leading edge
⏹️ ▶️ John is. Oh yeah, they get scraped up. Like mine is, it’s like a cast iron pan where it
⏹️ ▶️ John becomes, you get a patina and it has seen so much service, because again, I’ve had
⏹️ ▶️ John it for 20 years now, that it is like, I don’t know, I should take some pictures of it.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s a pretty good looking thing after 20 years.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Now, the real funny thing here is that at the bottom of this listing it says almost gone, there’s only three left.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I see that as, they have three of these, that’s great. You could spend $225 and have three backup spatula pros.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey John, you might wanna
⏹️ ▶️ John consider it. What is this picture with the thing with like a spoon with slots in it? I’m not on board with their spoons.
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m also in the market for a good wooden spoon. I have a lot of good wooden spoons, including wooden spoons from my grandmother, which are my
⏹️ ▶️ John best wooden spoons, but wooden spoons eventually do start to check and crack a little bit, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John So, a couple of my good wooden spoons have some cracks
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in them. Are there advantages of using spatulas instead of wooden spoons? You can put them in the
⏹️ ▶️ John dishwasher. Oh, we don’t put these in the dishwasher, are you kidding? These never go in the dishwasher. The wooden spoons or the spatulas
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Your things from the 70s probably would melt if you put them in the dishwasher. They’re probably- I don’t think they would. They’re probably
⏹️ ▶️ Marco leaching chemicals into your food
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John when you use them.
⏹️ ▶️ John No, they go directly into hot pans, they don’t melt. But I wouldn’t put them
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the dishwasher. it’s plastic from the seventies is
⏹️ ▶️ John not from the seventies is manufactured like in nineteen the late nineties
⏹️ ▶️ Marco fine. I wouldn’t I wouldn’t put plastic from the nineties into my food today.
⏹️ ▶️ John Don’t worry about it. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not fine. We know factually it’s not fine,
⏹️ ▶️ John not all plastic is toxic yeah, but like only the only the stuff they use for water bottles yeah
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco right. There’s not a water
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and plastic like it degrades and leeches weird chemicals out of itself over time
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey this is not good.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah. In John’s defense, I think I misread 1972 as a release year, not a model
⏹️ ▶️ Casey number, because apparently that is a model
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John number. There you go.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But it does say on this listing, item details vintage from before 2000, which
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is now basically 20 years ago. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ John vintage. Yeah, it’s vintage from when I was married in the 90s. It’s 20
⏹️ ▶️ Marco three of us are quite vintage at this point,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John by these definitions.
⏹️ ▶️ John Wow, that’s good to go. Looking at the little codes in the back, I should look, probably that code is in the back of mine. It’s got the recycle symbol
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on it, yeah. So there you go, Rubbermaid 1971 spatula. Is it the 71?
⏹️ ▶️ John I can’t tell what number, oh
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey yeah, I’ll go
⏹️ ▶️ Casey look at mine. You should go right now.
⏹️ ▶️ John I want those spatulas,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey hmm. You’re really thinking about spending $75 on this thing, aren’t
⏹️ ▶️ John you? I mean, like, here’s the thing. My current ones are fine. They’re not broken, and unlike
⏹️ ▶️ John my cheese grater, they don’t, there’s not like a shelf life where I know this is gonna break in three years.
⏹️ ▶️ John they’ve never broken but I fear one day like you know something happening to it someone
⏹️ ▶️ John leaving it on a burner and actually does melt or something like that and people are sending me links to other
⏹️ ▶️ John things on Amazon that are not my spatula this is not my spatula I’ve seen these in the store
⏹️ ▶️ Marco want I think you have you have to buy this you have to get spatula pro
⏹️ ▶️ Marco dollars I think you might be right the only question is how many
⏹️ ▶️ John Which utensil? Narrow spatula. $74.99. No, I’m not gonna do it. Like,
⏹️ ▶️ John I gotta keep my powder dry for the Mac Pro.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, just think about how many of these spatulas you could buy.
⏹️ ▶️ John The white is sold out anyway. I would have to get the black one. Yeah, no, forget it. I’m not… I need…
⏹️ ▶️ John no. The Pro one looks cool, but it clashes with everything else. It’s not… I like to see the
⏹️ ▶️ John food stuff stuck to it. If it’s black, it’s hard to see what kind of gunk is on there.