This Week in Tech 547
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech! Wow. What a week it's been with Apple, with Facebook, and Microsoft's quarterly results. We've got a great panel to break it all down for you. Jason Calacanis is here, Alex Wilhelm, Christina Warren, TWiT is next!
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Leo: This is TWiT, This Week in Tech, episode 547, recorded Sunday, January 31, 2016.
Alexa, Rent Me a Monk
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It's time for TWiT: This Week in Tech, the show where we cover the week's tech news, and we are going to have a wild ride as Betty Davis once said. Fasten your seatbelt for a bumpy night, starting with all the way to my right, Christina Warren from Mashable.com. Hey Christina!
Christina Warren: Hey, Leo.
Leo: Nice to see you in the Mashable offices. You work a lot.
Christina: I do work a lot. We've got some stuff happening in my apartment right now, so I was like, "I'm just going to go to the office." There's always stuff happening.
Leo: Also with us, Alex Wilhelm. He's the editor in chief now at Mind over Matter?
Alex Wilhelm: Close enough. Mattermark, but we'll take that.
Leo: Mattermark, writing as an analyst now.
Alex: Journalist, analyst. A fusion of the two.
Leo: We always talk about analysts and their audience is the investor. So they... you're here for a reason this week. This is the quarterly result week bar none. They talk about stuff in terms of is it a good investment as opposed to what I would as a tech journalist. Is it something you would want to own. It's a different business, but you're conflating the two.
Alex: I don't think I lean in either camp, given the dichotomy that is set up. More I'm looking at trends, that sort of thing. It's not investment advice, it's in the how it's made.
Leo: But your audience is people who are interested in buying.
Alex: Yes, but not entirely. It's been fun so far. It's been a month now. I've had a good shot.
Leo: Ultimately, if I say this phone is not a good phone to buy, that effects investors. I'm talking to end users. Jason Calacanis, he talks only to God, ladies and gentlemen.
Jason Calacanis: God is dead.
Leo: He is the Nietche of the venture capital world. Creator many moons ago of the Silicon Valley reporter.
Jason: That was my first venture in journalism, yeah.
Leo: Later, of course, you started Engadget. A bunch of blogs. Sold it to AOL. Moved to Los Angeles. You're an Angel investor now, yes?
Jason: Yeah. Angel investing. Launch festival coming out March 2, there are 15,000 people coming.
Leo: One of the great voices. More so for users in technology. I think you often speak truth to power where it is risky for many people to do so. You don't care.
Jason: I have never cared. I remain not caring. Whatever gets you there, my theory is keep doing that, which is probably a mistake.
Leo: You're the Brooklyn kid. Alex doesn't care for reasons we don't understand. Christina and I care. OK. Who should we start with? We have Apple, we have Facebook, we have Google. We have... Apple and Facebook are two. Who else announced? Microsoft. All right. I'll open to voting. Who should we start with? Apple had the most successful quarter in American financial history in terms of profit, right? 18.5 billion dollars in profit. That's six billion a month.
Jason: Their profit was a Tesla, or like two Twitters almost.
Leo: In a quarter! Incredible revenue, however the stock is down. Apple gave some interesting guidance. They in effect said it's been fun, but we can't grow at this rate anymore. I have to say, we looked at the price to earnings, Apple is a fairly reasonable six or seven bucks compared to Amazon which is 8 hundred bucks. So Apple's price of its stock is fairly low compared to how much money it makes.
Alex: Which implies investors are pricing in lower growth moving forward.
Leo: Amazon only has upside. Apple, it's all over for. 200 billion plus annually...
Jason: Yeah, so if you take that off the top, and then you do the price ratio on the remaining value of the company...
Alex: They have 60 billion dollars in long term debt, so the cash number is great but not as strong as you would think.
Leo: Why don't they just pay off the debt?
Alex: They're borrowing locally to pay dividends in the US.
Jason: They just have to pay tax like everybody else.
Leo: We already paid the Irish tax, why should we pay another 30 or 40%?
Christina: If they can take the debt, and they've got plenty of cash on hand, why not?
Leo: There's two percentages that are interesting. Apple's profit margin is 30%. Not bad. Not bad. Only Tiffany has a better profit margin than Apple, and maybe not even Tiffany.
Christina: Tiffany probably doesn't have a better profit margin. Price of gold is probably not...
Leo: 40%, Apple's advisory is that is going back down like 35%. Shocking. The other number that I find shocking is 25% tax rate. I don't know about you, but I pay 40/45% because I'm in a high tax state. Apple is also a high tech state. Google does the same. Everybody does that.
Jason: There's definitely tax reforms that are going to occur if we get someone like Bernie Sanders in and then there will things rolled back or things will get easier. Capital gains tax is the big unfair advantage in America of people who are investors, long term pay less than people who work for a living. Maybe it should just be the same.
Alex: It's the Warren Buffet secretary argument, essentially. I agree with that. I think everything is important.
Leo: Warren Buffet said his secretary pays more taxes than he does. He begged to pay more taxes, but for some reason, congress ignored Warren's begging.
Jason: He's giving it all away, anyway.
Alex: Are you going to give it all away, Leo?
Leo: I'm giving it all away. But that's not the story. The story is Apple said we don't expect more than 1% growth on iPhone sales. iPhone sales have powered Apple's great success over the past 8 years.
Jason: It's the most phenomenal product ever in terms of sales in terms of profits. It's printed money. If you think about the upgrade cycle, we've been saying this for a long time. When a product gets diversions six, seven, eight, where there's a flat panel TV or a laptop, how much is left that will drive somebody to buy the next version, and I think what you're seeing is a lot of people will skip a version now. You probably know somebody in the audience who still have iPhone 5ses. They don't care that it's not a six s. I know people who have a four who are like, yeah I'll upgrade to the six. Or I'll have the five and wait for the seven So that, I think the quick upgrade cycle will come to an end because does anybody care about force touch, does anybody care about photos? It seems like the things they're adding are tangential to the courts. So people are not seeing a reason to upgrade, just like you might not upgrade your flat panel for three days or to go to 4K. Do I need 4K to watch a television show that's not shot in 4K? No. The upgrade cycle is busted.
Leo: Are they also running out of humans?
Jason: No. They still have a small market share.
Christina: They still have India, Brazil, Russia.
Leo: Some of the growth this year was China.
Christina: Most of it was China. China's economy is slowing. That's one part of it. They're not going to see the growth there. China's own phone sales from their own phone makers like Xiaomi haven't met expectations either and they're basically flat. They didn't decrease. I think that they still definitely have growth opportunities, the problem is do they have growth opportunities at the prices and the margins they want to sell them at? That's a separate conversation. They still have places they could sell them, but not at the prices and margins they want to sell them at.
Alex: I'm curious. Do you think economic weakness in Bric countries will lower ASPs for smartphones over the next couple of years?
Christina: I think it has to.
Leo: What is Bric?
Alex and Christina: Brazil, Russia, India, China.
Leo: I'm looking at a great graph, Jason Snel at Six Colors put together a quarterly iPhone sales from 2011 through 2016. Of course it is spikey, because the new iPhone came out. It's growing. The six, which came out in 2015...
Christina: That was a couple things. That was the first time they were launching China mobile. That was the first big thing. The second thing was that they had the six and the six plus. I think you're right, Jason, when you say people aren't necessarily upgrading to force touch or 3D touch, or live photos, but I think people were upgrading for the bigger screen size.
Leo: Can I just point out something here? If you look at the two year cycle, so we'll go back to 2013/14, the iPhone 5 wasn't a huge growth because it was a toc. But the tic cycle with the 6 was a big jump, now we're going again with the toc. Is there any reason to think there won't be a giant jump a year from now when the iPhone seven comes out? You say it's not enough, but I think people upgrade.
Christina: I think it depends on what people do. I think if they could come out with a compelling product, a compelling design, you could certainly get that.
Leo: Doesn't Apple want to foster this by doing their own financing? If you take advantage of the financing, you have an automatic upgrade, don't you?
Jason: Remember when they were like we're just going to have one phone, one size and we're going to make something perfect? We need to find growth somewhere. So if executives and people are going to buy the iPad pro because people want to have a sexy new device or people who are Android people say maybe I can afford this new, smaller iPhone or people who would have bought the Fablet and bought the next Samsung note, oh I'll go back to the iPhone operating system they get the plus.
Leo: The graph for iPad sales is even more dramatic. You see the peak was in 2014 and it continues to tumble.
Jason: That's another one. Why do you need to upgrade? I have iPad 2 around the house. Whatever they make, I buy. I literally buy every single product.
Alex: Seriously, every single one?
Jason: Every single one.
Alex: Did you buy the Apple Watch series edition?
Jason: No. But I have an Apple Watch. I'm wearing a Fitbit. I buy each one, I test it, I play with it, then I give it to somebody in my organization or family. I think when you start coming out with the battery case, you're looking for growth somewhere. No more goofy cases, we're going to make our own battery case.
Leo: That's short term. But they're also doing things for long term growth. Project Titan, which is an autonomous car project.
Jason: Car and VR are the most likely scenarios.
Leo: They just hired a new guy to run the VR department.
Alex: Before we leave the denvers, keep in mind if Apple does get a little big smaller financially over the next couple of quarters, it's still tectonically rich. It has more money than anybody else, so yeah. They may go down a bit, but they're still so healthy, so safe, so secure, and they can invest in anything they want to.
Leo: This is going to that thing I said which is analysts might say one percent growth, bad. Sell sell, don't buy. But in the real world, it's still one of the most profitable...
Jason: You can be sure..
Leo: End users shouldn't say, "I shouldn't buy an iPhone, Apple is in trouble." Not at all.
Jason: It's the opposite now. They're starting to make it available to more people and with the lower priced versions. The really interesting thing is Tim Cook said in a corrected market, which we have a little bit of a correction going on, this would be a great time to deploy capital if people had it. He's talking about himself, obviously. Beats was one of the first...
Leo: You've got 200 billion, you can write some checks. What would they buy?
Jason: They're going to try to buy Tesla again. Elon doesn't want to sell right now. I think if they come to him and offer him 40 or 50... They would have to double it or more.
Leo: What is the total market cap, if they bought it now? They have to offer 50 billion dollars.
Jason: We just talked about them making 20 billion in a quarter. They could buy them in a quarter and a half, but that would require Elon being willing to sell, which he's not. I think when the 3rd gen comes out, which has been Elon's mission from the beginning is to get the 3rd, the affordable car out, which is coming out soon and it's pretty awesome.
Leo: It's telling. He's not in it for the money. He wants to change the world.
Alex: The money doesn't hurt, I'm sure.
Leo: How much money is where you say I don't need any more? What is it? A hundred million? What is that money?
Jason: He put 2 or 3 hundred million to work.
Leo: He made that money on PayPal.
Jason: He dumped it into...
Leo: A hundred million into Space X. He went negative. Now I have solar panels on my roof, an order for a power wall, and I'm buying a Tesla. All I need is a rocket ship. I buy everything Elon does.
Jason: I think the whole Project Titan is a way for them to have a backup plan, to make progress if they can't get Tesla, and it's going to be a very... Google and Apple are going to fight like dogs to get it from him. After number 3 comes out, anything is possible, I think.
Leo: He is saying to himself. By the way, you know him. I don't know how well you know him. He is saying to himself, let me just get to this benchmark, which is the affordable vehicle.
Jason: He has been very public about that. His goal is to get people off of oil. He says the version three as that.
Leo: Then he might willingly say, All right, Apple. You've got 75 billion, I'll take it.
Jason: I think it would be hard for Tesla to fail after that car comes out.
Christina: Can they get the numbers? Can they scale the car?
Leo: They're already making 238 Model X’s a week now.
Jason: They made over 50 thousand of the Model S’s last year. This is from a company that came from making zero cars. So everybody has underestimated him.
Leo: Every time I talk to auto executives, they say it's impossible to start a new car company.
Jason: Listen. They laughed at him 3 years ago, 4 years ago, and they said he was an amateur, now they're waking up at night screaming his name at 4 in the morning. Mercedes was on a tour of the valley two weeks ago basically looking for a buyer. They know their days are numbered. They need a technology partner.
Leo: This is a good graph. IPod sales year over year over sales growth. Oops.
Alex: The red big is negative.
Leo: Let me ask this question. Christina, I'll start with you. Is this a failed category? You look at this graph and you'd say I guess people don't want tablets.
Christina: I don't think it's a failed category. I think it was a misunderstood category twice. I think it was completely underestimated and we had this growth period and I think what happened was poeple over estimated it. I think eventually what will happen is the tablet category and the laptop category will merge, I don't know when but I think that is what will happen. I think the bigger problem is the main reason it's gone down is not just that they haven't had a new Air or reason to upgrade, putting the pro aside, but why would anybody buy an iPad if you've got the bigger phone? Having the bigger phone negates the need to have an iPad. I don't know if it's a failed category because the laptops and tablets will be one. But I think this idea where you need both a laptop, a phone, and a tablet doesn't make sense for the average person.
Leo: Phil Schiller is trying to put some lipstick on these numbers by saying we tried to invent categories that cannibalize our own products.
Jason: The Fablet does cannibalize the tablet, of course. And the Mac Pro, whatever they call the new MacBook.
Leo: I like the Macbook.
Jason: I prefer writing on that one, but this...
Leo: That was one thing Apple tried to do with the iPad pro that failed. This is your laptop replacement. I don't think it's a laptop replacement.
Jason: The software isn't there yet.
Alex: Although I will say I love the Surface Book.
Leo: I have a Surface Book, and I love how it looks, but you can't start it. It has the hot bag problem. Massive software issues with it.
Alex: I told them that.
Leo: You know what Microsoft's response is? It's a difficult computer science problem.
Alex: Microsoft, don't say that out loud. It's buggy as heck.
Leo: Here's my speculation. It's Sky Lake, so it's a new Intel processor. Power management is somewhat tricky with Sky Lake. As a result, you have problems where it can't start, where the video driver crashes or does weird things. It has what we call a hot bag problem where you put it to sleep, you close it and put it in your bag, it stays on, kills the battery and over heats it. All of these problems have been known since it was launched a few months ago. Microsoft says we're going to have it fixed, but not right away.
Alex: Last night I was reading an Ebook and I just popped off the screen and kindled it away for a few years. The form factor is great. Christina is right about the different device cases.
Jason: It's the most beautiful device on the table, and it's made by Microsoft.
Leo: It's remarkable. Is this the real world?
Jason: This is the most beautiful device on the table. The screen too! Look at the screen.
Leo: Now you're going to really take a chance with it. Part of the problem is...
Jason: It's much better than this device, for sure.
Leo: Part of the problem is you just separated the GPU from the CPU. The GPU is in the keyboard. That's going to confuse the hell out of a computer.
Alex: That by itself does not high power on the graphics side, but if you buy the higher end version of it...
Leo: I'll show you some of the things I like. If you ever wanted to do crossword puzzles... this is a 2,000 dollar crossword puzzle monster. What I did get from this is that Apple is wrong about not doing Touch
Alex: It's so light.
Leo: It's not.
Jason: It's gorgeous and the screen is just dynomite. I love it. I see people from corporations who are addicted to this thing and can't shut up about it.
Leo: If Microsoft fixes the firmware...
Jason: It's gorgeous.
Leo: We'll get to Microsoft. We're not done yet. We'll get to Facebook too. Is there anything more to say about Apple?
Jason: What do you think about theVR part, Alex? Do you think they're just going to make software, do you think they're going to do what Samsung did with the Gear VR? What's the plan? They've got a ton of patents in headsets. Are we going to have an Apple headset?
Alex: So actually here, I have to confess I'm not very smart. When it comes to VR and AR, I've played with Hololens and so forth, but I really don't have a good feel for that. Whatever I would say would be speculation.
Jason: Christina, what do you think?
Christina: I think that they will be focusing on the software part of it, but I think they have to have a hardware component. They might partner with someone, but Apple is not a company that likes to partner with a lot of people. They like to do their own thing. I definitely see them having their own headset that will likely work with the iPhone. Take that approach. Some early Oculus prototypes which were based on mobile stuff and build something that is really great. I think it might be a little big different from the Gear VR, it might not just use the phone. It might have some of its own powered stuff too. I think they'll do their own hardware. I think it's interesting. So much of the conversation around VR is centered around gaming, which isn't an area Apple has any expertise at all. So it will be interesting to see what other experiences they can get people behind, because obviously VR is going to be about more than just gaming.
Leo: I have to say for all the attention Oculus gets, the VR headsets to me are a commoditized product. There are standards for how a VR works, whether it's Google cardboard or Samsung Gear, or the Oculus Rift, they all want to inter-operate, which means the hardware is completely commoditized. Right? There's no advantage that Oculus has over something Apple will do. You buy it because of the... why do you buy it? It's like a PC.
Alex: The PS4 and the X Box one are both PCs in different colored cases. It's about the titles.
Leo: Yet, if software is a standard, which I suspect it might be, the Oculus runs on a PC or a Mac, so it's not specific to the hardware. I'm wondering if the vizor business is a good business at all.
Christina: I think right now the Oculus is a sepparate piece because you've still got to have that PC, you've got to have that power. Eventually what's going to happen is they're going to have to move it into the headset itself or mobile phones will become powerful enough that you can have it powered from that. Right now, they don't want you to be tethered to a PC.
Leo: Right now the Gear VR uses my mobile phone.
Christina: The Gear VR sucks.
Jason: It doesn't suck, it's one of the most impressive VR experiences you can have. It's not as good as the Oculus.
Leo: It's using Oculus technology. Gear VR says powered by Oculus on it.
Christina: That's why I'm saying it sucks. If you have used the real Oculus, and then you use Gear VR, it's not the same thing. I think they want to get it to the point where the Gear VR will be as good as the Oculus. That's the goal, I think. At that point, it comes down to are you building this... it's a platform issue. Is it IOS or Android? I can't see Apple letting anybody else...
Leo: You know who is going to dominate this initially? It's certainly dominating gaming is the Steam HTC combination.
Christina: Steam and HTC are still in business.
Leo: If they could just hang on until the Vive comes out, that is going to be the solution for gamers.
Christina: Real talk. Is HTC going to be able to put these things in a financial situation where they can produce these things? If I'm Steam, I'm hoping that they have other partners.
Leo: I think they're a very credible player, and if you look at what the Oculus Rift comes with, which is two mediocre games versus what a Vive comes with, which is Steam.
Christina: I'm just not convinced that HDC has the financial strength to...
Jason: Sony seems to be well conceived.
Leo: Have you used the Sony?
Jason: I haven't used it. It's gorgeous.
Christina: It was really impressive. That's the one thing people shouldn't discount. As much as Sony messed up with the PS3, PS4 they've been strongly developing.
Leo: Sony is in a much better financial situation than HTC.
Alex: HTC last quarter had a negative opperating budget of 23.1%, so they're not doing great.
Leo: That's because they're selling phones nobody wants.
Alex: Right. This is commoditized, and therefore there is not going to be a margin in long term if it stays inter-opperable.
Leo: You know who really has the best shot at this is Microsoft. It's a long way off, but augmented reality has not become commoditized because it is so software dependent. There's nobody making the Hololens. That's a PC in a viser. The software is extremely difficult to do because in real time you have to calculate the actual world and integrate a virtual world into it. That seem shard. And they own Minecraft.
Alex: Christina, have you played with the Hololens?
Christina: Yes. It's cool. It's not as cool as the demos make it look because it has this really restricted view point, but it is awesome when you see what they're doing with it.
Leo: We know also, thanks to a Microsoft evangelist who got fired after telling people this at a conference in the middle of nowhere, the reason for the constrained point of view is price and power. They could be more, it's not that the software couldn’t do it, but not in a PC that fits on your head for a price that anybody can afford.
Jason: When do people think we'll have ten million of these VR headsets out there?
Leo: Google announced that there are 5 million cardboards out there.
Jason: I'm talking about a million real ones.
Christina: I've got 15 cardboards in my office right now.
Leo: What is the number that would make it a viable business? Is it a million?
Jason: I think it's more like 5 or ten million. If you get 10% of the audience to buy in, you might have a half million people buy a title, if they buy it for 50 bucks each or 40 bucks each. I guess that's another issue. Are people going to look at these apps on their iPad where they pay single low digit dollars, or are they going to look at it like a platform game where for grand theft auto you're waiting outside GameStop and you have a reservation for a 75 dollar game.
Alex: I think your point about ten million, I would say the end of 2018. Maybe I'm being an optimist.
Leo: I feel like this will ramp up fast.
Alex: I think so too. If the quality is good.
Jason: It could become a phenomenon. You could have a phenomenon.
Leo: If it doesn't make a majority of people nauseous.
Jason: It doesn't. I suffer from motion sickness and I don't have it when using it.
Leo: But enough people do.
Jason: That's not an issue anymore.
Leo: Think of a successful consumer product that causes people to throw up.
Alex: Medical marijuana.
Jason: What are roller coasters!
Leo: You may have hit on a very similar market to VR. There are people who will not ride a roller coaster. We're going to take a commercial break. I think we've done Apple. We're going to do Facebook, Microsoft, some good stuff coming up. Christina Warren is here from Mashable It's going to be a challenge to get a word in edgewise, but we should have given her some sort of cut off button that takes over the screen. My turn. We'll give you a safe word. If you say my turn, I will punch these guys in the head. That's Alex Wilhelm, he's the first to get punched in the head.
Alex: Story of my life.
Leo: Editor in chief Mattermark. We also have the great Jason Calacanis from the Launch Festival coming up next month. Is it too late to get tickets?
Jason: No. We give the first 10,000 tickets away for free and we've literally given away 9,000. I think there's 11 registered right now and there's about a thousand free tickets left on the homepage.
Leo: What is the homepage?
Leo: Our show to you today brought to you by Braintree. I think you invested in BrainTree, so you have to shut up. No? You can talk all you want. This is the solution for people who want to put payments into their app or website. It gives your app or website a payment solution that is so easy for you as the developer and so great for you as the customer. You're going to love it. Uber uses it. That's a great sign, right? What is the secret sauce of Uber? You're done with the ride, you get out of the car, that's it. That's Braintree. Air BnB uses it. Lyft uses it. When you see a competitor is using the same payment solution, that's a good sign. GitHub uses it. Hotels tonight. I can go on and on. The reason is easy to integrate. Ten lines of Code. It's a snap. As soon as you do, you're instantly ready to accept Apple Pay, Android Pay, PayPal, Venmo. Credit cards. Even Bitcoin! Although you might not want to, but you could. The nice thing is you can turn these things on or off with checking a box in the control panel. It's so sweet. BrainTree fast payouts to you and continuous supports mean you will be happy, your boss will be happy from your first dollar to your billionth. GitHub scaled all the way from zero to 60 using BrianTree. The other thing that is good is there is a huge problem on Mobile with abandonment. Something like 70%. Very high rate. This solves that. They're not really leaving your site. They're just... they stay in your app. They're more comfortable with this. a lot of competitors use it, which I think is interesting. That means it must be the best.
Jason: The best thing for developers is when you have a startup company, something new comes out like Apple Pay and then it is just automatic returns. I have all these startups that were investments. This week, we support Apple pay. How did you do that so quickly. We used Braintree.
Leo: Braintree gives you a full stack payment solution support for all payment types your customers might want. Simple, easy integration across all platforms, superior fraud protection, customer service, fast payouts. And if that weren't enough, your first 50,000 dollars in transactions fee free. Do it. Briantreepayments.com/twit. We thank them so much for their support of This Week in Tech. Braintreepayments.com/twit. Jason Calacanis, Alex Wilhelm, Christina Warren. It's time to talk about Facebook. It's probably unfair to Facebook to do it right after Apple, because nobody can really...
Jason: The number of people using the product.
Leo: That graphic that Mark Zuckerberg posted on Facebook, forget money, it tells a story. 1.59 billion monthly users. That's really interesting. That was one of the challenges for Facebook, one of the reasons their stock didn't do well for a while was the concerns that they wouldn't lick mobile.
Jason: They made a bet early on on wrapping HTML and not doing native apps. It was intellectually the right decision.
Leo: So if I use the Facebook app on a platform, it's really not a stand-alone platform.
Christina: It was awful. Terrible experience.
Jason: Once they fixed that, they bought Instagram and WhatsApp. The core product is doing fine, but they're getting a lot of people on Instagram and WhatsApp.
Christina: Don't forget Messenger, having David Marcus turn it into WeChat of the West. It's been really smart. When you look at the number of Messenger users, it's equal to the number of WhatsApp users, it's 20 billion dollars on WhatsApp and I think they needed to spend 20 billion on WhatsApp. That wasn't a technology play, that was a numbers play. We can't have Google or anybody else have this many users. We need to ensure they're on Mobile. For them to basically say look: It's great that we have this other thing, but we're going to be able to pull this in ourselves too. It's genius. They've got three apps with close to a billion users. Facebook WhatsApp and Messenger, and Instagram which is closing in at 500 million, they're unstoppable.
Leo: It's funny because they paid a billion dollars for Instagram. That's like wow.
Jason: That app is worth 15 to 25 billion. If you put it up against Twitter, which is worth 11 billion or something like that? It's about the same number.
Leo: How do you do that? Do you multiply the number of users times dollars?
Jason: At the end of the day, all businesses are going to be based on earnings, right? You could make a model based on...
Leo: They are running ads based on every tenth post.
Jason: At the end of the day, you could model what Facebook is monetizing everybody, so if Facebook is 1,8 billion people and they did 5.8 billion, they made 3 dollars per. They are making 12 dollars per year per person. They're making 3 cents per day per person.
Leo: They make 12 bucks per user. Isn't that interesting?
Jason: CPMs in Europe are higher than the US.
Leo: That's a good deal for Facebook users. They don't pay anything for the service, but they pay in attention and with giving up privacy, and in return they get Facebook, and Facebook gets 41 dollars per person. It seems a virtuous circle there. Safeway card you get more than that.
Jason: They're unstoppable.
Leo: At this point is that the case because of the network effect?
Jason: In any of these businesses, the Network effect takes decades to unwind. But this is a scale nobody has ever reached. There's no corollary. If we look at AOL which had 40 million paying subscribers.
Leo: We've learned it could happen fast if it does happen.
Christina: MySpace. It does happen.
Leo: Facebook and Myspace, how fast was that, Christina?
Christina: It was 3 years.
Jason: If you're on the inside of a big company and you don't do anything and then crash it, the system crashed. There was a physical slapping of servers.
Leo: That's not going to happen with Facebook.
Jason: It's the best run organization out there.
Christina: Like we said, they have the separate brands. Instagram is separate from Facebook, it's a separate login. Same with WhatsApp.
Leo: That was smart, wasn't it. At first we were like, this is annoying. we have to use messenger now?
Christina: That was proving once again they never listen to their users. They don't need to.
Jason: The real story of Messenger isn't just that they split it up to have two apps, Facebook had already been deployed and had asked people do you want to get notifications and a certain percentage of people had said no.
Leo: Notifications are the real estate. It used to be the home screen. Now it's the notifications.
Jason: Now, if we launch a separate product and it opens again, we get a second shot for everybody to turn on notifications and who isn't going to turn on notifications for messenger?
Leo: Is this going to continue?
Alex: Do we ont all work for Zuckerberg now?
Christina: They haven't even started monetizing Video which is the most amazing thing. They're serving a hundred million videos a month and they're not turning on the spicket. They have that as a whole...
Alex: A hundred million hours of video watched per day.
Leo: They count it if you watch for one second.
Christina: Still. You can take that as a tenth of that, it's still... they haven't started monetizing. Here's my question for you guys. SnapChat is their Ishmael. It's their big shark--Moby dicks. How much will it take for them to buy SnapChat?
Alex: I don't know what you could offer them right now. There's always a number.
Jason: If some people believe that at some point this could replace Facebook, so don't ever sell. Anytime Evan wants... They took a ton of money off the table already. So anytime he wants 50 million dollars, he just says can I have 50 million dollars? It's totally changed what used to happen. If Instagram doesn't sell for a billion dollars they missed that billion dollars.
Leo: He doesn't care anymore.
Jason: That's going to become an independent business. Evan is as a quixotic person.
Alex: I'm a Snapchat fan, I like the company and I have no beef with them. I'm curious where you see them financially in a few years. If you were looking at them right now from a dollars perspective, would you expect them to be growing from the revenues side? Where would you want them to be focusing and how fast would they grow?
Jason: Great question. When you turn on monetization is how fast your growing and if you want to slow down growth to focus on that and how many resources you have. Tumblr for example, they stopped growing and they hadn't worked on monetization, so that creates a little anxiety amongst the board and investors. You have something like Facebook that was growing so tremendously they could keep pushing it out until eventually it didn't matter. That's the same thing with Snapchat. It's still growing. If you look at somebody like DJ Khaled, he's getting 3 million views per video. Kim Kardashian is getting 1.8 million viewers.
Leo: It feels like Snapchat doesn't want to make money. They were for a while charging for these little things. Let's not charge for that anymore. Let's give those away again.
Christina: They can make more out of a sponsored video than they can from those.
Leo: What could possibly be wrong with that? I'd pay 99 bucks for that.
Jason: The real goal is if you can have a business with the revenue models built into it.
Leo: How do you make money on SnapChat? Besides selling these discover pages? This is very successful for the people who do discover. Katie Couric stopped doing her daily news, Yahoo news on this. I think it makes sense for ESPN because what do you watch sports for? You want highlights. This is made for sports highlights, isn't it?
Jason: What's going to happen is when you go through DJ Khaled, every fifth or once a day there will be an ad in the middle.
Leo: But who makes money on that? DJ Khaled.
Jason: You'll basically have native advertising. He will split money with.. I talked to Evan about it. He'll eventually do a Rev share, so it will be like YouTubers. What you'll see in the second half of this year is on Snapchat, somebody like DJ Khaled will do something with Kia and it will be a hundred million dollar deal and 25 million...
Leo: So this is already happening behind the scenes on Instagram. You see a lot of Instagram pictures of people posing... it's kind of scummy. And Instagram gets none of it.
Jason: FTC isn't pleased with it either.
Leo: They shouldn't be, because they're undisclosed ads. It's illegal.
Alex: But if they can do a program that allows everyone to work together and have it be fair, perfect. Back to the point. Do you think SnapChat is mature enough now to be a revenue focused company, or are they still focused more on product rev?
Jason: If you're growing more than ten percent or 20 percent, to start looking at monetization at that point is foolish. You want to take as much ground as possible, you want to own as much of the market as possible. You just want to keep growing and then you can add it later. It's fine to have, if there's money out there to be had, you can put it back into the product. So if you look at a company like Uber, my god. If you're making 20, 25 percent, you can put that into the next sitting. And the technology and engineers.
Leo: Alex, say something provocative in under 20 seconds so I can put it in my SnapChat.
Alex: Jason Calacanis couldn't find a poker deck if it whacked him in the head with a poker chip.
Leo: That's not fair. Here's the only reason I don't use SnapChat, because it goes away after a day. Why would you put energy into something that goes away after a day?
Jason: That's the whole point. You missed it. You know how you go on TV and you have to get ready and prepare?
Leo: No. how does that work?
Jason: Most people think about their video before they do it. Young people don't think about it.
Leo: And they kind of like it that it's gone, because...
Jason: If you're at a bar and you're drinking.
Leo: People like me will never get SnapChat because we try to create stuff that will be around for a while.
Jason: You think about the ramifications of your behavior. If you're under 25, you don't.
Leo: I can't get my son to allow me to look at his SnapChat probably.
Jason: Never happen.
Leo: We were talking about Facebook and the Facebook video. What did you call it? Fugazi? I have to say there are companies using Facebook video very smart. This is Al Jazeera Plus. Watch what they do, because they know you're not going to turn on the audio, so what they do is put text in there. Easy to read, big text, and it's hard not to watch these videos. Do you do this too, Christina? Mashable is smart about social media.
Christina: Yeah. I think I"m not sure if we're doing it for our Facebook stuff. We should be if we're not. It's really smart. It makes a lot of sense. You understand that people are going to be doing that stuff. I've noticed Business Insider is doing that stuff too. They're creating new forms of...
Leo: Work within the medium to take advantage of issues. It's a hack.
Christina: We've gotten big into the vertical video because of SnapChat, so we have an entire vertical video team. That's what they do. And they'll re-cut even our regular videos into the vertical format.
Leo: Companies like Yours and BuzzFeed and Vice are doing that. They're hiring teams, expensive teams to focus on this kind of stuff. You started with Vine, I think. The Mashable Vine stuff was mind blowing.
Christina: So good that the guy who ran our Vine account now works at Vine. We've had people on our SnapChat team who have gone on to work at SnapChat. That's the one downside of this sort of thing is you hire good people, and if they're really good, the companies that they're creating stuff for end up hiring them away.
Alex: The social team at Tech Crunch that tracks these different platforms and so forth are the smartest people at Tech Crunch. I say that loving everyone... these people were ninjas. They knew every trend, every change, every hack. Every possible way around doing things. We were having lunch and they would blow my mind with their planning strategies and so forth.
Leo: I feel so old.
Jason: Also building a brand. You think about building a brand. Podcasting is awesome, and if you're established you've been in it for five or ten years like we have. But if you're new, you can go, do these short videos set them up and put them on five or six different platforms, and really build a brand very quickly, and really goosing it through a bit of advertising to what's called similar audiences is super powerful.
Leo: Discovery is of course the big issue. Is that how you build the audiences without advertising?
Jason: This is part of going back to the Facebook story. If you take an email list of 10,000 people who care about This Week in Tech, you upload that to Facebook, they find those people and they say who else is like this person. I want to show my videos of TWiT to those 10,000 people and people similar to them. What percentage do you want to go out of the 1.5 billion people using Facebook, you say one. Here's your 15 million people.
Leo: I need to get better at this.
Jason: It is amazing what you can do.
Leo: If you don't do this, are you screwed?
Jason: Yes. Because other people will who are your competitors. The other thing you do is you take those people who just found a similar audience, if they visit your site, then you cookie them and put them into another audience of people who have clicked on your ad, gone to your site, and now you say this group of people is worth hitting again with a re-targeted ad because they've been to the site once. Their likelihood of converting to a customer has gone 10X now. I'll pay more to show them more ads. Which is why when you're on Amazon and you look at a pair of boots, then the boots follow you everywhere, that's what is happening.
Leo: I promise I will never do that to you ever. I will go down with the ship before I do that. I probably will go down with the ship. I feel like the captain of the Titanic.
Jason: You're already at the top of the game. You don't need to worry about it. This is people who are up and coming.
Leo: We're going to pause and play "Nearer my god to thee" and continue. Mark Zuckerberg is now the sixth richest man in the world. He is worth 47.5 billion dollars.
Alex: I love if you go back five or six years everyone saying they're a fad. They're MySpace. Then you tell them they're public now. They made four billion last quarter, so I love watching this story doing well. It proves that haters are going to hate.
Leo: I want to say, this is a very clear case of a guy who earned it. I think he... I don't know the guy. I get the sense he knows what he is doing. He is very smart.
Jason: He went to Harvard. He's a brilliant guy.
Leo: I went to Yale. It doesn't mean anything, trust me. He went to the best college in Cambridge, I give you that.
Jason: Oh. He surrounded himself with the best people from Sean Parker on. He literally had all these great people around him.
Leo: Is he a brilliant strategist? Are all of these plans... is this him?
Jason: Yes. He's in control of the product.
Leo: He earned his 45 and a half billion dollars.
Jason: He's giving it all away, it doesn't matter.
Alex: I think you're right. I look at him with respect and not contempt. There are some people in tech I don't like as much. I really think with Zuckerberg, I look at him and think, "Darn right. Well done." I respect him a lot.
Jason: He's matured a lot.
Leo: I'm glad he passed the Koch brothers on the list.
Jason: In the early days he did things that were brain dead stupid with the brand, he compromised people's privacy.
Leo: The richest man in the world is Bill Gates, still. He went down $171 million dollars. Carlos Slim, who is the Mexican telecommunications giant. Warren Buffet, number 3. Jeff Bezos, number 4, even though he just lost 1.3 billion from last year. That was previous day. Wow. That was the Amazon stock prices. Who is Ortega? Ortega is number 2.
Jason: They're missing the richest person on the planet though.
Leo: Who's the richest person? The Sultan of Brunai?
Jason: Putin. Nobody knows how much he's worth. People think it's North of a hundred.
Leo: A hundred billion dollars?
Jason: Every business that is created there off of everything that's a natural resource, he gets a piece of and nobody knows. The people consider him to have a hundred billion or something to that effect. All private enterprise there is associated wtih him.
Alex: Remember the Sochi story, why the Olympics were in Sochi because he liked it there? This is more of a Vassal state than a functional Democracy. Jason, I agree with you again today. This is strange to me.
Leo: Putin could be on the list, but nobody knows.
Jason: That's probably, definitely the most dangerous person on the planet.
Leo: more so than Kim Jong Un?
Jason: Kim Jong Un doesn't have nuclear missiles.
Christina: He's crazy.
Jason: Well, Kim Jong Un is crazy and he's a kid, whatever, but he has no nuclear missiles and he doesn't have the resources, and he's got the platform. That's a lot of resources.
Leo: Anything you want me to say while I'm there?
Jason: Beautiful country.
Leo: It is a beautiful country. I can live with that. Let's take a break and come back with more. Anything else to say about Facebook, Christina?
Christina: They're killing it. Alex made a great point. They're one of those companies that people dismissed when they went public, I remember when the Social Network Film came out people dismissing the fact that there was a film being made about the company. Why is there a Facebook movie? Why is this company is important? A, I think that was the best thing that happened to the company. It legitimized them. B, it was prescient to show this will become one of the big players of our time.
Jason: There's a lot of people out there lying. They say these kids, I don't use Facebook, I use SnapChat. They're lying because the numbers show in America that everybody is using it who has an online connection. They're still checking it, they check it and they don't like checking it. You don't like for them. I've got to check on my parents, my Mom and then I'll get off and see my friends at these other places.
Christina: They're also going to use Messenger or WhatsApp or Instagram. Instagram is the one thing they're all going to use.
Jason: But the Facebook product specifically, they use it reluctantly. They don't want to use it.
Alex: That's part of Facebook is 500 million monthly actives. That's why I still use it.
Leo: There are side effects for it. It is the number one marketplace for unlicensed gun trading. Was. They've shut that down. They prohibit marijuana, pharmeceutical, illegal drug sales, and they've now updated it to private person to person sale of guns. If you are a licensed gun dealer or gun club you can still have a Facebook page and post on Instagram, but I guess what was happening is people were posting I've got a gloc for sale and you would make the transaction on Facebook and bypass regulation. That's the problem.
Jason: Happening in the basement of every church and the places between California and New York.
Alex: There are places between California and New York?
Jason: Flyover states.
Leo: I knew I should have somebody from Indiana on the show today. Let's take a break. I'm going to get a shotgun. I don't want a handgun, I think a shotgun is scarier.
Jason: You know what you can do is, the guy who trained me with my handgun, he puts salt in his. The first two are salt, and the third one is. Yeah. The first one is you're going to get a burning sensation in your chest and get knocked down, if you get up again, I'll put a hole in you the size of a basketball.
Alex: Leo, take it away.
Leo: Our show to you today brought to you by this. This is cool. This is the automatic.
Jason: This will tell you everything going on with your car on your Smartphone.
Leo: This was a Kickstarter project. Kind of a cool idea. Ever car built since 1996 has an OBD 2 port. You don't in a Tesla.
Jason: They do. 100%.
Leo: They have to.
Jason: With a Tesla, you don't have an engine, so you're not going to get all that information.
Leo: On my car, I not only get information about how much gas I've used, you can see if the light goes on, I get a grade. 86 this week because of rapid acceleration and deceleration. This is great for keeping an eye on your gas mileage. I spent 12 dollars on fuel, you can actually see this trip cost me 3 dollars and 14 cents. That is really useful information.
Jason: You know who uses it a lot is small businesses and people who share cars. So if you have a family or you want to lend your car to your friend, you can say to your friend you can take my car, but I'm going to charge you for the gas and I know if you're driving like a maniac. Fleets use them like crazy.
Leo: It's also great if you deduct mileage, because it will automatically deduct business versus personal mileage and go right into expense whatever you use. It integrates with Nest, for instance you could pull up and thermostat warms up the house, your mechanic, FreshBooks, good use for the expense reports. You can even use if this then that, have for instance your Amazon Echo. I can ask my Echo how much gas is in the tank and it will tell me, which is very useful. It supports Apple Watch. I’m looking at it on my iPhone but it works on all phone platforms. There’s no monthly fee, no subscription. It’s really, you know if you want—we talk a lot about the quantified self. What about the quantified car? You can know exactly what’s going on with your automobile. It’s easy to install. There’s no wiring or anything. You just plug it in. The port’s sitting there waiting for you. I think it’s there because when you bring it to the shop the mechanic will plug into it.
Jason: That’s how they download the information.
Leo: But you can plug into it and find all sorts of stuff. I love this collision. It will know if you’ve been in a collision via the accelerometer. You can even have it call emergency services. The program is free on iPhone or Android. It works over Bluetooth. Once you install it, it’s very easy to install. It’s constantly giving you information. An Automatic never sells your data so it’s yours. And it comes in a handy travel cup, so there’s that. $99 although when you use our offer code TWIT you’re going to save 20% right now. Automatic.com/twit. You’re wearing a Fitbit? Get an automatic for your car. It’s kind of like the Fitbit for your vehicle. I won’t go anywhere without an Automatic. We have one in each vehicle now because it’s just great.
Jason: And with kids, it’s very important too. Because you can geo-fence it. If the car goes out of a certain range, if this then that, you say if the car goes out of this range, if the car goes over this speed, send me a text message. Right, so.
Leo: They have software that works with the Automatic to help kids be better drivers. There’s all sorts of great stuff. Automatic.com/twit. Thank you so much for your support. I’ve got lots of great little products over here on my little product table (laughing). Thank you so much for your support of This Week in Tech.
Jason: And you’ve got your murse. You’ve got your satchel.
Leo: I’ve got my murse. You know I started carrying a murse.
Jason: Yea, I know these guys are crazy about a murse.
Leo: Oh, you’ve got one too.
Alex: I’m kind of jealous. I like that a lot.
Jason: It’s a satchel. Indiana Jones had one. And this is from a company called Borderfeld.
Leo: It’s very manly because we get them to look like saddles, with rings and brass. You’re carrying Kleenex.
Alex: I have a cold so this is my man fashion of the day. I don’t know.
Jason: It’s just like a really great thing to have it over your shoulder I find.
Leo: You know what? I have so much useful, it’s mostly tech stuff for me. I have a power supply for my laptop. I have headphones.
Alex: This is kind of the reverse Christmas stocking.
Leo: It is. I have a Big Fat Battery. In fact with my Big Fat Battery powers is a really nice tiny hardwired firewall, which I also keep in here. I also keep a copy of the TALES operating system so if I want to operate securely I can go online. This actually uses TOR as well as VPN. Oh, it’s a good idea. I’ll have a little food in there. I can’t fit my mason jar. Anyway—
Jason: Here’s your check for 25 dimes in case you get into a poker game.
Leo: Nice, nice. A Fisher Space Pen so I can write upside down.
Jason: Have your passport in case you’ve got to run.
Leo: Oh, you even carry your passport in there. How much cash do you have in there? I’m just curious.
Alex: He keeps a cage at the Bellagio.
Leo: Don’t say it because you don’t want anybody to know. It’s a secret. That’s top secret. This is your go bag.
Jason: It’s my go bag.
Leo: It’s your go bag. If you had to leave the country suddenly, for whatever reason, you’ve got everything you need.
Jason: You never know.
Alex: Jason, I can think of a few reasons, actually, yes.
Leo: You carry a cashier’s check in there?
Jason: I was playing TV poker the other day.
Alex: Oh, yea? Which show?
Leo: What’s TV Poker?
Jason: Poker Night.
Alex: Poker After Dark?
Leo: Are you on TV doing this?
Jason: No, Poker Night.
Alex: I’m not familiar.
Jason: It’s on CBS. I played with my friend Phil, he plays like home games.
Leo: Phil’s a serious player.
Jason: He’s the world’s greatest so he invited me to come play with him.
Alex: What are the stakes?
Jason: It was 5, it was like 10K buy in with like 25/50.
Alex: Oh, ok. Was it no limit hold or a mixed game?
Jason: No limit hold.
Leo: This guy wants an invite. I can tell.
Jason: If you help me set up the game, we’ll have it at my house and I want to do a mix game but I want to do low stakes.
Alex: We can play 5/10?
Jason: I think 5/10, $500 buy in, or you know, $300 buy in.
Alex: That would be fun.
Jason: What would bea buy in that like would—
Leo: Would attract poor people like us.
Jason: No, no, no, no, no. I want to get like the next generation of—
Alex: You just bought a Model X. You can bite me.
Leo: I don’t have it.
Alex: Well it’s coming.
Jason: I wanted to make it so people could buy in two or three times who work in tech but are like young guns. Because I have all the other people in my other game.
Leo: Call it that. Call it the Young Guns.
Jason: I don’t want anyone to get hurt.
Alex: Sounds like a poker debacle. I think $500 limit play, 5/10.
Leo: Christina, do you play poker?
Christina: I used to.
Leo: You used to. This is a good story. You say when somebody asks you, “I had to give it up.”
Christina: Well I lost a lot of money.
Leo: Ok, that’s not a good reason. I found I was making too much money and the IRS was breathing down my neck. How about that?
Alex: They threatened to break my knees in Vegas.
Leo: That’s it. I was told I could never enter the casino again. That’s what you say, right? That was it.
Jason: It happened to Ben Affleck.
Leo: I’m sorry.
Alex: Wait, are you serious?
Leo: Because he’s so good? Or because he’s so bad?
Jason: He counts cards playing Blackjack.
Leo: Oh, see if you’re a card counter, that’s what you say. This is it, Christina. Don’t say I lost a lot of money. Say, I was told I could never enter the casino again.
Christina: I did count cards on the cruise ship I was on over Christmas. That was—and they didn’t catch on.
Jason: They didn’t catch on you were betting like $5 a hand and you bumped it up to $5,000 a hand for three hands?
Leo: How many decks do they use on the cruise ship?
Leo: Oh, see that’s great. That’s awesome.
Jason: It’s pretty easy.
Alex: Are you kidding me? That’s called keeping track. Also you shouldn’t have said that on TWiT because people watch this.
Jason: Yea, exactly.
Leo: Nobody’s watching this.
Alex: Oh, no one watches TWiT?
Leo: It’s like Snapchat for grownups. There’s no such thing.
Jason: The end of Twitter?
Leo: The end of Twitter.
Jason: I was discussing that last night on Twitter.
Leo: Joshua Topolsky who is looking for work. You know him.
Jason: Yea, he was one of my guests.
Leo: He’s found work apparently. He’s a New Yorker writer, which I think is good.
Jason: That’s as good as it gets as a writer.
Leo: Yea, no kidding. That’s the byline you want, right?
Jason: It’s pretty much the end of the line. And I don’t mean that in a bad way.
Leo: You mean that in a good way.
Jason: Like that’s getting to terminus. That’s the peak, you’ve got to the end. You’ve got to Everest. There’s nothing more prestigious, let’s put it that way.
Leo: So now he’s a regular on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and he writes for The New Yorker. I am so jealous. So jealous of Joshua Topolsky.
Jason: He’s good.
Leo: The end of Twitter. It’s kind of a rehash of the stories we’ve seen again and again and again on the tech media about why Twitter is in trouble. Anything new here?
Jason: No, not really.
Christina: No, and in fact he missed the Kanye stuff which—so I wanted to know when this was written because it didn’t address any of the Kanye stuff.
Leo: What is the Kanye stuff?
Jason: the Kanye stuff? Kanye is the rebirth of Twitter.
Christina: He is the rebirth of Twitter.
Jason: A hundred thousand re-tweets of one tweet.
Leo: Tell us what happened, Christina Warren. First of all, how—
Jason: This isn’t Survivor. This is not safe, if you have kids, they’ve got to leave the room right now.
Leo: Take the bad stuff out. This is it? Is this Kanye’s account? The first thing I’m going to say, Kanye, just from me as a long time Twitter user, you need to get an image for the backdrop there. It’s white.
Christina: Well I mean he’s Kanye West. It doesn’t matter. I’m just saying.
Leo: All caps? You shouldn’t do that either. Kanye, Kanye, Kanye.
Christina: So he did what he frequently does which is, and he’s said this a number of times.
Leo: He lost his poo-poo.
Christina: Well, yea, he’ll go on Twitter rants. And then immediately what will happen is that he’ll think better of it and realize that actually I went too far this time and I’m going to delete a bunch of stuff. So he you know, I guess this was Wednesday went on a massive Twitter rant against Wiz Khalifa because he misinterpreted some, well Wiz was shading him a little bit in fairness. But then he really misinterpreted one of Wiz’s tweets thinking he was going after Kim Kardashian and that’s when he just went off.
Leo: His wife, we should mention for those of you not in the know.
Christina: Yes, Kanye West’s wife Kim Kardashian. He took Wiz’s tweet about hitting the KK which actually was a reference to marijuana, not Kim Kardashian, and went Kanye. He went at him as he would himself say. And it was a real entertaining rant. He made some, he crossed some lines. His ex-girlfriend Amber Rose ended up shutting a lot of things down.
Leo: She got 293,000 re-tweets of her profane tweet. 350,000 likes.
Christina: And that’s people who were willing to re-tweet it. People like myself—
Leo: We’re not going to re-tweet that, no.
Jason: It’s a little graphic.
Christina: But I did share it with about 500 people through text message. And the number of texts I got of her tweet was in real time. I mean it was literally one of those things, by phone blew up. I don’t talk to my sister very often, and my sister texted me her tweet. My sister’s not active on Twitter.
Leo: I’m just happy to see that the rap community is no longer taking to gun fights in the street to settle their differences.
Christina: Well, ok, I got this actually from Twitter PR. Because I wrote a story about how like Kanye West proves that Twitter matters. And Twitter PR actually ended up reaching out to me and saying that Kanye’s tweets from yesterday were seen more than 400 million times and there were over 6.5 million tweets sent yesterday, sent about the tweet storm. So that was just on Wednesday.
Leo: I feel good though. Kanye says, “I didn’t know KK means weed.” Is that credible?
Christina: Well it’s a certain strain of weed that Khalifa does.
Leo: It’s Khalifa Kush.
Alex: Khalifa Kush
Leo: Khalifa Kush.
Christina: Khalifa Kush, exactly. I mean look, I think he saw the initials, assumed, because he’s Kanye West.
Leo: It was Kim Kardashian.
Christina: He assumes everything’s about him.
Jason: And then Amber Rose because then he mentioned—
Alex: And then Facebook called it social media and not Twitter.
Leo: Oh, wait a minute. So it trends on Facebook, but it doesn’t trend as Twitter. It trends as social media. Some generic form. Oh, come on.
Christina: So Adam Bain the CEO starts calling it a code for Twitter. Which is funny. It is funny.
Leo: Can I just point out that this is not the savior of Twitter. That this doesn’t make everybody say, “Oh, I’ve got to be there.”
Alex: But do you know Adam Bain the CEO? Great guy. Well yea, I know him on Twitter only, but he’s cool. And he was hilarious about this. I love that he stood up and was like, “Look, we matter too.” Ended it publically. Not sniping in the back channels. Not being petty. Just speak up front. I loved that. So Adam Bain, points baby.
Leo: This whole conversation reminds me of Twitter in that I feel like I’ve had a stroke because nothing you’re saying here is making any sense. So, what happened? There’s a Twitter fight between two rap stars.
Jason: But it went there.
Christina: But it went viral. And here’s my argument. It only could have happened on Twitter. And I think that this to me kind of shows why it’s relevant.
Leo: It’s not a selling point.
Christina: Well, no but it is. Because it became a cultural moment where people were retweeting and sharing and memes were happening. And it’s one of those things that even taking aside what it’s about. Which doesn’t even matter. The fact that it became this kind of break through moment, this cultural moment, this larger moment. I think this only could have happened on Twitter because A. as huge as Facebook is and we all admit that everyone uses it, there are certain people that will never use Facebook. Kanye West is one of those people.
Leo: Why not?
Christina: He doesn’t have to.
Christina: He wouldn’t get anything from it. You know, there’s certain people who are super, super famous who I think it would probably be a burden for them to use it more than anything else. So more than that I think that you wouldn’t be able to get that kind of off the cuff stream of consciousness.
Leo: Well that’s one of the things that I do think is interesting about this, having just learned it, is that many people use teams of trained publicists to handle their Twitter account. Obviously Kanye does not.
Jason: Well that’s the magic of it. If you were on Facebook, if you were on YouTube, most people don’t have their login for those things. But when it comes to Twitter for whatever reason, it’s considered very personal, very easy to use.
Leo: People don’t use Twitter teams anymore?
Christina: Oh absolutely they do.
Jason: Some people do.
Leo: Not the good ones.
Christina: I think what is more likely you’ll have it also installed on your phone. And because it is so quick you can be in the moment and respond to it. You can go off the cuff. I mean in fairness, Kanye’s publicist I’m sure was the first person that called him and was like, “Ok, look, you’ve got to delete this.”
Jason: No, Kim Kardashian was chasing him around the house, “Give me your damn phone.” And then her mom was chasing him too.
Leo: Can we see a video of this?
Jason: No, I’m just certain that, please, for the love of God. Or this is all—
Leo: Or their loving it because it’s great, it’s ratings. As Donald Trump says, “There’s nothing that’s not good for ratings.”
Jason: Kanye’s huge.
Leo: He’s huge.
Alex: I will say you’re right that it’s very personal. For example I did pull up Aaron Levie who’s the CEO of Box, on Twitter for out brains on tweets, and his head of PR was like, “Are you kidding me? He writes his own tweets.” And I was like, oh, I feel dumb because I know you both. And so I think you’re right. It’s more personal. I don’t really know why that’s the case but it’s certainly the case.
Leo: Actually I’m now reading the deleted tweets. So the BBC, the British Broadcasting Company says, “It may well go down in history as the most epic Twitter rant of all time.”
Alex: Until Paul Graham gets stuck on vacation.
Leo: So is Twitter now—
Jason: Program advice for startups. Anything that’s not white comedy here is a waste of your time.
Alex: Yes, and you will die.
Leo: Is Twitter now the place people go to say intemperate things in public? I mean is that it’s strength?
Alex: If everyone worked hard they’d have a Tesla. Oh, see there you go, right there. All right.
Jason: At least I believe it’s possible.
Alex: He’s still trying to read the story.
Leo: I’m still trying to figure out what you’re going on and on about. I just want to ride off into the sunset. I just want to ride off into the sunset.
Jason: It’s ok, man.
Leo: The world is—you know that happens to every person of a certain age where you just say, “I don’t understand the world anymore. I’m going in the home. Give me my VR helmet and my I Dream of Jeannie reruns and I’ll see you all later.”
Alex: I Dream of Jeannie?
Leo: Sure. She’s hot.
Christina: Not Bewitched?
Jason: But it does at the end of the day, it shows just how Twitter just spontaneously as Christina points out correctly, can take over the entire pop culture world, science world, tech world, whatever it is because an unfiltered platform like this where everybody just represents themselves is very unique in the world. And it’s very powerful. The company may be mismanaged. The company might not be able to figure out how to have growth. Maybe that product’s reached its natural audience. Who knows? Maybe having a half-time CEO is a good idea.
Leo: If you’re a publically held company, it’s hard to spin this as good news.
Jason: Well it’s not actually good news, it’s just good ratings.
Alex: Analysts say, Kanye West had a couple drinks and turn into a Twitter rant.
Leo: We all know now what KK is. I love Wiz Khalifa’s response. So, Khalifa, we can’t show all of these tweets.
Jason: You can’t show any of the tweets actually.
Leo: Khalifa says, you know, “Chill, man.” Smoke some KK and relax. Or do some KK and relax. And Kanye says, “You mean Kim Kardashian, my wife?” And then Wiz Khalifa says, “No, KK is a weed, fool.” Now maybe one of you young people can translate reasons why you’re not wavy go back to swish.
Alex: Wavy’s a form of music. Swish is---
Christina: No, Swish was the title of Kanye’s forthcoming album. He switched the name from Swish to Waves. And the whole beef was that Wiz Khalifa took Kanye, calling his album Waves as a dis to the creator of the Wavy movement, Max B who is in jail.
Leo: What the hell’s the Wavy movement?
Alex: It’s a combination of singing and rap.
Christina: This is too, we’re getting too far down the rabbit hole. It’s not important.
Leo: Wait a minute. Can I just say, it’s not important says everything you need to know about Twitter. It’s not important.
Jason: Not important to you.
Leo: To anybody.
Alex: Twitter is the most important product I think in social media ever in terms of impact and conversation.
Leo: Wait a minute. Your daughter is Wonder Woman?
Jason: She’s not supposed to tell anybody that she’s Wonder Woman.
Leo: Hide your bracelets.
Alex: For those of you who can’t see, there’s a child in the studio.
Leo: We don’t want to show here because—
Alex: That would be awkward.
Jason: No, it’s ok. You can show her.
Leo: Because I’m Wavy. I’ve been doing the KK.
Alex: Well, that would explain the show, yes.
Leo: Of course Kit Kat, the candy bar has to weigh in. Hey, Kanye, you know what else KK stands for?
Jason: Oh, so lame.
Christina: It was so bad. The brands, I was like stop.
Leo: This is even worse. This is even worse. Then the brands get in. Like well you’ve got to be on Twitter to be hip.
Alex: You know they’re making a sake flavored Kit Kat in Japan?
Jason: Makes sense.
Alex: It makes sense?
Jason: Yea, the green tree was awful. Do you know how many of those would sell? It would sell so many.
Alex: I would buy a whole pack myself.
Jason: You’ll buy at least one.
Leo: So I missed this whole kerfuffle because I cover technology. And I don’t feel like I really missed anything. And I certainly don’t think that this justifies the continued existence of Twitter.
Jason: No, the real issue is that he brings up, Josh brings up is the company has a half-time CEO. It’s too hard to use, which everybody agrees. And they’re having a problem with harassment.
Leo: Oh really?
Jason: Because reality, in an anonymous platform, people are mean.
Leo: That’s anonymity.
Jason: Which if you haven’t watched South Park this past season where they just basically talk about the reality of the world is that it’s not a giant liberal arts college where your feelings won’t be hurt and you’d have a teacher mediate your feelings.
Alex: The whole world’s not?
Leo: It’s full of macro aggression I have to tell you.
Jason: That’s a macro issue. It’s your constant micro aggression’s from the patriarchy that are making me sad.
Alex: I’m looking forward to reading your mentions after the show, Jason, just to see what people send back to you.
Jason: Do you think I care? I really don’t care.
Alex: I did not say for a second, did you care. I said, I, me, Alex is looking forward to reading your, Jason’s, mentions.
Leo: I think the only thing that really matters is, is there a business in Twitter? Is there a business?
Jason: They’re actually making a ton of money right now.
Leo: They’re doing great.
Jason: They’re doing great on that front. The problem is it’s too complicated for the average joe. And so they really have to figure out a way to make it—
Leo: Growth is going to be an issue.
Alex: It is the issue.
Jason: It is the issue. They’re just not growing in terms of people using it because it’s not designed to share like Bar Mitzvah photos or you know whatever, it’s designed for—
Leo: Can we just say that it’s ok to be Apple or Twitter, to make money and not grow at astronomical paces?
Jason: No, it’s not ok to the people on CNBC or whatever.
Leo: Well screw them. What about a company that just does ok, makes some money, everybody’s happy, provides a service of value that people use.
Jason: It’s at its natural audience I think.
Alex: You know the 2 dirtiest words in DC? Lifestyle business.
Leo: That’s me. I’m a lifestyle business and I think the world is 99.9% lifestyle businesses. That’s what built the world.
Alex: All right fine.
Leo: We’re not all Vladimir freaking Putin.
Alex: He stole everything. That’s not the same thing at all. That’s not a business, that’s kleptocracy.
Leo: I think it’s a shame that the stock market demands. And it doesn’t demand it in general, but they expect such growth of tech companies.
Jason: The fact that they took venture capital money and they went public puts them on track where they have to show growth.
Leo: Are they not in good shape with their VCs then?
Jason: The VCs were out long ago.
Leo: So they’re fine.
Jason: But when you’re a public company and people buy your stock, they only buy it if it’s growing faster than other stocks.
Leo: And why can’t a company just stop listening to the hounding from the market?
Jason: Because they have shareholders. And the shareholders have the ability to put people on the board and replace the management.
Alex: Well there’s this thing called fiduciary trust.
Leo: So they go to a shareholder meeting and there’s a big fight. We have the shareholders say, “Sorry, you’re not running the company very well.”
Jason: And it’s long and it’s ugly and it’s Yahoo right now.
Alex: So to put it in perspective, so Twitter was going for $16.80 a share right now, at the end of trading on Friday. And I heard that if they’re below $30 they’re going to be an M&A op. And what that means is they have no control over their own destiny right now. And if you’re a corporation trying to attract the best talent possible, you’re having a hard time with that.
Leo: By the way, if you’re worried about hostile acquisitions, have a Kanye West on your side. I would guess that that certainly—Google for instance was thinking, “Maybe we should acquire Twitter.” That would slow them down.
Jason: The most likely scenario is someone will—
Leo: Think that’s good? Like Google would say, hey we want—
Alex: It makes the Twitter story incredibly relevant. Makes it look better than it always was.
Jason: And it’s a possibility it could be a hostile takeover very soon.
Alex: Who is it going to be?
Jason: There’s a lot of people looking at like buying 10% of it right now.
Alex: You going to tell us who it is?
Leo: Why does 10% matter?
Alex: Well once you get to a certain level of ownership you can start having influence over the board, start placing people on the board, start firing people. That’s what activist shareholders do.
Leo: That’s what they did to Yahoo. But so, right now, Dorsey’s kind of reshaping the board, right? He’s getting—
Jason: He’s doing that. He’s in control right now and he could quickly lose control. And I think that’s what’s going to happen.
Christina: He’s also a halftime CEO as you were saying. I mean that’s sort of the problem is that he is also trying to run two companies that are having a hard time.
Leo: Didn’t the board say we will never have a halftime CEO?
Jason: They did and then they couldn’t find anybody.
Christina: Exactly and then they’re like fine, Jack.
Jason: And Adam Bain.
Alex: It’s the power of Jack’s beard and Adam Bain’s hard work. I mean like Jack’s doing a really good job trying to run 2 very different businesses. But my general argument here is that if you run Microsoft for example, you’re running Office, Azure, Windows, hardware and so forth, so there are these different companies inside of one larger holding. So you can do this. The question is can he do it well. The stock market says no. But I’m not going to say impossible.
Jason: He’s only been in for a couple of months. To change something like this takes a couple of years. So he needs like 8 quarters, 12 quarters to make it work.
Leo: Will the market give him that time?
Jason: No. If things are going this badly and you’re halftime, like if you’re halftime and it’s going like Elan Musk running SpaceX and Tesla, you’re landing rockets that you sent to space and then they’re landing and coming back to Earth and being reused, and you’re releasing cars that go faster than Ferrari’s but they have 4 doors, the market’s going to let you do what you want to do. If your stock—
Leo: Is my car going to go faster than a Ferrari?
Jason: It could. The X is what, 3.8 or something?
Alex: If the model X goes faster than a Ferrari—
Jason: The 4 door sedan can go as fast or faster than some Ferrari’s and certainly faster than all Porches, or almost all Porches. So if you’re having that level of performance, yea, people are not going to care that you’re running two companies. But if you’re running two companies—
Leo: And it’s not going well.
Jason: And it’s not growing, you’re just, it’s never going to end. And so he’s going to get another CEO for Square is my prediction and he’ll be exec chairman of Square and then he’ll just focus on Twitter which is where his heart is. But yea, this is not going to end well for Jack at this point.
Alex: I mean I’m rooting for him.
Leo: Who is going to take over? No, I see the stock is, I’ll put it up on this screen.
Alex: Yea, both his stocks.
Leo: Both of them. Oh, you did Twitter and Square.
Alex: That was Twitter and Square combined. The downside for Jack is he’s been part of the creation of two kind of seminal , amazing companies that really changed categories.
Leo: What’s Square, SQR?
Alex: But they’re both kind of in this adolescence of post hyper-growth and trying to deal with public space. How to moderate that while still improving their operating margins, it’s just tough. It’s a really hard task. And I couldn’t do it. There’s no way in heck I could do that, so.
Jason: There’s only really one person to me who’s made this work and that’s Elan. Even, I’m going to bring up Steve Jobs, oh, like he was like Pixar and at Apple, and well, he would drop by Pixar and like you know, take a couple of meetings. He wasn’t really running it.
Alex: Yea. Christina, what was that?
Christina: I was saying Ed Catmull was doing Pixar. Like you said, he was kind of there in name only. And frankly at that point, by the time he was really taking over Apple, Pixar had Toy Story and was already on a tear to a point where he could focus on it. So yea.
Jason: When you’re winning, you can do whatever you want.
Leo: Here’s the graph that Alex was trying to show me. This is, the red line is Square. The blue line is Twitter. This is over the last month. Square dipped down 34%.
Christina: He’s no longer a billionaire. Poor Jack.
Leo: Oh, he’s still in the two column club.
Alex: There’s literally a joke from Silicon Valley with the car doors that do this and this.
Jason: Honestly I think Jack might be the right guy for the job. And I think—
Leo: But he’s not going to get the time.
Jason: We’ll see. I mean I hope he does actually because I think he can fix it. And by fix it I just mean he can have the growth increase. The video assets and their ability to buy things like Vine and make those kind or, and Periscope and make those things work, if they really moved into video the same way Facebook has, they could be huge. Because think about it this way. Kanye West is actively doing his Twitter handle with Wiz Khalifa, Amber Rose, everybody actively manages, or most people actively manage their Twitter handles. If they had video dialed in properly and they made your landing page look more like your YouTube channel, my gosh. And if they were splitting revenue with people, people like Kanye would start putting their videos on there and that’s Adam Bain’s actual plan.
Leo: Think about Snapchat. It could have been Snapchat, right?
Jason: Yea, but Snapchat. The thing that Twitter has going for it is they have all the influencers there all day long hanging out. Facebook has none of the influences there hanging out all day long debating stuff.
Leo: That’s why they did this Facebook Mentions app. They’re trying to get—
Jason: Yea and it’s terrible. It’s very sad for the last 3 years, Facebook has been sending teams down to Hollywood and meet with all the top stores and be like, “Hey, why aren’t you using it? Would you use this? Would you use that?” And everybody’s like, “Why would I use this? Like I have 100,000 followers on my Facebook page and I can’t reach any of them.” Nobody in Hollywood takes it seriously as a medium.
Leo: But Twitter they do.
Jason: They’re on it all day long, 24/7. They wake up with it. They go to bed with it.
Alex: They’re like us in that way. But the reason why he’s going to be able to do this for a while longer and he will have more time than he might otherwise have is who would be the person you’re going to put in the place of him? There’s been a lot of talk in the market about who replaces him on Twitter or on Square, you may know better than I do. But I hadn’t heard a lot of discussion about that particular placement cycle.
Jason: In a hostile situation, there’s going to be a slightly different approach, right? They’re just going to fire him.
Alex: And I’m presuming not hostile but a normal takeover of an executive from Square.
Jason: Square I think Jack is probably actively looking for somebody to run Square.
Alex: Has he approached you? That was a joke by the way.
Jason: A media company, yes, but not a transaction company.
Leo: The only company I think that I think would be interested in Twitter would be companies that think—they’re not going to be the kind of traditional investment companies. They’re going to be a company that thinks Twitter would mesh well with their current business like a Google.
Jason: There’s 2 different kinds of people. There are people who have money who would buy it because they think they can buy low and sell high. In other words, they can clean out the management team, get rid of half the people, turn it around, and then triple the value of it and then sell it again.
Leo: He’d be nuts to do that because—no?
Jason: No. There’s people who could do it. There’s tons of people who could do it actually. But right now the company’s controlled by the—
Leo: If it’s that easy to turn it around, why hadn’t somebody turned it around?
Jason: The current group of people haven’t been able to because they’ve been flipping CEOs every two years.
Leo: Well, Dick was there 6 years.
Jason: Yea and then before that you had Evans and Jack were there for a couple of minutes each. And then Jack back. So if you take the 4 CEOs and average them, what is it, 2.5 years each? So something like that. But yea, Dick had a good run.
Leo: But he wasn’t able to turn it around. He built a business.
Jason: During his tenure it grew tremendously in revenue and it grew tremendously in user base. It just started to top out. And so what I think they need to be is a collection of, they need to be a collection of brands, like Periscope, Vine, and they need to just quadruple down on video and split revenue with people. And you have one group of people using it. Like the actives, 300 million. But then you could have a billion people watching the videos on it like YouTube does. That would be a much better function.
Leo: It looks like Google has considered and decided against it. Facebook not going to buy it, right?
Jason: Facebook can’t buy it. There’d be anti-trust issues.
Jason: It would be very hard to pass. But no, Google, Microsoft.
Jason: Disney, a lot of people.
Leo: But this latest Kanye West kerfuffle might hurt some of those. Disney’s not going to buy that.
Jason: Disney has plenty of adult type stuff. They would consider it. Yea, sure. They care very much about media. Apple would actually be one.
Alex: Yea but Twitter is a unique media asset that really doesn’t plug into other things very well.
Jason: You’d run it independently.
Leo: I can’t see the chatroom but I know what they’re saying.
Christina: But then ok, this is all talk about American companies, but what about foreign companies? You know, because that would be my fear for the product if you had like a Tencent or someone buying them.
Leo: Tencent the Chinese company.
Leo: That would be interesting.
Alex: I hadn’t thought of that. But no, do they have the capital for that?
Christina: They probably have the capital for it.
Alex: What’s it worth right now?
Leo: It’s only $18 billion dollars.
Jason: No, Tencent’s probably worth about the same. So Alibaba could.
Leo: Alibaba could. Amazon could. Would it be valuable?
Jason: Yea, Amazon could do it. Yea, sure. Anybody, the thing is, anybody who’s got a weakness and doesn’t have a presence there would be a potential buyer. And so—
Leo: And or could turn it around. Thinks they could turn it around.
Jason: So you have the financial people who think they know better like private equity funds and those kind of big players, billionaires, etc. And then on the other side you would have a tech company or a media company that has a hole they want to fill. So Disney doesn’t have any social assets. You know Google is terrible at social. Microsoft has no social. Those people would buy it to keep it.
Leo: Let’s talk about Microsoft. Their earnings also came out. And I’m wondering how the panel feels about Microsoft’s future. Alex Wilhelm is here from, yea, I think the phone is dead but we’ll talk about that. Alex Wilhelm is here from Media Matter. From Mashable it’s Christina Warren. And Jason Calacanis is also here from Calacanis.com and launchfestival.com. I got my Ring video doorbell right here. You know Jaime? Wasn’t he the guy that went to Shark Tank and proposed something similar to this.
Jason: I passed on investing on him. I’m an idoit.
Leo: Did you?
Jason: I don’t want to talk about it.
Leo: Richard Branson just put $28 million, or rather let $28 million into Ring. It’s a great idea.
Jason: It’s on fire.
Leo: It’s on fire. And rightly so. We’ve been really thrilled with our Ring. So this is a doorbell that replaces your existing doorbell, even if you don’t have a wired doorbell. We did. Took a couple of minutes to unscrew the old doorbell. You’ve got two wires coming out. Ring gives you everything you need to attach to the new doorbell, including if you need it, drill bits, USB ports, a level so you can install it pretty. But here’s the beauty part. This is a doorbell that rings your chimes just as before but also has a built in wide angle HD camera and a microphone and a speaker. So now when somebody rings my doorbell at home, it will, and it’s happened on the show sometimes, it will ring me. It rings my Apple Watch, it rings my phone, Android or iOS. It lets me know somebody’s there. Better yet, I can see a video of them and talk to them, even if they didn’t ring the doorbell. It’s got motion detection so I can see what’s going on on my front porch anytime by launching the Ring app. And that is really handy when a delivery guy comes with a package. I can just say, “Leave it on the porch, I’m in the shower,” even if I’m in St. Petersburg. In fact I think that’s what got Richard Branson interested. He was on Necker Island, someone was visiting. And he’s sitting next to him and ding, ding, ding. He answer’s his doorbell in New York. So Richard says, “What the heck is that?”
Jason : The really interesting thing is on their website, they do a pretty genius PR campaign which is people doing bad things in front of your house happens often. So they have people like taking package deliveries, people yelling and screaming, people robbing houses, standing outside as a lookout. So you literally have the guy standing outside as a lookout on camera the whole time.
Leo: I’ve got video of you, you know.
Jason: And the guy called the police. You know, the guy’s at work.
Leo: People have been arrested and jailed thanks to the Ring Video Doorbell. You can see people arriving at your house. You can see when your teenage daughter leaves.
Jason: Package stealing.
Leo: Package stealing. You can see anything that’s going on. I really love the Ring Video Doorbell. You have complete control over it. You can even say when we use the motion sensor you can say how wide angle it is. You can control that. I just love it. You’re going to love it too. Now, $200 but we’ve got a special deal for you. Expedited FedEx delivery so you’re going to get it fast if you go to ring.com/TWiT. Time Magazine and USA Today named it one of their top 10 gadgets of 2015 and I think rightly so. I love my Ring Video Doorbell. You know you don’t have to have a wired doorbell. So ring.com/TWiT.
Jason: Pretty good domain name too, ring.com.
Leo: Yea, I don’t know how they got that. Isn’t that good?
Jason: A four letter domain like that is a million dollars.
Leo: Is it really?
Jason: He probably got it for less. Jaime’s a hustler.
Leo: It’s a great company. Great service. I highly recommend it. Try it today. Ring.com/TWiT. You know who got some good money out of Google? Just found out this story. Do you remember in September, we had the story that somebody had, remember Google started their own domain name registry. And a guy stopped by and said, “I wonder if I can buy google.com.” And he did. He bought for $12 dollars, he bought google.com. Now that’s got to be the most valuable domain name in the world, right? Of course Google could have gone through ICAN and gone through the whole mediation process and 6 months later got it back.
Jason: How did that ever happen?
Leo: Well it was a bug in the software.
Jason: It was a bug in the software. Wow.
Alex: There’s a ghost in that machine if you will.
Leo: (Laughing) so we just learned that Google in fact decided not to go to ICAN but go directly to the buyer and they offered him six zero zero six dot one three. $6,006.13. That spells Google in LEED. It also spells boobie but they prefer to say it spells Google. And he said, “No. But if you double it I will give it to charity.” So Google doubled it. Gave him $12,012.26 and it went straight to charity.
Leo: Happy ending for all.
Alex: I would have bent them over the barrel a little more. Like how about $12 million dollars to charity. Because they’ve got so much money.
Leo: Did you used to work for Google?
Christina: He used to work at Google. I think that’s how that—
Jason: Ok, so this is all a PR.
Alex: Did he just prank his boss?
Leo: Oh, man, we just got punked.
Jason: For a PR story to—so the domain’s not Google, everybody in a free ad on. That’s not cool.
Christina: He’s a former Google engineer. And it was kind of a bug bounty thing almost even more than anything else.
Jason: What are the PR awards? This probably just won a PR award.
Alex: Leave it to Mashable to ruin all of our fun.
Jason: Way to go, PR people.
Alex: Yea, good job, PR professionals.
Leo: He’s an MBA student at Babson College in Boston.
Alex: Babson’s an entrepreneurial focused business school, yea?
Leo: What did he do at Google? I think I just got punked.
Jason: For sure. 100%.
Leo: By Google PR.
Jason: Google PR just set this whole thing up.
Alex: My girlfriend works in PR so I should just recuse myself now from this conversation.
Leo: The money was donated to an Indian Educational Foundation.
Christina: I mean it’s still a cool story, but he used to work—let’s be very real.
Leo: It doesn’t say in any of the articles that I read about this does it say that he was a Google employee.
Jason: And later on tonight, I will be breaking into Leo’s house and he will catch me on Ring and he’ll drop the charges when the police pick me up.
Christina: It’s called needed advertising.
Jason: Thank God, Ring saved Leo Laporte.
Alex: I love how this is the longest ad ever on—
Leo: Oh, no it’s not.
Jason: It’s a call back.
Leo: Not even close.
Jason: You haven’t heard the Audible ads.
Alex: What was the longest?
Jason: We talk about Audible books for 20 minutes.
Leo: For hours and hours and hours.
Alex: Sign up for Audible and get 2 books free today.
Leo: If you create horrific malware that ends up on millions of computers worldwide and you get arrested, my suggestion is turn state’s evidence. Turn in all your fellas. Because you’re going to get off. Michael Hogue, xVisceral to his hacker friends, plead guilty in 2013 to distributing malware, conspiring to commit computer hacking. He created the Blackshades Rat. This is kind of the worse kind of malware. It was a remote access Trojan. So you could buy it, install it on your ex-girlfriend’s machine, turn on the camera, turn on the audio anytime you want without her knowledge. It’s creepy stuff. Creepy, creepy stuff. The moron advertised the malware. Was contacted by an FBI agent in 2010. The agent was running a website established as part of a sting operation targeting the illegally traded credit card numbers. He said, “Hey, I don’t have any credit card numbers, but you want a remote access Trojan, I’ve got one for you here.” So he was arrested. Congratulations, he’s getting 5 years of probation.
Alex: Wait, that’s it?
Leo: Because he cooperated.
Alex: Oh, right, right. Well stupid is as stupid does. That’s my entire take on that.
Leo: Yea, so, he did get a fine of $40,000 and he has to do 500 hours of community service.
Christina: But let’s think about how much money he probably made off of that Trojan. You know it was more than $40,000.
Alex: At least I hope so for him. That’s negative EV as we say in poker.
Jason: Negative EV. For sure.
Alex: So crime doesn’t pay much.
Leo: The judge had harsh words for Hogue as he headed down the sentence on Friday saying he had committed a crime of historic proportions that spread misery to people around the world. But the judge said, when he was confronted he did something right. He did what he could do to make amends. Hogue said, “I feel awful for everything I’ve done.”
Alex: So as millions of tyrants, got a slap on the wrist and took somebody’s profits. That’s like a Wall Street fine.
Leo: 5 years probation. And then Aaron Schwartz, because of something.
Christina: Yea, I was going to say.
Alex: The Aaron Schwartz story makes me very angry and sad.
Leo: What’s the story with the White House researcher, Ashkan Soltani, he was going to be lent to the White House. He’s actually apparently a very smart security guy working at the FTC, The Federal Trade Commission. He recently began working at the White House on privacy, data ethics and technical outreach. White House CTO Megan Smith, former Googler, praised his skills, said how thrilled they were to have him. And then, oops. Turns out he helped work on the stories, the Snowden stories for The Guardian and he’s gone. Because he couldn’t get security clearance I guess.
Jason: Yea, well, if you worked on the Snowden stories to what extent? Worked on like carried thumb drives with documents on them? Did he cross borders?
Leo: I don’t think he did that but I don’t really know.
Christina: It seems like he probably worked with people at the Guardian.
Leo: A technical advisor to explain the tech.
Christina: That’s what I was thinking.
Jason: So probably a little too close to the—
Christina: Yea, which would suck but I mean you kind of understand why he’s not going to get clearance.
Alex: This is the problem they have in DC about finding actual technical talent that is not—
Christina: You’re absolutely right.
Alex: Exactly. Back in the DC bubble, this person here would be not a social pariah or personal pariah at all but in their circles, he committed not just a high crime, but a high treason. Which I think is a failure on their part.
Leo: It proves to you that there’s still plenty of animosity in the White House for Edward Snowden.
Alex: Yea but I’m fine with that. They can stew in it. But my point is if they want to have better systems and better talent, they have to realize—Christian, go for it.
Christina: Oh, no, no, no, I’m sorry. You’re right. I’m just agreeing with you. You’re dead on. If they are going to actually fight these problems, if they want to actually have smart people there, they’re going to have to give up the fact that hey, they are sympathetic or they have worked with people that they don’t like.
Alex: Right. A tie is no longer required, but hacking skills, ya. I mean like that’s rules for justification but also fairly to look at it. And this guy would have been a real asset to the government I think. And it’s said now he’s going to be, well, back on our team I guess. But I’m sad to see our thing we pay for and call the government not have the top talent it could.
Jason: You don’t have complete information.
Leo: No, no, I’m speculating.
Jason: Yea, we don’t actually know, like you know, maybe they found something on him that is a little disturbing. You never know.
Alex: He was tweeting about it so it couldn’t be that bad.
Leo: Yea. Microsoft’s earnings came out also this week. And they beat the street I guess. That means goo.
Jason: They’re a cloud company now.
Leo: They are. There’s no question about that. Office 365 sales are strong. So are Surface sales despite the issues.
Alex: 1.35 billion at 29% constant currency on a year over year basis.
Leo: I don’t even know what you just said but that’s good.
Jason: It’s growing.
Leo: That income, 6.3 billion. It’s growing.
Alex: The important number is 9.4 billion dollars in commercial cloud run rate. That’s the important number. From 8.2 billion in the 2nd quarter. The point is--
Leo: This is why we have you.
Alex: Yea, well, I’m all about numbers.
Jason: Same as AWS.
Leo: Is it really? It’s as strong as? Amazon’s the king of this business, right? And if Microsoft can compete with Azure, that’s saying something.
Jason: You’re counting Office in these numbers.
Alex: They’re kind of commercialized Office 365. So it’s not just straight AWS to Azure revenue comparisons, but the point is their larger cloud push is working. They’ve committed to their investors that they’ll hit was it 20 billion push cloud run rate by fiscal 18. Or by the end of it. And so the point is they’re inside the proper band of growth for this product which is impressive because, you know, 5 years ago they were really out to sea if you will. But I mean they’re still declining in terms of total size of revenue on a gap basis for the quarter. And gap just means normal accounting rules, not stuff you made up for lunch. But the stock price went up by 5 points after hours.
Leo: And as Christina has observed—
Christina: Yea, the phones are over.
Leo: We can say that this phone is dead. Sales actually plummeted year over year. And they weren’t good to begin with.
Christina: They weren’t. Look, they’re selling more than Blackberry but that’s the only potential anymore.
Leo: I like my Blackberry Priv. Don’t knock the Blackberry Priv.
Christina: Ok, whatever dude.
Alex: The one fan of the Priv, keeping the brand alive right here.
Leo: (Laughing) It’s quite a nice phone.
Christina: Enjoy that keyboard, Leo. More power to you. No, but I mean they’re selling more than Blackberry but only barely.
Leo: I can tweet so fast with my Blackberry Priv.
Alex: You won’t believe it.
Jason: That’s what got Kanye in trouble. He was on a Priv.
Leo: He actually probably was.
Jason: No, actually Kim Kardashian is a huge Bolt fan.
Leo: She loves Blackberry, yea.
Jason: She stockpiles them.
Alex: Is that the one with the little roller ball in the middle? They’ve had those for a long time.
Christina: Yea and the touchpad, yea the 9900. Yea, she loves that thing.
Leo: I actually blame the Kardashians for a terrible trend in smartphone usage. You see this all the time. They talk to the speaker phone as they’re walking down the street.
Jason: Oh, I hate those people.
Leo: It is the most annoying habit ever. And of course the only reason the Kardashians do it is because they want the TV cameras to pick up their conversation.
Jason: You can fix it real easily. Pretend you’re talking to you phone.
Leo: Yea, so I told my broker—
Jason: No, it’s totally crazy that, yea, no—
Leo: No I told—
Jason: I was totally—
Alex: You’re both old, shut up.
Jason: And so what I do, is if somebody’s doing that, I just pick up my phone and I start to.. but I’m not on a call.
Leo: Kids. You can hold your phone up to your head and no one will hear your call.
Jason: No, no, I’m not doing anything.
Alex: You phantom call. And just walk around like this. Like Billy Bob.
Jason: No, if somebody’s yelling like that, you just go, yea, no, I’m doing nothing. No. Nothing tonight either.
Leo: I actually kind of like this.
Jason: What are you doing? Nothing? Cool. What are you doing later? Nothing? Cool. And like then the person gets the idea.
Alex: Why are you making fun of my social life?
Jason: I was on a flight and the guy was talking about a deal. And he’s talking about people I know. And I literally tapped him on the shoulder. And he’s like, “I’m on a call.” And I’m like, “I know you’re talking about like John and Susan and whatever from this deal. Like I’m meeting with them next week. Like you probably shouldn’t be yelling about this really big deal.” He’s like, “Oh my God. Hold on. Can I call you back?” He was like, “What did you hear?” I was like, “What did everybody hear?”
Alex: Wait, what airline were you on? Virgin America?
Jason: It was actually Virgin, yea.
Alex: Yea, I thought so.
Christina: Of course it was Virgin.
Alex: It’s the I can’t fly private but I’m still a d-bag. That’s why I fly it. There you go.
Jason: No, it’s not that bad.
Alex: It’s kind of like that.
Leo: It’s got purple lights. What’s wrong with Virgin?
Jason: I go though.
Alex: I like them.
Leo: Such a snob. That’s what I find in young people today. They’re snobby.
Alex: Yes, we are snobby. You ruined the economy, we’re snobs. Who’s worse?
Leo: I don’t know where—
Jason: When Mattermark goes public and you get your JetSuite card.
Leo: And I’ll just sit here in my lifestyle business, calmly, slowly working my way to the grave.
Alex: You know I love you, Leo.
Leo: My fingers to the bone for you. Tom Warren. Look, where did Tom Warren get this picture? I love this picture. The funeral of Windows Phone. Why did Tom Warren and The Verge declare Windows Phone dead?
Alex: No, no, no, isn’t that a whole Microsoft thing?
Leo: Yea, it actually was.
Alex: A while ago? Yea.
Jason: Is that an iPhone?
Alex: It’s following a hearse. So if you can’t see this on the screen, it’s people wearing long shrouds as if they’re the reaper with Windows logos on the back, carrying a dead iPhone and a hearse.
Leo: It was a funeral for the iPhone because Windows Phone was going to put it out of business.
Christina: They regret having those photos made now because, yea.
Leo: They’re being used against them shall we say.
Jason: Well aren’t they going to come out with The Surface, like wouldn’t they logically go to the Surface Phone?
Leo: Yes, full speed ahead. Dam the torpedoes.
Alex: They just bought the domain, so they have it.
Christina: They’re going to rebrand it. Lumia’s going to become Surface Phone which makes sense. It should be. But the bigger problem is they have no apps. And I think as John Gruber pointed this out, the problem I think even beyond no apps is that everybody acknowledges that there are no apps and just doesn’t even try anymore. Like the developers story is at this point is, “Yep, you know what?”
Leo: Well this news is not going to help. So last year at this time, they sold 10.5 million devices. Which is still crappy but this year 4.5 million. So it’s down more than half, 57%. Furthermore, Microsoft, according to IDC, Microsoft and Nokia together have sold a total of 110 million Windows Phones compared to 4.5 billion iOS and Android devices in the same time period.
Alex: Is that the same number? No. That was sarcasm.
Leo: Well, it’s 1/45th.
Alex: Well, 1/43rd but.
Leo: All right, 1/43rd.
Alex: If you hold the chart right here that you have on your screen, that’s a terrifying number right there. That’s a problem. And Benedict Evans, you can say whatever you want about him, but he has a real solid point there.
Leo: So, and yet, and by the way I think Microsoft acknowledged that when they wrote off the acquisition of Nokia a couple of quarters ago. It’s not news to Microsoft. But Satay Nadella has decided that for whatever reasons, however much they lose, however bad it looks, they are going to continue to make Windows Phones. It’s too important to the business and they’re going to go ahead with a Surface Phone.
Christina: Well, I don’t know about that. I mean I feel like they do make them but they’re not going to push them. I mean you look at the Lumia 950 and the 950XL. They were AT&T exclusive. They didn’t push them. They haven’t sold very well. They weren’t reviewed very well, because frankly they weren’t very good. I think that long term Microsoft might have something in the whole philosophy of being able to have a phone that is also a mini Windows computer as mobile chips get more powerful. That has potential.
Leo: They do have that continuum feature where you dock your phone into and you put it on a screen and your phone is the computer. It doesn’t work so well?
Christina: No, it’s terrible. It only works with certain monitors and it only works with certain apps. We literally ran into this when we were reviewing ours was if you had it connected to one monitor you’d be fine, another monitor wouldn’t. But it isn’t—you’re right.
Leo: Is this right vision?
Jason: Of course.
Leo: Who wants to do that?
Jason: Listen, when you go to your—how many times do you go to your television set, take out your phone, and take what’s on your iPhone and put it on your TV through Apple TV, through web Apple TV. All the time.
Jason: So your iPhone is essentially the computer that is running your television.
Leo: Well it’s a media server.
Jason: Right, it’s a media server. And it’s completely possible that your iPhone could just plug into a dock, have that beautiful LG monitor and a keyboard and then you pick it up and you take your computer to work with you. And you’re done. No computer at home. Why would you have a computer at home? A lot of people go on business trips now without anything but their tablet.
Leo: Well that’s true. I do that.
Alex: I take four laptops so I don’t get that.
Leo: So that means hotels will have keyboards, mice and monitors?
Jason: Sure, why not. Or people will carry keyboards with them.
Leo: Oh, that’s portable.
Alex: Maybe your HoloLens will plug into your Windows phone.
Jason: I have people come to, I’ve had people come to pitch meetings without a laptop. And I’m like, “where’s your laptop?” No, no, they take out their phone, they’ve got their little HDMI plug in their phone, and they have Power Point or Key Note on their phone. And they made the Key Note on their phone. These people are making Power Points on their phones.
Leo: It gives me a headache just thinking about it.
Jason: They’re doing it.
Christina: Well I think that, I don’t know if consumers will buy this right now, especially now with Windows but I do feel that from a business perspective, you might be able to get like enterprise buy-in. So if you’re selling people a bunch of Surface Books or Surface Pros, you might also be able to say, “Hey, you know, buy some of our phones, too and you can kind of double this as a workstation.” I think that that has opportunity. Not huge growth opportunity, obviously, but enough to make them. But I feel like as a consumer play, and we’ve all but admitted this thing is over. I mean the fact that most of the resources are going toward building apps for iOS and Android rather than developing software first and foremost for their own phones says everything you need to know about how they see the consumer space about phones anyway.
Leo: Christina, are you really excited that the Gilmore Girls are coming back to Netflix?
Alex: Wait, wait, wait. Are we off hardware? Because I have one more thing I want to say.
Leo: Ok, go ahead, I’m sorry.
Alex: I forgot it now. Gilmore Girls. I’ve never seen that.
Christina: Gilmore Girls, I’m so excited. How have you not seen Gilmore Girls? It’s so good.
Leo: Netflix is really on a tear, aren’t they? They put 75 million subscribers globally.
Christina: What’s amazing about this to me is that Warner Brothers, which does not have a great relationship with Netflix is the one that’s doing this deal. So even Warner Brothers is doing an original kind of distribution deal with them where they’re going to be producing four Gilmore Girls movies, one for each season apparently. The entire original cast is coming back except for Melissa McCarthy. I’m pretty sure they’re not going to be able to get her back.
Leo: She was in the Gilmore Girls?
Christina: She was.
Leo: Is that how she got her start?
Christina: It was. She was Lauren Graham’s best friend a character named Sukie. She was a chef and it was a fun character. But no, I’m super excited. It’s interesting because the two people who played the leads, Lauren Graham and Scott Patterson hated one another like when they were making the show and so it’s interesting that they’re coming back.
Alex: Well what about the Hackie Sack Homies? Are they going Netflix too?
Leo: But that point being that Netflix is becoming a content creator as is Amazon.
Jason: And they’re also setting the data. I mean that’s one of the really interesting things is they really know what page in the e-book at Amazon you quite reading the zombie novel and then they decide oh well, this zombie e-book that was self-published got people to page 100. This one got them to page 20.
Leo So we should go make a movie or?
Jason: This one we should go talk with that person. Maybe we’ll make a movie out of that. And they studied Adam Sandler’s films.
Leo: I hate to say, they need to do a better job of it.
Alex: That’s why they didn’t pay that much money for them. They knew they were going to have an high RY.
Leo: They need to do a better job of it because I’ve watched many of the Netflix, I mean the Amazon Originals and most of them are horrible.
Jason: Transparent is amazing.
Christina: Transparent is fantastic.
Alex: The Dome was a disaster.
Leo: Yea they made a lot of—The Man in the High Castle, eh. Made a little ground.
Jason: Give it time. They’re like Netflix a couple of years ago when they did—what was the Netflix one with the guy from The Sopranos?
Jason: Like they had Lillehammer and it was like, what is that? And now they’ve got like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black. Like it takes them a little while to get their legs under them.
Leo: Amazon certainly won a bunch of Golden Globes. Transparent has been incredibly successful.
Christina: And also Mozart in the Jungle.
Leo: Like Mozart in the Jungle. It’s funny, I thought I was the only person that ever watched that show.
Jason: I watched the first 2 episodes.
Leo: It was cute. I liked the music.
Jason: I was at the Golden Globes and—
Leo: Were you?
Jason: Yea, and I was at a Netflix party—
Leo: Oh yea, you stole what’s his names table, you stole Ricky Gervais’ table.
Jason: Yea, it was pretty funny actually.
Leo: What the hell happened there?
Christina: How did that happen?
Alex: No, no, no, no, no, no, no. You can’t dodge this. How’d you steal the table?
Jason: So I’m friends with Harvey Weinstein who—
Leo: Oh, that’s good.
Jason: Who held the party at Netflix and Harvey asked me to come to the party. So I came to the party. And then—
Leo: He’s Miramax, right?
Jason: He was Miramax now he’s The Weinstein Company. And literally everything at the Netflix party was the hottest party. And literally everybody there—
Leo: And see, that’s telling by itself.
Jason: Yes. And everybody who was there was basically doing a Netflix show or had one in production. So like I saw Danny Masters in there. He’s a big card player and a friend of mine. He’s got a Netflix show he’s doing with Ashton Kutcher. Laura Prepon has Orange is the New Black. All these people who were great on TV are now going to do this other stuff. And that’s my old one. You got to go to Jason, you’re on Jason Calacanis.
Leo: I’m on the wrong one.
Jason: You’re on the old one.
Alex: He’s got a much better name now.
Jason: But it initially was palatable at the Golden Globes how much the artists are more interested in working with Netflix and Amazon than other people. Like they really don’t want to be—
Leo: I’d though you had stopped posting on Instagram. I was just following an old account.
Jason: You’re on the old account. Yea, yea, it’s just Jason now.
Leo: So disappointing.
Jason: Hit the more, you’ll see the Globe pictures down at the bottom.
Leo: I must have seen it on Facebook.
Jason: No, yea, but I was posting here too.
Alex: Wait, wait, wait. So Ricky Gervais’ table. How did you steal his table? I’m not letting you go with this.
Leo: Not only did he steal a table, apparently he took the Mumm Champagne that was on the table.
Jason: I took the champagne too. So anyway, Ricky Gervais came down. And I was talking to Aziz Asari.
Leo: By the way, tell him I love his show. That’s a Netflix original, right? Master of None, yea.
Jason: So I’m talking to him, blah, blah, blah and Ricky Gervais comes down.
Leo: Here’s Quentin Tarentino’s table.
Jason: He says hi to everybody. And then he’s like, “I have to go.” And he leaves.
Leo: So take his table.
Jason: So I was like, oh my God. Ricky Gervais’ table. So I just literally, I went down, I sat down, I popped the bottles and I stayed at his table the rest of the evening.
Alex: Did you have to pay the tab or—
Jason: No, no one’s paying for the tab.
Leo: Harvey pays the tab.
Alex: Well, sorry guys, my knowledge of Hollywood parties is quite limited.
Jason: It was pretty funny.
Leo: Did you go to The Golden Globes itself or just the party?
Jason: No, so what they do is, it’s interesting. They have the Golden Globes going on in one room, and you have to stay in your seat and you can’t like get up.
Leo: Oh, so it’s better to be at the party.
Jason: Each table is for someone who is nominated. Then they have screening rooms where the parties are. So Netflix had one, Amazon had one, HBO had one. And then they have a walkway between them. So you just like walk from party to party. And you watch in there. And then when the Globes let out, all the celebrities come out and walk into the parties.
Leo: Jason, you’ve got to up your Instagram game though. Here you are stealing Ricky Gervais’ champagne, you’ve got 71 likes. More people must follow you. More people need to follow you.
Jason: I switched my handle.
Leo: Is that what happened? I didn’t know. I was following the wrong one.
Jason: I talked to Quentin Tarentino too. That was pretty fun.
Alex: Instagram.com/Jasonisanube is his handle.
Leo: There’s no backslash.
Jason: Meeting Quentin Tarentino was the highlight of my night. And I talked to him about this like roadshow thing he’s doing.
Leo: Apparently Quentin’s drinking Red Bull and Fiji Water.
Jason: But the whole point is the entire industry is moving to that for television and now movies. So what they did with, as we were just talking about, Alex was talking about Adam Sandler—
Leo: Look at this graph. This is astounding.
Jason: Adam Sandler was like dead to Sony. That came out in the Sony hacks. They’re like, “This guy’s a pain in the neck. This guy doesn’t get any, nobody buys tickets to his movies.”
Christina: Yea, they watch him on Netflix.
Jason: Yea, they watch him on Netflix. And then people looked. The Netflix people were like, “My God. This guy’s popular.”
Christina: Same thing with Gilmore Girls. What’s interesting about that show is that it was originally on the WB and I think it’s final season was on the CW. And it didn’t ever do great ratings wise. It was never nominated for awards because of the network it was on. But when it came to Netflix, it was immediately one of Netflix’s most streamed shows. So again you’re dead on. They’re taking that data they have and able to say let’s revive this.
Leo: The data tells you. Hugely valuable. Forget ratings. Who needs ratings?
Jason: Well now, Jeff Bezos is like, “Yea, I want to win some Oscars so we’re going to do like 10 films.” And you know what? The first 6 will be terrible and then they’ll make the last 2 or 3. They’ll hit it. Of course he will. And you have to think, the amount of money it takes to do this in Hollywood is really like, it’s minor compared to the amount of money technology companies make. Minor, so Jeff can just, he can just buy all the interesting stuff and then the control that they give people is amazing. Because in our industry, of course you give people who are in charge control. If you’re making a product, yes, by all means, go make it, come back to us and we’ll test it.
Leo: But that’s not the moguls.
Jason: But that’s not how they do it in Hollywood. In Hollywood they’re like, “You’re talented and you’re going to make something? Great, bring it to us so we can break it.”
Leo: Right, right.
Jason: Or give it to us so we can—
Leo: No, I think that’s basically what Dana Brunetti said about House of Cards. That even though they had a deal on the table from a cable company, the freedom that they were going to get, I presume it was HBO, the freedom that they were going to get from Netflix was huge.
Christina: It was HBO.
Jason: And HBO was the most free of the brands.
Leo: Right, that’s how HBO became famous because they were famous for giving control.
Christina: I don’t believe Netflix gave them more freedom in the slightest. I do think that was a money play and –
Leo: It was a hundred million dollars.
Christina: It was a hundred million dollars, yes. I mean that was Netflix’s best hundred million dollars ever spent was acquiring that show.
Leo: Yea, because it paid for it right away.
Jason: They’ve got 30 million people in the US paying whatever, $9 bucks a month, a quarter billion dollars a month. It’s like who cares? It’s all funny money.
Leo: Isn’t that interesting. $100 million to them is nothing.
Alex: Well, it’s not nothing. They have massive delivery costs. And look at their margins.
Jason: They don’t have a studio lot. But how many hundreds of millions of people would eventually subscribe to Netflix, Amazon Prime.
Leo: And that’s what Netflix reported was thanks to House of Cards they grew, I don’t remember what the number was, but that was when they first went past HBO. They grew by a degree that was sufficient to pay for House of Cards in three months. That’s all they cared about.
Jason: And think about all these small, little shows they’re doing. They have 10 Marvel shows they’re going to do.
Christina: Yea, four. I do think the one problem they have versus HBO is that HBO does actually own the full productions. So whereas Netflix is still partnering. I do think that Netflix is going to have to bite the bullet and actually do it in-house because part of the problem they’re having internationally is some of these programs like House of Cards, like Orange is the New Black.
Leo: They don’t retain the rights.
Christina: Right because they’ve already been licensed to these places. So they go to 130 new markets and they can’t actually have their flagship shows on Netflix there.
Leo: You know what, as you said, this is the beginning. They now know—
Jason: The progress is amazing. The progress is amazing.
Leo: That’s the thing, it’s a Silicon Valley rate of speed and that is a different rate entirely.
Jason: People in Hollywood are absolutely terrified.
Leo: They should be.
Jason: They’re terrified.
Alex: In the last 12 months.
Leo: Unless they’re creatives in which case this is a gold brush.
Jason: They’re delighted.
Alex: In the last 12 months, Netflix operating margin was 4.5%.
Leo: That’s not huge.
Alex: No, it’s not. So my point is a hundred million dollars is a lot of money to them. They can afford to spend it but it’s definitely an actual expense.
Jason: And they’re in growth mode. Just like Amazon. Reed Hastings is just going to take a decade long approach like Bezos did. Like we’ll just break even for 10 years and then nobody can stop us and then we’ll open up the margins.
Leo: Well I’m just glad I brought up the Gilmore Girls because that (laughing).
Christina: It’s a really good show. I’m the only person on this panel that’s seen it.
Jason: Aren’t the Golden Girls dead?
Christina: No, it’s Gilmore Girls.
Alex: Oh, I thought it was the Golden Girls.
Leo: I just love Bee Arthur. I think she is so great. She was great.
Alex: I have them flipped in my head. So is Gilmore Girls the mother and daughter show?
Alex: Oh, I’ve seen that.
Jason: Thank you for being a friend.
Christina: Stop. It’s a Carole King song was the theme song, not Thank You for Being a Friend.
Alex: That’s Toy Story.
Christina: That’s Toy Story.
Leo: You’ve got a friend in me. Let’s take a break as we continue to violate copyrights left and right. It’s all for you. I just wanted to point that out. Our show, we’ve got a great panel and I thank you all for being here. Jason Calacanis, Alex Wilhelm, Christina Warren. We’ll wrap it up with what I like to think of as the seeds and the stems. It’s the stuff, it’s the shake that falls to the bottom is coming up next. But first a word—and it’s often the best stuff—from ShipStation. You know about ShipStation? ShipStation.com. If you’re selling online you want to have a professional fulfillment, right? You want to get your orders out the door quickly. You want to make sure you save money. You want to eliminate keystrokes and import your customer orders. If you’re on Amazon or EBay or Etsy or 50 other popular marketplaces and shopping carts you’ve got to know about ShipStation.com. It makes it easy to make labels. And not just for one carrier, but for all the top carriers. UPS, FedEx. You get a free US Postal Service account that gives you access to deeply discounted USPS shipping rates. Those rates that used to be just for the Fortune 500? You get them too. No wonder ShipStation.com is the number one choice for online sellers. And you know if you ask the sellers, you will see. They have an incredible 98% customer satisfaction rating. That means people use it. They love it. And you will love it too. Try it free for 30 days. In fact, you know what? That’s not enough. Go to ShipStation.com, use the offer code TWiT, you’ll get 60 days. We’ll double it up. But you have to use the offer code TWiT. See that microphone in the top right there? The little tiny one? Welcome podcast or streaming listener. Enter the offer code TWiT and 60 days free. There you go. Once you see the TWiT logo, you know you’re in. 60 days free. ShipStation.com.
Jason: Ship it.
Leo: Ship it. Get ship done they say. It says 30 days but if you use the offer code TWiT it will be a 60 day free trial. And that really is a great way. Before we get back to the tech news, we had a great week on TWiT. If you missed anything, here’s kind of a little mini movie to show you what you might have seen.
Narrator: Previously on TWiT.
Brian Chee: Hi, I’m T-Bird. I’ve got addresses you can all have.
Leo: Our guest is Bill Fernandez, Apple employee number 4. The man who introduced Woz and Jobs.
Bill Fernandez: There are so many of us have been dreaming for so many years of being able to create your own computer. Jobs said, “Let’s assemble the computer and then all people will have to do is buy it.” So that empowers an even less technical level of people.
Narrator: Tech News Today.
Jason Howell: The founder of Aereo, you might remember that from a few years back, launched a new wireless hub and eventually an ISP called A Starry Station Hub, handles millimeter wave technology for wireless gigabit speeds into the home.
Patrick Norton: This is a big promise, but this is also somebody who started a business and fought broadcasting cable all the way to the Supreme Court. If nothing else, we know the man is tenancious.
Jason H: Yea, it’s kind of been his MO, right?
Narrator: The New Screen Savers.
Leo: It’s the game of geeks.
Dick Debartolo: What wireless technology standard was named after the 10th century second king?
Father Robert: Wow. There be some geeks up here.
Narrator: TWiT. Bring your brain. We’ll do the rest.
Fr. Robert: (Laughing).
Leo: It’s falling apart (laughing).
Fr. Robert: It smells like bird funk.
Leo: A couple of Tesla stories.
Leo: Hey-o. I’m very happy to report that Tesla says—you know one of the reasons I was reluctant to consider a Tesla, is I wanted Android Auto or Apple Car Play. They say they’re going to allow app mirroring from Android to that big 17” Screen.
Jason: Oh really?
Leo: Yea. See now how do you feel?
Jason: That’s pretty dope.
Leo: So, and the reason that this is important is because apps and phones are in a much faster cycle, development cycle than a car could ever be. As fast as Tesla might be. And I love the idea that I can use the latest greatest maps or whatever.
Jason: If Microsoft can’t make a 3rd operating system, Tesla’s not going to.
Christina: But hey, but having Waze right there, that would be awesome.
Leo: Look at this delivery, the graph of deliveries. They’re really ramping up.
Alex: That’s cumulative there, not sequential.
Leo: Ah, that’s deceptive.
Alex: Well it says cumulative on the thing.
Jason: Yea, but it just shows the consistency they’re getting them out there. Yea, I mean the only problem with that is, is that center console, you know, you’re not looking at the road. What’s really more interesting is if they’re going to let you mirror them to the two—the whole dashboard is obviously a screen. So there’s 2 little boxes to the left and right of the speedometer that—
Leo: That’s a screen also.
Jason: Yea, those two little ones would be great if they put little heads up displays there. But that means the app developers have to make like a little custom sized object and know where they are.
Leo: They have to know where they are. So Elan said this at a Hong Kong event, “As we have sort of thought about it more, the logical thing to do from an app standpoint is to maybe allow apps on your iPhone or Android to project onto the center display as opposed to trying to create a new app ecosystem.”
Jason: Yea, he’s changed his mind on that.
Leo: I think that’s smart. What they were going to do a STK that you would develop for them.
Jason: The problem is that if he has all his engineers on self-driving cars, does he really want them to try to get Spotify to work?
Alex: No, no, it’s repetitive.
Jason: It’s like repetitive work.
Alex: Although I will say, when I first got into a Tesla for the first time, I saw how big the screen was. I was like, “Oh, my.” I was really taken by it. I thought it was really cool engineering.
Jason: It’s pretty amazing.
Leo: I didn’t like it. I think that’s too big.
Jason: No. When you’re driving and you can make the map full screen, really beautiful.
Leo: That would probably make sense.
Jason: Yea, like the web browser’s kind of ganky.
Leo: I don’t want anything on the dashboard to be too beautiful. I’m trying—of course maybe if the car’s driving itself.
Jason: It’s great for the passenger. Like if they’re like—
Alex: Wait, do you have a personal driver at all times?
Leo: Yea, my wife.
Alex: Oh, there you go. Works for you.
Leo: We’re rapidly becoming that old couple where the guy is sitting in the passenger seat going, “Hey, I thought you should turn there. Wait a minute that’s a red light. Slow down.”
Alex: That sounds like every relationship I’ve ever been in.
Leo: Elan Musk also bought a 100 million shares of his stock. Now he had a good strike price. $6.63. The stock’s worth $192 bucks.
Jason: He did ok.
Leo: That’s ok. He does have to pay taxes though at that point.
Alex: A long-term capital gain though.
Leo: All right, so it’s at a lower rate.
Jason: He makes the difference, you know.
Alex: You get the Warren Buffet bonus.
Leo: So you sell some stock to pay the tax and you keep what’s left.
Jason: Pretty much, yea. There’s a lot of different ways he can do it. But, yea.
Leo: So why does he do that? Is it cashing in or is it to say, “Hey I believe in this.”
Jason: He’s selling the shares. He’s executing the option. So he’s buying more in his company.
Leo: So it’s a vote of confidence.
Alex: At a point when your share price declines over the last couple of months.
Jason: It doesn’t, he would have executed it if it was anywhere at any of those prices, so you know, it’s such a huge gap between $6 and $192 that it doesn’t actually mean all that much to be honest.
Leo: They will announce results in a couple of weeks. So we’ll hear.
Alex: Jason, does it bother you they do a lot of non-GAP revenue reporting?
Leo: Non-Generally Accepted Practices?
Alex: Yea. They do non-GAP revenue because of their leasing program which is bonkers.
Jason: You just have to look at the total number of cars sold. I mean that’s basically the tell there is like, are they shipping the number of cars or not. And that eventually, the number of orders they have in advance, how productive their factory is. They’ve had to had these factories online. These aren’t like he’s building the car from scratch. Like they’re bringing in metal on this side of the factory, building the car and then sending the car to the other side.
Leo: Henry Ford did.
Alex: And I respect that.
Jason: So he really had to suffer through getting those factories online. That was not easy. It wasn’t like the roadster where they put together other people’s parts.
Leo: That was a Lotus.
Alex: It was a Lotus, yea.
Jason: It was a Lotus chassis, but it’s about 80% his parts, 20% other. But it was all made by other people. Now, I think the only thing on the model S that was somebody else’s was the steering column was Mercedes because they didn’t have enough time.
Alex: Is the X all Tesla now?
Jason: It’s 100%, yea. I don’t think there’s anything in there.
Alex: What did he say by the way? They shouldn’t have built it. It was too hard or something like that. They said we shouldn’t have built this car.
Leo: You know what they shouldn’t have done, and I’m sure they’re regretting, is the falcon wing doors because that’s going to be a nightmare.
Jason: You know, Elan pushes the envelope and my perspective on it—
Leo: It’s a selling point.
Jason: My perspective on it is like I think in his mind he knows what’s possible, right?
Jason: And he is such a hard worker that you know, why wouldn’t we put these things on. It’s hard but, he’s like, “I can get it done. I can get it done.” And so he will get it done eventually. He’s trying to land a rocket ship. So he’s outlandish sometimes with the things that he wants to get done.
Leo: I actually love that about him.
Jason: And that’s great. If he misses on one or two, it’s like he’s still going to build an epic thing. But he should probably at the end of the day, this car might have been a lot of work that could have gone into the 3rd gen and now the 3rd gen is going to get here quicker. So he’s got to get to 3rd gen. Everything relies on that 3rd gen car, 35-40K car. Because—
Leo: Even the stock price is based on getting that out.
Jason: I think everything’s based on it hitting scale, yea. So if you think about that car, you know the love people have for Tesla’s, people can’t shut up about them but it’s still an 80, 90, 100K. He took over that category. He just took it over. And in some countries it’s still the best selling car even though it’s one of the most expensive. Can you imagine what happens if he makes a Prius-like or a Honda Accord like car and it’s anywhere near as good as the Model S is in terms of customer satisfaction ratings? It could be unprecedented.
Leo: That’s why Apple is eyeing them. That’s the kind of thing that Apple would like to see as their next thing.
Jason: And also, think about the showrooms. If Apple were to buy it, how many showrooms would they be able to have the car in? Day 1. How many Apple stores rather? Hundreds or thousands?
Leo: Is that all?
Alex: It’s not that many.
Leo: It feels like more.
Jason: Hundreds, yea.
Alex: Hundreds sure, but not thousands.
Leo: Here I might have buried the biggest story of all. The FCC is proposing rules that would break the monopoly on set-top boxes. You don’t think that’s going to happen?
Christina: No, I don’t. Remember Cable Card?
Christina: It’s a great idea but this is a great proposal that some other commissioner will probably vote against.
Leo: Tom Wheeler, I have to give him credit.
Christina: I love him.
Leo: I thought he was going to be the shill for the cable and phone industry, has turned out to be our best ally at the FCC. He’s proposed that you have the choice of not just a craft DVR from your cable company, but an Apple TV or an Android TV or a Roku box.
Jason: Just in time for the death of cable.
Leo: Yea, but it would hasten the death of cable wouldn’t it? And that’s for sure what cable is furious about this.
Jason: It’s easy on kids like Netflix, Amazon—
Leo: You’re right, at this point it doesn’t matter, because—
Jason: Or mom’s Direct TV login.
Alex: Although I love that Tom Wheeler, after getting net neutrality passed which was hugely controversial in the business community, turns around and does, and now cable again. This guy really just has a rock solid constitution because he doesn’t care about what—
Christina: No, it’s great.
Alex: I’ve met him a couple of times, happily enough. I was fortunate and just lucky. He’s a really nice guy too. He’s nice and hard working and on the right side of history? All right. For a public servant? All right, I’ll take it.
Leo: For somebody in the cable television and wireless halls of fame, pretty impressive. It’s interesting because it's not just the cable companies, the black, congressional black caucus is against this move because, and this is an interesting point of view, a more wide open style might hurt minority programming. They say it would be relegated to the bottom of the pile.
Jason: No. I don’t buy it.
Leo: I’m not sure that’s true. If there’s an audience for it, there’s an audience for it, one way or another.
Jason: It’s like are there, the demographic shift that’s occurring in this country assures that content is going to get made for the demographics that are growing and spend money at movies or on television. It’s ridiculous otherwise.
Leo: So we, the stats are terrible. Consumers pay $6-$14 billion dollars a year in renting these crappy boxes from the cable company.
Alex: That’s a gross margin for you. Move into the static business, it’s all bad apparently. I mean, geez.
Christina: Remember when Motorola was acquired. That was one of the big thoughts that Google was acquiring partially for the, the first time was for the set top business. But then they ended up selling that to someone else.
Alex: And the deal went so well, too.
Christina: Yea I know. But they sold off the cable box business real quick and I think they probably made a pretty penny on it. And then I think that’s been sold another time. But yea, you’re right, talking about the gross margin business, those boxes which are terrible. But you know and also, RIP TiVo. I know that they’re still technically alive.
Leo: I have a TiVo which I love. And I have a cable card in it because the FCC at least mandated that.
Christina: Well, precisely. Same here. I have a cable card in my TiVo. But it’s one of those things where you almost—like to me, I would have been able to be ok with paying the rental fee for the box if it had had the interface and the smarts of a TiVo but because they can’t, you know, what are you paying for? That’s the worst part of it is—
Leo: An average of $231 a year per customer.
Jason: Per box.
Leo: Renting this crap box that probably costs $50 bucks.
Christina: And if you forget to turn one of those in, I know this for a fact, the collections people come after you. The amount of money that they charge. I mean I had to ship mine back to Atlanta because Comcast wanted like $1,500.
Alex: Wait, to Atlanta? That’s across the nation from you. That’s insane.
Leo: I got a bill—I brought my cable boxes back three years ago when I moved out of my old apartment. Just a month ago I got a bill for it. And I went to Comcast and I said, “How can I prove to you that I brought your box back three years ago? And why are you billing me for it now?”
Leo: Slackers. Get on the ship.
Alex: Maybe they delay it just so you’ll be like, “Ah, screw it. I’ll just pay it.”
Leo: I think this would be great but you think it’s not going to happen just because of the amount of money cable makes.
Jason: Just think about all the content available. There’s more content, there’s more great content being made than is necessary. Like you can’t possibly watch all these great shows. So for people to get Netflix, they get Hulu, and Amazon. I have those three, I have the Hulu without ads. Like what am I not getting? Like nothing. And I have NBA Direct Pass. So I don’t miss anything.
Christina: I pay for all of it because I’m an idiot that way. I mean I literally pay for everything including my four music services because I’m an actual idiot when it comes to subscription stuff. You’re dead on.
Leo: Why do you pay for 4?
Christina: I don’t know.
Leo: You could say reasonably that you need to stay in touch with all of them but you’re not saying that. You’re not taking that as an excuse.
Christina: No, I’m actually not because I don’t. I mean I guess I do but I don’t use them all. It’s just, I’m an idiot.
Jason: Cancel your credit card. Have everything turn off and re-subscribe.
Leo: That’s the thing to do. That’s the thing to do.
Jason: I do that at all my companies. Every two years all the credit cards get turned off.
Leo: That’s actually a great idea.
Jason: And then we turn them on again.
Leo: Because I have all of these monthly fees. I don’t even know what they are.
Christina: Well, you’re right, Jason. I subscribe to cable and I end up using Amazon, Hulu without the ads and Netflix more than anything else. And when I do login, I’m usually just logging in with my cable ID and using the apps, not even using the actual interface. So once more these networks become decoupled and you can have these subscriptions without it all having to meld together, I mean what’s the point of doing this FCC thing? I appreciate that Tom Wheeler is doing it. I just feel like it’s not going to pass and maybe by the time it does, you know, this ship will have already sailed.
Leo: Amazon’s rent-a-Buddhist-monk service causes controversy in Japan (laughing).
Alex: Is that an actual headline?
Leo: Yea. Welcome to Yacheyo, ladies and gentlemen. No, it’s a real story because apparently it’s very expensive to get a Buddhist monk for your memorial service. Monk delivery service from a temple is about $830. A funeral could be as much as $8,500 dollars. So Amazon has jumped in to this market with cut rate Buddhist monks.
Alex: Is this monks as a service?
Leo: the name of the service is Mr. Monk Delivery.
Alex: Mr. Monk Delivery.
Leo: Oboson bin.
Alex: Is there a Mrs. Monk Delivery?
Leo: No, there are no Mrs. Monks.
Leo: Apparently this is a big money maker for Japanese Buddhist temples.
Jason: Yea, they give a lower price.
Leo: The Japanese Buddhist Association is up in arms.
Jason: Yea but you know what?
Christina: As they should be. This is terrible.
Leo: It’s just acceptance. Acceptance. The Amazon service is a mere $300.
Jason: Yea, but you know what? They’re going even lower with the Amazon Basic Monk which are like— it’s just like the Amazon cable. It’s the same as the lightning cable from Apple Stores it’s just like half, a third of the price.
Alex: Then there’s the gold plated monster service that costs 10 trillion dollars.
Christina: Either way—
Leo: Oh, that’s what we need. Is the Amazon Dash button for monks.
Jason: Order a monk.
Alex: At some point in time there’s like 8 people outside like, “You called?” And we’re going to be like, “Crap. Leo, get your credit card out.”
Leo: By the way about a hundred people listening right now just has their –
Jason: It set a timer for 5 minutes.
Leo: Stop it.
Alex: Buy more socks.
Leo: You know how annoying that is? Oh, that’s really bad.
Jason: It’s like Barry Manilow.
Leo: Oh, you are dying— Ok, we’re going to bleep this whole damn segment (laughing). Can you just, Christina, get these boys out of here.
Jason: Tell us a joke.
Alex: Leo’s hair color.
Jason: No, no. If you do tell me a joke, it does it.
Leo: It will also do other stuff like you can say fart. You have to turn it on. But it’s one of the skills, there’s a section that’s called skills.
Alex: So you say turn on fart and then it farts?
Leo: Something like that, yea.
Jason: My favorite is switch accounts. So you can put two accounts in.
Leo: I use it for Audible. Because my wife has her Audible books and I have mine.
Jason: That’s exactly why I did it.
Leo: And so we swap accounts and when I want to read my book and when she wants to read her book.
Jason: My daughter goes, “Play rock and roll music that will make Daddy angry.” And I’m like—
Leo: Does it work?
Jason: What are you talking about? There’s no rock and roll that will make me angry. Maybe like some smooth jazz or something. That will make me angry.
Leo: This is why kids today have such a problem. Because their parents, they love all the stuff. You want to die your hair purple and make a Mohawk. Go for it. That’s wonderful.
Jason: Play Rick Astley’s Never Going to Give You Up. I’m going from the chatroom. Shout out to TheGeek007.
Leo: I just Rick rolled everybody who listens to the show.
Jason: It is the greatest device ever.
Christina: It is. It’s one of my favorite gadgets.
Jason: My favorite device. I think it’s the best device they ever made.
Alex: What about the Fire Phone?
Christina: No. It’s not as good as the original Kindle. The Kindle was a revelation. I’m still going to give it to the Kindle.
Leo: And the Kindle is now a dying platform. Nobody uses e-readers anymore.
Christina: No, but people use the platform. I mean like I use the Kindle app on everything.
Alex: I read a book yesterday on Kindle on my device on my iPhone.
Christina: I was going to say, I spent so much money on Kindle a month. Like I buy so many Kindle books.
Leo: Yea, well who buys paper books anymore?
Alex: Well me when I can find them.
Leo: It’s audio or e-books.
Christina: I don’t have room for paper books. Like I have too many DVDs and Blu-ray taking up space in my apartment.
Alex: Blu-ray is more a generation whatever the heck was before us I think.
Jason: Gen-X, yea. Gen-X is the one where they collect the discs. Well that’s the other thing. You want to get this alternate tracks. Like if you’re watching an Akira Kurosawa movie and you want to listen to the director’s cut or the analysis and you can’t get it anywhere.
Alex: That’s actually a fair point. I hadn’t thought about that.
Leo: But you’re not going to get that many more. In other words that’s dying out because the directors didn’t get paid for it. A lot of them didn’t want to do it. One of my favorite Blu-rays is Coppola’s revised Godfather edition. And his narration of the Godfather One is a revelation.
Christina: I agree. That’s why I still buy disks so I can get the free extra features. Then I rip the disks.
Jason: Like you rip them and then—but when you rip them, do you have to tie one audio track to each rip and then three rips of it? Is it just like two director’s cuts?
Christina: No because you can just have a different track.
Jason: You can have multiple audio tracks when you rip them with—
Alex: You still have a drive that takes DVDs?
Christina: Specifically for this purpose.
Leo: I had to go out and buy an Apple SuperDrive just so I could play a disk (laughing).
Christina: No, I bought a DVD Blu-ray drive specifically to rip.
Jason: Now I watched The Bladerunner director’s edition. It was literally two or three different tracks and I think I got through 2 of them.
Leo: Now you have iTunes Extras and you’re lucky if you get three bloopers.
Christina: You’re lucky if you get anything. Some of the directors, David Fincher will always put his director commentary which I appreciate but most of them won’t. So for me, I won’t buy it on iTunes because I won’t get the commentary. I’ll just buy the digital copy, rip it and then get rid of the disk. Or actually just keep the disk around for recording purposes.
Leo: We should do a cord cutting show with you, FilmGirl, because you are the queen of this.
Christina: We should. I am.
Leo: If you want, let’s talk.
Christina: I would love to.
Leo: Christina Warren, Mashable.com. She’s on Twitter, film_girl and we love her. And you are great. And thank you for being here late night in the offices of Mashable. It’s just you and the cleaning lady.
Christina: Just me and the cleaning people.
Leo: Wow. Thank you, Christina. Great having you.
Christina: Thank you, Leo. Great being here.
Leo: Alex Wilhelm from MatterMark, editor in chief at MatterMark.com.
Jason: Great product.
Alex: Thank you, Jason.
Leo: Well I didn’t know about it until Alex told me he was moving there.
Jason: We’ll get you a subscription. It’s good.
Jason: It’s really good. Basically they have a cool thing. It’s not there yet, but it will get there eventually. They need a little more data but they can tell you like the score of start-ups and like they look at how often they’re hiring and all these different factors as well. It gets interesting.
Alex: You can pull up, like your keyboard’s insane, but pull up Uber.
Alex: Yea, pull up Uber.
Leo: So I’m going U-B-E-R. Oh, look. Oh, this is—oh, this is great. This is better than that TechCrunch thing that was completely out of date.
Alex: Well I was never in charge of that. But yea, it’s data on private corporations.
Leo: This is kind of CrunchBase on steroids.
Jason: Yea, there’s actually a database called VentureSource that it is coming up against. So VentureSource is like owned by Dow Jones and I’d say a $25,000 dollar a year product. This is a $6,000 dollar a year product.
Leo: You know what? I want Bloomberg to run for president. I’d vote for him. He’s a smart guy, right?
Jason: Oh yea. No, no, no, Mike Bloomberg.
Alex: I have a cold and I’m dying over here.
Leo: We’re going to let Alex go home. I think Mike might do it and it’s an interesting scenario. That’s Jason Calacanis who is the ultimate insider. Calacanis.com get his newsletter. Is that open to the public?
Jason: Yea. Just go to Calacanis.com, pop your email in and then Jason and then come to a launch festival as my guest.
Leo: It’s a must read. It really is a must read. @Jason everywhere now. That’s good.
Jason: @jason on Twitter and Instagram.
Leo: We’re going to do TWiT a little early next week because I heard there’s a football game on. So we’re going to try to start at 2:00 so if you watch the show live, normally 3:00 PM Pacific, 6:00 PM Eastern, 2300 UTC, roll it back an hour. 2:00 PM Pacific, 5:00 PM Eastern, 2200. No, I don’t want to compete with Payton Manning and Cam Newton. And I also want to watch the game.
Christina: That’s really what it is.
Leo: What’s the prediction though? I mean over under on best tech commercial next week. I think a lot of the companies are going to be there.
Jason: There will be an Alexa one.
Christina: Yea the Alexa one’s good. The Amazon one’s really good with Alec Baldwin. Yea.
Leo: Yea, I love that Alec Baldwin.
Jason: It basically features the Alexa. Or the Echo.
Christina: It’s great.
Jason: Why do they call it the Echo when the person’s Alexis?
Leo: So you can’t do what you’ve been doing all afternoon which is trigger the Echo in people’s homes. Now that’s the question, whether the advertisement will actually use real commands because if they do—
Jason: It does.
Christina: Well, they used to because every time the old ads used to air, which would ironically include a quote of mine in their ad.
Leo: Oh, nice.
Christina: It would set off my Alexa, or excuse me set off my Echo, I was like great guys. Thanks so much.
Leo: What they need is they need to give a few more names. Choices for a few more names. Would you please? Really? This is really killing me.
Christina: Well you can name her Echo or you can name her Amazon. You can rename her Amazon if you want to.
Leo: I know.
Christina: In the settings. But who wants to do that? You want to call her Alexa. It’s pretty.
Leo: It’s a person. Yea.
Christina: She is a person. She’s great.
Leo: And I think you’ll like here.
Christina: I do. I love her. She’s the best.
Alex: Wow, and on that note.
Leo: (Laughing) She’s the best personal assistant I have ever had.
Christina: She is.
Leo: Thank you all for joining us. Thanks for joining us. We’ll see you next time! Another TWiT is in the can. Bye-bye everybody.