E342: News Roundtable with Cyan Banister and Vivek Wadhwa-TWiST



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On this Friday News Roundtable: @cyantist & @Wadhwa join @Jason & @kirinkalia to talk @foursquare, @google Glass & more!

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0:30 On today’s show we’ve got the news with Cyan Banister and Vivek Wadhaw and Cyan Banister

3:20 Let’s thank our friends at the Resumator for sponsoring the program. Get a free 14-Day Trial at theresumator.com/twist

5:40 Welcome Cyan! Are you an investor in postmates?

6:20 How many startups have you invested in so far?

7:00 Welcome Vivek!

8:20 Jason what involvement do you have in the Mike Arrington story??

13:20 Vivek what do you think about Zuck’s announcement about immigration reform?

15:00 Cyan what do you think about the immigration debate over all?

15:40 Vivek is the issue that people think foreigners coming here will take jobs away from existing Americans?

22:10 Cyan have you had any pitches for Glass based companies yet?

23:30 How disruptive if Glass going to be Vivek?

31:00 What effect will glass have on law enforcement Cyan?

34:05 Thanks to Turnstone for sponsoring the program. Go to myturnstone.com/twist to get 10% off or your first order.

37:30 What do you think about Foursquare Cyan?

40:20 Vivek do you use Foursquare and what do you think?

44:40 How does AppGratis threaten the app store?

45:10 Cyan what do you think about Apple pulling AppGratis being pulled from the App Store?

51:40 Are Marissa and Yahoo on the right startup acquisition strategy?

55:45 Vivek what do you think, is Yahoo winning or losing?

57:40 Which would you rather have a self driving car from Google, Glass, or Google Fiber?

58:30 Cyan your answer?

60:00 Why would this disrupt cable and cell providers?

62:00 Vivek is crowdsourcing a book about females in tech

62:45 Cyan do you feel like you are seeing more female founders lately?

66:40 Cyan what’s the best investment you’ve made recently?


Full Transcript

Distribution provided by CloudSigma. The cloud that adapts to you. Visit CloudSigma.com/ThisWeekIn, for a free $200 credit.Today’s episode of ThisWeekIn Startups is brought to you by, Turnstone. More than furniture, we’re an experience. Go to myturnstone.com/twist, to learn more and receive 10% off your first order.

And by the Resumator. Try the Resumator. The hiring solution used by today’s fastest growing startups. Start a free trial at TheResumator.com/twist.

Jason: Hey, everybody. Hey, everybody. It’s Friday, April 12, 2013. It’s our News Roundtable on ThisWeekIn Startups. The show where we discuss entrepreneurship, technology, startups and products that are trying to change the world. We’ve got a full show today with a lot of interesting about ARIO, News Corp, New York Times, Yahoo, Reddit. Just lots of stuff going on. Boy do we have a great all star panel with us. Cyan Banister, serial angel investor, she is prolific. Vivek Wadhwa who is just a really brilliant mind and commentator and former entrepreneur and all around hyper intelligent guy. Kirin Kalia is going to read the news deftly. Stick with us. It’s going to be a great show.

TWiST title sequence.

Jason: Hey, everybody. Hey, everybody. It’s April 12, 2013. This is ThisWeekIn Startups. The show where we discuss entrepreneurship. The show where we discuss startup companies, building products, investing in them, exiting them, scaling them, failing them. All of the things that matter to entrepreneurs and founders. We’ve been doing this show for 341 episodes. This is the 342nd episode. I gotta tell you something. Somewhere around 200 episodes the show became watchable. Now I think it’s pretty damn good. I’ll be honest. The show is getting better.

Kirin: What about those poor people in the first 200?

Jason: They’re screwed. I feel like… This is the thing when you look back on your work. You just feel like burning… This is a great thing about entrepreneurship. If an entrepreneur shows you something and doesn’t start with, “I absolutely hate this” is not a true entrepreneur. Like you have to hate what you just made in order to be a great entrepreneur. Right? You have to have that…

Kirin: Then you have to make it better.

Jason: Exactly, exactly. Of course that’s Kirin Kalia who’s been with me for a couple of decades. Took a little break in between.

Kirin: A couple of decades? How old are we?

Jason: A couple. I said a couple. That’s two.

Kirin: Alright. Alright.

Jason: Originally at Silicon Alley Reporter and now at Launch. She does a great job reading the news. We have a lot in the news this week that we’re going to get through. Zuck on immigration, News Corp battling ARiO, Google Fiber comes to Austin, AppGratis pulled from the AppStore, Google Ventures and Kleiner and Andreessen Horowitz teaming up on the Google Glass fund ecosystem, Yahoo and Apple doing a big partnership, the Mike Arrington saga continues, New York Times on Marissa Meyer’s startup strategy, The IRS reading your emails without a warrant, We Live In Pubic founder. Just tons and tons of great news to discuss. I wanted to start by thanking my friends at The Resumator. I’ve been using this product for 4 or 5 years. Actually Kirin, you use it as well.

Kirin: I have used it many times. It’s great.

Jason: Fantastic. We used to keep all of our job applications prior to The Resumator in Excel spreadsheets and in our email boxes. Which meant God it was inefficient. Now It normalizes everything, puts it in software as a service in a web based service that is flawless. We have over 18,000 applicants to my various companies over the last 5 years that I’ve been using the product. Now they’re a sponsor of the program. This is one of the great things about my life. Is I’m so lucky that there are so many people who are loyal to the program and support it because they love they love the content, they love the entrepreneurs, they love the audience. I only will accept advertising and sponsors and partners, that’s why we call them partners, from people we use their product. This is like a dream come true for me. I can tell you how The Resumator works. I don’t even have to write the copy that the team wrote for me but I will cause that’s always good. Market your openings on job boards and social media. Screen resumés based on your job criteria. We do that. Track applicants through the hiring process. We do that. It’s obviously more efficient. We can stay competitive by reducing our time and cost per hire. Customers include Launch, Inside, Instagram, Pinterest, HooteSuite… It’s an all-star list. What am I doing on it? Never let the hiring experience stand in the way of your growth. Get a free trial. theresumator.com/twist. My favorite feature of it is now you can ask questions. So when people apply from Craigslist we ask them 3 or 4 questions like… We try to ask questions like… When we were hiring someone to be a producer of the show we’ll ask like, “What’s your favorite episode and why?”

Kirin: Well we also ask them who do they think should be on the show who hasn’t been on yet.

Jason: Ah. That’s a really good one. I didn’t even know we asked that.

Kirin: We do.

Jason: That’s good. Kirin is empowered to do this hiring. She asked that question so there you go. You asked that question, why?

Kirin: I did because I want to see if they got an idea of who we actually book and if they looked at the archive to see who we and haven’t had on.

Jason: Right. We want to hire people who fit a certain profile. If you’re not willing to watch the show then don’t apply for the program. The thing you know. We want to set a high bench mark not deal with noise in the hiring process. So that worked out really well for us. Thank you to @theresumator for supporting the program. On the program today Cyan Banister is with us again. How are you doing Cyan?

Cyan: Good. How are you?

Jason: I’m well. Thank you for wearing that awesome headset. I will admonish Vivek for not doing it next.

Kirin: Ooh.

Jason: Thank you for using Postmates to get that over there in an hour. That’s pretty cool. Are you an investor in Postmates as well?

Cyan: Yes. I’m an investor in Postmates. Yeah. They really saved the day today. So I’m pretty happy.

Jason: The fidelity is so great. So you just said to Postmates on your iPhone, “Get me a headset that’s high quality from wherever,” and they go and get it?

Cyan: Yeah. Basically I had a link to a suggestion that was sent to me from your team. I just put the link to the Amazon… It was like a Plantronics headset. I said, “Get me something like this. I need it in the next hour.”

Jason: Wow.

Cyan: So they got it here.

Jason: We live in the future. God Almighty.

Kirin: That’s pretty awesome.

Jason: It’s pretty awesome. I love Postmates. Of course you’ve invested in 50, 100 startups at this point?

Cyan: Well over 50. Yes.

Jason: Well over 50. You tore it up at the Launch Festival. Thanks for being on the angel/investor panel. That was great.

Kirin: She did office hours too.

Jason: And office hours too. I always appreciate that. Doing these smaller more intimate office hours.

Cyan: That was a lot of fun.

Jason: Yeah. Also on the program is Vivek Wadhwa is with us once again. Academic researcher, writer and entrepreneur. How are you doing Vivek?

Vivek: Good. Thank you.

Jason: But no headset for you. You did not use Postmates to get a high quality headset. Hey Brandice, Kirin here’s what we do. Just send him the Plantronics DSP 400. That’s my favorite headset.

Kirin: OK.

Jason: Just send it to him. It’s a gift from me to you Vivek. Welcome back to the program. You’ve been writing a lot. You’re part of The Wall Street Journal Accelerator accelerators program. As well as The Washington Post on a pretty regular basis. Yeah?

Vivek: Forbes and ASE and a bunch of others.

Jason: And formerly of TechCrunch. Let’s get to the news. Let’s get the Mike Arrington story out of the way so I can just say my piece on it and get it over with.

Kirin: Alright. To move on.

Jason: By the way. For clarity, they only reason we’re bringing this up is we brought it up last week, it’s a news program. I don’t want to obsess over it. I know I’m tangentially related to the story. So I feel it’s dishonest for me as doing a news program to not talk about what is the most buzzed about story. But I also don’t want to obsess on it. You’ll hear my comments after Kirin just explains what’s going on with the situation.

Kirin: Alright. So just very briefly, April 7 Mike issues his first statement on this. He says he’s hired a lawyer. He’s asked them to contact the appropriate law enforcement agencies about these false allegations. April 11, that’s yesterday, he published his lawyer’s letter which contains text from Jenn Allen’s Facebook post. It references Heather Harde’s statement which supports Mike. She says she’s knows nothing about any kind of abuse or anything of that nature. She totally supports him. April 12, that’s today, Mike responds to Julia Allison’s allegations that were in Gawker. That he was abusive towards Meghan Asha. That’s where you come in.

Jason: Yeah. So Mike and I had a bad falling out. As bad as it gets.

Kirin: That’s true.

Jason: When that happens everybody feels it necessary to tell you everything bad about the person. So I’m sure everything anybody ever has as a gripe with me, in my 20 year career, you know they go to Mike and say Jason’s a bad guy. The same happens for me. Anybody who Mike fired or this they want to come to me and talk about it and commensurate about it. For 3 years I have distanced myself from Mike and focused on my own projects. That’s gone very well for me. I’d like to continue that. Mike doesn’t need me in his life. I don’t need Mike in my life. That being said I am being dragged into this because Julia Allison reportedly made a phone call to me that contained information that people feel is pertinent to this case. I am not going to say… I have confirmed that there was a phone call that occured. I can’t deny that I was not called. But what was said in that phone call is something that is not for me to say publicly because it’s hearsay. It’s not first hand knowledge of any of these situations. I do not feel comfortable talking about it. Which should tell people that I do not have an ax to grind because if I did have an ax to grind…

Kirin: You would have said it.

Jason: … I could’ve come out and said a lot of the things and rumors I’ve heard. All I did was write a Facebook post that I feel like I got duped by Mike. That has mainly to do with his behavior towards me. I feel like, you know I don’t like Mike. I think he’s got problems. I hope he gets help. We have our own problems. I’m sure he would say the same of me. “I don’t like Jason. I hope he gets help. I think something’s wrong with him.” Right? We both feel mutually about that. Now in this situation there are 4 people who know what happened. Mike, the woman from RealNames, Meghan Asha and this Jenn Allen. Those are the 4 people who know what happened. The legal process and the courts are going to have to figure this out. Pulling me into it, with my history with Mike, pulling other people like Heather who has a positive history with Mike, pulling Jenn’s character witnesses, these character witnesses… This is all getting very nasty and it’s not very productive. I implore the people who are involved to get the cops involved if they need to be involved, their lawyers involved and work it out on their own and I wish them all the best. But I don’t need to be involved in this. It’s nasty stuff. It’s nasty business. To be honest any of the possibilities are true at this point. One person could be telling the truth. One person could be lying. One person could be lying the other person could be telling the truth or they could be both lying, both telling the truth or any permutation of all those things. Since you have three different cases this is a web of possible truths and possible… that I don’t even know how it gets unseen. I’ve never been involved in anything like this in my life. I don’t know anybody who’s ever committed any kind of crimes. I don’t know if a crime was committed here or not. I don’t like being involved in it. I don’t like domestic abuse. I’ve seen domestic abuse up close and personal. It was a very personal issue to me. So I take it dead serious. If I’m called as a character witness you know or if I get subpoenaed or I get sued I am fine with that. If anyone wants to sue me or to have me be deposed I will be deposed. But until that time nobody needs to hear from Jason Calacanis on this.

Kirin: Let’s move on then.

Jason: What’s that?

Kirin: Should we move on?

Jason: And we will move on. Unless Vivek or Cyan on the off chance want to say something.

Vivek: All that I wanted to say is the Uncrunched article about Jenn I felt sorry for her. Putting pictures of her up there, emails and giving the email addresses and the disproportionate response I felt sad for that poor lady. I don’t know what’s true or false here. I’m not going to comment of that but I really, really feel for her and for women who feel that they have been abused. She obviously feels that she’s been wronged. That’s why she’s speaking up. So my sympathies for her.

Jason: OK. Cyan has said nothing so I take that as she wants to move on to the next story. So let’s move on to the next story. The thing is we’ve all had relationships or have relationships with Mike so this is also very complicated. You know? I just hope everybody stops commenting on it except the people with first hand knowledge.

Kirin: Yep.

Jason: That’s what needs to happen. Over and out. Press do not call me. Mike Arrington’s lawyers if you want to call me you can call me. If you want to depose me you can depose me. I have no fear of that. I am absolutely fine with that. Message to Mike Arrington and/or his lawyers: Depose me. Fine. I’ll tell you everything I know. Let’s move on.

Kirin: Let’s move on. So let’s talk about Mr. Zuckerberg’s piece in Washington Post yesterday announcing this new organization called FWD.us. Focus on immigration reform as well as some education and investing in scientific research kind of issues. He’s got a very high profile group of people on board: Reid Hoffman, Erik Schmidt, Marissa Meyer, Drew, Chamath, John Doerr, Paul Graham, Mary Meeker, Max Levchin, quite the all-star group. He also noted in this piece that his great-grandparents came through Ellis Island. He believes that kids who’s parents brought them here should be part of our future. We’re moving towards a knowledge economy. We need the best people we can. Is this actually going to make a political impact? Who’s going to listen?

Jason: Well this is Vivek’s speciality.

Kirin: It is.

Jason: Go ahead Vivek.

Vivek: You know. I should be real excited about it. I should be celebrating the fact that we have Mark Zuckerberg and all these other people chiming in and saying all the right things but when I read the press release, when I first read his… my first reaction was this is a publicity stunt. It’s little more than press. I’m skeptical that anything will come from it. I see this as what Zuckerberg did when he did his $100M New York school announcement when he was in trouble looking bad in the press. So he does a big press release and gives out some money. I fear that this is simply him giving up some money and trying to grab attention, grab a center piece or something. When I looked at the prescriptions it’s like mother and apple pie. He’s throwing everything in there. We need to do this. We need to have a comprehensive, we need to have pass through consumership, we need to look after … then we need to have investive research. We need to have this and that. I didn’t see a focused, targeted campaign and I didn’t see any ground swell. When I read the article, I think Kirin mentioned that Eric Schmidt… I don’t think Eric Schmidt are part of it. It seems like they’re shooting first then trying to figure out what they’re going to do later on. So I’m not sold on it. My opinion could change once I find out more about it. Right now my impress is it’s a little more than getting publicity and trying to position Zuckerberg as an adult. That’s what it looks like to me right now.

Jason: . What do you think of the immigration issue overall? Any thoughts on this in particular?

Cyan: Well to comment on what he just said I think all comments and discussions about this are good even if they are blowing smoke and just shooting at the hip and just getting started out. I think that’s fine because I think that’s a serious issue that needs to be resolved. Maybe this will get the immigration issue on the radar. I’m not sure. Obviously I would really like to see change. I would like to see anyone who wants to come to this country, who wants to be a productive part of this country, to be able to come here. So something has to change.

Jason: Yeah. Vivek is the issue here that… It seems two questions. One is the issue of why there’s resistance that people believe that if we give these jobs to foreigners it would take away from jobs of people here? Number two, does the Republicans losing two elections to Obama and immigration and the shift in demographics a big reason why this could actually change this time?

Vivek: The battle lines are really drawn over the undocumented unskilled workers. There’s no doubt that we have to resolve that issue. We have to do something for these poor people who are here, who are hard working, who may have entered illegally but the fact is they did it for their family, for their children and so on. So I’m highly sympathetic to them. The problem is there’s a trick over here. Everyone keeps talking about the pathway to citizenship. The battle’s being fought over that. When you cut through all of the noise what happens when they get citizenship they can vote. Who are they going to vote for? Democrats. So where not publicly admitting this. This is what lies beneath the surface. The Republicans are worried about a major shift of the entire political spectrum over the next 10, 20 years to the Democrats because of it. That’s why they talk about chain migration. That’s also code name for the fact that these 10M, if we legalize them, are going to vote democrats. Then they’re going to bring in 30M or 40M more close family members and that’s going to shift the balance of America to the Democrats side. That’s what’s really behind it. Nobody says it in black and white like I’m saying it but that’s what’s behind it. This is why I’ve said… First of all we do have to address this issue about the unskilled undocumented workers. We have got to legalize them. We’ve got to give them green cards. I know many people like that. All they want is their dignity. They want to be able to work. They want to be able to go home and visit their families. They want to be able to pay taxes. They want the same rights the permanent residents have.

Jason: We have to address that issue as well as… In order to address the high skilled workers, the STEM graduate degree people, you have to do also the people working at farms.

Vivek: For those people I have not heard anyone demanding this pathway to citizenship. That’s where this is getting hung up because the Republicans will not let this pass. They’re calling it amnesty. They’re coming out with every rhetoric they could come up with to stop it because of that one issue of pathway to citizenship. This is what I’ve been saying. Let’s agrees to disagree that we need to legalize these people. We need to give them their dignity and give them the rights. You go back and so on. But let’s leave the citizenship aside for 5 or 10 years while America changes because America is evolving. We’re becoming more open. We’re becoming more accepting. I don’t think Americans want to hold anyone back. So if we fix that the undocumented worker issue will get resolved. It comes to skill. The vast majority of Americans agree that we want the people in Silicon Valley to create jobs for us to boost the economy, to come up with new innovations that make America more competitive. No argument about that.

Jason: Yeah.

Vivek: The issue is about these unemployed middle aged computer programmers who were making $100K-$150K a year as contractors. Now they’re only making $70K or unemployed. With typically the middle aged they’re skills are out of date and they are saying that these foreigners are taking our jobs away. Look at the H1 visas that are coming in. They all tend to be young. Therefore they’re taking our jobs away.

Jason: Ah. So this is another wrinkle to this issue. Which is the people who are concerned are the 50 year old developers who still have 15 or 20 years left to work but they’re getting disintermediated by people who know how to use the LAMP stack as opposed to VAX, you know, or some Windows database, last paradigm.

Vivek: That’s another issue. This is something we don’t talk about openly in Silicon Valley. But the issue is the companies would rather hire younger workers with the current skills out of college who work day and night. Versus the older workers whose skills are out of date, who expect to make higher salaries. That’s what it boils down to. The question is can you force companies to hire the older workers and pay them twice the salaries? This is America. You can’t do it. We’re not admitted that and that’s what’s holding the skilled immigration issue back. Because those people are very upset. They’re very bitter that they’ve lost their ability to earn high salaries or even to work. So this is at the heart of the skilled immigration debate.

Jason: Well listen. It’s great that the debate is continuing. It’s great that the Republicans lost two elections so that… Not that I… I’m a libertarian. I don’t affiliate with either party officially.

Vivek: They deserve to get their butts kicked if…

Jason: I do think it’s great if it does push the issue forward. You actually worked in this space for a long time.

Kirin: I did. What people don’t realize is… You know there is two ways to do this. Which is the comprehensive approach, we’re going to have to do everything at one time. Then there’s the piecemeal approach. There are people who strongly favor one over the other. You think that you can’t succeed if you try to do it all at the same time cause you’re going to give up too much. Then there are people who say well if we do it piecemeal then this other stuff is never going to get resolved.

Jason: Ah. Gridlock.

Kirin: Yeah. Six years ago we came pretty close. It’s always going to take a bipartisan effort. If the Republicans are that worried about losing elections and they can’t do the right thing for America, what is traditionally american, that’s actually really sad.

Jason: Yeah. Let’s do the Google Glass story.

Kirin: So we know that Google Glass is coming out soon. Some people have already been able to experiment with them. But now we have a group of investors who say we’re going to invest in anybody who’s making stuff for Google Glass. That includes Google Ventures, not surprisingly. Kleiner Perkins and Andreessen Horowitz. They’re looking for services and hardware applications. Specifically consumer enterprise innovations with widespread reach. Basically looking at anything. They are using the same approach that Kleiner Perkins did with it’s iFund. It teamed with Apple back in 2008. Originally a $100M became a $200M when the iPad came out. They had some interesting apps that they’ve invested in that you probably heard of like Shazam, FlipBoard, Path, Spotify, Twitter, Square, Zaarly. John Doerr said specifically that they were teaming up with their old friends because he invested in Mark back in the Netscape days and Google back in ’99. So can these heavy weights corner the market for Google Glass related startups? Are there other VCs you think can work together like this?

Jason: Hey Cyan. Have you had any pitches for Google Glass related startups yet on the street level?

Cyan: Absolutely none. I haven’t had a one. I haven’t even tried the glasses on yet. I saw them in the wild at TED. Everyone from Google had them on. So I actually haven’t given them a go. I haven’t received any pitches whatsoever. If anybody’s working on this I don’t know about it.

Jason: Yeah. I think this is one of those very early things. i think it’s smart though. I am actually thinking about it with the Inside.com project I’m currently working on which will launch probably in September. Of like, “Gee. Wow. That could be a really good platform for the stuff we’re building there.” You’re aware of it. You’ve seen some of the prototypes. So I’m fascinated with it. I do think that the special funds are kind of a cool way to do this. To get excitement and to get people thinking. Like, “Oh.” Cause you know that you’re going to get at least 3 meetings. Right? That’s what I love about these things in terms of just optics. They’re easy to do because if you don’t see anything you like the VCs don’t have to address it. And you know what? Five other VCs could say, “We have a glass fund,” now and never make a glass investment. They could just say, “We have a glass fund. We’ve earmarked $50M for glass investments. If it happens it happens. If it doesn’t it doesn’t.” So it’s a very savvy move on those three venture capitalists part because now they’ve taken the pole position on when somebody types in Google Glass, venture capital, they’re going to at least go see Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins and…

Kirin: Google Ventures.

Jason: … and Google Ventures. Right?

Vivek: You know this Google Glass is more disruptive than anyone realizes. I got an email today from David Roberts who heads up our graduate studies program at Singularity University. One of the students in the summer has Google Glasses on. Now look at what happens over here. Everything that happen in the classroom is being recorded, including the lectures. So what are the privacy issues? What are the legal issues over here? We don’t stream our lectures openly but it’s all being recorded. Who owns the content that’s recorded on these devices? It’s just amazing the type of things that are going to happen. This is amazing technology. Disruptive. It’s going to change the world. But it’s now going to blow open the issue of privacy because now you have the same event being recorded by different people, different perspectives. This he said she said. Did he rape me or did he not rape me? You know, all of these issues suddenly now become recorded. It’s going to transform the way we pass judgement on people and record history.

Jason: Yeah. We did have this issue occur actually, with conferences and events. Because conferences and events, people don’t remember, use to have no recordings. Right? So we did all these events in Silicon Alley Reporter days.

Kirin: Right.

Jason: Nobody has those tapes. I mean I have them in a storage locker but most people most people didn’t record conferences. Certainly not the audience. If you did you had to get a permit from the conference producer and the conference producer would say no or yes or give you some constraint. Now people are taking out their phones and hitting record. Regularly people will just go to lectures and hit record on their laptop and nobody knows.

Kirin: Sure.

Jason: Or on their phone. Conferences, which used to be largely off the record, people’s behavior like the specifically the sexism issues and stuff like that, like people have become much more aware of, hey. When you say something in public it is truly public. This, I think continues that trend. We had to… I remember Steve Jobs with the live streaming. Steve Jobs was very upset about people live streaming his Keynotes. Now of course anybody can watch the live stream. So people adapted very quickly to it. But he specifically was kicking people out based on them doing that, streaming with UStream or Qik on their phones or on their laptops. I know because Engadet had this issue. We would be listening in. Ten of us would be listening in… This was before UStream. We would set up own rail network stuff on the covert, on the DL. A real network streaming server on the laptop and steam it to just the people in the office so they could transcribe.

Kirin: Right.

Jason: Or just leave their phone open. Right? So it’s a major issue but I think we’ll work through it. Would you think, Cyan, that this is going an opportunity in terms of investment or do you think it’s a little bit hyped up?

Cyan: I think it’s a little bit of both. I think there’s going to be some really interesting applications. I was really intrigued by some of the gaming opportunities for doing real time real life gaming. But I also do think it’s a lot of hype. I’m not sure how many people will actually buy these devices. But I’m actually interested in some things that were just brought up. Like what are the implications when you go though the TSA? If you get pulled over by a police officer they’re going to demand that you take off your glasses. I assume that these glasses at some point will be integrated into glasses you actually have to see with. So it’s really, really interesting from a privacy perspective. We certainly have not thought it completely through, the long term implications of this technology. The future kinda came pretty fast at us and it’s here. But I do think there is a lot of hype at this point.

Vivek: This is version 1.0. Wait until we have version 3.0. Wait till you have retina implants which can display the screens to you. You won’t even know it being recorded. The cameras are getting smaller and smaller. They’ll be on your shirt collar or just a pin or something. You won’t even know what’s happening. It’s the end of privacy. That’s essentially where we’re at right now.

Jason: This is really interesting. There’s this little tiny camera called the life blogging camera, called Memoto. It’s on my screen right now. They’re sending me one of these. I’ve wanted one of these for a long time. What it does is it takes a picture every 5 seconds. I just thought wow when I go to Disney Land with London… Basically when you have a kid everything you look at goes through the eyes of your child. I would love to put one of these on my daughter, one of them on myself and then go to Disney Land for the day and then record it. Then you have this great… LIke every 30 seconds of photos of the entire day. How awesome is that?

Kirin: Right. Staring at people’s backsides because you’re standing in line. That’s really fascinating.

Jason: Well of course that’s going to be the boring part but you might capture this amazing moment where she’s got the best joyous smile ever that I would never have picked up. So there’s benefits and there’s cost to all of this. I do think we don’t know what the killer use case is going to be. It’s gong to be way too expensive for now. So I do think this is going to be something that hits like 3 years from now. Which means it’s a pretty good time to get in to it. So I’m fascinated by it. I think it’s going to be huge. I don’t think that they’re stupid. I think they’re going to be huge because this continual partial attention concept that Linda Stone ace up with is a very interesting psychological phenomenon. I am talking to you. We are engaged in a conversation but I’m looking at my phone at the same time. Is that rude or not? That is considered not rude. You go out to dinner, somebody takes out their phone, their doing a tweet and their talking to you. It’s not considered rude. It used to be if you took out your phone everybody would look at you and say, “I’ll continue talking when you put your phone away.” When you look at millennials or people under the age of 20 people just continue the conversation. There’s no problem with taking your phone out and doing a tweet or stopping, paying attention to someone while they’re talking. So this is just going to take that to another level. With cops that’s a really great insight of Cyan’s. There was a guy got pulled over on his motorcycle as part of a motorcycle rally and he had the GoPro Cam in plain sight on his helmet and the cop’s giving him a hard time. If you go on YouTube and you just put in ‘police stop’ a lot of people now are taking their iPhones and hitting record when they get pulled over by a cop and putting it n their cup holder. The cop doesn’t know that their being recorded. This one cop pulled over a german couple… ‘German pulled over by cops’ I’ll pull it up while we talk. Here it is. ‘German driver owned by US cop for speeding. This is great for America I think because now we’re going to start to understand, you know, like exactly when people tell these stories about cops if it’s true or not.

German: It’s a rental car.

Cop: Registration and rental agreement.

Jason: Check this out.

German: This is the rental agreement.

Cop: Where are you from?

German: Germany.

Cop: Do you know the speed limit here germany boy?

German: Uh. I didn’t pay attention.

Cop: Then why are you driving in my country? Why are you driving if you’re not paying attention to the speed limit?

German: It’s 70.

Cop: It’s 70mph. Then why are you going 98?

German: I was just following…

Cop: Don’t follow any other cars. Let me give you a hint you weren’t following nobody. OK? I was right in front of you. You were leading the pack. This ain’t the autobahn. Do you understand that?

German: Yes. I got that sir.

Cop: You know what happens to nice little boys like you that go to jail for reckless driving?

Jason: Wait for it.

Cop: Ass will be hurting for a month.

German: OK I…

Kirin: Alright.

Cyan: Whoa.

Cop: I suggest you slow down and do 70 or you will get violated.

Vivek: I thought african americans and asians had it bad. This is ridiculous.

Jason: Right.

Kirin: Cause he’s a foreigner. Damn foreigner in my country.

Jason: It’s like wow. This is really… I think in a way this is great for everybody because now the behavior level is going to change. This cop’s going to get fired or reprimanded. This keeps happening everybody’s going to have to start behaving themselves.

Kirin: Sure. That’s already been happening for a while.

Cyan: Yeah,yeah. I think it’s going to have some really grate implications and some really bad implications. We are in a culture of over sharing and there are a lot instances that are starting to surface up. Some that we talked about earlier were people share things and it reaches a wider, broader audience. Maybe that’s not what they intended. The government can use this information as well. Depending on where you uploaded it to. So yeah it’s going to help in some of these cases but it’s also going to hurt us in a lot of other cases.

Jason: Vivek.

Vivek: I think this is not the future. It’s a good thing. It’s good to expose all this because… It’s interesting to see a white german going through this because african americans go through this abuse all the time. Over and over and over again. They live with this thing. Even asian americans live with this kind of discrimination. It’s great to start exposing it and holding people accountable. That’s what’s going to transform society. Knowing that you can’t get away with bad behavior anywhere and any time.

Jason: Yeah. I’m going to agree with Vivek that it’s great that the germans have finally got it stuck to them. I’ll tell you something. White guy commenting. I’m going to white-plain something now. I’m going to white man ‘splain something. I had no idea about asian discrimination. I assumed that was just a soft issue until I married an asian. I watched people just outwardly be incredibly rude to Jade.

Kirin: Because?

Jason: She’s asian.

Kirin: So what would they do?

Jason: Just… Somebody would be very curt with her or not helpful. At a desk at a rental car one time. Or getting a ticket. She would ask for something. They were a little bit upset at her. I don’t know exactly why. But it just seemed like a little bit of hostility towards her.

Kirin: Did she get the “you’re an asian woman so you must be a bad driver” kind of…

Jason: Not that. That’s just cliché stuff.

Kirin: Right.

Jason: Just… I could tell the tone was… Then when I would walk up to the counter and say, “”Could we get this worked out please?” We were in France. Jade was like, “We’re premier members. We get an automatic upgrade,” or whatever. The woman was like, “You don’t get anything here.” Was like very mean to her. I said, “Excuse me.” I came to the desk. “Actually I’ve stayed at 50 Starwoods around the world. I’m one of your top people. I have 100K Twitter followers. I would like you to apologize to my wife for being so rude to her. If she tells you we’re a platinum member you should look in the computer and check that we are a platinum member. You don’t have to do the upgrade. It’s fine. But I just don’t like the way that you’re talking to her.” She’s like, “Oh no. I’m sorry sir. I was just trying to explain…” They backed down immediately. A white guy comes up to the desk, different story.

Kirin: Or just that the french are rude and they treat all foreigners like that.

Cyan: They could have been intimidated by her beauty.

Jason: That is a big part of it as well actually. Then they were just very confused. What is this 10 doing with this 6? Jesus. Listen. Alright I have something very important to tell people about. That is myturnstone. Myturnstone, myturnstone. These are the desks that Jason Calacanis uses here at Inside.com. Look at these gorgeous desks. They’re very affordable. I couldn’t believe when they told me the price of these desks were. Like $500 per work station or something. Super affordable. I was like, “Oh my God. That’s incredible.” Morale went way up when we had beautiful new furniture and people loved the big desks and all the little accoutrement that go with them. It is an absolute morale booster to have beautiful great desks. You sit at them for 10 hours a day. So if you take the cost of one of these things and you put it over 4 or 5 years you’re talking about pennies a day. Even fractions of that when you talk about compare to having desks that are made out of metal. Which is what I’ve done for my whole career. Buy $150 desks. I’ll never do that again. I love these turnstone desks. We use them here at Launch and Inside. You see how beautiful they are. Go to myturnstone.com/twist and get 10% off your first order. That’s kind of a big deal, getting 10% off. Cause this is not like getting 10% off software. This is 10% of hardware.

Kirin: This is real stuff.

Jason: It’s real stuff. So go to myturnstone.com/twist. Bonus offer. The first 3 people to order myturnstone for their offices and sends us a picture at team@launch.co wins lunch with me. Hey. Whoa. What? I came up with that idea for a contest. Alright. Here’s a great contest. Yes. The first 3 people to order myturnstone for their office and send us a picture at team@launch.co, just send us a picture of that or tweet it, you will win lunch with me and I’ll pay for the lunch.

Kirin: This is going to be a nice lunch.

Jason: It’s going to be a good lunch. It’s going to be a good lunch. I may take you as a group to lunch. Go buy some myturnstone. You’ll love it. Thanks for supporting the program. Everybody say thank you @myturnstone. Alright. Everybody did that now. Let’s get the next story. How about FourSquare.

Kirin: Alright. So FourSquare came out with it’s new version of it’s iOS app this week. It’s highlighting the local search function instead of just, you know, checking in somewhere. Dennis Crowley also came out with a post about 1.1M+ businesses using it. 33M have… I thought this was interesting… given it a try. So that doesn’t mean they’re regular users I guess have downloaded the app.

Jason: Yeah. 33M app downloads is probably what 33M have given it a try means.

Kirin: Exactly.

Jason: But they have 10M a month active uniques is what I’ve read.

Kirin: OK. They’re doing decently. Now they also have a $41M raise but it’s not equity. It was convertible debt

Jason: Yeah.

Kirin: Fred Wilson came out and said that, “That was the optimal solution for everyone because it doesn’t dilute things for the management. They get, as investors, the comfort of knowing eventually our investment will become equity and we will not have to price it.” That’s actually what he said. Now FourSquare says they’re doing for real world internet search what Google did for internet search. So are you impressed with FourSquare’s progress? Who should be more scared of where they’re going? Yelp or Google.

Jason: I love FourSquare now. I started using it again and boy have they really on a…

Kirin: It’s much better.

Jason: … on a product basis like they have reached the Gowalla beauty. You know. I was an investor in Gowalla. So I’m kind of bummed that they’re not around anymore. But they’ve reached this level of beauty and functionality and editorial that when I look at Yelp and I look at FourSquare I feel like Yelp is got better reviews historically but I feel like FourSquare has fresher stuff and a better UI right now. So I feel like they’re neck and neck and they really are contemporaries. Which is why Keith Rabois is so brutal to FourSquare on Twitter. Cause he’s on the board of Yelp. So it’s a pretty good dog fight. Cyan explain to us why the convertible debt thing happened do you think. Is it a good thing for management as Fred Wilson is saying?

Cyan: I don’t know that I could explain this. I unfortunately didn’t do a lot of research into this. However I’m the last person to ask questions about FourSquare cause I’m probably not one of their biggest fans. So… I haven’t used the app since it launched and I don’t think I’ll use it again.

Jason: Why is that? Just no value for you, checking in, the concept? You want privacy?

Cyan: I want privacy. It’s so hard to get… As we said privacy is dead. I fight for any shred of privacy I could possibly have. I found it to be really kind of concerning that I was giving away information about my eating habits, my shopping habits, where I was going and basically giving it to an entity that I wasn’t sure how responsible they’d be with it. So that’s just something I’m against. So I just don’t use it. I also has a really bad experience where I checked someplace and I have only my friends that I’ve approved but one of my friends told somebody I was at this place then someone showed up at my table…

Jason: Wow.

Cyan: … and started talking to me. He said, “Yeah. I heard you were here. I just thought I’d come by and pitch you on my startup.”

Jason: Wow.

Cyan: I was like, “Oh no. No. No, no, no.”

Kirin: We can’t have that.

Cyan: I was done.

Jason: Yeah. That is concerning.

Cyan: But as far as that I can’t really give much more information on that cause I have a strong opinion. I’m sorry. Yeah. I know. It’s fine. I do think that’s a great jumping off point. Kirin you use FourSquare.

Kirin: I use it only on the off chance that I’m doing something interesting.

Jason: Right. So you use it sparingly.

Kirin: Sparingly. But I do like to have it as a record of when I was last at something.

Jason: Ah.

Kirin: Or like where was that little café? I don’t remember the name of it or something like that.

Jason: Got it. So if you go to another country, another city, and you check in you could be like what pizzeria did Jason take us to when we were in San Francisco.

Kirin: Or like for myself. Like, “What was the name of that little café I went to when I was in San Francisco?

Jason: Oh. Got it. Got it. So do you have privacy concerns about it? Especially as a woman and as someone who is high profile now and as a journalist. Like people want to come pitch you or something like that?

Kirin: I have very few friends on FourSquare and have been very careful about that.

Jason: Do you tweet it and Facebook it and make it public sometimes?

Kirin: I will sometimes tweet it but I usually do what you do.

Jason: On the way out.

Kirin: On the way out.

Jason: Yeah. See I’m an on the way out kind of guy. Cause I have had people show up.

Kirin: I’m sure you have.

Jason: It gets a little bit weird. You know but also I’m like a 6th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I have a fire arm. Like if anybody really wants to bring it I’m not that worried about it. You know what I’m saying? I’ve had stalkers show up at the office. At your own peril. Please. You know. But I do think it’s something serious.

Kirin: I think that the whole mayor concept is probably on its way out as well.

Jason: Yeah. That makes no sense.

Kirin: Because who gives a crap if you’ve checked in a place 50 times?

Jason: It’s the… I think it’s the reviews and the tips, which was the direction Gowalla was going in before. They couldn’t keep it going, which I’m really sad about. Cause Gowalla had some of the most beautiful stuff for the merchants. In terms of knowing who’s at your place and giving them special offers and building deep relationships.

Kirin: Sure.

Jason: I think that’s the big part of it. What FourSquare needs to do is add the Square features and do a POS, point of service, maybe just get into the full service of the establishment as opposed to just the light check in thing. Vivek do you use it? What do you think?

Vivek: I’ve never been a fan. There are valid applications like you’re talking about. So I hope they listen to you. Bottom line.

Jason: Yeah. I think they’re going to do fine. I think there’s a little bit of a thing where people are piling on, beaten up a little bit on them because they’ve raised so much money and they don’t have a business yet. So someone like David Heinemeier Hansson would be like this is not a real business. Da, da, da, da. But in fairness to them what happens with the… People want to understand what is happening with convertible debt. So here’s what happens. The last round they did like $600M.

Kirin: That was the valuation.

Jason: That was the valuation. Now this whole category is absolutely fubarred nobody wants to be involved in it. Right? Nobody sees the check in as important. So that leaves the entrepreneur in a really dangerous place. Which is I raised here. Now people think the business is worth $200M. So now there’s a $400M gap. I mean I made the number 200 up but the $600M number I’m pretty sure is confirmed in the press.

Kirin: Yeah.

Jason: So what does the entrepreneur do when they raise the next round? Do they cram down and lower the valuation or do they say, “Give us the money. We’ll give interest on your money and we’ll give you a discount of 10% or 20% or none, who knows, on the next round. So what they’re saying is we can fill in that gap with that $41M. Now we don’t know. Maybe they’re only burning $1M a month. So if they’re losing just $1M a month that’s 40 months to fill in $400M in value. They could very conceivably do that.

Kirin: Sure.

Jason: So it makes it a good risk. But there’s so much hating going on about the entrepreneurs when they struggle. I kind of think the opposite needs to be done. When you’re struggling like that I’m rooting for them.

Kirin: You’re rooting for Dennis.

Jason: I am so rooting for Dennis because he loves what he does so much. It’s so obvious that he does. He’s sticking with it. I love that he’s sticking with it. He’s fighting through the dark times. You know what? I had the same thing happen at Mahalo. We were at a peak. We were at a $100M valuation. Panda update hits, revenue goes down. Oh my God. Now we’re out of favor. You know what? Fight through it. I have the money in the bank. Inside.com becomes a huge hit then you fill it in. You have to be able to fight through these things as an entrepreneur. So the entrepreneurs and founders who are watching this and seeing him… Great respect for Dennis. Great, great respect for Dennis. I really want to have hi on the program when I’m in New York next. He’s one of the few people I’ve really wanted to have on the program because he figure out his founder product match. He has been in this check in space, Dodgeball, FourSquare, and he will be in it 20 years from now. He’s a lifer. He knows that location matters. To get a million customers local is very hard. I am 100% certain he figures it out and I am 100% certain that the company goes public and does well or have a big exit. 100% certain. Next story.

Kirin: Alright. Since we’re talking about struggling entrepreneurs

Jason: But I could be wrong. What does me being 100% certain actually mean.

Kirin: Sure. Well if we’re talking about struggling entrepreneurs, AppGratis is being pulled from the AppStore.

Jason: Aww.

Kirin: This was an app that just recently raised over $13M. The whole concept of course was that you could find out about interesting apps and get early access to them. AppGratis CEO /founder Simon Dawlat didn’t know what was going on. He had been on a plane for 12 hours flying to Rio and he gets off the plane and he’s got all these voicemails and messages and he’s just flipping out. What could have gone wrong in the 12 hours I was on the plane? He finds out that Apple has pulled the app. Apple is now citing the rule 2.25 and 5.6. Apps that display others than your own for purchase or promotion in manner similar to or confusing with the AppStore will be rejected. The 5.6 rule, apps cannot use push notifications to advertising, promotions or direct marketing of any kind. In December AppShopper was removed for violating rule 2.25. Sources have told AllThingsD that Apple’s planning more enforcement of these rules because the apps allegedly threaten the legitimacy of the AppStore and undermine its integrity.

Jason: Why? Why does it undermine it. I think I know the answer but is it specified?

Kirin: It doesn’t specify.

Jason: I think the reason they feel this does that is because if you’re on AppGratis or AppShopper they’re so popular that if they send a note to 100K people that the app is free today… Cause that’s what these do. They make the app free today.

Kirin: Sure.

Jason: Then you become number one in the store.

Kirin: Right. So it’s messing with their chart system.

Jason: Right. But that is BS. Apple is 100% wrong. Cyan what do you think? Are you an investor in either company?

Cyan: No. No I’m not. I think this is incredibly sad. This is actually sad as an investor as well because I get pitched on a lot of really interesting apps. I pass on a lot of them for this very reason. Because Facebook and Apple they’re gatekeepers towards these applications and these companies that invest a lot of money and time in building these wonderful products only to become successful a couple of years later and then be shut down. I think it’s incredibly tragic that this happens. I’ve seen it happen to many of my investments as well as other people’s investments. I just think it’s a shame. If customers are using this and other applications are using this and it’s popular among its users then why would they do this? It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

Jason: It’s so short sighted on Apple’s part as well because what they’re doing by doing this is driving innovation into the Android AppStore or BlackBerry.

Cyan: Exactly.

Jason: Or MicroSoft’s. Because app discovery sucks. It’s almost like Apple can’t figure out app discovery so then they try to screw the people who are figuring it out.

Kirin: Exactly.

Jason: OK. The reason why any of these things even exist is cause you suck at it Apple. You should be happy that investors and startups and founders are trying to fix your goddamned ecosystem, instead of driving them out. This will drive…

Cyan: Here’s the problem. People are not going to want to fix their ecosystem anymore. We’re not going to put anymore money or effort or businesses are really really going to second guess whether or not they should be putting any time or money or effort into them anymore. So I think this is a huge mistake.

Jason: This would be the same as MicroSoft saying, “We’re not going to allow you to make a new word processor or spreadsheet for Windows because we feel like it inhibits the integrity of MicroSoft Word and Excel for you to have a conflicting thing.” Or we feel the Chrome browser or the FireFox or the Mozilla browser or the Opera browser… you know, the integrity of the Internet Explorer diminished… I mean just cause you say it in a fancy way Apple, does not mean it’s true. This is Apple at it’s worst. This is abhorrent and it’s heavy handed and Apple should be ashamed of themselves. Vivek what do you think?

Vivek: Apple will lose power. They’re abusing their privileges over here. They’re pushing people towards Android. It’s to the point, you know, I’m thinking of switching over to Samsung for the first time. Those new phones I keep seeing pretty cool. They’re bigger, they’re slicker. Then it’s Android which is a lot more open than Apple’s operating system is. So this Apple fanboy may well switch over in the next few months. If the next iPhone isn’t spectacularly better what I have right now.

Jason: I don’t think any smart phone will ever be called spectacular again because they’ve all reached parity.

Kirin: That’s true. The incremental…

Jason: It’s incremental. We’re 90% of the way there. If you look at what’s coming out of Samsung… They put a processor that’s twice as fast as the one in the iPhone 5. I played with the BlackBerry Z 10. It’s incredible. It’s got a better hand feel. Then you look at the HTC just came out. Peter Rojas said the new HTC is the best handset ever made. Whether the operating system is better, you know, people will debate.

Kirin: Sure.

Jason: But we’re in single digit percentages in terms of how different iOS, BlackBerry and Android and MicroSoft’s mobile operating system are. It’s like 15% or less. In some cases maybe 6 or 7 percent. Which means if the hardware is getting better from people outside of Apple, Apple better come out with that goddamned TV and wristwatch very soon because there is no innovation… They’re not going to win it on the iPhone smartphone anymore. That’s the big win. Anyway.

Vivek: We should be seeing the Apple Glass. We should be seeing the Apple projector. They should be getting leap motion into their laptops. All of these advices that other people are doing we should be seeing that in addition to the Apple products coming out with these. Yet we keep getting more or the same. So now the iPad will have retina. Wowee. Big deal. So we’re seeing too much of the same from Apple. Unless they really get their act together soon they’re going to go the way of RIM sadly. That’s what’s happening with Apple. Not enough innovation coming out of it.

Jason: Alright. Let’s do another story.

Kirin: Alright. You know… you always like to talk about Yahoo Jason.

Jason: Yeah. I love Yahoo.

Kirin: There are two interesting stories. One is the New York Times is doing kind of a nice overview of Marissa’s startup acquisition strategy. You know, certain entrepreneur is quoted in there. One who met with Yahoo just after Marissa started. He said, “They would have to be willing to pay me twice what anyone else was willing to pay to work there.”

Jason: Um-huh. This is an entrepreneur off the record.

Kirin: Yes. He was unnamed but on the record.

Jason: I’m going to go on the record saying if Yahoo pays me 26% more than Google then I’m willing to sell to them. I’m just going to go on the record there.

Kirin: OK.

Jason: It’s exactly 20… The Yahoo discount is… The Yahoo premium is 26%. No. It’s so stupid when an entrepreneur says they have to pay me twice as much. That’s ridiculous. You’re job as the entrepreneur is to get maximum value for your shareholders and yourself.

Kirin: Right. Well…

Jason: The converse of that is I would sell for 50% on the dollar to somebody else. That entrepreneur didn’t put himself on the record because he would know how stupid that sounds.

Kirin: Well he was also not impressed that they haven’t done they’re due diligence and they didn’t really know who he was and stuff like that when he came in to pitch them. That’s very different than going into Google and Facebook.

Jason: OK. So that is different. They were not prepared.

Kirin: They were not prepared. You know so it just doesn’t give you a good feeling.

Jason: That’s lame. You want to be courted as an entrepreneur.

Kirin: Also in this article the entrepreneur…

Jason: He’s insulted.

Kirin: Yes. The Yelp folks, the reason they turned down an offer from Yahoo is because nobody from Yelp wanted to work there.

Jason: That was Google.

Kirin: No. This was… Yelp was actually… This article talks about Yelp getting an offer from Yahoo.

Jason: Again? Like when it was public?

Kirin: No. This was a couple of years ago.

Jason: No. I think what they’re talking about is Marissa trying to buy Yelp when she was at Google. Cause that was on the record. Yelp passed… That was like the animosity between Yahoo and… There was animosity between Marissa and I think and Google over that. But I don’t know. Read the story anyway. Get to the point.

Kirin: So the point is that Marissa’s obviously trying to show that she cares more about developers. Having revamped the Flickr app. Beck in the day Delicious founders say that they had to spend all this time just to get the extra service they needed for the product to work properly.

Jason: Ugh. Yeah.

Kirin: Katerina goes on the record as saying, “They do care about the developers now which was less true than when we were there.” So is Marissa really on the right track here? Are you impressed with what she’s bought so far?

Jason: So Cyan I’m going to have you answer that. Stamped, the mobile recommendation service on the air, the online video service, Snippets the clipping service, Propel location based apps and Jibe social recommendation apps. Also Summly. What do you think Cyan? Do you like her quick $100M portfolio? $10M-$25M at a time of mobile apps.

Cyan: So OnTheAir is one of my investments by the way. I haven’t heard if they like it there yet or not. But I actually think that Yahoo keeps sort of playing in these marketplaces where it’s a win or take all market. They keep coming in #3, #4, #5. I’m sort of the Jack Welch, you know, you need to be #1 or #2 in a space. So I think that they’re actually in the wrong products. I think they should be buying companies like Zynga and getting into mobile gaming. That’s where they could become a major player. I think they could become the largest mobile game studio in the world. They could get into gambling. There’s so much more interesting things they could do that neither MicroSoft or I believe Google are actually investing heavily in that space and they could become #1. So why aren’t they focusing on things where they could become #1 in the marketplace rather than trying to be competent with people who are clearly winning. So that’s the part I have a problem with.

Jason: Yeah. I think that Marissa… it’s a fair point… Has not stated… I mean she did state, “Our overarching mission is you know like your daily habits.” OK. I like that. But I think she should’ve just said, full bore, like content sharing or content or mobile or gaming. Or gaming, communications and this. Like it’s going to be news, it’s going to be games and it’s going to be communication. Which is email SMS or whatever. We’re going to own those three. We’re going to be #1 or #2 in those. Our email client’s going to be the best. Our mobile gaming and our gaming, casual games are going to be the best. Cause they used to be the leader in casual gaming. Like far and away. If you wanted to play backgammon or chess you went there.

Cyan: I think they should go back to that.

Jason: Yeah. I think then there’s also as I talked to a Yahoo insider and they said she is… I talked to a Yahoo insider last week. They said that she is looking at the minutia of the user experience and told this young executive, “What is the really wow moment when they use this specific product and what is absolutely unique that you can’t’ get anywhere ales in the world? She obsessing about trying to find this incredibly wow moment. It’s almost like David Sacks would say that little hook, the little hook of behavior. What is that behavioral hook that people are just addicted to and it’s just very unique? Which may be an interesting cultural thing to have everybody vibe inside the organization so I get it. But as Cyan is saying if you’re #1 or #2 in mail, #1, #2, #3 in news or Yahoo Finance. Like why is she not leaning into those and quadrupling down and getting to #1? Like make Yahoo Finance #1. Make it the next CNBC. OK mail they’re #2. How can they make it #1? Can they offer 50G of storage like DropBox and just absolutely crush it? If they’re #5 in photo sharing do they give up or do they go right to #1? It’s a little bit more… Maybe she’s going to reveal that. Maybe she just wants to get more people on the bus. Then she takes the direction of the bus. But she’s getting a lot of great teams.

Kirin: Well what I think that article shows is there is still some reticence on the part of entrepreneurs to sell to Yahoo. They’re not convinced yet.

Jason: If you love your product the jury is out whether they will kill it or not.

Kirin: Yeah.

Jason: That I guess is the issue. Who has the best track record for not killing innovative products I guess is the question. I think that’s what Google and MicroSoft and Apple are all trying to do. Like can we buy these things and keep them… I mean in Apple’s case they’re like, “Yeah. We’re going to shut it down but it’s going to be incorporated into something huge.” Vivek what do you think? Yahoo winning losing or yet to be determined?

Vivek: I think we need to give Marissa more time. She’s only been there for a short while and she’s inherited a complete mess. So let her clean it up. She seems to be doing many of the right things. I would not advise her to buy Zynga and get into online gaming. That’s selling her soul and demolishing the company which she built. I mean what do you do next get into online porn? I mean you have to maintain the family values of a company at least. Not sell your soul in desperation. I think I’ll give her another 6 months before I pass any negative judgement on her.

Jason: I’m trying to figure out when she actually started at Yahoo so when we…

Kirin: It was in July.

Jason: It was in July of last year?

Kirin: It was July. Yup.

Jason: So we’re coming on a year now.

Kirin: It’s still three months away.

Jason: Three months away.

Kirin: Yeah.

Jason: I kind of like the idea of… Yeah. I do like the gaming. I don’t know if I like the gambling thing yet. But I’m fine with gambling. I don’t have a moral issues with that obviously. I don’t know if that’s the best thing for her but I do know the casual stuff she can really, really, really clean up in. Because God casual gaming… They have an older demographic. Those folks whether it’s male or female, 40, 50, 60 year old guys like to play poker online. 40, 50, 60 year old women like to play Zynga games and other kinds of…

Kirin: There’s fantasy sports.

Jason: Then there’s fantasy sports for 30, 40, 50 year old guys. Like man that’s such a rich place. So I think she’s going to do just fine. I think year two is when you’re going to… Here’s a funny one. She stated her priorities being God, family and Yahoo in that order.

Kirin: Who’s famous quote was that? Who’s the football coach who said it was like…

Jason: God, team, whatever, I don’t know, winning. Alright last story. Let’s do the last story here. No Bitcoin story?

Kirin: We talked about last week. We can talk about Bitcoin now if you want.

Jason: No. That’s OK. What’s the most interesting story? Give us the options.

Kirin: I think you’re a fan of Google Fiber so we should talk about…

Jason: Do Google Fiber. Yeah. So take… As I predicted Google Fiber is not an experiment. It’s a takeover plan. Was I vindicated this week?

Kirin: Well… They’re coming to Austin by mid 2014.

Jason: Vindication.

Vivek: I what Google Fiber here in Silicon Valley.

Jason: It is the most sought after… Which would you rather have? Here’s the test. Vivek if you could have this tonight would you rather have a self-driving car from Google, Google Glass or Google Fiber?

Vivek: I want the self-driving car and Google Fiber powering it.

Jason: No, no, no, no, no. You’re not playing the game properly Vivek. I want you to give me an order what you want. 1, 2 and 3. Number three is clearly…?

Vivek: ;OK. I want the self-driving car because that would free up so much time. That would make me so much more productive.

Jason: And number 2?

Vivek: Number 2 is the internet, Google Fiber.

Jason: And number 3 would be Glass. Cyan? Self-driving car, Fiber or Glass?

Cyan: Glass.

Jason: Glass number one. OK. Number 2?

Cyan: Fiber.

Jason: OK. So that means that number three is the self-driving car cause she lives in the city. She’s got the Uber.

Kirin: She got Uber.

Cyan: Yeah. I have Uber. I don’t need a self-driving car.

Jason: Exactly. Kirin? Number one at home you want?

Kirin: I think it would be the Fiber.

Jason: OK. Number two.

Kirin: It would be the Glass.

Jason: Number three.

Kirin: The car.

Jason: Alright. For me I say Fiber. Fiber all day. Number two which will be a little shocking for people. I want the self-driving cars. But not for myself. I want it for everybody else. Cause then we will free up the road for me to drive in my Tesla even faster. No. I would like the self-driving car number two because I would like to watch the Nick game on the way home. That would be fantastic for me. Just put the dashboard to the Nick game. Then number three I’ll take Google Glass because… I don’t know how transformative… This is a takeover plan for them. They could… There’s 70M homes in The United States. The estimate was it would only cost them $11B to reach all them?

Kirin: I don’t know what the estimate was.

Jason: My estimate was… Yeah. I could do the math here. Let’s say it cost $5K a home. $5K X let’s say 40M homes is… Oh. I have to do all the zeros. One, two, three. One, two, three.

Kirin: I think you’re looking at a couple billion.

Jason: Hold on. I’ve got to put the commas in. Coma…

Vivek: Jason while you compute that do you realize that this could decimate the…

Jason: $200B.

Vivek: … the cell phone companies. AT&T, Verizon…

Jason: Oh God, yes.

Vivek: … T Mobile and the cable companies.

Jason: Why?

Vivek: We’re talking about a trillion dollar disruption over here.

Jason: Why would it disrupt them? Cause the fiber lines would be required to have a wi-fi router a la…

Vivek: You can have wi-fi everywhere. You won’t need the cell anymore. You don’t need GPRS. You don’t need 3G. You have wi-fi everywhere replacing those connections we have.

Jason: At $5K a home it will cost $200B which means they can easily afford to do it. But if it only cost half that it would be $100B. If it costs $1K it would be even less. Interesting.

Kirin: And they are asking people to pay $300 towards the…

Jason: Install.

Kirin: … cost of the network.

Jason: Yeah. I think everybody goes for that. I mean even poor people would pay the $300.

Kirin: Well there were some issues in Kansas City last year when they were doing this. You know, if you looked at where the poor and rich parts of town were it was pretty clear who was signed up for Google Fiber and who wasn’t. Then they do more outreach.

Jason: Once they hear… You know and once they put them on a payment plan or something. They’ll be able to finance it.

Kirin: Sure. They had to do some other things to make it add a little bit more but…

Jason: Google is going to accelerate this to 10 cities a year in 2015. My prediction. Am I right or wrong Vivek?

Vivek: They’re going to do it because ultimately having the internet means that they will surf the internet more, they use Google apps, they buy Google products and they’re connected to Android phones. Google has not revealed to the world where they’re going. I really admire the company for its brilliance over here. But that said they’re now a threat to the entire mobile industry because they’re going to take over where it’s going. If you have Fiber everywhere you’ll have connectivity everywhere and it’s transformative.

Jason: Alright. Listen. This has been an amazing episode. Thank you Vivek Wadhwa. Everybody follow Vivek on Twitter @wadhwa. Great job. You’re in the accelerator. Any plugs? Vivek any plugs?

Vivek: You will send me one right?

Jason: Any plugs are allowed. Plugs.

Vivek: Oh plugs. No. Time out, time out. This is important. My women in tech book, my women and innovation book. i’m crowd sourcing a book about the opportunities for women and the challenges they’ve faced and how they can rise beyond it. We’re going to be launching an Indiegogo campaign in about 10 days or so. And we’re going to have hundreds, thousands of women writing the book. So this is going… I really want to create a movement over here. All the money we raise, every single cent of it is going to go into educating women on advancing technologies. So I’m doing my bid to help the most important segment of our society out.

Jason: That’s awesome. I love the fact that your taking advantage of women by making them write your book for free. You’re leaning in to take advantage… No. It’s great. Listen. I feel like we…

Vivek: For women, by women. I’m just enabling. That’s all I’m doing.

Jason: Cyan it does feel like we’ve turned a corner in terms of women and entrepreneurship. It just seems to me that over the last 5 or 6 years a lot more female founders. Do you feel the same way?

Cyan: It’s just bound to happen. When I started out in the industry I sat in companies. I’m an engineer. That’s my background. You know i had the bathroom all to myself when there were no women. Now I see all of these women who code, women who are… You know women’s rails groups. I mean there’s lines at the bathrooms when I go to conferences now. The signs and the indicators are all there that there’s definitely more women than there’s been in my life time so far.

Jason: That’s fantastic.

Cyan: I think we’re on a positive trajectory.

Jason: It’s a great, great thing. Everybody’s got to do their part. We obviously, Kirin, take it very seriously at the Launch Festival and event.

Kirin: We do.

Jason: We had that party where we had so many women founders and we had lines in the women’s bathroom. So I think that is your benchmark everybody. How many stalls…

Cyan: If you think it’s really long…

Jason: Yeah. You’re doing you’re job.

Cyan: … then you know you’ve made it. You’re doing your job.

Jason: Exactly.

Vivek: I have a recent project which I’m going to release in summer. Which shows the same trend. That women have become more confident. They’re getting mentorship. They’re fixing their own problems so it’s all headed in the right direction.

Jason: I love it.

Vivek: We just want to make sure it’s a level playing field for everyone.

Jason: Well it’s funny, Michael Robertson who’s a huge libertarian and counter thinker and very smart. He was like, “There is a huge gap in gender that we need to address.” Then you click the link and it was like women outpacing men like whatever 6-4 in PhD’s and graduate degrees. And women outpacing men like 72 to whatever in workplace jobs or whatever. It’s actually now real statistics showing that women are outpacing men in terms of their job.

Kirin: … that you’re educated.

Jason: Yeah. So education a lead indicator of compensation. So now I think we will see the compensation catch up in some period of time.

Kirin: Hopefully.

Jason: I think so. You get paid as much as the other men here.

Kirin: I’m older than the other men here. I have more experience. Are you saying my experience isn’t worth the same?

Jason: We’ll talk about this after the show. Well let’s see. Is your experience the same? I don’t even know how many years you each have. We’ll have to go through that.

Kirin: I have 16 years of work experience.

Jason: Yeah. So if you went into sales then… If you’re in sales I think you get paid a little bit more. But that’s just a job function. Editorialist actually get paid a little bit less. But you actually get paid the same as sales so that’s pretty good.

Kirin: It’s true.

Jason: So it evens out I think. This has been a great episode. Everybody keep doing more and more for diversity. Diversity@launch.co is our email for diversity right.

Kirin: Yes.

Jason: So we actually have a staff email, diversity@launch.co. That comes to every event we do, everything we touch whether it’s this show, the live events, the news letter, anything. If you think we could be more diverse, If you think there’s people doing great things who deserve recognition you just email @diversity@launch.co and we are on it. Kirin and I are on it.

Vivek: I’ve got to comment on Launch. I was really impressed that you had so many african americans there, the hispanics in there and the women there. So my hat’s off to you for focusing on this.

Jason: Do you know how we did that?

Vivek: How’s that?

Jason: I tweeted and i gave them free tickets. I just tweeted… We had like three people… Really diversity’s a lot of work when it comes down to it. We tweeted, we created the email list and then we had people go to everyone of these organizations. Like Cyan is mentioning, Women in Rails whatever. We said, “Hey. We have 10 free tickets for you. Apply here.” All of a sudden 75 people apply. We’re like, you know what? invite all 75 women. Or african americans in tech. Whatever it is.

Kirin: Yeah. We were just like, “Bring ’em in.”

Jason: Bring ’em in. Let’s just make the tent really big and get everybody in here.

Vivek: I applaud you for doing that.

Jason: Cyan if people want to follow Cyan on Twitter it’s @cyantist. Any plugs Cyan? What’s your most recent investment that you love?

Cyan: Oh gosh.

Jason: Top 3, last 3, any 3 whatever. Plugs.

Cyan: You always ask me this and I’m always unprepared. You know I’m always going to plug Postmates.

Jason: @postmates.

Cyan: Yeah, Postmates. They brought me these wonderful headphones in less than an hour cause I was unprepared.

Jason: Love it.

Cyan: So I love them. I don’t even know if our last couple of investments that we’ve made…

Jason: Are public.

Cyan: … are public at this point. So I don’t even know if I could talk about them.

Jason: Alright well here it is. Postmates. I’ll do an ad for them right now for free. Postmates. Get anything in your city delivered… This is how good I am at reading ads. I don’t even need to have the copy. Here we go. Postmates. Anything you want to get get it now. Anything delivered in the city in under an hour. Here is the link. Go get the app. Instantly anything you need. The testimonials are up there. You need a bicycle, you need a newspaper, you need a bottle of Vodka for your party or red wine Deliver cupcakes. Get what you need and make your life go really well. No order is too small. No order is too big for Postmates. They just get it done. Is that pretty good?

Cyan: Yay. Love it.

Jason: There you go. Postmates send me 4 grand. No. That’s fine. Are they in LA yet or just San Francisco still?

Kirin: I don’t think so.

Cyan: They’re in San Francisco. I believe this is public. They have a soft launch in Seattle.

Jason: Ooh. Very good. Please come to LA. Please, please, please.

Kirin: This is a tougher place to do that kind of stuff.

Jason: I know. They need to just do the west side of LA where I live and where all the rich people are. Just do the west side. That’s where Kirin lives in Venice. All the rich people are west of the 405. Just do it on scooters. That’s it. You just need scooters and Vespas that go fast. Boom. Get everything there. But I love it. The second this comes to LA I’m going to be on it. Thank you Postmates. Hey and thanks to our official partners. The Resumator, The Resumator. It just works. If you’re doing hiring any other way you’re really, really, really making a huge mistake. The great part is now after 5 or 6 years I can see when people apply for a job multiple times and what the notes were last time. It’s absolutely fantastic. That does happen. I thank them. Thank you to myturnstone @myturnstone just for making beautiful furniture that makes everybody a little more motivated. It’s almost like wearing a nice suit or a nice scarf.

Kirin: It looks good. Yeah.

Jason: You know I like to wear a John Varvatos every once in a while. What am I wearing today? A little Thomas Mugler. I think it’s a german.

Kirin: Be careful.

Jason: Be careful. You’re in America now. This is America. You gone make a suit like that in America?

Cyan: I think he did his Dennis Miller move.

Jason: You’re going to be hurting boy. I can’t believe.. I mean I can believe…

Kirin: Sure.

Jason: … the stories I heard growing up cause all my friends were cops or going to the cops. I almost went in to the cops. This is one of the craziest stories. I may have told this already. I’m hanging out with a bunch of cops one night. I’m 19 or 20 years old. So I’m hanging out with cops. It’s not uncommon in that time frame for a cop to literally… This happened at one of our events. A cop who had a couple of drinks in him, who was off duty takes out his gun and shoots the bull.

Kirin: Oh yeah. You did…

Jason: Shoots the bull on Wall Street. To this day there is a dent in the bull on Wall Street. I kid you not. It made a sound, BOING. He shot the goddamned bull on Wall Street. I mean this is a dangerous thing to do. Right?

Kirin: Extremely.

Jason: Cops in that time frame were nuts. Cops in the south… marone, It gets crazy down there.

Kirin: When was the last time you were down there?

Jason: I’m never going to the south. Forget it. Listen. I’ll fly over the south all day. I’ll go to Austin. I’m in and out. Nobody gets hurt. But I’ll never drive to Austin. I’ll never drive from Austin to New York. The south makes me nervous. I’m in, I’m out.

Kirin: You can’t write it all off.

Jason: I’m in and out of the south. I’m very nervous in the south. I’ll walk through any area in Brooklyn, New York, San Francisco. Zombies in the side of the… I don’t care. I’m fine. You go to the south…

Kirin: How about Atlanta, Houston…

Jason: I might go in and out of Atlanta to see the Hawks play the Nicks or something if they were in the playoffs or something but that’s it. Airport to the stadium. That’s it. Not staying overnight. I’m out.

Kirin: Wow.

Jason: Too dangerous.

Kirin: I think somebody’s got to prove you otherwise.

Jason: Maybe, maybe. Alright. It’s been a great program. Let’s get the hell out of here. Everybody have a great weekend. We’ll see you next time on ThisWeekIn Startups. Thanks Cyan. Thanks Vivek.

Special thanks to the members of the TWiST Backchannel Program!

Executive Producers


Associate Producers

  • Brad Pineau
  • Kat Ganesan
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  • Mau Frontier
  • Kyle Braatz
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