about this episode
Walker Corporate Law is a boutique law firm specializing in the representation of entrepreneurs. To find out more you can call Scott directly at 415-979-9998 visit their site http://walkercorporatelaw.com
Author and investor James Altucher (@jaltucher) and LittleBird CEO Marshall Kirkpatrick (@marshallk) joined @Jason and Kirin to talking about Apple’s possible plans for a wrist device, what it’s like to be around people wearing Google Glass (hint: Jason hated it) Facebook’s women-hating pages debacle, @Yahoo’s bid for @Hulu & more.
Show our guests some love!
0:55:00 Writer James Altucher is with us today. Also, Marshall Kirkpatrick, great writer in his own right.
3:45:00 Check out James’ new book, Choose Yourself.
6:20:00 Can I hit your API for Little Birds, Marshall?
7:30:00 How much does it cost?
8:00:00 Launch Edu is coming up, brought to you by Pearson & School Messenger. Go to launchedu.co
11:15:00 Marshall, what do you think about wearables?
12:00:00 James, do you agree about the wrist band & wearable computing?
17:00:00 Do you want to be at a party with people wearing Google Glasses?
19:00:00 Do you think they’ll make the iBangle?
24:00:00 Go to NewRelic.com/twist to get a free tshirt. http://newrelic.com/ @NewRelic
27:45:00 What do you think about Facebook’s content regulation, Marshall?
29:00:00 Should users be allowed to joke about domestic violence & rape?
29:45:00 James, what do you think?
32:30:00 As a woman, Kirin, what do you think about FB’s response?
35:45:00 Email Scott@walkercorporatelaw.com. Thank you, Scott, for supporting the program. http://walkercorporatelaw.com/ @ScottEdWalker
37:45:00 Best LAUNCH of the Week
44:00:00 Marshall, which did you like best out of Glow fertility app, August smartlock & Fanhattan?
45:00:00 James, which was your favorite?
45:45:00 Kirin, what’s your vote?
52:00:00 Why was it important that Twitter expanded its lists, Marshall?
54:30:00 Do you use lists, James?
57:45:00 Is it a good vision for Twitter to become a video platform, Marshall?
59:30:00 What do you think, James?
1:00:00 How badly does Yahoo need a video property? Who should own Hulu?
1:05:00 How does Peter Chernin being on the board of Twitter play into the deal?
1:06:00 Does Apple buy BuzzFeed?
1:07:45 Why hasn’t Twitter bought Little Bird yet?
1:08:00 How do you get access to Twitter APIs?
1:10:15 Who do you agree with more, Andy Dunn’s “dumb VCs” or Mark Suster’s response?
1:11:30 What do you think, James?
1:12:30 Marshall, what are your thoughts?
1:13:45 Who’s still the Top 10 VCs?
1:15:00 Is there a viewpoint you agree w/ more than the other?
1:15:30 How do people behave when they have the upper hand?
1:17:30 Does a person or company’s intent matter?
1:20:00 What do you think, Marshall, about VCs & bad behavior?
1:24:00 What does it cost to make an audio book?
1:24:30 Everyone follow @jaltucher on Twitter & @marshallk.
1:24:45 What’s the difference between Little Bird and Clout?
1:25:15 TWiST Live is next week in SF with @jason & Kara Swisher. http://twistlive4.eventbrite.com/
1:26:30 Thanks to New Relic & Walker Corp Law for the awesome show!
Distribution provided by CloudSigma. The cloud that adapts to you.Today’s episode of ThisWeekIn Startups is brought to you by Walker Corporate Law. A boutique law firm specializing in the representation of entrepreneurs. To find out more visit their siteWalkerCorporateLaw.com.And by New Relic. Visit NewRelic.com/TWiST and see why thousands of developers world wide don’t deploy without it.
Jason: Hey, everybody. Hey, everybody. It’s ThisWeekIn Startups. This is our News Roundtable Edition. We do this every Friday. James Altucher, author and commenter is with us. Formerly an entrepreneur. He gave up on that. It was too hard. Now he just writes about it and how hard it is. Also, Marshall Kirkpatrick, a great writer in his own way. What do I say, in your own right?
Kirin: In your own right. Sure.
Jason: That’s why I fumbled that. A writer in your own right. A terrible use of language. Marshall is, of course, doing Little Bird which is a phenomenal service in the social media and intelligence space. Two great people to comment on the stories that Kirin Kalia, the executive editor, managing editor some editor of Launch, editorial director… yeah, that’s fancy… of Launch will read the news. boy do we have a lot of news. Dick Costolo, Tim Cook, Sheryl Sandburg, a lot of stuff going on. Facebook and their horrific calls on the hate speech issue, Yahoo bidding for Hulu and a new segment, Launch of the Week. We’re going to pick who had the best launch. Max Levchin, Yves Béhar or Fanhattan. We have 3 different startups. We’re going to pick which one had the best launch. Stick with us it’s going to be an amazing episode.
TWiST title sequence.
Jason: Hey, everybody. Hey, everybody. This is ThisWeekIn Startups. If it’s your first time listening to the program where the hell have you been? www.ThisWeekInStartups.com, on Twitter @TWIstartups. I am your host. My name is Jason Calacanis. I am a serial entrepreneur. I have built a couple of companies. I have gotten my ass kicked. I have kicked ass. I have invested in 30 startup companies. I have a conference. It’s the largest conference in technology. Yadda, yadda, yadda. All that stuff about me. Anyway. Long way of saying you should listen to what I say. Not because I’m particularly smart but because I talk to a lot of smart people all the time and I have the scars to prove it. I have collected information about how to start companies and how to succeed in the technology and entrepreneur and the startup business for two decades. As a journalist, as an operator, as an angel investor and of course as the host of this program for over 350 episodes. If that is not enough to convince you to subscribe… For God’s sake hit the subscribe button on YouTube, follow the Twitter handle and get involved. Listen to the show. This is your MBA. It’s your CBA. Calacanis Business whatever. Alright?
Jason: If you come to the show every week you’re going to get really “F’ing” smart. I guarantee it because I have the smartest people in the world on the program. With me today, two of them. James Altucher welcome back to the program.
James: Thanks for having me back Jason.
Jason: You, of course, are the author of an amazing, amazing book that has just come out, Choose Yourself: Be happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream. You did that.
Jason: If people buy this book, which you can only buy in Bitcoin… That’s a good hook… what will I get out of this. I read this book and I give you a Bitcoin what am I going to get out it?
James: Well first of all starting Monday you can buy it in any currency. So… but what you’re going to get out of it is you’re going to realize that you don’t have to be stuck behind the cubicle. You can actually get the tools to either start your own business, be an artist, be an entrepreneur or in some way find happiness from within without having to be chosen for happiness by a boss or a publishing company or whoever. By a VC fund, whatever.
Jason: You don’t have to be anointed. You can have that… Just do me a favor.
James: You can choose yourself.
Jason: I got Kirin over here in a cubicle working her ass off and now she’s going to get this book. Now Kirin’s going to start a…
James: But you’re a startup. So startup culture is OK.
Jason: Startup culture is OK. It sounds like a great book. Everybody go check out Choose Yourself. Bitcoin.chooseyourself.us. Just put Choose Yourself into Amazon. Great book, great book. I haven’t read it but I can say that because James writes incredible, insane essays. Do you write these essays on Ambien James? I mean be honest for a second.
James: No. Usually a lot of coffee. Jason I’ll tell you this one was inspired by something you said to me in 1997. I said to you… back then we were talking about my first startup… I said to you, “You know so much about startups why don’t you start investing?” You said, “I only invest in myself.”
Jason: That’s true.
James: That was then. Things are different. Choosing yourself is not investing yourself.
Jason: I can’t possible put all the money… That was an obnoxious statement. What am I supposed to do? How am I going to put $25K into myself now? I’m trying to invest a quarter million dollars a year in startups. How do I do that in myself? I don’t know. Plastic surgery or something like that? Make a little eye thing going here. Get the nose fixed. Anyway. Listen. That’s very, very complimentary. Thank you. But I do, I did say that to a lot of people. I invest in myself. Then I missed out on investing in Twitter and Zynga and a bunch of other things. Now I want to kill myself. Now I’m an investor in Uber and a bunch of other great companies. Also on the program, another brilliant person, Marshall Kirkpatrick… I think this is his 7th… Can I keep a record of how many times he’s been on the program? Just give me that.
Kirin: Alright. I’ll do that.
Jason: Cause I want to have like Saturday Night Live has the 5 timer club.
Jason: I think Marshall’s in at least the 5 timer club. How are you doing Marshall?
Marshall: I’m doing great Jason. Thanks so much for having me on.
Jason: Well you always bring it. You’re honest and a no BS kind of guy. That’s why when you and James are on the program we always have a great, great… They been on the program before I’m absolutely certain of it.
Kirin: Not together.
Jason: You have never been on together?
Marshall: I have never had any interaction with James in the past. I just read his blog over and over again and share it with all my co-workers and employees.
James: Thanks Marshall.
Marshall: Oh, my goodness. I’m just beside myself with joy about the opportunity to share some internet here with James.
Jason: Now you have getlittlebird. You’re on the 2.0 or 3.0 version. What’s going on? Cause I know you had a new version or maybe I’m not supposed to say that.
Marshall: Oh no. You can. It’s pretty great. So Little Bird, much like your show, helps you find the smartest people in the world on any topic. Then engage with them and their knowledge. In the past we were just doing that on Twitter and blogs. That worked real well but over the past week or so we’ve been rolling out support for LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Quora and a bunch of other places. So that’s super exciting.
Jason: Can I hit your API cause I’m doing a project Inside.com. I could use a little something like this where… I see here this is cheese I have on my screen. I can see there’s culture cheese, cheese monger… There’s a bunch of like… This is your diagram of cheese mongers, correct?
Marshall: Yep. These are the most trusted and influential cheese experts in the world. There’s a lot of interest in our API. We did smoothing really interesting at SXSW with Waggener Edstrom. But right now the API isn’t commercially available.
Marshall: So we ask you to come and take all this knowledge direct through your eyeballs through the site. But in the future it will be pragmatically available.
Jason: What does this cost? What can I get into this for if I’m a marketer and I need to know who the top people in cheese are? Is it $500, $100 a month, $100K a year. It feels like this is a $50K a year product to me. How much does this cost?
Marshall: For enterprises it is. For small businesses it starts at $250 a month. I was just talking to one of our newest customers. One of the world’s leading experts in social sales who said, “We’re paying $250 a month right now and making so much more than that using the product.” So we think you can too.
Jason: Alright. Fantastic. Just a quick plug here. The Launch Education and Kids, the second annual. This is brought to you by Pearson and SchoolMessenger. This is one of the Launch series of events. We do the Launch Festival. We’ve done that for the past 6 years. We also do these little vertical events. This one is about kids and education. 20 great startups are going to launch. Pearson and SchoolMessenger is our sponsors. If you’d like to come, well, it’s sold out. Sorry. I’m promoting an event that’s sold out. I love it. But there is a waiting list. You know how the waiting list works? You say, “I want to be on the waiting list.” If somebody cancels… there’s always like a dozen people who cancel… We’ll give you one of their tickets. Go ahead and go to LaunchEDU.co. It’s going to be a great event. Mitch Kapor, Daphne Koller of Coursera, Lynda Wineman of Linda.com will all be at my fireside chats. I’ll be doing personal interviews with those great folks. I’m really looking forward to it. Judges include Robert Scobel, Vivek Wadhwa have both been on the program many times. Is it…?
Jason: Aileen Lee. It’s just hard with the spelling. Aileen Lee of Kleiner Perkins. That’s fantastic having her on. Esther Dyson, amazing. Adeo Ressi, amazing. Tim Brady of Imagine K12. 20 companies on stage. Great fireside chats and a great party. Thank you so much for working so hard on the event Demant, Kirin, Emily and the whole crew. Krute. I don’t know if he’s working very hard. He’s working hard but he’s not keeping up with the rest of the team. You’ve got to step it up, Krute. I’m watching you. Just kidding. Alright. We have a lot of news. Just give us the rundown of what’s going to be in the news today.
Kirin: Alright. Well there’s lots of news from D cause we had those big names on stage with Kara and Walt.
Kirin: Tim Cook, Sheryl Sandburg.
Jason: Let’s just do one news story right now. Tim Cook. Go.
Kirin: Alright. So Tim Cook probably most… You want to see the video first?
Jason: Yeah. Let’s play the video. Go ahead, go ahead. One video and then I’ll do an ad. Good.
Jason: Marshall what do you think? Are they going to make the bangle? I’m calling it the iBangle. Like Wonder Woman’s bangles.
Marshall: I don’t need an iBangle. My iPhone has so many sensors in it. They’re responsiveness is just beginning to be tapped. I’ve been using the Moves app lately.
Jason: Ah. Yeah, that’s a cool app, Moves.
Marshall: Yeah. Pedometer, really smart, no overhead, little battery drain. If you’ve used some of those apps where you can point the camera at your face and it will watch the color in your skin to detect your heart rate. I do push ups and touch my nose to the screen that counts them. It’s got plenty of sensors in there already. I think that that stuff is only going to proliferate.
Jason: Yeah. The Moves app is amazing. That’s a fair point. James do you agree that you don’t want the bangles? You would look spectacular in some Wonder Woman bangles.
James: Well. I want the Google Glasses. In terms of wearable computing, I would give everything I own just for one pair of Google Glasses. I think Apple is sort of in denial here about what sort of game changer that’s going to be when it comes out. In terms of all wearable computing I think it will start to handle everything.
Jason: OK. Absolutely incorrect James. Let me explain why.
James: Tell me.
Kirin: It goes to the question of is Tim Cook as good as Steve Jobs at saying they’re not going to do something and then doing it?
Jason: OK. Yeah. That’s a very good point Kirin. Let me go through the list of what’s going on here. Number one Tim Cook is like listening to your grandfather talk about what it was like when television came out. I mean unbelievably how boring he is. Imitating Tim Cook: “I think there are a lot of watches. You might be wearing one. I have one. Somebody else might have one. They’re different. In the arch of time Archimedes had a watch. It was called the sundial.” I’m just like… Everybody walked out of that keynote. I was at D. They hated it.
Jason: He was terrible last year as well. I love Tim Cook don’t get me wrong. But as a speaker, to have to follow Steve Jobs is an impossible mission. He…
James: But Jason look what’s happened in the past year though since that first D Conference. Apple’s lost the race against Google on our little favorite Note 2 here.
Jason: OK. Let me get into wearable computing cause that’s the big issue I think. Number one they are absolutely making the wristband. That is absolutely correct. It is going to be amazing. I think a full one third to 50% of people with a phone will by it if it’s under $200. The reason is people check their phone 150-300 times a day. All of us do this. We check our smart phones that many times. Now what do you check? You check SMS messages, you check your calendar, you check your email, right?
Jason: Those things are perfect for a bangle. If you could just turn your wrist like this and you see my next schedule and you can flip through it that is a thousand times better than Google Glass. Google Glass is the worst creation ever. It’s terrible. I wore it this week at D. I’ve handled it before. It’s very innovative, of course, however it is the most loathsome product I’ve ever used. I had to ban 3 or 4 people during my private poker game from wearing them in the room. Loic brought them in, Don from SmugMug brought them in. I confiscated them and put them in a closet. Cause when somebody has these horrific devices on their face you don’t know if they’re recording you or not. So they walk up to you and they’re like, “How you doing?” I’m like, “Can you take the glasses off cause I don’t know if you’re recording me or not.” There’s no way to know. It is… You’re talking to the person… I’m looking at Kirin right now… and they’re like…
Kirin: Yeah. They’re winking or…
Jason: I’m like what are you doing? You could see a little reflection of light some time. I’m like, “What are you doing?” I want to rip those things off of you. I want to punch you in the face for wearing them. They are horrific. They are terrible for humanity. The stupidity is everybody says, “We get used to technology.” Right? This is what technologists say. “We get used to technology. You have to adjust. The social norms will come.” Listen. There are no social norms for chemical weapons or nuclear ones, right? There are certain things you just don’t do. There are certain things that are bad for society.
Kirin: This isn’t a nuclear weapon.
Jason: I know. Let me tell you something. In terms of humanity and interpersonal relations it is the equivalent of an acid attack because we need as human beings private…
James: I think it’s better for interpersonal contact.
Jason: You’re absolutely wrong James. You’re being contrarian and I love you for it but let me explain to you why…
James: I want one.
Jason: I have had conversations with you that should not be recorded James. There are things that you’ve said to me that if I posted them to Vine or to YouTube would be career ending for both of us. OK? There are inappropriate things that you say…
James: I’m fine with career ending. Please post them.
Jason: That’s because you have no career. You’re unemployable. This is a terrible technology and it’s laughably bad. That’s the other thing. It’s a laughably bad product. It is 5 years too soon. Now I understand why they brought it out. I think it’s great to build it in public. It is innovative. It’ll be great for war. Soldiers which already have those kinds of things. It’ll be great for war. It’ll be great for ambulance drivers. It’ll be great for doctors. It’ll be great… like when you’re driving it’s perfect. When you’re driving you should be wearing Google Glass. If you come to a goddamned dinner party or poker game I have with those glasses on I’ll smack them off your face if you don’t take them off.
James: You don’t understand. A dinner party is going to war. You have to be able to handle anything thrown at you at like a dinner party or at a networking event. There’s so many possible uses for remembering and understanding what you’re looking at. Video taping, searching Google. Why should I have to look at my phone?
Jason: Marshall do you want to be at a dinner party with people wearing these goddamned things? Yes or no.
Jason: See. Kirin?
Kirin: I don’t know actually.
Jason: If a person is staring at you and you don’t know if they’re recording you or not at a dinner party are you comfortable or not?
Kirin: Probably not.
Jason: See this is where the knucklehead technologists, no offense James or Robert Scobel, they’re friends of mine. But knucklehead technologists sometimes get so far ahead that they look technology so much. They don’t realize the difference between this and the glasses. If I took this out and went like, “I’m going to carry it on my head dude.” Like put it in a band and I walk up to you you’re going to be like, “What are you doing you idiot? Are you taking pictures of me or are you recording stuff?” It’s obnoxious. It is so obnoxious. When you see… See the thing is you guys haven’t been to an event when 5 people have them on. It is so obnoxious. Everybody hates them. You look like an idiot with them on. I understand that they are going to be so small and tiny you won’t even know if they’re there. This is a bad thing for society. We need the quiet, personal, loving… I don’t want to sound loopy here but there is something very magical about two humans having a real conversation, right? That’s what it’s all about. This “Fs” with that.
James: That ended with Gmail, Facebook, Twitter.
Jason: No it didn’t.
James: That ended with email.
Jason: It did not end with email. Email let’s us…
James: It won’t end with Google Glasses either.
Jason: See this is technological determinism at its worst.
James: I’m not a technologist.
Jason: You’re a determinist. You are. You’re just loopy over the technology like Scobel. “If we can make it therefore it’s good.” Not everything you make is good.
Kirin: No. Technology in the past has generally been used for bad before it’s been used for good. Military uses come before civilian uses.
Jason: Of course. This is just bad. This is just terrible. I think they’re DOA to be honest. I think these are not… I think Glass…
Kirin: Even if all these developers are excited and building for it?
Jason: I think there will be very unique applications that will be great. Like taking pictures of your kid is going to be great, right? If I’m taking pictures of my kid it’s going to be fun. But it’s also going to take away from like some things. I think the balance for me is I don’t want to talk to people with these things on.
Jason: That’s what I think. I think the iBangle is going to be spectacular. Do you think they’re going to make it Marshall or no?
Marshall: I’m feeling kind of uncomfortable in this conversation the way you’re talking to me through this camera. Are you recording this?
Jason: There’s disclosure here. Well played. Well played.
James: I feel like we’re not communicating properly here.
Kirin: You should have them sit next to you and you guys can cuddle while you talk.
Jason: No. There’s a difference between a conversation that occurs on a show where you know you’re being recorded and conversations that occur at a poker table or, you know, when you’re smoking a cigar or anything else. When you’re drinking.
James: That might be unhealthy, second hand smoke.
Marshall: The unmediated, authentic, present engagement between people is a sacred part of the human experience. It’s one thing to pull a phone out of your pocket every once in a while and it’s another to say I would like Google to stand in between me and my wife.
Jason: Bingo. Speaking of you and your wife, there was a video online today… I don’t know if Bryce, our media jockey out there can find it but it but it was on my… I think I retweeted it. I think it was on my Twitter feed. Somebody proposed to their wife with Google Glass on. Which I understand. That’s kind of cute. That’s nice to record. Some people record their proposals. It was nice. It’s a little bit weird but it’s OK. Fine. Let’s do a commercial.
Kirin: You wouldn’t wear them during your wedding.
Jason: Yeah. Like if everybody’s dancing around, I’m getting lifted up in the chair. I don’t know if I want… Maybe I do. That might be nice. I think if you use them sparingly to record something and then take them off it could be OK. That’s actually what I saw people doing. Cause the battery life is terrible on this. It’s like 3 hours of battery life. Like Loic had them on and then Loic had them over his head to show I have a $1,500… I have Google Glass. Like I’m Loic. Check me out. I’ve got Google Glass. He can’t just put them away. He’s got to have them on the top of his head. He looks even more ridiculous. It’s ridiculous.
Marshall: Loic looking ridiculous? I have a hard time imagining that.
Jason: Actually Loic’s a really good looking… unlike Robert Scobel who’s a train wreck. Let me tell you something. If Loic takes a shower with those glasses on I think that half the internet is going to really like it. Maybe 75% of the internet is going to like it. Loic is a strapping good guy. He kite surfs. You see Robert Scobel in the shower that’s a nightmare.
Marshall: Oh now. Be nice.
James: Were you wearing Google Glasses when you saw him in the shower?
Jason: Hold on. Turn this up. Volume. OK. That was good.
James: Jason how could you be against that? How can you be anti that?
Jason: OK. Listen. Capturing those moments is going to be great. This is the social norm I want. I think number one you don’t wear them by default. You ask to put them on in a social setting. That’s what I think people should do honestly. Like some people think they could just… People walk up to me and just start taking pictures of me. I’m like, “Did you ask?” Or like if I’m with my daughter or something. I think it’s kind of weird to just go up to someone and take a picture of them. I always tell people, “You should ask first.” You know, like maybe I want to fix my hair.
James: Don’t you think things like that would evolve anyway? Social norms evolve. They’re not kind of like thrown at us. They have evolve with time. This is a technology and it will evolve like any other technology.
Jason: Alright. You are correct but this one just happens to be on the… There’s a scale. Some products come out… Like when the iBangle comes out it’s going to trounce the glasses. Everybody will have one. It will be the social norm. Going like this and then looking back, fine. It’s not really going to “F” with people I don’t think. When we get back from commercial…
Marshall: Those bangles… The upper class will look at the web connected bracelet on their wrist and the lower class will be watched by the web connected bracelet on their ankles. But we’ll all be wearing bracelets of one type or another.
Jason: Yeah. If you want to talk about the police state and the 3M people that are incarcerated yes. Everybody is going to have some level of these things on. The Wonder Woman bangles. This is Google Glass. That’s it. There is Google Glass. I meant… Sorry not Google Glass. That’s the iBangle. That’s what it’s going to be. I predict it’s going to be almost that width. It’s going to be awesome. Maybe about 60% of that. When we get back from commercial break Facebook does not allow women to breastfeed on Facebook but they will allow you to make jokes about raping women and they don’t care. When we get back from this commercial break. How was that for a good teaser?
Jason: That was a pretty good teaser right? Not that we try to talk about this stuff that is controversial. But, hey, there’s something that is not controversial and that is New Relic. You know New Relic, right Marshall?
Marshall: Yeah. They’re right down the street.
Jason: Oh, they are? In Portland?
Marshall: Yeah. They’re here in Portland, Oregon. We’re real proud to have them. They have just raised a bunch of money. They make a great product and they’ve got a great team.
Jason: I was talking to some VCs and they were like lamenting that they didn’t get to invest in New Relic who is doing so well. Anyway New Relic makes your web and your mobile apps faster by monitoring real user experience, monitoring code level app performance and monitoring server resources. Just so you know, when you make a web app you’ve got the server, you’ve got the transport layer coming to you. You’ve got your app layer, the code that you write. You need to monitor this stuff because as Marissa and the Google folk said, the best feature is speed. Speed, speed, speed. Right? The faster you make a product the more people will use it. Adding another feature to your product is not as important as making your current product faster and more stable. That’s what New Relic does. 40K customers cannot be wrong. Including SkullCandy, Spotify, Nike, Zillow, Vonage and myself, Jason Calacanis. I use the product. We love the product. Then they came on as a sponsor. That’s what this show is all about. We’re sold out for months and months and months in advertising because we only have products on here that we use. This is another one of those great products. It’s very affordable. You can get a free ThisWeekIn Startups… This is what like the tests look like. Here, pull up my screen. Boom. Here’s your app server. You see like this part of the app took this much time, etc. I get these things in email all the time. Which makes my life so easy. See the CPU utilization. You see the physical memory utilization. Like the disk IO, like how the hard drive’s doing. You know. All that kind of stuff. It’s just works. We get the stuff in email. So I can see my uptime is good, my views are good, the page load time needs improvement. Quietest day, busiest day. This kind of stuff is essential when you are building a startup company. It’s super affordable. If you want to get a free ThisWeekIn Startups t-shirt, which a super fan designed, there it is in the bottom right. You just go to NewRelic.com/TWiST. They do a great job. You really have to have this visibility into all your web and mobile apps. Speed is critical and stability is critical. It’s super fast and super easy. No credit card is required. Get your free t-shirt just by going to NewRelic.com/TWiST. Let’s talk about the Facebook issue. Thank you New Relic.
Kirin: Alright. So Facebook has a policy of not allowing pages that are hateful, graphic, violent, so forth.
Jason: Wait, wait. They have a policy for that?
Kirin: They do have a policy. They just don’t enforce it…
Kirin: … well you could argue. So finally there is a campaign that seems to have gotten they’re attention. 5,000 plus emails to their advertisers, 60K posts on Twitter with the hash tag #fbrape.
Kirin: Yeah. For sites like Kicking Your Girlfriend in the Fanny because she won’t make you a sandwich and Violently Raping Your Friend Just For Laughs are some of the pages that were in question here.
Jason: Oh. Jesus.
Kirin: Facebook did pull many of the pages down because of the pressure. Nissan said that they were pulling down their ads.
Jason: I know but before that. This has been going on…
Kirin: For 2 years.
Jason: … for 2 years. People have been trying to get Facebook to do the right thing.
Jason: Now, they also… The other part of the story is your not allowed to show female breasts or toplessness on it.
Kirin: Right. So those pages have been pulled down when there are women who are showing their mastectomy for instance or they’ve done something artistically with their bodies. Those pages have been pulled down.
Jason: So a guy can be on Facebook in swim shorts. A woman can’t be topless.
Kirin: Well. Why is a woman showing her mastectomy picture offensive and a guy talking about raping his friend not?
Jason: I think you have to look… You know when these issues happen I always look to the top of an organization. This is the type of thing where the top of the organization speaks. This is Zuckerberg 100% not having any understanding of human decency. It’s the same thing that dovetails with his horrific plan to get involved in politics. Right? His FWD.us is the same thinking. Which is the same thinking of how he treats the users and their privacy. How many times has this person, at the top of this very large company, have to screw the users and show that he is a bad actor before people get the message? I think people have. I mean they made a movie about him stealing from his friend. What do you think Marshall?
Marshall: I don’t agree.
Jason: OK. Here we go.
Marshall: I can’t say for sure but having reported about Facebook a lot at ReadWriteWeb and having people come to me and pointing at instances of Facebook failing to or stepping over a line to pull things down. Speaking of Facebook, they’ve got people throughout the organization over there that are working in good faith, are challenged to scale or are dealing with a lot of complexity and subjectivity. This sounds like it was a mistake. It sounds terrible. Hopefully they will deal with it well. But I don’t think that they are bad actors starting at the top. I think this is a new phenomenon, an organic process that we’re all learning to deal with together. Maybe they need to bring Caterina Fake and the great community managers from the early days of Flickr in if they haven’t already. I’m sure they have. To sit down and talk about how to do it.
Jason: Should you be able to joke about domestic violence and rape?
Marshall: Should you be able to?
Marshall: You should not do that.
Jason: You shouldn’t do it. Should you be allowed to do it on a service? So in the world you would say freedom of speech. People can joke and say whatever they want. You believe that, right? If I’m a comedian I can make any joke I want.
Marshall: I don’t know.
James: Look at Louis C.K.’s latest performance.
Jason: That’s why I’m making… I’m making a point here. It’s like you have the most popular comedians, as James is about to point out, make rape jokes, domestic violence jokes and inappropriate jokes constantly, James. So how is that different than doing it on a service? If you answer it wrong I’ll explain why you’re wrong. Go ahead. No. James, seriously, unpack it.
James: Well I think there’s a legal precedent for this which is Prodigy had issues in like 1996 with people saying anti-Semitic stuff. It went all the way up to the Supreme Court. Basically, if you pull down one thing you’re required to pull down everything. Or you can have a policy you’re not going to pull down anything. So Facebook is trying to straddle the middle but the problem is they have a billion users. So, as Marshall said, there is a scalability issue. Like, you can’t really straddle the middle line here. There is no easy answer. Ethically, should you make offensive jokes to people? No. But, as you said, there’s also a time and a place for it. Like, Louis C.K. on his last HBO special makes fun of jews, slaves, everything. Like murder, raping kids. Like, he does everything in that special. Nobody complained. Or I don’t think they did.
Jason: There is a thing… having talked to comedians about this very issue, having some friends who are in that space… they feel like a comedian should be able to make any joke they want in the safety of a comedy club or comedy special. That is like a sacred place for them. They should be able to experiment with laughing at those issues.
James: Who made that rule though?
Jason: That’s how they feel. That’s their position. Now, when we get to a private service that is provided by a corporation that’s when things differ, right? So like WordPress… I had Matt Mullenweg on the program. This is going to be released in a couple of weeks… You know, he was like, “We don’t have any porn on WordPress. We don’t allow adult content of that nature.” Just straight up porn. But Tumblr did. So it’s up to the individual who runs the service to make their own judgment call. When I launch Inside.com I’m not going to have adult content on it. That’s just my decision. That’s what I mean by it’s the person who runs the ship who gets to make these decisions. This shows how little backbone they have as well because the second… They let this go on for two years. God bless the people who are doing the #fbrape tag and stuff like that who said, “Listen. I don’t want to participate in a system that does this.” It’s not a comedy club. It’s a system that we all use that is a communication tool, that’s provided by Facebook. It’s offensive that you don’t let a mastectomy or breast feeding on and you allow rape jokes and rufie jokes and all the crazy stuff. Now, of course, policing it is hard. So if they make mistakes in policing that’s one thing. But on a policy level they had a bad policy.
Kirin: Their policy was they don’t allow hateful, glamorizing hateful kinds of things. So at what point didn’t someone look at this and say that this wasn’t hateful?
Jason: Yeah. That’s the bizarre thing. They let stuff stay. That, to me, is either an execution thing or just a lack of empathy or thinking about. But you’re a woman, what do you think of these things? You’re the only woman on the program so…
Kirin: I’m the only woman on the program. I’ll speak for all women.
Jason: . Not for all women. You do have the perspective of a female and it’s going to be different than the guys. Let me hear yours.
Kirin: Sure. No. To be clear. I’m a first amendment person all the way. You have the right to say whatever you want. That doesn’t mean you have the right to be allowed to say it on a private place. I think Facebook is right to have this kind of policy in place. It should be enforced more carefully and more consistently. I think these pages are disgusting. If I were an advertiser there’s no way I’d want my ad next to that. I’m surprised that Nissan was really one of the only ones that came out and said, “We’re not doing this. Until you can guarantee that our ads don’t appear next to this kind of crap, we’re not doing this.”
Jason: Yeah. That was the master stroke.
James: So it’s clearly a policy issue and policy failure. So even if they made the wrong policy or they’re not technically scaling enough to handle it. So capitalism is playing its role and messages are being sent. Then they’re going to fix it. This is also one of those things that evolves along with evolving into a billion users. Like they’re bigger than a continent right now. So it’s hard to build a police force for a continent.
Jason: They are the 3rd or 4th largest country.
Kirin: 1.1B people.
Jason: That makes them the 3rd largest country. Yeah. Pretty hard to police.
Kirin: That Change.org petition, by the way, I looked at it. You have signatures that go back two years.
Kirin: I don’t know who or what finally kicked it into the right gear to get more attention.
Jason: It’s probably… I think that social media obviously helps.
Kirin: There was social media two years ago and the petition’s been around for two years.
Jason: Yeah. I think there’s somebody being very clever in saying let’s… This is… Operation Wall Street was a failure in a lot of ways cause they just didn’t have good ideas and execution on their protest, their outrage. So this is outrage done right. Which is a hash tag, which can build momentum. A hash tag that is provocative, #fbrape. Whoa. And CC the advertiser with their ad next to a woman who is passed out being carried by a guy saying like, “Lose your virginity.”
Marshall: I don’t know how much detail you necessarily need to go into. I mean it’s probably some amount of sensitivity to the emotional needs of the audience.
Jason: You’re talking about me? Or me moving on?
Marshall: You know what I mean.
Jason: Yeah. I know what you mean. Anyway. I think we’re going to disagree about this, Marshall and I, but they need to just… They need a little more introspection about how they think about people. That’s how I’ll leave it. I think Facebook doesn’t… They look at people in a commoditized fashion. They always have. They look at them as how do we get our goals accomplished as quick as possible. Growth, growth, growth, growth, growth. Independent of the empathy of the individuals. That’s my personal belief. When we get back from the commercial break we’re going to play the great new segment which is Who Had the Best Launch? Max Levchin with his Glow Fertility App, Yves Behar with his August Smart Lock or Fanhattan’s AppleTV competitor, also designed by Yves Behar but a different company. When we get back from this commercial break. Hey let me tell you you have to have a great lawyer if you’re going to do a startup company. Scott Walker is that guy. Walker Corporate Law, fantastic. They do a great job. They believe in fixed fees. What this means is that when Marshall… When you did your A round or your seed round, you didn’t know how… Did you know how much your legal bill was going to be?
Marshall: I didn’t. Fortunately I had a great lawyer so it worked out really well.
Jason: Right. But this is the thing, you don’t know and you get that surprise bill. You could have a good lawyer, it turns out OK. Or you can have a lawyer who’s maybe gotta bill a couple extra hours cause they gotta pay for their home in Aspen or something and they just ram and jam you with a huge bill. A bill that might be 10% or 5% of what you’re raising. This happens. I’ve seen it in startups. I’ve had to make the phone calls to the attorneys and say, “Hey. Slow down.” Slow down big boy. I’ve done those calls. “Let’s adjust the bill.” Anyway. They do fixed fees and they encourage fixed fees because they believe billable hours reward inefficiency. They’re lawyers have 10-20 years experience. No junior associates getting on the job training while you’re doing your very important startup. Examples of services, Mighty Test which just got a great write up in TechCrunch, first engaged Walker Corporate Law for their $2,900 all you can eat startup package. They’ve used them for their seed financing and their stock option plan. They do mergers and acquisitions, licensing agreements, terms of service and privacy policies. All this great stuff. If you want to talk to the founder Scott Edward Walker you can call him direct, 415-979-9998. You can email him, Scott@WalkerCorporateLaw or visit Walker Corporate Law. He’s a great guy. I know a lot of people have used him. Thank you Scott for sponsoring the program. You won’t go wrong.415-979-9998. OK let’s do the segment.
Kirin: Just quickly, he’s going to be doing a workshop at our TWiST Live event Friday.
Jason: Oh yeah. TWiST Live we’re going to have office hours on June 7. I’m going to interview Kara Swisher and he’s going to do a little…
Kirin: Yeah. So if you want to meet him you can do it then.
Jason: Great. Awesome. Let’s do this new segment. Explain the segment.
Kirin: So the concept is the Launch of the Week.
Kirin: So every week new companies and new products launch.
Jason: OK. I like it so far.
Kirin: We’re going to take three of those and then debate which ones was the best.
Jason: OK. I like it. Let’s go.
Kirin: Alright. So the first one was Max Levchin’s Glow Fertility app. We do have a video of that.
Jason: Go. Here we go.
Max: There’s a machine learning model. A quick demo of how to use it. So here’s a calendar. I happened to have entered something that lands me on Wednesday, May 29. Today is a 33% chance of pregnancy. If I go back and forth I can sort of see roughly what my fertility window will look like or Nelly’s fertility window. I can flip to a larger calendar. You can see that period days are predicted with a little pinkish color and green is the fertile window. There are other days which are neither. Switch back to my little other window and go to today’s date and we can get started. This is one unique thing about this product, this is actually a his and hers or hers and hers, we don’t want to be prejudiced here.
Kara: OK. His and his. Not really but go ahead.
Max: Neither one can be a birth mother. We though about it for about a second.
Kara: I’m sorry. I know. I live in San Francisco. I apologize.
Max: Still can’t carry a baby. So because we sign in through a social network it figured out that Nelly’s partner or husband in this case is I. We’ll invite me to join. I will get my invitation and I will start helping her log her data, track her information and some other interesting features. So you can see here that we do the forecasting in real time. As I adjust the data it will actually recalculate my fertility window. The more interesting piece that is more unique to this product is it’s a big data or machine learning driven approach where we look at our accuracy as a consumer, the users of the app enter their information we adjust our weights on a formula. Which we looked at the best in published and unpublished literature to figure out what we can do and try to figure what we can do and try to better it.
Kara: You need more data. Not just a menstrual cycle.
Jason: OK. So that’s number one.
Kirin: That’s number one.
Jason: Figure out your fertility with his app.
Jason: Let’s see the second one. This is the August Smart Lock. Coming right up. It’s Bryce’s first day being media jockey.
Kirin: He’s bringing beer to the door.
YvesThe lights come on, if you look at the lock on the other side of the door, the light comes on and the lock beeps. I should get a little audio feedback. It’s a little noisy in here. Did he not get the feedback?
Walt: No. It did it.
Yves: Did we? OK. So I… and there goes the beer.
Walt: Now it’s locked again.
Yves: Anyone want a beer. OK. So it will automatically authenticate me. I didn’t hear it. So I’m going to just do it manually for you. The demo gods are not with us. So we step through. He also can set it so that as I close the door behind me August will automatically lock the door. That’s not the best door. OK. Let me show you on the app. So I loaded the app, you’ll see here, there’s Eve’s door and it auto locked, in theory, as I pass through. So it shows it locked. I can use the app. I can just press on it and it will trigger the unlock.
Yves: You saw it that time.
Walt: You guys see that.
Yves: I’ll do it again. So I can press it to lock and I can press it to unlock it again. So you see that. I can choose to not do the auto unlock by just going over here and turning it off.
Walt: But the auto unlock, what should have happened, what you hoped would have happened…
Yves: That’s right.
Walt: … was as you approach the door would unlock. Your hands were full you didn’t have to reach for a key.
Person: It actually did unlock but he was talking for too long.
Yves: And I missed the queue.
Walt: Alright. So it unlocked.
Yves: It did.
Jason: OK. So that’s the auto lock, right? The third one is Fanhattan’s Fan TV. Here we go. In 3, 2…
Gilles: Secondly, you’re going to replace sort of your frumpy old set top box with something that for once is going to look good in your living room. It’s a mirror image of the remoter control. In fact they sit one on top of the other with a little magnet.
Kara: Wow. Ooh.
Gilles: Very simple. Very small but yet very powerful. The whole idea behind this is that you want to have all of your entertainment sources coming to this device. So you don’t have to switch inputs.
Kara: Right. I switch between Roku and AppleTV.
Walt: That’s why your on the stage. Cause when you showed it to me you said, “You don’t have to switch inputs.”
Gilles: That’s right. That’s the idea. In order to do that…
Walt: So this gets my cable…
Gilles: This gets live TV, DVR only in the cloud, VoD and top services.
Walt: So I can get my Netflix, my Amazon, my cable right here?
Gilles: Or satellite.
Kara: What about AppleTV.
Gilles: Well what do you mean about AppleTV?
Kara: My little device.
Walt: Does it get iTunes?
Kara: Yeah. Can I get iTunes?
Gilles: This runs Android. So if Apple decides to bring iTunes…
Walt: Oh. It runs Android. OK.
Kara: So no.
Gilles: You should ask them.
Kara: They’re not answering very much.
Gilles: The reason why we think this is interesting is because… We’re a company that is outside of the ecosystem. We’re not vertically integrated. We don’t license content. We are only focused on the discovery experience. So on paper we can work with everybody from that standpoint. There’s no conflict of interest here.
Jason: OK. There you have it. We had Max Levchin doing his Glow Fertility app, Yves Behar and Jason Johnson doing the August Smart Lock and Fanhattan’s Fan TV set top box that allows you to bring in any service. They don’t have their own horse in the race in terms of content services. So your Direct TV, your Hulu, everything just works on it. It’s a nice looking product. OK. So Marshall which one was your launch of the week? Which one did you like best?
Marshall: I don’t know. I don’t watch TV, I don’t have kids and I don’t mind unlocking my door when I come home so none of these did a whole lot for me.
Jason: None of the above is answer D.
Marshall: Most of the time when someone says the phrase cervical mucus in public I think the world wins. So I’m going to go with Glow.
Jason: OK. So that’s the feel good choice. Obviously making babies is good business. Yeah. Mucus and all kinds of cycles and everything. It looks like it would actually work really well. So that’s one vote for…
Marshall: There has been methods for a few thousand years to accomplish that same goal. But if some people need an app then cool.
Jason: Yeah. The app is fun. I like the idea that there’s a couple in the app. I think that’s a logical decision. James which one do you like best? Which was your launch of the week?
James: By far Glow and I’ll tell you why. Very small percentage wants to know exactly when they can have kids and stuff but a huge market for contraception.
James: So this is actually the ultimate contraception device. You know when she’s not fertile.
James: So if you don’t want kids, like most people, then this is a great device. That’s the secret market.
Jason: Ah. So he went with the pro-kid when in fact it’s an anti-kid.
James: Yeah. He’s acting so nice and everything. Like, “Oh. We’ll give you your money back if you don’t have kids.” It’s a contraception device.
Jason: Really? OK. So Kirin.
Kirin: I might surprise you. I liked Fan TV.
Jason: Ah. Take me through your thinking.
Kirin: I would really like something that is that easy to use. We didn’t show the part of the demo right before that but that little remote control fits very nicely in your hand. He was saying you could have a glass of wine in the other. Kara’s like if you don’t drink wine and you’re not french you can have a beer.
Kirin: You know. It looks very elegant. If it just works… That’s what Apple’s supposed to do, right? The AppleTV has never just worked in that same way.
Jason: No. AppleTV, I just reinstalled it because I wanted to watch Arrested Development in the gym. I was trying to set it up and felt like this is not really a great product. It’s so… It feels like they’re gonna… That product is driven by iTunes and everything else is a concession. Like they put like Hulu and…
Kirin: They don’t really want you to watch that stuff.
Jason: … Netflix. It’s like they’re putting it there and the interface kinds of sucks for those things. Really Fanhattan came out. So that’s two for Glow and one for Fanhattan. But two for Glow for different reasons. The thing that’s really interesting about Fanhattan is they had an app out for a while that was like a recommendation engine.
Kirin: Right. Where you can find TV.
Jason: What they’re really trying to solve for is the what to watch tonight kind of…
Jason: What I should watch on a Friday night. That discovery process is incredibly broken right now because Netflix does it based on what they’re inventory is. You need to have somebody who’s above Netflix, above Amazon saying, “I’m looking into your Amazon account. I’m looking into your Netflix account, I’m looking into your Hulu account… let’s say you had all three… and I’m looking at your DirecTV. Here are your choices based on your tastes.” I do that manually right now. I go to MetaCritic, I find out what I want to watch then I have to go to Netflix and see if they have it. Or I go to my Amazon Prime to see if they have it. I have to see if it’s on iTunes. I have to see if it’s going to be on cable. It is so annoying.
Kirin: You just want to watch it.
Jason: You just want to watch it. So it’s a great idea.
James: There’s one problem though with all these kinds of apps with television is that they don’t handle live broadcast TV very well.
Jason: And this one does?
James: But it’s not legal. Like the broadcast stations… I have not heard the broadcast stations happy about this. Like they control their content because their advertisers are local. They don’t get national advertisers.
Jason: They’re doing over the air which they’re allowed to do. There’s no difference between using this or using Tivo with over the air. So they’re allowed to do this. This isn’t like you put it in a server room and you sell it for $10 a month.
Kirin: It’s Aereo.
Jason: An individual is allowed to use this. It’s not like Aereo in that Aereo’s doing the DVR in the cloud kind of thing. This is in your home. You’re allowed to do it but my understanding is you can put cable TV… they didn’t say DirecTV specifically but I think you can put DirecTV into in and then not use the DirecTV interface use their interface. So for me it’s tough. I think the Glow stuff… it’s feel good or whatever.
Kirin: It’s part of this big data obsession, like we can manage our life better if we know all this stuff.
Jason: It’s well executed. It’s feel good. It’s been done before. I can’t give it my startup of the week. I can’t give it my launch of the week. For that reason, it’s been done. This may be the best execution of it, it may be the most feel good. If this award was the best launch of the week, the best feel good of the week, clearly that would be it.
Kirin: And he’s doing this fund with it. So that if you don’t get pregnant within a certain amount of time they will give you money, possibly, to fund your fertility treatments.
Jason: Great. That’s all well executed but I don’t think ultimately this is the big winner.
Jason: I think this is single. So I’m going to do it based on that. So I take Glow out actually.
Jason: But. Now if you go back to the next two, Fan TV and the August Smart Lock, it’s the August Smart Lock. It’s not a smart lock. They have a series of automation that they’re going to do. That with your phone it’s going to be very powerful. What they didn’t explain in that thing… That was a terrible demo. Let me say that. If I was coaching that demo I would fix that 1000%.
Kirin: You know demos.
Jason: What they didn’t say was you could give a key to somebody for an hour. So I could say to my dog walker, “You can come into the house between 10 and 11.” Then if I had a camera I could have my camera go on between 10 and 11. I could see what you do in my house. Or if I come home it can turn on the lights to my office and turn on some music. If Jade comes home it could do something else, right? So they have a big vision here.
Kirin: It’s not just a lock.
Jason: It’s not just a lock. They want to be able to give you a key for a certain period of time, revoke the key or you come to my house… There’s a lot of interesting things that can happen. Walking up to your door and opening it without having to do anything is pretty clever. There can be a lot of other things that are like that. Whatever it is.
Kirin: You spoke to Yves at length so you know some of this.
Jason: I know some of this. But it’s also was part of the talking points. You only have a limited amount of time on stage. They did not use it well. They did this gimmicky thing by taking the beers or whatever. It was a bad presentation. Bad launch but a brilliant thing, home automation. Now Fanhattan’s Fan TV, this is a big deal. Because it’s better than anything on the market and it collects everything in the market and doesn’t have a horse in the race. But they are up against an AppleTV that’s coming out. There’s going to be serious competition in this space. So if you say, five years from now, which of these launches will get escape velocity? I believe Fanhattan doesn’t get escape velocity cause they’re up against such great people. So I think it’s 15%-50% than the products at market but I think they get crushed ultimately. So I take them out. I’m going to go with August. But not because of the smart lock and the bad presentation, because of the bigger vision. I think in 5 years August could be the biggest company. For that reason I give it my choice as the best thing.
Kirin: So how do we pick the winner then?
Jason: Well then it would be Glow based on votes. We had 4 people vote so the majority rules. Glow wins. Congratulations to Glow. I lose you lose.
Jason: Yay, Glow. Let me know if that was entertaining or not. Jason@Inside.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can let us know if that was an interesting segment to you. Alright. Let’s do the next story.
Kirin: Alright. So you want to talk about Twitter expanding it’s list feature? I think Marshall was excited about that.
Jason: OK. Here we go.
Kirin: So for the longest time Twitter has limited you to 20 lists with 500 accounts each. Now, finally, after 4 years of people asking for it…
Jason: By people asking for it you mean Robert Scobel and Marshall Kirkpatrick?
Kirin: You mean like the real nerds.
Jason: Just like two people asking for this.
Kirin: Now you can create up to 1,000 lists each with 5,000 accounts. They’ve supposedly been testing this for a couple of years. They didn’t even do a blog post. They just did a little tweet about it. So why did it take so long for them to change an arbitrary limit? Does this matter to anyone but the real geeks?
Jason: The reason it took so long is that they’ve got bigger fish to fry. But Marshall why is this important?
Marshall: Oh. It’s a great opportunity to better engage with and segment and understand the 200M people using Twitter. I think that it was spurred on… I’m guessing… by the hiring of Simon Rogers from the Guardian. The world’s leading data journalists now runs the Twitter Media Relations Department. Reporters and media people love Twitter lists. They love to spin up a collection of people on the ground in Boston. Live Tweeting from the police lines. Or people in hurricane affected areas of what have you. It was such a tight constraint to stop you at 20. Our products help people produce Twitter lists automatically, really good ones, really fast. People would complain all the time that they had hit their limit of 20 and didn’t know what to do.
Jason: That’s the best feature of Little Bird by the way. The best feature in Little Bird… I did this because we have a mixed martial arts show. It’s called MMA surge, that we did with YouTube for a year. It’s still going on. I was like, “Oh. I just want to get all the people involved in mixed martial arts and make a list out of it so that we can just follow it and whatever.” It’s like yeah, there’s a limitation. But in Little Bird you can make a spreadsheet and you can make a list out of it. Which is like so uber powerful. I mean what an incredible feature. But will you just publish now Little Bird lists? Why don’t you just make 1,000 lists for Little Bird Lists and have them be updated in real time from your database?
Marshall: Oh. That would be a lot of fun. To celebrate, yesterday I put out an open call for topics that people wanted to see lists on. I generated, in an hour, probably 10 really awesome lists on like digital humanities and games and education and stuff like that and spun up these collections of the world’s leading experts on Twitter on those topics and made it nice and easy for people to share them.
Jason: I have lists and I use them. I used to have a list called Peeps. Which was… I used to follow anybody who followed me. So then I made a list called Peeps. My Peeps list was just like people who I really liked. So I had like 500 people on there. I made a haters list. I made a venture capitalists list. But I gave up because it was like I don’t have enough these. So yeah I think this could be a good feature. It’s really been ridiculous that they don’t allow you to go above 500 or whatever. What do you think? Do you use lists James Altucher?
James: I don’t but I think this is a great thing for two reasons. One is when you remove any limits obviously it’s better for the users. So it’s going to be more fun for users. It’s going to be like Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups and so on. But the other thing is you gotta figure Twitter is a relatively young company in terms of figuring out advertising. Let’s say Facebook and LinkedIn are in inning 3 or 4, Google’s like in inning 8 but Twitter’s still in like inning 1. I think, as Marshall was saying, this further helps segment the users and figure out what their interests are in real time. I think we’re going to be seeing a lot of things over the next 6 months from Twitter in terms of ad exchanges, in terms of retargeting. I think their ad technology is going to make a huge leap over the next few months. This is just a part of that strategy.
Jason: I agree with you. They’re ramping up. I saw this amazing thing they did for the NBA. They hosted videos for the NBA on the NBA’s channel in real time clips. They charged them to do this I guess. They hosted the videos. Nobody really picked up on this in the press. I saw this, as a person who works with YouTube and has a contract with them, currently. I just turned down the second cycle of funding with them which you see on PandoDaily. There needs to be a viable competitor to YouTube. YouTube dictates all the rules. According to the 25 people that I’ve talked to they take 45% of revenue. The joke is I can’t tell you what my deal is cause I have a signed NDA with them, but 25 people told me it’s 45%. I can’t tell you but I can tell you what 25 people told me. This was an interesting discussion I had with the PR department and one of the representatives of YouTube. “Please don’t talk about our contract.” I was like, “OK. I won’t talk about our contract. I’ll talk about what the 25 other people told me their contract is.” I mean really?
Kirin: So are they violating your contract by telling…
Jason: Of course they are but I’m not violating anything. I’m a journalist. Look at me. Random act of journalism. I talked to 25 partners they told me they hate YouTube because they take 45% and that YouTube’s a bully. That’s what they told me. That’s what I heard from like two dozen high-end partners. Point is what a great opportunity because if you look at channel subscribers on YouTube and you look at Twitter followers it’s the same thing.
Jason: What do we do when we start the program on UStream or on YouTube? We tweet it.
Kirin: Of course.
Jason: Then those people go over there. What if we just could watch it on Twitter right now. Twitter is the sleeper video platform. It would be amazing. If they did that and they put pre-rolls on videos of people and they let us keep 70% of it, people would leave YouTube in droves. Cause they have more Twitter followers. Imagine if Eminem or Ashton Kutcher could start monetizing videos on their Twitter stream and make 70% of the revenue. Adam Bain at Twitter could start selling against Ashton Kutcher’s videos. Oh, my God. They would have the largest video network second only to YouTube, immediately. This is a huge vision.
Kirin: But people are used to stuff streaming passed them in Twitter. Are they going to stop and watch a video that’s longer than a minute?
Jason: Of course. If you click it it takes you to a permalink page.
Jason: Yeah. If Ashton Kutcher shoots a video of himself talking about something or Madonna does or whoever. Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift gives her phone to her friend and says, “Video tape me playing this new lyric. I wrote an extra verse to this famous song.” She’s got what? 10M-20M Twitter followers. Then she can monetize it. The Twitter ad network and put pre-rolls in front of it. OMG. Is this a good vision or not Marshall?
Marshall: Well I don’t know how kids feel about Twitter compared to YouTube. That’s one question. Another relevant factor is that Nielsen said that a full one third of active Twitter users use Twitter to comment on TV while they’re watching.
Marshall: That was a year ago.
Jason: Great point.
Marshall: So it’s going to get bigger and bigger. Why not bring it right onto the same screen. Maybe it works better as a… There’s some big questions in play. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch it and see how it plays out.
Jason: This is why Marshall’s on the program. What an astute observation Marshall. This is what we all do. We all tweet during TV shows. Can you imagine if Game of Thrones… as Game of Thrones is happening or shortly after it they put clips from the current episode of Game of Thrones? Or if AMC did a secret deleted scene from Walking Dead or the next scene from next week. If they did 3 deleted scenes from each episode they would get 10M-20M views on Twitter.
Kirin: And a few followers.
Jason: And more followers. So let’s say they get 50M views a week on the Walking Dead Twitter handle at $30 CPM. Do you realize…? That’s hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising.
Kirin: Well Dick Costolo actually talked about this in his D conversation this week. You know, Twitter being the second screen for TV. That’s something that they’re really excited about.
Jason: What do you think James?
James: I agree with Dick’s comments. Twitter’s totally the second screen. But if you merge the screens, again, think of the ad opportunities. It’s unbelievable. It’s almost like the new Hulu you could make it.
Jason: It would be a better Hulu. Now let’s segue into the Hulu story. Go.
Kirin: OK. So we know lots of folks are bidding for Hulu.
Jason: Yes. I’m not bidding.
Kirin: Earlier this week Kara Swisher broke the story that reportedly Yahoo is bidding for Hulu in the $600M-$800M range. They’re looking at also some other acquisitions. $150M-$200M in mobile applications area. Now there are bids from Chernin Group, KKR, Time Warner, DirecTV, Guggenheim Digital. Now the source said that the entire negotiation is about control and price of content. In this case it’s not Marissa who’s leading the discussion it’s an LA based executive who reports to Jackie Reese as her head of M&A.
Kirin: So how badly does Yahoo need a video property? Who should actually end up owning Hulu?
Jason: What do you think? Anybody?
James: I think this is a disaster. For something like this you need the networks to be fully involved and they’re not really so dying to not be involved. That’s why they want to dump it on Yahoo and cash out finally. It’s one fourth the price they were hoping for most likely. So… again, very important, there’s no live broadcast TV for mobile and Hulu. That’s what a Yahoo or a Google or an Apple needs. Not Hulu.
Jason: What do you think Marshall?
Marshall: If I find any of this stuff interesting it’s Netflix not Hulu.
Jason: Yeah. Cause here’s the thing…
James: Yeah. Cause Netflix is creating their own content. So… they have Arrested Development. It’s great.
Jason: Yeah. How many episode in are you? What is your viewing strategy?
James: Binge watching. I’m 8 episodes in.
Jason: OK. See I’m going with a different one which I call lose weight strategy. I only am allowed to watch it if I’m on the treadmill.
Kirin: That’s a good strategy.
Jason: So it’s like I watch two episodes, I got an hour in on the treadmill. I’m not allowing myself… I put the AppleTV in the gym. That’s it. I’m banned until I start… I gotta lose weight. Look at this. I’m so chubby. Look at the earlier episodes. I got a round face now. I used to look svelte. I got the svelte strategy. A binge svelte. It’s fantastic.
James: Netflix reminds me of HBO in like 1980 when they started creating original content. That’s how they broke free. They broke out of the pack of the movie channels. That’s exactly the strategy that Netflix is doing. It’s being run by an ex-HBO guy. The guy who’s spearheading that strategy.
Jason: That’s correct. Absolutely correct, James. A great insight. Netflix passed HBO. We talked about this last month. We talked about it on the show. With 29M subs. Now here’s the thing with Hulu. Hulu has 3M subs. Nothing to laugh at. These contracts are 2-3 years that they have with the content people. The content people have decided we’re not going to direct because it’s all these other people emerging like Netflix and Hulu and Yahoo as a buyer. They’re going to create a marketplace. A fragmented marketplace is in the best interest of content owners. So that’s why they’re selling this. Also each of the partners like CBS and NewsCorp and whoever else is in this, Fox or whatever, which is part of NewsCorp. They just want to be able to do their own thing. This idea of doing it together was to force the market to create a marketplace. Now that the marketplace is created them having their own horse in the race makes it very complicated because they want to be able to sell piecemeal. Like, “Who wants Family Guy? OK. Who wants Disney films?” Netflix just famously paid a billion dollars for Disney.
Kirin: Oh. A lot of money.
Jason: They paid a billion for the Disney stuff and it’s going to start in 2015. I was going to cancel my Netflix cause I wasn’t getting a lot of use out of it. The selection was…
Kirin: But now.
Jason: I was like, “Oh. You know what? Now if it’s got all the Disney catalog maybe I’ll stick around.” Cause Disney also includes Star Wars and whatever. So maybe they’ll get Star Wars as part of that too. So this is great for content creators. That’s why they’re dumping Hulu. Here’s what Yahoo gets though. 3M paid subscribers at whatever it is, $10 a month. That’s $300M a year. That’s a pretty good start. If they could start buying content and doing original content maybe they could make it work. But Marissa, who in here DNA does not want to pay for content.
James: Yeah. Who there knows how to pay for content?
James: Netflix is actively hired for people who are experts at this.
Jason: I’ll tell you who’s going to win. Anyone wants to know who’s going to win? I was talking to people who are inside the deal. Yahoo doesn’t win.
Kirin: Yahoo’s not going to win?
Jason: No. It’s going to be between Amazon and a combination Chernin and Guggenheim Partners. That’s my belief. Chernin running it and a consortium of like Chernin and Guggenheim Partners keeping it independent. Somebody who really knows it. Chernin has a deal to do original content with NewsCorp. He was the former president of NewsCorp. Right? So he’s got the inside line, Guggenheim has the wallet, it makes total sense. He knows how to do original programming. He already has a sweetheart deal with Fox to do movies for them. He’s the guy, to James’ point, who could actually select content. Who at Yahoo is going to select content? They’d have to hire that. Marissa is dead set, like all Googlers, against content people getting paid. I mean that’s my beef with YouTube right now. That’s what Marissa’s going to do at Yahoo. They, philosophically, don’t feel that content creators should get money. They’re anti that. Tumblr’s a perfect example of that.
James: When you look at Yahoo culturally also since they got rid of Terry Semel they’re very much anti-content.
James: So they’re not going to do original content.
Jason: I think they buy this and then they have subscription revenue.
Marshall: Jason. How does the fact that Peter Chernin is on the Twitter board of directors play into all of this?
Jason: You know, the same way that Eric Schmidt being on the board of Apple for a time did which is he gets off. Right? Like he’s going to get off the board. This is what happens is there’s a singularity occurring in the space right now. All great internet companies, the five horsemen of the internet, are going to have every service. Everybody will have a tablet that they make. They’ll make hardware, they’ll make an ad network, they’ll have a social network, they’ll have a video subscription service, everybody will have each piece. It’s just a matter of time. Twitter right now, you’re like, “Well Twitter’s going to make a phone.” Or Facebook’s going to make a phone. It’s like maybe, maybe not, we’ll see. Ultimately you would think yes. They’re going to buy a phone company like Amazon is and Google is and Apple is. Will Apple start making original programming? That’s the thing that makes no sense to me. If Apple has $140B why don’t they just buy some small studio and start putting that to work making original content and making shows that… They have the inside data. That’s what Bezos is doing. he has the inside data on people’s watching habits. What they’re buying on DVDs and what books they’re doing. They made Amazon Studios and they got this. He can just crush it by saying, “I know House of Cards is a winner because people who read the book, if there was a book… in that case there wasn’t… if there was a book he would know how many pages into the book they got. That’s the mind-blowing idea.
James: Jason, to your point earlier though, Twitter…
Marshall: So does Apple buy Buzzfeed?
Jason: No. They don’t want to be in the content business. CNN buys Buzzfeed. Time Warner buys Buzzfeed. AOL buys Buzzfeed. Sure. Yahoo maybe.
James: But you know Jason, to your point earlier, Twitter’s going to start synchronizing more and more with television and television audiences and it creates a whole new ad category. This is where Peter Chernin plays a role. I’m not so sure he’s going to be getting off the board of Twitter anytime soon. I think Twitter’s going to be a very original content play just not in the way we’re used to. It’s not going to be House of Cards. It’s going to be something new.
Jason: Yeah. Like YouTube is. Here’s something interesting. What if Twitter and Chernin and Guggenheim all went like a third, a third and a third and Twitter had the ability to be cut into the revenue stream. You could use your Twitter handle as your subscription service. They get half the ad revenue when it’s played on Twitter. That could start them on third base, right? So the idea that Twitter hasn’t been super inquisitive, they’ve been sort of like middle of the road inquisitive. Now that they’re stock is worth $10B-$12B why not start buying stuff? Right? Now this is what Marissa’s legacy and impact is going to be, she is buying up a storm. Remember I said that would be the number one thing that she should do is start buying stuff before she took the job or right as she took the job? That’s exactly what she’s done because she has the funny money currency. She’s got this huge $30B company or whatever. She just use the currency of the company to just buy, buy, buy and wait for a YouTube to emerge.
Kirin: Right. Well the question there was which entrepreneur wanted to sell to her and now we see.
Jason: Exclamation point now. If you’re willing to overpay, every entrepreneur. You know that’s the thing about entrepreneurs. If you’re willing to overpay they’re going to give you attention. What about Little Bird? Why is Twitter not bought you guys yet?
Marshall: That’s a fair question. Because we have more adventure to have.
Jason: Cause you’re not selling?
Marshall: Our future still lies before us.
Jason: Now let me ask you a question. How do you get access to all the Twitter APIs? You use Nip or something like that? Or what’s the other service? Data something. How do you get access? Do they give you access?
Marshall: No. We don’t. We’ve got a good relationship with Twitter and we’re not using the same kind of data that those other people are selling. We’re using social profile data and not content.
Marshall: We’re looking at who’s friends with who. On your MMA list for example we did that analysis by looking to see which MMA players are being followed by all the other MMA people.
Jason: Yeah. Spider app.
Marshall: That data is different.
Jason: You can do that without their permission frankly. I mean you don’t really need there permission to look at the follower…
Marshall: Yeah. We do it but we pull so much of it so fast that it’s good we have a good relationship with them.
Jason: Yeah. I mean that’s a fair point. OK. Let’s do a final story and get the hell out of here. What’s the last story?
Kirin: Aright. I think…
Jason: Is there one that our guests would like to comment on?
Kirin: I think if we talked about the Dumb VCs post. Considering we have James and Marshall.
Jason: Sure. Dumb VCs. Let’s here it.
Kirin: Right. So Andy Dunn of Bonobos wrote a piece.
Kirin: Andy Dunn of Bonobos.
Jason: Oh. Bonobos. That’s a legit company.
Kirin: Right. The custom men’s clothing. He wrote a post on Medium. The top 2% generate 98% of the returns. The industry is dying. The best VCs don’t call entrepreneurs but they take too long to decide. They’re late to meetings. They don’t use the product before they invest. So Mark Suster, Both Sides of the Table, decides to write a response. Andy certainly encourages this. He knows that by saying Dumb VCs he was using a device that would certainly get people’s attention. He doesn’t, of course, think that all VCs are dumb.
Jason: He’s link baiting. That device is called link baiting.
Kirin: Of course.
Jason: Never heard the term.
Kirin: Suster said, “VCs, like Congress, it’s easy to hate en masse. Yet many people love their local congressman.” Because Andy, of course, had pointed out that he loves his VCs. Suster looked at the data. Now 25% of VCs consistently beat alternatives. The industry is reinventing itself, he said. He thinks they do spend too much time making decisions. He has more tolerance of lateness now and he does of course agree that you should use the if your going to invest in it. Some things he agreed. Some things he disagreed. Who do you agree with more? How many dumb VCs have you encountered?
Jason: Here’s the quote I liked. “When I finally did raise capital, I was sitting at the W Hotel Union Square when I serendipitously ran into him. He looked at me and said, and I quote: I can’t believe you didn’t call me before you raised your round! After all the time we spent together… Dear Dumb VC, it’s not my job to call you. It’s your job to call me. And the fact that we spent all that time together, and you never got me a term sheet is a strong indicator that you’d rather do what’s in the worst interests than what’s in my best interests.” That’s a fair point.
Jason: I’ve had this happen to me. The bottom two thirds of VCs cannot give you a no and they don’t give you a yes. They’re operating out of fear. They’re waiting for somebody else to validate the deal. So once I got Sequoia into Mahalo, once I got Mark Cuban into Weblogs Inc. everybody wants to come in. But people you talk to before that they’re waiting for someone else to pull the trigger. Then they want to do this like plus one. You know like, “Ah. I’ll give you a plus one term or a plus two term. When people do that it makes them lame. So he does have fair points in here. Frankly, VCs are going through, I think, a flip flop where they used to be powerful. Now when the market is this hot and there’s so much capital and the entrepreneurs are so king right now, or queen as the case may be, they’ve lost they’re power. People can write posts like this. It really started with Adeo and The Funded. But I don’t know. You guys read the Post? What do you think James?
James: I look at it from an investors point of view and an entrepreneurs point of view. So as an investor investing in a diversification of venture capital firms is no better than investing in the stock market with a tiny bit of leverage because VCs exit when the stock market goes up. VCs have problems when the stock market goes down. So as an investor you might as well invest in the liquid stock market than in venture capital. Now from an entrepreneurs point of view looking at VCs I think it is dumb money because look… A great example of this is Yammer. All the VCs invested in Genie but then they made a billion on Yammer. So that happens over and over again. Where the VCs and even the angels also… I can attest to Buddy Media. We get lucky when it works out. So it’s almost all luck, in most cases, whether the VCs are going to make their money or not. Even Paul Graham has written about this.
Jason: Yeah. It is true. You have to take a portfolio approach. Marshall what are your thoughts?
Marshall: Well I love our investors. They are really smart, really experienced. Mark Cuban, Howard Lindzon, lots of angels. Jay Baer, Dharmesh Shah. Maybe they’re the exception. I don’t know. They’re angels but the more traditional venture capitalists that I talk to are really smart, really knowledgeable people that I learn a lot from. So maybe someday I’ll have so much experience that I’ll look at these people and think, “Oh what fools you all are.” But I have a hard time imagining that.
James: At the end of the day though it’s all about the numbers. You just have to look at how have VC funds returned versus asset classes. It’s just not impressive. So it’s in a liquid investment, your money is locked up and it’s highly correlated with the S&P 500 which is totally liquid.
Jason: Unless you’re in the top ten. I happen to be an LP in one of the top two. If you’re lucky enough to be an LP in one of those you’re golden. So that’s the other problem. But let me just tell you…
James: Maybe. What’s the top ten? Is Kleiner still top ten in terms of returns?
Jason: Absolutely. Right. So if you’re in the top ten in 1995 you’re, by definition, probably not in the top ten in 2013 because you probably had some skill then. Unless you’re someone like Sequoia who has done it year after year after year. But if you look at Kleiner, that’s a perfect example of spiky returns. So very few have put together a meaningful track record that’s consistent. I mean Sequoia is one and there’s like maybe one or two others. I don’t have all the data at my fingertips. But here’s the thing. If you’re a VC you should probably write, “Most Entrepreneurs Are Dumb.” “Dear Dumb Entrepreneurs.” Because the truth is everybody’s dumb. I’ve met a lot of people in this world over 20 years. I can tell you, unequivocally, two thirds of the people out there are dumb. I don’t care if you’re a VC or entrepreneur or in the media. Most people are stupid. James am I correct or not?
James: I would say 95% and I’m one of them.
Jason: Well I wasn’t referring to you by name James.
James: No. But I got it.
Jason: The truth is most people are stupid. OK. So if we’re going to say most VCs are stupid then you have to look at the entrepreneurs and say what percentage of them are stupid? What percentage of the planet is stupid? People make stupid decisions constantly. The older I get the more I realize how stupid I was. I’m not stupid anymore but goddamn there’s a lot of dumb people out there.
Kirin: So is there a viewpoint you agree with more than the other? Do you think Andy’s more right or do you think Mark is more right? it doesn’t matter?
James: By the way they’re both right. Again neither of them talk about the actual return characteristics of investing in venture funds which is really the important issue.
Jason: There’s an issue of bad behavior that is what this is all about, right? So James is right. If you want to talk about who’s a good basketball player who has the most playoff wins, the most rings. What are we defining this based on? For VCs it’s return. However there is a sub text here which is how do people behave when they have the upper hand? I am fascinated with this. When you have the upper hand, when you become the 800lb. gorilla, how you treat people speaks volumes. I have made a point in my career, when I became influential, when I had the upper hand, to try and challenge myself to be the best I could to the people who didn’t have the power on the other side of the equation. Whether that’s an entrepreneur I’m investing in or whatever, somebody I’ve got the upper hand with my Twitter follower count or whatever. I’ve always tried to be… You know, sometimes I fail. I’m not perfect but you can tell… When you have the upper hand in negotiation then you can really see what a person’s character is, right? I can tell you that the people I’ve tried to affiliate myself with some are like Mark Cuban, who’s an investor in Marshall. Mark has the upper hand with anybody’s he’s with. He’s a billionaire, he’s famous, he’s powerful, he’s got the Twitter followers. But I can tell you when he talks to Marshall… I have him as an investor. I’ve been trading emails with him lately about Inside.com and the product road map. You feel like you’re an equal. Even more than that you feel like you’re at his… Not that you’re at his service, that he’s at your service, right? I think that that’s how I measure the people I know. Like Elon Musk, I can tell you, in interpersonal relationships and everything, he’s a great guy. He has a lot of power now but he still will take the time to have a conversation with somebody who walks up to him at a conference, you know, and says, “Why don’t you do this.” He’ll say, “That’s a really interesting idea.” He’ll have like a real human conversation with them. But I can tell you there are VCs who are not really like that. There are VCs who behaved reprehensible. I always try to return emails to entrepreneurs and be clear with them. Like, “This isn’t an investment for me.” That’s one of the problems I have with YouTube right now to be totally honest. I feel like their an example, Google is an example of somebody when they have the upper hand who doesn’t treat the person who isn’t the 800lb. gorilla well. Whether it was the Google Panda update or it’s YouTube’s relationship with content creators. I feel like they’re… I don’t even know if they’re knowingly being abusive.
Kirin: It’s like this, intent matters.
Jason: Well, I don’t actually think so. You know? I usually always say intent matters but I think that it’s… When you do accumulate a lot of power and you have a lot of wealth or a lot of fame or a lot of power or any of those combinations, it’s up to you to be the better person. I don’t feel like Google is succeeding in that mission all the time, consistently. I do see great things that they do like fighting against these subpoena list warrants and stuff like that, giving wi fi to people in Africa. Obviously, they’re a fantastic company, they’re good people but I do think that they don’t’ give enough thought to, “Hey. We’re the 800lb. gorilla. We’re not the upstart. How are we impacting partners? How are we impacting the ecosystem?” Right? It’s the same with MicroSoft. Now you see when MicroSoft started to go down hill and they weren’t on the upswing, boy did their behavior change. They realized, “Hey. We should be good people to other people.” I think you should be a good person all the time, consistently. I challenge myself to do that. I’ve really thought about that in my life. Like when I made my money or whatever, when I got famous… internet famous… like, “How can I be a better person for the people who are not?” You see my interactions with startups and entrepreneurs. Always try to give them time. Always try to give them consideration. Right? I think that’s what you’re seeing in this post is a lot of these VCs they give people 15 minutes. Or like Dave McClure… You know I’ve talked to him about his bad behavior. He’s getting called out on it now. He’s just a little obnoxious and raw with how he treats entrepreneurs and grabbing their laptops and reading their laptops when he’s on stage and all this kind of behavior. You need to think about your personal behavior. Again I’m not perfect. I’ve had to think about my personal behavior. How do I act? I’ve failed many times in my career. They’re all documented when I acted like a jerk. But Dave McClure is going through his own personal journey. He acts like a jerk, you know. He’s got to like get his shit together. Sorry. Ten bucks. But he has to get his shit together and not act like a jerk to people or else you get this reputation of, “Hey. Now that you…” Dave McClure was not acting like a jerk when he didn’t have a fund. Then he gets a fund and he acts like a jerk, right? He’s got to change that behavior and he knows that. He has changed it. I give him a lot of credit for that. Anyway, whatever. It’s a rant. What do you think Marshall?
Marshall: I was distracted by the blimp that was flying over outside that you sent to deliver free wi-fi.
Jason: Yeah. Exactly. The Google blimp. It’s pretty amazing that they do that. Google’s got, on some level, great intent. Sending blimps to Africa to give them wi-fi. Pretty cool. What do you think Marshall? Just the overall point of VCs and bad behavior. With Mark Cuban being at your service. Do you have that same experience with Mark that you feel like he’s really at your service?
Marshall: To a large degree, yeah. Mark is awesome. He’s really responsive. He wrote back to me in 10 minutes when I pitched him. He writes back to me by email probably about 2 or 3 times a month. He responds promptly when I ask him for advice or input. He makes lots of great introductions. He has a gentle hand shake. As my co-founder in life Mikalina puts it when we got to meet. Yeah. Real good guy. I think that those other investors need to take off the Google Glass and look us right in the eye. I’m sure there’s a good continuum.
Jason: Good call back. Alright. James anything you want to add to this?
James: No. That’s good.
Jason: OK. Alright. Listen this has been an amazing program. Kirin do you have anything to add?
Kirin: I was just going to say Mark Suster included a funny video that we should show a clip of.
Jason: Alright. Show the clip.
Kirin: This is the Nikola Tesla pitching Valley VCs.
Jason: Oh I’ve heard about this. I’ve never seen it. That’s pretty brilliant. I have to say that is brilliant. That is what people go through.
James: That is what VCs do all day.
Jason: Well that was Dave McClure with his goddamned iPad out. As I try to explain to the kid cause he’s a friend of mine for a long time. He’s a good person. He’s great to entrepreneurs. Like, you spend 99% of your time being great to entrepreneurs and then in the last instance you send the signal that you don’t care by being on your iPad and being distracted. Be present. Take the Google Glasses off. We’ve learned a lot today. Just to go through the list of the things we learned… no I’m not going to do that. Anyway. A couple of plugs. Everybody check out Choose Yourself. Via only Bitcoin right now. Bitcoin.chooseyourself.us. But on Monday go to Amazon and buy it. It’s an ebook. Which means it’s probably a dollar. What is it 99¢?
James: And soft cover. It’s $4.99 ebook and it’s paperback.
Jason: Wait a second.
James: And it’s Audible.
Marshall: I know what I’m getting for the holidays for everybody.
Jason: Absolutely. I’m buying a 10 pack.
James: Audio as well.
Jason: Who reads the audio?
James: I do. It’s totally unabridged.
Jason: Did you read the audio like into a microphone like at your apartment? How did you do that?
James: No. No I went to the same studio President Clinton used for his books.
Jason: Who did that for you? Was it Audible who did it?
James: No. But then I uploaded it to Audible. I did John Marshall Studios in the city. Then I upload it to Audible.
Jason: What does it cost to do that? What does it cost to make an audio book?
James: It was about $4K.
Jason: Oh. Not cheap but you’ll make it back.
Jason: I hope. You gotta sell a thousand audio books or more to make it back. Anyway. LIsten. It’s going to be amazing. Thank you for being on the program again. Everybody follow @jaltucher on Twitter. Marshall Kirkpatrick is @marshallk. Two “Ls”. He is at Little Bird which you can find at GetLittleBird.com. Starting at $250 a month. It’s way too cheap and you’re going to get way too much value from it. Marshall any other plugs? Marshall any other plugs?
Marshall: No. Come on over and see what we’ve got.
Jason: How would you describe the difference between you and Klout?
Marshall: We discover people who are in very specific topics. We look at their contextual respect among their peers. Instead of just picking out popular voices in general.
Jason: Got it.
Marshall: There are many many differences.
Jason: Hey can you make sure my account is back on cause I want to go play with it this weekend? I want to play with it this weekend.
Marshall: Sounds good.
Jason: Alright. Thanks pal. Everybody go to GetLittleBird. Kirin great job. Any plugs or anything we need to tell the audience?
Kirin: We have TWiST Live next Friday, June 7.
Jason: OK. How do they get a ticket?
Kirin: So we won’t be here in the news roundtable format. We will be live in San Francisco.
Jason: I’m going to interview Kara Swisher. She told me I should wear a cup and a helmet.
Kirin: It’s going to be gloves off. TWiST Live4.eventbright.com.
Jason: We’re not sold out yet? It’s only $2 a ticket. We just make it $2 a ticket so that people don’t drive by sign up.
Kirin: Right. It’s going to be…
Jason: It’s pretty close to sold out? How many people?
Kirin: Yeah. It’s pretty close to sold out. We have office hours which you and I are doing starting at 2 o’clock. First come first served.
Jason: We’ll meet people who are entrepreneurs and talk to them about being at the Launch Festival, just ideas or whatever.
Kirin: Right. What they’re working on, if that’s something we’re interested in. Then a couple of the workshops from our sponsors then you will start the interview at 4 o’clock.
Jason: How many people can they fit over there? 100, 150?
Kirin: I think it’s 150.
Jason: OK. Great. Awesome. Alright. Thanks to Brandice for getting everything done. Pretty good job. I’ll give you a 7 out of 10, Bryce, on the media jockey. Pretty good. Next week you’ll do an 8. Kirin great job reading the news and organizing everything. Demant, Emily, Krute and Luke, great job. Luke is tearing it up. Sold a bunch of sponsorships. I like to see that Luke. Nice job Luke. You’re on my radar Luke. When I see the cash register ring that’s when I remember people’s names. So if you book a good guest, I see the cash register, that’s when i want to talk to people in my organizations. Until then don’t make eye contact. Sales people come to me with an insertion order. Otherwise I don’t want to see you. No. You can come talk to me anytime. No. Not really. Bring me an insertion order. Thank you @NewRelic. Thank you Scott@Walker. Thank you so much. You’ve been such a great sponsor. New Relic thank you for making a great product and begin such a great sponsor. We’ll see you next time on ThisWeekIn Startups. Bye.
Special thanks to the members of the TWiST Backchannel Program!