about this episode
Get up to 2,000 subscribers and send up to 12,000 emails per month for free with MailChimp. There’s no contract, no trial, and the free plan is always free — visit http://www.mailchimp.com.
Big news this week from Google’s IO event and Yahoo with its reported bid for Tumblr. Lucky us that we had ex-Googler Thomas Korte, founder of AngelPad, and ex-Yahoo exec Luke Beatty, now managing director of TechStars, on the program. We also discussed Andrew Mason’s post-Groupon plans, Blackberry Messenger for Android and iOS, the US government cracking down on Bitcoin and more.
Show our guests some love!
Google & AH investing $10.7M in drone co Airware
Winner LAUNCH Festival 2013
0:31 Hey everybody we have as Thomas Korte @thomask and Luke Beatty @luke_beatty on the show today!
9:30 News Story #1 Andrew Mason reveals post Groupon plans
10:00 Jason is featured on Andrew Mason’s new album
11:00 Thomas what do you think?
11:20 Luke you have experience similar to what Andrew is doing. How do you think Andrew Mason will do?
13:45 Jason wants to have Andrew on the show
14:24 News Story #2 Blackberry messenger comes to Android and iOS
16:30 What do you guys think about Blackberry making a run?
19:20 What do you think Luke? Will they win back the enterprise?
20:30 Is Apple making a huge blunder not doing cross platform for their apps?
22:00 Luke what do you think?
22:37 News Story #3 Yahoo reportedly talking to Tumblr
22:45 Who first reported on this?
23:10 Luke you sold a company to Yahoo, what do you think?
27:07 Will Zuckerburg throw his weight in the ring? Will it make him top guy in M&A business?
28:25 What do you think Luke?
29:45 Thank you to MailChimp!!! Powerful Email Marketing!!
32:22 News Story #4 Google I/O
33:51 Jason what are you most excited about?
34:10 Thomas are you worried that Google is getting too big and powerful?
36:10 Thomas weighs in on the music app, talks about audience.fm
37:40 Luke what do you think of the Google I/O, Glass, All Access?
38:30 Discussion on Google Glass
41:08 If you have a dinner party and 3 out of 5 people have Glass on, what do you do Luke?
41:55 Thomas do you ask them to take them off?
44:37 Thomas: What about GoPro?
48:19 News Story #5 Tactus Technology CTO interviewed by Scoble
50:40 What do you think of this Luke?
51:30 What do you think of this Thomas?
52:00 Discussion about potentials of this technology
55:30 What about startups developing apps for Glass, is that a waste, being too early?
56:40 Luke what do you think?
58:40 News Story #6 Department of Homeland Security shuts down bitcoin exchange with Mt. Gox
59:15 Luke what do you think?
1:00:33 Thomas do you have any Bitcoin people?
Distribution provided by CloudSigma. The cloud that adapts to you. Visit CloudSigma.com/ThisWeekIn, for a free $200 credit.Today’s episode of ThisWeekIn Startups is brought to you by MailChimp. Manage lists with up to 2,000 subscribers and send up to 12,000 emails per month, for free, with MailChimp.And by the Resumator. Try the Resumator. The hiring solution used by today’s fastest growing startups. Start a free trial at the Resumator.com/twist.
Jason: Hey, everybody. Hey, everybody. It’s This is ThisWeekIn Startups. I am your host Jason Calacanis. Today it is our News Roundtable Edition. Thomas Korte is with us from AngelPad. Luke Beatty is with us. Formerly of Associated Content, which he sold to Yahoo for a gazillion dollars. Now running TechStars in one of the cities. I’m not sure which. We’ll get to that. Plenty of news to be read by Kirin Kalia, the executive director of Launch. Stick with us. It’s going to be an amazing program.
TWiST title sequence.
Jason: Hey, everybody. Hey, everybody. It’s ThisWeekIn Startups, our News Roundtable Edition. This is the episode where we talk about what’s going on in tech, what’s going on with startups in tech, what’s going on with angel investing, venture capitalists. We have a bunch of great guests on the program who… We just rap out about the top 10 news stories. It’s a very simple thing. You can find the show anytime on YouTube, youtube.com/thisweekin. Pretty easy to remember. Or you can go to Stitcher and you can type in startups and we’ll be the number one result. You can go into iTunes, podcasting. Type in ThisWeekIn Startups. You can get us there. You can go to TuneIn Radio. You’ll probably find us there. It’s all over the place. If you forget go to thisweekin.com. Or go to Twitter and follow the handle @TWistartups. Or you can follow me @jason. We’ve been doing this show for 352 episodes. Though this is our 352nd. With me today is Kirin Kalia. Welcome back to the program to read the news.
Kirin: Thank you very much, sir.
Jason: Luke Beatty is with us. Managing director at TechStars. You’re in Boulder. Is that right Luke?
Luke: I’m in Boulder, yup.
Jason: Wow. That’s quite a lifestyle there isn’t it?
Luke: It is quite a lifestyle.
Jason: Gosh. People love that Boulder. Everybody’s in great shape. Everybody’s good looking. Everybody’s got 2 or 3 different graduate degrees. It’s pretty great.
Luke: It’s sunny.
Jason: Awesome. Yeah. It’s sunny and perfect. Then you get the snow and everything. Also Thomas Korte of AngelPad is with us. Hey, Thomas. How are you doing?
Thomas: Good. Good. Here in San Francisco. It’s sunny and multi degrees.
Jason: Look at that. What a beautiful shot you have there, the AngelPad humming. Amazing. You take a dozen startups per class, correct?
Thomas: A dozen startups, yeah. We’re actually about a week out before demo day. So it really comes down to the wire right now. These guys are all working pretty hard. It’s good.
Jason: Yeah. Look at the people panicking back there. They’re in full on holy shit we gotta… Ohh. I cursed already. Holy Sugar they gotta get their stuff together. We’re going to hear about all the great stuff they got going on there as we get to the news. A couple of quick points of order. OnJune 26-27 is the Launch Education and Kids Conference. It’s the second time where doing this. It’s at MicroSoft. Thank you so much to my friends at MicroSoft for letting us use their space in Mountain View. MicroSoft is a great company. They’re great supporters of entrepreneurship and founders. Just wonderful people over there. They’ve been so good to me in my entrepreneurial career. I got to interview Steve Balmer one time back in the day for Silicon Alley reporter. That was a real treat.
Kirin: Well we’ll have him back.
Jason: Yeah. They said he’s going to do keynote at one of our events. I can’t wait for that. The event will be great. We have two fireside chats now. Tell everybody.
Kirin: Mitch Kapor, who is famous for Lotus 1-2-3.
Jason: Among many things.
Kirin: Among many things. He is a very active investor in EdTech.
Kirin: He’s also involved with his wife’s organization Level Playing Field Institute. They sponsor underprivileged kids who want to go into science and tech.
Jason: Yeah. So Mitch is a great guy and he’s a legend in tech. It’s going to be a real treat for me to interview him finally at MicroSoft’s campus. Our second fireside is?
Kirin: Koller of Coursera.
Kirin: Coursera is like Udacity, like EdEx. One of the massive online courses. They call them MOOCs.
Jason: They call them MOOCs. Massive Online Open Courses. MOOC. As opposed to a mook in a Scorsese film which would mean an idiot. So if you’re a mook you can take a MOOC. Or a mook in japanese culture is a magazine or book as well. So there are a number of terms for that. That’s a pretty great lineup right there. Then we’ll have 20 companies on stage presenting new products or their services and the lessons they’ve learned. I have a little bit of an announcement here. I’m going to… The Launch Fund is going to invest in one of the companies.
Jason: So we’ll make a little announcement of that. I’ll figure out what the dollar amount is. But I think $50K. Now that I got a $600K a year fund now it’s splashy cashy time. Splashy cashy. We’re going to announce the first two investments of the fund in the next month or so. Hey. Judges include Esther Dyson, Adeo Ressi from the Founder’s Institute. It’s going to be really great. It’s about to sell out. So if you want to buy a ticket go to launchedu.co and you can buy a ticket. We do give a lot of educators and startups free tickets. Yes. Scholarships we call them. We don’t want to cheapen the event but we do give scholarships to people who are, you know, starting out in their careers or who are educators and teachers. Thank you to our friends at Pearson for underwriting the event as well as SchoolMessenger. So great to have support. Alright. Thank you. Speaking of support, The Resumator is a great product that Kirin and I use to recruit people for all the different companies we work on here. It’s easy to use. You can market your openings on free job boards and websites and social media, screen resumés based on job criteria, track applicants, hire employees efficiently and stay competitive by reducing the time and cost for each hire. Customers who use The Resumator include Instagram, Pinterest and HooteSuite. Never let a lack of hiring experience stand in the way of your company’s growth. Go ahead and get a free trial by visiting theresumator.com/TWiST. 14 day free trial, 15% off your first month, just because you’re a TWiST listener. I’ve been using this product for 5 or 6 years and love it. I have 18K applicants in there. Which is just incredibly powerful. Cause I can go in there and say, “Anybody who ever applied to a video editor position. Anybody who ever applied for a writing position.” There might be thousands of them. Then I could say, “Who were the highest rated?” Then I go check in, their LinkedIn. Or if we post a new job posting on Craigslist. Instead of all that existing in some Gmail account and being all different size attachments that can contain viruses it all normalizes that. We do great things like ask people 4 or 5 questions in order to apply for the position. Which gets rid of all the drive-by resumé hitters and also all those annoying recruiters. So we make them answer like 5 questions. Why do you want the job as the executive producer of ThisWeekIn Startups? What are your favorite radio shows? What’s an example of what you would do to improve the show? Etc., etc… We ask these questions and we get really well thought out answers from people. We’re like that’s the person to focus on. Then we bring them in, we do phoners. In the system you can say this person’s a top flight candidate, a medium or not applicable. It just makes the whole workflow work easy. It costs pennies a day, maybe dollars a day. It’s incredible. It’s a great product. You know what? The show is sold out for 6 months at a clip. We have our choice of advertisers. White listed advertising only on this program. Yes. White listed advertising. That means I will never ever tell you about a product that I don’t use myself and don’t personally endorse. That’s how good my life is. Alright listen. Let’s get to the program. What should we start with here? How about we start with Andrew Mason just for a little bit of a change of pace. Cause I love Andrew. I’m hearing like a thousand different things about him.
Kirin: Alright. So you did have Andrew on the program about 3 years ago. We do have a clip of that that we can show.
Jason: Play the clip.
Kirin: Just give Brandice a second.
Jason: Oh yeah. Brandice let’s play this clip. We had him back in May of 2010. That would be 3 years ago.
Kirin: Three years ago exactly actually.
Jason: Wow. Wow. Always put the number… three years ago he was on the program.
Kirin: I think he was episode 52.
Jason: Episode 52.
Jason: Apparently you’re still CEO. Are you going to look for a new CEO? Is there pressure from your investors to get out of that seat and become the Chief Creative Officer or something nonsensical like that?
Andrew: No. There hasn’t been. From my perspective I don’t care what I do I just like being useful and doing things that are interesting and challenging. But so far our board seems to not want to fire me. Or at least they told me that they don’t.
Jason: Wow. That was a pretty pressing clip. Three years later he got fired and wrote that great thing. OK. What’s going on in his world Kirin?
Kirin: Alright. So he blogged this week that he’s going to move to San Francisco this summer with his wife.
Jason: Oh. Great.
Kirin: He’s going to be a part time partner at YC. He’s going to be advising the companies there.
Kirin: Interestingly, he’s also going to be doing an album about business knowledge. He’s recording an album in LA, he said. It should be coming out on iTunes soon.
Jason: Yes. I have an announcement to make. I haven’t been able to talk about this but I actually am featured on one of the songs.
Luke: Oh no.
Thomas: Oh my God.
Jason: I give a slight rap performance. So I am rapping on one of the tracks.
Luke: Oh no.
Jason: I kid you not. I haven’t been able to talk about it but…
Thomas: Are you dancing in the video Jason?
Jason: You have seen it?
Thomas: No. Are you dancing in the video?
Jason: Oh. It’s going to be great. You’re dancing in the video with me. Yes. We’re rapping about… I do a little rap in one of the songs. It’s going to be great. You’re going to love it.
Kirin: I guess that means that you think the album is going to be…
Jason: Horrible. Terrible. A piece of garbage. No. There’s a 95% chance that this isn’t true. What do you think Thomas? A good move for Andrew Mason? Good move for Y Combinator?
Thomas: Going into music? I thought with music.
Jason: No. Moving to San Francisco.
Thomas: Moving to San Francisco good move. I mean Chicago is cold, you know, you have what 4 months of good weather? So I think that definitely is a good move. I think his personality matches Silicon Valley slightly better than Chicago. He can do some really crazy things. I’m kind of excited to see what his nest startup is because he is a crazy guy. He’s a wealthy crazy guy. If you get wealth and crazy together usually you come up with some interesting stuff. So I’m excited to see what he does next.
Jason: Yeah. Wealthy and crazy equal AngelPad, right? You just start an accelerator. Luke you’re a tremendously successful guy who sold his company and then was fired by a big major corporation, Yahoo. You didn’t get fired. I’m joking.
Luke: Did I get fired?
Jason: No. I’m joking.
Luke: Oh, my gosh. I was wondering what happened.
Jason: No. You fired yourself. Being fired from Yahoo would’ve been pretty cool actually. But I mean you went into an accelerator. What is the appeal for entrepreneurs of selling your company or leaving your company, making a bunch of money then like going into an accelerator. Why did you do it? How do you think Andrew Mason will do?
Luke: I did an EIR at TechStars last summer before I took the managing director job. It’s just a good way to sort of reengage with the startup community, to be involved in things that are active, to look at the premium sort of deal flow that comes through places like YC and AngelPad and TechStars and all that sort of stuff. I don’t think… There’s kind of a common sometimes thought that people join them because they’re hoping to get a CEO job with one of the companies. That’s usually not what I see. But I think it’s a good way to get your toe back in without overcommitting to anything. The entrepreneurs and the accelerators they want to work with people who’ve already done it. So it’s usually a pretty good mix and it’s a flexible type roll. He could probably be there for one cohort or two cohorts or extended.
Jason: What do you think will happen with your there? You’re in it as a managing director for the long haul, right? I mean this is going to be your career for the next 5 or 10 years at least.
Luke: Yeah. That’s the plan. Continue to work not only on my portfolio but also on the evolution of TechStars as we launch accelerators in places like embedded within companies like Nike then some international stuff that we have going on now. So yeah it’s great. It’s exciting. The energy around this stuff is good for me.
Jason: Well we wish him all the best. Let’s book him for the show.
Jason: As quick as possible. Actually let’s do it live. I want to do a live show.
Luke: You guys can get your guitars and stuff out and maybe turn it into a music show.
Jason: Absolutely. This is a great idea. Tell him we want to do a live show with him and debut the album on the live show and do a live performance. We’ll do a live performance of our track.
Kirin: When is the album supposed to come out?
Jason: I don’t know when it drops. I don’t know when it drops.
Luke: You have so many albums coming out you don’t know when that ones coming out.
Jason: Here’s the thing. I’m sort of like Diddy in that I just pop in and do an Alicia Keys here. I’ll pop into another Beyoncé song here. I just pop in and I get a third of the royalties for the track. So that’s the way I make my money. Just dropping in on tracks.
Thomas: I want that gig.
Jason: It’s no different than running an accelerator. You get a slice and you move on to the next thing. Alright. Next story. Let’s do BlackBerry.
Kirin: Alright. So BlackBerry World in Orlando this week. You were actually there…
Jason: I was there.
Kirin: … for some of the excitement. We know you love your new Q10.
Jason: Loving it.
Kirin: So interestingly BlackBerry Messenger is going to be coming to Android and iOS.
Kirin: As we know BlackBerry has still a fairly large number of users. 60M monthly active. 51M using the app for about 90 minutes a day. So how much is this going to affect iOS and Android users?
Jason: Well I can tell you, number one, the BlackBerry Q10 is an amazing device. The OS has caught up to… On an operating system basis they certainly caught up to iOS. They’ve definitely exceeded Android. Which isn’t saying much because Android’s pretty sloppy. What they haven’t succeeded in doing obviously yet is having the cohort of apps. So like I don’t have Evernote yet on my BlackBerry but I know Phil is working on that.
Kirin: I was going to say Phil wants to be everywhere.
Jason: Right. I know for a fact he’s working on it cause I asked him and he told me he was. All that’s probably confidential. Evernote will be coming out for BlackBerry. So for me then I’ve had this amazing experience of late where I can, because of Evernote, Twitter and Gmail, go into any device and within maybe ten minutes of the device I can learn the device and log into all my accounts. It’s like I’m on my desktop or other computer. So the cloud has changed the idea of portability of services. Specifically moving BlackBerry Messenger, which was MessageMe before it existed, and having it work on other platforms is something they should have done 3 or 4 years ago. It definitely shows that they’ve changed their… They’ve been humbled frankly.
Jason: Yeah. But their stock has gone up two and half times since everybody thought they were going to die. They’re not going to die. The bigger thing was they released a Q5 phone, which is a world phone. Which will probably be $100 or $200. So a $200 smart phone that works around the world for emerging markets with a keypad, it’s going to be a huge hit. What do you guys think? Do you guys think BlackBerry is out of it? Do you think this is signs that they might make a run at it again?
Thomas: I’m pretty exciting about what they have built. I think my first, obviously, smart phone in a way with keyboard was a BlackBerry back in 2003/2004. So I have to say I haven’t touched one since then when I switched over. Apple has a great ecosystem. Apple has the apps. Everything there, the design. Google can capture a lot with Android when you look at the longer tail and just making this a lot more inexpensive. No one has really truly captured the enterprise. I think with BlackBerry coming back there is a good chance that a lot of purchasing managers are going to try to get out of iOS or not even get into it and stick with BlackBerry. So security, enterprise all those features BlackBerry is still top I think.
Jason: Yeah. See that’s what people don’t realize. When I was down there I told Shawn Gold… cause I was down there doing some business development. I can’t talk about exactly what. But I wasn’t just there as a journalist. I probably would not have gone there as a journalist. I was there for high level meetings. That’s kind of obnoxious to say. I was just there for meetings. High level meetings.
Thomas: Yeah. So obnoxious.
Jason: Like who am I, the president? Yeah. I was just there for a meeting. I was there for a meeting and a couple of side meetings. But I was there for a meeting. Listen I’m out there trying to make things happen.
Kirin: No poker game?
Jason: No poker game. Anyway. The point is… I told Shawn, “Bring a suit.” I brought a suit. I’m not talking a suit jacket with jeans like I’m wearing now. I said, “Pants. Bring pants.”
Kirin: Bring pants.
Jason: Pants not optional. So we bring suits. Sure enough you start walking around BlackBerry World suits and ties. This is the IT crowd. On a global basis the IT crowd. The first guy I meet is from Saudi Arabia. He’s like, “Yeah. I run the biggest IT company in Saudi Arabia. Everybody’s got a BlackBerry. Everybody can’t wait for this BlackBerry.” People don’t understand that if you’re doing business… In some of those countries they’ve banned BlackBerry because they’re so goddamned secure and encrypted and everything that these other governments can’t…
Kirin: They can’t break in.
Jason: … they can’t break in. So anyway. The other thing is have you noticed, Luke, that since the iPhone was introduced and the BlackBerrys they started crashing and they basically just had the old OS. That everybody is writing like short emails like, “I’ll get back to you later, Buttercup.” And you’re like, “What?” It’s like auto spelling errors. What do you think Luke?
Luke: Yeah. I think that’s exactly what BlackBerry has in it’s potential pocket. It’s just crushing the enterprise market and understanding the world of enterprise messaging, enterprise chat, enterprise communications. Making it server side secure, searchable, all that sort of stuff. So I think the more they sort of play on the fact that they’re building stuff for businesses and obviously that’s a whole different pricing structure and revenue model but that’s the only way to go.
Jason: Yeah. I think they’ll win back the enterprise and they’ll win back the CEO class. You know the top 20% of companies that actually need to write long emails on the road. I used to write my emails.
Kirin: Yes you did.
Jason: I would write a full 1,000 word email and then email it to you. Or have it set up on the plane. I would sit there and write it. It was very comfortable for me. But actually who made an interesting comment was Renée Ritchie of iMore. She pointed out that every applicable competitor makes apps for iOS and cross platform while Apple makes nothing for Android, Windows and BlackBerry.
Kirin: Makes nothing for nobody. That’s correct.
Jason: This is an astute point. I’ve brought it up before on the program. What is Apple doing that they think they can just avoid this trend of like… “Oh, yeah. People are going to start using our web services but our web services are not going to work on other platforms?” Why does iMessage not work on Android? Why is iPhoto not available on Android or other places?
Kirin: Why don’t they want to infect…?
Jason: Why don’t they want to infect the other people? What do you guys think about this? Thomas, is Apple making a huge blunder by not being cross platform with their apps?
Thomas: I really do wonder about this especially now that I see how well Google builds applications for iOS. There’s been a big change inside Google the past year and half or the past two years to build great applications for iOS. Look, I’m using the Google navigation. I don’t use the Apple native navigation when I use it. So I think I wonder if Apple doesn’t make the same mistake it has done before, you know, being a completely closed environment. It’s always very beneficial to start out with. They have the infrastructure and the ecosystem to do it. Can they do it? Android today is already much bigger. BlackBerry is… I would really consider doing some of the core functionality like MessageMe or the video thing. What’s that called?
Jason: Oh FaceTime. Yeah. Why is FaceTime not on Android? It’s so stupid.
Thomas: At least FaceTime.
Jason: So stupid. It’s like Apple is so… For a company that makes such brilliant products they can be so stupid. iMessage and FaceTime are designed and the value of those things increase with the size of the network.
Jason: Pure network effect. What do you think Luke? Is this somewhere where like a Yahoo can start infecting across ecosystems because they have that beautiful weather app that they make. Yahoo now makes a beautiful weather app for iOS.
Luke: That’s great right?
Luke: That app’s great.
Jason: Do you think this is going to be like a trend?
Luke: I don’t know. I agree with you guys. I don’t understand at all that closed network stuff. I think it’s an understated risk to what you guys are saying. I think it’s a huge risk and one that… I don’t know that it won’t pay off… but I don’t think that it’ll go without having massive repercussions for them. Then it may work out, you know, in a massive way. I think it’s very risky.
Jason: Let’s talk Yahoo/Tumblr.
Kirin: Alright. So Yahoo reportedly…
Jason: Yeah. Yahoo reportedly…
Kirin: … talking to Tumblr.
Jason: Who was the first to report that, do you know?
Jason: AllThingsD. OK. So Kara gets it right again. Kara Swisher who is also going to be doing our live show.
Kirin: She is. June 7 in San Francisco. Kara reported that Marissa and some other executive… Marissa has talked to David Karp and other Tumblr executives. There’s perhaps interest from Facebook we hear now.
Kirin: So what does this mean for Yahoo if it can actually get Tumblr?
Jason: Let’s talk to Luke since he was inside. He sold his company to Yahoo. What do you think?
Luke: I think it’s great. I think it’s great for both.
Jason: Why? Why is it great?
Luke: I think it’s great because one of the things that Yahoo does well is… because it’s entire… almost entire business runs off the conversion of people off of its homepage. They run, as they often talk about custom home pages, obviously, for every single user. They’re constantly moving those things through. They do have the ability to surface if they implement the same technology across the Twitter dataset in it’s broadest sense and deliver people the Twitter feeds that they know and that they want. Maybe ones that they don’t want I think Twitter…
Jason: Do you mean Tumblr?
Luke: I’m sorry. Tumblr. Delivering the right Tumblr content of which there’s billions of assets being pushed through that. I think they have the ability to surface those to people. One of the problems of Tumblr is surfacing related content to people. Yahoo does have that technology. That is a massive collection of content and a database of relevant sort of fragmented information.
Jason: Is there a risk that sending and driving Yahoo traffic into Tumblr means you’re going to send the mothers and fathers of 15 year old girls who are in love with Tumblr into that system where they’re hiding from their parents? What do you think Thomas?
Thomas: Don’t they do that already? 15 years olds is too late to talk about. I think when I look at Twitter as a whole and the rumors about Tumblr we don’t know if they’re true. We know that the Twitter thing is true. Now we know that the acquisitions that they’re making are true. I think Yahoo… I mentioned it when we were live talking together a couple of weeks ago. Yahoo is back on top with Marissa at the helm. They bought a company from us, Asterick to really work on iOS and to do list and things like that. I look at the Twitter stuff. I just look at how I use Twitter and I look at LInkedIn for example. On LinkedIn I got yanked out the Twitter feed. It took them a while to figure out how to replace that. But today I look at LinkedIn and I get pretty darn good news feeds from people sharing inside LinkedIn. So we know the Twitter thing is going to happen. If the Tumblr thing going to happen? Yahoo has a long history of real content. Probably more so than any other Silicon Valley company. They had groups. Didn’t they buy back then a bunch of kind of website builders back in 2000?
Jason: Yeah. Obviously they had GeoCities famously but they did have some of those. My feeling is on this… Brandice just ask Thomas to turn off the YouTube stream or any other apps he’s got. He’s going in and out. Fading in and out. My feeling on this is it’s great for Yahoo. Tumblr, I’m not so sure Yahoo’s a great home for them. I think it’s an OK place.
Kirin: It doesn’t seem like a fit culturally,
Jason: Here’s the thing. Tumblr is just starting monetization. So obviously monetization… Yahoo can help out with. I don’t think Yahoo can help out with any kind of cool factor or like that but they do have a huge ad sales force. They could start selling into it. All that kind of great stuff. What I do think is going to happen in this position is I think Marissa is going to get outbid… again. Right? Cause she lost Yelp and she lost other deals. Although maybe this time she’ll hold her ground and just not blink but…
Kirin: Well she’s CEO this time.
Jason: That’s true too. That’s a fair point. I think that Zuckerberg is going to come out and he’s going to throw his weight around. He going to throw his paycheck around… The fact that he has authority to do whatever he wants.
Kirin: He’s got a lot more money in the bank.
Jason: Well the way Shawn Parker set it up basically Zuck can do whatever he wants. The Instagram purchase was a perfect example of that. He just said, “I’ll double whatever Twitter’s giving. So here’s your $1B. Let’s go. And I will never interfere with what you’re doing. Go. Or not for some time.” Now that he’s got Kevin Systrom, who’s been on the show, from Instagram, he’s got the ability to take Kevin and use him as an example of “Hey I buy stuff. I don’t “F” with it.” I don’t think Yahoo can say that historically. Neither can Google.
Jason: Google’s known for killing stuff. I think what Zuckerberg is doing is brilliant. He’s setting himself up as the friendly entrepreneur buyer to let you do whatever you want. He’s got an unlimited amount of stock and cash that he can pull the trigger on. He’s got such a huge advantage. If he comes in and says, “Hey. I’ll give you two.” That’s just going to totally make him the top M&A guy in the business. Hand’s down. Am I right or am I wrong Luke?
Luke: I would say as it stands today I would say you’re right. I would say that’s it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that Marissa could acquire a company like Tumblr and leave it as a stand alone business. We know that’s not… I know from my own personal experience… that’s not the way they’ve done it in the past. But if past precedent is the right predictor then you’re probably right. I don’t know that there can be a king maker in the Valley for acquiring businesses. Just because of the diversity of them. But maybe if you’re talking about the big consumer facing applications then maybe you’re right.
Jason: Alright. When we get back from the commercial break we’re going to talk about Tesla doing a… Tesla’s stock is just exploding. We’re going to talk about Yahoo’s partnership with Twitter. Another partnership for them. Larry Page and Google i/o. Department of Homeland Security has halted the Bitcoin transactions at Mt. Gox and seized their funds. There’s a lot going on in the space. Twitter made an acquisition. Scobel had Tactus which is a super interesting, cool technology. All that and more when we come back from the commercial break. Alright. Who is the commercial? The Resumator I did.
Jason: Oh. God it’s not even a commercial. EEEe eeee e eeee. MailChimp. We’re done. Thank you. What do I have to tell you about MailChimp. #1- it’s easy to use. #2- it’s affordable. #3- Their free plan is always free. 2,000 subscribers/10,000 emails a month. Something like that. The greatest software, the best design, multi-level accounts, email templates, mobile responsive web design, all that kind of nice stuff. Incredible metrics, easy unsubscribe. You can put your emails through a spam filter checker to make sure that you don’t put keywords in it that would wind up in spam. Incredible customer service. Why am I just looking into the camera telling you all this stuff without having to look at the copy? Because I’ve been using this goddamned product for 4, 5, 6 years and I love it. I am so pleased that MailChimp has been sponsoring my program since day one. They are hands down, along with GoTo Meeting, the longest running partner I have. MicroSoft too, I guess, for the event. Anyway. The point is MailChimp is absolutely fabulous and easy to use. If you have a business… social networks change. So you invested all this money getting likes for your Facebook page then Zuckerberg changed the algorithm. Now when you do an update it doesn’t end up on all those people’s pages. So you said, “Oh. I’m going to pay $1 or $2 to get a follower, friend or a like on Facebook.” How did it work out for you? You spent $10K getting 10K people now you can’t reach them. If you had spent $10K on acquiring email addresses you’d still be able to reach them. MailChimp’s not going to screw with your ability to reach those people. But Zuckerberg did. He wants you to pay twice now. He wants you to pay the Zuckerberg tax. If you’d invested all this money in your MySpace page or your Friendster page that would have all gone to zero. But if at that same time you had invested in building your email list you would have been a hero not a zero. Stick with MailChimp. Stick with email. My email jason@calacanis will be my email for life. Once you get my relationship in my MailChimp you have me for life. They do A/B testing. I love that too. Where you can test two different headlines you send to 1,000 people on your list. It looks at which one got the best response and then sends to the rest of the people dynamically. Incredible features like that make MailChimp the ultimate solution. Thank you so much to my friends at MailChimp. Version 8 has multi-user access which is great. The free plan is always free. Thank you so much. 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month for free. Everybody thank MailChimp on their Twitter account. If you don’t use it what are you waiting for? Get in there. Alright. Let’s do… What’s the best story here?
Kirin: I gotta talk about Google I/O.
Jason: Yeah. Let’s talk about Google I/O.
Kirin: This is their big keynote of the year.
Kirin: They did, last year, very famously Google Glass. The whole demo with Sergey jumping out of a plane and landing.
Jason: Sergey jumped out of a plane. He did right? Yeah.
Kirin: Sergey on the roof of the Moscone Center and it was very, very dramatic. Nothing quite that exciting this year. They were trying to downplay expectations a bit. So a lot of things came out. The expected music service for $9.99 a month.
Jason: Sergey was on the roof of the building?
Kirin: Right, right. The guy came down.
Jason: But he is a sky diver. Why didn’t he do it? Anyway. Whatever. Go ahead.
Kirin: So like I said they came out with the music service that people were expecting have been leaked ahead of time.
Jason: What is the name of the music service?
Kirin: Google Play Music.
Jason: Google Play Music. Ok. Why don’t they just call it Google Music. Why did they throw Play in the middle of it?
Kirin: Because they have the Google Play Store.
Jason: That’s just dumb. They should just Google Music.
Kirin: Alright. Of course there are some new apps for Glass. Those are some exciting things for folks who already have them not for the rest of us. Evernote, Twitter, etc…
Jason: So Evernote, Twitter and Tumblr now work.
Kirin: Then on hardware you have the Galaxy Samsung S4 completely unlocked with the Nexus user experience. People were not happy when they heard the price, $649.
Jason: For a Nexus 4?
Kirin: This is like a Nexus 4 type phone.
Jason: Yeah. OK. Then Google+ they came out with some fun stuff and voice activated command for search.
Kirin: So of all these things what were you most excited about?
Jason: This was a huge donut. Zero point zero. This was just evolutionary stuff. But it does show that these guys are taking over the world and they’re going to put every startup out of business. I mean it just shows how powerful they are. I looked down that list of features and it was like, “Oh yeah. We’re going to replace the gift standard. Oh we’re going to replace Spotify, they’re going to replace this.” They’re going to replace everything. That was like a death list of startups. Thomas when you see Google performing at this high of a level, you’re a Google alum, does it worry you that this company is getting so big, so powerful and has such a huge footprint today? Or is there still going to be an opportunity to work with this company?
Thomas: If the company’s anything like and the leadership’s anything like when I was there… You know, these are good people with good intentions. I think Larry’s do good through philanthropy speech kind of reinforced that. I truly think there’s good intentions in trying to change the world. When I look at the list I am not excited and jumping up and down about anything. There’s no major announcement. One that is like, “Yeah. This is amazing.” But what Google is so good at really is evolutionary development. When you look at Gmail it wasn’t great when it started. When you looked at Google Video.
Thomas: Maps. Name every product. Barely ever was Google on the forefront of the first mover on innovation. It’s different maybe for Glass and the Google car but Google is really good at making things incrementally better. Very, very stubbornly over time and coming out on top. I think that’s what they’ve shown in this I/O.
Jason: Oh. By the way just a quick update here. Yes it is called Google Play Music All Access. So it’s five words. Whoever named this at Google needs to be shot.
Kirin: They wanted something easy.
Jason: How about we call it Google Play All Access Unlimited Plus?
Kirin: Cause then you’d incorporate Plus for Google Plus.
Jason: Chrome. Android. I mean how many goddamned brands… If Steve Jobs met with Larry Page he would smack him. Jesus. Like how many things can you call one… When Apple releases their music it’s going to be like iMusic. They’re going to add a character to the word music. They added four words to the word music. Google Play before it, All Access after it. Nonsensical. Terrible idea Google.
Thomas: Let’s talk about music real quick.
Thomas: Cause in a way I find that interesting. My prediction is going to be that it’s not going to be as successful. But that’s not the point.
Jason: Why, why, why?
Thomas: You know I don’t think Google has a history of really mass marketing something like this. I guess the advantage they have is that a lot of people in the middle of America don’t think about Spotify like you and I do and kind of have it right on. So maybe they can push it through the channels. But here is what I’m excited about. This kind of goes into what do you do with music and what music says about you. If you use music to better identify your users and understand what they do you have a really, really valuable asset. That’s what I could see Google going to. Just a quick plug. We have actually one company in the current cohort that does something very similar where they index all the social graphs to figure out what you’re listening to and what your taste is. They’re building a taste graph around your music.
Jason: What’s the name of that company?
Thomas: The company’s called Audience.fm. It is pretty powerful. It nixed my stuff. I mean they basically put up a picture of like what I wear and where I likely live. You can tell a lot about people based on their musical taste.
Jason: That’s a clever idea. It’s almost like Pandora but based on your social network and your likes. That’s pretty brilliant. Well we’ll look forward to Audience.fm next week. Luke what do you think of the Google I/O, Google Music and Google Glass? Pick any of those.
Luke: I think music is probably the most impactful of all these. None of them blew my mind. I wait for a Google I/O where the company refocuses or begins to focus, I guess. I think they’re so awesome at inventing and engineering new things. I think the UI, the UX around all of these things is so terminally bad and easily repairable that it blows my mind. So when I think about some of these things, Google Glass not being in that world but things like music, I only envision a world where the back end works magically and quickly but is so wonky to work with and have save buttons and things that we lost a long time ago. So I hope for that some day.
Jason: I have to say I’m getting… I haven’t worn Google Glass but Nick Bilton wrote something in the New York Times about… He was at the I/O conference and of course everybody’s got Google Glass on. He goes to the bathroom and there are people to the left and the right of him, going left and right, and he notices them winking to take photos.
Kirin: Oh! Oh!
Jason: I said, “Oh!” I just thought to myself, “This is… the headset is really, truly loathsome on so many levels.” Then Scott Heiferman… I don’t know if you saw the Scott Heiferman…
Kirin: Oh. He had quite the rant didn’t he?
Jason: Yeah. Did you… anybody see Scott Heiferman’s rant?
Thomas: No. I didn’t.
Luke: No. I did not.
Jason: Oh, wait a second. I’m going to put… Is my computer working Brandice? My computer’s not working. Is there a computer back there that’s working that can play the video? No? We can’t play a video.
Thomas: Computers are so 2012. You don’t have this on Glass.
Jason: Yeah. We have something going on with our stupid tri-caster, I guess, so we cant’ play the video. But anyway there’s a greet video where Scott Heiferman, who is the most gentle guy I know. Who i met in web 1.0 doing iTraffic. Like a startup building banner ads in 1996/97. He’s like, “If I am talking to somebody with these glasses on and they start looking up and to the left and start blinking and doing stuff I am going to punch them in the face.” And he like sticks his fist out. He’s like, “Listen. The computers and our laptops being with us it took 30 seconds for us to get to something interesting. More interesting than the person we’re talking to.” He goes, “Then the phone made it like 15 seconds to something more interesting than the person who’s in front of you. Now Glass makes it 3 seconds or 2 seconds to get something more interesting than you.” I’m starting to get that. I was sort of trading back and forth with Jeff Jarvis and Nick Bilton about his story. I was like, “I think Nick Bilton’s right. These things are just a little…” I’m not a luddite. I’m actually kind of a technophile. But this has got very bad ramifications, I believe. I think that they’re kind of inappropriate and obnoxious. I don’t know. What do you think Luke? If you have a dinner party and 3 people show up with these and 5 people don’t have them on, what do you do?
Luke: I think it’s a lot different than the first time you saw somebody with a smart phone.
Jason: It is different, isn’t it? Why?
Luke: I don’t know. There are a couple monsters walking around TechStars office with this years cohort with them. I don’t know.
Jason: It feels wrong though, right?
Luke: The fact that they’re opening stores is amazing to me.
Jason: Google, yeah, is going to be opening stores. I guess that’s going to be like a pretty big deal cause everybody is going to go there. Thomas, you have a dinner party and you invite 8 really cool people who you like. Three of them show up with Google Glass which is a real possibility given where you live and you’re LinkedIn network and the fact that you’re a Google alumni. Three people show up with those things for your great dinner party. Do you ask them to take them off or not? Yes or no?
Thomas: No. I ask the other 5 why didn’t you bring yours?
Jason: No. Honestly… That’s a great joke but…
Thomas: I think we’re just learning about this. I think it’s all about changing social norms. You know when I had my first phone like you wouldn’t take a phone call during a dinner party. Today I see that all the time. People texting at another table. I think Glass we just have to learn what the social norms are around these new technologies. I remember… We all remember this. Remember the X10 camera? There were those pop unders. Those tiny little cameras.
Thomas: Right? Which were those half naked woman. Like, oh you have a camera the size of a thumbnail that you can hide everywhere. It was like a big uproar. “Oh my God.” Like what does that mean for cameras everywhere?
Jason: And nobody bought them.
Thomas: I have 6 cameras right around me right now. I have two if you look. My computer’s looking at me, my iPad is looking at me, my phone is looking at me. Front facing cameras. I think we just have to figure out what the appropriate social setting is and the proper technology for this is. I think it’s inevitable that we have information in our view corridor. Be it in a Glass, be it in a contact lens or be it in our car on the screen. It’s exciting.
Jason: Did you see my tweet to Nick Bilton and Jeff Jarvis of why it’s different?
Kirin: No. I didn’t.
Jason: OK. So why are Google Glass different than a smart phone. Let me see if Kirin gets it. There are two reasons.
Kirin: Well one is that it’s wearable technology, right? It’s actually on your body.
Jason: No. What’s the difference in terms of social norms?
Kirin: With the phone you can tell when somebody’s using it.
Jason: Ah. Yes. So you got one of them. Which is when you’re wearing Glass it’s covert.
Kirin: Except for the winking.
Jason: Yeah. But even with winking. Am I blinking am I winking? Which one am I doing here? Do I have a twitch? If you have a twitch is it taking pictures constantly? I know a couple of guys who’ve got twitches. How does that work? So that’s number one, it’s covert. The number two thing that’s very different about it is what? That’s different than a smart phone. See if you get it.
Kirin: It’s that you don’t know where all that information is going?
Jason: You can just assume it’s going everywhere.
Luke: It impresses upon others involvement.
Jason: Yes. It’s intrusive.
Luke: There’s no permissioning around it. If I have my smart phone it could be doing a lot of things. I suppose it can be taking a picture. That would be pretty overt but there is a lack of permissioning around it is what I think gives people the heebie jeebies.
Jason: Yeah. I would say persistent.
Thomas: What about the Go Pro. When I ski up in Squaw it seems like 2 out of 3 people have a Go Pro camera on their helmet. I see it now with bicyclists in San Francisco. Is that different?
Jason: I would say if somebody walked up to you with a Go Pro and said like, “Hey. How you doing?” And there was a red light on or like… Have you ever been at a dinner party and 3 people have got Go Pros on their head? You know it’s different while you’re interacting with people. While I appreciate, yes, there might be somebody who zips by me and gets like… Then it’s also kind of creepy when… Are guys like skiing behind girls videotaping them? That’s what 15 year old boys are going to be doing with this stuff, you know. But persistence that’s the other big difference. I tried to explain this to Jeff Jarvis who… Jeff’s a smart guy but he’s like Scobel. Jeff Jarvis and Scobel are like two ends of a spectrum. Scobel is just like, “Oh my God. It’s the greatest thing ever.” Then you have Jeff Jarvis over here who is very curmudgeonly or wants to be like scholarly… He’s kind of like scholarly so he feels like he has to school everybody. Jeff Jarvis is like… I always feel like he’s in a cap and gown. Like when I picture Jeff Jarvis and it’s like 3 in the morning and he’s tweeting. He’s in a cap and gown like a professor but what a professor would wear to like Oxford and he’s got that stick at the end with the chalk at the end and he’s just like tapping on the board incessantly when he does his tweets. That’s Jeff Jarvis. I love you Jeff. You gotta come on the program… but still. I tried to tell him. He’s like, “Oh no. It’s no different then smart phones.” I’m like, “it’s covert. It’s persistent.” If I had my smartphone like this, “Hey. Do you want to get lunch Kirin? How is your day? How’s everything at home?” It’s like… What?
Thomas: Jason, it’s inevitable. We know where this is going. I think it’s about the social norms that we built around it and maybe even the legal framework around it. I know you’re not going to like that but there are things we need to figure out how to do this with. I think Google Glass is the first version of this. This is like walking around in 1979 with a big brick from Motorola.
Thomas: It was really, really odd. Or seeing someone on a phone in a car. People are like what happened there, right?
Jason: Yeah. It’s called a car accident. It’s inevitable that people are going to die texting. Can you imagine…
Thomas: They are dying.
Jason: Exactly. Could you imagine, Thomas, that if I told you in 1979 that people are going to write sentences to each other while they’re driving 65MPH. That’s how people are going to die. That’s going to be the number one killer of kids. Kids are going to be dying because they’re sending each other haikus at 65MPH.
Kirin: Not because they were drinking with their friends.
Jason: Not because they were drinking and driving. Not because they were taking LSD and jumping off bridges. No. Kids are dying because they’re sending each other one line jokes. I mean it’s pathetic.
Thomas: And not just kids.
Jason: It’s adults too. Drive up the goddamned 405 here and everybody is texting en masse. I mean at least use your 17″ Tesla Model S screen.
Kirin: Much safer.
Jason: When I first got I started putting in bookmarks and I’m literally stuck in non traffic. So I’m like, “Alright.” So I’m on the 405 and I put New York Times in. The first time I did it I was like, “Oh my God. I’m reading the New York Times on the 405. I’m never using the web browser while driving again.” Since that time I have not. I put my phones in my bag when I drive now. I put on an audiobook. I put the phones in the bag.
Thomas: That’s a very good idea. Put it away. Yes. Put it out of reach because otherwise you will reach for it.
Luke: The screens will be Tactus soon.
Jason: Yes. A good segue. Look at Luke. Look at Radio Luke.
Luke: I’m in the talk show business.
Jason: Look at Radio Luke.
Kirin: Alright. So this is…
Jason: You better use your radio voice cause you’re going to be the first one to respond to this.
Jason: I want a good NPR voice or Rush voice.
Kirin: So Robert Scobel, your favorite technology champion.
Jason: “Hi. I’m Robert Scobel.” You know what I need to do? I need to get Lauren Feldman in here to be Scobel during the show.
Kirin: OK. Because I did ask Robert and he’s booked on Fridays for Gilmore Gangs. So he can’t join us.
Jason: I know. So I should just have him… What is Gilmore doing the show the same time as I am. That’s just lame. We should definitely have like a puppet corner. We should just have Lauren do a… just have the Luic puppet ready, the Mike Arrington… Well maybe not that one…
Kirin: No, please.
Jason: … under the circumstances. Not to make light of anything inappropriate… or appropriate or whatever. Anyway. God. You can’t even mention that situation without it being icky. Scobel puppet, Luic puppet which is hysterical.
Kirin: I think he should have a Sergey puppet.
Jason: That would be great to have a Larry and Sergey puppet. Or a Tim Cook puppet. Anyway. I’m going to put the puppet idea on the back burner. Tell me about this TripTease.
Jason: TripTease is one of the company’s from Launch.
Kirin: That’s correct. So the whole idea is that it uses microfluidics to move non toxic polymers based in the material.
Jason: Speak english. Microfluidics? Speak english.
Kirin: So you know your phone has a flat screen on it, right? The touch screen.
Jason: It’s called glass.
Kirin: Yeah. So basically little nodules almost would pop up. You’ll be able to use those to navigate…
Jason: Alright. I don’t know what you’re talking about. Play the video. Here we go. Play the video. Now I know what you’re talking about. I have seen this. So yeah I’ve seen this. Watch this people. So here we’re seeing… They’re playing like a hipster beat in the background. I feel like I’m in the lounge right now. OK. The typing. That’s kind of interesting. This dude in the puffy jacket says… Oh wait.
Kirin: It’s like your BlackBerry keyboard but it’s on a flatscreen.
Jason: Yeah. It’s like a BlackBerry keyboard on a flatscreen. So this was not developed by Apple so this will never be on an iPhone.
Kirin: Well they are expecting to have OEM showing the product at the next consumer electronics show.
Jason: The reason I like this is because it makes me feel like those little popcorn things that you pop.
Kirin: Oh. Like bubble wrap?
Jason: It’s bubble wrap. You make your phone into bubble wrap. What do you think of that radio Luke?
Luke: You know. When i saw this the first thing that occurred to me is that it could conceivably finally bring innovation to like signage and all things outdoors and things that are in front of buildings and menus and all of these kinds of things where the format needs to change all the time. I suspect it might look as it stands right now… at the stage it’s at… it might look cooler on video than it does with my breakfast sausages typing on it. But I like it. Obviously I see a lot of things and it certainly looks interesting to me. But signage, you know, it’s sort of like the tablet…
Jason: Yeah. When Gates was promoting it.
Jason: It’s not ready for prime time. What do you think of this Thomas? Is this something that you think is interesting?
Thomas: I think it’s really interesting. I think it’s really, really interesting. When I saw this, I didn’t see this before you sent it to me this morning. You know when you think about… Going back to Glass and to accidents and all this stuff. We don’t use all of our sensors when you think about it. We use voice, we use what we see, certainly our hearing but you know there’s very few things that we do through the sensing of the finger tips. I have this in my car. So there’s a lot of buttons on my steering wheel to control all kinds of stuff. They have different shapes. I can actually use them without looking down. The same way when I go on my keyboard, the Apple keyboard. The “F” and the “J” key have a little tiny bubble up so I find them right away when I’m starting to type without having to look down.
Jason: That’s true too. Yeah.
Thomas: I think there’s a lot of applications where we could do something without looking at it especially if this is technology aided to something comes up or the texture changes. I think this is super interesting. I’m really, really excited about this actually.
Jason: What’s interesting is I think they can put that little dash… the bubbles can be slightly different. What this reminds me of is Prometheus when they had the goo. Remember the goo in Prometheus?
Kirin: I didn’t see that.
Jason: Oh. You didn’t see Prometheus. I’m like a Prometheus head. But any way. It reminds me of the goo in Prometheus, Like the surface changes depending on what you’re doing and all that kind of stuff. What I think this could be really interesting for is like gaming or for kid’s stuff.
Kirin: Yep. They did say they would use it in gaming controlled devices, remote controls, ebook readers.
Jason: Yeah. I don’t think it’s going to be for hardcore gamers. They’re not going to be interested in that. If you’re playing whatever shoot up game, like Call of Duty, you don’t care about this. But if you are a kid and you’re at Disney Land and you walk up to a wall and all of a sudden characters start…
Luke: Signage. That’s my signage idea.
Jason: Yeah. But I think… Forget about signage. I’m talking about interactive experience. Luke to riff on your idea is imagine we were to go into Alice and Wonderland area. All of a sudden the caterpillar comes out or this person comes out or the queen comes out or whatever. You can touch them and move stuff around on them. I think it would be like a fun experience.
Thomas: I think this stuff is still early on. I was just thinking about other things that I use that I just control with touch. Like the Tivo remote. You know that big button in the middle. You don’t have to look down to find that. Imagine a remote where this is adaptable to what you need right now. Seeing that working this well already just for keyboard. Just imagine 3-5 years out where this can be.
Jason: Why don’t keyboards have… You know just like the “F” and the “J” have the little home keys on them. Why don’t they have other things on them like the “A” has a dot to the top left, the “S” has a dot at like 2 o’clock, the “D” has a dot at 5 o’clock, the “F” has the dot at like 7 o’clock. You know so you basically go around the clock as you go across.
Kirin: So you could feel…
Jason: Yeah. It reinforces that you’re in the right place. Then the errors would go away.
Thomas: I wonder if they could do it with temperature too. I don’t know if you can sense temperature well enough in your fingers. What if the key heats up in s different way. Look we talk about driving and texting and why are the accidents there. Because you have to look at the screen to type and to read. Today, take this and you could probably type without looking. You can do it with your voice too. You can read it back to you. So I think we just have to think about all the sensors that we’re using as humans and how can those interact with technology in a good way. Like in a useful way.
Jason: If one of your startups… Let me ask either of you this question… if one of your startups is like, “Hey. I want to work on product that would leverage like this raising keyboard or Google Glass,” today. What do you tell them?
Thomas: Do it. We’ve actually got people working on Google Glass.
Jason: But now if you’re working on an app for Google Glass you know that you’re making something for the Robert Scobel crowd. In other words a bunch of dopes. A thousand people would have it. Aren’t you way too early? How do you know you’re not just way too early and you’ll never be able to make any money or have any consumer adoption.
Thomas: I think if you just focus and say, “We’re doing something specifically for that”, yeah, that would be silly as a startup. You will never have enough runway to do that. But if you do something where you can take that technology and say, “We’re going to spend 10% of our time building something for this. Or extending what we have on top of this. I think it’s really fun. It’s the fun stuff. It’s these 20% project that Google does really well. Where you goof around, you do some exciting stuff. It’s the time where the Friday late evenings and Saturdays where the employees come in to build something. Everybody’s excited about Glass. So lets grow it. Let’s build something for it. Who cares if we’re going to use it later. It’s going to come somehow. Maybe it’s not Google Glass. Maybe it’s going to be something else. Starting to think about how we use this in different ways is really interesting. Really interesting.
Jason: What do you think Luke if someone comes in there?
Luke: It’s pretty relevant to the world right now. Like with accelerators they talk about… That’s the same kinds of things. They say, “I want to build apps around Nike Plus and the Fuel Band and all that sort of stuff.” Well that’s a tough road to go down unless you have some sort of task and approval for people who are going to build and try to develop a developer network that’s probably more closed. I agree though. That needs to happen in those kind of environments for entrepreneurs. I look at thousands of applications. You don’t really see people going down one road of super merging things and aligning themselves with one unique product. They get into something that is much broader like connected health, quantified self or something that has more of a distributed applicability as opposed to going down the road with a certain platform.
Jason: Alright., Let’s do a final story.
Thomas: Jason let me throw something real quick. We actually have one startup that’s working on something interesting. Jason mentioned Fit Bit and Google Glass. They’re actually building an abstraction layer on top of all these wearable devices so that developers can build on top of them without having to go deep into each one technology. It’s called HumanAPI.co. They basically take all these wearable sensors, FitBit, from your phone, blood pressure, the heart rate, extract it and developers build on top of it. Once you start thinking about those things… We haven’t even started with technology when I get going with this.
Jason: Yeah. It’s going to be pretty amazing when like your Nike Plus, your Fit Bit, your Google Glass, your phone, your watch, everything starts working together. Like podometry and all this kind of stuff is going to be really great. Let’s do the Mt. Gox story.
Kirin: Mt. Gox. Alright. So we are fans of BitCoin around here. Or at least we talk about it a lot.
Jason: Yeah. We were very early.
Kirin: There has always been speculation that the government is going to get involved.
Jason: Here we go. Here we go.
Kirin: It looks like it finally has. So the Department of Homeland Security halted Dowalla’s BitCoin access to Mt. Gox. Users reported Mt. Gox was not even accessible even. There is a confirmation from Immigration Customs Enforcement of a seizure warrant. They say that Mt. Gox may be engaging in money transmitting without a license.
Jason: Of course they are. I mean I think.
Kirin: The Wells Fargo account that Mt. Gox created a couple of years ago, they say the company does not deal in or exchange currency. So what do you think is going on here? Are we going to see more of this?
Jason: What do you guys think? Luke any thoughts?
Luke: Well with these sort of crypto currencies it’s not about the what or how it kind of the who. Right? So the personalities that seem to be making up some of these use cases on the user basis within like Bitamat and MyBit Coins and some of these other places that are running into some perceived sort of shady characters hiding behind dark colored glasses, dark colored Google Glasses maybe. So that’s just sort of an interesting thing, right? Not every user’s the same, you know. BitCoin would be one thing if it had one constituency and it would be something else if it had a different constituency.
Luke: Perception is reality. Especially when you’re talking about currencies, right?
Jason: This is going to be interesting. I think the government has to get involved just because they need to have their thumb on this. I think it’s going to continue but I kind of think the United States is not the place like to do this kind of stuff. Kim.com was tweeting about that. “This might not be the best place to do it, in the United States.” Do you have any BitCoin people in the current class?
Thomas: No. No BitCoin people. I am… Imagine the Swiss realize what’s going on and that they’re entire economy is going to collapse because there’s no more money laundering. BitCoin I really haven’t made up my mind yet. I’m not a fan of regulation but somehow it feels like there are things that need to be regulated.
Thomas: Early when on at Google in 2002 I was on a team that tried to accept payments around the world. We got to 40 countries pretty quickly. Then it became incredibly difficult. So between regulations and taxes and all these things it’s nice to have this abstraction layer but if it is actually another currency, I don’t know.
Jason: I think it’s going to be banned by the first country in the next 12 months. That’s my prediction.
Thomas: Can it be is the question? Can it be banned?
Jason: Well it can be made illegal. Can it be stopped? No. It can’t be stopped but it’s going to be made illegal. Hey this has been a great program. Everybody follow @thomask on Twitter. Everybody follow Luke Beatty. I don’t know what yours is Luke.
Kirin: Jason: Luke_Beatty.
Jason: Luke_Beatty. Everybody of course check out AngelPad and TechStars. Two amazing, great programs. Kirin great job reading the news. The Resumator and MailChimp. Thank you.
Kirin: Can we just close with that little clip of Larry making fun of Robert Scobel’s power picture?
Jason: Please. Make fun of Scobel. Thank you. We’ll see you next time.
Larry: I’m Robert Scobel. One of the first Glassholes. So thank you. Thank you for getting my Glass. Robert. Robert I really didn’t appreciate the shower picture though.
Special thanks to the members of the TWiST Backchannel Program!