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Kevin Garber: [00:09] Good morning, good evening, good afternoon, wherever you are in the world. My name is Kevin Garber. I'm the CEO of ManageFlitter. It is Friday, the 4th of November, and you're listening to episode 66 of the "It's a Monkey" podcast.

[00:25] We have a huge show lined up for you today. Later on in the show, we chat to Jackson Palmer. Now, Jackson Palmer has a big claim to fame, and in that he's actually the co-founder of Dogecoin, which you might have stumbled across if you are a redditor, or if you cruise anywhere along the Net, or you're interested in cryptocurrency.

[00:50] We actually don't chat to him about cryptocurrency. We chat to him about the latest Macs. Jackson's got some interesting opinions about that. That's coming up later on in the show. As usual we're going to get through to the news pretty shortly, but firstly the Startup Minute.

[01:11] This is a new feature. If you're a startup, whether you're a new startup, or a bit more of an established startup, you can send us an audio file telling us a little bit about your startup. Keep it to 60 seconds only. This week's Startup Minute comes from a company called YesCourse.

[01:28] They provide a platform for you to create your own courses and monetize your own courses. They're based out here in Sydney, so we're going to be quickly going to our Startup Minute. Here's YesCourse.

[01:39] [audio begins]

Shilpa Bhouraskar: [01:41] Hi, Monkey Podcast team. I love listening to the tech talk leaders on your podcast. I think your listeners are going to find our educate platform really useful. This is Shilpa, the co-founder of yescourse.com.

[01:52] Entrepreneurs use our plug and play system to run their online schools from their own website. It all started when I decided to start my own online training school as a stay-at-home mother, but I was extremely overwhelmed and frustrated with the technology to build my online school.

[02:11] This was when Atul, my partner, decided to make an easy plug and play platform to help me upload, deliver, and sell my online courses from my website. This is exactly what inspired us to launch YesCourse.

[02:24] Today we have over 3,500 online training academies across 74 countries running on the platform. If you are a consultant, coach, trainer, or seminar leader and want to take your expertise online, then build your school for free on yescourse.com.

[02:43] [recording ends]

Kevin: [02:45] With me in the studio is my co-host, Kate Frappell, double P, double L on Twitter. Please follow her. Kate is the design lead here at ManageFlitter. Kate, good to see you again.

Kate Frappell: [03:00] Thanks for bringing me back.

Kevin: [03:01] Even though we see you every single day, sometimes even on Saturdays, like this week.

Kate: [03:06] Sometimes.

Kevin: [03:07] I have to say, we've got a great show coming up. If you want to drop us a note, you can tweet us at MonkeyPodcast or you send us your audio files for those Startup Minutes to podcast@itsamonkey.com.

[03:22] Over the next few weeks I've got some great news, Kate. That we are going to be trying to go from every two weeks to every week. We'll see how many of those we'll drag you into as co-host, or if we'll invite some other people as co-hosts.

Kate: [03:37] It sounds exciting.

Kevin: [03:38] We're going to give it a go, and we have some fantastic guests lined up for the next few weeks, which I'm going to tell our listeners about. Rowee Benbenishty, who's from Sesame Enable. I'm going to chat to him about a fantastic app for disabled people and we're going to talk about the tech startup scene in Israel.

[04:00] Coming up we're going to have, this is in future episodes, we're going to talk to Danielle Tate, who's the founder of a really interesting company called MissNowMrs that's done incredibly well. She's also the author of a book called "Elegant Entrepreneur, The Female Founders Guide," which is a fantastic book. I've already read it.

[04:17] Susie Yuan is going to be talking to us about Snapchat in a future episode, as well. I've been looking for a Snapchat expert to talk about, and I found her in our backdoor in Sydney. We're going to be talking to her, and Kathy Heckle, we're going to be talking about AR and VR.

[04:35] We've got a ton of amazing guests coming up. If you haven't subscribed yet at itsamonkey.com, pop us into your podcast device with a podcast reader. With all of that out the way, let's talk about the news. A couple of interesting news articles.

[04:57] Facebook at Work. It was called Facebook at Work, and now it's called Facebook Workplaces. They finally this month opened it to the wide world.

Kate: [05:09] Opened to the masses.

Kevin: [05:12] Tell us a little bit about what it is, Kate.

Kate: [05:14] Essentially a Slack competitor, so team organization, team chat. I think the benefit would be as well that you can integrate events.

Kevin: [05:26] I had a quick look at it. It's essentially leveraging the existing Facebook shell for teams, and I think it's fantastic because, let's be honest, people sit on Facebook at work in any case...

Kate: [05:37] True.

Kevin: [05:38] so you may as well let them toggle to their Facebook at work, and of course, they're a little bit late in the game, because there's Slack, there's Yammer. We use them both at ManageFlitter. I actually registered for Facebook Workplaces but they push you into a demo first.

Kate: [05:57] Yeah, a three months' trial I think.

Kevin: [05:59] Yeah, so I couldn't get access. They've scheduled a demo with one of their team members. It's three dollars per user/month, that scales down to one dollar per user per month if you have a really big team. Looks really interesting and particularly their vend side of things.

Kate: [06:16] I don't know whether the fact that it's so similar to Facebook is a benefit or not. For smaller businesses, for example people who aren't working at their desks, they're already familiar with the Facebook interface, so this is a benefit for them.

[06:35] Others, who already associate Facebook as a social or a fun medium, I don't know whether it's going to be hard to transition from a serious workplace program to a fun social program.

Kevin: [06:48] It's a very good point that. These associations are powerful, and if people associate Facebook with their social friends and then they're suddenly, "Facebook for Workplaces? Just like I can never get away from this animal called Facebook." Interesting. I didn't think of that angle.

[07:07] I think, though, in some industries, they're particularly...We work in tech, but in some industries where people don't sit on technology and can't onboard themselves really quickly, it might be an easy way to get people onboarded into a team tool if everyone's familiar with Facebook already.

Kate: [07:24] Definitely. That's not probably the primary benefit, it's just a concern for bigger teach teams.

Kevin: [07:32] Interesting, this whole collaboration space is taking off, Slack have now...Microsoft's pushing harder into this space. I saw Slack put an ad, I think it was in "The New York Times," and saying to Microsoft good luck, but it's really a hard thing to do, so that's going to be an interesting challenge.

[07:53] The problem of collaboration is a really difficult one and a really important one, so these companies are really trying to...and there's also money to be made, because companies pay money. They're a lot easier than consumers. Slack is just making tons and tons of money.

Kate: [08:12] I think Workplace is significantly cheaper than Slack as well at 3 dollars, Slack's up at six or seven per user.

Kevin: [08:21] They're probably intentionally undercutting them just so they don't have to rely on them. Facebook's results came out today and they were interesting. They beat expectations on the revenue numbers, which is what you call "turnover" in Australia, but the stock price came down eight percent.

[08:37] That's because there were some comments that, "We've done really well, but we don't know if we're gonna be able to keep on doing as well," and the market got nervous about that. That's Facebook, the big behemoth interesting company, so Facebook Workplaces will be interested to see where that goes.

[08:55] We actually mentioned it on a podcast even one or two years ago, and even Facebook say that it's been around for a couple of years and they've been using it internally and they've got a thousand companies using it. It has been around for quite a while, but now they seem to be really opening the gates on it.

Kate: [09:12] And you know it as well that we've struggled with Slack is the threaded conversations. I feel like the replies on Facebook are going to solve that problem.

Kevin: [09:21] Yeah, they should have maybe called it, and I can pitch an internal meeting where they struggled with this, call it something totally different, not Facebook Workplaces, call it X, Y, Z. It's a good and bad thing, but let's see what Facebook Workplaces...My prediction it will become popular in industries that aren't tech industries.

Kate: [09:45] Yes, I think they're aiming for that, too, this is their target market at this stage.

Kevin: [09:50] Even schools. You can imagine schools, universities, there's a lot of teachers, a lot of them may not be technical, to put them all into Slack...Slack's a little bit of a techy product.

Kate: [10:01] It is, but I really love it.

Kevin: [10:04] You love it but you're a tech. Take someone who's a social anthropology lecturer and maybe they just hate this stuff, but yet they still want to get the benefit of collaboration. Slack, it's got a little bit of a techy overhead, but they'll do well in these non-tech industries.

[10:27] In the tech industry I think Slack is just going to continue to kill it. What a fantastic product.

Kate: [10:32] Yeah, I hope so. Let's hope it doesn't kill them all. [laughs]

Kevin: [10:35] No, I don't think they will. I have got one issue with Slack. They chose to set up their Australian HQ in Melbourne. Come on, Slack. Steward Butterfield, I love Melbourne...

Kate: [10:47] Melbourne's up and coming.

Kevin: [10:49] Melbourne's a great city, but...

Kate: [10:51] Yeah, Melbourne's trendy, it's cool, it's hipster.

Kevin: [10:55] Come on. We've got Twitter here. We're looking out of our window onto Atlassian headquarters. We've got beat, we've got sunshine, anyway. That's Facebook Workplaces. Another interesting development, Google have been doing a big push on all sorts of different products.

[11:15] Last month Google announced their first native phone. Even though it's not a native phone, which is a little bit weird, it's manufactured by HTC, but Google announced their Pixel phone. They've been pushing it hard on the adverts.

[11:31] Even in Sidney and some big expensive billboards, all over the place they've pushing the Pixel and it's got some interesting reviews. I was interested to see one of our team members, Jo Pinto, who was the Samsung Note 7 user, and went through a few of those, and of course the drama with the Note 7.

[12:01] Jo transitioned to a Google Pixel and she gave me an impromptu review the other day, and I said to her, "Hey, perfect. Can I drag you in the podcast?" She's shaking her head now, so I'd like to introduce for the first time Josephine Pinto who is the business operations manager at ManageFlitter. You may have been in touch with her by email.

[12:22] She's also a kind of fame. She was part of a famous band that did very well on "X Factor" in Australia, they got it to the finals, and Jo was an amazing singer. She even had...some groupies when you were famous there. They all started following you on Twitter and stuff, didn't they, Jo?

Josephine Pinto: [12:44] Yes, they did.

[12:45] [laughter]

Kevin: [12:47] Welcome to the podcast. You're here to talk Pixel, and then you said Twitter, and Twitter's always on my mind... [laughs] Jo, you can bring the mic in front of you, make yourself a bit more comfortable.

Josephine: [12:59] I am very comfortable, thank you very much. [laughs]

Kevin: [13:01] Tell us about the Pixel, but first of all, let's go back a step. You loved the Galaxy Note, right?

Josephine: [13:07] Yes.

Kevin: [13:10] Just tell us quickly why you loved it.

Josephine: [13:13] I didn't know that I had loved it that much. I used to have a Note 3, which I did like but I felt it was a little bit bulky, but then when the Note 7 came out and my contract was up, I thought, "Well, let's have a go." It has a very nice feel, I love the design, and the accessories really grabbed me.

[13:37] The LED cover's amazing, cover's closed, you see it light up and you can answer calls while the cover's closed. That was awesome. I loved the pen. You can just pretty much have your phone not lit up or on, and you can just pull the pen out and start writing straight away, and the wireless charging got me as well.

[14:02] That were a few things that really got me with the Note 7 that had some little funky features...

Kevin: [14:07] You've also got a barbecue on hand wherever you go as well.

Josephine: [14:11] Yes, that's true, very true, and a nice little hand warmer for winter.

Kevin: [14:14] Yeah. We shouldn't actually joke about it. I feel sorry for the exec team dealing with that issue, anyway. You landed up with the Pixel.

Josephine: [14:24] Yes.

Kevin: [14:26] Give us your rundown of the Pixel.

Josephine: [14:29] I've never had the Nexus line at all, so this is quite new for me. When you're using other branded phones with the Android system, you get the bloatware and obviously now I don't have that bloatware, so I noticed that massive difference. For all those purists and people who love that minimalist feel...

Kevin: [14:52] Developers love...all the developers used to have Nexus because it's native Android, nothing on top of it, and they can do whatever they want in terms of getting in there and changing things easily.

Josephine: [15:05] Yeah, exactly. For me, it was a bit of a change. I'm still up in arms about it. I get it, you get a pure clean Android, load it up on there, and then, you can just add on what you like onto it and not have that extra stuff that you may not have wanted in the first place, but having that Samsung phone...

[15:26] I actually missed a little bit of it because there's little fancy functions in there that I didn't know that wasn't part of the Android's system. I'm a little bit on the fence with the Pixel, but maybe that's because I haven't had it long enough, and it's my first time having this sort of clean Android installed on it.

Kevin: [15:51] My first...I almost bought a Pixel because I got some water damage on my HTC, but I have to say what turned me off was, when I saw your Pixel, it looks identical to an iPhone. Not similar, it actually just looks absolutely identical.

[16:10] I don't know why Google didn't sit in a room and just say, "Come on, let's design something with its own design touch that's got its own unique personality." Every time I see your phone, I just see an iPhone.

Josephine: [16:24] Yeah and that's true. I've actually had a few comments about that. They think I've got an iPhone and I'm, "No, no, it's a Google Pixel," and they know that I'm not much of a Mac person [laughs] unfortunately.

Kevin: [16:35] It's a bit bizarre. Anyway, run us through quickly some pros and cons that you've experienced with the Pixel over the last few weeks that you've been using it.

Josephine: [16:46] Yeah, definitely. Some of the good stuff...I don't know if you count it as good or this is sort of a standard thing, but the headphone jack, there's been a lot of talk about not having headphone jacks with the way that Apple have gone. It comes with adaptors, which is really good trying to adjust from having the mini HDMI, whatever that connector was...

Kevin: [17:16] USB-C?

Josephine: [17:17] USB-C. Yeah, we're transferring over to that. The camera's really good, and it's even good in low light.

Kevin: [17:24] That's what they're pushing really, the camera, camera, camera.

Josephine: [17:27] Yeah.

Kevin: [17:27] Is it really that good?

Josephine: [17:29] It's pretty good, yeah. It's up there with all the flagship phones.

Kevin: [17:33] I believe the battery life...Iain McDonald is ex-founder and CEO of a company called Razor or Amnesia, who became Razorfish here and he's quite big in the tech scene in Sydney, he twitted out a Google Pixel cheat sheet. He's been trying it as well, and he also comes from Samsung, and he said it's worth getting for the battery life alone.

Josephine: [17:55] Yeah, definitely. I can get up to one to two days' worth.

Kevin: [17:58] That's pretty amazing.

Josephine: [17:59] It's great.

Kevin: [18:00] I'm happy if I get up to one day on my HTC. I am a pretty big user, though.

Josephine: [18:05] I'm not a massive power user, but there are days when you need that power.

Kevin: [18:10] Battery's great, camera's great.

Josephine: [18:15] The fingerprint, I love it. I used to have an LG G4, so I'm used to having the button on the back, that fingerprint thing. I know that a lot of people are complaining, "That means I have to pick it up," and I get that.

[18:31] It's true. You do have to pick it up if you want to unlock it in that nice, quick way. I don't mind it, but that's maybe because I've had the LG G4. I count it as a plus. There's also the Google Assistant.

Kevin: [18:47] That's their new AI-enhanced, and it's built into everything. How well does that work? Is that the same one that they have on Allo? Because I tried that on Allo when Kate and I spoke about Allo a couple of weeks ago.

Josephine: [19:03] It is. It's good. What I really like about it is the contextual searches. I might search for a famous person, let's say Brad Pitt. It'll say, "This is information about Brad Pitt." Then you might say, "Who is he married to?" and then it'll still know what you're talking about. That's a really good thing.

[19:22] I still have found a few little anomalies on there, which aren't so great. For instance, I wanted to ask Google to take a note for me. I wanted it to take the temperature outside, so I said, "OK, Google, can you please take a note for me? Punch in the current temperature, 36 degrees Celsius."

[19:47] It wouldn't do that. It wouldn't take a note. It would do a search instead. There's still a few things in there that they need to get.

Kevin: [19:57] With the Assistants, what essentially they're aiming towards, everything that we do with our fingers, you want to talk through it. "Search for this. Copy and paste that. Add to that." You want to be able to talk like that. They're well on the way to it. Do you find yourself using the Assistant a lot?

Josephine: [20:15] Yes, I do, in the car. For things like, "OK, Google, take me home," or "OK, Google, I want to go to some shopping center in Sydney," it's really good for doing things like that. The Google Now one worked the same way. Is it better? Is it worse? It's about the same.

Kevin: [20:37] The good thing you'll get, the quicker updates on Android, which will be a help. I'm a bit disappointed with the physical device. It feels quite light, as well. I prefer a more solid feel.

Josephine: [20:52] It's not an exciting-looking device.

Kevin: [20:55] It's disappointing. That's Josephine Pinto. She's the business operations manager at ManageFlitter. What else can we say about you, Jo?

[21:07] [laughter]

Kevin: [21:07] She's been with us for a long time. Were you with us when we launched ManageFlitter?

Josephine: [21:14] Yes, I was.

Kevin: [21:15] Were you?

Josephine: [21:16] Yeah.

Kevin: [21:16] It's fun going through our Yammer posts around that time, getting our first paid customer and everything. It's been an interesting journey. There are not many team members here that were around for the launch. I thought you were around for the launch. It's been interesting times. You can follow Jo. You are Toreen?

Josephine: [21:40] Yes.

Kevin: [21:41] T-O-R-E-E-N on Twitter.

Josephine: [21:43] That's it.

Kevin: [21:44] Kate's follower numbers have bounced up since she's been on the podcast.

[21:47] [laughter]

Josephine: [21:49] Some competition there.

[21:50] [laughter]

Kevin: [21:51] Thanks, Jo. We'll talk to you about some other tech in the future. We're going to take a quick break. After the break I'm going to be talking to Jackson Palmer about the new MacBook Pro, so stay with us.

[22:06] [commercial break]

Kevin: [22:30] You're back with "It's a Monkey" podcast. My name is Kevin Garber. We talk about all things tech, tech economy, startups, entrepreneurship. I'm excited to say at the end of my Skype line in San Francisco we have Jackson Palmer, who's a marketer at Adobe, and also, probably more famously, the creator of Dogecoin.

[22:49] We interviewed Jackson about Dogecoin on a previous episode of the Monkey podcast, so if you go back into the archives, go to our site, and hit Search, you'll find it.

[23:01] I was interested to see earlier this week, or late last week, after the new Apple Macs were released, Jackson tweeting furiously about his opinions about the Apple Macs.

[23:12] [laughter]

Kevin: [23:12] I was like, "I want to talk to that man. He's got opinions about the new Apple Macs." Jackson, thank you very much for joining us on the podcast.

Jackson Palmer: [23:18] Thanks for having me back. It feels like forever ago that I was sitting there in the office in Sydney. Glad to join you remotely this time around.

Kevin: [23:27] No, time flies on by, and we're still ticking along with the podcast. Jackson, give us your thoughts on these new Macs.

Jackson: [23:37] The funny thing is I actually, just this morning, had my MacBook Pro 2016 delivered, so I have one in my possession.

Kevin: [23:48] I went to the Sydney store in George Street last night in preparation for the interview. I begged her. I said, "Don't you even have a demo version I can look at, I can touch?" She said, "I would love to. There's literally, physically nothing in the store in George Street, Sydney."

Jackson: [24:01] [laughs] I haven't physically touched a Touch Bar model yet, but I have the non-Touch Bar model. Last week was a very hard time for a lot of longtime Mac users because Mac users are typically professionals, a lot of creatives, very skewed towards the creative and dev community, as well.

[24:28] A lot of people felt that that announcement last week wasn't for them. With previous announcements it's been like, "Yeah, Apple is making a machine just for me." What happened last week was that Apple was selling something that was for somebody, but nobody in the room felt like it was specifically for them.

Kevin: [24:51] They got rid of their Escape key, which developers use a lot in certain code editors, right?

Jackson: [25:02] A lot of vi, which is a code editor, users use that button. I'm a big user of the Escape key, as well, in typical Web browsing, if you want to escape out of a form that you've accidentally clicked on, or escape out of the address bar.

[25:18] The other day I sat down while I was trying to decide whether I would buy the version with our without the real keys. I was thinking to myself. I measured how much I use the escape key. I found that I was using it quite a lot.

[25:34] A lot of legacy applications, a lot of Adobe applications, as well, use the Escape key to do certain things or cancel out of certain functions. I'm a big Excel user, as well. Same thing. That whole announcement I was holding my breath, because everybody knew the Touch Bar was coming.

[25:53] I was holding my breath and thinking, "Oh my goodness, are they going to release a version that has keys?" When they did, as soon as they did, I jumped on the website and bought the version with the keys.

Kevin: [26:06] I'm sure you can't speak on behalf of Adobe, but Adobe, if I recall, was one of the official partners mentioned that will be integrating with their Touch Pads, some of their application functions.

Jackson: [26:18] Absolutely. There was a demo that they did up on stage. They worked with a bunch of different partners. They had a DJ demo, as well. To be honest, as far as demos go, I was a lot more impressed by the demos the previous day at the Microsoft event than I was at the Apple event.

[26:37] Microsoft really knocked it out of the park on the day before. That led to part of the disappointment for a lot of people in the Apple event, because it was really obvious who the winner was between those two.

[26:51] The Touch Bar is an interesting way for Apple to not have to bring proper touch to their displays. What Microsoft showed on the previous day was that they're going all-in with touch with the Surface Studio, and also the Surface Book.

[27:18] They're going for that approach, where you're actually touching your creation. You're interfacing directly with the UI on the screen. In my opinion, Apple, whether it's through arrogance or whether it's through the technology not being there internally yet, they messed up. They missed a big opportunity.

[27:40] It's obvious what consumer, and prosumers in this case, are looking for, and that's for the ability to reach out and touch their screen.

Kevin: [27:47] Do you think touch is also a generational thing? The digital natives, the people that grew up with gen-one iPhones, etc., touch is their preferred, or as preferred, user interface. Interestingly, older people that started with technology very late in their lives also prefer touch.

[28:09] As Gen Xers, etc., that grew up with keyboards...I've got an Android pad, a Samsung. I sort of like it, but I sort of land up using my MacBook Air a lot more. A keyboard is still my preferred way of navigating around.

[28:29] Do you think Microsoft's taking a view a little bit towards that younger generation/new older technologists?

Jackson: [28:38] What Microsoft are doing is simply not trying to shoehorn a solution in for either. They're saying both are OK. I don't think Microsoft are saying one interface method is better than the other. That's what's so great about their approach.

[28:55] At least with the Surface Book you have a fully-fledged keyboard and track pad, but then if you want to use it as a touch device you can reach out and touch the screen, or even fold it behind and use it like a tablet.

[29:05] They're giving people choices. In this day and age, with so many different generational interface paradigms out there, it's important that you do give people choices, rather than assume that you can provide one solution and that will fit all.

[29:23] The thing with Microsoft, as well, is a lot of, as you said, old-school people -- yourself, probably myself included -- are more comfortable with the keyboard. A group of people who've been using touch all their lives are creatives.

[29:42] People who are working with photo editing, people who are working with illustration and video, these people have been using touch, but through a different mechanism for 20-plus years. They've been using Wacom tablets.

[29:55] They've been using these drawing tablets, which they've had on their desk in front of their keyboard. They've had to interface with the screen in that way. Now that we have the ability and the technology to put that touch right on the screen.

[30:07] Which is what the Surface Studio does, creatives, who are professionals with a lot of money, should be Apple's key user base with the MacBook Pro. They want to reach out and touch. They don't want to have their creativity constrained to a little, thin strip of touch interface at the very top of the keyboard.

Kevin: [30:30] Here's the big question, do you think Microsoft's becoming cool again?

Jackson: [30:36] I really, really, do. I do a lot of work in the data science field these days. Back a few years ago, when Satya Nadella joined Microsoft, and took over things, he brought with him a bunch of change in the way that Microsoft was thinking about data science online, machine learning, and that kind of stuff in the cloud.

[30:56] At that point, my ears really pricked up. I was, like, "Wow, Microsoft haven't really ever thought this way or operated this way before." Just every year it seems like, every month, almost, Microsoft just keep iterating, and iterating, and iterating to a point.

[31:12] Windows 10 is fantastic. They've definitely caught up, if not gone past, Apple, in terms of combining that joint venture of hardware and software. It's hard for me to say, because I do love Apples. As I've said, I've just bought one of the new MacBook Pros. There's a lot of choices out there now.

[31:42] Whereas, probably, five years ago, if you were in the market for a Windows Notebook, there wasn't really anything that could stand up to par with the MacBook Pro. There's probably four or five options out there now that are really good alternatives if you want to go. Like I said, it's all about choices. That's a good thing.

Kevin: [32:00] Josephine Pinto, who is our business operations manager at Manage Flitter, she uses a Lenovo Yoga. She absolutely loves it. She's an organizational guru, spreadsheets and lists and everything. She flips from the pad to the keyboard. It really, really works for her. You're right.

Jackson: [32:22] Yeah, absolutely. Microsoft have definitely become cool again. There's this fantastic video. I recommend, everybody look it up. It's on YouTube. If you just search "Steve Jobs Xerox," X-E-R-O-X, there's a video where Steve Jobs, back in the day, gave his opinion about why Xerox failed.

[32:42] Xerox, they created the GUI, Graphic User Interface. All the technology that Apple then went and created was influenced by Xerox, but they missed the boat. The question was, "What happened?" Steve Jobs explained really well that what happened was that product people were pushed out of Xerox.

[33:03] What happened was the sales and the marketing people, who were just selling more units, selling more to the market, were the ones that ended up getting to make all the decisions, instead of the people who really understood who their customers were.

[33:18] What we're seen over the last few years is a passing of the baton between Microsoft and Apple, where Microsoft used to have that sales and marketing guy, they used to have Steve Balmer. That's when things were bad. Then, they got a product guy, Satya, in to start running things.

[33:36] They've started actually building what customers are asking for. Whereas, Apple, they've pushed a lot of their product people out. Now, they have a bunch of really strong marketers, and people who can do some really good commercials, and come up with some really good things that will sell as gimmicks.

[33:53] The true product people have fallen out. As a result, I was thinking about this the other day, I went and looked online, just historically, was anybody asking for the Touch Bar online. Was there any customer forums where people were, like, "You know what we really need? We really need this strip of touch interface on the top of our keyboard."

[34:11] Nobody was. People were asking Apple to make their actual retina screens touch. This really comes down to not listening to the customer. There's been a really big shift, in that, Apple have stop listening, and Microsoft have just really opened their ears. That's why they're winning.

Kevin: [34:29] Although, Johnny Ive, I believe, was involved in the Touch Bar. There's an interview with him, it's on CNET, where he talks about the Touch Bar. He talks about how difficult it is to prototype hardware, especially, hardware that's integrated with software.

[34:42] Because you have to have both at a particularly sophisticated stage before you can actually assess what's happening. He's got a lot of street cred on the product side of things.

Jackson: [34:55] He does. I haven't actually seen Johnny Ive in a very long time. He seems to just be a voice they just keep in a box somewhere. Johnny Ive is really good at...He's, in my opinion, a product marketer, designer kind of guy, more so, than a hardcore product guy.

[35:16] He's really able to express eloquently what they're trying to achieve. I'm sure that Apple had really good intentions when they went in with the Touch Bar. I don't think anybody going around saying, "Yeah, Apple did this just to mess with their fans, or their customers."

[35:33] It just comes down to the execution. There was, probably budget constraints. There was probably a deciding factor, which led Apple to go down this route. One thought I had was that maybe they couldn't fit all the internals to do a really true, haptic touch, what's in the iPad, for instance.

[35:53] They couldn't cram that in the space of the display for a MacBook Pro. If you look at one of the Surface Books, for instance, the display is considerably thicker, because there's a bunch more tech you have to put in there.

[36:08] I don't know. The sales are going to speak for themselves. I've seen a lot of people gravitating more towards the version that has the function keys, and has that row of keys. In the long run, the Touch Bar might be a little bit of a gimmick.

[36:25] What's going to probably happen is there'll be a very long tail, where you have software developers starting to integrate the thing. Out the gate, when the thing's in people's hands in a couple of weeks, not all software is going to support it.

[36:39] There'll probably be a ramp of 6 to 12 months, where it eventually does support it. The proof's going to be in whether people get continued use out of it, or whether it just a gimmick. Multiple people have tried this before.

[36:55] Lenovo actually used to have a laptop, which had, what they called "an adaptive function row" up the very top. Pretty much exactly the same thing. I know a few people at work who have this. It's distracting, because you're in the middle of creating something, and you're looking at your screen, the last thing you want to do is look down.

[37:13] As a touch typist, I'm a touch typist myself, I never look at what I'm typing. If the touchscreen's changing all the time you're not able to use that muscle memory to just reach and hit what you need to, like a keyboard shortcut.

[37:28] You're actually going to distract yourself away from the code you're writing, or the music you're creating, or the photo you're editing, and find the little touch button, because there's no tap dial feedback there either.

[37:41] Maybe, if they did haptic behind the Touch Bar it might have been a little bit better, because you would have been able to feed around. Yeah, I think it's a novelty. The next iteration of MacBooks probably won't have it. It's almost a stopgap between now and the full machine being a touch surface.

Kevin: [38:00] A lot of people use Macs with external keyboards, and external screens. For someone like me it's absolutely useless. I know a lot of people, all the developers in our office, most of them have Macs, and they're all on external keyboards, and all on external screens.

[38:23] One feature which I wish the laptop manufacturers would come out with would be some form of extensible screen that slides out both sides, so your screen coverage can extend further than one screen, because that really adds to productivity a lot. Sure, it's not a simple thing to do. That's one feature I would like.

[38:44] One feature that seems pretty cool in the new Macs is via the touch you can activate Apple Pay. That seems pretty cool.

Jackson: [38:56] That is really cool. The way they've integrated the touch Id sensor is very cool. That has huge uses across Apple Pay, and all sorts of secure identity stuff online. I am a little sad that I'll miss out on that in the version that has the keys.

[39:15] It's important to know that Apple aren't the first person that's done that. Lenovo, various Windows machines, have all had fingerprint readers on them. It's not revolutionary or anything brand new. Again, with many things Apple, it's all about how they integrate it with their software. Apple Pay is a pretty seamless solution.

[39:36] That is one thing that is genuinely useful. It's a shame that to get that you have to opt in to the full, big Touch Bar, which I don't think most of us will really use.

Kevin: [39:46] How's Dogecoin going these days?

Jackson: [39:50] [laughs] Dogecoin, it's tapered off a little bit. There's still a strong community there. It's still a $20 million, $30 million economy. It still got some steam behind it. It's crazy to believe.

Kevin: [40:06] Fantastic.

Jackson: [40:07] I've taken a backseat in that, definitely, and in crypto in general, over the last couple of years, because Bitcoin and the other crypto just really never got that mass adoption that we were looking for back then.

[40:25] Over the last few years, a bunch of other solutions are doing really fast payments between friends and family, and even across the globe, have come up. You're got the Venmos, PayPal's improved a lot, you've got Facebook now doing payments.

[40:39] Instagram announced yesterday or today, they're doing shopping, where you can actually make purchases within Instagram and stuff like that. Seamless transactions are happening all around us. It probably isn't going to require cryptography to do it. It will in the back end, but to the user it will be seamless. It'll just use regular money.

Kevin: [40:59] Have you heard about the new cryptocurrency released this week called Zcash?

Jackson: [41:04] Yeah, I do. I know some of the people involved. Zooko, who's the main guy, he's very smart. The technology behind that is mind-bending. If you look into what the whole concept of Zero knowledge proofs and Zsnarks, it's miles ahead of Bitcoin, from a technology perspective.

[41:26] From a geeky perspective, I can sit and geek out over that thing for weeks. I don't think the end user really cares about that. The end user cares about being able to send some money to their friend, or send some money from one country to another, not that it's using zero knowledge proofs or all this special cryptography underneath also.

[41:49] I'm worried that it's a little bit too late. It's going to be hard for that thing to supplant Bitcoin, but we'll see where it goes. What it would take, in my opinion, would be some big companies or some big software developers to start integrating something like that.

[42:04] Say, Facebook, or say, Stripe, or one of the payment processes, like PayPal, came out and said, "Yeah, we're going to adopt Zcash as the online rail to send money across. That's the kind of mass adoption that one of these things needs to really pop off, and start getting in front of regular people, and not just us geeks.

Kevin: [42:28] How's it working in tech in San Francisco compared to Sydney? In Sydney there's a lot of momentum at the moment. It's obviously, nothing compared to Silicon Valley or San Francisco. Is there anything that stands out in your head as the palpable difference between working in tech in the two cities?

Jackson: [42:44] Yeah, you feel a lot more plugged into things. You can definitely feel an energy that just exists here in the city. Also, all the way down to Silicon Valley and San Jose. If you go out to a bar or even just go and get a coffee here, you can pretty much guarantee that the people you're standing next to work at another tech company.

[43:05] That's cool, because you'll always find common ground with people here, typically. That has its strengths and weaknesses. It can also get very overwhelming to just be surrounded all the time by tech and its fast-pace moment.

[43:18] Definitely important, and one of my things I've realized, is you need to have a good work-life balance. I also need to get back to Australia, or other places a little bit more often, to chill out, because it's very fast-paced.

Kevin: [43:31] Quantas now has their new-old, they used to have it, they took it back, they took it away, and now they have it again, a direct flight from Sydney to San Francisco. That's really good.

Jackson: [43:40] I saw that. I'm actually coming back there in, probably, late February next year. I might have to jump on Quantas and give it a try. I've been using United, because they are the only ones that offer that route, or were, up until recently. Yeah, that's actually good. It's always good to use Quantas.

Kevin: [43:57] The one thing I found quite quirky about San Francisco is that you tend to meet people that work at Google, at Facebook, at Twitter, all sorts of companies, but you never bump into people that work at Apple, which I find really strange.

Jackson: [44:12] Oh, yeah, because they're all down at the headquarters, they're all down at the headquarters down in Silicon Valley, Mountain View. There's no...

Kevin: [44:20] Wouldn't some of them live in San Francisco as well, just like many of the Google people do, and the Facebook people do? Surely, there would be some that you would bump into.

Jackson: [44:27] A bunch of them do. Apple is a funny company, in that, some of them live in the city. I've definitely have met some. They have buses that go down there. Apple's got a lot of older people, and there's not so much younger on staff.

[44:45] A lot of them live in the San Mateo area, or in the suburbs, and they have families. It's pretty expensive to have a family up here in San Francisco. Yeah, there is a lot less. You definitely run in to more Facebook or googlers or people like that.

Kevin: [45:01] Jackson, it's been fantastic talking to you.

Jackson: [45:03] Absolutely.

Kevin: [45:04] We're going to be curious to see what happens to this touchpad, if it evolves or devolves.

Jackson: [45:09] The good news is, I can tell you that the MacBook that I did buy, the function key one, that does have the function keys, if people are out there wondering about if it's any good, it is. I was super worried about the keyboard, because I didn't really like the 12-inch MacBook keyboard.

[45:26] This one's noticeably more click-y. It's great. I'm coming from a 2013 MacBook Pro, and I'm blown out of the water impressed. That's the good news. There's still an option for us old-school people, who like real keys.

Kevin: [45:39] People like their click-y keyboards.

[45:41] [laughter]

Jackson: [45:41] Yeah.

Kevin: [45:42] Their mechanical keyboard.

[45:45] Jackson Palmer, marketer at Adobe, founder of Dogecoin, technologist of all things, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast. We look forward to staying in touch.

Jackson: [45:56] Always a pleasure. Thanks, Kevin. Have a great one.

Kevin: [45:58] Thanks, Jackson. Bye-bye.

[46:31] [commercial break]

Kevin: [46:31] Jackson's, definitely, thoughts about the MacBook Pros and some interesting ideas there. It's a bit of a shame I couldn't actually get hold of one yesterday.

Kate: [46:48] It's a thought.

Kevin: [46:49] It's the ones with the touchpad, obviously, aren't out yet. They probably haven't. There's huge supply-chain complexities around hardware. They may even just launch it before they've got their supply-chain to sense demands with the pre-orders. Who knows? It's actually a very complex thing to get supply-chains right.

Kate: [47:10] Yeah. Didn't they have an issue with the iPhone 7 as well?

Kevin: [47:11] I don't know.

Kate: [47:12] Backordering, or they didn't have enough in stock. I know one of our other team members had issues with the watch, series two. He had to order it and wait weeks for it to turn up.

Kevin: [47:25] Very tricky thing to get exactly right, because, also, you don't want to overstock, but you don't want to under stock.

Kate: [47:33] Very true.

Kevin: [47:33] A lot of people underestimate what Apple have really got right, is supply-chain.

Kate: [47:36] Big time. This is the first time I've heard of any problems.

Kevin: [47:40] Yeah. That's a very complicated issue to get right. That's why the hardware game. That's why Apple and Microsoft these companies don't have many competitors in the hardware space. A few. Hardware is tough. It really hard.

[47:58] There's all these lumpy issues that you can't iterate on, and scale on. You land up with overstock. There was a famous company in Australia, Dick Smith, that went bankrupt earlier this year. One of the many reasons was stock levels around goods, and things like that, just blew out.

Kate: [48:17] There's the other case of Samsung. They've had to pull all their products. I can't imagine how much those cost them.

Kevin: [48:26] What a nightmare. Yeah. They're lucky they're a substantial company that can weather the storm around it. To have a phone where there's a big sign at the airport saying, "You can't fly with this phone," is not exactly great for business.

Kate: [48:44] No. Pixel came out just in time. It worked in their favor.

Kevin: [48:49] I'm a little disappointed with Pixel. We never got around with Joe to chatting about the downsides of the Android phone. I'm a little bit disappointed. I almost brought one, but I decided to buy another HTC, which I've been pretty happy with as well.

[49:10] It even survived the water damage. It was a total immersion. It survived pretty well. It's just the back button dies every now and then.

Kate: [49:18] It cannot beat the iPhone, though.

[49:21] [laughter]

Kevin: [49:23] Steve Jobs would be proud.

Kate: [49:25] Yes.

Kevin: [49:25] Kate, what are your thoughts on the new Macs?

Kate: [49:33] I haven't tried one out yet, because it's not in the store, obviously. I don't mind the idea of the Touch Bar. I don't mind it. I like the idea of the fingerprint to log in and out. The fact that it's sensitive to the program that you're using.

[49:49] For me, on Photoshop, for example, I could go through a color picker, and potentially open Spotify, and play and pause. It's a much better solution, or much handier than having a whole row of function keys.

Kevin: [50:04] What about as it relates to using an external keyboard and external screens? You use that most of the time.

Kate: [50:11] Yes. Exactly. I do. Potentially, if it took off, you could integrate that into the Mac keyboards, external ones.

Kevin: [50:18] Yes. To me, that makes sense. I would like a button to minimize the screen, or fire up something, or bring up my TweetDeck. That would make, but for me, it would be almost useless, because 95 percent of the time I'm sitting with the external screen. An odd occasion I'm at a café or something.

Kate: [50:41] It's good if you're on the go, or if you work from your laptop, which a lot of people do.

Kevin: [50:47] They do. They shouldn't, though.

Kate: [50:48] No.

Kevin: [50:49] Laptops are not designed for extensive use. You can really, really screw up your body, like, badly. If you're listening to this, at the very least, get a laptop riser and an external keyboard. At the very least, so you don't have to crouch your neck, and be all crunched up over the laptop.

[51:08] You really shouldn't. I've seen people really hurt themselves over sitting over laptops for days and days and days.

Kate: [51:16] Or they could always get one of the tables, that you can adjust the height, so they can stand. [laughs]

Kevin: [51:23] Yeah. There are all sorts of ways. It'd be interesting to see what happens with the Macs and the MacBook Pros. Everyone's critical of all these, like Apple, but they're selling oodles and oodles of these machines. They also have to balance not changing what's working with innovating.

[51:43] What sort of surprises me is that they don't go out on a limb to have an experimental product. They can keep everything running as is. They've got so much money to have something, and call it the Apple Mac Space, or whatever it is.

[51:59] Even every six months, come out with a new version and use that as your test bed and have a limited edition. They've got so much money, and they've got such a strong brand. Don't go wild and confusing people, but just one product every sixth month as an experimental product.

[52:15] Sometimes it feels like, Kate, I've got to do bloody everything. I've got to sort out Apple's issues, and...

[52:20] [laughter]

Kate: [52:20] Sort out Twitter's problems. I would really appreciate a hybrid machine. I even love if the Trackpad and the Touch Bar could integrate with the Apple Pencil. That would be really cool. Flick through.

[52:41] I haven't seen it, but I feel like Touch Bar might be quite fiddly. If you had your pencil, you could precision touch.

Kevin: [52:50] The problem with these super successful companies, people start projecting a massive amount of expectations onto them, whether it's Facebook, or Twitter, or Google. They've got so much right around core products that you're like, "Hit it out of the ballpark again. Come on."

[53:11] At the end of the day, they're one company. Keeping things going with their core products alone is hard. Running business is hard. We, as small, tiny, not even 15-person business, and to keep our wheels turning nice is hard enough.

[53:29] At the end of the day, the companies, it's all the same issue. It's compounded by many factors, and it's hardware, and production issues, and everything. An experimental product, don't know why they don't do that.

Kate: [53:44] It'd be cool. I don't know if Apple has a name for theirs. Google, for example, have the X labs, I think they call them, completely experimental labs, that sort of thing. To produce things out of those labs would be exciting.

Kevin: [54:00] Even if they just had it at the Apple store that you couldn't even buy, you could just play with.

Kate: [54:05] Get feedback, see what people like.

Kevin: [54:06] Just get feedback. Play with it. Maybe you have a little booth where you could go in and play with it and it films you, and it tells you it's filming you and you have to talk about it. There's all sorts of things that can be done, especially a company with resources.

Kate: [54:20] [inaudible] and testing through that.

Kevin: [54:24] They probably do this all internally. They've got enough staff. I suppose they do this stuff internally.

Kate: [54:29] Most of the people working for them would be techy.

Kevin: [54:34] Anyway, that's about it for Episode 66. We've got some great episodes, as mentioned, coming up. Email us, podcasteditormonkey.com, especially if you're a startup. We've got a few thousand listeners, and we'll put you in the show notes.

[54:47] If you're a startup, send through that 60 minutes one-minute startup segment. We've still got a few slots for the next few weeks. If you missed our previous podcasts about the blockchain, the blockchain is something that's a really interesting technology.

[55:03] Previous podcast we spoke about the blockchain with a blockchain evangelist, Timothy Lee, which was really, really interesting. If you have comments about this podcast, just go to itsamonkey.com. You can comment. We always have a couple of comments there, and we'd love to engage with you.

[55:21] Hopefully, we'll see you in one week's time. We're going to try and get this going every Friday. Thanks so much for listening. Oh, and if you can rate us on iTunes, we've had a few ratings come through, that also really helps.

[55:33] You've been listening to Kevin Garber, CEO of ManageFlitter and Kate Frappell, design lead at ManageFlitter. Thanks for joining us on this week's podcast.

Kate: [55:41] See you later.

[55:42] [music]