[00:00] [music] Kevin Garber: [00:09] Well, well, well. Good morning, good afternoon, good evening wherever you are in the world. You're listening to Kevin Garber from Sydney, Australia, way down south. It is Friday, the 30th of September. You haven't heard from us for a little while. It's about a year almost. Time flies when you try to build a startup. [00:29] You're listening to Episode 64 of the podcast. Guess what? We are back, ready, we're into go. We have a new website. Check out, itsamonkey.com. You're listening today ItsaMonkey.com Podcast where we talk about everything relating to the tech economy. We interview thought leaders and we back into it. [00:49] We're going to come to you every second week, hopefully with the view to coming to you every week at some stage. We're back and I've got some great guests this week lined up. Firstly, my co-host this week is the design leader ManageFlitter, Kate Frappell. [01:05] Kate, it's great to have you in our "studio." Kate Frappell: [01:08] [laughs] Thank you very much. Kevin: [01:11] Later on in the episode we're also going to play an interview I did with Jon Westenberg, a Sydney-based writer. He is founder of Creatomic and is chief marketing officer at Speedlancer. Jon writes prolifically on "Medium," and he's a fantastic writer, fantastic thinker about startups, entrepreneurialism. We had a chat about all sorts of different topics. That's coming up later on in the show. [01:43] As usual, the structure is, we talk a little bit about news, latest news and the latest products, then we get into the interview and have a little bit of a discussion around what went on in interview. You can follow us on Twitter, we are @MonkeyPodcast. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. [02:04] My name is Kevin Garber, I am the CEO of ManageFlitter. Hopefully you've tried ManageFlitter. It's a great set of tools to help you with all your bits and pieces on Twitter. But that's enough of that. Let's get straight into the podcast. [02:22] As always, our industry moves incredibly fast, always lots to talk about, but I was really interested to see last week, or a couple of weeks ago, that Google launched a new product. I think Google does a terrific job on some of their products. Obviously they've got amazing teams and amazing people to work on them. Even Google+ which we poke fun at and we call it Google Minus. [02:49] That actually was quite an interesting user experience. I was interested to see a couple of weeks ago, that they launched a new product, a messaging app called Allo. Kate, how similar is this? Is this just taking a direct stab at Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp? They're coming in very late to the party. Kate: [03:09] Yeah, I feel like it's sort of an integration of Snapchat, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, all in one. There's some obvious advantages, you can send someone your location, and a lot of things are inside the app, which is different to Messenger. Kevin: [03:29] We tried it out before the show, and I have to say I really like it. They use machine learning and artificial intelligence to try and have predictive responses. Google says that's going to get better over time. [03:50] You brought up a good point as well, though, that when you're giving predicting text answers, it changes the feel you have towards the conversation. It almost feels like you're not really conversing, and you're sort of cheating. Kate: [04:03] Yeah, sort of the lazy person's messenger. Kevin: [04:06] It'd be interesting to see...I mean, do you use...I don't know, you use an Apple, I use an Android. They've got some sort of intelligent, predictive words on Android. I don't know if they've got that on Apple as well, but if you say... Kate: [04:24] They do. Kevin: [04:25] Do you use those words? A lot? Kate: [04:28] Not personally. I tend to just type it out, but I know looking at my dad, for example, he will look for the predictive words because it's faster to click then than it is for him to type them. Kevin: [04:39] That's an interesting...My code, as well, this generation, I think they don't enjoy using technology. I think for them to have a messaging app, that's just, sort of, suggest a sentence for them. Kate: [04:53] Yes. I think they're using some kind of technology that remembers your style of writing. I think I read an article that said if you're a ha-ha person or a LOL person, it'll recommend based on what you've used previously. Kevin: [05:08] Yeah, I know. I think that's definitely, for the less technically comfortable people. I can certainly see the benefits of that. I like the integration with some of the Google, other aspects like Google Maps and search. I like the fact that you can adjust the text very easily, so you can get some. [05:30] One of the challenges with the written word is that it's hard to get sentiments and tone across. Right? Kate: [05:35] Yes. Kevin: [05:35] People read things incorrectly. The fact that you can adjust the size of the font in the message, it's really simple but really clever. Kate: [05:44] Yeah. It has a really fitting name. It's Whisper/shout so that if you make it bigger, you're shouting. If you make it smaller, you're whispering. Kevin: [05:51] That was a good feature. They did come under some criticism because they aren't encrypted, like WhatsApp now is encrypted. The messaging is encrypted as standard. They came under some other criticism that they store your messages on this service. They've got an incognito mode, which is encrypted, and doesn't store the messages apparently. [06:19] I'm not quite sure why they wouldn't make that just the standards flavor. I'm not quite sure why. Kate: [06:26] I don't know. For me, that's a lot of things, is more Snapchat's field that you can put a timer on how long that messages stays around. Kevin: [06:35] The incognito mode, the message still stays, right? Kate: [06:38] No. You set a timer, and you can erase it after an hour. Kevin: [06:44] That's cool. Kate: [06:45] That's why they're going into Snapchat territory as well. On Android devices, apparently you can draw on the image, same as Snapchat. Kevin: [06:54] Go Android. Kate: [06:55] No. [06:56] [laughter] Kate: [06:57] Just no. Kevin: [06:58] Kate, we've been knee deep or so in the designing logos. We got a new project on the go called Manage Social. We won't to talk about that much of the moment. If you want to check it out, go with the Twitter account Manage Social in the website Manage Social. We've been working on logos. What do you think of this Google Allo logo? Kate: [07:20] It looks very similar to all of other Google's logos. They have definitely got a strong style guide that they are sticking to. Just about everything I can think of has got that line in the middle. It looks like it's folding in half. They've done that again. Kevin: [07:40] It's OK. It's not super memorable to me, but it's OK. With the company of their size with an ecosystem of their size, very tricky to breakout and differentiate. I like the color. It's almost mustard but not, seems it's quite yellow. Kate: [08:02] It's in a speech bubble. You hate speech bubbles. Kevin: [08:05] I hate speech bubbles. I just hate speech bubbles' look. [08:08] [laughter] Kevin: [08:08] You got to do the enterprise conferences and you just see speech bubbles. It's not a speech bubble as well which I...That's Allo. It's out for Android. It's out for iOS. Give it a go. I quite like it. It will be interesting to see if it actually takes off. It's got quite a nice field to it. Does it integrate with things like Giphy? Kate: [08:38] Not sure, but they've got the stickers like messenger does. They can send animated stickers. They've got them all in different packs. The advantage as well as you can actually talk to the Google assistant, and bring the Google assistant into your group conversations. Kevin: [08:57] What can you get assistance with? Kate: [08:59] Anything weather. Kevin: [09:00] Basically like, when is the next train into the city? Kate: [09:05] Yes. You can say that in your conversation. I'll get the next train, when is the next train? It will recommend. Kevin: [09:13] The whole but...The but world coming to life. Kate: [09:16] Yes. You just have to tag the assistant in your conversation, and she can step in and recommend. Same with the weather, if it's sunny tomorrow, if you tag Google in it, it will tell you whether it's sunny tomorrow. Kevin: [09:28] Fantastic. I'm liking it. I'm really, really liking it. I have to say it's...I'm going to try get some of my friends onto it. I use everything, probably similar to you. I use WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, text, KIK. Kate: [09:45] I haven't used KIK. Kevin: [09:47] I've got a few friends that for whatever reason like to use KIK. I don't use Snapchat though. Kate: [09:55] No? Kevin: [09:55] No. Kate: [09:56] I do. Kevin: [09:57] I don't really have anyone. I've got an odd friend on Snapchat. Kate: [10:01] For me, it usually starts out, someone send you generic photo with a caption. If you reply then now use the chat functionality. Kevin: [10:10] Twitter DMs, they're starting to build that out, finally. They're starting to build up Twitter DMs where they're adding some features. There's a read receipts now. Us Twitter disciples, we have a long wanted Twitter DMs to just come to life. Maybe they'll pull that out. [10:35] Rumors that Disney is going to buy Twitter which will be interesting, but rumors are just rumors. That's a chat for another day. [10:45] Apple, there's always exciting things happening with Apple. iPhone 7 finally released. What's the latest in gross? What's exciting and new about iPhone 7? Tell me. Kate: [10:56] Waterproof. [laughs] Kevin: [10:57] You know what? That is very relevant because I dropped my phone in the bath a couple of weeks ago. I managed to dry it out. It's working fine now. My Android, my HTC. I love HTCs. I did buy another one though because I'm paranoid, and have yet to migrate to it. I'm going to assume this one is going to die soon rather than later. Waterproof is awesome. Kate: [11:23] Waterproof but only to a meter... Kevin: [11:26] That's all you need though. Kate: [11:29] and only for 30 minutes. Kevin: [11:29] That's all you need. Kate: [11:29] It just saves from accidents mostly. I've seen lots of memes going around that they are going to send all the rice companies out of business. [11:37] [laughter] Kevin: [11:38] I read the story about some chap in upstate New York, that he went swimming with his iPhone and fell out his pockets. Some chap in the afternoon -- he was in the morning -- found the phone, and was still at the bottom. He shipped it out, he dried it in rice and this phone kicked on for another month, and it died. Quite impressive that. [11:59] [laughter] Kate: [11:59] You could find it and give it back, it's not broken. Kevin: [12:04] What else do we have going on for...? Kate: [12:07] A new styling to the outside. There's the normal space gray. There's also gloss black now. Kevin: [12:13] The phone factor, it's the same size? Kate: [12:16] Yes, same size. They got another camera now. Kevin: [12:22] I saw there were some mess up with the upgrade process with the old phones. Even James who used to be in this podcast with me, he twitted out about that the upgrade required you to have one button working, and his button wasn't working. He had to go back. I didn't follow the whole, but it seemed like they didn't fact in some use case or some edge case or something? Kate: [12:43] They're assuming that your home button works. Kevin: [12:46] That's a fair assumption though. Kate: [12:47] Yes. For some people, there is a work around. If you don't want to pay to get it fixed, you can have that called a home button on your actual screen. Those people would have got stuck because they have taken...You can't swipe to open the phone anymore. If you swipe, he get notifications. If you press the button and use your fingerprint, then you get in. [13:11] If you don't have fingerprint, you have to double tap to get into your phone. If your button doesn't work, then you're screwed. [13:17] [laughter] Kevin: [13:22] Any other exciting bits and pieces. I know the big thing, they removed the headphone jack. Kate: [13:27] Yeah. Kevin: [13:28] Big move from them. Kate: [13:32] I thought they put the AirPods which are the new earphones. I thought they put them in with the seven, but not. They've got headphones still with the wires, but they have a different output... Kevin: [13:42] What is...? Kate: [13:43] go into the... Kevin: [13:45] a USBC or what's the actual...? Kate: [13:47] The jack that you charge with. Kevin: [13:51] It's a proprietary Apple thing? Kate: [13:55] Yes. Kevin: [13:55] My phone, I've got USBC for charging. It's also got a headphone jack. I know there are USBC headphones. That's interesting. Kate: [14:08] With the seven, they added in an adapter. If you want to use your old earphones, you still can. Kevin: [14:14] Bluetooth headphones are really taking off as well. Kate: [14:16] Yeah. Kevin: [14:16] They're becoming incredibly popular. I've got a Bluetooth, I've got a Plantronics that I use when I exercise and walking out. I love them. It's just one less thing. I'm going to upgrade my office headphones as well. I've got these great sound isolating, sound canceling headphones. They were pretty expensive though, about 400 bucks. Kate: [14:36] I'm keen to see the new AirPods come out. They are coming out end of October in Australia. Kevin: [14:43] What I just don't like those AirPods is that they're in two pieces, right? Kate: [14:48] Yes, one for each ear. Kevin: [14:50] People are always loosing headphones. I've probably spent probably $3,000 on headphones in the last five years. I've lost a lot of headphones. Now, there's two pieces, so you got two things to loose. Kate: [15:07] There's two arguments. The argument that people are going to leave them around. They are choking hazard for children and animals. There's the other argument that they're so well designed that you won't take them out. Kevin: [15:18] That's an interesting argument. I can see that where just seamlessly as you walk from work to home to just click into different things. When I was at TechCrunch Disrupt last year or the year before, one of the startups had some ear devices that they weren't hearing aid but they were like a sound optimization headphone. They were different profiles to optimize certain sounds and filtered down certain things. [15:46] I can't see us moving to that world and even to the point where you can have a translating. You can have a translating mode. You arrive in Tokyo, you've flipped that on, and suddenly you're seeing Tokyo in English. Of course it's always better to learn the language, but let's be realistic here. How cool would it be for that to happen? It will be amazing. Kate: [16:09] It was just the same thing, they were arguing that because it integrates with Siri and it's got a microphone in it, there's noise canceling. You don't want to take it out, but you could also have essentially Siri telling you new notification, your next meetings in 10 minutes. It's not disrupting your conversation. Kevin: [16:29] It's definitely an art. It will appeal to certain people. I would love that like you and I both have a Smartwatch. You've got an Apple Watch. I've got Samsung. We both enjoy that. A lot of people hate that. Maybe an-ish, but yes it's interesting to see whether the tech...Those headphones only work with Apple though, right? I would assume. Kate: [16:52] You can use them on others but they optimize. Kevin: [16:54] They wouldn't have some of the Siri features and everything else? Kate: [16:56] No. Kevin: [16:57] They announced a new Apple Watch as well. Kate: [17:01] Series 2. Kevin: [17:02] You're still on the Series 1? Kate: [17:04] Yes. Kevin: [17:04] What's the advantage of the Series 2 is I would assume processor? Kate: [17:08] Yes. They're waterproof. Kevin: [17:12] Series 1 is not waterproof? Kate: [17:13] No. Kevin: [17:13] You can actually swim with them? Kate: [17:15] You can swim with the Series 2. Series 1, if you rinse your hands in the tub and it gets a bit wet, that's fine, but you can't swim with them. You can't submerge. Kevin: [17:26] Anything else exciting? Kate: [17:28] They have got GPS tracking now. They've really pushed the fitness side of things. They got new wristbands. It's supposed to be 25 percent brighter than other watches. They've got a new app called Breathe. It teaches you to take deep breaths. [17:49] [laughter] Kevin: [17:50] We all need that. We all actually need that. It's a much-overlooked aspect. I won't go into the whole yoga, breathing thing, but that's interesting. [18:07] You've been using it for a long time. I notice you have it on every day. What are your favorite apps? You're with ANZ Bank, which is a big Australian bank, the only one, I think, that uses Apple Pay, I think. Kate: [18:19] They were for a long time, I think. Other banks have caught up. Kevin: [18:22] You use Apple Pay, you tap your watch. You use that a lot? Kate: [18:25] Yep, especially self-serve. Say if I go to Woolies Supermarket. You go to the self-service checkouts, and you don't even have to take your wallet out. Kevin: [18:37] Payment, which is cool. I am super frustrated that I don't have any payment option on my Samsung Gear yet, just to tap. There's Android Pay, there's Samsung Pay, and somehow the integrations haven't quite worked with my bank yet. [18:53] It's also early days. There's a lot of politics around it. I believe one of the reasons that the banks didn't take up Apple Pay is that Apple wants a cut of every transaction over and above the cut of the credit card as well. [19:11] You're getting so many fingers in this pie. ANZ were the first, I believe. Kate: [19:19] After American Express. Kevin: [19:20] Right, Amex as well. What other apps do you use regularly? You use for notifications, which is the big one. Kate: [19:28] Yeah, that's a big one. I still get lots of Facebook notifications. Most of the apps that I download will push through notifications. I guess the main thing that I don't like is that when I click on it, they still give me a preview of a message. Kevin: [19:48] You can't go into the actual app. Kate: [19:49] I can't. I can't open the actual app. Weather, weather's a good app on the watch. What else? Maps, especially when I'm driving. I love using maps because I don't have to worry about my phone. I don't have to look down. [20:05] I've always constantly got these little notifications on my wrist of when to turn. Kevin: [20:10] I've tried maps with my Samsung, and it needs a third party. I think one of the problems, and this is where Apple's doing well, the app ecosystem for the watch is probably much better than the one for the Samsung Gear, where people don't seem to be building that many apps. [20:26] The third party app that I use for maps, it doesn't update quick enough. It's only half useful. It's the type of thing that really needs to be right if you are going to use it. It's the one reason if I would ever think of getting an Apple would actually be the watch. [20:45] They've done a fantastic job with it. It's going to continue to become more popular. Kate: [20:52] From what I can see, they've definitely made some good progress with Series 2 as well. They've even integrated -- which finding -- an interesting swimming up, they're counting your strokes, and you can program how many laps you've done. [21:09] They've also done for people in wheelchairs as well. They can track their exercise. They track basically any type of exercise, they're not just tracking steps now. Kevin: [21:20] That's cool. Exercise is one of the big use cases for the wearables. One of the things I use it for mainly is you can obviously have a whole heap of different watch faces on the watch, and there's a watch face that summarizes nearly everything. [21:40] It gives you weather, steps, some notifications, all in the one watch face. I like that because at a glance, I get this little dashboard of what's going on in my life. That's quite useful. I don't find myself actually using any of the apps these days, particularly on the watch. I've tried and I'll continue to try, but I still haven't quite hit the sweet spots yet. [22:12] I sometimes reply to WhatsApp messages, even with just smiley or, "Yes," something like that. It's actually got a full keyboard, the Samsung Gear. Kevin: [22:19] Oh, really? Kate: [22:20] It pops up a full keyboard, and it's actually quite easy to type, and it's got predictive text. But you're sitting with your phone in your pockets, and most of the times it's a little bit easier just to pull out your phone. There's no huge advantage. I have used it a few times. Kate: [22:38] That's interesting. I think on the Apple Watch, they only give you standard answers. "On my way," or a smiley or something. You can't type. Kevin: [22:47] The problem with... Kate: [22:48] The idea is to talk to it. Kevin: [22:51] I've got the talking as well. I've used it on odd occasions. Still early days for these watches, but they'll come right. Kate: [23:00] I think the exciting thing is once the AirPods come in. The integration between the AirPods and the watch, that will be an interesting space to watch. Kevin: [23:11] Pardon the pun. Kate: [23:12] Yes. [laughter] Kevin: [23:14] What I think will also be interesting is when you put a SIM card in the watch, or you don't need the phone to use the watch. When you go out at night perhaps, maybe you can leave your phone at home when the only things that you're going to use is Uber, maybe get a few notifications and that's it. Then you don't need to take your phone. [23:37] When the watch exists and can exist effectively as a mini phone almost, then I think that's when I'll be pretty interested. A long way to go. These companies are still playing around on the fringes. Kate: [23:54] Definitely on a way to...have you seen that movie, "Her"? Kevin: [23:56] I've heard a lot about it. Kate: [23:59] That's sort of the same idea. Kevin: [24:01] I've heard it's brilliant. Kate: [24:01] Yeah, it's a great movie. The main character has essentially an earpiece, and it rules his life and everyone else's life. I feel like that's the direction we're heading in. Kevin: [24:14] We're absolutely, we're halfway there. The next 50 years are going to be super, super interesting to see what happens and the technology. The horse has left. It's bolted, so to speak. [24:30] You're listening to Kevin Garber, CEO of ManageFlitter, and Kate Frappell, who is the design lead at ManageFlitter. Kate actually started a couple of years ago as an intern with us, and has gone from strength to strength. [24:43] She is very humble. She's probably going to be blushing as I say anything about us. Kate: [24:48] Yep. [24:48] [laughter] Kevin: [24:49] I won't say anything more. We're going to take a very short break. After the break, we're going to be talking to Jon Westenberg, who is the founder of Creatomic, the CMO at Speedlancer. [25:04] Also, we'd love to hear from you. If you're listening to this podcast, email us, email@example.com. We'll give your company a shout-out. We'll give your startup a shout-out. We'll give your Twitter account a shout-out. We'd love to hear from you. Also, tweet us @MonkeyPodcast. [25:19] If you want to be a guest on the podcast, drop us a line. Let us know if you think someone would be a good guest. Drop us a line, let us know any other feedback, good, bad, or ugly, let us know. We love to engage with our users. [25:30] Check out our new website, itsamonkey.com. We'd love comments on some of the show notes, etc. We'd love to engage with and build a community, so to speak, around all of this. [25:41] We're going to take a short break, and we'll be back with Jon Westenberg. [25:45] [dog barks] Advertisement: [25:45] The ItsaMonkey podcast is brought to you by CheckDog. Use CheckDog to easily review and monitor your website for spelling errors, broken links, and broken images, all with the push of one button. [26:01] CheckDog can also automatically monitor your website and notify you of newly introduced spelling errors. Go to checkdog.com/podcast to receive 50 percent off your first month subscription. [26:14] Checkdog.com. Helping the world's leading websites keep their content error free. [26:20] [dog barks and howls] Kevin: [26:24] You're back with ItsaMonkey podcast, where we talk about everything relating to tech economy. We talk with tech thought leaders and people deep in the industry. I'm happy to say we have someone in studio, which we don't usually get. It's usually the Skype interviews with people across the world somewhere. [26:45] Right across from me is the...Are you Internet famous yet, Jon? Jon Westenberg: [26:50] I don't know if I'm Internet famous. I'm kind of famous in my own backyard, in my head, and that kind of thing. I think there are people in Silicon Valley who might know me, hate me, or not care. Kevin: [27:00] When people have an opinion on you, you've sort of succeeded, right? Jon: [27:04] I think so, yeah. It's like Nicholas Cage. A lot of people hate him, but at least he's Nicholas Cage. Kevin: [27:09] [laughs] Exactly. I'm happy to have Jon Westenberg with us in the ManageFlitter podcast studio. He's the founder of Creatomic, and CMO at Speedlancer. I discovered some of his articles a few months ago, and I was very excited to see that a writer of the quality of Jon was right in my backyard, so to speak, right in Sydney town. We've stayed in touch. [27:36] I managed to twist his proverbial arm and invite him into the podcast. Welcome, Jon. Jon: [27:44] Thank you. Kevin: [27:45] I first discovered you by your article, "Building a startup doesn't make you special." I found that a really interesting piece. You're knee deep in the startup stuff. I'm knee deep in the startup stuff. [28:01] As much as building startups is difficult, at the same time it really is quite a privilege to have the opportunity to do a startup, as opposed to not go to war or be looking for your next daily meal. Sometimes we stop buying into our own mythology, almost, and use war-like metaphors and things like that. It was a very bold, confident article. [28:35] What was the seed? Did you read something in particular that annoyed you that was the genesis of that article, the inspiration for that article? Jon: [28:44] It was a whole bunch of things. I spend a lot of time on Twitter reading a lot of things from VCs, startup founders, all this kind of thing. There's this whole vibe that I get all the time from people who act like they're something special because they're building the future. [28:59] They're on the next level, they're enlightened human beings because they built a web app [inaudible] on a single platform. It's this attitude I've never really gelled with. People talk about Elon Musk as if he's ahead of everyone else, or above us, sort of as a better human being. [29:15] They'll hold up Bill Gates in the same way, or they'll hold up the next twentysomething founder who's done something in their garage, as though they are some kind of saint. The real catalyst was someone talking about the morning routines of people who are changing the world, like the guys from Snapchat. [29:33] It got me thinking. It was like building a startup is a cool thing. It's not something to be ashamed of, but it also doesn't make you better than the rest of humanity. It doesn't give you more privilege. It doesn't give you the right to treat other people's industries or jobs as though they don't matter. [29:48] You have to consider that, sure, you're building your startup, but at the end of the day, all you are is someone building a business. Kevin: [29:54] Jason Lemkin from SaaStr, I don' know if you're familiar with him and his writing. Jon: [30:01] Yeah, I follow him on Twitter. Kevin: [30:02] Super, super smart guy. Someone asked him a while back and they said after you've sold your second business -- I think he sold one of his businesses to Adobe, then he became an investor in SaaS businesses. [30:17] Someone asked him, "Why don't you go and start another business?" He said starting a business and being a tech CEO or being a CEO and a founder, is like a tour of duty, and he feels he just doesn't have it left in him to do another tour of duty. [30:39] I think the intensity is certainly there. It is a real intensity and a real uphill battle in a sense. I think we still do have to maintain perspective that it is still just building a startup. Jon: [30:55] That's right. Sure the hours are long, it's a lot of pressure, and you could fail. Lots of entrepreneurs do struggle with mental health because of pressure of building a startup. At the same time, there's all kinds of other people out there who are working jobs that suck a whole lot more, jobs that don't have equity, and jobs that they hate that they have to get up every morning and do. [31:15] That's way more of a struggle for them. Just because life gets hard for entrepreneurs sometimes, it doesn't make us more special than someone who's got to get up at 4:00 AM and go work at a factory to support their family. [31:26] It doesn't make us less special, but just because we're hustling hard, and we're doing all these shit, and we've got so much on our plates, that as well doesn't make us [inaudible] over human beings. It's just means we've made a choice to do something which it tough. It's a good choice, but it's not a choice that makes us better just by nature having made it. Kevin: [31:44] It's a really privileged choice as well. Jon: [31:46] Yeah, it is. The ability to just strike out on your own and start a business, that's not something everyone can do. Kevin: [31:52] Some of the young founders today don't realize how privileged they are that they can start up the business with things like AWS. [laughs] Jon: [31:58] Yeah, absolutely. Kevin: [31:59] In the old days you had to raise money or use a credit card, just because a dedicated server was minimum 20K a month. If you wanted a dedicated server, which is needed at the minimum to run a decent web business, 20K a month before you bringing in anything through the door. Jon: [32:16] Absolutely. The average of cost of starting a business has dropped to one, six. Before it was 15, 20 years ago. That's massive. Kevin: [32:26] I remember many years ago I went to listen to talk by a Sydney entrepreneur also originally South African called, David Shane. He built a business called Com Tech which ended up being bought by Dimension Data, the big IT integration company. He said, when he sold his business, his wife said to him, "You know, you really deserve it. You've worked really, really hard." [32:50] He said, "You know that guy we you go to on the corner, that guy that's got the fruit shop, and he's there every morning at 6:00 AM up until 6:00 PM, he works really, really hard, you know. And he's never going to get a pay day like this." [33:05] In reflecting of how lucky he is that after working so hard, and I think he sold his business at the time. I don't remember. It was 200 or 300 million, something very substantial, and to get that type of pay off. Jon: [33:19] It doesn't happen for everyone. It is an incredible privilege if that happens to you. Starting any business with that kind of growth is just something that you're lucky if you can get to there. Kevin: [33:32] [laughs] Building a startup doesn't make you a special snowflake. Startup founders are not owed shit. I think this stuff is tough. Sometimes I chat to people and they say, "Oh, if stumble upon the right idea, if I meet the right investor, if some other planets align..." The world's not going to conspire to help create a business for you. Jon: [34:01] That's right. You see the same thing with situations like the Uber situation. People think that the government should not be having laws that protect taxis or the government should not be stopping companies from doing whatever they want without regard to what law is. [34:18] At the end of the day, just because you've built a new app that lest you change the way things used to be, it doesn't mean that you can without any repercussions. We can't just change the entire world on a whim because we don't like it. When it comes down to creating disruption, you don't just disrupt things you don't like in the world. [34:35] You have to really look at how what you're doing will change things for the better. I love you Uber, don't get me wrong, I do love Uber. I can't stand trying to take taxis, but the world doesn't have to change itself to fit with your vision. Kevin: [34:51] Also, there's a reason why there's laws in due process in place. You can't just suddenly decide that it's more effective to drive on the right side of the road and away you go. There's laws in due process, and there's lives involved. You look at the people's livelihood, you look at the self-driving phenomenon that's coming along. [35:13] I think transportation is one of the biggest industries in the world in terms of employment. People driving cars, and trains, and all sorts of things. They're going to be out of a job. It's not cool if you're the person whose job...it's cool if you've created the self-driving car. A lot of people, that's their livelihood. That's their bread and butter. Jon: [35:35] Yeah, I wouldn't say that the people who are building self-driving cars, "OK, you shouldn't do that, because you put people out of a job." I don't believe that. Technology has to move forward. [35:44] I think if you're someone right now who's looking at disrupting that industry, building self-driving cars, you have to at least spare a moment to think about the people you're putting out of work. Kevin: [35:53] Have a sensitivity to it. Jon: [35:55] Exactly. Not like everyone is stupid for not agreeing with your vision. You have to understand where other people are coming from. Realize that just because this might be a good thing in the long run, it's going to suck for a few people. [36:07] If you don't listen to them and acknowledge those feelings, and acknowledge the people you're putting out of work or giving disadvantage to, you have to acknowledge that. Kevin: [36:16] I have to say, I think it's quite an Australian trait, in a way, the humility and the sensitivity to that maintaining that Egalitarianism. The Americas, and I absolutely love America, but for different reasons I love Australia, small Darwinian, more evolutionary. [36:43] It's a little bit more cutthroat. I think what we're talking about here, I don't know if this conversation happens much in America. Jon: [36:51] Maybe not as much as it should. I don't know. I definitely feel that, in the industry we have this idea of the Aussie battler. The average working mums and dads who people care about, politicians talk about all the time. We worry about the average Australian family, what their lives are like. I think we do stop to spare a thought for them a whole lot more than they might do in other places. Kevin: [37:14] Yeah, there's a humility here. I tell the story sometimes where a few years ago, with the ManageFlitter co-founder, James Peter, we were at the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference and there was rapper on stage, Chamillionaire. Have you heard of Chamillionaire? Jon: [37:30] Oh, yeah. I know that guy. Kevin: [37:32] I might have even told you the story where he was on stage and he was saying, "You know I started on the street, and selling mix tapes, and I worked my way up, and had a couple of number one hits." I don't know. I think he may even won a Grammy or something. He got some sort of success and then got into tech as some of these guys do. [37:47] I was sitting in between James, he was an Australian, and another friend who was an American. I said to my American friend, I said, "You know, if this guy was talking like this in Australia, people would just go, 'Oh, just what an idiot. Full of himself.'" Jon: [38:00] Absolutely, yeah. Kevin: [38:01] James was Australian. He said, 'Yep, that's exactly what I was thinking." [laughs] Jon: [38:07] I think Australians have, to some extent, a bit of a tall poppy syndrome, where we tend to, if someone successful, we look for a way to laugh at them. It's just something Australians do. In America, they respect the president, generally speaking. [38:20] A lot of people might not like the president, but they still respect. He's a president of United States. Whereas in Australia, everyone just laughs at the Prime Minister all the time and make jokes. Kevin: [38:28] They just want to put him down. Jon: [38:28] Yeah, it's just something we do. Kevin: [38:29] Yeah. Jon: [38:30] We have very little respect for anybody. [laughs] Kevin: [38:32] That's true. Did you receive much fallout from this article? Jon: [38:36] I always get people who don't agree with me. People who say that I'm missing the point or who say, "Yes, but that doesn't apply to me." I always say, "Sure it might apply to you, but it will apply to a lot of people. And even if you disagree with me personally, there's a lot of people who should learn from this" [38:54] I tend to stand by what I've written. I won't write something if I don't thoroughly believe it. Kevin: [39:00] You write a lot. This is one of the things I was keen to ask you about. How do you write so much? It's clearly very tightly edited. It's not just one of my bag bears, when people slam out a piece and publish it. You can always tell when they've almost haven't even re-read it themselves once. [39:23] It was Mark Twain, he said, "I'm going to write you a long letter, because I didn't have time to write you a short letter." It's really difficult to write clearly and properly. How do you find the time for...how many articles do you publish, by the way? What's your...? Jon: [39:38] Every week I tend to shoot four, five articles. That's what I really like to go for. It doesn't always happen. My wife gets in the way sometimes. If it's a good week, I'll publish five articles, maybe more. How I find the time to do it. It's pretty much, I treat writing as the biggest priority of my life outside of my fiancée and my family. [40:03] A day isn't finished. I can't get into bed and just turn off the lights if I haven't written something. Even if it's not something I'll publish, every day I have to write. It's a part of my daily process. Kevin: [40:17] How did you get into the startup angle of writing? Another question as well is, you write about startups, you write with the sophistication about it that's not very common in Australia as well. As I mentioned, I was very surprised that you were Australian, because you write with a very interesting big picture perspective that's not that easy to find in Australia. Jon: [40:42] I come from different angles. When I first got into entrepreneurship, it wasn't to build a tech startup. I got into it because I was building a music managing company. I had a really small business approach to it, which then expanded to look at other companies, other forms of entrepreneurship. But I didn't come up from the whole thing. I wasn't a part of a scene. I was outside of it looking in. Kevin: [41:08] It has evolved a little bit in Sydney into a scene, right? Jon: [41:10] Absolutely. I think there's a startup scene pretty much anywhere people care about startups. It's like in music scene. I used to play punk rock. I used to manage punk rock bands and everything like that. There was definite scene in which there were some bands who were cool and some bands who weren't. You'd laugh at these people over there because they didn't fit in quite right. [41:28] These people were the cool kids because they had the newest Vans on their feet and all those kinds of stuff. It was the scene it was all based on these unwritten rules of what was cool and was not. I see that a lot with startups as well. It's a same scene mentality. It's a pack. It's this clique. Kevin: [41:48] The Sydney scene, has improved in the good sense of the word, as well. Entry Ventures, yesterday or this week announced a massive, big new fund. I think it's about 250 million Australian dollars, which is big for Australia. If startups only need about a million dollars for a seed round, that's almost 250 companies. Jon: [42:13] Yeah, that's awesome. I love Australian startups. I don't want to get on the wrong foot here. I really believe in a lot of what these people are doing, in particularly BlueChilli, particularly AirTree. The stuff that we're hearing is great. Kevin: [42:28] We need a few more big exists though. Jon: [42:30] Yeah, that's right. Kevin: [42:31] We'll get there. Jon: [42:32] We also need people to keep doing the work that people like BlueChilli and Atlassian are doing, where they're really investing in the community. They're putting money into events, into programs, and education. [42:42] They're trying to really build up better startup founders, better startup teams, better developers and so on. I love that investment. I think if that continues, we're going to have a great scene. Kevin: [42:53] We will. In typical Australian style, it's a little bit slowly but surely, just like the way Atlassian Campaign Monitor grew up, and ourselves ManageFlitter grew up out of the bootstrapped, just chipping away, everyday just making a little bit of a progress. I quite like I that, I don't know if you realize it, we look out on to Atlassian. Jon: [43:13] Yeah. Kevin: [43:17] When we were looking for news in space and I noticed that, I thought that's cool. They're the poster child of the tech industry. You sometimes see Mike wondering around. I see him more often at some local organic food store... Jon: [43:33] That's pretty cool. Kevin: [43:34] with his family. I agree. It is different. Jon: [43:41] It's easy to look at the negatives. If you meet a few people at meetups that you don't get along well with, or if you meet some rude people, or if they're getting really scene-y, then it's easy to form quick opinion or to feel irritated with the scene. Then you look at the people doing great things, and you can't help but feel a bit of hope and some encouragement, motivation. Kevin: [44:04] Somehow humans are tuned into negativity or critic a little bit more naturally. If I were to look at Australian, the tech world, two small bag bears I have after spending a bit of time in the States. One is, some of these incubators and accelerators, they've got mentors to the entrepreneurs that have never been entrepreneurs. [44:32] I don't know. Maybe there is some argument for it. Maybe you can be a swimming coach, but never having been a top swimmer yourself, I don't know. I find that a little bit strange always when they have a corporate chat mentoring that, and then I see that a bit. [44:52] The other slack bag bear there I have is, is sometimes in the US, in SF, in New York there's a real feeling of collaboration, and support in contact, in advice, generosity. I still feel, sometimes, in Australia there's a little bit of territorialism around contacts and about ideas. [45:19] I don't know if that's because maybe there's more abundance in the US and people think, oh well if I put you in touch with some people. There's a million and rather good people and it doesn't mean that you're going to get funding, which means I'm not going to get funding. [45:30] It's not zero loss some game. Maybe it's because we're a little bit smaller here. There's a little bit more territorialism over it, I'm not sure. I think it is changing. [45:42] [crosstalk] Jon: [45:43] I think as it grows, it'll get better. Maybe right now people are worried about who's looking over their shoulder. If they're building something cool, they don't whatever they're building to be taken away from them or to be eclipsed by something else. We maybe haven't seen enough success to learn that everyone can share success. Kevin: [46:03] Absolutely. There's enough to go around, I always say. Jon: [46:05] The other thing is, when it comes to any kind of startup community like Sydney, if one company succeeds, that looks great for everyone else. Every single hit helps the rest of us. Kevin: [46:18] Absolutely, trickle-down effect. Jon: [46:16] Yeah, look at Atlassian. Because they were so successful, now they've been great for Australia. It'll keep happening. Kevin: [46:23] We get taken seriously now... Jon: [46:25] Yeah, exactly. Kevin: [46:26] which is terrific. Another one of your articles which I really, really liked was the one on growth, "How to Make Growth Happen in a Startup." You've got some great nuggets there. Businesses scale with people. Businesses scale with process. Developers can be so cynical sometimes to process. [46:55] I always say, process frees you, because you don't have to think except about the technical problem at hand. The process does that thinking for you. Businesses scale by cutting the fat. If you're just starting out with a startup or even just along your way, a lot of food for thought in this article. Jon: [47:15] For me, the process is one, comes from the fact that it's always tough to bring new people into a company. It's tough to make the things that you've already created bigger. If you don't have some kind of guideline to follow, if you don't have the right, even if it's just a bunch of checklist, if you don't have processes in place, it's going to make everything so much harder. [47:39] If you have all the right processes for your company, then every single time you get a new customer, every single time you scale your business by 10, every time a new intern starts, that's should all be ready to go, all handled, all information you need, everything that should happen task by task, step by step in your processes. [47:57] You can just run those processes and watch your business function. That's why this is so important. I've worked in heaps of companies where they had absolutely zero processes. It was a disaster. Something would go wrong and they would be like, "Whoa, what the fuck happens now, because have no document to go through this. How do we get this new person on board? How do we deal with this crisis? What happens?" Kevin: [48:19] I think the art is, and this is the art of a startup is like architecting a system. I always say, if you over engineer it or if you under engineer it, you've got it wrong. I think process is a little bit the same. We're a small business of only about 12, 15 people. You would think I would know exactly how many are on the payroll, but somehow I lose count every now and then. [48:47] Even for us, sometimes I think some things aren't worth process. We'll deal with it if and when it happens. Other things, very much the process is required. The art is very much knowing where that sweet spot is. I think we've all dealt with companies where process is just, you want to get something simple done and they have to go through the process, and makes absolutely no sense. Jon: [49:17] For me, I guess, the process is not something that you have to do. A process is there so that when you don't know what to do, you've got an answer. Kevin: [49:29] I like your point here as well that make sure that if you're committed to scale, you're also committed to empowering your people to do what must be done, and you're ready to trust them. So much, and it's a cliché, everyone says, "It's your people. It's your people. It's your team. It's your people." [49:48] That's essentially what you're saying there. Is it like empowering your people and you're ready to trust them and that all comes down to hiring right? Boy is that easier said than done. Jon: [50:01] You never know if someone can or can't do something until you just give it to them and watch what they do. It's like if you've got a kid, I worked in childcare for a few years. When we're teaching the kids how to ride bikes, you didn't know if a kid could or couldn't ride the bike if they still had the training wheels on them. [50:20] Sooner or later you had to take those training wheels off and let them ride their bike. If they fell or even hurt themselves, they'd still get better at riding the bike. If you never let them then you never know. It's just like that. Kevin: [50:31] The interesting thing is as well Google used to, firstly, only hire people that had I think Masters Degrees or higher. They used to put them through this crazy interview process with how many manholes are there in Australia? What would the cost? All these crazy academic style questions. Meet a zillion people. [50:52] They then did research. Firstly they pulled that Masters criteria. They found not a very strong correlation necessarily with formal education. Also what they found, interestingly is, you reach a point in the interview process where you actually can't get more data. [51:12] They'll maybe meet with two or three members of the team. Do a technical test. Beyond that, they can meet more people. They can do more tests. You actually not going to get any more visibility into the person. You either make a choice to hire them or not hire them. That whole process is just the results when they gave them a crazy number of interviews, and an average number of interviews in terms of retention, and performance was about the same. [51:40] I keep saying it to the team here as well when we meet a candidate and we're marginal about them or something. Sometimes you say, "We should meet or chat to it." Usually, if we meet them or chat to them again, it will end up at the same position leading to your point. There's always going to be a risk in hiring someone. You can't eliminate that. [51:59] There's the positive surprises and people got, "Wow, I never expect that type of delivery." The negatives where, "I was expecting quite a bit more there." Jon: [52:08] For me, the biggest thing when you hire anyone is watching for when they fuck up. You want your hires to fuck up sooner or later. The reason is, that's when you get a real understanding of a person's caliber. It's when they do something wrong because a really good hire, someone who's worth keeping on the team. [52:25] If something goes wrong and it's their fault, they'll go to you and say, "Hey, I did something wrong, and I think we should fix it by doing this. But I really want to hear how you think we should fix it." A bad hire will go to you and say, "This went wrong but it wasn't my fault because of X, Y, and Z. It was probably your fault, and it was someone else's fault and all this things." [52:44] You'll never understand how good a person is when they're in that situation. Kevin: [52:47] That's a very good point, taking responsibility. It is in the tech industry, it's very easy to blame. You can say the previous developer didn't use best practices. Jon: [53:01] I've heard that so many times. Kevin: [53:04] This is the real world. Luka, who's one of our developers. When he's fixed a few tricky things and I said to him, "You know, Luka, thanks so much. You've pulled off some good stuff." He looks to me and he says, "Kevin, we had no choice. Just had to fix it." [laughs] I just love that because it's true. [53:24] You've got to get shit done. You've got to get shit done and if you don't want to get shit done, or you want a hardbound excuses. I don't know. Startups definitely not your bag. In terms of screwing things up, I read an interesting article on Quora, which by the way is my favorite site. Do you write? You should write an answer on Quora. Jon: [53:43] I should. I spend a lot of time reading. Kevin: [53:45] You should. Jon: [53:45] I read on there constantly. I find the craziest stuff. Kevin: [53:49] It's a great site, right? Jon: [53:52] Yes. Absolutely no theme to what I read. It's just, I go into this weird black hole of information and disappear for hours. Kevin: [53:59] I feel Quora almost gives me the feeling when I first discovered the World Wide Web back in '93, or whenever it was. One of my family friends, we went to his house to try it out, and he said "I feel like I'm Christopher Columbus when I'm surfing in the web." [54:17] [laughter] Kevin: [54:17] I'll never forget that, it was really great. I read a great answer on Quora about something like "What was your biggest career stuff up in life" something like that "And how you dealt with it?" A doctor, a pediatrician, a emergency room casualty pediatrician wrote an answer. [54:34] He said "A kid came in with some abdominal pain, he had had a bicycle fall during the day. Quite bad pain, checked out all the X-rays, everything. Kid was fine. Sent him home, said 'If you have any more pain, come straight back.'" Long story short, the kid came back in a couple of hours, dead. Right. [54:53] This doctor had missed some very hard to diagnose perforated intestine, or something. The perforation just causes a very quick, galloping infection. This doctor, obviously he was distraught by it, and it's all terrible, but he said he teaches to his students now, and which your point, in a way, if you do something long enough, you're going to screw it up sooner or later. [55:26] Unfortunately, doctors deal with lives, and their mess ups are going to be lives. I've always say to the team here, when we screw up something, at least we're not in the business of saving lives. Jon: [55:37] That's right. That's what I've been thinking recently with some of the Tesla autopilot problems, is that a couple people have been hurt, or lost their lives, and that's awful, but at the same time, it was going to happen sooner or later if we're going to have this kind of technology. [55:55] It's understanding that awful things don't necessarily mean it's the end of the world. It just means "Shit, something really bad happened, and we have to acknowledge that, and then we have to find a way to move past it." Kevin: [56:05] Yeah, and there's a gift in it. Even with him, for this doctor, he ramped up this training to the pediatricians around this particular issue that's very hard to diagnose. If you do something long enough, you're going to screw it up, sooner or later. I say to the team "I'm OK with you making mistakes." [56:31] If you have an environment where people are very scared, I mean, Mark Zuckerberg's famous, "Move fast and break things," right? We are going to break things, but hopefully architected in a way that we fix them up, and on we go with it. Jon: [56:45] Yeah. It's also a matter of thinking about the things you're moving fast and breaking, and putting in the right safeguards depending on what that is. Obviously, Tesla take it very seriously because if they break things, that could be people's lives. They have safeguards in place. They work hard to protect people's safety. [57:04] That's a tough position to be in. If you're working on a product that doesn't have those kind of stakes, you're pretty privileged and lucky as well. If [inaudible] happened, it doesn't work for a bit, and that's going to be frustrating for your [inaudible] but they wanted die. That's something to be thankful for. Kevin: [57:20] It reminds me of the Louis CK skit where everything is amazing and no one's happy. You know that skit where the guy was on the plane and the WiFi is not working, and he goes, "This is bullshit man. This is bullshit." This guy was saying and Louis CK is like, "Really, you in this little tube in the sky and accessing all the information in the world." [57:44] The expectations these days are absolutely massive. It's not necessarily a bad thing. Facebook and Google are in the SaaS worlds. The Facebook, and Google, and Twitter, and these companies have done an amazing job of getting all the tech right, and Apple rights. There's a huge expectation on the availability and things like that. [58:06] Some people might not remember of even just the 2000s when hardware in the web world would fail a lot. Websites would stop working because your serve at a web host had a disc failure. Jon: [58:20] I remember that. Kevin: [58:21] It was down for a few hours while they replace the disc and port it over the data. These days, even the hardware issues don't happen. People's expectations, which is a good thing, the industry is being...It's almost a success to set those crazy expectation... [58:41] [crosstalk] Jon: [58:41] I read this article a couple months back. I can't remember who wrote it but it was fantastic. It was about how tech isn't failing. We are pushing the tech that we have to the very limits of what it can do, and then we're complaining when it starts to stutter a bit. [58:58] The whole idea was, the reason your laptop gets slow, or your phone crashes every now and then, is not because we don't have the technology to make it work. It's that we are pushing that technology as far as it possibly can go. Sooner or later that's going to wring some problems. [59:14] Because we're always pushing the stuff, we have these expectations that it's going to work on the bleeding edge. The bleeding edge doesn't run like that. Kevin: [59:22] What fascinates me is that we went to the moon on such rudimentary tech. My theory is, we made it to the moon because of competition. If Russia didn't exist, we probably still wouldn't be on the moon. The human layer and the psychology around all of these. It's a little bit of a left field example. [59:46] 10 years ago or bit over 10 years ago, I was in a hospital for a couple of days for just nothing major. My sister and my mother were really nice to me that they knew that pizza was my favorite food. My sister started first, and she started making me home-made pizza. My brother-in-law said to me at the time, he whispered, "I bet you your mother's going to start making it too." [60:11] [laughter] Kevin: [60:12] Suddenly, my mother is like, "I'm making home-made pizza for you too." Amongst all this fancy tech, and cloud servers, and AWS, and AR and VR, and buzzword here, buzzword there, when you're running a business, at the end of the day, it's the human layer. We spoke about the hiring and all of that. [60:37] At the end of the day, these people coming in here, people have motivations and things like competition. As a leader, I always remind myself every day that my team, they go home and they chat to their partners about their job. They're not just a resource that's churning up. They go and they think about their job and run a barbecue in the weekend. That's what they talk about. [61:06] The human layer is incredibly, incredibly important. Jon: [61:10] I was reading something on Medium. It was over the weekend. It was a blog post called "Employees don't change the world, founders do." It annoyed me. I kept on thinking almost all of the changes that happen in the world were actually made by employees, not by founders. Founders created the spark and the catalyst. They made things happen. They brought teams together. The work that changed the world was done by employees. [61:39] You mentioned space travel there. In 1914, pilots had the first ever aerial dog fight in aircraft because a German pilot and a French pilot flew past each other by plane and fired pistols at each other. 50 years later, we went to the moon. That happened because people work their asses off. It wasn't just because a founder had an idea or a scientist had an idea. [62:02] It was because teams of people work late at night to make technology progress, and to count with ideas and do big things. When you idolize founders, and you ignore the contributions that employees make, it's very short-sided. Kevin: [62:19] Smart founders not only realized that, but in a way, they are those employees as well. Jon: [62:27] Yes. Kevin: [62:31] They don't get into this figurehead type role. That's why there's a stat around founder led businesses. I posted on the Sydney Startup Facebook group a while back that the returns in businesses that a founder led are quite a bit higher on average. It makes sense because the founder is in the trenches there, but definitely the employees. [63:00] Smart founders, they get that that it is an absolute team effort. I always perceive us as a we and an us. The success is always shared. I'd like to think even that it's one step ahead for the employees. It's very underrated career strategy is to attach itself to a founder that gets it. You can benefit from a lot of the upside and actually shield yourself from quite a bit of the downside. Jon: [63:35] I agree with that. Founders who had that understanding of the employees, our founders who have been employees and who've had a job, and they've had jobs they hated, and they've had jobs they loved, and they know what the difference was. That's why they're good at running your company. [63:51] That why they're good at looking after people. It's very important to have gone through that yourself. Kevin: [63:56] Jon, it's been a great job chat. You and I could just keep on going but we'll... [64:03] [laughter] Kevin: [64:04] I'm intrigued that you started out in childcare which is definitely... Jon: [64:11] Yes and I've done a lot of weird stuff, man. Childcare was one of the best jobs I've ever had in my life. Kevin: [64:17] What made it so? Jon: [64:20] I love kids. I really do. Working with the kids is so rewarding. They are full of ideas and inspiration, and just... [64:27] [crosstalk] Kevin: [64:27] Purity, right? Jon: [64:28] Yeah. They want to make stuff. They want to play football until they can't even get up anymore because they're so exhausted. You give them a piece of paper and a pen and they'll just start drawing. Suddenly, all their energy comes back. Kids are awesome, they really are. Kevin: [64:45] I remember this, there was a project to have one laptop per child, some one of this projects. They made some really ruggedized but cheap laptop. They put some Linux version on it, but they locked it down essentially anywhere within. [65:06] Within two weeks or something, these kids that had never touched a computer before had just hacked these laptops. They just stuck with it, worked it out, pushed buttons, discovered somehow within two weeks. They were just in there. Jon: [65:24] You ever want to feel dumb, you should play Connect Four with a bunch of eight-year-olds. Kids see patterns in a way that adults just don't. They will beat your ass at connect four. They really will. Kevin: [65:37] I love kids too. There's a definite unfiltered aspect to them. Jon: [65:42] They're fun. They're just fun to hang out with. [laughs] Kevin: [65:47] Child care into the startup world. You bounced around other bit some pieces along the way? Jon: [65:54] I started working in child care after a business failed pretty badly. I didn't know what to do. I dropped out of law school as well the same time. I was pretty directionless. I just need to get a job and I happen to get a job in child care. I loved it and it was grand. [66:10] When I eventually left to take on a new startup role, it was actually really hard to leave the kids because you really bond with them and you hang out every day with them. You talk and you just hang out. It was great. That was one of my weird detours that I did. Kevin: [66:28] I've had twice in my life where I've been around kids. Initially, I thought, "This is going to be a pain." I spent two weeks in Israel and I sat below the beautiful rooftop apartment. I woke up the next morning with the kids singing good morning to each other in Hebrew. My initial response, "No, I'm going to be waking up every morning." On the second day I was like, "Man, this is so sweet and beautiful." [66:51] The second time was one of the co-works spaces that Kim Harris has in Bondi Junction. On the same floor is a child care center. Every now and then, a baby would cry and I was like, "Oh, jeez." As if life isn't hard enough [laughs] in the startup world, but just seeing these cute little many humans come in and out and just around. By the end of it I was like, "Wow, I'm going to miss having them around." [67:25] Jon, tell me what are you up to these days? What's your day-to-day? You obviously write tons and tons in Medium, five articles a week which to write five good articles is pretty intensive. Besides that, founder at Creatomic, which is your vehicle to do your own work? Jon: [67:46] That's right. At Creatomic, it's a mixture of coaching people. Coaching them to grow their startups to develop their marketing to improve their productivity. Also, building online course, helping to educate people, and doing a lot of consulting for different companies. That's my passion thing. I did that because I love it. Kevin: [68:06] You're also the CMO at Speedlancer. Tell us about Speedlancer. Jon: [68:10] Speedlancer is an awesome freelance platform that is been on for few years now. We're a 500 Startups alumnus which is pretty cool. We are a platform. We can go and buy freelance tasks that scale. The idea is if you want a blog post done, rather than going on like oDesk or something like that, and pitching what you want, submitting a brief and interviewing people. [68:32] All we do is you go on outside, you buy the task, blog post. We will assign it to a first class writer, people who have written for you, Inc.com or Entrepreneur Magazine. We'll get them to write the blog post for you. It streamlines that whole work. Kevin: [68:49] You don't actually have to find the person. You guys do that? You just... [68:52] [crosstalk] Kevin: [68:52] It's different to Upwork where you actually put the brief and you have to find the person. Jon: [68:58] That's right. There's some awesome stuff we're doing there. For example, we have a Slack bot called Shido which is shit done. We'll get shit done. You can get that bot in your Slack channel of your team. You can just tell the bot to do tasks for you. You can say I need a blog post on this topic, and then that bot will organize a freelancer to do it for you, debit your account and give you the finished work. [69:20] We use that in-house all the time. If we're talking about doing a marketing campaign, Adam the CEO says, "Hey, why don't we target these people?" I can be like, "Great, Shido get me a list of all these companies that match these ideas." Then it always gives me this list and I can go and do awesome stuff. It's great. Kevin: [69:39] I love Slack. Jon: [69:41] Yeah, Slack is amazing. Kevin: [69:43] If you're listening and you're hearing the vacuum cleaner, that's... [69:46] [laughter] Kevin: [69:46] That's our very professional studio. It's actually almost after office hours here. Our cleaner comes in twice a week. That's a good business in Australia, cleaning. I don't know how many other countries where cleaning's such a good business, but in Australia cleaning is a fantastic business, right? Jon: [70:12] Yeah, my fiancée is the operations manager at UrbanYou, which is a startup down in Bondi. They do on-demand housekeeping services. It's almost like Uber for housekeeping. Kevin: [70:28] I think in Australia, as a cleaner, you almost get the same per hour as a junior mid-grad. Jon: [70:40] For most style up founders, people working [inaudible] will get more per hour than when we doing when we're starting out. [laughs] Kevin: [70:50] Jon, I really enjoyed talking with you. I hope we can have you back sometime in the future. It's nice to have someone face to face. The virtual world gets a bit tedious. I've been talking to Jon Westenberg. [70:59] He is the founder at Creatomic, the CMO at Speedlancer. He's all over Medium. On Twitter as well @JonWestenberg as usual. We'll put it up on the show notes. Jon, thank you so much. Let's chat again in a few months. Jon: [71:16] Thanks man, great to be here. Woman: [71:18] The, It's A Monkey Podcast is brought to you by ManageFlitter. ManageFlitter helps you to work smarter and faster on Twitter. With ManageFlitter, you can schedule tweets for appropriate times, gain insight into your Twitter connections, grow your Twitter account and much more. Go to manageflitter.com for a free trial. Kevin: [71:39] What Jon and I went all over the place in that interview...I think we both enjoyed that talk a lot. One of the areas that is my passion, and we spoke a little bit about that, is the team side of things and hiring right. [71:59] Jon made an interesting point, assessing team members. When things go wrong is definitely the cracks of it. You've been involved with us in building the team. We're now up to about...how many team members? Kate: [72:16] I think we're about 15. Kevin: [72:18] About 15 in total. It's still in the scheme of things. It's a very small number. In a way with the small team, hires are even more important because relatively speaking, they're contributing more. Kate: [72:30] Yes, everyone has more to do with each other. Kevin: [72:33] Everyone engages with each other directly. You can't hide as easily. In a way, it gets easier the bigger you are. In a way it doesn't because there's more into actions and the permutations or more. The percentage wise is small as well. With the small team, the challenge is really there to build the team. Kate: [72:57] Yeah, I think it's important to have a nice mix of people, but they all need to get along well. Kevin: [73:04] They need to get along well. Also sometimes I feel also, they don't need to be best friends as well. Kate: [73:10] No, sometimes I can go the other way. Kevin: [73:12] That can go the other way and particularly with...I know there's all different policies and romances in the workplace as well. It makes sense that it happens. People are people. They meet, they click. [73:27] I know many a case of where there have been relationships in the workplace, it doesn't work out and one of them has to leave, because it's too uncomfortable. All these problems or politics and things like that. Anyway that's humans. That's life. You're a huge fan of Medium and you read all of Jon's articles on Medium don't you? Kate: [73:47] Most of them yes. Yes, I do. [laughs] Kevin: [73:49] Do any of his articles stand out in your head? Kate: [73:55] A little while ago he was doing 200 words a day on any random self-improvement style topic. I really liked them. I feel like, at the moment, he's heading towards more startup entrepreneur style articles, but still just as interesting. Kevin: [74:15] Jon's got an incredible sick, synced, clear style. It's one of my frustrations with team members and with new the grads, in particular, writing, communication and not necessarily academic style essays etc., but just nice clear writing, just clear, sick, synced writing. Boy, it's tricky you know that. [74:46] If I could influence education policy in a couple of ways, one would be bringing...actually three ways now. I'm going to put my education minister atom. One would be a lot of effort into self-awareness and communication in general. Things like meditation mind from this being a kind person, compassion, all of that softer side of things. [75:11] Second thing tech side of things, just immerse them in that, everyone. Teach them in different ways, hands-on, demonstrating, expose them to all sorts of aspects of tech and get a code literacy up, similar to math's literacy... Kate: [75:27] Yeah, the basic understanding, at least. Kevin: [75:30] Know what a computer language is and have written one program in it. Third thing I would do is writing, writing, writing, just writing, just write whatever job you're in. Particularly today, the Internet, in a way, has reinvigorated the spoken word. In a way, it's become more important than years gone by where only a secretary wrote or some executive wrote. [75:54] The rest we interacted. Now, writing's everything. It's just on constantly, even job applications, cover letters. I wish I could create a blog for what gets sense to me. You don't have to be funny. You don't have to be super smart, just clarity. Sometimes even the simple task of re-read what you wrote. It's just a simple task of that. Kate: [76:20] Run it through a spell-check. Kevin: [76:22] Run it through a spell-check, get someone else through, whatever. Obviously, if English is not your first language and you're working in English, you have to make triple the efforts. You do. You need to make triple the effort, especially if you want to keep giving yourself opportunities and creating opportunities for yourself. Kate: [76:40] Yeah, exactly. All the articles on the Internet now, it's a different style to definitely what I learned at school anyway. You need to state the most interesting parts first to grab someone's attention. There's no longer this introduction, then the body, then an ending. Kevin: [76:56] Exactly, and that's the traditional academic style versus what they call the inverse paramount style. Hit them with the good bits first and then people can drool down into it but... Kate: [77:12] Just separate your content. Chunk it so that people can scan. Kevin: [77:16] Needs to be scan able. Jon, check him on Twitter Jon Westenberg, @JonWestenberg on Medium. Check out his articles. One of the things we touched in there as well was how the Sydney ecosystem is evolving. [77:32] The fact that Sydney even has someone like Jon who's, as I mentioned in the podcast, when I first read his articles I thought he was from Silicon Valley. He just seemed to have this perspective that... Kate: [77:43] Yeah, he has a distinct voice. Kevin: [77:45] He's got a distinct voice and specification in his outlook that I just assumed he was American. Then when I thought he was in Sydney I was like, "That's great." It's also indicative that Sydney, we're evolving as an ecosystem and as a startup environment, which is fantastic as well. Kate: [78:01] It's exciting times. Kevin: [78:03] Exciting times. Anyway, I think that's about it for Episode 64, probably a bit longer than we'll usually have. Remember every two weeks, subscribe to us with iTunes or your favorite podcast app. I use Podcast Republic on my Android. I think it's Podcast Republic. It's fantastic. I've set up all my podcasts... [78:29] Yeah, it's Podcast republic. Great Android app. As mentioned, send us feedback. Keep on checking in every two weeks or so. My guest co-host this week has been Kate Frappell. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram. I think you're more active on Instagram, aren't you? Kate: [78:49] Generally, yes. A bit of both. Kevin: [78:52] KateFrappell with two Ps and two Ls. I have trained myself. Kate: [78:58] Yes, Frappell not Frapel. [78:59] [laughter] Kevin: [78:59] Check her out on Twitter and Instagram. We will talk to you in two weeks. As usual, we'll have an interview and some news. In the meantime, wherever you are I hope you have a fantastic week. [79:18] Also a happy Jewish New Year to those celebrating. Sunday night starts the New Jewish Year. Happy Rosh Hashanah to those celebrating Jewish New Year. It's goodbye from myself and Kate. Thanks for listening.