[00:00] [music]

Kevin Garber: [00:08] Hello. Good morning, good evening, wherever you are in the world. We do have listeners from everywhere in the world. It's fun looking at our Google Analytics, and just seeing people from all over planet earth listen to the podcast.

[00:21] It is Friday, the 18th, of November. The year is streaming on by. It is Episode 68 of "It's a Monkey Podcast". We talk about everything related to tech, social media, cooking.

[00:35] Fashion...no, that's the other podcast.

Kate Frappell: [00:38] What?

[00:39] [laughter]

Kevin: [00:40] I am kidding. With me, as usual, is my co-host, Kate Frappell. Kate is the Design Lead at ManageFlitter. Kate, thanks for coming back yet again to co-host the podcast with me.

Kate: [00:52] No problems.

Kevin: [00:53] We've got a fantastic show lined up. Later on in the show, we'll play an interview that I did with Rowee Benbenishty, who is from Sesame Enable. Sesame Enable have developed an incredible technology for disabled people that cannot use a smartphone because they're disabled and can't use the touch screen technology.

[01:17] I had a fantastic chat with Rowee. When he was out there from Israel for a conference, I was so impressed by the video that they showed that I grabbed him afterwards and said, "Come, I'd love to chat you on the podcast." That's coming up later.

[01:29] As usual, we talk about a couple of news items. We work in an industry that's so fast moving that it's even difficult for us to keep us up with it. We like to give a couple of news items to help you keep the finger on the pulse, so to speak. As always, a lot happening in the news items in the news.

[01:51] Kate, Twitter have been under a lot of pressure for a long time about abuse on their platform -- racist tweets, trolling, targeting people with vitriol, negative vitriol. They've been under criticism that they haven't been doing enough. Dick Costolo, who was the CEO until about just over a year ago, even admitted that they haven't been doing enough.

[02:19] Yesterday, finally they've rolled out a feature to help with this. I actually discovered this pretty early. I must have been one of the first people to discover this feature because it actually was nowhere online. No one was talking about it. I suddenly saw this "Settings" button pop-up in my notifications, which was pretty cool.

[02:42] They've rolled out a "Mute Conversation" feature on Twitter, which means that you can put in some keywords. If those keywords are in any "at replies" to you, they're not going to show themselves.

[02:57] It's not going to affect your main timeline. Say for example just say the keyword dog, if someone tweets about dog, in your main timeline, it's still going to pop-up, but if they converse with you and at reply you something about dogs and you've got dogs in your mute, you're not going to get a notification about it and it's not going to appear in your notification section.

Kate: [03:24] That's pretty good, isn't it? Are they doing the same thing for direct messages as well?

Kevin: [03:30] No, they haven't rolled out anything for direct messages.

Kate: [03:35] That would be really handy.

Kevin: [03:36] Direct message is a whole other story that there's still spam issues. They're not building out their product as fast as a lot of people would like to. The other good thing with this mute button, you can actually mute an entire conversation.

[03:49] If you've dragged into this Twitter conversation where there's two or three people talking and sometimes you'll end up being tagged constantly in a conversation. What people do now is they actually sometimes tweet and say, "Please remove me from this thread."

Kate: [04:07] Like a little Twitter war.

Kevin: [04:10] Exactly. Maybe someone sent a tweet to two, three people. Someone's replied and so it goes and they keep...and you're dragged into all of this. But now you've actually got a feature to hit a button that actually will mute the conversation. It won't mute that conversation from your timeline. That conversation will still appear on your timeline, but you're going to get the notifications.

Kate: [04:35] Can't you turn them off in your phone settings anyway?

Kevin: [04:40] But then you're turning off all notifications.

Kate: [04:42] True.

Kevin: [04:42] You don't want to do that. A lot of people don't use Twitter only on the phone. They use it on TweetDeck, they use it on twitter.com.

Kate: [04:51] You can go back into your profile and find that thread of tweets and ready it later?

Kevin: [04:58] Yeah, it will still be in your timeline.

Kate: [05:00] Great.

Kevin: [05:01] Pretty good. A lot of people are saying it's still more needs to be done, but it's certainly, I step in the right direction. It does show that Twitter takes this very seriously. Of course, our friend Donald Trump is a big user of Twitter and a lot of his supporters. Yesterday, Twitter suspended some outright members, which are part of this, the right side of politics. I'm not exactly sure the backstory behind why they suspended these accounts.

[05:38] Twitter operates in this it's an open network. It's one of the few social media network that allows adult's content, so to speak. Twitter's got no problem with...there's adult entertainers on Twitter that tweet out photos and videos, and it's all legit. Instagram doesn't allow that, and Facebook doesn't allow that.

Kate: [06:02] I know you can put photos on something like, ManageFlitter ought to stop that. Can you do it in Twitter itself?

Kevin: [06:07] In ManageFlitter, you can filter out people that tweet offensive things. Twitter's got a setting to filter out adult content. When you set up an account, there's an option there is to say "Adult Account." It's like a self-moderating system that you can exclude those accounts. That's why you might not bump into them.

Kate: [06:38] OK. As long as they're being honest when they set it up.

Kevin: [06:41] Yeah, and it's part of the [inaudible] services. It's fine. I saw a documentary on ABC or SBS, an English documentary from the BBC, about some social media and adult workers and etc. They all said Twitter's their thing because they allowed...

Kate: [07:06] They're allowed on there.

Kevin: [07:07] Yeah, you're allowed. On the Instagram and Facebook,you're not. Anyway, that's Twitter's got some new mute functionality. Another big story, Snapchat. It's only four years old. It's announced, not officially, but it has leaked that it's announced that it's going to be aiming for an IPO as early as March.

[07:32] Snapchat can actually, what they say, confidentially aim for an IPO. Meaning they don't have to let the world know because their revenues are less than one billion US dollars or probably be when their IPO lists on one billion dollars. Otherwise, they have to go public if they're going above the radar. There's all these rules in the States.

[07:52] But some interesting facts about Snapchat, let's go through them because it is quite interesting. Snapchat's about four years old. They plan to raise, so to receive from the public and institutional investors, about five billion dollars.

[08:07] Once they raise this money, they're going to be worth. The market cap which the market cap is the share price times the number of outstanding shares. That's often the value of what a company's worth. The market cap is estimated that it'll be about $25 billion. Just to compare that, Facebook's market cap currently is $334 billion. You can see this is the massive size of Facebook, right?

Kate: [08:35] Yeah, there's huge difference between them.

Kevin: [08:38] Alphabet, which is Google, is $537 billion market cap, so Google's even bigger. Twitter is only $13 billion. The reason is because Twitter share price is just totally come down.

Kate: [08:53] Fallen.

Kevin: [08:55] Fallen. Snapchat's going to be about $25 billion. Of course there's an Australian connection with Snapchat.

Kate: [09:00] There is?

Kevin: [09:01] Yeah. Miranda Kerr's married to or engaged to Evan Spiegel.

Kate: [09:09] Really?

Kevin: [09:09] Yeah.

Kate: [09:09] I didn't know that.

Kevin: [09:13] Miranda Kerr of course is a model from a very, very small town in New South Wales, Canada.

Kate: [09:19] Canada?

Kevin: [09:19] Yeah.

Kate: [09:20] OK. [laughs]

Kevin: [09:20] I all ready know about Miranda Kerr because she's now gets quoted and talked about in tech articles.

Kate: [09:28] I really ever knew her as a model. She's a model, right?

Kevin: [09:33] She's a model but she's marrying Evan Spiegel.

Kate: [09:34] Yes.

Kevin: [09:34] That's the Australian connection. They're going to be raising four or five billion dollars. Snapchat's got about 150 million daily actives, versus Twitter's...I think Twitter only quotes the monthly of 400 million daily active or 400 million actives. They all get a little bit slippery when they start quoting active user and numbers.

[09:56] They all measure them in different ways, so it's not always comparing apples with apples. Of course, Facebook's got billions and billions of daily users. They're way ahead of everyone else. Apparently, they're making about 250 million a year at the moment, and on track to make over one billion next year.

[10:17] These companies -- Facebook, Twitter, obviously Google, Snapchat, they're really the rock stars of the tech industry. It's really, really hard to build businesses that scale, this large and this big.

Kate: [10:32] I was reading recently there, ever since Snapchat turned Facebook's offer of acquisition, there's been a bit of a war between them and the type of products they're releasing. I'm just interested to see how long it would take Snapchat to catch up to Facebook.

Kevin: [10:47] I don't know if they'll ever get there, but who knows.

Kate: [10:52] Maybe.

Kevin: [10:53] Facebook has got a huge, huge head start. Snapchat is still pretty niched. Where Snapchat's got that advantage is that it's got the young people, the millennials. What happens to young people?

Kate: [11:09] They grow old.

Kevin: [11:10] Exactly.

[11:11] [laughter]

Kate: [11:11] They grow with them.

Kevin: [11:17] They grow with them, and then suddenly they can mix them, that platform.

Kate: [11:22] Definitely.

Kevin: [11:23] Then the cycle begins again.

Kate: [11:25] But they also market themselves as camera company now. That's why they're going into things like the Spectacles, that they might go into a completely different niche than Facebook.

Kevin: [11:34] We have to find Snapchat interesting is they've...one of the companies that are doing augmented reality, essentially, with all their filters, right?

Kate: [11:42] Yeah.

Kevin: [11:43] There's no one...do Facebook or Twitter? I haven't really seen anything that similar.

Kate: [11:47] I was reading about this today. Everybody seems to be copying Snapchat, that they're all taking features off each other, so yes, you can get features in Facebook now, I believe.

Kevin: [11:58] Because on Snapchat, the stories feature has been copied by Instagram, I believe, and it's called...

Kate: [12:05] Yes. Same thing, Story. [laughs]

Kevin: [12:08] or maybe the...

Kate: [12:09] Instagram Story?

Kevin: [12:10] Maybe the Snapchat one is called something different. I get confused between...

Kate: [12:15] Snapchat Story as well. Today, I updated my Facebook messenger, and they've implemented the same idea as well and they call it "Messenger Day."

Kevin: [12:24] Right. They're all copying and getting inspiration from each other.

Kate: [12:31] I'm interested to see how Snapchat hold their position seeing that Instagram and Facebook are all stealing the same ideas from them. The only thing holding them is the fact that they were the first ones in there.

Kevin: [12:51] They've got a different captive market audience. It's a rate in a different way and then appeal to those millennials. They all got different cultures and they all touch a different sweet spot.

[13:05] For instance, Twitter. Once, they thought Instagram would catch up to Twitter in the way that Twitter's used for real-time live updates. At one stage, people were using Instagram a little bit more high velocity, but then it came back and didn't quite get there.

Kate: [13:22] No, I can never see Instagram replacing Twitter, never. Instagram's more like your gallery...like your Facebook gallery except you don't have to share it on Facebook. You can just put a single image on Instagram.

Kevin: [13:35] It went through a phase, though, where celebrities and politicians were...when they do their update about something, their tour or their something. It went through a phase where they were finding a token photo and doing it all on Instagram. It still happens to some degree, but somehow they mix it up with Twitter and Facebook now as well.

[14:01] It went through a bit of a hay day. I was wondering if it could ever get there to become a high velocity type of platform, but it didn't.

Kate: [14:12] I still think they do it. I've read plenty of articles where they leaked or a certain celebrity has just stated something. Their primary source is their Instagram post.

Kevin: [14:24] Sure, but I don't think there'a any Instagram accounts that have that high velocity.

Kate: [14:30] No, I suppose not. In comparison to Twitter, it's much slower.

Kevin: [14:39] They all got their different orientations and cultures and different cadences. There's room for all of them. I actually think there's room for more social media networks.

Kate: [14:56] No, I don't know about that. [laughs]

Kevin: [14:58] People are saturated, but also for example, if you take the old days of Facebook where people used to use the update feature to let people know what was really going on in their lives. That doesn't happen anymore because everyone's Facebook accounts is so big. There's stories coming in. There's room for...

Kate: [15:16] There's room for something a little bit more private.

Kevin: [15:19] I agree.

Kate: [15:19] Although, I recently went through a lot of my Facebook and selected tools and people put them into a filter of close friends.

Kevin: [15:28] Facebook does give you good tools for that.

Kate: [15:31] Yeah, it's just learning and remember to use those tools.

Kevin: [15:35] That Snapchat, I've started getting into the Story thing. There's some interesting people that you can read their stories. Even some interesting tech people that seem to like it.

Kate: [15:47] I don't actually follow any celebrities or figure people in my Snapchat. They're all just friends or people I've met along the way.

Kevin: [15:55] They use it as a private TV channel doing little clips. They do something similar to a tweet storm where there are people send out 5 to 10 tweets in one go. They'll do three to four clips in one go talking about a topic. You can sit and watch them talk about a topic, so interesting. I actually managed to get a hold of a Snapchat geek a little while ago, Suzanne Nguyen.

[16:25] I had a bit of a chat to her. We're going to just pop on over to this interview that we did. I asked her a couple of questions about Snapchat, because she actually works with companies to help them understand Snapchat. Let's head over to that interview now.

[16:43] You're back with "It's a Monkey Podcast." We talk about everything relating to tech, tech economy and boy, isn't that interesting that we get to talk about tech? Because every minute of every day, something is changing or lots of things have changing. I stumbled across a really interesting person on Twitter the other day, Suzanne Nguyen. Did I get that right?

Suzanne Nguyen: [17:05] Yeah. I have a poem. Is it all right if I share the poem?

Kevin: [17:07] Please do.

Suzanne: [17:09] You win, we all win, you win. That's my last name, Nguyen.

Kevin: [17:13] Let's talk Snapchat. Snapchat started out as, I think the word at that time was "Ephemeral." Sharing of messages and photos, that was how it started where you send a direct photo to your friends. It lasts for whatever it was, a couple or minutes, and it disappears. But over the last couple of years, Snapchat's evolved into a lot more than that, right?

Suzanne: [17:44] Snapchat is still is a messaging platform. People and most users still message each other through using 10 seconds or 10 second max. It goes from 1 to 10 seconds, whether it be images or videos, but lately what it has evolved to is becoming a media-making platform.

Kevin: [18:05] Can you give us an example, you don't even have to name names if you can't, how a company went to using Snapchat in a way that's to help their organizational aims whether it was to drive sales or awareness or branding or something like that?

Suzanne: [18:21] Yeah. L'Oréal is a good example. They've used it to help drive traffic for recruitment for women, millennial women, and they've noticed a massive shift in growth in our recruitment.

Kevin: [18:30] What was the content that they pushed out on Snapchat?

Suzanne: [18:34] What they did was they showed the behind-the-scene of L'Oréal, and they also did a callout saying, "This is what is like working here at L'Oréal. Please come and apply," and that's what they did. They've created short-structured consumer content that talks with the millennials.

Kevin: [18:55] I see on Snapchat stories there's a couple of media companies they've obviously partnered with and that put some content in there. Is that popular? Do people watch that on Snapchat? Because I don't.

Suzanne: [19:05] Yeah, the Discover?

Kevin: [19:07] Yeah.

Suzanne: [19:08] I personally don't watch it, because it doesn't feel like it's catered to me. It's not even segmented properly. All these publishers want eyeballs, and they still have traffic and not everyone could afford or one willing to spend X amount of money to be on that Discover page, but the amount of eyeballs on there is really high.

Kevin: [19:26] It's probably early days for that. They'll probably move towards a more targeted type of curated content, where I could see the value, if they somehow...even using my Twitter graph, social graph, or the people following Snapchat, they could target some content, so it's another content platform. The content that's pushed there, is it done in that Snap format of...

Suzanne: [19:50] It's different, actually. What it is is they have a cover sheet, a cover title that's almost GIF-like, or GIF-like depending on however you like to say it. It's almost like a cross-media way of consuming content, and that's what I like about Snapchat.

[20:08] They're experimenting, they continue experimenting with the way that we're consuming content. That's probably why Facebook loves to copy everything that Snapchat is doing because it validates. If anything, Facebook is validating the idea that Snapchat is thriving.

Kevin: [20:22] You mentioned Facebook. Facebook obviously owns Instagram as well. Instagram, I believe, recently copied Snapchat Stories and with their own feature that's similar. What...?

Suzanne: [20:34] It's pretty much the same.

Kevin: [20:35] It's the same. They also call it...What do they call it?

Suzanne: [20:39] Instagram Stories.

Kevin: [20:39] They even use the same name. There's some new features on Facebook Messenger as well, right?

Suzanne: [20:44] Have you played around with Messenger Day yet?

Kevin: [20:46] No, I haven't.

Suzanne: [20:47] Only Australia and Poland were the guinea pigs. We're the only ones that are using Messenger Day at the moment. They want to see if it's...

Kevin: [20:53] What's it called? Messenger...

Suzanne: [20:54] Messenger Day.

Kevin: [20:56] Messenger Day.

Suzanne: [20:56] The way they market it is, "Check out the day of your friend."

Kevin: [21:03] Talk us through that feature.

Suzanne: [21:04] It's the same. It's the same as Snapchat. It's the same as Instagram Stories.

Kevin: [21:08] You can just whack in a few photos and...

Suzanne: [21:10] The only difference is I thing they last for 15 seconds.

Kevin: [21:14] There seems to be quite a string trend. Twitter's the only one that haven't...they've had Moments, but that's something quite different. That's more of a curated...a group of content around a theme, so they haven't done anything around it. It's interesting how they all draw inspiration from each other.

Suzanne: [21:35] They had their mark of video. They had Vine, which is awesome. They had...

Kevin: [21:40] Why did they kill Vine?

Suzanne: [21:41] They didn't look after properly.

Kevin: [21:43] I think they didn't look after their content creators properly.

Suzanne: [21:46] That's the same with Snapchat. They don't look after content creators. That's the same even with Facebook, they don't look after content creators.

Kevin: [21:54] I heard YouTube looks after their content creators really well, right?

Suzanne: [21:57] It's the only platform that makes money for content creators, but one million views equates to $1,000, which is not that great when you think about it.

Kevin: [22:08] It's a lot of work.

Suzanne: [22:08] Yes.

Kevin: [22:09] I believe there's a studio in LA that YouTube content creators...if you're at a certain level, you can just use the studio for free.

Suzanne: [22:18] 10K.

Kevin: [22:18] 10,000 followers.

Suzanne: [22:19] Subscribers.

Kevin: [22:20] How do you know all these little facts?

Suzanne: [22:24] Because I love videos.

[22:27] [laughter]

Kevin: [22:27] How do you build your Snapchat followers? How did you build your Snapchat followers? How does Mark Suster...On Twitter, there's a little bit of discovery, there's a little bit of growth hacking. You can follow other people, you can...How does it work on Snapchat?

Suzanne: [22:41] For me, I realized, like I said, that Snapchat is a great platform on building up your own TV channel. People still have habitual habits of consuming content, meaning that if I put a show about Tech Tuesday, people would come back and watch my shows.

Kevin: [22:59] Put regular content on there?

Suzanne: [23:04] Regular high impact content.

Kevin: [23:06] How do they actually...? Do they find you on Twitter? Do they search for something? On Snapchat, as far as I can see, there's no sort of surfacing of accounts anywhere. It doesn't pop up and say, "You'd be interested in Suzanne."

Suzanne: [23:22] It's true.

Kevin: [23:23] How do people find you?

Suzanne: [23:25] One is I do a lot a lot of takeovers on bigger accounts or smaller accounts hoping that there is about a few of them that love my content. I generally find that, because of the kind of content that I deliver, I have really high conversion rates and high conversion engage rates as well, within my audience, millionaires, CEOs, broadcasters, other Snapchatters. I have high quality people.

Kevin: [23:48] What type of account you take, what type of accounts...?

Suzanne: [23:50] Do I take? Usually what I do is I like to take over people who are very different from who I am, but they're very strong broadcasters themselves.

Kevin: [23:58] When you say "Take over" that means that...

Suzanne: [24:00] I take over their Snapchat account.

Kevin: [24:02] For a day, Suzanne's the Snapchatter on their account.

Suzanne: [24:05] Yeah. I don't believe in having long days, I just say, "Hey. I'm here..." I usually do about 20 Snaps, take over, give them really strong content, or leave it lingering and they have to follow me on my own account.

Kevin: [24:18] Besides Mark Suster and yourself, what are some interesting Snapchat accounts?

Suzanne: [24:24] Hackepreneur's my favorite. If you think I'm high level, he's more high level in terms of the way he delivers content. He's an information architect that works in the startup scene, and he...

Kevin: [24:36] Hackepreneur. I'm going to see if I can add him right now, and people can add me on Snapchat as well. If you're listening and you want to add me, I'm going try start sharing some stories that are a little bit more interesting than my test ones that I've shared.

[24:53] Suzanne Nguyen, a curious geek of the future...

Suzanne: [24:57] Follow me on String Story, like a piece of string and a piece of story.

Kevin: [25:00] And we're added in the show notes as always, StringStory on Twitter, then you can cue our code the Snapchat...

Suzanne: [25:08] Take a photo, and then add me, and then, reach out and say, "I heard you from 'It's a Monkey Podcast'."

Kevin: [25:16] Terrific, and thanks for taking the time to join us in the It's a Monkey Podcast. That was Suzanne Nguyen, and we can link to her. We will link to her in the show notes.

[25:25] You can always go to itsamonkey.com. We put the show notes up there. There's a full transcript actually, so if you're someone who wants to go back to something or send it to someone, you can check out a full transcript there. That's the news for today, we'll link to the new stories.

[25:44] We're going to take a short break and after the break, we're going to play the interview with Rowee Benbenishte form Sesame Enable, a fantastically interesting technology that helps disabled people use a smartphone. We also checked him about the tech startup scene in Israel, so stick with us.

Dave Zoradi: [26:05] Hi. My name's Dave Zoradi, and I'm the customer support specialist here at ManageFlitter. ManageFlitter's a tool that helps you work faster and smarter on Twitter.

[26:14] With ManageFlitter you can clean up and grow your Twitter account. You also get access to useful Twitter analytics, social content scheduling, and much more. Go to manageflitter.com and start your free trial today.

Kevin: [26:28] You're back with It's a Monkey Podcast. My name's Kevin Garber and, as you know, we chat to thought leaders from around the world talking about everything tech.

[26:36] I was at an interesting breakfast a couple of days ago, and I saw quite an impressive, quite an emotional video about a child that was born disabled and, unlike his peers, he wasn't able to pick up the smartphone and play Angry Birds when he was four or five years old.

[26:57] There's a company out of Israel that's developed some interesting technology that allows you to navigate a smartphone -- which of course smartphones are mainly touch screens -- has developed technology to navigate a smartphone via head movements.

[27:13] It was just such fantastic technology that I managed to get hold of the representative and dragged him into the studio, and I'm happy to say in a Sydney studio from Israel. Are you guys in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem?

Rowee: [27:27] In Caesarea, actually.

Kevin: [27:29] Caesarea. That's not too far from Tel Aviv.

Rowee Benbenishty: [27:31] Not too far. Nothing's far if it's growing.

Kevin: [27:32] Nothing's far. I would like to welcome Rowee Benbenishte from Sesame Enable, which is the company that developed this product, into the studio. Thanks so much for joining us today.

Rowee: [27:47] Thank you very much. Thank you. I'm humble to be considered a thought leader in this topic. Thank you very much.

Kevin: [27:53] It's a fantastic technology and fantastic...the impact of this technology for people that need it. The difference in their lives must be pretty substantial.

Rowee: [28:03] It's amazing. If you think about it, we've had this mobile revolution for quite a few years now, and there are over 30 million people around the world that have been completely left out of this mobile revolution, because they can't physically access the gateway to that technology, which is the smart devices.

Kevin: [28:21] One question I had when I was looking at the demo videos, which we'll put in the show notes which are very impressive, how come the phone manufacturers have not...how come Apple or Google have not included this technology? I don't know.

[28:38] Maybe your long terms play's to exit to them and we know all fantastic Israeli companies are exiting, but any particular reason why this technology is being so marginalized by the manufacturers?

Rowee: [28:51] To begin with, this market has been largely overlooked. It seemed like something not life-sustaining, so there wasn't much effort put into it, but Google have been substantial in the traction we have been gaining.

[29:06] In this recent operating system with Android 7, they have incorporated some of our code into their API, and so now we're able to be an app only, and that obviously provides a lot of options for people to get this technology and turn their own smart devices into touch-free devices. Google have been helpful in that sense.

Kevin: [29:26] Let's just take one step back. One of your founders actually was the genesis or the inspiration for the product, because he needed the product himself, right?

Rowee: [29:36] The story starts with one of our cofounders, Oded, who's a computer vision expert. He went on a TV show to show off a game controlled by head movement.

[29:46] Our other cofounder, Giora, who's a quadriplegic, called him up, asked him to quit playing games, and asked if he could make him a smartphone he could use to order flowers secretly for his wife's 65th birthday. From there Sesame started, and three years later, we came out with the first Sesame device.

Kevin: [30:06] Is it Android only at the moment?

Rowee: [30:09] Correct. Only Android allows us the permissions or the access required to control the entire phone. We have had applications in the past working in iOS, but they would work as standalone apps, and our goal was to allow that gateway for people to control their entire device.

Kevin: [30:27] I'm an Android fan, so absolutely another plus for Android and to have people. That video in particular was really quite special to see a kid that's never had the opportunity to play Angry Birds which is...we didn't think about those 30 million people that can't touch a phone.

Rowee: [30:49] It's much bigger than that, because this today, as sad as it may sound most of our social interaction is based on these smart devices through Facebook, or Twitter, or just web browsing, or connecting through a phone just making a simple phone call. That's how we interact today socially.

[31:09] We can speak about social inclusions as much we want. These people don't have the basic means of accessing that social inclusion and they're left out. This is our way of connecting them into that world and letting them choose how they wish to interact.

Kevin: [31:24] Now, what I found very impressive is that you don't need any extra hardware so the app locks in your face, identifies you, and then attracts your head movement. Now, usually technologies that look the most simple are actually the most complicated to do. Explain to me a little bit about the tech behind this because it seems quite incredible.

Rowee: [31:50] We have two different solutions. One is them is the one that gained more traction so far which is the head tracking. There we use some pretty sophisticated computer vision algorithms to identify the user's face. It takes about a second to do that, a second-and-a-half.

[32:09] Then through that we can control or follow the way they're looking at the screen, and from that we just put a cursor to where they're looking and from there they control the phone. It sounds simple but behind it there's quite a lot of mathematics and programming.

Kevin: [32:24] That algorithm's behind it would be pretty sophisticated and it is pretty amazing that there's the compute power in the phones these days that can handle things like that.

Rowee: [32:35] Each of us is carrying around a very powerful computer without even knowing that. In the past, you would need a gym to hold the processing power you have in your pocket right now.

Kevin: [32:47] Tell us a little bit about the use cases, is there any particular is it children, is it older people, is it across the board?

Rowee: [33:00] It's pretty much across the board. Most of our users are either after a spinal cord injury, or have some muscle disability, or ALS, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, MPTS, people who have some disabilities because of an illness or stroke, or they're just bedridden for a while because of an accident and they get their functioning back.

[33:24] It really changes. Cerebral palsy we will get more children in that area because that's when they start their therapeutic process, but we get it all across all the board.

[33:35] You asked about functions and it really depends on the person. We had a business owner who had to leave his business because he had ALS, and that just enabled him to get him back to managing his business and corresponding with his employees.

[33:48] A child would use it to connect to peers maybe do his homework. We have children with cerebral palsy doing homework on a touch free tablet. It really depends on the person and what they want to achieve and the idea is not to limit them and let them choose what they wish to do.

Kevin: [34:04] Are there any people that are able-bodied people that use it because they actually prefer to navigate through this user interface, so to speak?

Rowee: [34:13] The other solution we have connects to the existing joystick of a wheelchair. Some people find that exciting. Most people would see the head tracking get very excited by it, but we need to remember that the devices are touch devices and so they were created for the touch.

[34:30] Someone who is able to use their hands to control the device would probably prefer to do it that way. My son likes to play games with head tracking he finds it more interesting. There is something attractive about controlling something with your head.

Kevin: [34:46] The business model it's a paid subscription or...?

Rowee: [34:49] A user if you're interested you would download the app and have it for a while to try it out and make sure it fits your need, because we want to benefit your lives not take your money. Then if you find it fitting and it is beneficial for you, then you would pay a subscription fee monthly. As long as you use it, you pay for it. If you stop using it you don't pay for it anymore.

[35:12] The other solution the one that connects the joystick is you would need to buy the technology off of us and it's a one-time payment and then you just connect.

Kevin: [35:23] What's the price point?

Rowee: [35:25] Right now it's free. We put it on the market and it's free for now to download and starting December it would cost $25 a month.

Kevin: [35:36] What an incredible world we're living that for $25 a month someone who cannot navigate through a smartphone get access to a whole new world.

Rowee: [35:47] I agree. This is wonderful times.

Kevin: [35:50] That's what innovation and entrepreneurship that's when it really just shines. For 25 bucks a month someone life gets changed.

Rowee: [35:57] If you compare it to other assistive technology, that's a very low price pay to get connected to this revolution.

Kevin: [36:04] In fact, you don't need any special hardware for your phone solution.

Rowee: [36:09] If your phone runs Android 7, thanks to Google, you can now just download the app and start using.

Kevin: [36:14] Tell me about the company. You guys are obviously funded, I assume?.

Rowee: [36:18] So far we have quite bit lucky and most of the money we have is based on winning awards. We got one million dollars from the Verizon Powerful Answers Award. We started our crowdfunding campaign and right before we finished that we got that Verizon prize. We gave back all the money we got from the community through distributing free devices out.

[36:42] In Israel, we have project in which anyone in Israel who needs our technology will get it for free through very generous funding from Googe.org and a local NGO by David Shapiro. If you need it and you're in Israel, you can just call them up and they will come and give you our technology for free.

[37:01] Besides that we've won several other awards and that has gotten us so far. Now, we're searching for investment while in our market and go out and get it to everyone who can use it.

Kevin: [37:12] How big is your team?

Rowee: [37:15] We're currently six. We're a pretty small company mostly focused on development and that's exactly what we're aiming to enforce just get more developers and marketing and get our product out there.

Kevin: [37:31] Your users at the moment are they mainly Israeli or you're getting traction already from around the world?

Rowee: [37:38] Through word of mouth we have users all across the world. Most of them obviously, since it's given out for free in Israel and it's gotten a lot of media attention, so 75 percent of our users are Israeli's, but the rest just through word of mouth we have almost 200 users across the globe.

[37:57] Anywhere from Saudi Arabia to Egypt, South America, North America, the East. You name it, we'll probably have a user there using our technology.

Kevin: [38:07] It seems the tech scene in Israel is...you guys aren't afraid of deep technology. In Australia, and it's at one of the events that I've been to at this book festival is a little bit of talk about that of the products in Australia versus Israel, where Australia it's more platforms and marketing type.

[38:31] This expo of like Uber equivalents for different type of markets, but in Israel the technology just seems like you guys go deep very often.

Rowee: [38:45] It relates to the ecosystem in Israel. First of all, the culture in which we're encouraged always to take chances, and to challenge authority, and to try to look at things different. It doesn't really matter what that technology is we probably try it at least and try to find a way.

[39:03] If you will look at the accessibility market which is relatively considered a small market. It's not small at all when you look at the numbers, but it's considered small as opposed to maybe cyber technology. We are not fearing the risk of trying something that could start off as something small.

[39:21] If you think of, for example, voice typing technologies. They started off as an accessibility product. Now, everyone uses Siria, Google, and Dragon for sending text messages. It's just a means of being fearless and willing to give it a go.

Kevin: [39:41] There's a lot of talk about there's a famous book the "Start-up Nation" which has a lot of people have heard of and there's a lot of talk. Israel is held up as a fantastic example of a small country with very few resources that has created "An ecosystem."

[40:01] I was interested to hear yesterday that in one of the talks in the morning, that despite a common belief the ecosystem didn't just naturally organically evolve. There was an intent in the '80s when the governance shared the risk with some venture capital funds?

Rowee: [40:22] Correct. We're here as an example of how things work in Israel. We're here on a mission with the Australian-Israel Chamber of Commerce, and with a lot of interest from the New South Wales government, to try and share from our experience of the Israeli ecosystem here in Australia and here in Sydney in the South Wales.

[40:42] The government has always been very straightforward with trying to help this new businesses, through the office of the chief scientist, where you can relatively easy get a grant of a substantial amount to get you through the first stages of a startup that could be the world of a difference for a start up.

[41:03] [crosstalk]

Rowee: [41:04] and that's government.

[41:05] The program that you were talking of in the '80s continues now giving out money to venture capitals to take the risk. The government would say, if you lose that money you don't have to pay us back, but if you do we get some percentage of the profits.

Kevin: [41:22] That's the interesting part they get the upside as well.

Rowee: [41:25] It was a very innovative way to look at funding and the government actually made a revenue stream out of that. It's amazing that motivated the government to keep on doing these things.

[41:40] The chief scientist offices changed its name to the Innovation Authority trying to be more appealing, more innovative, and think of other ways including collaboration with the New South Wales government to find a way to help businesses in New South Wales and Israel to collaborate and receive mutual grants from both governments.

Kevin: [42:01] One of the criticisms of the Israel ecosystem that I'm hearing, is that ironically that you guys are a little bit too good at your exits. In the sense that there's a little bit of criticism that you build companies and exit them, but what about building sustainable companies that you hang on to because whether its ways, or the list is endless and old days ICQ.

[42:31] All these companies that got acquired mainly by American, but notice the Viber thing got acquired as well that was also an Israeli company. What's the latest thinking around that?

Rowee: [42:42] There are a few reasons for that. First of all, Israel in itself is an extremely small market, and so every startup in Israel starts its first days thinking about its global appeal. From day one, you start thinking not necessarily on an exit, but how to reach global markets. When that gains traction obviously the big companies from abroad gain interest.

[43:04] There has been quite a lot of talk in the recent years about the ability to create sustainable businesses that stay inside of Israel, and they're owned by Israeli's, and become big on their own without being purchased.

[43:18] In Sesame that's one of our beliefs. We want to do good but also to do well, and to be sustainable by our own without the need for someone else to lead us through.

Kevin: [43:30] I sense that crowdfunding's become a pretty popular mechanism in Israel. The product hasn't been released yet, there was that hand-held product being called SCiO that analyzes your food and then it gives you a breakdown of the nutrients, of the constituents and they crowdfunded a huge amount.

Rowee: [43:50] So we did as well. Crowdfunding gives you access to funds at a very early stage, and especially if you look at the impact market and social responsibility. It's very attractive to find people to try and take a stance and then influence in that way.

[44:05] Without having to go a very large VC and show our product and a business plan, and going into all those details which you need funding to get to that you could just reach out with a good idea, with a good pitch, with a prototype. If you have access to that market, you can get in those funds and start the business.

[44:25] It won't be good to base your business on crowdfunding, but to start it off, to get that initial budget it's an amazing tool to use.

Kevin: [44:35] Any quick thoughts about the Australian tech scene and the tech ecosystem and compare it to Israel? I know our cultures are vastly different. Australia comes from a very Anglo heritage.

[44:47] It was interesting I was telling my friends in the talk yesterday, one of the talks that I went to, one of the chat tools went to the Australian learning path in Tel Aviv said, "Politeness in Israel can actually be seen as aloofness and rudeness." [laughs]

[45:06] Culturally we're worlds apart. What's your very initial sense of the tech scene in Sydney so far I know you've only been here a couple of days.

Rowee: [45:14] I am very impressed. First of all, it looks like we're right now in changing times and there are lots of opportunity here obviously with the NDIS changing the whole ecosystem for people with disabilities.

[45:27] Also there's a lot more knowledge about startups, and ecosystems, and impact investing and just VC investing. Moving from investing in mines and banking to businesses and technology. It was beautiful to see the things that people do here.

[45:43] I agree with you there is a cultural difference much quieter, more calmer, maybe a bit less risk-taking which is something you really need in a startup. I don't think it's that different as it may seem initially, because people here are looking to make a difference. They are looking to be successful to change the world, change the way we do things.

[46:06] We're not that far away. In a sense we're quite similar since Australia is not that large of a market in Australia as we do in Israel. You would have to look globally to be really successful. That global reach, that global thinking makes us quite similar in that sense.

Kevin: [46:26] Your point that we're actually this, in some of the talks and session's people like to play out the cultural differences. What's interesting in my travels and meeting entrepreneurs from around the world entrepreneurs are all pretty similar.

Rowee: [46:40] I agree.

Kevin: [46:42] Whether it's the vendor in South Africa that I talk to on the street and they're thinking about new ways to find margin and access new markets, or whether it's someone in Silicon Valley or Israel it's that entrepreneurial. When you get bitten by that entrepreneurial bug, and you start seeing the world in terms of adding value and making a difference it's the same language.

Rowee: [47:07] We had the honor of being part of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit led by Obama last summer. Oded, our CEO went there and won up a runner-up in a pitch contest. The amazing thing was there were hundreds of entrepreneurs from all around the world.

[47:24] As you say they're all pretty similar. Everyone does something completely different from agriculture to cyber security, and anything in between, but they're all the same. They're trying to change the way things are done today. They're looking for that edge, the innovation, something else, something new.

[47:43] Most of these people if you look at it, even if they're successful in one business they don't usually leave the entrepreneurship scene. It's addictive you want to stay there keep changing, keep innovating. Once you go in it gets very hard.

Kevin: [47:56] It's a curse.

Rowee: [47:57] Yeah. It's a lovely curse I love it. I love it.

Kevin: [48:00] In Australia, a very big growing entrepreneurial segment is young female entrepreneurs. In Israel, in a way I know there's a lot of equality there, they go to the army in combat roles, in politics and even politically gold mile and all of that stuff, has that filtered through to the entrepreneurial scene?

Rowee: [48:26] Completely. There's obviously ways to go there and there's still differences between salaries in the public sector between males and females. It's not as big of a difference as you would see in other countries, especially the entrepreneurial scene you'd see lots of women just because that's how the scene works. You try to innovate, you come from their need to change something.

[48:54] You'll see lots of women in the entrepreneurial scene trying to create businesses all across the board of everything from fashion and design which you'll see men there as well, to the food, and agriculture, and cyber security, and financial companies, social good and social awareness, just everything, mechanics. You would see it everywhere. It's a very special scene in that sense.

Kevin: [49:21] I was pretty amazed when I've spent time in New York what an impact Israeli entrepreneurs have had on the New York scene. In a way almost more than the West Coast maybe because it's closer a little bit but also on the West Coast. There's some companies like Outbrain, some really big companies that are based in New York that Israeli's the CEO and founders.

Rowee: [49:49] It's not my area of expertise, but Silicon Valley has become dense a bit dense, a bit too busy. Sometimes the East Coast is trying to give a fight to establish itself as a center for innovation entrepreneurship.

Kevin: [50:04] They're working harder at it from all levels of government they're really working hard to reinvent it.

Rowee: [50:11] If you look globally, then Silicon Valley is still the world leader but Israel is not far behind. East Coast is trying to fit in there and trying to create another center for innovation entrepreneurship, and investment, and funding. They're exciting times. Things are obviously changing over time.

[50:27] You can look at Australia as well, and New South Wales government, and all across Australia trying to promote this entrepreneurship, trying to be a startup nation.

Kevin: [50:36] Is it still true that the number of Israel companies listed on NASDAQ is the number two after American companies?

Rowee: [50:44] It's third after China, but considering our eight million people population that's quite a lot.

Kevin: [50:52] Is not too bad. Is there much of a difference between the Tel Aviv tax theme and Jerusalem tax theme, because I know even though Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are so close to each other they're quite different culture. I believe there's even some words. Someone was telling there's some words that are different in Tel Aviv than in Jerusalem like the word for a rally of suits apparently is different in the two cities.

Rowee: [51:13] The word 200 is pronounced differently in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Israel is a small country, so 30, 45 minute drive away is a different country. It would be like driving from Sydney to Melbourne. That's Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and quite similar competition between the cities.

[51:30] If you ask someone from Jerusalem, "What's the best city in Israel?" they'll say, "Jerusalem." They'll tell you to...

[51:35] [crosstalk]

Kevin: [51:35] There's no competition between Sydney and Melbourne. [laughs]

Rowee: [51:37] Obviously. Didn't expect you to say anything else.

[51:41] The scene is different. Tel Aviv has been the center of innovation, entrepreneurship, and the VC funds. Most of them sit in Tel Aviv, but there is a change. [inaudible] who came with us or brought us on this trip have been centered in Jerusalem on purpose to try and promote the scene, there.

[51:59] There have been quite a lot of companies coming out of Jerusalem. There have been global companies setting up base in Jerusalem. In the past, I think it was a bit controversial. Now, it's just another main city in Israel that's worth investing in.

Kevin: [52:14] There's the one big VC company in Jerusalem. I forget the...John Medve?

Rowee: [52:20] John Medve, yeah.

Kevin: [52:24] His company is in Jerusalem as well.

Rowee: [52:26] I believe so. Most of the Large VCs also have an office in Jerusalem just so they don't miss on the opportunities. Because since the tech scene is so hot, lots of the VCs are trying to make sure they're not missing out on opportunities. Where there's technology and there's interest, you will find a company to try and get it.

Kevin: [52:46] Rowee Benbenishty, it's been a fascinating chat. I really look forward to seeing the progress of Sesame and all your related products. I think that's a fantastic space that you guys are in. I'm glad we managed to drag you into the studio just the day before you're back.

[53:04] I just read today, actually, that Cathay Pacific is now going to be flying direct from Hong Kong to Tel Aviv. For Australians, if you're Australian and you're listening, that's another way you can go to Israel. Actually, a good way to go to Israel from Australia that a lot of people don't know. Is that via South Africa?

Rowee: [53:22] Right, but I know that there is a plan to have a direct flight from Sydney to Tel Aviv. They're trying to get it to work by the next summer. That would be...

Kevin: [53:32] The next summer?

Rowee: [53:30] 16 hour flight straight from Sydney to Tel Aviv. If that happens, that would be amazing for business.

Kevin: [53:38] I know they're trying to get a direct flight from Sydney to New York, but that's only going to be in 2020. That's going to be a massive flight, so like a 20-hour flight. There's one new plane coming on. But, wow, I didn't realize it would be that soon.

Rowee: [53:53] Hopefully. We're keeping our fingers crossed.

Kevin: [53:56] We're far away from everywhere. We're on our own timezone. It's one of the more challenging aspects, particularly of doing a global managing...all our users are in all over the world. It's a little bit of a challenge.

Rowee: [54:13] Sixteen hours is the same time it takes to fly from Tel Aviv to San Francisco.

Kevin: [54:19] True.

Rowee: [54:19] That could make Sydney a major hub.

Kevin: [54:21] They have direct flight from...

Rowee: [54:23] Yeah, they have a direct flight from Tel Aviv to San Francisco. It would be just the same time to get to Sydney. That could change some business decisions in the future.

Kevin: [54:31] What airline is that? Qantas or El Al, or...?

Rowee: [54:37] As far as I know, the plan is for Qantas to start a direct flight to San Francisco. I don't know, I think El Al is running that flight.

Kevin: [54:47] But the Sydney, the Sydney...

[54:48] [crosstalk]

Rowee: [54:48] Sydney, I know, as far as I know it's Qantas.

Kevin: [54:52] Wow, that'll be really...

Rowee: [54:53] Let's see. I know, I'm hoping it'll work out.

Kevin: [54:57] Rowee, I hope you've have a fantastic stay in Australia. I hope you will be back and I may sneak over for a tech conference in Jerusalem in January.

Rowee: [55:07] We'll take you out to dinner, you're invited.

Kevin: [55:09] Some of the best food in the world, that's definitely the one thing everyone comes back saying, "That humus in Israel is..." I don't what they do to it. I've absolutely no idea what...

Rowee: [55:19] We have so much more than Humus. You need to come and see for yourself.

Kevin: [55:22] Thank so much, Rowee, for coming into the studio.

Rowee: [55:25] Thank you very much for having me.

[55:26] [dog barking]

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[56:02] [dogs barking]

Kevin: [56:06] Kate, I really, really love that technology. When I saw the video, which we'll link to on the show notes, it's absolutely fantastic where you see this young kid who has just never played Angry Birds. He suddenly, just using his head, he can navigate around this phone and play Angry Birds. It's just amazing.

Kate: [56:28] It's the little things in life. You take them for granted.

Kevin: [56:31] Taken for granted. He wants to be like his friends and why shouldn't he? Smartphones, their user interface essentially is touch. This Sesame Enable translates that user interface into directional using your head.

Kate: [56:50] Wow. Interesting technology.

Kevin: [56:51] It's not easy technology to actually...it looks a lot easier than it is.

Kate: [57:03] The creating of that, I can't even begin to think where you would start.

Kevin: [57:08] They have to monitor the head from various places. They also have to know that it's your head, then it's all sorts of things and when gestures for the double-click and the click. As you heard with Rowee, going to be a pretty cheap program, app. For such a small amount of money, you get access to all the huge benefits of a smartphone.

[57:35] Rowee actually emailed me and he said, because we chatted in that interview that he was very excited that one day, there's going to be a direct flight from Sydney to Israel. He emailed me a few times and said, "That information is wrong. That information is wrong. I don't think..." I think he got confused maybe with somewhere else.

Kate: [57:56] With the flights?

Kevin: [57:57] Yeah, because currently you have to go through either...Israel is not going to Europe. You have to go from Australia, you have to go via Bangkok, or you have to go via Korea...

Kate: [58:09] Singapore?

Kevin: [58:09] I don't think Singapore. Korea or Bangkok are usually the most common ways to go.

Kate: [58:15] To Europe? No.

Kevin: [58:16] To Israel.

Kate: [58:17] To Israel? Yeah, sure.

Kevin: [58:20] You could go to Europe, and then you can fly from anywhere in Europe to Israel, but if you want to go the shortest way, there's direct flights to Israel from Bangkok and from Korea.

Kate: [58:30] I know there's been a lot of talk lately about a direct flight from Sydney to London.

Kevin: [58:36] Yeah. There's been a dire talk about a direct flight from Sydney to New York, which apparently is going to happen in 2020. There's a new Boeing plane that can have that capacity of fuel and range, but very, very long flight. I don't know how popular they're going to be. Unless you're in business class or something, you will just get off that plane and you'll need to go in a hospital to just be...to be on a place for 20 hours, like... [laughs] .

Kate: [59:02] It depends also how long you are...if it shaved any time off your total trip. I can't remember how long I stay in between getting from here to New York, but the lay over time, basically.

Kevin: [59:17] I know, but it gives the body a little bit of a break. To be in a small seat...

[59:21] [crosstalk]

Kate: [59:21] I would almost prefer missing it, actually. I almost prefer a straight run.

Kevin: [59:26] Twenty hours is a long time.

Kate: [59:28] But you can just sleep, watch a movie. [chuckles]

Kevin: [59:31] Twenty hours. No, I would rather break it up. I have to be honest. Unless it's business or something special. Anyway, he's so...unfortunately, I don't think there's going to be a direct flight from Australia to Israel, but you never know, but it was interesting talking to him about the tech scene as well there. I've actually been lucky enough over the last couple of days to listen to some incredible Israeli tech entrepreneurs.

[59:59] The one chap invested the USB drive and sold it to SanDisk for over a billion dollars. That incredible story there. Then I listened to the founder of Waze, which is not that popular in Australia, but it's huge around the world. It's like Google Maps, but it's done in a different way. It gets feedback from the cars automatically. Really clever.

Kate: [60:23] Wow.

Kevin: [60:23] You can see what's going on with the traffic. You can also even input information into them. The community gets feedback of something's happening there or there. That was bought by Google a while ago.

Kate: [60:38] I was going to say, it sounds a lot like the new Google Maps.

Kevin: [60:42] That was bought by Google, also for over a billion dollars. Listening to the tech scene there is just probably only second or third to Silicon Valley in New York in terms of the depth. What's really interesting is a lot of the startups that come out of there are very, very deep technology.

[61:02] It's not just a marketplace or a directory or something like that. You have things like Sesame Enable, or you have things like a USB drive being developed, or something. There's very heavy engineering. Startups, very deep technology startups.

Kate: [61:20] Why do you think that's the case?

Kevin: [61:25] There's a very strong engineering culture there.

Kate: [61:30] That's through their education system?

Kevin: [61:31] Through their education system. Being a developer there is the standard path.

[61:36] [laughter]

Kevin: [61:36] Everyone's an engineer tech startup, sort of thing. Life's pretty tough in Israel. Someone asked one of these guys that -- I was the talk a couple of days ago, "Do you think Australia will ever reach the level of innovation and entrepreneurship that Israel's at?"

[61:59] This chap said, "No, because life's too good here." He said, "The difficulty and the challenge there sort of pushes them, and you overcompensate in a way."

[62:08] They've got a tiny country that's not that wealthy, and they have to build companies that the world is interested in. They can't really build a big company just in their local market there. It's too small. Australia's also small, but they're even smaller.

[62:26] There's 7 million people. It's smaller than the size of Tasmania, whereas we are about, what are we, 22 million or so, around there?

Kate: [62:36] About 22 now. Don't quote me. [laughs]

Kevin: [62:38] The corporate world is very healthy here, so for people to start startups here, they really push themselves out of these fantastic corporate jobs, on a good thing, and to work weekends in Sidney Australia where the weather is so good and the beaches are so available.

Kate: [62:57] It's unheard of.

Kevin: [62:58] It's sort of there's not that many corporate jobs. It's hard to make it in the corporate world there because there's not much going on, so the startup route, in a way, offers you a lot more, and it just feeds on itself.

[63:16] Interestingly, Australia has put what they called the Landing Pad, in a few cities, for entrepreneurs and run these programs to get exposed to investors, and different cultures, and the access to markets. They've got one in San Francisco.

[63:32] They've got one in Seoul, I'm not sure, and Berlin. They've got four but they've got one in Tel Aviv, as well. If you're Australian, you can apply to be in the Landing Pad there. They have six week programs, and you can go over there, and it's like an incubator, and you can...I'm not exactly sure on the details.

Kate: [63:54] Do they connect you with other startup founders?

Kevin: [63:57] Connect you with other founders, connect you with potential investors, connect you with the potential market place. It's a whole program. These days, for wannabe entrepreneurs, there's just such fantastic programs, incubation programs, and accelerators, and conferences, and it's fantastic.

[64:14] Israel, they tend to, once they have successes, a bit like Silicon Valley, they come back and they fund the next round of companies. Like the guys that made the money in PayPal in Silicon Valley, Elon Musk of course of Tesla and everything else he does, Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn, David Sacks, Yammer, all these guys, even the guys involved in YouTube was ex-PayPal.

[64:52] That's what Australia really needs. It needs a bunch of super successful companies, and people will leave and then start these other companies, acquire success, and so it leaves.

[65:02] Israel has been doing that for quite a while but what I found very interesting in one of the talks, and I think it was Rowee that actually said that, was that a lot of people think Israel's tech scene just evolved organically to be good, but it was actually by design.

[65:21] In the '80s, the economy was in a very poor shape. The government said to the venture capital companies, the people that put money in the startups, they said, "Look, we're going to co-invest with you and we're going to share some of the risk. We'll give your some of the money but it means if things go well, we get some of the money back, as well."

[65:41] It kick-started the industry, and it actually made the government some good money.

Kate: [65:45] Sounds like a definite motivation.

Kevin: [65:50] That got it going because people always talk about government shouldn't get involved, or should get involved, because if they get involved it's like a handout. It's not then Darwinian enough, and it just supports companies that shouldn't survive. There are these two schools of thought but it's interesting that it was actually given a bit of a push by the governments in the '80s.

Kate: [66:10] Do we have anything like that in Sidney?

Kevin: [66:13] There's all sorts of programs in Australia. There's R&D tax concession which means if you do something, if you invest in activities that lead to new learning, you can claim a tax concession. If you develop an app and you're paying developers, essentially you're doing R&D, so you can get a bit of a tax break on that.

[66:39] There's something called the Export Market Development Grant where the government helps companies in Australia market overseas. Export dollars are worth a lot of money to a company because you're bringing new money into the system. There are some programs there.

[66:55] Every country does something but...

Kate: [67:00] As an investor, you just want to be aware of them all.

Kevin: [67:05] As an entrepreneur, as well, you take advantage, but countries to actually know where the payoff is and there isn't always pay off from these programs. Just throwing money at companies doesn't necessarily build great companies.

[67:23] Sometimes companies with less money do better because they develop a sense of discipline, of being mindful about what they do with that money. It ends up being a healthier company than a company that's got a huge amount of money and they don't learn to be disciplined. That trickles through eventually, and it all comes to a screeching halt.

[67:44] Like a lot of things in life, it's not straight forward.

Kate: [67:50] No. Never. [laughs]

Kevin: [67:52] Anyway, that's episode 68 of the It's a Monkey podcast. You've been listening to Kevin Garber and Kate Frappell. Hop onto our website, itsamonkey.com. You can comment on any of the stories. We love to hear from you. You can email us at podcast@itsamonkey.com. If you know anyone who wants to be interviewed on the show, drop us a line.

[68:12] We have some great shows coming up in the next few weeks with some interesting entrepreneurs and people involved in the tech industry. If you've missed it, Robert Hazlet from Fortune Magazine was on...sorry, did I get the name wrong?

Kate: [68:27] Yes.

[68:27] [laughter]

Kate: [68:29] Robert Hackett.

Kevin: [68:30] Robert Hackett. Thank you. Robert Hackett from Fortune Magazine -- sorry Robert -- was on the podcast, and we spoke about Zcash which is a...

Kate: [68:42] Zcash.

Kevin: [68:42] Zcash. Aluminum...

Kate: [68:43] What?

Kevin: [68:44] Americans say, "Aluminum"

Kate: [68:45] Aluminum.

Kevin: [68:43] Yeah.

Kate: [68:43] Instead of aluminium.

Kevin: [68:59] And they say, "Niche," instead of, "Niche." But Australians say, "Draw-ring" instead of "Drawing." Australians put an extra "r" in it. They go, "Draw-ring."

Kate: [69:13] Draw-ring. Yeah, that's true. I say, "Drawer-ing."

Kevin: [69:16] That's what all Australians do.

Kate: [69:17] I never heard the drawing one before.

Kevin: [69:20] South Africans, when we come here, it drives us bonkers. We all just go, "What's with the drawer-ing, thing! Where's the R?"

[69:26] [laughter]

Kevin: [69:26] Anyway, in the previous episode we spoke about Zcash, ZedCash, which is a new cryptocurrency where they've basically built it from the ground up, on a new blockchain, looking at what wasn't quite right on the Bitcoin blockchain, and making improvements.

[69:45] We had an interesting chat to Robert over there, on the previous podcast. Heading over there, and there's, if you go to the site, there's all the previous podcasts. We have spoken to all sorts of interesting people. [inaudible] . Melanie Perkins from Canva?

Kate: [70:03] Correct.

Kevin: [70:03] Yeah, we spoke to her a couple of years ago.

[70:05] We've had some really interesting interviews, and I've got some interesting ones lined up in the new year. Anyway, that's enough from me.

[70:14] I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for joining us in the podcast.

Kate: [70:29] See you.

[70:30] [music]