Ted Schilowitz (The future of the entertainment industry)

In this episode of the Judgment Call Podcast Ted Schilowitz and I talk about:

  • Is Hollywood missing ‘good hacker’s?
  • Does ‘core innovation’ or ‘commercialization’ matter more in technological progress?
  • Will Hollywood become a leader in innovation? Does it already provide a ‘permissionless environment’?
  • What entertainment will the iPhone 2030 edition deliver?
  • What is the current state of innovation for ‘wearable glasses’? Do they have a ‘Newton’ or an ‘iPhone’ moment currently?
  • Why did VR not take off (yet)?
  • What is the killer app for AR?
  • Will Big Tech ever shrink again?
  • Are Bitcoin and UBI a great idea? What are good alternatives?

What this episode on Youtube in 4K – The Judgment Call Podcast Episode #30 Ted Schilowitz (The future of the entertainment industry).

Ted started out as a Director and producer of his own films. After that he joined a number of technology companies including RED an innovative producer of high end movie cameras and after working at FOX Studios he is now futurist in residence at Paramount and an evangelist and speaker for the role of innovation in Hollywood.

You may reach Ted on LinkedIn.



Torsten Jacobi: I’m here with Ted Shilovitz and Ted started his life, his professional life as a director and producer of his own films and later joined a bunch of technology companies. One was Rad which is an innovative producer and maker of high end movie cameras and later on he joined Fox as a futurist and now he’s at Paramount Studios as a futurist in residence and he’s also an evangelist and speaker at a bunch of events about the innovation and Hollywood. Welcome to the Judge McCall podcast. Thanks for doing this, Ted. Appreciate it. Thanks, Torsten. It’s a pleasure to be here and it’s another fun, interesting day in what I sort of lovingly joke as our 2020, 2020 run version of House Arrest where we’re all inside our home for the most part living our lives in a virtual world in various ways so this is just another day in the world. Yeah, I wonder what we all did that we got under House Arrest for so long, right? So it’s the two weeks of letting the curve have extended a little bit. You know, I’m really jealous when I hear a futurist in residence. That’s a great title, right, as a futurist but on the other hand I’m also quite worried about you because we know Hollywood has its very unique approach with innovation and we from Silicon Valley, we always feel Hollywood could have done so much more and we think about Napster and we think about the early days of movies and how they are being distributed and I watched a documentary about, about 10 at the movie that just came out, Christopher Nolan’s new movie and actually it was still mostly shot on film. It wasn’t shot on with digital cameras. So how do you, how do you make these, these really difficult marriage between Silicon Valley which stands for innovation, there’s way more places that actually create innovation and Hollywood, how do you combine these two hearts in your chest?

Ted Schilowitz: Yeah, I mean, well there’s a bunch of questions in there, right, they’re sort of rolled up into one thing. I think maybe the first part of your question was that it’s a very common thing when I do a podcast or interviews or go on stage and do a talk and these days go on a virtual stage and do a talk in a virtual world, very often in virtual reality or mixed reality these days too. The first question that comes up is this like moniker of a futurist. How does that come about and how does it, like what sounds like such an interesting job and I would agree with you, it is a very interesting job where my job is essentially to explore the intersection of technology and the entertainment field because I work for a major motion picture studio that is connected to a very large media conglomerate via ComCBS and I’m responsible for looking beyond the pale, looking a few steps out into the world, sort of peering over the edge as much as I can without doing my best not to fully fall over, right, which is a, I’m bastardizing a Kurt Vonnegut quote there that we could pull up later if you want to put it online, but that’s really what my task is, is to find what might be not just next but a few steps past what the obvious people, what the obvious logic says, oh this is obviously going to be next. So it presents an interesting thing and you bring up a point about that intersection between the technology world and the entertainment world. What’s interesting from my perspective is it’s actually always been a technology business, the entertainment business from the minute it moved past the live theatrical experience which is of course still relevant in many ways around the world into some sort of recorded medium, right, of whatever the day was, whether that was nitrate film at the beginning which would burn up and explode at a moment’s notice and there’s all kinds of tragic and horrible stories of all that period of time that was lost to history just because the technology itself was so volatile, right, and then there were a lot of technologists that worked on making it less volatile, making it more stable, more viable, and that was a technology effort. And you can track sort of every step of the entertainment business, call it for the last let’s say 120 years, as a supreme technology effort that tends to wander in all kinds of different strange serpentine ways. And people sometimes overlook that the lacing of the entertainment experience, the experience of giving people joy and telling people story and trying to distribute it and disseminate it in ways that can have permanence, that can be extraordinarily engaging, and can fit with the tool sets that they use in their modern lifestyle and whatever lifestyle they’ve lived at that time is absolutely a technology effort, right? So the idea of being able to distribute motion pictures in a range of theaters that was filmed once and then shown many is absolutely a technology effort. Now flash forward to today and that same metaphor of creating material that can be absorbed in so many ways at the drop of a hat at a moment’s notice is technology that the entertainment industry probably actually pushed the Silicon Valley world into figuring out new veins of how do you find distribution models for content, right? So if we kind of look at where that overtake period has happened in terms of the social media networks that proliferate all around the world, the streaming networks that have sort of blossomed from every company and where all that media is created, stored, and delivered on these giant data silos, right, that live really with just three or four companies, you know, Amazon would be the biggest, right, that are actually the delivery mechanism. So it’s like there’s an interesting metaphor of the delivery mechanism, call it 60 years ago, was a dude with four film cans dropping them off to every theater and then going to pick them up and move them to another theater and move them to another theater. We built a technology metaphor for that that allows a central repository of the guy with the film cans and you as a viewer can fire up those film cans at any time you want, right? So I guess maybe the thing that’s kind of worth reflecting on and this is kind of goes back to the first part of your question is what an interesting job of futurist is. If you’re pursuing the art of being a futurist, what you’re really doing is you’re a pastist. You study the past and you study the language of the past, the use cases of the past and then you extrapolate that into the future. So like my wife and I are watching Queen’s Gambit, this show about chess, right, that has become all the rage and you would think it’s the last people anybody ever was to watch chess, but chess is so interesting because it’s so spiritually connected to the brain and the thought of the past and the future simultaneously, right? So you have to kind of look backwards to see what were all the moves that were made, what is the strategy that that opponent is taking and then you apply that into the future. And it was just top of mind today as I was thinking about as you’re asking that question. I was just thinking that what I really kind of do for a living is play this interesting chess game of moving the pieces around on the board and watching what everybody is doing, whether they’re my competitors, opponents, colleagues, collaborators, and seeing what are these moves that are going to get us to whatever that next end game is. And my end game tends to be about 10 years out. So my entire sort of sphere of what I look at has very little to do with like the next year, the next 18 months, even the next couple of years. That’s actually been fairly well defined. It’s what is so for in the 2020, 2021 age now, what is 2030 look like and what has changed across that that chasm of time. And that’s really where I put my focus.

Torsten Jacobi: Yeah, I feel as a futurist, you kind of in a similar role than a venture capitalist. What’s great is you have your LPs are not as, they don’t ask too many questions, I feel. And because as a futurist, you did the LPs kind of, they don’t need you to make money, right? I mean, not at least on your P&L. And on the other hand, you can also stretch out that futuristic horizon a little bit. You just mentioned 10 years, which is the same as for VCs, right? But for a lot of futurists, and I had David Orban on a couple of episodes ago, he’s like 200 years in the future. He’s basically on Star Trek, right? So he’s like nano props that we shoot through the universe. It’s a whole different way of thinking. But as a futurist, depending on what you cover, right, and how much you can choose the topic, you can be many, many years in the future. And you can be, I think that the great thing is you can be more bold, right? You can have more stronger opinions that a VC often can have too, but they pay badly for it if it doesn’t go as what we all envision. And I always feel, and I like how you framed this, and I think that’s a very interesting perspective on this, that actually entertainment is what people want, right? People want to be entertained. We all want to sit around the fireplace and want to hear those stories. We want to see how these play out in our minds, and there’s a lot of imagination involved. And I think you’re absolutely true. This is where the core comes from, or this is very close to humanity, the cradle of humanity. But on the other hand, if we take a different time horizon, I always feel the entertainment industry is, they kind of reach this quasi monopoly on content, which, I mean, is to their credit, right? They were so good. Like Google has a credit and has a monopoly now built in search, and that’s also to their credit because it’s so good, it works so well. But on the other hand, I always felt maybe Hollywood just needs some hackers, right? A bunch of people that basically have nothing else going on, you just hack something new together, and then they show it off. I think this is how Silicon Valley used to work, at least. There’s a bunch of hackers, often they’re now in Israel or Eastern Europe. They hack it together. They show it to entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs say, oh, well, let’s see if we can raise a bunch of million dollars on it, or go to Silicon Valley, raise some funds, and then it takes off or it doesn’t. I always felt that’s missing in Hollywood a little bit, that you have a bunch of hackers who show new technology, put it out there, and then raise funds on it. Am I missing something?

Ted Schilowitz: No, I don’t think you’re missing anything. I think there’s an important part as you talk about the weighing factors of what we refer to as this thing called Silicon Valley, which has moved well beyond the Valley now. It’s still, we like the term, right? But you mentioned Israel, and I think Israel is probably one of the most interesting, most innovative, most forward thinking cultures on the planet. And when you study the innovations that have come out of certain regions of the world, Israel is by far the one that has delivered the most that affects our modern lives, way more than the Palo Alto and San Jose and Cupertino worlds, believe it or not, even though it’s just a small stretch of desert in the Middle East, they really kind of come up with the bones of how we live our daily lives. So that’s interesting. And what’s interesting as you look at the parallels is both the Silicon Valley culture and the Israeli culture of innovation have come out of large government funded programs that tended to have militaristic aspects and aspirations initially, and then widened out and found other use cases and value points. But it was essentially the US government and the Israeli government for military use cases that would be funding innovation. And that’s really, it’s a pretty well known story, but I guess a lot of people that don’t really dive into it much, don’t really know that the US government as an entity is part of the reason why we live the lives we live today, why we’re doing what we’re doing right now with all of this technology surrounding us in so many ways. And it’s, it’s really, you’ll be really hard pressed to find a core innovation over the last 60 or 70 years that didn’t come from that, that tenant of belief that the society and how it actually relates to protecting its borders and protecting its citizens was actually the base of innovation, right?

Torsten Jacobi: That’s a big theme. I think you’re absolutely right that the way how basic research and publicly funded research and military funded research plays a huge role. But there’s more to it. I think a lot of places do this, they’ve done this, but they never really became an innovation center. They never went to the next step, which is monetizing it. And also having the people who are not, who are interested enough in that technology to adopt it pretty early. So there’s a bunch more factors needed. And there’s this book, Mariana Masucado, is really on that trip where she says, literally the iPhone has been fully paid all the inventions by US taxpayers. And she has a point. But I think it doesn’t tell the whole story, right? The iPhone would have never existed with these innovations lying around because nobody would have picked them up and made a real useful product. And there was some, there were some Linux phones already out there and none of them had real distribution and the iPhone changed the world. And that was only a year later.

Ted Schilowitz: Yeah. I mean, it’s a really interesting point and there are sort of multiple nuanced sides of that equation. A number of years back, I was giving a keynote speech at a big space conference in Los Angeles. And should I wait for a minute? Did something happen? No, all good. All good. That’s okay. I’ll see you back. No problem. I’ll just wait a second there. I just had to check something. Here we go. I’m not sure we’re still recording. So a number of years back, I was delivering a keynote speech at a big space conference in Los Angeles and Jeff Bezos was the other speaker. So he and I had a little chance to interface backstage and chat a little bit with some of these other space nuts that we’re all like, I grew up in Florida. So I’m also kind of a NASA kid. Like my uncle worked for NASA. I saw many of the launches from minimum distance. I did a lot of production work with NASA over the years. I spent a week under the crawler shooting the shuttle, moving to its position on a job. Many years later, I was doing some VR stuff and I actually got to spend a few hours inside the space shuttle. Like very few people get a chance to do that. If you want to pop some pictures up on your podcast, I could send you some pictures of it. It was a kind of a glorious, amazing moment when they said, would you like to go in? We let like five people a year inside it and you can like put your hand on the joystick and sort of imagine that you’re flying this thing and got a chance to do that. So I’ve had this really kind of interesting trajectory. But what Jeff Bezos said at that space conference was he kind of reflected on that point that you made that without the bones of all of this stuff that existed, without the operating systems, without the silicon, without all the computers around the world that gave me a distribution platform, I would not have had the success. Like I did not do this on my own when I started selling books online and then expanding that business. And then as we took AWS into the future and sort of made this the data silo of the world, it was not a self propelled only me and my group at Amazon did this. It was the world’s technology culture and often these large government institutions that were early, early funding agents of ARPANET and all the different things that became the fabric of what we call the public internet. If you didn’t have that fabric of the internet beforehand, he would not have been able to even start on his journey. And I think you could probably ask, if you ask that same question to anybody that’s one of these captains of industry at these very large tech companies, if they’re being really honest with you and very candid with you, they would tell you the same story over and over again. You made the point, Apple could not exist without the bones of everything that was created before it. And it’s also interesting to kind of reflect on all of the failure dynamics across those moments in time to reach those very singular successes, which are very few and far between. One of the most interesting documentaries I’ve seen over the past couple years is a documentary on a company that not a lot of people know of, but they should because it affects almost every moment of their waking life. It’s a company called General Magic. And if you’re not familiar with General Magic, just go and hunt on the internet and you’ll find a documentary. It’s running on Showtime and maybe in other streaming services as well now, but it’s on Showtime and it’s just called General Magic. I won’t even spend the time in this podcast talking about it. If you’re at all interested in anything I’ve said for the last 15 minutes, go watch General Magic and you will be amazed at the company that very few people know about that literally change the way that we do almost everything. It’s really interesting. I want to use that name for my next company. General Magic sounds awesome. I always wanted to do something with magic and everyone talked me out of it in the last 20 years. Well, there are lots of them that have tried and many don’t work out because magic is this kind of interesting alchemy. The other thing that I want to bring up before your next question, because it was something that you had laced in before, was when we talked about the ubiquity and the ease of actually tapping into these platforms, that is what has given all these companies so much power so quickly. They’ve been able to take everything that was built before them and then put a software layer, an API layer, a visual layer, some sort of skinning effect on something and call that a business and essentially modernize a logic point of human behavior and capitalize on it mightily. The latest rage is of course, TikTok, which is no different than Vine, which came and went, and no different than many other short form video attempts, but just that chemistry. What did they really build and innovate? Nothing. They just reengineered the chemistry of many, many years of this thing that we call public data transfer. We’re able to move data, visual data, and audio data around very easily and tap into this mesh of all computers communicating with each other. I think people don’t realize the important little pieces of something called the hyperlink and how without that core innovation of how you link all this stuff together in a way that people don’t have to go to 12 different things to find it, it just shows up, is so a core to the success of every industry on the planet almost these days.

Torsten Jacobi: Absolutely. This is one of the themes that goes on in my mind and there’s basically two avenues of thinking I feel. One is that we have this huge technology stack and you see this really nice with AI. You have models like that Microsoft trains, like GPT3, it takes 10, 15, maybe 20 million dollars just to train that model. You can download it and change it on every single personal computer and can just make it better, which is amazing. The training costs a lot of money, but then just using it and making even small changes to it is basically free. It’s an amazing economy and we see this with AI on a hyperlevel, but that’s true for anything that we see that’s touched by semi conductors. It’s on one hand that’s fantastic because it gives us all these tools and I think it’s going to keep on scaling. On the other hand, it seems a little bit like a monoculture. We have this in one area of our life where these things keep scaling like crazy and that’s Peter Thiel’s moment where he comes in and says everything that’s touched by semi conductors because you can layer all these prior layers of abstraction on top of it and literally goes back to the Old Testament, I always say, because since then we’ve used the certain moral ideas, but now since we have real technology that scales, we put these layers on top of each other and they give us the next layer of innovation and they give us the next layer and this keeps on going quicker. But then the other part is, and I think this is where Peter Thiel’s argument really convinced me is saying there’s a bunch of exceptions like China, but most of the places that we see like just transportation now changing a little bit, but say healthcare, huge places of where we spend a lot of money and the places how we live, they basically haven’t really changed in the last 50 years and I would also to an extent put this on the entertainment industry, yes, we see it now on a different TV, but that’s semi conductors and it’s streamed over the internet. Again, that’s semi conductors. Those are not innovations. They came up with and they pushed and they said, okay, this is what we’re going to try. It’s a little bit like, as you said earlier, we take the vehicle that’s already there and just put the same content on. So the first question is, do you believe in Peter Thiel’s big stagnation theme or do you think it’s bogus? And second, do you think the entertainment industry can really break out of this and like kind of lead the bandwagon?

Ted Schilowitz: Yeah, I mean, I think I partially buy into that and I partially sort of look, it goes back to my first comment about entertainment innovation being one and the same, right? So if we look at largely the entertainment business with some outliers that have adopted compute technology, adopted silicon as the basis of everything they do, just like almost every other industry has in some fashion, you could probably point to certain industries that just simply haven’t found a way to computerize. But if we want to take the industry I work in, essentially every step of the equation now has been removed largely, like I said, there are some outliers that we can talk about, largely from its analog historical processes and modernized with silicon as its baseline. So before I joined 20 Century Fox and now joined Paramount and BiocomCBS in this interesting role, I worked building a motion picture camera, I was the first employee of this movie camera that was very revolutionary and spawned an entire new industry of true cinema level imaging, not video style imaging, but using silicon as its backplane, right? So essentially what we did is we took what we all knew about computer technology and imaging technology for still imaging, which was high resolution, large frame, large format that had become computerized, become siliconized, digital still cameras. And we learned how to make a motion picture camera that would have the same tenants, the same understanding, and the same sort of DNA as that. And that was highly successful, continued to be highly successful. We spawned 12 different other camera companies that some were already very large companies that existed making inferior products and then moved into that world and some were new companies that sort of learned from us and built just like Apple and HP and all the other companies spawned many other groups that do similar things. But if you go back to sort of that initial thesis, if you study every step of the entertainment business as we call it today, whether that’s passive or interactive or some sort of hybrid, so that can cover television, movies, gaming, et cetera, et cetera, right? I can give you lots of other examples. It’s very hard to find a step in that process that is not completely adopted, not just influenced, but completely and totally adopted by silicon. The minute someone starts writing a script, there are very few, there are some outliers, call it five people on the planet, that would type on a physical typewriter with paper. Most people use some sort of compute device. We call it a laptop today, or maybe they’re on an iPad of some sort. That’s just a computer metaphor of a typewriter, right? So they’ve just chosen to use silicon instead of paper and ink and a hammer, right? First step, as you start to look at, okay, we’ve got a script, and now we’re going to green light this project, and we go through all the process of all the executives and all the people starting to gin up what we’re going to need to make this product, right? What are they doing all that work on? They’re doing all that work on computer platforms, right? Occasionally they make phone calls, but these days, they’re all on video chat, which is a computer assisted, this is silicon in action, right? So all the communication is silicon, and even the phone calls are over IP, so that’s silicon, right? Then you go into, okay, for big movies, for big, big tentpole movies, you do a step called previs, and we do very advanced previs, previsualization. That is fundamentally, and I would almost say, wholly 100%, you could argue that there’s a percent of two of physical drawings and things that get done, but most of that work far and wide now is done in a computer landscape using game engines, 3D modeling software, and computers, right? So then you’re ready for that. Then you go into the actual physical production, and cameras, just like the cameras that we’re recording on now, and you actually have me recording on three at once, so you can cut in between all these things, are just computers, right? There’s silicon chips, CMOS sensors, and a computer backplane that allows this to happen. I could keep going on this metaphor, but you get the idea, right? We go into production, everything is a digital computer use case, right? Including how we shoot modern production now with these giant LED walls so we don’t have to go out on physical location. We can artificially create locations with computers, right, and the computer technicians and computer backplane. When we get a finished product of the production, we go into editorial. What’s all that done on? Well, it used to be done on a movie ola with physical film prints, right, and used to cut the actual prints. Now for the last many generations, call it 40, 50 years now, it’s largely done 100% on some sort of computer system, right? And that’s Final Cut Pro and Avid and all the software layers and all the computers that do it. Then when it’s done, we go into visual effects, right, all computers. When the movie’s really done and locked a picture and we’re ready to distribute it out to the world, every form of distribution, whether it’s the old fashioned movie theater with a few outliers that still will run film prints, it’s a digital thing, right? So we deliver a digital print, which is what’s called a DCP and that’s a digital computer file that’s read on computers and the projector itself. I did a stint working in a creative capacity for a very large projector company called Barco. Those are just giant computers with chips and lights and lenses that take that computer data and put it up on a screen, right? Then when we look at all the other deliverables, the TVs, the computers, the iPhones, the Android phones, those are all just computers as well and we deliver that data via compute. So that’s innovation across the entire industry from every step of the creative process, right? And how you create a video game and distribute a video game is exactly the same way. We cannot get away from the compute because the compute is efficient, it’s powerful, it’s strong, and it’s viable. And I think when you touch on industries like healthcare, there are certain regulatory things that have slowed the machine down, but largely in most modern societies, compute technology has essentially taken over every piece of that as well, right? And even to the point of robotic surgery, I’m a benefactor and I’m here doing this today because 12 years ago I had a robotic surgery with the robot. There was a surgeon that controlled it, but his hands weren’t inside my body. It was a robotic device and that was 10 years ago. Now that was experimental at the time, now it’s completely mainstream, right? And all of these things that we do are either silicon assist or silicon centric, every part of the healthcare equation. Well it might not feel so modern because sometimes it just feels a little like stayed and old. If you think about like your healthcare experiences over the last 10 years and mine and everybody’s, it’s largely via email client, via text, via some sort of compute assisted world, right? And it’s just getting better and better all the time. I’m actually on the board of a large cancer research center in central Florida called the Moffitt Center and part of my mission there is to help them continue and really expand all of their technological breakthroughs for cancer research that may not be so obvious to the surgeons and the hospital staff. And sometimes it’s just my ability to say, look at how you’re already using computers at almost everything. Now let’s study what is still not at its most modern form and how can we use things like mixed reality and virtual reality for training and patient therapy? How can we use home health in a more intimate way using video chat? How can we, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, I could give you 20 or 30 things, right? That we’re studying, but it’s not like they come from ground zero. They’re already doing video chat with each other and they’re already sending out emails to their patients instead of sending them physical letters, right?

Torsten Jacobi: So the computers are everywhere. You’re very convincing. You get the point, right? I’m like, whoa, if you, you know, Jordan Peterson said whenever you want to convince someone, prepare at least six arguments, don’t do, don’t do one or two, do six. And then by the time you’ve got to six, most people give up at six. And when you go to 12, people are like, okay, that’s it. I can’t, I want to go somewhere else now, which is kind of what I want to do. And I feel what, it’s how we manage our own expectations. So you’re very convincing and you’re saying this thing, this ship is going, right? This oil tanker is out there and it’s not going to come back. And I’m fully with you. What I’m complaining about on a high level, and you know, Daniel Cross was here on the show and he said, you know, what you do is basically just the first wall complaint. You’re an idiot. Progress is happening. And it’s happening based on Moore’s law and new law and the laws for AI. They scale even quicker. It’s happening with or without us. The question is, will we adopt it and how will these adoption process, how to be fostered as adoption process in society because technology just scales on its own. The question is how many people get access to it and for what price, right? So the AI that costs Microsoft a billion dollars, we can put in our iPhone and it runs on a regular iPhone 12. So I think this is, this is a bit of how, how we have to manage our expectations. My expectations are different probably than yours and that environment. And I think one thing that’s really important that other industries didn’t really have what the case can be made against it, you can, you can certainly convince me otherwise is it needs to be permissionless environment. So everyone gets a shot at it, right? So they literally, when we see this on YouTube to quite extent, we have a lot of YouTubers very successful who basically 16 year old kids putting content online that nobody would ever have considered something that can attract an audience, which is, which is weird to see for someone who’s not 16. But on the other hand, it’s great that we have this permissionless, huge environment. And I know it’s true in the film industry too, because you gave me so many examples just now. It’s just maybe, maybe, maybe they need, maybe, I mean, that’s why they have you. Maybe they work on their PR, but just taking this a little further. And I know you have way more specific examples. I’m really curious to hear them. When we look at the iPhone right now, right, it’s, it’s, when we, when we look into 2030, it will have about a thousand times the CPU power than we have right now, just, just looking at Moore’s law. There’s no additional innovation needed, we just need ARM or Apple, whoever is doing the mobile chips to scale as they did the last 30, 40 years. So this is not like some magic, it’s just, it’s a hundred percent, well, 99% gonna happen. What do we do with the thousand times more powerful iPhones that we can’t do today or it’s too expensive today? And I know you guys worked on 4K cameras at the time, which was a big deal in 2006, while it was unheard of. You know, like we record, yeah, we record is on 4K and it’s not even a big deal or even a cheap iPhone can do it and the cheap Samsung for a couple of hundred dollars and soon is going to be, I don’t know, 20K or 100K, right, if you see the CPU power scaling up and it’s, it’s always doubling, right? So the, the, the, the change is, is more difficult for us to comprehend everything linearly than what actually is happening out there. I think that’s the hard part about that. What do you think we’re going to do with, specifically, you know, with devices like the iPhones that are cheap and handy and mass produced that we can’t do right now?

Ted Schilowitz: Yeah. So I’ll mention two things. You, at the beginning of that part of your discussion, you touched on something that I was thinking was be interesting to mention is what I call the leapfrog effect. So when you start to mention that, that first world problem, right, this, this, and we often complain while we’re stuck in our houses or doing video chat every day and then we say, you know, we’re really so lucky that we can even do this and that we could respond to the world in this way. And these are first world problems that we’re going to complain about. What is interesting is when you escape, you enter escape velocity of the first world and you start to go into what we often call the third world, which I think is now a misnomer is countries that have been less, that had less ability to ride this curve will actually take advantage of the end of the curve much faster. So you can look at parts of Africa. You can actually look at parts of Asia and parts of China over the last 30, 35 years that have been able to actually leapfrog and become leaders because they didn’t have to go through the pain threshold of the first, second, and third industrial revolution. And then the fourth industrial revolution that started to involve silicon, they just kind of got to wait it out. And if you go to parts of like Central Africa these days, they are among the most sophisticated data centric worlds because they basically replaced, because of the smartphone, they basically replaced things that have gone from so like old fashioned and analog and very few people could have access to them. And there was a very large separation of societal use cases and, you know, elitism. And the technology that they didn’t have to go through the 12 steps that we all went through here in the United States and in Canada and Germany and other places, you know, that sort of went through it step by step. They went from step zero to step 200, right?

Torsten Jacobi: And you know where the term comes from, the third world, do you know where the term comes from? No, I don’t. So that really goes to your argument. So the idea was, and it comes out of the 50s and 60s when we had one world which was dominated by the U.S., the free world with democracies, and then we had the Soviet Empire and those were the two worlds. The third world, basically, those were the ones that were nonaligned and usually they were too poor. Nobody cared about them. So that’s what they did. That’s what we talked about. The kind of dismissive we were like, neither Russian nor we were interested in them because they were too poor to make any impact. And that’s what we feel that this label stuck is really strange.

Ted Schilowitz: So but now when you study a place and like I, you know, in the days where I used to travel a lot and hopefully someday I’ll be able to do that again, I would go to parts of China and I would go to Hong Kong a lot and I was stunned at just how much better their telecommunication system was than in the West because in the U.S., certainly in parts of Canada, we’re still living on like a copper infrastructure from the 50s and 60s, right? They didn’t have any of that. They just modernized and went right to a fiber infrastructure and now parts of like what we consider the least economically viable countries in the world are figuring out a way because technology is so much cheaper now. They can deploy at a scale and they can use all the benefits that have come over this 60 years of innovation and just drop into like lighting a match and here it goes, right? So that’s an interesting piece. And then now remind me that the second part of your discussion, because now I’ve lost it, the other part you wanted to talk about. I think we were just talking about the iPhone and what it could be from now, like related to entertainment technologies, obviously, you’re the main expert. Yes, so the core of like, where do we go from here? And there’s an interesting argument that have we reached as far as we are going to reach with the form factor and the ability of what a pocket computer can do in that form factor, right? And I think there’s an argument for both sides, but I think most of the argument would say anything we do in the smartphone universe, and I would take it up and hold mine, except it’s being used as my recording device now for you so I can’t, is that the device, that device, that form factor, that level of silicon, that level of battery, that level of operating system will go through incremental benefits and has been for the last few years, but it won’t really like completely alter again what we do with this pocket size device. There’s actually like, there’s bunches of them here, you know, like I could just give you reference, I have a whole museum of stuff that I keep over the years. You’re that old. Here, just from a point of reference, like there’s my, there’s my first iPhone, right? That was quite a, quite a device. And then like this, I showed you a group at USC last year, this was a device I really loved, the Palm Trio, which was sort of, oh my God, it’s kind of an amazing thing. And as a sidebar, we’ll talk about this in a moment, but I’m gonna hold that up and talk about that in a moment, but to give you sort of a point of reference of what I spend a lot of my time looking at is what I often, and if you watch some of my presentations and things, the evolution of this smartphone technology, right? What we have done is we’ve figured out a way to make the screen as large as we possibly can while still kind of sort of being able to fit it in our pocket or our purse, right? And in many cases, the phone device is so large that it doesn’t really fit in your pocket anymore. It just becomes this ridiculous thing. So once you’ve kind of reached the threshold of what you could do with this form factor, then you have to start to study, you know, what’s the next form factor, and where do we go? And in this little sort of lab environment in my home, I’ve got one, two, three, six or seven devices that are all sort of head mounted devices. Some are mixed reality, some are virtual reality, some over here are like prototype that I can’t even show you in public yet, because that’s a big part of my life is get to experiment with things that are not out in the public yet. And they’re starting to like hone in on one particular target. And that target is if we know where our, our visual system is, it’s right here, it’s not in our pocket, right? And it’s not in our hand, we’re extrapolating from our hand to our eyes, right? And that at some point becomes the limitation of the device, physical size and what we do with it. When we start to understand where is the visual system, can we make compute systems nimble enough, powerful enough, strong enough, with the right type of ergonomics, the right type of sensors and the right type of use cases, is the next smartphone revolution, the wearable smartphone revolution, where we’re basically going to wear our compute tech, right? And there are a lot of like markers along the way, you’re wearing some of them right now. And this little device is an interesting little side story, so I think I’ll sort of go there if you want. You can talk about mixed reality for hours, if you want, or you could just Google my name and go see all these speeches where I talk about this trajectory of wearing the device and why it may seem a little goofy right now and a little like, that doesn’t make any sense. But it’s no less goofy than just 12 or so years ago, when people were starting to like understand that I can do compute on the go with something I can hold. And it’s not really a phone anymore, just as a phone application, right? In fact, the ergonomics of today’s iPhone, I think, are like wholly designed so that you don’t actually do traditional phone communication. And I’ll go back in time, this is my past this world, you get an easy sense of. The last two devices that I really actually enjoyed making phone calls mobile were this device, the StarTac, it actually felt and worked like a phone. And this device, the Razer, which actually felt and worked like a phone, right? These devices don’t think and work like phones, which is why people don’t use them like phones.

Torsten Jacobi: Yeah. Well, you know where they got the design inspiration for those? The last two you just showed, right? Yeah. They came from StarTac. That’s the StarTac communicator. Yeah, this is the StarTac communicator. It just looks like that and it carries the name, right? So we think we take those paradigms we have and we just extrapolating to the future and we hope for the best. I think it’s all we can do, right? We don’t know the future. We don’t know which technology will scale and will be cheap enough. And I’m videoed that, you know, that the smartphones will not stay that way. They will stay that way, but there will be another set of devices. When we got to these devices, these were no longer phones. Already that was the moment where this was not a phone anymore, right? Yeah. You have a great collection there. I’m really jealous. I got rid of all those. You’ve only seen it. I’ve just showed you the tip of the iceberg. There’s all kinds of other stuff over here. You’re going to be rich one day. You’re probably already rich, but you can sell those for someone who’s collecting them. You know, what I think was one of those moments where we all thought it’s going to happen when Google released the glasses. And I think it was 10 years ago. It’s a long time ago. And we didn’t know at the time, is it more like the Newton moment, right? When we had smartphones in 95 or 93, I don’t actually know when it was. I would read your handwriting. It didn’t happen. And the price point wasn’t right and the technology wasn’t ready. When you’re in that moment, you can’t actually say, you can’t feel it. Are we in a Newton moment or are we in an iPhone moment? And Newton to iPhone was 15 years, it was a pretty long time. And I think the glasses, everyone dismisses the idea and says, okay, that was terrible and it didn’t go anywhere. And even Google tried. They have the biggest marketing power on the planet. And when do you think what’s your gut feeling when the glasses, like I’m with you, something’s going to be in front of our eyes. Maybe it’s contacts, maybe it’s something else. When do you think this will actually get a mass market adoption that’s, you know, small enough to actually, we can carry it around and we feel comfortable with it?

Ted Schilowitz: It’s and well, the broad answer is it’s somewhere along that 10 year curve that we sit now. It’s somewhere between call it 2023 and 2028, somewhere in that, in that timeframe, you’ll in that, in the earliest part of that timeframe, you’ll start to see the beginnings of understanding what it means to use these devices. So like in these corners over here, there’s a device I have called Magic Leap, right, which is an early precursor to potentially the success of this medium. Whether Magic Leap survives as a company is an open question. But what they’ve done to set the stage for that trajectory is when you really kind of know intimately what they were trying to accomplish and what they did and didn’t accomplish. It’s a good learning piece. You mentioned, you dropped into this word called the Newton a moment ago, which is an interesting precursor. And again, without giving it away, you’ve tapped into the logic of general magic. And there is a story about the thing that general magic was creating and the Newton. And there is very much some interesting intrigue and it’s like, it’s an amazing story. And the Newton in some ways was the beginnings of that revolution, just like now flash forward to a wearable device. The Magic Leap, the HoloLens, a device like this from a smaller Chinese company called NReal is an interesting precursor to where these things are headed, right? So I doubt you would really wear this in public like eyeglasses yet, but they start to feel like eyeglasses, right? And I can send you some other examples of these things. And they’re light enough and logic enough. And these devices attached to a smartphone today, but tomorrow they will be completely independent of that smartphone or maybe as an interim step, use the smartphone as its power link, but it’ll be wireless, right? So it’ll just be a wireless feed to the display devices that happen to be on your eyes. I think what’s kind of interesting to note, and there’s a lot of like every three to four months, there’s a like regurgitation of the rumor mill about what Apple might come up with in terms of this wearable metaphor. And you can sort of look at the leaders of that company like Tim Cook talking very overtly about mixed reality and augmented reality and what an important part of the future for their company it is. So that’s not a secret. He’s very obvious about it. There’s like a 60 minutes episode where he talks about it in detail. Like he believes that the next layer of visual compute is this kind of layer that drops on top of the real world, which you’re starting to see in the beginnings of it with smartphones, right? Kind of what I call magic windows, sort of pseudo AR. When you get it to your to your visual system, that the world starts to change. So whenever your audience, your viewers, your listeners have a chance to just try any kind of a mixed reality device at some point in time in their life, just have the most open mind that you can and know that we’re just at the beginnings of scratching how this is going to work, just like the very beginnings of the iPhone or the beginnings of the Black Barrier or the beginnings of all this, like when we evolved from a phone to not a phone, we’re now evolving from a pocket computer to a wearable eye based system.

Torsten Jacobi: So do you think, yeah, yeah, do you think there is something like a 15 year cycle or maybe it’s more compressed because I was talking to Bill Ryker who was working at SRI and for the first Newton at the time. And he said, you know, that we all felt convinced that it worked and it did work, but the price point was completely off. So actually it wasn’t a technology which actually worked, but it was like a $5,000 device and nobody would buy a $5,000 iPhone. I mean, maybe some people would, but it wasn’t a thing until a couple of years ago. And do you think it’s this 15 year cycle where, which is more like a, I think it’s more a human thing, but it’s also a technology development thing where the first entrepreneurs come out, it fails and 15 years later, the same technology takes off. I mean, we can, the time frame seemed to shorten a little bit, we started with social networks have been trying many times in the late nineties, and then it took off in the, you know, about 10 years later, we started with the iPhone, we also, when you trace that back to desktops. And I think we were almost there, right? So there was 2010, 2011, I think that the Google Glasses were almost there for the glasses device. So we might be really close. One thing that I felt is maybe the next step, maybe that’s leapfrogging it. Do I don’t think we are really close to it, but wouldn’t it be so much cooler to get like an implant, you know, the neural link that Elon Musk is mostly promoting, there isn’t much there, it seems, it seems to be mostly vaporware, but it seems like it gets rid of all the issues that we have, because we don’t want stuff on our eyes that’s heavy. We want, well, I, when I try VR devices, I get headaches, I’m confused. Maybe I’m too old, right? So my kids think definitely about it, but they don’t really adopt it as much. They’re not, they don’t, they don’t think it’s really cool. They think an iPhone is cool and a really expensive iPhone is cool, but they don’t really think yet of a VR device. Maybe it’s something that we have to approach slightly differently.

Ted Schilowitz: Yeah. Well, again, you say you’ve touched on a whole bunch of stuff, right? So I’ll, I’ll, I’ll do a little more. You can choose. I’ll you take your time. There’s a lot of things I would, I would want to grasp into there. So I’ll, I’ll, I’ll continue my little like show and tell stuff because it’s interesting. So and, and as I realized, I’m walking away and walking away from the camera, you see my pandemic wear, which are my, like, you know, my, my gym shorts and my flip flops, which is like every day, right? So I’ll, I’ll just grab a device like this and advice like this. So in this world, this is a, this is the latest Oculus device. It’s called a quest two. And you’re, you were mentioning what I thought it would be interesting to talk about is you were mentioning that, that compressed trajectory of time, right? And there are some really interesting charts that you can find that show the, the adoption curve of various industries over the last century. So you can look at like how long did it take for mass adoption of automobile technology like this, right? And then you could look at the traditional television technology and the curve kind of went like this. And then you looked at traditional teleph, telephony, analog telephony, right? And then you get to kind of like starting around the seventies, you start to see these curves go from these long linear diagonal curves to a more straight line up curve. And then over the last call it 15 years, that curve starts to go straight up, right? It’s like that hockey stick effect. And there’s a reason why that a lot of people don’t discuss. And we actually discussed it at the beginning of this, of this podcast is that when you have this base of power that is the Silicon revolution that is in every device now and everything that we use, it doesn’t take a long time for adoption curves to happen anymore because it’s all the same stuff underneath, right? So like this device, while it sort of feels like it has a different form factor and a different logic than a television is largely the same componentry as a television and a laptop and a wireless modem and et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, right? So it’s why you can actually iterate much, much faster these days than you could 50 years ago and then 50 years before that and why things happen so quickly. So when you talk about that 15 year to kind of full adoption and finding what’s right and wrong about devices, you’re correct. It’s just what has happened now is that timeline keeps getting compressed. So there is a Moore’s law kind of reference to that too, right? Because as Silicon just gets more able every 18 months and more capable, we’re able to build more things faster off that same base tree. It’s like in the 70s, we realized that we could just grow one tree and everything could branch off that one tree, whereas before that we had to build lots of different trees and then eventually see the benefits, see the fruits of those trees, right? Now everybody gets the fruit from this one gigantic tree that we’re all using in 12 different ways at any point in time, right? And like just every device that I have here, it comes from that same tree. So the interesting argument from a time perspective is things are getting compressed faster. What happens with that is they have less time to gestate. So they enter the market quicker and they expose their flaws much faster. So you touched on this at your age range and my age range. I see the benefits of this and I’m going to be more of an early adopter than most, but I also see the flaws in this very, very correctly. In fact, one of them is the fact this is actually a small little startup that I’m involved in to do a counterweight device and Oculus built their own. I don’t love it. We’re sort of building our own just because it’s just fun to be involved in these things to basically take some of the front weight off the device and wear it and it sort of does a front back weight thing. It’s a small little sort of piece of my weird sort of development life. Still makes it look like a scuba diver. Yeah. And so this is not the end game, right? And even Oculus, which is Facebook, of course, will tell you very overtly that it’s not the end game. They are working on glasses based devices. When you talked about the cost dynamics of that $5,000 Newton in today’s numbers, maybe that’s like a $20,000 device, I don’t know. This is sort of the modern version of that, right? So this is a HoloLens, which is a mixed reality device. You can see it actually has that same counterbalance. Of course, they were smart enough to build it right into it really smartly. Wear it like this. And I can still see you now, whereas with this device, you know, I could see a camera representation through cameras of you, but this is actually see through device. Now, it looks a little sort of ridiculous. Like I wouldn’t be walking down the street with this, but if I was an industrial environment or a hospital or a computer lab, this would be completely fine to wear. Let’s say wearable computer. It’s a full Microsoft computer inside this thing, and I can flip it up if I need to, to like communicate with you like this. But this creates this sort of magical world where if you can extrapolate from the smartphone to this, like this is a wearable smart computing device, right? This is everything that a smartphone has and more, but I have my hands free and there’s all these sensors and cameras that give me full articulation. So if you’ve seen the Paramount movie, Minority Report from years past and people often make reference to Minority Report, when will we get to that like Minority Report experience? I have that today. I use this on a pretty regular basis, right? To do things and experiment with things, and I can send you emails on this, I can watch videos on this, and I can do digital layer experiments, so we have a whole innovation group at the studio that works on this kind of stuff, right? But this device is, I think, retail $3,500. No, this is not like the every, every device, like everybody’s going to have one of these. Here’s the counter argument to that, we’re deep in debate mode now. If you look at really what it costs to buy a modern smartphone, not amortized, not through your provider that’s like, like basically taking money out of you every month forever. If you just wanted to buy one unlocked today’s most modern iPhone or most modern Android phone, $12 to $1,400, right? It’s not a hundred bucks, it’s $1,200 to $1,400. So the delta between $1,200 to $3,500 isn’t actually huge. And within that five year curve, you will see devices that are extremely capable and extremely useful under $1,000 retail and with your telco provider essentially perceived as free, right? That Unreal device that I showed you that looks a little more like glasses because most of the power is still using the smartphone, it’s basically an advanced display device. I think their retail price for that target is under $500. You can check online and see if that’s still correct. But it’s not going to be a multi thousand device.

I’m fully with you and we finally have Apple restoring Moore’s law in their laptop lineup. They’ve been absent in this because Intel was so slow, they have their own chips and they just, I mean, they quadrupled the performance and it’s probably cheaper for them to make, which is amazing. So we just, I mean, Moore’s law doesn’t work on autopilot, but it works over like a five year distance or 10 year distance perfectly. So these things going to get cheaper and these things going to be cheaper than an iPhone or same price tag. Incidentally, it seemed like the price tag for a phone was somewhere around $200, $300. You already spent a lot of money on that, I felt 20 years ago. And now we moved closer to $1,000, which was the price for a laptop for the longest time. And now a lot of people just got rid of the laptop and just add a keyboard to their phone and that’s the same trick. And so it’s mostly human psychology in that sense. And that’s what I was curious, what your thoughts are, because one is the technological progress and it has been pretty stable for a long time if you lock the charts and view. It’s easier with Moore’s law when you can do it all the way down to the Roman Empire. What is a little more difficult is to see what is the impact of human psychology. And on one hand, human psychology, we, and I made this argument yesterday with Greg and he said, you know, don’t worry about all this, your expectations are too high. And I’m like, you know, my problem is maybe the society’s expectations of progress have come down. That’s why that’s what I blame the big stagnation on. It is society isn’t an adventurer’s and self fulfilling as positive as they were in the Old Testament, right? So the Old Testament for me is a software upgrade of the human mind and it’s really pushing people to a higher existence. The New Testament does that too. Most religions do it. That’s kind of the whole idea. I think the Old Testament, that’s why it survived so long is best at this, but that’s very debatable. What I’m trying to say is human psychology kind of controls how quickly we adopt these technologies and how quickly we rolled them out to society. And I felt what happened to us, and it’s getting much better this year, but what happened to us is somehow we pushed those off and we kind of went into these rabbit holes where we actually were not adopting technology as quickly as we could. Like we didn’t challenge us enough, let’s put it this way. And I think this is a moral issue, this is where this comes from. And in the end, you can be an entrepreneur, it’s very frustrating for me, right? You can be out there, you can have a new technology, it works, but nobody cares, nobody wants to adopt it. So as an entrepreneur, you need to kind of forecast, is the adoption cycle, where is it? Is it very quickly now or is it kind of slowing down? For myself, I found this frustrating because a lot of stuff we as an internet entrepreneur in the late 90s, what we figured out and what we put technology out there wasn’t adopted for 15 more years. Like video calling or social networks. And it’s really frustrating when you do something 15 years before people want to adopt it. How do you think we stand on this? Are we accelerating, are we slowing down still? Yeah, it’s interesting you talk about the frustration of like being involved in something before the world wants to adopt it, right? You must have that a lot. Well, I guess I tend to be this sort of eternal optimist and I find a lot of joy and interest in things that are not well defined and well matured yet. So like I think what’s going to be interesting and I’ll make an interesting point because you’re demonstrating it, you’ve been demonstrating it for the last hour, maybe without realizing it. There’s a psychological profiling going on between you and me right now and some device stuff that’s happening here in this. If you’re watching the video version of this podcast that you have probably not really even noticed that I’m going to start to point out and I’m going to go back to a little Easter egg that I dropped about, I don’t know, 15 minutes ago. So as we talk about like making these impact moments, right, everything that I’ve touched on and the 20 other things that sit in this room have made massive impact to me maybe just a little earlier than the normal average human because it’s my job to see where those impact zones are and what’s going to matter and what’s not going to matter. So you end up with a lot of stuff that doesn’t quite fit the bill. And I think if I was going to put some predictive logic on what’s going to happen with this wearable revolution that we’re in, pretty much every tech giant is involved in trying to figure out this next visual compute landscape, this wearable compute landscape. And they’re investing billions upon billions of dollars every year, likely billions upon billions every quarter now. It’s not small dollars that these guys are committing to figure out what that next battlefield is, right? If the battlefield for the traditional screen, whether that’s in a smartphone, a laptop or a television, it’s all the same stuff, just different sizes and different backplane capabilities, that’s a multi trillion dollar industry across the planet, right? What is the next multi potential trillion dollar industry is what is the next visual compute platform? What is the thing that we’re going to migrate to? What’s going to happen, what we’re seeing the early precursors of now is it is influential in these small little segments, right? And if you take Oculus, like there are four generations of a device in in like five or six years, which used to take 25 years as we talked about in an earlier part of our discussion. Now within five years, they’re at a level where the device is actually quite comfortable, high enough resolution that it makes sense to use for more than just gaming and relatively inexpensive like sub $300 to buy one of these things, right? Talk about how low cost that is and all in all logic says they’re actually subsidizing that whole business. It costs them way more to make and sell these things than they’re selling because they’re trying to seed the market. And then what has happened now is people just normal regular people are buying Oculus quests and finding joy and finding fun with it, just like the early, early stages of people that bought the first gaming platform, gaming consoles, like, you know, before Atari and Nintendo became mainstream, they were expensive and people were like, there was a small little segmented group that bought them, right? And then it blossomed over time. That took 25, 30 years, we’re seeing that compressed down to about five years now. So that’s a piece of this puzzle that’s actually really interesting to study as to when we start to look at the next wave of this. So we know because it’s all public, Microsoft is involved in this, I just showed you one of their devices, right? And that’s not going to be the end of their road. They’re not going to find the end of their road at a $3,500, $4,000 device for mostly industrial uses. Facebook is involved in this, Google is involved in this, Amazon’s involved in this, Samsung, Sony are involved in this, Huawei’s involved in this. A bunch of other companies that are of that arc and multi, multi, multi billion dollar valuation companies are involved in this in various ways. And then there’s Apple, right? And Apple tends to wait a little longer, tends to be a little more thoughtful, tends to iterate longer. Apple tends to not be on the front of innovation. They tend to be more in the centerpiece of innovation. They take what others sort of stumble around in the dark for for five or 10 years, learn, watch, rework, redo, find their moment, launch a product, realize that within a very short time people will see that a Gen 1 product from Apple very rarely fires on all cylinders. It may start the conversation and it may start the stimulation mode. But it takes sort of four or five iterations just with Apple alone to kind of really find their sweet spot. And I don’t have my watch on this morning, it’s just sitting in another room because it was early morning, we did this, I didn’t put it on yet. But I’m at an Apple watch six now, five or I think six now, right? And I’ve had a few of them through the life cycle. And it’s just really kind of found its sweet spot in the last year or two. The same thing is going to happen with this visual computing platform. And if you track the patents and you look at what they’ve done and you look at this rumor gusher that pops up every three or four months that never actually really reports any new news, they just take all the stuff that people already know and they’re tracking it and repackage it a little bit. So Bloomberg and the information and CNET have just done stories just recently, again, you could find and it’s all out there. None of it’s new. There’s like a rumor that someone saw the thing a little more something, but at the end of the day we know what they’re what they’re doing, right? Their first and probably their second device will get an interesting amount of criticism and an interesting amount of logic points because they haven’t really found that psychological sweet spot. And sometimes it takes many, many iterations of that device to really find where it really makes sense and really starts both its creative power and its economic power. Now I’m going to give you that Easter egg, right? So there we go. You have it. You have the new Apple device. That’s a whole other discussion for another day, but if we you’re switching to Apple next next month, well, I’m going to show you a little bit of Apple history and you’re actually demonstrating a little bit of Apple current, right? So if we look at the how long Apple will stay into a category and not abandon it until they find the right psychological profiling, the right essence of the device and the right sort of consumer explosion moment, it’s actually the Bluetooth headset that you’re wearing right now. So this device and if I hold it really close to the to the phone there, you’ll see that’s an Apple device, right? This was the very first and this is probably well over 20 years old now. Maybe it looks like the Jabra, right? Do you remember Jabra? They used to have those. But this was look how like amazing and for its time, like how tiny it was. The problem is it didn’t work very well, right? It’s actually really comfortable and it fits really well and it’s kind of like, you know, very diminutive for its time. But this was not a success, right? And they kept trying and they kept trying and kept trying until just about five years ago, the AirPods revolution, right? And then the first gen AirPods, which I actually use more than yours. I have both, but I use the first one’s actually ergonomically a little better for my ears. I don’t like the silicon tip stuff, but I like how much more advanced yours that are wearing. But the most interesting is you said, yeah, this kind of looks like the Jabra thing. This weird sort of psychology of this weird kind of Borg like thing, while I, you know, like, okay, hold on, we’ll give you more visual metaphor. Like when you go back to these days, this is the original Jabra. If you watch, if you’re a fan of alias, this is the one that the guy wore, like, you know, let’s see if I can put that in my ear now, right? I really like those. Right? So the idea that you can, you can use the sound from your job on and not the microphone, so you can talk in high noise environments, I think that was awesome. But there was a weird psychology to this at the time. Like people that wore Bluetooth headsets were creepy. Like it was like, why is that guy wearing that headset all the time? Is he talking to me? Is he talking to somebody else? What is so important with that phone call was like, it’s like some bad, like the John Candy showering salesman effect, right? It’s like some super creepy salesman were the only people that wore Bluetooth headsets all the time. Right? That’s true. There are many, many cycles and many, many years of evolution to get to a point now where these headsets are fashionable and, but, you know, like ultimately it’s not all that less than this. Like the little white one that you’re wearing now is still a little goofy in your ears. It’s just, we’ve as a society kind of accepted that this is okay. This is cool. This is normal and it’s fine and, you know, like it doesn’t affect us and you’ve been wearing this for the last hour and it hasn’t, like if this was 20 years ago, I’d be like, would you mind just taking the thing out of your ear while we do the thing? Cause it’s just a little disconcerting. It’s not disconcerting. Well, I remember, I remember the first airports when they really went viral about a couple of years ago, three, four years ago. And I almost felt like I wasn’t, I wasn’t an early adopter of the airports, but I felt like people are like, I felt like in a, in a, in a black mirror episode, like people were using it to zoom out of reality in a, in a way that because they have two airports and a Bluetooth headset, it was one year, so we were kind of locked in on the, on the other side. And I felt it’s, it’s a little, as you say, it’s a little offensive to have so many people around because in San Francisco, for some reason it took off. A lot of people were commuting at the time here. It took off from out of nowhere. Like there were no airports and then three months later, everyone had it. And it felt really strange and you felt like, well, now we arrived in a weird, strange dystopian future and it kind of, it’s now even more weird. I mean, San Francisco is one of the saddest cities around. Like everyone is like in a big depression. And it’s, it’s, it’s really difficult to, to, to, to see that way more than, say, places like Florida or Texas in the years, but San Francisco changed a lot from this exuberant positiveness that it had, which was always a little weird, but it was, it was, it was as a weird positiveness. It now, most people that are left have this huge depression and they carry it around like a, like in Russia, right? Yeah, Russia took over the new, the new like mantle of what San Francisco used to be. It’s now become Austin or other parts of the country. Yeah. It’s interesting. Indeed. And there’s this big debate about San Francisco and Miami, but I feel San Francisco is now, it’s drowning in its own depression. Like, you know, when you do so, yes, it’s like, Russians have this idea that they always want to be depressed. They want to show off how depressed they are and how much they are close to suicide. And they actually committed suicide. Didn’t work. That’s kind of where we are at now, which is a, is a, is very intellectual, I feel. They always want to be the most depressed and the most negative about the future. Anyway, so the, the, the, I felt the, the efforts overcame this, as you say, this is absolutely human psychology. And I think what, what was often a killer app was not just bringing your music with you, which people did before, but this whole podcast revolution really changed. And people thought, oh man, I now have more time to listen to stuff in a way that doesn’t really distract me much, at least not my hands. And I can learn something in a way that I couldn’t before. And the, I wonder if, if VR AR has a, like a, like a killer app that’s around the corner, right? One thing where you feel like, well, this is not just we were replacing something, but instead of staring at a phone, we stare at the glasses now. But, but, but I’ve seen so many tries at AR, what I haven’t seen, and people talk about lighter that’s in a new iPhone, it will support that the glasses, but I haven’t really seen, or I don’t have a gut feeling what is the new killer app. And I’m not just asking for myself, I’m obviously asking for, for, you know, entrepreneurs who listen to this and say, well, if I go into this field, or what would be kind of things I should look a little deeper at, what could be this killer app that would really drive this growth and then, you know, take off as a billion dollar company two days later. Yeah. Well, you make reference to the, the, the unlock power of when the phone wasn’t an independent device, when it was connected to the world’s largest phone, right? Which is the cloud, right? So you have this repository of everything that you don’t have to keep on device, right? You don’t have to keep on the premises. The premises is just everywhere where you have connectivity, and that was sort of this massive power unlock. So now it’s like any podcast I ever want to listen to, I don’t have to like remember to download it in advance or find it. It’s just at the moment where I want it, I can just grab it. And now I live in, you know, sort of the west side of Los Angeles and 5G has been populated well here. So like the next phase of this is happening, the cloud, the power of the cloud, right? So that’s really like the, the, the thing that people kind of forget is it’s not just the device, it’s the device connected to every other device on the planet and every other repository of information and entertainment and goes back to our, the very beginning of our discussion, right? The distribution mechanism is the world now. So it’s like the device is just the portal, right? The device is just the way to, to get access to it. And as we start to look at the trajectory and that adoption curve that you’re referring to, like what makes the most sense for these various verticals for the adoption of a compute system that’s going to be up here rather than in your hand, right? And you can draw a direct line to everything that you’re doing today with your smartphone and see that there will be some sort of accelerator and in many cases a 10X or a 20X productivity advantage of removing the layer between looking down at the little phone and just the safety of like people in a mobile world, once we get post pandemic again, of moving around in the world and so many people trip over each other, trip over things, get hurt because they’re just staring down at their little device all day long, plus the biological issues of the neck and back pain that people have. All these things are like the ergonomics that are well more important than what is the killer app because there are going to be many killer apps in many verticals, right? There are going to be entertainment killer apps, there’s productivity killer apps, there’s social killer apps, there’s just use cases that haven’t even been thought of the minute you get a compute up here on your eyes versus on your desk or in your hands. And that’s the opportunity, that’s why all these companies are investing so much money and so much effort into figuring this out. It’s just they’re hard problems to solve, right? Yeah, I mean, I can see it for instance, like when you’re on a bike, on a motorbike or on a bicycle or in your car, if you have a way to not look at your iPhone and be focused on what you, because we are relatively focused with our eyes on something that we find of interest or that’s potentially dangerous, I think like the typical thing that’s probably is a bad analogy because it’s going to look different, but like a heads up display in a fighter jet. That’s kind of how I think about it. So you put things out there and you don’t have to move your retina, so you save yourself or you don’t have to move your eyes to get a different picture on your retina and you save you half a second or a quarter of a second, but that might be it. And I think those edge cases might be the early adopters. So I feel like if I see the first bikers with their smart glasses driving around San Francisco, then it’s up to something, right? It’s someone on an edge case who sees immediate benefits. Like you see, like I can think of a 360 degrees, like you’re on a bicycle, you never know what’s going on behind you so well because you have to focus on where you’re going. If you get a 360 degrees, that would make a huge difference to safety of bikers. So I think they would readily spend a couple of hundred dollars on this. Yeah, if you think about just the automotive industry and how they’ve adapted cameras and sensors in cars, which are inherently very dangerous to reduce the danger, the rear backup cameras have probably saved countless lives already, right? And countless dollars of like metal, like having to be replaced because you saw what was coming. And the next step of this is, okay, once we figured that out, can we let the car drive itself? Like I have a car that drives itself. Very often I’m on long road trips. I would actually, and I’ve done this, I’ve done podcast, video podcasts where in the Tesla and like the car is driving itself, I can totally do this. It’s fine. I have to touch the steering wheel every now and again, but it’s ultimately way safer than me. You know, I’m just one human that’s sort of a bad driver anyway. The car is just a way better driver than me. And once we get more and more people to accept it, it doesn’t mean it’s a perfect system. It’s going to fail sometimes and it hasn’t been tragic incidents, but I think statistically over time we’ll realize that this was a much, much better approach when you remove the human from that dangerous activity. Same metaphor is once we started figuring out, let’s put a camera so that people could see what’s behind them in the car, we just removed a big danger area, right? And to your point, when we get compute up here, we’re going to find all kinds of things just like we found all the value of that audio system that you’re wearing right now, right? It’s comfortable. It’s logical. It’s somewhat fashion forward. And what the byproduct, when you talk about sort of the Silicon Valley economics of this, this is kind of what’s fascinating. You should look up today what the statistics are. But last year, last time I checked, those Apple AirPods, if Apple were just to separate that as its own business, like it was, this is the company that just sold AirPods. It was Apple subsidiary X and all they did was sell that piece of technology. Guess how big of a company that would be? It’s terrifying how big a business that is. It would be, I think, the 32nd or 33rd largest company on planet Earth in terms of revenue. It’s like a $200 billion business in terms of its valuation right now, which is sort of like, what? Just your phones are that big? Yeah. The trouble is to, with most Apple things, and that’s what scares me, I don’t know how you think about that. It’s kind of a monopoly play. Nobody could have pulled off, well, I wouldn’t say nobody, but it was very difficult for someone outside the Apple ecosystem to pull off the Apple success. Even if they had the same product, the better product, maybe more battery time, what I feel is not a good idea. We have these huge monopolies, and I think they leave a lot of innovation out there because they initially think, and this is how they have to select, right, they have to find something that moves their bottom line. So they don’t even look at lots of things that would be really useful, maybe they would exponentially grow, but they just dismiss it because, oh, this doesn’t look like a trillion dollar opportunity, so don’t even worry about it, right? And I feel, because we have these monopolies who are the only ones who can pull off a lot of those, and it’s not fully permissionless anymore, I’m really concerned, I keep telling those people, they say, oh, online advertising is so great, and it’s so easy to get all my customers, but it’s also way more expensive, and because we have this duopoly, we don’t really know what we could have come up with if online advertising would be so much cheaper. That means more startups reaching their customers for less money. How do you feel about these huge monopolies, and you work, you know, kind of for a duopoly or oligopoly yourself, how do you think this really stifles innovation? I feel like, yes, we see great innovation that has big impact, but a lot of stuff that we initially don’t discount might have great impact, too, and we completely dismiss it. Right. So what you’re bringing up is a really interesting area of discussion. This alone, that last question, could be its own two hour podcast, like just that, right? So I’ll try and give you the 10 minute version, which is not going to be easy for me, because I put a lot of thought into this, it’s a big discussion area. If we get back on our debate stage, there would be three of me that would take three points of view on this. The first one is that the word monopoly is actually a historical word that doesn’t actually have any real relevance to today’s version of what I call platform dominance. I do not believe in my mind, and I’m sure people could make, the other Ted would make a different debate point to argue the other side of this, that there are really, there is not really in most cases, there are probably some edge cases, just like the film guys still shooting film and stuff, which is great and all, you know, find what they want to do. It’s very hard pressed for me to make an argument that there are true monopolies anymore. Because of the ability for many companies to tap into the technology base, to tap into the trunk of that tree and grow their own branch, there are absolutely technological dominant players, right, that take every competitive advantage that they can to try and own as much market share as they can, and that is to me fundamentally different than a true monopoly where you simply do not have other choice, right, where it’s like, and again, this is a nuanced argument, there’s an argument on the other side, but one of the arguments I heard as we talk about the Google monopoly of search, right, is that they’re really smart and savvy lawyers, we’re looking for how do they verbalize that this is actually not a monopoly anymore, and is that their interesting use case, which I thought was pretty valuable to me, like as I sort of thought, thinking about it, is the most dominant player in terms of the application you would use to search the Internet is not Google, it’s not Chrome. It’s now, I think it’s called Edge, it used to be Internet Explorer, because Microsoft loads, right, and preloads a browser onto your device, and the first, you know, when you buy a Windows computer or any kind of computer that runs Windows, you would have to go through, I mean, maybe there’s some that don’t do this, but for the most part, you would have to go through the Microsoft browser, and the first thing many people do is they search for Google Chrome and they download Google Chrome or they download Firefox or anything else that they want, right, so just the ability to have that ease of like, if you don’t want to use Google, you can use Bing, like it’s the preloaded one that you actually have to go through that gate to get to, and that’s an interesting argument on, yes, there’s absolutely technology dominance with Google, they are the biggest player by far, they own the most market share, but it’s not like, you know, in the days of like the railroad monopolies, there were four companies and there was no other way you could get a railroad mounted because it was just too expensive, that’s a monopoly, a monopoly, right, so technology is the ultimate democratic sort of builder, like it’s interesting, like there are plenty of other online shopping networks, right, out in the world, Amazon sort of feels like a monopoly, but it’s really just the most dominant player, right, and Walmart has a pretty big online shopping community, arguably not as big as Amazon, but it’s not a small business, what Walmart runs with their version, and then there’s Shopify, which powers all of these other, and Shopify is a very large business that powers a lot, so you see where I’m going with this, right, and this is like you said, I can keep making these points, so you go, okay, we get it, yes, you made your point. I think it’s an interesting study to study the modern equation of dominant platforms, and the ability for people to choose alternatives is the most important part. Now, if you just choose to say, well, this, I get a lot of value out of this, and I’m okay if they track my data, and there’s a pushback on that, right, and that’s another hour long discussion, we could go on both sides of that equation, because I live on both sides of that equation, I mean, we’re on a Google platform right now, you’re recording this on Google Hangout, it works fine, they’re very likely listening to some keywords over the last hour and a half that we talked about, and we’ll use it to send me an ad at some point, right, because you said, let’s do it on Google, okay, that’s fine, I’m a big fan of FaceTime for video chat, because I just really like FaceTime, I’m an Apple guy as we’ve talked about and connected to Apple in so many ways, but because Zoom has become the hotness of the day, we use a lot of Zoom, and I know that there’s some nefarious stuff going on in the background with Zoom that Apple is probably not doing, in the latest piece of this same discussion, when Zuckerberg and Tim Cook kind of got into it in this little cat and mouse game of not really calling each other out, but calling each other out, the Facebook team made the point about messaging, right, that the default messaging system that lives on an Apple iPhone is Apple’s default messaging system, it’s like Google search, right, is that monopolistic tendency, or is it just we build an ecosystem and this is our tool, you could go through the extra five steps and choose to use WhatsApp or WeChat or the Facebook Messenger, right, if you wanted to, but most people that buy an Apple device just use the Apple messaging system, okay, it’s a given, right, I, because I tend to work in technology, actually use all of them, so I am anti monopolistic because I have people that I communicate with on WeChat, I do that every week, some on WhatsApp, a few on Facebook Messenger, but I find it like it’s not my jam, so I just like leave it off to the side on much more of a WhatsApp guy, and you do have choice, right, because the technology is fairly straightforward, if you’re willing to go the extra mile and push two more buttons to download the thing and get it, right, and they don’t restrict it, so. Yeah, I mean, you make very good arguments, and I mean, we can certainly make that argument that the advantage of having access to all this free technology outweighs the downside, and I think this is a very valid argument, we never had a time like this where we get so many free tools all the time, like the attention, we have heard that the only commodity is now attention because there’s so many free things waiting for us, and they’re all useful, I mean, most of them are useful, let’s put it this way, and I mean, I do see that viewpoint absolutely, but the trouble, I think, is that it’s not just that, I mean, and if I’m Google, if I would be CEO of Google, I would strive to extend my monopolistic power, I mean, I’m not blaming them for it, I think every startup should be a monopoly. Capitalism is all about extending dominance, right, I agree. They should try, but I think what’s fascinating to me is that there wasn’t this moment where you see parts of that, and I think you can’t replace Google search in its core because there’s so much user input, you can have the best algorithm, there’s no point even competing with it, but there should be other, it should move on to the next thing, and the next thing should often be from startups, and usually right now they have, Google, Apple, they have all access to billions of dollars, trillions of dollars of free finance, which actually meant for more airlines, you know, struggling companies, that’s kind of a weird policy that the FAD has, and it’s extended to these huge companies, and they don’t buy a lot, that’s kind of what I’m as an entrepreneur always a little depressed about, they only buy electricity, some silicon, and people, right? But otherwise they don’t buy anything, they don’t buy companies, they don’t buy, there’s no suppliers really that work for Google, I mean there’s a catering company, there’s someone who’s delivering hardware, but that’s very limited, and I always feel this is like this strange UFO economy that runs its ship, and it’s beneficial, I’m not saying it’s definitely helping everyone, but I think there’s an alternate reality where parts of Google’s business would become not a Google business, but another startup that they eventually buy. So think about the YouTube story, right? That’s I think is a good story. You have some things that you develop yourself, and Google Plus never took off, and their own Google video never took off, but YouTube took off and they bought it, but we have seen very few of those, and Apple almost never does an acquisition like that. So it’s interesting, now I’ll put my other debate head on, I’ll put the other side of the equation on, right? Because you mentioned a few things that I agree with, and I believe that is exactly what we’re struggling with. What’s interesting in your podcast is called Judgment Call, because this past whatever how long we’ve been talking about this, 15 minutes, is absolutely in this gray area of Judgment Call, and societal pressures, and your belief structure, and it’s not like anybody that says these are simple, clear cut issues is naive and has not really studied them, because it is not, right, in any way, shape, or form. So the first thing you mentioned is there’s all these free services and so forth and so on. That’s a misnomer, right? This is free. You are paying for it in some way, shape, or form, right? First of all, your taxes paid for the ability, as we talked in the beginning of this, to actually even allow any of this to happen, right? So the fact that if you’re a citizen of, let’s call it in the United States, we’re both United States, you have actually paid some of your hard earned money to allow these things to exist and earn way more money than you may have ever earned, right? So that’s an awareness moment, right? When you start to actually study that concept of free, you realize how much profit these people and these companies, if you haven’t watched the social dilemma on Netflix, I think it’s on, it’s a very valuable piece to watch, because it gets deeper into this psychology of this, right? And there’s a very trendy sort of language around the two industries that call their customers users, right, and it’s drug dealers and gigantic tech companies, tech platforms, their users, right? Because you’ve tapped them into this belief structure that they’re getting something for nothing and they are being mined for their human ability to pay attention to certain things and then they can sell that ad revenue at massive, massive profits, which is why Facebook is an $800 billion valuation company right now, right? I mean, it’s interesting that the larger companies are still the ones that make actual products, right? And Facebook has tried to turn themselves into a product company by buying Oculus, right? And they’re successful at doing that. And to me, they get a lot of credit for that because it’s not just about data mining, it’s about building a product and a service and delivering it, but Apple, depending on where their stock sits at any given day now, is $2.2 to $2.4 trillion company selling largely products and services and we could make the argument that they have built this thing that restricts innovation and that’s a whole nother part that you were just discussing, right? The innovation quandary. I read an interesting article somewhere along the last few years about someone really studying innovation and they said that Amazon is potentially the worst offender at quashing innovation because they will just watch companies and snatch them up the minute that there’s any sort of threat level to what Amazon may or may not be doing. And very often, those companies just never see the light of day. The founders will make some money, they’ll work on an Amazon contract for a little while, sort of live in that world and that’s great for them. They probably would, you know, most of these companies as a startup probably will never be that successful anyway, right? So again, multiple debate hats here, right? But the purest culture of innovation and like real innovation bubbling all the time and new ideas really showing up was in the like 60s to the 80s. And from the 80s on, we actually saw less innovation, more tech dominance and absorption of that. If you want a really good sort of story around the upside downside of how aggressive Amazon can be as a company, just look up the story of diapers.com, which is a well known story about a company that didn’t want to sell to Amazon and basically Amazon essentially forced them to sell at a much lower price than they started with. Diapers.com, it’s a really interesting story. So this is like, we can go on for a long time about this, it’s a very interesting debate discussion. Yes, I’m just saying I’m very happy that finally someone is agreeing with me because I make this argument a lot and most people look at me like I’m crazy and say, no, I mean Google is the best thing that ever happened and how can you even dismiss this? And I’m like saying, no, there’s an alternative history that we should at least take a look at and people are not open to that idea for whatever reason. The probably last question, I know you’re very busy and we’re running out of time. What I was curious about and this is related to this, now we defend and I think there’s something wrong with that policy, but I’m open to the other side of that argument. We print a lot of money, right? So the last, I think 40% of all dollars I reprinted were printed in 2020. There’s a ginormous amount of dollars that we print and modern monetary theory is something I only partially understand and I do know a lot about the history, but I don’t understand it fully. So that being said, I feel like we have this one choice where we look at the world right now and say, okay, this system that we build is unfairly giving advantage to the incumbents because it gives them basically free access to trillions of dollars of free loans. On the other hand, for entrepreneurs, the world hasn’t gotten much better. I feel the entrepreneurial opportunities have gone down the last 50 years, exceptions in the 90s apply, of course. And this is weird in a place like the US that’s actually founded in entrepreneurial values or has the most values incorporated compared to any other country in the world. And now we print all this money. I found it interesting. Do you think, will we use this money to actually scale technology out there? So will that money is kind of a loan that we give ourselves, right? We draw some money out and say, okay, well, we have this great amount of technology, looks very promising, and we talked about the AR part, but there’s a whole backend part that I call it the backend part, the whole AI part, which solves all the questions and kind of generates 10 billions of humans for us and they can serve us, so to speak, or 100 billions of AIs. Do you think we are on a good trajectory? And I know you’re not an economist, but do you think we should kind of double our bets and double down and print as much money as we can and hope for the best and see that this thing will take off and make everyone save and we never have to work again? Or do you have, I know you’re an optimist, but do you feel like, well, what we are doing here is really, we are just running deeper into this rabbit hole where we see lots of lots of people who are younger who don’t have as opportunities as they would expect. We can talk about, it’s another podcast, how millennials deal with the opportunities given. But do you feel we should be on the right trajectory there or something really, there’s a storm brewing? Again, these are super good questions that have deep, deep dive down, like how do we get there? So you made the point, I’m not an economist, I’m not a financial expert, but I do have some theses around this that relate to technology and the human equation, right? So I’ll do my best to sort of bring my perspective to this. You touched on something really interesting when you talk about printing money, right? The minute that we, and actually it’s interesting because you know, I’m from the United States, you’re from Germany, we both had interesting periods of our history where our currency became worthless, right? Like the Confederate currency and the German mark 1.0 was literally, they would burn it in the streets because it had no value at a period of time, right? Historical discussion. But it’s a, as we look at the past versus the futureist sort of thing, it’s a very important telling moment where we know how this movie ends once we remove reality from currency, right? So I guess maybe the thing that I would spend a little time talking about is the new forms of decentralized currency and degovernmentized currency, which relates to, you know, cyber currency and the blockchain, right? So blockchain mathematical equation, it’s not based on the fiat structure of the idea that a government is the authority that gives currency its weight and its value and its permanence, right? It’s now, the blockchain allows us to have mathematical importance that is not politicized and is not artificial, right? It’s literally like, it’s worth this because it’s worth this. So if you, even cursory, and I’m by no means a Bitcoin expert, if you study Bitcoin and those that have bought Bitcoin, I’ve been sort of on an interesting like life with Bitcoin in various ways, just like a lot of technologists have, I imagine you have to. You know that there’s a finite amount of Bitcoin. Now, I guess that could change at some point, right? Someone could say, oh, we’re actually going, because I think it’s 21 million coins is the finite, like that’s it, that’s the amount that can be mined, and then that’s the amount of money that’s in circulation. As long as that doesn’t break, that is actually probably a more secure system for currency valuation in the future than the government standards of currency because they have the ability to break free of what used to be called the gold standard. You had to have an amount of gold in a vault to say, this is how much paper we can print that represents that. Once we cracked that, once we said, well, that’s, you know, we’re going to lie now. We’re not going to actually do that anymore. We get these things called inflation and hyperinflation and the perspective of things changes, but I think it’s really interesting to study currency and the modernization of currency, removing it from the government equation because it is so powerful, right? And it drives so much in so many ways. I think it would like, I would listen to a podcast with you and Bitcoin experts that aren’t like all about like the geekiness and tech of Bitcoin, but the philosophy behind Bitcoin and what makes Bitcoin. I haven’t checked it this morning, but yesterday it was $47,000 a coin, right? And it’s only what, 12 years old, 14 years old, something like that. At one point it was like 0.8 cents a coin, right? So the legitimacy of that being built not on political ramifications or political regimes or artificiality, the security is built on that. The security is built on the fact that there’s a finite amount and as people perceive it having more legitimacy and then there’s news cycles within the tech world that affect this. So like when Elon Musk says, I’m going to buy a couple of billion dollars of Bitcoin and I’m going to accept Bitcoin and I’m going to legitimize it, again, you saw a whole another pop in Bitcoin, right? So a lot of people are capitalized on it, but it’s few and far between the like the amount of humans that own Bitcoin versus the amount that don’t own Bitcoin is, it’s stunning like, and you know, the other thing is like from a stock equity standpoint, I think the statistics are of the citizens of the United States, half, like almost half have never bought an equity, have never bought a stock, half of the population, like how do we help train them? And it’s interesting to study Robinhood. On the Bitcoin front, I talked about one little startup I’m involved in the VR side, a good friend of mine started a little startup just to help people buy Bitcoin because it’s so hard to buy Bitcoin, setting up a wallet, doing a hardware wallet, a software wallet, there’s all these different services, and I’m tech forward and sort of sort of geeky, but he is my like, he’s my Yoda, like without him, I couldn’t figure it out, right? So he’s like, it’s really hard to buy Bitcoin, we should start a little company called click to buy Bitcoin, which is like the easiest way to buy Bitcoin. So like this, there’s stuff out there, right, that I’m interested in in terms of the financial worlds. And it’s a really important part of our future that only a small percentage of the human population has figured out where this is going yet. And I’m among that population, but I’m not nearly the most savvy on that population. So I would say for sure I would listen to someone that, because it’s maybe more important than anything we talked about for the last hour is how does all this stuff get financed, right? And what is happening with the traditional economies of the world that no longer have a relevant base of reality anymore, and it’s the tech geniuses that have figured out we need a new reality. Yeah. I mean, I see your libertarian opinion coming through, and I think this is what a lot of people are going into. I consider myself in that same corner. But on the other hand, I’m still, you know, I think what would be underestimated, and this is going back to the self fulfilling prophecy of the old testament or starter where we see this in many places, it’s, if we can fix the institutions and make this as a state work again, it’s much more powerful than if we all retreat in our own little corner and say, oh, I’m only, I’m a Bitcoin guy, and I’m a Dutch coin guy, but actually I don’t like dollars. So if we get the spirit of coming together and we all challenge ourselves to look into a better future, if we can get this back, and this is a big F, that might never happen, but if we can make this happen, we have a much brighter future, then say what the libertarian idea is a bit like Lebanon, right? So I’m on my own. I don’t need the state. I don’t really care about my neighbors, or like India has that too. And I can do well, and I excel at my own power, and that’s great, but it doesn’t compound as much as when you get a whole society to move in that direction, ideally voluntarily. If they don’t take it unvoluntarily, you’re in trouble because they sooner or later revolt and you’re being shot. Can I ask you a question that relates to this, because I’m curious your opinion on this. As it relates to this discussion we’ve been having for the past half hour, where do you stand on, because we talked a lot about this like underbelly of that the United States population and many populations around the world have essentially paid to enable this world that very few companies are now multi trillion dollar valuation, high billions valuation, and the general population does not really see the benefit of their tax dollars, right? It just has gone all into this hyper focused wealth model for a very small number of people on the planet. Andrew Yang, who ran for president, had an interesting thesis about people should actually capitalize on the fact that they helped these companies become the multi trillion dollar giants that they are with monopolistic tendencies as you make a point and all these things. Should we all be able to get as a group collective, should we be able to get a taste of that? And it feels like this very socialist hyper liberal thing, but when you studied a little more, you know that in Alaska, everyone gets a dividend if you’re a citizen of the state of Alaska in the United States, you get money from the fact that they tap into the natural resource of Alaska, which is oil, and every citizen can actually get money. I don’t know what the actual figure is, it might I think it be a thousand dollars a month or something. It’s not a millions of dollars, but it’s not a small amount of money. Should that be extended across the fact that technology is the world’s oil now, right? Technology is the most profitable business on the planet. A really good example is the, we talked about Zoom earlier, Zoom now has a valuation larger than ExxonMobil. And if you asked 10 years ago or five years ago, anybody on the planet, would an internet startup that’s basically doing like another version of Skype or another version of FaceTime have a valuation bigger than ExxonMobil, the most profitable company in the world pre pandemic? I would say, no, of course not. It might make some money, but it’s not going to have a $200 billion valuation, right? How does that change the equation, and I’m curious your opinion on this, of the fact that as U.S. citizens or citizens of Germany or citizens of Italy or citizens, any place where companies are making money off the technology base, we all got going for them with our tax base and our universities and our programs, should there be that Andrew Yang thing? And is it actually liberal or is it more conservative like it is in Alaska? Yeah, I feel like I bounced around on both sides of that argument a lot the last couple of years. And I started out being in a libertarian position and the main argument there is that money given to you doesn’t replace your job. And if you don’t have a job, it’s a big amount of purpose that you lose in your life. And I think that’s true. Because there’s a lot of social communication, I challenge myself, so there’s a lot to it. But on the other hand of that argument is how do we, your job isn’t everything, there’s tons of things in your community you can get a lot of purpose out. And we think job is like, a job is our equivalent to going on the field and working on the field. Nobody does that anymore and now we work in these office spaces or now we work at home. Is that really necessary? That’s debatable at this point. And I feel it’s an, when a lot of people say, oh, this is just like welfare and it can be, right? That actually can be made. Well, we have to be careful about going down that rabbit hole, right? But if you say it’s an investment and you invest in your human capital, which sounds very socialist, but in the end, this is what every company does, right? So every, the most important thing about a company is hiring to write talent and everyone has a different idea about talent, but in the end, those are the people who create something better and are more productive, right? So if we can get this on a society scale, this is actually a very libertarian idea in that sense, right? That you think, oh, no, we invest in people. And I think there’s a lot of gray zones and people have been bouncing around on that. I came to that conclusion so far that I’m a really big proponent of it. And I think the number is debatable, but it should be decent number and maybe two, three, $4,000. Yeah. I mean, for me, it’s like a dividend, right? It’s like, if we as, I’ll use the United States, I know many other countries would be in the same discussion, but if I use the United States as an analog and we say, we all invested to make the life that we have now possible. We all put tax dollars, human capital, human resources collectively into this. Should we see something on the back end, right? And it goes into a little more vein of if Google and Facebook as two examples are really tapping into that infrastructure that we supported to help them get there. I’m not saying that they should become social services or public companies, like a public good. I don’t think that’s the right approach. I’m very capitalistic in my belief structure, just like it sounds like you are. But should there be some level of transparency and give back where the amount of data mining you allow and the amount that they make on you, they should give you a dividend, just like you own stock in them, right? The only way to do that, and this is the way the counter argument is, well, if you actually believe in that thesis, which I do, then the right way to do that is to buy stock in those companies, right? Because if you buy stock in those companies, you own those companies, but half of the population of the United States doesn’t have the wherewithal to buy stock in anything. So should we help them along their journey? I don’t have the answers. I have answers on both sides, right? The question is how this is being pulled off, and I think how voluntarily will these companies give up money, right? So I mean, they have shareholders, too, and they will sue the hell out of anything you put on that. But I think if we can get them to invest, and I think they’re very, very liberal, so the idea is that they invest in talent, I think quarter their heart, I mean, they sometimes do a lot of virtue signaling and a lot of actual actions behind it. But if we get them to see this as their cause, and if they are able to somewhat voluntarily define this as maybe future bonds, I think this could actually work. It will be really tricky if you say, well, everyone who has more than $100 million, your money is gone, right? This is a big problem because that kind of seems to be the Democrats view on this, at least some of the more edgier parts of it. This is tricky because you need those people with a lot of money to push big investments forward that make everyone better off. Yeah, it becomes a very nuanced argument, right? You kind of want to scare them, but you don’t want to lose them. And if they go to all the Singaporeans, Singapore does something similar. They have low taxes, but they have socialized healthcare, they have socialized housing. So they do it in a similar way. They don’t really talk about it. So nobody really knows, but they are very socialist in that sense. So I think there is a good argument to be made to go down this way, and I think it’s going to be fine. I mean, everyone’s going to be fine. People make this big. I mean, I feel San Francisco is very communist. I feel it’s kind of like Eastern Germany, where I grew up sometimes. And if people behave like this, but on the other hand, there is a level where you can do what Germany turned out. It’s a very social world of capitalism, and it kind of found its way, right? It’s very bureaucratic, but it’s very efficient bureaucracy. So everyone has different things they can bring to this marketplace. So some part of this UBI I think will happen, but the question is, if you print so much money, will it be really worthwhile, right? I think someone $2,000 is easy now, but if we inflate by 10X, then it’s like $10. Maybe it shouldn’t be, we just give them money, maybe we give them equity in these companies. Maybe there’s an easier path to say, everybody gets a starter investment in X, Y, and Z company. You can choose which one you want, because these companies have done really well. And to your point, it’s a very good point. A lot of these ultra, ultra wealthy 0.1 of 1% have done the whole Warren Buffett thing and have agreed to essentially give their fortunes back, or big portions of their fortunes back to the common good, to philanthropic efforts and whatnot. So I think what happens in our society and the way we message things is that we try and get to the end game, and there’s no one right answer to any of this, right? There’s little correctness pieces in it. And if you can remove the political firebrand that you have, well, that’s because you’re socialist and because you’re liberal, not necessarily and not in all cases, but there are points to be made on both sides. It just becomes what the social media world has created this like, well, you fit here, you fit into this bucket, and we’re going to feed you and we’re going to bubble you into this bucket, where it sounds like you and I don’t fit into that bucket at all. We would actually argue both sides of the equation, and we had a really interesting discussion point where, I mean, you could have gone down this like, well, if you don’t believe these are monopolies, then we can’t talk anymore. That’s not the case. We had a very interesting high minded discussion about some semantics about the word monopoly, right? And a modern monopoly is different than a monopoly from 100 years ago. If the rest of the world that is communicating constantly on all these different platforms could understand the nuance of that high minded discussion, I think we’d just be at a better place as humans. So this was a terrific discussion, and it went a long time, because, you know. I’m glad you say this. I’m very honored. And I think people will get there. This whole boxing of, and people in the realities just has happened, and I think it’s because the algorithms were kind of stupid, but as the algorithms increase, people will come out of this depression, and I think the next 10 years will look much better than the last five years. So I’m very hopeful there. Thanks for doing this, Ted. That was awesome. It was a pleasure. I mean, I guess we can go on for another hour, but believe it or not, I actually have a whole VR seminar I have to go in now, in a VR headset, and spend the next three hours in VR with a bunch of corporate leaders that have actually, yesterday was their first time in VR, and we’re doing another three hours today in a social VR environment to basically break them out of what I call like the Brady Bunch Zoom square land. We’re actually learning how to use virtual reality as a communication tool instead of like laptops and phones, so that’s the next couple hours of my life. Thanks for one more time. I really appreciate you taking the time, and I hope we get to do this again one day. Yeah, I think it’d be great. I’d be happy to dive in again with you on various topics. All right. Perfect. Talk soon. Thank you.

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