Ben Seidl (How to rebuild a friendlier ‘Third Space’?)

  • 00:01:46 The genesis of Neyborly and its business model.
  • 00:11:41 Is ‘commercial real estate’ in a secular crisis? What are the reasons for that? Is it (still) to expensive?
  • 00:21:44 How did Neyborly fix the issue of long-term liabilities and short term income (that almost killed WeWork)?
  • 00:29:18 How did Neyborly solve the hard part of multi local marketing?
  • 00:42:03 How Neyborly is fostering a real community? Why is building a community so hard?
  • 00:53:22 Did COVID and the tech industry change how people interact with each other.
  • 01:04:29 Why an honest, rational debate of political topics is so hard in the Bay Area (and beyond)?

You may watch this episode on Youtube – #74 Ben Seidl (How to rebuild a friendlier ‘Third Place’?).

Ben Seidel is the co-founder of Neyborly. He’s on a mission to build a network of gathering hubs using under-utilized, urban real-estate.


Welcome to the Judgment Call Podcast, a podcast where I bring together some of the most curious minds on the planet. Risk takers, adventurers, travelers, investors, entrepreneurs and simply mindbogglers. To find all episodes of this show, simply go to Spotify, iTunes or YouTube or go to our website If you like this show, please consider leaving a review on iTunes or subscribe to us on YouTube. This episode of the Judgment Call Podcast is sponsored by Mighty Travels Premium. Full disclosure, this is my business. We do at Mighty Travels Premium is to find the airfare deals that you really want. Thousands of subscribers have saved up to 95% in the airfare. Those include $150 round trip tickets to Hawaii for many cities in the US or $600 life let tickets in business class from the US to Asia or $100 business class life let tickets from Africa round trip all the way to Asia. In case you didn’t know, about half the world is open for business again and accepts travelers. Most of those countries are in South America, Africa and Eastern Europe. To try out Mighty Travels Premium, go to slash MTP or if that’s too many letters for you, simply go to MTP, the number four and the letter U dot com to sign up for your 30 day free trial. Ben, I really appreciate your coming on the podcast. Thanks for doing it. Thank you. I’m excited to be on it. Are we live right now or when does it start? We are live, so to speak. No, it goes live a couple of days later, right? So this isn’t directly streamed live, but we will have it online next week probably. So I saw your startup, which I thought is pretty awesome, neighborly. And to me, it seems like an Airbnb, but for commercial real estate. And since commercial real estate is into huge upheaval right now, obviously it was very curious what you guys were up to and how you got into doing the startup in the first place. Yeah. So in a lot of ways it is like an Airbnb, but in a lot of ways not in the sense that we’re actually managing these spaces. So what we learned over time was that one of the most important things to create a Airbnb for commercial real estate is to actually heavily manage the experience in the space. Why is that? Because you don’t have people living in a commercial space. You don’t have a lot of hands on people in commercial spaces, usually ones that are vacant, which are the types of properties that we help to activate. These are commercial properties that really don’t have a lot of people associated with them. So a lot of companies and startups and founders have tried to create a carbon copy of Airbnb for commercial real estate. And in a lot of ways, I don’t believe it’s possible because it doesn’t have the care and the attention and the love behind the property that a residential house does. So in Airbnb, you have a real human being usually, at least in some tangential way associated with the property who’s taking care of it, or you have a property management company that’s taking care of it on a daily basis. With commercial real estate, you really don’t have that usually. And so what we learned over time was to make that concept work for commercial real estate. It really requires a group of people or a company to be heavily involved in that space. So in a lot of ways, we’re creating kind of an Airbnbesque service, but on the back end, we’re operating it more like standard or a WeWork or something like that, where we’re furnishing the spaces ourselves, we’re cleaning them, we’re resetting them, we’re taking care of all the utilities, we’re really kind of creating the optimal experience to rent a commercial space so that the end user doesn’t have to worry about the Wi Fi speed or the comfort of the chairs. We want to make sure all that stuff is consistent and up to a high quality so that you know when you book a neighborly, whether that’s in Cal Hollow, San Francisco, or Santa Monica in Los Angeles, you’re getting a consistent experience and something that you can depend upon. And what we realized was one of the lacking aspects of the Airbnb for commercial real estate idea is that you end up with this very extensive list of commercial properties and every single one of them is offering you some type of very different experience. And if you’re going to have a meeting or a pop up or you’re going to host a podcast event, you want to know in advance what it is you’re getting into and you want to be able to depend on that service provider to give you a level of quality so that you know that your podcast event is going to go well, right? If you brought together 20 people and you went live, you need these chairs, tables, fast Wi Fi, you need to get access to the space, it needs to be clean, there’s all these things that are of more importance when you invite 20 people to that space than if it’s just you and your partner checking into an Airbnb at the beach. So there’s just a lot more complexity and I think seriousness involved with operating a commercial version of Airbnb and so over time really that’s what we’ve kind of come to focus on is finding the supply side of the marketplace which are landlords, commercial landlords with vacant space and of course there’s lots of demand on the user side because people need space for pop ups, for meetings, for events, you name it for film shoots, for all kinds of things, creative photography sessions, people need commercial space to rent flexibly but the supplier side just isn’t ready yet to think about their properties as being places that can be used short term. So that’s where we come in at Neighborly and make sure that that supply side is matched with the end user expectations and make sure that that quality space and experience is delivered consistently. When I think of Neighborly, I think of a clean office so something that is as you said earlier as the chair and then as a fast Wi Fi or can I also set up, I don’t know, my catering kitchen there? You can also do that. So the way that we think about the business and that’s evolved over time, we started with just one small storefront to answer your previous question about kind of how we got into this and why we do it. It’s that we really believe that there is a massive opportunity to activate all these vacant kind of street level commercial spaces that are currently sitting empty and provide no economic utility to neighborhoods, to citizens, or to the landlords themselves. And what we believe is that there is a chance to reframe the way that we look at commercial real estate. Currently, the industry works on a binary timeline, right? In a binary perspective, which is that it’s either vacant, which is zero, or it’s fully leased, which is hitting the property goals. When they look at a particular space, landlords that is, that’s what they look at. Is it leased or is it not leased? End of story. And what we see is that a lot of new entrepreneurs, a lot of younger people, this kind of new generation that’s come up with Airbnb in the sharing economy, they don’t think about real estate or spaces in the same way that people used to look at them in the past. So people expect to be able to rent a store like I’m in right now in San Jose for a day, or for a weekend, or a week, or maybe some, you know, just a holiday period. But I think there’s a whole generation of commercial real estate users and customers who are expecting there to be flexibility and flexible options, and there just isn’t. That’s not how the commercial real estate industry has been financed, built, and operated over the last 100 years. It’s been very much that binary system of long lease or vacant. And if it’s not leased, then we keep it vacant until someone else leases it, and that can be years. And so what really I think sparked our curiosity, I started the business with my brother five years ago, what sparked our curiosity was all these empty storefronts in our neighborhood in Berkeley where the economy’s thriving. There’s a lot of household income. There’s a lot of spending in the neighborhood. So why should there be vacant, nice little storefronts available for entrepreneurs to start businesses? Why is there so much vacancy? And that was five years ago, of course, so much healthier times for small business than now. And there was still a problem five years ago. And so we’ve been through so many iterations of what neighborly is, but at the end of the day, it’s a mission to find ways to activate these vacant commercial real estate spaces and make them usable for people in different ways. And I think that’s a worthy mission. It’s very hard, but the commercial real estate industry is set up to be the antithesis of this. And where we want to break that system, or at least just like adjust that system is to say, we at neighborly believe that spaces should be operated on a time continuum, not on a binary continuum. So we basically want to say, you should be able to rent any space for as long as you need to. And the word vacant, actually, I believe it’s possible to get rid of that word. I generally do. I think that I think that we can look at spaces as being short term, rentable, or long term least. And we shouldn’t say it’s a vacant space because someone needs that space today. Someone needs it for next weekend. Maybe it’s not a long term lease, but let’s try to imagine a world where all of our spaces are actually usable. And that’s kind of what we’re up to. Yeah, maybe that also leads us a little bit to the sources of what’s going on. I felt when COVID hit, there was already a big trend underway that people would retreat from physical locations, not to hang out. Those were certainly still lively, but the ones that acted as a definite commercial real estate, they existed, but they were definitely retreating. As you said, it happened not just in Berkeley, it happens all over the country. And when COVID hit, I was really surprised how readily people were clarifying themselves. They were ready to go home yet, it was a shock. But then once it settled in, they said, well, being at home isn’t actually that bad. So I’d rather stay at home for safety reasons. But I think they also felt very comfortable with it. And for me, the question is a little bit, why did that happen? Is commercial real estate too expensive? Is it too inflexible, as you just said? Is it just not needed anymore? Because the opportunities given to most startups or to most new businesses these days, they’re actually in the cloud. They don’t really exist in a day to day person to person business anymore. Yes, these cases exist, but they’re getting less and less big opportunities. And whenever you see a billion dollar startup, it’s usually completely in the cloud. I haven’t seen one that this really has tons of real estate in a long time. And I was really surprised when Apple brought out stores. I remember 15 years ago, because I always felt like they would never go for this. And then they did, and it was very new concept and it worked. But now, basically, it’s only pickup. I felt like, well, they can afford it, right? They have enough customers. It doesn’t really matter if they pick up only or if there’s a long line or not, Apple, they sell enough laptops. So what I’m curious to find out, is there a secular crisis of commercial real estate? And if so, where did it come from? I think there very much is a crisis in commercial real estate. I don’t think most of the traditional players would admit that, because it’s easier to cover your eyes and hope for the best. As soon as you admit that, it’s kind of a domino effect of what to do and what the impacts are and how to recover from what’s happened. So in a lot of ways, I believe that there is a crisis. And it has been a crisis for the last 12 months. Yet, you don’t see the major firms ringing those bells and admitting that. And that makes sense, right? You don’t admit an early death to your concept or your business or your financial model unless you absolutely have to. And I think that there’s a lot of there’s just a lot of fear in the industry to even admit that. And I think for the industry to get stronger and to recover and to build something new for the future, the first step is admitting, right? You have to admit that there is a structural problem. And by admitting that, you can start to conceive of new ideas, new business models, other ways in which you could build value into your commercial real estate company. And I think the longer you cover your eyes and pretend that there’s not a problem, yes, you may be able to avoid near term pain, near term uncomfortable conversations, financial restructuring, all the types of things that would come from admitting such a large seismic shift in the industry. But the longer you wait, the more painful it’s going to be. And so I think absolutely there’s a crisis. Where did it come from? It definitely came from the rise of software, right? The rise of the ability for the cloud to allow people to connect, to transact, to very efficiently start businesses, operate businesses, hire people for employees and workers to work in the cloud, all that is possible now. I think that came a lot faster than commercial real estate was expecting. And so they’ve definitely been caught flat footed. And when I say they, I mean, we’re in the same field, but we take a fundamentally different approach, which is to say cloud is first. That’s just the reality. Most new businesses being built are being built in the cloud first. If they need commercial real estate to further monetize their business like Apple, they will use commercial real estate to enhance their profitability. But it’s not required like it was in 1960. If you wanted to have a grocery business, you needed to acquire commercial real estate and open grocery stores. Now there are many companies that operate grocery businesses in the cloud, like Milk Run, for example, in Portland. It’s a grocery delivery business. It’s basically a natural grocer that in 1960 would have been a store and now is just run on the cloud by connecting farms to end users. And so can you start a grocery startup now with no physical real estate? Yes. You might need a little bit of warehousing and distribution locations, but you don’t need an actual store. So your physical real estate needs are diminished, the amount of money you put into commercial real estate is diminished. And that is possible. And not only is that possible, that is where the growth in a lot of retail is coming from are these cloud first new businesses. And so to answer your question, why is there a crisis? It’s certainly that. It’s certainly the fact that you don’t need commercial real estate. I think it’s something that can augment your business and help you in certain ways, but it’s definitely not something you need. Something that usually comes to the rescue of that problem is the prices drop, right? So you have suddenly a higher supply and the demand is where the supply state stable, but the demand is dropping off. So we should see real estate being really cheap. Now, I don’t see this in San Francisco, maybe it’s being renegotiated and maybe it’s happened and I don’t see it yet. But from the quotes that I’ve seen in the last couple of months for commercial real estate, they’re not that cheap. So I feel like a lot of landlords are ready to sit it out for a little longer and just wait until the good times come back, so to speak. And I can sell another one year lease, two year lease, three year lease is a huge commitment, several hundred thousand dollars of commitments in something that a lot of companies now, as you just said, it’s very optional to them. It’s good to have good real estate, but it’s absolutely not required. And I think the prices haven’t really, they don’t really reflect that change in this changed mindset yet. Yeah, because the industry is very intertwined, right? So you have most of these buildings are actually owned by banks or pension funds. They’re highly leveraged. So to actually agree upon an economic shift or a price readjustment to reality, you have to get so many stakeholders on board with that plan and everyone’s going to have to take a haircut in some way or another. So you’ve got building operators that have 20, 30% ownership of the building and then you have the mortgage holders, banks, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, what have you, who own the majority of the equity in a building and are holding the mortgages. So you have those two main players that first of all have to agree that it’s okay to reduce the rental prices of their property, which have been bankrolled based on a rent roll from four or five years ago from projections of in better times or different times at least, that may or may not be true anymore. And so to admit that your entire financial model is now off by let’s say 10, 20, perhaps even 30%, which I think is what we may see, that’s a discussion and an agreement which I don’t think is going to happen. So what I think is more than likely going to happen is there’s going to be kind of a slow adjustment just based on the fact that how long are you willing to have your building sit open or stay vacant? How long are you willing to have your retail condo? Not least. To what point are you going to keep paying taxes and taking losses where you decide that, hey, we should probably reduce the lease price on this by 30 or 40% and then maybe someone will take it? I think that supply and demand reaction will occur and I think that’s probably the way it’ll have to occur because I don’t think anyone is going to take a proactive step to take a 20% haircut on their building value or their leases. I think they’re going to have to be forced to do that and that’s a brutal process and it’s going to be very slow and way too slow and that is in my opinion one of the biggest problems with the industry is that it will take the slowest route every time in my experience because of how it’s structured and because of history and because of the leadership in the industry. It’s built on very conservative traditional values and practices and that’s not just going to change overnight so I think what you’re going to see is just this come to Jesus moment for years on years and prices slowly coming down but you won’t see what is probably appropriate to do which is kind of a step change. A quick step change, hit the market with a lower price, fill the buildings back up, get businesses going again, prove the value of commercial real estate, get people leasing again and then let’s start working on building the prices back up as you prove the value but I just I think you see high prices in SF only because because no one wants to to face the reality of their their properties being worthless and they probably are. Yeah when we look at another example in your industry rework that really went into trouble with long term liabilities you know at least these places for three years normally use in many of those locations and they are often prime locations and then they had short term income that they derived from people that they signed up for the virtual offices and it does make sense when you when you go closer to maturity when you’re at 70 80 percent rate of usage but until then you have the full lease that you pay for but you don’t really have income that you set against and they ran into lots of new centers they ran into a lot of trouble. How do you guys solve this? How do you stay away from this place you don’t want to be in? Lots of long term liabilities and very short term income. Yes so that was the crucial part of our evolution last year during the pandemic which is we used to actually follow that same model so we were leasing our neighborly locations mostly from local landlords signing three to five year leases and paying flat rent and the whole game was okay now let’s make it a flexible space and let’s rent it by the hour which is what we used to do so sometimes we’d have two to three groups of people in one space in one day and we would change that space over so it might be a corporate meeting in the morning it might be a panel speaker engagement in the afternoon and then it might be a wedding reception in the evening like in one tiny storefront and and and that was actually quite common for us and that was the game that we were playing the same game as we work which is short term income that’s not guaranteed against a long term lease with fixed monthly payments that is guaranteed so it was a risky game to play and you saw what happened to we work of course and we ran into the same exact situation which I guess I should have expected when the coronavirus hit the United States and all of a sudden our bookings went from we were doing some of our best months were January February of 2020 and then by March everyone was asking for a refund everyone was canceling and and then eventually it was illegal for us to even operate our business so so what happened was we ended up deciding that the leasing model of our business wasn’t possible not only that we had to give up all of our eight locations that we had under management we paid early termination fees closed them all and basically we lost all four years of hard work that we had built up so we had locations in Los Angeles Sacramento Portland Oregon Berkeley San Francisco San Jose all long leases and we had to close those locations terminate the leases pay everybody out and basically close everything that we had spent the entire course of the business to build pretty much in the course of 30 days so it was heart wrenching in a lot of ways to watch that happen but you know in any kind of terrible situation like that from a business perspective it does give you the opportunity to choose a new path it force it forces you to choose a new path which oftentimes we get so stuck in our ways I think that that deciding that our entire model is wrong and throwing it all away is such a painful decision to make that we as humans will shy away from that decision and we won’t make it even if it means death right so I don’t think we were ever going to make that decision even though it was the right decision to make we were forced to make that decision because of the pandemic and what we ended up deciding on was not to give up and throw in the towel and just quit because we had lost everything but to say we had we had believed you know in a couple months before the pandemic actually what once the WeWork fiasco happened and we were reading all about that and kind of understanding how do we avoid a similar fate we need to start getting into management agreements we need to start partnering with landlords who have vacant spaces who would like to make passive income and we fully manage that experience could we pitch this to landlords instead of saying hey landlord x can we sign a lease with you for three years and then we’re going to run our business model hey landlord why would you like you’ve probably heard it neighborly would you like to partner with us in Berkeley and we can give you you know we do about a 50 50 gross revenue split on a management agreement so you know pitching that to a landlord and saying would you like to get passive income from your vacant space we’ll take on everything we’ll furnish it we’ll operate it we’ll do all the payments all the customer experience and at the end of the month we’ll we’ll ACH you half of the money that we make and that’s not a guaranteed amount but is it better than zero of course so so what we found switching to that model after the coronavirus hit was we said okay we’ve gotten rid of all of our lease locations we no longer have any long term liability can we now effectively pitch this business to landlords on a on a revenue share management agreement so we went we went pretty hard on that for about two months in the Bay Area pitching as many landlords as we could get a hold of and it was very successful because again going back to the the alternative you’re holding a vacant retail space maybe it’s been vacant for a year and a half what do you have to lose by trying something new by hiring us partnering with us and seeing if we can bring you some passive income and what’s resulted is you know we’re paying landlords somewhere between 30 and 70 percent of market rent passively month after month and they don’t they’re not giving up the ability to long lease their location so they keep it on the market they’re still touring it their brokers are still presenting it to clients but however long that may take six 12 18 months let us make you a couple thousand bucks a month for that time period and you might have 100k in cash that we paid you that we paid you and you didn’t have to do one thing and you kept the space on the market and so so that pitch was very successful and we we now have 32 locations so we’ve actually quadrupled the the size of our portfolio since the pandemic happened and we’ve gotten out of long term leases all together yeah that’s a wonderful evolution and of course we need these crises to to cleanse ourselves right to to to focus what we really want what makes a lot of sense which businesses make make a lot of sense and get rid of the risk if we can and you know you whatever you structure now seems to be much more solid from my point of view so a lot of us probably look back to the pandemic and as heartbroken as we are with personal loss we we see that the economy adjusts and that we adjust and then we find something better at the end so there is a silver lining another problem I think that we were faced and I don’t know how you I’m curious how you guys handle this is that signing up so basically when you’re a landlord you you structure these long term agreements because you don’t want to deal with a lot of short term turn turn and it’s not just that you lose revenue because it could be higher because at least rate could be higher it’s also there’s a lot of management involved and just you know I want to figure out are you are you the right candidate are you right tenant for this particular space so you try to push it out as long as you can and get a long term deal because there is a lot of hassle involved and when you when you chop it up into time spaces you obviously need a much lower acquisition cost right so you need to reach out to way more people and convince them obviously this is a different product so you have a different pitch but the the the marketing acquisition cost I always felt can be stunningly high reaching out to the particular customer you want to have say you had that example earlier with the San Francisco location you would need to know everyone around well that’s at least in my head everyone a few blog radius who might be a good candidate who fits into what you provide and then reach out to that person which is not easy right it costs a lot of money doing that marketing I don’t know what you found maybe you found some shortcuts because that seems to be this local marketing seems to be super expensive yeah that’s a that’s a great point and and an astute observation for sure that is that is part of the reason that we do quite well to to be really honest is that we we focus on providing an incredible service and a space that is attainable and usable when no one else offers this so in a lot of ways we we are selling a product that doesn’t really that no one else is selling so we were able to provide something so unique that and there’s enough demand pent up demand for this latent latent demand that isn’t being met by any commercial real estate company in a lot of ways so so luckily by creating this product and the service at a price point that a lot of people can afford it ends up being a pretty strong word of mouth play and and also if you think about the the viral nature of of a space itself being used quite a bit so going back to you potentially having a live podcast at one of our spaces let’s say you wanted to bring together the judgment call audience for a day and and you know meet some of your your listeners and do something cool interview one of your highest profile guests live if you were to do that you’re most likely going to bring 20 30 people to one of our spaces the address on that imitation is going to say neighborly the signage all over the space says neighborly rent this space all these different ways of telling our story so we benefit from the fact that everyone who books one of our spaces is most likely bringing 10 20 30 other people to the space who then learn about it by the nature of having to come into the physical space itself and being told that it’s a neighborly so so the branding of the physical experience and the space ends up being a pretty strong advertising platform in and of itself so we just always talk about how do we make sure when Torsten books this that it’s a that it’s a 11 out of 10 experience for him that when he’s done with that that he’s happy that he wants to do it again that he’d like to try another location that he would tell his friends about it and as long as we’re doing that you know we believe that we’ve built something that that has a lot of inherent value that can help people and more than that hopefully one of the audience members who attends your event learns about us they’re on their phones at your event look it up cool oh actually my wife needed an event for her book club she in an event space for a book club or my my daughter is actually having her graduation party next month she’s graduating from Cal and we want a space for the family to come together on a Saturday I see that you guys have a lot of locations so that type of that type of word of mouth and kind of reference model is is is where we hang our hat so we don’t do any paid marketing we don’t do any paid advertising because to your point it would be too expensive we’d be throwing almost all of our margin away by buying Facebook ads so so what we believe is let’s make the most affordable turnkey amazing experience in space possible and then you know let’s let let’s let our product speak for itself yeah that’s quite amazing if you can run a business this way this is ideal and I think a lot of businesses have found that creating digital marketing with a local business extremely difficult it rarely works and still make money at it you can just basically raise venture funding and throw all that venture funding at Facebook and Google it’s possible that I don’t think it makes a lot of sense and just risking you hold a whole lifetime valuable potential customer and just have a tiny little margin left that’s right and the I always felt and I’m still amazed by that that um a company like Airbnb which has supposedly high marketing cost they don’t seem to do any traditional digital advertising at least I never see it maybe that’s because I’m already a customer and they figure that out so well but they are never on typical ads and they’re on Facebook ads they seem I don’t even know where their money goes but yeah it doesn’t go into Facebook and Google so it must it must be somewhere else maybe you know I don’t know it’s a good question but I would I would repeat the sentiment I as a Airbnb user myself I don’t I can’t really recall being advertised too but I think in a similar vein it’s such a differentiated product that I like the product I use it as long as it’s working for me every time I use it I’m probably gonna go back I haven’t had one of those kind of nightmare experiences that that people have had where it turns them off and they want to go to hotels after that I still use hotels um you know I don’t think that Airbnb is the is the best option for a lot of things but it’s a great option and as long as it’s a differentiated model and a differentiated product than a hotel and I’m always going to look at it right I’m always going to compare let me look at the Airbnb’s and Santa Cruz and let me look at the motels and hotels and let’s see let’s see what the options are um so for me I they don’t need to advertise their market to me because I just have them embedded in my brain as one of the best products for hospitality I’m gonna I’m gonna check there and so I think that’s part of their brilliance of what they do as well it’s just making sure that it’s an incredible experience and they’re always making it better always finding ways to marketing would be so easy yeah make it sound so easy I mean I think about your podcast right it’s like the way you got me is a secret there’s a dirty secret yeah dirty not in the sense of they do something that they shouldn’t but there is something they’re not telling us and they don’t want to tell us that’s why it’s such a in this big you know header marketing I don’t know what it is I have no idea I don’t I don’t have any insider knowledge into marketing that would be just my assumption maybe that’s just me I’m too negative either either do I I don’t know to feel well enough as well but but you know what I do think is I just am such a believer in in product and the craft of the product and just continuing to make the best service item idea whatever it is algorithm whatever you’re doing if you’re doing it the best you’re not gonna have a lot of problems and you don’t need to worry as much about marketing if you’re making the best thing and so your podcast is an example like I I wanted to be a part of it because I saw that Daniel Gross was a part of it I saw that you had the Dyson founder on right and I love the Dyson company and so for me once I saw that the George Dyson is not a field yet of a company he’s a historian but his his father was Freeman or is but he’s not alive family or not Freeman Dyson and he’s famous because of the Dyson sphere I don’t know if you remember that’s oh got it this is energy generating shield around a star so he’s actually not associated with the famous vacuum cleaner that’s so embarrassed well either way cool maybe there’s some family relationship I’m sure he was I was into the Daniel Gross episode and just as it basically as an example of what I’m trying to say you’ve you’ve got a product that’s attracting you know high level talent and it’s something new and I love the way that you that you ask the questions and you run the interview it’s very different than most of the podcasts that I’ve been on or listened to I like it and so because it’s different is the only reason I decided to be a part of it is I thought it was cool and a different experience so you didn’t have to mark it you know to me you have it you have something different that I like and so I think I appreciate that I think that’s cool I appreciate that but I guess when when a company really takes off and has this viral growth there is some secret magic right so I think what a lot of epidemiologists were talking about when the virus hit a lot of this talk struck me as marketing talk from the Silicon Valley right so what is your on not so how many recommendations do you get per single new user and how does it spread through society at what endpoints does it stop right so when does it burn off so to speak and we know afterwards that Facebook spread really wildly but we also knew at the time there were a bunch of competitors um I forgot the uh was it all there was a something that Google built or something Google there was Google plus and there was MySpace and Friendster before that before Google plus right so these things also spread like wildfire but then they suddenly stopped and nobody really knew why the founders didn’t know because they didn’t really know why they were active or users were coming in in the first place they had an idea right they had a vision but they didn’t really know what’s convinced some of the users or why it suddenly stopped so I always find this mesmerizing that we compare obviously it’s called viral marketing for a reason but it’s very very hard to predict very hard to jump start and you never know what it stops it might be going on forever like Airbnb seems to be until everyone on Netflix everyone is convinced or it just stops at 2000 people that’s it so I’m always a little suspicious of it yeah yeah uh and again that’s the only reason I care about uh the customer satisfaction it’s just the only thing I care about as long as every time you go it’s the only it’s the only thing that matters as long as as long as you’re having a good experience and you’re willing to tell other people about it in casual conversation we’re we have a business as soon as that sentiment goes slightly negative then yeah your are not is is going to go to less than one and the thing’s going to start petering out it depends on the fact that one person who was there or associated with it told someone else and and I think as long as you’re keeping that going doesn’t always have to be somebody new that’s the good thing about certain kinds of businesses but a lot of our our users are repeat users they’ll book two three times a year they’ll book for their mom’s birthday party every year they’ll book for their company gathering every single year and then they you know sometimes they start to book it for other things as well but but we become kind of an embedded service in their mind that they’re going to constantly use because there isn’t something better so as long as we’re hitting their expectations every single time you’re retaining those customers and that customer is going to forever be speaking your praises and so again that’s just all that I and I think if you were asked Netflix that or uber for sure it was mostly spread through you know referral codes and things like that but it was also mostly just word of mouth I mean once people knew hey I can get across the city for four dollars on this app you tell 20 of your friends that at a party and they all sign up right there drinking and beer like I think that that’s at the end of the day as long as you can keep that going and keep that promise true then then you’re you’re fine and so what’s happening with uber and lyft right now now you’re seeing their prices are two three x what they used to be and in a lot of ways it’s it’s cheaper now to take a taxi it is like and I think that’s crazy it never was the case and if that would have been the story when they started it wouldn’t have had the viral spread as it had it had the viral spread because it was a wildly successful service offering that everyone could relate to and thought was positive now you look at it and you’re like yeah maybe I’ll just take the part or maybe I’ll just drive yeah because because the service offering is different based on the price I always felt SoftBank is giving us a huge subsidy it well they get all their money basically from the central bank in Japan which prints money right and then it goes through SoftBank goes to the bay area and it’s basically handed out as subsidies to local residents in the bay area a lot of people think look at the headline prices here and it looks very expensive but Uber was extremely cheap and all the food delivery apps you know there’s been billions and billions showered on consumers in the bay area because we know when it takes off here we’ll take off anywhere else well that’s maybe not true anymore but at least it’s the mantra another thing I wanted to talk to you about because you mentioned Berkeley earlier and you I guess you are from Berkeley right originally um no I’m from Portland Oregon actually but I did go to Cal from my MBA and then I we started the business in Berkeley so our very first location with neighborly was in southwest Berkeley so one thing I always associate with Berkeley and obviously it’s related to the university but there was always the strong sense of community you know you know Pete as a Pete’s now coffee chain he started the coffee house in Berkeley from his vision and became later instrumental in starting Starbucks but they are different founders and there was always this sense of a strong community people who would voluntarily talk to each other people who would start a conversation and they would all enjoy it not just you know go away I have work to do which seems to be the San Francisco mantra now and so it created a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy that people came together kind of randomly right but they had a common interest that might that be a university party might that be hanging under the coffee shop might that be going to other third places other semi public places and when when I see the state of communities and I went to a couple of we works that’s rarely the case anymore I don’t know if you see that and if that is a goal that you can you have in mind but that community feel that we against the other so to speak there’s a certain separation between us and others necessary it doesn’t exist anymore not none of the V works have that and they tried really hard they have parties every night there’s free beers there is free of coffee so they did all the right tools but from my experience and maybe that’s because I’m such a weird introvert I never thought there’s a real community there I thought more these people are weird is that something to try to foster I don’t I so I never have been a we work member I’ve toured a couple times I only absorbed the content that was being fed to me by the media mostly I didn’t actually really have friends who were members there so I can actually speak from experience about what the community is like there but but when I toured it yeah I kind of felt a similar vibe which is like so a lot of people here who are super busy doing their own thing and everybody’s working here on their own project and I’m sure there are times when they connect or they make friendships I’m sure that happens like it is in the marketing but it doesn’t really feel like uh that friendly of a place and and and maybe nor should it like I didn’t really understand that like why are you drinking beer at work with a random stranger like you should be at a pub or you should be at home like why why why hey both is good both is good I feel like I didn’t pop is as good as a random person in the office especially if it’s not the team member you or Reno for a hundred years so I think both is good there’s a certain amount of serendipity but I go to a random coffee shop say in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia and I know I can have a deep philosophical conversation with pretty much any guest there and that’s that’s given right so and that’s it’s not complicated to talk to people there’s a real sense of community it’s from it’s there without me I’m just intruding so to speak but that never struck me as something that we work has established in the US it’s a little better outside the US actually so things are better but it’s it’s a general society issue we don’t have that anymore because we have this community online on in our social networks and we feel this is where it belongs I think in minds of most people now I yeah I agree I think it’s one of the the saddest things about the United States it’s one of the things that I’m I don’t know most perplexed by I think it’s horrendous it’s it’s it’s definitely one of our one of our worst traits and probably one of our most dangerous traits to to our nation’s health like it’s not I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we have the type of violent society that we have I don’t think I don’t think a lot of the things that we that we represent our coincidence a lot of it is because we don’t have a strong community we we decided in the 50s 60s I guess even back to the 40s to start building residential communities that were not about that were not about connectivity and they were not about close relationships they were about privacy they were about peaceful security you know they were about all these things individuality they weren’t about communal values whatsoever it was about the opposite of that how do I get mine make myself safe make myself quiet make myself different than everybody else and and that’s the that’s in a lot of ways that’s like the American spirit is is being very individualistic very egotistical and and and wanting things your way at all times and anyone who impedes on your sense of self or your sense of life is a intruder to your to your word and I so I’ve lived abroad quite a bit I’ve lived in Haiti Dominican Republic Ecuador I travel a lot in Europe and and I don’t get the definitely don’t get the same sense in Haiti and Dominican or Ecuador that your neighbors or people in your community or your city are are offenders of your your privacy or offenders of your individuality or your your your self expression don’t that’s just not how people think about other people they they they’re much more tolerant right they’re much more curious they’re much more willing to deal with the fact that the crazy neighbor two houses down is a part of your life deal with it it’s not a big deal that’s it find comedy in it you know engage with them it is what it is that person is you know the crazy person in the neighborhood and they they’re loud or annoying or whatever they do but like that’s just part of your life I think here in the United States when that happens someone’s like I’m going to call the cops on that person I’m going to call the HOA get this person removed I don’t like this person I wish they weren’t here they impact my quality of life it’s just this very very kind of American idea that your life should be exactly how you want it to be and if anyone screws with that you should you should be against them and and I don’t I think we I honestly think we reinforce that all the time and I think we actually celebrate that that people think that’s cool they think that’s funny they think that’s the right they think it and then when someone else does it and they say hey I got that person gone because I didn’t like that person they were an asshole then someone else is like okay cool that’s what we do so I’m also don’t like that person I’m going to get rid of them and it just leads to this really like dark social net where we just honestly we that’s why we like the internet because you can just turn someone off you can block someone you don’t you don’t want to hear from them they don’t exist so we that’s a very American ideal is to be able to have full control of your mental space and not tell anyone I wouldn’t I wouldn’t classify us as negatively because I grew up in Germany and I feel there’s even words there so writing out a neighbor who doesn’t recycle properly it’s like the the hobby of pretty much everyone there fine you pay a thousand dollars if you put something in the recycling bin which shouldn’t kind of be recycled it’s it’s really expensive and they all do it so I don’t think we are the worst but we definitely have lost a sense of curiosity we have an intellectual curiosity but it curiosity to the people around us that definitely has has gone away and or has diminished it’s still probably there but it’s harder to get beyond that first bullshit test that people throw at you that’s possible and that’s was always this idea of the American idea of creating V connections right this this is like you know such a famous white paper from from the 70s but that that was this pragmatism just the strength of creating something out of these V connection that’s completely something that most countries don’t even think about them people it just doesn’t exist as a mental picture right there’s your family and there’s your work and then there is your your neighborhood and your small areas of your neighborhood it’s more communal I I agree with you but it isn’t something that that people venture for so this happens online and it does but I was curious if you if you try to develop this actively and move people towards a real community in the spaces that you manage is that an option or people are just so secluded in this COVID it’s it’s not something you guys can spend time on right now yeah good good point it’s it’s it’s it’s not something that we can probably achieve now or even you know the last 12 months have been very difficult because we couldn’t really even operate at all and people are still especially here in the Bay Area incredibly sensitive and incredibly fearful still so there just isn’t any there really isn’t a lot of motivation or desire I don’t think from our users or or the communities even to to hear about that right now but but but I do think there’s going to be a pretty intense reawakening for people and they come out of this because a lot of people have gotten very comfortable with this idea that we don’t go outside and I think it’s to me quite frightening I think a lot of people like it and the ramifications of that sinking into people’s long term behavior is real and I think it’s it’s it’s something we need to to watch closely because there are people this has been long enough now where it’s become a habit and it’s become a way of life and changing that is going to be hard in the same way that it was hard to start sheltering in place and thinking about life where you couldn’t do what you want that was hard for a couple months and we got used to it and now I think it’s going to be the opposite of people a lot of people are going to be like I never want to go back to the office I don’t want to see people I don’t want to do that I don’t want to be in crowded places I don’t want to go to concerts I don’t I don’t enjoy any of that and I never and I don’t really want to go back to how things were there will be a lot of you remember that that headline a couple of months ago when people said oh once we are all vaccinated then we have this big party not that we are all vaccinated but there’s a good amount of people are vaccinated and there’s more have to probably will get vaccinated but there’s no party inside or especially no party mood right when I when I go around San Francisco there’s nobody’s in a party whatever what just looks down and just wants to run away from from for me and anyone else this is really disheartening so this depression is really set in it’s probably different once people are comfortable at home there with their Netflix they’re good and with their Facebook but that’s not real I feel but maybe it’s more real now than the real life yeah that’s what I’m I’m afraid of is I think that’s where word is going I do think this is kind of phase one of people settling into that way of life and you know the tech world as well as I do which is that all that’s going to happen is the tech world is going to serve these people more and more and more service offerings that are better more inclusive harder to escape more addicting and they’re just going to serve the needs of people who would rather live in the online world it feels safer and I think that that’s that’s indisputable that the tech industry will just continue to build more addictive and immersive things for these people so that they continue to stay there that’s that’s probably you know business nature 101 retain your customers wouldn’t have predicted this but the matrix now seems to be the blue pill is what people want right they nobody cares about the red pill anymore so to speak in a matrix speak right so the the blue pill is you stay in the matrix you know it’s kind of not real but it’s comfortable and the red pill is okay you want to see the truth even if it’s uncomfortable and it seems we have this choice obviously we continue to have this choice and it seems this I was really stunned how quickly people cloudified themselves and I don’t think there is a real way of going back I feel most of the people who have that option want to continue to work from home for instance yeah they will want to go to the office and we once a week twice a week and have a meeting there but that’s about it I feel for those people but it’s quite surprising in the end it’s good it’s more productive it’s probably yeah also more comfortable yeah I’m not I think from a productivity standpoint and a commerce standpoint I think there’s a lot of very positive developments that have been accelerated by COVID and that are permanent so you know working less out of the office commuting less traveling a little bit less on airplanes doing some of these things maybe like drinking and partying less those are those are in general pretty healthy progressions for the economy and for individuals it’s it’s the scary part I guess to qualify what I was mostly speaking about is the extreme of that you know the addictive kind of like idea that this is enough for me and me being a human with a body and needs can be ignored and that that that part of it is is worrisome but you know what like every single everyone has you know their addictions and their vices and some people you know are going to choose that now and that is an option it really wasn’t it was a hard option to choose in the past it’s been possible and you know but I think it’s now been kind of ratified and in a certain way that it’s okay to do that because that’s how we all had to live for 12 months and so it feels normal and you know I hope that at least you know we’re building online communities and online tools and services that can help further engage people who choose to live that lifestyle because that’s a choice at the end of the day like you said if they choose the blue pill totally fine that’s their that’s their option but I just hope that we can build you know more options for people who choose that blue pill that are that are continuing to be healthy because I just get really concerned about people’s mental state and our inability to converse with each other or to be human it degrades of course it will degrade if if you don’t have physical interaction with people you will become worse at doing that that’s just nature so if we if we are seeing that trend and it keeps accelerating it’s it’s it’s not something you can just say okay hey we found out that it wasn’t good for five percent of our society to be online only basically because these people ended up developing until illness or like depression or certain things that we didn’t know that were going to happen but these things happen and you can’t just quickly turn help that person become more human again like very quickly it’ll it’ll be just as slow as a process as it was to become you know a blue pill you know a blue pill taker and and that I guess that’s just what worries me a little bit as I just think that it’s so we’re as humans we’re very uh we have addictive personalities and if we find something we like and we’re comfortable with it we’ll just continue that forever and hope at least the tech industry and I think it’s doing better recently I think there is a lot more focus on that of like let’s clean some of this up let’s have more moderation let’s have more mental health services let’s like let’s just be a little bit more involved instead of this hands off libertarian internet world where like anything goes and anything is okay still we need to of course protect freedom of speech but we also need to be be more aware internet citizens and be providing structures and platforms and guidelines that help people that are on the fringe that are maybe becoming bad online citizens and how do we help those people instead of just like turn a blind eye which I think has been the last 15 years just whatever someone’s saying some scary stuff on the internet well there’s five other people saying scary stuff with them and that’s just their world so oh well I think now well I like I need to take that more seriously yeah I’d say that the internet is the the only shot of freedom that we’ve got the last 15 years so to speak so it is it definitely comes as it’s down so when you’re looking to read it and it’s very cynical right so it’s right lots of men young men it’s very cynical there’s definitely a negative attitude but on the other hand they are allowed to do whatever they want and they can interact with each other and they move markets out that’s how big it’s gotten because it’s just so many people and definitely there is a problem of motivation and there is a problem of what’s going on at the fringes and mental health is a huge issue a huge issue I fully agree with you but we need an outlet for creative freedom and it must be something new creative awesome sense of potentially money making which is important for men a little more than for for women do they have this we all have the same problem but we we need to create a wild west from time to time and now Elon Musk wants to go to mars maybe that’s in your wild west I don’t know if it’s going to happen but I think society has this freedom online and I was coming to silicon valley 15 years ago one of the business angels who invested in us said well guys where you’re here all the all the normal businesses have already left only the billion dollar unicorns are here to stay so what are you wasting your time on I’m like no no I don’t want to raise a couple billion dollars or want to want to build a business said no that’s just that’s not going to happen and he was he was wise enough to see that just after 2003 2004 I found this quite stunning as a foresight and I think this this this freedom has now moved and generated an impact on society a lot of people didn’t predict back in the 90s we wanted it really quickly didn’t happen people got a little disappointed by that and now it’s a huge impact on people’s psyche that nobody has any control over some of it is good some of it is terrible I was in Marin I don’t know that’s it’s just really strange I was in Marin on a hiking trail it’s literally you’re far far out spaced out I don’t know maybe 20 people on a hiking trail and literally everyone had two masks on I’m not really that’s how you go into nature that’s a little much I felt I don’t know I thought it’s pushing it a little on an airplane yes 100% that’s maybe a precaution to take but out into nature I don’t know I think that’s a little overdone well that’s what’s been hard I think about this whole thing because you know we’re running a physical business of course and and our entire livelihoods are based on the fact that we’re as neighborly we’re we’re saying that being in person with your with your physical self and other people is important that’s just that’s part of if that isn’t important then we don’t have a business so of course from a self interested perspective I believe and our company believes and I promote the fact that it’s it’s good for humans to be together I think what’s been hard though to that exact point that you’re describing I felt that same thing what what coronavirus anxiety has brought out amongst us is that it’s the same type of otherness xenophobia kind of that we were discussing about housing and about neighborhoods and about community COVID protocol has allowed people to have very strong opinions about safety and about proper procedure or proper proper way of doing anything really and so and so I think what I’ve noticed at least is that like it doesn’t matter what side of the fence you’re on with something that’s happening that involves COVID both sides are usually wrong and and that’s like been frightening for me because what it’s exposed in my mind is the fact that really all we want to do is be entrenched in our own mindsets in our own frame of thinking and we want someone who’s doing the opposite to stop or to do something different and I very rarely have seen two people who disagree on a certain COVID situation talk about it and explain themselves and like be like okay well I understand and it’s crazy it doesn’t it’s like it’s it’s like more like well if I want to have double masks and you don’t have a mask I I literally hate you like what is wrong with you you’re killing people you don’t care you’re reckless you’re a fool you don’t you don’t believe in science you’re you’re disingenuous all these things that like you can you can immediately think about someone if you think that they’re lax about COVID or they don’t take it seriously and then on the opposite side when you’re someone more like it sounds like you and me who are a little bit more I guess liberal with with our practices and beliefs as it pertains to the pandemic then sometimes then I then I’ll look at someone who’s wearing a double mask in a situation like that and be like that’s totally unnecessary you don’t need to do that why are you doing that it’s it’s it’s scary and it’s unnecessary and you’re kind of promoting this idea that isn’t maybe real uh please don’t do that you know I wouldn’t say that to someone who’s wearing a double mask that’s their decision but it’s the same type of mental their thought about me was probably the same thought I probably have about them is that why are you doing that it’s not necessary don’t do that I guess most people are pretty pretty well adjusted by now and it’s it’s generally a white majority they don’t go crazy on you but there’s always one Karen so to speak right who is going crazy on you but I’ve been in all my I go on to run pretty much every day and good towards the Golden Gate Bridge and I think I’ve ever came across one or two people who who complained right who wanted to call the police but that’s it and that was in I don’t know 300 400 occasions so I never I never felt that the majority of people it’s it’s taking this really at face value but they as you say they they avoid any confrontation because they know it doesn’t lead anywhere because it’s very easy to to to account for someone who is not up for a rational discussion yeah most of us avoid that topic and I think that’s what it at the end of the day that’s what it like uh brought to the to the forefront for me is that we really uh as a society at least in the Bay Area I guess I’m only talking about our you know local you know local region here but what I’ve realized is that we aren’t up for we really aren’t up for a discussion we’re not up for a rational debate we’re not up for uh friendly disagreement and we’re not really up for conversation about things that we uh at face value disagree with if you were wearing a double mask and I’m not wearing a mask we are enemies and there is no discussion about what’s right or wrong because we’re entrenched and I think that just like has really has really freaked me out in a lot of ways because that’s how the political landscape has been you know for the last seven eight years and still is today but and that’s at a national level but but then when you see even people in your neighborhood who have the exact same political beliefs as you who are uh vehemently against you know maybe the way that you deal with covid or they deal with covid you just you end up realizing that it’s wow it’s like it’s it’s maybe more more of a deeper issue than it is just the political divide it’s like it’s maybe more of just like we are pretty bad right now at having rational discussions with people we disagree with we we can’t tolerate um we can’t tolerate a different point of view very well and we’ve somehow I don’t know lost the ability to have human face to face conversation to talk about something with someone who I would say we totally disagree on something uh like I don’t know I’m finding that we’re losing that skill yeah they’re not that far away from each other I think in practical terms but I think what we all have in mind is this this this duality of the algorithms right so there’s always someone on Twitter who goes all the way and say it’s basically the US if we do this we are communist country and sometimes I actually must feel I agree with these people even do it is crazy and then on the other hand there’s people if we don’t do this we basically we’re all racist and also sometimes we find myself agreeing with them so there is always someone who takes it all the way which is good in the end we need these extreme voices I didn’t in my mind they shouldn’t go away but in our brain because there’s they’re basically they’re getting 99.9% of all the likes their message goes everywhere and in our brain that person next to us it’s just like this caricature that we have in our mind from Twitter and we think oh man if I make this argument you go completely crazy on me you know they won’t most of the time they won’t they won’t but most of the time we we are all very practical beings so we avoid this debate because we feel like whoa what do what do I do if this person goes so crazy on me about that topic because that’s what I would expect from that Twitter personality yes and I think this is what what what the people still make the right rational decisions I think we are not that bad but COVID now we come out of it pretty well right this is a big topic for us but I think we be coming out of it definitely better than Europe and at least for the time being but we all dance around these hard questions all the time which we shouldn’t but before you had the extremes weren’t as extreme right because you didn’t know about them there was one dude in DC who cares what I was concerned about my neighborhood not true anymore anyone who has the most scary opinion is now all the time in my in my head that’s right you know it’s like a mental tech so we carry around totally agree I mean like if I think about my parents you know how they must have been living their lives when they’re my age I’m 35 they moved to Portland Oregon from Wisconsin and whoever lived around them or the people that they probably talked to most and the people that worked at my dad’s law firm or my mom’s insurance agency or the people they talked to during the day and but the most part that would be it besides reading the newspaper and you can’t interact with the newspaper and so I think what’s what’s what’s yeah absolutely what’s driving that is is the the distribution of radical voices and radical ideas and I agree with you it’s not bad and necessarily it’s important to have those those those ideas out there but when they are being funneled into our distribution of information in such a high rate and taking up so much mental space for us that’s there’s something definitely that’s going to affect our our ability to communicate with people who we perceive to be one side or the other and and to your point I think when you actually have a conversation with someone who you probably disagree with you’ll you’ll find most likely that you don’t disagree as much as you think that you probably did and that person is actually quite agreeable with you you were happy to have that conversation and you learned and actually that person wasn’t nearly as bad as you thought in your head when you observed that they were doing and and and that’s for me like at the end of the day what what worries me about the internet because when I lived in Haiti for example in Dominican Republic seven years ago the people who I talked to were the people on my block everybody who’s outside good weather everyone’s got tanked off some flip flops on and drinking a beer making dinner going walking over to see your neighbor kids run around you know it’s a very general world community um you know that that isn’t in the cloud and isn’t on the internet they’re they’re they’re mostly physical 95 percent and so so the the conversations and the relationships that are built in those worlds and those communities are are so much different than the relationships that I have in the Bay Area the relationships I have are very very shallow compared to that because I don’t get as much physical time with with people and the conversations that I have don’t get to be as deep because my brain is on my phone my brain is in my email my brain’s you know on this broadcast what what have you I’m not present usually usually with my physical body as most I think communities are and so we just have to we just we need to realize that there are those types of changes that are happening to our brains and our and our social abilities as we continue to invest more and more of ourselves into the internet we have to continually I think fact check our own selves to say that like hey every time you’re doing this and everything you’re absorbing in this internet world uh it’s it’s it’s a bit radicalized and it’s a bit uh it’s media right they they sell they sell the most crazy idea you can think of that’s how they make money so remember that you’re spending more more of your time in in crazy ideas and lessons like the everyday the everyday conversation I think there is a silver lining do about that and the I was chatting with Edward Tanner and he told me whenever you look into the phases of time when when people complain about information overload and polarization that that’s been before right so different times just as recently with radio and tv and people were really worried what’s going to happen when everyone watches up too much tv and the same is true for newspapers and then we can go back to books and then we can go back to the bible there’s always a time when people say oops there’s way too much information for me to digest they complain about it they polarize and then it what what it what it is on the flip side is specialization so when people go through phases of extreme specialization of increasing specialization we clearly are in one that’s undeniable and we will go through this the next 20 years all the way to the singularity because AI will take all these jobs from us which is great we will find other jobs much more value added jobs than what we have right now but doing this phase the kind of disassociation from each other is quite normal like people switch around who to associate with friends family um everyone gets run through new filters and but it also makes people curious again i want to come out of their depression so i think it was peak 2020 i already feel it’s better now so i feel i see like people talking to each other when they walk their dog that didn’t happen a year ago or even two years ago they were completely isolated and i think this is is going to take a while it’s going to take 10 years but it is there’s something really positive at the other end because we’re all going to sit at home do nothing and make a ton of money i think that’s what’s going to happen in 20 years from now which is great i mean i’m i bought my little castle in france and sit there and make a lot of money yeah i really have no no worries about that at the end of the day i just i guess i just want to go back to Haiti and sit in a plastic chair and have a cold beer and you know hang out with my five neighbors and two dogs and sit in the sunshine i mean that’s like i hate that is that is that is definitely impossible and if that’s the that’s if that’s the if that’s the united states in 20 years because of singularity fantastic and i was in bogota and you know columbia is a country that always used to be a more neighborhoodly more talkative and it’s not brazil but it’s definitely known for that and i was in bogota and i was shocked it was so much more american than the u.s i felt like i meant to see if not worse i’m not holding smokes so it’s coming it’s coming to everyone it’s just a little ahead and then obviously puts us in a weird spot right now i totally agree the americans are strange right now it’s very strange well to a better future ben thanks for absolutely really appreciate that um yeah thanks for joining me on these a little more crazy topics at the end absolutely yeah it was it was a blast and thanks for having me uh and if you ever want to do you know live podcasts like we talked about you know who to call i’d love to love to support judgment day i love that idea sounds good thanks torsten all right taxa take it easy bye bye

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