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CalacanisCastBeta17

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Calacanis Cast Beta #17 transcript

 

Special guest: Angus Davis (Co-Founder, TellMe)

 

Jason and Angus discuss the finer details of the recent Microsoft acquisition of TellMe.

 

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CalacanisCast Beta 17

 

Jason: OK, welcome everybody to CalacanisCast beta, number 18, maybe? Does that mean Tyler we did three shows this week or 2 or 3?

 

Tyler: Three, plus a couple of ---

 

Jason: Segments. Yeah, so we're cooking with oil and it turns out now we're getting now like, real guests on the show. I mean, it's getting ridiculous. Like…you couldn't have a bigger guest than we have today in terms of the timing. Except for Sumner Redstone. I can say that that would be like if we got Sumner Redstone that would have been almost on par with this….a little bit less.

 

Tyler: There's always tomorrow.

 

Jason: There's always tomorrow! Exactly.

 

But…so we did the CEO of Revver was on the show.

 

Tyler: Steven Star.

 

Jason: Steven Star was on the show the other day which was really interesting since YouTube was getting sued that day by Viacom for I don't know, a billion dollars. We've heard a lot more about that. And we had Andrew Lee on the program. That hasn't been released yet. We're probably going to do that on Monday. Andrew Lee is a brilliant guy who I knew from Columbia's Journalism School and then he is writing a book about Wikipedia. And we both have the same book agent, John Brockman. Although, Andrew's writing a book and I'm not. I have a book agent but I haven't written a book. But I get offers to write books. I just sort of feel like, you know, you have to have something to say. And I don't think I have enough substance to say to actually carry a book.

 

Tyler: Well not yet.

 

Jason: Not yet! As Brockman told me, I need to fail one more time pretty miserably and then I'll have enough up and down cycles to write a book. So giggling in the background is Angus Davis. Angus is one of the co-founders of TellMe.

 

Angus: Well thanks, Jason. I don't think I'm quite on par with Sumner Redstone but I'll do my best to live up to the expectations you set for me.

 

Jason: Well, I mean let's be honest here. Sumner Redstone is suing for a billion and your selling for almost a billion.

 

Angus: Hahaha! Well, I'd much rather be generating value by the ladder than the former.

 

Jason: Exactly, exactly. So…welcome to the program. This is the CalacanisCast which is brought to you by our sponsors are Podtech.net. Which is a great little podcasting company up in the valley that's actually doing really good stuff. And GoDaddy, which is the domain registrar which is much more than just domain registering. Everybody knows the whole spiel about GoDaddy by this point in the program. All the proceeds from this program, you may not know this, Angus, go to the Bay Ridge Preparatory School's Opportunity Fund in Brooklyn, where I grew up.

 

Angus: Really? Wow!

 

Jason: And we're raised over a hundred thousand dollars this year. And that's put two foster kids, like I'm talking, you know…kids who have a tough time, into a private school---

 

Angus: Oh that's terrific, Jason. That is incredible.

 

Jason: Yeah. So, so far so good. The whole point of me doing this show is 1) to help that scholarship fund and 2) actually have great entrepreneurs like yourself share their stories, what they've learned, what they've gone through because I think a big portion of the people who listen to me or to this podcast are actually entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs working at start-up companies, etc. So you had a pretty big week. I was announced I guess yesterday or the day before…maybe two days ago that you sold for $880 million dollars to Microsoft. TellMe Networks, which of course, is the 411 Service on crack!

 

Angus: Hahaha!

 

Jason: That's how I would describe it. That's how you put it in your marketing materials, right?

 

Angus: Well, you know, between GoDaddy and TellMe it's the same agency. That's how we get the soundbites, Jason. Just joking.

 

Yeah, well we actually didn't have a or release the actual number on the site as the deal but obviously the big news isn't so much in the number itself but in the huge statement this makes about Microsoft seriousness about voice and about the many opportunities going forward for the products that TellMe has pioneered.

 

Jason: Right, and so for those people who don't know what TellMe is. You guys basically power 411 on like, Verizon, Cingular, I mean, everybody!

 

Angus: Yeah, Verizon, Cingular, AT&T. If you ever call 1800 555-1212 to get a toll free listing you've used TellMe. The directories listing business or 411 business is a huge piece of TellMe's business and it's actually one of several pieces or several lines of business that we have.

 

Jason: Right. And so you guys basically pioneered the whole technology of, you call up and you say "sports" or you call up and you'd say something like that and get actual sports score.

 

Angus: Absolutely.

 

Jason: And all that stuff.

 

Angus: Yeah, absolutely. I mean I think our focus is has always been on the people using the technology. We want to make the technology work for the people. We don't want the people to have to work to get the technology to actually do something useful for them. So we've always focused on just say what you want and you can get it. About one out of every three Americans have actually used TellMe's services so it's all about that reach.

 

Jason: That's amazing. Now, TellMe though is not like a major consumer brand. You guys power all the major consumer brands. That's the business model in it. You guys sell the service or derive revenue with those people like Verizon, right?

 

Angus: That's right. We see ourselves as a partner to carriers like Verizon, like Cingular and others. We do not see ourselves as a competitor. We think that is an important part of the differentiation. And we have multiple lines of business. We have this grey carrier business you're talking about for 411. We also have a huge enterprise IVR business or Voice Services business where we answer phone calls like 1-800-GOFEDEX and track a package or 1-800-DOMINOS to order a pizza. So that's a whole separate line of business. And then in terms of the direct to consumer… we do some direct to consumer mobile search and we're really excited about that area as well. So, we're kind of competing on a few different markets and we're excited about the prospects for growth in each of those.

 

Jason: Now, if you want to, while you're watching this podcast or afterwards try the actual product, it's pretty dope! I've actually for a couple of years I had it programmed into my phone and for some reason I stopped using it. Maybe because the regular 411 services got so good or because of web enabled phones or whatever. But I used to call all the time to get the Knicks score and you just dial 1-800-555-TELL whatever number that is and it gives you like a little advertisement right?

 

Angus: Right. And then you can get access to sports scores and everything else you talked about. And actually we've begun to foray into mobile search and expanding what you can do now and not experience what you've just described. It's all about voice! You speak what you want. You hear the results. Now we've got whole new set of products that are now in beta. You can go to beta.tellme.com to download. You actually say what you want and you see the results in your mobile screen.

 

Jason: What?!

 

Angus: You can be in Santa Monica and you could say, you know, "Starbucks, Santa Monica" and then on your screen you're going to see it and it will show you the nearest one. You'll see a map and everything.

 

Jason: Wait a minute…hold on a second. That to me is mind-blowing because I have to understand how the underlying technology works because if you are making a phone call to your cell service how is it pushing to my web browser? Those things usually aren't on the same time. Is that like is it all going IP like my voice commands are going over the IP network?

 

Angus: It's all going IP, Jason! Exactly and so everything now is moving over to voice over IP and standards like zip are making that possible. And what we have is a little client that you actually have to download to the handset so that is one that you know barrier to adoption but you download this little client to the handset and you know, we're supporting over 40 different handset today. It's still in beta so over time we will be improving that and broadening support. We really think that the mobile search space is a huge area of opportunity for us.

 

Jason: I gotta agree with you on that. I mean, I have a blackberry that, you know, I am obviously addicted to it like many other people. And I downloaded some of the Google applications for blackberry, like, they have this GMAIL application now and a mapping application. You know, it's not just a web browser, they've obviously built some intelligence into the client so that it's more efficient at sending stuff. So it look like something similar that you guys did.

 

Angus: Well, it's something similar if only that it's so much better than anything that Google has because you can use your voice to do the input. Instead of having to struggle, I mean like, I use the PERL and I love it. It's a great device sometimes but you struggle and you try to type on this thing and you know, driving while smart phoning I probably the new DUI, you know?

 

Jason: Yeah.

 

Angus: So what you want to do is use your voice and just say what you want and get it and that's what we're really working on with this new direction.

 

Jason: Now, yeah I think it's brilliant and I think it's obviously necessary and now that IP is getting enabled in cars, obviously like the BMW now has wifi enabled cars. People are putting FDO into their cars. I mean, that's only in your estimation, a year or two away before cars start to IP enabled.

 

Angus: Well, I think cars are already starting to become IP enabled. One of the exciting things about the combination of TellMe + Microsoft is that today TellMe is reaching about 40 million consumers every month using our services on our platform in various ways. That's both our enterprise applications as well as 411 as well as direct to consumer offerings. So, 40 million consumers each month. Microsoft and their online services is reaching out to over half a billion consumers each month and so one of the things that we're talking about her is how this combination is going to expand into the reach of TellMe services. And that's not just online but with Microsoft, we're really excited about actually extending what we did today on the phone through any device and that includes in the car, on the computer, in your living room talking to your Xbox.

 

Jason: Aaaaaahhh!

 

Angus: We view voice as a horizontal technology that can be applied across to all other devices.

 

Jason: That was my next question. I mean, Microsoft is not a phone carrier. It seems like the natural choice to purchase the company would have been Verizon or AT&T, but, based on what you're telling me, some of these future plays like talking to your Xbox and getting information, your technology happens to be particularly good at that. That Microsoft is pretty interested in getting off of, you know, just PC's ---

 

Angus: That's exactly right. You know, Microsoft and TellMe, we really share a vision. What we see is the limitless potential of speech is the way people can find information, locate other people, and enhance day to day business processes, and doing that anytime from any device; not just the phone. So we want to expand what we are doing today on the phone across the full range of devices.

 

Jason: I'm thinking out loud here, but I'm predicting a Zoon, a Zoon audio interface like, send this mp3 to somebody else's.

 

Angus: Right. Well basically what we're looking at now is over the next 30 days or so we're going to be very focused on trying to get this deal closed. And following that there will be a period of integration so we need to get through this regulatory time-frame. Then we'll be moving on to the integration.

 

Jason: Is there really a regulatory issue with this? I mean, is Microsoft buying…it's like, you're just a technology company.

 

Angus: Oh yeah, you just have to go through the motions. You know, getting from the intent to the actual closing of the deal. So we expect that will take, you know, in the neighborhood of 30-45 days we hope and then following that will be a period of integration. And then it will be during that period we'll be figuring out exactly your point, you know? What are we going to do about the Zoon? Or the car? Or the Xbox? Integration opportunities because frankly what we have here is too many opportunities not too few. So we'll be coming up with that and then by the end of June we hope to have a better or be able to articulate exactly what our strategy is.

 

Jason: Vista…correct me if I'm wrong, but I was listening to Leo's report on This Week In Tech, TWIT…great podcast. He was talking Vista have like, some pretty advanced voice recognition software built right into it. I think it seems like that's always been a big obsession of Gates to have voice recognition actually work.

 

Angus: That's absolutely right. You know, Microsoft's been investing in speech the past decade and they've been enabling speech as well as other forms of more natural user experiences. And so I think that Windows Vista s absolutely a place where you are seeing some of that pioneering efforts take form and what TellMe has really done is unique is despite all the research that many firms, including Microsoft, has done over the years. What's unique about TellMe is that we've actually made this stuff work for average everyday people. We've got forty million normal average everyday Americans using this technology every day without them knowing it. The technology is working for the people. The people are not working for the technology.

 

Jason: Alright. Let me just ask you like a really blunt and perhaps not politically correct question. But like, people are speaking very poorly these days. You know, like not speaking very clearly, mumbling, and all this kind of stuff. Is it very, like the sort of devolving of literacy and speaking well and annunciating your words, is it getting harder for you guys to do your job? You know because people, like talk into their phones like, "Yo, what?"

 

Angus: Yeah. You know, one of the things is that TellMe's platform…we actually in the last year we have processed over ten billion spoken utterances like that per year through our platform. And what we're able to do is take all that data and plough that right back into the system to make it work better. So, all those you are talking about I agree, you've got to have some impact but the good news is we're actually able to take those ten billion utterances a year and actually improve the technology.

 

Jason: Right.

 

Angus: Over the last five years the technology's actually improved in terms of its performance as opposed to decline.

 

Jason: Interesting. So now I'm hearing now like a great deal of enthusiasm and excitement in your voice. I have to say that you guys are total warriors. You started the company in 2000, correct me if I'm wrong.

 

Angus: 1999 actually.

 

Jason: 1999.

 

Angus: Yeah.

 

Jason: Right before the peak.

 

Angus: Yup.

 

Jason: You raised a colossal amount of money, like over 200 million dollars.

 

Angus: Yes.

 

Jason: You've been at this basically for eight years forever.

 

Angus: Yes.

 

Jason: And you basically have probably gotten your butt kicked. You probably got your butt kicked during the downturn.

 

Angus: Yup.

 

Jason: And you survived and now almost a quarter of billion dollar exit according to reports. Not 100 million dollars or whatever it is. It's got to be a great feeling?!

 

Angus: Well, it's an incredible feeling and the reason is for that is that TellMe was founded with a very simple idea…people should be able to say what they want and get it from any phone. And to have a company with the size and stature of Microsoft say ,"You know what, we totally believe in that idea and not only that we're going to partner up with you and we're going to move beyond the phone into a whole new range of voice based solutions." I mean, it's the idea on steroids or I guess, to use your words now Jason…the idea is now on crack!

 

Group: Hahaha!

 

Jason: So now, Barksdale was an investor in this. He was like that was the original thing. Who else? Benchmark? Who else was in it?

 

Angus: Ummm…Yeah, Jim Barksdale was frankly one of our earliest supporters and then in an odd twist, Brad Silverburg, former Microsoft executive was also one of our earliest investors. So there's a little bit of a shared kinship. Our largest outside investor, Benchmark Capital as well as Kleiner Perkins, and AT&T is actually a large corporate investor.

 

Jason: So, let me ask you from entrepreneur to entrepreneur a blunt question: What's it like when the company's a near six or five or seven? Does all this money invested in VC's get a little bit? I'm not asking you talk about anything specific but do the board meetings get harder or are people getting a little antsy? I mean…

 

Angus: Well let me give you a great statistic. About seven-five percent of the company is currently owned by it's employees. So despite all that and despite the challenges I think one of the things is that our employees are really the biggest piece of the company ownership.

 

Jason: How does that wind up? I mean, did you have them crammed down or something and the employees bought some back or something? Or that was just ----

 

Angus: Well, the last time we raised any money it was in October of 2000.

 

Jason: Wow!

 

Angus: And so we haven't done any outside financial rounds since October of 2000. We've been profitable. We haven't had to go back to the markets for money and over the time certainly we've been building out employee database so now we have over 320 employees and by and large they're all shareholders in the company.

 

Jason: I've got to tell you, man. That's totally awesome! It's great to hear an entrepreneur like….so many people during the down time of the market were like, Tyler I can tell you I watched it because I was a journalist at the time doing Silicon Valley Reporter magazine back in the day and I just watched all these entrepreneurs like, " Oh screw it. I don't want to deal with it anymore.' And they would just like, leave their companies. But the company would still have money in the bank and it would still have employees and they would be just like, "I'm going to Thailand. I'm going to go surf like….there's nothing left on this beach for me and this guy would like fought through and you actually built in the down market and then you're selling at the height of the market. What are you supposed to do?

 

Angus: Well, a great example of that is in August of 2000, we had really hunkered down during the downturn and we had discovered that our platform was an incredible platform for large enterprise customers that were handling millions and millions of phone calls, over a hundred million phone calls a year. I'll never forget in August of 2000, we started to talk. I'm sorry, August of 2001---

 

Jason: That's after the bust in May.

 

Angus: Yup. August of 2001, we called on American Airlines. We figured these guys get a ton of phone calls.

 

Jason: yup.

 

Angus: Now you can imagine the bust, the economic downturn, and we're going into our fourth meeting and now it's September, 2001, and we all know what happened in September of 2001.

 

Jason: Brutal.

 

Angus: I'm pleased to say that actually a little known thing while we were announcing the massive deal with Microsoft…

 

Jason: right.

 

Angus: On the same day we were launching for American Airlines a service that's actually going to take over all of their incoming telephone calls. We're in the process of ramping up right now and it's taking 5% now and our hope is that in the coming weeks and couple of months we'll ramp it up to 100%. So, this company is about perseverance and focusing on our customers.

 

Jason: That's a good point. That's exactly what I tell people when they say , "what's entrepreneurship about?" And I say, ' Resiliency."

 

Angus: Absolutely.

 

Jason: You know what? Like , anybody can start something I'm absolutely convinced, like starting companies is actually pretty easy. Finishing…like Angus did. That's hard! And when it's hard to get to your age and still be kicking ass and outlived that of course we don't want to lose our iTunes rating, but----

 

Angus: Haha!

 

Jason: But to be kicking butt after all those years it's so awesome. Now was this your first company?

 

Angus: Well, yes, actually…you know…well first. I was at Netscape before this with Mike and Mike started his own company by selling his company to Netscape. I think he was one of the first guys to sell a company to both Netscape and Microsoft.

 

Jason: What was the company?

 

Angus: It's called Pay Per Software. Mike…Mike…I wasn't involved with that company they did all kinds of user interface things but I mean, I think the important thing here is we're not done. You know, what we're really doing here isn't so much getting out it's more doubling down. And with Microsoft, we think we can really accelerate the growth of our business. So that's kind of exciting too because-----

 

Jason: Do you have to move? Do you have to move to Washington?

 

Angus: The company is going to stay right here in Mountain Creek, California. We have an incredible office environment. Our employees love this space. It's just an energizing space. We're actually, we're about five feet off the train tracks. the central Cal Train runs from San Jose to San Francisco and it's an electrifying place to work and now we're part of the largest software company in the world or we will be soon and we're just so thrilled about the opportunities that's going to open up.

 

Jason: So now, having sold a company to a big company myself with AOL and you know, there's always this issue with the founders because you're basically a hundred percent in control of your destiny. I mean, you have board meetings to attend to but whatever…these guys own 75% so that's pretty good. You're pretty much in control of your destiny. You're running it every day then you sell there's always a sort of integration concern. How concerned are you about integration and basically, being frank, Microsoft, like sort of screwing up the winning formula because let's face it…Microsoft is big and a big company like that, like AOL when I sold my last company to. They can integrate vertically just roll over on you and you know, screw up your product. How concerned about that are you as an entrepreneur? Did you put in any safeguards so that you protect your product and your people?

 

Angus: Yes. Absolutely. That was frankly, that was the main point of focus as we were working on this deal with Microsoft. And one of the very exciting things here is that Mike McCue, our CEO and our fearless leader for many years as part of this was committing to staying on for a period of years and he will remain the GM of this unit. I hope he'll be reporting directly to Jeff Raikes, whose a member of the senior leadership team within Microsoft. The company will be staying here in Mountain View and it will be operated with all the benefits to be able to tap into the Microsoft. For the integration, we're going to be doing, we'll be expanding our products and working together and at the same time it will remain somewhat of an autonomous unit here and we really view it as kind of the Xbox of speech. You know, the Xbox is a great example for us. It's a unit within Microsoft. It's got it's own sort of culture and flair.

 

Jason: It's own building.

 

Angus: Exactly. Exactly.

 

Jason: This is a true story. The Xbox people won't let Microsoft people into the building like their managers don't let the people into the building.

 

Angus: I think we have a more open attitude we're excited about partnering with the broader Microsoft organization especially with our enterprise business. We're only working today with 20 or 30 of the largest companies, the Fidelity's, the American Airlines, the Merrill Lynches of the world---

 

Jason: This is a very important point though for people selling their companies with so many entrepreneurs listening to the program. Listen to what Angus is saying. I had the same issue when I sold to Weblogs, Inc and I talked to Ted Leo, who has always been a great mentor to me, and Jim Bankoff, and I said, "Listen, we're going to do the sale but we are very concerned that we're such a tiny company no where as big as TellMe but nowhere as big of an acquisition unfortunately, but we have to keep our spirit alive and I just said to them we want our own office space. I'll answer very high up into the organization, and our own sales department." It sounds like your company did the same thing but if you're going to sell your company out here, that's your responsibility. Tell the choir what you need to stay whole and to keep the company going and they want to.

 

Angus: Well, Microsoft is so committed to making this a success and TellMe is committed to making this a success. I'd just like everything about this, you know? We believe that all of our employees are staying on. We aren't doing any kind of structural reorganizations or layoffs or massive layoffs, things of that sort. And you know, frankly, for our employees, it's a great thing because we're going to be able to borrow, strengthen, and improve our own culture by borrowing strength from the best elements of Microsoft's culture and furthermore this opens up the whole range of opportunities for our employees as well. Now, we're part of this global organization and from a career development standpoint, overnight the number of career growth opportunities opens up for our employees. It's just increased exponentially.

 

Jason: So how did the Microsoft deal wind up percolating? Were you guys at it out there like looking for a deal or did they or were you at a tradeshow and one of the Microsoft guys said, 'Hey we should have lunch."

 

Angus: Haha! I keep on waiting for my first experience at a tradeshow that's going to result in an actual positive business outcome. You know, I think that having actually CNET, Ina Fried at CNET, I have to tip my hat to frankly. Ina has covered this story as well as anyone. She's really lead the development of this story. She just published a great article today on CNET and you should link to it.

 

Jason: Yeah.

 

Angus: Yeah, it's the inside story on how this deal came to be and it's told by Mike McCue, our CEO, who personally negotiated this deal with Steve Ballmer and Jeff Raikes at Microsoft and its' a fascinating story and frankly, it would take me about 20 minutes to tell it.

 

Jason: Well, congratulations. I think it's totally awesome and I'm psyched to see an entrepreneur…I always liked seeing an entrepreneur get the great exit sort of confirming…especially the ones that sort of go at it for a long time and are very resilient. It's a great product. I've used it many times. You can try it yourself at 1-800-555-TELL and we'll put some links on the site. Angus, congratulations! That is awesome! I am so psyched for you.

 

Angus: Thanks, Jason. We're psyched too about the future too. Thank you.

 

Jason: Alright. We'll look forward to some great things. Take care.

 

Angus: Take care. Bye-bye.

 

Jason: So, Tyler this is like, our chance to do the posting. He's off the microphone right? We know that so we can talk frankly. Good stuff, huh?

 

Tyler: Yeah, that seemed like a really nice guy there.

 

Jason: He's a really nice guy there and you can tell he's excited. Eight years before an exit. I mean, that's…it was 18 months with Weblogs, Inc.

 

Tyler: It wasn't just any eight years it was the----

 

Jason: Four of them were brutal!

 

Tyler: Right.

 

Jason: And I mean from 2001 to 2004 that was just four brutal years. I mean, that was the worst. I have to say that those were some of the worst years of my life. Just laying people off and dealing with September 11th and the accounting scandals and the recession and it was just a miserable time to be in business.

 

Tyler: Yeah. But I think they had something they really believed in and ----

 

Jason: Yeah. You can tell. The guy believes in it.

 

Tyler: Oh yeah, he's on a mission.

 

Jason: And I don't think…you know, I can tell when somebody's like doing the PR thing and so whenever we have these sales they go and obviously he's probably doing ten calls today and was great that you got him but he's probably doing the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, or whatever. They went to media training so he knows how to say the right things so when you are listening to me interview him you can feel those parts where its, you know, he's on point. There's so many great things coming, the integration…whatever. But then when I asked him the questions about being an entrepreneur and being resilient he really did answer them honestly so that to me says that the guy is pretty enthusiastic. I think that they'll probably have a pretty good situation but Microsoft, I have to tell you, that's a tough partner.

 

Tyler: Right. You brought up a great point. It's going to be interesting to see how this plays in to Microsoft's unrolling of like, a Zoon phone which there's already some rumors about.

 

Jason: Well it's obvious that they're going to get to product because they're in product already and product seamless products with the software, service, and hardware all rolled up together is really the future. You look at what Apple did and how the products are so seamless. You know here at Project X were a Mac job and every other project done were project Y and Z were previously window shops and I'm all Mac now. It's like why would you do anything but Mac? It works so well. So, I mean, I think that's a real challenge to Microsoft that maybe this is what you are seeing here is some software, a service, and then they couple it with some hardware. Xbox was interesting that they mentioned that because you're wearing a headset while you play. Maybe they have games that they're going to just do that and you're like, you know, 'Change Weapon" , "Do this. Do that."

 

Tyler: Right.

 

Jason: These guys might actually be better at doing that than other folks. Maybe they're thinking that other people will be able to navigate with their channel surfing or whatever and Tivo this.

 

Tyler. Right. I'm more interested to check out their service he was talking about where you just say the Starbucks, Santa Monica.

 

Jason: Right. In a car, you don't want to look like a dork when you're using voice commands. When you have a keyboard in front of you----

 

Tyler: In a car?

 

Jason: No. When you're in a situation when you have a keyboard in front of you and you start talking. You look like an idiot! That's the problem with voice recognition. It's that people feel stupid doing it. It might actually be better in some ways like you know you can be on your computer and your typing away and you say, " Open AIM" and you know and you're still typing or whatever and you know, 'Close Firefox" or whatever. You look like a dork. You know? That's the bottom line. It's pretty dorky to talk to your computer but talking into your cell phone is not dorky because typing is a pain in the neck. In a car situation, the situation's where it's not dorky, keyboards are always faster. So, I'm always very suspect of voice recognition on computers.

 

Tyler: But it seems like TellMe and Microsoft seem to be united in their wanting to head towards mobile device.

 

Jason: Yeah.

 

Tyler: As a new emphasis for their businesses.

 

Jason: Yeah. I mean the mobile space, it works. Bill Gates gets a little bit obsessive about certain technologies I've noticed.

 

Tyler: Sure.

 

Jason: He's still crazy about the tablet. You know?

 

Tyler: Right.

 

Jason: It's like four years later.

 

Jason: Every interview he seems to pull out the god dammed tablet and he's like, "It's the future." And everybody's like, "No!" Bill Gates is so smart. Why is he still stuck on this? Is it that we' re so dumb and he's so far ahead that he gets obsessive about stuff. I think that he likes it and he thinks that it's gotta be the future.

 

Tyler: He just had a vision back at Harvard back in the seventies or eighties and he's just still holding on to ----

 

Jason: He can't let go of voice recognition or the tablet or the wallet. He's still obsessed about the wallet thing to…you know, Microsoft Wallet. Some of these things, I mean, people don't want them. I can't stand these people. Hey you people with the tablet pc's, please stop. I mean, you're sending me emails and it's like, you're writing me an email with a pen. And then I can't cut and paste. These people with the tablets forward 300K emails with an image and then I get it on my Blackberry and I'm like, I'm trying to open it. The message is this big written on their tablet but I get THIS much. And see how the top of the letter J and I'm like, why are you sending me an image? Text me. Twitter me. PayPerTwitter…something.

 

So that was great. I think it's great that we are getting high quality guests on the show. You're doing a great job as a producer.

 

Tyler: Thank you.

 

Jason: And …although I wonder if people are getting bored with this? Is this interesting for people to watch my head talk to people like this or I guess we need to get people in the studio. I mean, if we had a studio! If we had a studio we could have them in the studio.

 

Tyler: Right. Oh, some people are coming.

 

Jason: Coming where?

 

Tyler: Coming here.

 

Jason: Where? Project X.

 

Tyler: Project X!

 

Jason: Project X. I like that one. But yeah, so then we would have a two person camera shoot and we'd have both people on camera and that would be more interesting.

 

So, anybody out there who's an entrepreneur or a friend of mine? I know that there's a lot of them out there who would like to be on the program you just let me know or you let Tyler know. And I even think we're going to have an email soon…cast@calacanis.com so it would be like C-A-S-T@Calacanis.com.

 

So when you do the graph you have to do C-A-S-T @ calacanis.com. I'm making work for you I'm sorry.

 

Tyler: Right.

 

Jason: But you're going to be able to email cast@calacanis.com and that will go to me as well as Tyler, the producer. Let us know when you're in town so like, Cuban when you're in town or --- or Perez Hilton or Doc Searls or Scobel or Dave Winer or Peter Rojas or…I'm just thinking of all these great people I know like Mark Andreesson or Kevin Rose from Digg or actually Jay Adelson from Digg. I've spent a lot of time with him, he's a cool dude. Reid Hoffman, Mark Pincus, Matt Coffin, Warren---

 

Tyler: A few of those have already signed up and are on their way.

 

Jason: Oh really. Ok. Good. Right now?

 

Tyler: I can think of a few that are already-----

 

Jason: How many minutes are we into this show now?

 

Tyler: Maybe 30.

 

Jason: Maybe 30. That's another thing we want to know is how long do you want the show? We know that some of you don't want the video. That's why we're producing the audio. So that's working out well. But what's the optimal length of the show? I know for me listening to podcasts if I am interested in the subject, if I'm interested in TellMe and we only did 25 minutes with that dude…I would rather have them gone to 50. But if I'm not interested in TellMe I would rather it be 25 minutes.

 

Tyler: Right.

 

Jason: So, I don't know? You can't solve these problems in a podcast. We make the podcast for us basically. We make it interesting to me and to Tyler and hopefully it's interesting to you but we can't --- every single one of you out there. In the comments, some of you are like,'it's too long or it's too short.'

 

Tyler: And that would be in the same comment thread.

 

Jason: Same comment thread. Some people want it to be audio only. Some people say do video only. Listen, it's a podcast, it's a blog. I mean, we're doing the best we can here. You can't appeal to ever person's …I don't know, what are we supposed to do make twelve versions of the show? How many versions of the show are we doing now?

 

Tyler: You can get audio and you can get video.

 

Jason: We can get flash. You can download it to your IPod. I mean there's basically like three different ways to get it. You've got Flash, iPod video or audio, and we're going to make an AAC version with the chapters at some point so there will be four versions.

 

And then some knuckleheads from like, Wikipedia or you know are going to ask for a WORD version. I mean, that's the fun of it. You go to EnGadget's podcast and there's like seventeen different….I'm like, c'mon it's an mp3! Take what you can get. It's quitting time!

 

Alright. So, great show. Thank you to Podtech, Podtech, Podtech..net. We love Podtech. You know what would be great is if at the end of the show if you could pick a Podtech clip and just play it or something. I don't know..is that a good idea? Like a best of or something? Then we do like a hack tip to like, Scobel or someone like that. So we do at the end of our show a little bit of Scobel show. I think they're Flash Player does that? But maybe we should just put 30 seconds of Scobel Show? Actually, you know what we should do is let's put 30 seconds of Scobel just laughing! Because you know basically that's his entire show is him going "HAHAHAHAHA!! So….ha…what are you doing?" He asks one question then he laughs. I wonder what the percentage is of laughing is on his show? He basically laughs the whole show.

 

So anyway, Scobel, I don't mean to bust your chops. You do a great show.

 

Tyler: He does get good guests though.

 

Jason: He does get pretty good guests. So maybe, can we put 30 seconds of just Scobel laughing at the end of this just to bust his chops?

 

Tyler: OK.

 

Jason: Let's do like a Scobel laughing remix at the end. Thank you Podtech. Sorry, Robert. I don't know what it's going to come out looking like but we're going to have 30 seconds of Scobel laughing. And…but with shirt on! No pictures with his shirt off anymore. Did you put a picture with his shirt off on the last one?

 

Tyler: Uhhh…yeah.

 

Jason: Yeah. Sorry about that. And… thank you to GoDaddy. We love GoDaddy. GoDaddy's so….sing the GoDaddy song. You can put the GoDaddy girl at the ..in fact, that's what we'll do. We'll put Scobel laughing for 30 seconds and then play like the GoDaddy band girl in the tank top at the end.

 

Tyler: Ok.

 

Jason: I don't think the GoDaddy people will mind. I think they'll like the promotion. Someobody complained about the GoDaddy ads. Like, I was talking too much about GoDaddy but I mean, what do you want? They're sponsoring the show!

 

Tyler: How could you not love GoDaddy?

 

Jason: Right, I mean how could you not love GoDaddy for sponsoring the show? I mean, I just did an interview with the guy who sold his company for 900 million dollars the day after he sold it. We can't do that without a sponsor like GoDaddy!

 

Tyler: We tried to have him yesterday but TellMe said that they were still up in Redmond but the first thing they get back…

 

Jason: Yeah. I'm not complaining. My point is to the people who are complaining about me doing an advertisement during the show. What do you want me to do? Do you want me to put a tank top on? I mean, I'm not the GoDaddy girl. I'm going to read it into the microphone.

 

Tyler: Although, if you want big ratings I think you might be onto something with the GoDaddy tank top!

 

Jason: No! I could have the GoDaddy girl behind me during the entire show. That would actually be pretty funny. We should get the GoDaddy girl. The GoDaddy girl must do appearances.

 

Tyler: Brilliant.

 

Jason: Why don't we do a whole show of me interviewing the GoDaddy girl? She's famous now, isn't she? We can have her do an appearance and it would be like Robin Quivers from the Howard Stern Show. We should have the GoDaddy Girl read out news.

 

Tyler: Right!

 

Jason: That could be crazy! She must live in LA right? The GoDaddy Girl's got to be in LA, right? And she must know , like nothing about the Internet?

 

Tyler: All the better.

 

Jason: Perfect. She can just read Internet news and she would be like "TellMe, the voice over IP service…" and we would be like, "GoDaddy Girl, what's VOIP?" and she'd be like, 'I don't know."

 

Tyler: Right.

 

Jason: Good! That actually would be good though because you could put the camera on something other than me. Although, I have to say at 189 lbs, I am becoming---

 

Tyler: Right. By the day.

 

Jason: 189 today people! I'm going right to Daniel Craig territory. That's the plan. Well 185 is the initial goal. I was 197 and then 207 so all those people complaining about me fatblogging on calacanis.com, now they'll be complaining about me doing it on the show. 207, 189, that's 18 pounds or something. Almost 20 pounds. Then I'm going to go ten pounds more or something and that's 177 at some point. Start running a marathon again.

 

Tyler: Yup.

 

Jason: Alright, well thanks for tuning and thank you GoDaddy. Thank you Podtech.net. Here's Robert Scobel laughing uncontrollably for 30 seconds followed by the GoDaddy Girl. Take care everybody.

 

CLIP: Laughing.

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