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Holiday Special 2022

Holiday Special 2022

Mon, 19 Dec 2022 07:22

Cozy up to the fire and join Acquired as we do our annual strategic review of the show and our business “in public”. We recap our perspectives on Acquired’s big moments from the past year, a bit of commentary on the current state of the tech ecosystem, and what lies ahead for us in 2023. Plus as always at the holidays, we do an extended carve out session on our favorite things from the past year. Huge thank you to all of you for making 2022 an amazing year here in Acquired-land, and here’s to even bigger and better things to come in 2023!

If you want more Acquired, you can follow our public LP Show feed here in the podcast player of your choice (including Spotify!).


  • Thanks to Vanta for being our presenting sponsor for this special episode. Vanta is the leader in automated security compliance – making SOC 2, HIPAA, GDPR, and more a breeze for startups and organizations of all sizes. You might say they’re like the “AWS of security and compliance”! Everyone in the Acquired community can get 10% off using this link.
  • Thank you as well to Tiny and to Brex. If you sign up for Brex using this link, Brex and we will send you a free Acquired t-shirt! :)
    • Note: New and existing Brex customers are eligible for this promotion. Promotion runs through December 31, 2022, at 11:59pm PT. To receive an Acquired t-shirt, you must create a free Brex account via Brex terms and conditions apply. If you’re an existing customer, send your t-shirt request to from your work email. T-shirts will be mailed within 30 days to the address on the Brex account.


‍Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.

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How do I open again welcome? What is this show? What are we doing? Welcome to how I built this welcome. No No, nothing against how I built this but that's not all right let's start. Okay. Welcome to this special episode of acquired the podcast about great technology companies and the stories and playbooks behind them. I'm Ben Gilbert and I'm the co-founder and managing director of Seattle based Pioneer Square Labs and our venture fund PSL Ventures. And I'm David Rosenthal and I'm an angel investor based in San Francisco but today then you are hosting me at your lovely home here in Seattle. Welcome to the studio. It's great to be here. And we are your hosts. Ho ho ho ho ho ho. Happy holidays. Happy holidays. Man I don't know about you but ready to put a bow on 2022. Well we have much to talk about. Yep. Well listen is normally I have like a script like a thing that I'm looking at in front of me to know what to say now but I don't really on this one other than to say join the slack. There are great people there including probably you if you're listening to this episode. We don't think this is an entry point for a lot of people into acquired. We think this is probably if you're a fan you're gonna listen to this but I don't think this is going to be anyone sort of first show so we're gonna try and go a little little deeper and nerdy or than normal. We've got a little agenda we're gonna recap 2022 for the show for tech for us. Talk a little bit about what's ahead in 2023. We've got some extra extra fun carveouts. Indeed. Well we would be remiss if we did not thank our good friends at Vanta. So before we dive in over to our conversation with founder and CEO Christina Casio Poe. One of the things we've talked about over the season Christina is how security and compliance has really evolved in these few years that Vanta has been really pushing the market forward and it's no longer just about like check the box playing defense as a company and especially as a startup. It's actually about playing offense. Given all that in the kind of central role that Vanta is now playing in this space how do you see security and compliance evolving? I'm really excited about the future so I think a handful of things are seeing this concept of you know security and compliance and basically proving the security you have to your buyers has just become table stakes to be to be companies. I've been raising the seed round for Vanta in 2018 walked around and totaled the DCs that we're gonna sock to all their startups and many of them very reasonably looked at me perplexed and said but my startups don't get sock to us. What are you talking about? But now we serve a majority of the current YC batch. So people in YC right now and again YC is all about just getting revenue but these reports just help you unlock that and they do that by like opening up new markets whether it's international or enterprise or healthcare regulated industries and I think particularly in the 2022 funding environment so much is about revenue growth from secure trusted sources and so I think we're gonna see more companies move up market faster than we might have otherwise and these big companies know that you know they're only as secure as their vendors are if your vendor gets breached looks like you did it doesn't matter it was them and so there's just I think we're gonna see more and more scrutiny here over time and that's gonna filter down into higher expectations for startups. So having stable customers then aren't gonna go out of business on you or and hopefully you're gonna expand over time and one of the things these security and compliance certifications and reporting help you do as a founder is sell to those big companies and prove your credibility and you know you might not have the tenure of a kind of more established competitor but you have their practices you are taking good care of the customer data that you've been entrusted with and are ultimately gonna be a good and trusted business partner for the long run. Our thanks to Vanta if you want to become a customer along with four thousand other companies you can click the link in the show notes or go to slash acquired with that this is not investment advice this is probably the episode of the year where we will come closest to things that might be interpreted as investment advice as we talk about things that we have liked and didn't like and predict the future and all that so do your own research. All right, David where are we starting with? All right, I think we got to recap 2022 despite the craziness of the year of 2022 in the broader world tech markets economy. This is a pretty great year for the show. I have down here my signature acquired episodes and favorite memories from the year. We started the year with Taylor Swift. Yes. Isn't that crazy that that was this year? This year. That feels like three years ago. Well, we knew that at the end of the year she was going to drop midnight. It seemed appropriate that in the year where she was going to put on the concert and announce the tickets for the concert series with the most of it in human history that we should of course kick the year off with a Taylor episode predicting the future as usual here on acquired. I think 2023 might need to line her up for a follow-up. We should do it acquired session with Taylor. With Taylor. Naturally. Taylor, we'll come to you. We'll come to your studio. Maybe the long pond. Yeah, long pond. Great. I was reflecting on this. It's pretty crazy that I think the announcement was that they had 900 stadiums worth of demand showing up to There's 50 shows. I think it's something like 35 stadiums, but a lot of them have two nights. There's two nights in Seattle here. I'm sure not all 900 stadiums worth can be counted as actual demand. I have to imagine when there's a U2 concert or something there are 100 stadiums worth of demand for 50 shows or something like that. Clearly not necessarily all purchase intent or not all purchase intent at the available prices. Still, there was just no way to service the amount of demand. I actually don't know how you solve this problem. Do you make all tickets $10,000 so that you actually find the correct price equilibrium for the demand? We were talking about our most recent episode with Ben Thompson and Stratekery. The obvious thing that I should do is raise prices to maximize revenue, but then that's pretty quickly going to lead to limiting my reach and impact. Taylor cares a lot about her reach and impact. She could probably make the most money on this tour by having $10,000 tickets exclusively and still fill all 50 stadiums. I don't know what the price. Maybe $2,000 tickets. She could do it. But if you're playing for a 50-year career, then you have to nurture the fan base over time and recognize that the... That would truly be a farewell tour because that would create so much. Right off into the sunset. So much negative reaction. Which, of course, would create even more demand if you knew it was her farewell tour. This is making me think though, reflecting back on that episode 11 months ago, so I don't remember exactly everything we said, but I don't remember talking as much about the obvious point that this raises for me, which is Taylor is a rock star in the internet. She's probably like the first really, really big internet rock star. And the thing about the internet is the markets are bigger than you can ever imagine. The demand is larger than you can ever imagine. Even in niche products like like first-trotechery or for acquired. These niches are bigger than you could ever imagine. Now think about a mainstream pop star. So the internet enables two things. It enables the niches to exist. So there's way more artists that can make a living today, I think, than if you think back to the 60s or something where the labels would pick the 10 bands of the year and that's kind of it. But why is it that Taylor Swift is bigger than the Beatles? Like, would the Beatles have had this much demand too when the only promotion that existed was from the labels in a sort of like the labels picked the winners and then those are the winners world? Well, there's multiple things going on here. Like, one is the disintermediation or at least the reduction of power of the middle men of the labels and everything else in the middle of the value chain. And like so much more the value is now accruing directly to Taylor. But that's not an argument for why there's so much more demand to see the labels. There also is a lot more demand for Taylor than there was for the Beatles. Just because the internet having several ways to reach a customer means that the most popular artist in the world is going to have just way more distribution period. Way more distribution, way more touch points. The labels. There's also so much less friction, right? As hard as it was in all the news about how hard it was to get tickets to these Taylor concerts, everybody knew when they were going on sale that it was happening through social media and the mainstream media amplifying that. And it was hard to secure a ticket but very easy to log on to ticket master or maybe not that easy. But compared to, I don't even know how you would have gotten a ticket to a Beatles show back in the day. I assume you have to like go to the stadium box office and line up that day that they're going on sale and you would only know when they're going on sale because of radio ads and print ads. Maybe you read about it in the newspaper. This is a thing I was thinking about when I was caught up in the Friday night. Is it Friday night? Whenever it was that people were like, Twitter's going down. It's going to basically turn off tomorrow. And I like mentally knew this is a system that would degrade slowly and fade into a relevance. Not it's going to turn off tomorrow. But putting myself in the headspace of Twitter doesn't exist soon. I was like, how would I know if stuff is taking off? How will I know what the general consensus is around something? How will I know that the tenor has shifted and this thing is not interesting anymore and that thing is interesting? What I start reading the New York Times many times a day and going deep into many of the sections, I'm certainly not going to log on to face really. Really even get that same kind of experience or understanding from that super kind of centralized publication. Correct. And it's the centralization that makes it like less valuable. You'd never be able to like say, oh, nobody's talking about that because the New York Times is not a place where you go to find out if people are talking about something. It's a place where you get news. And so you'd literally have to like in person go to events and have a bunch of conversations to know what people are talking about. Okay, Twitter doesn't exist tomorrow. Where do you go to find out what people in the world are talking about right now? I think it's tech talk. Yeah, but I think it would be a much less efficient experience because it's all video. The number of new tidbits of information you can consume per minute in Twitter is high and reasonably low in tech talk. Yep. It's 10 to 20 versus two to three. Yeah. All right. Well, I don't know how we got from T Swift to. Yeah, it's a hard special dude. It's all in the middle of it. Yeah, formatless. Except for the pre robust format that you fleshed out here. Well, you know, me, I can't not prepare for an episode even a holiday special. Okay, next one on my list. Sony Sony Corporation, which I didn't think would be that interesting when we started doing it. It was your idea to do it, right? I know it was, but I found myself being like, God, is this actually an interesting company? I had wanted to read made in Japan because I'd heard it was amazing. But as I looked back at like trademark acquired episodes, TSMC, The New York Times, like I just didn't think it would be one of those and it very clearly, especially in the numbers, did become one of those. It has it all. I mean, it has the genius founder. It has the probably the most adversity that we've ever talked about in any founding story and all acquired. It's really hard to think of hand of a greater adversity that a company and founders have ever come than Japan in 1945. It also has so many chapters. I mean, the craziest thing to me is if you look at the business as of the time we did the episode, they had five separate business units, all of which did a double digit percentage of their revenue. So it's super diverse and all of which did a double digit percentage of their operating income. So like you have five businesses that are all reasonably the same size in top and bottom line in one house. Well, and then we got well over two hours into the episode before we mentioned PlayStation. And then like the PlayStation story in and of itself, we could do an episode. I mean, the fact that we got from like rice cookers and World War II to like that crazy kota about Spider-Man is nuts. In the back of my mind, I've been percolating, it could be fun to do a whole episode just on Xbox. A, we need to do a Microsoft series at some point. We've talked a lot about and around Microsoft on the show, but we've never covered Microsoft and Apple. We've not done Microsoft. We've not done we have not done the Google IPO Apple, Google, Oracle. If we just wanted to cheat and like spike the numbers as much as possible, we just like take the whole next season and just do, you know, fang basically. I think we should do one of those companies a year. Not even a season. I think one a year. It's going to take three episodes to do each one. We were able to fit Amazon into two episodes, but Amazon is only a what 27 year old company. And we didn't talk about a bunch of stuff. That was the way we skipped it. We didn't really talk about Alexa at all. Sorry, everybody. If we just lit up here. Although I think there's enough voice personalization in those devices that if a piece of media says the A word, I don't think it lights up anymore. Well, it might be because I have the Sonos ones and the firmware and the Sonos ones is different than the ones that Amazon actually makes, but mine will just like light up when people say things that are not that word and are just like in a movie. Like when dialogue sounds too much like that. Like that word. Yeah. Interesting. Here's my proposal. I think we should do one of these big tech companies a year for two reasons. One, you know, for Microsoft, for Apple, I think those are going to be three plus episodes to do it right. Yeah. Even at acquired length episodes. So it's a huge lift. But also, I think we should spread it out. Like you said, you know, the cheat code would be if we just do them all back to back. Right. But we have a diversity of interests here on the acquired. We want to go for many years. I even have a lot of fear around like doing a three part Microsoft series where like are people going to be like, I'm just out for the next three months. Because next year listeners, what we've decided is this is a little bit approximate, but we're going to average it every month. We're going to do a season episode and a special. So either a season being like Apple part one or a special being an interview with someone or an acquired sessions or something that kind of doesn't fit the normal format. And like that literally means that it's like, oh, you're doing a three part Microsoft thing. Well, I'm out for Q1 on acquired. I actually think about this. I've experienced this on one of my carve outs for extended carve outs later. One of my favorite video game podcasts, Resident Arc. They're a video game story book club. So they choose a game. Yep. And then they'll do, you know, 10 to 20 episodes playing through the game, dissecting the story, although like literary from a literary perspective. It's really quite love it. But if they choose a game that I don't have a large affinity for, then it's anywhere from one to two months that I'm not listening to that show. Right. And three months is certainly long enough for someone to permanently change behavior. I don't think it's good for us if someone decides to take a three month break from acquired because it's not 100% chance they come back. Yeah, we got to think about the right way to do this. Maybe I'm too focused on the downside and maybe it will turn out that like what we may alienate some people, it's the largest thing in acquired history because I was shocked that we'll keep going here on big episodes. But that the Amazon episode was by far the biggest in acquired history. When David pitched me on this idea, I was like, I don't know. Brad Stone has written some excellent books on this. There's been documentaries. Jeff Bezos is the most studied CEO in the world, I think, until this recent Elon madness. What can we bring to the world in the Amazon? Which by the way, I think that has become this year. Something's crystallized for me about acquired and the show and what we do. I think that should always be our lens. Like, what can we add by doing it? Because there's lots of voices out there saying lots of things. Spoiler alert, this is part of why we haven't covered Twitter because like there's nothing new to add. What can we add? All the best tech journalists in the world are covering it every single day. I mean, you have Matt Levine, you have Dan Primak every single day, they're reporting the newest thing with not just reporting, but true analysis behind it. You have then Ben Thompson, the following day writing a reaction piece that's like, here's my even more thoughtful take on what happened. You have Casey Newton who has a whole platform dedicated to this. And a bunch of access and a bunch of insiders sending him stuff, breaking it real time on Twitter. So it was one of these things where we're like, there's no daylight here for us to talk about it. We actually felt the same way about FTX, which I mean, you could argue that we did have a part to play in FTX because Sam was on the show last year, but like there was so much good coverage and good reporting going on and we're not reporters and we don't do stuff in real time blah, blah, blah, that it felt like the right way to have acquired add to the conversation is go do a hundred hours of research on Enron and try and sort of indirectly draw as many parallels as we can. Like we don't want to hit people over the head with like, this is just like an FTX where they had this. It's more like how can we bring up ideas for people that they can draw their own parallels? It's been interesting to watch this past week at who knows if it was coincidental or not, but I think at least two major news outlets have run pieces in the past week with a title like how FTX compares to Enron. It was obvious. It's obvious to draw that parallel. They were probably in the works anyway. Yes. Is it worth sharing more on that now? Yeah, listen, this is a holiday special. We can break the format. Yeah. Every time people write a sentence, they're like, oh, you got to do a take on this. It's like, I almost never have a take in real time. Yeah. That's not what we do. I suppose the traditional acquired format of a company buying another company. We are some of the most well-positioned people in the world to have a take on why that acquisition happened, what will make it go well, what could kill it? Just like you killed grading this season, which by the way, I love that. I was so surprised. It has its place sometimes. Yeah, yeah. But like, look, things seem to evolve. Next year is going to be our eighth year into the show. Yeah. I thought Ben Thompson just said it perfectly on our most recent episode with him, where he was like, when I was young, I used to think when I got old that I would still be cool, and I would never be one of those old people. Now that I'm old, I'm like, an old quote-unquote in, relatively. Now that I'm older, I think two things. One being old is pretty great. Two, I look at my peers who are still trying to be young, and it just looks kind of right. Zad. You got to change. You got to evolve. The show has changed and evolved to a point where I think we are a different show than the show that used to do, oh, breaking emergency pod on the big episode. Whole food's got a bot today. Cancel everything today so we can do some quick research. There are times where it still makes sense for us to do those. John Fully bringing in a new CEO. The Barry McCarthy connection. That is the take that has not aged well. Yeah, I think you're right. It's okay that we're something different now than what the show was. I'm curious what everybody listening thinks. Yeah. Last point on this FTX saga, which again, we're watching it play out in real time. I don't know that that's where acquired shines because we try to make evergreen pieces that sort of stand the test of time. And like every week, it's so different than it was the previous week. These are kind of excuses. We probably just should directly say we totally had Sam on. We wanted to tell the extraordinary story of FTX, which was extraordinary. I mean, in now in a different way that we thought. You could not argue that it is an extraordinary story. I do want to say I'm sorry if the exposure that FTX got from acquired and every other publication. But we used our platform to Sam and to FTX. And yeah, I do feel bad about that. I don't think there's any way we could have known at the time. And I don't want to stop having interesting people and companies on the show. You know, coming, coming, coming. So, but yeah, like it, you know, it sucks. I'm like a lot of people lost a lot of money. Yeah. So sorry if you were like on the fence on FTX and you were like, I don't know if this thing's legit or not. And then acquired legitimize that for you. Next. Just just if you have not listened to the Sony episode, I'm sure most of you have, but like, it's so good. Oh my gosh. Talk about like the office. We made this thing. It's amazing. You should listen. So many stories. Whether you like our telecom it or not, but just like it is a vastly under appreciated company and an under appreciated journey overcoming adversity. Yep. Okay, Sony. I mean, dude, we did in video this year. We did a lot this year. Yeah. Trying to think which of our silicon episodes I feel the strongest about in terms of like enlightening me about the way the world works. I think it's first TSMC, but Nvidia is the thing that's the most interesting about the Nvidia story. I think is Jensen bet the company three separate times and truly bet the company like if this initiative fails, it will go to zero. And it worked three separate times. The first time is when they shipped the card in whatever it was nine months instead of two years and they designed the whole thing in emulation, never tested it and shipped it to customers. And it worked. I mean, it worked enough. And maybe I'm forgetting the story in its entirety, but I think there was a bet the company moment around programmable shaders. Right. And then a third one around the like seven year investment before the market was there in AI and CUDA and building their own developer ecosystem. Obviously open AI existed. Trying to remember if Dali was out at the time when we did the Nvidia episode certainly GP was interesting enough. I think Dali one was, but it got no acclaim. Right. The one that lit the world on fire was Dali too was Dali too. Yep. But now as we record this chat GPT came out last week, like we were thinking about the, you know, AI Renaissance and how important AI is, like just in a general sense when we did those episodes. And video stock had that crazy run long before we did the episode like two years before we did the episode. Yep. At the beginning of COVID. And so it's interesting that I don't think that was around gaming. I think that was around AI. The thing that was sort of selling that story. And so it in a way, the like, craziest and video balls that were sort of buying at the top and selling the story as much as humanly possible. One wondered at peak. I don't know, late 2021 maybe. They were kind of right. I don't think they knew that the next year would make AI's developments as obvious as it has. But everybody who believed that AI was going to be this complete step change in the way that we use computers and decided that buying and video at a very high price was the way to endorse that belief. Like that ended up happening very quickly soon after. Yep. The moment when it really hit me was when we were recording the LP episode that we did with Jelle at mutiny and that's just completely early was like, oh yeah, we have a GPT-3 based feature in our product. Right. And I was like, whoa, okay, you are dynamically rewriting copy on your customers' websites using GPT-3. Okay, that kind of blows my mind. Yeah. Like I can now see the business use cases for this. You say you can see them, but we're in this very interesting moment where we've all seen three pretty amazing proof of concepts in the last six months. We saw Dolly II, GPT-3, and now chat GPT, which to me is actually the most interesting because the most meaningful changes that it changed the modality that you interact with the AI model. But it's either the same or the same. I think it's like GPT-3 and a half or something. It's a very similar model, but we're interacting with it in a new way and it's stateful rather than being stateless as it sort of can preserve state and you can ask it more questions about. And so I think there's a little bit of a like a crypto moment here where it's the first time someone explains to you a decentralized world computer. You're like, whoa, that unlocks a whole world of possibilities. And you say, what are they? And someone says, let me think about that. Yeah. Yeah. I feel very similar with chat GPT right now. I'm looking at I'm like, whoa, this unlocks a whole world of possibilities. And someone says, what is it? And I'm like, I feel better than I did about the decentralized world computer, but I still can't articulate to you like when the app store launched. Like, oh, this will be an $80 billion on demand car service market that that's not. Well, I think this is just naturally how markets play out though, right? Like we look back now and we're like, oh, when the app store launched, it was obvious. But was it at the time? I think we probably would have felt very similarly back in that moment of like, oh, apps on your phone. Cool. When I first saw the iPhone, I thought this device changes everything because I was like, I wanted one so bad. So bad. I mean, I had a core third. It's so many times between the keynote and when it was like six months before the phone came out, I was so hyped for it. I just remember seeing the device my co-workers desk at Cisco and thinking like, I need one of these things. This is like so much of the money that I have would be used to buy one. So I think I bought the 3G the next year or six months in or something. Well, I got one day one. I didn't camp out overnight, but I waited in line for hours. I got day one release. I got the original one. I just graduated from college. It was the summer I graduated. I graduated, but I hadn't started work yet, but I had my signing bonus. And I was like, this is where I am spending my money. I waited in line just to wait in line. I went to the Apple store. I didn't have enough money. I was 17, 18. Well, that's right because you had to pay full price. There was no carrier subsidization for the original iPhone. Correct. And so it was fun. I brought my little point in shoot camera. I took pictures of all the people getting their first iPhones and playing with them and setting up. Did your dad go with you? No, I want my friend, George. I remember feeling like this device is amazing. I remember really wanting to make apps for it. So I made this to-do list app. I would make apps until the next year. Right. I sort of missed that whole first year of like, you can't make apps. I don't think I was thinking about it then. But the app that I made was a to-do list. It's not like I was like, oh my god, this is going to be a way that you can hail cars or older groceries. Or it was like, let me do the smallest possible thing on this. And I think that's actually just how I think about products. I'm not a Travis Kalanick like person. I think I always sort of think in terms of like, what products can I fully conceptualize of in seeing my head and understand all the hard stuff involved in it and draw a nice neat box around it and just work towards shipping that thing that I can fully imagine. It's almost like I want to be able to do everything myself. Which is why I think acquired has sort of come out the way that it has rather than us doing a bunch of hard stuff. I very much shy away from like, oh, you'd have to like send a bunch of people into grocery stores and like figure out all their inventory to like load it. I just wouldn't do that. But the idea of like, okay, there's this really nice neat package called an acquired episode and it contains these components and David and I can make it ourselves. What do you think the what would have happened otherwise would be if if we did the hard stuff? Well, like one thing we've been very explicit about in a trade-off for the show and acquired as an entity and a business is we don't want to have a lot of employees. We don't want to be a team. We don't have. There are even more shows. I think we would have tried to turn it into a network. We would have taken people up on the book offers. There could be like a Netflix show. There could be. I'm trying to think, is there anything we could have done or still do that would just be like a fundamentally different thing? Like everything you're describing would be building a gimli or the like and like, yeah, that would be great. You know, we probably would make more money. But that's like not what we want to do. But is there anything that would be like an Uber versus a to-do app? It depends what on the believability spectrum you're willing to call part of acquired. Like we could have launched a new podcast app for acquired another podcast and then try to talk about it with glow. We did. Glow is originally going to be a new app with payments built in. That would have been a boondoggle. Yeah. I'll validate your point. When the app store first came out, you could stare at it and go, this is going to change everything. But it was only to select few people who actually saw the particular massive use case with the new thing. Yep. And that's how I feel about chat GBT right now. I'm like, this thing's scary powerful. And I don't actually know what to do with it. Yeah. Most people I think are also in the same mode that you and I are of like, oh, I can see how this could rewrite, copy dynamically on a website. Right. And I see that being, but that's the to-do list version of what right. Yeah. I can do. Yeah. Man, this is fun. We're only like halfway through the year too. Okay. So we did in video. Yep. That was so fun. And I learned so much. And now it's just so much more important. Almost like T-Swap to the same dynamic. Yep. Then we did Amazon. And I include Walmart in Amazon. I'm so glad we did Walmart first. First. That's why I haven't my head. I was like, do we do two episodes of the Amazon or three? We really did three. Yeah. Episode one was Walmart. Yep. In order to understand the role of retail in America today, you sort of first need to understand that everything we think of as a retailer or most things we think of as retailer are actually discounters. Yes. And I totally didn't get that before doing the Walmart episode. I was like, well, there's like stores like Walmart and Target and there's department stores, which are like more expensive and opinionated and then the brands that have sort of their own stores. But like I didn't conceptualize that the most common place that you buy things are actually discounters. And Walmart was really the company that single-handedly created the wave of the modern store period. Yep. Which then Amazon could take digital. Yes. Yes. Well, and I was just so blown away learning about with Walmart how much of a tech company they were. Like I think we sit on the episode and I still think that they were the first applied technology company in America. I think this is a silly. I think you've said this a few times now. I don't I don't agree with that. Okay. Like it is. Okay. So technology at its purest definition is anything that enhances the productivity of a human. So like the wheel is technology because what the same number of calories burned you're able to go farther or a navigational instrument, which means you're able to get somewhere in a shorter amount of time. So I mean, maybe you could go a bit to like apply digital technology. What makes me want to say that is they were a company who did business in an established sector. Yep. And they transformed the way they worked and ultimately the whole sector by applying technology to it. So did standard oil by applying technology to the old way that you used to extract oil from the ground. Fair enough. I mean, I guess like you could say the car companies or the lighting the way people light their homes. But those I guess the distinction I'm trying to draw, which may not be a valid one is I think in all those cases, the business was the technology. Here, it was a separate existing part of the economy that they were in that business and they used technology to transform the way they do it. Maybe it's a meaningless distinction. It's interesting. I just feel like today like Walmart would have been like a hot venture back startup. Well, it's interesting. The question with applying technology to an existing market is always what are you using the technology for? I always think about this with tech enabled businesses. Okay. What are you using technology for? And how does it make your financial statements of your business at maturity look better? Are you using it to consolidate back office operations to make your company more operationally efficient and thus lower your cost structure and thus with the same amount of revenue, you just run at better margins. Were you using it because you're able to get better distribution? Like the internet enables you to generate way more revenue because you're able to reach way more customers on the same set of costs. And so I always think about it as like what are you actually using technology for in your business and does that make it a meaningfully better business than non-tech enabled incumbents? I think there's a lot of stuff in the world today that is a tech enabled thing that is not all that tech enabled when you look at the financials. But Walmart is a perfect example of a tech enabled business that is like the right way to do it. And why? What previously large number did it collapse in their financials to a small number because of technology? Well, certainly the coordination of the distribution and the way Walmart built their supply chain was vastly different than all of the there two four traditional retailers and way more efficient and made their financials work in a way that just wouldn't work for other retailers. Legitimately enabled them to have lower prices to get more customers. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That's a strong argument. Agreed to disagree that they were the first that sort of like broad technology, but yeah, that's a good point. Benchmark. Benchmark. Benchmark was super cool. I mean, that like a pinch me moment for you and I both. I think we should lean into that format as much as possible going forward of we tell a story and then we have the protest on. I think acquired has been a bunch of iterations to find our way to that format. That does feel like the platonic ideal of an acquired a way acquired talks about a topic. I do think it's probably you and I spending three hours diving deep from everything we can find telling the story in the way that we sort of see it. I used to think, oh, what we can make us different and better is we're going to spend more time preparing than any other interviewer. We're going to take this super seriously. We only do one of these interviews a month. This is like which is a tactic, not a strategy. Exactly. And like, yeah, we probably do more preparation for our interviews than 80, 90% of other interviewers out there, but there are other really good interviewers like Ben Thompson. Yeah. Patrick O'Shawnessy. Yeah. Patrick O'Shawnessy. Exactly. But what we did with Benchmark, that's something that only we can uniquely do. It's interesting. I only is aggressive, but it's something that our format and the set of trade-offs that we make in our business makes it easier for us to do that than for someone else. I always think about strategy is about trade-offs. What's the original Michael Porter journal entries called competitive strategy? It's great. For anyone who hasn't read it, it was in the Harvard Business Review. I think when it first came out, something like 20 pages. It's very code, and it's very straightforward. And he talks a lot about how there's operational efficiency and their strategy. And operational efficiency is we're just going to be better. We're going to be more efficient. We're going to do it for cheaper costs. You and I are going to do more research than anybody else. But there's real strategy, which is trade-offs. Right. The flavor is not a strategy. Right. There's sort of the Southwest model of like, we are going to have a different model for where we keep planes than every other airline. We're not going to use the hub and spoke model. We're going to every where that we fly to in a constraint set of places that we fly to is going to be a pseudo hub for us. And we're going to keep our planes sort of diversified. And we're only going to have one model of airplanes. So that way they're easier to service. And there's a whole bunch of trade-offs involved with that. But that's our strategy. Even though it comes a lot of downsides, we're going to lean into the upsides. And I think like the lean-in to the upsides thing for us is if you're doing a super high velocity show, benchmarks probably not going to feel like you're giving them a unique spotlight in a way to do something like that. If you do things that may or may not enable deep trust from listeners, then there's people that are not going to want to come on the show because they don't know how they're going to come across. But if you always sort of lean into this, we have very few guests. We think they're people that you really should hear from, which by the way, this is why the SPF thing burns me up so much is because we try to be ridiculously selective. Then it enables you to create content with people that otherwise are not going to go do the circuit. Yep. Not to mention when we do three hours of content about the thing before it enables us to come in with that prepared line. That's what I was going to say too. There's an element in the case in the benchmark episodes. It actually was all pre-planned in advance that we were going to do the episode just us and then we were going to do the dinner with them. That was planned before we even released the first episode. But I do that we've experienced in the past with the show. There are times where we will engage with a company or a CEO or a firm before having done any acquired content on them. They don't engage fully. Then we do an episode just us and then it completely changes the tenor of the conversation. It's like being willing to do the work to prove that you're as serious about caring about this topic as you say you are. By us having the format of you and I just doing these deep dives on companies, that is a differentiated strategy than an interview show. Okay. Anne Ron talked about it at super recent. I have nothing to add other than one. I think it's fun to add little corrections and additions as we go through here. We've got a few of these. On the Anne Ron one, I neglected to point out that there is a company today called Anne Ron Oil and Gas that's like an 80 billion dollar company publicly traded as EOG. Yeah, listener wrote emailed us about this. Yep. That's the upstream production business. So the oil and gas industry over the last 30 years is sort of fragmented into upstream and downstream. And and midstream. Oh, I think that makes sense. And I think EOG is sort of their upstream business that spun off. But it is a publicly traded company that still bears the Anne Ron name. Yeah. I should have looked this up. Did they change the name officially to EOG or is the actual name? I don't know. That's a good question. It's a good question. It is actually called EOG Resources. Like the name of the company is EOG. That makes sense like the Accenture to Arthur Anderson. Yeah. Yeah. Although there is after many rebrands and iterations, some subset of Arthur Anderson was preserved as a tax organization that is now called Anderson Tax again. Oh, interesting. Yeah. Because I guess Tax is separate from audit. Right. They had tax audit and consulting. And consulting became Accenture. I assume audit is went away entirely. And I think they spun off tax and its own new name that is now Anderson Tax. Anderson Tax. Interesting. Which is crazy to me that there was enough brand equity in Anderson left to sort of go back to Anderson. You would have thought that there's got to be a story there. It could be an LP episode. It could be an LP episode. We talked a minute ago about trade-offs when we were talking about the Benzmerk, two-parter. What in your mind are the biggest trade-offs that we make here on a quad? I think we make a ton of trade-offs. I think we are maybe two-afault purist organization. That's the first and more. Two people. Or you'll look at the whole organization. Okay. Not a lot of content. Right. A common wisdom is to release content every week. We don't do that. That has downsides such as it's hard to become a top show in the charts. If you're not constantly producing new content, it works against the algorithms. But it has upsides of now we can go do really, really deep research. A second one being really long episodes. That's a massive trade-off. Lots of people don't want to listen to you when you do that. But the people who do really like it. Another one being people often ask like you do another show, bring another host. You could leverage the podcast feed to promote other episodes of your new spin-off show with your new host where you have some of the economics of that. There's a lack of purity to me that that's not acquired then. That's I don't know why we would do that. It doesn't fit in the box. It's one of those things where it's like sure you could make more money doing that but it goes in the too hard pile. I think you and I have a really big too hard pile. Yeah. In some ways that's strategy. It's like if you actually believe in the set of trade-offs that you have, then you have to be willing to have a really big too hard pile. When there's a lot of people telling you there's low-hanging fruit to be done. But often that low-hanging fruit is counter to your strategic trade-offs. It's interesting. I feel like you've always been this way, I think, in your life. I'm cranky. You're so you're not cranky though. You're wonderful. But I'm cranky about things like this. You're personality. I'm personality. You're personality. Yes, for sure. Jerry Seinfeld said it really well on the Tim Ferris show which is one of the best podcast interviews in history. That's my first carve out of the way. Tim asked of like how does he come up with all the bits? How does he observe things? And his comment is there's so many things that annoy me. I sit there and all I can see in the world is all the things are like a little bit wrong and that just really bother me and then I write them down. And then I polish, polish, polish, polish, polish. And I'm not Jerry Seinfeld and I don't it's not to that extent but like. Very different application. Right. But it's similar. Like we ship an acquired episode. All I can see are the 16 ways that we could have made it better. I'm proud that it's out there but like really all I can see are the flaws. I think my hunch is right that you've always been this way. Yes. I've become much more this way over time. I used to be not this way at all. I used to be like I believe you can do everything trade offs like the older Jim Moore the cult's coach of the playoffs like playoffs I was like trade offs trade offs as I become older though like I completely have shifted and embrace trade offs. Oh yeah. You don't even answer email. I mean it's honestly crazy. It's like a joke now yeah. It's not a joke but I'm trying to get hold of it. I feel so bad. The only person I feel bad about with it is you. I really you bear a huge brunt to that. Thank you. You're also pretty good about like I said I was going to be done working today at six and so I'm just like not really doing anything after six even if the text look kind of important. That's fine. Well that's called parenthood but yeah that's true. Yeah. Parenthood is probably forced you to lean into some of that more. Yes. I was leaning this way anyway for sure but like it was like a massive like title wave by I felt like I was at like a water park like in a wave machine came along and like I was heading this direction anyway floating along and then just like whoosh. The issue now that now that you're doing it pretty aggressively is you and I amplify each other because I have this thing where I'm like oh this is a thing that David would say like not worth it like this is like probably a good time to talk about this. We do a lot of live stuff this year. Yeah. Let's talk about this and like some of which were super cool like there were some amazing wonder opportunities we got in 2022. But for lots of reasons they're way harder than doing you're in my normal thing and are they worth it are they that much incredibly mentally better for how much harder they are for us probably not in almost all cases there are cases where it is but in almost all cases no and so I think this is one of the things where like you inspire me to be more personicity you ask the question and then I went to a place of like oh well that's easy we should not do anything live because the juice is almost never worth the squeeze which is probably too far like there's probably some middle ground where it's like if pitch book offers us the ability to do another arena show like oh my god we should do an arena show but the litany of things that make this way harder and frankly way less listenable after the fact it's actually the worst product most of the artifacts of so let's recount this sort of like cool live stuff we did this year we did the arena show it still is like surreal I can say that without laughing it's pinch me moment at least number two of the year yeah yeah wow we did the arena show we then also did a big live show in another country for the first time in in Borgic, Solana, with Solana at breakpoint that was a whole nother crazy set of experience and amazing yep we did the LP show live at the TCV event yep the benchmark dinner although it wasn't a live public event the amount of production effort that totally I was down to Francisco for three days we set up three cameras we bought a bunch of new microphones we tested all the microphones big production lift big big production lift I mean guests so things that make production harder guests yes total wild card they might cancel on you they might reschedule blah blah blah they might not use the equipment we send them yes in person changes it way harder like you and I are sitting here now it took an extra hour to set this up to have this beautiful roaring fire next to us yeah we haven't even mentioned yeah these three cameras although now that I'm looking at it there's only two cameras on because here's a trade-off we make we don't have an engineer we don't have a sound person or a video person who works with us so if you've been watching this on video for I don't know how long the last like I'm gonna guess that thing shut off half hour ago we lost the third camera so talk about trade-offs and especially I knew I said a bruh my camera especially in shooting stuff like live in person there's a whole new web of things that could go wrong that just don't happen when it's you and I on zoom yep now at a live audience that massively compounds it first of all the sound quality is gonna be way worse so that bothers me as personickity person the audience gets antsy in their seats because no one can sit still for four hours no one wants to attend a four hour but I mean when you're at a sporting event you have time quarters you know you go get concessions you whatever so it makes the product different and I think worse for the 150 plus thousand people who are going to listen after the fact so it's this interesting compromise where for all those people it's a worse product but for the people in the room that's what we're optimizing for in the moment and I don't even know that we optimized for that it's so funny my bet they're in a show like let's just take a step it was so cool amazing I'm so cool and everybody who came the fact that so many people came and flew in from all over the world yep we did Brooks run with people in the morning so cool a dinner with some sort of like friends of the show and previous guests and sponsors the night before at canless who he's had on the show and that adapting it was so special yeah but it's so you know looking back on I went to talk like is you actually live this again yourself this year but the farther we get from it the more in my mind and in my emotions the space the arena show occupies is just like Jenny and my wedding like all the ups on the amazing this special feelings of it and like my most vivid memories looking back on both events are just a huge amount of stress and being like are people having fun right now like is this going well like you know I mostly remember the upside of both of them of my wedding and I remember the outside too and you know but every time I think about it I can't not think about you know us being on stage in the middle of the show and when we got to act to and on who was on and we didn't have breaks planned and like people needed to go to the bathroom and get food and like and H. Book was paying for all the free food and booze and everything up and so of course people were gonna go yeah like after the first act ends it's like okay well now's a good time to go take advantage of the open bar of course it's just like oh we should have had that better anyway all that to say some of the live shows we've done are the most special experiences of the year yes they have hidden value for acquired in a bunch of ways like getting to actually talk with real people like getting to hang out with the thousand people that came to the arena show like life changingly cool to get to meet so many folks and also always always remember that night especially the after party afterwards yes walking into Queen and beer hall is very cool and just hanging out for hours and also at least 10 if not 20 times as much work for a product that I continue to believe was worse for people who listen to it then our average acquired episode yeah so it's like again it's a set of trade-offs that we just have to be intentional about making next year rather than being like oh that would be a fun conference just forget right oh my god I forgot about capital camp oh capital camp yeah that was so cool that was cool that was it relatively low trade-off because Patrick and Brent and Clayton and the team there they took care of everything yep absolutely it was different too because we created a talk for it so it was less issues because there was no guest so there was no sort of like guest risk but like it was the first time I'm such a like V.C. those are technology risk is the guest risk is the guest risk but the only thing that we had done that was similar was the acquired top 10 the best acquisitions of all time episode that we did and so we had like a little bit of confidence that you and I could produce a sort of talk about a thing that wasn't the entire history and strategy of a company but that was a totally new format for us I'm curious what you think I'm so glad we did capital camp and like that it works and was a fun switch up but I think it was an inferior format to the normal show like I was thinking like we can put together a deck for it and like you did most of it like it was a set of pictures a set of pictures but like I made a deck in years yeah that was cool though I mean the nice thing about doing that is then we have a product we can sort of like take on the road too I think we can share this publicly you gave that talk again at an internal fund rise event yes which was super cool I would love to do more of that like I got to meet everybody at fund rise like the you know our biggest partner for the year and like the whole team like all 300 people at the company were there at the offside it was very cool all this to say it leads me to believe that much like all the other trade offs we make we just need to figure out how do we 80 20 what are the things that we care the most about and how do we not do the long tail of stuff so I think it means pick like one episode per year to do a massive live show and throw the acquired super bowl slash wedding and maybe once a year is even too often because God it's a lift but to then feel free to do a bunch of in person stuff with our partners with our sponsors with people that we like work with on the show anyway and want to just like continue to build deeper relationships with but those aren't necessarily episodes yep that has been a huge highlight for me for the year is I think we have found a way I don't know that anybody would have thought was like possible as a podcast as a media business to like really build deep relationships with our sponsors and our partners I think almost every single one of them we did something like the fund rise all hands or you know a conference and most of them now a very large percentage of our sponsors we've invested in yeah what five of them think five yeah Vanta we should talk about Vanta in a big way monitor treasury voucher mystery standard metrics we've invested in and what was standard metrics called when they sponsored quaster quaster that was the original name yeah back in the day just like we for listeners in our audience you know we've kind of always thought I think this is one of our core tenants from the beginning of like we treat our audience as like equals to like more impressive than us like when we started the show especially now even the folks who are listening to us are the folks who we want to invest in we want to do business with we want to do well that's what eats me alive when I get something wrong in an episode and it's a black mark to me and I can't do anything but see it is like you know I'm thinking of the people who I know listen to the show who are listening to that and thinking up he didn't quite get that right because that's how I envision our audience not that we didn't always think this way but it's really come to be realized now we think of our sponsors the same way as our partners as like these are amazing companies like how can we build as deeper relationship with them as possible yep totally agree I mean the sponsorship model is another way that we make a pretty significant trade off so we only do six months season long sponsorships and we are ridiculously choosy about the people that we do that with and because it's a six-month-long thing to an audience of 250,000 people that happen to be probably the most valuable audience in the world in terms of CEOs founders engineers capital allocators certainly the set I mean the set it would be hubris of us to claim that we singularly acquired have the most but of the you know our niche of media right the listeners to our niche of media I think unquestionably are the most valuable right in some the world so it's a big ticket item whenever a sponsor decides that they want to work with us for the duration for the reach and for the magnitude of who you're reaching when you reach them and so it's like a big freaking commitment yeah and there's a trade-off there in our business model which is we're not going to work with that many people when we do but when we do we want to go as deep as possible and so that means that we can't do things like engage with agencies or engage with dynamic ad insertion networks where a lot of other things that would make our lives easier yep it probably also means that we can't outsource sales like you and I are the ones talking to the CEOs of the companies who sponsor which again lots of trade-offs they're very busy people they're often hard to get a hold of but they're people that we get to build really real relationship with this is one of my favorite trade-offs we've made kind of like I've been saying is like these are the types of people who we would want anyway to build deep relationships with so why wouldn't we lean into that as much as possible on the completely opposite end of the spectrum though something that I think highlights the trade-off and then I've really come to appreciate this year in the very beginning of acquired we could did YouTube and we've been saying for years and years we got a re-tube re-do YouTube at this point it's almost a mcguffin yeah where like it's like Seattle's NBA team it's like maybe we should never redo it so we can always talk about the fact that Seattle's going to get an NBA it of course acquired is going to redo YouTube but I was so negative on YouTube in the episode and the intervening years I feel like it's just been a journey for me of like really coming to appreciate what a incredible product and business YouTube is and this year my big YouTube appreciation has been they enable for many many creators people to make their livelihoods with the exact opposite trade-off of what we do you can just focus on content and you if you have an audience and can build an audience can make a good to great living on YouTube and never engage with business never engage with yeah this is how I felt as an app developer I was like wow there's a money fountain yeah I write software I uploaded to the store and money comes out the other side which obviously like that's not the decision we would make yeah but for the long tale you know and mask my and other niches of media that don't have as valuable an audience has us yep that is an amazing thing and most creators don't want to be business people like we want to be business people we want to be entrepreneurs right by the way I think it makes the content better that we are because then you get first party insights rather than like if we were journalists sort of shooting from the sidelines like some of the stuff I've already talked about on this episode today is the strategic conversation that came out of a board meeting it I was in earlier and so like us engaging in business makes the show what it is to it's funny that reminds me of another trade-off what did things like really this is driven by being a parent but yeah I don't do boards anymore never say never but man you're thinking back on times in my life when I was on you know five six seven boards and as you are now and I'm on three I think that's what man it sort of makes it work it's like you pick very few companies and you go very deep I mean it's a very acquired way of doing it three is a manageable number yep but even so like to do it right you really got to engage yep all right what's next on the agenda relatively show growth show growth it was so fun talking to Ben Thompson about this and his growth trajectory and curve we pretty amazingly double their audience again this year which has basically been true every year since we started seven years ago which this is always one of these things where if a startup is only doubling year over a year in the first two or three years it's like okay well it's not going to be a breakout company but if you can actually keep doubling for seven eight nine years the numbers get pretty big and so it feels very different transitioning from 2020 to today sort of looking over a two-year span where even from last year to today so we we hit over a quarter million subscribers which was 62,000 just 24 months ago I know so that's the crazy like that's the place where this sort of like out years of compounding is starting to show up for us and the thing that's been crazy to me is there still have been some kind of step change like the Amazon episode was that was a step change for us for sure yeah I think the previous highest episode to Amazon had gotten just over a hundred thousand downloads and that one got a hundred and seventy thousand yeah in the first 90 days and when we say a quarter million that is the unique number of people who listen to it's basically our monthly active listener account across all platforms who engage with at least one episode because not all of you listen to every episode the cool thing about podcasts and for us and you know that it is an open ecosystem that's not controlled by algorithms it doesn't mean growth takes longer and it's harder and you have to do the step change functions but then people become subscribers and they stick around Amazon was a huge step change moment for us in terms of growth and many of those new people subscribed right and so thus the subsequent episodes benchmark and run like the two benchmark episodes were both way higher than the hundred thousand that we were at before Amazon and then and Ron now is charting to look pretty similar to Amazon early really five or six days in but like it is unbelievable how I don't think is a reflection on you know the benchmark episodes I think we're great we're such a cool experience but it's more it's like it's a venture capital firm versus like Amazon everybody cares about Amazon yes yes exactly there's also this chronological thing where like every three or four episodes is our biggest episode ever and not necessarily because the content is more interesting but because when you find a podcast you like you stick around so there is this sort of like cumulative effect where we drop a new episode if we had dropped this in 2016 it would have gotten a couple thousand listens but because it's dropped on top of the entire base of people who are subscribed to acquired it's really meaningful and I thought Ben brought up this really interesting point where he sort of asserted podcasts are great because they're really sticky but they're terrible to grow yeah he basically said I don't know how you would grow a podcast if you didn't also have a writing platform that was easily fordable because podcasts are really hard to share and that sort of explains the reason why no matter how hard we try we've really never been able to more than double in any year because podcasts are sort of an inherently unsurable mechanism so unless there's something that happens like you get feed dropped for free in an NPR podcast that brings you a hundred thousand new listeners right away or we had Nvidia part two I think got a large promotion spotify and that brought us a bunch of new listeners that were subscribing to us this year they have we really only started kind of more directly working with the Taylor Swift episode which is why what was our stat 98% of the people who listen on Spotify today were not listening to this year last year yeah and we should be clear about what I mean by directly working with Spotify we're not owned by Spotify there's no economic relationship or ad sales are like like we've been saying we do all that in house that's our business model but they assign you a creator manager yeah well that we know that we can contact relationships at Spotify in a way that we don't have with any of the other platforms I mean I think technically we have a manager at Apple like I don't know who that person is yeah Spotify has done a great job of at least from my perspective you know engaging with us as creators and I think starting good balance between like podcasting is an open ecosystem with all the benefits and trade-offs that we've just been talking about yep but you could also like do it better than Apple Apple has been such a terrible stored high this industry you've brought this up before terrible in one respect but like they're the reason why we have a direct connection with the listeners yeah it's like they're indicating the creation of a platform in an intermediary is the reason why we have this really sticky relationship with listeners such a good point such a good point there internal strategy failure at Apple and execution too like I just feel like if you're an Apple shareholder you should be really angry at management about how they have mismanaged like fumbled the ball by podcasting but delighted in many other ways but delighted in another way you know for us as yeah I agree especially the type of business we have yeah acquired is really enabled by the lack of algorithmic strangle hold on this medium so it does sort of beg this interesting question that vent throughout which is how do you grow a podcast when you don't have a secondary shareable component and I think we have tried to do this with the acquired website each episode has a page that page has a bunch of show notes that page has a transcript there's sort of a reason to consume it on that page you can sign up via email on that page you can join the slack from that page the slack now has almost 15,000 over 14,000 members our preferred way to share an episode is the page because we sort of feel that that URL is like a nice way to package it up for someone and say listen to this unfortunately our episodes are four hours long so it doesn't come with a deep link like it would be really nice if as you scroll down the page and as you move through the transcript or as you watch the video or as you consume the audio that was always updating the URL so that if any given point you copy the URL it's like this is exactly like overcast has the share time at yeah you can do it on YouTube too yeah but like those are inherently flawed because you don't know if someone likes to use that platform so like when I share that overcast link with people I'm like are they going to be like what is this podcast player that I don't use why are you sharing it to me in this weird way there's a bunch of reasons that contribute to podcasts being sort of inherently unsharedable our episodes being really long make them especially hard to share sort of moments insights and there's been a zillion and sort of like clip apps over the years but I do think actually you know we have not grown in the same way that like a viral product grows but we've had really nice growth as a podcast and I think actually growth happens because we infiltrate a network particularly a company network and then we get shared within the company like in a company slack or teams or just friend networks within within a company yep it's kind of interesting like I'm not particularly interested in additional growth yeah like especially at this point yeah I mean it's it's great it would be nice and I think Ben was kind of making this same point in the episode we did with him for all of us additional growth is great but not by trading off any of the things that we really care about that drive our business right or changing the audience mix I was wildly relieved this year from the how many people took the survey 1500 people or so that answer the survey which thank you if you did yeah thank you that the audience mix stayed pretty much the same from two two and a half years ago the last time we ran a survey which was awesome I was like wow we managed to get 200,000 more of basically the same type of person and it was heartening talking to Ben because it sounded like he thought that he had bumped up against the market that he was starting to saturate and then sort of accelerated through it again and so it feels like Ben I think he probably has close to a million people that consume for free in a given year and so if he doesn't feel like he's bumping up against the tam and we have a reasonably overlapping audience that feels like pretty good proxy for us to say well we could probably at least 4x from here but I don't really have like a strong desire to do I think it would make our lives generally worse if we did I think it would be neutral I mean some ways will be better in some ways it would be worse but if we were a video podcast it would make it worse because we're right at the limit right now we're like we have all the benefits of when we drop an episode it really matters to the people that we care about it mattering to and we don't get recognized on the street. The episode with Ben was about Stratekery obviously so we didn't really talk about this but I kept thinking about him wanting to explore more and we should do here our business model is very different than Ben's and growth again like nice to have for us comes with some set of trade-offs there's some downsides to it some upsides neutral to you know I don't know you could argue maybe you think it's slightly negative to grow maybe I think it's slightly positive like it's in the neutral zone but because of our business model and everything we were talking about like the deepening of the engagement with the right people and the right sponsors that's what drives our excitement about the business and the business itself and way that for Ben it's different because he actually does need to grow his business to keep growing the number of consumers because some percentage of them will convert to paying right you're saying for his revenue to grow he must grow the number of subscribers which means if subscribers are always a fraction a fixed fraction of the set of people who are reading anything on Stratekery he must grow the top line whereas what you're saying for us is the revenue is not necessarily directly connected to audience size right it's connected but it's not directly connected and as we evolve the business model more I mean this is a good place to talk about Vanta that's a good point one of our couple biggest sponsors and partners on the show this year we and kind of through kindergarten and you two invested almost 10 million dollars in the company this year so like that's a very mostly kindergarten very small yes very small and most of that capital came from the acquired audience community like the LP capital that yeah back that SPV came in very large part from the acquired audience and so that's not like growing the audience of course increases the number of super high quality people and we care about growing the high quality people in the audience and the bigger that size is great but it's not directly tied to right the business bottom like that was a transformational moment for us I'm I was an amazing company but that's a whole new I was at least an insight you could sort of test the hypothesis of like because you and I have invested small amounts personally in our our sponsors before because we get inside into their business from getting to work directly with CEOs on those are like that's really what our audience resonates with with the products right that's really interesting thing which invest a little bit but you're inside of okay this is a growth round this is a company that's doing really well I can sort of see how well they're doing both from getting to like look at the investment pitch but also the reaction of our community to the sponsorship right could I invest a meaningful amount of capital in this how can we put together a meaningful amount of capital and do I as a host of acquired have relationships with the owners of capital the stewards of capital who want to invest in this opportunity is a really interesting way for you to sort of like prove out that hypothesis a little bit yeah there is no strategic plan for kindergarten mentors period it is very much like you all maybe shocked that there's no strategic period but it's not like we did a you know an offsite like a we didn't do a end of your special for kindergarten like we're doing now for acquired and discuss our strategy and say you know I think we should find an opportunity to do a $10 million s pv this year but no he came naturally from everything we're talking about here on a quiet yep and just to put a finer point on the business being not entirely connected to the audience size there were years where the audience would 2x but revenue would 10x just because it was a wildly under monetized asset but there were several years where revenue was zero yeah this was not a business that's true but it you know who's to say that we necessarily have the business model optimized do I think that there should be more sponsorships in episodes no in fact I think we should probably be a little bit tighter on them and shorter on them and find more ways to make the sponsorship segments even more differentiated where we're not just giving the high level pitch on the company but doing more vouch insurance 101 type stuff where we can sort of like find a key insight with the company and story tell that together I think leaning into the strategic differentiation that we have on and I know that sounds like jargon but like we are I think the only ones who work this closely with our sponsors so what does that enable us to do that no other podcast could do I think that's like the lens that I want to keep taking to it and so to your point the business is probably still unoptimized and it will probably grow directionally with audience but can grow in other ways too with this be the perfect point to do what to talk about our friends at Brex yes let's talk about our friends at Brex what we're planning to do for this sponsor segment for them is actually perfect for this episode we didn't play it this way but they wanted to talk about how they've innovated twice and they have these two successful now separate products and they really are two products within Brex this is so perfect when we started acquired I think most people listening don't know this we had two ideas for the show right one was positions that actually went well yes which is a more theoretically what this is which we did and has now morphed into this yeah the other idea that we had for a podcast to do together companies that had two massive innovations to successful in the way I think that's why I'm so drawn to the Nvidia story is because that is what they sort of like these bet the company big innovations or like Apple with the Mac and the iPod and the iPhone or Microsoft with Windows and Office and I think this is a great place to talk about Brex is two big innovations totally which you know they started with corporate card for startups they were the first corporate card for startups that was like modern incredible UI really flexible customizable product that felt super mobile friendly and that you could just get actual like good underwriting and like available credit and credit card products as a startup whereas most traditional banks would be like you're a startup you don't have revenue but like these companies were good credit risk they had raised a lot of money from big BC's anyway massive innovation in the first time the second time that they've innovated recently is for a whole different set of customers which are large enterprises because a huge number of those startups that started with Brax have now grown up and returned into large enterprises so what they've gotten into now is not just credit cards but spend management Brex works seamlessly for spend management across a hundred plus countries and currencies but the even bigger product innovation is they built in compliance and controls to the start of the spend management process not to the end so rather than like approving expenses after their registered on the card and you got to track down the receipts and do all the nightmare that you and I remember from working at larger companies than acquired it's all set of guidelines are set up front by policy teams by finance by compliance and then anything that is by Brex's algorithms within compliance gets automatically approved you don't need the receipts you don't need to like approve every single thing that goes through it's just automatically done and it's only the outliers to get flagged so that is a huge huge productivity savings for growth enterprises go to slash acquired to sign up and this is perfect for the end of the year the holiday season we put our heads together a couple weeks ago with the Brex team and so we we want to do something for the community and people who sign up with acquired you can if you sign up for Brex via that link or if you have already in the past signed up for Brex because you heard about them on acquired just email us let us know hello at you can get a free acquired t-shirt from the merch store and we now have several different t-shirts to choose from are thanks to brex for a great great season indeed there are a few terms and conditions that apply those are in the show notes and on the website but thank you Brex all right David was next on the year in review agenda next we got to talk about next year 2023 looking ahead okay first question for us what episodes topics guess are we thinking about which would be what's on the docket hang on let me bust out my list one that feels like an obvious one we should do at some point next year is open AI yeah absolutely we talked about doing it at various points this year and especially like fitting in with the whole Nvidia the series but um it's funny it feels like we got it we almost did it 12 months ago like I remember last year over the holidays doing some prep work for it and that I think would have been kind of disastrous because we would have done it and I think way undersold like we wouldn't have been would have been way too early yeah if we do end up doing it and do it you know relatively early next year it's sort of ironic that the next Elon company that will cover after our old SpaceX episode his open AI we didn't do anything on Twitter we haven't done any real business in Tesla it is crazy god he's got his fingers and everything the Twitter is just oh my god there's so much drama there's so much drama I don't like having just drama on acquired it is true I think part of the reason why we haven't done a Twitter episode since we interviewed Dick Costello in early 2021 maybe yeah way before all this is like the story feels less like a business story and more like a TMZ story which isn't our cup of tea yes I don't ever want to feel like TMZ I won't say that like I'm not interested in reading all the TMZ drama about it it's totally fascinating and you know if you can run a company on 80% less people than you were running it before and nothing goes terribly wrong that's super interesting for the world to know now of course it does look like all sorts of things are growing wrong but to the extent that they can turn it around and the business can be generating as much revenue as it was before on a massively lower cost basis I'm very curious to know what the second order effects of that are yeah but the story that we know so that's interesting actually this is the discussion but yeah like that's not the we don't actually know that yeah right and everything that is being discussed is yeah it's just drama okay so open AI that's a good candidate yep I was perusing the world's richest people this the other day and some for acquired ideas or just that's what you do it you freeze that you know the lots of the names are very familiar to us and acquired listeners the one that is not is Bernard Arno which one of the world's top five wealthiest people and not in tech not in finance but in luxury brands I think it'd be pretty interesting to go down the path of like really deeply unpacking brand power and brand power over generations and the concept of a house of brands and what brands mean to people and why you can know that it's the exact same leather that you're buying elsewhere but because it has this mark on it you pay 500 times more for it I would love to figure out what the right starting place is for luxury and do that on acquired yeah the point the reason to do it is what you said the under like brand right how did these amazing durable brands get built yeah I continue to want to do epic health care I think they're like a huge force in the American economy and I don't know if that episode will be a hero's journey or a villain but is it an Enron or a Nvidia I suspect without having done any research I suspect more of an Enron yeah they're probably not a fraud but just a open question whether it's good for the world yes creates some value certainly captures a lot of it does it capture more than it creates open question one thing I definitely want to do more of and figure out how it's going to evolve in sessions so we did the session with Jason Calacanis yep that was really fun and felt like a really cool way to do something orthogonal to the core acquired approach but still really fun maybe sessions or a format like sessions ends up being what we do with protagonist of stories after we've done an episode just us on them yep maybe we keep doing it with interesting people maybe both but that felt like a really cool different type of interview than just a standard podcast interview I feel like if sessions evolves into talking to people who do fascinating work about things that aren't necessarily their work that's a pretty interesting use of the format that's something that I want to explore because that statement can kind of take two directions and I think either would make for an interesting sessions reason for existence one is talking to the CEO of Fortune 500 company about things that aren't their company they probably think about a lot of really interesting stuff and have a bunch of really interesting ideas and they probably can't say a lot of the most interesting thoughts they have about their company because they're publicly traded and there's all sorts of SEC stuff involved but there's other conversations we have with them but there are people and like they have feelings and emotions and those aren't the reasons people typically are trying to get them to come on podcasts yeah that's one thing actually that my wife Jenny pointed out to me after listening to the session we did with Jason and she was like it was interesting it was good you guys could have gone way harder on diving into the emotional side of Jason's lived experience and his feelings and like especially when he he mentioned you know Tony Shay's passing and how that really impacted him and like led to him deciding to make some changes in how he approached life and his work for the next few years like she's like that was an opportunity that you just let fall on the floor like you could have gone way deeper into that yeah I think that's a great point the other thing that I was sort of implying in that statement is we could have people on almost as a prop like we're not interviewing them but they're instead a piece of whatever discussion you and I wanted to have anyway like you know what if we had Eric Vissriya just like hanging out next to you on the couch and we weren't talking about benchmark but Eric was just like chiming in on a lot of this stuff and sharing his ideas he's not the subject of the interview he's a piece of the show he's a part of the conversation he's a foil to bounce ideas off of I would for sure do that with Eric that would be amazing and a great privilege you know who would be truly the most interesting person to have as playing that role would be Peter Fenton oh yeah you're right I sorry the Peter says we we um oh my gosh that was the whole benchmarker is amazing that dinner was amazing there were a few things that Peter said when we were talking about the principal program and Blake one of us a camera foosmere you asked you know so why do you guys have a principal you know it didn't like it like a junior investment person when clearly like your whole ethos is you don't do that and Peter's response well it was like a because forced consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds which is a famous quote from I can't remember where it's from that's from some and it just like it like left out of it just like that was the immediate response that left out of him and it's like wow I never thought that that would show a bonapod guest yeah yeah that was great that was so good he is one of a kind other episodes that I want to do I want to do into it I think that's a far more interesting and successful business than people realize in the vein of consumer brand we got to do Nike at some point oh yeah I want to continue going back in time from Walmart and do Sears Nike's one that I really want to do I know he said we don't do lies I actually don't think this should be a live show I want to go on site I want to go to Oregon go to Eugene get a workout in but I feel like there's like I don't know I'm just be curious to see I've never been but the facilities there and like because it's such a athletic like a physical thing I want to go see right what it's like that's a good point yeah that feels like something we need to experience more physically I don't know you could make that argument for a lot of them like TSMC the episode would have been much better if you and I got to witness chips being fabbed and feel what it was like to be in a bunny suit the little bit I know I think it's mostly from the last dance but like the one of the key key moments in Nike's history is the signing of the deal with Michael Jordan yeah but like what did it feel like when Michael came out to the campus yeah there's feeling the history there he has to be a big thing all right so before we get to our extended carve-outs in sort of reviewing 2022 you and I both had big 2022's so that's part of worth the earth yeah we did I love this is a we didn't intended this way this is becoming much like the bench-bank dinner that we recorded everything I say before dinner X-F-E-M-W-E dinner before we got every we got a lot of good comments of like why are they just sitting there with cheese and on their plates like aren't they gonna eat aren't they gonna eat real food and like we did afterwards yeah yeah but like that would not make for good video content clean clean clean clean clean yeah audio or video content we are going to after we finish recording here we're gonna go out to celebrate celebrate holiday dinner for acquired for the two of us but I feel like this is like the prerecord this is the recording version so at which we would definitely talk about our personal lives well you had I probably the biggest life event that you had a yes I got married it was wonderful I was here it was great you were here it was really cool because in some ways I thought it wasn't going to feel different afterwards I think a lot of people in our generations were like date for a long time and live together and feel like life partners but there's something totally different about being married you know having to ring on every day as a reminder and the sense of like longevity associated with it is really cool and a really totally different psychological place than I thought well and you go through this process and projects together yes the wedding like from the moment you get engaged until the wedding is this like you know you're like a butterfly going into like a caterpillar going into cocoon it's like a transformational period yes and I say like I was here you did the wedding at your house right after moving like I didn't want to play the 2022 venue game yeah two times more people got married this year it was it's like you're not getting a venue and if you are you're getting a terrible date and you're paying a lot of money for it and you're not going to get any of the things that you want out of it that was probably half of CPI inflation right there it was making use David was my groomsman you and I have some great pictures together thank you for coming up and being a part of it you did a amazing job given that you know you two planned it all yourself you were the venue it was at your house like it was we're literally sitting where the DJ was like DJing on to the dance floor out there it's so fun going to weddings after having been married because you're like oh god I just get to enjoy all of the fruits of the couples labor yeah it really isn't when people say it's like the happiest day of your life no doubt the happiest day of my life and I think the like energy and love and just overwhelming force that you feel from your closest friends and family when you're like walking down the aisle and you feel all that energy on you it's crazy and it's an indescribable moment really yeah um it was super cool that was I think the biggest personal life event well for you this year let's see we took a vacation to Italy I'd never been to Italy before those like a absolutely spectacular time Rome, Cinquotera, Florence, Copri, God the island of Copri's incredible I've never been it's just amazing uh have you been to Greece I've not uh okay I was curious how it compares to Greece I think it's similar to some of the sort of Greece islands this one has a some cool history associated with it because at one point the Roman Emperor was sort of fleeing and I don't know if it was paranoia or is legitimate but just thought that everyone in Rome was coming in tried to kill him and so he like fled to Copri and ruled from the island where he could sort of see in every direction to sort of fortify his remote work before remote work yeah that's like one of my own ideas uh pre-digital nomad yes that's a cool thing about Italy and um every European country compared to here but I feel like especially Italy the sense of history especially for you know us to your history buffs like yep you know you walk around Rome or Florence and a Rome a special Florence and its own right is still ancient history compared to America but like Rome like you're talking about the ancient Roman times and you I mean actually walking around the forum is wild because you're like literally looking at pillars that are 3,000 years old at least 2,000 years old yeah so we're thinking about where to go on a honeymoon and probably early to mid next year and I like I want to go back to Italy this is a magical place this is the problem as you get older and you have cool travel experiences you're like I want to go back to those places but you also want to experience new places the world right like I will die without seeing most of the world no matter how much I travel and so should I try and put a dent in that as much as possible or should I say you know there's this one spot in Hawaii that I really like and so every single year I'm going back there clearly the answer is both maybe you had some of the plan for carveouts but like I mean feel like I'm like decently up on like the latest like tech and gadgets and stuff but like you're like you you made some interesting decisions oh you're gonna receive my apple apple your interview yeah yeah can we do an apple year in review for Ben yeah let's do it so got the iPad mini for acquired we both are rocking the the mini because it's a very very good for on stage as we did live stuff it's just game just is the perfect device for live events and any kind of where you're not sitting in front of a computer monitor yeah easy to hold it in one hand I really want the big iPad pro but I basically no use for it like this is actually the device that suits my use case I think a little over a year ago I got the MacBook Pro 16 inch which is which has the love here this is our fire yep which is it the finest computer I remember owned it's a display is amazing yes the display is unbelievable I mean everything about this thing is nuts I do have envy the M2 MacBook air I think it's sexy like so thin so light a lot of the capability of this one but when I'm traveling and because what we do is so everything intensive it's bandwidth intensive it's storage intensive I that's good you're intensive having like you just need like a desktop computer with you all the time we're transferring hundreds of gigabytes back and forth after we record for all the multiple camera videos I want the good webcam that comes on this computer in case we have to do a remote episode I want the screen space because I'm also a venture capitalist and I'm doing spreadsheet things I have a hard time with a travel computer so if they made an 18 inch computer and they made it three pounds heavier I might buy that one too when you're doing purely personal travel do you not bring this and just bring the iPad no absolutely still bring yeah there purely personal travel what are you talking about I don't there's not a single day where I'm on personal vacation where I'm not also doing so that's true that's even for yours truly that's I mean we're small business owners yeah we are we are a single day where there's no one else that can do it and so either it doesn't happen or we have to do it yeah and that's on top of like me being a professional venture capitalist where like there's real obligations that come with and that you don't necessarily need the heaviest computer you can find for but like you need to be pretty responsive on a lot of things and sometimes if you're that's true like if you need to you need real computer we need to make edits to an episode or something like I need to do that audition yeah yeah and I could do that on a smaller computer and and maybe this is totally overkill like when you got here today I had left to go to a board meeting and then a lunch and then meet someone for coffee for an nonprofit that I'm working with and none of those things required a computer but I brought my backpack with my computer in it to all three even though I knew I would never take it out because if something came up I would need to be able to like get away for five minutes do something on my computer put it back in my bag and then go back to whatever I was doing I love it you just never know you never know and I'm probably overly paranoid on that but it's like the one time you get burned changes your behavior forever okay so opposite of this and where I thought you were gonna start so I really like to take pictures I'm a very big nerd about like understanding all the physics and as much of the black box that Apple let you understand of the computational photography engine but I also have like I think it's tendonosis some things up with my wrists they fatigue super easily and I get basically tennis elbow it's probably from having my computer with me all the time and like constantly it's having a bunch of computer yeah so I have the iPhone 13 mini it's the correctly size phone it's the correct weight for a phone it's the correct sort of reachability for a phone which I know Apple used to name a feature which is a stupid feature and so I was like gosh there's no iPhone 14 mini I would pay literally anything I don't know if that is exactly right but like four or five X the current iPhone prices give a high willingness for an iPhone 14 pro mini yeah like Apple if there's a test when it'll add somewhere please send it to me I will again like no price sensitivity around it but I was like I should try the new phone and just like play with the cameras and stuff I got it as you would suspect it was too big it was too heavy I waited 13 days until the 14 day return deadline returned it went back to my 13 mini and I'm thinking about buying another 13 mini because like at some point the batteries can die on this one and if they never make another mini again like want to have one like on in full storage it's just like my Nike's upstairs that I've got stacked in the closet it is the perfect size phone so I have I have a 12 mini right now I didn't upgrade to the third probably should have been right now before they run out well I realized I finally need to upgrade the 12 mini and the biggest driving factor for me as a new parent was the camera and so I actually went I haven't gotten it yet it's because it's on back but I went to the 14 pro wow which I have never had any of the pro iPhones like I care about technology a lot but I was just never compelled by I don't care them didn't used to not care that much about photography yep and so this is never that compelled by the pro versions and I really cared about size but now with a little one if I was a parent I think I would buy the 14 pro also well it's a double whammy when I cared most about size was for portability when out and about which that part of your life has gone away that part of my life is particularly like exercising now my exercise is primarily walking a stroller which has a lot of carrying capacity and I didn't care that much about photo quality I took very few photos before I mean and now just like some of the best advice now I love talking to people who have older kids and being like you just realized time just slips away like we got a kid in almost universally I wish I'd taken more photos I especially wish I'd taken more videos throughout the end so like oh all right so the pro have on order but I I'm conflicted about it like I'm really gonna miss the form factor you are you're really gonna miss it yeah it's like not gonna fit in your pocket yeah it's gonna be it's gonna be transition and also the camera mountain on this one is so large that the phone actually rocks when you're leaving it on a table and typing it's fascinating to see the set of trade offs apples been okay with in the name of getting the very best photos that they can out of this thing which as a parent now I'm like I see the business reason for doing that right okay so keep going on the lineup because you got another important large device yes I bought the Apple watch it's really heavy I just want to say the Apple watch 14 the Apple watch ultra which I'm sure next year this is gonna be the Apple watch ultra 2 or the Apple watch 2 ultra I'm curious how they'll name Apple watch ultra second generation I imagine I'll do anyway this thing is actually super light relative to how large it is and you made the joke about lifting your arm I like don't feel it anymore and I think that happens with all watches over time you sort of like get used to the weight but one of the big things that sold me on it is because I thought the reason I was gonna hate it was the weight I like put it on and I'm like this I think it's the titanium remarkably light for how large it is it's big for sure it's big it's beautiful though this screen is yeah this super clear like you can look at pictures on it it's really bright it's two thousand nits so like it has a flashlight button because it functions as a fairly effective flashlight the battery lasts like almost three days which is totally game changing if you I think I've tracked every single night of sleep for four or five years now and so that's like a thing that I that's a use case I really care about I haven't done anything extreme it yet like I've climbed Mount St. Helens get this great photo behind me yeah that's Iceland that I did with my dad used to this big backpacking trip every summer and I have not adventured in this thing yet mostly because I've just been doing less adventuring over the last year or two but um I totally expect to use it for the stated purposes but it's been awesome for me even not for the ultra type purposes that it's advertised for the photo viewing I would imagine is a really I would never think I want to view photos of my wrist but like actually I think there's a good number of times where I'm like okay cool I saw it clearly enough now where I don't need to also pull it up on my phone when you're getting photos in a text chat yes exactly yep the other interesting thing is the screen is just large enough where it kind of feels like a small phone and less like a big watch and I think it's the edge-to-edge display the fact that they have the like you know raised bezel around it bezel around it yeah it has an on-screen keyboard that you can use the finger swiping on and so I literally can just like swipe on the keyboard to respond to text messages so I can't decide if that's like really nerdy and like Casio mid 80s and like that's not actually useful but I've probably done it 30 or 40 times since I've gotten it to respond to text messages real quick and that's been pretty nice the one thing I wish they had added that to me would be a maybe not killer feature but like a really really nice to have would be some sort of biometric authentication in the watch because what I don't like is when I well maybe with a ultra I wouldn't have to take it off to charge it as much but when I put my watch back on after charging it then I got it into my pinco at every time which you know like first world probably but I don't understand why they can't put a touch ID sensor I mean I know the trend save as much space as possible right but like that's good you're right there's no biometric on it but I think a feature that it does have is if you put it on and then you take out your phone before you need to type in the passcode on your watch and you face ID on your phone your watches auto unlock yes that is true but I found that to be kind of janky I have found that to be kind of janky to you I can't like reliably trust that it's gonna work totally agree I'm like why do I still need to type in a passcode I swear I shouldn't need a passcode right now and one of the things I found maybe I need a different watch band to solve the problem but toddlers really like to grab shiny things with screens and especially ones that are on your wrist while you're changing diapers and so the amount of times a day that I enter my passcode on my watch is a lot larger than it used to be shall we say all right so let's go with your Apple we'll go reverse order for you give me your apple lineup and then let's get into your your interview oh okay so I'm still rocking the 2020 original OG M1 MacBook Air yep which there's so much more performance machines out there like this now but like I still have tons of head right I'm not sure you'd notice the performance difference yes and like the leap forward that that M1 chip was was just incredible I mean performance battery life price point yeah it's crazy I don't know what these 2020 original M1 MacBook Airs are going for on like eBay or Craigslist or whatnot right now yep whatever they're going for like I bet $500 it's maybe less the amount of performance and longevity that you can get for that dollar amount yeah it's crazy crazy you're right if it's only $500 it's way better than let's say you have like a 2018 or 2019 Intel machine it's so worth it to trade up to even an old M1 because they're just not that different after three years yep totally I can't imagine anything that a normal human would need to do on a computer that the M1 MacBook can't handle yep okay so keeping okay okay so there's that we talked about my phone I'm currently rocking the 12 mini very mixed emotions about transitioning to the 14 pro yep and I'm rocking the original SE Apple watch I forgot they made it watch SE they have two now there's a new SE 2 I don't know exactly what the SE 2 has feature set I'm very tempted by the ultra for all the reasons we discussed I highly recommend it my decision for going with the SE originally was it didn't have the always on screen and I actively did not want the always on screen how do you find you does it you find it distracts you at all I like it now especially with the wayfinder watch face that comes on the ultra when it's off you still see the watch hands but everything else it's a black background and then when you turn it it's got sort of the white face comes on so I like it nice I did not like the always on display on the phone when I had the 14 pro it was like loud yeah felt like yeah phone didn't it's like really on yeah but on the on the watch it yeah it's it's subtle it's not like noticeable I will say too I was in a coffee meeting today where I did need to call an uber so that I could get back here so that we could record and like it was quite nice being able to like have the watch at a super what's the social like thing about checking your watch and your watching it like being able to see the time when I was looking at it at like 170 degree angle and I used to definitely be the person that's like jerking my wrist or like tapping it to try to see the time so that's like that is one yeah I'll do like I'll put my hands under the table and then like tap it like it's herb dishesly yeah and then on the iPad side the iPad mini I had the one really only negative experience besides the just amount of work that we and pitch book put into the arena show was my old iPad got stolen after the arena show criminal literally criminal I could still see it on like the map on the fine my devices it was somewhere up like Northgate or somewhere like North Seattle and like but it's like one of these things you're like just because I know where that is it does not mean I should go there and get it no definitely not oh man but the mini I really like the mini it's not nearly as good for watching and consuming content I have an old iPad that we keep in the kitchen for when I'm doing the dishes and stuff and that you have promotion on right like the minis don't have a promotion display the 120 Hertz yeah oh no I've got like a old old iPad that I don't think has promotion I feel like you used to have one with a promotion display you know what maybe it does I think it's an original the first iPad pro that they made in 27 that one did okay you're ready it does have promotion it does have promotion because that I actually missed when I was down grading from the new iPhone down to the 13 min because the non pro iPhones have never had promotion that's the goes up to 120 Hertz Hertz refresh rate yeah on the screen yeah butter the mini is great though for events it's also really good I've stopped I use a kindle oasis that I use for reading fiction at home but when I travel I no longer bring the kindle oasis and I use this as a kindle it's great for that I find like for for outdoor stuff you can't beat the kindle yeah I also find that night reading in bed the iPad even in the lightest setting is kind of too bright that's true when going to the beach I'll still bring the kindle I wouldn't I wouldn't feel good bringing this to a beach yeah that's a good point because they're not waterproof unlike iPhones iPads are not waterproof the device that's still in my lineup that blows my mind is in 2012 as a college graduation gift my uncle got me the $70 kindle and that is still the kindle that I use and take on vacation it's such a good product they're like industrial strength yeah yeah and super light like I looked at getting the oasis but it's actually heavier than my 2012 model the nice thing about the oasis is it's got the page turn buttons which I like and the paper white is a really nice yep I'm envious of the paper white for sure my kindle is actually worthless in bed because you need to light it with a right Jenny and I got the oasis for that very reason Jenny's a night owl and I'm a morning person and Jenny is a huge reader she has a PhD in literature and I mean huge reader too but she puts me to shame she would stay up reading a night with the light on and I was like I'm buying you this turn the light on it's for you and for me it's for you but mostly for me all right so your 2022 personal year oh 222 personal year well this was the year of adjusting to life as a parent our daughter was born towards the end of 2021 so I was like most of the year was preparing and you know then like the first couple months so like it's I mean of course we're thinking back now on the FTX interview when we when we had Sam on was that your first interview back it was in there I mean I was still in the fog of war like it was I know we released the interview oh we switched it with the Michael of its episode I think Michael we interviewed Michael first right that's right that's right but all of that she was no more than two months old probably less like it's such a fog yeah there's first few months but then this year has been you know Jenny went back to work and she works in person she works at San Francisco ballet like it's in person physical art form they put on physical performances she needs to be in the office every day and weekends and nights so yeah this year was just about figuring out life like with a lot of changes but we met early in college so we were like babies you know and then we were you were together for 17 years before having a kid 16 years 16 years yeah 16 years before having a kid which were wonderful 16 years and I'm glad we had all that time together pre-baby but we hadn't had to like really renegotiate our relationship in a long time so it was like oh wow flexing old muscles again yeah I bet but the last time was when we got married and like we didn't expect it you know it's for you hearing you talk about things are different when you get married like there really are all your life systems have to change your notion of self is only about one person but after you're married your notion of self includes another person whose emotions you can't actually feel so like when you're like looking out for yourself you have to account for things that you currently don't know which I think is like very interesting phenomenon yeah and that is so true about getting ready then having a kid I think that's like the biggest well there's so many huge things but one is like you know have this other being like when you get married yes you have to account for the other person and you're like in it together you're no longer just you right but that check it on your sessions you're like you know it's like a responsible adult hopefully you know can keep themselves alive can like if we're going late recording an acquired episode she'll be fine right you know right when you have a kid right that's kids stars yeah like you can't like 24 seven somebody needs to have as like a pretty foreground in their mental processes like I need the like algorithm of how I'm behaving needs to have at the forefront keep this kid alive and happy yeah and they're incapable of doing so their own and you know you love this person so incredibly much in just really like unfathomable ways and so it's like yeah how do you like then integrate that back with your life so that was it's been a lot of figuring that out for us and now like we're now it's such a good age not that it's still difficult she's a little over a year old now 14 months like it's so fun like it's always been fun I've always I've not been I think a lot of parents and especially a lot of dads they don't love their kids immediately and like that's a very normal thing of like you know what moms to have this but like kid pops out and you're like whoa you know right but there's no instant love I had the instant love like instant like very very powerful and I still feel that but like also like as they become more of a person like she's walking now she's talking like a little bit like but she's like so clearly has a personality and like every day and like oh wow like you are even more of a person than you were yesterday and like it's so fun and it's like also a lot easier than the just like the early days are so physically demanding like on everybody especially moms but like any any caregiver so one of these things that like you can describe it but having not experienced it I don't actually know what it's like it's like oh there's no way cool words David yeah right exactly highly highly recommend it but you know in due time yeah other stuff for you this year personally it's sort of crazy looking back on it like so much changes when you parent but um we were both intentional about this but also I think it just naturally happened because it is important in part of our lives we didn't actually travel any less like we didn't travel in the early early months but we did what do we do eight or nine trips with the baby in 2022 including going to Portugal we made that a family trip when we went for breakpoint which like actually was great like really hard very different it seemed very hard it's safe from the outside it was hard it was hard I'm really glad we did it I'm really glad we did it then the other big thing for us this year we'd spend a lot of time over the last couple of years thinking about where we wanted to live in general and then in anticipation of having a baby and then after having the baby Jenny and I went around the axel so many times about California we were pretty sure we're gonna stay in California and probably the Bay Area Jenny's family is there and we genuinely really love it there but do we move to the suburbs where do we move do we stay in the city we were in the city before and we ultimately decided to stay in the city to stay in the same neighborhood we moved houses but plan for now is we're just like gonna stay for the perpetuity in the city and which some people I think are like that's crazy why would you you know why would you live in San Francisco period especially post pandemic why would you raise kids in San Francisco it's actually great like for us it's been amazing we can walk we don't have to drive we don't have to get in the car there's so much great stuff she really enjoys it like she's a city kid like after breakpoint we went out in the countryside in Portugal for a couple days the baby was so bored she was like really get me back to Lisbon like oh wow so it's actually been really great for us staying in the city we'll see as she gets older but um well that's the plan that's great well this is the perfect spot to thank our next sponsor of the episode are very good friends over at tiny our final sponsor of the season I know the year crazy tiny as you all know by now is the Berkshire Hathaway of the internet and has built and acquired the world's premier collection of truly wonderful internet businesses yeah truly and when people refer to them as the Berkshire Hathaway of the internet it makes sense on two angles one Berkshire doesn't really invest in tech businesses I mean recently they've obviously a quarter of Berkshire's or something is Apple and then recently it invested in TSMC which was fascinating but also the wonderful internet businesses that tiny is buying these companies that are doing what is about five million and five million in in your current revenue 30 to 40% operating margins or the ability to quickly get there if you sort of could move your business around and get to that level that's extremely interesting to tiny and extremely not interesting to Berkshire Hathaway Berkshire's at a scale where that is no longer something that could move the needle for them but it could have for war in in 1980 yeah I always just let that was an apt analogy rather than saying everything that would normally say about tiny on this episode I think we should just sort of leave you with this thing if you are a founder or your venture investor or your friends with a founder or a venture investor who's just working with a company that is no longer a fit for venture capital that is raised venture capital but that's just not the right way to run the business going forward just call tiny and when I say call I mean email because it's 2022 going on 2023 and I think there are just so many businesses out there like acquired that should be run by the founders that can grow modestly every year that can be nice profitable businesses that take advantage of the internet either for distribution or as we were discussing earlier for making a more efficient back of house to have better profitability than sort of non-tech-enabled counterparts and these are the types of businesses that may or may not make sense for venture capital which needs super fast growing businesses gigantic markets the potential like ex-IPO and especially with the IPO markets and really a lot of the M&A markets being effectively closed right now tiny is a great option so email hi at tell them Ben and David sent you they are truly great folks they are a pleasure to do business with and we can't thank them and vouch for them enough yep thanks tiny car vats car vats let's do it all right should we start with books let's do it all right I can't remember if I recommended this one because I read it over the holidays last year I think it might have been my first carve out of 2022 project Hail Mary oh yeah I think I read it on your recommendation that's right can vouch very good I think it's the best fiction I've ever read definitely the best sci-fi I've ever read I think it's the best fiction I've ever read the premise arrives at you in real time as you read it so I don't want to give away the premise unless otherwise stated this is a spoiler free yeah car vats the coolest thing about project Hail Mary is how it is basically all in our universe there's no big leap like in Star Trek you have to like take this leap of like well there's warp drive and you don't really understand how it works and that's fine and now that we accept this black box now we can go to other stuff there's not like an accepted black box in project Hail Mary there's just like all the known rules of physics that we know about and yeah it's hard sci-fi I think is the term right is that what they call it yeah where it's like everything is like laws of physics expressions for everything right so that was super cool another book that I finished about two months ago that I thought was exceptional and every single person who listens to acquired should read it I think it expands even broader than this audience but this audience in particular would eat it up called the psychology of money by Morgan House all we got to talk Morgan recently that was really fun and when we hopped on that call with him it was like I was two thirds through the book and so it was really fun like getting to talk about some of the concepts with him while I was in real time digesting them but he's I'm really I need to read it and yes I agree total class act I suspect it's a really good one to read now post 2020 and 2021 bubble when like everything was crazy it would have been great to read it during 2020 right also yeah yes but it includes I think I've I've made it a carve out before the Morgan's essay how all this happened and every chapter of psychology of money is one of his essays and so if you liked if you read how all this happened which is this amazing path of World War II through today through the American economy and a lot of politics and why different things happened and how everything led to the next thing the psychology of money is awesome because it incorporates all of that sort of like factual history with just really good perspectives and some citations of research on what actually makes people happy and what investment strategies work when your goal is happiness hmm I certainly don't account for enough of that in my own financial planning yeah Morgan makes a very strong argument in the book to basically put as much into S&P 500 index funds when you're as young as you possibly can and just never sell anything it's like the most boring style of investing possible that will probably be whatever you do yeah I gotta pick that up and read it that'll be good over the holidays book anything else you got books I do actually I'm halfway through it and I was tempted to not talk about it because I want to use it for a future carve out but it's already so good and this is another one like listeners of the show especially eat this up the power law by Sebastian Maloney is it worth reading even if you're already steeped in the industry yes you and I have done research on 250 companies and all these venture funds and talk to the people that started a lot of these venture funds and Sebastian knows more it just goes deeper I mean just talks about these investments that like we think we've talked about the best investments of all time there are more and like he sites them all numerically he sites returns on early venture capital funds he takes you all the way through product venture capital like I mean there's George Dorio and then Arthur Rock and he talks about like how all those partnerships sort of led to the next ones and how certain structures were bad and then the invention of the private limited partnership fixed all these problems you're gonna love it okay might find that under the tree that's all I got for books oh that's all you got all right my books I've got two acquired books that I can't believe we did both of these episodes this year and we completely whiffed on this very obvious sort of like pun and fun moment you know what I'm like whiff's I know I'm embarrassed by this like mostly for me this is like an ultimate like David Rosenthal like dad joke moment my top two acquired books and they genuinely are also my top two acquired books for the year made into pan and made in America I made that joke did you totally made that joke oh yeah I can't believe I swear I did did you well to go back through the transcripts or at least like observed that in some capacity maybe it was a tweet maybe I just have dad brain but isn't that crazy that yeah they're both named that and they're both so good yeah agree I recommend non acquired books that I read this year I think I did this as a carve out the godfather series the books yep and Mario Pusa's books they are so good as good or better than the movies and the movies are in my opinion some of the best well time yeah and then the other one is Masters of Doom I don't know if I talked about that on the show we've thought about doing an id episode and then Lex did that like huge interview with Carmack so felt less urgent for us to do it but really well written book and then the author of Masters of Doom David Kushner just did a follow up piece I think in Vanity Fair of a follow up interview did you see I think ties in this to you with Stevie case who's the CRO Advanta and Stevie is a prominent figure in the book and she was the first the first or one of the first professional female gamers ended up working did you work at it she may have worked briefly at it but then she joined Romero at his next company after Romero and Carmack broke up oh crazy anyway crazy story and then she went on she came out to Silicon Valley ended up working at Twilio and now is the CRO Advanta tell me about this I'm not sure I read the article but I remember hearing yeah yeah so good both the book and the follow up article great huh cool Stevie's story is amazing so that's my that's my article carve out too which is our next category mine was how all this happened yeah perfect podcast podcast I already mentioned resident arc my favorite video game podcast got it all in a resident arc and all in are like my go-to must listen every episode yep two shoutouts though that I discovered this year and have become friends David's Ender and Founders podcast of course wonderful show and we've become close with David and like when you hear David on the show he is exactly that same way in real life too like it's so great we he's come out to California we find out about love him the other one I've been a huge MKB HD fan on YouTube as I know you have yep been to the waveform podcast that they do is great I've started like regularly listening I really like it and our buddy David ML who's on the MKB HD team he's regularly on host a co-host on that they rotate through the team on the waveform podcast and like it's in the same vein is kind of the verge podcast like solve out the products of tech but it's really well done I've become an increasingly large fan of the verge I don't know how I sort of slept on it in my head it was like oh another one of these like end gadget gizmodo type things but like that was wrong it is my is like embarrassing to say new favorite publication like NELI is so smart and I'll basically go listen to NELI talk wherever he is like that is a way for sure get me to go listen to an episode of whatever the podcast is so I sort of like first and over COVID I think was like I'll listen to NELI in any situation and then like with the verge redesign I sort of I don't think I realize how unbelievably thoughtful the team there is and how strategic they are they're one of the few publications that thinks about the fact that they're a business to and thinks about the way to marry their business with their editorial and how they can uniquely show up in the world based on what they do differently than other people and like I think the new verge redesign is genius like I don't know if it'll work or not but I love the attempt there are also one of the few news sites in the world that actually gets a ton of direct traffic so that's a huge thing that plays to their advantage that then they can do interesting things with there's people that come to them to solve a problem in their life or to fill a need it's so true I mean even me I mean your way deeper in the product side as a fan of the product side of tech that I am but anytime there's a new Apple device or there's a couple places I will go directly I will go to MKBHD and all the various properties that he and they have now and I'll go to the verge and I might consume some other stuff that comes to me on social media but like I will directly go to those two properties and I feel like my impression of Neelai is that like he is world class on the product side of tech but he also gets the business side oh yeah for sure for sure which is super rare super rare and like his his like legal background he gets all the like interesting IP copyright stuff that's going on in technology I just feel like he's there's that Scott Adams aphorism you don't want to be top one percent anything you want to be top 25% at the right three things and figure out how to marry them together I feel like that's Neelai I'll also say I think the verge has been the thing that's surprisingly the most helpful for me for acquired research this year like I did a ton of Qualcomm research on the verge because they've done so much reporting on Qualcomm over the years so big verge fan I know that's we don't have publication of this category but I think they've got podcasts yeah they don't think podcasts so back to podcasts I already said the episode of Tim Ferriss with Jerry Seinfeld from a couple years ago so good the episode of Huberman Lab what alcohol does to your body oh yeah dude it's scary scary stuff and like moderation is also bad there's no like well I only had one drink this week and that's devastating to your body versus zero and this is certainly not medical advice but go listen to that podcast it's just an unbelievable the research studies that he's citing where it's just so much more bad for you in every way than I ever thought and I thought it was bad for you yeah you were already starting to drink less right yeah I mean we both open tonight with cocktails but um well you gotta live this is a celebratory of it that's right that's right my last podcast recommendation is Smirtless any episode so fun it's just so fun to go live in their world for an episode you've looked at one for a while all right last six months or so yeah feel like you've been making on that all right music music I don't think I discovered any new music this year I listened to a lot of Taylor Swift Midnight's I did a ton of prep for our wedding curating a bunch of different playlists for like different segments of the day well that's right you put together all the playlists yourself too right yeah I mean the DJ did all the work that a great DJ does but I sent him very highly manicured playlist that took several months to put together with a lot of opinion in it so you know here's the dance here's the cocktail hour here's dinner here's so I was looking at my likes Spotify you're a review and I was like all this is like my favorite songs from over the course of my life and my wife's life and that's where most of my music listening went this year I'll also say most of my audio time like even when I'm in the gym now is podcasts or audible books mostly in service of acquired research I just listen to way less music than I used to I feel like you do a large part of your acquired book research via audiobooks right almost exclusively wow it was painful for me to read the whole Qualcomm book but the only way the only way it was available yeah whereas I've gone the total opposite direction I pretty much only do physical paper copies for acquired research I admire your attention span I'm interested to try I do have an apple pencil for all right Padmines and I wish I could write with the apple pencil directly on the device yeah I bought that and I thought it'd be so cool and I never used it I agree I agree it's just like I don't know if it's a DRM thing or like a font-size thing that changes the page but like really just want to be able to write with the apple pencil directly on any book the same way I do on a physical book and for whatever reason the tech gods just I know let me do that I have new music oh yeah shockingly you would not think that me knowing me and as a new parent would discover new music this year but the baby loves Olivia Rodrigo less so now but when when she was like I don't know between ages like two months and six months they'll go through moments right Olivia Rodrigo almost without fail turn on driver's license like she would just be a wrapped in attention and like immediately come down amazing we're like I guess we have a teenager like so I listen to a lot of Olivia Rodrigo this year and she's very talented huh very impressive all right I got out to to my Spotify TV and movies yes andor was my car about very great everything here because I did none I rewatched a black Panther recently it was just as good great movie but that's all I got so andor I saw the new top gun that was unbelievably fun like put that on a big 4k TV with some surround sound and just enjoy Jenny and I watched that on a laptop uh yeah we got to go I think they're re releasing it in theaters for release yeah we can go upstairs after this and watch it's a 75 inch like like it's it's a very good it's a very good experience nice I watched everything everywhere all at once the movie and that movie gives you all the feels that is a great great movie great one to watch together if you're looking for something to watch with your partner weird movie kind of a sci-fi kind of romcom it's like a family dynamics movie sad parts happy parts and visually stunning so and great acting I don't even really want to talk about what it's about because it's it's one of these that I just don't want to spoil it but basically everyone will like this movie great good holiday movie great holiday movie I haven't watched season one yet because it felt like I just wanted to catch up as soon as possible because everyone was talking about it I'm now up to date on white lotus season two that is a wild show it's basically the premise is like you get eight to ten rich people that show up at this beautiful hotel the white lotus in Sicily and there are in three or four different groups so the plots sort of follows different groups but the thing that runs through everyone is like everyone is extremely set in life very wealthy and like deeply unhappy and then crazy problematic stuff ensues from there and it's visually stunning and the acting is great and you're simultaneously very mad at all these characters for doing stuff that they shouldn't be doing but you also totally understand the characters are so well established that you understand based on their flaws as humans why they're falling into these traps are the real people is it reality or is it fiction fiction yeah just very very well written fiction and the first one was in Hawaii so it's and I think it's almost a completely different cast but like sort of same general premise in Italy so each season is a different set I think that's what they're doing yeah lastly I watch a lot of TV this year the vow on Netflix is great like trash TV to leave on the background is two seasons long and it is a documentary about a cult and unbelievably the cult leader is so wrapped up I mean maybe not unbelievably for a cult leader in self glorification that like that sounds very believable for a cult there 15 20 years ago he started recruiting filmmakers to join the cult so they would shoot all this footage so there's all this like very very high production value footage over the entire life of the cult all the way through the trial which was only a few years ago is the next year cult and like dude went to prison for life and the bunch of other people went to prison because like they did terrible cult stuff and the whole thing is just like perfectly documented the entire time because I think it was like part of the arrest that like all this document all these stuff became a footage yeah so well maybe they maybe Netflix bought I don't know but either way very very good background TV great apps the only new app that I started using this year that had any meaningful impact was our baby monitor app I just like everything's also fired what about you do you have anything I have a few apps since moving houses that are sort of tied to like IOT type things the only one that's not that I really like that I started using this year is a flighty which is Ryan Jones is he's an indie developer he previously did weatherline which was my fear weather app and flighty is sort of like the modern tripp it the best way to explain it is like unbelievably good UI to tell you real time information about your flight and it's tied into like every available API with every available airline so you get information from flighty before the airline notifies you of it and often before it even displays on gates when you're in the air okay I got push before I get this for flying back in a couple days dude when when you get like a 30 second heads up on a change before the massive people are behind you it's very that's huge very valid that isn't it that's alpha that's alpha right there that's alpha although now we just gave it to everybody I think he was even featured in the apple keynote so we're not giving anybody any distribution here that they didn't otherwise already earned but Ryan's just amazing indie developer it's been really fun to like watch I haven't met him or anything but watch the success of his apps over the years and this is just a fantastic experience be fun to do maybe be an LP show or two but we should have some indie developers yeah like those are interesting business stories totally all right products I have one that actually comes with an app great mind if the robo rock s7 max robo rock s7 max can I guess what is this a robot vacuum yes it's the competitor to roomba and I think it's a Xiaomi company you know how Xiaomi owns like large stakes and a whole bunch of companies that they like manufacture for I think it's that but it's just like I had a roomba and actually returned it to get the robo rock instead and the s7 max is the like I mean it's like the worst product name of all time but it's like the souped up self emptying also has a lightweight mop built in it's the first time I've actually had like a robot where you actually can say like this thing is robust enough that it's just going to make my life easier without failing or getting stuck or needing some kind of intervention it just does its job what's preventing me from ever seriously considering robot vacuums is stairs so you just need one for each floor exactly yeah or you can move it but yeah I went for two robo rocks given the Xiaomi involvement or potential I would imagine you could probably get two for less than the cost of a no they're very expensive other very expensive yeah oh wow I was expecting that too no they're they're they're premium priced oh interesting but great fantastic product yeah I guess that is a solution you just do one for each floor yep yeah interesting or get used to carrying it it's fine I'm gonna guess you're gonna walk upstairs to like go to bed see me as well just like carry this thing under your arm and set it down and then start it in the morning or something it's great but I never thought about that just save you a thousand bucks right there all right that's all you got that's all you got okay let's see I uh I'm intentionally going to limit a parenting product to just one I could really do a whole other show for this yeah like this is maybe do a list yeah listeners want this yeah maybe well I mean not all but it's a subset too so my my just one this is a super pro tip that never would have thought of but diaper bags are like big brilliant idea I wish I could take credit for this but I can't put the key essentials of a diaper bag which are diapers wipes changing pad in a pouch you know like you can get like a nice like pouch or whatever like printed or like you know I don't even know where ours is from and then you could just move that pouch into whatever bag or you could either carry the pouch yourself or put it in your backpack or put it in whatever like rather than having a dedicated diaper bag keep the core essentials of the diaper bag in a pouch that you can then put in other things God do this show is getting worse and worse and worse and worse and listeners if you're still listening I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry we'll be back next year with better content oh boy but by the way at some point if I'm ever apparent I'm totally gonna be like yeah for all this I'll just do that I'll make a list for you good on the universal product appeal a couple quick ones one I went back actually to the apple keyboard I had a mechanical keyboard which I really liked but I went back to the apple one for touch ID built in like it actually it's so convenient it is really nice so convenient I have the Microsoft ergonomics sculpt two and I love it but I think I type my password two dozen times a day more than I would if I just had my I seriously doubt they'll do this but actually they could sell for a hundred bucks and make a ton of margins a little standalone standalone touch ID dongle no I believe that's for sure yeah totally bunch of Elgato gear yeah including the sound panel their sound panels are so good so easy to put up I don't know if listeners noticed from by the way we have four Elgato lights in this room right now an Elgato stream deck David and I use the Elgato preamps the Wave XLR yeah and then also the camera the wide camera that somehow turned off again is mounted on the Elgato boom arm where my mic is normally on my desk yeah they make such good stuff the sound panels in particular are really really good and really they have frames around them and then sticky stuff to mount so I could literally I I've put up a I don't know probably 12 of them in total took less than an hour oh we also use the cam link the cam link for the way that we pipe our cameras into our computer as webcams yep huge huge Elgato fans nice all right and then you added to the agenda a final new carve out section of places places here uh coppery that is my that you already yeah discussed yes any for you no we didn't really go anywhere new despite all our travels we've been to Portugal and Lisbon before we went back to Santa Barbara we try and go there every year at least once a year that's the beach for us Santa Barbara's just amazing lovely lovely play one of the loveliest places yeah on earth and very accessible from California we got to find more we did the EA episode down there we got to find more acquired related reasons to get a triple lives down there he's got to figure it out that's right well with that listeners I think we will see you in 2023 our huge thank you to Vanta to our good friends at Brex and to our friends at tiny as mentioned a Brex sign up slash acquired and you can get a free acquired t-shirt if you have a company that you want to sell to tiny or you think they should buy that is someone else's company email them at hi at Vanta you know Vanta by now go get your sock to or other compliance certificates from them slash acquired we would love to see you in the slack we'll be hanging out there over the holidays if you want to listen to the LP show we actually just recorded two other great LP shows it'll be coming out soon you can join and get those two weeks early at slash LP or you can search acquired LP show in any podcast player and get access to them two weeks after LP's get them anything else David. One very very important last thing a big thank you to all of you we talked about it a lot on this episode we truly have the best audience in the world the best community in the world. Ben and I just pinch ourselves like literally on a weekly if not daily basis that we get to do this that I get to do this as a living and it's all thanks to you all we just get so much joy out of putting this show together we clearly we can talk for hours just about the end and all the fun whether that's interesting to other people or events to be seen but every business should know their source of power and their source of differentiation and ours is all of you so thank you so much for being on the journey with us it's been an amazing seven years and here's to seven more indeed happy holidays happy holidays