TWIT 748: The BAT FAANGs

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

@Leo regarding a possible TWiT podcast with Amy Webb, I sure hope that happens!:grin:

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As always, Amy Webb elevates any conversation to Master Class-level brilliance. And Christina Warren is pretty da*n brilliant in her own right.

To fully confess and ask for absolution - before Christina went to Microsoft, I saw her as one of the worst examples of Apple-as-fashion, and dismissed her as superficial to the point of being worthless in her point of view.

Boy, was I dead wrong on that point.

Let me say that again - I was dead wrong regarding her.

I was guilty of egregious stereotyping and never bothered to actually read her stuff. I’m ashamed to say that I only started looking closer at her work after she moved to Microsoft. That I only started to take her insights seriously at that point does not speak well of me, and I feel compelled to confess this failing because she deserves far better from the general tech community than the feeble consideration I gave her. My one and only saving grace is that I never evaluated her on her gender. Gender was, and is, irrelevant. But that doesn’t save me from the baselessness of my wrongful dismissal of her point of view.

With that off my chest - I want to say that I happily listen anytime Christina is a panelist; and Amy Webb practically commands attention she she speaks. Her addition as a regular guest is one of the best decisions TWIT has made in recent years.

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The panel discussed a few books similar to Webb’s “The Big 9” could someone recap those titles that were discussed?

Shoshona Zuboff’s Surveillance Capitalism is the one we mentioned. Really thought provoking. There’s a Triangulation with her if you want to dip your toe in first.

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Wow what a great episode. Amy and Christina are just spectacular, what fantastic insight. I bought Amy’s book after that episode, going to read it as soon as I finish the other 4 I bought this month. I also thought her points about having Leadership and Collaboration over Legislation was interesting, not something I initially agreed with however she is a lot smarter than I am so maybe I should consider my point of view.

Anyway, awesome episode.

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Here’s a link with the full title of the book Leo mentioned:

I was intrigued by the Triangulation episode and added it to my Audible. It’s just north of 24 hours, but listens well at 1.5 speed and has a well organized chapter list so you can jump around (far better than most books I’ve read on Audible).

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That is a definite yes, I want that too…:raised_hands:

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Already in my library, just haven’t got the time to listen to it yet. :+1: :+1:

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A quote from the CNet article linked from the show page:

Yeah, I donno what Magic Leap is… but I know what it isn’t… a success.

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When listening to this episode, it reminded me that many towns or cities around the world do not seem to have long term planning as suggested by Amy. They may have blue prints for a particular location to be developed, but never really consider the other stuff that are needed to make it really work, just like what Christina was saying about Atlanta, no transportation, telecommunication, accommodation infrastructure in place. They use whatever existed, which quickly become inadequate.
I think able to have sufficient public funding is important to get this done, as government is not out to make profit, as oppose to companies.

As regarding what Amy was talking about Magic Leap, I am really really intrigued about what it would eventually become.
She kept mentioning about the physics of it, I wonder if she is saying that you can actually interact with whatever AR that has been generated with the device, and how you can share these objects with other magic leap users.
Everyone who has experienced the lab’s version of Magic Leap all said how incredible it was, I don’t think all these people can be lying.
I just don’t think we should keep dismissing it to say that it is a failure by a 1st gen beta product.

It IS a market failure. All the coolest tech in the world is useless if it stays stuck in the lab. The definition of success is getting something cost effectively on the market so you generate revenue to keep revving the product. Commercialization is a big part of any product’s life cycle. There’s a reason why products have version numbers. Like Playstation 1 -> 5 or Windows 1 -> 10 or car year model numbers… It seems most likely to me that Magic Leap will run out of money and forever be considered a commercial flop that was ruined by bad management that didn’t understand what it took to actually bring something to market. If it really is revolutionary then some other company will buy the remains for pennies on the dollar and bring something rebranded to market.

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I think the comparison between the tech giants and the titans of the industrial boom is rather apt, though I think companies like Ford could have also benefited from the long-term strategic planning and thinking that Amy advocates for the tech companies. Any of them might have been able to beat Tesla out of the gate on EVs, for instance, and might just be able to leverage resources to beat them on automation, but it should have not been a contest. There’s a host of lessons to be learned there about putting long-term stability ahead of quarterly profit reports. One of the crucial problems there is that the people with the final say on prioritizing short or long term are not likely to benefit from the long term decisions and foresight planning. In terms of legislative incentives that Amy was talking about, I wonder if there might not be something in certain classes of investment (such as pension/401(k)/sinking funds/endowments) being inherently more interested in long term stability than short-term profit-taking.

The only thing I have to say about Christina is OK MILENNIAL!!!

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I appreciate it when people can admit their faults and learn from them. I am guilty of this as well, as I think most people are at some point or another. Not specifically w/ Christina (I’ve been following her work for a while now) but with tech journalists in general. There are always biases and judgements in reading and in creation of content. It’s always important to try to flex your perspective and open your mind from time to time.

I’d also like to thank Leo and Co for pointing out those of us that work in Government Service. I’ve been nearly a decade into dedicating my career to working for Uncle Sam and it most certainly moves at a snails pace, can be frustrating, and there are a lot of people in it for simply job security HOWEVER it’s rewarding and I believe to be important work. Might not be cutting edge in any sense of the word, but it’s still rewarding.

That said, my job sucks right now and I’m searching for a new one! Luckily there are always tech related jobs available in Govt work.

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I am a long time Braves fan and I hate to disagree with Christina but the reason the Braves moved from Atlanta was not because of racism. They could not build what they did in downtown Atlanta. Have you ever tried to drive to a game at Turner Field? Yeah, they had parking where Fulton County Stadium sat but getting to Suntrust is very easy compared to previous stadiums.

Also, if the reason people want out of Atlanta because of racism then why did they just built the Falcons new dome in Atlanta?

I would have over looked this if she said that “in her opinion” but she said it was a fact and she is wrong.

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I can’t speak for Christina, but I think it’s generally understood that most examples of sprawling out to the suburbs includes a consciously segragational component, and this can include the movement of big sports franchises. White folks fled Detroit in the 1950s and 60s in droves, particularly to Oakland County (which became one of the wealthiest in the nation), and wouldn’t you know that both the Pistons and the Lions moved out to fancy new facilities in that very county in the 1970s/80s. The sports chased the money to some extent, but the underlying racism is part of the reason that the money was out there in the first place. And some of the other objective arguments were the same.

For instance, they were certainly very easy to get to–if you had a car–and parking wasn’t an issue. But both venues also faced an issue that once you got there, there was nothing to do before or after the game–nothing to see, nowhere else to go easily. No pseudo-downtown sprung up around them, mostly because they had to be surrounded by huge artery roads to service all the car traffic going there, and once you were on the road after the game, you were loathe to stop anywhere close… because of all the traffic on the huge artery roads. Some businesses popped up around them, but mostly incidental. The Palace of Auburn Hills, the Pistons’ now-former home, is bordered on one side by a massive landfill. Yay suburbs!

And now both teams are back in Detroit proper. And people generally have more to do before and after the games, because they’re walking distance from a lot of really great stuff going on in Detroit. And parking isn’t an issue, and it’s no more difficult to get to those facilities than it was to get to Pontiac or Auburn Hills. While Atlanta likely doesn’t have the amount of real estate that is… prime for development as Detroit has, I’m guessing they could have solved the problems of parking and access with more foresight, which I think is Christina’s actual point. They didn’t want to, and there is (likely) racism baked into the reasons the effort wasn’t made.

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I disagree. I don’t have a problem with someone having an opinion. My issue is don’t, as someone who is speaking on the subject, say it is fact when you have zero factual evidence to support. I have never heard anyone say that and I am a baseball junkie. Never has anything like that been mentioned.

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I really don’t want to get into a deep discussion about the impact, spread, and forms of racism, so I will just say that I don’t think you can know whether or not Christina has factual evidence to support her claim. She may not have provided it during the show, and you may not be aware of any such evidence, but there’s a distinct and crucial difference between those things and the claim that there is no such evidence.

And to be clear, I’m not saying there absolutely is, either. But I know there is factual evidence to support such a claim in similar moves in Detroit (and most, if not all, major US cities), so I see clear parallels. And to be even clearer, I’m not talking (necessarily) about factual evidence in the form of mustache-twirling racists writing secret memos full of racial slurs justifying their decisions. Racism in America is a much more… nuanced and slippery sort of thing.