The Gillmor Gang – Robert Anderson, Doc Searls, Marc Canter, Loren Feldman, Mike VIzard, Sam Whitmore, and Jason Calacanis. Recorded Friday, June 27, 2008.
Robert Anderson: Hello.
Steve Gillmor: Hello.
Anderson: Hello, Steve.
Gillmor: How are you doing?
Anderson: I am doing OK, how are you? This is Robert Anderson for those out there who don’t know my voice.
Gillmor: So how have you been? What is going on?
Anderson: I am doing fine. My car did, in fact, get totaled, which in the grand scheme of things isn’t very interesting. I went to cloud camp the other night.
Gillmor: What is cloud camp?
Anderson: Well, cloud camp is, I guess, new one of the camp kinds of meetings, talking about clouds and what is going on in the cloud. Basically, it was an open space type meeting, the same way pretty much that the Internet identity workshop is run and a lot of other star camp kinds of meetings.
And it seemed, I think this is the first or maybe second one, maybe there was one in London. So it certainly did seem that being the first one that not everyone was on the same page about what the topics really should include, but it was interesting. Mike Thorpe was there, Kevin Marks was there from Google.
And the set of topics really ran the gamut from how to use, let’s say, an Amazon web service or something to setup something quickly, to concepts about what is cloud, what should be lumping into the “cloud” term and a bit about business models and about enterprises in the cloud across the board.
Gillmor: Who is that?
Anderson: I have no children here.
Gillmor: Who has the sound of kids?
Doc Searls: I do, hold on a second, I am going to put mute on, sorry.
Anderson: So I think that the reason cloud camp was on Tuesday night is because of Structure on Wednesday because Structure was supposed to be all about cloud computing, right?
Anderson: Did you go to that?
Gillmor: I believe so, yes. It has been a busy week of – is that the [inaudible] week. Oh no, that was the [inaudible].
Anderson: Right, right.
Gillmor: Yeah, that was interesting and I didn’t see all of it but what I did see, there was some really interesting stuff.
Gillmor: Doc, are you still there?
Searls: Yeah, I am still here. I just have to take it off mute. I’m at Red Carpet Club at SFO. The ambient noise goes up and down here. I am controller of some of it. That was own kid that was yelling. He has been cooped up in a plane for six hours, he is kind of impulsive and there are just people around.
Gillmor: So you are on the way to the West Coast?
Searls: Yeah, I am on the way to our West Coast compound, that is correct [laughs]. Yes, we still have a house in the West Coast. This we have not abandoned while I am working in Boston, so where every so often you need to come here and make sure it is working. We have a pool, which is really cool, can’t wait to get there.
We have no [inaudible]. We are living in like a second floor walk-up and sleeping in air mattresses in Boston. So it is going to be good, good to get back home.
Gillmor: So for those who have been following your near-death experience, how are you doing?
Searls: I am doing OK. I am doing pretty well actually. I felt really good on this trip so far. I have a lot of anemia because they poured like 20 gallons of fluid into me, which when you get pancreatitis, which people tend to get from either drug abuse or diagnostic procedures, mine came from the latter, but I managed to emulate the effects of drug abuse with that.
It is a really painful thing, but they give you lots of drugs and that makes it better if you are into drugs which, I am not, so it didn’t, but at least I didn’t have that much pain. But anyway on the backend of it, through the whole thing, I didn’t eat for nine days. I didn’t drink either. They just dumped bags and bags and bags of fluid into your body to kind of flush out the enzymes — that the freaked out pancreas doesn’t really sink.
So that is over, but I am still jiggling a little bit and the anemia will gradually go away, then I will be OK. But I’m on a low-fat diet now for a month or two, which is good because I lost a lot of weight. So I am open.
Gillmor: So people like Robert Anderson of course they are too young to know what we are talking about here.
Gillmor: They think they can all live forever.
Anderson: Oh yeah, that is true, forever, forever, yeah.
Searls: Yeah, I remember that, I remember thinking that.
Searls: Oh but up until – no, no, no but it did half a life ago. I think [cross talk].
Gillmor: [cross talk].
Anderson: Can you guys tell me when the transition occurs from I assume like I am going to live forever until I feel like I am not, you guys are older than me certainly, but not by too many decades.
Searls: You know what it is, I think that there is this — I don’t know what the precipitating event was. For me, there were a number of things earlier, but when you said this made me suddenly realize, you know what, I am probably never going to see Africa or I am not going to learn another language, I am going to learn to play music.
There is like a whole lot of assumptions you make when you are younger that anything is possible, because there is plenty of time and suddenly at some point in there it occurs to you that, not only is there not plenty of time, but time goes faster as you get older. So it is sort of like the slope increases.
But on the other hand, you give a shit about a lot more stuff and you still have fun, but every once in a while something comes along and clobbers you. Actually this particular thing probably could have clobbered me at any age, so I am not sure this is an age-related thing except that they were trying to look inside to see about some cysts that may not have been there that wasn’t already old. So I don’t know, but still shit happens at any age. I should have said they are more profound to say than that but, I don’t.
Gillmor: Well thanks, we’ll take what we can get.
Gillmor: What do you think about George Carlin?
Searls: I think he is one of the greatest comedic geniuses of all time. He knew more and played more with language than any other comedian that I can think of and I love that about him.
He has got the absurdities in life, I mean, even more than we knew were there and he transcended the usual complaints about airplane food and that kind of thing to dig down into things like religion and just skewer the hell out of it, it was brilliant.
He was a brilliant guy and I am sorry he has gone. I think it would have really great for him to live long enough to get that Kennedy Center award this fall. That would have been nice.
Gillmor: Was he up for that?
Searls: Yeah, he was up for that. He was announced as the winner and he is not going to live to see that. He is not going to be here to help us make fun of the elections. I just always enjoyed him and I enjoyed his writing too and you know, he was one of the great ones; really one of the great ways.
Gillmor: Do we realize who the great ones are when they are around?
Searls: I think we do sometimes. I mean, I think Robin Williams is a great one, too. I think he is more of an actor than a comedian at this point in his life, but he certainly qualifies. I am not sure about other comedians at this point. I don’t know anybody working the same deep — digging as deep as he does in a big way now. I think Lenny Bruce at the time we knew was great.
Searls: Yeah, Richard Pryor for sure, definitely. Pryor was absolutely one of the great ones. But probably the big three were Pryor and Carlin and Williams. And we’ve got one left. And I’m sure there are some good comedians around, but nobody is really — that digs down, probably, like Pryor and George Carlin did.
The thing with Williams is he’s an improvisational virtuoso. There’s just nobody as good as he is at that. But his stuff doesn’t go deep, whereas Carlin’s stuff goes deep. He sat and he thought about it, and he came up with great shit. And that’s rare. I’m sure there’ll be others over time.
Gillmor: Are you sure?
Searls: Yeah. I am sure. I’m sure.
Gillmor: Is there a new Beatles?
Searls: Not yet. Not yet. I’ve been waiting for that. I remember when I thought Men at Work were the new Beatles. Looking back on that I thought, what was I thinking?
Anderson: Men at Work?
Searls: Men at Work. Remember them? “Land Down Under.” They had about five songs that were really fun. Yeah. Yeah, fun songs on one album. That was a lot. And I thought they had some real potential. Then they disbanded and went nowhere, and that was the end of that. So probably not. There has not been another Beatles, and there probably won’t be.
Gillmor: To me it’s a little like Hunter Thompson.
Gillmor: It’s not like they broke the mold. P.J. O’Roarke, for example, has a lot of that kind of energy. A little more alcohol and probably a lot less of heavy narcotics.
Searls: Yeah, but there’s something to comedians that get pissed off, though. And P.J. O’Roarke doesn’t get pissed off. He’s a great, observant comic writer, but he’s also a Republican. And he’s always been comfortable with the status quo to some degree. He loves the irony in it, he loves to play that. But he doesn’t get pissed off.
Pryor got pissed off, especially at himself. He cut deep. And Carlin was pissed off a lot, and it worked. It worked really well.
Gillmor: Jon Stewart.
Searls: Ehh. He’s a brilliant comic performer.
Gillmor: There’s something there.
Searls: There is something there.
Gillmor: If we could — we didn’t realize how fundamentally important Tim Russert was until he died.
Searls: Until he was gone. That’s true. My favorite line about him was the quote that he had on his wall in his office, which was, “Never complain.” I love that; that’s cool. [laughs]
I have to say, remember that time that what’s-his-name — that Stewart went on that talk show, that right versus left show, I forget who was who.
Gillmor: Oh, yeah. He decimated the guys.
Searls: Yeah, he destroyed the show. The show was over by the time he was done with it. He just bowled a strike right up the middle of it. “This isn’t about being funny, this is about you guys are hurting America because your format sucks.” This sort of faux right versus left political polarity sports isn’t helping.
And that was good. That was good. He was pissed off, and I think he was at his best then. He’s great. He’s still young, though.
Gillmor: You say that as though that’s a problem.
Searls: Yeah, yeah. And he hasn’t been a dick as far as I know. Yet. So he needs to work on that. He has to have disturbing life crises to give him perspective.
Gillmor: Loren Feldman, are you there?
Loren Feldman: I am, sir.
Gillmor: All right, what do you think about what we just said?
Feldman: I kind of called in on the tail end of it.
Gillmor: We’re talking about Carlin, and we were trying to see who’s going to replace him.
Feldman: Oh, I thought you were talking about Men at Work thing, which I do have something to add to that discourse.
Gillmor: OK, well that would be important.
Feldman: Colin Hay, the lead singer of Men at Work, actually has done brilliant, brilliant work the last couple of years. He’s put out some terrific stuff.
Feldman: Brilliant acoustic stuff. He did a couple of cuts on that Zach Braff movie. What was that called? The one with Natalie Portman. He wrote a beautiful, beautiful ballad, just acoustic stuff. So, yeah, I’m into him. But, anyway.
Searls: That’s good. That’s good to hear. I have to say, the time that I spent in the hospital, I spent a lot of it listening to music and really getting back into music for the first time in a long time. So that’s good to hear; I’ll look it up.
Marc Canter: “V for Vendetta.”
Feldman: What’s that?
Canter: “V for Vendetta.” “V for Vendetta”!
Gillmor: OK, Marc. Marc. Canter, Marc.
Searls: Speaking of music.
Gillmor: What’s your thoughts on George Carlin?
Canter: Carlin was a very influential guy to me. As Doc said, he was pissed off, and that kind of mapped to anger as well. So he was right up there with Bob Marley and Brian Eno as influential characters of the ’70s that helped define our generation, I think.
Gillmor: So you first heard him on this thing called a record, right?
Canter: Yeah, there were these plastic things, and at the time Pete Seeger was banned from television, and “Laugh In” and “The Smother’s Brothers” exposed a little bit of the undercurrent.
There was a drastic change in George Carlin. He was very straight until about 1964, 1966. And then he switched, right? And it was during this key time that a lot of these mainstream guys like the Smothers Brothers had the courage to get out there and say what they felt, especially about the war at the time. And Carlin was one of those guys.
Feldman: It’s really interesting, people don’t realize that he was very straight for a long time, and then there was that switch. Everybody knows him for, obviously, just the cursing and all that. But, yeah, he played it very straight for a long time.
Canter: It’ll be interesting to see what happens with this war, and how long it continues, and whether they’ll put the body bags on television, and start to put up the body count. And whether it’s really going to hit home the way the Vietnam War did.
Feldman: I don’t think so, only because the Vietnam War was the first time that the media and the imagery was really public. Because of that, and just because of all the violence in our culture in general, I think we’re a little bit more anesthetized, if you will, to those kinds of images.
Anderson: There’s another big difference, we don’t have a draft right now.
Gillmor: Yeah, we do.
Anderson: Like it or not…
Gillmor: Watch the stock market go down. We’ve got a draft. It’s called an economic draft.
Gillmor: Forcing everybody who can’t get a job to go in the military.
Canter: Right. I missed it by 16 months. It was just approaching my age, and then they turned it off.
Anderson: Yeah, man. I mean, I agree with that, Steve, but people who are financially well off don’t have to worry about their kids going off to war. If they did…
Gillmor: They didn’t in the ’60s either.
Anderson: What do you mean, in the ’60s? No, no. You’re talking about the well-connected rich. I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about the people that are more close to the middle. Even though the middle class may be disappearing. If we had more middle class people who were having their kids taken away from them, basically, I think you’d get a lot more people really pissed of about unnecessary war.
Right now everyone’s more concerned about gas.
Canter: Doc, what did you do about the draft? What did you do?
Searls: Oh, boy; a long story. I was going to be a conscientious objector. I went through all of the effort to be a conscientious objector. I had stuff written up. I was ready to go. I appeared before my draft board. I had…
Anderson: Gilmor Gang.
Searls: Yeah, but as it turned out, I ended up getting a–because I pursued several fronts at the same time– I was not going to go into that war. If I did not get either a conscious objectors deferment or a medical deferment, I was going to go to Canada.
But I did get a medical one. I managed to round up some medical opinions that said I would turn into a steamy mess of hemoglobin under combat stress.
Searls: And so, it wasn’t true, I’m sure, but that did get me out. I mean, it actually made it harder for my sister to get in the Navy later, because she has the same condition only worse. So, the FBI actually had a file on me, as they did on everybody who ever applied for conscientious objector status.
So–but anyway, that’s what happened. And also, as it turned out, the one year I had a little bit of exposure, I had a very high lottery number–it was in the high 300s. The next year, if I’d been exposed to draft the next year, my lottery number was Number 2. I would have been the second to take a round.
Anderson: It was trend type.
Searls: It was trend-type, but I wasn’t going…
Searls: I actually had other deferments lined up ahead of that. I had worked on getting teaching credentials so I could be teaching; there were teaching deferments. It was something called the 3A Fatherhood Deferment; I was a father by then. There were– but one by one, those went down.
The fatherhood one went down; the teaching deferment went down. I had a bunch of friends that went into teaching to avoid the draft for a couple of years–it was like 1969, 1970.
Anderson: Steve, what did you do?
Gillmor: I’ll tell you in a second. First of all, Matt Turrengio in the chat room says, “Quoting George Carlin, fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity.”
Anderson: [laughs] Perfect.
Gillmor: So, I got real lucky. [Clears throat] Sorry. First I got real unlucky, which is I got a really bad number in that first lottery.
And my father who lived in New York for one brief shiny moment worked at Tuff’s as the H. Bob Surfer for the community there and was living in Boston.
He was–the draft board associated with where he was living–he was living at this old friend of his apartment down near the wharf–was probably the most right-wing reactionary gung-ho draft board in the country.
So, when I walked in there with, you know, Sergeant Pepper and, you know, all that bullshit, they just didn’t want me anywhere near it, you know.
They had plenty of guys who really wanted to go over there and make some noise. So, they give me a 1Y, which a 1Y is sort of like a temporary 4F. On the ground should I–you know, there was some doubt about my ability to take orders, which persists to this day, of course.
Anderson: Right. My father used to do the same thing. He would tell people how to put peanut butter up their ass and act crazy, so he’d get to work at the offices that counseled people about how to get out of the draft.
Gillmor: Well, there was a lot of not having to learn how to act crazy in those days, as I noticed.
Anderson: As opposed to these days.
Gillmor: Say it again?
Anderson: I said, “As opposed to these days.”
Gillmor: Well, I don’t know. That’s what we’re trying to figure out here, I think. What’s the relationship between then and now?
Canter: It’s another thing, I guess. I also got a 1Y–that was the medical deferment you got. You know, you were still eligible but you were in a later round if they called you up.
But a lot of people–I remember, I did go in for a draft physical and there were guys who had starved themselves down–guys that were six-six that starved themselves down to about a 112 pounds–were trying to get it under the limit. And then, you know, freaked out when somebody said that, you know, they couldn’t do it.
I know at least two guys who intentionally took drugs to go nuts on their draft physical. It was a pretty wild time. And what’s different is everybody was exposed. You know, we actually had a war that was an outright bad idea, very much as we have now. Only, can you imagine if today we had conscription and everybody, every young man had to go? It would be very different.
Gillmor: To point back at what Lawrence said about the image of the first time sort of dilutes the impact of the second time. I mean, you know, this one’s a really bad idea, but we know that war starts.
We know that the government is probably behind a conspiracy to whatever they’re doing. And whatever they say it’s about, there’s probably more about oil and economics. I mean, we’re all pretty jaded these days.
So, how does that translate into the emotional fire that it takes to do something about this or at least so that we think that we’re doing something about it?
Searls: If we can’t see it, we think we’re winning. So, and most of the coverage these days seems to suggest, you know, if we’re winning. Everybody just goes home and says, “Forget about it.”
Canter: It was a great opportunity. It’s a great opportunity if Scott McClelland comes out, becomes a Democrat and goes on a speaking tour. Of course, it will help his book sales.
But that could be really powerful stuff with back office and behind-the-scenes commentary on how the whole thing started. And, you know, their knowledge of the lying. I mean, it could lead to impeachment, you know?
Gillmor: I mean, come on. You’ve got to be kidding.
Anderson: Yeah, please. No one can impeach…
Canter: I would be great, great book sales.
Gillmor: If the Democrats cannot even get on their feet to talk about indemnifying against the illegal wiretapping of the country, do you think they’re going to get to impeach Bush? That’s just ridiculous.
Searls: He’d be out of office by the time they got the first memo written. Or, anytime…
Anderson: OK, stop, stop with the Bush, the Bush. He’s done already. You know, you got to focus on the future.
Searls: That’s right.
Anderson: It’s true. And screaming about Bush is pointless.
Searls: I still think that Scott McClelland–a good copy, you know? It would be really interesting to hear and to get on the trail and have him to be McCain, you know?
Gillmor: So, we’re going to have stand-ups? Or, are we talking about…? So, Scott McClelland, you know, but I want to tell you I’ll be here for a week. I mean, come on.
Searls: [laughs] I don’t care who wins. I don’t think we’re getting out of that mess anytime soon.
Anderson: That’s for sure. We’re too far into it to just walk away.
Gillmor: All right, so who’s going to replace Carlin?
Searls: I don’t know. You know, there’s nobody out there that’s kind of–you know. I mean, Carlin had the knack for being for an every man but being cerebral at the same time.
And when you see most of the comedians that are out there today, it’s all sight gags and, you know, mildly interesting word play. But there’s not a lot of substance underneath it, because they’re all worrying about not getting gigs or–I don’t know what they’re problem is.
Sam Whitmore: I think Dave Chappelle’s going to make a comeback.
Gillmor: Who’s that?
Whitmore: Sam Whitmore.
Gillmor: Hey, Sam. You think Dave Chappelle’s going, you know, what? He’s going to suddenly not be freaked out about being really rich?
Whitmore: Well, I mean in context with Carlin, I think he’s the closest to being able to inherit the social commentary part of it.
Gillmor: He walked up to that door and then sort of freaked out.
Whitmore: Yes, he did and I think that he regrets it in a lot of ways, but he is a young man. And the thing that I think he has in common with Carlin is his observation about the English language and about the amount of bullshit that creeps into our language everyday and he is a crusader against that. I think eventually he will dust himself off and come back.
Searls: Like George Michael did.
Mike Vizard: Sam, that is how your clients abuse the English language, right?
Jason Calacanis: As long as once a year they repent and send me a check Mike, I can deal with it.
Canter: I think Jon Stewart’s poised, I mean he would need to make a change in his career, but he could move on to something different and achieve new heights.
Searls: He is not edgy enough.
Vizard: That is the bit where he is today isn’t but he doesn’t mean he is [cross talk].
Canter: But I don’t think he wants to know. I think he is always going to stay in the suit and be like, I don’t know, if anything, I see him getting even straighter become like a Dick Cavett-y kind of guy.
Gillmor: Yeah. But you know, you look back at the Dick Cavett show and he had all these guys on there. I mean he somehow slipped through the radar, Hendricks, John Leno [cross talk].
Canter: Oh no, I think that Stewart will be like that kind of guy. I think that he is subversive and radical and “all that stuff, ” but I think he is going to always slip it under the guise of his suit and tie, you know really mellow about it as opposed to Carlin in your face with it.
Gillmor: Jerry Germaine in the chatroom says Bill Marr.
Canter: Bill Marr is an idiot.
Jason: No, he is over the hill.
Canter: Bill Marr is an idiot. I don’t think he has got any talent whatsoever.
Vizard: He tells what you really feel.
Canter: I disagree, but he is not George Carlin.
Vizard: Yeah, yeah, he is nowhere in that league.
Gillmor: There was somebody that I was watching somebody’s show, the guy who did – his dead of course, so he might be a good candidate for the job. I mean, obviously there is Bill Hicks who Doc [cross talk].
Vizard: He is also very sad. Did you guys bring up Lewis Black?
Gillmor: Lewis Black is great, actually.
Vizard: Yeah, he is not bad. He is trying too hard to be Carlin, you know what I am saying, but he is of that ilk.
Gillmor: But you know, you see this kind of moving over one chair when somebody goes like this, I mean Belzer was on Letterman and they were both very purposeful about what they were doing. I mean it wasn’t to promote anything that Belzer was doing and it was to talk about Carlin.
And there was a sense of like: OK we are still here and we may not fill the same chair, but we are in chairs along the same continuum. And we have been talking about this over on news gang for months or at least since Russert died about who is going to replace him.
And there is this sort of energy of somebody who doesn’t necessarily fill the role today, just sort of deepening into something which isn’t the same thing, but which is bigger than what you might think today.
Canter: Yeah, I agree, I don’t think it has to be, you know, you are not going to replace the person and you are not going to replace that person’s vibe exactly, but somebody is going to have to step up and will step up into the vibe of the performer, of the social guy or the [inaudible] guy or the smart little guy, I mean somebody will step up, but no one will ever be exactly.
And it is also same thing we brought up with the whole ‘Nam imagery thing. I mean after the Seven Words is said a lot, he kind of constructs it a little bit you know.
Gillmor: I mean the thing that I think some people don’t realize is that Carson was such a master of so many different things. I mean he really was a social force, as well. He pretended that his politics didn’t enter into it, but they totally did.
Canter: Yeah, I mean I respect Johnny and I know I am supposed to think Johnny is a genius and all that shit, but I never really got him, to be honest, like I just never thought he was that funny, you know.
Vizard: What do you think about Letterman?
Canter: I think Letterman is much funnier than Carson was and I think Conan is funnier than both of them.
Gillmor: Exactly. I mean I don’t agree with that, but I mean I agree…
Vizard: But who do you think is better, Carson or Letterman, Steve?
Gillmor: Carson [cross talk].
Calacanis: Carson could ad-lib better than anybody.
Gillmor: You didn’t see what Carson could do with that material, no one has ever done before or since and you know it is the mastery of silence and it is…
Canter: Oh no, it was his timing, technically he was impeccable, but I get all that, I know that he is a master and me being a “comedy guy” needs to respect him and I do and all that, but I just didn’t think he was just that funny. But yeah, the look and the raising the eyebrows and all that technical timing stuff, he was dead on always.
Gillmor: And Letterman when he was coming up, when he was on “The Tonight Show” as a guest, there was a period where he was just smoking everybody in the room. I mean he was just so quick and funny that it was almost like: oh where did that come from and then he would be off. And of course you can’t sustain that. I mean even Leno, who I despise now as a performer, when he was on Letterman and the two of them were doing that thing, he was the more sort of – what was the guy who – he just died, the older guy, older Jewish comedian?
Vizard: Jackie Mason.
Canter: Don Rickles.
Gillmor: No, not that old, but I think he just died in the last few years, I don’t know [inaudible].
Calacanis: Henny Youngman [laughs]. There is a difference though in what these guys do on television versus what they do in their live show, even with [cross talk] the question is, you didn’t see Carlin doing a television guest show very often.
Gillmor: Well that is not true, he did the guest host for “The Tonight Show” like four times.
Calacanis: Yeah but still, I mean it wasn’t his primary thing that he wanted to do because…
Canter: So it is a different act. I mean Bob Saget is unbelievably filthy, out of his mind live and you know, doing his “Full House” bullshit on TV, I mean they had separate personas for the different mediums you know.
Gillmor: Yeah, that makes both work better actually.
Canter: Agree, the thing about Letterman, you got to go, Doc?
Searls: Sorry, yeah I got a plane to catch.
Gillmor: All right Doc, keep the recovery going.
Calacanis: Bye bye, Doc.
Vizard: Bring your camera Doc.
Calacanis: Don’t let those bastards keep you down.
Vizard: Doc, please do talk.
Calacanis: Nobody even knows my quotes.
Calacanis: Nobody even knows my quotes, I got…
Canter: What was it Jason?
Calacanis: I said, don’t let the bastards bring you down.
Vizard: Oh yeah, that is an old one.
Gillmor: Who is that? That is Potemy, right?
Calacanis: No it is Christopher Kristofferson to Sinead O’Connor when they booted her off stage at the Dylan concert and she started crying after the “Saturday Night Live” and where she ripped up a picture of the pope.
Gillmor: Well I remember that.
Calacanis: She was really broken up. When he came out, he put his arm around her and he just said, “Don’t let the bastards bring you down” and then he walked her off stage. And I was talking to Michele Israel yesterday and I put arm around her and said “Michele, don’t let the bastards bring you down.”
Gillmor: You are the great peacemaker. right?
Calacanis: He sent me the greatest email. I have to say that is the social media meme of the year clearly.
Gillmor: Which one, go out and get your domain before somebody else…
Calacanis: No, how not to react to a puppet. I said to him I got this email, listen you have to like roll over and to say like the whole thing was a joke but this is your next book and these are your next 50 $20, 000 speaking gigs. You will make a million dollars off this. Talk about how you totally screwed up and handled this completely wrong and how you want to help companies avoid making huge errors in their social…
Anderson: Oh, boy. Oh, boy.
Calacanis: You would make $10 or $20, 000 a pop for half hour discussions, hour discussions, get two a week.
Calacanis: You could write the book. He could write the book on screwing up and then doing the right thing. Don’t you think that would be like the keynote of the century?
Gillmor: The only problem with that is the puppet is you’re going to just not listen.
Anderson: He could basically, he could leverage the puppet into social media consulting.
Canter: I think this is what I am going to do: first of all we have the tribunal, which you are a member of, Jason, you know that. So, right.
Calacanis: I thought so. I didn’t know… OK.
Anderson: So you guys can decide. What I would like to do and I hope this goes. I hope that you guys vote for him to get the domain and then what I would do is I would actually take over the Shel Israel show. I would make him a 1930 Media property and I would go out to Hoffman Bay and work with Shel and produce a show and I will procure a sponsor for Shel, on 60/40 split, of course, 60 my way.
But I will give Shel a sponsor.
Calacanis: You get him back in the game.
Anderson: I’d get him back in the game. I hope he goes for it. I’ll go out there and work with him. I’ll give him acting lessons. I will shoot it. I’ll edit it. I’ll distribute it 1938 Media and I’m pretty sure that I can convince a sponsor to get behind that.
So I don’t know if Shel is going to go for it. I hope he does. He’s got to pay back Scobel who is kind enough to say that he lent him a fortune today. We’ll take it from there.
Calacanis: What do you mean Scobel lent him a fortune?
Anderson: Dave Weiner wrote another post condemning me and I’m pretty sure, you. And Scobel commented on Weiner’s post that he’s been very supportive privately to the tune of lending him a substantial amount of money.
Canter: All right. That’s back channel for you, baby.
Anderson: Well, you know I mean, the real lesson here and I’ll help Shel write the book. He wrote a book with Scobel. I think I should be involved in the next book. I mean, how transparent do you have to get. Jesus.
Canter: Clearly, you have to have a show about the book, which is about the deal terms and then reflect that on a mirror.
Anderson: Well, at this hands it’s in the tribunal counsel’s hands.
Canter: I think that should be 55/45. Let’s get a few points back to Shel, OK?
Gillmor: You’re going to…
Calacanis: What is the tribunal? Is this some secret star chamber we don’t know about?
Canter: No, it’s… if you go to 1938 Media, it’s right there. I don’t see anything that… I see two images on the home page. How’s that an interface? I’m confused.
Anderson: What are you talking about? What am I supposed to do? Dave Weiner says he likes your home page. You go to the home page. There’s two…
Canter: …above the fold, below the fold.
Anderson: I’m not involved in above the folds and hits, and page views. I don’t do that. I don’t do what I do.
Anderson: Are you on the right site, Canter, you’re probably on the wrong fucking site.
Canter: No, I followed the Dave Weiner link.
Anderson: You can’t. Dave Weiner’s an idiot and put up that fake site of him being a moron with the puppet. Like that’s supposed to upset me, Weiner.
Canter: I’m officially in favor of puppets. I think they are a great metaphor. Especially when we talk about war, sexism, adventure capitalists. Speaking of which, how’s Mulholland going?
Calacanis: Thanks for asking…
Canter: How’s it going?
Gillmor: Jason, can you press star four once, please?
Calacanis: OK, star… how am I now?
Anderson: Much better.
Gillmor: I totally… [Talked over]
Calacanis: thanks for asking Marc Canter. That’s was a great segue.
…our search engine…Please don’t talk over my ad…
Mulholland.com, the human power search engine is doing well. June was a record month, again.
Calacanis: The reality of the depression field. Exactly. It’s great. It’s going great. We’re unlocking everything now, so we’re going more social. Originally, we could suggest links. We couldn’t edit the guys notes now they can do all that stuff without being….
Gillmor: Hey, hey, come on. The algorithm here doesn’t support that.
Calacanis: Anyway, you get the idea. It’s doing well. Opening up controls.
Anderson: All right. A bongo left.
Man 1: How many humans are powering the search?
Calacanis: Ah, I think we’ve paid 400 people to work on the project. But I would say 90% of the work is done by a core group of 100 people. Most of which are working from home. Yes, from around the world.
So it’s a lot of remote workers.
Man 2: How does that work? I put in a query and how long does it take for a human to come back?
Calacanis: Oh, no. What we do is we build the pages ahead of time. It’s not like Cha Cha, that’s a bad model. [Cross talk] I’ll talk to you later.
[Cross talk and chatting]
Canter: And people who are doing that speak English, right?
Calacanis: Yeah, you know, it’s interesting, all these people constantly ping us, hey you should do this in the Philippines, you should do this in Ireland. Oh, you should do it here.
So, these folks were pinging us from the Philippines and they were like: well, can we put this together and show what it’s going to cost. We put something together to what it would be and give you a sample. And I’m like OK, whatever; it’s your time.
And so, there’re like, yeah, that would be $13.50 a person full time. I’m like OK. There’s an unlimited supply of college educated people in the United States who want to work from home for $10 an hour and they really appreciate the work. And it’s better than working at Starbucks and it’s more interesting and you get to work from home.
And you’re about $1600 a month or something or $20, 000 a year, which outside of New York and LA, like for working from home, that’s a pretty good deal, not having to drive somewhere, whatever, staying home with your kids.
They want almost the same amount to do it in the Philippines. The US pathos is so crushed that people are actually insourcing to the United States. They are hiring people like technical people, writers in middle America, in the heartland, to work from other countries. In Australia the minimum wage is like $14 or 15.
Canter: The value of the dollar, manufacturing is coming back to the states, too.
Calacanis: It’s amazing. And also investments. I mean, the next wave you are going to see is of European and Asian companies investing in companies in the United States. Forget about Microsoft buying Yahoo. You guys wait and see, when Buy do makes an offer for it or someone like that. That’s when it is going to get interesting.
Canter: Because the Silicon, the Sand Hill Road VCs are such idiots. The criteria for what they invest in is ridiculous and they give away all this money. I’m working for a couple of Russian VCs and they are much smarter than David Hornick or Fred Wilson.
Calacanis: Well, Fred Wilson’s got a $5 billion transaction for [over talk] that would disagree with you but….
Canter: But you know the think is that De.lic.ious was such a great investment and had such a good business model. It worked out for Yahoo, right?
Calacanis: Yeah, Yahoo squandered it obviously. But for Fred Wilson’s situation he was not, he doesn’t control the company and the entrepreneur wants to sell the company. You can’t stand behind an entrepreneur making a big exit. That’s not good for business.
So when they….
Canter: Jason, you do remember that brag saying that he was investing in De.lic.ious even though they didn’t have a business model. Oh, well, we’ll figure it out. … Sell the company.
Gillmor: There is an analogy to this in the old record companies’ business. Warner Brother’s Records used to, they invested in Randy Newman and Jackson Browne and a whole bunch of people that didn’t sell more than 50, 000 records. And as a result they got the Eagles and people like that ended up making them billions of dollars. So, Fred Wilson, he’s got his fingers in Twittr so he can’t be that stupid.
Canter: We’ll see what happens.
Calacanis: Marc, the last person anybody wants to take advice about venture investing is you, so, let’s not…
Calacanis: When it comes to media I would like to be listening to you but when it comes to venture investing, it’s not like you have something….
Canter: Just the people who make the software, right?
Calacanis: Exactly. It was just a totally thing. The logic of a VC is not always in synch with the logic of a entrepreneur, or building value. VCs have a portfolio, so there behavior in relation to any one company is related to the status of their relationship with their investors.
So it’s not going to be logical. They may need to sell something now for a price to make their portfolio hit certain numbers, and that doesn’t make sense. So anyway, whatever. The VC business is consolidating down. The mid-size and small VCs are all going away. They’re not doing investments any more.
Gillmor: Right, because they can’t get in.
Calacanis: Yeah, exactly.
Gillmor: EC2 has destroyed the whole A-round, basically.
Calacanis: The need for this stuff is changing. I mean, I just moved — if you go to the website I work on, I don’t want to say the name again, all the data now, all the text, is stored on a Hadoop cluster that we have on EC2 as off 2:00 AM last night.
Totally fast, infinitely scalable. We had three MySQL servers that were just getting crushed. Now they’re not storing any of the content. And we’re working on another phase of this, which is going to be — we’re going to have three clouds, three different services. EC2, probably Google App Engine, and then another one.
And our servers in a rack are basically going to point to the one that is most stable, and then it will fail over to the next two. But here’s where it get’s interesting. Basically, our servers become like a load-balancer almost, or a mirror disk array — a rayed array — for clouds of computers. And they all get synched every hour or whatever, so it doesn’t cost that much. It’s pretty fucking genius when you think about it.
Whose phone is making that noise?
Anderson: This is Robert Anderson. So if you’re going to be running this on EC2 and also on the Google App Engine, does that mean you’re rerouting your algorithms, or does that mean you’re doing everything in Python to be able to run some of these…
Calacanis: Right now it’s storing data over there. That’s the first step.
Anderson: Yeah. But in the subsequent step where you said you’re going to be pointing to whichever cloud.
Calacanis: That’s totally possible. Rerouting stuff in Python or if some of these services are supporting PHP and other things. You’re going to be able to move more and more to it. Everything is going to move to the cloud. And then what’s going to happen is you’re going to have redundant clouds, which I don’t think anybody’s talked about.
But I was sitting with my guys and I was like, “Why don’t we just make like a mirrored array of clouds?” And they’re like, “Well, because it’s going to cost too much money to synch the content between them.” And I’m like, “Why don’t we synch one of them every hour and the other one every day. So if we fail we fall over to one hour old, and if they both fail we fall over to a day old, but then what’s the downside there?’
Anderson: Right. But at this stage, you have to, yourselves, implement your backend to be able to support those different kinds of models, right?
Calacanis: It’s not that big of a deal though.
Calacanis: I mean, it’s a couple weeks of coding, but it’ll eventually be no weeks of coding. What’s going to happen eventually is you’re just going to drag and drop your apps over to five different clouds. You can have five redundant clouds with five different providers, and it’s always going to be up.
So this whole idea that the biggest thing about the cloud is, “Oh, EC2 went down twice.” EC2 went down twice, most people’s servers are going down twice a week. It’s just people don’t notice it.
Canter: All right.
Gillmor: It’s Jason’s line.
Calacanis: It’s not my line.
Anderson: Hit *6.
Gillmor: OK, somebody — 914. It’s Mike Vizards’ line.
Vizard: Of course. 914.
Calacanis: Anyway, the point is the clouds are going to be more important that anybody imagines. It’s just so clear.
Anderson: Well, that’s all a given. I was interested more in what your particular plans were, because you said the next step was to do X. But it sounds like you’re saying at some point there will be the ability to do X.
Calacanis: Yeah. I don’t want to speak for the cloud computing companies, because I’m under NDA with a couple of them, but I think they’re going to have a lot more features, let’s put is that way.
And it costs nothing. Rack space — they’re IPOing and you might as well short this company, it’s over. How are these hosted providers going to provide any value? They’re going to be crushed.
Vizard: Aren’t they all kind of — isn’t Rack space a hosted provider that’s becoming a cloud computing site? Isn’t that what they’re going to do?
Calacanis: Yeah, I just don’t think they’re going to be able to compete with people who want to want the advertising relationship or the data relationship or the distribution relationship with the people with the applications.
It’s sort of like the Del.icio.us argument, right? OK, we don’t have to worry about how to make money, because the data in there is so valuable to Yahoo. Well, the data from these applications is going to be so valuable to Google and Yahoo and Microsoft, that they might eventually pay you to host you. Think about that.
Calacanis: I will pay you a dollar per user per year to put your application on here so I can get the data and understand what’s going on. Forget about even ad-splits. Ad-splits come on top of it. If I was Microsoft what I would do right now is, I would get a cloud computing system up and running and I would pay people to move over to it.
So I would go to Digg, I would go to Mahalo, I would go to Gawker, weblogs, go to all these places. Whoever’s got traffic, Pownce, Twitter. And say, “We will pay you to move to our platform. We will give you developers to move over.”
And get all those guys in the cloud. They would get rid of their $50, 000 a month hosting bill. They’d save whatever a year, a half million, a million a year. And then pay them on top of that another million dollars to get the data.
So instead of trying to buy Yahoo and the search data, buy all the applications, get all the data that way.
Gillmor: It’s what’s called Mesh.
Vizard: Yeah, and then all the apps, the data portability goes away if all the apps are on the same set of clouds, because I can share data across all my different apps.
Calacanis: The next war is going to be, “Whose cloud are you on?” It’s going to be like gang wars, West Coast versus East Coast. Are you EC2 or are you Google App Engine or are you Yahoo App Engine or are you Microsoft App Engine? Who are you going to align with?
It’s like if you’re aligning with Google AdSense or Yahoo Publisher Network. It’s going to be a whole thing.
Vizard: And then there’ll still be gateways between the clouds.
Calacanis: Yeah. They’re not even going to be the one that build it. We’re going to build it ourselves. So what you’re going to do is you’re going to put like your own — you’re going to give Rackspace or whoever a thousand dollars for a server, or that for a load-balancer or something, and the that’s going to balance your cloud.
You’ll rent what essentially is a load-balancer, or a redundant router, but an application rout that will resolve conflicts and problems with the clouds. You basically have a sky.
Anderson: A cloud balancer.
Calacanis: A cloud balancer, exactly. It’s going to be sky computing. It’s no longer about clouds, it’s about sky. Sky computing.
Canter: The kind of redundancy that Jason’s talking about happens anyway when you do a hot slot configuration. So a lot of people do that anyway. They are keeping multiple copies of things, whether they are in the same data center, or very often in different cities. And then applying the same notion to clouds is a very easy transition.
Vizard: So does this mean GoDaddy’s going to go extinct now?
Calacanis: No, maybe Go Daddy will be the place — maybe that’ll be the cloud… What did you call it before? The cloud…
Calacanis: The cloud balancer. Maybe GoDaddy and the domain registry will be cloud balancers.
Gillmor: Well, I think that there is going to be companies like that, so they’ll probably like — the way Verisign acquired a bunch of these people — GoDaddy’s going to have move up the stack or align with some other, larger players in order to be able to do this.
I mean, I think Jason’s exactly right, which is that Microsoft has tremendous leverage right now to essentially go in and buy their way in. I mean, that’s what the NBC deal for Silverlight is for the Olympics. They’re going to be on a 100 million desktops in a month and a half. And once they’re there, then they can sell access to that platform.
Calacanis: Correct. I think the big winner here is Amazon. People have no idea. Amazon is paradigm shifting themselves so preemptively it’s amazing.
Gillmor: I’d be interested in seeing what the actual numbers are though for them.
Vizard: I’d be interested to see what ultimately companies like HP and Dell and IBM do in this model, if they don’t themselves become competitors of Amazon as a cloud provider.
Canter: HP just bought — you know who they just bought. So obviously they think they’re in the turnkey business. I mean, they bought the whole development staff. So they sure as hell better know how to host that software they’re building, you know?
Calacanis: All right, this has been an episode of the Steve Gang.
Calacanis: Thanks, Shel Israel from the…
Go Daddy. GoDaddy… Sign up.
Gillmor: GoDaddy should get involved in the show. They rule the backhoe. They should throw that guy some money. I will work with them. I will call the guy over there. They promised the CEO of Go Daddy, he hates my guts. I know that to be a fact.
Calacanis: Everybody who hates you initially wants to be your friend. And your show sends me this whole note about how I don’t understand what it is like to be tortured by you. [laughter]
I was like, dude? He was like, your puppet was nice. I was like, OK. I [...] another puppet. He dressed him in a diaper. And then he made fun of my boss’s boss, John Miller, and then his boss, Dick Parsons.
I said, do you imagine that the first time Dick Parsons heard my name, it was a guy in a diaper, screaming into a cell phone about [laughter]
Gillmor: This is such a pathetic plea for you to get a puppet. Just imagine.
Calacanis: I can say, I am not giving you a puppet. Just forget it. It’s off the table. He is like, [...] puppet before you. But I can tell you something. My dogs, Torus Jason and Fondu Jason on Twittr.com, have more followers than most of the people on this phone call. So I just leave it at that.
It is not a competition, but my dogs are winning.
Gillmor: I would like to comment on Don Bernadio in the chat room. He says, inside baseball is boring. Yup.
Calacanis: OK, what about Powerset? What about Powerset, Powerset, Powerset, $100 million, to Microsoft brilliant, confusing, or inaccurate?
Gillmor: Powerset? No way.
Calacanis: They are not going to buy it. Next.
Calacanis: Next person. Quick. Come on, we will go around the table.
Searls: Never heard of Powerset.
Calacanis: Right. Next.
Canter: MySpace launches data availability. They actually said they did what they said they were going to do.
What about Powerset?
Calacanis: Powerset, is it true? Is it ridiculous? Is it brilliant?
Canter: Sure, why not. Absolutely. They put some money in R&D. It is good R&D for them to purchase. That’s not a problem.
Calacanis: OK. Sixty developers, 70 developers. They 60-70 developers.
Feldman: I won’t agree with that. I don’t think it is going to happen. But if it does, it is about taking a pet can…
Vizard: I would venture a Peet report, something that’s not going to happen.
Searls: How many mergers have you read about over the years that didn’t happen. They were just rumours of the day.
Calacanis: Jerry Yang, CEO of Yahoo come January the 1st, yes or no, around the table?
Gillmor: You know why? Because Microsoft is going to go suck the lifeblood out of the company without buying it.
Searls: That whole Jerry Yang saying I have really been watching and it is like. I can’t believe at some point… He is almost as bad as Shell when it comes to PR, because a bunch of people wrote [...]
Calacanis: That’s cold. Come on, man.
Vizard: He couldn’t stepped up weeks ago and just said listen, this is the deal. He needed to just be public. I don’t get that. That’s just like sitting in the background, getting hammered, day in, day out, day in, day out. You want the fucking job, go public and say you know what you are doing.
Gillmor: It is a shame…
Searls: He has said that. He said he knows what he is doing, and people said…
Vizard: But it is just like he didn’t say it enough and he didn’t say it forcefully enough or forcefully enough.
Searls: He doesn’t know what to say. That’s the problem, it’s not PR. He wouldn’t know what to do with it. If he did, he would be able to convince people what to do with it.
Gillmor: All right. Well, I guess that’s the base starting point.
Calacanis: I think he will be in that job come January 1st, because it is just going to be an extended soap opera. It is just like watching a traffic accident but there is no clean up crew.
Gillmor: Well, there is nobody else who wants the job. So you might be right there, but I think he will be gone. Marc, what do you think?
Canter: If he keeps [...] I think he is an idiot. This is really dysfunctional stuff.
Anderson: I don’t get that. And that’s why he stays with the guy? I don’t get that. You know, you really do have to make products. And they don’t know how to make products anymore.
Canter: It’s sad. So, I don’t know, as Jason said, I don’t know much about VCs and business, all I know about is products. And all I know is that the [inaudible] who doesn’t do shit anymore. So that’s…
Calacanis: Let me tell you something, Marc. If you had to choose, knowing one or the other, you picked the right thing. I mean, a lot of people know a lot about business. They can’t make produc….
Canter: Well, I met with Guy Oskatell. He says all the right things and he just does not execute. At the end of the day, you know, it is very easy to talk about things, but if you can’t do it, you know….
Calacanis: I thought the wrap on Yahoo was that they always had like great products in the pipeline and they could just never get shit out, because al….
That was 1999 to 2003. Here’s the thing.
Anderson: Execute but get this stuff working, you know.
Calacanis: Being the leader is not about being popular. And I think Jerry’s big problem is he is trying to be popular with that whole mid-management level and I think he tried to be popular with them so much that he basically wound up losing their respect. He should have just taken the ten smartest people there, Katarina from Flickr, Josh from Del.icio.us and he should have just given them like authority over three or four products each and told them to execute the hell out of it and just show me more registered users.
You know give them a metric, pages, users, engagement. Boom, go. And just reward the hell out of them for doing and just fire like the middle level of management, because what happens is these big companies, the people who wind up staying are the people who don’t have other opportunities.
Calacanis: Anybody who stays at a big company for a decade, unless they are like the CEO or the founder, I mean, could probably, I mean, something’s not right. Ten years at an Internet company, I mean, why? What, how is that possible?
Don’t get me started.
Gillmor: I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that I didn’t… Right now they are having a party up in Redmond to celebrate Bill’s last day.
Canter: And Lea Culver is having a party tonight in Selma.
Anderson: Who cares about Lea Culver.
Canter: Did you talk about Gates yet?
Gillmor: I just attempted to bring it up but…Well, all I really care about is who’s going to replace him….
Canter: I think around the table, Bill Gates, I mean, what can you say, love him, hate him, one of the greatest ever, right?
Gillmor: The smartest guy I ever talked to.
Anderson: And what will be different now that he’s not there? Nothing.
Gillmor: Well, he hasn’t been there for about two years.
Calacanis: We were talking before about how Marc Canter is a brilliant product guy, but maybe doesn’t know so much about business, no offence. There are great business guys who don’t know much about product. Bill Gates, incredible product guy, incredible business guy, very rare.
Steve Jobs same thing. Very, very rare to see somebody who has founds a company be not only the driving force behind the product but the driving force behind the business. When you have that happen, that’s when you have built to last companies. Companies that scale legendary… but to a buy who just threw it down his whole career.
Canter: Yes, but it’s bigger than these guys, you know, I don’t want to make Bill look small by mentioning Steve but Bill is beyond just business. I mean, if he can take that drive and tenacity and will to win and really throw it into philanthropy. I mean, he’s got the cash. He’s got the balls to like, I don’t know, maybe really change things.
Calacanis: You think?
Canter: I mean, didn’t that guy, wasn’t it Jim Clark and didn’t he like donate all the money to like the State of Mississipi. I remember seeing him on “60 Minutes” where he was like, I’m going to make sure that I wipe out illiteracy in the State of fuckin’ Mississippi. Those are cool things. He can do shit like that.
Gillmor: The only problem with that scenario is that there are a lot of really smart people who are trying to stop the AIDS epidemic.
Canter: I know but…
Gillmor: It’s not about money. It’…
Canter: I know, it’s about smarts. And he’s as smart or smarter than anybody else.
Anderson: Some really smart people trying to destroy the middle class, so it kind of balances out.
Gillmor: Yeah, you know…
Calacanis: He’s about the wealth creation in this country and capitalism has been the greatest change, positive force, in the history of mankind. So let’s not get all socialist, OK?
Gillmor: Before you stop trying to turn us away from politics, the John Perry Barwell once said the two smartest people that he has ever met in his life were Bill Gates and Dick Cheney.
Canter: Dick Cheney is smart.
Anderson: I’d take Dick Cheney on my side.
Gillmor: It depends on what you are trying to accomplish.
Anderson: It’s kind of weird though, when you say that the smartest people you have ever met are the most authoritarian types of souls that you have ever met.
Gillmor: Yeah, I don’t see Gates as being authoritarian. I think he’s biochemical, in terms of his approach to a problem. He just doesn’t know any other way to go except full bore.
Calacanis: Yeah, I think it’s relentlessness with genius, right? And just incredible intuition. I mean, you can say what you want about: oh, Steve, I don’t want to bring up Steve Jobs, whatever, but you know what, Steve Jobs ain’t made a fraction of what Bill Gates has made. Steve Jobs hasn’t done a fraction of the impact that Bill Gates has for computing.
It looks sexy, yes, it’s really high right now, but the reason why there’s a computer on every desktop in the world in every home is because of Bill gates. It wouldn’t have happened with Steve Jobs.
Canter: You’re right. You think that his parting glancing shots in this [inaudible] matter?
Gillmor: What does that mean?
Canter: Well, it seems like the vultures are circling around Vista. The writing is on the wall that they just pull the plug and just move on to something else. From a brand point of view they are calling it Windows 7. It’s not Vista 2.
Gillmor: It’s totally going to happen. The live desktop is going to be the center of the universe.
Canter: And so, what shipped with the hardware then?
Anderson: What does that mean…
Gillmor: It’s a bag of drivers that is a layer below the Live Desktop.
Canter: Come on. That’s in the Vista name, though. It won’t be called Vista anymore. They’ll just call it Windows 7.
Anderson: But they have abandoned the XP name. We don’t know what Windows seven is going to be called yet.
Gillmor: It doesn’t matter. Windows [Cross talk] desktop or longhorn client for the longest time. That was just a code name. [Cross talk] Windows is the code that sits on top of PCs. Live Desktop sits on top of Windows. [Cross talk] never care.
Canter: It’s called Windows 7. It’s no longer called Vista. They are going to abandon that name.
Anderson: But Marc I don’t think that’s interesting. In every new version of Windows has had a new name. So Windows seven I think is just the next version of Windows. So it will have some better [bad spot in tape]
Gillmor: I don’t think so. Windows seven incorporates Live Desktop and the mobile strategy.
Anderson: 98%-ish is Windows NT.
Gillmor: There’s something different going on here, Robert.
Anderson: I agree there is something different going on here and Windows Desktop is mostly going to be the same or less. I don’t think Windows seven is going to be dramatically different in terms of…
Gillmor: … the way it works. But it’s going to be for new machines. You buy a new machine, it’s got this thing called an operating system on it and there are two kinds right now. Three, if you count Linux.
End of story. The layer above that is where all the money is.
Anderson: They had the original name called MPEG. MPEG didn’t work out very well so then they had to do MPEG 2. So they didn’t ship with the term MPEG 2. They called it DVD, instead. So, you know, the naming really matters.
Calacanis: Three choices. You have to pick one for Microsoft. Break it up in two, multiple companies.
Calacanis: Wait. Don’t answer me yet. You have to make choices. The guy is more focused in the chat room. We’re trying to get more focused here.
Gillmor: This is how you…by the way, talk to chat room. We’re having fun here.
Calacanis: Number one, break it into three pieces. Number two, buy Dell Computers or HP and make soup to nuts software to hardware solution company out of it. Or number three, keep going as it around the table.
Gillmor: OK, so what was number two? I fell asleep.
Calacanis: Number two was buy Dell or HP and make a soup to nuts hardware to software solution like Apple.
Gillmor: Oh, OK, good. So, in other words, one and two are wrong and keep going the way they are?
Calacanis: Stay the course, yes.
Gillmor: Yeah, but what’s the course?
Anderson: The answer is no, no, no. Right?
Calacanis: No, I mean.
Gillmor: No, no, yes, but what they do with number three is what they are going to do.
Calacanis: So, continue the course, the strategy, but can we get some agreement around the table, Marc Marc?
Canter: Live Mesh and Fullernet Silverlight, right?
Gillmor: Yes, I just said that. That’s number three.
Canter: Number four. Three or four, or five.
Calacanis: All right you all have no vision, thank you.
Gillmor: What do you think?
Canter: Not venture capitalists.
Anderson: They can’t do number two, buying Dell or HP or one of those guys trying to compete with Apple. They’ll get killed. That’s the design thing, which they’re not good at. Number one, break it up, mobile cloud desktop.
Gillmor: Ain’t going to happen.
Calacanis: Video games.
Anderson: I know it ain’t going to happen but he was saying none of them were going to happen.
Anderson: I don’t agree with the idea that if they actually did buy Dell or HP which they shouldn’t do, that they get killed by Apple. That’s not the case. They would do a good job building good hardware and it would make a big impact in an enormous part of the market.
Calacanis: We’ll see a better product.
Steve Mike, what do you say?
Gillmor: One and two are completely insane. Right? Three, staying the course isn’t exactly what you want to do. You want to go out and bring in Microsoft before somebody else.
Gillmor: Yeah, but that’s called staying the course. They are reinventing.
Vizard: Yeah, and staying the course means going out and finding new technologies and bringing in new engineers and kind of reinventing the company from the inside out, then absolutely, number three.
Gillmor: OK, so I think we got everybody, except Jason. Now that you have heard everybody, now tell us what Warren’s going to say first.
Calacanis: The correct answer is, break up the company, come up with some new strategies. So you break it up, number one. You come up with some new strategies and the new strategy for the Windows operating system company should be to buy Dell and make a soup to nuts product and also allow people to use the platforms.
So it would be to claim as Apple, allowing other people to use their software. Apple should do that. Apple should give Dell a license to their software to make certified product and charge them a 10% tax. That’s what’s going to happen in my lifetime. That’s how Apple is going to take 50% market share. Thank you all for tuning in to the Gilmor Gang…
Gillmor: Excuse me, one second. Before you bail…
Calacanis: I already gave you the correct answer.
Gillmor: I just want to point out what you gave us, which was one, two and three. OK, go ahead, now you can do the closing.
Calacanis: It was one, three, two in that order. But anyway, the point is I’d like to thank our guests, Mike Vizard, Marc Cantor, Shel Israel, Lawrence Feldman, great to having the show together, Mike Arrington, sleep tight wherever you are, get some sleep, like you need it.
And special thanks to our sponsors, EarthLink, GoDaddy, and of course, SAP and Robert Robert, whoever that is.
Gillmor: Thanks, Jason. Appreciate it.
Calacanis: And see that. Everybody go to Cnetnews.com, all the great brands at Cnet everybody loves. MediCritic, Chow, Cnet.com, 404…
Canter: 1942, 1956, all the medias.
Calacanis: And everybody of course sign up Twitter.com/DaveWeiner. Sign up now so you can be blocked later. We’ll see everybody next time, if there is in fact a next time.
Gillmor: Thanks to everybody who showed up, especially those who did. See you later. Bye-bye.