Sir Gene Speaks

0035 Sir Gene Speaks Special - Interview Paul Itoi

April 18, 2021 Gene Naftulyev Season 1 Episode 35
Sir Gene Speaks
0035 Sir Gene Speaks Special - Interview Paul Itoi
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Gene:

I've got Paul from the Sphinx project. Paul is somebody that I ended up connecting with because I was trying to resolve some issues. But after talking to him more and more than finding out more about his role and what the project is all about. I thought that he absolutely has to be on here as well, talking about new technologies and and sometimes old apps that are adding this new feature set of podcasting 2.0 welcome Paul. Glad to have you on here. I guess let's start off with just finding out a little bit more about you and then how did you end up. Working with or for, or however it's, I should phrase it for the Phoenix project or the Phoenix. I keep client Phoenix. Sorry about that Sphinx project. A friend of mine wrote a book called the Phoenix project which is gene Kim. And it's a book about DevOps. So obviously it's the Sphinx project, not the Phoenix project.

Paul:

And it is the toughest name to say, so I can misery with that. And there is actually a Phoenix, lightning wallet is one of the major wallets out there. And so hopefully we can all convince them to add the podcasting feature as well.

Gene:

Oh, I haven't heard of that wallet. So I'll have to check that out. All right. Well, let's jump in. So what's your deal, Paul?

Paul:

Yeah. So I am an art guy, turned technology guys. So painter and sculptor, who learned by necessity to use computers a long time ago and came to this whole world of lightning and Bitcoin and podcasting. Really a couple years ago, trying to scratch our own itch of paying people to do work overseas was becoming more and more difficult. We were looking for a way to pay people instantly efficiently and in countries where. PayPal or Payoneer, which is what we were using wouldn't necessarily reach. And so found lightning and the ability to to those people don't know lightening is the ability to zap Bitcoin anywhere in the world for nearly free. And because it's so cheap to do it, it's practical actually send just fractions of pennies around the world. So when you're asking people to do work they can do five minutes of work cash out, and then they have an asset that they can convert into goods and services or cash in their own country.

Gene:

interesting. So you really stumbled on a need for this first. And then how did you end up using the lightening? And you're like, what was the first version of that, or the first phase, or

Paul:

so

Gene:

to actually doing things.

Paul:

Yeah, we literally were hiring people to type in information. So doing data entry from actually food labels, so stuff that computers are horrible at interpreting a nutrition label, picking out the craft brand from the front label. Those are all things that humans can do, but computers are not great at yet. Consistently. And so we were paying people by the hour to do that work. And then when we moved it to lightning, we were able to actually pay people in almost any country to do that work. And so that problem basically went away for us. And then we created a company around that. And so to do that for other companies, and then syncs is actually the open source free side project to our main company, which is works.

Gene:

okay. So stack work has a commercial product for sending Bitcoin via lightning.

Paul:

That's exactly it. And Sphinx is actually what we started so that we could talk to people who are doing the jobs and also pay them. Cause at this time there was actually no real consistent way to actually receive the Bitcoin

Gene:

ah, interesting. So what your app has and you could probably do a better job describing them than I can, but essentially it has a mechanism for text communication. So like a chat app, it has a mechanism for sending. Bitcoin or SATs via the lightning network. And as we played around with a little bit earlier it has a voice communication and video built in as well.

Paul:

That's right. Yeah. We replaced Slack with our own Spanx for internal communications. We never we never use Skype. We never used zoom. We never use anything.

Gene:

So all your, employees just have to pay you a Bitcoin to talk to you. That's awesome. I love that concept. More companies are going to jump on that bandwagon.

Paul:

Yeah. Imagine Slack. If you had to pay every time you sent any of that stuff.

Gene:

I'll tell you one story is that there was a major fortune 500 company that I worked with that had a policy of tracking and measuring the cost of meetings, which I thought was a brilliant idea because I'm not a big fan of large meetings. And so what you would have is the amount of time of the meeting multiplied by the hourly salary of that person. In the company that's at the meeting and or contractors obviously. And then doing that for each person in the meeting. And what you quickly start to realize is when you decide to plan a meeting that G meetings aren't free meetings actually might cost five or 10 or even $50,000, depending on who's in it.

Paul:

Love

Gene:

that is a great encouragement. To only have appropriate people in meetings and have the least amount of meetings possible because it forces people that are planning meetings to acknowledge the cost of the meeting itself, regardless of what gets accomplished at the meeting. Because Not a whole lot usually gets accomplished in meetings. So standard result mean may not be enough to justify the cost of the meetings and that's, why the idea of having actual measurable transactions happening just seems to fall right on top of that.

Paul:

well, we just designed a feature as you were talking. I did it in my head. So this is I've actually kicked around this idea, but you send an invite to a meeting. So I propose the meeting and I have to escrow the value of what you just defined.

Gene:

exactly. Explain to people, how did they, escrow works as part of this?

Paul:

So I would have to stake in Bitcoin, the value of 30 minutes of everyone's salary. When I actually propose the meeting. And so then you have a game incentive for everyone who's going to confirm or deny, or sort of accept or block that meeting invite. You could even have incentives for being quick to respond. Have you noticed in companies, how long things fester? Hey, I threw a meeting invite, but I haven't heard from three of the five people you're wasting everyone's time. So if there were an incentive to respond yes or no quickly. And then this person obviously has felt it's important enough to stake the amount. And at the end of the meeting, if he felt like it was worthwhile, of course you pay back your time to the person who staked it, but they put skin in the game to even propose it in the first place. I wonder if that would do it.

Gene:

a great idea. I don't know how many companies be willing to do it, but it sounds great to me.

Paul:

And if you're late, you pay a penalty for every minute. You are late to the meeting.

Gene:

there you go. That's

Paul:

Anyway. So that's what you can do with lightning is probably the side joke here is that this all can be done when you're dealing with what really, what this is you were adding features on top of a payment protocol. What we're talking about now is every interaction is payment native from zero and up. And you realize that adding this kind of interactivity on top of a payment network, whether it's chat or podcasting or calendar invites, that's the easy part doing the features. And so adding it on top of pain protocols work, but trying to do payment protocols on top of a free protocol is where problems have existed. And so entering your credit card number. Into a web page is a broken model.

Gene:

Yeah. there's certainly advantages that can be had there. And what I'm seeing is certainly on the lightening Bitcoin side, if everybody just moving to the barcodes,

Paul:

yeah. Yeah.

Gene:

so less typing.

Paul:

It's efficient. Yep.

Gene:

less typing more, just getting to what you want

Paul:

Your audience to death with that example, sorry about the calendar thing, but I feel like that's just a big company problem that some people could

Gene:

it is. And it's very depressing thinking about how much money that accompany spends on its workforce is consumed during meetings where typically only one of those people is talking at a time. And that's a big problem. And that's why typically discourage large meetings and fan of one-on-one meetings. It's like just replace all those with one-on-ones and you'll actually save time and money and allow your employees to work more and just sit around the meeting board less, but enough about that. I want to know about your your art stuff. So what were you doing and what do you like, did you do that? For a living or did you just do that for fun?

Paul:

Bye did it for both for awhile. I grew up just always drawing and painting. So I turned that into my focus in college. And then afterwards I went and did it for advertising agencies, which is how we realize what a problem that is. So I did a lot of thinking about this. So this is back in the day when I was literally a cartoonist. So I would draw sketches of storyboards for advertisements. And then this is also pre desktop publishing, which is really dating me where we would cut these things out with Exacto knives and Ruby lifts and do physical paste, ups and photos. And that was all pre Photoshop. So in Photoshop came out the entire floor people were let go, the guys doing Ruby lith and Photoshop took over. And so I went and bought a computer.

Gene:

You bought a Mac?

Paul:

Boughta Mac. And I crammed the box from circuit city, which I think is no longer into the back of a cab and drove home and learned how to do desktop publishing, quark express, all that

Gene:

Back of a cab. You must've lived in the big city then?

Paul:

San Francisco. Yeah, it didn't own a car. Couldn't get it on the bus. And I don't even remember the Mac model, but it was pretty primitive and learned how to do all that stuff and loved it and then learned how to make a webpage and got a job making web pages and got to see the protocol shape. And that's why I'm particularly interested in enlightening because this is just another protocol coming out into the world. But instead of sending around words, we're sending around money.

Gene:

Yeah, which is very cool and lightening really wouldn't have needed to exist if a faster means of transaction handling was built into Bitcoin. So really lightening is addressing a downside of Bitcoin as it's currently implemented.

Paul:

I look at it as optimization. So if lightening is for stuff you don't need to record, right? I don't the whole world doesn't need to record this one minute of podcast payment. And so it's. Bitcoin has taken a layered approach, which I appreciate. If you look at, you as a programmer, right? The whole seven layer stack, if you tried to cram all the logic and the first layer would have never worked. And that's what a lot of projects try to do. And so Bitcoin says, Hey, the first layer is where security. And security loan. We will sacrifice everything in the name of security. And then layer two is okay, you've got this kind of underlying, like layer of physics in a way. And then now we can take this thing that safe and build faster interactions and then choose what to record for all time in the blockchain. Versus, Hey, I'm just sending you SATs back and forth for messaging all day. All these calendar invites we were talking about the world. Doesn't need to record that on every computer, all over the place. And that's a huge fallacy out there for blockchain projects. They took a good idea, the data structure of a blockchain, and then tried to cram everything in there. And that just, that's just never going to work.

Gene:

Yeah, that's a good point. So it's not just fixing a problem. It's adding a functionality that is different from the problem that was being addressed by Bitcoin.

Paul:

that's exactly right. Vic coin is an incredibly elegant solution to this critical problem of digital scarcity and a known supply. You have to be able to audit the supply and you have to be able to decentralize it. And you have to prove that it can't be double spent or created, right? That's the whole, that's the whole deal. The supply of this good does not change based on the price or demand. So there's no other asset that I can think of that acts that way. The more expensive gold is striving to dig up more gold. And so, this is a completely inelastic supply. And so in that sense it's the hardest asset. So if you're going to build something like podcasting 2.0, you'd want to make sure that you're building it on top of this layer that is proven to be very trustworthy. Granted only what, 11, 12 years now, but it's the farthest along.

Gene:

Yeah, certainly the furthest along for sure. And it's getting closer and closer to getting to its final mining stage here as well.

Paul:

yeah, super interesting. The more you learn about it and I don't really, I came to this from lightning, and some basically have a problem, need a tool, solve the problem. And lightning and Bitcoin has solved those problems in ways that I couldn't have even imagined these guys who do the protocol side of this are a whole different mindset. For anyone out there looking around. I've started, I've been focused on lightening messaging now for since 2018. So think about that. It's a long time. Yup. The first version of this was actually we sent my son was learning how to code. So we installed the first version. This, I don't remember exactly when it was, but it was when roast beef, the co-founder of lightning labs released an unpublished or unpublicized branch that let you do those, these key send payments, which is. Critical to all of this podcast streaming and everything is the ability to fire off a payment at will. And so the first version we wrote actually was using Morse code. So we had a little Morse code keypad and we would tap the button and then the Python script would turn it into a key send message of one, two, four, and 10 SATs. And so. That's how we sent messages. Cause you couldn't actually include texts. So we were thinking, how do you actually send the letter without texts? And so Morse code was the easiest way. And then the second one was we actually encoded every character into its ASCII code.

Gene:

Yup. That would have been my first choice to do,

Paul:

Well, we didn't have enough money. Like literally you couldn't. There was some cap on the channel size, I think at the time and in a sentence with asking you you're blowing out thousands of sets back and forth. So it wasn't practical to do ask you first and then ask you came second. And then now we have this data structure for the techies out there. It's called a TLV and it's the type length value structure that is now. The standard enlightening. And what that lets you do is it's simple, it's based on, or a theme off the protocol data structure. So it's you can know the length of something to parse it more efficiently, but what you can do now is say, I want to just pack all of these name, value pairs into the lightning payment so we can stick in podcast episode. You can stick in basically anything you want up to a certain character length, then send it.

Gene:

Yeah, because one thing I've noticed just from a practical standpoint of using your app is I don't have a whole lot of detail of where or why the incoming lightning is coming.

Paul:

Yeah, we really need to, we have amazing designs for what that will look like, but just haven't gotten to it yet.

Gene:

Yeah. Cause

Paul:

So

Gene:

I have a pretty good idea just from the value of how many SATs are coming in, where it's coming from. And occasionally I'll even just text people's are you listening right now? But that's not a long-term solution.

Paul:

no. And if you have the windows version, you can see statistics. So we've only added the podcast or statistics to the windows

Gene:

I'll have to do that. I just been using it on the iPhone.

Paul:

Yeah, you can see minutes listened SATs per minute, and then the boosts on each sat. So we added that. That's the first thing we added way back before Thanksgiving of last year. Yeah, and just for debugging purposes, but for podcasters. If you just know downloads, which is not a whole lot, it's helpful, but I would much rather know, Hey, people are only listening to the first 15 minutes of this damn thing. Like, what am I doing? Why is there a drop-off of 80% of the people after 15 minutes? Maybe I shouldn't be rambling on about

Gene:

and certainly for any time somebody hits the boost button. You want to know the time code

Paul:

Exactly. Exactly. So to me, what's exciting about podcasting and what Brought us to really starting to pay attention to what's happening, which is where, how I found, I think sometime last fall it was right. I think Adam and Dave were talking about. Podcasts are lightening with regards to podcasting. Then I found them through some podcasts I listened to and found the project and no one was talking about lightening, but we threw it out there and immediately Adam was like, Oh my God, we've been looking at this thing. Can we figure out how to do this? And so it was just one of those chocolate peanut butter moments where it was the right technology with the right person trying to fix the problem.

Gene:

Yeah, absolutely. Because that's the piece that was always missing. And I don't know how much you know about Adam's background, but, aside from just being one of the main guys in the creation of podcasting in general way back when and being the person that. Met with Steve jobs prior to podcasting becoming an official at Apple and the sort of giving his blessing for Apple implementing it the way that he did. I think it's been a little disappointing for him to see literally zero change in growth after Apple took over. Like they didn't do well. They did a couple of things, but they didn't do much. They did almost nothing. With podcasting and it could have had all the features that are being built right now with 2.0, literally. There's nothing that would have prevented this from happening five years ago, maybe even 10 years ago for some of the features. So finally

Paul:

What about community? Podcasts don't have community that's or comment. The ability to interact as an audience feels like one of the

Gene:

well, it's because podcasts are for instruments, right? So they don't need to talk to anybody else.

Paul:

Yeah, we hate that. I, I do, I, as an introvert, I do love the interactions around content. Cause immediately I'll think of something or I'll hear something. It's a big moment where, wow, this is a restructuring of how I think, and you immediately want to talk to someone about it or dive deeper. And so I think the chapter notes are huge. The whole. More flushed out version of the show notes and leaking, I think is going to be massive. And that's a huge area of focus for us.

Gene:

Yeah, no, I think all of the podcasting 2.0, because it's being driven by an open community, really, community driven project people are. Bringing in a lot of great ideas for what should go into podcasting 2.0, and really working as a it's somewhat informal, but really a standards group to define this as a standard that can last the next 20 years without having to need major changes, put in by thinking of all kinds of cases and contingencies and exceptions and everything else early on. And. Adding the ability to include payments, not just links to a PayPal or, Patrion or something else, which certainly has been around. But the ability to have that micropayments built in is awesome. And I was very happy to see you guys when Adam first demonstrated this on his phone and said, Oh yeah, you got to check out how this works. And then I realized that as I started playing with the app, it's okay, I can't explain this to my mom. This is way, way too complicated. The way this works, the interface is just not conducive to a regular user. It's easy enough to figure out for somebody who's a techie, but that represents only a small portion of the listeners. So it, and obviously I know you and I have talked about You guys are fully aware that there, there needs to be some revamps to revitalize the interface and get the gooey, to be much more friendly to people that aren't just simply doing work for you overseas and need to get paid.

Paul:

And here's the key, the thing though, for me, and this is maybe a benefit or a flaw, but it's definitely a short-term pain for the longer term project is the whole what you can do with micropayments and with community. And I really believe it's about connection, right? People. Do want to hear back from the void, right? And even if they don't want to talk, they want to see conversations or know that the work they put into it is having some sort of impact. If you're not doing this for the money, four listeners in six listeners in, you have to just want to put it out there. And that's the true creator artist mindset to me that I like to think about. And it's just saying, Hey, this needs to exist. I'm going to do it. And I don't care what valid extrinsic validation there is day one. I'm just going to do it. But then ha seeing that grow viscerally around it, not just in downloads, which is very impersonal, but with, Hey, I met someone in this chat or someone mentioned or pulled a quote out and boosted it and then talked about why it meant something. And then someone else commented on it. Where you're as the host, not necessarily the introverted hosts, not driving the conversation, but you're seeing kind of the ripple effect of what you put out there. And I feel like that could be very rewarding for people. So the interface is all about, okay, what could this audio, and it's asynchronous audio. Basically, I record it. And someone listens to it. How can this evolve where. As I'm listening. I could see what people are saying. I could see show notes in real time, the whole chapters thing, someone could post a poll, someone could post a funny reaction, whatever it is. You could see the boost stream by, not everyone will want that, but the whole attachment of unity without spam. And that's the other thing that's huge cheer with the payments is you're actually

Gene:

prevention.

Paul:

Spam prevention. So now you can have audience participation. So if you don't have fan production, you can do against precipitation. If you don't have audience participation, then you're pedaling. The bike for every single mile you get, right? This is, Hey I got the ball rolling and the audience pick it up. And this is what I find that Adam is so amazing at, right? It's just, Hey, I'm starting this. And you guys need to bring your time, talent, treasure to this situation and make it something bigger than any one person. And I would love to see these broadcasts come become almost like a living art where. It day one, I listening to the host or hour one, right? Yeah. Okay. It just got published. It's raw. You check back in two days later and it's a completely different piece. Four years later, people have actually digested these things in 20 different ways and linked it to 15 other things that have happened that people tag. Okay. Here's five guests. I'm actually going back in time and listening to what this person thought four years ago. But I'm not filtering through endless hours of podcasts and some unlinked shown out in the bottom. No, one's going to dig that up, I find, I feel like the advantage here, the lucky silver lining is that because it was such a neglected medium. And it was stepped on by companies that were not nefarious. They just don't, they just didn't see the possibilities of this asynchronous audio. So they created this vacuum of need that we can now fill and have fun with while they are

Gene:

I think you're totally hitting the nail on the head with this because it has been an absolutely a neglected. Parts of the entire communication ecosystem. It's something a lot of people have enjoyed, but the technological aspects of it have really been stuck back in the 2008, 2009 timeframe without any major changes. And the other key thing is people do like audio. I think we've seen a resurgence of audio with clubhouse. And the difference being that clubhouse is synchronous and podcasting is asynchronous. And you can't. I think it's some people think clubhouse is better because it's real time and you can have the conversation. The reality is asynchronous. Audio fills a niche that can not be filled by anything else. You can't read a book while you're driving a car while you can listen to an audio book, but that's a lot closer to a podcast and that but you can do things with asynchronous audio because you can start and stop it at will, you're in the middle of something that allows you to listen while you're doing that thing. And then you get a phone call. You stop. The podcast, you deal with a phone call. You finish the phone call, you get back to the podcast. You can't do that with clubhouse. And a lot of people are experiencing frustration at the fact that they can't be there 24 seven. The, the fulfillment of the endorphins from being part of that clubhouse processes, I think creating more problems for some people.

Paul:

It'll have its place for sure. And we actually are building an open source. We get, you see that call tag, right? That call tag and the top of your tribe. All it needs is a few tweaks to the interface and you have, most of the benefits of clubhouse are synchronous

Gene:

and I said this from the first moment when I got on clubhouse is in fact when somebody first described it to me before I even get on it, it's like, The, it sounds like there's literally nothing unique about that. There's nothing patentable. The whole thing is essentially a it's like subtracting features from existing technologies.

Paul:

Can I put on my tinfoil hat here a little bit? Yeah, so it's all, if you look at, if you look up Stanford clubhouse Gora a G O R a, the Stanford security researchers there put a sniffer on clubhouse to see where your audio packets are going.

Gene:

Yeah, I know that everybody

Paul:

So it's built on a Gora and this other one is called enjoyed IVC, which no one knows anything about. And so what they've built, which is genius is a honeypot of conversational audio. Like you and I are talking now, but it's tight because this is, as far as I got in clubhouse, I got an invite. It said, Hey, do invite someone. You have to allow contact, allow access to your contact database. So now you have a map, even though I've never done that. Then I'm on someone's phone book. So I'm in their database and my real phone number. And so if I wanted to deep well,

Gene:

a real phone number.

Paul:

well, if I'm in their contact list they get it all, whether I'm in clubhouse or not. So some, I know 50 people who are on clubhouse who have my phone So I'm now mapped to them. So what could happen is I could get a phone call from their real number. This is a simple voice over IP. This is all your robocalling and it's their phone number, showing them my phone and the voice sounds like them. Cause you can deep, fake a voice so easily now, and this is not parent

Gene:

I just got the gene voice done.

Paul:

You did. Okay. Well, how do I know I'm really talking to you, then it

Gene:

maybe I'm typing really fast.

Paul:

because you can fake this could be your kid or

Gene:

Yes. And it sounds very good. It's I'd say it's about 90% and I can do another hour of training to get that up even better.

Paul:

Yup. So you could call me and say, Hey, can you, I didn't get the sat, send it again. And I'd go, okay. It's Jean. This is phone numbers, his voice I'm in the car. Yeah. I'm going to hit the go button. Hey, what's the passcode to the front door again, honey. It's your wife's phone number? What are you going to do? Vet it? Yeah, it's a.

Gene:

what you outta do. Like some paranoid people do is to simply not keep a phone number longer than a year.

Paul:

Who do you, what circles do you run in? That's pretty good.

Gene:

that's the circles ironic.

Paul:

That's

Gene:

but it's yeah, my background is InfoSec, so I've got a lot of habits that are annoying to other people. Like I get a new phone number every year and people are like, you're crazy.

Paul:

is it bad OPSEC that my phone number ends in 200 zero for The year? I got it.

Gene:

Oh, it does it really. Oh, yeah. we could probably backtrack that and your kid's birthday for your password too then?

Paul:

And now you got it. Yep. I'm doxing

Gene:

I think that as long as you're the one doing it, not me. But yeah, I think we've veered off into clubhouse, but realistically, it wouldn't really take much for you guys to add features that could make your app be used as an absolutely doable clubhouse, but with a built-in monetary system.

Paul:

that's it.

Gene:

Yeah.

Paul:

And that's why I'm making excuses for why the interface sucks so bad. So we'll come back around to it. But you want to, it's so hard to build in you as a former developer. If you don't have your object model, correct. When you start to code and then as a coder, you get two thirds of the way through the front end, the backend, all the relationships are done. You've got statistics, you've got tests, coverage, and someone goes, Oh shit, we need to do it

Gene:

yeah. Yeah, it's funny. You mentioned that because my last segment interview that I recorded was with with the guy that's bringing video to podcasting. That's exactly it. And so now, thankfully, he's part of that early group where changes can be made to podcasting 2.0 to the RSS feed. To be able to do video, not just audio and to have links, from a, an, a podcast, a static audio file, let's say synchronous to video. That is the same way. That's asynchronous. To a live stream for audio that you can listen to a live stream for video, that you can also watch, like all of these things. It's important that they're being introduced so early on in the process of redoing the feed. So that nothing's an afterthought. Like we can, it's already in there even if hardly anyone's using it, but it's already in there.

Paul:

You have to at least consider it because adding a dimension later is, can be fatal because literally you can ossify the way that you exchange information, build up all this infrastructure around and someone goes, Hey, you forgot about that thing. And then you're screwed.

Gene:

And here's what you do usually happens is that you forgot that thing. Some developer of some app considered to be super important, they create their own augmentation of the standard. Somebody else sees that they've done it and go and says shit, we got to do it too. But then they create a non-compatible version that also augments the standard. And now your standard is becoming less and less of a standard. So that's the real danger is fragmentation.

Paul:

Tower of Babylon. That's the problem. So there's, it's a balance. If you ossify too quickly. You limit everything and encourage that. That's actually, the root problem is the rush to standardize right. There is going to be Cambridge and experimentation. And that's good. At some point you need to say what do we see here being done over and over again, standardized, but then you allow for, the great data models allow for things to be added without breaking the standard. And that's the protocol brain. And I believe that what I've seen is the Bitcoin protocol is. Incredible. And then the lightening protocol is also incredible. So I feel like our job is to carry the torch and not be stupid about the next layer, which is the app layer that we're playing with. So,

Gene:

Before I let you go, and I know we're getting to a fairly long segment here is. How do people get ahold of you or the product and, or are you guys looking for more developers or anybody else? Anything you want to mention? Go ahead and mention it now.

Paul:

We are looking for tons of help, if you want to help us test and try the app out it's syncs.chat. And then we have links there at the bottom of the page. There's a blog post about what we're doing and why there's our telegram group, if you're not on the app yet. And then once you're in, I regularly post my contact info. So that this is also a new world where, because I can put a spam filter, you might have to pay as a cold contact or reach out to other people, but then that allows you to not protect your address because. You can't get spam for free. It's nice. So, joined us on the app and test it out. Try all the apps, try breeze try. I think there was one other one that just got listed. I can't remember what it was called, maybe, you know, the other app, but there's lots of ways. The whole goal here is to let the Slack SATs flow.

Gene:

Yeah, I think podcast station just added the

Paul:

station, that's it. So there will be more, there'll be 10. And then the goal is that more and more of the audience is paying and contributing for the value that they receive. And so that should be the widest funnel we can make.

Gene:

Yeah. And I want to say too is just from personal experience. This is not like how do we start charging every single listener? This is not the. The model of what's the place Joe Rogan went to Spotify. This is not like, how do we move everybody to a Spotify model? No, it's still totally optional. The beauty is it's a lot easier to turn it on and off. And in fact, all you're doing is you're moving from a, when I remember to go to PayPal and hit the down the donate button, you're going from that model to the I'm going to set this up to only send money to a podcast that I like. If I listen to them. So if I listened to two episodes, And then I don't listen after that because either I'm bored or I have more important podcasts, you're no longer supporting that podcasts are financially and it's automatic. Like you don't have to go to PayPal and cancel your monthly recurring. And believe me, I've got a bunch of those monthly recurring to different people on YouTube and, Patriot and whatnot, people that I enjoy and want to support. But a lot of them, I haven't actually watched their content in ages. And now I really I'm just. Giving him money for not getting anything in return, but this allows you is to only pay for things that you're actively enjoying.

Paul:

And I would challenge people to try listening, take your favorite podcast after if they're on the platform today and check out podcasts index for that, but try listening to your favorite one for free, and then listen, while you're streaming payments. And I would argue that you actually, I, myself personally, I enjoy it more knowing I'm supporting it the whole time. It adds a dimension and it's more pleasurable because I'm doing my share and I just enjoy it more.

Gene:

exactly. I almost don't want to ask this question, but I thought of it. For the sake of a non censoring myself, I'm going to ask it, wouldn't this be a cool technology. If it was applied to public radio, for example,

Paul:

I don't know if I've ever thought of that.

Gene:

Yeah, because instead of doing pledge drives every three months, the way they typically do is you just enable your listeners to have continuous, ongoing streaming, donating, and no more pledge drives ever.

Paul:

Say the immediate thought I have to prevent self-censorship is that I think that the idea that a producer will create the show monolithically will go away and that it will be more like the no agenda idea where you are hearing an aggregate of content that's been produced by independent people, curated and surface by other people. And then the result is you're hearing an aggregate of all of that.

Gene:

that would certainly be the the ultimate finish line goal, I

Paul:

Yeah,

Gene:

but that's not the first step for somebody

Paul:

that's what I want to

Gene:

a traditional public

Paul:

That's what I would see. I would love to see both. You have to have the bridge, but my mind goes immediately to the what's the most decentralized way to listen to something that sounds like a show, but without the central authority telling me, this is what I should hear.

Gene:

Yeah. And I'm just thinking about your tech as it exists, but without limiting it to podcasting or even video or YouTube, just like other things that could benefit from a streaming payment platform that is based on active consumption.

Paul:

I would love to see it.

Gene:

All right. And so with that, let's wrap up

Paul:

thank you for having me.

History of Sphinx
Meeting Escrow
Bitcoin vs Lightening
Adam Connection
Clubhouse
Podcasting 2.0 Update
Wrap-up