Founder Life Within The Coronavirus Epicenter

Ben, Josh and Starr are transmitting...err...broadcasting from deep within the COVID-19 epicenter on this week's FounderQuest. They talk about life in our brave new COVID-19 World, Tailwind CSS, and reminisce about the old freelancing days in the time of Big Mouth Billy Bass!

Ben, Josh and Starr are transmitting...err...broadcasting from deep within the COVID-19 epicenter on this week's FounderQuest. They talk about life in our brave new COVID-19 World, Tailwind CSS, and reminisce about the old freelancing days in the time of Big Mouth Billy Bass!

Show Notes
Links:
The Social Network
Tailwind CSS
Jeff Foxworthy

Full Transcript:
Starr:
What you were saying, Ben, about source maps reminds me of a long, long time ago, when I had this one freelancing client who ... so there was like ... right after that movie, The Social Network came out, which was about Mark Zuckerberg making Facebook, everybody who had $20-30000 laying around was like, I'm going to hire some cheap developer and have them make me some weird niche social network and I worked on several of these because I was freelancing at the time and one of them was for ...

Josh:
Those were the days.

Starr:
Yeah those were the days where you could get paid to write something that you knew in your heart nobody was ever going to use. So it was this one for nurses and so the guy was like very unresponsive to questions and so I eventually put something up. I was like, hey let's ... can you please start looking at this and tell me if you see anything wrong. Like you do in software and he was just like, it's broken, just make it work. It's like, give me the working site. And it's like, that's not how this whole process works sir. It's not like a car. You don't just go to the lot and you buy it, you've got to work the kinks out.

Josh:
Yeah, we all worked on ... well Ben and I worked on one of those too. Did Starr work on ...

Ben:
I don't remember if Starr was on that one ...

Starr:
I worked on one with y'all.

Josh:
It was fun.

Starr:
I think we're all taking pains not to name names because we don't want to shame anybody.

Josh:
We don't want to bash our past clients or anything.

Starr:
Yeah they were generally pretty typical.

Josh:
It was fun though, back when people thought that it was really just about the tech. You could just build the ... if you just built an activity feed there would be activity in it.

Ben:
And to be fair I think that was before Facebook groups so that basically killed any other type of social network that you wanted to build because everyone was like, oh we'll just make a group.

Starr:
Yeah that makes ... I never actually put that together but that totally makes sense.

Ben:
I sometimes miss those freelance days. I think though today if you're a freelancer there's so much cool stuff like the Tailwind UI was just released recently and that is just super awesome.

Starr:
What is that again?

Ben:
It gives you a bunch of components built on top of Tailwind CSS, which is a CSS framework that makes it really easy to build out designs. Anyway so Tailwind UI is built on top of that and gives you some premade components like, here's a list of users, or here's a marketing page with a pricing grid kind of stuff. So there's been templates around since forever like on Themeforest or whatever but this is the latest built on, reusable component framework idea and I love it. So I think as a freelancer today, if I was doing that today, I'd be all about that. I'd be like, oh let me just whip something up for you real quick from my UI since I'm a developer and I suck at UI.

Starr:
That's really cool. It's weird because I feel like there's been ... I don't really know what the historical progression has been because on the one hand it seems like we've gone from this world in around 2005 or whatever where one web developer with rails was basically for getting out a minimum bio of product that was pretty close to as good as you were going to get, and so you could just whip out these things, but now it seems like apps have to be so much full featured from the get-go, there's also so many more tools to do it. I don't know. I'm really ... I guess maybe it ... I'm just confused by it. I don't know what the lesson is here because on the one hand there's all these tools, but then on the other hand there's so many tools and people expect so much from new apps that it's like is it even possible for one person to do it?

Ben:
I think the moral of the story is the only constant in life is change.

Starr:
Oh that's good. You're like the Morpheus of Honeybadger. We need to get you one of those trench coats.

Ben:
Does that come with extra pay?

Starr:
Sure, yeah.

Ben:
Awesome.

Starr:
All the red and blue pills you want.

Ben:
Sweet.

Josh:
I wonder, do we even really need all these apps though? So many apps. Everyone wants a certain ... I think so many apps can exist together because there's so many people that want them. You can make an app and there's ... you have 100 users or something. You can probably find 100 people that want to use your whatever, your mobile ... your take on fitness tracking or something on iOS. But are we going to get to a point where we have as many apps as we have people in the world? Everyone has their own app.

Starr:
If the economy's growing at a certain percentage and that means the internet economy's growing at a certain percentage then you either need that ... you need the number of apps to grow at a certain percentage don't you. Either that or everything gets consolidated which it kind of has been doing.

Starr:
So I don't know, you're arguing for centralization.

Josh:
I guess I am, yeah.

Starr:
So you would rather have Reddit rather than 1000 VBBS installations.

Josh:
I haven't really thought this through Starr so don't hold me to this. I'm all for decentralization in general.

Starr:
It's all right. Welcome to Founder Quest Debate Club Edition.

Josh:
You really ... yeah. You're making me question all my beliefs now.

Starr:
There we go.

Ben:
So debate club ... I'm sorry, go ahead Starr.

Starr:
No, go ahead.

Ben:
I was thinking a debate club, if we want to have a debate we can talk about Covid 19 and should we shut down schools or not? Go.

Starr:
Oh my gosh.

Ben:
It's huge.

Starr:
It is huge. And we're at the epicenter of it. You and me Ben and Ben Finley, our marketing person, our marketing guru.

Ben:
So just for some context, I live in Kirkland, Washington, which is the ground zero basically for Coronavirus infections in the United States. As of yesterday I believe we had 10 or 11 deaths in my community due to that. Primarily focused around one ... what is it called?

Starr:
Like a senior living-

Josh:
Was it like a senior care thing?

Ben:
Yeah like a senior center, life care center.

Josh:
It's like the worst place that it could possibly break out, right?

Ben:
Right. So that's right around the corner from my house.

Starr:
Oh my gosh, really?

Ben:
Yep. It's interesting, we have a technical college nearby that shut down for a few days because they took a class field trip to this particular care center. So the faculty member got sick and I think 40 or 50 students were involved in that trip. So they shut down that campus for a few days to do cleaning it up. And then the, not our school district but the one just north of us, the North Shore school district, closed their system down because one teacher, or faculty, tested positive and so they closed the school system down for seven days. I'm not sure if they're even open yet again.

Ben:
So our school system is currently open and people are like, close it. And other people are like, please don't.

Starr:
Yeah the University of Washington also suspended all in-person classes.

Ben:
Yes.

Starr:
Which is like ... the University of Washington's a big university. I don't know ... school's in session too right? It's a ... it's not ...

Ben:
It is. Yep. My son's attending there and yeah we got the email this morning saying that they're going to close it down for the rest of the ... well the campuses are still open but classes are not going to be meeting together in person throughout the end of the quarter which ends this month.

Starr:
Yeah, my wife's company is ... everybody was told to work from home until at least the end of the month, which is like three weeks away. I don't know. And yeah, pretty much all the big tech companies are work from home.

Josh:
Yeah. Same with Amazon. I'm sorry, my buddy Richard, last night he was saying Amazon HQ is all working remotely and he said it's kind of like the good old days.

Ben:
The good old days?

Josh:
Everybody gets to work from home again. Well he used to be remote so.

Ben:
When everybody's quarantined and ...

Josh:
It's not the good old days of pandemics. Back when everyone got the measles or whatever.

Ben:
Back in 18 with Spanish flu. Boy those were the days.

Josh:
I think he was talking more about the novelty of being able to work from home when you're used to having to go in and ... yeah.

Ben:
Yeah really appreciate having the remote company that we have. We've always been 100% remote so it's not adjustment. It's just like, oh yeah, same old, same old. Still working.

Josh:
I have the ... like a dystopian image of the future where the world is ravaged by global pandemics every week and everyone ... but we've automated to the point where we can just all work remotely. So everyone is basically on full-time quarantine.

Josh:
This might be too close.

Ben:
Too soon.

Starr:
We did a recent episode about the future of work but I didn't expect the future would arrive so soon. Literally everybody is working from home. The other day ... so today is, what? March 6th and so maybe a week ago I was ... which is sort of before all the shit hit the fan, pardon my french, and I was at the grocery store and I've had a cold, just a normal cold, for the past month and a half, and I have a kid in daycare. This is normal. I know what colds are like. And it's a cold. But I was at the grocery store just picking up some normal stuff and I was like, oh well I'm here, I might as well get some Clorox wipes or something. And so I'm walking down the Clorox wipes isle and then for some reason my cold kicks in and my nose just starts running, just running and I don't have any tissues or anything so it's just kind of dripping and I'm just like, oh my god, this is just a scene out of Andromeda.

Starr:
This is a scene out of a movie. I'm just going to get some Clorox wipes, my nose starts running and then it's just ... that's the beginning of the montage, at the end of which everything's terrible.

Josh:
Be careful you don't start a stampede too of people trying to get away from you.

Starr:
Oh I know, I know. And as of now the store is completely out of cleaning products and Clorox wipes. You cannot buy hand sanitizer in Seattle. You cannot buy hand sanitizer on ... Amazon have it shipped in Seattle. I ordered a gallon of hand sanitizer from a natural products company that sells bulk ingredients for things because that's the only one I could find.

Josh:
Right so you probably wouldn't have bought a gallon if you could have just bought a regular supply at the store, I would assume?

Starr:
Well no but ...

Josh:
I have to wonder how much ...

Starr:
Now I've got a gallon, that is like liquid gold. That's liquid gold in this economy Josh.

Josh:
Yeah you could literally divvy that up and sell little containers of it.

Ben:
Setup a stand out front of your house.

Josh:
How much hand sanitizer are you people using? I have a little thing of it and I'm a germaphobe so I use it all the time but it lasts me forever.

Starr:
Well we're starting a thing ... I'm trying to start a thing where whenever I put my kid in her carseat she has to put on hand sanitizer because I'm like, that's an easy rule to remember and she's sort of captive. She's tied down. And that happens in between transitions between locations.

Josh:
That's the real benefit of carseats by the way is that ... it's the physical restraint aspect versus ...

Ben:
So my sister who lives in Louisiana, she saw on Twitter about all the toilet paper being purchased. You can't get toilet paper in Seattle right because everyone's bought it all.

Starr:
Yeah people bought up all the toilet paper in Costco.

Josh:
Toilet paper and hand sanitizer. For it to all ... people have to be buying massive quantities of hand sanitizer and toilet paper for this to happen. This is one of those classic economic situations where people cause the ...

Starr:
If everybody buys one roll of toilet paper on the same day that would probably disrupt the supply chain.

Josh:
Yeah I guess you're right.

Starr:
It helps to spread out toilet paper purchases, amortized if you will.

Ben:
My sister texted me and she was like, so do you need me to ship you some toilet paper? I replied, no we're good. We have plenty of leaves.

Josh:
All I'm saying is ...

Starr:
Oh taking it back to nature.

Josh:
Everyone uses toilet paper and we never run out in normal times. As far as I know. So people must be stockpiling thinking that the supply chain is going to be disrupted by Coronavirus. I get the feeling.

Starr:
Or thinking they don't want to ...

Josh:
They're just afraid. Or they don't want to go out.

Starr:
Yeah they don't want to go out.

Ben:
Time to buy stock in those companies that make bidets.

Josh:
Yeah, seriously.

Starr:
That was the start of the great bidet rush of 2020.

Ben:
You heard it here first.

Starr:
The real money's not in the bidets, the real money's in the bidet making tools.

Josh:
Yeah, we're joking but you're not wrong, probably. Could of made your fortune Ben in toilet paper futures and bidets.

Ben:
Giving away those hot tips for free.

Starr:
Toilet paper futures. That sounds like it's involved in the plot of some '80s movie.

Starr:
So anyway, this actually has a little bit to do with our business because, well first of all we all need to kind of be alive to prosper in our businesses, but also RailsConf is coming up in two months in Portland, and Portland is really close to Seattle so ...

Josh:
It's very close.

Starr:
Yeah so ... it's like right now things are proceeding as usual but I started a thread in Basecamp where, which we used to handle all of our long-formed discussions online, Basecamp Trademark. Get yours now. And ... yeah it's just kind of a weird situation to be in. It's just kind of trying to keep your eye on current events to be like, okay are we going to have to cancel last minute or ... I don't know. It's just a bizarre situation to be in.

Josh:
Yeah. I remember when ... it was like two, three, four years ago when Zika was a big deal and we had to cancel a vacation because of that. We were going down to Mexico and that just ... that was no fun. It's not fun to have to disrupt your plans but it is kind of crazy when that happens.

Josh:
So are we at this point canceling RailsConf? Are we not going?

Ben:
I think we're still planning on going.

Josh:
Yeah.

Ben:
If it's still going to be on.

Josh:
Yeah. I think Ruby Central released a statement about Covid on March 2nd and said that they're tentatively still planning. They're still ... it's still on basically. And that was based on the advice of the ... I think whatever the convention center or the expo center down here and everything. So right now they're saying that they're not canceling events.

Ben:
Yeah. Here's something interesting that came out of this past week, I've been reading probably should about all these current events and Google IO was canceled, or moved to online only. Microsoft canceled an event that they were going to have here in Seattle. Comicon, surprisingly, is actually going on here in Seattle. It's going to be huge and it's going to bring a bunch of people here.

Starr:
Those comic book nerds, they're hardcore.

Ben:
But someone made the point, when you have ... and Facebook, they canceled their F8 developer conference. And someone made the point, because a lot of people are on Twitter talking about how ... calling out smaller conferences who haven't canceled yet saying, you got to, you can't be risking people's lives and stuff like that, which I can sympathize with being in Kirkland, where all this is happening. But someone made the point that for a company like Facebook or Google or Microsoft or Apple, if they happen to make their change to WWDC in the summer, for them that's not their primary business. Yes it's an impact but it's not going to ruin the whole business for the year. They sell other things. But if you're a tiny conference, that's what you do, or ... even a bigger conference, if that's your thing, that's your business, then canceling ...

Josh:
Yeah, that's a huge hit.

Ben:
Is a huge deal. So for Ruby Central, if Railscon is canceled, that's a much bigger impact to them than it is for Google shutting down Google IO.

Josh:
Or Apple. Apple could probably come up with something creative and announce online and still ... whatever.

Ben:
And they're going to make everyone think that it's better.

Josh:
They're still going to make some money.

Ben:
Right.

Starr:
Only losers like to do in-person conferences. We're all doing holograms now.

Josh:
It'll be incredibly brave of them to cancel the conference.

Starr:
It would be. I hear what you're saying. It would be really rough for a lot of small conferences to cancel. In the end, it comes down to a big question about morality. Do outcomes matter in terms of making the correct moral decision. I personally don't really think they do but I'm not everybody.

Ben:
Well there are a lot of impacts too, and this goes back to the school closure question.

Starr:
Yeah I was going to ask, we kind of weaseled away from that. We're going to have debate club now.

Ben:
Yeah so you have some parents are like, shut it down. I don't want my kids being in an environment where there might be a lot of transmission going on. But there are a number of parents who can't afford to be home with their kids for weeks or whatever. They have to go to work. They can't make alternate arrangements when everything is shut down. And the same is true with these conferences. There are a lot of people that make a lot of money from a lot of services around conferences. Not just directly with ... like a vendor who's setting up your booth, there's people who are actually moving in tables and things like that, but all the business around the conference, conference center, the hotels, and that's quite an impact that you have to consider when you think about shutting down a large event like RailsConf or South by South West.

Starr:
That's true. I'm not sure that ... on the school closure thing I think ... it's kind of a unique thing because so far, knock on wood, the whole ... the illness doesn't ... it hasn't really hit children especially hard, which I've been paying attention to because I have a small child, so having a bunch of kids together in school, you're having a bunch of people who are sort of in a not a super vulnerable group together, versus you let schools out and suddenly grandma's going to take care of the kids and grandma is in a high-risk group, or you send the kids off to hang out at the mall or something. I don't know. Whatever people do.

Starr:
If it was a ... if it primarily targeted children it seemed like it would be ... it's like, yeah then you have to shut down schools regardless of economic impact because that's the most highly risked people and they're all together.

Josh:
That's a good point because you're saying there is ... if you send the kids home there is an incentive for the parents if they have an option to, for instance grandma, or whatever grandparents, to allow them to still go to work or whatever they're going to take that and then that's going to spread that around.

Starr:
Yeah because a lot of people they don't go to work they get fired and they lose their houses. It's not really much of a choice.

Josh:
So people are going to work around it any way they can.

Starr:
Yeah, exactly.

Ben:
Yeah but there's also the question of, okay but how much of a carrier can someone be without getting very sick? So is that kid coming home from school with those germs and then sharing them with grandma who happens, because they have a multiple generational household? It's a complicated question.

Starr:
Yeah, it is.

Josh:
Like all questions, right?

Ben:
Yeah but then you have companies like Microsoft I think which did a solid. Yesterday they announced, or this morning they announced, that contractors who work at Microsoft who are impacted by this stay home thing, that they are still going to be paid. So even though Microsoft is shutting down, telling people to work from home, that impacts people like in the cafeteria. And so Microsoft is saying, no, we'll still pay you. So that's pretty cool. So yay Microsoft.

Josh:
Yeah that is cool.

Starr:
Yeah that's good. And they're doing that not just with developers?

Ben:
Right, it's everybody, yeah. Everybody.

Starr:
Oh good because so many times you hear people being like, oh people just work from home, it's no big deal but not everybody can work from home. Jobs don't all work like that.

Ben:
Yeah somebody floated on Twitter an interesting idea talking about trying to do containment, which at this point it's arguable whether that's even possible or not, but this person was saying in the vein of trying to improve containment, what if we say Seattle, for example, you're ground zero. You're potentially infecting a lot of people if you have people traveling in and out of Seattle, so how about we just quarantine Seattle. What does that mean? Obviously that would be a huge impact to the economy and this person was saying, well maybe our federal government needs to step in and say, we will give you a subsidy. We'll give you some sort of economic compensation for just shutting everything down. Tell everyone to go home and stay home. That's interesting idea.

Starr:
So it's exactly like ...

Josh:
Better than breaking out the national guard.

Starr:
It's going to be exactly like Escape from LA. They just ... the movie got it right. They were just a little too far south.

Starr:
So who was in that? Was that Kurt Russel?

Ben:
Yep.

Starr:
So which one are y'all going to be Kurt Russel? That's what I want to know.

Ben:
Oh I think that's Josh for sure.

Starr:
Oh wait Josh isn't even in Seattle so he can't escape ...

Josh:
I'll have to come up ...

Ben:
He's already escaped.

Starr:
Yeah he's already escaped.

Ben:
Movie's over.

Starr:
Yeah.

Josh:
I'll have to ... you know what? I can be the heroic figure who hauls a truckload of TP up to you all.

Ben:
Mad Max style.

Starr:
Oh my gosh.

Ben:
There you go.

Josh:
Mad Max style, yeah. Of course I'm going to have to charge you for it but it's still brave.

Starr:
Okay fellas, so we always talk about how we're always looking for new ways to add profit centers to the business and I'm just saying, Josh, if you got a U-Haul and filled that thing full of hand sanitizer and drove it up here. We could just park downtown and I'm sure ... we'd sell it out by lunch.

Josh:
We got people on the outside. This is a serious competitive advantage here.

Ben:
So glad to know that our team is distributed so that if Kirkland has to be nuked from orbit Honeybadger will survive.

Starr:
Yeah if I get nuked from orbit I don't care honestly. You all are on your own.

Josh:
We buy all our stuff at Costco so if Kirkland TP is out or whatever.

Ben:
You're in trouble. The whole world's in trouble.

Josh:
Yeah. Do they have Kirkland TP? I don't even know.

Ben:
Yeah I think they do.

Josh:
I assume they do.

Ben:
Yeah.

Starr:
Oh my goodness. So it's just kind of this very weird thing because everybody's kind of a little bit ... you know what it kind of feels like? It feels sort of like ... I used to live in Tornado Alley, as they called it, and it feels a little bit like when there is ... they come on the news ... all the TV stations in Tornado Alley have these crack news teams. Basically they have war rooms setup for the weather and the weathermen just live for this shit. You can tell. They are on. It is like you know when ... y'all remember when they invaded Iraq the fourth time, how ... CNN and stuff they had all these 3D graphics of bombs going in and blowing up hospitals and stuff but it was all animated and slick looking? So yeah but it's like that only for these relatively small town TV channels weather stations.

Josh:
Tornado Alley is in the south I assume, right?

Starr:
Mid-west, yeah. Kind of. So yeah it feels like that. It feels like when the people come on in their war rooms and they're like, a tornado's about to happen. And so nothing's actually happening at the moment, it's just like, oh there's kind of some clouds. I don't know, but I guess we better just all pay close attention. It feels like that. It's kind of this weird anticipation and it's like you're probably going to be fine but who really knows? So I don't know. It's time to just throw caution to the wind I guess. It's time to do the things we always wish we could do.

Josh:
Yeah.

Ben:
Time to get that kayak and paddle on the river.

Starr:
Yeah get your kayak and paddle on the river.

Josh:
Yeah when are you going to do that Ben?

Starr:
Tell your children you love them.

Ben:
Probably this summer, yeah. I've got my eye on one.

Ben:
Yeah I was watching ... so I don't watch the local news on TV, that's my parent's generation kind of thing to do, right? I get my news online. But I saw ... somehow I came across this video clip of the local news broadcaster covering this news about the Kirkland care facility. And, like they like to do, they sent someone to the location to stand in front of the ... to have the interview. And I'm thinking, is that a really good idea? Do you really want to send a newscaster on location to a place where there is an active infection going on? That just seems like a bad idea to me. Yeah over there ...

Josh:
Especially if it's just to get the shot. If there's actually news to do there maybe it's worth the risk. If they have to get the story from someone at the facility.

Ben:
Yeah it's just ... seems a little ... I don't know, not so safe.

Starr:
Yeah that's so crazy that it's happening just down the road. It's so weird. Honestly I didn't even know it was happening till a couple days after because I wasn't super ... I wasn't paying attention to things super closely but then ... so I go to this group every Wednesday and it was like they met every week for 30 years in person and they sent out their notices like, we're doing a Xoom meeting this week. And it's just like, whoa, stuff is happening. This is no joke.

Ben:
End of world stuff here we're talking about.

Starr:
Yeah, I know.

Josh:
I can't go to my bowling club.

Ben:
It's like my D&D group's online now, what is this?

Starr:
I know just like, watch out for horsemen people. Watch out for strange men on horses.

Ben:
So I've been thinking though, and this is not a well formed thought, but I've been thinking like, okay so there's got to be plenty of opportunities here for start-ups like us and founders like up, entrepreneurs or like ... there's got to be an angle we can take to build some fantastic software, offer some great service, to really take advantage of this changing dynamic in the workforce. Like if we shut down all these companies and everyone's working from home, that has impact today and next week, but is it going to have an impact months from now and years from now? Are we going to see this, like you were saying earlier Starr, are we going to see an acceleration of the future of work where more and more people are working from home? And if that's the case, are there some things that we can do now as a company that can take advantage of that?

Ben:
Like if there's a development team, because we target developers, that's who we sell to right? So this is what I'm thinking, again back to the not well formed thought, so if there's software teams who are out there who are used to working together, rubbing shoulders everyday, hanging out, sharing doughnuts and all those germs and stuff. And now they're all working from home. How does that change their day-to-day work? And how can we take advantage of that? What kind of tools can we build to help people make that transition better or take advantage of this new scenario, or help people feel comfortable working at home?

Josh:
Are you saying we need to make a 3D doughnut printer?

Ben:
That would be totally awesome.

Starr:
There you go.

Josh:
I see where you're going here.

Ben:
Obviously already software teams can use Honeybadger remotely to help coordinate over keeping track of their errors and making sure their app's healthy and stuff but I just think we need to get to that next level and maybe we come out with this Honeybadger vinyl figurine that has a little voicebox in it and it gives you stuff that your project manager would say to you if they were going to tap you on the shoulder and interrupt you while you're working. Like, hey is that Jira ticket done yet? Things like that. Just at random intervals it just says something to you.

Josh:
How about a life-sized honey badger that can just stand over your shoulder and make those comments?

Ben:
Even better.

Josh:
Like a ... what is it, Bill Lumberg style? 

Starr:
I like the way you're thinking Ben and this just occurred to me, the answer to this has been staring us in the face the whole time, the whole time, and I've got two words for y'all, you ready?

Josh:
Yeah.

Starr:
Second Life. Second Life people.

Josh:
We're going to have our own ... we can have our own island Ben. Haven't you always ... we've always wanted an island.

Ben:
Okay, now you got me. I'm interested.

Starr:
I saw ... I was at Borders a decade ago and I saw a magazine there that was Second Life is the future and it's been like a decade so it's got to be the future now, right? It literally is the future.

Josh:
It's in the future now.

Starr:
I was like ... perpetually in the future?

Josh:
It's still around. I mean it looks exactly like it did back in whatever the mid 2000s but it's now in the future. It's kind of like having a VHS tape or something. It hasn't changed.

Starr:
Actually I saw a documentary about this and Second Life actually still has a very ... well I don't know if it's vibrant but a very active user community.

Josh:
Yeah it's got the in-game economy. People make their livings off of it, which is crazy and hilarious.

Ben:
Wow, who knew?

Josh:
Yeah.

Starr:
Oh yeah I remember the documentary is about that. There was a woman who sort of made these ... you can craft items and sell them and stuff, but then there was a bug in the game that let you glitch spawn, or duplicate items, and it caused the whole economy to collapse.

Ben:
Okay so this is random, but are you familiar with Team Fortress Two?

Starr:
I'm familiar with those words.

Josh:
Yeah.

Ben:
Yeah so it's an old, old shooter.

Josh:
A very, very good one.

Ben:
Yeah, it's a classic. But the thing about Team Fortress Two is that they spawned this whole hat culture, collectables, things that you can trade and sell. There was this whole Team Fortress Two economy.

Starr:
Are these real hats or virtual hats?

Ben:
Virtual hats.

Starr:
Okay.

Ben:
Well there was a vibrant Team Fortress Two hat economy up until about a year or so ago, maybe a little less, where they had a bug where some of these rare items could be easily duplicated.

Starr:
Oh my gosh.

Josh:
I didn't hear about this. That's crazy.

Ben:
Totally crashed the market. Just ruined it.

Josh:
People must have been pissed.

Ben:
Oh yeah.

Josh:
Oh man I can't imagine the gamer retribution for losing your diamond level hat.

Ben:
Totally. Stuff that was worth hundreds is now worth pennies.

Josh:
Oh yeah so ...

Ben:
In a day.

Josh:
The things that kids come up with when you put them in an economy that can be rigged like that and they're clever and they grew up on a computer, I've heard some really, really hilarious stories about people making tons of money with various schemes just involving rare loot items. Selling them on eBay. People have built entire businesses on that in their teens or whatever.

Starr:
That's so funny. At least though it's only in games and no real industry can ever be decimated by things becoming easily copyable.

Ben:
Like Bitcoin?

Josh:
Yeah this is never going to be a problem in the future.

Starr:
Oh my goodness, wow.

Josh:
Life is a game Starr.

Starr:
That is a ... that is way too nihilistic for me Josh. That's ... I can't get on bored with this Nietzsche train of yours.

Starr:
Okay. Next week we do the podcast in Second Life.

Josh:
We totally should.

Ben:
Yeah Toby at Shopify already beat us to that. That was on Twitter this week.

Starr:
Oh they did?

Ben:
Yeah they totally did a ... it wasn't Second Life but it was totally VR thing. That's kind of funny.

Starr:
Wait so they did a podcast in ... was it like there were no video, they were just like, whoa we're in VR? Because we could do that right now.

Ben:
Well I mean there is a video clip of it.

Starr:
Those cubes.

Josh:
Are you saying we're all going to get ... are we all going to get VR rigs now?

Ben:
VR rigs? Totally.

Josh:
Is that what we do? Is that what we do to stop the spread of the virus.

Starr:
We can totally expense them if we use them for the podcast.

Ben:
And then we could use them to do ...

Josh:
I am on board with this.

Ben:
We could do motion capture of ourselves for that PM over your shoulder idea, right?

Starr:
Yes.

Josh:
Oh now you're ... yeah. Now you're talking. Augmented reality is where it's at.

Ben:
Yeah you could just setup a second screen at your workstation at home, right, and be like, hi. We're standing there waving at you.

Starr:
I remember ... this is a little bit off-topic but I remember how heartbroken I was when I realized that you couldn't just directly deduct ... like if you buy a computer or a VR rig you can't just deduct that from your taxes, you can only deduct the amount that it depreciates over time from your taxes, which isn't the same. It's like 10% of it. I don't know. I just don't buy enough crap to make it really that much money.

Josh:
Yeah I haven't taken the leap into VR yet. It just seems a little novel, or it has in the past anyway. I hear people tell me it's getting good but.

Starr:
There's too much junk on the floor or else I would injure myself. I've got a small child. I would trip. I would probably trip over my child.

Ben:
But it would make for a funny video to put on Reddit.

Starr:
Yeah. That's ... oh my god Reddit. I'm so sick of ... yeah I deleted the Reddit client off of my phone and I'm much happier. Now, instead of looking at Reddit I got Stardew Valley and so I've just been playing Stardew Valley. I'm not meaning to brag here but I'm a pretty good fisher person on Stardew Valley. I catch some ... just with a little bamboo pole I've caught like 60 inch tunas. You wouldn't believe it's physically possible but it is.

Josh:
You've got to ... can you screenshot and blow up the picture and print it out like hanging on your wall to commemorate your catch.

Starr:
Like a trophy?

Josh:
Like a trophy.

Starr:
Yeah.

Josh:
Yeah.

Starr:
Yeah and then I can make it sing annoying songs somehow.

Josh:
All your Stardew Valley trophies.

Ben:
You can hang it on your wall in Second Life.

Josh:
Oh I forgot about the singing bass.

Starr:
Yeah Big Mouth Billy Bass.

Josh:
Yeah. They probably have a lot of those in the Mid-West, right?

Starr:
Oh my god, so much.

Josh:
I can so guess.

Ben:
Back in Tornado Alley.

Starr:
So much you can't ... I don't even ... I know this is wrong, this probably isn't correct, but in my mind it has ... it's singing voice is basically like Jeff Foxworthy's voice. The guys like, you might be redneck if ... you know? So I don't know.

Josh:
It's totally unrealistic. A bass would never sound like that in real life if it could talk. That would not be the voice I would imagine.

Starr:
They're so small relative to a human. Their voice box would be tiny so they'd be really squeaky sounding.

Josh:
Yeah.

Ben:
You're saying that a bass would not have a bass voice, is that what you're saying?

Starr:
Oh that's a good place to ... that ... that is a good dad joke.

Ben:
If I'm going to have a singing bass I want like Barry White.

Starr:
Yep.

Josh:
Yeah, this is true. I'm trying to figure out how we got from Coronavirus ground zero to Billy White Bass in the Mid-West.

Starr:
Well that's the mystery of FounderQuest Josh.

Josh:
I love it.

Starr:
Yeah. I guess we don't have anything more to say, that's probably a good note to end it on.

Josh:
I think so.

Ben:
I agree.

Starr:
Well this is ...

Josh:
Your silence says it all.

Starr:
Your silence says it all people. Yeah, I've got a. I'm sorry I'm going to sort of emotionally distance myself from y'all in case you're not around next week.

Josh:
Ouch.

Starr:
All right everybody, this has been FounderQuest. If you would like to review us, maybe it'll matter, maybe we'll be around to see it. Just go on over to Apple, whatever, it doesn't even really matter. If you want to write for our blog, if you do like Ruby or Elixir blog posts and you want to write for us, I'll definitely ... I'll have somebody answer your emails to us, even if I'm not here, so just go to our blog and look on our header and there's a link about how to write for us. Until then, yeah. Vaya Con Dios everyone.


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