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We’re a New Wave Band featuring David Powers

Released on MAY 31, 2024

In the world of punk music, there’s probably no greater insult than to be labeled a sellout.In 1980, the Dead Kennedys were assuredly not sellouts.Invited to the 1980 Bay Area Music Awards to play their indie hit, California Über Alles, the Kennedys did exactly what you would expect a punk bank opening for the likes of Eddie Money and Huey Lewis to do – they threw up a metaphorical middle finger and after the opening chords of California Über Alles, they began playing Pull My Strings.The song is a lighthearted insult to the music industry practice of payola and the artists who sell out to become stars.

The tech platforms that dominate the world today were once very punk – they were disruptive and had loyal followings.But not only did they sell out, in doing so, they’ve degraded the usefulness of the platforms and the only reason people stay is because there are few alternatives.There’s a name for this and David Powers joins the show to discuss how it applies to platforms from Uber to Amazon.

We discuss:

  • The term coined by Cory Doctorow to describe this lifecycle
  • The 4 steps of this lifecycle
  • Examples including Uber, Reddit, Twitter, and Amazon
  • Whether paid platforms are the solution
  • How DRM affects authors
  • How the gaming industry has fallen prey
  • Whether OpenAI is already part of the lifecycle

Connect with David on LinkedIn

CX Riot Radio

Music courtesy of Big Red Horse


Rob Dwyer (00:01.374)
David Powers, the Caffeinated CXO, welcome back to Next In Queue! How are you, my friend?

David (00:08.083)
Dude, I have been okay. So how about you, man? It's been a while recorded or not. Like, you know, we...

Rob Dwyer (00:16.766)

It has been a hot minute. You know, we've had some opportunities to go back and forth. You have been on the show at least twice. So you are making at least your third appearance, I think. That's right. Is that right?

David (00:39.123)
If I remember correctly, it might be two, maybe two and a half. So I remember like a really short one too. So yeah.

Rob Dwyer (00:47.454)
Two and a half. Okay, I'll give you that. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Yeah, it's possible. This is number four. It's possible.

Look at you, just making all the appearances. Thanks for joining. Before we get to the topic that I want to dig into,

I want to talk about the new name of your podcast. For those that don't know, let's talk about the old name and the new name just to make sure people are in the...

David (01:28.115)
Yeah, so the old name of the podcast was caffeinated CX. It came out of a internal video series I was doing at my day job called Coffee with Dave. And I was like, cool. That's a cool spinoff. And then I released my first actual public episode of that back clear and like early 2021, I think.

Which is which is cool, which is a while ago. Before the name change, I think I was up to 180 odd episodes of that give or take. And but. I don't know how much of this we can talk about publicly. We can talk about it all publicly. I don't care so. Somebody. Set me a and I forgot that I forgot the dude's name. I.

Put a screenshot up on my blog and I thought I had a censored his name out. And I did, except for the very top where I forgot and. I'm not going to go back and re edit, but that was a complete mistake. That was me just rushing through it. It is what it is, but he had messaged me. Back in sometime in 2023 saying, hey, I really like the name of your podcast. It's amazing.

I love it. And then he came back like a couple days later. It was like, Hey, I own caffeinated cx .com. Let's talk. And I was like, yep, here we go. and I just ignored the guy, right? I was like, yeah, whatever. then he launched some kind of AI thing with the name, the website's down last time I checked, but whatever. And then he started, doing, podcasts with that name as well.

Rob Dwyer (03:05.31)
Mm -hmm.

David (03:24.371)
And they were kind of really s#!**y, but it is what it is And I don't just say that because like you know that they stole the IP or anything but it's a when I complimented him on the name of his podcast and A LinkedIn comment he like insta blocked me so and then I believe it was you that Reached out to me saying hey, yep. Yep

Rob Dwyer (03:49.822)
It was me.

David (03:52.723)
I knew it was, but you know, I just wanted to keep the names separate just for the sake of being mysterious. And yeah, you asked me how would this person was as a guest on the show. And I was like, I have no idea what you're talking about, bro. So, but I guess they had been on the other one. So eventually I just got tired of it. And I was like, I'm a chaotic being by nature anyway.

Rob Dwyer (03:55.39)
was made.

Rob Dwyer (04:15.646)

David (04:22.867)
So I was like, we'll just change the name and then got a little bit more cyber punky as opposed to just normal punk with it. Cause that's the way everything is going now as we enter this singularity of dystopia and decided on a CX Riot Radio, which is fun. Cause it allows me to do other things with it too. Like, you know, put up a KMFDM -esque.

songs and stuff that i used to make fun of AI art by using AI it's all good

Rob Dwyer (05:02.174)
Yeah, so people should definitely check that out. It was a realization to me when I asked you that question because I was like, well, it doesn't usually have guests on caffeinated CX. It's a rare thing. And when you were like, hmm, what are you talking about? I was like, yeah, there was that whole other thing I had kind of forgot.

David (05:18.227)
Mm -hmm.

David (05:30.227)
Yeah, honestly until you had brought it up I had forgotten about it too like because it was so like nothing of theirs ever popped up and not just because I was blocked just because they didn't know how to market So, I don't know but

Rob Dwyer (05:43.294)
I mean, step one, steal somebody else's podcast name and make it your own. Step two, question mark, step three, profit. Isn't that how it works? Yeah.

David (05:50.163)
Yeah. Yeah.

David (05:55.059)
Yes. Apparently, apparently man. So I was like, Okay, all right, cool. Cool. Cool. gives me the opportunity to do something new. So it's not new. It's the same exact thing, but it is what it is. So

Rob Dwyer (06:05.822)

Rob Dwyer (06:11.422)
Well, I brought you on originally we had talked about a different topic, including making fun of AI, which, you know, is ripe, but we decided to talk about something else. We decided to talk about ens#!**ification. So for those that don't know, this is a term that was coined in November of 2022 by Cory Doctorow.

And in ens#!**ification is there is, it's not just something that showed up and people started using it as slang. Like it has a very specific description. It describes the life cycle of really online platforms.

And that cycle being at first is awesome. It's amazing to users. It's wonderful and everybody goes and gets onto this platform and then. Yeah, well then they start to not be as nice to users because they need to figure out a way to monetize so they're really good with their like advertisers. Typically, whatever their customers are right, the paying customers.

David (07:32.083)
And we're ready.

Rob Dwyer (07:33.374)
Then after they get all the paying customers on board and it's like well We have all the people that you want to you know talk to and then we have all the advertisers Then they're like, We're just gonna be lousy to you too because we need to pay back our shareholders or whatever the case may be and then eventually the whole platform becomes completely ens#!**ified and dies

So that's the process of in ens#!**ification What's your favorite example of in ens#!**ification right now, I know it's tough to narrow down but like

David (08:14.195)
gosh, it did. Yeah, dude. It's like, Uber would be my first one. So, yeah.

Rob Dwyer (08:21.95)

So I think Uber is a great example, probably not the first one that comes to mind, but let's talk about how it fits into this process. So good for users. How was Uber good for users?

David (08:42.675)
Uber when it first launched was it revolutionized getting a ride, right? It pretty much put all the taxis out of business, which is a part of the ens#!**ification life cycle, right? So, and it was very, very, very easy. Wait times were pretty low, right? Cost was good. That one of the reasons that, cut out all the taxi services was because it was like half the price, if not more in savings.

Rob Dwyer (08:54.174)

David (09:12.019)
And you know, you could get a ride pretty much anywhere anytime you wanted to decide to pay the price and then slowly they introduced things like surge pricing and then last time I tried using it one there wasn't any drivers which whatever I and then now they have all these different tiers right and The tiers are exponentially more expensive

And to get what you could have just gotten originally with their was just by signing up with it right now. It's like 5x the price to get well anywhere unless you want to wait an hour and then you know, then it might be cheaper maybe but Just the price alone and I know everything is going up right now. I've been to the grocery store, but

Where it was $6 originally like 2019 ish right to go from where I was living to my office, which was like five miles $6 before right before I moved a couple of years ago, it had gone up to 17. Right and with a long long wait times and.

Rob Dwyer (10:28.446)
Yeah. Wild.

David (10:34.803)
different tiers, you know, you could, you could price, you could press the,

Someone from New Jersey is calling me. I don't answer calls from New Jersey. I'm sorry.

So, but like it could be. I'm living on a prayer. I don't know. But yeah, no, it's just gone incredibly downhill to the point where people are starting to use taxis again. So it's, it had so much potential, just like all the other examples there are of ens#!**ification, like Reddit, LinkedIn.

Rob Dwyer (10:49.086)
It it could be Bon Jovi though. Like what if it's John Bon Jovi calling you?

Rob Dwyer (11:05.054)

Rob Dwyer (11:15.326)

David (11:18.035)
All those other names that I don't want to get a suit or anything, but you know, it's not.

Rob Dwyer (11:23.166)
I don't think anyone's going to come after us for you being on my show and naming Reddit. Let's talk about Reddit. I think Reddit is a great example. The ens#!**ification really didn't begin until they were preparing to IPO. And IPO is when all of a sudden, hey, we're going to cash in. It's time to cash in. And all of a sudden,

David (11:26.355)
Okay. Okay. All right. Good.

Rob Dwyer (11:52.958)
They said, Hey, you know what? We're going to charge everybody to use our API and it's going to cost a ton of money. In fact, there were all kinds of moderator tools that all of a sudden wouldn't be able to actually allow moderators to do their jobs because the tools were essentially freeware. And a lot of these tools were actually, yeah, they were just operating out of somebody's pocket.

David (11:59.443)
Mm -hmm.

David (12:17.267)
Yeah, which was the entire point of it.

Rob Dwyer (12:22.366)
Right? Somebody's running a server in their basement or something to make this tool available. Interestingly, a lot of the moderators kind of went on strike. Can you tell us about kind of how things played out at Reddit?

David (12:26.387)
Mm -hmm.

David (12:39.027)
have you been on Reddit recently?

Rob Dwyer (12:41.246)
I am on Reddit pretty often, yes.

David (12:44.723)
am too I am too have you seen the massive amounts of ads and Lack of real content now Yeah, babe, babe

Rob Dwyer (12:50.206)

Rob Dwyer (12:55.038)
I have. There's an ad probably every third or fourth post. Actually, if you're using the mobile app, it's an ad.

David (13:00.435)
I know. It's...

Yeah, it's almost as bad as the Amazon app now so So Yeah, so you know it's like they've gone against everything that read it stood for in the beginning where it was a forum open free speech for the most part right they had to rightly ban like the jailbait Subreddits and everything like that cuz come on

Rob Dwyer (13:09.47)
We'll get to Amazon.

David (13:34.323)
come on. But it was always a free platform. And you could pretty much talk about whatever you wanted to. Right. And for free. And you could get there were numerous apps that you could use to access it, just like there was for Twitter back in the day. And do we have to talk about Twitter? Okay. Okay.

Rob Dwyer (13:55.934)
We don't, I think everyone understands what's happened at Twitter. That also great example of ens#!**ification.

David (14:02.107)
Yeah, yeah, for $44 billion, you got to get it back somehow, you know. So, but now it's nothing but ads. It's incredibly easy to get banned off the platform, right? And mostly by speaking bad about how many ads there are. All those, the app I used to use was what's called Reddit is fun, which was hands down the

Rob Dwyer (14:06.846)

David (14:31.155)
In my opinion, the best app for Reddit, it just made the readability that much better than even like the website, which if you're not used to like Reddit, the website is going to give you a headache when you're like reading down through threads. So, which is like what everybody complained about, but Reddit is fun. Kind of get rid of that. And it was easy to read. And then as soon as they changed the API and started charging for it, my gosh, man, it just went away fast.

And ever since then, Reddit has just gone downhill. It's harder to navigate. You're not going to get the kind of, content that there was, which Reddit used to be like one of my go -to search engines, right? Just to find really quick answers to things. And now if you're not getting like sponsored posts or just ads or just AI generated, marketing agency,

posts on threads that were done eight months ago, that kind of thing. So it's almost entirely useless except for a few like really niche subreddits, right? So, but the main ones, the ones that you get without even signing up, right? They're just, they've all gone to trash and it's all because everything has been monetized and

Rob Dwyer (15:45.438)

David (16:00.435)
I get it. People have to make a living. People have to feed their families. People have to pay back the shareholders. But when it destroys the entire UX or the user experience, is it really worth it?

Rob Dwyer (16:16.286)
Yeah. I, so I have a question really related to what you just talked about. So, but let me set the stage. Part of the way that a lot of in ens#!**ification happens is that the service, the platform is free to users to begin with in an effort to bring on as many people as possible. Right? Think Facebook.

Think Google, think Amazon, Reddit, Twitter. All of these are great examples of really a service that's free. And that is intentional, right? Users are essentially the product. Eventually that gets monetized by selling our data to advertisers so that they can target or selling our data to other.

Data brokers right who may sell it who knows where but I wonder if Right our our problem begins with the fact that as users We Just don't recognize or don't care that a free service eventually is going to do

Is going to act in a predictable way in other words we could Say, you know what? I will pay a subscription fee so I can have reddit and have it ad free whatever that fee is maybe it's five dollars or ten dollars a month or whatever and Perhaps that would allow me to not have this

downward spiral spire You know what I'm talking about spiral into in ens#!**ification There's a part of me that says do you think that's the case and then I am going to respond to to your response?

David (18:17.171)
I know what you mean, man. Yeah. Mm -hmm.

David (18:30.515)
Yeah, I think at the beginning of every platform, people are optimistic. People are probably naively so. right. Cause we've all been down this route before. I mean, anybody who's old enough to have like a MySpace saw it happen in real time. Right. So it's, I think people get excited about new things and then they become,

Rob Dwyer (18:51.166)

David (19:00.339)
You know obsessed especially when it's a free service that you yourself could make money off of if you did it right right which in turn turns more into you know what it means but

Yeah, here's the thing. I mean, we're all optimistic when things come up and they're fun and there's a community involved, right? And we'll put up with a few ads here and there, right? Just like banner ads or whatever. So nothing too intrusive like dictionary .com right now. my God.

Rob Dwyer (19:34.558)
That site is unusable. It is unusable.

David (19:38.579)
Dude, dude, is it okay if I share my screen really quick?

Rob Dwyer (19:42.302)
Yeah, let's let's do this. So for those of you who are watching the video feed, let's show you Dictionary .com. If you're unfamiliar with dictionary .com, it does exactly what you think it does. It's an online dictionary.

David (19:44.723)
All right, so.

David (19:53.138)

David (19:57.875)
Yeah, and of course as soon as I started sharing half the ads went away, but like this thing was like because it knows but this thing

It's like, did you know, blah, blah, blah, blah. It's all ads. And before I started sharing, yep, this is, I hate it. So it's dictionary. I'm just gonna go use perplexity for everything from now on until that gets ad saturated as well. yeah, 100%. I can't wait until the AI ads get here.

Rob Dwyer (20:14.142)
Yeah, and there's a pop -up ad.

Rob Dwyer (20:31.182)
you know that's coming.

David (20:37.875)
So halfway through a chat GPT prompt. So it is what it is. But yeah, no, it's we all we all start off optimistic about a new platform. We build a community on this new platform. And yeah, we know they're using our data, right? I mean, the terms of service when you sign up for it, I mean, nobody reads it, but like it's all in there, right? It's when the ads become overwhelming, like what I just saw.

What's the side for go to connect? Bob's furniture so

I don't know bro. but the thing is it doesn't just stop at like banner ads and other things that, I mean, look at all the streaming services now too. It's like what you pay for.

Rob Dwyer (21:24.99)
I'm glad you brought that up because this was really my, I don't know, rebuttal to my own potential argument that, hey, we're responsible and if we would just pay for things, then we wouldn't necessarily have this problem. But I think Amazon is a great example of it doesn't really matter. If you're paying for prime, and I get Amazon gives you a lot for prime,

David (21:42.323)

David (21:49.427)
Mm -hmm.

Rob Dwyer (21:54.686)
if you actually take advantage of all the things, right? So yes, you get free shipping on things that now are prime eligible. Not everything is prime eligible these days. But you also get right there, Prime Video Service, which when it first came out was actually pretty amazing. It was one of the first services that I cut the cord with. It was Netflix and Prime Video.

David (22:24.435)
Mm -hmm.

Rob Dwyer (22:24.734)
Prime video has recently introduced ads into That service so despite the fact that I'm paying an annual fee to access this service I am now getting served ads Also in the Amazon shopping app if you want to call it that You're also getting served

David (22:47.443)
Mm -hmm.

Rob Dwyer (22:49.758)
ads. In fact, most of the results if you search for something on Amazon, most of the results at the top of the page, just like Google now, are ads. If you want your own product to show up when people search for that product, you actually have to pay for an ad to get you there and you have to pay Amazon a cut of your revenue.

David (23:00.911)

Rob Dwyer (23:19.646)
from sales. That's wild.

David (23:20.855)
100 % 100 % I I did that experiment the other day right I on the map I looked up customer experience books because that's the niche that we're in right and I have a couple floating out there and Yeah, there were a couple ads on the top and then I started scrolling and I recorded it on a screen record and like every three Entries was a sponsored or sponsored post or an ad?

Rob Dwyer (23:34.238)

David (23:50.419)
it was it was ridiculous and like there were books that I've No offense to the authors, right? but never heard of never heard of them and I like to think that I have most of the Big hitters already on like, you know LinkedIn, right? So but this was ridiculous and it was every every third one was an ad So

Rob Dwyer (23:50.718)

Rob Dwyer (24:16.094)
It is wild to me. Speaking of books and Amazon, let's talk about some of the other ways that really a lot of this boils down to a lack of competition, right? A lot of these companies that we're talking about are in their particular space, a monopoly. And that's something that, that,

David (24:35.571)
Mm -hmm.

Rob Dwyer (24:45.342)
We have allowed or at least our government has allowed monopolies technically are Against the law in the United States, but it doesn't prevent them from existing so Right, so let's talk about Amazon one of the one of the things that is interesting about Amazon is

David (25:00.467)
If you've got enough money, you know, it's like...

Rob Dwyer (25:14.238)
you can obviously publish your book there, but you can also publish your audio book. And this is one of the ways in which IP law gets really kind of twisted. So DRM, digital rights management, for those that don't know what that is, that is essentially the software that is on

David (25:29.298)
Mm -hmm.

Rob Dwyer (25:43.87)
Music it's on movies. It's on audio books to prevent you from copying and Selling for your own profit somebody else's work right in theory. It is a way to allow you to control your IP But if you create an audiobook on Amazon It comes with Amazon's DRM on it and it is illegal

For you, even you David, as the publisher of the Blue Collar Call Center, right? If you made that an audiobook, which by the way, do you have an audio version of that book?

David (26:26.387)
No, but because of this very reason. So.

Rob Dwyer (26:29.502)
Right? You would be not allowed to sell that same audio book anywhere else. And if you did, Amazon could come after you and essentially make a takedown request because you have violated their DRM by trying to sell it somewhere else. Just absolutely bonkers that

That is the case.

David (27:02.195)
100 % that like I said, that's one of the reasons I haven't Done the audio recording yet or put it up on audible right and I was thinking of reading it for like the podcast but then I was reading through the KDP stuff and it was just like I don't think I can because I can't even post like chapter by chapter on my blog either because it's like once it's on Once it's on KDP and published

Amazon almost kind of owns it so you can't

Rob Dwyer (27:36.222)
Yeah, it's wild.

David (27:41.523)
Yep, but it is what it is. There's no other real way of getting published nowadays unless you get of like Forbes reaches out to you or something which I don't want that either but And I never want to have my stuff behind a paywall, you know, so because first of all, I hate paywalls especially with like magazines and newspapers because dude, no one's gonna read your stuff if there's a paywall No one reads new papers anymore. I

Rob Dwyer (27:52.446)

Rob Dwyer (28:09.63)

David (28:11.139)
But it is what it is. It's like yeah, DRM is a big thing and it was huge in video games do like where so and we can talk about video games too because Holy s#!*, so talk about in ens#!**ification so

Rob Dwyer (28:19.71)

Rob Dwyer (28:30.526)
It is the exact same process, right? I mean, so let's what's your favorite example?

David (28:34.579)
What's this?

David (28:40.051)
Okay, so for ens#!**ification where it comes to is pretty awesome at first and Let's let's even let's even narrow it down to free games, right? So and then we'll get into some paid games because that's getting bad too because we can talk about loot boxes and everything else right, but Let's take for a free game Neverwinter right neverwinter based on for having realms

Dungeons and Dragons when I first came out.

Yeah, it was kind of a little bit monetized where you could buy in -game currency for like skins and cosmetics and some other stuff right But the majority of the game up to about endgame was playable like you could progress normally without spending a penny right I Made the mistake of downloading it about a couple months ago and the entire thing has changed that there's like six in -game currencies that you can buy and

Right and so some of the currencies if I understood it correctly because I was just kind of like mocking it while I was playing it Some of the in -game currencies you have to buy with real money And then use that currency that you bought with real money to buy other in -game currency As you can buy with the currency that you bought with real money, so it was like

Okay, buddy. And you cannot.

Rob Dwyer (30:08.318)
And what's the exchange rate on this currency exchange?

David (30:14.739)
It was really bad. So yeah. but like there's that you can't progress anymore without spending that currency, right? So, cause you're going to be incredibly under geared. And if you play MMOs, if you're under geared, you're not doing anything, right? You're like walking out and dying. another prime example of, this is a Blizzard as a company.

Rob Dwyer (30:16.094)
Yeah, of course it.

David (30:45.043)
who used to be the pinnacle of games, right? Whenever a new Blizzard game came out, people got excited, right? People would line up and back when it was mandatory that you had to have a physical copy of the game anyway, people would line up for midnight releases for Blizzard games and almost exclusively for Blizzard games. Like you'd get the couple like Call of Duty's and whatever, but Call of Duty's are too new for this really. But like,

Yeah, and then they released Diablo of mortal which I Think the first week that it came out someone had spent over a hundred grand on so

Rob Dwyer (31:29.406)
It is just wild. So this has so many different aspects to it. And I think those of us that are roughly our age, we're a similar age. We remember you would have to buy a console, but then you buy a game, and you own the game. You had a physical, typically, cartridge. Eventually, they became discs, which you

David (31:54.291)
Mm -hmm.

Rob Dwyer (31:58.942)
you own the game and you would play the game till it was over, you won, or you would just play it forever sometimes. Sometimes you just play the same game over and over. It didn't matter if you had beaten the game or not. I do think that when we entered two things, an opportunity for massive multiplayer online and

David (32:05.075)
Mm -hmm.

Rob Dwyer (32:29.354)
Downloadable content and the ability to buy things in game changed the entire dynamic because now it wasn't just I need to beat the game. I'm competing with other people all over the world. And that competition, for whatever reason, right, there are people out there with literal money to burn. They were willing to

David (32:48.691)
Mm -hmm.

David (32:57.554)

Rob Dwyer (32:58.942)
burn it to be number one on the leaderboard.

David (33:00.339)
No, 100%.

Yeah, and here's the thing. Yeah online gamers by and large. There are two things right there competitive and their completionists so Those two things make it very very easy to monetize so if you can spend five bucks here ten bucks there on some things that will give you a competitive edge and Also you get an achievement for You get a little pop -up?

Rob Dwyer (33:12.766)

David (33:33.971)
Hey, you did this and then it goes on to on to your account Yeah, you can make bank right?

Rob Dwyer (33:35.806)

Rob Dwyer (33:42.302)
Yeah, and I don't have to put out a new game, more money. I just add new features, new achievements, new currency, some new skin, whatever I want. And then you brought up loot boxes. So for those that are not into gaming.

David (33:48.307)

David (33:57.363)

Rob Dwyer (34:06.75)
Tell us what a loot box is. It sounds awesome. It sounds like a box I opened that has good stuff in it. Is that what it is?

David (34:10.483)
I thought this.

Yeah, it is exactly what it is if you pay for it. So and you get these for free in the game. You get the box, but you have to buy the key. So which is which is smart. And and let's take the game Destiny for an example, right? Same same people that made Halo made the Destiny games right? Bungie. And Halo's always been a fun game.

Rob Dwyer (34:27.902)
It is.

David (34:44.115)
Halo's always been pretty near the top. Destiny 1, pretty awesome. Destiny 2 came out at first. You had to pay for it, right? And then they realized, why are we charging up front when we can have, when we can monetize this forevermore and people will spend 100x what they would have paid for the physical or, well, the digital copy.

Rob Dwyer (35:12.414)
Mm -hmm.

David (35:12.499)
the game and that's exactly what happened now like within the first like 20 minutes of playing the game right I got my first loot box which promised some rare items some some upgrades some things that would make my journey through the solar system so much easier and I could unlock

Rob Dwyer (35:37.438)
Did you know what was in the box?

David (35:40.819)
I have no idea what was in the box. So, but the promise was there and all I had to do was press a button to unlock it for only.

Rob Dwyer (35:41.822)
No idea.

David (35:55.603)
$5.99, $9.99, I forgot which one it was. But this was egregious in like when you had to pay for the game as well, and then there was monetization after that to give you a competitive advantage. And I get the argument that like, yeah, people choose to do it, right? So, okay, cool. But for a competitive advantage, and let's talk about games that you actually pay for.

Right that you have to like buy on steam or wherever that have these things well that you could buy competitive advantage for That puts the people who don't buy them at a disadvantage right so or the same game aid the same amount of money for It's just they don't have the disposable income or they haven't learned Mommy's credit card number yet right so either or So and I'm not against like video game monetization when it comes to cosmetic

Rob Dwyer (36:37.63)
Mm -hmm. Yeah.

David (36:56.483)
Right for when it comes to skins Go for it or if you want a new mount in World of Warcraft and you don't want to grind 20 hours for it Yeah, cool, but you know don't sell epic weapons or you know upgrades to your armor and stuff like that cuz it It makes people who can't afford that at an advantage and it becomes like

Rob Dwyer (37:15.454)

David (37:26.259)
I don't want to be called labeled a politically ideology that I'm not but it makes it so that the the people who can spend the people with the capital can

kind of outpace the people that can't. And yeah, even if you pay for the game. Yeah. It's like life.

Rob Dwyer (37:46.014)
Yeah, I mean, it's pay to win, right? I mean, at the end of the day, it's pay to win. And those companies, I mean, those people that pay that money, they're known as whales. And those companies know their whales very well. And they do everything they can to keep them happy and spending because they make way more money that way.

David (38:02.547)

Mm -hmm.

Rob Dwyer (38:14.334)
than they did before, which was you pay a fixed price for the game and then everybody gets the game. It's just, and you get more users when you bring in people for free, you remove that barrier to entry and then you can get those micro transactions. And some people, even if they're not spending a lot of money, might spend more over the longterm than they would have if they had even paid a hundred bucks for the game.

David (38:26.899)
Mm -hmm.

David (38:36.595)
Mm -hmm.

David (38:41.587)
Yeah. yeah, no, and here's the thing. Like, that's cool. It is what it is. So, but.

When they're not up keeping the game either, right? When they're not adding new content, free or not, right? When it stagnates. And all they focus on is selling new cosmetics or new upgrades for characters and not updating the game itself. And then players typically leave when things stagnate, right? When there's nothing new.

So I don't know. There has to be a balance somewhere. And like I said earlier, I get that people have to keep the lights on, right? They have to pay back their shareholders. They just shouldn't do it at the expense of the user experience to such a degree. Like you and I are old enough. And honestly, just looking at mine, yeah. So.

Rob Dwyer (39:41.95)

Rob Dwyer (39:46.334)
man, we are definitely old enough. We're old now.

David (39:50.291)
And just judging by my podcast statistics are and I'm imagining that ours are pretty similar. We're in the same sort of niche, right? Our listeners are about the same age as us, right? So, so we're, we're lucky that we've got to see kind of the rise and fall of cable. And now we're seeing the things that replaced cable become cable.

Rob Dwyer (40:05.79)
Probably, yeah.

David (40:19.731)
So it's just a very, very neat period of human existence. So.

Rob Dwyer (40:26.974)
Neat is a fun way for you to put that That's fun. Thanks. Thanks. Hey I have a question for you. There is a new company that is making all the waves I'm sure everyone who's listening has heard of open AI Is open AI already

David (40:31.195)
Family friendly man, family friendly. So...


Rob Dwyer (40:56.222)

David (40:59.251)
In certain ways, in certain ways, yeah. So, and it was, it's bound to get worse, right? Is they're not at the point yet with ads within their platform, right? So, but it's, and as a copy out here, I haven't played with their API, right, or their development tools, right? But just as a user, right?

It's a...

David (41:34.707)
I don't know if it's because they vetted a bunch of stuff from new Reddit. Right.

David (41:43.115)
But already the answers are getting worse. It's getting harder to prompt, right? And get real actionable content out of it. And it just might be the upgrade, but like it hallucinates a bit more, right? I don't know, $20 a month for the pro version. I don't know if it's worth it. And just the amount of garbage.

GPTs that are on their little store right and that's becoming a little Excessive and a lot of them are garbage right and they're paid you have to pay for them to even try them out I think that If it hasn't become and ens#!**ified yet, it's well in the way of Becoming that way and I think it's only a matter of months Before we start seeing the other sides

Right so because it's taken so far all of our prompts that we've done right all of the answers that it spits out and just recycles that and it will lead to the complete and shit application of the internet if it hasn't already started right so right now like what it comes the internet and I don't know if it still has that limit of like 2021 or not anymore which

Rob Dwyer (43:10.334)
I don't think so.

David (43:10.963)
You know if you tried to yeah, I remember if you tried to look up something current. It was like I only know this much so but once it starts catching up to when people started writing like complete AI based blogs and Articles and all this other stuff right and it just becomes a feedback loop of AI reading AI

Rob Dwyer (43:17.054)

David (43:35.187)
That's gonna be fun. That's gonna be amazing. And it's gonna be complete shit. So.

Rob Dwyer (43:39.998)
It is.

Rob Dwyer (43:44.478)
I'm glad that we could have a discussion that is encouraging and optimistic and really extols the virtues of current platforms out there today. So thanks for that. By the way, this podcast is free.

David (44:05.011)

Rob Dwyer (44:07.742)
To listen to so I need all the users that I can get AKA listeners and or viewers so that I too. And start to sell you ads and then eventually my platform can die when I cash out and move to Barbados or something so.

David (44:25.427)
Yeah, well, 100 % man, I'm behind that. We can start selling like filters and stuff to put on our faces when we do these. So it's all good. So, or maybe we can, maybe we can just move over to Twitch. So.

Rob Dwyer (44:30.782)

Rob Dwyer (44:36.606)
Ha ha!

Rob Dwyer (44:40.638)
Yeah, I well, I am once we're finished here. I'm going to send you a loot box and then offer you the key or the low low price of $29 .99.

David (44:55.859)
well, good thing today's payday.

Rob Dwyer (44:59.326)
Yeah, I accept all major credit cards, so...

David Powers, thank you so much for joining the show. I don't know that this is the normal show, but I will say, if you are thinking about customer experience, don't let whatever you're doing be part of the ens#!**ification loop. Because.

David (45:25.939)
I think that's the message. It's...

Rob Dwyer (45:28.414)

David (45:31.187)
If you give a s#!*, you won't ens#!**ify. So it's the root word, so it's fine. Still family friendly here. So.

Rob Dwyer (45:43.806)
We passed family friendly a long time ago, but that's okay. As long as it's friendly enough for you to play for your kid on the way to school, that's all I care about. Really all I care about. yeah, he's listening to way worse things.

David (45:55.219)
He's almost 14 now. So yeah, it's all good. So

I've seen some of his word messages. Yeah, it's yeah, he's our words and worst things so

Rob Dwyer (46:07.23)
Dave, thank you so much for joining the show. As always, I appreciate it.

chatting with you again. Be sure to connect with Dave on LinkedIn if you're not already. Check out his podcast. Check out his books on Amazon. It's the only place he can sell them. So check them out there. Thanks, Dave.

David (46:35.027)
Anytime, man. Thanks.