Episode 21
January 18, 2017

Whoa Amazon Go

The guys do a prediction episode and 2017 looks like it's coming up AI

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Brian: [00:00:23] Welcome to Future Commerce, the podcast about cutting edge and next generation commerce. I'm Brian.

Phillip: [00:00:29] I'm Phillip.

Brian: [00:00:31] Today, we have much to cover. We have not talked in forever.

Phillip: [00:00:37] It's been literally months. Not for you, but for us. Yes. We had a good stockpile of content. And so we're glad that you're listening to it. But today we are speaking today on the day of the release of the AirPods, which could be... But by the time you hear this who knows what year it will be at our rate of release right now.

Brian: [00:01:01] Hopefully next week.

Phillip: [00:01:02] I miss you. I'm so glad we're back.

Brian: [00:01:05] I know, man. We're back. We're back, baby.

Phillip: [00:01:06] This is it. Feel like we're back. Anyway, we want you to give us some feedback about today's show. We're always asking for that. We want you to leave that on FutureCommerce.com. Just go down to the episode, click on the episode titles, scroll down to the very bottom, and you'll see that Disqus comment box. We want you to leave that in there. And we want you to start that discussion with us so that everyone else can get in on that conversation. You can also subscribe because we don't even miss any episodes of this podcast and any others that we publish. And you can do that on iTunes and Google Play or you can do it right from your Amazon Echo these days with TuneIn radio by saying, "Alexa, play Future Commerce podcast."

Brian: [00:01:45] By the way, speaking of comments. Thank you so much, Daniel Middleton, for that thoughtful comment that was greatly posted.

Phillip: [00:01:52] That was great.

Brian: [00:01:52] I really enjoyed reading that. And I appreciate hearing people join in on the conversation.

Phillip: [00:01:59] It was a very long form, sort of well thought out experience, his experience with VR. And interesting because he mentioned some of the sort of the headache, queasiness, dizziness that you get, which is interesting because I feel like that was the center of the conversation a while ago. But I haven't heard people talk about that in VR for a while. So I wonder if it's just the hardware or the software is getting better to where it's not so... I don't know. Doesn't provoke that sort of reaction as much anymore. But I really liked hearing back from you and keep it coming.

Brian: [00:02:39] For sure.

Phillip: [00:02:40] Could we talk about literally anything other than Amazon Go at this moment in this podcast?

Brian: [00:02:44] I don't think so. I mean, this is like the topic. And frankly, I mean, I think we might do a full on predictions episode coming up here.

Phillip: [00:02:53] Ooooh.

Brian: [00:02:53] But I mean...

Phillip: [00:02:54] I like that.

Brian: [00:02:56] I think maybe like in the next couple episodes here. Predictions for 2017.

Phillip: [00:03:00] Well, let's... {laughter}

Brian: [00:03:03] A little preview to that... Amazon Go is the future.

Phillip: [00:03:05] Amazon Go is the future. What's crazy is it's the future right now.

Brian: [00:03:13] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:03:14] It's the future in the way that Starbucks thinks that voice ordering is the future. I don't know. I love the fact that Amazon is doing this. If anybody can do this, it's Amazon. For those who don't know, this is basically a grocery store where there is a concept that's already up and running in Seattle. I think?

Brian: [00:03:35] I don't think it's in Seattle. Actually I think it is in Seattle.

Phillip: [00:03:39] Yeah. I think it's in Seattle. So it's up and running. It's sort of this open beta. As long as you have the Amazon Go app, you can walk right into the store and you can pick up any item. Any item that you pick up off a shelf through some means of product tagging and through image recognition and some software that they have running on cameras in the store. They sort of add it to your virtual cart. You walk out with the items in your bag or in a basket and done.

Brian: [00:04:12] Done.

Phillip: [00:04:12] It just charges it to your Amazon Prime account, which is like exactly the thing that I wanted for Christmas and nobody knew about it. It's mind blowing.

Brian: [00:04:20] Well, it's not Christmas yet. So maybe Amazon Go is coming near you.

Phillip: [00:04:26] It could be. It could be. That could be under the tree is an Amazon Go store in West Palm Beach, Florida. We are probably more more likely to get Google Fiber at this point than we are...

Brian: [00:04:39] I'm not so sure about that. I think that they...

Phillip: [00:04:42] It's been discontinued that. {laughter}

Brian: [00:04:44] They pretty much finished that. Yeah. {laughter} I think Amazon Go actually will be a model for not just Amazon going forward, but a lot of other businesses.

Phillip: [00:04:54] It is so hard not to just talk for a straight hour about Amazon because we actually haven't spoken since Reinvent.

Brian: [00:05:03] {laughter} Immortality.

Phillip: [00:05:05] Yeah. Oh, my gosh. There's a million things that we could talk about. But let's talk about Go for a minute, because I think Go is sort of the best of everything rolled into one.

Brian: [00:05:15] I'd say it's the best you like most tangible implementation of a lot of things that Amazon's been working on for a long time.

Phillip: [00:05:23] Well, the thing that I get concerned about is they create these experiences. They provide, I mean, ostensibly, they're providing everything that you could need through their AWS platform for you to be able to create your own experiences. And many companies have. You look at Netflix and some others that have built their entire businesses on the backbone of AWS. And you can create some truly amazing things. But I still get the feeling that there's some proprietary stuff going on there that's not necessarily available to everybody that sort of makes this really special and does it well.

Brian: [00:06:03] Yeah, that's true. It's true. But I will say this, I actually don't think people have to copy the exact model of Amazon Go. There are other things that people could do that would result in the net result being the same.

Phillip: [00:06:17] Like what? Give me an example.

Brian: [00:06:19] Where you could just like how people's scan, like even a barcode. I mean, I was just so tired of checkout. Let me buy something and walk out with it, please.

Phillip: [00:06:31] Right.

Brian: [00:06:32] That's I mean, at a very base minimum, viable product level there are things people could be doing right now. I think that they're just scared to do them. And I can't wait to see how this goes, because I think it will empower merchants to say, wait a minute, they're not losing a ton of money, not having a whole bunch of theft. It's actually a working model. And so I can do some iteration of this on my own and probably for a lot less than Amazon put together that Go store. Although I will say, about Go, I think it's only open to employees right now, I believe.

Phillip: [00:07:15] Yeah. It's a closed beta. I think it's employees. And there were some reporters, I think in the beginning.

Brian: [00:07:21] To be fair, that's like a quarter of Seattle. {laughter}

Phillip: [00:07:24] {laughter} You actually you said something which I think is sort of key, which is I don't want to spoil anything. Have you seen Rogue One? Star Wars Rogue One?

Brian: [00:07:39] Not yet. I hope to see it this week.

Phillip: [00:07:42] Ok, I will try my best not to spoil anything for anybody.

Brian: [00:07:46] Anybody. Anybody.

Phillip: [00:07:48] Yeah. Or even you. But just you could also just if you're really scared about it, you can just zip forward about 30 seconds. But here it goes...

Brian: [00:07:55] Should I cover my ears, Phillip? I mean honestly.

Phillip: [00:07:57] No, no. There is a moment in this movie where they basically they basically do something with computer graphics to place somebody into a scene, which is just a mind blowing moment in this movie. And they do it in such a way that it avoids the uncanny valley, and you kind of don't think about it because you're not really thinking about CG, because it's not obvious that it's CG. But so I'm listening to the Incomparable Podcast with John Siracusa, and they're talking about the application of CG in the Star Wars films. And they basically said, it's sort of the douchy apple phrase, which is, you know, it took courage to do this, but it really does. It takes courage to step out there and be the first person. Like, you're never gonna get to a place where we have full CG films that basically look photorealistic, like real humans acting, unless somebody takes the first step. And you're never gonna get to a cashless society or to a cashierless society in retail without somebody taking the first step. And is every first step going to be good? No. But the first step has to be courageous. And I think this is incredibly courageous because it may not be the best shopping experience in the world in that it's not particularly useful to most people who don't live in Seattle or at this point, anyone who does live in Seattle that doesn't work for Amazon.

Brian: [00:09:31] Only 3/4 of the city, so...

Phillip: [00:09:34] {laughter} But I do think that it's incredibly important for retail and for and for digital commerce in general to bring this sort of automation, the sort of autopilot trusting of the system out of the online world and into reality. And I think it's incredibly brave. This could be the thing that next year we say, wow, you remember that? What a terrible idea. But I do think...

Brian: [00:10:04] I don't see that happening. I could be wrong. Maybe I will... Now I'm going to double eat my words.

Phillip: [00:10:11] There are a lot of times.

Brian: [00:10:12] There are.

Phillip: [00:10:12] There's a lot of times where you think things are going to have incredible potential and they just can't make it work. Maybe something's too early. I think we'll see. But if anyone can pull this off, it's Amazon. And I think it's a really bold move. And I really want to see this continue. I would love to see this... Well, we have this already, actually. About four years ago, Florida decided, the state of Florida decided, that most of the total operators south of Orlando were no longer needed. So they moved to a toll by plate technologies where they actually...

Brian: [00:10:57] I'm not going to lie. That system is not very brave. It's actually really inefficient.

Phillip: [00:11:03] What is that? The toll by plate?

Brian: [00:11:05] Yeah, it's not...

Phillip: [00:11:06] No, no, no. It's annoying, and it's terribly annoying. Terribly annoying. Especially if you're visiting.

Brian: [00:11:10] It's really expensive. Like really expensive.

Phillip: [00:11:15] Yeah it is.

Brian: [00:11:15] Not for drivers but like for the state to process.

Phillip: [00:11:19] Oh, I'm sure it is. I'm sure there're a lot of reasons. I'm just trying to draw an analog here, which is to say that that I have been driving around without thinking about it for 10 years with an NRFID in my car. That is called the Sun Pass, which is like the Easy Pass in New York or wherever else. I've had this sort of experience on toll roads for 15 years. It's about time, I guess, was what I should say. It's about time that this comes into another area of the world.

Brian: [00:11:49] Yeah no joke. I agree with you. It's ridiculous.

Phillip: [00:11:50] It's so far past due at this point. I'm going to take back my brave statement. I think it takes some courage to do this in a world where it could be exploited tremendously if it's not done perfectly. But I do see it's a huge turning point. I think 2017 is going really... I don't know. It's really the make or break for retailers.

Brian: [00:12:15] Are we making this a predictions episode?

Phillip: [00:12:16] No. I don't know. There's so much news to get through. Let's just keep going.

Brian: [00:12:22] I want to dwell on this a little bit longer, because actually, I think there's another point here that we haven't talked about, which is Amazon is not just making a statement about the future of shopping. It's also making a statement about the market. And what I mean by that is, oh, hey, brick and mortar. You guys, have been really stagnate for a long time. And like we just said, this has been due for ever and no one has done it. And now Amazon, they're not just saying this is the future. They're saying time to move out of the way, people who don't innovate. Because we are coming to brick and mortar, and we are going to do it better than you guys who've been sitting around and not changing the experience for years.

Phillip: [00:13:12] Yeah.

Brian: [00:13:13] I think it's finally time that someone did that. And I love guys like Dean Flan and Healey Cypher who are also making investments in this and dragging the industry forward. But it's also good to see a big brand out there saying, you know what? This is it. And now we're going from an online first mentality to, hey, we're just an innovation company, and we're going to reinvigorate the world. And honestly, this is actually the second step into this that Amazon's taken, or maybe the third, even second or third or fourth. But they've done the bookstores. They beat Barnes and Noble online and kind of drove them out of business that way. And now they're swaying back and opening bookstores. And there's one in University Village out here in Seattle and other places, and they're killing it. They're actually killing it.

Phillip: [00:14:13] Have you been there?

Brian: [00:14:15] Yeah. It's amazing.

Phillip: [00:14:16] Is it really?

Brian: [00:14:17] Yeah, I mean, it's not...

Phillip: [00:14:19] Interesting.

Brian: [00:14:19] Yeah, it's not that...

Phillip: [00:14:22] It's still a bookstore.

Brian: [00:14:22] It's still a bookstore, but they do have some pretty cool stuff there. They got all of their tech right there in the middle of the store, sort of centered around the tech, if you will. And some cool little stations for finding things and so on. So I mean, I wouldn't call it groundbreaking, but it's interesting. It's always hopping and it was Amazon's first planting of the flag in brick and mortar. And now I think they're saying, hey, this is actually our territory, too.

Phillip: [00:14:55] Yeah. And I think that's awesome. I think it's needed. Competition is what drives innovation, and it drives... The market forces kind of drive costs and prices down. And what I really think is really interesting, and I'm probably not the right person to do the deep dive on this, but I think it's a really interesting play that Amazon sees themselves when they're in retail, when they're in like real world retail, they see themselves a as an upmarket play. This grocery store that they're demoing, they see themselves competing with a... Well, it's like the corner store. It's not a terribly large...

Brian: [00:15:45] Right.

Phillip: [00:15:45] There's not like a massive grocery store. But the range...

Brian: [00:15:52] It's like fast casual almost.

Phillip: [00:15:52] Yeah, but the range of products seems to be pretty diverse. But they all happen to be high end, not necessarily brand name, but high end sort of, you know, fashion, food.

Brian: [00:16:04] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:16:05] And possibly in the organic sort of space, like the eat well kind of thing that they're sort of putting forward, which I think is interesting.

Brian: [00:16:12] It is interesting given that they compete with Walmart online, right?

Phillip: [00:16:15] Yeah. Give given that their play online has been to really go for the throats of the suppliers, they drive prices down, they drive costs down and they have a price play with extremely thin margins online. And it seems like they're going the opposite when they come into the real world, which is really interesting.

Brian: [00:16:34] That might be an interesting point. Maybe real world shopping is actually going to be at a premium in the future.

Phillip: [00:16:43] So that's the point that I wanted to make, which is, I don't know, we're sort of spoiled. I think we are competing... I don't know. Amazon doesn't really compete with anybody online as much as Walmart, I think, is coming up in the marketplace sector. There's no one else that's even... Like they have twice as much of a head start on this stuff as anybody else. And they have twice as much market share, I think, as the next biggest online marketplace, which is at least here in the United States, which I think would be Walmart.com. But, you know, worldwide, I think Alibaba is like 14 or 15% behind them. But anyway, long story short, I see it as we've sort of been trained for this autopilot convenience sort of coming at not a premium, but $99 a year. And we have tremendous value that's packed into that. We have Amazon Prime with the two day shipping. That's what it sort of started at. And now we get movies, we get TV, we get music, we get free Kindle books. They keep value add, value add, value add. And now we're going to be expected to have this, to pay a premium for that same convenience in the real world. I think that it's more of a brand play. It's more of loyalists and people who favor the brand of Amazon over...

Brian: [00:18:07] For now.

Phillip: [00:18:07] Yeah, I don't see them, but I don't see them competing with Walmart in the real world with this sort of a technology unless they license it out to be acceptable as a thing that they can retrofit in any retail experience. Maybe they use this as their... I don't see them competing with grocery chains in 20 years. That's what I'm saying.

Brian: [00:18:28] Interesting.

Phillip: [00:18:29] I see this as, you know, Amazon is all about platforms. And that's what... I don't know. They are a platform company. That's how I see them.

Brian: [00:18:36] I think they're an innovation company. I think that they invest in everything and see what sticks. And that's how we ended up with Alexa.

Phillip: [00:18:44] Speaking of actually, that's a great transition.

Brian: [00:18:47] That was a good transition.

Phillip: [00:18:47] I want to go away from this. Hopefully. Maybe you've got some thoughts. Leave us some feedback. We want to hear what you think about Amazon Go because it's pretty transformative.

Brian: [00:18:53] We have more. Really.

Phillip: [00:18:56] Yeah, we can probably talk for an entire hour about this. So actually, there's a couple other things I want to mention real quick, because again, we haven't spoken since Reinvent. But two major components of what actually makes Alexa work were announced as individually accessible products on AWS. So there's two pieces that make Alexa work. The first is the AI, which is the actual engine, the AI engine, that interprets intent out of a phrase that that's being given. So if you do any Echo or Alexa programing, you'll understand what that phrase intent means. And it sort of understands intent. And it sort of maps intent. But the thing that actually does the voice to speech is another... So that was inaccessible previously. And the thing that actually does the voice to text to be fed into the AI engine to map the intent, that thing wasn't accessible either. And they've been given names now, and they're both individually accessible via Amazon. So Amazon Web Services... So Polly is the the new AI engine that is now accessible. Lex is the Lexar, which is that voice to text engine. And it's really interesting because I've been playing with Lex as a voice to text engine. And it could... It's not perfect, but it looks like it can be used pretty well for even really bad audio. You can take some audio that's pretty mangled, and feed it through Lex, and it comes out the other end pretty well translated. And apparently it works with like 40 plus languages. So it's interesting. Those are both accessible.

Brian: [00:20:54] I'm interested to see how people use those. I mean, are they going to try and build sort of their own Alexas of the world?

Phillip: [00:21:08] I don't know. I mean, ask Starbucks, cause Starbucks apparently is itching to do this. Hey, there's a segue for you.

Brian: [00:21:14] That was a segue, man. That was a good one. So Starbucks has announced its chat bot. To be fair...

Phillip: [00:21:23] It's actually a voice thing, right?

Brian: [00:21:25] Is it? I think there's a bot, a chat bot involved as well. We should double check this.

Phillip: [00:21:32] Yeah. I mean, I'm pretty sure like they basically came out and said, hey, we have a digital assistant now. And you can speak to it to order your drinks. I'm thinking to myself, this is the most useless thing. Why didn't you just put this into Siri, which is on a billion devices? Why didn't you put this into Alexa?

Brian: [00:21:56] That's actually one think we should talk about because like, for instance, Bank of America also came out with their own voice, or bot.

Phillip: [00:22:07] They have a voice thing, too? Are you kidding me?

Brian: [00:22:07] It might just be a bot.

Phillip: [00:22:10] OK.

Brian: [00:22:11] No, I think it is voice. I'm pretty sure it's voice.

Phillip: [00:22:14] But why?

Brian: [00:22:15] Yeah. So in short... And this is a big question, I think. Are brands going to have their own literal voice verses come in on platforms? And I think I can't remember if we actually covered this on the show before or if we just talked about it. But one of the ideas that I think we were discussing at one point is the idea of like the personal assistant. Which I think Alexa and Siri and Cortana etc. are becoming verses like an outside bot that has its own personality and how our personal bots may end up sort of interacting with those other bots and filtering them. And we may end up talking to brand specific bots via introduction from our own personal bot who sort of is our voice pop up blocker, if you will. So as we get closer to voice push notifications and sort of reach outs via voice from brands or people or people's bots, personal bots, I think our personal bot might become sort of the gatekeeper of our time and so on. And I know we're pushing... This is the future. We're talking several years from now. But as companies build out their personal bots, I just wonder what will that interaction look like? When will we discover those bots? How will we interact with them? What will sort of help guide us to using them? Because right now, I have no incentive to go use a personal brand bot, brand specific bot. And I think that as merchants and businesses, our listeners need to be absolutely thinking about this. Like do I actually need to go invest in this or should I just go out and leverage what Google assistant has already accomplished for me? And work my brand into that experience? Or do we do both? I think it's a big question, and I think it's something that we might help provide a little guidance on here in the future.

Phillip: [00:24:49] Yeah, I think it either... There really is no middle of the road. It's either gonna go fully federated like you're talking about where we have everybody sort of has their own sort of personalized bot. Like, the Her future where you have a something that's extremely personal for you. Maybe that's something that comes from another corporation.

Brian: [00:25:16] Wait but was it so personal? Was it?

Phillip: [00:25:18] Oh, okay. Fine. Yeah, you have to watch that. You have to watch the movie, I guess. But my point that I'm making is it's either extremely personal or somebody wins the new platform wars.

Brian: [00:25:30] Right.

Phillip: [00:25:30] I think that if history is any example, we're probably closer to winning the platform wars because valuation and shareholder value is entirely based on eyeballs today and users and user base. And so Starbucks...

Brian: [00:25:51] But for merchants?

Phillip: [00:25:53] Well, for even for a merchant. Like I mean, Starbucks is going to be accountable to its shareholders because they're a public company.

Brian: [00:26:00] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:26:00] And if they spend millions of dollars investing in voice enabled cappuccino ordering technology, and it's not widely accepted or widely used from its... Like they've had a string of really, really good decisions not to praise Howard Schultz any more than he needs to be...

Brian: [00:26:23] Except for losing Sonics. Hey.

Phillip: [00:26:27] {laughter} Well, they have a few things. I saw somewhere where bringing fast food into the store like breakfast sandwiches and small plates has increased top line revenue by like 18% year over year.

Brian: [00:26:45] Starbucks has made insanely good decisions.

Phillip: [00:26:48] Yeah. And now beer and wine served in some stores in different markets. That's a massive thing. I think these are great decisions that I think play well to consumers. And the revamping of their rewards, I think is a huge change for them and has created apparently a lot more engagement with customers. Mobile ordering is another thing that I think has engaged people in a new way. But do people need to talk to their phone? And I think the answer...

Brian: [00:27:20] Wait. Wait. One more awesome thing that Starbucks has done, and that was their loyalty program, which is worth more than several countries in the world. Like there's more money sitting in that loyalty program.

Phillip: [00:27:31] Oh, yeah, I saw this. Where did we see this? I saw this recently.

Brian: [00:27:34] I don't remember where we were looking at that. And I was just like, oh, my gosh.

Phillip: [00:27:38] Yeah. They have more money sitting in...

Brian: [00:27:41] It's like two point something billion. Right?

Phillip: [00:27:43] Yeah. At any given time, you know, you have to reload a card. And so you front a bunch of money which Starbucks then presumably acts as some sort of a bank with the GDP that's larger than most half the nation's on earth. And they take that money and then they make more money with it. Who knows what they're doing with it. But it's interesting, they've got a lot of... They have an insanely loyal customer base who many have been coaxed into purchasing every day at incredibly increasing average order values. But even beyond that...

Brian: [00:28:24] Which does not include a lot of Seattleites, by the way.

Phillip: [00:28:28] Yeah, I figured that right. That's probably some...

Brian: [00:28:32] Not to get too off topic.

Phillip: [00:28:32] Yeah, but my point is, is that they've also got a lot of really interesting programs and incentives to bring people back same day.

Brian: [00:28:38] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:28:38] So same day purchase, which is just mind blowing. They've done a great job.

Brian: [00:28:43] No doubt, no Starbucks is killing it. Here we go. The question is is this another thing that they're making a really good decision?

Phillip: [00:28:53] I think investment in the space is a good decision. I think making your own thing that you talk to in their app is the dumbest decision they could have made.

Brian: [00:29:02] You think it's going to be gone?

Phillip: [00:29:02] They're going to lose that battle...

Brian: [00:29:03] It's just going to be gone.

Phillip: [00:29:05] It'll miraculously... What will happen is it'll be mentioned somewhere, somehow that they're also now on Alexa and that they're also now on Siri. And within a year that thing will be phased out of apps. I just don't see people using that because you want to go where the people are. Apparently. I don't know this for sure. Early estimates of Alexa devices being sold for holiday 2016... In the 20 to 25 million range.

Brian: [00:29:37] That is insane.

Phillip: [00:29:39] Twenty to twenty five million Alexas. That's like almost double what the GPS craze of 2008 was. Everybody bought a GPS in 2007/2008 for Christmas. Like Garmin couldn't keep up. You know, the sites were down for days. Nobody could get their maps. Everyone was opening up a GPS on Christmas morning. But the thing that will be open underneath the Christmas tree in 2016 is going to be an Alexa enabled device. Probably an Echo Dot.

Brian: [00:30:09] A Dot. Yeah.

Phillip: [00:30:10] That's $39 on Black Friday's special. People are buying them by five, six, seven at a time. It's crazy. And that's where the people are. And so why would you not invest in that?

Brian: [00:30:24] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:30:25] Uber did it. Uber, one of the most... Their market caps... Well, Uber isn't a public company, but Uber is like a 50 billion dollar company. They thought it was a good idea to invest in Amazon's platform. So I don't know. It's interesting. I think it's a very interesting play.

Brian: [00:30:46] I wonder if they'll do both. I can't help but wonder if, like, they'll eventually...

Phillip: [00:30:51] They'll do both.

Brian: [00:30:51] Yeah, I think you have to. And it's not just Alexa. You're going to have to dress all your channels. Right? All of your platforms. Because if you just go with Siri, you're leaving out all of the Android users. If you just go with Google, you're going to leave out all of your Apple users. And if you just go with Cortana, then you're stupid. {laughter}

Phillip: [00:31:21] {laughter} Ok. That's a great punctuation on the end of that sentence. Let's just keep moving. Oh, some things that may be happening. This is completely crazy. These are completely out of left field. But why don't you mention a couple of these here? We have a few opportunities. You could actually see us possibly at some industry events pretty soon.

Brian: [00:31:43] For sure.

Phillip: [00:31:44] The Future Commerce boys will be out and about.

Brian: [00:31:47] So I think we have an opportunity to work with the IBM influencers team at NRF.

Phillip: [00:31:53] IBM. IBM. The IBM. Big Blue.

Brian: [00:31:56] And also potentially a few other events. Their own events and others. So I'm pretty excited about that. We also were accepted as Press at Shoptalk. So we'll probably...

Phillip: [00:32:09] Press at Shoptalk.

Brian: [00:32:12] And there are other things on the horizon. I'm not going to give it all away.

Phillip: [00:32:17] Yeah. Yeah. You want to tease. You want to tease a little. What I call it the tantric podcasting method. It's you've got to build the anticipation because the anticipation is half the fun.

Brian: [00:32:28] No joke.

Phillip: [00:32:29] Right? That's the point.

Brian: [00:32:31] Speaking of other things that happened recently.

Phillip: [00:32:35] Yes.

Brian: [00:32:35] So the other day at 6:00 in the morning, I got a text from Messina bot. Chris Messina. And it said, "Want to get a drink?" No, no, no. It was "Fancy a drink?" And then, "Never mind." I had not prompted anything.

Phillip: [00:32:56] Oh, my gosh.

Brian: [00:33:00] So either Messina's out there on this Messina bot drunk texting people... I don't know. I messaged them back and said, "Hey, man, I don't think you meant the message me," but I'd love to have you on the show. So, Chris, if you're listening, we would love to have you on the show. {laughter}

Phillip: [00:33:20] Chris Messina if you're listening, please come on the show.

Brian: [00:33:26] Yeah, that was that was pretty funny. So it actually it could've been... I wonder if it was a glitch in the bot, although that doesn't make any sense to me. I think it's more likely he accidentally hit something. I don't know. Who knows. Why would you say "Never mind?" I don't know why a bot would say, "Never mind."

Phillip: [00:33:47] A bot that just says, "Never mind." That's incredible.

Brian: [00:33:49] Maybe Chris was doing a little market research.

Phillip: [00:33:52] Yeah. Kurt Cobain bot might say, "Never mind." But a Chris Messina bot doesn't have any...

Brian: [00:34:00] Good Seattle joke there. Kind of.

Phillip: [00:34:03] Speaking of bots, actually, Nordström is getting into bots, thus completing 2016 as the year of the chat bot.

Brian: [00:34:12] Yeah, for real. Messina called it. Speaking of Messina.

Phillip: [00:34:16] Yeah. Yeah. Speaking of Chris Messina, he called it. Called it maybe three years in advance. But he called it.

Brian: [00:34:24] No. He officially said 2016, year of conversation commerce.

Phillip: [00:34:27] Oh did he say 2016 was the year of the chat bot? I don't remember that.

Brian: [00:34:30] The year of conversational commerce. That was him.

Phillip: [00:34:33] That's it. Well, we'll see if it actually sticks. But conversational commerce was one of the reasons we started this podcast to begin with. It's interesting. So if you look at this chat bot. Have you seen this chat bot?

Brian: [00:34:44] I haven't really played with it yet.

Phillip: [00:34:47] So the Nordström chat bot... The first thing that you'll see, so it's a businessinsider.com, and is filed under business intelligence.

Brian: [00:35:02] {laughter} They would.

Phillip: [00:35:05] {laughter} Sorry I had to say that. So they do this big leaderboard graphic that they have up there is the potential... I love this. How do they even? Oh, they tell you how they came to this number. This is amazing. The potential annual US salary savings created by chat bots... And so as you scale up, we start with insurance sales representatives on the left, which is a potential annual savings in the billions. You could potentially save 12 billion dollars in insurance sales per year.

Brian: [00:35:41] Yes.

Phillip: [00:35:43] By using chat bots. Because who doesn't want to speak with a Turing incomplete insurance sales representative? That's what I'm looking for. Ok, so there's that. The Turing test. They'll fail that. What's next? Oh, securities and commodities. Well, that's interesting because I don't know why I trust that more than I would insurance sales. But we did talk to Jonathan Taylor and with our friends at Link. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. That's that's wrong. Jonathan Taylor at...

Brian: [00:36:14] What are you trying to get at? Where you going?

Phillip: [00:36:17] The securities and commodities. Who does that? That's Sentient. I'm sorry.

Brian: [00:36:22] Oh, yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Phillip: [00:36:23] Epstein.

Brian: [00:36:24] Jonathan Epstein.

Phillip: [00:36:25] Epstein. Too many Jonathans. Jonathan Epstein at Sentient. Chris, you can just cut that out on post, but that's never going to happen. We'll just roll with it. Essentially, there are basically AIs and bots that are doing trading and stock picks today. So those are things. But way over on the right is potential $23 billion in savings and annualized savings by moving customer service representatives to chat bots. And that's the big pull quote here. So it's like Business Insider is not really concerned about what Nordstrom is doing so much as that it's just excited that we can put people out of jobs with chat bots. Here's what I love at the bottom. "Estimates are calculated against the potential of bots replacing these positions where customer service representatives would be up to 29% of all customer representative jobs would then go to chat bots." And this just kind of reminds me of the whole South Park {robot noises} kind of thing.

Brian: [00:37:31] Yeah. No joke. I agree with you. I kind of feel like chat bots are actually, I'm not going to call them the least of innovations that are going to put people out of job, but they're not at the top. There are a lot of other things that are going to cut down on our need for jobs besides chat bots. And I feel like people are stating a lot of pretty ridiculous numbers right now. I just don't see it, at least not in the near future.

Phillip: [00:38:08] So when you go to the Nordstrom chat bot, you go to the actual Nordstrom chat bot, they'll tell you 4.2 million people are using the Nordstrom chat bot. It says it right there. Says it like right when you click on it. Four point two million people are using the Nordström chat bot.

Brian: [00:38:23] I wonder how much traffic they stole from their site.

Phillip: [00:38:27] I don't know. Here's what I do like about this chat about experience, though, because I'm actually on it right now. So this is like kind of the cool first blush thing. When you actually start the Nordström chat bot on Facebook.com or on Messenger, it actually says, like, it guides you through a sort of like a guided shopper, like a personal shopper, sort of a thing. So it'll say, "Where would you find yourself on the weekends?" And the options are: Hosting a party. Making a playlist. Heading out of town. Or, I love this one, Going to Comecon. And then the option sort of get, you know, more specific from there, but it's to sort of, I think get into who you are and sort of, you know, guide your style and suggestions. And it does make product suggestions. It does link you off site out to Nordstrom.com. What I think really is interesting is that they didn't just invest in Facebook Messenger. They also created a chat bot for Kik Instant Messenger.

Brian: [00:39:39] Did they?

Phillip: [00:39:39] Which I honestly thought was only for dick pics. I did not know that Kik was for anything else. Why not Snapchat?

Brian: [00:39:48] Don't you know that Nordström shoppers are the same demographic? I know.

Phillip: [00:39:52] I suppose. It's interesting. Yeah. Kik is very much for a much, much, much younger demographic. It's a very interesting thing. I think this sort of seals it.

Brian: [00:40:15] I think that they needed to do it, or I should say I think it was inevitable. And I think Nordstrom is sort of always pushed a little bit of the cutting edge.

Phillip: [00:40:28] Yeah, they have.

Brian: [00:40:28] And that helps them sort of maintain their premium brand. And I think it was probably the right move given where they're positioned.

Phillip: [00:40:41] I think they might be the largest company doing chat bots now. Fortune 197.

Brian: [00:40:46] Starbucks?

Phillip: [00:40:51] Starbucks. Fortune... Let's find out. I don't know. Where are they in the Fortune 500?

Brian: [00:40:53] Oh, Starbucks wins.

Phillip: [00:40:56] 146. So Starbucks is the largest doing chat bots. Well, they don't do chat bot though. You have to speak to your dumb phone.

Brian: [00:41:04] No, no. There's chat too. I checked it out.

Phillip: [00:41:07] Oh is it really?

Brian: [00:41:08] It's chat.

Phillip: [00:41:09] Was it on Facebook Messenger?

Brian: [00:41:11] I think it's in your app.

Phillip: [00:41:14] Of course it is.

Brian: [00:41:17] Getting back to...

Phillip: [00:41:18] Why? Why would it be on anything else?

Brian: [00:41:23] Wasn't Starbucks like one of the first? No. OK. This is the best. So I can't believe I remembered this. I remember when Starbucks cut a deal with Microsoft Office to schedule meetings at Starbucks. And I feel like that is a little bit indicative of the types of things that Starbucks does. I don't know.

Phillip: [00:41:50] Wow. Yeah maybe.

Brian: [00:41:51] Did you remember that?

Phillip: [00:41:52] No, I did not know that, but that sounds really dumb.

Brian: [00:41:57] Yeah. I remember it was a pretty big announcement in the Northwest because we have a Starbucks on every corner. So everyone's like, oh, I have so many more meeting rooms. And it was just ridiculous.

Phillip: [00:42:08] Anyway, we're probably a little off topic.

Brian: [00:42:14] We are way off topic.

Phillip: [00:42:14] But I think it's interesting. I think this seals the deal, maybe the largest. Let's see another department store kind of go that way. Interesting. I think we said not ten episodes ago that buying clothes online through a chat bot is quote unquote, the worst way to shop for anything online ever. But it's interesting.

Brian: [00:42:37] It is. Yeah. No, and I think you have to start somewhere. So it's going to get improved over time. Also I think a lot of those companies that were doing shopping experiences up front via chat were kind of startup-y.

Phillip: [00:42:52] Yeah. You're right.

Brian: [00:42:55] And Nordstrom has a huge fat budget to throw behind this, which doesn't always guarantee good results. But it definitely can help maintain consistent iterations of something and that can lead to good results.

Phillip: [00:43:10] I know all roads always lead back to Amazon, but I forgot to mention two days ago I was on Forbes.com. The very first delivery of an Amazon drone package. They delivered popcorn.

Brian: [00:43:32] Yes, I saw that.

Phillip: [00:43:32] And it took place in a sort of a beta in the UK because of fewer flight regulations. So really, really interesting stuff happening over there.

Brian: [00:43:44] I feel like it's a little bit weird, given that we had a 7-Eleven... How long ago was it that the 7-Eleven delivery happened? And frankly, I was more excited about that. It was a breakfast sandwich and a cup of coffee. A little better than popcorn. I'm not going to lie. A little heavier, too.

Phillip: [00:44:04] Yeah, that's true. But did they spill the coffee? That's the question. We don't know.

Brian: [00:44:10] I mean, it was probably sealed.

Phillip: [00:44:14] Probably in a thermos. Sealed. Interesting. All right. Anyway. Oh, speaking of which, so you remember you were saying, will other companies build...? I know we keep going back to Amazon. It's my fault. I keep bringing it back up.

Brian: [00:44:32] No, Amazon has a lot going on right now. Like it is...

Phillip: [00:44:35] I know. And we haven't talked about any of it. So it feels like it's a lot.

Brian: [00:44:39] It is.

Phillip: [00:44:41] So I was just looking because I was trying to find other Fortune companies, other Fortune 500 companies that are doing voice or chat. And it actually led me back to Reinvent again, because Capital One just built a voice app.

Brian: [00:44:57] Oh yeah. It's been out for a while. Capital One is killing it, by the way. Killing it.

Phillip: [00:45:01] Yeah. They've really kind of modernized and sort of that digital thing where there's a lot of the messaging now is about convenience and security around managing your account through apps. It's interesting. But they built their own voice experience, and they did it with a lot of these Alexa skills which are now public. Like Polly and Lex are both big pieces of building the Capital One Voice experiences for banking.

Brian: [00:45:30] I wonder if it's better than the Bank of America one. I bet it is.

Phillip: [00:45:36] I don't know.

Brian: [00:45:40] I'm not a fan of Bank of America.

Phillip: [00:45:40] I don't use either of those companies. I'm kind of like I don't really care about that stuff so much. I'd like to see companies build or invest... You know, it's interesting that, for instance, this is a good example. They have an Alexa skill, Capital One has an Alexa skill, but they also have their own voice experience in their app. And I think that's probably the right way to go. So maybe that's what we'll see other companies do.

Brian: [00:46:17] I think that that's what's driving up before. I think that companies are going to have to do both. The question is, how are they going to interact with each other, if at all? So it'll be interesting to see how that plays out. And I think we should definitely do a little bit more coverage around that particular topic. And I think we will. I think it's really important right now. Let's talk about something other than Amazon for a second.

Phillip: [00:46:41] Please.

Brian: [00:46:43] AKA, let's talk about Apple for a moment.

Phillip: [00:46:47] {laughter}

Brian: [00:46:47] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:46:49] Yeah. Let's do it.

Brian: [00:46:52] Another A company. Yes.

Phillip: [00:46:57] We'll talk about Alphabet after that.

Brian: [00:47:00] Oh, yeah. Oh, man, I can't wait to talk about that. Kind of more excited about that than... Well, OK. I'm actually excited about this, too. So AirPods, they're here. They have arrived, and they are legit.

Phillip: [00:47:15] Only two months late. Two months late. But apparently every review, every early review says they're awesome.

Brian: [00:47:23] I'm not surprised, really. I think they mean after talking to Jason Baptiste about his bluetooth headphones, I think it's such an obvious step to move away from cords. I have a really nice pair of headphones from Bose that I love. But the cord drives me crazy. Honestly, it doesn't make any sense that in this day and age that we can't be wireless. I think ultimately the play here is let's get Siri into people's ears, because right now, talking with AI on your phone is really embarrassing because it talks back, and it's loud, and it's not always accurate. But if it's in your ear and nobody else hears it, it's like talking on the phone. Which is a lot more comfortable.

Phillip: [00:48:19] That's true. Yeah, I think also it's sort of bringing in it's not necessarily just the voice activated because everyone's kind of doing the Hey Siri thing, which is there. But this brings gestures sort of into play. So you can tap the earbud.

Brian: [00:48:34] Yeah double tap for Siri.

Phillip: [00:48:36] And that right there I think is the right way. I think, you know, it brings some accessibility questions into play. But I think having...

Brian: [00:48:48] Can you do both? Can you also still say, "Hey, Siri?" I bet you can.

Phillip: [00:48:50] I don't know if there's a wake word. I'm sure there is.

Brian: [00:48:54] I'm sure there is. But it's just an interesting play because I think that it's something that we don't know that we need yet, and we'll know that we need it after we experience it. I really wish that Apple had a better penchant for design, because I do think that they're sort of drifting. It's a little bit evident in a lot of their recent product releases. I think it's a little dopey looking.

Brian: [00:49:23] Hold on.

Phillip: [00:49:24] No, I mean this.

Brian: [00:49:25] Like the new laptop, I know that it's taken a lot of criticism.

Phillip: [00:49:29] It's beautiful.

Brian: [00:49:30] It is gorgeous.

Phillip: [00:49:30] It's beautiful. But it's taking some criticism. I don't really care about all the things that people are griping about. The thing I care about is, you know, look at the last Magic Mouse. Which can't be used while it's charging.

Brian: [00:49:47] Ugh. Ugh. It's just awful.

Phillip: [00:49:47] Right. That's a good example.

Brian: [00:49:51] Yeah, I used it and I hated it.

Phillip: [00:49:53] Yeah, so it's one of those... There's a couple of those little things, and I think the fact that you kind of need the case for the AirPods, for everything, including syncing to a device, that's a little bit annoying. You'll have to have that case around for charging, too. But I think they've already addressed some of the hard stuff, which in the case is kind of dopey looking. It looks like a dental floss container. I don't know. It  just doesn't smack of Apple. It's just strange. But anyway, I like it and I'm excited for it. I love the idea that also, and this is the first we're seeing of something like this. When you pair your the earphones or the AirPods with your any device that's connected to iCloud, all devices that are connected to iCloud are already going to be paired with those AirPods. So this is seamless sort of integration between you at work on your laptop or desktop and you on your phone. And you no longer have to sort of switch contexts because your context is in your ear. And really, we're moving toward...

Brian: [00:51:10] Voice first, baby.

Phillip: [00:51:12] Yeah, it's kind of. And but this is more like attention based. It's more about where you're focusing your attention. I think we can get really smart with these devices of sensing where our attention is focused, and if you can imagine in the near future where the AirPods sort of seamlessly operate between where your attention is focused, between your phone, your iPad, your laptop, but you could take a call on your laptop or be speaking to Siri or listening to music on your laptop and seamlessly flow to your phone and get in the car without any interruption. And I think that is something that can easily happen. That can easily happen in the near future with the world that they're building.

Brian: [00:51:59] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:52:01] So we're very close to that. And I think that, again, it's like the always connected but sort of in a different way than I think anyone else's is going right now. And that's what makes me really excited.

Brian: [00:52:14] I'm stoked. Yeah. Speaking of stoked, I think Mark Zuckerberg is stoked on AI right now.

Phillip: [00:52:25] {laughter} He's secretly working for like a year on his own. So he is further confirming that everyone or at least one person in the world and that's Mark Zuckerberg thinks that he's Tony Stark.

Brian: [00:52:40] I think there's more than one person who thinks that.

Phillip: [00:52:43] Do you think that?

Brian: [00:52:44] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:52:44] I think I don't know. He's doesn't have the playboy confidence sort of thing going on. I don't think. But it's interesting. He has created a... He's created Jarvis. He's created a connected AI that connects everything in his life. Which I think is incredible. So he wrote an article. He posted it on Facebook.com, as you know, as he should. And he wrote basically this whole journey over a year of creating a very connected AI for him, which connects everything from home automation to even, and like home automation in a crazy way, like unlocking his door based on face recognition for he and his wife. And he also has UIs like an iOS voice app and a Messenger bot and command line tools for him while he's programing. But he's connected a bunch of systems even to the point, like he's done some crazy stuff, which is very Tony Stark. He wanted to find a toaster that he could give voice commands to. But he says that one thing that sort of stymied him was that he found out that every toaster that he tried that was built in the modern era sort of has the feature of being able to press the toaster into the down position to put the toast down is disabled when the toaster is not plugged in. And that, I guess, keeps you from doing something bad. I don't know. It's a safety feature. So he had to go back and find like a toaster from the 50s that would allow him to push the toast down. So in the morning, the bread is in the toaster. And then he has a wake command in the morning that turns the power on to the toaster and then it toasts his toast. It's like just ridiculous. He also has a T-shirt cannon to shoot T-shirts at him to wear. {laughter}.

Brian: [00:54:55] This sounds like a mix of 2001 Space Odyssey and frickin Back to the Future.

Phillip: [00:55:02] It's like Back to the Future because it's sort of that hokey Doc...

Brian: [00:55:06] Yeah. Exactly.

Phillip: [00:55:06] Doc Brown everything's sort of convenient, but it is sort of like an overly complex Rube Goldberg, sort of a way.

Brian: [00:55:17] It gets back to like Ray Bradbury. I know we mentioned a couple of his short stories on the show before.

Phillip: [00:55:22] Yeah.

Brian: [00:55:22] And I feel like he really called it, man. Oh, I love his stuff.

Phillip: [00:55:29] Well, what's interesting is that we haven't heard from Facebook about...

Brian: [00:55:31] About Facebook.

Phillip: [00:55:33] Facebook has been a platform for chat, but we haven't heard from Facebook about building connected AI and home automation and that sort of thing. He also sort of says that he continues to predict that we'll have personal AIs within five to 10 years that are more accurate than people's actual senses. It's interesting. He said he spent over 100 hours building Jarvis. I don't know.

Brian: [00:56:03] We covered that in our last two episodes, or last episode, I should say that we broke into two episodes. In short, you know, I don't think he's the only one who thinks this. I think there's a lot of people out there that that are in the know in the tech community who really genuinely believe in five years that AI is going to play a significant part of our lives. In fact, I was reading a study recently that said that we would talk... Did we talk this already?

Phillip: [00:56:37] I don't know.

Brian: [00:56:38] That by 2020, we'll have more interactions with our voice assistants than we will with our spouse.

Phillip: [00:56:46] Ok. No, I don't remember us talking about that, although it sounds like something we would talk about.

Brian: [00:56:50] Definitely. I wish that... I need to cite that. Definitely.

Phillip: [00:56:54] Yeah, you should cite that. You need to find what that is and cite that.

Brian: [00:56:59] We talk about so much. It's hard, in fact. Speaking of talking about a lot of stuff, we should publish some of that, man.

Phillip: [00:57:10] Yeah, we should.

Brian: [00:57:11] Maybe we should.

Phillip: [00:57:13] We should probably have a... I would love to have I know that we're actually we're kind of faking now because we've already talked about some of this.

Brian: [00:57:24] Yeah, we're faking.

Phillip: [00:57:24] But I would love to have a place where people can see like news and articles in this Future Commerce vein, but with our editorialization around it. But sort of like that, unfiltered, once we first talk about it, kind of take where you can sort of see our initial impressions and maybe then how that evolves.

Brian: [00:57:49] It's our chat. It's our chat that runs a thread across like seven different platforms, you know.

Phillip: [00:57:55] Yeah. {laughter} Which is so true. Like, we can't even figure out where we talked about something because we're on too many chat platforms.

Brian: [00:58:06] Which, by the way, Google, please merge Allo and Hangouts.

Phillip: [00:58:08] Oh, my word. Please.

Brian: [00:58:09] Please, please, please.

Phillip: [00:58:10] Get rid of messenger. Like bring everything into one place. For crying out loud.

Brian: [00:58:15] Please. We'll have to say that on next episode too.

Phillip: [00:58:20] We'll just keep saying it.

Brian: [00:58:23] It's frustrating.

Phillip: [00:58:26] It's interesting. I think if there's something that I really like is sort of like blog aggregators where they find the best of the best to bring it all into one place, but they speak with a consistent voice, that sort of gives an editorial position on the news as it comes out. I think that we have a very specific voice and maybe one that is better consumed on a day to day basis than just waiting for a podcast to drop.

Brian: [00:58:56] Yeah totally.

Phillip: [00:58:56] And so I think it's interesting. I'd love to hear what people think if they would read a blog like that or if they would subscribe to an RSS feed that sort of has that daily best of the best.

Brian: [00:59:06] With our commentary.

Phillip: [00:59:08] Yeah. I mean. Yeah, exactly. With our commentary. That's the important part. You just need more of us.

Brian: [00:59:14] But speaking of commentary and us talking about things, something I really don't want to leave behind before we close this episode up, because I think we're running out of time here. But we talked about Apple. We talked about Amazon. I think we need to take a moment and talk about Alphabet the other big A.

Phillip: [00:59:34] The trifecta of A.

Brian: [00:59:36] Yeah. Who has an incubator out there, or maybe not an incubator. It's a project of some sort. I don't really know what the structure is. To build a futuristic city really where they take advantage of all of modern technology and sort of build the city to really function in a truly technology age. And so I think that's really cool. It's very ambitious. It's very Google, Google-esque.

Phillip: [01:00:15] It is.

Brian: [01:00:16] But we were talking about this in the pre show. I had this thought. Which is why get so ambitious? We have some unbelievable technology coming out here ahead in AR and VR. And VR is actually getting to a point where, you know, it's really quite usable. And there's actually a lot of content for it now. And we have intimate systems coming out where you can really start to have presence. Why? Instead of building an entire city, why don't we build tech focused communities that are really focused on... Actually, we were talking about even an open source community where Google or Amazon or somebody goes out there and basically builds sort of that base blueprint for home builders. And then people contribute to that and they use it as kind of a platform to get out there and build connected communities that are more standalone and like small town almost neighborhoods. Even neighborhoods.

Phillip: [01:01:34] Just neighborhoods.

Brian: [01:01:34] So work with neighborhood planners and home builders and actually, you know, instead of putting it all in one spot and driving the price of real estate through the roof and creating these weird sort of, I don't know, modern bubbles of housing and things like that, why don't we spread out and get back to small town America? But all work together and work with people across the world. We have the technology to do that. And it seems way less ambitious to me to do that than try to build an entire city. And I could take this even further where I could see some company like even like Magic Leap who is focused on AR having like they're sort of AR flavor to this. And, you know, the communities are built in a very minimalist ways that lend themselves very well to AR. And people are... And I could start to get way deep. I mean, there are also incubators out there around private based income and instead of doing private based income, why don't you apply to be a part of the Google community and get free housing, get food at cost? But it's actually a lengthy application that requires...

Phillip: [01:03:05] {laughter} Keep going. This is great.

Brian: [01:03:06] I'm playing to the future right now. Like this is pushing the future. But I don't think MVP on this, the minimum viable product, is like getting some plans out there, get a project going around this, a community driven project even. But back to my story, people are committed to creating things in the AR world and building beauty, digital beauty, and digital goods that could then be sold throughout the US into homes and generating revenue and have that be your model community. And I know that's a starting point and probably the high end version of what I'm talking about. But I think there's a lot to be discussed here. And if people, I want to be so arrogant to say that the first one that's had this thought. I know that I've not. But I think this is something that needs to become a reality and fast. And I think it can.

Phillip: [01:04:15] Yeah, I love that. That's awesome. I love the idea of open source. Open source is what has powered the innovation of the digital age. Especially around digital commerce. Open source has made what everything we do possible. Android is a pervasive operating system. It's open source. Linux is the pervasive operating system for servers. It's open source. You know, the SSL, you know, open SSL is the way that we communicate everything securely online. Anything that happens over TCP that is secure is happening over SSL or through open SSL, which is an open source project. All of Mac is running on BSD. Basically the world lives on open source and it dies by open source. Why wouldn't our neighborhoods run on open source?

Brian: [01:05:17] I love it.

Phillip: [01:05:17] Why wouldn't our neighborhoods or even like what if we branch out from that? What if from the neighborhoods we have roadways and infrastructure that's open source? That help us to crowdsource solutions to a growing problem, which is urban sprawl and green fields and brown fields and the way that our cities and our urban planning is evolving to actually create distance between us. Why wouldn't we want to go back to a time where we had higher amount of collaboration with the actual public, with the people? Bring that sort of thing out of the hands of, this is like really idealistic, but bring it out of the hands of a few people in government and and bring the people back into the fold in making those sorts of decisions. And so we don't just plan neighborhoods, we can't get to cities. But I think open source has to be the heart of that to where any city, any neighborhood, can adopt this and put it into motion and contribute back to it to make it better. These things are hard, but I think if anyone can do it, it's Alphabet. It's Google.

Brian: [01:06:39] Yeah, I agree. I agree.

Phillip: [01:06:41] Very interesting stuff.

Brian: [01:06:43] We just put a lot at the end of the show. It's probably a good place to close. But for those of you that have a voice in this world, I don't think we have too many home builders listening to our show. But you may know homebuilders, start talking about this idea, and start looking for communities that might start popping up around this idea and see how you can contribute.

Phillip: [01:07:14] Yeah, love it.

Brian: [01:07:17] And with that...

Phillip: [01:07:19] That's a great place to end. It's a great place to end. {laughter} Close this up. Man, that was good stuff.

Brian: [01:07:26] Yeah, well, thanks for listening to Future Commerce. We want your feedback about today's show. So please leave us feedback in the Disqus comment box below or LinkedIn or Twitter or however you want to leave it. Leave us some feedback. Let's talk. If you're subscribed on iTunes, leave us a five star review. We'd love that. You can also subscribe to listen to Future Commerce on iTunes and Google Play or listen right from your Amazon Echo with the phrase, "Alexa, play Future Commerce podcast," and listen right there in your home.

Phillip: [01:08:02] Right now.

Brian: [01:08:03] On the go.

Brian: [01:08:03] Listen right now. Use that Echo. Love that Echo. Love your Dot. Love your Dot.

Phillip: [01:08:07] Twenty eight million of them.

Brian: [01:08:10] You know you have a Dot.

Phillip: [01:08:12] You've got it. It's sitting right there right next to you. We've triggered it 13 times during this episode.

Brian: [01:08:21] Alexa. Alexa.

Phillip: [01:08:21] I love it. Well, thank you so much for listening. Thanks, Brian, for challenging us at the end there. That was great.

Brian: [01:08:28] Oh, man.

Phillip: [01:08:29] I think that's good stuff. I can't wait to see what happens. And until next time, keep looking toward the future.

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