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Elon Musk - How to Build the Future - powered by Happy Scribe

Sam Altman: Today we have Elon Musk. Elon, thank you for joining us.

Elon Musk: Thanks for having me.

Sam Altman: So we want to spend the time today talking about your view of the future and what people should work on. So to start off could you tell us. You famously said when you were younger there were five problems that you thought were most important for you to work on if you were 22 today. What would the five problems that you would think about working on be.

Elon Musk: Well first of all I think if somebody is doing something that is useful to the rest of society I think that's a good thing. Like it doesn't have to change the world, you know. If you think something that has high value to people and frankly even if it's something if it's like just a little game or you know the system improvement and photo sharing or something if it doesn't it how does a small amount of good for a large number of people. I think that's that's fine. Like stuff doesn't need to be changed the world just to be good.

Elon Musk: But you know in terms of things that I think most likely to affect the future of humanity I think A.I. is probably the single biggest item in the near term that's likely to affect humanity. So it's very important that we have the advent of A.I. in a good way but that is something that if you if you could look into a crystal ball and see the future you would you would like that outcome because it is something that could go could go wrong. And as we've talked about many times. And so we really need to make sure it goes right.

Elon Musk: I think A.I., working on A.I. and making sure its great future. That's that's the most important thing I think right now, the most pressing item. So then I'll say I think it's to do with genetics. If you can actually solve genetic diseases you can prevent dementia or Alzheimer's or something like that with genetic reprogramming that would be wonderful. So I think genetics might be a sort of second most important item.

Elon Musk: I think having a high bandwidth interface to the brain like we're currently bandwidth limited we have a digital tertiary self in the form of our e-mails, capabilities our computers, phones, applications. We're effectively superhuman but we have extremely bandwidth constrained in that interface between the cortex and sort of the tertiary digital form of yourself and helping solve that bandwidth contraint would be very important for the future as well.

Sam Altman: So one of the I think most common questions I hear young people out ambitious young people ask is "I wanna be the next Elon Musk, How do I do that". Obviously, the next Elon Musk will work on very different things than than you did but what have you done or what did you do when you were younger that you think sort of set you up to have a big impact.

Elon Musk: Well I think firstable, I should say that I did not expect to be involved in all these things. So the five things that I thought about the time in college quite long time ago, 25 years ago, you know being you know making life multi planetary, exploring the transition to sustainable energy and the Internet broadly speaking and then genetics I think I didn't expect to be involved in all of those things. I actually at the time in college I sort of thought I'm helping with electrification of cars was how we're sort out. And that's a that's actually what I worked on as an intern was an advanced ultra capacitors was just to think there would be a breakthrough relative to batteries for energy storage and in cars.

Elon Musk: And then when I came out to go to Stanford that's what I was going to be doing my grass studies on as it was working on the best energy storage technologies for electric cars. And I put that on hold to start an Internet company at ninety five because there does seem to be like a time for particular technologies when they're at a steep point in the inflection curve. And I didn't want do a PhD at Stanford and then watch it all happen and then and I wasn't entirely certain that technology I'd be working on would actually succeed. I can get you can get a doctorate on many things that ultimately are not do not have a practical bearing on the world. And I wanted to just I really was just trying to be useful. That's the optimization. It's like what are what can I do that would actually be useful.

Sam Altman: Do you think people that want to be useful today should get the PhDs.

Elon Musk: Mostly not. Some yes, but mostly not.

Sam Altman: How should someone figure out how they can be most useful?

Elon Musk: Whatever this thing is that you're trying to create. What would what would be the utility Delta compared to the current state of the art times how many people it would affect. So that's why I think having something that has a that's that has a mix makes a big difference but affects a sort of small to moderate number of people,m it's great. as this something that makes it even a small difference but it affects a vast number of people like the area.

Elon Musk: The area of the curve is would actually be roughly similar for those two things. So it's actually really about. Yeah, just to be useful.

Sam Altman: When you're trying to estimate probability of success. So you say this thing will be really useful under the curve I guess to use the example of Space X. When you made the go decision that you're actually gonna do that this was kind of a very crazy thing at the time.

Elon Musk: Very crazy there sure. Yeah I'm not shy about saying that but I kind of agree. I agreed with them that it was quite crazy. Crazy if the objective was to achieve the best risk adjusted return starting our company is insane. But that was not that was not my objective. I tend to come to the conclusion that if something didn't happen to improve rocket technology we'd be stuck on earth forever. And the big aerospace companies had just had no interest in radical innovation. All they wanted to do was try to make their own technology slightly better every year.

Elon Musk: And in fact sometimes we would actually get worse and particularly rockets is pretty bad. In 69 we're able to go to the moon with a Saturn 5 and then the space shuttle could only take people to low Earth orbit and then the space shuttle retired. And that trend is basically trends to zero. If your science technology you just automatically gets better for you. But I actually doesn't it only gets better if smart people would work like crazy to make it better. That's how any technology actually gets better and by itself technology.

Elon Musk: If people don't work it actually will decline. You can look at the history of civilizations many civilizations and look at say ancient Egypt where they able to pull these incredible pyramids and then they basically forgot how to build permits and then even hieroglyphics they forgot how to read hierarchal hieroglyphics. So we look at Rome and how they're able to work to build these incredible roadways and aqueducts and indoor plumbing and they forgot how to do all of those things. And there are many such examples in history. So I think Joyce bear in mind that you know entropy is not on your side.

Sam Altman: Yeah one thing I really like about you is you are unusually fearless and willing to go in the face of other people telling you something is crazy. And I know a lot of pretty crazy people you still stand out. Where does that come from or how do you think about making a decision when everyone tells you this is a crazy idea. Or where do you get the internal strength to do that.

Elon Musk: Well first I'd say I actually think I think I feel fear quite strongly. So it's not as though I just have the absence of fear I have I feel it quite strongly. But there are times when something is important enough you believe in it enough that you do you do it in spite of fear. So speaking of important things like people shouldn't think I I should feel we should think well I feel fear about this and therefore I shouldn't do it. It's normal to be to feel fear like you'd have to defuse something mentally wrong.

Sam Altman: So you just feel it and let the importance of it drive you to do it anyway.

Elon Musk: Yeah. You know I actually have something I can be helpful as fatalism to some degree. If you just just accept the probabilities then that diminishes fear. So my starting Space X I thought the odds of success were less than 10 percent. And I just accepted that we're actually probably I would just lose lose everything. But that maybe would make some progress if we could just move the ball forward even if we died maybe some other company could pick up the baton and move and keep moving forward so we still do some good. Yeah same with Tesla. I thought your odds of a car company succeeding were extremely low.

Sam Altman: What do you think the odds of the Mars colony are at this point today.

Elon Musk: Well oddly enough I actually think they're pretty good.

Sam Altman: So when can I go ?

Elon Musk: OK. At this point I am certain there is a way I'm certain that success is one of the possible outcomes for establishing a self-sustaining Mars colony. A growing Mars Colony. I'm certain that that is possible. Whereas until maybe a few years ago I was not sure that success was even one of the possible outcomes. It's a meaningful number of people going to Mars. I think this is potentially something that can be accomplished in about 10 years maybe sooner maybe nine years. I need to make sure that Space X doesn't die between now and then and that I don't die or if I do die that someone takes over who will continue that.

Sam Altman: Shouldn't go on the first launch

Elon Musk: Yeahm, exactly like this launch will be a robotic anyway.

Sam Altman: So I want to go except for the Internet latency.

Elon Musk: Yeah there are latency to be pretty significant. But Mars is roughly 12 light minutes from the Sun and Earth is eight light minutes so at closest approach Mars is four light minutes away. The furthest approach is 20. A little more because you you can't talk directly through the sun.

Sam Altman: Speaking of really important problems. A.I. - So you've been outspoken about A.I.. Could you talk about what you think the positive future for A.I. looks like and how we get there.

: Okay, I mean I do want emphasized that this is not really something that I advocate or this is not prescriptive. This is simply, hopefully, predictive. Because you will hear some say, well, like it like this is something that I want to occur instead of it's I something I think that probably is the best of the available alternatives. The best of the available alternatives that I can come up with and maybe someone else can come up with a better approach, or better outcome is that we achieve democratization of A.I. technology meaning that no one company or small set of individuals has control over advanced A.I. technology like that. That's very dangerous. It could also get stolen by somebody bad you know like some evil dictator of a country could send their intelligence agency to go steal it and gain control it just becomes a very unstable situation. I think if you've got any any incredibly powerful A.I. you just don't know who's going to control that. So it's not as though I think that the risk is that the AI would develop the will of its own right off the bat.

Elon Musk: I think it's more that's the concern was that someone may use it in a way that is bad or even if they weren't going to use in a way that's bad but somebody could take it from them and use it in a way that's bad, that I think is quite a big danger. So I think we must have democratization of technology make it widely available. And that's the reason that obviously you mean the rest a team created openAI. It was to help spread out a technology so it doesn't get concentrated in the hands of a few. And then, of course, that needs to be combined with solving the high bandwidth interface to the cortex. Humans are so slow. Yes exactly. But you know we already have a situation our brain where we've got the cortex and the limbic system.

: The limbic system is kind of the primitive brain. It's kind of like the your your instincts and whatnot. And in the cortex is the thinking of a part of the brain. Those two seem to work together quite well. Occasionally cortex and limbic system may disagree but they generally works pretty well and it's rare to find someone who I've not found someone who wishes to either get rid of the cortex or get rid of the limbic system. Very true. Yeah. That's unusual so I think if we can effectively merge with A.I. by improving that that the neural link between your cortex and the digital extension of self which already likes it already exists just has a bandwidth issue.

Elon Musk: And then then effectively you become an A.I. human symbiote. And if that then is widespread with anyone who wants it can have it. Then we solve the control problem as well. We don't have to worry about some sort of evil dictator A.I. because we are the A.I. collectively that seems like the best outcome I can think of.

Sam Altman: So you've seen other companies in their early days that start small and get really successful. I'm hoping I will get asking this on camera but how do you think opening AI is going as a six month old company.

Elon Musk: I think we go pretty well. I think we've got a really talented group at openAI.

: Yeah, it seems like.

Elon Musk: Yeah really talented team and they're working hard. openAI is structured as a 501(c)(3) non-profit. But many non-profits do not have a sense of urgency. It's fine they don't have to have a sense of urgency. But openAI does. I think people really believe in the mission. I think it's important and it's about minimizing the risk of existential harm in the future. And so I think it's going well I'm pretty impressed with what people are doing and the talent level.

: And obviously we're always looking for great people to join the mission

Sam Altman: It looks like close to 40 people now. It's quite a lot. All right just a few more questions before we we wrap up. How do you spend your days now. Like hat do you allocate most of your time to.

Elon Musk: My time is mostly split was between Space X and Tesla and of course I try to spend part of every week at openAI. I spend basically half a day at openAI most weeks and then and then I have some openAI stuff that happens during the week but other than that it's really Space X and Tesla.

Sam Altman: What do you do when you are at Space X or Tesla ? Like what does your time look like there. Yeah.

Elon Musk: So that's a good question. I think a lot of people think I must spend a lot of time with media or on business things but actually almost all my time like 80 percent of it is spent on engineering design and engineering and design. So it's developing next generation product. That's 80 percent of it.

Sam Altman: You probably don't remember this. It's a very long time ago. Many many years you took me on a tour of Space X and the most impressive thing was that you knew every detail of the rocket and every piece of engineering that went into it. I don't think many people get that about you.

: Yeah I think a lot of people think I'm kind of a business person or something. I just fine I like business is fine. But really it's it was like Space X, Gwynne Shotwell is Chief Operating Officer. She kind of manages legal, finance, sales and it kind of general business activity. And then my time is almost entirely with the engineering team working on improving the Falcon 9 and the Dragon spacecraft and developing the Mars Colonial Architecture and then at Tesla it's working on the Model 3, so in the design studio. Typically I have a day a week dealing with aesthetics and and look and feel things and then most of us week is just going through engineering of the car itself as well as the engineering of the factory, because the biggest epiphany I've had just this year is that what really matters is is the machine that does the machine the factory and that is at least two orders of magnitude harder than the vehicle itself.

Sam Altman: It's amazing to watch the robots go here in these cars just happen.

Elon Musk: Yeah. Know this actually is has a relatively low level of automation compared to what the Gigafactory will have and what Model 3 will have.

Sam Altman: What's the speed on the line of these cars?

: Actually average speed line is incredibly slow. It's probably about it including both X and S. it's maybe 5 Centimeters Per Second. This is very slow.

Sam Altman: What would you like to get to?

Elon Musk: I'm confident we can get to 2 at least 1 meter per second so 20 fold increase

Sam Altman: That'll be very fast.

Elon Musk: Yeah. At least I think quite a one meter per second just put that in perspective is a slow walk or like a medium speed walk, a fast or could be 1.5 meters per second and then the fastest humans can run over 10 meters per second. So if we're the only doing points 0 5 meters per second that's very slow current current speed and at one meter per second you can still walk faster than the production line.


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Why did you ignore my Facebook event invite? - powered by Happy Scribe

: This episode of why do you push that button is brought to you by IBM. 16 million new collar jobs will be created by 2024. To help fill them, IBM's new education model gives high school students workplace experience and an associate's degree. Ninety P tech schools are already preparing graduates for tomorrow's STEM careers. Let's put smart to work, find out how IBM.com/ptech.

Ashley Carman: So how do you feel about Facebook event invites.

: I create Facebook events for all of my parties. I have never created a Facebook account. Usually if I do RSVP I'll just take maybe maybe always strikes me as I like you but not enough to actually come and being with you.

: I wouldn't respond if I like want people to know that I'm going to the school. I won't say I'm going or not leaving a surprise. Either people quit Facebook and they don't see it. They are using Facebook but don't actually check it.

: I didn't see than you have seen the invite.

: Is there a way to turn that off. People say they're going like not show up. Once in a while I'll be like hey I can't come if I want to be invited to a vendor having again.

Ashley Carman: Hello and welcome to "Why Do You Push That Button". A show where Kaitlyn Tiffany and Ashley Carman, that's me. Talk about all the decisions we make with technology. You guys know the drill by now. You know today we are talking about Facebook events.

Kaitlyn Tiffany: Yes surprise surprise it is 2018 and we are talking about Facebook. Would you have ever thunk it. You know got to throw bone to my good old Mom and Dad they're on Facebook Day in day out. This shows for them to even know they never listen.

Ashley Carman: My parents listen. They know Facebook.

Kaitlyn Tiffany: Well great. Congrats. Well okay.

Ashley Carman: Here's the thing about Facebook. Everyone uses the events function. Like anyone I talk to is like yeah I use Facebook primarily for event.

Kaitlyn Tiffany: True I would've deleted mine years ago if I wasn't afraid of not getting invited to any more birthday party.

Ashley Carman: Yeah. So the events function is a huge part of Facebook and an obvious decision you have to make when you're invited to an event is whether you're going and Facebook gives you multiple options. We're very specifically talking about private events here are not public so that you're going, what are the options again ?

Kaitlyn Tiffany: The options are "going", "maybe" and "can't go".

Ashley Carman: Ok so yeah. When you receive an invite you're confronted with those three options and I think we've kind of decided here that there's two camps. Either the person who is very timely with their RSVP and picks an answer that is accurate or changes it if it changes and then there's a person who ignores the invite

Kaitlyn Tiffany: Then there's the person. There's three types. There's the person who ignores it completely. There's the person who will respond in a way that is disingenuous. And sometimes it's not even malicious. My friend Sam actually No Sam. I know some great hosts into a classic SAM Sorry. It is, every Sam is so thoroughly himself that every story is a classic story. The thing with Sam is that he will RSVP yes to everything immediately whether or not he has any intention of showing up and also thinking like probably in his mind he doesn't tend to show up. But he won't actually decide until he's confronted with like do I go to this party right now or do I do something else like that's typical. I think behavior especially when events like some people do it just to throw you a bone. We have a friend Matt who RSVP "yes" even if he knows he can't go just because it will make the event look well attended to other people so they are RSVP "Yes"

Ashley Carman: That's true because that's the other thing we have mentioned is this just so we're also fragile when you look at a Facebook event you also tend to look at how many people are going, who is invited. How many have said there can't go and then you also probably make your decision weighing that ratio out.

Ashley Carman: But Kaylie and I are primarily interested in the person who opens a Facebook event looks at it maybe assesses it and then exit out and pics nothing. Because I would hope you all know that when you do that Facebook puts a little faded grey seen marker like you have seen the invite and now the person who created it knows you saw it and you didn't respond. WOW is brutal, it's mean y'all but okay Kaitlyn do you do that ?

Kaitlyn Tiffany: I would say yes depending on how close I am to the person. Like if I get invited to a close friend's birthday party I immediately RSVP yes because I prioritize that if I had something else going on I'll move it. I LOVE YOU, It's your birthday ! I get invited to like maybe a brunch with some people that I kind of know, kind of don't, I see it and I'm like why'd you invite me to this. That I might leave that one on scene or I might put a maybe but I actually kind of think that a maybe is like weird. A maybe response to me is like I can't decide if I feel like going to this. It doesn't not express the ambiguity of I might have another obligation it just sounds like, meh right

Ashley Carman: I don't like it maybe either, I don't like a lukewarm response. I tend to respond, I like to respond I think I always do respond but I can tell if someone invites me to an event and I'm not really that close to them or I can't read at least part of the name of the event I just won't open it so I didn't see it I mean I saw it I didn't see it.

Kaitlyn Tiffany: You're like back when we were doing the reader sees episode like people who just like look at the message preview on their lock screen and refuse to open it. Yeah yeah yeah that's me. Wow. Well I remember that not working out so well for Ingrid with her messages on her locks.

Ashley Carman: I know I know throwback. So for this episode I talked to a woman who has lived this drama.

: It made me like you want to die.

: Her name's Carrie. We met her on the Internet. She is very sweet. She lives in Missouri which is where I went to school as well. So we have this bond Kerry created an event for a friend.

: My best friend is getting married and I am the maid of honor. You know I'm in charge of planning the bachelorette party so I thought instead of doing an annoying group text all the time I would just do like a Facebook event and everyone could comment on that kind of stuff. And she invited this woman's friends whose Carrie isn't as close with and these friends looked at her event invite which is was an intimate group. It wasn't like 400 people is like 6.

: Now expecting everyone to like comment, can be like oh my gosh is down so fine, thank you for taking care of that. And for like two days I just saw they all looked at the event and like did nothing.

Ashley Carman: And Carrie was so upset about this mostly because she was just trying to be a good friend. She's the maid of honor or whatever she has to host this day. She needs to know what she needs to buy.

: I probably commented like three or four times on different things throughout like two week and literally gotten nothing. I would get girls replying to me privately in a private message like "hey that sounds good", but no money would publicly even those. In front of my leather girl, no one would publicly comment like I would literally like losing my mind.

: Only six of you, be accountable, I felt for Kerry I felt for her.

: I feel for her too. I recently hosted my first ever bridal shower and had to corral a group of Bridesmaids and it was brutal. People don't answer your questions they ignore them. It's like now I've got to be the domineering maid of honor who's like I'm the maid of honor and I'm making all the decisions.

: That's it. That's exactly what Carrie did.

: I gave them a cutoff date and I was like hey this is the last day because I have all these things I want to like get the little goody bags get like matching shirts and stuff. And so I kind of need to know and finally like I either got privately message or they would say yes to the event. And that was all. So they might absolutely hate what we're doing. And I have no idea because everyone is being so crazy about it.

: OK so she was like really frustrated did she have any thoughts on how Facebook could alleviate her situation.

: Yeah. She had the best idea ever.

: I wonder if like Facebook had something where she can or by like in a time schedule that you gave then it just automatically like uninvited them.

Ashley Carman: And I love it. I think people are to meet up. Yeah.

Kaitlyn Tiffany: The thing is though I think there's a common theme throughout this podcast has been that people are wishy washy flaky baby is us included sometimes. If product designers gave us a little bit of tough love and made us make decisions I think we would all be better people. Agreed. Stop letting us off the hook. Baby sit me Facebook

Ashley Carman: So Kaitlyn you talk to someone who needs a babysitter. Oh yes I talked to Teo, Ashley's college friend [High School, we go way back] talked to Ashley's high school friend from Chicago John.

Kaitlyn Tiffany: My name is Jonathan with her and she she didn't tell me ahead of time exactly what to expect. Other than that he has a reputation with Facebook events.

Jonathan: One thing I think I've kind of grown to be notorious for is either not responding to invites to events or maybe even though I know deep down that it's a no for me.

: And he's mostly like remorseless. He's like Yeah I have this reputation I just like making up my mind when I feel like making up my mind.

Jonathan: The third point like I should be calm cool enough with my friend they can take. Yeah. No I'm not. I'm not going to go this thing but I tend to kind of duck out on the back stairs terrified.

Kaitlyn Tiffany: No one needs to know if I'm going to show up. But in truth I'm probably not.I don't go anywhere

Ashley Carman: That's hilarious.

: We even got a little personal and I asked him you know if you lived in New York if Ashley invited you to her birthday party would you roll through and he's like I think maybe a solid maybe for me leaning in "No" and I would look at is going down.

: I think I was a little mean damn honestly. Well he just insulted me. Yeah I was sticking up for my girl. Just kidding. I always troll the main podcast guest so he's fine with the same thing.

: Can people tell if like I see the invite now. I do it or is that like dude.

: Hell yeah. Are you kidding. We really had to know that shit.

: Wait. Seriously. He was like I was under the impression like I would see it but they wouldn't know that I saw and actually think Oh no I'd even noticed someone looked like a serial reputation for a certain Facebook behavior. He really doesn't know that much about Facebook. That's great.

: Yeah. He even has a nickname.

: My friends who called me. I think it's fair to say like on my EXPLETIVE DELETED beat it's hard for me to go and do stuff like Why do you appear.

Kaitlyn Tiffany: Know it's it's like magical weird moment or something that's a bad nickname but I appreciate the effort of his friends to shame him for his shitty behavior.

Ashley Carman: Well we just put John on blast but his interview came after Kerry and we really we really identified with her. Yeah. All. Team Kerry. So now we are going to I'm very very excited about this guest because it is someone directly from Facebook from the machine itself.

Aditya Koolwal: My name is Aditya Koolwal.

Ashley Carman: He is a product manager at Facebook

Kaitlyn Tiffany: For the last four years or so I've worked on events and more recently local discovery.

Ashley Carman: So we're going to talk to him about why Facebook has this whole "Seen" thing really why it seems like it might be ruining lives and also how they think about language on event invite. So we'll be right back.

Kaitlyn Tiffany: Yippee.

: By 2050 the world's population will reach nearly 10 billion and food production will need to grow by 70 percent. What if artificial intelligence could help farmers are already using it to help increase crop yields. Watson and the IBM cloud provide access to weather data and analyze satellite imagery to help them monitor soil moisture levels and reduce water waste so as the population grows more food can be put on tables. Let's put smart to work find out how an IBM.com/smart

Ashley Carman: Okay we're back and we're here with a Aditya Koolwal, product manager at Facebook.

Jonathan: Hello.

Ashley Carman: OK. So the time you've been on the events team how often does Facebook events change like the language on events,like I feel like when I was in college many years ago it was either going or not going. You know it's like interested going and then not sure or something. So how often are you changing that language ?

Aditya Koolwal: You know the language itself doesn't change very often but we do periodically make changes like when they made the "Like" button turn into those reactions and that usually motivated by some gap I suppose in how the product is like working for the way people want to use it. So the most notable change for you with Facebook events would have been, I say, three years ago is we sort of split the public event product from the private event product. So Facebook events if you kind of go back even further like if you go back to the mid 2000s the product was built for private events.

Aditya Koolwal: It was built for private parties stuff that you would have used like an invite for. Right. And so it kind of had the traditional you know invite, guest list, RSVP, going, maybe, not going. It had kind of all those formalism that you would have come to expect for an invitation to a private event online. And what we saw was that that was actually not working really well for public events. And you know we sort of observed this based on how people were using the product for a public event and then also just you know interviewing a lot of people that organized public events and talking them about the problems that they were seeing and then talking to people who liked going to public events but didn't feel like Facebook was a great place to learn about this thing.

Aditya Koolwal: And in that process we we made a few design changes or decisions I suppose on how to better serve both private and public events.

Kaitlyn Tiffany: So I think to be more specific like the language that you're talking about would be like in a private event. The options are going maybe and can't go right. We're like can't go inherently has this expression of like regret or whatever of like sorry I'm sorry that I can't go. Not like I'm not going which is the option that you can do.

Ashley Carman: Yeah like the public one I think is ignore it's interested going or not going but not going is in a dropdown

Aditya Koolwal: Yeah language is pretty complex. There's different states in which people can be when it comes to sharing about or finding out about an event so private event you can't see that private event or know about that private event unless someone is inviting you to it. Right. Because otherwise that would be like a annoying for the person putting it on. But like anybody could see it. So the only way you can hear about it is through an invitation and in that invitation process you're given kind of the standard set of RSVP options. I didn't want to one of you alluded to the fact that it's not like going maybe not going. And instead it's can't go.

Aditya Koolwal: That's surely because people like people don't want to say they're not doing it feels rude. And this has been corroborated by like a bunch of research that we've done surveys you know in person research people just feel like it's you know kind of an affront to say not feel like if I if I said like hey come over to my house this weekend like I'm throwing a barbecue or like I'm having people for drinks and then you just respond on the phone you're like not knowing that wouldn't really work.

Aditya Koolwal: And so that language is important there right like what you would say is like Hey I'm sorry I can't go. Like even if you had no interest. And so that was just better reflecting the way people wanted to use the product like using a language that they use themselves and communicating with their friends. And you know the sort of upside of doing that is that people organizing these private events would get more declines. Right. Which is great because they don't want to be like wait are you going to come are you not going to come like they just want to know right like it's better for them to know that you're not gonna be able to make it than for them. So I have no clue. So that was helpful for the for the private event organizer as well as the responder who really just didn't want to be so literal.

Kaitlyn Tiffany: Well there's also like a third type of event which is like the public event with like a personal stake you know like yeah.

Ashley Carman: Like my friend owns a bar and he'll be like he'll invite me to events and like I know you're doing this as a bar owner right. I feel like it's personal invite too.

Kaitlyn Tiffany: I mean like like if you have a friend who's in a play or in a band or somebody like I'm invited to this baby's all right event which is a public event nobody baby is all right knows me but my friend who's in a band invited by me and we'll actually look to see if I RSVP.

Aditya Koolwal: Yeah. So it's not like all events are strictly private or strictly public. Right. Like that's that's also kind of you know not as granular as what happens in the real world where like there's a lot of you know kind of like quasi public private stuff it's like it's like a big party someone rented out a bar anyone can show up and not like anyone like just you know anyone that like might know someone that I know. Right. So similarly like sometimes for public events the organizer. Let's say it's like a band or a venue owner.

Aditya Koolwal: There's like a few specific people that they really want to have come and you know in that case this invite mechanism with the ignore option may not work as well for them. But that's kind of like it's just not as common. To be perfectly honest like that is more of like a rare thing than it is a thing that people are frequently doing and probably you know they really really wanted you to come. The chances are they probably just message you directly and that's that's actually what we hear from people who organize concerts like you know concerts are like a big big use case for events on Facebook and there's you know between like standard bands and then now increasingly over time my DJ sets like we talked to a lot of those people and they say themselves like if they really want someone specific to come does doesn't like share directly with them in a message thread.

: So we think that direction probably serves that specific use case better. Yeah I mean you can't like you can't get a hundred percent.

: Going back to what you were taught when you were talking about private events you mentioned like these event creators want an answer right. They have. That's why you invented the can't go language it's a little bit nicer they get the answer. Everyone's happy but the men's team has left behind this kind of middle grey area of the you can view the invite and the event creator will see that you've seen the invite but you still don't have to respond. And I'm wondering why you left. Why why does the seen exist as has been the source of some drama.

Aditya Koolwal: Oh I see. Interesting. I'm curious to hear about the drama. So yeah the seen stays on the invite. It's only available available for private events as I think you know it's not for public events. And the rationale for seen state is specifically because people who organize private events they're kind of stressed out. I don't know if he is is like organized private get togethers but it's just like a stressful thing like you are you're hosting right. He's got a lot of people that you expect to come you're not sure if they're going to come or not.

Aditya Koolwal: And people can be pretty lazy about responding. And what we found over time is that people who are organizing private events on Facebook felt like Facebook was not sending their invites. When I started working on events a long time ago that was one of the most common pieces of feedback that I heard about both externally as well as within the company. People are like I try to organize my private event on Facebook and no one gets my invites. And so like you you must have a bug and then we spent a lot of time like instrument thing. Every kind of like step of the you know from when them when the person like picks a person that they want to invite to like it gets sent from their phone to like our Facebook servers to like whatever process it needs to go through back down to like the push technology push notification technology to like other person so whatever. All that stuff and to end and we were not dropping invites you know they were going through it. People were like just not responding. And I think a lot of it has to do it like it might be kind of like just a new way of how people deal with invitations to things.

Aditya Koolwal: But if people don't feel any specific urgency to respond they just won't respond. A lot of people sort of increasingly make decisions about what they want to do literally like the day of or the afternoon or the evening. You know they're kind of looking at this as like a sea of options and for a private event organizers that's just like really tough. It makes them feel like the fidelity of the system is like really poor and every other thing that they could use gives them seen state to at least know that the thing got delivered.

Ashley Carman: So you said you wanted to hear about the drama. We can tell you about the drama a little. We interviewed a woman named Carrie who we found on the Internet and she was hosting a party I believe it was and she invited. It was like for her best fried but the best friend had like a bunch of other friends so she created this really intimate Facebook events and a bunch of the women that she invited left it on seen.

Ashley Carman: And this was extremely frustrating for her because she was like I need to order and you know like goody bags and I need to order food and I need to jam a sorry. Yeah I need to get branded everything for this party and I have no idea who is coming. So she tried sending like Facebook messages to them and her suggestion. We were like OK well what what could Facebook do to make this maybe an easier experience for you and she thinks that you guys should if someone leaves the event on seen the event should automatically uninvite them after a certain amount of time like they lost their chance and sound like you have 48 hours service out of here.

Aditya Koolwal: Yeah exactly yeah. So I think we I mean I think the goal there and this is you know I'm sure there will always be like cases where it didn't work out the way folks had hoped but there at least from our sort of follow up with people like you know will we bring people in all the time to kind of talk to them about their experience. What people do typically in this situation is they see that someone has seen it and then they just directly message them and say like hey can you let me know because I need to like buy pajama shorts and I need to know if I need to get five or six or seven and that usually works out for most people like just a direct follow up unless of course like they're inviting people that like really really really kind of feel like I don't even know why you invited me. Maybe those people would not be responsive to a direct reach out. But you know I think there's always like going to be cases where somebody didn't really know how to follow up with that information or like you know use it to use it to kind of like best achieve their goals.Yeah I hope I hope for a bachelorette party worked out at least.

Ashley Carman: You know the pain that comes with this like scene invite that is not respond to reminds me a lot of red receive pain right because the red receipt shows that the technology worked like you know for a fact they got it and they also read it. So it's done.

Kaitlyn Tiffany: I was thinking about when he was talking about follow up messages because then it's like you also get like they could like see if you get like yes read receipt for your follow your follow up message and it's like easier to make this flaky friends I guess.

Aditya Koolwal: I mean yeah I think that I think was like read receipts. It's the same thing with with all of these messaging services and having read receipts. It's literally like you have the option A which is the center doesn't believe the message was sent or option B. The center is forced to confront the fact that the person that they message does not want to respond like Which one do you choose. And I think you know fine by a large. Most people are reaching out to people that will probably you know be amenable to like a follow up if they if they didn't like immediately respond.

Aditya Koolwal: And so you know most of these products over the course of time have elected to go with option A which is at least let the sender know that the that their technology is working and that it's not like getting dropped because if they if they don't believe that then they'll just stop using that technology. They'll just you know it'll just be like like Imagine if like I don't know you can think of like a dozen different examples where it's like you perform an action and then it just kind of goes out there and you have like literally no idea what happened. You'll probably just stop using that thing.

Ashley Carman: Yeah I've just taken to now now opening events sure because I don't want them to know that I saw it.

Aditya Koolwal: Yeah. And that's like I think that's probably appropriate if you didn't want to go. Like if if you're getting invasive stuff that like you really have no desire to go to then you know that that seems fine right.

Ashley Carman: Yeah. While we have you on the phone I'm just curious to settle a debate here in Facebook is it read receipts or read receipts.

Aditya Koolwal: I don't know. I don't I don't know that anyone ever talks about that. I think we just call.

Ashley Carman: You have read receipts for Messenger don't you.

Aditya Koolwal: Yeah but I think they just collect things. Yeah.

: All right. The debate will live on Kaitlyn and I very much disagree on that.

Aditya Koolwal: Well I would vote for I don't know who I'm going to live along with here but I think it would be read receipts. What.

: Is it. It's a lot to us because you said read receipts a couple minutes ago.

: Really. Am Playing you. Yeah.

: We were back. How we feel.

Ashley Carman: The big takeaway for me from this is now it's all making sense like you brought up read receipts earlier where we talked and how it was kind of similar in my behavior when I was ignoring that animates totally was sort of like how people react read receipts. And I think now I'm really seeing the parallels at the scene on the event in my end the red receipt and I'm going back to our old episode and I'm like Oh I know why we have this pain now.

Kaitlyn Tiffany: I think the conclusion here is similar to that episode where it's like most of the anxiety that you feel around the way that people are responding to your facebook events like pertains to how much anxiety you have around like your relationship with them in the first place. Like Carrie I mean with her situation these are women that she doesn't really know. And so anything that they're doing that comes off as like cold or evasive she's like am I doing anything wrong. You know like John clearly I mean even though I do not condone his behavior he obviously feels that his relationship with his friends is like secure enough that he can behave like a douche and nothing will happen and there will be no consequences. And it seems like there haven't been that many. Yeah. Then like a little bit of a joke a little needling here I did.

Ashley Carman: I did think it was interesting how Facebook does do its research and changed the wording for can't go to make it sound a little bit nicer. Yeah like at least this might might encourage a little more and interact a little bit more.

Kaitlyn Tiffany: Yeah oh the same thing. I was actually very surprised to hear why they added the scene.

Ashley Carman: And this again now thinking about it with red roses is another potential like as a sad answer to that maybe it totally makes sense that Facebook like it's not us like yeah. Our tech works.

Kaitlyn Tiffany: People just didn't believe that.

Ashley Carman: Yeah. That that is a benefit though. Tech is like if I was sending you a physical letter invite you know you would chalk it up to. Well maybe you got lost in the mail. Yeah you might I believe that the U.S. Postal Service it is the only branch of government that I'm truly passionate about. Well how about ghosting another episode we've talked about where a lot of the ghosting anxiety is from what if they're dead. What if they didn't read. What if they didn't read what I sent. Yeah. Read receipts. Answer that for you. Where's I know the tech worked. And in fact they actually saw it. They just didn't answer you. Same thing with the events.

Kaitlyn Tiffany: Yeah I guess they are. I guess as I requested product designers are giving us a little bit of tough love. They're like Yeah sorry honey they saw it.

Ashley Carman: Yeah and he did yeah really kind of had that outlook where he was like well we've done our research and like a lot of people will respond if they don't then. Yeah that was kind of the answer you guys like maybe you should just make some more solid friends. Yeah well that's the thing is when I make a Facebook event invite I invite. Sometimes this is changing now but in the past I've invited people who are a little bit more of the outliers in the group and they're typically the scene people and I expect that I see them like I know you're on the.

: You just didn't want to say you couldn't come in it's fine and then you have your your solid crew who's like always going to say yes because they they are there for you right. I feel like we actually got a solid answer here like this is case closed solved. Yep. Boom put it in the filing cabinet yes. We're never revisiting this again.

Kaitlyn Tiffany: Happy birthday.

Ashley Carman: John is not invited to my birthday party and my curse. Actually I might just do an intimate dinner this year.


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