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Episode twenty eight, The Sun's Gravity is twenty eight times that of Earth, the atomic number of Nicole twenty eight 28 is the sum of the and function for the first nine integers.


I am not impotent. I am in total and true story. I crush up Cialis and snort it. Why? Because I can go. Go, go. Welcome to the 20th episode of the Prop G Show. Today's episode, we speak with Judd Apatow. Judd Apatow is one of the greatest filmmakers of our time, is the founder of Apatow Productions, where he produces and directed films including the 40 year old Virgin, Knocked Up Trainwreck and the King of Staten Island.


We discussed the changes he's seen to the TV and film industries. He's probably one of the seminal influences in that change and the role media plays in our society. OK, what's going on? Kind of what's going on could be something we could ask every fucking day for the last on the last six months. By the way, did anyone in 2015 say, I know where I'll be in five years? I don't think anyone could guess this shit. Anyways, the tick tock shitstorm continues.


What does this Oracle Wal-Mart deal mean for business? Trump approved the tentative deal between Biden's tick tock parent company and Oracle, and the US Department of Commerce delayed the potential tick tock ban until September twenty. Vanessa Papa said in a statement to both Oracle and by the way, Vanessa is the head, I believe, of us. Tick tock that both Oracle and Walmart will take part in a tick tock global pre IPO financing round in which they can take up to a twenty percent cumulative stake in the company.


NPR reported that by Dance's expected to about 80 percent of Tic-Tac global. But since 40 percent abidance is owned by U.S. investors already, specifically General Antec Partners and Secoya Tip-Top, Global said it is majority owned by American investors post this deal, thereby sort of satisfying or getting to the end state, if you will own. Wal-Mart said in a statement that it is tentatively agreed to purchase seven and a half percent of Tic-Tac global, as well as enter into commercial agreements to provide its e-commerce fulfillment payments and other omni channel services.


To tick tock, global Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon will serve as one of the five board members. What else is going on? Meanwhile, Microsoft, left at the altar, is licking its Tic-Tac wounds and batting its eyelashes in the video game space. Hey Dad, tick tock. I'm sleeping with this dude anyway. Zenimax Media, the parent company of game publisher Bethesda Softworks, is being acquired by Microsoft for seven and a half billion dollars in cash. By the way, that's kind of a rounding error for Microsoft.


He probably has enough cash to buy Airbus on its balance sheet. This deal puts Bethesda one of the industry's largest privately held game developers and publishers in the world. Under the Xbox brand, Xbox Game Pass has over fifteen million subscribers. Wait, hold on. What is that? What is it? Name for a subscription product as opposed to buying a console and handsets and games or even downloading games? Would you signed up for a group of services? Hello, Microsoft.


The Ultimate Rundell. The Ultimate Rundell of the company that's been probably the most valuable company for the longest over the last two years has been largely driven on, you guessed it, a Rundell specifically Microsoft Office, which is the the gangster monogamous relationship between the corporate world and Microsoft. What is the Premier Rundell for the consumer from Amazon Prime? What is the Premier Rundell recurring revenue model for the corporate world? Microsoft Office? And what do you know? They're moving to the subscription model across video games with the addition of Bethesda, Microsoft will grow from fifteen to twenty three creative studio teams.


Studio Temes don't know what that means. In other news, remember last week we talked about how could we fail to get off the ground? By the way, who was the original hater? Equipe and I got shit for it, including hearing from their CFO saying you're not helping. It's bad karma to be trashing a company before it even launches could be made. Absolutely no fucking sense. I mean, come on, the best line the best line at the Emmys was could be one of the best award for dumbest idea that cost a billion dollars.


Anyways, the Wall Street Journal reported that Quebec is also considering raising more money, are going public through a merger with us, backed, by the way, of a SPAC acquirer's Quebec than we know we have literally the is not dead in the coal mine. It's an ostrich that has an epileptic seizure and then throws up Chrissy Teigen as Judge Judy and then does that will make absolutely no sense. What's going on here? What's going on here? OK, we never met in any sense old Hollywood model, ton of money on production.


Try and get buzz. They never found anything that got any traction and not enough capital to compete with the deepest pockets and media. Not exceptional technology. Just I mean, the list goes on and on and on. And if you think about the difference between Quebec and ticktock, it's illuminating. It's illuminating light. You light up my life, you bitch. Anyways, ticktock. What's it about? It's about what a lot of companies have done to the companies, quite frankly, that have added the most shareholder value, have basically arbitrage other people's time and assets.


Let me let me monetize your car. Ninety six percent of automobile time is unutilized, meaning it's parked. Or sitting fallow probably somewhere between 30 and 50 percent of apartment time, at least in urban centers, they are not occupied. I know that my place in New York pretty much sits empty all the time as I'm in Florida, I'm on the road or, you know, doing very important things, doing very important things, see above crushing up Cialis and snorting it anyway.


Anyway, Ballow assets and also leverage your consumer base, get your consumers to create content, get your consumers to connect with each other, get your consumers to create content, and then stick on top of it, whether it's Facebook relationship interactions or YouTube content that's uploaded to YouTube, put on top of it an algorithm. Now, what is exciting, what is exciting about this potential deal, this kind of platypus, weird coroneos deal called Oracle Wal-Mart and tick tock, by the way, I think there's about a 50 or a 51 percent chance it never goes through.


I think she is just playing us. Let me just leave it there. I think he's just playing us. But anyways, let's assume it does go through. What is the most exciting thing about this deal? Wal-Mart or specifically specifically media has become algorithmic media and that it's no longer about Jeffrey Katzenberg trying to find the best Hollywood talent, paying them a shit ton of money, finding someone to write an original script. And they're hoping that show gets traction and then trying to sell ads against it.


That era may be over or crowded, if you will. It's about trying to figure out an algorithm on top, again, of user generated content, micro content, content that has a seven production value that I love because it's been able to figure out I love. It is better than the Crown, which I say I've watched and I haven't and I haven't. I'm lying. I haven't. I just haven't watched the crowd. Let me come out of the closet as someone who says they've watched the crown and has not anyway.


Anyway, what's exciting and you're going to use this term over and over hashtag prov gee, I own this term. The next thing the next thing in the world of commerce that Wal-Mart could pull off would tick tock. Algorithmic commerce or specifically ARCOM, what do we mean by that? What do we mean by that? Just as Tick Tock throws thousands of videos at you and then registers what you like, what you watch all the way through, where you don't like, what you comment on, and then begins to calibrate in on the type of content that will get you addicted, that will get your lips around the crack pipe of algorithmic media.


Wal-Mart potentially with a tick tock algorithm, start layering in commerce and I always start the gangster move and retail would be zero click ordering. And that is that is Amazon has a patent on one click ordering. It was supposed to be this huge unlock and it was a huge unlock where you just press the button, click on the product and boom, it's on its way to your place, 48 hours or less for free. But what's even bigger? What's more gangster with a capital G zero click right now?


What do we mean by that? We use a series of inputs against signal liquidity, signal liquidity, another term from the dog, signal liquidity to facilitate arcom algorithmic commerce. Wal-Mart figures out a way with the tick tock algorithm to put in front of you a bunch of choices, say, around grocery. And it asks you for 10, 15, 30 minutes to look at a bunch of different brands, different recipes, different food items. Up, down, sideways, Goldilocks.


I love it. I hate it. It's OK. It's not my weight class, whatever it might be, whatever it might be. And they start to zero in and they look at they look at your previous purchase history and they start merchandising grocery before, you know, you want it. And they send three boxes twice a week to maybe they even figure out cold storage at your house so you don't have to be home. And twice a week you get three boxes, two boxes with the brands and food stuffs that you love or that you're going to love.


And then one box that you put the stuff back in that you don't want. And they use that as a means of calibrating. Oh, they didn't want Lagunitas IPA. They like Stella Artois. Oh, they don't like this type of dry pasta. They like this. And then they calibrate it using voice and voice is sort of the weak link right now. They're going to need a partner maybe with Google or someone else. But between the website, between some sort of algorithm served to them in some sort of media that asked you to spend some time and figure out what type of food stuffs you like.


They could move to zero click. They could leapfrog the Seattle behemoth. They could say, all right, we know what food you want. And by the way, where Wal-Mart and if you exit and you exit with us, the shit show that is retail where we have to acquire customers, we have to get you into the store. We have to spend a bunch of money. We have to blow dry our hair. We have to put on a nice red dress every time we want you to come back into the store.


If you commit to us for a year or two years, five years, and you say, all right, I'm a family of four, I'm going to spend two hundred bucks a month on grocery, Wal-Mart can give you the best deal in the world. And that is if you can enter into monogamous relationship, they can recast their company a subscription revenue, get a higher multiple in the marketplace and reward the consumer with unparalleled value. And and when I say value, I'm not just talking about costs.


I'm talking about the real value here. And that is consumers don't want choice. One of the biggest mistakes we make as marketers is making that choice is a good thing. No, it's not. Consumers don't want more choice. I want to be more confident in the choices they make. What do I do when I go to dinner? I turn to the person I'm with or the waiter and I say, order for me. I don't make decisions around anything, anything unless I feel it's important.


I subscribe to the research. The only have a certain number of good decisions every day. Save that calorie burn for decisions that matter and try and outsource every other decision in your life. So where are we headed with this Acom Wal-Mart with a tick tock algorithm and some other third parties could potentially start taking key consumer categories. I think they should start with grocery and say we're going to zero click ordering. And if we can figure out a way to get enough signal liquidities such that we can calibrate on within, say, ten percent error rate and give you the best deal in grocery and get it to you perhaps before you even know you want it.


So there's no choice. There's no decision. There's no being home at a certain time. There's no going on to the website and having to order. There's no having to bomb into the click and collect or maybe you bomb into the click and collect because that's easier for you. Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh. We're talking about Walmart adding fifty one hundred two hundred billion dollars in market cap. And then we talk about a serious countermarch.


We talk about a Joe Frazier kind of counterpunch. We talk about Andre Agassi like service return from Wal-Mart, ARCOM, ARCOM, hashtag registered trademark Galloway, Profaci, algorithmic commerce coming your way and Wal-Mart and tick tock are the ones that could do it. Doug, are you hearing me? Doug, are you hearing me? Stay with us.


We'll be right back after this break for our conversation with Judd Apatow. When you use the bathroom, you always close the door behind you, right? That's pretty fucking creepy. Anyways, let's keep going. You don't want random passerby's looking in on you? I don't know. It depends what you're into anyway. So why would you let people look in on you when you go online? Using the Internet without express VPN is like going to the bathroom and not closing the door.


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Welcome back. Here's our conversation with Judd Apatow, an American filmmaker and comedian, he has produced and directed films including Knocked Up Trainwreck and The King of Staten Island. He's also a very I got I've gotten to know just a little bit. He's also very committed to our Commonwealth or our country and is spending a lot of time trying to help certain candidates and trying to think about messaging and is very passionate about America and ensuring that his kids have the same opportunity that our generation had.


Anyways, here's our conversation with Judd Apatow. Judd, where does this podcast find you?


I'm in Santa Monica, California, fearing for the fires right now. So your family's safety and natural disasters are important. But let's get to the really important issue. How the hell did you end up on the property show? I'm still trying to figure out what series of bad decisions led you to here right now. Well, I'm going to tell you why, because I remember now I was watching CNN and you were being interviewed by Anderson Cooper.


I think it was the first time you were being interviewed by him. And he seemed both very excited by your knowledge about the issues surrounding colleges and covid. But he also seemed quite amused to have found someone that he enjoyed listening to. And that somehow led me to noticing that you were doing the podcast with Kara Swisher, the Pivot podcast. Yeah. And then I was like, I wonder what else Scott's up to? And like a good researcher, I looked up podcasts and saw that you have this one.


That's how Judd Apatow rolls that. That gives you a sense of how I use the Internet.


All right. So you're my most successful stalker by a long shot.


So I want I want to get your sense. You strike me as a thoughtful guy. I want to get your historical sense of where we are as it relates to two two subjects, comedy and then media. So let's start with comedy. Is there an arc to the history of comedy and any observations around where we are now? What is the evolution of comedy? Where are we now?


Well, financially, I have a couple of theories about it. One is that there used to be a belief in a system in Hollywood where the studios were buying spec scripts. So if you were young comedy writer, you wouldn't create a TV show, you would try to write a movie for a big comedy star. And there was a whole economy of that. And you would read the trades. And every day you'd you'd hear, oh, this person sold this script for three hundred thousand dollars.


Oh, this person sold the script for a million dollars. And that happened for a long time. Sometime around the writers' strike. It was as if all the studios said, let's not do that anymore. Yeah. We don't want to spend that money. We're not getting enough movies out of it for how many scripts we're buying. And that certainly hurt comedy because when Netflix and streaming started, most comedy writers instantly staffed up on this explosion of new shows and also Netflix and places like that changed the rules.


The rule used to be that you had to climb up the ladder of comedy writers to get the opportunity to create your own show as a young person could never create their show until they had run the show. And so it might take you 10 or 15 years to get that opportunity. Right now, you could create a show for a streaming service right out of college if you had a great idea and a great script. And that changed everything. And as a result, a lot of comedy writers don't even consider writing comedies for four theaters for movies because there's such an incentive to stay in streaming.


And that's really hurt the comedy business in a in a big way.


So why is streaming hurt the comedy business if it sounds like it sounds like that's a good thing, that if you're a talented kid right out of college and you come up with a good idea, you have kind of direct to, I don't know, direct consumer access to the streaming video platforms. Why is it why why has Netflix or have they been bad for comedy and if so, why?


Well, I don't think it's hurt comedy in terms of television comedy. But in terms of film comedy, you know, where the Farrelly brothers would make something about Mary? The Farrelly brothers of Today will create a TV show. So we're not getting those movies. We're not getting those giant movie stars because there's not an ecosystem that really supports that.


So you just release the king of Staten Island. You've been doing what feels like a movie every year for about the last 20 years. How look at your most current your most recent release in terms of the financing, the business, the. Economics, the distribution, how is the king of Staten Island different then, or how are the semantics of the, you know, the algebra of it, if you will? This is one of your early films.


What's what is different now? Which as someone who has to pull this together and actually make it happen, how things change, have the inputs changed?


For me, it's been very consistent because I've directed all of my movies for Universal Studios. I've worked with the executives there for the entire time. So there's an enormous amount of consistency in our relationship. And I think when you're a creative person, the hardest part of it is if someone really doesn't understand what you do. So, for instance, I improvise a lot. If I'm working with a new person, they might look at the footage and go, what the hell, you do it.


What is all this babbling? Where's the movie in this? But when I work with people over and over again, they've seen the process step by step. So they understand our approach to shooting and that goes for budgeting and promotion.


And we have a pretty consistent approach, which is I believe the audience wants to see new people and hear new ideas. So I think that the hook usually is new talent and a lot of ways that makes the movies more affordable. We've made movies with established talent that gets paid a lot of money, but for a lot of my movies, it's someone's first starring role and as a result, it's a good financial bet. And we have learned, you know, from Bridesmaids and Trainwreck and and King of Staten Island and a lot of movies that people get really excited to see a fresh face.




And so that makes the whole thing affordable and feels like it's sort of zigging when everyone zagging is my my impression of the motion picture industry was there was a small number of bankable stars that got one hundred and ten percent of the of the compensation in the fruits and then it was very hard to bust through. Do you think there's a market or I guess you've proven there's a market that's more about the work and and introducing the audience to new actors and that that seems to be working?


I always felt like it was like when you discover a new band and you hear a new song. So the first time you heard it smells like Teen Spirit. You got so excited about Nirvana, you kind of lost your mind. You couldn't believe it existed. And I think there is a version of that when you see somebody in Superbad or in any of these movies. And that is a hook. It's a marketing hook to discover a new person. You love it.


I think, you know, with Tick-Tock and all these new stars, I think we're seeing that young people, they don't need it to be the established star. They don't connect to like a new kid. They just saw it five minutes ago. And it's very, very different. It doesn't mean that the established stars aren't great and some of them are way better than everybody else. And that's why they have those careers. But, you know, for comedy, there's a lot of young people with a lot to say.


So you've mentioned just in the last few minutes, we've mentioned Universal movie theaters, Netflix tick. It strikes me the talent, talents, currency and power is only going up every year. And you get to dictate which platforms you have, the credibility where if you say, well, I want to try something on with this company, in this platform, people sort of line up to support you, or at least that's the impression I get. Who would you bet on or against in terms of companies, platforms, technology?


I think that it's changing so fast, we were the the first people to go into production on an original movie at Netflix with this Pee wee Herman movie, Pee wee's Big Holiday. They didn't even have a department to make movies. They didn't even know how to give us the money at the time. Like, how does this work? Do we set up an account? I mean, they really didn't have production people moment.


And we did a show called Love on Netflix, which was one of their first half hour comedies. And we felt at the time that that was a great platform for us to be on. I have a deal. First look deal with HBO. So, you know, I'm looking to develop things for HBO backs at this point. And they've been a great show.


It's not HBO Go or HBO Now or HBO. Joey Bag of donuts. What is HBO? Max, can you explain it to me and Judd Apatow? Explain to me the difference between all the HBO fill in the blank here. What is HBO?


Max, I always laughed at how many different HBO apps there were to the point where I did even call HBO and go, this is this is a mess. This doesn't make any sense. And they said, we're about to clear it all up. And I think that they did. Yeah. And now they need new content on there so that they can compete.


But the people at HBO have always had the best taste.


The first time I ever had, I worked for Comic Relief, which was a benefit for the homeless. Yeah. Hosted by Robin Williams.


And so I worked with them since nineteen eighty six. And they've just always consistently had an incredible executive talent to pick shows and help you through that process. So I always bet on HBO. Obviously Netflix is doing amazing things. I, I have a relationship with Universal and Comcast. I haven't done anything for peacocke yet, but I'm looking to have that experience because I'm sure that they'll ultimately do well. They haven't started doing a lot of original content. I would assume that's happening right now.


So HBO, let's talk a little bit about HBO and first of HBO. For me, I am such just incredible goodwill for HBO. I think of when that soldier from The Sopranos is browsing images of his time on the shore and hangs himself. One of the characters that you worked on, Hank, from the Larry Sanders Show, I think it's one of the great characters in original scripted television. I think Game of Thrones is still singular in terms of how I imagine I don't know, it's a creative executive who actually pitches these things, but I imagine someone trying to pitch that and get it done.


And I just think HBO had such balls to greenlight that thing. I think HBO, I even think of six feet under. I used to feel real emotion watching Six Feet Under. I love HBO and now I see them. What I would describe it as junking it up with the Big Bang Theory and all these different sitcoms, I just think they're literally taking this air mass bag or a Porsche 911 and turning it into a Pontiac Aztec or a Brooklyn messenger bag.


I just think it's the worst strategy ever. And Apple perceives that they're they're leaving this unbelievable positioning as the premier luxury brand in all media and is going to fill that, I think HBO screwing up. What are your thoughts?


I don't agree. I have to say that so much of of what this is about is the personal taste of a few key executives.




Sometimes you go on different streaming services and you think, who's choosing these things? Right. And then on other services, you know, you'll watch. I may destroy you on HBO and you think, oh, my gosh, they've done it again. Another really brilliant show. And I think that that ultimately wins out definitely over the years has been all about being very curated. So we have the best stuff. And I think that they're stuck in a place where, due to new habits, people also want a lot of stuff and they want the great HBO stuff, but they also want to watch all sorts of stuff from the Warner Brothers library.


And I think people will develop that habit. And I'm sure they're nervous. They don't want to be watered down. They don't want their greatness watered down because now everything Warner Brothers ever made is on the same app. But I think ultimately people will realize that they have an enormous amount of great new shows. And I'm sure it's odd for them they've succeeded so well in the cable business. But we've watched as that's slowly disappearing. I don't know. What do you think is going to happen with the actual cable business?


Oh, it's being unbundled and picked apart. There's just no getting around it. Affiliate fees are going down. And then you have these organizations with infinitely deep pockets at some point. I mean, HBO was getting an Emmy for every seventy five dollars million in original scripted budget. And Amazon, it cost them three hundred and fifty million to get an Emmy. Right. HBO is much better than Amazon. But at some point, if Amazon can throw billions, you know, Netflix is going to spend 14 billion, I think HBO is going to spend, I don't know, two or three.


At some point the capital wins. And I don't think that's true, though.


I think that is a mistake. I think so.


Judd Apatow doesn't eventually when they when they put a big enough check and creative freedom in front of you, you don't think over time because there's something unique about HBO, HBO, at least. My understanding is they have this culture and the secret sauce that attracts and retains talent like yourself. And I don't. So I guess my question would be, one, what is that? In addition to individuals who just have great taste? It's got to be something about the culture, the way they treat you.


And to you don't think eventually just the deepest pockets when here you think HBO or the smaller guys can hold out.


I think that you could look at movie studios through the ages and say, you know, a lot of them had similar amounts of money and they were certain studios that were making some of the great movies of all time and other studios that made mainly garbage. And that's always about who gets to pick and who has the relationship with the talent to try to shepherd ideas. And so, yes, you can get way more stuff at a place with deeper pockets, but it is ultimately about creativity and talent in that relationship.


And when you have a good idea, someone can really ruin it. I always tell this story about going into FOX with the cast of Undeclared, the show I did about college in two thousand and one. And, you know, they beat a lot of promises about letting me choose the cast because I said it's all in the casting. But when everyone auditioned in front of the executives to get approval, they instantly said no to Jason Segel being the lead.


Then I said, what about Seth Rogen as the lead? And they said, no. And that's how networks and studios can destroy things because they don't see it. I did a pilot for ABC in 2001 or 2002 that started Amy Poehler, Jan Jones, Kevin Hart and Jason Segel. And not only did they turn down the pilot, I didn't get one call where they said, you know what, this pilot isn't exactly right. But, man, we should do something with this Amy Poehler person, or should we get something else called with Kevin Hart, like they just didn't see it at all.


And so, yes, it helps to have more money and take more shots. But if you don't have that person that knows which ones to do, it doesn't matter. So you work.


I would say your stuff is mostly about it has influence. It makes cultural statements. But I think most of your stuff is about, I don't know, love connections, family joy, if you will. I want to bring it down to you. I've been following you on Twitter and you speak a lot about media, kind of a 24 hour news cycle, media, specifically FOX. What are your thoughts around the role that news media and the Murdochs and FOX and CNN are playing in our society today?


What what would be your observations around media's role in our society right now? I think Paddy Chayefsky was right about everything. If you want to network again, right, he basically predicted what was going to happen. There's a great book that it's a cop wrote about the making of network and how Paddy Chayefsky felt afterwards. And he was very frustrated because he thought that people didn't really pick up on the terrifying, prophetic message of it, that it became a bit of a sketch joke.


You know, I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore. And people didn't really obsess over what he was saying, which is when multinational corporations control the news, it will distort reality and people will get taken advantage of.


And I think we see that the Brian Stelter book Hoax really clarifies how that happened, which is, you know, very simple, which is the money is in agreeing with Trump. You know, there's an ecosystem there where if the network goes hard against Trump, their audience gets mad so they don't want to. And at the same time, Donald Trump is directly calling them and complaining when he doesn't like the coverage. And at the same time, you have these hosts who are literally talking to Donald Trump on the phone.


Sean Hannity, according to the book, is talking to Donald Trump all the time. Yeah. And filling his mind with ideas. And there's a little weird system there where a lot of times he'll pick up on those ideas and make them his causes. And it's pretty terrifying. There's a story in the book about Tucker Carlson going to Mar a Lago with the sole purpose of trying to get Trump to take covid more seriously. And how scary is it?


That's how the world works right now, even at this moment. The first clips of Bob Woodward talking to Donald Trump just were released, where Donald Trump is admitting that he down plays the virus, that he did it in the past. And he does. He continues to do it now. We know when he downplays the virus, people don't wear masks, they don't social distance and they die. So you could say instead of having two hundred thousand deaths, maybe we could have had, let's say, eighty thousand like other countries, we could have maybe had one hundred and twenty thousand less deaths.


FOX will not report that as if it's one of the biggest scandals, tragedies, horror shows in American history. All of those hosts will find a way to downplay it. And I think it's been completely destructive to our society. What about the role of so I agree with you that FOX and I think people on the other side would say, well, MSNBC and CNN are playing to the same tribal instincts just on the other side. What about social media?


Because if I would imagine I don't know about you, but I have a fraction of the followers that you have. But I find a lot of bots in my feed just trying to incentive fight. There's just so much rage. There's clearly actors that are likely being sponsored from I think from our adversaries. And just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean I'm wrong.


But don't you think that is so? If Fox is the spark, don't you think social media is the fuel? What is your what is your on Twitter, your active. I see you on a lot. What is your view of Twitter? I know I have to say that when it started, it was a fun way to talk about comedy and promote shows and and I definitely have, unfortunately, a gut instinct that that this is like Germany in in the late 30s.


And, you know, when you think, why didn't people scream and try to stop this? I've always felt like there's all sorts of things I try to do to support candidates I believe in to do benefits for causes I believe in. But I think everyone should be screaming fire at this moment. And I have been for years because everything that's happened is basically what I assumed would happen with somebody like Donald Trump and the current Republican group of people. And so clearly, Facebook is designed to reward shock value.


And at some point we've realized that the people who own these businesses could care less about the destruction of our country. They just don't care. I'm always shocked by it. I always wonder why someone like Mark Zuckerberg doesn't just cash out, he's made enough money and why he still needs to be in charge of it. What are you trying to hold on to? What what contribution do you think you are making to the world? You've caused elections to come out wrong.


You've done things that have led to genocide. Why do you want to be in the chair anymore? It didn't work that way. You thought it was going to work? Yeah.


We interviewed Senator Poochie, the CEO of Google. And I think Zuckerberg, I think these guys all look at themselves in the mirror, most of them and every morning and say hello, wealthiest, most powerful man in the world. I think they they do want to be the most powerful person in the world. I do think this center at Google, I wondered if if they got broken up, that it would just be almost like a relief for a guy like that.


He's a product guy. I don't I think deep down he is he is troubled by some of the stuff that's going on. But, yeah, I agree with you. I can't understand what it is at some point when they say, OK, maybe I need to start focusing on the harm I'm doing and how to read how to reduce that harm. So you're involved. It's shocking, though.


I mean, it is shocking because sometimes I'm around these people, you know, and in Hollywood, you meet these people. Sometimes it's like Lachlan Murdoch. Yeah. He can at any moment say to the entire network, we can't downplay the this virus. Just hundreds of thousands of people are dying and we can have our opinion hosts talk this bullshit anymore. But he really makes a choice not to do it, and he does that to monetize the anxieties and the feelings of the audience, and that is a that is a person that you will see at a party that is Fox News isn't a machine.


It is it is run by a man who makes the choice. And he'll make that choice today to not say that Donald Trump is a mass murderer. Donald Trump made a choice, knowing it would lead to tens of thousands of more people dying because he thought it might lead to people not blaming him for what was happening or not even understand how bad things are that that's the biggest scandal in American history.


He will not make the call to say we need to handle this accurately.


And I'm shocked as a human being that there are human beings who think like that, who don't care because it used to be about taxes or crony capitalism.


How much is Trump and his friends stealing from the government through all their contracts and how they give away public lands and all that stuff? Now it's just death. And yet there are still very few of those people who who go to the wall to do something ethically.


I can't believe in a capitalist society. It's very tempting to make incremental decisions that lead you down this rabbit hole of bad decisions and more money means better health care, better opportunities for your kids, broader selection set of mates in a Kappa society. Money does a lot of wonderful things. You've you've I've seen you talk a little bit about money and morality. Do you think we suffer from sort of a gross idolatry of of the dollar or what is the role that our capitalist system in money plays in our decisions and morality?


I do think that the Republicans have tried to promote a culture of. Every person for themselves and if if we don't look at these problems as problems that need to be solved together, then the human race won't survive.


If basically we're saying every person needs to get as much money as they can and then do nothing to help other people, then what what chance do we have of solving climate change? I'm in California right now, four states on fire and people act like this isn't the future for the entire country. Hurricanes and fires and and flooding. So if we won't wear masks and we can't get a government that is unified to say, you know, there's a lot to do, but if everyone I don't care if you're in the boonies alone in Wyoming and you haven't seen a person in a month, if all of us wore a mask for the next six weeks, we would save tens of thousands of lives.


If we can't get people to agree on that, how are we going to agree to do all the much more difficult things that will save our country from being completely on fire and under water? And I think that this worship of of money and trying to get bigger and bigger and bigger, you know, you read the news everyday and Kanye West is so upset that people don't think he's worth as much money as he thinks he's worth, which is the same as Trump.


There's no pride in not having money and just helping people.


And I think that that's a destructive message for for the world. And that's why all of the protests are so encouraging, because we have to hope that the next generation has a different set of values and wants to join together to solve these problems. Trump wants us divided, but it has to be solved together. Talk a little bit about money and education. You and I can send our kids to wherever they might be fortunate enough to get in to, if you if your kid comes to the top one percent of income earning households.


Seventy seven times more likely to go to an elite college. Talk a little bit about education, how things have changed since you and I went in and what you know, any thoughts on what we can do to get it back such that a kid from Long Island or myself, a kid from Westword with a single mother can get into a great school? Because I get the sense neither you nor me would get into USC or UCLA now, I will absolutely not.


And I think that. One of the big issues is. What you've been talking about, a lot of people have been talking about, which is this pride in how many people you reject.


Yeah, you know, a joke I was telling on stage doing stand up, but it is true is all those kids who cheated to get into college, all of them did well at that college. Mm hmm.


So they so their families had to go through all these terrible criminal acts to get them there, but none of them failed.


And so then the question becomes. Do we think that only the kids who are brilliant at math and English and get perfect scores and everything deserve a high level of education? Because when I look at my kids and their friends, most of them are either great at math or English and the arts. So say you can barely pass math and it's a nightmare for you. Well, then right off the bat, there's 50 colleges you will never get into. But in the arts, you might be better than every single person at Yale or Harvard or Cornell.


And so the whole thing doesn't really make sense. We're asking these kids to be generically perfect, to get access to the type of education they deserve. And that's the thing that infuriates me. And I think that all of that doesn't serve kids. It also doesn't serve special kids and interesting kids. I notice so many young people who don't do well in school, who are so gifted and so interesting and funny that they can make such a giant contribution.


But because they don't do well in these settings, they won't get a chance to get the education that they deserve. And it's pretty tragic that it's meant to make people the same. I think I watched, you know, those Ted talks with Ken Robinson about this issue. And I think it really hurts kids and they're all under such stress to get into these schools. I've never, never pressured my kids about that. And also sight of the core of your work as family.


You have kids you're about to become. It sounds like you have two kids. You're about to become empty nesters, is that right?


Yes. And wonder if you could still if you had any advice for people or parents who are still in the thick of it or have young kids, give us a few observations or even if you're willing, some advice around not only good parenting, but just enjoying enjoying the ride.


I get the sense you think a lot about parenting. Yeah, absolutely. And that doesn't even mean I know if I've done anything right. But there are a few things that have stuck out over the years. One one simple piece of advice that I heard from somebody was your kids are are mainly going to copy how you behave. Mm hmm. And so we think of all these rules. Should we punish them or not punish them? And what do we tell them?


And it really isn't that much about what we tell them. Most of it is they see you in your life, how you handle stress, how you handle problems, how you treat people. And they're just going to copy your basic approach to life, whether they know they're doing it or not. And for me, you know, I just try to teach them about kindness. I think that that's the most important aspect, their compassion and their kindness.


And I try to take the pressure off as much as I can. But at the same time, one element that I never thought much about as a young parent that I realize is very important is your kids need to have a passion. They need to have something they want to pursue so you can be a parent and have a great kid. But sometimes your great kid doesn't want to get off the couch and do anything. Yeah. And when I was young, my parents had financial problems.


My parents got divorced, and it made me really want to work hard to be able to take care of myself. And I think that you have to find a way to light a fire under your kids so they figure out what they love and want to pursue it very aggressively, because if you don't work hard, you really won't achieve those goals. But it is very difficult. There's so much going on. There's so much more anxiety and depression. The social media is really destructive.


There's I think all these kids have too many friends. You know, when I was a kid, I like to French and maybe we would go visit to other friends. Our parents didn't know where we were. There were no cell phones. And I didn't know if anyone else was having fun without me. I didn't compare my life to anyone else's life and I went about my day. I think being connected to too many young people is really hard for a kid.


You're tracking their happiness and their struggles and your, you know, the way you do as a friend. You're living their life and their pain and their joy. And if you're doing it with 10 or 15 kids instead of four, I think it's very stressful.


You know what, when you think out five or 10 years professionally, wood boxes are left for you. What what's where do you want to be in five or 10 years or what do you want to have done that you haven't already?


Well, that's a creative person. I think it's helpful to try to take the pressure off yourself because it's hard to get into your Flo's state or your creative space if you are nervous about how you're going to do or how you're going to be perceived or you can I keep this thing going. So I started playing a trick on myself a long time ago, which is that it's already over and done. That helped me.


You know, when we did Freaks and Geeks, I had a real sense that it was a special show and it accomplished all of the creative hopes I ever had and that at least in my head, that I had accomplished my goals once.


And then lately I've added a new dimension to this. It's over. A theory which again is just a mind trick to not lock up is I like to think of myself as a rock star whose best years are decades behind him, but every once in a while bangs out a good record. So I'll think of Bob Dylan, who had a record this year. There was a great album and every once in a while when you least expect that, he puts out time out of mind and.


And there's no expectation that I have to crank out a ton of stuff and have it all be of a certain level now, by the way, this is a trick because I am trying to do that. I am trying to make a lot of stuff and have it be great. But I have to play this trick on myself. The only thing that I haven't done that I think a lot about is theater.


I to say Broadway. Yeah, exactly. What's next play. I love to write a musical. I'm writing a few things for animation. I haven't done that since I worked on the critic a very long time ago. But but that is an experience I've never had, which is writing a play, listening to the audience, hearing them laugh, making adjustments. I've always felt like no one's really replace Neil Simon in the theater. And there's a real whole for a certain type of human comedy in the theater.


And it'd be nice to get a chance to attempt that at some point.


Talk a little bit about flow for you in the creative process. Are there certain types of D-Day, certain ceremonies, certain substances, certain relationships you call on certain users. How do you get into Flo? I've always been interested in how the brain works and how the mind works. You know, it's funny because I just interviewed John Cleese, who has a new book about creativity, and I interviewed him about his book. And then Jeff Tweedy from the band Wilco has a book called How to Write One Song coming out in October that I read.


And I'm always interested in how creative people get in the mental space so their creativity comes out. And a lot of it is is about understanding that, you know, you're right, brain is creative and your left brain is the critic and you can't do the work at the same time. So you have to set aside a lot of hours without interruption where you could just goof off and spew whatever comes into your mind and not judge it. And then maybe on another day read it and go, Did anything good happen in that moment when I was vomiting out?


All this babble that's been the main lesson for me is to separate right brain days from left brain that Judd Apatow is an American filmmaker and comedian, the founder of Apatow Productions, where he produced and directed films including 40 year old Virgin Knocked Up Funny People. This is 40 train wreck and most recently, the king of Staten Island. He joins us from his home in Santa Monica. Judd, stay safe and thanks. Thanks for all your good work, brother.


And so you really it's it's just nice to speak to somebody who's doing nice things for nice people. And despite being a Trojan, I just am tremendously impressed by the life you built for you and your family.


I appreciate that. And thank you for everything you're doing with all the podcasts. And I, I one more. I was I was saying, how do I get the link to all these interviews from the secret colleges and stuff. So that's that's one of dozens and dozens of people think I need more Scott.


Yeah. That that's, that's, that happens a lot. All right, John, this advice. All right. Take care. Thanks. Bye bye.


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OK, it's time for officers as a reminder, we're here to answer your questions about business trends, big tech, career advice and whatever else you'd like to ask the dog. If you'd like to submit a question, please email a voice. According to office hours at Section four. Dotcom question number one.


High school. I'm living in New York and loving what I'm learning from you about life in the U.S. In the last couple of weeks, you've spoken very accurately about the decline influence of the marketing services groups like WPP and Omnicom. At the same time, you've projected the continued rapid growth of consultancies who in many respects offer very similar services. I would love to know why you believe the dramatic difference in fortunes has happened and what you think the marketing services groups should do to turn it around.




Thanks, Helen, and welcome to the United States. My parents made the same decision you made, and that is they immigrated from Glasgow, Scotland and London, England to the United States. And I think they would probably say it was the best decision they ever made other than having an adorable little son. But anyway, welcome to New York. I hope you're enjoying it. So if you think about the big three and I'm advising one of them right now are informally advising one of them, they have some outstanding assets and they have some less outstanding assets.


And if you look at Google and Facebook, they add or shed the value of WPP, Omnicom, IPG and publicly every day or gain it, which means they're sort of irrelevant. I think you're going to have across the media landscape where media agencies, a good bank, bad bank, I think they're going to split up. I think the investment bankers are going to dust off or sharpen their pencils and that some of the assets, specifically the data assets, they have very strong analytics companies.


They have consulting firms. There are some really great assets. There are also high cash flow assets that are shitty businesses, specifically media businesses are anything tied to what I call the advertising industrial complex. So they'll go good bank, bad bank, and they'll put those high growth column, 21st century assets into the good bank and they'll take their traditional agencies and media buying, which quite frankly, are shitty businesses. But they still spend a whole lot of cash flow, but they're kind of slowly declining and they'll put them into kind of a bad bank now.


Now, what does that mean? What does that mean? There are still great assets within these firms and it still might be a decent place to invest or work because I think their stocks have been beaten down so badly that they're probably there maybe even be an investment opportunity there at some point. But it's definitely an activist play. I think if they don't get their stocks up soon, you're going to see an activist come in and force them to split into good bank bad banks.


So what does that mean? If you're working one of these agencies, ask yourself, OK, what is driving my business? If at the end of the day, the thing they deem success for me and my company is based on this traditional brand algorithm of a mediocre product wrapped in brand associations that we pound away at using cheap broadcast media year to find another job. If my company is about zeros and ones and advice around strategy, advice around supply chain, advice around how to turn data into information into decision making, then you're going to be just fine.


But look for ad agencies are acting on look for WPP, IPG, Poopsie and Omnicom to be six to seven separate companies within the next 24 to thirty six months. Britt, welcome to the greatest city on Earth. Next question.


Hi, Professor Galloway. Good to see you on public, the social investing app. I have a question for you regarding how apps like Public and Common Stock give feedback on trades and investing memos. Common Stock is currently trying to decide how to display their like button right now, instead of the number of people being displayed as likes. It's the total amount of money those people have that is displayed. It's anonymous and frankly, it's fun. The idea behind dollar amounts for likes is that it weighs feedback towards people who are wiser investors.


So dollar amounts are being used as a proxy for investing knowledge. But there are downsides. You can have a trust fund baby who inherited a million dollars, yet they know nothing. That person's life is completely outweighing a much smarter investor who started from nothing and grew their portfolio into one hundred thousand dollars. What do you think about dollar amounts as a measure of social feedback on an app like public or common stock?


What an interesting question, Nathan, thanks very much. So according to Crunch Base, common stock got about a ten million dollar seed for social investing. Users can link any brokers to share holdings by percentage, get real time alerts and friends buy or sell, copy each other's trades and invest together and even compete to see who performs best. So putting putting a trading platform on top of social or putting social on top, that seems like a neat idea. And according to common stock in a blog post, we're making market knowledge, social smart, trusted and transparent by enabling users to link a brokerage and verify their track record.


I. This is really interesting, and my answer would be, OK, so a couple of things. One, I think someone who has a million dollars, an apple, likely has done more diligence on Apple than someone than someone trading on Robin Hood who has purchased a fractional share. And what we've seen lately is it doesn't seem like the experts get it any more. Right, than the nonexperts. I do believe that over the long term or even the medium term, the people, the quote unquote experts, the people who do diligence, the people who spend a lot of time doing bottoms up valuation that they will outperform, quote unquote, the nonexperts or the retail investors.


Having said that, I would just suggest they do both, that they have the number of people who like a stock or like an investment strategy. But I think another means of saying, all right, this is what the bigger holders believe. I don't see anything wrong with that. And I think this plays into gamification. I think it's another signal. And so the question is around rich people, is that narrative used to be, well, they're just better they're better people, they're smarter.


They're more worthy than us. Right. And now the narrative is no, they're just lucky. Everyone is rich, which is born lucky. And the answer is yes. Everyone I know that is very wealthy, who wasn't born into money, wasn't smart enough to be born into money, works their ass off and is very smart. I also know a lot of people that worked their ass off and are very smart and are not rich because their parents didn't get them into Harvard or they weren't born in the right zip code or they haven't had the opportunities and the connections that rich dad can get.


Rich kid of rich dad. So it is both unfortunate. Our society looks as if that the latter is playing a bigger role in people's trajectory, specifically as filtered through the nozzle of higher education, where we're basically sending the children of rich kids and freakishly remarkable 15 to seven year olds. But I'm getting off track. I think it's a neat idea. I think as long as you have both, I think as long as are transparent about it. It's interesting and no doubt about it.


Socializing, if you will, or putting a social component on top of a traditional business is a great idea because Schwab is probably not going to go there. Right. Anyway, thanks for the question. Next question.


Hey, Prachi, my name is Jesse. I'm a copywriter in NYC. I love the podcast, so I'm scared shitless of the climate crisis. These wildfires in Callear freaking me out. But from stranded fossil fuel assets to a looming insurance crisis, it seems like this could hit us economically even harder than covid. And that's before the climate really gets bad. This is something I haven't heard you talk too much about. I'm curious about how you look at the problem.


So I have a two part question. What are you hearing from investors and exactly what they're not saying publicly? They realize how serious this is. And based on what you're hearing, do you think there's a place for activism to push businesses in the right direction besides the obvious of getting beaten and harassed in the White House? Thanks for all your wisdom. Thank you, Jesse. Aren't you a sexy beast with that Lou Chattery whispery voice who anyways, California fires reported that since the beginning of the year, wildfires have burned more than three million acres in California.


To put that in perspective, the size of Connecticut is about three and a half million acres. I think six of the 20 biggest fires in the history of California have happened in the last twenty four months. Climate change efforts and Trump's America are pretty anemic. Slash zero. Trump responded to a climate question during a recent news briefing, saying it'll start getting cooler. You just watch. Oh, OK. Then Brazil is I mean, literally what a fucking idiot I know I alienate about, I don't know, forty nine percent of my audience.


But seriously, orange shetler fucking idiot equals our president anyways. Then proceeds. Then it goes on to say, I don't think science knows. Well that's the definition of science. It knows more than anything else we know. That's the whole point. That's a definition of science. The best I do is we have Forbes rounded up a few companies that are focusing on climate initiatives. Microsoft said that by 2030 they'll be carbon negative and by 2050, Microsoft will remove from the environment all the carbon the companies emitted either directly or by electrical consumption.


Since it was founded in nineteen seventy five, Nike, Nike will power owned and operated facilities with 100 percent renewable energy by twenty twenty five. Wal-Mart said it's aiming to have zero greenhouse emissions across their global operations by 2040. So here's the thing. I think it's great. I think this company should be lauded for their efforts. However, however, I don't think that it is business that needs to be reformed. And I was talking about this on my other podcast, Pivot, cohosted with Kara Swisher, that we need to focus on the disease, not the symptom or the other side of the coin.


And while we sit around talking about how big tech and I'm guilty of this needs to be reformed, waiting on their better angels to show up is not a great strategy. Thinking the Business Roundtable announcing that we need to start talking about stakeholder values instead of shareholder values. Yeah, OK, big fucking deal. At the end of the day, most companies are going to be very focused on profits and if they decide to take a much more sustainable complexion, a big company can do that.


A small, medium sized company needs to just try and stay alive and it's hard for them to disarm unilaterally. You're not going to have fundamental change on climate from corporations unless it's regulated by the EPA, the FDA. You have to have the government step in and say, all right, all right, everyone in this category is going to have sustainable supply chain. Everyone in this category is not going to spew shit into the air. Everyone in this category is going to pay a fine for the externalities they cause.


I think there's incredible digital exhaust, if you will. I think we are choking on the pollution from these algorithms to create rage. So fine, the government should step in at a minimum, start taxing it. I like so like the idea. And when I run for Florida senator in twenty twenty two as an independent, it could happen. It could happen. I chicken in every pot I see Alice in every covid Galloway twenty twenty two. Anyway I think one of the things I would run on is some sort of algorithmic tax and that is if you use an algorithm to serve up an ad you pay a tax because it used to be an individual who is creating copy and doing creative and starring in an ad and they pay payroll taxes.


The company paid a payroll tax on them. So do we need to reform big tech? Yeah. Is that going to get us there? No. What we need to reform is government and our regulatory bodies such that they do the work and figure out creative solutions, forward leaning solutions that address the externalities similar to the way we've tax polluters. We've put emission standards on cars and have demanded, demanded, at least to a certain extent, an EPA Republican issue that we would like to kill our children and grandchildren, an environment that is is extraordinary as the environment that we have come to enjoy.


But at the end of the day, this has got to be about government. And the problem here is there are so many dumpster fires that are a function of our own short term thinking. It's all about an arbitrage. We've been taking shit out of the ground, turning into fuel and arbitraging that value add or turning it into from oil to petroleum. And unfortunately, we decided not to pay for the emissions of the externalities and now we're choking on the shit.


We've got to get better at figuring out the externalities coming up with creative solutions such that future generations can do what I do with my kids, and that is go boogie boarding on the weekends and go outside and marvel at what an extraordinary places is. And by the way, I want to be clear. I am not an environmentalist. I think after our species is extinct, that basically the earth is going to belch for about 10 or 20 years and it's going to be as if we were never here.


I am not an environmentalist, but I do believe that if you do believe in science, which most of us should, as it's the best ideas, it's not an opinion. You have to acknowledge what is. Going on here and it makes sense to have a better government that puts in place the taxation and the regulations that recognizes the externalities from pollutants that are both digital and analog. Thanks for your question. Keep sending in your questions again. If you'd like to submit a question, please email a voice recording to office hours at Section four Dotcom.


Our producers are Caroline Chagrinned and Drew Burrough's feel like what you heard, please followed download and subscribe. Thank you for listening.


We'll catch you next week with another episode of the property show from Section four and the Westwood One podcast network. So last question, advice to your 25 year old self. Advice to my twenty five year old self. You're better looking than you think you are. That's the main thing I was telling you, because we get so fucking ugly as we get older. Yeah, you'll look back and realize you weren't that fat.


You know what? You were more attractive than you thought. You really didn't give it the college. Try to get out there. You hid in the house most of the time. But now that I look at the pictures, it wasn't bad.