Sequoia Capital Spins Off HongShan 红杉 & Peak XV, Apple Vision Pro and Societal Impact of VR & AR - E284

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"At the end of the day, people are, in some weird way, mourning the drop of Sequoia because it feels like it's splitting up. So there's a little bit of grief in the short term. But I think it could be a good thing, honestly, in the medium to long term. Obviously, Hong Shan, they’re going to do what they want to do and invest in what they want to do, and I think it would be a good thing for Peak. Everybody recognizes that Southeast Asia and India are different markets from America and Europe, and it's a very different market from China. So you might let them build a focused approach tailored for the ecosystem." - Jeremy Au


"The Apple Vision Pro could be cool if, like, part of the workflow now is sometimes I'll ask someone, 'Can you read this email? Do I sound angry?' It would be cool if you could be side by side and flick something over to them, like 'Hey, check this.' It seems very possible in the Apple universe, considering we can already share wifi passwords, which is the best feature ever. Why can't you airdrop documents or views back and forth? If that were possible, it would be a lot more interesting and have a more interactive quality." - Shiyan Koh


"There was an article where someone was talking about what was the societal impact of the button. So like in, Google Docs or in Microsoft Word, right? Basically they're integrating GPT, and so there's a button that's basically just like start writing, and it's always easier to kind of edit than it is to come up with new like de novo stuff. But what does it do to the quality of our thinking as a society if no one has to struggle to come up with new things? Like you just kind of edit derivative things." - Shiyan Koh


During a discussion between Jeremy Au and Shiyan Koh, several key insights were revealed. One notable topic of conversation was Sequoia Capital spinning off HongShan 红杉 and Peak XV. This split was seen as a strategic move to adapt to geopolitical tension, changing VC landscape and better cater to the specific needs of startups in different regions. Additionally, this move reflects the dynamic nature of the VC industry, where adaptability and specialization are crucial for success in a rapidly changing global landscape.

Another significant point of discussion revolved around the Apple Vision Pro. They mentioned the product and contemplated its potential purchase for research purposes. They briefly touched on the contrasting strategies of companies like Tesla and Facebook. While Tesla started with high-end products and gradually expanded to a broader market, Facebook adopted a more affordable and mass-market strategy from the beginning. This comparison highlighted the different business models and revenue streams of these companies.

Furthermore, Jeremy and Shiyan explored the educational and entertainment possibilities of VR and AR. They discussed immersive learning experiences and innovative storytelling in the entertainment industry. Additionally, they considered the social implications of these technologies, including the blurring of physical and virtual boundaries and the impact on human connection and empathy.

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Jeremy Au: (01:12)

Morning, Shiyan.

Shiyan Koh: (01:12)

Good morning, Jeremy. How's it going?

Jeremy Au: (01:15)

Everyone's happy. We started this morning with the morning sigh. We got our coffee and caffeine. So, ready to go.

Shiyan Koh: (01:23)

Let's do it. It's been a busy week on the news side.

Jeremy Au: (01:27)

Ooh. Well, before we start, we gotta do three quick shoutouts. It sounds like, first of all, a shout-out to Caela at Endeavor for helping organise that great event with Manny as well. She had a previous interview on Brave Podcast, so you can check out the episode. Andre Lim at Tuut says that he learns a lot from our episodes and he liked our, kind of mastering fundraising approach. He liked our VC market outlook. Just thanks for the shout-out and Shiyan, there's someone you wanted to say hi to?

Shiyan Koh: (01:57)

Oh, the Prefer guys met them today. They're making bean-less coffee. You can find out more about that. We haven't tried it yet, they said they appreciated the podcast and had been learning by listening along.

Jeremy Au: (02:10)

Jake and Ding.

Shiyan Koh: (02:12)

Yeah, Jake was like, don't lie. I was like, yep. That's a pretty good takeaway.

Jeremy Au: (02:17)

The Prince of Imitation. There you go. I think I always love that catchy name. And he's been coming on some of the founder's hikes that the brave community organizers as well. On that note, it sounds like we've got two big things to discuss. I think the first, of course, is about Sequoia split into three separate entities Sequoia America, Hong Shan which is Redwood and Chinese for the China arm, and as well as peak XV, which is, peak 15.

Shiyan Koh: (02:42)

I think it's 15.

Jeremy Au: (02:43)

But I mean, so you spell it out, it's XV. Right. So, Roman numerals.

Shiyan Koh: (02:48)

Also, I think I would say Sequoia is retaining Europe as well, so it's US and Europe.

Jeremy Au: (02:53)

Yeah, so I thought it was interesting. So we're gonna go and dive into that. And if you have time, we're gonna try to talk about Apple Vision Pro, which is, AR and VR. So actually there are two very meaty conversations we can use the whole time. But, so let's see where we get to. Let's talk about some of the facts adding about, Sequoia. So big news, it was announced in, various magazines came out of the press, obviously is a big surprise because Sequoia has been a very well respected, large thesis, and I think many people even did an analysis of Sequoia about their approach, right? Which is, I think a couple of major features they had was that first of all, they were going for global tools that they delegated or localized their investment decision-making in local partnerships to give them high velocity of decision-making as much as they can. Three LPs invested globally into the fund, right? When you invested in the US fund, you had to invest into multiple funds into the whole mandate as of some time ago.

That's changed more recently. And then last year, of course, was that they chose to centralize some functions together, right, on a global basis. So kind of like a little bit of an MNC approach, global partnership. And I think many of them look at them and respected them for their, multi-stage program, and their innovation. They came as Sequoia Scouts, Sequoia Search, all these good programs to let them play in, like you said, US, Europe, India, obviously Asia, China, it's hard to think of any other VC funds that have tried to do it. Right. And now looks like they’re splitting up. So, Shiyan what do you think are any other things you wanna add to what you observed from the news?

Shiyan Koh: (04:20)

Yeah, I mean, I think I think there's just the reality of organizations getting bigger, right? And starting to run into each other. And so I think, I think historically when people first started investing in China, they were very sort of China-focused types of deals. But now increasingly you've seen Chinese companies going overseas, be it by dance tempo, all of these other products that might have originated in China, but actually have global ambitions and then start to run into each other. Right. And we see Southeast Asian companies going overseas. Right. And so you can think of it as globalization 2.0. Right? If globalization 1.0 was like developed co companies coming into emerging markets, 2.0 is everybody going everywhere? Everything is everywhere, all at once. And so I think you could see conflicts emerging if different partnerships, different parts of the partnership backed different companies who then ran into each other in a market. Then you say, okay, well who are we gonna support in this market? Right? Who do we make the introductions to? Who do we send the new hires to? Right?

Like, I think there's sort of very practical aspects of funds and teams growing bigger. I think the geopolitical stuff is also present. They didn't talk about it that much in the press release. I think there is a chorus of people in the US who are like, why is a US fund investing in Chinese open AI competitors? And I think as the rhetoric builds up on both sides of the Pacific, I think questions like that will become harder. And I think, LPs will also evaluate their exposure and have to make decisions about where they wanna be invested and whether there is a liability to them later on. Because governments feel like, they were kind of running afoul of some sort of national interest.

So I think there's that as well. And I mean, I would suspect at the heart of it, there's always an economic argument, right? I think it becomes really hard when you're like sharing economics across a larger and larger group of people to attribute returns or feel like things are being allocated. And it's always with these, I think there's like a rule about like compensation structure, which is you can use compensation as motivation in so far as people feel like they can control how those things go. And I think as companies get larger and more diffuse, I think it becomes much harder to feel that you have control and then that makes people feel perhaps less yeah, less willing to, to all kind of be in the same boat. Pure speculation. No inside information.

Jeremy Au: (06:53)

Same as here, but it's a common phenomenon, right? That I think a lot of partners leave, right? For example, individuals to set up their partnerships. Right. I think there's a common mental mentality. I think there's a common, you can say Batna, right? There's a common fallback, where if the partnership doesn't work out, I think people can set up their own separate, right? And then I think there was a very interesting analysis that was on a paper, and I think basically what it did was it tried to look at partners who joined other VC funds or set up their funds, and they wanted a deal. See what the difference in the performance was.

In other words, it's a performance at a fund level or is that the per performance follows the individual partners there? And I thought it was a very interesting paper, which we'll link to in the show notes, but that analysis showed that actual performance was highly dependent on the individual partner.

Right, which was just because of yeah, stock picking, but also the sourcing and decision-making and support. So it's very interesting where it was saying like, it implied that at a fund level performance is more, it's about who is in your partnership rather than what accretes to the fund itself and the firm. And it's almost a bit contrarian to some extent because I think a lot of funds are moving towards, like trying to build out the brand right of the fund. Right. So obviously everybody knew about Sequoia because Sequoia America is famous. It's always in the press. They have great investments.

Shiyan Koh: (08:11)

They're an og.

Jeremy Au: (08:12)

They're the og one of the first gen. Right. And so, yeah it's I think there's, I think there's actually an interesting natural experiment now where we're going to see from the outside and not from the LP perspective, but now we're gonna see, Sequoia China and Ocean, how they're gonna perform moving forward. Without the Sequoia name. Right.

Shiyan Koh: (08:30)

Well, they made a crack in that article, right? They said, we are already known by home Hong Shan, and I dunno how many Chinese entrepreneurs can even spell Sequoia, which I thought was a bit of a ridiculous comment, but it's hilarious nonetheless.

Jeremy Au: (08:43)

And Hong Shan is a Redwood, so it's a different type of tree, I guess. So a nice way to recognize the bit of the business.

Shiyan Koh: (08:49)

A Sequoia is a Redwood.

Jeremy Au: (08:51)

Yeah. Well, okay.

Shiyan Koh: (08:53)

Get it right Jeremy.

Jeremy Au: (08:54)

I got it right. I got it right. I feel like there are other redwoods other than Sequoia trees. That's what I'm saying. But anyway we gotta go. We're not biologists, so I'm gonna, I'm gonna, we're gonna Google and search this later. But yeah, I think the key thing here is that, as you said, I think it is gonna be, I think, interesting to see what the performance is from the outside end. Because I think the partnership is quite clear, partner by partner, the individual performance, right? And so I think we're gonna see also peak 15 go on and make the investment decisions, and that's gonna be interesting because, at the end of the day, LPs will now make a decision, not the Sequoia, the mothership, but in individual funds. Right. And I think also it kind of goes back to what you said about the fragmentation, right? Our sprinting is that now there's Indian LP capital, there's Southeast Asian LP capital, and now there's Chinese LP capital. So it's not just American and European LP capital, right? And so it's interesting to see how that was sought out over time.

Shiyan Koh: (09:46)

And so what do you think the impact in Southeast Asia will be, Jeremy, if any?

Jeremy Au: (09:51)

Ooh. I think frankly Sequoia has had a good brand name in Southeast Asia because Sequoia is always in the news, is always in the press, is mentioned, and has a long legacy, right? And so I think from a first-time or second-time founder's perspective, I think the founder community has always respected the Sequoia brand as a whole. And then, They meet the various partners and associates and on a parallel note, I think a lot of folks who I know who wanted to join the fund as a VC, as an associate or as a principal joined it because they felt like they wanted to be part of that Sequoia brand.

Similar to how you wanna join Bain or VCG or McKinsey, which are all partnerships, right? Global partnerships, I think law firms as well, global partnerships. So I think that was that feeling when you joined this global team, right? And obviously, everybody knew the tradeoffs as a result, right? That you're going to be, there may be more like, what's the word? What cross border, what's the word? Like debates about the staff. Right. Because you are MNC, people kind of expected to move slowly and people knew that you had to work US hours to do calls and stuff like that. It's part of the known thing. Right. And I think it'll be interesting because the truth is Peak 15, nobody has heard of that name before. Right. Today's the first day.

Shiyan Koh: (11:04)

It's from Mount Everest, right? That's the illusion.

Jeremy Au: (11:07)

Yeah, it's the first time. So it's, we're seeing a new brand come into existence. Right? And so I think the market has relearned Peak 15 and to some extent, I think it's more clearly, I think you, you might let them be more nimble, right? Be faster, right? Be more proactive, and get fewer vetoes effectively, implicitly, and explicitly. So I think you could build a pretty strong focus fund over the medium term, right? By, in the short term, I think he has to continue improving their brand. Right? Yeah. Why do you think Shiyan?

Shiyan Koh: (11:44)

I mean, they have a fresh fund. They got a ton of money to deploy. They've known entities in the ecosystem. And so I think in the short term probably shouldn't be any impact. And then it'll be interesting, I think, like you said, to see how they evolve the brand. More mountain references. I don't know. But yeah, it'll be interesting to kind of just see how they take it. I, I think, the Surge program, I think has been hugely popular in the region. And so whether they kinda, maintain that strategy or not, it seems in the short term. I don't foresee it, a ton of changes.

Jeremy Au: (12:14)

I think maybe down the road be interesting. Imagine them competing with each other like you talk because they'll make bets, right, in certain categories. Right. And maybe SaaS, for example, will be all three of them will do some level of B2B SaaS. Right. And they could all compete with each other one day. Right. So I think it'll be interesting to see. I think it'll be press articles down the road about, cousins competing with each other. Right. It's like Romance of the tree kingdoms a little bit. Right. Like one partnership became the tree. Right.

Shiyan Koh: (12:40)

It's like, every Hawker Center feud ever in Singapore.

Jeremy Au: (12:46)

We were all in the Rochor Original Beancurd stall. Yeah. Then everyone's like, your stall is like the original Beancud Rochor and the original Rochor Beancurd stall. Right. And then they always like to locate next to each other so that, they, and it's funny.

Shiyan Koh: (13:01)

I've never understood that. Why do they do that? It's like, I mean, you should spread out, but yeah, it's like all the battles, all the intrigue is always in, like who is the real one?

Jeremy Au: (13:15)

Yeah, exactly. Well, it's fun then people, it's in the press. People choose to go visit both and make a decision.

Shiyan Koh: (13:22)

Yeah, so it's like, is it a real, is it a real feud or is it just a marketing gimmick?

Jeremy Au: (13:27)

You'll see. I think what would be the think are the lessons you think for future VC funds? Because I think we see quite a few folks who are slowly kind of building out that, region by region launch. Right. And trying to be global. Shiyan, you at Hustle Fund as well. You also have a global mandate. Right?

Shiyan Koh: (13:46)

But there's just like three of us. It's not on that scale. Right. I mean, I think, hey, if you get to that scale, it's a good problem to have. Right? If yeah, yeah. I were managing 20 billion and I needed to split away, sorry, Eric and Elizabeth, I'm out. I think we, I think everyone would be fine but I mean, it's not even, it's not just them. Right. Like, there was this big fight at EY, right, recently between the arms of the business, right? Yeah. So, I think this is just like a, it's a pretty normal thing that happens when organizations get bigger, right? This is always like, when do the benefits of centralization, yeah, outweigh or, the benefits of decentralization should outweigh the benefits of centralization? So, I think that's good. Right? And I think, in some sense change is good in that it can reinvigorate and make things more dynamic.

Jeremy Au: (14:46)

It reminds me a little bit of like, it reminds me a little bit about the BCG and Bain and McKenzie. Right. Bill Bain, the founder of Bain, used to be actually at BCG. Right? So BCG divided their team into two, two teams because they felt like, the competition is good. So internal competition is good to keep everybody sharp. And then Bill Bain was crushing it as one of the team, one side of the team. And at some point was like, Hey, I want more economics. And then BCG wouldn't give it to him. And he was like, Hey, yeah, why you gonna do it? You can set up your own company. And then Bill Bain was like, yep.

And then he set up his own company called Bain and Company, which came out of BCG. Right. And he pulled a ton of people, including Mitt Romney out of VCG into Bain Capital. And Bain Capital was highly focused more customer oriented. VCG continues to be a super strong player, but they have a different kind of pedagogy and approach from how the building wanted to take it. And then, yeah, Bain became, the largest in many ways. Yeah, especially in private equity and transactions. Small focus, right? In that sense. So I think, you fast forward today, you're like, yeah, there's McKinsey, there's BCG, there's Bain, and the two of them used to be like the same partnership.

Shiyan Koh: (15:53)

So my old fund, IVP, actually split into three funds. Right, and so the old IVP, if you think about the IVP that's founded in 1978 it was an early stage fund, but then over time it grew and it became sort of multi-stage. It added healthcare, it became a lot of things. And then it split into Red Point, which is in the early stage, and the IVP today, which retained the name, but is a late-stage growth fund, which is a healthcare fund so I think this is very common. It's not as I think it's news because it's Sequoia, right? I think the sort of underlying forces at play are relatively universal.

Jeremy Au: (16:32)

Yeah, I think at the end of the day I think people are like in some weird way, mourning, right? The drop of Sequoia, cuz it feels like it's splitting up. So I think there's a little bit of grief in that short term. But I think it could be a good thing, honestly in the medium, the long term for like, I mean obviously for Hong Shan, they gotta do what they wanna do, right? Invest in what they wanna do and think it would be a good thing for Peak. Right? Maybe. I think everybody recognizes that Southeast Asia and India are different markets, right? From America, Europe, and it's a very different market from China. So I think you might let them build a focused approach. Right. You know what I mean? Tailored for the ecosystem.

And so I think, I don't know, I think there's a little of unnecessary, like backbiting in the short term. I think rumble, but then you're like, yeah. I think in the medium term, I think at the end of the day like it says down the individual partner performance. Right? And you understand the market and can you be responsive? And I think the team's super hungry. Right? Yeah, it'll be interesting to see how everything pans out. Yeah. But I think the super solid team and all the best. And on that note, now we are moving towards, sorry. It was like this, it's like Jeremy is awkwardly the pivot ship, right? Yeah. It is like, okay. Okay.

Talking about looking at the future. We also saw the future. Sorry, I just hate myself so much for that anyway. Okay. We promised to kind of look at this number two thing, right? Which is talking about Apple Vision Pro and talking about, augmented reality and virtual reality and both nerding out a little bit. And so we wanted to chat about that. Shiyan, what are your thoughts? I mean, what's your personal experience with VR and AR so far?

Shiyan Koh: (18:08)

I mean, I have an Oculus headset, right? I bought it for research purposes.

Jeremy Au: (18:12)

And air quotes for those who are listening. Audio only. Yeah.

Shiyan Koh: (18:16)

And I played some. I played a lot of games. But I guess I think it's not really in my flow, right? Like I have to consciously charge it, bring it out, and do something with it. And I think in the Pandemic it was fun to like play Beat Saber and, draw 3D images with my kids. But it's still kind of like a very solitary experience. And in terms of my day-to-day, it's not clear that it does anything so much better than, I want it. And it's pretty uncomfortable, it's hard to wear it over glasses. And so the thing is you're like, oh, it's kinda like a curiosity, right? But definitely, Apple is Apple, so you know, when you watch that video you're like, oh, that's hot. Like I want that but then trying to think about like, and I think a demo would be interesting to go try it is like, is it lightweight enough to wear, right? Is it, will you be able to like, create a much better work environment than I have right now? Here I have, my two monitors set up, I'm pretty comfortable. Is it gonna be a better experience?

I mean, the one for sure that I thought would be better is the aeroplane example. Where you're sitting in economy and you could just block out the entire world and create a much better experience for yourself. I'm like a hundred percent there for that. That is a clear use case. Yeah, I mean I think the challenge with it is like, it's not clear to me what it does better, like so much better that I'm gonna use it in my workflow. I think the aeroplane use case is probably the most compelling one, where you're like, oh, I'm trapped in this tiny seat, but I can just block out everything around me and still have this amazing experience. I'm into that. I'm probably a little bit more sceptical about the productivity use case in that our pretty good setup right now. I've got two monitors here. I'm pretty comfortable. Well, I think it's interesting though, right? But the capabilities, right? The idea that like, there's no controller, right?

You can scroll with hand gestures and you're not typing, you're speaking something into existence. Like if it works that well, sure, that would be awesome. I've already switched a lot of my workflows to audio. So I do send people recordings rather than type because it can be faster on the go. So I could see myself using that if it works well. Right. But yeah I'm kind of curious about that, right? The sort of productivity use case. But I think the other thing, like, that's a little bit creepy, they showed that one where it's like, hey, because it's on your face. They take an image of your face and then they like to use your eye movements to make it look like you're animated. Yeah, that, Jeremy, like it's a little bit creepy. Like I would rather sort of have a crappier picture of you than talk to a facsimile of you that just had moving eyes. Like it, I don't know about that. And maybe there's an add-on later, Where it's like there's an external camera that just shows my real face but with my goggles on or something.

Jeremy Au: (21:31)

They totally could have done that. They made a design decision. They for sure did it. And then they were like, no we'll keep it normal. Right. They wanna make it seamless as much as possible.

Shiyan Koh: (21:40)

But it's like, I don't know, it's all this sort of like uncanny valley problems and so I think that's a little bit creepy. Yeah and maybe, actually you shouldn't try to make the whole thing video, right? Maybe it is fine. It's okay that, we have some calls that are mixed, right? Like someone's audio only some people have video on, they don't, whatever it is. But that seemed super odd to me.

Jeremy Au: (22:04)

It's not that I'm ugly with my video, it's just that I prefer my memoji.

Shiyan Koh: (22:09)

It's weird, right? It's weird. And then I think the last part is like, does it make us more like pod people? Right. Is it even more ready for player one? Yay, but I just think that people need to interact in the real world and so I think to the extent that it helps you when you are working remotely or makes you more productive, all that sorts of, that's great. But I had hoped it would be more like glasses. And I have this problem when I see people at conferences and I can't remember their names, but I remember like weird details about them. So then I'm like, frantically Googling, like product manager, Microsoft, Yale, and trying to like back into their name. Then when I see them I'm like, Hey John, what's up? But it would be great if it had like a little camera and it did facial recognition. It's like, John, you met him two years ago at this other thing, da.

Jeremy Au: (23:05)

This is what happens, right? It's like a Silicon Valley nerd problem. And that's why Google Glass was so popular. But most people don't have that problem. Most people remember the names of the people. I'll share my point of view. I think for myself, I've had every generation of Oculus, Oculus Go, Quest One, Quest Two and I remember the first time I got it, I was in Boston and I put it on and I was trying out the different apps. Cause I'm a nerd, right? And I, and try it out. And I realized at some point that I was most gravitating to was like effectively the Google Maps app. And I was like walking around Singapore and I, at some point realized I was homesick. And then, I came out and my friend who was a VR person was like, oh, what did you do? I did this and I, this gravitates that. Cause nobody knew, right? And she was like, oh, you are travelling you're being a tourist. And I was like, oh, you're right. Like, I was, I travelled to Petra, Jordan. I climbed Mount Everest.

Shiyan Koh: (24:15)

Have you done the Matterport scans?

Jeremy Au: (24:19)

That of course, nowadays is so common these days.

Shiyan Koh: (24:21)

No. But it's even better with the VR.

Jeremy Au: (24:23)

Oh, okay. I haven't done it with the VR.

Shiyan Koh: (24:24)

They've done like, submarines. They've done, like, there's one that's cool that's like, a fire, like a burnt out. Like when you, like you can walk into like a crazy thing. So I think there's like a ton of educational stuff that's gonna be cool that people can do. Right?

Jeremy Au: (24:42)

And I think this is an interesting part. I had all these cool experiences and I was the weirdo in my man cave, just giggling to myself while I play like, tabletop Dungeons and Dragons. And I shared that in a previous episode where I talked about my experience, but at some point I thought that it felt like, 20, 30 minutes to me playing this campaign with a bunch of, like a European person and a Chinese person and an American person with his orcs in the background. And then I realized at some point I was like, oh wait, it was like four hours effectively. And then I missed my dinner with my kids. And I was I know, my God it was terrible. Bored people. And then I was just like and I was like, oh my gosh, it just flew by. It's so much fun. And I just couldn't share the experience with anybody.

Shiyan Koh: (25:23)

Yeah. So that's the thing. How do you do it with other people?

Jeremy Au: (25:27)

And that's what Apple, I think worked hard in the marketing thing to solve what I call like, I don't know, the spouse problem, which is like, are you allowed to put this? Are you allowed to use this on your spouse? Like thumbs up? Or you can give the headset to your spouse and let them see stuff that's interesting to them, like a movie theatre. I think they did that right. Productivity to be able to see your eyes while you're using it. And would my wife let me, put it on my kid and let my kid play with it? Right.

Shiyan Koh: (25:50)

I'm not ashamed to say that a lot of the time that I spend with my wife is us working next to each other on our laptops. Right.

Jeremy Au: (26:00)

Have you ever put a headset that is next to her?

Shiyan Koh: (26:02)


Jeremy Au: (26:03)

It's weird because also you need a lot of space and you're not engaging and your hands are flailing around like a crazy person, like Beat Saber, like, it's like a workplace hazard.

Shiyan Koh: (26:18)

But no, I mean, I dunno. It could be cool if like, okay, like, I mean, part of the workflow now, right, is sometimes I'll be like can you read this email? Like, do I sound? Yeah. Like angry, that kind of thing. It'd be, I mean, it could be cool if you were like side by side and you could sort of like flick something over to them, that or like hey, check this And if I don't know, it seems very in the realm of possibility for the Apple universe, because the fact that we can already share wifi passwords, which is the best feature ever, right. Where you're like please share this with so and so. Like why can't you, you can airdrop stuff, right? So like, you should be able to like, share documents or views essentially back and forth. Like then I think it could be a lot more interesting, right? That like it is has that more interactive quality.

Jeremy Au: (27:14)

Yeah, I know I can imagine myself, like, I'm just like going to scratch my side and then I just, I accidentally like closed my FaceTime call or something like that. I'm just saying like, like, I'm scared. I like my tactile, I use a computer mouse. It is going to be interesting. Oh, I think it was an interesting part where they were like in talking about creepy, so I was reading this Twitter thread and subject verification, but what they're saying from an engineering perspective was that you can click by using your eyes. And so what they do is they're measuring your pupils and your pupils start to like dilate and change.

Shiyan Koh: (27:51)

Because you expect the thing that happens after you click, which I think is so cool.

Jeremy Au: (27:56)

So technically you haven't blinked yet, but your eyes are already anticipating that part of your involuntary muscle. So they're kind of like reading your mind effectively by milliseconds, right? And so they're using that to like encode the thing. And I'm just like, yeah, like, the fact that they have the effect, I mean, really a face idea, right? But now they're doing, they're getting going to get better, representing not just a map of it for authentication purposes, but for communication purposes. I mean, we talked about it in a previous episode. Right. Like, it's just like the concept of our digital identities. It's just like, I would be like I have to meet you in person because I don't know whether it's you or somebody else. Right.

Shiyan Koh: (28:33)

I mean, I think this whole thing, right? AI is just gonna make the in-person so much more valuable. Like the real you. Who is the real you? Do I know it's the real you? Am I even talking to Jeremy? Is this just the Jeremy bot?

Jeremy Au: (28:51)

Yeah, I'm asleep right now and I just delegated auto GPT, my only instruction was to sound professional and sound like I'm adding value to the ecosystem. There you go.

Shiyan Koh: (29:06)

But I think that's kind of interesting, right? It's like, I was talking to a company and they were sort of doing like gifting. But part of gifting is like the personal note and the fact that someone recorded a video or a message to you like it wasn't like your assistant did it or GPT wrote it or whatever it was, right? Like the value of these sorts of artisanal touches goes up.

Jeremy Au: (29:36)

It reminds me of that handwriting startup that I saw like 5 to 10 years ago, and it was this making bank because basically like all these real estate agents and wanted hand write that notes, and so they strapped like a 3D printer person, robot to hand write and look like you wrote it cuz they used that actual pen to write on an actual card, but actually, it was written by a robot. And I was thinking to myself, like, once I heard about that news, I was like, man, way to devalue all future postcards. Right. In that sense. Right. But I think people treasure that. But as this, like you said, right, this is a race to replicate the authenticity. Right. And then internally it degrades the authenticity of that medium.

Shiyan Koh: (30:15)

Well, it degrades the prior signals, of that medium. I don't think authenticity will ever be degraded.

Jeremy Au: (30:21)

But yeah, well, shucks when I get a postcard saying that hey, dear Jeremy, I care about you, and by the way, there's this house next door that's interesting. Like now I, oh shucks, they didn't know me and spend five minutes to think of, heck, the person even doesn't think of the script nowadays. Right, because he just write the whole blurb. Right?

Shiyan Koh: (30:44)

There was an article where someone was talking about what was the societal impact of the button. So like in, Google Docs or in Microsoft Word, right? Basically, they're integrating GPT, and so there's a button that's just like start writing, and it's always easier to kind of edit than it is to come up with new like de novo stuff. But what does it do to the quality of our thinking as a society if no one has to struggle to come up with new things? Like you just kind of edit derivative things.

Jeremy Au: (31:16)

Yeah, it is a fair question.

Shiyan Koh: (31:18)

But I think I have enough faith in the variance of humans that there's always gonna be weirdos who are like, I refuse to press the button. I want to torture myself.

Jeremy Au: (31:32)

Sorry, you're being like, I'm wearing flannel. I'm like, I have a beard. And I'm like, I'm gonna I'm countercultural by writing an email by hand. Sorry.

Shiyan Koh: (31:44)

Exactly like that. I'm building my cabin.

Jeremy Au: (31:47)

I'm gonna be, so it's like I've gotta write my emails. Like a real human would do. Sorry, I'm just like, I was like, oh, you hipster. Because you're already writing this on the laptop. You're already writing an email. You already have wifi, you just re Anyway. But yeah. So do you think you're gonna buy one?

Shiyan Koh: (32:13)

I think for research purposes.

Jeremy Au: (32:18)

It's like, honey, what's this thing? What's this package here?

Shiyan Koh: (32:21)

Eric, Elizabeth and I are already debating who gets to buy it for research purposes.

Jeremy Au: (32:26)

Ship it around and then make sure nobody drops it. Yeah, 3,500. But it's a good point, right? Which is that an at the high end and they're going lower.

Shiyan Koh: (32:36)

Yeah. The Tesla strategy.

Jeremy Au: (32:37)

Tesla strategy and Facebook. And, Carmack was on the Oculus team. They had a conflict in the strategy, right? Because there's a strong push on one side of the team to focus on gaming, focus on the high end, focused on higher resolution, higher price points. And then the Facebook team decided to go in that direction, which was going to us, making sure it's more mass, lower price, point, cheaper. So, of course, I think it makes sense, right? Because Facebook has always been on a mass. They need people to use their services, join the ecosystem, WhatsApp, and be as free as possible, right? And they make money off the data and identity, whereas Apple's always make money on hardware and they're happily charging you that premium, right?

Shiyan Koh: (33:21)

Yeah, totally. So inspiring week.

Jeremy Au: (33:27)

Exciting week. I think I'm gonna buy Gen Two. I think gen one is very hard to justify but I'll buy gen two.

Shiyan Koh: (33:34)

Research purposes.

Jeremy Au: (33:35)

Vision Pro SE Mini. There you go. All right, peace out!

Shiyan Koh: (33:42)

All right. Take it easy.