Welcome to Cloudlandia

Ep122: The Fusion of Innovation and the Natural World

March 13th, 2024

In today's episode of Welcome to Cloudlandia, we reflect on serenity in nature and technology, drawing parallels between Cloudlandia and meticulously raked sand.

Woven into our talk is AI and how it's changing everything, from Evan's course helping us out at work to all the crazy experiments shaking things up. We get into how innovation unexpectedly boosted my creativity, which we're calling "exponential tinkering".

As our annual event nears, lessons in "exponential thinking" add to the anticipation of a reunited community and potential for growth.


  • Dean and I explore the serenity of Cloudlandia and how it parallels the peacefulness found in Japanese Zen gardens, reflecting on the role of imagination in experiencing digital spaces.
  • We discuss the success of Evan Ryan's AI course within our company and how it has encouraged experiments with AI across different teams.
  • Dean introduces the concept of "exponential tinkering," highlighting how AI is revolutionizing the arts and content creation, with a nod to OpenAI's Sora tool.
  • We contemplate the cultural shift toward immersive experiences like VR, while expressing skepticism about their long-term utility and appeal.
  • Dan recognizes the importance of integrating existing consumer experiences to create innovative products, using Apple as an example.
  • We highlight insights from Mark Mills' book "The Cloud Revolution" on the strategic importance of reshoring supply chains and repurposing shopping centers into logistics hubs.
  • We compare Tesla's success to the sustainability challenges faced by other electric vehicle companies that are more dependent on government subsidies.
  • We share anecdotes about the Soviet-era's illusion of luxury, and how modern-day explorers uncover the true state of Soviet infrastructure.
  • We examine the declining enthusiasm for venture capital in the tech world and the concept of "cruel optimism" that can be prevalent in this sector.
  • Excitement is expressed for our upcoming annual event, stressing the value of 'exponential thinking' and the potential growth of our community.
  • Links:



    (AI transcript provided as supporting material and may contain errors)

    Dean: Mr Sullivan how are you, mr Jackson?

    Dan: Well, welcome to Cloudlandia. I'm sitting out in my courtyard and it's a little bit of a cold, rainy morning. I don't know if you can hear the rain gently falling in the courtyard. It's relaxing.

    Dean: Do you have an?

    Dan: umbrella over your head. No, I'm in a. I have a covered, a covered area here that I'm sitting at about. I don't know what you call it, like a lamina or a loja, I don't know how it is, but it's a covered underroof thing, that's attached to my courtyard.

    Dean: What you're saying is that there's something between you and this guy. That's exactly it.

    Dan: I'm not getting rained on, I'm under covered, as they say.

    Dean: Yeah, well, it's sort of a poignant, almost like a Japanese. Stay right, yeah, this almost feels like a Japanese Zen garden.

    Dan: here I hear the like the little the water coming off the roof of a tile roof, so that it's very Japanese Zen actually, because the there's a spout that drains the water down into a drain. Yeah, so nice.

    Dean: Yeah, it's very interesting. When I was a teenager I sort of fell in love with Japanese culture. This would be early 60s, late 50s, early 60s and you know I read the literature, I looked at the artwork. I was interested in their architecture, their history, and then in my military. I was drafted into the US military and got sent to South Korea. And I'm an R and R. Rest and relaxation, that's what they called it.

    Dan: R and R I went to Japan.

    Dean: I went to twice, oh nice. And my memory is of being in the mountains, at a place where they really didn't speak English I don't know even now if they you know, having Americans who was part of their experience, but it was perfectly understandable. I mean, the hospitality was so great. But I can remember being in one of these little rooms where they had. They had sliding doors that would open up and you could see the mountain, you could see the water. And I remember it raining, but I was warm and I had tea.

    And I was sitting there and it sort of corresponded to what my teenage visions had been. I always remember that.

    Dan: That's great. I love it when stuff like that happens. Well, this would definitely be the kind of day that would be conducive to tea.

    Dean: And sitting out here.

    Dan: It was kind of a Zen garden that I have in the courtyard, so it's nice.

    Dean: Yeah, yeah. Speaking of Zen, there's a lot about the jump from the mainland to Cloudlandia that has a Zen-like quality to it, tell me more, tell me more, especially now with the. A lot about it, well, a lot about it. You have to imagine, in other words, that you only get as far in Cloudlandia as your imagination will go. I'm really seeing this. I'm kind of being a creative collaborator with Evan Ryan, still in his 20s, but he's been investigating artificial intelligence for the last 10 years, so he's well into it.

    So basically his adult life has been and he's got a very thriving business and he's got clients from all over the planet. But he wrote one book which was superb. It was called AI as your teammate and he put it together into a six-module coaching course for companies and our entire company went through that.

    Dan: Oh, wow.

    Dean: So it's six to our modules and just to the main. Purpose is just to get people over the hump that this is any scarier than any technology that they've already mastered. It's just a new technology. And it did wonders. It did wonders and I can see the last module was probably four months ago and I can see the investigations and the experiments that are going on across the company, each person sort of focusing on something different.

    And then Evan is writing a new book and I just shared an idea with him and maybe it be a topic that we would discuss today. But I said, there's all sorts of predictions being made by people about where AI is going and where it's going to take us, and both exciting and scary. The predictions are both exciting and scary and what I realized that all these predictions, no matter how expert the person tried to present themselves, was just one person's prediction.

    And more or less their prediction for everybody else was simply what they wanted to do for themselves, Right.

    Dan: Yeah.

    Dean: And I think Mark Zuckerberg and there's all sorts of people the big tech people and government people and everything, corporate people and I say you're trying to make this a prediction for the world, but it's only probably a prediction for you that this is the direction and what I realized is that there's an exponential breakthrough with AI and it's in the area of tinkering, which is a neat word, yes, Tinkering. So Evan and I talked about it and he's going to. You know, he's developing the idea as exponential tinkering.

    Dan: And I really like it. Oh, I like that.

    Dean: That's a good yeah, what a nice combination of words, because, there are kind of two words that are jarring when you put them together, that's very good.

    Dan: I like that a lot.

    Dean: Yeah, so what are you tinkering?

    Dan: with. So I'm tinkering with a couple of things right now and deep into the. Are you talking about technology things?

    Dean: No, yeah. Well, technology, or specifically AI, are you tinkering at all with it, seeing what it can do?

    Dan: I'm starting now to. Did you see the latest thing a couple of days ago? The release of Sora, the video creation tool. Now, that was OpenAI did that right.

    OpenAI has just I think it's only very limitally open to their top tier, you know, data users or whatever, but the demo reels of it you know, showing what it's capable of, and I mean it's certainly you see now where that's the final piece of the puzzle here, like two things have happened in the last 30 days that have really kind of cement where I see this going. I've been predicting here that 20, that you know, almost like the big change 1975 to 2025 will kind of look and the you know all these exponential improvements reaching the top of the asymptotic curve that there's You're using big words.

    Dean: Yes, so Asymptotic, asymptotic. I think that deserves a subhead for our listeners.

    Dan: Okay, Well, asyn, in math when you do exponential, it's exponentially increases, increases, and then it reaches a point where it's just marginally like improving slightly. You know, like there's not really the exponential leap, for instance, of going from. If we just take text, we've gone from, you know, writing it on papyrus or having people hand write stuff.

    Dean: Chiseled as on. Chiseled as in play.

    Dan: Whatever. And then Gutenberg was an exponential leap in that, but it got better in terms of when we were able to, you know, create digital photocopy and things like that, and we got to the text file where you could digitize text and that became a PDF. And now so everything you know, the functional like improvement in text, has really reached the top of. There's nowhere really to go from everything ever written available instantly on any device you have. And that same thing has been over the last 25 years, kind of cascading series of those with increasing complexity of them, right? I think it's not. That's the easiest thing to fully digitize is text.

    And then pictures were the next thing, that you could digitize pictures so we can transfer images, then moving pictures right? Audio, sorry, was next after text, audio images or images, videos. Now we're at the point where you know every piece of media video, audio, text or images is completely digitized. It's available on any device at any time you want it. And this next piece that's falling into place is the ability to generatively create, from description, images and videos that you can describe. And so when you take this Sora, and you take Dali and you take the all the things that are converging with the, with the AI, and we'll give them another two year runway, which would even sort of double their time that they've been in our world Mainstream they'll be fully cemented into the mainstream use. And then you look at what's happening with the release of Apple's new Air Pro goggles, or whatever they're calling them.

    Dean: Vision Pro.

    Dan: Vision Pro.

    Dean: And that is. You know everybody who's going to use any of this.

    Dan: Exponential tinkerers.

    Dean: Yeah, but that somebody who's doing it tinkerers. Tinkerers is just someone who's doing it for their own purposes.

    You know they're not trying to create something for anybody else, they're just for example, I gave you the example that I've had a real interest in. You know, I wrote a new book and I had. I was writing a new book and I had one chapter finished and it was how we put our company together, and the chapter was unique ability teamwork. That, basically, a fundamental difference between coach team members and other team members is that we everybody operates according to their own unique ability within unique ability teams. Okay, so that's that, but I've always had a fascination with Shakespeare. You know he's one of my five.

    Dan: Yes.

    Dean: You know, five lifetime role models Shakespeare, because he was not only a great poet, a great playwright, a great you know creator of, you know, creator of plays, but he was also a tremendous entrepreneur and he, you know, he created the first company that was self-sustainable and he created a new theater and everything else. So he was very entrepreneurial and seems to have made a pile through theater.

    And anyway, but I was always fascinated with the language form that was operating in London in the late 1500s and 1600s. So Shakespeare is 1560, 1560, 1660 years and it was called iambic pentameter and it was a structure where there's only 10 syllables per line. You get to the 10th syllable and then you go to a new line, and so I had one of my team members actually go to AI, go to chat GPT and say we would like to translate Dan's copy into iambic pentameter and it was back in 24 hours.

    Dan: You know came back and I was just fascinated.

    Dean: I was just fascinated with it because I thought differently about my own thoughts when I saw them come back in a different language form.

    In English but about a different structure. So I was sitting there, I was reading it and I gave it to some of our team and I said what do you think about this? And they said, wow, I get totally new thoughts from reading it. It's, you know, the basic ideas, but they're in a different language form. And I said now what I'd like to do is I hear it like it here. It's spoken, you know, by someone who was really great with Shakespeare's language.

    So it was a very famous actor who we have their recordings of, and so we open my team member, Alex Barley, who is British you know. So he's from the UK, so he has a feel for this type of language and he has a feel for theater. And then he worked with Mike Canig's, great friend of ours and.

    Mike. Mike gave him two or three other AI programs that he could take a look at and about four days later I get this wonderfully eloquent reading of a whole chapter in Iambic content and I listen to it every week. I listen to it every week and it does things for my thinking. Okay, and I've shown it to a few people. This is a you know. A number of people have listened to it and they're all say, wow, that's amazing.

    Dan: You did that.

    Dean: Why'd you do that? Why'd you do that?

    Dan: Why'd you do?

    Dean: that Just tinkering? I was just tinkering and I just. I kind of said you know, if I put this together with this and maybe put the two of them together with this, I wonder what it sounds like.

    And I have no intention of, I have no intention of going any further with it, but it really serves a purpose, that it really influences my own thinking and I've noticed that my writing has changed as a result of listening to this for three or four, three or four months, you know, I just I just get a different take on my own ideas.

    Dan: And.

    I call that tinkering, I just call that tinkering.

    Dan: I like that.

    Dean: And I believe that with AI, what you have, there was always tinkering in the technology world, but I think what AI does, it makes, it allows tinkering to be exponential.

    Dan: That's interesting. So there's, I'd say, yeah, you're, there's an artistry to it in a way.

    Dean: You know, in that there's, it's kind of like doing something for your own pleasure for your own yeah, and your own enhancements you know you see, you see an extension of a capability that you already have, but you can see new dimensions of the capability that you already have and that in itself is the reward, that in itself. And people say well, are you going to? You know, I tell people and they say oh, so are you going to actually produce this? And you know, you know like we produce our books. And I said no, I'm just doing it for my own reasons.

    Dan: I just like the feel of this. I just like the feel you know and.

    Dean: I do not think I'm unique in this experience. I think there's a hundred million people doing the same thing with something that kind of fascinates them.

    Dan: And I wonder if that's the artistic expression gene or something. I mean, that's our internal desire to chase our whims.

    Dean: You know, in a way, yeah, that's one of the great joys of the the reason I'm saying this is that we're always making the predictions about who the giant tech giant is that's going to dominate this and I said one I don't see it emerging. I think all of them are scrambling like mad so that they don't get left behind.

    But I don't think the idea of tinkering really exists in that world. You know quarterly stock prices, investments that's what they're looking for, you know, and everything else, but I don't see the dominant player, even. You know, even open. Ai is the dominant player.

    Dan: Have you had some experience? Have you tried the vision pros yet?

    Dean: No, I don't like goggles.

    Dan: I don't need. I mean I'm not inclined either.

    Dean: They're anti social.

    Dan: I wonder you know it's going to be. I know there'll be a lot of people at Free Zone next week that have them that are, so we'll get a chance to try that for sure. But I know my kenix has it.

    Dean: I know Leo as his one of the things that I always look at their past stage right now, but it'd be interesting checking their lives down six months from now whether they're actually using them.

    Dan: That's what I'm curious about, right Like it's so.

    Dean: I don't need to be first in with anything.

    Dan: Right, exactly, yeah, yeah, I think that this chasm it's getting, you know, I think it's getting wider and wider, this that there's even now, nuances of going deeper into Cloudlandia, because I think that's like immersively diving into Cloudlandia and I think that there's. Nick Nanton just posted a thing about some big movie director who was tweeted about. You know, just spent the day editing this is a feature movie, mainstream movie director saying you just spent the day editing in the Vision Pros with, in collaboration with his editor, on a big screen. They are theatrical, like movie screen size and just fascinated. He said.

    Dean: you know, no headache, no anything so I don't know, yeah well, where I think and I felt five, ten years, well, let's say five years ago when people were talking about visual reality, okay.

    Dan: Yes.

    Dean: And Peter Diamonis had a lot of proponents of this at Abundance 360 and I was sitting there and I said first of all, every everything that I've seen I find boring and the reason?

    because what you're seeing is the creation of one brain, and if it's not an interesting brain to begin with, the result of their creation of a VR program is exponentially less interesting. Okay, and what actual reality is good? You know, I look out in my yard and you have the same opportunity there. I look at them and I've got these seven giant oak trees in their yard, I mean they're a hundred, and ten hundred foot oak trees, and the reason I love those trees so much is nobody created them.

    There was no intention for this to happen. It was just a lucky acorn.

    Dan: Right the result of it.

    Dean: I mean they produce thousands, millions of acorns in our yard and it's just squirrel food you know, and and it's the nonintentionality that interests me, it's not the somebody's intention, okay, and one person's story really doesn't interest me for the first time if it doesn't include a lot of other people's stories you know, in other words. You're putting that together, so I don't know. I mean, I think there's a fundamental obstacle to all technological breakthroughs, and it's called human nature.

    Dan: Yeah, this is where that's. What I wonder, is the goggles? Them sound like it. Just it feels like, wow, this is a you know, unless we're at a point where I think the improvement of the vision pros is that you can actually see out of them.

    Dean: Well, you can see out of them and it's got the thing that I think is really going to make a difference, and that's all augmented reality. Yes, exactly In other words, you're looking at a real thing. Yeah, there are useful pictures, useful data, useful messages on it, and there's useful capabilities, in other words, there's like email and, I'm sure, the design.

    You know design tools and everything that you can do and that, I believe, is good, but it'll only, it'll take hold where the use of this speeds up an economic process that already makes money. But you can speed up an economic process.

    Dan: I'm seeing that, if everything is, you know, being shaped to drive us deeper into this cloudlandia existence here, that everything's happening in the goggles, that I was just had coffee with Stuart, my operations guy, and we were saying how it seems like there's a trend towards you know, I have you ever heard the term hostile design for architecture where the Starbucks one of the Starbucks here in Winter Haven just went under when it's 10 year renovation and they completely turned it into like a basket robin's?

    where it's all the character of you know a basket robin's. There's no sense of that third place kind of you know origin that Starbucks started with, where, when Starbucks was first getting started in the 90s, they had, you know, nice design, comfy chairs. It was inviting to come and get a coffee and sit and you know gather kind of thing. And now it's essentially designed with the hey, keep it moving, keep it moving kind of vibe to it. There's no, nothing about the chairs, the seating, it's just literally one long banquette with facing single wooden chairs. You know that, on and round table, so there's no comfort or invitingness to come and linger.

    Dean: Well, they commoditize, so you know. In other words, yeah they start off at very special places. Yeah, and you know you could go in if you could use it as an office, it could be your office all day if you were I think yeah.

    Dan: I think that's what happened is that post as we got into the last ten years where it became more, you know, wi-fi is ubiquitous and, you know, demanded in public spaces like that. That you know I was saying to Stuart. My theory about it is that in the 90s and early 2000s the internet was still a place that you had to go to right, like you, yeah, had to go to your computer to go there, and these third places were, of you know, an important part of you're putting that aside and you're coming to this third place to be there and as laptops and Wi-Fi and all these things made it possible that people could go and set up shop in the Starbucks and spend the whole day there, that became defeated, the whole purpose. It wasn't a third place, it was the place.

    0:25:06 - Dean:
    You know, yeah, and the other thing it became every place. You know, I mean, when you commoditize, it's every place. And, and you know, I mean you know. And the other thing is that there was a fundamental change in the Starbucks culture and I can say exactly when it was. It was in the 90s and I think it was probably around 1995. They said there's a risky part of our future and that is we can't guarantee that we're always going to have good baristas okay, because the real right.

    The real skill I mean of Starbucks is who is? Where the baristas who can do the coffee, just right, and they said we can't. You know, it's too risky and that we become too dependent on these people, you know and they said we've got to make it mechanical and what they did immediately is that their espresso drinks, you know, whatever form it came in, was only 80% as good, but it was predictably 80. The moment you give away quality in order to achieve quantity, you've lost all uniqueness. Yeah.

    I agree, yeah and that's what they've done. And now the other thing is that they created their own competition because people seeing how a coffee operation works, they went to Starbucks University and got their degree, you know, and it probably take a year to do that and they went out and created their own independent coffee shops. So I think those unique coffee shops still exist, but they're not trying to take over the planet yeah, it's really.

    Dan: It's interesting. I'm looking for places like that, but you just it's kind of a sad thing. It's almost like you've talked often about the, the black cab knowledge of the drivers in London that they have London, I think London.

    Dean: London, birmingham and Manchester, I think they have, but the black cabs are the best cabs in the world. Yeah, okay, they're, just there's nothing to compare of what an experienced black cab driver with the black cab experience in the world. There's just nothing like it, and it takes you three years of dedicated study to even pass the test to become a black cab driver, you know and it's very interesting that all of that now can be.

    You know, anybody in their Honda Civic equipped with their iPhone, has the knowledge right on their phone well, actually it worked out, it didn't work out in London right, because Uber came in and they said well, you know, the Uber guys got it, but they have no feel for the city right and yeah, and so within six months of Uber coming in and actually threatening black cab developed its own Uber software, so now they have the Uber software plus the knowledge of the driver yeah, right it's like AI, an AI program defeating world champion, chess champion okay, yeah and within a year, the chess champions just said okay, we've upped the game and now it's us, plus our AI program, against each other.

    Dan: Yeah, it's very. You know, it's a-.

    Dean: Humans are infinitely smarter than technology.

    Dan: Yeah, it's a fascinating time to be approaching your 80th birthday right now too, you know, looking into the next decade here. Yeah, what are you guessing and betting on for the next few weeks?

    Dean: I'm betting that people's grasp of their past is now their trump card. Okay, that the future is completely and totally unpredictable, okay as far as I'm concerned.

    I mean, I think you could predict the future more in the 19th and you know the book you gave me, the 1990, the great change I would think was called the Great Change. If I think back to 1950, where I was alive, I think that the first grade teacher and I had a first grade teacher in 1950, sister Mary Josephia. Sister Mary Josephia, sometime, first grade she says the reason why you're learning this now reading, writing and arithmetic is that when you graduate from high school because nobody went to college in those days- you know, you left high school and you went and got a job.

    She says everybody's going to be looking in the job market at how good you are at reading, writing and arithmetic and showing up on time and finishing what you start and saying please and thank you and everything else. And she was totally correct. In 1962, exactly what she predicted was true. Okay, so try a first grade teacher in 2024, can she predict anything about what a first grader will experience 12 years later?

    Dan: Yeah, no chance yeah.

    Dean: And that's just a general condition on the planet. I just think the future is no longer predictable. So what's the unused resource? The unused resource is your past.

    Dan: Say more about that. What do you mean? The unused resource?

    Dean: Well, first of all, it's unique. I mean, if I sat down with you and asked you questions about your past and it went on for a year day in day out for a year. Not one thing that you say about your past during that year is anything but unique to you. That's true. Yeah, exactly that's where all the raw material is for creativity.

    It's not in the future, you know and it was so funny because I remember four or five times in abundance 360, peter would invite in people from Google, okay, and they had these moon shots, okay, and what was interesting about them? They were predicting new things in the future that hadn't been imagined yet, okay.

    And it seems to me like sparse ingredients, but it was what they were up to and there was presentation after presentation and they had videos on YouTube and everything else. And I said is there any customer experience in this? No, there was no customer experience. They were just making it up, you know, and they were sort of, and these teams were in competition with each other who could come up with the most convincing thing? That didn't exist. And then I kept track of it and over a 10-year period they shot all those projects down. They never went anywhere.

    Dan: Wow, yeah, they never went anywhere.

    Dean: Yeah, and I said, all you do is let's find three examples of things that people are already enjoying, and can we put them together in a new way and create something new where people already have experience? With at least a third of the new thing you know, and that's what Apple does. Apple never does anything. First they sit there and they say MP3 player, napster, making money doing this Internet. Let's put the three of them together and see where they go.

    Dan: Yeah, that's smart. They were doing triple plays and didn't even know it. Yeah, well, maybe they were, Maybe they were yeah that's your clever observation of it, right, exactly, yeah, put a framework over it.

    Dean: There's a great technology thinker by the name of Mark Mills, and he wrote a really interesting book called the Cloud Revolution. Okay, and it's really worth a read. Okay, and what he said? If you go backwards 100 years and you look for all the major technological breakthroughs that have more or less been the mainstream of the last 100 years, he says they you always discover it was never one thing, it was always three things.

    Dan: Oh really.

    Dean: He uses the radio, he uses electricity, he uses internal combustion, he uses cars, he uses airplanes, he uses, you know, motion pictures and all the major things air conditioning and everything, and he shows the three things that went together before the breakthrough was possible. Oh wow, and part of the reason is you're putting together already existing habits.

    Dan: Yeah, that's really. You have to piggyback on something that somebody's already doing, right.

    Dean: Yeah, that gives them their existing habit, even though you're adding. You know you're adding factors that are two other habits. But you have to get people something solid to stand on before you ask them to take a step into the new.

    Dan: What was the name of that book?

    Dean: again, it's called the Cloud Revolution. Okay, the Cloud Revolution.

    Yeah and he uses an interesting example and this is a prediction he's making for the future. He said, with reshoring take place. So that's one factor the supply chains are going to get shorter and shorter in the future, because COVID sort of proved to everybody that relying products that came from a hundred different places and required 5,000 miles of ocean travel to get to us wasn't reliable for the future products you know, foods and everything. So what? The major thing is that you're going to try to have supply chains were important with things as close as possible to where the customers are. And he said that's one trend. Okay, that's reshoring, that's that process of bringing your manufacturing and your industrialization back to close to you.

    That's one factor. The other factor is no longer obsolete shopping centers, Okay. And he said let's suppose that you just take every obsolete shopping center and you turn it into a combination of warehouse, factory and distribution center, Okay. Okay, All the existing infrastructure is built in. That's already zone. It's got huge parking, it's got some massive, big spaces like the big anchor stores, some massive big spaces.

    You already have delivery docks, you have truck docks that go underground and people go yes and everything. And he says but it's obsolete for the purpose it was created for. But he says if you think about it as a nexus point for trade supply routes in other? Words the raw material will come in and then supply routes going out to the actual customers. And he says all of a sudden you got a new use.

    But people are used to shopping centers, people work in shopping centers, you know and everything else he says well, you know, and they have major, usually they're situated where there's major transportation routes, there's major highways, there's, you know. I mean probably the best shopping centers are in places that have, you know, highway access. They have air airline, you know, ups, and so that he says just look, look at a lot of stuff that already exists. Put it together in a new way and people's habits already supported.

    Dan: That's smart.

    Dean: Yeah.

    Dan: I like those things, so that fits in with the whole. Jeff Bezos, you know what's not going to change in the next 10 years model, looking not at what's going to change, but what's not going to change, because that's what you can anchor on.

    Dean: Yeah, it's kind of like I'm just watching all the EV companies, the electric vehicle companies, with the exception of Tesla, because they've got a unique, established niche.

    I don't think any of the other companies that are based on a profit motive are making that forward, shutting, cutting back. Volkswagen is cutting back, gm is cutting back, everybody's cutting back, because they're losing anywhere from $30,000 to $70,000 on a vehicle and it doesn't look like it's going to get any better. Okay, and then, but what made it unnatural is the fact that you had to have massive government insistence for it to even get off the ground.

    Dan: Yeah, you just kind of hit something on the head there, because Elon Musk has definitely thrown his hat over the fence on electric vehicles and it is dominating the market for it, because he's all in on that, which is something that Ford and Volkswagen and all these companies can't do. They're not, they're only like dabbling in the electric vehicle markets, you know.

    Dean: Yeah they did it because there were massive subsidies, there was math, you know, and the states like California were mandating. You know, you know, and by 2035 we won't have any fossil fuel vehicles. Okay, and you know, if the strong arm of government's gonna come on and just forbid the alternative, well, of course we're going to invest our future in it. But those governments are going to be thrown out. I bet the government in California is throwing out within 10 years, I mean you know, by the way, that that just reminded me of something.

    Dan: I just watched the Tucker Carlson interview with Putin. Did you see that?

    Dean: Yeah, Parts of it. I saw a part Okay.

    Dan: Yeah, yeah, nothing extraordinary about that. That wasn't what I was getting to. But while Tucker was in Russia, he did a series of short Videos that were just kind of exploring what is it actually like in a, you know, post sanctioned Russia that you know, yeah, since they put sanctions in place and you know, and it was funny because he was describing, you know, like every visual that we have of, you know, communism in Russia is, you know, empty shelves and limited supply and limited Choice and utilitarian things. So he went, he did a interesting series where he went to a Russian Supermarket to see, okay, so what is it like like? What's day-to-day life like in Russia under sanctions during wartime?

    And it was, you know, the most fascinating like grocery store where you go in and it's the shelves are stopped with Everything you could imagine, all these things. It's a beautiful, clean store, very modern. Everything about it was amazing. They filled up their basket with what would be, you know, a week's worth of groceries for a family of four kind of thing, what you would get if you were kind of feeding a, a family of four and they, you know, found everything. They they wanted a beautifully you know, fresh baked bread, all the staples that you could need. They filled them all up. They all him and the producers kind of guessed that they would have, you know, $400 or 400 worth of groceries if they were buying it in America, kind of thing which was their frame of reference and Turns out they got all of that stuff for like a hundred and four dollars is what it's what it costs.

    Dean: Yeah, don't you find it fascinating that he found the one supermarket in all of Russia where that was.

    Dan: That's what I wonder. That's what I want.

    Dean: No, that's not you think he went there just have passers-by on his own, I don't like to go. Oh yeah, yeah, the Soviets had one in Moscow. It was right near the Kremlin. It was called gum GUM, if you look it up on Wikipedia. Huh, capital G, capital U, capital M, and you went in and it was just well-dressed shoppers, everything you know, I think that's that's might have been where he was. That might have been it, oh yeah, and it's, and it's a show place, it's a show play and that's what they found when they found out the history of it.

    Shoppers would go in and they would come out the front door and then they go around the block, go through the black door Backdoor and give back everything that they had bought, and then it was restocked on the shelves.

    Dan: Oh boy.

    Dean: They were all actors.

    Dan: Oh, wow, very interesting. I wondered the same thing, because they did. He went to a subway station that he admittedly said was the most beautiful. So we never seen a subway station as nice anywhere in in America and it was. They showed the footage of it. You know, beautiful artwork and chandeliers and steam, cleaned cleanliness and, no, no graffiti, all of those things. And it did have the sense of. Is this a show place? Because there's an interesting YouTube channel. There was a gentleman from the UK and his channel is called bald and bankrupt and what he does is he goes just solo with a single camera and he was touring all these Soviet Territories. All the outposts, you know, like that were the height of the thing, to compare, and every one of it is Just like everything is run down. And you know all of the Soviet Union, you know post Communism is completely, you know, run down. And what you would expect, right, what you would that, your Vision of it, and I think that you kind of just hit it on the head. That's that it's more likely.

    Dean: That's like a show place or a yeah that that subway system was put in the 1930s. Okay, they had the boss of it, was cruise ships, cruise ships came in the fame Because he put in. But there was. There was no Limit on cost and there was no limit on how many people died. Building, they asked, made about 20,000 workers died. Putting in the subway system Okay and and, but if those are not cost you pay any attention to, then you can build anything in the world.

    But, if you wanted to go to another city and see the subway, they wouldn't let you do that. You could only see the subway. That they, because subways were a bigger deal you know in the 1930s or 1920s. Then they are now. You know, because most people don't use the subways. But in Europe, you know, where people don't have cars and they live in very dense populated areas, subways make sense. I mean 80 percent of the Public transportation in the United States I'm talking about buses and subways and commuter trains is the greater New York area that once you get outside the New York area, only 20 percent of the public public Transportation public transportation exists because everybody's got private transportation.

    Dan: Yeah exactly right.

    Dean: I mean you got your own. I mean you got a plush Travel vehicle called the Tesla X. You know it's kind of neat. You don't use it 99% of the time, but it's nice having you know.

    Dan: You know what I said. I was talking about you. Yesterday the I was had to drive somewhere that was about an hour away, just over an hour Actually. Dan said a new high watermark for my migration north. I went just about a half an hour north of I for the first time since. What's it like?

    Dean: I mean do you need oxygen?

    Dan: I mean you know I was using the self-drive, which is just name. You know it's only in named and as it has a nervous breakdown if you take your hand off the wheel for more than 30 seconds at a time. But I said you know Dan Sullivan has it figured out. Dan Sullivan has had self-drive since 1997.

    Dean: You've had true self drive, self automatic, self drive you know it's an interesting thing, but what I notice, you know I'm just developing the reason.

    This thing about the past is interesting because I'm writing my new quarterly book right now and it's called Everything Is Created Backward, and what I mean everything that sticks is actually created by starting with the past and picking the best of, and I think three things is really a formula. I mean, there might be things where it's five things, but I think three is useful because you can go looking for three, okay, and what I'm seeing is that the tech world has basically ground to. A lot of people don't know this, but the investment part, the venture capital part of the tech world, has just hit a wall. I mean, there's a massive amount of money available, but nobody wants to invest it because so many things promised as new things in the last 10 years really haven't amounted to anything.

    It's about, I think about less, maybe around 10% of IPOs. You know, initial public offerings have panned out Okay. That's a high risk that you have a nine you know, a nine to one chance of losing your money if you invest in something new, and I think the hype factor for getting investment has lost its energy.

    Dan: Yeah, that's changes everything. This changes everything, oh that's no good, then that's a sure sign that it's doomed. Yeah, this changes everything should be your signal to run away.

    Dean: Yeah, and you know I mean, but it does change everything for certain individuals and this is the mistake. It's like Joe Polish calls this cruel optimism.

    Dan: You know cruel optimism Okay.

    Dean: Yeah, and he has a great take on this, and he said that that when it comes to you know, because he's very interested in addictions and how one gets off an addiction, and he says there's thousands of predictions that if you do this and do this, you get a work for you. And he said what's true about it is it'll work for somebody, okay, but it's their willingness for it to work that actually makes it possible. And so there's a lot of human agency to things turning out the way you want. If you take complete ownership and it has to work for you, probably it'll work.

    But if you think it's going to be done to you and you don't have to do anything probably it won't work. Yeah, that's a very yeah, but I thought it was. But he says it's very cruel Because when it doesn't work and it doesn't work, and it doesn't work, your addiction gets more powerful.

    Dan: I said to somebody I've been talking about. I've often talked about the difference between, in marketing, a slot machine versus a vending machine, and that's a great analogy. It's often the way that most businesses take on marketing. They put money in the slot machine and they pull the lever and they hope that something happens and they're surrounded in a room by all the other entrepreneurs.

    Dean: Yeah, we got two out of three. Or we got two out of three oranges.

    Dan: We got a trend going here, that's right, so everybody's pulling their slot machine and they're all in the same room and somebody hits the jackpot and they all flock over to that machine. Look at the crowd, See see, see, it works. They're like yeah, trying to do the same thing. And then you know every all the testimonials that you see.

    That's exactly what that reminded me of. It's cruel optimism that sometimes see it does work, but they're usually talking about something that happened quickly and to a great extent and once. And it's not the same as the predictable vending machines. Not every time I put in the dollar I get $10 out.

    Dean: But you know, one of them has. One of them comes with a dopamine factor and the vending machine doesn't come with the dopamine factor.

    Dan: That's the truth, isn't it? Yeah, but we're all seeking that excitement of the the lot machine. Yeah, it's a cruel optimism, that's funny.

    Dean: I think it's a good. I think it's a good title. You know, he everything but and. But. It has that somebody else's formula for the future is going to work for you. You know, so I have a. You know I have a little saying that in order to create a more, bigger and better future, you have to first start by creating a bigger and better past. And the reason is the past is all yours to work with. The future is nobody's to work with.

    Dan: Right.

    Dean: Yeah, and so my feeling is the greatest breakthroughs with the new vision pro, you know and you know the other AI technologies that are coming along with it is that my feeling is that the best breakthroughs for this will be actually an industrial work, where you're actually dealing with existing engineering. You're existing with existing infrastructure and I think quality control is going to go way up, as people can check out every system you know and they look at, you know they go backstage, they go into a boiler room and they can do a check with their goggles on of every piece of machinery and they have a checklist, does this check and does this check and nothing gets missed. And I think it's going to. The great greatest breakthrough is going to be an industrial quality control. I think that's where it's going to be most used Wow and warfare.

    I mean all the 35, the latest jets. They operate as six pilot, six plane units. And all, every one of the pilots is aware of the other five pilots and what they're doing. Okay, and they operate as this six person unit, their radar allows them to see 500 miles out in all directions. Okay, and they can see any threat coming, probably two or three minutes before the threat sees them, which makes a big difference, you know.

    So yeah, somebody said, all breakthroughs happen in three ways, all human, technological breakthroughs. Number one is weaponry. Okay, that's number one, number two is toys and number three is porn.

    Dan: So there's a triple play right there in the making.

    Dean: There's a triple play. I mean, if you can check off the box, if this is good for warfare, it's good for play and it's good for porn you got yourself a winner.

    Dan: Oh my goodness.

    Dean: That's funny, I like within three days. The biggest complaint about Apple's new vision pro was you couldn't do popcorn on it.

    Dan: You can't I mean, it's funny, isn't it? That's the way, that's the thing, oh man.

    Dean: Now, instead of being horrified by that, you're being told something important.

    Dan: Yes, exactly that's great. So this, this is the week, dan, this is our yeah, so we'll be in.

    Dean: Orlando at the four seas, in Palm Beach at the four seasons. So Thursday evening will be arriving there. I've got all day Friday completely free. And but we already have Saturday for dinner and Sunday dinner in the calendar with others who have requested it.

    Dan: Okay so so I got lots of time. Okay, so that's my plan Initially. I may come down Friday then, but Saturday was when I was going to arrive, so maybe, let's you know, put Saturday lunch for sure, yeah, if that works for you yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah and yeah.

    Dean: So we're completely, you know, completely flexible with those days All my materials for printing have to be in by Tuesday this week.

    Dan: Okay, so you're gonna. You're a relax and it's all underway.

    Dean: Yeah, it gets printed out of Chicago and it'll be sent to the team when they get to Palm Beach. It'll be in the four seasons and they'll just have all the materials for the workshop.

    Dan: Yeah, I'm looking forward to it. Okay, well, worst case scenario be Saturday at lunch, maybe Friday. I'll come down on Friday, okay.

    Dean: What'd you get? What'd you get out of today?

    Dan: Fascinating, I think this whole. I like this idea of the exponential thinker.

    Dean: I think that I will be there. You should chat with him about it. There's so many people.

    Dan: I'm looking, really looking forward to seeing everybody it's. I can't believe it's been a year.

    Dean: You know, yeah, yeah, yeah. So there, anyway, I think we're gonna have a good. We're gonna have a good, a good event. We have about 70 free zoners and we have another 90 guests.

    Dan: Oh my goodness, wow, okay, great. Yeah, so hopefully that will yield some new free zoners too.

    Dean: Yeah, okay, dean, see you on Saturday. Thanks, dan, bye, and just let Becca know, you know, and she'll work things out.

    Dan: Okay, that sounds great, okay, okay, thanks, bye, bye.