The Vergecast builds a tech company | The Vergecast

The Vergecast builds a tech company | The Vergecast

Intro and grilling (00:00:00)

  • David Pierce introduces the episode and explains the concept of starting a tech company from scratch.
  • The episode aims to explore the best products in tech and how to create something cool and different.
  • Credit is given to the podcast "The Big Picture" for inspiring the concept.
  • Listeners are encouraged to share their thoughts and feedback on the company-building process.
  • The Vergecast team, consisting of David Pierce, Nilay Patel, and Alex Cranz, acts as a group of CEOs.
  • They discuss and evaluate various tech products and services to determine what they would incorporate into their own company.
  • The team considers factors such as user experience, innovation, and market demand.
  • They brainstorm ideas for potential products and services that could be successful in the current tech industry.
  • The team also discusses the challenges and obstacles they might face in building their tech company.

Introducing the Co-CEOs and game rules (00:02:15)

  • The hosts of the Vergecast podcast are creating a hypothetical tech company by selecting one product from various existing tech companies.
  • They have 10-11 categories to fill, including smartphones, tablets, PCs, wearables, headphones, app platforms, boring B2B money faucets, messaging, streaming services, and a wild card.
  • The goal is to build the greatest tech company in the history of the universe, not to make money.
  • They must agree on every decision, and if necessary, they will vote with a two-to-one majority.

Smartphones (00:06:26)

  • The Vergecast team discusses which smartphone to choose for their hypothetical tech company.
  • If money is not a concern, the iPhone is the best choice due to its strong market position and brand recognition.
  • Other potential options include Samsung, Google Pixel, Nothing Phone, OnePlus, Asus, and Motorola, but these are considered less competitive.
  • The team moves on to discussing which tablet to choose for their tech company.

Tablets (00:10:00)

  • The Vergecast team discusses which tablet brand to choose for their tech company.
  • iPad is excluded as it is an Apple product and they want to avoid lock-in.
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab, Google Pixel Tablet, Amazon's Kindle lineup, and OnePlus are considered.
  • The team decides to choose the Kindle lineup and improve its software.
  • They plan to acquire Amazon's team, including Panos, to enhance the hardware.
  • The Kindle Fire line will be retained for children, while a high-quality e-reader running iOS will be developed.
  • The team considers lobbying for laws requiring schools to purchase Kindle Fire tablets for children.
  • They also discuss the possibility of reviving the Fire Phone with a 3D display and additional cameras.
  • The Vergecast team moves on to discussing which PC brand to choose for their tech company.
  • They consider Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Asus.
  • The team decides to choose Dell due to its reputation for reliability and business-oriented focus.
  • They plan to acquire Dell's Alienware brand to enter the gaming PC market.
  • The team also discusses the possibility of creating their own custom PC brand in the future.

PCs (00:13:13)

  • The Vergecast team, led by co-CEOs Nilay Patel and Dieter Bohn, is forming a tech company called Vergecast Incorporated.
  • They are considering acquiring either Lenovo or Microsoft.
  • Lenovo has good hardware, but they would need to remove pre-installed spamware.
  • Microsoft has the Surface line and control over the operating system, but they would need to improve the hardware.
  • The team decides to acquire Lenovo and rebrand their products.
  • Vergecast Incorporated will produce the Apple iPhone, the Amazon Kindle, and Lenovo's line of PCs.
  • The co-CEOs have not yet discussed their pay structure but plan to make it lucrative since they will only be in the job for six years.

Wearables (00:17:57)

  • The Vergecast discussed potential wearable tech companies to invest in for the next six years, focusing on Meta's Ray-Ban smart glasses, Aura Ring's smart rings, and Garmin's sports watches.
  • Meta's Ray-Ban smart glasses were favored for their growth potential and the company's recent reorganization.
  • iPhone compatibility and seamless smartphone integration were highlighted as crucial factors for success in the wearables market.
  • The Vergecast team is creating a tech company and considering partnerships with Garmin for its features and Apple for its design expertise.
  • Meta (formerly Facebook) was ultimately chosen as the preferred partner due to positive experiences with Ray-Ban smart glasses and potential iPhone integration.
  • Concerns were raised about hiring a hardware team from Meta and potential antitrust issues arising from their partnership with Apple.

Headphones and audio solutions (00:24:34)

  • The Vergecast team is creating a tech company and considering potential products to focus on, including headphones and audio solutions.
  • Sony is a strong contender due to its wide range of products, including the popular party speaker.
  • Sonos is also considered, but the team acknowledges the company's recent reputation challenges.
  • The team decides not to include televisions in their product lineup due to their declining relevance.
  • The team will have a Wild Card round later to decide on additional products, including the possibility of acquiring Sony TVs.
  • The Vergecast team decides to go with Sony as their brand name and rename all of their products to have more letters and dashes in the names.
  • They also decide to take something from Samsung to prevent the argument for the Frame TV.

App platforms (00:29:22)

  • The Vergecast team, led by David and Crayons, is forming a tech company and exploring business opportunities.
  • They decide to focus on making Adobe Creative Cloud more affordable, potentially through a one-time purchase option, and expanding into messaging services to compete with platforms like Google Chat.
  • The team acknowledges potential antitrust concerns due to their dominance in the creative software market.
  • They aim to make Adobe Creative Cloud more accessible and user-friendly while generating substantial revenue.
  • David and Crayons handle the technical aspects of the company, including terms of service configurations and blog posts, and actively engage with advertisers and attend industry events.

B2B money faucets (00:33:55)

  • The Vergecast team is creating a hypothetical tech company and discussing potential revenue streams.
  • They consider acquiring products or services from various companies, including TSMC, ASML, OpenAI, Nvidia, and LG Display.
  • After weighing factors such as profitability, growth potential, and market competition, they decide to focus on ASML, the manufacturer of chip-making machines, as their primary revenue stream.
  • LG Display is chosen as a secondary revenue stream due to the ongoing demand for OLED screens in various devices.
  • The Vergecast team plans to create TVs by combining LG display panels with Sony party speakers and adding pulsing lights.

Messaging apps (00:38:37)

  • Vergecast Incorporated can reinvent any messaging app or platform.
  • They can merge all the different Google chats into one, finally creating a functional Gchat.
  • Gchat has the potential to win people over with Adobe, and they can eventually increase the prices.
  • Vergecast Incorporated is scrapping all other messaging nonsense and calling their app Gchat.
  • Vergecast Incorporated will create a search engine that is not biased towards advertising.
  • They will use AI to provide users with the most relevant and accurate information.
  • Their search engine will be private and will not track users' data.
  • Vergecast Incorporated will create a social media platform that is focused on privacy and free speech.
  • They will not censor users' content and will allow users to control their own data.
  • Their social media platform will be ad-free and will not track users' activity.
  • Vergecast Incorporated will create a line of hardware products that are designed to be modular and repairable.
  • They will use recycled materials and will make their products easy to recycle.
  • Their hardware products will be affordable and will be available to people all over the world.

Streaming services (00:41:05)

  • Acquired TikTok to save America's youth.
  • Disney streaming services are dependent on external licenses.
  • TikTok's business model is free content from teenagers and selling ads.
  • Need to develop a video editor (Cut Webly Cut) to replace TikTok's CapCut.
  • Acquired Kindle from Amazon.
  • Considering acquiring Slack.
  • Acquired iPhone business from Apple.
  • Acquired Kindle business from Amazon.
  • Acquired PC business from Lenovo.
  • Acquired Meta wearables (might kill the Quest).
  • Acquired Sony's Audio Solutions.
  • Acquired Adobe Creative Cloud.
  • Acquired LG Display.
  • Acquired Google's messaging systems (includes most of Google).

Wildcard gadgets (00:45:06)

  • Vergecast Inc can choose any product not yet selected, regardless of category.
  • Possible choices include LG TVs, Storz & Bickel vaporizers, Nvidia Shield, Kia Forte, Samsung's digital camera business, or Fuji's X100 cameras.
  • LG Display is chosen over LG TVs due to its superior quality.
  • Storz & Bickel's volcano vaporizer is selected for its potential in the growing legalization market.
  • Nvidia's Shield TV business is acquired to revive its prominence in the market.
  • Fuji's X100 camera business is chosen for its potential to create a smartphone mirrorless camera.

Buying a startup (00:48:59)

  • The hosts discuss buying a startup instead of starting one.
  • They consider various options, including Rivian, OpenAI, Anthropic, Notion, Stripe, DJI, Canva, Figma, and Discord.
  • They decide on Anthropic, an AI company, as the best option.
  • They plan to keep Anthropic as a separate entity and collaborate with them to improve Siri.

Recap (00:52:57)

  • Vergecast Incorporated, a hypothetical tech company created by the Vergecast team, has acquired various businesses and products, including the iPhone business, Kindle business, Lenovo PCs, Meta's wearables, Sony's Audio Solutions, Adobe Creative Cloud, LG Display, Google's messaging platforms, TikTok, Fujifilm's X100 business, and Anthropic.
  • The company's strategy involves owning hardware like LG Display to gain power over other companies, utilizing Anthropic's B2B focus for potential future dividends, and capitalizing on increasing Creative Cloud fees and TikTok's business model.
  • Vergecast Incorporated plans to implement self-preferencing, requiring users to use specific products like the X100 camera to get the best experience with other products like Photoshop.
  • The company aims to have a trillion-dollar valuation, create a user-friendly website with a clear URL scheme, and adopt a unique naming convention for products using only letters in a non-sequential order.
  • Vergecast Incorporated intends to bring back the popular "Mega Bass" feature in various products, including the iPhone, smart glasses, and g chat.
  • Listeners can share their opinions and suggestions by emailing or calling the hotline at 8866 Verge 11.
  • The show is produced by Andrew Marino, Liam James, and Will and is part of the Vox Media Podcast Network.

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