27: The Layoff

Ian Landsman (00:01.132)

Aaron (00:02.446)
Hello, the gifted takes men. Did you see that on Twitter? Somebody called you. I know you saw it. You retweeted it.

Ian Landsman (00:04.952)

Ian Landsman (00:09.112)
So exciting, bad.

Aaron (00:10.606)
I knew as soon as he called you a gifted takes man, I was like, oh no, this is gonna be Ian's new identity.

Ian Landsman (00:16.056)
What a way with words. I was thinking like a neon sign, like right up here behind me, like the gifted takes men, just like maybe an arrow, something like that. Keep it subtle, but like.

Aaron (00:26.446)
Yeah, I love it. I'm totally here for it.

Ian Landsman (00:32.476)
Well, a lot's happened since last recording just a week ago. A lot going on.

Aaron (00:37.486)
Yeah, should we bury the lead and not talk about it for like 45 minutes and make people sit through? Yeah. Talking about socks and diapers for 45 minutes.

Ian Landsman (00:43.288)
Maybe, yeah, maybe some socks. Should we sit talking about socks? Do a little 30 minutes. Yeah. Yeah. Maybe a little diet coke segment. I actually do have a diet coke segment in here to be honest with you, but, um, all right. Well, maybe you want to hit us up with what's going on. Give us a little backstory.

Aaron (00:55.884)
Oh, it's good. There's a lot of Diet Coke content.

Aaron (01:04.046)
I got laid off. So in a way, Ian, you and I are the same because we don't have bosses, right? So we're just like, you know, it's great. It's a good feeling. I love not having a boss. So I got laid off from PlanetScale last week. And that's correct. I do not have a boss. However, I do not. I also don't have any income. So I think that's maybe the biggest. That's maybe the biggest problem. Yeah.

Ian Landsman (01:09.624)
That's awesome.

Ian Landsman (01:25.784)
That's the downside there, yeah. That's a bit of a problem. It's not optimal.

Aaron (01:28.75)
Okay, so getting laid off great for content so great for con is content for it's oh my gosh, I got so many followers. It's Yeah, exactly. So listen, it will do let's do it a little bit up at the top here. You should subscribe to this podcast. I know you're just here because I got laid off and it's a juicy it's a juicy thing. Listen, I don't I don't care if you're just here to hear the layoff story. That's great. Go ahead and subscribe. I'll have any I'll have any money.

Ian Landsman (01:32.288)
Y 'all follower numbers through the roof. This is going to be our biggest episode by far. It's going to be crazy.

Ian Landsman (01:47.544)

Aaron (01:57.198)
I got a million kids. We don't even do ads on this show, but maybe one day. But you know what would make me feel great? If you subscribed, dear listener, that would be amazing. Or maybe even tweet at us. That would be awesome. We would love that. You're gonna love it. It's hysterical. We barely talk about anything, but it's the funniest thing in the world. So stay a while.

Ian Landsman (02:09.24)
It'd be awesome. You're going to love it. Everybody loves the show. Welcome. If you will. Yes. Thank you for joining us. Um, yeah. So, okay. You're laid off. Uh, so I guess we, I would want to say upfront that, you know, you're working out your severance agreement. That's all a little bit in flux. So this is going to be some things you can't talk about.

Aaron (02:24.366)
I'm laid off.

Ian Landsman (02:35.64)
So I might have a little bit of an Ian's corner here and there to talk about some things you might not be able to chime in on. Um, but for people who aren't aware too, even after, you know, very literally like a hundred percent of the time, uh, when you have a severance agreement, like you're going to have various non -disclosure clauses and things. So there's going to be some stuff you can just never talk about the other employees at plan scale.

Aaron (02:40.622)
You can have as many corners as you want and I will just smile along.

Ian Landsman (03:04.856)
So that's just the way it goes, but we, I think we'll be able to cover quite a bit here and I will fill in some blanks. Yeah.

Aaron (03:09.806)
See, this is why I'm glad you're your business dad because you're a reasonable you're the reasonable adult in the room. You know all of this stuff. I know.

Ian Landsman (03:15.448)
I've had to do them. So I know what it's like. Yeah, it's not fun, but it is what it is. So, um, all right. So what happened? So last Monday, I mean, we were talking about the YouTube channel and how much you've grown it and the studio you're building. And like we, we had, we were literally talking about this stuff last week, Tuesday. You're like, Hey, guess what? I got laid off. So what happened? Yeah.

Aaron (03:28.59)
I know. I know.

I know.

Aaron (03:39.23)
Imagine, imagine my embarrassment. Imagine coming on the show and being like, I'm ready to get back at it, baby. And then, yeah, and then when...

Ian Landsman (03:50.168)
That's right, you were coming back off maternity leave. That's right, this maternity leave was over last Friday or whatever it was. Like, oh my gosh.

Aaron (03:57.678)
Yeah, I was supposed to come back on Friday and then on Wednesday I got laid off. So yeah, a little bit a little bit of egg on my face there because I'm like, let's get back at it. Let's make some waves. I did make some waves, however, as made some sympathetic waves instead of impressive waves, but waves nonetheless. So, yeah, I, you know, I was finishing out the studio, which looks great, by the way. I don't know if you.

Ian Landsman (04:10.724)
You did.

Ian Landsman (04:17.72)
Yes. Yep.

Ian Landsman (04:26.136)
I know the pictures look awesome. Yes.

Aaron (04:27.598)
seen pictures, but the Aaron Francis studio of light and sound looks amazing. Good name. Yeah, a great name.

Ian Landsman (04:31.96)
Much better name by the way too. The name, we already, a big upside here is that the name is way, way better. So I already love it.

Aaron (04:37.198)
The name is awesome. It's honestly a placeholder name, but I kind of like the wordiness of it. The Aaron Francis Studio of Light and Sound, it's like, wow, that really hits. That's a lot of words. Exactly. Yeah. I actually stole the ethos or the feeling from a bit on 30 Rock where Tracy Jordan's fake son opens a karate studio and it's like the Tracy Jordan...

Ian Landsman (04:43.416)
It's good. It's like got that Zoolander like school for kids who can't read good kind of thing, but like, but you know, more positive.

Aaron (05:06.67)
karate studio Institute of Learning or something. I was like, that's funny. I kind of like that bit. I'm going to steal it. All of my bits are stolen. So yeah, got laid off on Wednesday. Fortunately, I had booked a midday showing of Dune 2, which you're such a no man because great movie.

Ian Landsman (05:10.584)

Ian Landsman (05:17.048)
Everything's remixed.

Aaron (05:27.886)
You're so, you're just, you and Matt Winsing are just no men. You just gotta, you gotta be a yes man. And I went and saw, so I got laid off and then immediately went and saw Dune too. And that worked out great. That was like my last week of paternity, like, hey, let's do something you wouldn't normally be able to do. Now I can normally do it every single day. So it's like, huh, you know, it's not quite as special. I'm gonna see Dune so many times. I might as well go see it in 70 millimeter now, you know, I got the time.

Ian Landsman (05:27.96)
Ha ha.

Ian Landsman (05:37.816)
worked out.

Ian Landsman (05:45.56)
Right. You could go to the movies every day. You're gonna see Dune II six or seven more times at least.

Ian Landsman (05:56.184)
Yeah, I want to do that.

Aaron (05:57.1)
Although it is expensive and as we've discussed, I don't have the money. So we'll see. It was great. Good. Great movie. I went to Alamo Drafthouse, which is at least a thing in the South. I don't know if it exists everywhere. Does it exist up there?

Ian Landsman (06:08.056)
New Texans. Yeah. We do have something like it in Yonkers, which is like an hour from here. We have I have to do it one time, but like it's like a special trip you have to go on. Like I care about this movie enough to like drive an hour and change to go see it. So really done that.

Aaron (06:15.264)
Yonkers is not a real place.

Aaron (06:19.982)

No, no. So just a little side tangent, because you know what? What else do I have to do? We started early. We're going to go late. What else am I doing? Yeah, we had nothing to do. Buckle up, people. So side tangent on Alamo Drafthouse. It's amazing. If you've ever been to a studio movie grill and you think that it's Alamo Drafthouse, you're 100 % wrong. Studio movie grill is like it's like the low brow version of

Ian Landsman (06:31.704)
We can go four hours. It doesn't matter. We got nothing but time.

Ian Landsman (06:39.704)

Aaron (06:51.982)
Alamo draft house. At Alamo, especially the new ones, the ones built in the last five, 10 years. At Alamo, every seat is a recliner. Every seat has a built -in table, like the two seats share a table in the middle. And the best part is, so like, you will get kicked out if you talk or you use your phone. They will kick you out of the theater immediately. You get one warning, and the way that they do it is,

Ian Landsman (06:56.632)

Ian Landsman (07:18.228)

Aaron (07:21.774)
So you raise these, like you write down what your order is and then you raise it up on a little card. Cause there's no talking even amongst the waitstaff. Studio movie girl, they'll walk in in the middle of a fight scene of the Avengers and they'll be like, Hey, what do you want? I'm like, I'm trying to watch a movie here. But at Alamo, you have to write everything down and it's a snitches get riches situation. So if somebody's talking, you can write it down and be like, Hey, this guy's talking. And they'll come in and be like, Hey, we heard you were talking one more time and you get kicked out. So.

Ian Landsman (07:26.24)


Ian Landsman (07:32.824)
Ha ha.

Ian Landsman (07:45.848)
Oh, right. Yup.

Aaron (07:50.798)
saw Dune II at Alamo and then got out of the movie and was like, oh shoot, I'm still laid off, aren't I? What do I do? That was fun, what do I do now? Yeah, and so then, you know, kind of went from there. But yeah, the whole Monday, come on the pod, get ready to get freaking pumped, Wednesday, oopsie doopsie. Not super great for the ol' ego.

Ian Landsman (07:56.888)

Ian Landsman (08:12.024)
So, wait, I don't want to go past the, we're already on the side tangent. We got to talk just quickly about Dune 2. So, I agree, like, I like the movie overall, it's a good movie, but you can't tell me that when Christopher Walken gets on there and he's like, we need more cowbell here, that that wasn't distracting. Didn't that pull you out of the movie a little bit? Just his voice, didn't it pull you out just a little bit?

Aaron (08:19.854)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh yeah, tell me Dune too.

Aaron (08:26.222)
You're gonna waffle.

Aaron (08:34.222)
We need more, yeah. Okay, okay. His voice, his voice and his like, his facial expressions, yeah. It was a surprising casting choice, I'm not gonna lie. Having, knowing, like I knew ahead of time that he was in it because you DM'd and are like, it sucks. And I'm like, don't tell me that.

Ian Landsman (08:44.696)
Yeah, the acting was bad. His acting.

Yeah, right? It's a little distracting.

Ian Landsman (08:55.864)
Right. I did. No.

Aaron (09:01.422)
So part of me just wants to be the anti -Ian and be like, no, it was great. I loved it. I barely couldn't even tell it was him. They did a great job. Yeah. Yeah. Justice for Walken. Yeah, it was a little bit distracting in the same way that in Interstellar, great movie, they end up on this planet and wake this guy up and it's a cold Matt Damon. And you're like, what? Who knew he was here?

Ian Landsman (09:05.912)
Right. More walking. He should have been in more. Why wasn't he in two thirds of the movie?

Ian Landsman (09:21.496)
Yeah, that is very distracting. Yeah, Matt Damon, same way.

Aaron (09:25.006)
Yeah, this has got to be an SNL bit. There's no way that Matt Damon just woke up and is wrapped in foil right now. So yeah, a little bit. Yeah, can you imagine being so famous that people are like, hmm, yeah, you can't be in that movie. It's too distracting. You got to be a little bit more of a nobody. Yeah.

Ian Landsman (09:32.088)
Right? That was very distracting too.

Ian Landsman (09:39.672)
Right, yeah. You surprised me with that. Yeah, yeah. But I don't know, at least Matt Damon, the acting was good once he woke up and you got past that. Like Christopher Walken, the acting, the voice, the whole thing was like, I don't know.

Aaron (09:50.958)
You really think they cut a little bit out in post?

Ian Landsman (09:54.456)
Maybe, I mean it was bad, don't you think? Like, I don't know. Like he didn't, that whole last scene, he didn't even talk. It's like, he's just standing there weirdly and like, I'm like, it seems like he's supposed to say something, but then he doesn't. Like, it was weird, but.

Aaron (09:58.286)
I don't -

That's true, he's just stood there. Yeah.

Yeah. This is going to surprise you since I'm such a connoisseur of the Fast and Furious films, but my bar for movies is not very high. So, yeah, there's a little bit. There's a little bit about me. Yeah. So I was like, yeah, hell yeah. That makes a ton of sense. Let's do it, baby. The cars are in outer space. Of course they are. This is awesome. So I was I was a little I was a little distracted throughout the movie, you know, was just.

Ian Landsman (10:12.214)

Oh, interesting. You're not that distracted by it.

Ruh -heh -heh -heh -heh -heh -heh -heh -heh

Of course, yeah, why not? All right, so let's move.

Ian Landsman (10:33.048)
Right. Just in general, obviously.

Aaron (10:34.894)
Yeah, just in general. So I will go see it again, because what do I have to do? And I'll probably honestly see it in 70 millimeter IMAX because I missed Oppenheimer in 70 millimeter and I'm bummed about that. So.

Ian Landsman (10:42.84)
I think that that's what I wanted to do. Oh, that was awesome. Yeah. Yeah. I wanted to do that, but I was like, I can't like go all the way. I just wasn't in the mood to go all the way in New York city, which is where I have to go for the 70 millimeter. But I do think that would be an awesome movie. Like the big sand worms and stuff. And if it's as big as a building, that'd be very cool. Um, yeah, big sand worms. And then, uh, and then like most people like in this, yeah, go ahead.

Aaron (10:55.374)

Oh man, yeah.

Yeah, no spoilers, but the sand worms are big. Yeah, they're awesome. Big sand worms. Also, also the guy that plays Elvis, the Harkonnen son or nephew or whatever. I think he's the same actor that played Elvis.

Ian Landsman (11:17.292)
Oh, yo, oh yeah. Austin Butler or something, I think. Right. Yeah. He was really good. Yeah. He was excellent. And I love all the black and white scenes, like the black and white scene, like they need to use more black and white. I love movies in black and white. And I just think like the modern BMO is like, make them really sharp. Like you think of a black and white movie and it's obviously like usually grainy and old and fuzzy a little bit, but like, obviously with modern technology, it's like super crisp and sharp, but in the black and white with the high contrast and so good.

Aaron (11:21.358)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, that one. He's good. He was great. He was freaking me out. Yeah.

Aaron (11:37.838)
Yep, yep, yep. Yep.

Aaron (11:43.918)
Super crisp, almost, yeah, what is it? It almost felt like it was shot in infrared. It kind of has like that, it's super sharp, but it's also kind of like glowy and the contrast is so high. Yeah, it was really awesome. Oh, dude, that was great. Yes. Uh -huh.

Ian Landsman (11:52.758)

Ian Landsman (11:56.6)
Right. They went heavy in there into the high contrast. Yeah.

That stadium I thought was awesome. I thought it was one of the best scenes in the whole, that shot of the triangular stadium in black and white and the sand is just blazing white. Yeah, that was excellent. I loved all that stuff. I loved the Jenny Bezret who comes and seduces him or whatever. I loved the whole thing. The whole thing was good.

Aaron (12:13.708)
Uh huh.

Aaron (12:20.)
Oh, dude, the the the not Jenny Bezret. That's an E. That's got to be an that's an Ianism. That's Chipoltese or whatever. However you say it. The Benny. Jenny Bezret is a friend of mine lives down the street that you're thinking you're thinking of the Benny Jezret. Yeah. Yeah. Great. Love love the Benny Jezret. They're so freaking awesome.

Ian Landsman (12:24.592)
Benny Jesoret? Benny Jesoret. The Jenny Bezret. The Benny Jesoret. Benny Jesoret.

Ian Landsman (12:38.028)
Benny Jets are it.

Ian Landsman (12:44.6)
Yeah, we got more of them in this one, which was awesome. I love all that stuff. I love what's her name with the tattooed face and like becoming the mother. I love a good tattooed face. Yeah, same. I want a tattoo. Yeah.

Aaron (12:48.012)

Yeah, Tattoo Face, awesome, thought about doing it. Yeah, super cool. Yeah, great movie. Great movie, great theater, highly recommend.

Ian Landsman (12:59.764)
All right. Most people, if they got laid off, went to Alamo Drafthouse, they would drown their sorrows in alcohol. You stuck with the, you stuck with the Diet Coke.

Aaron (13:06.894)

Well, Ian, you know, it's a little bit about what can you not have. And so it's like, I'm having Diet Coke. Yeah. I will say, I also had a Negroni. You know, I'm not a teetolar. Is that the right word? Teetolar? Teetol, teetoler. How do you say that? Someone who abstains from drinking alcohol. Man, I love it when I nail one just like on the fly. A teetoler, teetodler, teetoler. I don't know how to say it. I've only ever read it. Yeah.

Ian Landsman (13:13.816)
Right. Trying to avoid that alcohol. Yeah.

Ian Landsman (13:19.8)
Okay, all right. I think so.

Ian Landsman (13:30.552)
Oh wow, look at you! You still got it!

Yeah. Okay.

Aaron (13:38.414)
So I had a Negroni and the guy came back and was like, hey, they can't find Negroni back there. And I'm like, well, that's because it's a mixed drink. It's a cocktail. You're going to have to make it. It's not, you're not going to find it. So my confidence has gone down quite a bit. I'll be honest, but I can tell you how to make it. Yeah. But you know, it was noon, so I didn't want to have like four cocktails. So I had literally three sodas and a plate of chicken tenders and felt like this is it. I'm truly living. Yeah.

Ian Landsman (13:46.23)

Ian Landsman (13:52.6)
the quality of what you're gonna get, right?

Ian Landsman (14:04.888)
That was good. Yeah. We got a little live photo from the, uh, from the movie. That was great on Twitter. We appreciated that. Um, so yeah, so let's get into that. I think that's the next logical step. It's like you announced you're laid off. Um, obviously like posted on Twitter, just kind of let people know. And I mean, what happened? It was really pretty unbelievable. I have it. I mean, like just for a full day or more, I mean, it's still kind of ongoing, but that first like 24, 36 hours was just like.

Aaron (14:09.358)
Yeah. Yep. Yep.

Aaron (14:31.66)

Ian Landsman (14:34.904)
Aaron Francis was the main character on Twitter, which is normally a terrible thing. You were the big good guy. Like that's such a rare thing. Like to be the main good guy character on Twitter, just unbelievable. So, so how did you feel about that? Um, what cool things did you see in there? But it was quite just an outpouring of love. That was really awesome to see it.

Aaron (14:38.61)
I was I was the good guy was the main good guy character on Twitter. Yeah

I know.

Aaron (14:54.38)

It was it was an outpouring of love beyond my wildest expectations. And I felt really cared for. I felt like, oh, this is like this. This feels awesome, like I have a I have not only a lot of people on my team, but it feels like a lot of like really sincere, genuine people that want to see me succeed and are like rooting for me.

Ian Landsman (15:08.856)

Aaron (15:27.758)
like as an individual person. And I was like, man, this is, this is really cool. It's like, I should get laid off more often. Like this is, this, this feels really great. Like, and I think it's a, I think it's a result of, you know, many things. My whole, my whole thing is like, I'm going to be very sincere and kind and generous where I can. And it seems like everyone has come back and given me the same thing, which is super.

Ian Landsman (15:33.56)

Aaron (15:56.302)
super nice. So yeah, I got out of Dune and was just like shocked by the number of responses and retweets and supportive comments and DMs and emails and was just like, this is going way better than I ever expected, honestly, because you know, like, I, I came to

Ian Landsman (15:57.656)

Ian Landsman (16:16.856)
Ha ha.

Aaron (16:24.494)
So I was at a property tax company for like five years, just kind of like working the local business, kind of dorking around on Twitter. Nobody knew who I was. I went to Tupel. I went to Tupel after that for like seven or eight months. Had a great time there. And we both, you know, Ben and I both just kind of realized like, man, this isn't really what Tupel needs and this isn't really what Aaron needs. So that's okay. And I knew that going in. So I like came out of this property tax company for five years, went to Tupel for a second.

Ian Landsman (16:32.918)
Mm -hmm.

Aaron (16:54.35)
and then went to PlanetScale. And that's when I kind of started like being more and more public, especially with kind of the work I was doing at PlanetScale. And I didn't, I don't think it like my brain had adapted to, oh, there are a lot of people that are like super on your side now. But this inciting incident where it's like, hey guys, I kind of need somebody to be on my team. And everybody was like, F that we got you, man. We're on your team.

Ian Landsman (17:11.288)

Ian Landsman (17:18.744)

Aaron (17:19.662)
Like, this is great, it's so wild. I was, you know, showing my wife, I was like, look at all this, look at all this. And she's like, you don't have a job. I'm like, yeah, but look at all these people. Yeah, yeah. How much is each one of those people paying you individually? I was like, nothing, but it's awesome. Yeah, I'm making literally tens of dollars on these impressions, babe.

Ian Landsman (17:27.236)
She's like, but we're broke, great. Did you start to go fund me?

Ian Landsman (17:39.928)
I do think it's sort of a, the timing is like super played into it really well, I guess, too, in a sense, right? Like you've had, you had these babies, people were in the loop on like, you have a second set of twins, which is an interesting story right there. You're having some health stuff. Like, you know, there's just a lot going on. People know your story a little bit. Like it's a little, it's like, yeah, it's very much like a movie script. And then like, Oh, like he's having this hard time.

Aaron (17:47.232)
Mm -hmm.

Aaron (17:51.98)


Aaron (17:59.086)
It does feel a little scripted, doesn't it?

Yeah. Yeah. That's right.

Ian Landsman (18:05.208)
But then you got to go lower than right. It's like right before the rise. It's like, no, like it's hard. He's grinding. It's hard, but now something, something's gotta happen to go down that next level that you just don't expect. That's really extra hard. And it's like, boom, here it is. Like, Oh, how about we lay them off? Like exactly. Exactly. The story only works if you go, you gotta hit bottom first and then rise up. You're there.

Aaron (18:19.948)
Mm -hmm into the crevasse you have to climb down to climb up. Yeah

Gotta hit bottom. And listen, folks, we're there. We found it. This is it. This is the bottom. We've bottomed out completely. So here's the story. Let's recap the story a little bit. Found out we were having a second set of twins. Terrifying, freak. This is all within the past year, right? These twins aren't even four months old to say nothing of being a year old, right? So we've got two -year -old twins. We've got these, we've got...

Ian Landsman (18:33.816)
There we go.

Ian Landsman (18:40.376)
Mm, yeah.

Right? Right? Right?

Ian Landsman (18:51.864)
Right. Yeah.

Aaron (18:55.886)
Don't be confused, we have a first set of twins, right? So we have two year old twins, we find out we're having twins freak out, like, what are we gonna do? We can't do this again, we gotta sell our house. Boom, immediately sold our house, because it's a two bedroom and we're about to have a million kids instead of just two. Sold the house, moved into this rental where we're at right now. So we're renting a house and I'm thinking, you'll be proud of me. I'm thinking all the while, while renting, we've got to buy a house, because if I get laid off, I...

Ian Landsman (18:57.272)

Ian Landsman (19:09.686)
Mmm, yep.

Aaron (19:25.678)
there's no way I can buy a house, right? They want that sweet, sweet W2. And so I gotta buy a house. So unbeknownst to many, we bought a house. Like we're still in the rental right now, but we bought a house. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, it gets worse. Yeah, yeah, yeah, Ian loves it. Yeah, okay, this is great, this is great. I'm telling you, we bought a house, yeah.

Ian Landsman (19:28.472)
Alright. They do like the W -2.

Ian Landsman (19:37.74)

Ian Landsman (19:49.176)
Wait a minute here, hold on. So you bought a house near, near, this is very recently, like. Okay. And it's closed now, you own it and you're paying payments. Okay.

Aaron (19:56.174)
This is in September. Yeah. We own it. We own it fully. Interesting, we are remodeling it. So, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, I know, I know. So, you can imagine we're paying rent in this house. We have a house we're paying a mortgage on.

Ian Landsman (20:10.904)
Okay. Oh, wow. There's a whole side quest that doesn't seem to do about. Okay. Okay. Okay. Yes.

Ian Landsman (20:24.952)
All right, there you go. Are you just making stuff up now? It feels like maybe you're just making stuff up. No, okay, this is real. Okay. Okay.

Aaron (20:25.806)
and we're remodeling. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,

Ian Landsman (20:41.784)
And the right, those Aaron Francis studio of light. Right. Okay.

and remain empty and like, right, yeah.


Aaron (20:56.386)
Because we're like freaking out, we gotta buy a house. So we're in this rental, we got time, we're like, okay, let's take our time, find the house. We found a great house, bought it, we're starting a remodel. The au pair comes, so Jasmine from Germany arrives. So she lives with us now and we pay for everything that she does. Then we have another set of twins, right? So then we have two more babies. It's like, why do one when you could do two? It's called batching. So at this point, we're in November, we're at Thanksgiving.

Ian Landsman (20:59.352)
Need more space, need some, yeah.

Ian Landsman (21:15.416)
All right.

Ian Landsman (21:20.408)
Lots of babies.

Aaron (21:26.83)
We've got two houses, four kids, one job. That will come back, that's important. The one job will come back, yeah. So don't lose that number. And single point of failure. In fact, it has failed. And so then as a treat, as a bonus, Aaron gets rheumatoid arthritis. Can't do anything.

Ian Landsman (21:33.88)
Right? Right? That part's a key.

Ian Landsman (21:40.536)
Seems like a single point of failure issue potentially.

Ian Landsman (21:55.576)
a little extra, a little flavor. Yep.

Aaron (21:56.942)
Just a little treat, just a little treat. Can't sit on the floor and get back up off the floor. My fingers don't straighten out. So I've got these fingers that are all wonky. Get a little rheumatoid arthritis, but it's okay. You know, I'm on paternity leave. Like I can practice de -stressing. I can crush this in my mind vice. So I'm like, I'm doing the whole, we're up all night, we're up all day. We've got two newborns, we're barely making it.

Ian Landsman (22:16.234)

Aaron (22:23.822)
I'm on paternity leave with this disease that's just crippling my body. And then I'm like, you know what? We're back, baby. Like kids are starting to sleep through the night. Like I have some medicine that makes me feel okay, but it still hurts. But I'm like, I'm ready to get back in the game. Boom, laid off. That's it. Game over. The kids stay at four. The adults in the household stay at three.

Ian Landsman (22:44.352)

Ian Landsman (22:49.238)

Aaron (22:49.326)
the properties under management actually increased from the two houses to an apartment studio. And then unfortunately the jobs go from one to zero. So yeah, it's a whole, like, this is a storyline. What happens next? I'm excited to see because we can't dig any deeper. This is the bottom. So we'll see what happens.

Ian Landsman (22:57.472)
There he goes.

Ian Landsman (23:01.784)
not great.

Uh, uh, yeah.

Ian Landsman (23:09.496)
I love having a front row seat to this whole thing. It's fantastic. Yeah. So I mean, one element here is that, I mean, first of all, you just have a great attitude about it, which I think is good. You seem like, you seemed a little perturbed when you got laid off. It's probably the most perturbed I've sensed you. We didn't talk. It was just over text, but like, you know, you rarely get perturbed. So you were a little perturbed, I think, but you, yeah.

Aaron (23:12.814)
It's great, right?

Aaron (23:27.438)
It's weird, yeah, it's weird, right? Yeah. Yeah. Mm -hmm. Perturbed is a good word. You know, Ian, there's a verse in the Bible. You know the Bible, you heard of the Bible, right? Best -selling book of all time. Great. Right in front of or behind Harry Potter series. There's a verse in there about being gentle as doves. I love to be gentle. Love to be gentle. The second half of that verse is be shrewd as serpents. And you know what?

Ian Landsman (23:41.848)
I've heard of the Bible, yes.

Aaron (23:55.662)
Just love it. Love to be shrewd. Love to be gentle. Love to be shrewd. Yeah, we're in the shrewd as serpents phase. You may mistake me for a gentle dove, which I am. I'm also a shrewd serpent. So carry on. I was a little perturbed.

Ian Landsman (23:55.736)
We're moving into the shrewdest serpent's phase. Shrewdest serpent's phase.

Ian Landsman (24:08.344)
Yes. Yes. So you were perturbed. Um, but like, I mean, I think that as this conversation even shows you bounce back, you have a great attitude. You're ready to, to kind of figure out what's next, which I'm excited to talk about. I do think, uh, one of the things we have to touch on in the kind of outpouring of love is I, I've never seen anything like this in terms of the number of just straight up legit.

job offers you received on Twitter is insane, which I think, uh, you know, I am assuming that that at least puts you at some ease. That's like, like, listen, like, you know, right now you can reply to one of literally probably like 30 or 40 tweets that offered you a job and get a job. So that gives you a lot of flexibility. You could take your time, maybe a little bit, figure out what you want to do. Um, but yeah, but I know that was just amazing to see and just wild, but these are like,

Aaron (24:39.66)
Mm -hmm.

Aaron (24:45.198)
It does, for sure.


Ian Landsman (25:06.36)
people in the position, not just like, Hey, I'm some low man, totem pole. And I watch Aaron Francis and I'm like, Hey, you should come work at XYZ. It's like, Oh yeah. The CEO, the, you know, lead person on marketing or whatever, like all these like right people are like, Hey, come work with us. So like an amazing spot to be, um, kind of a whole, I don't know if I want to get into this just yet, but there's a, we got to come back to that point a little bit about YouTube and you and planet scale and how these things all work. Uh,

Aaron (25:09.55)
No, CEOs.

Ian Landsman (25:36.408)
There's some interesting stuff there, but that's at Ian's corner. Yeah, that's at Ian's corner. But all right, so you've set the stage very nicely. That's kind of where we're at. So I guess, where do we want to go from here? Should we talk a little bit about the plant scale end of things? Do we want to talk about? We can do that. We could go.

Aaron (25:38.292)
That might be an Ian's corner, but I'm excited to hear what you might have what you have to say

Aaron (25:58.894)
What are our options? We can talk about planar scale and other things. We could talk about...

Ian Landsman (26:06.136)
kind of some of the businessy end of things. We could go just on, we could get into the YouTube and you and how this all works with the outpouring of job offers. I mean, that's sort of an interesting angle. Um, I don't know.

Aaron (26:19.214)
Man, there are a lot of ways to go here. Yeah, we do. We got so much stuff on the list.

Ian Landsman (26:21.144)
We got a lot of stuff in the list though.

Aaron (26:29.07)
Goodness gracious. Oh, let's talk about, yeah, let's talk about the planet scale end of things. This might be more of an Ian's Corner, but tell me, yeah, you take the lead here.

Ian Landsman (26:39.608)
Okay. Well, I mean, I think, right. Like they obviously let you know and the other people, cause it was, you know, so it was more than just you and more than just marketing. It was apparently sales and marketing is kind of what they said. It sounds like from other posts on Reddit and Twitter and other places that it was some engineers and some other people too, which I'm not super surprised about. Um, just because once you're going to start laying people off, presumably you're going to just.

Aaron (26:43.406)

Ian Landsman (27:06.904)
look around for everybody you might want to lay off and lay off everybody you can all at once, which is not surprising. But I think so part of the outpouring of love was also matched by an outpouring of hate and dislike and anger towards planet scale. And you know, a lot of it to me, so first of all, these things always go bad, right? Like you've never heard ever of like, all those layoffs went great.

Aaron (27:27.822)

Ian Landsman (27:36.12)
The company came off smelling like a rose. Like it always is going to go poorly for the company at some level, right? Like that's just what you're signed up for when you decide you're going to do these layoffs. You know that that's what's going to happen. So there's always going to be like a baseline amount of that. Um, but it does seem like it was more than the baseline amount. Um, I would say, and to me, a lot of it was just how I feel like they handled it very.

Aaron (27:37.638)


Aaron (28:03.936)

Ian Landsman (28:05.208)
poorly, which a lot of people have pointed out. Um, and I, I know it's be a little tricky for you to talk about, but I mean, they have like this announcement post. And to me, like a lot of people are caught up in the, like, that they laid people off at all, which to me, I'm not as bothered by that. Um, I can understand like on a personal level, like obviously I feel bad for the people. I obviously know you, but I can understand from a business perspective. It's like, listen, like.

Aaron (28:14.766)

Ian Landsman (28:31.768)
We have to do something for whatever reason. We're not making enough money. We're whatever, right? And so we have to make an adjustment. Sometimes that happens. OK, I can deal with that. But to me, I guess what it... You can understand on a certain level, right?

Aaron (28:38.59)
Yep. And for the record, I can too. Yeah, makes total sense to me. Yeah. I can mentally assent to the fact that, you know what? Sometimes the revenue and the expenses don't match up quite like you want, and we gotta make the expenses go down. Sure. Yeah, makes, yeah.

Ian Landsman (28:58.84)
Right. And this is a startup. I feel like the people who took jobs here understood the level of risk they were taking on some level, right? And so they know they're not going to work at Google, right? Where it's like, but you can also get laid off from, right? But your likelihood is higher. People have recently. So nowhere is totally safe. But obviously,

Aaron (29:15.938)
Which you can and people have, yes.

Ian Landsman (29:23.544)
Generally speaking, if you go somewhere big and established, it's probably a little less likely than if you go to a startup where it's more likely the thing doesn't even work and it goes to zero and everybody's fired. Right. So, you know, everybody signed up for that. So I feel like there's that's okay. Um, but to me, what I really thought is the whole thing seemed like incredibly rushed. That's the overall impression I have is that it was rushed and in the rushing. They made some big errors and like that post.

Aaron (29:33.07)

Aaron (29:44.858)
Hmm, interesting.

Ian Landsman (29:51.896)
is like the biggest errors. Like people are like, they should have a PR firm and all that stuff. I don't even think they need a PR firm. I think they needed to take their time a little bit and step back and be like, is this post conveying what we want to convey? And I can't imagine that it does. I mean, it's titled Planet Scale Forever, which is like a very bizarre, just the title is bizarre. Like I just fired all these people, Planet Scale Forever. Like that seems like not forever. That seems like you just fired half your staff. That's the opposite of forever. Like...

Aaron (29:59.822)

Ian Landsman (30:19.576)
So right there, it's very bizarre. And it just gets more bizarre as it gets into it. Like basically doesn't mention that they laid people off. Um, doesn't there's no empathy or anything like that there. Um, cause they're trying to, I guess, I mean, it seems mostly opposed for customers. I feel like it probably should be two posts. Um, obviously like thanking the people who got them this far and like, you could go that whole thing. I think there's a way to do that, uh, and be sincere about it. I would think. And then, um,

Uh, and then even the business post of it, that business side of it was somewhat bizarre and just like how it lays everything out. Um, so yeah, I think that, that really what kicked it off is like the combination of like, you're letting go people who are beloved in the community, which is always going to be hard. And then this post that is just bad, um, on a couple levels there. And again, to me, it just felt like really rushed. It's like, okay, like, and I can't even understand that as a business owner. Like if I was laying a bunch of people off.

Like I would just be like, I want to get through this. I just want to rip the bandaid off and move on. But if you just don't take that little bit of extra time there, I feel like you rush it and then, then it's spirals out of your control, something like this very quickly. And it's definitely spiraled out of their control very, very quickly. So I don't know if you have anything on the announcement post or what your thoughts are that. So I will, uh, we'll go, we'll move on for that. Um,

Aaron (31:40.418)
Wow, Ian, that's an interesting that's an interesting analysis.

Aaron (31:47.982)

Ian Landsman (31:48.376)
You know, I think kind of related to that, uh, I don't know, you know, it's like, I don't myself even want to go too, too far down into, um, negativity, but I guess to me it's like the learning opportunity potential of it all for like the listeners. It's like, I think it's informative to think about these things and like, you never know if you're going to be in that spot. And it's like,

Aaron (31:58.682)
Thank you.

Aaron (32:06.186)

Ian Landsman (32:15.608)
The other kind of main takeaway for me personally as a business owner is like, if you're going to be the one doing this, like you just got to stay off Twitter. Like you just got to stay off Twitter. Like you can't be the CEO out there tweeting during the layoffs. You just can't be. Cause it is not literally nothing you can say is going to do any good and it's only going to do bad.

And the CEO of PlanSkills had some crazy tweets that are very also bizarre and just like feed into this whole like are things spiraling in a negative way out of control? So yeah, I don't know. Like, again, like he had a tweet about that the average customer of PlanSkills is $270 ,000 in revenue, I guess a year. Seems very unlikely to me that that would be the case. I can't imagine like the amount of

It's just not big enough organization. This is the whole thing. It doesn't make any sense. So a lot of weird stuff going on out there. Um, so yeah, I think that's all I really had to say about that. We should, let's move on to some other stuff. I think the business, the angle of it, the other kind of big thing is, um, they eliminated the freemium tier as part of this, which I think is pretty interesting. Um, I don't know. What are your, what is it? Maybe just generally, what are your thoughts on the freemium tier? Like obviously you can't give us any details about like.

Aaron (33:15.63)

Ian Landsman (33:32.344)
how well it did. Obviously it wasn't doing that well financially. They didn't think it was positive or they would still have it, right? So, but I don't know. What did you think about it? Like, was that something you heard a lot about or that you relied on sending people to?

Aaron (33:36.238)
I guess not. Yeah. Yeah.

Aaron (33:42.804)
Fortunately, so fortunately, I've been on paternity for, you three months. And so I truly don't have any inside information because I was logged off. So yeah, anything I say is going to be is going to be my own opinion. Yeah, I don't I honestly don't have a problem with like, rolling back the free tier, like,

Ian Landsman (33:48.248)
Right. Right.

Aaron (34:10.33)
Stuff costs money. And I know from many, many public statements and the marketing page, there's a lot that goes on behind the PlanetScale database. It's not just a MySQL instance running on an EC2 box. It's MySQL, it's Vitesse, it's a couple of replicas, it's the entire, it's the whole shebang. And so giving that away for $0 is like, oh man.

Ian Landsman (34:35.516)
All right.

Aaron (34:40.014)
How do we make this work? And so should the free tier have ever existed? I don't know, moot at this point. Interesting philosophical question, but moot at this point. Should it exist now? Apparently not. And I honestly don't have a super problem with that at all. I think if there's anything to modify at the margins, maybe it's communication, but I just don't. Getting rid of the free tier.

Ian Landsman (34:58.328)

Aaron (35:09.294)
Makes a lot of sense to me. Getting rid of me, however, what in the world? I got a little more vested interest there, but the free tier, I'm like, eh, cool.

Ian Landsman (35:12.196)
That makes less sense. So.

I want to get to that. I want to get to that in a second. So, but yeah, on the free tier, I think, again, like just pulling out learnings from this whole situation. I think when you have a free tier, that's not zero marginal cost. So where every new customer costs you some and probably substantial amount of money in a case like this, even if it's, it might be $5, right? But $5 times a lot of free users is a lot of money.

Aaron (35:36.206)
Yeah. Yes, probably.

Ian Landsman (35:48.664)
Um, whereas like in a more pure software environment, all you're costing yourself is rows in a database and there was no database are incredibly cheap. Um, but here to provide somebody with a free service that also is like a good free service that like, yes, it's fast and is reliable and all those things is going to cost money. Um, so yeah, should it ever have existed? Is it a good idea? Maybe not. I mean, this is sort of interesting. One of the things we talked about early on the podcast that.

The CEO plan of scale chimed in on was how I thought that the pricing page was bad and that the pricing was too low. And it was odd because like the whole point of the service to me is that like, if you aren't going to use the thing that comes with your hosting product, if you're not going to use AWS RDS, if you're not going to use Google's MySQL thing, like there has to be like a compelling reason that presumably means. Oh, so either free is a compelling reason, right? But then that's hard to make a business around. Or the other direction is it's premium. Like we're giving you.

Aaron (36:45.102)

Ian Landsman (36:45.848)
something you can't get at RDS. We're giving you more reliability, more speed. We're giving you the cool emails that tell you you're missing an index or whatever. Like these are the premium features you're getting that you don't get from RDS, which is why you should go through the pain in the butt of not just using RDS and use PlanetSkill instead. And all that to me then implies that you should be charging more money. It should be a higher price. It should be not focused on people who want to spend $29 a month because that's kind of the low end of the market there. So.

Aaron (37:13.806)
So what I'm realizing now is that you got me laid off. You, you, Ian, planted a bug. You planted a bug. And it exploded in my face.

Ian Landsman (37:17.97)
Well, this is the whole... Let me tell you. First of all, I don't think that's totally... It might not be totally incorrect. First of all, in that way, pointing out that this is like an enterprise product and not a product that's a freemium product. I hope I'm not the one who actually pointed out to them. They didn't realize it before then, but maybe it did.

Aaron (37:37.134)
Thanks a lot, bud.

Aaron (37:46.606)

Ian Landsman (37:47.544)
But then the other thing that got me feeling very bad, so when you first sent me a message, it got laid off, like I didn't know the rest of it. So I thought just you got laid off. And I was like, huh, like we're always talking on the podcast about like all these ways Aaron can make some more money. Like that's probably not optimal for his career. Like in -house there is probably not the thing your boss wants to hear all the time. But they fired everybody in marketing, basically it sounds like, or the majority of the people. So it wasn't just you. So I was like, all right, it wasn't totally my fault.

Aaron (37:55.52)
Oh yeah.

Aaron (38:00.974)

Aaron (38:04.558)
Yeah, maybe not, yeah.

Aaron (38:11.222)

Ian Landsman (38:17.656)
We started this podcast. It was a chunk. Right. It's something in that realm now. Okay. So where are we going to go? We had a sidetrack and now I lost it.

Aaron (38:17.742)
But now I'm thinking that it's no less than 40 % your fault. Yeah, yeah, for sure.

Aaron (38:32.686)
Let's see, what were you just doing? You were just doing free tier, marginal cost, premium.

Ian Landsman (38:35.544)
Yeah. Well, let's talk about maybe, um,

Aaron (38:40.782)
Oh, one thing I wanted to say, you were talking about the index emails. Like you know, PlantScale will email you when you miss an index. So I was gone when they shipped that and I'm super bummed because I think that is that is super awesome. The schema recommendations thing is like, this is really cool. Real differentiator.

Ian Landsman (38:44.824)

Ian Landsman (38:51.03)
Mm -hmm.

Ian Landsman (38:56.472)
Yeah, that is a cool thing.

And that's a real differentiator. It's like a one time different. It's like one of those things that you're not going to always use, but at same time, it is very cool and something that nobody else has that I'm aware of.

Aaron (39:05.612)

Very cool. Very cool. Very like, very sticky, I think, because it will continue to email you as you continue to do migrations and dork up your database. It's going to be like, hey, you have that one up. That is a super cool feature and one that would make great videos. You can go through each other like, hey, here's why we're recommending this, because look, you have a duplicate index. What's a duplicate index? Let me.

Ian Landsman (39:19.384)
Right? It's always watching.


Ian Landsman (39:28.888)

Aaron (39:36.27)
give you a video, make some jokes and be folksy. So pity, great feature, but you know, that's too bad.

Ian Landsman (39:42.456)
Yeah, yeah. I mean, well, this is sort of interesting. Like this is some of the other stuff I thought would be cool to talk about. Like, well, I guess kind of to cover this, the planet scale end of it specifically, I think it's sort of interesting to think about what their business model actually is. Because when you fire the marketers and you fire the salespeople and you get rid of free tier, that's kind of a lot of the ways people normally get.

Aaron (39:58.028)
Mm -hmm.

Ian Landsman (40:07.768)
business. And so like, obviously, they're out there saying like, this way, we have infinite runway, which is the way things say. And they, you know, presumably, they're implying that now they're going to be profitable. But like in most subscription businesses, you have to continue to replace the customers who churn out and like without any of those functions, that seems difficult. So I guess, I guess my assumption is that they're going to rebuild parts of those functions.

is my guess as like enter, I would think with like enterprise salespeople, like we're going to go hard into enterprise. And so we don't view some of these other functions and probably the existing salespeople as the right fit for that strategy change. But, um, they haven't said, but that would be my assumption. Uh, but yeah, I don't know. I don't know if you have any thoughts in general about the idea of like, obviously it's tricky for you to talk about to some degree, but just in general, this, uh, kind of.

Aaron (41:03.182)
Yeah, tricky.

Ian Landsman (41:06.008)
what their business might be like going forward or what they were thinking.

Aaron (41:10.318)
I'm not sure, and I'll have to tread lightly. I will say, I think it makes, if you're eliminating the free tier, which they've done, I think it makes sense to eliminate me. Just me singularly. I don't know what you do. I don't know what you do.

Ian Landsman (41:22.232)
Right. Mm hmm.

Aaron (41:29.646)
for enterprise accounts without sales. So I'm like, and that's not my world. And so it's not really even useful for me to opine on. I think the only thing I can say is like, if you don't have a free tier, you don't really want YouTube videos blown up and bringing a bunch of indie hackers to your free tier. So yeah, that sucks, but I kind of, it kind of makes perfect sense to me. The rest of it, I can't really say too much on.

Ian Landsman (41:36.108)

Ian Landsman (41:48.096)

Ian Landsman (41:57.048)
I think, well, so that was kind of the other thing I wanted to talk about, because I think it's really interesting when you talk about content marketing and we can definitely, I think, talk about this and is not now planet scale specific. Cause there are kind of two types of content marketing. There's like very keyword focused and really, even if it's like a video, like really focused in on like a customer's pain point or problems, something they're focusing on the customers who are ready to buy. So like.

Aaron (42:14.188)
Mm -hmm. Yep.

Ian Landsman (42:24.6)
This is why Google is super rich, right? Is that it's like you type in what, what's some good help desk software and they're going to give you a bunch of help desk software. And you are just that question that you ask that question means you are looking to buy help the software. And so that's incredibly valuable. Um, but then you have the tier, a different tier of content marketing, right? Which is like the softer kind of element of like, well,

how do I answer a customer service request nicely? Like that's not necessarily somebody who's looking to buy help desk software. And so like, right. And so like that was a lot of stuff obviously on YouTube that you guys were doing was like improving your MySQL indexes. Well, that's an interesting video. That's not necessarily people who want to buy or looking to move platforms or buy these kinds of services that PlanetSkill offers.

Aaron (42:57.998)
It's like awareness marketing.

Aaron (43:13.326)
Right. It's not CTOs looking to find a new database when they're searching on MySQL indexes.

Ian Landsman (43:17.24)
Right. It's, it's 95 % not those people and 5 % maybe right. 98, not those people. Right. So, um, so then it becomes the long game of that, which is like over time, like you're building up a cheap tier or free tier and they move up or just you get to a scale where it's just so many people that it doesn't matter if it's only 2 % are relevant and actually purchase because.

Aaron (43:22.806)
98%, yeah.

Aaron (43:31.99)
Mm -hmm.

Ian Landsman (43:44.28)
2 % is a lot of if you have 500 ,000 YouTube followers or a million or whatever, right? Then you can build that up.

Aaron (43:49.23)
Yep. And if we can bring up Cloudflare, do you know anything about Cloudflare? Yeah. Ian's an investor in Cloudflare through the public markets. Just like a plebe, like the rest of us. I feel like Cloudflare has a great free tier to paid progression. And so the more free people they get, which at this point is 30, 40 % of the world,

Ian Landsman (43:54.072)
Yeah, I've heard of them. Maybe you can tell me a bit about them. Are they a startup? Are they new? Hello, Cloudflare. Unfortunately, through the public markets. So ridiculous. Yeah, why didn't they let me in early?

Ian Landsman (44:13.112)
Yeah. Mm -hmm.

Aaron (44:19.31)
the more that people are gonna be like, all right, this site is now a business site and I'm gonna pay $20 a month or whatever it is. But yeah, they've got a great free to paid conversion, apparently, because their free tier is very generous and they continue to do well.

Ian Landsman (44:33.688)
Well, there's also a couple of ways to think about free tier. And I think people get, there's a couple angles to a free tier, right? There's the direct, like people sign up for free and then they grow and you grow with them. And that is part of it. But I think the real value, this doesn't necessarily apply to CloudFlare, which is very interesting. CloudFlare is very similar to PlanetScale, but in a different type of.

Aaron (44:48.288)
Mm -hmm.

Ian Landsman (45:01.208)
company, like a more just pure software, B2B type company. The free tier, the best free tiers are just pure advertising. Like the trade off you're making with the consumer is you can use this for free, but what you're going to get give me is advertising. So like think of like a newsletter service, like ConvertKit and ConvertKit gives you the little widget that you can embed in your page to like have people sign up. And if you're on the free tier, the widget.

Aaron (45:22.518)
Mm -hmm.

Ian Landsman (45:30.754)
says powered by ConvertKit or whatever it says, right? So now, right, so this is the loop. Now you're not even necessarily worried about the free people. You want more free people, because the more free people is more advertising and exposes you to more people. And some percentage of those people are going to be people who are looking for a newsletter themselves and so on and so forth. So then the...

Aaron (45:31.63)
Oh, I see. Which creates a loop.

Ian Landsman (45:54.232)
Growing the free into paid is one avenue of making the free tier valuable, but also the free tier is in and of itself potentially valuable as advertising that you didn't pay essentially anything for as long as you are running a zero marginal cost business where it's not actually costing you money to host the free people or not a significant amount of money. Whereas, so that's not true of plan scale because it's costing them a significant amount of money for the free tier. And...

Aaron (46:02.294)
Mm -hmm.

Ian Landsman (46:21.848)
To some degree, the same is true of Cloudflare because you're not really exposing people. It's again, like the, you're generating word of mouth, but it still takes somebody to like tell you as opposed to just people being able to see it organically. But Cloudflare has done it very effectively. And I think they've also been really smart about one of the reasons I loved Cloudflare from the beginning was they actually went out and made all these deals with the network, with like the service providers in the data centers and stuff, the backbones.

Aaron (46:29.774)

Aaron (46:34.892)

Aaron (46:49.102)
The backbones, yeah.

Ian Landsman (46:51.316)
directly. And so they have basically all this unlimited bandwidth, which is why they could do things like no egress costs where AWS charges you egress. And like, we can provide all these network services because we have basically unlimited network bandwidth. And so the marginal cost is close to zero and we can absorb a bunch of free people and still make that work.

Aaron (46:55.854)
Yeah. Mm -hmm.

Aaron (47:10.03)
And slightly different, but somewhat the same, Cloudflare gets better the more customer, the more sites they have on Cloudflare. And so to them, there is a little bit of a benefit of the free tier just having people on it, because the more traffic that flows through their network, the better they are.

Ian Landsman (47:18.528)

Ian Landsman (47:24.15)

Ian Landsman (47:27.896)
Yeah, and I know the CEO, if you listen to the investors calls, which I do most of the time, they like the free tier too, because they can roll things out to the free tier, because they're very developer oriented and want people to build on top. And they're also basically building out their own cloud, essentially, of like a little bit edge cloud as opposed to like a traditional cloud.

Aaron (47:32.694)

You're so in. You're so in.

Ian Landsman (47:51.928)
And so they want to have a lot of developers and stuff so they can utilize the free tier also as a way to like just have people using these APIs and things like that, getting feedback and having those kind of loops in place before necessarily these big companies that are going to spend 10, $20 million with them want to do that.

Aaron (48:07.31)
I think they called out the free tier in their S1 and how important the free tier is.

Ian Landsman (48:11.064)
Yeah, they have. They've been all in on the free tier from the beginning. Yeah. So they've optimized a lot of their business around being able to support a free tier as opposed to it being like, it's not like just a marketing thing that's like, well, we should have a free tier and we'll have people sign up and then move up. It's like more ingrained. Um, so yeah, so.

Aaron (48:19.532)
Mm -hmm.

Aaron (48:25.678)

Aaron (48:30.83)
That's interesting. So put a bow on it. What's the good free tier and what's a bad free tier?

Ian Landsman (48:37.112)
So to me, the optimal free tier, I think there's other ways it may work, but the optimal free tier has some type of advertising element where you're exposing just people, you're being exposed to your customers' customers. Like that is ideal. And then of course the free people, some of them will convert up and become paid and that's great. But you're deriving value from them regardless of if they ever move up or not. That if some percentage of them ever send you additional business,

Aaron (48:39.694)

Aaron (48:48.942)
Okay. Love it. Mm -hmm.

Ian Landsman (49:04.952)
you know, by people clicking those powered by links, um, then you're going to be able to make that a plus, uh, situation. Um, and bad free tier. Yeah. It's like a business that doesn't can't derive those benefits. It's going to be much harder because it's, um, just harder to make that flywheel work. You're just giving away more and more resources and money. And, uh, you know, word's going to get out that you can get this thing for free, which is great, but then if you can't make money off those free people, that that's bad. Like, so that's.

Aaron (49:12.59)
Okay, love it.

Aaron (49:26.83)
So... Right.

Aaron (49:33.356)
Bad tier, high marginal cost, no viral loop.

Ian Landsman (49:36.856)
Yeah, without the viral loop, it's tricky in my opinion. Um, all right. So, so yeah. So what are you, so what are your thoughts about the content stuff though? Like in terms of, um, the sort of like broad content marketing and the stuff you've kind of traditionally been doing at planet scale for the most part, I would say, uh, verse more focused, um, the different types of companies that are looking for those different things. Like, I guess, where is your mind at with that stuff? You've obviously thought about this a little bit and like,

Aaron (49:39.214)
Yeah. Hmm. I like that. Good take.

Aaron (50:02.924)
Mm -hmm.

Mm -hmm.

Ian Landsman (50:06.2)
Well, what I was doing maybe isn't that valuable without a free tier. So how do you feel about that?

Aaron (50:13.486)
Just like broadly across the industry. I think, so I think I have good evidence that I did an amazing job at Planet Scale. And I think, you know, I've got tweets from lots of very smart people. I've got, you know, performance reviews and stuff like that. I think I did a very good job. I think we have decided here and maybe,

Ian Landsman (50:17.24)
Yeah, sure, broadly.

Aaron (50:43.054)
this is what precipitated my being let go, it didn't make sense for the business, which is fine. That's not a strike against me, which is something I've had to remind myself of, that I executed faithfully on my duty and it turns out my duty was not needed. It's like, meh, that sucks, but I'm proud of myself for doing a good job. Tell me. All right, tell me in Ian's corner. I love in Ian's corner.

Ian Landsman (51:06.136)
I want to do a little Ian's corner here, just for a second. A little Ian's corner is that, I guess it would make me a little bit worried on the PlanetSkull front because you were clearly doing an excellent job. If we just go by the raw numbers, just public numbers of like last summer, they had a thousand subscribers on YouTube and now they have 40 or whatever. I don't know what the current number is, but it's some 40, 50 X times what they had last summer, right? And so.

So to me, it's like, okay, well, that's even in the world where like you're going more enterprise, like if you get this channel up to 500 ,000, a million, which is the trajectory it's on, that's going to be valuable because you only need to close one or two or three or 10 customers a year from it. And it's going to be valuable enough, right? If you're at that kind of scale. So, so it's like, okay. So they did the math and we're like, well, we can't afford to let it go that long.

essentially is what they're saying, right? Like we can't keep paying Aaron. Um, cause there's even other places they could have cut. Like I know they let go the video editor, um, Steve, who seems like a great guy who you work with, but I could, I could see that. It's like, okay, it's a little tight. We can't have a full -time video editor. Um, so we're going to outsource that, but we're still going to have Aaron do the videos and maybe we're going to cut in some other places or whatever. But.

Aaron (52:16.526)
Love, Steve.

Ian Landsman (52:30.52)
Once you're like, no, we can't ride it out for the year or two years. It's going to take to get to that half a million, um, subscribers to then definitely make it a plus EB situation. As you'd say, um, as I would say, yeah, see, you know, it's a poker term though. You know, it's a poker term plus EB. So a positive, positive, uh, revenue profit generating.

Aaron (52:44.014)
As you would say, you poker degenerate. Nobody, I know it's a poker thing. No one in the world is gonna say a plus EV thing. So you're not a man of the people when you say plus EV. Expected value, yeah. Don't say that like we're all degens. Well, you know, it's a plus EV. The pot odds are good at that point.

Ian Landsman (52:59.36)
profit generating, uh, you know, process. I got to throw it. I got to throw out some, I got to throw out some stuff for the people out there, for my people who are just like, they're out there, the poker players. Um, anyway, so I guess I'd be a little concerned on that front that it's like, it feels like, Hey, we, I mean, it's so hard. I mean, in 20 years in business, I've never had anything work as well as that was working for planet scale, right? Like marketing wise. So you have something that's just.

Aaron (53:12.34)
Yeah, all four of the poker players that listen to us.

Ian Landsman (53:29.208)
clearly super working and to say, listen, we can't afford to let it ride out for the year or two that to become a full on juggernaut at any level. Like forget the free. It doesn't matter. Like they still have a base tier that's $39. It's not like the base tier is now $80 ,000 and like it's just pure, pure enterprise. It's like, no, you're going to get some $50 signups along the way. Right. And then.

Um, you could have even tweaked it a little bit. Like maybe you do do more videos that are like, let me tell you how awesome planet scale is specifically. And like, right. So there's other things that could have been done and you could have mixed that up a little bit besides just the more general type of videos. So there's a lot that could have been done there. And to say like, listen, we can't keep paying Aaron to do that because I mean, because there's not enough money would be the logical outcome you would think there of what you're thinking. So.

Uh, so anyway, that's kind of like a little like, Ooh, I don't know. That's like, it's a little tricky that you have this thing that's really on fire working and you don't think that's worth keeping is, is a little bizarre to me. Um, a little concerning, but anyway, continue on. Yeah, that's exactly, that's why it was Ian's corner.

Aaron (54:36.27)
That's an interesting thought, Ian. That is Ian's corner. I love Ian's corner. We gotta make that a regular thing. Things Ian talks about where I respond with, that's an interesting thought, Ian. Yeah, I love that. It's a good bit. We love a bit. So broadly across the industry, I think, well, I will say one is I have been very, very,

Ian Landsman (54:43.544)
Yeah, that's a segment. We gotta keep that going.

Aaron (55:05.358)
like encouraged to be of course recognized by all of our friends and you people.

Aaron (55:14.478)
super encouragement. Another thing specifically that has been a super encouragement is two giant youtubers have called me out by name. So Theo, the JavaScript, primarily JavaScript guy, T3, and then the Primogen, who's coming to Lericon, which if you haven't gotten your Lericon tickets and you want to see an unemployed Aaron Francis on stage alongside the Primogen and Adam Wathen and Taylor Outwell, yeah, yeah, that's a long way away.

Ian Landsman (55:27.768)

Ian Landsman (55:35.534)
Hopefully not unemployed then still, but we'll see. The primogen also did a very nice breakdown of the situation. So if you want a nice little breakdown there, we can link that in the show notes, but he did a nice job.

Aaron (55:44.418)
He did. He did.

I was surprised and pleased to hear Theo and Prime both say, specifically, Aaron Francis did a great job over there. And Theo, I think Theo said, like, PlanetScale is one of the only companies to have figured out B2B YouTube. And so I think, you know, I definitely learned a lot while I was at PlanetScale. And I think one of the things that I noticed is a lot of companies try to do B2B YouTube, and it's just, like, it's just...

Ian Landsman (56:06.388)

Aaron (56:19.762)
like nobody watches it and it just is boring and it sucks. And so I think across like the entire industry, I think it can work. I think I've proven it can work, but it has to be done a little bit differently than I think, you know, taking a webinar and slapping it on YouTube. And so, yeah, I don't know. I don't know that this says much about the industry, you know, as a whole, because I don't know exactly. I don't know anything about it.

Ian Landsman (56:45.77)

Aaron (56:49.838)
plant skills economics or like what their next plans are. So I don't want to paint with too broad of a brush, but I think if you have maybe if you have a free tier that works super well and is viable, then being on YouTube, I think specifically being on YouTube, if you can crack it, it is like the ultimate, the ultimate hack because YouTube's distribution is unbelievably large and even like,

I was even surprised that people on YouTube stumbled across it and it's not my audience, it's YouTube bringing people in. And that was the thing that was surprising to me. I thought, okay, I could drive some of my friends over to YouTube and we could get views, but that's not what happened. It was like an entirely separate and discrete audience altogether that YouTube delivered to us. And so I think it can totally still work, I really do.

Ian Landsman (57:28.472)
Yeah. Right.

Ian Landsman (57:44.536)
Yeah. Especially, yeah, like you said, the get the way the algorithm there works is like, if you, if you hit the marks, like it can just drive an insane amount of subscribers and views and everything.

Aaron (57:54.126)
I think one of my plant scale videos has like 375 ,000 views, which is crazy. And like two or three of them have 100 ,000. It's like, man, that's wild.

Ian Landsman (57:58.456)
Which is crazy for this type of thing.

Ian Landsman (58:06.136)
So this is an interesting thing to talk about too. I think the idea that in this situation, and I think you'll be able to talk about this, because it's not really about planet scale at all. It's about when you have somebody become the face of the organization, it's a very, it's a weird spot for the business, right? Because like the Aaron Francis is the face of planet scale. But.

Aaron (58:22.03)

Ian Landsman (58:29.272)
Aaron Francis was the face. This is all where it gets weird, right? It's like, um, it gives, you know, that person has an outsized amount of influence potentially. Um, if something happens to them, forget like they go off, they could obviously get another job, but just anything happens to them, right? Like they're gone. Now, like your marketing is highly dependent on this one person who is really good at what they do. Um, so that's just a very,

Aaron (58:29.39)
Was... Was... Was the face of Planet Scale. That is it, that's get weird.

Aaron (58:41.514)
Mm -hmm.

Aaron (58:48.748)
Mm -hmm.

Ian Landsman (58:59.426)
complicated situation. So I don't know if you have any thoughts on that in general.

Aaron (59:05.454)
I do have a few thoughts in general, and I think I knew that all along that like I was the face of Planet Scale. And I think the public response has proven that out. Like there are like six people that tweeted at me and they're like, I thought you were the owner of Planet Scale. I was like, no, unfortunately, that was just another pawn.

Ian Landsman (59:25.464)
Yeah, exactly.

Ian Landsman (59:34.072)
I fired myself.

Aaron (59:35.31)
But yeah, so I don't know. I think it's interesting. To some extent, it is a little bit risky. In this case, the risk wasn't that I would leave, because I was very happy there. The risk was that they decided from a business perspective, it doesn't make sense, and they let me go. And so do I feel super bad? No, because I like, again,

I like I did my duty and was faithful to execute on my role. But it is kind of, you know, it is kind of a risk to like give someone those reins, I guess, unless you know they're super gonna stay or you're super gonna keep them. Like, yeah, I don't know.

Ian Landsman (01:00:19.736)
Right. Well, that's what, yeah, that's exactly what I was thinking. Like, I mean, I guess I wonder how much of letting you go is just, um,

Ian Landsman (01:00:31.832)
there is this risk out there that like we're going to have to really.

Aaron (01:00:35.566)
Right. Yes.

Ian Landsman (01:00:40.344)
obvious that like, if he's bringing in all the people, then like, he's going to need an outsize. He's going to wise up. He's going to ask us for a lot of money. Um, yeah, exactly. So that's, I mean, obviously you don't, you don't know the answer to that, but I mean, that's something I thought about. I think the other thing is, I mean, I saw this a long time ago with one of our competitors called help scout. And they had been like really killing the content marketing back in the beginning.

Aaron (01:00:45.358)
At some point he's gonna wise up and he's gonna ask for a lot of money. He's gonna become shrewd instead of gentle and he will ask for more money. Ah, damn. Yeah.

Aaron (01:01:01.778)
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Ian Landsman (01:01:07.288)
And as far as I'm aware, they took the guy who was doing all that, this was all written. And I'm pretty sure they like made him a part owner. Um, like he wasn't originally an owner and they like gave them like more than just options. Like they gave him like a piece and like wrote it out. And it's like, that's kind of the thing you have to do sometimes. Um, yeah. Should have let you in on that. Apparently it might not gone that well for you. I don't know. Who knows? Maybe back then. Yeah.

Aaron (01:01:11.822)
Mm -hmm.


Aaron (01:01:21.294)
Shoot. Why didn't you just tell me that six months ago, man? Where are you now? Come on.

Aaron (01:01:32.142)
Well, if I was a part owner, I wouldn't mind, yeah.

Ian Landsman (01:01:34.616)
Well, no, I know, but I mean, like, maybe they would have wised up then and been like, Hey, this guy wants money. Get rid of this guy. Um, I don't know, but yeah, it is, it is an interesting dynamic. Um,

Aaron (01:01:37.91)
Ah shoot, you're right. You're right.

Aaron (01:01:47.918)
Yeah, you brought this up several episodes ago and I think I turned it into an impromptu Ian's Corner and said, that's interesting. Yeah.

Ian Landsman (01:01:50.614)

Ian Landsman (01:01:54.392)
Right. Well, I guess we'll see it. We're seeing one way that it can play out. It kind of has to. It's pretty much, I don't think it could ever go down the middle. I think it's kind of like, it's going to, if it's, if you have it successfully working, it's either going to go towards, we're going to lavish, lavish this person and they're going to be like our spokesman or that it's not going to work because like we're too dependent on them and we don't want that dependency. Um, but I think it would be hard to be in the middle, uh, on it.

Aaron (01:02:00.91)
We are.

Aaron (01:02:06.254)

Aaron (01:02:18.094)
Right, yeah. Yeah, I feel like in some regards, Scott Hanselman is this way at Microsoft. I know Microsoft doesn't need him, but it does feel like he's a little bit of a public face to a certain community. And then I feel like, who was Kelsey Hightower working for, for Forever? Do you know? Or was he independent?

Ian Landsman (01:02:28.792)

Ian Landsman (01:02:34.04)

Ian Landsman (01:02:39.128)
Uh, no, but I know I haven't followed him that much, but I'd seen them on Twitter. But see, I think the thing like Microsoft is different, right? Cause ultimately they're so huge. They don't care. They're going to be like, they might, they might be able to be like, he might be able to get a little more money or whatever. He's doing a good job and that's all fine. But they're just so huge that like at the end of the day, they can afford to go out and find more amazing talent if they need to. And they can do it easily ish. They could do it that way too. Right? Like they have a lot of options, whereas like a

Aaron (01:02:44.526)

Aaron (01:03:01.23)
And they can also afford to pay him $5 million a year. Yeah.

Ian Landsman (01:03:07.928)
a startup is a little, is harder for them to pull that off, right? Or even just to replace you. If you walk away and you start your own consulting thing, like we talked about last week on the show, if you left and did that, they wouldn't be able to replace you even for more money. They would be hard. Their reach is not as big as like a Microsoft and things like that. So, and just, yeah, sheer dollars would be hard too. So, all right. So,

Aaron (01:03:09.952)

Aaron (01:03:14.134)
Mm -hmm.

Aaron (01:03:17.706)
You alright? Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Aaron (01:03:29.452)
Mm -hmm.

Ian Landsman (01:03:36.664)
What else we got here? Let's, let's go, let's, let's switch. Let's switch the future. Let's, let's, let's get focused on the future. Yeah. So, so what are you thinking about? Obviously you there's 50 job offers on the table. Um, some very impressive companies including, I mean, I can, I mean, cloud flare was one of them. Um, a lot of other big name companies and there's just people publicly posting. So, um,

Aaron (01:03:41.006)
I love the future. It's better, gotta be better than the past, right? That's the best thing about the future.

Ian Landsman (01:04:06.264)
So you have those opportunities. You have obviously going your own way. Like we already talked about last week. Um, I think this kind of opens up maybe some other possibilities. Like, could you have a job that's not full time and give yourself more time to do some of your own stuff? So there's a lot, a lot of potential. So what are you thinking about?

Aaron (01:04:27.694)
Well, let's turn the tables before I poison the well on what I'm thinking about. What are you thinking about? If you were me, or in fact, if you were Ian, which you are, what do you think is the obvious move for Aaron Francis in this situation? What's right in front of my face?

Ian Landsman (01:04:31.328)
Luke, huh?

Ian Landsman (01:04:36.184)
Yeah. Oh, I like where you're going with this. Yeah. I am Ian. Last I checked.

Ian Landsman (01:04:45.256)
Okay, well, I'm gonna have to ask you a question and I don't know if you can answer it, but I can't answer it without the question, which is, it depends a lot on your financial situation. Like if you are like, hey, it's pretty tight, then my answer is gonna be probably different than if, hey, we have a good amount of saved and I could take some risks.

Aaron (01:04:52.11)
Okay. Okay.

Aaron (01:05:09.484)
Mm -hmm.

Ian Landsman (01:05:10.712)
Um, I can answer both ways, I guess, maybe you don't necessarily have to answer about your financial. Okay.

Aaron (01:05:13.422)
No, I can answer a financial position question. The Francis family, completely discreet from PlanetSkill Incorporated, the Francis family has plenty of runway. We're fine. We can take some time.

Ian Landsman (01:05:28.248)
Okay. Okay. Okay. So then, uh, I think in that scenario, what I would probably do is I would be leaning more towards some type of trying your own thing, I think, um, because it seems like that's a good opportunity for it. Like if you could start up with, you've already been thinking a lot this direction. Um,

Aaron (01:05:34.368)

Okay. Okay.

Aaron (01:05:50.988)
Mm -hmm.

Ian Landsman (01:05:52.856)
If you get in another job, like that's going to, you're still going to be having these thoughts, but you're going to be trying to do a good job at the other job. And you know, I could see that being non -optimal in some ways, potentially. Um, so I'd probably lean towards that. I do think, uh, because also if you have the runway, these jobs are going to be there. Uh, so if not every single one of them, right, but you will be able to get another job. I think we, we.

Aaron (01:05:58.668)
Mm -hmm.

Aaron (01:06:03.694)

Ian Landsman (01:06:18.84)
The ship has sailed on like, you are not employable. Like you are going to be employable and it'll be fine. So if you take a year and try something risky and it doesn't work, then you'll be okay. You can just go get a job and it'll be fine. My asterisk to all that would be, I would still take some calls with the most promising of the job offers.

Aaron (01:06:22.414)
I think so.

Ian Landsman (01:06:43.8)
And see what they're talking about. Cause maybe they're just talking about an amount of money that's so much that, uh, it's more than you're realistically going to do yourself, especially if you're more on this, like consulting angle and not like building a software product or something like that. Um, cause ultimately the green, if you're a consultant, there's only so there's generally a ceiling, like a few people can break through the ceiling and get into the many millions or tens of millions, but that's pretty rare. Most of the time it's like.

you know, there's going to be some kind of upper limit, a million, a million and a half, whatever, because ultimately it's your time and you only have so much time. So, um, so I would probably take a few of those calls and see what people are thinking. And if there's something just really incredibly interesting, um, and incredibly, you know, lucrative that might make sense to go that way, then that would be motivating, of course, in its own way. Um, yeah, that's probably what I would be thinking if I was in your shoes.

Aaron (01:07:17.996)
Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm.

Aaron (01:07:29.486)

Aaron (01:07:42.926)
Nailed it.

Ian Landsman (01:07:43.82)
Die! Woohoo!

Aaron (01:07:45.742)
Got it, 10 for 10, baby. So I have right now 20 interviews booked. Maybe more. So the rest of my day, this is my nightmare, but my calendar is just totally striped with calls. So here's kinda how I'm thinking about it.

Ian Landsman (01:07:51.736)

Ian Landsman (01:07:58.818)
That's a great negotiating position.

Ian Landsman (01:08:08.6)
Wow. Yeah.

Aaron (01:08:15.406)
I want to take all these calls because if there's a job that I get on the phone and it seems really compelling and they want to give me a good amount of money, that's awesome. Yeah, I love that. Love that for me. Thank you very much. So I want to take all these calls and see what's out there because this is the first time I have ever publicly hunted for a job. And I just don't know. I don't know what's out there. I don't know.

Ian Landsman (01:08:24.42)
Right. Yeah. Yep.

Ian Landsman (01:08:39.192)

Aaron (01:08:42.35)
the state of the market, it's never really been on my mind. You know, I wasn't, when I was playing the skill, I was very happy and didn't even like, didn't look around. It's like, I don't know what's out there. And have never ever tweeted and been like, hey, everyone, I'm looking for a job. Cause like that has never come up before. So I'm very interested to talk to all these people. Regardless of if I end up taking, you know, I can only take.

Ian Landsman (01:08:46.57)


Ian Landsman (01:08:58.328)
Right? Yep.

Aaron (01:09:09.454)
one job and I may take zero jobs, but it's still good to like talk to these people and you know, they have done me a favor by like reaching out. And so I would like to talk to them and see what's going on and see if I can help. But I go ahead.

Ian Landsman (01:09:21.976)
There is also, well, I was just gonna say there is also like we, it's often, especially on Twitter, like idealize the like indie whatever, bootstrapper and being your own boss and all that stuff, which it is, does have amazing benefits in areas, but there is something really awesome and I do miss a lot of the like, you work in a bigger company trying to do something that you, that a small company can just never accomplish. It's just not.

Aaron (01:09:32.142)
Mm -hmm.

Aaron (01:09:50.03)
Yes, totally.

Ian Landsman (01:09:50.648)
possible. Like you're part of a larger initiative, making something big happen in the world that just can't happen in a 10 person company. It's not what it's set up to do. And so I do think that, or as a consultant or whatever, like this is like, it's a bigger type of change. And so that is compelling in, in, if you're into that kind of thing, and it's something worth thinking about too, I think.

Aaron (01:10:01.388)


Aaron (01:10:11.24)
Mm -hmm.

And that was one of the fun things about playing a skill is like, I got to watch all these, these uber geniuses build stuff. And it's like, man, the stuff, their stuff we're building is very good. And I was like, proud of that. So yeah, there's, there's absolutely an aspect of that. So I'm going to take all these calls and I'm going to take them in good faith. If there's a good enough job, I'll take it. These aren't just like, I should just talk to people. So I'm going to, I'm going to see what the world has to offer. And then I agree that this is like,

Ian Landsman (01:10:21.368)
Right, exactly, yeah.

Yep, yep, yeah.

Ian Landsman (01:10:35.672)

Aaron (01:10:44.494)
This is a low risk time, I think, if I were gonna try something, this would be the time. Because I think I could publicly come out and say like, hey, I'm gonna try to do my own thing. And then six months later, come out and say, hey, my own thing failed, I would love to get a job. And some percentage of people are gonna be like, great, you can still, let's re -interview, let's do it again. And I don't think I've lost too much. I think it does seem...

Ian Landsman (01:10:52.714)

Aaron (01:11:14.542)
It's really exciting to me to like go out and try to do my own thing. So I don't know. I'm still actively thinking about that pretty hard. The downsides do seem pretty small to trying my own thing right now.

Ian Landsman (01:11:25.912)

Ian Landsman (01:11:33.688)
I will, I have a devil's advocate position here.

Aaron (01:11:37.486)
Okay, so you're both angels, angel and demon, because you started out by telling me I should do it.

Ian Landsman (01:11:39.926)
I'm both, yeah. Yeah. Sure. Now I'm going to tell you why you shouldn't do it. Um, I guess the thing that the, definitely the biggest negative to me. So it sounds like financially it's not like super tight sound. Obviously I think you're right. Um, we've agreed that like these jobs will be here in six months or a year. If you need to go get a job, if it doesn't work out to do your own thing, I think that's fine. Um, but.

Aaron (01:11:45.71)
Okay, tell me.

Aaron (01:12:03.086)

Ian Landsman (01:12:08.408)
I do think in terms of your actual life where it is right at the second, I don't love it for starting a big new thing. Um, I just think like you have two tiny babies, you have two, not that tiny babies. Is it the arthritis? Right. So I do think when you're under that kind of stress and time commitment, it could be any of those things. Um,

Aaron (01:12:12.688)
Okay. Okay. Is it the four kids? Is it the arthritis? Is it the two houses? Is it the apartment? Which one is it, Ian? Or the type one diabetes, lest we forget. Don't forget about that one. That's the OG right there.

Ian Landsman (01:12:36.6)
Yeah, right. So that's the one I'm least worried about because it was, whatever you've been dealing with that one for 15 years and right. You know, what's up with that. So, okay. Like we could, that's like in your daily routine at this point to kind of manage, but these other things are not. And I, you know, I did it having babies and it was super hard. Um, and that was just like with one and then the second, and then later the third, when things were more established, but you know, yeah, it's way easier.

Aaron (01:12:39.884)
I got that. I do have that one under control. Yeah. Mm hmm.

Aaron (01:13:01.102)
Sounds easy. Yeah. Yeah. Yep.

Ian Landsman (01:13:04.894)
twins and more twins and everybody's under three. So I do think that's the part that gives me a little, it's definitely, I mean, and I'm not telling you anything you don't know, but it's worth some heavy consideration because like, there's just going to be the grind and the hard parts and the like, there's no vacation time and the pressure on yourself. If you're not working, the money's not coming in and all that stuff is there and, and just a lot of added stress over just

Aaron (01:13:24.812)
Mm -hmm.

Aaron (01:13:31.61)
Mm -hmm

Ian Landsman (01:13:32.856)
I clock in and I have a sub team that supports me and they're doing stuff for me and whatever I show up and I bang out some videos and like I can take a week off if I need it and I'm still going to get paid and all that stuff. You have healthcare, like all that stuff. You don't have to figure out healthcare. You don't have to figure out retirement. You don't have to figure out all this stuff you have to do. Um, you don't have to set up a company and do all these things. And like, so there is like so much overhead and stress there that, uh, just at this

Aaron (01:13:44.16)
Mm -hmm. I have health care. Yeah Yep

Ian Landsman (01:14:01.592)
phase of your life feel a little tricky, but at the same time, you know, it is an, it is also presenting itself as a good time to do it. So it's, it is both sides there. I don't know if it's like, might be something to think about. Is it something where you could have a partner or, uh, uh, initially an employee, like pretty early on or something like that.

Aaron (01:14:17.886)
Mm -hmm. That is, the partner thing is very much on the table. Yeah, I don't wanna, I don't wanna, yeah. So I'm actively talking to somebody about going out solo together, which would be duo in that case, going out duo. Yeah, so that's very much on the table. My, my,

Ian Landsman (01:14:25.944)
Yeah, yeah. So something like that where it's not just you taking it all on.

Ian Landsman (01:14:35.614)
Yeah. That's all though, do I?

Yeah, I think that would be.

Aaron (01:14:46.982)
to your counter counter is I, yes, turns out the money was absolutely necessary. I loved working at PlanetSkill, but it turns out the money was, you know, getting paid is a big part of it. So yeah, that's kind of an important detail. Where does the money come from? So yeah, going out and doing the work on my own would be fun, but you guys gotta get paid. I got seven mouths to feed here. So.

Ian Landsman (01:14:47.884)
Mm -hmm.

Ian Landsman (01:15:02.378)

Ian Landsman (01:15:06.232)
Right? Gotta make sure, right?

Aaron (01:15:17.486)
My counter to the counter is I've been basically trying to do all of the stuff we're talking about on nights and weekends. And there's a part of me that thinks like, oh, thank God I'm free now. Like.

Ian Landsman (01:15:24.658)
Right. Yup. That is always, I feel like any listener in the show has gotten that impression. Like, well, Aaron's trying to run a complete business on the side. He's got 42 side projects and like, yeah, for sure.

Aaron (01:15:37.39)
Yeah, I'm trying to, yes. Yeah, and so like trying to faithfully execute my duties at planet scale, which I think the record will show that I have and run everything else is like, that's stressful. But so now we're trading a little bit of like, I don't, like I have nine to five free now. And so I'm not trying to squeeze it in.

Ian Landsman (01:15:54.036)
Yep. Right.

Aaron (01:16:06.99)
The corollary is I don't have the money. And like we said, the money turns out as a crucial part. So like, where does the stress meter go now that I have eliminated the nine to five requirement and I can focus all of that energy on Aaron Francis Incorporated? I don't know which one moves the stress needle up higher or down lower. So.

Ian Landsman (01:16:12.44)

Ian Landsman (01:16:28.824)
Right. Which will be an interesting experiment if you do not get a job right away and it's like, you could try it and if it turns out, hey, it's way too fricking stressful, like whatever, you go get a job and that's fine. And I also think this is a little bit of opportunity to kickstart the Aaron Francis Inc. world because you're having all these conversations, some percentage of these people, hey, you can rent Aaron Francis. Yeah, there we go. So if you can get a couple clients out the gate to...

Aaron (01:16:39.354)

Aaron (01:16:46.546)
Mm -hmm.

Aaron (01:16:53.358)
Bingo. Yeah. Yeah, I think so.

Ian Landsman (01:16:57.816)
consult with or whatever you're thinking about doing, that might be an interesting opportunity here.

Aaron (01:17:01.534)
Yeah, I think so. And I think this is also, if I do go down this route, this is also like, I have the attention right now. Right? So I have the cultural conversation headed my direction, which is good. And so now if I can take all these interviews this week and then decide next week, I think I can still capitalize on this wave of like social media attention.

Ian Landsman (01:17:12.28)
Yeah, which is great for this kind of thing.

Ian Landsman (01:17:26.328)

Aaron (01:17:31.31)
And I think that's pretty important.

Ian Landsman (01:17:33.464)
So what are you thinking? I don't know how much you want to tell us, but what are you thinking about if you do go out on your own? Like what, what are you thinking?

Aaron (01:17:38.214)
So if I do, which is still an open question, I think screencasting .com becomes an empire, finally. So I'm already talking with several people to do extra courses for it. So that would be like deep dives into ScreenFlow, Adobe Premiere, Camtasia, like have six different courses on these editors, right? And so like you take the flagship course from me,

Ian Landsman (01:17:47.59)
Mm -hmm.

Ian Landsman (01:17:55.864)

Ian Landsman (01:18:02.68)
Mmm, yep.

Aaron (01:18:07.022)
that tells you how to do screencasting, philosophy, ethos, like tips and tricks to make it go faster. And then you pick your favorite editor and you get either a course for me, if it's ScreenFlow or Steve the editor, if it's Adobe Premiere, these different instructors that are like, great, you watch the flagship course, here's how we execute that in the software that you have chosen. So we do that. That becomes, we do a, add a forum, add...

Ian Landsman (01:18:25.636)
Yeah. I like.

Aaron (01:18:35.822)
a bunch of other stuff to make it more of a destination instead of just a course. And then try to make that evergreen and experiment a little bit with paid ads to see if we can make those numbers work because this is again, it's such a broad topic that I think, you know, I gotta get outside my bubble with it. So that's a latent asset that I think can be beefed up pretty quickly. Yep.

Ian Landsman (01:18:39.766)

Ian Landsman (01:18:46.84)

Ian Landsman (01:18:59.42)
For sure. And just the YouTube, the YouTube of that, like, I feel like there's a lot you haven't done for yourself on YouTube that to reach that broader audience. And it's so obviously it's video and lends itself presumably very well to that.

Aaron (01:19:07.39)

Exactly. Yep, exactly. So I think that's probably right in front of my face, step one. I think step two is I focus a little bit on my own courses for a second. So I have maybe two or three courses in my heart of hearts that I could crank out. And so I think I can do a few of those. And those would be good for like cash infusions.

Ian Landsman (01:19:26.424)

Ian Landsman (01:19:39.256)

Aaron (01:19:40.11)
you know, if I can crank one out in a month or two and get a big launch that would, you know, that could set us up for the rest of the year even. So I think that's interesting. So I think I'm kind of seeing the product mix as a combination of my own first party, basically teaching, so education material. Then the layer on top of that is some sort of training slash consulting.

Ian Landsman (01:19:46.2)

Ian Landsman (01:20:08.98)

Aaron (01:20:10.03)
And I think I could get, I think I could get, like I did a team training last week for screencasting .com and it was a freaking blast. It was great, loved it so much. Very easy for me and I think very valuable for them. And like I could do way more of those. And so maybe I take, you know, maybe I take the show on the road and I'm like, hey, look at these numbers that I did for Planet Scale. Look at these numbers I did for my own channel. Like you.

Ian Landsman (01:20:14.804)
Right? Yeah.

Ian Landsman (01:20:22.456)
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Ian Landsman (01:20:33.528)

Aaron (01:20:37.41)
I wouldn't say this if I wasn't sure of it, but you know who I am, right? Like I could go to somebody that knows who I am and be like, you know who I am because of this. Let me help your team do that as well. And I think that could potentially lay a good base of consulting revenue. So that's kind of what I'm thinking, product mix of products and consulting.

Ian Landsman (01:20:41.016)
Right? Yeah. Right. You know what I've done. Yeah.

Ian Landsman (01:20:57.176)
And I do think, I mean, I like it. I like it. And I think the risk, there is overall fairly, again, it's like, I think if you were like, I'm gonna start a SAS, right? Or whatever, like the risk would be very high. But I think with this, like, I have some rough idea, let's say, of what you were making at plant scale. And to match that or, and obviously, hopefully go beyond it, I think is...

Aaron (01:21:10.382)
both yeah

Aaron (01:21:23.598)
to double it. That's my, that's my, yes, double it and then double it again.

Ian Landsman (01:21:25.368)
to double it as we talked about last week, right? Like I think it feels achievable that like you could pretty, with the reasonable amount of effort, replace your salary at least at the very, like if that's like the minimum level, right, right, right. But even if we go, if we go baseline, what's the like minimum acceptable outcome? It's like, hey, I work for myself and you know, I,

Aaron (01:21:34.794)

Aaron (01:21:40.11)
And with maximum effort, with maximum effort, boy, we're getting a million dollars a year, baby.

Ian Landsman (01:21:55.)
I have a similar salary to what I used to have. That's like, at least you can keep going and working on stuff. And then obviously the upside is much higher. Right. You have everybody run away as they say in the business. And then, um, and then you can, uh, build on that. Yeah. But I do like the idea, especially of. Cause screencasting there, it's like, it's everybody's loved it. Who's taken it. So it's just like a valuable asset and having that asset work for you, I think would be really good. And then, um,

Aaron (01:21:59.022)
Yeah. At that point, I have infinite runway.

Aaron (01:22:06.606)
That is a term of art.

Aaron (01:22:18.126)

Ian Landsman (01:22:25.464)
is a nice balance to like consulting work, which might have ebbs and flows based on the economy or different trending things or YouTube and chat bots and whatever, whatever it's happening. Technology can go up and down, right? Who knows? But then if you have like the baseline asset, that's always performing an X and then you layer on some consulting. Um, yeah, I think that makes a lot of sense. And right.

Aaron (01:22:28.172)

Aaron (01:22:36.726)
Whatever comes next, yeah.

Aaron (01:22:45.644)
Mm -hmm. And then I find more baseline assets to layer on. So I have screencasting, I turn it into an evergreen thing, and then I find the next one. And I have a few ideas for what the next evergreen, broad -reaching thing could be that I won't spill here. But I think that could be a thing. One thing I'm trying to think about is how broadly can I teach? Because if I teach something like integrating

Ian Landsman (01:23:10.028)

Aaron (01:23:14.164)
integrating clerk into Next .js. It's like, great, congrats on your 50 students, right? But if I can teach something like screencasting or like maybe for example, generic database, something like MySQL, then the total addressable market is just so much bigger. So that's something that I'm actively trying to think about.

Ian Landsman (01:23:19.132)
All right.

Ian Landsman (01:23:27.32)
All right, yep. Yep, there's a lot of stuff in SQLite land these days. I could see that Aaron Francis SQLite angle taking shape. I don't know, that is crazy. Huh.

Aaron (01:23:40.622)
Man, I wonder who owns SQLite for developers .com. That's crazy. I wonder who owns, goodness, Postgres for developers .com.

Ian Landsman (01:23:53.56)
I wonder if they're in this room with us here. Wow. Wow. It's kind of surprising that was available to be honest with you. So yeah.

Aaron (01:23:55.918)
I don't know. I wonder who owns MySQL for developers .com.

Yeah, imagine that. So yeah, there are lots of things on my mind. We'll see what, you know, I think I'm trying to execute on the things in front of my face first. Should I go down this route, right? Like I may talk to any number of these companies and be like, holy crap, I'm not going solo. I'm going somewhere where they'll pay me and give me healthcare. So.

Ian Landsman (01:24:25.656)
I do. I like that whole series. I mean, I do think you've here's one of the things I've learned, right? It's like, I've always been looking for like the next thing to what's the next thing. I should be looking at thing. And then like, I just realized, oh, like the next, I had one good idea and it's still the good idea. And so like also being aware of that, like, like kind of like what you're saying here, right? Like, Hey, you're really good at explaining database stuff to people. And maybe that's just the good idea. And like,

Aaron (01:24:32.334)

Ian Landsman (01:24:52.28)
it would just run with that in different angles and strategies and formats and whatever. And we can just like, obviously it's a beautiful topic that can be sliced and diced in a thousand different ways. And so.

Aaron (01:25:01.838)
Yes, we have not even reached, we haven't mined this vein for one tenth of its worth yet. Yeah, there's still a long way to go.

Ian Landsman (01:25:09.112)
Exactly. So there's like so much opportunity there. Obviously getting into like vector databases, all this stuff with the AI stuff, like there's all angle with that. Like, so there's tons and tons of database stuff. Databases aren't going away. Everybody's going to need databases forever. Yep. Yep. So you can.

Aaron (01:25:14.51)
Yep. Yep, yep, yep, yep.

Aaron (01:25:21.452)
Databases aren't going away. Everybody sucks at databases. Yeah. Everybody that teaches databases save for a few of our friends are, they're just neck beards. Like they're lame. They're like, I want to teach you how to be a DBA. And I'm like, I don't want to be a DBA. I don't want to do that. And I say that with all respect to my dad who was a DBA for, you know, 40 years. So sorry, dad. It is. Yep. Yeah. I don't think so. No, he was a SQL server DBA. The best to ever do it. Yeah.

Ian Landsman (01:25:31.064)

Ian Landsman (01:25:34.84)
Right. Yep. Yep. Exactly. It's in the blood. It's in the blood. I don't know if we heard that on the show. How we don't think I do that. It's in the blood. Now it all makes sense. Wow. Okay. Yeah. So, all right. So there, I mean, I think that that makes a lot of sense. I love this plan. Um, but.

Aaron (01:25:50.926)
Isn't that crazy? Yeah, I learned sequel from him at probably 12 or 13. Yep.

Ian Landsman (01:26:03.288)
Again, I do agree also like you're already doing, like take the meetings. Somebody makes you an offer you can't refuse as they say in the Godfather, then that's its own thing and you have to deal with that. Right. But, um, and I still think there's probably some mixed opportunities there with somebody who like really understands you. And it's like, Hey, listen, we want you for one week out of a month to really kick ass on our stuff. And we're going to pay you an outsized amount of money to do it. Maybe that even makes sense.

Aaron (01:26:17.422)
I agree.

Ian Landsman (01:26:29.976)
for a year to do something like that, right? And like, I mean, it's effectively consulting really anyway, or whatever. There's probably some hybrid things in there. So I definitely love the idea of taking the conversations and.

Aaron (01:26:31.502)

Aaron (01:26:38.958)
Yeah, and that frankly, that is one of my thoughts on the consulting thing. And one of my concerns with joining a big company or joining a company is like, do you need this full time? Like part of me feels, you know, part of me feels a little burned, obviously, I feel burned and a little bit, you know, betrayed and a little bit sad. And so part of me is like, I don't want to get into this again. But.

Ian Landsman (01:26:51.004)

Ian Landsman (01:26:56.344)
Right. Mm -hmm.

Aaron (01:27:04.118)
you know, a more, a less emotional part of me, which is very small, I'm 80 % emotions, the less emotional part of me thinks like, does a company need this full time? I don't know, maybe. I don't know. And so that's something I'm thinking about.

Ian Landsman (01:27:12.004)

Again, I think it comes down. Yeah, because I think it really comes to like what we were talking about before. Like, are you going to as a company, are you going to make the commitment to real commitment to like three, four years of paying expensive people to really grind this out, to really juice the orange fully? Or is what you need to be in the market, have videos for your customers and things like that.

Aaron (01:27:27.254)
Mm -hmm.

Aaron (01:27:37.218)

Aaron (01:27:42.636)
Exactly, yeah.

Ian Landsman (01:27:44.696)
Which is not, you probably don't need somebody who works full time to produce those videos. Or you could have, like we talked about last week, like maybe somebody who knows how to put these things together, helps you put them together a plan. And then you can have other people execute that plan. And even if it's like, they're not as good as Aaron Francis at it, like they could probably get to 80 or 90 % of Aaron Francis if they have a good plan and are picking good topics and that kind of thing.

Aaron (01:27:47.886)
Yes. Yeah.

Aaron (01:28:10.734)
Yes. And I think that is the most value that I can provide and the most value that a company needs is how do we think about packaging, topic selection, title, thumbnail, framing of the things. If you just launch a new feature and you make a video that says we launched a new feature, it's like, eh, nobody cares. But there is framing that works and there is packaging that works. And I think being on retainer to like,

Ian Landsman (01:28:16.648)

Ian Landsman (01:28:35.932)

Aaron (01:28:40.472)
advise an existing developer education team is good. And that also skirts around the issue of like, is Aaron gonna be the face of every company? It's like, no, I just, I simply, one, I can't. I know, I know. Hey, you know what? If people wanna pay me to do it, that's fine. But I think the downside to that is like, I can't.

Ian Landsman (01:28:42.964)
Right. Right. I want that future. I want that future where everywhere I go, Aaron Francis, Aaron Francis, he's everywhere.

Aaron (01:29:06.99)
I'm happy to be the face of every company, but I can't promote every company to my existing audience. And so if a bunch of random companies want me to be the face, let's say for example, a highly Next .js JavaScript specific company, I'm happy to work with them. I would love that. But my audience that I currently have doesn't care about that. And so you're gonna get a great video, but you're not gonna get...

Ian Landsman (01:29:12.424)

Ian Landsman (01:29:22.68)

Ian Landsman (01:29:28.416)

Aaron (01:29:37.134)
the support of the people that follow me. And I think that's an interesting limiting reagent to work around. And a way around that is to offer strategy and have your in -house person be the face of your company. So.

Ian Landsman (01:29:46.744)
Yep. Yep. Let's build you a playbook and you take it and run with it. And I'll be there to help you tweak it along the way, which I think makes total sense. All right. I think we kind of covered a lot here. What are your, do we not cover something? Is there something we missed? Anything you wanted to get off your chest? Anything you got that we didn't cover?

Aaron (01:29:53.326)

Aaron (01:29:57.838)
Yep. Yep.

Aaron (01:30:10.52)
dangerous question. Can't. That's an interesting point, Yen. Yeah. It's good content, baby. It's good content. You know, I don't think so. I enjoyed working at PlanetSkill.

Ian Landsman (01:30:11.832)
That's why I threw it in there. I'm trying to get the content. I'm trying to get the content. I'm trying to get the clips.

Aaron (01:30:30.254)
I'm bummed I don't work there.

Aaron (01:30:35.214)
Oh, Jesse Hanley wants me to start a planet scale competitor. And I was like, I was friend of the pod, friend of mine, creator and owner of bentonow .com, which is the ESP, the email service provider that I use. He said publicly, he's like, you should just create a competitor. And I thought, there's a 0 .0 % chance that one, I could do it. I just can't, no freaking way.

Ian Landsman (01:30:41.688)

Aaron (01:31:03.406)
I was the dumbest person at PlanetSkill. There's no way, there's no way I could create a competitor. And there's a 0 % chance that I want to do that. And he, you know, he's encouraging me to do the hard thing. And he's like, listen, running an ESP, which he does, is hard, and it's worked out great. And I'm like, I salute you, but there's no way that I could create a freaking database company.

Ian Landsman (01:31:11.576)

Ian Landsman (01:31:30.936)
So I hate everything about this idea for you especially, but I will say, I absolutely love the pure vengeance idea of it. It's like my business plan is pure vengeance. Like that's my business plan. Like I do love that and respect that aspect of it. I think that would be incredibly fun to watch, but I do think, yeah, I don't think, I just think it's such a hard thing. Yeah, you have to go out. I mean, you couldn't just start it like he's done with Bento. I think -

Aaron (01:31:43.35)
Yeah. Yeah.

Aaron (01:31:54.698)
I don't think that's the route. Yeah.

Ian Landsman (01:32:00.376)
I don't think you could do that. I think you'd have to go out and get a bunch of money. And then your CEO of this VC back thing, which I think doesn't really leverage yours really skills and assets you built up. I think that's like a whole different direction. So yeah, I don't love that, but I do love, I just love the pure, uh, bet. Yeah. The pure like eye for an eye. Like we're going firing brimstone on it. Like, yeah, I know I got some quotes from the movies in there.

Aaron (01:32:00.786)
No. No.

which I don't wanna do, no.

Aaron (01:32:19.246)
to our vengeance.

Yeah. See, he knows the Bible. Yeah, that's classic. So listen, the way that I'm trying to get vengeance is I'm gonna start working out a lot and I'm gonna get super hot and then I'm also gonna get rich. And then that's gonna be like, ha! See, I win! You wish you could have me! I'm hot and rich now! So, yeah, that's true, yeah. God, he's so hot now.

Ian Landsman (01:32:31.268)
Oh, yes.

Ian Landsman (01:32:40.444)
Or you're just gonna be the face of every other company and you're just everywhere and every time they're on YouTube They're like fucking Aaron Francis. He's on here again. He's so hot. He's on YouTube all the time. It's ridiculous Look at his hair. It's perfectly quaffed Mm -hmm Right

Aaron (01:32:52.73)
One time, one time when before Jennifer and I were married, she broke up with me and it was like, it was like for 45, it was for 45 days, we called it the dark ages. I didn't count or anything, but it was 45 days exactly. And like right after she broke up with me, I bought a piano. Cause I was, I was like, all right, I'm going to learn how to play the piano. I'm going to, she loves, she loves the piano. I'm going to get, I'm going to get super like, I'm going to be super artsy and the...

Ian Landsman (01:33:10.816)
Okay. You're gonna become Billy Joel like. I would have gone with the harp. You should have gone all in. Should have gone all in on the harp. You could be doing YouTube videos right now on your harp.

Aaron (01:33:21.762)
I'm gonna be this guy that like plays the piano and all the girls are gonna love me and then we got back together and I've never played the piano. But Jennifer plays the piano so it's great. So yeah, so I'm gonna start working out and get really buff and then that'll show them, right? That's a good plan.

Ian Landsman (01:33:39.938)
I love it. Yeah, then all your YouTube videos will be topless. You're already wearing no pants, but then you'll just have no shirt too and it'll be, it'll be a thing. I love that idea.

Aaron (01:33:45.44)
Yeah, exactly.

That's gonna be great. So yeah, lots of people have had lots of ideas, including start a competing database company to which I say, no, thank you. I mean, there's the, you know, Taylor's made a lot of money with Forge. We've seen publicly, he's talked about how Forge is successful. Frankly, that's a wrapper on another, that's a wrapper on a bunch of clouds, right? And so there's a world in which there's some kind of value I can add on top of RDS, but there's no...

Ian Landsman (01:33:57.238)

Ian Landsman (01:34:03.606)
Mm -hmm.

Ian Landsman (01:34:10.476)

Aaron (01:34:16.534)
F -ing way I'm gonna be on the hook for hosting databases. I just, I don't wanna do it. The stress level, I would watch Slack channels at planet scale and I'm like, not my circus, not my monkey. I'm so glad that I'm not the one that's like, hey, what's going on with this database? I don't know, let's figure it out. I'm like, I don't know, I'm gonna go make another video. So yeah, I don't.

Ian Landsman (01:34:19.42)
Yeah, the stress level is like a 10 out of 10.

Ian Landsman (01:34:36.12)

I actually think what you're talking about is very Forge like in a certain mindset, right? It's like what Forge does is make it like, it's a layer above this complexity. And this is kind of that similar thing. Like how could you provide a layer above the complexity of like, how do you be successful on YouTube or how do you edit a good screencast? Right? Like this is a different format, but it's a similar mind of like the value is that people want to do hard things with complex tools.

Aaron (01:35:07.304)

Ian Landsman (01:35:07.512)
and in complex businesses and you know things about that that can help people do those things and you're going to convey that information to them. And so, yeah, there's all these kinds of things that are opportunities out there in these regards to do that. And so I think, you know.

Aaron (01:35:24.27)
And speaking to the stress comments from earlier, I think the least stressful product that I could offer right now is education. It is not a SaaS. This is not the time, no. This is not the time in life for me to have a SaaS. Frankly, like one, it takes a thousand years to get off the ground. And like, as we discussed, money was a big part of why I worked at PlanetSkill because they gave me a paycheck. And then like,

Ian Landsman (01:35:33.56)
Yeah. Well, yeah, that's why I don't like the sass idea for you at all. Definitely. No.

Ian Landsman (01:35:45.524)
Yep. Right.

Aaron (01:35:54.158)
I don't want the on -call stress, especially if a database, are you kidding me? But even imagine the on -call stress of like anything, anything that people actually use in their business. Yeah, so that's just, I don't think that's the right thing for me right now.

Ian Landsman (01:36:01.848)
anything, any real application that, yeah, people depend on. Yeah. Yeah. It's high stress for sure. Yeah. Yeah. No, I agree. And that's like, yeah, you can like always dial back to the number of consulting gigs. You can always take a week off and screencasting will still be there. Like it's all fine. Um, and you're not on the hook for anything. There's no customer support really, and stuff like that.

Aaron (01:36:17.582)


Aaron (01:36:26.318)
And frankly, there's some extent to which I go down this road and become super into video and ideas begin to materialize for more pure Sass plays. And I'm like, great. I can pursue that at my leisure. But right now, it's not a good time to start a Sass.

Ian Landsman (01:36:33.832)
Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup. Yup.

Aaron (01:36:49.068)
What else is on there?

Aaron (01:36:54.818)
Oh, I wanna do, I wanna do, you go, you go.

Ian Landsman (01:36:57.41)
Oh, I was just going to say if you want to give an actual update on the Aaron Francis studio of light and sound, like just. Are you launching that soon? I know you seems like you got it mostly built out. Yeah.

Aaron (01:37:08.142)
Yep. Yep. So the Aaron Francis Studio of Light and Sound looks amazing. I got everything built, everything's done. My brother -in -law and father -in -law are coming over on Wednesday to help me move this place where I'm currently sitting, to help me move all of this stuff over there. And then I'll be over there full time. So yeah, studio looks great. I'm really happy with it. I put in...

Ian Landsman (01:37:23.428)

Aaron (01:37:36.43)
just tremendous amounts of work, like an idiot, tremendous amounts of work during paternity leave to make, yeah, well, oopsie doopsie. And it looks great. And I'm really happy with how it turned out. One thing, one little human anecdote is every day my daughter, so my son and daughter are almost, not almost, they're two and a half, they're probably two and a half years old.

Ian Landsman (01:37:38.712)

Ian Landsman (01:37:44.536)
During your leave, yeah.

Aaron (01:38:04.622)
And my daughter has started doing this thing where she asks us a lot of questions, like, how was your nap, mommy? And stuff like it, because we're always asking them, like, oh, how, you know, did you sleep okay? How was your nap? And so she started saying, how was your nap? How was your walk? How was the store? And now every day, every day when I come home from the Anne Francis Studio of Light and Sound, she says, how was work today, daddy? And you know, I've realized that like being a,

Ian Landsman (01:38:12.152)
Mm. Yeah, yeah. I love that stuff. Yeah.

Ian Landsman (01:38:27.224)

Aaron (01:38:33.932)
Dad is kind of hard, because you just say like, work today was great, sweetheart, how was your day? And it's like, dad got laid off today, but I'm not gonna tell you that. Like, you don't know what that means, that's not your burden to bear. It's like, work was really great. That is so nice of you to ask, how was your day? And that's just like, oh man, that dad stuff, that dad stuff is real, huh?

Ian Landsman (01:38:39.032)

Ian Landsman (01:38:43.288)
Right? Yeah.

He's a little young for figuring that out, yeah. Right?

Ian Landsman (01:38:58.104)
So I have a very similar story that happened to me this week that will be fun to share here. So we were driving back from, my daughter rides horses. We're driving back from the barn and she's just out of the blue. So my daughter's 10. She's like, so have you ever been arrested? And I'm like, and then I had to sheepishly tell her that no, I hadn't. And I was like, I was bummed. I was like, oh man.

Aaron (01:39:16.686)
Oh, one time I sold oregano and told him it was weed. Oh, so embarrassing. Yeah. Oh man, and I thought I was a square. Yeah, you're so square. I mean, I've never been arrested either, but I did commit a federal crime on which the Statue of Limitations has run, if you're listening. No, we really didn't, yeah.

Ian Landsman (01:39:27.)
I was like, this has got to be a life goal. I got to, I got to get arrested. I got to work on that. I feel like it's such a lame answer. Yeah. No, honey. I never been arrested. Maybe we'll work on it together. Yay.

We didn't really research that. We should have researched that before we put it out there. Yeah.

Aaron (01:39:46.03)
But there's also no way to prove it. Like, I mean, who's gonna be able to prove that? I'm a podcaster, you can't take this, you can't take anything I say is real.

Ian Landsman (01:39:49.324)
Other than your confession, but yeah. Yeah, that's true. I don't know. Maybe this will be like, we thought it couldn't go lower, but then when the feds come, you have the FBI at your door. It could be a step down. Like when you're like, Ian, can you get down here and bail me out? Like, can you get off late and can get me.

Aaron (01:39:57.71)
Oh, maybe I get arrested. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Can you imagine?

Aaron (01:40:07.886)
Well, I'd be like, Ian, start recording and then I'll tell you what happened. Yeah, it was great content, yeah. It would be amazing. Let me turn this into a true crime pod. Okay, I've got an interview in 10 minutes, starting the day of interviews, but I wanna cover one more thing. First of all, follow up, Mary on Twitter, her last name is Perry. Great last name, Mary Perry. Yeah, isn't that great?

Ian Landsman (01:40:10.13)
Of course, that's what I mean. I gotta come get you at the jail. Yeah.

Ian Landsman (01:40:21.142)

Ian Landsman (01:40:25.24)
Okay. Mm hmm.

Mary Perry, that is a good name. I love parents. The weird place parents get into where they name kids like rhymy things or matchy names or things like that. It's very fascinating to me. I want to talk to parents who do that kind of thing actually. Maybe we should have her on the pod and she can explain it. Mary Perry.

Aaron (01:40:40.534)

Aaron (01:40:45.142)
Love it.

Yeah, so her name is Mary Perry, friend of the pod. She DMed me after and was like, my last name's Perry. It's like, oh, that's great. So that's a follow -up. The other follow -up is, well, this is kind of not a follow -up. It's a brand new topic that's on the next podcast, but I want to talk about it now. Are we going to do a call -in show? That's a great idea. We got to do a call -in show. Oh, no, I just got the interesting in response to great.

Ian Landsman (01:40:53.976)

Ian Landsman (01:40:59.382)

Ian Landsman (01:41:06.456)
Ha ha ha ha.

Ian Landsman (01:41:10.584)
It's an interesting idea. It's an interesting idea. Oh no. Well, first of all, a call -in show is that, I mean, people have, they're not always the most fun if you get a bad run of calls, you know? Like, so, I did have this idea. I posted, I don't know if you saw. So my idea for the call -in show, which we could talk about here, is like, instead of a pure call -in show that's like, we're live and whatever weirdo on the internet shows up and wants to.

Aaron (01:41:28.302)
I did.

Aaron (01:41:33.134)
Okay. Mm -hmm.

Right, yeah.

Ian Landsman (01:41:38.39)
Yell out a phrase or something like whatever. Um, we structure it, uh, so that it's like, we record a sort of call in show once a month, maybe, or twice a month. And we pre -bet the people and their topics and then we invite them in, they get a segment, like maybe we do 15 minutes or 20 minutes or whatever. Uh, we were, and we just do that. It's like more of a pre -planned call in show. There's still call ins. Um, but it's more, more pre -planned and then maybe we can break it up as like little.

Aaron (01:41:40.238)

Aaron (01:41:49.678)
Okay. Uh huh.

Aaron (01:42:02.862)
Okay. Okay.

Ian Landsman (01:42:07.838)
interlude episodes of the podcast or something like that. Um, so we can kind of cross, cross utilize it other than just people who happen to be listening live at the time we do it or whatever. So I don't know. What do you think about that take on it?

Aaron (01:42:16.206)

Aaron (01:42:20.942)
I like it, that's an interesting take. Yeah, I'm not opposed to that at all. I used to be a big Dave Ramsey listener, and then I realized he's kinda crazy. But his call -in show is great because they've got a producer that vets all of the calls, that's like, all right, tell me your name, what's your question, you better get to your question immediately. And...

Ian Landsman (01:42:24.184)
Are people out there really interesting though? I don't know.

Ian Landsman (01:42:32.896)

Is it good?

Ian Landsman (01:42:42.006)
Yeah, of course.

Ian Landsman (01:42:49.272)
It would be fun to try. We could just try it. Dave could, if we line up where Dave's available and he can produce the colon.

Aaron (01:42:50.702)
It would be fun to try, right? Exactly. Yeah, producer Dave would have to like screen for weirdos and normies and tell them like what the vibe is. Like you can't just come on and be like, oh, I have more of a comment than a question. Be like, okay. So.

Ian Landsman (01:42:59.862)

Ian Landsman (01:43:06.36)
Do you think though it's better as like a spaces? Is that the more modern way to do it? Yeah. I kind of think it might be. Right.

Aaron (01:43:11.95)
I actually, whoever said that, thank you. I think that is a pretty good idea because if like, if I host a space, then that bar shows up across the top of everyone else's Twitter. And it's like, these people are on a space.

Ian Landsman (01:43:25.432)
And we can still record it and like throw it on the podcast feed or whatever. So it's out there. Right. I don't think we let the people on video no matter what. I think we're the only ones on video, just even in general. All right, maybe we'll experiment.

Aaron (01:43:27.662)
Right, exactly. And it lowers the barrier a little bit because it's not video and so people don't have to be on video. So it's interesting. I think it was...

Yeah, I think so. But yeah, it would be fun. I think it could be interesting. I think it's worth considering at the very least.

Ian Landsman (01:43:51.544)
It's worth considering. I think it is definitely worth considering. It's definitely worth, I mean, whatever we can just do one, right? We do one and we see how it goes and if people like it and if there is, um, I thought, I wonder if you could stream to spaces. I don't think so. I did use to do a lot of talk radio though, and call and shows and stuff.

Aaron (01:43:57.654)

Aaron (01:44:02.126)
It'd be like, did you ever listen to car talk?

Oh, dude, you've got to go listen.

old old episodes of car talk are just the funniest thing in the world to listen to. They barely talk about cars and they just laugh the entire time. So go listen to a few of those.

Ian Landsman (01:44:22.04)
Right. Yeah. I used to, when I was starting the business, I used to always listen to Mike and the mad dog. I don't know if you're familiar with them. They're kind of a Northeast thing. They were simulcast on video back and then whatever, but it's like, uh, well, they're like, uh, no, it's a sports talk radio. It was sports talk radio, but they would get into other things or whatever. But, um, so yeah, so that kind of thing. Yeah.

Aaron (01:44:30.902)

Sounds like shock jocks, mad dog.

Aaron (01:44:38.99)
Ah, okay.

There's one down here called the ticket that all my sports friends listen to and they're like, man, the ticket is hysterical. And they just, yeah. So that'd be fun.

Ian Landsman (01:44:50.614)
All right. Maybe we'll try it. We'll do it. We'll experiment. I like it. All right. We're really up on it now.

Aaron (01:44:54.158)
Okay. All right. Well, I gotta go prep my brain for interview day. So...

Ian Landsman (01:45:00.952)
Alright, good luck. We'll get an update next week on how it's going. Alright, well...

Aaron (01:45:03.054)
Yep. All right. Everybody that came for the tea, please subscribe and stick around for the next episodes.

Ian Landsman (01:45:10.392)
Yes, yes. And we will talk to you all next week. Definitely subscribe, follow. It's on YouTube if you want to watch our pretty faces. Mostlytechnical .com, at MostlyTechPod on Twitter, and MostlyTechnicalPodcast at gmail .com. We do already have a few feedback emails, which we will try to cover next week. Maybe we'll get more from this. It could be more of a feedback show next week. But yeah, thanks everybody. Yeah. Cut.

Aaron (01:45:30.03)

Aaron (01:45:36.078)
Yeah, tell me what I should do. Dear listener, tell me what I should do. I'd be curious. That's, oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Make sure you smash that like and subscribe button and leave a comment.

Ian Landsman (01:45:39.466)
Comment down below. You got to comment down below on YouTube here. Yeah. Do it. All right. Have a good one. Later all.

Aaron (01:45:49.39)
See ya.

Creators and Guests

Aaron Francis
Aaron Francis
Educator at @PlanetScale. Into Laravel, MySQL, and building things. Building https://helloquery.com/
Ian Landsman
Ian Landsman
Founder HelpSpot, LaraJobs, and Laracon Online.
Dave Hicking
Dave Hicking
@UserScape Product Manager. Previously at @TightenCo, @BeineckeLibrary, & @uconnlibrary. 1/2 of @CRSPodcast (I'm @doc_beats). 1/3 of @cheese_weather.
27: The Layoff
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