Is the web dead? This week Paul and Rich eulogize the web, which has been dying since its inception. They compare the early, organic days of the web with today’s trends towards massive commercial centralization. They also talk about Outbrain and Taboola (“20 slides spread over 400 pages”), Disqus and Facebook comment threads, and the hellscape that is wish.com, leading Rich to declare, “Maybe the web sucks! Maybe it should die!”
What is it like to be a CTO? This week Paul and Rich talk to two former chief technology officers: Camille Fournier, who was previously at Rent the Runway, and Kellan Elliott-McCrea, who was previously at Etsy. They discuss the CTO’s role within a company, share experiences from the trenches, compare managing engineers versus managing CEOS, and swap stories about the most colossal technical outages that happened on their respective watches (Kellan took down Yahoo Messenger; Camille ruined everyone’s Thanksgiving).
Why is publishing on the web so fractured? This week Paul and Rich make a podcast about making a podcast—or more specifically, about the difficulties of publishing content on disparate platforms across the web. They discuss native advertising versus more traditional marketing, and Rich asks the important question: “I just need to know Paul Ford hasn’t whored himself out.” Plus they answer a few listener questions and talk about how to build a great team.
Microsoft Word and the legacy of Clippy: in the second of a two-part episode, Paul and Rich continue their conversation with Dean Hachamovitch, former corporate vice president for Internet Explorer at Microsoft. This time they spend a while making fun of Microsoft Word’s infamous Clippy—while discussing conversational interfaces, security and privacy, and the responsibilities of software. As Rich puts it, “I just want to congratulate everyone here for smoothly weaving Clippy into some NPR-ish conversation.”