FounderQuest

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Summary

This week The Founders check out some Basecamp alternatives for funsies just to see what's out there (or if they should just build one). They also discuss yak shaving and Josh's new ASCII yak for Honeybadger's Slackbot. Lastly, take a trip down memory lane as Ben and Starr discuss sweet tea and other Southern goodness. Kick up yer heels and listen up ya'll!

Show Notes

Show notes:
Links:

Threads.com
Bluey
Vogmask
Twist
It’s a Southern Thing
If I had a front porch

Full transcript:
Josh:
How y'all doing?

Ben:
I'm doing.

Starr:
Yeah, about the same.

Ben:
I've been riding my scooter to work all week.

Starr:
Oh, how's that?

Ben:
It's a lot of fun. Got a little electric kick scooter and top speed about 25 miles per hour. I was concerned about it being able to get up the hill that I have to go back up on my way home. It does drag a bit on that hill. I only got a single motor. Guess I should have gone with the dual motor. Otherwise it's fun. It's nice to be out in nature, I guess, air quotes, because you're still on the road and you're still a victim of cars and stuff. Being able to see the sun coming up over the hills and down to the valley and while you're just feeling the wind on your face, it's all good.

Josh:
It sounds nice.

Ben:
Yeah.

Starr:
Yeah, sounds awesome. I don't know. It seems terrifying to me, but I'm sure it's a lot of fun.

Ben:
It helped that I have done a lot of bike riding on roads for the past several years, so I'm already comfortable with the idea of mixing it up with cars and weaving in and out of traffic and realizing that people aren't going to see me and things like that. I think if I had just gone from driving a car straight to riding a scooter in the bike lane, that would be a little more terrifying.

Starr:
Yeah, that makes sense.

Josh:
Next you're going to have to upgrade to one of the electric skateboards or a Onewheel or something, just remove the handle bars.

Ben:
Right, right, right. Get one of those Onewheel things.

Josh:
This is leading up to-

Ben:
Totally.

Starr:
We're just working up to hoverboards. I mean I commute to my backyard office, so maybe I should get a zip-line or something from the main house.

Ben:
I like that, yeah.

Starr:
... then I could be extreme.

Josh:
We want a zip-line at our place out into the forest.

Starr:
That would be fun.

Ben:
You could do a zip-line from your deck to the sandbox, send the kids out to play.

Josh:
The kids would love it. Well, I was thinking more for myself though. Screw the kids. They don't need a zip-line.

Starr:
There you go. That's actually not a bad idea. We're going to get-

Josh:
That would be cool though.

Starr:
... a deck in the fall.

Josh:
Oh, nice.

Starr:
I had thought it would be fun to put a fireman pole on one side or something so kids could slide down it. It's raised up a little bit but not that much. It's like a kid's sliding size.

Ben:
That would be totally awesome. That would-

Josh:
We have been loving our new deck that we have had for a month and a half or something now. It's a new deck. If you have a really old, rickety deck, a new one is a big upgrade. Also ours is a little bit larger, too, so it's like a bigger house almost.

Starr:
Oh, that's great. We don't even have a deck it's just like a little stairway.

Josh:
I think you're going to like it, Starr.

Starr:
I think so, too. I know, deck life. It's going to be covered. I was just like-

Josh:
It's just the small things.

Starr:
I know. All I want is to be able to go out on a nice evening or something and sit and drink a cup of tea and be outside.

Ben:
And think about all-

Josh:
I was going to say, where do you drink the sweet tea in the summer if you don't have a front porch?

Starr:
Yeah, that's the main problem with houses up here in the Northwest is there's not real front porches. We have one that's like a weird nod at a front porch. It's like somebody maybe had seen a front porch once when they were... They were like, "Oh, maybe I'll try and do that from memory," without really knowing what it's supposed to be like.

Josh:
Some of the ones in Portland have them, but they're boxed in usually, and they're the older houses-

Josh:
... like the old Craftsmans or whatever.

Starr:
The stately grand dames.

Josh:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ben:
Well, here in Kirkland we're destroying all those old houses and putting in-

Starr:
Thank God.

Ben:
... townhouses.

Josh:
Hell, yeah.

Ben:
I drove by one this morning. This morning was the first morning since I got my scooter that I actually didn't ride the scooter because it was raining and the ground was wet. I was like, "Ah, I don't want to deal with that this morning." So I just drove. I drove past this house that... Well, yesterday it was a house. Today, it's a pile of sticks because they sold the lot, and they're going to split it into probably, I don't know, four lots and put in some townhouses. It's always a sad thing, but people got to have a place to live.

Starr:
Yeah, it's a shame. They tore down a house on my block, too, except it was a condemned house. It looked like a gingerbread fairy house that you'd find on just a random stroll in the woods where you'd go inside and you'd find just a delicious meal laid out on the table just waiting for you. So I'm a little sad it's gone just for, I guess, the storytelling aspects, the mythology of it. I guess it's probably best not to just have a condemned structure hanging out.

Josh:
I still do feel like Ida's is missing out with your telling of that story. I feel a little sad for you all.

Starr:
I know. I know.

Ben:
You're totally missing the threat possibility there. Like, "Don't misbehave or I'll send you over to the gingerbread house."

Starr:
Oh my god, yeah. Yeah, lots of great ways to traumatize my child.

Ben:
Speaking of traumatizing children, I was going through Twitter the other day, and the Washington State Department of Health had a tweet. I don't remember what the tweet was, but they had a GIF embedded in it. It was Stimpy from Ren & Stimpy as a scene from the show. I was like, "That's from the Department of Health? My generation is now in charge."

Starr:
With the Twitter account at least.

Ben:
We're now putting in-

Josh:
Yeah, exactly.

Ben:
That was the weirdest... It's like, "I'm an adult." That was a weird, weird experience.

Josh:
It is kind of strange when the people in charge start looking more and more like you until you realize they're just like-

Ben:
They're just little kids, just like I am.

Josh:
Then you wonder why the hell they're in charge.

Starr:
I'm getting like Paul Ryan listening to a Rage Against the Machine vibe from this.

Josh:
That's what I'd be playing if I was in charge of the Department of Health's-

Starr:
There we go.

Josh:
... Twitter account.

Starr:
I think this week has all been a little bit... I don't know. We're all maybe a little bit having a hard time focusing. I know I have a little bit just. It seems like that happens every spring as soon as the weather gets nice and it stops being nice, then it gets nice and it stops being nice. You're waiting by the door with your kayak. You just got to get the jump on it before everybody else gets to the lake.

Josh:
Yeah, I think that's a big part of it. Also allergies have been kicking in lately.

Starr:
Oh my god, yeah.

Josh:
I was really on top of it this year, but then I ran out of my Zyrtec or whatever. It was on the list to replenish the supply or whatever, but I procrastinated and missed a few days. That's a huge mistake.

Starr:
Oh, yeah.

Josh:
That was this week. Now I switched to Claritin, so we'll see how... That's the big news of my week.

Starr:
Oh my gosh. I'm getting vaccinated later today, my second dose.

Josh:
Nice.

Starr:
Yeah.

Josh:
Congrats.

Starr:
I think I'm still going to keep wearing the KN95 respirators outside, though, just for the allergies.

Josh:
It's probably a good call.

Ben:
I was helping a neighbor with some yard work and doing a bunch of weeding and had the weed whacker out, and there's just dirt flying everywhere. I'm like, "Man, I should really wear a mask." Like, how ironic. I've got like, I don't know, a thousand masks in my house, and I'm not wearing one as I'm doing all this dusty stuff.

Josh:
That's a good thing to do.

Starr:
Oh, this is reminding me, I need to stock up before fire season.

Ben:
A few years ago when we had the really bad fire season, we got some Vogmasks. This was before the world knew that you were supposed to wear masks. Vogmasks are fantastic. They're a fabric mask that have the filtering stuff on the inside and highly recommend. I'll put a link in the show notes.

Starr:
Cool.

Ben:
Good stuff. When the pandemic hit, of course, they were out of stock immediately because everybody and their brother wanted one, but they've been back in stock. They're nice masks. They're really nice.

Starr:
Well, one thing that we have been doing is casually just checking out alternatives to Basecamp for our internal company's message board. I don't know. I feel like we're just perusing the alternatives. Honestly, it's been a little bit difficult finding just a system out there that's just a simple thread and message board without a million complex adjustments for running a forum that has thousands of people. Somebody on Twitter yesterday recommended Threads. I don't know. I think we're currently evaluating that one but no decisions yet.

Josh:
Is that like Twitter threads? You just-

Starr:
Oh, yeah, just Twitter threads.

Josh:
We do all of our communicating but just public threads.

Starr:
No, we're just going to use Twitter stories. We're just going to take some pics of ourselves in different-

Josh:
If we're trying to go to the opposite direction of Basecamp, we could just... Well, I guess this is like Basecamp, just do all of our communication via thought leadership.

Starr:
There you go.

Ben:
What if we did all of internal communication via TikTok?

Starr:
Okay, I'm getting this. I'm on board with this. We're just going to be influencers. Whoever's the most influential is going to-

Josh:
You know what? If our employees don't like it, too bad. You're getting a Twitter account, and it's getting verified.

Starr:
Yeah, they can interpret our really random TikTok video and try and figure out what it means. That's how they'll discover our disapproval.

Ben:
On the Basecamp thing, though, it was interesting as I was looking at it this week and realizing that the only thing that we use in Basecamp is messages along with the files. We sometimes attach files to our messages.

Josh:
Or email forwards.

Ben:
Yeah, occasionally we do an email forward. But we don't-

Starr:
Usually we do calendars, but we also have Google calendar.

Ben:
And Slack.

Josh:
And Notion.

Ben:
And notion. So we don't do to-dos. We don't do hill charts. We don't really use the project management side of the project management software that we're using. As I was looking at alternatives this week, I looked at monday.com and ClickUp and, I don't know, a few different ones. They're all these project management things. It's like, well, we don't really manage projects. We do that via chat or via a Zoom call every once in a while or via Notion. We don't use a project management tool for that. So it's like, yeah, all we really need are threads, conversations.

Starr:
It's the sort of thing where you could just do it in email, but it's nice having that archival ability, the ability to go back and check things out and not have it dependent on, "Oh, maybe I deleted that message by accident or whatever."

Josh:
Well, you could do it in Slack, but then you end up with the weird history aspect of it, and you'd have to have some sort of... You have to create a channel for it with the rules so it doesn't end up being just a chat. You have to say, "The rule of this channel is every message is a thread or a post or whatever."

Starr:
You kind of have to do it manually.

Josh:
Yeah.

Ben:
I did look at Twist. That was pretty cool, pretty close, but it also has chat. It's like, "well, I don't want a second chat since we already use Slack." We're not going to ditch Slack.

Starr:
Basecamp has chat, too.

Ben:
Right, and we don't use that. I guess you could use Twist. Twist is pretty nice.

Starr:
I think we need threaded messages, we need everything to be archived, and we need some way to see what people have been writing on lately, see what the latest activity is. That's basically it. I don't even use notifications. I get them, but I don't really... Usually by the time I see them... That's not my process. I don't look at my notifications and be like, "Oh, I'd better check this out." I check out the messages at a set set time basically.

Ben:
Then, like you said, the forum software, like the discourse, and it's just way, way too much. It's like, "Yeah, we get it." We just need a message board. We don't need all the dials and knobs. It's totally a dials and knobs application. I saw it in the settings, and I was like, "Whoa, okay. I'm just going to back away slowly."

Starr:
It could be fun, I don't know, if we want to be passive aggressive, we could shadow ban people. We could just do all sorts of fun things.

Ben:
But I suppose we don't have the hard requirements supporting BBCode.

Starr:
Isn't that a negative requirement? Supporting BBCode, I think that's a detriment. But we do have a chance to maybe, I don't know, maybe... One thing that I've always really... This really annoyed me about Basecamp is that it doesn't support Markdown, and everything we use supports Markdown, so everything I have is in Markdown. So if I write something in my personal notes, it's going to be in Markdown. If I want to transfer that to Basecamp, I got to manually format it, which is just like, "What am I? What is this? Who do you think I am?"

Josh:
That's my number one gripe with Basecamp, like the editor, is just a WYSIWYG editor that... I constantly... even just when I'm writing and I want to make a list and I just type a dash like I normally... in most things these days, and it just doesn't do anything in Basecamp. Then I remember, "Oh, I have to get my mouse and click on the bullet." It's a huge hassle.

Ben:
I can imagine your quality of life being dramatically affected by that.

Josh:
Yeah.

Starr:
You know we're developers when we're complaining about things like that.

Josh:
This is why I'm wearing wrist braces.

Starr:
Or dual wrist braces.

Ben:
I totally get what you're saying. I want to be able to type star, space, stuff, stuff, stuff and I get a list. Yeah, totally.

Starr:
It looks like threads.com, it does support Markdown, which is nice. I don't know. I haven't really played around with it a ton. Some aspects of its design, I'm not super happy. I wish the column widths were a little wider and stuff, but also I don't like certain aspects of Basecamp's design. So it's kind of a toss up for me.

Ben:
I did an export of our Basecamp content, and I got to say their export is fantastic. They give you an HTML page that links to a bunch of other pages per topic or project or team, whatever they call it, and the files are there. It's really well done. So I think if anyone's looking for inspiration on doing exports in their app, they should totally look at Basecamp. They nailed it. It's actually usable. You get this zip file. You open it up and bam, you can just browse through all your stuff.

Starr:
That's pretty great. I guess I should declare, I think maybe I started this casual looking for alternatives just because I've seen a lot of stuff online about people are angry at Basecamp. It's like, I'm not really angry at them. Well, this isn't really the point. I'm sad and disappointed in them. But also a lot of the reason why I think they have had our business and they had my business, I've stored personal stuff in a personal Basecamp account, it's just because they're trustworthy. That feeling of trustworthiness has gone down a few pegs for me.

Starr:
Also, I just kind of felt gross logging in there. If you haven't been keeping up with this, part of the deal is they were making fun of people's names and stuff. I don't know. Are they making fun of my name? I've got a weird name. Are they going through my stuff making fun of it? I know they have access to pretty much everything that I put into Basecamp. I don't know. Even if they're not doing that now, are they going to do that in the future? Because it seems like they're going in that direction. I don't know. It seems like they're shutting down people trying to hold them internally accountable for that sort of thing. I don't know. It's just like a gross feeling. I'm just sad about the whole thing.

Josh:
I personally I kind of doubt that that's like... I got the feeling that the list was more of an artifact from the past, and it had stuck around for too long. I didn't get the feeling that they're condoning that sort of activity really, but I get what you're saying. Also for me, a big factor of it, it's not even just that I'm mad at them or something, they did lose 30% of their company, and they're supporting two products now, one of which is a major infrastructure product but basically is like email. So they have operation overhead and stuff. They did just lose 30% of their company including their, what, head of strategy but basically head of product. So I just wonder, where is the product going from here? It was already, I felt, a little bit stagnating. I don't know. I think they've been working on the next version of it is what I heard. I don't know. It just seems like there are questions about just the stability from that nature, too.

Ben:
I'm probably in a third place from you two and I probably care the least. I'm like, "Eh, it's a message board. They can make fun of my name." Okay. I had that happen when I was 10. People do that. It's like, "Oh, get on." I have a hard time getting up the energy to care, I guess.

Starr:
Don't mistake me. I'm not like up in arms about it. This is more like a passive viewing. It's like, "Oh, I got to go on Basecamp and check my things. Uh, I just feel kind of crummy about it." This is-

Ben:
It's one of those friction things in your life you just don't need. Yeah, absolutely.

Starr:
Yeah, yeah.

Josh:
Absolutely.

Starr:
I'm like, this is a message board. Like, should I be having to deal with this just to go check some messages? It's ridiculous.

Josh:
I think all of us are really just talking these are passing thoughts we have using the product in light of the drama of the past few weeks.

Starr:
If we end up staying on it, I'm not going to be super upset. I'll probably get over it. I don't know. It just seems like it might be nice to try something different especially if we can get that sweet Markdown.

Ben:
I've been surprised that there are so few products that are just about this one use case of the simple messages. I expected there to be tons of things to try and no.

Starr:
Of course, in our company Notion, there's now a design document-

Ben:
Of course.

Starr:
... for a simple-

Josh:
Because we're going to build our own.

Ben:
We're going to build our own, of course. What does any good tech team do when they're frustrated with the 20 solutions on the market? They build solution number 21.

Starr:
Of course.

Ben:
Maybe we'll build that. The code name for that project is Budgie. I named it Budgie because I went to do the Google search, I'm like, "What's a communicative type of animal? What's a social animal?" I can't remember the search I did, but the first thing that got turned up was like, the most social birds. I don't know. So there's this list of birds, and budgie was the number one bird. So I'm like, "Okay, cool." Then I was like, "Well, what kind of domains are available?" Because of course when you start a project, you have to buy the domain. Before you do anything else, you got to buy that domain. Surprisingly, and perhaps not surprisingly in retrospect, every variant of budgie is taken, of course, budgie.com but also budgie.app and budgieapp.com. I'm like, "Wow. How many...?" And they're all for sale. None of them are actual products. They're all parked, and they're for sale. I'm like, so a bunch of people have had this idea about what's a social animal. I guess budgies are really popular for pets, and so they're looking for the ad opportunities with people looking for, "How do I take care of my budgie?" Anyway, just kind of a diversion.

Starr:
That's interesting. The first thing that pops into mind when I heard that... I like the name. It's a cute name. There's this really good Australian kids' cartoon called Bluey, and there's an episode where they find a little budgie that's injured, and it dies. So the kids have to come to terms with that. I don't know. It's just like, "Little budgie died."

Josh:
Bluey is one of the best cartoons ever, by the way.

Starr:
Yeah, Bluey. Oh, I'm glad you like it, too.

Josh:
It's so good.

Starr:
It's super good. It's super good. Basically the whole cartoon is just these kids... They're dogs but they're kids. They're just making up games to play with each other. How it works is the kids watching the show see it and that makes them want to play that game, too. So it's just not dumb TV. It gets them doing stuff outside of the TV, which is kind of nice.

Josh:
That's a really good analysis of the show. I hadn't thought about that aspect of it, but come to think of it, my kids totally imitate them.

Starr:
Oh, yeah.

Josh:
Climbing all over us.

Starr:
I now have to play every game in that show, and I've got to know them by name and what the rules are.

Josh:
One of the things we like about it is just they really got the sibling dynamic down. It is like our kids to a tee. It's pretty funny. Now that I think about it, maybe it's like our kids have now become the characters in the show.

Ben:
It's a good thing I watch the Simpsons.

Josh:
Oh, no. Actually we do watch the Simpsons.

Starr:
Is the Simpsons still on?

Josh:
It's on Disney+.

Starr:
Oh my gosh.

Ben:
Yeah, it is still a thing.

Josh:
They're still making it, too, right?

Ben:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah.

Starr:
Wow. I don't know. I don't even know about that.

Josh:
We don't watch much of the Simpsons with them yet, a three and four-year-old.

Josh:
I don't know if I'm quite ready for a couple little Bart and Lisas.

Ben:
You put that off as long as you can. Well, I actually did a little bit of work this week. I was working on something, I don't know what. I noticed one of the tests was running kind of long like it was just stuck. I don't usually watch tests. I don't usually run the tests actually. I just let our CICB run the tests. I don't even worry about it. But this morning for some reason, I don't know, I was working on something, and I happened to be running the tests. I noticed one of the tests was just stuck. Like, that's weird. So I did a little investigation.

Ben:
It turns out that a number of our tests do some domain name server resolution because, for webhooks, when someone puts in their webhook, we want to verify that the destination is not like a private thing. They're not trying to fetch our EC2 credentials and stuff like that. So it does some checks like, is this is a private IP address? Does this domain name actually resolve, blah, blah, blah? Also for our uptime checks. Obviously, people are putting in domains for that, too. It turns out that, I don't know, maybe it was my machine, maybe it was the internet being dumb, whatever, but the domain name resolution was what was holding up the test. This happens, as you can imagine, in a variety of ways in our tests. This one test that I was running, which was only, I don't know, seven or eight tests, it was taking a minute or two minutes to run. Then I fixed this so that it stopped doing the domain name resolution, and it took two seconds.

Josh:
Wow.

Ben:
So a slight improvement to our test suite there. A quality of life improvement.

Josh:
Did you benchmark overall? Because that's got to be a huge improvement if it's doing that everywhere.

Ben:
Well, it's not doing that everywhere. I did do a push, so I have to go and check and see what GitHub... see if it dropped that time.

Josh:
Well, it might have been whatever was wrong with your DNS resolution in the first place that was causing it to be extra slow. Would it be faster if DNS was fast?

Ben:
Yeah, it could have been. I actually did some tests on my laptop at the time. I'm like, "Is my DNS resolution slow?" No.

Josh:
So it's-

Ben:
The test... I don't know what the deal was.

Josh:
It was just resolving a bunch of actual URLs in the test.

Ben:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Josh:
Yeah, that's bad. So nice work. You reminded me that I did some work this week, too.

Ben:
Oh

Josh:
Very important work, I must say. I added a yak to our Slack bot to where-

Josh:
... if you mention the word "yak" when you're interacting with the Slack bot now it will return... You should do it in Slack, just whatever Badger bot. Say Badger bot yak me, it-

Starr:
Okay, I'm doing it.

Josh:
Okay, do it.

Starr:
Oh, sorry. It was the wrong channel. Hold on.

Josh:
You got to do it in general, I think.

Starr:
Come on Badger bot. Oh my god. It's a little text space yak.

Josh:
Yeah.

Starr:
Awesome.

Josh:
This came about because earlier this week I was just passively mentioning in chat that I'm just yak shaving. My entire life is yak shaving. That just got us talking about, why don't we have some representation of that in our chat, in our Slack? Obviously, I had to stop everything I was doing and build that right away. Of course, there were some escaping issues that came up as a result of that, so obviously I had to deploy a few hot fixes.

Ben:
The whole episode amuses me. I love it. I would do exactly the same thing. But also what amuses me is that we already have, as part of Slack, GIPHY, and you could just dump a picture of a yak in there. But you're like, "No, that's good enough. I must have an ASCII yak.

Josh:
It's got to be an ASCII yak, yeah.

Ben:
This is great. I love technology.

Josh:
I kind of miss Hubot where it would just automatically... if you just mention it. Maybe I should change our Slack bot so that it does that. So if you say "yak," a wild yak appears. By the way, that's what the text at the bottom of the ASCII yak says, a wild yak appears. I just wish it would pop up if someone just mentions it in a chat, like if they're talking about it just because-

Josh:
It's listening to everything, right?

Starr:
That would be fine.

Ben:
We used to have Hubot, and every time you said "ship," it would show the ship-

Josh:
The ship, the squirrel. But I definitely would like... annoying at times, but overall I'd say it was worth it.

Ben:
Totally worth it.

Starr:
Yeah, definitely. I do remember sometimes where things were on fire, and it's just popping up funny GIFs, and it's like, "Not now. Not now Hubot, not now.

Ben:
Sit in the corner. Should have had that command. Like, "Go away for a while."

Josh:
Or just make it a separate... Maybe we should just make this a separate bot that you don't have to have any ops channel. Maybe this'll be our next product.

Starr:
Oh, there you go. It's like when you mention yak, it turns into an Oregon trail-type hunting scene, and you have to shoot the very slow pixel at it.

Josh:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). I do love this aspect of our business of being... I assume it's like a side effect of being small. I don't know. I'm sure large teams also do this, I didn't spend a day on this, but spend a day just doing something completely useless. I like that we can do that-

Ben:
Yes, it is.

Josh:
... and the total lack of responsibility, to be honest.

Starr:
Is there a total lack of responsibility? I don't know. I don't know.

Ben:
I think you could argue that there is a total lack of responsibility.

Josh:
Maybe relatively.

Starr:
Maybe.

Josh:
I think we're speaking relatively.

Starr:
Relatively? Well, there's responsibility to customers. I don't know. Do they count? Nah.

Ben:
Speaking of being a small company, just because of a recent acquisition of one of our competitors, I had gone to look at what some of our other competitors, what status they were, and I was just blown away with how many employees our competitors have. It's really amazing.

Starr:
What are they doing with all those people? Are they paying...? Do they have a professional volleyball team or something?

Josh:
Not in the past year.

Starr:
Well, they play over Zoom.

Josh:
It's a professional pong league now.

Starr:
There you go.

Ben:
We have five employees. The competitor that has the closest number of employees comes in at a hefty 71. Then the largest number that I found was 147 employees. That's impressive.

Josh:
With the competitor, the first one that you mentioned with the 70 something employees, and I assume over $100 million in funding, were they the ones that were recently bragging on Twitter about how much more usage they have than everyone else?

Ben:
I don't know because I don't remember seeing that bragging.

Josh:
They were. It was kind of funny. Yeah, you would probably be the major player.

Starr:
That's something I definitely learned throughout the course of running this business is that a company that has tens or, I don't know, hundreds of, did you say $100 million, that's a lot-

Josh:
It's a lot.

Starr:
... of funding can do more work than three people even if those three people are very, very good. It's-

Ben:
That's right.

Starr:
They can do more work, and that's all right. We're just going to have our little garden patch over here. It doesn't matter if ConAgra is a mile down the road. They can do their thing. We can do our thing.

Ben:
As long as they don't let their seeds blow into our farmland, right?

Starr:
Oh, yeah, definitely. Let me just ask you a question. When it comes to buying your strawberries for your traditional summer strawberry shortcake, are you going to go to that wonderfully, just delightful artisanal farm down the road, or are you just going to slide over to ConAgra and, I don't know, get some of their strawberry-shaped objects?

Ben:
I got to say, I love roadside fruit stands. Those are the best. When cherry season happens here in Washington, going and grabbing a whole mess of cherries from some random person that's propped on the side of a road, I mean it's awesome.

Starr:
My favorite ones are the ones have no... if you stop and think about it... I used to live in Arkansas. One time I was walking by and there was this roadside fruit stand just with oranges. It was like, "Hold up. Hold up. Oranges don't grow in Arkansas. What is this?" I don't know if he just went to Costco and just got a bunch of oranges or maybe he did the Cannonball Run from Florida straight up-

Josh:
Road trip.

Starr:
... and was selling oranges all the way up. There was some explaining to do.

Ben:
I didn't realize until I was saying it, but it really does sound ridiculous that you're going to go and get some fruit items from some random person on the side of the road. But I love roadside fruit stands. They're great.

Starr:
Oh, yeah.

Josh:
I don't know. In this day and age probably, yeah.

Josh:
Maybe things should be more like that. Maybe that would solve some problems.

Ben:
Well, coming back to the front porch thing, do you know that country song, If the World Had a Front Porch?"

Starr:
No, I don't.

Ben:
Definitely have to link it up in the show notes. It's all about if the world had a front porch like we did back then, then things would be different. People would be more friendly. We'd be chatting with our neighbors. Things would just be overall good.

Starr:
Yeah, totally.

Josh:
We'd all know each other.

Starr:
Is that true? Is that true?

Ben:
I got to say, I grew up in the Deep South. I did not have a front porch and none of my friends had a front porch because we all lived in the same neighborhood and all the houses were the same, but we were all still pretty friendly-

Starr:
Oh, there you go.

Ben:
... even though we didn't have front porches.

Starr:
Well, I had a front porch and people were assholes, so I think the correlation between front porches and nice people is weak.

Ben:
The song If I had a front porch

Josh:
.Isn't it more like a metaphor? I don't know.

Starr:
You could say the internet's the world's front porch and look how great that's worked out.

Josh:
If you just build a front porch-

Starr:
I'm sure it's a nice song. I don't mean to make fun of the song. I'm sure it's a good song.

Josh:
You build a front porch that the entire population of the world could fit on, just see how that goes. That's what we-

Starr:
It's like, "Oh, shit. We deforested the Amazon to get the wood for this."

Ben:
We should name our little message board product Front Porch.

Starr:
Front porch, ah, that's nice. You could have add-ons to that. Like for upgrades, you could get the rocking chair or the whittling knife.

Ben:
Yeah, and the sweet tea-

Starr:
The sweet tea, yeah.

Ben:
... or the mint julep.

Starr:
Can I ask you a question? Was sweet tea a thing when you were a kid?

Ben:
Yes.

Starr:
Do people refer to it as like, "Oo, sweet tea," as a saying?

Ben:
No.

Starr:
Okay, that-

Ben:
They'd just refer to is as tea.

Starr:
Okay, thank you.

Ben:
There was no other tea. It was just that.

Josh:
But it was sweet.

Ben:
Yeah, it was sweet, of course.

Starr:
Yeah, of course. It's-

Ben:
That's the only tea that existed. None of this Earl Grey hot business, no, no, no.

Starr:
I just noticed, I don't know, around 2007 everybody started talking about sweet tea. It's like, "What? What's this?" 

Ben:
Yeah, totally. It's a Southern Thing, on YouTube, their channel, is pretty funny. They go into the sweet tea thing quite a bit. If you want some additional context, do some research on that whole aspect. You can go and watch that YouTube channel. I'll have to link it up in the show notes.

Starr:
Yeah, I'll check that out. Well, would you gentlemen like to wrap it up? I think I've got to start... I'm going to be Southern here. I'm fixing to get ready to think about going to my vaccine appointment.

Ben:
Jeet yet? You know that joke? Have you heard that?

Starr:
I haven't heard that joke. What?

Ben:
It's like, oh man, two southern guys, one's like, "Jeet yet?"

Starr:
Ah, did you eat yet? Okay, yeah.

Ben:
"No. Y'want to?"

Starr:
I haven't been back in a while.

Josh:
Did you eat yet?

Starr:
I haven't been back in a while.

Ben:
Oh, good times. Sometimes I miss the South but not during the summer.

Starr:
One of my favorite words, I think it might be a local Arkansas word, is tump. It's a verb, tump. It's the action of tipping something over and dumping out its contents. The perfect use case is a wheelbarrow. Like, you tump out the wheelbarrow. I'm sorry. Tump out the wheelbarrow.

Ben:
Totally.

Josh:
I am learning so much on this episode, by the way-

Starr:
There you go.

Josh:
... about the South.

Josh:
It's great. I'm learning more about-

Josh:
This is your second vaccine appointment, right?

Starr:
Yeah, it's the second one.

Josh:
Second and final. Well, for now.

Starr:
So I'm ready for it to hit me. I'm like, "Bring the storm.

Josh:
Yes, it hit me.

Starr:
Bring it on."

Josh:
Mine was like a 48-hour ordeal, but back to normal now. I feel great.

Starr:
That's good. You got your super powers.

Josh:
Yeah.

Ben:
Well, good luck with that.

Starr:
Thank you. Maybe one day we'll be able to have a conclave in person again, although I might need the support of a therapist or something because just like... I mean I like y'all, but I don't know if I'm over the droplets yet.

Ben:
You can still wear masks.

Starr:
Okay, that's good. Thank God, okay. All right, I will talk to y'all later.


What is FounderQuest?

Three developers building a software business on our own terms.