FounderQuest

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Summary

Glove up, mask on, and tune in to this week’s FounderQuest! Starr, Ben and Josh talk hot investing tips now that our 401(k)s are gone, plans for the “Honey Bunker,” pivoting away from remote and back to co-located working, Animal Crossing, hoarding Mucinex, and the Corona vs. Pacifico beer debate is finally settled.

Show Notes

Glove up, mask on, and tune in to this week’s FounderQuest! Starr, Ben and Josh talk hot investing tips now that our 401(k)s are gone, plans for the “Honey Bunker,” pivoting away from remote and back to co-located working, Animal Crossing, hoarding Mucinex, and the Corona vs. Pacifico beer debate is finally settled.
Show Notes:

Links:
Daniel Kahneman
Mucinex
Animal Crossing
Nintendo Switch
Jeff Bezos' Regret Minimization Framework
Basecamp
Splatoon Squad
Ground Kontrol
RailsConf
Nero
Jim Kramer
Honeybadger Developer Blog

Full transcript:
Starr:
All right. So let's get back on topic. You all were talking about profiteering off of this terrible crisis by investing in the stock market. Honeybadger Blog

Josh:
That's a wonderful way to describe it.

Ben:
Seriously, I'm all about profiteering.

Josh:
Yeah. Yeah. So I've kind of, I don't know. I've been telling myself I've been waiting for this, so I'll really kick myself if I don't profiteer a little bit or at least try, I feel like, I don't know. There was an article, I forget, I'm trying... Who said this? Basically, Oh, I think it was Daniel Kahneman said one of the keys to investing at least to maintaining peace of mind is like knowing what your future regret will be. And then basically like taking like modifying your behavior to optimize for that versus like adapting to whatever your current fears or whatever is driving the market is driving you or whatever. So I decided that if I don't put a little bit of money into these bargains that I'll kick myself, I'll regret it more if it goes up and I didn't participate versus if I lose a little money.

Starr:
You know I haven't read that book, but I was using a similar strategy today. I was at target and I was like, well, should I get two boxes of Mucinex or three boxes of Mucinex.

Josh:
You would really regret.

Starr:
So I was imagining myself like in the future really needing some Mucinex. So I bought three, I thought four would be too much. I thought four would be like be tipping into... it's like nobody ever buys four boxes of Mucinex.

Josh:
And then-

Starr:
I could see somebody buying three just if they are a big fan.

Ben:
I think you get put on a list if you buy four at the same time.

Starr:
Oh yeah?

Josh:
Because this is like how, this is how like only a few people end up with all the Mucinex.

Starr:
Well you know what, it was the last thing available on the shelf, which was lucky because I actually went there for it. And it's like all the... what does it DayQuil NyQuil tabs all cleared out although there's still some bargains available on that. The liquid form, because nobody likes the liquid form of DayQuil or NyQuil because it tastes gross. Right. And so even in the apocalypse, I don't want to be drinking that stuff.

Ben:
So Josh what you talked about sounded to me like the regret minimization framework that Jeff Bezos-

Josh:
Yeah, that's right. That was, that was another one that kind of was a similar. Yeah, I really liked that. I think it makes sense.

Ben:
So Starrr is loading up on the Mucinex, you know my prepper thing?

Starr:
What's your prepper thing?

Ben:
I'm going to get a haircut

Starr:
Yeah. If you're going down, you want to look good doing it.

Ben:
Yeah.

Starr:
Why not?

Ben:
I'm thinking, if you see that chart, US vs. Italy and it shows that the US following the same exact pattern that Italy did but just a little different timeline so if you see that and go "Ok myabe everything will be shut down in a week right? and I won't be able to go get a haircut in a week so I'd better get a haircut today so that I can look good for the apolcolypse."

Josh:
And, yeah, and I mean like, you won't look handsome. Yeah. I mean, you, you won't look handsome on the on zoom calls and we can have that. We can have a shaggy Ben on zoom calls. Now I don't know if our listeners have ever seen me in person, but I don't have this problem. I never cut my hair. So like, well, I cut it a little bit more often than I used to a few years ago.

Ben:
You're like the Sampson of Honeybadger

Starr:
That's all right. You know your Honeybadger's is nature boy.

Josh:
So Ben, did you go stock some stock shop shopping this morning you said?

Ben:
No we always have a backup supply, like we always have months of toilet paper and food and stuff in our garage. That's what we do, but, just this morning I thought "You know what? Maybe it's time to buy that freezer for my garage."

Josh:
Yeah. Nice. I have the freezer and I stocked it yesterday with a lot of chicken breasts from Costco. Not the organic chicken breasts because the organic was gone like long gone. So, apparently-

Starr:
Well, let's be honest. You want those preservatives, you want those preservatives now. You don't want that stuff to last as long as possible.

Josh:
Yeah. It's probably a, it's a net win for me probably to get the non-organic.

Starr:
Yeah. I'm just, I'm just saying Josh though, like when that electricity goes off because the zombies have like broken into the power plants and gnawed the wires like that, like all your chickens going to be rotting, but I'm going to be sitting pretty on my 50 pounds of brown rice.

Josh:
Nice. Yeah. Well I might just eat all the chicken and just absorb all those gains, all those protein gains at once, like just to inject it straight into your veins.

Starr:
You're the hero we've been waiting for Josh. You can like go out and battle the Coronavirus.

Josh:
Yeah.

Starr:
You know, like a boss fight.

Josh:
Yeah. What's better than steroids? Eating 50 pounds of chicken in a single sitting.

Starr:
So since we did our show last week, essentially like the news moves super fast like pretty much everything we talked about was completely out of date. And which is funny because that show was going to be released today, like the day of the... we're actually recording this and then this one will be released in a week.

Josh:
Yeah. So hopefully by the time people get this, the world will have returned to normal and it'll be like, this all never happened.

Starr:
I'll be like, dammit, why did I pay 20 pounds of red lentils? I don't even like lentils. 

Starr:
So yeah, so it's a little bit hard to focus on all the stuff going on. It's like yeah, I'm like popping out here and there to buy my rice. I spent like $700 at target this morning, but like I also bought an Nintendo Switch and accessories. So that kind of bumped it up quite a bit.

Josh:
We were talking like about the electronics department because we have a friend at Costco, we have a friend who like manages the electronics department. We were like, I wonder how he's doing. And I'm like crap, I should have like bought a big screen TV while I was there, because there was like no one in the electronics department and we could ride it out and in style.

Starr:
Yeah, it was a bit of a ghost town there. But so I guess this morning like they released a special branded Animal Crossing Switch. And so I guess people were like in line at like 2:00 AM last night outside the Target. Even though the Target opens at six or something. I know like I wouldn't have thought-

Josh:
People were lining up to buy a Switch?

Starr:
And the Animal Crossing branded Switch. Like I got a normal Switch and I haven't checked. I'm pretty sure I can just go download Animal Crossing whenever I set it up. But it has special colors on the little control pads or whatever they're called toy pads.

Josh:
It's all that... It's that, What is the Jeff Bezos framework like you got to ask yourself, will I regret? Like, am I gonna regret not getting that switch? The minute that it's released versus getting the Corona virus?

Starr:
Well, I mean, they'll at least I'll have something to do. Right?

Josh:
Yeah.

Starr:
I must be honest, the animal crossing-

Josh:
The wrist band, There's, it might... you might make that calculus work.

Starr:
Animal crossing is a very relaxing game, it's exactly the type of game I would want to play if I had the Coronavirus.

Josh:
Which, yeah.

Starr:
I was listening to the radio this morning in the car and the like, DJ said something about telecommuting and I was just like, hello, 1990s?

Josh:
Yeah, we should put that on our website that we're telecommuting 100% telecom media company.

Starr:
That would be amazing.

Josh:
That would be great.

Starr:
I love that... you did get a pager. You got a pager?

Josh:
Yes.

Starr:
This is perfect.

Josh:
I got the pager just in time too, because if the cellular networks go down in the middle of all this, I will still make a call.

Starr:
Yeah. Then that's great because the rest of us are just screwed. Oh man. So yeah, it's a little bit hard to focus when all this stuff is going on. I think that coring to-

Josh:
We did do a little work this week.

Starr:
Oh yeah, we've done, I've done work. It's just hard to feel like it... The most pressing thing that I should be doing? You know, it's like should I be writing up these new marketing documents that we talked about or should I be like getting some sort of survival rations for my family? Like it's just a very bizarre, it's this very bizarre calculus to be weighing these things against one another. Because it's like probability of something bad happening times the magnitude of it happening versus whatever gain I'm going to get for this from this marketing stuff.

Josh:
Yeah. I'm trying to kind of just take like the panic Twitter version of the story and the like calm official whatever versions of the story and like go down the middle and plan for whatever plan to be it just home for a bit.

Starr:
Okay. So it's you like average the amount?

Josh:
Yeah. I'm kind of averaging the stories because no one knows exactly what's going to happen. So rather than like going full on bunker, digging a bunker under my house or something. I stocked my freezer and we're self-sufficient here for probably two weeks to a month. I would imagine.

Starr:
I've been doing something similar to a sort of averaging them out where I sort of like oscillate wildly between them and over a span of time. It's basically the same as an average.

Josh:
Like 10 times a day?

Starr:
Yeah.

Josh:
Yeah. I know the feeling. It is hard, like when you have like such extreme, you have different people saying different things and yeah. I don't know. The way I look at it, no matter what, we still have to deal with the economic fallout of all these people panicking. So I don't want to be going to Costco again for another month, having been there yesterday, on a weekday during the slow period. Like I just don't want to go back. So I'm happy to be somewhat stocked now, so I just don't have to do that.

Starr:
Yeah. That's fair. So it's just like in terms of our business, like things are like, we're obviously keeping on running the business and stuff. It's just like things are kind of up in the air in terms of like, okay, do we need to like, am I going to have childcare next week?

Josh:
Right. The childcare thing kind of throws a wrench into getting work done at home.

Starr:
Oh totally.

Ben:
With the upside that like we don't have to worry about actually leaving the office to go do all that shopping, because we just go like Basecamp, they put out this thing, they close down their office today and next Monday they're doing a four day weekend to give all their employees a chance to go out and do whatever they want to do. Just to like take some of that pressure off.

Josh:
Ben and Kevin yesterday, kind of the same thing. Like basically just go like, we're not expecting you to be here, so yeah, just go take care of any stuff you need to.

Ben:
Yeah, it's kind of surreal though, sitting here in Kirkland and watching like with president Trump's address the other night. And then the response to that that happened over the next day or so, like sitting here and watching the rest of the country kind of wake up to what's going on. It's kind of interesting. I've been talking to my parents who live in Alabama, my in laws who live in Las Vegas and they have a very different experience and their social circles than I do in mine. Just because like, we have all the deaths happening here and all that stuff. So I guess that's kind of like what they feel like in Italy versus the USA. It's like, Hey, US people, you should really pay attention because this sucks. So it's been kind of wild being on the leading edge I guess of that experience.

Josh:
Yeah, for sure.

Starr:
Yeah. It is bizarre. Like it almost doesn't seem real to me because I'm like reading all these headlines and it just seems like the sort of headlines that you'd see in a movie, they sort of like the newspaper like flashes by or something or it's like some characters watching CNN and it's like stocks plunge 10% as blah blah blah. And it's like, Oh man, it just doesn't like it. I know it's real, just doesn't seem real because it's all just, I don't know, it's just, it's too big to wrap my head around. Yeah.

Josh:
Yeah. And meanwhile, like I mean around here, I'm not like in the middle of, I'm in Vancouver, Washington, which is like two and a half hours South. But I mean it's been sunny. Nice, nice outside. I mean, for the most part people have been going about their business, because we have one confirmed case and, well that's another story because like we have like 10 people under tests, but it's been 10 people under test for like 10 days. So basically there is no information. But anyway, if anything, you go out like to a restaurant or something, it's like there's not as much of a rush. So, it seems pretty normal. So it's like hard to square that with like, you read the front page of the Wall Street Journal every day, which I've been like taking screenshots of, to remind myself later what the next time it happens.

Starr:
So optimistic to think we're going to have computers in 10 years.

Josh:
Well, I mean, it'll be antiquated, but I can still bust out the old photo viewer or whatever.

Starr:
It's like child of mine, get on that bicycle generator and pedal. I want to look at my photos of the Wall Street Journal.

Ben:
It's been, it's been nice though being able to in some ways just proceed like business as usual. I get up, I'd do some code in the morning, right. And I go into my office, my little sub leased space and I just shut the door and I can write some code and yeah. I was never a big restaurant goer or anything and I'm not the person that goes to concerts and things. So like for me, I don't, okay. I already don't have a social life. So shutting everything down doesn't make a whole lot of difference.

Josh:
Yeah. I'm highly regimented. Like, we've joked like the being like quarantine isn't really a big change for our family, because like I just went through... It was good timing actually, like going through moving my like daily routine back, completely centered around my house. Like, I've got the gym here, I'm not going to the office at all anymore. So, some weeks I... if I don't actually try to leave my house, I don't leave my house anyway, but I've noticed that like, keeping to that routine and not letting myself like pay too much attention to what's going on and like stop doing what I normally do. Like keeping that routine is a big, big help. Like it makes you feel a lot better for sure.

Starr:
Yeah. I can see that. It's always been nice to be able to kind of lose yourself in work.

Josh:
Yeah. Plus I had a thought like, if the stock market is tanking, the economy's tanking. People say there could be a recession, there could be a recession, we don't know. But you can't control any of that. Right. So what we can control, like maybe there's no value being created in the market right now. We can still create value in our company. So that's kind of my plan is like, it's kind of an opportunity that we're not going to be spending all this time going to events, flying in, having social time and wasting all that time away that we could be working on product. So that's my plan is to just like reinvest that time back into like heads down, do as much as I can to make what I can, improve what I can in that time. And things will return to normal at some point. I would be shocked if they don't.

Ben:
Or you could just sit on our couches and play Switch all day long.

Josh:
Or we could do that together. I mean like, yeah, we could, will you send me a friend request or whatever they call it?

Starr:
Oh my gosh, we can do that. We can only play Pokemon together or something.

Josh:
Yeah.

Starr:
We can do that instead of a company retreat or company Xbox.

Josh:
Everyone gets an Xbox live account.

Ben:
We can Start a Splatoon Squad.

Josh:
Yeah.

Starr:
You know, I'll learn what that means momentarily.

Josh:
So, RailsConf is not happening, so we won't be doing that sponsorship, unfortunately. We are still trying to decide what to do with the Ground Kontrol. And I know I'm not supposed to say this because this would disclose the location of our secret. Our secret, like hide out if shit really hits the fan.

Starr:
Wait, Josh, are you talking about the Honey Bunker?

Josh:
I'm talking about the Honey Bunker.

Starr:
Trademarks.

Josh:
So yeah, that's one idea we have is, instead of just canceling the reservation, we could keep it and just instead of like, everyone's going remote right now. Like all the companies are going remote, let's just bring all of our people together. We're a small company so like we can pool our resources locally for survival and defense.

Starr:
And annex this arcade bar.

Josh:
In the middle of Portland.

Starr:
That sounds like a great idea.

Ben:
Everyone else is going from co located to remote. So obviously we should go from remote to co located. Yeah, I like it. I like that logic.

Josh:
I mean it makes sense, because we pretty much do the opposite of everyone as it is. So it sounds to me like-

Ben:
The future of work is butts in chairs or-

Josh:
The future of work is like-

Ben:
Or fingers on games. Right.

Ben:
I don't know about, because I can be standing at that arcade game, right. That pinball machine. You're not sitting there butt in the chair.

Josh:
It's maybe like the race car one or something. Right.

Starr:
I'm sorry guys. But if I am like in a bunker, I rarely really sit down.

Josh:
Recline, I think we talked about that.

Starr:
No, this is not a laziness issue. This is just like, I can't stand... like I'm not a horse. I'm a human being. We like to lounge occasionally. There's nothing, it's not a morality issue.

Ben:
Yeah. So we've internally discussed the idea of just keeping that Ground Kontrol reservation and having like a company game night or we just, we have the whole place to ourselves, but yeah, I don't know. It seems a little reckless at this point.

Starr:
It's a little bit Nero. I'm getting Nero vibes.

Josh:
Yeah. It'll definitely depend on the situation with the health crisis.

Starr:
Maybe everything will magically clears up, by May.

Josh:
If it clears up, that's what I'm saying. Like, we could keep it for a little while and just to see.

Ben:
So I think if we did keep it, we would still need to invite a hundred of our closest friends in the Portland area to come and join us at Ground Kontrol.

Josh:
Like a Coronavirus, Like a party that it's over.

Starr:
Yeah. I'm concerned the Corona.

Josh:
The apocalypse party.

Ben:
Yeah, a survivalist party. Right. We made it.

Josh:
Got it. Yeah. Everyone has to dress like a prepper.

Starr:
Yeah. I mean that is ironically the way to like ensure social distances and like cure Corona virus is just like, make all the parties serve Corona beer and it's so bad. Nobody's going to want to come to your party. And maybe it's good, like fresh, but like those clear bottles, like it just gets so skunky it's so gross.

Josh:
I don't know. They serve a lot of PBR at Ground Kontrol as it is. And I would rather have Corona with a lime than PBR.

Starr:
Oh really? Oh no, no, I'm a Pacifico girl.

Josh:
Yeah. Well, Oh yeah. Pacifico. Whoa, wait.

Starr:
I don't know. I lived in Mexico, so I've got strong feelings about the quality of Mexican beers.

Josh:
I'm just talking about comparing which I like to PBR.

Starr:
Oh yeah.

Josh:
Pacifico 100% is better than Corona. We agree.

Starr:
Yeah. So, I don't know, I suppose it's, I mean, we don't have any plans to change the podcast, eventually we'll probably get back to talking about actual like business stuff instead of just sort of just vomiting our fears onto the public.

Ben:
But for now you get group therapy.

Starr:
But for now, I'm sorry, I'm sorry people.

Josh:
Are you afraid?

Starr:
I'm not afraid. You're afraid. Yeah. Sometimes the bravest thing is to admit you're afraid guys. Anyway, so, yeah, I mean, I imagine it's possible though. Like if my kid is home, I might not be able to record the podcast if like, I decided to make a run for it to Montana or some remote location. This can be difficult. So I don't know, we just have to see how it goes, I guess.

Ben:
We hope for the best.

Starr:
Yeah. Honestly, I'm kind of tempted just to like be like, okay, company vacation.

Ben:
Yeah, I was thinking the same along the same lines. Like, you know what, maybe this is a good time to take that vacation I have been meaning to take for a few months now.

Starr:
More of a staycation really, but yeah. What month is it? March?

Josh:
Still March.

Starr:
Christmas in March.

Ben:
A lots happened in March.

Starr:
That's how we're going to get our economy back.

Josh:
It was a lot different, a lot different times.

Ben:
And we haven't even reached the Ides of March yet.

Josh:
I know.

Starr:
Really. Oh my God. And remember how everybody was like, Oh my God, 2019. Can't wait for that to be over. Well, thanks guys. Thanks. Like look what you did to us.

Ben:
That was just a warmup act.

Josh:
Hey, at least 2020 is interesting. It's keeping things interesting.

Starr:
You know, I just have to, I just have to say like, 2020 is interesting. I'm grateful that all my family is safe and everything for the moment. And I'm just trying not to attempt 2021 like I just want to keep 2021 very calm and not rile it up.

Josh:
Slowly.

Starr:
Exactly. Oh wow. Is there anything else you guys would like to mention?

Josh:
Nope.

Starr:
It's just, okay. You all are so still and silent. I thought that maybe my connection dropped. We're just like, that would be a good... Everybody's working at home and it's hard to have that sort of camaraderie when you're just on Zoom all day. But I just want to give everybody a little freebie. So here's a prank you can play on somebody that you don't like in your office is you get everybody else on the group call to, on cue, just suddenly freeze and stop saying anything. And maybe you can have one person put a fan on. The background is kind of like blow a plant sleeves just slightly, That would be a really great prank to play on somebody.

Ben:
I think it would be awesome.

Josh:
Please do that and tell us about it. Like organize it.

Starr:
There we go. So this is really the... this is our new business model I think is like consulting. We're like working at home consultants.

Josh:
Yeah. We're a way now telecommuting, consultants?

Starr:
We're telecom. Oh my gosh. Yes, we are telecommuting, like visioneers.

Ben:
Wait, before we go, like we were talking about profiteering at the open.

Josh:
Oh yeah.

Starr:
Oh yeah.

Ben:
So Josh, what stock do you recommend our listeners buy?

Josh:
I was going to say I was going through and looking at all the... like a lot of transportation stocks are just completely tanked and obviously because no one's going anywhere. And there's some other sectors too, but I've never been one for really buying individual stocks. And doing that still makes me like nervous just because there's like, there's no spreading the risk around. That's all your eggs in one basket. So I was thinking about like trying to pick my own handful of bargain stocks to buy. But I think what I'm probably going to do is go research some like transportation funds that cover the whole industry or sector potentially. I don't know what they're, I haven't looked at the charts yet, so I don't know if those are a good bargain or not, but I would prefer to have something that is more automated and spreads the risk across the whole sector versus just going all in on a couple. So I don't know. I might do a little bit of both, just for fun, just for funsies.

Ben:
So I go in the opposite direction. So like my 401k is where all the safe money is. My brokerage account is while I'll play money is, and so I pick individual stocks in my brokerage account. Right. So, my pick, and of course this is going to be published a week after I say this, so-

Starr:
Some people will want to check you.

Ben:
Yeah, exactly. Everything will be different.

Josh:
And did you just choose one?

Ben:
Yeah, I pick one. One stock I bought this morning.

Josh:
But should you just buy one if you're going to buy or should you buy like-

Ben:
Heck no, no, that's stupid.

Josh:
That's what I thought.

Ben:
Like don't do what I do now. This is my play money account. This is not investment advice. If I lose all this, I'm still okay. Right. This is not my kids' college fund.

Josh:
Yeah, of course. All of this we're talking about is pretty much play money I think.

Starr:
Yeah. I mean, that's the kids' college fund is gone at this point. It's like, Oh, you're on your own kid. Yeah, they're going to, they're going to go to the school of hard knocks.

Ben:
But it's going to be an online school because all the schools shut down.

Josh:
I'm just glad my kids are still young.

Ben:
So my pick, the one that I bought this morning, Slack.

Josh:
Slack, good call. Awesome. Yeah, that's a good call. You're anticipating the growth.

Ben:
Yes. Well, and they had earnings yesterday and their stock just tanked because they missed, they had like a big mess and so they just got pummeled and there's absolutely no reason. There's no fundamentals that changed. And with Coronavirus everyone's getting on Slack and Zoom. So I'm like, well I've already have Zoom so I bought some Slack.

Josh:
Nice.

Starr:
Well nice.

Josh:
That was a really good "pummeled" by the way, the inflection that you use for that. Like I could just see you on your own financial advisement advising show, like cable, like Ben's hot stock tips. Yeah, whatever.

Starr:
Yeah, you could have it on a button. You can be like "pummel pummel!"

Ben:
I'm going to take on Kramer. It's my new career.

Josh:
And I'll keep you updated. I'll let you know what I go with.

Ben:
Me too.

Starr:
Thanks. Yeah. So Josh, just keep one thing in mind. This is a thought and maybe that's going to be a nice closing thought, but okay. Tired profiteering, wired privateering hoist up that jolly Roger-

Josh:
I love it.

Ben:
like do something with the main sil, like bring her around with and load the cannons or whatever.

Josh:
Yup.

Ben:
All right.

Josh:
Love it.

Starr:
It's a very Honey badger move.

Starr:
Well, if you've enjoyed this show and you're not cowering under your desk at this point. Please go and review us on Apple podcasts if you are interested in writing articles for us, like we're still publishing articles about Ruby, about Elixir and stuff like that. So check out our blog and look on our header. You'll see a link there for information on how to get in touch with us. And yeah, if it takes me a while to get back to you, it's because I might I mean, might be fixing some brown rice that stuff takes a long time to cook.

Josh:
You know, if people are cowering under their desks, they're, they're also simultaneously looking at Twitter so they can definitely go give us a good rating and It'll also give them some peace of mind, relieve some of that anxiety that comes with Twitter addiction during a pandemic.

Ben:
Oh, it's scientifically proven that if you give us a five Starr rating, I'll give you an endorphin hit.

Josh:
Yeah.

Starr:
We're not legally allowed to say that.

Josh:
It might not give you a bigger endorphin hit than Twitter though, so.

Starr:
Wow. All right. Well, it's been great talking with you guys and I will catch you on the flip side.

What is FounderQuest?

Three developers building a software business on our own terms.