FounderQuest

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Summary

The world is burning, yet we find ourselves settling into our weird new daily routines. This week Josh, Starr, and Ben discuss the importance of company transparency during a crisis, Tiger King, and, political trigger warning, separating health coverage from employment. Bring your marshmallows, chocolate and crackers!

Show Notes

Show Notes:
The world is burning, yet we find ourselves settling into our weird new daily routines. This week Josh, Starr, and Ben discuss the importance of company transparency during a crisis, Tiger King, and, political trigger warning, separating health coverage from employment. Bring your marshmallows, chocolate and crackers!

Links:

The Witcher 3
Scribendi
The Office - Micheal's casual jeans
Tiger King
Disney+
Animal Crossing – Tom Nook
Justin Jackson – Good Businesses Have Margin
Obamacare

Full Transcript:
Starr:
I was thinking this show we could talk about... I don't know just kind of getting settled into this sort of weird, new normal. Even though it's hopefully temporary. The last few shows I feel were-

Josh:
Wait, you're saying we actually have a topic this show? Because that actually, in itself, means that we must really be settling in if we actually have a topic this week.

Starr:
Yeah. I mean the last few weeks, it's like personally, I felt like I had no idea what was going on in the world, or my life, or anything. It was just everything got blown up. I'm starting to figure out how the pieces are going to fit together. So this week I feel personally like I kind of am getting a little bit of an idea of like how it's going to be. It's just a matter of keeping on doing it for two months? I don't know... how long? However long?

Josh:
Y'all getting a little bit of a routine dialed in now?

Starr:
Yeah. Exactly. The situation in my house is that my wife is also working from home. She also works in tech as a writer. So basically we switch off during the work day. I work mornings, she works the afternoons. And then we take turns watching the kid. And then we both try and steal scraps of time during naps, and in the evening, or whatever, to do things that we couldn't do during our lifetime. I feel like I'm at the point where I'm kind of able to sort of scrape by the stuff I need to do. It might be a little bit hard to do extra stuff, to start getting ahead, but as far as just making sure that the wheels stay on the car, and stuff like that? On the work I'm doing, at least, it's possible. What about you guys? I think y'all's work situations have changed less than mine.

Josh:
Yeah, mine hasn't changed a whole lot, to be honest. Because I was commuting to an office for a little while early last year, and over the course of... like late last year, I'd moved everything back home, including... I've got my home gym now. So pretty much my day was already spent at home. And we have young kids, but I was already home with them. My wife is a stay-at-home mom, and takes care of them and stuff. She's kind of going crazy right now because we had to tell our babysitter that she can't come because... but that's the thing, lock down. So yeah, we have a lot less help right now. I guess that's the big difference. I've been taking a little bit more time, in my work day, to stop and help with the kids and stuff. Like put them down for naps, or that sort of thing.

Starr:
My question for you is, what did you know that the rest of us didn't? You've obviously been prepping for this, Josh. You've got your home gym. You've been going on this for at least six months.

Josh:
Yeah. I'm just a hermit. I don't know. Usually my work week is pretty much the same as it's has been for the last six months. I usually will get up and do some reading. I ride my stationary bike that's in my office. I do some work. I work out. Do a little bit more work, and then it's family time. Before all of this happened, during the week, my major outings usually revolved around food, so just like getting lunch or something. I'm not doing that, but we replaced that with getting out. We still try to get out for walks and things. I even still have the occasional outing here and there as well. I don't know.

Ben:
Yeah, my schedule hasn't changed a whole lot either. I'm still getting that six hours or five hours of sleep every night. Waking up at 5:00 or whatever in the morning. Working. See, everyone else is asleep. My kids are older. They're teenagers, so they're sleeping till noon anyway, right? So I'm working from like 6:00 to noon-ish. Grab some lunch-

Josh:
Yeah, and then the play the Witcher for the other eight hours a day, before they go back to sleep.

Starr:
Wait, does the Witcher even work if you try and play it at like 4:00 AM? Isn't it down for maintenance every night?

Josh:
Yeah.

Starr:
Every night from like 4:00 to 6:00 AM?

Ben:
I don't know. Wouldn't know. Never tried. Yeah, and then like lunch. And then I'll do a little bit of work, maybe, in the afternoon sometimes, if I feel like it. I'll go for a walk, go for a run. I do miss going to the gym regularly, because I was still doing that. So that's kind of a bummer but, I've got the weights in my garage, and doing that.

Josh:
Got some stuff, yeah.

Ben:
It's not really that much of a difference, except that I don't go to my office every day now, even though, I'm really usually the only one here. Still, I felt like, "It's probably a good idea not to go into the germ environment." Just shelter in place. And just bring my stuff home. Yeah, not much changed for me.

Starr:
That makes sense. I don't know, it's pretty different working in this new environment. Normally my days... We work 30-hour weeks at Honeybadger, and I though I have like a 40-hour week to fit that into? Now I'm trying to fit that into like a 20-hour week. So things are a bit more hectic. There's a bit less of a leisurely pace to things. And then also, there's no downtime. There's like 30 minutes of downtime. Or maybe that downtime is when Ida gets her iPad or something. And she refuses to nap.

Josh:
Routines really help us kind of get through this sort of thing. I've been trying to keep changes to the routine minimal. Or take steps to maintain routines that we did before. Or replace things.

Starr:
Yeah, that makes sense. The sort of systems that we've put in place... and I'm thinking about the stuff I put in place around the blog, in terms of project management, honestly is just saving me right now, because I have zero extra capacity to remember things. So like the other day I forgot to mark an article that was in fact done, as done. And it was still in the needed to be edited category. And so I sent it to this person who is doing some editing for us, and she's like, "You sent me this last week." It's because I forgot to mark it done.

Starr:
Let's talk about some more, maybe productivity or business-why things. Personally, one thing I'm trying to do to get through and sort of supplement the fact that I'm so stretched now is to get in a little bit of help on the editing side of all these blog posts I'm doing. What I had been doing previously is I had been essentially doing all of the big editing stuff and then outsourcing a kind of proofreading to a service called Scribendi. They're actually pretty good, so I would recommend them if you need that sort of thing. But I'm experimenting with having an actual, in-person relationship with an editor who's Melissa, who's a previous sort of author of ours. We published a article that she wrote about Pry recently. That's actually been really good for us.

Josh:
Yeah, it did.

Starr:
She has editing experience, so I don't know. I'm experimenting with that. So far it's pretty low scale. It's going to be maybe a couple of hours a week. Just freelance and see how that goes. So far, she's doing a great job. So my hope is that she can sort of in addition to eliminating that proofreading service... which we're already paying for. In addition to that, she can maybe take on some of the more higher level changes that need to be done that I would normally, personally do. So that would sort of free me up to then go on and do improvements, instead of just making sure that the system is just running.

Josh:
Yeah, that makes sense.

Starr:
In terms of the business? We briefly talked about this, but we're going to... We normally do like a once a month chat with all of our employees and everything. Like an all-hands, just to hang out. I brought up maybe making that more frequently. And Ben suggested weekly. So we were kind of hovering in like on maybe Mondays doing that. As sort of a non-required thing. Just for fun. 

Josh:
Yeah, I like that idea. I think that one thing this is forcing is... even it's forcing remote teams to become even more remote, because now that... I think the reason we're thinking about changing it up is that we don't have the social outlets that we normally do, that helps us get through the remote lifestyle that can be isolating. So it's forcing us to think about that a little bit more. And build more of that into our company DNA.

Starr:
Yeah, exactly. I see a lot of people on Twitter, and they're like, "Is this what remote working's like?" It's like, "No. It's usually much nicer than this." It's not like a case of the world ending.

Josh:
Yeah, although if you're new to remote, or if you're doing it wrong? It can get pretty bad if you don't establish good habits, even in normal times too, I would say.

Ben:
Yeah, I think a lot of people when they start working from their home, they're excited about it. They're excited about the idea of being able to not have to commute and things like that. One of the side effects that I've seen many times, is people will just work more. Right? They start to lose the boundaries between work and home. And then end up working 10-hour days, and they don't really notice, because it just blends together. I'm like, "Oh, the computer's there. Let me check my email." And then half an hour later, "Oh, I'm working." Right?

Ben:
I think a lot of people who have made that transition have gone through that phase and realized they needed to set up some things around their life to make sure that doesn't happen. Maybe my commute is taking off the pj's and putting on some sweatpants, right?

Josh:
Yeah.

Ben:
But anyway, some way to delineate what's work time and what's home time. And sometimes that can take a while. I hope that people get enough time during this phase where they can actually learn that, and work through those things, so they can understand, "Oh, this is really what working from home is like." Once you actually get into the groove.

Josh:
Yeah, I've heard people say that it really helps to have even specific rituals for starting and stopping work, when you're working from home. I've even heard... I forget who it was. I read a book semi-recently where they were like saying they have rituals where they actually have a saying that they utter, when work is over. Just to get it into their head-

Starr:
I really like that.

Josh:
... "I'm done."

Starr:
I really like that.

Josh:
Yeah, so you could have your little work rituals at home. It could be small things, it doesn't have to be like-

Starr:
Come to think of it, I think... having worked from home the majority of my career, I kind of do that stuff too, without really thinking too much about it. Yeah, to start work basically, I get out my little notebook. I make a little list of things to try and not forget today. Things that I maybe need to do. Drink some tea. Yeah, that's kind of the start of the day. I tend to do that even if I don't have a full day. Even if I know exactly what I need to do, I just write it down.

Starr:
I think what y'all are talking about is structure. Like overarching... this is kind of what we're moving towards a little bit more with the weekly, hang-out meetings. It's kind of just injecting a little bit more structure into the company remote culture. To maybe compensate a bit for the structure that's lost from being able to go to the outside world. Because just taking my kid to daycare, and picking them up, and stuff like that's a structure. I've got to leave by 5:00 because I've got to go get my daughter. Everybody has little things like that, and suddenly all those are gone, and it's just this Wild West situation.

Starr:
And I just want to show my age for a second. I think it's so funny that people are like, "What are you doing wearing jeans? You should be wearing sweats." It was like sweatpants are like a category now in casualness, like below jeans, but separate from pajama pants.

Josh:
Right.

Starr:
In my olden days, my antiquated way of thinking, pajama pants are basically the same as sweatpants.

Josh:
Yeah. And jeans are things you wear to like casual day or something?

Starr:
Yeah, exactly. But jeans are like the new formal. I don't know, I never got into athleisure, so...

Josh:
I like Michael's jeans on The Office were always funny. He had these... his casual day jeans, and whenever he got into his casual day jeans, the real shenanigans would happen-

Starr:
Oh, my God.

Josh:
... because they would just make him extra crazy.

Starr:
Yeah, but I mean, there used to only be also light jeans. But now you've got light jeans and dark jeans. So it's like you're wearing your-

Josh:
Acid-

Starr:
... dark jeans.

Josh:
... wash?

Starr:
Acid wash? Those are just on another level, Josh.

Josh:
I mean, that would be a way to really know you're working, though.

Starr:
Yeah, speaking of acid washed jeans, we started watching Tiger King last night, which is this new show on Netflix everybody's talking about. Have y'all seen it?

Josh:
Mm-mm (negative).

Ben:
Nope.

Starr:
I recommend it. It's one of their limited series, documentary, true crime shows. But I don't think anybody actually gets hurt in this one, so it's good. We're not quite profiting off of... making light off of somebody getting hurt. Yeah, it's about this private zoo owner in Oklahoma named... I think his name was Joe Exotic.

Ben:
Is that the guy that ran for president?

Starr:
Probably. He ran for governor of Oklahoma. Anyway, and it's super interesting to me because he's got a mullet, I'm sure he had lots of acid washed jeans. Super redneck guy, kind of like a stock character. It's really weird for me to watch this because I'm from the Arkansas/Oklahoma region. Everybody in there is just... everyone who is in this documentary... it just seems bizarrely familiar to me. I don't know any of them, but I know people like them. Including people like Joe Exotic. It's just bizarre.

Starr:
So anyway, moral of the story? Watch that show, it's really good. And don't ever pay to pose with tiger cubs, because it is bad news. It's bad for the tiger cubs.

Josh:
We finally bit the bullet and subscribed to Disney+. Like I made it this far, but yeah, this was the last straw. So, we are now Disney+ subscribers. Katelyn said something the other day about "the kids have so few pleasures left." And I'm like, "What are you talking about? They have unlimited high-definition Disney-

Starr:
What else do you want?

Josh:
We were lucky if we got the VHS tape to rewind properly.

Starr:
Trying to not like eat itself?

Josh:
Yeah. Like we had to blow on the cassette tapes.

Starr:
Yeah, that's so funny. Yeah, we might have to do that too. Ida's iPad actually broke... or the screen got messed up. So we got her a replacement, but it's not an iPad, because the iPads are really expensive to give to a little kid. So we got her an Amazon Fire tablet. They have a kid one that's like indestructible. It's sort of the same deal, it's Disney+. It comes with a year of their subscription service, and the subscription service is basically like the Apple app store, just loaded with kids' stuff. And it's unlimited. So she's like downloading all these games, and she's just like...

Starr:
Yeah, she briefly turned into like a guy in his early 20s. Sort of shut in to his dorm room, just playing games. Didn't want to eat or talk to anybody, or sleep.

Josh:
Yeah, it's like training for college. It's preparation for things to come.

Starr:
Yeah, there you go. The upside of that is that she at least not watching YouTube as much, so...

Josh:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.

Starr:
We were talking about... we should probably get back in the...

Josh:
The other thing we've been talking about is, because this is about time for our quarterly team, all-hands meeting, which we affectionately refer to as our conclave... That's not going to happen in person, but we've been talking about ways to move that to a remote structure. I don't think we have that fully figured out yet, because I don't think any of us want to sit on Zoom for like eight hours straight, which is what we would usually do in person. Break for lunch, of course, but yeah... I think we're talking about ways we can tackle that remotely?

Starr:
That makes sense. We need to work that out. Maybe split it over several days, or maybe like... I don't know have just the three of us meet for longer than everybody else? Because everybody probably doesn't want to be involved in every single conversation about things that don't really have directly to do with them.

Josh:
Yeah, I feel like there's much more opportunity to take advantage of the asynchronous communication style this way. There might be some benefit there to us, I think, because it would give us a little more time. As long as we have some structured planning around guiding the discussions and things? It might give us more time to put deeper thought into things, and explain ourselves more clearly than if it's all just off the cuff.

Starr:
Totally. That makes sense. 

Ben:
We also talked about... you had the idea of sharing more financial information, just to give... overcommunicate, give some reassurance that, "Yes, we're okay."

Starr:
Oh, yeah. That's right.

Ben:
So I had my one on one with Ben, and we talked about the financials, like how much money is in the bank, and talked about... we have seen a slight decline in the revenue. It's not crazy, yet, and it feels like a typical kind of up and down, like a normal course of business thing. But we're obviously keeping our eyes on that. So I talked through that with Ben. Talked about how we're thinking about... We're cautious. We're cautiously optimistic. We don't feel like there's going to be a huge impact to our business because a lot of our customers are not going to be dramatically impacted by having to stay home and that sort of thing.

Josh:
Yeah.

Ben:
But obviously, it's a concern that we have, and especially as projections for how long this goes on continue... there could be some impacts to our revenue. But talking about where we are with our current balance, and how we're cash-flow positive, we've always been pretty conservative on our money so we don't spend ahead of revenue or anything like that. We've communicated that stuff in the past, but I think, Starr, you had a great idea of reiterating our operating principles, and our beliefs, and giving a snapshot of what we're doing today.

Starr:
Awesome. I don't know, when you're an employee, you don't really have that intimate knowledge about the business' financials, so I don't know. Everything seems a little bit more off in the fog, and you have to trust that it's just kind of working, and it's going to maintain itself.

Ben:
That reminds me, I was totally nodding when you were saying that, but I did tell Ben, because as an employee, you're kind of nervous, right? Like, "Oh, I could get laid off if things get bad." Or "I could just get laid off anytime, really." There's no stopping a business owner from just terminating you any time they want, really. In the US, anyway. And so I said to him, "Look, we're good financially. We have money in the bank. We're cash-flow positive, et cetera. We're not anticipating any layoffs. We're not planning on doing any kind of reduction like that. And we definitely won't say one day to you, 'Oh, by the way, Ben, you don't have a job anymore tomorrow. Good luck.' If we see that sort of thing coming, we'll obviously give you plenty of notice, so you don't have to panic."

Starr:
That's a really good idea. That's a really good idea.

Ben:
But I also told him... I committed us, the three of us, I said, "If things get bad, like the three of us? We will take a salary cut before we start cutting employees. We feel that's the right thing to do-

Starr:
I don't know if I'd go that far.

Starr:
Stop recording. Stop recording. I've got payments to make on my Switch.

Josh:
Right?

Ben:
I've got that $10 a month-

Josh:
On the Switch-

Ben:
... premium coming out of my-

Josh:
... games-

Ben:
Yeah, you've got to pay it back to that guy in Animal Crossing, right? Yeah, I've got to work off my indentured servitude to Tom Nook. Great game, by the way. I started playing it. Great game.

Josh:
Yeah? Katelyn's been playing that, because she got a Switch, and yeah, she's really liking it.

Ben:
Nice.

Starr:
I was thinking about this because there's been a lot of memeing going on about how... people are learning, who don't really pay much attention to business normally, that most businesses don't have a ton of cash where they can keep on operating for more than like a month. Most businesses operate on a pretty hand-to-mouth system, even if they are relatively big. We have a little bit more buffering than that, and I was just thinking about that because there's all these memes going around where people are being like, "Oh, you expect normal people to have six months of savings, but your business doesn't have six months of savings."

Starr:
It occurred to me that both of those things are actually probably caused by the same structural force, which is, in both cases you have the owners of the business trying to... the one thing they're trying to do above all else is to maximize investor returns. And so any sort of surplus that you have laying around goes to investor returns. It doesn't go into a rainy day fund, and it doesn't go into paying your employees more than you absolutely have to, so they can do their own rainy day funds. I don't know. I was just thinking about that because that's thankfully one force that we don't really have operating on us directly, although, I'm sure all of our customers do.

Ben:
Yeah, though I did hear that, I think it's Apple, has enough cash on hand to run their business for a year, without any revenues.

Josh:
If all the revenue stopped tomorrow-

Ben:
That's Apple. That's darn impressive.

Josh:
Isn't that because it's all stuck outside of the country, and they haven't been able to bring it in or something? Or did they figure out a way around the taxes?

Ben:
Yeah, I don't know.

Josh:
I've heard they have massive cash reserves or whatever.

Starr:
I'm sure they do.

Josh:
It would be nice if businesses all operated like that, because if that's the case, basically businesses just could kind of finance their own shutdown, basically. It would just affect longterm profits for the overall economy. But it wouldn't... the businesses would bear the cost of that, versus the taxpayers.

Starr:
I was just going to say that maybe it also... even when one step farther, and then it goes back to the whole... everything's based on price, right? I don't know. Like the reason that Apple can probably have that much cash in the bank is because they can charge a premium. They're not a low-price leader or anything. It's maybe

Josh:
Yeah, it really depends on the type of business. And that's one of the reason why that'll probably never happen.

Ben:
I think if you read Justin Jackson's thing about margin, right? That's the argument he's making, right? If you run a business that has that kind of margin, that gives you that luxury? Then things are much easier. And I think that applies on a personal level as well. Basically, just living below your means. It's simply just spending less than you make. Then, over time, you can accumulate that buffer, that rainy day fund, so you can weather a storm that comes, when it comes. Because storms will come. I just feel like-

Josh:
Yeah. And it's so much to live on half your income, because then you don't have to worry.

Starr:
And honestly, even without the savings component? It's good knowing that you just have to... like if you need to find a job? You only need to find a job making half as much as you're making now, which is always easier.

Josh:
Yeah, totally. You could take a 50% pay cut and still-

Starr:
I mean, it's not-

Josh:
... like nothing will change.

Starr:
Yeah, we're talking about sort of survival situations. Were not talking about ideal situations. I don't know.

Ben:
Yeah, it's an interesting time for the world.

Starr:
It is.

Ben:
We're having conversations that most people haven't had. Our grandparents experienced the great depression, and left some of that legacy with their children, and how they lived their lives. We're a bit removed from that. We don't have as much of that in our psyche as our parents did, because of that event. Well, now we're experiencing an event that could be very similar to that experience that they had, and I think we will definitely have a community psyche adjustment. At least I hope so.

Josh:
Yeah, for sure. I don't know about you all, but I'll be washing my hands for 20 seconds for the rest of my life.

Ben:
For real!

Starr:
Oh, definitely. Yeah.

Josh:
Yeah.

Starr:
Definitely. Every day it just gets drived home and more, just how insanely lucky we all are. And not to say that we haven't worked hard and all that stuff? Yeah, we've worked hard and everything. But it's like lots of people have worked hard in industries that are just shut down right now. And they just don't have any... There's people who have worked way harder than I have, who are just out of work. Through no fault of their own.

Ben:
We're very fortunate to be in the business that we're in. Because we could have put this much work into... and even twice as much work into our own restaurant chain. Right? And right now, that would be just washed away.

Josh:
Yeah, it would be tough. Going back to the whole living on less than you make thing or whatever, having a good buffer... I was looking at the income requirements... it's the CARE Act, right? That's cutting checks to everyone in America. But there are income thresholds where you won't get a check. And it's at some point. But I was thinking about that because I know that there's a lot of people out there that made more than the income thresholds, but they are so over extended... as far as like their mortgages, car payments, if they're doing the typical McMansion lifestyle or whatever... they would probably really appreciate that little check right now. And I bet some of them will be complaining about it.

Ben:
I'm going to get a little political on you here, so fair warning. I was reading this week about this act coming through, and people making various arguments about what we should do to help people. One thing that came out is it's kind of a big deal that we have this huge jump in unemployment... that was just reported yesterday... and yet, all of our health insurance is tied to our employment. Like that's probably a bad thing to have in this situation.

Starr:
I know.

Josh:
Yeah.

Ben:
This has been one of my things, my soapboxes for years. I was like let's just divorce employment from your health insurance, please. So I'm just-

Josh:
Yeah, it doesn't make sense.

Ben:
... I'm hoping beyond hope that this event will push that over the edge, and we'll actually make that happen. I care less about whether it's private insurance, versus multi-payer, versus single. That's great, we can talk about that-

Josh:
Right, just make it not-

Ben:
But just make it not tied to your employer, for Pete's sake.

Starr:
I have a feeling a lot of people's opinions are going to get changed about a lot of things in the coming year.

Josh:
Yeah. It seems like that whole thing is like a holdover from a very, very different time. Like that was back in the early days of when health insurance because a thing.

Ben:
Well, it was all about-

Josh:
Back when it was created, right? Like it was the companies that were pushing it initially.

Ben:
Yeah, well it's all about post-WWII, you could not-

Josh:
They were competing-

Ben:
... yeah, you could not raise salaries past a certain point. There was price control on that.

Josh:
Yeah, so they started to compete-

Ben:
So offering that-

Josh:
... on benefits. Yeah.

Ben:
Yeah. So let's just unwind that.

Josh:
Right.

Ben:
For me, when I look at... of course, I have no idea what I'm doing here, I'm just a web developer, right? But I would say-

Josh:
Just.

Starr:
I'm just a simple, country web developer. I don't cotton to these big city ways.

Ben:
Let's just transition from employer-based private insurance to 100% private market, private insurance. Everyone goes to the marketplace and buys the insurance that they need. That's a step we can take. And let's talk about other steps we might want to take at some point. Fine. Great. But I think if we could just do that one thing, get everyone out there buying health insurance for themselves, rather than through their employer-

Josh:
Big step in the right direction.

Ben:
Yeah.

Josh:
Yeah.

Ben:
I think that would be helpful.

Josh:
As a freelancer-

Starr:
It gets so complicated though, because it's easy to think about the main sort of happy path in terms of that, but there's so many sort of sad paths, and people's lives are so complicated that it's-

Josh:
Yeah, you'd obviously still need to cover the people that obviously can't do that.

Ben:
Sure.

Josh:
That don't have any chance of doing that.

Ben:
Right.

Josh:
But even just as a freelancer, in my early 20s learning how the world works, I didn't go through the career path, so I didn't go work for a company. I pretty much just went straight into freelancing. So I learned the value of buying my own health insurance. And it wasn't fun, because it wasn't cheap, as a young person. But yeah, a lot of people don't learn that... I just don't think that you should... insurance is something that you should buy for yourself. A lot of people just kind of assume that it's something that comes along with all the other benefits that you get from employment, or citizenship.

Ben:
Yep. I will say that when I was doing freelancing first, when I first transitioned from an employee to being a freelancer, that really opened my eyes to the whole insurance thing. Because yeah, like you said, you have to buy your own-

Josh:
Because then you have to buy it yourself.

Ben:
... insurance on the private market. And that was before Obamacare, so it was kind of a different world.

Ben:
If we could just agree to get it away from employers, that would be so much better.

Starr:
A hundred percent. A hundred percent.

Josh:
Get it away from employers, and maybe like standardize the rules of the coverage a little bit, so that everyone's not like bartering over the different provisions and stuff. A lot gets wasted in just trying to figure out how each plan should work.

Starr:
I don't know. It's all very complicated, and ideologically, I really like the idea of single payer. Personally? Like right now? I wouldn't really enjoy transferring all of my health stuff over to some different system. But I don't know. I recognize that any change is going to really... it's going to be change, and it's going to involve a lot of pain in the neck stuff for a lot of people.

Ben:
Yeah, I think there's a lot to like about the single payer thing, and I think one thing that we're seeing with this pandemic is that healthcare is a national interest issue, right? We should care about everyone receiving adequate healthcare, because that only helps everyone.

Josh:
It affects our health, like-

Starr:
Oh, yeah, totally. Totally. And if that is the actual goal of any sort of private insurance whatever, and they make it so that that's possible? Then, yeah. Sign me up for that. Right? It's just the whole idea of I've got to choose between rent or not dying? I just think at this point, the fact that we require this as a country is a moral failure. I think morally, we need to do better for people.

Ben:
And hopefully we'll have more of these conversations nationally, as a result of this. You know I'm always the optimist.

Josh:
Maybe we'll actually be able to talk about it.

Ben:
Hopefully.

Josh:
This time.

Ben:
Yeah. Hopefully we'll be able to have some good conversations around how we want to take care of ourselves.

Starr:
Yeah, and they're all going to happen over Zooms, so.

Josh:
Right?

Starr:
Your Zoom stock is going to go way up.

Ben:
Yep.

Starr:
Yeah, we've got-

Josh:
Is it Slack?

Ben:
Yeah.

Josh:
Your Slack and your Zoom.

Starr:
There you go. We've got a play date with all of my daughter's daycare kids-

Josh:
Nice. You can deal with that.

Starr:
... lined up in a couple of hours. So just FYI, I'm using the company Zoom account for a lot of this stuff. So we can get more than 20 minutes-

Josh:
That's awesome.

Starr:
... in calls.

Ben:
It's all good.

Josh:
That'll be something to grow up with, if this is like a thing. Yeah, doing your daycare meetups remotely... that'll be something that'll stick, right? I imagine.

Starr:
Well, hopefully not, because they'll all be going to daycare.

Josh:
Yeah, well.

Starr:
We've got to get back in that...

Ben:
I don't know, you might find a lot of people decide they like this new lifestyle right? You and Evie might decide, "You know what? We actually like this. We're going to keep Ida at home. Starr's going to work in the morning, and Evie's going to work in the afternoon, and we're going to just do this as a family."

Josh:
Yeah, I don't know. We've talked about homeschooling, to be honest. If anything, this drives me more in that direction than less, because I see what people are dealing with, with like the school systems in a crisis like this. And I'm like, "I'm glad my kids aren't in school yet."

Starr:
Yeah. We were supposed to start Pre-K... when is it? June? And I read this article this morning that was like, "The social distancing in Washington's working, but they need to keep it up through like early June, for it to actually make a difference in the longterm." So, it's like, well, we'll see what happens there.

Josh:
You know something interesting, going back to Ben, you said, "We've never really dealt with anything like this before. Our grandparents could talk about the depression and stuff..." We had 2008... that was a big event on the grand scale of things. But one thing that is different between then and now among a lot of things is podcasting. But podcasting has grown a lot since then. I think that'll be interesting, because there's a lot of smaller businesses like ours, that are now, I assume, documenting this whole period, that maybe happened a little bit less in 2008. There were some, but there's certainly a lot more happening right now.

Ben:
Yeah, totally.

Starr:
You know it's definitely the first one of these to happen when everybody's writing about it, and talking and posting about it, and all that stuff.

Josh:
Of course, will anyone ever come back and listen to them all?

Starr:
I don't know, maybe some doctoral student-

Josh:
Maybe.

Starr:
... will do their thesis on Honeybadger's podcasting. Honestly? That would be great because that will mean that society's been prosperous enough that somebody can waste their time doing that. All right, so do we have any messages for future generations? Anything you want to put in the old time capsule?

Josh:
Future generations of 'Badgers? When every citizen in the world refers to themselves as 'Badgers?

Ben:
The message is stay home, stay healthy.

Starr:
Yes, yes.

Josh:
Hopefully you don't have to deal with this like we are. Hopefully we have it figured out by then.

Starr:
I don't know, if there's one good thing that's coming out of this, I think it's that at least in my household, we're actually sort of reaching out to people more that we know. Just to make sure everybody's doing okay. See if we can help people, stuff like that. So you know, if anything? We're being driven maybe physically apart from the people, but I don't know, I feel like in other ways, we're being pushed closer. So, that's kind of nice.

Josh:
I heard everyone's back on Facebook.

Starr:
Oh, my God, no. I'm not-

Ben:
Not me.

Josh:
Apparently they've had a huge uptake in people rejoining, that had left during the whole Facebook whatever it was called.

Starr:
Yeah, I totally want to see what my racist uncle has to say about COVID-19.

Josh:
Reconnect.

Starr:
Yeah, that's great. All right. Oh, my God, you had to bring up Facebook. Now it's going to leave on a sour note.

Josh:
Always.

Starr:
I'm a never Facebooker. Well, I was once a Facebooker before-

Josh:
I like that never Face...

Starr:
Yeah. It's like I threw a party celebrating leaving Facebook, so-

Josh:
What about never Zucker?

Starr:
I never Zucker, yeah. What about that guy? He was like, "I want to run for president. Everybody loves me." And he got hit in the face by reality.

Josh:
Yeah.

Starr:
All right, well it's great talking with y'all, and I'll catch you next week. Have a safe and prosperous week.

Josh:
Yeah, you too.

Starr:
Oh, wait, I've got to say the stuff. If you like this show and you're stuck at home, go to Apple podcast and review us. If you want to write for us... if you write about Ruby, or Elixir, or whatever... We've actually had kind of an uptick in people wanting to write for us, including some people who you might even recognize, who are fairly well known in the little community we live in. If you want to do that? Go to our blog, look at the top navigation, and see the Write for Us link. Our blog's at honeybadger.io.

Starr:
All right. I think that's it. So, have a good one guys, and catch you later.

What is FounderQuest?

Three developers building a software business on our own terms.