Nov. 3, 2022

Funding Open Source Projects, Leaving Homebrew, and Launching Tea with Max Howell


Working on open source projects is a largely thankless job and a labor of love. The developers behind these projects often juggle full-time jobs to pay their bills while maintaining the software that keeps so much of the internet afloat.

Max Howell, CEO of tea.inc., pivoted from chemistry to web development because of his fascination for open source. He worked full-time and did pull requests for Homebrew during his free time. After hustling to build a package manager used by engineers working for corporate giants like Google and Microsoft, he reached an inevitable burnout. Max created tea.inc. to fairly compensate open source developers for the work they do with the hope that open source work will be lucrative and sustainable full-time. The project has raised 18 million so far and it’s set to launch in early November.

In this episode, Max talks to Chuck and Robbie about the burnout of working on underfunded open source projects, why he left Homebrew despite its success, and launching tea.inc. as a Web3 solution for funding open source.

 

Key Takeaways

  • [00:21] - An introduction to Max Howell.
  • [01:15] - A whiskey review - American Highway Reserve Bourbon.
  • [07:18] - Max’s new project, tea.inc.
  • [26:21] - Max speaks about England.
  • [32:12] - Max discusses his U.S. journey.
  • [33:28] - Why Google turned down Max.

 

Quotes

[08:15] - “I look back on the iPhone as the pivotal moment, really, when development suddenly became cool.” ~ Max Howell

[13:27]- “I had a moment of inspiration where I could see how the open source ecosystem, with all its dependencies and all these packages could be similarly compensated.” ~ Max Howell

[22:50] - “The bottom fell out of the boot camp market because it was a bit of a scam in some ways. You can't learn to program in 10 weeks is the truth of it.” ~ Max Howell

 

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Transcript

Robbie Wagner: [00:00:09] What's going on, everybody? Welcome to another Whiskey Web and Whatnot with your favorite hosts, Robbie and Chuck. Our guest today is Max Howell. How's it going, Max?
 
Max Howell: [00:20] Good, thank you.
 
Robbie Wagner: [00:21] Yeah.
 
Robbie Wagner: [00:21] So for the folks who don't know who you are, could you give us a couple of sentences about who you are and what you do?
 
Max Howell: [00:28] Sure. Well, my claim to fame for sure is Homebrew, the package manager, mostly for Mac, although it's pretty well on Linux and Windows to a certain extent nowadays. Which I made in 2009, quite some time ago. Basically, a serial open source type person continuously going back and forth between the commercial world and the open source world. Homebrew was my biggest success. But now I've started a new company which effectively is a successor to Brew. The basis that people like myself shouldn't be going back and forth between open source and commercial work. Open source should be funded in its own right.
 
Robbie Wagner: [01:10] Oh, yes, I totally agree with that. And I'm excited to get more into that later. But before we do so, Chuck doesn't get grumpy. We will start with some whiskey here.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [01:21] Too late.
Robbie Wagner: [01:23] So we have a couple of different whiskey. Max and I have this. I guess people won't see this. We don't publish the video, but I'm holding it up. It's Highway Reserve, and it's cool. I didn't even realize this, but Chuck had told me that it is like similar to how Jefferson's Ocean is aged on a boat. This is aged in a truck. So it like drives around. They have a rolling rickhouse, they call it, and it is 96-proof. It is a blend of four mash bills, which I won't read all of them off, but they're like.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [01:56] Everything.
 
Robbie Wagner: [01:56] Mostly corn heavy. They're all bourbons. I think they are three years old, 13 years old, and 15 years old or something like that. So a lot of different ages. A lot going on, so we'll see how it is.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [02:10] Yeah. The idea of this whole motion thing, the bow to the truck thing, is that that means the liquid is sloshing around the barrel, and it's getting moved around a lot. So if it was just staying in a rickhouse, the middle would kind of be in the middle and not get absorbed into the barrel. But this way, it gets all moved around.
 
Robbie Wagner: [02:28] Sorry, were you saying something?
 
Chuck Carpenter: [02:30] No, not really. I don't care. It's not important. I'm in Arizona, so I got an Arizona whiskey since I couldn't get that one. It's called sacred stave, and it is a high rise, meaning 28% of the match bill is rye. We know nothing about the rest. It's at least 51% corn. No age statement, but it is 90 proof. So we'll see how my state here does.
 
Robbie Wagner: [02:51] Cool.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [02:59] I don't really listen to these later, but I like the idea if I did that, I could hear this cool pouring sound later.
 
Robbie Wagner: [03:06] Yeah, I listened to them. You do hear it.
 
Max Howell: [03:09] I never listen to things I'm on.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [03:12] oh, yeah. See, I have the same idea.
 
Max Howell: [03:14] Yeah.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [03:15] I don't want to hear my voice.
 
Max Howell: [03:16] I sound so different in real life. I sound great in my head. In real life, I'm like, oh, God, has anyone tolerate listening to that voice and that accent?
 
Chuck Carpenter: [03:26] Yeah, you're kind of in a Russell Crow thing going on. You know, the like, growly up in the voice, and the beard probably helps steer me that way as well.
 
Max Howell: [03:36] People are always asking me if I'm on the radio, and I've gone through cycles in my life where I pretend I am on the radio, and I'm now in a cycle where I am not on the radio.
 
Robbie Wagner: [03:47] Fair.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [03:48] Yeah.
 
Robbie Wagner: [03:49] For these, we do a super scientific rating scale. Since our mascot is a tentacled being, we do eight tentacles. So you can rate it from like, one is the worst thing you've ever had, and eight is like, this is the best whiskey I've ever had. I'm never going to have anything else. And I guess I kind of skipped part where we talk about it more, but since we have different whiskey, we can't really talk about it.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [04:14] Well, I mean, sure, we can all have perspective and talk about it. Mine had a very kind of corn syrup smell to it a little bit. It's a little weird. Maybe a little citrus there. Tasted it, though. And there's a lot of corn. Some thinking this is young. It's like very translucent. So a little cinnamon. Not great. I don't know. I'm not feeling this one. Sorry, guys. SanTan Spirits. I'll just go ahead and have a different one. Yeah, I'm going to give it a two. Yeah, I'll finish this glass, but it's just meant for cocktails, potentially.
 
Robbie Wagner: [04:56] Well, the one we have is pretty good, I would say, as not being a usual bourbon drinker. I would give it a six and a half. I think it's pretty good. You can definitely taste it's been in a truck. I feel like it's fun. What do you think, Max?
 
Max Howell: [05:15] Well, this is an eight for me because I really don't know much about whiskey and don't typically enjoy it that much, I have to say. I know that maybe that's the wrong thing to say on this podcast, but for me, this is extremely drinkable. I like it a lot. Maybe that's the problem. I haven't been spending enough on whiskey.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [05:35] Yeah, I don't know. Maybe that is the problem. Well, I didn't know if you were doing whiskey with an E or without an E. Sometimes that's a difference, too. But given where you're currently located, I mean, trying some bourbons and ryes seems like a good idea.
 
Max Howell: [05:49] Should get into it.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [05:50] Yeah.
 
Robbie Wagner: [05:50] He had sent a picture of some Sagamore, actually, which is one of our favorites, which you might not have known, but we actually did a barrel pick of Sagamore Barrel. So we're fans of that for sure.
 
Max Howell: [06:02] Yeah, I got that one to smoke cigars, which has become a hobby of mine. My fiancee will only let me have one a week. Normally I would, like, be like, I'll do what I want, but she's right. Shouldn't really smoke that often so.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [06:19] Right.
 
Max Howell: [06:20] I'll allow.
 
Robbie Wagner: [06:21] That's fair.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [06:22] You can see that one. I was going to say.
 
Robbie Wagner: [06:24] The surgeon general would agree.
 
Max Howell: [06:26] Yeah, I'm in a cigar state. North Carolina.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [06:30] Yeah, that makes sense. And smoking cigars, smoking meats. Lots of smoking going on there.
 
Max Howell: [06:38] Something I planned to get into one day.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [06:41] Yeah. Did you say you're in Raleigh?
 
Max Howell: [06:43] Yeah, near the triangle. It's called the triangle because of these three cities Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh. We're closest to Durham. Raleigh.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [06:51] Okay. Yeah. I've been to Raleigh a couple of times, mostly to go to different restaurants. I used to live on the West Coast. Or the East Coast in DC. And we have some friends in Chapel Hill. So drive down there and then bounce around the three cities to eat our way around the area.
 
Max Howell: [07:08] Yeah, some good food. It's only been here a year, though, so I'm still getting the hang of it.
 
Robbie Wagner: [07:14] We're getting very into whatnot here with food.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [07:17] I know.
 
Robbie Wagner: [07:18] Let's pivot back to the meat of what we're here for. Like that pun there.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [07:25] So clever.
 
Robbie Wagner: [07:26] Yeah. So tell us about your new project with Rea.
 
Max Howell: [07:30] Sure. Usually, I have to talk, like, 20 minutes before I can get to tea, so I quit Homebrew in about 2016. At that point, it was five years old, and I dedicated, like, thousands of hours to it easily. It was the project, I felt, that I was brought on this planet to make. It was an interesting ascent to being this essentially indispensable project. That's rare nowadays that you meet a developer, hasn't heard of it, at least, and usually, they use it. And along the way, I kind of burned out, and I'm moving on. I'm doing other things. I was doing iPhone work a lot at the time, and obviously, that was becoming extremely, it had already been for a few years, a very lucrative profession for a programmer. I look back on the iPhone is like the pivotal moment, really, when development suddenly became cool, because, for the iPhone, if you told people at a party that you're a developer, they'd, like, immediately start looking for an exit. And they were like, no, I don't want to talk to this geek. But then, after the iPhone, they go. Oh, I've got an app idea.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [08:36] Yeah.
 
Max Howell: [08:37] And then you have to listen to their app idea for ten minutes and then tell them it was impossible because it required, like, some magic data that doesn't exist. That was usually the thing. Got a great app idea, like a button that, when you push it, it makes you happy.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [08:50] Right? I love the whole. I've got a great app idea. I have no money, and I have no idea how to do it, but could you help me for equity. I'd definitely give you half for my idea. There's a lot of that.
 
Max Howell: [09:03] All of us who were there.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [09:05] So I've been to those parties.
 
Max Howell: [09:06] Yeah, exactly. We've all had that happen a few times, for sure. This is typical now, I have to turn down gently, gracefully. I stopped and eventually left the government committee as well. It's a very good open-source success story in the respect that it built up a big community, and that community, like, jumped in with both feet and were there to take over from me in a very successful way after I left the project. So I never thought I'd do it again. Honestly, in the years since, people were like, you can make another Brew. And it's not as though, like, I didn't have ideas for another Brew. I've been extensively taking notes, frankly. It's just like something I do whenever I have an idea, I have to write it down, I have to put it in somewhere, and I have, like, large categorization system. So the idea of Brew 2, who was something that I've been working on for a while, but it was only last year when me and my fiance were trying to get pregnant. It's the true part of this story.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [10:10] All right.
 
Max Howell: [10:11] And we were told by the gynecologist that it could take a year. So at the time, I was working on some open source and trying to do, like, a microSaaS and avoiding trying to avoid going back into the industry, trying to avoid not, like, having the ability to power myself. And I thought, okay, that's fine. I've got a year to try and make a business microSaaS or trying to figure out how to monetize open source, which is something I've been interested in for years because I've always enjoyed working on open source more than anything else. Homebrew was just incredibly fun for a lot of it. That was incredibly hard work for a lot of time, too. While I was working on it, I had two full-time jobs. Essentially, I go to work to pay the bills and then often at work be doing some merging a few pull requests or, like, doing a little bit on the side. My employer didn't know.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [11:11] They do now.
 
Max Howell: [11:12] Yeah, well, we'll see. An yeah get home and work. Many parts of my life have been a workaholic. Many parts of my life. I've also been the opposite completely. I go between streams. So last year, we got pregnant in a week rather than four months.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [11:33] Wow.
 
Max Howell: [11:35] I never felt so masculine in my life, I have to say.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [11:41] Find that to be a surprising comment. But, hey.
 
Max Howell: [11:45] So I woke up the next day after we had a little celebration. I was in a cold sweat. I suddenly realized that I didn't know how I was going to provide for a family. It's not something I really, thought I had a year to figure something out. So I went through all my notes for, like, ideas I had for startups because, okay, I have a few friends I could start a startup with. Let's figure out if there is something in here with legs enough. Well, I always thought that maybe there was a way to make a company out of something like Brew 2. So I noodled it. And then I started diving into Web3 stuff because my friend Timothy Lewis has been trying to get me into cryptography, cryptocurrencies and that for a while. And it was only when he phoned me up last year and said, hey, we're calling it Web3 now. I was like, hang on a minute. So I was like, obviously incredulous, because if you're going to call it something like Web Plus One, then that's quite a big call, quite a big ask. But also having the guts to call it that, you got to pay attention. You got to have a look, see what they're talking about. So when I looked into it, there was so many stuff there that I didn't realize was there. How far things had gone with smart contracts. The idea of being able to make money essentially like a programming primitive, that was very interesting. And I dove into that, and it was like one day when I was playing around with buying an NFT on OpenSea, and I saw how the person I bought it from got 10% of the royalties automatically, and that was guaranteed by the smart contracts on the chain. I was like, oh, well, this is interesting. And then I had a moment of inspiration where I could see how the open source ecosystem, with all its dependencies and all these packages, could be similarly compensated, where if someone puts some money into the ecosystem, you could start pushing bits of that to all the dependencies in the chain. Essentially, that's the essence of what we're doing at tea. And I phoned back my friend Timothy Lewis was like, well, what do you think of this idea? And he said I'll get you. The next thing I know, we're like having meetings and pitching it to investors, and, well, we've raised 18 million so far.
 
Robbie Wagner: [14:03] Oh, nice.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [14:04] Oh wow.
 
Max Howell: [14:05] It turns out that the idea of a tool that combines these things, like the reach of Brew, with the possibility of funding open source and how it works, because open source powers the Internet in reality, and developers, all developers, like, feel bad they're not helping to fund that because the vast majority don't. But it's partly because it's so difficult to. I remember I have this other open-source project called Promise Kit, and at peak, it was used by 100,000 iPhone apps, including Netflix and McDonald's. And I never even got so much as a free Netflix subscription.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [14:47] Yeah.
 
Max Howell: [14:47] At the time, I was thinking if every one of those apps gave me one dollars a year. Then that would easily allow me to work in open source. Now, it's not great salary for a developer, but it's a good salary still, and I would have taken it. So that was the essence of the concept of thinking that there's a way to channel just very small amounts of payments into the system. Then you can fund it because there's so much use and not as much open source. So yeah, tea is Brew 2 with a cryptocurrency backing. Essentially we're putting the package registry on chain and using digital contracts to remunerate the open source ecosystem.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [15:33] So essentially, it rectifies the position of corporate entities, or even like you mentioned, a couple of large corporate entities, of taking too much advantage of open source contributions. Right. They come into the community, they utilize all the good work, and then I kind of never contribute back to that in most ways, just trying to close that gap. Its sort of like it reminds me of speaking of open source contribution where someone rage quit based on that very kind of feedback. Or did you see anything about the Faker.js guy who basically burned the package and on his way out and it was about he complained over the last few years, so he was ready anyway. He said like XYZ company is making millions off of my hard work, and it's not cool.
 
Max Howell: [16:23] Yeah, exactly. There is a lot of these people, and they're taking for granted in many ways. So I don't think it's fair to say that they don't give back at all. A lot of these companies are trying to give back, it's just very difficult to do. So like, I used the Promise Kit example. There was one year where this German company said hey, we really like Promise Kit. Let us sponsor you. And it took us two weeks back and forth to figure out how to do it. Now, this was immediately before GitHub sponsors. That makes it simpler now, providing it's there, but putting money towards everything you use open source wise. We estimate there are 200,000 open-source packages, and probably that's like a factor of two or so too low, honestly. But in reality, probably only a third half of that is actually important to keeping everything running. Like Microsoft or Facebook or Google, like any of these big companies, they probably use like an awful lot, thousands, tens of thousands packages. It's not really reasonable for them to figure out how to compensate all those debts. So, in reality, you need this kind of system. You need some kind of intimated system where token that enters it or, you know, money can be distributed in a fair but equitable fashion.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [17:43] Yeah, I can see where there's kind of incentives on both ends. Like on one side, as a consumer of open source, if you're making micropayments in based on what you're using and then conversely, now you're incentivizing people to make more time for open source contributions or to feel good about it outside of the community side of it. Like it or not, money moves the world around in a way. And if you can simplify it on both sides, like you said, how much time is Facebook going to spend trying to compensate contributors to packages that have helped them build a business and build their own contributions out there? Right? It's difficult. And then you're sort of like, well, we have to run a business, so we can't do that. So if you're simplifying that for them, then that incentivizes them to partake in it, I think.
 
Max Howell: [18:34] Yeah, well, absolutely I believe that. Well, it's going to be two factor, honestly. Finally, there's a system that makes it easy for them to contribute. So I see projects and people who are involved in these communities putting large amounts of pressure on these companies because they'll be like, hey Microsoft, now there exists an easy way for you to donate like 5 million a year, 10 million a year, whatever, to the open source you use because the tea tool is a package manager. It knows what the staff at Microsoft are using, and we can collect that data and then make it, so it's easily accessible for them. We're not going to take it from them or something like phone home or anything. It's just like they can have their staff run this command, and it will say, okay, your stuff is using this amount, this bunch of stuff. And so then we can just inject that into a wallet app and have it push the money there into the right places. So I see the community putting pressure on these companies and these companies feeling obligated. Also, like you and I who used open source and make the most of it, we can just put whatever amount of money we want in a year and know it's going to the software that we actually use that make use of without having to think too much about it and wait until NPM says, hey, this project is starved for funding. Can you please give it some? You already are. Every developer on the planet, just put $5 in, it will be enough. It's the truth of the matter. So yeah, we're hoping that it's not just going to be the corporate interests, but they're a good target because, as you say, they've made a lot of money using this software that a lot of us have given away for free. I personally never expected anything in return for doing it. All I wanted was the opportunity to continue working on it without having to make compromises on what I worked on. I keep saying that if tea existed, I wouldn't have built tea because this is the thing that I'm building, and also make it so that other people can work in open source from time. What I really like to see is for it to become an economy that is valuable enough that engineers at Facebook and Microsoft and all the other big companies that pay so well find that they could quit and earn just as much money by working on open-source, contributing to the software that makes the world run. I feel it's kind of criminal, really, that they're wasting their talents, some of these people, and making sure that ads show up in the right places or that people are liking the right kind of content. It's not a good use of very intelligent people's time.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [21:17] Yeah, that's the hustle though I definitely had to do plenty of that working in media for a while. Well, it was like mid-career, I guess, give or take. So yeah, I definitely understand and empathize with what you're touching on there. Conversely, I wonder another point that you made that I think is pretty interesting is it's not about just educating corporations and facilitating corporations in ways, but I wonder because we know that the engineering job market is exploding in lots of ways, will probably continue to do so. Those are the trends going forward. So people can get into positions earlier in their career a bit more easily because there's so much demand. So like educating them. Accelerators to computer science grads, are they learning about open source communities and sort of like the skills that get them the job to make the things, including the like buttons or whatever else? Like understanding that, like, there's a debt of gratitude to a lot of work that's gone down. That would be an interesting side to it too. So like, I'm getting somewhere here a really warm route, like you're giving the platform to provide that, but what about like the education side of it? Really?
 
Max Howell: [22:30] Yeah. Well, that's a very interesting question. Now, in 2014, 2015, I worked at a boot camp because it was one of my strategies for working on open source half the time. So I did half my time teaching, and I found that I really enjoyed teaching. I didn't want to stop, honestly, but the bottom fell out of the boot camp market because it was a bit of a scam in some ways. Like you can't learn to program in ten weeks is the truth of it.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [23:00] Right.
 
Max Howell: [23:00] It was really hard looking some people in the eyes and telling them they had a chance when you knew that they just didn't have it. And they spent like ten grand on this boot camp. I wasn't making the choices on the pricing, but that's what it was at the time. So when I did that, they certainly didn't have an awareness version source. It was just a bunch of software that was there. And people are used to free software, especially like post iPhones and app store markets where the rates to the bottom of everything is free. So they don't really appreciate. They take it for granted as it being there. But that's never really bothered me, honestly. Some people do feel some kind of entitlement credit, and I'm very happy with the fact that I made something that was significant, and some people know my name as a result of it. I'm very glad that, as an aside, it's only the tech community that I'm only tech famous, is what I say. I hate to be real famous. I don't even really want to be tech famous. But you have to be with open source. If you don't put your name out there, it's like the projects need a face, really. All the most successful open-source projects have a face, someone that represents what's being built. So it's kind of necessary.
 
Robbie Wagner: [24:22] Yeah, a face or a Facebook.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [24:25] Right?
 
Robbie Wagner: [24:25] Because Facebook projects do well.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [24:27] Yeah, I was going to say good marketing there, just, evangelizing I guest. Good marketing. And just talking about your thing as much as possible, I have a feeling, a small inkling, that's one of the reasons why you're here on this podcast.
 
Max Howell: [24:43] Yeah, well, definitely. We've been searching for various ways to get the message out because we're pre-release. We're releasing? Probably November 3rd. So I was hardcore working on the code just before this, and we'll attempt to hardcore work on the code after this, but with the whiskey, maybe that won't be so successful. Although I find out about you guys, I find that there are certain kinds of code you can do when you have a few.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [25:15] Yeah, it's the Ballmer effect. Did you ever see that xkcd?
 
Max Howell: [25:18] Oh, yeah, exactly.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [25:19] It's like, it gets better, it gets better, it gets better. Oh crap. Yeah, I found that to be the case often. I used to moonlight a lot and code into the night, and it was like, it's awesome, it's awesome. I'm getting things done. And then I knew when I was like, looks like this isn't going to work out, so I should just, stop now.
 
Robbie Wagner: [25:36] Yeah. If you hit a hard bug, it's hard to debug if you've had a few whiskies. But if you're doing stuff, you understand, and you can just crank through it.
 
Max Howell: [25:44] That's 100% true, in my opinion. Usually, you end up with that thing you just can't figure out, and then the next morning, it's like, this is not that difficult.
 
Robbie Wagner: [25:55] Who wrote this?
 
Chuck Carpenter: [25:56] Yeah, that too, blame did not say me. That's what I say.
 
Max Howell: [26:03] I never recognized my code. There's so many times I've got on to Slack to criticize my staff for writing some bad code, and they're like, you wrote that. I'm not good boss in many ways. I have to say.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [26:17] Yeah, but, you know, your outlook is so positive from what I've experienced thus far. So, I mean, I appreciate that. That's the dry British humor I was hoping to latch onto a little bit.
 
Max Howell: [26:29] I'd love to be a positive person.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [26:33] It's not in your DNA, let me tell you. I've spent a decent amount of time in England, so it's not there. Yeah, I love the place. I think it's awesome. If it didn't rain, like, every day, then I would probably live there.
 
Robbie Wagner: [26:44] Yeah.
 
Max Howell: [26:44] I wonder if I'll retire back there. I've been in this place ten years. And the idea of buying a little cottage in the countryside near a pub and retiring there, walking around the country, looking at the sheep. British beers. I love British beer. I really miss that. Almost in Leave, England, because I was like, this is the only place you can get British beer. No one else in the world appreciates it.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [27:09] Okay. Now, having had lots of that, so there's certain ones you definitely get some things here. In Arizona, I can get Boddington's, for example.
 
Max Howell; [27:18] When I can find Boddington's on tap, I'd keep going back. Yeah, you can get some of them, but I'm talking about like real ale.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [27:28] Yeah. The cask ales that they pour out in their room temperature, and Americans complain about it.
 
Max Howell: [27:34] Cellar temperature.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [27:35] Yeah. That was the funniest thing the first time I was there. I was staying with some friends and leads and go out to the pubs or whatever. And if you got, like, Heineken or whatever else, it was labeled as super cold Heineken, and I always thought that was kind of funny.
 
Max Howell: [27:50] Yeah, I never thought about that. It's true.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [27:53] Yeah. So that's an interesting bit about that, that I observe. Right.
 
Max Howell: [27:58] I never considered that. It's not actually super cold, it's just relative to the rest of British beer.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [28:05] Yeah. For me, it was like normal beer cold. I didn't find it any colder than any other Heineken I'd had, but then yeah.
 
Max Howell: [28:12] That's amusing.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [28:13] Yeah. Cask ales. Cask ales are an interesting, fun experience. I like pasties, love those. But the key is where are you from?
 
Max Howell: [28:21] Well, South London is where I was born and raised.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [28:24] Okay.
 
Max Howell: [28:25] So, 1st, 18 years of my life there. Kind of boring. It's Croydon is the borough. It's the biggest borough of London, and in my opinion, is probably the shittiest.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [28:37] So it must be on the east side then, right? Southeast.
 
Max Howell: [28:40] It's very south.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [28:41] Just straight south.
 
Max Howell: [28:42] Right next to Surrey.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [28:44] I have heard of Surrey.
 
Max Howell: [28:46] I hear it's better nowadays. But I think it's telling that all the friends I grew up with have moved away. Almost all of them. They're either elsewhere in England or elsewhere in Europe, or a lot of them are in the States.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [28:58] Interesting.
 
Max Howell: [28:59] A lot of Brits move to the States.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [29:01] Yeah, well, you know, American women love those accents.
 
Max Howell: [29:05] I honestly can't argue against that. I moved here for an American woman.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [29:13] Right. I made some assumptions when we got there. Football or no.
 
Max Howell: [29:17] The thing I don't miss about the UK is the obsession with soccer. So I was never that into it in the slightest. I was actually okay at playing it. I was always okay at playing various sports, but never very interested in them. My friends would be like, let's go to the park and watch the game. I'd be like, oh, sure. I had no idea what the game was going to be. I got there, and I was like it's an England game. I should probably have known that England were playing something or other, but no, not really my thing. So it's actually neat being in the States as a Brit because all your sports are different, and I can just go, I'm British, don't understand them. I'm not expected to understand them.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [30:01] Yeah, they're like, oh, it's okay. I know I'm the anomaly because I follow European football, soccer, or whatever, and most people here follow other sports, and then they'll always talk to me about NFL or college football and stuff, and I'm like, yeah, I don't really watch that one. Oh, you're a weirdo. You're out.
 
Max Howell: [30:22] Yeah, sorry. I feel you.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [30:24] We should just trade. If you get a place over there, then we should just swap. You can live in Arizona. The weather is great in the winter. I love that. It's going to be like T shirt weather in the winter, but summer is a little rough.
 
Max Howell: [30:37] Yeah, Arizona is the kind of place that I would like to own some property there so that we can go in the winter. But yeah, I did a road trip from San Francisco to Savannah, Georgia, a few years back and in August and going through Texas in August. And Utah, we didn't get no, we did get through Arizona.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [30:59] Just the tip, though.
 
Max Howell: [31:00] We went to see the.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [31:02] Just for a second.
 
Max Howell: [31:03] Yeah, we crossed over. Trying to get as many states in the heat was phenomenal. It's really quite crazy. I don't know how you tolerate it.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [31:13] Yeah, I mean, Utah has some of that. Vegas is exactly the same kind of weather patterns as here. The fun part about Arizona is that two-thirds of it is not desert. So actually, most of it is higher elevation, gets snow, has evergreen trees, all that kind of fun stuff.
 
Max Howell: [31:28] Oh, I didn't know that.
 
Robbie Wagner: [31:28] Prove it.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [31:29] Okay. Right now? Yes. Go to weather.com and look up Flagstaff, Arizona.
 
Robbie Wagner: [31:36] No, it says Arizona is desert.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [31:39] Okay. All of it.
 
Max Howell: [31:41] So, do you live in the desert or the snow?
 
Chuck Carpenter: [31:45] I do. I live in Phoenix, basically. And if we want snow, though, we could just drive up there. It's not a big deal. Everybody has pools and air conditioning, so you don't die, but it's hot, and after it drowns on for a little while, you're like, still 100. But then every Christmas, you're like, oh, snow, that's weird. I have a T-shirt on. I don't say it in that accent at all, but in general, I don't know. That was a gloating voice. It's for radio. Okay, so you touched on a little bit that you took a long road trip purposes of moving around the country, and you said you've done that a number of times in your ten years here, so what's up with that?
 
Max Howell: [32:27] Yeah, well, I think I'm in North Carolina to stay.
 
Robbie Wagner: [32:33] You like that swampiness.
 
Max Howell: [32:35] You know you're staying when you start paying attention to the politics that are going on. And I'm like, I'm paying attention to who I'm voting for.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [32:43] Right.
 
Max Howell: [32:44] And never really did that before, so that makes a difference. I started off my US journey in Michigan near Grand Rapids because the girl I married grew up there. That was 2012. And then we moved to Chicago, and probably we should have stay there, honestly. We like Chicago apart from the winters were, like, abysmal.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [33:12] Yeah, real rough.
 
Max Howell: [33:13] My birthday is in May, and one year it snowed on my birthday. I was like, Why are we here?
 
Chuck Carpenter: [33:19] Yeah, that makes sense. If you like to be outdoors in any way, including outside of your residence, then not a great place when it's cold.
 
Max Howell: [33:28] But it has a great vibe. We really love the people we met there and like the culture of the place. But that was when I had the boot camp I worked out, and then one month, I forget, near summer, they decided they couldn't afford me anymore, and the bomb was fully out of the boot camps. Essentially they were all being bought up by the bigger ones, and it wasn't as possible anymore. The gold rush on the App Store was closing up a bit. This annoyed me because I really enjoyed the work, and then I was like, okay, so what am I going to do now? My wife at the time was like when you reply to Google and all those emails that we're sending you, trying to recruit you. So I did. I would use her as an excuse because I wouldn't have done it otherwise. So I applied, and they rushed me to interview because of Homebrew.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [34:24] Right?
 
Max Howell: [34:26] Well, I didn't get the job. I had my seven interviews that day, and the first one was this hardcore computer science question, and I don't have computer science. I have a chemistry degree. I fell into programming because I didn't like working in the chemical industry. I did the whole chemistry degree, and then I went into industry, and I discovered that actually chemistry is really boring. The actual study of it I found interesting, but the application of it is you spend years on the same stuff. So I fell back in programming because I knew that was somewhere where you could do things really quickly. So that's how I got into open source that way, I installed Linux. I worked on some open source in the Linux world for the desktop environment, KDE I got to know the community there, and that's how I fell in love with open source. And it was through that I got a job at a London start-up in programming. So I never had the degree. They saw some of the work I've been doing and they liked it, so they just offered me a job without the usual tests and everything else.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [35:34] Yeah.
 
Max Howell: [35:34] So when I applied to Google, I told the recruiter, I don't know computer science, you know that, right? I don't have a computer science degree. So you're not going to ask me a bunch of computer science questions when I get there.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [35:45] Algorithm bullcrap. Yeah.
 
Max Howell: [35:47] And, like, the first interview I had that day was inverting a binary tree.
 
Robbie Wagner: [35:53] Nope.
 
Max Howell: [35:55] Couldn't do it, didn't know what to do. I had a good attempt. I basically understood what was going on and tried. And then the interviewer stopped me after a bit, and she was like, okay, we're just going to stop. I was like, well, I can't be doing that well.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [36:09] Yeah, I can remember a funny tweet that you put out now that you bring this up. I remember there was like a really funny tweet that went viral about that very thing. Yeah, you failed the Homebrew guy. You all use Homebrew. Isn't that ironic?
 
Max Howell: [36:25] Yes. Well, I will get to the tweet in a second. I guess I'll finish it. Yeah. The day I had, like, seven interviews, and I say four of them. Actually, the people interviewing me chose deliberately, like, software architecture questions. I did pretty well because that's actually what I'm good at, among other things. But yeah, I kind of felt that I didn't get it. And so they told me a week later, and they're like, I'm sorry, we can't offer you this position. I knew that was coming, really, but I immediately went to Twitter and wrote out this tweet because it did seem a bit silly at the same time. Surely they could have used me for something and like, with hindsight, that's absolutely the case, but I'm glad I'm not there. But anyway, by the time I had, like, maybe 600 followers on Twitter, so I didn't expect anything. And then a week later, I had 25,000 followers, and I've been on Hacker News several times, and the tweet has got like five or 6 million impressions at this point. Yes, I've almost deleted the tweet several times because I kind of feel bad. I wasn't trying to shame them. I'm not the kind of person who, like, wants that kind of attention. But it made a lot of people happy.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [37:44] Yeah, it made me happy. And I've been on the other side of that equation in terms of, like, being someone who's hiring people and hiring talent and, like, looking at what that kind of means. And I know, I guess from a Google perspective, it's a pretty wide net, and they're like, come in here, and then we have our qualifications for excellence, and then you get a lot of freedom. But it seems like that they weren't able. There's obviously gaps in that. And on the other side of it, like, having been a manager, director or whatever else, and building teams and hiring people and stuff, and I always think about if I put them through algorithms for what we're doing, it doesn't really make a lot of sense. Right. I just need to make sure that they can do the job that we're doing. Let's pair, let's go through some problems that are happening, real life in the application we're working on or something like that, that seems like the best metric for success. And maybe because Google is just like, we want to just get all what we think the best talent is and then figure out where they go and what they work on later. Maybe that's like the flaw in their process. But I loved it. I don't know. I just thought it was like exactly. Whiteboarding is stupid. Whiteboarding is for you're, a computer science person, you want to get your Ph.D., great, here's a step in doing that. Or I don't know what else is the point. I'm good at math.
 
Max Howell: [39:04] Yeah, well.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [39:05] Yeah.
 
Robbie Wagner: [39:05] The problem is these big companies have so much process that you're not going to get them to stop doing that, it doesn't matter who you are. Mark Zuckerberg could be like, I want a job at Google. And they're like, all right, do these algorithms, it doesn't matter who you are, and they can't bend the process. There should be a way for them to say, look, this person we really want, we want to skip the process, but they just don't let you.
 
Max Howell: [39:27] Yeah, well, to be fair to Google, I had friends there who told me that, actually, the tweet caused them to revisit their process and give it some thought. And I did have a couple of offers come through from other departments with Google afterwards and they were like, we don't care about the tweet or that you can't do this, we know you're good at this, and so we'll hire you, presumably with a less sadistic interview process. So, you know, they were aware, I think, and that's why I feel bad as well. But it was good for me. Over 300 job offers in my email over the next few weeks, and so I picked where I worked next, and that was Apple.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [40:12] Oh.
 
Max Howell: [40:13] Which lasted a year.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [40:14] Well, that's interesting, though. I mean, that's kind of nice.
 
Robbie Wagner: [40:18] By choice, it lasts a year or.
 
Max Howell: [40:20] No, I thought it was my dream job, I really did. I've been an Apple fanboy for quite a few years at that point. I'm less of an Apple fanboy nowadays, for sure. My operating system order was Windows. Well, earlier than that, BBC micro. Which was this computer in Britain that only existed in Britain. They basically run a variety of basic as its shell, and that's what got me into programming. Then I got Windows 3.1, and so I was Windows until, like, HP probably, then switched to Linux because I was disillusioned with chemistry, and I wanted to find out what open source was. And I was with Linux until one day when I had this issue where my WiFi driver just wouldn't work after I upgraded, and I didn't have the Internet to help me debug it, and I was stuck by myself, and it took me two days to get the internet back, I was like, I'm fed up with this shit. So I knew OSX was Unix, and that was the thing I really liked about Linux I discovered over the years of using it. It's like Unix is the part which is just brilliant and resonates with me, and I love it. And, like, that's been the case of my whole career. I love the origin story of Unix. I love how they built a series of composable tools that work so well together and make it possible to do so much. But these tools individually are simple. I think it's beautiful. And everything I do in open source I always take the Unix approaches as far as I'm concerned that they pioneered the right way to do software.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [42:05] Sounds like microservices architecture in a way.
 
Max Howell: [42:10] That should, in a respect, appeal to me. But I don't go as low as that level usually. Honestly.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [42:19] Interesting.
 
Robbie Wagner: [42:20] Yeah, I had a similar path of, like, Windows. Everyone used Windows first. It was the ubiquitous thing, I feel like. And then you dabble with Linux, and you're like, this is fun, I like this, I like that the terminal makes way more sense than it does in Windows. And then you're like, wow, I wish this were just prettier and worked all the time. And then you go to Mac. It's just an always-working Linux machine, basically.
 
Max Howell: [42:45] Yeah, that was really it. I've always had a bit of a design bent. I almost went into industrial design rather than chemistry, and I'm glad I didn't because all of this wouldn't have happened, I'm pretty sure. So I've always been, like, appealed to a user experience and UI that makes sense and put time into that. And that was the thing that frustrated me about working with Linux so much is that most people didn't give two shits. Everything was messy, and there were different user interface paradigms everywhere, at least at the command line level. There was more consistency in a way because they had to be. These tools had to be able to talk to each other. So you had to have the standard input and standard output in a few different, but very similar formats, like usually white space separated or null terminator separated, and tools that could work with that.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [43:41] That makes sense.
 
Max Howell: [43:43] So I got over 300 recruitment emails, and there was some pretty interesting ones in there, and I probably should have gone to SpaceX, really, with hindsight.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [43:55] I don't know. Well, yeah, I don't know plus or minus. Definitely some cool things there. But you hear as an engineer or just an employee that it can be a difficult work atmosphere.
 
Max Howell: [44:07] Yeah.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [44:07] I love the stuff Elon's doing and I know that's a controversial comment, maybe in some circles, but I don't know. He's innovating.
 
Max Howell: [44:14] I admire the man.
 
Robbie Wagner: [44:16] Yeah, it's easy to innovate when you have a team of people doing 80 hours a week of work for you. But yes, he is smart.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [44:24] Indeed.
 
Max Howell: [44:25] I probably wouldn't have been able to do 80 hours a week at the time, was married, but would have wanted to, probably. But you know he's going to space, and it's difficult to get away from the appeal of actually going to space. I didn't get the GitHub badge for getting code onto Mars, and that really annoys me.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [44:50] Oh, gamification works.
 
Max Howell: [44:52] I'm like, how could nothing I wrote got onto Mars? But yeah, they weren't running Homebrew on the Rover, apparently. Obviously.
 
Robbie Wagner: [00:45:01.780] Installing packages manually, I guess.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [45:04] Yeah. Or, I don't know, some workarounds. I used to work for Acquia, and so they're known as the Drupal company because their founder created Drupal and then Commoditized, that open source. And Tesla is a client, and apparently, Drupal was somehow involved in their OS for Tesla cars.
 
Robbie Wagner: [45:24] Really?
 
Chuck Carpenter: [45:25] I don't know the specifics. I wasn't on that project, and I never touched Drupal in my life. I was working on some, like, marketing SaaS stuff for them or managing teams around that, but.
 
Robbie Wagner: [45:35] Does that mean Shepherd tours are coming to the Tesla next? Because Drupal uses Shepherd now.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [45:42] Right, but I mean, Drupal on the admin side is never going to be on a vehicle, right? So it might be somewhere else and interconnected to what they push to the main OS.
 
Robbie Wagner: [45:53] I thought it was a package that you built, like.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [45:56] Drupal?
 
Robbie Wagner: [45:56] Like the stuff that the person puts in the CMS, right, would end up in your tour, is what I was thinking. Not that it was on the admin side, but maybe I'm wrong.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [46:05] Well, I don't know. I never pursued how deeply that went, but I know that Tesla uses Drupal and somehow interconnected to the OS in a vehicle.
 
Robbie Wagner: [46:16] Got you.
 
Max Howell: [46:17] It's funny how some of these bad calls end up propagating all over the place. So I don't need Drupal.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [46:26] I didn't create Drupal. I don't care. Yeah. Sorry, Dries. You and Max can come on the show and duke it out. I don't know. He looks like a burly guy, though, so I don't like your chances.
 
Max Howell: [46:37] Well, the Internet prevents any damage.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [46:39] There's a side note. So, how tall are you?
 
Max Howell: [46:42] Not very tall. I'm only 5'7".
 
Chuck Carpenter: [46:45] Oh, me. Only? You mean huge. 5'7". Such as one of the hosts of this show.
 
Max Howell: [46:53] Well, if you want to get into the height thing, whenever I meet someone who knows of me from beforehand, the first thing they say is, I thought you would be taller. Every time, so expect it, basically. I don't think I could have been successful off the Internet, because everyone would have been prejudging me as always a short guy. You can't beat that. By the Internet. Everyone's a dog. Right. So no one knew I was short, but I've never let it bother me that much. But it definitely is a psychology thing. People think taller people are more confident, more capable, more successful, and so it's self.
 
Max Howell: [47:40] Self-actualizing in a way. Right.
 
Max Howell: [47:42] You have to work harder if you're short.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [47:44] Yeah. And there's studies, and Forbes will say, like, oh, taller executives tend to make 6% more than anyone under 5'9" or something. Yeah, I've read all those things in the past.
 
Robbie Wagner: [47:56] Because they beat up the people that make the salaries.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [48:01] Right. There you go. I don't know, like short man syndrome. You're okay to punch up?
 
Max Howell: [48:09] We have to, like, if anything, is character building, but my fiancee is taller than me, and that was deliberate. Getting some taller genes in there so at least my son doesn't have to go through some of the same things.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [48:23] That's hilarious. My wife is like half inch or so taller than I am and she's the shortest of her immediate family and then has some height in there. And I said the same exact thing. We got to breed up out of this.
 
Max Howell: [48:36] Yeah, it's not that bad. No, there's only worse things that you can start life with than not ending up so tall. But it's a thing. I didn't want it to be a thing for my kid, essentially.
 
Robbie Wagner: [48:49] Yeah, that's fair.
 
Max Howell: [48:50] Yeah. I love my fiancee, but I did pick her up, probably, because she's tall.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [48:59] Oh, love it. Yeah. I mean, it's plus other things, of course. I'm sure, is what you meant.
 
Max Howell: [49:04] She's wonderful. She really is. I'm really quite lucky because I was married before. Came to the states on a K1 visa. Met a girl in London who was from America, and it didn't work out. We were together ten years overall, eight years married. We gave it a good shot.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [49:23] Yeah.
 
Max Howell: [49:23] Saw a lot of different states together. We moved around a lot. But I say this to other people honestly. I think part of the reason that it went on so long is because we kept moving states and that kind of reset the relationship to a certain extent. So starting again in a new place because fundamentally, we weren't good together at all.
 
Robbie Wagner: [49:44] She just wasn't quite tall enough.
 
Max Howell: [49:48] She was 5'10". She was pretty tall.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [49:51] Is she dead?
 
Max Howell: [49:52] No.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [49:53] Okay, that's good.
 
Max Howell: [49:54] I hope not.
 
Robbie Wagner: [49:54] At least it was 5'10".
 
Chuck Carpenter: [49:57] She was 5'10". She lost her legs. She's dead. I don't know how this is all going.
 
Max Howell: [50:05] I hope not, but I haven't spoken to her in a while. So I assume she's still alive. She actually lives in Arizona.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [50:10] Oh, that's.
 
Max Howell: [50:11] Actually, now.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [50:12] Small world. Okay. There's like a few million people here, so I don't know her. I'm fairly certain of that.
 
Max Howell: [50:20] No, I assume not.
 
Robbie Wagner: [50:21] Probably has a terracotta roof.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [50:23] Yes, I would bet. Well, I don't have a terracotta roof.
 
Robbie Wagner: [50:27] Oh, really?
 
Chuck Carpenter: [50:28] Yeah. No, I bought in the more historic area. There's a lot of midcentury modern in the main areas, but if you start to go outside, it would be like the bridge and tunnel equivalent. Robbie. But if you go to the outskirts cities, which is still part of Phoenix, but it'll be like Chandler, Tempe, Mesa, they're building all these subdivisions, and they're all terracotta roofs. They're all like tan houses. They're all this close from each other.
 
Robbie Wagner: [50:55] Yeah. Spanish style.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [50:56] Yeah. No, we didn't do that. We bought a mid-century house.
 
Robbie Wagner: [50:59] Nice.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [51:00] We got a little space. Yeah, a little space, a little walkability. That was my comeback from DC. Living in the city. Compromise.
 
Robbie Wagner: [51:07] Yeah. We're going to move soon, probably.
 
Max Howell: [51:10] Where to?
 
Chuck Carpenter: [51:11] Of course you are.
 
Robbie Wagner: [51:13] Yeah.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [51:14] He doesn't go too far. Don't be too impressed by him.
 
Robbie Wagner: [51:17] Yeah. We have to stay in Virginia.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [51:19] Other part of Virginia.
 
Robbie Wagner: [51:20] Because I've always lived in Virginia, and I've never had to change my license, and I don't want to do that process.
 
Max Howell: [51:25] It is a bitch. It really is.
 
Robbie Wagner: [51:27] Noone wants to go to the DMV.
 
Max Howell: [51:29] Four times.
 
Robbie Wagner: [51:30] It's terrible. Yeah, I had to. But we'll probably just move like, we were in, like, near DC. And we moved, like, an hour or more out into the country. Decided we have too much land and stuff to maintain, and we're far from stuff, so we're going to move in between the two, like 30 minutes from DC. So that's the plan.
 
Max Howell: [51:49] That's pretty sensible.
 
Robbie Wagner: [51:51] Yeah.
 
Max Howell: [51:52] You don't want to change your license. It always takes hours. You have to book it in advance. Then they don't know what they're doing. It's difficult. And then, you have to retake parts of your driver's license test. And I still, after being in the state of ten years, do not understand US signage. So I almost always failed on that bit this time around. The guy liked me because he lived in England for a bit, and we had been chatting about that for a while. I think I probably failed. And he was like, it's alright.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [52:23] Oh, that's funny. Yeah, you'll get by. You'll be fine here. I, too, love chips, as fries and not crisps. That's all it took.
 
Max Howell: [52:33] Took me a while to get the hang of those word differences, and I still think I do a lot of them wrong, and people just, like, don't really understand what I'm saying in general. Anyway, congratulations. You guys seem to be understanding me fairly well, I think.
 
Robbie Wagner: [52:48] You haven't had anything weird that I've noticed because we've had a couple of Irish and British people on, and they do have a few different words, but I haven't heard you use anything that I was like, oh, that's different than I would have said.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [53:01] I just take offense to the fact that my name so obviously my name is Charles, but most people call me Chuck. That's the short version. That's to throw something away. Listen, I'm not trash, okay? That's the one. I want to be clear, I'm not trash.
 
Max Howell: [53:15] Well, I'm glad you said, you know what? I would have thought otherwise.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [53:19] Yeah, of course. I mean, we've had an hour conversation. You can draw your own conclusions, but yeah.
 
Robbie Wagner: [53:27] So speaking of it being almost an hour here, we're about at time, I guess we didn't officially say, like, where people can find tea or how they can get into it. Do you want to plug some of that or anything else?
 
Max Howell: [53:38] Yeah, let's do a brief plug. We managed to get tea.xyz, which was nice, especially because we didn't pay a domain scammer for it. It was available because you have to pay a lot of money for an XYZ domain that's short. So that's how it should be. It's ridiculous. Anyway, I can go on for ages about domain scanners, so tea.xyz go there authenticate with tea using your GitHub, because there will be a token reward next year when we launch the protocol. So if you're not familiar with cryptocurrency, since effectively we instantiate our own currency, we can give it out where we please. So our objective is to give it to developers as the initial handout. And from an economics perspective, this actually makes a lot of sense. It turns out I've learned so much about economics doing this, one of the more interesting parts of it, and it turns out, like, blockchain and protocol work is all about incentives. Game theory, essentially. So it's very interesting in that respect. A lot of people, I think, have been turned off by it because all the scams in Web3, like, God knows there are so many, but tea, we really feel, is a genuine good utility on top of what cryptocurrency can provide.
 
Max Howell: [54:57] So, yeah, go there, authenticate with tea, and well, we're planning to release the package manager in early November. Not sure when this podcast will go live around then. So you'll either be late or slightly early or on time. Yeah, exactly. I've been working on it for, like, nine months.
 
Robbie Wagner: [55:13] It's two weeks from now.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [55:14] I think it'll be perfect because it's usually about two weeks. It will be, like, right before, but just like, right before the best time to, like, boom, launch it out.
 
Max Howell: [55:23] At this point, the day is set in stone. We're going to Web Summit in Lisbon, and we're going to release it then during the event.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [55:30] Nice.
 
Max Howell: [55:31] It's pretty nice. It's a pretty nice tool. So at the very least, you want to check it out?
 
Chuck Carpenter: [55:35] Yes.
 
Max Howell: [55:36] I think that most people will feel that this is something that they can see, how they can use it. That's why they did Brew. It was always something that I needed, and this is already I'm finding new ways to use software, be a programmer, be a developer. Because of tea. Why I built tea.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [55:56] Awesome. Cool.
 
Robbie Wagner: [55:59] All right, well, thanks, everybody, for listening. If you liked it, subscribe, give us some ratings and reviews. We appreciate it, and we'll catch you next time.
 
Chuck Carpenter: [56:09] Thanks for listening to Whiskey Web and Whatnot. This podcast is brought to you by Ship Shape and produced by Podcast Royale. If you liked this episode, consider sharing it with a friend or two and leave us a rating, maybe a review, as long as it's good.
 
Robbie Wagner: [56:24] You can subscribe to future episodes on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcast. For more info about Ship Shape and this show, check out our website, shipshape.io.