EP165 - Amazon Alexa's David Isbitski
David Isbitski (@thedavedev)is the Chief Evangelist for Alexa at Amazon.
In this interview, we cover a wide range of topics including the growth of the Alexa platform, the evolution of the developer community, the future of voice, and voice commerce specifically.
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Episode 165 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Friday, February 22, 2019 from the eTail West tradeshow in Palm Desert, CA.
Join your hosts Jason “Retailgeek” Goldberg, Chief Commerce Strategy Officer at Publicis, and Scot Wingo, CEO of GetSpiffy and Founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.
Jason: [0:24] Welcome to the Jason and Scott show this episode is being recorded on Friday February 22nd 2019 live from the etail West Trade Show here in not completely Sunny Palm Desert I’m your host Jason retailgeek Goldberg and unfortunately Scott is trapped on an airplane so we are going to make a lot of fun of him and hopefully assign him some action items for after the show, long-time listen to the show will know that if we were to make a word cloud of everything that we’ve said in the hundred and seventy something episodes. Amazon would be the biggest word on that word cloud and Alexa would probably be third I think Star Wars might so I can let you be.
David: [1:02] Well that’s good to hear.
Jason: [1:03] Be ahead of Alexa, but obviously we talked about a lot on the show so I guess we’re super happy to have on this week’s show is Dave a bitsky who’s the chief of Vangelis for Alexa at Amazon welcome to the show.
David: [1:17] Thanks for having me super happy to be here.
Jason: [1:19] Yeah so I record a lot of these for my home studio and the first thing I have to do is mute all of my Alexa devices.
David: [1:28] Oh yeah I’m the same way yeah in fact even when I’m on stage if I’m Kino to hear something when I say her name there’s still that thread that goes through my head waiting for a response.
Jason: [1:42] Oh no it’s something going wrong.
David: [1:43] Yeah yeah.
Jason: [1:45] So David for a long time with some of the show we always like to start by getting just a little background about the the guests can you tell us a little bit about your backup.
David: [1:52] Yeah sure I guess it depends on how far you want to go back.
Jason: [1:57] I have your high school records of.
David: [1:59] Yeah yeah exactly so I grew up in the 80s in Commodore and this this vision of how, science fiction and Technology was a future rights what do you mention Star Wars growing up on Star Wars and things like, the black hole right and Star Trek and all of that and I just, man I want to be a part of it and I remember speech technology TTS text-to-speech back then be able to do stuff like that I had to do that and.
[2:29] I just I was like man when is this going to happen right and I started out any e-commerce 96-97 building. Commerce pipelines actually competing against Amazon was just getting started the time at this company called microwarehouse macwarehouse and then I did web whole rise of the web did want you to. Com Consulting did I, Enterprise gig in a large pharmaceutical company, and that was my me trying management and realized it wasn’t my cup of tea I just I love that I love being, I love traveling talking to people and using new technology which is right and around 2007, October to a Microsoft December roll to I have now there a lot of stuff around games and mobile and worked on Windows phone and Xbox Kinect, and then I joined Amazon, oh gosh 2013 help out with the we are kicking off the Android App Store that we have with the new Kindle Fire tablets did that watch Fire TV is Saint with fire phone and then. I am super fortunate I was Employee one for Alexa skill marketing team around 2014, and now it’s crazy where everything is now in 2019.
Jason: [3:45] That’s awesome so I don’t listen to the show will know that Scott and I are two of the four Alexa fire owners so you.
David: [3:51] But thank you I still have mine.
Jason: [3:52] We sometimes we have our suit we sometimes predict it shall rise again I’m not asking you to.
David: [3:59] The dynamic perspective stuff still awesome.
Jason: [4:01] Yeah there’s that there’s some cool features so that’s going to be interesting to see if you have a rear job and Amazon you mentioned liking to talk to people I would argue the majority of Amazon employees are not encouraged to talk to her.
David: [4:13] Yeah I’m just I’m one of those rare birds where I approved, Alexa’s spokesperson Amazon spokesperson, I’ve been doing it for a long time though I’ve been in very much these Community Building public-facing you know kind of marketing PR working with marketing and PR roles, and there’s always a need for that because you know. I have this belief like large companies we all have processes and there’s so many things that if it falls out of that process gets lost, and I’ve always looked at my job to be the person that’s finding all those anecdotes cuz they’re so important cuz a lot of times there’s signs for things that need to change or that we missed and that we need to do better, and I’ve always I left startup mentality and unfortunate Amazon is just as Perpetual startup mentality it’s not for everyone but it’s it’s Scrappy man it is like and that’s, I love that I love where things aren’t to find you got to figure him out there tough problems you’re constantly inventing things you have to think about the customer problem and dive deep in the stuffing, I’ve just been able to make a job out of that you know it’s it’s funny because funny you ask that I’ve gone on a couple podcast, the past few months cuz that seems to be the big thing is like.
Jason: [5:30] I guess to warm up with a couple of those farm system podcast before they come here so that’s all.
David: [5:34] Yeah it’s like you got to start thinking about cuz you cuz it’s so all over the place there’s no defined like I went through this. Where I was like, I’m old enough that all of my friends now are turning into CIO CTO xorbee peas and I’m like I’m doing this thing, what is this thing exact but I love it and I would talk to him if you like crazy but we do sucks I would love to do what you do. So it’s like just Embrace what you’re passionate about and get down there and if I like to look at it like if I saw 12 year old me, and he was asking me when all this Tech was going to happen I make it happen for him and keep him happy.
Jason: [6:13] I like it I like it I also like your Amiga Roots I actually work for, nor in the.
David: [6:17] Oh man we got to talk.
Jason: [6:18] Yeah that that text-to-speech engine was called Sam so Sam was the person.
David: [6:22] Yeah yeah well I still have it I have I have been working Amiga fully 1000 or 2000 I’ve 600 1200 I still Google Talk.
Jason: [6:30] That’s why I sent my nigga 1000 predates, door and it’s actually in the The Tech Museum in San Francisco.
David: [6:34] I have never been but I’ve always wanted to go.
Jason: [6:39] They’re a couple of those key Engineers one of them is a Google Now RJ Michael. And one of them Jim Mayer Who did all the hardware chips is actually the the Chief Architect behind the Roku.
David: [6:53] Yeah yeah.
Jason: [6:54] Fancy Nails guys continued.
David: [6:56] And Dave Haney is I’ve seen him out in so where I am cuz I’m near Philly there still it’s like in, in like Wall jersey there’s this Tech thing and he comes out there and people talk about forgetting his name but he helped build Amiga 3000 and 4000 and a couple of things like that he’s out there, but a lot of people stayed in the area after Valley Forge after a little.
Jason: [7:22] The the USA quarters for, nor was in West Chester Pennsylvania I was based in San Diego and so my boss never trusted that I was working cuz if you’re in Westchester in winter. That you don’t think the young kids in San Diego doing anything years later I visited a client in Westchester and I’m getting at the address to their thing it’s the old commodore.
David: [7:42] Yeah well that’s on its QVC or Home Shopping Network is one of those owns that whole campus map.
Jason: [7:50] Jumping back to today stopping at appreciate the reminiscing.
David: [7:55] We can look forward without looking back.
Jason: [7:57] Absolutely you talk a little bit about your role love to hear just a little bit more about your turn trolling as it is it mainly like developer poking focusing is it mainly like consumer adoption.
David: [8:06] No we hire teams that are on that now I would say you can think of me as helping incubate new Alexa businesses, so I worked a lot with Alexa for business helping them get started a lot of what I do is helping Brands nowadays to what does it mean in this boy’s first world how do you connect with your customers. How do you build better quality conversations things like that so it’s it’s new areas yeah it’s, the nice thing about having such large teams is once I’ve done something and I can operationalize it it’s not something that I never need to do again and I burnout least called isbitski burn out when I was growing up where, I’m always it’s funny if you look at personality test like if you know anything about the five core traits I have super high in enthusiasm and. Open to new experiences and assertiveness which basically means that even when I was a kid, I would get super excited about something I make all my friends go and follow me and do that thing and then six months later I’d be excited about something else and I feel like we all need to try this now right now Amazon with all the different things that we’re doing now, to be able to do that.
Jason: [9:20] That’s awesome couple quick things we want to get out of the way like what’s your personal wake word at home for your Alexa devices.
David: [9:26] So it’s always been Alexa I mess around with computer when it was out but by then we already had a relationship with Alexa and it’s interesting here’s a little anecdote Cell 2014 when I would talk about it, and I would talk to press and think everybody would say the Amazon Echo, and then I noticed about six months in people would say Alexa and that wasn’t like anything from that people just started saying Alexa cuz you hadn’t you could say Amazon you can do it was a smart speaker. Now when I talk to people they say our Alexa I don’t know if you picked up on that which is super interesting because it’s become part of the family it’s our Alexa right it’s not Alexa that’s hard Alexa she has her own way of knowing what we like.
Jason: [10:05] Indeed she does and I know we we love all our children but do you have a personal favorite Alexa device.
David: [10:13] Oh boy well I love the new show at home I would say there’s three I had love the new show Thomas cuz super big screen, and that’s the main one on my desk if anyone is curious I really loved the spots and that’s my kids have enough and I also have one in the den cuz it looks like a clock, you know it’s just a perfect little little size and my third favorite is I have a head for years are Garmin speak which looks like a little tiny Echo dot in my car, and that’s why I listen to podcasts because I have a Honda and so I have Android auto and I have carplay Nike all that but what I find is just saying with voice to go ahead and without having to hold down a button or doing anything and just pause, play the latest episode of and then I mentioned this in the keynote today but you know if you do a lot of trouble and you listen to podcast news in the audio books are sometimes where you’re like, especially stuff I was sometimes it gets deep and you’re like my brain shutting off I just want to play a game, so I play games I played like Westworld and it played Skyrim and I put Jeopardy and a car I think this, I’m a I’m a huge gamer so right by my own gaming rig at home and I have consoles I have Xbox One X and PS4 Pro.
[11:31] When I’m in a car and there’s an Alexa skill available I’m surprised how much I’m engaging with that stuff so I think there’s you know it’s it’s, it’s about the situation you’re in right and in continued conversation as fun my kids doing and yeah.
Jason: [11:46] I like it I like all those devices I have to say my new favorite though is the Billy Bass.
David: [11:51] Yes but I if you look if you go to my Twitter there’s a link to a dead reinvent so that team they weren’t they were going to watch that, and so a Tremont I did a talk and I did the actual unveiling, of the twerking Santa and Bear, I think about like a even a little man with a flag if you need to take your medication use and that’s just a visual for somebody in the home like my parents are old to be able to see that they walk in and they see it you can’t have light but there’s all sorts of things you could do it right, somebody can make that maybe you’re delivering a package again little guy carrying a package or something like that right it’s just it’s integration with his of objects I think it’s pretty neat for notifications that way.
Jason: [12:36] The old digital physical things going to continue to be an amazing at Lowe’s, you alerted your talk today so your topic was how to talk to your customers in a voice person world can you give us a little bit of a recap about like what the what the topic was there and what you got.
David: [12:52] Yeah you know it’s a sew-in audience like this and with the 25-minute keynote it’s like what do you talk about right and so for me a lot of it ctas and so I always break this down into three things, is there going to be people never heard this they’re going to be people that have a relationship with Alexa already and so. And then maybe people getting gas how do they do this until I always start it off with what does the future look like cuz I’m constantly thinking about that what does it look like 5 years, you know head and why we we look back right so we start off with that kind of paint with a futures.
[13:27] Make sure people know that this is Amazon is just part of that, but this whole voice first is huge you need to think of it like the internet even even bigger right it’s it it’s the interface for everything it’s the human technology relationship moving forward, and it makes everything accessible and simple and so I make sure people understand that and then explain some of the Core Concepts because I think even for me when I start my shift same for me cuz I’m stupid everybody should just assume for me the first time I use this is I use voice control before the stuff doesn’t really work right and that’s not what this is this is understanding intention, something called natural language understanding is not TTS it’s not looking at phonemes and actually translating them into the letters right it’s different so getting people to understand that and ways that doesn’t get to computer science he and, try to make myself look smart or anything like that right side motor stand in terms like that and then, third party that is okay well what can I do today and what have you learned.
[14:30] Because I get to you lot I have this unique view of the field when I talk to somebody customers I have access to so many teams at Amazon I’m always thinking in this space A lot of times when I meet with people they just, used to freak me out was like what what can I have to offer and they’re like Dave your view the field this you meant just share with us something so you know and so that’s what I try and do as I learn new things and I talked to customers and we’ve released new features based on that feedback I includes those in the Kia Soul a lot of it is this is what customers are saying this is how people are using it today they could be using it differently a year from now and this is what you need to be thinking about and, starting to focus on.
Jason: [15:08] Fair enough and so most of the listeners of this show are our brands are retailers like. 4 Brands like how should they be thinking about like is it a no-brainer that they should be building a branded skill is there a different more nuanced way they should be thinking about it.
David: [15:23] That’s funny. I always feel like I’m in a Morpheus in The Matrix and they might my Syfy should write my what if I told you what if I told you and you could talk to your customer, everyday in the moment where they are on their own terms. That’s an Alexa skill or Flash briefing or in any pain but that’s what this is doesn’t exist is always been a barrier and so if that interests you it’s about what I like to call meeting your customer in the moment, and it’s your tongue got really like I was growing up in Jersey I had it you know I work two jobs since I was, gosh like 10 with a paper out but I remember one of my favorite jobs work in a movie theater. I can still tell you I would have to say to people would you like to upgrade that to a large popcorn and a large soda for only $0.25 more the big combo special right but it was that up sale in brick and mortar right there and it’s in the moment and that is, completely different than it did not purchase react hit the side button or use your fingerprint or any of that kind of stuff right you’ve already enabled it knows your voice you can set up a pin but it’s seamless and nothing beats time, right and that’s what that’s for Brands is something they just think about is customer in the moment having a conversation with them every day and.
[16:48] What would they say if they could talk to you today what brands don’t know other than the help desk tickets right and I’ve seen companies now. Where they are now looking at the Amazon skill reviews as part of their entire ux cycle to know what new features they need to be releasing because it’s the easiest thing that people can just talk you know and so you need to be thinking about those things and then, lastly what I tell them is what is your brand sound like Miami for us you know podcasters and listen to felt like for me I just, I loved one for me audio I love conversation I’m always thinking in those terms but I find most brands it’s still very visual social is visual so it was a bunch of images and video and so what does it mean.
[17:34] Do I use Alexis voice do I use my own voice do I have create a new voice of the company, write like Jeopardy skills Alex Trebek that you here right and then we you know based on feedback we provide more and more voices so you can generate through what we have a service and Amazon web services closed poly so I can generate all sorts of voices if I need to do that but that’s another thing that they need to start thinking about in the moment, what do I sound like one of my customers asking for where they want to have an early day so it’s, Newcastle new customer acquisition is not going to be like what you think in Mobile and wet right it’s early like early mobile web days but man if you have an existing customer and they have a device, and I’ve ordered something from you and I can just say reorder, or when is that coming right or check on a status or even games like Destiny made us feel other games and made a scale where you can just say hey what’s my friend score right like you’re just like that it’s interacting again without what I was talking about is it is human, technology that relationship together and that’s really what’s enabling and that’s to me is a couple spaces where it’s just a huge and exciting business brands, Auto Vitaly.
Jason: [18:56] It is interesting the likes of the there certain brands that. Needed we have this permission to have a daily conversation with a client because of the nature of the brand in the product or whatever and it seems like it’s a no-brainer for them that they need to have a scale and be there a way to have a.
David: [19:14] There’s certainly some of that like the early web days where it was like I have a skill and then you talk to the scales just about the company I mean I was building those websites for Brands back in the early 90s.
Jason: [19:23] But if you’re the Weather Channel or something like it would be foolish not to.
David: [19:28] Yeah yeah.
Jason: [19:29] Have a skill there because again there’s people are going to get up every day and want to know what the weather is and how to get dressed. The children have a little bit with some Scott like it’s just needed to voice we talked a lot about app fatigue on the phone right and if you’re not one of the apps on the front page of the phone you get forgotten pretty quickly.
David: [19:46] Yeah.
Jason: [19:47] On voice we don’t even get the visual cue so the problem is there to be 300 great skills that I’ve enabled on my Alexa echo system, if I don’t have a daily reason to use them I’m likely to forget a bunch of them exist and so that like so some of these by I probably don’t want a daily relationship with Charmin toilet paper. Sherman still thinking about how are Branch it evolved in a world in which voices are super important in her face like any advice for those cut like I feel like you’re mostly going to interact with Charmander, through the native utterances on the on the Alexa platform is going to be at.
David: [20:25] But what’s interesting is like. Why have a mobile app to write like you these are all of it doesn’t change any of those questions what it does changes what’s the relationship of my customer right the demographic of the customer ships, voice, you mean somebody has to understand they have to have a smartphone they have to know how to patch it after I have downloader app get the latest version of your dad if they’re using a web browser they still have to be able to patch the OS on a computer do all those things, in some of these devices you’re talkin like 5 $10 right and it’s always the latest version. There’s never been a technology as a brand where your customer has the latest version of your experience at all times right, cuz even the web I mean man, I spent so many years with all the different web browser differences there is not I’m sorry there is not one version of your and anybody that’s how to program client-side knows that and you know jQuery and other things made things easier but gosh, that is in a nightmare so it’s that except my dad and he said my mom still print out emails. But he’s never did with his money right really gave you really turn on computer my dad, you know he’s a butcher he’s retired now never touch computers life and when we’re hanging out he tells me about songs he pulled out and thinks he’s talked to you with Alexa.
[21:44] And that’s when the light bulb went off for me is I’m like this is empowering man like this is like anybody can do this stuff and so maybe toilet paper isn’t important for me and my age but maybe, it is for somebody else that needs to think about stuff that right so it’s that’s what you really need to think about what’s the demographic, your customers if any demographic had access to it cuz there’s kids that are talking to everything now, because they’re used to Alexa right I hear from customers are expected to so when that happens right that opens to meet new possibilities, and so you need to focus on those things and look at existing customers when I like to tell people is. To get to the utility of speed right nothing being speed go look at your mobile app and look at the top 10 things people are doing what are they doing everyday they’re probably doing that one thing everyday cuz it’s fastest on mobile. So if you can make that faster, even if it’s just checking on the status even if it’s just a reorder or maybe it’s getting information we try to do things to make it easier to have conversations and so we have the ability for you to say something like that.
[22:57] Alexa how do I remove a grass stain now I may not know what brand but a brand can respond, right cuz that’s a human being to think we may not remember the full invocation or anything like that until we try to do more and more of those things or Alexa play a game and I get some suggestions but it’s about, what you think about this is Alexis going to learn about you what do you what do you like your right and what are what’s, getting reviewed well and things like that so if that’s kind of I think. To me and this is going to sound crazy from a guy that’s spent so many years building app stores across so many platforms, but to me I don’t see that 10-15 years down the road, right cuz I put all the onus on the human being would I see 10-15 years down the road is an AI that knows me intimately that’s already out there, and remembers things so can be like hey Dave and we had a conversation a month ago about XYZ topic I just found some information about that if that’s what we want we never had that and that’s what voice is going to enable imagine trying to do that in a mobile app.
Jason: [24:02] Yeah I totally agree I feel like a lot of these things that we have to explicitly enable is apps or skills or whatever like become implicit like apis or capabilities that we just.
David: [24:12] I could always do it because for some reason computers, I just nerd it out on them I love them just even in like we talked about it maybe I just spent two hours like making my icons perfect. It was fun, and I used to get upset that I couldn’t share that with people cuz it’s such a joy to me and people like right like they just didn’t like it and so I knew did that was just inherently broken if there’s such that technical divide that something else has to be there right and this is it man this is the. The big enabler.
Jason: [24:44] Why don’t you mention the kids screaming at the Alexa ideas funny like two things that come up in my newsfeed a lot lately you are, advice for parents that we need to teach our kids to use politeness with our our Alexa stop Alexa devices because there’s some risk of. That’s raising a less polite culture because kids are used to sharing commands at the other devices and they respond.
David: [25:07] My anus is there and this isn’t a belief isn’t that starts with the family what starts with the individual first in the family and then the family.
[25:18] These up to the Community Practice Community is a bunch of families and so regardless of what technology was introduced we’ve always had a set family Rules so when. Screen when we first started getting iPads and and the Kindle Fire and things like that we had to set rules around screen time. And some of those rules where you do homework first you do not know when we wake up on the weekend first thing I’m doing is not logging you into these things when we eat dinner as a family for us everybody put phones away. Included, right and so that is in something that comes with the manual for that technology has something you decide as a family and then as a culture so voice for me absolutely was that because when we first got it early days I be playing music and my, so this is 2014 so gosh she was six, and she would run into the room and say Alexa tell me a joke and I be like that’s listening to music so then we had to do a family joke that said you know like this is what’s rude this is not with rude, and you can do stuff like we did hear from families, so we enabled stuff like a follow-up mode so if Alexa does something and you say thank you she’ll say you’re welcome back she recognizes all of those things or whisper so if you a little one at home and you can be like Alexa, quiet and she’ll Whisper back which is a very interesting the first time you hear it cuz it’s so human to do that you know and so you can enable whisper mode.
Jason: [26:46] Yeah I know it’s totally totally cool like the other parental thing that’s happened is Amazon has completely wiped out the the female child’s name Alexa. Parents don’t want to name their kid for you no fear of triggering all those devices Olive.
David: [27:02] Yeah well I do I talk to families that have names that are similar in that they are all Amazon or Echo.
Jason: [27:11] So it might be my family I have a sister-in-law named Alexis which is close enough inside where we’re at Echo family cuz we also for work say Amazon to off.
David: [27:21] What’s going to be the new left handed right.
Jason: [27:23] Exactly is that at that is exactly what it is so I mentioned the other listeners are retailers, the default position for a retailer is Alexa is the evil, front door of my competitor and I’m desperately rooting for any other artificial intelligence technology to win because when Alexa wins that comes attached to my competitors store, are they. If that’s true that’s fair enough like I mean there’s a lot of competitors in the world is that true or is there a way in which we like Israel and which Walmart should be thinking about how to leverage Alexa or are they right.
David: [27:58] They could completely make an Alexa skill it’s open to everybody it’s interesting because even and this is going to be in iOS use Amazon services, was because they weren’t locking into an ecosystem I could use my Amazon video, my Windows device on my Android device on my iPad and I could get my Kindle book on the Kindle I had 10 years ago where I can download it onto my phone audible working across everything so it was always I always viewed Amazon. It always depends on the space that you’re in right so I always do that was on as this Innovative tech company and that that was not locking it is all about giving in the customer choice right and so for me.
[28:50] I never looked at it as what you’re you’re saying that’s just a personal on an Amazon note, from day one this is been open everybody don’t charge the idea has been that voice, review is the next big disruption it’s the human. Technology interface so it has to be everywhere so we’re not going to be the one to do that we’ve got to open it up to everybody, and so that’s why you see it in the IQ and I we can make our own Echo, there’s hardware specs to lake house and then you and I can go sell it on Amazon for five bucks and we can make it the retail geek Echo, write and let me know that that Tech and so it’s, that but that benefits everybody because it’s helping customers its helping push it for its I view that the people that aren’t that would say something like that are the people that would say cuz I dealt with this years ago to that would say, that I’m not going to use HTML in the internet because Google Microsoft phones.
[29:50] And no they don’t own it it’s the way that human beings are going to talk that’s what this is there’s no single company infected. Jeff has said I completely agree with him is that there’s going to be hundreds of a eyes in real life not just okay I mean Alexa maybe the one, I want you spray but there’s going to be all sorts of him and eventually we’re going to want them although to talk to each other, and that’s what this is this isn’t some smartprix speaker that you can order stuff on although you can this is a new way of human beings interacting with technology and it’s going to be in everything everywhere.
Jason: [30:25] It involves the normal Trend like usually these Technologies come about and they start out as like wall Gardens where everyone wants like everything in their own echo system so I got I go to CES every year for 30 years.
David: [30:37] My apologies.
Jason: [30:38] It’s like I did not say it is a matter of pride, the first year there’s a voice interface for televisions everyone has invented their own voice interface and it only works in their echosystem than they imagined you can buy all the devices in your home from just from LG or Samsung and you know you walk that show three years later and. Frankly like this year there’s an Alexa and a Google logo on every one of those devices and it just.
David: [31:00] Customer choice.
Jason: [31:03] How to make is a better experience with a customer.
David: [31:05] Nothing’s nothing’s in a vacuum all of our lives have multiple endpoints and we just want to simplify that.
Jason: [31:11] You talked a little earlier you’re like hey if we looked at that uses on the phone there’s like certain things that would have weight higher usage because they’re just the the low-friction best best things to do in the phone and like there certainly is an analogous twist, her voice and relax all right until we’ve seen some of the surveys and it’s, people overwhelming we are going to use it to play music to get information you know there’s and you probably know the exact list on making it up.
David: [31:36] Because we’re at bombers show.
Jason: [31:37] Commerce show like we always notice like at the moment Converse is pretty low on those lists like it does not appear. The primary thing very many people are using their device for is to place orders for for stuff and I’m just curious if you have a POV is.
David: [31:55] Is
Jason: [31:58] You are truly an adoption or is it never likely to be the dominant thing we do the invoice or what your.
David: [32:04] It will be the dominant for everything is my opinion but I mean I’m old enough to have heard people say that about the web and mobile as well, and that’s what you want man you want you want it to just you want in those early days where you’re going to see it up Tick and get in cuz that’s when you can build a really strong brand and really strong relationships. It’s early days but there’s nothing like in the moment so I’ll give you an example. If you follow like the thinking of like app store, where you can buy like Jeopardy you can buy extended and you can do more questions and things like the offer that you can do premium subscription answer today.
Jason: [32:52] Forgot to take stuff the bus.
David: [32:54] Nice nice and you can do the innocent and I think people are familiar with that but people were familiar with that in the beginning I mean I grew up I’d buy go to Electronics Boutique and buy a game and that was it man I wasn’t like I was spending five bucks a week on a skin I just paid one price right and so it’s funny we can get used to it and so there’s that model, but there’s also did integrates with Amazon pay so physical Goods in things like I’ve started seat like you guys have a podcast maybe you have somebody on the podcast that has a product if you had an Alexa skill where people can listen to your podcast right in the middle of it you could say you know for 50% off would you like to purchase this and then you’re getting, physical Goods in you’re getting part of that Amazon affiliate program and things like that right then you have other types of skills that look at it as an endpoint.
[33:43] So I do this is It’s At Its if I don’t do it all the time but it’s my it’s my guilty pleasure I love the Domino’s thin-crust Pizza I’ve always have the grown up in Jersey and, so if I’m when I’m not traveling and we calling my house Friday night party table I’ll be like all right Friday night and so as I do is say Alexa, ask Domino’s for my easy order boom it’s already got credit cards not going through Amazon that’s an existing customer relationship, we have something that we call account linking so you don’t even have to go through Amazon use Amazon pay you don’t have to use login with Amazon you can have your own existing customer relationship they see screen it’s like a mobile, analog in a waffle those kind of things so you could use any of those providers or your own so it’s an existing customer through a different endpoint, and I’m surprised even in my own life the use in that and so I think this is my thought.
[34:46] Is that nothing as human beings when it comes to technology and this is especially with purchasing beats speed. That’s why I think I shipped it and most people shipped it to mobile. Because I don’t want to go log on to my what the title is a desktop and a laptop and patch and get to the browser and figure it out is in the website and then using them over I mean it’s Common Sense instead of even using the mobile, I just say Alexa ask your brand to order my stuff.
[35:17] So what does that look like when people started using that year after year after year was that look like 5 years what does that look like. People who may be caught the people that would call up a number to order stuff right I have I won’t name my in-laws that she is huge QVC Home Shopping Network all of those things. Call the number doesn’t use the app you know and so and she picked up in a wax on her own and I and was telling me about all these skills it was funny, I just want to run away maybe 1,000 scales and I were over 80,000 and. She’s like I brought it to play the Eagles she’s huge Eagles fan and I was like, you know I already I already pulled up every album I know how to search might like I I’ve never had, a relative a family member ever just run with a new piece of technology have you it’s like you literally you go there over the holidays in your patch and stuff and your training and maybe you’re trying to reorder some what are something new cuz what they have is so outdated, the song it’s like it’s an appliance the hardware is the appliance, this day is getting smart and smarter over time said that I think if you just naturally think about human behavior. Write an end how we act and if you make something easier and you give me incentives that’s just naturally the way things are going to go.
Jason: [36:45] That’s right I mean I feel like there’s two points and then I would totally agree with theirs. The experience and product are going to get an exponentially better because I just wanted some everything at the magically improves and it’s just better than next day versus like these, product we have to make one go back to the drawing board design version 2 and you know it’s a much longer duration and for sure I have also in my life via in-laws seen the leapfrogging Where do I, there’s a bunch of the user interfaces that are so complicated my relatives are never going to learn them.
David: [37:16] But then just let prognose in her faces yeah.
Jason: [37:16] I just left brought those interfaces the laptop in the phone and now you know the voice they are they’re totally capable of embracing, the I do and I I’ll be honest I’m nervous about this opinion because I’ve shared it a bunch of times and I have the whole deck of Ono was ever going to buy clothes on the internet no one’s ever going to buy a TV on the internet and like almost any time you hear that. Precondition to no guarantee that’s going to be wrong.
David: [37:43] Info.
Jason: [37:46] So voice Commerce I have a slightly nuanced guess, I feel like there’s a category of stuff that people probably aren’t going to buy any internet that are high consideration, they require a bunch of complicated brand specific attributes right like so I’m not likely to go hey Alexa order I will leave Urbana leopard skin size medium. Address for 2-day delivery here’s my promo code right like out I probably will never wear in the vernacular to order a dress for the first time with all those custom words in it. But that’s how you know just one chunk of Commerce incident okay I see that Jason but I think all of this like consumables and replenishment and order the peanut butter everyone’s going to do via voice I get that response a lot and I would even say. The easiest stuff I actually think Amazon’s going to figure that out without voice like I feel like you’re just going to send me the Charmin toilet paper, and no I need it before I need it right and so.
David: [38:44] Yeah but that’s just making customers lives easier.
Jason: [38:47] Which is a good thing so it to me voice is going to fit in this middle Zone which could be a huge chunk but I called the Goldilocks zone. Too complicated to learn how to say and stuff that’s not perfectly predictable what my consumption pattern is right and so are your point like the pizza is.
David: [39:06] Make a perfect example in this.
Jason: [39:07] Check example in the Starbucks and hey I have family coming over double my peanut butter order all those kinds of things like manicuring aren’t my reoccurring.
David: [39:14] Super Bowl commercial with Harrison Ford and so it’s it’s super interesting because it’s, individual based like maybe this was two or three holiday seasons ago we released like what people ordered through Alexa and people were ordering like huge stuff. Like like stuff that was like thousands of dollars I think maybe something was an engine or canoe just like.
[39:43] Everybody’s different In-N-Out. And it’s also I talked a little about this on my weasenforth With Friends Podcast is as somebody who’s been gaming for 30 years it’s I buy favorite genre and I still play is massive multiplayer online game.
[40:01] But I see with my kids the battery out the fortnite’s right and now they want Apex and there is a genuine General shift. In those patterns with gaming just like there is and how information is shared through social media just like information the and any parents who have teens know this they FaceTime all the time, there’s there’s did the visual seeing each other I’m more comfortable with text the chatting all right so, where’s that how easy is it for me to be in the middle of an Xbox game and or PS4 or whatever and say something like, buy me another skin pi to half up right now, just walking down the street you see you know the pizza boxes people holding it up horizontally they’re talking into it now they’re talking to text you know all of those things occurring is, there’s a study of science with epigenetics we’re with our Behavior actually turns off and on genes, and so over time is people get more and more used to that the Comfort level increases that to me is the most important thing that has happened in voice. In five years is there are people now.
[41:21] And I include myself as part of this when I want to use a piece of technology to try to talk to it that’s the first thing that goes through my mind I try to ask Alexa or whatever. I didn’t exist five years ago so that to me is what.
[41:37] Stuff gets ordered online because I can see you talk about I remember cuz I where I started out, in e-commerce like I was talking about and this Mac Warehouse might get some of those you know there were $5,000 $6,000 and then it was servers and stuff and so are people going to order that, cuz or they want to talk to somebody and have them walk if it’s a comfort level you know and so I never I think it’s going to be different I think it’s going to fall down into, and I think you’re going to be surprised I think people be surprised where the engagement is like this is one of things I talked about in the keynote is. I had a picture up of both a younger gentleman and an older gentleman and I said I pointed the older gentleman I said that maybe your biggest future customer. That somebody or targeting today. Gagement stare right and so I think you know those people have never had a chance because I think about if I had an opportunity to just order stuff. Cuz they’re come from.
Jason: [42:40] The thing that lowered that friction enough that they can finally do it or not.
David: [42:43] Wait cuz we’re basing all the data we’re basing all the data on a certain generation of people who were familiar with technology or who ramped up right and you can and so I think all that’s going to change over time.
Jason: [42:56] No I told you buy that there’s tons of funny videos on YouTube of the toddler’s to get handed a magazine and they’re like trying to swipe the magazine.
David: [43:03] Oh yeah my kids are like that when they are young yet.
Jason: [43:05] Magazines just an iPad that’s broken to a toddler right and there’s this clip by using a lot of Dex but you may you may need to steal this but one of the original Star Trek movies they like go back in time.
David: [43:15] Scotty computer.
Jason: [43:17] And it’s Scotty talking to.
David: [43:18] I talked about that yet that was my favorite year.
Jason: [43:20] Yeah yeah he just assumed it like a horse weigh.
David: [43:23] Computer.
Jason: [43:25] And then when he finds out he has to use them at the. I do I’m serious though Fallout like you you mentioned the. Speech interface to the phones and you know that you are and you start to see that here and I definitely see more of that here than I used to in the in the pizza configuration.
David: [43:41] What’s our primary Computing device as of right now.
Jason: [43:45] Go to Asia and it’s noticeable to me how more frequent it is and so that’s like one of the my curiosity’s is like, man I see people in Shanghai like constantly talking in their phones in here it’s a little bit like I would argue it’s more natural to talk to, an Alexa. Then it is to talk to a Google Android.
David: [44:06] It depends man like if I got to go pick my teen up and I see them all waiting they’re all.
Jason: [44:15] Talking on there okay.
David: [44:16] They’re all on the devices right purses like if I’m hanging out at work or something like that so it’s, I think a lot of that. Related it could be cultural by here you were talking about there too but it all goes down to learn to behavior and so you can’t get to any of that voice, stuff without foil learned behavior, Comfort levels things like that.
Jason: [44:39] Part of me in it does just hypothesis I’m wondering if China is just a little earlier adopter a voice because, keyboard input of the simple Chinese is a little more painful than than English and so they’ve gone to voice sooner but in the long run.
David: [44:58] It’s painful for everybody it’s so low bandwidth I have this problem where my brain, I think it’s way faster than I can type and I used to like be down on myself I was like I’m just a really horrible writer but I’m good at having conversation right, and I don’t mean that in an egocentric way to I do I mean that, as I don’t need to make fun of myself I have a comfort level it’s natural and so then I started doing I have Office 365 and they one of the new releases they have, dictation and I’ve been using that in my work. And I just. Tons of it’s it looks like I’m writing 15 pages but all’s I did was talk for an hour because it’s finally there and that I met an author he used to, he was one of those the co-creators of the onion it was at the digital Summit I gave in gosh now it sounds like I’m done driving I’ll just go but I was impressed by who he was, and that he had the same problem and he wrote this whole book and he said to me he was like Dave just he should he basically did it on Siri on his phone he had this app on his phone and he wrote the whole book by talking to it and so, voice, your keyboard and typing and mouse and all that it’s so low down with voice is higher bandwidth when we get to spot we’re going to be a little better.
Jason: [46:24] So that that’s actually good pivot to our last question cuz we’re coming out on time. The folks jump in the time machine and go to the show 5 years from now and catch you know what we’re all talking about like we do things in a surprise than the most like what’s going to be, the most surprising thing is is it is there going to be an Alexa that plugs in or brain or what you know.
David: [46:46] I know gosh I have to I always go way out for me.
Jason: [46:51] Okay even go further yeah I’m good with that.
David: [46:53] Well I think the way that you can predict the future is to go way out and then you’ve got to pull it back because everything’s done in Milestone so if I was going to say 5 years. I think what we’ll start to see is that. The human isn’t the major driver like technology today is very what I would call a veteran, I have to initiate something as a human being I’m looking for something as a human being I’ve turned something I push a button I’ve done all of those things. I think within five years there going to be a eyes that know us well enough. That it becomes a way to amplify ourselves and what I mean by that is.
[47:37] When is has been proven right is that you have to have a conversation about a topic in order to learn how you feel about that topic know to defend your position into this is why you know in groups that you can come up with better ideas because of that process but if I have an AI that I can have a conversation with rise me up like the Star Trek Holodeck, right you can go back and talk with Einstein and Newton and things like that that’s real when we get to that point, that wooden locks in human potential is huge because my biggest problem is like, my OneNote man is like 10,000 different entries right and I’m searching and it’s all these thoughts I’ve had and I Journal a lot and I think about things a lot but I’m like, I just wish my brain could access that better and I think that’s where we’re going to head is there’s going to be a digital self of me it’s going to understand that. And is going to be able to interject on things like I’m working on an idea and it’s like actually Dave five years ago you had a similar idea and by the way you were feeling this way around the time cuz I’ve also found in journaling that I go through, very cyclical emotions based on other things which I wasn’t attending self-awareness is very very key right and.
[48:51] Not to get existential or anything like that but I think that’s what AI is going to allow everybody to get more self-aware who they are and the type of questions they answer and everything else is just barfing opinions of everybody else and not listening right and it also allows I think it’s. If we go out more than 5 years it allows Legacy imagine if a hundred years from now you know my, great great great in a kids could talk to me and that’s the reason why I podcast so much as I know there’s going to be the ability for an AI to go through, how I respond in conversation in my thoughts and my experiences there already is some of those kind of experimental Services you can say and just be able to have a conversation with me you know and that’s going to tie us together, you’re feeling the same way that my great-great-great done the same stuff I do you know and so I think that is with all of this is going to be able to, invoice I think voices the beginning of it it’s I like that’s why I like this a conversation in folks on human beings cuz I think voice is, start I think we can we can understand a little bit and we can speak a little bit but we still can’t see we still don’t know feelings, and if there’s so many other things touch there’s so many other things we as human beings just inherently are great at ability to detect emotion in face, I think when we go out 20-30 years that that stuff will also come into play more does that mean right.
Jason: [50:21] Visual Commerce you.
David: [50:22] You got it dude and yeah and then you got to be careful The Uncanny Valley and things like that with people game freak which to human.
Jason: [50:33] I told you I hope that none should I come to pass and that’s going to be a great place to leave it cuz I have burn through are a lot of time as always, questions we can get you on the show feel free to drop us a note on Facebook and we’ll continue the conversation there if you enjoy the show we sure would love it if you jump on iTunes and give us that five star review, David and listeners want to connect with you or or learn more about what you’re up to what’s the like are you.
David: [50:54] About what you’re up to what my vanity and my vanity URL is just the Dave Dev so the Dave dtv.com and that’s my Twitter LinkedIn email podcast everything.
Jason: [51:07] Awesome if you’re driving don’t write that down I will put it in the show notes and you can you can click on it when you get to your destination David really appreciated talking you thanks very much for taking the time.
David: [51:17] Thank you for having me on.
Jason: [51:18] Until next time happy commercing.