Two Years Later

With the impending end of Build & Analyze and Hypercritical, I began gathering my thoughts for an obituary on two of my favorite podcasts. Beginning with the first episode of each podcast, I worked my way through two year’s worth of top-notch content. This time around I paid special attention to each show’s various topics, the result of which is this article: over three hundred hours somewhat briefly summarized along with a number of hand-picked excerpts from these two excellent broadcasts.

[Dream Crusher](

> “The problem is the same, it’s just that the geeks have some sort of recourse: because of the knowledge and skills that we have we can do something about it. We all have the exact problem, we’re just more willing or able — or probably both-to go through hoops to try and solve it, and the other people will just either accept the problem as just a reality or just sort of grumble about it quietly. But we’re in a unique position because we know this problem doesn’t have to exist.”

Hypercritical’s first episode began with a dissection of the TV industry and the generally sub-par technologies surrounding it, focusing primarily on the difficulties of time-shifting your viewing and the problems doing so poses to a positive user experience and to the traditional television business model. John also entered into a brief sidebar on disruption theory, a topic Horace Dediu would eventually expand upon in his podcast The Critical Path, as he explained how Apple was able to revolutionize both the music and mobile phone industries before going on to discuss the steps Apple must go through in order to turn this market upside down. Finishing on a high note, John concluded Dream Crusher by discussing some of the alternatives to the much-hated TiVo and the various problems each presents before circling back for another pass at the reasons Apple rocked the music industry to its core.

A truly excellent first installment, Dream Crusher went down in the record books as one of the best Hypercritcal episodes ever released. The considerable amount of time and energy John put into gathering his thoughts to discuss the state of the television industry and its complementary technologies along with his deep insight into each and every topic Dan and John touched upon set an impressive precedent, simultaneously sending Hypercritical down the path to becoming one of 5by5’s top shows in the coming months.

[Backup Vortex](

> “That’s kind of a good feeling — that you see your family being successful with technology and you can support them easily — but it’s a sinking feeling in that you’re like ‘the clock’s ticking on that hard drive now’ because they bought one hard drive, it came inside the computer, it’s got all their photos on it, and there’s no way I can explain to them how to do backups.”

Picking up right where he left off in the last episode with what would eventually come to be known as the follow-up — F.U., as John says — section of the show, John opened with a discussion of a TiVo alternative called Moxi before diving headfirst in to the complex world of computer backups. Dan and John both discussed their backup strategies, including a breakdown of their preferred toolset for this extremely important step in safeguarding important data from natural disasters as well as human folly. The show ended right before the seventy-five minute mark as John concluded the episode by explaining that while solutions like Drobo and RAID storage are convenient, they are not backups; “you still need a backup.” < —  Last page

[Update All](

> “These aren’t geeks like us, these are the ‘normals'.”

The inaugural episode of Build & Analyze opened to Dan Benjamin and Marco Arment discussing the intended topics for 5by5’s newest broadcast. Throughout the rest of Update All the conversation moved from the implications of a Verizon iPhone to portability and the iPad before transitioning to a discussion of the significance of iOS 4.2 coming to the iPhone. Within this topic, Marco first focused on the challenges multitasking poses to developers writing iOS apps, then proceeded to what would become a recurring topic on Build & Analyze: when it becomes acceptable to require a new OS release. In closing Dan and Marco gave a brief preview of topics to come before ending with the promise to come back next week with another episode.

Although Update All started out slowly as many first episodes do, well in advance of their main topic Dan and Marco had settled in and any awkwardness had disappeared in time for Marco to deliver a very insightful main topic. All in all an excellent first installment of what would grow to become a pillar of the 5by5 brand in the coming months.

### [The App Store](

> “Somebody else is going to eat their lunch.”

With the impressive success of Update All as it reached #1 in Technology behind them, Dan and Marco dived right into the second installment of Build & Analyze, The App Store. The episode began with Marco discussing private and public APIs and the implications of using one over the other in building an iOS app before he moved to explain the app review process for iOS as a segue to the recently-released Mac App Store. The ensuing discussion focused on the benefits and drawbacks the advent of a tightly-regulated app market brings to the Mac ecosystem, a topic that eventually grew to encompass the ways in which the Mac App Store will change the way Mac apps are made and the reasons it could incentivize developers writing iOS apps to branch out to the Mac.

Marco began to reveal the depth of his knowledge regarding in particular the process of creating and releasing an iOS app as well as the inner workings of the App Store in the appropriately titled squeal to Update All, The App Store. Impressively, Marco not only understands the act of building an iOS app and the steps that process entails, but also the business side of this endeavor. While he did not delve into the complex world of marketing and pricing schemes in this episode, Marco’s insightful explanations served as a precursor of episodes to come.