283: TZ Discussion – Extraordinary Claims

Justin and Jason discuss Justin’s secret project, Lyte, how he built it and what he sees as its future, the possibility of transforming the math class into a math academy, how Uber is making the world a better place, why inexpensive self-teaching and test-prep books are often better than their equivalent textbooks, Jason’s new color laser printer, Chris Sacca’s anti-portfolio, the U.S. defense department’s interest in hoverbikes, an interview with James Simons, how China is attempting to genetically engineer genius and Jason’s upcoming dual-n-back experiment.

  1. Hi,

    Still listening. Good to hear about lyte. Just wanna give a heads-up about a typo on a screenshot: “or” for “for”.


    Also, you said this is a simple option, learning lessons from previous efforts and the community (paraphrasing), but isn’t it a two sided market? People who want to earn money fetching takeout for others can’t do that until you have lots of customers placing orders and people placing orders can’t get them delivered until you have people all over at least Pasadena ready to deliver immediately. And unlike Uber which had an existing population of unlicensed taxi/cab drivers to recruit all over the world, there is not an existing category of on-call food and drink fetchers who you bring in simply by giving them a better way to do their existing job.

    But I do want this to exist near my office so super good luck :).

  2. Oh yeah, many countries have zero concept of tipping or tip a lot less than the US so you might want to localise that feature as you go worldwide.

  3. Hey Guys,

    Just a heads up that Titanium Studio is now a thing of the past. I’m not sure what that means for Titanium, but it sure makes things confusing at the least. I’ve been getting all my apps updated this month and pushed to the store before I have to make the transition to Appcelerator Studio and Appcelerator.

    I choose Titanium for my mobile development and for the most part have regretted it. I chose it because it had the deepest device hardware integration, but this is the where things get the most flaky I have found. The folks who have chosen to build with PhoneGap/Cordova seem to blast past me with their development. And PhoneGap seems to be improving much faster than Titanium.


  4. Congrats to both of you – a good news show!

    Sadly I can’t install Lyte as it’s not in the UK App Store. Which makes sense, it would be a hefty delivery charge from Pasadena. I’ve seen the screenshots though and it looks pretty slick.

    The maths stuff sounds awesome. My four year old daughter is just getting into maths, so it’s early days but she seems to have a knack for it.

    And hoverbikes? Hell yeah!

  5. I’m the guy that you gave the detailed list of books in reply to on the last episode discussion.

    So far I’ve been through Pre – Algebra 1 + 2 and Pre – Trig books and I am onto Algebra 1.

    It is all stuff I’ve done before so I’m just pulling it out of the recesses of my 45 year old brain.

    I’m blown away how cheap and useful the books are. I definitely am enjoying more examples than theory.

    Really amazing how inexpensive it is and thank you again for the heads up.

    I wonder if there will ever be a better way than paper and pen for working through a maths problem?

  6. Jason says:

    @Paul Cowan – That’s great to hear! Yeah, the Straight-Forward math series is the most streamlined presentation of math curriculum I’ve seen and I’ve invested quite a bit of time looking into it the past couple of years. Please keep us posted on your progress!

    On whether there might be a better way than paper and pen for working through a maths problem, I’m a bit skeptical. There are certainly a lot of software tools that can be incredibly useful while learning or doing mathematics (check out Desmos – https://www.desmos.com for graphing and SageMath – https://cloud.sagemath.com for bascially anything), but in my opinion nothing beats the old fashioned way of doing things when it comes to simplicity and freedom of expression.

  7. Sandy says:

    Is Titanium free? I remember some similar framework I had read about in the past had some tricky small text saying that if your app made money then you owed them some of it. Was that Titanium?

    Regarding Glenn Bennett’s comment, does anyone else have experience with Titanium vs PhoneGap? In 2015 which should I choose for my next app?

  8. Justin says:

    @Andrew Cox

    Thanks for the heads up re the typo. Re the “it’s hard to get drivers” I agree, but, we have learned that a very understandable simple product is an advantage… but another learning we’ve had is it’s good to do hard things. AKA the “The Dip” by Seth Godin.

    Re tipping… the app will only be in the USA fro the moment so it would be a premature optimization to think abut that at this point but thanks for the heads up.

    @Glenn Bennett

    Thanks for the heads up. I already moved it to Accelerator Studio before pushing it to the app store. It was quite a painless process other than the fact I needed to upgrade to a paid plan to package up the app.

    The paid plan is $39/month for any number of apps that you release. That seems like pretty good value to me. I think they made this move because they did the math and realized they would make a lot more money with MANY_DEVS*39/month vs their previous enterprise pricing model of trying to snag LESS_COMPANIES*15k.

    I wonder why team viewer doesn’t take this approach. Right now it costs $750 per license which seems way too much and is the reason I never upgrade.

    @Simon Holmes

    Thanks for the kind words.


    I’ve built professional apps on both phonegap and titanium. If you don’t care about native speed and look & feel then phone gap is the way to go. Your app will be 100% HTML/CSS/JavaScript. PhoneGap offers some JavaScript wrappers to do things like access the camera, store files etc.

    But, if you want to make something that feels and runs very smoothly it’s hard to do in phonegap. For example, I wanted to render a list of locally stored thumbnails in phonegap. However, whenever the app displayed more than 30 thumbnails the screen would flash. There was nothing that could be done to fix it as it was an artifact of the web rendering engine and image caching. The same thing built using titanium worked beautifully.

    Also, let’s say you want to build something like a scrollable list view of buttons in phone gap. It’s hard to do and make it responsive due the the 300ms delay that that the web engine requires to register a click event… To do it, you need to bind your buttons to the touchstart event… but the problem is that breaks scrolling because as soon as the user touches a button scrolling breaks. You can work around it by building your own touchstart delay system… but this is the kind of thing you get for free in titanium.

    I really care about the native feel and spit-and-polish of any apps that I make, and that is the reason why moving forward I will be using titanium and not phonegap.

  9. Sandy says:

    Cool, thanks for the pointers.

    In a previous comment you said you’re paying $39/month in order to publish apps. Is there a minimum amount of months you have to pay? Or could you just pay $39 for 1 month each time you need to make an update, supposing they’re infrequent. I don’t want to pay almost $500/yr if I’m not sure my app will bring in any money.

    Thanks again

  10. Justin says:

    @Sandy I don’t actually know, but you may be able to find out by starting your research here: http://www.appcelerator.com/pricing/

  11. @jason I’ll post my progress after each show here.

    This is great accountability for me.

  12. Jason says:

    @Paul Cowan – Awesome! I’m really looking forward to following along.

  13. Justin, good luck with Lyte and its ramp up. I think it’s going to be an interesting story to listen to over the next year.

    @sandy, if your mobile app is not game-oriented and has more of a business feel (with form and controls), with multiple pages, PhoneGap and a more HTML 5 +JS oriented approach will make the app much easier to develop and debug as you will be able to leverage web practices and commonly used JS libraries.

  14. Robin says:

    Congratulations Jason and Justin!
    Big news for you both on your independent ventures.

    Good luck to you both.