Capiche FM, SaaS Radio, and an experiment in live streaming audio
It started as an experiment, as the best things do. Or rather, as a handful of questions:
Why is it so much easier to share photos and even video than audio?
Why do podcasts always go to YouTube when they want to go live?
What makes podcasting so difficult, and how could we simplify that?
One thing led to another, and over the summer of 2020 the Racket née Capiche team dev team built Capiche FM, first as a way to start a live broadcast literally over phone calls, before morphing into online live broadcasts.
And in the process, I hosted over three dozen live episodes that were listened to live for over 318 hours, interviewing tech founders and leaders about the ideas behind their products and what's next. From a chat with iA Writer founder Oliver Reichenstein about what inspired their eponymous writing app, to talking to Kirby founder Bastian Allgeier about the CMS that powers this site, to having Notion's head of platform Cristina Cordova come on to talk about their then-upcoming API (which was instantly the most popular talk on the show), Capiche FM led to fun conversations I wouldn't have otherwise had and bridged the Capiche software community over to our new livestreaming platform.
Then we kept tweaking, built Racket as an even simpler take on recording and publishing audio, and shut Capiche FM down this June. That leaves Capiche FM as a handful of memories of incredible live conversations over the fall and winter of 2020, and this collection of recordings from the SaaS Radio talks.
Here they are:
Staat chat with Amanda Sabreah
Matt and Staat founder Amanda Sabreah chat about what makes JIRA so complex and confusing, setting up developer teams for success, why Staat focuses on Jira and GitHub issues instead of building new issue tracking from scratch, and more.
Intelivideo chat with Adam Zeitsiff
Matt and Intelivideo CEO Adam Zeitsiff chat about the digital transformation that gyms and other local businesses have gone through over the past year, and what it takes to build a platform that brings local business online and help them compete with larger platforms.
Salesforce chat with James Cull
Matt and Salesforce Enterprise Architect James Cull to chat about one of the original SaaS web apps—and how customization, flexibility, and a suite of acquired apps has kept Salesforce one of the top CRMs for decades.
Rows chat with Torben Schulz
Matt and Rows founder Torben Schulz to chat about the future of spreadsheets, where spreadsheets are still better than databases, Rows’ upcoming button, and more.
Fig chat with Brendan Falk and Matt Schrage
What if Terminal had a command palette?
Matt and Fig cofounders Brendan Falk and Matt Schrage chat about building a faster terminal with autocomplete, apps, and more.
Automation chat with Luhhu's Andrew Davison
Matt and Andrew to chat about Zapier, Integromat, n8n, and Parabola, how automation platforms have changed, and what’d be the most exciting to see added to Zapier now that loops are supported.
No More Boring Apps chat with Andy Allen
Matt and Andy for a chat about how to make apps not boring—with a game engine-powered weather app, calculator, and timer. Plus, what happens when you make software for the people who want it most—the double-IPA of software?
Ghost Chat with John O'Nolan
Matt and Ghost founder John O'Nolan to chat about the Ghost CMS, publishing with subscriptions, the internet's attention span, and more.
Coda chat with Lane Shackleton
“Maybe files are already dead.”
Matt and Coda head of product and design Lane Shackleton chat about Coda's unique take on documents + spreadsheets/databases, why buttons are the most powerful thing in Coda, what’s coming next for Coda (hint: You’ll soon be able to connect any API with Coda and build your own Packs), and if files are dead.
Pitch chat with Tomaz Stolfa
Matt and Pitch Head of Presentation Experience Tomaz Stolfa chat about Pitch’s new approach to presentations, rethinking how presentations should be centered around storytelling, Pitch’s upcoming follow feature and mobile apps, and more.
Kirby chat with Bastian Allgeier
Matt and Kirby CMS founder Bastian Allgeier chat about flat-file content management systems, what's tough about building bookmarking tools, building a hosted version of Kirby, balancing open source and a business model, Markdown vs WYSIWYG, and more.
Roam Research chat with Bardia Pourvakil
Matt and Roam Research's Bardia Pourvakil to chat about wiki linking, using daily notes to memorize things, the upcoming Roam API, note taking strategies, and more.
Makerpad chat with Ben Tossell
Matt and Makerpad founder Ben Tossell chat about no-code, automation, apps like Zapier and Airtable, building a community, why “no-code” is too limiting of a term, and more.
Airtable chat with Shani Taylor
Matt and Airtable Customer Success manager Shani Taylor chat about Airtable, building custom database powered apps, syncing data between databases with an upcoming feature, the new Airtable apps and marketplace, and more.
Notion marketing chat with Ben Lang
Matt and Ben Lang from the Notion marketing team chat about using Notion even if you're not taking notes, replacing everything from Wunderlist to Dropbox with Notion, why teams need a Notion Librarian, and more.
The Capiche Notion Roundtable
Matt, productivity trainer Maria Aldrey, Notion evangelist Ben Smith, and RadReads founder Khe Hy kick off the new year on SaaS Radio Hour with a roundtable chat about Notion. Hear their organization tips (hint: Use databases to organize everything), what Notion needs to improve (unanimous vote on speed), building a GTD workflow and Zettelkasten in Notion, and much more.
Cord chat with Nimrod Priell
Matt, Cord CEO Nimrod Priell, and Cord product marketer Abby Barsky chat about Cord's unique take on chat, working between multiple apps, switching costs, how chat has evolved over time, and more.
Pixelmator chat with Andrius Gailiunas
Matt and Andrius chat about Pixelmator, building indie apps for Apple’s platforms, one-time purchased software versus subscriptions, naming versions, and more.
⭐️ Notion API chat with Cristina Cordova
Matt and Notion's head of Platform Cristina Cordova chat about Notion's upcoming API, what to expect from the first integrations, and much more in one of SaaS Radio's most popular broadcasts.
Linear chat with Karri Saarinen
Matt and Linear CEO Karri chat about Linear's unique take on issue tracking, building fast web apps, how the command palette helps overcome limitations with both mouse-driven and keyboard shortcut interfaces, Linear’s tools to see project momentum, and how Karri breaks down issues and ideas into smaller, more accomplishable tasks.
QotoQot chat with Ivan Mir
Matt and QotoQot founder Ivan Mir talk about indie app development, time tracking, privacy, building for Apple platforms, subscriptions versus one-time purchases versus pay for a year at a time apps, and more.
Vanta Chat, with Christina Cacioppo
Matt and Vanta CEO Christina Cacioppo chat about privacy, SOC 2 compliance, building a secure organization, why you should use 2 factor authentication and a password manager, deleting unused data, and more.
Calendly Chat with Tope Awotona
Matt and Calendly founder Tope chat about Calendly's scheduling tools, why calendar apps haven’t evolved as much as email apps, why to keep your camera turned off during calls and turn them into walking meetings, and more.
Microsoft Teams bet on files. Slack + Salesforce bet on data.
A chat on the ideas behind the Capiche essay on how Microsoft Teams bet on files, while Slack + Salesforce bet on data, and how in many ways Slack built a new take on the terminal for SaaS, a text way to interact with software, while Microsoft Teams rebuilt Finder and Windows for web apps.
Streak Chat, with Aleem Mawani
Matt and Streak founder Aleem Mawani talked about the story behind Streak’s CRM, building a business inside Gmail, keeping your product running even when the platform it’s built on changes, Google’s standardization of both the browser rendering experience and the email experience, where Kanban breaks down and isn’t as useful as a table, and more.
Yac Chat, with Justin Mitchell
Matt and Yac founder Justin chat about voice messaging, remote async communications, building Zapier integrations, and more—with stories about how the Yac team now has zero live Zoom calls, doing everything from standups to hiring interviews over asynchronous Yac voice chats.
iA Writer Chat, with Oliver Reichenstein
Matt and iA Writer founder Oliver Reichenstein's chat about Markdown, the story behind iA Writer and how it originally almost was a physical device, why iA Writer didn't switch to subscriptions yet, and more.
Austin + Matt's SaaS news recap: November 18
Matt and Austin chat about the big news in SaaS from the past few weeks, from Excel's new database-powered linked data types (joined by Al Chen to discuss how those will be used in businesses) to Hey for Work and the challenges of convincing businesses to switch email providers. Plus: Fast and simplifying eCommerce checkout, Social commerce and selling products via live video as almost the QVC of the web, Twitter's Fleeps and why that was the focus instead of other Twitter features, Google Photos ending unlimited free storage, and Apple and Spotify's different approaches to podcasts.
Ulysses chat with with co-founder Max Seelemann
Matt and Ulysses co-founder Max Seelemann chat about their Markdown writing app, how its design has evolved over the years, the limits of touch interface design, why subscriptions make sense for Ulysses even without being a web app, Max' prediction on the future of Apple's platforms, and hints at what may come in the future for Ulysses.
The Notion Chat
Listen to Matt and Tem from Optemization chat about Notion and what's made it such a flexible tool for everything from notes to project management to publishing web pages, how it compares to ClickUp, OneNote, Coda, and more, and how Notion's carved out a new category as a flexible page where you can create anything you want.
Capiche AMA with Slite CEO Christophe Pasquier
What makes a markdown-powered notes app for teams different from a wiki like Roam Research? In the first part of this call, Matt interviews Slite CEO Christophe Pasquire about the notes app he founded and what makes it different from other tools.
→ Listen to the first half of this episode.
Then, in the second part of this call, hear how the Slite team approaches organizing team notes, what makes it different from Slab, and how notes and knowledge bases differ.
→ Listen to the second half of this episode.
October 28: Streaming software, Uber in a Box, Dropbox and the challenges of file storage
Nearly every tech giant now has game streaming, with Microsoft, Google, and Amazon all competing for streaming console games, and now Facebook announcing they'll be streaming mobile games. It's something that's been tried before with business software—but it never took off. Could it eventually come back, and let you stream, say, AutoCAD or Premiere to your computer, relying on a server to do the heavy rendering?
- Google Maps APIs now let you build your own delivery service
- Dropbox new family plans cost quite a bit more than the competition, for less—highlighting the challenge of managing files today
- Discord added video editing
- And more.
How software made us love being locked-in
For years, the thing to complain about in software was lock-in, how you had to keep using the latest Microsoft Word to open files from colleagues. That’s gone away, as SaaS put everything in a database, let us share software for free with collaborators.
Now we’re locked-in with unique software that has features that would be hard to replicate elsewhere, things like Notion that put notes and kanban boards and tables and more in one app. You could never replicate everything in your Notion in another app. Yet we’re happy.
That’s thanks to the IKEA effect in software, where today’s lock-in doesn’t feel nearly as restrictive as feature, file format, database, and subscription lock-in alone did.
October 22: Zoom apps, Pitch, Video calls as a Platform, and Google's missteps in trying to build a social network.
Four years ago, Microsoft built Skype calls into their web apps, so you could edit a Microsoft Word doc in the Word Web App, then start a Skype call to collaborate live or present it to other people from the app.
That's the new SaaS battleground. Late last week, Zoom announced Zaaps, web apps that open inside your Zoom Calls. Google recently, on the other hand, announced Google Meet video calls inside Google Docs and more, and one of the newly released Pitch presentation app's core features is in-app video chat while you're collaborating.
In this episode, Matt and Austin, along with a guest appearance from Al Chen, chat about how video is the new work operating system, how Google missed the boat with social, whether Google is a monopoly, and more.
The story behind Markdown
Step back to 2002 as we talk about the history behind Markdown, the plain text formatting syntax that changed how we write on the web for good.
There was Aaron Swartz’ ATX, Dean Allen’s Textile, then John Gruber’s Markdown, in short order, one after the other. Competition for the plain text editing crown, or so it seemed.
Here’s how, in the pursuit of capturing the magic of typewriting and early plain-text emails, the way we edit text changed.
Catch the story in this episode, then dig into the complete Markdown history on the Capiche blog.
October 15: Segment + Twilio, Google Workspaces, Zoom, and more
Twilio is building an ecosystem of developer tools—from Sendgrid to Authy to now Segment. Matt and Austin discussed what that means for the future of Segment and Twilio, with a guest appearance from Aaron Gotwalt.
- Trying to decipher what Cloudflare One is offering.
- Zoom is adding encryption—and we discussed how they won the market, even without traditional enterprise tools.
- Google rebranded G Suite as Google Workspaces, and the contrast between their broad product strategy centered around distribution versus Zoom and other SaaS startups focused on making the best possible single product.
- And more!
Thoughts? @reply me on Twitter.