photo of CK Hicks and Scotty Moon side-by-side on a teal circle over a dark background

Future Trends In Product (with CK Hicks and Scotty Moon from Crema)

Michael Luchen is joined by CK Hicks, a Creative Technologist, and Scotty Moon, a Senior Application Developer at Crema. Listen to learn more about future trends in product.

Interview Highlights:

  • CK Hicks is a Creative Technologist who explores how people interact with technology in the world around them. His role focuses on driving functional, disciplined and innovation through real-world prototypes and approaches, supporting the culture of learning by making and collaborating with others across varied mediums. [0:55]
  • Scotty Moon is a Senior Application Developer who builds products as a member of the production team while also helping to mentor and give direction to the development team as a whole. His passion is in mobile application development and has been a professional developer for over 15 years. With a background in web and design, Scotty is uniquely skilled in the challenges of building modern API driven applications. [1:30]
  • Scotty had a real problem with always wanting to be an early adopter on every little thing. And because of that, he tends to have his finger on the pulse of what’s going on in tech and most of the news he reads is all about tech. [2:53]
  • When assessing new technologies, you have to look back to old patterns and things that used to be and learn a lot from that. And then use that to inform how you want to implement or explore a new combination of similar elements. [4:20]
  • Blockchain is huge. Everybody’s thinking about Blockchain. [9:04]
  • The way that a company will implement a new version of something is always kind of fun, because you just never know the difference between a certain speed of data and a new tier of speed of data. Yes, it’s still just a data service, but it comes in and it brings new innovations along with it. [9:22]

“The environment that I’m in is no longer the boundary that would prevent me from doing something or from having this creative space.” — Scotty Moon

  • CK thinks that three years is probably better than one year of more consumer adoption to VR. They’re doing things like having distributed conferences and social meetups and stuff in a better fidelity space. [16:35]
  • There are some really interesting projects right now that aren’t just in the crypto space like Cardano Africa. It’s a good thought experiment. [20:30]
  • The Ethiopian government is working with a company to deploy Blockchain for 5 million citizens, that basically acts as both an education tracking and economic stabilizer for education specifically. [20:43]
  • In Scotty’s earliest programming days, he was working on a computer that was the size of an air conditioning unit. Over the years, they’ve just been trying to get smaller and faster. And then ARM comes around and pushes these risk architectures that are really small that are starting to be more and more powerful. [24:16]
  • ARM is a company or an organization that is now owned by Nvidia, which is the top-of-the-line graphics card producer right now. [26:16]
  • We have to remember that we build things for humans first. And so, regardless of what you compile and come up with, and you cobbled together technologies and AI and ML, you’re building it for an end-user, for a person. [31:51]

“Privacy has to be person-driven, because ultimately we care about what is going to impact the end-user, the person who is using our product.” — Scotty Moon

  • If you’re building something new, think about why your product should exist. [33:58]
  • Even though Apple and Google are moving in the new directions for protecting user privacy, they still have a lot of information about you and will continue to have a lot of information about you. [35:41]

“The negative aspect of privacy is when it gets sold without your knowledge.” — Scotty Moon

  • Decentralization is a huge theme right now, and we all need to be aware of how and where we implement it. [39:17]

“If you’re going to spread out the workload, you’re also potentially introducing points of failure.” — CK Hicks

  • CK’s personal habits that have contributed the most to his success are lots of small, little efforts. Research, prototype, assess, and then rinse, repeat. [43:21]
  • Scotty’s personal habits that have contributed the most to his success is he’s always thinking of ideas or reading tech news or looking for patterns in the industry. [44:36]
  • CK’s favorite tool that he uses regularly is Apple Pencil. [44:51]
  • CK’s one piece of advice that he would give for someone at the start of their product journey is “just be curious.” [46:17]

“Curiosity can often bring discontentment, because you have to go to the next shiny thing.” — CK Hicks

  • Scotty’s one piece of advice that he would give for someone at the start of their product journey is “learn to break things down.” [47:55]

“Break things down into smaller pieces, because every complex system is made up of a multitude of small systems or items.” — Scotty Moon

Guests Bio:

CK Hicks is a Creative Technologist at Crema. He explores how people interact with technology and the world around them, driving cross-discipline innovation through real-world prototypes and approaches, supporting a culture of learning by making and collaborating with others across varied mediums.

Raised by a photographer, trained in audio/video production, self-taught as a developer… CK loves to learn! You can usually find him with a pen in his hand, a strange piece of tech on his desk, and up to his elbows in lines of code. Mainly, though, he loves to be the middle-rung of everyone’s ladder and help people reach their goals. He believes that time is our greatest currency and people are our most precious resource.

Photo Of CK Hicks

“You have the opportunity to construct things that you want to exist as a digital product developer regardless of where you are in the stack or the process or anything.”

— CK Hicks

Scotty Moon is a Senior App Developer at Crema.

He is an active Mobile Developer, learner, and enthusiast with over 15 years of experience. His most recent focus has been on React Native, Java, Swift, and Flutter. He had the pleasure of mentoring many junior developers and enjoyed making elegant solutions to technical challenges.

He loves working on a team that is friendly, focused, and embraces the right tool for the job. He believes that a successful project has equal parts skill and communication.

Photo Of Scotty Moon

“I’ve always loved technology and it’s my passion that drives me at work and everything.”

— Scotty Moon

Resources from this episode:

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We’re trying out transcribing our podcasts using a software program. Please forgive any typos as the bot isn’t correct 100% of the time.

Read the Transcript:

Michael Luchen

Every day we hear about waves of innovative new technologies that promise to power our future. From augmented reality to privacy, from blockchain to increased global internet access and more. The amount of technology at our disposal may fundamentally change not only how future products are used, but also how they are developed. We have two very special guests joining us today in a round table discussion on this topic. Stay tuned. 

This is The Product Manager podcast. The voices of the community that’s writing the playbook for product management, development, and strategy. We’re sponsored by Crema, a digital product agency that helps individuals and companies thrive through creativity, technology, and culture. Learn more at crema.us. Keep listening for practical, authentic insights to help you succeed in the world of product management. 

All right. So I’m really excited to introduce you all today to two friends and colleagues on the show. CK Hicks and Scotty Moon. 

CK is a Creative Technologist who explores how people interact with technology in the world around them. His role focuses on driving as functional, disciplined, and innovation through real-world prototypes and approaches, supporting the culture of learning by making and collaborating with others across varied mediums. You can usually find them with a pen in hand, a strange piece of tech on his desk and up to his elbows in lines of code. Mainly though he loves to be the middle rung of everyone’s ladder and help people reach their goals. He believes that time is our greatest currency and people are our most precious resource. 

Scotty is a Senior Application Developer who builds products as a member of the production team while also helping to mentor and give direction to the development team as a whole. His passion is in mobile application development and has been a professional developer for over 15 years, but it’s primarily focused on building native applications in the Android and iOS for the last four. With a background in web and design, Scotty is uniquely skilled in the challenges of building modern API-driven applications. Outside of work he can usually be found spending time with his family of five kids and amazing wife hanging out with friends or playing guitar. 

CK and Scotty, welcome to the show. 

CK Hicks

Hey, thanks for having us. 

Michael Luchen

All right. You’re ready to talk about the future? 

Scotty Moon

Yes. 

Michael Luchen

All right. So I’m really excited about this discussion, but just to start, what drives each of your passions for a future technologies?

CK Hicks

I love that quote. I think it’s from Dennis Gabor is how you say his name? That the future can’t be predicted, but it can be invented. That to me, I think even as you were reading our intros and the things that we’re passionate about is just, you have the opportunity to construct things that you want to exist as a digital product developer regardless of where you are in the stack or the process or anything. And that gets me really excited. 

Scotty Moon

Yeah. I think for me, I’m just kind of a, I have a real problem with always wanting to be an early adopter on every little thing. And because of that, I tend to have my finger on the pulse of what’s going on in tech and most of the news I read is all about tech.

And so you start to see patterns and things develop over the years that are pretty exciting. I think we’ve talked a lot about this, you know, on our free time, Michael, but yeah, I just, I don’t know what it is. I’ve always loved technology and it’s kind of my passion would, what drives me at work and everything. So… 

Michael Luchen

Yup. 

Scotty Moon

I love that. 

Michael Luchen

That curiosity. 

Scotty Moon

Yes. 

Michael Luchen

How do you, you know, we’re talking about tech, but we’re also talking about in the context of product development. So, how do you approach assessing new technologies? Like some of the cutting-edge ones, we’re going to discuss today. 

CK Hicks

I think it’s a lot of playing with it. A lot of, you know, you look around and see what people are doing with similar trends or similar tech and learn from that and apply it yourself. To get your hands dirty is a huge aspect about it, but I do think there’s, you know, you see over the years, like the pendulum will swing one way, and then it will come back.

Like patterns will repeat themselves in things that people create because people just keep creating things that are kind of similar. They just have new implementations. And so when you assess it, you can look back to old patterns and things that used to be and learn a lot from that. And then use that to inform how you want to implement or explore a new combination of similar elements.

Scotty just has like five mobile phones. That’s how I’ve seen him do it.

Scotty Moon

It’s true. Yeah, no, I was trying to think of like what, when I’m looking at a tech or a bit of technology, what makes me want to adopt it or give it a second look. I think usually I try to look at things, is it making my life easier?

Is I mean, there’s so many things that are vying for our attention that, you know, it’s kind of the shiny new thing. Especially in development, you know, it’s real easy to get caught up in that. And so, I think you kinda have to ask yourself some questions, like why does this exist? Is it someone just playing in a space or, is this, you know, is it kind of a re-imagining of something old that’s just better?

You know, we’ve been playing around in VR and augmented reality a lot. And just the industry has been kind of playing in that space, but no one has really created an amazing product yet. However, you know, you can kind of see that it does have a future, because of a lot of the things that it brings to the table. It actually reimagines, you know, how we interact with the world around us and everything. And some of that is really cool. 

Michael Luchen

Yeah. You know, one of the things I’m thinking about, like in this conversation about assessing new technologies like that, is for me personally, it starts with curiosity, but I think more pragmatically from a product management perspective. I think about like the user adoption curve and how it kind of starts slow with the early adopters.

And then you have people that are passionate about it and then it kind of hits mainstream and just like bell curves up. And I think in an ideal world, I’m always kind of hanging down here at the new and innovative products space, and kind of into the early Dr. Space. I think personally I’m kind of in that early adopter space with new technology, but I’m always reading about like new and innovative things. 

So like once something starts to get a little down the curve and I’m like, okay, this is going to probably really take off here. Be a core part of the products that we build in the future. Then that’s when I like to get in, like right before it hits that, kind of that mass adoption curve.

CK Hicks

So you don’t like, you know, getting the latest thing and having your workflow disrupted for three weeks? 

Michael Luchen

You know, that’s probably why I’m this way is because I have done that before a lot, and it’s a lot of fun, but when your workflow is disrupted for three weeks, it’s whoa. But it’s kind of about like, I think it’s still okay to like have that mentality.

It’s just a matter of like how my time box, they have an element of play for something so that like it’s done for me in the past, my workflow isn’t completely disrupted for three weeks. People trying to like replicate product management and VR or something.

Scotty Moon

I think a lot of it has to do with a previous conversation we’ve had, but just the amount of friction that something brings to your life or removes from your life.

So, you know, whenever, I mean, I’ve experienced this in smaller ways, you know, like, transitioning away from like a Google product or something like that to something else. And, it’s like, okay, using this product, is it, does it make my life easier or do I feel like I have to jump through a lot of hoops?

Even something as simple as using Safari versus Chrome, you know. I use Chrome because of all the plugins and multi-user accounts and all these other things because I have to switch between work and regular life context so much. So switching to Safari, you’re kind of incurring this friction. And is the switching cost or is it the friction cost? Is that worth what the benefit is, you know. And I think you could apply that same thing to technology. So as you’re playing around with different things, how much friction does this bring to your life or is it taking stuff away?

CK Hicks

That’s good. 

Michael Luchen

That’s awesome. That’s an awesome metaphor or fiction. So let’s start kind of thinking about some of the specific technologies that we have our eyes on. What are some that come to mind for you all? 

CK Hicks

You said a lot of them in the intro. I mean, the AR, VR, MR, especially with the rise of some forms of entertainment that are now coming into Vogue, where the technology is making sense, and they’re letting them deploy stories at these different levels and different levels of interactivity.

Blockchain is huge. You know right now, everybody’s thinking about blockchain. You know, Apple switching to ARM, like there’s just, there’s so many things, even in just the stuff you listed early on that those are ones that are probably front of mind for me, but then even just little tiny things like the way that a company. I’m looking around my desk to see if I have something here, like the way that a company will implement a new version of something is always kind of fun, because you just never know, like the difference between a certain speed of data and a new tier of speed of data. It’s like, yes, it’s still just a data service, but it comes in and it brings new innovations along with it. And that’s always the fun part for me is how these kinds of all coupled together, you know.

Scotty Moon

Yeah. 

Michael Luchen

I think a couple others that come to mind for me are privacy. Especially as there’s more and more services out there. And more and more data’s being shared across the board. How does privacy drive the future of product development? And then also internet access increasing. We’re hearing a lot about Starlink enabling high-speed satellite internet access for a relatively affordable cost based on a history of satellite internet.

And of course, 5g speeding up and giving you essentially fiber level speeds in some cases. And not only is this going to shift those who have access to internet or ready, but it’s also going to help bring online a lot more people that haven’t been online before. 

Scotty Moon

I think something else that I’ve been thinking about a lot is just the way we interact with our computers too. So especially with the new tablet, computer coming out from Apple. The new iPad with the M01. More power, it kinda ties in that ARM architecture piece. But it, for a long time, it’s given us, you know, pause to think, what is a computer?

And can we interact, can we interact with just this tablet? Can I do everything? But I think that also if you’re looking at ahead and all the places where that could go is like, what if this is Apple’s kind of transition piece to more of a augmented reality future, you know. Imagine if you had a device that you just carried with you, but your interface with it was AR glasses or whatever.

Michael Luchen

That’s fricking exciting. I’d love to, and I’d love to, like, I want to like latch into that in and expand on that a little bit. So let’s unpack augmented reality. And then also I think the things that are connected to it, like, virtual reality mixed reality, et cetera, Pitt. Beyond what you just shared Scotty, which I’m also very excited about.

What else excites you about these technologies? 

CK Hicks

I think in the kind of mixed reality space if I can put XR in there also, which is sort of like a group around a lot of these, but you know, the Mandalorian brought this into Vogue, but the idea of having a mixed reality experience that is then used to take the place of and sort of, supplement workflows that were very difficult to achieve. 

Or maybe added a lot of extra production or you lost visibility into how a process worked before. And now it all happens in real-time. So if you’re not familiar, the LED walls that they’re shooting movies on instead of green screens or instead of rear projection.

It’s basically just a fancier form of your projection, which has been around in the movies for, you know, a hundred years or a long time, but now it’s being done with such a level of fidelity and tying into the camera and everything else that there is like a near-seamless blend of what is onset and what is in the background. Even to the like depth of field and lighting and all that stuff is all interconnected now.

So that kind of stuff for me is really exciting because it changes the way you think about telling a story. And also, especially in a 2020 year where there was this global pandemic situation. It changed the way productions were done because you didn’t have to have certain amounts of crew in the same place anymore because of internet speed advancements and everything else.

Again, a lot of these tying in together and you could have, these mixed worlds, you know, that are just, they’re immersive for the people there, but then they’re even better for the workflow as a whole because you’re enabling more people to get eyes on what it will look like at the very beginning. I think that’s why like AR is exciting too, is like, if I can have this little portal in my hand that I can see into another world that I can interact with something in a different way, or it augments my world around me by showing me what button to push or whatever it might be.

That’s just amazing. That layer of information on top of what you see is just super, super powerful when it’s done in like in that real-time moment. 

Scotty Moon

I mean, think about the thing that we take for granted a lot of times is, you know, the supercomputer in our pocket. And when Apple introduced the iPhone, I remember watching that keynote thinking, I can’t believe this is happening.

Like, it felt like the future, it felt like Star Trek. It was just pretty amazing. And now we just take it for granted, but I mean, if you think about what’s happening all the time as the way we use this device, the user interface for comes up when you need it. It gets out of the way when you’re not using it.

It has like a completely new UI all the time. And so the keyboard is no longer, you know, to use that term again, friction. It no longer poses this thing that we have to get by. And I think where they are, it’s kind of taken that to the next leap, which is the environment that you’re in. The environment that I’m in is no longer the boundary that would prevent me from doing something or from having this creative space.

You’re basically allowing yourself to be transported to whatever space you need to be able to do this. I’m gonna imagine on a practical level, instead of worrying about the size of the monitor in front of you. If you could just have floating windows in front of you basically have an unlimited desktop chant.

I don’t have to worry about the keyboard because it can be wherever I need it or wherever I want it. So, I think the really exciting thing is whenever we can have fast enough computers and high enough fidelity displays that, that stuff looks photorealistic and, is just, it gets out of the way then we’re not even thinking about it.

We’re just, we’re thinking about that next thing that we can build. 

CK Hicks

That’s really good. 

Michael Luchen

Where do you think we’ll be with this, with augmented reality and VR, XR, et cetera, in the next one to three years?

Scotty Moon

Well, if Apple Glass comes out, I think it’ll be good because it sounds like they’re working on something, supposedly. I don’t know. I mean, I would like to say it would be a lot further, but we’ve yet to see a consumer product that, that is, you know, very good. 

CK Hicks

Yeah. I think the adoption of consumer VR is still really low because you have, even though you have like affordable headsets like the Quest, right?

Like these are nice, but they are, they’re just the gateway drug into VR. They’re not really the full immersive experience that we all want, you know? And so I would love to see in, I think three years is probably better than one year of like more consumer adoption to VR. So we’re doing things like having distributed conferences and, you know, social meetups and stuff in a better fidelity space

I know Facebook is really pushing that with a lot of their tooling, but you know, and if we could get that next layer, I feel like AR is kind of bumping up against a wall as far as the actual hardware and what we can do even on these amazing computers in our pockets.

So I would love to see someone like Apple, you know, push through that barrier and put more computing power into that processing part, so that we can do even more overlays and more real-time. And it doesn’t feel like that kind of like jumping around on, in the room, you know, when you place a character, like in a snap lens and it like leaps to the wall, you know, or something.

Cause it’s trying to track where the planes are, you know? I think we’ll see a lot more of that in the future. 

Michael Luchen

Yeah. You know, and speaking of that technology that you mentioned today that’s already in our iOS and Android phones. One of the things that I’m thinking about is the technology for AR has been supported really well for our phones for the last several years. Both Apple and Google have been developing kits to allow us as a product team to experiment with this technology and drop into our apps.

But holding up a phone or a tablet in front of your face is not the best way to experience AR. Best way to experience AR is for some nice, thin, and light transparent glasses, of course. Scotty, as you alluded to the Apple Glass. So one of the things I can’t help, but wonder is that the companies that are experimenting with AR today using those kits that exist to support iOS and Android development are the ones who are going to thrive.

In the next one to three years, whenever Apple and Google and Amazon, Facebook, they’re all rumored to be coming out with these next-generation glasses that often use the same platforms for development that already exists today. I think about the transition to the Apple Watch and how it is very much based on the same iOS frameworks.

And so if you are a skilled developer on iOS, then you could easily transition to developing for the Apple Watch. I wonder if we’re going to see a similar thing with Apple Glass and other products. 

CK Hicks

Yeah. And I think it’s helpful to think about things like AR that right now we’ve experienced in a very limited construct of like our mobile device.

Think about not having that be the area, like the place of interaction. So you could have a really amazing AR thing that was like a clear, transparent, you know, a transparent display that you look through and you see, you know, you put one at the Grand Canyon and it starts pointing out different things, you know, in AR and like showing you where features are or whatever.

Like, it doesn’t have to be mobile. It just has to be something that augments reality, right? And so I think that’s where, I think like getting out of the little constructs that we have now, which let’s be honest, this is the these are baby days of a lot of this stuff. And then we move into the future, like into those next things.

Like someone pushes through that wall, that’s when it gets like, oh, it’s so exciting. 

Scotty Moon

Yeah. So I, oh, sorry, go ahead, Michael. 

Michael Luchen

No, I was just going to say, you know, speaking of walls. One of the technologies that is breaking through a wall right now, or at least appears to be is Blockchain. Especially with a lot of the hype around cryptocurrencies that we’re seeing and more, but practically speaking, as we shift gears looking at that where is.

I mean, it’s had a lot of hype over the last few years, and it’s now like front and center, thanks to the cryptocurrency application of Blockchain, but where is blockchain going? And specifically, like how might product teams leverage Blockchain technologies in the near term future? 

CK Hicks

I think that there are some really interesting projects right now that aren’t just in the crypto space, but like Cardano Africa is a really good, like.

At least it’s a good thought experiment. We’ll see if it’s a good idea in a few years. But it’s, you know, the Ethiopian government working with a company to deploy Blockchain for 5 million citizens that basically acts as both a education tracking and economic stabilizer for education specifically.

And so it gives these people a digital identity that is traceable and non-fungible. It can’t be, you know, like messed with and distorted as a lot of things in those developing countries are harder to do because they don’t have the processes and all the layers of government and everything that are in some of the Western countries.

So, it’s exciting to see that, you know. It’s exciting to see someone take that tech and say, what could we do with a common ledger that, where everybody knows everything? You know, and I think the, you talk about, you know, the product team approach. It’s also really good to know that you can’t just slap this on to an existing stack and expect it to go well. 

There’s a project in Germany who’s, there’s a medical system that was tracking the shots that people were getting from the virus to put them in like a digestible. You just scan this QR code and you can see all your information because it’s stored on the Blockchain. Now the private stuff is stored behind a wall.

But anybody with that QR code can now see your medical data in a limited way. So that’s not good. So the, you know, the, you can’t just put this on top of everything else. You have to architect this carefully and understand what the tool does and then where it falls over because every tool has a point of failure too.

So I think that’s a big, like, just a good awareness thing. Like there’s some really cool things this stuff can do. But we have to be careful not to just adopt it holistically and apply it to all of our problems.

Scotty Moon

Yeah. Personally, I haven’t spent a ton of time on Blockchain apart from dabbling in cryptocurrency. So I own dojo like everyone, right? 

Michael Luchen

Why aren’t you retired? 

Scotty Moon

Yeah. I, well, I treated it like a toy as probably you should, but, yeah. 

CK Hicks

That’s good. 

Michael Luchen

So, let’s talk a little bit about the kind of, I don’t want to say emergence because they’ve been around for a very long time, but really the popularization of ARM chips as primary processors and devices. 

Apple has certainly been leading the consumer-driven charge on this. Building their own ARM chips into their high-end, low-end, and also high-end max. Just one of the, you know, from a performance stat for those who aren’t familiar with it. Right now, as of this recording, they’re starting to ship their newest iPads, which have the M1 chip. The ARM chip in it.

As well as our newest IMAX and that had the same chip and they supposedly outperform the top-of-the-line products that were based on x86 chips from the prior generation, by like 50% or something incredible like that. And these are like their baseline products. ARM chips are in your phones, and then further on top of that, we are starting to hear rumors of other major organizations build their own ARM chips. 

Custom ARM chips for the future as well. What do you think that these chips are going to enable, especially when it comes to enabling the products that we build, or work with every day?

CK Hicks

Scotty, this is all you, man. 

Scotty Moon

No, I actually, I get really excited about this just because, it almost seems like it was inevitable. Like we started on these huge machines. I mean, I remember in my earliest programming days, I was working on a computer that was the size of an air conditioning unit and NOLA and, I mean, it was a mainframe or whatever, but still it was gigantic. 

And so over the years we’ve just been trying to get smaller and faster and Moore’s law, yada yada, all of that stuff. And then Apple comes around and, well just ARM in general. So not just Apple, but ARM comes along and really, you know, pushes these risk architectures that are really small, that can, that are starting to be more and more powerful.

And then, just a couple of years ago, I think someone was doing benchmarks showing that most cellphones were faster than a lot of the computers that were coming out. So like, I think we are obviously seeing the fruit of that, but I think the play for someone who’s building products right now is one of the things that you’re starting to see.

It’s actually been over the last year or so. But where certain platforms, especially Apple, but, and I know this is not like an Apple podcast or whatever. I’m on an Android phone right now, so I’m not a, you know, the sheep. Yeah, right now. I switched. But one of the things that you’re starting to see is the encouragement for products that work on mobile devices as well as desktop.

And I think that plays into the strategy of tablet computing as well. So I think you’re going to see a lot more opportunity where you write an app that works on your phone, tablet and desktop with the same code base. And whenever everything is using the same processor, the same architecture it’s a lot easier to do that.

And so yeah, I mean, I think that’s definitely, if you’re not looking at that right now, you should be. 

CK Hicks

Yeah, a hundred percent. I mean, even things like, so, you know, the ARM architecture being licensed by Apple, right? ARM is a company or an organization that is now owned by Nvidia, which is the top-of-the-line graphics card producer right now.

And Nvidia and Apple haven’t always been friends. And so, but this ARM link now between them is, you know, they’ve agreed to like allow this licensing and everything to continue and all this stuff. That’s exciting, because not only are these two tech giants, really three tech giants now sort of all progressing this. You know, they’re pushing this bar up all the time, but that architecture and the advancements and the access to the engineering and research and all that stuff. 

You have a, like, it’s a symbiotic relationship between these companies now that, in my mind can only be good for the end-consumer because regard like politics aside and, you know, company stuff aside like the architecture of ARM is clearly superior to what we’ve been using for a while, for the types of applications that we are using it to, you know, to stall. 

And that, that’s just cool that like now it’s in things like the new iPad that is just astoundingly fast and run amazingly cool. And like, what if there were like server farms built out of ARM chips, you know? That like used way less power and were way cooler, which used way less electricity. That to me is an exciting product development that could happen now that there’s just this mass adoption in the industry.

So I’m just, I’m stoked for that. 

Scotty Moon

And you see other companies. I think the move to ARM is also going to open up a lot more players. Like in x86, it’s primarily Entel and AMD, well, no, IBM does chips, but I believe they’re all risk-based. But now there’s, you know, Google is rumored to be working on their first Google Silicon Chip, the GS101 or whatever.

But that’s supposed to power the next, you know, Android phone that they’re going to release in the fall. 

CK Hicks

Wow. 

Scotty Moon

So I think you’re going to see a lot more companies take a play out of Apple’s book. Samsung does us actually really well too. I mean, they’ve got their own chip and they put that in their phones as well as some of their laptops mostly like Chromebooks and stuff like that.

But I think you’re gonna start to see companies that really gravitate toward controlling the hardware as well as the software. And so you’re going to see entire ecosystems come to life that companies are putting out on a Microsoft is also working in that space. 

CK Hicks

That’s cool. 

Michael Luchen

Yeah, that’d be interesting to see what that does in terms of specialization cause like what it could mean, is like that more control could mean like, Hey, you either are developing for the Apple platform or Google platform or Microsoft platform. But I think, you know, to in the section on an optimistic note where I we’re talking about a lot of the high-end applications for ARM enabling better experiences with existing hardware.

But I think going back to our earlier conversation about augment reality in classes and wearables is that those are all using ARM chips today as well. And in the future, as we go on, like even you know, Scotty, I see you’ve got some AirPods on. I’ve got some on as well. They both have ARM chips in them.

And so like, as we start thinking about more and more technology just existing around us, these small, low powered or yeah, low power, high performance, but low power chips can enable so many types of new hardware that we haven’t even seen or thought of yet today. 

CK Hicks

Totally. 

Scotty Moon

I think you also see a lot of specialty chips coming out as well.

So I really like that you pointed out the AirPods because you know, they’ve got these chips that specialize in special awareness. And so like I can, I get spatial audio. I can immediately switch between devices and like on the pixel phones not this one, but you’ve got the visual core.

And so you’re getting a lot of these as more people are kind of investing in those like creating their own processors and everything. You’re starting to get some processors that bring more to the table than just like a raw computing measurement. You know, it’s adding like special features.

CK Hicks

It’s a really good point. 

Michael Luchen

Yeah. So let’s a shift into something that is a little more gray right now in our space. And is, I think not only relevant to the products of the future, but also relevant to the products that are being built today. And that is privacy. How do you all feel about privacy considerations in products, obviously there’s a lot of benefits and there’s a lot, there’s really kind of two directions, I guess.

And when you’re a new product team and you’re faced with building a solution, you can either really lean into making that data open and accessible, be it for advertising revenue or being able to increase the user experience. But it’s at the potential expense, depending on how you mitigate it, of that data that as a user. Your data is out there somewhere somehow being used and can potentially identify you in ways that you’re not comfortable with.

But on the other hand, you have companies that you know, we’ll use Apple as an example again, who are all like, you know, what? We’re going to try to do as much processing on device enabled by these ARM chips as possible instead of sending your data off to some server somewhere and intermingling it with others and analyzing that ourselves for our own gain.

So I’ll just kind of leave it there. Like that’s kind of the environment, but where do we go from here? How do we approach privacy when building a new product?

CK Hicks

I see many opinions. 

Scotty Moon

Yeah, I mean, I think one huge part of this for me is we have to remember that we build things for humans first. And like you build a product for a person to use, right? And so regardless of what you compile and come up with and you cobbled together technologies and AI and ML and whatever, you’re building it for an end-user, for a person.

And so, if nothing else, even if you’re building it for like, you know, animal care, that’s because a person cares about an animal and wants to like it always goes back to a human. So, privacy has to be a person-driven, like people-driven, because ultimately we care about what is going to impact the end-user, the person who is using our product.

And if, when you’re developing, you lose the perspective, which is easy to do. If you lose the perspective of, oh, I’m building this for another person and for on behalf of another person. Then I think you can make decisions that are in that gray area like you said, because you’re not considering the impact on another human that might be detrimental to to their existence.

And so we had just always have to make all our decisions with that, like in mind. It doesn’t mean you can always just go, oh, check the privacy box, you know. It just means that you have to make decisions along the way where you take shortcuts, where you optimize. You know, where you add additional layers of like separation of concerns and all of that. That all has to be done with a human in mind as like the base.

And then you can get brilliant and do cool things after. 

Michael Luchen

That’s good. 

CK Hicks

I think if I was building a product right now, I would really ask myself why I need the information I need from our end users. Because Apple is kind of led the charge on, you know, allowing users to be able to block, you know, companies from finding out a lot of their information and tracking them.

But Google is, you know, right behind them. And so, I think if your entire business model is based off of that, then you might need to restructure, find a new business model. So, if you’re building something new, then I, yeah, I think what CK said is right on like, think about like why your product should exist.

You know, and that’s something that we do here at work whenever we get a new project and we, you know, we look at the competitors in that space already. We asked the person who’s doing this project, you know, what are you bringing to the table that someone else isn’t? And, but just in my personal experience I’ve seen so many people that they’re like, oh, I want to build this.

I’ll think about business model later. And usually what that means is we’re going to use ad-based revenue or something like that. And I just don’t know how much this is going to change. How much this will change. You know, how you get revenue from ads and everything. 

Is this going to be a huge shakeup? Or is this just a bunch of noise and we’re now we’re just going to get ads that they just won’t be relevant. I don’t know. So, but I, it would definitely give me, you know. I would pause and think about like, what’s my business model and how can I create an app in a sustainable way that maybe doesn’t rely on user information and doesn’t rely on advertising revenue.

Michael Luchen

Yeah, that’s good. It’s tough. It’s definitely a you know, something that requires a lot of intentional thought and not just, oh yeah, we should collect user data or we shouldn’t collect user data. And I like, especially Scotty what you were saying connecting it, the value of connecting it back to the business model and then CK pairing that with really remembering at the other end of this interaction.

There’s a human, they’re not data. I mean, we, maybe the business model involves using their data, but knowing that there’s a human it informs how as a product, we move forward with it into the future. 

Scotty Moon

I will say like, I do think even though Apple and Google are kind of moving in these new directions for protecting user privacy, I mean, they still have a lot of information about you and will continue to have a lot of information about you. 

CK Hicks

Oh yeah. 

Scotty Moon

So I don’t think necessarily giving your information to someone. If you’re online, if you’re using a mobile phone, just the walking around using it, like you’re giving your telecom knows a lot about you and where you go.

So it’s, you’re not, it’s not, you don’t have this privacy that no one knows what you’re doing. I think the, the negative aspect of privacy is when it gets sold without your knowledge or your getting used without your knowledge. And so if you are developing something, I mean, you can use somebody’s info for good, you know. 

If I’m trying to be helpful and I notice someone has, you know, if I had a, like a behavior app and I noticed negative behaviors just from watching this person, what they’re doing, you know. I could give them some type of incentive to change that behavior. I don’t know. I’m not going to create an app off the top of my head, but I mean, I think there are genuine uses for collecting information for people.

But I think in most of what we’re seeing right now is just kind of fall out from the advertising space. 

CK Hicks

Well, and in a real quick example of how that can work is the Find My Network? 

Michael Luchen

Yeah. 

CK Hicks

Right? I mean, look at like AirTags, you know, all being updated by the proximity of people who don’t even own your AirTags, but can do these low power pings to let it know where it is and that kind of stuff like those connected networks that are still private, but connected are kind of, I mean, that kind of goes back to blockchain.

Like, there is a layer here that is good when we get to a certain scale of adoption, that does require all of us to kind of pitch in and do our part, but like can also enable some really amazing stuff. 

Scotty Moon

And I don’t know that I haven’t seen any way to opt out of that. Like if someone said I don’t want to connect to this Find My Network.

So maybe there is, but I am curious if there’s stuff like that. Yeah. 

Michael Luchen

I haven’t seen it either. And that’s really, it’s really interesting cause it’s like, I mean, that’s one of the huge value props and this is a great example of a privacy-focused company. Maybe doing something that someone may not be comfortable with. I don’t know of any way to opt-out of it because their value prop is, Hey, we’ve got a billion iOS devices out there.

Basically, you’re creating this de-centralize find my network. Now what’s interesting about it is I was owl type. I’ve got an AirTag on my key chain and I was coming back yesterday from a walk with my partner and she had a notification pop up on her iPhone. That was, Hey, Michael’s AirTag has been detected on your person.

Do you want to continue to allow it or dismiss this notification indefinitely? And it was really interesting to see that. And so that was the only version of opt-out. The only version of opt-out is, if somebody has an AirTag associated with their person for long enough to get a notification about it. 

Scotty Moon

Did she say yes?

Michael Luchen

Oh, I took her phone. 

Scotty Moon

Who is this creeper? 

Michael Luchen

So anyway, you know, I feel like we can dive into any number of topics on this. Not just privacy, but you know, the future of technology and how we apply it within product development. But before we start to wrap up, I have one final question on this topic, which is what do you each believe about the future product development based on our conversation today?

CK Hicks

I think what we were just talking about decentralization is a huge theme right now. And we all need to be aware of how and where we implement it. So like going back to the medical system example you can use it in a way that hinders progress because it causes other problems or you can use it in a way that unlocks potential by spreading out responsibility.

So I think decentralization is a huge theme that we all need to be. Just thinking about paying attention to, but I would encourage all product teams to be thinking about products that separate concerns without adding points of failure. So if you’re going to spread out the workload, everybody, you’re also potentially introducing points of failure.

So find ways to kind of like ride that Delta between those two. And those could bring about some really interesting advancements in your space, whatever field you’re in. 

Scotty Moon

Yeah. I think the pattern that I see, I mean, it’s, we’ve been moving in this direction for awhile, but is all your stuff everywhere and the computer just basically becoming invisible so much that, you know, where we walk, where we go, everything is aware of what’s happening.

So I think thinking about ways to, it would be interesting to start working on ways to leverage that, you know, these networks that we’re creating, or trying to make computing fun and enjoyable, but also getting out of the way. Like, so the user doesn’t have to think about it. And again, I think that gets back to the idea of reducing friction.

CK Hicks

Yep. 

Michael Luchen

Yeah, that’s really good. And it gets me thinking about you know, I’ve got a really young toddler right now. And I’m just trying to imagine the world that he’s going to be growing up in and what computing is going to be live for him. And as practice shaping, you know, right now you’re starting to hear the term, the metaverse of basically what we’re talking about, which is the decentralized datafication of everything we interact with. 

Right now it’s through screens, but in the next few years, it can be through augmented reality. Imagine there’s an Apple Glasses device that I see a 3d object, that’s kind of pinned to the earth, so to speak, but maybe Scotty you’re wearing an Android-based classic device.

And you’re able to see that same object because it is a decentralized object on blockchain-based technology. I’ll just throw that in there. Just to add more complexity to how are we going to the next things we’re getting. 

Scotty Moon

I didn’t have contact lenses and solely radar, you know. 

CK Hicks

There you go.

Scotty Moon

Knowing everything around me. 

Michael Luchen

Yes. Yes. And I think, you know, right now, like the earliest versions of this, as we’re seeing it in things like I think it’s like Robo Blocks and Fortnite which are games. And that’s when I think about like my toddler, who’s gonna probably eventually start playing those games or the next rendition of those games with the next few years.

But that entertainment is really not, it’s going to be way more than entertainment. And it’s going to touch all the technologies that we’ve talked about today and all the considerations we’ve talked about today. So as I think about the future of product development, and I think about all these complexities and all these exciting opportunities within like that are outside the screens that our audience is watching this on right now. 

It’s so important for everyone to stay curious in play down here at the bottom of that curve so that you can confidently lead your clients and your stakeholders and your users in creating great product experiences with these new technologies. Relevant product experiences with these new technologies moving forward.

All right. I’d love to ask some personal lightning round questions that I ask of everyone on the podcast real quick. If that’s okay before we close out? 

CK Hicks

Sure. 

Scotty Moon

Sure. 

Michael Luchen

All right. Starting with a, I’m just going to bounce a, we’ll just do round Robin between starting with you CK and then handing it over to Scotty.

So first, which of your personal habits have contributed the most to your success? 

CK Hicks

Do you call it success if you like break things for a living? I feel like that’s what we do as developers. I mean, it’s just lots of small little efforts. Like little disparate things that you chain together into momentum, you know. Research, prototype, assess, like we said earlier, and then rinse, repeat, you know, and I think that’s the core cycle of personal habits anyway, that, and it could be just in the way that you go about exploring something or in the way that you implement a new technology. 

Like that, I find myself coming back to that as a habit and it could be, you know, at any layer of the job, but that I can’t get out of that cycle, man. That just that curiosity drives that. 

Michael Luchen

Scotty. 

Scotty Moon

Same question? 

Michael Luchen

Same question. 

Scotty Moon

You know, I have, I was actually talking to someone about this at lunch today, but I actually work in my hobby.

And so, I just, I feel sometimes I forget, but I just feel like super lucky to be able to be a developer. Cause it’s what I do. When I’m not working, when I’m not coding, I’m coding. But I, so I mean, I just, I love technology. And so I think that is obviously serving me well, what I do for a living.

Because I usually don’t turn it off. Like I’m always thinking of ideas or reading tech news or looking for patterns in the industry, and stuff like that. So yeah that’s an easy one for me. 

Michael Luchen

Awesome. CK, what’s your favorite tool that you use regularly? 

CK Hicks

Apple Pencil. This, when I saw someone who was actually another PM at Crema that used this to write on a sticky note in Miro, my brain finally made the connection that, Hey, that is paper.

And ever since then, I like, I immediately went and got an iPad and have been using it to take notes. I still have paper all over the place, but like this thing is where so many processes start for me. Is just start putting pen to paper or pen to screen and just working it out mechanically and then putting it into digital form.

Well, I guess putting it into more structured digital form nonvector squiggles and yeah, to me, this is like, this is where everything starts. 

Michael Luchen

Awesome. Scotty. 

Scotty Moon

Yeah, I was trying to think of favorite one. I guess that’d be the thing that I even have in my hand right now just found. We use them all the time.

They’re probably the most handled device that, that we but I mean, it’s sparked so much creativity in my life to just like how can I use this thing even better? 

CK Hicks

You built an app for your phone on your phone? 

Scotty Moon

Yeah. 

CK Hicks

It’s like the inception. 

Scotty Moon

It’s going to happen. Edit videos. You shoot it. Edit. 

CK Hicks

There you go.

Scotty Moon

I mean, it’s just a workhorse. 

Michael Luchen

And lastly, for someone at the start of their product journey, what is one piece of advice that you would give? 

CK Hicks

I mean, curiosity, like you said is definitely core. I know that’s cliche a little bit because it’s like, oh, just be curious, you know. But I think, you know, curiosity can often bring discontentment because you have to go to the next shiny thing, you know, like you, you have that sense of like, oh, this is neat.

Well, that’s neat. Or I wonder what this to, you know, but I think if you’re curious, and even if you’re feeling that discontentment learning to balance that against a sunk cost bias, which I’m still really trying to learn is don’t feel like you are ever too deep into something to either pull back and switch directions. Or to take what you know, and think of it more like rolling it into the next area, because just like we said, all the way back at the beginning, like people create things in similar ways to people who have created things in the past.

Cause we’re all humans, right? So, concepts and core ways of inventing are not necessarily new. It’s just new combinations. So if you’re at the beginning of your journey and you’re landing in the middle of like blockchain all the things and all this kind of stuff, you know, there’s a way to be curious without feeling like you get, you know, to be an old curmudgeon and you, like, you hate on all the new stuff. 

They’re like, those don’t have to be polar opposites is what I’m saying. Like, you can find a path where you kind of swing between us two maybe, and you can be like curious, but not discontent. Don’t worry about sunk cost, but also don’t dig in too much, you know?

And don’t be too loose maybe. So I think some route through that is definitely what I’m trying to do, and I would have loved to be more intentional about that years ago when I started cause I think it’s a good north star. 

Michael Luchen

That’s good. Scotty. 

Scotty Moon

Yeah, I think one of the, one hard thing is if you have an idea and you think maybe it’s too big or you’re not sure how to get there.

And I would just say break things down into smaller pieces because every complex system is made up of, you know, a multitude of small systems or items. And I mean, if you just think about the CPU itself, which we’ve spent a lot of time talking about today, it’s really just a bunch of on-off switches.

So a bunch of ones and zeros is what we’re all talking about. And now we’re, it’s been abstracted and grown and built upon. Now we’re doing like all these crazy things with it, but at its nutshell, it’s just a bunch of really simple systems. And so learn to break things down. 

CK Hicks

That’s really good.

Michael Luchen

Yes.

CK Hicks

That’s good. All right. Thank you, CK and Scotty for joining the show and the excellent discussion today. 

Yeah. Thanks for having us. 

Scotty Moon

Yeah, it was awesome. 

Michael Luchen

All right. Everyone listening in, you can find out more about CK and Scotty’s work at crema.us, or you can also find them on LinkedIn. Thank you again, CK and Scotty for joining, and thank you, everyone, for listening in or watching today.

If you can be sure to leave any reviews or thoughts that you have on the show, that will be really helpful in terms of helping to guide where we take the show in the future. And also be sure to follow and join our community at theproductmanager.com. Thank you, everyone, and take care.