Here’s the text transcript of my December 2019 AMA, in which I answer YOUR submitted questions. (Over a beer or two…)
I was asked by the Chinese MTG community to provide the full text so that it could be translated into Chinese. Well, might as well publish it in English, too 🙂
Have a read!
[Recorded in December 2019]
Hello, and welcome to another episode of Humans of Magic – the podcast that gets deep and personal with your favorite Magic personalities. I’m your host, James Hsu.
Today, there is not going to be a guest on the other side. I am conducting the Humans of Magic “AMA,” or “Ask Me Anything.” This is the first time I’m doing it – feeling a little bit nervous – so let’s have some fun and see what happens.
I’m going to answer the questions that you, dear listeners, have submitted.
Let’s start with the podcast-centric questions. Alora Malat asked, “What was your inspiration for the podcast?”
My inspiration for the podcast originated after I wrote my first book, called Magic: The Addiction. It was an autobiography of sorts. I tried to use the book to talk about my history with Magic. After having completed writing that book and releasing it, I realized, “Man, I’ve written so much about myself. I think it’s really time to turn the tables and figure out what other people are doing and figure out their lives, as opposed to being very me-centric.”
It was also around that time I had encouragement from two very important people in my life. One of them was Julian Knab. Julian is a content creator in his own right. He and I became friends well before I wrote the book Magic: The Addiction and he was very encouraging. I remember talking to Julian one day and saying, “Hey, I want to do a podcast. What do you think?” And Julian basically said to me, “Yeah, go for it. If you have a dream, if you have a goal, just go for it. See what happens.” Julian has always been a great friend and he gave me the push I needed to get started.
The other encouragement was from someone that I didn’t know very well at the time – I definitely know him a lot better now. Luis Scott-Vargas, or LSV. After I wrote my first book, I was basically just cold emailing or cold-pitching people, trying to get them to read the book and write a blurb about it. And I thought, “Why not give it a shot? Why not ask LSV to read the book? He doesn’t know me at all, but maybe he’ll be kind enough to do so.”
Well, to my great surprise, Luis actually took the time to read the entire book. He wrote a wonderful blurb about it. I was essentially on Cloud Nine. It wasn’t a direct inspiration for the podcast, but Luis gave me the mental encouragement to feel like, okay, I might actually have a future as a content creator. I should probably keep this up somehow. And so Luis and Julian were big, big pushes.
Of course, before even having that push, I thought about – how do I want to do the podcast and what kind of content do I want to create? I thought that I wanted to do something that was unique and evergreen. I wanted something that was not topical. It wasn’t Magic strategy. It was something that people had not heard before, at least in the world of Magic. And the podcast content could be non-topical. You could go back and listen to an episode from a year ago, two years ago, and it would still be relevant because it’s talking about the guest’s life.
Another big reason for doing the podcast was to practice personal speaking. I wanted the practice of cutting out all of my crappy verbal fillers. Things like “uhh,” “you know,” “so.” Just all kinds of things that naturally come out when you speak. And I’m not going to say that I have it down perfectly. You’ve probably heard quite a few of these verbal fillers already. But it was a way to practice public speaking, in a weird way.
And the last thing about doing a podcast like Humans of Magic was – playing to my strengths. Because I talk to the guests about personal topics, this is something that’s more my wheelhouse. I’m trying to be honest with myself; I’m not a top-tier strategist. I love certain Magic formats, but what I really enjoy doing is sitting down with somebody, talking to them and trying to figure out what makes them tick. The thesis of the podcast is that everyone has an interesting story.
These are basically the factors that went into why and how I created the podcast, along with encouragement from people to give me the initial push that I needed.
Ok, next question is from Pleasant Kenobi. “What made you choose a podcast over other forms of content?”
Well, there were a few things that went into this calculation.
The first thing I thought about was, what does the world want? What does the Magic world actually want? I’ve always done writing. I’ve written lots of articles and blogs in the past. As I said earlier, I wrote an entire book about Magic. But I think the world has shifted over to other methods of consumption. So for me, it was quite simple. I basically narrowed it down to – if I want to create something that people will actually consume, it’s got to be either audio or video.
The next thing is, what is logistically simple for me? Because I had a full-time job when I started the podcast three years ago – I still have a full-time job running CardBoard.Live as a startup founder. So I thought a podcast would be fairly easy to learn to edit, to schedule interviews with other people around the world as I’m based in China.
I also wanted to make something that didn’t need to be on this YouTube treadmill. If you’re a YouTube content creator, you basically have to be cranking out videos several times a week because they have certain algorithms in place. I didn’t want to be doing that. I know there’s lots of people that are extremely awesome at cranking out videos and they’re really, really gifted – including Pleasant Kenobi, who asked the question. But for me, I just didn’t want to be in that kind of “produce, produce, produce” mode. I wanted to create things at my leisure.
And the last thing I thought about was – what are my strengths? I was able to fairly easily learn audio editing but video skills – video editing – would take a little bit more time to learn. I thought, if I want to do this for fun, if I want to do this as a passion project, then I have to be able to enjoy it.
Last but not least, I myself really love consuming or listening to podcasts. There are certain podcasts like the Tim Ferriss podcast or interview podcasts that I really enjoy. And so I thought maybe I could do my own version of that.
These are the reasons why I chose to create a podcast over other forms of content.
Ok, next set of questions. There’s actually a whole bunch of questions from Pat Euglow. Pat Euglow is one of the co-hosts of Leaving a Legacy, which is one of the best Magic podcasts for the Legacy format. The first question Pat asks me is, “What are the parameters to choose my guests?”
This is a very nuanced question so I’ll try to think about how I want to answer this. Essentially, it’s a mix of the guest’s Magic background, personal experience, and their public speaking experience. Let me break that down.
One is Magic background. The guest has to have some notable accomplishment within Magic, or be known for their Magic stuff, whatever it is. It could be tournament results, it could be cosplay, it could be their content creation career – something.
The other thing is personal experience. So I often find, or I have found over the years doing this podcast, that if you are just – if your life is just about Magic, then it’s not going to be a very interesting interview. I want to dig into your personal story, your struggles, your challenges, and I want you to open up about things. So if you’re only going to be on the show to talk about Magic, chances are it’s not going to be super engaging.
And the third criteria was public-speaking experience. That just means that I would ideally prefer that the guests have had some experience doing podcasts or speaking publicly in some way. Because if I interview someone who has never done a podcast before – who has never spoken to someone in this kind of format – chances are, it’s going to be a little bit harder. It’s not impossible. I’ve interviewed people that have not quite been in the public spotlight so much. In fact, that’s maybe part of the reason why they’re interesting.
But generally speaking, I would say that you have to have a mix of being known for Magic in some way, being interesting outside of Magic, and being in front of the public spotlight somehow. So that you’re comfortable speaking to somebody on the phone.
There’s also the ex-factor, which is – I choose guests if they scratch my own curiosity itch. If there’s something that I really want to ask them, or I see their work and I’m really fascinated by it, or I really want to figure them out, or get inside their mind, then I’m doing it for myself. That really makes it worthwhile.
There’s also other considerations like referrals. For example, if I interview somebody and they say, “Hey James, here’s another person, a friend of mine who I think would be great.” Word of mouth is always really good.
And the last consideration is, to be super honest, their level of Magic fame. I can do the best interview in the world, but I only have limited channels to promote on my end. If the guest is fairly well-known, then they can also help promote using their social network. So that becomes important as well.
Kind of a long-winded answer, but in a nutshell, these are the parameters that I use to choose my guests.
Ok, next question from Pat. “Who is my favorite guest?” And Pat added a little note here, he says, “Don’t say all of them, it’s what a coward does.”
Well, Pat, as I like to say, cowards can’t block warriors and I want to be able to block warriors. So here it goes – I’m going to try to break down my three-year podcasting history to my favorite guest.
And I thought about this a little bit. Unfortunately, in the end, I still have to go with two names. I still have to provide more than one name. The first person is Bryan Gottlieb. Bryan is the co-host of the Arena Decklists podcast. The reason why I enjoyed talking to Bryan so much is because he met all the criteria. He has a great Magic background, he has fascinating personal experience and he’s also an extremely good speaker.
When I conducted the interview with him, I did two interviews. The first one, we basically…I basically reached a flow state of conversation. You can call it flow state or being in the zone. Basically, I lost track of all sense of time and we just kept going, going, and going. And every topic felt so natural, segueing into the next. And after I finished recording my initial episode with Bryan, I realized we almost didn’t talk about Magic at all.
To me, that was the epitome of what a good interview was. I just kind of explored, went into different places. It wasn’t forced, it was really, really natural. I think out of all my episodes, that episode contained the least amount of editing. So Bryan was amazing and that was one of my favorite guests.
The other favorite guest – and I’ll just say this is tied with Bryan – is Luis, or LSV. That was a really meaningful one for me because I had been trying to get Luis on the ‘cast for years. After he endorsed my book, Magic: The Addiction, I kept asking him over the years and he kept turning me down for whatever reason. This year, in 2019, I finally managed to break through. I finally managed to get him on the ‘cast and Luis is just wonderful. Again, someone who is an amazing public speaker. We went all over the place, we talked about some of his personal challenges, some of the personal learnings, and just some really fun stories. So I would say that it’s a tie for favorite guest. It’s got to be either Bryan or Luis.
Next question, “Do you ever want to really press a guest and decide not to?”
Well, I would say yes. But I have also learned over the years that outlining and preparation is 80% of the podcast.
What I always tell my guests is, “I’m going to prepare a question outline in cooperation with you before we start recording.” My guests always have a chance to look at the questions list, and they have a chance to figure out what they want to say, or what’s going to be asked.
And I always tell my guests – to get them to be very, very comfortable – that they have the right to final cut. It doesn’t matter what you talk about in the podcast – that’s what I tell them – you will always be able to review the final mp3 and have the opportunity to cut things out that you regret saying, or you felt could have represented you in a better light.
I do this because it gives my guests the feeling of security. Security is very important because whenever I ask someone to come on the show, most of them know they will be asked the hard questions. And it’s not really hard questions, like I’m going to put them on the spot or I’m going to throw them a curveball. But they’re going to be asked to talk about things that they don’t usually talk about in public.
I tend to press the guests to the max because I already know what questions I want to ask. Sometimes I will probe, and probe, and probe, and it’s very rare that once we get into the comfort zone, that they will just shut down and not answer something.
It’s also something that I’ve learned in my career, working as a tech professional. When you interview people – it could be a conversation or it could be interviewing for a job, interviewing them for a job – you never want to leave questions on the table. If you’re really curious about something, just go ahead and ask. So that’s what I do. I always want to go deeper. And in the end, if they’re not comfortable or they want to cut it out, that’s totally fine. But I will have not done my job as an interviewer if I don’t satisfy my own curiosity.
Next question. “Any regrets?”
Well, I don’t really think of regrets when doing a show like this because I enjoy it and I learn from it. I’d like to actually reframe this as learnings. It’s not really regrets but it’s – what are the things I can do better, going forward?
I would say that earlier on in the show, I didn’t spend as much time outlining the questions with my guests. I think some of the interviews, especially earlier on, really suffered. And that’s really my own shortfalls as an interviewer.
Another thing in the beginning was just that I was not used to interviewing people on certain topics, or just interviewing people in general for Magic. And so I did a lot of annoying things. I would just repeat what they said back to them, and it really wasn’t necessary. It really killed the flow. So that was something that I consciously tried to cut down on.
And the other thing was not making the episodes really listenable. Even though I’m trying to do the podcast for satisfying my own curiosity – and because I enjoy interacting with the guests – at the end of the day, this is something that other people are going to be listening to. You’re not really two people in a room talking, just by yourselves. And so, I really started to think about, over time – how do you present the podcast? How do you outline it so that it’s more interesting? So that the topics are something people would care about, or be fascinated by?
I’m not going to say that I’m perfect in this. I’m always working on it. But I think what I’m trying to do more and more is put myself in the shoes of the listener. What do they actually want? It goes back to that answer – what does the world want? That’s really important. I think a lot of people do podcasts just for the sake of doing a podcast and to me, that’s no longer enough. I want the podcast to be listenable, I want people to talk about it, I want people to enjoy it, to get something out of it. It’s not just a vanity exercise for myself. And so, those are the learnings that I have.
Ok, last question from Pat. He had a lot of questions but I think they’re all pretty good, so I kept them all in. “What is your wish list for future guests?”
I would say that most of the guests that I have wanted to get on Humans of Magic, I have had. I’m not shy about reaching out to people, or trying to network, in order to get them to do a podcast with me. For LSV, I asked him for three years. I don’t know how many times I asked him. So I don’t really think there are too many guests that I really want to interview that I haven’t. I think nowadays it just kind of comes up organically. Or they did something recently that I’m really curious about, so I just want to go and talk to them.
But OK, I’ll just go ahead and say it. There’s one person that I would love to talk to, because a lot of things have happened to this person, or around this person, this year. I would say Reid Duke. But if I were to interview Reid, I would want it to be completely honest. I would need him to open up about some of the controversy he’s been involved in. I want the good, bad, and the ugly. I want a very truthful Reid Duke. And I’m not assuming that he’s not truthful. I’m just saying that I’ve not had the chance to interact with him. So when the time comes for me to reach out, that’s definitely someone that I would like to talk to.
Next question, from Conor O’Donnell. “When doing research for a show, what’s your process like? Do you search for particular information or look for broad characteristics?”
There’s two ways to answer the question. Research for a show can be for guest selection, or after the guest is selected. In the previous answer I already went into how I select my guests. So I’m going to focus now on what happens, in terms of research, after the guest is selected.
What I usually do is – I ask the guest directly. I basically just ask them, “What are the top two or three topics that you’re super passionate in talking about?” And I find this generally works pretty well because A, it doesn’t put them on the spot when we start recording. And B, I want them to be excited, engaged, and talking about things that are on their minds. Once I have that from them, it becomes fairly easy to break it down and do the relevant research. Google a couple of videos or articles and think about how to break questions down into sub-questions.
And of course, there’s always the baseline, which is the family background and history of my guests. I always want to know as much as possible about them at a young age, even before they played Magic. For me, knowing who they are as people is very important, so we always try to do something along those lines. That’s basically what goes into the research. I wouldn’t say it is super strict but there is a process that I’ve developed.
Actually, this answers the next question, too, from Andrew Elenbogen. Andrew’s question is, “By what process do you decide the list of topics?”
Just to repeat it, my process is to ask them to come up with the topics. What do they want to talk about? And I’ll build on this a little bit. When I did the interview with Andrew – as part of my research, I will ask some guests to introduce me to their friends. If I have time – if they have time, and they give me the time – I will talk to their friends to get information and insights about the guests that I would not normally know about. I found this to be pretty effective. The baseline stuff is going to be family history – that’s a given. But sometimes, I find out interesting facts, quirks, mannerisms about the guests that are not going to come up if I just go ahead and search for it on Google. So that is something that has been fairly effective in limited doses.
Next question, from Julian Knab. “Do you have content creators in the greater esports universe you look up to in terms of consuming content? And who are your content-creating heroes?”
Let’s break it down – I think Magic, you can safely say it’s an esport now. So I’ll break it down to Magic and non-Magic.
When it comes to Magic, there are certain podcasts that I just love. One of them is Arena Decklists with Bryan Gottlieb and Gerry Thompson. Amazing podcast, they’ve done amazing and consistent work, I love it. Consistency-wise, I think Limited Resources by Marshall Sutcliffe and Luis Scott-Vargas is right up there. They manage to do an episode every week that’s super high-quality. And because of my personal connection to Marshall and Luis, I am a big fan.
In the world of video, I would say it’s Brian, a.k.a. The Professor. Tolarian Community College. It’s just an amazing YouTube channel, there’s just all kinds of great content. The stuff he has done over the years is consistently high-quality. I know he does it full-time and so he puts a lot of himself into it. I love the channel and I think it’s one of the best things around for Magic. He’s also very objective, he tells it like it is. He’s not beholden to anybody, he’s very truthful in his product reviews. I really like that.
There’s so many to list, but I would also say the general category of Magic streamers. So these are people like AliasV, Deathsie, Voxy…I’m sorry if I didn’t list you here. There’s too many to list. Basically, they’ve shown that you don’t have to be the best at Magic. You just have to be able to entertain. And that means a great deal.
I would also say Riley Knight. Riley Knight, who I had on one of my episodes – I think he is the renaissance man of Magic. He’s good at Magic, entertaining commentary, he does a history podcast, he just does bloody everything well at a high-level. And he’s super humorous. So I definitely think Riley Knight is one of the people that I look up to.
Ok, non-Magic. I would say Tim Ferriss. The Tim Ferriss podcast is definitely up there in terms of the golden grail of podcasts. He is one of the best interviewers around, I’ve been very influenced by him. I’m just going to be straight up and just say it. There’s also Terry Gross. Terry Gross of Fresh Air, interview master, has done amazing interviews with famous people for decades. Then there’s Marc Maron’s WTF podcast. Maron’s an amazing interviewer, he makes everything very personal. Just a great guy.
And on YouTube, there’s an excellent interviewer from Canada, I’m not sure– a lot of people may not have heard of him, but Nardwaar the Human Serviette. His interviews are just fascinating. He manages to find the most interesting facts about people and just gets them to open up. It’s not easy to do that with celebrities – they get asked the same questions all the time – but he manages to do it.
“What are the most memorable lessons you learned about content-creation?” This is also a question from Julian.
What are the most memorable lessons I learned? I would say – probably the biggest one is – it’s not about you, right? It’s not about you, the content creator. It’s about your audience.
When you create something – whether it’s a podcast, video, or strategy article – think about how you want the audience to receive it. Even though the world of podcasts is a niche format – even though I am in a niche format where I’m interviewing Magic people about non-Magic stuff – I still think about the audience a great deal. I want to make something listenable. I want something that people will be able to consume and not turn off after 5 seconds. So I think that is probably the most memorable lesson for me, is that I cannot just be creating things in a vacuum for myself. I have to think about the audience and what people may potentially like.
The other thing that I learned about content creation – I actually learned this from talking to people like Marshall Sutcliffe who is a master at it, he’s the host of Limited Resources. Marshall told me, “The world is surprisingly fair.” By that I mean, if something doesn’t work for you in terms of landing your content, getting people to respond, that just means you have to work harder. You have to think about how you can go back to the drawing board. It’s very easy to think, “I’m brilliant, I’m so smart, it’s just that the world doesn’t understand me.” Well, even if that is the case, which I don’t think it is, 99.9% of the time, you still want to find an audience. And if you put in good work, if you consistently put out high-quality work, the world is going to pick up on it. It’s going to take time because there is a lot of content out there, especially in Magic. But you will find traction as long as you keep plugging away. That’s something that Marshall told me that really struck out and resonated with me.
There’s another learning I have, which is to really listen. Not just listen to the podcast guest without interrupting them, but listen critically to feedback. There’s some feedback out there that is given in bad faith, but there is also a lot of feedback that is actually constructive. So as a content creator, be prepared to listen.
Ok, the next question is from Syvantir, Storm Conduit. “What one piece of advice would you give to aspiring content creators?”
The one piece of advice I would give to aspiring content creators is “make it sustainable.” Figure out a process in which you will not be burned out after producing too many episodes, producing episodes too frequently, et cetera. You have to figure out a way to be in it for the long haul. You have to have patience. You have to be willing to win the race as the tortoise instead of the hare. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
And another way to make it stable is to really believe in your work. You have to truly believe in what you’re doing. Don’t go chasing trends, fads, or techniques. Just be yourself. Be authentic. And really believe in what you do. The last part of making it sustainable is confidence in yourself. And I don’t think it’s possible for me to tell anybody “just be confident.” I think confidence has to be developed. Confidence comes from believing in your work, putting out the work, getting good feedback – and if you’re not getting good feedback, adjust until you do – and that will help you develop confidence.
Eric Vergo asked, “What is your vision for the future of the podcast?”
It’s a great question. There are many ways that Humans of Magic can go in the future. One of the things that I thought about doing – because I’m a big fan of certain topics like the Legacy format – I want to get into the history of how that format started and how it developed. I was thinking I could, in the future, work on these oral histories. It would be kind of fun. You basically sit a bunch of people down, put microphones in front of them and let them talk. So then, in that sense, the podcast becomes more of an audio documentary or oral history. I’ve always wanted to do something like that but logistically it’s much more challenging. Much more time-consuming. But it is in my backburner of things that I would like to do for the future.
Another thing that I have thought about a lot is conducting more live interviews. A lot of the interviews for Humans of Magic, nearly all of them, are recorded ahead of time. They are edited, I give the guests final edit and it goes out after post-production. I’m thinking it would be a lot of fun, as a challenge to myself, to actually conduct more live interviews. It forces me to actually not use verbal fillers, not say “you know,” “uhh,” “umm,” whatever those verbal fillers are. I wouldn’t be able to cut them out. And it allows the guests to be more spontaneous. And that’s something that I would love to do. But logistically speaking, it’s more challenging because I’m in China and I wouldn’t be able to do this remotely.
Other than that, I don’t really have any super large vision for the future of the podcast that I have not already fulfilled. I really believe in the idea that if you want to do something worthwhile, do it now. Don’t think about, “I’m going to do it three years from now, a year from now.” Just go ahead and do it, you can start. Be intentional and just start something.
Next question from Peter Mysels: “What tech do you use to record the podcast? Mics, recording devices, mixer, audio platforms, etc. I’d love to hear it all and the step-by-step process you take.”
I’ll give the list but I’ll start off by saying, “keep it simple.” Especially when you’re starting to do a podcast, do not, do not, do not overfocus on gear. For every second you’re obsessing over technical details, you’re not thinking about how to make your podcast content better. You’re not thinking about how to cut down on verbal fillers, how to hook in the audience, et cetera.
Having said that, my gear is fairly straightforward. Right now I’m using the Blue Yeti microphone, which I think is pretty good value for the quality that you get out of the recording. I also use something called the Audio Technica ATR-2100. It’s a portable microphone, it comes with a stand. I carry it around with me when I am traveling, as the Blue Yeti is kind of hard to carry around.
So that’s all I have. I don’t have anything fancier than the Blue Yeti. The Audio Technica ATR-2100 is under $100 on Amazon. And the Blue Yeti – you can probably find a used one for around $100. You might be able to find a new one for $150. It’s not super expensive and a lot of streamers and podcasters use it. I highly recommend it, it’s really good. It also has different modes. You can record bidirectionally if you’re sitting across from somebody, so I think it’s really good.
For the actual interview itself, I use Skype and Skype Call Recorder. And it’s simple, you do a Skype call with somebody and the Skype Call Recorder software records both sides. Because a lot of the time, the guest is not super technically savvy. I just want to be able to record both sides and it’s really easy to use. Skype Call Recorder – I forgot how much it is, it’s under $50 bucks. It’s a lifetime license. Skype is not the best software in the world but it does the job.
And for editing I just use Audacity, which is free. I downloaded Audacity, went through a few YouTube tutorials and that’s all I have. So again, to summarize, it’s very simple. I’m not using top-of-the-line gear, I think it’s good enough for now. I’m pretty happy with my setup and I think keeping it simple is generally a good principle for life as well as podcasting.
Ok, here’s a variation of best interview. Neil, a.k.a. @falconguy5 on Twitter: “Which interview was the most fun to do?”
This is also a hard one and it’s actually different from my favorite interview. And I would say that the most fun interview I did was with Pleasant Kenobi. Pleasant Kenobi, a.k.a. Vince, I was just flying by the seat of my pants, to be honest, when I was interviewing him. He’s just so full of life, he’s very outspoken, I felt like I was just barely trying to keep up with him. He’s very humorous and we also went deep into many topics that I don’t think he shared publicly all that much in the past. I thought that was really fun because I basically just tried to keep up with him. And I laughed, I cried, I learned a lot of stuff. So I think Pleasant Kenobi is one that, from recent memory, I really enjoyed in terms of fun factor.
Ok, let’s get to the second category, which is less podcast stuff and more life stuff. Kendra Smith asked, “Why are you so awesome?”
Well, Kendra, I’m afraid I can’t answer that. I don’t see myself as awesome and I see myself as flawed like everyone else. I know that your question was a bit of a tongue-and-cheek joke, but I thought it would be good just to mention this. It’s a reminder to people that what you see about people on social media, or online, is just what they want you to see. We only see what we want and people only present the best versions of themselves. I am a deeply flawed human being like everyone else and I don’t consider myself awesome on most days. I struggle with a lot of things – whether it’s career, life, or otherwise. There’s just a lot of things that we don’t know about each other and let’s keep that as a reminder. Everybody is awesome but at the same time, everybody is flawed.
Next question from Steve Mcgillivray. “I’d like to hear a bit about your family history and what your upbringing was like. I always find that fascinating when I listen to the show.”
I was born in Taiwan. Our family immigrated to Canada when I was very young. I grew up in Vancouver, Canada. Strictly middle-class and I had a younger brother. We played Magic, very regular upbringing. I went to school in Vancouver, Canada. Studied computer science, had a career in tech, and I still do to this day because I am building tech for CardBoard.Live. And that’s me in a nutshell. There’s actually a lot more, I guess – there’s a lot more to everybody. If you want to know more – and it’s really because I don’t want to make this into a one-hour answer that bores everybody – you can find out more if you read my first book, Magic: The Addiction. It’s my past history with a very Magic-centric focus.
Rick Longo asked, “I want to know about your life trajectory, because it seems pretty interesting and unique. When/why did you first come to Canada, and when/why did you return to Asia?”
Ok, this one is a bit easier to answer. Moved to Canada when I was seven, lived in Vancouver, Canada for almost all my life. And in the past eight years, I’ve been in China. And I initially moved to China because of a job opportunity. Job opportunity doing product management for a multinational company that happened to have a good role in Beijing, China. That’s basically why I moved here.
And I’ve always been thinking that I want to challenge myself in various ways. I always felt very, very sheltered and comfortable living in Vancouver, Canada. And so, I started to challenge myself more in terms of career roles. I didn’t want to just stick in the same job for 10 or 15 years. I saw some of my friends do that. And there’s nothing wrong with that, but it just wasn’t for me.
And China had a lot of interesting opportunities. I’m bilingual – I’m fluent in English as well as Mandarin. I felt like there were a lot of ways that I could leverage my skillset in China. And so, that’s what I did. And it’s been really good in China. I met my wife here. I feel very grateful, blessed to have had a lot of interesting opportunities and growth opportunities. And so I’ve decided to stay in China for the time being. That’s basically my life trajectory in a nutshell.
Ok, next question is another one from Pleasant Kenobi, I just broke it down into different categories. “How does your time in China affect your ability to engage with or consume Magic content? From coverage to general videos and articles.”
Well, when it comes to general stuff – things that happen daily for Magic, things that happen on Twitter – it’s not too bad. There might be a bit of a lag time, but chances are I find out about it within 24 hours. I’m addicted to Twitter and social, so I generally don’t have too much issue with that. There’s also a lot of content from North American streamers, for example, that are night owls. So they’re actually streaming when it’s daytime in China, it’s not a huge deal.
When it comes to work-related stuff – for CardBoard.Live, where we have live coverage for Magic events and we have to be online, or I want to be online to make sure things are going smoothly – that generally means my sleep takes a hit. When a Mythic Championship is happening on the weekend, I generally just stay up and try to recover on sleep later. It’s not the funnest thing in the world but I care too much about making the events run successfully and smoothly to assume that things are going to be fine. I generally stay up for that. So that’s basically it.
Next question from Vince is – of all your achievements, what is your proudest?
So, I would break it down to professional achievement versus personal achievement. For personal achievement, I would say that it’s a tie between two things. Writing my first book, because I thought that was such a monumental thing before I did it. Just to have the discipline to do that. I’m really proud of the fact that I did it, even though the book was very flawed and when I read – or I try to read it today – I’m embarrassed by some of the sections. But writing my first book, I’m very proud of that. It’s a tie between that and getting married.
Getting married is one of the biggest milestones in my life. I would definitely say that that is something I’m extremely proud of. Not just the wedding day, but being mentally ready for marriage, maintaining the marriage, all that kind of stuff. It’s really – maybe I’m overstating it, but it’s really hard to have a good, stable relationship for anybody. That’s something I’m really proud of, is getting married and staying married.
In terms of professional achievement, I would say my proudest achievement is seeing CardBoard.Live get adopted by the biggest Magic tournaments in the world. That is just awesome.
Ok, next one is from Kevin. “What would 20-year-old James think if he saw you now? Would he be surprised?”
I think he would probably be surprised in terms of certain aspects. But I would like to think that 20-year-old James was also self-aware enough to figure out that there were things that he didn’t know and there were things that he needed to work on. Because I really think that every year of your life, even every day, there’s something that you could be learning. Something that you could be getting incrementally better at. Compounded returns and all that.
So I think if 20-year-old James saw me now, he wouldn’t be fully surprised. I don’t think 20-year-old James knew exactly what he wanted. And I don’t even know for sure exactly what all my goals are today, or what all my goals will be tomorrow. But I think he would be pretty satisfied with how things turned out.
Ian McKeown from The Dead Format podcast asked…Ian runs The Dead Format podcast with his co-host Tom and it’s an amazing weekly Legacy podcast. So Ian asked, “What are your thoughts on Andrew Yang?”
I wasn’t expecting the AMA to be political at all, but it is an “Ask Me Anything” so I should probably answer. Andrew Yang. I had a chance to listen to some of his appearances and I read his book, The War on Normal People. He has some interesting ideas and he is an intriguing presidential candidate. I don’t really have any skin in the game because I’m not American. I just basically follow certain events like the U.S. election, like the rest of the world.
I think Andrew Yang is obviously a smart guy. He is outlining a policy for how America can truly change. I would say that some of his policies, or his platform, is flawed, just like anyone else’s. But I’m rooting for him, I hope he does well. As I’m recording this, it is December 2019 and he’s already getting a chance to get to the next stage of debates. So yeah, I hope he kicks ass. I hope he wins over more of America.
I think there’s still a lot of people in America who don’t know who he is, other than over the Internet. I think America is so big that he really needs to increase his popularity significantly. I’m not really sure that he has what it takes to become the president of the United States. But whatever happens, I think what he says and what he does is a good learning for him. It will set him up for his future political career, so it can only be a win-win. So those are my thoughts on Andrew Yang.
Now we’re getting to general Magic topics. The ChannelFireball Twitter account asks, “What kind of Magic do you most enjoy?”
Well, I enjoy most Magic formats, but I would say the two that I enjoy most are Limited and Legacy. For Limited – Draft or Sealed, either one. I really enjoy playing Limited. Especially this year, when I started doing it for real. I’ve done some drafts in the past but not seriously. And because of Magic Arena, I’ve been doing a lot more Limited and I’ve really enjoyed it.
The other type of Magic – and it’s my favorite type of Magic – is playing the Legacy format. It’s just amazing. You’re playing with old, powerful cards, it’s very interactive. It’s not like what people say that it’s a Turn-one or Turn-two format. I’ve met a lot of great friends and connections through it. People playing Legacy are just the most chill, awesome people in Magic. So those are the two formats I enjoy.
Next question is from “R”. That’s pretty cool, just one letter, “R.” “What do you think about the Reserved List and the barrier of entry it creates into Legacy? Any ideas on how to solve them?”
Well, that is a big question. I think the Reserved List is never, ever going away. And I think Wizards of the Coast has shown that it is never going to go away. There’s been so many discussions and speculation on whether it can go away. Legal implications, et cetera. I think if I were to put myself in Wizards’ shoes, there’s no point in trying to touch that with a 10-foot pole.
If I were to assume that the Reserved List is just here to stay, any ideas on how to lower the barrier of entry? I would say that there’s already been lots of things to lower the barrier of entry. The most costly thing for Legacy is dual lands. And because of the way that they have printed certain cards like Back to Basics and Arcum’s Astrolabe, it’s now become more viable to run a lot of basic lands in your Legacy deck. And so I think it’s been getting better.
I also don’t think the Reserved List creates as big a barrier of entry into Legacy as people who don’t play the format may think. Once you’ve really gotten into the format, you make friends. It’s very easy to just borrow cards from each other and slowly build up your collection with winnings or savings. So I don’t think it’s a big issue.
Look, the reality is that the Reserved List is not going to go away and we just have to deal with it. We can play Legacy online, which is also a great way to get lots of practice and lots of competition. Or, if you want to play paper Legacy, just find a group to borrow cards from.
Lavaspike asked, “Hey James, what would YOU tell yourself 10 years ago and 10 years into the future?”
This is a variation of a question that I ask my guests. It could be five years or ten years. Let’s just say it’s ten years because that’s what Lavaspike is indicating.
What would I tell myself 10 years ago? If I go back in time 10 years, I would tell James: relax. Even now, I’m really learning how to not be a control freak in certain aspects of my life. Sometimes I want things to be perfect. I want things to be very predictable. Well, life is not like that. And 10-years-ago James was even more anxious than I am now. So I really want to be able to tell him that, and I really hope that he can internalize that.
What would I tell myself 10 years into the future? What I’m holding onto right now is that things are generally pretty good with my personal life and career, and also with the podcast. I just want to be able to remember that when times are good, don’t get too excited. And when times are bad, don’t get too down. Just think of life as a marathon. Don’t overdo it, don’t get too upset if things don’t go my way. It has to do with the need for control thing that I just talked about. So that’s what I would tell James ten years in the future. Again, relax. Just think – good things and bad things will happen. That’s life. Just roll with the punches and try to adapt.
Ok, here’s a question that Elliott is asking me. “Where do you see competitive Magic in five years?”
I think competitive Magic in five years is going to go entirely digital. There’s a couple of reasons for that. When you play in tabletop tournaments, it’s really great to have the social factor. But there’s so much that goes into it. Things like judge calls – are people doing shady things, or are they playing honorably? Are players shuffling properly? Are matches going to time? I think digital Magic is the future, and I really see competitive Magic being fully digital in five years and eliminating all of these issues.
I also think that there will continue to be more formats created. This year we saw the creation of the Pioneer and Historic formats. I think there will be increasingly more and more ways to play Magic. And as a result, if you want to compete at the highest levels and you want to be successful, you will have to master several formats. I think over time, there will be more tournaments that cater to specific niches, so that it’s not just Standard and Modern all the time for the Mythic Championships. I think that’s where Magic is going.
Jeff Kinsey of The Canadian Threshold podcast…ok, I’ve got to stop here. Canadian Threshold and Jeff, they’re from my hometown of Vancouver, Canada. Amazing podcast, I’m going to shout them out. Go check them out on SoundCloud. Anyways, Jeff asked, “What is your favorite Magic-related memory?”
I think the best Magic-related memory I had was in 2011 when I played in my first Grand Prix, which was in the Legacy format. And the Grand Prix was in Providence, Rhode Island. I was still living in Vancouver, Canada at the time. So myself and two of my really good friends, we flew to the East Coast. We did this epic road trip where I almost crashed our car because I was sleep deprived. I almost killed the three of us, but that’s a story for another day. We managed to make it to the GP in one piece, after visiting several landmarks. We went by Washington, D.C, New York, a bunch of other places, and had a great time.
That was also a time in my life, in 2011, when I had less professional obligations and worries. To this day, 2011 was the year that I played the most Magic in my life. I basically just played Magic non-stop and had fun. So that was my favorite Magic-related memory. It was the whole road trip leading up to playing in GP Providence, which is also known as GP Mental Misstep. That was when Mental Misstep was a legal and valid card in the Legacy format.
“What attracts you to a deck?”
This is a tough one. Over the years, I’ve tried to play different styles of decks, whether it’s Aggro, Mid-Range, Control or Combo, or some combination of the above. It’s hard to say. But I would say that colors attract me to a deck. My favorite color is black. So if there’s something in the deck that is black – if it involves cards like Dark Confidant or Thoughtseize – I will probably give the deck a try. Or Dark Ritual, which is also obviously a very good Magic card. It’s not scientific. I try playing decks that I enjoy.
I would say generally what doesn’t attract me are decks that are way too grindy, that are just pure control decks. I always like to be the proactive aggressor, and so that might mean Combo, might mean Aggro, might mean playing something like the Delver archetype in Legacy.
The last question from Jeff is, “Are you ever moving back to Vancouver, Canada?”
Jeff, I already go back to Canada quite often on family visits. And we have played Magic quite a few times whenever I am around. We play some Legacy together. I would have to disappoint you and others to say that I do not plan to move back to Vancouver, Canada anytime soon. I like my life in China. I like being global, I like traveling around. I will probably move back to Vancouver, Canada when I am retired because it is good for that. I’m content to visit Vancouver just to visit family and friends for now.
Next question is from Arthur King in Shanghai. “EDH (aka Commander) is one of the most popular ways to play Magic. What keeps you away from the format, and why do you think people love it so much?”
Wow, this is kind of a leading question. Arthur is a friend and he knows that I don’t play Commander. I will basically just summarize my reasons here. The reason why I don’t play Commander – and this might be a gross generalization, I might have not found the right play group, but I’ll go ahead and say it – I think Commander is an extremely flawed format because it involves a lot of politics, especially in multiplayer.
Everybody has a different sense of fun. There are some people that play Commander who are Spikes, who are just in it to win. I’m very Spiky, so if I play Commander, I’m playing to win. There are people that want to be Timmies, and Johnnies, and just want to have fun with their combos and cards. The problem is that when people play a format with different goals in mind, then it essentially devolves into the lowest common denominator. Then the Spiky person will always win. Or the Spiky person will always win and the players won’t like that, so they always gang up on the Spike. It becomes this vicious cycle where if I want to be competitive – if I want to play Commander while being competitive – it just doesn’t work.
And everybody’s sense of fun is different. Somebody might say that a combo that they can pull off by turn five is perfectly fair. Another person might say, “No, a turn three combo is totally fine.” Another person might say, “a turn one combo is fine.” So where does one draw the line? I think when people are playing a multiplayer format and they all have different ideas on what fun and winning mean, then it becomes very problematic. So for these reasons, I think Commander is a flawed format. And please, if someone out there can change my mind – or maybe I’ll get into the right play group – I’m willing to change my mind. I’m willing to be open-minded. But right now, that’s just how I feel.
Next question is a big one. I’m going to take a sip from my beer before I try to answer. This is my dear friend Patrick Euglow once again. “How do you feel about the state of Magic Twitter?”
It’s a big question. I will say that Twitter has been, personally speaking, very beneficial for me. In terms of CardBoard.Live, in terms of Humans of Magic, it’s really helped me get the message out there. Twitter is amazing for amplifying signals and news. If things catch on, they really start to catch on. People start talking about it.
I also think Twitter is amazing in general. Not just Magic Twitter, but Twitter is amazing for me to be able to talk to people that I don’t know. I’ve had so many wonderful relationships that have become deep friendships as a result of Twitter. I also use Twitter a lot to reach out to Humans of Magic potential guests. And it’s a huge blessing for that.
Having said that, Magic Twitter, or Twitter in general, can sometimes feel like drinking from a firehose. I personally find it very difficult to navigate and I certainly have my ups and downs. It’s like a firehose because it’s very difficult to have a nuanced discussion. I think people are always thinking about – and I’m guilty of this as well – representing themselves in the best light possible. There are popular opinions and there are unpopular opinions. If you have an unpopular opinion, chances are you will just get shouted down.
It’s really hard. I still don’t think I’ve fully figured out how to use Twitter properly. I’ve had my ups and downs, had my learnings, so I have very mixed feelings about Twitter. I think there are some power users of Twitter who really get it and use it masterfully, and they are very engaged and very funny. Very interesting to read. For example, Emma Handy and Rachel Agnes, a.k.a. Baetog. They’re just masters. They do tweets and Twitter so well, I’m not anywhere there.
I think Twitter is mostly a way to reaffirm what you already believe, so I’m not really learning anything from Twitter and I don’t already know. It’s really just a way to amplify things that you believe in – that you want to see. And it’s a way for you to get news – spreading the news and receiving news. I think that is really good. I think Twitter has become many things to many people and unfortunately, it’s become a game to many. Sometimes you want to have a nuanced discussion. Or you want to have a discussion, period. But it’s really hard to make it work.
Anyway, this is just off the dome, what I feel about Twitter. I think it’s overall a net positive, but I still have lots to learn. I’ll continue to use it. It’s helped me a lot, personally speaking. But it is very hard to navigate and I’m always learning.
Next question is from MTGMagicFest. “What is the difference between the Magic communities in the Western and Eastern worlds? Not just at the highest levels but at the lowest levels like FNM.”
I’ve had the privilege of playing Magic in many different places. In North America, in Europe, and now in China. Japan as well, but Japan is a little bit different. When I’m thinking about the Eastern world and where I’m based, China, I would say that the Magic community here is extremely warm, extremely welcoming. There are extremely smart and talented players. There are some players here that I’ve played against that just blow my mind. They’re just really good, big brain Magic, all that kind of stuff. I would say that if you’re ever visiting China, just reach out to people like myself or some of the folks here. We’re very passionate and welcoming. There are certain cultural and language barriers, but you pick up on them quite fast. And everybody can speak English as well for popular Magic terminology. That’s the beauty of Magic, it’s a really universal game. So I think it’s great. I think all communities that are doing Magic are awesome. There’s always going to be good actors and bad actors, but I think as a whole, Chinese Magic is really good.
The follow-up question from MTGMagicFest is, “In your experience what preconceived notions do players have about other communities? Are they correct?”
I’m trying to think…preconceived notions. I’m trying to think…okay, so a Canadian Magic player, what do they think about a Chinese Magic player? Or a Chinese Magic player, what do they think about a Canadian Magic player? I actually don’t think there’s too much to think about because it’s human nature not to think that much about what’s happening on the other side of the world. I mean, Chinese players look at North American decklists and vice versa, the same thing happens. I don’t think there are too many preconceived notions. I think there are going to be pleasant and unpleasant people everywhere. If you go into another community, just try to represent yourself in the best way possible. Be respectful of cultural and traditional differences. And that’s a really long answer, I’ll have to go into that at a future time. But basically, when in Rome, do as Romans do. Observe what’s going on, use some common sense, and generally speaking, there’s not going to be any issues.
Reinhardt asks, “What’s the best part you’d introduce to the world about the Chinese MTG community?”
This is a planted question; Reinhardt and I are friends. He’s a Legacy player from Shanghai and he’s part of the Chinese MTG community. The best part, I would just say, is that people are just super welcoming. They are willing to talk to you. People like Reinhardt, if you show up and you’re a foreigner, he’s just going to want to find out about what you do, what you’re playing, lend cards to you. There’s all kinds of things about the Chinese Magic community that are wonderful. So I would just say that the Chinese Magic community is very open and welcoming, that’s what I would say is the best part.
Next question is from Jeremy Edwards. Jeremy Edwards from Seattle. “If you can recall in detail, what is your best come-from-behind victory in a tournament?”
So Jeremy, I do know. Jeremy is a master of the photographic memory play-by-play. It’s hard for me to think very specifically about come-from-behind victories. Everyone’s had them if they’ve played enough Magic and it’s also subjective – what is coming back from behind? Sometimes there’s information you don’t know about and you’re actually ahead, or not that far behind.
But I would say that during the Deathrite Shaman era of Grixis Delver, the best come-from-behind victories are when I was playing the mirror matches and I would be on the draw. So Deathrite Shaman, as you can probably figure out, if you’re on the play and you have Deathrite Shaman, you have a huge advantage. You’re getting True-Name Nemesis down on turn two, you have Daze and all these things that help you by going first.
The best come-from-behind victories I had was during this era, when I was on the draw in a mirror match and I still managed to win. That just felt so good. That was probably my favorite era of Legacy Magic, to be honest. It was just a time when you had obviously very powerful busted cards, but the mirror was very skill-intensive. I would say that, over time, I went from losing a lot of these mirror matches on the draw to winning more and more of them. And that gave me a lot of confidence and enjoyment.
Ok, let’s get to the last section of the AMA. CardBoard.Live questions. Yigit from Turkey asks, “What was the development/milestone in CardBoard.Live (CBL) that made you decide ‘it is time to quit my daily job’?”
At the time, I was part-time on CardBoard.Live and not yet full-time. I started working on the idea with my wonderful friend and co-founder Wilson Hunter. I was still working full-time at Microsoft. And I think what happened was just – essentially, CardBoard.Live was getting so much traction, I was thinking about it all the time. I was so excited to work on CardBoard.Live part-time that I knew, in my heart, that I could not do it part-time and still do it justice. I needed to jump feet first into the pool, into the deep end, and just see what happens.
I’m also operating by the idea that if you don’t challenge yourself enough, you’re not growing. And I basically thought to myself, well, I’m leaving my corporate job for the world of start-ups. If this doesn’t work out, I will have learned a lot of stuff and I can always go back to a corporate job as a backup plan. So, as long as I had enough savings and aptitude for risk, which I did, then I was going to go ahead and do it. And I was working with somebody who I really respected, in Wilson Hunter, and that made all the difference. He was somebody who I felt very compatible with in terms of my values and how we saw things, so he was the perfect partner. And so it was basically as close to a no-brainer as I could get in my mind.
Question number two, “Any opportunities missed in the past that would put CBL in a better place today?”
I feel really grateful already for what CardBoard.Live has managed to achieve as of December of 2019. We’ve been used by the biggest Magic tournaments in terms of coverage software. We are powering some of the biggest Arena streams. People like Alias, Deathsie and Voxy streaming on Twitch. I would say that we’ve been very fortunate in terms of market timing and market forces. So I don’t really have any huge thoughts about missed opportunities. We are still continuing to go pursue other games and verticals. Those are things that we are actively trying to do and they’re not entirely in our control – it’s a two-sided discussion. We continue to do that and I don’t really have any big regrets. I feel very happy with the way things are today.
Next question from Yigit is, “How does it feel to be making a living out of your hobby?”
It feels wonderful, that’s all I can say. There are some days that are better than others. When you’re building your own business and you’re working with people – and there are a lot of things outside of your control – it can be tough sometimes. But what really keeps me grounded is knowing that I’m building value for myself. I’m also doing something to help the Magic community and that means everything.
So the intersection of my passion and doing this as a full-time job is great. I don’t think it’s for everybody. I don’t think I would do this for every single passion of mine. But there are also other things that make this great, such as working with Wilson on a daily basis. And so, I love it. Right now I love it. It’s part of the mindset of challenging yourself and putting things in perspective.
There are certain things that still annoy me with CardBoard.Live in terms of our progress, in terms of what we’re able to do. I’m very impatient with our traction, I always wish we could do more. But at the same time, putting it into perspective, I think we’re doing okay. So it feels great to be making a living out of this.
Next question is from Jonathan Zhang. “Now that CardBoard.Live has proliferated a lot, what is your vision for it going forward?”
From day one, the vision for CardBoard.Live has been – we want to allow gaming content creators to tell their stories to their fans in the best way possible. It just so happens that right now we’ve selected, as our first vertical, Magic: The Gathering. And we’ve selected as our first beachhead or platform, Twitch. Over time, we’re going to allow gaming content creators to tell their stories in the best way possible, we’re going to be experimenting with different mediums, different platforms, different ways to be able to do that, to be able to help them monetize better, to be able to make their streams even more interactive. Tell richer stories. That’s what the technology allows for today and we’re going to continue to push that envelope. That’s been our vision since day one and we are nowhere near done. So we’re definitely going to be working hard on that.
Next question is from Cheng. “How does CardBoard Live decide and manage its team members, and who to sponsor?”
This is a good question. So, I don’t believe we have – when I say we, it’s Wilson and myself – we don’t have an entirely super scientific method for sponsorship. We discuss everything together and we’re still learning a lot about the world of sponsorships and esports. And there’s a lot of people out there with more experience than we do and we always try to be open and learn.
But I think what we look for in terms of people to sponsor, first and foremost, is how well they live our values. How well do they live the CBL values? By that I mean – do they have integrity? Are they fierce competitors? Do they have a unique voice as content creators? Are they fans of the CBL product? We don’t want anyone to be sponsored by us that doesn’t feel like they believe in the CBL mission. I think the first litmus test is, how well do they live the values and how well are they bought into CBL?
And from that point on, it’s really a discussion. We try to figure out what sponsorship terms are agreeable to them. We try to figure out how much Magic they’re playing. We work out the numbers to try to make it work. And it’s different for every sponsored player, every situation. So there really is no one-size-fits-all solution.
Really, Wilson and I just talk together about who we should sponsor. We sponsor people based on who we like. Do they represent things that we personally enjoy? For example, Limited or Legacy. Wilson and I both really love those formats. We have some sponsored players who are focused on that. Do we want to work with people who we have a ton of respect for? Gabriel Nassif, he’s a Hall-of-Famer and his stream is awesome, so we started working with him. And there’s lots of people that we’re continuing to talk to that fit that description. It’s always changing, always shifting, and it’s fun. That’s how I would answer the question.
Ok, next question from John is, “Other than Twitch, what other platforms are CBL looking to cooperate with? Are there platforms in China, or otherwise, that you guys are considering?”
I’ll break it down to China and outside China. For China, the big determining factor in whether we integrate with some of these Chinese stream platforms, like Huya or Douyu, is the popularity of MTG itself. Digital Magic in China still hasn’t had the huge traction that it’s had elsewhere in the world. Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast are taking steps to make that happen. When that happens in a big way, I think then we’ll definitely start looking at these platforms. Because when there’s an audience, then we’re definitely going to be part of leading the charge.
Outside China, I would say that we’re definitely looking to expand. Our vision is to be a platform ourselves. We’re looking to expand and partner with other platforms, as well as building something on our own. Our vision is to support multiple platforms because there is no one-size-fits-all streaming solution. Twitch is good for certain types of gaming content, but there are alternatives out there for content creators with different needs. We want to be open and flexible to that.
Ok, I think that is basically it for the AMA. I had a lot of fun doing it and I hope you enjoyed listening. If you listened this far, thank you. I know this is kind of rambly but I wanted to try and make this recording as non-edited as possible.