Observations on sponsoring The Talk Show Live

By Brian Stucki|

June 09, 2017

This week at Apple's WWDC, John Gruber of Daring Fireball hosted his sixth annual "The Talk Show Live" and we were happy to help sponsor it. (The other sponsors were JamfMailChimp, and SetApp.) 

The event was live-streamed online via ATP and also recorded. This episode of the podcast was just released with audio here and video which you can watch below:

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I thought I’d share  a few observations as both a sponsor and an attendee at the show:

As A Sponsor

It’s good to work with John. I think it’s common knowledge that he has a large number of readers and listeners to his work. When you sponsor, you know you’ll be seen. 

However, watching the show I realized another thing that makes sponsorship with John different: he shows the mentality of old school publishers where advertisers are respected and kept in the forefront. I think this is difficult to do these days, especially with podcasts where there is such a connection between the artist and the audience. 

When John came out, the first thing he did was thank the sponsors with no undertone of "let’s get through this obligation so we can get on with the show." Sitting with the MacStadium management team in the second row, it was fun to hear some cheers for the MacStadium mention. 

In addition, there was another nice shoutout at the beginning of the video.

Special Thanks to MacStadium Setapp, JAMF

 think this is a lost art when it comes to indie publishing in any format. It’s a hard line to walk.

Before the Show

At 5 PM, we went to eat at Original Joe’s in San Jose. This restaurant was on the same city block as the show. (And on a side note, it was incredible food. It was nice to be in a different city for WWDC for trying new food options.) 

The 1,100 tickets to the show sold out in about ten minutes. Two hours before the show, the general admission line was wrapped around the block. (see red line on the map below.)

Entry line length illustration

I just thought that was impressive for a one-man show that blogs from Philadelphia.

The Running Man Entrance

Craig running onto the stage like a blur

When John introduced Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi, the audience was quite happy. Craig came running onto the stage like a blur and Phil came in casually behind him. 

John’s first question was "Craig, did you think my intro went on too long? Is that why you ran?" 

After a sheepish smile and "it’s a habit" admission from Craig, Phil shared a secret: 

Alright, big secret: Whenever we do keynotes, Craig always bolts on stage. He’s full of energy and he runs out there. And it’s really impressive, right? It just kicks things off, just like that. And the rest of us, you know, don’t. And rehearsing for this keynote, someone who shall remain nameless, said ‘it’s so great when Craig does that. You should all run on stage.’ And I said ‘no, 'cause I’ll trip and fall and be an idiot and then I’ll regret it. So, it’s his thing and it’s a great thing and it’s impressive." 

This got a good laugh, but the other half of the joke was at the end of the show (though it didn’t make the video." 

After John mentioned the sponsors for a second time (see above), they said good night. Phil ran off the stage, and Craig, and even John. This quick escape got a good laugh from the audience.

The bouncing hair

Craig answered most of the questions asked on the show. He did a great job. But I also loved what I saw as Phil answered some questions. 

Craig would constantly nod and smile as Phil answered.

I suppose I noticed this because I speak often in public, and when you have a receiver in the audience like Craig, it does great confidence as a speaker that you’re on the right track. I just thought it was a nice touch.

Transcript of the show

It’s not often that Apple VPs make public statements. I was quickly glad to see that iMore decided to transcribe the whole conversation. 

From little quips like this one from Phil:

John Gruber and Phil Schiller transcript

To more informative things later on like the ability for developers to choose whether or not they want to reset their star ratings when they upload a new build of their app to the App Store. (Phil mentioned this at 1:09 if you want to hear it.)


As usual, the show was a great event and a highlight of the week at WWDC. We were happy to be involved.

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