Tech Douchebags Retired

Tech Douchebags

TDB is a twelve-step program for technology snobs disguised as a comedic interview podcast - humorously helping geeks confront their digital narcissism and unhealthy attachment to their gadgets & devices.

Hosted by Jordan Cooper.



#15: The Privileged Prick

July 7, 2014 at 9:00AM • 1 hour 9 minutes

In this week’s meeting, Michael Schechter of 5by5's Mikes On Mics shares his life-long struggle with productivity, optimizing past the point of "good enough", figuring out how to make his potentially off-putting personality work to his advantage, and having what he outputs reflect who he truly is, at least in that very moment.

In addition, we discuss how early adopters are always romanticized as technological trend setters for the mainstream public, why geeks are addicted to trying out anything slightly different to what they already have, and how we always fruitlessly project our willingness to change onto others.

It concludes with Michael completing step five by admitting that due to his privileged upbringing, most of his so-called "problems" are not as dire to solve as opposed to ones faced by 99% of the population at large.


#14: The Overthinker

June 30, 2014 at 12:15PM • 1 hour 7 minutes

In this week’s meeting, Zac Cichy confesses the propensity to over-plan his many nerdy projects that rarely ever come to fruition, being too clever and high-concept for his own good, looking for shortcuts while attempting to reinvent the wheel, and understanding something intellectually but then doing the exact opposite.

In addition, we discuss how Zac's arcade job gives him a better glimpse in how 'normal' folks use their devices, why people (especially women) like gigantic phones, why geeks care too much about the narrative and philosophy behind the products technology companies release, and how we rally around whatever best reflects our own warped sense of an idealistic world.

It concludes with Zac being pushed through step six by launching his next project without the need to overthink the details, worry about what others expect out of him and just go with the flow to see what happens.


#13: The Non-Conversationalist

June 23, 2014 at 3:00PM • 1 hour 6 minutes

In this week’s meeting, Scott Willsey of the Pocket Sized Podcast shares his long-standing issues interacting with people online compared to in-person, his propensity of getting into useless arguments on social networks, misinterpreting the tone and intent of text-based communication, his disdain of inefficient conversational niceties, and the pressure of fitting into the culture of an online community.

In addition, we discuss the psychology behind choosing ringtones, notification sounds and phone contact photos, how cosmetic smartphone customizations serve little functional purpose other than to extend one's ego, and why apps see the need to barrage users with unnecessary e-mails.

It concludes with an accountability challenge placed upon Scott to complete step seven by devising a staged withdrawal plan on deleting his App.net account within the next month.


#12: The Hopeful Freelancer

June 16, 2014 at 3:00PM • 59 minutes

In this week’s meeting, Aaron Mahnke of 5by5's Home Work podcast shares how he deals with clients as a graphic designer, handling those clients who believe they know more than you about design, how being easy to work with is as important as the deliverables, and the misconceptions people generally have about freelancers and remote workers.

In addition, we discuss "dressing up" for your home office, how normal people prefer e-mail over project management systems, the difference between rudeness and bluntness, and why creatives hate the business side of running anything.

It concludes with Aaron completing step twelve by raising prices on his new eBooks to practice what he preaches to freelancers on properly valuing their products or services.


#11: The Practical Futurist

June 9, 2014 at 3:00PM • 1 hour 18 minutes

In this week’s meeting, business strategist Steve Faktor shares his experience helping companies innovate, why successful businesses start with addressing a real-world problem, whether the mainstream public even cares about the "next big thing", and how we may be perpetuating the issue by always trumpeting technology as the solution to everything.

In addition, we discuss why innovation that involves a massive change in consumer behavior is a rarity, why there's an influx of money being invested in small concocted problems for a privileged demographic, and how the current bubble of growth is being driven by income inequality and the monetary system.

It concludes with Steve completing step six by coming to terms with his past predictions that were wrong and being willing in the future to publicly acknowledge them despite the potential hit to his ego, social capital or credibility as a "futurist".


#10: The Validation Whore

June 2, 2014 at 3:00PM • 1 hour 24 minutes

In this week’s meeting, Kyle Roderick, UX at Mophie and host of Transmission works through step four by sharing his fear of his projects being judged by peers, why he shies away from talking to people about his podcast, how he cares too much about the expectations others appear to place upon him, and his irrational need to water down opinions for the sake of fitting in to a certain group.

In addition, we discuss how geeks get bogged down with the tools of the trade versus producing the actual content, why mainstream podcast adoption will come through personalities and not technological advances, how we take it as a personal affront when an unspoken social contract is broken, and how our favorite topic will always be ourselves.

We round out the meeting by explaining how our social sphere molds the persona we take on, why there's so much condescension geeks give towards those who follow sports, and how we're much more aware of our phone's battery usage than the typical person.


#9: The Netiquette Nazi

May 26, 2014 at 3:00PM • 1 hour 11 minutes

In this week’s meeting, Victor Agreda Jr., editor-in-chief at TUAW confesses that his own social media habits many times goes against the behavior he detests in others, his feeling that social networks are simply an extension of a person's specific narcissistic proclivities, why unfriending is a delicate process that most treat too recklessly, and how fine-tuning the signal-to-noise ratio is a way to get around social niceties.

In addition, Victor discusses how living in Tennessee keeps him grounded in his technology writing, how we get annoyed when mainstream consumer behavior doesn't match with a product's intended use, judging people by what laptop or phone they own, the differences in how we physically care for our devices, and why nerds are actually more adverse to the post-PC era than the average person.

It concludes with Victor completing step eight by being willing and ready to make amends with a local Knoxville woman over her incessant amount of Foursquare check-ins.


#8: The Optimized Dater

May 19, 2014 at 3:00PM • 1 hour 29 minutes

In this week’s meeting, Virginia Roberts a.k.a. The Heartographer shares how she deals with the non-tech savvy who want to try online dating, why seniors find it difficult adapting to the digitally connected culture, how different demographics deal with 'living in public', how we can make snap judgements about others due to the sheer amount of information at our disposal, and whether or not nerds overthink how we're viewed by the world.

In addition, we discuss how online dating is the new normal, how romantic courtship has evolved with the progress of technology, whether or not online dating site profiles really need to be optimized to death for the average person, and the balance of accurately representing yourself online and making one more appealing to the opposite sex.

It concludes with Virginia completing step eleven by acknowledging she too often preaches advice to those who aren't seeking her guidance and admits that not all people are willing to embrace the virtues of online dating.


#7: The Podcast Junkie

May 12, 2014 at 3:00PM • 1 hour 5 minutes

In this week’s meeting, Jeff Ruberg of Podigious shares how his podcast listening habits have spiraled out control, the back-and-forth addiction to subscribing and pruning playlists, his complex management system of categorization and classifications of shows, and how he fits podcast listening seemingly into every moment of his life.

In addition, we discuss how we trap ourselves in queues of consumption, how we enjoy browsing content more than actually absorbing it, why we stubbornly strive for the feeling of control over what we're exposed to, and how it all psychologically comes down to the fear of missing out.

It concludes with Jeff completing step two by admitting that his podcast workflow has become unmanageable and an inefficient way to both enjoy shows and maintain his sanity.


#6: The Enabling Tech Writer

May 5, 2014 at 3:00PM • 58 minutes

In this week’s meeting, Brian S Hall of Techpinions and The Push describes the massive cultural and economic difference between San Francisco and his native home of Detroit, how the auto industry did more to change the world than anything happening in Silicon Valley, how venture capital has driven the echo chamber of self-delusional entrepreneurs, and why solving problems that actually matter to people is usually hard and boring.

In addition, we discuss how people incorrectly equate money with intelligence, why most don't want to admit how much luck is a factor in one's success, how Wall Street bankers are more honest with themselves compared to tech bigwigs, and why the rat race will never end since humans are all about "keeping score".

It concludes with Brian completing step four by acknowledging that he might be perpetuating tech's delusions of grandeur by giving startups press and that his Twitter stream can often become a out-of-touch filter bubble itself.