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Schiit Happened: The Story of the World's Most Improbable Start-Up

Discussion in 'Jason Stoddard' started by jason stoddard, Jan 23, 2014.
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  1. RCBinTN
    LOL Pietro! You rock, eh mate!

    Best option on the McDonald's menu is a double cheeseburger, one slice of cheese not two, with Quarter Pounder onions on it.
    Always (custom) made fresh and great onion flavour. YMMV :)
  2. Ableza
    It is?
    Mike-WI likes this.
  3. Ableza
    Hmm the last time I ate anything from any fast food restaurant was 2008 in Taiwan. Because my hosts brought in PizzaHut and KFC to a lunch meeting. They thought that was what Americans wanted I guess. Good hosts. I cannot remember the last time I set foot in McDonalds.
    Last edited: May 15, 2019 at 6:57 PM
  4. Derrick Swart
    To me best is the Vatican McDonalds, The Holy Saus and The Hostia can’t beaten by any McDonalds offspring i know of.

    I have been to McD but feel so much better when i don’t
    Rensek and the finisher like this.
  5. jimmers
    Because you always use the drive through? :relaxed:
  6. Ableza
    More like I drive right past them.
    BagelJoe likes this.
  7. ScubaMan2017
    I understand what you're getting at @Rensek . I'm glad I picked up the ModiMB, instead of (at the time) the Modi-Uber (pre-Modi3). Either I'm going to give it to my niece or nephew (when I go all Weird-Uncle-Scuba and pick up a GungnirMB... with the kung-fu grip) or run it to death as a separate mini-listening nook, rev. B. I like the modular aspects of the Modi/Magni/ Loki/Valhalla/Eitr. As I age and my hearing degrades (and being restricted to headphone-only use), I won't need the balanced portion of the Gungnir (so that'll be wasted on me). I'm curious to experience the exotic reprocessing the Gungnir does to the music files I feed it. And since I don't know what a non-multbit Modi would sound like, I'll go MEH, and go straight for the GungirMB. :ksc75smile:
    {{{how's that for circular logic... confirmation bias... or lack of logic?}}}
  8. US Blues
    Last McD's visit for me was in the mid-70's. I was in Junior High and plead hormonal insanity, Your Honor.
    Juan_R and Ableza like this.
  9. Robert Padgett
    Scubaman...I hope you don't mind that GungnirMB sounds only a smidge better than a ModiMB (especially with the most recent firmware upgrade.)

    This is how I have arrived at this conclusion. I had the Gumby here for three months and loved the sound. It was all I ever wanted the DAC to do. While it was here. Audio-gd sent me their R2R-11 DAC/HP amp to review. It is a true NOS (non-oversampling) Ladder DAC which on paper should be similar to Gungnir, and it was. It sells for $350 vs. $1249.

    Then I got the Modi MB with the newest latest firmware upgrade and WOW! it sounded Better than the R2R-11.

    So much better, with their Valhalla 2, that the R2R-11 is on system two.
    I know, I know, a $1000 more expensive should sound $1000 better... You can buy four ModiMB for the difference in cost, and there is NOT 4-times better SQ.

    IMHO, and your mileage may vary
    the finisher likes this.
  10. Jason Stoddard
    2019, Chapter 7:
    The Human Side

    In light of Mike’s health revelations, I thought it might be time to pause and think about something you might never have considered: the human side of the business.

    I mean, yeah, it can be easy to think of companies as huge, mechanized, unfeeling cybernetic things, focused only on producing the product most perfect at extracting cash from your wallet. It’s easy to see factories full of robots, ruthlessly repeating their tasks with inhuman precision and speed. It’s easy to order a product from a place online that requires no face-to-face interaction whatsoever—heck, if you want to return it, a label may even be created on-the-spot, automatically, with the unnerving immediacy of algorithms. And it’s easy to get a product, seamlessly packaged in its computationally perfect packaging, with only a few cryptic pictograms—devoid of any human language—showing you how to “get started.”

    And so, perhaps, it’s easy to extend this to everything about the company. Maybe there’s no human behind it at all. Or, maybe it’s a team of white-suited laboratory-perfect professionals armed with all the data necessary to achieve absolute perfection. Or, even if there is one person, one figurehead, maybe they are not really human at all, able to work 24/7 without a break, without the distraction of a family, without ever falling ill, on and on, forever and ever.

    Well, to be frank: no.


    Here’s how it really works, everywhere:

    Companies are made up of humans.

    Humans aren’t perfect.

    We don’t have all the data.

    We don’t have all the answers.

    We have opinions, and odd whimsical notions.

    Sometimes those opinions and notions are wrong.

    Sometimes the humans need a break.

    And sometimes we break.

    Stop a minute, and go back and read that one word: everywhere. Because yeah, you could be thinking that I’m only talking about Schiit, or I’m only talking about audio, or I’m only talking about technology.

    But. No. EVERYWHERE.

    Hell, my wife had a 12-week delay on a tank she ordered (for turtles, long story), because the guy she placed the order with died.


    Or, on a less morbid note, we had to work around a key employee who decided to hike the Pacific Coast Trail—which takes a few months. Robots don’t want to do that.

    And, we frequently have people who have to take time off for family, both for happy occasions (weddings, babies, family vacations) and things that were less fun. Algorithms have no room for that.

    Nor do computationally-perfect plans have room for truly unexpected and tragic events, like the deaths of two Schiit employees—one from stroke, one from an auto accident. Nothing prepared me for those. Nothing prepared any of us for those. Hell, probably two hundred people were employed by Centric, my old agency, over all of its years, and nothing like that ever happened.

    How do you fit that into you predictions?

    How would you program that into your contingencies?

    In short, you don’t.

    Businesses are human.

    And so, for Mike’s current challenges, I’m not worried. He was in today, looking good and sounding chipper, and it was business as usual. His mind is as sharp as ever, and those who anticipate a slowdown in the digital department are in for a huge shock. He just got dealt a bum hand on the brain-to-muscle connection. We can’t yet afford to outfit him in the power loader from Aliens, but it’s fun to think about. It definitely would make him easier to find at shows!

    I’m also not worried, because we all know how it goes. Once you’re past a certain age, you don’t worry so much about mods to your OEM parts; it’s just what happens.

    Want some examples?

    When Mike, our lead technician, and I were sitting and talking today, I quipped, “Who has all their original skin?”

    We all laughed, because we are all fair-skinned, and we’ve all had “anomalous” things cut off from sun damage. Hell, they took a piece of my face about the size of a silver dollar a few years ago. It’s very hard to tell where it was, but that’s how you get rid of basal cell carcinoma—you cut and look, cut and look, until it’s all out.

    And yeah, you know, the first time they say, “cancer,” even in the super-watered-down-almost-not-worth-mentioning form of BCC, you can’t help but have some butt-puckering moments.

    But. You’re human. You accept, and go forward.

    Want more? Here’s another thing I did this week: gave up and bought another Wacom Cintiq to do boards and 3D CAD on. Because my wrists won’t tolerate much more of the old mouse action. It’s something I knew about for a long time—I destroyed both wrists way back in the Centric days, before the century even turned over, and switched to Cintiq very early on as the only relief. I figured I could get away with using a mouse for boards…and I did, for a while. Now it’s time to re-learn the CAD interfaces with a pen. Fun.

    But again, you’re human. You accept, and move forward.

    Now, you might be wondering what kind of nutters Mike and I are, to have all these weird health problems and just keep trucking. Why not retire and take it easy? Why not get out and see the world? Why keep working and working and working?

    Here’s why: because it’s fun.

    I think I speak for Mike in this as well, but I know that Schiit has been the most fun I’ve had at a company. Mike could have chosen to stay as a consultant to the entertainment biz and made more money when I pitched Schiit at him…but he chose to take a chance with us. I could have stuck with the agency biz…but I chose to shutter it and go all-in on Schiit.

    Because we’re not algorithms. We’re not programmed to seek the highest monetary reward at lowest possible effort. We’re attracted to things we think are cool and fun and silly and different and exciting and strange.

    Sounds weird? Repeat: we’re human.

    Now bump all of this imperfect humanity up against what we’ve made, and it may begin to make sense. We like to design cool stuff…but we don’t always have the complete picture. We like to play…but our sense of humor may not match yours. We want to do something you’d like…but we have to make ourselves grin, too.

    Believe it or not, every company is just like us.

    At least a little bit.

    At least until they lose their soul to focus groups.

    And benchmarking.

    And forecasting.

    And then, you know what? It ain’t fun. It ain’t cool and different and strange and exciting. It’s the same old game of Can We Make Something That Separates You From Your Money Most Effectively.

    And yet, even when companies have lost their soul, they can’t help being a bit human. Products will sometimes show up with whimsical features or with offbeat design. A pundit from within the company will be grudgingly accepted by their social media marketing gods. Someone in customer service will hook you up, even if you really aren’t covered under warranty.

    Because, in the end, companies are human.

    So what does all this blathering mean for Schiit? Is Mike gonna knock off and decide to take it easy? Am I gonna fall apart from all my various ailments? Will the entire staff biodegrade and we never ship anything ever again?

    In short, no, no, and no. Mike (and Dave and Ivana) are as engaged as ever. Mike’s had a hard knock, but it’s just a bump in the road. I’m not going anywhere soon; despite my grousing I am almost preternaturally healthy (knock wood). The staff ain’t gonna go anywhere, we have them chained to their desks and they are fed intravenously (kidding, of course.) So things will pretty much go on as they have gone on, with us using our best guesses to come up with fun, cool things we think you might like, and adjusting them if you don’t.

    But our guesses won’t be based on 100% accurate data.

    And we will have our own odd notions.

    And there will be bumps in the road.

    Ah well. Don’t worry about us; we’ll be fine.

    But consider this, next time you’re tempted to think of a company as an unfeeling, inhuman algorithmic machine: it’s actually full of people, just like you, with their own dreams and despairs, fantasies and foibles, triumphs and setbacks. They’ll have good days and bad days. They’ll have great ideas, and not so great ideas. They’ll get sick, and they’ll get better.

    But, as long as they’re having fun, it’s likely you’ll have some fun with their products.

    Our hats are off to all the companies—and all of the people—in audio, who choose to make this their calling…despite all the bumps in the road. We sincerely wish you the best.

    Here’s to the many great days to come!
    Schiit Audio Stay updated on Schiit Audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/Schiit/ http://www.schiit.com/
  11. ImagesbyMurray
    I'm wondering what a $899 Freya2 would include? Perhaps a module option (phono for Sol), Continuity (addressing transconductance droop - not sure this is even relevant, other than Jasons mention of PNP/NPN matching), Power supply ....

    Given that we are seeing increasing digital over-site regarding power amplifier DC offset, temp, etc - I'm wondering if we might see some form of input sensing????? Could be very cool; fire up the Sol, drop the arm and the Freya "senses" the "change" in input state and simply switches over. Content appears on another input, etc... Easy to disable... Obviously a *lot* of variables here, gain, etc - but IMHO, doable
    Last edited: May 15, 2019 at 11:00 PM
  12. winders
    Since ketchup is mostly tomatoes, ketchup is a fruit.
    Last edited: May 16, 2019 at 3:03 AM
    icefalkon likes this.
  13. ImagesbyMurray
    Thanks for the update!
    the finisher and ScubaMan2017 like this.
  14. Odin412
    Amen. May the days be many and may they be great.
  15. Rensek
    I used to work with this lady. I consider her and her husband to be the nicest people in the county.

    She had this saying printed off and taped to her desk.

    "Always be kinder then necessary, because you don't know what kind of day the person you are talking to is dealing with"

    Now I may have butchered parts of that, but the feeling and sentiment remains accurate.

    I can't say im able to adhere to that outlook 100 percent of the time, but I sure as hell try. Even when I'm frustrated, upset, etc, I try to keep it under control.

    Kindness costs nothing, but the impact is immeasurable.
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