MC: No, not at all. We roped you in immediately, didn’t we?
DP: There was like a probationary period for David. There was an unofficial, like, “Let’s make sure this guy’s not going to prison or anything,” and then I was allowed to be on.
AP: Do you remember the first episode that you recorded?
DP: No. I should have looked this up before I came on. I’m sure it was momentous and important, and I don’t remember.
MC: I remember that when you came on the show, it was pretty rinky-dink. We had bad equipment, a bad signing room, and the first thing you did was you made it like not nearly as rinky-dink.
DP: I just remember saying, “What if we introduced the show every week?” Because it was just the beginning of the show, we’d just be talking. It was like you turned it on in the middle. And I remember my big artistic insight, was like, “What if you just said welcome to the Gadget Lab podcast?”
MC: It was a choice. That was an artistic choice. I was like, “You know what? We’re not going to be like every other technology podcast. We’re not going to have a theme song. We’re not going to introduce ourselves. You’re just going to get it in your feed, you’re going to click on it, and it’s just going to be people talking at you.” And you were like, “Hey, what if we introduced each other and what if we had a theme song, and what if we put some structure into the show?”
DP: I also-
AP: Oh, David came up with the idea for the theme song.
DP: Well, the amount of credit that I get for the theme song is saying to Mike, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we had a theme song?” And then, if memory serves, like six minutes later, Mike comes back and it’s like, “Oh, I wrote 45 possible theme songs. Would you like to use any of these?” And they were all amazing. And I just picked one at random and that became the Gadget Lab podcast theme song. It was great.
MC: And we all love it.
MC: It’s our version of the Dick Wolf sound in Law and Order.
DP: It’s good sound.
AP: It sounds remarkably like that.
DP: It has a real vibe to it. That’s why we picked it. It was the one that felt sort of the coolest and sexiest of all of them. I was very into it.
MC: Oh, you’re warming my heart over here. Well, OK. So of all the changes that you instituted to our institution, what do you think is the most lasting contribution to the podcast?
DP: So the thing that I still find myself loving, and I get no credit for this, except that I like made us have the meeting that I think led to this, if I remember correctly, was the recommendations thing that, at the end, everybody’s just going to say something that they love. That was your idea, I’m pretty sure, in, “How do we structure this podcast a little more, conversation?” I’m pretty sure you were the one who was like, “Let’s just end with recommending stuff we like.” And that’s still as a listener now, it’s consistently a thing that I love, and I’ve found books and TV shows and weird apps, and Arielle is always sending people to new places to get their horoscope, and it has always been one of my favorite parts of the show. It was fun to do when I was on the show, and it was really fun as listener. I think that’s structurally sort of the thing that I liked the most.