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'Re/code Decode': Silicon Valley Is the New Hollywood for B.J. Novak and Dev Flaherty's The List App

"It always seemed like a glamorous, cool thing where you can have an idea and make it happen," Novak says.

Vjeran Pavic for Re/code

Fans of “The Office” will know that B.J. Novak’s character, Ryan Howard, once started an obnoxious social media company called Wuphf (pronounced “woof”) that raised most of its money from the clueless Michael Scott. Now, the real Novak has co-founded a real social media company with real investors, not to mention a partner with some real tech expertise: Former SVP Dev Flaherty.

Novak and Flaherty joined Kara Swisher on this week’s new episode of the “Re/code Decode” podcast to talk about The List App and everything that is changing in the balance between tech and entertainment.

“I have always admired tech from the outside, the way people admire Hollywood,” Novak said. “It always seemed like a glamorous, cool thing where you can have an idea and make it happen.”

Flaherty said the co-founders didn’t know for sure at first how the iPhone app, which lets users make and share listicle-style compilations on any subject, would be used. Since The List App launched publicly in October, he said lists such as “Things I Learned From My Divorce” have proven to be powerful complements to lighter-hearted lists of TV recommendations and celebrities’ favorite snacks (Shonda Rhimes’s is “warm chocolate cake,” for the record).

“We didn’t want it to be any one thing,” Novak said. “It certainly wasn’t meant to be a celebrity magazine.”

Later in the show, on “Too Embarrassed to Ask,” The Verge’s Lauren Goode joined Kara to talk about whether the new iPad Pro is really worth the upgrade. You can tweet your tech-related questions with the hashtag #TETA at @KaraSwisher, @LaurenGoode or @Recode.

And if you like what you hear on “Re/code Decode,” you should check out “Re/code Replay,” an archive of audio content from our events and interviews by Kara Swisher, Walt Mossberg, Ina Fried and more. And keep an ear out next week for a new special series of podcast interviews hosted by our media expert and Code/Media organizer Peter Kafka.

Every episode for both shows is available in two places: On the Re/code Radio homepage and on Apple iTunes (here for “Re/code Decode” and here for “Re/code Replay”).

You can follow @Recode on Twitter for the latest on upcoming guests.

If you like what we’re doing, please write a review on iTunes — and, if you don’t, just strafe Kara on Twitter. You can also suggest guests for the show there and we’ll do our level best to nab them for a Red Chair interview.

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