The business, strategy, and impact of technology
Ben Thompson was arguably the first person to realize the immense leverage of the email inbox - long before everyone had an email newsletter, there was Stratechery. Everyone on the internet has an email address. That's why, in 2016, Ben started a paid email newsletter.
Clubhouse has that new social network feeling
Like podcasts, Clubhouse is audio-only. Unlike podcasts, Clubhouse is live. It's an exclusive, invite-only app (for now) that kinda mimics the feeling of being at a big party. There are all these different groups of people, and you can walk up to different groups of people and listen to or join in on their conversations.
Notable works by Ben Thompson for Stratechery
First, the Internet has made distribution (of digital goods) free, neutralizing the advantage that pre-Internet distributors leveraged to integrate with suppliers. Secondly, the Internet has made transaction costs zero, making it viable for a distributor to integrate forward with end users/consumers at scale.
This has fundamentally changed the plane of competition: no longer do distributors compete based upon exclusive supplier relationships, with consumers/users an afterthought. Instead, suppliers can be commoditized leaving consumers/users as a first order priority. By extension, this means that the most important factor determining success is the user experience: the best distributors/aggregators/market-makers win by providing the best experience, which earns them the most consumers/users, which attracts the most suppliers, which enhances the user experience in a virtuous cycle.
The last several articles on Stratechery have formed an unintentional series: Airbnb and the Internet Revolution described how Airbnb and the sharing economy have commoditized trust, enabling a new business model based on aggregating resources and managing the customer relationship Netflix and the Conservation of Attractive Profits placed this commodification/aggregation
Mistakes and Memes
Paul Krugman, back in 1998, was pretty sure he had this Internet thing figured out: The growth of the Internet will slow drastically, as the flaw in "Metcalfe's law" - which states that the number of potential connections in a network is proportional to the square of the number of participants - becomes apparent: most people have nothing to say to each other!
Non-Fungible Taylor Swift
In July 2014 Taylor Swift wrote an editorial in the Wall Street Journal entitled, For Taylor Swift, the Future of Music Is a Love Story: There are many (many) people who predict the downfall of music sales and the irrelevancy of the album as an economic entity. I am not one of them.