…oftentimes you can see change on the horizon, assuming you’re looking for it, and there comes a day when the landscape flips. But the old entities attached to the old ways refuse to adjust, they believe in holding back the future, staying rooted in the past, to their detriment, because the public is not controlled by them.
This simple insight is Silicon Valley (a proverbial proxy for post-industrial technology). Why it exists, why it eats itself, and why it finds the future. A more business version of this insight is Clay Christensen’s Innovator’s Dilemma.
The Junkification of Amazon: Amazon might be the biggest store on the web, but it is also the shittiest place to shop on the web, says John Herrman. I couldn’t agree more — my overall experience with Amazon has deprecated, and I am always worried about what crap I will get in the box. I have shifted about a third of my dollars to Walmart — Amex underwrites the Walmart equivalent of Prime — and another third to Target or independent stores. Shopify has made it easier to shop with independents. Amazon’s great advantage is “returns.” You will see Amazon as just another web place when someone cracks that. (Ironically, New York magazine has no problem linking to Amazon for affiliate revenues.)
So Many Podcasts, So Little Money: Spotify has thus far failed its big bet on podcasts. It has become the biggest podcast platform and has $200 million in podcasting-related ad revenues, but is that enough? Spotify and its CEO made the classic mistake all leaders make: they brought in big-ticket experts who know how to spend big bucks to attract talent. In reality, Spotify forgot it has the audience and the platform to turn anyone into a star.
It could be verse: Mark Zuckerberg isn’t giving up on his Metaverse ambitions. Sure, they lost money in 2022 and will lose more in 2023. The real question is, will they ever make it work, or will Apple come and steal their thunder? For now, Zuck is all in on the hot new thing of today: Generative AI.
Feb 4, 2023. San Francisco.