Ben Thompson

Ben Thompson

Founder of Stratechery

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON October 14, 2015

Discussion

Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
Hi! I’m Ben Thompson, the author and founder of Stratechery. I write (and occasionally consult) about technology with a specific focus on strategy and business. I am based in Taipei, Taiwan, and am fully supported by my work at Stratechery. I’ve worked previously at Apple, Microsoft, and Automattic, where I focused on strategy, developer relations, and marketing for Apple University, Windows, and WordPress.com. I attended undergrad at the University of Wisconsin, received an MBA from Kellogg School of Management with a focus on strategy and marketing, and an MEM from McCormick Engineering school in Design and Innovation with a focus on human-centered design. Ask Away!
Ryan Hoover
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Welcome, Ben! As a Taipei resident and deep thinker on tech, what's the biggest difference in the way people use technology in the U.S. and Taiwan?
Anand Rajaram
Anand Rajaram@anandrajaram · Product, LogMeIn
@rrhoover I'd love to expand that a bit too, and think of U.S and Asia, and possibly think of Asia as three buckets: 1.) Developed - Japan, South Korea etc. 2.) Developing - India, Indonesia etc. and 3.) China (Cos it is so unique)
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@rrhoover in Taiwan and Asia broadly people are mobile first/only in a way the US still can't quite comprehend, particularly tech folks who work on PCs all day. It's just a massive difference that affects everything
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
Hey Ben! What' s something you used to fervently believe that you now see as misguided?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@eriktorenberg I actually really try to not fervently believe anything. I know it sounds cliche but I truly try to abide by the idea of "strong ideas weakly held". Companies I've changed my mind about publicly on Stratechery are Facebook (I'm glad I switched early on that one) and Amazon -- twice!
Nicki Friis
Nicki Friis@nickifriisw · Entrepreneur. Former Partner @ Ideanote.
Hi Ben! What advice do you give to larger corporations about staying competitive against startups?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@nickifriisw Acquire actively and for more than you think they're worth
Arjun Narayan
Arjun Narayan@narayanarjun
Benedict Evans recently released a chart of his traffic numbers (http://ben-evans.com/benedicteva...) and it makes for sobering reading. Something like two years hovering around hundreds of pageviews before taking off. How long did it take you to get Stratechery off the ground? What were those days in early 2013 like, blogging for a tiny audience? What sort of legwork did you do to grow it, and what were the most valuable things you did early on?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@narayanarjun the Gruber post I mentioned earlier helped, but the most important thing was keeping at it week after week and (hopefully) making sure they were really high quality. Beyond that one post I really haven't had any big leaps. Just very steady growth from the beginning
Eric Metelka
Eric Metelka@eric3000 · Product Manager, PowerReviews
It seems like you write late at night. What's your daily routine look like?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@eric3000 I don't! That's one of the advantages of living in Taiwan. I work during the day and try to post by 6pm or so, which means my Daily Updates are in people's inboxes when they wake up (at least for those in the US). Sometimes the free posts run a bit late, but I try to have it done by them. Traveling actually does make things harder, because I try to keep on the same schedule, so then I do stay up late. I pulled an all-nighter for this one, for example: https://stratechery.com/2015/fro...
Melissa Joy Kong
Melissa Joy Kong@melissajoykong · Content, Product Hunt
I am absolutely fascinated by the blogger subscription model. For someone who is starting to build a small audience and writes frequently, but wants to build toward making a sustainable living off of it, what specific next steps (and time expected for each one) would you encourage given your own experience?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@melissajoykong I expanded on my thinking a bit in this podcast: http://exponent.fm/episode-034-t... The number one thing I'd say is have your business model in mind sooner rather than later. I had the subscription and "get more" model in mind from the beginning, so I kept myself to around 2 posts a week while building my audience, and then offered the daily for pay. It was, at least I hope, seen as a value add, as opposed to my taking stuff away.
Jon
Jon@_jonleach
Hey Ben! What do you look back on as your greatest professional failure? How would you have changed the situation (if you would have).
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@_jonleach heh, I'd honestly say managing English teachers across two different schools the first time I came to Taiwan. I was also working full time and had no ability to let anything slide, prioritize what mattered, or understand that not everyone cared as much as I do. I burned out in six months.
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
Thanks all for the questions. This was fun. - You can read free articles I write weekly at https://stratechery.com - Get Daily Updates (which are substantial in a good way, I think) at https://stratechery.com/membership/ - And listen to Exponent, the podcast I co-host with @jamesallworth here: http://exponent.fm/
Kate
Kate@katesegrin · Head of Social @ GitHub
@benthompson thanks so much for joining us! 😸
Bored Elon Musk
Bored Elon Musk@boredelonmusk
Your podcasts with James always sound so natural. How much time do you usually spend editing episodes? Also, would you want to be one of the first 10,000 humans to live on Mars?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@boredelonmusk Sometimes we don't edit at all, sometimes it takes hours. It depends on how big of an argument we get into ;) I do appreciate you saying that though -- I think we've worked really hard on our tone and cutting down edges, and the fact of the matter is we both love talking about this stuff so we just get lost in it.
Arjun Narayan
Arjun Narayan@narayanarjun
You and Benedict Evans (and Filloux and Gassée) are probably the most publicly prominent "strategy" bloggers today. Given your experience at Microsoft, and Apple, how common are people like that in the upper levels of management at large companies today? How much of what you're writing is also being written there (e.g. modern-day Myhrvold memos), except for private internal consumption?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@narayanarjun there are some very, very sharp strategic thinkers not just at big companies but at many smaller ones too. I can't discount the effect the desire to live in Taiwan had on my career choices -- many people who are smarter than me are currently being paid a whole lot more to write this stuff internally :)
Niv Dror
Niv Dror@nivo0o0 · VC at Shrug Capital
Hey @BenThompson! Looking forward to seeing you in Stocktoberfest! Great post on Twitter Moments the other week -- do you think that the fragmentation of all the different video formats will be an issue for them? The videos always looks stretched and too centered, while on Snapchat portrait mode is consistent is is the naive format...
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@nivo0o0 I definitely think they should default to the native aspect ratio. I find it very frustrating
Aaron Suplizio
Aaron Suplizio@aaronsuplizio · Online Lending, Fintech & VC @ Experian.
Hi Ben-you've referenced the importance of creating optionality in one's career, and as you've built Stratechery you're maximizing optionality for yourself. Five years from now, what are a few career moves you'd like to have the option of pursuing?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@aaronsuplizio I'm spending a lot of time thinking about this. Truthfully, I reached sustainability a lot faster than I expected, which is awesome and I'm very fortunate, but I don't like not knowing where I'm heading in the long run. But I'm trying to follow my own advice mostly ;)
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
Hi Ben, thanks so much for joining us today. Very much looking forward to having you on @twentyminutevc in the New Year! Where do you see the future of email newsletters? When starting what made you come to paid subscription over alternative methods of monetisation?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@harrystebbings email newsletters have an old history, even going back to print (which obviously weren't emailed). They're more common in the finance world, where many have subscription prices of $5k and up. I didn't want to go in that direction for a few reasons: 1) I want to reach as big an audience as possible 2) I don't want to feel dependent on any one subscriber. If someone is upset and cancels, no skin off my back. The big advantage of subscriptions is you get revenue from day one. I *might* be big enough to make money from sponsored ads at this point, but it would have taken longer and, as I've written a ton, I'm not sure how long term sustainable advertising in general is, particularly given that I'm niche but not *that* niche
Murdo Connochie
Murdo Connochie@murdo_ · Tech Consultant, KPMG
I remember you discussing the philosophy with James that people are "right where they are supposed to be". How would you determine if you're actually on the wrong path and where you think you should be (whether that's a career change or philosophical change)?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@murdo_ I know this doesn't sound helpful, but this is the advice Tim Cook gave Apple interns when I was there: the bigger the decision, the more you have to trust your gut. You know if you're on the right or wrong path for reasons not even you understand.
Kate
Kate@katesegrin · Head of Social @ GitHub
@benthompson how often do you find yourself making decisions based off of gut feelings?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@katesegrin @murdo_ not that often!
Melissa Joy Kong
Melissa Joy Kong@melissajoykong · Content, Product Hunt
You are a prolific writer. Is there a piece you're particularly proud of? Which one—and why?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@melissajoykong my favorite probably remains What Clayton Christensen Got Wrong: https://stratechery.com/2013/cla... It was something I've thought about a long time, plus Christensen is one of my intellectual heroes, which made it harder to write.
Kate
Kate@katesegrin · Head of Social @ GitHub
You have a very clear and strong sense (and written "code") of ethics. Is this something that you started to share / publish due to commentary that was made, or was this a personal decision on your part?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@katesegrin personal decision. I write a lot about the importance of incentives and how much of an impact they have on people even if they think they are impervious, so I figured I had to practice what I preach.
Yoshi
Yoshi@dnxx28 · Freerance Engineer
Hi Ben!! I watched https://stratechery.com/2015/ven... However do you think VC firm is shrinking down from now on due to coming AI or crowdfunding?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@dreadnoughtxx I don't think either will have a big impact. And as with all things, I'm not an absolutist, and few things are black and white. VCs still provide a ton of value and will for a long time
Joel Lewis
Joel Lewis@joellewis · Product manager
Hi Ben - You write a lot from the frame of disruption theory - are there any more recent thinkers, particulalrly anything you are still digesting, that you would recommend?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@joellewis I read very widely but usually go deeper on more historical books. There's no one I'd put my finger on. I get this question a lot, but honestly most of what I write is pretty original. To be sure, it's heavily influenced by what has come before -- I think ideas are more synthesized and discovered than invented whole cloth -- but I wouldn't say any one author has had a particular influence (beyond Christensen himself)
Matthew Guay
Matthew Guay@maguay · Marketing @ Zapier
@benthompson Would love to see your reading list/recommended books!
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@samgdf · Curious George
@benthompson What's the future of apps on mobile? If apps are already micro-services, what's next? Am I asking the right question?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@samgdf apps are just pre-built (and thus superior) UI for web services. I'd ask what is the best possible way to interact with a given web service and then go from there
Chris F. Nicholson
Chris F. Nicholson@chrisfnicholson · Partner - Venture Politics
Hi Ben! As a complement to Erik's question, what's something significant you believe that almost nobody agrees with you on?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@chrisfnicholson I think usage-based pricing is a good thing in broadband/wireless :)
Bradley Kirby
Bradley Kirby@bradley_kirby · Founder, Black Coffee Interactive
@benthompson The WordPress ecosystem strongly punishes developers that don't open source their products. Do you think this disincentives developer investment or promotes ecosystem growth as Matt Mullenweg et al claim?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@bradley_kirby I think there should be more acceptance of different business models, but no one is legislating against closed source. Communities are what they are, and they have both advantages and disadvantages. Certainly on balance the WP community is a big advantage
David Breger
David Breger@dbreger · Product on Messenger at Facebook
@benthompson Hey Ben! You've done some great posts analyzing the relationship between tech companies and the media industry (often not the most successful). Do you see this changing anytime soon - either in favor of tech as more and more content makes it less valuable - or in favor of media as more content makes the bit of high quality content with brand name actors more valuable? Thanks!
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@dbreger We're in the middle of a reshuffling that, as I mentioned in my post today, is probably a foreshadowing of what will come in other industries. Generally, the Internet, and you definitely see this in publishing, has a bit of a barbell effect: huge players win at scale, and small guys win in niches and with low costs. And, in both areas, there is a power curve.
Jason Lee
Jason Lee@kingtakwai
Hi Ben -- a couple podcasts ago, I believe you made a comment stating that media publishers should emulate BuzzFeed's business model, vs. its media formats (listicles, quizzes, etc.). Can you expand on this? Wouldn't this be 1) a prohibitively difficult transition to make, given BF could probably do it better anyway (and has 8 years of experience), and 2) necessitates publishers to create content that's "soft" and potentially off-brand? On a related note, what do you think about the NYT's recently announced "Express Team" digital newsroom?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@kingtakwai I don't think I said they should emulate BuzzFeed's business model. I said they should emulate the way BF content is very portable
Anand Rajaram
Anand Rajaram@anandrajaram · Product, LogMeIn
Might be too aggressive for this AMA, but I'd love your take on this http://sloanreview.mit.edu/artic... here or in an upcoming episode of Exponent.
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@anandrajaram honestly, that's been sitting in an open tab on my computer for a couple of weeks. I'd imagine we'll address it at some point
Chandana Kulatunga
Chandana Kulatunga@chanlanka · Chan
@benthompson @anandrajaram Ben, as mentioned elsewhere. While Christensen being one of (y)our mentor also. I hope you will accumulate your writings on a book. My best inspiration names were on this came with the caption Stop Flying Blind - later to be renamed as Map the Future by Micheal Mace.
Eric Metelka
Eric Metelka@eric3000 · Product Manager, PowerReviews
What's the most important thing that you took away from business school now that it's been a few years? (I graduated from CBS a few years ago which is why I am especially curious)
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@eric3000 I think the biggest benefit I got from business school was language to put around ideas that, in retrospect, I realize I'd kind of always believed. For example, I've always been ruthless about comparative advantage, which makes me kind of weird :) In some respects, I probably got more out of business school because I wasn't really looking to get anything out of it beyond legitimacy in the US job market :) I will also add, the network thing is real -- I was recently dealing with an issue here in Taiwan and a classmate who I didn't really know at all went over the top to help me out. It was awesome.
Joe Caiati
Joe Caiati@joecaiati
Thoughts on Medium? Is it the platform for new up and coming writers?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@joecaiati I've written about them pretty extensively, particularly here: https://stratechery.com/2015/wha... I think they're trying to consolidate the long tail. It makes sense, but whether they'll succeed is another question. Note in general that while publishing startups get funded, the valuations are much lower, including with Medium, as they should be
Matthew Guay
Matthew Guay@maguay · Marketing @ Zapier
Since we're on Product Hunt ... what are your favorite apps—the ones you use daily in your Stratechery & podcasting work beyond WordPress?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@maguay I write everything in Draft (draftin.com), use Mailmate for mail, and that's most of my day. Obviously Paper by FiftyThree for my charts and graphs. I also increasingly use the official Twitter app instead of Tweetbot, and ExpressVPN so I can actually get Moments ;)
Ryan Hoover
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
@benthompson @maguay +1 for Draft (cc @natekontny). It's a great tool.
Kate
Kate@katesegrin · Head of Social @ GitHub
What originally got you hooked on writing, and then on blogging?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@katesegrin writing for the student newspaper in college
Markus Lehtiniitty
Markus Lehtiniitty@mlehtiniitty
@benthompson If in fantasy world you could be named right away just now to CEO of one of the companies you write about which one would you pick and why?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@mlehtiniitty Twitter because I care about it the most. But I'm satisfied with the Jack pick and think they're headed in a more positive direction.
Is there a reason you still haven't joined a VC firm a la Benedict Evans @a16z? Only natural to imagine there have been offers.
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@arnoldyv I very much value my independence and think it is a unique differentiator. Plus I live in Taiwan, which is a bit of an obstacle.
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@benthompson @arnoldyv "unique differentiator" is also nonsensical, but what are you going to do...
Chris F. Nicholson
Chris F. Nicholson@chrisfnicholson · Partner - Venture Politics
You've likely explained this elsewhere (so a link works), but why Taiwan in particular, and how did you choose it?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@chrisfnicholson I wanted to travel/teach English, and my best friend in high school's brother had lived in Taiwan for two years. I came here on his advice planning to stay for a year and go to grad school and be a professor or something, but ended up loving it, meeting my wife etc. I did finally make it back to school six years later with a family and focus on business. It was super formative for me, though, as I talked about a couple of weeks ago: http://exponent.fm/episode-053-c...
Chris F. Nicholson
Chris F. Nicholson@chrisfnicholson · Partner - Venture Politics
@benthompson Considering I read your newsletter every morning I should really listen to the podcast once in a while :)
folivera13
folivera13@francoolivera
What is your take on the broadband industry in the US: the strategy of the players (cable vs telecom) and how it will evolve? Who are the long term winners and can they be disrupted?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@francoolivera all the incumbents are very well placed. Up front investment in infrastructure is a fantastic barrier to entry. I think we'll only see real change when/if wireless is truly competitive not just from a speed but from a capacity standpoint
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
Hi Ben, what one moment in your career has been the most memorable to date and why?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@ems_hodge you mean beyond this chat? ;) Not completely sure on the answer, but the day, a couple of months after I started Stratechery, when John Gruber emailed me to correct my word selection was a big one. His post really helped get me started -- I went from 500 to 1500 Twitter followers in a day: http://daringfireball.net/2013/0...
Joe Caiati
Joe Caiati@joecaiati
Thoughts on Marco/Samantha debate?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@joecaiati I think complaints about app pricing should be directed at Apple. It's not Marco's responsibility to look out for other devs, and in fact, pushing that position is in the long run damaging to the ecosystem
Tony L
Tony L@tonyl
How long until Microsoft makes a complete line of PCs in house, ala Suface Book?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@tonyl they kind of are...
Tom Robertson
Tom Robertson@tommertron · Manager, Planning & Intake, Shaw Media
Ben, do you think the major television broadcasters will evolve and survive as the Internet disrupts their model, or will it be the Netflix's and Facebooks of the world that dominate what we watch?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@tommertron what do you mean by "broadcasters"? I think actual show producers will be fine -- differentiated content has tremendous value -- but actual distributors will have a much harder time
Tom Robertson
Tom Robertson@tommertron · Manager, Planning & Intake, Shaw Media
@benthompson @tommertron Would you count Netflix as being one of the distributors who could face trouble?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@tommertron no. The opposite
Matthew Guay
Matthew Guay@maguay · Marketing @ Zapier
@benthompson Did you have any other business/product ideas you seriously considered other than Stratechery?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@maguay like most, I always wanted to do a startup, but never had a specific idea in mind. I'm certainly not operating at scale now, but I do feel very grateful I've had the startup experience, including the sleepless nights, missed goals, fear of facing my wife...
Matthew Guay
Matthew Guay@maguay · Marketing @ Zapier
@benthompson You've talked about writing more than a book's worth of content about disruption theory, but do you think you'll ever roll Stratechery content up into a book or write a new, unique book about disruption theory or anything else? Or do you prefer direct online publishing.
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@maguay maybe! One of many things I'm thinking about. And yes, I write the equivalent of between 5 and 6 books a year ;)
With so many options for content on the Internet, getting read is really difficult. What can new writers do to get traction (besides putting out excellent content)? Should they just focus on being prolific?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@kadolor being prolific is often at odds with excellent content. Finding that balance is really difficult but really important, and I'd be biased towards excellence. Probably the most important moment in your blog is that time when someone likes a piece and decides to read one more piece -- if that one is excellent too, you're on your way to hooking that reader, but if the second piece is weak, they may never come back except to follow a link
jamestodd
jamestodd@jamestodd · Serial encourager and delighter
@benthompson @kadolor Wish I could upvote this response twice.
BENYAM
BENYAM@benyamtesfai · Director of Marketing, TDJ // FITMENCOOK
Frm Ben to Ben: if you could advise Howard Stern on next steps, would you: renew with Sirius, go OTT, join whalerock, or join Spotify?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@benyamtesfai I'd love him to go OTT, but I suspect he'll renew. But I don't follow him closely
David Turner
David Turner@dturneresq · RSA Fellow
Why do most mainstream Hollywood movies suck so much? What is it with all this formulaic bullpucky (to quote my hero Rachael Maddow) that the studios are churning out. Is the future to be found in cross channel, meta narratives?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@dturneresq economics and the barbell effect, just like much of either media. Given the size of the worldwide market it makes the most sense to shoot either blockbusters are super low budget films. Everything in the middle has mostly moved to TV I think, where the monetization is different: TV is about getting hardcore fans that will complain if a channel is dropped, which lets the channel raise carriage fees. Movies are about getting butts in seats. It's different incentives and everyone who says they hate the TV model should take a look at hollywood and make sure that's what they want.
Rabah Rahil
Rabah Rahil@iurabah · Director of Human Optimization, Onnit
What are three iPhone apps you open every day? What is one app you could not live without?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@iurabah Twitter, LINE, and Google Maps are probably my most used apps. But the most important app will always be the browser :)
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@benthompson @iurabah note that I didn't say most-used...
T
T@duquette54 · Consultant, Teradata Corporation
What are your favorite podcasts? I'm going to assume you're a fan of podcasts since you cohost one :)
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@duquette54 I love podcasts, but since I work from home, I don't listen to as many as I would like. I do mostly listen to sports -- the Bill Simmons podcast and the Lowe Post are my favorites. I also love Alec Baldwin's interview podcast. He does an excellent job. My guilty pleasure is probably the Dan LeBetard show -- it's actually radio, but I think it's hilarious. As for tech, I listen to the usual suspects, but not every episode. Just not enough time...
Web Barr
Web Barr@webbarr
If I were to start writing on media one of my biggest influencers would be you, but I'm wondering who are your biggest influencers in terms of writing and ideas?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@webbarr as far as inspiration and believing I could make a career out of Stratechery, certainly John Gruber was the biggest influence, although obviously our business models are slightly different. When it comes to ideas, I mostly read a lot of hard news, particularly from more old school sources: the NYT, WSJ, FT, etc., and work out the ideas from there. One thing I do love reading are earnings call transcripts. I think there's so much you can glean
Chandana Kulatunga
Chandana Kulatunga@chanlanka · Chan
@benthompson @webbarr Gruber was one of my real inspirations too. I think I found you also from him. Gruber inspiration since 2004 drove me to think about writing on tech while neither being a writer nor native English speaker. Then I was looking for avenues to write worthwhile stuff early by blogging, then looking for a way to monetise blogging by ads. Gave up later after 130USD or so for a year of ad revenue. Finally it was when I found you (Stratechery) I felt enlightened once again on blogging. Now if I ever want to try a second retirement plan. Thanks to you I kind of know what to do. Thank you Ben!
What are your thoughts on copper vs fiber? How the large ISPs (Comcast, Time Warner etc) will deal with peak time congestion and increasing bandwidth demands? Presumably copper can't expand to server the move to OTT content. Thanks!
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@arnoldyv they have been upgrading, but there will probably be increased bifurcation between dense and rural areas absent some sort of government mandate
Justin Cabral
Justin Cabral@ijustincabral · 1/2 Blue Team Games
@benthompson After watching Jony Ive's vanity fair interview from last year, he gave a great talk about the best lesson learned from Steve being focus. He talked about how saying NO to things you feel passionate about, and even love, is what focus is really about. After Apple Music's initial unveiling, and a series of questionable software decisions for the Apple Watch, are we starting to see the cracks in Apple's focus in the post Jobs era?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@ijustincabral I think it's a valid concern. I am very pro-Watch and think it's a natural evolution for Apple, but yeah, I do worry they got away from their traditional focus on minimizing features and maximizing the experience, and that is worrisome. As for Apple Music, I just don't see what the point is: it's a crappy industry where Apple has nothing unique to offer given labels control. Better to open the platform, Siri, etc to companies like Spotify.
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@benthompson @ijustincabral that said, I do use Apple Music because of Siri. Only time I really use Siri, actually, is when driving and taking requests from my kids...
BENYAM
BENYAM@benyamtesfai · Director of Marketing, TDJ // FITMENCOOK
@benthompson will you be moving over to medium once subscription becomes available? And how big of a threat do you feel fb notes is to Medium?
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@benyamtesfai I'm pretty entrenched in my current setup, so doubtful. I do think Notes is a threat: it will be key to see what sort of distribution promises Medium is able to make
Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson@benthompson · Stratechery
@benthompson @benyamtesfai wrote about Notes v Medium specifically in this daily update ($) https://stratechery.com/2015/wha...
David Turner
David Turner@dturneresq · RSA Fellow
🙌