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Cable’s Last Laugh

If there is one industry people in tech are eternally certain is doomed, it is cable. However, the reality is that cable is both stronger than ever and poised for growth; the reasons why are instructive to not just tech industry observers, but to tech companies themselves. The Creation of Cable Robert J. Tarlton was 29 years old, married with a son,...

Beyond Aggregation: Amazon as a Service

Five months and $134 billion in market cap ago (before the stock slipped by 68%), Bloomberg Businessweek purported to explain How Shopify Outfoxed Amazon to Become the Everywhere Store. One of the key parts of the story was how Shopify pulled one over on Amazon seven years ago: An even more critical event came a few months after the IPO. Amazon...

Back to the Future of Twitter

Elon Musk wrote in a letter to Twitter’s board: I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy. However, since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative...

DALL-E, the Metaverse, and Zero Marginal Content

Last week OpenAI released DALL-E 2, which produces (or edits) images based on textual prompts; this Twitter thread from @BecomingCritter has a whole host of example output, including Teddy bears working on new AI research on the moon in the 1980s: A photo of a quaint flower shop storefront with a pastel green and clean white facade and open door...

Why Netflix Should Sell Ads

The Information reported over the weekend that Netflix executives have told employees to keep an eye on the bottom line: In two separate meetings over the past few weeks, Netflix executives cautioned employees to be more mindful about spending and hiring, according to three people familiar with the discussions. The comments, made at an employee...

An Interview with Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang about Manufacturing Intelligence

It took a few moments to realize what was striking about the opening video for Nvidia’s GTC conference: the complete absence of humans. That the video ended with Jensen Huang, the founder and CEO of Nvidia, is the exception that accentuates the takeaway. On the one hand, the theme of Huang’s keynote was the idea of AI creating AI via machine learning;...

The Current Thing

One of the most amazing things about the Internet is how it provides a level playing field for everyone: this post that you are reading was written by a single person, and it is just as accessible as an article written by the New York Times, or a proclamation issued by the President of the United States. It used to be that media organizations had a...

Tech and War

While it has been only 11 days since Russia invaded Ukraine, it is already clear that the long-term impact on the tech industry is going to be substantial. The goal of this Article is to explore what those implications might be. Let me start with some caveats: First, while I presume it goes without saying, I condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine...

Shopify’s Evolution

Tobi Lütke, who famously started Shopify when he realized that the software he built to run his snowboard shop was a much bigger opportunity than the shop itself, was reminiscing on Twitter about how cheap it used to be to run digital advertising: fun story: I had no one bidding against me on major ski resorts names with my snowboard ads in 2004....

Digital Advertising in 2022

Six years ago tomorrow, in The Reality of Missing Out, I wrote that the digital advertising market was settled, and Google and Facebook won: I have been arguing for a while that in the aggregate the tech sector is fine, and the state of advertising-based services is a perfect example of what I mean: taken as a basket the six companies in this article...

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