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Stratechery Plus Adds Greatest Of All Talk

Last September I announced that a Stratechery subscription was being rebranded to Stratechery Plus, and launched a new podcast: Sharp Tech with Ben Thompson. Sharp Tech joined the Stratechery Update, Stratechery Interviews, and Dithering to form the Stratechery Plus bundle. In November Stratechery Plus added Sharp China with Bill Bishop, a collaboration...

Netflix’s New Chapter

Netflix’s moment of greatest peril is, in retrospect, barely visible in the company’s stock chart: I’m referring to 2004-2007 and the company’s battle with Blockbuster: The simplified story of Netflix’s founding starts with Reed Hastings grumbling over a $40 late charge from Blockbuster, and ends with the brick-and-mortar giant going bankrupt...

AI and the Big Five

The story of 2022 was the emergence of AI, first with image generation models, including DALL-E, MidJourney, and the open source Stable Diffusion, and then ChatGPT, the first text-generation model to break through in a major way. It seems clear to me that this is a new epoch in technology. To determine how that epoch might develop, though, it is useful...

Holiday Break: December 26th to January 5th

Stratechery is on holiday from December 26, 2022 to January 5, 2023; the next Stratechery Update will be on Monday, January 9. In addition, the next episode of Sharp Tech will be on Monday, January 9, and the next episode of Dithering will be on Tuesday, January 10. Sharp China will return the week of January 2. The full Stratechery posting schedule...

The 2022 Stratechery Year in Review

It was only a year ago that I opened the 2021 Year in Review by noting that the news felt like a bit of a drag; the contrast to 2022 has been stark. The biggest story in tech not just this year but, I would argue, since the advent of mobile and cloud computing, was the emergence of AI. AI looms large not simply in terms of products, but also its connection...

Consoles and Competition

The first video game was a 1952 research product called OXO — tic-tac-toe played on a computer the size of a large room: Copyright Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge, CC BY 2.0 Fifteen years later Ralph Baer produced “The Brown Box”; Magnavox licensed Baer’s device and released it as the Odyssey five years later — it was the first home video...

AI Homework

It happened to be Wednesday night when my daughter, in the midst of preparing for “The Trial of Napoleon” for her European history class, asked for help in her role as Thomas Hobbes, witness for the defense. I put the question to ChatGPT, which had just been announced by OpenAI a few hours earlier: This is a confident answer, complete with supporting...

Narratives

Two pieces of news dominated the tech industry last week: Elon Musk and Twitter, and Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX. Both showed how narratives can lead people astray. Another piece of news, though, flew under the radar: yet another development in AI, which is a reminder that the only narratives that last are rooted in product. Twitter and the Wrong Narrative...

Stratechery Plus Adds Sharp China with Sinocism’s Bill Bishop

In September I announced Sharp Tech and Stratechery Plus: Sharp Tech with Ben Thompson was a new podcast hosted by Andrew Sharp and myself, about how technology works, and the ways it is impacting the world. Sharp Tech includes both free and paid episodes. Stratechery Plus was a re-branding of a Stratechery subscription, which would now include...

Meta Myths

What happened to Meta last week — and my response to it — expressed in meme-form: In 2018, the market was panicking about Facebook’s slowing revenue and growing expenses, and was concerned about the negative impact that Stories was having on Facebook’s feed advertising business. I wrote that the reaction was overblown in Facebook Lenses, which looked...

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