My use of Paper is an essential part of stratechery, yet I needed to only pay $8.99 for two in-app purchases, for which I never need to pay again. That’s a hell of a bargain, but it’s ultimately unsustainable.
…most businesses start out in the red: it usually takes financing, often in the form of a loan, to buy everything necessary to even open the business in the first place; a company is not truly profitable until that financing is retired.
Stratechery:Amazon Go and the Future
This is a principle that is repeated in every aspect of life: if you raise the floor of competence, you inevitably lower the ceiling of achievement. There is no reward without risk, and demanding that everything meet a certain standard is to inevitably ensure that nothing goes beyond.
Ben Thompson, in the Stratechery Daily Update dated 22 Jan, 2018
Needless to point out that I completely disagree with Ben on this. I believe the opposite to be true. When the minimum required standard is raised, the standard of achievement required to stand out nudges even higher, spurring innovation and achievement.
I find his quote to represent a very American view of things – something that underlies/propels a lot of policy (and impolitic) discourse in their society. Even the most thoughtful, most reasonable people, once integrated in the US way of thinking tend to develop a intrinsic distrust and fear of equality, and anything that may even remotely resemble it, or lead to it.
Everyone knows that the initial research that led to the Internet was funded by the government, but that only emphasises just how unexpected everything about the Internet has been.
It is impossible that anyone in a position of power would, had they understood just how deeply the Internet would disrupt all aspects of life, authorised its creation. No one saw any of this coming.
Foursquare had people’s trust. It was a fun app that, perhaps thanks to the fact it never built a real advertising business, never gave its users a reason not to share their location.
On Agency Commissions and Fees, Google’s Advertising Changes, Foursquare Analytics, April 27, 2017, at 09:59 AM