Brad Feld (and me) on Twitter & Facebook

I never really got Facebook, so I was a Twitter guy, but since mid-2016 engaging with Twitter has simply made me anxious, upset, jangly, and distracted.

—Brad Feld in Relentlessly Turning Input Knobs To 0

I couldn’t have put my feelings about FB & TW more concisely.

Tobi Lutke on succeeding in an Amazon world

Amazon will never win all of online shopping, “even in Bezos’s wildest dreams,” Lutke said. The Seattle-based web retailer will exist for everything people need on a regular basis, like food, toilet paper and batteries, but for the stuff they desire rather than need, most people still want to shop, whether it’s in physical or online boutiques.

This is an interesting view of Amazon’s positioning in online retail, and the gap that it leaves for independents (and Shopify).

As for Facebook and Google, Shopify could be an e-commerce appendage that helps these companies keep a foothold in the space even as Amazon rolls on. Shopify has been building the operating system for independent merchants to sell online for years, and even if Instagram were to get over its hesitance to turn itself into an online mall, Shopify would still theoretically be powering all the boring, difficult stuff that comes with selling, like order tracking and logistics, Lutke said.

This is quite ambitious, and a bit too hopeful. Lutke has correctly identified the opportunity for Facebook and Google. However, his belief in F/G turning to Shopify, instead of enabling the independent merchants directly seems tenuous.

There may be an opportunity with Facebook, but Google has quietly been pursuing shopping, money, and commerce related products for a long time. Google does lack capabilities in order tracking and logistics, that it could offer merchants. But these aren’t capabilities that Google, or the merchants, couldn’t buy from other third parties. Logistics-as-a-service isn’t a category lacking in providers.

Irrespective of my qualms, I really like the thinking that Lutke has presented here. His view of the opportunity space, him using Amazon’s dominance into a selling point for Shopify both display the clarity of his mental model. I love that in a (not-anymore) startup CEO, all the more in one from a core developer background.

Facebook? Non!

Facebook is inherently conflicted. It promises advertisers it will deliver interested and engaged users—and often what is interesting and engaging is salacious, aggressive, or simply false.

Rodrigo Duterte Turned Facebook Into a Weapon, With a Little Help From Facebook, December 10, 2017 at 05:32PM

Attention monopolies

The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them, … was all about: ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?

Sean Parker, ex President at Facebook

Facebook, the almost-monopolist in the attention economy.

Continue reading Attention monopolies

Inevitability of the trolls

Mat Honan wrote on Tuesday about Facebook, Inc.’s new augmented reality tools:

“Yes, someone can create a virtual painting, meant to beautify the city, or leave a virtual note to a loved one that reaches them at just the right moment, in just the right place. But someone else will probably leave a swastika. Because if there is anything to be learned about the modern internet, it is that if you build it, the Nazis will come.”

Juice Machines and Red Flags, April 22, 2017, at 08:23 AM

Linearity vs serendipity vs filter-bubble

You think you want a linear newsfeed, but actually, the data shows that you’re wrong. Facebook is the first company to measure false consciousness.

Surfing, metrics and creation: Facebook and Snap, March 7, 2017 at 04:04 AM

Facebook & the Media

Facebook’s advertising, though, doesn’t just run against journalism and other professionally produced content: it runs against baby pictures, small businesses, cooking videos and everything in between. Facebook may be everything to the media, but the media is one of many types of content on Facebook.

Stratechery Daily Update 2017-01-12, January 23, 2017 at 12:33PM