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Birthday Post

Our beautiful baby daughter was born last Wednesday, and we couldn’t be happier. The newsletter will keep coming out on a weekly basis, with some special content over the next few weeks before we get back to the regular routine. Scarcity in the Software Century will see a short break, and my goal is to get back to the previous schedule next week, but who knows. I’ve been making good background progress on it though, albeit in a sleep-deprived state. See you soon, and wish us health and sleep!

Facebook’s Crypto Strawman

If you haven’t heard already: Welcome to Libra | FacebookFacebook announces Libra cryptocurrency: all you need to know | Josh Constine, Techcrunch I mean, hey, good for Facebook for… going for it, I guess? After two-plus years of being called all sorts of nasty names – a threat to democracy, a nest of lies, a horde of children playing run-the-universe, you get the idea – Facebook has announced their newest plan to get everybody mad at them: they’re launching a new cryptocurrency / payments product for their users around the… Read more Facebook’s Crypto Strawman

Would you accept cheaper rent in exchange for a monthly Amazon purchasing quota?

I’m sure many of you either have an Alexa-powered device in your house, or at least have played around with one somewhere. So it won’t be surprising to you that Amazon has been partnering with home builders in order to incorporate Alexa into appliances and features all over new builds. It certainly makes sense for Amazon: retailers and CPG companies have known for a long time that the home is one of the most valuable top-of-funnels you can own. And to be totally honest I don’t have that much of… Read more Would you accept cheaper rent in exchange for a monthly Amazon purchasing quota?

I’m writing a book, and I want your help.

Hello everyone! I have some exiting news that I’ve hinted to some of you for the past few months. It is… First: I am writing a book. The book will be called Scarcity in the Software Century, and if you’ve enjoyed subscribing to Snippets or reading then I think you’re going to like it. It’s my attempt to articulate a complete thought about software, the internet, that innovation economy, and how they’ve changed how we build the future – and, as the book explores, the nature of scarcity itself.  Second: I… Read more I’m writing a book, and I want your help.

Google Chrome, the perfect antitrust villain?

Note: I wrote this post on Thursday, and then Friday night, news dropped that the US DOJ is preparing an antitrust investigation against Google. Wow-ee. So, this post may either look better and/or go out of date in real time over the next coming days! Happy reading. Which of these tech products is most deserving of antitrust scrutiny, and arguably the best candidate for forced divesture in a Big Tech Breakup? A) Apple’s App StoreB) Amazon’s Third Party MarketplaceC) Facebook’s Algorithmic FeedD) Google Chrome The more I think about it,… Read more Google Chrome, the perfect antitrust villain?

What happens if building more housing doesn’t work?

I just spent the past week it the Bay Area, and it’s hard not to come away with an acute sense that there’s something wrong with the way that housing is working in the new economy: not just in San Francisco or on the peninsula, where it’s messed up for all kinds of local reasons, but really everywhere. This week I’m going to do some thinking out loud to see if I can make any sense out of three different threads I’ve been pulling on. This is by no means… Read more What happens if building more housing doesn’t work?

Crowds, Power and Bitcoin

Bitcoin is a crowd. Crowds can be understood. I’m currently reading a fascinating book called Crowds and Power by Elias Canetti, recommendation courtesy of @HipCityReg. Since Bitcoin’s having a fun week (and not just all of the is-it-real-or-fake price action – lots of real progress, today most notably from Microsoft), it seems like a great time to talk about the crowd dynamics of Bitcoin through the lens of this deep and thought-provoking text.  The first page of Crowds and Power opens so coldly it gave me chills:  There is nothing that man fears… Read more Crowds, Power and Bitcoin