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 to the semiconductor industry; that means the impact is not only a question of technology and society, but also geopolitics and, potentially, war. War, meanwhile, came to Europe, while inflation came to the world; tech valuations collapsed and the crypto bubble burst, and brought to light one of the largest frauds in history. All of this was discussed on Twitter, even as Twitter itself came to dominate the conversation, thanks to its purchase by Elon Musk.

"Paperboy on a bike" with Midjourney V3 and V4

Stratechery, meanwhile, entering its 10th year of publishing, underwent major changes of its own; a subscription to the Daily Update newsletter transformed into a subscription to the Stratechery Plus bundle, including:

Stratechery Interviews, meanwhile, became its own distinct brand, befitting its weekly schedule and increased prominence in Stratechery’s offering. I am excited to see Stratechery Plus continue to expand in 2023.

This year Stratechery published 33 free Weekly Articles, 111 subscriber Updates, and 36 Interviews. Today, as per tradition, I summarize the most popular and most important posts of the year on Stratechery.

You can find previous years here: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

On to 2022:

The Five Most-Viewed Articles

The five most-viewed articles on Stratechery according to page views:

  1. AI Homework — It seems appropriate that this article, written after the launch of ChatGPT, was the most popular of the year because AI is, in my estimation, the most important story of the year. This article used homework as a way to discuss how verifying and editing information will not only be essential in the future, but already are. I wrote two other articles about AI:
    • DALL-E, the Metaverse, and Zero Marginal Content — Machine-learning generated content has major implications on the Metaverse, because it brings the marginal cost of production to zero.
    • The AI Unbundling — AI is starting to unbundle the final part of the idea propagation value chain: idea creation and substantiation. The impacts will be far-reaching.
  2. Meta Myths — Meta deserves a bit of a discount off of its recent highs, but a number of myths about its business have caused the market to over-react. See also:
  3. Shopify’s Evolution — Shopify should build an advertising business to complement Shop Pay and the Shopify Fulfillment Network. An additional challenge for Shopify is the changing nature of Amazon’s moat:
  4. Digital Advertising in 2022 — The advertising has shifted from a Google-Facebook duopoly to one where Amazon and potentially Apple are major forces. Speaking of Apple:
  5. Nvidia In the Valley — Nvidia is in the valley in terms of gaming, the data center, and the omniverse; if it makes it to future heights its margins will be well-earned.

A drawing of Shopify with Integrated Payments, Fulfillment, and Advertising

Semiconductors and Geopolitics

Geopolitics, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine and relations with China, were major stories this year; semiconductors figured prominently in both.

A drawing of Google, Amazon, and Facebook's Ad Business

Aggregators and Platforms

A central theme on Stratechery has always been platforms and Aggregators.

A drawing of The Stripe Thin Platform

These themes inevitably lead to questions of antitrust, and I disagree with the biggest FTC action of the year:

A drawing of Microsoft Game Pass


This year saw a lot of upheavel in the streaming space; some of these outlooks have already came true (Netflix and ads), remain to be seen (Warner Bros. Discovery), or aren’t looking too good (consolidation may happen in streaming, but cable is looking like a weak player).

A drawing of The Big Ten's Accrual

Tech and Society

The intersection between tech and society has never been more clear than over the last few months as Twitter, a relatively small and unimportant company in business terms, has dominated the news, thanks to its societal impact.

The 2x2 graph in 2022, with challenges from Amazon and Apple

Other Company Coverage

Microsoft continues to show strength, Apple didn’t raise prices (although, in retrospect, the below Article overstates the case), Meta continues to pursue the Metaverse, and what a private Twitter might have been.

A drawing of Twitter's Architecture

Stratechery Interviews

This year Stratechery Interviews became a standard weekly item, with three distinct categories:

Public Executive Interviews

Startup Executive Series

This was a new type of interview I launched this year: given that it is impossible to cover startups objectively through data, I asked founders to give their subjective view of their businesses and long-term prospects.

Analyst Interviews

  • Jay Goldberg: January about Intel, Nvidia, and ARM; and August about AI and the CHIPS Act
  • Bill Bishop about China’s COVID outbreak, the Ukraine war, and Substack
  • Dan Wang, from Gavekal Dragonomics: April about China’s Shanghai lockdown and response to Ukraine; and October about the China chip ban
  • Tony Fadell about his career in tech, including at Apple, and the future of ARM
  • Eric Seufert: May, about the post-ATT landscape; and August, about the future of digital advertising
  • Michael Nathanson about streaming and digital advertising
  • Matthew Ball about the metaverse and Netflix
  • Michael Mignano about podcasts, standards, and recommendation media
  • Daniel Gross and Nat Friedman about the democratization of AI
  • Eugene Wei about streaming and social media
  • Gregory C. Allen about the past, present, and future of the China chip ban

A drawing of Activision's Modularity

The Year in Stratechery Updates

Some of my favorite Stratechery Updates:

I am so grateful to the subscribers that make it possible for me to do this as a job. I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and I’m looking forward to a great 2023!