Podcast: Exponent Episode 020 – I Want You to Be Wrong

On the newest episode of Exponent, the podcast I co-host with James Allworth: In this week’s episode Ben and James discuss the problems with Ello’s business model, James’ discomfort with Facebook, and why Social Networks always have ads. We also talk about incentives and something surprising Ben learned from the notorious Episode 18. Links Ben […]

Announcing Volume Discounts + The Week in Daily Updates (Week 4)

I am pleased to announce that you can now purchase and manage multiple licenses for the Stratechery Daily Update (or Update & Access): There is a 10% per-license discount for 2 or more licenses These accounts may be set up and managed centrally or on an individual basis Volume licenses are only available on an […]

Alibaba buys Autonavi

I plan on writing more fully about Alibaba in the coming weeks, especially as they approach their IPO, but this bit of news about them buying Autonavi strikes me as being particularly telling: Ecommerce titan Alibaba took a 28 percent stake in Autonavi (NASDAQ:AMAP) nearly a year ago. And then in February this year the […]

Why Targeting Increases the Value of Ads

I’ve written previously that “Targeting information is the new scarcity in advertising.” The Information has a perfect example of exactly that: Mobile app developers that rely on highly targeted ad campaigns to bring in new business are facing rising rates and inventory shortages as they compete to reach a small group of desirable, free-spending customers. […]

Microsoft v Microsoft

In his first column for the New York Times, Farhad Manjoo advocated relying on Apple, Google, and Amazon: When you decide what to use, you’ve got to play every tech giant against the other, to make every tech decision as if you were a cad — sample every firm’s best features and never overcommit to […]


Microsoft is selling Scroogled gear. From The Verge: Microsoft’s anti-Google “Scroogled” campaign has been quietly attempting to convince consumers to avoid Google services for the past few months, but it’s back today with a vengeance. Microsoft has dedicated an entire section of its online store to selling anti-Google mugs, hats, t-shirts, and hoodies. The prices […]

Facebook Thinks You Might Like Up to Three Video Ads in Your News Feed Each Day

Delightful headline-writing by The Verge. From the article: Expected to launch in the summer, Facebook’s new video ad units may prove to be a revenue success for the company, but they may also become another nuisance for users. According to AdAge, Facebook is currently in talks with various agencies to secure its first video ad […]

The Building is the New Server

Scott Weiss: The evolution of the modern hyper-scale datacenter reflects the hyper-scale needs of the applications that run on them. Modern web 2.0 (and increasingly SaaS) applications need to handle thousands of user requests per second, processing terabytes of information in real-time across hundreds of customers. They are by necessity massively parallel and work in […]