The Fragility of Friendship
Last week, I touched on the downs of Spotify. The Hustle has broken down the ins and outs of the streaming industry with Spotify as the central point. The economics are eye-opening, especially when you see the general artist as a loser. The diversification of podcasts and other content is also intriguing. Spotify has spent nearly a billion dollars on content or companies associated with podcasts and podcasting is the main driver for why Spotify’s Q4 2021 revenue share from ads reached a record 15%. That share could rise to 30%-40% in the next 5-10 years.
On the Internet the journey is increasingly compressed into a single impression: you see an ad on Instagram, you click on it to find out more, you login with Shop Pay, and then you wonder what you were thinking when it shows up at your door a few days later. The loop for apps is even tighter: you see an ad, click an ‘Install’ button, and are playing a level just seconds later. Sure, there are things like re-targeting or list building, but by-and-large Internet advertising, particularly when it comes to Facebook, is almost all direct response. This can make for an exceptionally resilient business model: because the return-on-investment (ROI) of direct response advertising is measurable to a fantastically greater degree than traditional advertising measurement, advertisers can spend right up to the level they place on a particular customer or transaction’s value; Facebook, of course, is willing to help them do that as easily as possible, squeezing out margin in the process. Moreover, because these ads are sold at auction, the company is insulated from events like COVID or boycotts
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The older we get, the more we need our friends—and the harder it is to keep them. And as Covid hit us, those loose acquaintances withered, but we also lost some of those friend with whom we held close ties. Technology hasn't solved the problem of friendship. It may keep them running, but doesn't quite build the bond of an old-school buddy. This is a great article covering how we age and the fragility of friendships, fleeting and long term.
The metaverse will be shaped by the technology we use to access it, which could include virtual reality, augmented reality, and brain-computer interfaces. So if you want to keep your understanding of the metaverse simple, this is how you need to perceive it.
We all know that time is our most precious resource: It’s the one thing money cannot buy. And with smartphones in everyone’s pocket these days, we’ve never been more able to track how we use every minute of it. By pressing a button or downloading an app, we can track the time we spend exercising, sleeping, and even scrolling through our social media feeds.
This long read is worth ten minutes of your time, with a lens on privacy. The story of Facebook/Meta is a complicated one only this week threatening to pull out of Europe due to a data-sharing dispute.
Here’s a complete list of 100+ hacks we can use to boost important “happiness chemicals” such as dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins. These are the building blocks to living a happier and healthier life. Which are your favorites?
We’re in the midst of a speculation boom that has been variously compared to the Beanie Babies craze, the dot-com bubble, and tulip mania. A year ago, the average person might never have heard the term Web3. Now we all have to watch as Paris Hilton beholds a cartoon-monkey NFT (non-fungible token) that Jimmy Fallon spent $216,000 on, then remarks, “I love the captain hat.” Stories about this new vision for the internet appear in the tech and business sections of national newspapers more or less every single day, generally with the caveat that a lot of people sincerely believe Web3 to be a Ponzi scheme, a grift, a multilevel-marketing arrangement, and a scam.
Gabriele Cirulli was 19 years old when he made 2048. At the time, in early 2014, he didn’t realize two things: first, that something as simple as a web game could go so intensely viral for reasons that would elude him.
One of the most frequent questions asked by crypto skeptics is: What can you actually do with crypto, besides financial speculation and crimes?
There has never been a more opportune time to have “money” as a hobby. Options trading, once the provenance of professional financiers, has soared with the rise of stock trading platforms like Robinhood, which makes it extraordinarily easy to buy and sell individual stocks. Stories of artists making hundreds of thousands on NFTs of their work and of cryptocurrency enthusiasts making bank buying and selling them have abounded over the past year. A wave of legalization of online sports betting has swept the country, and with it, lucrative promotions for first-time gamblers that offer what is essentially free money. Not only did the pandemic create a mass of people who were bored and restless, it also created some people with enough financial privilege to try something a little risky with their $1,400 stimulus check.
“Web3 opens up new opportunities for creators. We believe new technologies like blockchain and NFTs can allow creators to build deeper relationships with their fans."
Hostility toward crypto and NFTs in the gaming community tends to be overwhelming, with companies like EA and Riot Games having to watch their step. Not so much with music fans. Why is that?
What to know about the new DeSci movement
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