The temptations and trade-offs of legibility and liquidity
Packy, well said. I think one important takeaway--one I'm trying to convey in my own work--is that there's always a trade-off, and the best thing we can do as writers is to get folks thinking about what these trade-offs are. There's no free lunch, and everything we get to have has a cost. If you can't figure out what that cost is easily, there's probably a good reason for that.
There is certainly a dichotomy, and probably not in the direction we want to see. With Twitter and YouTube for sure most everything needs to tie into health, wealth and relationships, and ideally involve fear and or sex, precisely because there is a quantifiable market. And it doesn't even have to be quantified on the "platform." Mid-level twitter as you point out works without creator royalties almost as well.
On balance though I "think" this is good so long as we can adjust. There are indeed super interesting and valuable creators making a living teaching physics and other topics on youtube.
I also agree with your point about avoiding the temptation. Many times, the real alpha, and real problems to derive solutions for, lie outside of existing quantified markets. Think environmental externalities and human/animal suffering.
Sad - you guys are not keeping up.
Markets are nothing more than a vehicle for Doctorow's enshittification: the ongoing shakedown of both sellers and buyers for the market owner's benefit.
I have no issue with someone paying someone else to bring them a dozen donuts.
I do, however, have an enormous issue with a crap service that costs too much, sucks, and doesn't even pay the delivery people a living wage.
It was less than 1 generation ago that you could order a pizza, have it delivered (for free) in 30 minutes or less.
I know because I delivered pizzas for a summer in my mother's Datson 210 station wagon.
And I would not be surprised if I actually got paid more, in total per hour as well as net of costs, back then than the poor slobs doing Grubhub or Uber Eats get paid today. I would walk away from Friday or Saturday shifts with $200 in tips in my pocket with my hourly pay still to come, and this was not even in a rich area like NY or SF.
Hi Packy and Happy Birthday Puja,
Today I am at Skara Brae where people lived five thousand years ago underground and by the sea, and I am guessing that population density had something to do with bringing the convenience charge down to 9.98.
You deserve that payout from X, but what you are providing to earn it is not skill but charm.
Some influencers can strive futally to keep ahead only to be market-trampled, others have ahead in their DNA, curious to see that quantified.
Hey Packy - this is very inspiring. It got me thinking about how different what I am building is and what I am aspiring to do.
How in the Middle East, you’re culturally taught to conform and startups like us have a real chance to bring about big changes to everyday people’s lives and create something that actually doesn’t exist in the West. It’s basically an opportunity set that has wide open spaces to actually create (or in our case drive more of) the liquidity and legibility in many of our less developed local markets. Here, I believe that ‘once out of ten’ becomes twice or more.
This is exactly what Stake, the company I started 2.5 years ago with my good friend from high school, is trying to do.
Yes our geo is naturally like that because the local markets are underserved. But what I guess I’m saying is that it is in such places that the combination of latest technologies and flow of ideas from outspoken individuals like you can lead many curious ordinary people like me to think differently and want a shot at building out those liquid and legible markets locally. At least that's my hope. (MENA of course not the only geo like this out there, but it is very uniquely defensible.)
I would love to tell you more about it and our region if you would spare 15 mins.
If not, no issues I just want to say I really admire what you do. That is living your passion of writing and investing and doing that like a baller.