13 Matching Annotations
  1. Apr 2021
    1. Thus, the creative freedom of creators is limited.

      And thus draconian methods for making the distribution unnecessarily complicated, siloed, surveillance capitalized, and over-monitized beyond all comprehension are beyond the reach of one or two for profit companies who want to own the entire market like monopolistic giants are similarly limited. (But let's just stick with the creators we're pretending to champion, shall we?)

    1. I have a feeling some of the money framing in the newsletter space is overblown. Some bigger names with pre-existing platforms (and by this I mean exposure, popularity, voices, and other possible media outlets already) have some serious upside to creating paid newsletters. Many of these platforms are trying to not only capture a slice of these pies, they're trying to leverage those same big names to actively make it seem to the average person that they too could have a paid newsletter (see how easy it is...). The reality is that many of these others are going to spend a lot of time and effort to try to garner pennies on the dollar or ultimately fail. This sort of game works much better in the YouTube space where self-hosting the video and doing distribution is a much higher bar. The VC space for newsletters is going to have a dreadful crash when folks realize that there's more competition in the space than they bargained for.

  2. Mar 2021
    1. It’s the usual Silicon Valley sleight-of-hand move, very similar to Uber reps claiming drivers aren’t “core” to their business. I’m sure Substack is paying a writer right now to come up with a catchy way of saying that Substack doesn’t pay writers.
    2. So Substack has an editorial policy, but no accountability. And they have terms of service, but no enforcement.

      This is also the case for many other toxic online social media platforms. A fantastic framing.

  3. Feb 2021
  4. Jan 2021
    1. one thing I’m dead certain of is that startups shouldn’t be fixing this for us.

      I love the picture that goes with this!

  5. Jul 2020
    1. Howell, S. T., Lerner, J., Nanda, R., & Townsend, R. R. (2020). Financial Distancing: How Venture Capital Follows the Economy Down and Curtails Innovation (Working Paper No. 27150; Working Paper Series). National Bureau of Economic Research. https://doi.org/10.3386/w27150

  6. Apr 2020
    1. When Casper filed its S-1 in January, analysts, investors, and business nerds descended on the document like vultures. Not only was it a precarious moment to take a startup public, it was the first time anyone could actually access the raw numbers under the hood of a DTC. “The economics work better if Casper sent you a mattress for free, stuffed with $300,” jabbed NYU Stern marketing professor and tech doomsayer Scott Galloway. “This appears to be Casper’s business,” tweeted number-crunching Atlantic columnist Derek Thompson. “Buy mattress at $400. Sell at $1,000. Refund/return 20% of them. Keep $400, on avg. Then spend $290 of that on ads/marketing and $270 on admin (finance, HR, IT). Lose $160. Repeat.”

      Summary of Casper's business model

    2. Months after achieving unicorn status by raising $100 million in funding at a $1.4 billion valuation, The Verge detailed allegations against the Instagrammy startup that its CEO Steph Korey had created a sweatshop culture within the company.

      Sadly this seems to be the finance model of a lot of these venture-based startups. They're squeezing their employees as a means of making their numbers.

    3. Perhaps the original mistake of the DTCs wasn’t in their vision, but in their decision to take the venture capital in the first place. Now under pressure to grow even faster and at greater scale than they otherwise would have had to naturally, they are being confronted with what happens when growth slows down, the cash starts running out, and investors are expecting their returns.
    4. the past few months have exposed major cracks in the DTC business model, as several high-profile, venture-backed DTC startups have struggled and others have completely closed their doors. The investors bankrolling these companies are discovering one thing in common — that most of their money is going to expensive and ever-rising customer acquisition costs (CAC) via Google, Facebook, and Instagram. As one DTC investor has put it starkly before: “CAC is the new rent.”

      Roughly what I had anticipated in back of the envelope calculations about 4 years ago. And this not to mention the voraciousness of venture capital as a bigger issues in and of itself.

  7. Apr 2019
    1. THIS   SERIESA   PREFERRED   STOCK   PURCHASE   AGREEMENT

      Hi Craig-- here's a public note to you that any one else could see-- but we could also create a private group here and have a conversation just between ourselves and others.