Tech is Public Enemy #1. So Now What? | John Battelle

John Battelle; Tech Is Public Enemy #1. So Now What?; In His Blog, white-labeled as NewCo, centrally-hosted on Medium; 2017-09-10.
Teaser: If tech wants to reverse the crushing tide of negative public opinion, it must start creating public good commensurate with its extraction of private profit.

tl;dr → Agree, perhaps. But it’s not clear to what one is agreeing at all. Whereas the lede is buried; that being the promotion of Richard Florida’s book The New Urban Crisis.
and → Unto the hook of the title: For the sin, The Nostrum. To wit:

  • Enumerate.
  • Confess,
  • Repent,
  • Restitute, reparate.
  • Return.


John Battelle interviewed Richard Florida towards a book promotion.


Richard Florida The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class—and What We Can Do About It 1st Edition ; Basic Books; 2017-04-11; 336 pages; ASIN:0465079741: Kindle: $18, paper: $12+SHT.


  • Where “tech” is Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, and maybe Netflix (rly?).
  • And JB foresaw it in a vision of 2017-01; fair. he also “saw” it in 2011-12, had Microsoft in the cohort, and pitched “The Internet Big Five” as a gushing chronicle-of-the-times, only-time-will-tell honorific of boosterist veneration. indeed though, it’s okay to change one’s mind upon further reflection.
  • Richard Florida is granted 191 words at the end to speak as a threat.
    Whereas Richard Florida has a direct line to Congress.
    Unless his demands are met … something will happen
  • Google Apple Facebook Amazon (GAFA),
    Google Amazon Facebook Apple (GAFA)
  • Facebook Amazon Netflix Google (FANG),
    Facebook Apple Netflix Google (FANG)
  • No Wintel.  The PC Revolution is over O.V.E.R.
    • No Microsoft?
    • No Intel?
Definition: the “tech” is an enumeration
  • Apple → fabless. Purveyors of phones & some laptops.
  • Amazon → Retail reseller. Cloud (billed as a service).
  • Facebook → Entertainment. laid against advertising.
  • Google → Fabless, phone designs. Cloud (billed as a service), Advertising marketplaces.  And 25 other hobbies as “Alphabet.”
  • Netflix → Licensed video entertainment. An Amazon cloud customer.
    …can’t really seriously belong in the class of the first four can it?


  • Uber — a company that proved a perfect exemplar of tech’s most sociopathic characteristics*.
  • <quote>The bro culture long parodied in popular culture proved to be virulently on display at the world’s most valuable startup — misogyny, tone deaf management, winning at all costs, ignorance of social and political consequence.</quote>
  • Everything Store
  • <quote>rapacious and robotic approach to platform capitalism</quote>
  • Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods
  • Big Tech
  • fake news
  • Russian information ops
  • <quote>They’re extracting — but giving nothing back.</quote>


New bogies for new panics, not the old bogies from old panics…


Anyone that actually makes things out of actual atoms. No one is afraid of companies that fabricate things out of atoms.

  • Industry (even so called “light industry”)
  • Big Defense (denizens of ‘I’ in Military-Industrial Complex)
  • Big Oil
  • Big Food
  • Big Finance, a.k.a. “Wall Street”
  • Big Auto
  • Big Semiconductor
  • Big Telecom
  • Big Blue, a.k.a. IBM
  • Big Mining
  • Big Ads, a.k.a. “Madison Avenue”
  • Big Media, a.k.a. major market television
  • Big Music, a.k.a. “the Record Labels”
  • Big Hollywood, a.k.a. “The Movie Studios”
  • Big Newspaper
  • Big Cable
  • The Diamond Cartel, e.g. de Beers
  • Railroad Trusts
  • Anyone on the Conference Board.
    Remember the “interlocking directorate” research of ‘ago?
  • The QSR, as a self-conscious class.
  • Disney
  • Microsoft
  • Walmart
  • McDonald’s


  • No Japanese conglomerates. Remember MITI-managed organized markets?
  • No European national champions. Remember the ’90s?


In archaeological order, newer outbursts on top, older opinements below…


In His Blog


The publishing pile-on exponentially increasing across 2015, 2016, 2017. There are many more than are presented here. Everyone is sayin’ it, doin’ it; walkin’ the walk, talkin’ the talk. Yet presented here in archaeological order, newer outbursts on top, older opinements below…

Previously filled.

Tech and Media Outlook 2016 | Activate

Tech and Media Outlook 2015; Activate at WSJD Live Conference; 2015-10-20; 137 slides; landing.



  • boosterism: <quote>CAGR based on values prior to rounding.</quote>, slide 2.


Substantially, the table of contents.

  1. The average american spends more time on tech & media than work or sleep
  2. Messaging will blow past social networks as the dominant media activity
  3. The next big winners in streaming audio are already (quietly) here
  4. The long-awaited cord cutting moment is still far off
  5. There is a “cable killer” coming, but it won’t look like you expect
  6. E-sports & wagering will change the game in gaming
  7. Good luck getting rich in the app store!
  8. These companies are grabbing all the money in consumer tech & media
  9. One simple way to predict what tech & media players will do next to compete

1. Attention

  • The product is attention, the purpose of media is the capturing of attention.
  • Minutes-per-Visitor per Month
    • Pandora → 1,200 min/month
    • Facebook → 1,200 min/month
    • Google → 700 min/month
    • Netflix → 500 min/month
    • YouTube → 400 min/month
    • All Those Messaging Apps → 300 min/month
      • Twitch
      • Kik
      • Snapchat
      • Something else with a ping cloud smudge logo
    • Yahoo → 300 min/month
    • Instagram → 200 min/month
    • The Linkbaiters, Old-Line East Coast Media, eCommerce → 0 min/month (rounding error)
  • Bubble economics, “billion dollar businesses” capturing seconds-per-month
    • HelloFresh
    • Vice
    • ZocDoc
    • BuzzFeed
    • Shazam
    • Vox
  • Categories
    • Video
    • Audio
    • Social Media
    • Gaming (actual games, not <euphemism>gambling</euphemism>)
  • Something about multitasking.


  • Because of overlaps, there are 31:28 hours:minutes of manageable attention per day.
  • Half is spent on media-type activities.
  • Selectivity is high on MAU basis
    • 79% of time on 5 apps out of 27 available.
    • 44% on 5 websites out of 96 available.
    • 100% on 18 channels out of 194 available.

2. Messaging

  • Cultures
    • WhatsApp
    • Facebook Messenger
    • WeChat
    • Instagram
    • Snapchat
    • Pinterest
  • Categories
    • Social Messaging
    • Social Network
    • Hybrid: Social Messaging & Social Network (either, or both)
  • Minutes-per-Week per Month
    • Facebook → 300 min/week
    • Tumblr → 230 min/week
    • Talk → 220 min/week
    • WhatsApp → 175 min/week
    • Pinterest → 140 min/week
    • Instagram → 140 min/week
    • Kik → 80 min/week
    • Something with a purple phone icon → 80 min/week
    • WeChat → 80 min/week
    • LINE → 30 min/week
    • Something with a blue chat bubble and an horizontal lightning bolt → 10 min/week.
  • Messaging competes with telecom-served Short Message System (SMS)
    • Driven by pricing: 63x more expensive abroad than US.
    • Very expensive in the U.S. (for what one gets).
    • Messaging apps are flat-fee or $0.
  • Messaging apps turn into a “platform”

    • Business storefronts (bot-based businesses)
    • Chat (of course)
    • Channels (television-style bespoke content)
    • Games
    • Music
    • Local commerce
    • Payments
    • Search
    • Taxi
    • Television (replaying broadcast television)
    • Virtual Assistant
  • Revenue Models, slide 34
    • Ads
    • Stickers
    • Games
    • Taxi
    • Payments
    • App Store
    • Music
    • TV
    • Subscription Fees
    • eCommerce
    • Search


In descending order of MAU, slide 19

  • WhatsApp
  • Facebook Messenger
  • WeChat
  • QQ Mobile
  • Gchat
  • iMessage
  • Viber
  • LINE
  • Snapchat
  • Kik
  • Telegram
  • Tango
  • KakaoTalk
  • Hike
  • Zalo
  • Path Talk
  • FireChat
  • YikYak
  • SOMA
  • Jott
  • Nimbuzz
  • Microsoft Send
  • Vurb
  • Zolo

In some order, slides 20-30+

  • LINE
  • WeChat
  • Facebook Messenger
  • WhatsApp
  • Snapchat
  • Vurb
  • Pockettour
  • WeBank
  • Jobot
  • digit
  • Magic
  • Assist
  • Slack


  • A Buullion new Users by 2018
  • 4B Internet Users (out of ~8B on Earth).
  • Nearly all are abroad, and in “developing” markets.

3. Streaming (Audio)

  • 4 hours/day US for 13+
  • It’s a teen/young-peeple thing:
    • 13-17 → 55% streaming
    • 55+ → 6% streaming
  • Experience is bad
    <quote>inferior user experiences leave engagement lagging</quote>
  • Revenue Models
    • Advertising
    • Subscriptions
  • RedTube (YouTube Red)
  • Only 10% (more) consumers are open to pay for streaming subscriptions
    original research, Activate, panel N=? (they asked around the office?)
  • Podcasts are a thing.
    • demographics → upscale, young, educated
    • format has plenty of room for advertisement load.


  • Terrestrial broadcast (non-digital)
  • Satellite Radio
  • Streaming
  • Downloads
  • Television (Music Television)
  • Other


  • A cast of thousands
  • Enumerated on Slide 37.

Also, slide 41

  • Pandora
  • iHeart RADIO

In order of reach, descending; slide 42.

  • YouTube
  • Pandora
  • Spotify
  • Vevo
  • Hlu
  • MTV
  • VH-1
  • Yahoo! Radio
  • Rhapsody
  • Slacker Radio
  • Apple Music

In order of decreasing library size, slide 46.

  • YouTube
  • SoundCloud
  • Spotify
  • Apple Music
  • Pandora

Organized by curation type (human vs algorithm), slide 48, 49.

  • Infinite Tracks
  • Hype Machine
  • Pitchfork
  • SoundCloud
  • Apple Music
  • Google Music
  • Spotify
  • Pandora
  • Shazam
  • imeem
  • Musicmatch
  • Urge
  • Ping
  • Grooveshark
  • Slacker Radio
  • Sonos


  • Four Buullion USD, now, US.
  • Ten Buullion USD, globally, 2020.
  • Audio is a multitasking activity (counts double, paired with another activity).

4. Cord Cutting

  • Over the Top (OTT)
    • HBO Now
    • SHO
  • TV Everywhere
  • Binge watching
    • Millennial → 83%
    • Generation X → 74$
    • Boomer → 56%
  • Big Screen Television
    is enjoyed by all ages(!); but Boomers like it more than Millennials
    <ahem>Seems more like Boomers (who are richer & own houses) own more big screen TVs.</ahem>
  • Two-box (four quadrant) model of consumer behavior on video
    • Linear Appointment Viewing = Long Form, High Production Cost & Live.
    • Social Networking Video = Short Form, Low Production Cost & Live
    • Video On-Demand = Long Form, High Production Cost & Recorded
    • Studio-Generated Content = Short Form, Low Production Value & Recorded.


  • The Future of TV is “Apps”
    • But that is independent of cord cutting
    • But that won’t decide how payment is attributed.
  • The Pay TV transition is “different”
    • not a technology issue
    • an experience issue
    • an access (licensing) issue
  • Users →still hooked on traditional TV
    (whatever this means; redundant with the other reasons)
  • Content → still licensed to pay TV (e.g. sports); not availabl in digital
  • Pricing → digital TV is still expensive
    • Pay TV bundles at low clst (though sell crap in with the desirable)all)
    • Digital TV a la carte is very expensive in aggregate
  • Experience → traditional TV wins
    • traditional is “simple”; & “reliable”
    • digital is “complex” and “unreliable”


  • (Linear) Television is 72% of all viewing
  • Viewing time is 6h/day, monthly, 2012-2015E
  • $185B/year US
    • $110B Aubscriptions (cable, add-on services)
    • $75B Advertising (of any kind)
  • Have hit “Peak Cable”

5. The Cable Killer (is X)

6. E-Sports & Gambling

7. All App Stores Are Closed

8. The Winner Take All Market Dynamics


As cited

  • PwC, IFPI, eMarketer, IBIS, SuperData, NewZoo, IBIS.
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Telegraph, Edison Research, We Are Social, eMarketer, Nielsen, National Sleep Foundation, Deloitte, SNL Kagan, Sandvine, Ipsos, comScore, Global Web Index, OECD.
  • Nielsen, comScore, Ars Technica, TechCrunch, Internetlivestats, Digitalsmiths.
  • Edison, We Are Social, eMarketer, Nielsen, Deloitte, SNL Kagan, Sandvine, Ipsos, comScore, Global Web Index, Pew Research Center, Flurry Insights, Informate, NetMarketShare, Statcounter.
  • Edison, eMarketer, Nielsen, Sandvine, US Media Consulting, Cisco, Experientia, Media UK, Global Web Index, Secom, Ofcom, GroupM.
  • Google, Microsoft, Aldebaran, Disney / New York Times.
  •  Business Insider, Fortune, Mashable, Instagram, AppAnnie, AdWeek, Quartz, Yahoo Finance, Experian, TechCrunch, Forbes, Tech in Asia, eMarketer, Compete,
  • GlobalWebIndex, eMarketer, ITO.
  • AppAnnie, AdWeek, Quartz, Yahoo Finance, Experian, TechCrunch, Forbes.
  • AppAnnie, AdWeek, Quartz, Yahoo Finance, Experian, TechCrunch, Forbes, Tech in Asia, VentureBeat, Kakao, LINE, Viber.
  • Gallup, Twilio, U.S. Census Bureau, Forbes, Colombia Reports, World Bank.
  • GlobalWebIndex, Tech in Asia.
  • AdWeek, Quartz, Yahoo Finance.
  • LINE Payment map, Twilio, U.S. Census Bureau, Forbes, Gallup, Colombia Reports,
  • GlobalWebIndex, Facebook Messenger App,
  • Pew Research, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, Apple.
  •, Re/Code, The Information.
  • TechCrunch,, CNBC.
  • Fortune, WSJ, Skift, TechCrunch,
  •, AdWeek, Quartz, Yahoo Finance.
  •, VentureBeat, TechCrunch.
  • Apple App Store, Google Play.
  • Nomura, Andreessen Horowitz, Forbes, TechInAsia, The Economist.
  • Edison Research / Triton Digital.
  • Recording Industry Association of America, PwC, Radio Advertising Bureau, Ofcom.
  • comScore, Nielsen/Arbitron, Flurry.
  • U.S. Census, Edison Research.
  • SNL Kagan, SESAC.
  • Spotify, Pandora.
  • Apple, SoundCloud, Spotify, Pandora,
  • IFPI.
  • Pew Research, Edison Research
  • Midroll, IAB, US Census, Edison Research,
  •, New York Magazine, Current, Ad Age,
  • Digitalsmiths, eMarketer, GfK, Sandvine, Nielsen, TDG,
  • BIA/Kelsey, Digital TV Research, eMarketer, Google, Hulu, Netflix, PWC, SNL
  • Kagan, Statista Digital Market Outlook, TDG.
  • Leichtman Research Group, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • CDC, CTIA, FCC, Gartner, Interviews, SNL Kagan.
  • U.S. Census, TDG Research, Leichtman Research Group.
  • Digitalsmiths, eMarketer, GfK, Sandvine, Nielsen, TDG,
  • Nielsen’s 2015 Total Audience Report and 2011 Cross-Platform Report, WSJ, Financial Times, The Guardian, Automated
  • Insights.
  • Conviva, Deloitte.
  • Deloitte, Ericsson ConsumerLab, Nielsen.
  • ComScore, Deloitte, Verizon Digital Media Services.
  • HBO, Nielsen, Showtime.

What you don’t know about Internet algorithms is hurting you | Washington Post

What you don’t know about Internet algorithms is hurting you. (And you probably don’t know very much!); Caitlin Dewey; In The Washington Post; 2015-03-23.

tl;dr => entertainment uses algorithms, algorithms are bad



In archaeological order, newer more derivative works on top, older original matieral down below


The branded concepts of the activism


Pantheon of the activists, cited
  • Eli Pariser
    attributed as an activist
  • Christian Sandvik
    attributed as a communications researcher
  • Zeynep Tufekci
    attributed as a sociologist



This is just a silly & transparent ploy to make a connection to a non-technical audience.  Everyone can relate to Important Art.

Progression: Triptych

OkCupid Compatibility CalculationHello WorldVia: backfill