Ben Thompson’s weekly article, “The Reality of Missing Out,” showcases again why I think he’s one of the best strategy and technology writers out there:
The issue for LinkedIn is that a company’s stock price is not a scorecard rather it is the market’s estimate of a company’s future earnings, and the ratio to which the stock price varies from current earnings is the degree to which investors expect said earnings to grow. In the case of LinkedIn, the company’s relatively mature core business serving recruiters continues to do well; that’s why the company beat estimates. That market, though, has a natural limit, which means growth must be found elsewhere, and LinkedIn hoped that elsewhere would be in advertising. The lower-than-expected estimates and shuttering of Lead Accelerator, LinkedIn’s off-site advertising program (which follows on the heels of LinkedIn’s previous decision to end display advertising), suggested that said growth may not materialize.
Spin interviewed The 1975 about their new album. Not only do I think this is one of the most fascinating bands in music right now, it’s kinda crazy to say this isn’t that hyperbolic:
Certainly, no boy band in history (except, y’know, the Beatles) has ever released an album like the one the 1975 will drop on February 26. I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it — more on that title later — is a 17-track, 74-minute behemoth that veers wildly between ‘80s faux-funk, ambient house, gospel-tinged R&B, Autre ne Veut-like fever-pop, and acoustic balladry. It’s impossible to form a credible opinion on it after only one listen, because the album you think you’re listening to shapeshifts unrecognizably about a half-dozen times over the course of an hour and a quarter.
Ezra Klein, writing for Vox, on the pure horror of Trump’s candidacy:
Trump is the most dangerous major candidate for president in memory. He pairs terrible ideas with an alarming temperament; he’s a racist, a sexist, and a demagogue, but he’s also a narcissist, a bully, and a dilettante. He lies so constantly and so fluently that it’s hard to know if he even realizes he’s lying. He delights in schoolyard taunts and luxuriates in backlash.
Ben Rosen interviewed his kid sister about Snapchat for Buzzfeed:
I’m mesmerized. What’s even the point of sending snaps to each other if you don’t look at them? Am I crazy? That seems so unnecessary. Still, this is adult-brain talking. If I wanted to be one of the teens, I needed to just accept it and press on.
That moment when you know you’re old and things are happening you don’t get? Yeah. That’s right now with my five whole views on my “story.” Look at me, the NARP.
Seth Godin with my favorite thing I’ve read today:
This is the thinking that, “First class isn’t better because of the seats, it’s better because it’s not coach.” (Several airlines have tried to launch all-first-class seating, and all of them have stumbled.)
There are two challenges here. The first is that in a connection economy, the idea that others need to be in coach for you to be in first doesn’t scale very well. When we share an idea or an experience, we both have it, it doesn’t diminish the value, it increases it.
Lucy Kellaway, writing for the Financial Times, responds to an advertiser threatening the publication. I’ve had that happen before — I wish my response was this good.
You say the FT management should think about “unacceptable biases” and its relationship with its advertisers. My piece was not biased and I fear you misunderstand our business model. It is my editors’ steadfast refusal to consider the impact of stories on advertisers that makes us the decent newspaper we are. It is why I want to go on working here. It is why the FT goes on paying me.
One of the things I’d like to do more of is put together playlists. Maybe sometimes they’ll have a theme, maybe they’ll just be a bunch of music I’ve played recently, and maybe I’ll be able to bring in some guests to help out in the future. But, it’s all got to start with the first one. I’ve put together a playlist of a bunch of stuff I’ve listened to, and enjoyed, over the past month or so. The goal was to try to cover a few diverse genres and keep the length right at the hour mark. You can find the playlist on Apple Music and Spotify or via an embed if you hit read more.
Louis C.K. released a new show on his website last week, he charged five bucks for it, the internet reacted rationally and didn’t get mad at all about this. He’s posted a blog explaining this decision.
Now, I’m not complaining about this at all. I’m just telling you the facts. I charged five dollars because I need to recoup some of the cost in order for us to stay in production.
Also, it’s interesting. The value of any set amount of money is mercurial (I’m showing off because i just learned that word. It means it changes and shifts a lot). Some people say “Five dollars is a cup of coffee”. Some people say “Hey! Five dollars?? What the fuck!” Some people say “What are you guys talking about?” Some people say “Nothing. don’t enter a conversation in the middle”.
Anyway, I’m leaving the first episode at 5 dollars. I’m lowering the next episode to 2 dollars and the rest will be 3 dollars after that. I hope you feel that’s fair. If you don’t, please tell everyone in the world.
Nikhil Sonnad, writing for Quartz, looks at the technology behind Spotify’s “Discover Weekly” playlists.
“We now have more technology than ever before to ensure that if you’re the smallest, strangest musician in the world, doing something that only 20 people in the world will dig, we can now find those 20 people and connect the dots between the artist and listeners,” Matthew Ogle, who oversees the service at Spotify, told me recently. “Discovery Weekly is just a really compelling new way to do that at a scale that’s never been done before.”
Although I am a professed album lover, I think these playlists are the best thing Spotify has been doing recently. It’s the kind of personalization that is only going to get better, and the trick of finding someone that next band they love is going to put me out of business.
Ah, Friday … album release day. I’m still not really used to albums coming out on a Friday, it’s just not totally built into my bones yet. The biggest album release this week, in our corner of the world, has felt like Say Anything dropping I Don’t Think It Is. Personally, it’s not doing much for me. If you hit read more you can see all the releases we have in our calendar for the week. An open thread has been made in our forums to talk about what came out today, what albums you picked up, and to make mention of anything we may have missed. I hope everyone has a great weekend.
This week’s episode of Encore starts with a discussion about fostering creativity and how we try to stay sharp and inspired and not fall into a rut. It’s hard. We want to be better at it. Then we look at the RIAA changing up how they certify albums, Brand New selling out MSG and announcing some kind of release this year, and looking at the difference between huge stadium like shows versus the small venues we’re used to. We then answer some questions about favorite movies about music, the idea that bands should feel obligated to play “fan favorites” on tours, favorite bands from the UK, and the first albums we ever really anticipated. This week once again (fingers crossed) has chapter marks, so if you subscribe in a podcast player that supports those you should be able to jump right to a topic you want to hear about — if you so desire.
Say Anything have released a surprise stream of their new album I Don’t Think It Is. You can find the stream, and a message from Max Bemis, on their website or by hitting read more. There’s already a thread for the album in our forums to talk about your first listen.