James Slezak Profile picture
21 Feb, 4 tweets, 1 min read
What people don’t get about FB and innovation is that it *WAS* a great product and business story - right up to just above the billion dollar mark. I cheered at the ballsiness of Zuckerberg turning down Yahoo’s offer
But between $1 B and 500X that, the story changes. It’s no longer about innovation. It becomes entirely about defensive anti-competitive self-preservation: extracting rent. The investors who backed it need to keep selling the original story - bc the later one is dark
Facebook today as an entity is as innovative as the dude with guns who sets up a “checkpoint” on a dirt road in a lawless nation. That dude is not getting money because of his great ideas or execution
Enough money gets you enough lackeys who can shoot straight. And sure, they’ll solve a few difficult problems along the way. Like literally any organized human endeavor

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More from @jslez

20 Feb
@karaswisher wrote a thoughtful Op-Ed here about what she and @CaseyNewton refer to as the "shakedown" of Facebook. I'd like to explain why I completely disagree with this conclusion nytimes.com/2021/02/18/opi…
First, as a minor thing, there has never been a "bedrock principle of the web that hyperlinks should be free". Everyone knows "404 Page Not Found" … did you know there is also "Error 402 Payment Required"? Payment was anticipated by people who designed the protocols from Day 1 ImageImage
Tim Berners-Lee and other smart people claim that Facebook is "defending the open internet". This claim is ludicrous (sorry!). It can only be made by completely ignoring market structure - a lens that appears to entirely foreign to most of the commentary
Read 26 tweets
20 Feb
One way to think about Australia's media laws is this: Mark Zuckerberg told the world he wanted to create a utility. Well - he did it! And utility monopolies get regulated because otherwise they destroy the other markets they touch
"But we're destroying the open web!". No we're not. These laws are regrettable and clunky, but the original sin is the FB/Google duopoly, and nobody in Australia chose that. The laws apply only to companies whose market power should never have been permitted to begin with
Every other web developer in the world can continue to do whatever they want. And FB and Google can go back to being treated like everyone else any day they want - all they have to do is structurally separate so they're no longer a duopoly
Read 5 tweets

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