Mary Meeker used to have a great metric she tracked called the “attention gap” — the gap between where people spent time and where advertisers spent dollars.
Believe it or not, back in the 2000s a popular argument was that although the internet was popular, internet businesses wouldn’t be financially successful.
Business Insider ran an op-ed as recently as 2010 arguing that Facebook and Twitter couldn’t succeed as for-profit businesses.
“Perhaps there is no for-profit business model for social networking. It’s been nearly twenty years and a lot of impressive money and brainpower hasn’t figured it out.”

This was a common sentiment, the "right-click and save" of that era.
Meeker argued that the money would eventually follow the attention and tracked this metric in annual reports she published.
Of course, she turned out to be right. The attention gap accurately predicted a lot of things including eventual monetization by media type, desktop vs mobile etc.
I believe an analogous metric for web3 will be the "enthusiasm gap." This is the gap between how enthusiastic a creator's community is and how much money that creator makes.
Today, because big web2 companies have very high (50%-100%) take rates and stand between users and creators with ads and algorithmic feeds, the enthusiasm gap is very wide.
For example, if you measured people's enthusiasm for music by looking at the size and activity fan communities, I am guessing it would as high or higher than any other form of media.
Yet only 15,000 out of the 8M Spotify users make $50K a year (before expenses). Outside of superstars, musicians don’t make much money from the internet.
This is one of the reasons NFTs are so exciting. NFTs lets musicians make money directly from their “1000 true fans.”

Using NFTs, fans can support and sponsor musicians directly, tiered to their level of enthusiasm.…
Ads monetize attention. NFTs monetize enthusiasm.
As with virtual goods-based video games like Fortnite, many fans won’t pay anything, but super fans will pay a lot. Intermediaries will have to offer real value and charge much lower take rates.
Right now the enthusiasm gap is very wide. Over the next decade, one important goal for web3 is to close it.

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More from @cdixon

6 Dec
No people I know who understand security would allow a surveillance speaker like Alexa or Google Voice in their house.
Long complicated privacy policies that users don’t understand.

Record you and send audio off to random 3rd-parties to “improve the system.”

Advertising-based business models where the incentive is always to surveil more.
Apple at least has a mostly hardware-based business model and has very publicly made privacy the focus. And we are probably stuck with the iPhone. So keep your iPhone but get rid of the rest.
Read 4 tweets
4 Dec
This clip is making the rounds of David Letterman and Bill Gates back in 1995 discussing the internet. Here is @jason discussing it. It's worth watching.
It’s easy to laugh at Letterman but in fact he was just expressing the consensus view at the time. In 1995, the best use cases that someone as smart as Gates could come up with were things you could already do with radios and tape recorders.
Of course what Gates understood was that the internet would rapidly improve and eventually unlock the internet-native experiences that we enjoy today.
Read 11 tweets
30 Nov
Messaging services— whether Twitter-like or Discord-like—should be built on open protocols, the way email is.
“But how do people make money?“

Hundreds of billion dollar businesses have been built on SMTP (and of course HTTP).
“What about spam and other bad things?”

As with SMTP and HTTP, we have legal system, plus providers (gmail etc) can filter (but are constrained from turning evil because the user switching costs are low).
Read 4 tweets
30 Nov
I gained a lot of respect for Paul McCartney watching the new Beatles documentary.

The whole thing is great and reminds me also of Apollo 11 which was also great.

Both great recent documentaries.
I don’t understand why this amazing footage for both documentaries sat unused for so many years.
What was the constraint? Filmmakers who cared? Money? It’s amazing this stuff just sat there.
Read 4 tweets
28 Nov
Blockchains are virtual computers that run on top of a network of physical computers that trade off performance (overhead of consensus mechanism) for the novel property that you can make credible long-term commitments to users and developers.
Therefore it is correct but not interesting to say blockchains are less performant that an individual computer controlled by, say Google or Facebook.
If you want to trust your business or you personal life to a computer owned by Google or Facebook, that’s great.

I wouldn’t. Many of us would like to opt out and try a different model.
Read 6 tweets
26 Nov
There is a widespread view that the internet and software industry is now mature, that the historical pattern of disruptive revolutions every 10-15 years is now over. 🧵
Ben Thompson provides an excellent articulation of this view (as he often does)…
In my experience, this view is tacitly held by most of the establishment: institutional investors, tech execs, policymakers, media, etc. It affects valuations, corporate behavior, media coverage, and policy making.
Read 22 tweets

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