Top articles of the week | February 6

February 6, 2021

Every week, we put together a list of our top 5 articles of the past week. Happy reading!

Apple, Its Control Over the iPhone, The Internet, And The Metaverse Matthew Ball (reading time: 45 minutes)

This is by far Matthew Ball’s best article I’ve read. It’s a doozy but worth the read. He dissects Apple’s monopolistic control of the app store and its impact on the digital economy. There are so many interesting plot lines that are covered. The main takeaway is that Apple’s app store policies are mainly designed to protect its strategic position and are harmful to users, developers and new startups.

How CEO-For-Hire Frank Slootman Turned Snowflake Into Software’s Biggest-Ever IPO Forbes (reading time: 15 minutes)

We’ve covered Frank Slootman in this newsletter before and I can’t get enough. He comes off as a charismatic leader but also a bit of an a**hole. This bio covers his past companies and how he took over Snowflake. There’s a bit of drama on the CEO transition which adds some entertainment to the story.

Technological stagnation Roots of Progress (reading time: 9 minutes)

We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters

The premise of this article is to understand whether or not technological stagnation is indeed real. The author Jason Crawford argues that there is indeed reason for concern, the world’s most important technologies are reaching maturity. That being said, this isn’t a reason not to aim higher.

The Relentless Jeff Bezos Stratechery (reading time: 14 minutes)

News broke this past week of Jeff Bezos stepping down from the CEO role at Amazon. He famously founded the company 27 years ago and is leaving at the height of its power. Ben Thompson does a great job of breaking down where he sits in the pantheon of tech CEOS. He also explains how he built not one, but three world class businesses.

Ads Don’t Work That Way Melting Asphalt (reading time: 26 minutes)

There’s a popular belief that advertising works by making emotional associations. The author argues that it not in fact what is occurring. The Pavlovian response isn’t what is happening. Rather, there’s a bigger focus on “cultural imprinting” which brands employ. I also enjoyed the notion of a space that brands occupy for decades.