Exponent
Ben Thompson / James Allworth

A podcast about tech and society, hosted by Ben Thompson and James Allworth

Ben and James discuss the history of podcasts and why Spotify’s recent announcements are so compelling for creators. Links Ben Thompson: Spotify’s Surprise — Stratechery Episode 185 — Open, Free, and Spotify — Exponent Ben Thompson: Podcasts, Analytics, and Centralization — Stratechery Ben Thompson: Spotify’s Podcast Aggregation Play — Stratechery Ben Thompson: Dithering and Open Versus Free — Stratechery Ben Thompson: Spotify Earnings, Podcasts and Lifetime Value, The Ringer Acquisition — Stratechery Ben Thompson: The European Super League, Apple Music’s Letter to Artists — Stratechery Ben Thompson: Podcast Subscriptions vs. the App Store — Stratechery Ben Thompson: Fearing Spotify?, Apple’s … Continue reading Episode 194 — Back on Spotify

Ben and James discuss Substack and the rise of the sovereign creator. Links Ben Thompson: Sovereign Writers and Substack — Stratechery Ben Thompson: Never-Ending Niches — Stratechery Bruno Maçães: History Has Begun — Hurst Publishers Ben Thompson: Defining Information — Stratechery Hosts   Ben Thompson, @benthompson, Stratechery James Allworth, @jamesallworth, Harvard Business Review   Podcast Information   Feed iTunes SoundCloud Twitter Feedback

Ben and James discuss Australia’s Media Bargaining Code and its fall-out. Links Ben Thompson: Google Makes Deal With News Corp, Facebook Blocks News in Australia, Microsoft’s Shamelessness — Stratechery Daily Update James Allworth: Australia’s Proposed “Fox News Tax” — Medium Hosts   Ben Thompson, @benthompson, Stratechery James Allworth, @jamesallworth, Harvard Business Review   Podcast Information   Feed iTunes SoundCloud Twitter Feedback

Ben and James discuss whether Facebook and Twitter should de-platform President Trump. Links Ben Thompson: Tech and Trump — Stratechery Ben Thompson: New Defaults — Stratechery James Allworth: Prioritizing Economics is Crippling the U.S. Economy — Medium Ben Thompson: Trump and Twitter — Stratechery Hosts   Ben Thompson, @benthompson, Stratechery James Allworth, @jamesallworth, Harvard Business Review   Podcast Information   Feed iTunes SoundCloud Twitter Feedback

Ben and James discuss Apple’s new chip announcement and what it means for both Apple and Intel. Links James Allworth: Intel’s Disruption is Now Complete — Medium Ben Thompson: Apple’s Shifting Differentiation — Stratechery Ben Thompson: The Intel Opportunity — Stratechery Ben Thompson: Apple, ARM, and Intel — Stratechery Ben Thompson: Chips and Geopolitics — Stratechery Ben Thompson: Intel and the Danger of Integration — Stratechery Hosts   Ben Thompson, @benthompson, Stratechery James Allworth, @jamesallworth, Harvard Business Review   Podcast Information   Feed iTunes SoundCloud Twitter Feedback

Ben and James discuss the state of bundles in 2020, including Netflix, Amazon, Disney, Microsoft, and Apple. Links Ben Thompson: 2020 Bundles — Stratechery Ben Thompson: The Great Unbundling — Stratechery Reed Hastings: 2018 Q4 Letter to Shareholders — Netflix Growth At Any Cost: Top Facebook Executive Defended Data Collection In 2016 Memo — And Warned That Facebook Could Get People Killed — BuzzFeed News Ben Thompson: Manifestos and Monopolies — Stratechery Ben Thompson: Facebook Lenses — Stratechery Casey Newton: Mark in the Middle — The Verge Ben Thompson: Losing My Amazon Religion — Stratechery Ben Thompson: The Jobs TV … Continue reading Episode 189 — Bundles

Ben and James discuss the antitrust subcommittee hearing, the problems of mixing antitrust and Aggregators, and how to think about regulation and democracy. Links Ben Thompson: Antitrust Politics — Stratechery The New York Times: Here’s which tech C.E.O. was asked the most questions by lawmakers. — NY Times Ben Thompson: Why Doesn’t Apple Enable Sustainable Businesses on the App Store? — Stratechery Ben Thompson: Apple’s China Problem — Stratechery Ben Thompson: The Antitrust Hearing, The Role of Congress, CEO Questions — Stratechery Daily Update Ben Thompson: A Framework for Regulating Competition on the Internet — Stratechery Ben Thompson: Ends, Means, … Continue reading Episode 188 — Big Tech, Antitrust, and Democracy

Ben and James discuss the Indian internet, TikTok, and whether or not the U.S. should ban it. Links Ben Thompson: Facebook Invests in Jio Platforms, The Building of Jio, Understanding the Deal — Stratechery Daily Update Ben Thompson: The China Cultural Clash — Stratechery Ben Thompson: India Bans Chinese Apps, The App Store Firewall — Stratechery Daily Update Hosts   Ben Thompson, @benthompson, Stratechery James Allworth, @jamesallworth, Harvard Business Review   Podcast Information   Feed iTunes SoundCloud Twitter Feedback

Ben and James discuss the current protests and Facebook’s decision to not take down Trump tweets. Links Ben Thompson: Zero Trust Information — Stratechery Ben Thompson: Dust in the Light — Stratechery Ben Thompson: Zuckerberg’s Choice, Zuckerberg’s Power, Zuckerberg’s Conviction — Stratechery Principle Stacks — Exponent Hosts   Ben Thompson, @benthompson, Stratechery James Allworth, @jamesallworth, Harvard Business Review   Podcast Information   Feed iTunes SoundCloud Twitter Feedback

Ben and James discuss Dithering, how Spotify is like Facebook, and a bit about working from home. Links Ben Thompson & John Gruber: Dithering — Dithering Ben Thompson: Dithering and Open Versus Free — Stratechery Ben Thompson: The Daily Update Podcast — Stratechery Ben Thompson: Spotify’s Podcast Aggregation Play — Stratechery Ben Thompson: America Wakes Up?, An Interview with Matt Mullenweg About Working From Homey — Stratechery Daily Update Hosts   Ben Thompson, @benthompson, Stratechery James Allworth, @jamesallworth, Harvard Business Review   Podcast Information   Feed iTunes SoundCloud Twitter Feedback

Ben and James discuss masks and Twitter’s decision to delete tweets about COVID-19. Links Zeynep Tufekci: Why Telling People They Don’t Need Masks Backfired — The New York Times Ben Thompson: Unmasking Twitter — Stratechery Ben Thompson: Compaq and Coronavirus — Stratechery Ben Thompson: Zero Trust Information — Stratechery China’s Decision to Leave Asymptomatic Patients off Coronavirus Infection Tally Sparks Debate — Caixin Ben Thompson: Apple’s Organizational Crossroads — Stratechery Ben Thompson: Books and Blogs — Stratechery Why It’s So Freaking Hard To Make A Good COVID-19 Model — FiveThirtyEight Hosts   Ben Thompson, @benthompson, Stratechery James Allworth, @jamesallworth, Harvard … Continue reading Episode 184 — Good is Better than Perfect

Ben and James contrast U.S. and China’s response to the coronavirus, and the choices facing society about how to handle information. Links Ben Thompson: Apple’s Earnings, Slowing Services Growth, Apple and the Coronavirus — Stratechery Ben Thompson: Economic Power in the Age of Abundance — Stratechery Ben Thompson: The Corona Virus Whistleblowers; NBA Salary Cap Decreases; Apple, Benefits, and Risks — Stratechery Ben Thompson: Disney and COVID-19, The Coronavirus IPO, In Defense of Twitter — Stratechery Ben Thompson: Zero Trust Information — Stratechery Ben Thompson: The Internet and the Third Estate — Stratechery Hosts Ben Thompson, @benthompson, Stratechery James Allworth, … Continue reading Episode 183 — A Search for Everything

Ben and James discuss the FTC’s decision to block the acquisition of Harry’s Razors, the DTC market, and the difference between being a monopoly and being too big. Links Ben Thompson: Apple’s Investor Warning, Foxconn’s Investor Warning, An Interview with Dan Wang — Stratechery Daily Update | Daily Update Podcast Ben Thompson: Email Addresses and Razor Blades — Stratechery Ben Thompson: Dollar Shave Club and the Disruption of Everything — Stratechery Ben Thompson: First, Do No Harm — Stratechery Ben Thompson: Netflix and the Conservation of Attractive Profits — Stratechery Ben Thompson: The Local News Business Model — Stratechery Ben … Continue reading Episode 182 — Scale Scale Scale

Ben and James discuss Ben’s new Daily Update Podcast, and why Exponent is not on Spotify. Then, should regulators roll back acquisitions or prioritize the avoidance of unintended consequences? Links Ben Thompson: The Daily Update Podcast — Stratechery Ben Thompson: The Rationale Behind the Daily Update Podcast, Podcasts and Email, Spotify and the Three Bens — Stratechery Daily Update Ben Thompson: Spotify’s Podcast Aggregation Play — Stratechery Ben Thompson: Spotify Earnings, Podcasts and Lifetime Value, The Ringer Acquisition — Stratechery Daily Update Ben Thompson: First, Do No Harm — Stratechery Ben Thompson re: Facebook Acquiring Instagram in 2011: Twitter Eric … Continue reading Episode 181 — Competing with Spotify and Regulating Acquisitions

Ben and James eulogize Professor Clayton M. Christensen Links Clayton M. Christensen: How Will You Measure Your Life? — Harvard Business Review Ben Thompson: What Clayton Christensen Got Wrong — Stratechery Ben Thompson: Clayton Christensen Passes Away, Professor Christensen and I, Kobe Bryant and Measuring Your Life — Stratechery Daily Update James Allworth, Karen Dillon, and Clayton M. Christensen — How Will You Measure Your Life? Hosts   Ben Thompson, @benthompson, Stratechery James Allworth, @jamesallworth, Harvard Business Review   Podcast Information   Feed iTunes SoundCloud Twitter Feedback

Ben and James discuss whether mobile and hyper-scale clouds are the natural endpoint for this stage of technology, or if new companies will ride new paradigm shifts to replace Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Apple. Links Ben Thompson: The End of the Beginning — Stratechery Ben Thompson: Obsoletive — Stratechery Ben Thompson: The End of the Beginning Follow-Up, Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital, Venture versus Productive Capital— Stratechery Daily Update Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital — Carlota Perez Ben Thompson: Bubble Talk, Revisited; It [Wasn’t] 1999; The Big Tech Basket — Stratechery Daily Update The Structure of Scientific Revolutions — Thomas … Continue reading Episode 179 — The Water We Swim In

Ben and James discuss the downsides of monopoly, and Apple. Then, why there is no absolute answer when it comes to integration or modularization, and why different approaches require different types of organizations and different types of leaders. Links Ben Thompson: Integration and Monopoly — Stratechery Ben Thompson: Facebook and the Cost of Monopoly — Stratechery John Gruber: 16-Inch MacBook Pro First Impressions: Great Keyboard, Outstanding Speakers — Daring Fireball Ben Thompson: Apple’s Organizational Crossroads — Stratechery Ben Thompson: Why Microsoft’s Reorganization Is a Bad Idea — Stratechery Hosts   Ben Thompson, @benthompson, Stratechery James Allworth, @jamesallworth, Harvard Business Review … Continue reading Episode 178 — More Ergonomic

Ben and James discuss the origins of the First Amendment, what a culture of free expression means, and Facebook’s ad policy. Links Ben Thompson: Tech and Liberty — Stratechery Randall Munroe: Free Speech — xkcd Pat Kerr: Why I think xkcd is wrong about Free Speech — Medium Ben Thompson: The China Cultural Clash — Stratechery The Federalist Papers : No. 84 — Yale Law Rep. Ocasio-Cortez questions Mark Zuckerberg on when Facebook will fact check — YouTube Jon Gertner: The Very, Very Personal Is the Political — The New York Times Magazine United States v. Alvarez — Casetext Julia … Continue reading Episode 177 — Principle Stacks

Ben and James discuss how the Internet’s impact will be like the printing press’s, and what that means for how we should think about Facebook. Note: We apologize for the slight audio discrepancy between Ben and James Links Ben Thompson: The Internet and the Third Estate — Stratechery Ben Thompson: Zuckerberg’s Speech, Facebook Versus China, The Structure of Free Expression — Stratechery Ben Thompson: TV Advertising’s Surprising Strength — And Inevitable Fall — Stratechery Perry Link: China: The Anaconda in the Chandelier — ChinaFile Mark Zuckerberg Stands for Voice and Free Expression — Facebook The Federalist Papers: No. 47— Yale … Continue reading Episode 176 — The Second Estate Era

Ben and James discuss the NBA and Apple in China and the long-term implications of doing business with authoritarian governments. Links Ben Thompson: The China Cultural Clash — Stratechery r/HongKong: List Of Companies Under China’s Censorship Orders (So Far). Credit To U/Lebe — Reddit Sam Dastyari Quits As Labor Senator Over China Connections — The Guardian Rejected three times due to fear of Beijing, controversial book on China’s secret influence will finally be published — Business Insider Ethan Strauss: Can Steve Kerr and the NBA do better on China? — The Athletic Ben Thompson: Apple Pulls Hong Kong App, Tim … Continue reading Episode 175 — The Abyss Stares Back