The fight for your attention is entering a new, scary phase.


The attention economy shock

This week, I wrote to reCharged daily subscribers about the Attention Economy and the uphill battle many technology giants are facing as the amount of new eyeballs coming online dries up. 

What really drove this realization for me this week was Netflix declaring that it didn't think it competes with HBO, Disney or any of the other pay TV companies. Instead, Netflix names literally anything else as a competitor:

"We earn consumer screen time, both mobile and television, away from a very broad set of competitors. We compete with (and lose to) Fortnite more than HBO. When YouTube went down globally for a few minutes in October, our viewing and sign ups spiked for that time."

The smartphone's explosive growth around the world drove unprecedented innovation, new ideas, and staggering scales. Now, Facebook competes with Netflix, which in turn competes with Fortnite, for eyeballs, as all that matters is siphoning off your time to win.

I wanted to share the longer read with you as we go into the weekend to think about, so I've unlocked the entire briefing for you to read for free. As 2019 progresses, I believe we'll see more juggernauts admit the same: now we're in a race to get the audiences that already exist, rather than woo new ones.

👀 The attention economy

Get clicking

😬 An interview with Jack Dorsey, who seems to have 'no clue what he wants'

📱 Nike made $350 self-lacing shoes with Bluetooth, because reasons

🔔 DOJ pursues criminal case against Huawei for stealing secrets

💸 Snap's CFO quits after just eight months

📰 Facebook can't leave it alone, so puts $300M into local news


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The technology choices we regret

If you've considered starting a new web-based project lately and have ended up in a series of fitful start-stop bursts, trying React, hating it, then testing five thousand other new things only to find yourself back at writing PHP again... I can relate.

As I've been hacking away on Write Together, a little side project of mine, I have been exposed to a dizzying reality millions of developers face every day: which of these things are the right choice? How do I make sure I'm not blowing hundreds of hours on learning this tech?

Spectrum, which was recently sold to GitHub, has shared this refreshing post about making mistakes betting on young technology. Maybe, sometimes, we should use less fashionable things because they just work.

🌎 Tech choice regrets at

Other good reads

This beautiful, nerdy deep-dive into the life of a SMS

Apple's Errors (Stratechery)

Going dumb: a year with a flip phone (WIRED)

Two founders is not always better than one (MIT)


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