Sunday Briefing: On​ Marc Andreessen, Netflix and video games, the attention tax, and the digital advertising landscape

Sunday Briefing: On​ Marc Andreessen, Netflix and video games, the attention tax, and the digital advertising landscape

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Welcome to the Sunday Briefing newsletter where I share some of the interesting lessons in life, business, and investing that I’ve come across during the week.

What I’ve been reading

Marc Andreessen On Productivity, Scheduling, Reading Habits, Work, and More.

It’s basically process versus outcome. Venture capital is too elongated an activity. We don’t really know whether something is going to work or not work in the first five years of its life after we passed. And so it’s — okay, what do I learn? Like, what, what do I learn in the first three years when it’s not working? Because sometimes these companies really struggle for a while and then they really succeed. Sometimes it’s the opposite — they really succeed fast and then they have serious issues later.

Netflix and video games.

In recent years, most of the entertainment industry has adopted Netflix’s mental model. In 2019, Nintendo of America’s President said, “That time you spend surfing the Web, watching a movie, watching a telecast of a conference: that’s all entertainment time we’re competing for. [Nintendo]’s competitive set is much bigger than [its] direct competitors in Sony and Microsoft. [Nintendo] competes for time.” In the last six months, Snapchat and Spotify have both identified Fortnite as a key competitor.

Labor supply and the attention tax.

Much of young men’s time which in past decades was spent working is now spent playing video games, according to Aguiar and Hurst. Given that reported happiness moved in the opposite direction from wages and employment rate, it would seem there is some preference for this specific type of leisure over the purchasing power sacrificed in the form of foregone wages.

Digital advertising in 2022.

Real power in technology comes from rooting the digital in something physical: for Amazon that is its fulfillment centers and logistics on the e-commerce side, and its data centers on the cloud side. For Microsoft it is its data centers and its global sales organization and multi-year relationships with basically every enterprise on earth. For Apple it is the iPhone, and for Google is is Android and its mutually beneficial relationship with Apple. […] Facebook benefited tremendously from being just an app, but the freedom of movement that entailed meant taking a dependency on iOS and Android, and Apple has exploited that dependency in part, if not yet in full.

Quote of the week

Benjamin Franklin on fixed mindsets.

“Most men die at 25, we just don’t bury them until they are 70.”

A thought

Frequently ask what people you admire would do, and wouldn’t do.

Have a great coming week,
Oliver Sung

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