Episode 020: I Want You to be Wrong

In this week’s episode Ben and James discuss the problems with Ello’s business model, James’ discomfort with Facebook, and why Social Networks always have ads. We also talk about incentives and something surprising Ben learned from the notorious Episode 18.


  • Ben Thompson: Ello and Consumer Friendly Business Models – Stratechery
  • Ben Thompson: Facebook Launches Atlas – Stratechery (members-only)
  • Ben Thompson: Friction – Stratechery


Podcast Information

5 thoughts on “Episode 020: I Want You to be Wrong

  1. I was thinking about the social network and privacy problem while listening to this podcast and began wondering why there couldn’t be a social network product that simply gave the option for users to pay for their privacy. If you pay for privacy, you would get no ads, and your data would not be sold to advertisers. I get that maybe it could impact scale effects you need for advertising, but if your network is large enough, that impact may be negligent or non existent. Just a thought.

  2. Heya we’re for your most important moment below. I stumbled onto this kind of mother board and i also believe that it is really handy & the item solved the problem out very much. I’m hoping presenting some thing again plus guide people such as you solved the problem.

  3. One more shot at ideas on how to change social networks. What if everyone owned their own private servers and there was a social network application that simply put an interface where servers owned by individual people could push and share data to other servers. If you had the application you could choose to be found or not, and you could add other people with this application. In that scenario I would imagine that everyone would own their own data and share at their discretion, but then I guess the question would be what incentive is there for another company to build and maintain such an app? (Perhaps the cost of such an app could be folded into the cost of maintaing the private server, or perhaps there is some other way of extracting value out of being able to provide the connection itself?)

    Of course, I recognize that the idea I’m suggesting tackles a fundamental assumption of our current connected world, which is that the space which we interact with on the web is owned by companies that have to find a revenue stream to justify the cost of owning that space. In order for the idea I’m presenting to work that model would have to be supplanted with a different kind of web, where individuals would have to own at least some if not a substantial portion of the web’s server capacity, particularly as it pertains to an individual’s own private data. It’s a bit of a radical idea, but it might get around some of the problems with incentives that were discussed in this podcast.

  4. good episode. I have a feeling that your scale for measuring the impact of advertisers on the priorities of Facebook and Google is pretty much broken though. Do they at times prioritize the interests of advertisers over the interests of users? Sure. But they do it after years and years of creating massive value for the users and *within very narrow limits* which should not affect the overall experience of the users in any significant way (we’ve seen Facebook backpedaling a couple of times, if they got things wrong).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *