M.G. Siegler
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This visualization, made by Visual Capitalist (shared by Chris Fralic yesterday on the 48th anniversary of the release of Pong), is fascinating for a few reasons.

First, when you just look at the console market from the early 1980s to today, the difference in that space is pretty actually small ($20B vs. $33B) and that includes the Nintendo Switch, which is currently the most successful of the consoles and really, in many ways, is actually a handheld. That category, of course, has been completely eliminated by mobile, which has also expanded the market many times over, and is now double the size of any other gaming market. And is more than console and PC combined. Also, poor arcades!

The dark design of Reels replacing the creation button

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10 years. A full decade. That’s how long I’ve loaded up Instagram and hit the button in the center of the bottom bar in order to post an image. While the overall UI of Instagram has changed — many times over — this fundamental interaction has not. Until now.

Multiple times in the past couple of weeks I’ve gone to post an image to Instagram the same way I always have, by hitting that post button in the middle of the lower nav, and boom: I find myself like Alice in Wonderland, tumbling down the rabbit hole that is Reels. You know, the TikTok clone which clearly wasn’t getting enough usage so they had to literally put it front and center. …

So that mysterious monolith found in the Utah desert a few days ago? Yeah, it’s now gone. Naturally, no one knows how, why, or who.

The theory that this is the work of artist John McCracken is certainly compelling — except that he died in 2011. As best anyone can tell (via Google Earth of all things), this monolith didn’t appear until 2016. And not only that:

“Somebody took the time to use some type of concrete-cutting tool or something to really dig down, almost in the exact shape of the object, and embed it really well,” he said. “It’s odd. There are roads close by, but to haul the materials to cut into the rock, and haul the metal, which is taller than 12 feet in sections — to do all that in that remote spot is definitely interesting.” …

Bill Gates, reflecting back on his first book:

Another idea that’s central to ‘The Road Ahead’ — that technology would allow unprecedented social networking — has pretty much come to pass. I am surprised, though, by the way social networks are both bringing us together and contributing to a more polarized atmosphere. I didn’t anticipate how much people would choose to filter out different perspectives and harden their own views.

This is one of those things that is only obvious in hindsight, but probably should have been back then given that it taps in pretty deep to human nature. The thought/hope was that the positives would far outweigh and perhaps even eliminate the potential negatives here — and that seemingly happened at first. Then the negatives came roaring back with a vengeance. Which suggests the positives only had a true advantage when the networks were sub-scale. …

I love basically everything about the Utah monolith mystery — obviously — but especially this statement from the Utah Department of Public Safety:

What a cryptic way to try to dissuade people from finding it! And while rational minds might think of reasons why such a department would want to dissuade such things — it also seems weird to issue such a statement! Adi Robertson of The Verge pulls out the great 2010 reference: “ATTEMPT NO LANDINGS THERE”. …

Unsolicited feedback on Twitter’s new ‘Fleets’ feature

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So… Fleets. Oh, Fleets. I said I would wait to weigh in. I have waited a day. I really don’t understand Fleets.

I mean, I do at a conceptual level. Many (most?) people are afraid to tweet. Fleets are like tweets but less rigid. Less permanent. Less text-y. They’re like Stories. Which everyone knows from Instagram, but should know from Snapchat. They’re what the cool kids used before TikTok.

On Twitter, they’re a format in search of a problem. Again, I get the problem they think they’re going after, I just have a hard time seeing how Fleets solves that problem. They’re sort of a clunky, ham-fisted approach to something people would rather do on the aforementioned Instagram or Snapchat. Yes, yes, yes, it worked when Instagram cloned the feature. But that’s because it was a feature that was compatible with Instagram’s core: visual storytelling. …

How fast is the new M1-based MacBook Air? This fast:

This would be insane if it was a MacBook Pro, but it’s the Air. With 8GB of RAM. I just got mine yesterday, it really is incredibly fast. And cool. And long-lasting. Just an absolute grand slam from Apple here.

Tempted by the Max and Mini, I went with the “just right” Regular

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My new ‘M1’ MacBook Air arrived today, which I’m beyond excited about. But I wanted to make sure to get my thoughts down about the iPhone 12 before it’s on to the latest and greatest Apple device. Part of why I haven’t shared any thoughts yet is because 13 years into getting a new iPhone every year, I don’t have very many things to say that haven’t already been said. But the other reason is that this was a bit of a weird year for me with regard to the upgrade.

To tackle the latter, first: I ended up buying an iPhone 12 Pro — Pacific Blue, 256 GB — on launch day last month partially because the iPhone 12 Pro Max wasn’t yet available. I had assumed that once it became available, as it did earlier this month, I would “upgrade” to that device. Because I’ve been sporting a “Max” iPhone for the past couple of years, and the “Plus” models before that, I’m accustomed to the big-ass iPhones. Still, knowing the Max model was going to get even bigger this year, and with the aforementioned release delay, I figured I’d try out the boring old “regular” iPhone 12 Pro first. …

Tim Denning:

It’s all bullshit. The meeting is a waste of time. No resolution is reached.

But it’s not all bad. Meetings have taught me one valuable lesson: watch the quiet people.

As a typically quiet person in meetings, I wholeheartedly agree.

The shoes keep dropping in the standoff between the studios and theater chains. But the latest is interesting in that it’s directly tied to box office success. Here’s Pamela McClintock:

Under the terms of the multiyear pact, a Universal movie opening to $50 million or more at the domestic box office can be made available in the home via premium VOD beginning 31 days after it opens on the big screen. (The window doesn’t apply to regular on-demand or streaming, and is PVOD only.)

Cinemark, the country’s third-largest chain, is OK with all other Universal, DreamWorks Animation and Focus Features movies being made available on PVOD after 17 days, similar to the history-making arrangement Universal struck with AMC Entertainment in late July. …


M.G. Siegler

General Partner @ GV (née Google Ventures). In past lives I wrote at TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and ParisLemon. A man of few words. Except when writing. 🍻

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