Social media is moving towards free speech and away from moderation
This is one of the biggest changes I’m seeing. X and Substack have leaned hard into this new narrative. The other platforms are still falling behind.
This has become a hot topic because there’s a growing philosophy among the tech elites in America that they should be able to decide what content we see, and what people we can follow and hear from.
It started with cancel culture and exploded into *not* being able to talk about a bat virus or whether you like face masks.
Some argue free speech is bad because it exposes us to harmful ideas. I’d argue free speech allows anyone to talk, and if they have a controversial opinion, by allowing it to be heard, it can be debunked and squashed.
True intelligence is debating ideas you don’t agree with.
Americans are unlikely to ever support censorship — the U.S. is the land of the free more so than any other country. The tech giants will learn this lesson the hard way.
Working in big tech isn’t sexy anymore
I used to worship big tech.
I thought working at Google, Apple, or Netflix was the holy grail. But now the venture capital bubble has popped, everything’s changed. No one cares about revenue, valuation, or future growth anymore.
All any investor or business person cares about is how much profit?
Documentaries about tech giants like FTX, WeWork, and Uber have backed up this trend. When you look behind the scenes many darling tech giants were nothing more than scams funded by Wall Street and fuelled by public euphoria.
When you strip away all the glitz and glamour, the emperor has no clothes.
Sustainable has become the new catchphrase in tech. It’s what will attract people to new companies and fuel the next generation of tech startups.
And many VCs will be out of a job because they offer nothing more than cheap money they borrowed from a high-net wealth person with a lot of broken promises and average due diligence.
The DEI counter-argument is unleashed and it’s going to polarize
DEI stands for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
I’ve always been fine with it. It’s been part of every workplace I’ve worked in and I’ve never really questioned it. Previously, Elon Musk tried to ignite the DEI counter-argument but everyone just thought it was a meme.
Recently, Bill Ackman started a war against the DEI movement. It’s the first big one of its kind. And Mark Cuban jumped on the other side of the argument to support DEI and he didn’t do well.
There could actually be a world where DEI dies and a new movement is born. The contentious point is whether merit-based rewards or race and birthplace incentives should run society.
I don’t think the debate is so simple. But we will see.
What diversity actually means is going to get complicated for all of us. And all the virtue signaling and using DEI as a form of marketing to increase profits could disappear.
My advice is to exit the culture war and focus on your goals.
The mainstream was wrong about Bitcoin
2024 is the year of Bitcoin.
Many people called me a scammer for buying it and daring to talk about it. Thanks to new regulation, Wall Street can now offer Bitcoin ETFs and sell them as a product to the mass market, pension funds, banks, sovereign wealth funds, etc.
Now, if you criticize Bitcoin, you simply come across as uninformed and perhaps stupid. It’s nice to see a new asset class get the regulation and endorsement it deserves.
Scarce digital assets are here to stay. Decentralization is a feature that will define the next era of permissionless businesses.
AI is way more disruptive than the average person thinks
When I talk to my friends or family about ChatGPT, they don’t think it’s a big deal. They think it’s another fad.
If you’ve used AI like I have, you’ll quickly see it’s powerful. For example, AI-generated images have come a long way.
Here’s the progress with version 1–6 of Midjourney’s software:
If you only look at the short term, even then, AI is moving lightning fast. In the next 1–2 years AI will completely replace entire industries.
Some people are embracing the trend and using AI in their daily work. Others are ignoring it and hoping the AI boogeyman stops knocking on their door.
A person worth following — who is using AI in clever ways — is LevelsIO.
Don’t ignore AI. Add it to your skill stack and help your employer or a business you own enable it as fast as possible.
The world doesn’t need all these new books published
We’ve reached saturation with books.
We simply don’t have time or cognitive bandwidth to read all the new books published every day. Too many people waste years writing books no one reads. I think the trend of writing books will slow down.
Wannabe authors will learn it’s smarter to write essays or newsletters first, then think about writing a book later.
Gasoline cars are coming to an end
My dad doesn’t want to hear this.
He loves old cars and can’t live without them. But this trend is so obvious a blind monkey can see it. Some of my neighbors drive Teslas, so I’ve spent time learning about their cars and even riding in them.
Cars are now about software, not hardware.
Traditional car companies will struggle to keep up with Tesla because Tesla is vertically integrated. They make most of the components. And at their heart they are a software company.
I just don’t see how the current car companies can compete selling gasoline-guzzling beasts that cost a fortune to fill up.
I don’t want to buy a Tesla for my next car because Elon annoys me. But I’m not sure how you buy any other car when all of the competitors are hardware companies that rely on 3rd-party manufacturers and use 20+ year old software worse than a Nokia flip phone.
Be careful investing in a new gasoline car. The prices are gonna drop faster than Peloton’s stock price over the coming few years.
The creator economy is the digital renaissance most of us can’t see coming
This term creeps me out.
I’ve somehow become part of the creator economy. I don’t consider myself a creator, though, because it makes me sound special or smart. Regardless, the creator economy is the new economy, and most don’t realize it.
There aren’t two worlds: one full of content creators, and the second with everyone else. Nope. We’re now all creators. If we don’t share ideas and publish content, we get left behind. We become irrelevant.
The Renaissance was a powerful moment in history. I believe we’re going through a digital renaissance right now. The value of creativity and imagination is going to become scarce and high-priced again.
No more starving artists. No more broke musicians. No more out of work writers. No more struggling comedians.
While technology and AI continue to commoditize information and generic, repetitive skills — true artistry will rise up from the ashes. It’s going to be awesome to see.
People are questioning their jobs more than ever
Go to school, get a degree, and get a good job used to be the way.
From what I’ve seen reaching millions of people every month on LinkedIn, this narrative is changing.
Universities are no longer required for most skills. Traditional employers are struggling to motivate employees because they now seek more than a salary.
They want to be part of a movement. They want meaning. They want true, non-Wall-Street-manipulated ownership of what they’re building.
Expect to see more one-person businesses, freelancers, contractors, consultants, and guns for hire. Instead of a single employer, the future is one-to-many. This screws with the incentives big time.
Serious writers now focus solely on their newsletter email list
I’m about to hit 10 years writing online every day.
When I started it was all about WordPress blogs, then later, social media. In the last 12 months, every writer I know has pivoted most of their attention to their email newsletter.
Now that you can grow a newsletter entirely through recommendations from other writers, many have switched off the algorithmic newsfeeds and playing the free ‘like’ game to power someone else’s ads.
If you don’t have a newsletter and email readers once a week, you’re no longer a writer.
Readers have changed too. Most of what I read comes to me in my email inbox. It’s convenient, fast, and isn’t manipulated by a third party.
Expect newsletters to become a big business in the next year.