Priorities, precedents, broadcasting and good enough to be worth paying for

The audience isn’t gonna care about the Pixar animation system, they’re not gonna care about the Pixar production system, they’re not gonna care about anything–except what they will be able to judge for themselves, and that’s the end result, which they can appreciate without having to understand what went into it, what went into creating it.

Steve Jobs -


Thoughts on monetizing content, 2003-2005:

If you are willing to click a few ads per week, however, I want you to know that I appreciate it very much. AdSense effectively works as a micropayment system, but instead paying with small amounts of money, you pay with small bits of your attention.


People are lazy. You are lazy. I am very lazy. I don’t want to lift a finger to do anything generally, unless it is really worth it. When you’re reading stuff online and you’re hit with signup forms, registration forms, or worse of all, payment forms, most people close their browser or go somewhere else.


Dooce puts ads on her site to feed her family (she’s supporting them *entirely* by writing her personal web site) and gets an earful of complaint in return. Thought this was particularly insightful about why no subscription fees or donations instead: “By using ads I’m making my livelihood my problem and no one else’s.” I’m not sure if that’s strictly true, but it resonated a lot with me.

1. People are sometimes wrong about what exactly that “end result” is. The end result is the total package as the consumer sees it. User definitions vary.

2. People care about process as well as result. Hiding process doesn’t make it disappear.

3. Sometimes you can appreciate something without knowing what goes into it. Sometimes you can only do so up to a point.

4. There is no magic. Secrecy, obfuscation and charm are short-term strategies. Transparency wins out in the long run.