‘MKBHDs for Everything’

Ben Thompson, marking the 10th anniversary of Stratechery as a full-time endeavor:

Who, though, is to blame, and who benefited? Surely the responsibility for the Humane AI Pin lies with Humane; the people who benefited from Brownlee’s honesty were his viewers, the only people to whom Brownlee owes anything. To think of this review — or even just the title — as “distasteful” or “unethical” is to view Humane — a recognizable entity, to be sure — as of more worth than the 3.5 million individuals who watched Brownlee’s review.

This is one of the challenges of scale: Brownlee has so many viewers that it is almost easier to pretend like they are some unimportant blob. Brownlee, though, is successful because he remembers his job is not to go easy on individual companies, but inform individual viewers who will make individual decisions about spending $700 on a product that doesn’t work. Thanks to the Internet he has absolutely no responsibility or incentive to do anything but.

The review is now up to 4.2 million views.

Tuesday, 16 April 2024