Platformonomics TGIF #19: August 25, 2023


New post format: a weekly rollup of links, comments on those links, activity updates and attempts at humor.  The intention is quicker hits in addition to the less frequent big posts and more timely hammering on my favorite themes. This is my primary hangout until the contours of the post-Twitter world become clear. Be sure to subscribe below and to the right to receive all my output via email.

Note that my poor, overtaxed server struggles to serve up all the images to email users at the same time, so if you don’t see images, be sure to click through. Server upgrade in the works.

Salesforce Gonna Salesforce

The leading no-code company (in the sense they don’t really do software) is also unrivaled in brazen shamelessness. Do cartoon mascots count as “groundbreaking innovations”? “Awe-inspiring” AI domain experts include Matthew McConaughey and (Deepak Chopra is inexplicably missing from this year’s agenda).

Previous: Salesforce’s Shamelessness is Staggering

Collapsing Economic Models: German Edition

Recognition the German economy is in deep trouble is going mainstream. The twilight of the internal combustion engine, the energy shock from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (and Germany’s shockingly bad energy policy response) and mercantilist policies repressing consumers are all coming home to roost. As the engine of the European economy, Germany’s inability to grasp its model is broken has broader (and potentially dire) economic and geopolitical implications.

Previous: EU Rethinking Its Stance on Mercantilism, German Auto Industry Reaches Hail Mary Stage, How Do You Say “Burning Platform” in German?, Volkswagen’s Death Throes Continue, The Fate of the European Economy: Automotive Edition, Europe: Investing in Slave Labor

Collapsing Economic Models: China Edition

An even bigger perception change is the growing acceptance that the Chinese economy is not just suffering through cyclical fluctuations and/or post-COVID adjustments that some interest rate tweaks or building a few bridges can fix. Rather, China has extreme and fundamental economic imbalances, a growth model that has long since run out of gas, and a neo-Maoist maXImum leader who lives to crush animal spirits.

Previous; Missing the (Bamboo) Forest for the (Apple) Trees, Paul Krugman is Wrong Even When He is Right
Related: Trade Wars are Class Wars, Red Flags: Why Xi’s China is in Jeopardy

This Week’s Software Migration Alerts

When private equity comes amalgamating, it is time to start migrating. Why? Because private equity ruins software companies.

Lord Make Me Compliant, Just Not Yet!”

With apologies to St Augustine, NVIDIA is shipping a lot of GPUs to China:

Let me first start with Data Center. Record revenue of $10.32 billion was up 141% sequentially and up 171% year-on-year. Data Center compute revenue nearly tripled year-on-year, driven primarily by accelerating demand from cloud service providers and large consumer Internet companies for HGX platform, the engine of generative AI and large language models.

China demand was within the historical range of 20% to 25% of our Data Center revenue, including compute and networking solutions.

I’m not sure what the point is to announcing export restrictions but delaying their implementation. The targets have seen this gambit before.

Hipster Antitrust Goes to Hollywood

After learning (on multiple occasions now) that chanting “break them up” is not a legally viable antitrust doctrine, the FTC (slogan: “we love to lose“) is turning its attention to the media industry. That is one way to avoid extending their losing streak against Big Tech. Different industry, but the same playbook: ignorance of what they propose to regulate.

Previous: A New Antitrust Doctrine, A Glimmer of Antitrust Sanity, Another Glimmer of Antitrust Sanity?, Taking a Modest Victory Lap on Antitrust
Related: Lina Khan Does Not Understand the Media Biz, Please, Lina Khan, don’t make Hollywood’s crisis worse

Breaking: New York Times Agrees with Tech Industry

Someday hopefully the editorial page will come to understand the Times itself is a digital business.

Previous: Living in a Glass House: The New York Times On Tech, Living in a Glass House: What is the New York Times?, The World’s Worst Technology Column (Twitter Threads)

The “Supercloud” Still Isn’t a Thing

Like Generalissimo Francisco Franco, the “supercloud” is still dead. The concept is not helpful. Customers are not asking for it. Vendors are not pitching it. But like a game of buzzword bingo played by sufferers of Tourette’s Syndrome, the sultans of “supercloud” now want to throw AI and cybersecurity into the mix.

Previous: “Supercloud” RIP

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