Platformonomics TGIF #24: September 29, 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.

Three Steps into a 12-Step Program

Step three in the classic 12-step addiction recovery program is turning authority over to a higher power. I guess Amazon finally got tired of my making fun of their relentless PR campaign about nothing (their generative AI strategy), and have turned to Anthropic for a higher-powered LLM (paying up to $4 billion for the privilege).

Step four is taking inventory, which we shall do on their behalf. Beyond the investment in Anthropic, their managed Bedrock API has finally gone GA and the once much-touted internally developed LLM Titan is getting disclaiming branding like “Lite” and “Express”. We will continue to monitor their immense insecurities and mediocre metaphors, but congratulations to Amazon for starting to get into the game.

I suggested last week Amazon might be partnering with Anthropic and wrote a post this week contrasting the Amazon and Anthropic cultures.

Previous: Culture Clash Conjecture: Amazon and Anthropic, AWS: “It’s Day 0.1 in generative AI”, AWS: “We’re three rankles into a 10k rankle”, “Every Single” Amazon PR Team is Working on Generative AI (Part I’ve Lost Count), “Every Single” Amazon PR Team is Working on Generative AI, Titan or Titanic?, Amazon Pioneers LLM-less Generative AI, A PR Campaign About Nothing: AWS and Generative AI, Day Two of Amazon’s PR Campaign About Nothing, Amazon’s Relentless PR Campaign About Nothing

The Incoherence Doctrine: The FTC Strikes Again

Hipster antitrust in many ways started with Lina Khan’s law school paper The Amazon Antitrust Paradox. The paper made a broad set of antitrust claims against Amazon, asserting they were anticompetitive because their prices were too low as they focused on building scale and investing for the long term (how dare they!). Khan rode that paper to the chair of the FTC (slogan: “we love to lose“). After a number of other half-assed cases against Big Tech, Khan finally filed “the big one” against Amazon. Despite several years and all the resources of the FTC, the complaint they filed is both much narrower in scope than the original paper and the fundamental charge is Amazon’s prices are too high. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I like Amazon’s chances. And I’m not the only one betting against Lina Khan and the FTC.

Previous: Amazon’s Awesome Antitrust Adventure Approaches, A New Antitrust Doctrine, A Glimmer of Antitrust Sanity, Another Glimmer of Antitrust Sanity?, Taking a Modest Victory Lap on Antitrust, Google’s Turn in the Antitrust Hotseat

The iPhone 15 Sales Pitch

“…um, um, TITANIUM, um, um…”

Titanium was supposed to have low thermal conductivity.

Nuclear Powered Cloud Data Centers Are Happening

Amazon, Apple, Google and Meta, feel free to join the movement.

Previous: Cloud Power Up, A Nuclear-Powered Cloud, When Nuclear-Powered Data Centers?, No Team at Amazon is Working on Nuclear Power

Bonsai AI

Will add him to the CAPEX clowns list.

Previous: Follow the CAPEX: Keeping Up With The Clowns, Follow the CAPEX: Clown Watch, Follow the CAPEX: Separating the Clowns from the Clouds

Private Equity Ruins Everything, Part 837

Way too much money chasing too few real opportunities.

Previous: Perfidious Private Equity

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