👉 Last Week - Apple takes a hostage, "data-driven" is dead, no more newsletters please (+ THANK YOU)

What happened on Tech Twitter the week of June 14 - 21

Yo! ✌️ I’m Brett! I am a Product Manager, musician, and Twitter power user. Twitter is where all the action happens in the tech industry but it’s not easy to keep up with. I write this weekly newsletter to help people stay informed on the most important discussions happening on Tech Twitter.

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✨ TLDR

😡 Tim Cook took Hey hostage - when Apple says jump, developers ask how high. For Hey, this meant 30% of their revenue, but they didn’t stand for it.

🏗 Data-driven decision-making is lame - data-driven decision-making is a religion at big companies but maybe not at startups.

📰 We may have hit peak newsletter - with everyone writing newsletters we’re all wondering how we’re going to have the time read and money to subscribe to all of them. We’re still looking for answers.

Also - today marks the ✨1 year anniversary of starting Tech Twitter TLDR✨I had high hopes but I never imagined it would be where it is today - 1,301 subscribers (at a 45% open rate) with $0 paid advertising, utilizing an existing large social media following or email list, or forcing any to subscribe for that matter.

I’ll be saving the fanfare for the 1 year anniversary of my first post (next month), but if you want to share this out to see if we can get to 1,800 subscribers by then, I’d be forever grateful! THANK YOU for being part of the journey thus far 🙏


😡 Tim Cook took Hey hostage

Apple refused to approve bug fixes for Basecamp’s new email app unless they agreed to the App Stores 15-30% revenue share agreement. Hilariously, this happened on the same day the EU announced their investigation into Apple’s App Store practices.

The battle was between the “Apple is a monopolistic bully” people and the “you signed up for this, I don’t see the problem” people. In either case, it clearly highlighted the complicated relationship between developers and platforms.

Here are a few takes I found most interesting:

Apple did end up approving the app in the end and vowed that it would let developers challenge App Store guidelines going forward.

📰 We may have hit peak newsletter

Starting a newsletter seems to be the cool thing to do these days. As more follow the trend, many are starting to wonder if we’ve reached peak newsletter. This is both for free and paid - we already get too much email and there’s only so many $5-15 newsletter subscriptions we can pay for.

So where do we go from here? Substack could release a newsletter reader to make it easier to consume only the best newsletter content. Unfortunately this would defeat the entire purpose of newsletters as an unencumbered line between writers and readers.

Bundling is a popular approach that is emerging, and it’s as inevitable as the circle of life.

Paying $50 for 10 publications is better than paying $100 for the same 10. This get’s even more interesting when you unbundle the content from the publication. As a curator myself, I find the notion of paying for a newsletter that curates the best of other newsletters really exciting. This does bring us back into algorithmic newsfeed land but my thesis is that human curation creates trust and community in a way that algorithms cannot.

Read Ari Lewis’s deep dive on bundling for more here.

Web makes the point that many paid subscriptions aren’t just distractions - they “help you build a new world.” And there will always be value there.

The newsletter monetization movement we know today is focused around the 100 true fans concept anyway. Even if there are millions of free and paid newsletters with excellent content, everyone should be able to find 100 superfans that would be willing to pay.

🏗 Data-driven decision-making is lame

This tweet stirred up some controversy.

Naturally a combination is best, but the idea is in a vacuum, using first principles is better than using data. Henry Ford would have built a horse company if he was entirely data-driven.

Check out Sriram’s site for an exhaustive list of frameworks.

✌️ Other great tweets

Click into these threads and articles


🙏 Thanks!

Still on a roll translating tech blog posts to tik tok. Follow me to get in on the fun.