The Aggregation Theory: What’s the Internet’s future? | Acquired
In this enlightening conversation with Ben Thompson, the creator of the Aggregation Theory, we dive deep into the underpinnings of the tech behemoths’ success.
Thompson unveils the concept of Aggregation Theory, its evolution, and the challenges of documenting it in a book format, while also offering a unique perspective on the future of the internet.
The Genesis of the Aggregation Theory
The Aggregation Theory was born out of a need to explain the unprecedented success and dominance of tech giants like Facebook.
The theory has helped to demystify the business models and strategies of these companies, offering valuable insights into their meteoric rise.
The Dilemma of Documenting the Aggregation Theory
Writing a book on the Aggregation Theory poses unique challenges.
The dynamic nature of the tech industry, the fear of freezing ideas in time, and the preference for daily writing over long-form content present significant obstacles to the creation of a comprehensive and timeless book.
The Centralization of the Internet
Contrary to popular belief, the internet is centralizing, not decentralizing.
This centralization has played a critical role in the rise of tech giants, providing them with the platform and the power to dominate the digital landscape.
Twitter should have had disappearing tweets from day one. It should have always been just in the moment sort of Social Network. That’s a big reason why Twitter is not what it used to be because now people are scared. – Ben Thompson
The Power of Predictions
The ability to predict trends and developments in the tech industry is a valuable skill.
Accurate predictions about the continued success of Apple, the increased centralization of the internet, and the growing dominance of Facebook have helped to validate the Aggregation Theory and enhance its credibility.
The Impact of Permanence on Social Media
The permanence of content on social media platforms like Twitter can have a profound impact on user behavior and engagement.
The fear of having tweets permanently on record can deter users from actively participating and expressing their thoughts freely, thereby diminishing the appeal of the platform.
The Influence of Branding
Branding plays a crucial role in the recognition and acceptance of a concept.
By giving a name to the Aggregation Theory, it has gained traction and become more widely recognized within the tech industry and beyond.
The Interest in Building Software and Podcasts
Exploring new avenues such as building software and podcasting can provide fresh perspectives and insights.
Despite the challenges and hesitations, these ventures can offer valuable learning experiences and opportunities for growth.
The internet is centralizing, it’s not decentralizing. Everyone’s understanding the dynamics are completely wrong. Again, today everyone understands that but it was, believe it or not, very controversial a decade ago. – Ben Thompson
The Significance of Timing
The timing of a piece of writing can significantly affect its reception.
Writing about current events can make the content more relatable and engaging, even though it may not be as relevant or impactful in the long term.