Thursday, October 11, 2012

Why Does Twitter Suck? Believe It Or Not, It's The Fault Of Republicans

Twitter's deteriorating a great deal these days, both in terms of its UI/UX and in terms of the misguided choices it makes in defining its business model.

"I think of the company as a technology company that is in the media business," [Twitter's CEO] told a room full of editors and reporters. "Our business is an advertising business, we don't sell technology."

This is driven by the economics of venture capital; a modest success, in terms of starting a software business, is an abject failure in VC terms. Thus Twitter never even condescended to compete with the profitable, and customer-charging, but otherwise highly similar business Yammer, opting instead to aim higher, in financial terms, and aspire to becoming Crappy Television 2.0. An enterprise service business which sold for $1.2 billion is just not worth it from a VC point of view.

And why does social media revolve around startups defined under VC terms?

Because Republican policies over the past few decades have overwhelmingly favored the superwealthy, specifically with capital gains tax law, which makes it inevitable that most people with very large amounts of money will invest it in risk-seeking, speculative ways.

This is also why it's incredibly easy to find work if you build tech startups, but very difficult otherwise: Republican economic policies have inflated the profits of risk-seeking, speculative investment so much that it's now a very over-represented form of investment.

In a different economic environment, Twitter -- which began as a very cheap project -- might have made different strategic decisions. If the playing field was not so steeply tilted in favor of capital gains, the more sober economic environment would favor smaller investments, and products which delivered more immediate economic impact.

Twitter sucks because of the Republicans.