Let’s Pretend the Last 20 Years Never Happened

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

Ben Thompson writing for Stratechery:

Skeptics argued for years that “That’s fine for Ben”, the insinuation being that I was some sort of unicorn. In fact, one of the most exciting stories of 2021 has been the absolute explosion in subscription-based blogs, primarily thanks to Substack, very much a web2 company. Other mediums like podcasts aren’t far behind.

Ben hits on something that drives me mad about tweets like this.

With NFTs, for the first time ever…YOU can decide which artists will define this generation. YOU can access their art before they get big YOU can make them big, by voting with your wallets.

Truly, what does this person think has been happening in the big bad Web 2.0 world for decades? Artists and creators, in general, have been circumventing gatekeepers for ages now and it had nothing to do with crypto, it was the core ability of the internet and platforms to give these people a voice.

Who hired Ben Thompson to write Stratechery? Who did I interview with to start a YouTube channel or this blog? Nobody. We wanted to do them, we used the easily accessible and affordable tools at our disposal to get going, and people told us whether we were worth supporting or not. Some of it’s via advertising, and some of it is via direct support from our followers.

And we’re just two examples, there are literally millions of people doing this in all sorts of mediums and at scales ranging from zero income to many millions of dollars per year.

I would take web3 bros more seriously if they didn’t act like the last 20 years of democratization of art and opportunity never happened.