Rally for Zephyr & Tim!

lessig:

A week ago today, we watched as thousands raised more than $1.5M for the #MaydayPAC — a commitment to fundamental reform in the way Congress funds its elections. It was electrifying and amazing, and many of us heard the first fireworks as we crossed our $5M goal.

But it just so happens…

There used to be a lot of coal miners, but not any more — strip mines and machinery in general have allowed us to produce more coal with very few miners. Basically, it’s a job that was destroyed by technology long ago, with only a relative handful of workers — 0.06 percent of the US work force — still engaged in mining.
So what is this fight about? There’s capital invested in coal and coal-related stuff, hiding behind the pretense of caring about the workers. And there’s also ideology, of which more soon. But the war on coal already happened, it had nothing to do with liberals and environmentalists, and coal lost.

There used to be a lot of coal miners, but not any more — strip mines and machinery in general have allowed us to produce more coal with very few miners. Basically, it’s a job that was destroyed by technology long ago, with only a relative handful of workers — 0.06 percent of the US work force — still engaged in mining.

So what is this fight about? There’s capital invested in coal and coal-related stuff, hiding behind the pretense of caring about the workers. And there’s also ideology, of which more soon. But the war on coal already happened, it had nothing to do with liberals and environmentalists, and coal lost.

We’ve made loans to about a dozen microbrewers and provided coaching to another 30. They are a lot of fun. For me personally, and for us as a company, it connects us with our small-business roots. And if one of these companies is successful enough that they take some market share from us, well, more power to them. I don’t worry about that. I worry about how we create a beer culture that respects the art of brewing and wants beer with flavor, taste, and authenticity. If we can create that environment, there will be plenty of business for all of us.

In the 1960s in the U.S. it was not unusual for metro newspapers to have 80 percent market share or more. By the 1990s it was under 50 percent in some places. But newspapers kept raising their rates for advertisers, who had to pay more to reach less of the market. The logic was: where else are they going to go? Well, eventually an answer to that question emerged—Google, Facebook—and newspapers discovered how much loyalty they had built up among advertisers.
 
Facebook has “where else are they going to go?” logic now. And they have good reason for this confidence. (It’s called network effects.) But “where else are they going to go?” is a long way from trust and loyalty. It is less a durable business model than a statement of power.