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Photo by Mark König on Unsplash

I’ve been an avid user of TikTok since quarantine began, and as a former skeptic, I now admit I was wrong to have doubted. It’s everything that people claim it is: Vine, but better, YouTube, but better, the future of social media, now. Not only has it provided me with endless hours of entertainment, it’s also given me the urge — and ability — to actually create content for TikTok, an urge I have not had with any other platform. …


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Photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplash

Last year, Spotify was responsible for two gigantic acquisitions in the nascent podcasting space: Gimlet, a podcast production company, for 225 million, and Anchor.fm, a podcast hosting service, for 110M. These two deals combined was greater than the total of podcast revenue in 2019, 315 million. Spotify didn’t stop there with the splashy numbers — in May this year, Spotify announced a groundbreaking 100 million dollar exclusivity contract with Joe Rogan, creator and host of the Joe Rogan Experience (JRE), launching sometime next year.

At first glance, this push into podcasts makes a lot of sense for Spotify, one of…


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Is that Cody Ko on the left?

I continue to be fascinated by the rise of the influencer economy, an evolution of fame and celebrity from the widespread adoption of digital media platforms. YouTubers, Instagram models, Twitch streamers, and TikTokers have all amassed audiences by producing popular content on their respective platforms. They defy the traditional routes to fame in TV, music or film, to focus on fostering more intimate connections with their followers. …


When I think of products underpinning our economy that are ripe for disruption, my mind first jumps to Microsoft and its overwhelming hold on enterprise productivity. Microsoft deserves credit for dramatically accelerating the productivity growth of corporate America by bringing us Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more, by leveraging the power of computing. They were also the first to identify the massive recurring revenue opportunity in selling Office licenses on a subscription basis, way before the rest of us realized that subscription-based SaaS was the B2B business model of the future.

Having said all that, I am now coming out… as…


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Quibi is not doing well. Despite ambitious goals to achieve 7.4 million monthly subscribers by the end of 2020, leadership now projects a dismal 2 million. Only about 8% of users converted to paying customers at the end of the free trial. We might attribute this to the extremely crowded field of streaming services, but compare Quibi’s debut to the wildly successful launch of Disney+ last fall, which now has more than 28 million subscribers.

In case you are not plugged into the world of new streaming platforms, Quibi is a short form premium video service featuring a completely original…


Starbucks’s innovations on caffeinated beverages and strong lifestyle brand have made it one of the most iconic consumer companies in the world; it is the premium-economy café experience that has massively influenced the coffee culture of the past 20 years. It was one of the first beverage brands to create a mobile application, all the way back in 2009. Now, the mobile app has grown to encompass a variety of functions for its users, and bizarrely, it is currently the most popular mobile payment method as of 2018, beating out Apple Pay.

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Doesn’t that look delicious? Photo by Naufal Giffari on Unsplash

Before we explore what makes its mobile…


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It’s 2019, and it seems like everyone and their mother is trying to get into the subscription-based streaming market. The current major players, Netflix, Hulu, and HBO, are getting ready to face the onslaught of new offerings from Disney, ABC, Amazon, Apple, and others. Yet one company that seemed poised to easily move into subscription-based streaming has tried and failed for several years now: YouTube.

The first iteration of YouTube’s premium service debuted in 2015 with YouTube Red. Since then it has undergone a rebranding, renamed simply to YouTube Premium (YTP for brevity) in 2018. At the end of 2016…

Larry Liang

Harvard ’20. Writing about tech and media.

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