Twitter announced their Bluesky project last week.

This is what I had to say about it, on Twitter naturally.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. jason wright

    Yep, do or die.Bluesky…as in ‘thinking’? Come off it.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Reminds me of Blockstack’s “Can’t do evil” drivel, when in fact all of these decentralized systems enable evil, bad actors, the ability to function more fluidly – and it is centralized agencies, organizations, that are left the burden to deal with them – all the while these founders ignore the pitfalls and accountability.Funny part is they’re all framed by the pressures of the VC industrial complex, where the [wrong] solution they’ve had to align with is where they can be financially incentivized to gain unreasonable wealth for relatively little effort.

  2. William Mougayar

    It’s better to shoot yourself in the foot than to let someone else shoot you in the head.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Confused. Who’s going to shoot them in the head?

      1. William Mougayar

        Some other competitor, potentially.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          Is this fear mongering then? Better do something because someone might do it first? But where’s the successful model that Twitter would be mimicking if they adopt whatever they build? Certainly there will be the “army of HODLers” who will adopt the system because they’ll want to onboard the rest of society to realize their gains being an earlier adopter (in the Ponzi-Pyramid scheme designed blockchains) – however people are smarter than that, you just have to get outside of the Bitcoin hype bubble to see it. And the earliest adopters have already made bank and are set for life, otherwise attempting to continue to manipulate and direct market forces.

  3. OurielOhayon

    The problem is that twitter as a company has killed so many third party developers in the past, i am not sure what to make of this.

    1. William Mougayar

      True, but new ones will undoubtedly appear without previous scars, no?

    2. jason wright

      Jack must be hoping that people have short memories.

      1. Matt A. Myers

        I wish who downvoted was known.. so cowardice and lazy people don’t comment instead.

        1. jason wright

          I sometimes add my own vote in support of that in the hope that it might encourage words. Knowing that there’s at least one other dissenter out there might draw them out of their shy shell. It’s yet to work, but you never know.

      2. Twain Twain

        No interest in helping the US to build more toxic tech.https://uploads.disquscdn.c…Instead, I’m doing my artwork …https://uploads.disquscdn.c…And discovering that the AI system I’ve invented has been validated by frontier neuroscience and quantum physics.Use case: CHINESE market.Left the US behind to rinse+repeat its playbook.

          1. Twain Twain

            Thanks for the link. I was in the US with a systems solution to reduce the likelihood of repeats of 2008 Wall St; wanting to help the US innovate, avoid future tech toxicity and to solve Natural Language AI whilst I was at it.None of the product designers, engineers, AI folks and VCs I met were interested or had the expertise to help.They all wanted me to build some app on FB / Google stack. I said, “No, seriously, my system is what needs to be built.”Anyway, it doesn’t matter. After that xenophobic idiot had his unfounded and unhinged rants at me about being Chinese, it crystallized in my mind that the US is an “American Horror Story” and not the “American Dream” I’d believed as a kid.The US is in a lot of trouble and it caused all those problems itself.It did that before 2008. It did that before 2016. It’ll do the same with cryptocurrency and FB Libra. Its toxic behavior reflects its values.

  4. Tom Labus

    Yes, go for it. Past is not prologue in this case!

  5. Michael Brill

    Does anyone have examples of large companies who have transformed themselves like this? I realize tasking someone to hire someone to hire 5 people to look at an idea isn’t exactly a huge commitment, but I just wonder about inertia, innovator’s dilemma, etc. When you make real investments in alternative models, you invariably start to pull your best people off to work on them and then your core business withers. e.g., did Kik really expect to completely bail on messaging apps when they started fiddling with blockchain?

    1. awaldstein

      Nope but anything is possible.Amazon as a really great streaming content company as an example.

      1. Michael Brill

        Agree anything is possible, although Amazon Marketplace might be a bit closer in concept. Even then, Amazon only opens up a small part of the platform to sellers. Imagine Amazon Marketplace defined protocols that allowed any sellers’ products to show up on on any site/app, be managed and fulfilled by any third party, etc. and Amazon then competes on world-class service implementation. Again, not exactly the same as Amazon lacks the competitive imperative that Twitter has, but still it seems like a hard sell to investors.

        1. awaldstein

          Open mind on Twitter, you are correct about Amazon approaching open sourcing anything i think.Too easy–and way to many curmudgeons out there– honestly, to always be negative. Boring and goes nowhere.Open to change is more interesting and more inspiring that a series of no’s which takes me nowhere no matter how clever. .

      2. Matt A. Myers

        Amazon had Netflix model to copy – what successful model is Twitter copying?

        1. awaldstein

          Hey!First off Amazon’s business model for their streaming model is nothing at all like Netflix’s used in different ways as they are complete unique businesses from A to Z.A good story is a good story well told but that is hardly something anyone can copy. Otherwise all movies and episodic stories would work which duh–they don’t. Not even a small percentage of them.Second, I never said and I don’t believe that anyone has done what Twitter is exploring as I understand it.That is the excitement of it.Feel I missed they bluntness behind your question but can’t figure out what you are really asking. You just sound angry about something that is not at all clear and don’t think of you as a curmudgeon.

    2. Vendita Auto

      China plc

    3. Douglas Crets

      Does Microsoft count, at least in some respects and definitely in its wooing of open source developers?

      1. Michael Brill

        Most of their open source efforts are around dev tools and that’s not been a material source of revenue… plus devs demand it. If they open sourced Windows or Office, that’d be more similar (although could you imagine what horrors lie deep in the bowels of old Excel code).

  6. Mike

    It would be interesting to see how this exchange rate gets modeled out for this type of a business model – relative to the token supply (variable over time?), market forces for the underlying product or service etc.You only need to buy tokens once (in exchange for fiat currency) and then can use them throughout the fair.

  7. Adam Parish

    I feel like Keybase.IO and many others are taking this approach.

  8. sigmaalgebra

    Here’s an idea, radical, for Twitter: Make it work with recent versions of the Firefox Web browser!Some weeks ago Twitter didn’t work with my recent version of Firefox; Twitter put up a message “Something went wrong.” or some such. So I tweaked a lot of my Firefox settings, and that did no good. I did some Google searching, saw that others had had the same problem, and assumed that Twitter was just down for everyone. After a few days, I saw no such announcement. So for a browser I tried an old copy of Brave, and it worked!Now I just tried Twitter again, and it works again! I don’t know what went wrong, but usually when the symptoms go away, can’t solve the problem!I like Twitter: There I follow exactly three people and have no desire to follow more.At Twitter the main thing I posted, tweeted, about was just to advise Newt Gingrich to eat only exactly what his wife tells him to eat!One more thing I’d very much like Twitter, and all Web sites, to do: In following the users mouse pointer, never but NEVER put up popup windows that cover the basic content. NEVER.Due to Twitter’s obsessive desire to POPUP, reading tweets is like walking in a minefield, at least avoiding mud holes or stepping on eggs: Jack, to read the tweets, it is crucial to be able to scroll the Web page. And the scrolling is what I need and want to do. Then, when JUST trying to scroll the page, apparently some JavaScript code tracks my mouse pointer position and for various (???) instances of content type, does one of the GD POPUPS covering up just exactly what I’m trying to read. I NEVER want those POPUPS and always HATE them. So, with the POPUPS, I have to STOP reading, figure out what mine, mud hole, egg my mouse pointer went over, look on the screen for some place for the mouse pointer that will close the GD POPUP, and then get back to reading the tweets. BUMMER. Did I mention, I HATE the GD POPUPS?Jack, the POPUPS are from hyperactive, over confident JavaScript programmers with too little to do of importance so to look busy MESS UP the Web pages.I suggest: For the POPUPS, never but NEVER do them without a click from a user. NEVER.The POPUPS are a special case of the decades old “flaming hoop syndrome” where force the user to jump through a flaming hoop just to make routine use of the software. An old example was the continual, insulting, backtalk, insubordinate Do you really want to?. Naw, I just clicked on STOP, QUIT, END, GO_AWAY, FOLD_UP, DIE JUST to get your insulting message blocking my work until I REPEAT my command.If cars did this, then when I had to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting the truck in front of me, there would beDo you really want to? Pressing the brake pedal this hard could cause a skid and loss of directional control. Please first read the NHTSA Web pages on safe driving … “CRASH, tinkle, tinkle, BOOM ….” Ah SH!T. GD car AI!! My first traffic accident since I bought my first car.Maybe JLM will be able to explain what would happen to a smart-ass giving such insubordinate backtalk in Army boot camp.The pages of the Web site for my startup have no popups, pull-downs, or roll-overs. Instead they are just simple Web pages with the long standard HTML controls now 3+ billion people in the world thoroughly understand. So, there are some one-line text boxes, some links, and some push buttons. I don’t need check boxes, radio buttons, or multi-line text boxes. So, my Web pages are just dirt simple to use. And there is NO hidden, undocumented functionality that users have to discover by whatever obscure, frustrating, unreliable means.Indeed, for (i) most of the Twitter functionality, I have no idea how it works; for (ii) much of the rest, I can’t make it work reliably; so I don’t try (i) or (ii). And for (i) and (ii), I have found no reasonable, written, English language documentation, or hardly any documentation at all, on how the functionality works. Jack, if you won’t describe your tools, and so far you have not, then I won’t use them, and mostly I don’t.Jack, I can use the buttons on a microwave oven, but still the documentation, well done, DID help. The core of the problem was Xerox PARC where cognitive psychologists sat in bean bag chairs and wanted a user interface that would be intuitive, self-explaining, learned via just a little trial and error experience, and for direct manipulation of metaphors of more tangible reality and where documentation was not needed. Well, that worked for the panels on microwave ovens but has NOT worked well for a LOT of old shrink-wrapped software and quickly worked poorly on the basic, simple HTML Web — quickly the Web pages had functionality logic that was too complicated for learning via easy discovery.As bad as that was, with JavaScript, it is a LOT worse; here’s how much worse: (A) We had HTML with just the original basic controls borrowed from X-Windows and/or Windows Web Forms borrowed from IBM’s 3270 terminals, i.e., single line text boxes, check boxes, …. Then all the millions of Web pages used just these basic HTML controls; 3+ billion people got used to them; and, thus, right away nearly any of the 3+ billion people could use nearly any of the millions of Web sites. TERRIFIC. World’s greatest example of a network effect!!!![Oops, by mistake I just hit the Windows Key, and Windows 10 did a GD POPUP that covered nearly my whole screen with what the heck I do not know and do not want — another GD POPUP interrupting what I want to do. I wish the Windows key was GONE — Ctrl-Esc was JUST FINE.]But for (B) with JavaScript each of the millions of Web sites redefine the basics of the HTML controls. So, now each of the 3+ billion people has to learn individually via the Xerox PARC experimentation each of the millions of Web sites they want to use. So, with (B) instead of (A), we’re talking factors of hundreds more work for each of the 3+ billion Web users. The person-hours wasted may be the worst in all of history. It’s a BIGGIE. Net, if all the JavaScript programmers who want the world to spend many billions of person-hours in absurd experiments learning their unique, undocumented functionality to replace the basic HTML controls were laid end to end, it would be a good thing.For my Web pages, I wrote no JavaScript at all. Microsoft’s ASP.NET wrote a little for me that looks very standard, but it is optional.Some uses of JavaScript are necessary, but using it to build unique, one per Web site, user interface functionality replacing basic HTML controls is a BUMMER — biggest waste of person-hours in all of history — and still worse when the pages are not documented.I’ve posted here at…that the biggest problem in computing, economic growth, …, civilization is bad technical writing, as a special case, no documentation, as a special case, undefined functionality. A small example — but the biggest waste of person-hours in all of history — is using JavaScript for unique, undocumented, obscure Web page functionality trying to replace the basic HTML controls. My post mentions still worse examples.A simple, first-cut fix — no more GD POPUPS without an explicit request from a mouse click.Gee, PROGRESS!!!! As I type into the Disqus multi-line text box, I see that FINALLY Disqus has fixed their use of JavaScript that made a total mess of a train wreck out of the standard HTML multi-line text box functionality. Progress, back to apparently standard HTML multi-line text boxes, a step forward to correct the big step backward!Now to fix the GD POPUPS!!!At least I don’t have to fix the JavaScript train wreck mess on MY Web pages!!!!

  9. Mike Cautillo

    I love that Jack is such a strong & vocal supporter of Bitcoin, his dedication to Bitcoin via companies like Square crypto funding a full time engineer to further develop on BTC or via CashApp, one of the most popular apps to buy/sell BTC. I think he understands unique protocols.

  10. Matt A. Myers

    This topic never gets into any nuances – like the pitfalls. This is the “The Independent Web” idea that thinks attaching it to a blockchain structure that mimics a Ponzi-Pyramid scheme as a good idea.- it’s not, and holistic thinkers who’re able to see the long-term understand this.I’m sure Twitter’s BOD will try to sell to the shareholders the idea that they’ll be “at the bottom” of the pyramid (or top if inverted), so their crypto-“currency” will realize the most gains, however the unreasonable and unnecessary transfer of wealth won’t be able to compete with a system (blockchain or not) that doesn’t have these unnecessary mechanisms that only rallies the greedy.Twitter’s investors should start worrying – oh wait, they already are:

  11. Richard

    Cryptocurrencies are and continue to be wealth transfer from the poor to the rich and has advanced to make the rich … super wealthy.Where are the museums funded by this tax. There are none. It’s a tax on stupidity. Don’t take my word on it – ask those who have invested why they invested.

  12. Douglas Crets

    I am ready to observe how Africa, crypto, open source, and re-protocolizing blend together to form a new Twitter, and perhaps some new life forms for the web.

  13. Kirsten Lambertsen


  14. Mario Valente

    Gee! Are they going to reinvent ActivityPub and Mastodon/others then?

  15. Matt A. Myers

    If you look at Jack’s thread this betrayal of 3rd-party developers by Twitter was brought up. I think the difference now however is the developers who’d build for this are more of the greedy type who want to try to piggyback on the Ponzi-Pyramid scheme structure of crypto-“currencies.”The only hope that Twitter et al have at causing mass adoption of any crypto-“currencies” is as they trick a large enough mass to spend real $ currency into the system for artificial digital “asset” – so then they become part of the growing “army of HODLers” who evangelize.Twitter’s system, why they didn’t just start using ActivityPub or other fediverse software, is because they’re going to create something that isn’t interoperable nor decentralized – in the same way the internet is.Crypto-“currencies” is a religion people are being indoctrinated into – indoctrinating others into – but a religion where there’s financial incentive to joining, weighted towards the earlier adopters; multi-level marketing anyone?The funniest thing I keep remembering: normal business pitch decks talk about the competition, who’s your competition – and how do you compete with them, especially on price and costs? The foundation of competition is completely ignored by all of these organizations – it somehow all of a sudden isn’t important any longer, just keep on with the hype train.

  16. JamesHRH

    Reviewing the list of User Demanded Twitter features (back when I am done)………………….Yeah, nope. It ain’t there.Solution in search of a user base.

  17. jason wright

    Committing just 5 employees does not suggest to me that it’s a great project. It feels more like shareholder PR to me, and a cheap and easy way to create a sense of future value that is not presently definable in numbers.

  18. awaldstein

    You are confusing currencies and digital assets like an NFT it appears.They are in no way the same and only have the blockchain in common nothing else.Don’t agree at all on your crypto furry, listen less though as you compact a load of stuff that doesn’t belong together. Fine to rant but impossible for anyone to listen seriously if you mush the facts.

  19. Michael Brill

    Were you bitten by a token as a child?

  20. sigmaalgebra

    Naw, sorry Charlie. A secret to success in a lot of activities, especially research, is good problem selection. Just research, hoping for unanticipated, surprising results, is just NOT how good research is done. Instead, good research has something behind it, some good reason, either an application already in mind, e.g., my applied research for my startup, or some fundamentals, e.g., how something important works, the universe, electricity, radioactivity, immunity in medicine, cancer, etc. And as in my startup, can do some applied research based on some fundamentals.Examples:(1) Looking at Maxwell’s equations, nothing was mentioned about how fast the laboratory was moving. The Michelson-Morley experiment was darned curious — ruled out the “ether”. The Lorentz transformation was floating around. So, presto, bingo, Einstein did special relativity. There was no question that he was onto serious stuff, fundamental, rock solid, universally pervasive stuff. E.g., bingo, E = mc^2. E.g., can argue that magnetism is just a necessary consequence of special relativity. Lots of consequences. For something so fundamental, there have to be some practical consequences, and there are.(2) Have a photocell; shine in light and get off an electric current. Easily enough, more light, more current. Now try that with different light colors and see that blue works but too far into the red get NOTHING. Make the red light as bright as you wish, and NO current! How could that be? What the heck is going on? It looks fundamental. And it IS. Big results from that.(3) Look a little and see that special relativity is a small part of something larger and more important, also universal. Use some circumstantial evidence that gravity is related. Soon, get general relativity. E.g., without general relativity, GPS accuracy would suck.(4) Milk maids who get cowpox don’t get chicken pox. Hmm. What the heck is going on here?(5) Some bread molds by accident got into a dish of bacteria and killed them. What the heck!! Saved lots of lives, including mine.(6) The fundamental theorem of arithmetic says that each positive whole number can be factored uniquely into a product of prime numbers, but HUGE effort has shown that for numbers of a few thousand digits the factoring is very difficult. Results: Most of computer security including maybe even crypto!(7) Some heavy elements give off some particles with a LOT of energy. Hmm. What is going on? Looking at the weights in the periodic table of the elements and E = mc^2, begin to guess. Results: The Bomb. Nuclear fission power.(8) The sun shines, puts out a LOT of energy. How the heck? Again look at the periodic table, see hydrogen, deuterium, and helium, apply E = mc^2, and get a BIG clue: The sun presses hydrogen together to make helium, and the loss of mass goes off as BIGGIE energy. The relevant masses were long right there on the big table hanging in high school chemistry class. So, we got fusion bombs, bigger bombs. And if we can get it to work on earth in a controlled way, our energy problems will be OVER for well OVER the horizon.It goes on this way: Good research is the most valuable stuff humans do. But nearly always good research needs good problem selection.

  21. Girish Mehta

    Good comment.

  22. Matt A. Myers

    I’m not down on crypto, if you’re talking about blockchain – and blockchain that isn’t structured as a global, decentralized free-for-all Ponzi-Pyramid scheme.To add, the aligning with that there’s a technological solution to political, cultural problems – of trust, accountability, trust systems, etc – is being blissfully ignorant. The secret sauce you allude to is building real trust and relationships between people, and managing to only allow safe people – think non-bad actors – to participate in the economy, in community, e.g. healthy moderation.Focusing on technology as finding some magic solution is the ego mind fulfilling itself. The actual solution takes personal effort and dedication of time connecting with others, to educate, to be intimate, to heal emotional wounds so hearts and minds (heart energy and mental energy) are capable of opening; open heart meaning trusting state, feeling safe. The issues are organization and steering the ship while countering and limiting the actions of bad actors – that doesn’t happen blindly, that happens with concerted effort by centralized organizations that individuals decide to align with – like the leaders of democratically elected governments.

  23. Bruce Warila

    Truly depends on the five people.

  24. JamesHRH

    Not a single user asking for this.

  25. jason wright

    It does. If they’re that good Twitter core is now in trouble. If not then this project is going nowhere.