Ben Thompson – Platforms, Ecosystems, and Aggregators - [Invest Like the Best, EP.176]

Invest Like the Best

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June 2, 2020, 2:30 a.m.

My guest today is Ben Thompson. Ben is the author of my favorite business strategy newsletter called Stratechery. He’s also the host of the exponent podcast, and now the Dithering, a podcast he recently launched with John Gruber. I think Ben is among the most interesting business analysts in the world, and I’ve learned from and directly applied many of his ideas. We cover many of the major concepts he’s introduced over the years, including his well know aggregation theory. I think that to understand how the internet has changed the business world for good, you must read Ben and follow his thinking. I’m excited to finally have him as a guest on the show. Please enjoy our conversation.

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

 

Show Notes

(01:26) – (First question) – Companies that are built for the next disruption

            (1:32) – The End of the Beginning

(9:58) – Aggregation Theory and the Smiling Curve

(13:18) – Steps to creating an aggregator

(19:46) – Pattern of successful aggregators or luck?

(24:34) – How aggregators interact with suppliers and consumers

(30:49) – Taking on other aggregators

(34:09) – Platform vs aggregator in the scope of Shopify vs Amazon/Walmart

(40:55) – The Moat Map

(46:16) – Value chain thinking and profitable business models

(51:58) – Future of media and independent content creator’s vs bundles

(56:07) – Bundling independent creators

(1:00:37) – The infrastructure layer of technology and software companies

(1:02:35) – His thoughts on gaming platforms

(1:06:13) – The atoms vs the bits in the tech world

(1:12:18) – What he’s learned from covering Netflix

(1:13:46) – Kindest thing anyone has done for Ben

            (1:15:56) – Stratechery Podcast

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag