Cold Takes: Vote.

Just one word today: Vote.
M.G. Siegler
Cold Takes: Vote.
By M.G. Siegler • Issue #25
Just one word today: Vote.

5ish Links
Emily Chang and Dina Bass, talking to Steve Ballmer:
What about that famous quote where Ballmer said Apple Inc.’s iPhone would never sell because it cost too much? He now wishes he’d realized how Apple was going to make it work – through mobile carrier subsidies.
“I wish I’d thought about the model of subsidizing phones through the operators,” he said. “You know, people like to point to this quote where I said iPhones will never sell, because the price at $600 or $700 was too high. And there was business model innovation by Apple to get it essentially built into the monthly cell phone bill.”
I assume his high level point is that the iPhone sold less well at the full $700 price than once Apple got AT&T to start subsidizing it (giving up their cut of the monthly bill, in the process). But this reads as completely disingenuous. The idea of phone subsidies was hardly new – this is how you got free flip phones in the early 2000s. Newsflash to Ballmer: those phones didn’t actually cost $0 to produce. And you’d think he would know that since many Windows Mobile devices were sold this way…
At a high level, all that matters is that Microsoft totally missed the boat on smartphones. And, “business model innovation” aside, he was wrong to not view the iPhone as the biggest threat to his business ever. Both of those are on him. 
Speaking of excuses, Felix Gillette on the NFL ratings situation:
The NFL has reacted to all the hyperventilating on its behalf with reassurances that everything will be fine. On Oct. 19, Commissioner Goodell (who didn’t respond to an interview request) held a news conference in Houston after the league’s annual gathering of team owners. The questions quickly turned to the ratings. Goodell suggested that the problem isn’t so much that fewer people are watching, it’s that they’re watching for shorter periods of time. He added that he didn’t believe there was any single variable driving people to distraction. “There are a lot of factors to be considered. We don’t make excuses,” he said. Then he made a couple.
Also be sure to read the intro about the commentary during the game drifting to sleep, quite literally. 
Warren Buffett:
“When somebody calls, I can usually tell within two or three minutes whether a deal is likely to happen or not. There’s just half-a-dozen filters,” he said, gesturing toward his head. “And it either makes through the filters or not.”
The thinker.
The Economist on Tom Ford’s move into filmmaking from fashion: 
But Mr Ford says that the move has been “a very natural transition”, and that “a very similar skillset” is required in both disciplines. “You have to have a vision. You have to have something to say. You then have to then go out and hire very, very talented people to help you. You have to give them space to perform and create. At the same time, you have to guide them towards your own ultimate goal.”
I recall seeing A Single Man in theaters several years ago without realizing who the director was. As his name went up in the end credits, I thought it was just a new director with the same name as the fashion guy – common name, after all. But no. It was that Tom Ford, and the movie was very good. Beyond impressive to be that good at two separate things, no matter how “natural” the transition. 
It really is pretty incredible how many unneeded replies simple emoji reactions can cut down on. I WISH email had this. 
500ish Words
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M.G. Siegler
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