Introducing subscriptions

Today I am launching subscriptions for Tech Specs, at $10 a month.

I need your support in order make this blog a sustainable effort. I know that $10 is not insignificant, but it's honestly what I think will be necessary to get Tech Specs off the ground. I'm trying to keep my costs as close to zero as humanly possible, and to date have funded everything out of pocket.

Your money will go towards:

  • Access to all Tech Specs articles. At least one in-depth piece per week, on average. While it could end being more, I would rather overdeliver than overpromise
  • A small number of free articles for everyone, generally introductory educational pieces or minor news commentary
  • Maybe even better podcast audio quality. It’s theoretically possible…

Some highlights of recent coverage include:

I will continue to write about hardwaresoftware, and design. Examples of topics I would like to address include: the iPhone 8, Fuchsia, virtual reality, augmented reality, deep learning, self-driving cars, HDR, displays, color, battery life, smartwatches, Bluetooth LE, how Apple’s AirPods work, how Android works, the Apple Watch, Android Wear, watchOS, benchmarks, understanding the supply chain, eSIMs, real technology economics and financial theory from academia, and the future of computing.

Some of these topics I can write about in great detail. Beyond that, I have many ideas for the future of the blog. There are also certain guests I would like to host on the podcast (eventually).

There will be no ads, ever. I believe in the subscription model.

Advertising's enormous advantage is of course the democratization of content — everyone has access. I am highly sympathetic to this benefit, which is why I will continue to make introductory articles available to everyone from time to time. They will always be a very important part of the blog.

But the advertising model on the internet is often detrimental. When you have reputable technology websites flooded with highly questionable ads and auto-play videos that greatly inhibit the performance and battery life of readers’ devices, the system is broken. This is not an indictment of journalism, but simply economic reality. And inherently all advertising is consequential to the message of its medium.

For all of these reasons, I prefer the subscription model. It also allows me to avoid the temptation of clickbait headlines. Before publishing a piece I can ask myself whether I even have anything of value to add on a topic. If journalists have already covered it well, then that's great, and I’m happy to share those articles.

I also believe there is a great need for tech coverage that provides at least some of the perspective of the industry itself, and it's worth emphasizing how much the average industry observer does not get to see. Talk to an engineer at any tech company, and it's clear that "how things actually work" is often radically different than how it's portrayed online. There is an tremendous amount of work that goes into creating, testing, and manufacturing tech products, and the vast majority of this work goes completely unappreciated in the public record. What goes into making a product is often just as important as the final result.

I genuinely want to do something different. I’ll do this by covering things that are not normally discussed in the press, or often are not on the internet at all. Sometimes I’ll be able to go into much greater depth on technical subjects. Relatedly, nothing is more important to me than accuracy, and I will always correct any identified mistakes.

Lastly, within the realm of independent content I am indebted to several influences, including Jessica Lessin and The Information, Dan Luu, and Chris Pirillo. My thanks to them for the inspiration.

Thank you all for your consideration and your support. It’s deeply appreciated.