Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Weekend Times

Two articles worth highlighting from the Times this weekend. First, a look at cell phone pricing that’s surprisingly full of interesting points. For instance, when Sprint offered the Fair and Flexible plan in 2004 (“300 minutes for $35, and each additional block of 50 minutes for $2.50”) it would seem like the sort of thing otherwise overcharged mobile customers would jump on. But they didn’t … Because they didn’t like that their bill fluctuated greatly month to month. How crazy is that? Convenience, in this case, was likely worth $20 a month to folks (and calling it convenience is a stretch, after all, autopay is an option).

The second article was a look at Bloomberg (the company, not the dude). They’re especially interesting to me because they’re a media company who is booming while everyone else is struggling/dying. It speaks to something I think will be increasingly important in the media world in the coming years: Journalism as a non-core business. They didn’t buy BusinessWeek to make loads of cash off it (they operate their current magazine at a loss), rather they bought it to extend the brand so that they can build other services that people will actually pay for. Seems to be working so far (the strategy, not the BusinessWeek thing, which just happened).

November 16, 2009