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Blog Free or Die (graded)

mathbabe, Explain your revenue model to me so I’ll know how I’m paying for this free service, here.

When you find a website that claims to be free for users, we should know to be automatically suspicious. What is sustaining this service? How could you possibly have 35 people working at the underlying company without a revenue source?

We’ve been trained to not think about this, as web surfers, because everything seems, on its face, to be free, until it isn’t, which seems outright objectionable (as I wrote about here). Or is it? Maybe it’s just more honest.

When I go to the newest free online learning site, I’d like to know how they plan to eventually make money. If I’m registering on the site, do I need to worry that they will turn around and sell my data? Is it just advertising? Are they going to keep the good stuff away from me unless I pay?

And it’s not enough to tell me it’s making no revenue yet, that it’s being funded somehow for now without revenue. Because wherever there is funding, there are strings attached.

OK here’s our revenue model.

  1. Always raise when dealt full house or better unless you are playing baseball. +1
  2. Exchange traded interest rate swap market microstructure knowledge will help pay off the kids’ college loans – 0
  3. Do not pay more than 20 USD for Dwight Howard in the upcoming fantasy basketball season. Bad back; shitty FT%/TOs; and you will not additionally get Rondo and BGriff at par if anyone at your auction is awake. +1
  4. The Seventh Seal is better than Seven Samurai but just a little better. +1
  5. Always bet on Lipton in a theory fight, footage from early STOC and FOCS here. + 1
  6. After you know what the floating point quant code is actually doing; just worry about keeping the FP units busy don’t think too much about the L2 cache hit rate unless forced. +1
  7. Read everything written by Neal Stephenson, Sarah Vowell, Walter Rudin, Barbara Tuchman, Tom Sharpe, John Keegan, Winston Churchill, Woody Allen, Harold N. Shapiro, Flannery O’Connor, and John Toole before reading anything by Nassim Taleb or you won’t get it. +1
  8. Running Mountain Lion at home will end in tears but what choice do you really have? +1
  9. Stay synchronous unless you are doing IO. There are only 5 people who can really do asynch stuff well and I forgot their names and they are not on LinkedIn. Oh, and avoid doing IO. +1
  10. Buster Keaton or Chaplin but sometimes Paul F. Tompkins or Greg Proops and always the old Bedazzled, Chebyshev polynomials, and This Will Destroy You. Definitely not anything running -O2, or written for MIX, or playing at the soul depleting AMC Hamilton 24 (except maybe Dark Knight and Tropic Thunder didn’t totally suck, Oh and Sherlock Holmes and Zoolander, but nothing else, well LOTR, Stepbrothers, Bridesmaids, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Ballad of Ricky Bobby, and Gladiator of course). +1

90 percent – not terrible.

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