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Patrick McKenzie+ Your Authors @patio11 I work for the Internet, at @stripe, mostly on accelerating startups. Opinions here are my own. Aug. 27, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

Interesting article by Tyler Cowen on how quality deterioration of services due to covid isn’t covered in inflation statistics: 

I think this is true in the converse too: the consumer surplus for many digital goods got a lot larger.

Zoom was underpriced like most SaaS is underpriced as of December, but as of today Zoom costs basically the same and yet how much of the economy (personal, corporate, worldwide) is utterly dependent on it?

Or for a more prosaic example: how much more do you care that online banking works, how much more are you using Netflix and podcasts, how absurdly useful is Amazon Prime shipping, etc etc, despite all of these things being basically flat in price since Before The Plague?

I wonder as we make adjustments to how we work and live which of these inflationary/deflationary shocks will drive substitution or price changes durably.

Plausibly Zoom says “You know, we priced as videoconferencing software but we’re actually the nerve center of your biz.”

“Just saying, enjoy your next contract renewal. We’re worth it.”

Or will students (or the government) have to more explicitly confront bundled pricing for universities and rationalize it now that the bundle is known to have a risk of no-refunds breakage.

You can follow @patio11.


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