Apple Brought a Rocket Launcher to a Gun Fight in a Nuclear War

Apple v. Epic, indeed...

Watching the Apple v. Epic courtroom battle from afar has been fascinating. On one hand, it seems pretty clear that Apple is going to win this case on various legal grounds and precedents. On the other, they clearly have so much more to lose than this case.

That’s why I was surprised that Apple allowed it to go this far. Which is to say, to court. Where again, ruling aside, both public opinion and more importantly, discovery come into play. Look, I get it. Apple feels duped. And they were! And they feel wronged. And, I mean maybe? But regardless, come on, Apple, you’re a $2 trillion company. The world’s only $2T company, in fact.

You’re no longer the resistance battling Big Brother IBM. You’re no longer the David fighting the Microsoft Goliath. In terms of market cap, you’re now bigger than both of those old foes, combined. Granted, Epic is no pipsqueak, but your revenue last year alone was 10x what Epic is worth as a private company. You’re not just fighting down, you’re now Big Brother Goliath fighting down. Even if you win, you lose.

Obviously, Apple is hoping a win in court will both make a statement and set a new precedent for the way they are operating and wish to continue operating the App Store. But no matter what the courts decide here, the public, and by extension, the regulators are just gearing up for a new, much larger battle. And as a direct result of all the various things unearthed in discovery for this trial, you’re going to lose that battle. And that matters because it’s the actual fight on which the war will be decided.

And that’s why I have to believe that Epic’s maneuver here wasn’t a calculation for today, but for tomorrow. And while they’ve been saying this is about more than Epic, such cliches often ring hollow — here, I’m not so sure. What started as a savvy PR move to poke the bear,1 actually may have ensnared the bear in a trap. And the bear viewed the trap as a giant den of honey.2 And ate the whole thing. He just couldn’t help himself. And now he actually can’t help himself.

The die is cast. Apple is now in a war they cannot win, after they win this battle.

Great Stuff

💉 Millions Are Saying No to the Vaccines. What Are They Thinking?

If you’re dumbfounded as to why people who can won’t get the vaccines — why they wouldn’t help themselves, if nothing else?! — this piece by Derek Thompson feels like a great primer.

🗣 99 Additional Bits of Unsolicited Advice

Kevin Kelly has 99 pieces of advice and I can’t pick just one (to share).

🌎 Ari Emanuel Takes on the World

Everyone knows the Ari from Entourage character, but the real man is far more complicated, in ways good and not-so-good.

😞 There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: Languishing

Everything is fine. And the same. Over and over again. Yeah, this resonates.

🕊 A Lonesome Dove

Larry McMurtry had quite the life. But beyond the novels and screenplays, check out his bookstore and book collection — one of the largest.

📈 Scale Was the God That Failed

Great title, great piece by Josh Marshall, the founder of Talking Points Memo, on what went wrong with the promise of digital publishing.

Fun Stuff

  • If you’re anything like me, with the world on the verge of opening up, you need some inspiration for turning down events again. You’re welcome. 💌

  • The highest valued public companies from 30 years ago looks um, quite different. Yikes, Japan. 🇯🇵

  • Remember ‘Disaster Girl’? Of course you do, she’s still meme’d all over the place. And her revenge is sweet. 🔥

  • I knew what the most profitable “game” in Vegas was, but didn’t realize how much ahead of everything else it truly is. Wow. 🎰

  • If you haven’t watched For All Mankind yet, do so (more on that below), then read Alan Sepinwall’s review of the Season 2 finale. Both are worth it. 🌑

  • The tasteful thickness of NFTs as business cards… 📇

My Stuff



🔫 With Remorse

Give us the Tom Clancy Cinematic Universe, you cowards

🥕 Carrots Before Sticks

The masks come off, but the vaccine battle rages on…

Farewell Zoom, Soon


The analogies must continue!


Do bears actually like honey, or just Winnie the Pooh?