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Swyx “Swipes file” strategy akin to Stratechery’s “ladder-up”

It occurred to me that Shawn (swxy)‘s approach to Swipes Files is a scaled-down version of the “ladder-up” strategy that Ben Thompson uses when explaining how Netflix started.

The starting point is the same: use freely available content to offer a benefit as a way to build up your own base – it could be brand, subscribers, or money.

The steps are similar even though the scale and scope differs. Just as Netflix started with DVDs, we, as individuals, can start with Swipe Files.

What does the “ladder-up” strategy look like? Below is an excerpt from the article, “Netflix Goes Global, iPhone Worry:”

Excerpt from Stratechery

From the same article is an encouraging line:

. . . when it comes to laddering up you take what you can get at the time you can get it.

Stratechery’s Ben Thompson

After reading this article on Netflix, a few questions stuck with me:

  • How do I apply that to an individual?
  • What or who is the incumbent ?
  • What activities would be orthogonal to them ?

In reading the Swipes Files article, I found some answers. I hope they’re useful to you too.

In the “incumbent,” I see myself and that mindset fixated on “traditional” careers. There’s also that “traditional” job application process where every application, every interview is “starting from scratch” as swyx so aptly phrased in. A bit of “side hustling” is in there too. But maybe I’m overthinking the similarity.

What then is orthogonal to that? Much of what’s covered in the Swipe File strategy.

Thank you swyx – you’re making mini-Netflixes 🙂

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.