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Let me guess: you’ve never had cancer.


But don't you agree that advertising is analogous to cancer in the tech world? It starts off slow, then gets bigger and bigger, consumes more stuff in its way and transforming/removing the company's core values (like Google's "Don't be evil", or "algorithmic" feeds in Twitter & Instagram) before eventually killing the host when users had enough and leave the platform en masse.

Some would say that paywalls, subscriptions, and in-app purchases ("freemium") models are also cancerous.

Generally, all business models favor growth, not steady state. No matter what Apple is saying now, they face the same pressure that everyone else is to show quaterly growth, continuously. Sooner or later, saturation will hit smartphone sales, performance will plateau, and they will need to seek out ways to either monetize their platform, or nickel-and-dime the users and developers even more.

It is the constant need for growth that is the basis for cancer, and sooner or later, a company either accepts it is no longer a growth company, or it starts to involve itself in little evils that accumulate over time.

Don't believe me? Look at Apple kowtowing in China. Moving iCloud users to unsecure platforms, banning VPNs, and who knows whatever backdoor deals they made with the CCCP to stay on good terms with Beijing. They have sold a little part of their soul in exchange for a huge market in China, and continued ability to manufacture their phones with cheap labor, all to preserve margins and growth. And now they're stuck, Beijing threatens, they'll bend over. In the US, they'll strenuously and publicly fight back against similar measures, but in China, Tim Cook will go to an internet conference and praise how they've managed the internet in China.

Once you're beholden to shareholders, you don't have much choice.

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