Some people may have a moral issue with taking advantage of people's beliefs in woo.
There's a longstanding market for it. Customers are willing to pay. It has been successful in all sorts of mediums in the past, phones , cable tv, magazines... An app can get you closer to the experience of the original in-person visit.
Hell, $2.1bn is probably a massive underestimate. Astrology is just one flavour. Traditional healing is bigger than medicine in many place, and has some presence everywhere. There are several lonstanding american flavours, for eg.
If you define the market widely then the market is religion, and that's a many-trillion-$ market.
The path from astrology app to religion app is farely straightforward too. A lot of politicians, CEOs and such have personal religious advisors.
I kinda want in. Sounds fun.
“Of course the phase of the Moon and the stars affect our personalities! How could they not?!”
You and I might read that as a joke or laugh if it were in a TV script, but these exact words were delivered to me verbally and sincerely. I trashed the article elsewhere on here, but I have been mulling over sending this article to her, just can’t decide if I’m up for another lecture. That said, there is entertainment value to be had here.
> “Sure!” I typed into the app. It was just vague enough that if I did a little mental backbend, I could find examples to support her conclusions.
And at the end...
> It felt like a convenient conclusion, given her company’s interest in getting me to write a story. Then again, who was I to argue with the stars? With my blood? It felt absurd, but also just satisfying and amusing enough that I did not reject the suggestion. Instead, I said, “Sure!”
Astrology is a daily thing for a lot of people for a variety of reasons. 'Alternative medicine' - most of it is objectively quackery (with some possible value leveraging placebo) is also monster, monster business.
We also tend to overlook how massive a lot of regular businesses are. Trucking. Moving. Groceries. Aviation. Energy. Automation. Insurance. Retail banking. All massive.
This is one of the reasons that Uber is so big, and there's so much activity in 'self driving cars'. It makes 'high tech' look small.
FYI note the progress from 'Silicon Valley' being actual Silicon (!), to hardware/software, to basic internet, to cloud services, and then to 'tech enabled business' like Uber, AirBnB etc..
'The Valley' isn't interested in tech, they're interested in how tech can transform/multiply 'the rest of the economy'.
It looks like SV is thinking that it can monetize meditation, yoga, and esoteric practices, but it will be in vain. Your shitty, lifeless, little smartphone cannot provide a direct and emotional connection that replicates a real human interaction.
The most disturbing part of this article is that the investor openly says, "Yeah. These girls are struggling, but fuck them! I want to make money, even if that means further exploiting these girls!".
Sadly, this is your average SV perception. Good luck finding peace or enlightenment in your device!
If you would care to step outside your mechanistic, "scientific" cage for a moment and look at the full moon once in a while ask yourself this - is it so far-fetched that man might impute siginificance to the fact that the lunation cycle divides the year into 12? 12 is no ordinary number. 11 would not have been significant, nor would 13. Then consider that there are 7 planets visible to the naked eye and meditate on the mathematical connection: 7 = 3 + 4 ; 12 = 3 x 4. Without any zodiac signs involved at this stage you already have a rational argument for the universe, or at least our bit of it, being non-random. The ancients had a lot less technology than we have but maybe they were wiser.
Disclaimer: I know a woman who is friends with the author and is very fond of her.
Assuming you mean "The lunar cycle" - I was not aware that it divided the year into 12 at all (there are more than 12 in a year). If you ascribe significance to the nearest round number, that feels like stretching
> 12 is no ordinary number. 11 would not have been significant, nor would 13.
in what sense? 11 and 13 are at least prime, 12 is incredibly ordinary.
12.3 is not divisible by 3 or 4, is not special or whole or interesting.
Manipulating things in an attempt to make them significant is ludicrous. Should there be higher powers and deeper meanings driving things, they would be exact.
A brief glance at the article reveals that the "Good advice" relates to logging out of the app and never using it again.
When I plugged my information into Co-Star, it came already stacked with two dozen “updates” charting my position relative to the stars. I learned that my moon is “conjunct to natal Venus,” which meant I should “spend time with friends” because I was “particularly magnetic” that day. Also, my Mars is “quincunx to natal Sun,” so I should “excavate and examine the person you really are” and also “take a break from social media if you can.”
It was good advice. I logged out of the app and never returned.
Not super important in the grand scheme of things, but I found it quite amusing.
Also, how is one meant to read this?
> jobs ∀ costarastrology.com
jobs forall costarastrology.com? jobs universal quantification costaratrology.com?
Take Calm for example.
Meditation/Bedtime stories app
Sound bad right?
Well, those guys found a way to make meditation approachable for anyone.
People who never thought before listening to a bedtime story, understand now that it can help to release daily stress
The article actually does a pretty good job of explaining the field of Astrological snake oil software and the motivations behind it. VC’s are putting money in it because they seem to be able to plausibly get a fat ROI.
BUT: The New York Times also manages to twist contemporary American politics into the article, somehow, and link the increased popularity of this snake oil to the current sitting President’s election. That is to say, the New York Times can’t even write about an investment trend or fad or whatever into a very popular brand of snake oil (which you can now get a $20 monthly consultation subscription for!) without blaming it on the President.
So this article is dumb, but as a data point on the scale with which to measure the present day quality of this particular newspaper, it is actually fascinating and insightful.
If you are not worrying about the first few layers of Maslo's pyramid, then this sort of perpetual politicking becomes a real risk.
>>President Trump’s election inspired Ms. Guler to leave her work in fashion media and create Co-Star. “I was like, ‘We gotta figure out something more meaningful than what we are doing,” she said. The role social media played in the election — and how “it is changing how we operate as humans in the world” was a part of her concern, Ms. Guler said.
>> But that explanation ignores what many in the astro-verse consider the major turning point for Big Zodiac: The election of Donald Trump. It changed everything, according to Aliza Kelly, the astrologer-in-residence at Sanctuary. (She writes its horoscopes and conducts some of its readings.) Watching The New York Times’s forecast needle tip from Hillary Clinton to Mr. Trump raised people’s doubts about certain scientifically proven systems, Ms. Kelly said. “People became so much more receptive to the idea of there being different ways of seeing the world,” she said. They turned to astrology “in order to create some sense of structure and hope and stability in their lives.”
So for “many”, we have one snake oil salesman claiming that Trump’s election changed everything, and one snake oil salesman who decided to follow her dream and sell snake oil, obviously inspired by America’s choice of Presidents.
I did not vastly overstate anything and stand by what I said: of all the research, interviews and commentary they had available to them, Erin Griffith of the New York Times and/or her editors made a decision to include this as part of their article. They did, from what I see here, twist the 2016 election into the narrative of the story they were trying to tell when their story probably could have stood up better without the two paragraphs you and I quoted.
You could say it is only two paragraphs, and you would be right. However, if you write it into your article and publish it on the website or in the print of the largest newspaper in America, you are choosing to tell that story. Subjectively, maybe it was worth telling? I don’t think it was, but you or anyone here is free to disagree.
(You got a upvote from me.)