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David Schaaf

David Schaaf

Director, Data Engineering
  • I am excited to see Apple push more into services. However, I have my doubts that they can in fact be successful when it comes to streaming and games. For example, can $4.99 a month sustain a streaming service with an ample set of new content over time? Inevitably, I think they will be forced to raise

    I am excited to see Apple push more into services. However, I have my doubts that they can in fact be successful when it comes to streaming and games. For example, can $4.99 a month sustain a streaming service with an ample set of new content over time? Inevitably, I think they will be forced to raise prices to accommodate new content. The real question is how much of this service will be subsidized via Apple’s ample cash resources and how much of this is truly a profitability play. Time will tell.

  • Excellent advice. I would simply emphasize that timing is incredibly important. Your boss should always feel you have their back and are respecting their position, so doing this behind closed doors or amongst trusted peers is important. Also, I would add that there are almost always ways to frame a discussion

    Excellent advice. I would simply emphasize that timing is incredibly important. Your boss should always feel you have their back and are respecting their position, so doing this behind closed doors or amongst trusted peers is important. Also, I would add that there are almost always ways to frame a discussion like this so it comes across as supportive and helpful v directly pointing out a mistake. Ideally you can be direct, but unfortunately many bosses are not receptive to this, so you have to find other ways to get your message across.

  • I am confused by this article. The points the author tries to make are poorly articulated and only loosely tie together, in particular the point around racial diversity. While I agree that diversity does play a role, I think that role is different than articulated. So what is the underlying issue driving

    I am confused by this article. The points the author tries to make are poorly articulated and only loosely tie together, in particular the point around racial diversity. While I agree that diversity does play a role, I think that role is different than articulated. So what is the underlying issue driving the decline in box office?

    1. The amount of video content available to audiences has increased exponentially, enabling the creation of much more nuanced media for specific audiences. As a result, audiences get content via platforms such as Netflix or even more catered platforms such as VRV or Shudder that provide content explicitly aligned to their tastes and diverse needs.

    2. As a consequence of this, Hollywood has opted to create more and more generic fare aimed at appealing to a general audience AND that plays well in the theater. Avengers does well simply because the experience can't currently be recreated in home. More and more sequels are released because it is a safe bet for studios (until recently) in a world where only a few kinds of movies can bring an audience out to the theater, even if the revenue from such films steadily suffers from audience fatigue.

    3. In contrast, indie movies and more targeted movies struggle at the box office, because that experience can be recreated in home AND those audiences can easily find the content they want without going to the theater.

    In short, Hollywood is suffering from the Amazon problem. If I can go online and find exactly what I want v go to the store and find something that is close to what I want, I am going to shop online and only go to the store for the "big purchases" where I really need to go and see and feel what I am getting before I buy it. As a result, Hollywood needs to adapt and adjust to cater to this new reality rather it be at the theater or the comfort of your own home.

  • I find this story interesting, but think it did readers a disservice by not really telling both sides of the story. While a generation earlier than millennials, I moved to Dallas myself from the East Coast 8 years ago for a similar reason: affordable single family homes and a cheaper standard of living

    I find this story interesting, but think it did readers a disservice by not really telling both sides of the story. While a generation earlier than millennials, I moved to Dallas myself from the East Coast 8 years ago for a similar reason: affordable single family homes and a cheaper standard of living. We also moved into an apartment, saved up and eventually landed a home. While it isn't exactly "cheap", the same home in Virginia would have cost me at least 25% more. I know a number of people that have had a similar experience since moving here. With that said, the situation described is a growing problem that can't easily be solved. Even places with laxed zoning laws like Houston are increasingly seeing home prices far outpace what the middle class is reasonably able to afford. Ultimately this is an issue that needs to be addressed if we are to stay a nation of home ownership.

  • I find the whole discussion around privacy fascinating, but also think we need to take a step back and think of the implications. First, why do we have this situation in the first place? The reality is "free" as a business model won out and thus the implication is that something like advertising has

    I find the whole discussion around privacy fascinating, but also think we need to take a step back and think of the implications. First, why do we have this situation in the first place? The reality is "free" as a business model won out and thus the implication is that something like advertising has to fill the void for revenue and by its very nature requires data on its viewers to be successful (regardless of the channel). Second, new laws that attempt to address privacy are tremendously expensive for traditional companies to implement and are a significant new "tax" for those companies. Finally, the promise of AI can only be realized through vast data collection. It still may be the right thing to address privacy concerns, but let's be sure that we consider these three things before fully embracing the crusade of the privacy hawks.

  • While I will not argue with the logic here, I don't doubt the rich are getting audited less if the IRS has less budget to hire auditors, I do disagree with the undertone. The New York Times is known for articles that lampoon the rich and argue income tax rates should go way up, but this really misses

    While I will not argue with the logic here, I don't doubt the rich are getting audited less if the IRS has less budget to hire auditors, I do disagree with the undertone. The New York Times is known for articles that lampoon the rich and argue income tax rates should go way up, but this really misses the point. Consider this:

    1. Why do highly visible, wealthy Americans such as Warren Buffet support an increase in the highest rates? Because most of those Americans make their income through stocks and real estate and generally pay capital gains v income taxes.

    2. What happens when the rich do have to pay these rates? They simply move somewhere where they don't have to pay such rates.

    3. Can we even pay all of the nation's growing financial obligations if we tax the rich more? Unfortunately not. Per the Washington Post article "Ocasio-Cortez wants higher taxes on very rich Americans. Here’s how much money that could raise", even if we taxed Americans making more than $10 billion a year at 70%, the IRS would only bring in an extra $72B per year, all other things held equal. A drop in the bucket overall when we consider the Federal budget is trillions of dollars and growing.

    In reality, we have to find ways to broaden the tax base and have more efficient government. Raising taxes on small groups of people will do little to address the rapidly growing federal debt.