I recently signed up for MasterClass, as there were more than just a few people giving courses that I'd love to hear from. I started with Steve Martin's course on comedy. I don't think I learned anything specific that I'd call out, but I did get a solid overview of his thought process and I found it very enlightening. I then took Shonda Rhimes Teaches Writing for Television, and found it even more useful, as I'm working on a television screenplay (don't worry, it's for fun. It's going to suck. But I want to do it).
When I was in high school, in the 80s, I was part of a group that hacked into corporate voicemail systems so that we young hackers could communicate. Voicemail was pretty obscure then. You could find me, around lunchtime, at the payphone on campus, picking up and leaving messages. (Note for the young, look up "payphone" if you need to).
UPDATE, 26 September, 2019 - The FTC is suing Match.com for just the situation I describe in this blog post!
Match.com has a fake problem. That is, they have a problem with fake accounts and there is a clear reason why they have, for years, refused to do a single thing about it.
I get the idea of software subscriptions. Back in the day, you'd buy software, get a CD (or a stack of floppies if you're that tenured), install the package and away you'd go. After a while, a new version would be available and you'd either get it as part of your original purchase or have to decide if you wanted to pop a few bucks for the new version, almost always at a discounted price.
These days, most software now costs a monthly fee to use. Stop paying that fee, and some packages lock you to the current version while some go as far as to just stop working at all. That is, you get to use the software as long as you keep paying. It's almost like renting the package.
Now, in the case of something like, say, Adobe Photoshop, I can see this model as viable. Adobe regularly pushes not only performance improvements, but refinements and new features as well. Consider what the suite used to cost, including the typical 12-18 month update cycle, and the subscription comes pretty close. Adobe provides value to the. model.
On the other hand, I'm looking at a package that automates an Internet task. For the most part, the package is very static. Now and again the producers have to make a small change to adapt to changes in third party integrations, but those are few and far between. Further, they support eight platforms and charge $29.99/month for one, and $59.99/month for all of them. Those are the options. Yet knowing how this software works, the differences are almost non-existent. The configuration considers all platforms and it's just an upload task that differentiates them.
There is absolutely no value added in paying monthly for this software that not only doesn't change, but has very little differentiation and uses zero resources provided by the author. That is, it's not even a web service. It's a reasonably robust automation engine. That's it.
Further, this is the kind of package you'd use initially, and then would likely sit unused for months until you had another need for some automation. You'd be paying a monthly fee for no updates and just the option to have it available should you need it.
But people are conditioned now to pay a subscription, even for software that doesn't justify it. Thus, almost all software now carries a subscription model.
I believe this is where I say, "get off my lawn!" :-)
Have you noticed that in science fiction movies made decades ago, electric cars had a particular noise? That whining-whirring noise that everyone thought electric cars would make? And have you noticed that, sure enough, that's exactly the noise that they make now?
Maybe it's just me, but I think that's kinda cool and interesting.
Or I'm just killing time before lunch ;)