Ben Brooks on Readability

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A more detailed, thoughtful reaction to Readability's "pivot" away from paid subscriptions:

I know exactly who Instapaper’s customers are: the app users. Knowing that allows me to know Instapaper’s motives: make the app users happy. In that respect Instapaper and The Brooks Review have the same customers.

With Readability, who is the customer? Is the free user the customer? The VC helping fund it? Or is Readability itself the customer and the Publishers the ones paying Readability to do something they never asked Readability to do? (After all they take 30% before paying out to publishers.)

The fact that I don’t know this about Readability makes me leery of the service.

Something I didn't know that's worth noting, if you're a fan of Readability "supporting" authors through their monthly subscription payments: if you bookmark a site that hasn't opted into the revenue-sharing plan, after a year Readability just keeps your money.

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