RE: (Very) Basic stuff Steem needs to fix: my personal list
You've clearly done a great deal of thinking on these matters, and I don't think you're wrong. However, I disagree that inflation based rewards are unsustainable, or that advertising is beneficial on a platform wide basis. Despite the apparent contradiction, I don't actually disagree with your financial considerations. It's just that I reckon a growing platform can sustain inflation based rewards - it has demonstrated brief stints of this in the past, during rapid growth - and that advertising revenue will lock Steem on a path that is better avoided. The latter is not a financial matter at heart, but a social one. The social benefits of the rewards mechanism when deployed functionally, as in encouraging content and not profiteering, I believe can nominally create financial incentives.
They have not because profiteering has been encouraged instead, and this has destroyed the social benefits of Steem. Advertising revenues will but continue this destruction IMHO, unless advertising is limited to individual blogs, which ads users can avoid by not reading those blogs if they so choose. Should the platform undertake advertising, that will encourage adblocking, which will kill advertising - and the platform based on it, Steem itself - as a revenue stream. I am slowly coming to grips with the realization that the devs that created Steem seem now to have been intent on abusing the social network in order to personally profit, and this underestimates the power of social interactions, while overestimating (or not at all caring about) the ability of society to be corralled sustainably by cowboys seeking no more than to profit from the herd.
From the perspective of the originators of Steem, it seems to have run it's course. The potential of the voluntarist society the inflation based rewards mechanism enabled has not been adequately developed, and instead has been parasitized, resulting in the disappointment of users initially attracted to that potential and horrible user retention.
I'm a hopeless romantic, and will probably have to turn off the lights after everyone else leaves if the profiteering isn't abandoned for capital gains and social engagement. HF21 prophecies doom from my perspective, and today I but wish I was wrong about that.
I greatly appreciate your sound thinking on the matter, although I reckon focus on financials is the reason we are in this death spiral and focusing on creators is the onramp we missed, focusing on voluntarist society itself, and that can yet get Steem back on track.