Marc Andreessen, the founder of Netscape who then went on to become a founding partner in the leading venture capital firm Andreesseen Horowitz, wrote a very thought-provoking and often cited piece in the August 20, 2012 edition of The Wall Street Journal entitled Why Software Is Eating The World. (Subscription required.) To vastly oversimplify his thesis, an ever increasing number of businesses are run almost entirely on software and delivered online. He predicted the velocity of this change would continue to increase for the next ten years.
Yesterday, October 28, 2014, as an update to that, Benedict Evens of Andreessen Horowitz presented a 45-slide presentation at the 2-day WSJD Live Global Technology Conference entitled Mobile is Eating the World. This was also the subject of some very concise coverage on The Wall Street Journal’s Digits Blog in a story entitled Never Mind Software – Mobile is Eating the World by Evelyn M. Rusli. To briefly recap it, mobile technology is having a major and growing impact on nearly everything we do each day and on a broad spectrum of traditional industries. Among many other key points in this presentation:
- WhatsApp, recently purchased by Facebook, is dominant in mobile messaging and demonstrates how a small develop team such as this was able to have such a tremendous impact on this market.*
- A widening gap between the increasing aggregate time spent on mobile devices versus the decreasing aggregate time on desktop systems.
- Mobile platforms are were users are spending more and more of their “waking hours”.
- Over time, phone calls and emails will decline while messaging and social media will increase on mobile devices.
- Very significant business and technical opportunities await in the mobile world.
I highly recommend clicking through to all of the above links for this slide deck, conference and report. The slide deck itself is also particularly enlightening about, among other things, growth prospects, market forces, market segments, costs, key companies in different mobile sub-sectors, and mobile supply chain dynamics. There is much to consider here for anyone having anything to do with mobile, which is, by definition, all of us.
For further reference, I also suggest a look back at this July 31, 2014 post on The Subway Fold entitled Mary Meeker’s 2014 Internet Trends Presentation which also covered the exponential growth of mobile technologies and put that in context and perspective with many other of the very latest trends in online technology, economics and culture.
* See also Facebook’s $21.8 Billion WhatsApp Acquisition Lost $138 Million Last Year by David Gelles in yesterday’s (October 28, 2014) edition of The New York Times, that despite this loss, Facebook has an extensive long-term technological and financial plans for WhatsApp. I also recommend a click-through and full read of this for its full coverage and enlightening details of FB’s corporate strategy for this multi-billion dollar messaging platform.