Mobile Is Eating The World

Benedict Evans is quickly becoming my favorite Internet analyst. I follow his blog and twitter religiously. This slideshare he posted a few weeks ago is an example of his excellent work:



Comments (Archived):

  1. Vineeth Kariappa

    gr8 presentation. ty. But, what is your opinion on facebook bein compared to apple, amazon?

    1. John Best

      I think there have been enough rumours of a “facebook phone” to show that Zuck’s interest lies beyond the immaterial of social.

      1. awaldstein

        Immaterial of social?

        1. John Best

          Intangible, rather than inconsequential 🙂

          1. awaldstein

            Sorry,,,still don’t get it.Social is neither immaterial or inconsequential.Social on mobile not as a gateway in but as a platform in itself..that’s what Facebook needs to think about.

          2. John Best

            Physical, rather than online.Hardware rather than a software function.I believe that Facebook know the simplest way to tie people into their ecosystem is a dedicated personal platform.

          3. awaldstein

            Thnx, don’t see it this way.Huge believer in the pent up power of Facebook. Firmly convinced that their rather pointed nudging of the masses on their platform shows that they know what they have but don’t have much of an idea of what to do with it.

          4. leapy

            I agree completely. FB are embedded on everyone’s desktop / messaging / alerts but FB don’t know how to convert that yet. FB need to be more immediately relevant to live events. Where were FB with the Turkish demonstrations? Twitter and Tumblr stole the show.

          5. awaldstein

            Yup, everyone is there. Everyone questions why. Everyone comes back.They are completely clueless about how to ride their own massive wave.

          6. John Best

            Which I think is a function of how bad FB still is at mobile. Drop a device with it embedded into protestor’s hands, however and it’ll get greater penetration (imho)

  2. LIAD

    Mobile is also eating attention span ==> relationships ==> humanity

    1. Anne Libby

      Hah, I think we’re doing that to ourselves…and I think there will be advantage for those who are actually paying attention to the world as it unfolds. (Whoa, cynical thought for the day.)

      1. laurie kalmanson

        attention is the scarcest thing

        1. Anne Libby

          Once we spend it, we never get it back.

          1. laurie kalmanson

            they aren’t making any more of it

    2. awaldstein

      Whoever said that attention is the new currency, is correct.

      1. Barry Nolan

        Utility too

        1. raycote

          Good point!After all the noise settles out isn’t utility always the main driver of human attention given its core survival-stratagy status?

      2. raycote

        I see a lot people kicking around the idea of Peek Attention as in Peek Oil ?Attention does have a rather biologically fixed upper limit even when extended by cyber-gear or maybe thats just me not being able to see over the event horizon of my aged perspective?

        1. awaldstein

          i think attention is like stamina. Some people are just wired to cut through all the noise and come out with something on the other side.

          1. CJ

            True and other people have to work hard at it, but ultimately it’s possible to improve IF you want to.

    3. Elie Seidman

      well said

    4. kidmercury

      only if you let it. i meet more people than ever, face to face, thanks to mobile. i realize others misuse it, as always happens with technology.

      1. Fernando Gutierrez

        A couple of days ago I overheard a couple having a dispute because he had not answered fast enough in Whatspp. And she could see that he was connected. It felt weird.

        1. laurie kalmanson

          that phone, just sitting there…that paper and ink … just sitting there …that coal and stone wall …

        2. Dave W Baldwin

          Damnit, I was so worried about big brother… I now have to worry about my wife?

          1. fl1nty

            The NSA cud make a killing by providing a real time status service 🙂

        3. kirklove

          I don’t care for timestamps on received messages and online status for messaging apps precisely because of this.

          1. Dale Allyn

            Having the option to be visible or invisible is a nice feature, and one I appreciate with Skype. It should be a standard setting option on more services.

          2. fredwilson

            we have had this issue to deal with since BBM launched

      2. awaldstein

        I meet more and more people that start as web connections for certain.Mobile as the connector, how so?

        1. laurie kalmanson

          this conversation for example

          1. awaldstein

            Not for me. This community sits on top of the conversational thread and the plumbing is Disqus.And today, Disqus and mobile are not a comfortable match.When they are, yes, I agree.

          2. LIAD

            disqus on mobile (IOS at least) is hard hard work. verging on infuriating.

          3. awaldstein

            Yup…the conversational structure for mobile is texting for me. Insane but true.

          4. fl1nty

            On the browser too?

          5. laurie kalmanson

            makes sense.related: blogger totally fails on mobile. g+ feels like the brand dna of tumblr/instagram/facebook all smashed together.

          6. awaldstein

            I don’t get g+.Sure I get why Google built it. And why some companies feel obligated to use it to boost natural search rankings.But I don’t personally get it or use it much. Soulless to me. I guess it has dna but I can’t feel its pulse.

          7. laurie kalmanson

            “Soulless to me. I guess it has dna but I can’t feel its pulse.”exactly this

          8. CJ

            It’s the new version of internet forums.

          9. bernardlunn

            Twitter has a good mobile experience

          10. laurie kalmanson

            yes yes it does

        2. kidmercury

          google maps

          1. awaldstein

            Connecting to places and connecting to people are not the same for me.I use Google maps constantly. I discover stuff all the time. Never a new friend.

          2. kidmercury

            it would be harder for me to meet friends and see them spontaneously without google maps

          3. Abdallah Al-Hakim

            That is a really great points. I discover places but am not looking for people on foursquare or google maps

      3. andyidsinga

        do you meet more people because of mobile or because of the web?

        1. kidmercury

          i feel like the two are related and work in a synergistic fashion — i.e. i can use facebook on mobile and web. i guess mobile is more important though

          1. andyidsinga

            got it. I was trying to distinguish just that .. was meeting those people enabled by something inherently web (like the community on this blog) or something inherently mobile – GPS + cell network + smart phone enables a behaviors that allow you to meet more people.

        2. bernardlunn

          Mobile, because it lets me do my work away from my desk so I can go out and meet people in meatspace

    5. raycote

      in defence of the glass half full perspectivemaybe in the long runMobile is also assimilating/extending attention span ==> relationships ==> humanityI must be in an uncharacteristically positive mood today?

    6. pointsnfigures

      i have even noticed that with myself. Someday, are we going to pay money to go to the movie theatre and watch a series of vine videos?

      1. ShanaC

        no – what i think is that we’ll see more socially accetpable “digital off” time

        1. CJ

          Won’t change anything if I can simply pick up a paper or book. *shrug*

    7. William Mougayar

      Time is a relative thing. Some clever person’s graffiti on a wall:

      1. awaldstein

        I’ll tell this to my body and report back on whether aging has stopped.

        1. jason wright

          that’s change. embrace it.

          1. awaldstein

            Not one I chose to embrace at all. Intend to fight this with exercise, nutrition, new challenges as my weapons.I’ll lose and enjoy the process.

          2. Matt A. Myers


        2. William Mougayar


      2. andyidsinga

        my only comment on that is – wow that is a narrow right lane… they ought to move the yellow line a little 🙂

        1. William Mougayar

          LOL. I wonder what country that could be in.

        2. Donna Brewington White

          lanes don’t exist…

    8. fredwilson

      yup. i think its a zero sum game though. it also produces relationships and humanity too.

    9. CJ

      Here’s the thing with that, I’ve always hungered to be plugged into data. Before the internet was born you could find me reading literally all the time from the encyclopedia to any magazine/newspaper/book that I could find. The rise of computers gave me easier access to that information and then the internet…even easier.Mobile screens don’t eat my attention span any more than a book would and that’s where my nose would be if I didn’t have internet on my phone. Certain people are just predisposed to this sort of thing and the internet just made it easier for them, it didn’t create them.

  3. John Best

    I *love* “the four horsemen”.

    1. jason wright

      John Doerr thinks amazon is entrenched, but GOOG could blow it (other search engines being only one click away). encouraging.

  4. jason wright

    the world is eating mobiledesktop was the stodgy starter

  5. Dave W Baldwin

    Thanks Fred and Benedict. Great slideshow.

  6. markslater

    he’s great.I continue to questions google’s relationship with android, and what actually that means…..

  7. Cam MacRae

    Nice looking time series on slide 20. Note the multiplicative seasonality.Slide 22 is a bit misleading as Facebook is merely a parasite. (Tempted to say has-been parasite, but not ready to commit to a bowl of claim chowder. Yet.)

    1. Dale Allyn

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who sees FB this way. Their model is to exploit without (genuinely) giving to, or protecting, the user. I refer to FB as malware, but obviously others disagree or don’t care.

    2. ShanaC

      why do you say facebook is a parasite

      1. Cam MacRae

        parasite |ˈparəsʌɪt| nounan organism which lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the other’s expense.

  8. JimHirshfield

    So much more potential. I don’t think those 4 horsemen will be the same 4 horsemen a few years from now; the landscape changes very quickly.

    1. Cam MacRae

      Entirely agree. I think Amazon is a shoo-in; the others lie elsewhere on the distribution, with FB as tail end Charlie.

      1. takingpitches

        The interesting news from yesterday for me was Amazon’s increasing revenues from selling ads ads against produce searches. I summarized here:

        1. Cam MacRae

          Interesting. Impressive YOY growth too.

        2. kidmercury

          a friend of mine who is a wholesaler and looking to build a direct to retail component as well — largely via amzn, of course — was talking about this the other day. he said amzn has been extremely effective advertising for him. i think i am going to try it soon.

        3. William Mougayar

          Amazon’s ad revenues are definitely rising and the next thing to watch carefully.

        4. ShanaC

          i’m not surprised in the slightest- amazon is almost the last point of contact before buying – but what if the product isn’t quite right

    2. btrautsc

      The whole “Apple & Android have won” thing hurts my brain every time I see it. Just like Microsoft and that desktop software won. Just like Facebook won….There is a ton of great info to get out of the pres, but statements like that kill me, because if we’ve learned anything from Apple’s rise, or Facebook’s, etc etc, it is that no one ever wins. Staying on top of a market or vertical for a long period of time (multiple years) is now a significant challenge. Extracting as much profit and intelligently reinvesting or making the right bets would be a big win.The doors never close and the game is never over. In fact, the rounds just get shorter.

    3. raycote

      I hope you are right!But eco-system lock in seems more like natual language lock in.Its is a lot of work to change tracks.

  9. JimHirshfield

    Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple = AGFAHow many possible acronyms from these 3 letters in 4 placeholders? 😉

    1. Peter Van Dijck

      Ha, good old AGFA. I was trained a photographer.

    2. LIAD

      great work

    3. kenberger

      I’ve long heard, “You’ll hopefully get bought by GEMAYANI”: GoogleeBayMicrosoftAmazonYahooAOLNews CorpIAC

      1. William Mougayar

        Good one. That beats the old BUNCH: Burroughs UnisysNCRCDCHoneywell

        1. kenberger

          Good to know of that one, too.I wonder if there are even older acronyms for, say, the railroad cartels or the Dutch tulip titans.

          1. William Mougayar

            LUMA published the Strategic Buyer lumascape with 350 companies that have the financial power to buy others.

          2. kenberger

            yep. I’ve met Terrance before (Luma founder) and am envious of his business.

          3. William Mougayar

            Yes, Terry is the man. They are pumping those Lumascapes one after another and claiming 100K’s downloads.

          4. JimHirshfield

            Here’s one from the English colonial days: POSH = Port Out, Starboard Home…

        2. ShanaC

          the honeywell being on this list makes me laugh (washers and dryers is what I think of when I think of honeywell)

          1. Dale Allyn

            You should think “heat recovery”, “energy management” (though some will argue that one), and “thermostats”, for Honeywell, Shana. 🙂

          2. William Mougayar

            They used to be into mini-computers too.

          3. awaldstein


          4. Pete Griffiths

            And now they are reduced to suing Nest.

          5. William Mougayar

            Oh no. I wasn’t aware of that. They do own the thermostat market more or less.

          6. ShanaC

            i know, but minicomputers are technology older than me, i think

    4. Matt A. Myers

      No inclusion of Yahoo! – though they have potential now.

      1. JimHirshfield

        Agreed. I was just repeating the 4 in the slides. Markets are never so simple.

    5. andyidsinga

      good callback ..well played 🙂

      1. JimHirshfield


    6. William Mougayar

      Or TAFGA if you add Twitter.

      1. JimHirshfield

        Or FATGAY if you include Yahoo as well

        1. William Mougayar

          Your creativity is shining!

  10. Peter Van Dijck

    Yes, him and these guys are my favorites right now. (And still on Google Reader)

  11. Elie Seidman

    He’s great – discovered him a couple of months ago.

  12. Barry Nolan

    Now that we all carry a computer in our pocket, mobile is the future of customer interaction.In this, offline apps that are most interesting. Offline apps are all free. They reap huge revenues per customer (way more than 0.23cents per user per app today). They act as remote controls for our physical world. Press and button, and services happen. They are Über, spotify, hotel tonight, hailo, Netflix, Airbnb, skype etc. The business model shift is that the customer’s credit card is attached to the app, and not the app store. 1-click for all.

    1. Ana Milicevic

      To the app or to the phone? Your phone is (or should be) the wallet.

      1. awaldstein

        Should be I agree. Is, not yet.

      2. Barry Nolan

        Native apps (today)

  13. CalebSimpson

    Ok, sure mobile is growing fast, but how many people are like me and HATE mobile sites. I’m using a smartphone for crying out loud and I can navigate the site just as well as I can on a computer. I seriously loath smart phone websites, they are always dumbed down versions of the full site and I have to find that little link to get into the full site and find the actual content I want.Sure, all the experts are telling us to build mobile sites, but how many people truly want that?

    1. Fernando Gutierrez

      I do hate mobile browsing in general. When I wanto to do a lot I always end in my laptop. I read a lot in the phone, but it’s usually stories I save into Pocket when I’m on the computer and then retrieve them on the phone when I have time.

    2. ShanaC

      yes, but I find mobile searching to be super important

  14. kidmercury

    there are no 4 horseman. its a 2 horse race between goog and amzn. their only real threat is a startup that probably isnt born yet or is small enough to be off most radars. apple’s days have always been numbered because they have a hits business model (i.e. keep pumping out pretty boxes) rather than a network business model that becomes more entrenched with each innovation. social networking does not scale as well as fb would like to think, and in scenarios that it does google will win in the long run via google+. yahoo is a better fourth horseman than fb, as is msft (which of course owns part of fb).mobile’s growth trajectory will be altered by peak bandwidth (for which the only final solution is completely spectrum deregulation, what i call “spectrum anarchy”) and by the rise of “infrastructure computing” — touchscreen computers embedded in physical stuff in the world around us. i.e. tablets in stores to assist consumers.

    1. awaldstein

      Writing off Facebook is a mistake.I think they are completely clueless about how to ride what they have but they are sitting on something way more powerful, love it or not, then themselves.

      1. kidmercury

        all the big social networks have great stuff, but i’m very skeptical of their ability to monetize it well. niche social networks will monetize social networking better; google and amazon will monetize data better. all the while, the relationship with their users will become increasingly difficult to manage.

        1. awaldstein

          True…I’ve been using and disgusted with FB since early. I’ve written them off for clients projects, then find veins of amazing power.As horribly primitive their infrastructure is for communications there are some vast communities that are entrenched and aren’t moving to any of the vertical niche nets.There’s a sleeping giant here that I wouldn’t bet against waking.

          1. raycote

            It maybe underdeveloped communications-infrastructure but it provides simple one stop text/pics/video/ social interaction and exchange for the technophobe masses.Maybe ultra slow osmotic stepwise improvements in communications-infrastructure utility turns out, in fact, to be the most practical way to pied-piper the masses into the promise land of cyber-space potential?To technorati folks their ultra slow osmotic stepwise improvements may seem poorly planned and executed but considering their audience they may be doing a better job of running their experiment than we can appreciate from the outside looking in.

          2. awaldstein

            You are making a technorati/lemming mass market segmentation of the world here.Remind me what three products are made for the technorati that are made as the single product of a billion dollar company?And remember–the technorati at work writing code are the mass market when it comes to loving Game of Thrones,

      2. ErikSchwartz

        I totally agree. They have created this incredible web of understanding relationships between people and so far they have done nothing interesting with it.

        1. awaldstein

          An easy start would be a commenting system that worked, that was searchable, storable and shareable.It completely bites yet conversations happen and in some groups there are strings hundreds of comments long. Completely indecipherable.Disqus on FB honestly (and crazily) would be a powerful combo!

          1. Matt A. Myers

            They’ll have to wait for Disqus to implement that, and then copy them.

          2. awaldstein

            I have nothing against copying. I care about utility that just works. Everyone is copying everyone else especially around behavior links. It’s only boring or wrong when it doesn’t work.

          3. Matt A. Myers

            P.S. I don’t want Facebook owning Disqus. That would be bad for the internet.

          4. awaldstein

            The internet polices itself through evolution and will continue to do so.Tech doesn’t rule, people do. We vote with our attention and it changes to our will over time.

          5. falicon

            yeah…with a killer ‘search’ thrown in that combo as well 🙂

          6. awaldstein

            Search on Facebook is non existent. Basically when something of value is discussed I simply cut the comments and put it in a homemade CMS system.Too weird but yup, that’s what I do as I have a penchant against asking for info twice and hate searching for stuff that should be but isn’t easy to find.

          7. Donna Brewington White

            now that’s a thought…It floors me when blogs use FB as their commenting system. What are they thinking???

          8. awaldstein

            They are emulating the click language from “The Gods Must Be Crazy obviously!

      3. Dale Allyn

        Arnold, I agree with you.While I’m not a fan of FB, my take is that they operate much like Big Tobacco of the ’60s and ’70s instead of like flickr pre-Yahoo!. If they did a complete culture/model shift to protecting users, providing FOR users, they would rise several tiers in my opinion, giving them an enormous and more defensible advantage. But their model of exploitation holds them back in many ways imho, including, but not limited to: adoption rates; return of users who don’t trust them now; and design of useful services and experiences which contribute to loyalty and growth.

        1. awaldstein

          They do a lot of stupid things.They’ve also done the impossible and changed the world as we know it.But…they are just getting started if they get as creative in their thinking and as open in their relationships with me, the content, as they are with the data that I provide them.

          1. Dale Allyn

            I definitely agree that they’ve “made their mark” if you will, and “changed the world as we know it”. It’s just so interesting to see what they’ve accomplished and consider where they could go if they’d not operate as they do now.You provide them data, but I provide them almost none. I have an account (partly for control of the name-use, and partly for other reasons). I have turned off subscriptions to anything, yet due to my lack of logging-on, they spam me every day with updates to various people’s profiles and such. I have reset privacy settings many, many times and they continue to reset them to looser settings (friends of friends report seeing things they should not, so I have to reset again). This I believe only occurs to those of us who don’t log in often. To me, they are malware, but with the potential to be something special. (No, I don’t think they are now “special” in that they are missing the big opportunities for now. But of course what they’ve achieved to this point is very significant.)

          2. awaldstein

            Facebook has two critical uses for me:1. My own and clients businesses. Every business needs to decide whether it has value, how much and how to make it work for them. And it does really well at times.2. Some niche communities. For whatever reason, my international wine community (my hobby) exists there big time with the group almost 8000 members. They just ain’t moving. They are why I log in.

          3. Dale Allyn

            Thanks. We agree on this, Arnold. There is a place for FB (obviously). It’s interesting that it’s become more of business “alternate spam platform” in that its being used by the likes of NBC News, Target, and such (“like us on facebook and we’ll…). Meanwhile I no longer hear anyone say “friend me on facebook” or “I’ll friend you on facebook”. Of course such connections are still made, but it’s now “corny” to say such things. And with the wide-reaching recommendations they provide, personalization and intimacy are vastly diluted as the noise increases.Facebook has much to leverage, even in the U.S. Their appeal is obvious to me in the developing world, esp. S.E. Asia in terms of my own observations. But that said, they run the risk of giving up quite a bit if they don’t step back and look at what they have and what the could _offer_. Still, they could do worse than becoming “just” a business promotion and exchange platform. 😉

          4. awaldstein

            Promoted posts as a form of content publishing is duh—the content is good and the network well curated–works exceptionally well.Like all community/social nets, some things work well there somethings not.For another client, Instagram has become a monster community where people are walking into retail and asking for the product. Quite amazing.

          5. Dale Allyn

            Right. And it great that you’re guiding your clients to use different services/platforms for different goals and audiences. (I’d expect nothing less of you. 🙂

          6. awaldstein

            Thanks!Working with some younger markets where the community is not just net native but mobile native has challenged me to my core and made me a more open thinker.And my personal projects which are tied to the street and retail has shown me how primitive the web is at all as a service to real foot traffic in terrestrial businesses. Humbling and speaks to the fact that we are at the very very beginning of learning how to market at the intersection of a digital runway to a still very much analog world.

          7. Dale Allyn

            we are at the very very beginning of learning how to market at the intersection of a digital runway to an analog world.So true.

          8. Dave W Baldwin

            Like the digital runway

        2. William Mougayar

          There’s an interesting article on Medium claiming that Facebook Sharing is failing. It’s worth a read as it makes some good points.…Quote: “We need to go back to smaller communities. Where people aren’t lost in the mediocre averages of large networks.”

          1. Dale Allyn

            I saw that, William, but had not read it yet. Thanks for the reminder. I’ll check it out.I agree with the quote, at least on its surface. I participate in a few communities online – none are truly “small” but each feels intimate and connected. I’m hoping that more and more of us will move towards more sincere interaction and less trivial nonsense, but of course, I’m naive. 😉

          2. awaldstein

            Hey WilliamI do tire of pundit speak like this quote from the Medium at times. It’s interesting. Directionally true of course. Not really very original. And oh so confusing to the market of businesses trying to simply build a community.My bet is that you as a business advisor would not tell your client to abandon their FB page and strategy and head off on a walkabout to find the perfect niche somewhere over the rainbow;))The world is pining for real advice that is both strategically smart and practically actionable.

          3. William Mougayar

            I tell them Facebook Marketing is not for everybody (yet). It doesn’t all payback or make a dent necessarily. It depends.But there’s a grain of truth in that article. If Facebook could parse these communities better, maybe. And if Facebook Mobile worked as well as Google+ works on Mobile, they would have a bonanza.

          4. awaldstein

            #1 we agree and of course, the question was rhetorical as that’s the answer.#2 I agree but they won’t/can’t i bet. Facebook doesn’t understand the idea of contextual groups or communities any better than Linked In does. I seriously question whether they can address this.#3 Don’t use G+ so can’t answer. My response to most things G+ is that its easy to be perfect in abstract and to me, from my view of the world and my clients, G+ is just that, an idea that has not yet proved itself and not yet broken cause its still in a petri dish.

          5. falicon

            I *think* the trick to facebook for biz. is that the biz. needs to provide a story worth spreading/sharing (across facebook).This has always been the case for biz., in fact only the medium has really changed…make something worth talking about in the context you want them to be talking about…and then get out of the way.If you’re an ice cream shop and you create a facebook page…so what? Why do I care and why should I pay attention? More important, why would I want to tell my (facebook) friends about it? Do I get a flavor named after me if I generate the most clicks/likes/fans to you? If the biz. can’t answer this type of stuff, and be willing to put it into real action, then being on facebook prob. isn’t going to add much value for them (but of course won’t hurt much either)

          6. awaldstein

            Oh so right.That’s why I like the promoted post idea. If you know your network. And can provide content that they would want to get. Facebook can deliver it to the right people.

          7. ShanaC

            i’m not sold – small communities are ripe for inbreeding

          8. William Mougayar

            What are some good examples?

          9. John Revay

            I stopped at the Garden Center that my parents founded 35 yrs ago – Revay’s Gardens….. My sister & her husband still run it today.I was talking with one of the people that work there – she was a HS senior ( # 3 in her class) – I asked my favorite question – “What is your favorite app?”…Then we got talking about FB, Twitter and Tumblr. She commented that she does not use FB any more – just twitter

          10. William Mougayar

            It would be interesting to study the age bracket users movement within Facebook.

        3. hypermark

          This was a great read from yesterday on how Facebook’s attempts to grow monetization have shifted its emphasis from its original core of friends, to interests, resulting in a materially diminished user experience:The great defriending of Facebook

          1. Dale Allyn

            Thank you. I’ll check it out.

      4. William Mougayar

        Here’s a Facebook cartoon for you…and my father was an ob/gyn, but I don’t think he would have heard that one during his practice time 🙂

    2. falicon

      The 3rd prob. isn’t going to be a company at all…it’s more likely to be a distributed, open-source type of thing (ie. the Linux of mobile)…That being said, I don’t think it’s a ‘few winners’ take all…we’re just in that part of the pendulum swing right now so it feels like that’s the future…but it will swing back and head towards distributed again soon enough…

      1. kidmercury

        agree 100%……i think it will be a federation of small businesses rather than a big amazon-style business….it won’t be an IPO candidate and may not even go through the typical financing rounds in the VC world. i think it looks more like anonymous than like google.

      2. raycote

        Distributive variances of Linux and Big-Data-Silos run as public utilities with open standardized APIs may at the end of the day save us all from Digital Feudalism.We can only hope !Regardless of the long term evolution this land grab startup phase is probably both commercially necessary and unavoidable.The question is weather Digital Feudalism turns out to be a centralization/authoritarian BLACK HOLE or just another historical swing of the pendulum.

    3. William Mougayar

      But Yahoo isn’t even considered when you think Mobile. I’m sure this is taking some of Marissa’s brain cycles. I will bet you bitcoin to cronuts that one of Yahoo’s next acquisitions has something to do with boosting their mobile.

      1. Ana Milicevic

        WhatsApp comes to mind.

        1. William Mougayar

          Sure…Whatsanother $1B? Whatsapp!

          1. Ana Milicevic

            Sure seems to be the going rate du jour 🙂

    4. raycote

      Apple’s modus operandi is to perfect and simplify core-utility for the busy non-techie masses.They tend to wait for others to foot the bill for clearing away all the market mis-starts and utility-noise before entering a market with simple/effective well defined core utility.That process of clearing away all the market mis-starts and utility-noise to consolidate simple, integrated, sticky, core-services utility is still in transit.The question is weather Apple will be able to apply their traditional modus operandi by arriving late to the services party. Arriving fashionable late even with a solidly integrated eco-system and simple, pared down, integrated core services utility in tow maybe too little too late to work against first movers in the internet services market.But for Apple a simple, streamlined, integrated, well executed services offering may intersect with public burnout on the presently over-heated entanglement of hyped service offerings?It is easy to underestimate the emotional appeal of clearing out transactional clutter and overhead from our daily lives, especially for non-techie folks.I will grant you that “well executed service offerings” and “Apple” don’t seem too comfortable in the same sentence as of yet!Still it is a little early to count them out unless you assume they are too thick to frame these market variables and challenges in context and/or unable to transfer their long-term modus operandi into the services arena.

    5. takingpitches

      hey hey for some spectrum anarchy!

    6. Jc_mellinger

      Amazon has an interesting benefit over the others, scale.With respect to moble ad tech there are many startups trying to solve the problem of targeting. For a young company it is a costly endeavor to buy and accumulate enough data and then predictively model/index user behavior. AMZN has 165mm registered users with cc’s on file. Plus, they sell a wide variety of goods that consumers are very actively seeking. None of the other companies are this wide and deep.

    7. george

      Actually, I think google is more at risk than apple…I don’t see signs of googles ad model working effectively in mobile (yet). They have a huge android ecosystem but index search ads haven’t monetized well for now. The slides show huge accelerated declines in both desktops and laptops unit sales and apps are cutting into their search model; I would suggest google’s ad revenue days look numbered.

    8. fredwilson

      i agree about apple and facebook

  15. jonathan hegranes

    I wrote a similar piece last fall entitled ‘software is eating mobile’ —…The growth of mobile, yada yada, is very well documented… Ecosystems, etc.Where I think we go now is about choice and flexibility. This is what we expect, increasingly so, about all of our devices over time.Mobile is next, and far more than such things as Apple maybe letting in a better keyboard.

  16. Rajan Bijlani

    Thanks Fred & Ben – I did not realise till now Ben lives down the road from me in North London – this deck is great! I recently switched industry and joined a tech start-up (on account of your blog which I started reading a couple of years ago) – any other thought leader/blog recommendations would be much appreciated…

    1. Mroberhozer

      I like @asmartbear ( Always thoughtful, non-hackneyed posts.Also, from Sean Ellis. Lots of good experience to leverage.

  17. Tom Labus

    Whenever I see the future laid out like this I want to run for the hills.Although mobile is in ascendancy it will play out in ways no one has thought of as yet

  18. laurie kalmanson

    what’s next?update: this in email from donors choose.amazing followthru from the teacherso glad to help even a littleso sad that schools don’t have what they needhere:The students supported through Let’s Learn How to Draw One-Point Perspectives! wrote you thank-you notes, which we put in the mail today.Keep an eye out for a big envelope!- The Team

  19. RichardF

    That’s a great deck.It does interest me that everyone writes Microsoft off, yet 57% of the visits to this site are via a microsoft operating system.I’m samdroid through and through but when I travel I still need my laptop, I can manage without it for 95% of the time but I can’t not take it. I’m sitting here typing on a windows machine because the Disqus experience on mobile is still sub optimal (to put it politely)What I want is a windows tablet that has access to the same apps as the android market and that I can easily hook up a keyboard to. I’m sure the tablet exists its just the windows market place doesn’t. If Microsoft fixes that I’d probably be Microsoft through and through just because it’s easier to be that way. They have me at work and home (pc, laptop and xbox) they just don’t have me on mobile yet.

    1. kidmercury

      agreed. msft is far from done. humorous also that msft is mocked, fb is given props — yet msft owns a nice chunk of fb.

    2. John Revay

      Agree about the 57% – I am one of them…..But the trend is scary. In the last two years MS has gotten non of our new computing device purchases – Qty 4 iPhones, 3 Kindles, 1 Nexus 7, 1 Mac-Mini……At the small office at I work at – our MS SBS2003 server just crashed – I am strongly considering not to rebuild it, or replace it with another MS product ( MS Server Essentials 2012).Our Oldest daughter is a junior in HS….we started visiting colleges this year – I was paying particular attention to the CPU of choice – it seemed 90+ Mac – I did not see very many non mac notebooks….

      1. RichardF

        I wouldn’t replace a small business server either John, for smaller business I think a cloud service is ideal.Our purchases are similar to yours as well but I think that reflects the current boom in demand for new tablets. We all have tablets of one type or another in our family from my 80 year old mother to my 6 year old, however I don’t see us replacing those for a few years now. However I am looking to replace my laptop and I would way prefer it to be able to double up as a tablet and fit into my working life and I do see there being a pent up demand for that and Microsoft can and should fill it.

        1. John Revay

          YUP – We already moved exchange off of SBS to Rackspace about two years ago – No more headaches….We may just simplify the local network – get rid of AD, let our firewall / router appliance handle DHCP, DNS etc…and we still may keep the file store local on $1,000 NAS – with cloud backup. Thoughts – we have 8-10 active users and < 1 TB of data

          1. leapy

            I have been researching what to do when our SBS2003 dies. Quite keen to keep things local – have been looking at

    3. Tom Labus

      It is way to early to write MSFT off. They play a long game well

  20. Ironic that the slideshow is hard to use on iPhone (nav buttons too small, too close together).

  21. ErikSchwartz

    I think it is time to reread Walden.

  22. reece

    read this – including all the slides in the deck – via Chrome on my iPhone… just saying

  23. John Revay

    I recall Fred wrote a post a few weeks ago about how RIM was finally launching a iOS, and Driod app for their BBM messenger this summer. – As Fred framed it – a Day late and a Dollar short….Chris Dixon – wrote a post a few days ago – “Some thoughts on Mobile” I commented that I thought there were rumors that MS had developed MS office apps for iOS..but were holding off releasing – I thought they view it as a competitive advantage for them to hold off and only make available for their mobile platform… I did a quick search and found some posts suggesting they may be releasing something late next year. – Can it be another a Day late and a Dollar short instance?

  24. William Mougayar

    What is the significance of the Facebook Mobile ecosystem being larger than Google’s or Apple’s? It’s like comparing apples to oranges. FB is usage. Google/Apple is platform with devices.What is the criteria for the ecosystem? Facebook users don’t do much on mobile.. Their mobile experience still sucks. Then, where is LinkedIn if that’s how Facebook is perceived?

    1. hypermark

      Personally, this is a key ‘miss’ of the deck; namely, what the platform means qualitatively for each of these vendors.Apple and Amazon, for example, are in a unique position relative to having a billing relationship coupled with repeated buying behavior with their audience. Google far less, Facebook WAY less.Facebook has the largest base and highest direct engagement for their core services; Google and Apple are below that, and Amazon is considerably below that.In terms of robustness of developer ecosystem, Apple is clear number one, Google too, Amazon mostly piggy-backing Android and surrounding with proprietary content deals. Facebook way behind, and so on.

  25. William Mougayar

    What Mobile is eating is the PC, especially on a relative basis. That’s because most new mobile users never owned a PC.

    1. ErikSchwartz

      I’d hate to have to write any kind of significant multi-section document (for school or work) on my tablet or phone. What do these kids do for written schoolwork?

      1. leapy

        Goog docs on tablet for my three….then share with their teachers.

      2. Ana Milicevic

        I’m slowly warming up to dictating to various devices. Barring that, an iPad with a keyboard is about all you need.

      3. tgodin

        Both my kids (15 and 12) use laptops for school work, and spend far more time on them than on the iPad that we have laying around the house for general use. At work (civil engineering) we use Microsoft based PCs and laptops. Just upgraded a 27 year old to a new laptop, and her only request was to make sure that the docking station could accommodate her dual 24″ monitors. There is still plenty of work that is most effectively done using larger screens.

        1. ErikSchwartz

          The best thing you can do from an ROI standpoint to improve the efficiency of a programmer is buy them a second monitor.

      4. ShanaC

        family computer with multiple sceens

      5. William Mougayar

        I’ve seen a nice keyboard for the iPad.

        1. ErikSchwartz

          I have a nice keyboard for my iPad.But what’s the difference between a tablet with a keyboard and a laptop?

          1. Cam MacRae

            A tablet with a keyboard makes a poor laptop — an Air or Zenbook would be a better buy — a laptop pretending to be a tablet makes a poor tablet and a poor laptop.

          2. William Mougayar

            I know. There’s a company that has a hybrid that does both- I can’t remember who. That’s like a muddled middle for positioning. Although it makes sense, Apple probably won’t do it because it will reveal that you don’t need both devices, and that would be bad for sales.Maybe someone with clout will market that type of device and claim a new category.

    2. ShanaC

      Most mobile users in that category have a family member who does, or alternatively come from countries where almost no one does in the first place and aren’t really be affected by amazonSo it is disingenuous

  26. andyidsinga

    dont really agree wi slide 24 …seems like the device quality and experience is whats sells apple. amazon is about ecosystem and content and googe its “the alternative ” or only option on a users carrier ( for non coders and geeks anynow )

    1. Mroberhozer

      Hard to tell precisely who’s right about slide 24, although I had never thought about the Evans perspective on that before. It brings to light the different strengths (and weaknesses) of each and how each will be used strategically. Makes you think of a chicken/egg scenario (not which one came first, but which one is more important: integrated ecosystem or experience)

      1. andyidsinga

        yes. on the app store side it seems it is becomig purely a bit distribution mechanism …so less of an ‘ecosystem’ argument to be made. more of ecosystem seems to be off platform outside of tech and dev items

    2. raycote

      To my way of thinkingquality ecosystem = well integrated hardware / apps / serviceswell integrated hardware / apps / services = quality experiencequality experience = quality ecosystemall the horsemen need to work on improving some element of that integration

      1. andyidsinga

        agreed – as long as well integrated is not a static thing.For instance, app stores used to be well integrated, but as the # of apps increased they have become less well integrated by virtue of massive # of apps and difficulty in determining what is good/bad etc.

  27. falicon

    Historically the challenge has always been in getting access, but as this slide reveals we are rapidly approaching the point where anyone can access anything from anywhere. This shifts the challenge to filtering and to focusing on quality, timing, and shared experiences/knowledge.How do figure out what we want to pay attention to? And what we don’t or shouldn’t? How do we figure out who and where to engage in the types of quality conversations and information we’re actually interested in?These are the challenges I’m focused on…

    1. raycote

      Yes DNA is a molecular summary of all the best biological survival strategies but more importantly it summarizes by negation all the biological methods that turned out by trial and error to not be useful. Probably more valuable information density in the negations than the retained DNA coding methods.Given the almost limitless spectrum of social-dynamics possible under universal network conditions we are now faced with the same daunting task. We must weed out a vast array of useless social-network-dynamics possibilities in order to distill the cyber-survial-statatagey gems.Given that at this platform level the pennies in this networking-node currency are now humans as apposed to cells. Given that humans exhibiting orders of magnitude more complex, self-serving, volitional behavioural volatility than do cells that sorting task will probably not be able to succeed by pure statistical trial and error. Cellular network-node behaviours being much more directly liked to their molecularly-predicable substrate behaviours than are humans.Luckily we have self-referential, self-aware, cognitive, survival strategies on board. Unlike cells we will need to be self aware and cooperatively engaged in shaping and limiting our own cyber-networking-culture evolutionary choices.Biology offers use our best-guess cheat-sheet to organic self-organizing network dynamics and we have the cognitive abstraction required to work that analogue.Time to get down to work on collectively defining the challenge at hand.

      1. falicon

        Yep that’s the tech version of what I meant to say… 😀

  28. pointsnfigures

    Attention is interesting-but the one that owns your payments stream will win. The first attempt at wallets failed-it’s not solving a problem. Find the pain point in payments and that will drive a lot. Follow the money is a good adage, but also true in many cases. In the payments sphere right now, I like

  29. ayo

    I interviewed someone yesterday for our blog – a mobile lead at a flash retailer, and he described some of the behavior they’re seeing with their (very successful = ~50% of revenue) iOS apps: they expected that their apps would be an additional amenity for their web users, but something like 30% of their users each month only ever access from mobile. As a result, whereas they assumed that most users would know about their business before downloading their app, mobile is eating their entire business and they’re now working on things like processing returns etc from their app (which a lot of ecommerce folks going mobile don’t yet do), and thinking “If we assumed that a user will find us, get onboarded, and only ever use mobile in interacting with us, how would we redesign our service to accomodate that behavior? (particularly considering that by and large, their mobile only/mobile centric customers tend to be better customers overall).

  30. Abdallah Al-Hakim

    How about wearable technology. Do you think it will replace mobile phones as as the dominant device? It will be interesting to see how apple and amazon approach this space now that google has started with the glasses

    1. falicon

      I think glasses will be pure fad…but it is the start of true wearable, and I think that will eventually be a big part of our world.It’s not a matter of ‘replace’ as I think of wearable as the evolution of mobile (so somewhat the same thing really). Right now we just ‘wear’ mobile in our pockets.The challenge here remains in engagement/interaction more than anything else. How to get these wearable devices out of the way and augmenting our world/experiences rather than being the central thing our experiences/interactions must pass through…The moment someone walks up to me wearing ‘Glass’, my greeting is going to change from ‘hello’ to ‘OK Glass, shutdown’. 🙂

      1. jason wright

        Glass could be worn like an ipod, with a cable from the face to the pocketed unit.Googe has announced that it will not permit facial recognition for Glass.

        1. falicon

          The problem is the ‘face’ part…people don’t actually want a screen…but we *are* used to voices and pictures in our head, even while interacting with the physical world…that’s where the tech needs to get to before it’s *really* disruptive.This next phase of middle ground is just going to be awkward, limiting, and slightly painful…

          1. Dave W Baldwin

            Curious over your thoughts re voice interface. Do you think bigger money is going after telepathic instead of all that is needed to achieve accuracy, especially translating intent/meaning related to sentences coupled with the whole thing related to people talking to themselves…

          2. falicon

            To preface, my thoughts/opinions are based on a sample size of 1 (me)…so I am *very* likely to be the exception and not the rule…That being said, I think telepathic will be killer…but is *so* far off that voice is the short-to-medium term win…many headsets are already small enough for it to appear we are talking to ourselves, and so it’s not all that socially unacceptable anymore.The translation/accuracy is also a big challenge, but it’s getting drastically better recently…and all the same challenges will need to be solved for telepathic approaches as well (we think in sounds and pictures after all).Overall – I *think* the goal, as Jack Dorsey has mentioned before as well ( http://www.huffingtonpost.c… ), is that the tech. essentially disappears…and we just interact/converse with the world as humans (but you know, kick-ass, super-intelligent, cyborg-like humans).

          3. Dave W Baldwin

            Thanks. That’s what I figured. The new language (sounds/pics) coming more forefront in the 20’s will be cool.

    2. ShanaC

      no. a lot of wearable technology gets into a power and too specific problem

  31. vankula

    You know why tablets and mobile units are outselling PC’s? Because you never needed the power of a PC (or heck even an iPad now) to play minesweeper or solitaire or bejeweled.We developed this awesome machine and people at work actually took advantage of it while people at home use a fraction of its power to read email and play flash games.

  32. Sam Birmingham

    Slide 6 was most powerful to meSad to think that, despite all the awesomeness of technology and communication at our fingertips, some 15% of adults will still be illiterate come 2017

    1. raycote

      Overview of TV disruption .Short and succinct !

  33. ShanaC

    It is mobile is eating the world or Tablets are the new laptops and will eventually have a similar replacement cycle?Though I have to wonder if this confirms my idea that there is an ideal point between nonspecific and specificity in devices. Digital locks versus a ereader with a bad browser vs a tablet

    1. Lucas Dailey

      Tablets are (soon to be) the new laptops, certainly, but does replacement cycle matter? Once they reach a certain level of capability with the need to iterate be as frequent? I feel like that’s where laptops have gone over the last 10 years. CPU has reached a sufficient level of capability, not innovation is about form and battery (intentionally leaving off ppi).

    2. Peter Renshaw

      “will eventually have a similar replacement cycle?”Yes Shana & probably sooner than you think. I’d hazard a guess the next wave of digital devices are hidden to view. Something along the lines of Steve Mann & eyetap ~

  34. hypermark

    One implication of the rise of mobile that sometimes gets lost in these vendor/categories/stats decks is that it’s driving the emergence of hybrid applications that are one part client, one part cloud.Google’s best apps (Google Maps comes to mind), while certainly accessible via browser, are game changing awesome in native app + cloud mode. Facebook reached this same conclusion as well after betting initially on HTML 5. Apple obviously is focused on this, and Amazon, with AWS on the backend, and a proprietary device on the front-end, has an interesting, unique position.I think that we are in the first inning of figuring this one out in terms of what it means for developers and killer apps.

  35. Pete Griffiths

    It’s all about appropriate form factor. Form factor determines appropriate HCI.

  36. Lucas Dailey

    This deck overly conflates changes in hardware with changes in wetware.Mental states are what matter, not the inevitable fullness of form-factors. Whether people are typing on a keyboard that’s attached to a screen or not, when they’re working they’ll be standing at a desk with a general level of focus and a certain frame of mind.The different between sitting at a cafe working, or being two feet away standing in line is huge.That is what should separate PC from mobile when you are designing your products.I think they’re also using their data to justify their conclusion rather than draw a conclusion from the data. What jumps out at me most is the shell game with laptops. Sometimes they are specifically called out, sometimes presumably lumped in with PCs, but don’t seem to lend their attributes to their class. In slide 9, for example, if laptops are considered PCs it basically negates the distinction.The biggest gap I see in the presentation is the lack of connection with changing socioeconomic conditions. For most people smartphones are an entry device; when they can afford it they will add a tablet/laptop. It’s not that people now prefer them to laptops for all circumstances. When people have a full selection of form-factors their choice of device is back to a choice of mental state. Where does your product fit?

  37. John Frazer

    BlackBerry begins to eat Apple.

  38. William Mougayar

    And his latest post is intriguing:”Counting geeks: Who cares that Android is ‘open’?”…Ahum.

  39. george

    Great analysis…Winner takes all!

  40. Chris Phenner

    Benedict is channeling his Inner Mary Meeker very well, and with better design sensibility. He is stepping farther back than most and pulling together very big pictures that look really nice.On the matter of Insights and ‘The Why’ behind his charts, I am left wanting more. And I know these things take time. And his focused attention to the data (and all the reactions to it he sees) will get him there. But I see no ‘Why’ in his work, yet.Benedict! If you’re reading this comment and you would like a partner with whom to scribe some humanity to companion your work, I am at chris -at- phenner -dot- org, and I write a missive every week.Recall the ‘Freakonomics’ team required a Data Dude and a Writer.

  41. bernardlunn

    I lost my lovely Air on a train coming back from a ski race; yes, a few beers to celebrate the race were involved, guilty as charged your honor. For a bunch of silly reasons (guilt at my stupidity, cheapskateness, dithering about alternatives), I did not buy a replacement. So my work has (almost) all been done on my iPhone for over 3 months (after a few weeks I did think the experiment itself was interesting). The “almost” means occasional use of borrowed iPads and laptops.

    1. William Mougayar

      Oy. Losing a PC must be painful.

  42. jason wright…it’s an investment conundrum – generally consumers just aren’t that interested in open. this has been my observation for some time now. the market isn’t for being educated.

  43. Peter Renshaw

    ‘Mobile is eating the world’ isn’t that revolutionary an idea. We are talking small computers with added GSM. Loose the GSM and you have a RaspberryPi. A new sub-species of silicon CPU’s.

  44. Wes Smith

    Otherwise known as NIST cloud broad access. Why not include the unknown form factors…who knows what’s next?