Skiftet till mobilt

When users greatly favor a new user experience over an old one (in this case the mobile application environment versus a browser based desktop environment), the implication is clear – we are in the middle of a critical platform transition. Platform transitions are rare, yet highly consequential. The first consumer-based transition was DOS to Windows in the late 1980s. Many fortunes were won and lost based on how well companies like Borland and Lotus executed this transition. Then came client-server, which also launched new winners at the expense of older incumbents. The next obvious transition was the rise of the browser in 1996, which transformed not only the software application market but also the print and media world. The browser-based Internet launched many new companies, several of which have achieved market capitalizations in the billions. Most interestingly, new company wealth (pure play Internet companies) far exceeds “transitioned wealth” (incumbent companies transitioning their model successfully to the new platform). TripAdvisor and Yelp rule the day, not Frommers and Zagat. Likewise Priceline and Expedia rule travel, not some travel company that existed pre-Internet. Google, Yahoo, Ebay, Facebook, and Twitter rule the Internet, not Microsoft.

Bill Gurley har skrivit en fantastisk post om smartphones och mobilrevolutionen , ”Transitioning To a Mobile Centric World”. Måsteläsning.

Mobile thoughts

Alltid lika briljante Chris Dixon har skrivit ned några läsvärda analyser om mobila utvecklingen, ”Some thoughts on mobile”. Hela bör läsas, men detta utsnitt är en bra sneak peak.

– App stores have had a few important effects: 1) They take 30% of revenue, which scares away most big companies (e.g. Microsoft) and also startups/venture capitalists. Not many businesses can survive an immediate 30% haircut. 2) They’ve led consumers to expect very low prices for software. It’s hard to imagine charging $30 let alone hundreds of dollars for software through app stores (although some mega-hit games do get near these levels with in-app purchases). This is why many big software vendors are scared. 3) The discovery mechanisms (e.g. top download charts) tend to have a rich-get-richer effect, making it very hard for software to grow from niches, as they often did in the past. Just as in the movie industry, the trend is toward creating blockbusters that appeal to everyone. The emergence of new app discovery mechanisms (e.g. FB & Twitter) might alleviate this problem.