How Mobile is Changing Everything

July 1st, 2015

How Mobile is Changing Everything
Anh Nguyen

by Anh Nguyen

COO & Co-Founder at Gummicube, Inc

In 2011, Marc Andreessen released an essay in the Wall Street Journal proclaiming "Software is eating the world". The "internet bubble" had occurred 10 years prior and Andreessen was trying point out that the market hadn't recovered emotionally as many tech stocks were widely undervalued. Andreessen is one of only 6 people in the World Wide Web Hall of Fame, the creator of the first widely used web browser (Mosaic), Netscape, Opsware (sold to HP for $1.6b) and co-founder of VC firm Andreessen-Horowitz (a16z). He also sits on the boards of Facebook, eBay and HP among others. Enter Benedict Evans - avid Tweeter, and an a16z analyst since early 2014. Benedict follows mobile and consumer trends, and shares truly unique insights with the audiences of his blog, newsletter and a16z principals and investors. Before landing at a16z, Benedict was giving a presentation titled "Mobile is Eating the World". Not only borrowing, but one-upping his future boss' most famous line.

This guy is phenomenal He talked about the maturation of technology . He is benedict evans of andreesen horowitz.— Martha Stewart (@MarthaStewart) November 14, 2014

The latest update to his "Mobile is Eating the World" presentation is available here and is just full of interesting and amazing nuggets. I really encourage you to review the deck yourself - but here are some highlights:

  • 4 billion people buying phones every 2 years instead of 1.6 billion buying PCs every 5 years
  • Mobile ads make up 68% of Facebook's revenue - $7.8bn in 2014
  • Global SMS = 20bn messages/daily, Whatsapp = 30bn daily (one of several messaging apps)
  • TV only makes up 24% of video player install base

The stats alone are worth the read - but starting on slide 41, looking at tech historically (railroads were tech 150 years ago) creates some fascinating looks at what (and who) are the winners in the coming years. Where trucks and highways were the tech that enabled McDonalds and Walmart - we would never think of either as tech companies. Yet we absolutely think of Amazon as a tech company, despite being a retailer enabled by the internet. The implied challenge is - how is this different? Are we not far from the "tech" of today (mobile and software) being so ubiquitous that it disappears? When Amazon is just a retailer, no different than Sears and Walmart. And of course, when mobile answers the question of "who's next?".

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