This post by Ben Thompson is a very interesting article to me as it helps put things in perspective.
Ben’s 3 epochs for consumer products:
Epoch 1: PC
Windows -> Office (Microsoft), Email (Microsoft Exchange server) – Why email before the Internet?)
Epoch 2: Internet
Web browsers -> Search (Google), Social (Facebook)
Epoch 3: Mobile
IOS/Android -> “Sharing” (What’s this?), Messaging (WeChat/Line…?). The race is going on
Epoch 4 (the future):
Here’s how the dots are connected:
We do everything by hands
-> We get lazy and want to automate repetitive things -> PC
-> We need to access data across PCs instantly -> the Internet
– If we were in the early 2000s, could I predict smartphones would be the next epoch? Probably not. B/c I most likely have thought that smartphones are just a different form-factor of PCs.
But one important thing I miss that smart phones are not just PCs, they’re also phones (!), and that’s why it could enter our lives quite frictionlessly.
– Ben suggested that Uber is the killer productivity app for the Mobile Epoch. It probably saves a lot of time for people in developed countries. But in Vietnam, it’s a bit harder to feel this b/c it’s still a motorbike society.
– Wearables and bitcoins are something I haven’t experienced.