In this article, Ben Evans discusses the impact of three upcoming technologies — Autonomous Vehicles, MR/VR and Machine Learning. While most of them are at least a few years out, we have a set of more immediate changes, that have much more to do with consumer behaviour, company strategy and economic 'tipping points':
Ecommerce is starting to reach the point that broad classes of retailers have real trouble.
TV, which so far has not really been touched by the internet, is also starting to look unstable: on-demand has a new user experience, a new value proposition and a new cost structure (no legions of customer support agents and installation engineers), and the tipping points are getting closer.
This is an essay about TV industry that’s next on the tech industry’s content journey, and contrasts it to two content industries that have been consumed by tech — music and books.
For music and books, content isn't king in that it doesn't avail a lock-in since the Spotify app is all on platforms, and so is the Kindle app. Netflix and Amazon are in the TV industry space, and Amazon is trying to create a platform lever by making the content available as part of its Prime services — you cannot disable Prime shopping, and still keep access to Prime streaming. As for Apple, it has always preferred a very asset-light approach to things that are outside its core skills — partnering with others as opposed to building its own rolodex of record labels, publishing houses in the past.
Taking a step back, though, it’s not clear how much all of this really matters to tech. The tech industry has been trying ...
Not even wrong — ways to dismiss technology (Benedict Evans)
The question, then, is not whether something works now but whether it could work - whether you know how to change it. Saying 'it doesn't work, today' has no value, but saying 'yes, but everything didn't work once' also has no value. Rather, do you have a roadmap? Do you know what to do next?
In this interesting read, Ben Evans analyzes the history of tech, and how most important breakthroughs seem like toys at first.
In this article, Ben Thompson an interesting model inspired the recent Vox Media and The Ringer announcement: The Ringer will move out of its current home on Medium, and will use Vox as technology and sales partner. This would make Vox a faceless publisher for The Ringer, and this seems like a promising model for online publishing going forward:
I suspect this is part of the endgame for publishing on the Internet: free distribution blew up the link between editorial and publishing and drove them in opposite directions — atomization on one side and massively greater scale on the other. And now, that same reality makes possible a new model: a huge number of small publications backed by entities more concerned with building viable businesses than having memorable names.