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Earlier this week I did a podcast with my colleague Steven Sinofsky talking about the management structures of Google, Apple. The interesting thing is that the management structures that they've used to achieve that are actually very different.

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Content isn't king [0.10]

Posted on July 16, 2017, 10:30 a.m. by Home - Benedict Evans @ [source]

People in tech and media have been saying that ‘content is king’ for a long time - perhaps since the VHS/Betamax battle of the early 1980s, and perhaps longer.

Since music no longer stops people from switching between platforms, it’s gone from being a moat (especially for Apple, the one platform company that actually had a strong position) to a low-margin check-box feature.

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Creation and consumption [0.12]

Posted on July 14, 2017, 9:49 p.m. by Home - Benedict Evans @ [source]

There's a pretty common argument in tech that though of course there are billions more smartphones than PCs, and will be many more still, smartphones are not really the next computing platform, just a computing platform, because smartphones (and the tablets that derive from them) are only used for consumption where PCs are used for creation.

There are two pretty basic problems with this line of thinking.

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Not even wrong - ways to dismiss technology [0.12]

Posted on May 26, 2017, 6:32 p.m. by Home - Benedict Evans @ [source]

I don't think that anyone believes that if we had general AI, it would be a toy - indeed it's more likely that it would think that we were a toy. You don’t think that you want to listen to music walking down the street, and you don’t think that you want to be able to call anyone from anywhere you might be.

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Ten Year Futures [0.14]

Posted on April 25, 2017, 10:29 p.m. by Home - Benedict Evans @ [source]

Now that mobile is maturing and its growth is slowing, everyone in tech turns to thinking about what the Next Big Thing will be. It's easy to say that 'machine learning is the new mobile' (and everyone does), but there are other things going on too.

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The first decade of augmented reality [0.10]

Posted on April 11, 2017, 10:21 p.m. by Home - Benedict Evans @ [source]

All of this means that if we're at the 'Jeff Han' stage today, we're not far away from the iPhone 1 stage, and then, over the next decade or so, we could evolve to a truly mass-market product. Multitouch in smartphones means that we have direct physical interaction, so that we touch the thing we want on the screen instead of moving a mouse a foot or two away from it, but would we 'touch' AR objects that hover in the air?

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Cars and second order consequences [0.06]

Posted on March 30, 2017, 5:37 a.m. by Home - Benedict Evans @ [source]

There are two foundational technology changes rolling through the car industry at the moment; electric and autonomy. Both of these will cycle into essentially the entire global stock of (today) around 1.1bn cars over a period of decades, subject to all sorts of variables, and both of them completely remake the car industry and its suppliers, as well as parts of the tech industry.

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The end of smartphone innovation [0.12]

Posted on March 23, 2017, 3:45 p.m. by Home - Benedict Evans @ [source]

This autumn Apple will release a new iPhone design, and the fact that it postponed a new design and kept the 6 design for three years instead of two suggests it has something that will attract attention. Meanwhile, we have some indications that Apple is working on AR glasses (of which more later) and certainly was working on a car project - but neither of these is likely to see a mass-market consumer release for a year or two at the least (cars perhaps longer).

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Voice and the uncanny valley of AI [0.14]

Posted on March 9, 2017, 10:26 p.m. by Home - Benedict Evans @ [source]

Voice is a Big Deal in tech this year.

First, voice is a big deal because voice input now works in a way that it did not until very recently.

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There's a pretty common narrative that Google & Facebook have a lot of control of the internet, in that they choose where you go and what you see.

This is pretty clear for Google - it doesn't control what you search for.

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Mobile 2.0 [0.14]

Posted on Jan. 31, 2017, 10 p.m. by Home - Benedict Evans @ [source]

In 2004, ten years after Netscape launched, Tim O'Reilly launched the 'Web 2.0' conference, proposing (or branding) a generational shift in how the web worked. If in 2004 we had 'Web 2.0', now there's a lot of 'Mobile 2.0' around.

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Asking the wrong questions [0.06]

Posted on Jan. 12, 2017, 2:35 a.m. by Home - Benedict Evans @ [source]

He built the glider, incidentally, with a gift of $5 sent to him by an American Civil War veteran after a school essay he'd written about Robert E. Lee was published in the local paper.

And yet, despite predicting half of our world, as a father in the 1950s he could not imagine why his daughter - my mother - wanted to work.

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Cars as feature-phones [0.14]

Posted on Jan. 11, 2017, 4:50 p.m. by Home - Benedict Evans @ [source]

When I moved to Silicon Valley from London, in 2014, I bought a second-hand German car from 2009. The job is to stop the car crashing (or rather, stop the user from crashing the car), but the implementation is 'give the user 37 different icons on their dashboard'.

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Mobile is eating the world [0.00]

Posted on Dec. 9, 2016, 4 p.m. by Home - Benedict Evans @ [source]

As we pass 2.5bn smartphones on earth and head towards 5bn, and mobile moves from creation to deployment, the questions change. What's the state of the smartphone, machine learning and 'GAFA', and what can we build as we stand on the shoulders of giants?

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Cameras, ecommerce and machine learning [0.17]

Posted on Nov. 20, 2016, 8:46 p.m. by Home - Benedict Evans @ [source]

Mobile means that, for the first time, pretty much everyone on earth will have a camera, taking vastly more images than were ever taken on film ('How many pictures?'). You might train an ‘is there a person in this image?’ neural network in the cloud with a vast image set - but to run it, you can put it on a cheap DSP with a cheap camera, wrap it in plastic and sell it for $10 or $20.

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From mobile first to mobile native [0.19]

Posted on Nov. 3, 2016, 12:10 a.m. by Home - Benedict Evans @ [source]

A couple of years ago internet companies moved from having a mobile team and a mobile strategy to what they called ‘mobile first’. Instead of building a product and deciding how and if it would work on mobile, new things are build for mobile by default, and don’t necessarily make their way back to the desktop.

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Echo, interfaces and friction [0.10]

Posted on Oct. 11, 2016, 2:46 a.m. by Home - Benedict Evans @ [source]

Mobile phones and then smartphones have been swallowing other products for a long time - everything from clocks to cameras to music players has been turned from hardware into an app. In doing so, it changes the context but also changes the friction.

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Imaging, Snapchat and mobile [0.15]

Posted on Aug. 16, 2016, 6:57 a.m. by Home - Benedict Evans @ [source]

For the first time, pretty much everyone on earth is going to have a camera. Over 5bn people will have a mobile phone, almost all will be smartphones and almost all will have cameras.

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In praise of failure [-0.03]

Posted on Aug. 10, 2016, 9:41 p.m. by Home - Benedict Evans @ [source]

If you're a portfolio manager in a conventional public equities fund and you invest in a bunch of stocks that go down (or underperform the index), you could well lose your job, because your other investments can't make up for that loss. And if a public company went to zero, that would meant that a lot of people had screwed up really badly - public companies aren't ever supposed to go to zero, in the ordinary run of things.

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Videos of the future [0.15]

Posted on July 26, 2016, 11:39 p.m. by Home - Benedict Evans @ [source]

I have mixed feelings about concept videos ('real artists ship'), but I've found myself referencing these two videos quite a lot recently. Best watched on a smartphone, and preferable an iPhone.

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