Note — Mar 28, 2021

Outgrowing Software

Seen in → No.166

Source →

More and more, I’m walking away from very “business analysis of tech” content like this one by Ben Evans—for this newsletter anyway—but as a pair with the above, it’s an interesting representation of where we are in terms of software eating the world. Basically, tech companies used software to disrupt and replace existing titans, now we have new ones. Initially startups were “tech plays,” they turned into the same industries, just operating differently.

It’s useful to compare this to electricity, or cars and trucks. Walmart was built on trucking and freeways (and computers), but Walmart is a retailer, not a trucking company: it used trucks to change retail. Now people do the same with software. […]

But again, tech will change everything, but once the dust has settled the questions that matter will mostly be retail questions, not tech questions. What’s the product, how do you know about it and how do you get it? […]

The car industry probably created more millionaires in retail and real estate than in the actual car industry - making cars was just one industry, but mass car ownership changed everything else.