New Computing Cycle

Mary Meeker is the legendary Morgan Stanley analyst (aka “Queen of the Net”), whose regular state-of-the-nation reports into internet trends are eagerly awaited among the digerati as being both insightful and visionary.

One of the emerging trends she points to in her most recent work (get hold of a copy!) is about mobile:

Mobile Internet represents a new computing cycle
– Mainframe -> Minicomputer -> PC -> PC Internet -> Mobile Internet

This parallels one of my mantras in the last 5 years or so that I’ve been blogging:

“The mobile will do to the PC, what the PC did to the mainframe”

This seemed a little unlikely when I first started spouting forth along those lines and attracted a fair amount of scepticism along the way. However, it seems increasingly likely that this is indeed a mega-trend and one that I’d advise you to be planning for.

Following my trip to Web 2.0 last week, you should note that especially well if your live and work in The Valley, which is distorting your reality a little, I’d respectfully and humbly suggest – the mobile web isn’t just about the iPhone and waiting until all phones are like that. If you believe and act on this basis, it will prove a very dangerous and costly strategy. This point is also confirmed by Meeker, who points out that “unlike past cycles, US is follower, not leader”.

In this revolution, the armed Mob has already left their homes and is marching on the PC palace. It’s too late to prevent it, so you should be thinking in terms of how you and your company join the revolution today. Next year is already too late.

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