Mobile Will be Big (Official!)

I meant to post about this last week, but a hectic schedule prevented me. So, sorry if you’ve read about it already.

The Churchill Club, is a prestigious Silicon Valley tech forum, well known (among other things) for its Annual Top Ten Tech Trends Debate. This year, the panel consisted of VC luminaries Steve Jurvetson, Vinod Khosla, Josh Kopelman, Roger McNamee and Joe Schoendorf.

The Top Ten included no less than 4 mobile-specific ideas, which shows that Valley thinking is finally coming to focus on our industry. Which is probably good news – at least if you have an idea and are looking for funding right now. The iPhone is responsible for a lot of this new thinking, in my opinion, though I still believe that it’s destined to play the role of The Sex Pistols in music – they made a lot of noise and were hugely influential. But someone else made all the money.

You can read the whole list at Venture Beat, but the mobile ones were:

– The migration to smartphones will cause great disruption, especially for Motorola, Microsoft and probably LG Electronics, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. According to AdMob’s metrics, smartphones now account for just under 25% of the market. This figure will be ahead of the overall market share, as it’s made up of people who see mobile web advertising – in other words, power users of mobile – and is thus a good snap shot of where the future lies.

– 80% of the global population will carry a mobile internet device within 5 to 10 years. Hmmm….. I’m not so sure about this one. It seems a little ambitious. I think that about 20% of the global population live on less than $1 a day, which is one definition of extreme poverty, so this is basically saying that everyone else will have a connected phone. I guess that if the future holds increased prosperity for all, in combination with much lower prices for mobile phones, this is possible. But, I’d bet against this one.

– The mobile phone is your most important device. No arguments from me on that one. I’ve been saying this for years.

– Within five years everything that matters to you will be available on a device that fits on your belt or in your purse. This is actually pretty similar to the previous one really and again, I’m not going to disagree.

No less than 4 out of the Top 10 are mobile specific, which is an interesting trend in its own right. But consider that 5 of the rest are not about computing technology at all (being concerned with things like healthcare, water and alternative energy) and perhaps we could identify a meta-trend here in that Venture Capital 1.0 and its focus on the PC is pretty much over. While I’m sure that millions of dollars will continue to be invested in PC-centric stuff in the coming years, it may well be that the golden years are in the past.

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