Tech's death in this case is really a sign of two different types of success. First of all, technology died while conquering the world. Netflix is leading a global transition from linear to streaming television. Tesla has accelerated the electric wake up of automakers. But if Netflix and Walt Disney both use technology to cast video, why does Netflix only negotiate unlimited winnings? And if Tesla and BMW "both use battery technology to power luxury cars," writes Deluard, "why should the former be trading 42 times the profit ahead while the second would rake in 5.6 times the profit lost? "Good question.
Second, some of the largest technology companies have exhausted their major markets. Apple and Samsung may have reached the smartphone trayas phone sales seem to have peaked. Facebook and Google have gained a dominant position in digital advertising. But in the United States, overall advertising spending has averaged only 3% of GDP. How do you develop forever in a sector that does not develop? It's easy: you do not do it. There may be a Malthusian trap in the economy of attention. Finally, income growth comes up against the natural limits of the population and waking hours.
But here's another interpretation of technology from the last 12 months: maybe this is not the end of technology, not even the beginning of the end. This is "The end of the beginning"Says Benedict Evans, partner at Andreessen Horowitz.
In the beginning, technology companies mainly solved media problems. Need a hardware platform for media consumption? Apple and Samsung have done it, with billions of smartphone sales. Need a software portal for the world information? Google did it. Need a global village to talk about the world's media? Facebook did it. Monopolize media consumption in the largest country in the world? Tencent did it.
Tech ate mediaand the media went well. Now, it must eat away at the most difficult and challenging sectors of the global economy. Eating science software of life? Software that eats older people? Home building software? Eating software money? Good luck.
Take a closer look at a large sector in which tech companies have already begun to nibble: e-commerce Online shopping is a $ 500 billion industry in the United States, which may seem like a big deal. But in reality, it's not more than what Americans spend each year at gas stations. Yes, service stations.
E-commerce started with the easy trick. The models sold by OG Amazon are among the most reliable and durable books in the world. When you buy Lolita on Amazon, you do not fear that it misses the first page, does not feel the fish or is not said "by Dan Brown" on the cover. But with the acquisition of Whole Foods, Amazon has expanded its grocery business, such as fruits and meat, which can spoil, degrade and flake in transit. This is a much more difficult problem. Before millions of people trust Amazon to deliver rigid covers and old tomatoes with equal reliability, the company will need to invest more money in more warehouses and transportation equipment.