Benedict Evans has written some great stuff lately. Two articles in particular have jumped out at me. The first was Tablets, PCs and Office. In it Benedict talks about how the tablet discussion is reminiscent of the laptop discussions a decade or more ago. Which to get? In it he basically says that one reason to get a PC today is because Office (or Office-like) products work best on it but questions whether that is that the right decision point?
This brings us back to the mouse and keyboard that you ‘need for real work’, as the phrase goes. Yes, you really do need them to make a financial model. And you need them to make an operating metrics summary – in Excel and Powerpoint. But is that, really, what you need to be doing to achieve the underlying business purpose? Very few people’s job is literally ‘make Excel files’. And what if you spend the other 90% of your time on the road meeting clients and replying to emails? Do you need a laptop, or a tablet? Do you need a tablet as well as a smartphone? Or a laptop, or phablet? Or both?
Interesting, especially his discussion of Office.
In the second article I will point out today, called Cards, Code and Wearables, Benedict talks about the recently announced Google Watch and rumored Apple Healthbook. In it, he discusses how both are really the same product, focused on the phone as the source of processing power and how watches, apps and other things are all extensions of the phone itself. Near the end he philosophizes:
It seems to me that the key question this year is that now that the platform war is over, and Apple and Google won, what happens on top of those platforms? How do Apple and Google but also a bunch of other companies drive interaction models forward? I’ve said quite often that on mobile the internet is in a pre-Pagerank phase, lacking the ‘one good’ discovery mechanism that the desktop web had, but it’s also in a pre-Netscape phase, lacking one interaction model in the way that the web dominated the desktop internet for the last 20 years. Of course that doesn’t mean there’ll be one, but right now everything is wide open.
I’ve followed Benedict’s work for a while. I can see why a16z added him as a partner.