Benedict Evans

Benedict Evans


Tech, mobile & media. Trying to work out what's going on, and what happens next. @a16z

285658 followers  •  976 follow  •  Pacific Time (US & Canada)  •   http://www.ben-evans.com/

General SV view of Quibi in the last 12 months: - that's a vast amount of money to raise and spend before contact with the customer tells you what works - This is an entertainment company, not a tech company - Skepticism, but who knows?

It's striking that Zoom has made such a big impact despite every tech giant having a big mature product in this space (or even several - how many does Google have?!). It's really not as hard to displace these companies as some would think, if you can find the right wedge.

Zoom also reminds me of the founding legend of Dropbox: everyone told Drew Houston 'there are dozens of these' and he said 'yes, but do you use any of them?'

Verizon Wireless: cell site hand-offs are down 53% in NYC and 29% nationally. (In Manhattan you probably get a hand-off if you walk across your apartment, so that means a lot of people aren’t moving at all.)

The reason VCs talk about the ‘kill zone’ of big tech companies is that the zone is so small. Google does vast numbers of different things, but the proportion where you’d be foolish to compete is tiny

Judging by Instagram’s location tags, a vast number of people have suddenly moved to Quarantine, NH.

@stevesi  “The good thing about living in the Union is that cigarettes do not cause cancer - at least that’s what the government says and one must presume they know”

(It’s debatable when or (even if) fully autonomous cars will happen, but it’s not debatable that they would be a good thing)

This time last year I wrote a piece about 5G. Really, almost no-one outside telecoms needs to pay attention to it. It’s simply a continuation of the steady increase in network speed and capacity that’s been going on for 30 years.

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“I run the innovation lab. It’s like we’re a startup, but inside a big company.”

Image: the Pixar render farm in 1995. Half of an iPhone.

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The global SMS system does around 20bn messages a day. WhatsApp is now doing 42bn. With 57 engineers.

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WHAT DO WE WANT? Natural language processing! WHEN DO WE WANT IT? Sorry, when do we want what?

China’s ability to fire the CEO of Cathay Pacific shows how irrelevant it is to ask who technically owns Huawei. What matters is whether the state has effective control, not legal control, and we know the answer to that for any company in or even near China.

Google search for ‘medical bankruptcy’ by region

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Tech monopolies tend not to fall like Rome. They fall like Venice. They’re still there, and no-one actually invades them, but the trade routes moved, the things that gave them power and wealth stop mattering, and they become just another city, and then a backwater.

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