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The scale of tech winners • Benedict Evans
On the fact that the big tech companies nowadays are a lot bigger than the past ones (specifically, Microsoft + Intel):
<p>Scale means these companies can do a lot more. They can make smart speakers and watches and VR and glasses, they can commission their own microchips, and they can think about upending the $1.2tr car industry. They can pay more than many established players for content - in the past, tech companies always talked about buying premium TV shows but didn’t actually have the cash, but now it’s part of the marketing budget. Some of these things are a lot cheaper to do than in the past (smart speakers, for example, are just commodity smartphone components), but not all of them are, and the ability to do so many large experimental projects, as side-projects, without betting the company, is a consequence of this scale, and headcount.

On the other hand, that the market is big enough for four tech giants, not just one (Wintel) partnership, means we have four companies aggressively competing and cooperating with each other, and driving each other on, and each trying somehow to commoditise the others’ businesses. None of them quite pose a threat to the others’ core - Apple won’t do better search than Google and Amazon won’t do better operating systems than Apple. But the adjacencies and the new endpoints that they create do overlap, even if these companies get to them from different directions, and as consumers we all benefit. If I want a smart speaker, I can choose from two with huge, credible platforms behind them today, and probably four in six months, each making them for different reasons with different philosophies. No-one applied that kind of pressure to Microsoft.

How do the mice do when there are four elephants fighting it out? As we saw with first GoPro and now perhaps Sonos, if you’re riding the smartphone supply chain cornucopia but can’t construct a story further up the stack, around cloud, software, ecosystem or network effects, you’re just another commodity widget maker. And the aggressive competition in advertising products from Google, Facebook and now to some extent Amazon has taken a lot of the oxygen away from anyone else.</p>
apple  google  amazon  facebook 
13 hours ago by charlesarthur
How Workday Bridges the Gap between Amazon and OpenStack
"“What I will strongly recommend is to build something,” Magana advised. “I keep calling it ‘middleware,’ but something that abstracts the back-end platform, your pipeline system, from the way to deliver your application artifact to production. I strongly recommend that.”

It is nothing like Aporeto’s CEO described it: succumbing to the relentless will of a monopolistic beast with its sights set on world domination. If anything, Workday’s strategy is a do-it-yourself program for making global public cloud deployment viable for an organization that is not, and may not ever be, rooted there to begin with."
case  study  technology  top  stories  amazon  ec2  container  service  web  services  aws  re:invent  2016  chef  continuous  integration  and  deployment  gerrit  jenkins  middleware 
16 hours ago by jonerp
Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy
"As they say in the introduction “Technology changes, economic laws do not.”"
"Whether information takes the form of software code or recorded music, is published in a book or magazine, or even posted on a website, managers must know how to evaluate the consequences of pricing, protecting, and planning new versions of information products, services, and systems."
economics  book  amazon  business 
16 hours ago by mechazoidal
Kindle Oasis: Amazon finally launches a water resistant e-reader | Technology | The Guardian
Premium device switches between ebooks and audiobooks and comes with Bluetooth, longer battery life and aluminium design to tempt readers

Amazon’s Kindle finally goes water resistant with the new Oasis, featuring Audible audiobook integration. Photograph: Amazon
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Samuel Gibbs
Wednesday 11 October 2017 14.00 BST Last modified on Wednesday 11 October 2017 14.01 BST
Amazon’s Kindle is finally water resistant, with the launch of the new larger 7in Kindle Oasis that merges ebooks and audiobooks into one device.

Ahead of the 10th anniversary of the original Kindle in November, the new top-end device aims to lead Amazon’s e-readers into the next decade with a new aluminium design, longer built-in battery life and a larger, brighter screen.

Eric Saarnio, head of Amazon devices in the EU said: “It has a 7in screen, an inch larger than any of our recent devices, and is also the highest resolution with 300ppi screen density, meaning we can fit around 30% more words on the screen per page, which means customers have to turn fewer pages.”
Kindle  Amazon  Oasis  liseuse  nouveau 
19 hours ago by sentinelle
Will Amazon take a chance on contributing to a common good in Detroit? - Detroit Free Press
Detroit's Amazon HQ2 bid might be a sleeper, as outside experts contend. Or, maybe, it could spark a broader vision in an ongoing dream to revitalize Detroit.
this-week-400  Around-the-web  Matt  detroit  Michigan  midwest  site-selection  economic-development  headquarters  amazon  ecommerce  retail  tech  jobs  taxes-incentives 
21 hours ago by areadevelopment
What I Learned From Reading Every Amazon Shareholders Letter
Quote: "Will you admire this person? Will this person raise the average level of effectiveness of the group they’re entering? Along what dimension might this person be a superstar?" and lots of other Bezos / Amazon quotes.
hiring  amazon  leadership  management  strategy  bezos 
yesterday by ajohnson1200
The scale of tech winners — Benedict Evans
Ben Evans is a good example of someone with Exponential Hangover. He does not recognize the creation of monopolies and how they suffocate innovation.

The current crop of monopolies is much larger than the Wintel oligopoly.

So, the four leading tech companies of the current cycle (outside China), Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, or ‘GAFA’, have together over three times the revenue of Microsoft and Intel combined (‘Wintel’, the dominant partnership of the previous cycle), and close to six times that of IBM. They have far more employees, and they invest far more. (Once can of course quibble with the detail of this - the business models are different and the global scale is different. But scale is scale.)

What do I mean by “suffocate innovation”? The suppression of small business from growing.

How do the mice do when there are four elephants fighting it out? As we saw with first GoPro and now perhaps Sonos, if you’re riding the smartphone supply chain cornucopia but can’t construct a story further up the stack, around cloud, software, ecosystem or network effects, you’re just another commodity widget maker. And the aggressive competition in advertising products from Google, Facebook and now to some extent Amazon has taken a lot of the oxygen away from anyone else.
amazon  apple  google  facebook  business  monopoly 
yesterday by jefframnani

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