When the tech landscape changes; from web browsers to mobile browswers, from flash to HTML5, from laptops to tablets, from typing on keyboards to typing on screens, from local storage to cloud storage, there are always companies that are started to solve the pain points that crop up from that technology change.
I call these “bridge technologies” because they bridge from one technology to another. I don’t like to invest in companies built upon these bridge technologies. Most of the time they do really well while the transition pain is high but once most individuals and enterprises have made the change, their business slowly disappears.
There is a chance that they can use that brief period of time to pivot into something with a lasting differentiation and value prop, or that they can build a large enough user base and figure out how to provide additional value to that user base before the initial bridge technology loses its luster.
But from my experience very few bridge technology compaies successfully make those kinds of moves that lead to lasting sustainable value. More often than not, these bridge businesses are not successful investments and very seldom are they the top performing investments in a venture fund.
Bridges are rarely good things in the venture business.