We’re following hundreds, if not thousands of independent storylines all the time.But right now, there are five big, on-going storylines we are keeping a particularly close eye on.
These stories are tales of seismic events shifting the entire industry – and they mean a lot to our readers.
Apple After Jobs. Apple’s market cap is closing in on $1 trillion. But it’s doing it on the strength of products designed and launched under Steve Jobs. He’s gone now. Can the company continue on its tear without its leader? Tim Cook is CEO, but he’s an operational leader. Who’s the curator?
The impending Windows 8 disaster. It’s early yet, but we’re starting to think that the poorly reviewed Windows 8 might be as big of a disaster for Microsoft as Vista. Says a BII analyst Matt Rosoff: “This won’t kill Microsoft’s business — Office, Exchange, big licence agreements, Windows Server 2012 (which apparently is as surprisingly good as Windows 8 is surprisingly bad) and other enterprise business will keep it going for a long time. And Microsoft still makes money on every Windows PC sold, regardless of whether it’s Windows 7 or Windows 8. But get ready for ‘another Vista.”
Larry Page’s Google. For its first decade or so, Google’s mission was to “organise the world’s information.” It was a search company, and one of its 10 core principles was: “do one thing really, really well.” Then, at the beginning of last year, Google’s long-time adult supervision, Eric Schmidt stepped down from the CEO job and cofounder Larry Page took over. Under him, Google’s mission is now “driving technology forward.” That means Google is investing in self-driving cars, computer-powered eyeglasses, the entertainment industry, and the design and manufacture of smartphones from Motorola. Lots of company stakeholders hate this audacious way forward, but we can’t wait to follow every minute of it.
Facebook’s IPO fallout. Facebook hit the public markets in late May at $38 per share. Now the stock is flirting with $25. The reason: Facebook may have 900 million users, but its ad revenues aren’t growing very big or growing very fast and a new business model isn’t on the horizon. Because Facebook raised $6 billion for its own coffers, the company itself will be fine in the short term. So will investors and insiders, who netted $10 billion in the deal. But long term, the company’s reputation has been damaged. For the industry, the news is this: social media companies loaded with users are plainly not as attractive to investors as they were before the IPO. For early stage startups, this could make fundraising harder. For later stage startups, IPOs now seem less likely than acquisitions at lower prices than previously expected.
Mobile-mageddon. There are 953 million smartphone subscribers. There are 6 billion “dumb” phone subscribers. Those numbers are flipping, fast. What it means is that soon, more people will access the Internet through their mobile devices than through the Internet. It’s already happened in India. Kleiner Perkins analyst Mary Meeker says it’ll happen in the US by the end of this decade. The shift is already hammering big tech businesses. Yahoo depends on Web-based email usage to funnel traffic to the rest of its site. Facebook had to shell out $1 billion to defend itself from mobile-based photo-sharing network Instagram. Google’s is a Web search engine. How valuable will that be when people only use mobile apps to find and buy things? Not very. The Internet as we know it is going away, and it’s going to disrupt billions if not trillions of dollars in market cap in the process. It’s the mobile-mageddon.
Why hide it? We got some of these great ideas from here: Mary Meeker’s Latest Stunning Presentation About The State Of The Web