Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Software Based Economy

Marc Andreesen was one of the developers of the browser (Netscape), which made the Internet useful to ordinary mortals.  Netscape lost out to Microsoft's Explorer when was made part of its operating system and Andreesen moved on to other things.  He is a venture capitalist and has been on the board of Hewlett Packard and other Silicon Valley firms.  In this article, he describes that rapid evolution of the computer industry which has evolved to the point where it is dominated by software.  Companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter etc. are essentially software companies which have taken advantage of the Internet to provide products to billions of users.  Coupling software with the capabilities of the Internet is going to transform the global economy according the Andreesen.  The retail industry has been transformed by Amazon, which is essentially a software company; the music and TV industries are also become software industries.  Eventually the auto industry will become dependent upon software as well as other industries such as education. 

Andreseen is an entrepreneur and a successful VC.  He may envision more "creative destruction" in once stable industries than is likely in the short term but we are long way from tapping into the full potential of the Internet and new applications that are under development today.

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