Evolution of mobile phones, in hindsight


  • Today, one can date ‘mobile’ to before iPhone and after iPhone.
  • Looking back, is that before the iPhone, it didn’t really feel like we were desperately in need of some catalytic event – just like ‘people in the ‘Middle Ages’ didn’t know they were living in the ‘Middle Ages’’.
  • Things that look like expensive toys are often the future – the iPod was signalling the future at a more structural level- a fundamental change in who could make phones and in who controlled what you could do on them
  • The headline metrics (lagging indicators) tend to be the last ones to start slowing down, and that tends to happen only when it’s too late.
  • ‘Wille E Coyote effect’ – you’ve run off the cliff, but you’re not falling, and everything seems fine, but by the time you start falling, it’s too late.
  • Nokia and Blackberry were skating to where the puck was going to be, and felt nice and fast and in control, while Apple and Google were melting the ice rink and switching the game to water-skiing!

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