Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Web vs Mobile

I’m excited about the mobile opportunity like everyone else, but every time I hear people gush on about it, especially about how it’s going to destroy the web, I feel like they’re missing something. Over at Asymco it’s articulated well:

Tablets and smartphones allow “computing” to be done in previously non-consuming contexts: while standing, while in the active company of others, while commuting or while lying back and relaxing. It will also allow more individual use.

The mobile growth opportunity is additive. Most of the use is not in place of another computer but in place of time spent without a computer. That means it’s a huge investment opportunity, because it’s basically an unclaimed market, but it doesn’t meant that growth is coming at expense of the web (minus a few isolated non-ideal instances where tablets will replace laptops — like on the couch). That’s a huge opportunity, but it doesn’t mean that all of a sudden the millions of people who spend 6+ hours a day while at work are just going to stop. And as more and more white-collar jobs pop up around the world, many of those folks will also be on regular-old PCs connected to the regular old web. Again, to be clear, I’m not taking away from the growth opportunities in the mobile space (especially in places where PCs and the web haven’t had an impact), just saying that reports of the web’s death are greatly exaggerated.

April 29, 2011