Is The PC And An Internet Connection The 747 Of Silicon Valley?

from the interesting-analogies dept

Om Malik is trying to get people thinking by weaving a nice analogy saying that the PC and internet connections are like the 747 for the tech industry. The analogy is pretty straightforward: the 747 revolutionized travel, making it cheap enough on a mass scale and opening up tons of new business opportunities that simply didn't exist before it (and which couldn't have been predicted when the 747 was first created). In a sense, he's simply saying that a good platform creates plenty of new opportunities, which should come as little surprise to most people here. Still, there are some problems with the 747 analogy -- so, taking it too far might be a mistake. The 747 was a huge and expensive project, as Om describes. It was a massive top-down effort -- a big bet that paid off. PCs and the internet were, in many ways, the opposite. They were small bets that caught on in ways that no one ever expected. No one made a big bet, realistically. Lots of little bets all came together to create the current computing and networking infrastructure we all take for granted today. Still, that doesn't discount the point that these bets, all placed together, have built up a platform that will allow us to do much more -- but, in many ways, it will just be a continuation. There will be many more "small" bets, some of which will pay off tremendously, and will create even more small bets on top of that. The PC and IP networks aren't the be-all, end-all of the platform, but just a growing progression that hasn't stopped yet.

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