hardware/software observations

Remember, it’s all software, it just depends on when you crystallize it …People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.

  • Alan Kay, Creative Think (computer industry seminar), 1982
    My coworker Victor was telling me about some of his great touch tablet biz dev ideas (top secret) yesterday and it got us into a discussion all about software as service, apps and everything in between.
    One of the things I mentioned was how I’ve been observing the iPhone drying up software-as-service on custom devices. Case in point: TomTom has realized (a little late, but not too late) that it doesn’t make sense to create hardware units for their GPS software when the iPhone now has GPS built-in.
    Sirius Satellite Radio is another one who’s realized they’re not competing with FM radio anymore, so much as they’re competing with iTunes libraries, last.fm, Pandora and the like. I would say there’s still a market for their satellite offering, but it’s definitely been cannibalized by internet radio services.
    So where is the world’s largest software company in this mobile application explosion? Not surprisingly, their strategy is fragmented all over the place. It’s interesting that Microsoft has historically been the company to boast their attention to developers, developers, developers, yet Apple has created the #1 mobile computing platform of choice for many developers. Remember, Apple makes their money on their hardware sales – anything software or media they sell is to move people onto their hardware devices.
    This fact makes vain attempts like Samsung’s all the more humorous.