What’s Next in Computing?
Chris Dixon
7.3K265

It is interesting that you see just two phases in the product cycle — Gestation and Growth. What happens after growth? Do those products and platforms taper off and die? It seems more like they not only live alongside the new species, but actually provide the foundation and nutrition for both gestation and growth. So a period of self sustaining stagnancy — not to undermine the incremental improvements that happen in the long tail — is necessary for new technologies to parasitically live off till growth. The question is how long is the tail, and when do we pull the plug on a particular platform/ product category before rebirth. We shouldn’t leave those decisions to markets, though we seem to continue to do so.

Second, connected devices’ growth has been mostly like this. First, Hardware unto itself. Then Software unlocks the value of hardware for people. Then UX and Design come unlock the value of the software. Networks of users then step in to then unlock the virtuous feedback development loop flywheel that you mentioned. With the coming of machine learning, and the inevitable removal of users (remember those business process jobs?) what direction will the virtuous flywheel take when where are no real people to draw feedback from?

Possibly a prediction I’d hope for most is the simultaneous removal of drudgery and boredom, elevation of every form of work as art, and protection from financial fraud (which, not to forget, is itself often an ungainly elevation of boring market manoeuvres to a wicket art).

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