Benedict Evans: Creation and consumption

There’s a pretty common argument in tech that though of course there are billions more smartphones than PCs, and will be many more still, smartphones are not really the next computing platform, just a computing platform, because smartphones (and the tablets that derive from them) are only used for consumption where PCs are used for creation. You might look at your smartphone a lot, but once you need to create, you’ll go back to a PC.

.. There are two pretty basic problems with this line of thinking. First, the idea that you cannot create on a smartphone or tablet assumes both that the software on the new device doesn’t change and that the nature of the work won’t change.

.. there are perhaps 100m people who today engage in some form of complex creation using what one might call ‘sophisticated professional software’ on a windows + mouse + keyboard-based personal computer.

.. If less than 10% of PCs are actually doing professional, precise, complex creation, what are the other 90% being used for, if not creation?

.. Well, they do email, and the web. Some of the consumer ones also play games ..

.. They do Facebook and buy groceries.

.. More recently, I’ve seen data suggesting that a large proportion of people who owned digital cameras never loaded the pictures onto a computer (even if they owned one). They looked at the pictures on the camera screen, or got them printed at a kiosk – but didn’t print them until the card was full

.. But then there are all of the things that a normal person (the other 90% or 95%) can’t do on a PC but can do on a smartphone, because the step change in user interface abstraction and simplicity means that they know how to do it on a phone and didn’t know how to do it on a PC.

.. So, 100m or so people are doing things on PCs now that can’t be done on tablets or smartphones. Some portion of those tasks will change and become possible on mobile, and some portion of them will remain restricted to PCs for a long time. But there are another 3bn people who were using PCs (but mostly sharing them) but who weren’t doing any of those things with them, and are now doing on mobile almost all of the stuff that they actually did do on PCs, plus a lot more.

A Conversation With Rory Sutherland

16:30: It can be advantageous to describe a benefit or trade-off to a

Normally when you travel by air, you expect an airbridge to your terminal, but one pilot said “I’ve got bad news and good news: The bad news is .. the good news is we have a bus that will take you right to passport control”

There always was an upside to the bus, but pointing it out creates value.

Prius: By enabling people to have a small, modest car without having any stigma about it. (21 min)

If there was a limit on how much you could save, people would use to as a target (29 min)

Economics is an analysis with all the other interesting variables set to zero.

If you have 5% Muslims, the kitchen will go halal because non-muslims don’t care.

Wine is the universal donor.

If you hire 10 at a time, you hire for diversity, rather than hiring the median.  Family gets a van and a small car.