VC fund A16 z’s Benedict Evans writes: We are in the middle of a wave of interesting new performance software start-ups– there are lots of business that remix some mix of lists, tables, charts, jobs, notes, light-weight databases, types, and some kind of collaboration, chat or information-sharing. All of these things are unbundling and rebundling spreadsheets, email and file shares. Instead of a flat grid of cells, a dumb list of files, and a dumb list of little text files (which is what e-mail truly is), we get some kind of richer canvas that mixes all of these together in manner ins which are native to the web and cooperation. Then, we have another new wave of productivity business that addresses a particular occupation and packages all of the tasks that were spread out across spreadsheets, email and file shares into some new structured flow.[…] A few years ago an expert informed me that for half of their tasks they informed individuals using Excel to utilize a database, and for the other half they told individuals utilizing a database to use Excel. There’s plainly a point in the life of any company where you need to move from the list you made in a spreadsheet to the richer tools you can make in coolproductivityapp.io. But when that tool is managing a thousand people, you might wish to move it into a dedicated service. After all, even Craigslist began as a real e-mail list and wound up transferring to a database. However then, at a specific point, if that job is specific to your company and central to what you do, you may well end up unbundling Salesforce or SAP or whatever that vertical is and return to the start. Naturally, this is the cycle of life of business software. IBM mainframes bundled the adding makers you see Jack Lemmon using below, and also bundled up filing cabinets and telephones. SAP unbundled IBM. However I ‘d recommend there are two particular sets of things that are happening now.
First, every application category is getting rebuilt as a web application, permitting continuous advancement, deployment, version tracking and cooperation. As Frame.io (video!) and OnShape (3D CAD!) show, there’s practically no native PC application that can’t be reconstructed as a web app. In parallel, whatever now needs to be native to collaboration, therefore the design of a binary file saved to a file share will generally go away over time (this might be made with a native PC app, but in practice generally will not be). So, we have some generational changes, and that likewise tends to create new business. However second, and far more important– everyone is online now. The factor we’re taking a look at nursing or truck chauffeurs or oil employees is that a whole generation now matured after the web, and grew up with smartphones, and assumes without concern that every part of their life can be made with a smartphone. In 1999 hiring ‘roughnecks’ in a mobile app would have sounded ridiculous– now it sounds absurd if you’re not. And that means that a great deal of jobs will get moved into software application that were never ever really in software at all previously.
My computer can beat up your computer.
– Karl Lehenbauer