In 2000, it seemed as though the only question any telecoms investor ever asked was ‘what’s the killer app for 3G?’. It turned out that the killer app for having the internet in your pocket was having the internet in your pocket: a general technology breakthrough matters not because of a particular application that it enables but because of all and any of them. I had little idea of the specific ways you’d use your phone to access all the world’s information and share stuff with your friends, but it was a safe bet you’d want to do it somehow.
Really enjoyed reading this essay from Benedict Evans on how new technology is often dismissed as a toy.
I feel this way sometimes about machine learning, AI, VR, AR… despite also recognizing their tangible, happening-right-now applications.
Aside: Appreciated this almost-timely (and relevant!) comment from Christopher S. Penn’s newsletter: “For the average business, AI is purely hype. The average business is still working on implementing Google Analytics correctly, still trying to determine what a lead is worth. Implementation of and direct use of AI for the average business is many years off, if ever.”