Mobile 2.0 (Web 3.0) | Benedict Evans

Benedict (Ben) Evans (A16z); Mobile 2.0 (not Web 3.0); In His Blog; 2017-01-31 (one year ago).

tl;dr → A paean. “The mobile” is the Bee’s Knees!
and → The signal is given: a new S-Curve is commencing.
and → The unbunding / rebundling / unbundling / rebundling cycle, a metaphor of growth-cum-renewal.



  • Amazon
    • They sell stuff, which is purchased by “the mobile” (demographic)
    • Alexa
    • Echo
  • Apple
    • AirPods
    • They make The Phones, which are “the mobile” (a totem of the demographic)
  • Facebook
    • is “the browser”
    • Instant Articles
  • Google
    • Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
    • YouTube, is “the video”
  • Snapchat
    • <rly?>
    • Spectacles


Web 1.0
1994, Netscape launched
Web 2.0
2004, Tim O’Reilly, broadband, Yahoo, Flickr, “the social”
Mobile 1.0
2007, the iPhone launch.
Web 3.0 Mobile 2.0
“The Web” is dead; the Wintel device & it’s browser is not relevant any more.
Ah Bullion Yoosers, On. Smart. Phones.
WiFi, The ‘Gs, 3 & 4, LTE, High-DPI screens, 100x GPUs, Sensors (cameras). Cameras


Missing in the Analysis
  • How is it that The Telecoms will allow this?

    • The Phone is sold through their financing apparatus.
    • The Phone operates on spectrum owned by them.
    • The Phone engenders a billable event every month.
  • Are The Telecoms so inept that they cannot (re-)capture the consumer?
    • Constrained by The Regulation?
    • Mired in The Buraucracy?
    • The corporate DNA (as a metaphor for corporate culture) of Old Monopoly Ma Bell disallows new modes of thinking?
    • They are disinterested?
  • Maybe with 5G!

Free Association

  • Computers with eyes
  • Combining the camera with touch
  • Video (the sight, sound & motion)
  • <alert><cliche>Consuming content; Deeper engagement.<cliche></alert>
  • <quote>Video is the new HTML, or the new Flash.<quote>
  • Facebook, is “the browser.”
  • YouTube, is “the video.”
  • sides of the brain.
  • “unbundle” the phone.
  • a cluster of little devices that orbit the (smart) phone.
  • Alexa == Spectacles
    <quote>create a new, independent end-point for the cloud that they can own themselves.</quote>
  • Augmented Reality (AR)
  • multi-touch
  • machine learning
  • computer vision
  • voice recognition
  • WOW!


Business Decision-Making from Folkloric Reasoning on the The Mythological Paradigms

<quote>Alternatively, you can look at this as part of the way that tech swings from bundling to unbundling:

  • AOL bundled content
  • [T]he [W]eb unbundled AOL
  • Google bundled the web,
  • [A]pps unbundled properties from [T]he [B]rowser,
    but also bundled each site into a single icon,
  • and now these platforms form new bundles.

The pendulum will swing back the other way again, at some point. And in parallel, one could argue that Snapchat itself unbundled not ‘photos’ but fun and self-expression from Facebook.</quote>


  • Something about app stores and social distribution.
    Except for China, which is different.
  • App distribution requires owning an app store
  • Content distribution is by the linkbait techniques


Mobile is eating the world | Benedict Evans

Benedict (Ben) Evans (A16n); Mobile is eating the world; In Their Blog, His Blog; 2016, and yearly,


  • GAFA contra Wintel
    Wintel contra IBM
  • GAFA (something like)
    • Google
    • Apple
    • Facebook
    • Amazon
  • All charts up-and-to-the-right.
  • It’s just phenomenal!
  • S-curves, mini S-curves.
    • Augmented Reality
    • Machine Learning
  • Netflix
    not a “threat” to anyone
  • Hardware
    • Google TPU FPGA for machine learning
    • Amazon Annapurna ASIC for networking
    • Apple A10 SoC, a CPU “for mobile”,
      also chips for Touch Id Airpods, etc.
  • Machine Learning
  • Alpha Go
  • Cameras → “Cameras everywhere, except in cameras”
  • Complexity contra abstraction
  • Apps
    • obvious but boring (and what is that?)
    • Facebook
    • something about live video and (vertical) 16:9 or 16:8 screens
  • Frictionless computing
    a.k.a. is e-commerce by Amazon
  • Something about sensors
  • “Who owns the customer?”
  • Retailers as (metaphoric) newsppers
    old, dirty, falling revenues, ugly business model.
  • Claim-in-Theory
    • Amazon is “Google for buying”
    • missing demand generation; a.k.a. the “discovery” concept
      • “Buzzfeed for shopping”
      • “Facebook for shopping”
      • <ahem>Uber for shopping</ahem>
  • Aphorisms-as-Theory
    • The Channel is the Product
    • YOU are the Product
    • Computer should never ask what can be autodetected, copied, deduced, attributed to Eric Raymond.
  • Cars (electric, autonomic, flying)
    • Electric motors are commodities, and simple.
    • Pattern-as-Theory
      • Nokia 2001 felled by Apple 2016
    • Something about how mapping software is “the moat” nowadays, not physical command of powertrain, dynamics, safety via metal shaping, bending, coloring.
  • <quote>The biggest changes are unknownable.</quote>
    <ahem>Only time will tell.</quote>


Trajectory Recovery from Ash: User Privacy Is NOT Preserved in Aggregated Mobility Data | Xu, Tu, Li, Zhang, Fu, Jin

Fengli Xu, Zhen Tu, Yong Li, Pengyu Zhang, Xiaoming Fu, Depeng Jin; Trajectory Recovery From Ash: User Privacy Is NOT Preserved in Aggregated Mobility Data; In Proceedings of the Conference on the World Wide Web (WWW); 2017-02-21 (2017-02-25); 10 pages; arXiv:1702.06270

tl;dr → probabilistic individuation from timestamped aggregated population location records.

Separately noted.


Human mobility data has been ubiquitously collected through cellular networks and mobile applications, and publicly released for academic research and commercial purposes for the last decade. Since releasing individual’s mobility records usually gives rise to privacy issues, datasets owners tend to only publish aggregated mobility data, such as the number of users covered by a cellular tower at a specific timestamp, which is believed to be sufficient for preserving users’ privacy. However, in this paper, we argue and prove that even publishing aggregated mobility data could lead to privacy breach in individuals’ trajectories. We develop an attack system that is able to exploit the uniqueness and regularity of human mobility to recover individual’s trajectories from the aggregated mobility data without any prior knowledge. By conducting experiments on two real-world datasets collected from both mobile application and cellular network, we reveal that the attack system is able to recover users’ trajectories with accuracy about 73%~91% at the scale of tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands users, which indicates severe privacy leakage in such datasets. Through the investigation on aggregated mobility data, our work recognizes a novel privacy problem in publishing statistic data, which appeals for immediate attentions from both academy and industry.

16 mobile theses (a compendium, review & overview of 2015) | Benedict Evans

Benedict Evans; 16 mobile theses; In His Blog; 2015-12-18; podcast.


  1. Mobile is the new central ecosystem of tech
  2. Mobile is the internet
  3. Mobile isn’t about small screens and PCs aren’t about keyboards
    Mobile means an ecosystem and that ecosystem will swallow ‘PCs’
    It is the ARM ecosystem, not the Wintel ecosystem.
  4. The future of productivity
  5. Microsoft’s capitulation
  6. Apple & Google both won, but it’s complicated
  7. Search and discovery
  8. Apps and the web
  9. Post Netscape, post PageRank, looking for the next run-time
  10. Messaging as a platform, and a way to get customers.
  11. The unclear future of Android and the OEM world
  12. Internet of Things
  13. Cars
  14. TV and the living room
  15. Watches
  16. Finally, we are not our users



In archaeological order.

Media companies just closed the web gap, and now there’s a mobile chasm | Fortune

Media companies just closed the web gap, and now there’s a mobile chasm; ; In Fortune; 2015-08-25.

tl;dr → a repeat for the generalist audiences

Original Sources

iOS 9 Content Blocking Will Transform The Mobile Web: I’ve Tried It; Some Cub Reporter (SCR); In The Next Web (TNW); 2015-08-24.

Mobile Readers Abound; the Ads, Not So Much; Jack Marshall; In The Wall Street Journal (WSJ); 2015-08-24.


On the Anonymity of Home/Work Location Pairs | Golle, Partridge

Phillippe Golle, Kurt Partridge (Palo Alto Research Center, PARC); On the Anonymity of Home/Work Location Pairs; In Pervasive Computing; Lecture Notes in Computer Science Volume 5538; 2009; 8 pages.