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


Escape The Matrix | Wired

Escape The Matrix: The Internet is the Uncanniest Valley, Don’t Get Trapped There; Virginia Heffernan; In Wired; 2017-09.
Teaser: The Great Tech Panic: The Internet is The Uncanniest Valley
Virginia Heffernan performs the tweeting at @page88.

tl;dr → The techno panic is discursive: internet life is not A Life Well Lived; as such, and wrapped in 2125 words.
and → Computers are a fetish (just like any other).


The Great Tech Publishing Panic of 2017.


Virginia Heffernan; Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art; Simon & Schuster; 2017-06-027; 272 pages; ASIN:1501132679: kindle: $13, paper: $2+SHT.


  • Amazon
    • Alexa, of Amazon
    • Echo, of Amazon
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • Snopes
  • Spotify
  • Twitter
  • YouTube


  • Elaine Scarry, a philosoph.
    • Professor of English and American Literature and Language, the Walter M. Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value at Harvard University; via Jimi Wales’ Wiki
  • David Kessler
    • this guy
      David Kessler, expert, popularizer

      • grief counseling
      • adviser to the stars of Hollywood.
    • not this guy
      David Aaron Kessler. In Jimi Wales’ Wiki.

      • pediatrics
      • law
      • Commissioner of the Food &amp Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Masahiro Mori, professor, robtics.


<quote>The same anxiety turned contempt attends much of today’s social media, notably Twitter and Snapchat, where the sheen of fatuousness, cryptic UX, and clubhouse jargon appears designed to humiliate and enfeeble.</quote>

<quote>David Kessler has written about mental illness, thoughts, ideologies, and persistent images of past or future can “capture” a person and stall their mental freedom.</quote>

<quote>Paradoxically, framing the internet as a text to be read, not a life to be led, tends to break, without effort, its spell. Conscious reading, after all, is a demanding ocular and mental activity that satisfies specific intellectual reward centers. And it’s also a workout; at the right time, brain sated, a reader tends to become starved for the sensory, bodily, three-dimensional experience of mortality, nature, textures, and sounds—and flees the thin gruel of text.</quote>
Challenge to the reader: edit this down to ten words, but retain the metaphor of “breaks the spell” and the (physical) “workout” concept.


  • Elaine Scarry, Dreaming by the Book, 1999
    tl;dr → <quote>a manifesto on literature and the imagination.</quote>
  • Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat,, a movie, 1896.
  • The Polar Express, a movie, 2010+ (recent)


The Suitcase Words

Oh my, lots of them…
  • Acela
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • blockchain
  • Coke
    Diet Coke
  • James Comey
  • cyber, the cyber
    • cyberattack
    • cyberwarefare
  • Diet Coke
  • drones
  • digitization
  • GIF
  • GPS
  • McModern design
  • Mentos
  • OGG (sic)
    Ogg, definition
  • Barack Obama
  • PGP
  • Pokémon Go
  • Redit
    • reditor
    • subredditor
  • Russia
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • web metropolis
  • UX
  • vapors
    suffering the vapors
  • YouTube

The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future | Steve Case

Steve Case; The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future; Simon & Schuster; 2016-04-05; kindle: $13, paper: $18+SHT.

<quote ref=”amazon“>The first wave saw AOL and other companies lay the foundation for consumers to connect to the Internet. The second wave saw companies like Google and Facebook build on top of the Internet to create search and social networking capabilities, while apps like Snapchat and Instagram leverage the smartphone revolution. Now, Case argues, we’re entering the Third Wave: a period in which entrepreneurs will vastly transform major “real world” sectors like health, education, transportation, energy, and food—and in the process change the way we live our daily lives. But success in the Third Wave will require a different skill set, and Case outlines the path forward.</quote>


Sure feels like the end of the bubble.  Here is a chronicle of generalized boosterism of the scale of George Gilder’s Telecosm

Whatever happened to that?


  • The Next Wave in the Internet’s Evolution; Steve Case; In The Wall Street Journal (WSJ); 2016-04-04.
    Teaser: First came getting people online. Then the apps era took over. Now a fresh reimagining is taking off.

    • too big to fail
    • Financial Technology (FinTech)
    • The “Waves”
      • First Wave → internet portals; e.g. AOL.
      • Second Wave  → applications & services on top of the internet.
      • Third Wave → something about ubiquity
    • coopetition (a neologism of cooperation & competition)
    • EdTech
    • Affordable Care Act
    • Uberized (industries)

The Rise of the Publishing Platform Specialist | WSJ

The Rise of the Publishing Platform Specialist; Jack Marshall; In The Wall Street Journal (WSJ); 2016-03-25.
Teaser: Publications are hiring a point person to coordinate with new platforms like Facebook Instant Articles and Snapchat Discover


  • Exemplars
  • Condé Nast International
  • Previously (Vox Hires Choire Sicha)
    • Choire Sicha
    • Vox Media
    • Melissa Bell, vice president for growth and co-founder of, Vox Media


  • Wolfgang Blau, chief digital officer, Condé Nast International.


Verizon and Hearst Discuss Video Joint Venture, ‘Vice for the Red States’ | WSJ

Verizon and Hearst Discuss Video Joint Venture, ‘Vice for the Red States’; Mike Shields, Keach Hagey, Ryan Knutson; In The Wall Street Journal (WSJ); 2016-01-22.
Teaser: Companies in advanced talks to create content for Verizon’s go90 mobile video app


  • Verizon Communications Inc.
  • Hearst Corporation
  • Millennials


  • A “channel”
  • “Vice for the red states.”
  • Nashville TN


  • go90
  • a “channel” system
  • Availability
    • Telecom-billed handsets only (“mobile only”)
    • Anyone (almost)
      not just Verizon Wireless customers
    • Exclusives
      • NFL
  • Concept
    • like Snapchat, but different.
    • ad-supported
    • premium & backfill
    • Channels
      • Comedy Central
      • AwesomenessTV
  • Launched 2015-10
  • Fran Shammo, Chief Financial Officer, Verizon Communications
    was promoting it


  • Hearst Digital Studios
  • Neeraj Khemlani, co-president (a general manager), Hearst Digital Studios
  • AwesomenessTV
    • Hearst, 25% ownership
    • a channel, go90
  • A+E Networks
    • Hearst,.50% ownership
    • joint venture with Vice
      Millennial demographic.
  • ESPN
    • Hearst, unspeicified ownership stake.
  • Snapchat Discover
    • Cosmopolitan, of Hearst

Snapchat Challenges Twitter And Facebook For Sports Talk | TechCrunch

Snapchat Challenges Twitter And Facebook For Sports Talk; In TechCrunch; 2016-01-29.
Teaser: Snapchat Challenges Twitter And Facebook For Sports Talk

tl;dr → Shapchat adds geofilters to control the conversation (overlay results, yet avoid copyright claims).


  • Snapchat
    • Live Story (a feature, a product trade name)
  • National Football League (NFL)
  • <quote>Live Score geofilters saw 20 million views from 51 games.</quote>
  • Twitter
    • Moments (a feature, a product trade name)
    • Hashtags (a feature, a product trade name, you know the #-character)
  • Facebook
    • News Feed
    • Wall (Feed)
    • Instagram
  • Concept
    feels like this is barely rephrased from Snapchat press relations material
    <quote>On Facebook you might post once a day. On Snapchat or Twitter, a few times. But on Snapchat, you can go HAM. Share your pre-game, entrance to the stadium, outfit, seats, the action, the half-time, game-winning play, the celebration and everything after. All Snapchat has to do is convince you what you’re doing is special, and that’s what the Live Score filters do. The real-time sports social media race just heated up.</quote>

A new class at USC is teaching students how to produce stories specifically for social media | NiemanLab

A new class at USC is teaching students how to produce stories specifically for social media; ; In NiemanLab; 2015-12-09.
Teaser: Called the JEDI Desk, the class is focused on everything from Snapchat and Facebook to 360-degree virtual reality video.

tl;dr → Class at USC, Journalism for Mobile and Emerging Platforms; nicknamed Journalism: Emerging Digital Innovation (JEDI)


  • Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California (USC)
  • Class
    • Formal:  Journalism for Mobile and Emerging Platforms
    • Informal Journalism: Emerging Digital Innovation (JEDI)
    • Instructors
    • JEDI Desk
    • Hands-on news production.
  • Concepts
    • 360-degree virtual reality (shows)
    • 60SC, a 60-second news summary.
  • Training for…
    • BuzzFeed
    • Facebook
    • Instagram
    • Snapchat

The rise of “homeless” media | Francesco Marconi, Medium

Francesco Marconi; The rise of “homeless” media; In Medium; 2013-11-24.
Teaser: We could soon see the emergence of a new wave of publishers that don’t require home pages or apps; their sole purpose is to syndicate content through different channels and social platforms.

Francesco Marconi is

  • Strategy Manager, The Associated Press
  • Fellow, Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia Journalism School.
  • [Honorific], Berkman Center, Harvard University.

tl;dr → self-styled media theorist for a news syndicator self-consciously writes about media syndication business model, publishing his work on a media platform, Medium.


  • “homeless” media
  • “viral” content.
  • advice is given to all stakeholders
    • media generators, aggregators
    • platform operators
    • “capital”
  • Denouement
    <quote>With native content consumption on third-party platforms growing, will it still be relevant for media companies to invest significant resources on running and maintaining their websites and mobile apps?</quote>
    Betteridge’s Law → Answer: no.


Why It Will Happen

  1. Mobile and app consumption is increasing

  2. Third parties are creating platforms for publishers to easily distribute and monetize content.

    • The Washington Post on Facebook Instant Articles
    • CNN on Snapchat Discover
    • Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
    • Twitter Moments.

What To Do

  • Drive engagement, whatever that means
  • Develop unique programming
  • Acquire distinctive voices
  • Be bizdev-friendly with The Platforms, they run things now
  • Keep expenses down
    remember, the cultural output, the work product is just 500 words + a picture.



Via Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  • Drudge Report
  • The Huffington Post

via Social Media (The Linkbait)

  • BuzzFeed
  • CNN
  • Vice
  • Vox
  • The Washington Post


The rise and fall of the unicorns | The Economist

The rise and fall of the unicorns; Staff; In The Economist; 2015-11-28.
Teaser: Some private technology firms are having trouble justifying their lofty valuations


  • Michael Lewis; The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine; a book, a movie
    apropos the last bubble.
  • Jet
  • Fidelity’s many mutual funds, marks down their speculative investments
    (ahem, what are mutual funds doing investing in puffery like these?)

    • Dropbox → 20%
    • Snapchat → 25%
    • Zenefits → 50%
    • MongoDB → 50%
  • Baillie Gifford, Scotland, a hedge fund
    lead investor, Thumbtack circa 2015-05 pushed valuation of $1.25B.
  • <quote>Another ill-advised but common practice among the unicorns is their habit of pumping up their valuations and giving outsiders a misleading picture of what they are “worth”. In an effort to make their supposed valuation go up each time they raise funds—so as to suggest that they are making good progress—many firms are agreeing to investors’ demands to attach special privileges to the shares being sold.</quote>


  • liquidation preference → order of payment on change in control.
  • rachet → anti-dilution rights.
  • down round → punter has a sad.


They be the Unicorns

  • Airbnb
  • Box
  • Dropbox
  • Go Pro
  • Hortonworks
  • Jet
  • Lyft
  • MongoDB
  • New Relic
  • Pure Storage
  • Snapchat
  • Square
  • Thumbtack, temp work.
  • Uber
  • Zenefits


Survivors from Bubble I

  • Amazon
  • Facebook
  • Google


For color, background & verisimilitude

  • Fred Giuffrida, Horsley Bridge; a hedge fund.
  • Jeremy Philips, partner, Spark Capital.
  • Sander Daniels, a founder, Thumbtack,



Why Snapchat Is Becoming the Hottest Social Tool for Ad Agencies | AdWeek

Why Snapchat Is Becoming the Hottest Social Tool for Ad Agencies; Lauren Johnson; In AdWeek; 2015-11-08.


  • Snapchat
  • Unlike
    • Twitter
    • Facebook
  • Purposes
    • attract Millennials (Generation Y)
    • in-trade lead generation for agencies
  • Havas Chicago
    • uses an intern program to experiment
    • develop for Snapchat
  • Giant Spoon
    • broadcasts factoids on Snapchat
      e.g. 47% of redditors are female


For color, background & verisimilitude

  • Jason Peterson, chief creative officer, Havas North America.
  • David Berkowitz, CMO, MRY.
  • Jon Haber, co-founder, Giant Spoon.
  • Will Phung, vp, media, M&C Saatchi Mobile,