Marc Andreeson has an interesting article in the WSJ titled Why Software Is Eating The World. I’m an egotist so let me take this opportunity to quote something I recently wrote-
Software Rules the World
RIMM right now will succeed or fail based upon their ability to
pivot their software platform into something competitive.
Tens of billions of dollars of wealth relies upon some devs to toss
together a decent experience in QNX.
Apple is worth $360 billion almost entirely owing to their software (despite all the [fawning] about the build quality of their hardware, their magic is 99% in software, 1% in hardware).
Google TV has failed thus far because the software was and to this point is terrible.
WebOS is failing because of software.
Software makes or breaks trillions of dollars worth of
Software is everything. Google can turn a significant profit on their Motorola venture — without offending their partners — simply by having Motorola toss Motoblur and it’s illusory advantages into the garbage bin, and then hire loads of competent Android engineers to implement and specialize quickly for their devices. Motorola has been putting out hyper-competitive, solid hardware for years, but their failure has always been in software: Coming out with brand new handsets with Android 1.6 is not the mark of a company with a credible software division.
The same problems have seriously undermined both Dell and Sony Ericsson in the Android space — if you treat the software as something you just run an installer on right before shipping, your products will fail.
RIM needs to move move move. Neither Apple nor Android have the market in the bag, especially given that increasingly the industry is coming around to realize that web apps are actually pretty awesome, cross-platform solutions.
Software is more important today than ever. Mammoth international enterprises will rise or fall based upon the work of a small group of software developers.