„Clasa de mijloc este un mit”

Miercurea asta publicația Quartz a organizat o discuție cu Marc Andreessen, care i-a făcut pe participanți „să se ridice în picioare și să asculte”. Marc Andressen, acest faraon al Sillicon Valley, a fost coautor al Mosaic, the first widely used web browser, responsabil de popularizarea www-ului, cofondator al Netscape, iar în prezent se plimbă după plac prin boardurile Facebook, eBay, HP – to mention a few. He’s sorta god of the Internet. Iată în rezumat cele 8 idei ale lui Andreessen care au lovit tibia mohorâților:

1. “One of my working theories right now is basically every single idea from the dotcom era was correct”. (Andreessen founded Loudcloud, a service which broke ground in the world of distributed computing, then changed strategies and sold itself to HP when that business went bust. But a few years later, and Andreessen would have been Amazon Web Services. “In this business, being early is the same as being wrong, as I’ve discovered multiple times,” he says. That should send investors scrambling back to the absurd IPO prospectuses of 1998 for ideas whose time has now come.)

2. “The idea of the middle class itself is a myth.” (Andreessen argued that the middle class is an “artifact” of America’s post-World-War-II role as the last standing industrial power—that the term describes people with a high-school education earning college-level wages, who after the war worked in the firms that built modern America’s industrial base. That view might surprise all the war veterans who got college educations thanks to the GI Bill. “That experiment has been run and it was a catastrophic failure,” he says, arguing that Americans today without college degrees or an engineering background are doomed to a future of shoe sales. Maybe his idea of “middle class” is a bit strange, but on one thing we can agree: If you do get that college degree, you might want to consider computer languages over English degrees.)

3. “We have this idea of net neutrality… the consequence of this, left unchecked, is that the mobile data networks are going to run out of capacity… in 2016 or 2017, and then that’s it.” (Opposing net neutrality—the idea that bandwidth should always be free to whichever sender wants to use it—is to Silicon Valley what witchcraft was to 17th-century Salem. The consensus among techies is that forcing companies (such as Netflix or Google) to pay more for the vast amount of traffic they generate, rather than charging their users for the bandwidth, would stifle innovation.)

4. “I’m not saying we should have sweatshops in the US and I’m not saying we should have no environmental regulations, but it is harder to do business in most states in the US than it is to do business in a lot of places around the world.” (The US needs cheaper labor, more immigrants and fewer rules.)

5. “I don’t think companies have to justify their stock prices.” (Don’t expect Facebook to justify its IPO price. “I come from the school of [Silicon Valley venture capitalist and Kleiner Perkins partner] John Doerr on this one. If Netscape stock went up or down 10% one day, I said to John, why did our stock do that? And he said, ‘Oh, there were more buyers than sellers.”)

6. “We’ve never had the ability in our industry to reach five billion people with a computer and now we have the ability to do that.” (This mobile internet thing is bigger than anyone understands.)

7. “AirBnB is gonna eat real estate.” (Forget hotels. The whole property market is turning upside down. Not just hotels, not just vacation rentals, not just sublets: Andreessen predicts that the online rental platform will do to real estate what eBay and other online sellers did for goods. And then it will eat the travel industry’s lunch too.)

8. “If Google Glass works—I want the contact lens version as soon as I can possibly get it—I don’t care if it’s a microwave beam powering the thing that gives me eye cancer, I’ll take it.” (Responding to a question about the next big hardware platform, Andreessen said that he thought there were about 20 years of innovation in apps left in smartphones and tablets. But he’s excited about Google’s augmented-reality platform, Project Glass. Currently, Google Glass consists of a display perched on an eyeglasses frame, but eventually that display could be embedded in contact lenses. Powering them could be a problem, however—where do you put the battery?—so one solution could be to beam microwaves at the lenses. “I don’t care if you can flash-fry an egg in between the battery and the eye, I can’t wait.”)

foto: Early Portishead avatar on MySpace.



Scroll to top