So I talked about the Everything Wars last post and laid down an outline of how I saw the battle going:
Level 1: Apple, Google, and Microsoft battling over technologies of software, systems, and access.
Level 2a: Content delivery companies, battling each other over rights and distribution, and possibly making deals with other companies.
Level 2b: Social media and integration tools, battling each other midly, but somewhat away from Level 1.
Level 3: Content deliverers, dealing with the battles above.
So now where do I see this going and what does it mean for you?
At some point, Microsoft, Google, and Apple will get exhausted. The bloom is off Apple, Google is spreading itself thin, and Microsoft seems a bit clueless. They can't keep this up, and they risk annoying people as well. At some point they'll retreat to their own territories at least for awhile. This will take 12-24 months and the major loosers will be Apple and Microsoft. Apple will have to cede territory to Android Phones and I don't think they'll do well in the netbook market, and Microsoft will cede part of the netbook market to Chrome, and probably go back to focusing on taking territory from Apple.
If you work at these companies the biggest battles occur with you're possibly safe now – but my big worry would be that when the companies exhaust themselves, it's layoff/reorganization time. If you're in something experimental make sure you can be "readsorbed" or reassigned if it doesn't work out.
If you work in level 2 (content delivery or social media), you're probably fine in social media – you may even get some deals with these companies. Delivery can be affected by what technologies suss out.
The Content Delivery wars? Ugly. I expect these to go on for years as companies fight over copyrights, distribution rights, etc. They'll largely ignore whatever happens to the Big Three and keep at it. I think I'll be talking about this for years to come.
This area is going to be very unstable as buyouts,legal fights, new technologies, etc keep coming and going. I also expect a LOT of bad feelings here.
Social media. RIght now social media is doing well despite some problems and I expect it will stop growing in time and stabilize. It doesn't have to worry about the Everything Wars as much since no one in their right mind is going to mess with, say, Facebook or Twitter.
If you work in Social Media your biggest worry is your fellow competitors and a market they may be somewhat erratic. I don't think the Big 3 or the Content companies will affect what you do, at least. Just keep an eye on how this market shakes out and whose on top.
Content. At a big company or an independent writer if you produce content, you've got all the wealth of tools produced by the above, and all their fights and battles affecting you as well.
The good news is people WANT content, they want it, they'll pay for it. The additional good news is there's a lot of tools to get it to them.
The bad news is the Everything Wars are raging and you're going to have to navigate them. You'll have to be aware of that video company that distributes movies, or the legal issues of sending stories via facebook, or the marketing issues of helping your company put a film online via a specific service.
People want your stuff – you just have to navigate the minefield.
Well this ended up being a two-parter, but it was worth it. I hope you found it interesting and it gave you some ideas for how to face the Everything Wars.
– Steven Savage