Is Software Eating the World

Marc Andreeson has a really good, optimistic article in the Wall Street Journal about the future foundational role of Software in all industries of the world’s economy:

“[…snip]Finally, the new companies need to prove their worth. They need to build strong cultures, delight their customers, establish their own competitive advantages and, yes, justify their rising valuations. No one should expect building a new high-growth, software-powered company in an established industry to be easy. It’s brutally difficult.

I’m privileged to work with some of the best of the new breed of software companies, and I can tell you they’re really good at what they do. If they perform to my and others’ expectations, they are going to be highly valuable cornerstone companies in the global economy, eating markets far larger than the technology industry has historically been able to pursue.

Instead of constantly questioning their valuations, let’s seek to understand how the new generation of technology companies are doing what they do, what the broader consequences are for businesses and the economy and what we can collectively do to expand the number of innovative new software companies created in the U.S. and around the world.

That’s the big opportunity. I know where I’m putting my money. […end snip]” (from Wall Street Journal)

A fine article. One thing that does go through my mind is that even though he cites opportunity after opportunity in the full article, my observation is that it is quite hard nowadays to get people to pay for software in any form. We’ve gotten used to free, even in the enterprise. Yes some do succeed, big, but many many do not make it.

You must have a deep, illogical, passionate belief in your company and then you have to actually be really really good at execution.