I came across this rather insightful post from Haydn Shaughnessy over at Forbes today. Hadyn is contemplating the future of Apple and committing Silicon Valley heresy by pointing out that it’s not necessarily going to be bright and lovely.
It’s rare for me to find a commentator who recognises the importance and influence of what I’ve been calling the ‘media industrial complex’ that has been backing Apple and Google — and instrumental in killing the reputations of the likes of Nokia and most recently, RIM. I’m referring to the publications, influencers and cheerleaders such as TechCrunch, GigaOm, Venturebeat and so on.
Haydn collectively calls it “the information infrastructure”:
Part of this environment is also the information infrastructure, which turns out to be highly unpredictable. It has for the most part been supportive of Apple. In 2008/2009 I watched as the information infrastructure in mobile, at that time dominated by TechCrunch and GigaOm, utterly decimated Nokia’s reputation and its executives’ confidence.
There seemed to be no way Nokia could repair the damage, whatever time or consideration it asked for. Its hugely successful global footprint was totally ignored as its performance in the US market became the only benchmark.
Correct. Many disagreed with this reality. Disagreeing didn’t (and doesn’t) help though.
The concern for any company (just ask BestBuy) is: what happens when the new information machine turns against you. So far it has been very pro-Apple. But as Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook emerge more clearly in each other’s sites will it be given such an easy run?
Right. If this ‘information machine’ turns against Apple, that’ll be very bad news for them. But the company will need to make quite a few missteps before they get anywhere near failing. There’s a lot of love in the room for Apple.
Meanwhile everyone else competing in the global mobile market would do well to carefully recognise, monitor and deal with the ‘information machine’.