Tech Horoscopes, 2012
An overview on the current race towards absolute social…everything (web, commerce and entertainment)
Apple - Winning the battle, not the war, and not even that for long
Apple is in an arms race of hardware and patents that can only be won by a series of consistently correct tactical decisions as well as maintaining organizational superiority. In other words, because Apple’s victory can only be tactical, it does not have a strategic advantage. Apple’s acumen with generating fanaticism is limited to its ability to create real technical differentiation. However, open source software and second-tier hardware will gradually but effortlessly creep over all of Apple’s territory in the same way that it has already gained a plurality of the industry ( Android: 42%, Apple: 28% – Source). In years past, and in a different category, being first and a pioneer would lead to domination (Xerox, Kleenex, Coca-Cola over Pepsi, Nike over Reebok). Now, however, pioneers act more as door men for smaller, more agile innovators (or Tweakers, according to Gladwell) and consumers are infinitely more concerned with value than brand. Consumers are on board with Apple’s benevolent dictatorship only as long as it yields the best product around. That battle will become increasingly difficult to win.
Google - Set to win but squandering its advantage
Google is currently floundering under its own bloated weight and dry, cutesy culture, which, I would assert, is the result of its pursuit of hyper-academic and hyper-technical talent. This has led to the release of several deplorable products like Wave, Buzz and Google+, all of which are crafted like the space shuttle but are completely out of touch with real, visceral human experience.