Hey, guess what! Apple's doom finally has a timeline. Look!
If you've never heard of Fred Wilson before, well, you're missing out on some world-class prognostimication, brother. He's a venture capitalist, people. It's not like he could easily be invested in a host of startups that compete with or have interest in the failure of App ... oh, wait, that's exactly what it's like.
Speaking at today's TC Disrupt conference in NYC, he predicted that the top three tech companies, instead, will be Google, Facebook "and one that we've never heard of."
Oh, those guys are good. You should definitely invest in that company you've never heard of. It's going places.
So, to be clear, this is the seriousness of Wilson's argument. There will be three top companies and one of them will be a company we've never heard of. And there's no room for Apple in this pantheon of gods--one of whose powers we don't even know.
OK, sounds like there's no way this prediction could possibly be wrong. But what's Wilson's track record with Apple like?
Let us commence the cheesy time-machine special effects and pretend to take ourselves all the way back to February of 2009. America had its first black president, the most popular tablet computers ran Windows, and Fred Wilson thought Apple had "a blind spot" because it wouldn't allow Flash on iOS (tip o' the antlers to Kontra).
I believe Apple is making a mistake by snubbing Adobe's desire to get Flash on the iPhone.
Wow, really. Fascinating.
Wonder how that turned out.
And I believe Apple doesn't share in Adobe and Nokia's vision of an open and consistent experience for web browsing and mobile apps.
Proprietary Flash is open. Got it. Is war also peace? The Macalope wants to get this right.
I don't even think an app ecosystem is the long term solution for the mobile web. It's a bridge enviroment that allows for rich experiences on devices that don't have reliable high bandwidth connections yet.
But the mobile web will eventually just be the web.
He may be right one day, but so far? Not so much.
Back to today:
Apple, he believes, is "too rooted to hardware," with not enough tied into the cloud, and that will make it too much of a challenge for it to evolve going forward.
Presumably in 2020 you will access the cloud with your mind.
"I think hardware is increasingly becoming a commodity," he said.
Segments of the market may commoditize, but they're never the segments where Apple competes.
Speaking to Michael Arrington on stage, Wilson said he had no idea what will occupy number-three in Apple's place, "I sure hope that I'm an investor," he added.
Well, good luck with that! Investing in that thing. That thing you don't know what it is.
The reason Wilson can't name a company that's going to rise into the top three technology companies in six years is because there are too many factors at play. Nobody could. Likewise, however, no one can predict with certainty that Apple will drop out of the top three. That he doesn't realize how he himself has proved this point is ... well, not surprising for a guy who thought Flash on mobile was the wave of the future.