Harvesting the Consumer Tech Dividend

At one time, tech’s focus was bounded to computing hardware and software for enterprise IT departments and consumers.

In the past decade, its breadth has exploded thanks to many well-known trends (e.g. convergence of mobile and computing, mobile computing device as leisure, growth in e-commerce, etc).

Consumer demand has financed a dramatic growth in intellectual and human capital—in expertise about hardware, software, analytics, and design patterns and in a large group of users with new behaviors.

We’re already seeing a dividend from all this human capital formation.

Consumerization of enterprise brings the cognitive ease of consumer product design to completing enterprise tasks.

Marketplaces and multi-sided platforms create new, efficient channels to connect buyers and sellers.

But I think we’re just scratching the surface of the opportunity set.

Realizing this consumer dividend more broadly will require pairing consumer tech expertise with expertise in other domains.

It feels like we’re still early in the mixing needed and in harvesting the available opportunities.

Elsewhere on the dividend theme:

  • Chris Anderson in FP: “peace dividend of the smartphone wars”
  • Planet Labs quoted in NYT: “We leverage the billions of dollars spent on the consumer mobile phone business”
  • Economist: “The consumer-electronics industry has been taking advantage of military innovations for years. It seems only fitting that it should now return the favor.”

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