Michael Saylor: The Internet wave was the fourth wave of computing. It was really, at its height, 350 to 400 million people on desktop PCs running Web API-based software three hours a day, five days a week. They're between the ages of 20 and 45, they're white collar workers.
It was a fairly constrained phenomenon. It was software affecting less than 5% of the civilization. A lot of institutions didn't get obliterated; we didn't obliterate books and movies and television. [Amazon.com] was an alternative to catalog retailing, but Wal-Mart and Best Buy weren't afraid of Amazon, and we still had Camelot Records.
The mobile way was going to be fundamentally different, because 10 times as many people were going to use the software. Instead of less than 500 million, you're talking about 5 billion people that are going to touch software running on a smartphone.
Instead of 15 hours a week, it's 150 hours a week. People sleep with the software on their phone. Instead of software -- if you've ever used Google Maps on a Web browser or Google Maps on an iPad, it's pretty obvious software running on the iOS or even an Android is 10 times easier to use, or more powerful.
You have three dimensions where you've got an order of magnitude improvement, so I started thinking, "What's the impact of software which is 10 to 100 to 1,000 times better, more ubiquitous, than the fourth wave of computing?"
My conclusion was, it was going to dematerialize half of the civilization's economy; half of everything that we have in the world is about to become software. More than half the products, but a lot of business processes and civil processes and government processes, like getting a prescription, or writing a traffic ticket, or taking homeroom attendance, or merchandising, or point of sale, or money transfer.
These are all about to become software.
Eric Bleeker has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com and Google. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Amazon.com and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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