Archive for agosto \31\UTC 2011

U.S. Files Antitrust Complaint to Block AT&T, T-Mobile Merger

agosto 31, 2011

Deu hoje na http://www.bloomberg.com !

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U.S. Files Antitrust Complaint to Block AT&T, T-Mobile Merger

By Tom Schoenberg – Aug 31, 2011 11:34 AM GMT-0300

Executives at AT&T attend a news conference where it was announced that AT&T Inc. will be buying its wireless rival T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom AG for $39 billion in cash and stock on March 21, 2011 in New York City.

The U.S. government sued to block AT&T Inc.’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA Inc., saying the deal would “substantially lessen competition” in the wireless market.

The Justice Department complaint was filed today in federal court in Washington. The U.S. is seeking a declaration that Dallas-based AT&T’s takeover of T-Mobile, a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE), would violate U.S. antitrust law and a court order blocking any arrangement implementing the deal.

“AT&T’s elimination of T-Mobile as an independent, low- priced rival would remove a significant competitive force from the market,” the U.S. said in its filing.

AT&T fell 96 cents to $28.66 at 10:31 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

Should regulators reject the transaction, AT&T would pay Deutsche Telekom $3 billion in cash. It would also provide T-Mobile with wireless spectrum in some regions and reduced charges for calls into AT&T’s network, for a total package valued at as much as $7 billion, Deutsche Telekom said this month.

Philipp Schindera, a spokesman at Bonn-based Deutsche Telekom, declined to immediately comment.

The case is U.S. v. AT&T Inc. (T), 11-01560, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Washington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Schoenberg in Washington at tschoenberg@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David E. Rovella at drovella@bloomberg.net

Anúncios

U.S. Exports to China Grew 4 Times Faster Than Exports to the Rest of the World from 2000 to 2010

agosto 30, 2011

Mais um post sobre a relação comercial USA e China (post de ontem do blog do Prof. Mark Perry: mjperry.blogspot.com)!

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U.S. Exports to China Grew 4 Times Faster Than Exports to the Rest of the World from 2000 to 2010

 

We hear a lot about Chinese exports to the U.S., but we don’t hear as much about U.S. exports to China.  Here are some facts from the U.S.-China Business Council:

China is the third largest export market for the United States ($92 billion in 2010), behind our NAFTA partners #1 Canada ($248 billion) and #2 Mexico ($163 billion), and head of #4 Japan ($60.5 billion) and #5 U.K. ($48.5 billion).

Our top five exports to China in 2010 were: Computers and electronics ($15.3 billion), farm products ($13.8 billion), chemicals ($11.8 billion), transportation equipment ($10.6 billion) and machinery ($9.3 billion).  Except for farm production, the other top four export categories are all  American manufactured products with the “Made in the U.S.A.” label.

Over the last decade from 2000 to 2010, U.S. exports to China grew by 468%, which was more than 8 times the 55.7% growth in exports to the rest of the world (see chart above of indexes for both series that are equal to 100 in the year 2000).  On an annual basis, exports to China have been growing at an average rate of 19% over the last decade, more than four times faster than the 4.5% annual growth rate for exports to the rest of the world.

Google TV terá mais parceiros, diz Schmidt

agosto 30, 2011

Mais uma do Estadão reproduzindo matéria da Reuters!

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Google TV terá mais parceiros, diz Schmidt

  • 29 de agosto de 2011|
  • 12h18|

Por Agências

Presidente do conselho afirmou que empresa tem “firme compromisso” de expandir e melhorar o serviço

EDIMBURGO – O Google tem um “firme compromisso” para com seu serviço de televisão e espera anunciar muitos parceiros novos para ele em breve, disse Eric Schmidt, presidente do conselho da empresa, no sábado, 27.

A Google TV, que permite que os usuários combinem conteúdo de web e televisão em telas de televisores, recebeu críticas pouco entusiasmadas e foi bloqueado pelas grandes emissoras norte-americanas quando de seu lançamento nos Estados Unidos, em outubro.

Schmidt declarou no festival de TV de Edimburgo que os obstáculos ao produto até o momento se devem em parte a uma característica técnica dos televisores, aparelhos que os consumidores tendem a substituir apenas uma vez a cada cinco anos.

“Temos o firme compromisso de continuar, de melhorar o Google TV”, disse ele, acrescentando que novas empresas em breve se unirão aos atuais parceiros Sony e Logitech para a próxima versão do sistema. A Logitech produz mouses, alto-falantes, webcams e teclados para computadores. ”Creio que os dois continuarão conosco e que surgirão muitos outros parceiros. Esperem por um anúncio em breve”, disse.

O Google há muito abriga ambições de expandir seus negócios de publicidade online, que movimentam US$ 28 bilhões anuais, ao mercado de televisão.

A empresa controla o YouTube, o mais popular site de vídeos online do mundo, mas não anunciou lucros derivados desse serviço desde que o comprou, em 2006.

Schmidt declarou que previa o lançamento do Google TV na Europa para o começo do ano que vem. No sábado, ele afirmou que o Google ainda não havia resolvido suas diferenças com as redes norte-americanas ABC, NBC e CBS, e que esperava que a empresa não encontre problemas semelhantes no lançamento britânico do serviço.

“Nós certamente conversamos com eles sobre reverterem sua posição, e esperamos que coisa parecida não aconteça por aqui”, disse o executivo, acrescentando que o Google estava conversando com redes britânicas de TV.

Como outros setores prejudicados pela internet, o de televisão em geral suspeita do Google, temendo que a empresa capture faturamento publicitário sem contribuir para o pesado custo da programação. O Google argumenta que a web pode expandir o mercado geral de propaganda ao oferecer anúncios mais direcionados e efetivos, que encorajarão as empresas a investir mais em publicidade.

/ Georgina Prodhan (REUTERS)

Situação fiscal do Brasil é semelhante à da Grécia, afirma ex-presidente do BC

agosto 30, 2011

Matéria de hoje no Estado de São Paulo.

É hora do Brasil aprender que mais cedo ou mais tarde este pepino da situação fiscal brasileira vai implodir!

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Situação fiscal do Brasil é semelhante à da Grécia, afirma ex-presidente do BC
A diferença é que, por ter o maior juro do mundo, o Brasil tem mais facilidade para rolar sua dívida

30 de agosto de 2011 | 11h 25
Anne Warth e Francisco Carlos de Assis, da Agência Estado

SÃO PAULO – A situação fiscal do Brasil é hoje muito semelhante à da Grécia, avalia o ex-presidente do Banco Central (BC) e sócio da Rio Bravo Investimentos, Gustavo Franco. A diferença, segundo ele, é que, por ter a mais alta taxa básica de juros do mundo, o Brasil tem maior facilidade para rolar sua dívida que a média dos países que formam o chamado grupo dos PIIGS – Portugal, Itália, Irlanda, Espanha e Grécia. Franco se baseia em dados do Fundo Monetário Internacional (FMI).

Em 2007, a Grécia possuía um nível de dívida com vencimento de curto prazo de 13% do Produto Interno Bruto (PIB), proporção inferior aos números do Brasil, que chegavam a 17,7%. Mesmo em 2011, o Brasil ainda possui uma dívida de curto prazo equivalente a 16,9% do PIB, nível superior ao da Grécia, de 16,6%.

A maior diferença entre Brasil e Grécia, segundo o FMI, residia no déficit nominal, que em 2007 correspondia a 6,7% do PIB grego – e neste ano aumentou para 7,4%, enquanto o déficit nominal brasileiro, que era de 2,7% do PIB em 2007, caiu para 2,4% neste ano. Somados o déficit nominal e a dívida a vencer no curto prazo, que correspondem à necessidade de financiamento do setor público, em 2007 o endividamento da Grécia era de 19,7% do PIB e o do Brasil alcançava 20,4%. Em 2011, a situação se inverteu, com a dívida grega aumentando para 24% do PIB e a do Brasil caindo para 19,3%.

‘Rolagem de dívida pode se tornar todo o problema’

“No decorrer do tempo, nos acostumamos a ignorar essa história da rolagem da dívida porque é algo meio automático. A gente não presta atenção, não vê que isso é um problema. Basta olhar o que a Grécia está passando nos dias de hoje para ver que, às vezes, a rolagem da dívida pode se tornar todo o problema”, afirmou Franco. “A dívida é déficit acumulado. São as nossas irresponsabilidades acumuladas no passado e que não vão desaparecer.”

Na avaliação de Franco, o endividamento de curto prazo é uma das explicações para que o Brasil mantenha uma taxa de juros tão elevada, bem acima da média mundial. “Os juros opressivamente altos que temos no Brasil têm a ver com esse custo de um sistema de rolagem de dívida que faz com que nós, brasileiros, carreguemos um montante de dívida do governo que não gostaríamos de carregar em condições normais”, disse.

De acordo com o Franco, isso ficou claro em 2009 e 2010, quando o BC não pôde reduzir a Selic além dos 8,75% ao ano para impedir uma corrida dos recursos aplicados em títulos públicos para a caderneta de poupança e para a Bolsa de Valores. “Vimos os perigos de o dinheiro fugir para a caderneta de poupança e aí ele entraria num circuito meio viciado de crédito subsidiado e fundings regulatórios subsidiados”, afirmou. “Veríamos o dinheiro saindo do financiamento dos títulos públicos e indo para a bolsa e outras aplicações. Provavelmente o Brasil não conseguiria rolar 17% do PIB todo ano se não tivesse uma taxa de juros muito alta.”

Juros altos são o preço de despesas e impostos elevados

Franco explica que, para reduzir os juros, a situação fiscal do País deveria estar em condições muito melhores. “Aqui começamos a ver a importância dessa jabuticaba, os juros altos, que não entendemos bem”, disse. O economista considera que os juros altos são o preço que o Brasil paga por não ter uma política de austeridade fiscal. “A dívida de hoje são os impostos de amanhã. A menos que usemos truques e bruxarias, os juros que pagamos hoje são o preço de não baixarmos os impostos e as despesas, empurrando o problema para as mãos daqueles que estão ausentes na discussão política: nossas futuras gerações”, afirmou.

Segundo o ex-presidente do BC, a situação é agravada pelo fato de o Brasil não possuir, politicamente, uma maturidade para apresentar um orçamento claro e realista a respeito das receitas e despesas. “Se tivéssemos um orçamento realista, a avaliação seria feita corretamente, considerando o quanto custa ter aspirações em matéria de gastos superiores ao que a sociedade quer pagar de impostos.”

Para Franco, a questão sobre o endividamento e a taxa de juros se assemelha à antiga correção monetária, que está para a inflação assim como o BNDES está para a taxa de juros. “É a falsa solução. Não resolve o problema. Na hiperinflação, a gente não podia fazer mais e melhor que a correção monetária para eliminar o problema da inflação e neutralizá-la completamente, assim como o BNDES nunca será do tamanho da economia para resolver o problema sozinho. A correção monetária, tal como o BNDES, é seletiva. E essa seletividade também tem lá seus defeitos.”

Na opinião de Franco, a crise internacional, que evidencia uma exaustão fiscal em diversos países, pode contribuir para que esse debate seja feito no País. “Não se criou ainda o impulso político para arrumar as contas fiscais, movimento que deve abrir a janela para reduzir os juros”, afirmou. “Talvez o próprio contexto internacional, onde a exaustão fiscal parece ser um bom título para o problema internacional, nos arraste para uma execução fiscal mais madura e organizada.”

Apple e a Nova Economia

agosto 29, 2011

Já está no ar a nova newsletter da Creativante, cujo título é “Apple e a Nova Economia“.  Você pode acessá-la aqui!

Steve Jobs: American Manufacturing Icon at One of the Most Successful Manufacturing Firms in History

agosto 28, 2011

Mais um post (de ontem) do blog do Prof. Mark Perry (mjperry.blogspot.com)!

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Steve Jobs: American Manufacturing Icon at One of the Most Successful Manufacturing Firms in History

 

American manufacturing of computer equipment is at an all-time record high and “alive and well.”

Following the announcement on Wednesday night of his resignation as Apple CEO, Steve Jobs has been receiving lots of well-deserved praise and accolades for his entrepreneurial genius at Apple, one of the most successful, profitable and valuable manufacturing firms in the history of the world.  That’s right, we shouldn’t forget that Apple is part of the American manufacturing sector, a sector that the Boston Consulting Group predicts is headed for a renaissance.

Given Apple’s escalating success under the leadership of Jobs, especially in recent years, perhaps Apple and Jobs have already helped launch the renaissance of American manufacturing.  And when we think of Steve Jobs, we should be sure to remember that at his core, he’s an American manufacturing icon, genius and titan.  As much as we hear the never-ending media narrative that “America doesn’t make anything anymore,” or that “American manufacturing just can’t compete globally anymore,” Apple’s success clearly demonstrates that the narrative is false.

For example, Apple and its domestic competitors in the U.S. computer industry (Dell, H-P, Microsoft, IBM, Cisco, Intel, etc.) are all world-leaders, and collectively produced more output last month than ever before in history (see chart above of the Federal Reserve’s monthly production index for computer and peripheral equipment).  And it’s a remarkable fact that U.S. manufacturing output of computer equipment has doubled in less than six years since 2005, after doubling previously in just seven years.  So much for the claim that “we don’t make anything anymore.”

Bottom Line: When we celebrate the genius of Steve Jobs and Apple Computers, we shouldn’t forget that we are also recognizing and celebrating the success of American manufacturing.  Simply put, Steve Jobs and Apple prove that American manufacturing is not dying, but it’s very much alive and well.

Micromultinationals Will Run the World

agosto 27, 2011

Meu guru Hal Varian, hoje Chief Economist Officer do Goolge, novamente se destacando!  Veja abaixo seu post que saiu no http://www.foreignpolicy.com!

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Micromultinationals Will Run the World
And cheap robots will help them do it.

BY HAL VARIAN | SEPT/OCT 2011

We live in an age of combinatorial innovation. There have been other such periods before: In the 19th century, standardized mechanical parts — wheels, pulleys, belts, and gears — were combined and recombined to create new innovations. In the 20th century, the components were internal combustion engines, electricity, electronics, and (eventually) microelectronic chips.

Today, a substantial amount of software development on the web involves connecting standardized components in novel ways. The Linux operating system, the Apache web server, the MySQL database, and the Python programming language are prominent examples: the LAMP components that serve as basic building blocks for much of the web. Once your application is developed, the cloud computing model offered by Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and others changes fixed costs for data centers into variable costs for data services, lowering barriers to entry and increasing the pace of innovation.

Just as the mechanical innovations of the 19th century led to dramatic changes in our way of life, the still-evolving computing and communication innovations of the early 21st century will have a profound impact on the world’s economy and culture. For example, even the smallest company can now afford a communications and computational infrastructure that would have been the envy of a large corporation 15 years ago. If the late 20th century was the age of the multinational company, the early 21st will be the age of the micromultinational: small companies that operate globally.

Silicon Valley today seems to be overflowing with these enterprises. They can already draw on email, chat, social networks, wikis, voice-over-Internet protocol, and cloud computing — all available for free on the web — to provide their communications and computational infrastructure. They can exploit comparative advantage due to global variation in knowledge, skills, and wage rates. They can work around the world and around the clock to develop software, applications, and web services by using standardized components. Innovation has always been stimulated by international trade, and now trade in knowledge and skills can take place far more easily than ever before.

You have never heard of most micromultinationals and likely never will; like other small firms, most will go out of business or be acquired by larger organizations. But some, like Skype (from Estonia) or Rovio, the maker of the popular mobile-device game Angry Birds (from Finland), have become household names. Even the software components themselves are global creations: Linux started in Finland, Apache in the United States, MySQL in Sweden, and Python in the Netherlands.

The technological advances that have created this sea change in the virtual world are in the process of transforming the physical world in similar ways. Industrial robots have been around for decades, but they have always been big and expensive, so much so that only large companies could afford them. But advances in information technology have changed all that. It is now possible to make far cheaper robotic devices, which in turn means that physical services provided by robotics will get substantially cheaper.

A simple way to forecast the future is to look at what rich people have today; middle-income people will have something equivalent in 10 years, and poor people will have it in an additional decade. Think of VCRs, flat-screen TVs, mobile phones, and the like. Today, rich people have chauffeurs. In 10 years or less, middle-income drivers will be able to afford robotic cars that drive themselves, at least in some circumstances. The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has been funding autonomous-vehicle research at engineering schools for more than a decade, and that research has produced several highly functional prototypes that are now being commercialized.

Why should cars sit idle for 22 hours a day — as most do — when they could be robotic taxis, plugging themselves into an electrical outlet when not needed? Driverless cars could revolutionize transit and housing patterns; with traffic jams a thing of the past, their owners could enjoy an extra hour a day for work, conversation, or entertainment (or maybe just sleep).

And cars are only the beginning. Among other things, cheap robotics will have a huge impact on medicine. Many routine operations can now be conducted by robots, making for less invasive and less error-prone procedures. The technological challenges facing such innovations can be overcome. The real barriers to their deployment are cultural, legal, and regulatory.

Lest this all sound too optimistic, let me point out the obvious: Technology gives us great power, but that power can be used for evil purposes as well as for good. Terrorism — which has benefited enormously from the same proliferation of information technology that has enabled micromultinationals and robotics — will remain a problem, perhaps a growing one. Even without explicit threats, the unending complexity of systems that we rely on daily may lead to inconvenient, or even catastrophic, disruptions.

But the march of technological progress will continue. Over the past 300 years, technology has dramatically improved the quality of life for the world’s developed economies. Now the rest of the world will get its turn.

American Manufacturing Drives the Recovery

agosto 25, 2011

Post do Prof. Mark Perry (mjperry.blogspot.com) do dia 23/08.  Mostra que os EUA, apesar do “tiroteio” que vem sofrendo por sua dívida pública, mostra que sua economia real é vibrante!

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American Manufacturing Drives the Recovery

 

Both a) new orders and b) actual shipments of manufactured durable goods showed strong monthly increases in July, increasing by 4.0% and 2.5% respectively compared to June, according to today’s Census Bureau report. New orders for durable goods in July, at $201.5 billion, were at the highest monthly level since September 2008, almost three years ago (see blue line in chart above).  Actual shipments of manufactured durable goods (electrical equipment, computers, appliances, cars, aircraft, machinery, fabricated metal products, transportation equipment, etc.) also exceeded $200 billion in July, for the first time since October 2008. (see red line in chart).   

Bottom Line: Today’s report on the strong increases in both new orders and actual shipments of durable goods strengthens the case that American manufacturing continues to be one of the strongest sectors and main drivers of the economic recovery.  Employment gains in manufacturing this year further confirm the case that manufacturing is at the forefront of the expansion.  In 2011, 180,000 new manufacturing jobs have been added in the first seven months, which is the largest January-July increase in manufacturing jobs since 1994.  American manufacturing alone was responsible for close to 20% of the 930,000 new payroll jobs added to the U.S. economy this year through July, even though manufacturing jobs represent fewer than 9% of the total payroll jobs in the economy.

Google compra Motorola Mobility: é o jogo da verticalização!

agosto 22, 2011

Já está no ar a nova newsletter da Creativante, cujo título é “Google compra Motorola Mobility: é o jogo da verticalização!“.

Para acessá-la você pode clicar aqui!

Why Software Is Eating The World (Marc Andressen)

agosto 20, 2011

Este artigo do Marc Andressen (publicado hoje no http://online.wsj.com) deveria ser lido por todos os policy-makers e economistas do planeta.
Ele é quase o indicador de que SOFTWARE está virando MOEDA!
Eu venho dizendo (em aulas e palestras) que nós estamos vivendo a era onde quase todas as transações são mediadas por computadores/software.
Logo, software está virando A MOEDA BÁSICA!
Se moeda é conhecida por suas 3 principais funções (meio de troca, unidade de conta, e reserva de valor), software já está virando isso!
Resta cair a ficha na cabeça das pessoas!

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Why Software Is Eating The World

By MARC ANDREESSEN

AUGUST 20, 2011

This week, Hewlett-Packard (where I am on the board) announced that it is exploring jettisoning its PC business in favor of investing more heavily in software, where it sees better potential for growth. Meanwhile, Google plans to buy up the cellphone handset maker Motorola Mobility. Both moves surprised the tech world. But both moves are also in line with a trend I’ve observed, one that makes me optimistic about the future growth of the American and world economies, despite the recent turmoil in the stock market.

[SOFTWARE1] QuickHoney

In short, software is eating the world.

More than 10 years after the peak of the 1990s dot-com bubble, a dozen or so new Internet companies like Facebook and Twitter are sparking controversy in Silicon Valley, due to their rapidly growing private market valuations, and even the occasional successful IPO. With scars from the heyday of Webvan and Pets.com still fresh in the investor psyche, people are asking, “Isn’t this just a dangerous new bubble?”

I, along with others, have been arguing the other side of the case. (I am co-founder and general partner of venture capital firm Andreessen-Horowitz, which has invested in Facebook, Groupon, Skype, Twitter, Zynga, and Foursquare, among others. I am also personally an investor in LinkedIn.) We believe that many of the prominent new Internet companies are building real, high-growth, high-margin, highly defensible businesses.

Today’s stock market actually hates technology, as shown by all-time low price/earnings ratios for major public technology companies. Apple, for example, has a P/E ratio of around 15.2—about the same as the broader stock market, despite Apple’s immense profitability and dominant market position (Apple in the last couple weeks became the biggest company in America, judged by market capitalization, surpassing Exxon Mobil). And, perhaps most telling, you can’t have a bubble when people are constantly screaming “Bubble!”

But too much of the debate is still around financial valuation, as opposed to the underlying intrinsic value of the best of Silicon Valley’s new companies. My own theory is that we are in the middle of a dramatic and broad technological and economic shift in which software companies are poised to take over large swathes of the economy.

More and more major businesses and industries are being run on software and delivered as online services—from movies to agriculture to national defense. Many of the winners are Silicon Valley-style entrepreneurial technology companies that are invading and overturning established industry structures. Over the next 10 years, I expect many more industries to be disrupted by software, with new world-beating Silicon Valley companies doing the disruption in more cases than not.

[SOFTWARE2] QuickHoney

Why is this happening now?

Six decades into the computer revolution, four decades since the invention of the microprocessor, and two decades into the rise of the modern Internet, all of the technology required to transform industries through software finally works and can be widely delivered at global scale.

Over two billion people now use the broadband Internet, up from perhaps 50 million a decade ago, when I was at Netscape, the company I co-founded. In the next 10 years, I expect at least five billion people worldwide to own smartphones, giving every individual with such a phone instant access to the full power of the Internet, every moment of every day.

On the back end, software programming tools and Internet-based services make it easy to launch new global software-powered start-ups in many industries—without the need to invest in new infrastructure and train new employees. In 2000, when my partner Ben Horowitz was CEO of the first cloud computing company, Loudcloud, the cost of a customer running a basic Internet application was approximately $150,000 a month. Running that same application today in Amazon’s cloud costs about $1,500 a month.

[SOFTWARE4] QuickHoney

With lower start-up costs and a vastly expanded market for online services, the result is a global economy that for the first time will be fully digitally wired—the dream of every cyber-visionary of the early 1990s, finally delivered, a full generation later.

Perhaps the single most dramatic example of this phenomenon of software eating a traditional business is the suicide of Borders and corresponding rise of Amazon. In 2001, Borders agreed to hand over its online business to Amazon under the theory that online book sales were non-strategic and unimportant.

Oops.

Today, the world’s largest bookseller, Amazon, is a software company—its core capability is its amazing software engine for selling virtually everything online, no retail stores necessary. On top of that, while Borders was thrashing in the throes of impending bankruptcy, Amazon rearranged its web site to promote its Kindle digital books over physical books for the first time. Now even the books themselves are software.

Today’s largest video service by number of subscribers is a software company: Netflix. How Netflix eviscerated Blockbuster is an old story, but now other traditional entertainment providers are facing the same threat. Comcast, Time Warner and others are responding by transforming themselves into software companies with efforts such as TV Everywhere, which liberates content from the physical cable and connects it to smartphones and tablets.

Today’s dominant music companies are software companies, too: Apple’s iTunes, Spotify and Pandora. Traditional record labels increasingly exist only to provide those software companies with content. Industry revenue from digital channels totaled $4.6 billion in 2010, growing to 29% of total revenue from 2% in 2004.

Today’s fastest growing entertainment companies are videogame makers—again, software—with the industry growing to $60 billion from $30 billion five years ago. And the fastest growing major videogame company is Zynga (maker of games including FarmVille), which delivers its games entirely online. Zynga’s first-quarter revenues grew to $235 million this year, more than double revenues from a year earlier. Rovio, maker of Angry Birds, is expected to clear $100 million in revenue this year (the company was nearly bankrupt when it debuted the popular game on the iPhone in late 2009). Meanwhile, traditional videogame powerhouses like Electronic Arts and Nintendo have seen revenues stagnate and fall.

The best new movie production company in many decades, Pixar, was a software company. Disney—Disney!—had to buy Pixar, a software company, to remain relevant in animated movies.

Photography, of course, was eaten by software long ago. It’s virtually impossible to buy a mobile phone that doesn’t include a software-powered camera, and photos are uploaded automatically to the Internet for permanent archiving and global sharing. Companies like Shutterfly, Snapfish and Flickr have stepped into Kodak’s place.

Today’s largest direct marketing platform is a software company—Google. Now it’s been joined by Groupon, Living Social, Foursquare and others, which are using software to eat the retail marketing industry. Groupon generated over $700 million in revenue in 2010, after being in business for only two years.

Today’s fastest growing telecom company is Skype, a software company that was just bought by Microsoft for $8.5 billion. CenturyLink, the third largest telecom company in the U.S., with a $20 billion market cap, had 15 million access lines at the end of June 30—declining at an annual rate of about 7%. Excluding the revenue from its Qwest acquisition, CenturyLink’s revenue from these legacy services declined by more than 11%. Meanwhile, the two biggest telecom companies, AT&T and Verizon, have survived by transforming themselves into software companies, partnering with Apple and other smartphone makers.

[SOFTWARE5] QuickHoney

LinkedIn is today’s fastest growing recruiting company. For the first time ever, on LinkedIn, employees can maintain their own resumes for recruiters to search in real time—giving LinkedIn the opportunity to eat the lucrative $400 billion recruiting industry.

Software is also eating much of the value chain of industries that are widely viewed as primarily existing in the physical world. In today’s cars, software runs the engines, controls safety features, entertains passengers, guides drivers to destinations and connects each car to mobile, satellite and GPS networks. The days when a car aficionado could repair his or her own car are long past, due primarily to the high software content. The trend toward hybrid and electric vehicles will only accelerate the software shift—electric cars are completely computer controlled. And the creation of software-powered driverless cars is already under way at Google and the major car companies.

Today’s leading real-world retailer, Wal-Mart, uses software to power its logistics and distribution capabilities, which it has used to crush its competition. Likewise for FedEx, which is best thought of as a software network that happens to have trucks, planes and distribution hubs attached. And the success or failure of airlines today and in the future hinges on their ability to price tickets and optimize routes and yields correctly—with software.

Oil and gas companies were early innovators in supercomputing and data visualization and analysis, which are crucial to today’s oil and gas exploration efforts. Agriculture is increasingly powered by software as well, including satellite analysis of soils linked to per-acre seed selection software algorithms.

The financial services industry has been visibly transformed by software over the last 30 years. Practically every financial transaction, from someone buying a cup of coffee to someone trading a trillion dollars of credit default derivatives, is done in software. And many of the leading innovators in financial services are software companies, such as Square, which allows anyone to accept credit card payments with a mobile phone, and PayPal, which generated more than $1 billion in revenue in the second quarter of this year, up 31% over the previous year.

Health care and education, in my view, are next up for fundamental software-based transformation. My venture capital firm is backing aggressive start-ups in both of these gigantic and critical industries. We believe both of these industries, which historically have been highly resistant to entrepreneurial change, are primed for tipping by great new software-centric entrepreneurs.

Even national defense is increasingly software-based. The modern combat soldier is embedded in a web of software that provides intelligence, communications, logistics and weapons guidance. Software-powered drones launch airstrikes without putting human pilots at risk. Intelligence agencies do large-scale data mining with software to uncover and track potential terrorist plots.

Companies in every industry need to assume that a software revolution is coming. This includes even industries that are software-based today. Great incumbent software companies like Oracle and Microsoft are increasingly threatened with irrelevance by new software offerings like Salesforce.com and Android (especially in a world where Google owns a major handset maker).

In some industries, particularly those with a heavy real-world component such as oil and gas, the software revolution is primarily an opportunity for incumbents. But in many industries, new software ideas will result in the rise of new Silicon Valley-style start-ups that invade existing industries with impunity. Over the next 10 years, the battles between incumbents and software-powered insurgents will be epic. Joseph Schumpeter, the economist who coined the term “creative destruction,” would be proud.

[SOFTWARE6] QuickHoney

And while people watching the values of their 401(k)s bounce up and down the last few weeks might doubt it, this is a profoundly positive story for the American economy, in particular. It’s not an accident that many of the biggest recent technology companies—including Google, Amazon, eBay and more—are American companies. Our combination of great research universities, a pro-risk business culture, deep pools of innovation-seeking equity capital and reliable business and contract law is unprecedented and unparalleled in the world.

Still, we face several challenges.

First of all, every new company today is being built in the face of massive economic headwinds, making the challenge far greater than it was in the relatively benign ’90s. The good news about building a company during times like this is that the companies that do succeed are going to be extremely strong and resilient. And when the economy finally stabilizes, look out—the best of the new companies will grow even faster.

Secondly, many people in the U.S. and around the world lack the education and skills required to participate in the great new companies coming out of the software revolution. This is a tragedy since every company I work with is absolutely starved for talent. Qualified software engineers, managers, marketers and salespeople in Silicon Valley can rack up dozens of high-paying, high-upside job offers any time they want, while national unemployment and underemployment is sky high. This problem is even worse than it looks because many workers in existing industries will be stranded on the wrong side of software-based disruption and may never be able to work in their fields again. There’s no way through this problem other than education, and we have a long way to go.

Finally, the new companies need to prove their worth. They need to build strong cultures, delight their customers, establish their own competitive advantages and, yes, justify their rising valuations. No one should expect building a new high-growth, software-powered company in an established industry to be easy. It’s brutally difficult.

I’m privileged to work with some of the best of the new breed of software companies, and I can tell you they’re really good at what they do. If they perform to my and others’ expectations, they are going to be highly valuable cornerstone companies in the global economy, eating markets far larger than the technology industry has historically been able to pursue.

Instead of constantly questioning their valuations, let’s seek to understand how the new generation of technology companies are doing what they do, what the broader consequences are for businesses and the economy and what we can collectively do to expand the number of innovative new software companies created in the U.S. and around the world.

That’s the big opportunity. I know where I’m putting my money.

Mr. Andreessen is co-founder and general partner of the venture capital firm Andreessen-Horowitz, which has invested in Facebook, Groupon, Skype, Twitter, Zynga, and Foursquare among others. He also co-founded Netscape, one of the first browser companies.

—Mr. Andreessen is co-founder and general partner of the venture capital firm Andreessen-Horowitz. He also co-founded Netscape, one of the first browser companies.


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