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A Tale Of Two Obsoletives

Dave Rahardja posted a very insightful response to Ben Thompson’s post on obsolecence. The essence of his insight is that tools and platforms are subject to different forces:

  • Tools Get Low-End Disrupted
  • Platforms Get Obsoleted

Treating platform obsolescence the same way as tool obsolescence is a mistake. Platforms are not susceptible to low-end disruption in the way that tools are. Platforms reach a low-end limit to pricing, because it has to maintain performance, while tools are more likely to continue its descent into commodity pricing, and finally, to becoming a mere component on a platform.