Who Really Disrupted Music?

A common narrative about the music business is that Apple single-handled disrupted it. It was Apple, and in particular Steve Jobs, that used iTunes to “break the back … of music majors” (see JLG’s Monday Note). My problem? It isn’t actually true, at least not in the form the myth has taken. It’s close, but it isn’t the whole picture.

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Can New Platforms Disrupt iOS and Android?

Okay, first, never say never. What I’m about to say could turn out to be completely wrong. But I am a big believer of using history as a guide for the future, at least in the general sense. And I am not convinced that either Blackberry 10 or the forthcoming Tizen are going to do anything to unseat Android and iOS as the smartphone platforms of choice (let alone the upcoming Ubuntu for smartphones). And it won’t matter how technically superior either are to the incumbents, and it won’t matter than one (Tizen) is being backed and promoted by the largest manufacturers of smartphones in the world, Samsung. And it certainly doesn’t matter what technologists feel should be the case (read the comments in this Wired article to get an idea of what technologists think about this) You do not disrupt incumbents by building a slightly better variant of what they already make.

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