Adaptability is key.
The days when a car aficionado could repair his or her own car are long past, due primarily to the high software content.
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.
Nokia and Research in Motion needed a modern operating system. They could have bought Palm or Android before Google did, but they didn't. Today, it's probably too late, and at the time they would have been criticized for overpaying, but as they say - shift happens.
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.
If the Net becomes the center of the universe, which is what seems to be happening, then the dizzying array of machines that will be plugged into it will virtually guarantee that the specifics of which chip and which operating system you've got will be irrelevant.
When I started Netscape I was brand new out of college and all the aspects of building a business, like balance sheets and hiring people, were new to me.
China should be another United States from an economic standpoint. Beijing should be another Silicon Valley.
I don't waste time being depressed.
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.
Working for a big company is, I believe, much risker than it looks.
Practically everyone is going to have a general purpose computer in their pocket, it's so easy to underestimate that, that has got to be the really, really big one.
These days, you have the option of staying home, blogging in your underwear, and not having your words mangled. I think I like the direction things are headed.
Where I grew up, we had the three TV networks, maybe two radio stations, no cable TV. We still had a long-distance party line in our neighborhood, so you could listen to all your neighbors' phone calls. We had a very small public library, and the nearest bookstore was an hour away.
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.
Once you understand that everybody's going to get connected, a lot of things follow from that. If everybody gets the Internet, they end up with a browser, so they look at web pages - but they can also leave comments, create web pages. They can even host their own server! So not only is everybody consuming, they can also produce.
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 quite bullish. We're coming up on year 15 of a flat stock market. Historically that's a pretty good sign. So I'm not a hedge-fund manager but if I was I think I'd be feeling pretty good.
I am bullish on the global development. I am bullish on billions of people getting out of poverty.
Newspapers with declining circulations can complain all they want about their readers and even say they have no taste. But you will still go out of business over time. A newspaper is not a public trust - it has a business model that either works or it doesn't.