Gert-Jan van der Wel

Hey! My name is Gert-Jan van der Wel. I'm 41 years old, Dutch, married and have three little kids. I co-founded Floorplanner and I'm currently transitioning from running the technology dept to the sales dept. In between family and work, I like to ride my road bike whenever I can.

Here I share what I'm up to and working on at the moment. I aim to update it every few weeks. If you want me to send you an email whenever I wrote something new, you can sign up here.

There is No Next

other - 30 Jan 2020

Everybody in tech is looking for The Next Big Thing. We went from mainframe computers the size of a room, to smaller computers on your desk, to a tiny computer in your pocket. At the same time computers got more connected through the internet and the rise of cloud computing. At each step in this process the markets got larger and the companies got bigger, from IBM, to Microsoft, Apple. So what is next?

Ben Thompson argues on this podcast that there is No Next. There have not been three distinct phases of innovation - mainframe, desktop, phone & cloud - that will be followed by a fourth phase. They are all part of the same evolution of computing. And there won’t be a bigger market because everybody on planet already has a phone in their pocket.

This means that we will probably be stuck with the four big American tech companies for the next decade to come: Google, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft. Sure, there will be new innovations like AR/VR, AI, smart watches, self driving cars etc. But these innovations will not replace the phone, they will augment it, and they will be brought to market by the existing tech companies.

I must say I was a bit surprised at first with Ben’s contrarian view, but after a while it does make a lot of sense.