Lots of technology. So few winners.

We know that in the 15 years since the iPhone went on sale, technology has infiltrated every crevice of our lives. Technology has reshaped politics, industries, leisure, culture, and people’s relationships with one another — for better and for worse.

The march of technology has also brought this puzzling reality: hardly any technologies of the iPhone era have achieved unconditional success.

I would argue that only one consumer Internet company in the age of smartphones has emerged as the undoubted winner in terms of popularity and financial dynamism: Meta, with its Facebook and Instagram apps.

(The company was founded in 2004, but I rate it the age of the iPhone because Facebook really took off when smartphones did.)

Every other consumer internet company in the iPhone era gets an incomplete score for relatively small numbers of users, questionable finances, uncertain growth prospects, risk of death or all of the above. And even Meta is worried that she might not stay healthy, like my colleague Mike Isaac Wrote Tuesday. Also uh dead has participate in Some serious problems in our world.

I know this sounds silly. In the past 15 years Technology wins it all. How can there be so few tech companies that we can be relatively confident that they will survive into middle age?

I will spend the rest of this post presenting my case. Feel free to agree with me or yell (respectfully!) at ontech@nytimes.com.

First, I take a big leap to exclude Google web search, e-commerce sites like Amazon and Alibaba, and Netflix streaming videos from my rating. They are likely to be technical winners in the long run, but they belong to the first generation of the Internet. I also don’t count the technology used mostly by companies. I’m just looking at consumer companies that were young children or not yet born when smartphones first hit our pockets and whose popularity was then increased by those little supercomputers.

Beyond Meta, the hottest apps of the past 15 years have giant asterisks.

Billions of people use YouTube but It’s not a great job for its size and impact. YouTube would probably not exist today if Google hadn’t bought the video site in 2006, the year before the iPhone came out.

Twitter is influential, but influential It is not widely used and is a chronic inoperator. Snapchat is a hotbed of creative ideas online and has been relentlessly copied by Meta and others. But it may not last, and it has not proven that it is a competent company. Uber and Spotify are two examples of Good Techniques That Are Bad Business. They don’t consistently generate profits, and some savvy tech watchers believe these business models simply won’t work.

fads in e-commerce come and go. It’s possible that ubiquitous apps in China like WeChat and Meituan won’t become universal. TikTok – We’ll see if its popularity will continue, if it can consistently make money and whether Concerns about Chinese ownership The app will haunt you forever.

Will these iPhone era stars still be around in 10 years, or will they go the way of Yahoo and Myspace? (For Generation Z readers, Yahoo and Myspace have been popular sites not too long ago.)

This leaves us with a dead. Again, the company has problems, but it has adapted several times so far to people’s rapidly changing online habits. The company is also very, very good at making money. Until now.

You can’t be a winner without the ability to monetize popularity and keep people glued to the app as their tastes change. Very few companies have been able to do both in the past decade.

How did it happen that we have so much technology and so few winning technology companies?

It is possible that the nature of innovation leaves a lot of knocks down the road. In earlier eras of technology, one or a few permanent companies might have emerged. Microsoft and Apple were the biggest winners from moving computers into people’s homes. Google, Amazon, and Netflix were first-generation stars of the web. There have been many other technologies and technology companies that have been forgotten along the way.

And if you look beyond the technologies people use to those of companies, the past 15 years have brought in more winners. Cloud computing – short for digital tasks performed over the Internet instead of specialized computers owned by people or companies – re-creating Internet services and corporate technology. Cloud computing has made a lot of tech companies rich as well, including Amazon, Microsoft, and Salesforce.

The emerging inventions in artificial intelligence, driverless cars and technology could be even more Blurs the lines between the real and virtual worlds Many booming technology companies may produce. But this did not happen in the technological reality that exists today.

The internet and smartphones were revolutions that changed the world. And the medium was more stable and powerful than any part of it.

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  • Technology is still rich. There are also lines of concern. The Google And the Microsoft I report slower revenue growth than companies did in 2021. But my colleagues report that companies were mostly confident in their ability to stay healthy as they faced a lackluster economic outlook and other problems.

    corresponding point: said Shopify, which helps businesses create online stores exaggeration To what extent people will stick to the e-commerce habits they learned during the pandemic. Its financial results were released on Wednesday It was awfulAnd Shopify said that Lay off 10 percent of its employees.

    Read More from DealBook.

  • Technology is changing the language more quickly for ASL: My colleague Amanda Morris has written about how video calls, smartphones, and social media make Help Accelerate Changes in American Sign Language. She wrote that advances – including more compact markings that fit on a smartphone’s small screen – have at times led to a rift between generations of deaf culture.

  • Goodbye to “oof”: This is the sound that occurs when a character dies in the Roblox virtual world. But Roblox said Tuesday that its signature sound was removed due to a “licensing issue,” the Kotaku video game news site. mentioned. Roblox fans have started an online campaign to bring back the ‘game’.

Food Festival in Halifax, Nova Scotia, featuring a Oyster amulet is very strange His name is Pearl. Conch shell mascot costume has at least 13 eyes and dark red lips. I love him.

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