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November 9, 2011 AT 8:49 am

Can “Atoms are the New Bits” (Anderson) and “Bits are the New Atoms” (Andreessen) both be right?

Can “Atoms are the New Bits” (Anderson) and “Bits are the New Atoms” (Andreessen) both be right? Chris writes –

F. Scott Fitzgerald once said “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

So it bodes well that I find myself entirely convinced that both Atoms are the New Bits, and Bits are the New Atoms.

“Atoms are the New Bits” = My thesis on how the Maker Movement is applying the Web’s innovation model to the physical world, making specialized hardware the new hotspot of disruptive innovation (http://bit.ly/sPdLhE)

“Bits are the New Atoms” = Marc Andreessen’s “Software Eats the World” thesis on how specialized hardware devices are being turned into just another iPhone app, making software the new hotspot of disruptive innovation. (http://on.wsj.com/pC7IrX)

Both seem indisputable true. Perhaps it is just the hyperbolic and absolutist framing (guilty as charged!) that places them in diametric opposition. In truth, the first refers to applying the innovation model of software to hardware, while the second refers to the actual replacement of hardware by software.


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1 Comment

  1. According to Quantum Physics they can both be right at the same time. Depending on how you look at it.

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