Incumbents Don’t Go Away, But Their Products Become Less Relevant When Software Creates New ‘Layers’ – by Benedict Evans

Incumbents are still with us. The old part of their business didn’t turn into software; they just missed out on all the cool new stuff. Meanwhile, tech companies managed to upend the music industry without ever signing musicians to recording contracts — they didn’t have to. Hence, the businesses of shaping metal or shaping actors might or might not themselves get disrupted by software, but everything downstream will be, and, again, what tends to happen is that a new layer gets created on top and that new layer shapes how consumers spend money. The old doesn’t go away but it becomes less relevant. MORE