I was shocked, but had to admit he was right. Who could possibly compete with such titans of the industry as Software Publishing, Lotus, and VisiCorp?
Fashion isn't changing the same way. People are still wearing shirts. They don't need smaller shirts for some new appendage they didn't have six months ago. In technology this happens all the time.
Now you need a spreadsheet for your phone but Excel is a bit too clumsy? There's a whole new opportunity.
It's unlikely he is generally that myopic, and more plausible that an emotional reaction is occurring.
The subconscious can have a profound effect on decision making.
Look at imgur, which is really a better version of the original photobucket, tinypic, whatever came before that.
I have no doubt we'll see instagram #2 in a couple of years.
1 - 'The most productive people' is a weak description of anything. Producing what? Money? If so, please just say 'the highest earners'. If not, please remember that some 'unskilled labourers' could be 'the most productive people' in their own fields (eg. construction). Some earn a lot of money too...
2 - Most 'unskilled labour' now happens in Asia. Work hours have probably increased rather than decreased as compared to 40 years ago (in the factories of the West, where at the time strong unionism led to better conditions).
Sacks makes solid arguments though, as it relates to web startups. Trying to make it as the next big thing among venture-backed internet startups is becoming increasingly high-risk and extremely saturated, startup activity in non-internet tech sectors will probably be more interesting and rewarding over the coming years.
Those competitors are all gone now and Aweber is basically a giant ATM for the founder.
There was big firm that made a similar bet on the internet (KPCB), and it ended up costing them quite a bit - in addition to everyone chuckling a bit whenever someone mentions "the (x) is dead!".
I can't wait until something takes root in the post-apocalyptic wasteland that is Facebook's overly gentrified, douchebag-riddled internet experience.