The world’s largest bookseller, Amazon, is a software company
Today’s largest video service by number of subscribers is a software company: Netflix. How Netflix eviscerated Blockbuster is an old story…
Today’s dominant music companies are software companies, too: Apple’s iTunes, Spotify and Pandora. Traditional record labels increasingly exist only to provide those software companies with content.
Today’s fastest growing entertainment companies are videogame makers—again, software—with the industry growing to $60 billion from $30 billion five years ago. And the fastest growing major videogame company is Zynga (maker of games including FarmVille), which delivers its games entirely online. Zynga’s first-quarter revenues grew to $235 million this year, more than double revenues from a year earlier. Rovio, maker of Angry Birds, is expected to clear $100 million in revenue this year (the company was nearly bankrupt when it debuted the popular game on the iPhone in late 2009). Meanwhile, traditional videogame powerhouses like Electronic Arts and Nintendo have seen revenues stagnate and fall.
The best new movie production company in many decades, Pixar, was a software company. Disney—Disney!—had to buy Pixar, a software company, to remain relevant in animated movies
Photography…Companies like Shutterfly, Snapfish and Flickr have stepped into Kodak’s place.
Today’s largest direct marketing platform is a software company—Google. Now it’s been joined by Groupon, Living Social, Foursquare and others, which are using software to eat the retail marketing industry. Groupon generated over $700 million in revenue in 2010, after being in business for only two years.
Today’s fastest growing telecom company is Skype, a software company that was just bought by Microsoft for $8.5 billion
LinkedIn is today’s fastest growing recruiting company. For the first time ever, on LinkedIn, employees can maintain their own resumes for recruiters to search in real time—giving LinkedIn the opportunity to eat the lucrative $400 billion recruiting industry.
And many of the leading innovators in financial services are software companies, such as Square, which allows anyone to accept credit card payments with a mobile phone, and PayPal, which generated more than $1 billion in revenue in the second quarter of this year, up 31% over the previous year
Great incumbent software companies like Oracle and Microsoft are increasingly threatened with irrelevance by new software offerings like Salesforce.com and Android (especially in a world where Google owns a major handset maker)