The computing industry progresses in two mostly independent cycles: financial and product cycles. There has been a lot of handwringing lately about where we are in the financial cycle. Financial markets get a lot of attention.
The PC enabled entrepreneurs to create word processors, spreadsheets, and many other desktop applications. The internet enabled search engines, e-commerce, e-mail and messaging, social networking, SaaS business applications, and many other services. Smartphones enabled mobile messaging, mobile social networking, and on-demand services like ride sharing. Today, we are in the middle of the mobile era. It is likely that many more mobile innovations are still to come.
Each product era can be divided into two phases: 1) the gestation phase, when the new platform is first introduced but is expensive, incomplete, and/or difficult to use, 2) the growth phase, when a new product comes along that solves those problems, kicking off a period of exponential growth.