[Update: Corrected to reflect exact wording of Andreessen's quote]
Marc Andreessen, partner of venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, is sick of carrying his wallet around. What, is all that money he made founding Netscape and Opsware and investing in startups weighing him down?
He’s waiting for the day that everything just happens through his phone, he told PayPal X Innovate 2010 attendees in San Francisco today.
The way to achieve that is to bring everything into the cloud — and PayPal, one of Andreessen’s investments, is one way to achieve that. By bringing payments to his phone, he said he hopes to finally abandon the credit card and completely shift to the cloud.
“Mobile is just the wallet you will be using,” he said. “Whether it’s a credit card, cash, PayPal, Facebook credits, whatever. It’ll be a more versatile wallet.”
Cloud computing allows mobile devices to ship all the resource-intensive data crunching off to beefy remote servers run by companies like Rackspace and Amazon to handle all the heavy-duty computing. Cloud evangelists from Andreessen to Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt have led the charge to bring cloud computing usage to mobile phones.
And there’s already a big move to the cloud — he called out Spotify, an international music streaming service that isn’t available in the U.S. quite yet.
“Spotify’s trying to make music an entirely social experience,” said Andreessen. “Everything should be configured to a social experience. Everything except love notes, or anything like that — that probably doesn’t belong in the cloud.”
Tools from facial recognition to collaboration software like Yammer and Huddle are also making a move to cloud computing, he said. Users can thank the emergence of powerful mobile operating systems for that, he said.
“Now that phones can find out where you are, the core of the browser experience is an expectation of unlimited resources without a download process,” he said. “When I invented [the] Mosaic [Web browser], I didn’t imagine the Internet would look like this — there are no download processes and people expect phones to do everything but read their minds.”
There are still a number of companies trying to innovate outside of the mobile space — Dynamics, a VentureBeat DEMO graduate, is for example trying to bring a new spin on credit cards. Andreessen said that’s a product of having to innovate in the sector that each startup is working in. Whether products like Card 2.0 would fade away with the emergence of mobile payments wasn’t immediately clear, he said.
“Everybody has to innovate from where they sit in the value chain, card companies that want to innovate on the card are doing that,” he said. “But if you look at research, buying and paying, nowadays that often involves a couple different devices — that’s where we’re moving away from.”
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