I do not claim to have had unique insight during this period. I was frustrated by the focus on these managed code layers and their uselessness for most Office scenarios but I could not articulate the strategic issues clearly. In fact, the OS innovations in iOS were what made it so clear in retrospect how wrong-headed the overall world view driving this work was.
Understanding the sector is not just important because electricity is important; the market for electricity is really a window into the workings of the modern administrative state. The economic regulation of the sector often blurs the line between government and business, turning each into the other’s client. Even in places where competitive features exist, the marketplace is still designed by government and warped by subsidies. Today there is no genuinely free market for electricity.
Now we’re just in a situation where the amount of capital that would be needed to start a new Google competitor would be so huge or so onerous in terms of competition that it would be very hard to raise that capital. So we’re just dealing with the fact that it’s a de-facto monopoly. Even Microsoft couldn’t get past a 5 percent global market share.