Software vs Oil

I was meeting a friend of mine from college days who is currently working as a software engineer. Someone asked him if you go back in time, would you go to the same college? He said no, I would’ve became a petroleum engineer. They make a lot of money.

The economist published the following chart highlighting the top 10 companies by market cap in 2006 vs 2016.

In just 10 years, the top 10 companies in the world shifted from being dominated by oil companies, to tech companies.

I think back in time when oil was discovered it wasn’t easy to jump on the ship, walk up the ladder, and start a big company. You rarely hear of the founders of BP, or Shell. Most of these came out of governments, sometimes out of wars, and a lot of times accompanied with lobbying or even corruption to get the business done. The opportunity was there for a lucky few.

It is not only that “software is eating the world”. Software is giving an equal opportunity for everyone to build something people want, & make a lot of money. You get to move without anyone’s permission, and the innovation is everywhere. No need to dig to find it.

Don’t worry Ahmed, you are on the right side.