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The Future of the Internet - Mary Meeker

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marymeekerI just discovered Mary Meeker.  Maybe I'm late to the game, but I found her this morning while "sitting" and reading my favorite magazine, Wired (link to article).


Here is how Wired introduces her - "There is no president of the Internet. But there is a queen. That only-somewhat-exaggerated sobriquet belongs to Mary Meeker, the 53-year-old financial analyst turned venture capitalist.


Back in 1995, Meeker—then an analyst at Morgan Stanley—foresaw how a wave of unprecedented innovation was going to change lives and create enormous wealth. She summarized her views in a landmark report that instantly secured her reputation as the Nostradamus of technology."


Meeker is now at the venture capital firm of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers picking winners and losers in the technology industry.  If you have half an hour, watch her presentation here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9p-t5y9rCM. It is a rapid fire overview of where technology is headed - largely mobile, global, and social.


If she were in one of my presentation skills classes, she would get marked down for her mile-a-minute race through too many slides with too much information. She admits this at the start of the video.  If you look at what she is presenting, she has keen insight into where the world is heading which is more than worth your while.


 A few key points -

1) The Internet is more global than American, even though America is the leader in providing Internet technology.  80+% of Google's traffic is outside the US.  Ditto for Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo!, Amazon, Apple.  In the last three years, China added 246 million new Internet users.  Ahead of the US' 22 million are the 35 million new users in Nigeria and 24 million in Iran. 


2) Social Networking is big and global.  The average American who is using social networking sites, uses it 6.8 hours per month.  The average Mexican user is on 7.4 hours, the average Russian is on 9.7 hours and the average Israili user is on 11.1 hours per month.


3) The 1980s were about text input, the 90s about graphical user interfaces, the future is about touch, sound, and movement-based inputs.  Think touch screens and Siri as the future.  My prediction that keyboards will be as obsolete as rotary phones by 2025 looks pretty good.


4) Mobile is big, with smartphone sales having passed old "feature phones" in sales back in 2010.  More than 50% of shoppers who abandoned an in-store purchase, did so because they found a better price on-line or at another retailer via their smart phones.  This has hit big box stores like Best Buy especially hard.


5) Mobile is taking over - Smartphones and Tablets have outshipped Notebook and Desktop PCs since 2010.  Less than half of all Internet-enabled devices run Windows - think Apple IOS and Google Android devices.


There is a lot more, but it is better if you watch the video or look at the slides here -  http://www.scribd.com/doc/95259089/KPCB-Internet-Trends-2012.


We need to be engaged with these mega-trends so that we are not left behind.


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Scott is co-owner of Wave's End Services, LLC, a Colorado-based provider of Web, IT Consulting, photography, video, and training services.