The Meeker shall inherit the earth

Yesterday Mary Meeker, the Nostradamus of the tech industry, made her famous industry forecast in the annual internet trends report.


May 31, 2018

If securities analysts were pop music stars, Mary Meeker would be bigger than Beyonce. Yesterday, the VC and former Wall Street whiz delivered her annual internet trends report to a crowd of adoring fans at the Code conference in California.

Meeker’s rapid-fire, 30-min, 294-slide presentation (61 slides shorter than last year’s) left the whole stadium of Meeker-maniacs hungry for more of her sweet, sweet tech wisdom.

You can’t Meek this stuff up

For all of you Meeker groupies out there who didn’t get tickets to the big show, we summarize some of her juiciest riffs:

  • Lots of people use the internet: People with internet (51%) now outnumber people without it — so it’s hard to find new users, but easier to get old users to use new features like online payment (60% of sales are digital) or voice recognition (30m+ use Alexa).
  • The internet has a privacy paradox: Users want privacy, but 79% will give up data for good services. Then companies with good services get more data — and more money (FB revenue per user doubled since 2015).
  • Jobs won’t be stolen by robots: Retail jobs replaced farm jobs — now, freelance jobs will replace factory jobs. Openings are at a 17-year high, with freelance growing 3x faster than the average.
  • AI is making all big tech look the same: Growing 18% YoY, tech R&D is 2x any other sector. AI personalization dominates, pressuring companies to be 1-stop shops (Google’s expanding from ads into e-commerce while Amazon’s doing the opposite).

Ignore the Meek-speak at your own risk

There’s a reason Meeker rose to the top of the charts in tech industry forecasting — she’s usually right.

In 2004, Meeker predicted that internet advertising was under monetized compared to print newspapers and that data-driven targeted user advertising would expand — and we all know how that ended up.

In the past, she’s also placed early bets on some other companies whose names you may recognize, like Google, Amazon, Airbnb, Apple, Spotify, Square, Microsoft, Snap, Alibaba, and Adobe.

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In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

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