Friday Grok: It’s Mary Meeker time again

Some of the best internet insights every year, every time

Kleiner Perkin’s partner and internet star, Mary Meeker, has presented the latest annual internet trends report , which has come a little earlier than usual — last year’s annual internet trends report was released in October. This latest chapter was delivered at the All Thing's D conference. It's worth locking yourself away in the office for a few hours to breathe it all in.

We won’t try and describe it all to you. And just a warning, there’s a big, long and probably over cooked section called Re-imagination which you can skip through pretty quickly. It runs from slides 33 to 84. Guess you had to be there, but the punch line on slide 85 is worth a look.

Under the heading "Magnitude of upcoming change will be stunning — we are still in spring training", Meeker notes in bullet point form her vision of where we are heading with points such as "nearly ubiquitous high-speed wireless access in developed countries", and " unprecedented global technology innovation" and finally "beautiful/relevant/personalised/curate content for consumers".

This year, the story that leapt off the pages for Grok concerned mobility. First up, Meeker notes the size of the opportunity. There are currently 1.1 billion global mobile 3G subscribers and uptake is growing at 37 per cent. She also notes that current consumer penetration is only 18 per cent. In other words, we are only at the very start of the mobile revolution. An analogy for those of you old enough to remember — it’s like someone just opened up a shop front selling shiny new Tandy TRS 80s.

But it’s the acceleration that is truly stunning, as the slides on cumulative shipments of iPod, iPhones and iPads (Slide 9) and Android adoption (slide 10 ) attest.

But here’s the killer bee: Last year only 2 per cent of US adults owned a tablet. Now, just 12 months later, that number has surged to 29 per cent.

As a crusty old world publisher and now a gimlet eyed new world mobile entrepreneur, Grok also enjoyed the section of mobile ad yields — they’re terrible. But Meeker suggests they are going to rise. Now that’s a big call on her part, given the evidence of desktop yields over the last 15 years, but at least she provides some evidence for her views from real life experience on (slide 23) and (slide 24).

Meeker also makes the incontestable point that money follows eyes balls eventually on slide 25 (slide 25) .

Do yourself a favour — its Friday after all. Take it all in and take it on board.

But you don't have to buy everything Meeker’s selling...

Finally, while Grok always looks forward to Meeker’s annual presentations, let’s not lose sight of the fact that like all the rest of us she has history.

At the same venue where she was presenting her research, Meeker was asked about the horrible screw up around the Facebook IPO (the question may have been put more politely than that). Her Majesty waved away any suggestion that the Money Bags were to blame — perhaps for instance — for withholding material information about Facebook’s deteriorating revenues from all but a few lucky members of the club.

Nah, said Meeker, it’s all Nasdaq’s fault — they couldn't handle the volumes, apparently. (Again, she may have been more nuanced in her answer than my brief summary of it suggests.) Here’s the link if you want to read more and decide for yourself.

Let’s be clear, the Kleiner Perkins’s internet star is as firmly embedded in the club as the rest of them. A perusal of her Wikipedia listing will attest to this — Meeker’s had stints at Merrill Lynch, Salomon Brothers, Cowan, and yes, you guessed it, Facebook IPO lead Morgan Stanley.

Andrew Birmingham is the CEO of Silicon Gully Investments. Follow him on Twitter @ag_birmingham.

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