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Mary Meeker's 2016 Internet Trends Report [pdf] (kpcb.com)
310 points by conorh on June 1, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 66 comments

The concept of Messenger becoming a second homescreen for the smartphone is an interesting one. Suddenly their decision to separate Messenger from Facebook on mobile makes a lot more sense. If you think of Messenger as a different type of interface, I think the value-add are the limitations it places on providers: services have to be primarily text-based and updates will all arrive as nested within one push notification (at least on android). Plus, as the analysis mentioned, the threading, logs and identity functionality is built-in. It's almost like having a terminal window for a bunch of rigid functions that works in plain English and anyone can get to grips with.

Now I'm thinking about a parallel universe where text-based interfaces never went away...

You should download and explore WeChat (微信). It seems like facebook at this point is now chasing functionality that's been present in Chinese apps for several years. WeChat lets you order food, buy train tickets, etc in addition to the messaging. The comparison I've heard is that in software B2C China is ahead by 5 years, B2B USA leads by 5 years. And China is defining new C2C and O2O. Hardware is a toss-up.

This is an essential piece if you're interested in this topic: http://dangrover.com/blog/2016/04/20/bots-wont-replace-apps....

A lot of the features WeChat offers seem to make sense - it surprised me.

What I want to know is, why hasn't WeChat been done in English yet?

It has.

It seems far-fetched to me that Facebook will be the company to own the voice assistant market in 5 or 10 years (assuming there is a market that exists at all).

Google is probably best poised to take leadership here. They have a fleet of phones in peoples' hands, great AI resources, and relationships with millions of businesses that want to sell things and services.

Facebook, Amazon, and Apple all seem to be missing a key component for this market, but Google checks all of the boxes.

> They have a fleet of phones in peoples' hands, great AI resources, and relationships with millions of businesses that want to sell things and services.

Facebook has all those except a fleet of phones. But they have an app installed on practically every phone.

Facebook has become an indispensable app for the very low end $40-45 android smartphones. Such as the ones you can see for sale on AliExpress with 3.7" screens and Android 4.4 running on a very cheap MediaTek chipset.

People who buy these in developing nations usually require that the handset retail vendor install the .APK for Facebook (though they don't know the process of HOW facebook gets installed without the Play store, they just know that "I want facebook on my phone), before buying the phone.


This is fascinating, and also sounds like an extremely high-risk situation from a malware perspective. Isn't Facebook Lite [1] supposed to address this? I'm surprised they haven't solved distribution in these markets.

[1] https://www.facebook.com/lite/

Eventually the browser will merge with messenger as a two-way internet portal.

Currently, browser is outgoing, and messenger is incoming but if an app can integrate both. Well, that's your online homescreen...

Was surprised to see Ring get mentioned so prominently in the deck. Then I saw them on http://www.kpcb.com/companies.

They disclosed it at the end of the deck, but that's some great pub for Ring. If they wanted to use an example that resonated with more of the audience, Nest would have been a better choice.

Same with a bunch of companies in there. Looker quickly comes to mind. Looker is a great company IMO but there's a lot of other great companies in the space.

KPCB Looker page:


Looker Blog, noting Mary Meeker's inclusion of Looker:


"Looker Secures $48 Million Series C Funding from Kleiner Perkins" (January 2016):


A good part: Suggestion that there may be a lot more emphasis in social media on real time video. E.g., some bros in several cities watch the NBA playoffs 'together' except can't ask to pass a brewski and the chips and dip.

Not so good: For Silicon Valley interested in valuable innovations, there was a lot of emphasis on the economy as a whole. Sure, maybe for a while some entrepreneurs or companies got big financial returns basically taking existing US/EU/Japan tech into countries that were still short on running water. Maybe. But that's not really a Silicon Valley thing.

I believe that the big thing missing was innovation. That is, the report was similar to the common statement of about 1900 that all the big discoveries in physics were done with. Well, the report gave too little weight to what innovation there could be in the next 10 years. I.e., the report placed much more emphasis on population and GDP growth than innovation growth.

Part of the report turned me off: There was a lot of emphasis on digital electronics in cars. I have a car, for all the reasons people have wanted cars for a long time. I do like the digital electronics for management of fuel mixture and ignition timing. Otherwise, I want NOTHING in my car digital -- I don't want to use it, pay for it, or pay to maintain it. Besides, the US car industry is not up to doing a good job with digital in the design and manufacturing, and the maintenance part of the car industry is in much less good shape with digital.

Digital was great to replace typewriters, ..., and bring us the Internet, but I see nothing I want from digital in a car. The car that is $1 cheaper and has as little digital as possible is the one I will buy.

Her Google Trends data analysis is bad - see http://www.seolondonsurrey.co.uk/blog/bad-google-trends-data...

The same report in slide form and not PDF'd;


How does this woman still have a job?

Mary Meeker and Henry Blodget are symbols of greed from first dot com bust. These two knowing cheered on worthless tech stocks that went bust, they did it right until the end. These two hucksters walked away with small fortunes in fees collected while analysts at Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch. They did this as everyone else went belly up. If the ratings agencies were complicit in the 2008 financial meltdown these two played the same supporting role in in the 2001 dot com bust.


Blodget is just as much of a scum bag:


I read the WSJ article you linked to. Undoubtedly she made some very bad calls during the Internet bubble - as did most analysts - that's why it's a 'bubble.' However, we shouldn't permanently marginalize/attack somebody for mistakes they made in their career 15 years ago. This slide deck IMHO is amazing, and surely mostly compiled by researchers/interns, not Ms. Meeker.

Are you joking? We shouldn't blame the analyst who was actively recommending people buy garbage but we should blame her interns? The buck stops with her. If she hadn't looked at the data then she had no business recommending other people to buy something. People lost real money and lots of it. Saying she made "some bad calls" is an insane understatement. She profited heavily from other peoples losses. So yes we should continue to hold in low regard someone who so willfully misled the public for her own gain. And no its not a bubble because someone made "some bad calls."

Sure, but that aligns these sell side analysts against our interests.

Her opinion should be prefaced in the above manner, I for one am glad to know her history. Investing is a tough game if an analyst can't handle criticism and attacks when they make mistakes, then they shouldn't be doing this job.

She probably cost a whole lot of people their life savings, I'm sure the impacts of that has lasted longer than 15 years.

...because people can not grow, learn from mistakes or change? If you look at people this way, you're doing it wrong.

American: land of second chances.

"Millennials: Want To Be Discovered"

"Gen Z: Want To Work For Success"

The graphs are great, but there's a lot of drivel like this. It is a curious combination of pessimism (global growth drivers are dying), optimism (Houzz!), hard data, and glittering generalities.

That's pretty typical of these reports.

I use it mostly to get a sense of where the financial elites think things are going. It's not so much a predictive tool as it is a summary of what people are chit-chatting about in executive suites.

For what it's worth, that slide comes from a presentation by a university on how to communicate with Millenials/Gen Z.


I probably get a PR pitch every other day for some webinar or conference about selling to Millennials or marketing to Millennials or whatever to Millennials. We're definitely at the peak of some sort of Millennial overload.

Millennials are just at their moment in the marketing spotlight. Happens to every generation. As a whole they're at the traditional age when they'd be forming brand affinities which would last a lifetime, so companies are after them.

I'm not sure it works that way any more, but I'm also not sure it doesn't.

This might help alleviate the overload a bit, at least while browsing:

Chrome: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/millennials-to-sna...

Firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/millennials-t...

Advertisers are perpetually chasing the 18-35 demographic. This will never change.

'Generation Z' are what, 15 now?

Just a generation of hustlers, mowing lawns and babysitting.

Well they're very active convincing me to buy things for them... and by extrapolation, I assume many other parents or households are influenced by Gen-Z habits today, too. Very distinct from Millennials, and with real purchasing power, globally.

I'm fascinated by generation Z.

I wonder what comes next.

If it's anything like named storms[0], Generation Alpha.

I'd also like to go on record as saying that all of the recent generations are just poor imitations to the original letter generation, Gen X. We complained about lack of decent jobs, debt, and emptiness the wealthy, long before you kids, and we did it better music too. You're welcome.

[0] http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutnames_history.shtml

That was my initial thought. The linked slideshow in a sibling comment "cleverly" defines "millennials"[m] as born 1980-1995 (with a 2 year overlap of how it defines "GenX") and "GenZ"[z] as born 1996-2010. I guess that makes 2010-2025 the singularity generation (can be conveniently adapted to mean "those that grew up with the singularity", "those that were adults when the singularity happened" and "the first that lived to see the singularity").

As a side note, I think "GenZ" is also the generation that has grown up with zombies being a mainstream, core mythology. So perhaps it's an appropriate name.

[m] http://www.slideshare.net/Ologie/engaging-and-cultivating-mi...

[z] http://www.slideshare.net/Ologie/engaging-and-cultivating-mi...

Not sure why you were downvoted. It depends on which classification you look at, but yes, the oldest end of Generation Z is still in high school right now. Thus most of the trends you'll see for them are what's popular with the teen and younger demographics.

Adblocking is part of the report now. Adblocking can be a nightmare and it was reported on Google reports before.

Arrived. Where's the pic Maciej used for the coming implosion?

Ah, here we go: http://www.idlewords.com/2015/11/the_advertising_bubble.htm

Interesting to see not a single mention of VR/AR

I think that industry is still too young. We don't yet know if it'll take off or just be a fad.

I tried it last night. It was amazing. Going to be huge.

Did you try it as a one off or have you bought a headset for long term use? I feel that as a one off it would be mind blowing but soon loses its appeal over a period of time.

Dev. here, and in it daily, sometimes for hours at a time. It's true that the initial wow does wear off fairly quickly, but there is way more to the platform than that.

Indeed, the fact that the depth isn't immediately obvious is probably one of the best indications that it isn't a fad. Fads tend to be based on things that are shallow and ephemeral. The advent of synthetic space is anything but.

Year of the VR desktop?

Two reasons it won't take off:

1.) legacy software rules, companies and government will be slow to adopt even though VR can save a lot of money

2.) Walking around wearing a VR headset looks kind of dumb

Kind of like the internet in 1992

Or the tamagotchi in 1998...

The fact that [uncertain thing] became a huge, lasting hit doesn't really give us information about [different uncertain thing], except the knowledge that the probability of being a hit is non-zero.

I don't think that's totally accurate. If you consider the popularity of adjacent technologies (games, mobile devices, entertainment), it's logical to predict that a certain technology will also be noteworthy.

More like 3D TV - lots of parallels between the two in terms of hardware limitations (need to wear something on your head), cost, etc.

Or VRML in 1996.

Or Second Life in 2004.

1986. When they had to put over 1000 machines in /etc/hosts.

Or CB radios in 1974.

or mullets in 1987


I don't believe speech or text is the future of communication. Videos and images are much better candidates, but they will need to be augmented with something else.

I believe that we'll see a new visual language arrive soon enough, and it will be adopted faster than any previous language in history by generation Z (and the next). I suspect needs in AR will lead to the design of such a language. I wouldn't be surprised to see it prove the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis.

Well it's sadly arriving in the form of emoji. Search by emoji! Type sentences with emoji! And on and on. Reminds me of A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer. She's illiterate, but still uses her molecular assemblers and other appliances just by tapping in icons.

Please explain more what you mean by a "visual language"?

Has she given a video presentation on this yet? If so, link?


there is video from her at the code conference

The powerpoint format tells you it prioritizes presentation ( appeal to suits ), over content. A document / paper would have been much better.


Two points to keep in mind:

- It's a deck with 200+ slides, so it's going to probably have decent content in there somewhere.

- A document / paper would have been better for you, but you're not really the intended audience.

The whole idea behind these syndicated reports is to drive business to their firm either by being consumed by 'suits' who commission those reports, or by being cited in presentations delivered to other 'suits' who might go on to commission a report from them.

Sometimes, I like to take a step back and think about this.

If I have something to say, I can build a web page of some sort and 3,000,000,000 human beings can see what I put there.

Thanks to translation services, most of them will even be able to read it.

I mean, 3,000,000,000 people can read this comment.

Does that astonish anyone else?

Working with these kind of number of users is kind of insane. Not exactly 3B but during my first quarter at FB I broke some obscure flow for uploading photos that people going to the website using phones that opt out of the mobile site might end up in. I would've never figured out that I needed to test it. And within the hour it affected 25 million people!

Bubble bursts when you realise very few and even less are actually having a proper look at your web page, that's why niches are more profitable for indies than generalist content.

We should be calling these something different now.

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