It’s something of a ritual in Silicon Valley—an annual slide deck that sums up all the internet trends you need to know about, courtesy of venture capitalist Mary Meeker. This year’s deck was presented at Recode’s Code Conference on May 30 in Rancho Palos Verde, California.
Meeker, a former Morgan Stanley analyst, has a lot to say about the internet. And the internet has a lot to say about Meeker. Known in some circles as the Queen of the Internet, Meeker made a name for herself in the late 1990s by analyzing tech company stocks at a time when the internet was just emerging. Back in 1995, when she was still at Morgan Stanley, she began her annual report on internet trends. As the New Yorker puts it, “She was convinced (correctly) that digitization would transform the economy, and that the companies which established an early foothold would have a great competitive advantage.” It has been considered a sort of bible for tech industry insiders, including founders, venture capitalists, and researchers.
This year’s deck, which you can peruse here, includes 294 slides and covers topics from smartphone technology to Chinese tech companies. Meeker doesn’t conduct the polling herself—instead, she compiles research from other sources, including companies, market research firms and government agencies. Twitter reactions have ranged from praising Meeker’s “words of wisdom” to pooh-poohing the findings as “overrated.”
If sitting at home and looking at business presentations isn’t your thing, but you still want to know what Meeker thinks is noteworthy, here are some of the key takeaways:
• For the first time, global new smartphone shipments didn’t grow at all in 2017. This points to the increasing prevalence of smartphones, including in the developing world. (Slide No. 6)
• But we’re spending more time online. American adults spent 5.9 hours per day with digital media last year. Most of that was on mobile devices. (Slide No. 11)
• More than half of America’s top 25 public tech companies were founded by first- or second-generation immigrants. (Slide No. 290)
• Google is venturing from an ad platform to a commerce platform (think Google Home Ordering), while Amazon is heading the other direction (think sponsored products). (Slide No. 68)
• Is it cheaper to use Uber or own a car to commute? It depends on where you live. If you live in New York City, Chicago, Washington, or Los Angeles, you’ll have a lower weekly commute cost using Uber. But if you live in Dallas, an Uber costs $181 per week, compared with a weekly commute cost of just $65 with a personal car. (Slide No. 130)
• The freelance workforce grew 3 times faster than the total workforce between 2014 and 2017. (Slide No. 163)
China has nine of the top 20 internet companies in the world. Just five years ago, it had only two. (Slide No. 218)
This year’s slides have already sparked a spate of reports on whether it’s truly cheaper to own a car or use Uber, how China is getting aggressive with its pursuit of high tech, and why Facebook is losing ground with American teens.