Mary Meeker's 2012 Internet Trends

Mary published this presentation this past week. I love these “state of the internet” presentations Mary does. There is so much useful information and insights in them. I encourage all of you to work your way through it this weekend if you haven’t already done that.

#mobile#VC & Technology#Web/Tech

Comments (Archived):

  1. jason wright

    that’s a lot of data.I was beginning to wonder if something had happened to you.

  2. kidmercury

    boring, way too much happy stuff, not enough problem solving. the 2 slides at the end on government spending and debt are all that matter, as they have the potential to ruin everything else (or at the very least, will shape how all else evolves).also, way too USA-centric. not enough on mobile banking and how mobile is solving poverty and education problems in africa. how mobile evolves outside the US, not how it evolved in bubble 2.0 in the US, will truly shape the mobile trajectory.

    1. Richard

      Tear up slide 85?

      1. kidmercury

        keep slides 82-85; add a final slide with a sad face. the rest can be consolidated into a couple slides. 7 slides needed in all.

        1. Richard

          Yep, she should have included private sector Cap Ex to give this additional persepective

        2. takingpitches

          I think slides 82-85 are an addition for the last couple of year’s presentations; representing Meeker throwing her hat in the ring to be a Treasury Secretary in a GOP administration — the dream job for every Very Serious Person.

    2. William Mougayar

      I’m with you.

    3. Abdallah Al-Hakim

      I agree – slides 77-78 would have also been more powerful if they included more of a global perspective.

  3. kenberger

    They are pretty great. Let’s not forget that her stuff, and that of Henry Blodget, got those 2 into some serious trouble or at least questioning, over being part of the overhype during Web 1.0. But I’d say both remain top thought leaders who generate some of the most valuable and actionable analytics and research out there.

  4. Richard

    Let’s have a AVC hack of this slide presentation?Slide 40, Section now add “Shopkeep”

    1. fredwilson

      We need a hackpad version of slideshare

      1. Richard

        Exactly. BTW, I introduced hackpad to the new product team of CIGNA.

  5. howardlindzon

    Want to do a few blog posts on it but will start here.Love the term asset light and it proves that anyone can do this. I used ‘Too Small to Fail’ and Social Leverage to describe this era but I love how she packaged it all here.Also I loved that the 1990 internet gods are still alive…she created the deck, Blosdgett was likely first to republish it and than I got to sit with Michael Parekh this week in Coronado to riff and dive into it.Thanks for being the connector on most of the above for me.happy hanukkah to the family

    1. fredwilson

      Your comment takes me back to 1995 when Pincus and I went to visit Mary in her office at Morgan Stanley and pitched her on Freeloader. She was there at the start for sure.

  6. Peter Davison

    I think there is a lot of good stuff here. Its a good chew for the weekend reading pile. Peter

  7. Tara Tiger Brown

    I thought it was interesting that Google was hardly mentioned. Surprised DIY was also not mentioned as I think it accompanies the Asset Light ideals. Also, holy crap debt USA.

    1. Richard

      Actual Debt is 86T, Google SEC chairman “Christopher Cox”

    2. Anne Libby

      I’m always surprised at how little attention DIY gets as a business influence.

  8. ShanaC

    Meh, I’m annoyed that she is caught in the tablets as mobile vs tablets as computers argument and doesn’t realize it. i think her presentations would be a lot clearer if she dealt with that.Also, just because someone who is a teen wants an IPAD doesn’t mean they are going to be brand loyal to it when they are 26

    1. Richard

      Want to see brand loyalty, just spend a day in the apple store.

    2. LE

      “teen wants an IPAD”She is relying on Neilsen data. But in order to answer your question it is important to also know why they want an ipad. I’m not seeing that info addressed anywhere.If you asked a girl who is 14 what she wants it would be Justin Beeber. If you ask her when she is 26 she might very well say “children” and a stable husband.(Unless she is in NYC (no offense to you btw I know you’re not this type) in which she might say “I want to go clubbin”.)Kids want what their friends have and are interested in. I’m sure you’re aware that orthodox kids share “rabbi” trading cards. I knew people who had collections of them.

  9. aarondelcohen

    I think of Mary’s 17 years of research as the most important primary sources created in Internet history thus far. I use them to teach the History of Internet Media at NYU.

    1. William Mougayar

      Excellent historian, but take predictions with a grain of salt & pepper.

      1. awaldstein

        Predictions are always fun and invariably boring or wrong.But if you are not looking to the past for understandings and wisdom to help create your own view of the future, why do it. That’s the point.Doesn’t really even matter if others predictions are wrong or right as long as they inform.

        1. William Mougayar

          Exactly. My point is – draw your own conclusions.

        2. William Mougayar

          The past is context, not prelude to the future.

    2. Jill Stern

      I am going to share her powerpoint with my 2 teenagers. I am hoping they will enjoy it and learn something.

    3. ShanaC

      fun, can I option the class and just sit in (i think histories of business are important)

  10. William Mougayar

    I’m going to take a contrarian view. These updates are like a never ending soap opera or episodes of Dallas- that is if you have been following them since the late 90’s. It’s good entertainment. Mobile Smart devices Social Internet of things CloudBig Data E-Commerce Debt It’s the same list more or less year after year. Don’t confuse seeing macro-trends from the rear view mirror & predicting the future. The most interesting future events, products & services are not predictable from a trended/linear point of view which this report typically reeks of. My advice is – Look at these as macro-trends, but make your own conclusions. The spectacular things that will happen over the next 5-10 years are not in this report. We don’t know what they are until they suddenly emerge. 

    1. fredwilson

      but the charts are so helpful

      1. William Mougayar

        Yes, they are if you see this as a Snapshot. The trends are well captured, but my point is to see this as “this is where we are”, not always the same as where we’re going to be.

        1. mikenolan99

          Balance vs. Flow?

          1. William Mougayar


          2. pointsnfigures

            @wmoug:disqus makes a great point. This is accounting. Accounting looks backward. Economic forecasting looks forward. Accounting isn’t predictive. Lots of trends in this, many I agree with. But, perhaps the scariest chart is student loan debt is far greater than any other debt, and 57% of the US Federal budget is entitlements. Without entitlement reform, no one will be able to afford future innovation.

          3. William Mougayar

            Thanks. Indeed, debt must be dealt with now. Continuing the bailouts delays the solution, and amplifies the problem.

          4. pointsnfigures

            the failure to reform entitlement programs is a threat to our freedom in the future. Economic freedom=individual freedom. Bailouts should never have been started. Creative destruction and paying for poor risks is a part of a well functioning capitalist system.

          5. William Mougayar

            I agree. Sad reality.

      2. jason wright

        reassuring chartists.

      3. arustgi

        helpful?? I would presume that in your position as a VC, being in the midst of the all the entrepreneurial activity & pitches, there is nothing here that you did not know.THe charts are pretty though 🙂

        1. fredwilson

          validation is very helpful

          1. falicon


      4. Cam MacRae

        As a piece of communication they varied from poor to middling. KPCB should put Tufte on retainer.

        1. karen_e


    2. kidmercury

      #upvoted. i’m going to put out a fancy 85 slide report entitled “fred wilson has a popular blog.” i will be heralded as a grand visionary, an oracle of the internet! 🙂

      1. William Mougayar

        Right. Future trends are everywhere, except in the data.

      2. LE

        Exactly. And if you want people (who are lazy) to buy into something you either present them with a volume of info or, for added benefit, a volume of info that skips all over the place that for sure nobody has the time or knowledge to question. Many people are lazy, non skeptical, non cynical or fear being called stupid for asking the wrong questions.Check this out:…That said I haven’t vetted the above link. If I was saying this in a newspaper as a writer (other than Fred’s blog in response to a comment) I would do further research to validate the info presented.

      3. LE

        There is an old stock scam (popularized in some movies) where a broker calls prospects and tells them he isn’t going to sell them anything today.He is just going to give them a tip.He calls many people but doesn’t give the same tip to everyone.After some time passes some of the stocks that he recommended will go up.He then calls those prospects and says “see I gave you a good tip – I now have another tip” and people of course are inclined to invest at that point. He simply doesn’t call the prospects where the tip didn’t work out.

    3. takingpitches

      #upvoting too.This should be retitled “State of the Internet for the Squawkbox set”It’s Powerpoint peacocking to provide superficial cocktail party chatter for Wall Street types.If you want to have a better sense of the State of the Internet, spend even a couple of days reading AVC and the commentary it kicks off both on and off this blog.

      1. William Mougayar

        “powerpoint peacocking” LOL. indeed, the color displays are beautiful, but kidding aside, imagine these charts projected on a huge fancy screen, they would look impressive indeed.

      2. heuristocrat

        I love the term. But I do think the information is useful. She’s done the work and it’s good that it’s out in the public to share. Since like most of you I “live in the future” there’s not much new in here but still it’s useful and saves me the time explaining the basics to people. Mary has been a devoted yeoman (woman?) of the internet trend since day 1 and she deserves her due.

        1. takingpitches

          very fair point

    4. Abdallah Al-Hakim

      very Nassim Taleb like in your criticism 🙂 but excellent points

      1. William Mougayar

        There’s a bit of that, but the concept of non-linearity in trends has been around for a while. But we tend to forget about it.

    5. Brandon Burns

      “The spectacular things that will happen over the next 5-10 years are not in this report. We don’t know what they are until they suddenly emerge. “Yup.


      I think you’re incorrect on this William. Over the years I’ve always been ahead of the trend in IT. I have software product designs that I created 5-7 years ago that are just now *doable* because the hardware is just catching up..I don’t know whether Mary’s stuff is able to predict anything as I only can *predict* based on my knowledge. Much of that knowledge has to be in some way at least semi-proofed..However, it’s not that difficult for a person to see what can be done in their given field if they are knowledgable and experienced. It happens all the time. If you’re saying we don’t know what will *balloon* into a major market shaker I agree..But, for example I can tell you that given how much power can be added to small computing devices the whole “mobile this mobile that” (sorry Gadgeteer) thing is going to become “screen size this and screen size that”. As mechanical storage (internal disk drives and CD/DVD drives) go by the way side. The size of a computer (CPU, memory, and storage) will definitely be smaller than the screen needed. Point is I can look at where things stand and see where they can go.

      1. Richard

        How about going out on a limb with a few specifics?


          I did..Removing CD/DVD and internal disk drives are going to continue to let form factor of the “computer” part of devices get smaller..Another less mentioned issue is that (as always) you can put more power into the same size form factor. So, having a cloud server in your office is the same as having a mini-tower. This (as always) means that cloud management software will need to be easier to use (more automated) so that everyone can operate it theirself instead of having a team of admins..But, what is most important gets missed. Are advancements becoming self-serving. Are we adopting mobile phones just to be mobile? What benefits is it bringing to our lives? Are we working 4 hours a day but making twice as much? Are you driving a Ferrari? Are you spending more of your life making the lives of others better? Or are you working twice as much and making half as much? Are you missing your life in favor of living to work?


            Oops, hit post too soon. Mobile to me isn’t anything but wireless in the grand scheme of things. You can connect to the internet without using a “wire”. So what? Is it great to be able to work anywhere? Only if the anywhere makes you more productive. If you consider throwing out half-baked responses to question being more productive then yes, I don’t see it that way. I think people need to be working or not working. I know it makes for good tax deductions to be working 24/7 but does it make someone more productive?

      2. William Mougayar

        I’m glad this has worked out for you. You used the trends as context, but “drew your own conclusions” as I suggested. So you won. That’s great.


          I guess I got the impression that you were saying everything is kinda’ random and “could be futures” weren’t foreseeable in any way.

    7. Donna Brewington White

      Way to go, William.I take it that you still see the internet as a frontier.The idea that things will change over the next 10 years as dramatically as the last 10, or even more so, is both thrilling and mind-boggling.This will evoke fear in some and a sense of adventure in others. How long will we keep those reacting out of fear (i.e., incumbents and would-be regulators) at bay?

      1. William Mougayar

        I think it’s tough to predict 10 yrs out. Maybe 2-5 at best.

        1. Guest

          I think that one of the key points that you made is that this is not linear, and the element of surprise that is still possible. And maybe even probable?

        2. Donna Brewington White

          I think that one of the key points that you made is that this is not linear, and the element of surprise that is still possible. And maybe even probable?I thought it just seemed this way to me because of my lack of history.

    8. AlexBangash

      There needs to be a corollary or a similar report for changes in enterprise. This is hugely consumer centric.

      1. William Mougayar

        True…For enterprise, maybe go to Gartner. But don’t forget the consumerization of the enterprise which is real, so some of this might apply.

    9. george

      I agree with you…the really interesting new stuff to come may not be on these slides but I do find the analysis a meaningful tool when measuring the velocity of change and identifying nascent new segments – new creation usually begins in isolated markets before moving upstream.great advice…

      1. William Mougayar

        Thanks. The trends are linear, but the resulting actions shouldn’t be.

    10. george

      You are missing the point related to user behavior, not the technology.

      1. William Mougayar

        Can you please elaborate?Are you saying we can predict user behavior from these trends?Thx

  11. Ryan Frew

    I’ll probably go through this presentation a few times and view it through a few different lenses. But the first way I looked at it was a few days ago with some great music, and just let the data and then/now photos blow my mind. This is exciting stuff. Fascinating, too, to look at how our lives compare to the “norms” locally and globally.

    1. Anne Libby

      Yes. How many of us only have one mobile device?

    2. Alan White

      Agreed. This slideshow is an eye-opener. It drives home the point that smartphones are going to change everything, and it’s just beginning. There are lots of opportunities and unexplored territory still out there for entrepreneurs.

  12. John Revay

    Yup saw link on twitter other nightShe had similar chart to one you republished on tumblr Wintel market share

  13. LE

    What’s the gain by KCPB and Meeker by putting this out publicly other than a) Meeker maintaining a high profile and b) KCPB creating a self fulfilling prophecy on things -or- c) encouragement of others doing similar investments to create critical mass in an area? d) position KCPB as a thought leader and influential in these areas?Anything else I am missing?Meeker’s past is of course not pristine.Additionally one thing that the press never does when presenting this info (as so authoritative) is vet any of it.As an example, I note that on slide 5 one of the footnotes attributes “” which is somewhat of a hokey site run by this company (note the background music when you visit the home page).Some of the other info looks as if it’s from reputable companies of course. But it’s all mashed together and presented in a “you can make numbers say anything you want” fashion.I will go through most of the slides but skipping to the end I see several irrelevant politically slanted slides. Everything and the kitchen sink in this report. Even a slide comparing India Internet traffic 12/08 to 5/12 (who cares? seems like she is just trying to fill up the book report with a mass of data.)After writing this comment (with 4 possibilities) it seems to me now that my “a” is the correct answer and “d” as well.

    1. William Mougayar

      MM is a GP at KPCB.

      1. LE

        I know.And I hate shit like this:…Mary Meeker, the Queen of the Net is coming home, joining Klenier Perkins Caufield Byers. In hiring her, KPCB is taking yet another step away from cleantechParticularly “Queen of the Net”. Typical (sorry Om) reportorial hyperbole. She kinda looks a bit like Doerr in that picture also.

        1. William Mougayar

          I guess it all comes with that territory.

      2. Global Warming trumps VCs!

        Don’t forget that Mary also works with the greatest atmospheric scientists on the planet (and Nobel Prize winner), with a Master’s degree in Meteorology and Ph.D. in Climatology, and Apple BOD member, the one and only Dr. Al Gore “storms are getting worse” (DNC 2008 Colorado) — actually not true (GHG warming is likely to create more wind shear and thus negatively impact Atlantic hurricane cyclogenesis). These are the type of people Meeker hangs out with at KPCB!

  14. Susan Rubinsky

    Thanks for posting! I love Mary Meeker.

  15. takingpitches

    One of my take-aways from this is that the so-called “asset-light” generation is both confused and masochistic.Confused because apparently they love the Cherry roaming car wash service (Slide 66) even though they don’t own cars (Slide 70).Masochistic because they dismiss full-time employment as an “asset-heavy” relic of their parents’ generation’s lifestyle. (Slide 74)

    1. Anne Libby

      Dismissal of full time employment starts as a reality imposed by the job market, rather than an actual dismissal. Gen X was once called the Slacker generation, for similar reasons. And during the Depression, Task Rabbit didn’t exist, but handymen did.”Entrepreneurship” as a career choice for college and MBA students is pushed by fewer recruiters on campus.(And on a positive note, here in the US, I see all of this as a part of our culture: we won’t be daunted.)”Asset-light” is less a choice than a consequence. Job markets, and how they change, will lead a lot of what’s going to happen next.

      1. takingpitches

        Great comment Anne. For many people, in terms of career, asset-light is less a choice than a consequence.

      2. Carl Rahn Griffith

        Absolutely, Anne.However, many prefer to worship at the altar of “Everything is alright – we don’t want anything to change” – whatever, change is happening and all legacy metrics are slowly collapsing.The only difficult thing is anticipating when the tipping-point will be.

  16. arustgi

    This is exactly the kind of stuff that made me not take the track of ‘management consultant’ out of business school.Like what one of my business school professors said, “The only way to predict the future is to make it.”.

  17. Brandon Burns

    The chart that was left out, which seems everyone is overlooking since I can’t find it anywhere online:How much raw time is spent on the web vs mobile web / apps, year over year?The key is to look beyond percentage of mobile versus the rest. Why? What if mobile is increasing its share, but instead of taking away from time spent on larger screens its, rather, adding to the total amount of time being spent online? All those “ditch everything for mobile” folks will leave a possibly still growing channel behind, unattended while others fill it up with content in a less competitive environment.But maybe that’s not the case.Ether way, only more reason why one shouldn’t build a product around a channel, but build it around its offering and its users, and place the product into every channel where it may be successful.

    1. ariel seidman

      Here is a post re: is mobile growing the pie or eating into somebody else’s piece:…FWIW…I’ve had the opportunity to see mobile vs desktop time-spent data at both large and small consumer tech companies and mobile usually eats into desktop minutes spent.(Composed from my iPhone 5)

      1. Brandon Burns

        according to your link, “traditional web” is growing at a 1.6% rate.the writer suggests its the beginning of the end of the non-mobile web. i’d suggest this means mobile is growing the pie instead of eating it.but people are always going to look at numbers and see what they want to see.

      1. Brandon Burns

        nice. thanks for the link.

  18. WA

    Mary is as Mary does. And she has been doing for quite a while.

  19. markslater

    forgive me but this screams of investment banker.i did like the slide about education. i have been thinking alot about education and how broken it is.

  20. Statspotting

    We made a two-minute version of the whole thing here -…

    1. fredwilson

      great takeaways

  21. jason wright

    from where i sit at the back of the class this looks like lots of nicely arranged…data dots.who invests in dots?

  22. Bruce Warila

    For divining the future, nothing beats a cup of coffe, a spot of exercise, and a pile of charts. Thanks Mary.