One of my favorite parts of the Web 2.0 conferences run by O'Reilly/CMP is the 15 minute quickfire presentation done every year by Mary Meeker. There is always a wealth of fascinating data about Web trends and products, which Meeker hits you with at a mllion miles an hour. Luckily in this case her presentation was up on the Morgan Stanley website when she came on stage, so I got to listen instead of frantically typing soundbotes. This year there were 48 slides (a record for Meeker at Web 2.0!) and you can download them here.
Along with the usual trends such as mobile uptake and China growth (which are present in all Meeker presentations at Web 2.0), here are some of the lesser known trends that I learned about:
We're now in two cycles in the "Cloud" age - broadband and wireless. This is seen in new products like Apple iPhone, 3 Skype Phone, Amazon Kindle, the upcoming Google 'GPhone'. Also Meeker noted that there will be a "critical mass inflection point" for 3G in 2009. Meeker predicts a "new generation of Internet leaders to capitalize on growing access to fast Internet access on mobiles".
Some interesting data points this year about the growth in Enterprise web 2.0. Slide 12 notes that the "next wave of corporate productivity gains should be paced by Web 2.0 driven collaboration tools that use the network as the platform to enable users to connect 'any device to any content over any combination of networks' (John Chambers, CEO, Cisco Systems, 5/22/07)". Related to this, enterprises may be coming out of a "relative purchasing funk" (slide 13).
Meeker noted a few times that the US economy is a worry and that US in general is slipping behind China - and other countries such as India and South Korea are exhibiting very strong growth in technology. Specifically Meeker said that the US is "less relevant to global economy" nowadays - although judging by the rest of her slides on tech companies, the US still dominates the technology business. Still, Internet user growth is fastest in non-US markets according to Meeker.
The following slide regarding Internet trends is worth highlighting in its entirity:
Also check out this slide highlighting international Web trends:
Personalization and recommendation systems are trends we discuss a lot here on Read/WriteWeb. Meeker called this out nicely in a slide about Amazon.com, a company that puts a lot of this theory into successful practise:
Other great data points include: strong growth in online music (sales up 107% over the past year); Skype/VoIP growing near 100% per annum too; there is a "battle for platforms" in social networking, advertising, payments, commerce and mobile devices (Meeker described this one as a "rugby scrum").
Finally Meeker referenced a group of Internet companies, including YouTube, digg, Joost. The most interesting one of course this year is Facebook, which Meeker said had experienced extraordinary growth over the past year:
Meeker noted that Zuckerberg was 11 when Netscape did its IPO and wasn't born when microsoft went public, but Meeker said that Zuckerberg "thinks differently and we think that's a good thing".
Overall, some fantastic data points as usual. Let us know in the comments what you think of these trends and what in particular interests you. For me, it is the different kinds of web tech products we are seeing coming from (and for) the International market. Plus the new kinds of Web apps for mobile devices. These are things we will explore more on R/WW.