KPCB Internet Trend Report 2014 Is Out Now.

 

Kleiner Perkins is a venture capital firm that has, since its establishment in 1972, successfully invested in incubation of AOL, Amazon.com, Citrix, Compaq, Electronic Arts, Google, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Netscape, Sun Microsystems and Symantec among others - they are considered one of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital providers.  Their long awaited annual Internet Trends report has just been released and it makes a fascinating read.  The full report can be found here:

 

http://s3.amazonaws.com/kpcbweb/files/85/Internet_Trends_2014_vFINAL_-_05_28_14-_PDF.pdf?1401286773

 

It’s a 164 slide powerpoint presentation, but well worth spending the time to read. For those who are too busy, here how we have distilled the key points as relevant to us:

 

Global macro picture

 

  • Technology sector is back, dominating the global economy (slide 162).  This time Asia is a significant player (slide 21).

  • A year ago 9 out of 10 global internet players were US based (serving global audience, 79% outside US), now, a year later, only 6 out of 10 are US based, serving an even more globally heterogeneous audience (slides 130-131).  China is a leader in mobile commerce and internet commerce innovation – Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, Sohu and others (slides 132 onwards).

 

Changes in technology

  • Mobile phone are cheaper and more ubiquitous (slide 9) and Android definitely dominates when looked at on a global scale (slide 10).  Mobile app revenue dominates mobile ads revenue – 68%  (slide 16).

  • Ascendancy of the “phonebook” over the “friend graph” – larger share of communication is taking place via frequent messages dedicated to small audience (WhatsApp, Snapchat, WeChat) as opposed to less frequent broadcasting to broader crowds (Facebook) (slide 36,37)

  • Internet unbundling – having moved into multipurpose single apps space, we are now moving back into single-purpose “there’s an app for that” space (slides 40-41).  Here is an interesting article on TechCrunch that explores some of these themes in more detail: http://techcrunch.com/2014/05/15/foursquares-swarm-and-the-rise-of-the-invisible-app/

 

Industries revolutionised

  • Reinvention of industries and social interactions – AirBnB, Uber, Tinder, Bitcoin, Alibaba, Yelp all have changed the way we travel, meet, pay, shop, etc.

  • Education is being revolutionised in a fascinating way (slides 24-28).  While we are on the topic, here is an article about a Mongolian teenager who got excellent results at MIT tests and got into MIT all by studying online http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2013/09/13/mongolian-teen-aces-mit-online-course-gets-mit/).  And here is a link to Coursera (one of the portals mentioned on slide 28), where you can complete courses from many of the world’s major universities online, often for free.  Courses range from cooking to Big Data: https://www.coursera.org/

  • Television is being revolutionised.  Many screens (including tablets and mobile phones) per household (slides 95, 96), with each person often consuming more than once screen’s content at a time (slides 97-99) enable a more efficient, often parallel, content consumption.  And just like the internet has evolved from a directory of static nodes into a search based app structure, so is television moving from directory to search and apps structure with smart content portals, search capability, apps.  Also new genres such as short videos and spectator gaming are emerging.

  • Biggest revolution of all – Big Data. Declining costs of computational power, storage and bandwidth (all exhibiting a roughly 10-fold drop in the last 7 years) has given impressive momentum to the cloud (slide 74).  Propensity to upload and share data in 2014 is four times that of 2012 (slides 62-65) while sensors and data capture devices are more and more ubiquitous in every day life (slide 68). Of this captured data, 34% is estimated to be useful, while only 7% is in fact “tagged” and only 1% of that is analyzed (slide 85).  Nevertheless Big Data has already revolutionised the world in many ways, from emergence of a new generation of user generated UI-s (slides 78-82) to pattern driven problem solving (slides 86, 88, 90) and appearance of intelligent Internet of Things.