Mary Meeker, venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins Caulfied Byers and former Wall Street analyst, delivered her 110-slide “Internet Trends 2012” presentation at the D10 Conference. I have already seen slides from the preso show up in business presentations from some of our largest partners.
Three immediate stand out points for me:
- The “re-imagination” of so many services that will ultimately disrupt many established business models
- The inevitability of mobile as a viable and leading ad channel
- And that LinkedIn might win the “slow but steady” vote of confidence from investors and users alike
A big chunk of her presentation profiles dozens of different services or behaviors that have been disrupted by technology and behavior change. From Photography (e.g. Instagram, Hipstamatic) to Magazines (e.g. Flipboard) to Calling a Cab (e.g. Uber) – they are all in the process of being challenged by new ways of satisfying core needs. The jury may still be out on many certainly in terms of which technology startup will actually earn the leadership role, but the cumulative effect of her list is powerful. It is a reminder that market-making changes are happening across many, many sectors. Just this morning The Washington Post featured an example of “re-imagining real estate” with the site Popularise which allows community members to vote for the retail tenant in local storefronts.
Mobile will pay off
The criticisms of Facebook for not monetizing their platform accessed by mobile devices were overwrought. Recent decisions from Facebook like this weeks’ unbundling of premium advertising (advertisers can now buy mobile separately) point to the inevitable future – that ad revenue per user on mobile will grow and likely eclipse ad review from the desktop. Ms. Meeker points to examples in the Japanese marketplace like the mobile game maker, CyberAgent, where that is already the case.
LinkedIn may be the slow but steady winner
While all of the other high-profile IPOs have led to lower values, LinkedIn has grown 137% to its recent $100 share price. I am sure there are all sorts of VC-insightful explanations that I am not qualified to offer. I do think there is strength to the LinkedIn platform in the B2B space that many brands are getting wise to. Just look at your LinkedIn home page now. It serves as a business-relevant hub as good as any business magazine or portal out there.
I find it interesting that LinkedIn is increasingly popular in Europe – a not-so-fast-growing-region for social networking (compared to fast-growth markets like Indonesia, Brazil or the Philippines). Turkey is the one exception as a fast-growth market and it sits between Europe and Asia. ComScore's Top 10 Need to Knows on Social Networking puts it this way,
“Similar to Facebook and Twitter, the majority of LinkedIn’s audience now resides outside the U.S. While LinkedIn continues to generate the most traffic from the U.S., it shows its highest market penetration in the Netherlands, where it reached more than a quarter (27 percent) of the Dutch online population in October 2011. Western European countries also comprise five of the top ten markets for LinkedIn, showing promise for further expansion for the professional social network in Europe.”
Eric Savitz at Forbes summarized key points that Jeff Weiner, CEO at LinkedIn made at the D10 conference last week:
“Weiner: They have 161 million members, growing 2 a second. Mission is to connect all the world’s knowledge workers; global workforce is 3.3 billion people. They have three themes on the product road map: Simplify, for staters, as they upgraded mobile product to 2.0 version from 1.0. Second theme, continue to grow membership, localize – 17 languages so far. Consider to invest in monetization. And lastly, invest in everyday value propositions. Like the company’s iPad application. LinkedIn Today is another example ...”
LinkedIn’s role in professional development extends beyond recruiting and career management. It is quickly becoming a professional content network delivering value to the jobs we hold today and those we aspire to tomorrow.
Kind of makes you ask yourself, what’s my LinkedIn strategy?