My 10 favourite charts from Mary Meeker’s latest mega-deck

Daniel Joseph
By Daniel Joseph under Insights 29 May 2013

Mary Meeker’s charts tell an increasingly familiar story of insane mobile (or ‘everywhere’) computing growth in an increasingly familiar format.

But aside from all the mega-datapoints, I’ve pulled out 10 x charts that jumped out when I flicked through her deck.

Here they are, and here’s why they get my brain buzzing with all the amazing opportunities we all have in front of us:

1. OK, well this is kind of a datapoint, but it’s the visual that is mind-blowing. Tablet take-off is so fast it looks like a rocket has taken off. No wonder no one could accurately model or predict the trajectory. And that left room for people with guts and nerve, like Flipboard, to back the platform and steal a march on the traditional incumbents who were too slow to move. Why did they take off so fast? People love using software to get stuff done, tablets sit at a magical price point, and amazing companies like Apple and Samsung are churning them out at high-quality. Lucky us. What will the wearables trajectory look like? I’d love it to be near vertical. And I can’t wait to see who’s gonna disrupt and who’s gonna get disrupted, when wearables arrive proper. 

2. At The App Business we’ve always seen mobile computing as much bigger than phones. For us, mobile computing basically means ubiquitous computing. In other words, there will always be a computer on your person (phone, wearable) or near enough to you (in-car, in-store etc.) .. wherever you go. So we were pretty pleased to see Mary’s near naming of this forthcoming era as just that: ‘Everywhere Computing’. Start to look around you and notice how often you are in reach of a smart screen, big or small. High-street banks are basically becoming walk-in computers with friendly staff to help you press the right buttons. And we’re going to see so much more innovation on people and on the high street here.

3. Talking of wearable computing, this insight is awesome. Here is a list of the number of things you turn to your phone for, and the frequency that you do that at. What a great data point! And just think how many of these are currently performed by that big clunky object you have to pull out of your pocket, unlock, tap into. True wearables could be seen as pretty impolite, but so are big distracting phones. Maybe someone can get the balance right with a new interface approach that gives you the data you need but doesn’t get in the way of the person you are talking to? 

4, 5, 6. “Drivables. Wearables. Scannables”. Love this terminology. Software is infecting pretty much everything around us that can’t run away from it. And it’s time to start getting used to looking at your car as a computer, on four wheels. Or that clothing, as a computer that’s on your back. Or that QR code, as .. well still not sure about that one. But seems like there may be life in them yet.

7, 8. It’s easy to look at China as chaotic cause it sure as heck looks that way. But having ventured into their Sillicon Valley – Shenzhen – a few times, and felt the insane buzz of innovation there, I love Mary’s typically reductionist characterisation of China as simply “Volume” + “Innovation”. The volume is obviously the people, supply of labour and range of ideas; and the innovation is the sheer will to innovate (including innovating other people’s pre-existing ideas) at pace, and without a care for convention. For me, this culture spawns so much more new stuff that just feels so exciting and brazen: like a taxi app that lets you push to talk to the driver and bribe him to pick you up first. Hailo! looks tired in comparison.

9. Every generation has its formative years, moments, defining memories. And as Steve Jobs said, it’s easier to connect the dots looking back than forwards. But it is dead interesting to see what global events have spawned the intense sense of entrepreneurialism that surrounds us today. Sure it’s inspired by big IPOs, $1b apps and tech-biz glamour. But it’s also inspired by the fact that this gen have grown up during a period of rapid change, disruption and destabilisation in which anything is possible with a phone (or – worse – pair of box cutters). And whilst the hate figures of the last ten years include deranged ‘terrorists’, greedy bankers and dodgy politicians, there’s a new generation of role models emerging like Zuck who appear to be genuinely driven by a desire to change the way the world works for the better. Let’s hope these guys and girls get better with age, not worse.

10. Finally, some finance. The stuff that keeps it all together. LinkedIn’s gross margins are off the chart. This is what tech can do. And deep down, whilst we’re in it for the love, not the money, it’s the money that lets us do what we love. And the amazing thing about technology is that when it gets it right it really does create wealth at an extraordinary pace and scale. And from my limited understanding of politics and economics, wealth lifts people out of poverty and that’s a good thing.

So there you have it. For me, Mary’s presentations are always a cause for optimism about all the opportunity ahead. And this one is no different. Sure we need to tread carefully – there’s lots we need to be careful about. But for a moment, let’s let our minds wonder and consider all that can be in the exciting world greased by innovation and volume.

If you want to talk to The App Business about how we could help you take advantage of all the opportunity ahead, and steal a march on your competition through business-changing software, feel free to drop me an email: Click Here