Earlier today, Kleiner Perkins venture capitalist and former Wall Street analyst Mary Meeker presented her annual Internet Trends report, 2018 edition, a glorified brick of internet praise and marketing, which is eagerly anticipated by an echo chamber of tech executives and investors.
While we will let readers peruse its 296 slides at their leisure, we have picked some of the highlights, starting perhaps with the most striking observation of all, namely that as of this moment, there are over 3.6 billion internet users: for the first time ever, there are more humans who are online than those who refuse to join the matrix.
... which is a problem for the world's tech companies because as Meeker notes, "Growth is Harder to Find After Hitting 50% Market Penetration."
So what does this epic crowd of online addicts do all day? It will not come as a surprise to anyone that, according to eMarketer, they spend a quarter of each day, roughly half of their productive time, engaging with digital media, to the tune of 5.9 hours per day, more than doubling the amount of time spent online over the past decade.
And whereas use of desktops has plateaued, all the growth this decade has been in mobile. That's also why the average selling price of new smartphones has slumped over the past ten years, forcing Apple to come up with increasingly novel and unique ways to keep AAPL stock at all time high and divert attention from the simple fact that Apple's ASP are destined to keep sliding (note the highly priced debacle that was the iPhone X).
What about that other competitor for the $1 Trillion market cap prize, Amazon? Here things are looking somewhat better, with e-commerce consistently gaining retail sales market share and now up to 13% of total, nearly triple where it was a decade ago.
Meanwhile, within the broader e-commerce space, it is all Amazon, as its gross merchandise value of total online sales is up to 28% from 20% in 2013, while everyone else has declined.
Away from Amazon, other companies that are benefiting from the relentless expansion of the internet are those that provide online streaming video (Netflix), music (Spotify), provide online storage (Dropbox), gaming (Sony Playstation), legal services(LegalZoom), fitness (Peloton), and others.
Still, all of these companies are ultimately reliant on the continued financial health of America's consumer, which is becoming increasingly stretched.
And with the housing bubble pushing home prices ever higher, and draining an increasingly bigger part of the discretionary spending basket...
... even as America boasts the largest
McMansions homes across the entire developed world...
... it may be only a matter of time before the robots come knocking for your job.
There's a silver lining here too though: as increasingly more men find themselves unemployed, and drop out of the labor force, they can continue feeding the internet monster, by spending far more time in front of the TV or computer, at home, watching and clicking on ads.
A few other charts: China will need just another $35 or so trillion in debt to finally surpass US GDP.
Even though when it comes to the top 20 Internet leaders today, China is almost at parity with the US, with 9 to the US' 11.
Much, much more in the full presentation below (pdf link)