There’s something about Mary. Mary Meeker.

The world is currently divided into two types of people — those who know who Mary Meeker is, and those who think it’s the name of a ready-to-drink soup brand (like Betty Crocker, but for soup).

As someone who’s been on both sides, I’ve managed to get my head around the phenomenon called Mary Meeker and what she represents — intelligence that all of us can use. The type of intelligence that tells you where consumers are spending their time, money, and attention; what they’re consuming, and how you can reel them in.

First things first. I’m assuming you know who Mary is.

Now, Mary Meeker’s 294-slide Internet Trends report has been diced and sliced more ways than a mango in a tropical dessert. So, I’m going to spare you another attempt and give you the alternate tour — the top 5 things that you should know about Mary — from her report to her credit score (nope, couldn’t find it!).

So here are the highlights, in no particular order. Besides, common sense of course.

First up, what did Mary have to say in her humongous report?

She’s analyzed everything — from mobile to e-commerce to the competition between tech giants and tech nations. She’s been doing it since the mid-2000s, and her report is a much awaited tech event of the year. So who are we to stand in the way of her particular genius!

Why should you care?

If you sell goods or services of any kind, or might in the foreseeable future, or need to know where to park your next million, you should pay attention. Everyone is selling something and the internet is where most people seem to be buying and selling.

Think you don’t fit the bill? Hmmm…

  • If you’re a writer, you could potentially earn big bucks by specializing in UI/UX writing. Read this for inspiration. Why UI? Because the whole world is online..well at least half the world, according to the report. And in a world where you can find the same thing sold for the same price on a million or so websites, a great user experience will make all the difference.
  • And if you’re in based in China, good news. Your job isn’t going anywhere:
“Alibaba is expanding beyond China with strong gross merchandise volume, though Amazon still rules in revenue.

Which brings us to the next point.

Which report should you read? Well, reading the original report is a no-brainer. Once you’re finished with that, you could read more analysis and reports. And it never hurt to help a tech writer somewhere earn their supper (or coffee — people around the world have different food habits). You read this report by Recode or this by Adweek. Everyone has picked up a different piece of the pie and bit into it.

The one I’ve enjoyed (and understood) is TechCrunch’s 20 takeaways from Meeker’s 294-slide Internet Trends report, which lays out the facts quick and easy. Here’s one of their highlights:

“Internet adoption: As of 2018, half the world population, or about 3.6 billion people, will be on the internet. That’s thanks in large part to cheaper Android phones and Wifi becoming more available, though individual services will have a tougher time adding new users as the web hits saturation.”

Which job will definitely rule the future?

Data analytics, of course! Imagine the amount of number crunching that went into this report. The surveys that were done, the numbers that were analysed, the pivots that were run, and the facts that came to light.

Oh, and if you’re an entrepreneur looking for people to join your company, you might want to think about hiring remote workers and creating a workplace that offers flexi working options.

Slide 162 of Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report 2018

Oh, and side note: Mary also proves that presentations are not dead. They are indeed alive and kicking. There you go, Jeff Bezos.

Finally, what didn’t Mary say?

Or rather, what questions have come up after this report?

Should we be worried about the amount of time we seem to be spending online?

Turns out I’m not the only one thinking about this.

According to Amanda Zantal-Wiener’s article on Hubspot: “A lot of teens who come to me for therapy often cite social media as a source of stress,” says Laurie Paul, Ph.D., a psychologist in the Washington, D.C. area. “Many of them talk about inter-personal conflicts with peers that are started or intensified by posts on social media.”

I guess someone’s gain is always someone’s loss. But how much of a loss are we willing to take? Like all great literature, Mary’s report throws up more questions than answers.

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