Internet Trends 2019

by Dave Michels

Mary Meeker did her annual presentation on Internet trends in June. I am not certain what motivates her to share her research, but I know the Internet appreciates it. Share yes, but not really explain. This time she presented 333 slides in 30 minutes. In other words, she shared her data, not her thoughts. Here’s what I found the most relevant regarding enterprise communications:

  • 51% of the world is now connected. That’s up from 49% last year and represents about 3.8B people. 
  • 7 out of 10 of the most valuable companies (market cap) are tech companies. Microsoft*, Amazon*, Apple*, Alphabet*, Berkshire Hathaway, Facebook*, Alibaba, Tencent*, Visa, and Johnson & Johnson. Note, that 6 (*) of the top 10 most valuable companies are active in enterprise communications. This is a huge shift from say twenty years ago when enterprise comms were dominated by specialized vendors and carriers. Also listed were Samsung ranked at 20, Cisco 22, AT&T 24, and Verizon 25. 
  • Customer acquisition costs are going up — in some cases higher than the long-term revenue they can deliver. Cheaper methods to acquire customers are necessary. This can include cross-vendor promotions, freemium models, and free trials. (Note: This year’s stars Slack and Zoom use Freemium.)  
  • Images are increasingly associated with communications. More than 50% of Twitter impressions have an image or video. 
  • 87% of Internet traffic is now encrypted, up from 53% three years ago. She did not break-out enterprise key management. I remain concerned about messaging services the provider manages the keys (and has access to corporate data) such as Slack and Teams, etc. 
  • Remote workers are increasing, but only currently account for about 5% of the US workforce. 

Vendor callouts:

  • Slack and Hello Fresh were called out for team-first, organization-first approach to communications as opposed to individual first. Hello Fresh uses Slack bots to monitor social media. 
  • Twilio and Shopify for multi-channel communications. Customers can interact via phone, text, chat, mobile apps, WeChat, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. Twilio enables one tool, and Shopify uses them to create a consistent experience. 
  • Zoom for success with its freemium model. “We make our freemium product work so well…if they like our product, very soon they are going to pay for the subscription.” 
  • Google for a different variant on freemium, adapting free Google Apps to paid G Suite subscriptions. 

This information was published in my monthly report the goes out the first week of each month. You can get these complete Insider reports with a paid subscription.  See