Smartphones and Internet Usage
First is the separation between smartphone growth — which is basically non-existent — and Internet users, which continues to increase, albeit at a slower pace:
The clear takeaway from these two charts is that the smartphone upgrade cycle is elongating significantly. Remember, in most parts of the world, access to the Internet is synonymous with having a smartphone; it follows, then, that smartphones continue to reach new users, but the users that already have smartphones are upgrading less frequently.
Second, there remains two routs to growth for Internet companies:
Not even half of the global population has access to the Internet, although the 50% mark should be passed this year as steady growth continues. Internet users in developed markets like the US , are increasing their Internet usage. the Internet market is increasing in two directions: the overall market, and the usage within the market that exists.
This shows how powerful Iphone is now:
Apple’s price increase, both for the iPhone X as well as the iPhone 8, single-handedly reversed a long-running trend of decreasing ASP for smartphones overall. It is an incredibly impressive achievement.
How Software is EATING THE WORLD
Notice the shape of this chart:
Thanks to Ben Thompson for the diagrams.
Technology now affects every single aspect of life, the process has been pushed forward a lot since last 10 years.
The problem is big tech companies have largely picked off low-hanging fruit and now have to spend more to figure out what is next. On the other hand, the core business model affords generates so much cash, that they can do what they want to do and still hold the advantage (or further their vantage point).
The Small Business Revolution
If you are ready to get to work and want to start a small business, then it never has been easier in the history of business to do that using variety of technology tools from SEO (to get customers) to CRM’s to manage customers and create loyal customers. Very small budgets on facebook and Google can yield surprising results depending on the niche market your business chooses.
There is a very real ecosystem of niche businesses built on companies like Square, Shopify, Stripe, etc., that reach customers through Facebook ads, and I strongly believe this is critical to a world where automation takes over more and more of the post World War II order. This remains the single most compelling argument as to why Facebook is a net benefit to society.
Who will handle the Deflation that Tech is causing?
This section really captures why I remain very uncertain that standard economic indicators tell the entire story of what is happening with the economy. Technology is incredibly deflationary in nature, which is a huge positive for consumers but not so good for commonly referenced measures of economic activity.
Tech products are getting cheaper overall; this is obvious with things like TVs, but I am glad Meeker included food. The decreasing spend on food is crucial because it is not only an example of how technology, broadly defined, makes things better for consumers, but it is also a reminder that humanity broadly has demonstrated the ability to shift employment:
Still, we are hampering ourselves with poor regulations, especially in terms of urban zoning. All of these new jobs are in urban areas, but urban real estate is eating up too many of the gains:
The single most important regulatory issue today is not privacy or big tech companies; it is zoning in urban areas. The fallout of those R&D numbers and the massive returns that come from it is that more and more wealth is being generated in areas that are increasingly inaccessible to the poor. The single best thing that could be done for inequality in the United States would be making it easier for those gains to be distributed broadly through increased economic activity in urban area; that, though, requires sufficient housing.
So, above is a bit philosophical but the point is that we are indeed living in a technological revolution and technology enabled small businesses are changing the way humans interact in communities.
If you are a small business and you found us, just give us a call and we will definitely be able to help you, whether you need SEO, website, Conversion optimization, CRM. or any other help related to technology.