Morgan Stanley analyst Mary Meeker just gave her annual presentation to the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. She listed 10 questions that she said any internet executive needs to answer.
Here’s the list of her topics, the specific questions she asked, and related comments:
- Globality — Do you know which players in which countries do what you do better (or at least differently) than you? Meeker said companies in the United States need to be looking at this, especially since competitors in other countries are certainly looking at US competitors.
- Mobility — It’s ramping faster than any “new new thing” — is your business leading or lagging? Meeker underlined how quickly marketshare is shifting, with Nokia/Symbian down to 37 percent, compared to 62 percent at the beginning of 2006, while Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android systems are seeing rapid growth.
- Social ecosystems — Would you rather be Google, Apple, or Facebook? Will their future directions help or hurt your businesses? Normally, rapid change makes established companies obsolete, but Meeker said, “This time around, the incumbents are not asleep at the switch, by any stretch of the imagination.”
- Advertising — It’s ripe for innovation, will your business benefit? Meeker noted that online advertising still isn’t making as much money as it should relative to the amount of time people are spending on the Web. That will change, she said, as the ads improve. Companies like Apple, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, Google, are trying to innovate, and Meeker offered the anecdotal point that she has “clicked on more online ads in last six months than I’ve clicked on in the last 15 years.”
- Commerce — Have you ever seen “constant improvement” in products like we are seeing now? Is your business keeping pace?
- Media — What does the extraordinary ramp up in on-demand video usage mean for your business?
- Internet company leadership evolution — There have been shocking changes over the past six years. Are you prepared for the next half decade of change? Meeker compared a list of the top 15 publicly traded Internet companies in 2004 and 2010, noting that companies like Tencent and Baidu have risen to the top while others like IAC and Monster have fallen off.
- Steve Jobs — What’s his secret sauce? Does your company have it? Meeker quoted Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s description of Jobs as having “the mind of an engineer and the heart of an artist.” It’s very unusual for one person to combine those qualities, so if you can’t quite match that, your company needs to have one strong engineer and one real artist, and they need to work closely together.
- Ferocious pace of change — what’s next in tech? — When do consumers/enterprises and incumbents/attackers need you?
- Closing thoughts — Mature companies usually can’t support rapid growth, but Meeker noted that a number of older companies are still seeing a dramatic increase in revenue. The biggest example may be Apple, whose revenue last quarter increased 67 percent compared to the same period last year.