Mobile Stats from Meekers “Internet Trends”

I mentioned Mary Meeker’s “2012 Internet Trends” presentation in last week’s post “The Mobile Generation“.

These were my favorite slides from the presentation, illustrating the optimistic outlook and huge upside still open for the mobile sector:

The slides on “re-imagining” were some of my favorite in the entire 88 page deck, and of them, the “Connectivity” and “Photography” re-imagined slides really hit the nail on the head with what we’re working to do with SimpleCrew.

So much can be communicated with photos, and for the first time ever, SimpleCrew offers teams an easy way to share and organize photos across a team.

It’s a re-imagining of connectivity for teams, with photographs as the medium. And it’s all up and to the right.


The Mobile Generation

Mary Meeker from the Venture Capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, & Byers (KPCB) always kills it with her Internet Trends presentations, and I love it every time.

In particular, I love it because of how amazing the numbers have been for mobile. They’re incredible. It makes me feel all warm and tingly inside, seeing the graphs that portray a technological revolution we happen to be right in the middle ofright now.

You don’t even need a VC analyst to tell you that there’s big stuff happening in mobile lately. You can just look around and see it in every pocket – it surrounds us.

Think about how amazing this is: computing has brought about three waves now, each of them creating massive technological change (along with vast fortunes) from the period before. The first was the proliferation of the PC. Then there was the internet. For both of those waves, my generation was too young to really appreciate what was going on, let alone dive in and participate.

But this wave, mobile…

The first iPhone came out in 2007. I was 19, and had just finished my first year at University of Maryland. Like most people that age, I had just recently started considering the options for my future and would be for the next few years before graduation.

A couple months after that first iPhone came out, the economy hit the fan and everything turned to shit. Students started graduating into the crappy economy, and the “Jobless 20-Something” became a defining cliche of the time. My friends and I watched the value of our college degrees plummet to almost worthless, a year before graduation.

And then this happened:

All of a sudden, a ray of light appeared amidst the frenzy of the shit economy, and that ray of light was mobile. A new wave of technology that brought a new wave of opportunities, value, and wealth.

This time, we weren’t too young. And we weren’t too old either – that’s very important. We weren’t 4-5 years down paths towards middle-management in office buildings anonymous.

We were young, jobless, and had nothing to lose. We were just right.

By now, it’s practically conventional wisdom that it’s never been easier to start a company. With basically zero start-up costs, infrastructure readily available, and the world’s knowledge at your fingertips – very little of the barriers to entry that existed just 10 years ago exist today.

And now we have the explosion of this new platform. The smartphone. Think about how incredible of a canvas this thing is. With the touch screen, it offers literally infinite possible interface options. It has a camera (or two), a compass/accelerometer, a speaker, a microphone, a light, and a headphone jack. It’s connected to the web, it’s always on, always around, and there’s millions of them. And that’s just for now.

Think about how many problems there are that can be solved with the right software on this canvas! And of course problems can translate into opportunities for business. You literally can’t put a number on how many business opportunities there are out there now. It’s effectively infinite.

Thus, it’s a beautiful thing Mary Meeker reports on. For a generation that graduated into an economy in the dumps, mobile has offered a beautiful silver lining. The chance to create tools that solve problems and create value for people, and build businesses around those tools.

We may have been to young for PC and the Internet, but this wave, mobile, is our wave.


Measuring Your Brand: Esteem vs. Awareness

There’s a simple exercise that is incredibly powerful when considering marketing, advertising, or branding a company. The practice can be applied to anything – a product, an event, even ourselves – by simply considering two variables: Esteem and Awareness.



Esteem is what the brand is known for, or its image. This includes how much (or how little) the brand is respected, and what it’s respected (or disrespected) for. On one hand, there are brands associated with quality, great service, and other positive traits – like Apple,, and Mercedes-Benz. On the other, you’ve got those universally accepted as undesirable – companies like Enron, or the NFL Replacement Refs (had to…)


Awareness is how well known a brand is. How big – or how small – its reach is. On one hand you’ve got Joe’s Pizza on the corner, serving the locals, and on the other you’ve got Pizza Hut, serving up slices from countless locations on every corner of the globe.

This is what branding is all about. Esteem and Awareness. As far as marketing, advertising, and branding are concerned, they’re the only things that matter. It all boils down to those two pillars. Everything else is secondary.


With all this in mind, here’s a fun trick: plot Awareness and Esteem against X and Y axis, and then split the graph into four quadrants.

In the top right, you’ll find the well known, and well respect brands. This is the sweet spot. Our examples from before – Apple, Mercedes-Benz, and Zappos – are all comfortably in this quadrant.

Below them in the bottom right quadrant, you’ve got well respected but lesser known brands. This is where you’d find high-end niche brands like Harmon Kardon (speakers), or newer startups earlier on their paths, like our friends at InternMatch (internship marketplace) and LikeBright (social dating) – both extremely valued and respected among the communities that know them (and growing every day).

On the left side, the Hemisphere of Sorrow. The top left: high awareness, low esteem. Our earlier examples of Enron and the NFL Replacement Refs fit nicely here.

On the bottom left: unknown, and unloved. The bottom of the barrel. No good examples are coming to mind, but the depths of Apple’s App Store or’s catalog are probably littered with examples of obscure, crappy products.

In Practice

There’s a couple takeaways from this exercise that we’re applying with SimpleCrew. The first is that esteem comes first. Whatever we do, it’s important that we maintain a great reputation, and that our app stays useful and valuable to our customers. The more the better. That is our top priority.

Awareness, while important, comes second. Our marketing and advertising efforts will grow as awareness grows in importance for us. But all the attention in the world is worthless without the esteem that comes from having a dialed-in product and customer support.

That’s the golden tip: Be good. Make it valuable, and make it work. Take care of the people who already know about you – they’re your foundation for esteem. Those early adopters can later become your biggest promoters. With that in place, then go to town on marketing and advertising.

Scale through the roof, but don’t forget your reputation along the way. Because awareness comes and goes, but esteem is your rep for life.

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