Communication has Evolved – Remember when CompuServe was “the web”, Nokia was THE “smart” phone?


Every year around this time, venture capital analyst Mary Meeker releases her insights on the State of the Internet. It’s packed with nearly 200 slides of historic data and predictions about how the Internet and technology are changing the world (including the visual I shared).  It is a good read for business professionals to understand that disruption is always right around the corner.  Are you ready to seize new opportunities or rest on your laurels?  

And the report is a trip down memory lane for me.  I began my career at CompuServe.  If old enough, you remember that screechy modem noise synonymous with going online to find information or connect with others.  That was pre-WWW.  I also spent a decade in mobile, beginning at a time when the mobile web was three lines of text on a postage stamp sized black and white screen.  The world has changed a lot during my career and I have been fortunate to be at the epicenter of some of those changes.  I am always anticipating disruption.

For marketers, some key trends in Meeker’s report include the rise of mobile online access and particularly video content. 73% of the world’s population used a mobile phone in 2014, vs. 1% in 1995. In raw numbers, that’s an increase from about 80 million people to almost 6 billion in 20 years. Coupled with the content consumption patterns and expectations of millennials that Meeker outlines, it is pretty clear that the business environment today continues to be ripe for disruption.  Think Uber, Square, or airbnb.  If you are not thinking about how your business will be impacted, empower a group of millennials and enjoy the ride.

Here’s another cool stat that hits home for me, as a marketer for INXPO’s digital video broadcasting and enterprise communication solutions.  Video traffic is increasing for both global Internet consumers and global mobile users. According to Cisco, video accounted for 55% of mobile data traffic in 2014, up from 52% in 2013 and 50% in 2012.  Millennials are leading the change.  It is only a matter of time before our traditional business communication systems are reshaped.

The big takeaway in all this, for me, is that online users’ expectations are changing – and businesses had better keep up. We now live in an environment where more of the world’s population is connected 24/7 with mobile devices. Users expect interactivity and quick access to information. That requires new thinking for marketers and business leaders.

Business communications have evolved. Have you?