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The State of the Consumer Interwebs 2015


Stashed in: @fredwilson, Awesome, internet, Active Users, Mobile Ads!, Black Swans!

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Fred Wilson contends that there has not been a single major consumer hit since 2011, when Snapchat launched.

I agree with him.

I also think it's strange that WhatsApp is not in the top 25.

Last year in my What Just Happened post, I said:

the social media phase of the Internet ended

I think we can go further than that now and say that sometime in the past year or two the consumer internet/social/mobile gold rush ended.

Sort of amazing that despite the gigantic size of the Millennial generation, and their supposedly very different habits... so many of these brands date back 10+ years... or they are direct replacements for companies that did the exact same thing 10+ years ago.

He's probably right that a new platform needs to emerge for a new company to have a chance. 

So consumer Internet is no longer seen as a growth opportunity?

The most exciting things that have happened in tech in 2015 are happening in verticals like transportation, hospitality, education, healthcare, and maybe more than anything else, finance, where the lessons and playbooks of the consumer gold rush are being used with great effectiveness to disrupt incumbents and shake up industries.

The same is true of the enterprise which also had a great year in 2015. Slack, and Dropbox before it, shows how powerful a consumerish approach to the enterprise can be. But there aren’t many broad horizontal plays in the enterprise and verticals seems to be where most of the action was in 2015.

I’m hopeful that 2015 will also go down as the year we buried the Unicorn. The whole notion that getting a billion dollar price tag on your company was something necessary to matter, to be able to recruit, to be able to get press, etc, etc, is worshiping a false god. And we all know what happens to those who do that.

As I look back over 2014 and 2015, I feel like these two years were an inflection point, where the underlying fundamentals of opportunity in tech slowed down but the capital rushing to get invested in tech did not. That resulted in the Unicorn phase, which if it indeed is over, will be followed by an unwinding phase where the capital flows will need to line up more tightly to the opportunity curve.

The biggest blogger of Iran on how Facebook and Twitter are killing the Web:

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/dec/29/irans-blogfather-facebook-instagram-and-twitter-are-killing-the-web

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