Bigger than the Dotcom Boom

This sector is not only bigger than the dotcom boom, and its not yet ready to pop. Find out how this new sector is forever changing the world as we know it.

Bigger than the Dotcom Boom…and Not Ready to Pop

From Ukraine to Syria, and Israel to Yemen, war is quickly spreading throughout the Eastern Hemisphere.

Meanwhile, the threat of another financial bubble looms as the currency war intensifies.

With so much adversity standing in our way, it’s hard to be optimistic about our future.

But being that today is about the celebration of life, let’s focus on the positives – things we can, and should, be excited about.

Bigger than Dotcom

There is a growing trend that no one in Canada is talking about.

Over the past couple of years, this sector has become the fastest growing space in the world. The valuations are extreme, but the promise of a more efficient future is real.

Its growth has put failing Internet giants, such as Yahoo, back on the map of relevancy and profits. It’s turned Apple into the world’s biggest company. And its about to create another group of new billionaires and millionaires – the way Facebook and Google did.

I am talking about something that is even bigger than the dotcom boom.

I am talking about the mobile boom.

While most of you have seen the mobile opportunity grow over the past years, its not until you begin taking a closer look at the numbers that you truly realize just how big the opportunity has become.

What do you think of the Mobile Boom?

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Shocking Numbers

There are now more active mobile devices on the planet than there are humans. Mobile penetration has now surpassed 100% in most developed markets.

More importantly, as George Berkowski wrote:

“In 2013, the average US consumer spent an average of 2 hours and 38 minutes per day on their smartphone and tablet. That accounts for a whopping 17 per cent of their waking hours – that’s almost one-fifth of the time we spend with our eyes open.”

Incredible! But that’s not all. The average smartphone user also looks at his phone more than 150 times per day.

Just take a look as you walk around the city: everywhere you go, someone is looking down at a phone. You’re probably reading this newsletter from your phone right now.

But as big as the smartphone has become, the opportunity isn’t the phone itself – far from that.

It’s in the applications these smartphones can power; the phone is simply the device that hosts a world of new applications and opportunities.

So never mind the battle between Apple and Samsung for top smartphone spot; the more important and more substantial theme is that because these mobile devices give anyone the ability to connect, businesses will forever change the way they operate. Or end in failure.

A Dramatic Shift

Many businesses will cease to exist as a result of this shift to mobile; the same way Blockbuster and Yellow Pages were brought down by the Internet.

From email to messaging apps, and from GPS devices to mobile GPS, this shift is happening so fast that its hard to grasp just how much it has changed a number of industries.

One look at the new mobile ride services such as Lyft (which just closed a $530 million funding round) and Uber (which is now valued at over $40 billion), and you can see how mobile is already taking over the world’s taxi businesses and changing that space forever.

Last year, Comscore showed us how far we’ve come in this shift to mobile – so far that in many categories, digital media usage is almost exclusively happening on mobile devices now.

Take a look at this chart by Business Insider:


This is why the mobile opportunity is far greater than the dotcom boom. There’s already more data usage happening on mobile devices now than there was data usage for the entire Internet during the dotcom boom.

But that’s not all.

For the first time ever, mobile app usage has actually exceeded that of desktop usage in the U.S.:

Via CNN:

“Americans used smartphone and tablet apps more than PCs to access the Internet last month — the first time that has ever happened.

Mobile devices accounted for 55% of Internet usage in the United States in January. Apps made up 47% of Internet traffic and 8% of traffic came from mobile browsers, according to data from Comscore, cited Thursday by research firm Enders Analysis. PCs clocked in at 45%.

Although total Internet usage on mobile devices has previously exceeded that on PCs, this is the first time it’s happened for app usage alone.

The shift follows a free-fall in PC sales, which suffered their worst decline in history last year.”

Another Bubble?

With all of this growth comes an enormous amount of capital fueling this mobile propulsion.

We’re now once again at a time where insane valuations are being given to non-revenue producing startups, fueling the parties and cocktails in Silicon Valley.

While risk capital in Canada has fallen to some of its lowest levels in history, due primarily to a failing public market, the private equity model in N. America is thriving.

In the last year alone, the private equity market, through buyout and corporate finance, venture capital, mezzanine, funds of funds and secondary funds, raised $266.2 billion, an 11.7% increase from the already whopping $238.35 billion raised by 661 funds a year earlier.

According to Dow Jones, 765 U.S. funds closed on capital in 2014 – the highest amount of funds since 2000.

According to Thompson Reuters, in 2014, Venture Capitalists (VC) raised $29.8 billion from 254 funds, the biggest annual fundraising haul for venture capitalists since 2007. That’s a 69 percent increase in from 2013.

And the majority of this VC capital has been flowing into mobile apps.

Of course, with the valuations and money that we’re seeing flowing into the space, many are already calling it another bubble.

There’s even a mobile app that raised $1.5 million with a $10 million valuation and all it does is send your friend a “YO” message.

But are we in a bubble?

Last year, the U.S. saw post-crisis highs in both capital exited and number of VC liquidity events, at $80.6 billion and 904, respectively. That means that while capital has been flowing into riskier assets, much of that risk has been recycled through liquidity events.

So even if this mobile opportunity is a bubble, its not yet ready to pop and it’s creating a new world of real opportunities dedicated to changing the way we all interact and conduct business.

Just imagine: instead of googling for a handy man and returning hundreds of results, you simply use an app on your phone to find the best one; instead of looking for the best restaurant and returning thousands of results, you simply use an app to simplify the process.

The mobile opportunity is about taking a very fragmented Internet, and organizing its information to make it more accessible – and ultimately, universal.

Luckily for Canadians, we’re not being left out of this boom.

Social media powerhouse Hootsuite, based in Vancouver, has raised more than $200 million over the last two years. Just the other day, Varagesale, based in Toronto, announced that it raised $34 million investment from two of silicon valleys biggest venture capital names, Lightspeed Ventures and Sequoia Capital.

Are we in a new mobile tech bubble?

We Need to Change

This shift to mobile is just beginning, and it’s so big that many can’t yet comprehend its size. Think of how Blockbuster and Rogers Video stores were forced to shut down. Now think of that happening to many other businesses.

While this sounds gloomy, its not about doom and gloom. It’s about change – a major cultural shift that is happening now.

This change will bring about more than just new technology; it will bring change to our way of life.

Technology has already transformed how kids learn at school; now its time that schools start leaning about technology.

I urge our politicians and our teachers to embrace this change quickly. There is a world of opportunity in our future, but it won’t be ours if we wait.

It all starts with a drastic change to include computer science and web development as a requirement in our education system.

If we continue with our current archaic education system and choose not to embrace this change, then yes, we are doomed.
But if we embrace this change, the future holds many new opportunities.

Comments 7

  2. Some years ago, walking towards my computer to check where I could buy something, I suddenly realized why responses to my local print directories were dropping. I switched all my advertising to the internet. A couple of years ago my host began offering a mobile page to access my main page. Rapidly the number of hits from this climbed to 30 a month, huge for me. I only need a handful of new clients a month, and many come by word of mouth. I believe both times that being ahead of the curve, for my particular profession, has been to my advantage.

  3. Good choice of place for your reader’s input: before reading the article. Following your intent, let me babble on before I read a word you had to say on the topic. That way you know I think it independently of what you wrote.

    Thank you by the way for your article about Ukraine, which I found spot on and quite dismaying that so few people are willing to discuss it along those lines. Nobody quite knows yet how many thousands of dead will result from the spectacular persistence of arrant stupidity in those affairs. I like to use the term ‘imbecillati.’

    The mobile boom is quite a phenomenon but what concerns me is how little gets discussed on why exactly that is so. The mercantile interests and benefits are undeniable, but what gets in the door along with those values will soon demand much greater scrutiny.

    When people pay $60K for cars and $1M for houses (They think they’re buying ‘homes’) you know that the consumer’s appetite overruns all prudence or proper sense of value, or if not proper at least examined.

    In the case of cell phones in particular, I have misgivings right off about their electromagnetic safety (not just the handheld but the pervasive and overpowering wireless infrastructure it requires), secondly with respect to individual privacy, and thirdly as to
    what effect their usage foists on our sociability.

    I consider it noncontroversial that the wireless and microwave spectra are dangerous, in spite of the carefully filtered science to the contrary. Worse, the danger is amplified by the informational bias. That’s criminal.

    The fallacy employed to justify the destruction of privacy, in the traditional sense of the term, is surprisingly resistant to
    rational discourse. In my experience, people who need to be shown why ‘nothing to hide nothing to fear’ is pure tripe do not
    seem capable of using their own rationality to transfer their opinion to higher ground. The topic seems blocked in
    some alternate state of consciousness which reminds me of the saying:
    Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.
    Just look up ”Nothing to fear nothing to hide fallacy” to see how myopic and misguided that notion can be.

    Finally we are approaching the ‘singularity’ when it becomes undeniable that technology changes our habits
    then potentially our identities. What is it going to take for real questions to reach ‘the conversation?’ Networked brains?
    That;s coming. Man-Frog chimeras? Already here. Cherry 2000? Already dreamt up, today a distinct possibility.

    If there is one constant in the perma-change that is technology’s gift, it is that morality runs behind, playing catch up.
    It is desirable to pursue technological progress, and equally to make sure that such progress deserves the name, by
    actively constructing and espousing an adjusted morality that adheres to the standards of human dignity. The need
    for such has long been identified (Jean Fourastié, Essays on Prospective Morality, 1966), yet nothing could be more
    urgent today.

    In the meantime we get to enjoy things like ethnic cleansing in Eastern Ukraine to make space for hydrocarbons
    exploitation; Fractional reserve one world banking; Social science experimentation on school children; Secret
    bio-weapons development on Maui; Resurgence of Nazism and Stalinism in the social contract, etc.

    So back to the topic, ‘Bigger than dotcom and not ready to pop,’ What exactly are you giving up when you order
    a candy bar with an iPhone?

  4. It is true that there is big changes,coming ahead but the biggest one is not coming from à simple Add but with à complete transformation to the way your phone and any other electronique devise are going to be build. With the end of Moore,s Law and silicone, all the big payers are looking for the next Paradigme shift.
    One small canadian compagnie has position it self,after 30 years of research, to be the one that everyone are looking at right now.
    POET TECHNOLOGY might be a name that only few have eard before but that is about to change in the next couple of weeks.
    BNN will be interviewing POET’s CEO on april 13. After that date, people will know that BAE is all ready working in collaboration with poet and also that Mr.Tony Blevins (APPLE’s procurment VP) is part of a strategic commitee put together for the strategic commercialisation of POET’s disruptive technologie. Once you’ll leard more about POET, you will realise that this is only the tip of the Iceberg.
    This Canadian compagnie is about to change the world of electronic and all has been kept secret until now. Until Now…
    PS. Sorry about my english

  5. The mobile boom is truly wonderful.Now the average user is on his smartphone 17% of his waking time. Why stop there? Eventually it will be 100% of his waking and sleeping time. Why use a smart phone? We will demand that that the government implant the phone chip directly in our brain. How wonderful our life will be!!!

  6. WIRELESS WARNING! [See what Andrew Goldsworthy wrote back in 2008, EMF will destroy your cellular membranes, and your blood-brain barrier,..]

    The Dangers of WiFi, DECT (cordless) phones, baby monitors, tablets, cell phones and cell phone towers. What you are not being told will harm or kill you. If you value the health and safety of yourself, your family and your friends, unplug the wireless devices (including cordless phones) and limit cell phone use. Keep a minimum distance of 500-600 yards from cell phone towers if regular exposure occurs.

    SYMPTOMS: Fatigue; Sleep disturbance; Feeling of discomfort; Difficulty concentrating; Depression; Memory loss; Visual disruptions; Irritability; Hearing disruptions; Skin problems; Increased allergies; Behavioral changes; Dizziness; Loss of appetite; Movement difficulties(clumsiness); Nausea ;Headaches; Tinnitus; Altered hormone production; Slowed reaction times; Heart arrhythmias; High blood pressure. Later symptoms of impaired immune system function, cataracts, sterility and cancer can appear.

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