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The mobile Internet economy

The personal computer entered the workplace about three decades ago. A signal moment in the creation of the digital economy was the initial public offering (IPO) of Netscape. The Silicon Valley startup popularized the Web browser that is now an essential part of everyday life. It went public in 1995. Netscape's stock soared in its first day of trading. In a sense, the dot-com boom and the Internet Age were born that day -- or at least a lot of people suddenly dreamed of the creative opportunities and business profits to be made off the Internet.

At the moment, the troubled Facebook IPO is casting a pall over high tech (wrongly, I think). But the signal moment for the emergence of an even larger digital economy wasn't Facebook. It was Apple's iPad. It's the visible symbol of the rapid embrace of wireless data -- video, images, content, data and communication -- throughout the global economy.

Take the stunning growth rate in this chart:


Now, look at the growth in Android related devices:  


These charts come from a 112-slide presentation on the Internet economy by Mary Meeker, a partner at famed venture capitalist firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Beyers. I found the charts fascinating -- well worth looking at. I pulled out a few slides on personal finance. 

Here's one on borrowing and lending:

 

Health care:


I couldn't resist this one: 


The mobile Internet, Big Data, and other aspects of the Internet economy will transform business and eveyday life. Imagine, the app economy is behind the creation of more than 466,000 jobs in the U.S. -- up from zero when the iPhone was introduced in 2007, according to calculations by Michael mandel, chief economic strategist at the Progressive Policy Institute.  That's in the worst labor market since the 1930s. We're still in the early stages of the emerging digital economy. 

About the author

Chris Farrell is the economics editor of Marketplace Money.

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