What PLM developers can learn from Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2018 presentation

What PLM developers can learn from Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2018 presentation

I’ve been reading almost traditional Kleiner Perkins’ annual internet trends report delivered by Mary Meeker at Code 2018. Almost 300 slides presentation covers everything you can imaging related to internet, mobile platforms, consumer applications, enterprise, etc. I highly recommend you to spend time and at least skim through the information of the presentation.

Navigate to Full video and transcript: Kleiner Perkins’ Mary Meeker at Code 2018 and Mary Meeker’s 2018 internet trends report: All the slides, plus analysis. The slide decks is here:

Usability and Consumer Like Apps

Consumer like apps are changing enterprise computing. Two examples from the presentation – pioneering in file data sharing (Dropbox) and messaging application (Slack). Check these slides to get an idea.

The topic of usability isn’t new. PLM industry have changed for the last 5-7 years from ignoring usability to accepting an important factor of usability. Still, it had very small impact of services. Most PLM vendors are monster product suites requires huge planning spending, process adjustment, consulting and services

Data Gathering to improve services

Separate topic – data gathering. Presentation speaks about history of data gathering going back to very old examples of social security data and credit card information. Then moving to cloud computing, mobile and social media era.

Here is my favorite passage:

Data improves predictive ability of many services. Data volume is foundational to algorithmic refinement in AI performance. It’s foundational to tool and product improvement, artificial intelligence predictability and capability. Artificial intelligence service or platforms are merging from internet leaders. Amazon.com and Google are increasingly competing in this space. Amazon’s AI platform emerging from AWS enabling easier data processing and collection for others, Google doing the same thing from the Google cloud.

Data gathering in PLM and engineering application is still on a very low level. My blog just few days ago – PLM, product data and new business models is just about that. Think about potential of gathering data and introducing new type of services capable to improve product engineering, manufacturing and supply chain.

AI spending in Enterprise 

Directly connected to the topic of data gathering is AI, which becomes increasingly important for enterprise companies.

AI and enterprises is a small area but it’s one of the rapidest areas of spending growth in the market. Sundar at Google said, “AI is one of the most important things humanity is working on. It’s more profound than electricity or fire. We have learned to harness fire for the benefits of humanity, but we had to overcome its downsides too. AI is really important, but we have to be concerned about it.”

I can see manufacturing industry can leverage from AI technology, which is still in a very beginning of application and services discovery. However, if you’re following engineering software news, you didn’t miss the information about $200M investment round of Autolab IO Inc led by Carl Bass (ex Autodesk CEO) and Amar Hanspal (ex-Autodesk SVP of product) – check for more here.

What is my conclusion?  Usability, Data gathering and AI spending. There are key topics I’ve captured from Mary Meeker presentation. Internet and related technology will continue to impact PLM industry innovators by showing examples and trends to follow.  New consumer based services are different and will change engineering and manufacturing processes. PLM applications will move from holding data as hostage to leveraging data to improve services. Last 10 years of innovation in cloud, and consumerization is just a beginning. Simplicity is hard. It was simple to claim movement of existing PLM suites to cloud hosting. But it didn’t change the nature of application. So, it is a time to build a foundation for future manufacturing services. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Want to learn more about PLM? Check out my new PLM Book website.

Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of OpenBOM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.


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