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Jun 3, 2015

Here’s some required reading for HR: Internet Trends 2015.

Really. I’m not kidding.

You may think from the title that Internet Trends 2015 is a report that has nothing to do with Human Resources. You couldn’t be more wrong.

HR needs to dig into this

It’s ALL about HR, and, how nearly everything about business, work, and the employer/employee relationship is changing because of what the Internet enables.

The report, prepared by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’ analyst Mary Meeker for this year’s Code Conference, presents the 2015 Internet Trends report some 20 years after the first Internet Report was published in 1995.

You’ve probably heard about this year’s report because every journalist in the world was agog at one piece of data: How Millennials relate to their smartphones. Everyone now knows that 87 percent of Millennials in the U.S. report that “my smartphone never leaves my side, night or day.”

That’s one of several data points on one page of a 196 page report. And while interesting, it is among the least interesting data points in the report — I promise.

You need to know these before you get started

But first, you need to know some definitions to get the full value of the report. Here are a few terms and acronyms you should – and probably already – know:

  • MAU = Monthly Active Users (how many users are on an application at least once a month);
  • DAU = Daily Active Users (how many users are on an application at least once a day);
  • Y/Y = Year-over-Year (compares results from two consecutive years);
  • API = Application Programming Interface (how programs/apps connect to each other);
  • GDP = Gross Domestic Product (total value of goods and services produced by a nation);
  • GMV = Gross Merchandise Value (total sales value of merchandise sold through an Internet channel);
  • VoIP = Voice over Internet Protocol (Skype would be a good example of this).

This report hits on all of HR’s buttons with high impact data: The nature of work, the job market, benefits, age demographics in the workplace, freelancers, government benefits, union participation, employer retirement plans, healthcare, the impact of drones on work, what’s happening in China and India, and more.

That’s all in a report about Internet trends. And almost every page is a data-rich picture of how things are changing. This might be my favorite page because it is the continuous thread of everything else discussed in the report:kpcb-2015-trends-2

The connection to everyone in HR

And this might be my favorite chart because the impact of the data here fuels most everything else mentioned in the report. The connections between economic growth/decline, demographic changes, the Internet and business impact every HR person everywhere, every day.

Yes — Everywhere. Every day. This report shows these connections clearly.kpcb-2015-trends-1

I’d like to make this report mandatory reading for all HR professionals. If you’re having a hard time grasping what the opportunity really is for HR to keep ahead of the profound changes happening all around us, this report will help you understand.

Read it. Discuss some of the findings (pay particular attention to the section at the end, Ran Outta Time Thoughts) in staff meetings and with other leaders in your organization. Develop a point of view about how Internet trends are impacting your organization and your people, and begin to strategize responses that will work for your business and your people. You simply must.

And oh yes, please — read this report!