Mary Meeker, a Wall Street analyst turned venture capitalist, is quite simply one of the most respected Internet experts anywhere. As a Morgan Stanley technology analyst in the 1990s, Meeker achieved cult-like status on Wall Street for her visionary predictions of the scope and impact of the Web. A native of Portland, Indiana, Meeker graduated from DePauw University with a degree in psychology, and went on to earn an MBA from Cornell University. She started her career on Wall Street at Merrill Lynch before moving to Salomon Brothers, then Cowen, and ultimately Morgan Stanley, where she cemented her reputation as an Internet analyst par excellence. In the mid-90s, Meeker’s “Internet Report” became known as “the Bible” for tech investors, but the subsequent dot-com crash dented her reputation.
In a lengthy Fortune profile in 2006, Andy Serwer chronicled Meeker’s comeback and called her “absolutely first rate when it comes to spotting big-picture trends before they come into focus.” In late 2010, Meeker left her role as head of Morgan Stanley’s global technology research team to become a partner at Silicon Valley venture capital titan Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. To this day, her annual Internet trends presentation is intensely scrutinized for its Delphic predictions about the future of the Internet.