Business tycoon, tech mogul, and physicist Yuri Milner predicted that consumer internet will be a massive booming business for the next 20 years. The Digital Sky Technologies Founder (DST) didn't once mention massive technological waves like A.I. or autonomous vehicles. Rather, he opted for a more 'everyday' technology -- consumer internet. He suggested that users will see a huge evolution in the next 20 years from what users experience today.
Milner told the crowd at TechCrunch's Disrupt SF event that he wants to craft his theories on research. He said it could be beneficial to map out precisely where the consumer sector is headed. His estimates? Well, up $1 trillion will go to the early-stage investors and early adopters, and $5 trillion would go to company founders. The rest of the boom would go to public investments, tech employees, and LPs.
"The incredible thing is that, in the last 10 years, the pattern did not really change," Milner said onstage. "Ten years ago, five companies occupied about 70 percent of the value of this $350 billion. Roll the clock 10 years forward, then also five companies occupy roughly 70 percent of the value. Those are not the same companies, but also five companies."
5 companies that dominate the consumer internet market
Right now consumer internet consists of five large companies pointed out by Milner: Facebook, Google, Amazon, Alibaba, and Tencent. Those groups have over $3.5 trillion in value, and as TechCrunch's Matthew Lynley pointed out, it doesn't even include Apple or Google's sister companies.
Numbers aside, the consumer internet market -- even by Milner's "conservative" estimates -- will be the market to watch over the next two decades for intensive change and evolution.
But what of the rising fears of technology? What about looking to a future beyond the internet at our fingertips? Milner offered a bit more optimism than his investor counterparts like Elon Musk or even Steve Wozniak. While Milner's ultimate focus is finding life outside of earth (as he mentioned at last year's Disrupt conference), he suggested a future that gives robots menial jobs wouldn't be a bad thing.
"I share a fundamentally optimistic view on this," Milner said. "I represent a minority of all experts on this, but I think that… there are a lot of fears that a lot of jobs will get eliminated by technology. That creates a lot of uncertainty. If we look in the last few hundred years, there was a lot of technology developed. They were as disruptive as we are seeing now… What I believe will happen is that many people will just be doing different things. For example, education, we now have one teacher per maybe 30 kids, or maybe 50 in other countries, where the ratio is even more dramatic. Why wouldn’t we assume the ratio would be 1 to 10 in 20, 30 or 40 years? The same applies to taking care of old people."
Milner is one of many tech leaders to speak at Disrupt SF. This year's conference is now owned by telecommunications company Verizon. Over half of the 5,000 registered attendees are from outside of the United States, according to Forbes.