has joined venture capitalists Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, backers of Google, Amazon, Zynga and many clean-tech companies in recent years.Mary Meeker, probably the banking world's single best-known person in technology,
Meeker analyzes technology trends and gives research-dense, high energy presentations at conferences like O'Reilly and TechWeb's Web 2.0 Summit. Last year she discussed research finding that use of the mobile web will surpass use of desktop browsers, globally, within 5 years. How prominent is Meeker? Sarah Lacy, who has covered the Silicon Valley VC market for years, puts it this way at TechCrunch this morning: "As an analyst, Mary Meeker was as famous in the dot com glory days as [Kleiner's John] Doerr was as a VC, so it's appropriate and seemingly a long time coming that the two would wind up as partners."
"Our number one goal is to help the Mark Pincuses [founder of Zynga] of the world build their businesses into Internet treasures, and there has been no greater finder of Internet treasures than Mary Meeker," Doerr told TechCrunch this morning.
Let's hope that not everyone at the firm famous for funding world-changing companies like Google and Amazon sees as their number one goal funding companies like the makers of Farmville. Perhaps it really is just about the economic growth, though, and all those other investments made the world a better place only as an afterthought. On the other hand, the socio-psychological meaning and impact of Zynga will likely be the subject of years of academic study; maybe that will do the world some good.
Meeker's research for Morgan Stanley has long been a favorite for web startups to use in their fund raising presentations. Whether Meeker will continue publishing as prolifically, presenting at conferences or speaking as a seemingly non-partisan analyst on the field remains to be seen. Her position as one of the most powerful women in technology clearly remains unchanged.
Below, highlights from Meeker's last big presentation on the growing importance of Mobile, as selected by ReadWriteWeb's Audrey Waters in coverage this Spring.