John Doerr Says We're Still in 'Day Zero' of Internet's Place in World

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- John Doerr, the sage at Silicon Valley venture capital heavyweight Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, still says the Internet is "under-hyped."

"We're in Day Zero, or the early innings, of how 6 to 8 billion people are going to live," Doerr said on Tuesday at Business Insider's Ignition conference in New York. "We'll be in Day One when half the people on the planet are connected."

Back in the mid-1990s, Doerr proclaimed that the Internet was "underhyped" and that businesses, governments and the public at large had failed to appreciate the extent to which the World Wide Web would change the course of human events. Some 20 years later, Doerr still maintains that the Internet's power to reshape business and human interactions remains in its infancy stage. 

"It's awesome to think about the transformation that's already under way" he said.

Doerr was particularly enthusiastic about the potential that new and emerging digital businesses have to change education and healthcare for the better.

He lamented that the health care industry lacks transparency and accountability. And he further noted that one-third of the roughly $3 trillion spent each year on health care in the U.S. goes to cover the payments side of the business. 

Besides the advent of digital healthcare, Doerr cited other overarching trends shaping the Internet and the next generation of digital business. He pointed to the 'sharing economy' that is exemplified by Uber and Airbnb, in which car owners affiliated with Uber and residents using Airbnb share their respective properties to others for a fee.

Among other trends, Doerr cited the "Internet of things" that encompasses inter-connectivity of just about facet of home, work and leisure. He also cited society's greater interest in sustainability as an increasing trend, as well as emerging issues like the "magical ways of communicating" that is symbolized by Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset made by Oculus VR.  Facebook ( FB) , jumping on this outlier trend, bought Oculus VR in March  for $2 billion in cash and stock.

Written by Leon Lazaroff in New York

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