With Friends Like These, Who needs Enemies Edition with Sameer Singh

With Friends Like These, Who needs Enemies Edition with Sameer Singh
Sameer Singh discussed the technology companies' alliances that has turned into rivalries with Uber vs Google in transportation and Niantic vs Nintendo in gaming.

Continuing from our first discussion, Sameer Singh from Tech-thoughts.net and our host analysed the changing alliances in both the transportation and gaming industry where allies within the space turn to rivalries in two interesting cases: Google versus Uber in ride-sharing and autonomous vehicles, and Niantic versus Nintendo in the mobile gaming space. We also dissected why even if the rivalries exist, these companies still need each other mutually within their respective ecosystems. 

Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with time-stamps included):

  • Sameer Singh (@sameer_singh17, LinkedInTech-thoughts.net), Industry Analysis Director for App Annie
  • With Friends like These, Who needs Enemies? [1:06]
    • Uber vs Google [1:15]
      • How did they went from allies to competitors now? [1:46]
      • Note: Google is an investor in Uber via Google Ventures.
      • Google adding a ride-sharing option that compares prices including Uber’s rivals such as Lyft on Google Maps. [2:43]
      • Google’s implementation of ride sharing through Waze [3:40]
      • The question on who owns the customer: Google Maps and Uber/Lyft ride sharing service: Comparable per user engagement metrics (vast difference in size of userbase) – Reference: Uber, Google & the Future of Ridesharing in App Annie. [5:22]
      • What are user engagement metrics for Uber vs Google Maps? [8:11]
      • Biggest reason to be positive about Uber’s chances is that they recognize the threat caused by the shift to self driving cars: Travis Kalanick’s comments (where he recognised the threat from Google) on going autonomous. [10:26]
      • Is Uber vs Google like Google vs Facebook with Google Plus? [11:10]
      • Google’s android advantage against Uber [12:07]
      • Google’s loss of their self-driving car team and Uber acquisition of Otto. [13:30]
      • Why is there no network effects with a fleet of self-driving cars? [14:30]
      • Uber is going autonomous soon and they are already trialling and of course, in Singapore, Nutonomy has also trialled their self-driving car into taxis next year, does that mean that these services will not be asset light any more with their business model?  [15:00]
    • Niantic vs. Nintendo [16:00] 
      • The difference between mobile-first and console-first approach. 
      • Why Niantic and Nintendo are setting themselves up into a rivalry in the future? [16:40]
      • Niantic’s business model and defensibility with gaming content IP similar to Disney. [20:32]
      • AR location based gaming as a platform, confirmed by Niantic. 
      • Nintendo’s approach is dramatically different and mirrors those of other console players attempting to move to mobile (Free Trial + Paid Access, e.g. TellTale, Ubisoft, etc.). That revenue model has never achieved true scale on mobile, irrespective of IP (Game of Thrones, Rayman, etc.). Some revenue generated on iOS (explains iOS only approach).
    • How do companies navigate themselves from alliances to rivalries and then still need each other within the ecosystem?  [25:00]

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bleongcw) and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) with their new Altizen Desk on Indiegogo (Twitter, Facebook, Medium). Also check out Ideal Workspace’s new standing desk, Altizen and sign up for their mailing list. Sound credits for the intro music: Taro Iwashiro, “The Beginning” from Red Cliff Soundtrack.