What Google Meet vs. Zoom says about the unbundling of G Suite

Zoom’s meteoric rise in the video chat space is a lesson in the unbundling of G Suite. What are the other opportunities?

August 31, 2020

Zoom plans to report its quarterly earnings today, which gives us the chance to check in on one of quarantine’s best running jokes: Google Meet’s attempt to stymie Zoom’s astronomical growth.

Google’s desperation is best signified by the insertion of a comically large blue Google Meet button in every Google-related crevice.

Ross Simmonds, founder of the B2B content strategy firm Foundation Inc., tells The Hustle that the battle is a perfect example of what he terms “the unbundling of G Suite.”

G Suite (Docs, Meet, Drive, etc.) is a drop in the bucket for Google

Google’s parent firm Alphabet reported Q2 2020 revenue of $38B, of which less than 10% came from its Google Cloud unit (which includes G Suite).

With >90% of Alphabet’s revenue still ad-based, the company’s lack of focus on G Suite is not surprising.

The strategy around its messaging and video chat strategy has been particularly bad. Apologies in advance for the PTSD, but do you remember: Google Talk, Google Voice, Google Hangout, Allo, or Duo?

G Suite’s historical lack of focus has put each product category up for grabs:

Zoom’s video chat rise has been undeniable

Zoom doubled its revenue guidance for the year and its market cap has increased 3x (to $85B) over the past 6 months.

In response, Google has focused its video chat efforts in recent months and leveraged its massive distribution advantage (1B+ Gmail users).

In addition to the offensively large blue button, Google Meet has added basic features that were (shockingly) unavailable pre-pandemic: Meet in web and mobile, tile layouts, high-quality audio, and customizable backgrounds. 

The effort seems to have paid dividends, with a 30-fold usage increase from January-April. 

Where else is Google vulnerable?

Simmonds has been impressed by Google’s response to Zoom but believes there are still opportunities to unbundle G Suite, “especially where Google is not focused.”

In addition to video, he says competition for alternatives to Sheets (e.g., Airtable) and GMail (e.g., Superhuman) is getting more and more crowded.

But, G Suite targets that could be ripe for the pickings include Slides, Forms, Calendar, and Keep. 

Whatever competitor arises, there’s one sure way to know if they’re gaining traction: a big-a$$ blue Google button.

Join 1.5m+ professionals getting The Hustle daily news brief

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less

100% free, no ads or spam, unsubscribe anytime


How'd Bezos build a billion dollar empire?

In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

Data shows where markets are headed.

And that’s why we built Trends — to show you up-and-coming market opportunities about to explode. Interested?

Join us, it's free.

Look, you came to this site because you saw something cool. But here’s the deal. This site is actually a daily email that covers the important news in business, tech, and culture.

So, if you like what you’re reading, give the email a try.

If you don’t like it, unsubscribe any time. Privacy policy.