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.
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.