How Google Meet vs. Zoom explains the unbundling of G Suite


August 31, 2020

It’s IPO Season: Fun facts you need to know
August 31, 2020
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IN HIS HONOR, WE — THE WRITERS OF THE HUSTLE — HAVE PLEDGED TO BREAK EVERY SINGLE ONE OF HIS RULES THIS WEEK. FIRST UP: “NEVER WRITE IN ALL-CAPS.”

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The Big Idea

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

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.

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Snippets
Stonks

It’s IPO Season: Fun facts you need to know

Last week, 7 private US companies collectively worth $44B filed to go public. And that doesn’t even include China’s Ant Group, a $250B+ fintech giant which is likely to set an IPO record

Here are some notable startups from the pack, including two (Asana, Palantir) that will go public via a direct listing.

  • Founded: 2008
  • What they do: Asana is a productivity and collaboration tool that powers 75k companies (including The Hustle).
  • 2019 revenue: $143m (net loss of $119m)
  • Fun fact: Asana was founded by Mark Zuckerberg’s college roommate (and Facebook co-founder), Dustin Moskovitz. It started as a task management tool within Facebook.
  • Founded: 2003
  • What they do: Palantir is an analytics firm that primarily provides big data analytics software to government agencies.
  • 2019 revenue: $743m (net loss of $580m)
  • Fun Fact: Palantir is named after the “seeing stones” from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series. These stones, which allow the possessor to see the past and future, are meant to be a cautionary tale for Palantir’s real-life technology. 
  • Founded: 2004
  • What they do: Unity Software provides a gaming engine for game makers. It powers >50% of the iPhone’s top 1k mobile games.
  • 2019 revenue: $542m (net loss of $163m)
  • Fun Fact: In 2015, Mark Zuckerberg wrote a memo outlining his case to buy Unity. He viewed Google and Apple’s dominance of mobile as an ongoing threat and wanted Facebook to take a lead on VR.
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SPONSORED

From “some extra dough” to “haha, just no”, your WFH perks left us… worried?

The other week, we asked readers like you to share what WFH perks their companies are offering up these days. 

The responses ranged from good:

  • “$2k for employees to spend on their WFH setup and free zoom sessions with a therapist.” – Landon
  • “$1000 (furniture) + $300 (tech).” – Jack
  • “$150/month — could be for your home office, food, apps, basically anything except Airpods which we found out today.” – Dan

To bad:

  • “A big whole nothing.” – Denisa
  • “We can schedule a time to go in and pick up our substandard office chair from our workplace (oh joy!).” – Sarah

To just plain relatable:

  • “No people.” – Paul

But our main takeaway was this: Companies like yours could use a helping hand when it comes to creating stipend programs to outfit employees’ home offices.

So, Fully developed one. 

Designed to be instantly and easily adaptable to any company of any size, it will handle all of the logistics and financials of WFH offices for you — all you have to do is give your workers a code. 

Want to keep your employees happy, healthy, and ready to do great work from their new home office? Learn about Fully’s program right here:

Learn more →
Private Stonks

Why is the SEC shaking up its investing rules?

For decades, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has only allowed “accredited investors” (individuals who are worth $1m+, or earn $200k+ a year) to invest in private markets. 

Now, the rules are being changed to allow people to get accredited if they can show “knowledge and expertise.”

2 things catalyzed this change

First, common sense. Wealth alone does not guarantee financial literacy; in the same vein, many people worth less than $1m are capable of sound investing.

Second, private companies are taking longer to hit the public markets. In 1999, the average age of a tech company at the time of IPO was 4 years; by 2014, it’s 11 years.

Why does this second reason matter?

In the past, when tech companies IPO’d earlier, public market investors were able to realize the bulk of the gains. In today’s market, those rewards are increasingly monopolized by private investors.

Just take a look at 2 major IPOs — one from 1997, the other from 2019:

  • 1997: Amazon IPO’d 3 years after its founding at a valuation of $438m; since then, public investors have seen $1.6T+ in growth.
  • 2019: Uber IPO’d 10 years after its founding at a valuation of $70B; since then, public investors have seen a loss of ~$10B. 

The SEC’s rule change won’t open the floodgates, but it’s a promising start.

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Rideshare supremacy

Monday Morning Matchup: Uber vs. Lyft vs. NYC Taxis

Speaking of Uber, we’ve been reading about how it (and Lyft) continue to battle state and local governments over whether their drivers have rights. 

That got us thinking… if only one car-based transportation service reigns supreme in the future, who should it be? 

As a public service, here’s our breakdown (@ us your thoughts):

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Today’s email was brought to you by Michael Waters, Bobby Durben, Caroline Dohack and Trung Phan.
Editing by: Zachary “Bundled” Crockett, Justin Volk V (Defense Attorney).

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