Really interesting post. Fascinating that after all it’s done to build a platform as an alternative to game consoles, Valve is now going into that business. I think Yuval raises a good question about mobile — as a non-gamer, I’m in the dark about whether the App Store really offers that same kind of community that Steam does. If not that, seems like they should be able to come up with something in the mobile space to create/capture value with 125M users!
This is a good summary of the strategy and challenges of ParkWise, an app I’ve never used and hadn’t previously heard of. My hunch is that this service could work well as part of the suite of services provided by Google and Apple maps; but I find it hard to believe ParkWise would become large enough platform/app on its own to draw the user base needed to make it really valuable. As a dweller of several large cities over the years, I know that parking is a pain, but it’s not THAT hard to manage — I just don’t feel compelled to download it, but I would certainly listen to Google/Apple maps telling me there is a free parking space around the corner when I arrive at a destination. I think ParkWise will capture its value when it is bought by an existing platform with a larger/meaningful user base. And I think retailers would definitely grasp the value of advertising through this service.
Way to spot the architectural innovation! I could envision other retailers — and even grocery stores — deploying similar systems; I don’t know the grocery business well, but something tells me people have a strong connection with places like Whole Foods or Safeway, and that these companies have a strong connection with food suppliers that will give them a little time to catch up. Even if Amazon cannot upend Whole Foods, say, maybe there’s an opportunity for the company to sell/license its “just walk out” systems to other grocers and/or retailers… I could envision Starbucks getting there soon on its own.
Thanks, Robert. A strong case for the NYT to remain a winner given the strength of its journalism/mission. It is truly a premium product in the marketplace. What I wonder is how many other legacy news organizations can survive this way? And which ones are better off pursuing the ad model, and why?