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Zoom, Unity and the Quest to Scale Corporate Drudgery

by
Mario Gabriele
The Generalist
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Zoom, Unity, and other companies are in a race to build an immersive virtual office.

Zoom: In Search of Defensibility

  • Despite Zoom's massive growth, it is still a company without a clear accumulating advantage.
  • While Zoom has good management, it suffers from innovator's dilemma.
  • Building an interactive virtual office might provide sufficient differentiation for Zoom.

Unity: A World-Builder with Corporate Ambitions

  • Unity is far more than just a gaming company. It has designs on serving architectural, automotive, and engineering clients.
  • While Unity can branch out to building a virtual office, it is unlikely to do so soon as it has other priorities.
  • It could make a good partner for a consumer-facing product like Zoom.

VR platforms (e.g., Spatial)

  • Allows users to enter and exit rooms similar to real life.
  • Success for current VR platform startups depends on its ability to deliver meaningful intimacy and functionality above current remote tools.

Collaboration Tools (e.g., Tandem and Pragli)

  • The workplace is not a location but a series of jobs-to-be-done through a virtual office.
  • Trade-off: efficiency and structure over socialization.

Work Maps (e.g., Kumospace)

  • Allows for fluid socialization as users move between groups.
  • Focus on making connections rather than completing tasks.
  • Concern for these startups is if they can stay relevant in a post-virus world.
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