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.