Gavin Baker @GavinSBaker Husband, Becky Painter. CIO, Atreides Management. Former PM, Fidelity OTC fund. investorfieldguide.com/baker/ No investment advice, views all my own. Feb. 14, 2019 1 min read

1) $FB. Fascinating 2015 email from Zuckerberg advocating the acquisition of the game engine Unity. Focused on the importance of AR/VR as a way to eliminate their “vulnerability” to $GOOGL and $AAPL.

2) “If we only build key apps but not the platform, we will remain in our current position. If we only build the platform but not the key apps, we may be in a worse position. We need to build both.” Interesting that he feels apps have more leverage than platforms.

3) “We are better off the sooner the next platform becomes ubiquitous and the shorter the time we exist in a primarily mobile world dominated by Google and Apple. The shorter this time, the less our community is vulnerable to the actions of others.”

4) Wants to “win in VR/AR but also to accelerate its arrival.” Notes that “In modern OSes, however, most of the value comes from advantaging the OS providers own platform services.” $GOOGL/Android. The platform exists to advantage the apps and prevent them being disadvantaged.

5) Correctly (IMHO) ranks apps, platform services (identity, content/avatar mkts, app store, ads, payments) and hardware in order of strategic importance and notes the strangeness of $AAPL succeeding in reverse. Sees games are “critical” but “ephemeral.”

6) Zuckerberg is brilliant man and world class CEO. Surprising to me that he doesn't consider the possibility that a game – like Fortnite – might emerge as the next platform. Especially given games are social networks themselves.

7) Ready Player One was published in 2011 and Snow Crash was published in 1992. Never underestimate the importance of reading science fiction for technology investing! 😀

8) Also respectfully disagree with his overall thesis for $FB buying Unity. I think it is unlikely that Unity – or any gaming engine – emerges as a strategic point of leverage in the VR/AR technology stack and drives superior avatar and/or identity systems. “Content is king.”


You can follow @GavinSBaker.



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