Analyse Asia #136: With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies

The upcoming conflicts between Uber & Google and Niantic & Nintendo

Google Self Driving Car (Photo Credits: Forbes)

Podcast Synopsis: Continuing from our first discussion, Sameer Singh from and our host analysed the changing alliances in both the transportation and gaming industry where allies within the space turn to rivalries in two interesting cases: Google versus Uber in ride-sharing and autonomous vehicles, and Niantic versus Nintendo in the mobile gaming space. We also dissected why even if the rivalries exist, these companies still need each other mutually within their respective ecosystems.

Here are the three interesting points which we discussed during this episode:

  • We discussed why Google and Uber have ended in conflict because they are battling on “who owns the customer” via Google Maps or Uber mobile app respectively. If either one starts a fleet of the self-driving cars, the network effects for Uber will be disrupted. Hence Uber has the foresight to disrupt itself before letting Google to disrupt them by aggregating different ride-sharing services on Google Maps.
  • Niantic Labs has shown a new defensible business model for Pokemon Go game and this has far exceeded Nintendo’s expectations and will in a way set itself for competition with Nintendo in the future with the latter’s focus in mobile gaming.
  • Of course, even if Uber and Google are rivals now, they are still dependent on each other in the on demand transportation space and set themselves for a challenging time ahead.

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