198. Streaming Wars, The Future of Mobile & The Evolution of User Interaction (M.G. Siegler)

198. Streaming Wars, The Future of Mobile & The Evolution of User Interaction (M.G. Siegler)
Nick Moran Angel List

M.G. Siegler of GV joins Nick to discuss Streaming Wars, The Future of Mobile & The Evolution of User Interaction. In this episode, we cover:

  • Backstory/path to Venture
  • How’d you find your way from Hollywood to SV?
  • Who was the first VC that, based on your writing talent, saw your potential as an investor?
  • Why did you leave Crunchfund for GV? 
  • A little confusion about the array of venture funds affiliated with Google – can you give us a quick overview and whether there is still an affiliation between Google and GV?
  • Tell us about your thesis.
  • How hands-on do you get w/ portcos?
  • How does Jony Ive’s departure affect Apple?
  • What are the most valuable consumer tech companies by market cap – five years from now?
  • Right now, in the streaming market, we have a fragmented group of services yet know one platform to unify the user experience…  what do you see for the future of streaming?
  • How do you see the competition between Apple and Disney play out?  Who wins?
  • Just heard the announcement that Facebook is acquiring CTRL – Labs. Why do you think this is a good strategic buy for FB? removing monotony…. repetitive tasks….  mental fatigue….  Impact of constant stimulation, content consumption, on happiness, creativity, etc.?
  • You’ve invested in some big names such as Medium, Slack and Stripe to name a few. What’s the single biggest common success factor that you’ve observed across very different companies?
  • What are some of the major trends we will see in mobile in the coming year and what do you think will phase out?
  • Who is your favorite writer in the space?
  • If you ever get around to writing your screenplay, what will you write about?

Guest Links:

Key Takeaways:

  1. There are various different arms within Google that have the capacity to invest in different companies however, GV is the most straightforward in terms of being a typical venture fund.
  2. Due to the massive growth at GV and their portfolio of over 300 companies, they’ve moved away from early-stage investing and naturally moved up the chain to later stages, although MG still tries to focus mainly on consumer.
  3. With the departure of Jony Ive, MG believes it will certainly have an effect on Apple however, he predicts there will be a two or three year lag time until we see real fundamental changes within the nature of what Apple has been doing.
  4. MG predicts that the most valuable consumer tech companies by market cap within the years to come will continue to be big players like Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Google etc.
  5. There is plenty of opportunity for some of the newer public companies to grow at a massive scale but currently, the core players previously mentioned are very well dug into their markets, that it seems hard to believe that anyone will surpass them in the near future. 
  6. Although Netflix has been a bit downtrodden recently, MG believes they are one of the savviest players in the space due to how well they’ve developed their legacy content, therefore he would not bet against them. 
  7. The only company that MG could currently see as better positioned than Netflix is Disney.
  8. Due to the execution of Disney’s IP deals and the multichannel avenues they have for releasing content, such as Disney Plus, theme parks, merchandise and theatrical, they have components that no one else can tie together in the same way.  
  9. Other players in the “streaming wars” that MG is a little skeptical about is HBO and Apple.
  10. MG see’s HBO as one of the ultimate great curators but recently with them launching new content with Warner, it seems they’re moving along the lines of a Netflix playbook and following what everyone else is doing.
  11. With regards to the future launch of Apple TV Plus, MG is a bit wary about what they’re doing simply because there’s so little content, therefore it’ll be a long time before they can compete with someone like Netflix. 
  12. MG sees what they’re doing with the Apple TV Plus and the Apple TV device as a bit more old school. He believes it would be more compelling to create a service that was predicated around using the iPhone because that is essentially their big advantage.
  13. Control Labs, recently acquired by Facebook, MG states as one of the most interesting startups he’s been associated with in recent years. It still has
  14. With consumer elements embed into it Control Labs is essentially hardware enabling a user to potentially access and intercept what their brain intends them to do.