a16z Podcast | Innovation vs. Invention at Google I/O | Summary and Q&A

January 2, 2019
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a16z Podcast | Innovation vs. Invention at Google I/O


Google's recent announcements at its annual developer conference showcased innovative advancements in artificial intelligence and virtual reality, highlighting the company's focus on these technologies as the next generation of platforms.

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Key Insights

  • ❓ Innovation is often incremental rather than a sudden invention.
  • 🪛 Google is leveraging its strengths in AI and data analysis to drive innovation.
  • 😀 Messaging apps are still in a highly fragmented state, with potential for consolidation and improvement.
  • 😀 Google's instant apps aim to eliminate friction and provide a better user experience.
  • 🥺 The future of VR is likely to be more focused on smartphones, with Android and iOS leading the way.
  • 🤩 Google's approach to innovation differs from other companies, as they focus on building key technologies and allowing partners to create varied experiences.
  • 🎚️ The quality of VR experiences may vary, with different OEMs producing headsets of varying levels of performance.


everyone welcome to the a 6nc podcast today we're sharing some quick reactions to Google i/o Google's annual developer conference where the company just announced a number of new platform products for VR - messaging to the smart home a 16c deal investing partner Kyle Russell discusses the news with a 16 ZZZ Benedict Evans Connie Chan and board part... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: Why did some commenters on Twitter view Google's announcements as unoriginal?

These commenters may have expected completely new and groundbreaking inventions, but innovation is often incremental rather than a sudden leap. Google's focus on AI and machine learning builds upon existing technologies, offering new perspectives and improvements.

Q: How does Google's messaging app Allo differentiate itself from other messaging apps?

While Allo is a messaging app like many others, Google distinguishes itself through its approach to innovation, which is tied to extensive research. They aim to build upon existing ideas and create new experiences, rather than simply introducing something completely different.

Q: What is the underlying theme of Google's announcements?

Google has made artificial intelligence (AI) the focal point of their next generation of platforms. They are leveraging their access to vast amounts of data and advanced computer vision technology to drive innovation in various fields.

Q: What is the significance of Google's Daydream VR platform?

Google's Daydream reference design allows Android OEMs to create their own VR headsets, providing a standardized platform for virtual reality experiences. This move signifies Google's commitment to making VR more accessible and driving the adoption of the technology.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Google's event showcased a range of new products and services, including a messaging app called Allo, a new version of Google Assistant, and instant applications.

  • The company's focus on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning was evident throughout the event, as they presented how these technologies can enhance user experiences and anticipate user needs.

  • Google also unveiled their plans for virtual reality (VR), with the introduction of a Daydream reference design that will allow Android OEMs to build their own VR headsets.

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