Episode 1

full
Published on:

2nd Dec 2021

1. CEOs On The Metaverse, Niantic $300M Raise

Welcome to the first episode of the Meta Business Podcast! In this week’s episode, we discuss officially launching our new podcast, how we are going to dominate metaverse-themed content, various executives and CEOs discussing the impact of the metaverse on their business, Niantic receiving a $300 million investment from Coatue, and so much more!

Transcript
Paul Dawalibi:

From the boardroom to the metaverse, this is the meta business podcast. I

Paul Dawalibi:

Paul Dawalibi. The master of the metaverse will lead you through the biggest business stories in

Paul Dawalibi:

the metaverse. Join us as we break down the news and trends from a C suite lens, bringing you

Paul Dawalibi:

insights, analysis and discussion that you can't find anywhere else. Every single week. Welcome to

Paul Dawalibi:

metta business. Welcome to episode number one of the metta Business Podcast. I'm joined today guys

Paul Dawalibi:

by my friends, my co host, the one and only the truly one and only Jeff the juice cone. Jeff,

Paul Dawalibi:

how's it going? Are you not excited about this brand new podcast, metal business?

Jeff Cohen:

I am super excited, you know, to officially call myself a podcast host now, you

Jeff Cohen:

know, I've been doing for those of you who are fans of the show. I've been doing a live stream

Jeff Cohen:

for I think over a year now. But that's, you know, not officially a podcast. And so that's exciting.

Jeff Cohen:

And you know, we're filming this actually the day before Thanksgiving. So I'll get to brag to all my

Jeff Cohen:

family and friends tomorrow about how I'm officially a podcaster. So I don't know whether

Jeff Cohen:

that's positive or negative, but it's a it's a it's a lifetime milestone so thick.

Paul Dawalibi:

You are officially a podcaster. I will say for those listening for those watching.

Paul Dawalibi:

This is definitely what I would call a sister podcast to the business of esports. We are

Paul Dawalibi:

expanding into whole a whole bunch of other Metaverse content. So this will be a podcast,

Paul Dawalibi:

really focused on the business side of the metaverse in the way that business of esports was

Paul Dawalibi:

really focused and will continue to be focused on the business side of gaming and esports. And as

Paul Dawalibi:

for those who saw the press release we put out last week. You know we have a met a woman podcast

Paul Dawalibi:

that's coming out literally in a few days that will be focused on women. And, you know, female

Paul Dawalibi:

executives operating in the metaverse world, helping to build the metaverse on in one way or

Paul Dawalibi:

another. So a whole bunch of Metaverse content coming your way. But this one specifically focused

Paul Dawalibi:

on the business side of the metaverse and I will say, Jeff, we've got a busy first episode. There's

Paul Dawalibi:

like a bunch of stories all ready to talk about. I suggest we just jump into it here. Because there's

Paul Dawalibi:

a ton and I think

Jeff Cohen:

we want to do introductions, introductions first, or everyone just knows us so

Jeff Cohen:

well. At this point. I don't know if you want it to, you know,

Paul Dawalibi:

if anyone wants to get to know us, they can go watch the business of esports there's

Paul Dawalibi:

you know, about 250 episodes there of content that they can go back and watch or listen to

Jeff Cohen:

me. I mean, it's been it is a juicy week. Certainly I think we're hitting almost peak

Jeff Cohen:

Metaverse cycle. Yeah, this podcast logic doesn't mark the the top of the metaverse so well. So

Jeff Cohen:

Jeff,

Paul Dawalibi:

I think it is worthwhile. Just sort of the two minutes on you just your background,

Paul Dawalibi:

why people should be listening to you talking about the metaverse with me.

Jeff Cohen:

So so I've been on kind of the business finance side of gaming for about four

Jeff Cohen:

years now. Initially, as an analyst at a sell side investment bank called Stephens Inc, where I

Jeff Cohen:

covered all the all the Western publishers like take to EA Activision, also the mobile publishers,

Jeff Cohen:

as well as small cap esports companies and online gambling, which sort of led me to where I am now,

Jeff Cohen:

which is an executive at a publicly traded company called esports Entertainment Group. I run investor

Jeff Cohen:

relations and strategy there were an esports, betting and esports entertainment company. I also

Jeff Cohen:

serve on the advisory board of a company called motor sports games, which is a publisher.

Paul Dawalibi:

Jeff, I think most importantly, as the juice again, for those who maybe are new to

Paul Dawalibi:

our content, you are responsible for some of the best takes maybe ever on our on our on our show,

Paul Dawalibi:

so I'm hoping there's gonna be more of that here on meta business. I guess everyone hopefully knows

Paul Dawalibi:

me who's listening right now. But I am the Prophet of esports, the master of the metaverse, host of

Paul Dawalibi:

the business of esports podcast for a few years now. And the live stream. And you know, I have a

Paul Dawalibi:

very long history 2025 years of either building companies or investing in companies on one side of

Paul Dawalibi:

the entrepreneurial slash VC table or the other and have been focused the last few years

Paul Dawalibi:

exclusively on gaming in the metaverse. I wrote a manifesto three, four years ago now, where my

Paul Dawalibi:

thesis fundamentally is that metaphor, the metaverse, the metaverse, capital M, its arrival

Paul Dawalibi:

will essentially change society as we know it, how we have fun how we play, how we work in all

Paul Dawalibi:

aspects of sort of life. And I think it's fascinating to sort of look at it as its evolving

Paul Dawalibi:

from a business standpoint, because I think it's there's a lot of news out there. There's a lot out

Paul Dawalibi:

there. There's no one really bringing insight to the space and just That's what I hope you and I

Paul Dawalibi:

are going to do here. excited to get going. Alright, let's jump into it. Let's get into some

Paul Dawalibi:

content here. And I think the first story is is from essentially what it is is a list of

Paul Dawalibi:

executives that CNBC compiled here that we're talking about the metaverse on their q3 earnings

Paul Dawalibi:

calls. And so I'm going to bring this this up. There's not you know, there's not much to see

Paul Dawalibi:

here. And if you're listening, obviously, you're not seeing anything. But they went through the

Paul Dawalibi:

list of companies that talked about the metaverse on their q3 earnings calls and I just want to

Paul Dawalibi:

recap some of them and get your thoughts here. Jeff, so Roblox, when when talking about the

Paul Dawalibi:

metaverse called it, the human co experience that

Jeff Cohen:

literally just life okay.

Paul Dawalibi:

Well, I mean, they he defined it, this is the, you know, the executive at robots as

Paul Dawalibi:

a place where technology combines high fidelity communication with a new way to tell stories,

Paul Dawalibi:

borrowing from mobile gaming in the entertainment industry. He says it's predicated on eight

Paul Dawalibi:

fundamentals, identity, social, immersive, low friction, variety, anywhere economy and civility.

Paul Dawalibi:

Do you like this definition?

Jeff Cohen:

Well, there's, I mean, a lot of words and a lot to take in there. I think the last piece

Jeff Cohen:

is probably the most the most interesting. I mean, for me the the important parts of connection, just

Jeff Cohen:

pull that back up all the important parts of the metaverse you know are really social. The fact

Jeff Cohen:

that you have a social presence there. You know, it's a it's a digital space that you go and you're

Jeff Cohen:

you're hanging out with friends, your social you have a shit your own identity within the metaverse

Jeff Cohen:

as well as economy. I think that's an important some of the other words he throws in there. I'm

Jeff Cohen:

not super sure about like low friction variety. I don't think those are civility. I understand why

Jeff Cohen:

you saying that. But I don't think that's like a requisite for the metaverse. But the ones that I

Jeff Cohen:

think are important to me are social economy and then obviously virtual.

Paul Dawalibi:

Yeah, I mean, variety, I think makes a lot of sense in the context of Roblox,

Paul Dawalibi:

right, because that's a big part of their platform where anyone can go and build stuff in their

Paul Dawalibi:

Metaverse in their sandbox. You know, I really liked this definition, though. Like, I like the

Paul Dawalibi:

way robots have all the ones here. I think it's definitely one of the better ones. I'm going to go

Paul Dawalibi:

through some of the others. But I think Roblox, I would argue, and

Jeff Cohen:

before we move on, I just say it's funny how you use, each one sort of defines it in

Jeff Cohen:

a way that's best suited for them. So I think the fact that you're pointing out the variety piece,

Jeff Cohen:

it's like, well, clearly if your user generated content platform that has a, it's a Metaverse with

Jeff Cohen:

various different games within it. Clearly, robots are going to want to define it one way versus a,

Jeff Cohen:

you know, Facebook, or now whatever they're called meta meta platforms is going to define it

Jeff Cohen:

differently. So I do think that that's something to note here.

Paul Dawalibi:

True. It's a good point. I just think all but, you know, objectively, I think

Paul Dawalibi:

Roblox is getting it more right than anyone else, I think is further along than anyone else. In

Paul Dawalibi:

terms of sort of Metaverse thinking in terms of building what we call sort of the metaverse. I

Paul Dawalibi:

just I think they're pretty spot on here. Right, David's comment here, other than a bit of the, you

Paul Dawalibi:

know, the marketing spin around human co experience, which okay, you know, thanks. So

Jeff Cohen:

I want to throw out the fact that I think Epic is ahead of robots in this area, but I

Jeff Cohen:

think it might be too early in the show for us to get going about that because we could do our own

Jeff Cohen:

whole 10 Episode podcast about epic versus Roblox so we'll save

Paul Dawalibi:

that one for later. Save that one for a slower week. Yeah. So Warner Music Group CEO

Paul Dawalibi:

Steven Cooper said it's already here. That's basically was his comment that, you know, he says,

Paul Dawalibi:

I think within these large scale meta versus fortnight, Roblox and others that we will begin to

Paul Dawalibi:

see an opportunity where providing content and distribution converges. And, you know, this is an

Paul Dawalibi:

opportunity for Warner.

Jeff Cohen:

So do you already hear

Paul Dawalibi:

argument?

Jeff Cohen:

I sort of do and I think this is going to be a recurring theme that maybe we'll we'll

Jeff Cohen:

talk about, and we may disagree I suspect on is kind of this concept of a Metaverse versus the

Jeff Cohen:

metaverse like the metaverse that we all the purest form, where we sort of plug into this

Jeff Cohen:

holodeck and into VR and we're living there 24/7. Obviously, that has not happened yet. But if we

Jeff Cohen:

think about sort of the light version of what or definition of what a Metaverse is in terms of It's

Jeff Cohen:

a shared shared social space that we go interact with friends, there's an economy, there's

Jeff Cohen:

persistence, and there's Yes, you know, digital currency and stuff like that. And and, and items

Jeff Cohen:

that are being bought and sold. I think that that does exist in many different games in some form or

Jeff Cohen:

fashion. So to an extent, if that's your definition of what a Metaverse is, I think we do

Jeff Cohen:

have versions of them currently.

Paul Dawalibi:

Yeah. You know, I categorize this as sort of typical music company, being a little

Paul Dawalibi:

behind the eight ball, right? Like, musics never the cutting edge of anything tech wise, right?

Paul Dawalibi:

They're always a follower in some way. To say it's already here is maybe overstating a little too

Paul Dawalibi:

much. I buy your point around the meta verse versus a meta verse. But fundamentally, a meta

Paul Dawalibi:

verse doesn't to me doesn't really count. Right? It's like it gets a participation trophy. But

Paul Dawalibi:

that's about it. Like the metaverse is what matters here. And I think what everyone's talking

Paul Dawalibi:

about and excited about and working towards. I don't know if a Metaverse gets anyone really that

Paul Dawalibi:

excited, or, or the idea of 500 different ones.

Jeff Cohen:

So I think you're probably right. But I guess we have to be a little careful as

Jeff Cohen:

investors in the space because I just don't think we're even close to this. V metaverse. I mean it

Jeff Cohen:

you know, I don't see that being a five year kind of like, that's probably a 1015 20 year kind of

Jeff Cohen:

thing to get to the pure version of the metaverse.

Paul Dawalibi:

I mean, you'd be surprised, like fundamentally, what we're talking about a set of

Paul Dawalibi:

standards, a set, like some common set of infrastructure and things like that, that other

Paul Dawalibi:

people can build around, right, like, once, once people agreed on on the protocols for the

Paul Dawalibi:

internet, like IP and, you know, TCP IP and HTML for web pages. And like, once people sort of

Paul Dawalibi:

agreed on the set of standards, how things evolve can happen pretty quickly. You know, it's

Paul Dawalibi:

interesting, you say that, because the next one that I want to bring up here is Vonage holdings,

Paul Dawalibi:

which is a cloud communications company. And, you know, the CEO Rory Reid says it's not here yet. I

Paul Dawalibi:

think it's the next five 710 years.

Jeff Cohen:

Well, it doesn't make me feel great, but I had the same take is Vonage. Not exactly the

Jeff Cohen:

cutting edge, you know, fingers that I'm looking to emulate myself after. But I do think in this

Jeff Cohen:

sense, he's right in the purest

Paul Dawalibi:

form. In the metaverse sense. Yeah. What do you feel about Billy Billy CEO who said

Paul Dawalibi:

it's too late to get in? And I'll just read some of the comments here, which says Metaverse is a

Paul Dawalibi:

concept. It's not a product. And before this concept emerges, actually, many of the elements

Paul Dawalibi:

associated with Metaverse already exist, whether it's VR, tight social community, or social system

Paul Dawalibi:

or self reinforcing ecosystem, it's already existed. And there's lots of companies already

Paul Dawalibi:

developing product on those concepts Facebook, Tencent, Billy, Billy, etc. So in his mind, all

Paul Dawalibi:

the players are already set. All the components already exist. And this is a concept it's not an

Paul Dawalibi:

actual product. Do you buy this too late to get in arguments?

Jeff Cohen:

Interest? I mean, I think the, you know, CNBC there, that's their words, they're too

Jeff Cohen:

late to get in. I do like their, their kind of humorous characterizations, all these quotes. I

Jeff Cohen:

think the quote was a lot more nuanced. And you know, I laugh when you read this to get in, but I

Jeff Cohen:

think a lot of what is nuanced was made sense. Particularly right now I do think the metaverse is

Jeff Cohen:

a concept rather than a product. But even even Facebook, they did all that song and dance about

Jeff Cohen:

creating the metaverse, but I know we talked about, maybe it was in the context of Facebook.

Jeff Cohen:

And actually, it might have been in the context of Microsoft now that I think about it. But on a

Jeff Cohen:

recent livestream, we talked about how Microsoft or someone had made such a big deal about

Jeff Cohen:

announcing a Metaverse shift, but they didn't actually announce a product. They just were like,

Jeff Cohen:

Hey, we're pretty into this Metaverse thing we're gonna like get into it. But they didn't actually

Jeff Cohen:

say what the product would be. And I'm not even sure Facebook has really laid out a great vision

Jeff Cohen:

about what the actual product will be.

Paul Dawalibi:

So you, you you agree with this statement,

Jeff Cohen:

but I don't agree that it's too late. I think that's a ridiculous thing to say. Yeah.

Paul Dawalibi:

Yeah. Let me he didn't know what you're spot on that. He didn't say it's too late.

Paul Dawalibi:

Right. There was nowhere in that quote, this was CNBC. Yeah, sort of extrapolating, and I think it

Paul Dawalibi:

was an incorrect extrapolation.

Jeff Cohen:

The one thing I want to ask you because I do have an opinion on this. And it's a

Jeff Cohen:

little bit kind of similar to when people were talking about cloud gaming, like who could

Jeff Cohen:

possibly win or do cloud gaming. I kind of think about the metaverse similarly like there. There

Jeff Cohen:

will be a lot of different winners within the metaverse like different tools, companies and

Jeff Cohen:

people set you know, selling things within the metaverse and different players in the ecosystem.

Jeff Cohen:

But in terms of Who can actually create the metaverse? I actually think it's probably the same

Jeff Cohen:

five or six giants that can really do kind of cloud infrastructure and kind of everything that

Jeff Cohen:

we're talking about with cloud gaming. Like, I don't know that a company, a startup is gonna run

Jeff Cohen:

the metaverse, I just don't be don't have the capital, the infrastructure, sort of the brain

Jeff Cohen:

power to do it. But I'm curious what what you think if we talk about the metaverse, yes.

Paul Dawalibi:

Again, I think I come back to always my point of the the end game is not Google

Paul Dawalibi:

built something or Facebook built something right. It's all of these companies. All of the players

Paul Dawalibi:

agreed on some set of standards, some set of core technologies, so that everyone can plug in and

Paul Dawalibi:

create, right, like, fundamentally, I believe, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, all these players

Paul Dawalibi:

will have huge presences in the metaverse, but not that if any single one of them creates it. We've

Paul Dawalibi:

missed the point. I don't know if that makes sense. But it's like, again, it has to be it has

Paul Dawalibi:

to be more like how the Internet what we call the Internet today came about not so much a product

Paul Dawalibi:

from one company. I think everyone can be a winner.

Jeff Cohen:

It's a bold statement. Especially coming from you.

Paul Dawalibi:

Look 10 on 10 on 10 cent and Dolby both of them they categorize as it's vague.

Paul Dawalibi:

Tencent. See President said on Metaverse, I think this is actually sort of a very exciting, but a

Paul Dawalibi:

little bit vague concept.

Jeff Cohen:

I think we should make that the tagline of the podcast.

Paul Dawalibi:

We are gonna make it less vague. You are gonna get real insight here. And Dolby

Paul Dawalibi:

live retiree CEO said I think the metaverse I guess can take many forms. But ultimately it is an

Paul Dawalibi:

audio visual experience. Which if you're Dolby is

Jeff Cohen:

like what someone says on an earnings call when like they vaguely have heard the word

Jeff Cohen:

Metaverse and some investor asked, it's like well, it's it's pretty interesting. It's gonna be a

Jeff Cohen:

thing. I think you'll use your eyes and your senses and it'll be there. We're looking at it but

Jeff Cohen:

we're not sure yet. Okay, great answer.

Paul Dawalibi:

met these met ease is head of investor relations. I really liked her comment.

Paul Dawalibi:

She says whatever it is, that ease will be a fast runner. No position on, on where they stand in

Paul Dawalibi:

this but but clearly they're going to be a dominant player here.

Jeff Cohen:

And I think I, I respect that from from one fell i are professional to another, it's,

Jeff Cohen:

you know, I don't know what's gonna happen, but I know we're gonna be heavily involved, like,

Paul Dawalibi:

the worst comment here.

Jeff Cohen:

It's not like the most insightful, but

Paul Dawalibi:

how hard is it? If you know you're gonna be on these calls, and you know, this is

Paul Dawalibi:

gonna come up, given all the hype in this space. How hard is it to develop some semblance of a

Paul Dawalibi:

strategy and communicate it a little like a little more clearly, rather than? Well, we don't know

Paul Dawalibi:

what it is, but it's common, and we're gonna be a part of it. Not not the best one. I thought

Paul Dawalibi:

Coinbase co founder and CEO said CNBC categorize this as it has something to do with crypto. So

Paul Dawalibi:

Coinbase is co founder and CEO said I think with the 10s of millions of Americans out there that

Paul Dawalibi:

are now using this asset class for all kinds of things, not just financial services and unique

Paul Dawalibi:

payments and things like that, but also art and new forms of governance and identity in the

Paul Dawalibi:

metaverse and it's just so exciting. The millions of young people, the talented young people all

Paul Dawalibi:

over the US are coming into this field.

Jeff Cohen:

I think his comment was clearly more about about crypto and their company versus the

Jeff Cohen:

metaverse but I do I love CNBC. His characterization. I think it's probably he's

Jeff Cohen:

probably right. I don't think it's a requirement. Like I don't think the metal you don't need crypto

Jeff Cohen:

to have the metaverse. But if you think about the metaverse being this digital world that sort of

Jeff Cohen:

proud and this could again be a whole nother topic series we could dive into but like what is the

Jeff Cohen:

role of government in the metaverse will meta versus have their own government? Will it be you

Jeff Cohen:

know, governed by the sovereign territory that your physical bodies in rather than, you know,

Jeff Cohen:

your digital, your digital mind state? Given that nature of the people who are probably early

Jeff Cohen:

adopters of the metaverse might be sort of anti government or anti government but but more in this

Jeff Cohen:

decentralized economy. It does make sense that crypto would probably be the dominant form of

Jeff Cohen:

payment.

Paul Dawalibi:

No question. It's just it's again, it's kind of a fun. It's fun to see how you know,

Paul Dawalibi:

there's there's not a clear view on Metaverse here in his comment, right? It's not like they're

Paul Dawalibi:

saying this is what We're gonna do here's who we're partnering with. Here's right it's, it's

Paul Dawalibi:

thrown in at the end of a sentence where crypto may exist, right? And it's interesting to see that

Paul Dawalibi:

the CEO of arguably one of the largest crypto companies in the world today, right? Coinbase

Paul Dawalibi:

probably the biggest exchange I think Metaverse is not top of mind, right. They just see a lot of

Paul Dawalibi:

opportunity elsewhere. They're obviously bullish on their crypto business. And it's, to me this

Paul Dawalibi:

felt a little bit like it's a it's a side note. It's it's like, you know, it's, it's not it's not

Paul Dawalibi:

the main, it's not the main entree here. It's an appetizer for them or it's some part of the meal.

Paul Dawalibi:

Same thing here with Hasbro, CEO of Hasbro. Hasbro's Wizards of the Coast sorry, who said it's

Paul Dawalibi:

the digitized Game of Life says I think the metaverse is shorthand for entertainment is

Paul Dawalibi:

digitizing and entertainment is the game of life game of life being like their board game Hasbro's

Paul Dawalibi:

board game. I mean that that seems maybe a little fishbowl kind of your point.

Jeff Cohen:

I love that one.

Paul Dawalibi:

Bumbles president said it's something we're Bumble will be that was CNB, C's

Paul Dawalibi:

characterization ordinaries. They wrote on the metaverse piece. Were really taking a web three

Paul Dawalibi:

lens on this in particular, by the way, that's another

Jeff Cohen:

one of the most ridiculous but we're taking a web three lens on this. What does that

Jeff Cohen:

mean? Please, I don't know who literally don't know what that means. I don't like to know, but I

Jeff Cohen:

don't.

Paul Dawalibi:

Meaning we are I'm sure somebody will build a more virtual experience. And we will

Paul Dawalibi:

happily engage and be there when they do that with avatars, etc. But what we really think is really

Paul Dawalibi:

interesting in the near term, is the application of blockchain and crypto in general, to the

Paul Dawalibi:

experience that our communities have. Fundamentally, we are not just an ecosystem, but a

Paul Dawalibi:

community of people. This is true on Bumble and Baidu, but it's particularly true as we think, as

Paul Dawalibi:

we think about the kind of reimagine Bumble BFF. Look, that's buzzword soup. I don't know what

Paul Dawalibi:

Bumble has to do with blockchain and crypto to be very,

Jeff Cohen:

right. Yeah, I can see them. The Metaverse making a lot more sense for Bumble than

Jeff Cohen:

blockchain, besides the fact that maybe like a lot of people who are blockchain enthusiast want to

Jeff Cohen:

like hook up, and they have similar interest. But like other than that, I literally can't think of

Jeff Cohen:

anything that it's sometimes I wish some of these executives should be like, Well, look, we're a

Jeff Cohen:

dating app like we. We don't really have a Metaverse play at this time. Like, why would we?

Jeff Cohen:

Like our thing is like having people meet in person. And like, you know, get married, or

Jeff Cohen:

whatever.

Paul Dawalibi:

Yeah. But there's a direct Metaverse corollary right to their business. Your

Paul Dawalibi:

Avatars can they can meet, right? Like, yes,

Jeff Cohen:

if they got married or going to have a strategy, have a strategy where it's like, okay,

Jeff Cohen:

we're going to create a something on Roblox where, like, you can meet in robot, you know, a Roblox

Jeff Cohen:

experience where feed they matched, and then you get, like, transported to some beautiful beach and

Jeff Cohen:

you get to, like, have a conversation at the beach, you know, like at the bar or whatever,

Jeff Cohen:

like, Okay, that's a strategy, like just being like, well, it's gonna be crypto and others and

Jeff Cohen:

fts. Like, that's just buzzwords that you've thrown out there and haven't actually thought

Jeff Cohen:

about it. So if that's the case, just, I don't know, I would rather you know, an executive say,

Jeff Cohen:

like, look, we understand this is a big theme, but it's also not our core business currently. And

Jeff Cohen:

it's still emerging. So we're going to look into it and when we have a strategy, we'll communicate

Jeff Cohen:

that to our investors. It just seems like such a better answer than kind of what these people are

Jeff Cohen:

doing.

Paul Dawalibi:

Agreed, although bumbled to me is one that should have had like you like you

Paul Dawalibi:

outlined a perfect one where it's like, such a great opportunity to talk that up right? And to do

Paul Dawalibi:

even a basic activation that's not, you know, capital and Metaverse but on an existing platform

Jeff Cohen:

and to give Bumble I guess a little bit okay, I think during the pandemic, they did do

Jeff Cohen:

a lot with virtual not necessarily virtual but like they had an input where like if you've met

Jeff Cohen:

someone you can do like a virtual date like a zoom date or whatever within the app. So like, it's not

Jeff Cohen:

I think, yes, they're not totally thinking about it. But yeah,

Paul Dawalibi:

um, Qualcomm obviously said it'll run on Qualcomm chips, which is not that

Paul Dawalibi:

surprising. And there's a point there right other than other than Apple phones, pretty much

Paul Dawalibi:

everything runs on Qualcomm chips these days. veritone unity and Roblox all said in some words,

Paul Dawalibi:

that it's going to be a lot bigger than Facebook, which Agreed, agreed, right even though great to

Paul Dawalibi:

see Facebook putting resources and manpower and things like that. ROBLOX smartly says it will have

Paul Dawalibi:

ads. Again, Roblox I think at the cutting edge. We expect ad agencies to have the capability to build

Paul Dawalibi:

Metaverse experiences their Chief Business Officer exactly

Jeff Cohen:

what I said about Bumble, you know, yep.

Paul Dawalibi:

Disney CEO said Disney will have one. They're gonna have their own metaverse.

Jeff Cohen:

Disney, William would have some great thoughts on

Paul Dawalibi:

which, you know, it's not. That's not I could see that. And I could see them going

Paul Dawalibi:

sort of trying to go solo on this, despite, you know, this, to me is a bigger conversation, which

Paul Dawalibi:

I don't want to go down this rabbit hole. But there is a bigger conversation that if the big

Paul Dawalibi:

tech companies and big media companies like Disney or Facebook, right, are building it all for

Paul Dawalibi:

themselves. Do you ever get to that sort of interoperable set of standards, right, like, true

Paul Dawalibi:

kind of creation of the internet moment?

Jeff Cohen:

Well, to some extent, I mean, it kind of almost when you were saying that it reminded me

Jeff Cohen:

a little bit of kind of what's happened with direct consumer and streaming where everything

Jeff Cohen:

used to be bundled together and you would just have like your one cable package and you had all

Jeff Cohen:

the channels. And now it's become you have to subscribe to all of these different ones. So like,

Jeff Cohen:

part of me is like, is that what's gonna happen with the metaverse? So we're gonna basically have

Jeff Cohen:

like, various different you know, subscriptions to different meta verses where it's like, Oh, you

Jeff Cohen:

want to like go on a Disney rollercoaster. Like, hopefully you've been paying your Disney Disney

Jeff Cohen:

Metaverse app like, you know, Disney plus Metaverse version laughing but

Paul Dawalibi:

I think that is super spot on right that that that like multi Metaverse world?

Paul Dawalibi:

Probably does feel end up feeling like that. I hope it doesn't go there. Right. And we can debate

Paul Dawalibi:

at great length if we think it is going to go there or not. My personal feeling is it's probably

Paul Dawalibi:

too early to say just yet. Yeah. World. WWE like World Wrestling Entertainment thinks it's coming

Paul Dawalibi:

to that that's pretty much it in terms of you know, those were the most interesting ones. I

Paul Dawalibi:

thought in terms of executives viewpoints on the metaverse, it is interesting and fascinating in my

Paul Dawalibi:

mind to see how they all frame it in their own business. And and look at the opportunity. Are you

Paul Dawalibi:

surprised that there's not clear like agreement across the board?

Jeff Cohen:

No, not at all. Because I think you no one, like we said earlier, each one of these was

Jeff Cohen:

sort of defining the opportunity in such a way that made it seem like they were going to be one

Jeff Cohen:

of the winners. So it's not surprising that they're sort of all framing it that way. Also, I

Jeff Cohen:

think some of these people were sort of just asked that on the spot and didn't really have a concrete

Jeff Cohen:

strategy. So not that surprising that we got a lot of different answers some funny some, you know,

Jeff Cohen:

insightful. But yeah, not not surprising. It was great article to start on, because it really sort

Jeff Cohen:

of like sums up where we are right now, which is like when you have some of the smartest people,

Jeff Cohen:

the smartest executives in the Fortune 500 That all don't really some of them have a strategy.

Jeff Cohen:

Some of them don't. Most of them don't know how to define what this opportunity is. I think it's just

Jeff Cohen:

a cool place to start because it shows where we're really not even in any one right now.

Paul Dawalibi:

Agreed. Well, I think the next story, Jeff is is maybe the perfect follow up,

Paul Dawalibi:

which is the massive amount of dollars flowing into the metaverse, anything Metaverse at this,

Paul Dawalibi:

you know this stage. And and this is the antic the headline here's the antic receives $300 million

Paul Dawalibi:

investment from Cotu go to

Jeff Cohen:

their very well respected tech guy Trump and

Paul Dawalibi:

and and so kuttu made a $300 million investment in the company valuation $9

Paul Dawalibi:

billion the antic says they're going to use the money to invest in current games, new apps, expand

Paul Dawalibi:

their Lightship developer platform and build out their vision for what they call the real world

Paul Dawalibi:

metaverse. Because for those of you don't know Niantic specializes in AR like augmented reality

Paul Dawalibi:

games I think most well known for Pokemon Go even though they have they have done other things.

Jeff Cohen:

They've done a few others but none was remotely the same. Like they had a Harry Potter

Jeff Cohen:

game they had a Jurassic Park game and I don't think either has actually done like 10% of what

Jeff Cohen:

what Pokemon Go is done. Although it's kind of wild, like Pokemon Go as is, you know, we feel

Jeff Cohen:

like the mainstream hasn't heard about it since the summer of 2015 or something. But it's it's

Jeff Cohen:

like continuing to grow. And it is a over a billion dollar game, I believe yearly.

Paul Dawalibi:

I mean, where do you stand on this one, Jeff, in terms of, I guess three questions.

Paul Dawalibi:

One is there is them and I think this may be a sort of a common theme. That's gonna that's gonna

Paul Dawalibi:

come back episode after episode which is is their use of the word Metaverse here, right? Like

Paul Dawalibi:

Correct. Is this? Is this a Metaverse right like or is this just a buzzword they're throwing in to

Paul Dawalibi:

what do you think of the valuation and three like and maybe this is related to one where does AR

Paul Dawalibi:

sort of fit in that in the strategy for you here and there Lightship platform which feels it sounds

Paul Dawalibi:

like is kind of like a Roblox style sandbox, right where anyone can come in and build stuff on the

Paul Dawalibi:

antics AR kind of tech.

Jeff Cohen:

Yeah. I might have to ask you to repeat some of those questions because they're all

Jeff Cohen:

good, but I forgot some of them in their use of the metaverse or real world. Metaverse honestly

Jeff Cohen:

doesn't make a ton of sense. I do I like the vision that they're they're sort of going for here

Jeff Cohen:

though. Because I think one of the things when I think about the metaverse is if you're going to

Jeff Cohen:

have a very slow adoption curve. And I think that something like this can sort of be a little bit of

Jeff Cohen:

an easy on ramp for older people or folks who wouldn't immediately plug into a VR headset or the

Jeff Cohen:

metaverse or whatever we want to call the pure version of the metaverse. But I think the idea of

Jeff Cohen:

either using AR or having some sort of glasses that augment the the current real world to create

Jeff Cohen:

something of a again, I guess I hate to use their term real world metaverse. I actually think that

Jeff Cohen:

that is a very like, like I would be in the in the very near term, fairly to very bullish on that on

Jeff Cohen:

that concept.

Paul Dawalibi:

I think that's super interesting. So you're what you're saying is, AR is the gateway

Paul Dawalibi:

drug to the real Metaverse potentially? A little bit. Yeah. Because you think is the the thinking

Paul Dawalibi:

there that it's more accessible adoptions easier,

Jeff Cohen:

more accessible? It's just easier. Yeah, it's a bit easier to wrap your wrap people's

Jeff Cohen:

head around. It's kind of like opt in opt out very quickly. But it's kind of creating the real world

Jeff Cohen:

version of a little bit of what the metaverse is, right? If you're putting digital, it's almost the

Jeff Cohen:

exact reverse, right? The Metaverse is all about putting yourself into a digital world. This is all

Jeff Cohen:

about putting digital things into your real world, which is just to some extent, a similar concept.

Paul Dawalibi:

From business standpoint, I could make the argument and from a technology

Paul Dawalibi:

standpoint, I could make the argument if anything that AR feels like a harder problem to solve.

Paul Dawalibi:

Right, like to get great AR where, you know, we're talking, I don't even know what's a good, like sci

Paul Dawalibi:

fi example. But you know, to get a great AR Yeah,

Jeff Cohen:

I think that makes sense. Where

Paul Dawalibi:

you know, there's a chip in my eye that overlays my whole world with totally relevant

Paul Dawalibi:

information like that, I think is much tougher. From a technology and business standpoint, that's

Paul Dawalibi:

a much tougher problem to solve for. Then, here's the set of VR glasses, and an omnidirectional

Paul Dawalibi:

treadmill, like, go explore a totally virtual world where you don't have the sort of the

Paul Dawalibi:

requirements to navigate or the messiness of the real world.

Jeff Cohen:

So I think that's true from a tech perspective. But from a consumer adoption

Jeff Cohen:

perspective, I think it might be a little bit, a little bit of an easier hurdle to get people to

Jeff Cohen:

say, hey, put on these classes. And you know, every once in a while you're gonna see something

Jeff Cohen:

cool in the real world, or like you can, you know, pull up someone's social profile when you're

Jeff Cohen:

looking at them if they've accepted it, or some, you can think of different different way and I

Jeff Cohen:

don't even know if this is necessarily what Niantic is doing, because that's not really what

Jeff Cohen:

Pokemon Go is and what they've done. But I think you can you can make an argument that that's a

Jeff Cohen:

little bit easier for a consumer to adopt than for for them to dive in headfirst into the metaverse.

Paul Dawalibi:

Yeah, I would I would just argue that their their characterization of Metaverse

Paul Dawalibi:

even like adding real world in front of it doesn't make sense, right, like Metaverse, by definition,

Paul Dawalibi:

I think by all agreed definitions, and definitely I would hope, the one we're talking about here is

Paul Dawalibi:

it's a digital world by like, by definition, and so it feels a bit forced to me. You know, there's

Paul Dawalibi:

this bigger sort of business question of, is it a buzzword used to just generate interest in

Paul Dawalibi:

investment, right like is, is the fact that they called it a real life? Metaverse part of the

Paul Dawalibi:

equation to get to that $9 billion valuation. And that was my second question,

Jeff Cohen:

Jake. So I mean, you know, it's hard to say like, I think with with some of these

Jeff Cohen:

things, you know, when you're talking about buzzwords with investors, you don't see that

Jeff Cohen:

quote, matter quite a new, you know, better than AI. So Correct. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I

Jeff Cohen:

don't know if that matters quite as much when you're talking about like, a, you know, someone

Jeff Cohen:

like Go to Investing in a private round. Like, I think the executives, they're smart enough to kind

Jeff Cohen:

of do the same thought exercise we just did and say, Hey, I could understand that this could be

Jeff Cohen:

interesting and valuable, but it's not a metaphor. So I don't think throwing Metaverse in front of it

Jeff Cohen:

would make them want to pay more. I would, I would hope. Whereas if you're in the public market, you

Jeff Cohen:

might be able to get away with you know, throwing Metaverse in front of whatever you're doing and

Jeff Cohen:

you know, some retail investors are going to get really excited about it because they think it's,

Jeff Cohen:

you know, this new new trend, but correct me if I'm wrong there I don't know.

Paul Dawalibi:

So where are you on on The $9 billion valuation?

Jeff Cohen:

I don't know, because I don't know enough, you know, if we're talking about just what

Jeff Cohen:

I am aware of with what Niantic does and kind of how Pokemon GO and the success of their last two

Jeff Cohen:

games, following up on that, it seems, you know, very high. Having said that, I would imagine that

Jeff Cohen:

this is kind of a platform play, and they have a toolset that they think, you know, go to is

Jeff Cohen:

presumably making a bet that there's going to be developers developing on whatever this protocol

Jeff Cohen:

is. And they are sort of the platform layer for future AR technology and AR games, which I think

Jeff Cohen:

it's a lot easier to be bullish on that, then, then, you know, what, what is currently Niantic

Jeff Cohen:

with the games that they've launched.

Paul Dawalibi:

You know, what I thought was interesting. That came out of this press release,

Paul Dawalibi:

was they didn't quote any revenue numbers, right? They didn't quote any, like, concurrent player

Paul Dawalibi:

numbers like not none of that. What they quote, the one stat that they quoted was, it says over

Paul Dawalibi:

the years, our players have walked more than 17 point 5 billion kilometers.

Jeff Cohen:

I think that's a good one.

Paul Dawalibi:

Is this a success metric for?

Jeff Cohen:

I mean, on that momentum, that's cheap. It's cheap on developers. The valuation

Jeff Cohen:

just steps a walk is like less than one time.

Paul Dawalibi:

This is true. Is this a new metric we're gonna have to look at if we're talking about

Paul Dawalibi:

VR, and AR kind of developer makes them this bias. You'll buy it. Man that flew by that that guy's

Paul Dawalibi:

we're going to try and keep these episodes going forward to about 30 to 45 minutes. So you get sort

Paul Dawalibi:

of all the metaverse business news information, the biggest stories, you get our discussion, our

Paul Dawalibi:

commentary every single week. So expect these to drop weekly expect them to be 30 to 45 minutes

Paul Dawalibi:

long, you're gonna see me and Jeff, do this every single week going forward. So definitely

Paul Dawalibi:

subscribe. Tell your friends about it. If you're fans of the business of esports. Definitely. This

Paul Dawalibi:

definitely, I think will be up your alley. Hopefully you enjoy the content going forward.

Paul Dawalibi:

Jeff, you wanted to say something?

Jeff Cohen:

Oh, no. Sorry. If you guys, I don't know if you can hear my son crying in the

Jeff Cohen:

background. Hopefully Paul can edit that out. But I know this is really fun. It's gonna be hard to

Jeff Cohen:

keep him to 3045 minutes because there's just so much for us to us to talk about. We had like five

Jeff Cohen:

stories we didn't get to. So I'm excited to keep this guide and this has been great.

Paul Dawalibi:

Yeah, and like I said, guys, if you're listening to this, definitely subscribe to

Paul Dawalibi:

the show. Apple podcast, Spotify, Google Play, leave a review. If you like it. All these things

Paul Dawalibi:

help other people to find the podcast. And definitely stay tuned for more meta business news

Paul Dawalibi:

and podcasts every single week. We will see you guys next week. Thanks for watching this episode

Paul Dawalibi:

of meta business. Make sure to subscribe to the podcast on Apple podcast, Spotify, Google Play

Paul Dawalibi:

YouTube, or wherever you get your podcasts. Also, make sure to leave a review if you love the

Paul Dawalibi:

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Paul Dawalibi:

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About the Podcast

META Business
From the metaverse to the boardroom...
Meta Business tackles the most important Metaverse industry news. Business experts dissect and discuss all of the hottest topics and happenings, from a unique C-suite perspective.

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Paul Dawalibi