Categories
Business Business Development Gaming

Who Got Game?

Gaming is enjoying a hot streak. Even without the Pandemic, the gaming industry was doing quite well. With people forced indoors and schools shut down for most of Spring and beyond, gaming has become a critical entertainment option. The recent fracas between Epic Games and Apple has also created a buzz around gaming, although for the wrong reasons.

In this environment, a gaming platform company Unity Software is going public tomorrow. It’s like AWS for Gaming. They provide infrastructure to create gaming content and also host the content on their platform. In this aspect, they compete with Epic Games (creator of Fortnite and the Unreal Engine).

Revenue growth has been impressive. In 2019, they had revenue of $542M. In the first six months of 2020, they made $351M. They are also a profitable company with impressive margins of 78% in 2019 and 79% in first six months of 2020.

While Games is a leading offering, the company positions itself as a platform for creating and hosting 3D content for verticals such as Architecture, Media & Entertainment and Auto, Transportation, Manufacturing segments.

We estimate that in 2019, on a global basis, 53% of the top 1,000 mobile games on the Apple App Store and Google Play and over 50% of such mobile games, PC games and console games combined were made with Unity.

Unity S-1

I like how this company is taking advantage of secular trends of explosion of Compute power, proliferation of platforms and devices, cloud based distribution, and ubiquitous broadband connectivity.

A true public SaaS company for Gaming is finally here.

Game on!

Categories
Business Finance Technology

Ain’t a Snowflake

A snowflake is a political insult for someone who is perceived as too sensitive. This post is not about that.

Snowflake, the Bay Area company could become the largest software IPO of all time. It starts trading tomorrow.

It was initially priced between $75-$85, upped to $100-$110 and again upped to $120. At that price, it would be valued ~ $40B. Some banks are going to make a killing.

I started hearing about Snowflake a few years ago when a few data oriented startup companies mentioned them often. They were compared with Looker. Looker was acquired by Google in 2019 for $2.6B.

The other interesting tidbit was that Bob Muglia, an ex Microsoft veteran who last ran Server and Tools served as CEO for this company for three years until he was ousted in March 2019. His ouster apparently came a week after he said that Snowflake didn’t have to IPO soon as it had a ton of cash at hand. The guy who founded ServiceNow is now the CEO. Talk of the Hot Hand. On that note, the new book Hot Hand by Ben Cohen is a good read.

They had revenue of $265M last year, a 173% growth. NRR was 158%. It makes sense that NRR is that high. Being a complex data integration project, it’s hard for a customer to switch to another platform quickly.

Snowflake’s data cloud platform breaks down data silos, enabling customers to consolidate data into a single source of truth to drive meaningful business insights, build data-driven applications, and share data, delivered through a customer-centric, consumption-based business model, only charging customers for the resources they use. Snowflake allows companies to use/access data across the big three public cloud computing vendors AWS, Azure and Google Cloud. Snowflake is a customer and competitor to the large public cloud vendors, but their respective offerings don’t offer the agnostic cross platform capability, so its independence is a key differentiator.

Berkshire and Salesforce are each buying $250M in the offering. Convincing Berkshire to buy in the offering is indeed a coup.

If it opens at $200 / share, that would be like 100x sales.

If you are one of the lucky ones to get an allocation, hold onto it. Chasing this one is likely to take a strong gut.

Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

While Main Street is hobbling, tech IPOs and Wall Street are humming. The tale of two Americas.

Categories
Personal

Coping

I don’t remember feeling this overwhelmed by the news of happenings in the world.

Nature: Wildfires, Hurricanes, Droughts, Climate Change.

Human Suffering: People displaced due to above, Refugees, People most impacted by COVID-19, Black Lives, Police Brutality.

Bankrupt Leadership: Current US President; his party supporters ; COVID deniers.

Amplification of Misinformation: Social Networks and people that traffic in conspiracy theories.

Amidst all this, there are people doing special things and having special moments in their lives. We get to hear about them too, thankfully.

The negative stuff is overwhelming.

Hope you have figured out your coping mechanism and navigating this time to the best of your abilities.

Good Luck!

Categories
Personal

Sense of Balance

If you have never experienced vertigo, consider yourself blessed.

It’s estimated that 20% of vertigo is due to displacement of calcium crystals in our inner ear. These crystals (“otoconia”) are super important as they act as balance and orientation keepers of our body working in conjunction with a gelatin environment and fine hairs that send signals to the brain telling it the orientation of your head. If the Otoconia get displaced and escape into the ear canal, they need to be “moved” back to their original position. A physician named Epley invented a procedure to put the otoconia back into position. This whole condition is called BPPV Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo.

It’s pretty cool that Nature has crafted such intricate engineering to help you maintain balance.

When you lose physical balance we know it immediately and react to it. It’s an involuntary response.

It takes us a while for us to respond to aspects that go out of balance or to change behaviors that promote balance. A life long pursuit, in my opinion.

In the Bhagavad Gita in Chapter 14, Lord Krishna says that Nature has three GunAs (qualities). It’s also described as three modes of Physical Nature.

Satthva – the quality that attaches to Happiness, Knowledge

Rajas – the quality that causes us to act, the quality to change, to cause turbulence, seek power.

Tamas – quality of disinterestedness, ignorance, inertia.

Initially, I thought to try to tie the balance theme to the three GunAs, but didn’t really succeed in convincing myself about the balance between them. The Gita doesn’t advocate for a balance between the three, but states the effects of each and highly encourages the promotion of the pure Satthva GuNa.

To explore this further, here is an interesting article I came upon.

Stay grounded as there is a lot happening now that’s throwing us off balance.

Categories
Personal

Positive Thinking

I liked this recent one from Seth Godin very much. So I’m reproducing it as my post for the day

If your team is up by thirty points at halftime, it’s not optimistic to expect that you’re going to win–it’s a realistic assessment.

Optimism is an attitude and a choice. It involves context and focus. We’re not deluding ourselves with the reassurance that everything is going to be okay (because that’s not productive). Instead, we’re committed to finding things we can contribute to, work on and improve. We’re devoted to seeking out useful lessons and to discovering where the benefit of the doubt might be helpful. Positive thinking doesn’t solve every problem. But it’s a much better tool than negative thinking.

Seth Godin