Web Excursions 2021-10-20

Sundar Pichai and Rick Osterloh Think the Pixel 6 Is Google’s Breakout Phone

  • Q: why is it important that Google is in the hardware business?

    • If you’re committed to driving computing forward, I do think you need to think at the intersection of software services [and] hardware, to evolve it.

    • Second, it helps us drive the ecosystem forward.

    • third, to do this well, you have to build a sustainable business.

    • We’re still very early in this.

  • We think Pixel 6 is a big step change,

    • and a nod to where we’re going in the future,

    • which is really focused around AI innovation,

    • really focused around building a portfolio that tries to address big parts of the market.

  • Q: why you think the Pixel 6 is categorically different than other smartphones that are currently on the market.

    • The number one thing is that it really is a clear representation of Google’s brand.

    • We also have been bringing a lot of our AI innovation

    • we acknowledge we’re a challenger.

    • it’s a good time for us to be investing a lot in distribution, in marketing, and of course, in the product and technology.

  • [On relationship with Samsung]

    • They are our most important partner on Android.

    • I think Samsung is a big partner for our devices and services team as well.

    • There are many components [in this phone] from Samsung to make all of this work as well,

      • so they’re a big partner there.

    • It’s good we want to put out something unique in the market, and it’s more choice. So I think it’s healthy that way.

  • we believe that we have a unique portfolio and that it covers a lot of the activity in the home.

    • We recently acquired Fitbit,

      • so we have a nice, robust capability on wearables now that we intend to grow and knit together.

    • Google Assistant is a common interface across all these services.

    • And we think it’s the leading assistant.

  • Q: Let’s talk about Tensor. When did this project start? When did you decide, we’re making our own system on a chip?

    • I think I started April 16th and it was around the 17th, in 2016.

    • This morning as we were talking, Qualcomm decided to say that, “If a company’s making their own SoC that’s a red flag,” on Twitter. Wondering if y’all have anything you’d like to reply to Qualcomm with.

  • [On relationship with Qualcomm]

    • Qualcomm plays a really important role in the Android ecosystem and will continue to [do] so.

    • That’s why I gave the server side example as well.

    • We have done Tensor processing units on the server side, but we deeply use Nvidia GPUs across everything we do too.

    • I think the market has done well overall.

    • I think pushing the high end of silicon across all of us is good.

    • But we are doing this for Pixel, and Qualcomm and others will play an important role in supplying the Android ecosystem.

  • Q: I’m wondering how you’re thinking about communicating the capabilities that you’ve built for this phone to customers.

    • we’ll show users these specific problems that we solve with it and hopefully they’ll find it helpful.

    • Hopefully, they’ll see the benefits of AI overall.

  • Q: How are you balancing adding capabilities to the Pixel specifically?

    • a lot of the Pixel 6 innovation is driven by new hardware capabilities that haven’t been possible so far.

    • So those might take a while, if ever, to move over to the ecosystem.

    • But in general, we want a lot of this capability available to people.

    • If people have really wanted to make the camera better on their phones and they engage with us, I would say our teams work super hard to make their cameras better.

  • Q: South Korea recently ruled you need to allow third-party payment systems in Google Play. It seems like you’re going to go along with that.

    • We don’t take a share of the device sales, not a share of the carrier revenues.

    • So in some way we have to sustain our ecosystem. We have a different model.

    • Google Play is an important way. In fact, it’s the main source of revenue. It supports Android as a whole.

    • I think we’ll make that viewpoint clear, but we’ll engage in conversations.

    • I’ll leave it to the team to figure out the right next steps.

    • Obviously, one of the areas where Android gets criticized is at an end user level; the fragmentation as a cost, right?

    • Developers complain of complexity. So, we are constantly striving to create that balance.


BackBlaze S-1

We are a leading storage cloud platform, providing businesses and consumers cloud services to store, use, and protect their data in an easy and affordable manner. We provide these cloud services through a purpose-built, web-scale software infrastructure built on commodity hardware. pp. 1.

Risk factors pp. 18 et seq

  • We have a history of cumulative losses, and we do not expect to be profitable for the foreseeable future.

    • In the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2020, our revenue was $40.7 million, $53.8 million, respectively, representing growth of 32%. We incurred net losses of $1.0 million and $6.6 million for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2020, respectively.

    • As of June 30, 2021, our annual recurring revenue (as defined below) was $64.8 million and we incurred net losses of $6.1 million for the six months ended June 30, 2021. pp. 91.

  • The markets in which we participate are intensely competitive, and if we do not compete effectively, our operating results would be harmed.

    • Some of our competitors include cloud-based services such as those offered by Amazon.com, Inc. through Amazon Web Services, Alphabet Inc. through Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Corporation through Azure, and

    • on-premises offerings such as those offered by EMC/Dell and NetApp.

  • If we fail to effectively manage our growth, our business would be harmed.

    • our headcount grew from 82 employees as of December 31, 2018, to 126 employees as of December 31, 2019, to 188 employees as of December 31, 2020 and to 228 employees as of June 30, 2021.

    • Also, in just the last two years the amount of storage deployed by us has more than doubled.

  • We rely on third-party vendors and suppliers, including data center and hard drive providers, which may have limited sources of supply, and this reliance exposes us to potential supply and service disruptions that could harm our business.

    • starting in April 2020, we began to acquire additional hard drives and related infrastructure through capital lease agreements in order to minimize the impact of potential supply chain disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • The additional leased hard drives resulted in a higher balance of capital equipment and related lease liability, an increase in cash used in financing activities from principal payments, as well as a higher ongoing interest and depreciation expense related to these lease agreements.

    • The semiconductor industry is also experiencing a global chip shortage due to the COVID-19 pandemic and various other factors.