Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Has Facebook jumped the shark by buying Oculus?

Fred Wilson asks, in his usual politic manner, whether the Facebook Oculus deal makes any sense?
If you look at these big acquisitions like Nest and Oculus, you might scratch your head. What does a Apple-style proprietary closed thermostat have in common with Google’s mobile strategy? What does a Virtual Reality headset have to do with Facebook’s social graph? Nothing in both cases.
But the roadmap has been clear for the past seven years (maybe longer). The next thing was mobile. Mobile is now the last thing. And all of these big tech companies are looking for the next thing to make sure they don’t miss it. And they will pay real money (to you and me) for a call option on the next thing.
It isn’t clear if the next thing is virtual reality, the internet of things, drones, machine learning, or something else. Larry doesn’t know. Zuck doesn’t know. I don’t know. But the race is on to figure it out.
Nest. Oculus. Google Glass. All of these are toys geeks love, and they may be the next big thing, or they might be a slightly better thermostat in a stagnant market, with no moat, a gaming peripheral, and a Segway except it's worn on the face. Time will tell.


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