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Google and Niantic Labs


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This case study is about Silicon Valley professional entrepreneur, John Hanke's career and the story of Google's Niantic Labs. We will know the tough choice John Hanke made and the challenging path his team has taken to disrupt the gaming industry, and what makes Silicon Valley the mother lode of high-tech business.

Published in: Education

Google and Niantic Labs

  1. 1. Google NianticLabs & - Part A -
  2. 2. The professional entrepreneur and innovation in Silicon Valley - Part A -
  3. 3. Faculty, UC Berkeley Founding Executive Director Emeritus of the Lester Center Jerome S. Engel The author The full article is available at Harvard business review
  4. 4. Li Wei Presentation by Technology commercialization manager Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd A*STAR, Singapore
  5. 5. “When you come to a fork in the road, take it Photo: SamFalk/The New York Times -- YOGI BERRA NATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAME MEMBER AND PHILOSOPHER
  6. 6. As one of Google’s many embryonic businesses, Niantic Labs was created in 2010 Niantic Labs (2010)
  7. 7. IF to discover what opportunities might emerge mobile geo-location social gaming
  8. 8. Since then, Niantic had become best known for its globally popular augmented reality game Ingress (2012)
  9. 9. Ingress (2012) a location-based Massively multiplayer online game
  10. 10. A Game played in both virtual and real world
  11. 11. By January 2015, it had been downloaded over 3,000,000times
  12. 12. With the success and the technology behind it …
  13. 13. John Hanke the head of Niantic Labs
  14. 14. distinct CHOICES for the future of Niantic Labs TWO had
  15. 15. Stay-IN SPINOFF With Google from Google
  16. 16. would benefit Hanke and his team, Google, and any other potential investors the most? WHICHOPTION
  17. 17. About JOHN HANKE
  18. 18. John Hanke was born and raised in Cross Plains, Texas
  19. 19. University of Texas the U.S. State Department Foreign Service UC Berkeley M.B.A. 1985 1989 1994
  20. 20. UC Berkeley M.B.A. 1994 At Berkeley, he returned to his original interest in computer technology
  21. 21. UC Berkeley M.B.A. 1994 And, with steve sellers, created his first startup, Archetype Interactive, a game company
  22. 22. UC Berkeley M.B.A. 1994 And, with steve sellers, created his first startup, Archetype Interactive, a game company
  23. 23. Few years later, they started another gaming platform called the Big Network
  24. 24. Few years later, they started another gaming platform called the Big Network
  25. 25. About keyhole
  26. 26. After two solid “modest” successes, Hanke formed another start-up Keyhole
  27. 27. a geographic information system EarthViewer
  28. 28. that layers data on map and presents the world in 3D
  29. 29. In 2000, Keyhole received its first round of financing led by Sony
  30. 30. During second Gulf War EarthViewer were used by Media companies CIA analyst
  31. 31. During second Gulf War EarthViewer were used by Media companies CIA analyst
  32. 32. In 2004, just as Hanke was closing the terms for Series B financing round Googlecalled
  33. 33. Less than a day after the EarthViewer presentation Googleoffered
  34. 34. The opportunity was just too good to pass up With Google’s vast and rapidly growing user base
  35. 35. About Google ‘Geo’ Product
  36. 36. After “spin-in” Google …
  37. 37. EarthViewer Google earth
  38. 38. John Hanke Vice President Geo Division
  39. 39. The team was able to leverage Google’s resources and operated at differentordersofmagnitude
  40. 40. crowd-sourced open innovation also helped ‘Geo’ scale up new products quickly Google’s
  41. 41. Today, Google Geo products form a platform with more than one million sites and app developers
  42. 42. to build businesses, serving more than one billion users each week
  43. 43. About Niantic Labs
  44. 44. In 2010, Hanke started a project called Niantic Labs with 30 employees in Google Geo Division
  45. 45. The Labs’ mandate was to find new opportunities for Google
  46. 46. Where mobile, geo-based maps, social, and gaming trends converged
  47. 47. The Niantic team followed basicdesignrules 4
  48. 48. The Niantic team followed basicdesignrules The World Is the Map Move To Play Urban exploration Social network 4
  49. 49. the first success Ingress
  50. 50. Great synergies with google’s products Storytelling mechanism video content about the environment Game books and comic
  51. 51. Following an open innovation model, the team turned the technology into Programming Buildingblocks
  52. 52. so that the same gaming experience can be developed by others
  53. 53. Hanke’s Choice
  54. 54. “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference -- ROBERT FROST American Poet (1874 – 1963) “THE ROAD NOT TAKEN”
  55. 55. Spin-off is a more challenging route for Niantic Labs
  56. 56. Without Google’s resourceful platform, the team has to build a new infrastructure
  57. 57. But, over the long-run, there would be the benefits of not being restricted to Google’s core brand and strategy
  58. 58. By mid-October 2015, Niantic Labs span off as an independent company from Google
  59. 59. The initial round of financing $30 million
  60. 60. In July 2016 Their first game
  61. 61. In 2 months 500million 500millionDownloads Revenue
  62. 62. Coming Full Circle
  63. 63. “I came in as entrepreneur. I got to see what it was like to be a vice president in a large public company… it doesn't have a lot to do with the product innovation, which was the thing that originally interested me. I was at a point where I was lucky to be able to have a choice, so I created this new thing where I could do what I wanted to do.” -- John Hanke Niantic Labs CEO
  64. 64. - available at app store -