More seriously, the last time a company spent this much money in a vacuum it did not turn out well for them. I'd love to believe they have an idea worth billions but struggle to come up with any plausible way to imagine such a value without major dependencies on a much bigger ecosystem. (see Occulus Rift and the computer gaming industry as an example of inter dependence issues)
If you want all happiness and butterflies, as well as elephants in your hand and whales jumping in auditoriums, or some tall tale of 50 megapixel displays and of how great it will be someday, you have come to the wrong place. I’m putting the puzzle together based on the evidence and filling in with what is likely to be possible in both the next few years and for the next decade.
And the one before that, the iPhone, was the most successful product of all time.
NeXT did receive venture funding (which obviously became the core os MacOS and iOS). Fingerworks, was also a key acquisition. I can't find any information about the funding Fingerworks received, but being a university spin out it seems likely that they received at least seed funding.
To put the conversation back in a grounded and reasonable list of arguments, let's start with the premise that technology != business.
So even if the tech that Magic Leap is creating is so great, by the time they go to market, they will be competing with an ecosystem already in place. Apple will have all the apps that have been built with their ARKit (not to mention their App Store monetization strategy). Sony, FB/Oculus, HTC and MS are already at the infancy of developing something serious there. If Magic Leap came out with a product today, they are already starting behind.
If we take in consideration price point, it even becomes a more challenging scenario.
Fingerworks, and any others, were acquired after risk factors went down. Never forget your own hindsight bias, where the pdf collapses to 1.
Talk about quaint compared to today.
ML has a very serious risk of spending hundreds of millions of dollars over a decade with no customer input building something that will land like Google Glass or a Segway. Then what? Someone like Google has other products and can retreat and regroup, but ML will lose whatever credibility they had and not be likely to recover. It could be very ugly.
Fun fact: One of the original promotional videos shows cops using it.
Presumably the extent to which they've invested reflects the extent to which they believe magic leap has "invented literal world changing technology"
Of all the companies, good for them for raising more. A moonshot to build the metaverse is what a tech startup should be.
I somewhat agree, but wouldn't it create a better environment funding 10 or 100 smaller startups? I know you can argue that "this is just how much it takes to do this". But in my opinion it's more likely that you could reach your goal funding 20 companies with 100MUSD (which is still a huge amount of money, even if you're doing custom silicon).
Even if the experience is fantastic, the product flawless, the content engaging -- none of that means that there'll be product/market fit. Iterations will likely be needed. I'll be delighted if it's a big success, and hey it's not my money. But, the systemic signaling (and actual) risk posed by a potential Magic Leap failure on the larger AR/VR community is being sorely underestimated by everyone. And that is worrisome.
I think like many things, its primary use will be tied to consumer goods initially. As a great many projects that seem to raise(or make) billions are these days. FB or Google banking billions on advertising, ML/AI used to save corporations money, track customers, create more robust profiles on users/customers to sell them MORE "stuff". I see great value in all these technologies that can truly have a positive impact on the planet but most of it is tied to non-essential consumer goods.
I see some pain ahead for some of these companies and technologies that are tied to non-essential goods/services. Interactive experiences, movies, games, touch your phone on a package and watch magic happen. Really neat tech, but most of it is tied to surplus whether that be time, money or otherwise.
Consumer fatigue will catch up at some point. The cognitive load required to make it through a day is extreme and not necessarily being reduced.
Many companies are doing a great job raising capital but I am just not seeing a positive short term outcome. Part of my argument is tied to the fact that there will be another correction in most markets. When they pull back and billions get pulled out of the consumer slush fund on a weekly basis how important is AR/VR? How lucrative is leveraging ML/AI to sell more consumer goods if the capital isn't there to purchase said goods? At what point do people become numb or blind to the newest "buy my goods/services" technology.
I think some people fail to see that it is the global top 1% of earners building products for the same group and then attempting to convince the lay folk they should buy into all. Maybe the next version of Juicero is simply someone selling an AR organic veggie farming experience to someone who can't afford to pay for their food delivery courtesy of Amazon...I am just struggling with seeing how this story has a good ending.
The first time I saw ML's site I said, "This is some super cool sh*t" and over time I began to try and wrap my brain around where it fits...I am obviously still struggling with that.
Either the technology is so mind-blowing that we'll all be compelled to use it the moment we see it (in a year? two? a decade? what kind of runway are they building with this money?), or this will be the next Theranos.
Color had marketing hype but as far as I could tell no-one outside of VC circles took it seriously.
Both Cuil and Color are great examples of people utterly bamboozling VCs into dumping money into an incredibly dumb idea... but I don't know of any good PR that was related to them outside of that (I mean, ffs, Cuil won a "most success startup" award based on it's fundraising. How inane is that?)