The way I approach this type of situation is by first stating my assumptions, then defining a business goal and a set of metrics to evaluate is we succeed at this goal, then I’ll establish a framework to evaluate each available option and its trade-offs to then make a decision.
- As emerging market, **I’**m considering a new geographical region which is growing in adoption of internet services and which Google has not entered yet with any product.
- There is internet service and 80% of population has access to it
- It doesn’t have any special regulations e.g. embargo, hard/strict privacy regulations, trade restrictions, etc.
- The emerging market speaks Spanish
- The emerging market has a government service and a few other private companies that have developed and published maps of the main cities/towns in the emerging market
- We do not have any restrictions on resources, and our launch timeline is in the next 6mos.
- YouTube is a video sharing applications where users can upload, watch, comment on, like and share content, and it is also an advertisement platform. For the purpose of this question I’m going to leave out the experience of advertisers and focus on launching YouTube to watch and share content.
- Maps is a navigation service which allows users to find places, consult transit routes, get directions and explore a geographical area. For the purpose of this question I’m going to assume we’ll launch maps with information on local places and transit routes.
Defining the business goal
Considering that Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it accessible and useful for everyone.
My business goal is to enter this new emerging market in order to make the world’s information accessible and useful to the habitants of this new market, as well as to collect and organize information coming from this new market for Google.
I would measure success with the following metrics:
- Signups: I want to signup as many new users as possible.
- Daily Active Users: I want users to be active at least once a day in the service we promote.
- Usefulness: I want users to feel that this service adds value to them. I will measure this with in app surveys or with proxy metrics such as usage frequency (average session duration, number of queries made, etc.)
These are the dimensions I will consider when evaluating wether YouTube or Maps would be a better entry service for Google into a new emerging market:
Reach: How many people would use the service
Impact: How useful would the service be
Effort: How much effort would we need to put into the launch
Business Strategy: How beneficial this entry would be to Google? Would it open opportunities for other services?
Making a Decision (Evaluating Options)
Let’s evaluate Maps first, in terms of reach we can consider that by distributing as a mobile app, we could go after all the population with a smart-phone, the use cases for this service would be: people wanting to go from point a to point b (navigation), find new places nearby or in a given zone and find the best transit route to arrive places. If nothing like this exists in the market, the impact will be big, specially for small businesses who could now be literally on the map, and for users we would help them save time by always finding the most efficient route to go places. In terms of effort, we will need to invest a lot upfront, first to build/finish all available maps and make them available in the app, then a big force to incentivize owners of places to register to curate local places, and lastly also collaborate with local transit companies to add the routes and timetables to our database. In terms of business strategy, offering this service to business owners could be an entry point for us to also promote Google Ads, and other services that could help them grow their business. Also becoming the first map services in a region would help us establish as the service other apps could use, for example food delivery services, taxis services, tourism apps, etc.
Now, thinking about YouTube, in terms of reach the service could easily be made available to the same demographic as the maps service, however the use cases are more since people looking for entertainment, or looking to learn something or consult something will find content relevant to their need in this service, the addressable market grows exponentially when we add more use cases and user segments. In terms of impact, YouTube could be tremendous if we focus on learning use case, we could help a region get access to information they didn’t have before, from academic content to trade-skills such as how to make your own clothes or how to start your first website. We could bring so much more information to the region than maps could. In terms of effort, Launching YouTube would require minimum effort, perhaps mainly regulatory work to make global content available to these users, the leg of work would come from creating a community of local content producers and local advertisers, but this could be a second phase. In terms of business strategy, launching YouTube could open up the opportunity to bring other Google products to the region, such as Google Photos to share content, or Google Cloud Platform for developers learning to code via videos in YouTube.
I’d launch YouTube first, because its potential reach is larger than Maps if we consider the broader range of use cases it could serve. It also requires less effort to launch since we can focus first on making global content available to the users of the region and then on creating a community of local content producers. It is also a better strategic move to open the door for other Google Products either by adversing them or enabling users.