“The enemy of my enemy is my friend” goes the saying and it often plays out in tech. It was illustrated even more over the past month. Three weeks ago, Amazon announced dozens of products, including a microwave, plug, and car version of the Echo. In doing so, it created competition against the companies that with which it had partnered for integration with Alexa.
Logitech’s ZeroTouch now competes with Echo Auto, Amazon’s WiFi plug competes with a bunch of other WiFi plugs it had partnered with, such as the Belkin WeMo. Echo Sub competes with some of the higher end speakers that had integrated Alexa. Amazon’s release of the Echo Show crushed Nucleus in 2017.
My friend pointed out to me a few years back that many companies play a game at Amazon’s AWS ReInvent conference to see which services Amazon will roll out that end up being competitive with their partners. That’s the price to pay by creating something too popular that Amazon takes notice of. Don’t expect to be acquired by them.
Google takes a very different approach.While Amazon, at least at first, is very welcoming of developers and offers up support and openness, it reserves the right to eventually compete with them, potentially using the valuable data that the company shared to establish goodwill. Google, also at first, is very reluctant to work with outsiders and partners. There seems to be a “not built here” attitude. When it is ready, it will be very selective about the companies that it does partner with, working on exclusivity.
Built for Google seems like a channel for highlighting this partnership. For those companies spurned by Amazon, it might be an outlet for them to regain the goodwill that they lost. For the time being, Built for Google seems to focus on accessories for its devices. Maybe in the future, it could include those with Google Assistant embedded within.