Monday, September 17, 2012

Google's Edge

When Google has become big it has sought to tackle big problems. And so it continues to feel like a young, daring company. It stays on the lookout. Of all tech companies out there Google is best positioned.

Constantly buying startups is its elixir of youth.

There is a pretty cool infographic here.

Google "gets" culture. That's for sure.

Between Apple and Google I think Google has a better shot at ending up a trillion dollar company. But it has to do it by 2020.

Globally wireless gigabit broadband supported by ads is the path to becoming a trillion dollar company for Google. That is one. And two, it is not fighting back hard enough on Android.

Failure is a feature: how Google stays sharp gobbling up startups
just how wide ranging and intellectually ambitious Google has become...... The search giant’s mergers and acquisitions team set new records in 2010 and 2011 for the sheer number of companies it acquired. Last year alone it bought up 25 companies, one every two weeks. If you count the firms acquired for patents and intellectual property, the total number is a whopping 79. Taking a look at Google’s peers, it becomes clear just how astonishing these numbers are. Facebook bought just ten companies in 2011; Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft only three apiece. ..... But by and large it’s been the most successful among the massive tech firms when it comes to incorporating new companies. Doubleclick and AdSense, both acquired, are major drivers of Google’s revenue. YouTube dominates online video. Android goes head-to-head with Apple in mobile. And it’s not just companies that are bolted on whole cloth. Premier products like Google Maps, Docs, Analytics, and Voice were also crafted in large part by teams brought in from outside. .... founders from nearly two thirds of the startups acquired by Google are still with the company. ...... It wasn’t just the index of all the documents on the web which was interesting. It was also the logs detailing how people searched that were valuable. The millions of people typing billions of words into Google’s search bar provided the raw material which fueled the machine learning behind Google Translate, a service which quickly outstripped its competitors. ...... Today more data is added to Google maps each day than existed in the entire system in 2006, driven in large part by user contributions ...... What happens if you have all the world’s data? What happens if you can run a 100,000 CPU Mapreduce on this combination of geo-data and translated street signs. Could you learn something fundamental about humanity? The answer is yes. ...... You rewrite for Google’s code base, plug in, and suddenly you’re playing at a global scale ...... From 2001 to present day, Google has purchased and integrated over 110 companies. ..... "Even if the math works in terms of money, startups are more emotional than rational. Google has created an environment that allows these founders to maintain a large degree of autonomy, pick and choose the best elements of Google that give them resources and scale, but still keep that startup lifeblood inside this massive enterprise." ...... the search giant is unique in its approach to integrating these type A personalities .... entrust entrepreneurs with big responsibilities. ..... "Far more people come to Google through the regular hiring process than through M&A. But when you look at the senior level folks, the ones making decisions about where products and the company is going, it’s clear that entrepreneurs who have come into Google have had an outsized impact." ........ overheard different groups speaking in German and Chinese, and later passed two employees shooting pool, chatting in Hindi, while another one napped on a couch ..... the company’s Mountain View headquarters feels like an international university ...... In the same way that early Googlers could move their desks where they pleased, a culture of mobility remains. ..... "At a lot of companies it would be seen as a bad thing to always be jumping around, but here that’s encouraged, until you find something you’re passionate about." ..... Mobile, Social, Chrome, YouTube, Ads, Search, and GeoCommerce. ..... "If you go back to the early history of Google, this company was making crazy long term bets way before it had the resources"

This has to be noted. Geography matters. New York City matters.
Dodgeball, the predecessor to Foursquare, was acquired by Google in 2005, but founders Dennis Crowley and Alex Rainert ended up leaving by 2007, upset over a lack of resources and integration they needed to grow their product........ "The reason it was a missed opportunity was because they ended up in the wrong place at the company," says Brain McClendon. "They didn’t end up here, near the Geo team, they were in New York. They were very small and didn’t get the support they needed. Working across the country is a hard problem. In general we do a better job than any company with communicating across geographies, but it’s still tough, so we missed that opportunity."........ It was a costly mistake that has Google still playing catch-up in the local space with the recent acquisitions of old media companies Zagat and Frommers. In the meantime, Foursquare has poached a number of employees from Google.
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