What the Hell is Google Doing?

Categories: Innovation Insights,Innovation News Commentary

Google is always in the news – adding all kinds of new business services to their core search and advertising business: wireless access, telphony, news aggregation, and the built-it-yourself software company. I was reading a BusinessWeek article – “Google’s Grand Ambitions” – Sept 5 (registeration required). By the sound of things, they are actively planning to compete against just about everyone in every technology industry, from eBay to Nokia, the Yellow Pages to TimeWarner.

Over my vacation I read “Beyong the Core“, written by leading Bain & Co consultant, Chris Zook. The book highlights the success of firms who look to grow outside their classic core business. In general, for all firms, the results are not good. Just 25% make a success of growing outside their core into market adjacencies.


Now, I am a big Google supporter. My firm, Imaginatik, has used Adwords for almost four years to advertise our business, and I use Google several times a day. But in terms of a business, what do they believe is their core business, and how thinly do they plan to spread themselves. It is as though they want to do everything that is technology and Internet related, and deliver it all in three short years. Supercharged with billions of dollars in cash (they are raising another $4bn), supported by a stratospheric share price, and a fawning press, they are invincible. One could argue that their ambitions are almost… Titanic.

No one knows what will happen next, but history is a good judge of the future. Watch this space

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