Mike Moran claims that Google's strategy is to "provide value - and gain attention"... and everything they do reflects that. I think that that is a pretty general statement, as every company wants attention.
Clear Channel, CBS, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL, ASK, Ebay, Amazon... keep on going, they all "want attention". I think no one has a plan. It's those companies that get that "there is no plan"... that you have to gamble and invest in the "next piece of technology, or the little ways to integrate different aspects of people's life to make it easier that will get the next piece of the pie.
Microsoft, Ebay, Amazon, Yahoo, Google, AOL. They all get it's not just about "attention" per se", that's too general. It's about the next piece of disruptive technology, and the little ways that they can integrate existing services to make life easier.
Below is my rant in response to Mike's Post.
First off, I don't think that Google has a strategy per se. Their corporate mantra "search, ads and apps" is generally a good indication of where they want to go. (Personally, I have no idea what that means though.)
I believe that did start with a belief in organizing the world's information, which for them led to personalization - and ultimately (copying Ask.com's) Universal search.
The thing is that they are obviously not "just organizing the world's information". They've bought blogger / blogspot, they just now came out with jotspot, they have Youtube, Doc's and Calendar, Google map reviews, and the list goes on. They are owning publishing platforms / content, as well as "organizing the world's information".
Personally, when people criticize Yahoo for being disorganized, I get annoyed. Google is chaotic / has no plan too. They allow their developers to focus on little projects, and if they have potential to grow, they grow those platforms. Google's buys out platforms that they are not related to at all too. Checkout, Maps, Doc's, Calendar and Gmail are all totally irelevant industries.
The difference between Google and Yahoo,is whereas Google almost always integrates the services - overtly into their main "theme" somehow, Yahoo has not done that well at all. Flickr, mybloglog, Yahoo music, upcoming, search marketing etc. The consumer services might have a universal login, but there is no integration from platform to platform, internally connecting the different information, and allowing you to build services and add convience. So all Yahoo has is their userbase.
Google bought bits and pieces of office / productivity software and integrated it. They took their calendar, and integrated it with gmail. They are constantly looking for synergies, Yahoo is not.
The real issue is integration. Technology is working towards integrating everything in your life; from your computer, to your multiple online profiles, to your keyword searches, to your location, house, gaming platform and more.
All of the technology companies know that they can't afford not to be in the game on any corner of the market. If they lose just 5% percent of the market in one area - say gaming, than they could lose that 5% across all of their platforms altogether. Additionally, that 5% can potentially be another 5%, because people like working on the same platform as their friends.
It really is a "race for world domination", if you want to call it that. It's just not in the sinister fashion that it sounds like.
AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo all lost major market share to google because Google powered all of their searches in the beginning... They all now have to cover lost ground, and none of them are doing a great job at it.
No one wants to lose the war on mobile search - or the integration to the other accounts that users use. (Hence Google's play on the airwave buyout. It would leave the telecom's powerless to be negotiators on search, because everyone could use Android.)
In short, noone knows exactly when the next technology breakthrough will happen or where. They just want to be there when it happens, and have the capability in-house. Anyone does a big play in a new industry, everyone else analyzes how it will impact market share, and who else can be bought that owns that platform as well.
The only thing that Google does know is to leverage their existing assets and make them synergistic. I would argue that that is the main value. Being everywhere - integrated. That is what Google's Mantra of "Search, Ads and apps" means. Three different things all tied in together. Search still means "organizing the world's information", but there is more to this game than just that. Every piece of the game leverages the other."
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