After reading this excellent article written by Bill Gurley about Google, I am officially scared and in awe of the company. I’ll give a brief rundown of the article.
The article starts by quoting a famous saying by Warren Buffet, it goes “In business, I look for economic castles protected by unbreachable ‘moats’.”.
Bill goes on to define an “economic castle” as a great business and the “unbreachable moat” as the “strategy or market dynamic that heightens the barriers-to-entry and makes it difficult or ideally impossible to compete with, or gain access to, the economic castle".
Now everybody knows that Google is making seemingly random forays and causing disruptions (with various levels of success) in business sectors that are not traditionally associated with it.
I mean search and ads is Google’s forte right? So why the expansion into other businesses i.e. android with regards to mobile devices, wave/buzz with regards to social media, chrome OS with regards to computer operation systems and chrome browser with regards to web browsers.
Well the article above has an answer, its explains that search is Google’s castle and as such it will strive to remove any barrier (the barrier being competitors) between it and its customers (you and I).
So what’s the best way to prevent other competitors preventing Google's unfettered access to us than to build a moat to its search business, a moat so deep and so wide that no other company on earth can breach it. That moat is android, Google Chrome, Wave, buzz and some of its other business forays.
Consider it, if all our access to the internet is funnelled through Google via its website or some service, device or operating system then there is nothing between us and the warm embrace of Google.
What of the competition? the answer is simple, Bing or yahoo search simply can’t compete on that level.
An even more awesome thought is that Google is not even on the offensive, the by-products of Google’s defensive strategy are so strong that they are causing massive disruptions in various other business sectors. This is both scary and impressive, scary because it means eventually everything we do online will somehow originate via a Google service (if competitors can’t compete a monopoly is inevitable) and impressive because the strategy is so deep and far reaching.
Google I duff my hat!