Friday, May 16, 2008

Topping Google

You know the word "topping" has a lot of connotations. If you're 'topping' someone you could be going them one better; you could also be holding them down, like topping a tree. It cuts them down - like the Hickory Hilltopper's in that great Gene Hackman movie Hoosiers. But I am writing this post because I am tired of all the talk about Microsoft's attempt to buy Yahoo in a bid to, dare I say, 'top' Google? - Or is it more 'just to keep pace and stay abreast so that Google does not get too far ahead. To slow them down.

Google, like Starbucks is starting to show frays in it's cuffs. So let time take its toll. Now all the talk is about investor Carl Icahn (sure has the name for it - iCahn, iKahn, ICON-great new brand name for a Google topping search engine) and cronies such as Microsoft's Steve Balmer reigniting their takeover bid. Hey guys, listen up. All of this takeover action is proof that the guys working the problem don't have the ability to out-invent a new Google. Something better that grows not from pure technology, but from the creation of new knowledge from consumer minds, that by perceptual innovation would discover that knowledge required to change consumer habits and practices with ideas rather than ownership of a rival.

It sure is a lot cheaper , and only takes about six weeks to find that breakthrough idea that would snuff Google's mass appeal. I've done it before. Why not just treat the problem like a new product concept development exercise and invent a real google competitor from scratch for $200,000 or so rather than the $37 billion it would take to buy a Yahoo that's always going to be, like Avis, number 2. Of course, this advice comes from someone who knows how to do this type of problem solving strategic innovation. I don't do those garden variety line extensions.

I think the real problem believes this can't be done. "The cost of pioneering" would bee too high." But it would still be far, far less than what would go into Yahoo's acquisition. Imagine just what you could do if you were a successful new product person with several multi-billion home runs under your belt and someone gave you $37 billion to play with. I'd reinvent the entire consumer packaged goods industry including it's distribution channels.



Have you heard my hymn "What A Friend We Have In Google"?


Anonymous said...

i think it,s a great post.