Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Google Enigma

The most interesting post I read today came from Nicholas Carr (link) who cited a worthwhile article from strategy + business titled The Google Enigma.

"Google’s protean appearance is not a reflection of its core business. Rather, it stems from the vast number of complements to its core business. Complements are, to put it simply, any products or services that tend be consumed together. Think hot dogs and mustard, or houses and mortgages. (For a general discussion of complements, see my column “Complementary Genius,” s+b, Summer 2006.) For Google, literally everything that happens on the Internet is a complement to its main business. The more things that people and companies do online, the more ads they see and the more money Google makes. In addition, as Internet activity increases, Google collects more data on consumers’ needs and behavior and can tailor its ads more precisely, strengthening its competitive ad­vantage and further increasing its income. As more and more products and services are delivered digitally over computer networks — entertainment, news, software programs, financial transactions — Google’s range of complements is expanding into ever more industry sectors."



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