Really enjoyed your post @derekbrown. As Google already is, they must fight to maintain the value that they have built for their market. But what I believe sets them apart from the Yahoos and Microsofts that they have surpassed with leaps and bounds is that they are risking being innovative to add new value to what they offer. Google understands that to be successful in the tech world they must maintain value but also add value. For more on this notion of “adding value” see my recent post, How are you going to “add new value” to your eLearning?
Originally posted by Derek Brown on LinkedIn How To Dethrone Google, and Who Will Likely Do It (Hint: Not Facebook).
In case you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last 24 hours, Google recently released news regarding a new pilot program for their driverless cars. This news of Google’s innovative big idea was posted on their blog, sandwiched between posts about machine learning and trends that they’ve found in recent searches. There’s no doubt about it:
Google is one of the most innovative, progressive, and dominant companies that capitalism has ever seen.
So can others compete? That part is fairly easy. Look at the likes of Yahoo and Microsoft. They are still in the advertising, search, and mail sectors, competing for second place. They are alive and sustaining, even under the giant’s shadow.
But merely competing isn’t enough. Someone will dethrone Google, not just compete with them. For every Goliath, there is a David.
The question is not “can others compete”, but rather “how to dethrone Google?”. Here are my thoughts on the question, one that has plagued me for years now:
- Change the rules of engagement. No one will beat Google at their own game of traditional search, a great email client, aggregation of video content, or a robust advertising stream. It simply won’t happen. They are too far ahead in terms of talent and data. Microsoft wasn’t dethroned; the ruling kingdom changed. This same idea can, and likely will, happen to Google.
- Embrace the things that favor the underdog. Two things work in the underdog’s favor: the unpredictability of future innovation and the explosion of mobile computing. The prevalence of mobile computing is changing the way people search, and no one has yet to completely figure this one out…including Google. Much less there are still complete industries that are being born that could radically change Google’s clutch on the world of data. From natural language processing to computational search to artificial intelligence to wearable computing, there is still a lot of innovation to be had. All it takes is one game-changer to allow someone else to compete.
- Big ideas will outweigh and outlast small, incremental changes. There are companies that are trying to iterate on an existing idea who are trying to compete with Google. This category includes the Yahoos and Microsofts of the world. Hear me loud and clear: they are still playing Google’s game, and have already lost. Yahoo Mail and Bing may pay some bills, but they are not revolutionizing the industry any time soon. What will carry a lot more weight in battling Google’s iron clasp on the internet will be big, revolutionary ideas. Artificial intelligence, wearable technology, and similar ideas are radical game changers.
The Fun Part: Who Can Do It? My Picks for Contenders
Whoa. Wait. Hear me out. Watson is one of those game-changing ideas in an innovative field (artificial intelligence). And to boot, IBM knows it. If IBM were to start thinking about the consumer market with regards to Watson’s technology, it could be industry-shifting. Think about having the power of Watson in a consumer phone, tablet, or wearable. Plus, the idea of a legacy company coming back from behind in the 4th quarter is a great story. They know how to handle data, they know what it’s like to be on top of the industry, and they have ambition to possibly get them there. Hopefully they’re not just focusing on the enterprise market.
This isn’t just some off the wall pick, nor is Wolfram’s ambitions simply creating a search engine for computational queries. Check out this site regarding the Wolfram language or view it in action. Knowledge based programming is another big idea that could change the way that the game is played. Now, no company can be formed based on the proliferation of a language. That said, the creators of a language have a significant advantage in how to use it for economic gain. The idea of not just holding and controlling the source of knowledge, but holding and controlling the display of it is completely revolutionary.
You can disagree with me vehemently (in the comments!), but Twitter has much more staying power than Facebook. Real-time search is going to be the next big thing in terms of finding information. Twitter has the capacity and data to execute this idea well. They have a social graph of sorts, but more importantly, they have access to real-time data. Twitter leverages the mobile platform extraordinarily well, and are positioned to to take advantage of the platform better than any other company at this point. The question for Twitter is whether or not they have the next leap-and-bounds innovation in mind, or if they are are simply making small incremental changes on their existing platform. The answer to that question remains to be seen.
So what do you think? Can Google be dethroned? Who will do it?