Larry Page took to Google’s official blog yesterday to declare that “G is for Google,” and went on to tell the world that “Alphabet Inc. will replace Google Inc.”
If you have not done so, please go read Larry’s announcement in it’s full context, available here.
If you have read Larry’s comments – I’d like to extract a few quotes here and focus your attention on some of the words and phrases that stuck out to me… And keep in mind that I’ve been known to compare Google to an organized crime family to help make my points.
“…You need to be a bit uncomfortable to stay relevant.”
Telling us that technology companies struggle for relevance, Larry asserts that revolutionary ideas and uncomfortableness are necessary elements for relevancy. While that may be true in emerging markets and technology sectors, Google has more brand recognition than Xerox or IBM, so there is no way that Google has struggled for relevance.
For clarity, perhaps Larry could have consulted his aforementioned billion-plus users making use of “Google Maps, YouTube, Chrome, and Android” each day.
Larry’s decision to start such an important message with such a critical stance and implied disappointment proves one thing to me; Larry and Sergey are “over it.”
More on that a bit later.
“Alphabet is mostly a collection of companies.”
Understanding the historical significance of Google’s growth makes it easy to see why competing organizations have scrutinized the company, going so far as to claim that the Internet-based conglomerate has monopolized Internet services and search.
While the FTC has cleared Google in the past, ongoing claims are surely being submitted to the FTC and similar organizations. Investigations are ongoing and while they champion privacy issues (mainly because they’re now required to do so) – Google has implements some of the most pervasive methods for interacting with their users in recent years.
The creation of this umbrella company allows for Google to diversify and show the world that they’re not just a technology company. And really, I mean that they can stand behind that claim in a federal court when having to defend their upcoming moves.
This became abundantly clear to me when Larry used his post to educate readers on how he intended to use the phrase “far afield.” Thanks, Larry, for confirming too that you “can run things independently that aren’t very related.”
A judge or committee will surely revisit that in the coming years. It’ll be much easier to recall that statement instead of having to shell out millions to settle those pesky FTC complaints.
This newer Google is a bit slimmed down…
The strongest statements that I took away from Larry’s announcement had to do with Google, Inc. itself. On two separate occasions in his post, Larry highlighted how the “new” Google would be “slimmed down.” For a company that has built a reputation around a culture encouraging side projects, ideas and developments, a slimmer, more efficient company represents a fundamental shift in ideology.
While newly appointed CEO Sundar Pichai may be of the right management style to see that through, I cannot help but to expect a bit of turnover for the fundamental Google purists who have long championed the organization’s larger efforts.
Larry went on to compliment Pichai, stating that Sundar is doing, saying and suggesting things that he himself would have in the past. In my own words, the message I interpreted there is that Larry is out of the Google business and looking to move on – but wants to protect his assets in someone that’ll represent a bit of an organizational autopilot for years to come.
Why? Because it’s a fantastic money making machine.
“Sergey and I are seriously in the business of starting new things.”
Aside from the fact that Sergey really hasn’t said anything himself in this announcement, it’s again clear that the Google founders as we’ve known them are simply over it.
Alphabet represents a financial opportunity for them to move money and investments around, improve Google’s bottom line results and use the financial gains to make additional moves outside of pure search and technology.
At the end of the day, I applaud that effort and the entire business strategy makes sense. Just don’t take everyone for a bunch of fools, Larry. G is not for Google — G is for Greed.