Who’ll Take On Google?

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Robert X. Cringely, in his I, Cringely, blog at PBS writes about the final days of Google. This is sort of what I’ve been saying: that the company who’ll take on Google hasn’t come into existence yet, or at least haven’t revealed themselves. I figure we will know in the next 4 years, that they’ll reveal themselves in that time frame. They may come into existence in, say, 2, but we may not realize their power. Did anyone think that of Google? I used to be a search engine webmaster and my money was on Excite, a competitor.

However, Cringely gives a brilliant, must-read analysis of why he thinks the ursurpers will come from within the ranks of Google itself, unlike the past, with IBM and Microsoft. I’d normally not think this, but with Google stockpiling so much talent and being supportive of employees to pursue ideas, it’s quite possible. But IBM has long-supported creative ideas. What’s the difference here? Read Cringely to find out.

Ultimately, I don’t agree, for reasons I will never divulge online. (Oooh, conspiracy.) I will say, in lieu, though, that Cringely’s hypothesis is based on the assumption that all the thinkers in the world work only for Google, that there’s no one with any brains anywhere else – which is obviously not true. The usurpers, to my recollection, have never come “from within”, and I really think that “this time” wil not be any different. There’s also an implicit assumption that you absolutely must have a lot of capital to defeat Google, and I don’t think that this is a necessity, if they have an innovative idea – one that will probably bring the world closer together, enhancing the global village.

Due to the expected surge in the mobile space, I strongly believe that the next contender for world tech domination will come from that domain. It’ll likely be a company that comes up with some extremely innovative technology for mobile phones/ PDAs that will impress enough users to help build yet another seeming monopoly. And they’ll go on a buying binge just like IBM, Microsoft and Google did, eating up smaller companies having great technology.

While European or Asian companies might stand a chance at the usurper role for a mobile technology, I still think that the new emperor will be an American company, or a Canadian one with American backing (I’m Canadian).

If you force me to be specific, I’ll say VoIP/ WiFi/ cellular convergence combined with presence/ following, RFID/ NFC-enabled payments, mobile video, environmental sensors for crowdsensing applications. Or, at least, those are the peripheral aspects. In this case, I think “the company” will come up with the “ideal” mobile communications platform. They might start with mobile local search, make it a hit, then start buying up the other technologies, as necessary. For this reason, the usurper might even be a mobile phone manufacturer with a scalable applications platform. What do you think?

Venn diagram - Usurping Google

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