When I see quotes like the following from senior scientists at Google I am reminded why it is inevitable that one day the company will be caught unawares by someone much smaller and nimbler:
“Every time, they have maybe one small lever that they suspect is huge.
They donâ€™t realise that [all] they have [is] a better door latch on a
[Boeing] 747. Now all they have to do is build a 747. None of those
ideas Iâ€™ve seen are compelling.”
It is often said that the rival that will overthrow Google is only a
click away. [Google’s Louis] Monier is sceptical. “Itâ€™s very difficult to innovate on
the scale that we do,” he said. “You need a really radical idea, and
need to execute it well.”
Right, thanks for the reminder Louis. What rivals need to do is stop trying to build 747s and recognize that Google is the Boeing of search. It is big, it is fond of opportunities that require infrastructure and engineering scale, and it is increasingly unattuned to other ways of doing things. There remain, however, plenty of ways to travel, most of which that don’t require you to be a world expert at building jumbo jets.