When the Golden State Warriors got Kevin Durant we were impressed. What was already a super star team just got even …super starier. The Warriors couldn’t even hide the fact as he single handedly won matches and LeBron tried to defend 2 or even 3 players on his own at times. As the finals ended today, (4-1 exactly as I had publicly predicted by the way) I find it hard not to draw parallels with Google.
Between Google and Facebook, online advertising has demolished the old names in media. Hundreds of million of dollars are flowing every day in a new direction. But only Google has the intelligence to handle it well. It isn’t wasting time in messaging apps because messaging apps do not contain much useful information from which to figure out what ads to show you. Facebook has the 4 most resource hungry apps for Android. Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp and of course the Facebook app itself. For no good reason. As they integrate Instagram with Facebook more and more, you can’t help but wonder why we even need four separate apps from Facebook. While they experiment with screwing up your timelines, Google is getting the job done.
Google keeps improving Android at such an amazing pace, even now, that Apple only has to copy a few features every time to manage to entertain its audience. Which is sort of the point. Nobody was anywhere near Google in Artificial Intelligence. Yet Google didn’t launch anything magic until it needed to. It could blow everyone out of social tomorrow. Some of us remember that day when our Google searches showed us what our friends were doing and what they thought of our Google searches. It was a freak day, maybe I was on some A/B test. I saw what Google could do if they used more of what they know about me and my friends.
Google will not though. It is not about having 4 All NBA players on your team. It is about hiding their talent unless it becomes necessary. If Golden State blew out the Cavs today by 160-80 everyone would be furious. Call it sportsmanship if you like, I call it clever business sense. Basic human understanding. Nobody likes a freak. Society does not tolerate outliers. Business and government tend to target whoever does too well. Google will never make a fuss about buying a Kevin Durant. They got Ray Kurzweil and didn’t make a fuss. He got natural language recognition working way better than everyone else. Siri is a joke but Google is making sure you don’t feel bad about it. In fact it is quite likely that Apple and Facebook end up borrowing technology from Google in order not to fail; they are now officially too big to fail.
It takes a little bit more to make a Champion. And more after that if you don’t want everyone to hate the Champion.