As I watched the champions get annihilated by the Raptors this morning over breakfast I had yesterday’s Senate hearings in mind. Steph Curry only got 3 out of 12 but didn’t look worried. Much like Sundar Pichai yesterday.
Here’s what happened NBA-side in summary: The Warriors gathered not one, not two but five All Stars. These people are basically statistical outliers, freaks that make a difference when it matters. There have been maybe a hundred such homo sapiens since basketball started and the Warriors have five. So they dominate. They dominated so badly last year that a lot of us were put off the game. So what did the NBA do about it? For starters they tweaked the schedule to help the Lakers just to keep up the LeBron narrative. A bit like the stock market pumps up Apple every so often even though Apple has hardly no technological advantage. Just so it looks like Google has a competitor. Then they tweaked the rules to help teams that play in the paint. Then they gave refs instructions on how to execute the rules so as to give the Warriors a harder time. Not to get too technical, but the NBA did everything it could to make this years championship more fun. They even asked the Warriors to tone it down.
It is pretty similar to the Google situation. The company has created not just 5 but an almost infinite number of All Star technologies. Worse still, they have tools that ensure they stay ahead of the pack. They just need to choose when they will uncover what. Not to look too good, that will increase calls for regulation and intervention. The Golden State Warriors are following this example. All year they bench key players with phony excuses to rest them, or simply play as if it is practice. They don’t even use their best game plays all year unless they need them. Maybe one or twice here and there, like…well, like a Google experiment.
Is this bad? I have written about the Google monopoly since Google started and my position is the same. It is the kindest dictator we could ask for. I would much rather Google decides on major issues than Donald Trump or most other politicians. Is it fair? Business was never fair. Should we change it? I don’t see how and to be honest I don’t see why. Much like the NBA, maybe tweak the rules a bit so that it is more fun to watch at least…