It is fascinating to watch the media, analysts or financial whiz kids try to explain how and why Google does anything. How they enjoy the “failures” or run through the “threats” to the company. “Google just can’t seem to get it together in messaging apps” writes one guru. “Privacy issues could damage its advertising revenue” another. “Pixel phones never got market share” proclaims a title.
How little they know.
The only way to explain how Google does business is to imagine you are a two year old child. And Google is the adult. Not even any adult, a really smart and fit adult. Say you are playing catching and throwing a ball. You can hardly manage it, the ball falls out of your hands, you fall over trying to run to it. And Google will pretend to be at the same level of incompetence as you are for a while just to keep you happy.
We get glimpses of this at times. But Google is a pretty smart adult and doesn’t rush into giving things away. When pressed by the stockmarket or developments it releases something that wows us. Or something to distract attention. Take Apple’s privacy war for example. First move was the Pixel 3a. Easy. Destroy Apple’s margin by bringing the whole smartphone market to a much lower average price point. But Apple insisted. No problem. Google doesn’t need old fashioned methods of tracking users. Just burn the whole thing. Google has tools to track which are far more advanced. Much like the stupid European GDPR fuss, Google will always come out on top. It now announced it is reducing its cut of Play Store app and digital goods sales from 30% to 15% for the first $1 million of revenue a creator earns each year. Big deal! That will be around 600 million of just 1.6 billion in revenue a year. Drop in the pond. Whatever keeps the kids happy.
Because it is only pretending to be dumb when playing catch with you.
I reckon Google is 2-5 years ahead of most of its competitors in most important fields of whatever it does. And even if it isn’t, it can make up for it with other tools or knowledge to the same end. It is just carefully cherry picking so that we don’t all figure it out. Elon Musk is a brash three year old in comparison. He makes a big fuss about buying into cryptocurrencies. Google founders made moves in the same field long ago quietly. Because with the amount of data and the AI they have, they know things a long long time before anyone else.
So when online booking for hotels was announced recently, free for all, and retail shopping….soon free for the whole planet, well you see where it is going. Google decides when and how to release tools that can totally dominate. Don’t mess with the adult or they will get out the adult tools.
Feel free to drop the ball now.