Capitalism, Domination, Innovation, Microsoft, Google…

Bill Gates is not a bad guy & yet Microsoft got a lot of heat for curtailing innovation by using their dominance in Operating Systems. The nature of corporations & capitalism is such that one needs to push the envelope & dominate. Imagine, telling your Vice President of Sales – “Get me only a little revenue”. Of course, you go all out & you end up with ideas like share of stomach.

In the technology world, anybody can take market share from anybody. Google went underneath the radar & took share away from Yahoo & Microsoft. That leads to an Only The Paranoid Survive mentality.

That’s the reason Google started Google Plus- the perceived threat of social on its search dominance. Google is a great company & is doing a lot of good (E.g. Glass, Fiber & Self Driving Cars). They are also reducing the dominance of others in adjacent markets because of strategic considerations.

But is Google’s dominance in search going to curtail innovation on the internet & search? Does it matter if they dominate as long as the customers get what they want?

Yes – if they dominate too much, they can adversely impact customer experience to a great extent. For e.g. because of challenges on mobile advertising , they could stuff so many ads on the phone to really impact the user experience. See this example search on the mobile, where >85% of the screen is ads.

(Updated on July 1 2013: See this link for more analysis & this discussion at HN)

Google Mobile Search Results- Feb 20 2013

They could also reduce innovation in downstream content & application services because of the opportunity & conflict to own the second click

Finally, see this great perspective from Steve Jobs on Domination, Innovation, Internet & Microsoft starting at 2:45

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