Running The Table

I hate it when companies try to run the table on a market.

Like Microsoft tried with desktop computing.

Like Apple tried with mobile computing.

Like Facebook tried with social networking.

And like Google is trying with the entire fucking Internet.

The good news that the market stops them. Apple and the Internet stopped Microsoft. Google stopped Apple. Twitter stopped Facebook.

Who will stop Google?

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. jason wright

    i thought you loved GOOG. what does ‘running the table’ mean?p.s. GOOG is a menace.

      1. jason wright

        billiards? right.i thought it might have been a poker thing. thanks.

        1. Dave Pinsen


    1. fredwilson

      its a love hate relationshiprunning the table means winning it all

      1. jason wright

        all empires fall.

        1. fredwilson

          let’s hope so

          1. Steve_Dodd

            Fred, do you really want Google to fall?

          2. fredwilson

            Not fall. But not control everything either

          3. Jah1349

            This weekend I read an interesting article in Techcrunch by Frederic Lardinois (…. The article focused on the fact that Apple fell to Google’s because it didnt have enough dominant software services.This article got me thinking that Apple and Microsoft might merge one day. Microsoft brings the needed software to Apple’s hardware. Maybe Google will be stopped by AppleSoft haha. Thoughts?

          4. abhisshack

            wishful thinking much , aha πŸ˜‰ but nope nada , Nyet, Nein, “Googlezon” from the short film “EPIC 2014” will stop AppleSoft πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›

      2. JamesHRH

        Its a founder personality defect / blind spot. I don’t think it applies to Apple, btw.In essence, Bill, Larry & Mark see the domination of a market as a protective strategy. They are playing defence on their position in the market. They share the same personality, which includes a mindset that does the simplest, most effective thing (which is what got them to where they are, btw).Having no competitors is the logical (if near sighted) answer to defending your position.Professional marketers know this is a road to ruin. So do customer or cost oriented genius founders (Bezos, Dell, et al).Google will end up being what it always was – search. FB will end up being what is always has been – friends. Just like MS is what it always was – PC SW tools.Don’t stress it Fred.

  2. Dave Pinsen

    Does the market always stop them? Over the weekend, Steve Sailer blogged about how Paul Krugman expressed that view to him concerning the concert ticket business (“Shadowy evil robots victimize poor Ticketmaster”), but Sailer was skeptical.

    1. fredwilson

      i think it does unless the government hands a company a monopoly

      1. Dave Pinsen

        Concerts are an interesting case then.Coincidentally, I just quoted Benedict Evans in an article about the boom in mobile.

        1. fredwilson

          he’s great. i really love his blog.

          1. Carl Rahn Griffith

            Ditto. He’s very astute.

      2. ShanaC

        i don’t – diamonds were a monopoly for close to a 100 years. If you control the supply, governments will not be able to stop consumers from coming to you

  3. awaldstein

    I’ve been guilty of this Fred.We take what leverage and momentum we have and run with it.

    1. Dave Pinsen

      Does that mean Lulu Tonics is going to branch out into Bloody Mary mix next?

  4. Pius Binder

    I think facebook stopped twitter (bringing to mind the multiple fake accounts), apart form that I agree πŸ™‚

    1. fredwilson

      that’s fine. the point really isn’t who stopped who. its that the market stopped the attempted run.

      1. Pius Binder

        At this point I am just winged with all the new products/services google is going (trying) to offer. There is no one up there, but thin air.

  5. Carl Rahn Griffith

    What was ‘the final straw’, Fred?Personally, I’ve never understood Schmidt’s provenance for the role.

    1. fredwilson

      Google I/O

      1. Carl Rahn Griffith

        Cool. Now I understand. Ta.

        1. John Best

          just realised that’s the same link as above. πŸ™‚

    2. JamesHRH

      Schmidt is not relevant to this discussion.

      1. Carl Rahn Griffith

        He’s just a figurehead?

  6. LIAD

    where does market dominance end and running the table begin? surely it’s an arbitrary line.Is being against running the table a profit maximisation strategy or something you find morally wrong. and if so, porqoui?

    1. fredwilson

      i suspect both. when one company owns the entire market, it makes it hard for startups. which is my business. but in general, i am against monopoly power.

      1. LIAD

        even if you’re the monopolist?

        1. fredwilson

          yup. i would not want to be a monopolist.

          1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

            until you become one πŸ™‚

          2. fredwilson

            Anyone can opt out any time they want

          3. btrautsc

            I think its natural for most of us in the startup scene to root for the underdog. We’re wired differently. Unfortunately (actually quite fortunately for the select few of us), occasionally the underdog becomes the champ. And at that point, they’ve cobbled together a team that is full of guys who want to win. All they care about is winning. They have shareholders who demand they win and increase EPS. They have a board who never says, “Sure, we’ll let XYZ keep 28% of the market” – they say, “that 28% is equal to X many more billion, and we need to keep our dividend up for the street.”but yeah, I wouldn’t want to be a monopolist either. F the Heat.

  7. Colin Daniels

    Fred I agree that monopolies are bad for consumers and innovation but as a VC I don’t understand why you wouldn’t want the companies that you’ve invested in to dominate their respective markets?

    1. fredwilson

      you can’t have your cake and eat it too.monopoly markets are bad for startupsand startups is our business

      1. takingpitches

        Monopoly markets are not good for consumers.But for startups, it depends,Monopoly markets create blind spots for what the dominating company sees and writes off as toys (and which don’t move the needle for it). Search, user-generated content, alternate browsers all arose that way.Key is to get over the phase where you hear from sources of capital (or are able to bypass it): Why won’t X just do it if it is such a good idea? I remember when you used to hear it all the time about Microsoft (leading to a bunch of stagnation) and then you stopped hearing it.

  8. John Best

    In every case, the stopping is done intentionally or unintentionally by the organisation themselves. There seems to be a peak level of hubris, where your vision of reality becomes so distorted because of the distance you’re viewing it from. With Microsoft, it was the visceral attempt to control the desktop form factor. That hunger and attempt to place a wall around a technology backfired. The walls that keep competition out actually encouraged migration from within. So it goes. The harder a business tries to control and dominate an industry, the less it appeals to savvy users. The less the appeal, the further the discontent spreads, (as the influencers switch, and the followers follow) and the more attractive alternatives seem.Interestingly, the thing that I think Google is now trying to dominate is no particular technology, or even an industry, but data itself. Rationally, I’m impressed that they moved beyond attempting to dominate search. What’s the death knell of an attempt to control data? Dissatisfaction on censorship, privacy, walled-gardens. The rumblings are already there.(coincidentally as I write this, I’ve just received the following tweet: #Google slogan downgraded from “Don’t be evil” to a more realistic “Try not to kill anybody”. – credit @kylotan)

    1. Carl Rahn Griffith

      We are in a very unique industry – it is so easy to move one’s allegiance from one app/environment to another. Very little loyalty and lots of churn – zombie users, etc.Look how people are now almost embarrassed to refer to their Facebook account. Zeitgeist has never before been so nomadic/transient.

      1. falicon

        This is what I worry and think about more than any tech., business deal, or feature that I work on…too many people are just building things to be popular and lack true/core value to the users…falling into that trap is *super* easy and scares the hell out of me every day…

        1. ShanaC

          because it is cheaper to be popular than provide value

          1. falicon

            It’s like playing a slot machine…simple and sometimes (though rare) pays off big…

          2. ShanaC

            yup – playing slots in the short term is much cheaper than building value

          3. laurie kalmanson

            Recent New Yorker mag on tech says things like ordering meals on your phone are handy conveniences and noting more; puts out the challenge of solving real problemsRelated Medicare charge data for hospitals publishedIn health care this is a big deal…

          4. ShanaC

            i missed that nyer article (aka the innovation issue) – does someone have a way for me to read it now

          5. baba12

            know what issue or name of article?

          6. ShanaC

            personal guess – the innovation issue

    2. fredwilson


    3. takingpitches

      Dead on comment.G is about data. The debate about data portability in Europe and other non-US jurisdictions is a big threat to them.

    4. Nick Grossman

      that’s great. with this weekend’s times article on open data in mind, as well as california’s proposed “right to know act” which would require companies to disclose what data it keeps on users, I just put this post up:… i love the idea that the new big challengers will take an open strategy to disrupt FB and Google.

    5. kirklove

      “The walls that keep competition out actually encouraged migration from within.”This can be said about nearly everything in life. Not just tech. Wonderfully said.

    6. Richard

      The google fuel is its spirit and creative drive, When (if) this wanes, so will google.When their leadership looks like that of proctor and gamble, you’ll know their spirit has moved on.

      1. Dave Pinsen

        Why the swipe at P&G? It’s a great company. Its shares are up > 4,000% over the last four decades and it keeps coming out with new and innovative products (e.g., the Swiffer).

        1. Richard

          Given their resources McDonald was a Disaster

      2. CJ

        Hmmm… you know what you’re predicting about Google is what I feel we’re witnessing with Apple.

    7. CJ

      The Dark Ages killed the last attempt to dominate data, it will probably take a pandemic to so again.

  9. SallyBroom

    Schmidt was on BBC radio yesterday and listening made me so mad. He tried to make out the recent tax outrage was not a big deal and completely down-played Google’s interest in user data. It was bizarre and made me think a lot less of both Eric Schmidt and Google’s so called ‘don’t be evil’ mantra.(For anyone interested you can listen again on iPlayer)

    1. totnuckers

      Change your tax law, Google like any other companies are accountable to their shareholder they have no choice but to maximize profit in any legal ways.And beside if your government really cares about big companies evading tax. Why not target all the companies that employs double irish arrangement? Why focus only on Google? Cynical in me tells me that this is just one of those anti-Google smear campaign by the lobbyist paid by Google’s competitor.

  10. iamronen

    isn’t Twitter already also pointed in that direction? is that OK because you have vested interest in it?isn’t “running the table” a subtly built in imperative into financially driven corporations? isn’t that their utimate expression?what does your “hate” mean when you invest yourself so deeply (as you do) in Google?I appreciate Google technologies but hate what they are doing with them. I don’t use ANYTHING Google that requires me to login. I’ve also started searching with DuckDuckGo instead of Google. I warn everyone I encounter about identified assocciation with Google in any way.Microsoft has been completely out of my life for a few years (I hate that they pushed back in when they bought Skype).I’ve never owned/used an Apple product.I don’t have a Facebook acount.Do we have to live in such a sweeping and destructive cycle of innovation. Can’t we as participants (consumers) of services do something to protect them from their self-inflicted destructive ambitions?

    1. fredwilson

      i don’t think Twitter is headed there. they are working hard just to stay in the game.

      1. jacopogio

        well, Twitter has already “destroyed” 2 excellent apps: Summify + Tweetdeck with out replacing them with better service…

        1. ShanaC

          i blame facebook on the tweetdeck destruction – still looking for a replacement

          1. jacopogio

            sorry, I am late, but it is the Twitter control over Tweetdeck that put that service out, not FB

      2. Steve_Dodd

        Really? Every startup’s goal is to dominate their space. When possible, they’ll all do whatever they can to get there. It wasn’t to long ago everyone was cheering GOOG on against the “Evil Empire”. Now, thanks to those same people, here we are arguing about GOOG becoming it (the Evil Empire) themselves. I believe it’s a cycle and the only question is when they go down, how many will they take with them.

        1. William Mougayar

          Hey Steve, Long time no see ! But the impact of a Google dominance is far greater than a small startup being a leader in a given segment.

          1. Steve_Dodd

            Hey William! True point but 10 (or something like that) years ago, that’s all google was as well.

  11. William Mougayar

    Yup. We started that rant on Albert’s blog last week:…I believe the Google I/O cacophony of announcements is a reflection of how Google’s internal organization is now a hodgepodge bazaar of technologies & services. At least Microsoft had clearly defined business units & products. Google’s organization is confusing at best. It makes it more difficult to pin them down. They are like moving sands.I’m not sure what part of “Don’t be Evil” Google doesn’t understand anymore. Maybe users can stop them. How about a Boycott Google day.

    1. fredwilson

      it would be hard to boycott google. that’s a fucking problem.

      1. jacopogio

        what if instead of boycott we would all supply GGL, FB with loads of “erroneous data” ?That would be also a threat, no ?

      2. Vineeth Kariappa

        Thought u loved Android. Google makes decent products. Why the hate?

        1. fredwilson

          Over reaching behavior

          1. Vineeth Kariappa

            No offense in this comment; Google is pretty good at what they do, You are good at what you do. If some1 told u to stop just cause you are very good, would you?

          2. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

            Good good Vs Evil good is the answer

          3. Bugsnuffer

            Wait, let’s get straight on the ‘what they do’ bit: they serve ads. Nothing else they have ever done has produced a whisp of revenue. Now if you want to refer to all the things the purport to do, please do, but add the word so we know we are around the corner in Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, talking to the puppets…

          4. kidmercury

            they have other revenue sources. brush up on your research, slub.signed, sir genius

          5. Bugsnuffer

            Yeah, that all added together are less than Apple makes in a week, you floppy footed nitwit…

          6. kidmercury

            thanks for admitting that i was right and you were wrong about google having other revenue sources. you’re making progress, slub! πŸ™‚

          7. Bugsnuffer

            I never said they didn’t have insignificant sources of revenue. You must be single, or have a wife whose been through electro shock therapy 10x. ‘I was right…!! [kazoo fanfare]..’Seriously, Dude, if you are vying for a new show called Dumbest Troll, you got my vote…!

          8. kidmercury

            here is an exact quote from you earlier in this thread:Nothing else they have ever done has produced a whisp of, looks like you did say they didn’t have insignificant sources of addition to brushing up on your research, you might want to brush up on your memory, slub.signed,sir genius

          9. Bugsnuffer

            What percentage of their revenue is from ads? Quick, you are so well versed (even though you’ve been talking out of your butt on everything on this thread). This link says 97% just 4 years ago.

          10. Vineeth Kariappa

            the last 4 years, 10 new billion dollar companies, google made the highest selling mobile OS. r u on crack?

          11. abhisshack

            @codeslubber:disqus is a Troll , Please don’t feed the Troll

          12. kidmercury

            slub, you stated they had “not a whisp” of revenue from other services. i informed you in front of everyone else here that you were objectively wrong. you tried to say you weren’t but then i quoted you and proved once again that you were wrong in front of everyone. now you are citing their financials which illustrate they have more than 1 revenue source which is all we were discussing here. thanks for helping prove that i was right and you were wrong, slub.

          13. Bugsnuffer

            One thing is clear to anyone reading this thread: you are either 5 or your Ma and Pa picked a place to squat that had a leaded well.

          14. abhisshack

            and you are a 40 years old virgin and still living in your mama’s basement ignoring your personal hygiene and shadow fighting with kids online or offline because your same age group rejected you to be in their group. so out of frustration you hide behind your only friend , your computer and start name calling any one you find online. I Pity You old man

          15. Bugsnuffer

            Wait, and your brilliant read on this thread is that the author ‘must be jealous’ because if he had ‘invested lots in google it would have made him a ‘handsome return.’ Brilliant analysis. No one else figured that out. They were all waiting for you to show up with the key.

          16. totnuckers

            lol, codeslubber getting owned by kid

          17. Bugsnuffer

            Ya. BTW, sure you’re right on too about your bloating and diarrhea coming from those awful pesticides… lol.

          18. totnuckers

            oh now your snooping eh? lol,

          19. Bugsnuffer

            I love know it alls who bray like donkeys at others who end up, um, knowing nothing…. they used to have a political party for your like, too bad it’s gone now….

          20. ShanaC

            you @kidmercury:disqus – can we stop the namecalling?

          21. kidmercury

            i didn’t think i was namecalling as his screen name is codeslubber? lol but sure, i will address him as sir codeslubber, since he is addressing me as sir genius πŸ™‚

          22. abhisshack


          23. ShanaC

            i don’t care, you and @codeslubber:disqus are starting to both degenerate into trolls

          24. Vineeth Kariappa

            “they serve ads”; i.e. 70% of a 34 Billion $ market. They don need anything else! And, they do tell the entire world what they are doing. In fact they are the most vocal, one of the few companies who experiment on products, if the product fails, they shut it n move on. They don need any other revenue source! I don think that was the topic, the discussion was which company would stop google controlling the net and I asked Fred, why he wanted them stopped.stop bein an cant sell hardware forever, google CAN sell services!!!!

          25. Bugsnuffer

            Wait. You completely flip over and admit that I am right and they do only one thing profitably but I’m the ass? Faulkner has a passage in Sartoris where he writes an encomium for the mule. Happier to be in his company than yours.Just read your own comment. It falls apart from its lack of sense. You scream at me that they don’t need another biz since ads are so profitable then you end by saying Google can sell services.You and Cap’n Mercury should do a startup together. I’d like to put cameras in the room and make a reality show out of it. It would be so painfully funny it would probably collapse a lung.

          26. Vineeth Kariappa

            The entire f’in world knows google makes crazy advert money. I never contradicted that, ever. Where does “flippin over” come?Google makes ad money, they put tht in2 diff. ideas! Is that so tough to understand?

          27. Bugsnuffer

            Apple makes money from: ipods, iPhones, ipads, macs, MacBooks, iTunes, apps, Pages, Keynote, Logic, FinalCut, yada yada yada… when any one of those things shows the tiniest decline haters come yodeling. You admit that Google is a monoculture and then say that’s perfectly fine and healthy. Shows what you know. Monocultures generally end up dead. And btw, that is implied in what Fred posted originally: look at the historical line he drew…

          28. Vineeth Kariappa

            ok. So, I get it. You are an apple boy, who just hates google cause you want to hate some1. ipod, mac, yada, yada, yada, sales are down…android whipped iphone, ipad.Google is the best at 1 thing. Never disagreed. But, what have they done with that? They own about 50% of the most visited sites and about 70% cumulative worldwide traffic. Google gets advert revenue, from multiple sites! This blog has analytics, and probably webmaster too!The topic here was to find an alternate to google, not compare with apple.

          29. Bugsnuffer

            Wow, so typical. You have to see everything as fitting your little cartoon. I prefer apple to google. I am not a fanboy.Oh while we’re on the topic, please also excuse yourself from the self-appointed office of topic guard. You’re not good at it, and it’s really not needed. But thanks.Finally, I am pretty firmly of the belief that an economy that is just made up of people hanging ads above turnstiles where people come and go to consume content the ad peddlers did not create is, um, fallow. πŸ™‚ Ads are a pestilence: they purport to allow you access to things for free (which should be free since the host has not paid for them either), but they steal your time and pollute your brain. I prefer a future in which real services are sold in a vast marketplace where the creators benefit. They are not serfs inside some dirt pen setup by the ad man.

          30. Vineeth Kariappa

            You are posting comments on an ad supported blog (revenue to charity). You use innumerable services for free, just cause of adverts. Don’t like ads, YOU CAN PAY NOW. Don’t wait for the “future”.

          31. Bugsnuffer

            I’m not waiting. I cut the cord. I don’t use sites that use ads (did not see the ones on here, maybe because AdBlock is doing its job, yay!)… You want to commerce in flesh. Get a pair of the glasses! Those are right next to your eyeball. That’s your future. Have fun there…

          32. Vineeth Kariappa

            Buy a life, discount at kwik e mart.

          33. Bugsnuffer

            You’re the one at quicky mart, minute man..

          34. ShanaC

            no the ads were cut

          35. ShanaC

            actually we killed the ads

          36. Vineeth Kariappa

            Just saw that. Analytics, API’s,webmaster remaining.

          37. Vineeth Kariappa


    2. John Best

      Is evil defined by the perpetrator, or the victim? Self-delusion under the banner of necessity, the greater good, or an overarching vision is a powerful argument.

    3. jason wright

      i’ve been on that road for some time now. no android, no gmail, no direct search. life is good.Eric Schmidt’s three wise monkeys mantra has become a mocking parody of his former self. he needs to look in the mirror.

      1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

        no droid & gmail I understand … what do you mean by ‘direct search’…you mean no google-search?

        1. jason wright

          i use startpage, and my ip address is not provided to google. it can’t map me — it doesn’t have an identity to profile. i like that.

          1. kidmercury

            have you ever visited a web site that uses google analytics or displays google ads? do you have cookies turned on in your browser?it’s very difficult to have a full-functioning internet experience while remaining anonymous.

          2. jason wright

            i’m not completely anonymous, but i make an attempt to reduce the volume of data google (or any other company) has.

          3. Cam MacRae

            ghostery ftw!

          4. Anne Libby

            (Naive question: how does private browsing help with this?)

          5. kidmercury

            with analytics and ads they’ve got your IP address. if you send someone a message who has a gmail account they can get some personal info on you, i.e. name and email. basically, they’ve got their claws everywhere; private browsing might slow them down a bit, but at the cost of hindering your internet experience.

          6. Anne Libby

            Thanks.(And ugh.)

      2. fredwilson

        I can do Firefox OS for mobile, DDG for search. What do you do for email?

        1. William Mougayar


          1. Aaron Klein

            Mailbox is a layer on google.

          2. William Mougayar

            Yikes. True.But at least it doesn’t have their ads.

          3. Aaron Klein

            Google ads don’t bother me. In fact, I recall that this blog is the home of the “I like to be tracked” post. I agreed with that post. And I trust Google. But it does strike me that Mailbox could easily build the back-end email infrastructure and gradually let customers switch over. Assign everyone a address first. Then let them add their own domain. Etc.

        2. ShanaC

          i’m unhappy these days with Firefox – I could do safari

          1. pointsnfigures

            meh, not a fan of safari. using Chrome, but open to something better. I have changed my default search engines to bing and duckduckgo.

        3. jason wright

          yahoo :-)Firefox OS for mobile – how is it, and what handset are you using now?

        4. Dale Allyn

          IMAP(S) mail on one’s own server is easy and reliable for me. I have three gmail accounts (2 more active than the third), one Yahoo! account (with two sub-accounts) and several IMAP(S) email accounts/addresses on my servers. By far, the latter are easiest to use, manage and most spam-free.

          1. LE

            Pretty much my thoughts (which I wrote before reading this comment).With respect to spam I consider it a vital sign (like a heartbeat) that lets me know everything is working correctly. I’ve been doing it this way (servers) since 1996.

          2. Dale Allyn

            Right, LE. Such things are often thought to be overly-technical by many, but in reality they’re really quite easy to manage. If a dedicated server is a bit much, VPS now provides a very reliable and affordable option for something more secure than shared servers.It seems there are several here in the thread that see self-managed mail as a comfortable and reliable option.

          3. LE

            I work with vps’s, (running vmware on our own colo servers) as well as vps’s through third parties that are using Xen or similar (for clients). My feeling is that if you go with a VPS you have another layer that you have to be concerned with doing things correctly.Everybody states in their marketing “we have this security thing all figured out” but as we have been shown this is not the case.Essentially the root user on the system can access anything on a VPS and in the case of a large provider you have many cooks in the kitchen that could be rogue or make a mistake. And they do. All the time. My feeling is that you have to limit the mechanics that can screw up and if you run your own server (once again this has to be done correctly or you have another set of issues to do with) you at least know who can conceivably access things. If you are using a VPS you are trusting a black box of people who work for someone who you have to trust. And what is the basis to trust them exactly? All this has to be weighed carefully but if you remove money from the equation (which it should be for a VC firm most certainly) all roads point to your own equipment.The biggest deal with all of this actually isn’t the cost it’s finding the right person or firm to manage it for you (the proverbial “find a good lawyer, plumber etc.” situation.Bottom line is all roads lead to “no shortcuts or free lunch”. To do something right takes planning, money and effort.

          4. Dale Allyn

            Of course I agree with you, LE. My mentioning of VPS was to point out there is ground between shared hosting and dedicated servers for those thinking about managing their own assets. I have all three types of servers mentioned, but fully dedicated servers are a bit costly for some.As for rogue employees, they can come from anywhere along the chain (including within the big services like Google, etc.).

          5. LE

            Right. This is like one of those pharmaceutical commercials that says “have a conversation with your doctor to see if vps is right for you”.And one of the reasons that it’s hard to glean off only internet reading whether some drawback or benefit matters or not. Totally depends on the specifics.

        5. Steven Willems

          There are plenty of options out there, but the question is, are they any better?As they are all relying on the same old protocols: SMTP, IMAP, POP3.It’s really time to change the email platform itself. Starting from a blank sheet. A platform build for mobile, with respect for our privacy, which is blazingly fast and drastically improving the email workflow. The notion of a ‘conversation’ should be at the heart of the platform. Attachments done like it should. And while we’re at it, why not reduce the capacity of servers needed to handle all the email? It could be green as well :)Going to make it happen @ #shamelessplug

      3. Aaron Klein

        I disagree with you but good for you for putting your personal action where your mouth is.

        1. fredwilson

          that’s what i want to do. firefox os, duck duck go, and something for email and calendaring. that last part is going to be the hardest for me

          1. Aaron Klein

            It would seem Marissa might win your heart back to Yahoo. πŸ˜‰

          2. fredwilson

            it would have to be with great products

          3. LE

            “something for email”You just have to get your own server setup and administered to handle both your personal email and USV’s. It will cost you more but ultimately you will have 100% control over everything and eliminate any concerns regarding privacy assuming everything is setup and administered correctly. There are of course some drawbacks to doing this (higher cost and security issues) but my feeling is that because you depend on email and the fact that the content of your email is sensitive (and a small percentage is really high value) it is a really good idea to do this.By the way google also blocks certain IP’s that they determine as bad from sending email to gmail accounts. Consequently there may be important mail that you aren’t even getting from time to time.

          4. Bugsnuffer

            Really? Calendaring is free on Apple machines and they won’t show you ads. Put up a mac mini for your business and you could have email and calendaring and a jabber server and a wiki for as many people as you want (or get one from one of the many hosted sites). And Apple’s SMTP server is pretty awesome, does dovecot which is true push: client is not asking if there’s mail every 60s.

          5. kidmercury

            yeah but then you’d have to be an iSlave which is even sillier than being a gSlave

          6. Bugsnuffer

            No, see you purchase the software, then you run it, on your own machine, and the seller is not listening in or reading all your emails. It’s an old model that was around for a while..

          7. kidmercury

            need to brush up on your research, slub. with iOS apple can remotely remove apps from “your” phone. don’t worry, though. apple’s cool and hip so it’s worth it.

          8. LE

            My feeling is that the evil that charges you for sometihng is one up on the evil that is free. (I’m using this to illustrate a point consistent with what you are saying. I don’t feel that either company is evil and I like apple and buy a ton of their products. Google I don’t like simply because they are arbitrary and there is no point of contact in general to get any resolution to any issue at all. Apple came about back when businesses worked in traditional ways. Actually before auto attendants, fax machines where you had a receptionist answering the phone. )

          9. kidmercury

            apple is a dishonest company, to anyone with the eyes that can see it. that they charge more only means they are shrewd about being dishonest, not that they are living up to something greater.

          10. LE

            “to anyone with the eyes that can see it”Why do you tag on something like this to make a point?Or this to another commenter:”need to brush up on your research”Or this to Fred:”twitter stopped facebook lol” (specifically the lol part).Or this:”as you are apparently naive enough to believe”I’m asking a serious question here.Stylistically how do you feel you are making your point stronger or are more convincing by doing this? I’m not saying that the rehetoric has to be up to diplomatic grade and bland but….

          11. kidmercury

            there are different reasons for each so i will share:1. i dislike apple, greatly. sort of like how i dislike republicans/democrats. i dislike the ideology more than its supporters.2. i think it is silly to say twitter stopped facebook. it genuinely made me chuckle.3. codeslubber took a tone that i thought was aggressive with me, which i enjoy and welcome, but when it comes, i will likely be aggressive back.

          12. LE

            In reply:#1 – Not saying anything wrong with disliking Apple. Point specifically is “anyone with the eyes that can see it” implies people who can’t must be stupid#2 – If you believe that Fred is well respected by people who take the time to read this blog, you have to believe that while it is ok to disagree with Fred (and he welcomes it) to laugh at what Fred says in that way “lol” is a bit disrespectful. Saying “I don’t agree because XYZ” seems to be a better way of making your point. To me at least. And if you don’t offer the “because” don’t assume everyone knows what you are thinking.#3 – I would say the same thing even if code slubber was taking that tone. Two wrongs don’t make a right as the saying goes.This is all fwiw (and I’m trying to say it in a nice way I’m not trying to be controlling or make you stutter).

          13. kidmercury

            1. it is just like politics. i think apple fans are blind, just like i think republicans/democrats are. doesn’t mean i dislike them or think they are wrong about everything. if they want to do business with known liars and frauds — see steve jobs options backdating scandal — that is their business.2. i think fred is a smart guy. you might think i’m okay or knowledgeable in some way, but if i said i was better than lebron james at basketball you might laugh. i would too because that is silly.3. i’m just playing with codeslubber, his comments cracked me up. i hope he stays around here more.

          14. LE

            “see steve jobs options backdating scandal”I so don’t care about shit like that. At all. I just want something that works for me. Call me selfish and self centered.”if they want to do business with known liars and frauds”I see you are completely not understanding the point that I am making here. That said if you do understand the point and want to phrase like that that’s definitely ok with me. I find it entertaining in the same way that watching the british parliment is entertaining.”i think fred is a smart guy.”However fresh kill comes on the internet every day. Fresh kill comes to read this blog everyday. A blog has a certain tone. Consequently speaking in a way that the fresh kill might not understand (or inside jokes etc.) could pollute the mind of that fresh kill. [1] By the way there is a school of thought out there that says that when you say to someone “you’re a smart guy” you are actually schmucking them. That’s definitely not what you are doing but I thought I would mention that.” i hope he stays around here more.”Then you have to do what super nanny would do:”Codeslubber, you crack me up and I thoroughly enjoy your comments, but (now start with the negatives and/or end with a smiley face etc.)”Starting a thought with a positive acts like lidocaine, allowing you to more easily stick in the needle and do the injection.[1] As I said in my first point though fine with me. You are definitely entitled to do what is in your best interest I wouldn’t want anyone telling me what to say.

          15. kidmercury

            I know you dont care about stuff like that, which is why I view you as blind, ignorant, and naive.

          16. LE

            I’m going to contemplate that tonight when I dine on roast duck, caviar with a glass of fine wine.

          17. kidmercury

            When you wake up one morning to find a lot of your money missing, and a lot of people like me quite a bit wealthier at the same time, you’ll acquire the wisdom to understand my comment. Some lessons can only be learned the hard way, and can only be learned when we are mature enough for them.

          18. LE

            You haven’t done a good job at all of convincing me why a strategy and a thought process that has worked for me since college (which is a long time ago) should be changed. Or for that matter what your qualifications are or results have been by following this path either.

          19. kidmercury

            that i have not convinced you — or, as i see it, that you are too willfully ignorant to be convinced — is of no concern to me. i have communicated the message which is my duty. the rest will be understood soon enough.enjoy your dinner.

          20. ShanaC

            thank you le

          21. pointsnfigures

            email should be easier than calendaring. I use iCal, and am not exactly happy with it.

          22. John Revay

            Fred, “the last part is going to be the hardest for me”Do you mean mail, calendar or both?

    4. Michael Shaler

      Revisionist history on Microsoft…:)

    5. ShanaC

      i suspect that it might be that way to us eternally – i think to their goal of organizing and owning data, there is probably something more defined internally

      1. pointsnfigures

        aren’t a lot of “costs sunk”?

        1. ShanaC

          yes, but i don’t think this a sunk cost as much as us being external observers

    6. CJ

      Privacy is secondary to knowledge, catch up or get mowed over. I’m pretty sure that is their philosophy and it dovetails nicely with “Don’t be evil” from their website point of view.

  12. vruz

    All together now. Firefox OS

    1. LaMarEstaba

      I’m really interested in Firefox OS and think that it would give us a good opportunity, but how viable would it be for us to switch to it? So far, what I’ve seen is that it’s priced right (or at least on phones that are priced right) for emerging markets and it’s usable…which in my mind isn’t enough for it to penetrate the American market.

    2. fredwilson

      I want to try it. What’s the best way to do that?

      1. Pete Griffiths

        I believe that right now you have to buy a developer phone. I think they are out of stock – but you are connected.

      2. vruz

        Any of the Mozilla partners you like. You know a few of them already.…See “How to get involved”, which curiously (coming from Mozilla) is not a permalink.

    3. ShanaC

      why not a raw linux os

      1. vruz

        Brand matters. Few in the FOSS world get that.Mozilla get it, Red Hat get it. Firefox is the versatile browser you can trust for your privacy.Red Hat is the professional enterprise Linux.Crystal clear.Most in the FOSS world are mediocre at branding, even Google, they’re mediocre at branding too, even though the Google brand is one of the most recognisable ones worldwide, I’m starting to think they would have made it anyway, even if their brand was called Poo with a brown logo.And Ubuntu, well, they just copy Apple on everything, but that’s a gross mistake, there is only one Apple. Being the Apple of the FOSS world is just a segment of a niche, I don’t think that’s going to work.

        1. ShanaC

          good point – but one can hope for Foss breaking free of the marketing shell at some point

          1. vruz

            No commercial activity can ever break free from marketing.You bring a product to a market, what do you expect to do with it otherwise?Of course there is a place for intellectual pleasure and FOSS has many great achievements — has taken over the world, really, and I’m the first to be proud of it — but the real world outside still has to trade things for their value, or profit from clever uses of it.I don’t think FOSS learning branding and marketing skills is a bad thing at all.

          2. ShanaC

            of course – you basically said what I wanted to say – but better.I almost want to donate to a FOSS marketing group to market FOSS products to the general public – just so they get a boost

          3. vruz

            I don’t know how that would work, given that many in the FOSS culture are quite belligerent about marketing, it almost feels like cheating for some.Mind you, there’s horrible marketing out there and I don’t blame them. But it’s a different thing to foster the imbecility of not learning useful skills, and there’s a lot of that too.

  13. Tom Labus

    All companies want complete dominance in their markets. It’s in all corporate DNA.When this becomes visible to the public it’s time to look at shorting their stock

    1. Laurent Boncenne

      But should it?In the end, a Business is a Company [of people] and it’s up to those people to set guidelines as to how said company will operate. Nothing prevents them from agreeing on a shared idea of integrity or morals.I feel like a lot of businesses disregard that aspect of what a “company” really is meant to be…

      1. Tom Labus

        Yes I understand your point but I believe that once a company reaches a certain size other expectations and desires take over.

  14. markslater

    i think that mobile computing will absolutely change how we discover and interact with commercial entities – and that the notion of search as we know it will evolve beyond the CLI approach that has provided google with web search dominance for so long.early indicators?…..Ad-words is going off the cliff…..geo-location and other “layers” provide programatic context that moves us away from the need for a CLI. Mobile is the wild west – the PC based internet is firmly in our rear-view mirror at this stage….

    1. fredwilson

      I generally agree. But Google has a dominant position in global mobile OS

      1. Pete Griffiths

        Kinda – :)Samsung has a dominant position…

  15. Shripriya

    That’s the reason I never been a fan of Android – because I know their goal was not “open”, but to not give up the market. Android is open only because they have no choice. They are not “open” anywhere they don’t have to be.From my time in tech, I saw Google practice business ethics that were worse than any other company I’ve seen. My biggest issue with Google, unlike the others you mention, is that they are complete hypocrites. They pretend they do things for the greater good of humanity. Oh, please!

    1. fredwilson

      Its funny. Five years ago my biggest fear was that Apple would own the mobile OS. Google stopped them thankfully and I am grateful that they did that. But now we have a different problem

      1. John Revay

        I think 5 years ago ( or slightly longer) Apple made two big mistakes…#1. Their exclusive deal w/ AT&T – left a hole open for Andriod…..and #2 price – they should have introduced a lower end/ price point, again another hole for driod.

  16. laurie kalmanson

    if the govt tried to do what google is trying to do w data, there would be dystopian novels by soviet dissidents. oh, wait …

    1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      That is the idea….google want to change from GOOG to GOVT πŸ™‚

      1. Anne Libby

        I’ve had plenty of reasons lately to think about all of the science fiction where the superpowers are corporations, and governments are irrelevant…

    2. ShanaC

      read any good books lately?

      1. Vineeth Kariappa

        The fountainhead.

        1. ShanaC

          not an anne rand fan

          1. Vineeth Kariappa


      2. laurie kalmanson

        lean enterepreneur, lean ux, ux for lean startups, edith wharton’s autobiography. u?

        1. ShanaC

          maximum minium wage, a book about sql, and I am in the middle of a novel about a french teen in saigon. interestingShana L. Carp.@ShanaCarp <https:”” shanacarp=””>LinkedIn <http:“” in=”” shanacarp=””>I never look back darling, it distracts from the now – Edna “E” Mode, The Incredibles

          1. laurie kalmanson

            awesome, ur

  17. William Mougayar

    I really would like to know exactly what Google knows about me. And not from the Settings page, but in reality & specifically. And I’d like to know how they are using this information. Exactly, not vaguely.We also need more user level transparency from Google.

    1. jacopogio

      +100 πŸ˜‰

    2. jason wright

      the more you feed it with your data the bigger it gets. it needs to be put on a strict data diet.

      1. Anne Libby

        +100.Go, Duck, Duck, Go. (Is there a DDG mobile yet?)

        1. ShanaC

          i believe so

          1. Anne Libby

            Yes! I can’t remember when I checked last..

      1. William Mougayar

        Thanks Nick. I will read these. Are you happy with these proposals & what level of support is it getting? Should we rally a la SOPA & PIPA.

        1. Nick Grossman

          From what I gather, the CA act is unlikely to succeed, but I do think it’s on to something interesting.I don’t think this is an issue the entire internet will rally around in a SOPA/PIPA way, but I do think it’s an opportunity for newer / smaller companies to do something interesting and win over users (in a way that google/fb/etc never would).

    3. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      why do you think google will tell you and not lie about it.

    4. karen_e

      This statement reflects a question many people have. And this is a good platform from which to voice it!

    5. ShanaC

      I don’t think most people are capable of fully understanding how much google (or facebook for that matter) knows about you, since much of it is derived from probability and not knowing you.

      1. William Mougayar

        I thought some of it was aggregate or probabilistic but some is also specific. They don’t tell us exactly, but they say they use it to give us a better or more relevant experience.


      Nothing important. It’s impossible to know if it’s you on the internet or someone who is using one of your machines or someone connecting via your wireless hub or whatever.

    7. abhisshack

      i guess they know your PedoPorn addiction and recent multiple search of “how to properly dump a dead-body πŸ˜‰ :p Jus kidin πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›

  18. JimHirshfield

    They won’t succeed at it all, and I’m sure they know that; nothing wrong with that. But the upside to us is that we all get to learn from their failures. Some will iterate off of these failures – that’ll be good. Others will disrupt Google even when Google succeeds, because their success will shine a light on the opportunities for disruption.

    1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      Ha…now we got one positive thinker in the crowd.

      1. JimHirshfield


      2. Mac

        I agree with Jim. Hasn’t it been true in every industry that “success will shine a light on the opportunities for disruption”?

  19. David Smuts

    Another Goliath will stop Google but one which is currently not a Goliath.

    1. fredwilson

      Yup. But who?

      1. ShanaC

        does it matter who the who is?

  20. Peter Van Dijck

    Perhaps the internet is bigger than you think it is? Their dominance in advertising isn’t assured and it isn’t a monopoly, they have just out-executed everyone else so far.Additionally, they may be winning in the US right now, they’re not winning everywhere. Nothing is forever.

    1. Vineeth Kariappa

      No. They just own about 50% of the most frequented websites in the “world”. They own 66% of the search market in US. What no1 talks about; 92%+ in the world!

    2. fredwilson

      Its not just advertising. Watch the Google I/O event. Its everything

      1. Peter Van Dijck

        Most of their stuff will fail (like everyone’s) and they’re only going for perhaps 0.1% of the things you could potentially be innovating in. Where’s the Google API to your body? Where’s Google in China?

  21. kidmercury

    twitter stopped facebook…..lolwhatever though. you guys invest in network effects and first movers in what you call “category creators” precisely because you know that network effects mean the first mover is going to win. now when this ideology backfires against you you want to cry monopoly.the formula for beating google is in disruptive theory — same as it ever was. an interpretation of this might be:1. a company that does NOT rely on hiring software engineers2. a company that does not focus on big datawhat google cannot do is governance, and that is the whole issue. google has won the application layer, whoever wins the governance layer will disrupt google. that is too radical, there is almost no one playing that game. bitcoin is a step in that direction, but the traditional VC model will always have trouble with the governance layer because it is not conducive to flipping shares or profiting from IPOs.until we have the necessary politcal revolution that takes us to the world beyond the nation state, it is “one graph to rule them all” with google/amazon being the frontrunners in this game. if you think google is tyrannical wait until amazon fully blossoms on the trajectory it is on. bezos is 10 steps ahead of everyone.VCs and entrepreneurs playing the traditional valley game (raise money, participate in the bubble, etc) are complicit in the one graph rules them all game characteristic of the application layer. tumblr selling to yahoo is a prime example.when the political will is found the disruption will occur. till then, congratulations to google and amazon for embarrassing the competition so badly they cried about if you’ll excuse me, i have to setup my google music account.

    1. Cam MacRae


    2. Richard

      Doesn’t hire engineers? I don’t follow your argument.

      1. kidmercury

        one school of thought in disruptive theory is to not compete with incumbents for hiring resources, because incumbents are already skilled at hiring the resources that have enabled them to succeed. i.e. if, for example, you are hiring urban planners and leveraging commoditized open source software, you are not competing for engineers with google (and thus do not have to worry about the awesome packages they can offer to top talent and the recruiting networks they have in place).

        1. Bugsnuffer

          Yeah, and the fact that not having those engineers means you won’t be able to make something is a minor detail missing from your plan… ? Wait, I have another idea: make a company that doesn’t need people at all that competes with Google…

          1. kidmercury

            no, it means YOU won’t be able to make anything, as you are apparently naive enough to believe the only way to make something is through coding something yourself with programmers you hire.

          2. Bugsnuffer

            And you discovered how to make stuff by what? stealing other people’s work? Ok, mr. genius, good luck with that..

          3. kidmercury

            it’s called open source. and please address me as sir genius.

          4. Bugsnuffer

            Hahaha, which you know nothing about clearly. Wow, that’s at least an order of magnitude dumber than I thought it would be. Ok, Sir.. πŸ™‚ Good on ya, Bro…

          5. Matt A. Myers

            The idea is you are using pooled resources of many and not having to purely utilize your own to move forward – essentially dividing costs, hopefully as efficiently and as widespread as possible – diversifying risk in some ways.

          6. Bugsnuffer

            Dude, I did my first open source dev project in 2000. I am well versed in how it works. It for sure could play a role in disrupting, but you aren’t going to make a company of just biz guys, point them to open source projects, and topple tech giants. That’s beyond fantasy. You could assemble teams of people that are much smaller that disrupt much faster. 100% agree on that.Remember, MMM: there are no silver bullets. And OS is certainly not one.

          7. kidmercury

            you are grossly oversimplifying the concepts presented here, sir codeslubber (shana requested i address you in such fashion, since you are addressing me as sir genius). it is not just “point them towards open source stuff.” rather, it is nurture the development of open source software OUTSIDE of your company so that internally you can focus on other competences. you’ll notice the major tech titans increasingly focus on media. perhaps the disruptor of the future is a media company at heart that externalizes tech.

          8. Bugsnuffer

            No tis you sir who oversimplifies. Most of those we support community plays have already failed. Google just ditched eclipse. That’s a bombed out banana republic. They launched that with all the same rhetoric you are using.Open source is a road to commoditizing infrastructure. PaaS is the new one. Makes more sense.Google tried to enter. Amazon is owning that space right now (which is why I was telling people to buy it at $45). Red Hat must get serious about their PaaS or they will be gone. VMWare already is, and yes, mr. CEO, you did get beat by a book seller.

          9. kidmercury

            just because google fails, does not mean all will fail. msft failed at web apps because they are a desktop software company. apple fails at information-based business models because they are a manufacturer of pretty boxes. that google has failed at this only illustrates they are not capable of succeeding at it, which is why it is a point of vulnerability for them.

          10. Bugsnuffer

            Not sure what you are saying with this one but I am enjoying the more civil tone.Google’s app platform is a failure. They are too far behind AWS to pose a threat and they don’t even have a good reason for people to use them, otherwise, yeah they’re firing on all services cylinders.Services revenue will dwarf ad sales. Wait and see….

          11. kidmercury

            i was actually enjoying the uncivil tone more. way more fun. but too each their own.

          12. Bugsnuffer

            Yeah me too. I should have said I enjoyed a break from the uncivil tone.

          13. pointsnfigures

            I wouldn’t call the Apple iTunes store a failure. Clunky, but brings a lot of revenue.

          14. CJ

            Google farms out pretty boxes to Samsung, they take their cut on the back end. Way more efficient that way.

          15. CJ

            PaaS is huge and getting bigger.

          16. Bugsnuffer

            Btw, the idea of a disruptive media company. That’s a good one. Lol. They are the next ones going into the snake’s belly. πŸ™‚

        2. Donna Brewington White

          “one school of thought in disruptive theory is to not compete with incumbents for hiring resources”Where can I learn more about this school of thought?Hiring. Must. Be. Disrupted.

          1. kidmercury

            probably my favorite book on disruptive theory is seeing what’s next

    3. fredwilson

      A lot of truth in this comment Kid

      1. abhisshack

        why your nice blog became a Diary of a Wimpy VC ?

      2. abhisshack

        Sir with due respectI Smell Jealousy from your post fredwilson. you invested in DuckDuckGo but (provably) not in Google. would you still rise this question if you heavily invested in Google and that investment will give you handsome return ? what i can see you invested some companies which are competitor to Google and because of Google they are not growing as fast as you was expected . i think this is the reason you are wimping about Google. (english is not native language so pardon my grammatical and spelling mistakes)

        1. Matt A. Myers

          It could be on different sides of the same coin, in the sense that Fred saw opportunity and value in what companies like DuckDuckGo offer – because there is demand. And I think all he’s saying or seeing or feeling is that there is value of a different offering than what Google, a larger incumbent, has.

    4. Brandon Burns


    5. Carl Rahn Griffith

      Cool, Kid. My latest blog post is along those lines.

      1. awaldstein

        URL please.You have email subscribe?

          1. awaldstein

            Thanks. I’m a fan of Carl’s. A true marketing pro with chops.I subscribe to few but email subscribe is the way to let your loyal readers keep track of stuff. Don’t see it there.

          2. falicon

            His blog is indexed by …so even if he doesn’t offer an email option, you can set up a monitor within and get an email every time he makes a post (or even better, every time he makes a post on-point with a topic you’re interested in — it all depends on what you set your monitor up for).As an aside, there is also an RSS reading feature within now (if you are logged in)…so you can also go that route to stay up on the conversations you care about if you’re already getting too much email…Anyway, if you need/want help setting any of it up just let me know…

          3. Carl Rahn Griffith

            So kind – cheers!

    6. efemurl

      Kid I think that you are right on in your observations; especially concerning governance as one of the keys to disruptions.I think that this kind of disruption will come from what most technology begin developed by Community focused entrepreneurs non traditional fields like Public Policy, Philosophy etc,I do not think that most traditional entrepreneurs and technologist have the ability to develop business models or technology that is outside of the prevailing notions of Capital which underpins most of our current culture and systems of governance. Because of this most of the “disruptive” technology or business models develop rather then begin game changing closely mirror those of the incumbents.

      1. kidmercury

        agreed. personally i think game design, urban planning, sociology, and media makers — i.e. artists, musicians, writers, and whoever creates great content that can attract audiences — are skill sets i think are really emerging, and will help the next wave of great companies displace the current tech icons.

        1. CJ

          How so Kid? These seem like edge cases that don’t have the potential to scale.

          1. kidmercury

            that they don’t scale is part of why i think they are so disruptive. google can only do things at huge scale. a thousand united niches is what i think really beats goog/amzn.

          2. CJ

            But isn’t that Etsy? Though they’ve managed to scale niche.

          3. kidmercury

            sure, could be something like a whole bunch of etsy’s combined. i wonder how big constitutes too big — my hunch is that etsy is too big for optimal governance, but i’m not sure.

          4. CJ

            Call me dense but I still don’t understand the ‘governance’ layer that you talk about often.

          5. kidmercury

            the application layer was about building the best software apps in order to succeed (google). the governance layer is more about putting forth the policies that best govern an ecosystem. for instance, apple takes a 30% cut on iOS apps, bans porn apps as well as apps that compete with apple’s core functionality, utilizes a certain approach to intellectual property rights management, etc. these are its governance policies. in my opinion, companies now compete on governance policies more than on technical capabilities. i used apple as an example here, though this concept can be applied to very small companies, and it will continue to be an issue for all companies as companies will increasingly need to establish rights policies for their users, establish what technologies they want to be compatible with, how they wish to share revenue, etc.

    7. Matt A. Myers

      Using to see more discussions on governance layer of course has @kidmercury:disqus as first result. πŸ˜‰ @falicon:disqus

      1. falicon

        ka-chow. πŸ™‚

    8. raycote

      If for human social organization”THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE”- that message of course being the inevitable emergence of the optimal organizing fabric that a given medium(synchronization platform) is capable of supportingTHEN – the internet as a medium(social synchronization platform) catapolts us into the full gambit of dynamics required to mimic the organic self-organizing dynamics previously available only at lower-substrate platform-levels of the reality stack. The cellular level being our closest cousin and most available cheat sheet.In mediums capable of supporting the self organizing dynamic the survival-strategy-optimization process seems to be driver by a preordained network-mathematical gravity well or math-based-teleologic strange attractor.IF YOU CAN HUMOUR ME ENOUGH TO SHALLOW ALL THAT MUMBO-JUMBO!I’m simply suggesting that we have no choice in the matter, that self-organizing dynamic, that survival-strategy-optimization process is coming for us. Resistance is futile!And more to the point for the purposes of the discussion at hand that self-organizing dynamic IS COMING FOR Google AS WELL!Two KEY RECURRING THEMES inherent in all complex self-organizing systems that will challenge Google’s long term dominance are:1 – DISTRIBUTED REDUNDANCY OF FORM AND FUNCTION2 – LOCALIZED INDEPENDENT RECOMBIANTS OF FORM AND FUNCTIONThese are both anathema to Google operations.Some sort of construction kit for the rest of us. Empowering us to assemble free standing, abstractly actionable, social-objects(both noun&verbs) that can be interconnected into some sort of shared purpose-driven neural-action-nets.Google-Wave had some sort of primordial possibilities.My conspiracy theory its that GOOGLE ultimately killed it because they knew it could not be centrally controlled?

    9. Guest

      In this particular case, rather than your two suggestions of:1. a company that does NOT rely on hiring software engineers2. a company that does not focus on big dataDisruption will happen NOT from taking on Google, Facebook, Yahoo or Amazon’s Graphs and the other key owners of “The Graph”.”The Graph” is actually mathematically sub-optimal and flawed.So the opportunity is for the disruptor(s) to take on the works of Thomas Bayes, Fermat, Laplace, John Nash, von Neumann, Charles Wheeler and Alan Turing amongst others…To create a category of analytics not provided by Google, FB, Amazon, Yahoo and other existing approaches to Big Data.Re. Open Source and not relying on software engineers, investors prefer “defensible technologies” whether that’s in the form of technical talent, patents or an abnormally sticky user base.

      1. Dave W Baldwin

        Well put!

        1. Guest

          Thanks, Dave.It’s exactly what I’m doing. Taking on the premise that probability, which underpins the whole of legacy analytics and AI, is not the whole but only 1/2 the equation.Probability and “The Graph” is about correlations. Of course the incumbents have the processing speeds in their super-expensive Quantum servers to churn and correlate the “Big Data” edges faster than anyone else.Therefore, to offer a competitive offering based on Probability in the Google, FB, Amazon etc space would be a waste of time and cashburn.In the words of Yoda, “There is another…….”A twin to Probability and it’s possible that my system is that twin.

          1. Dave W Baldwin

            You are correct and good luck.

      2. Richard

        Do you think for a minute that google isn’t doing this?

        1. Guest

          Thanks, Rich.Please see one of my previous comments:Google’s busy building out its core search algorithms as the Star Trek computer:*…In tandem, Ray Kurzweil of Google wants to reverse engineer our brains and deliver ads straight into our bloodstreams by mid-2030s:”But Kurzweil is thinking far beyond Glass, to devices even smaller and more powerful than tiny text ads. Really small.”Ultimately these devices will be the size of blood cells, we’ll be able to send them inside our brain through the capillaries, and basically connect up brain to the cloud,” Kurzweil says. “But that’s a mid-2030’s scenario.”**…*…The funniest thing is that Google’s senior executives alternate between grudgingly commending IBM Watson’s Deep Learning abilities and then insisting that their Star Trek Computer will have wider applicability.Meanwhile, Watson’s creator called his own creation “like a human autistic savant” after it had beaten the Jeopardy game and said of the Star Trek Computer back in June 2010: β€œThe computer on β€˜Star Trek’ is a question-answering machine. It understands what you’re asking and provides just the right chunk of response that you needed. When is the computer going to get to a point where the computer knows how to talk to you? That’s my question.”———-Google also recently acqui-hired Professor Geoffrey Hinton and his team who are experts in Deep Learning on the voice and image search side:*…They also bought themselves some Quantum servers:* http://bits.blogs.nytimes.c…——————All that factored in, do I think Google are working on an alternative to Probability-based algorithms?Well…the Star Trek Computer, Amit Singhal, Ray Kurzweil and Professor Hinton’s work and the D-Wave Quantum servers are ALL predicated on Probability and its forms of analytics.That extends all the way across Machine Learning, Natural Language, computer vision, semantic structures, sentiment structures, pattern recognition (voice and visual), text data mining, the whole of Operational Research methodology to path shortest and most optimal route to one item in the space of N items.Probability runs across everything from the Six Degrees patent of network effects to the physics engine and game theory in Angry Birds to Black-Scholes applications in portfolio asset allocations and risk management.But, I say again, it’s only 1/2 the equation (if that).And that’s the half Google wants to completely own and is investing its cash pile into — hence their Knowledge Graph and strategies in AI (pls see above links).

          1. Richard

            I looked through your comments. Not sure I see probability in an Ito process? And I can’t see how to think about applying the work of Bayes without being a probabilistic. Where are you going with this other so called 1/2?

        2. Guest

          In nature, there is always two sides of everything:* chaos & order* correlation & causation* Probability & ???Probability is a relatively new tool and gives us 1/2 of the signal and picture.Over the years, there’s been over-reliance on Probability and Statistics and they’ve been misinterpreted as qualifiers when in fact they’re simply tools to measure quantity (specifically correlations).The thing is NOT to apply Bayes and probability to the data sets before this other 1/2.Where am I going with it? Ship it, of course!

          1. Richard

            I dont see correlation and causation to be two sides of anything. Causation is a theory. Correlation is a measurement. The missing element in most work today is “Relative TIME” of the event.

          2. Guest

            Causation is a theory?If we’re talking about what caused Big Bang to happen and the Universe to form, that’s the case.However, if we’re talking about what causes people to consume products, content, experiences etc there are certainly tools to measure that; imperfect as those economic tools are. One tool would be household income which indicates whether the person can afford to buy.The distinction needs to be made between the two applications of causation:(1.) to atoms in Quantum Theory.(2.) to us as social beings.The mistake being made by “Big Data” approaches is precisely that it assumes our behavior mirrors atoms and matter and is just probabilistic like those atoms.

      3. kidmercury

        i think connecting many small graphs is better than trying to create a large graph that rivals goog/amzn. as for investors preferring defensible technologies….well, i prefer to nap all day and have billions dropped into my bank account. alas, how i prefer to accomplish my goals, and how they are most effectively accomplished, are two different things.

        1. Guest

          Haha, Kid! Nappin for billions beats shopping for sure!One of my friends encouraged me to code an eCommerce site for her. Her theory was that we could travel the globe sourcing indigenous handicrafts and sell them at a premium to hedge fund wives.So there are certainly more fun ways to earn a living than do something different from “The Graphs”, :*).The thing is that it’s not the size of the alternative to GOOG/Amazon/FB graphs that matters.Size gets us into the territory of Big Data and you already said that to be disruptive we shouldn’t do that, right?It’s the quality of the data. That requires…governance and creativity.Haha

    10. Guest

      Also, first mover and network effects don’t necessarily coincide to produce the category winners.There were social networks before FB, search engines before Google, discussion boards before Disqus, P2P IMs before Skype and Twitter etcetcetc.They’re the winners because of a confluence of other factors — not first mover or network effects related. Part of that confluence was that there was co-founder synergy, product-market synergy, team synergy, company-strategic partners synergy, founder-investor synergy, investors-fin institutions synergy, political-legal synergy and tech tools synergy (IDEs, data servers, front-end design etc).

    11. Mark Essel

      And if investing in a network powered steam roller is not what Fred wants, could we describe another large returner that leaves money on the table for the rest of the market? Why would a profit seeking corporation do so willingly?There’s a great conflict here between ROI and competition.On gov: A free market of political ideals would be disruptive, but requires an environment that encourages radical experiments with government. Folks like security & order because it provides a foundation to build on. But when it becomes too rigid, that platform becomes a prison.

    12. Dave Pinsen

      Just saw this book linked to on Twitter and thought of your comment:…Seems right up your alley.

      1. kidmercury

        just bought it — looks intriguing!

        1. Dave Pinsen

          Let me now what you think of it after you finish reading it. Maybe I’ll buy a copy too.

    13. Lucas Dailey

      The gov part of this was nearly identical to what I was going to post. I think Google *can* do governance, however, but I do think it is their most vulnerable long-term front. I’m now working on my 3rd/4th startup trying to disrupt governance and I’m constantly astounded by how wide-open it is. That won’t be the case for long. Kid, what do you think of ? A new way to create communities, the next step will be fostering supplemental governments, as test-cases for real reform.

      1. Lucas Dailey

        And to amend, I DO think the orgs that disrupt governance will be highly relient on software engineers (and UX designers!). New processes call for new interactions.

    14. Michael Elling

      All of these companies took for granted the market contexts that gave rise to their success. They like to give themselves too much credit, even if it is 99% justified. Google would do well to understand that the true origins of the internet were not in the protocol stacks, but in the dial-up bypass of the overpriced, vertically integrated voice networks. The US had a head start over the rest of the world because of our vertical/logical separation of AT&T, which led to the flat-rate pricing of the Baby Bells in the mid to late 1980s to withstand the IXC/WAN threat from MCI, Sprint, et al… In the process they opened the back door to data bypass.The key to all this is open access in the lower layers. Free access is not the same as open access; as we see with Google Fiber. It also has nothing to do with net neutrality, yet they are often confused. As well, bill and keep stifles competition, whereas a balanced settlement system or series of exchanges would be highly generative and foster wide-scale investment in the lower layers. But this would destabilize Google’s scale and monopoly on a couple of fronts. Those two issues represent Google’s weakness. Competitors like MSFT or Apple could destabilize the carrier stack and do an end run around Google who has more to lose with truly open, competitive access.

    15. Ela Madej

      wow, great comment man

  22. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    If I had the power todo II would do the same…won’t you?…try and see whether market accepts it.

  23. Jan Schultink

    Benedict Evans is a smart voice in the noise of tech analysts

  24. Salt Shaker

    The goal is to become big, but not too big??? Where do you draw the line?? Isn’t the goal of a VC to maximize shareholder value? Am I the only one who sees contradiction in thought here??

    1. Jake Wilcox

      Agree 100%. A bit of hypocrisy here.

      1. Salt Shaker

        What does “we just need to do well” mean? Should a company stop growing cause it reaches some arbitrary, subjective performance goal, or should it continue to innovate and evolve consistent w/ its stated biz objectives and charter. I understand how excessive growth has the potential to harm a company’s image/DNA, as demonstrated by several recent acquisitions or IPO’s such as FB, Groupon, Zynga, etc. But I’m not sure that’s what you’re referring to here? Profit maximization should always be the goal, unless the company’s a non-profit, privately held or there’s a belief that implementing potentially lucrative short-term growth strats could adversely effect a company’s long-term future.

        1. fredwilson

          i don’t agree that profit maximization should be the goal. i’ve written about that a few times here at AVC. if i had the time this morning i would find the posts and link to them here

          1. Salt Shaker

            Would love to see your earlier posts on profit maximization, Fred. I’m a late convert to ur blog. Wonder how frequently investors like yourself have that mindset or find themselves in conflict with other investors? I can tell you as a revenue guy I’d get dumped pretty quickly from any company I’ve ever worked for with that mindset. I’m not necessarily condoning profit max as the Holy Grail, but to suggest that’s not how the world should work is a bit naive, certainly in most cases.

          2. fredwilson

            i think i said that is how my mind works, not how the world workshere’s one post i found using

          3. Salt Shaker

            Great post, Fred. Thanks for sharing. I agree 100% w/ everything you wrote about profit max, while I unfortunately have experienced the downside of corporate shortsightedness more often than I care to remember. I wish more companies would look at the lifetime value of an investment rather than be so transfixed on short-term payout, which frequently is a deal killer. It’s a tough balancing act. Criteria for good managers: sound judgement, vision and balls.

          4. falicon

            +1. Music to my eyes (you know, since I’m reading and all) πŸ˜‰

          5. abhisshack

            OK, Fair Enough , thanks for the Link sharing

          6. falicon

            I think you have to work towards the larger mission while keeping profits in mind (and in-line)…if you focus on nothing but profits, you might have a strong today and a weak tomorrow…

          7. abhisshack

            Agreed Totally

          8. pointsnfigures

            totally depends on the business model. some businesses only exist to maximize profits-even in the short term, USV doesn’t invest in them. In the midwest, we generally want to see how the bills are going to get paid with a little revenue. Sometimes we invest out of the box with companies that would fit a more coastal profile, but have to be sure of the business segment they are playing in.

          9. abhisshack

            If profit is not the motive then what is your motive. why would any one create any company or why would VCs want investing in their company if profit is not the motive ??? would you please elaborate when you have free timeUpdate: ok Fair enough , got my answer from this post

          10. fredwilson

            there are more ways to measure success than profitif you dont know that i feel sad for you

          11. Guest

            Sour Grapes Much πŸ˜›

          12. fredwilson

            every day, all the time

          13. abhisshack

            Sour Grapes Much πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›

      2. fredwilson

        where is the hypocrisy? i would like to know so i can fix that.

        1. abhisshack

          Sir with Due Respectif you invested in Google and for that Google will give you very handsome return, will you still complain about it or not . what i can see you invested some companies which are competitor to Google and because of Google they are not growing as fast as you was expected . i think this is the reason you are wimping about Google. this is what it called hypocrisy.

        2. Steve_Dodd

          Fred, here’s my question. How would you address your shareholders if Google offered you $1Billion for DDG because they felt it was a threat to their strategy (or something they could build on)? BTW, I love DDG.

          1. fredwilson

            the good news is we don’t make that call. Gabriel does. if he wanted to do it, we would support it. but my guess is he wouldn’t.

          2. LE

            I would chomp at the bit to sell this one to Gabe.As far as this:”we don’t make that call. Gabriel does.”Gabe also has a wife and two kids and would typically be concerned about their well being and financial security. [1] Very possible that her opinion of this might differ greatly after a visit from the google wives and that assumes that she wouldn’t want it on the face. One way or the other he would have to contemplate his life if he passed up this opportunity up and things didn’t work out.[1] (Not to mention father/mother, employees etc.)

    2. fredwilson

      I don’t think we need to maximize. We just need to do well

      1. Salt Shaker

        What does “we just need to do well” mean? Not sure I ever saw that in a biz plan, prospectus or annual report.

        1. fredwilson

          it means do well enough to keep our customers and shareholders happy.

          1. Jeffrey Hartmann

            +1 million on this, I wish this was the attitude of more companies and investors. When you avoid explicit maximization you leave room to do greater good, accomplish side projects that are strategically important but have a future payoff, and have more potential to invest in R&D with medium to long term payoff. When you explicitly maximize you might end up doing stupid stuff like putting code/technology/business process into maintenance mode and laying off the people performing the magick for cheaper labor and not pushing since pushing is expensive. I think another key attribute I like is not optimizing for a quarter, but thinking on a about yearly or multi-year impact when you make decisions.

  25. jason wright

    microsoft was taken to task for bundling its products together and strangling the competition (netscape being one).is google infringing competition law?

    1. Vineeth Kariappa

      No. They just own about 50% of the most frequented websites in the world.

  26. Someguy

    A plurality of ethical starts ups that can build a defensible position with a few patents.

  27. Matt A. Myers

    Who will put Google in its place? Maybe Yahoo? Maybe “you?” Maybe me?And 8am and already 72 comments. Guess you perked an irk …

    1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      It’s about google and what do you expect πŸ™‚

  28. def4

    Microsoft still runs desktop computing.Nobody stopped them. Instead, everyone decided to ignore Microsoft and the desktop, moved to the WWW and then to mobile.Facebook and Twitter both contained Google by cutting off access to their data.Twitter and Facebook are used so differently that they are not seen as competitors by the vast majority of people.What exactly do you want Google to be stopped from doing?

  29. OurielOhayon

    What has happened about Google to cause you to think that way? Which part of Google is pissing you off? Search? Video? everything?

    1. fredwilson

      Everything. Google I/O showed just how big they are thinking

      1. OurielOhayon

        well they are running the show in search, in video and possibly map. but otherwise i don t see where they are running the show to such an extent?

  30. Mac

    My take is 180 on this. You need the ‘Big Eaters’ to push down field to clear the turf and create openings. This creates opportunities for the smaller, faster scatbacks to gain a lot of yardage. It’s the way the game has been played, regardless of the ecosystem.

    1. kidmercury

      yes. msft opened the way for a lot of software developers too by providing them a platform to build on top of. the behemoths can be great for small businesses, but not so great for those with aspirations to become a behemoth themselves.

      1. Mac

        You’re right, Kid. It’s hard to become a behemoth when the market is dominated by a ‘first-mover’ behemoth; especially when a large void was waiting to be filled. However, I’m glad that companies like Apple, MSFT, Facebook and Google had the visions and business models that opened the doors for other innovators and created opportunities for countless entrepreneurs.Being and impediment to market entry is a problem. But, as Fred said, “…the market stops them.”

  31. jason wright

    yesterday’s post was about war and to stop google? battlefield strategies from history are a good source of inspiration.hannibal at cannae.

  32. John Revay

    just after 8:00 on the east coast and already 80 comments…Fred – I was going to drop you an email suggesting an AVC topic – Cloud services…For some reason this weekend I came across Amazon’s cloud player & cloud offering for photos… I like Amazon for several reasons – they have a real SONOS plug in (no need to airplay or bluetooth), they have clients for every major OS.I know you covered this several times on AVC, most recent may be when you had to evacuate your NYC apartment during Sandy.

  33. Jorge M. Torres

    And then there’s this – a mindless summer flick starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson where the premise is two old guys get to intern at Google. Maybe Google has jumped the shark.

    1. ShanaC

      i knew someone would bring that up – google is such part of the cultural zeitgist and so is fears of the economy that someone would mash them up

  34. pointsnfigures

    Economics could stop Google. They are producing where MC=MR. They take that to everything they do-and then close down the openness once they have ensnared enough of the market. The ensnared class becomes a cash cow for them.There are huge network effects from being on the Google platform for the average internet user. Kind of like Apple-everything works and works together. Once data becomes more important to the average internet user, Google will have a chink in the armor.But Google is really good at giving people what they want-so they are a very very tough competitor. There will be a competitor to Google, but it will come from a place that people aren’t thinking about yet. The other problem is Google has so much cash, they simply buy whatever they want.There will also be technological changes that allow for freedom of choice. Google glass may be cool-but what else is there that can have the same affect mobile computing has had? Mobile is what put the stake in Microsoft.

  35. Harry DeMott

    Fred:I think one of your partners once wrote a post talking about how people were aligning with different nations (Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc…)Isn’t this just part of the same discussion?Google is a form of government so to speak, and you either accept their terms of service and align yourself there – or you don’t. Just as Apple makes certain demands of its users like Facebook does as well.The argument that once should be able to pick the best of each nation is a hard one. Imagine living here in NYC and deciding that you liked the life here, but wanted the Swiss tax system (or even better the Monaco tax system), and liked the Swedish health care system, and the South Korean Internet infrastructure.All of this would be great – but there’s always going to be tradeoffs. As an apple junkie – I accept those

    1. ShanaC

      first of, Hi Harry, long time you haven’t been around.The difference with taxes, at least from what I can tell – is in fact I could theoretically find a way to avoid most nyc taxes and be a member of monaco and still sort of live here.The internet is harder to get yourself out of in terms of google

    2. fredwilson

      yup. i am thinking about moving from Google land. it’s getting a bit hot in here.

  36. Michael Shaler

    I’m really, really glad you posted this one. I think the gaping maw of silence that is Google+ suggests what will stop the run. That and tools like…

  37. andyswan

    In total, Google has made my life SIGNIFICANTLY better. They’ve also done nothing, that I’m currently aware of, to breach my trust with them.I hope they keep innovating…they seem really good at it and they’re creating a lot of wealth for this world.

    1. kidmercury

      agreed. most of my gripes with them are tolerable, remarkably so when one considers the benefits they have bestowed. also, as a kook, i should note that no organization has done more to spread kookology than google via google search and youtube.

    2. $28312048

      Agreed. I find Page several notches less creepier than Zuckerburg. Overall, they aren’t a monopoly. They shouldn’t be penalized if they offer a superior product over, say, Bing and consumers choose it as a result. The rest of their offerings contain relatively modest market share. All the saber rattling about Google and anti-trust I find woefully disingenuous.

      1. JLM

        .Anti-trust arguments about operating within a system that is literally addressable and accessible from anywhere in the world and for which there are huge number of competitors and when the service is FREE are silly utterances.Google should hope such a thing happens for advertising purposes if for no other reason.JLM.

    3. fredwilson

      me too. but i am wondering when it’s time to get off their train. i think i am going to start working on it.

      1. Drew Meyers

        it’s a long and complicated train to get off of. will take awhile, which is part of their strategy πŸ™‚

        1. Dale Allyn

          But if you never commit to fully integrated cloud services and operate more self-reliantly going forward, adjustments in course are much, much easier and often even trivial.E.g. there are bloggers who serve all of there blogged images via flickr. flickr provided a great service when server space and bandwidth were more costly, but once your blog has hundreds or thousands of images in its archives which are all hosted on flickr, it’s a huge task to migrate. Better to simply upload images to your own server for your blog or website and use flickr et al for sharing among friends, etc.Same is true of email. Managing it yourself allows complete control without being overly complicated.I’ve cautioned friends against “going all in” by relying on big hosted services for all their digital assets and workflow, and now several are wishing they’d remained a bit more independent.

      2. LE

        Kremlinologists know that when you make a post or a reply statements like the above (actually several of them almost like trial balloons) you have something additional up your sleeve along these lines.

      3. Vineeth Kariappa

        Fund me πŸ™‚

      4. baba12

        But you are an Android fanboi. Would you decide to move your mobile OS to Maemo or Symbian or WindowsCE :)…I think USV has investd in platforms that make it difficult to get off the train so to speak, that is part of the network effect that you care so much about.Will be interesting to see how you transition.In the meantime have you read Jaron Lanier’s new book “Who owns the Future”

    4. Aaron Klein

      Agreed. They have driven down costs and made the Internet so much better for consumers.Seeking to innovate and grow…if that’s a crime, call me guilty for life. They have to do something far worse to drive me away.Please, let them finish the self-driving car first.

    5. Bugsnuffer

      Wealth? Are you kidding me?? Did you read the Wired article Drugstore Cowboy? You should.

    6. jason wright

      how is google creating a lot of wealth?it doesn’t pay its fair share of tax.

      1. kidmercury

        lol that’s probably why it’s creating so much wealth for everyone else! πŸ™‚

        1. andyswan

          Today I learned that to some people, “creating wealth” = paying tax

      2. andyswan

        1) It has grown from a company worth $0 to a company worth $295,000,000,000 in about a decade and a half. That’s a lot of wealth for shareholders.2) It has spawned/supported insane amounts of companies and success stories. Think of the YouTube video producers. Or the browser extension makers. Or the android phone producers. Or app makers. It’s just a huge WOW.3) Every single time you Google something that you don’t know the answer to, Google helps create wealth by helping to transfer that knowledge to you4) Google follows all tax law. If that’s not “fair share”, then please define what is…and let us know which deductions you decided NOT to take this year.5) Paying taxes is not creating wealth, it is destroying it. Anyone that thinks the U.S. government would be more productive with capital than Google is delusional.

        1. jason wright

          in the UK last year it took in GBP 3.2 Bn and paid GBP 6 M in tax. if every company behaved this way the country would be even more fucked than it already is.

          1. andyswan

            You asked how they create wealth and I told you.You’re going to have to find someone else for a conversation about the inadequacies you see in the British tax laws that Google follows.

          2. jason wright

            it lies about its true nature. it claims to be a marketing operation when it is in fact a sales operation, and Dublin is its bitch.

          3. LE

            I have no expectation that anyone should pay more than they are legally required to do. And if they are doing something wrong there is supposed to be a system in place to police that.The populist rhetoric works because it’s comfort food for the mind. Everyone needs a bogeyman.To me that entire Apple argument is a non-starter. Tax system is designed to be gamed. Gaming something is not the same as cheating.

        2. Dale Allyn

          Andy, I agree with your points, but if (IF) Google are really closing deals in the UK with their UK team, then according to what I’ve read of the UK tax laws (surrounding the current case) they are guilty of tax fraud.I don’t suggest that people or companies should pay more taxes than required, but I also don’t support companies avoiding proper taxation through dishonest claims. I don’t know the facts in the Google UK case, but I’m not naive enough to think such things as they’re accused are not common practice among many companies. When you get to Google’s position, or Apple’s or Amazon’s, you’d better go straight.

          1. andyswan

            I don’t know enough about it and will stick with my position until Google is proven guilty of not paying its fair share.

          2. Dale Allyn

            That’s reasonable, of course. No argument here. I’m sure other companies are engaged in practices of which Google are being accused. I wonder how many are being pursued and with how much vigor.I’m a fan of simplified tax codes. Generally, complex tax codes are big part of the problem, but governments (e.g. U.S.) rely on those complexities to deceive and pander. Dead-simple tax codes are far more difficult to cheat, but changes (i.e. increases) are obvious to even the least informed citizen, which governments don’t want.

          3. kidmercury


          4. jason wright

            ultimately it’s a political power play by the British GOV. it wants GOOG to be its snooping bitch on the British people. the implication is that if GOOG doesn’t play along the tax regime will be changed.

        3. CJ

          Point 5 is true in an ideal world. Unfortunately there are so many things that have to come first before we can trust each other to take care of ourselves and our fellow man in order to abolish taxation and keep a functioning society that doesn’t dissolve into anarchy or revert back to a feudal;dr Distribution of wealth is a necessary evil until man achieves enlightenment.

    7. efemurl

      Can you give some examples of the “Wealth” that Google is creating for the World ?

  38. Richard

    “Let me tell you about Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Google. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born microsoft, apple, facebook google it is very difficult to understand. They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves. Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are. They are different.”FAKE F Scott Fitzgerald,

  39. Carl Rahn Griffith

    And to think people worry about ID cards…

  40. mikenolan99

    How about Blip Enhance – a small piece of code that continuously sends false privacy data to Google…Early navel combat in the post RADAR world took two approaches. Minimize your return signal to the enemy, or exaggerate it. The first proved to be a fool’s errand – as each side gets better at trying to remain invisible, the other side gets better at detecting your footprint.The second technology used to defeat enemy radar was to return a bigger radar signature to the enemy…Blip Enhance – fool the enemy radar into thinking you were much larger, and much more complex than you really were.Someone should release Blip Enhance technology for everyone on theinternet. Imagine everyone’s browsing history containing thousands of random sessions. Cookies indicating a million online purchases. Tens of thousands of Facebook posts, tweets and relationships.In the confusion, no data can be trusted.The enemy is defeated.

    1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      Are we really on War against google here?Liked the Blip-technology analogy though.

    2. JLM

      .The exaggerated return technology was a very highly classified technology just a short time ago.If you are shooting SAMs at an attacking aircraft and you suddenly receive 500 electronic signatures, the odds begin to favor the attacking aircraft very quickly. You have a 1 in 500 chance of getting it right but more importantly the sensing technology gets hopelessly overloaded.Then if you send in a second, third aircraft — well you can see where this is going. In real time, it quickly begins to favor the attacker.This was originally an outgrowth of aluminum chaff ejected by planes at critical times to confuse sensor driven missiles and rockets.It is very good stuff for the Americans. Tie this in with drones to lead the way and our attack aircraft are flying in unimpeded. This is exactly how we or the Israelis would hit Iran.JLM.

      1. mikenolan99

        I knew Jeff would like this!

        1. JLM

          .I am just concerned that you will now become a target for the IRS for leaking classified information.You can come hide out in ATX.JLM.

          1. mikenolan99

            I actually heard about this from my law Professor in 1984. He used the analogy to support suing everyone even remotely involved in a claim… If I recall he was a Navy JAG…

    3. LE

      “a small piece of code that continuously sends false privacy data to Google.”Sounds like an idea I had which was to setup a script to do random searches throughout the day such as “make bomb” “kill wife without leaving traces” “how to bake apple pie” “where does kid mercury live” etc. Not that difficult to do but I don’t really have a need for it. When I want to “kill wife” I will just proxy from a different IP address. In all seriousness I often wonder about this since being curious there are all sorts of things I do searches on all the time. Even if you use duckduckgo you still have to be concerned with any caches on your local machine which aren’t trivial to fully get rid of (when you consider all the places the data is kept as well as backups, cloning etc.)

  41. William Mougayar

    Amazon could stop them. Google is also controlling the Advertising stack.

    1. ShanaC

      not really – they control a number of aspects behind the advertising stack, but in truth budgets could switch over to systems that don’t include google for display in a fairly simple way if they got the performance.

    2. Dale Allyn

      Replacing or unseating Google with Amazon is like the State of Hawaii importing mongooses to kill the snakes which were eating all the chickens. Once the snakes were taken care of, the mongooses ate the chickens.

    3. kidmercury

      yes. i believe amazon will at least equal google, and is very well-positioned to overtake them as the top dog in the long run.

  42. John

    Every once in a while I get a prompt from google asking me to enter my cell phone number. They explain that it is for security reasons in case I lose my data and need to recover it. I don’t know what data they are referring that I might want to recover. I wonder why they really want my cell phone number. I wish that the prompt had a selection that said “No Thanks, Please don’t ask again”.If you missed Google IO you can watch video recordings of its sessions at…

  43. ShanaC

    I suspect with glass that if it becomes popular, google may be split into pieces by the DOJ, one half advertising, the other half business and mobile tech.If not, I don’t expect google to dominate forever – there are too many other types of interfaces starting to come into being (myo for example), and vertical search is growing strongly on mobile (which is a weak part of google’s ux)Besides, not data picture of you is complete – it will always be stuck in an uncanny valley of youness because it doesn’t really think, it doesn’t feel – so the sci fi “how well does it know me” – not as much as you think

    1. JLM

      .Google is not playing small ball.In much the same way that Treasury has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Goldman Sachs, Google will own techology within any administration through the clever use of its Fifth Column emissaries.Google is going to own every politician and regulator before it is all done.Do you think Google could make immigration work correctly and instantly? I think so.The government is so overmatched v Google as to be laughable. Whoever Google cannot control, they will buy or rent.JLM.

      1. ShanaC

        no they aren’t, but gossip has it that their product team due to their hiring practices are increasingly not relating to avg joe user anymore (or average jane)Glass has some major acculturation issues – it isn’t clear to me a heads up display will go over well with the general population

    2. falicon

      Vertical, distributed, focused search – FTW!

  44. JLM

    .I am going to have to take the ‘”over” on Google.I love them and I applaud their relentless desire to innovate. Few companies can try 500 technologies with the objective of finding 4 great ones.As an example, I am totally captivated by Google’s Google Fiber innovation providing arguably 1,000 MPS Internet service. I see this like the American Revolution — creating a world of freedom like the Internet has never seen.And we are not going backward as Google Internet competitors will all fall into line and offer the same level of service. A damn good thang, no?It is supposedly coming to Austin next year. I will be on it.I get the notion that Google is trying to win at everything but all they are doing is deploying vision, intelligence and capital. That is the startup mantra, right? Google is an endless flow of internal startups coupled with the ability to buy anyone who even remotely interests them.So, I say — Good on you, Google, you merciless bastards.Privacy is dead and Google knows more about us than our Mommas. We lost that battle a long, long, long time ago.Prediction — Google will go toe to toe with the IRS and own them.JLM.

    1. takingpitches

      The cool thing about Google, whether you call it a monopolist or not, is that they take a lot of flyers on new markets, e.g. Music, movies, broadband, cars, and on and on.The best part of it – such as with their experiments with fiber -is when take on other monopolists.They play and deploy toys unlike most monopolists. A lot of that attitude is about the fact that everything boils down to data for it, but a good portion of it is its leadership.

      1. Pete Griffiths

        Agreed.The boldness of them proposing to use blimps to provide high performance internet across Africa is breathtaking.

    2. Tom Labus

      They can rule the world is they get Fiber right.

      1. JLM

        .Kansas City says they got it right already.Austin is supposed to get it next year.I am pumped.JLM.

    3. fredwilson

      i share your awe at them. and i am beginning to fear them too.

      1. JLM

        .I know Fred Wilson.Fred Wilson is a friend of mine.Fred Wilson fears NOTHING.Concerned? Maybe, but fear? The guy stares down risk like a freakin’ cobra. Get too close to that particular cobra and he will be counting coup on you.I could sooner believe that Cool Hand Luke has sweaty palms than that Freddie Wilson fears anything.As to me, I fear the government and I am just the slightest bit concerned about Google.JLM.

        1. fredwilson

          i fear google more than the government to be honest. they are good at what they do. the government isn’t in most cases.

          1. JLM

            .Damn good point.I fear the government rolling over in bed and crushing me inadvertently. Asleep at the wheel type accident.JLM.

          2. fredwilson


          3. pointsnfigures

            i fear a government that takes a concerted effort to go after one class or another. Unfortunately, our govt of the people by the people for the people has devolved into that.

          4. kidmercury

            the government is very good at what they do. look how much money they take and how many people they kill. they are the michael jordan of organized crime!

        2. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          1. JLM

            .Nah, Grimlock, you make a failing score on that one.Fear is the first result in a new situation — 2,000 landings and 92 parachute jumps and you know no fear. Of those particular things.Fear is something to be mastered not to live with. Fearing is not the same as fearful.JLM.

          2. FAKE GRIMLOCK


    4. hypermark

      JLM,I have two thoughts on this one. One is that a simple way of looking at this is whether anyone is getting better at the things that Google does well quicker than Google is getting good at the things that they do well.For example, Apple. Google is getting better at design, and integrating the whole enchilada quicker than Apple is getting good at search and ads.Facebook. Google is getting better at the variety of services that users “hire” Facebook for (and the onboarding process) quicker than Facebook is getting good at search and ads.Amazon. Arguably, Amazon is getting better at search and ads, and delivering the whole enchilada quicker than Google is getting good at ecommerce.The other path is to attack the moat. Google’s whole moonshot capability is predicated on protecting their core revenue engine (pursue BIG upside, while covering the downside). Amazon or Apple could, source, incubate and fund Google disruptors, and treat those businesses as loss leaders in the same way that Google treats competitors businesses as loss leaders.Net-net: Get better than the competition in Google’s core strengths quicker than they get better at your core strengths, AND/OR disrupt their revenue source.One side comment/question specific to the search value proposition. Why hasn’t any startup made the topic of who owns the search index a core differentiator? Imagine a scenario where all of my searches, and those of my network are one big API blob for me to allow third-party services to be built on top of. In this context, the index is mine, not Google’s, and I gain the value add of an ecosystem of search/discovery services around the context of ME.Food for thought.

      1. hypermark

        A note aside, is that in my analysis of the Google IO Keynote, I suggested (somewhat tongue in cheek) that Google CEO Larry Page is destined to either win a Nobel Peace Prize, or end up as the ‘villain’ in a future James Bond film — maybe both in the same year. Nature of unfettered boldness, I guess.6 Takeaways from the Google IO Keynote

      2. JLM

        .Brilliant analysis, really.Well played. +100JLM.

        1. hypermark

          Gosh, thanks. Remind to add you to the holiday gift list. πŸ˜‰

          1. JLM

            .Mark, Hypermark, why wait for the holidays? Really.And remember 4th of July is right around the corner, no?JLM.

          2. hypermark

            Check…and mate. πŸ˜‰

  45. Guest

    Don’t worry, Fred. It’s likely that somewhere in stealth someone’s innovating alternatives whilst Google’s busy building out its core search algorithms as the Star Trek computer:*…In tandem, Ray Kurzweil of Google wants to reverse engineer our brains and deliver ads straight into our bloodstreams by mid-2030s:”But Kurzweil is thinking far beyond Glass, to devices even smaller and more powerful than tiny text ads. Really small.”Ultimately these devices will be the size of blood cells, we’ll be able to send them inside our brain through the capillaries, and basically connect up brain to the cloud,” Kurzweil says. “But that’s a mid-2030’s scenario.”*http://www.technologyreview…*…The funniest thing is that Google’s senior executives alternate between grudgingly commending IBM Watson’s Deep Learning abilities and then insisting that their Star Trek Computer will have wider applicability.Meanwhile, Watson’s creator called his own creation “like a human autistic savant” after it had beaten the Jeopardy game and said of the Star Trek Computer back in June 2010: β€œThe computer on β€˜Star Trek’ is a question-answering machine. It understands what you’re asking and provides just the right chunk of response that you needed. When is the computer going to get to a point where the computer knows how to talk to you? That’s my question.”__________________Benedict Evans in that link of yours writes, “The objective (Google’s) is to index not just the web but the users – to drive better understanding of the data by knowing how and where people use it.”Rest assured, there are going to be systems and algorithms released in due course which will show that the probability maths underpinning the way Google and Facebook indexes items (people, content, brands etc) in their Knowledge and Social Graphs is not the be-all-and-end-all.That’s the opportunity out there.Can such algorithms be created and is it do-able? Absolutely.

  46. jonathan hegranes

    I don’t think you’re giving Google enough credit of you think they’re merely trying to run the table on the internet.

    1. fredwilson

      well played!

  47. george

    I believe Apple is best positioned to stop Google; they are really good at changing the business paradigm to force Google and others to compete where they lack competitive advantage. Apple has the right resources – people, ideas and capital to win. Perhaps, I view Google more vulnerable than others – I use search less and less, Apps have really taken over. Desktop sales are on a free-fall and Google’s index search revenue model doesn’t scale quite the same on mobile.

    1. fredwilson

      sadly, i do not agree with you on this one.

      1. Pete Griffiths

        Neither do I.



    2. totnuckers

      Wake me up if Apple is on par in terms of datacenter technology and massive data acquisition

  48. falicon

    Interestingly Google’s push towards Goolge+ is a move from anti-fragile towards fragile…and that is ultimately what is going to bite them…(hat tip to Albert for the Antifragile recommendation ->… )

  49. Sebastian Wain

    What we watched on the last Google I/O was really impressive. Not just from the technology side but from the business velocity and applied research perspective. So it will be difficult to stop them without stopping innovation. Microsoft monopoly was not innovative. Apple was innovative but fast forward a couple of years I feel iOS is behind Android (except for performance and battery life).I think to tackle Google will require distributed organic effort. If someone is interested I wrote an article about how search engines plugins (Think Duck Duck Go ones) can challenge Google’s search engine: challenging Google’s search engine

  50. AMT Editorial Staff

    Is Union Square an investor? If no, what if US was in there from the beginning and still in? Would this change your above post? Curious.

    1. fredwilson

      i would hope not. and no we were not VC investors in google. i have owned google stock in the past but do not now.

  51. Chris Chaten

    Would you advise a portfolio company to turn down an acquisition offer from Google, disable G+ sign in, etc.? Google is building a classic Warren Buffet ‘moat’, using data and services to protect the ad ecosystem. Every startup that integrates with and is purchased by Google enhances this ecosystem.

    1. fredwilson

      no i would not. entrepreneurs should do what is in the best interests of them and their companies.

  52. Dave W Baldwin

    It was not so long ago that so many said you’d be wasting your time worrying about Google because Apple had the entire industry sewn up. It was a matter of time where Google’s multi direction strategy would start to come together insofar as understanding of the laymen. The bigger challenge is doing something bigger than Google. Focusing too much on complaining leaves you at their mercy.

    1. fredwilson

      i am not complaining. i am looking for the thing that stops google. i know its out there.

      1. Steve_Dodd

        And when it’s “found” it’ll likely sell itself to google or someone just like them as their funding partner will want the exit?

      2. Dave W Baldwin

        Sorry, I know you’re not complaining. Just one of those things that makes life fun!

      3. LE

        “for the thing that stops google”Noting that people knowledgeable about military strategy (such as you and JLM) probably know the term for this (or what it’s called) but it’s more likely that they will stop themselves.The big time wasting Microsoft antitrust case comes to mind and the opportunities that it caused them to miss (if the head of the monster is weakened and distracted it can’t attack). I’m remembering Ali and “rope a dope” to wear out his opponents. They are realizing they have to many things going on which is why they are stopping products that have a following. To many skus.Additionally, Google is already wasting time, energy and man power on self driving cars and google glass (noting that it remains to be seen whether that is smart or not but in any case it is definitely taking away from things closer to the core of the company. I mean self driving cars?)In looking for a link re: the above I found this somewhat related regarding the microsoft antitrust case:…The central message for industrial organization is that, in a rapidly changing technological environment with scale economies, complementary products, and network effects a dominant firm can use strategic behavior to preserve and increase its dominance even though the product changes dramatically over time. (See Chapter 11 for a general analysis of strategic behavior.) The strategic behavior consists of exclusive dealing-type arrangements — which prevent third parties from effectively dealing with rivals, and behavior in which product design incompatibilities and product ties are used. The ability to use strategic behavior to transfer or β€œswing” monopoly power from one product to another over time will be the legacy of Microsoft. (See Carlton and Waldman [1998].)

        1. JLM

          .”out running their coverage”Getting beyond the artillery fan and becoming naked — technically nekkid — without artillery support.Not a good thang.JLM.



      1. Dave W Baldwin

        I do agree with you. It is just a matter of not getting stuck playing by their rules.Let’s say it is a matter of doing creating a different vehicle that serves a base that is not served, this vehicle being able to be in different retail forms serving multiple bases not requiring contracts and so on. Add in flexibility in algorithms that evolve to the individual customer and you’re a step ahead of the big guys who have thousands of coders….

  53. qcook2000

    It seems to me that each of the companies that almost ran the market were kept from doing so by either misjudging what the markets wants or having the market priorities shift under them. For example Microsoft focused on getting their software to be installed everywhere so to use a computer that could talk to other computers you had to use a PC. The internet allowed that and more, so interoperability was assumed and other factors like design and ‘coolness’ came into play, hence Apple.The question that you have to ask before you can ask who will keep Google from running the internet is: in what way is the has google misjudged the internet, or in what way is it changing faster than Google can keep up? I think Google’s bias is towards super-smart connected things, in a central repository. Translation, search, even self driving cars. I think the next phase shift will have to do with slightly dumb connected things, that together bring about entirely new use cases. Companies like Fitbit, Nest seem to be heading in that direction but I think we have only scratched the surface.

    1. fredwilson

      that’s a good framework to think about this. thanks.

    2. Pete Griffiths

      And peer to peer innovations – like bitcoin – are very interesting.

      1. pointsnfigures


        1. Pete Griffiths

          Wonderful. πŸ™‚

    3. falicon

      This is a really smart way to approach it.Personally, I think what Google has misjudged is the power of ‘experts’, the human desire for randomness, and how much we struggle to know ourselves…they seem to think, with enough data, they can know us better than we know ourselves…but the reality is that we are constantly changing our minds, learning more and new things, and are endlessly thrilled by serendipity…we don’t want more order, we actually crave more chaos…and that is actually the *exact* opposite of what Google is working towards.Give the power to the people…don’t centralize and obfuscate it away from the people, that will only enrage them (as they are starting to see on a small scale)



        1. falicon

          +1.Very simple mistake to make…especially when you are an engineer πŸ˜‰

      2. Mark Essel


  54. Pete Griffiths

    To understand who might stop them, we need to understand what it will take.Microsoft were stopped not by other PCs but by mobile phones and tablets.Apple were stopped by Android that enabled many phone manufacturers to compete just as UNIX enabled computer vendors to compete with DEC and IBM.Facebook – has it been stopped yet?What is Google’s core competence that would have to be skirted? I suggest that it is currently unmatched big data infrastructure and expertise. Hence, to stop them, it will be necessary to undermine the importance of their key value element – low latency operations at massive scale. If you can do this with a better way to target ads you’ve got a winner.It’s hard to imagine how such a competitor taking on this challenge and emerging, just as it was hard to imagine IBM fading, but one doubtless will. Right now the only companies with some of Google’s core strength that I can think of offhand are Amazon and (to a lesser degree) Microsoft. But a true disrupter may well come from off the pitch.

    1. Laura Yecies

      If what you write is truly their strength (and I’m inclined to agree) than Amazon is the one to stop them (of course then who stops Amazon…)

      1. Pete Griffiths

        I doubt Amazon can stop them. Not radical enough. More of same. πŸ™‚

  55. andyidsinga

    fake grimlock ! fake grimlock will stop google.

    1. fredwilson

      he may have to



  56. Bugsnuffer

    Personally, I don’t see Google as having a very deep or strong tap root. Search needs to be completely rethought. And with cloud resources it could be rethought by a really small team. I don’t want personalized search in the way G is dreaming of it; I predict that will fail for sure. You hearted a clam chowder recipe so I’m going to show you dishes with clams in it. Stupid. Won’t be good. The whole idea of search is I want something different each time otherwise I would not be back.The kerfuffle about maps was laughable. For all the hyenas going on about how it showed the Google bested Apple, it didn’t effect sales one iota. And no one remarked on how, um, remarkable it was that Apple got the whole functional part done in < 1 release cycle!! So the data sucked (in some places). That does not tell a good story for the survival of G.G+ is a bombed out ghetto. As stupid as Facebook is, G+ is even stupider, and I/O was a joke of a conference: just a gas cloud of maybe cool stuff sometime in the future, that will probably be in beta for a decade, and 80% of it will get spiked by its creator, but otherwise, gee whiz…Google is benefiting from a Revenge of the Nerds scenario right now. The nerds are mad that Apple made machines that make them less powerful. Your mom and sister can actually manage computing without summoning the ringmaster. So sad.

    1. Drew Meyers

      “Search needs to be completely rethought.”Like FB Graph search?

      1. Bugsnuffer

        I read that and was not impressed. I am talking about other things, like the fact that we are rapidly approaching the point where holding a huge index into a garbage pale of semantic-free crap will start looking a lot less valuable than it has.

  57. howardlindzon

    In hearts…winning methodically is great, but ‘shooting the moon’ is the more fun way to win….can’t blame google. but it wont happen and I think they must know that. Fun that they are trying as the products get pushed to be better and the competition has to step itself up

  58. Andy Orr

    Listen to Horace Dediu’s podcast, The Critical Path – #85, for some insight on this. Hardware to software to services to data…Fear not the companies that try to run the table. Dominance is becoming more fleeting (IMO).

  59. Pete Griffiths

    Google’s model is based on ‘centralized’ data. (it can be distributed but is still logically centralized).How about a truly distributed infrastructure? Peer to peer. Like Bitcoin.Such massive distribution might compete with the scale of Google’s datacenters.And it would be to the advantage of ISPs to provide the low latency backbone.

  60. Patrick Hemminger

    $GOOG stoppers are most generally in grade/middle/high school right now. Makes it that much more important to pour into our youth and share the lessons & education that will make it possible for them to explore their creative, entrepreneurial minds. Current education platform is not equipped to foster that type of growth, IMHO.

  61. Raj

    Fred,The genesis of Google’s products are centered around integrating advertising in a seamless fashion. Making Android open source, the best of free mapping software, starting to make AdX look like a platform for brands (much like AdWords) — tie as many pieces of the ad puzzle as possible for brands.Google poses the biggest threat to ad agencies, as they attempt cannibalize the media planning business with self serve tools for display, video and other forms of integrated digital advertising. As we all know, more than 90% of AdWords campaigns were managed by agencies for brands in 2004, and now it is the opposite, 90% of brands manage it in-house. It is a matter of time before display ad management gets out of ad agencies.I don’t know who can stop Google. But, it has to be a super innovative ad company that hurts Google where it hurts – advertising. Take the intelligence out of Google’s ad severs and put it directly into the ads themselves, in the process converting Google into a dumb inventory pipe. Even if such company exists, Google will snap them up for a premium. So we will be back to square one :-)Raj



      1. William Mougayar

        Good point.Prob 90% of their revenues is ads. That is the central nervous system of Google. Everything else is a project that may or may not stick.

  62. Laura Yecies

    All I can say is that I’m glad to see this thread. There’s been so much Android “fanboyisms” here that this recognition of reality is refreshing

  63. Jon Michael Miles

    Google will stop Google as most people get in their own way. Either that or the Federal Gubmint will break them up.

  64. catwell

    The Web, a.k.a. Mozilla, maybe. If they play well.The problem is that IMO they’re better than Google philosophically but worse technically. I don’t think they can win with philosophy alone. They have the right distribution model but they have to take it out of the Web platform (I mean stop believing applications will live in a browser and be written in or compiled to JavaScript).But other than that, if things like Persona / BrowserID and MozPay take off, I think they can annoy Google a bit.I don’t think everything Google is doing is entirely wrong though. Their move away from standards bothers me ( and their own engineers too…… ) but I think their R&D (Glass, self-driving cars and so on) is awesome.

  65. Dean

    Red and White…blue suede shoes….I’m Uncle Sam…how do u do…

  66. abhisshack

    I Smell Jealousy from your post @fredwilson:disqus. you invested in DuckDuckGo but (provably) not in Google. would you still rise this question if you heavily invested in Google and that investment will give you handsome return ? (english is not native language)

  67. Sean Saulsbury

    Excuse me but what does it mean to to “run the table on a market”?

  68. David Petersen

    You’ll take it all back when they bring us robot cars.Say what you will about their ambitions, but individually most of them serve to make the world a better place. Their performance initiatives are particularly great. Their maps are great. Their search is great. I love angular, mod_pagespeed, go, analytics, etc. It’s interesting that a company is being perceived as a problem because they do so many different things well.I think they could have problems against a competitor who can build good UI and cares about customer support. I’m still waiting to have my Google Wallet account reinstated (it was suspended for no reason), meanwhile they require me to use it to pay for various services.

    1. kidmercury

      i hear ya. i lost my google analytics account because i accidentally had two different google tracking codes on a web site of mine. now i can’t put any google tracking on this web site, because of this little accident that occurred almost 4 years ago.

      1. David Petersen

        Hmm. Did they suspend your account or did it just stop working?

        1. kidmercury

          i misspoke earlier — just stop working on the site that i had multiple google analytics codes on. now i cannot put ANY google analytics on that site. i can use my google analytics account to track other sites i’m working on, though.

  69. K_Berger

    My phone recently upgraded so I can use Google Now. And although I typically try to minimize how much I share with Google, as an experiment I have been logging in everywhere just so I can see how many different things it will pull together.Pretty cool but just a bit creepy at the same time.

  70. Druce

    Do you think Google+ would even exist, if Facebook hadn’t been so successful with their diseased business model? Or Android would have existed, if not for the iPhone tax and getting between Google and their customers?I think Facebook was to Google as the Internet was to Microsoft, where they decisively dealt with an existential threat, but also cut corners, turned evil, and at the height of their power, planted seeds of their own destruction.

  71. Dave W Baldwin

    It’s 1:35pm CST and a lot of interesting comments (except for the name calling thing). Answering your question comes down to nobody. Google has laid out some goals. They were never hiding them. Google is not the only company investing in the robotic people/goods mover.Google is not the only company who has a platform to develop apps. They just are offering enticements.Google is not the only company that offers “voice”. They just seem to know there is more to it. How intelligent along that line will show over the next year and half.Google is not the only one selling ad space. They just have most others beat. And that ad money seems to pay for a lot of experimentation.

  72. Esayas Gebremedhin

    I was busy preparing for my speech about creative leadership tomorrow: will stop Google? I think, it’s not about stopping Google or anyone. It’s about creating the next “Layer of Arrangement”. I am totally certain that the next “Layer of Arrangement” is about “Idea Requesting Idea”. Which simply means we need a Startup out there that merges the digital with the atomic on everything we can think about. The conquest of Google in the realms of the web will be definitely be overrun by Startups that look beyond the web and into the real world. This is what our Startup is building towards: course Foursquar, Kickstater and Quirky are heading towards that vision to but web as a data battlefield – WHO CARES!!!Here is the backend product development chart:

  73. Franca Condo


    1. JLM

      .It is difficult to see what public interest there is in a service that is essentially free.The government does not have the authority to regulate things unless there is a clear and present danger to the public primarily based on monopolistic or anti-competition themes which exact some financial penalty on the public if left unaltered.When no money is changing hands, there are arguably no monetary damages and thus no wrong to be righted.While you suggest that “Facebook….should not have been allowed to buy Instagram…” perhaps the larger issue is that the government should not have interfered in the peddling of the Instagram’s owners private property.There is no question that the competitive posture of all things Internet is evolving and evolving quickly but we have come a long way from the Netscape v Internet Explorer wars.Capitalism — effective capitalism — demands a cannibalistic competition in the marketplace in which the market anoints winners and losers, not the government.The government should be creating an environment for innovation and entrepreneurial success and not erecting a Nanny State set of silly rules.Witness the differences between California and Texas when one plumbs the depths of economic environment and outcomes.JLM.

  74. Turki Fahad




  76. William Mougayar

    I’m willing to bet that Google is having a meeting about this discussion. I wonder what they are saying.

    1. Guest

      Unlike Yahoo, we’re not going to buy any of Fred Wilson’s investments?

  77. Andy M

    While I am not suggesting they will “stop” google, when I look at things like or izik I see better ways to find/organise information on a phone or tablet than or “traditional” search apps/bars.

  78. Bernard Lunn

    I think this is getting too abstract and far fetched. The only thing that will stop Google is not a better search engine but much easier content creation on a domain you control ie you do not pay for Adwords because you get traffic organically. content marketing disrupts all publishers including publishers like Google.

  79. Robert Holtz

    The most awesome thing about this field is that things always keep moving. The “bee’s knees” today is more likely than not destined to be an also-ran tomorrow.The best any company can aspire for is that their epic achievement today gets to be a part of the “new-normal” tomorrow. To remain relevant in the public discourse as a thought leader. It seems, as such, that long term sustainability has to include planned obsolescence as part of the business model. Either that or focus just on solving small medium-term problems, positioning the company almost all along to be gobbled up by the bigger players as markets evolve, consolidate, and give way for whatever is next.Fred, you’re right in that it seems the destiny of every company on the rise that when they get the shot at it, they all want to run the table. But I think there seems to be an invisible counterbalance to that all where the market just always wants the next cooler faster cheaper thinner lighter thing to come along.Personally, I think the company that might shatter Google’s hubris may not even exist yet. Isn’t that why you’re drawn to this vocation, Fred?

  80. Tom Labus

    big day!

    1. fredwilson


      1. Tom Labus


        1. fredwilson

          yupstill have not made my way through all of them

  81. duckduckgo has a good chance to hurt google’s bread and butter ifa) you can put in autocompletion of text b) improve it for less frequent queries … i forget the technical term for this.I understand the founder is religious about not tracking for multiple reasons.but you can just do the auto completion from the cache of past queries without storing who and where it came from. this way you might even escape a federal request…I am trying my best to ddg but the autocompletion really irritates me

  82. kenberger

    No, Fred!! Don’t leave Android! That would leave me alone as the last fanboy left to turn out the lights!

    1. fredwilson

      i am having a hard time figuring out where to go to be honest

  83. Jim Shook

    Their time will come, I just wonder if it will happen before Larry/Sergey take a backseat. MSFT started sucking when Bill Gates stepped down in 2000 and Apple the same when Jobs passed. I agree w/ @kidmercury:disqus that whatever displaces Google probably won’t be on the application layer and won’t compete on engineering.

  84. kskobac

    I guess what I’m interested in is what we’d all choose for Google’s specialized focus to be. As much as it may seem overzealous of them to pursue every category, Google tends to be positive and disruptive in so many of its efforts. Mobile got better with Android, web browsing got better with Chrome, productivity got better with Google Apps, etc., etc., .. and I don’t want them to give up with their big ambitions. So if I had to pick what their reasonable territory is, vs what they shouldn’t get greedy about, it’s a hard choice to make.

  85. Steven Kane

    “It is the privilege of the establishment to experience its power as idealism.” – Larissa MacFarquhar

  86. Siva

    – If you guy walks into your office- Presents a plan to complete with Google on all fronts- Will have a chance of 1:1000 of making it- Will anyone fund it?

    1. fredwilson

      no, better to compete on only one front

  87. Guest

    @fredwilson:disqus @kidmercury:disqus @davewbaldwin:disqus @samedaydr:disqus — I wrote previously that “killing Google” isn’t where startups could or should focus.Rather it’s to create a category of analytics not provided by Google, FB, Amazon, Yahoo and other existing approaches to Big Data.Today my work,, went live.On the site, AVC community can explore the analytics and intelligence we’ve been using and dealing with to-date, to filter and contextualize information (Likert 5-stars, Osgood semantic-differentials and a whole bunch of 7P metrics — product, price, place etc).I’m building a new class of intelligence: Perception metrics.This is my first startup as a founder (I’ve been on the other side as a strategic investor and now returned to my product development roots).Looking forward to your interest, feedback and help in moving Intelligence and the Machines forward to make better sense and to serve us.

  88. Youssef Rahoui

    Anything that will be able to own display advertising (which sucks badly) on the web will be able to compete with Google.