While it may be considered part of the new world order’s “too big too fail” category, there seems to be a new development that is just as interesting but really quite disturbing. Google is getting so much attention from Washington DC that is being driven by their competition that a new category of “too big to be allowed to innovate” companies may be forming right before our eyes.
This is what is essentially taking place. Google has put together tools and services in the Internet Age that are serving to move millions if not billions of people forward. They have done this in a “wild west” setting where people and companies are doing things that have never been done before. There was no real pre-existing competition. In a new marketplace the first mover advantage is always big. But with the scale that can be afforded by the Internet Google’s first mover advantage has given it a much quicker rise to prominence and, a much deeper one.
This makes many people squeamish. Especially those who want a piece of the Internet billions that are out there. Some older companies like Microsoft missed their chance to truly ride this wave and now they are going after Google through things like Fair Search. It’s a shame and it is shameful because the ultimate victim is the consumer.
If Google is restricted in how it can build out its many interconnecting tools the people who suffer are ones like myself who have been able to do more than ever in my life thanks to Google’s many offerings (which are free for now). I don’t care if it takes market share from Microsoft and their cash cow software businesses. I don’t care if Bing isn’t as good as it needs to be to compete. Why don’t I care? Because I think that the company with the best products and services should win. It’s called capitalism and it is ultimately fair.
The problem now is that since the Internet space is so new, Google is able to shape much of how the Internet space works. Guess what? Henry Ford did the same thing with the automobile industry. If he didn’t develop efficiencies in manufacturing the world may have been much slower in its development in the industrial age. Should Ford have been punished for moving so many along so much more quickly? No and neither should Google.
Maybe Google could do some things to make it seem like they are less powerful. Google Ventures helps to invest in new companies which creates new jobs and innovates. Maybe they need to do things that are bigger so people might know they are busy. Trouble is that if they own a piece of a company that innovates and, for example, knocks Facebook off its perch at the top of the social media hill, then people will point to Google’s involvement and call foul.
I really think that Google’s newest problem is that they are too successful (despite many HUGE flameouts including Google Buzz and Wave). People in power don’t like new threats to that power. Google is a threat. For me though, it is a liberator and allows me to do more than I ever could in the past. Of course, I am just a little guy with an opinion. Talk about something that has little influence in the world.
In the end, Google is huge. I say let them get bigger if it means that almost all ships will rise with their rising tide. For those that are not in the water for the benefit, that’s their problem, not mine.