Apple fuses technology with design. IBM invests in research that is often a decade ahead of its time. Facebook “moves fast and maintains a stable infrastructure” (but apparently doesn’t break things anymore). Each of these companies, in its own way, is a superior innovator. But what makes Google (now officially known as Alphabet) different is that it doesn’t rely on any one innovation strategy, but deploys a number of them to create an intricate — but powerful — innovation ecosystem that seems to roll out innovations by the dozens.