Why is Google installing fiber optic cable in three American cities? Why is it into a dubious wearable project called Glass?
The answer is: there is no reason in the world why a search/advertising company would invest in these types of projects.
For that matter, the same can be said of driverless cars. Google’s innovation strategy and the easy way it draws analysts into the excitement of change might be blinding us to something more fundamental about the company’s struggle with the future.
So let’s test that idea.
Google is a big proponent of radical adjacencies – going into markets where it has no core experience.
But we have seen evidence that Google struggles to make its adjacencies work outside of its ads model, unless you count Android where Google is gradually building an important apps’ revenue stream.
We know also Google is highly prone to cutting projects that don’t seem to work, often at short notice. So how safe, important and relevant are Fiber, Glass and autonomous cars?
It’s worth examining a part of the bear case on Google, just to test out the logic of these innovations.
Here are four reasons that the Google 20% innovation strategy might not be working as well as we think – and why the company needs treating with a little more Apple-like skepticism.
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