Google = Alphabet? well, not exactly.
Google’s corporate revamping has kicked up a significant amount of sand (or in this case bytes). This is no surprise. After all, it is not every day the most popular company in the world changes how it does business.
It is however, interesting to note that this strategic move, which is being lauded as original and unprecedented, has for years been the bread and butter strategy for the likes of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway and Biodun Shobanjo’s Troyka, one of the largest media conglomerate in Africa.
In a sense the move is not surprising but inevitable. Google was already “lost” trying to do so many things under the guise of being a mere search engine company.
While the founders had a vision that was much bigger than search and display ads, the public saw Google as just that. For quite sometime, “Google” has been synonymous with the verb “search”.
The founders of Google are concerned with taking on the world’s real big problems and they have been investing heavily in that, with a handful of acquisitions and initiatives. Google has their hands in just about everything “big” you can think of. They are spearheading the cure for cancer with technology, there’s their driverless car program, there’s the nest project, then there is Google ventures project, Google capital project, Google’s “Wifi everywhere” project too, the list goes on and on.
By becoming Alphabet, Google can focus on building its brand equity by focusing on what we know them for, while simultaneously freeing up other companies within the consortium to focus on solving the world’s big problems.
Alphabet’s structure is designed to give each separate business more independence and freedom to grow. The loss of one venture such as the the Google X for instance won’t pull down or affect the other profitable businesses.
Alphabet will own , acquire and invest in companies that can solve big problems for the world but will do no direct business of it’s own. You can check out their website at www.abc.xyz, it’s as simple as it gets.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin have never hidden their ambition to take on the world’s biggest problems (if you had almost $70 billion in cash just sitting idle somewhere, you probably wouldn’t too :-)) One of Page’s most famous quotes from several years ago remains: “If you are changing the world, you are working on important things. You are excited to get up in the morning”
I don’t think the ambitious duo are bored with their brain child. It is just that, since they easily dominate that space now and will continue to do so for a while regardless of any ambitious challenger, these two visionaries need bigger challenges and they have the funds to explore viable solutions. An entrepreneurs without a challenging problem is like a jazz player without his instrument.
I actually feel like these guys at times myself. I have my hands in sooooooo many projects that it gets pretty crazy to keep up with every one of them, show commitment to every one of them and still be focused but I still keep on pushing.
To reiterate, I think the Alphabet strategy is a long overdue move that should really help “Google” stay focused. All the different units would all have their own leaders and their own books (investors would love this). I also have the feeling that there might be some tax benefits that kick in with the restructuring. I am not sure how, but we all know how “creative” big corporations can get with tax avoidance. Troyka under the leadership of Biodun Shobanjo has been doing this for 26 years
Ok here’s an image from one of my many, many projects that should go live soon, don’t ask me what it’s about just yet though ;-). You will be the first to know once it goes live just watch this space.