Two weeks ago I had a meet up with most of the Dutch Google Glass owners. I am one of the happy few and together with 20 other so called ‘Glassholes’ we were sharing experiences and potential new use cases. One of the Glassholes was Raimo van der Klein, the original founder of Layar an augmented reality firm. By itself it was a good example of an app that became famous on a global scale but they were never able to really materialize it. Nowadays he is running several companies and Glasseffect is one of them. He was telling about his experiences with Glass and we were having some discussions. Google Now is a kind of intelligent virtual assistant available on smartphones, tablets and now even Glass. I must say that with Glass it really shows its value because recommendations and smart suggestions pop up straight in your eye when utmost relevant to me. But still, Google Now is not always right or in my opinion is missing many opportunities to help me in my daily private and business life. And in my opinion Google is THE company who should be able to do because they literately know everything of me. But still, Google Now is not always right or in my opinion is missing many opportunities to help me in my daily private and business life.All my data in in Google. Pictures, videos, agenda, notes, routes, travel etc. etc. I open all gates because I truly want to experience what smart Google can do for me. So one of the discussions I had with Raimo was why this is still the case? Google Now knowing that much but still not able to provide me with ‘wow’ moments many times a day. His answer was simple and I must say I didn’t view it from that angle sofar. ‘Google simply wants the ecosystem to build such smart apps, they want to become THE ecosystem platform, not the app builder itself.’ That makes sense. I truly believe that Google has all knowledge and resources to build something nice and as an example Google Now is such a thing. But the big movement has to come from the developers, their joined power is even bigger than Google’s. Google is definitely going for the long tail and not the short term success which is ambitious but looking at their behavior it really looks like they are persistent in doing so.
Hardware and Apple, Google, Motorola, Samsung
Having said that puts the sell of the mobile Motorola division by Google last week in a completely new perspective. Off course there are many elements that made Google decide to repel Motorola. The huge number of patents Motorola owns is of great value for Google and finally that is what it is all about. But going back to the ambition to be THE platform of ecosystems and being successful by making others successful something was going wrong the last couple of years. Samsung really became a hot consumer brand when she decided to fully focus on Android. It was her means to even compete with Apple and who could have thought of that 5 years ago? But with Google acquiring Motorola Mobile division some years ago it was a slam in the face of Samsung. But with Google acquiring Motorola Mobile division some years ago it was a slam in the face of Samsung.Does Google wants to become a competitor of Samsung? So much loyalty by adopting Android to it’s full extent and than all over sudden competing? I am sure that such a move made Samsung decide to start developing her own smartphone OS Tizen that we have seen appearing in the media now. I kind of understand Google since the true user experience like iPhone users have is a result of seamless integration of hardware and software owned by Apple itself. But it is contrary to the ecosystem line of thinking Google has. At the end the market decides and with Android gaining market share dramatically fast it looks like this true experience is not the ultimate key for success.
Their ecosystem platform becomes hugely powerful and Apple in the meantime is walking in its own pitfall.
And the winner is?
So with Google selling Motorola it looks like they are back on track. Shooting for the longtail and not try to compete with their ecosystem partners. Let the ecosystem do its work which will multiply Google’s success dramatically. Eliminating the patent wars between Google and Samsung and let them fight with Apple. In the meantime acquiring companies like Boston Dynamics, DeepMind and Nest to expand their capabilities of the ecosystem platform headed by Andy Rubin (red. the original founder of the company Android). Data is the new currency and Google is gathering more and more. Their ecosystem platform becomes hugely powerful and Apple in the meantime is walking in its own pitfall. I remember times that Apple was trying to license its OS. But they were simply not able to do so. Afraid of loosing their hardware business. Apple’s ability to scale is stuttering and I don’t see the right things happening in order to change. Google in the meantime is learning from its faults and is acting utmost agile. It is even a bit frighting to see how she is conquering the world. Things we watched in movies tens of years ago are really becoming true. Exciting times definitely creating huge opportunities for us, industries countries and economy. New professionals are needed, not only software builders but intelligent people who knows how to handle and analyse data. And Apple, they will probably remain the challenger which definitely has huge function to change the market when the others are becoming too big.