My crazy comments on the future of Google

I wrote a comment on Google’s future recently on New York Times. Repost here for Vietnamese entrepreneurs as a food for thought. Some day I will come back with a fun prediction on who will be the Google of Vietnam.


I would predict GOOG surpass MSFT as the biggest company in terms of market capitalization within the next 2 years and well on its way to become the most valuable company in the world. This is why:

1. Business Model. Google now is more than a search ads company. With the global ad revenues of $400b and US revenues of $300b, there is no way for Google to scale their ad revenues growth (both search and non-search, including hot growth engines display, video, mobile), notwithstanding profits and market capitalization. Still, Google is morphing itself into a true web services company by venturing into office suite software (online), web analytics ultilities, mobile ads etc. GE is the king of Industrial Age. Then came in P&G who became the king of Consumer Goods Age. Then Microsoft, the king of most recent Information Age. Google’s vision to “organize the world’s information” and what it is doing proved its potential is far and big enough to make it the king of future’s Information-based Economy.

2. Sustainablity. Why I agree with some of you that Google’s business model, i.e. search ads, is replicable, Google is quite a different species. Its brand now has unmatched equity that a second search ad disrupter would find extremely difficult to match. When Google has become the Coke of search ads, expect another century for the Pepsi of search ads to surpass its No.1 position. Moreover, Google is fueling its sustainablity by recruiting the smartest people, and building the best web services brands.

3. Core competency expanded well beyond search ads. Google’s core competency now is Innovation. And it is fueling this core competency improvement with an unrivalled free cash flow that no technology company in this world could dream of. This would make its competitors sweating just follow them and duplicate these things.

4. Learning the best of GE, P&G and Microsoft to apply to web space. Google has learnt the lesson of recruiting and developing the best people from GE, applying it to recruit the smartest tech people. It borrows the art of brand management from P&G to build, acquire and manage the web’s leading brands, including Google, YouTube, Orkut, Blogger, Gmail, GTalk, Picasa, to name just a few. It is venturing into Microsoft’s backyard, i.e. office suite and other softwares.

For these reasons, don’t think that Google is just a fad. It has become a system of core competencies, and this is what will make them dominant in the future Economy 2.0 and super valuable in that future. The only thing that should stop this engine and crash its stock lies in itself if all four things I mentioned above is not relentlessly continued to be upgraded and let other competitors step in.

Harry Do