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At last, reversing Jobs' advice to combine everything, returning to the original idea of trying lots of things. Maybe 20% time will see a resurgence, too? Bonus: small, separate entities makes it easier to tackle new opportunities (which start small) that wouldn't move the needle for Google - as per Christensen.

> We did a lot of things that seemed crazy at the time. Many of those crazy things now have over a billion users, like Google Maps, YouTube, Chrome, and Android.

Seems disingenuous, since YouTube and Android (at least) were acquisitions.




Well, they're keeping combined the things that really can be a coherent product (the new "Google" subsidiary of Alphabet contains Search, YouTube, GMail, Android, etc.)

I think this is just them realizing the limits of that Jobs advice - some things just don't make sense together. Apple just showed that the optimal point was a lot farther in the integration direction than anyone else was willing to countenance.


Won't this make it more awkward to do something like 20% time? It sounds like the experimental stuff will be split out from the core "Google" business, and employees will work for either one or the other.


20% time would be for nascent, university-like pre-startup projects. The conglomerate structure would give them somewhere to go, without needing to fit into search. But I admit, that's quite a leap. An internal-YC would fill the gap, but there's no evidence they're doing that. So I think you've torpedoed my idea.


>> small, separate entities makes it easier to tackle new opportunities (which start small) that wouldn't move the needle for Google - as per Christensen.

They would still need to move the needle for alphabet.


Android was tiny and far away from launching when it was acquired. And the YouTube acquisition was definitely considered crazy at the time.


YouTube wasn't considered crazy at all by the time Google bought it. It was clear by then that it was a runaway success, so clear that even traditional media companies like Viacom and News Corp were bidding for it. It certainly wasn't some small company that Google grew from nothing into dominance; it was a billion-dollar company that had already won its space.

Some articles from the time:

http://money.cnn.com/2006/10/09/technology/google_youtube/

http://techcrunch.com/2006/10/09/google-has-acquired-youtube...



So was Myspace when AOL acquired it.


Myspace was not acquired by AOL.




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