Right to deletion would be one. Heightened portability requirements another.
recently nello.io was sold and this is the email i got.
we have good news, which we would like to share with you immediately! The journey of nello continues - we will join forces with the team of SCLAK. The new owner SCLAK will be the Italian supplier of smart home products. This fits perfectly to nello.
In order for you to be able to use your nello one in the future, there will be an update of the app shortly.
Since your data is particularly important to us, you will be asked to give your consent to the transfer of your customer data to SCLAK in the course of this update. The continued usability of your nello one can only be guaranteed with your consent. Without the data transfer, the functionality of your app will expire, which we would very much regret.
Anyway, over here in continental Europe democracy mostly works. And when people complained about privacy issues for years and Facebook laughed in our faces we eventually got the GDPR. That's exactly the kind of "either get your shit together or we will legislate it" this thread is about.
The constitutional part is important too — it limits what people, and their representatives, can do even if they have a majority.
Similarly when electing the president people vote for a person who will vote for the president. While it is a weird system, in essence the leader is chosen by the people.
Calling only direct democracy a democracy would be weird, by that standard a country pretty much can't be democratic for purely practical reasons (though Switzerland comes close)
People like to say this all the time like it's clever, but being a republic does not preclude being democratic. The United States is a democracy.
No, but the particular form of the US republic does so in practice.
> The United States is a democracy.
The United States may have been built around an idea of representative democracy, but in function it is more of a plutocratic republic with quasi-democratic rituals.
"We're doing stand-ups and we use story points, we're agile"
You elect you president ; you elect your representatives to congress and senate at federal level ; you elect your representatives and governor at state level ; you elect your mayor and your city council at local level.
That's the definition of democracy.
I very much dislike neo-nazis, but I have to applaud the gentleman for at least understanding the simplest nature of his government and attempting to educate his countrymen.
As a B2B systems provider, we also have those for our customers.
If a B2C service provider does not provide these, then you can demand them or not sign up or both.
Here’s a quote from the NYT:
“You will always be in control of your data, and we will remain transparent about the data we collect and why,” Fitbit’s chief executive, James Park, said in an email to his company’s customers on Friday morning. “We never sell your personal information, and Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads.”
A right to delete would mean something more like that the companies have no choice, e.g. that existing laws force them to delete your data from the service, whether they were willing to commit to offering that option or not.
You may think you have a product but you don't. If your product survives (as in, Google didn't buy you just for the team), your product schedule will have to survive the interests of every other PA/team in Google.
- You think you have software to run your products? Ha. The Android team will have a different opinion.
- Even if you survive Android, Fuchsia probably thinks you belong on their paltform.
- Oh and while we're at it, let's integrate with OAuth2.0 so your device now needs a Google account to even work (and stops working when refresh tokens can't be used as happened to many Google wireless routers).
- Your software development is now set in stone as various teams work out how to migrate it to Google infrastructure and rewrite it in [language/framework du jour].
I actually agree with other commenters: Google just doesn't know what it's about anymore. It has no overriding vision. Larry just isn't the leader Google needs to be, which would be fine, except that he clearly wants to be.
it’s pretty apparent to me that after google finally got over wanting to be facebook, google now wants to be apple. and they’re desperately trying not to be microsoft, even though that’s what they mostly are.
in the beginning, google had a unique identity (quirky & clever) and vision (organize the world’s information). now they look to others to figure out who to be. it’s like the small town high school football star who never moved on.
Mostly because Microsoft became more like Google in recent years. :P
They're doing some seriously good things in the dev space.
The closest thing to an ad in VSCode or for that matter Terminal would be .. I guess hints at ease of Azure cloud services? Never found it intrusive myself, and I do AWS.
That's odd thing to call the biggest software company* in the world.
I have no idea what Forbes is using for its ranking but it is obviously not by valuation.
EDIT: And it should arguably be Apple, but for some reason neither Apple nor Amazon are software companies?
> for some reason neither Apple nor Amazon are software companies?
Because they aren't software companies? Or at least principally software companies.
Amazon is categorized as an retail company. 
Apple is categorized as a computer hardware company. 
Nitpicking aside, I think my point stands about a $800B+ company.
2. If Google didn't integrate their Auth, the same community will be complaining about the lack of compatibility.
2.1B isn't an acquihire. They want the customers, the team, and the manufacturing chain at the very least.
In a little less than a decade the perception of Google went from 'Best search on the internet' and 'Do no evil' to 'Fuck Google' and 'Delete your accounts with them'; and 'their search has gotten exponentially worse'
No skin in the game from me (I only use Gmail for non-essential shopping), just an observation. Personally, I think it's great. I'm proud to stand with the vocal minority against the rampant data collection and trade.
My guess for the next great Satan? One of the notable, useful, quirky little “meta”/“web-glue” outfits such as IFTTT or somebody like that. Or a Fintech. Or some other company that somehow insinuates itself into our daily lives, holding our rickety digital lifestyles together, and eventually becomes as indispensable as mortar is to a brick building.
*Other notable examples being, in no specific order: Intel, DEC, Symbolics, Commodore, and yes, Apple.
edit: Just to be clear, the reason I'm so suspicious of Cloudflare is that they're inserting themselves between users and their destination. The service they provide is a great value, and their contribution to the public (free dns and vpn) is extremely admirable. But they only exist because the infrastructure maintained by the old corporate guards is so poor. Once they take over all network traffic, they'll be the next great Satan. Their story will probably turn out similar to Google.
This is really commendable. Do you host your own E-mail/Calendar/Contacts server? if so, what's your setup like in terms of hardware and the software stack?
Obviously you pay for the convenience, but it's not a lot for self-hosted and maintained stack at home.
Important email is hosted through https://soverin.net with a custom domain.
Never used Calendar and have no plans to.
I am a Xoogler myself.
I'd be more careful about dismissing him as a random APM who "somehow managed to ride the wave of Chrome". Successes like these aren't wholly random and while there is certainly an amount of luck involved, you need to remember that Chrome is/was a crazy essential thing for Google's success before the smartphone/Android revolution.
It is more about not giving up the entry point to search (browser on PC -- mobiles weren't dominant in 2008) to a competitor (MS) who could stifle or charge a steep price to let it be the default search. If you need any more data on this, read up on how much Google pays Apple to be the default search engine ($5B a year IIRC).
So... Sundar's CEO status may or may not have been the best choice but don't discount years of work and navigating inside a behemoth like Google and getting st done :)
Do you have a source for this? My understanding is that this $200m figure is a multi-year figure to keep him at Google.
I wouldn’t characterize him as random though. Larry seemed to like him because he is able to handle conflict very well.
Seems like multi-year (2016-2020), not annually.
Chrome has monopolized not just the Internet, but is in the process of monopolising desktop dev thanks to the success of Electron. Of course those are good credentials to end up in charge of Google.
 As far as most people are concerned, their browser is the Internet.
I actually expect this more a reaction to Apple's pivot into health with the Apple Watch (people seem to forget the ex-Burberry CEO positioned the Apple Watch 1 as a luxury product--anyone remember the Apple Watch Edition for $10k?--health came later).
Do you believe it to be mistaken? Or true, but not worth caring about?
Its core business is selling products whose entire value would be negated if it sold the data behind them, so it really wouldn't sell the data.
On top of that, I think it's a mistake to say that they are buying Fitbit for data anyway. They are buying Fitbit for a toehold in the wearables market; while this probably has some data value, it's pretty clearly part of their effort to build up direct sales of consumer products as a revenue stream.
Targeted advertising is far from the only thing Google wants data for.
We don’t share information that personally identifies you with advertisers, such as your name or email, unless you ask us to
And "unless you ask us to" is the default behavior of almost all google products. You have to ask them not to, sometimes under penalty of law (GDPR), before they actually change their behavior.
Facebook and Google want to collect your data and keep it. What they're selling is indirect access to you: the more information they have on you, the more precisely they can theoretically target advertising and content to you. Keeping the data they have on you to themselves is literally their business model.
Two points, though. First, of course, that's still essentially what's been dubbed "surveillance capitalism"; it's still something someone may be uncomfortable with for a variety of reasons. Your data is being indirectly monetized, but it's still being monetized, and you still have very limited insight into the extent of that data and how it's being used. Second, adtech isn't the business model of everyone who collects data -- and one could argue that the more businesses a data-collecting company is in, the more moral hazards pop up. How much data will Google give over to law enforcement when there's a warrant, for example? What if we see a Facebook Health initiative that allows medical providers and insurers selective access to what Facebook "knows" about you within the limits of regulations and the law? (Do you know what those limits are? I don't.)
I actually expect this more a reaction to Apple's pivot into health with the Apple Watch...
Expect what, privacy concerns? While I understand that, I'm not sure much health information collected by Apple devices ever leaves your "local ecosystem" (i.e., your personal set of devices). Also, the Apple Watch Edition notwithstanding, I'm not sure I'd say its original incarnation was positioned as a luxury product -- yes, you could pay $10,000+ for it if you wanted to, but it still started at $349. But it was certainly positioned as a fashion product at its introduction, which they've dialed way back on since.
For example in the utopic vision of anarchy, there are no authorities and everyone must find their own path in the world. The flip side of having no decisions made for you is that you must make all of your own decisions. Or in democracy, since anyone and everyone has the exact same power over decisions, all the really important decisions are made in the most mediocre way possible. In Capitalism, we have the specter of individuals being ground into raw resources and then spit out when they reach their useful lifespan.
So if their intent is to build a utopia of their own making, that's definitionally evil because it admits no dissenting opinion in the matter of how we live our lives.
GCP is a good example. No search. No ads. No using of customer data. Just a desire for a really big potential revenue stream that builds on Google's expertise in managing huge numbers of servers and services.
There are a lot. And there have been more that were cancelled. As I said: Google-the-search-and-advertising-company is one of the most successful companies of our time. It's astonishingly hard to replicate that success, which is probably why we don't see Google other units with equivalent revenue. But it's really not for lack of trying.
Is this an accurate description of Google? I thought they used the same 4-5 languages they've used since the beginning of time, maybe minus perl and plus kotlin.
Or for the data ... even better profiles of people, including people who tried avoiding giving Google that data. Probably time for such users to send GDPR notices (If EU citizens)
The site guidelines particularly ask: "Please don't post shallow dismissals [...] A good critical comment teaches us something."
Isn't it an organization optimized for enabling engineers to increase leverage?
That's why things get rewritten into [language/framework du jour].
I absolutely agree with everything.
Here is the thing, total side topic - but Fitbit's product is really excellent!
The packaging of the PCBs, the operating system, the tech, it's all really impressive.
I know that means nothing in the larger scope, Google bought them for their data and mining potential.
I've always been impressed with Fitbit.
To me, Garmin is the only company here that does a good job with the "hardcore fitness" market, but why does that matter in the first place? The better market to compete in is the "fitness amateur" market, which I see as being many times the former in size. Fitbit competes well here, and Google has no offering to speak of. Seems like a successful diversification move for Alphabet's portfolio. I especially like what Google's software can do to improve FitBit's offering by leveraging AI.
With regard to AI, I'm not trying to be flippant but, those users don't care. No amateur fitness users would even understand how that would apply and likely be less to care than selling predictive analysis to those working out who legitimately track vitals and are trying to shave seconds.
The way around that is to charge it earlier in the evening before bed - I do that and it lasts me easily until the following evening.
But it's a shame the device doesn't cover sleep natively.
Source? A simple search for "fitbit garmin market share"  seem to suggest that Garmin is ways behind Fitbit in adoption.
I'm not so sure about that.
For simple activity monitoring by way of step counting, movement time, sleep time, and similar simple metrics, there is a lot of competition. This isn't just from the extremely cheap (but probably not very good) options, there are several devices out there at about half the price of FitBit's cheapest that seem to do the job just as well (caveat: I'm basing this mainly on anecdotal evidence from friends/family and online).
For very little more than their cheapest watch & step-counter you can get a TomTom sports watch which has built-in GPS for accurate run/cycle/other tracking, breadcrumb mapping, and so on. The price difference for adding a wrist-based heard-rate monitor is about the same in both ranges.
Moving away from the casual fitness market towards people like me[†], their only GPS capable device[‡] costs more than Garmin's 235 which is a more capable device, more than twice the price of the aforementioned TomTom units, in fact you can usually get a Fenix 3 for the same price as the Ioinc, and there are a couple of other well regarded competitors with similar feature sets at that sort of price level too.
Their key advantage is name recognition, at the casual end of the market at least, though that doesn't necessarily help. People often call cheap-n-dirty activity trackers "cheap fitbits" rather than an activity tracker, watch, or other name including the products official name, but they still buy them instead of the actual fitbit. They did in the past seem to have that part of the market cornered, but seem to have let it slip considerably in recent years.
(NOTE: I'm in the UK. Relative pricing of manufacturers/models may differ in different markets.)
[†] I'm a recreational runner, far from the top of any particular class though in recent years I've knocked of a couple road marathons and multi-day trail challenges so I consider myself to be good at putting one foot in front of the other without tripping over either!
[‡] I generally discount phone-based GPS tracking by wrist-mounted devices due to the battery drain on the phone, and I never found it terribly reliable though that may have improved since
I would put garmin last software, but the other hardware features more than make up for it.
The 3rd party app support is laughably poor, but the APIs are there. ConnectIQ apps are written in their own language (MonkeyC, which is kinda hard to use), which hinders adoption, and are generally slow and feature-poor.
But the good thing for Garmin is that the 1st party software more than makes up for the lack of 3rd party support. The music-enabled watches (eg FR645) have Spotify support, GPS, and Bluetooth music, last for an eon, and are hardy as all hell.
That's how they built up a following, with devices that were inexpensive, and did a few things well, but given the current environment, Google doesn't seem like they are interested in that market.
A coworker recommended I look into buying one, but as soon as I saw that I needed to pay $x per month to see data they were already capturing, I immediately passed.
Well, they could cater to the Android market.
I wish Apple would want some of their stuff cross-platform - I don't like the all or nothing nature of the Apple ecosystem (I consider 'exclusives' to be anti-consumer in general).
I'm currently using Fitbit, but has considered switching. This will probably catalyze it.
Are there open source, privacy conscious apps that can be used instead of Starva, RunKeeper et al to log my fitness activities?
I use an Apple Watch for cycling and several other activites. It isn't a necessity at all and one could debate the purchase for ages, but once you start using it you probably wouldn't want to miss all those small and frequent conveniences it provides in addition to the rock solid activity tracking.
Would be interesting to see the market share of Apple, Samsung and Garmin for smart watches.
The Huawei Watch 2 I have constantly crashes, the battery life is horrible, charger doesn't connect well, Google Maps doesn't offer directions (only location), WhatsApp and Discord aren't supported, Google Pay works but I have to use PayEnabler because they don't care, Spotify isn't there and Youtube is very very laggy.
I guess the biggest issue is actually Qualcomm because the current chip is 3100 which is 28nm (is that like 5-6 year old tech?). I sincerely hope that with this acquisition and Qualcomm rumored Snapdragon wear 439 (they are rebranding it as 3500 or something) I will finally in the May of 2020 get an actually good (no need to be great) standalone Google Pixel Watch.
You can see the same thing happening with the Apple Watch needing an iPhone as what happened with the iPhone needing a computer early on.
It wasn’t until iOS 5 that you didn’t need a computer running iTunes to activate and update an iOS device.
Apple has slowly been detaching the Apple Watch from the iPhone. First with a cellular connection and then with an independent Watch store and adding better APIs for third party apps.
Right now, you can get away with only having the Watch with you in day to day use and the phone company already assigns a dedicated number to the watch (even though you can’t use it), I can see in the next couple of years not needing a phone at all to use the watch.
If you're leaving it at home anyways it doesn't need to be pretty or fast. Just needs to allow you to set up the Apple Watch.
I think this is the cheapest new:
I don't see a way to send a voice message in my watch interface.
I don’t think Fitbit has ever tried to compete in this space.
What's wrong with Apple then?
It might be possible to keep the data local, but it is likely to be neither easy, nor easy to NOT end up accidentally linking it to iCloud. Where I personally don't have a problem with those data living on Apple's servers, parent obviously does.
That it is uploaded and capable of being shared with apps implies that Apple both has access to it and is capable of decrypting it. I also have a wider definition of "health data", and would include sleep patterns, heart rate, and exercise rate under it.
You can also shut off icloud backup for health.
[forgive me, for the life of me I don't easily know how to format lists on HN or even put things on newlines without double spacing]
"These features and their data are transmitted and stored in iCloud using end-to-end encryption:
Health data (requires iOS 12 or later)
iCloud Keychain (includes all of your saved accounts and passwords)
Quicktype Keyboard learned vocabulary (requires iOS 11 or later)
Imessages are also end to end encrypted. However, if you use icloud backup, they can be decrypted as the keys are backed up.
It doesn't even have the means to decrypt it.
"For now. We'll wait a few years until everyone's forgotten, then launch an amazing new service that just happens to combine health and ads data. What? Hey, it worked for Facebook and WhatsApp."
But I too am not sure what the right way to describe it is. I guess you could say they use your data in the product that they sell.
Steve Ballmer had another colourful analogy, he used it in response to companies claiming that a merger would create a powerhouse to challenge the market leader:
"It’s like taking the two guys who finished second and third in a 100-yard dash and tying their legs together and asking for a rematch, believing that now they’ll run faster."
(Thanks to "raldi" for finding the quote on Daring Fireball, and identifying that Gruber was quoting Lyons, who said he heard it from Ballmer, although the words here are Lyons')
Found an interesting answer and backstory: http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/386870.html
As long as they're not being used to hold "celebrity" biographies ...
(Sometimes I'm sad I even remember some names ... There's only so much crap one should be asked to take in to live in society ...)
I'm quickly understanding why I've never heard of Google Answers.
^G^G^G We have a winner, folks.
That said, I’m really not enthused by this under either the business (relevant case history: Nest) or privacy perspective.
Argument by analogy is weak.
Communication containing analogies is powerful.
I do not find it useful to say "If A is like B, then all the things about B must apply to A." This forces us to find perfect analogies, and encourages too much bickering over how well the analogy applies.
But I do find it useful to use an imperfect analogy to illustrate something that you have already established directly. So establish that mergers between #2 and #3 rarely end up beating #1 directly, and then say "It's like..."
Our minds are not cold calculating machines. Colourful, humorous, and/or emotionally laden analogies do help us learn things and remember things.
I have found a similar thing going on with illustrations in blog posts. If you have a section about cascading failures in a digital service, and you include an illustration of dominos falling down, it does help people grasp and remember your point.
Even though obviously, cascading service failures are entirely unlike dominos, and it would be quixotic to attempt to reason about services from the things we know about dominos.
All analogies are approximations. Even though they may not be argumentative, picking out flaws in analogies often presents as attacking a strawman.
Welcome back! I very much enjoy your meta cognitive viewpoint.
You need to have an argument for the two things being in the same category for them to make sense.
Analogies are certainly useful. I recall reading that Hawking first had the idea of his eponymous radiation ‘emanating’ from black holes by way of a calculation performed by a Russian physicist (whose name escapes me at the moment) that argued that a sphere of ferromagnetic material should ‘emit’ tiny but theoretically detectable amounts of electromagnetic radiation. I forget the details. But apparently Hawking’s brain drew the analogue between the inverse square laws at play, the virtual particles, and the non-permeability of the objects and set out on his quest for what eventually made him world-famous.
I myself am a prolific, if somewhat irreverent, manufacturer of analogies, metaphors, and euphemisms. I remember the general horror of my family members when I asked great-grandma why she had been moved to “the launch-pad ward”. In my defence, I was six.
I honestly think a "no analogies" rule for commenting would do more to facilitate good discussion than the existing "no jokes" rule. Analogies are almost never useful. Even the ancient Greeks realized this.
"Painting with a broad brush" probably began as an analogy, but once enough people use it, it becomes an idiom. If understanding is shared between speaker/writer and listener/reader, idioms are a useful shorthand for sharing some commonly understood argument.
So useful, in fact, that people often forget what the original analogy was. For example, the verb "rewind." How many people using it think of reel-to-reels, cassettes, or videotapes?
>A common antipattern here in HN comments is someone using an analogy (which is almost always bad), and then the responses devolving into arguing over how the analogy isn't correct.
That statement is too broad to possibly be true.
Analogies... are more pernicious than you think.
Indeed, if one wishes to be extremely extreme, one might go as far as to argue that all language is ‘analogy’, insofar as it assigns symbolic monikers to real-world objects. Furthermore, phonetic encodings (alphabets) are a further level of analogy, as they posit that (for example) the “in” in “indeed” is “similar enough” to the “in” in “insofar” to be denoted with identical symbols. Those symbols are, themselves... you guessed it... analogies, metaphors, and other various kinds of abstractions.
Because number two and three companies merging to a new number one does in fact happen.
(Note that this is the case here, though. No idea where Google is going with this.)
Taking one example I know of second-hand:
My brother worked for the #2 company in his industry at the time they acquired #3 in an effort to overtake the market leader. It worked out disastrously. It turns out that #3, despite being the less profitable (and therefore less valuable) company, was also physically larger. Internally it had a lot of inefficient ways of doing things that resulted in them needing a lot more people to accomplish the same volume of work.
You might think that #2 was then able to lean up #3 and make them more profitable, as part of the acquisition process. But it just isn't that simple - this was a large multinational with ossified internal procedures that were baked into the very infrastructure (both physical and IT) of the company. Things were never going to change overnight.
So, instead, what happened was that, over the next 1-2 years, #3's culture got imposed on the employees from #2, by simple virtue of the #3 camp being twice as many people. So, in the years since then, the #1 company's market lead has consolidated into outright market dominance, as a result of their #2 competitor suddenly becoming no more competitive than their #3 competitor.
It's easy to spend 3-5 years at a startup that implodes. One year is failing fast, and at least you got paid the whole time!
we were a healthcare company so HIPAA was very prevalent, and so that entailed a locked office which further included either taking your laptop home, or locking it up in a drawer. there were plenty of people who would just leave the laptop on their desks when leaving to go home due to the fact that the office was locked; one day I come into the office and am met with a bunch of coworkers telling me that the CTO came in early today and found that the door was open and all of the laptops people had left lying around were outside in the hallway, stacked. nothing was stolen, but clearly someone had broken in. it made zero sense, and a different coworker said that she felt unsafe and that we should call the police. the CTO immediately said that that was unnecessary and that we should just be more cautious. a few hours later we found out that this was all a ploy/lesson to teach us to lock our laptops away, and that the CTO was the one that stacked them up outside. he was later asking whether he should resign because of this embarrassment. real michael scott shit.
a non comical one:
we needed to build a viable infrastructure and one of our smart engineers found that we could use a hipaa compliant service (aptible) as a fast way, and spend a bit more. however the ancient dudes wanted us to hire some third party consultancy to build out some crazy complicated AWS stack, and unfortunately that was what we ended up doing because hierarchy. the project was being led by a person who wasnt an engineer, and surprise surprise, we were also locked into some crazy contract where regardless of the work they did, we still had to pay them an insane amount of money per month. the project dragged and dragged, and ultimately didnt work out. we had some half assed/half done AWS stack that no one knew how to deal with so NOW we had to hire an infrastructure dude to finish/manage it inhouse. so we hire this "hotshot" who turned out to be literally a money dump as well, and would show up to work about 45% of the time. no one knew what he did. it took him like 7 months to get that other project to SOMEWHAT work. he was getting paid i think like 200k to sit around and really do absolutely nothing. i was also convinced he was addicted to drugs on the side based on his manners when he actually managed to show up to work. by the time i had left, that AWS project was still incomplete and im positive that anyone with half a brain/aws experience could have built that stack in a month and a half.
and then of course there was the day to day of trying to get information from the acquiring company's employees and trying to cut the red tape of actually getting shit done, but they were very clearly used to bureaucracy type of work environment where every decision took ages, and some people were offended by the most minor things when we attempted to speed things along.
I was mainly thinking, in general, of industries that have experienced significant consolidation.
I mean, it could have been that simple: #2 could have just entirely liquidated #3 and taken over their brands, marques, and physical assets like buildings, without retaining a single employee or officer of #3; or if they did keep the employees, it would just be by putting them into an "internal talent pool" where they're being paid to do nothing for a month or two, while they get filtered through #2's HR department as if they were new hires, either being placed in #2's structure or dropped.
This would mean that #3 would be essentially erased from the marketplace at the moment of acquisition: no further revenues, but no costs either, all creditors paid off by #2, etc. #2, however, would also immediately be free of the effects of #3's competition on their bottom line, which might balance out that lack of #3-revenue for them quite well. Many customers previously using #3 would find that they had simply stopped communicating or delivering on their promises for a period—and if they were going to switch allegiances based on that, who better to switch to than their still-business-as-usual acquirer, #2?
And, of course, presuming #2 already had logistics pipelines feeding the same markets as #3, and produced essentially-indistinguishable products from #3, it wouldn't take long to just start producing #2 products with #3 brands slapped on them and start sending them to their new base of #3 customers, to return things to normal. (But in the mean time, they'd have already received many of those customers as switchers to #2, without having to "fool" them with the #3 brand.)
I believe this is the strategy employed by one of the big successful examples of M&A: Anheuser-Busch InBev. When the beer giant acquires another brewer, they don't keep them making beer; they just tear them apart, throw the acquired company away, and suddenly customers of MomNPop Beer Co. are drinking AB InBev beer in a MomNPop can. (They don't even keep the MomNPop brewery itself; there are economies of scale that make operating a bunch of small breweries silly compared to operating one huge megabrewery. They just strip it, sell the equipment for scrap—because otherwise they'd be encouraging someone to start another competitor!—and then sell or rent out the land, if owned.)
Oh my goodness.
So, they would have bought this existing large multinational, with a huge existing client list, base of installed product, all sorts of SLAs and support contracts, all sorts of infrastructure for supporting all of that, etc, and immediately fired everyone who knows how to manage it all!?!?!? And what, then just immediately hire several thousand people to replace them 24 hours later, and have every single one of them up and running and productive in a jiffy?
> This would mean that #3 would be essentially erased from the marketplace at the moment of acquisition
Yep. . . followed by #2 being erased from the marketplace by lawsuits within a year or two.
We're talking about different verticals, here. Product businesses can get away with this. Service businesses probably can't.
Even in service industries, though, there's a simple hack: when #2 acquires #3, they keep #3 running for a few months, but they make #3 push a change to the SLA, where service provided by #2 in lieu of service provided by #3 will be considered an acceptable service-level. They only begin liquidation of #3 once all #3 customers have signed onto the new SLA. Then, when the lights are turned off on #3's infra, all #3 customers are temporarily just provided with #2 services.
Again, this is mostly a thing with product businesses, or, say, logistics providers, where the product/service is "pushed" to the customer by the provider, and the customer doesn't need to change how they do things, they just need to take receipt of the alternate product/service from the new provider for a while. "MomNPop beer is unavailable for a month, but here's a truckload of existing AB InBev 'indie-branded' stock to put in its place until we get our new marque spun up."
This is less of a thing if we're talking about a "demand"-driven business, like, say, a SaaS API provider, where the customer has to communicate to #2 or #3 through an API, and they have different APIs. This can still be made to work, but it's all about how long the transition period takes. Google's purchase of Nest looked like this, with a transition period of two years. But it wasn't temporary; with a transition period like that, you may as well just shutter the #3 "API" entirely.
(Example I can think of where this does happen in a service industry: cell-service MVNOs getting acquired by their own infrastructure provider. If ISP #3, an MVNO who uses ISP #2 as their network, gets bought by #2, there's nothing in #3 that #2 wants or needs, other than their customers, and maybe #3's brand value. So they just tell #3 customers that they're going to be #2 customers for a while (i.e. their phone will be "roaming" onto #2's network all the time, but they'll be charged regular #3 prices for it.) Either every customer from #3 is then pivoted into being a "real" #2 customer; or, if #2 keeps the #3 brand around, their #3 service starts working "normally" again a while later, as just a marque of #2 (if they stuck around with #3 instead of checking the box on their monthly bill that offers to switch them to #2.)
> and immediately fired everyone who knows how to manage it all!?!?!? And what, then just immediately hire several thousand people to replace them 24 hours later, and have every single one of them up and running and productive in a jiffy?
You don't hire the "new"-from-#3 employees to service the #3 accounts. #2 employees service the from-#3 accounts. #3 employees come in at the bottom, as if they were outreach hires.
> followed by #2 being erased from the marketplace by lawsuits within a year or two.
I mean, not if #2 doesn't own #3 when it liquidates, they don't. A company doesn't have to literally acquire another company; they can just pay it to commit suicide, and then pick up the pieces. Who do you sue, if your provider-of-choice #3 just decides to fold?
Or, even more sneaky, #2 can just figure out a way to enter into some kind of financial arrangement with #3, where it then slowly squeezes #3 to death... and then picks up the pieces. (Do you know what happened to Target in Canada? Do you know why? Hint: all the land the Targets operated on was leased to them... by Walmart! And now, after Target set them up nice and neat, and then got squeezed out of the market, they are Walmarts.)
EDIT: Also, the runner and eagle analogy seam to criticize the line of thinking that would lead people to assume you can just smash together two companies and end up with a company that is better than the current market leaders. The tube analogy doesn't touch on that at all..
But you can. Think of regional phone companies (the baby bells), which merged and became dominant just by dent of natural monopoly.
Anyway, my analogy is exactly the opposite of that critique. It's the optimist's view (which is also the view of the decision-makers at the companies, so it's not to be dismissed easily).
I think you may have glossed over the "just". Of course they "can" but it's not "ergo" in the sense that 1 + 1 = 2 ergo you are now better than the 1.5 company.
I don't view the tunnel as being the optimistic antithesis of the turkey or runner analogy. The other two are not meant to be postulations pending mathematical proofs but critiques on simplistic thinking.
Funny, that's exactly what it has looked like till now since the announcement about Microsoft and Facebook ML teams joining forces to go up against Tensorflow. :-)
The usual algorithm is to follow the attributions until you reach Samuel Clemons, Benjamin Franklin, Confucius, or Laozi. They are said to have said everything.
Which one of them said that?