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Google builds a search engine, forces the competition to start improving.

Google buys a webmail service, forces rapid improvements in the competition.

Google builds a browser, forces rapid improvements in the competition (Firefox).

Google buys a smartphone OS, competition already doing ok but probably tweaked some things.

Google starts building an inexpensive fiber network, makes incumbents sweat a little.

Google buys a smartphone manufacturer, forces competition to improve.

Next up, probably a mobile telco provider.

Google's thing seems to be improving the transfer and display of ads. Somehow they've turned that into a benefit to technology as a whole. It's a business model built on disruption.




"Google buys a smartphone OS, competition already doing ok but probably tweaked some things."

Android played a huge role in pushing the mobile web to consumers. How long was the iPhone exclusive to AT&T, like 3 years? Without Android all those other wireless providers would be hawking much less functional Blackberries, Windows 6.x, Nokia handsets.


Nokia handsets were quite functional at the time iPhone appeared. E.g. Python for S60 is older than iPhone (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Python_for_S60). Apple brought a lot of innovations to smartphone market but functionality is not one of them.


I think it's pretty cool to participate on a site where "functional" is defined by someone as "having Python"!

That said, my guess is that for the average consumer, things like that are far less important than having lots of easy to get apps, and a general look and feel that work well.

And I have to say that from that point of view, my cheap Samsung Android phone is just night and day ahead of the Nokia with Symbian that I had. The Nokia had Google Maps, Gmail, and some other stuff, but it was extremely clunky in comparison.


If only there were a struggling US mobile provider looking to be sold that already had a large Android user base...


I wonder how long they could play that game before running afoul of antitrust legislation.


As long as they wanted, as long as they weren't anticompetitive.


... and operated below the market share (70%) that attracts antitrust scrutiny.

In mobile OS, I think they can avoid being classified having 70% or anywhere near it since Android is technically open source and anyone can fork it, and several flavors such as the kindle version of Android aren't under their control.

In the carrier space, they'd be far from owning a lot of market share.

They just need to make sure that if they acquire such power that they restrain from anticompetitive practices afforded to them by their position.


That would be a very interesting move if Google bought T-Mobile. I'd rather see Google buy T-Mobile than AT&T.


T-Mobile


That's the joke.


Google builds a self-driving car, forces competition to, um, I have no idea.


The less time people spend driving, the more time they'll spend on other things. And if the rest of Google is doing things right, at least some of that time will be spent looking at Google ads.


So no doubt we can look forward to Google Self-Cleaning Toilets soon.


I know you're joking, but these exist! In New Zealand and Australia, some public washrooms are automated and self-cleaning.

http://www.exeloo.com/ is the company that makes them.


They're competing with the sorry state of transportation in the US. Private cars disrupted carriages. Public trains and buses disrupted cars. Better cars disrupted buses and trains. Self-driven trains of public cars are the natural next step.


"Cadillac To Release Self-Driving Cars By 2015" (no joke)


One reference: http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/126841-cadillac-promises-...

Under some conditions (good visibility, easy-to-see lane markers, etc.)


Wasn't Gmail built on internal 20% time, not bought?


Maybe I was thinking of something else.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Gmail


I hope your last prediction comes true. We are in dire need of a telco provider that doesn't rape you.




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