Nick Carr has a new piece that examines why Google is such a slippery
concept, er, company. Here’s an excerpt from his excerpt:
Because the sales of complementary products rise in tandem, a company has a strong strategic interest in reducing the cost and expanding the availability of the complements to its core product. It’s not too much of an exaggeration to say that a company would like all complements to be given away. If hot dogs became freebies, mustard sales would skyrocket. It’s this natural drive to reduce the cost of complements that, more than anything else, explains Google’s strategy. Nearly everything the company does, including building big data centers, buying optical fiber, promoting free Wi-Fi access, fighting copyright restrictions, supporting open source software, and giving away Web services and data, is aimed at reducing the cost and expanding the scope of Internet use. To borrow a well-worn phrase, Google wants information to be free – and that is why Google strikes fear into so many different kinds of companies.
I thought of that argument this morning when I read this Times piece about Google’s plans for renewable energy. As Siva argues, are we seeing the Googlization of Everything?