Writer Nicholas Carr has done it again.
In a recent post on Google ("The Omnigoogle"), Carr explains more clearly than I've ever seen why Google does what it does (invests in satellites, free Wi-Fi, open-source software, etc.), and why failure is all part of the plan.
Indeed, it wasn't Carr's comparison of why Google is much like Microsoft (Google controls the online economy, while Microsoft controls the desktop economy) that I found most interesting, but rather his explanation of why Google can fail so routinely in its product launches...and have that failure feed into its top-line revenue:
Because the marginal cost of producing and distributing a new copy of a purely digital product is close to zero, Google not only has the desire to give away informational products; it has the economic leeway to actually do it. Those two facts--the vast breadth of Google's complements, and the company's ability to push the price of those complements toward zero--are what really set the company apart from other firms.… Read more