A few weeks back, it was announced that Seattle was the first city to publicly apply for Google's 1Gbps fiber network. Naturally, being from Seattle, I was very proud to see our local government further honoring the hand that feeds it -- as our state has made some decisions over the past few years that have pushed other technology/engineering companies out.
After the initial excitement wore-off, I started thinking about How & Why Google would choose Seattle as their fast-as-dark internet testbed. Here are some Pros & Cons I've come up with:
+ Extremely high adoption rates for emerging technologies
+ Productivity/Activity are high on both the consumer and enterprise lever [over web], so Google would be supplied with a very rich stream of data to analyze
+ Very multi-cultural environment with strong international ties
+ Keep your friends close and your enemies closer ;-)
+ Keep your friends close, because your enemies might decide to eat you
+ Geographically, this is probably the single worst landscape in the world for fiber infrastructure
+ Competition -- T-mobile, Clear, AT&T call it home
+ Back to geography... While the population is particularly dense in Seattle, a fiber network downtown would be highly isolated, perhaps not meeting the spectrum of users intended for the project
I don't want to be the bad-news-betty, but I've already started adjusting my comfort level to the fact that Seattle WILL NOT be the test site for Google's 1Gbps project. I truly hope that I'm wrong, but the geography and competition here are HUGE hurdles that will likely nix the idea from Google's planning department.
Rapportive - I think this is one of the coolest little plug-ins I've seen for gmail. Basically, it pulls the social information of the email name off the web - twitter, linkedIn, myspace, facebook, etc - and displays their vitals in a window that eliminates the GoogleAds on the sidebar. check it out.
I'm really excited about this. 1. Like saleforce.com, iTunes, Android and a handful of other platforms, Google is using their enterprise platform as a launch pad for gadget, application, widget and extension building. 2. Google has made one nice, easy little place to find all these tools. 3. I hope there are no infringements in me using this new Google Marketplace logo.
I started thinking about what this means for my business - the business of software M&A. I've come-up with a few ideas... most of which need to be mulled-over a while longer:
1. In terms of finding potential companies that Google may be interested in acquiring, I think Google themselves have just made this task a little easier!
2. Easier, but not.... Google will tend to look for: A. Talent B. Technology/Innovation C. Broad Reaching Market Opportunities.
3. As Google enterprise pushes forward, do they move forward on a Platform --> Extension basis, or do they try to move forward in a traditional Platform --> Feature basis. The latter would be more inclined for small, flexible acquisitions, while the first would tend to make fewer, larger, market impact strokes.
These ideas need to be refined more... but I'll work on that here at Corum.
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I work in Software M&A. This is a personal / business blog.