What Happened to Google? Nothing.

October 18, 2012

I have been amusing myself with the various analyses of the Google missteps. I just got off the phone with one of my clients who asked me, “What has happened to Google?” My answer, “Nothing.”

For context, check out “Google Reports Profit, Sales That Miss Analysts’ Estimates.” The estimable Bloomberg said:

The company earlier this year spent $12.4 billion on Motorola Mobility Holdings, pushing it further into the hardware market and stepping up its rivalry with Apple Inc. (AAPL) Third-quarter total revenue, including the acquisition of Motorola Mobility, rose 45 percent from a year earlier, while expenses rose 71 percent over the same time period. Motorola Mobility contributed sales of $2.58 billion for the period. Net income declined to $2.18 billion, or $6.53 a share, from $2.73 billion, or $8.33, a year earlier.

Everything looks pretty good considering the dilution of ad precision, the lousy economy, and the lost voice of Larry Page.

Let me highlight two other points. First, the Motorola deal is going to be exciting and expensive. Second, Google operates via controlled chaos. The approach may work like a champ among rocket scientists. Among lesser souls, management is a bit more tricky. Glue together without a clamp Motorola Mobility and controlled chaos, and I think we have a pivot point for the happy crowd in Mountain View.

One more thing: those pesky regulators are not going quietly into the good night.

Stephen E Arnold, October 18, 2012


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