danielcawrey 10/31/2016 | 7:32:49 PM
Re: Locking in to moonshots The media is going to continue to criticize Google's bets outside of what makes money. That's simply what the media does. 

Then, when something outside of the core business does hit, there will be glowing stories. That's the optics of being such a successful company. 
KBode 10/31/2016 | 1:16:38 PM
Google Fiber... "We're making great progress in those cities and we remain committed to growth in those cities," Porat said. "But very much to your question, it's to better integrate some of the technology work we've been developing."

Seems pretty clear the goal is to use Webpass and ongoing millimeter wave tests to pivot to wireless and supplement fiber. Seems like a lot of the claims of Google Fiber finding broadband "too hard" aren't really warranted.

That said, you can easily see them selling this whole experiment in a few years if execs continue to bicker about the direction....
inkstainedwretch 10/30/2016 | 2:30:41 PM
R&D There is such a thing as synergy. Synergy-synergy, not layoffs-synergy.

What seems to be the prevailing model for R&D is to let startups do it. If they succeed, the companies that need the resulting technology vie with each other to buy the startup. The model does work. 

But not always. Even people who can't abide anything that doesn't show up as its own line-item on a financial statement understand that there are a lot of reasons an acquisition of this sort can fail. Sometimes, it's just too hard to integrate a technology that is too foreign. Other reasons are more squidgy -- anything from the acquiring company not fully understanding what it's buying into, to "culture clashes."

Which is why there can also be extraordinary value to bringing up a new technology yourself. And there's no line item for that. 

Beyond that is synergy-synergy -- when a new technology bolsters/aids/amplifies an ongoing business -- which likewise has no line item.

-- Brian Santo
Michelle 10/29/2016 | 7:46:18 PM
Re: Locking in to moonshots 1) ¥ , the company formally known as Google

2) Do you also think claims of interoperability is overplayed? A lot of cloud services make a lot of noise by saying you can move elsewhere easily because they don't lock your data+appplications behind proprietary operators

3) I'm with you on this one at least 1000%. This is the bucket for all the really interesting research that may or may not lead to something really big, but we're not counting lost dollars because this is really really interesting work...

jbtombes 10/28/2016 | 3:22:40 PM
Re: Locking in to moonshots Long live Skunkworks! Lockheed Martin's old R&D effort, name derived from the "Skonk Works" moonshine factory in the L'il Abner cartoon. Btw, does Elon Musk's plan to colonize Mars qualify as a moon shot? (Was he sipping moonshine when he dreamt it up?)
Joe Stanganelli 10/28/2016 | 12:46:26 PM
Locking in to moonshots I have many reactions to this.  Here are but a few:

1) > "The Company Formerly Known As Google"

Love this.  Going to use it any reasonable chance I get.  (Does Google have its own "love symbol"?)

2) re: lock-in...

This is such a vendor-manufactured red herring, IMHO.  What they're really saying when they criticize vendor lock-in is that you shouldn't be locked in to their competitors.  And lock-in isn't so bad sometimes!  That's why it's called a contract.  It's ultimately about ROI -- and sometimes it does make sense to enter into a "lock-in" contract -- and it even sometimes makes sense to break that "lock-in" and pay the penalty, and it also sometimes makes sense to stick with it despite new options.

3) re: "moonshots"

This is the new, vertical-agnostic buzzword.  It caught on with the "cancer moonshot" and has is gradually becoming an excuse to do just about damn near anything where the ROI is questionable at best because the word "moonshot" sounds a lot more noble than "like skunkworks, but with far less likelihood of producing something valuable or useful."

(As for the "cancer moonshot"?  Despite all the buzz, booze up a cancer clinical researcher enough and he or she will admit that we're still a MINIMUM of 20 years away from anything even *close* to resembling a cure for cancer.)
Sign In