The notion that Google does not know what is doing is laughable. Peter Day from the BBC kicked off a recent article with that very premise – that Google’s lack of obvious direction might be the source of their genius.
Everyone can see that Google has enormous ad revenue allowing them to apparently dabble, but there is no way they have lost focus on being the dominant leader of internet search and targeted ads. Google’s management has to have a clear vision keeping their amazing progression on course. Without it, they would be looking to buy General Mills cereal.
There is elegance in Google’s ability to appear so unfocused. I have to think some of that is due to their accelerated growth – strong ad revenue, acquiring top talent and strategic market positioning decisions that help explore future opportunities.
Most large IT companies are able to spend money on acquiring companies and research and development. Not all of those investments reveal aspects of the company’s strategy. Google’s current business is heavily focused on internet ads. If they were not investing in ad supportive technology, talent / intellectual property or market position opportunities they would have a problem. Their stock price is all about the oil field they tapped into and the promise that they will continue to be a company of bankable innovation. I have no doubt they will, but spending any time thinking that this is all by accident, that Google does not know what its doing, is foolish.