Why Google cares so much about mobile

This morning’s news that Google’s coming out with local news by zip code created a stir on Techmeme. I thought the Topix blog covered the issue well with a counter point.

Here’s a point that’s worth a thought though. I remember being in the valley trying to raise money in 1997 when Microsoft was invincible. Every startup had to answer the question “but Microsoft can build that”. Now its Google. So – what happened?

The Internet. – Netscape came, and went, but a host of startups including Yahoo and Google rose without having to answer the question “What about Microsoft”? Microsoft became a me-too player on everything related to the Internet.

Now its Google’s turn. Every Web 2.0 and other company is being forced to ask the question “But Google can build that”. Investors (VC’s) are a lot savvier than that now. They know Google’s point of “sheer domination” is the best point when compelling new “groundbreaking shifts happen in the tectonic plates”.

That shift is Mobile. Microsoft’s dominance was killed thanks to the Internet – its an important company no doubt, but not as big a threat as it once was.

Which companies thrived during the gap between Microsoft’s dominance and its irrelevance now? – Those that bet on the Internet.

Same for Mobile – Google does not want to become Microsoft within 2 – 5 years. Which is the main reason for their interest in Mobile. Dont get me wrong – they care about social networks too, but that’s like fighting Microsoft’s “browser” war to the Internet war that Microsoft is still fighting – which is the mobile area.

Its nice when I call something before main stream media picks up on it.

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