Friday, April 10, 2020

Vendors Survival: Will Google Survive until 2030?

Sundar Pichai
Picture Source: Wikipedia

The previous post raised a technical issue reflecting a problem in Google's Blogspot. 
After I fixed the problem, I still get the error message:
Earnings at risk - You need to fix some ads.txt file issues to avoid severe impact to your revenue.



The other message "It may take a few days for changes to update."  still appearing ten days after. "Few days" according to Google is at least ten days. The problem I depicted in the previous post is a minor problem in comparison to other problems Google should address.  
That is why I am asking the question: Will Google Survive until 2030?
I already asked few times the question: Will Google Survive for ten years? I askes it in 2008, 2011 and 2011 - Revisited
As far as Google's Survival is concerned, I am less optimistic than I was few years ago.

Current Problems

Employees' Dissatisfaction

The indications of employees' dissatisfaction include the following indicators:

1. Google was the preferred company to work for in an USA based survey in 2018. Google is not included in the ten leading companies in 2019.
2018 was not the only year Google was the leading company in that survey.
It is hard to remember when Google was not included among the leading ten companies in previous surveys.

2. Google is using consultancy services of a company known as expert in tackling employees' organizations.
The new practice contradicts Google's Organizational Culture.

The Founders are not leading the company

On December 4, 2019 Larry Page stepped down from is CEO position of Alphabet Inc.
Alphabet is Google's parent company. 
Page and Brin will remain Controlling Shareholders of Alphabet.
Sundar Pichai, Google's CEO replaced him as Alphabet's CEO in addition to his role as Google's CEO. 

Comparing Google to Microsoft

There are similarities between Google of 2020 and Microsoft of 2014.

1. The founders are gradually transferring their roles and duties to others. 

The first post of the Vendors Survival posts was on Microsoft's Survival. it was written in the 1990es. Actually, it was a presentation to a Customer, not a post.
Microsoft was then the dominant IT Vendor. 
One of the identified Risks was stepping down of the founder Bill Gates. 

Gates transferred is duties and roles gradually. He stepped down as Microsoft CEO in 2000 but remained Chairman and Chief Architect.
On March 2020 he announced that he will no longer be a member of Microsoft Board of Directors.

Like Microsoft, Google was founded by two people. Google's founders are Larry Page and Sergey Brin
Unlike Microsoft, Google's founders are involved in the company's activities. 
Of Course, Bill Gates dominated Microsoft' activities but Paul Allen, the other co-founder, left the company in early 1983.

Microsoft was one man show. Google's early growth was directed by three people: the two founders and its CEO Eric Schmidt
Schmidt was an unlucky, experienced and successful manager. Unfortunately, he was the CEO and Chairman of Novell
Novell was a leader without a Market. The Network Operating System Market it was leading was diminished because Microsoft unified it with the Server Operating Systems Market.

Following January 2011, Schmidt stepped down and Larry Page officially become the Chief Executive of Google.
On October 2015, Alphabet Inc. was founded by Page and Brin through a restructuring of Google. Alphabet is a holding company, while Google's role remained unchanged under Alphabet.

The co-founders transferred gradually their roles in Google and Larry Page was Alphabet Inc. CEO until 2019.

On December, 3, 2019 Page and Brin jointly announced that they would step down from their roles in Alphabet Inc. They still remaining as  employees and holding the majority votes in the Board of Directors. The new Alpha Bet CEO is Sundar Pichai, Google's CEO.

2. The Leading IT vendor

Microsoft was the leading IT vendors in the 1990th decade and it is still a leading IT vendor.
Google was the leading IT vendor of the 2010th decade and is still the leading vendor.

3. Monopoly

Both Microsoft and Google were suspected for breaking the antitrust law and illegally maintaining monopoly in specific IT domains. 

4. Leveraging a dominance of Application to leadership in other IT markets

Microsoft's dominance in Office suit was leveraged to other software products such Integrated Development Environment and Public Cloud Computing.   

Google's Search Engines Market dominance was leveraged to other software markets presence  including products such as Gmail, YouTube and Blogspot.

5. Operating Systems Market Leadership

Microsoft's Windows Operating System is the leading PCs Operating Systems, as well as capturing the largest market segment of the Servers Operating Systems.  

Google's Android Operating System is the Smart Phone Operating Systems market leader. 

A new Manager after the Founders 

We will replace a legendary Manager who founded a company? is a crucial question. A wrong answer to that question could lower the probability that the company will survive for another decade.

It is not only personal question it is also a question of a Manager's typology. 

I wrote few posts on Managers Typology: the Professional, the Captive, and the Conservative. This list of typologies is far from being an exhaustive list. There are many other Managers types. 

It should be noted that a single manager could be classified as more than one type of managers/ For example, a Professional manager may be also Conservative.

The adequate type of manager is related to circumstances. 

It may be a good idea to appoint a Conservative Manager after a Legendary Manager in order to ensure continuity and Business as Usual feelings.

After a period of adaptation, the company or the organization needs an Inventive Manager who would encourage new initiatives and concepts. The Conservative Manager may not fit to the new requirements.

Microsoft after Gates

If you read my posts on Microsoft Survival probability. such as Vendors Survival: Will Microsoft Survive Until 2023? that what I wrote in the previous paragraph actually happened in Microsoft. Steve Ballmer was a good Conservative Manager for a transition period who stepped down too late. Satya Nadella is a better fit for Innovations.

Google after Page and Brin

The probability that Google will survive until 2030 is high, however, as we learned from Microsoft's experience, appointing a Conservative Manager for too long time could lower its Survival probability. 

Are Sundar Pichai's Management skills different from Steve Balmer's skills?

I get the impression that they are different, therefore the probability that he will be a better fit for an adaptive and innovative company is higher. 

The following four bullets summarize the key differences:

1. according to the English Wikipedia: "Pichai joined Google in 2004, where he led the product management and innovation efforts for a suite of Google's client software products". 

I added the bold letters of the word innovation. 
Steve Ballmer's roles at Microsoft included Product Management and Sells and marketing but no Innovation role. 

2. Experience in other companies and Organizational Cultures.

Ballmer was hired by Microsoft and subsequently left the MBA program in Stanford University. He was not employed by other companies.
Pichai worked for Applied Materials and for Mckinsey and Company prior to joining Google.

3. Multi-Cultural Experience
Pichai was born in India and studied in local universities. Afterwards he sudied in Stanford University and holds M.S in Material Sciences and Engineering and MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. 
Balmmer was born in Detroit, grew up in Michigan and studied only in American universities. Ballmer lived in Brussels for 3 years where he attended the International School of Brussels. 

4. In 2014 Pichai has been suggested as a contender for Microsoft's CEO.
Satya Nadella replaced Steve Ballmer as Microsoft's CEO. However, it seems that Microsoft did not considered candidates resembling Ballmer, therefore  Phichai was suggested as a contender because he is not a Conservative Manager.

Of course, there are differences between Microsoft and Google. 
For example, it is easier to replace two founders than replacing one legendary founder who made all the strategic decisions.
Do not forget Google's Eric Schmidt's influence on Business decisions in the first years of Google.  

It seems that these differences position Google and Pichai after Page and Brin in a better starting point than Ballmer and Microsoft. 

 Is the Corona a Game Change?

I started writing this post more than 6 weeks ago. I traveled to Patagonia for a wonderful tour and returned to a different world. 

The world after the Corona Pandemic will be different world. 

It is too early to predict the changes, but probably some of the forced cultural and behavioral changes are irreversible. 
For example, probably, there will be more remote interactions and less face to face meetings.

Companies will have to adapt to a new world. It may influence Vendors Survival and Vendors Position.    

Predicting a Long-Term future is very inaccurate.
Predicting a Long-Term future after a Game Change is almost impossible.

1 comment:

Fred said...

That was an interesting read. In regards to remote working I am curious what the future holds. On one hand, I definitely believe that remote working will be become more accepted and common. On the other hand, plenty of people tell me that working from home is not for them- mainly because they were pushed into this without any preparations or support.

Public Cloud Core Banking: Hype or Reality? - Revisited

  More than 4 years ago I was asked if Public Cloud Core Banking is a Hype or a Short Term Reality? If you had read the post, you would prob...