The Platonic Shift
*note* am writing here at the speed of light- which means, run-on sentences, grammar, spelling errors, punctuation errors, you name it, bound to happen.
What a week. Google buys Motorola, HP kills off the PC division and stops manufacturing webOS devices.
Let me see how I can make sense of this and put it into perspective.
Lets start with Google.
Google has only been in existence around 12 years. 7 which I would consider the teenage years. Google has had fueled growth in its search/ad-sense/advertising business but needed to expand and look into other territories to expand into. Android came about, and if you all know from being here in this industry, Android wasn’t to challenge Apple’s iOS. Android was to challenge BlackBerry. But as we know now, Apple came along and completely disrupted the entire mobile market segment and created its first platonic shift. Google refocused its energy and went after iOS. And we have been witness to what has happened since 2007. Nokia, Black Berry, now Palm(webOS), Microsoft WP7, and others, are becoming a dying breed. Dinosaurs at the very industry they started.
Google has also learned that Android with its segmentation and *free* model has cost them dearly in developer’s perception of how much money there is to be made when developing for Android. Andy Rubin came out swinging and so has every other Google EVP and members of its “C” staff and proclaimed that over 500,000 Android devices are “activated” a day and any day now they will have world domination and the biggest market share. I say “so what” if I can’t monetize on the platform. This is where Apple has a significant lead over any other “app market”. You can monetize on iOS. Hardly on Android. Aside from that, we enter the Patent Wars. Really? Don’t get me started. Childish behavior when a fortune 500 company starts bidding PI and then cry foul when they loose.
When Microsoft sued HTC and HTC started paying Microsoft a dollar amount for each HTC phone sold, and then Oracle finding incriminating evidence in its Java vs Google lawsuit, Google was like the kid who cried wolf. It all of the sudden it became real for Google and was left in a quagmire brought onto by itself, and needed a way to get itself out of its own quicksand.
Enter Motorola. Motorola has been struggling. Again, the inventor of the cell phone, and the ruler of the mobile phone with the Razor fell behind badly as if Darwanism not only happens to the species but to companies as well. Motorola was the emperor, and soon the emperor had yes men around it and it became fat, slow and too much of its own hubris resulted into Motorola becoming a niche player just like Nokia in this new smartphone era. I ask myself that question over and over, how in the hell do these company men, (sorry ladies) allow it to happen. Digressing here, I also have to blame Microsoft for its own hubris on not being able to capitalize on the mobile juggernaut of the mid 2000′s. Anyhow, Motorola started to flounder, spinned off Motorola Mobile as another company and continue to flounder. Last I heard, there were over 300 employees at Motorola working on nothing but Android. Then why the hell were they where they were? Big company BS is my only answer.
Google was against the sword and the wall. The wall it created with its own hubris, and Google needed to a way out of the patent war, but also, the most significant part fo this, is what I still believe in, in order for the OS to be successful you have to have the manufacturing to go with it. The fragmentation of Android, at at this level I don’t mean a game running at 30 FPS on one device and the same game running at 8 on another, I mean, the manufactures themselves fragmenting Android in order to give it an edge, has resulted catastrophic in terms of app support from developers. Listen, I get it all the time as to why we only support ARMv7 devices, and even between these devices, fragmentation is horrible, so I know. And this fragmentation was costly to Google in more ways than just a support call. The so call Open Handset Alliance. Have anyone here what that is suppose to be? well, there, this is an alliance of manufacturers promising they won’t “fragment” Android and they will, in all honesty uphold to that promise. Again another BS alliance. It is like the Adobe Open Screens Project. Anyone heard of it? Of couse, and it has gone places too. Down the rabbit hole if you ask me.
So what does Google do? Does what any other big company’s Steve Jobs or Bill Gates wanna be CEO does, he has to show the world he has cojones and needs to let the world know he is the new Lion in town, and instead of marking his territory, has to show the pride he means business and buys his way in via the Motorola acquisition.
This acquisition will cost Google dearly in terms of culture, (hey, I survived the Macromedia (Rebels) and the Adobe (Politics) merger), vision, people, focus, and more than that, in annihilating some of its early Android supporters. If I were Amazon, would you think I would be happy knowing that I am coming out with an Android tablet only to have Google Android resources go into making the new Goorola tablets better? And now Amazon becomes a second class citizen? What about Samsung, ok they have Bada, but hardly anyone here has heard of Bada. Acer? Lenovo? Dell? Google pretends to be all open and free spirited, but step on its turf, the lion, with one swipe, will go after your jugular. It won’t care. For Fortune 500 companies, their loyalty is on their “investors”, how many of us have heard that line before, when what really matters is the bottom line. That penny on the earnings per share, may mean a valuation increase of a few billion dollars, or like in the case of HP this week, a devaluation of almost 14 billion. More than what they are paying for that enterprise company over in UK.
Now lets talk HP. Hewlett-Packard.
This one deserves not just one WTF, but two. Seriously, WTF? WTF?
Darwinism strikes again. An aging computer manufacturer run by people out of touch with today’s reality. And by reality I mean, not with their announcement of them trying to load off their PC business unit or killing of webOS devices, but by out of touch I mean, they are going after the enterprise business. WTF? HP you just can’t let of of Mark Hurd going over to Oracle can you, and you have to let your ego in the way and “show them” who is really knows the enterprise business , I will spite myself no matter what because well, am still pissed off at Hurd for going over to the “dark” side.
HP I know, I get it, Larry Ellison is cool. He gets to drive fast cars, enjoys the good life, and is bringing the America’s Cup to San Francisco in 2013. Still, no reason to go after him, and so what if he and Hurd are buddies. Stick to what you know. Its not like you are getting any younger. What was it that I read somewhere? that 8 HP computers are sold a second worldwide. You are the biggest computer manufacturer in the world, know this business better than anyone else. Michael Dell wishes to be running HP. Once you bought Compaq, you left room for Dell, Waitt (Gatway for those who care to know) and others to surface to the top, and guess what, Dell did, but again, as with any Fortune 500 company saving on the bottom line, Dell off shored its call centers, didn’t care about quality, eventually, Michael had to come back from retirement, which really pissed him off, and while they were trying to get focused, you became the number one PC manufacturer. But dont’ get me wrong, you didn’t do it because you wanted to, it fell on your laps. But you didn’t know jack about the PC industry. You bought you way into it, but lets pretend you know it better than Dell and Steve. What happened?
This is where I start to question Apotheker, he sure doesn’t know the computer industry. He comes from SAP. Not a computer guy in the sense of what I know of in the likes of Gates, Jobs, Dell, Ellison, heck, even uncle Fester, err I mean, Ballmer knows more about the pc industry than Apotheker. You know, if Walter and I had given up when the very first investor to told us to go fly a kite, we wouldn’t where we are today.
Am no expert, don’t pretend to be, but quitting the webOS devices after two months out there, sure makes you a quitter. I honestly wound’t want to be walking around the halls of HP right now.
Apotheker you are the CEO of HP and yet one punk, Jobs-Gates wanna be, called Larry Paige really brought the can of whip-ass and sprayed it all over you. Forget what I said about Paige, he really is marking his territory, and the aging lion just retreated paving way for the new young viral one with an attitude.
So, in a span of less than a week, we are witnessing great platonic shifts in the computer industry. Only time will tell who will really come out ahead. I think webOS was poised for a great challenge and I would have like to have witness that, rather than an old-fart quitting two months after their launch. I saw how the Palm team was engaged and had real fire in their eyes and were ready to enter the arena and put up a good fight. That would have been fun, where empires are born out of battles, not by surrendering via a proxy CEO. It is no fault of Palm they are going to get the short end of the stick, but there is a saying that goes something like when the old man shits, watch out, shit may land you and you will reek. Sorry Palm folks, am I sure this is not what you wanted nor expected.
Will the last person to leave HP remember to turn off the lights.