"This is the first time someone has made a detailed study of the major patents held by Google and has extrapolated the company's possible business strategies. Traditionally, it has been difficult to get to grips with what Google is. The company is not specifically secretive; rather, it is unforthcoming about its aims, plans, strategies and ambitions. "Provide access to the world's knowledge" is about as focused an articulation of mission as one can get from the Google people. No big PR puffs; no in-depth briefings. And, from a quick outside perusal, the company seems to dabble in all sorts of technology areas and buy up all sorts of high-tech companies, which makes measuring progress or evaluating strategic orientation somewhat difficult.
Stephen Arnold, in this successor to "The Google Legacy", concentrates on analysing Google's potential via a study of the company's intellectual property (patents). Google is a company of engineers and mathematicians, not a company of sales, promotion and legal wizards. Mathematics is the foundation of Google's wizardry and, as analysed by Arnold in this new study, the Googleplex is a wondrous construct that gives Google a major competitive advantage in a wide variety of possible fields: enterprise services and computing, web and enterprise search, publishing, banking, advertising, telecommunications. The Googleplex can crunch, analyse and extrapolate rapidly, intelligently and economically from extremely large quantities of data. The owners of such a machine can test and probe a variety of markets, and their existing base income from advertising gives them billions of dollars to use in their probes and explorations. "Innovation at Google is the fuel needed to power the Googleplex and to satisfy Google's hunger for ever more powerful, capable systems and software," explains Arnold. "Google, unlike Amazon or Yahoo, is built on mathematics, not engineering".
This major new study of Google concentrates on deriving information about the company from an analysis of its key patents. These patents are often difficult to discover, since Google rarely files under the Google name; an exhaustive hunt of some of the key Google technical staff is required in order to unearth many of the patents held by Google. "I have a keen awareness of Google's transformation from a search company to a digital Exxon or Wal*Mart," writes Stephen Arnold in the current study. "These are companies that operate at a scale that their competitors cannot easily match. If Google can continue its upward trajectory, it will emerge as a genetic variant of the multi-national corporation or what I call a supra-national enterprise."'