If you don’t read Dave Winer’s blog, I recommend that you start. He has a provocative new post on Google+ that makes a broader argument about the strategic blind spots of dominant technology firms:
Products like the one Google just announced are hatched at off-sites at resorts near Monterey or in the Sierra, and were designed to meet the needs of the corporation that created it. A huge scared angry corporation. What little is left of the spark that created it in the first place is now used to being Number One, and wants to feel that again. It’s being created to make that person feel better.
Eventually they will become an investment bank and a services company. The fate for all former high-flying techco’s.
I am more optimistic about Google+, but we’ll see. Marco Arment elaborates on barriers to entry in social.
Winer wrote a follow-up post, Page’s mistake, that is well worth your time. The basic thesis, to oversimplify, is that you can’t make a revolution with employees. Rather than bother trying, the shrewd move is to accept this fact and to grease the wheels of the next pathbreaking entrepreneur:
Google should take an inventory of its skills and figure out which ones could help the new Bill, Larry or Zuck be successful. And be the one to provide it. My guess is that Google has a huge lead re Facebook in infrastructure and ability to deploy. I bet it’ll be hard for Facebook to overcome that lead (just as it was impractical for Microsoft to get into the PC-making business). So if I were Larry, I’d make the cloud to end all clouds and price it really cheap for any entrepreneur who’s willing to stake their future on being the next Big One. And when one or more emerge from the pack, buy them lunch and ask if you can invest. Bring flowers, and candy too.
Winer suggests that Jeff Bezos of Amazon is getting this right. To get a sense of how Bezos thinks about innovation, I recommend checking out this post at Geekwire.