Opinion

Alphabet: The A-Z of Google’s discomfort

Matt FarrugiaGoogle has just created a new company, Alphabet, as an umbrella brand for all its business arms. Matt Farrugia looks at what the decision means, and what others can learn from it.

Following today’s announcement of Google becoming ‘Alphabet’, the world is abuzz as to what has motivated the decision.

Why are they doing this? How will this affect my business/clients? What can we learn? Should we do the same?

Like many, I’ve followed Google since I was a pimply-faced, dialup user on Netscape. When creating an email account involved a CD-ROM. Right up until today; learning from their innovation, using many of their products, and working with them for clients and staff.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 8.11.35 amFor me, the core of the Alphabet decision makes perfect sense – keep it simple and remain relevant.

It’s been Google’s philosophy that true and effective disruption should address huge problems via radical solutions that use breakthrough technology.

So while they’ve continually demonstrated this via its Google X delivering projects including Google Glass, Project Loon, driverless cars, augmented reality, robots and my personal fav Project Calico – a life extension project – it seems like the next phase of huge problems they intend to solve, exists well beyond what jumps to mind for most of us when we think of ‘the web’.

For me, Google have yet again demonstrated how radical change is necessary to stay relevant. And while there are many debates on the importance of disruption for commercial success and survival, it’s a process, challenge and opportunity most organisations are faced with, talk about and need, but often struggle to implement. More so if you are a large enterprise.

So Google’s split still allows Google to focus on the web, its core business arena, while Alphabet can be ambitious and explore Moonshots. It won’t distract the part of the business that pays the bills (and then some). Let’s continue to make money, while doing some big crazy shit.

Disruption at any scale almost always evokes nervousness for some. From launching a bold creative campaign to investing in an entirely new product – but as Larry Page, Co Founder of one of the most recognised and valuable brands in the world said today in his announcement of Alphabet: “You need to be a bit uncomfortable to stay relevant.”

  • Matt Farrugia is managing partner, GPY&R Melbourne
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