Walter Isaacson on Google and Innovation

Matthew Belvedere, reporting for CNBC:

Case in point — he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday: Google buying Nest Labs is a bigger development than Apple selling iPhones on China Mobile’s network.

While acknowledging the China Mobile partnership is a “big deal” for Apple, he said Google-Nest exemplifies the “amazingly strong integrated strategy that Google has to connect all of our devices, all of our lives, from our car, to our navigation system, to how our garage doors are going to open.”

It’s perfectly reasonable to argue that Google has become the most innovative company in the world. Many of us would disagree, also reasonably, but still, no argument a good case could be made, and I think we could all agree that Google and Apple are both among the most innovative companies. But isn’t the evidence cited by Isaacson here irrelevant in the big picture? Google buying Nest and the iPhone hitting China Mobile just happen to be the two newsworthy things related to Google and Apple this week.

To play catch-up, Cook has to think about what industry he wants to disrupt next, Isaacson said. “I think Steve Jobs would have wanted as the next disruptive thing to either have wearable-like watches or TV, an easy TV that you can walk into the room and say put on ‘Squawk Box’ … or disrupt the digital camera industry or disrupt textbooks.”

I’m not sure how the textbook thing is going, actually, and I’m curious to know. But if you don’t think the iPhone and iPad are disrupting the camera industry, I don’t know what to tell you.

Friday, 17 January 2014