20150817

Alphabet Inc. or Google Offshore? Driving Investors MAD


So Google opened its books as Page wrote a letter announcing Alphabet.

"G is for Google"
G is for acceleration
G is for the G-spot of investors
G is for gee!

But wait. Is that an Easter Egg on Alphabet Inc.'s website (abc.xyz)? Does Larry Page plan to drive investors MAD?


Why Alphabet? Of course there's the Standard Oil of the Internet syndrome, the urgent need for transparency ahead of big decisions from European regulators (not to mention the need for creative ways of securing massive offshore war chests), Page's love for the Berkshire model (as if Larry and Sergey were about to move into Warren Buffet's house in Omaha), or why not Page's quest of eternal life (in the beginning was the Alphabet?)...  

Anyway, Google seems to be gaining agility at the financial level (from a conglomerate to a holding company), but it it true at the operational level? Yes if you consider for instance partnerships of equals with third parties, or internal / external coopetitivity. Not so much if you consider the implications of transparency. Beyond what each unit earns, transfers between units will have to be measured in terms of money and resources. Even if subsidiaries are allowed to use the Ferrari engine for free like any other partner team, how about these in-house engineers who did all the fine tuning at critical entry points, sharing all key knowledge across the organization? Is core business at risk of becoming less fast, more furious? Let's see how this Service Pack (Sundar Pichai) performs.

Will Alphabet remain Google? Now I see a classic net company from the late 90s, maybe even a VC surfing the bubble with its core cashcow and a decent portfolio featuring potential great spinoffs, managing risk with different levels of priority, ready to dump activities as quickly as it ventures into new ones...

What matters is not whether ABC/G sells for USD 700 a share. 

Time matters. Time is of the essence.

And I'm afraid time is more likely to become a luxury in Alphabet City.

Not just because the Founding Father of The Great Foundation may not be as eternal as he wishes he were.

mot-bile 2015



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