Googlerola: my 2 cents

In these last days, I have tried to figure out what the outcomes of the Googlerola affair could be. There are at least four aspects to be considered:

  1. The size: 12.5B$ is A LOT of money (Motorola’s capitalization was around 7B$ when the deal came to the public);
  2. The timing: the announcement was made just in the middle of the patent war involving Google, Apple and Microsoft. Although it is difficult to imagine that such a deal has been settled in a few weeks, Page’s announcement seems to be a real timebomb;
  3. The number of individuals involved: Google is a 30,000-people company; Motorola has 19,000 employees. The simple sum gives 50,000: a really huge number. Moreover, corporate culture is fundamental in the Google development process: without massive layoffs, Google will have 40% of its employees not respecting the Mountain View standards;
  4. The role of Google in the Android Open Handset Alliance: now the hardware manifacturers have a new player to deal with.

There are already tons of different opinions on the still-to-be-approved acquisition, including ferocious critics (read Henry Blodget foreseeing a “colossal disaster”).

I decided to stick to what Steven Levy says about it. Despite his closeness to Google (Did you read “In the Plex“? You should!), the decision to buy Motorola seems to have caught Levy by surprise.

Just a couple of hours after the Larry Page’s announcement, Levy had a quite long conversation with Business Insider. There is the link to that article at the bottom of this post, but I’d like to highlight a few words from Levy:

On price:

I wouldn’t have predicted that Google would have bought Motorola but it’s not surprising because Google likes to take big bets and make big leaps.

On timing:

Certainly it’s characteristic of Larry. If he has a situation to deal with, he’ll come up with the biggest possible response because big responses and big risks is part of his makeup.

On people:

Why wouldn’t Google want to make the workforce of its new company reflect its own values which would mean getting rid of some people and bringing on other people. Larry Page vets every single employee hired at Google, do you think he’s going to take on 19,000 employees and not care about how they perform or how well they meet his standards?

On Open Handset Alliance:

Google’s invested in the Android system and it has to make sure its partners feel secure in adopting that system. I don’t know if it’s total indemnification, or if it’s just help. To me, the one thing that makes this thing go down palatably to places like Samsung and HTC, is that they’re going to benefit by Google having this patent portfolio, this protection.

Read the full article on BusinessInsider.

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