IT companies have more opportunity than other companies to cross the thin red line. All companies in the world, whether a mom and pop convenience store on the local corner or multinational Microsoft are exactly the same.
If they can figure out a way to make money, (now of in five years time) they are keenly interested. If they can figure out how to monopolise, maybe be the only company for a few blocks, to sell sliced bread, they will do whatever is required to be the sole vendor or the largest vendor of sliced bread.
Many IT companies have crossed the thin red line. In a less connected and less interdependent world, Microsoft was the first global multinational IT company to do so, dominantly. Even when Microsoft’s marketshare was still rising against IBM DOS and Microsoft Windows started dominating the emerging PC market, it was obvious that the company was innovative, fresh, new, exciting and Microsoft was heralded and worshipped everywhere. By uber techies, simple users and small children.
This is how Microsoft became the monopoly that they were before Apple and Google.
There are important lessons here for all of us, the most important is that all companies are the same. If Google could bring you coffee in the morning, they will. Google will even make you breakfast and transport you anywhere you need to go. Google will also pack your lunch, arrange your holiday and go on holiday with you, be your best friend and feed your dog.
Where is the thin red line?
What is acceptable for a multinational company to monopolise and what not?
Obviously it does not stop with technology, it does not stop with software, it does not stop with services.
I love Google.
I wish they would be in business in 30 years time, but they will probably not as they are too close to their own situation. They are also drawing millions of people into their situation. Their failures will not be accepted as proof that they need to be less and not more and they will continue pushing these failures until they do in fact succeed. If Google starts selling wooden doors tomorrow morning, they will not succeed. But should their wooden door division receive constant and unlimited support from all things Google, eventually, in a few years, Google will be the sole supplier of wooden doors on the planet. The same with Google Plus, keep on pushing it and in five or ten years, it will be the largest social network on the planet. Is it a good thing? Of course not.
Google will also probably become a lot bigger and larger than it is right now, before it falls, as it is directly involved in information. Directly involved with what we see, believe, understand and do.
But, there is something even scarier than a world without a non evil Google. The next monopoly after Google will probably be some sort of world government, or a world corporation of some sort and that monopoly will be the largest ever in human history.
The monopoly after Google defeats Apple, will be an enormous beast. The generation that faces the decline of that super monopoly will be directly confronted with a non connected world, a world where tech will be far more strictly legislated and a world where the machine is there, but not obviously so.