Is Google Invincible?

Except for Robert Scoble, and of course Jason Calacanis, most of the commentary I see about Google is that their search position is unassailable.  Considering how relatively young they are as a company, and how they sprang from nowhere to command a market that others thought could not be taken I don’t know why people would consider this to be true.  Google won against the geeks favorite Alta Vista (helped by DEC mismanagment) and the force of Microsoft’s entry to the Internet (helped by the poor strategy of trying to create a separate web).  It needs a good idea and excellent execution to take a market from an established and dominant player, or some mis-steps from the establishment.

I was interested to see yet another report of an influential Google staffer quitting.  Now no company will fall from the resignation of one person, but if the right people leave, and the wrong people get promoted then the company can suffer.  Microsoft suffered from this for a period in the 90’s with some of the ‘Microsoft Millionaires’ that were developers promoted to management engaging in destructive empire building and infighting.  As companies get larger it is harder to innovate, and talented employees find it harder to be recognized and engage in work that is meaningful to them.  This eventually creates a brain drain on the company and releases people with the power to create better ways of doing things into the world.

Robert Cringely wrote predicting this very phenomena earlier this year and each new resignation of a top Google person makes it more likely he is right.