Here´s a view of how Google will make Youtube disappear. Personally, I don´t agree that that will be the case. Indeed, if I had to guess I would not be surprised that Google Video will do to Youtube what Google WiFi did with FON, and that is to establish a healthy competition with an internal project and an external one which Google partly or wholly owns. And, surprisingly, the internal project may very well lose and yet not dissapear.
Google invested a lot of money and promotional efforts with Google Video, a product which I personally use and like, even though it has much less traction than Youtube. But now that Google has bought Youtube, it has not announced that it will close Google Video. It will instead have two competing projects, one internal and one external and that is, in my view, the safe way to go and gain more market share. The same is true with WiFi. In the case of FON, the largest WiFi community in the world, which I manage, Google is both an investor in FON and at the same time has an internal WiFi project competing with us that is managed by Chris Sacca.
By any measure, FON is beating Google´s internal WiFi efforts. Last week alone FON got orders for 4000 access points around the world, while Google has not been able to install WiFi in its home town of San Francisco, let alone the rest of the world. Still I understand and appreciate Google´s dual formula of supporting both Muni WiFi and FON. Google is too big a company to give up on Muni WiFi, even though Chris himself has been publicly complaining about Google´s inability to get it going thanks to the bureaucracy involved. In the end, what´s best for Google and for all internet users who love WiFi is that, at least, one or possibly both formulas succeed.
So Larry, Sergey and Eric are in my view doing the right thing and that is to let projects that occupy huge spaces in the internet compete with each other and not bet the (server) farm on one of them.
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