People Can’t Get Enough Of 18-Hour Old Holding Company

Alphabet: so hot right now.
Author:
Publish date:
Updated on

Working on the other ones.

The early returns on Alphabet, the new Google parent company/way that Larry Page and Sergey Brin can show off how much money the money-making part of Google makes while spending a not insubstantial amount of it on fun pie-in-the-sky projects, are good. The stock is up a whole bunch even as all other stocks are down on the yuan devaluation, and people just can’t say enough good things in print about the whole idea. And most especially Google’s new CEO, who is apparently the nicest, most modest and likeable guy anywhere between Big Sur and Eureka.

Mr. Pichai is well liked by many in the software community at large for his affable manner and friendly approach to his subordinates and contemporaries….

Jordan Rohan, founder of Clearmeadow Partners, an Internet advisory firm, and a former Wall Street analyst covering Google, said Mr. Pichai had the approval of both the business side of Google as well as the engineers.

But that’s not all. Alphabet will make Google the wildly successful start-up it once was, albeit one with $100 billion in the bank.

For big public companies in Silicon Valley, holding onto a sense of start-up magic is important for growth, profitability and retaining talent. Start-ups might grow faster and can be riskier, but they can also offer more excitement to employees….

“It’s really hard to hold onto good people in Silicon Valley,” said Andrew Metrick, a finance professor at Yale School of Management. “Now they can give them a piece of what they are working on, rather than just a small percentage of Google. It’s much more like they are a venture capitalist.”

It means that Page and Brin, along with Warren Buffett, are the true heirs of John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie.

Some of the factors that drove Google and Berkshire Hathaway’s most recent moves exist at other U.S. companies, particularly mountains of cash on corporate balance sheets. Google’s founders have been building their conglomerate for a while and Monday’s announcement simply restructures how those businesses are managed and report their financials. Buffett has been a capital allocation master. Any new conglomerate builders will have to learn this complex art.

They’ll also have to master either sexual innuendo or the kind of wordplay that only an engineer could love.

“We also like that it means alpha bet (Alpha is investment return above benchmark),” he wrote, “which we strive for!”

Yea, about that name, though. Not only is it kinda boring, but someone else already sort of took it.

Alphabet is also the name of a BMW subsidiary that provides services to corporations with vehicle fleets. A BMW spokeswoman said Tuesday that the automaker was not informed ahead of time of plans by Mr. Page and Mr. Brin to create a company called Alphabet and had not received any offers to buy the Internet domain or the trademark….

BMW is examining whether any trademark infringement has taken place, Ms. Sandstede said.

Otherwise, it’s pretty much undiluted praise and celebration out there—with the exception of Inc.’s Geoffrey James. Geoff doesn’t think much of Alphabet at all, in fact. Just a pathetic rebranding trying to hide the fact that, all economic indicators to the contrary, Google is already on it’s deathbed.

Look, if there’s anything that’s true in high tech business, it’s that rebranding can’t fix a product problem. And Google has a huge product problem: it’s a one-trick pony….The world is full of early-adopters of its highly-touted products who were eventually left high and dry. Some people, for instance, bet their businesses that Google was the Next Big Thing. They must feel pretty stupid now that it’s died the death.

We should have seen this coming when the mainstream press started hyping Google’s work environment and idolizing its employees. I don’t know about you, but when I read those articles, I kept thinking: “what a bunch of self-satisfied wienees….”In any case, the die is cast and Google is now trundling toward the alpabet soup of corporate senility. In time, Google’s search engine will go from being a cash cow to a life line and finally just an asset to be acquired.

Mark my words.

Marked.

Google Surges as Wall Street Anticipates More Transparency [WSJ MoneyBeat blog]
Sundar Pichai Will Lead Google With Users in Mind [NYT]
Alphabet Reorganization Injects Start-Up Cachet into Google [WSJ CFO Journal]
Will Warren Buffett And Google Revive the American Conglomerate? [Forbes]
Google Embraces the Conglomerate, For Good or Ill [WSJ MoneyBeat blog]
Alphabet Wordplay, a Hooli ‘Easter Egg’ and More on Google’s Name Change [NYT Bits blog]
Google Creates Alphabet, but Runs Into BMW [NYT]
The Beginning of the End for Google [Inc.]

Related