January 22, 2016

Google Alphabet has four times DARPA's research budget and larger moonshot ambitions than DARPA

Google's revenue is continuing to grow at about 20 percent a year and is on pace to generate approximately $60 billion this year.

Google will have $20-24 billion in operating income and $12-14 billion will be spent on research and development in 2016. These amounts are still growing at 20% per year.

The NY Times provides some insight into Google by focusing on Founder and ex-CEO Larry Page.

Larry Page managerial modus operandi is to take new technologies or product ideas and generalize them to as many areas as possible. Why can’t Google Now, Google’s predictive search tool, be used to predict everything about a person’s life? Why create a portal to shop for insurance when you can create a portal to shop for every product in the world?

Inside Google, Mr. Page is known for asking a lot of questions about how people do their jobs and challenging their assumptions about why things are as they are. In an interview at the Fortune Global Forum last year, Mr. Page said he enjoyed talking to people who ran the company’s data centers.

“I ask them, like, ‘How does the transformer work?’ ‘How does the power come in?’ ‘What do we pay for that?’” he said. “And I’m thinking about it kind of both as an entrepreneur and as a business person. And I’m thinking ‘What are those opportunities?’”

Another question he likes to ask: “Why can’t this be bigger?

Larry Page is dedicated to “moonshots” like interplanetary travel, or offering employees time and money to pursue new projects of their own. By breaking Google into Alphabet, Mr. Page is hoping to make it a more welcoming home for employees to build new businesses, as well as for potential acquisition targets.

As chief executive of Alphabet, Mr. Page is tasked with figuring how to spin Google’s billions in advertising profits into new companies and industries. When he announced the reorganization last summer, he said that he and Sergey Brin, Google’s other founder, would do this by finding new people and technologies to invest in, while at the same time slimming down Google — now called Google Inc., a subsidiary of Alphabet — so their leaders would have more autonomy.

“In general, our model is to have a strong C.E.O. who runs each business, with Sergey and me in service to them as needed,” Mr. Page wrote in a letter to investors. He said that he and Mr. Brin would be responsible for picking those chief executives, monitoring their progress and determining their pay.

Google’s day-to-day management was left to Sundar Pichai, the company’s new chief executive.

Larry intends to push even further with Alphabet. It is a holding company that separates Google’s various cash-rich advertising businesses from the list of speculative projects like self-driving cars that capture the imagination but do not make much money. Alphabet companies and investments span disciplines from biotechnology to energy generation to space travel to artificial intelligence to urban planning.

Investors will get a good look at the scope of those ambitions on Feb. 1, when the company, in its fourth-quarter earnings report, will disclose for the first time the costs and income of the collection of projects outside of Google’s core business.

SOURCES - Google Finance, NY Times

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