Google has been fasinated by the richness in the consumer markets. Just like Napoleon, who was enchanted by the rich resources of Russian. Now, Google is about to entering the tablet arena, to compete directly with strong competitors such as Apple and Amazon. Gene Marks of the Forbes makes an interest comparison between Napoleon and Google, to explore the pros and cons of Google entering the tablet market.
Napoleon, ruler of France from 1803 to 1815, rose to power by conquering most of Europe, creating an imperial monarchy and fashioning a set of laws that for the most part still stands in force today. He formed alliances and partnerships with dozens of countries and established France as the empire of the era. And then he made the mistake of invading Russia in 1812. With supply lines stretched and his forces weakened, Napoleon suffered a humiliating series of defeats and was eventually forced to retreat. His reputation broken and his enemies strengthened, Napoleon eventually found himself, at the age of 46, sentenced to exile.
Like Napoleon’s obsession with the resources of Russia, Google continues to fall in love with the potential riches of the consumer market. They’ve been investing millions in their YouTube channels. They recently expanded Google+ to take on FaceBook and announced a new version of their Google Hangouts services where users can broadcast their videos to unlimited viewers. The other week they unveiled a re-design of their ads to allow for even more eyeballs. At their last conference, they showed off a special pair of Internet friendly glasses.
But the Napoleonic moment is the latest announcement of the Nexus 7. It’s a $200 tablet aimed directly at Apple’s iPad and Amazon’s Kindle Fire. I can understand the temptation. It’s a big market. With a lot of potential. But there’s too much risk. If Napoleon had just settled down and focused on exploiting his core client countries he would likely have ruled for many more decades. If Google were to focus on just the business market, they could do the same.