With Mark Zuckerberg firmly ensconced in the top spot at Facebook and set of pages to take the reins of Google in April, the two most influential companies in the tech industry will be led by executives who launched their careers on products that are designed specifically to leverage the power of the World Wide Web.
Starting from Facebook and Google, page, and Zuckerberg demonstrated that they understood the potential of the Web to change the world. Now, the rest of us get to see that one of them can do the best job of harnessing the Web to develop products that attract users and ultimately generate long-term business profits.
In contemplating how this battle will be playing, an examination of how page and Zuckerberg--or more precisely their company--became the two main combatants in a struggle for supremacy of the tech industry may be useful.
The short answer is that initial products these companies embody the vision that led Tim Berners-Lee to create the Web, which was to develop a platform that would reflect the way before we work, play and socialize and so allow us to improve the ways to do those things.
Google has certainly improved our ability to locate information with its first product, the search engine, based on an algorithm that page developed with Google co-founder Sergey Brin during the days as graduate students at Stanford. Lately, the search engine Google has been criticised for serving up too many links that are irrelevant, obsolete or related businesses that have paid to advertise on the site.
While those criticisms are not entirely unfounded, Google still gives us faster, easier access to much more information--from titles of books in the libraries of college to newspapers, magazines and videos--that we have ever had.
More than 600 million users of Facebook without doubt say that Facebook has improved the way we socialize, and a large proportion of them also like to play games that are available on the site.
There are, of course, a number of other tech companies. Do not put any of these companies in the same class as Google or Facebook, however, since those companies were founded during the pre-Web. I wonder if their products have had the same impact on our work or social life that Google and Facebook have had.
GroupOn, the daily deal site founded by now 30-year-old Andrew Mason, is the company that would come closer to be compared directly with Facebook and Google. However, I have trouble making this comparison, largely because I feel that a site that offers discount shopping coupons into a business with a potential stock market valuation of $ 15 billion to be more of a triumph of marketing of turning a technological breakthrough.
GroupOn made headlines by turning down buy-out 6-billion dollars in Google offer late last year. Mason and the company can also net more in an IPO that was expected to be held sometime this year. Still, I wouldn't be surprised to see a day that GroupOn looked like an also-ran in a market flooded with sites to connect users with discounts. In fact, Google already launched such a risk.
Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), with a market capitalization of $ 300 million, is the most valuable technology company in the world, but it's also a different animal than Google or Facebook. First, Apple's CEO Steve Jobs has been one of Silicon Valley original wunderkinds when he collaborated with Steve Wozniak to build what was then the revolutionary device known as the PC Apple in the 1970s, long before the public had even heard of the Internet.
These days, Apple is creating major buzz--and earn this noble-market assessment-with its line of widely admired iProducts. As popular as these devices are, they aren't really designed to connect people.
The first of these devices, iPod, was built to allow users to bring their personal music libraries wherever they went, listening through headphones and, indeed, they themselves closing from the outside world. The iPhone and the iPad allows users to freely connect with social networking sites, Facebook and Twitter, but are still largely devices to meet your personal wishes. You might remember that the ability to read books online--a very lonely--was the top feature that Apple touted when was preparing the initial iPad launch.
To his credit, Apple has embraced social media, but that was largely a reaction to the popularity of Facebook and Twitter, as well as the competition that Google's Android operating system--which is extremely social media friendly--presented to the iPlatform.
When looking at the landscape of the tech industry going forward, we must also consider that Jobs ' health unhappy can force the pace by Apple completely, and that the company could send in a spiral. It was, after all, that brought Apple out a prolonged recession when he returned for his second tenure as CEO in the late 1990s.
Even if he lost some favor with Wall Street, Google is still a very profitable company. It also has $ 30 billion in cash.
It might seem that Google has an advantage on Facebook with the 38-year-old hired as CEO after nearly a decade under the watchful eye of a 55-year-old Eric Schmidt, a veteran high-tech exec previously stints at spending places such as Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL) and Sun Microsystems.
The joke not-so-inside Google is that Schmidt was there to provide adult supervision for Page and Brin, and now that I'm grown up, the President of the Executive role can fade Schmidt.
Meanwhile, the 26-year-old Zuckerberg continues to run Facebook without visible signs of seeking help from more experienced leaders in the industry. That may change at some point, especially with Goldman Sachs having recently invested close to $ 1.5 billion in Facebook and certainly eager to see a significant return on that investment.
Meanwhile, anxious to see the full impact that both Google and Facebook will have on the industry and the rest of the world for the coming years. Regardless of whether these companies end up on top of the tech world--or even if some are now non-existent upstart comes to dethrone both--there are bound to be exciting things in store for users of technology.TechNewsWorld columnist Sidney Hill has been writing about business and technology trends for more than two decades. In addition to his work as a freelance journalist, he operates a consulting firm independent marketing communications. You can connect with Hill through its website.