If you were a trillion-dollar company

and you need to spend all that cash building your moat, what could you do?

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-30/google-and-mastercard-cut-a-secret-ad-deal-to-track-retail-sales

It’s a half secret that VISA, Mastercard, other payment cards, credit cards, banks, and all those financial intermediaries collect information on how you use your cards, your money, purchases, your shops etc. And profit off it. Credit cards don’t come free, and they certainly are not sustained using annual fees. The late fees, merchant charges and more, are all the profit margins.

Ad data flows around, and here’s another example of how it linked up Google’s web ads and payment merchants. Carefully.

On one hand, people complain that hey I already bought the thing and you’re still showing me the same dumb ads, on the other hand, you don’t want them to track what you have searched or bought. It’s like wanting something to understand you perfectly without telling them a single iota of info. How to balance this? Creepy vs smart is too fine a line.

Firefox introducing new measures to block web tracking. Safari does it too. Was Chrome such a visionary project that protected so much of Google’s moat. But hey, Chrome worked so well in a landscape littered with halfbaked browsers. Firefox was terrible at a point. Safari barely works only on Apple products. IE nope. Edge tries but not successfully. Chrome still leading alot of the pack. Nobody wants to bother to challenge a bottomless free product against a company with some of the best technical staff and deepest pockets. Only Microsoft or Apple could, but neither seems to think it worth the effort. So chrome it is.

The Google Pixel phone, still building that reserve Google phone in case Samsung or other manufacturers go haywire. The last defense. It might be the Chrome of this age. or not. Same as Chrome OS.

Projects that are fairly sustainable in their own right, but much more useful and important when seen as a chesspiece in the Google ecosystem.

Enterprise Google Cloud? Maybe just more gravy on the tech train. If there’s so much to earn, and they already have all the technical knowledge, why not? A nice new revenue area.

I wish they would monetize Maps better. Let it earn more resources and importance. It’s still too much of a free product. So is Photos. Fantastic product, a potentially superb superb lock-in. Who really wants to download, move, and re-organize hundreds of gigs and ten years of photos? That’s many hundred dollars worth of switching resistance there. If Apple could monetize it so well, it should be more clearly communicated to Google users, and charge for additional services. Many pro users would probably pay for more pro level features rather than the basic backup and searching. So many companies tried, but all failed because they can’t afford to give away so much free storage, and dedicate so much design and engineering resources. The writeups of the design optimizations are astounding. The stuff they do to make it run well, so not appreciated, all given free.

And frankly at their revenue rate, Google, Microsoft, and Apple should all reach that trillion dollar value mark. All profitable and increasing. I guess Amazon too.

If you were a trillion-dollar company

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