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Google Version 2.0: Googzilla - The Calculating Predator

Thomas Edison, Bell Labs, and Xerox PARC, move over: Google Is Now America's Premier R&D Company

Google's database inventions by themselves, according to Stephen E. Arnold, who has written a patent-centric study of the company, show that Google's research unit has superseded Bell Labs and Xerox PARC as the place for technical innovation in the U.S., if not the world.

Arnold (pictured below) is president of Arnold Information Technology and the author of an earlier book, "The Google Legacy," that changed how many investors and technology experts view the Mountain View, Calif., company.

His new study, "Google Version 2.0: The Calculating Predator," is a detailed review of patents and patent applications filed by Google employees since mid 2005. The new study's  index lists 90 patents and applications of the more than 200 that Arnold has identified and analyzed.

Arnold examines more than 24 of these patents in detail in the 266-page study, identifying their technological importance and potential business impact. These inventions signal, he says, where Google focuses its research and provide insight into areas into which Google could move. "Telecommunications, motion pictures and entertainment, financial services, and publishing are just a few of traditional market sectors that Google can enter and disrupt without too many technical gyrations," he says. "Most of these market sectors are blissfully ignorant of Google's capabilities."

His study is the first to use text analytics and intelligence community techniques to glean business insights from publicly available Google patent applications and patents, Arnold says, noting:

"To my knowledge, no one has attempted the type of invention deconstruction that I have undertaken. Also, no one has yet taken the Google technology and made an attempt to characterize what functions it can support. The nature of patent documents is to describe certain information in ways that can be quite difficult to understand."

His book's title, says Arnold, reflects Google's love affair with mathematics, which is part of what he calls the "Google DNA." He continues: "Google is perhaps today's best example of a company built on calculative thinking. Characteristics of calculative thinking include efficiency and logic, not emotional reactions. An elegant proof of a theorem bundles intelligence and beauty into a construct of great beauty. . . . Like a grand master in chess, Google uses strategic feints to obtain its objective -- winning the game."

Identifying Google's patents and patent applications is no easy task for several reasons, Arnold found. ". . . Google does not list the company affiliation of inventors of pending patents," the study notes. "A search for Google patents with a query for the term 'Google' is almost useless. . . ."

Arnold describes his approach to this study as marrying two types of information. "First, I have the patent applications, patents, and technical papers," he says. "Then I have the 'soft' discussion of how selected technologies disclosed in the public patent documents seem to relate to Google's capabilities, business tactics and products and services. . . . Each of the patent discussions is introduced by a business commentary and followed by a discussion of the possibilities the technologies described contain."

"Calculating Predator" picks up where "Legacy" left off in depicting Google as more than a search and advertising company. Arnold observes in the study: "Google Version 1.0 was the Web search and advertising company. . . .

"Google Version 2.0 is another creature entirely," he adds, noting: "I use the term Googzilla to describe the current incarnation of Google. The idea is that Googzilla is big, powerful, and indifferent to the insects and ants crushed by its massive paws. Google Version 2.0 shares the search and ad capabilities of Google Version 1.0, but it is much, much more. . . . With a little more effort, Google could become the largest information publishing, distributing, archiving, and retailing operation in the world."

Throughout the study Arnold evaluates the competitiveness with Google of companies such as Yahoo and Amazon. Its would-be competitors are no match for Googzilla, he indicates. "Yahoo operates the computer equivalent of the Pan- Slavic movement in the early 20th century," he says. "Many different systems suck resources, and it's unlikely that its existing plumbing is up to the type of algorithms that Dr. [Anna] Patterson uses [at Google]. Ask.com is not in the running. Barry Diller is too abstemious to invest massively in Google- like innovation in hardware and software."

The study's chapters consist of the following:

Preface
Google's Database Technology
Digital Ninjas: Competing with Smarter Software
Brin-Page Patents: Tech Sign Posts
Google Patents from August 2005-March 2007
Achieving $100 Billion in Revenues
Google and the Programmable Search Engine
Enterprise Applications
Google As Publisher
Thwarting Google -- Is It Possible?
Looking Ahead

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