Theories about Google’s acquisition of Jaiku | FactoryCity

Helge V. Keitel digitalvillages Twitters, Why didn't Google buy Apple, but a tiny Finnish microblog Jaiku? Is there substance behind the idea that Jaiku enables gPhone?

Helge: I ask this question. If it's a valid one, there are great opportunities for some Finnish software companies. But the question is, should they go from one camp to the other? It's not easy to say. Nokia is the global leader.

Google is certainly a big Web 2.0 player and Apple has mad a great iPhone launch. But the game for Mobiel 2.0 has only started. Nokia Ovi might be the right thing for the Asian market. What is Google doing with Orkut?

Theories about Google’s acquisition of Jaiku | FactoryCity:

Theories about Google’s acquisition of Jaiku

Jaiku LogoI think it’s pretty interesting news that Google ended up buying Jaiku. Can’t say I saw it coming, and it’s unexpected enough to make things interesting for a bunch of us for whom such actions cause reverberations in our work and also give rise to fair speculation about why they did it and what it means.

Helge: I will comment on this tomorrow...

So earlier I just so happened to be talking with Someone Who Shall Remain Unnamed and he put my mind into circles about this thing. He pointed me to some of dotBen’s ideas about the acquisition. While I’m not really sure about his geographic assessment (given that my old roommate and coworker Andy Smith is coming back to San Francisco, which kind of blows the London-relocation theory), I do share his (and others’) concern that this acquisition could spell the demise of Jaiku in priority of other more average-Joe services:

Did Google buy Jaiku for it’s engineering talent rather than for the product? I’m betting the engineering team is going to be siphoned off into the GPhone project.

At the same time, I think that Google’s play will likely continue to be software rather than hardware. Here’s why:

  • Google makes a lot of software, most of it hosted on the web.
  • Google doesn’t make any consumer hardware.
  • Google wouldn’t mind being in the wireless business, but probably not the handset business.
  • And, Apple already has a bunch of deals with the existing phone carriers.
  • Apple makes good consumer hardware.

Yes, those last two are about Apple. Because the deal between Google and Apple is sweetening every day. And Apple doesn’t really buy companies, Google does. So that’s why Google bought Jaiku today and not Apple.

But I digress. Let’s throw some more theories and extrapolations out there.

Ok, first and foremost, the browser. In one of my many unpublished drafts, I talk about how Steve was right about building Web 2.0 apps for the iPhone and why he’s even kind of right trying to prevent people from building so-called “native apps”. Sadly folks don’t really think about the web as a “native” environment yet. It’s got crappy access to hardware and some pretty weak tools for building rich interfaces so they stick with what they know rather than embracing the rough-and-tumble world of designing and coding for web browsers. What’s there to love, really?

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