Played Out Pi Gags
I want to briefly (very briefly) touch on the Nortel patent bidding just over a week ago. There was a lot of media coverage and some of it focused on how Google was making bizarre bids that were mathematical numbers like pi. The general perception became that Google wasn’t really taking it that seriously.
This is wrong.
Not only were they taking it seriously but they were taking it very seriously. A well-placed source present during the entire bidding process informed me that bidding got pretty intense among all the parties, including Google. In fact, when bids got as high as the $4 billion mark, Google employees had to take a break in order to go back and clear new, higher bids with Larry Page.
My point is that Google didn’t just take this lying down. They knew exactly how much they wanted to spend and how much they were willing to go over that amount to get what they wanted. And they lost.
In the midst of all the free and great services that Google provides, it’s easy to look at them like a snarky little startup that just happens to be more successful than most. They’re not. They are a large business and they’re very good at being one. Are they going to get slammed by litigation now? Of course. Those Nortel patents were valuable. But just like Apple, Microsoft, Intel, and a whole host of others, Google knows what it’s doing. Most successful businesses do.