The Deipnosophist

Where the science of investing becomes an art of living

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Location: Summerlin, Nevada, United States

A private investor for 20+ years, I manage private portfolios and write about investing. You can read my market musings on three different sites: 1) The Deipnosophist, dedicated to teaching the market's processes and mechanics; 2) Investment Poetry, a subscription site dedicated to real time investment recommendations; and 3) Seeking Alpha, a combination of the other two sites with a mix of reprints from this site and all-original content. See you here, there, or the other site!

05 December 2007

Is Google Headed in the Wrong Direction?

The eWeek article, "Is Google Headed in the Wrong Direction?", argues several interesting points. For example...
1) "But doubts about the company's fundamental approach, and the specter of ads taking over small mobile device screens, raise the very real possibility that Google's offering may fail to live up to expectations."
2) "Google was expected to make a splash in social networking when it acquired wiki vendor JotSpot in October 2006, but that has not worked out—not yet, and perhaps not ever."
3) "This is the most recent in an impressive spate of announcements by the search market leader. This week alone, Google launched a multimillion-dollar effort to create renewable energy in a matter of "years, not decades," according to co-founder Larry Page. Also this week, Google all but confirmed its intention to offer storage as a service. This is not to mention the introduction of Android, Google's open-source-based mobile platform, a scant three weeks ago."
4) "Not that Google is a stranger to failure."

And so on. I believe the article to be worthy of your reading time, but I also believe the author, and others of his ilk, do not truly understand Google's corporate culture. His most telling point is #4 above. Google embraces failure as axiomatic; failure is merely a starting point, and not necessarily the end-point, as the company attempts to improve upon the 'expected' outcome.

This methodology is akin to my investing effort. As long time readers know, I enter each position with the knowledge and expectation that I could be wrong rather than have the market first ratify my investment thesis by waiting for prices to rise before I act (chase a rising market). This methodology -- for Google, for me -- is incredibly liberating. No longer must I, or Google, be correct from the get-go, which affords us each the ability to take risks -- with long term objectives always in mind. Doing so almost always equals flying into the headwinds of prevailing sentiment. To buy when all others sell; to take risks when all others see no possible reward...

"If you can keep your head
when all about you
are losing theirs ...
If you can make one heap
of all your winnings
and risk it all on one turn of
and lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss..."
So, really now, is it any wonder why I like Google/GOOG?

Full Disclosure: Long the shares of Google/GOOG since its IPO.
-- David M Gordon / The Deipnosophist


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