Google is one of the biggest companies in the world as well as one of greatest innovators in the 21st century. Aside from arguably being the most popular search engine, Google has also been acquiring other companies to broaden its brand and presence, online and off.
In 2006, Google bought YouTube.com for $1.6 billion, giving it a stake in an online juggernaut whose only current rivals are Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit. However, Google is not stopping there. Last December, Google acquired more than eight robotics companies that specialize in a variety of industries, including Schaft Inc. in humanoid robotics, and Boston Dynamics, which is both a military and industrial robot company. Google also acquired Calico, a small business that is attempting to discover the proverbial fountain of youth and slow down human aging.
With such a broad portfolio, it can be difficult to pinpoint Google's end goal, but one professor at UCLA named Dr. George Geis has a theory that may bring it all into focus. Having completed a study on Google's acquisitions, Dr. Geis believes that it may not be the individual companies that Google is after, but rather some of the people who work at those companies. What he’s referring to is a buying trend that’s been nicknamed “aqui-hires” in which an entire company is purchased for the sole purpose of acquiring a few people that work there. This particular buying trend has apparently been prevalent in Silicon Valley for a while, and although it may seem like overkill from a business perspective, Google has had a lot of success with these buys.
For example, when Google bought a company called Nest it also got a new employee named Tony Fadell. If you don’t recognize his name, then you're not alone, but you will know some of the products he has designed and created. Fadell's resume includes designing the iPod, and he led the team who created the first 18 generations of iPods, and three generations of iPhones. Having that level of creative power in-house is truly priceless, and luckily for Google that is in its budget.
Dr. Geis adds that Google is focused on creating new cloud focused technologies that can communicate with one another. It also has plans to create assembly line robots for factories in addition to household robots.
The question now is whether or not Google's efforts will be hindered. While the U.S. government may ask Google to cease due to possible privacy and data collecting issues, the government does not actually have any legal reasons to do so, yet. Granted this could change in the future, but as for right now Google is buying up companies at a high rate in a relatively short amount of time - it could very well be a technological conglomerate. Your move, Apple.