Chapter 12. The Dominant Power in the Industry?

It's Google's world. We just live in it.[]

—Chris Tolles, vice president of marketing, Topix Inc.

I think, therefore I Google.[]

—David Smith, columnist, The Guardian

Blogger Paul Ford published an article anticipating the future: "How Google Beat Amazon and eBay to the Semantic Web." He illustrated the story with a rough-cut cartoon of a giant robot standing on the globe and declaring, "I am Googlebot, I control Earth." Most readers saw the cartoon as a slap at Google, except for those who worked at Google. They contacted Ford requesting that they be allowed to put the doodle on t-shirts. Ford said no, but the cartoon popped up on walls, bulletin boards, and desks all over Google offices.[]

Sounds like Google is full of itself, doesn't it? A generous amount of hubris is essential to being a Silicon Valley leader. "There is a certain 'we can do this' arrogance in Silicon Valley," admits Marc Tarpenning, software engineer and one of the founders of Tesla Motors. "But all entrepreneurs need a bit of that because if you really understood how difficult this stuff is, you would just never do it."[]

While it is obvious that Google rules the kingdom of search, even the experts can't get a handle on the ramifications of Google's dominance. BusinessWeek wrote in 2007 that the company's data-gathering capability worries many people. Technology historian George Dyson, who wrote Darwin Among the Machines: The Evolution of Global Intelligence ...

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