From our Swindon Correspondent:
There are generally, 6 stages in the life of a tech company:-
1. Inception. A couple of smart kids start something in a garage. Massive innovation.
2. Fast growth. The business moves to some good offices, number of staff increases. They take on smart, fast moving people who are innovating big. A few people know them.
3. Steady growth. The business is now something of a household name. They get their own small head office. Staff are more like normal business. Innovation continues, but the bureaucracy starts to grow.
4. Bureaucracy. The business is a household name. They have multiple offices, or something designed by a smart-ass architect. There’s still staff coming in, but they’re mostly seeing it as a nice warm place to sit and be bureaucrats. The innovators start leaving as it’s just not interesting. They might even be making lots of money, but it’s mostly just living off what was built in earlier phases, or large dumb wasteful projects that go nowhere for years.
5. Decline. A new disruptor arrives on the scene. They innovate in a field you’re involved in. You can’t keep up because in the previous phase, you replaced the innovators with bureaucrats. You’re outsmarted.
6. Terminal decline and death. You slowly or quickly disappear, maybe holding onto a few customers who habitually use you.
I think there might also be something about when government starts taking an interest in you, and I think it’s quite some time into stage 4. Google are already there. Firing James Damore is very much bureaucracy state behaviour. They wouldn’t have cared when it was a tiny number of staff in an office. And how much have they really innovated in the last decade? Things like this
Britain’s competition watchdog has set out recommendations for new regulations to tackle the dominance of Google and Facebook in the online advertising market.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said Wednesday that it had proposed the creation of a “Digital Markets Unit” designed to rein in platforms with “a position of market power” when it comes to digital ads.
The new unit would enforce a code of conduct on Google, Facebook and other major players in the industry to make sure they don’t “engage in exploitative or exclusionary practices.” It would have the power to impose fines on the companies if necessary.
It all sounds like nonsense to me, but it wouldn’t surprise me if regulators arriving on the scene is a sign, unrelated to what they do, that a business is done, in the same way that Joe Kennedy observed that a market is a bubble when shoe shine boys are giving you stock tips.