Google Alphabet play unshackles Sundar Pichai in ''alpha bet''

Such a shame alphabet.com was already taken

Alphabet Google GOOG Larry Page

Larry Page will transform Google into a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alphabet. In a corporate structure some are comparing to GE or Berkshire Hathaway, Google is ringfencing its stick-to-the-knitting business of targeted ads in search results and videos. Sundar Pichai will be its new CEO.

That should leave Page and Brin to run Alphabet, allowing them to pursue their more weird and wonderful ideas -- such as self-driving cars and life-extension research. And in one bound they were free?

But what's Page really up to with the curiously-named Alphabet? In IT Blogwatch, bloggers spell it out for us. [You're fired -Ed.]

Not to mention: Supersonic hovercraft...

curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.
[Updated 5:03 am PDT with more comment]


For Farhad Manjoo, it's a sign o' the Times:

Among the most-quoted of Google’s [year-2000] big thoughts has been that corporations should “do one thing really, really well.”. [Now] Google will restructure its operations into a General Electric-like conglomerate...of which the search company will become just one division.

Now, by creating a formal structure to enshrine the goal of working on far-ranging problems, Google (or, rather, Alphabet) is offering a template for the next evolution of a modern tech firm. ... If the bet proves successful, it could be a widely copied effort.  MORE


When we need more, we release Harry McCracken:

I wondered for a nanosecond if it was a wonderfully wacky hoax. [But] it didn't take long at all before the news began to sound...like exactly the sort of thing Larry Page would do.

[He] wants to boil new oceans, such as transportation, connectivity, and life itself. ... Anyone who's been paying attention also knows that Page has been grooming Pichai to be Google's CEO. ... In the age of Alphabet, Page will still run a publicly traded company involved in a dizzying array of activities.  MORE


Larry Page turns a new leaf, starting a new chapter:

As Sergey and I wrote in the original founders letter 11 years ago, “Google is not a conventional company.” ... We did a lot of things that seemed crazy at the time. Many...now have over a billion users, like Google Maps, YouTube, Chrome, and Android. ... We are still trying to do things other people think are crazy. [But] you need to be a bit uncomfortable to stay relevant.

Alphabet is mostly a collection of companies. The largest of which...is Google. This newer Google is a bit slimmed down, with the companies that are pretty far afield of our main internet products contained in Alphabet instead. ... We believe this allows us more management scale. ... Alphabet is about businesses prospering through strong leaders and independence. ... And it is clear to us and our board that it is time for Sundar to be CEO of Google.

Alphabet will also include our X lab, which incubates new efforts like Wing, our drone delivery effort. We are also stoked about growing our investment arms, Ventures and Capital, as part of this.  MORE


So David Amerland analyzes thuswise, calling it "good news":

The new mothership will be able to supply greater transparency in the company's finances as well as the standing of each individual product. ... It will accelerate the pace of change within a company that was in danger of faltering because of its size.

How do you make sure, as you grow...that you continue to act like a start-up and innovate? The answer is simple: Disrupt your own business.

By treating each project as a product the real value is conferred in the activities of Alphabet.  MORE


But Stephen "humbler" Glasskeys isn't so positive:

Google's alphabet goes like this: NSACIAFBIDHSTSAMI5...

My sneaking suspicion is that this company was formed expressly for the sole purpose of delaying, confusing, and/or...derailing the EU's investigation.  MORE


What goes where? Danny Sullivan gives it a shot, calling the change "a palace coup":

Google will retain control of at least...Search, Ads, Maps, Apps, YouTube, Android [and] unspecified technical infrastructure.

Alphabet includes Calico...Fiber...Google...Google Ventures...Google Capital...Google X...Life Sciences [and] Nest. It’s unclear where many other things will go. Project Fi...for example.  MORE


Meanwhile, Om Malik compares Page with Buffett:

Larry Page and Sergey Brin have won the Internet. ... Think of it as the Berkshire Hathaway for the Burning Man crowd.

In Q4 2015, Alphabet will report results under new structure. ... It is a timely move for a company that has been getting fat and bloated.

There is such a thing called too big to innovate. ... Remember Silicon Graphics or Sun Microsystems? I didn’t think so.  MORE


Update: J.J. Valenzuela isn't enjoying the plot:

Alphabet sounds like it'll be that Sci-Fi dystopia company that is running everything and everyone.

I've seen this movie before.  MORE


And Finally...
How is a hovercraft like a supersonic passenger aircraft?


You have been reading IT Blogwatch by , who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or itbw@richi.uk. Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

To express your thoughts on Computerworld content, visit Computerworld's Facebook page, LinkedIn page and Twitter stream.
From CIO: 8 Free Online Courses to Grow Your Tech Skills
Shop Tech Products at Amazon
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.