In a recent meeting, someone dropped a forecast on the table stating that Google was on track, in five years, to become the world’s first trillion dollar company (currently they are $382 B). This is built on a virtual monopoly in the area of online advertising and now growing into a variety of other technologies and platforms. But, most important this is a company build on advertising media.
What do I do with that bit of information? Why do I care? Why would anyone care if Google is getting larger and larger and larger. Is it a good thing? Is it bad? Sergey and Larry seem to be good guys.
Well, I don’t have answers to those questions, but I do have a thought to further the conversation.
When you elevate your perspective to see all the brands in the world, and the businesses where they reside, it changes your perspective. Brands as large as Google, Apple and a longer list of others are designed to serve stakeholders (customers, partners, investors, etc). This isn’t too dissimilar to a government entity. Here are some similarities between a corporation and a government.
>> Both serve diverse audiences and need to keep people happy, active, and safe from harm.
>> Both have incoming revenue (taxes) and outgoing expenses (services).
>> Both have a team that leads and some structure to organize the social hierarchy.
>> Both have a reputation to build and protect with all stakeholders
Now, the corporation may have a mission to conquer and a government may have a mission that closer resembles the need to protect and keep safe. And, governments provide services people don’t want to pay for, but need to in order to have social order. Corporations do this as well, but many at the discretion of the leadership team.
This all leads back to the headline.
What would happen if Apple or Google purchased a small country? Just to be clear, here’s a handful of countries Apple could buy with their profits of $37 billion: Trinidad and Tobago, Paraguay, Honduras, Jamaica, Albania, Iceland, Cyprus and many others all over the world.
How would Apple design a country? What would a Google country look like? Would these captains of industry be better at running a medium size country than many of the horrid dictators we see in the world today?
What do you think?