My last few Forbes columns mark the first time I’ve written about markets sized in the trillions. I thought you might find them interesting.

They’re part of a series on the Google driverless car. Instead of focusing on the gee-whiz aspects, as most reports have done, I explore the potential for millions of lives saved and trillions of dollars in car-related revenue thrown up for grabs.

Fasten Your Seatbelts: Google’s Driverless Car Is Worth Trillions

Google’s Trillion-Dollar Driverless Car — Part 2: The Ripple Effects

I’d love to get your comments. Please post them directly at Forbes or drop me a note.

This series draws from research for “The New Killer Apps: This Time, Incumbents Can Beat Startups,” a forthcoming book coauthored with Paul B. Carroll. To learn more, visit the book’s Facebook page.


You know from “Billion-Dollar Lessons” that I’m wary of using big acquisitions to fix strategic problems. You might also know that I like to play poker now and then. ;-)

In this article that just went up at HBR, I explain the why I like Google’s big acquisition of Motorola Mobility in poker terms:

Why Buying Motorola Was a Good Gamble for Google
Would you buy a piece of that bet? Let me know.


Anticipation is building for the iPad3, with rumors flying that the next generation of Apple’s tablet has moved into production and will go on sale later this year or early next year. Whenever it arrives, the iPad3 is sure to be regarded as another masterstroke by the late Steve Jobs.

While the details of the iPad3 are shrouded in Apple’s signature secrecy, its broad shape can be easily discerned. That’s because Apple laid out an amazingly prescient vision of the iPad3 23 years ago. That earlier effort was also a marvelous example of how, even in the most disruptive domains, companies can craft articulate visions of the future.

Cue the video, and I’ll point out a few things.

Read the entire article at

Adam Hartung makes a forceful case at his Forbes blog that Google made a big mistake by buying Motorola. He argues that Google only did it to save Android and that it should have, instead, cut its losses and dropped Android. I posted a short dissenting comment at Adam’s blog, and thought I’d expand my position here.

To me, Adam’s distaste for the acquisition has merit because of its complexity and the difficulty of pulling it off. More than two-thirds of large takeovers reduce the value of the acquiring company, and most of them are less intricate than this one. But Adam’s central thesis is that Android isn’t worth saving, and that’s the part that I question.

Continue reading this article at

The buzz is growing for Google+. But, as I write about in my most recent column at, the ultimate test will be whether the service can rival Facebook in users, dwell time and loyalty. At this point, Google+ seems poised to fail that test—primarily because of how poorly it supports groups.

Last December, I wrote about an ebook killer app waiting to be built. I wanted it for Christmas but, sadly, I didn’t get it. Now, with Apple’s introduction of iTunes Match, there’s a glimmer of hope that Apple (or Amazon or Google) could build my hoped-for app.

So, in my latest article at, I float my wish again (before the Christmas rush). Could you take a read and help me enhance and stress-test the idea? And, if you’re connected with Steve, Jeff, Sergey or Larry (or Santa), could you pass my wish along?

iBooks Match Could be the Next Killer App for Apple (or Amazon or Google)


Two quotes in this article should be tattooed on the wrists of anyone serious about innovating:

–“Our policy is, we try things.”

–“We celebrate our failures.”

Both quotes, from Google CEO Eric Schmidt, come as the company announced that it was shutting down a real-time collaboration tool called Wave. Rather than say nothing about the failure or try to pretend it’s no big deal, as many companies would do, Google acknowledged the failure and called it an important learning experience.

Because Google is now an 800-pound gorilla, it’s hard to remember just how slight its prospects were at birth a decade ago. If Yahoo hadn’t made Google the default search engine on the Yahoo site in 2000–giving Google both broad exposure and a big endorsement–it’s easy to imagine that few people would ever have heard of Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Now, the Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft had its own version of Google technology being developed around the same time that Page and Brin were starting their company–but killed it for fear that the technology would cannibalize other revenue streams. Imagine how little chance Google would have had in a competition with Microsoft in the late 1990s, when Google was just a handful of people and a few million dollars of venture capital.