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Monday, July 7, 2008

Big Data as Competitive Advantage

Prudential Center Boston map in Google EarthToday's New York Times nominates Google as the Zen Master of the Anywhere Internet era because it is using network effects like Microsoft did during the PC revolution. Personally, I like Google's chief economist's reason better: the company focuses on learning from experience:

Google, it seems, is the emerging dominant company in the Internet era, much as Microsoft was in the PC era. The study of networked businesses, market competition and antitrust law is being reconsidered in a new context, shaped by Google. Google’s explanation for its large share of the Internet search market — more than 60 percent — is simply that it is a finely honed learning machine. Its scientists constantly improve the relevance of search results for users and the efficiency of its advertising system for advertisers and publishers. “The source of Google’s competitive advantage is learning by doing,” said Hal R. Varian, Google’s chief economist.
But this isn't your father's learning by a few trials and errors. Google learns from what is rapidly becoming a new and powerful trend: organizing and learning from the petabytes of data it collects.

Call the Centers for Disease Control! iPhone epidemic expected!

sn't it amazing that some people can tell a week in advance when they are going to be sick? If you're one of those people who senses that the 24-hour iPhone flu is going to wrack your body starting next Thursday, you should be sure to read these iPhone 3G Sick Day Tips. Oh, and remember that if you call in sick and stand in line at the Boylston St. Apple store, we can see you. Meanwhile, Happy Fourth of July America; happy weekend to everyone else. And by the way, if you think the above is crazy, note that people are already camping out in line at the New York 5th Avenue Apple Store.