Google vs. Symantec, McAfee? Not exactly was my immediate reaction to the public reaction to Google's "acquisition" of GreenBorder Technologies desktop security play.
While the blogosphere generally caught wind of the deal a few days ago, it was actually a done deal weeks ago. When I learned of it a while back, I viewed it as part and parcel of Google's ongoing weekly engineering investments, aka a business as usual build versus buy play, as I presented in Google vs. Symantec, McAfee? Not exactly Tuesday.
I have written extensively on Google's diverse acqusition strategies, including the Google hire by buying modus operandi, as I reported and analyzed almost one year ago in Google Jobs: How does Google really recruit talent?
Google CEO Eric Schmidt on"How many acquisitions do you do?":
It’s one or two a week it seems. Most acquisitions: They are very small. 1-2-3 people and you never, never hear about them.
Why would you want to be acquired by Google?
The venture guys have so much money, you don’t need to get acquired by us for capital. The reasons that they--start-ups--would choose be to be acquired are not what you might think. There is so much capital. And many of these businesses require no capital.
The reason to be acquired is that Google gives them--Web entrepreneurs--a platform that they might otherwise not be able to get. As markets consolidate these little companies often cannot get enough ‘mindshare,’ even though their technology is really good. Any one of these people are a reasonable--acquisition--candidate.
YES, Google "acquires" people, more often than not, in buying out small tech plays.
I noted that such an engineering staffing strategy seemed to be behind Google’s 2005 “acquisition” of Dodgeball, a two-person start-up based on a grad school project. The Dodgeball people, of course, have since left Google, as I had been predicting.
What about GreenBorder? Rather than the popular conjecture that the virtulization play would result in a pure Google security play, aka watch out Symantec, McAfee...I have postulated that Google may actually 1) Do nothing with the company, as was the case with Dodgeball or) Use the technology for testing purposes to beef up its own existing efforts.
As I underscored earlier today in Google: Tough love for Microsoft, Google does not view such current virtualization efforts as security panaceas.
At the end of the GreenBorder day, the latest purported Google driven game changer may very well end up being but the latest incarnaton of the Google Dodgeball effect.
Why is Google attracted to GreenBorder?
We believe the expertise of GreenBorder's small talented team of engineers will greatly benefit our users, advertisers and publishers.
Apparently, GreenBorder's "small talented team of engineers" did not consult with Dodgeball's even smaller team on the not quite fairy tale ending their Google rendezvous engendered.