Google and Dell, eBay and Yahoo…Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, and Meg Whitman, eBay CEO, concur on the attractiveness of partnerships for growth and both give thumbs up to the new era of collaborative competition. Plus, Whitman speaks to Schmidt (a Princeton classmate) "several times a month."
Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, 5/31/06, investor conference call
we much prefer the partnership approach….partner whose incentives are with ours. We work together. They improve their product, we get the benefit. The customer sees a more integrated solution. So there’s a lot of reasons to think that the structure of the industry going forward will have a lot of these kinds of deals. We are trying to do the best deals, we think we have the strongest product in the space. So now is a great time to sign those deals. Of course, the partners always have the opportunity to switch partners if they become dissatisfied with us, and vice versa. So it keeps everybody on their toes as well…the answer is partnerships.
Meg Whitman, eBay CEO, “Ebay cautious on web mergers”, 6/18/06, Financial Times
I think the most interesting thing about the last couple of years is this, you know, cooperation and competition. You know, we compete with Yahoo, and we now have a very big partnership with them.
I think in the old days, when I was growing up in business, you never did anything with a competitor. You know, when I was at Hasbro, we didn’t do a lot with Mattel. When I was at Proctor & Gamble, we didn’t do much with Colgate. But it’s a different world.
So we struck this very big deal with Yahoo, and then a week later they invested in our largest competitor in Korea. I don’t’ know - I think it’s sort of the New World Order, and I knew it was happening and it didn’t really bother me. You know, Google is another example. Google is a very important part of our strategic alliances and we do a lot with them. But, you know, they’re also going to compete with us in a number of areas.