The internet is much simpler than we think.
Most people use the internet to do one of the following: search, browse, check email, and/or use social media (including posting photos or watching videos). Apps used for accessing and sharing information across the internet have been dubbed “killer apps,” because of the massive disruption each one has caused.
For any app, being an industry leader is tremendously power- ful. Google leads in four of five major areas.
Chrome is the #1 browser (82)
Gmail is the #1 email provider
YouTube (owned by Google) is the #1 video streaming service (83)
YouTube is the #2 most visited website (behind Google) (84)
The only company that beats Google in any category is Facebook, which leads in social media. Google+ (Google’s answer to Facebook) failed miserably to find relevancy with users. Google executives even attempted to buy Facebook early on. If successful, Google might own the entire internet experience today. The company’s dominance is incredible for a company that is just old enough to drink. Google has found a way into every part of our digital lives, but it was not always so dominant.
Originally, Yahoo ruled the web experience. At its peak in 2000, Yahoo was worth roughly $125 billion. (85) It was the highest valued company in the world at the time. The name, the yodel, and the friendly logo all became synonymous with internet usage.
Yahoo’s momentum, market share, and deep pockets should have rendered Yahoo the dominant internet company for the next few decades. Instead, their leadership failed to develop a Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP) to guide the organization. An MTP is a “highly aspirational tagline,” (86) a key component for big thinkers because it makes an organization focus on growth. Without an MTP to guide them, Yahoo was stuck in an innovation deficit and ultimately confused its customers, leading to the company’s demise.
How did Google manage to escape the same fate?
Larry Page, the co-founder of Google with Sergey Brin, wanted to create a technology like a toothbrush: something users would use more than once a day, which would make their lives easier. (87) On average, Google…