A while back someone asked me what I think Google should buy next. I was reminded of the conversation today by a co-worker so I dug up my response. The post still makes a whole lot of sense even if it’s over two years old.
One: I would look for some data mining companies with some nice IP. If you choose correctly you could end up with a nice product to brand. Some nice algorithms to improve your own systems, some nice IP to own. Think along the lines of say Biometrics, pattern recognition, and data-mining. The idea is to improve your own search and to leapfrog remaining companies in this space by tying in data mining into search.
Two: GIS. Purchase some of the providers of the data for your Google Maps. Purchase the company which will scan buildings and real world structures to put into Keyhole. You might also want to pick up a nice clean multi-platform 3D engine. You also want to pick up better GeoCoding capabilities.
Three: Real time Monitoring. Traffic.com and other sites like this which provide real time data about the real world. Also look into companies which provide real time monitoring of other transportation systems.
This is all very interesting considering the announcements over the last month of so. So how would I modify this?
One: The Algorithm. You must always improve this. Purchase any company that has interesting IP in the area. You are looking for pattern recognition and data mining. Anything that can make your index larger.
Two: The Inverse of Search. Connecting content creators to content consumers. AKA Advertising, Branding, Identity. This is how Google gets paid. If a person can search for Pizza why can’t a restaurant search for Pizza Customers? You are looking for mediums for selling ads.
Three: The Real World. Any technology that is merging real world information with online information. GIS, Mapping, Scanning, OCR, Speech to Text.