Facebook and Google. Google and Facebook. People tend to assume that these firms generally employ similar business strategies, featuring the aggressive application of new technologies in order to disrupt established industries.
Facebook, for instance, now owns Instagram, a leading innovator in the online photo sharing sector and a service that helped seal the demise of the traditional photography industry. And Facebook’s virtual reality technology division Oculus VR is now driving the radical evolution of the video gaming industry.
As for Google, it is currently focusing on the development of everything from self-driving cars to advanced programmable thermostats to wearable clothing technologies. By investing in these products and services, Google hopes to disrupt the long-established automobile, home construction, and fashion clothing industries.
In other words, Facebook and Google don’t simply compete against web-based communication technology firms. They frequently declare war on firms in other industry sectors — and, in fact, on other entire industries — as well.
That might be why Google has decided to challenge telecommunications giants like Verizon and AT&T. Its Voice service already offers free phone calls to any telephone number in the United States and Canada. And, just last week, Google announced that it intends to launch a wireless phone service in the United States.
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, on the other hand, has suddenly decided to go on a “charm offensive” and woo telecommunications carriers. Last week, at the Mobile World Congress, Zuckerberg said, “Growing the Internet is expensive work. The only way to accelerate that is to help operators to grow their business.”
Is Facebook now changing its general strategy by declaring a state of peace with the telecommunications giants? And, by doing so, is the social network joining forces with the likes of Verizon and AT&T in order to wage war on Google?
It appears that the web based telecommunications industry is a sector where war compels peace, and where, in turn, peace enables war. In a turbulent environment like this one, is it any wonder why so many technology start-ups come and go in the blink of an eye?