How to Beat Google

Last updated:

Beating Google means "doing something that not even Google could better in a reasonable time frame (a couple of months)"

Google is a large organization with a very talented workforce. Furthermore, Google has the resources to quickly get good in a number of fields, even if it has never dabbled in that field yet.

Suppose someone (or a small group of people like a startup) invents something or has a disruptive product idea that could make him/her a lot of money in a short space of time.

Suppose someone (or a small group of people like a startup) invents something or has a disruptive product idea that could make him/her a lot of money in a short space of time.

Even if we suppose nobody at Google had any inkling that such a breakthrough was about to happen (and they learn about this new idea only on the same day it gets published/launched), Google has the resources to

  • a) Buy up the startup or hire the inventor and pay them whatever they want;
  • b) Use its vast resources (brainpower, money and infrastructure) and build a better solution than was originally thought out.

So how can one beat Google at anything?

Well, I think there are a few things you could do to at least keep Google at bay for a reasonable amount of time:

  • Use large amounts of resources yourself (think AWS)
  • Choose a very, very narrow scope for your solution so that it won't be cost-effective for Google to launch an initiative in that direction.
    • If you are good at what you do and dedicate, say, 3 or 4 years to your problem domain nonstop (and, of course, assuming you have picked an important problem that people actually need (no underwater basket-weaving)), it's possible that you'll own something very valuable at the end of this period.

Even if you don't own your idea in the traditional sense (patents, etc.), you will still practically own it if you're the person in the world who knows the most about that.

Dialogue & Discussion