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The Most Important Thing I Saw at the Googleplex

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The Motley Fool Rule Breakers team is back on the road, this time to tour Silicon Valley and attend the Google I/O developer conference. In addition to dispatches like this one, look for special updates at the Rule Breakers site and get live coverage at @TMFRuleBreakers on Twitter.

You can't just visit Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) . "Visiting" Google is like visiting Washington, D.C. You could go to the Capitol, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, the Supreme Court, or any number of other federal structures that play a role in governing.

So it is with Google. To visit the Googleplex is to visit any of the mass of structures that stretch across Mountain View, Calif. In each, code is being written, products are being tested (I witnessed the setup for a "Gadget Fiesta" -- whatever that means), and ideas are being debated.

On the Crittenden campus where I was, you get a particular flavor for the rebellious ethos that Google has spent years cultivating. There, you'll find unchained bikes painted in Googly colors for employees to ride around campus, electric charging stations for hybrid car owners, a bowling alley, and multiple baristas serving really good cappuccino.

Yet none of it impressed me as much as the number of Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) gadgets being used by the Googlers sipping cappuccino along with me. Of the 13 laptops open and crunching cloudy code, 12 were Macs. Several had iPhones.

This, Fools, was a brief snapshot of life in the Googleplex. Home to the enemy, the company vying with Apple to topple Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) and Nokia (NYSE: NOK  ) and control the market for smart mobile devices.

It got me thinking: Maybe the real myth is that there's a war between these two. Sure, Apple and Google compete. But so do Tom and David Gardner, the Brothers Fool. They tease, taunt, and one-up each other. They joke. In the end, they're both better off for it. And so are, I suspect, Apple and Google.

Do you agree? Disagree? Tell us what you think about the competition between Apple and Google and share your predictions for the Google I/O developer conference using the comments box below. You can also rate Google in Motley Fool CAPS.

The Motley Fool recently introduced a free My Watchlist feature that allows users to stay ahead of the curve and receive up to date news on companies like Google, or any of its competitors. Add these companies to your watchlist today:

Both our Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Inside Value services have recommended members purchase shares of Google. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Motley Fool Options has recommended members create a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He owned shares of Apple and Google at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Google and is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. Its disclosure policy still needs its coffee. (Yawn.)

Read/Post Comments (3) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2011, at 10:33 PM, katlavellehawk wrote:

    are you sure those systems weren't rooted & running android?

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2011, at 4:21 AM, kariku wrote:

    The "rebellious ethos" that you mention has a name: arrogance. Let's rebel against China! (last year). Let's never finish a product, leave them all in beta, we're too good to spend time polishing stuff! Let's collect user data! Let's copy-cat anything others do (the "look Ma, me, too" syndrome). Let's only make products that appeal to nerds (since this is what we are).

    What does this do for investors? Risk. No reward.

    I'm staying away from GOOG.

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2011, at 7:42 AM, IdahoAve wrote:

    I've been argueing to my friend that Google, Apple, or Microsoft are not competitors. The first is a search add company, the the second licesnses hardware gadgets for recreational and personal use, the last licenses business software. I know this is an over simplification but how is the iphone competeing with microsoft excel, and how is google search competing with my Mac Book Pro?

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