Here at The Motley Fool, we believe individual investors should have the same access to information that Wall Street has. In that spirit, we've listened in on some investment-bank conferences with major companies and are giving you the rundown. We call this feature "Fool on the Street."
Google on the move
There's a lot of overlap between Eric's comments and those of the Yahoo!
Schmidt is perhaps somewhat biased by his position on the Apple
"The iPhone is certainly going to be an incredible product," he said. "And part of the reason that it's going to be so incredible is it's the first full featured phone with a real user interface designed around Internet browsing. So as Apple talks about the iPhone, they talk about it as both a musical device, a communications device, as well as a browsing device."
That means that Google can play an important part in the iPhone's success, with its plethora of search and organization services making the mobile user's online life easier. And that's not all: "Phones turn out to be the first of a generation of highly, highly targetable devices, because they're personal. And they know where they are." That means a massive advertising opportunity, playing into the long-term advertising-powerhouse future I've seen Google heading towards for some time.
Growing like semiconducting weeds
Schmidt applied Intel co-founder Gordon Moore's famous "Moore's Law" to the information space in an effort to explain how these markets grow too fast to really comprehend. In his example, hardware and information both grow at mind-boggling speeds, so that every bit of the entertainment available to us today should fit on a consumer-level hard drive in ten years -- the drive being about 100 times bigger than today's models. But by then, there will also be 100 times as much entertainment produced every year, and the capacity gap continues.
Most importantly for Google, it leads to a heck of a lot of information that we'd like to have available at our fingertips, and it all needs to be organized, searchable, and made accessible. Which, of course, is where Google comes in. Schmidt took the "triple play" strategy of today's Verizon to the next level, talking about the "quadruple play." We'll consume all of our information, entertainment, news, music, and whatever else you want through these unified data, video, and fixed and mobile phone service accounts within a scant few years. And once again, all of it needs to be accessible with simple, usable, and powerful tools -- like search. See a pattern yet?
Think small, think big
And so Google wants to run the show on both the very small screens in our pockets and the very large ones in our living rooms. They're very different canvases upon which to paint an information service, but Google believes it can work in any medium.
As the global information market grows, and grows, and grows, so will the advertising market. Schmidt not only believes that Google has a place in the $600 billion to $800 billion worldwide ad business, but that it can expand the market with targeted, relevant ads where today we only have relatively blind mass broadcasts on television, radio, billboards, and more.
The Web 2.0 architecture ties into this by providing easy means to present highly relevant information with industry-standard and very simple tools. Google is certainly into this technology, with 2.0-worthy services like Google Maps, those nifty financial charts, a range of online office applications that makes Microsoft
That's a wrap
Like I said, there is a lot of meat in this presentation, if you care at all about the online market or the entertainment industry. Let me finish this report with Eric's thoughts on the importance of social networks like MySpace, YouTube, and del.icio.us. He says it's a very important phenomenon that will be with us for maybe the next thousand years, mostly in our various mobile devices. "And if you don't believe that, talk to your teenager. Or more likely, watch them talking to everyone else while they ignore you."
That wraps up our report from this presentation with Google, but stay on the lookout for more "Fool on the Street" reports that bring you juicy information that only the analysts have paid attention to.
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