October 8, 2011

What if Google Does it?

What if Google Does it?

There’s a site dedicated to this answer and it’s really funny.  It’s not funny to everyone though. It’s funny to you if you’ve been in front of a few potential investors or advisors and you get the inevitable question, “What if Google does it?”

This question can be annoying for a couple of reasons:

1.  Everyone loves to ask this question, even when it might not be valid.  (I’m not sure if it’s because they haven’t heard a good answer to it yet so it gives them confidence they’ll look smart or if they want to see if you’re creative enough to think on your feet).

2.  Let’s face it, it’s Google. It’s easy to get intimated because you have to have enough creativity and conviction with your answer so that they buy it and stop thinking about the over $40B in cash Google has on hand.

Luckily, we’ve bombed at this answer so many times it frustrated us to the point of just being ourselves and not trying to find out the right answer.  In doing that, we found an answer that not only seems to work but sends the right tone about our team. What else is great, is that it happens to be true.  Below is a sample dialogue similar to the ones we’ve had.

Investor:  “Looks great guys.  What if Google does it?”

Us:  ”You mean what if Google tries to build what we did”?

Investor: “Yeah”

Us: “Well…we’d probably throw a party”

Investor: With a bewildered face “Why would you throw a party”.

Us:  “I guess a few reasons.

1.  It’s the the absolute best and cheapest market validation we could ever ask for.  So not only would we not be crazy about how huge this opportunity is, but some brilliant people at Google don’t think it’s crazy either.  Google putting resources behind this means they don’t just thinkit’s an opportunity, they have to think that it’s a massive opportunity…  like in the Billions kiddo (don’t actually say this last line).

2.  Education.  It’s really tough to sell something when you first have to educate the market by yourself.  I’d rather have a huge competitor that helped to educate the market, even if it is Google, rather than having to educate the market first and then try to sell to the same people.  If you’ve ever sat down with a good branding agency, the first thing they ask you is, “who are your competitors, how you are different from them and why you are better?”  They then build the brand messaging and marketing around these answers.  If you know these answers, it helps you to craft the best messaging for your target audience. It’s so much more effective if you don’t have to educate first in your messaging.

3.  Google will allocate resources to a team of interns and employees that will be off doing their own thing in a few years.  When they go home at night, they aren’t thinking about this problem.  Why do you think they just had to kill off 7 more products.  We were put on this earth to solve this problem and won’t stop until we do.  If Google did decide to do it, it would bring an incredible amount of focus to our team and the greatest opportunity for us to prove ourselves as entrepreneurs and to be able to say that we beat them”

…”Google that b!56#*$”… don’t actually say this line either.

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