Google just announced that they are committing $4.6 billion to the auction of wireless spectrum to be conducted by the U.S. federal government. The stated reason? To encourage the FCC to adopt what Google considers to be some consumer friendly requirements into the auction process. Basically, Google wants to ensure that whoever wins the bid(s) for this spectrum keeps the network “open”.
I’m not writing about this to comment on whether Google’s policy is right or wrong, or whether it is a broad strategic move to strengthen their position on a variety of fronts (undoubtedly it is), even though Google positions it as simply protecting the consumer. My reason for writing is simple: This is an incredible example of the power of success. Google built a better mousetrap and now has billions of dollars to wield. That’s power.
Our little company has been relatively successful the last few years, too, and it’s amazing to me what a difference having cash does to decision making. Basically, having cash gives you the ability to make fast decisions. You don’t have to sit around wondering how you’ll finance the decision, you just do it. Of course, that’s sometimes good and sometimes bad, but mostly it’s good, because cash allows you to dream and do. That’s what Google is doing now and why they’re likely to be very, very successful in the years and decades to come.