Larry Page and Sergueï Brin in 1998

This picture of the founders of Google in a garage in Menlo Park, in California, in 1998, is not able to reveal by itself the threat that Google posed to Microsoft in the IT industry on those days. Now it makes it more realistic reading how Ken Auletta described in his book ‘Googled’ the following reflection from Bill Gates in a visit he paid to the founder of Microsoft:

“In early 1998, Microsoft appeared impregnable when I visited Bill Gates in Redmond, Washington. What competitive challenge, I asked, did he most fear? Gates did not recite the usual litany of prominent foes – Netscape, Sun Microsystems, Oracle, Apple. Instead, he said, “I fear someone in a garage who is designing something completely new”

Today, we are familiar with the recurrent use Google to search in the internet for every piece of information we need. However, it is not easy to imagine that one day they might be replaced by some else who is today working in a garage. In the 2010’s, there are four American companies leading the competition in internet, Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook. At the same level we consider in Asia, Samsung from Korea and Alibaba, from China. Richard S. Tedlow, a recognised historian and professor says: “Internet companies are actually competing head-to-head in HHRR in the capture of talent. Historically, that company which wins the war for talent, wins the technological war”.

I guess these companies are wondering who is working today, out there, in a garage, creating something completely new.