New From Google: Google Acquisition Engine

Published on April 8, 2008
by John Paczkowski

google_acquisitionengine.jpgHere’s a clever way of streamlining the acquisition process: Become a platform-as-a-service provider and encourage developers to create Web applications using your proprietary database and your APIs (application programming interfaces).

That seems to be what Google (GOOG) has done with App Engine, a new service for developers who’d like to write and run their Web applications on the company’s infrastructure. With App Engine developers can establish their own little Google Labs outposts, building Google-friendly applications using Google’s own building blocks on the Google File System and Google will handle the scaling and fail-over issues.

That’s a compelling proposition–assuming you want Google to control your entire end-to-end development environment. And who wouldn’t these days? What better way to pique the search giant’s acquisitive interests than building a great big Web 2.0 sandcastle in its very own Web 2.0 sandbox? Who knows, you may be the next YouTube or, at the very least, the next Zingku or Jaiku. And if it turns out that you are, how convenient would it be for Google to acquire you, as Dave Winer noted a while back at Scripting News:

How much would it be worth to buy companies without having to transition their technology to their platform? There would be no retraining either, all the programmers in the companies they acquire would know how to work in the environment. Further, can you imagine that they’d charge universities to teach comp sci using their cloud?

“Given the cost of acquisitons, recruiting and training they can afford to blow a lot of money on free bandwidth, storage and CPU to make the buying and hiring process more efficient and increase the hit rate (the percentage of programmers who work out).”

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