the-frontline

Google's forward thinking philosophy is causing investors to worry

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Google had a pretty good quarter. The search giant saw decent revenue and continued success with its core products. Yet, investors still want more.

During the company's conference call with investors, many Google stock owners questioned the firm's significant investment in future technologies. Investors wondered why Google dollars were going towards things like self-driving cars and virtual reality glasses.

Analysts didn't understand why Google was putting money into products that only have the potential to make profit down the road, grilling company bosses on how they decide appropriate levels of investment for the blue-sky projects.

Google chief executive Larry Page reported that those types of projects are necessary for its future success. He said his responsibility as chief of Google was to make sure that the firm didn't get lazy and invest in only incremental upgrades.

Page makes a great point. Microsoft has suffered because it didn't have any groundbreaking products in the pipeline. People are even saying Apple maybe running into the same problem.

But at Google they're making sure they don't get blindsided by the future. Page and co-founder Sergey Brin have always been looking to find the cutting edge of technology. From cloud computing to Google Fiber, the search giant has always made crazy bets on crazier technology.

That's why it must be so frustrating for Page to hear investors wonder why Google spends so much money on currently unprofitable technology. Google has made a lot of people a ton of cash. Yet, some still wonder if the powers that be know what they are doing.

It's smart to ask questions, but Page and company clearly have a plan that's been working. Most of the time, you'd complain if a company decided to rest on their laurels. But investors are worried about Google taking measured risks.

Investors absolutely have a right to question what Google is doing. Even the company's supporters must be starting to question its Motorola purchase. However, investors should be more trusting of Google in one category: R&D.

Google knows how to make things and even if those things won't always make money right away they are still good products.

So, maybe, the time has come for Google investors to have a little bit of faith. Googlers know what it takes to make money in the internet age and by investing in the future they'll make sure they make money on whatever comes next.

19 Apr 2013

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