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“Everyone applauds when Google goes after Microsoft’s Office monopoly, seeing it
simply as “turnabout’s fair play,” (and a distant underdog to boot), but when they start to
go after web non-profits like Wikipedia, you see where the ineluctable logic leads. As
Google’s growth slows, as inevitably it will, it will need to consume more and more of the
web ecosystem, trading against its former suppliers, rather than distributing attention to
them. We already take for granted that common searches, such as for weather or stock
prices, are satisfied directly on the search screen. Where does that process stop?
“Ultimately, I think we see this pattern in the economic development of every innovation.
When a new technology is introduced, there’s a lot of green-field opportunity, and so
much value is being created that there’s no need to capture it all. But as the technology
matures, the winners need to capture more of the total value being created. They
gradually crowd out suppliers as well as competitors.”