My appreciation for Andy Kessler’s way of thinking began with Wall Street Meat and Running Money. A few years ago I had the opportunity to hear him speak at a Cato 200 gathering in Laguna Beach, CA. I continue to keep up with him through his commentary at the WSJ where, in this piece, he shares some thoughts from another great mind, futurist George Gilder:
My friend the futurist George Gilder outlines a theory in “Life After Google,” his forthcoming book. He suggests that while advertising prices might be correct, the free-service model cannot deliver sustainable growth. Mr. Gilder explains that Google “achieved unprecedented scale by a commitment to ‘free.’ But free flow is not cash flow. It bypasses the entrepreneurial learning that is conveyed through the remorseless messaging of price. Without prices, all that is left to confine consumption is the scarcity of time. Beyond the scores of hours a week for its smartphone customers, time is closing in on Google.”
Google’s centralized architecture also could come under attack from the huge decentralized infrastructure scaling up to mine bitcoins. Even if bitcoin drops below $1,000, the installed glut of global blockchain servers could, Mr. Gilder argues, “marshal a virtual planetary parallel computer that dwarfs the CPU and GPU arrays in Google data centers with their mere millions of servers.”
Mr. Gilder notes: “The cryptocosm can mobilize computer power in volumes that dwarf even the data centers of the leviathans. In this case, the advances in computer science pioneered at Google serve to emancipate the world from Google’s silos.” This may be a way off, but investment implications come sooner than you think.
Read more here.