Yesterday I saw an article on CNN called “Is Google too smart for its own good?”
The premise is that even in a company like Google, famous for hiring only the best and brightest, there is enough rote work to do that those very people will eventually get bored and leave. When they do, they will create a wave of innovation that will be called “Son-Of-Google”.
If a company the size of PayPal can kick off a second wave that includes LinkedIn, Slide, Yelp, YouTube, Clarium Capital, and Room 9 Entertainment, among others, the sons-of-Google wave should be a world-changer.
Furthermore, the article hypothesizes that these world-changing startups will simply be brought back into the fold again.
But what will it mean for Google? For starters, it’ll provide an additional food chain for new products and features. The profligate M&A spending of all the GAMEY (Google, Apple (Charts), Microsoft (Charts), Ebay (Charts), Yahoo (Charts)) companies has touched off a run of feature innovation over the last few years. You can be sure Google will be on the inside track to acquire the latest ideas of former employees.
It would appear Paul Graham’s prediction is becoming more correct every day:
I think there are a lot of undergrads … [that are] … only a few steps away from being able to start successful startups, if they wanted to, but they don’t realize it. They have more than enough technical skill. They just haven’t realized yet that the way to create wealth is to make what users want, and that employers are just proxies for users in which risk is pooled.
If the son-of-Google hypothesis is true, then hiring really is rapidly becoming obsolete.