The Art of War: Why Google Bought Motorola

August 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

How Google’s $12.5bn purchase will help it regain control of its fragmented platform and protect its partners.

The Art of War – Why Google Bought Motorola

  • By Gordon Kelly
  • 17 August 2011
“Invincibility lies in the defence; the possibility of victory in the attack.”

If you have read Sun Tzu‘s The Art of War you will know the famous Chinese military general and philosopher was obsessed with adaption. He claimed successful strategy was not about a rigid game plan, but being fluid to the environmental factors at any given moment. Well it looks as if Google has been reading Sun Tzu…


“The idea a year and a half ago was to do the Nexus One to try to move the phone platform hardware business forward. It clearly did. It was so successful, we didn’t have to do a second one.” This quote came from Google’s then CEO Eric Schmidt in July 2009 after thecancellation of the Nexus One. Five months later Google was back with the Nexus S and confronted about the U-turn all Schmidt would say was he promised no ‘Nexus Two’, not an ‘S’. Google was rapidly evolving its business model to market conditions and with thepurchase of Motorola Mobility this week for $12.5bn (£7.67bn) the company has made its most seismic shift to date.

The reason for the purchase again comes like a lesson from Sun Tzu: it is one of simultaneous attack and defence – both on its partners and the opposition. Continue reading


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