Apple is an incredible company by any objective measure. I’m not even ashamed to admit that I’m an Apple fanboy. I lined up outside my local AT&T store for the first iPhone, I follow the liveblogs for every keynote, I finished the Steve Jobs biography in two days, I have embarrassingly long email discussions with friends about rumored new products/future strategy of the company…so it should be very clear- I’m a supporter of the crew in Cupertino. The mystique of the founder, the mystery surrounding the company, the groundbreaking products, the emotionally intelligent advertising, and the feeling that Apple was delivering a piece of the future in my handmade the company unparalleled in my mind. Apple has set the bar impossibly high for itself, it was innovating at a pace that in hindsight was unsustainable. Apple is still making a lot of money, sales are strong, but something is missing. Apple looks vulnerable, or even worse unsure of itself. We haven’t seen an entirely new product category introduced during the Tim Cook regime, and I’m not even sure it is fair to expect him to deliver something on par with the iPod, iPhone, or iPad…but it doesn’t prevent me from hoping that he will. Apple used to spark my imagination, and get me excited about the possibilities of a technology filled future, I’m not sure it does that for me anymore…but Google definitely does.
Google is now playing a different game than everyone else, and it has been for awhile. Under Larry Page, Google/Google[x] are making strides to try and build the future. Apple is in the business of integrating software with hardware, delivering great products, and making a lot of money selling them. Great products. Nest felt like a natural fit to end up at Apple. The battle for the connected home is heating up, there is a lot of money to be made, and it is unclear how Apple is going to enter this space. Nest would have been the perfect entry point for Apple. The company even has strong Apple DNA- Tony Fadell, the CEO is the Godfather of the iPod. Googled acquired Nest for $3.2 billion, and the deal was heralded as a no-brainer by practically everyone. A great team with incredible design experience, a visionary founder, and the proven ability to deliver amazing products, now belongs to Google, and not Apple. Google is getting better at a lot of the things that Apple is the best at, and Apple seems to not be improving nearly fast enough in the areas that it is not the best. Services such as iCloud are nowhere near ready to compete with Dropbox, Box, or GDrive in a world where users are quickly moving towards cloud computing on all devices. I love Apple, I want them to continue to push us forward by delivering great products, and creating magical experiences…but right now Google is grabbing my attention, and exciting my imagination.