Some initial thoughts on Moto Mobility’s acquisition by Google and Chicago…
August 16, 2011
It was an interesting start to the day (I like those) with the announcement of Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility. Certainly the Moto staff that are here are @TechNexus were surprised. Some initial thoughts on what it means for Chicago…
Recognition: This is another example of great technology being built here and the community getting the recognition it deserves. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve met with someone from the coasts and they made the snide comment “the Midwest has finally found the internet?” Last time I checked the cell phone and the browser were both invented in Illinois and the modem was perfected here. This is a validation of Motorola’s leadership in the space since its inception. It only helps Chicago.
Mobile Cluster: With Motorola and a strong B2B focus of technology in the community, Chicago was already on our way to being recognized as a leading mobile community both nationally and globally. With Google’s leadership, this kicks it up a notch.
Illinois is now a Battleground State in the Industry War: Much as there was a PC war in the 80s and a browser war in the 90s, there is, as we know, a mobile war (and a better term is a patent war) brewing in the technology industry between Apple, Microsoft, Google and RIM. With Apple being Apple, Microsoft getting in bed with Nokia, and RIM holding its stalwart community, Google has made a big bet with Motorola Mobility. With 17K patents (not including the ones that Google failed to get from Nortel and the rockstar consortium) Moto becomes an bigger army and we become a battlefield in the war.
Workforce and Acquisitions: As Moto will be a separate business unit, I don’t suspect there will be a ton of layoffs as a result of the acquisition. With the infusion of Google’s influence, it could actually have the opposite effect. That being said with any acquisition you see an outflow of some people who are looking for new and different which will be a boom to a host of Chicago tech companies large and small.
New Business?: It’s often forgotten that Motorola Mobility has some other businesses beyond cell phones (home devices, cable, tablets). Products that are very much in line with GoogleTV. Take the Motorola leadership in those products and an infusion of Android, and you how does it change the dynamics of those products?
Capital: The details of the deal for employees aren’t public yet but I am guessing a few employees in Illinois are going to do quite well. Does it mean more capital infused into the marketplace for new companies? Time will tell.