When online mortgage titans battle, who wins?
In the last few decades fear was struck into heart of investors and entrepreneurs whenever Microsoft decided to invade a new market. After all Microsoft has such a big name and was considered to dominate every space it went into. Microsoft is still looking to maximize shareholder value by launching in space after space (more recently though they have been regrouping, trying to maximize sales in the spaces they are in already).
But for companies in a number of industries they not only have to worry about Microsoft but now Google. The latest concern is the search powerhouse getting into mortgages and one company not happy about the idea is LendingTree who is filing a lawsuit against technology provider MorTech for helping the search leader in a new business it may get in which will provide conditional mortgage information to searchers.
Google has done an excellent job destroying business models as it extends its vast empire. For users, what Google is doing is beneficial as it makes it easier to find information which is sought after. But in many cases, as the company grows, it helps to destroy entire industries and hundreds of thousands of jobs in the process.
In the past I have praised the company for being a job creator but the company has also cost tens of thousands of jobs in the newspaper industry alone. Having said that I should point out that eBay and Craigslist helped destroy newspaper profitability as well.
I should also mention the company is disruptive and in a way IP communications is doing to communications companies what Google seems to be doing to so many other companies (including those in communications) - forcing them to evolve or die.
In the end, Google provides valuable services and when I look up flight information and weather on the site, I now bypass the old web favorites I used to go to. For users this is great but for industries where Google wants to extend its presence, it can be a kiss of death.
In my decades in business the one thing I have learned is that there are few monopolies which can be defended indefinitely (look at postage meters, film, brick and mortar retail) and that scale and technology can drastically change your business model in ways which are impossible to predict. Only by being immersed in your industry and working harder and smarter can you keep up in this brave new world of tech innovation and scale (referring to Wal-Mart, StarBucks and others).
If you happen to play in the tech space though it seems that you have to not only worry about Microsoft but Google could be an even bigger potential threat if you find your industry in their crosshairs.