Google looms as large these days in the minds of entrepreneurs and VCs as Microsoft did a couple of years ago. They are a great company but I’m comfortable making investments in companies that compete with them in certain areas.
1) They have executed brilliantly on the Adsense and Adwords business – everything else has been limited free offerings (please forgive the generalisation)
2) All the stories I hear from people within Google and from people who deal with Google on an operational level have left me believing that they won’t follow through effectively on all of their promised business initiatives
3) They are so big now that it only makes sense for them to go after markets that are potentially HUGE (e.g. Desktop) or already big
4) Despite their protestations to the contrary they are now in the same business as MSFT, IBM and other large companies of spreading FUD to deter potential competitors
I have made one investment this year in a space adjacent to Google – www.buy.at and there may be another in the pipe.