Google Redefines Disruption: The “Less Than Free” Business Model

Customers seem to really like free as a price point. I suspect they will love “less than free."

Bill Gurley points out that Google's recent moves with Android and their Mapping API's have ushered in a new era of 'less than free.' Windows Mobile, Blackberry and iPhone platforms charge the mobile operators, whereas Google actually subsidizes operators that choose Android through ad rev shares.

Thus far, Google has been able to use its gigantic firehose of profits from ads to make it very difficult for people in other industries to survive. The consumer wins. But can you imagine how deflationary these tactics are for tech as a whole?

Every dollar Google gets its hands on... may eventually extinguish someone else's dollar of profit in an otherwise unrelated field. Crazy!

Build it

"If only I had ____ I would succeed."

These simple words will kill your dreams faster than anything else you could say or think. There are so many self-defeating thoughts that an entrepreneur can have, and they often take this very simple form.

One of the more common phrases you hear if you spend any time around aspiring entrepreneurs is "If only I had a technical cofounder..." This is a cringe-worthy thing to say. If you want to build a technology company, how is it that you can start without a technical background? It is not impossible, but damn near close to it. If you don't possess the skills currently to build it yourself, then you've got a problem.

There is an inverse correlation between how much you need something and how readily available that thing is to you. When it rains it pours. This applies directly to your ability. If you can code, design, market, sell, and ship your product, then you will have one hell of an easier time finding people to do each of those things for you. If you can only do one or two of those things, you've got a lot more needs, and it will be that much harder to fill them. Self-reliance fixes this.

So what is a non-techie aspriring entrepreneur to do? The most straightforward thing possible, naturally. Code. Learn to do it. Learn to build. Pick up a book and type out the examples. To create great things, there are blood sweat and tears. It might take two years or ten, but better a dream realized in ten years than not at all.

The good innovation -- the innovation that makes the world a better place and builds real wealth in society -- that stuff is done by radically self-reliant creators who get their hands dirty. Not talkers. Not dreamers. Builders.

So I leave you with one simple command as you work on your dreams.

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