Chrome is a shared resource that ensures the sustainable growth of a larger ecosystem. There are two key words in that sentence. The first is shared. Google is investing in a shared resource because it has the potential to expand the pie dramatically for all, and so Google stands to benefit more than by hoarding it. The second is sustainable growth: through Chrome, Google ensures the ecosystem stays a level playing field, amplifying incentives for innovation, quality, and productivity.
Chrome lets Google play a market creation game. The game Chrome lets Google play isn’t about winning market share. It’s not about dominance “over” Microsoft. Rather, Google is using Chrome to alter the basis of competition entirely.
The point of Chrome is to utterly explode the boundaries of yesterday’s market – and let everyone compete to serve richer and more relevant ads across an open market for lightweight, remixable, low-cost apps distributed nearly frictionlessly. Now that’s revolutionary – and that’s just the potential of a single revenue stream.
Chrome takes Google from core to edge. Chrome isn’t about building and strengthening core competencies, but edge competencies: competencies shared with others. The more Chrome – remember, it’s open source – is hacked, remixed, and tweaked, into still better browsers, engines, and plug-ins, the less Google itself has to invest to explode the utility of the entire www itself for everyone.
Stop for a second and think about those economics – because they have the strategic force of a supernova behind them.