I recently read a story on relationships that came to mind today as a possible way to understand why search engines are desperately spending Millions and Billions in Acquisitions.
The story was about a man who met a woman on a plane and they got to talking about relationships. He asked if she was in a relationship and she said no, that she hadn’t found the “right man” yet. He asked what she was looking for and she replied she wanted someone “smart, good looking, funny and who has a lot of money”. She went on to list about 23 qualities in all. She complained that she could never find one person with all of them.
The man then asked whom, among the men she knew now, was “smart”. She thought for a moment and replied, “My boss.” Then he asked her who in her life was “funny”. She had a co-worker who was funny. When asked who had a “lot of money”, that she might know now, she again replied, “My boss.” As for the good looking requirement, it turns out her ex-boyfriend was hot, but stupid. She admitted she paraded him around but advised him to never say anything.
The man on the plane explained that somewhere along the way she had become afraid of being with just one man. She sub-consciously defended her fear of commitment by surrounding herself with many men who met her idea of the perfect mate. Even though she was getting what she wanted, it wasn’t good enough because of how it was packaged, so she kept on searching for the perfect combination and pushing it away at the same time.
If you’ve been keeping up with Microsoft, Google and Yahoo!, you know each mammoth company is trying to find the perfect relationship that will sustain it for the future. Instead of creating each one’s heart’s desire in-house, they’re spending billions of dollars buying up “smart”, “good looking”, “makes lots of money” and “funny”.
We no longer recognize them anymore. We may even get fed up with trying to keep up with their latest dramatic acquisition, firing, hire, or merger.
One thing may be the most telling of all.
Their fear of commitment may one day mark their demise because someone else may come along who is the perfect choice for search.