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Author: Hakan Jakobsson *
* Editor’s note: From time to time we shall feature guest columnists in this forum. In this article, Hakan Jakobsson presents some provocative arguments and counter-arguments on the intriguing question of whether Google has left it too late to catch up with AWS and Azure, the two current leaders in enterprise cloud infrastructure. Hakan is a good friend and frequent thought-partner with me on many tech-related topics. In particular, he has deep expertise in IT infrastructure and especially public cloud.
When a product gains popularity it is common that a pattern emerges. In the beginning, there are a small number of pioneering companies producing it, but as its popularity grows, more and more vendors enter the market to get a piece of the action. After a while, the number of vendors peaks as consolidation sets in and eventually, the market becomes dominated by a small number of players. For instance, there were around 80 U.S. automakers in in 1920 and more than 80 U.S. television manufacturers in the early 1950s. More recently, the number of disk drive manufacturers peaked in 1984 at almost 80 and the number of PC manufacturers about 3 years later when there were around 100 hundred vendors according to Michael Mauboussin’s book “More Than You Know.” Today, there are far fewer manufacturers in any of those categories.