Will Alphabet Own A Company For Each Letter? Obviously “G” Is For Google
Late Monday afternoon, Google announced a major restructuring and the creation of Alphabet, which will now serve the parent company of the search engine giant and its other entities, like YouTube. But will Alphabet own a company for each letter? The name almost immediately spawned jokes about alphabet soup and other witticisms, because the Internet just couldn't help itself.
Google co-founder Larry Page wrote in the blog post explaining the new company's name. It was chosen "because it means a collection of letters that represent language, one of humanity’s most important innovations, and is the core of how we index with Google Search."
Obviously, the "G" in Alphabet's portfolio is taken by the Google flagship, and the "Y" is presumably reserved for video website YouTube, which Google bought in 2006. And in his blog post introducing Alphabet, Page referenced Calico, the anti-aging research and development company, which describes its mission as using "advanced technologies to increase our understanding of the biology that controls lifespan" and to "enable people to lead longer and healthier lives." In other words, cheating death, or something close to it.
So there are 23 other letters up for grabs under the giant mega-company that Google has become. I went down the list to try to figure it out. Some were obvious, and some were a little bit less so. But while it doesn't quite have 26 total entities, it's sort of amazing how much of the alphabet the ubiquitous search engine can actually encompass just among its own suite of products and brands.
"A" Is For Android
An operating system for non-Apple smartphones was created by Google and now powers one billion devices around the world, according to its website.
"D" Is For Drones
Google bought drone company Titan in 2014 and has a stated goal of using its unmanned aircraft to provide Internet connectivity to areas around the world that don't have reliable access.
"F" Is For Fiber
It's only active in a few cities at the moment, but Google's fiber-optic internet system is supposed to revolutionize internet speeds.
"L" Is For Life Sciences
The Google division licensed technology from pharmaceutical company Novartis for contact lenses that track blood sugar levels in diabetics.
"M" Is For Maps
Google Maps has become a widely-used program that even works on Apple devices now. It's that good.
"N" Is For Nest
Many thought the home monitoring and thermostat system Google purchased in 2014 for $3.2 billion seemed like a weird fit for an Internet search company at the time, but it gave Google a firm foothold in the so-called Internet of Things.
"S" Is For Self-Driving Car
"V" Is For Ventures
Google Ventures is its investment arm that focuses on financing interesting startups (i.e. where all the money goes to become even more money).
"W" Is For Wing
Competing with Amazon's drones fleet, Google's "Project Wing" is an ultra-secretive drone-delivery test system that the company's been working on for years.
"X" Is For X Labs
This is the division that is developing the driverless car technology.
So there are plenty of letters that Alphabet has yet to claim. A lot of speculation has swirled around the possibility that they're eyeing Twitter, which would give them a "T." But it's probably safe to say that Google is only beginning to spell out what it has in store for the future.
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