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Let's make this quick. I just listened to what seems like hours of the Google earnings call. In general, earnings calls are mind-numbingly boring. Google's earnings call makes Apple's earnings call seem like an exciting product announcement. If you've never listened to one of these (and why would you) I will provide three quick takeaways that give you some insight into the kind of company Google is:

First, it is all about advertising. There is no part of Google that is not advertising driven. That is the only thing about which they truly care. All of their products and services exist to drive advertising. There simply are no exceptions to that. The level to which they want to exploit your personal details for ad revenue is scary when you hear them talk about it in this setting. 

Second, they could care less about providing quality products and services. See the previous paragraph for perspective. They make no money from Chromebooks. They make no money to speak of from Android. Products and services are not their business. Those products only exist to get information from you, and to serve you ads. At Google, there is no higher calling. If your Android experience is less than stellar, it is no concern of Google's, unless that experience gets in the way of them serving you ads. You really should think about that when you choose a platform. 

Finally. Google is really sensitive about the Motorola fiasco. They simply refused to be drawn into the topic. Furthermore, the investors did not push them on the subject. There was not one question about the financial implications of selling for under $3B, what just two years ago, they purchased for $12.5B. Also among the questions no one bothers to ask Google, What are you doing to revolutionize search? What are you doing to advance the state of smartphones and tablets? When is your next product category disruption? Apple is the only company that gets those questions.

As a bonus, I will throw in a word about Amazon's financials which I have no intention of covering. They made a profit of $238M, thereabouts. It is being hailed as their best quarter yet. What you have to know about Amazon is that they don't make money. Amazon's best quarter represents an amount that vendors get out of the Coke machines at Apple HQ. Amazon is said to have a great quarter just for not losing money, which they often do. Kindle sales? According to Amazon, their user base has grown to its biggest ever. Of course, that would be true had they only sold one tablet. 

When you read about Apple's disappointing, record quarter, perhaps this will helpl put it in perspective. 

David Johnson

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