The $19 billion-with-a-B purchase of WhatsApp by Facebook earlier this year has been tossed around as evidence of a tech bubble with low- or no-revenue start ups being extremely overvalued. This article explains the arms race between Google and Facebook to diversify their product suites in preparation for whatever the next big thing in tech ends up being.
Microsoft and Oracle (ORCL) dominated the tech scene in the ’90s, but each has struggled to keep up with changing industry dynamics and the transition to smartphones and cloud computing. “When you’ve won a category in the tech industry, you basically have 10 years to make hay of it,” says Benedict Evans, a partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. “So the question for [Google and Facebook] is, what happens the next time everything changes, and how can we buy important businesses that seem likely to be part of that future?”